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12 June 2010 @ 07:21 pm
DftR: A Taste of Freedom  
Title:  A Taste of Freedom
Author: robinfanatic
Characters/Pairings: Much, Die Tryin' Dan
Rating: PG
Genre: general
Words: 830
Disclaimer: BBC and TA own. I'm just playin' in their universe.
Notes: For TCGR's "Drabble for the Rabble" Party.   Takes place during 1x01.

Summary: Can old friendships find new life?


A Taste of Freedom

It was a fine April evening with a bare hint of a cool breeze and starry skies. Not a cloud threatening even a soft drizzle - something Much wouldn't mind after five years away.

They were home. All Much wanted was a good meal or two, a warm bath, sleep...oh yes, he thought with a sigh, sleep in real bed...and his lodge at Bonchurch. Perhaps tomorrow, after this evening's celebration, he would be able to ride there to inspect the estate Robin had granted him.

Much bounded up the stairs to the castle door and nodded to the guard. The man's menacing halberd blocked his way as he tried to pass.

"Hold it!" the guard ordered. He was a big man with broad shoulders, and towered over Much.

Much straightened and tipped his head confidently. "I am with Robin of Locksley. Let me pass," he said. The guard eyed him closely and he felt his nerves falter. Suddenly he wished he hadn't insisted that he stable the horses and meet Robin inside.

"Much? It is true... I didn't believe it!"

Much turned slowly, feeling the tip of the guard's blade scrape his jacket. He stared at him, trying to make out the face behind the helmet. "Dan?"

"Horse feathers, Much! I heard Master Robin was back from the Crusades. Was wonderin' if he hadn't left your ugly face back there in the Holy Land."

"Dan? Die Trying Dan? You're working here? At the castle?" Much asked. His once skinny friend earned the nickname the year he'd climbed a tree, fallen, and broken three ribs whilst trying to rescue a frightened six-year-old village girl. 

"Yeah. How 'bout that!" Dan raised his polearm then waved his hand with a flourish. "Whattya think of the uniform?"

"Black and gray...yellow feather," Much tipped his head side to side and tried not to frown. "Not my colours but I will say you look...official. Castle guard, eh?"

"Yeah. The house was gettin' crowded when my sister married and 'er 'usband moved in after Da' passed. I'm an uncle now, too, twice over! Mum tried to apprentice me to the cooper in Locksley but I'm not good with my 'ands that way," Dan winked, "if ya' know what I mean."

Much threw him a grin. "You still have your eye on Beatrice?"

"What? No, no. You always liked her, didn't you? Well she done married then got herself widowed."

"Really? We've only been back a day. Hardly had time to eat let alone visit with anyone in Locksley."

"Eat? Same ol' Much! Always thinkin' about food." Dan feigned a right hook to Much's ribs. "Looks like they fed you all right in King Richard's army, eh?"

Much ignored Dan's comment, the edges of his mouth curling into a smile as his eyes shone dreamily. "Beatrice?" A lovely girl and now... "A widow..."

Dan pounded Much's arm playfully. "We should have a picnic! You, Beatrice, me and my Mary."


"She works in the castle kitchens." He tapped his belly then slid his hand to his groin. "She keeps me satisfied," he said, throwing Much another wink.

Much's cheeks reddened. Food and women - he'd never been full of either in the Holy Land - though both sounded heavenly at the moment. "A picnic," he sighed, deciding this was neither the time nor place to discuss his sex life or Dan's. "I haven't gone on a picnic in...well, in more than five years! I shall have to visit Beatrice. But Robin is wait--"

"Robin, is it now?" Dan snickered. "Got a bit closer to the master during the war, eh?"

Much knew exactly what Dan meant and blushed again. He cleared his throat. "I am no longer his manservant, Dan," he announced. "He gave me my freedom!"

"Well whattya say about that!"

"I say I believe I am going to like freedom but for now I must get to the great hall. There is a celebration for Robin's return."

"So that's what all the fuss is about tonight. They don't tell us guards anything. Just expect us to show up and keep the rabble out of the castle." Dan shook his head. "Much - I'm glad the war didn't kill you, old friend. But watch yourself," he added, lowering his voice. "Things are bad around here. The sheriff is not a nice man."

"And this Gisborne?"

"Stay out of his way."

Much nodded. "You and I need to talk and I have a feeling it won't just be about girls and picnics."

Dan eyed the courtyard. "Tomorrow night? At the Trip."

"I will be there."

"I'll even buy you an ale to celebrate your return!"

"An ale with my old friend. They'll have to tie me up to keep me away from that, Dan! See you tomorrow night."

Much smiled as Dan let him into the castle. Freedom. Every time he thought the word, or said the word, he liked it even more. He could easily get used to this idea...
WYG: LJ Guardwastingyourgum on June 13th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
Aww, lovely!
robinfanaticrobinfanatic on June 13th, 2010 09:26 pm (UTC)
tyvm!! :)
jagnikjenjagnikjen on June 13th, 2010 01:59 am (UTC)
So sweet. Much has a friend. I love it.
robinfanaticrobinfanatic on June 13th, 2010 09:27 pm (UTC)
one of many I am sure!! ty!
Marji: greenrocksmarjattak on June 13th, 2010 04:07 am (UTC)
That was really creative. Right! How come we never met any of Much's old friends??
robinfanaticrobinfanatic on June 13th, 2010 09:28 pm (UTC)
yeah really... we met the old blind guy that WIll knew, and Allan's brother, Little John's wife and son... but poor Much. The writers never TMR (well, except for the lovely Eve).
(Deleted comment)
robinfanaticrobinfanatic on June 13th, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed that!! Poor Much... if he only knew!
Lou: Robin 2heffermonkey on June 13th, 2010 12:07 pm (UTC)
awwww - fabulous - love that Much has a guard!friend - and such a happy one - 'die trying Dan' love the name!

very nice 'missing scene' to the episode - wish they had made more of the guards, but I like that we have a little corner of the fandom dedicated to telling the stories of the Guards!
robinfanaticrobinfanatic on June 13th, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC)

You must thank omteddy2006 for the name. She created it as my guard character so I just figured I'd use Dan in the story.

omteddy2006omteddy2006 on June 13th, 2010 12:23 pm (UTC)
Great job! Makes complete sense to me considering where the men serving as guards would have come from. (I've been thinking about this for my "job fair" drabble, actually.)

Of course, MUCH had friends! Who wouldn't want to be Much's friend?!
Louheffermonkey on June 13th, 2010 04:37 pm (UTC)
I'd bet most of the people of the villages and Nottingham would have treat him better than the gang on occasion!
robinfanaticrobinfanatic on June 13th, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed the fic! Anyone who doesn't want to be Much's friend should be hanged!! They'd be nuts not to want him as a friend.

Can't wait to read your job fair drabble!

Thymelady: will_much_allanthymelady on June 13th, 2010 07:27 pm (UTC)
Excellent! Yup, of course Much had (lots of) friends in the neighbourhood! Great idea, great writing! I liked Dan a lot!
robinfanaticrobinfanatic on June 13th, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC)
THanks for the lovely comments!
shaman_whoreshaman_whore on July 28th, 2010 08:27 pm (UTC)
Awesome! Nice to see much having friends other than Robin (and later, the gang). Good work!
robinfanaticrobinfanatic on July 28th, 2010 10:35 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed this one! and TYVMuch!!