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Denial, chapter 2: Portsmouth

Title: Denial, chapter 2: Portsmouth
Author: robinfanatic 
Characters/Pairings: Much/Carter 
Rating: R
Genre: slash
Words: 1191
Disclaimer: BBC & TA own; I just want to play in their universe.
Notes: This continues the 'Round-Robin' fic. 'Denial'
Summary: Much has left Sherwood with Carter to return to the Holy Land as his squire. They stop in Portsmouth to prepare for their journey across the Channel.

Previous Chapters:  1


Denial, Chapter 2: Portsmouth

The setting sun bathed Portsmouth's early evening skies with spectacular oranges and pinks as Much and Carter arrived at the inn. Two solid days in the saddle could easily have left the hardiest of men in foul mood -- not to mention foul stench -- but Carter's enthusiasm about their upcoming adventure was contagious. Much felt excited and relished the knight's companionship. He decided that Robin was wrong in his initial assessment of the young noble. He actually was able to look back. He talked about the war. It provided common ground for the two men as they began their journey to the East.

"See to the horses, Much," Carter said as he dismounted. He handed Much his reins and headed toward the door of the inn.

Much was anxious to get off the chestnut steed but he felt so stiff that he thought his leg might break if he moved too quickly. "Yes, master," he called as he stretched in the saddle.

Carter turned and smiled, his blue eyes kind. "Much, you need not call me master," he said.

"But I am your squire. It would not be proper--"

"We are not at King Richard's side yet. We'll have time for the formalities when we get to Palestine."
Much slid out of the saddle. "Do you think it's easy for me to slip between squire and friend?" It wouldn't be much different than the relationship he'd had with Robin. Robin never understood how hurt he felt at times. Would Carter? "I would not want to become too familiar with so many weeks of travel ahead."

"We'll talk of that later," Carter replied. "Tomorrow we shall find you new clothes. Tonight, we eat well and soak in a hot bath!"

Much's heart melted. The man certainly knew what would make him happy.


The food at the inn was splendid. Much couldn't recall seeing such a feast as Carter had ordered laid out for them in the dining hall. Pork, lamb, and beef. Warm baked breads fresh from the ovens. And wine that warmed his innards almost as much as a bath.

Carter enjoyed their meal but found more pleasure watching his companion eat and listening to him describe every sensation of taste and smell, smells that reminded the outlaw of home, of Loxley Manor, where the cook often shooed him and Robin from the kitchens. Much savored every morsel of food with a child-like innocence that brought a smile to Carter's face. He wasn't certain how the man managed to eat so much and talk so much at the same time.  

When the proprietor informed the men that the bath had been drawn, Much grabbed one last leg of lamb. "Me first!" he exclaimed, darting from the dining room. Carter stared after him, marveling at the joy he heard in his squire's voice. "Bring the wine!" came a shout from the top of the stairs.

A bath. It had been months since he'd had a real bath in a tub. Much quickly stripped off his well-worn clothes and tossed them into a heap on the old wooden floor. Rubbing his hands together he eyed the steam rising then slowly dipped one foot into the water. "Oh, oh, oh... ah," he sighed as hot water covered one leg then the other and he pressed his body into the bath and soaked his weary bones. He felt tired and every muscle in his body ached but he was determined not to complain to Carter. A squire would hold his tongue, endure the pain.

Much leaned back against the cloth draped in the old wooden tub. He closed his eyes. And suddenly the reality of what he was about to do struck him. He'd left Robin. For what? To return to war? To fight beside Carter and the King in that hot, godforsaken desert where he'd seen far too many men broken, far too many die. The glow of candlelight in the room did nothing to erase the darkness that seeped into his mind. His hands trembled--he heard the Saracen chants, remembering how they'd float over the dunes and across the sands during the night. They'd sound their drums, soft and slow, building to a crescendo that reverberated through the King's camp. The clatter would stop abruptly only to begin all over again. 

