kegel84: (Will and Djaq)
[personal profile] kegel84
Title: Better Days Will Come
By: Kegel
Fandom: Robin Hood BBC
Characters: Djaq, Will, John, Robin, Marian, Much, Allan
Rating: T
Disclaimer: Anything that you recognize I do not own.
Summary: A twist of history and an unexpected offer give Robin new opportunities in his fight for both his people and country. It also brings new dilemmas, as he and the gang have to make hard choices to find their way when conflicts come to a head.
Spoilers: Till mid-season 2.

Chapter Summary: Djaq talks to Will, and Robin confronts Allan.

Notes: Thanks to [ profile] emmithar for the beta!

Chapter 20: Division

The rain had become softer. It didn't help much though, as Djaq was thoroughly drenched by now, drops of water falling from her hair and running down her face as well. She didn't pay much attention to it as she watched the retreating form of Allan vanishing in the forest.

She had advised him to go. If she hadn't, John - or Will, for that matter - would have made him leave, and on less friendly terms than she had parted with him.

Allan had been desperate. He believed if he was to leave now there would never be a way back for him, and he had nowhere else to go either. Djaq had tried to tell him that Robin would allow him to return, once things had settled down, but Allan didn't believe that. Quite the opposite. He believed that Robin would come to hunt him down, kill him even, if only to protect the knowledge the gang had, about their camp and other issues. Djaq had argued against that, had told him that Robin would not do such a thing. She had tried to tell him what Robin had said, that he didn't think Allan could do any harm right now, but she had not wanted to phrase it this way, had wanted to make Allan see that there was more than this, that he could still be a part of the gang. She had started to remind him of the times where he had done good for them, where they had trusted in him, and rightly so.

For now he was gone; and Djaq didn't know where to.

“May Allah protect you wherever you go.”

She told it to the trees as Allan was too far away to hear anything she said.

After a few more moments, she turned towards the camp and walked over there slowly, knowing she would be met with another conflict there. Will had been angry, and not only at Allan, but apparently at her even more so.

She had never intended to put herself between Allan and Will. She had felt it right that Allan got the chance to explain himself, but she hadn't expected that this would put her in opposition to Will.

When she entered the camp, she first saw John busy preparing a meal. He looked over to her, and she didn't detect any anger towards her in his expression, a fact that calmed her.

She spotted Will by his bunk then. He was hunched over, holding a piece of wood and a knife in his hands. He was carving something, though she didn't recognize what it was, but she guessed it didn't matter much. He was doing this because it calmed him when he was upset, she knew.

She was worried about being the one who had caused that feeling, but she also felt that it had been the right thing to do to speak up for Allan, no matter that she had not succeeded in it for now.

Djaq went over to John at first, saying his name quietly. He looked up to her again, grimacing slightly, and shrugged.

She managed a tight smile and walked to Will's side slowly. He stopped carving soon, not pretending for very long to be focused on his work. He didn't meet her eye though.

“Is he gone?” he asked crisply.

It wasn’t the question she had expected, anticipating rather to be asked to explain her actions again.

“Yes,” she answered simply. She could have told him how she hoped he would be back, but then this wouldn’t be a good idea either. Not now, at the least.

"Good," Will answered, in the same tense voice.

Djaq had a hard time believing he actually felt this way. Allan had done wrong, yes, but she didn't think Will really wanted him gone permanently. The two men were friends, were they not? She shook her head, letting out a sigh.

"Robin has gone off to Nottingham," she said, sitting down near him.

"I know." It took a moment for him to reply, but when he did, she noticed the change in his voice. "Marian was here. She told us."

Djaq nodded, remembering what Marian had said to Much earlier. "Why is she not here?" She hadn't seen the woman, but that meant little. Most likely she had returned to Locksley, and they had simply missed one another.

"She went after Robin."

"How can that be?" Djaq looked at him. "Robin left from Locksley, he did not want her to come."

"What do you mean?"

"I think she is still in danger. Robin said he would talk to the sheriff about her. He also brought some of the silver. I do not know what he wants to do."

