jadey36: (guy long hair)
jadey36 ([personal profile] jadey36) wrote in [community profile] bbc_robinhood2014-04-28 02:20 pm

Getting it Right

Title: Getting it Right
Author: [personal profile] jadey36
Rating: pg-13
Characters: Guy, Marian, Djaq, Robin, Will, Little John, Allan, Much
Summary: The outlaws, with the exception of Djaq, have been captured by mercenaries. Guy has to give Marian the unhappy news.
Word Count: 5,493
Disclaimer: Robin Hood belongs to Tiger Aspect and the BBC. No copyright infringement intended. All rights reserved.
Author’s Note: Further fic in the Outlaw Guy series.

1 – A Different Life
2 – Fitting In
3 – Falling Apart
4 – Back to Black
5 - A Glimmer of Hope
6 – Trapped
7 – Blood, Wine and Promises
8 - A Way Back
9 - Trust




Getting it Right

Guy drops Robin’s Saracen bow, arrow-stuffed quiver and scimitar at Marian’s feet.

She stares at the weapons for a moment, then raises her head and asks quietly, “What happened?”

Guy’s mouth is chalk-dry, his stomach hollow and hurting.

As he rode to meet Robin and the others, he had smiled to himself, imagining the pleased look on Marian’s face when she learned of Guy’s ingenuity, tricking the sheriff into thinking he was Vaisey’s man once again. He’d imagined Marian hugging him, congratulating him on turning against his evil benefactor, on becoming the better man she had long wished him to be. Those hopes and dreams were in tatters now.

“I’m sorry.” He swallows, licks his dry lips. “I didn’t mean for...” He shifts his weight onto his good leg. If Marian punches him, which is no more than he deserves, he would rather not end up in a heap on the ground.

“I will tell her.” Djaq grabs his arm, pulls him towards an upturned barrel. “You need to sit down before you fall down.”

Gratefully, Guy plonks onto the barrel. He listens as Djaq quickly and calmly tells Marian what happened at Dead Man’s Crossing, explaining why she and Guy escaped capture. When she finishes the sorry tale, Marian picks up Robin’s bow and slides an arrow from his quiver. Expertly, she nocks the arrow.

“Fool!” she says, aiming the arrow at Guy’s chest.

He shivers despite the warm summer evening.

“Marian, no!” Djaq cries.

Marian lets the arrow fly. The iron-tipped ash shaft swishes past Guy’s right ear, grazing his long hair. It thuds into a tree a few yards behind him.

Shoving the bow into Djaq’s hands, Marian stomps towards him.

“Fool,” she says again, standing over him. “Did you not think to check your horse’s hooves before you left the castle?”

Guy would prefer a fist in his face than have to admit his feeble-mindedness. “I didn’t think that—”

“Precisely!” Marian cuts across him. “You didn’t think.”

“Marian, believe me. I was certain the sheriff trusted me. Obviously, I am not as good at deception and you were.”

She slaps him. The sharp crack sends nearby roosting birds into the sky, emitting shrill cries of alarm as they fly from the trees.

Guy’s smacked cheek smarts, is doubtless reddening. He doesn’t care. He deserves it, both for his foolishness and for his intentionally hurtful remark about Marian’s double-dealing. He also deserves her look of acute disappointment. It seems he is as much a failure as an outlaw as he was as Vaisey’s master-at-arms. Perhaps he should volunteer to collect the night soil from Nottingham’s streets, though, knowing his luck, he’d probably muck that up as well.

“Stop it, both of you.” Djaq steps in between them. “This is not going to help Robin and the others.”

Marian steps back a pace, glaring at Guy over Djaq’s shoulder.

Djaq says, “It is not Guy’s fault. He did everything you asked him to do. And he came to meet Robin as we asked, despite being in great pain.”

Marian’s face softens. “You are right. I am sorry.”

“No,” Guy says, standing and gently nudging Djaq aside. “I made a stupid mistake. I should have known that deceiving the sheriff wouldn’t be as easy as that. I should not have trusted him.”

Marian shakes her head and sighs. “No, it’s my fault. I should not have asked you to take my place. I should have stayed at the castle.”

