Characters/Pairings: Much/Eve, Implied: Much/Carter, Much/Robin, OC, OC by robinfanatic
Genre: angst, romance, slash, character death (but a good one!)
Summary: Still in DeNile! Just a different beach.
Inspired by robinfanatic's touching "At the End of Our Days" To understand my fic you must read hers first.
Written with her kind permission and loving guideance. The most emotional fic I've written thus far.
The salt air bit her face as she drew the thin shawl tighter around her shoulders to fight the chill. For years her morning walks on the beach were solitary, just she and the ruins. But today was different-- in the distance a man sat on the shore. He lifted his face to the sun catching the wind in his blonde hair and her breath hitched. “Much?”
He failed to recognize her at first, so caught up he was in his own mind. The focus softened and he smiled, “Lady Eve.”
Twenty years melted in moments as they spoke again.
“I missed Bonchurch so much after I left.” She spoke through moist eyes, “A part of me always hoped you would call me back someday. When you didn’t, I moved on.”
He noticed how the years had grayed her hair and left trails on her delicate features but it was the same sweet maiden that sang as he bathed and delivered him safely from his enemies so long ago.
“He was a good man,” she said as she stirred the fire and fished out the cooked clams from under the coals. “A mariner, my James.” she explained as she hugged her knees and focused on her friend.
Much beamed as he watched her speak, “I always wondered where you went.”
"I came here," she replied. “We were together ten wonderful years before the sea took him. I stayed on after he died." She looked around, “It is the magic of Trevena you know. The magic of the old ways that gets in your blood. It was certainly in James’. Once you hear the call of the wind and the waves, and smell the salt air, it holds you and you never want to leave again." She smiled, “I have a cabin up the beach. Care to join me by the fire?”
He took her hand as she led the way.
What the fire didn’t warm of their bodies the strong wine she found did. They toasted old friendships and lost loves.
"You have two children?"
"Yes a boy and a girl," she smiled and winked. "Young Michael has the most unfortunate nickname I've given him."
"You didn't." He turned his head slightly and nodded at her.
"I cannot wait for Much to meet his namesake," she beamed.
They shared a laugh by the fire, the warm glow rekindled something both thought lost.
Eve smiled at her old friend. “So who was the lucky man that stole your heart from me?”
Much sputtered as his cheeks reddened, “Lady Eve! Surely you are not saying –“
She laughed melodically as she took the lord’s hand. “It is all right. A lady knows such things.”
Much examined the lady meekly then smiled, “His name was Carter. He was a soldier like Robin in the crusades. He was the most beautiful person I have ever met.” His eyes misted at the memory of his lost love. “He had the bluest eyes and golden hair. And his smile oh, his smile."
“I am jealous of him already,” she replied squeezing his shoulder.
He sobered as he stared at the flames in the hearth. "I lost him six months ago. It seems like just yesterday."
"It will always seem like yesterday," she reasoned. "When you've been with someone so long, finish their thoughts and share their dreams, you can't just go on like you did before." She wiped her eyes on her sleeve. "The hole they leave behind is just too big."
He left her the next day. His heart heavy with promises of return with the spring. The harvest had to be drawn in and pigs to market. To ask poor young Harry to do it alone was unconscionable. "I shall return soon. I promise. " He smiled as he climbed onto the cart and shook the bridle.
And he did. For two years they shared the springs and summers as he could get away. Then they shared their winters at Bonchurch.
Evenings were spent soaking in rose petal baths and serenading each other. Eve could have sworn her dear Much's singing actually improved with age.
He lost her the same year he lost Robin. Ten years of long walks on the beach and in the forest of Sherwood made up for a lifetime of love. And when she was gone the loneliness he felt with Carter's passing wasn't there. He was surrounded by the love of the family he made. Eve's grandchildren mixed with Carter's and Robin's and he loved them all as his own. And when his own time came he was ready. The adventure of life left him weary and weak and he gathered his loved ones to say goodbye.
The tang of salt air filled his nostrils, the sun warmed his face.
He smiled, and his grandchildren would always wonder at their grandfather’s cryptic final word, Trevena.
He tiptoed tentatively across the warm sand; his scull cap crumpled in his hands, his honey blonde hair whipped in the breeze. Robin smiled at him as he reached out his hand. Carter, Marian and Eve led him to the edge of the warm water where his family and friends were waiting.
The celebration began. Much had come home at last.