It had been two weeks since the men had rescued Robin fom the clutches of the Sheriff, and Robin was impatient. His wound had, thankfully, remained free of infection, somethiing which sophia- the healer from his village- had said must have been an act of god given all the filth in the dungeons and all of the stress he had put on it. He grimaced at the nearly healed wound, knowing it would leave an unseemly scar across his side, but, turing to look at the small clearing where they had buried three men, he figured he could be worse. At least his wound would heal. He sighed and looked down at the camp. It was clear that the men did not blame Robin, indeed, he had become even more of a hero both to these men and the peasant folk of Nottinghamshire, but he still could not shake off the feeling of guilt he felt at the death of the men. The rest of the outlaws had tried to console him, saying that they all knew the risks, they all accepted that they may not survive. They even congratulated him on his shooting abilities and the fact that he bought down over twenty guards, saving many of their lives. This had been the final straw for Robin, and he told them firmly that he wanted no praise or any other form of consolation, he wanted only to have a few days to think for himself. He had since then, been left alone. Even Little John ad Will had kept their distance, only speaking to him at mealtimes. He could not escape the looks of respect directed at him, however, nor the reverant looks that passed his way when the men thought he was looking elsewhere. Robin sighed and jumped from his perch on the lower bough of a tree. He landed on the ground in a crouch, happy to find that his side barely twinged at the strain, and thankful that th wound had not been too deep. He lifted his shirt, and was relieved to find that the clean cotton that bandaged the wound were still in place. He took a deep breath and walked over to John, trying to ignore the way men got out of his way, wondering what the expression on most faces was, aside from respect and warmth. He reached John, who was gathering firewood on the outskirts of the camp, and bent down to pick up a stick that had fallen from his arms. He grinned up at him. "Need a hand?" It was time for him to get on with things. He couldnt sit and mope forever. He saw a grin on Johns face, "About time," he replied, leaving Robin to wonder whether he was referring to someone helping out, or Robin joining in.
John grinned as he saw Robin practising his archery. Since Robin had started to get involved with things again, the game they were playing had become a near nightly passtime. He grinned as he saw Will throw another target out into the open, and could not help but laugh as he heard Wills groan of frustration as Robin shot it down. The game was simple. Three or four men made targets from clumps of moss, and threw them from behind trees or bushes. Robin had to shoot them down before they touched the ground. At first, the men had thought it would be a good idea to try moving throughout the trees, throwing from different places and trying to catch him out, but Robins slightly uncanny ability to sense where they were soon had them changing tactics. Thee weeks later and they just stood there throwing the things hoping for a lucky miss. John joined in the clapping as Robin plucked two from the air in a matter of seconds then whooped as he fired two arrows, both hitting their targets. John glanced around the group and grinned at the intense concentration on their faces as they watched Robin. He turned back to watch the game.
Robin sighed as he flung his bow down next to where he slept. He had been happy to have his own returned to him after the fight and had immediately celebrated by shooting an apple from Johns hand as he went to eat it. He grinned at the shocked glare that had been directed at him, followed by an unwilling smile. He wouldnt have bothered if he had known it would lead to countless nights of what he considered pointless showing off. John had called over to him, "Oi, if you can hit that, then you should try this." He had thrown a small twin into the air, and Robin had hit it in the centre, shattering the brittle wood. One thing had led to another and now he was enttertainment every evening. He sighed, at least it made him useful. Sure he helped around camp, but nothing he did seemed to be useful, as in everything he did was monotonous. He wanted action, something to do aside fom hunting and gatheing firewood. He grasped the bow as he flung himself to th floor beside it. He never stopped marvelling at the intricate markings on the wood. The bow had been his fathers. It had been delivered in the night many years ago by a hooded stranger, who then vanished. Robin found himself wishing once again, that he knew the identity of his father, or at least that he remembered something about him. "Curse it", he murmured to himself, "I need to stop wasting my time on idle fantasies. And on pointless games. If only the men could shoot as well as me then maybe I could... I could..." He froze, If the men could shoot as well as he could then they would be able to hunt better, protect themselves better. Robin grinned as an idea washed over him. He got to his feet and ran to the campfire that everyone was sitting around.
He waited for Arthur to finish telling a childhood story, he had stayed in Sherwood because they were unsure if the Sheriff had seen his face. The other men had managed to keep their hoods up, so had no such trouble... the ones who were alive anyway. Robins mood fell, but his spirits raised when he realised what story Arthur was telling. He laughed as he remembered the time that they had both, foolishly, challenged a fox to the rights of a rabbit. Whilst he and Arthur had been focused on the fox, the rabbit had used sense and ran. He waited for the story to finish and cleared his throat, unnerved when everyone immediately stopped talking and turned to face him. This awestruck thing was going to get very tirsome. However, he took advantage of it and asked the group their thoughts. The positive feedback was reassuring, but also fairly alarming. He grinned however, as John managed to shut them all up. Robin laughed at the irritated expression on his face. "Whats up John?" he asked. "You know what this means," John growled back, turning to Joseph, the groups current lead figure. "Hunting trips are going to either soar, with everyone eager to practise or fall because everyone will be too busy hanging on his every word." He sighed good naturedly. "Archery lessons indeed."