“Do not blame yourself,” he says, resisting the urge to touch her arm or stroke her cheek in a gesture of sympathy. “I gave you little choice in the matter. You knew as well as I that Robin would not welcome me back, not after harming one of his gang. You also knew I had nowhere else to go, or enough coin to make a new life away from Nottingham.”

“No,” he says forcefully, when it looks as if Marian is about to protest. “Hear me out.”

She gives a small nod and Guy continues. “I want to bring the sheriff down – me! I want to deal the killing blow. And by God if it weren’t for Prince John’s threat of razing Nottingham, I would gladly go back to the castle right now and lop the sheriff’s head off.”

“If Robin dies,” Marian says, her eyes bright with the wash of tears, “I think you’ll find I’m first in line for that particular task.”

“Robin is not going to die,” Djaq says, eyes blazing, face determined. “None of them are. We are going to save them.”

Marian wipes her eyes and gives Djaq a small smile. “You’re right. We have to rescue them.”

“We?” Guy says. “As in us three?”

“If your leg is not up to it, then Djaq and I will do it. You can stay here.” Purposeful now, Marian’s tone is brisk.

“Are you mad? The two of you, up against not only the sheriff’s guards, but also quite possibly those mercenaries who got the better of Robin Hood.”

“Do you have a better suggestion?”

Guy shakes his head. “No I don’t, but I’m coming with you.”

“Then we need to make a plan.” Marian starts to pace.

Djaq tugs on Guy’s sleeve. “Sit while you can, rest your leg. It is a long walk to Nottingham.”

Guy sits on the barrel eyeing Marian as she walks around the camp, deep in thought. “She’s serious about rescuing Robin and the others, isn’t she?”

Djaq crouches in front of him. “Marian loves Robin and when you love someone you will do anything for them.”

“Including learning to live without them?”

“Yes,” Djaq says, placing a hand on his knee. “That, too.”

Marian stops her pacing. “I have a plan,” she says, striding towards them.

~

“The postern gate,” Guy interrupts, “is also guarded.”

“Yes, I know,” Marian says. “But there are fewer guards than on the main gate and those who are normally posted there are all in Robin’s pay. How do think we found it so easy to get in and out of Nottingham? Someone was bound to wonder why the castle constantly needed cartloads of cabbages or straw, so Robin bribed the guards working on the postern gate to let us in, night and day. Getting into the castle will be the tricky part.”

“Hardly,” he says. “You all seem to walk in and out of that place as if you own it. It couldn’t be any easier if we gave you your own front door key.”

“Not now the sheriff has sealed so many of our ways in,” Marian says, an annoyed edge to her voice.

“Allan did not give them all away,” Djaq says, quick to defend the sandy-haired outlaw. “We can get in through the cold room at the back of the kitchens.”

Djaq explains to Guy that when she came to tend his leg, she, Allan and Robin gained access to the castle through a small grating that led into a room full of hanging wildfowl, behind the castle kitchens.

“What if they’re not there,” Guy points out. “What if the sheriff, knowing the number of times Robin has escaped the castle before, has taken them somewhere else.”

“They have to be there,” Marian says. “The sheriff wants Robin hanging in the castle courtyard, for all of Nottingham to see.”

“Marian is right,” Djaq says. “The sheriff will not be robbed of this prize, surely.”

Guy nods, inclined to agree.

“We must go tonight, right now,” Marian says. “The sheriff will waste no time in hanging them; I’m certain of that.”

Bone-weary, his injured leg throbbing, Guy wants nothing more than to lie down and sleep. The thought of walking all the way to Nottingham is not a happy one.

Noticing his glum expression, Djaq insists that she and Marian will gather what they need in the way of water, food and weapons while he rests.

Giving her a grateful smile, Guy closes his eyes, hoping he doesn’t fall asleep and topple off the barrel.

What seems like only a dozen heartbeats later, someone touches the back of his hand. He opens his eyes.

“Time to go,” Djaq says, with an apologetic smile.

~

Marian has changed into her Night-watchman attire. She explains that if someone sees them escaping the castle it will fool the sheriff into thinking that the Night-watchman freed the prisoners and not the Lady Marian. Guy approves.

