It all began with Marian and a conversation that shouldn't have happened.
She had started seeing Gisbourne all the time around the castle, following the Sheriff like a little dog. She could tell he didn't like this. He would pull faces at her showing complete agony which never failed to make her laugh. Their conversations grew less uncomfortable, not that they really ever were and she found herself going out of my way to see him.
Annie was delighted at this, probably because the more time Marian spent with Gisbourne meant the less time Marian spent with Robin. Marian found that she was thinking about Robin less when she was with Gisbourne. This was one of the reasons at the beginning that she spent so much time with him. That and how angry it made Robin.
Here is the famous conversation. From what I heard, Annie took great joy in bounding up to Robin and telling him "Marian is spending all her time with a man that is not you!"
I imagine he wouldn't have believed her at first, seeing how they hate each other. He would have told her something along the lines of "I know you live for ruining peoples lives but can you take your pathetic lies somewhere else?"
She than would have challenged him. "See for yourself then" and flounced of with that knowing little smirk on her face.
"We are going to go spy now aren't we?" Michael said, groaning as he spoke.
"And people say that you're just a pretty face," Robin said as Michael continued to groan.
Lilly become the voice of reason, telling Robin "leave the poor girl alone. You will only make things worse."
But Robin always hated listening to reason.
Robin then would have spied on Marian until he saw her having a perfectly innocent conversation with Gisbourne and decided she was doing it to get at him. He thought it would be logical to confront her. This being another example of a conversation that never should have happened.
"I can't believe your spending time with some man to get at me."
"Robin, brace yourself. People do things that don't involve you."
"People do yes. But you…"
"You know you are just doing it to make him mad right. It's because you're so bored and pathetic that you need to take it out on other people" Luke yelled across camp. Normally he wasn't interested in these sorts of conversations but the lack of activity lately had resulted in most members of the gang jumping at the smallest hint of drama.
"That's not true" Marian replied. "If it were I would have told you how pathetic you are and how everything that comes out of your mouth is stupid. But I didn't."
"It's a little bit true" Michael and I agreed. We shrunk back from the look she gave us and tried to subtly fight over who got to hide behind the other. I won, Michael was never particularly good at anything excluding his music. So Michael cowered as I cowered behind him, both of us praying that her anger would be momentarily diverted. Thankfully she grew bored.
Marian couldn't believe Robin's indignation and decided that now she would do exactly what we thought she was doing. She spent the majority of her time with Gisbourne in the hopes that Robin was spying and would get angry. Most of the time he was and she did receive the desired effect as he obsessed over it and wasted a great deal of time thinking of easy ways to make Gisbourne disappear.
"You know, I think I recall you liking Gisbourne when he first got to England," I said to break up one of his rants.
Robin quickly leapt to his own defense and muttered something about immediate distrust and not wanting to seem impolite by showing it.
Marian's plan backfired when she actually started to like Gisbourne. He was kind and smart and handsome. Mainly he didn't make her want to hit him when ever she saw him like Robin did.
He was meant to be a distraction, something to take her mind off Robin. Marian found herself falling in love with him instead.
It was horrible.
Marian had never been in this kind of situation before. With Robin she knew he loved her long before he did so there was none of that horrible guessing work. But she couldn't tell with Gisbourne. She tried everything thing she knew to get him to admit what he was thinking but he remained collected and refined.
He seemed as nervous as her most of the time but Marian couldn't figure out if that meant love or that he's just nervous all the time.
Annie was up to her normal tricks because it couldn't be a coincidence that just as all this love drama was going on around Prince John decided that it was time to for Marian to get married.
It was never a good thing when Marian was summoned to see him. He was delayed and she found herself waiting. This turned out to be worse then the actual talk. The unknown always upset her.
I had been in charge of another castle raid on that night and I tactfully switched myself with one of the guards assigned to shadow the Sheriff. This is how I ended up in the same room where the meeting was to take place.
The Sheriff made an effort to come. He also knew that the talks meant trouble and loved witnessing them. The bright side for Marian meant that with the Sheriff came Gisbourne.
