jadey36: (guy)
jadey36 ([personal profile] jadey36) wrote in [community profile] bbc_robinhood2013-09-12 11:55 am

Falling Apart

Title: Falling Apart
Author: [personal profile] jadey36
Prompt: fair
Rating: pg-13
Characters: Guy, Robin, Much, Allan, Will, Djaq, Little John, Marian
Summary: Guy’s happiness receives a knock back.
Word Count: 2,325
Disclaimer: Robin Hood belongs to Tiger Aspect and the BBC. No copyright infringement intended. All rights reserved.
Author’s Note: Third fic in the Outlaw Guy series.

Part 1 A Different Life
Part 2 Fitting In



Falling Apart

It isn’t fair, Guy thinks, as the white-hot pain shooting through his leg sends him crashing back onto the forest floor. My first real act of being an outlaw and I’m cut down before Robin has nocked his first arrow.

Dizzy and nauseous, aware that his roomy outlaw breeches are soaked with more than the blood oozing from his right thigh, Guy painfully turns his head. He can see through the leaves partially obscuring his view that Robin and his gang are winning the fight, despite one of their number, namely him, being out of action.

A handful of the guards escorting the cart carrying the chest of tax monies along the Great North Road are on the ground, either dead – so much for Robin’s don’t kill doctrine – or knocked out, while the other handful are battling it out with the outlaws.

Robin, Guy sees, has discarded his Saracen bow in favour of his scimitar and is presently slashing at a burly, lumbering guard, a grin on his face. After spending the past two weeks living with the outlaw, Guy believes he now knows Robin well enough to say with confidence that Robin is actually enjoying himself despite the seriousness of the occasion. Likewise, Allan seems to be having a ball, dodging and weaving, wielding his two swords as if he were a performer at a circus.

Djaq, that soft-spoken, kind-hearted scrap of a girl, always making weird pastes and assuring Guy that Robin will give him every chance to prove he can become a good man, screams a blood-curdling scream and runs one and then another guard through with hardly a backward glance. It makes Guy realise there is more to her, more to all of the outlaws in fact, than he had first thought.

John thumps a further guard with his staff, whirls round ready to take on another attacker. But there is no one left, as the final two guards, sensing the battle lost, drop their swords. One hurls himself onto a frightened horse’s back while the other leaps into the now empty cart, grabbing the reins of the harnessed horse.

“The sheriff will hear of this,” the guard in the cart shouts, tugging viciously on the reins in an effort to get the spooked horse to move.

“I truly hope so,” Robin says, nudging a sack of stolen coin with his boot and grinning. He lifts a hand and waves as the cart finally lurches forwards and trundles off in the direction of Nottingham, without its precious load.

Danger over, Guy rolls onto his back. He stares at the patches of blue sky between the leaves and branches, fervently hoping the gang don’t forget about him in their euphoria over seizing a large quantity of coin.

~

He wakes to find he is on his bunk, naked apart from the outlaw tag Will made him, a pair of braies – Robin’s judging by their tightness – and a swaddling of bandage around his upper right thigh. He can hear a tangle of excited shouts and thumps: the gang rejoicing. Mixed in with the whoops and backslapping, he can make out Djaq’s high feminine laughter.

Guy smiles; they didn’t forget him. Indeed, Robin’s hefty shove, spilling Guy into the undergrowth after the guard rammed a sword through his leg, almost certainly saved his life. Now, Guy realises, he owes Robin gratitude not only for letting him join his gang when the outlaw has every reason to run Guy through the first chance he gets, but also for saving his life. Guy finds the thought an unsettling one, but has no more time to dwell on it as Djaq enters the sleeping area and crouches next to his bed.

“Awake at last,” she says, giving him a warm smile. “How do you feel?”

“Like someone who got on the wrong side of the sheriff and ended up in his fucking Festival of Pain; only, this time, his ridiculous contraptions actually worked.”

“The cut was deep,” Djaq says, eyeing Guy’s wounded leg (at least, that’s what he assumes she is studying so intently). “You lost a lot of blood. I made many stitches. It was good you soon lost consciousness. I can swear with the best of them, but you—”

“Apologies,” Guy cuts across her. He props himself up on his elbows. “I’m not used to being around women.”