She hands him a dagger. “There are no spare clothes for you I’m afraid.”

“That’s all right,” he says, sliding the dagger into a small sheath attached to his belt. “If we are lucky enough to pull off this rescue, I very much want the sheriff to know I was part of it.”

“Here,” Djaq says, tearing off two hunks of day-old bread and handing them to Guy and Marian. “To keep our strength up. And now we go, yes?”

“Are you certain we’ll be able to find our way in the dark?” Guy asks.

“I have ridden or walked through this forest since I was a girl,” Marian says. “I could find my way blindfold.”

Guy tears into the bread, trying to push away the images of a young Marian, laughing, her skirts flying, as she chased after, or was fleeing from, Robin of Locksley, the Earl of Huntingdon’s son, Guy’s childhood tormentor.

“We will still need light,” Djaq says, holding up a flaming torch.

Guy follows Marian and Djaq as they lead the way. He glances behind him for a final look at the camp before it is lost from sight. He wonders if he, indeed any of them, will ever see it again.

~

With thick cloud obscuring the moon, their only light source is that from Djaq’s flickering torch.

Several times, Guy stumbled on unseen roots and brambles littering the forest path, until his eyes grew more accustomed to the dark. Twice, Djaq caught him with her free hand, saving him from ending up in an undignified sprawl on the ground.

Marian had kept up a steady pace, seemingly not needing more than a thin glow of light to find her way through the trees and stay on the track that will eventually lead them out of Sherwood and towards Nottingham.

The day had been warm but darkness has quickly chilled the air and despite their fast pace, Guy shivers.

When Marian signals a stop to answer the call of nature, he takes the opportunity to walk beside her, keeping pace with her brisk stride, tolerating the pain from his injured leg.

On hearing him make a small sound, Marian asks, “What is it?”

Guy again clears his throat, says, “I wanted to thank you for saving me from Robin’s arrow, in the cave.”

“I did not think you deserved to die in such a way.”

“And do I deserve to die in another way perhaps?” His words are flat, without levity.

Marian gives an exasperated sigh. “I do not want either of you to die; not Robin and not you.”

“Marian, I want you to know that when I was with Vaisey I didn’t...” He trails off, as Marian, mumbling something about needing to hurry, forges ahead of him.

Determined to continue speaking to her lest this be the last time they will have such an opportunity, Guy lengthens his stride, painful though it is, and catches up with her.

Not attempting to accommodate his hobbling gait, Marian says, “If you’re about to apologise for your crimes, all the wrongs you have committed, please save your breath. The past is the past and nothing we say or do can change that. I don’t want the burden of your confessions, your pleas for forgiveness. All that matters now is what happens in the next few hours. All that matters is saving Robin and the others. Do you understand?”

“Yes. I understand.”

Relenting, Marian slows her pace.

They walk a few more yards in silence and then Guy asks, “When will you wed Robin?” He isn’t sure why he is asking such a question when being reminded of the end of his dream of winning and marrying Marian is the last thing he wants. Perhaps speaking of a happy future for her and Robin is his way of apologising to her for failing to check his destrier’s hooves, leading the mercenaries straight to Robin, the man she loves.

“We will marry when the king returns.”

When the king returns. She had given Guy the same answer when he coerced her into accepting his marriage proposal. Perhaps she does not want to marry at all.

“And if the king does not return?” he asks.

“He will. He must.”

“But if he doesn’t?” He knows it’s wrong to cling to the hope that there may still be a chance of winning Marian, but her answer is enough to rekindle the flame he thought extinguished. If Robin should die before the king returns while he and Marian both live, might she, once her grief has passed, turn to Guy? After all, he is an outlaw now, proving beyond all doubt that he is capable of change, that he can be a better man.

“Must we talk of this now?” Marian snaps.

Guy mumbles an apology.

“Dawn will be here soon,” she says, staring angrily at the sky. “We must move faster.”

Guy cannot keep up with her pace and falls behind. Djaq startles him when she touches his arm; he had almost forgotten she was behind them, so light of foot is she.

“I found you this,” she says, handing him a length of branch. “It might ease your walking.”

“Thank you.” Guy is surprised to find that Djaq is right; it does indeed make walking a little easier.