"Remember if you get angry just count to ten," Gisbourne muttered to her, keeping her temper in mind.
"And if that doesn't work just punch him in the face," The Sheriff added, laughing hysterically at his own suggestion. Anything to do with violence was known to make the man amused.
Finally the Prince saw fit to grace her with his presence. Everyone in the room snapped into action and prepared themselves. It was truly interesting to see the way people changed around those with power. The Sherriff wiped any trace of laughter from his face as he knew the Prince despised happiness. Gisbourne quickly became mute, knowing full well that the Prince would care for nothing he said. Even Marian became more alert and quickly checked herself for anything that would set him off. It seemed that temper ran in that part of the family.
Luckily he seemed calm and gestured to the long table at the head of the room. "Please sit," he told his niece in a nice enough manner. She knew better than to assume this meant he was in a good mood and sank into a chair with saying anything. He preferred the most elaborate seat, the one only he was ever allowed to use. Robin had tried it once, in an attempt to upset the Prince. We had nearly been beheaded that day
"How old are you know my dear," he said, in an undistinguishable tone. Marian took a while to understand the question as it was such an odd thing to hear from her uncle. They never divulged in small talk or cared in the least about what the other had going on in their lives.
"Eighteen my Lord," she responded.
"Getting on in years then. And when beauty is gone you will have nothing."
Marian wasn't surprised by this kind of talk. She knew that he was a blunt man who cared nothing for her feelings. It was quickly becoming obvious to her where this conversation was going. "I feel I do have a while before I need worry about that," she said.
"Nonsense. These are the years. The years where men look upon you will longing in their hearts and still have a decent amount of money in their purses." The Sheriff was holding in laughter on the sides but Prince John continued. "It is time you start making moves to be married. You can't stay here forever you know. I have been kind enough to provide for you these past few years but there is a limit to my generosity."
Marian fought to remain calm in light of his words. "In all fairness my Lord, moves have been made in the past. I was engaged previously."
The Sheriff could remain silent no longer and interrupted. "Yes but that was about a year and a half ago and to a future outlaw. Hardly the type of thing you want to advertise. Hood didn't become an outlaw solely to escape marrying you did he?"
"I wouldn't know," Marian muttered, "it's not as if I keep in contact with him."
Prince John was suddenly very interested in her words. "I am right in assuming that in this past year you have not had any contact with Hood?" Gisbourne too was suddenly paying attention. The Sheriff subtly reached for the chains he always kept around his belt in the hopes that her answer would allow him to finally arrest her. Marian simply shook her head and avoided eye contact with her uncle.
"Well then there is nothing holding you back," Prince John happily announced. "I will start seeing candidates within the week." He flicked his hand as a gesture for his dismissal. Unfortunately for him, she was not accepting this response. She did rise from her seat but only to have a better arguing stance.
"With all due respect I have seen the majority of these suitors and can safely say that none of them rise to the appropriate standard."
"That is because you are too selective," Prince John said, no longer paying attention to her as he wrote began to write a letter.
"Well excuse me if I don't want to marry someone who will hate me and only take pleasure in physically harming me," she said, her tone rising.
He didn't like this. If there was one thing the Prince couldn't stand, it was a hysterical woman.
"It's time for you to decide," he told her "Marriage or a convent."
It couldn't have been a coincidence that the Sheriff had to be present during this and as Guy has to go everywhere the sheriff goes, he heard too.
Annie was evil.
"I'll give you time to think it over" he told her and once again summoned for her to leave.
Marian was quickly panicking. "I cannot handle a convent," she moaned to Annie, who was faking concern. "All that praying would drive me insane. And an arranged marriage could end up with me having less freedom then a convent. I'll run to the forest before I settle for an arranged marriage." All of this was said extremely fast and Annie no longer pretended to listen.
"But then you would have to be with Robin all the time" Annie pointed out.