Much's heart pounded. Tears filled his eyes and he buried his hands in his face. He didn't hear Carter enter the room.

"Much, what is it? What's wrong?"

Startled, Much looked at Carter. He was kneeling by the bath, his eyes filled with compassion and concern. He gently brushed away the tears that fell across Much's cheeks. Much stared at the soldier and all he could think about were the times in the Holy Land he found comfort in Robin's embrace. He closed his eyes as Carter's hand slid behind his neck and pulled him close. Their lips met, the kiss light and tentative, unsure.

Carter felt the heat rise in his belly but he pulled away, his thumb running along Much's stubbled jaw line as the two men searched each other's faces. Carter's eyes were fiery, a desire that Much had not seen in far too long. The outlaw dragged Carter back for another kiss... deeper... longer... and the knight elicited a low moan. All thoughts of Robin fled Much's mind.

Much tugged at Carter's tunic, breaking their kiss just long enough to pull the garment over his head and to the floor. Carter rose from his knees unwilling to let his lips leave Much's again. Reaching for the laces of his breeches, Much ran his hand across Carter's hard flesh before he loosened the ties and helped Carter shed the remainder of his clothing. Carter threw his head back as Much's calloused palm stroked him. His breath caught in his throat. Much clutched at his neck again, lured him back for another kiss, then enticed him into the bath.

Carter straddled the outlaw and ran his hands across his chest. Much closed his eyes as Carter traced circles around his nipples. Lips caressed his face, his neck, his shoulder and Carter shifted his hips until his hardened flesh found Much's. They moved against each other, trying to find a rhythm in the too-confining bath. Carter covered Much's mouth with a bruising kiss then stood, pulling Much up with him. His hands ran down Much's back. He groped his butt with a sense of urgency, desperate to feel their bodies close.

Much's fingers danced down Carter's abs. Carter grabbed his hands, stopping their exploration toward his aching cock. Much threw him a puzzled look, which Carter answered with a passionate kiss. Then he tugged the outlaw out of the bath, led him across the room to the bed, and pulled him into his arms.

Much lay awake listening to Carter's soft breathing, feeling his hot breath against his shoulder, his body still pressed close. A tear slid down his cheek. This was wrong, he thought. We shouldn't have...  How was he going to tell Carter that they couldn't let this happen again?

Chapter 3 this way....


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 23rd, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
Can't resist taking a stab at Chapter 3: 'The Four Stages'

This is going to be a multiple scene one with the outlaws, Carter/Much and Guy/Allan.

Edited at 2009-04-23 06:10 pm (UTC)
Apr. 28th, 2009 11:17 pm (UTC)
Ooh very good! Very sweet of Carter to get all the food and the bath organised, he certainly knows the way to Much's heart! Poor Much with all his horrible memories but mmmm otherwise! And it must happen again!
Great work x
Apr. 29th, 2009 02:36 am (UTC)
Glad you're enjoying the story. And stay tuned... there will be more fun ahead!
May. 9th, 2009 11:23 am (UTC)
Oh, the descriptions of all that food have made me hungry! :)

And the intimate scene between them was very gently handled - I approve! :) Poor Much though, not knowing where he fits. It seems to be a pattern with him, that he never knows which role to play with people, servant or friend. I hope that it becomes easier for him.
May. 9th, 2009 08:39 pm (UTC)
the intimate scene between them was very gently handled - I approve!

darkentwisted and I think we're going to get a reputation as the harlequin romance writers of RH LJ...

but if folks don't like that, I hope they'll hang around because the plot bunnies keep nagging the two of us and there may be ugly, slashy stuff ahead if someone else doesn't jump into the story.

Thanks for your comments! *hfr*
May. 24th, 2009 12:43 pm (UTC)
"Do you think it's easy for me to slip between squire and friend?"


I know I'm transferring, LOL but YES.
May. 26th, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC)
Glad we could oblige...

But I'm shocked that neither darkentwisted nor I realized how that came out! It's kinda funny!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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