Disclaimer: I don't own Robin Hood. No money is being made off this story. It has been written purely for entertainment. I do, however, own Sylvia/Robyn, Myra, the other wolves in the pack, and the Mirrinth family.

A/N: Takes place after 'Changes'. Do not read if you haven't read that first.

Summary: "Does the pain ever go away?" "I wish I could say yes, but I can't. It gets a little better over time, but that's all. I'm sorry."

Pain

By ShadowSpark

Sylvia sat on a flat rock a ways out of sight, and earshot, of the outlaws' camp. She was making arrows. Fletching them to be precise. Myra lay at Sylvia's feet, curled into a ball of black fur. Sylvia dropped another arrow onto the 'complete' pile, on the rock next to her, and sighed.

"I miss them, Myr," she said softly. She had lived with Robin's gang for almost a year now, and befriended most of them. She was closest to Robin – she had known him for a while before he left for the crusades, and he had always been a friend to her. Next came Djaq, who had taken Sylvia under her wing and had begun to teach her the arts of medicine. Also, she was very close to Marian – whenever the gang went to Nottingham or Marian came out to the forest, she would always have a kind word and a hug for Sylvia. She was still a bit wary of Allan for some reason, but everyone else liked her, and she was well accepted, even though she was only twelve. Still, they did not remove the pain of losing her first family.

After staring into the trees for a few moments, she picked up the last un-fletched arrow and set to work on it. She had been making her own arrows for half her life and her hands went through the familiar motions on their own as her mind wandered. She sighted down the arrow and, deciding it was finished, dropped it onto the pile with the others. Un-slinging her quiver, she dropped the twenty-five new arrows in, to join the few that were left from her last batch. She pulled out a sleek black arrow that was different from the others and held it tightly to her chest. She would never shoot this arrow, as it was the last one she still had of the last batch that her father had made for her when she was just a child. Her fingers found the mark just below the fletching that her father had marked all his arrows with. It was just a tiny carving in the wood, but it was her father's mark, and that made it special.

"Those are good arrows." Sylvia recognized the voice. Robin had come to find her. "Thank you." Her voice was soft as tears pricked her eyes. "My father taught me. This is one of his." She held up the black arrow. Robin motioned for her to scoot a little and she did so. He sat down next to her, placing his arm around her shoulders, as she cried. She leaned into the hug and began to speak in a flat, unemotional voice.

"I remember it very well. They came in the night and took my parents and brother away. Dad gave me my bow, quiver, arrows, and a set of supplies for making more arrows, and told me to run. So I ran. Into the forest. I ran until I collapsed from exhaustion, then I crawled into a small cave and fell asleep. I woke up with the pack all around me." She laughed mirthlessly. "I thought they were going to kill me. But they accepted me instead. I became part of the pack." Sylvia finished her story, but continued to cry. She rarely showed emotion to anyone, preferring to keep her feelings to herself, but she trusted Robin enough to let down her barriers around him.

"Does the pain ever go away?" she asked, her voice thick with raw emotion. Robin sighed softly and closed his eyes for a moment. "I wish I could say yes," he sad, sadness in his tone. "But I can't. It gets a little better over time, but that's all. I'm sorry." Sylvia's shoulders shook with sorrow and she cried harder then before. Robin tightened his hold a little, offering as much comfort as he could, albeit knowing that all the comfort he, or anyone, could give would never be enough to fill the hole that losing loved ones left behind.

Sylvia's sobs quieted after a while. Robin looked down at her and smiled a little sadly. She had fallen asleep. She looked so peaceful and younger in her sleep. It was hard to believe that she was, in fact, twelve years of age. Gently, Robin picked the girl up, slung her bow and quiver over his shoulder and headed back towards the camp. Myra got to her feet and padded after him.


Robin reached the camp about ten minutes later. Sylvia was gripping Robin's shirt tightly, unconsiously seeking the comfort of closeness, so, instead of setting her down on one of the bunks, he sat with his back against a tree and held her as she slept. Myra curled up at his feet. Robin leaned his head back against the tree and closed his own eyes.


Will and Djaq walked into the camp together. Djaq smiled and pointed at the sleeping figures of Robin, Sylvia, and Myra. "Aren't they cute?" Djaq whispered. "Yes, they are," Will replied with a smile.

The End...for now...

A/N: Hope you like it. Please review. Constructive comments are welcome, flames will be used to roast marshmallows.