Disclaimer: BBC's Robin Hood belongs to various persons and corporations that are not me or associated with me. This piece of fanfiction is written with the admiration and respect for the original work. I claim no ownership of BBC's Robin Hood's creations. No profit is made from this material, now or in the future.
Summary: Marian learns that even without trust, there can still be betrayal. Marian/Guy. Postscript for episode 1x08 Tattoo? What Tattoo?
Rating: K, suitable for most audiences
A/N: Written for the Missing Scenes/Postscripts challenge. Thanks to LK for feedback and inspiration.
There was no telling how long Marian stared in disbelief and burgeoning horror.
"You're disappointed," Guy said. He looked at the ring he held out in his hand to her but didn't seem to realize that Marian had trained her eyes higher. She saw the bit of bandage peeking out from beneath his black sleeve. Her mind was in a frenzy to understand and explain away what that could possibly mean.
Guy had called her to Locksley when the sun was just sinking below the weight of night. She didn't want to go. The day had already been full enough, what with performing in front of Guy's guests, in front of Robin, in front of the Sheriff. She had done her very best to temper Guy and restrain Robin. It felt like she was an old rope, being pulled at both ends and left to fray in the middle. She wanted to sleep, taking comfort in the fact that another day had passed without them killing each other. Normally, she would have sent a message back to Guy, offering her excuses and begging his pardon. He would have given it because he was always so eager to give her anything. Nevertheless, Marian remembered that only hours before, she had played the distraught lover to the Sheriff in order to save Djaq. If she didn't take this opportunity to see Guy was well for herself, the Sheriff would start wondering.
So, she made her way in the dark to stand in Robin's house and present herself at Guy's request. Marian didn't know what she was expecting. She should have known that he would have found the ring and would want to return to her.
What she hadn't been expecting was the sharp pain in her chest when she saw the bandage.
"You do not like it." Guy was still thinking of the ring. He clenched his jaw and made a fist to cover the shaking of his hand. Marian reached out and took it in both hers. She rubbed her thumbs over his rough knuckles to sooth him.
"No, it is not that, " she said and offered him the smile she knew he favored. The small one with downcast eyes, like she was trying to hide how much she cared. Marian didn't feel guilty when she offered him that smile because it was so often true. She was always trying to hide how very much she cared about everything.
Like right now, as she turned his fist over in her hand. She cared about what that bandage might mean. Her heart doubled its pace in something like anxiety. She didn't know what she wanted to see. Did she want Robin to be right? Or did she want to prove herself right about Guy? It was so difficult to tell by the knot of emotions tightening inside her chest. Reason was the only thing that could save her. Reason told her that she had to know either way.
He opened his palm, expecting her to take the ring. He and Robin were always so obsessed with the ring! But it meant more to them than it meant to her. To them it meant ownership, she knew this, and so at best she tolerated it. She closed her hand over the ring, keeping it warm between their palms, because it let her get close.
"What happened to your arm?" Marian asked. She felt Guy tense beneath her fingers. She heard the hitch in his breathing. He took a step back but she wouldn't let him go. Their clasped hands, with the ring biting into her skin, gave her an excuse to keep him close.
"It's nothing." His eyes flickered around the room over her head. A cold shiver ran down her back, part anticipation and part premonition. She tried to pass it off as maidenly concern.
"You're hurt!" She used her free hand to pull up on his sleeve. He hissed through his teeth in pain.
"It's only a scratch."
"Will you not let me see it?" Marian tried to pull on the bandage. His left hand shot out and snatched her wrist to stop her.
"No." His voice was low and almost threatening. She wasn't afraid. His eyes said he was.
"If it's only a scratch, I'd like to see it for myself," she said with her own bit of iron-will peeking through. Guy's gaze searched her face, from eyes to cheeks, lingering on her mouth, before returning to her eyes. She could see the struggle in his features. He was enamored with her and in particular, thrilled by her spirit, but it also scared him. Marian smiled and tried to reassure Guy. "I was afraid that something terrible would happen to you today. I would be so relieved to know that you have escaped with only a scratch. Will you not humor me?"
He hesitated. Marian could see Guy weighing how much he wished to please her, how much he wanted to think she cared about his well-being, with how much he wanted to hide and how wary he had become of anyone's concern. She stared into his eyes, tightened her hold on his hand, just so that he would feel the ring becoming hot against his palm. The choice was up to him. Would he show her? Some part of Marian hoped he wouldn't.
Guy nodded his head and let go of her wrist. With his permission, Marian loosened the bandage until she could see beneath. Her breath caught in her throat. She could hear her heart beating in her ears.
"That is not a scratch," she said.
It also wasn't a tattoo. At least, not anymore. Though, reason told her it could have been.
"It is terrible, I know," he replied, quickly rewrapping his wound. Marian worked on counting her breathes and blinked rapidly to clear the sudden burn of her eyes. "I shouldn't have shown you."
"No." Marian had to clear the emotion from her throat. Guy's eyes softened in concern and she forced a smile. "No. Thank you for trusting me."
"Of course, I trust you," Guy said, squeezing her hands. The ring still trapped between their palms cut into her skin, but she winced at the words. Marian knew she couldn't offer them back. Still, he waited to hear them.
"Thank you," was all she could say. She watched the realization on his face and tried to tell herself that she didn't care. Marian didn't care that she had disappointed him. He had disappointed her, too. She didn't care if she didn't trust him. He had given her too many reasons not to do so. She didn't care if that was a scratch or a tattoo or just a hideous burn. It wouldn't have changed what she thought of him.
Marian kept telling herself that as he slid the ring back on her finger. She had no idea why her eyes wanted to cry, but she forced her lips to twist at her will. She gave Guy his favorite smile, the one that told him she was trying to hide how much she cared.
Marian considered how easy it would be to lose the ring on her way home in the dark.
A/N: If you enjoyed the piece, or if you didn't, please take the time to leave me a review. No matter how short, I really appreciate the feedback. Thanks.