Disclaimer: I DON'T OWN ANYTHING YOU RECOGNISE!
Robin led Guy to the tree where Genevieve had buried her secret several years earlier, entrusting Robin and Marian to keep it safe until the agreed-upon time.
Sir Guy of Gisborne had recently been widowed, as his wife of thirty-plus years had died in a battle only a few short months ago. Robin had approached his ally two days ago and stated that Genevieve had asked him to show Guy something should she perish before him. Guy was so confused as to what Hood could mean, alas Hood was as secretive as always though, and simply stated Guy would understand in time, and to come to find him when Guy was ready.
Guy and Robin had become allies not long after Guy and his wife married, something Genevieve had been suggesting for years since they were all on the same team she had pointed out. He, of course, had balked at the idea, it was bad enough that Hood and his wife were close friends; however, like most things his wife suggested, he finally saw the benefit of it in time.
Guy sighed and rubbed his hand over his face as he stared into the fire, tears filling his eyes. It was another lonely night with yet another reminder that his wife was gone. So wrapped up in his thoughts was he, that Guy didn't hear his daughter come into the room, and he jumped when she wrapped her arms around him from behind.
"I'm sorry Papa, I didn't mean to startle you." Esmeralda, or Esme as she was better known as, apologized as she kissed him on the cheek before coming around, crouching down and taking his hands in hers, concern etched in her familiar green eyes. "How are you today, have you had supper?"
Guy looked at his daughter, who was the spitting image of him; with long straight black hair, a strong jawline, her height, all but her eyes. Her eyes were that of her mothers, jade green, there would be no mistaking that she was his daughter. While she inherited his looks and temper, she had, mainly, inherited her mother's personality and all the trouble that it brought with it.
Esme was a warm and caring person, the complete opposite of him. She had a heart of gold, something he could never comprehend. How could someone like him, who's soul was damaged from the evil deeds performed over the years, produce something so beautiful and caring? Esme was born a short five years into Guy and Ginny's marriage, the moment he held her after her birth, he knew he would do anything for this child. His father hadn't been around to raise him, and Guy had sworn, when he found out Ginny was pregnant, that he would be around for his child.
Guy hadn't been the stereotypical husband who was disappointed at Ginny's birth because she was female and not male, he had treasured the child allowing her the freedom that a son would have had. He had treated her with respect and was a fair, but firm father, or so he liked to think. Genevieve would have told you he almost always gave into his daughter's whims, not ever being able to say "no".
Guy had started changing his ways shortly after he and Ginny started courting, because of this, and a few other events, he had become the new sheriff of Nottingham not long after they married. One of the first things Guy had done in his new position was to pardon Robin and Robins men of the crimes the former sheriff had accused them of. Not only was this a smart move politically, but also a smart move for his marriage, for the age-old saying "a happy spouse makes a happy house" was something that went a long way in his household.
"It's alright dear, no harm done. I will be alright in time. I was simply remembering your mother and how much I will miss her." Guy replied to his daughter.
"Papa I will always worry about you, especially now that Mama is gone. Someone has too or else you would forget to eat half the time, so caught up in your work you get. Arthur and I can live here and take care of you after we marry. I've already discussed it with him and he's agreed-"
"Esme, I won't allow it, the two of you need your own space, you wouldn't want an old man like me around and in your way. Now don't worry about me, it's late and past your curfew if I'm not mistaken, young lady." Guy replied, the friendly tone now gone and replaced with anger. Looking at the clock on the mantel, it was half-past ten, which was a full hour and a half past the time his child should have been home.
Esme sighed in defeat, she knew he wasn't really angry at her, he was hurting and had never learned how to properly deal with certain emotions. She had heard the story of how angry he had been with Marian and one point in his life, that he burned down her house, an action which he regretted for the rest of his life and tried to make up for it. Esme knew her father tended to lash out at the nearest person when upset. "Goodnight Papa, please don't stay up all night. Try to get some sleep. Remember I love you and always will." With that, she kissed him on the cheek and went upstairs.
'I love you and always will. Your past is in the past my love, you've changed and strived each day to become a better man.' This was something that Ginny had told him in sincerity almost every day of their marriage, and he had come to believe it. Guy decided he would visit Robin tomorrow and have the man show him whatever it was that Genevieve had left behind. He pondered at what it could possibly be, there had been no secrets in their marriage, they knew everything about each other. Even the things Guy had sworn he would never tell another living soul, due to the wickedness of the sins, he had shared with his wife. He thought he knew everything about his wife, he may not have understood why she did certain things, but he knew her past including the things he wished he didn't know. One fact being that Hood and his wife had been intimate with each other, before Guy and she had started courting. There simply couldn't be anything his wife had kept from him, could there? One way or another he would have his answers tomorrow.
