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Times Arrow (15/27)

Title: "Time's Arrow, Chapter 15"
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/Jack, Much/Martha, Gwen/Jasper/Guy, Mickey/10 Doctor/Martha, Ianto/Jack, 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, 14 Explicit content chapter rewrites 6; 9

Made possible by my wonderful beta, 

zooeyrye

 
I really appreciate her helping me get this right!  Thanks everyone for the well-wishes for my Mum.  She's all better now and at home with her 'babies' (dolls) again!  Cheers!  This chapter is dedicated to all of you!


 

Chapter 15: The Truth Beyond Us

 

“Where’s Robin?!” said Jack, near panic. They had spent the better part of the evening firming their plans to rescue John, Allan and Gwen. Martha, Much and Mickey spent the night keeping watch over Rhys – talking him out of doing something foolish.

 

“He said he had to take a walk to clear his head.” Ianto replied as he helped Much get together what they hoped wouldn’t be their last meal before Nottingham. “Much and I are heading to the TARDIS to produce some decent coffee if you want some?”

 

“Just be careful and get back as soon as you can, it will be daylight soon. We need to leave together for Nottingham as soon as you’re able,” said Jack. “Ianto, before you go, come here for a second.”

 

The field agent’s brow furrowed as he walked up to his boss. “What is it Jack?”

 

“You’ve got something on your lips.”

 

Ianto brushed at his mouth with his fingers, “Did I get it?”

 

Jack grinned, “Nope.”

 

He brushed again. “How about now?”

 

The immortal shook his head softly.

 

“What do I have on my lips, Jack?” asked Ianto wearily.

 

Jack grinned conspiratorially at his lover; “Me!” he said, taking Ianto into his arms and planting a bruising kiss on the other man, as the rest of camp pretended to look away, except Martha and Much.

 

“They really love each other, those two,” said Much as he wistfully gazed at the two men.

 

“Seems so,” Martha replied, equally dreamy. She turned to the blonde servant, “You’ll have that someday. I’m sure.” 

 

“I reckon so.” He looked at his new friend sadly and smiled. “Excuses, Lady Martha. I need to have a word with Master Jack.”

 

Much walked over to the two men who had broken their kiss and were touching foreheads, gazing into each other’s eyes. “Apologies Ianto…Mas...uhh…Jack. I believe I know where Robin is.”

 

***

 

“Much told you where I would be.” The archer didn’t even look to see who was behind him. He didn’t have to. Time in the forest and personal experience with 51st century pheromones, made it easy to pick the Time Agent out anywhere. 

 

“I can leave if you want to be alone. Just wanted to know where you were. It’s almost time to leave,” frowned Jack.

 

“No please, stay. I was just saying goodbye.” Robin pondered, as the other man sat down beside him. Their knees touched as he sat. “I always come back here before I go fight in battle. I want the last thing I see before I die to be something I love, something worth fighting for.” Robin shifted slightly, feeling conscious of the Torchwood leader’s closeness and welcoming it, “Loxley is worth fighting for. As is England, if it means laying down my life to see it free of tyranny – so be it.”

 

“It will be one day,” Jack smiled at the archer; “And you help get us there.”

 

He looked down at the sleeping estate below the hill, “It’s a beautiful town in the 21st century…you did well.”

 

“Thank you, Jack.” Robin looked down at his beloved village and mused thoughtfully, “‘For every man there is a purpose which he sets up in his life—’”

 

“‘Let yours be the doing of all good deeds,’” Jack finished.

 

Robin looked up at the immortal in amazement, “You know the Qur’an?”

 

“You can't go through what happened to me and not study every religion there is, trying to make sense of it,” Jack replied, leaning forward, hugging his legs with his chin on his knees. “Three thousand years on this planet gives a man a lot of time to think and question his faith and beliefs. I tasted death so many times it should have made returning to life so much sweeter but all I felt when I came back was disappointment. I had to try to make sense of it or go mad trying. Christianity, Daoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism; I studied it all. Everything I have experienced, with the Doctor, and Torchwood, and in my own time, didn’t solve anything, it made me more curious. There has to be some truth beyond us, something that keeps us going until we can’t anymore.”

 

“You sound more the wise philosopher than weathered soldier, Jack,” said Robin.

