|photo credit: Cheryl Ruffing|
What had Lady Marion meant about this girl who had supposedly tried to rescue him from his fate? Why would she do that? Did she work for Robin as well? Who was it, and why would she risk her life for him?
And did all this mean that the imprisonment and torture of an innocent girl was his fault? His mind whirled until he felt dizzy. "Who is this girl you're going on about?" He finally asked, losing all patience with the annoying questions muddling his thoughts.
Will sopped mid-curse to consider an answer. Taking a deep breath, he began. He told the tale of her finding, and the fact that she had remained unimaginably stubborn to the point of running as soon as there was any danger of them learning anything about her. He wrapped up quickly, not wanting to dwell on the painful fact that she had left without saying goodbye, and now her life was in danger and Robin was too busy romancing his temperamental lady inside to even consider helping.
And what if Robin did nothing on purpose? After all, he had let her leave when he had every opportunity to stop her. He knew it could spell out her doom, yet he only watched sneak away. In a rage, Will threw himself at the door, pounding it with his fist as Adam looked around nervously, trying to ward off the attention his friend was drawing to them. "Robin! She's in danger, we need to save her! Robin!"
"Will—Will. Come down here please." Adam pulled his companion away from the door as more people came out to their door steps to witness the source of all the sudden commotion. "Hey, don't worry, we'll get her. Is there anything else you know about her? Any hints as to her identity or where she came from?"
Will relaxed a bit, taking in deep breaths and thinking back to when he'd found her, lying cold and dirty and covered in blood. He'd been such a fool to listen to Robin, to let her go. He should have stopped her, but Robin... Robin. This was his fault, she was hurt and close to death and it was his fault. And now he was doing nothing. His anger returning, boiling and surging through his blood, Will launched himself at the door again, screaming out his cousin's name with greater venom and pounding the doors with equal force.
"Will!" Adam shouted in aggravation, pulling him away again and slamming him against the side of the house. He leaned in close, holding Will's collar and whispering in a cutting tone, "This is not going to get her back. She obviously means a great deal to you, but this screaming is only going to get you arrested, and what use will you be to her then? They won't wait to interrogate a criminal like you, you'll be lucky to get last rites. It's straight to the noose, and that won't help anybody. So I suggest you keep your eyes and ears open and you head down. Understand?" Will shot him a defiant, injured glare, but he put up no fuss. "Good, now I'm going to let you go and we're going to calmly wait for—"
"What the devil is going on out here? Are you trying to get us all killed?" Robin asked, leaning out the doorway, a smirking Marion behind him. His face looked threatening enough, but his eyes twinkled with merriment as Will wrestled from Adam's grasp and rushed forward, his fist pulled back to deal an enraged blow to his cousin's face. Reaching up with a tranquil hand, Robin stopped the punch in it's tracks. "Will, can you please stop all this nonsense? We're wasting time here. We have to go get this girl out of jail before they kill her, and that can't be done with you here caterwauling and holding us up. Now, if you'll please calm yourself, we have places to be."
Will stepped back, speechless with anger and confusion. Adam rose to his defense after swallowing the outrageous desire to laugh. "If you're so concerned of a sudden, what were you doing in there all that time?" He asked with suggestively raised eyebrows, looking from Robin to Marion.
"We were getting these," Robin replied as he tossed an armful of swords and maps at the unsuspecting pair. "And gathering knowledge. Marion is going to stay here and alert us of any news from the castle the moment she hears it, and we are going to use these," he gestured to the maps, "to make our plan of attack, and these," then to the weapons, "to execute said plan."
Will made a valiant effort to hide the wily grin that spread across his face as he listened, but to no avail. "You sneaky rascal." He picked up a long, sharp blade and chuckled to himself. "Can we go now?"
"Marion, my darling, my love, my angel!" Robin swooned dramatically, taking the woman up in his arms as she cackled and hit him till he put her down again. "It has been a sincere pleasure, my dove, my honey-sweet, my dearest, but alas, cruel and impatient circumstances force us to be parted again!" He struck his breast and contorted his face into a gallery of mocking, love-sick frowns, his eyes twinkling more than ever.
"Get out of here and don't come back until you get that girl back safe, you idiot." She laughed, her funny, crackling laugh filling the air as she shoved him away. Robin went, sighing dramatically and looking back every two steps with a smirk and a wink, to which Marion replied with rolling eyes and an amused grin.
Traipsing down the path back towards Sherwood, Will walked with his head down, kicking an acorn to send it scuttling again every few steps. He was lost in thought, trying to figure out how he would save the girl and what he would say to her when he did. He was in the midst of imagining what he would do to Gisborne when he got his hands on him when Robin came striding up from behind and nudged him in the side. "What do you want?" Will asked, still perturbed by his cousin.
But Robin offered no answer, only an amused, mischievous grin and eyebrows raised so alarmingly high that they might have flown off.
"What? What is it?" Will asked, his patience wearing thin.
"So, you do love her."
Will spun around to face his cousin, completely flabbergasted. "What? No, I-no. I just—"
"You love her. You are a lost man and I just have to say, you are terrible at hiding it." And he hurried on up the path, leaving Will with unspoken arguments on his tongue that he knew were futile. He was in love with her, but Robin was the last person who needed to know that. He had just set himself up for a lifetime of teasing.
Start at the beginning: Chapter 1 part 1