“I heard what you and Marian spoke of,” Djaq says. “I too have wondered why they have not already wed. Perhaps they are afraid of losing their identities, their sense of purpose in these troubling times, or perhaps they fear making such a commitment, knowing all that it entails. Or maybe it is nothing more than superstition, believing that if they wed before the king is safely back on English soil he will somehow meet his death.”

“I hardly think one couple’s nuptials will affect whether the king lives or dies,” Guy scoffs.

“I did not say it is in any way true; I just meant that it might be their lucky charm, as it were: the king will live so he can come home and bless the marriage of the man who saved his life in the Holy Land.”

Guy glances at Djaq, wondering if she’s forgotten that it was he, dressed as a Saracen, who attacked the king in his tent, only to be set upon by a badly wounded Robin.

He opens his mouth and then clamps it shut, thinking better of telling Djaq what he thinks about their superstition, if that’s indeed all it is. He even dares to think that the delaying of their marriage might have something to do with him.

“How is your leg?” Djaq asks, changing the subject.

“Bearable. The staff is helping.”

Guy doesn’t want to think about what might happen once they reach Nottingham, nor what might happen if, by some miracle, they manage to rescue the outlaws. His injured leg will make it difficult to fight and almost impossible to run.

“We will not leave you behind,” Djaq says, as if reading his thoughts.

“Unless we can squeeze a horse through that grating of yours, you might have to. Don’t fret. At least I will die knowing that I helped Robin Hood escape the sheriff’s dungeons. It’s a good thought.”

Guy doesn’t want to die, is frightened of death and its aftermath, but Djaq is his friend, possibly his only friend, and he doesn’t want her to risk her life trying to save him.

My friend, he thinks, blinking back sudden tears. I have a friend.

~

With the sky brightening, they no longer need the torch. The trees are starting to thin as they approach the edge of Sherwood and although Marian is now some distance ahead she remains visible.

Following Guy’s ‘good thought’, Djaq had curled her fingers around his cold gloveless hand. She is still holding it now.

“Will Scarlet loves you, I think,” Guy says, breaking the companionable silence between them.

“Yes,” Djaq says, smiling. “I think he does.”

“And do you love him?”

“Yes. I do.”

“Then tell him.”

Guy pulls his hand out of Djaq’s and she stops walking, turning to him with a question in her eyes. He wraps his now warmed hand around hers and, looking deeply into her eyes, says, “Don’t keep him guessing, wondering. Tell him the truth of your heart.”

Djaq looks into the distance, in the direction of Nottingham. “I will. I promise.”

Marian is waiting for them at the edge of the forest. Standing quietly, they stare at the castle, its lines indistinct in the early morning mist.

~

Marian had told it true when she said the guards on the postern gate would let them through without raising the alarm. Evidently, word had quickly spread that Guy of Gisborne had turned traitor and was with the outlaws and, other than a few hateful looks, the guards let him pass unhindered, though one did manage to knock his crude walking stick from under him. Guy hit the dust. The guard in question sniggered and, on gaining his feet, Guy was tempted to smash his fist in the man’s face. Djaq’s cautioning hand on his arm persuaded him otherwise. Leaving the staff behind, Guy had hobbled after Marian who was moving quickly and stealthily towards the castle.

Fortunately, the loosened grating was still undiscovered and, after managing to elude those guards patrolling the castle, the three rescuers found themselves close to the castle dungeons.

“So far so good,” Marian whispers through her mask.

“Possibly too good,” Guy whispers back. “What if this is a trap? What if the sheriff knows we are already here and is waiting for us in the dungeons, ready to surprise us? And what about those mercenaries; where are they?”

“We’ll know soon enough,” Djaq says, dagger in hand. “Are we all ready?”

Guy thinks of the many steps leading down to the dungeon. Please God if they manage to get past the guards at and behind the door, he doesn’t fall down the damn things.

Both he and Marian nod in reply to Djaq’s question.

~

Three guards and one gaoler, all quickly silenced.

