Disclaimer: I don't own Robin Hood BBC, if so, it would have been called Guy of Gisborne BBC, because I love him!
Author's Note: Throughout the series I thought that Marian and Guy made a much better couple than Marian and Robin, plus, Richard Armitage is a nice hunk of man. So, Marian decides to stay in Knighton rather than rob Guy the night before her wedding, so she doesn't get stabbed, and she goes through with marrying Guy. Much doesn't turn up until after the wedding, but by then Marian has already made up her mind. Enjoy!
Chapter 1: A long awaited wedding
The gown was beautiful, she had to admit, but she had donned it like a funeral robe rather than a wedding dress. The lady servants had tittered excitedly, joking with one another about the prowess of her groom as they wove her hair and attached the veil. Marian had smiled accordingly, a bride should be happy. But she was conflicted, she had loved one man since she was a child, it was pure and sweet and innocent. The one she was marrying elicited a completely different reaction, he made her hot and cold, angry and sad, she hated the majority of what he stood for, but she had seen the examples of his kindness. The times he had shown her kindness had made her happier than she had been in years.
Marian knew that Guy cared for her deeply, she had never thought him capable of such emotion but it was true. He had never forsaken her love to run off and fight a war, asked her to act contrary to her nature for an absent King. Marian would always be loyal to King Richard, John was a pretender and Sheriff Vaisey was a cruel, power hungry mad man. But this was not the impression she had of Guy. Guy didn't believe that John should be King, he only wanted to secure himself a future, one that had been denied him by the seizure of his families estates by King Richard. In that, Marian could not completely fault him, her enquiries in the village of Locksley had revealed troubling information about Guy's past and his connection with Robin.
The common people often know more of what occurs than the nobles. Robin had framed Guy for the near-death of a workman when they were children. Guy's father had returned from the crusades with Leprosy, he had been banished from the village. Guy's mother had then died in a house fire along with Robin's father and it was rumoured that they had been lovers. The crown had then seized Guy's inheritance to fund the crusades. Guy was left alone with his sister, Isabella, a girl of 8. Robin had retained his inheritance and was gifted part of Guy's. So much tragedy for such a young boy, he had been 14. Guy's resentment of King Richard and Robin, in this new context, was almost understandable.
If but for a few tragedies, Guy could have been Robin and Robin could have been Guy.
Marian always felt there was a part of Guy that wanted to do the right thing, deep down, that had been smothered by years of conditioning. Marian saw this part of him when he smiled at her, gave her a gift, and especially when he felt the need to explain his actions to her. Not many men would feel the need to explain themselves to a woman. He had been so happy when she agreed to marry him; his anger at her possible betrayal with the necklace had been true joy at her acceptance. The bravado of anger and revenge he purported was to conceal the pain and loneliness he felt, and his fear of abandonment.
Robin had never needed her like Guy did. Robin, so assured his was the only way to do things, so confident in his own superiority. He never asked her for her opinion; he assumed they would agree on everything. He never felt the need to explain his actions or apologise for what he did. Robin just assumed that she would wait for him, she'd waited for him during his boyish crusade, been resentful when he returned only to forsake her again. It had begun to dawn on Marian that although she loved Robin, and he her, he would never put her first. She was someone he just expected to wait, to put her life on hold. He never sought her affections as Guy did, never treated her as a woman like Guy, acknowledged her individuality, her strength. To Robin, she would always be the girl he left behind, the 16-year-old who had wept as he left. She was 21 now and nearly passed a marriageable age. Her father was getting older, his health failing, and he wished her to marry so she would be secure, safe. Guy had offered her a future, a stable home with a man who genuinely cared for her. Robin had offered her nothing but hope and a dream than may never come, he had never grown up.
So, as they began the carriage ride to the church, Marian made a decision. It didn't matter if King Richard had returned or not, she would marry Guy today. Her presence seemed to make him strive to be better; she wanted to get to know that man. The priest had spoken often of self sacrifice for the greater good, she would sacrifice herself to Guy, in the hope that she could make his, and everyone elses lives better.
The sacrifices wouldn't be easy; she would have to give up her identity as the Night Watchman. When she had mulled these considerations over in her last night in her father's home she had decided against breaking into Guy's house for his savings. She had thought it would be her "final fling" before she was married, but her father had been ill, and it was her last night with him as a single woman. She allowed sentimentality to take its hold, and instead she had spent the time talking with the people of Knighton, who she would soon leave for Locksley, and had learned the disturbing truth of Guy's and Robin's past.
No more games of love with Robin; she would be a wife, and one day...a mother. She would have influence over one of the most powerful men in Nottingham, and hopefully be able to use it for the good of the people. She could do more within the marital home to improve the lives of the poor than cloaked giving out bread.
Marian would become Lady Gisborne.
The closer to the church she came the more firm her resolve was. She alighted from the carriage to cheers and claps from the common people, who were all lined up outside the church to catch a glimpse of the noble bride. Marian's father was with her until this point, then kissed her hand and went to his meeting with the Sheriff; he would not be there to give her away. She regretted this, but Vaisey had made a reception for the King in Nottingham and the Lords had to attend.
After her father left her ladies helped her tidy veil and she was about to move towards the church when she saw Guy coming out to meet her.
They were now face to face.
"You're not supposed to be here"
Guy looked affronted.
Ah, so he didn't understand.
"You're supposed to be in there, waiting for me. Have you never been to a wedding?"
Guy didn't seem to care.
"You look beautiful; I am truly the luckiest man in England."
It was not just a platitude, Guy meant it.
