Spoilers: Up to the end of episode 12, season 2. It's a missing scene fic between the outlaws leaving England and arriving in the Holy Land.
Disclaimers: I own nothing and no one Robin Hood.
Notes: Just a little Will/Allan friendship for between eps 12 and 13 (and a touch of W/D romance because I just can't not). Thought it was kind of irritating how they suddenly just accepted Allan back into the gang after all of that animosity. I know I know, they didn't exactly have time to show the reconciliation with everything else that went on in that ep, so I just decided to write a bit of my own. I'm not exactly best pleased with it but I hope it has come out all right.
"But I'm fractured
From the fall
And I wanna go home."
- Ryan Adams, "Two"
The night was clear and balmy and the quarter moon shone down on the ship below as it made its long journey from England to the port of Acre. Will and Djaq were sitting together on the deck in comfortable silence. Djaq was seated between Will's long legs, her back resting against his chest and his arms draped loosely around her waist as they gazed at the stars above them. The others had gone to sleep in the compartment the six of them were sharing, but the two youngest outlaws had stayed on deck, happy to have some time alone together.
Djaq felt Will tense slightly behind her as Allan appeared on deck. "You know, Will, you are going to have to talk to him eventually," she said quietly. "I will," Will replied, his eyes following Allan as the former outlaw walked to the railing on the other end of the ship. "Eventually." "People do make mistakes. Maybe it is time you hear his side," Djaq said softly, turning around in Will's arms to face him. "You may not know the whole story as well as you think you do. Sometimes it takes a stronger person to be the one granting forgiveness rather than the one seeking it."
"And I am not defending him or making excuses for him," she added, seeing the look on Will's face. "But I think you should talk to him. For your own peace of mind."
Will sighed. "You know, it's not always easy being in love with someone who's so smart," he teased.
Djaq grinned. "You will get used to it." She leaned up and pressed a soft kiss to his lips. "I will see you when you come to bed."
Will stood and helped her to her feet. He squeezed her hand gently and pressed a kiss to her forehead before watching her make her way below deck. When he could no longer see her, he turned back to where Allan was standing. Taking a deep breath to calm himself and squaring his shoulders, he walked over to where his former best friend stood.
Allan turned around to face Will. "Djaq sent you, didn't she?" he asked, taking in the stiff posture of the man in front of him.
Will shrugged. "She thought I should hear your side of things."
"Do you care?" Allan asked. "Seems you all decided a long time ago what my side was."
Will looked at Allan in mild surprise. He had expected an apology, maybe. Definitely some long, involved story about why it hadn't been Allan's fault. He had not been expecting this sort of response, this type of attitude – resigned but with a visible undercurrent of resentment.
"So you're going to be angry with us now, is that it?" Will said quietly. "As I recall, you were the one who left. You were the one who betrayed your friends."
"And I said I was sorry, didn't I?"
"And you think that makes it all right, Allan?" Will said in disbelief, his voice beginning to rise in anger. "You sold us out to our enemies. To the men who beat and torture innocent villagers, evil men who destroy families without a second thought! People died because of you, Allan. You pretended to be our friend and all along, you were laughing at us while you stabbed us in the back. What if one of us had ended up like Robert of York, huh? What if it was me? Or Djaq?"
Will's blood ran cold at the sudden thought and the anger that had raged through him left him as abruptly as it had come. "You could have… You put all of our lives in danger," he finished quietly, sagging against the railing.
Allan sighed. "I know I did. And I don't know if I can ever make up for that. But I want to try."
Will regarded his former friend silently for a few moments. "Tell me how it started," he said finally. "How did you end up working for Gisborne in the first place?"
Allan stared at Will and, deciding the younger man was serious, took a deep breath. "You remember back when the sheriff's sister showed up and Gisborne burned down Marian's house?" Will gave an almost imperceptible nod. "Well, I was in Nottingham with Robin and Much on Marian watch the day after Marian and her dad were taken to the castle. Much and I got into an argument, he told me to sod off, so I did. Went to the Tripp to try out some new tricks I'd picked up. I was winning some money so I got cocky and wasn't paying attention. Didn't see Gisborne until he was right in front of my face.
"He had me thrown in the dungeon. I told him I wasn't one of Robin's men but he wasn't buying it and he had me tortured, even after I admitted I was who he thought I was." Allan paused and closed his eyes a moment, images of the torture he had endured running through his mind.