It seemed word of Guy’s treachery had reached the guards manning the town gates but not down here, in the bowels of the castle. A hasty lie that Guy had caught Hood’s Saracen woman and the Night-watchman had opened the heavy oak door leading to the dungeons. A hasty dagger in the gut had silenced the guard who’d foolishly turned the key. With Marian and Djaq’s help, Guy dragged the unfortunate man into a nearby garderobe.

Two further guards, swords drawn, had rushed up the dungeon steps demanding to know what was going on.

Marian’s high kick knocked the sword from one guard’s hand and Djaq’s equally high kick dislodged the other guard’s sword.

Guy was still cautiously making his way down the steep steps, concerned about falling and possibly knocking himself out. “Fools!” he shouted at the disarmed guards. “These are prisoners.”

It was clear the guards didn’t believe him, but their fleeting hesitation was enough for Marian to punch her man in the neck, sending him crashing down the stone steps, his helmet clattering after him. He came to rest at the bottom of the stairs, his forehead bloody and bleeding, eyes closed. Djaq’s sword made quick work of the second guard. He fell, ending up on top of his fellow guard.

The gaoler yelled, “Help, help!”

Guy threw his dagger. The blade buried itself in the man’s chest and, with a strangled cry, the gaoler crumpled to the ground, his further cries for help reduced to a phlegmy gargle.

“Quickly. The door,” Djaq hissed.

Knowing Guy’s injured leg would slow him down, Marian sped back up the stairs.

Meanwhile, Djaq bounded down the stairs and unhooked the bunch of keys from the dead gaoler’s belt.

~

“What kept you?” Robin asks. Despite his cheerful manner, it’s clear he’s more than a little relieved to see the rescuers.

“Guy couldn’t find a thing to wear,” Djaq says, turning the key and opening the barred door to the outlaws’ cell.

Robin glances up at Guy, carefully making his way down the stairs.

“Betrayed you, did I?” Guy says, limping over to the freed outlaws and glaring at Much.

Hands on hips, Much opens his mouth to protest, shuts it when he realises he doesn’t know what to say.

“How did you get in?” Robin asks, glancing up at Marian guarding the door, acutely aware of the grave danger they are still in.

“The same way you did when Djaq came to tend me,” Guy replies. “Robin, where are those mercenaries, the ones that followed—”

“Later,” Robin says, holding up a staying hand. “Right now, we have to get out of here before the castle is alerted to our escape.”

“What about getting me out, and the old man next to me?” A woman’s voice, young by the sound of it.

Guy peers into a smaller cell next to the one the outlaws had been in. The old man the girl is referring to is wedged up against the bars. His face is a mass of sores, many of them open, oozing pus. His hair is long and straggly, mostly grey, as is his unkempt beard.

Guy shoves a hand through the bars, taps the old man’s chest. No response. He grips his shoulder and gives him a shake. Still no response. Pressing two fingers to the old man’s scrawny neck, he says. “Dead.”

“I thought he was keeping mighty quiet,” Allan says.

Guy moves to the next cell. In the dimness he can barely make out the girl’s face and figure, especially as she is sitting against the far wall, shielded from the wall-torches’ meagre light.

“Come closer,” Guy says.

“I can’t. I’m chained.”

“The castle will be waking up shortly,” Guy says, “and the guards will change watch. We haven’t got time for this.”

“Heartless bastard,” the girl utters, angrily rattling her chains.

“Give me the keys,” Robin says.

Djaq hands them over. Robin nudges Guy aside. He is just about to unlock the door when Marian hisses, “Robin, trouble.”

Cursing, Robin shoves the keys into Guy’s hand, at the same time lifting Guy’s sword from his scabbard. “Get in with the girl. You cannot fight properly with that leg of yours.”

With a fearful look towards the dungeon door, Guy says, “Scarlet, take this.” He unsheathes his dagger, drops it at his feet and kicks it across the floor. Will picks it up and nods his thanks.

“Marian,” Robin calls. “Here, quickly.”

Unquestioningly, Marian bounds down the stairs, two at a time. Robin ushers everyone back into the open cell. At his insistence, Little John, Allan and Much drag the dead guards and gaoler into the cell with them.

Guy meanwhile has unlocked the girl’s barred door. He limps inside pulling the door shut behind him. Some rescue this is turning out to be.

“What are you—”

“Shush,” Guy says, a finger to his lips. “Robin has a plan; I think.”

