queenofmay: (Nottingham Castle's Spy)
[personal profile] queenofmay
This day had not started well already. She'd had to be awake, dressed and out of her room before dawn. It was the only way in the last few days she'd managed escape the guard who came to wait at her door. Who would then follow her, like a dog, all through her day. Keeping her from being able to do anything. Waking up too early, along with a few other tricks, she'd started slipping them.

Not enough that it was being reported. Just enough to find out things she needed. To listen in on important conversations.

Like the one taking place a level below her, while she frowned in rather obvious confusion, hiding in the shadow of the second floor walkway, listening to the Sheriff call out a greeting to Henry of Lewes. The Sheriff's spy, who would know when and where King Richard would land when he returned home. A man who never should have made it here. She'd told Robin and His Men when he'd be coming and by which way.

She'd expected them to stop him. Somehow. There were some details she didn't ask about. They didn't ask how she managed to get her information, she didn't ask how he took care of the problems she brought them. They both edged toward learning how to trust this arrangement, even when it was not ideal. But they were helping, and situations were being handled. At least they had been. Before this.

Marian leaned from the shadows, trying to see as they approached the litter, without making it so anyone could see her. This was dangerous enough. The Sheriff, or Guy, or any of the guards, might look up and catch her standing there, attentive at any second. But she couldn't go. She had to stop this somehow.

At least she thought she did, until The Sheriff and Guy both stepped back, as the body of Henry of Lewes fell prostate on the ground. Groaning and mostly unconscious. While The Sheriff started demanding his physician, looking around wildly and she had to start back from the rampart, lest she get spotted while he was in a rage, on top of needing to do something.




Marian hadn't been surprised to find the arrow, nocked into her bed post when she reached her room. Grabbing her cloak, and turning right back around. Heading for servants entrances and exits into the city. Pulling her cloak in tight, and staring at her feet as she left in crowd. Looking around only selectively as she walked through the square.

Robin would be here somewhere, but it was best not to look obvious. She walked through areas, looking at the wares on tables and trying not to scan the crowd, even as she wanted to. Until her back and side were brushed, more insistently than by someone passing, and she glanced up as though only startled by someone passing. Their eyes meeting briefly. She thanked the woman with her clay pots, and turned to walk. Conveniently at the same time as him.

A hiss of frustration in her words, which settled for greetings they both knew they had no time for. "Why did you let the messenger through?"

"Has he talked?" It was low, and without a glance in her direction. Maybe they were just coincidentally walking together. The girl with a too nice cloak, and the beggar, with the rag covering all over him, hunched forward, and hobbling with a staff a foot taller than himself.

"No, not yet. He was taken ill." That much was true. That much she knew before the flurry of commotion in the castle. Enough of it that she knew she couldn't get anywhere near him soon. It was easy not to be missed in that kind of situation, too. To try and find out why he'd chosen to ignore all she'd gone through. The sharpness curving through her voice, "Look, Robin, I took a risk to find out his route, and you still let him through."

Risks. Risks she could not even be taking, while her father was sitting in a cell, in the bottom of Nottingham Castle. Still under orders that she was not allowed to see him.

"You can't go back into the castle." He said suddenly, hushed and dark.

And Marian nearly, stopped, bewildered at the nature of his tone. "What?"

"Go to the forest.." Still the dark, heavy, ominous tone. The one she knew too well. The one they played off of each other in last year, so often during her engagement. "Now. I'll join you once I've silenced Henry."

"The forest?" Far be it for her not to cringe in some part at 'silenced', even as she was busy being torn between the confusion at his tone and her annoyance at his once again being his default answer to everything. She could not run. Could not. Her father would die, then. She was not going to have this conversation again. "Don't be ridiculous."

"You told me he'd travel by The North Road." Again the insistence, the curl of anger barely held in. Straightening his shoulders almost enough to lose his disguise in the worst emphasis on the name.

Making her confused enough to only go with, a single word, both an answer to his question, and a question to what was going on. "Yes."

"But he didn't." They were slowing. He was getting to a point. She could tell, because he was leaning against her arm. She could feel the tension radiating from him, as he stepped even closer. When she could see the hardness of his eyes. "Marian, I think I have a spy in my gang."

He turned them down a passage way, as she tried to think of any of those men, or Djaq, turning on him. It seemed impossible. After all they'd all done and been through. The fact they all had her secret. They'd all had all of the secret of The Sheriff, of Robin's plans. She tried to stifle the panic, keep her voice calm enough, as she glanced up at him having to hold her hood so it wouldn't fall down. "What are you going to do?"

Robin looked up suddenly, green eyes so dark under his hood, only to reach out and drag her into an even smaller alley. Suddenly and forcefully, leaving her to frown, and look behind her. Trying not to wrench her arm in his grasp, while making the sudden dragging abduction of her to a stall right at the edge hadn't gotten attention. He never did have the patience to think about that in an emergency.

She walked faster, getting in front of, getting behind long hanging curtains of a tenant house, and turning to him. As he walked forward toward her. A tall foreboding shape, that closed in on her. Angry, and trying to make his voice soft. Trying to promise what he hadn't gotten to. She could see it, see herself, straight through his words.

"I'll silence Henry..." was where it all kept starting, as he leaned out, placing a hand on the wall right behind her, blocking her in, between the wall and him. The concern so much greater for the dark, uncertain stillness in his face. A quieter, deathly promise. "...and then I'll find the traitor in my own camp and I'll silence him."

Last week, it had been potentially Will. She didn't like how easily he could jump to this. How very certainly he was looking at her like she was fragile, but he couldn't force her to see. She defended, as the only voice, that he might listen to. Again. "None of your men have been in the castle. I would have seen them."

"Then somebody is going out to meet them," he said, right back. So close to her. Inches only between them. Several words neither of them were saying.

Marian looked down, not about to surrender for his uncertainty. "I'll keep watch."

"No." It was the edge of a stricken demanded. "You'll keep out of it."

"No," She said forcefully back. Refusing to be shoved out, opening her mouth continue as he leaned in.

"Marian," Robin over rode her, as though silencing her mouth could silence the streak of being unwilling to be uninvolved with everything. "This is none of your business."

"The King’s being betrayed right now because of your spy." It was a hiss, trying not to raise her voice any louder than they already was. His stubborn need to protect her, and lying about how deep it all ran. If it was one of them, it was all of them. The whole last year's secrets. "It is my business."

"Well," He said, cockiness and annoyance at her persistence rising in his voice. Desperation to make her obey, knowing exactly where he'd go next. To avoid the emotional consequences at the center, but to play on the point of where they came, why he was here, telling her, and not there, figuring out who it was with them. "What if the spy’s told them about you and the Nightwatchman?"

Marian said it bluntly, knowing he'd take it like she'd slapped him for sense, and tried not to feel the ultimate weight of her own words when they fell out. "Then I’m dead anyway."
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queenofmay

May 2014

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