Robin Hood fanfic, oh no! Sir Hiss hypno-corrupts Maid Marian. Mature.

Prince John had a gallows grip on the gold coins between his fingers. One wrinkle creased his brow just above his snout. His lip curled, just a little. With each breath, an uneven whine left his throat, like a wet log steaming in a hot fire.

Sir Hiss grinned as ingratiatingly as he could.

"Sssire, you've counted that gold twice already. I think it'sss time sssomeone went to bed," he said.

Prince John didn't look at him. Hiss peeled back the corners of his mouth harder.

"Come now, sssir, you need your beauty sssleep," Hiss said.

Hiss's tail draped across the line of gold rings that Prince John held. He hooked the coins against his tail and tugged. Prince John held on tightly. His mouth stayed closed, though his lip had started to wobble.

Hiss had hoped the prince would have taken rejection better, but there was nothing the lion reacted to pleasantly.

"Sssire, she's Frankish. Those girls jusst want to sssee broad shouldersss and biceps and big, moody--"

Hiss ducked and the gold coins smacked the ground behind him. He slithered beneath Prince John's chair as the lion rose to his feet., Prince John snatched the tip of his tail and wrenched him up into the air.

"Hiss," Prince John purred dangerously. "Are you saying I'm not masculine enough?

His paw snapped around the snake's neck like it was instinct. Hiss wheezed. His narrow chest rose and fell quickly.

"Sssire, I only meant to sssay that if you found a woman who could appreciate your featuresss--"

Prince John threw Hiss at the wall. Hiss tried to tuck into a ball, but he still hit the stone floor hard enough to hear a couple cracks from his spine..

"My features?" Prince John snapped. His voice cracked like an adolescent cub. "What features, Hiss? My regal bearing? My royal pedigree? My refined taste?"

"Sssire, I meant no insssult. If you just looked for a woman who--"

Prince John's paw shot around Hiss's neck again and it was all Hiss could do to keep from flopping around as Prince John shook him.

"Who says I want a woman?" Prince John said between his teeth. “Get out, you whining worm."

He pitched Hiss like a wobbly, cringing spear through his chamber door and slammed it shut after him.


Hiss bit his tongue. As he slithered through the iron bars, he'd hit a bruise on his stomach. It hurt, but things would be better soon. Prince John would have to respect him. He was going to match up the prissy lion with someone who actually wanted to be with him. ...more or less.

Maybe it was the evening sun sprinkling a golden mist over everything, but Maid Marian's portion of the castle seemed brighter than the lion's share that Prince John had claimed as his own. Hiss pulled a corner of the tower door open, then peered inside. He slipped up the stairs, shutting the door behind him so quietly it didn't even creak.

Hiss moved up the stairs cautiously, leaning up to peek at each landing before continuing on. Marian's handmaiden had standing orders to kick him out if she found him in her part of the castle. He didn't need to get tackled by the hen twice to learn his lesson: if you want to sneak in, don't get caught.


Maid Marian lifted the shawl off her head. Her ears flicked free and she raised her eyes to look into her reflection. She fussed over the corners of her eyes, twisted a lock of hair between her fingers to feel its thickness, raised her neck and brushed her fingers through the white fur. Though her reflection was that of a soft-eyed, youthful fox in a noblewoman's dress, she saw the little imperfections that made her worry. Maybe more time had gone by than she knew. Maybe that was why she was still waiting, why he hadn't come--

The door squeaked open. Her ears shot up. Maybe it was him? Tail swinging, she look behind her to see the door open a sliver, and in that space, a greenish snake.

"You get out of here right now, or I'll call Kluck down here and..." Marian began, standing up from her chair and tossing her shawl back over her head.

Hiss curled his tail up over his lips, miming a 'shush'. "The prince doesn't know I'm here."

Marian's held her disapproving pout, but her stern expression gave Hiss space to speak..

"Richard is away, ssso there's no proper claim except for John's. But sssay Richard's ssstepdaughter was married to some childhood sssweetheart..."

Hiss seemed encouraged by the way Marian's expression softened. She was studying his face, looking for some sign of trickery. A nervous grin, an eagerly coiling tail, a twitch in the eyes. Hiss's eyes...oof. A few colors popped in front of Marian's eyes. She blinked, trying to push them away, staring down at the rug.

“Hiss, stop, I'm going to call Kluck," Marian said, voice raised.

“Are you sssure?" he asked.

Out of instinct, Marian looked back at Hiss. The colors popped again, first simple spheres, slowly whirling into stained-glass spires. The front of her forehead felt heavy. Beyond the colorful vision, she still saw Hiss's eyes, wide and prying and drawing her gaze.

“I'm not in the mood for your games. Tell that to your sire," Marian said. One arm draped over her face, she turned away from Hiss. “Now leave."

Hiss folded his coils like a pair of arms across his chest. “I won't," he said.

“That's okay," Marian said. Her mouth fell open a little. “I...don't mind if you stay."

Marian knew that Hiss had a few tricks for amusing his prince. She had thought they were just tricks.

“Sssit down on the bed," Hiss told her.