They were interrupted by Gisbourne running into them. Literally. Marian and Guy both ended up on the floor. She couldn't understand why that memory of Robin flooded back to her when Marian had first returned to England and had knocked him over in the same fashion.
"I was actually hoping to run into you," he told me. "Well not run as in how we crashed but…"
"I understand," she told him. "Why were you hoping to run into me, not literally?"
So she did, nervous all the while. The nerves got worse when they ended up in a romantic garden.
Don't worry, I followed. Nervous all the while.
"Marian" he began.
Marian wasn't sure if she was suddenly filled with excitement. She hoped that whatever the emotion was, that it was excitement.
"When we met last year, I knew my life was changed. You were filled with such life, despite the near death experience you had just suffered."
I was disgusted. What kind of man talks about a near death experience in a proposal?
"I let you leave France and only realised this was a mistake when it was too late. I've been given a second chance and I'm not ruining it this time. So…"
He went down on one knee. I cursed silently.
"Will you make me the happiest man alive and marry me?"
She was definitely excited and it felt amazing to tell him "Yes!"
This changed when thoughts of Robin raced through her head the second the ring was on her finger.
I pretended that couldn't believe it when I heard. But I was still extremely angry. "You're doing what?" I yelled but was quickly silenced by Marian. She began to say it again but I stopped her, refusing to hear it twice.
"I heard you the first time and I still can't believe you're marrying Gisbourne!" I yelled again only to be shushed.
She whispered "the only reason I'm telling you is so we can think of the best way to tell Robin. I don't want him finding out publicly."
"Why? Because he'll take it so much better that way. You want me to tell him don't you? So he'll take all his anger out on me. Well I won't do it. And even if I did it wouldn't make him less mad at you and he could end up going on a killing rampage and it will be on your conscience…" She silenced me again. I hadn't realised how loud and shrill my voice had become.
"Could you please stop shushing me?" I could see I was getting a bit hysterical. And I do tend to ramble when I panic. I was only panicking because I knew how Robin would react when he found out.
"I'm not saying you have to tell him. I do owe him that much. But in the meantime can you keep him away from people who will tell him before I'm ready.
"Why did you have to tell me?" I complained. "You have other friends here. Why couldn't you have told Michael or Luke or Levon?"
"Michael is not here right now. Luke is a stuck up idiot who struggles to count to five and Levon cant handle secrets."
"And I can?" I couldn't believe this. "I'm just as bad as he is."
"But you know Robin best and he trusts you most."
I was torn, still angry with her but flattered that apparently I knew him best.
Flattery always wins. "Fine I'll help you. But just so you know. No matter how long you wait, it'll hurt him just as much,"
I love having those moments. When I say something smart and the person I say it to takes it to heart.
"Where were you" Will asked as soon as I got back to camp.
"I went for a walk"
"No where in particular."
He was getting his desired effect. Everyone was starting to pay attention now as it became blatantly obvious I was lying about something.
"Speaking of unknown whereabouts, where were you last night Thomas?"
The look he gave me made me cringe. But it worked. The attention was off me. For now.
"Lets go" Robin said and everyone began gathering weapons.
"Where are we going?" I asked nervously.
He said the word I dreaded. "Nottingham."
I was beginning to panic. "What are we doing in Nottingham that can't wait a while?"
Robin shrugged. "Prince John is making some big announcement. Those are never good for us but its good that we know them straight away?"
"I'm not so sure" I muttered. It was then I realised that everyone was leaving.
"Wait" I yelled. "We cant go there today…because…We need to go to Locksley and…stop a large amount of taxes getting stolen which is where I was before and came back to tell you but you made me forget."
"How did you forget that?" Will asked, still suspicious.
"Because of you and your face." I retorted. "We have to go now. The guards were getting violent."
Robin nodded and everyone changed course.
"What are you going to do when we get to Locksley and there is no guards there?" Levon whispered.
"How did you know?" I whispered back.
"You were really subtle," he said sarcastically
"Help me," I whispered. "I'll explain later"
Levon being the mastermind he is, feel on the forest floor nursing an apparent broken foot.
