Yes, I know, I cut off Will's hand. Trust me, I love Will to death, I didn't want this to happen.
Free Willy: If you love me then A. Why and B. WHY!
Me: Very simple, Free Willy, frankly, I just wanna show how you are so awesome that you won't let a little thing like losing a limb stop you on your ride to greatness!
Robbin'-a-Hood: And that I can fix anything right?
Me: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE BOB THE BUILDER?
Free Willy: She makes a point, Rob.
Robbin'-a-Hood: Shut up, Will.
Robin held his unconscious brother close to his chest with his chin on Will's head, as Azeem worked to close Will's wrist, "Azeem?" he asked, staring into space, "Did I bring this upon him?"
Azeem didn't look up as he finished wrapping a bandage around the stub of a wrist, "No, Christian. He brought it upon himself by holding too much darkness in his soul, and letting it build. He held so much anger and hate, your brother became unable to hold it back, you just happened to be its target when it finally released."
Azeem tied the bandage tightly around Will's wrist, and stood, "You only acted accordingly."
Then the Moor left the two brothers alone in the hut.
Robin looked down at his brother in his arms. Will Scarlett seemed to be a forgotten character in this story, only to be replaced with the seemingly-broken doll that lay in a mangled heap before him.
Will had been the best thief in the camp, sneaking and slipping in the darkness like no one else could despite his bright chose in clothing, and he was a splendid knife thrower. Will was the Prince of Thieves before Robin was, though it was a less pronounced title for the younger one.
But the eldest Locksley had come and ripped away his role as the greatest thief, his title as the best, and now Robin had taken his last hope of normality; Will going to be a cripple for the rest of his life.
Robin felt terrible and Azeem's wise words were not going to easily fix that instantly. Deep down, Robin knew his Moorish friend was right, but his heart didn't want to admit it.
Robin's brotherly side wanted to take the blame for everything that happened and off his little brother's conscience. He wanted to shield Will from everything that occurred and protect him like he should have done in the first place. He wanted to go back in time to slap his younger self for that stupid day when he sent out Will's mother and destroyed an unborn child's life.
The only thing stopping it was his logical side reminding him that he couldn't just put the boy in a box and bury it.
No, Robin knew that the only way to fix this now was to just do exactly what he was doing now: Being there.
Robin hadn't been there all of his little brother's life, but that would change. He would be there for Will for the rest of his life. He would never let anything like this happen again.
He carefully leaned over, as not to disturb Will, and picked up Azeem surgical blade, and cut his palm.
As blood started to form, Robin squeezed his hand and blood dripped down, on too Will and him, "I swear by my own blood that I will protect Will with last bit of my being."
Robin was wiping off his bloody hand when he felt a movement against his chest.
Will's whole world was on fire.
He slowly drifted back into the world of the living, almost unsure if here really belonged there.
At first, Will thought Azeem had got the arrow out and he was perfectly fine, till he felt the nothingness where his right hand was supposed to be.
Will tried to feel out for his hand, but only was able to awaken a small ache in his lower arm. He forced his eyes open, and went to sit up, then realized someone had their arms around him, and was holding him up.
"Will?" said a voice in his ear. Will's eyes finally began to work as his mind registered that it was his new-found older brother that was with him.
"Robin," he mumbled, "S'that you?"
Robin smiled sadly, "Yes, Will, I'm right here."
Will turned his head a little so he could see his older brother, "What happened? Did Azeem get the arrow out?"
Robin stopped for a second, seemingly considering him, "Yeah, Azeem… well, you're, you're going to be fine. That all that matters, right?"
Will wasn't buying it.
"Locksley," the younger said, a ghost of his cocky self slipping into place, "I'm not a child, tell me what happened or so help me, I will find out my-"
Robin said nothing, but he took Will's right arm, and raised to so his brother could see where his hand once was.
Will stopped for a moment, unable to speak, then his wide eyes formed a few stubborn tears that refused to streak down his face like they should.
