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jadey36 ([personal profile] jadey36) wrote in [community profile] bbc_robinhood2013-07-09 10:21 am

Boys Will be Boys

Title: Boys Will be Boys
Author: [personal profile] jadey36
Prompt: tide
Rating: pg-13
Character/s: Robin, Allan, John, Much, Will, Djaq
Warnings: nudity (implied, really)
Summary: Robin and the gang decide to humour Djaq.
Word Count: 1,249
Disclaimer: Robin Hood belongs to Tiger Aspect and the BBC. No copyright infringement intended. All rights reserved.

Boys Will be Boys

“Djaq’s right.” Robin lets go of Much’s upraised arm. “We do stink. Which is why,” he says, before anyone starts protesting, “we are going to have a bath.”

“I knew having a girl in the gang was a mistake.” John flicks his eyes at Djaq. She is sitting by the fire pit, mixing another one of her weird pastes, out of earshot.

“Will, tell them,” Robin smiles.

“Er...yes, well. I’ve made us a bath, a big one.”

“Shall we, lads.” Robin starts striding towards the trees, beckoning his men to follow him. Muttering, they do so.

Some distance from the camp, they come to a clearing. In it, stands a structure made from strips of smoothed tree trunk plugged with a mixture of soil, clay, animal dung and straw. It is full of water.

“Blimey,” Allan says. “You were right about it being big. We could sail to France in that.”

“You’ll be sailing to France if you don’t get in it,” Robin says, unbuckling his quiver. “Djaq’s threatened to leave unless we make ourselves smell better and, even though she can’t cook, I’m sure you’ll all agree that we would greatly miss her medical skills.”

Allan vigorously nods his head. Only two days ago, Djaq’s herbal remedies had saved him from using up all the leaves in the forest, he having stupidly swallowed the horrible mulch of leaves when she’d specifically told him to spit them out.

“So,” Robin says. “Shall we?”

“What all of us?” Much asks. “At the same time?”

“It’ll be a lot quicker,” Robin points out. “Why. Not shy, are you?”

“No. It’s just that it does look rather deep.”

“You’re going to have a bath,” Robin points out, “not learn the breaststroke.”

One by one, the men shed their clothes.

“Nice staff,” Allan says, glancing at Little John.

John growls and stomps towards the bath. He steps onto a smoothed tree stump and jumps in with a howl. Will gets in next, running his hands over the sides of the bath as he does so, smiling an ‘I-told-you-I-was-good-with-wood’ smile. Allan whoops, charges towards the bath, hooks his hands on the rim and vaults in, landing with a splash and earning another growl from John. Laughing, Robin does likewise. The men arrange themselves along the sides of the bath.

“Now what?” Much asks.

“What do you mean, now what?” Robin says.

“I mean how long do we have to stay in here? Only the water’s quite cold and I’ve supper to organise.”

“We stay in here until I say otherwise,” Robin says.

“Can I sing?” Much asks.

Robin shakes his head. “Definitely no singing.”

“You know,” Much says. “A smaller man would be offended. A smaller man would—”

“There is no smaller man,” Robin grins, pointing at Much’s manhood.

“It’s the cold water. It makes—” Much pokes his tongue at Robin. “Ha, ha, very funny.”

“Here.” Will hands a whitish lump to Robin. “Djaq uses this when she washes. She calls it sope.”

Robin gives it a sniff, recoils, shrugs and rubs under his armpits and then over the rest of his body. Finished, he tosses it to Much. It slips through Much’s hands and sinks to the bottom of the bath.

“Master, I am not going to—”

“Oh, don’t be such a wimp.” Allan pinches his nose and dives under the water, quickly re-emerging with the sope. He gives it to Much and then dives back under, proceeding to tickle everyone’s feet, much to their disgruntlement.

“We’re supposed to be washing, not playing games,” Will says, as Allan emerges, spitting water.

“Not being funny, but this ain’t exactly a laugh a minute. I’m just trying to have a bit of fun. No harm in that.”

“Indeed there isn’t.” Robin climbs out of the bath. Picking up a sack, he tips a load of apples into the bathwater.

“I was going to make an apple pie out of that lot,” Much says, eyeing the apples as they bob around in the water.

“Well, as Allan says, if we’re going to do this washing lark we might as well enjoy ourselves. So how about a game of apple bobbing.”

Allan grins, Will rolls his eyes and Much looks dubious. John simply sits, arms folded, scowling. However, after a short argument over the rules – which Robin wins, of course – the men start to warm to the game. Even John joins in. After that, they play chase the sope until it’s melted away and dive-bombing, which involves Much’s skullcap, an arrow and a willingness to revert to childhood.

By the time the games are over and everyone is as clean as the day they were born, cleaner possibly, evenfall is approaching.

“I haven’t had this much fun since Much tried to catch that goose,” Allan grins.

Robin slaps Will on the back. “Well done, Will.”

Will looks at his handiwork. “We must have been filthy. That’s quite a tidemark we’ve left. It’ll take me a month of Sundays to scrape that off.”

Full of apple and bathwater, the squeaky-clean gang return to the camp.

Upon their arrival, Djaq gives them all a sniff and declares their bath a triumph. It is too late to catch supper, so the men drink ale and pass the time thinking up new bath games while Will quietly sits whittling, a smile upon his face.

The next day, at the insistence of Robin, the men head for another bath. Much’s protests die as Will hands him a beautifully carved wooden duck. John’s scowl disappears when he finds he can drag his fingers through his grizzly matted hair for the first time ever. Robin shinnies up a nearby tree and plays ‘shoot the parchment boat’ much to everyone’s horror. Allan closes his eyes and, against all the odds, snoozes. Everyone is happy.

This time, they stay in the bath until it is dark. When Djaq asks what they will eat for supper Robin sheepishly tells her they haven’t had time to catch anything, but that they do smell nice. They make do with bread and water. And more ale, of course.

On the third day of their bathing frenzy, Allan brings the ale along, Much has a whole flock of ducks to play with and Will starts building something he says will shower rain on their heads. Allan manages to tip the keg of ale into the bath, much to everyone’s displeasure, but redeems himself when he devises a game called Here Comes the Tide, which involves two teams making waves by kicking furiously. The first team to get a duck to hit the other team’s side of the bath wins.

When they finally decide they’d better get back to camp, they find an irate-looking Djaq striding towards them. The men quickly lower themselves into the bathwater in an effort to preserve both their modesty and Djaq’s likely innocence.

“What are you doing?” Djaq asks.

“Bathing,” Robin says.

“And what about supper?” Djaq says, hands on hips.

“We...er...” Much tries to swish the wooden ducks behind his back.

“And what about the village drop-offs, and Nottingham, and a certain cartload of taxes heading through the forest.” Djaq looks pointedly at the men in turn.

Robin shrugs. “Where would be the fun in that?”

“You know,” Djaq says. “I think I preferred you lot when you were smelly.”

Robin eyes the gang, grins. “Shall we give Djaq a bath, lads?”

The men stand.

Djaq squeals, and runs.

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