 

“I wish I was, but I’m just asking the same questions. Why am I here? Why do I go on and leave every person I love, behind? I just wish I had the answers, some reason why – the Doctor says I’m an anomaly, ‘collateral damage’ from the last great battle in the Time War. I’ve only found one other person like myself and she seems just as confounded as to why she is here as I am.”

 

Robin measured his thoughts for a second then carefully replied, “One needs not worry about the time they have but what they are doing with the time they have.”

 

“More Qur’an?” asked Jack with an amused smirk.

 

“No, My father when I shunned my studies,” Robin grinned. They both laughed at this and Robin put his arm around his friend watching the village wake up with the rising sun.

 

“I’m glad I got to meet you, Robert of Loxley,” Jack said smiling warmly at the archer.

 

“And I you, Jack Harkness.” The outlaw surprised the immortal by placing his lips gently on the other man’s, kissing as the sun broke into dawn.

 

***

 

“Rhys, time to get up.” Martha shook the covered lump by the fire she thought was her friend’s husband. She let out a surprised gasp when it fell apart and ran to the Doctor and Mickey. “Have you seen Rhys?”

 

“He was sleepin’ by the fire, wasn’t he?” The Torchwood agent frowned.

 

“He’s not there!”

 

“Surely he wouldn’t go to Nottingham alone to try to rescue Gwen, would he?” asked the Doctor. Then, with a roll of his eyes; “Oh I forgot, he’s human, of course he would.”

 

“Doctor, this isn’t the time to be petty,” she chastised. “We need to go try to stop him.”

 

“Not till the rest of the group gets back.” The Time Lord shifted nervously as he spoke, “we’ll never get to Nottingham in time to save Robin’s men if we keep splitting up in every direction.”

 

***

 

The red-hot pincers had made quick work of Allan’s ravaged skin and the poor outlaw was writhing in agony at his tormentor’s pleasure.

 

“You can make this stop, Allen,” the sheriff purred as he ran his hand over the fresh burns making the man in front of him spasm in renewed pain. “Tell me where Hood’s camp is and you can hang with your friends.”

 

“I’d rather die here and now, than betray Robin again!” Allan spoke in rasp, his throat too raw from screaming.

 

“My, my, such loyalty,” Guy leaned in till his mouth was inches away from Allan’s ear. “To him you’ll always be nothing but a traitor – a Judas, betraying his friends for a few pieces of silver.” He studied his captive in disgust, “I could have given you so much more, Allan.” He caressed the outlaw’s face with his gloved hand, his index finger skimming the man’s firm jaw line as he spoke. “We could have had everything – you, me and Marian if you had only played the game.”

 

“And kill the King – treason.” Allan was in no mood to justify his former master’s insanity. “We both know Vaisey would have never let me an’ Marian live; too many witnesses. That was why I left ya Gis. There was nuttin in it for me.”

 

“Fool! You could have had everything, wealth, title! You threw it all away to go snivelling back to him!” The dark-haired man smirked as his cold eyes danced down Allan’s lean torso. “I could have loved you.”

 

Allan tried the best he could to manage a sarcastic laugh but it came out as a ragged cough. “Is that what you wanted me for? To be your substitute girlfriend after Marian dumped ya? Not bein’ funny or nuttin Gis; you ain’t my kind of woman.”

 

“I seem to remember nights when I was,” sneered Guy. “Or was that all an act too?”

 

Allan glared amusedly at his tormentor with his good eye. “Ahh poor Gis, you killed all your friends and now no one will play with you anymore.” He looked away in repulsion. “Not bein’ funny but I’m tired of this game. Just kill me now, Gisborne.”

 

Guy had the blade out again in a heartbeat, aiming to do just that when the gaoler came into the room, “Sir Jasper wants to see you, my Lord.”

 

“Can you not see I am busy?” Guy spat back at the wretched man, with his hand at Allan’s throat. The thief had his eyes closed, anticipating the inevitable bite of the wicked black Saracen knife.

 

“He has a lady with him that requests audience with you, my Lord.” The nasty man then grinned a rotten tooth smile, licking his lips in anticipation, “If you like, I can finish this one off for you.”

 

“You’ll do nothing of the sort,” ordered Guy, looking over his shoulder in the direction of the man. “Put him back in the cage with the others. I’ve had my fun with him for now.” He grabbed the thief’s chin, making his sore neck snap again and eliciting an involuntary groan, “I’m not finished with you yet, Hood’s boy.”