Will sighed, rubbing his head. "Marian will be fine. She can take care of herself. I worry about Robin. I don't trust the sheriff."

Djaq didn't say anything. She could understand Will's skepticism. But she still trusted that Robin would know what to do. If something was wrong, Robin would tell them. But then she could remember that Robin had wanted them to stay here, that he was not so sure about the sheriff's plans either.

"Food is ready," John said, having already taken a plate for himself.

Neither of the two moved to get any of it, sitting still where they were. Mildly she wondered about Allan, about what he would eat.

They hadn't addressed the issue yet, not really, apart from Will's first, strained question. But Djaq wanted to have the possibility to explain it to him, to tell him that she believed Allan was still their friend, that he needed them and they needed him. But she felt too uncomfortable breaking the topic again, if Will did not invite it.

“When is Robin going to come here?” Will asked all of a sudden, when Djaq had almost been about to move to get food after all.

“I do not know,” she admitted, remembering then that she had asked that they wait for Robin before they made any decision about Allan. The man was gone now but she still hoped that Robin would agree to his return once they had a chance to think and speak calmly about it.

Will nodded, looking directly at her now, as if trying to gauge what she was thinking.

He probably wouldn’t have liked her thoughts if he had been able to read them, seeing that they were straying to Allan again. She pushed them to the back of her mind. She wanted to tell him that she valued his opinion, that she believed he was acting in good faith, but that she also knew they could put trust in Allan. She was still wondering about the words she might have used, when he spoke again.

“I'm sorry.” He looked away, abashedly. “For what I said.”

She hadn't expected him to say this, hadn't thought he had anything to apologize for, as he had only spoken his feelings in a situation of trust and mistrust. She remembered the last time he actually had occasion for an apology, back then when he had locked her in a room in the castle, so she wouldn’t be able to get the antidote to the sheriff after Will had poisoned him. He had been downcast then, not only about his father's death, as was understandable, but also because he had thought she would not forgive him.

He had seen then that she did forgive; she always did when she knew things had not been done with malicious intention, when she knew the other to be good, no matter that they had made mistakes. She just hoped Will would see that the same counted for Allan.

>>>-----> >>>-----> >>>-----> >>>-----> >>>-----> >>>-----> >>>----->

As the horse carried them away from Nottingham, Robin was reminded of the day when they had come to the town in a very familiar fashion, when he had picked her up at Locksley after the thankfully failed wedding. They had been careless then, had been lucky that they had not been seen, or rather that people had not realised what they had seen.

Now things were different; it didn't matter that the guards at the town's gate had seen them riding away together. There were still frowns on the men's faces, but Robin attributed this more to the fact that they had to let the former outlaw go free.

He also knew that they couldn't trust that things would stay the way they were now. It was very well possible that the deal with the sheriff would not work out, that they would have to go back to the forest. As Robin felt Marian holding on to him behind him, he figured that she would come with him in such a case. As long as the king wasn’t home, they would never truly be safe.

For now, it felt good to take her away from the town, there were the sheriff still ruled. That Locksley was their destination only made it better. He smiled as he drove the horse on. He still had to take care with the reins, his hand still paining him and not really working as it was supposed to, but Djaq's words on the previous day had given him hope that it would heal fully.

He guessed that Much would be waiting when they returned, but he didn't know about the others. He hadn't asked Djaq what she planned to do, but could imagine that she had joined John, Will and Allan back at the camp. Well, not Allan, as Robin remembered what Djaq had told him had happened. That was one more issue Robin would have to take care of.

He hadn't been sure what he could suggest for the others, but he knew even less so now what to do about Allan. As he had told Djaq, he didn't think Allan could do any harm for now. This wasn’t because Robin trusted that the man wouldn’t give any more information to Gisborne if he had the opportunity, but rather because he was now dealing with the sheriff directly anyway. The sheriff was by now aware that Marian was with him; Vaysey had made that clear enough already back down in the dungeons. Their camp was still a secret though, and Robin was definitely not willing to give it up, considering they might have to go back there one day.

