I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It belongs to Joss Whedon. Robin Hood (2010) is a movie created by Ridley Scott, among others. I am not sure if anyone owns the actual Robin Hood legend, but it is certainly not me.
The opinions of characters do not necessarily reflect my own opinions of the various people involved.
~~Vengeance is Mine Sayeth the LordMarch 24th 1199
Outside of Château de Chalus-Chabrol, France
Renée growled in frustration as she flounced into a tent with the other women that had been taken by the English as they conquered and pillaged their way across the length of France.
“He has rejected you? Cœur de Lion?”
Renée sighed softly and turned to her recently made friend in captivity. “He has, Annette. Cœur de Lion has found someone he finds more suitable to warm his bed this night.”
Annette offered a sympathetic smile in return, her beautiful blond features marred by a frown. It still boggled Renée’s mind that Annette too had been tossed aside by the hated King Richard of England. “That must be very frustrating, my friend. He claimed to love you for a while, you said?”
Renée nodded faintly. “Yes. Some of the others claimed he had said such things before, but I could not believe it. I believed that they were fools. It seems I am the fool now.”
Annette’s blue eyes gleamed with a hint of fury. “Don’t you wish that our French countrymen would cut down this English dog in battle. Then he and his vile soldiers would not be able to use us so sorely and then toss us aside like cattle.”
Renée shook her head in angry disagreement, tears of fury pouring down her face. “No, I do not. A death at the hands of the soldiers of France is too good for Cœur de Lion. Who is he to earn such an honour. If God was just, he would see Cœur de Lion dead at the hands of a French cook so that history might remember him for the idiot he is and not the hero the see him as now.”
Annette smiled broadly. “That is what you wish would happen to him?”
Renée nodded jerkily. “Yes I wish it was so, but…”
“Done!” Renée gaped in shock as Annette’s face morphed into a terrible and monstrous visage. The monster that many in certain circles knew as Anyanka smirked faintly and disappeared.
The next day, Richard the Lionheart was struck down by a crossbow bolt, shot by a French cook.
**April 1st 1199
Isabel of Gloucester ground her teeth at the sounds of giggling that she heard through the keyhole of John’s bedchamber. She had remarked to her mother in law that the shame of her husband’s infidelity fell solely on him, and yet it still did not fail to irk her. She huffed in irritation and walked away from her husband’s bedchamber. She knew that he would not send for her. John was well occupied with the thrice-accursed French-woman.
Isabel stormed through the castle in a study of silent fury, her every pore exuding her anger. “He’s at it again
Isabel spun about to see her one ally in the castle, Anne, staring at her with a mix of fury and pity on her face. Isabel felt her anger drain and her shame rising again. She was a woman who could not appear to satisfy her husband well enough from turning to a Frenchwoman and the fact galled her and made her question herself like nothing else.
Anne’s soothing voice penetrated Isabel’s fog of self pity. “The shame is surely his. That is what you said to Queen Eleanor earlier and it no less true then it was then, Isabel. He brings shame down upon himself and upon his chosen bed-warmer when he does such things. I know how it angers you.”
Isabel felt the anger stir in her again. “Yes it makes me angry. Of course it does. But what am I to do to get him to see me and not her
Anne shook her head pityingly. “You will never make him see you and not her, Isabel. He is a fool who cannot see the value in that which he already has. The fact that you are already a more worthy choice will not penetrate his foolish mind. He is ruled by his loins.”
Isabel sighed. “I know this already, Anne, but what am I to do then?”
Anne smirked. “What do you think is the worst thing possible that could happen to John?”
Enjoying the speculation, Isabel played along. “Richard the Lionheart is not long for this world. John will succeed him…”
“You wish for John not to ascend the throne?”
Isabel shook her head. “No. My husband is jealous of his brother’s grand conquests. The Lionheart has brought much glory to England in them. I wish for my husband to gain his kingship and then to have it taken away from him, piece by piece, by Philip of France. That would be all the sweeter since John’s beloved bed-warmer is French too.”
