Guess who's back, back... :)
HEY! I know y'all missed me loads and loads (I flatter myself.) The re-write of chapter one of 'One man's Terrorist is another man's Freedom Fighter' has been waiting in the wings for a very, very long time. I only just found it. And now, it is time, at last, for it to go CENTRE STAGE (!) and wow you all. Sorry for the theatre analogies. I have drama on the brain...
... but that's another story, and one I am never likely to post. Never mind, eh? Thanks to Confessions (now AnalystProductions) for being awesomely amazing as my beta, and giving me loads of ConCrit-- you're a star!! For those of you who have never read OMTIAMFF, here are some details for you. Please, enjoy!
This is set post 2-11, before the series finale. What better place to have it, eh? Actually, I've changed my mind. This is MY version of the series finale, since the BBC's one sucked so bad. (Sorry- I might get haters for that, but it's just my opinion) Will and Djaq have not (yet) confessed their love for one another, although they're getting awfully close. Marian is not dead. Allan has betrayed the gang. (dirty, freaking traitor... I never got over that... grr...)
Sorry, I'm babbling. What have I forgotten? Oh yeah!
DISCLAIMER: I do bot own Robin Hood, or the BBC's storylines. (And I'm glad I don't...) I just like to play around with them... I'll put them back when I'm done, promise! -is angelic.-
The lash of the thick leather whip cracked through the air, striking the young man square on the back. His bare skin burned like hell, broken and bloody from the torture.
"Strong one, are you?" The words did not register. Nothing registered with him anymore; there was only pain. But he was still determined not to cry out.
He was hanging from the ceiling by his wrists, which were limp and raw with the chafing of the shackles holding them in this unfamiliar position. They were long broken. His rib, too, from the devastating, crunching blow that Gisbourne had inflicted upon him earlier. Bruises stained his torso, pale skin against the almost-black of dried blood and bruises.
His emerald eyes rimed over with an endearing procrastination; a procrastination to refrain from showing the excruciating pain that was thrown at him. The vibrant shades of jade created spirals within his iris, determination weaved delicately between each shade.
The whip struck again, and he cried out as the tall leather-clad man laughed. The teeth of the whip sliced his skin, ripping it to shreds, reducing the surface, which glistened with a layer of sweat, to a bloody mass.
The brown hair falling handsomely over his face hid the contortion of pain when the whip made brutal contact with his trembling skin.
"Tell me where Hood's camp is!" The tall man bellows, "And I shall consider allowing you to leave with your life."
The suspended man heard the words, 'Hood's camp', and lifted his head up weakly, just enough to lock eyes with Guy of Gisbourne. The tortured man's green eyes were glazed with pain, betraying his emotions like a window to his soul. "I'd rather…die."
Each word was an effort, and he coughed, blood spurting from his mouth, creating a dark splatter on the cold stone floor of the room.
Gisbourne's eyes flashed suddenly, terribly, but then the expression was replaced once more by savage delight. "Excellent. A public hanging, I think. Should quiet the villagers; they have been rather rowdy of late."
The door to the chamber opens, revealing the Sheriff of Nottingham, who was grinning nastily at the men in the room. It was clear, from his derisive gait, that he usually got what he wanted. However, from the way his brown eyes glistened with annoyance, there was evidence that a certain someone tended to ruined any of his plans. The name he detested could be seen in his eyes, smouldering in the inferno of detestation frosted over by a merry mocking grin.
"Oh, This is excellent, Guy! If you want, you can have your little leper-friend as a reward."
Gisbourne's eyes, blackened with hatred, grew hungry as he pictured the beautiful, if a little feisty, Lady Marian. Soon, soon he would have her…
"Robin… will never stand for this… He'll come…"
"Oh he will, will he?" Vasey's attention flicked back to the young outlaw, "Why is it then, my traitorous friend, that he has not come yet? I have, after all, had you for a week now. Forgotten about you, have they?"
"No," The man replied, still grimacing with the pain. It was a small word, but it was laced with pain, frustration and anger. The Sheriff shivered unwillingly.
The prisoner's mind, however, was full of images flashing through his head.
His mother's death, all those years ago. That had been the first turning point in his life. A grief he had never really gotten over, despite time healing his wound. His chest always ached dully when he thought of her. But she would not want that… she would want him to move on, to be free of the awful guilt he felt about his part in her death. After all, she had starved herself, to feed him, Luke and Becky. There had never been enough to go around, but she had pushed herself too far in the heroic attempts to keep her children alive. Were her efforts to be in vain?
Robin rescuing him, Luke and Allan from the Gallows. The sickening feeling as he had swung, reaching for something else besides the rope to take his weight, his boots finding no purchase in the air. Horrific. Not something he had ever wanted to experience again. He still had nightmares about that first time… Robin would come again, wouldn't he? He alone knew of the nights that Will had woken, screaming…
Sitting in the camp with the other Outlaws. Laughing and joking in the early days when all that was important was feeding the poor. When betrayals were something that only the other side had to worry about. When the loyalty of the gang was taken for granted by all, a sacred, intrinsic knowledge that none would fail.
