jadey36: (Default)
jadey36 ([personal profile] jadey36) wrote in [community profile] bbc_robinhood2013-09-26 01:57 pm

Back to Black

Title: Back to Black
Author: [personal profile] jadey36
Prompt: stagger
Rating: pg-13
Characters: Guy, Robin, Much, Allan, Will, Djaq, Little John, Marian
Summary: His contented life with the outlaws in tatters, Guy’s thoughts turn to revenge.
Word Count: 1,527
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

Back to Black

His bandaged leg throbbing and burning, Guy inches his way under his narrow camp bed and retrieves his dirt-flecked leathers. He has no choice: Djaq threw the blood-soaked, piss-stained breeches in the fire after Robin cut them off him, along with the muddied, torn shirt. Apart from the uncomfortable braies Much dug out for him, – Robin’s – Guy has no clothes here at the camp other than his discarded leathers, the leathers he swore he would never wear again. He’s not sure why he kept them; possibly to remind himself of the man he once was and hoped never to be again now that he had joined the outlaws.

Guy grimaces. After the roomy outlaw breeches his leathers feel tight, restricting, no room to breathe. He can hardly believe how comfortable he once felt in them.

He dons his black undershirt and doublet, fumbles with belt and buckles, heart fluttering in his chest, the image of Marian kissing Robin still burning behind his teary eyes.

“Does he want bacon?” he hears Much ask. “Only Allan’s taken it, so if he does he’ll just have to—”

“No,” Djaq says, almost sharply. “Just ale. I will fetch it.”

I will miss her, Guy thinks, fastening his sword belt and pulling on his tight-fitting gloves. And I will miss being with people who do not treat me like some whipping boy. The thought of returning to Sheriff Vaisey – he can’t stay here, not now, and where else can he go? – fills Guy with anger and sadness and more than a little fear.

I will concoct a story about being taken hostage, he thinks, glancing around for his heavy black boots and finding them missing. “They are filled with blood and will need cleaning,” he recalls Djaq saying, as John and Allan held him down while Robin cut away his ruined breeches and chided him for moaning about an ‘itty-bitty cut to his leg’. Let’s see if you call it an itty-bitty cut, Guy thinks, when I cut your fucking heart out the way you’ve cut mine out.

He decides to forget about the boots. They will not save him in any event. The moment he has run Hood through, the gang will give chase and, boots or no boots, he knows he has little chance of escaping the outlaws in a forest they know so well and in which he continually finds himself lost.

Lying on his bed, tears leaking from the corners of his eyes, wetting his pillow, Guy had listened to Marian and Robin quietly talking. Had Marian come to give Robin Hood yet another tip-off? He had no way of knowing. If he dragged himself out there and asked her, she would lie. And Robin would lie. Guy hated liars. My mother used to lie to me about my father, and Isabella used to lie to my mother about me. Guy knuckled his eyes, sat. To hell with his earlier vow not to kill Robin because Robin saved his life during the ambush. This was all Hood’s fault; he should have died in the Holy Land; he should not have returned to Nottingham. Without Robin around, Guy would have won Marian’s heart, he is sure of it.

He picks up his sword but makes no move to sheathe it.

“What are you doing?” Djaq asks, pushing the curtain aside, a mug of ale in one hand, Guy’s outlaw tag in the other. “You should be resting.”

“I don’t think so.” Guy’s gloved fingers tighten around the hilt of his sword. I failed to bloody it during the ambush on The Great North Road, but by God I’m going to bloody it now.

“I’ve brought your ale,” Djaq says, glancing anxiously behind her. “And this,” she says, offering Guy the outlaw tag Will fashioned for him.

Guy snatches the tag from her hand, flings it aside.

Djaq steps back a pace, confusion in her deep brown eyes. “I don’t understand.”

“Oh, I think you do. I think you understand very well. After all, I made my feelings for Marian plain enough. How often did she come here to regale you all with her stories about pathetic, love-struck Guy trying, yet again, to court her? Had a good laugh over it, did you? What’s Guy of Gisborne, who has no Gisborne, given her now – another hair bauble, a winged stallion, a fucking great gold-plated house?”

“Guy, you need to calm down. Here.” Djaq offers him the mug of ale. “Sit. Drink.”

He swats it from her hand.