Marian felt herself blush underneath her veil. She wasn't usually prone to such behaviour.
"Go on in then; otherwise you won't get to see me walk down the aisle."
Guy nodded to her and an almost boyish grin came over his face, it made him look a decade younger. He walked slightly faster than was dignified into the church. Marian found her lip quirking; he was so excited, genuinely happy that she was here, with him. She'd never seen him so carefree.
This was the right decision.
The church was full of lesser nobles and family banner men. Mostly Marian's, none were related by blood. Guy had his guard and stewards, his sister was not present. Marian knew he had sent her an invitation, but she must have been otherwise engaged, or had not wished to see Guy. Marian had heard through gossip that her future sister-in-law's husband was a brute, and that Guy had married her to him young. But, Guy had been a boy himself and in no position to deny the Lord his wish.
Marian watched Guy's face as she marched closer, the light from the stained glass windows covering his aquiline features. She was not prone to fear, but her heart beat faster than when she had fallen off her horse at age 10, and her stomach fluttered with fear and exhilaration as she felt the stares of the congregation. When she finally reached Guy, he held out his hand, and she knew this was the moment, do or die, and she placed her hand in his.
The ancient priest began the marriage rites, asking if anyone objected to their union. Marian half expected Robin to come running in, bow at the ready to "rescue" her, but he didn't.
They began their vows, Guy saying his strongly yet intimately, never taking his eyes from hers. It felt almost as if they were the only ones in the room, as if he whispered them directly into her ear, their secret. He caressed her hand as he slipped the ring on her finger, and although it was not the custom, he allowed her to give him a ring in return, to which several of his guard sneered. But he didn't seem to care. Finally, the priest announced them man and wife, and Guy removed her veil gently, as if he might damage it. He placed his hand on her cheek, and touched his lips gently but firmly to hers.
That was it, Marian of Knighton no more, now she was Marian of Gisborne, wife of Guy. Marian blew out a sigh of relief as they parted, the pomp was over, and as she and Guy looked at each other she allowed a small quirk of her mouth, which Guy reciprocated, only to be replaced with a frown and a swift step in front of her, hand on his sword, as the church doors burst open to reveal Much, Robin's manservant.
"Lady Marian! Lady Marian the King is an imposter! Lady Marian!"
"Guards!" shouted Guy, beginning to draw his sword, and Marian took action.
"Guy! Wait!" she pleaded, placing her hand on his arm, and emerging from behind him.
He paused looking at her and Marian detected a hint of fear in his eyes, he thought she would abandon him. But still, he turned back to the murmuring crowd and spoke:
"Silence, my Lady wife will speak."
Everyone went silent, except for Much, who shouted "Wife?!" in anguished horror.
"Thank you, Guy" she said, looking meaningfully into his eyes before turning to the intruder. "Much..." she began, walking forward "I am Lady Gisborne now, I have pledged my troth to Sir Guy, and whether the King has returned to England or not is of no consequence. It changes nothing. Now, it's my wedding day, I will have no violence" she looked pointedly at Guy's personal guard, who shuffled under her stern gaze.
"So, your gift to me, will be that you leave this church and you will not return."
Guy approached her from behind and placed a firm hand on her shoulder, his chest pressed into her back and she could feel the fast beating of his heart, and his muscles begin to relax. He had truly been terrified she would leave. Although Guy may have known about Vaisey's deception, she had made her bed and she would lie in it. For the good of the realm.
"You heard my Lady, be gone! I allow you this boon, as I am in good spirits today."
Much looked at them in disbelief, and then ran back the way he came.
The murmurs began again, and Guy leaned down and murmured in her ear.
"We will talk later, not here."
"Alright" he said, moving beside her and taking her hand, putting it on his arm.
"To Locksley manner for the wedding feast!" he declared, to cheers from the crowd, as they walked through the arches, the common folk threw flower petals over them and hailed the new Lord and Lady Gisborne.
As the night progressed, the fluttering in her stomach had returned. The midwife has told her what would happen tonight, and it seemed so strange to think she would be so vulnerable with anyone. She'd seen animals mate of course, she lived surrounded by them, but a man was a completely different animal.
"There will be pain girl" said the sage woman "and a little blood, but far less than you've had every month since you were 12. It'll be uncomfortable the first time, but from what I hear of your buck, you'll soon get over it. The lady's in town say he's a fine specimen who knows what he's doing, so let him lead. You might even come to enjoy it."
Marian found herself extremely bashful, which she never usually allowed. She didn't like to think of the fact that Guy had been with other women. She knew he had of course, Seth was the proof. But all that was done with now, they were married. But still...she couldn't help be nervous. She was used to being in control, and now she was about to suffer the most personal invasion of all.
Marian looked to Guy, who was actually laughing, laughing! At something that one of his guards had said. He looked...light, untroubled, the gloom that generally surrounded him was gone, and Marian could clearly see how handsome he was. He caught her gaze, and smiled at raising her hand and kissing it gently. They had the rest of their lives to sort out their problems, tonight, let it just be about them, a good day. Trouble and Strife could wait.
The hour grew late, and the guests witnessed the blessing of the bed by the priest, which Marian found very awkward, and then they dispersed back to their homes making bawdy comments. The servants lit the fires and candles, and then Guy dismissed them.
"Lady Gisborne will have no need of a maid tonight. No one shall disturb us until we emerge, understood?"
The staff nodded, and then dispersed to their own rooms in the servants quarters in the next building.
She and Guy were now truly alone.
Author's Note: Tell me what you think, please read & review!