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Time's Arrow (14/27)

Title: "Time's Arrow, Chapter 14"
Copyright Notice: All characters owned by the BBC, BBC America and Tiger Aspect Media.
Plot spoilers: Torchwood: Season 2, Doctor Who: Season 4, Robin Hood: Season 2 Up to ends of Current Seasons of all Three Shows.
Pairings:  Robin/Much, Rhys/Martha, Gwen/Jasper, Robin/Mickey/10 Doctor/Ianto/Much/Jack,  Allan/Little John/OC, Allan/Guy
Warnings: Generally safe with a dash of slash.
Rating: PG (light slash content)
Summary: Fourteenth chapter of my multichapter, multi fandom, fic. This series brings together characters from Robin Hood, Torchwood, and Doctor Who. The boys are safely back in Sherwood but all is not well.  A little something special in this chapter for "Team Leather' fans.

Previous Chapters Below:
Cover Art, Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 Explicit content chapter rewrites 6; 9

Made possible by my wonderful beta,
</a></font></b></a>zooeyrye
I really appreciate her helping me get this right!

 

Chapter 14: One Night … at Outlaw Camp …

 

The vortex was pulling him in and he couldn’t escape. The darkness surrounded him and there was no air, no sound; no Robin. He was falling alone and terrified of where he would end up. He knew there would be no getting back home this time; none of his friends would be there to help him. He screamed silently in terror as he fell…

 

“Much!”

 

“Master!” Calloused hands grabbed his arms as the world fell into focus around him. Robin’s worried face filled his vision and he breathed a sigh of relief. “I was dreaming?”

 

“I would assume you were having a nightmare!” The archer’s concern then turned to annoyance, “You nodded off by the campfire while we were going over plans to rescue Gwen, Martha and Rhys.”

 

“Apologies Master, It has just been such a long day.” The blonde servant punctuated his words with a long drawn out yawn.

 

“For all of us, my friend,” Robin replied. “But we must carry on. I need your knowledge of the Servants’ Quarters to get us into Loxley.” He softened, offering his hand to his faithful companion. “We will rest when everyone is safe, I promise.”

 

“You always promise,” Much mocked, stretching as he got up. “We will rest as soon as we stop the sheriff, Much. We will eat as soon as we finish feeding the poor, Much—”

 

“All right, I get it!” Robin spat back at his fussy friend, grasping the blonde man’s shoulder. “Do this and I will not only let you sleep in when we are done. I will serve you breakfast in bed.”

 

Much grinned wickedly, “That is hardly incentive, my master. You are a terrible cook.”

 

“I was hoping you had forgotten that,” he shot back.

 

***

 

Loxley Manor

 

“Just once I would like to end up some place in time where I’m the master and someone else is the servant!” Martha fumed as she kicked the dirt around the stable while Rhys swept it.

 

“Oi! I just cleaned there!” Rhys complained as she kicked up another pile of hay on the floor.

 

 

“Sorry Rhys.” Martha bit her lip as she watched the husky blonde man sweeping the dirt floor of the small stable with the crude home made broom.

 

“I may be sleepin’ on a dirt floor tonight but at least it will be a clean one!” Rhys finished the job and set about arranging the blankets for him and Martha. 

 

“I wonder what Gwen is up to now in the main house with him.”

 

“I’m tryin’ to keep myself from thinkin’ ’bout that.” Rhys replied. “I’m sure that wife of mine had her reasons for callin’ us her servants but it doesn’t make me like the idea of her spendin’ the evening alone with a 12th century Lord any better. Best to get a good nights’ sleep and think about it in the morning.”

 

“You sure she’ll be all right?”

 

“Oh she’ll be all right. One thing I know about Gwen Williams is she can take care of herself.”

 

***

 

The meal – an exceptional one even by 21st century standards – fills Gwen and Lord Jasper, who sat at one end of the very long table. The game bird she sampled was delicious, the vegetables crisp, and the wine heavenly.  

 

“So what part of Wales do you hail from, Lady Gwyneth?” Jasper eyed his new guest with as much interest as the delicious meal before him.

 

The Torchwood agent coughed a little in surprise, as she took a sip of wine; “Cardiff my Lord.”

 

“So what brings one as fair as you, so many miles from home, only to get lost in Sherwood Forest?”

