Hi, so here is another chapter, I hope you enjoy this one, there are some Trigger Warnings in this chapter so please be aware and the next chapter will have them as well.
I hope you enjoy, Disclaimer-Nothing in this chapter is mine just the character of Erin.
Please Read and Review and thank you for your kind words so far.
Faith Based Initiative
Chapter 3-Take It Back
The Outlaws attempt to regroup after events as it becomes clear that something is terribly wrong. Meanwhile Marian and Djaq attempt to gain the trust of Erin. Potential Trigger Warnings, for this chapter.
For a moment there was nothing. Will watching caught Allan's eyes. There was a sense that Robin was either going to explode or collapse and Will didn't want to see either one. He wanted to find Djaq. There was a restlessness under his skin that made him itch. He had never been a person content to sit on his backside and watch the day to day events pass him by without commenting on them or stopping them if he felt it was a great injustice. After all that had been what had gotten him in a jail cell with Luke shivering next to him choking down his sobs as Will had attempted to get him to sleep, that had been what had gotten a nose around his neck and a bag over his head as his father had shouted from the gallows. And that was what had gotten him in the forest time and time again an outlaw, a criminal and a common thief.
In hindsight that was his temper as well. But right now he didn't care about that. Robin it seemed had taken the first option which was complete and utter rage and panic and had sprinted off in the direction of Knighton so fast that the rest of the outlaws had to sprint to catch up with him. Will who considered himself a fast runner (between Gisborne, the Sherriff and the guards you had to be, and that was even before he had become an outlaw) but Robin ran like a man possessed and he took the Outlaws with him until he crashed through the well-worn path to where Knighton Hall had stood.
Will skidded to a stop staring. He felt Allan crash into his back and then bounce off him and he swore but Will couldn't speak.
Knighton Hall had been a staple throughout Will's childhood. When he had been a child Marian's mother had opened the doors for Christmas and Easter and had invited all the children to dinner on the King's birthday. Some of the best meals of his early years had been at Knighton Hall where Lady Kate had taken up her needlework with his mother and the other woman of the villages had pulled up a chair, there had been alter cloths for the Church to stich, embroidery and conversation. His mother had always loved those afternoons where all she had needed was her needle and the gossip of London a world so far away and Will and later Luke would go to the gardens to play with the other children while their father assisted Sir Edward with tasks around the house or spoke to him about the king and the taxes and other things that as Sherriff back then Sir Edward was in better control of and it had become an integral part of Will's life even after Lady Kate had died and Sir Edward taken from his position of power. Even when Marian had been about to marry it had always been there, old perhaps, in need of good repairs and a little small compared to the vast estate that was Robin's home but always there.
And now it was gone.
Ash. That was all that remained of it ash.
"Fuck" Allan breathed quietly and though he deplored the language (Will had been raised by a good Christian woman who would have boxed his ears for that kind of talk) he privately agreed.
There was a thudding noise that took the two of them out of their stupor. Robin had lost all feeling in his legs it seemed and he would have almost fallen had it not been for Little John catching him around the waist and forcing him to sit down. Will had to look away from the look on Robin's face. Once Marian had died and it had destroyed him. It had taken great lumps out of Robin and that Will realised with a thudding heart, had only been this week. She had only jilted her husband to be two days ago.
As if Robin had followed his line of though he pushed himself up onto his feet ignoring Much's hand on his shoulder his expression not the dangerous kind that Will had seen when Marian's body had been laid out before them. It was something else. Something more heartbreaking and Will knew that Robin didn't need to be told that he had gained his miracle once. Marian had come back to life once. She was not going to do it twice. Will knew that look etched upon his dearest friends face. He had seen that look before. That had been the look on his father's face when Will and Luke had come back from gathering wood hoping warmth would make up for lack of food and they had known that their mother had died.
"Maybe they were taken" that was Much and Will wanted to scream at him because there was very little chance that that had happened and Robin did not deserve false hope after everything that he had been through.
"No seriously" he said reading correctly no doubt the look of incredulity on Will and Allan's faces. "She punched Gisborne in the face in front of half of the nobility and a good chunk of his villagers. He's mad as hell at her we all knew that. Not to mention the fact that we foiled the Sherriff's plan and stopped him from murdering the remaining nobles. And the Sherriff is many things but he's not stupid, he must know that you have feelings for Marian even if he doesn't know if she returns them. It's the perfect opportunity for him. And Marian's not going to put up a fight if they have her father is she?"