"I was tied to a pole, beaten, whipped, you name it," he finally continued. "Then Gisborne showed up. He told me Robin had come to the castle and gone and never even tried to save me. He told me that my one chance to live was to agree to give him information. I'm not as strong as the rest of you lot. I wanted to live so I agreed."
"But why didn't you just tell us all of that when you came back to the camp?" Will asked. "You know we would have helped you."
"I've asked myself that every night since it happened," Allan admitted. "And I still don't know. Maybe part of me was mad at Robin and the rest of you for never even coming to look for me when Gisborne had me. Maybe it was the thought of all of this ending and me having nothing to show for it. I don't know.
"And then all of a sudden things started happening fast and Robert of York was murdered and I couldn't tell anyone. And then Robin caught me, picking up my money from Gisborne at the Tripp. Funny thing was, I wasn't actually going to take the money. I knew then that I had to get out before things got worse. I told the barmaid to give Gisborne his money back because I wasn't working for him anymore. I told Robin that, I begged him for another chance. His response was to hold a knife to my throat.
"He barely gave me a chance to explain. He didn't care that I'd been tortured by Gisborne. For him it was black and white, right and wrong – he was right and I was wrong and that was the end of it as far as he was concerned."
"But why go to work for Gisborne after that?" Will asked.
"Well, I didn't really have anywhere else to go at that point, did I? Robin had threatened to kill me if he saw me again. And I don't know if you noticed, but Gisborne's not exactly the kind of guy you can walk away from once you've gotten yourself involved with him. There was nowhere else to go and I started thinking about what Gisborne had said to me in the dungeon about providing for my future."
"What does that mean?"
"Well, I mean think about it. When it's all over and the king comes back, what then? You and Djaq'd have each other. Probably move back to Locksley or Scarborough with your family where you be the carpenter for the whole village, get married and have some babies. Robin'd get his title and lands back and he and Marian would live happily ever after. I reckon John would go find his wife and kid and try to fix that whole mess. And even Much would be all set. He'd get his land and probably even try for that Eve girl he was always talking about in his sleep.
"But what about me? I don't have any of that – no family, no woman I want to settle down with, no land or money. Hell, I don't even know how to make an 'honest living.'"
"Allan, we were a family. That wasn't going to change just because we didn't all live together anymore. No one would have turned his back on you."
Allan snorted. "Wouldn't they? None of you even came to see me, to hear my side of things or ask why I'd done it when Robin kicked me out. You lot were supposed to be my family and you just gave up on me so easily."
"Allan," Will said sternly.
Allan looked at his feet. "Yeah, I know. It's no excuse. I'm just trying to get you to understand how I was feeling at the time. I know you all felt betrayed. So did I. And I was lost. Gisborne seemed to be the only one who had any use for me, any place for me to fit in."
He held up his hands as he saw Will about to open his mouth. "And don't think I'm looking for an apology. I know I don't deserve one, I know I was wrong. But you're my best mate – I just wanted you to understand."
The two men stood for a few moments in contemplative silence. Eventually, Will spoke.
"So what made you finally see sense?" Will asked.
Allan sighed. "Couple things. This whole plot to kill the king thing, for one. Robin was right, this won't be the first time Gisborne's tried to kill the king. Sheriff was real happy rubbing Marian's nose in that on their way to the ship and Gisborne was acting all proud of himself."
"Not the men you thought they were?" Will couldn't stop the sarcastic words that tumbled forth as months of hurt and anger bubbled to the surface once more. The wounded look on Allan's face made him wish he hadn't spoken.
"Oi. I may be a thief, but I'm not a murderer. I couldn't stick around and be part of that. Add a very angry Marian to it all, and I figured I was probably a lot safer trying to take on those mercenaries by myself." Allan tried his best to bring some humor to the conversation, but Will still looked serious.
Allan sighed. "And, well, honestly? I saw how much I'd lost and how much more I could lose if I didn't set myself straight and try to help you all again. I mean, you're right, you were my family," he said quietly. "I couldn't stand how much I'd let you all down. I just wanted to be part of it all again. Part of the good fight, part of a family if you'd all have me."
