jadey36: (Default)
jadey36 ([personal profile] jadey36) wrote in [community profile] bbc_robinhood2013-07-24 09:13 am

Wanted

Title: Wanted
Author: [personal profile] jadey36
Prompt: #9 (image)
Rating: PG-13
Character/s: Guy, Robin, mentions Much
Summary: Guy stumbles upon a childhood memory.
Word Count: 1,044
Disclaimer: Robin Hood belongs to Tiger Aspect and the BBC. No copyright infringement intended. All rights reserved.



Wanted

He stumbles upon it by accident, the outlaws having led him a merry dance through the forest, splitting up and then running this way and that until Guy hardly knows up from down, let alone his way back to Nottingham.

As children, Robin and he – all the children of Locksley, in fact – knew about the ‘magic maze’ as they called the cleverly cut yew. They never knew who fashioned it, or why; just that it was there. They played King of the Castle and Catch the Fair Maiden and Hunt the Stag in it. All except Guy, who never got to join in with any of the children’s games.

“You’re too serious, too half-French, too Gisborne,” they’d say, they being Robin and the other village children who followed Robin around.

“I just want to play with you,” Guy would say.

The children stuck out their tongues at him and ran away, laughing.

Guy wanted to make them, and Robin in particular, pay for their childish bullying, so, one day, armed with his father’s cast-off sword, he followed the children into the forest.

When he reached the maze, Robin was there with Much, the miller’s son. Much was sitting on the ground. He had dirty knees and a dirty face and he was eating some sort of pie. He scrabbled behind Robin when he saw Guy approaching. Guy snapped his teeth at the pie-eating simpleton. In retaliation, Robin snapped his bowstring at Guy’s face. It left a red slash on Guy’s cheek and made his eyes water. Robin laughed and ducked into the maze. Incensed, Guy chased after him. By the time Guy reached the centre of the maze, Robin had given him the slip.

It took Guy ages to find his way out again. When he eventually got home, his supper was cold and his mother was pacing the floors. A cold supper would have been better than no supper, but, instead, Guy went straight up to bed with a thick ear, a growling tummy and the beginnings of a deep-seated hatred of Robin of Locksley.

Guy can’t believe the maze, although massively overgrown, is still here.

The sheriff will shout at me when I get back to the castle, empty-handed yet again, Guy thinks. He’ll call me an idiot and worse. He’ll make me feel like a stupid child who doesn’t deserve to play his grown up games, just as Hood and the other children made me think I didn’t deserve to play in their games.

Guy steps through the entranceway of the maze with no clear idea of what he wants to do other than to get lost and stay lost.

~

When Robin finds him, at best, Guy expects Robin to make some joke about Guy being King of the Castle but without any subjects. At worst, Guy expects Robin to pull his sword on him.

“Can you believe this place is still here?” Robin says, squatting in front of Guy. “Do you remember when we used to play here as children?”

You used to play here you mean,” Guy says, wiping his face with a gloved hand. “I wanted to play with you, but you never let me.”

“That’s because you called me Brat Face and Lick Bottom and you said my father did unspeakable things with your mother.”

“Only because it was true.” Guy waits for the shove, the punch, the dagger in his gut. It doesn’t come. Instead, Robin slides his eyes guiltily from Guy’s, stands and starts walking away.

Good riddance, Guy thinks, until he recalls how long it took him to find his way out of the maze the last time. Unlike his long lost home with his mother and his sister Isabella, Guy is in no hurry to get back to Vaisey and his twittering caged birds. However, he has no wish to be out in the forest after dark. Who knows what foul creatures might lurk in the greenery. If I ask, he won’t help me, Guy thinks, watching as Robin pushes through the overgrown yew and is lost from sight. He’ll run off as he did the last time. Fresh tears well in Guy’s eyes. They spill down his cheeks. They’re still spilling down his cheeks when Robin parts the yew and steps back into the middle of the maze.

“What is it?” Robin asks, again crouching in front of Guy. He places a hand on Guy’s shoulder.

Guy swats it away. He thinks about saying how much he hates Robin, for winning the girl, for earning the love and respect of the people of Locksley, for being a hero. “I just wanted to play with you,” he says. “Was that too much to ask?”

The expected taunt doesn’t come. Instead, Robin places his hands either side of Guy’s face, leans forward and kisses him. Guy goes rigid, but he doesn’t pull away. This is not the sort of sorry he expected. However, right now, Guy will take whatever apology Robin is willing to give.

The kiss keeps going and when Robin’s mouth opens a little so does Guy’s. Guy expects to taste loathing and the dark malevolence that he knows lurks at the core of Robin Hood, the dark malevolence that made Hood threaten Guy with a fire-heated sword. Instead, he tastes roasted meat, the bittersweet tang of ale and I’m sorry for the hurtful things I said and did to you as a child, hurts that may well have set Guy off on the road to seeking vengeance and power.

Robin breaks the kiss. He sits back on his haunches, looks Guy straight in the eye and says, “I’m not sure the gang will welcome you with open arms, but you can come and play with me any time you like. Just make a mark on the great oak and I’ll see it and come find you.” Before Guy has time to respond, Robin regains his feet, turns and starts pushing back through the overgrown yew.

“Come on, then,” he calls. “Unless you want to spend the night in here.”

Guy follows at a safe distance. He isn’t certain he wants to play Robin’s grown up games, but he has to admit, it does feel good to be wanted.

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