Hi, so here is another story from me and my first for this fandom. I recently fell in love with this show and so this story and potentially two others have been planned to combat this recent love for all things Robin Hood.
This story is set between Season 1-2 and is AU as you can probably tell from the first scene. There might be some trigger warnings but i will let you know well in advance. Pairings are in the summary below. I hope you all enjoy this story. Any backstories are my own.
Disclaimer-Nothing in this story is mine but the woman in the last scene who will be introduced more in the next upcoming chapters. All in all i have planned for this story to be 22 chapters long.
Please let me know what you think.
And as i always say with my stories my strongest point is not spelling and/or grammar. So any inaccuries i apologise way in advance.
Faith Based Initiative
An AU set between Season 1 and Season 2. Djaq and Marian are both taken by the Black Knights. During captivity they meet a woman in much the same predicament that might be able to help. AU Marian/Robin, Djaq/Will, Allan/OFC. Sequel in the works, potentially some trigger warnings.
Chapter 1-Nameless, Faceless.
The Black Knights are on a mission, there is a murder, two captures and a blood bath at Knighton Hall.
Two days. That had been all it had taken. Two days.
He had expected repercussions of course he had. You could not do what Marian had done without some repercussions. But he had foolishly believed that there would be time or that Gisborne would come to forget if not forgive. Certainly he had enough friends still left within the nobles to stop an outright execution but he was old and certainly well past his fighting prime. He was from an older time, a better time when a man could say what he wanted and think what he wanted and could trust in the king. Henry II had been young, angry and a hothead. His father had lived through the Beckett debacle and he himself had lived through the revolt. But then again regardless of what it was (if you had the sense to phrase it correctly) you could say what you wanted and know you were being listened too by the right people.
But now…now events had changed. He had changed, England had changed. Nottingham such a small part of that change. He had done his best as Sherriff, it had cost him his wife, his dignity, good men and woman going to the gallows and now he knew that it would cost him his life or his honour.
Edward of Knighton was many things. But he was not a coward. He had been raised as Knighton of Nottingham and he had his daughter, his love of God and his love of King and Country and that had been enough even when he had lost Kate to the cruel hands of pestilence. And then he had been left with a teenaged daughter who was headstrong and opinionated and unwilling to settle for anything less than the best when anything less than the best was all that a woman in the year 1192 could hope for.
And that was before he had learnt what his Marian was doing when he was asleep in his bed.
But it had taken two days before they had come for her. Or for him. Or for both of them. God knows he had never made it secret his disdain for the Sherriff. He had been close to condemning the man two days ago had it not been for Robin's timely intervention.
It was nothing.
Between them, between a father and his daughter it was nothing because Edward deep down knew how this was going to end. Marian was all he had. Old though he might be, feeble though he felt sometimes (especially around the knees), his daughter was all he had left. And she was young and he was closer to death than he cared to admit. He was ready to see Kate again. He found that first night when Marian (and he suspected Robin) were upstairs, that he did not care what happened to him. If there were better days then Edward was not going to see them soon. But Marian could, Marian and Robin and the children he was sure they would have.
And so when he heard the sound of horses coming closer he stood. The meal was done for the day, the servants dismissed, the horses let out, the fire out, everything of value hidden, he had been praying ignoring the ache in his knees, Marian he knew upstairs asleep for once and he suspected alone. His sword, his father's sword and his grandfather who had once fought alongside Geoffrey Plantagenet was sharp and shiny.
Edward was old. But he was ready.
The door was flung open, he could hear Marian upstairs as they came in and he stood between them and his daughter prepared for the inevitable. He got one, maybe two before he was ran through. Gisborne was not there, it wasn't even his men, it was knights in black and Edward knew even as he crashed to the floor that the darkest chapter in England's history so far was about to begin.
He wanted to tell Marian so much in that moment he connected with the floor. He wanted to tell her that he was proud of her despite not showing it. That he understood, her desire to help the poor, her love for Robin, her distaste of Gisborne, that he loved her sharp tongue and desire for change. That she should have been born in a better time, in a happy time for woman, that she reminded him of her mother. That he had loved her from the second she had been placed in his arms and that regardless of her being his only child he had not mourned the lack of a son and heir. And that from that moment she had been in his arms to this moment he was bleeding to death on the floor he had loved her. And that despite everything, he knew Robin outlaw or not was the best man, the better man.
Oh God how he loved her.
He thought of that as his eyes closed for the final time.
