Continuing from the tragic ending of series 2.
Chapter 1 – He Still Had Marian, His Marian
Marian was stood, unarmed between the wounded King and Sir Guy, she looked at the latter appearing to have a plan and announced.
"I love Robin Hood!" Looking pleased with herself she repeated this statement twice more, after the first Robin speeded round the corner, desperately trying to think of something to do to save his love from the frustrated Guy of Gisbourne. Marian's thoughts immediately turned to Robin after interpreting Guy's expression. She feared for her life.
"I love you Robin Hood!" came a cry as Guy drew back his sword, preparing to give a fatal wound.
However fortunately in the nick of time an accurately aimed arrow whizzed past striking Gisbourne's sword, forcing him to drop it.
"Robin!" exclaimed Marian, whilst Gisbourne attempted to grab his weapon to continue his previous intentions, but before he could another struck, this time it embedded itself in Guy's right hand.
"Arghhh!" a cry of pain was the only thing that could be heard as Guy shook his hand attempting to diminish the pain. Another arrow, this time in his right arm, sent him off balance, and yet another just centimetres away forced him to the ground. Screaming in agony Guy squirming on the floor could only just look up desperate to see if it really was Robin who had caused him this much pain.
The sheriff meanwhile had heard the commotion and arrived on the scene to take revenge on whatever had happened, but seeing Carter on the ground dead and only Gisbourne in pain he seemed to care very little and only said.
"Come on Gisbourne stop fooling about" before disappearing back round the corner he had arrived from, without waiting even a second for the wounded Gisbourne to clamber back onto his horse that had been patiently waiting in a nearby alley.
Meanwhile Robin rushed over to his Marian, holding her in his arms.
"I'm so glad you're safe" he told her lovingly before caressing her cheeks, pulling his fingers lovingly through her hair and gently kissing her on the lips.
"Watch do mean glad I'm safe? How did you know I was in danger? I didn't scream or call for help!"
"I know this may sound silly and you may not believe it, but I dreamt it in the desert when we were tied up… but I'll tell you about that later, right now I just need you close." Again he kissed her, cherishing everything about her, staring longingly into her sky blue eyes and relieved that he could still hold her, and would hopefully continue to be able to for a long time to come.
"I love you so much Marian"
"I love you too" The two lovers still embracing couldn't bear to let each other go, though Marian seemed almost unaware as to how close to certain death she had been.
Simultaneously, the gang, who had followed Robin down the stairs, had immediately seen to other matters. Djaq's first worry was the injured King who despite his injury had sat up to witness the events, and after having the arrow removed and his injury seen to by Djaq seemed fine and very grateful to Marian for saving him. Will being ever faithful had aided Djaq in an attempt to win over more of her affections. Allan, being selfless in an attempt to win back the gang's favour, ran straight to Carter's body and to his dismay finding him dead bowed his head in respect for this brave man. Much and John feared more their master Robin who had stupidly forgotten about the murdering villain who had still been lying on the ground at the point, and positioned themselves in between the embracing couple and Guy, weapons blazing ready for action.
Marian and Robin stood in the same position for many minutes caressing each other and making the most of their love. All Robin could do was cherish her and repeat over and over again.
"I love you Marian, never leave me" and despite Marian's constant reassurance that she never would he could not bring himself to let her go, almost in an attempt to protect her from everything. He even kept his strong grip on her when the King approached to show his appreciation to her.
"Thank you so much Marian, I am forever in your debt, England is forever in your debt."
"It was nothing really, it's what I do all the time, what we do all the time. Save England." Smiling at Robin, who still held her in a vice like grip and had began to quietly weep though he appeared to be happy as he smiled back, hugging her even more closely. Marian, although loved Robin very much and was glad to share his warmth after such a time apart, tried to pull away after telling him again that she loved him and would never leave. Kissing him once more she slipped out from underneath his arms, she hugged him, once again kissed him on the cheek and headed over to the gang, who by now were feeling very awkward.
None of them really understood how Robin felt at that moment, and although had felt sorrow they still wondered what tortures the desert had put their master through, and how long he would remain this way. Marian also wondered things about him, but she understood his pain, she had thought many a time that he had left her, died or otherwise, and felt exactly as she knew he did then when he returned, and was glad that Robin had learnt the importance of love and had also learnt to openly treasure her much more.
Robin now managing to break free from the trance like state he had been in for over 10 minutes, slowly approached the gang who were wary of him at this point, as they were unsure what he would do next.
"Marian…" Kissing her once more, he put his arm around her and turned to the rest of the gang. "We need to return to England and find that scumbag Gisbourne, but right now we have a funeral to attend to." Turning to Carter's still body, Robin lowered his head, muttering something no one but he could hear, but they all new it was heartfelt and sad. Seeing one lonely tear slide down his face, Marian slowly approached Robin, kissed him on the cheek saying.
"It's okay my love, he is at peace now," and put her arm round him to comfort his subconscious decision to save her rather than Carter.
Robin slowly bent down, picking the limp body in his arms.
"We must give him a proper burial." Were the only words he managed to get out, signalling to the others to follow him.
Slowly they progressed out of the town and across the sand, Robin lead holding their loyal friend, Marian holding his arm affectionately and comforting all the while. No one dared speak, even during the long time spent digging the grave, which to Robin felt like forever.