Moments later, half a dozen guards burst through the door.

Baffled at seeing no one about, they proceed cautiously down the stairs, weapons drawn. One of them calls out for the gaoler, another for the dungeon guards. When they are all at the bottom of the stairs, Robin and those of the outlaws who are armed rush from their hiding place.

Guy is still trying to work out which key fits the girl’s ankle lock by the time the fight is over, the outlaws having successfully dealt with the sheriff’s guards.

“Aren’t you that Gisborne fellow?” the girl says. “I saw you once...the man in black on his black horse, the big ‘I-am’.”

“I am not that man any more. Now keep still woman. I’m trying to free you.”

The leg iron falls open with a clatter. The girl rubs her chafed ankle.

“What’s your name?” Guy asks, grabbing her arm and jerking her to her feet.

“Meg.”

He looks her up and down. Her dress is not that of a peasant and the chain around her neck must have cost a few marks, unless she stole it of course.

“Why are you in here?”

Meg tugs her arm from Guy’s grasp. “For refusing to marry a man not of my choosing. Three men, in fact. The first was a drunken sot, the second looked like a donkey and the third was a halfwit with the brains of a tree.” Meg flicks her long hair over her shoulders. “I don’t want to marry. Men are so...stupid!”

Considering some of the blunders he’s made recently, Guy is not about to argue with her.

“No woman should be forced to wed a man she does not love,” he says, thinking he should attempt to placate the fiery-tempered girl lest she starts making a racket, alerting more guards to their rescue attempt. It’s only after the words are out that he guiltily remembers his own dishonourable proposal of marriage to Marian.

“That’s what I told my father,” Meg says.

She gives him a shy smile and Guy notices her eyes are blue, like Marian’s.

He asks, “What was your punishment to be?”

“A public flogging and the stocks. They chained me up after I bit the gaoler’s arm.”

“That was not wise.”

“You can say that again; he tasted horrible.” She glances at the outlaws, currently disarming the dead or unconscious guards. “Now, thanks to your rescue, I might end up losing my head.”

“Ungrateful bitch,” Guy mumbles, limping out of the cell.

“I heard that,” Meg retorts.

Djaq is at the top of the steps. She beckons the outlaws up indicating that all is quiet.

Meg picks up her long skirts. “Did you bring anything to eat?” she asks Guy. “All they gave me was water and some maggoty bread.”

“This is a rescue,” Guy says, scowling, “not a fucking picnic.”

Much sheepishly lowers his raised arm. Clearly, he’d been about to ask the same thing.

~

Heart thumping, expecting the sheriff’s roar of ‘Gisborne!’ at any moment, Guy limps behind the outlaws, Meg just in front of him.

Happily, they make it to the kitchens unseen.

With the castle beginning to wake, the servants are already hard at work. Guy watches half grumpily, half admiringly as Robin hands out coin to the sweating, aproned cooks and the children who fetch and carry.

“You haven’t seen us, all right,” Robin says with a wink.

They dutifully nod their heads. Grinning, the head cook opens the door to the cold room. Clearly, a bunch of outlaws passing through the castle kitchens is a regular occurrence.

Meg snatches up a pie from the edge of the table dominating the middle of the room and crams it into her mouth. She notices Guy’s glower. “I’m hungry,” she says, spraying crumbs over him.

“You’ll be dead if you don’t get a move on.”

Guy pushes her into the cold room. Meg collides with a heron hanging from the ceiling. She drops the half-eaten pie, frantically swiping at her long hair.

“It’s dead, you stupid girl,” he says. “It’s hardly going to peck your eyes out.”

“I’m not stupid. And where’s my pie?”

With an exasperated grunt, Guy drops to a bended knee, wincing at the stab of pain in his injured leg. The stinking, bird-hung room is gloomy and it takes him a moment or two to locate the dropped pie.

“Here,” he says, shoving the crumbly pastry into the girl’s outstretched hand.

“It’s got dirt on it now.”

“God’s teeth!” Guy grabs the piece of pie back, brushes it with his unclean hands and hands it back to her.

“Do you want a bite?” she asks, holding the pie under his nose and giving him an apologetic smile.

