AN/Disclaimer; I am choosing to ignore the ending of the second season, and all subsequent episodes in which there is no Marian. Because Robin Hood without Maid Marian is no Robin Hood at all.
I own nothing. And I'm throwing the BBC's definition of canon joyously to the four winds. Also, the writers of the show obviously haven't researched at all to write the series. I did some research, and tried to work within actual historical facts and the timeline they gave us. So there are mistakes on both counts. I am well aware of this. This is purely for fun. I don't even care if you review. Enjoy!
1)To use sparingly or economically; conserve, 2) Archaic To find a husband for. 3) British A manager or steward, as of a household.
"All this time, I've been working for England. I cannot let you kill England!" Marian stepped between Guy and King Richard.
"Marian, get out of the way!!" Guy yelled, brandishing his sword. His voice echoed through the square.
"You'll have to kill me first," she nearly whispered, though he heard her as clearly as if she had yelled.
"No. We're going to get out of this. I'm going to do this thing, and then I will have power beyond measure."
She laughed quietly, but caught herself. He did have a sword after all. Still, it amused her that he could not name what he was about to do. He didn't have to. They both knew what it was. Murder. Treason.
Suddenly, behind him, she saw Allan-A-Dale running into the square, a battle-cry flying from his dry lips. Guy turned in disbelief, and moved into a defensive pose. Marian ran back across the square and knelt at her king's side. He didn't seem mortally wounded; the arrow missed his heart. Seeing he was alive, she turned without a word to him to the battle across the square.
Allan was good with a sword, but unfortunately for him, Guy was better. Allan was soon backed into a corner. Tears sprang into Marian's eyes as she watched.
Allan raised his sword in his defense, but the truth was, he was hot and tired, he felt ill from the heat and exertion. He did not have the strength to continue the duel. Then Marian noticed Robin, Much and Djaq run into the square from one side, and the sheriff from another. Allan, upon seeing them, said loudly for everyone's benefit, "This is the side my bread is buttered, Gis."
At the hated nickname, given to him out of cruelty by the sheriff, Guy stabbed the man. His aim was true, and Allan was down.
Robin let out a war-cry, it was savage and inhuman. Shivers raced up and down Marian's spine despite the heat of the midday sun. She watched, helpless, as the drama unfolded. Much, seeing the sheriff trying to make his escape, raced after him, full tilt. They were soon out of sight.
Djaq ran to her, and more importantly to King Richard. She pulled out the arrow quickly, causing the King to shout out in pain. She collected some water from the fountain and set about tending to the wound as quickly as she could, all the while he was muttering in French about women and Saracens. Marian's eyes were drawn back to the fight between Robin and Guy.
They were equally matched; despite Robin being exhausted from many battles previous, and from the heat, his muscles remembered this blistering place and how to respond. Guy was dealing with the heat for the first time. They lunged and parried and taunted the other. Everyone in that courtyard knew that one of them would have to die. This was their final battle, neither would show quarter.
They had left behind Allan in their duel, Djaq and the recently arrived Will and Little John were giving him what Christian comfort they could. Even the King had made his way over and thanked him. Marian regarded him as kindly as she could, and said a rapid Ave Maria for him, but her heart was elsewhere.
Suddenly, Robin stumbled and fell to his back. Guy lunged.
Robin deflected the blow with his hand, the blade drew blood from his palm. He winced, but Guy was caught off guard; his sword sank into the soft sand. Robin seized his chance; he leapt up, and in one movement, beheaded Guy. Marian closed her eyes as his head rolled away from his body. She, of course, was grateful that Robin had not perished, but to see this carnage before her was almost too much. The sand was soaked with blood.
The next thing she knew, Robin's arms were around her. He smelled of horses and leather, of sweat and sand and blood. It almost nauseated her, but underneath it she could still smell him. She felt the tears stream down her face, the only moisture in this cruel, dry place. It was finished, she knew instinctively. She felt Robin shaking with his own sobs, tears that would never fall, but it was a comfort to know he felt the same way she did. Marian looked up into his eyes. He brushed a tear away from her cheek.
