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Lay Down: Chapter Four

Fandom: Robin Hood (New series)
Author: Schemer
Author's Notes: Spoilers! A small multi-chaptered fic, centered on Guy. Missing scenes between the end of S2 and the start of S3. Guy reaches the abyss. And he sees the gorgeous, extraordinary light.
Disclaimer: A friend once gave me a very nice signed picture of RA for my 19th birthday. Other than that: no claim.
Earlier chapters: At my journal, under the tag 'Lay Down'.


“It’s been days,” she said mildly.

In the quiet of dawn, he’d remained still, feigning sleep for the benefit of his own fevered imagination.

Now she spoke, and her presence solidified like a shock of heat in the bed, beside him. His eyes opened in defeat, and he looked at her.

She had the look of defeat about her, too. Her eyes were narrowed as they had been on what would once have been their wedding day; that look had cut him too deep to be forgotten, as had the widening relief as it fuelled her escape from him at the altar. But her downturned mouth spoke of a willingness to be compassionate, always. He took her hand and felt an answering grasp in response.

Guy blinked himself awake. The rest of him too lethargic to move. He had sunk himself into this unlit room, in this unclean bed, and not emerged since his attempts at drowning himself in a chilling bath had produced only fever and sickness. He raised his eyebrows at her quizzically.

“You haven’t risen,” she said. “It won’t do,” she teased, half-heartedly.

He exhaled heavily through his nostrils, and his eyes slipped shut.

He felt her warmth fall fluidly to his chest, conscious of barely more weight than the clasp of her small hand. He imagined a tendril of hair at his lips, spilling her scent into his face. He imagined her right hand curling onto his chest, her face pressed to his throat, a contented sigh. He imagined himself into longed-for oblivion. But it was not to be.

“What should I do, hmm?” she murmured, and her breath came unbidden against his chest. He shifted his own ideas of her shape to accommodate this; he moved her wrist to his throat and listened.

“What do you want from me?” she mused, then, in a heartbeat, answered her own questions. “I know,” she said with conviction, a harder edge to her voice. “You want my forgiveness. You want my submission to your will. You want my body next to yours, pliant and obedient and subsumed in this filthy bed with you, until we both rot together into a skeletal soup. Just spectres. Shadows of your delusional happy ending.”

“I don’t,” he protested, in a voice not his own: weak and thick from disuse.

“You want this dream for as long as you can maintain it, and when it ends, all the better for you. Because you can’t keep up the strength to live with yourself.”

He sat up miserably, struggling against the cling of his blanket. “Don’t, I...do. I want it over. I want it finished.”

“Prove it,” she whispered.

The room’s chill came at him from underfoot and suddenly she was standing at the far end of the room, and he was up, the blanket on the floor and his trunk dragged from its dusty station across the floorboards to the centre.

“The finish,” he declared. “The finish line. Not a comfort, not forgiveness—I don’t need that from you!” he snarled at her. He threw linens and necessities into the trunk. “You are not meant to be here, it’s not what you would have wanted. You said you’d rather die than be with me.”

“Yes,” she said simply.

“Yes,” he agreed savagely. “So that’s where we’re going. Right back to beginning. Or the end. Depending on whether you are in my mind or your own.”

She giggled, hysterically, almost despite herself. Guy looked at her with a sudden contempt. “Don’t mock me,” he warned.

“I don’t,” she hastened to reply, silencing her own mirth. “I...thank you, Guy.”

He shut the trunk, stripped himself of his stinking shirt and went to unbolt the door, intent on hot water and a saddled horse. She watched him, smiled broadly, her entire visage at once illuminated with the unexpected certainty of her own happy ending.