Guy pulled his stallion, Neit, to a halt in front of Locksley manor, sitting in the saddle for a few moments before getting up the courage to dismount, handing the reins to the stable hand, and walking up the steps pausing to knock on the front door. "I am here to see Robin, tell him Sir Guy is here." He said when a servant opened the door. Then, without waiting to be invited in, Guy walked past the servant and made his way inside towards the library where Robin and his wife, Marian, usually received their guests. The servant, used to Sir Guy's mannerisms, didn't bat an eye at this. He simply closed the door and went to let the master of the house know that Sir Guy was here.
"Excuse me, master Robin, Sir Guy is here to see you, he is in the library."
"Thank you, please let him know that we will be there shortly," Robin replied to the servant.
"Well this is certainly a nice surprise; I wonder what prompted him to come to visit us? I do hope our son hasn't gotten himself into trouble again. Arthur does take after you in that regard." Marian stated to her husband as she got up from the table to accompany him to the library.
"I doubt it's Arthur. I stopped by the Gisborne manner a few days ago to uphold our promise to Genevieve. It's time that Guy knew the truth about his wife."
"You don't think he will be angry with us for not sharing her secret, earlier do you?" Marian asked as they approached the library.
"There is only one way for us to find out…" Robin replied as he opened the door to the library.
"Good morning Gisborne, thank you for coming. Marian and I have some information pertaining to Genevieve, which you might want to sit down for." Robin gestured to Guy as he and Marian sat across from him.
"A few years ago, Genevieve came to us and asked that if something were to happen to her that you receive a letter, she wrote to you. She asked us not to say anything unless she were to die before you. We know this can't be easy, not having her around anymore and Robin and I want you to know how very sorry we are for your loss. Ginny was very dear to everyone and it's so strange not to have her around anymore.
As you know she was no ordinary woman, in many different aspects, but not in the way most people typically thought of her. Ginny hid the letter and only told us where it was, as she was always afraid of it falling into the wrong hands; putting not only her life at risk but yours and Esme's as well-"
"Marian, forgive me, but you are not making any sense. What was she so afraid of? She knew I would protect her and our daughter with my life."
"Yes, you would have, and Genevieve knew that and for that very reason, she did not want to risk putting you in that position. Understand this was not an easy decision for her, but it was her choice alone to make. I promise this will all make sense when you read the letter, I cannot go into any more depth on the subject as it is not safe, even with Vaisey gone. We don't know who might be listening. However, we can speak more freely once we are away from here. Robin and I will take you there if you give us a few moments to saddle up our horses." Marian finished, squeezing Robin's hand for reassurance.
Robin's face suddenly changed to one of concern, "Marian my love, I'm not sure that riding that distance is good for you. Remember what the doctor said? Why don't you stay here and-"
"…and what? Practice my needlework, arrange some flowers hmm? We've talked about this and you promised not to treat me differently, and yet here you are." Marian shot back at Robin.
Guy wondered what could be wrong with his friend. He didn't see anything different about her that would be concerning. She did look tired he thought, but with the recent events that wouldn't surprise him if she wasn't sleeping well. Guy wanted to ask what was wrong with her, but knew better, especially given the tone of her voice and the glare she just gave her husband.
"Marian, I just meant that-" Robin continued, either unaware of what Marians tone meant or not caring.
"Not now Robin. We can fight about this later, but right now Guy needs answers, so we are taking him to the letter. End of discussion!" Marian finished, reprimanding her husband, and continued to walk towards the stable, leaving behind a flustered Robin and a smirking Guy.
A few hours later the trio arrived at an undisclosed location in Sherwood forest, to anyone else it would seem that they were simply out for a ride, but Guy knew better. He had to hand it to his wife, she had hidden the letter under the tree where so many important things in their life had happened, where he had proposed to her, and most likely where Esme was conceived all those years ago.
"Ginny buried the letter at the base of this tree. Would you like us to wait for you, or would you rather be left alone?" Robin asked, not entirely comfortable with the situation, as he and Marian already knew the contents of the letter and felt this was a private moment.
"I would prefer to be alone. I will find my way back when I am finished, however, if you could let Esme know not to wait up for me tonight. I don't need her worrying about me." Guy replied.
"Marian and I will invite her to dine with us tonight and she can stay in the guest room should she choose. If you have questions you know where to find us." Robin said, knowing that if he were in the same situation, he would want someone to look after his child.
Marian smiled at Guy and kissed her friend on the cheek before joining her husband in mounting their horses and riding away. Guy waited until they were out of sight before he started digging.