“Something has happened?” Djaq says, wiping a splash of ale from her cheek and edging towards the closed curtain.

“Yes, something has happened. I have woken up. I have realised that I have been played for a fool.”

Marian’s horse whinnies. A heartbeat later, Guy hears the click of her tongue, a jingle of bridle. Marian is leaving the camp. Good. Despite his bitter disappointment at her duplicitous behaviour, he will be glad to spare her witnessing his bloody revenge on her former – possibly not former judging by their passionate embrace – betrothed.

He takes a step towards the curtained doorway.

“I am not going to let you do anything foolish,” Djaq says, stepping directly in front of him.

“Believing I could trust you thieving outlaws, that was foolish. When were you going to tell me, eh? At their wedding reception? During the wetting of their first baby’s head?” Guy takes another step.

“Please,” Djaq says, arms outstretched in entreaty. “Do not undo all the good you have done these past two weeks. Do not—”

“Collect your herbs without me, woman. Now get out of my way.”

“Robin is too quick for you,” Djaq says. “He will have an arrow nocked before you are halfway to him and your wounded leg will slow you down.”

Djaq is right.

“Then,” Guy says, heart thumping painfully in his chest, “he will have to come to me.”

Guy raises his sword, slashes; once, twice, mere inches from Djaq’s face. She will cry out in alarm, he thinks, and Robin will come running. Marian is gone. Allan, Will and John also left the camp some time ago to carry out the village drops, telling Robin they would eat on the road. Apart from Robin and Djaq, the only other member of the gang still in the camp is Much; busy at his fire pit, armed with little more than a ladle. And Djaq is a girl; one hefty shove and she’ll be down on the ground, out of harm’s way.

Djaq stares calmly at Guy, unmoving.

Guy recalls her blood-curdling cry during the ambush, the way she plunged her sword into one and then another of the sheriff’s guards. He realises it’s going to take more than empty threats to get her to play his game.

He lunges, intending to rip her undershirt from neck to waist, spilling her tiny bosom.

Djaq neatly sidesteps, yells, “Robin! To arms! Guy is going to—”

“You stupid Saracen bitch!”

He stares, wide-eyed, as Djaq staggers towards the wooden roof support he had clung to earlier, when his only cares had been a painful leg and a food-hungry belly.

“Djaq?” Robin cries.

“Do not,” Djaq says, wrapping an arm around the wooden beam, while pressing her free hand to her stomach, “let this undo all the good work that we have done, that you have done...Robin will forgive you...he will...” She glances down at the blood seeping through the fingers of her small hand; the hand that delicately dabbed Guy’s nettle-stung wrist with a dock leaf, that gently bathed and stitched his wounded leg and rested briefly on his sweat-beaded brow as John and Allan eased him onto his bed.

“Oh.” She chuckles, as though she is privy to some joke that only she knows. “I have never tried to put myself together again.” Her eyelids flutter and she slides down the wooden beam, smearing it with blood.

Mouth chalk-dry, belly cold and hollow, Guy turns and blunders past unmade beds, upturned barrels and various bits of weaponry. He slams through the little-used door at the back of the camp, knocking his sword from his hand as he does so. ‘By God I’m going to bloody it now’. But not her blood, he thinks. I never meant it to be her blood. He leaves the sword on the ground, no time to retrieve it now.

Ignoring the waves of white agony flowing from his injured leg, he stumbles up the narrow track that leads to the camp’s privy and the thick forest beyond. He is frightened. He doesn’t want to die. He wants to live. He wants Robin Hood dead. He wants to marry Marian. Instead, he is going to end up face down on the ground, his stockinged feet ripped to shreds by root and rock, an arrow in his back.

His world, this new world that he shared with the outlaws of dappled sunlight, of myriad greens, of warm smiles and kindly laughter has turned to one of darkness and despair, back to black.

Guy hears Robin’s anguished cry and runs faster.
verjulesia: (Default)

[personal profile] verjulesia 2013-09-27 02:09 am (UTC)(link)
Oh no! No no no no! Oh please tell me Djaq will survive this.

Such a good story. You've got me all wound up, in the best way.
meridian_rose: black sails, silver smiles (xa)

[personal profile] meridian_rose 2013-09-27 11:29 am (UTC)(link)
I did not expect that! Hope to read more soon!