Meeting Djaq… That day at the mine, when he'd first seen her, through the bars of the cage. He hadn't trusted her any more than she had trusted him…The confusion had gripped him, then. Who was she, this mere Saracen, to come here, and force him to experience these incredible, unknown feelings? Well, not entirely unknown… but thoughts of Lizzie were painful. And he did not need any more pain, now.
The first time he'd realised—his declaration of love for Djaq. He had only said it on instinct, trying to make Robin understand that the gang needed Djaq. It was only then that he had finally understood his own feelings for Djaq… He had meant what he had said, but had Allan?
Leaving, with thoughts of Djaq in his mind. Why, why, why had they left?! It seemed like the stupidest, the worst decision of his short life. They had come back, of course, but by then, it had been too late… Or so it had seemed.
Praying for Marian, on her deathbed, watching as she died, but then woke. A miracle? Magic? In a way, it had been. Djaq's magic. Her precious, precious gift had saved Robin from an eternity of heartbreak.
Allan's betrayal… he wondered, now, if Allan would ever have the chance to redeem himself. Dimly, he hoped so. Allan had been a central member of the group—their work, without him, seemed worthless.
His father dying… and trying to kill the sheriff. The intense, insane, grief-driven hatred that he hoped never to feel again. Sending Luke, who he was sure now that he would never see again, away. The guilt had returned then, guilt that had dulled in the many years following Jane Scarlett's death. He was responsible for the death of both of his parents. He had inflicted the grief upon himself, and he was the only one to blame. It was a hard burden to bear, but bore it he did.
Collecting 'Honey' with Djaq. Spending precious moments alone with her, during rare hours when they had not been forced to fight for their lives.
The last time he'd been here, with that Fool. They had been so close to hanging, but Allan had saved them. Why? What did it mean?
Allan. The name held a huge amount of frustration and anger. They had been so close, before her had betrayed them. They had been best friends. Brothers in Arms. Allan had filled the space that Luke had vacated, and Will knew that he had meant the same to Allan. Did he still? Was Allan really evil?
Will found it hard to believe. Allan wouldn't do that… not just for a few measly gold coins. Would he? He liked to imagine that there was more to it, than that. Was this just another elaborate scheme of Robin's? Was Allan just posing as a spy for Gisbourne, but instead spying for Robin? It was so confusing…
The thoughts prgressed, until his mind was a blur of wildly flashing images. Djaq... Robin... Much... John... Allan... Luke... Becky... Dad... Mum... Marian... Sheriff... Gisbourne... the Fool... Guards... Fighting... Castle... Noose... Hangman... Camp...
Will Scarlett vaguely heard the Sheriff talking…or was it Gisbourne? It jerked him out of his reverie, back into the painful reality.
Gisbourne had picked up a fiery poker from the flaming hearth in the corner, and swung it around testing its weight. He grinned, somewhat dementedly, motioning towards the Outlaw.
"May I, my Lord?"
"If it pleases you, Gisbourne," But despite his bored tones, his eyes were alight with morbid interest.
Will, still suffering from his numerous injuries, felt the impact of the blow from the against his lower back, but did not feel the red-hot pain flood through him until a few seconds later. He cried out, although the sound was muffled. He could feel his bare skin blistering and burning, under the white-hot metal. This was too much. He couldn't survive the heat, or the pain. Beads of sweat formed on his forehead, trickling down his face, looking, for the entire world, like the tears that the young carpenter was too strong to cry.
But this constant attack on his body weakened him, and made him hopeless. Would Robin ever come?
Gisbourne and the Sheriff were not just violently laying waste his body, they were destroying his mind, too. Destroying all hope until there was nothing left. Nothing but the pain, the regret and the loss.
"You're a terrible young lad. A terrorist? An Outlaw? Well, whatever you want to call yourself."
Will forced himself to reply, through gritted teeth, "One man's Terrorist is another man's freedom fighter…"
The Sheriff looked delighted, "Oh, well done! Brave words! Gisbourne! Bring that scum of yours here. The traitor. Maybe that will hurt him even more…"
Will closed his eyes. He couldn't face Allan. Not now. Not looking like this.
Allan entered, glancing briefly at the almost unrecognizable body hanging limply from the ceiling, before looking at the Sheriff. "You called me, my Lord?"
Will's voice, barely audible, whispered suddenly, unexpectedly. "I couldn't live with myself." The words were almost silent, just an echo of what they were that day when he had been captured with the Fool. But the venom in the words was exactly the same, and Allan heard them, recognizing the voice, and the poisonous tone. He was horror-struck, and watched his former friend, transfixed, shocked, able to gasp out only one, anguished word.