Guy kept digging until he hit what sounded like metal, he put the shovel aside and got down on his knees, brushing the dirt away revealing a small metal box. He pulled it out from the ground, setting it in front of him. He started at the box, his thoughts going in a million different directions, should he open the box and reveal the secrets, or should he put it back and choose to remember his wife as he had known her? Guy went back and forth on this subject for quite some time before deciding that if his wife hadn't wanted him to know her secrets, she wouldn't have left the letter or asked Robin and Marian to make sure he got it. That raised another question though, why were Marian and Robin aware of the letter? Did they know what secrets lie within it, were they part of the secret too, and if so, how and why were they apart of it?
Guy shook his head, there were just too many questions at this point, and until he read this letter he would find no answers or peace of mind. After opening the box, he set aside the strange objects that were on top of the letter, figuring he'd find out about these in the letter. He took the letter, unfolding the multiple pages and leaning his back up against the tree trunk, settling in for what would surely be a very long read if he knew his former wife as well as he thought he did.
If you are reading this then one of my fears has come true, I am no longer there beside you. I am sorry that I can no longer be there beside you and help you fight your inner demons. Please do not dwell on the past and refuse yourself happiness. You know I always wanted you to be happy, I could never stand to see you unhappy.
I have had Robin and Marian bring you here so that you may learn the truth about me and the secrets I hid form you all those years. I am sorry I lied about who I was and omitting parts about my life before coming to Nottingham, but in order to keep myself, as well as the ones I care about safe, I had no choice.
Please be patient with Esme and remember she adores you and has always tried to please you. Whenever I looked at her, I saw you in her, she even inherited your temper, but she also inherited my heart of gold; which we both know got me into trouble more times than we care to recount! Esme will go far in this world because I know you will support her, but also because Robin and Marin will be there to assist should you need it.
There are so many things I want to tell you, so I apologize ahead of time for the length of this letter. You know I always did write like I was running out of time and it drove you crazy at times because I would be up all night writing essays on the social injustice and other wrongs of the current time. Things that no other woman of your time would have deemed appropriate and looking back on it now it wasn't my most brilliant plan, especially when you became the new sheriff, replacing Vaisey. I still don't know how you managed to keep my works under my pen name with no one making the connection back to me.
I know at this point I am not making any sense as these are things you already knew; I promise you I am getting there!
Did you ever wonder why I did the things I did, such as speaking out against the church's view on women or insisting on wearing trousers instead of dresses? Or how I seemed to know about certain events of your past even though I was never there? The reason for this was because I was a time traveler! I was not born in your era or even your country, I was born in April 1985 in a country called The United States of America, or "America" as it was often referred to in my time, and it was founded in July of 1776. I went to college and graduated with a bachelor's in history with an emphasis on British History and an associate in Humanities. You see husband, it was not uncommon in my country for women to go to school and even onto college right alongside men.
So, what does my schooling have to do with you? Where I come from, Robin and you were make-believe, no one was 100% sure either of you existed. Sure, there were books and plays written about you, but these different adaptions were based on an old English ballad. There was one play that I watched many times, that wasn't historically accurate, but some of the events ironically enough, happened while I was there with you. Remember how you almost killed Marian and almost committed regicide in the holy land (I know it is a memory we would all rather forget), but did you not wonder how I was able to get to you before Robin and his men? Thus, preventing you from following through? I knew what was going to happen and I knew it would ruin you, I didn't stop to think about what could end up happening to me should I interfere. That did seem to be another reoccurring theme in my life, one that almost cost me my life on more than one occasion, but I digress.
There were only two people who knew my secret before you, and that was only because they found me not long after I traveled back into the past. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I had decided to take my stallion, Petrushka, for a ride when I came across an old man sitting up against a tree in the forest, he looked tired and hungry.
He was dressed in a grey jacket that was stained and dirty. His pants were torn in several places and had holes in others. He looked like he hadn't bathed in quite some time. He had long white hair and a matching beard, his skin was tan, and you could tell he had spent much time outside.
I stopped and asked him if he was hungry or thirsty, when he replied yes, I offered him the lunch I had packed. I offered to take him where he was going, he kindly refused stating he was exactly where he needed to be at this moment, but I wasn't where I belonged. I honestly didn't think much of what he said at the time, I figured he was just an old man rambling. He introduced himself as Merlin and to thank me for being so kind he had a special gift for me. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a pocket watch that looked to be made of pure silver and had an amethyst crystal on the top. He said it was no ordinary timepiece and it would take me where I belonged, all I needed to do was wind it three times and the magic would do the rest. I remember looking down at the watch, trying to discern if there was anything unusual about this pocket watch. After studying it I concluded that it was just an ordinary timepiece, but nothing else out of the ordinary. When I looked back up, Merlin was nowhere to be found!
