Author: Birgitt Schuknecht
Characters: Allan A Dale, Djaq, Little John, Much, Robin Hood, Will Scarlett
Timeline: after Parent Hood
Spoiler: for all episodes up to and including Turk Flu
Summary/teaser: The Sheriff steals people's money and hope, the outlaws try to restore both.
Word count: 874 (title and header not included)
Disclaimer: The copyrights to the events and characters of Robin Hood belong to Tiger Aspect Productions and British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). No infringement of those rights is intended. This story is mine, but no material advantage will be gained from its publication.
Notes: written for the prompt 092: Christmas. (fanfic100-challenge). This is a translation of my story that I wrote some time ago for a Christmas-challenge in a German fanfiction community. The story takes place after the events in Parent Hood.
Talk to Robin. That was his first thought. A look into his eyes was enough and Will knew that Robin didn't have any answers, either. Maybe later. But as soon as later might come, Will needed something now. If there weren't any answers, he needed something to stop asking himself why.
He grabbed his axe tighter. Distracting himself would help, keeping his hands busy. He had to concentrate when he was working or he would risk an injury. And working would calm him. He liked the feel of wood under his fingertips. Loved it like nothing else. Sometimes the others teased him, when they saw him exploring the material with his hands.
It had been only a few days ago. Roy had clapped him on the back and whispered in his ear. "Every woman will melt in your arms, if you touch her like this." Will had blushed and Roy had laughed.
Will missed Roy's laughter. His quarrels with Much. His bickering with Alan. His closeness to John.
"Where do you go?"
Will sighed. He missed Robin's carelessness. "Not far. Just need some wood."
He had an image in his mind. And when the piece of wood gradually formed into that image, no one was more surprised than Will. He paused and looked at his work, wiped over his forehead with his hand. He hadn't realised he'd been sweating. A shadow fell over Will and John sat down next to him.
"This," John touched the cross with his index finger, "is good."
Will nodded again. He was still surprised, but he knew John was right. "Yes."
"Your father taught you that?"
"No." There never had been time to... create something without practical value. Or maybe he had always lacked the courage to try something different. Something that was more than met the eye.
"Is it a present?"
Will looked up. "This is for Roy."
John flinched and Will started to apologise for his words. But John grabbed his shoulder and squeezed it for a moment. Will resumed his work and John didn't move until Much called them for supper.
"Why does the Sheriff grant the abbey such a precious donation?" Much shook his head when they heard the news from Nottingham.
Allan shrugged. "He wouldn't be the first one to buy a clean conscience."
"Maybe old age makes him superstitious. And it doesn't cost him anything. He used the silver he took from the people in his so-called Christmas Collection." Robin crossed his arm. "But that is of no concern for us. We will have our own Christmas Collection. The abbey has no need for a silver crucifix."
Much rolled his eyes. "But Master, surely you're not serious. Gisborne just waits for an excuse to hunt us down. And stealing from the Church wouldn't make us very popular."
"They'd have to realise that the cross was stolen in the first place. Luckily, we have some gifted people in our midst." Robin placed his arm around Djaq's shoulders. "Will, how long do you need to make a copy?"
Will looked from Robin to Djaq and grinned at her. "How long do you need to turn wood into silver?"
Will pulled his hood deeper into his face. Tomorrow the Sheriff would leave for the abbey, this was his last chance to take a good look at the cross. Robin had called it a political manoeuvre: The Sheriff needed the support of the Church. Will didn't care for motives; he was only interested in how they could get their hands on the silver. He'd been studying the cross for hours and he hoped that no one would wonder about the young man displaying such uncommon devoutness. He was glad that the Sheriff and Gisborne didn't make an appearance. The guards, flanking the crucifix, showed no interest in the visitors of the chapel.
Finally he'd seen enough. He was going to need some days but the copy wouldn't look any different than the original. If Djaq could find the right alloy...
They had done it. Djaq's eyes sparkled and Will couldn't suppress a grin when Robin's fingers trailed along the cross.
"Of course, this is lighter than the original," said Djaq.
"I think we can assume the abbot isn't carrying it around - you would not see the difference in weight as long it's hanging on the wall. So, what about a little trip? We should have a closer look at the Sheriff's generosity."
"The abbey... The abbey was robbed. The crucifix..." Allan broke off and tried to catch his breath. "I mean, our copy... it was stolen." He slid from the saddle and sat down at the fire where Djaq had a watchful eye on the melting process of the silver.
John growled. "The Sheriff... He wants his silver back." He began rubbing down Allan's horse.
Robin nodded. "If it was him..." He smiled. "He will not be happy with this Christmas surprise."
Will grabbed a piece of wood and started carving.
"What are you doing now? Another cross?"
"No, Much. This is for the abbey all right. But not a cross. This will become something very special." And during the next hours Will kept throwing glances at Robin.
Additional note: "The Green Man: You will find this carving on the outside of one of the windows in the Chapel of the Nine Altars. This figure, called the Green Man, is found in many medieval abbeys and churches. No-one is sure what it represents. It has been suggested that it is a memory of a pre-Christian god or spirit - in which case it is a very odd thing to find carved on a church!" (Source: North Yorkshire Religious Education Pilot Project: The Green Man)