"I need to say good-bye to Allan."
She nodded. "Absolutely."
With one arm still around her, they approached the dying man. The others moved aside. Robin shook his hand; Marian kissed it.
"I'm not being funny, but I'd say you owe me one," he said breathlessly.
Robin nodded. "I owe you my life. I would give it to you if I could."
"Is Gis dead?" Allan asked, nearly hissing the three syllables in his pain.
It was Marian who spoke.
"That's enough, then." He paused, catching his breath. He was losing his focus. Marian still had his hand.
"Thank you," she mewed into his ear.
He nodded curtly, using the last of his strength. His eyes closed and he exhaled for the last time.
During all the drama of the fight, Much had caught up with the sheriff. He brought him down easily, again the heat of the day working to their advantage. The sheriff was bound, gagged and dragged to the King's camp. He was thrown unceremoniously into a tent that no one seemed to be using. Two other tents were found, a small one for Robin and his bride, and a larger one for his loyal men.
Cuts were inspected, cleaned, and bandaged by Djaq. They cleaned up as best as they could, and dinner was eaten. At dusk, after the heat had dissipated somewhat, they buried the dead. Carter and Allan lay next to each other. Guy of Gisbourne also received a Christian burial, albeit some distance away from two heroes.
Marian and Robin retired to their tent earlier than the others. Robin had hardly tied the flap behind them before Marian collapsed from exhaustion, relief, happiness and grief onto her bedroll. She began to cry quietly into her pillow. In an instant, Robin had crossed the small tent and gathered her in his arms.
He didn't quiet know what to say. He wanted to comfort her, and he felt that they were experiencing the same emotions, but didn't know what would soothe her. He didn't know how to comfort himself.
Except to hold her.
He rested his cheek on top of her head, and gently rocked her back and forth. She had not cried like this, ever, in his memory. Not even when her father died. It seemed to him that every drop of moisture was leaking through her eyes and nose onto his tunic. He didn't mind. Far from it.
Suddenly a thought entered his head, and despite everything, it bubbled up out his throat and manifested itself in laughter.
Marian looked up at him in confusion. Her face was red from her tears. She was shivering slightly. The sun had set a while ago, taking its intense heat with it. "What is so funny, Robin of Locksley?" she asked, sounding like she had a slight cold.
He embraced her again, "This is not exactly how I pictured our wedding night."
She snorted into his chest. "Nor I, to be honest. Though I do not think we are actually married. There was no priest. No blessing."
This time he pulled away. "Do you feel any less married to me?"
She gazed into his eyes and said frankly, "No. My heart has always been married to yours."
He kissed her, she shivered at his touch. Pulling back, he said, "I will wait, to, um, claim my rights," he tried awkwardly, "until you are feeling, er, better."
It was her turn to laugh. "You are very chivalrous, darling husband, but honestly after today's events, I would rather not."
His smile met hers, and melted on her red lips. Hand met hand, body joined with body, heartbeat matched erratic heartbeat, and soul married soul.
The dawn broke slowly over the barren land. It was too hot for it, or anything else, to move any faster. Already it was hot- a heavy heat that weighs down men and exhausts the women.
Marian awoke to find Robin quietly creeping around the tent, looking for the clothes that he discarded so carelessly last night.
"Sneaking back to Sherwood, are we?" she asked, propping herself up on one elbow. She winced slightly. Her hips were sore from last night's exertions. And now she blushed to think of them. Thankfully, he did not seem to notice.
He chuckled and sat down next to her on her bedroll. "Not exactly, my love. I was going to ask permission first, so I do not know if that is considered sneaking…" His hand was in her hair, stroking back unruly curls.
"Who's permission were you planning on asking?"
She pulled back, her hair slid out of his grasp and his hand hung suspended between them. "You do not ask your wife's permission? Perhaps she would like to stay in Palastine?"
Robin knew she was teasing, by the delicate lift of her chin and the way her eyes gleamed. He knew so much about this woman, but also knew that there was much more to discover. He decided to play along.