 

Gwen had to think fast and pray the man before her was as clueless as she suspected. “We were following the shipment of treasure in payment to the Duke of York. The coach and driver are gone. There was something important on it we’re – I’m, trying to locate…”

 

“What would that be, Milady?”

 

Gwen paused, “A necklace my lord. It was unintentionally added to the shipment. It is my favourite and I would like it returned.”

 

“So why go to Nottingham if your business is in York?” He asked with suspicion.

 

The agent shifted uncomfortably, “To enlist the help of the Sheriff in locating the shipment my Lord.” She smiled, “I hear he has a soft heart for pretty ladies and I would be more than grateful of his services.”

 

“Sir Gisborne? I do not think we are talking about the same person. That stone-face is said to have put a sword through the one woman he loved because she swore allegiance to Robin Hood. But I’m sure these are such rumours.” He reached over and grasped her hand; “I conversely, am a very soft touch with a beautiful lady such as yourself and humbly offer my services to you, if you so wish.” 

 

Gwen smiled shyly and withdrew her hand. She cleared her throat and intentionally changed the subject, “Who is ‘Robin Hood’?”

 

“An outlaw, Milady. He used to be Lord of this very manor, in service to King Richard. They say he turned rogue after serving in the Crusades and ran off to live in the forest after proclaiming injustice of the sheriff. It was probably one of his band of thieves that robbed you. But do not fret! That should no longer be a problem, Milady.”

 

“And why would that be?” Gwen asked with as much innocence in her voice as she could muster.

 

“We have caught two of his men and they shall hang by the morrow. The sheriff is hoping that the spectacle will draw out Hood, and the rest of his men, in an effort to save them. Then we will have them all.” He poured another glass of wine for her before continuing. “Now let us talk about more pleasant things, shall we?”

 

***

 

Moonlight bathed the path as the other members of the team, led by Robin and Much, made their way in the dark, to Loxley. They moved swiftly and quietly, clinging to fencepost and flattening themselves behind walls. The small village was sleeping and the large house was dark. Robin moved ahead to the next wall and summoned the others when it was safe. They moved to the corner of a small stable. 

 

“What now?” Jack asked in a hoarse whisper. 

 

“We go in to the main house through the servant’s entrance and make our way to where the others are being held.” Robin replied. “It is going to be difficult to find them once we are inside, Gisborne didn’t change things much when he was here. He enjoyed flaunting my home, as it was when I left it. Jasper is different; he likes nice things and has made great headway into making Loxley his own.” He sighed at the thought. “He even went as far as to throw out the portraits of my mother and father.”

 

“But we saved them,” Much smiled. “They threw them on the fire. Kate and I scorched our hands rescuing them. I brought them back to the camp and gave them back to Robin.”

 

“That you did and I will always be grateful for that. It was worth a night of bandaging your hands and hearing you complain of the pain,” Robin smirked at the memory.

 

“All that is nice, but what does that have to do with saving Gwen and the others?” Mickey broke in impatiently.

 

“It means that I have no idea where they might be once we are inside. Only the house is the same, nothing else I know.” The outlaw looked around the corner of the building at the imposing structure of the manor.

 

“I have a way to find out.” The Doctor silenced the others and stood still.

 

“What is he doing?” Much asked, after a few moments of everyone watching the Time Lord.

 

“Talking to Gwen.” Mickey replied flatly.

 

“Talking to Gwen?” Jack shot a look of surprise at his friend. “She never told me she was…”

 

“She only just found out herself.” The Doctor snapped with annoyance. “Now what part of quiet did you lot NOT understand?”

 

Gwen?

 

Doctor?! Where are you?

 

We are on the grounds of Loxley. Where are you being held?

 

I’m in the dining hall with Lord Jasper … we’re dancing.

 

Dancing? At a time like this, you’re – dancing?

 

Long story … I think I’ve found a way to get close to Robin’s men. But I must stay here.

Lord Jasper is taking me to Nottingham to meet with Sheriff Gisborne in the morning.

 

Too risky, I can’t let you go alone.

 

What other choice do we have? It’s too risky to have you lot come in and rescue me. I had Jasper put Martha and Rhys up in a stable ten paces from the main house to the left. Please take them with you. I’ll tell him I sent them back to Cardiff in the morning.

 

Sounds good. You’re a brave girl. You’re great aunt would be proud.