Will thought about it. If they were wrong he knew that it would be Robin that suffered immensely but he had to admit it, Much's plan had some merit to it. The Sherriff wouldn't think twice before using Marian to his own uses, Gisborne was admittedly rather unhappy with her (and a small, tiny, teensy-weensy part of him was loath to admit that he could understand why) and it would strike a blow to Robin if he thought that she was dead.
"We need to go to Nottingham" Much said helping Robin to put his bow on his back like they were back in the Holy Lands and he was helping his master dress before they went out onto the field of battle. Robin allowed him which was even more distressing and Will wondered if perhaps they were witnessing a Robin in the midst of the blood and the death of war. Allan next to him took a step closer.
"What about Djaq? Do we think the Sherriff's got her as well?"
And Will suddenly felt if possible like the worst human being on the planet.
Because they had forgotten about Djaq. They had forgotten in their race to get to Marian and Knighton Hall that they had forgotten about their fellow outlaw who had if John's information been correct had not been seen since she had been to the stream to bathe the previous night.
And it was Djaq…It was Djaq! How could he, how could he Will Scarlett not notice that Djaq was gone!? This was Djaq for crying out loud he had a hard time keeping his eyes off her whenever she was near him. He looked for her all the time, he fought next to her, he slept next to her, he had taken himself in hand more than once over her and he had fallen as steadily in love with her as fast as it was possible. For all that Allan had said he liked her it had been Will who had picked his nails to pieces over not knowing weather or not she was being hurt by the Sherriff. It had been Will whose hands were shaking when he had hugged her upon her return to camp and when they had found out Marian was still alive. Despite the fact that he knew that she would never feel the same way he couldn't have helped himself falling in love with her the same as if he couldn't help himself from joining Robin or stealing the flour of the game that saw their village fed.
It was impulsive, it was dangerous, it would often lead to heartbreak and pain and misery. But there was no point in questioning it. It was how Will Scarlett operated. It was the only way he knew how to be him. And…and now the woman he was so in love with was missing and he had forgotten all about it because he had been too busy watching Robin Hood fall apart.
His stomach turned over. God what a horrible beast he was!
So engrossed with his own self hatred he was, Will didn't realise that they was a conversation going on between Little John and Robin about Djaq. Pulling his head out of his backside he made an effort to engage in what was going on around him.
"We should go to Nottingham" Robin was arguing very strongly. Will caught Allan's eye and knew that despite their worry for Marian and Djaq they were thinking the same thing.
There was no way in hell that Robin should go to Nottingham. In this mood there was not telling what Robin would do if…if…God even thinking about it made him want to vomit.
"Why don't we go to where Djaq was bathing" that was Much and it was such a surprising suggestion that they all turned to look at him. He squirmed a little under their gazes but elaborated.
"Look if someone's grabbed her we might be able to find some clues. If it's not the Sherriff and I admit that it's probably the Sherriff but if he's got someone new working for him we should know who they are before we sneak in"
"He's got a point" Allan said in a tone that was vaguely impressed. Will whose brain cut through the fog of panic whenever there was a plan in place nodded. He was desperate to do something, itching to do something and once he had a plan in place he could fight and find Djaq and apologise for his terrible lack of interest which had seen her go missing, perhaps today would be the day when he would confess how he was feeling…perhaps she would respond.
Allan snapped his fingers in front of his face with an eyeroll and Will realised he had slipped into the reigns of fantasy again and pulled himself back to the present. It was the year 1192, his name was Will Scarlett and the woman he loved heart and soul was missing and he had to find her weather or not his feelings for her were returned.
Little John told them he had seen Djaq go down to the stream and they started running towards the place.
The place where they knew Djaq was bathing was empty apart from various articles of clothing. It looked like Djaq had managed to get dressed before she was taken which as Allan pointed out his usual expression twisted to one of utmost concern, had to help.
But her sword was there and Will couldn't help but feel a piece of himself breaking. He curled his hands into fists to prevent himself from breaking down. Much patted him on the shoulder but he could feel the darkness of anger and pain close down upon him.
Somehow, someway they were going to find them.
And God help anyone who got in Will Scarlett's way.
