wintercealde: princess gazing at the stars (Default)
wintercealde ([personal profile] wintercealde) wrote in [community profile] bbc_robinhood2013-06-06 04:06 pm

Stacking the Deck

Title: Stacking the Deck
Author: [personal profile] wintercealde
Prompt: fog
Rating: G
Characters: Robin & Allan
Pairings: n/a
Summary: Robin tests his skills to their limit.
Warnings: None
Word Count: 603

Robin blinked away the beads of moisture that collected on his eyelashes. The morning fog, cold and clinging, seemed to creep under his clothing, sinking into his flesh and bones just as it filled the voids and shadows of the forest. Sight was reduced to only a few paces in any direction, forcing him to rely on his other senses. His world was limited to the scent of earth and autumn leaves, the smooth wood of the bow in his hand. Close behind he could hear Allan's quiet shufflings; in the distance the sounds of a buck making its wary way through the forest.

Robin lifted his bow, cursing his tipsy Midsummer boast, Allan's powers of recall, and the deer that had strayed so close to camp, led astray by the same thick fog that now protected it. Behind him, Allan yawned dramatically, and when Robin turned to scowl at him, he was reclining in the crook of a fallen tree, the dull colors of his forest clothing pale in the mist. Robin rolled his eyes and turned his head to listen. He felt crippled by his inability to see; he had not realized how much his abilities depended on being able to see the trajectory of a body moving through space, the imprint of a step in the mud, or a tell before a sword thrust. He took a deep breath, and listened.

For a few long moments he feared that he had lost the buck when Allan had distracted him. But he waited, urging himself to stillness, until he heard a quiet step, then the tear and snap of berries being pulled from a branch, and the rustle of leaves settling back into place. Robin waited, waited for the fog to thin, arrow trained to where his ear told him the sounds of grazing came from. He breathed into the familiar strain that warmed his muscles, embracing it, drawing his mind further inward to the few things that mattered. The bow, steady in his hand; the quiet snap of twigs and tear of leaves moving slowly, steadily in the distance; the wisps of fog that curled around the trees just yards in front of him, silently swallowing and then revealing the details of the forest as they moved on an unfelt breeze.

Robin adjusted his aim slightly to follow the sounds, and a gap in the fog appeared suddenly. It dissolved as quickly as it had appeared, but it was enough to reveal the shadowy outlines of a neck, a haunch, ghostly antlers stretching up into pale nothingness, and a single black eye. Without so much as a breath, Robin let the arrow fly. A wave of elation and loss rose over him as the arrow sped away, quickly lost in the mist.

Too soon, he heard a sharp crack and the steady thumps of hooves speeding away. Something, perhaps the twang of the bow or the scent of humans, had spooked the beast.

Allan laughed at the dull thud of the arrow burying itself in a distant tree trunk. "Looks like you're hauling water for the next week!"

"I did not miss my shot," Robin said, turning to Allan. "The hart ran away."

"Whoa, whoa," cried Allan, throwing up his hands. "No one said anything about missing. You said you could hit it."

"I can!"

"Not today you can't," Allan replied, pushing off from the log. "Which means I get to go back to bed."

"That was one shot! It doesn't prove anything."

Allan grinned and clapped Robin on the shoulder. "It proves you shouldn't make bets when you're drunk."
jadey36: (Default)

[personal profile] jadey36 2013-06-07 02:21 pm (UTC)(link)
Nice imagery, and Allan being Allan, ha, ha!