“Perhaps that is why you fail,” Djaq says.

Guy can’t tell whether she’s being serious or jesting with him. That’s the trouble with these damn outlaws, he thinks. Half the time, I never know whether they’re being serious or not, especially Robin. Guy closes his eyes, feigning tiredness. He hates not being able to work out multifaceted people. At least with the sheriff, he always knew where he stood.

Thinking of the sheriff makes Guy shiver. If he was in trouble before for consistently failing to capture the outlaws, how much more trouble would he be in now, should the sheriff apprehend him? A festival of pain wouldn’t even come close to what the sheriff will do to him once he realises Guy is not lying in a ditch somewhere, but has joined the outlaws, the bane of Sheriff Vaisey’s life.

Guy squints through fluttering eyelids and sees that Djaq is gone, doubtless believing he has fallen asleep. He’s not sure what the hour is, but from the cooking smells drifting his way, he guesses it must be close to evenfall. A growl in his stomach reminds him that he hasn’t eaten since breaking his fast this morning and, shifting painfully, he slides his legs off the bed, one at a time, and pushes himself upright.

He takes two stumbling steps and, quietly cursing his injured leg, clutches a timber beam. Walking to the supper table is obviously out of the question.

He pushes a shielding curtain aside, intending to alert one of the gang to his predicament. Instead, he finds himself crumpling to the ground, breathing fast and feeling sick. Marian is in the camp, and this time it’s not to tell Robin about the great unwashed of Clun, not unless that involves kissing Hood soundly on the mouth.

Guy twitches the curtain aside again, in the vain hope that he’d been mistaken, that the wine Robin had poured down his neck as John and Allan held him and Djaq cut away his blood-soaked breeches, had dulled his mind. But no. Marian is still in Robin’s arms and they are still kissing.

Guy turns around and crawls back to his bunk. He wants to kill Hood. He wants to kill Marian. He wants to die.

Lepers, Gisborne, lepers. The sheriff’s words come back to him as he pulls himself up onto his bunk and buries his face in his pillow.

“He is asleep,” Guy hears Djaq telling Much, “but we should keep some food for him for when he wakes. He will be hungry.”

When I wake, I will find a sword and run Hood through, Guy thinks, grinding his teeth together in an effort not to cry out in torment. Except he can’t. Because Robin saved his life today, and because deep down Guy knows Marian loves Robin Hood, has probably always loved Robin Hood. Guy just didn’t want to see it, to believe it could be true.

He recalls the way Robin showed him how to shinny up to the upstairs windows of Locksley, should any shinnying be required of him as Guy takes part in more and more of Robin’s thievery. Locksley Manor and Knighton Hall – before he burned Knighton Hall down, that is – are similar in design. That’s how Marian got that necklace back, Guy realises. Robin was there. Somehow, he got hold of it and passed it to Marian through the window. Suddenly, many things are starting to make sense. Guy wishes to God they didn’t.

He rolls onto his back, stares at the interlacing branches above his head, forming the roof of the sleeping quarters where the gang, and now he, sleeps. I’ve been a fool, he thinks, warm tears sliding from the corners of his eyes and plopping onto his pillow. Marian doesn’t stay at the castle for her weak-willed father, or for the comforts, such as they are, of a walled and turreted stronghold. She stays there because it suits her purpose, suits Robin’s purpose. Because she is the spy, the one who listens at the sheriff’s keyhole, who coaxes him, Guy, into telling her more than he should. She is the one who tells Robin everything he needs to know so the outlaws can stay one step ahead of the sheriff.

“You are in great pain,” Djaq says, hurrying to Guy’s side, spilling bread and ale in her haste to tend to him.

Guy simply nods, unable to tell her the real reason for his tears.

“Let me remove the bindings, take a look,” Djaq says. “I am sure I cleaned the wound well, but there is still every chance of infection.” She makes to untie the strips of linen. Guy swats her hand away. Djaq cradles her batted hand, glares at him. “What was that for?”

“I am sorry,” Guy says, guiltily remembering all the kindnesses Djaq has shown him these past two weeks, knowing she is not to blame for Marian’s deceitfulness. “I don’t like being meddled with, that’s all. The pain is diminishing now. I think I must have been lying awkwardly.”

