"The nerve of that Abraham Slender!" huffed Pistol as she flounced into the Garter. "Do you know what he told me?" she demanded of Robin. Robin had stayed behind to receive a guest of Sir John's and make him comfortable, and had thus missed the confrontation at the house of Frank Page. "No, do tell," he grunted, absorbed in the newspaper he was reading. In the five years since he had come into Sir John's house, relations between him and Pistol had never improved, even while they had been lovers. "He called me a crony-catching rascal!" she pouted. Robin snorted behind his paper. "Don't laugh at me, urchin!" Pistol snapped.
"Here we go again," sighed Robin, folding his paper. "How is this fight going to end? Are we going to hook up or use Nym to pull tricks on each other for the next month?" Before Pistol could retaliate, the door opened and Nym, Bardolpha and Falstaff entered. "Ha! That Mistress Shallow! She thinks she can bring me before the council? Ha!"
"How did the visit with Page go, sir?" Robin called, deliberatley turning his back on Pistol.
"As good as I could have hoped," Falstaff grunted. "The Welsh priest Caius showed up with that insufferable Justice Shallow and her absolutley stupid cousin, Abraham Slender."
"That is bad news master." Robin agreed, reaching out to help Sir John's considerable bulk out of the jacket he wore.
"Leave it be, we depart once more!" declared Flastaff. "We must visit the Hostess of the Garter at once." Falstaff turned and swept out of the door. Robin and the girls immediatley followed, taking up their set places, the girls hanging on Falstaff while Robin hung back. Robin had gotten used to being shunted to the back, and he understood it was his place as Falstaff's page to stay at his masters heels.
"Mine hostess of the Garter!" Falstaff called as he stepped into the lofty Garter inn. "I must turn away some of my followers!" The girls released their hold on him, and immediatley formed into a tight circle, exchanging whispered tidbts of the latest gossip. Robin didn't bother trying to join them. He'd learned from experience. The girls had never accepted him, and Robin didn't think they ever would. He did snicker though, as Bardolpha was led away by Hostess, to "Froth and lime." His years with Falstaff and his retinue had taught him that the tough survived, and the weak were thrown aside like garbage. Deep down though, past the smirk on his face, he felt sorry for Bardolpha. He had loved her too at one point, and the nights they had spent together were burned into his brain, the feel of her soft skin against him, her blond hair, her big blue eyes looking down on him—A loud snap from Falstaff cut off Robin's musings. He had learned over the years to differentiate between a Robin snap and a Pistol, Bardolpha or Nym snap. This was a Robin snap for sure.
Robin sauntered over to Falstaff to see what was happening. "Take these letters, sir," Falstaff demanded. "Take this to one Mistress Ford, and this to Mistress Page." Robin accepted the letters, and turned to leave, his mind already wandering again. He didn't forget to throw a smug glance over his shoulder at the schocked faces of Nym and Pistol however.
Robin soon made his way to the door of the Ford's lofty manor house. He knocked loudly and waited. He did not have to wait long before the door opened, and a shorter woman stepped out. She was about 25, and had long brown hair and a pleasant demeanor about her. "Good day, how can I help you?" she asked, smiling.
"I bear a letter for one Mistress Ford," Robin announced.
"Why, that would be me!" she smiled, taking the letter from him. "I thank you little courtier."
"No problem t'all ma'am," Robin tipped his hat at her and turned to leave.
"Who is this letter from?" Mistress Ford asked.
"Sir John Falstaff," Robin shrugged. "Good day, ma'am." He left Mistress Ford and made his way several streets up towards the home of the Pages. He sauntered through the gates, impatient to get back home and get some ale into himself. He banged loudly on the door, standing impatiently, waiting for someone to answer it. Finally, the door opened and an angel stepped out. Robin had to blink several times to make sure he was not imagining her. She stared expectantly at him, a half smile on her face. Her short black hair hung loosely around her face, which was round and pleasant. She was a slender woman, considerabley shorter than the tall gangly Robin. Immediatley, he felt awkward and for some reason ashamed. "Uh…a letter for Mistress Page," he mumbled, looking at the ground.
"That's me," she laughed. "May I see the letter?" Robin thrust it at her and turned to leave, knowing he had to get away now. He felt something inside he didn't know what it could be but he knew it worried him. He was out of the driveway before she could thank him, running home, confused and scared by the suddena and intense emotions churning within him.