Disclaimer: I don't own Robin Hood.
Author's note: Hey, this is my first Robin Hood fanfiction. It's set after season two, episode five, so there'll be spoilers if you haven't seen the show to that point. I'll openly admit that I wrote the gang a little bit OOC, but they've just been betrayed, so I think it's understandable. Enjoy!
Morgan rode slowly, partially because of the load of swords in her cart, partially because she enjoyed the quiet of the mornings in Sherwood Forest. No part of her childhood had been quiet, and very little of it had been peaceful. Now, with her brother off in the Holy Lands and her mother taken ill, home offered very little peace either, especially with the new Sheriff and his taxes. Sherwood was like an escape. An arrow sliced through the air, planting itself in the side of her cart with a thunk, interrupting her musings.
"A fine wagon you've got there!" She couldn't see the speaker, his location hidden by the way his voice resounded through the quite woods. She didn't need to see him. "We'll relieve you of its contents, if you don't mind." He appeared over a ledge, an arrow notched in his bow, a cocky smile plastered on his face. Morgan held her hands up, a gesture not so much of complete surrender as it was of compliance.
"I'll do you one better," she offered, tapping her foot against the floor of her cart. "You can have the lot, and I'll get you into the castle." The offer tempted him from the ledge. He slid down the gentle slope of the hill and stood before her, crossing his arms across his chest.
"And what makes you think that I want something from the castle?" he asked, tilting his head to the side.
"Well, it's a castle, and you're Robin Hood, aren't you? There's always something worth taking in a castle," she shrugged. He laughed, nodding in agreement.
"What's the catch?" There was a stony quality to the question, revealing the fresh wounds of betrayal. Morgan stared back at him for a moment, fixing him with a calculating stare.
"Me mum," she finally stated simply.
"Aye, me mum. She's sick, and I barely make enough to keep us fed after the taxes. Take care of her, and I'll get you into the castle anytime you want," she proposed. The rest of the gang slowly revealed themselves, closing in around her cart. The tallest and most burly of them leaned on his quarterstaff, gazing at her as if looking at her soul.
"Her, I do not trust," he admitted in an almost accusatory tone. Morgan shifted uncomfortably under his gaze. Robin looked at her, looked at his friend, looked back at her.
"Calm down, Little John. Let her explain herself," he said calmly. The larger man narrowed his eyes at Morgan. She looked away, bringing the rest of the crew to her attention. They were all giving her a similar stare, one of distrust. Robin tapped the side of her cart with his bow. "Well? How would you get us into the castle?"
"Easily enough. I'm the castle blacksmith," she replied, keeping her voice even despite her mounting discomfort. "It'd be a tight squeeze, but three of you can fit in me cart. The other two can act as escorts. Sheriff's been demanding that I get some escorts, anyway." This explanation produced a mixed reaction. The plan was solid enough, but the fact that she worked for the Sheriff in the first place didn't help her case.
"Master, surely we can't trust her. She works for the Sheriff!" The anxious looking man next to Robin took the time to adjust his cap, his other hand resting nervously on the hilt of his sword. Morgan saw where he was heading with that particular line and shook her head.
"No! It's not like that at all! Me brother's off in the Crusades! He'd come back, but he was promoted. King Richard's personal guard and all," she noted with a familiar feeling of pride. "I'm the only one bringing in any money. I'm not being funny, but it's not like it grows in trees." At her last statement, the gang exchanged significant glances.
"How do you know Allan A Dale?" Robin asked, the friendly edge gone from his voice. Morgan decided that it was best to tell the truth.
"I grew up with him. He's me best friend."
"I knew it! She is not to be trusted!" The panicky one thrust a finger in her face, which Morgan promptly pushed away.
"Sorry, but what's that supposed to mean?" She was slightly affronted by his finger in her face, but she was infinitely more angry at the implication that she wasn't trustworthy. "Not being funny, but you don't know me at all, and here you are, pointing your finger in me face!" The phrase that she'd thrown about so casually since childhood seemed to strike a particular chord with the band of outlaws, and it didn't seem to be a melodious one.
"Go ahead and climb out of the wagon. We're taking the lot. We can get into the castle without your help," Robin finally uttered coldly. Morgan couldn't believe it.
"Weren't you listening to me? I need to take these to the Sheriff! I need the money to care for me mum!" she explained once more, pleading entering her voice.
"Well, we most definitely can't have friends of the Sheriff making deliveries left and right," Djaq scoffed.
"I can't believe it was all lies," she murmured. The gang, which had started to move to the back of her cart, stopped mid-step, turning back to hear her. "All of it." Will had remained silent, but decided that it was the time to speak up.
"What lies?" He asked. Morgan climbed down from her cart, clenching her fists.
"That you lot steal from the rich and give to the poor. That you always try and help those in need. That you're fair and understanding!" With each point, her voice got a little louder, beginning to shake with a mixture of anger and sadness. The complimentary comments brought a small smile to Robin's face.
"Who told you all of that?" he asked, unable to stop the question.
"Allan A Dale, that's who. He told me that you were the nicest bloke he'd ever met, and that you saved his skin, and that you tried to save Tom from the drop, and that you never did wrong. Suppose he was mistaken then, wasn't he?" she practically yelled, storming back towards her village. So much for peace in Sherwood Forest.
She'd seen him drunk. She'd seen him angry. She'd seen him laugh at something until he couldn't breathe. She'd never seen him sad, not like this. He'd nearly scared her out of her skin, the way he'd just appeared in the doorway of her workshop. He'd stopped by to see her often, but he usually came during the day. The sun was barely shining over the horizon, its last rays flickering through the trees. She put down her mallet and wiped her sweaty hands on the bit of cloth that hung from her belt.