"Now" Robin said his voice tight with anger. "We go to Nottingham"
How long it had been Djaq wasn't sure. There was something about being in this place that made time disappear. The last time she had felt like the world was passing her by and she had no idea what was happening was when she was in the ship coming over from the Holy Lands and she had been encased in darkness for months.
Perhaps because of this she was coping rather well all things considered. The light showing from the small hole showed it was daylight and it was enough to throw shadows across the room. Djaq had been in worse places than this and she told herself that time and time again as her fingers clasped in lap began to tremble. Marian on the other hand was not taking it well.
She had begun to run her hands over the floor where she could reach looking for something to break the chain she was attached to and then when she found nothing she had begun to use her fingernails. She was shivering with the breeze that was rattling around the cave and Djaq wanted to tell her to save her strength but she too was freezing. They were in their nightclothes or partly dressed and the adrenaline was rising between them. Djaq knew as well that Marian was trying to hide the fact that she was still crying over her father, tears were still falling down her face and she was shaking as well as shivering and Djaq knew that as much as she wanted hide her face she was not doing it very well.
Discreetly she let her eye wonder to the woman called Erin. She was leaning back against the cave wall staring at the hole in the sky. Djaq looked at her and thought that if Erin got the chain of her wrist she was so thin she might be able to slip through it. She thought that if they could do that she could go to Robin.
Of course there were many obstacles standing in the way of that plan, namely they had to get Erin to agree but Djaq knew it would give her mind something to do and a lack of stimulus was the true enemy.
"Marian" she called softly and Marian looked up. "Your bleeding"
Marian looked down and saw that her hands were bleeding. Djaq felt another stab of pity for the woman who had never been in a situation like this and when she spoke again it was like she was speaking to a child.
"You and I might have to fight our way out here. Your going to need your hands to do it"
Marian nodded softly and then resting her hands in her lap. Her wrist were she had been twisting it was bleeding and she had cut herself but wiped them on her nightgown.
"Won't make a damn bit of difference" came a small voice.
It was Erin, she had not looked at them before but now she was and her blue gaze was frank. "You'll never get that off" she indicated the chain. "I tried in the beginning, they have the only key and they only take if off when they want something"
"Like what?" Marian asked her voice sharp. "We need to know what were in for. Are they…are they going to hurt us? Torture us? Rape us?"
Erin looked her in the eye and her tone was still like she was half dead and that was what frightened Djaq more than anything in that moment.
"They will do whatever they want. There the Black Knights, nothing is above them or beyond their reach. Not even the King. They have people everywhere. They take whatever they want and there's nothing you can do to stop it. If you want my advice don't fight the inevitable. They enjoy that too much"
Marian stared at her and Djaq knew that the look of horror on her face was reflected back on her own. She didn't know what was worse, what Erin was saying or the matter of fact tone in which she was saying.
"Robin will come for us" Marian said finally. "I know him, I know he'll find us"
Erin opened her mouth and Djaq was prepared to launch into the story of who Robin was and why he would come and find them but there was the sound of footsteps coming closer along with something that was . Within seconds Erin was back against the wall her look of utter disinterest replaced by abject terror and Djaq felt her stomach roll in a combination of sympathy and fear. Being a boy when she had been enslaved (or at least giving a rather convincing impression of one) had saved her from the fate she suspected she would have been subjected too if she'd been a woman captured by slavers. But now she had no such luxury.
The man who came into the room had Erin scattering backwards and he gave a short laugh. Djaq knew who he was and the back of her head where he had smacked her with the back of his sword throbbed in sympathy. The man gave a short laugh looking at all three woman completely at his mercy and then just as Djaq thought he was going for Erin who still hadn't masked the fear in her eyes he switched tactics and went instead for Marion.
Djaq pushed herself forwards yelling her words mingling with Marion's and in her panic she was switching languages but the chain pulled her back before she could even reach her friend and she was powerless to do nothing but watch as Marion who went fighting like the warrior she was, being dragged out of the room letting out some language that would have made even Allan blush and suddenly she was gone and Djaq was left alone in a cold cave feeling utterly powerless and the panic she had worked so hard to keep at bay threatening to overwhelm her.
"I told you" Erin said softly watching with eyes that had seen too much. "I told you. There's nothing you can do. Were all going to die"
And there you are, I will do my best to get you the next chapter as soon as I can.
Next Chapter-Marian is forced to fight. Erin listens as Djaq tries to formulate a plan. And the Outlaws storm Nottingham only to be met with a plan to kill the King.