"Djaq!" She suddenly found herself pressed into Will's chest as he pulled her out of the way of the man's sword. She had barely come to her senses before he pushed her away again, sucking air in through his teeth.
"Will?" She reached a hand out towards him, having worked out what he already knew; the blade had caught his upper arm and blood was beginning to seep through his shirt.
"Stay back." He yelled over his shoulder and hastened to put himself between her and the attacker. He sounded confident and in control, but it was the fact she knew he was scared that made her obey. Will ducked as the weapon came flying towards him again, grabbing the man's arm and twisting it until he dropped the sword. "Stay away from her." He kicked the sword away from them, not wanting to risk an attempt to retrieve it for himself, wishing he'd had the sense to bring a weapon himself.
"Will!" Djaq stepped towards him, she had this great urge to help him but he was quick to stop her.
"He's dangerous Djaq. Please." There was a high level of urgency in his voice and the passion behind his words was overwhelming. Djaq reluctantly relented, watching with concern as the fight continued. Will had become increasingly determined to see off the attacker; the man's sneering look and the fact he'd gone for Djaq first made his blood boil. "Don't you know who we are?" He punched the man in the jaw and blocked the return attack then struck him several more times, the final blow hitting him in the nose. The man staggered backwards, instinctively covering his face with his hand, he looked worriedly at the blood staining his fingers. "We are Robin Hood's men." He spat out the final word; disgust evident in his voice; he was astounded that this man would attack those that had been fighting for people like him. He maintained his protective stance as he spoke, stepping backwards to remain out of reach from his assailant. Suddenly his foot tangled in a tree root and in his struggle to free himself it pulled him to the ground.
"Go!" Djaq stepped between the two men; worried for Will's safety should the wounded man decide to take advantage of his mistake. "Go!" She repeated more harshly and the power in her voice made him flee. "Will." She turned back to see him lying flat on the ground and dropped to her knees at his side. "Let me look at you." She smiled down at him, brushing his hair out of his eyes and gently wiping the dirt off his face.
"My head is pounding." His face screwed up in pain as he turned his head away from her and pushed his cheek further into her palm.
"Oh Will!" Shock was evident in her voice, he moved to look back at her, concern in his eyes. "No don't move." She stared for a moment at the cut on the side of his head wishing with all her heart that it wasn't as bad as it looked. "This may hurt, I'm sorry." She brushed his hair away from the wound and tenderly had a better look. It was clear he'd hit his head on something sharp when he'd fallen, but at least it wasn't as serious as it had first appeared. "Sit up."
Will obliged, face screwing up in pain as he did so but remained quiet to avoid making a fuss. Djaq looked him in the eye, her brow furrowing with concern; knowing he was trying to hide something from her. "My ankle, I think it's twisted."
"That is not surprising." She smiled; there was something adorable about the way he tried to hide his injuries, but then she could always tell when he was in pain. "Here." She pulled the tree root away so he could free his left foot. "Is that better?"
"Yes, thank you." He looked her in the eye, taking the opportunity to look at her properly and reached over and laid a hand on her shoulder. "Did he get you?" He moved his hand to hold her face.
"No." She smiled, pushing her cheek into his hand as she moved her own to cover his. "But it would appear that he got you." She reluctantly moved his arm away, looking at the wound on his arm with concern. "Let's get you back to camp, I need to check you out properly." She got to her feet and held a hand out to help him up. By now the forest was bathed in an orange glow and the sun was setting fast making Djaq anxious to get back. "Come here, lean on me." She pulled his right arm round her shoulders to support him, seeing how he tried to put as little weight on his left ankle as possible.
"Where would I be right now, if I didn't have you?" Will leant into her, a smile on his face as they began to head back to camp.
"Safe." She said pointedly, moving her gaze to meet his.
"Lonely." He mumbled and she looked away, pretending not to have heard his words.
"Will?" Robin saw the wound on his head, the tear on his sleeve and the limp in his walk. "Are you alright? What happened to you two?"
"I got him into a scuffle." Djaq smiled, helping Will up the hill to the camp. "He'll be alright, let me see to him, you get some sleep." She lowered her voice to a whisper; by now it was dark and she could see that the others had already gone to bed. Djaq fetched her medical bag from her bunk, and took a dish of fresh water, damping a cloth and sitting with Will on his bed. "Let me look at your arm, I need you to take your shirt off." He pulled it off with his good arm, allowing Djaq to cleanse and bandage his wound before he put on a new shirt. "Look at you." She began to clean the cut on his head. "Poor wounded soul." He looked her in the eye for a moment, smiling before he turned back to let her finish. "Thank you." She dropped the cloth into the bow and put it on the side, reaching across him to hold his face and pressed her forehead against the side of his head. "Thank you for protecting me."
Will turned to face her, his eyes drifting shut in the moment. "It was my pleasure." He pressed the side of his head up against hers, deliberately maintaining the intimacy.
"I mean it. You could have been seriously hurt, even killed." She screwed her eyes up, hating the idea of either happening.
"Djaq." He pulled back the slightest bit, holding her face in both hands as he waited for her to look him in the eye. "You are worth the risk."
A smile formed on her lips, the words escaping before she could stop them. "I love you, Will."
His heart skipped a beat at her confession. "And I love you, more than anything in the world." He pulled her closer and kissed her for all he was worth. "You are worth every risk."