"Woe to her, she agreed to love, honor, and obey."
She made to hit him, but instead somehow ended up in an embrace. Slightly muffled against his chest, she mumbled, "I said cherish, not obey."
"How silly of you to forget your vow and say mine instead. And I was not aware you liked desert climes. Perhaps I was too hasty in marrying you?"
Marian pushed herself off his chest, laughing. "Robin, I think I have had the longest courting period out of any couple I know."
He laughed and kissed her. After a few minutes at this activity, Robin vaguely realized that it was not in his best interest to keep the King waiting. But Marian pulled away first.
"Do you think there is any chance of a bath?"
"No. Any and all water is used for drinking. I am afraid you, we, we will have to wait until we get to the coast." He began looking for his boots again.
"Wait for me, I will come with you."
"Yes, but hurry."
As it happened, she was ready before him. He still could not find one of his boots. Marian helped him, and they located it underneath an earlier disposed jacket.
Robin opened the flap and the tent was suddenly flooded with light and heat.
"Is it always this hot?" Marian asked, though she knew the answer.
"No. Sometimes it is hotter, and at night it is freezing."
"Wonderful place for a honeymoon," she mumbled under her breath.
Robin reached for her hand. "We have an ocean cruise ahead of us, Lady Marian. I think you will have a very long and adventurous honeymoon."
She blushed, again remembering last night. "Well, we are certainly off to a good start." It was Robin's turn to flush. They had reached the King's tent. The guards let them in without a word.
The King rose to meet them, Robin knelt, Marian found it in her to curtsy.
"Welcome my friends. Lady Marian," he said, kissing her hand, "Earl of Huntington," he said, bowing to Robin.
"My Lord, that is currently Guy of Gisbourne's title."
"Is it? Well, he is dead, so it is yours again. He did not have a legitimate heir, did he?"
Marian spoke. "No." The word tasted of bitterness.
The King laughed. "Did he make overtures?"
"To say the least," said Robin. "But we are not here to discuss the past. We want to discuss the future."
"Home to merry old England?"
They settled themselves on cushions on the floor. The King sighed. "The truth is, I want to return with you. I am meeting Saladin tomorrow. No one knows of this except now you two. I want to go home, to Aquitaine. Though I must visit my dear little brother in London first."
"It is good that you are working for peace." Robin said.
"Yes, but between you and me, I do not know what to do about Prince John, his death could mean civil war, more bloodshed."
Robin and the King were deep in thought, when Marian spoke up. "Perhaps you could forgive him?"
They looked at her incredulously. "Forgive treason?" the King asked.
"Well yes. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Your majesty yet has no heir, name Prince John as your heir. Then perhaps he will not have to plot to steal your crown, he can hope to acquire it himself. And you can return to Aquitaine."
The King's eyes found Robins. "Friend you know I have always valued your wisdom. You have truly found a kindred soul in Marian; the Penelope to your Odysseus. Lady Marian," he said turning to her, "I will take your advice."
Marian blushed, "Thank you, my Lord."
Robin squeezed her hand and asked the King, "And of the Sheriff?"
"Vaisey will get a trial, but he will probably hang. I will wait until we return. In the meantime, he is in my custody."
"Where do you meet Saladin?"
"Tomorrow, at Bassam's house in Acre. Will you come along, Robin? I would ask your lovely wife, but I am afraid a woman at a peace conference will not go over well."
"Yes, of course I will come."
"My motives are selfish. I wish to leave with you and your men. Would they mind waiting for me?"
"I will have to ask them." Marian squeezed his had that was still holding hers. He turned to face her. "Would you mind so terribly much if we stayed?"
"No. I mean, I will mind, but if it is for peace, I will stay with you."
Robin nodded. "I will ask my men. You will know within the hour."
The King nodded also. Robin and Marian left the tent to find their loyal outlaws.
Notes; King Richard did officially absolve Prince John and return to Aquitaine, where he was incredibly popular. Prince John stayed in England and came to the crown after Richard died, as Richard had no heirs. Neither Richard nor John were great kings, despite the songs written about the Lion Heart.