Who:Robin and Much What:Having a talk about real things. When:Tonight Where:Their place on the balcony Warnings:Serious business. STATUS:Log COMPLETE
‘It was at some point after Marian had fallen asleep that Robin woke up, far too hot. He pushed the blankets off, but even that wasn’t enough and eventually gave up and got up. His hand held the door frame as he left the room, his step a bit unsteady.
He weaved his way to the kitchen and opened a cupboard to get a glass. He went to put it on the bench, but it caught the edge and slipped from his hand, hitting the floor and shattering. Cursing under his breath, Robin considered the broken glass at his bare feet for a moment before getting the orange juice from the fridge instead, getting a new glass and leaving the broken one where it was.
Walking past the couch where Much was snoring away, he pushed open the door to the balcony, and instantly felt the relief of the cool air outside.
Walking out there, he left the door open behind him, sinking down on to one of the chairs wearily. He couldn’t find the energy to pour the juice. He hated feeling like this. Weak and fuzzy in the head, as Much had described it. Like he couldn’t think properly. And despite how nice the cool air felt on his fever hot skin he still felt hot, like it wouldn’t go away.
Much couldn’t decide what he was. Hot or cold hot or cold, the only thing he could decide was that he was annoyed with it anymore and was about to ignore it all. So he gave up on trying to remain awake until he heard Robin walk past and his eyes opened blearily. He knew Robin was sick too now so he was trying to pay extra attention when he was actually awake. He felt horrible that everyone was getting what he had. It was sort of his fault after all.
He was starting to feel a little less fuzzy, so he got up and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. It was still sort of difficult to move around when he kept sniffing and having to wipe his nose with a kleenex every ten seconds, but maybe Robin needed something. He picked up his glass of juice and looked out at him where he’d gone, the familiar place on his balcony where Much found comfort lately from the confusing new world. Just Robin being there all the time made him feel better.
His eyes were still tired, but he could tell Robin didn’t have a drink. Drinks made him feel better. Just having one around at any time and being able to access it whenever he wanted was comforting. Different than he was used to. He poured Robin some of the orange juice he noticed he favored over the lemonade and brought it out to him. “Couldn’t sleep?” He handed him the drink carefully.
Robin took the glass from him, drinking half of it before leaning his head against the back of the chair. "It's hot." He hadn't really answered the question. But that was basically why he couldn't sleep anyway. He'd been cold when he'd gone to bed. This is how his fever had started, after the stitching became infected when Gisborne stabbed him. He'd been hot, then cold. And then just hot. For what felt like an eternity. Hot and unable to get away from it or from out of his own mind.
He didn't want a repeat of that. And he knew it was no where near as bad but that didn't mean he didn't feel sick and hot and tired. "Why aren't you sleeping?" He asked his friend. He didn't look at him, that would require moving. Which would require energy he didn't have.
“I can’t tell.” Maybe that was a sign of getting better, he wasn’t so drastically cold anymore as he’d been before. He was mostly just left tired and wanting to sleep. Unfortunately there were other things on his mind at the time too. Nightmares for one thing. He kept imagining what had happened to Robin instead of what actually did and they were equally if not more horrifying. The nightmares he’d had included anything from being torn apart by fire to shot down by arrows and swords. None of the pleasant dreams verity.
“Couldn’t anymore.” He took a drink of his own lemonade and looked out at the sky. Sick or not he still liked these nights with Robin. “Is it because of your injury?” He felt a little bold that night apparently. He was tired of hearing it from other various sources. If Robin really did consider him a friend he wanted to hear it from him.
That Much was not complaining about it being too cold any more was a good sign. He was glad he was getting better, and only hoped spending time in his company wouldn’t cause a relapse. He had felt badly enough over the last few days as it was. Robin didn’t want to think about what would happen if he grew feverish all over again.
It was quiet between them for a moment, and Robin was enjoying the silence and the cool air, and did not mind Much’s presence at all. Until his question that came out of the blue and caused Robin to look sharply over at him. He’d completely forgotten that Lois, and now Lydia, had let that slip. He’d conveniently ignored the fact that Much might question further. He hadn’t been lying when he told Lydia his friend would worry.
