Word Count: 1,266
Spoilers: Set in between 1x13 “A Clue? No” and 2x01 “Sisterhood”
Summary: Days after the failed wedding, Guy attempts to reconcile with Marian. It doesn’t go particularly well.
Author's Note: So, I was going to spend today being crazy-productive and doing homework and all of that fun academic nonsense, except instead . . . I wound up writing this. Which is fully allowed, as it is the weekend when 2x03 is going to air and therefore Guy/Marian weekend. Homework has no place in this world!
But, er, anyway.
I went through last night and watched the Guy/Marian bits of the season one finale (not that I don't care about everybody else. Um. Certainly not!) and was struck all over again by how heartbreakingly urgently in love with her Guy is. I think that it's sort of interesting that he went from letting her go in the s1 finale to being so vicious in the s2 premiere -- certainly the humiliation of it must have worn on him over time, but I liked playing around with the idea of putting more fuel in the Guy's-Marian-issues fire. :D I'm so kind in that way.
This is, of course, for littledivinity. Happy Halloween. ;-)
Three days after they ought to have married, he comes to her.
He realizes at once that she is not suffering as he is – she is lovely, perhaps even more radiant than usual. He feels a certain satisfaction that her eyes darken at the sight of him. There is a savage relief in the fact that he can affect her at all.
She does not step forward to greet him. Instead she lingers by the windowsill. The sunlight catches her hair. The silence is stifling. He finds he can only look at her.
“Your eye,” she finally begins, tentative, considering her handiwork.
He swallows. “I deserved it.”
“Yes,” she agrees with an odd little smile. “You did.”
He wishes – not for the first time in her presence – that he had some grace with words. He yearns for the easy immediacy of action; there is no hesitation, no mystery in the clink of silver or the spill of blood – in a kiss. He knows better than to touch her, and half-wishes he didn’t.
“To deceive you was never my intention,” he begins, and takes a step toward her.
She stands a little taller. “Really?”
“I understand why it upset you,” he proceeds, drawing nearer.
“Good,” she says shortly.
He stops before her.
“I never meant to hurt you,” he says quietly, meeting her eyes.
She lowers her gaze. “What you meant does not matter so much anymore, does it?”
“Sir Guy—” she says – to silence him, he knows, but he cannot endure that now. He will make her understand.
“I am going mad without you.” The words taste violent on his tongue: the raw weakness of them, the notion that this is what it’s like for a heart to bleed. “I cannot sleep or eat or think; my every thought is yours.”
“Sir Guy,” she says again, imploring.
“I will not lie to you again,” he vows. In spite of himself, he reaches up to brush his thumb against her cheek.
She closes her eyes against the touch, almost as though it pains her. “How can I believe you?”
“You must,” he urges, desperation igniting his tone. His fingers tangle in her hair.
“Oh really?” she asks sharply, and reaches up to push his hand away. “You claim that loyalty is more important than anything, and then you deceive the woman who is to be your wife.” Her eyes narrow. “I cannot trust you.”
She crosses the room, clearly eager to put as much distance between them as she can. He follows her without so much as stopping to consider it.
“I meant to tell you,” he insists urgently. “The day that you were ill, I went to see you with the intention of telling you everything.”
“And yet you didn’t,” she says bluntly.
He falls still behind her. “Your father told me you were excited about the wedding. I could not bear to endanger it.”
“Endanger what?” she asks, not turning.
He does not contemplate salvaging his pride. The words are out of his mouth as he thinks them. “The thought that you might care for me.”
She falters. “Sir Guy—”
For a moment, she is silent. He thinks he can read panic in the way her shoulders slump, but it is only briefly; then she stands tall again. When she answers, the words are cool and regal. “You have no right to ask that of me. Not anymore.”
He breathes in once, sharply. “Did you, then?”
She remains frigid. “I don’t wish to discuss it.”
“Then perhaps it’s true,” he sneers, circling slowly around to face her. “Your heart belongs to another.”
“My heart is my own,” she swiftly counters. “I don’t take kindly to the notion of being possessed.”
“You are a woman. It is beyond your control.”
“Oh really?” Her gaze sharpens. “Is that all you think of me?”
He inwardly curses himself. “You know that is not true.”
“Don’t I?” she challenges. “All I know is that you could not bother being honest with the person with whom you meant to share your life. Even if you do have some sense of what is right and what is wrong, you do not yield to it. I could not stand to be with someone like that. I could not—”
“I love you.”
She falls abruptly silent. He watches the truth of it dawn on her face, summoning something inscrutable and numb. His heart pounds.
“Don’t,” she says then, softly.
“Surely you must know that,” he says helplessly.
“Sir Guy, please—” Her eyes are bright with unease.
“I know you are hesitant,” he says, the words all a maddened frenzy. “I know that you have been hurt before. That the last man that claimed to love you abandoned you. But I would not – I can prove myself worthy of you—”
“Guy,” she interrupts, almost fiercely, “I agreed to marry you because it was my only choice.”
He has suspected this all along; it has lingered in his mind, merciless and jeering, every time she slipped past or pulled away from him. But to hear it aloud in her voice—
“And now?” he manages.
Her gaze is unflinching. “Now I see that it was the wrong one.”
Birdsong drifts from outside, mocking the silence between them.
“You should go,” she finally says, making to brush past him.
He catches her arm. “No.”
She shakes her head, some expression of hopelessness. “Guy—”
“You have made a laughingstock of me,” he interrupts sharply. “You are aware of that, I’m sure. All the people of Nottingham are snickering behind my back – Sir Guy of Gisborne, incapable of even maintaining control over his own bride.”
“I know,” she says, pointed and unfeeling. “Then why are you here?”
“I don’t care what they think of me,” he confesses, part of him despising the truth of it.
“Please,” she counters, letting out a bitter, humorless laugh. “You care about nothing more.”
“You,” he murmurs. “I care about you. Everything pales in comparison.”
“Guy, stop this,” she pleads. “I swear it, nothing that you say will change my mind.”
She is telling the truth, and he knows it; the certainty of it pierces the air like a scream, and he fights to drown it out in the only way he knows.
“You are being a fool,” he snarls, gripping her shoulders hard. She does not wince. “Without my protection, imagine what could befall you – your father—”
“I am willing to risk it,” she says evenly, staring right into his eyes.
“You need me,” he accuses viciously.
“Let go.” Her eyes soften with some emotion – pity, he realizes with sudden, sickening clarity. Her voice is little more than a whisper. “I never claimed to love you,” she says simply.
After a moment’s pause, his hands slip from her shoulders. He finds himself prisoner of a thousand foolish memories – unimportant words and smiles that have all been, he knows now, entirely worthless. Petty deceptions, nothing more. He looks up into her face. She is watching him with sympathy, her pretty features creased by a frown that is almost remorseful.
The fury is sudden and overwhelming. He welcomes it.
“You’ll be sorry,” he vows, letting the anger twist his sneering mouth.
“Will I?” she asks, almost wryly. She sounds tired, more than anything.
“Oh yes,” he says, a violent promise.
He pretends not to feel her eyes on him as he storms out, or to hear the sigh she breathes at the slamming of the door. They are things he might have cherished, once.