"Why?" Will finally stuttered out, "Wasn't there another way?"
Robin looked at him thoughtfully, "Yes, but the chances of you surviving it were one in a trillion. With all the blood you lost, you wouldn't have survived." Robin then told Will all that had happened during his surgery, and a little of what happened afterward, neither Robin nor Will moving from their spots.
When Robin finished, he looked into his brother's eyes, "Will, I am so sorry for what I did. I hope you can forgive me."
Will's eyes were growing red, but he refused to allow his tears of self-pity to fall, "I-I… Robin I…" Will looked away from his brother, and down to what once was his hand.
The bandages hide the wound, but small amounts of blood still trimmed the edges, reminding Will of what was once there.
Will knew everything he had come to know was now shattered. The familiar touch of a knife? Gone. The tingling and exciting feel of a successful pocket picked? Gone. The warmth of a fire's heat brushing past his freezing hands after a long hunt? Gone.
Thing that had become life to him where now gone, and Will knew nothing would ever be as it was. He was a cripple. A weak, fragile thing with no strength or power what so ever. They did this to save his life, but deep down, Will Scarlett was dead.
All that remained of the outlaw's brave and cunning comrade was a weak, cowardly, one-handed William Scatheloke, forever reliant on others for his survival and afraid of the world.
Robin, sensing his brother emotion, cupped both hands under Will chin and forced his to look up at him.
"Will," he said slowly, "Everything will be alright. I swear, nothing will ever hurt you again." Seeing no response from his brother, he continued, "You'll get over this, Will! You're not the only warrior in the world to lose a hand! In fact, I knew a great warrior who only had one hand."
Will's eyes twinged with doubt, but he could hide his obvious interest, "Really?"
Robin let out a sad little chuckle at his little brother's curiosity, "Really," he said, "His name was Brian Weatherly. I met him in the Crusades, around the same time I met Azeem. I was in prison with Marion's brother, Peter, and for a little while, Peter was very ill and needed medical treatment. For a while, I thought he was going to die of his illness in that dark hell of a dungeon when Brian came. He was an English doctor who volunteered to spy on the prison for King Richard as a prison guard, but he secretly would assist the prisoners and sneak in formation out to the King." Robin smiled as he remembered the ferrety man who smelled more of dirt than anything, due his constant hiding under tables and furniture to eavesdrop.
"Anyway," Robin continued his story, "Brian saved Peter's life, for which I was forever grateful, but one of the guards caught him giving us food, and the prison warden had his right hand cut off, and threw him in with the prisoners. Brian fought back the guards when they tried to torture him, and once, he actually broke out of the prison."
Will listened intently, "He got out? What happened?"
Robin hesitated, "Well, I think he made it out of the city. I don't really know."
"Oh" said Will, "But he did make it out of the prison, that had to count for something."
Robin smiled at Will's interest in his story, "You see, brother," Robin motioned to Will's arm, "This can't stop you. Though I haven't known you long, I do know one thing; you never give up. And even if you did want to give up, I won't let you."
Will looked at Robin in awe, "What?"
"You heard me," Robin said strongly, "If you can't throw a knife with your right hand, I'll teach you to throw with your left. If you can't shot a bow anymore, well I'll get you a cross bow. If you need to learn to right with your left hand, I'll learn with you." Robin looked his little brother in the eye, "I will save you."
This time, Will allowed a few tears to fall from his eyes. Sensing his weakness, Robin gently eased Will back into his place against his chest, rubbing circles into the small of Will's back, "You will be alright, Will. I swear it on my life, little brother."
"S' good to know," whispered Will into his brother's shoulder, "Thanks, Robin." Will slowly drifted to sleep, perfectly consoled by his brother's promise of safety, and allowed the elder Locksley to shield him for a moment from the world.
Robin gladly held Will close, content with listening to the latter's steady breathing. He kept his brother clutched to his chest, and gently rocked him back and forth, as if to shake away all of Will's fears of the future.