“Apology accepted,” Djaq says, picking up the food and drink. “Would you like to sit, eat and drink something?”

Guy wriggles up the bed, leans against the woven branches behind him. Taking his anger out on Djaq is not the answer. He wants to make Marian and Robin pay for their lies, but starving himself is not going to accomplish that. “Thank you,” he says, accepting the mug of ale and a hunk of bread.

“You’re welcome,” Djaq says, smiling as she watches Guy take a nibble of bread, followed by a mouthful of ale.

Fresh tears well in Guy’s eyes. Why couldn’t she be Marian?

“You are in pain,” Djaq says, seizing the opportunity to fiddle with Guy’s bandages, his hands presently occupied holding the drink and bread.

Yes, Guy thinks. I am in the worst kind of pain, but you won’t find it only in my sword-skewered leg. This time, he lets Djaq unwrap his bandages, clean the already clean wound and redress his leg. He puts down the bread, knowing he will not be able to get any more of it past the painful lump in his throat. He does manage to drink all the ale, though, and asks Djaq if she might fetch him some more.

“Of course,” she says, “but I will add water this time. You seem in less pain now and there is no need to succumb to drunkenness, especially not on an empty stomach.”

“No water,” Guy snaps.

“Yes, water,” Djaq says, her face stern. “When it comes to all things medicinal in this camp, I am the one who has to deal with it and I will not waste my time cleaning up the contents of your stomach.”

“Why not?” Guy thrusts the empty mug into Djaq’s hand. “After all, you cleaned up my—”

“Do not,” Djaq says, dark brown eyes glinting in anger, “think you can treat me like your slave just because—”

“You are the infidel, a Saracen,” Guy interrupts. “You are lucky to have your life.”

“What is the matter with you?” Djaq asks. “I realise you’ve been hurt, but that is no reason to—”

“You know nothing of my hurt, woman.” Guy turns away from her. Djaq lays a placating hand on his bare shoulder. He flinches.

“Something is troubling you,” she says. “Something more than your injured leg. What is it? Maybe I can help.”

“You cannot help.”

“I am good at listening. Maybe you could—”

A horse whinnies and Robin shouts, “Whoa there.”

Guy turns over, stares intently at Djaq. “Robin gained himself a horse as well as that chest of coin, did he?”

“The guards had horses. Robin—”

“Spare me your lies.” Guy sits and swings his legs off the bed, making Djaq scrabble backwards. “I was awake the whole of the time I was lying in those thorny fucking bushes. I know there were no horses left when we moved off. If there had been, then John and Allan wouldn’t have needed to half-drag me back to the camp.”

Djaq lowers her eyes. “The horse is Marian’s. She came to speak with Robin.”

“About what?”

“I do not know,” Djaq says, coming to her feet and retrieving the empty mug. “I do not listen to their private conversations.”

“No,” Guy says. “I bet you don’t.”

“I will fetch your ale,” Djaq says, turning and pushing the curtain aside.

Guy thinks about going after her despite the pain in his leg. He thinks about dragging her back to his bunk and telling her exactly what he believes the nature of Robin and Marian’s private conversations are. Honeyed words, roaming hands, lips and tongues, skin on skin.

Guy howls in frustrated agony – let them think his leg pains him – and falls back onto his bed. His happy, contented world, this new world he has become part of, is shattered, blown to smithereens. Marian loves Robin Hood. True, she might think highly of Guy for leaving the vile sheriff, for becoming the good man she wants him to be, but what good is that? One day, and probably quite soon knowing his luck, Guy will find himself dangling at the end of a rope when one of Hood’s moneymaking schemes goes wrong, or the next blade will find his chest rather than his leg. He is sure Marian will speak fondly of him were he to die in such a manner, but that is little comfort to him in the here and now.

It isn’t fair, Guy thinks, rolling onto his stomach and burying his face once more into his pillow, letting the tears come. It just isn’t fair.
meridian_rose: black sails, silver smiles (robinhood)

[personal profile] meridian_rose 2013-09-16 02:04 pm (UTC)(link)
I love the calling out of Robin's hypocrisy - he doesn't kill, only he does, so long as they're nameless extras!

A fantastic piece, full of angst. I loved it :D