Title: They Always Come Back

Rating: G

Author: MacGateFan

Pairing: Robin/Marian

Spoilers: Series 2 episode Lardner's Ring.

Notes: Not too thrilled with the title. Any thoughts on it?

Robin rode his horse furiously away, his stomach doing flip flops as he realized he left Marian in the hands of the enemy. True it was her idea and he knew she could take care of herself, but that was not the point.

He left her.

Robin was shaken from his reverie by the sound of a hawk. He looked up in horror as it snatched Lardner from the sky. He stopped his horse and stared up into the sky. This couldn't be happening.

He heard a twig snap behind him and before he could turn to see who was there, the horse reared back. Robin attempted to hold on but he lost his grip and was soon falling to the ground, his head smacking against a rock.

It was nearly twenty minutes later before Robin came to again. He slowly sat up, wincing at the pain in his head. Once the overwhelming need to keel over passed, he got to his feet. Robin was disheartened when he saw his horse was gone.

Robin took a deep breath and headed back to camp, hoping that Gisborne and Allan were long gone by now because he was really in no condition to fight anyone. He ran down the hill towards camp where the others were waiting.

"Cheer up."

"What have I got to be cheery about?" Robin asked.

"Well, we've got a visitor."

"Who are you?"

"No," Will said, "not him. Him. It's Lardner."

Robin laughed. "You're joking!"

"When you want something to disappear, the trick is to divert attention."

"We switched the birds."

"I just happened to have a spare stuck up my sleeve."

"We should have attached a note to the decoy bird," John said.

Much shook his head. "Nah, would have just weighed him down."

"Um, yeah, speaking of decoy birds, is Marian all right with Gisborne?"

"Yeah, she'll be fine," Robin replied. "She can look after herself."

Will nodded. "Well, hey, do you want to do the honors?"

"At least we have some hope now," she said.

"Yeah," Much said as he placed a hand on her shoulder.

"Thanks to Lardner." Robin kissed the bird and said, "Good luck, my friend. Safe journey home."

Lardner flew into the air. Once the bird was out of sight, the others began talking at once about what they would do once King Richard returned. That's when Robin felt the dizziness and nausea creeping back on him.

"Master!" Much exclaimed as he and John caught him before he fell to the ground.

"What's wrong?" Djaq asked.

"Horse was spooked and I was knocked off him. Must have hit my head."

Djaq nodded. "You did. Did you not notice that you were bleeding, Robin?" she asked.

"No... I was kind of distracted. "

"It isn't as bad as it seems," Djaq replied, cleaning the wound. "Just stay here for the rest of the day."

Robin agreed, but deep down he longed, no ached, to see Marian. He knew she was safe for the time being, however, the thought of Gisborne...

"Master, are you sure you're all right? Your face is red."

"I am fine, Much. I've just been thinking."

He nodded. "Of Marian no doubt. I suppose it was her hostage idea and her 'Robin kidnapped me' idea as well."

"It was. I tried to get her to come with me, but she wouldn't. She said she can do more for us within the castle."

Much watched the emotions flicker on his Master's face. The last time he did that Robin was recovering from a stab wound in Acre. When injured, the former guard of King Richard, seemed the most vulnerable.

"She can do more," Much replied after a moment. "And once the king returns the two of you will be together."

Robin nodded. Much was right. After all, didn't Djaq say that doves always fly to the ones they love no matter what the distant they were separated? If doves could do it, then he and Marian could as well.