A/N: so the main computer is on the fritz yet again, this time it freezes and parts of it turn pink. I'm not sure why. Papa's going to take it to get it fixed. =.=;;

Alternate Realities:

The Hood and The Maiden


"It's his turn to go back. He's refused so many times that I can't count them anymore," said a voice not too far away. A stocky young man with a handsome face covered in freckles, short, wild red hair and bright blue eyes was the one talking to another man, though the second man's face seem oddly obscure to anyone who tried to focus on his head for too long. In fact, if one was so inclined to do so, one would find it nearly impossible to continue try to look the man in the face. It was as though something kept the person who spoke to him or looked upon him from ever actually being able to look right at him.

The second man, not too far away from the red haired man, crossed his arms in front of his broad chest and seemed as though he were nodding, though it was difficult to tell when you could not actually focus on his head in the first place. He wore a suit, a very fine one, with what appeared to be a silk tie, a crisp, white, button up shirt, a silk vest and finely tailored trousers and jacket. "I know you can hear me from up in that tree," said the second man. There was a smile in his voice.

A man with longish, dark hair sat up in the branch of a big oak tree rather lazily like a cat. He pushed the brim of his wide brimmed hat; many feathers stuck in the band of it, and eyed the two men with a small amount of irritation. "I'm not going," he said. He was a relatively tall man, from what could be seen of him. His clothes, which at one time had been richly made in varying shades of green with gold embroidery, were now torn and frayed, worn, gray and dirty from how long he had been wearing them. He wore long archer gloves that strapped to his forearms to his elbows and old, leather boots that were strapped at his knees and thighs, his shirt, which had once been white, was dull and sort of brown from years of dirt staining it.

The man with the face that could not be focused on seemed to be looking right at the hood in the tree expectantly. He also seemed to be smiling pleasantly at the hood in the tree, not that the hood could actually see it, though he felt it from the presence of the man. "It's time to stop sulking so much," said the man in a calm voice, "Come out of the tree or you will find that I can be far more persuasive than you think I am."

The hood snorted derisively and looked away from the man with the unfocused face. "You couldn't tear me out of this tree," said the hood.

"We shall see," said the man.

And then the great oak tree suddenly disappeared as well as the forest surrounding it. The hood dropped down and cursed loudly as he hit the ground on his back. The man with the unfocused face simply stood and seemingly grinned deviously at the hood at his feet. "Go ahead and get up. You'll enjoy your new life. It's where an old hero as you is greatly needed."

"I'm a thief, hardly a hero," muttered the hood as he stood up and dusted himself off.

"You will always be a hero," said the man and then the man with the unfocused face placed his hand on the hood's shoulder. The weight of it was lighter than the hood expected, far lighter than it should have been for such a large hand to be. However, it grew heavier as the red haired fellow took the hood's hand smiled at him. More and more the hood felt weighed down, far more weighed down than he had ever felt in his entire existence. The more weighed down he felt, the more he found the place he was in to fade from his unnaturally bright green eyes until it all disappeared from him and he was falling.

And then he heard the man's voice speak to him, "Good luck, Robin."