Something about Christmas time

Part Four
By Christine

"So how do we go about this?" Mortiana mused aloud.

"Marion is his weak point, if we capture her..." Sir Guy was cut off by an

abrupt wave of Mortiana's hand.

"No, no, no, that is too simplistic and too obvious. Robin has to have more than just Marion as a weakness." Pulling the wire of her hair back against her scalp, she grimaced. Moving her palms between her ears and her head, she spoke.

"You see, Sir Guy, capturing Marion would not beneficial now... maybe not ever ... keep Gweneth from returning to Avalon. She's weakened already, the question is will three days be enough." She meandered in her thoughts, thoroughly confusing Sir Guy and Prince John alike.

"I'm afraid I don't understand. Who was weakened? Gweneth? We know Gweneth was weakened. Your former crystal illustrated that point quite nicely. Unfortunately, the remains of which are now poking holes in my royal slippers." Prince John observed.

With a belittling glance and a wave of her hand, the peices of the crystal began to recombine into their orb shape. The glowing orb hung over Sir Guy, who was pouting in the corner.

"What will you need my aid with?" Sir Guy was losing his patience with Mortiana's stalling.

"Its not a question of what I will need your aid with, but a question of when it will be needed. Time is of the essence here, to all involved. You of all people should realize that." Mortiana's gaze followed the moving orb until it reached a repose in front of her face, emitting a strong emerald glow.

"Jealousy" A low hiss escaped Moritana as she viewed the images in her orb now glowing emerald more fiercely than ever. A thin contortion barely defined as a smile graced her lips. "Maybe Marion can be of use to us after all..."

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Darkness nested under the trees of Sherwood. The moon had been upstaged as Robin uneasily stood under the brilliance of the stars, performing intensely in the sky. A cold chill passed over the compound, forcing Robin to pull his cloak around him a bit tighter. It was cold out but he wasn't ready to go inside, not just yet. He lingered there a moment longer, watching the stars' take their curtain call before the cloud cover moved in, shielding all but the brightest performer from the audience.

The performance was over but Robin wasn't ready to go inside. He stood watching the darkness steal the shreds of light from the sky, all but that one star. Gazing at the star, he admitted for the first time that night that he was scared to lose his best friend. It wasn't just a matter of loneliness but one of complex brotherly love and companionship. Robin words echoed through his mind "I'd give anything to save him...even my ! life." Gweneths intervention had bought them time, but how much? "What if she can't return to Avalon in time? Then I've killed my best friend" Robin tried hard to force that thought from his mind but not even the all consuming darkness that descended upon Sherwood could remove that from his mind.

"Robin?"

Marion's voice broke through the darkness. She stood on his right side, trying to find what he found so engrossing about the night sky. He kept his focus on the sky.

"Robin, is anything wrong?" Marion almost felt bad enough to forget her jealousy of his actions around Gweneth. Robin closed his eyes and sighed softly. When he opened them, he fixed his soulful gaze of her worried face.

"No, everything's fine. I was just thinking about something." Robin was trying hard not to remember what he was thinking about.

"What about?" Marion's tone had a bitterness to it. She resented the fact that he could have been focusing his energy on concern for Gweneth rather than for his own best friend.

"Nothing in particular..."Robin lied." Just everything that happened today.

What with Little John and all..."Robin trailed off. He didn't want to remember what he was thinking about and decided it was best to try and change the subject.

"Its a little cold out here Marion. Why don't you go inside, I'll follow you in a minute." Robin tried to smile but all that happened was a slight curling of his lips and a furrowed brow.

"Are you sure everything's alright Robin?" Marion was sincere now. She knew that look and knew that it wasn't one associated with feelings of lust or fantasy. Her jealousy was forgotten as she awaited his answer.

"Positive. I'll be in in a minute." Robin watched as Marion retreated back to the hut where MacGregor , Olwyn and the others were.

With one last look at the sole star, Robin followed Marion, pushing all thoughts out of his mind.

Back inside the hut, the comforting smell of burning wood tickled Robins nose. He quickly surveyed the people inside. All of which were people he knew and loved. His mentors, his friends were all together inside. With a final fleeting thought of the days events, he approached Mac Gregor who was motioning Robin towards him.

End of Part Four

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