“No,” he answered carefully. “That doesn’t bother...” He cut himself off, told himself not to lie. If Lydia had been right in anything, it was that Much could handle the truth. “It isn’t stopping me from sleeping. Not really.” His nightmares had always been the same. And Much knew enough about that to know they were what woke him. One was unrelated to the other.
--- Maybe it meant that catching the flu now meant he wouldn’t as much later on. He’d been reading a little bit about them and about how people had to build tolerance for them to be healthy. He didn’t want to be sick like this again. After this was over he would make sure there were healthy things in the house. They were apparently supposed to have Vitamin C so his orange juice was still good. Some things would have to be cut back on. Much wouldn’t eat anymore entire bags of bacon for example. More moderation. Maybe he could figure out how to properly do things and then he wouldn’t be as frustrated either. Hopeful thinking had to be at least a start?
Much winced a little at the look but he didn’t look away. If they were really equals then he shouldn’t have to. The expression on his face was only sympathy. He did worry but he didn’t want Robin to stop talking because he would. Maybe if he learned how to lie like that about emotions Robin wouldn’t be so concerned. He really didn’t want to make him feel too stressed over it anyway. Maybe the others were right and he did talk too much.
“What is?” He was worried for him. Robin was sick too, if he didn’t sleep it would only make things harder for him. He knew that much from just their ride back from the Holy Land.
“Nothing new,” Robin admitted as he looked away from his friends penetrating gaze, out at the view from the balcony. “Nothing you don’t know about. What happened just...well, it hurt,” he said with a small, wry sort of laugh. “But it isn’t stopping me sleeping. Not any more.” The pain had, a few times. But he’d had fairly strong medication for that, early on.
He knew Much would want more. And really, Robin knew he was better off giving him his version of events. Otherwise it would only be someone elses, and so likely far more exaggerated. “A little while before you got here, there was an attack, on Lawrence, and the complex. By the demons and other creatures Marian and I have told you about.” He was still looking out into the distance.
“I was going to get more arrows.” Nothing heroic, nothing important. And that had stung the most. He hadn’t even been helping anyone. “There was a hell hound.” He didn’t know if Much remembered if they couldn’t be seen or not. “Which is what did this.” He turned his arm over, so the scars which were more visible on the underside of his forearm could be seen in the dim light.
“But I’m okay now. Really.” Please don’t let him fret, he thought in vain hope.
--- “But it did?” He’d never known much of anything that could stop Robin from doing things. Usually they involved Marian. He looked over at him, unable to hide the concern in his eyes. Try as he might, Much was awful at hiding emotion. Any of the others might have been able to keep a stone face, but when it came to Robin he couldn’t. Robin was his soft spot. He would always worry about him much like he knew Robin would over him even though he’d told him not to.
When Robin finally showed him his scarred arm, Much nearly looked in shock. “That thing is dead isn’t it?” He finally said as he seemed to work things out silently. He was upset, but it wasn’t anything he couldn’t deal with. He wasn’t a child though sometimes he had the mentality of one.
He trying to imagine what it could have felt like for someone who was so used to helping others. The wound looked awful to him. It had been awful, awful enough to stop him from archery and doing what he needed to do. Much wanted only to hug him and did so with little hesitation. Only enough to avoid touching the wound or knocking him over in his sickly state. “You’re sure you’re all right?” He gave him a look that really didn’t leave any room to lie. Staring straight at him as he pulled back.
“For a while,” he answered honestly, though he spoke lightly of it. His sleep had always been disturbed enough that it hadn’t had much of a real impact. Robin knew the reason he had hesitated in telling Much as soon as he saw the look on his face. He didn’t want to upset him, or worry him, and now he had. Lydia had said he could handle it, and she was right. But that didn’t mean he needed to.
“I don’t know, to be honest. It’s gone, where ever it is. I don’t know that I could have killed it. As it was I was lucky to get away from it.” He finished the glass of juice, setting the glass down on the floor beside the chair.
Much’s stare would almost have been amusing were it not for the seriousness of the situation, and Robin wasn’t going to laugh now. He’d only be offended. “I’m okay, Much. Really. Simon is very good at what he does, and he has been helping. It’s a lot better than it was.”