I only saw Merlin one other time in my life, and it was here in Nottingham, shortly after we started courting. Imagine my surprise when the old man that your guards were harassing, turned out to be Merlin. I lead him to the nearest tavern and bought him some food under the guise of making up for the guard's earlier behavior, which wasn't entirely untrue. He asked me how I was adjusting to this new life and if I had figured out where I fit into the equation of Robin Hood's story.
I was honest with him and told him that I wasn't entirely sure where I fit in yet as I didn't quite feel like I belonged in the group of outlaws. It felt like something, or someone was still missing from my life, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Merlin replied that my destiny lied with a man whose heart appeared to be made of stone at first glance, but when one looked again, they would see that there were cracks in the stone. If there were cracks a person could chip away until the whole heart was free and the man's true self would be revealed.
Of course, Merlin seemed to always speak vaguely or in riddles, never giving a straight answer. I remember asking him what exactly he meant, he just smiled and said I would know when it happened. I laughed and told him he was full of shit and he needed to go back to his time and play with the lives of the people there. You might remember Merlin from the tales of King Arthur and The Knights of The Round Table. I heard people occasionally telling this tale around fires at some of the gatherings we went to.
I had been here in Nottingham for five years and at that time the only one who completed me was Robin, whom I considered a best friend and someone I could tell everything to and know that he would always be there for me.
When I first arrived in Nottingham, I ended up on the wrong side of Vaisey guards and was critically wounded. I had experience in applying first aid and stitching myself up a few times before (sound familiar?) due to me being in my country's military.
I was losing a good deal of blood and was feeling faint, I knew I had to stop the bleeding before I passed out. As I was rummaging through my pack for supplies, Robin and Marian came upon me, and the rest is history. Given the severity of the situation and what could happen should the wrong person learn my secret, we three agreed not to tell anyone who I was, or where I had come from.
If Vaisey or any of your other enemies found out, I would most likely have been burned at the stake. The crime? Witchcraft. You and anyone else associated with me would most likely have been executed as well. I couldn't let that happen!
Now you know my secret and why I hid it from you all these years. If you need further proof, I left the said watch along with some other items from my time. The watch is broken, by the way, trust me I tried many times to get it to work. I think it was a one time and one-way device. There is a copy of my favorite book, Jane Eyre, by a woman named Charlotte Bronte, my cell phone (a device we used to communicate with each other), some of the currency we used, and what was called a driver's license (a form of identification).
I know our marriage wasn't always a walk in the park, I did try to stay out of trouble. I loved you for so long and with all my heart, you were a kind husband and treated me well; something that history had told my era was unusual. You treated me with respect and supported my ambitions no matter how crazy they seemed. You never let me down in our many years of marriage and you were a kind father to our daughter. My only regret was that I was unable to give you more children.
I want you to move on and find happiness when you are done grieving, I don't want you to live the rest of your life in misery. Make time for Esme and if there are ever grandchildren make time for them as well. Do not let your work become your life.
Please don't be mad at Robin or Marian, we agreed to never speak of this unless something happened. I promised to always love you and to remain by your side, so even in death, I will uphold these vows.
Your loving wife,
Guy put the letter down and tried to process the information he had just read. His wife was from another time and country? Suddenly everything seemed to finally click into place, the odd way she had of talking, the way she knew how to fight and defend herself, the events she seemed to know about before the plan had been finalized.
That one should have been the biggest hint that she wasn't from this period. He had figured she had a spy on the inside and just would never fully admit to it. His wife had been a time traveler, how was something like that even possible? Then there was the talk of magic, was that even a thing? If it weren't for the objects in this box he might have thought his wife was crazy; however, his wife had never lied to him before and this gave him no reason to doubt her, no matter how farfetched this seemed.
As he removed the objects from the box another letter fell out and just like his wife's, had his name on it but the handwriting was one he didn't recognize. Guy turned over the letter and broke the unfamiliar seal and read its contents.
Dear Sir Guy of Gisborne,
I hope this letter finds you well. I am sorry for the loss of your wife. You must understand that she awaits the day that she can see you again. Your story doesn't end here, there are still more adventures ahead for the two of you. When the time is right you shall be untied once more.
Your faithful servant,
Well hello, fellow readers! This story was inspired by the show Find Me In Paris, which is cute, but a silly show about a young ballerina who goes from the past (1905) to the future (200?). I threw in Merlin from King Arthur for some fun as well. This story is probably the shortest I've ever written, that I don't hate, for fanfiction. I almost put it as a crossover but decided not to as Merlin only makes a small appearance.
I do have a deleted scene that I'm working on posting in the next few weeks, I just need to find the time to edit it and make sure it's worthy to post.
Neit-Irish god of war. I thought it was a pretty fitting name for Guy's horse! You can always google for more information, as I know FF won't let us post links.
Please rate and review, I always love to hear from the readers no matter how long ago the story might be.