Placing him in the deep hole in the sand, Robin could only bring himself to say.
"Thank you my friend" before he took Marian back into his arms once more, again feeling the need to hold his one true love in a way to comfort himself.
Marian understood the pain he felt, she thought he must have felt as she did when her father had passed on, but she was unaware of the joy he felt as he still had her. Marian new Robin as well as he did, and she could tell what he was thinking. She knew he felt that being unable to save both of them was devastating, but he felt deep down he had saved the right one, he would never have been unable to avenge either's death without his Marian.
"Come on, I think we should leave him to rest now," Marian took Robin by the hand, and slowly lead him away from the grave, the gang following close behind, but not so close to make the couple feel uncomfortable. Will and Djaq also walked together, arms around each other, whilst the others walked behind almost jealous of the two pairs, Much feeling ever annoyed at how Robin didn't turn to him for comfort, but even he couldn't deny the two were made for each other and so couldn't bring himself to joke about the situation.
After such a long time of silence, the others only began to speak again after distantly hearing a conversation between Marian and Robin, little did they know that they were planning for the future and returning home, though these plans were constantly interrupted with the same short phrase from Robin.
"I love you Marian"
Although to Marian this seemed very open compared to a usually discreet Robin, all she could do was smile lovingly at him every time he did so.
Robin did seem to care nearly as much for the gang as usual and for once was much more selfish, arranging for Marian to live with them, of course in his quarters, rather than return to the castle or town, which would spell the devastating certain death of Marian, which he clearly couldn't bare.
"You know Marian, after your announcement to Gisbourne, things are going to be much more dangerous, and there is no way I can let you out of my sight."
Marian laughed at his protectiveness, "Yes, I'm sorry… but it means I stay with you" She had a look in her eye that said she was sorry but also that she was devious, perhaps she had planned this.
"Yes I suppose that's one good thing," he said softly, smiling at her again and playing with her hair, the anger he usually felt in these situations buried deep under the love and joy he felt at that moment.
Arriving at Bassam's palace, the gang spent the night separated, happy to be alive, but also grieving for their lost friend. Will and Djaq spent the night together, talking about previous things and planning the events of the future. Robin kept Marian with him in his room, maintaining their closeness and keeping his promise to protect her. He cherished every moment, promising to make the most of the time they had together. The others stayed in their own room's, Much feeling left out and undervalued as always, John dreaming about the family he had left behind, and Allan resting alone, secretly jealous that Will had managed to win Djaq's heart, but what did he expect, he had betrayed her and the rest of the gang.
The next morning, having prepared the horses for the journey home, they stood silent in the Palace. ready to depart from the great hall, Djaq stood in the centre looking around the great room which had been the focus of her childhood dreams.
"Have you decided?" Will asked softly, while rubbing her arm softly.
"Yes, I want to stay with you…I have to stay with you"
"I'm glad you feel that way, but if you want to stay, you can still be with me." He wanted to put on a brave face for Djaq, he had to put on a brave face, he knew how much she wanted to stay here, he knew about her dreams of caring for these birds, but that didn't stop him wanting to remain with the gang, they were like his family.
A tear streamed down her face, she didn't want to leave these birds, they were so beautiful, but she knew what she had to do. She turned to face Will.
"I want to stay here, you know I do…but England needs me…England needs us." She smiled at Will, he returned the look he had received and they hugged, sharing each other's warmth that to them felt warmer than the hot sun of the holy land.
Kissing Djaq on the cheek, he turned to the rest of the gang, a look in his eyes that most people would have thought as mischievous.
"Well everyone ready to go?"
"Just a minute there's one more thing I need to do", Djaq turned back to the great hall, a glimpse of regret flashed in her eyes, before remembering the gang who were like family. Turning to Bassam she said her goodbyes, gave a goodbye hug and turned back to the others.
"Ready…" she said, "now lets go."
Letting Djaq lead the way the gang departed the palace and mounted their horses, preparing to travel to the coast. Robin climbed up and pulled Marian up with him, wanting to keep her close as much as he could. The others mounted theirs, with Will positioning himself close behind Djaq. Allan lacking his own horse took Will's, which slightly frustrated him as he wished it would be Will using his horse rather than their current situation.
After several hours of travelling the gang finally approached the port they had arrived at, dismounting, they allowed their horses to rest until they were ready to board the ship. Taking up positions, which recently had become very routine, the gang stood in a reasonably close group, with Robin gently caressing Marian's cheeks again and gently kissing her repetitively on the lips.
"Mmm… oh look they're loading up the boat." Yelled Much, the loudness of his voice giving away how agitated he was. Yet again Much was annoyed that no one was paying much attention to him. With a strange awkward look on his face, Much walked briskly towards the boat, the others just laughed.
"Good old Much" laughed Robin, taking Marian in one hand and his horse's reins in the other he followed Much who by now was pretty far in the distance and still keeping up the ridiculous pace he had started at.
The rest of the gang followed close behind eager to return to the country they loved so much. Boarding the ship, they prepared for the long uncomfortable journey back to Nottingham, though Robin new he wouldn't find it uncomfortable, he still had Marian, his Marian.