-- He was upset, but it wasn’t anything he couldn’t figure out how to work through. He didn’t like the idea of Robin being hurt and not having been there to tend to him. It was probably unlikely he could have done much with a hell hound either, but the idea of going after it had crossed his mind. How exactly did one kill a hell hound anyways? He chewed his lip in thought as he picked up his own glass to drink from. He’d barely touched it yet. Mostly he just liked having it there because he could.
“They can be killed though?” He was still trying to get a grip on a lot of the magical things and creatures in the world. It was quite a lot to take in. The air was cold and he was tired. He pulled his jacket a little closer and leaned against the railing of the balcony beside him.
“People kept telling me things, but I didn’t want to hear it from them.” He seemed a little annoyed at the idea of it all still. Lois telling him to go back through the internet, Lydia mentioning Robs injury. Now that it was in his face he had no choice but to accept it. He watched him carefully for a moment and nodded finally seeming to trust his words. “I like this you know.”
--end “Yeah, I think so. To be honest I wasn’t all that focused on killing it at the time.” Just at making sure he kept his arm, and then getting away from it. He knew if things had been even remotely different he might have lost the limb altogether. He’d been lucky, even if sometimes it didn’t feel like it.
“I know. I didn’t like that Lois told you anything. Even if she was doing it with the best intentions. I just didn’t know the best way to explain it to you. I know how you like to worry, my friend,” he said with the hint of a teasing smile.
“You like what?” His tone was curious.
“Do they come often? These creatures?” He was a little worried about them. He knew Robin said he would help him, but the idea of magic and monsters was just a little too much for him to figure out. He was still getting the reading down, he hadn’t even started on the exorcism. Suddenly he felt a little behind the rest of the class, and he didn’t want to drag them down or put them in danger by not knowing what he was doing.
“I didn’t either.” He raised an eyebrow at him and gave him a tiny grin. “I figured you would have a reason for not telling me, but you don’t have to do that.” He rubbed a little sleep from his eyes as he stood, he was getting drowsier by the minute. He was improving greatly, but he still got overly tired from time to time.
“Being here like this with you. It’s like it was then.”
“Only the once, since I have been here. But that doesn’t mean we should not always be ready for them.” Which reminded him that for all his focusing on teaching Much to read, he needed to be helping him with those lessons as well. He would not forgive himself if that happened again, and Much was hurt by being ill prepared.
He nodded. “I know. And I’ll remember that. I just wanted you to have a chance to be settled in, without having anything extra to worry about. You were overwhelmed enough, when you first arrived.” He looked up at Much in amusement when he stood. He could relate to feeling tired. “I like it too.” He was feeling better for sitting outside, less hot. Which might not have been the best thing for him right now, but that wasn’t a consideration.
Much was a little nervous about the creatures in this world. Invisible hell hounds that could nearly maim his friend didn’t help. Robin wanting to be prepared though did a little. It reassured Much that his friend wasn’t going to be totally reckless. They could afford to be a bit more so back home, but with creatures from Hell there was never enough preparation. Though sometimes he was convinced Gisborne was a creature from hell, in all seriousness he wanted to be ready. The fact that Robin was going to teach him reminded him of their days in the Holy Land. He’d started out as a servant, and Robin taught him everything he knew. He’d be lying if he said he wasn’t looking forward to it again.
He gave him a look. “Maybe I like worrying about you too.” He said with a bit of a smug air. Remembering Robin saying the same thing once. He yawned though, he wanted to stay up but the sickness was making him tired. He’d done very little but sleep and drink fluids the last week and a half and he was still exhausted. Yet he never felt more relaxed since his arrival. When Robin was honest with him he didn’t worry as much. When he heard things from other people he only worried more. “You should come inside, I’ll sleep on the floor if you want the couch.” He was too tired to argue though, whether or Robin followed was his choice. Much wasn’t about to force him.
--- Robin grinned in amusement at his friends comment. Much didn’t always get his teasing right, but when he did it was quite entertaining. “I’ll let you have that one.” Because it would hardly be fair if he worried about his friend, and told him not to do the same.
He nodded absently, looking back over his shoulder and inside for a moment. “That’s okay, you keep your couch. I’ll go back to bed. Marian will probably worry if she wakes up and I’m gone. It’s a lot more comfortable, anyway.” He stood, offering Much his good hand to help him up. “Come on, you need sleep too.”