Guy hasn’t eaten anything since the dry chunk of bread last night and the smell of herb-infused meat and buttery pastry brings a rush of saliva to his mouth.

“Thank you,” he says, leaning in for a mouthful of pie. It tastes delicious.

“If the way’s clear,” Robin says, easing the grating out of the wall, “we stick together. If not, we scatter and meet up at the east gate. If you can’t get to the gate, go to the Trip; Henry will hide you.”

“For a fee,” Allan mutters.

One by one, the outlaws squeeze through the narrow opening, John cursing the chosen escape route when it comes to his turn.

Guy offers to hold the last bit of pie while Meg crawls through the small opening. “I promise not to eat it,” he says.

Giving him a dubious look, Meg passes him the palm-sized piece of pie, turns and eases herself through the rectangular hole in the wall. Guy follows.

“Have it,” Meg says, when he tries to hand back the pie. “You look as if you could do with a bit of feeding.”

“Thank you,” he says, giving Meg one of his rare smiles.

“You’re welcome.” She smiles back.

“Hurry up,” Robin hisses, beckoning frantically. “You can make eyes at one another when we’re well away from Nottingham.”

Guy tears his eyes from Meg’s amused face and scowls at Robin even though he knows Robin is right; he was staring at Meg and she back at him. His heart beats a little faster. Is it possible? Could he be smitten with the girl despite knowing nothing about her, except that she likes pie and considers all men stupid?

No, he thinks, shaking his head as if to shake the thought from his mind. He had told Djaq ‘there can be no other’; and as long as Marian keeps up the excuse of delaying her marriage to Robin until the king returns to England, he might still be in with a chance.

Annoyed by his moment of weakness, he drops the last tasty morsel of pie on the ground and hurries after Robin and the others, his eyes fixed on Marian’s back.

~

Apart from a few bewildered looks from Nottingham’s early morning traders going about their business, the escapees encounter no guard-shaped problems and soon reach the postern gate in the east wall.

“What’s wrong with your leg?” Meg asks, noticing Guy’s limp.

“I was stabbed during an ambush, some days ago. It still pains me.” He glances anxiously behind him, towards the castle. The ease of their escape has him fearing that something is about to go terribly wrong.

Quickly, they slip through the postern gate. The money-grabbing guards shut it behind them. In the distance, still bathed in early morning mist, lies Sherwood. Between the forest and the town walls lies an expanse of open grassland. Guy wishes they had horses.

“You can lean on me if you like,” Meg says, offering up her shoulder.

“Thank you, but I’ll manage.” Guy straightens and, doing his best not to limp, hurries after Robin and the others.

They are almost halfway across the open land, when they hear harsh cries behind them. The postern gate is open. At least twenty mercenaries, waving war hammers above their heads, are heading their way.

“Pick up the pace,” Robin shouts. With Marian at his shoulder, he starts to sprint, Much, Allan and John close on their heels.

Djaq reaches for Will’s hand. He turns to her and she pulls him in for a hasty kiss. Still holding hands, they too start sprinting.

“Come on,” Meg cries, grabbing hold of Guy’s hand.

He stumbles for a few yards and then, tearing his hand from hers, says, “It’s no good. I can’t run any more.”

“You must,” Meg insists, grabbing hold of his sleeve. She looks after the outlaws, none of whom have realised that she and Guy have stopped running. “Ro—”

Guy clamps a hand over her mouth. “I just rescued them, woman. I’m damn well not calling them back so those mercenaries can butcher them. Now run.” He gives her a hefty shove and then smacks onto his knees.

Tears brimming, Meg shakes her head. “No, I’m not leaving you.”

“Please,” he begs. “Run. Live. Find a man who isn’t a donkey or tree-brained.”

“No.” Kneeling on the dewy grass, she buries her head into his chest.

Guy wraps his arms around her. “Girls are so stupid,” he mumbles into her hair, not meaning it at all.

“I always quite liked you, you know,” Meg sobs, clutching his doublet.
meridian_rose: black sails, silver smiles (robinhood)

[personal profile] meridian_rose 2014-04-30 01:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Yay, Meg! Though I'm worried she's in for a similar fate as in canon!