constynse4: (Default)
constynse4 ([personal profile] constynse4) wrote in [community profile] bbc_robinhood2013-07-03 08:40 pm

Hoodie Prompt #6 Fever

Title: Fever
Author/Artist: [personal profile] constynse4
Prompt: #6 Fever
Rating: G/PG I dunno - does Damn it count?
Character/s: Robin, Marian
Pairing/s: Robin/Marian
Summary: Pre season 1, Robin reaches a decision
Warnings: None, except this is my first fic, read a your own risk-I have an unhealthy addiction to prepositional phrases

Word Count: Approx 1975

Disclaimer: Robin Hood and it’s characters belong to Tiger Aspect, Plain Vanilla LTD and the BBC. No copyright infringement was intended. All rights reserved

Author's/Artist's Notes: Thank you Railise for all your help with editing and posting this story .For being patient with my ineptitude (is that a real word) Also thank you for starting the Hoodie prompts site and for all the work that you put into maintaining it.

"After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well…" - William Shakespeare

Robin trotted down the stairs into the Great Hall, impatiently passing two older lords. He didn’t have time to attend the Council of Nobles today, but he couldn’t afford not to. As the youngest member of the council, he often felt patronized; even though he worked harder and cared more conscientiously for the peasants under his care than any of the other lords in the province.

Already this morning, he had been working to rebuild Jeffery’s barn, which was lost a fortnight ago in a fire. The crops were waiting to be collected but needed to be stored, or they would spoil. That loss would cause a strain on the winter stores of the entire village.

The Council was to discuss a change in Market Day procedures, and although Robin wanted to be heard on the subject, he felt torn by his obligations. He threw himself into his chair and absentmindedly rubbed his throbbing temple. With the storm approaching, he could feel a massive headache coming on, and he was also mindful of the swollen finger he had injured a few days earlier.

The meeting finally started and progressed much too slowly for Robin. Marian was seated at the head table, off to the side of her father and his clerk. Today, Robin barely glanced at her as she called his name to speak.

“Market Day should continue to start at dawn,” began Robin. “The farmers in my village need to be able to sell their wares as soon as they can, and then get back to their farms to complete the daily work. If farmers from farther villages need to they can start later, giving them time to travel to Nottingham on the day of the Market. After all, they are farmers first, and not merchants” As Robin finished the sentence, he was suddenly aware of a ringing in his ears and blackness shrinking his field of vision. He gripped his chair and steadied himself before he slowly sank into the seat.

Marian had been watching his haggard appearance with concern and noted his sudden deathly pallor. Robin mumbled an apology and swiftly made his way to the kitchen passageway at the back of the hall. He was desperate to get out and wanted to avoid the main stairs. Damn it, why had he insisted Much stay behind and continue working? As he passed through the door, he leaned back onto the cold stone wall, just as his knees started to buckle. Before he knew what was happening, he felt someone bracing his arm.

“Winston, take Lord Locksley to the blue guest chamber – he is not well. I will follow.” It was Marian, and Robin was glad to hear her voice. Although he would have loved to protest, he really didn’t have the strength. He was grateful when he felt arms pulling him up as he began to sink down the wall. He quickly found himself in a large guest room in the castle; where Marian hurried in with a jug of cold water and a few cloths. “Get that jacket off, Robin, and drink this.”

Seriously…? he thought. I feel like I’m dying, and she is scolding me?

“What have you done to yourself this time? You look horrid,” she said as she scanned his face worriedly.

“Good morning, Marian. You are looking quite well today. And, thank you for the charming hospitality,” he replied, struggling to attempt some light hearted teasing, even if he wasn’t quite able to pull off the cheeky grin that usually accompanied it. He gulped the water appreciatively and swung his legs around. “I have to get back, Marian- they need me.” But as his feet hit the floor, he realized that standing up quickly was probably not the best idea. Things started to get foggy as Marian shoved him back into the soft pillows.

“Boots off, Locksley. I sent for Matilda. You may as well get comfortable, because you’re not leaving 'till she checks you.” She pulled his boots off, helped him out of his jacket, and watched with concern, as he didn’t struggle nearly as much as she would have expected. He looked tired, pale and dazed.

“Robin, have you eaten?”

“Probably. I… don’t remember,” Robin answered truthfully. The servant had brought in a tray with bread, honey and cheese. Marian handed Robin a piece which he nibbled under her watchful glare.

“You may as well rest a bit while you wait,” said Marian, but she didn’t know if Robin had even heard her, as his eyes drifted shut. She leaned over slowly, so as not to wake him, and rested the back of her hand on his forehead. My god. He was burning up. “Oh, Matilda, where are you?” she hissed under her breath.

Marian watched Robin as she waited. She was struck by how much younger he looked as he slept. He had had to grow up quickly, and although his premature maturity was often eclipsed by his juvenile pranks and incessant teasing, he was remarkably earnest where his duties were concerned. She placed the cool cloth on his fevered forehead and longed to curl up next to him. You need someone to care for you - you need a wife, she thought.

When Matilda arrived, she found Robin asleep but restless. His forehead was hotter than she cared to see, and she wiped his face with the cool cloth to wake him. “Now then, my boy,” she started evenly. “What seems to be the trouble with you?”

