When you lived in Nottingham Castle, most of the time you wished for nothing exciting to happen. Because when something exciting happened, it generally meant someone getting tortured or hanged, and it all led in general to more work for the Sheriff's underlings. Boredom was a good thing, because it meant you (and everyone else, for that matter) were safe and well.
So it really wasn't fair, thought Allan, that he should be bored and unwell at the same time. True, the first two days he hadn't really minded the boredom so much because he'd been feverish, and really the only thing that he'd wanted to do was sleep. But it was now the second day after his fever had broken, and he was convinced that if the castle physician didn't say he could get out of bed soon, he was going to bloody well lose his mind. So he was grateful when he heard the knock at his door, because it meant that he could finally do something other than just sit there.
"Come in," he called, wincing a little at how hoarse his voice still sounded. He expected Marian to sweep through the door, her face its characteristic mixture of kindness and friendliness and caring. She'd been in and out of his room often the past few days, looking after him during the fever and then bringing him soup from the kitchens and the tonic the physician had prescribed for his cough. Allan wasn't really so grateful for the latter, though he had to admit, grudgingly, that it was helping. Earlier he'd asked Marian if he could just drink the whole bottle at once and get it over with. She'd rolled her eyes and said she didn't think it would have quite the same effect.
The door opened slowly, and Allan was rather surprised to see not Marian, but Guy. Allan cringed inwardly, wondering if his employer had come to demand to know when he was going to be back at work. Gisborne had been heard stomping up and down the halls on the first day his lieutenant hadn't shown up on time for his duties, barking "Allan! Where the hell are you?" This had continued for several minutes until Marian, who had just discovered Allan's condition for herself, as she had been walking by his chambers and had heard him coughing, came out and explained the situation. After that, Guy had made himself scarce, though, now that Allan thought about it, the physician had mysteriously showed up very soon after the yelling had ceased.
Now Guy stood at the threshold, looking oddly nervous, as though he was afraid that he would contract Allan's illness if he so much as set foot in his chamber. There was a long pause, during which Guy eyed his lackey with great scrutiny, as though he were attempting to assess the severity of his condition before deciding what to do next. Allan decided to give him a bit of a nudge.
Guy seemed to snap out of his apprehensive pondering, and Allan could have sworn an expression of relief crossed his features. It was small, but it was enough to mask any annoyance he might have felt at the familiarity of the way his man had just addressed him.
"Allan..." he began uncertainly, then tried to recover himself by saying in a harder voice, "You haven't been on the job these past few days."
Allan raised an eyebrow. Well, yeah, obviously. As if you yelling my name and cursing wasn't a clue that you had noticed.
"Right, well, sorry about that, but I 'aven't been well. I don't think I'd 'ave been very effective at my duties if I'd come." He attempted a dry chuckle, but it came out as more of a croak.
"No, of course you wouldn't have." The words were not apologetic, but the tone was, and Allan decided to give Guy the benefit of the doubt. He looked more uncomfortable right now than Allan had felt the past four days. Guy spoke again after an awkward moment.
"Marian mentioned she'd been looking in on you." Allan nodded, though Guy hadn't looked to him for confirmation. "Marian is very...compassionate, always looking out for those in need." That time he did look at Allan, but the expression was more of a threat than an appeal. Allan thought about mentioning that he didn't think standing over someone, forcing them to down every last drop of a tonic that tasted like horse piss was really all that compassionate, but he didn't think that Guy would take too kindly to this comment. He decided instead to do the smart thing, and nodded again.
"Yeah, she's good about that."
"Anyway, she's gone to the market this afternoon, so I thought I'd just...look in to see if you're all right." Guy finished this statement rather hurriedly.
For a moment, Allan feared that he might be feverish again, and having hallucinations this time. He briefly considered voicing some sort of complaint, just to see if Guy would actually go so far as to offer help, but he decided not to tempt fate. He felt genuinely bad for his employer at the moment-Guy was obviously quite uncomfortable with illness, no matter how mild. Allan decided to repay the kindness with a bit of his own.
"Yeah, mate, I'm fine."
"Good." Guy didn't do quite a sufficient job of masking the relief in his voice. He began to leave, but then turned back around and asked, gruffly,
"You'll...be back to work soon?"
Knew that would come up. Allan shifted his position on the bed. "I think so. Physician says I should be back on my feet in the next couple o' days."
Guy nodded thoughtfully.
"Don't worry about it. Just...rest and...take your time."
Allan blinked, for once at a complete loss for words. But his state of incredulity did not last long, for Guy continued.
"I mean...we managed just fine before you got here, and these past few days. Besides, you're of no use to me if you're half-dead."
Allan could not help but smile as the leather-clad man took his leave. Now that was more like the Guy he knew.
He took back what he'd thought about his life being boring. It was full of surprises.