Will couldn't help the slight tug of guilt he felt after listening to Allan recount the events that had led up to his betrayal and what had happened when Robin had thrown him out of the gang. He supposed none of them had really handled the situation all that well. Robin had kicked Allan out of the gang and none of the outlaws had really even questioned the decision. Allan had been his best friend and Will had never even tried to find out why he'd betrayed them. Allan had been tortured and left to feel he had been abandoned. That didn't make what he had done right, not by any means. But Will could sense his remaining anger toward Allan slowly disappearing.
The sound of Allan's voice brought Will out of his reverie and he looked up once more.
"I'm sorry I wasn't there for you with your dad," Allan was saying quietly. "Things were getting out of control and I was just starting to realize how deep I was in it all then. But that's no excuse. I should have been there for you and I wasn't. I'm sorry, Will. I was a bad friend, to put it mildly."
"Yes." Will nodded. "You were."
Allan looked ashamed and dropped his gaze to the deck once more.
A small half smile tugged at the corner of Will's mouth. "But a very wise person once told me how important granting forgiveness is. And I suppose if you're admitting you're wrong and apologizing, then forgiving you is the right thing to do. After all, you did help me escape a hanging and even Robin admitted you helped Marian out of a couple of tight spots."
Allan's ears pricked up hopefully, almost afraid to believe he was hearing Will correctly. "Mates?" Allan said, sticking out his hand tentatively.
Will shook his head and Allan's face fell. "Brothers," he corrected, shaking Allan's proffered hand, a small smile on his face.
A wide grin spread across Allan's face and he could feel tears pricking at the corner of his eyes. Things were getting a little too heavy for him so he decided it was time to change the subject. "So," he said, "you and Djaq, huh? I'm not being funny, but it took you two long enough."
Will couldn't stop the smile that spread across his face. "Yeah," he said softly. "Finally." Then the smile dropped from his face and he looked up at Allan. "Are you okay with this?" he asked. "I mean, I know how you felt about her."
Allan smiled. "Djaq's something special, there's no denying that," he told the younger man. "But my feelings for her were never like yours. Took me a bit to figure out what they really were since I'd never felt that way about a girl before, but she's like a sister, mate. I never had a sister before. She'd kill me if she heard me say this, but I want to look out for her. I don't want anyone to hurt her." He stuck a warning finger in Will's face. "That means you, too," he told him seriously. "She loves you. Don't you mess that up and hurt her."
Will shook his head. "Never," he swore.
"Well that's all right, then," Allan said, the serious tone disappearing as a grin spread across his face and he clapped Will on the shoulder.
The two men stood silently looking out over the sea for a few moments until Allan yawned. "Look, I'm not being funny or anything, but I'm knackered," he mumbled tiredly. "I'm gonna head down to bed. You coming?" Will nodded and the two men made their way below decks.
Allan watched with a smile on his face as Will climbed into the bunk where Djaq was already sleeping. Even in the dim light of the compartment, Allan could see the blissful smile on Will's face as Djaq's half conscious form snuggled up next to him while he pulled the covers over their bodies. Wrapping his arms around her, the two drifted off to sleep, both looking more peaceful and contented than Allan could ever remember seeing them.
Allan climbed into the remaining empty bed, settling himself as comfortably as he could on the thin mattress. It was certainly not the comfortable bed in the castle that he had become accustomed to during his 'employment' by Gisborne. Thanks to his actions at the barn, there would be no more soft mattresses in real beds or even a proper roof over his head. No more steady meals and someone to wash his clothes.
It was back to a life where meals were not guaranteed, where he would have to wash his own threadbare clothing in a cold river. Back to a life where he and his companions were continually on the run from the sheriff's men, a life where it was sometimes a struggle not to freeze to death on cold winter nights.
He looked around his current surroundings with a sigh. The compartment was rather drafty and had a distinctly unwashed odor to it. Little John's rumbling snores were loud enough to wake the dead, Much moaned in his sleep whenever the boat journey became even slightly turbulent, and Robin restlessly shifted in his bunk every few seconds.
Allan closed his eyes and settled back on his bunk, a smile on his face as one thought crossed his mind. He was home at last.
Wow. Um, I'm not exactly sure where that came from. Originally, it was supposed to be a little apology and forgiveness missing scene fic. But then Allan got all angry and I just kind of went with it. I figured Allan has to have some issues, some resentment and hurt about the way he was treated (even if he was wrong in the first place). And we all know Will was hurt and angry. So I just gave the boys some space to work it out. I've never written a story with so much Allan in it - tend to stick with my W/D fics. Hope it turned out okay in the end.