As she grabbed his hand to check his pulse, she brushed his finger, and he shot up in bed with a yelp of pain. Matilda frowned and turned his hand to observe an angry, swollen cut that appeared to be infected. Robin shook his head. “It's nothing; just a cut. I caught a splinter when we were pulling down the old fence.”

“Well,” began Matilda as she looked it over, “I believe the splinter is still in there, and it needs to come out if you want to get rid of the infection and keep the finger. “ Marian, fetch a flask of your father’s best brandy.”

Marian ran off, and Matilda began rummaging in her bag. “She’ll be back soon, Locksley. Do you want to wait for the brandy, or get it out while we’re alone?” She dapped a sticky liquid on the wound.

“Now,” said Robin determinedly, through clenched teeth.

“Good. I put something on it to numb the pain, but this will still hurt like the devil, so let’s get on with it.” Matilda dug out the splinter as quickly as she could but it was a nasty piece of work. When Marian got back Robin was sweating and exhausted, but conscious.

“Let me check that to be sure it’s strong enough.” Matilda took a gulp of the wine and winked at Robin, and then passed him the cup. “Drink up, Locksley,” she said sternly and raised her eyebrows to prompt him to go along. “This will really hurt, I’m afraid,” she said for Marian's benefit. She made a show of taking out the absent splinter, and allowed Robin to look good as she finished cleaning the wound. As she bandaged him up, she gave Marian instructions. “Do not let him go home tonight. I will check on him tomorrow. Watch for any worsening of the fever, though the infection should start to lessen now that it is clean.”

Marian pulled her chair over to the bed. Robin smiled weakly and tried to keep his eyes open, but gave up under the influence of the fever and Edward's brandy.

He tossed fitfully and woke several times during the night before his fever broke, after which he slept more soundly. When Marian had dined with her father, Edward insisted that she leave Robin to someone else’s care, so Marian’s lady's maid stayed until Much showed up. During the night however, Marian crept back in and kept a vigil at Robin’s side while Much dozed.

As Robin started to open his eyes, he had the distinct realization that he was not in his bedroom in Locksley. He was conscious of a soft hand on his arm, and as his eyes became adjusted to the candlelight, he realized that it was Marian. She was seated in a chair pulled up to his bed, but in her exhaustion had fallen asleep, resting her head on the blanket.

“Marian,” sighed Robin. He had dreamed of wakening with her by his side, but this scenario was not what he had in mind. A sharp snore confused Robin, until he realized that it was Much at the far end of the room. He knew that Marian would be uncomfortable sleeping like this, so after a moment's consideration in which he justified that Much was a suitable chaperone, Robin pulled Marian onto the bed beside him. She was lovely he thought, and she was his. How had he gotten so lucky? And yet, why was he considering jeopardizing that luck?

Robin wanted - no, needed - to earn her respect, to earn his title. Since his father died, he had always felt that the other lords did not take him seriously. No matter how hard he worked, how much he sacrificed or how diligent he was that the village peasants were cared for, it was not enough. He sometimes thought that when he was twice these twenty years they would still call him, "the boy lord" behind his back. He needed to earn the respect of the other lords, of Marian's father, and of Marian. He needed to prove himself to them and, truth be told, to himself. He needed to prove that the title dropped on his slight shoulders at the young age of ten was well deserved. He needed to test his mettle in defense of England and of his king. The more he thought about it, the more he knew it was the only way. In fact, thinking about it these last two weeks had been why Robin had worked so hard to settle everything that he could in order to get the village in a better state by the time he would have to leave.

And then, there was Marian. He and Marian had grown up together and he had loved her long before he even realized it. But, she deserved someone worthy of her love. Robin and Marian had been promised, and Edward would never go back on the promise to Robin’s dead father. They were due to marry when Marian reached sixteen, but he had seen it in Edward's eyes. Robin knew that Edward felt Marian deserved better. So, Robin would prove that he was better - better than anyone else, for Marian. He brushed a wayward curl off her face as she slept. He would send a letter to Sheridan, the trainer of the king’s guard, telling him of his intent to join the regiment.

Although Robin was tired again, he couldn’t bear missing the opportunity to be alone with Marian. Robin smiled as another snore reminded him that they were not, strictly speaking, “alone”. Now that he had made up his mind, he knew that he should tell Marian of his plans, but it was not the time to be a hero just yet. He would be a coward on this count and take all the happiness he could, as long as he was able. She would be furious. He moved closer and fell back to sleep smiling, because knew that he would wake beside Marian.

Five years later, the irony would not be lost on him that a fever had provoked him in his decision to leave her - and a fever would be what sent him back home to her.

jadey36: (Default)

[personal profile] jadey36 2013-07-04 08:22 am (UTC)(link)
I wouldn't know it was your first fic reading it, so bravo!

I enjoyed reading Robin's thoughts about the need to prove himself, both to his peasants and to Marian and Edward, hence his decision to go to war. And the last line wraps it up nicely.
lonespark: (Default)

[personal profile] lonespark 2013-07-04 03:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Agree, no way your inexperience is obvious...

I would love to read more about YoungLord!Robin
railise: (Ben - ich liebe dich)

[personal profile] railise 2013-07-04 09:24 pm (UTC)(link)
No ineptitude, at all-- you wrote a great story!! And, I really like what you added to it. :)

Well done!