 

Allan grinned tiredly at the momentary reprieve from death. “Too bad, I was just beginnin’ to enjoy myself.”

 

***

 

The large room was even more barren and uncomfortable than when the previous sheriff occupied it. Guy of Gisborne was not a man of creature comforts. Where once there had been birdcages, holding the avian prizes of the former sheriff, now stood barren walls. What tragedies that had befallen the small innocent creatures were best left to the imagination. 

 

Sunlight entered the sparsely furnished room where Gwen sat in a small ornate chair as Lord Jasper paced nervously. Jasper was terrified of the new sheriff but would never let the Nobleman know it. Gisborne unnerved the smaller man after he stood up to him when Prince John’s men threatened to level the city and Jasper never forgot it. He still felt that Nottingham should’ve been his but the thought of challenging John’s new henchman scared him senseless. He tensed as the doors opened and the tall dark-haired man with piercing eyes entered the room. Jasper bowed; “My Lord Gisborne.”

 

“Jasper.” The sheriff’s eyes immediately focussed on the woman in the chair. He almost said, ‘No!’ out loud before mentally catching himself. The pale skin and ringlets of dark hair that clung effortlessly to her neck drew him in. The only significant difference he noted was in the eyes. In the place of Marian’s dancing blue ones were the deepest brown pools of sadness.

 

He was captivated. “And who might this be?”

 

“Apologies, my Lord,” Jasper stuttered. “This is the Lady Gwyneth from Cardiff.”

 

Gwen rose from the chair and offered her hand, “Sheriff Gisborne.” She hoped he wouldn’t notice her slight trembling and if he did, would construe it as more intrigue than fear. She had prior knowledge of this dangerous man before her, but nothing prepared her for his presence. Menace permeated the very air around him and his icy blue eyes seemed to pierce her very soul. There was something else less tangible but very obvious to the young woman. He had a certain melancholy attitude about him and there was nothing cheerful or warm. It was as if someone had drawn the shutters on his soul, allowing in no light and only darkness remained.

 

“Is Lord Jasper looking after you well?” He focussed on her eyes as he lifted his lips from her outstretched hand.

 

His voice broke the hypnotic hold his winter blue-grey eyes had on her and she shook her head. “I am sorry, my Lord?”

 

“Is my man looking after you well?”

 

Gwen smiled shyly at the terrifying man, “Yes quite.”

 

“So, what brings you to England, Lady Gwyneth?” Guy sat at the large desk and stared at the woman that reminded him so much of the one he’d loved, the one that betrayed him and the one whose life he took.

 

***

 

Much was very talkative in the morning — extremely talkative. Something Ianto was not. The Torchwood agent listened quietly as the outlaw went on about how he enjoyed his stay in the 21stcentury and how he was excited to get back to his own time. Ianto would nod and listen, wishing he would just be quiet the entire time.

 

“I am glad you and Master Jack made up, Ianto. I felt so guilty about our…and well…” he stammered and looked away, blushing.

 

“You did nothing wrong, Much.” Ianto stopped and leaned against a tree, “We did what we did because we wanted to and I don’t regret it. You’re a great friend and I’m glad to have known you. I’m sorry you felt responsible for what Jack and I went through. It wasn’t my intention to drag you into our problems. Truth is, they were already there and what happened just made them more obvious.”

 

Much removed his cap and ran his hands through his hair. He then focussed on his friend with searching blue eyes. “But things are better now, right?”

 

Ianto shifted and looked at the servant under his heavy brows. “They will be.”

 

Much smiled. “Good, cos you two make a cute couple. I am glad things progress in your time to where people are free to love who they chose without fear of reprisal from others.”

 

“We’re not quite there yet,” Ianto shrugged. “Funny thing is if anyone had told me I would be in love with a bloke two years ago I would have called them a liar.”

 

“So you are not…? I just assumed.” Much looked puzzled.

 

“I had a girlfriend…my fiancée really…Lisa,” Ianto supplied. “I was about to ask her to marry me. But there was a battle. She was changed – made machine. They changed her and I couldn’t stop it. I had to find someplace – someone that could help me. It led me to Jack. I convinced him to hire me. It was the perfect place to hide her.” Ianto frowned at the memory as a single tear slid down his cheek. “Our whole relationship for the first year was built on a lie. I hurt him and then my actions almost got us killed. It took him months to forgive me and I don’t think he trusts me still. I don’t know how to earn that trust back or even if I could.” 