I appreciated the idea but couldn't see how this would stop the whole gang saving a village.
It was getting out of control and I was out of ideas.
Unfortunately I was so deep in thought I wasn't watching where I was going, legitimately falling over and hitting my head so hard on the ground I was knocked right out.
This was definitely not one of the finer moments of my life.
I awoke to see Levon watching me. "Good call on the knocking out. Robin didn't go to Locksley."
I tried to rise in victory but sank back down when the pain hit.
"Where are we?"
"Old Pete's. Remember? Luke's friend the physician? The gang went off to do some job"
"Old Pete's? Which is in Nottingham?"
I jumped up, ignoring the pain. "We have to get to the square," I yelled.
"Why" he yelled back, enjoying all of the loud noises.
"Robin will find out Marian's engaged" I continued to yell and started running, ignoring his confusion.
"What?" he yelled after me but I was already out of the door.
We got to the square just in time to see Robin and Gisbourne in hard combat.
"What happened" Levon anxiously asked.
Only Will could tear his eyes away from the fight to answer us. "We came to here Prince John's announcement and Robin lost it when he heard it was Marian's engagement announcement. He stood there frozen for a bit and then we saw Gisbourne walking and we couldn't hold him back. Now they're fighting and we're pretty sure Robin's going to kill him."
With that his eyes were once again on the fight. So were ours.
Robin was angry. Angrier then I had ever seen him. Gisbourne was angry to. I think it was because he was figuring out that he had competition for Marian's affections.
Marian herself was on the side, looking ready to jump in and kill Robin herself. Levon and I pulled our hood and edged around to her.
"How are you doing?" Levon asked her.
"He had to ruin my engagement day," she said, not taking her eyes away from the fight.
"Are you really angry or just feeling guilty?" he asked but edged away before she had a chance to answer.
Both men were getting tired but they fighting harder than ever. Eventually they paused to catch their breathes. They were speaking quietly to each other so I once again began edging.
"This makes no difference. You can keep on trying to impress her but she belongs to me" Gisbourne was telling Robin.
"Is that logic talking, or fear?"
"That would be logic due to the fact of how she accepted me while she continues to despise you. You can do what ever you want. It won't change a thing. She will never love you."
Robin lunged forward and stabbed his sword into Gisbourne's side.
The next few things happened very fast.
First there was silence. The quietest silence I have ever heard. It was very brief.
Then came the screams.
I wasn't sure who it was. I wasn't focused on sound.
Marian ran to Guy but not before punching Robin extremely hard. She desperately tried to stop the bleeding. Ironically she had always wanted to be a physician. Now she was finally getting the chance to live her dream but she was losing her betrothed.
Robin stood frozen with a strange look on his face. A mixture of shock and satisfaction.
Little John pulled him away as the guards began pouring in and forced him to run.
I finally realised that people were calling my name and demanding that I run.
I was happy to oblige.
We ran in silence. Everyone was too shocked to speak. We made it back to camp in record time. Still no one spoke.
"How did it go?" Lilly enquired. No one knew how to answer. Robin stormed off. Amelia and Lilly knew something was up and didn't ask again until he was well away.
"Marian may or may not be engaged" Michael told them. "She might be because it was announced just before and she may not be because Robin killed him. What are we eating?"
Obviously they disregarded his food comment. Amelia began to ramble "When did this happen? How did this happen. Why did no one tell me? Does raising that girl mean nothing to her? I feel I should be informed of these things…"
Lilly cut her off. "What did Robin do?"
"Found out the hard way" I told them. "Which I tried to avoid. You all remember my efforts which Will, that's right I'm talking to you, helped to ruin. Which is quite normal for you as you do tend to ruin things?"
"Not the right time" he retorted. "If it were I would say how you…"
"Not the right time" Much yelled and instantly shrunk back, afraid of everyone taking it out on him.
No one did so he took it as a sign to keep talking. "Maybe someone should go talk to him?"
No way. "I like being alive" I said.