As they came into the forest, he slowed down the horse, glancing over his shoulder at Marian behind him.

“You alright?” he called.

“I'm fine.”

He nodded, focusing on the way ahead again.

When they arrived in Locksley, Robin could already make out Much's form in the distance. Robin rode up to him, coming to a stop some feet away from the other, wincing slightly as he pulled up the reins. Marian slid off the horse, before he got out of the saddle, and Much beamed at him, as he turned around.

“You're back.”

Robin knew that Much hadn't much liked him riding off to Nottingham after he had just escaped from there, but the man would have to get used to the fact that they were not to run off to the forest anymore.

“I told Thornton that you would want to eat when you're back. And Marian surely, too. And I.”

“Thanks, Much.”

“Of course, then Allan came, and he was hungry, too, so we-”

“Allan?” Robin asked sharply.

Much nodded. “He's inside. He didn't say why the others didn't come, though.”

Robin gritted his teeth, frowning deeply. He relaxed somewhat as he looked at Marian. He had wanted to spend time with her, not have to deal with the traitor. He didn't even know why on earth the man had dared to turn up at Locksley now, even more so without the others. Then he remembered what Djaq had said. They had sent Allan away. Will and John had. While Robin didn't like that they had made a decision without him, he could understand their anger.

“Where is he?”

“By the kitchen, I think. I told him he could get something there,” Much explained. “Surely you and Marian want-”

Robin was already making his way into the house now, wondering where Djaq was, seeing that Allan was here, but Much hadn't mentioned her. Maybe the Saracen had brought the man here, after being also the one who had told Robin about the betrayal.

Robin didn't even need to go as far as the kitchen, as he met Allan halfway there. The man visibly tensed as he caught Robin's eye. Though he would have wanted to throw the man out of the house as quickly as possible, it being rather ironic that just after he had gotten the place back from Gisborne he was now standing opposite of a man he had trusted, but who had been secretly working for the same man.

Robin crossed his arms in front of him. “Djaq told me,” he informed the other, not trying to calm the anger he was feeling. This was the man who might very well be responsible for a lot of harm that had come to them, not the least thinking of what had happened in the autumn, and in York just a few days ago.

“I...” Allan started. “It's over, Robin, I swear. I'm not working for him anymore.”

“But you did.” Robin stated it quietly, remembering the days in captivity, the fact that Vaysey had had him – and Marian – in his hands. Ironically, it was what had brought him here, but if the sheriff hadn't felt the need for a deal, they might all be dead now.

“He tortured me, Robin.”

Robin flinched in anger, holding up his injured hand. “You know what they were doing here?” He knew the man couldn't see the wounds beneath the bandages, but Robin remembered the pain and the fear well enough, of losing the hand, of never being able to use a bow again. “I was caught because you gave information to Gisborne, to the sheriff, to who knows who. Last year all of us were caught, we all nearly hanged.”

“I didn't have a choice,” Allan said. “And I didn't. I mean, York, that wasn’t my fault. I didn't tell them anything. And last year, that wasn’t me either. I got caught, too, didn't I?”

Robin took quick steps forward, pushing Allan once with force, as he didn't move out of the way. “So you worked for Gisborne, but never told him anything that harmed any of us.” He grabbed Allan's tunic, waiting for the man to defend himself. “What did you tell him then? About our camp? About Marian?” The ideas of what could have happened made him hold the other yet tighter.

“I told him nothing, really, just when we were trying to get the sheriff's treasure and such, and he knew that already, didn't he, he could guess that.”

“Get out of here.” Robin let go of the tunic, pushing Allan towards the door instead.

“Robin, I'm sorry. Please, give me another chance.” As Robin charged forward again, he jumped back, almost out of the door now. “The others, they want me to stay, they're giving me another chance.”

Robin laughed without humor. “John and Will sent you away, didn't they? Djaq told me about it.”

“But she wants me to stay. And Much didn't send me away either, didn't he? Even offered me food and all. Has the heart at the right place, Much-”

“He doesn't know!” Robin cut through the pleading. “You didn't care about him, or Djaq, or any of the others when you were betraying us.”