 

As Ianto cried openly, Much embraced him without saying a word. He cradled the crying man’s head with his hand and out of reflex, gently covered the sobbing man’s mouth with his own. Ianto paused at first then kissed back, letting the former servant comfort him. When they broke the embrace, Ianto looked at the outlaw like a curious child. “Why did you kiss me?”

 

“Because, you looked like you needed it,” Much replied grinning softly. “And I could not resist your frown.”

 

It was the agent’s turn to blush. “Thank you, Much.” He then wiped his eyes on his sleeve and looked down the path. “I guess we need to continue. The others will wonder where we are and we need to be setting off for Nottingham soon.”

 

Much smiled and, still with his hand on Ianto’s neck, gave him another small kiss on the lips. “Yes, let us continue.”

 

Ianto’s brow furrowed as they continued walking down the path. “Something’s wrong.”

 

“What is the matter?”

 

“We should have been there by now. This seems like the right place…I think.”

 

Much broke ahead and looked around the small clearing. The grass was crushed down suggesting that a heavy object had once been there and scattered about was broken tree branches. He looked at his friend with wide-eyed concern, “I think we have a problem, Ianto.”

 

The Torchwood agent rolled his eyes, “Blast! We’d better return to camp and tell the Doctor.”

 

***

 

Martha and Mickey met Jack and Robin as soon as they opened the trapdoor to the camp.

 

“Rhys has gone missing,” she said as she bit her lip.

 

“I told you to keep and eye on him!” Jack yelled. “What happened?”

 

“He told me last night he was going to take a nap I watched him as he lay down. I only turned away for a minute to help the Doctor. I swear. Oh Jack, he’s alone out there. If he gets into trouble…” She was on the verge of crying.

 

Jack placed his hand on his agent’s shoulder. “He’s a big boy, Martha. Stupid and thick, but he can look after himself. We should find him before he ends up in the dungeon in Nottingham though.”

 

“We have a bigger problem Jack!” Much and Ianto ran into the camp at the same time out of breath. “The TARDIS is missing!”

 

The Doctor rolled his eyes, “Of course it is! What kind of adventure would it be without someone kidnapping my ship?” 

 

“You don’t seem particularly worried about it.” Much replied at the Time Lord’s cavalier response.

 

“Well, it’s not like she’s going anywhere.” He patted his chest. “I have the key and she can’t drive herself. I still sense she’s around and the perception filter makes her appear totally inert to anyone who stumbles across her. Just a big blue box.” He smiled and continued to pour over the crude maps of the dungeon that Robin had given him.

 

“She?” said Much. “You talk as if it were alive.”

 

“She is.” The Doctor replied flatly. “And the old girl can take care of herself for now. I’ll find her when I’m ready to get us home. I always do. It wouldn’t be the first time the old ‘type 40’ got herself misplaced. It would have been nice to have her. I suppose we’ll carry on without.”

 

The Doctor then rolled up the map and pocketed it in his coat. “For now let’s go. We have a necktie party to crash.”

 

He made for the door to the camp, “Lady and gentlemen, allonsey and off…”

 

 

Next Week…

Chapter 16: To Nottingham!

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
robinfanatic
Nov. 15th, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC)
“I always come back here before I go fight in battle. I want the last thing I see before I die to be something I love, something worth fighting for.”

It was wonderful to have Jack meet Robin up on the hill overlooking Locksley! Perfect scene!

Poor Alan! Just heart-wrenching to see him in Gisborne's clutches... Hurry Robin!!! You must save Alan & the rest of the gang!

Great bringing Jasper into this - I like that he's actually frightened by Gisborne! Serves him right after his high-handedness in Walkabout!

Love the banter between Much and Ianto. 'Course, I love anything you do with Much!

darkentwisted
Nov. 21st, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the wonderful comments.

I really enjoyed writing the scenes between Robin/Jack and Much/Ianto too.

Chapter 16 is safe in the hands of my beta and 17 is only pages away from completion. Wow 10 more chapters left and getting to the good stuff!.

*hfr*
robinfanatic
Nov. 22nd, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC)
The good stuff?!?! It's already great! I'm not sure how much my heart can take! Bring on the next chapter!

BTW, I'm now watching season 2 of Torchwood via Netflix thanks to you getting me interested via your storytelling. What a fantastic show... I have a feeling I will break down and buy the dvds. These are worth watching over and over...
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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