Title: Shadows of Another Life
Fandom: Robin Hood/Narnia & The Woods
Rating: PG
Summary: Things die. Things are born. And sometimes you get lucky.

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I.

They day they brought Robin's body home from the war something inside Marian snapped. The world around her screaming it was wrong. But it wasn't. Men often went off to war and died.

It was too big to process and so she ran away, unwilling to face it.

It didn't matter that Caspian had told her he loved her nearly half a year before hand, and she in return. Or that mysteriously the Lodge had pulled him there and he'd walked toward her part of the Woods to find her, trying to find the passion to scream but unable with the peace of The Between, just sitting in her puddle crying.

Or that she knew with crystal clarity, as he waded in and pulled her into his arms, that he'd always known she'd still loved Robin, even when she hadn't.

II.

Marian had been waiting for a great while on the idea of any more movement in her relationship. She said it was because of her own society's standards. She hadn't realized it was connected to Robin.

It had taken many months for her to be herself again after his death, in which Caspian was more best friend than lover and in that greater lover than she had ever had known.

She felt freed by Robin death; to her own body and to being able to breathe.

More able to see Caspian's smallest gestures without comparing it someone else who'd left. More able to see that the smallest things should be cherished as the largest in a world where death rode at her nape each day.

And so when that night came she didn't hold back, had no longing to be a Maid any longer and went joyfully to the arms and the eyes of one who loved her so.

Feeling no regret or guilt, she had watched him sleep in the morning sun before rousing him, golden skin and hay colored hair, with dormant gray eyes that would cause her to smile the moment he stirred.

The world has made its choice, and so had Marian.

III.

They loved completely; if not, sometimes, companionably with her shadow

After King Richard's return and the righting of her own country, they wed in Narnia, which was to be her new home as she no longer had a reason to stay in the British Isles. The transition from Sheriff's daughter to Consort-Queen easy in the long run.

Caspian had only softly smiled, softly caressing her cheek, during her first pregnancy, when she asked if their first boy could be named Robert, and affectionately tousled her hair when she called him her 'Little Robin' over the cradle.

He taught Robin to shoot and ride more fleet than any human, to trust and be a good man who would fight the righteous fight even against unjust kings as his, and her, lands had once been under. And they both laughed when he was young; more interested in books and travel between worlds than any of these things.

At the end of the day, holding his hands, watching the children play in the gold light, sweet, salty air of Cair Paravel she didn't regret her life or any of the choices she'd made. She felt fulfilled and happy, truly glad to love and be loved, even on the days when she felt like the clock was still somehow out of place.

And when she died, many, many years later, though Robin's face did surface from the cloudy mire of her aged mind, his was not the name that she whispered among tears of true joy as she passed on.