Edward of Knighton was dead before his daughter had reached the downstairs dining hall of their house, still in her nightclothes, sword clutched in hand from under her bed. He was dead and therefore he was spared the sight of his daughter reeling from a blow to the head, dragged out of her own house screaming for her father who would never hear her voice again.
It was perhaps a small mercy. It was not much. But Edward did not care.
For Edward was dead.
And Marian was still living.
For now at any rate.
Djaq had been bathing by the stream.
She had taken to doing this alone telling nobody but John or Much that she was doing it. Much because he would not even dream of following her or even making a comment about her bathing at nightfall would turn a bright shade of red and then duck his head down telling her that there would be an egg awaiting her when she was returned. John in much the same sense because he would say that he would ensure she was not followed and there was something about his gruff nature that made her believe him. That made her trust him in ways that she had thought that she would never be allowed to trust again.
She did not tell Robin or Allan, and she was certainly not going to tell Will she was planning to bathe in the stream.
Robin because he was the leader and a soldier and Djaq did not like to overshare her plans even though she knew that Robin would pay them no mind. His focus was on Marian, the King and destroying whatever plans the Sherriff was no doubt dreaming up in his castle right now. And as for Allan…Djaq liked the man as a friend and she suspected that whatever feelings he might had harboured for her had gone after the adrenaline of her rescue. Certainly for her she had never intended anything other than a brief flirtation with the man who she knew had despite a teasing grin and a flirty smile far, far too much love to give.
And then there was Will.
Djaq was certainly not going to tell Will that she was going down to the stream to bathe. She had enough problems dealing with her own unreciprocated feelings for Will Scarlett without telling him that she was going to bathe in the woods stripping down to her undergarments and possibly less depending on how cold the water was. Besides Will had already seen her chest he did not need to see the rest of her. She had barely survived through the mortification of that encounter never mind his hands on her shoulder as Harold had dropped her from the ground, never mind his tender ministrations when he had cleaned out the wound she had suffered during her capture and when he had bound it up in clean linin.
She reached a part of the stream she liked to use and dropped her weapons. It was secluded, easily hidden but not she knew, completely hidden but she was not going to bathe with a sword on her back. Besides rust was the enemy of all weapons and even Will had trouble getting rid of water damage though the muscles in his shoulders bunched up in a delightful way whenever he was attempting to scrub his blade clean…not that she noticed at all.
She shifted a little out of her shirt now a dark purple. The first thing she had had done as they had been leaving the castle was to buy clothes. Robin had leant her the coin though she suspected that it was more out of jubilation than it was for anything else. He did not seem to understand that Djaq wanted to be clean, wanted to burn her slave clothes and the rough cloth and the memories of rougher memories. She had been lucky but the memories of the slaughter that she had seen both at home and in England was something that was hard to forget. She had a new life now, she may as well have some new clothes to go with it.
Or that is what she had told Allan when he had asked in between moans about how they had probably today (the nobility and the castle in shambles) to go and get a drink and act like civilised people without the threat of hanging from their necks by a rope.
She had a purple shirt and trousers to match and a green jacket and boots that did not need to be held together by a piece of string. She had a clean camisole underneath that Marian had leant her and underwear that while it might not be proper for a lady to wear, had apparently served her well when she had been the Night Watchman.
She dipped her toe into the river and then when she had tested both how cold it was and how warm she was she carefully stepped in and dunk a rag into the water rubbing it briskly all over. She sighed in pleasure as the cold water hit her heated skin. It was one thing to in some way come to love all the men she fought alongside but to live with them sometimes was honestly too much for one woman to bare.
Much alone was the one who liked to remain the most clean but even then he was suspect to bathing with long intermittent gaps between them. Robin only ever seemed to bother whenever he knew Marian was coming and that was usually just a wet rag underneath his arms and over his face. Little John, Allan and Will all took the approach of many an Englishman in the year 1192 and that you should only bathe once a year and if you were devout enough then you should bathe at Easter. They shared the view that too much water was a bad thing and that was how you catch your death. Even Marian who took care in her personal appearance seemed to bathe only once every two weeks.
Djaq did not understand this concept. In the Holy Lands, in Damascus, in her father's house with her mother and her brother and her sister they had bathed regularly. She could remember the pool and the heat and the water rippling making pattens of light on the marble countertops. Her and Gizela her little sister splashing around when they should have been scrubbing and their mother, before the war, before her death hoisting them out and wrapping them in clean linin.