"Allan, you startled me!" she reprimanded lightly, pulling off her apron and gesturing with her free hand to let him in. He closed the door behind him, moving forward and throwing his arms around her, silent sobs racking his body.
"Morgan, help me," he managed softly. She returned the hug, patting him gently on the back. She guided him towards the workshop's small bench, prompting him to sit down.
"What's all this, then? What happened?" she asked, trying to remain calm, wiping the tears from his face. She was concerned. True, she worried about him everyday, especially since she'd found out that he had been running with Robin Hood, but the sorrow in his expression went deeper than that.
"I've done something terrible, Morgan," he finally muttered, closing his hand around hers. She felt it shaking, but allowed him to continue. The words seem to cause him a great deal of pain to say. "I did it for the money. I knew it was wrong, but I did it anyway. I'd never have put the gang in danger, I swear." His grip tightened on her hands, as if he was signaling for a response.
"Allan, what are you going on about?" Perhaps it wasn't the ideal answer, but given their unique relationship, it was appropriate enough.
"Gisborne's money. He was paying me to give him information about Robin's plans. And I took it. And I gave him what he wanted. Robin found me out, threw me out of the gang," he blurted out quickly, looking away as if expecting Morgan to throw him out as well. She sat in shocked silence for a second. That explained why Robin and his gang had been so unrelenting. Allan had done a lot of things in the past, but he'd always had a good reason. She put a hand on his cheek, turning his head back to her.
"What do you need me to do?" He looked grateful, but pained at the same time.
"I can't ask anything of you, Morgan. I'm not being funny, but you're barely making enough to support you and your mum," he refused, standing and running his fingers through his hair. She rolled her eyes, crossing her arms over her chest.
"You do realize that if you stop giving Gisborne information, he's bound to put a price on you head," she said pointedly, "You're going to need a place to hide." Though it wasn't her intention, the words seemed to anger Allan. He turned on heel to face her.
"I'm tired of hiding, Morgan! I'm tired of being in the shade!" Morgan smirked, standing and putting her hands on his shoulders.
"Then step into the sun. Go to Gisborne. Ask for a job." Allan looked as though Morgan had slapped him round the face, his eyes wide with disbelief. She expected as much and continued. "I hate the Sheriff. You know I do. But I'm his blacksmith, am I not? Think, Allan. Gisborne will have you hunted and killed if it looks like you've simply turned on him. But if you go to him, explain that Robin gave you the boot, he's more likely to understand and give you a job."
"I don't want to work for Gisborne anymore. I don't want to sell my soul," he replied softly. She sighed.
"Allan, I'm not being funny, but Robin isn't going to welcome you back into the fold anytime soon." She ignored the hint of a glare that he threw at her, putting her hands on her hips. "And you can't very well live in the forest on your own. They're a bit angry, your old mates. Just this morning they robbed me of an entire delivery of swords for the Sheriff"
"No," he shook his head, backing up a step, "No. They wouldn't." Morgan nodded.
"Aye, they took me horse and cart, too." Morgan didn't like repeating the story any more than Allan liked hearing it, but it presented him with such clarity of thought that he saw the value of it.
"Morgan, I was never here," he muttered, stooping slightly to plant a quick kiss on her cheek before heading out the door. Morgan's hand moved to her cheek as she watched him go, a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth.
"Morgan Weaver, what a fool you are!" her mother coughed, sitting up in bed to scold her daughter. "Ever since you was a little one, and even worse since you got back from the Holy Land." Morgan smirked as she put more wood on the fire, taking it in stride. It was true, after all. She'd always been a tomboy, running amuck with her older brother, ignoring the way the other little girls acted around her.
"I just don't understand why you couldn't be content to take up the trade." Morgan Weaver was not a weaver. Her father and mother had been weavers. Her grandparents had been weavers. Her brother Michael had been a weaver before he went off to the Holy Land. As for Morgan, a weaver she was not. It wasn't that she hadn't tried to be a weaver. She just had no natural talent for it.
"Mum, if I'd become a weaver, than I'd never make enough money to put food on the table," she pointed out, chuckling when her mother dismissed the solid argument with a frustrated wave of the hand.
"Aye, but that doesn't mean that you had to become a blacksmith. You just went that route so you could spend time with Allan," her mother laughed, noting the pink shade that colored her daughter's face. "You've always fancied that boy. And anyway, I can't believe that Robin Hood and his gang stole all those things from you!" It was an abrupt change of subject, but the incident had been bothering her ever since Morgan had returned home that morning in a huff.
"Mum, they brought Tinder back, and you know that I can make more swords. But if they try anything like that again, I'll have to fight them off. I hate the Sheriff, but we need the money." Her mother shook her head. Though she supported her daughter in her unconventional profession, she could not support the great risk that she intended to undertake.
"Morgan, I do not approve. There has to be some other way to help. You could let Allan stay with us. Goodness knows having a man around would help. Or perhaps you could stop fooling around on the job and make more weapons. Perhaps the sheriff would give you more money if you told him about that special trick you learned in the Holy Lands." Morgan sighed, spooning stew into a bowl. When her brother had joined King Richard's army in the Holy Lands, she had followed. Soon enough, her brother had been promoted to King Richard's personal guard, a fact that she was endlessly proud of. Personally though, she'd stayed away from the front, choosing instead to befriend a Saracen man, a convert to Christianity, a blacksmith. She studied under him, learning techniques, promising never to teach them to those who would misuse them. The Sheriff undoubtedly fell under the category of "those who would misuse them."
"Morgan Weaver, you're stubborn as a mule, you are," her mother muttered, sipping gingerly at the stew. It was as much a blessing as Morgan could hope to get.
"Get it from you, Mum," she sighed under her breath, gulping down her own bowl of stew. It was as much a thanks as her mother could hope to get.