Authors Note: I started writing this story about three years ago, but for a lot of reasons I never posted it. Recently reminded of it, I pulled it out, brushed it off, tweaked a bit and decided to start posting. It starts toward the end of the movie but it could be considered AU since there are details that the movie never suggested or examined.

If things look familiar, its not mine. Some dialogue is taken directly from the movie, so youll recognize that.

I hope this finds an audience. If you like it, please let me know. If you dont, please no flames.

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

The Long Road Home by Ecri

Part 1: Familiar Ground

It was the sight of the Celts that shook their resolve. The blue painted faces, the shrieking in their odd Celtic language, and the frenzied battle lust plain on their faces had even shaken Azeem. That fact alone worried Will Scarlett more than anything else.

Will and the others had no time to think, only to react. Will pulled his dagger from his boot, brandishing the blade at the nearest of Nottinghams soldiers, keeping an ear out for any approaching Celts that might take him from behind. Two Celts chose that moment to attack him and he was hard pressed to dodge their blows.

But dodge he did.

Will fought off one with his dagger and punched the other one with already bloodied knuckles. He then ran to a knot of Nottinghams men who were about to attack Bull and Wulf from behind. Without either of his own men seeing him, he distracted their would-be attackers and drew their attention away.

Will sliced two of them before the third, having lost his own weapon, began to hit, punch and kick. Will punched the man with a solid jab to the chin and turned only to face a man armed with a crossbow. He turned abruptly again only to be faced with another, then another. Unarmed, he could not beat these odds. He raised his hands in surrender, thinking how ironic it was that Robin of Locksley had set in motion the events that would lead to Wills death.

Will was herded to a nearby shallow dip in the forest floor. Several guards had set it up as an impromptu holding area. There were others of the Sherwood residents already being held there. It was from this place that Will first realized Nottinghams men meant to burn Sherwood.

The smoke as the arrows and makeshift balls were set aflame and launched stung Wills eyes, but provided an excuse for the tears that stood there as he watched his home burn. He could feel the heat, hear the crackling of the flames as they greedily devoured all that lay before them. He heard screams in the distance and could imagine the destruction and those still within the forest were enduring. A small part of him wondered if Robin had been right about him. He felt like a coward because his only thought was that he was glad he could only imagine the burning and was not witnessing it first hand. Especially when he heard Fannys cries.

Will blinked twice, then clenched his eyes firmly shut and turned his back on Sherwood clamping his hands over his ears, but such a childish, and cowardly, action did not muffle his memory.