She swallowed hard the memories of her happier childhood being ripped from her. Suddenly she was not in Damascus, she was not in the Holy Lands that were drenched in the blood of innocents as well as soldiers and she was in Sherwood Forest in her undergarments dripping wet and she was sure someone was watching her.
Djaq scrambled up the bank reaching for her shirt and her trousers yanking them on harshly. She was just about to reach for her jacket when she saw something move in the shadows almost silently. But she had learnt a long time ago that if you were not quick you were dead and so she reached for her sword. One thing she did know was that it was not one of the men. Even Allan would have called out by now and Allan did not tend to sneak upon bathing woman at night without making himself known with some comment and a teasing smirk.
She reached for her sword abandoning her jacket and then before she could draw first blood she knew that she had been surrounded.
Two moved forward and Djaq felt the clash of steel against steel as she kicked one to the ground but another one had her arm, he yanked it back and she felt her sword fall out of her grasp and then he yanked it back further. She had to bite down hard against her scream as the bone of her shoulder popped out. Whoever these men were they were better fighters and more ruthless than the castle guards who tended to stay down when they were kicked.
She was forced on her knees by a blow to the small of her back and then before she could open her mouth to shout—damn her dignity she needed Robin right now, she caught sight of the man that had attacked her. For once words failed her.
Djaq had seen many a man wounded by war. She had seen them scared and broken, legs missing, arms missing, eyes missing, she had seen men screaming and crying all of their skin torn off and their soul gone from their eyes and yet there was something about this man that was beyond anything she had seen before. This was cold blooded murder in his gaze. This was utterly cold blooded and dangerous. This a man with no soul and nothing to lose who would not give her any mercy or any quarter. Half his face was gone in a mess of scars and burns unlike anything she had ever seen before. But his eyes…his eyes held a hatred that she had not seen in someone for a long time.
She had a split second to appreciate this and what it meant and the amount of danger that she was in and then the second man smacked his sword down on the back of her head and she fell into unconsciousness face down into the mud.
Her scream for Robin had never left her mouth.
The girl had been in the darkness for quite some time.
This time had been different. Punctuated by being taken from one place to another always at night, always kept blindfolded and in a cage. It did not matter that the wagon was covered in a harsh cloth, that she was now getting so thin the old shirt she had been given was slipping off one shoulder or that she was slowly losing her mind. How long she had been in the company of these men she did not know, how long she had been being used by them she could not recall.
Now she had been taken from the cart and into a cave, chained to some rock like a dog. She had been given back her sight though that was not much as she could not see in the darkness. She was waiting leaning on her hands, for the inevitable.
The girl did not know how she had survived this long, she had been taken…sold really and it had been long since she had seen a friendly face. But she knew how this would end. And all she wanted to do was have it end.
She could not take matters into her own hands. This was 1192 and the world, the nobility, even the king considered this to be a mortal sin but she knew that one day she would die. Until then all she wanted to do was to sleep.
She curled on the harsh floor feeling the rocks cut into her skin. Even the ground in this place was harsh and unfeeling. She curled her legs under her and then closed her eyes.
She did not have time to do anything as there was the sound of footsteps and she moved rapidly as far backwards as she could. Experience had taught her it was futile, experience had taught her that there was very little she could do.
Two men, two men that was called, The Black Knights apparently. She had heard of names that were both pretentious and stupid and this was both and more. But she did not say it. There was no point in getting her eye blackened again.
She curled behind a rock as much as she could with her arm chained.
What she saw was…surprising.
She had been alone for so long that it was amazing to see other woman. There were two of them, one brunette with creamy skin and a cut over the right eye and another one who must have been from somewhere other than England. She too was unconscious. Both were in night clothes. Both seemed to have put up something off a fight, certainly she was sure that it was not natural for an arm to look like that.
She waited until they walked away the two women chained to the wall next to her before she crawled out and slipped a little closer to stare. She looked upwards and noticed a patch of sky not much bigger than a small hole (perhaps she could have fit through once upon a time if there were no chains) but she stared upwards. Sky, sun come morning.
She'd been in worst places.
And with that she curled up as far away from the two other woman as she could get and closed her eyes to try and keep away sleep, the nightmares and the knowledge of what was going to happen when the sun came up.
And there you are i hope you enjoy and i will do my best to update sooner rather than later.
Next Chapter-As Marian and Djaq wake up to their new nightmare they meet a woman with a terrible past. Meanwhile a terrible discovery awaits Robin and the gang.