Tom tore across the field, his heart pounding in his chest, the sound of his breathing filling his ears. He could barely hear the infuriated shouting behind him. All he could think about was escaping.
Allan ran next to his younger brother, grinning like a maniac. He was quite pleased with the stunt he'd just pulled, and wondered if Tom had been impressed. After all, it wasn't every day that he got to insult the spoiled gentry, pick their pockets, and steal a kiss from a beautiful girl.
When they'd gotten a safe distance away, they collapsed in a heap on the ground, gasping for breath. As soon as he had enough air back in his lungs, Tom let Allan know exactly how he felt about their latest encounter.
"You…" he paused, searching for the appropriate words. Finding that he was still too oxygen deprived, he swatted at his big brother and settled for a simple, "Show off." Allan pulled himself into a sitting position, laughing loudly.
"You're jealous," he countered. "That I got the loot and a kiss from… what was her name?"
"How should I know?" Tom replied with a shrug. "Anyway, it's not like you're going to see her again."
"Strictly speaking, that's true," Allan agreed, pulling himself to his feet, "but I know who I will see again." He began walking, and Tom didn't have to ask where they were going.
Morgan put her feet up on the table, inspecting the tankard in front of her. When Allan had showed up out of the blue and suggested a nice dinner, a night at the tavern wasn't exactly what she expected. Well, she did expect it, but she had rather hoped for a more private situation. One with fewer barmaids, at any rate.
"If you'll excuse me," Allan laughed as he pushed away from the table, following one of the aforementioned barmaids to God-only-knows where. As soon as they'd walked, or in Allan's case, staggered away, Morgan wrinkled her nose as a sign of disapproval.
"You know, it'd be much more effective if you'd make that face while he was around to see it," Tom commented, looking inside his empty tankard. "You going to finish that?" Morgan slid her pint over to him, sighing heavily.
"It's not my place to tell him what to do," she pointed out, "Who am I?"
"The girl that's madly in love with my older brother," Tom quipped with a smile. "Though why you like Allan is beyond me. I'm telling you, Morgan, I'd make a good husband." Morgan smiled and affectionately ruffled his hair.
"I'm sure you will one day, Tom. When you start using that brain of yours," she laughed. Tom shrugged.
"Well, when I'm rich and famous, don't say that I didn't offer," he joked, resting a hand on her shoulder and giving it a gentle squeeze.
Tom never did get married, though it wasn't for lack of trying. After leaving his brother, he didn't really do much of anything. He made plans, but he never saw them through. He had grand ideas, but never acted on them.
At the end of the day, he would hit the tavern to burn through the coins that he'd stolen and rant to his friends about how he was going to be someone. Occasionally, though, he would stop by and visit Morgan. She returned from the Holy Land a different person, though she hadn't really changed all that much.
"The answer is no, Tom. I'm sorry," she apologized.
"Well, I don't know what I expected," Tom laughed honestly. "Worth a try, though. I still think we could work. We'd have a cottage by the sea. Couple of kids. Maybe a dog."
"You know it wouldn't work," Morgan smiled kindly. Tom nodded and put a hand on her shoulder.
"Yeah, I know. You're going to wait on Allan until he finally sees sense. I'll eventually marry a rich noblewoman. We'll have parties every Friday," he planned out loud.
"If you two have made up by then," Morgan pointed out. "You better get on it. I hear that he's running around with a new gang."
"Maybe I'll run into him," Tom mused.
It wasn't at all what he had expected. He'd expected a brilliant, if not dramatic, rescue. Robin would lead his gang into the dungeon, quickly taking down the guards. They'd flee the castle, shouting insults over their shoulders as they ran. Allan would be so happy that he was alive that he wouldn't even be angry.
But Robin hadn't come, they hadn't made a daring escape, and Allan probably wouldn't get the chance to forgive him again. Tom sighed, leaning against the bars of the cell. He couldn't blame them for not coming, but that didn't mean that he wasn't still hoping they would.
"Tom?" For a moment, he thought that some angelic power was talking to him in his final hour, but upon turning around, he saw that it was actually Morgan. Not exactly an angel, but that suited him just fine; he'd take what he could get.
"Bit of trouble," he replied, trying to sound brave. Morgan crossed the dungeon floor, wrapping her hands around the bars of the cell, wishing that she could rip them away.
"Tom, what were you thinking?" she asked softly. Tom smiled sheepishly.
"Not being funny, but I wasn't really thinking much of anything," he admitted. "Just thought that if I could do something impressive, Allan would forget that he was angry at me."
"I'm sure he's not angry with you," Morgan corrected. "I bet he's talked Robin Hood into launching a rescue." Tom put his hands around Morgan's, noticing that her knuckles had gone white from gripping the bars.
"That doesn't matter now," he sighed. "They're not going to make it in time. Tell him that I was brave, Morgan."
"Don't talk like that, Tom," she begged. "You can tell him yourself." He didn't point out that the hangman had just entered the dungeon, that it was earlier than the town crier had announced, that he was heading for the gallows, and there was nothing anyone could do to save him.
"Listen, Morgan" he said instead, squeezing her hands in his. "You tell him that I was brave. Tell him that I didn't cry, though that seems very likely at this point. And then you tell him that you want to marry him and name your first son after me." Morgan nodded through her tears, sliding her arms through the bars and hugging him the best she could.
I'm not going to say that this started out as a light-hearted, pre-series story, because when I look at what it turned out to be, it only depresses me. This is just something that I had on the family computer, seeing as my laptop is still in sick bay (which is half the reason I haven't posted anything since May. The other half is writer's block.).
It always made me upset that no one was there for poor Tom when he died, and as I couldn't think of a logical way for any of the gang to be there for him, I decided that my made up character would have to do. I also miss writing Morgan, but that's not the point.
Anyway, I hope that you could make sense of this. Sorry that I'm a bit (see: totally) rusty. Please review!