Going Different Ways
By Paddy

Chapter Four

They were thrown back into the blue suction of time. For Robin the journey seemed to take hours. The pain was back again and all this turning around made it even worse. After fifteen minutes they were back in England. Robin was lying on the ground of Olwyn's cave and just sighed out in pain. Marion was sitting beside him and feared for Robin. She looked up at Olwyn as if to ask him for help. Well, Olwyn understood the meaning of her look.

"I am glad that you all got back alive. But I think you will need a coach to take Robin back to the compound. It will be waiting outside for you, when you leave. I'm very proud of you all. You made something almost impossible possible." With this said Olwyn left the cave.

"Come on, Tuck, Little John. Help me get Robin out of here." Marion ordered.

Robin had no idea how much fear his friends had for him. The terrible pain had driven him to sleep. Outside the cave a small coach with four horses was waiting for them. Thank god that Robin wasn't awake so that he didn't feel all those rumples caused by potholes on the way.

A few hours later they reached the compound. Marion and Tuck took Robin into his hut and Little John went to see Will Scarlet if anything had happened while they were out of space.

When they laid Robin down on his pillows he woke up. First thing he saw was Marion and Tuck smiling at him. But Robin didn't feel well enough to smile back. His belly hurt just terribly and he had a feeling inside him as if someone had lit a fire inside of him. And to top it all off, Tuck gave him one of his awful herb teas.

"Drink that. It will allay your pain."

That was an offer Robin couldn't refuse. He was grateful for everything that could take away his pain. Even one of Tuck's teas. And of course Robin didn’t have any chance to escape from another of his awful smelling ointments. But he didn't want to give him any offence. So he decided to keep his misgivings to himself. When Tuck had ended his work and turned to go, Robin called him back.

"Tuck, wait. I want to know something of you."

"What's wrong?" the friar asked.

"Well, you have seen all this pain and misery down there in Israel, too. I know that you were once an ardent sympathizer of this crusades and their reasons. Do you still think so?"

Tuck paused for a while to think of a reply on this difficult question.

"You ask really uneasy questions. You know, I have never been to such a big war before. I only know of our own fights and you can't call them war. But I saw that this is unnecessary at all. Two-nations fight against each other and no one has actually rights on the object the struggle is about, neither English men, nor Turkish. They fight about a city, a land, that belongs to someone completely different. They don't see and don't care at all. I've changed my opinion about that. Before I have seen it, I thought that King Richard was doing right.

I learned it is not right." Tuck looked seriously.

Robin smiled at him to cheer him up.

"But I think only the matter to stand the same ground as Jesus did made the journey kinda success for you. It must be a great feeling for such a believing one like you are." Tuck nodded.

"Yes, this part of the journey was great. Now, you need some time of rest. Try to sleep." Then Tuck turned around and left Robin alone in his hut.

Robin couldn't find any sleep. He couldn't forget the impressions Israel had left in his mind. He still could smell this stench of death. What he had seen there made him almost unbelieving in God. Could such a terrible thing be the will of the Almighty? No. He just couldn't understand why this crusades should have been holy. Was war, death and killing holy? This wasn't the kind of holiness he wanted from his lord.

In the end all those thoughts about the causes for this holy war brought Robin to sleep. It was an uneasy but despite a recovering and long one. It was a pretty long one because he only woke up again two days later. When he opened his eyes he saw Marion busied around him. Now he had the second thing of what his two days war taught him. His love for Marion. He had almost been killed without the chance to confess his feelings for her.

"Hi, Robin. How do you feel?" Marion asked him when she saw that he was awake.

"Well, I had times I felt better. But I think I'll be alright."

"Yes." Tuck said so, too. "But you are still very weak and should stay in bed. Do you need anything?"

"Yes, you...." Robin said in a small whisper.

Marion didn't understand what he had said.

"Excuse me?"

"Mmmm, no I don't need anything, thanks." - 'Except you' he added in his mind. When Marion was gone Robin slapped his head. It was always the same old game. When he was alone he always found the right words and of course the courage to say to Marion that he loved her. But then when she was around everything seemed to be forgotten. Now as he was lying in bed and had lots of time to think of it. One thing was absolutely clear to him - he couldn't live without her.

To show her his true feelings meant to show a weakness the same time. And that made him afraid. What would happen if she said no? Maybe she would tell it to other people and they would tell it other people again and soon everyone in England would think of Robin Hood as a weak one. But he was thinking about Marion. Has this been things she would ever do? Well, everything was possible but in fact not Marion doing something like that. Robin wasn't able to stay in bed any longer.

He had to get up. Finally when he was standing on his own two feet it was hard for him to go out of his hut. He was still very unsteady and had to move on slowly. Outside he took a deep breath of fresh English air. The sound of playing and laughing children and of singing birds was good to hear. When he had laid down in fever he had moments when he thought he would never be able to hear that again. And then his best friend Little John came towards him.

"Hey Robin, are you all right?" the giant asked.

"Well, almost. I'm still a little bit weak on my feet. Did anything happen while we had been to Israel?"

"No, nothing. What are you doing?"

"I want to take a little walk to 'my' meadow. I need some time of silence."

Little John nodded. He knew that Robin needed time to work the things he had seen in Israel. But Robin didn't only need time for this. He wanted to gather all his courage to confess to Marion his true feelings. And he wanted to find it in meditation.

Two weeks later Robin, Marion, Tuck, and Little John were sitting around the campfire together with the other inhabitants. Robin had recovered very well from his injury and he had something on his face that showed happiness. Marion wondered what made him so happy but she didn't dare to ask. The reason why Robin was so happy was pretty easy. During the last two weeks he had found what he was looking for so long. And when he looked at Marion secretly he wasn't afraid anymore to tell her that he loved her. Everything seemed to be so easy now.

Later in the evening when the inhabitants and John and Tuck were gone, Robin took Marion aside and looked deep in her beautiful eyes. He led her away to the bank of the small creek. There he faced her with his deep brown eyes.

"Marion, when I was injured I had moments when I thought I would never ever get this chance to tell you this anymore." He paused for a while. "Well, when I saw all this pain and misery down there in Israel I learned that our lives aren't forever. I want to enjoy every single second with you for the rest of my life. I don't want to have another second lost. I love you and I want you to stay with me for the rest of my life- our lives. It's a simple thing for most people to say 'I love you'. But not for me. And when I tell somebody these three words then it is the truth. I love you, Marion. Do you think you can stand to spend the rest of your life with me?"

Marion didn't say anything but nodded and kissed him. It was a long and passionate one as they had never one before. Everything was right now and nothing could go wrong. Nothing on earth could come between them, now. Nothing.

The End

Chapter One
 Chapter Two
 Chapter Three
 Chapter Four
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