"So do I" Luke added.
"I'm not good when people are angry" Matthew decided.
"I carry too many Marian memories that could just set him off," Michael decided.
Everyone looked at him, confused. "Well she is my best friend and would you really want a speech about accepting the love of your life moving on from her best friend?"
Everyone accepted this as an excuse and moved on.
"I am terrible with emotions," said Roger
Luke jumped in again. "Add that onto my excuse. I do that too. Except anger. I like anger. But only in myself."
"I'm scared of him when he's in this mood" Lilly said.
"I don't know much about women issues," Benny said, for once, mocking his age to his own advantage.
"I've got dinner to make" Amelia said.
"I'm slightly drunk," Thomas said. We all paused to look at him. "Before I knew what was going on," he continued.
"But when?" Michael asked "looking rather impressed. "You were with us the whole time."
"I have my ways."
"And I can never say the right thing" Much finished.
Luke stifled a laugh. "We're glad you finally figured that out"
And then they all looked at me. "What?" I asked. "Why is it always me?"
"You know him best" Levon tried to tell me.
"Why do people only say that when they want me to do an unfavorable job?"
That was when Marian showed up. "I'll do it." And without waiting for a response went to find Robin.
Strangely she had brought Tuck and Annie with her.
"I'm just here in case she gets violent and you need someone to talk her down," Tuck explained.
"I want to see Robin get killed" Annie said as she went to follow Marian. John reached out and blocked her.
"Stay" he ordered. His size influenced her to remain.
No one knew what to do next.
"He's alive. Just so everyone knows," Tuck told us.
I was rather disappointed. I am such a bad person.
I busied myself with some cleaning to distract myself so I didn't rush over there to eavesdrop.
I was sure we would hear yelling soon.
Robin knew she was there. He could hear her talking.
She finally found him. She didn't start talking right away. I guess she was trying to pick to right words to yell.
"I thought you ought to know that he's alive"
"Right" Robin said as he started to get up.
"Where are you going?" she asked.
"To finish the job," he informed her.
She pushed him straight back down. "Will you stop being so immature?"
"I will if you will."
"Name one thing I've done"
"Marrying someone just to annoy me."
Her tone changed and she was no longer angry. "I happen to love him."
Robin shook his head. "No you don't."
"Robin stop it. We're not getting back together. We had our chance and it didn't work. Killing Guy won't do anything. I still won't come back to you."
For once in his life, Robin wished she would leave.
"You know, I think it's time you left," he told her, trying to keep calm.
She was trying as well.
Neither of them were succeeding.
"I think that's the first good idea you've had in a while."
"Great!" Robin exclaimed. "The exit is that way"
"Great!" And she turned. Of course, being Marian she couldn't leave without making sure she really hurt him.
So she turned back to Robin and started in. "You know. Part of the reason Guy is so perfect is that he doesn't use violence to show off and prove he's a man."
Robin scoffed. "He was just as in to that fight as I was and you know why? Because he knows that one day you are going to wake up and realise how you hardly know him and were only interested in him to make me mad."
She sighed. "Great we're back to that. Your problem is that you think you know me. Well you don't. You have no idea how I think or what I fell because if you did, you could clearly see how I want nothing to do with you"
"Then why are you still here?" Robin yelled.
Now she started yelling too. "Because I'm trying to figure out how disillusioned you are so I can inform people on how to start fixing you."
"I'll let them know" Robin yelled. "Now I would consider it a personal favour if you leave and don't come back."
Again she scoffed. "So you're banning me now?"
"As a matter of fact I am"
"Perfect, because I don't want to come back."
I remembered the looks on their faces when they finally told me that Robin had admitted his feelings for her.
I remembered their faces when they told me they were engaged.
She finally stormed off. Robin remained.
I remembered Robin's face when we had run. He had known this was coming.
He wasn't ready to go out and see all the sympathetic faces. 'It was better this way' he thought to himself. 'All she does is create drama and I'm better of without her.'
He knew that he wasn't fooling anyone.