Disclaimer: Naturally, I don't own Robin Hood BBC. If I did, the end of series 2 would not have happened and series 3 would have just been the gang having fun instead of a death-fest.
A/N: Hello all! This one-shot is a prequel to my other two Robin Hood one-shots called "Too Much Christmas Spirit" and "Euphemism" which focus on the gang's friendship with my OC Aoife Grattan and her growing relationship with Robin's adorable side-kick Much. Also, I'm planning a multi-chap fic where each chapter is a one-shot about Aoife and Much's growing relationship and the gang's adventures. This one-shot is dedicated to the wonderful Musicunderground who inspired me to carry on writing Much/Aoife fics!
A Pointless Trap
"I'm not being funny, but this is boring." Allan said to the group, reclining back on his bed. The gang had done their rounds in Clun that morning and had nothing to do since. Much was busy in the kitchen cooking lunch while Djaq and Will were fixing the huge door to the camp which had been giving them trouble of late. Little John sat on a log by the fire next to Robin who was making more arrows.
"Sorry if this isn't thrilling enough for you, Allan." Robin responded with a grin. "Besides, I thought you'd like having a bit of a day off. Nice to have a day where no of us are at risk if dying."
"Yeah, don't get me wrong, that is nice but it's a bit boring, ain't it? We could do with a bit of excitement round here. Something new."
No sooner had Allan finished, the gong began to sound signalling that someone had been caught in one of the traps around the forest. Allan shot up immediately.
"Now that's more like it!"
The gang grabbed their weapons and set off.
"You idiots! Let me down! LET ME DOWN!"
A young woman with long chestnut hair was thrashing in mid-air, a rope around her middle.
"Hello!" Allan called up to her. "You're a pretty one aren't you?"
"Did you just catch me to leer at me?" The woman growled. "If so, let me tell you: I've had worse. You're really not very good at it."
"Oooh! Live one here Robin! We'd better be careful with this one."
"Yes, you should! I'm from London, you know! It's a lot rougher there! I've dealt with thieves all my life!" The woman said, swinging on the rope more violently the angrier she got.
"A Londoner?" Much repeated, a frown on his face. "What business would a Londoner have here?"
"Other than with the Sheriff?" Robin finished, a steely look in his eye.
"Who are you?" The woman cried.
"I am Robin Hood and these are my friends. We want your gold and any information you have!"
"Oh, do you?" Oddly, the woman sounded more relaxed as soon as Robin stated who they were. "Well it's a good job I'm willing to give both."
The gang all shared confused looks.
"I came here to find Robin Hood and give him this!" She gestured to three bags beneath her on the ground. Djaq started forwards, opening the bags.
"Robin!" She called, eyes widening when she saw what was inside. "Look!"
Robin knelt next to Djaq and looked into the bags from himself. He grinned. Two of the bags were stuffed with food and the last one was full of gold. He looked back up at the woman swinging above them.
"You brought this for us? For the poor?"
"Yes!" She called back, fidgeting with uncomfortable rope around her middle.
"Why? Why now? We've been feeding the poor for a year."
"My family and I have only just moved here from London. We have money and do not like to see suffering. Surely that's a good a reason as any?"
The outlaws all shared glances before Robin nodded and said, "Will! Let her down."
"Oh, thanks!" The woman said sarcastically as she was lowered to the ground.
"Ey...this one's even prettier than I thought." Allan said, getting a proper look at the woman. She glared back at him with deep green eyes. He looked her up and down appreciatively, taking in her low cut orange dress and tanned skin. "You don't look much like a lady. You look a bit too – "
Allan was cut off by the woman delivering a brutal kick to his groin. Allan doubled up, clutching the offending area and crying, "What was that for?"
"That's what happens if you don't treat women right." She huffed and pushed her hair out of her face.
Allan turned to his friends. "How come none of you are helping me?"
They were all too busy laughing to come to his aid. Will said, "Well, you did say you wanted something more exciting to happen today."
"This isn't exciting. This is just painful."
Robin chuckled and picked up the three bags. "Sorry about the trap. And thank you for the food and money, it will be used well. What's your name?"
"Aoife Grattan." She said, shaking Robin's hand and flashing him an attractive smile. Will spluttered suddenly and they all turned to look at him.
"Problem?" Aoife asked.
"No! No...I mean..." Will trailed off and gazed at her. "You're Aoife Grattan?"
"Yes." Aoife smiled again, realising Will recognised her. Allan's eyes widened too as he realised who she was and he said,
"Bloody hell! And it is! Aoife Grattan! Bloody hell!"
The others looked from Will and Allan, to Aoife and then to each other, all exchanging confused looks.
"Oh, how nice!" Aoife was saying, beaming at the two them. "I wasn't sure if people knew me here."
"Why would people know you?" Djaq asked.
"Aoife Grattan!" Will exclaimed to the group as though repeating her name would help them. "You've never heard of her?"
Aoife smiled. "I'm a singer and writer. I've done a few performances here but nothing big. Nothing the size of the stuff I've been doing in London anyway."
"So why have you moved down here?" Robin asked.
"My father has suffered ill health of late. Nothing too serious but being away from the hustle and bustle of London helps." She looked at all of the outlaws and said to Robin, "Well I know you Robin, but can you introduce me to your friends?"
"Of course, where are my manners? This is Little John." John nodded at her. "This is Djaq."
"Hello Djaq." Aoife greeted, beaming at the Saracen woman. "Nice to see a woman in the group." She winked at her and Djaq grinned back.
"This is Allan A Dale."
"Hello, Allan." Allan made to shake her hand but Aoife said, "No, Allan. I think you'd better keep your hands to yourself."
"This is Will Scarlett."
Aoife smiled at the young man and he said, sounding a little star-struck, "I saw you in concert once. You were amazing."
"Oh, thank you!"
"And this is Much."
Much smiled awkwardly. "I've never seen you in concert." He said, without thinking as he often did when faced with an attractive woman. "In fact, I've never heard of you before."
Aoife blinked, surprised at his candour and the gang all fell silent, cursing Much for his brutal honesty. Suddenly, Aoife burst into a fit of laughter.
"Well," She began through chuckles. "I thank you for that incredible compliment, Much."
Much winced. "Sorry. I just...didn't know what to say."
She waved him off. "No, no, no! It's fine. Quite refreshing actually."
The gang all let out a sigh of relief and Aoife said, "Well, I had best be off. Dinner will be ready soon and my father will be wondering what's taken me so long. Goodbye, Robin Hood and friends. I hope we will meet again." She nodded to them and made her way back to the path she came on. Just before she went out of sight, she called over shoulder, "I live near the forest on the edge of Nottingham in a house called Camena. Come and visit if you need help. My father's all up for a bit of rebellion in his old age and the Sheriff doesn't consider a family of musicians as much of threat so you'll be pretty safe. Farewell!"
She waved and disappeared out of sight. They all looked after her, quiet, until Allan elbowed Much and said,
"You idiot! Telling her you don't even know who she is! Well done, Much; you really are good at talking to women, aren't you?"
Much puffed out his chest. "At least she laughed at what I said. She kicked you in your - in your - " Much struggled for a phrase that would be acceptable.
"In my what?" Allan provoked.
"In your gentleman's area!"
The gang erupted into laughter and Much blushed.
"C'mon." Robin said eventually. "I know plenty of people who will be very grateful for Miss Grattan's money."
And with that, they set off with more money, more food and a new friend to call upon. And, of course, another reason to tease Much.
I hope you enjoyed that!
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