 

I’m scared to death! Doctor could you do me a favour?

 

Anything you ask Gwen. 

 

Look after Rhys till I’m back with him again and don’t let him worry too much about me.

 

I think that can be arranged.

 

“So what did she say?” Jack asked incredulously.

 

“We are to leave her here and collect Rhys and Martha and head back to the camp. She is going to Nottingham tomorrow with Lord Jasper to meet the sheriff. She thinks she can get close to your men,” he said looking at Robin.

 

“It is far too dangerous! Gisborne is too treacherous for her to be left alone with.”

 

“It’s a better plan than what we came up with at camp, Robin. With her ability to talk to me she would be a perfect ‘inside man.’” The Time Lord then turned to put the Torchwood leader’s mind at ease; “You said it best, Jack. She can look after herself.”

 

Jack smirked, “Yeah but I didn’t want her to have to prove it!”

 

***

 

Rhys and Martha had just settled in for what was expected to be an unpleasant and fitful night’s sleep on their makeshift beds when the door of the stable swung open. Robin ran in first, followed by the others with weapons drawn.

 

Rhys looked up at the group in wide-eyed disbelief, “What is this then?!”

 

Much replied in his best theatrical voice, “This…is a rescue!” 

 

“It’s about time!” Martha ran up and hugged the Doctor and Jack, “I was beginning to wonder what a damsel in distress had to do around here to be rescued.”

 

“Have I ever let you down yet, Dr. Jones?” the Doctor replied with a goofy grin.

 

“Thankfully, no.”

 

“Let’s get back to camp and regroup. There’s a lot to do before morning.” Robin said excitedly as he started for the door.

 

“What about Gwen?” Rhys looked at the others faces as they tried their best to calm him.

 

“She wants us to leave her here. She is on a mission.” Jack knew he was in for a rough conversation with the irrational man.

 

“I’m not leavin’ her by herself with that man!”

 

“You have to! She is getting in to Nottingham castle to try and help Robin save his men!” said Jack angrily.

 

“Anythin’ happens to her…” Rhys got right up on the Time Agent’s nose with his finger poking his chest; “So help me Jack, I’ll rip you apart with my bare hands!”

 

“You won’t have to, Rhys. If anything happens to Gwen, I’ll do it myself.” Jack backed down and stepped away from the angry man.

 

“She’ll be all right Rhys, really.” Martha tried to comfort him as he pulled away from her grasp.

 

“She just better be!” Rhys said, casting a sad look at the manor fading into the dark as they ran from Loxley.

 

***

 

Nottingham Castle

 

Both men had been there before and the awful smell of blood, human waste, rat droppings, and decay were all too familiar.

 

“Gaoler!” A large man yelled through the bars. “We need water in here now!”

 

“Hold your horses!” A skinny ugly man in a ragged bloodstained apron came over to the cell. “What is your problem?”

 

Little John grabbed the smaller man by the collar, “See that young man over there? He is feverish, probably dyin’! He needs water.”

 

“Release me outlaw before I call for the guards!” The smaller man trembled in fear but tried not to let on. John’s growl made him relent, “All right! I’ll get some water.”

 

John held the tin ladle to the young man’s mouth as Allan held his head. The Nobleman was obviously unconscious and was moaning softly. His head was wrapped with a crude bandage made from dirty cloth. It covered a large gash inflicted by one of Gisborne’s soldiers during their capture at the outlaw camp.

 

"Not bein’ funny, John, but he ain’t lookin’ so good."

 

"He’s delirious. He’s just a boy, no older than Will.” John replied, thinking of their fellow outlaw, who was now thankfully in the Holy Land, safe and in love.

 

“We gotta get him some help.”

 

“Matilda.”

 

Both John and Allan jumped at the familiar name.

 

“Take me to Matilda,” the young man said in his delirium. “She can help me.”

 

“Oi mate, I wish we could. Even if we knew where she was, we couldn’t get outta here to get to her.” Allan looked at John helplessly, but before the gentle giant could reply, the gaoler came back in with two armed guards.

 

“You! Pretty boy!” The gaoler pointed at Allan. “Sheriff wants an audience with you!”

 

“Yeah? Well tell Gis to shove it! I ain’t leavin’.”