“I did, I swear.”

Robin swung his fist, still not able to stop his anger. He hit Allan at the temple, the man crumbling down to the floor. The sight made him stop, and caused him to step back, his heart racing.

“Robin, where are-” Much was coming inside, nearly falling over Allan's crumbled form. “What happ-, why-?” he mumbled as he saw the man who was groaning, looking up to where Robin was still trying to find his calm.

His hand was aching again now, as he could feel every heart beat resounding in it. He swallowed. “He's a traitor.”

“A traitor?” Much exclaimed. “Why? How?”

“We have to get him out of here.” Robin looked down at Allan.

He remembered now what he had told Djaq: that he didn't think Allan could do any more harm for now. Still, it did not mean he could forget what had happened; and Allan had experienced that now. He shook his head.

Much's expression showed something between concern and disgust as he looked at the man who was lying on the floor, while Robin was kneeling down next to Allan. He wasn’t exactly sorry for what he had done, but wasn’t feeling the same rage anymore either; he knew, if he had believed that Allan could still harm them now, could harm Marian with his betrayal, he might have killed him.

It was a strange thought, as he and Much were propping up the other. He didn't want to kill, not even the sheriff, but the rage he had felt at one of his own men... It was dangerous.

Allan's eyelids fluttered. Robin wondered again where Djaq was, this time out of slowly starting worry and regret. He pushed the latter away quickly, telling himself that the man had had it coming to him. It was Robin who had once saved him from the gallows, had given up everything for him and the others...

Allan opened his eyes then, meeting Robin's gaze as he stared down at the man. He winced, reaching up to touch his head. Robin drew back, leaving the man to himself. He sat down on the ground a few paces away, pulling his knees up, as he avoided Allan's gaze. He just wanted the man gone.

He didn't know what Much was doing, but didn't feel up to any comments from him either. Out of the corner of his eyes he could see Allan slowly getting on his feet, groaning.

“You're not any better, Robin,” he said, walking out of the door as Robin looked up.

“Master-” Much stopped before saying anything more.

“I could have killed him,” Robin said flatly. He knew he had been angry enough for that, and if he thought of the idea of the man betraying them all, the idea that he might have given away Marian, maybe telling Gisborne that she was the Nightwatchman, he still did not feel it wrong. But then, Allan had been one of them.

“Well...” Much started again. “He deserved it, I suppose. Not to be killed, I mean. We don't kill. But you hit him. He deserved that, I'm sure. If he's a traitor.”

Robin was silent, watching the floor. He wasn't sure Much meant what he said, remembering the man had spoken against Robin torturing Gisborne even. He probably didn't condone Robin hurting Allan out of pure anger.

Robin lifted his hand then, the pain still coming and going with the beat of his heart. There was so much he had to do.

“What are you doing?” he heard Marian's voice coming from the entrance. He looked up to meet her gaze, clearly wondering why he and Much were sitting on the floor.

He grimaced. “We're not used to living in a house again,” he tried joking and it earned him a short smile from her, before she asked again.

“What is wrong?”

“Allan,” Much answered in Robin's place, and there was understanding in her expression.

She came over to Robin, offering her hand. He took it with his left, pulling himself up, at the same time as the exhaustion was once again falling over him.

“You need sleep,” she said.

“So do you.”

She nodded once.

He wondered if he really wanted to sleep in the bedroom that had been Gisborne's until a few days ago. He frowned, knowing he had to get past that. Locksley was his again, had always be his rightfully.

“You can take the other room upstairs,” he offered then, guessing that it felt awkward for her to stay here, even now that they had cleared the problem with the sheriff.

“I stayed there, when... I was here with my father,” Marian said quietly.

Robin nodded, looking at her, as he felt her sadness, while he had just been thinking of the fact that Gisborne had been here then.

He pulled her towards him, stroking her back and feeling the softness of her hair. “Get some sleep.”

“I will.”

Chapter 21
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