Anne smirked. “Have the kingship turn to ashes around him? Very inventive.” She transformed into her true form, giving Isabel a fright. Anyanka’s smirk broadened. “Done!”
**May 1st 1199
Anyanka, currently in the guise of Anya, strode swiftly through the twisting paths of Nottingham, her heart in turmoil. The wish she had granted to Isabel in London had worked. In many ways it had worked too well. The northern barons were getting butchered by Sir Godfrey and his French soldiers and division was becoming rampant. Cities were burning, people were dying and, most galling of all, John was not really feeling any pain for his act of infidelity.
Anya shook her head angrily and strode into the local church to clear her head. She sat and thought for a long moment, trying to figure out a way for John to pay properly, hopefully without anyone else dying for it. Anya truly believed she was a justice demon, and her justice wasn’t coming.
“You look like a woman with a lot on her mind, young lady.” Anya glanced up to find a portly, jolly-looking friar standing over her. The friar grinned broadly. “I don’t believe I’ve seen you in Nottingham before, Miss. Can I help you at all?”
Despite her status as a demon who hated all men, barring D’Hoffryn of course, Anya couldn’t help but be soothed by the man’s rather silly manner. “I fear that I have made a terrible mistake. A man was unfaithful to a good friend of mine and I attempted to exact vengeance upon him. Unfortunately my work is all for naught. Others are suffering because of what I have done, and my friend’s husband has yet to really suffer himself for what he has done.”
The jolly friar frowned faintly at her honest disclosure. “I can understand why you would wish to exact retribution for your friend, my child, but vengeance is best left to God.”
Anya’s eyes flashed. “And yet God has done nothing at all!”
A twinkle of merriment entered the friar’s eyes. “Nothing that you can discern, you mean. I tell you this, and I tell you true… God may take his time, but he always punishes those who have sinned without forgiveness. And often his punishment is subtler and sweeter than anything man…” He glanced at Anya, “Or woman could hope to inflict. Leave vengeance to god, my child. Trust me. It may take time, but God will punish this man for breaking the seventh commandment.”
Anya looked long into the friar’s eyes and saw pure sincerity there. She nodded in satisfaction and touched her pendant. “Done.”
The friar bowed slightly. “I believe that we are having a party tonight to celebrate the planting. Would you care to join us, Miss…”
Anya grinned faintly. “Anya. And you are?”
“Tuck. Friar Tuck, at your service. Now tell me Anya, have you ever tried the honey liquor known as mead?”
**May 15th 1199
Shores of Northern England
Anya stared out as the English beat back the French and was singularly dissatisfied with what she saw. John was still alive. John was victorious and had been part of that victory. The only good thing had been the retreat of France which would hopefully keep more innocents from dying for John’s infidelity.
That was when she heard it and she saw it. The men on the beach were cheering and chanting a name. This was not strange at all to Anya. They had won a great victory. What shocked a broad smile out of Anya was that they were not chanting for John, who was their king. They were chanting for Robin Longstride, who had united them under the king’s banner.
Anya smiled. This was God’s vengeance, and it was a subtle and vicious vengeance indeed. For the crime of adultery, it seemed that King John was destined to be overshadowed by a lowly archer of no real consequence. Oh the delicious cruelty of it. Anya touched her pendant softly and whispered, “Done!” reinforcing what she saw as God’s vengeance on John.
Anya nodded in satisfaction. “I left vengeance to God this time, Tuck, and it worked wonderfully. Still, I’m sure God won’t mind if I continue to offer a little help.”
**In Later Years...
Centuries later, King John of England would be largely forgotten by the world at large. His largest claim to fame was, in fact, his minor role in the legend of Robin of the Hood. The fact that Robin of the Hood became a legend that survived for centuries made it all the more enjoyable for Anyanka…
The fact that the name John also became synonymous with the word toilet was completely unrelated… Honestly.
The final shot is my salute to Robin Hood: Men in Tights, which was created by Mel Brooks. I don't own that either.
Hope you all enjoyed.