 

The gaoler licked his lips, “I was hoping you would say that.” He opened the cell and let the two guards in. The larger of the two, walked over to the blonde outlaw and struck him across the face with one swing, knocking him out instantly. He then flung the unconscious man over his shoulder.

 

“That, I do not like!” John cried out, “Where are you taking him?”

 

“Silence!” The gaoler spat back. “Just be glad he didn’t ask for you.” He grinned salaciously, “Must really like that one. Asked for him personally. He must want to have a little fun. Cos he was smiling.” The gaoler led the guards and the unconscious Allan out the door, leaving John alone to tend to the sick carriage driver.

 

 

***

 

Cold and damp surrounded him as he came to. With his one good eye, he made out grey walls that were barely lit by the sickly light of the torch on the wall. Metal against metal grated as the clumsy lock on the door to the chamber gave in to the key. Leather squeaked at the sound of someone coming in behind him. Allan knew that sound and his stomach turned as he struggled to get free of the chains that had him tied to the pole he was backed up to. Too late, hands were around his shoulders and one grabbed his chin and suddenly snapped his head back so hard the vertebrae in his neck popped. He knew without opening his eyes, who it was, and the dread made him want to die.

 

“So…Allan we meet again.” Gisborne’s eyes glowed with hatred and something less tangible, as he sized up his captive. “Did you forget about me while you were back in the forest with Hood?”

 

Allan tried his best not to show fear as he tried to turn away from the lips so agonizingly close to his and the hate buried beneath them. “Not bein’ funny or nufin, but I thought that now, you bein’ Sheriff and all, you wouldn’t have time for little ol’ me.”

 

“Oh I always have time for people that betray me, Allan.” Guy hissed as he ran his gloved hand across the sweat-drenched skin of the quivering man before him. “And you know what happens to people that betray me.”

 

"I didn’t betray you Guy, I swear!” He hated himself for begging but judging by the look on the Sheriff’s face, he was quickly running out of options, “I just didn’t want to take any part in killin’ the King that’s all. I got scared and I ran.”

 

“Shhhh!” Guy’s gloved finger was over his lips silencing him, “I know what you did, Allan. You must be punished. Marian betrayed me, and then you. How would it look if I just forgave the people that betrayed me? What kind of sheriff would I be then?”

 

“One who cared about his people?” Allan said before thinking. He regretted the words as soon as they were out and paid for it with a hard slap that split his lip, splattering blood across his chin.

 

“Hood’s words coming from your mouth. My, how the former Lord Loxley has rehabilitated you,” the dark haired man snickered. “Allan A Dale thinking of someone besides himself for once.”

 

“Doesn’t matter now though, does it? You’re just going to kill me anyway.” Allan relaxed sadly, finding the inevitable strangely comforting.

 

“Oh yes I will kill you, Allan, of that be certain.” The sheriff pulled out a curved Saracen knife from the cuff of his glove and raked it lightly across the outlaw’s naked skin, drawing a line of blood behind it. The outlaw’s good eye enlarged with terror.

 

Guy grinned salaciously. “But before I do, I think you might have some information that can prove very useful.” He covered the outlaw’s mouth with his own, tasting the intoxicating flavour of blood and fear.  Guy then resheathed the knife and picked up the first instrument of torture, “Now let us have some fun."

 

Allan’s screams filled the chamber in answer.

 

Next Week…

 

Chapter 15: The Truth Beyond Us


 

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
thestorymaker
Nov. 3rd, 2008 10:06 am (UTC)
Love this fic! I love the change that's taken place from future to past and the melding of the two fandoms. That you've put in every single character possible makes it all the more enjoyable!

Keep up the good work, I loves it.

xx
robinfanatic
Nov. 4th, 2008 12:54 pm (UTC)
Ditto on the lovin' it!

“You always promise,” Much mocked, stretching as he got up. “We will rest as soon as we stop the sheriff, Much. We will eat as soon as we finish feeding the poor, Much—”
Wonderful, dear, Much! This was a perfect line for him!

Guy is so evil! Poor Alan.

Help me here though, minor issue: He picked up the first instrument of torture... -- in the preceding paragraph, Guy has the Saracen knife and he raked it across Alan's skin. Same instrument? or am I just being dense after lack of sleep 'cause of the damn time change?
darkentwisted
Nov. 4th, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
Actually a very good catch my lovely gamma.
All fixed.
I forgot he was still holding the knife. :)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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