AN: This came to me today and refused to leave me alone until I wrote it. Apparently I was in a very angsty mood. Pre-series. While in the Holy Land Robin reflects on what he has left behind.
He sits on a hill overlooking the now quiet expanse of desert where a battle waged only moments before and wonders when quiet started being so unnerving, so abnormal. Bodies are everywhere: theirs or ours didn't really matter. In the end they're the same, they die in the same horrifying manner. Just another number added to the too many who have already perished here. His armor is covered in blood, his muscles ache. Killing has become so commonplace for him he no longer flinches when he does it. It's an automatic response now and he has to wonder just what kind of monster he has become. The sun beats down on him so hot, so stifling. He pushes the sounds of dying men away and lets his mind drift to other suns, to when there was innocence and laughter and pure joy.
You never realize what you have until it's gone. He'd heard the phrase or something like it several times from the older people of Locksley. Had heard it more frequently in the week before he set out for the Holy Land head filled with high ideals of glory, king, country, of serving God with no idea at all of the hell that awaited him.
He'd been young and stupid: blissfully unaware of the harsh realities of the world outside his safe, boring utopia. He'd ignored the wise advice with the typical arrogance of youth and now so far from home he wishes he would have listened or at the least would have appreciated boring when he had it. Boring isn't so bad after all compared to this constant death and destruction. In fact he'd give anything to have simple and boring again.
If he were honest, and he is in an honest mood now, he doesn't miss home so much as he misses her: his Marian. Memories fall one after the other and he doesn't try to stop them. He needs that small reminder that a better world once existed that it isn't all this living nightmare he finds himself in. One particularly bright memory springs to mind and he can't help the smile that appears.
They were idly strolling through Sherwood. It had rained earlier that morning so the ground was slightly slippery. He had shyly taken her hand to make sure she didn't fall of course. As he did she had shot him one of those smiles that said she knew exactly what he was up to but she didn't say anything just wrapped her hand closer to his. He had felt giddy inside his hand tingling, his heart jumping happily. He felt peace absolute peace.
They just walked along enjoying the day and each others company hardly saying a word to each other. Didn't need to most of the time since they understood each other so well. Suddenly Marian's foot slipped. He grabbed her trying to stop her fall but her momentum ended up dragging him down with her. He managed to twist his body so he landed hard on his back knocking most of the breath from his body. A second latter she landed on top of him knocking the remaining breath out of him. They both just laid there stunned for a few moments before they started laughing hysterically with her burying her head in his neck.
His laughter soon faded as other sensations took over. She was still laying on top of him her body pressed so close to his and God did it feel great. He raised a hand to brush a stray curl off her cheek. She raised her head to look at him and swallowed hard at what she saw in his eyes.
As they lost themselves in each other's gazes and in feelings that weren't new but were being finally given in to the sun came out shining brightly behind her. He was blinded not by it but by her light at how beautiful and perfect she was in that moment. She stunned him left him completely breathless even before they slowly leaned towards one another and allowed their lips to shyly meet before pulling back silently asking is this was alright. After small smiles they leaned in again and he forgot the cold wet ground beneath him, the moisture soaking through his tunic. He was too lost in her.
A year later they were again in Sherwood newly engaged and happier than ever. They had found a hidden grove deep in the forest and were quietly laying in each others arms. The sun had shown through the trees and it was beautiful.
She had started placing small kisses on his neck surprising him although he probably shouldn't have been. Marian had never been one to follow convention as she thoroughly proved that afternoon. It was sweet and fumbling and a little bit embarrassing as they shyly pulled off layers off cloth and explored each others bodies. It was perfect and the greatest moment of his life. As he escorted her home her arms wrapped tightly around his waist her cheek resting on his back he was certain he was the luckiest man in all of England.
Six months later word arrived that the King was traveling to the Holy Land and needed volunteers. He decided to go: see a little of the world, have a little adventure before settling down.
The sun wasn't shining when he told her he was leaving. He watched as she tried and failed to contain the tears hurt that she wasn't enough for him anymore. He tried to convince her that wasn't true, that he wouldn't be gone long, that they'd still be married just later than they originally planned. She had laughed bitterly and called him a fool. Three years younger than him and she was a hell of a lot wiser than he was, could see the truth he refused to. She took the ring he had given to her off her finger handed it to him and calmly walked back inside Knighton. As soon as she entered a downpour started.
He told himself they would be fine. Marian and Robin always had been together always would be. He'd be back soon a better man than when he left and things would be great again.
That was three years ago. She'd have moved on by now, found someone who wouldn't abandon her for false ideals of glory. Someone who deserved all the love she would give him.
He heard someone behind him and was on his feet in a second sword drawn. He relaxed when he realized it was Thomas a young templar who hadn't been here long enough to lose his ideals yet.
"The King wishes to speak with you, Captain. We really let the Turk have it today didn't we sir. We keep on like this we'll win soon."
"There are no winners in war, Thomas. Tell the King I'll only be a moment." With a nod Thomas headed back towards camp. Robin pulled a ring out of his tunic caressing it as if it were her skin. He looked towards heaven. Please if you really do exist just let me see her one more time. I know I don't deserve anything with all I've done wrong but just let me see her face again.
You never realize what you have until it's gone. Or how stupid you were until it's far too late to remedy your mistake. He'd had all he would ever need right there in his arms and he'd walked away for this wasteland where the sun was anything but happy. With a sigh he put the ring back inside his tunic next to his heart and headed back to camp, back to this existence that was so very far from truly living. He doubted he could ever truly live again.