She wanted to, but she didn't, and then her legs were doing it anyway. They dropped her onto her silk sheets and refused to let her stand back up..

A giddy grin stretched across Hiss's face. “Oh, my! Okay. Ooh, repeat after me: 'I don't like Robin Hood any more.'"

Marian's heart hammered and she scowled at Hiss. That wasn't what he was expecting, but then Marian's eyes began to hurt again and she couldn't pull them away from Hiss. Not again, she thought. She'd looked right back into his eyes.

Hiss repeated himself, smugly enunciating each of the words. “I don't like Robin Hood any more," he said, Marian only a second behind on each word.

“I don't like Robin Hood any more."

Just because she said it, that didn't mean a thing. She'd told people plenty of foolish things while she was off in London. One more foolish thing to a simpering snake didn't matter.

Hiss sidled closer, playing at acting casual. “You look older than I remember. You were away for a while, and people can change…"

Marian brushed a finger over the corner of her eye. She tried not to frown, conscious of the way it wrinkled her brow.

“You look more like your mother every day," he added.

Marian got older every day. Every day was one more between her and the last time she'd seen Robin. She was changing and he had to be changing too and everything was different from when they were young. Hiss said nothing she hadn't thought before, and that made his words ring true in her ears.

“And you know Robin's an outlaw now."

Marian stomped a foot and stared straight forward, above Hiss's head.

She said, “I don't care if he's headed to the gallows, I'd still want to be with him."

“But would you want to live on the run, out in the foressst, sleeping on the ground?" Hiss asked.

Her answer was yes, if it meant being with Robin. But Hiss's eyes bored into her and she wasn't sure. She gathered a fistful of silk sheets between her fingers. She hadn't spent a day in her life where a soft bed wasn't minutes away, a meal ready whenever she asked, or a carriage waiting to take her anywhere she wanted.

“I...would get him pardoned," she said, her defiant voice now turned inward. She was arguing against her own thoughts; Hiss just gave them a voice.

"How would you manage that with Richard gone?" Hiss asked.

Marian dug her teeth into her lip. She didn't know what he was trying to get at. He had just spoken about helping Robin take the throne...or had he? Her mind said he had, but Hiss's eyes said no, she needed to forget about that.

"I don't know," Marian said.

"If you asssk me, it's time to give up your childhood crush. Ssstart looking for a better man to marry," Hiss said.

The popping colors, the weight, the tiredness had all faded into background noise like the rustling of trees--present, but quiet and meaningless. Marian stared, eyelids slightly hooded, jaw just a little slack, into Hiss's eyes.

"You're right," she said, gently resigned.

Hiss loosened and smiled. The fight was over.

"You'll have to dress better to get the right kind of husband," Hiss told her.

Marian looked down at her gown and tugged at the soft fabric.

"This isn't good enough?" she asked. Though she had broken their mutual gaze, her voice still held a quiet hollowness.

"Not bad, but you could do much better," Hiss told her. "You want someone who can keep you in fine sssilk, right?"

Marian quietly nodded.

"Then you need to look like you deserve it."


Standing in her closet, separated from Hiss's sight by a changing screen, Maid Marian tried to collect her thoughts, but they stubbornly stuck to the corners of her mind. She ran her fingers over a brocaded gown with long, trailing sleeves she'd never worn. Wouldn't it be nice to have another two of these, one in white and one in blue? No, she thought, that would be wasteful, but deep down, she wanted to have more.

Marian fought a smile as she turned a pair of green silk slippers over in her hands. She hadn't seen this many clothes in months. She only ever took the front-most dresses in her closet, the ones she picked out, the most modest and demure. All the clothes she'd gotten as gifts were back in the back, where she was now, finding treasures that made her giddy and made her cringe in equal measure. She could never wear something so expensive. So...flashy, and pretty.

Marian blinked and rubbed her eyes. She needed to fight these urges, she knew that. But which were the foreign urges, and which were her own?

A blush warmed her cheeks. By one velvet strap, she held a rose-colored corset. She felt as if the tingle of wine were washing about inside of her. Her breath was hot and bent her thoughts around each uneven gasp.

She had to wear it. She had to see what it was like. But first she'd need a petticoat, and stockings, and shoes, and in a rush of fashion choices, her defenses gave out. She felt dizzy, just for a moment, before a warm, guilty, sticky glee bubbled into her chest.

The choices came naturally, like she'd been planning this all along and knew just what to wear.

Black lace stockings ran up her legs, up to a slender petticoat. She tossed a dress over her head and tugged it down over her body. Regal purple satin rested against her hips, plunged down into a deep neckline, and split along the sides of the dress's skirt to show tantalizing slivers of her legs and hips. Now she was ready for the corset.

Marian unlaced the corset so she could wrap it around her waist, then stood still, breathing slowly, as she laced it back up. At first it sat gently on her hips. She wrapped the laces around her fingers, breathed out, and pulled. The corset bowed toward her waist until it was just touching her stomach. Her hand grazed down the front of the corset, feeling its shape. Not enough, she thought to herself. A short gasp left her lips as she pulled the corset tighter still, until it squeezed her to her satisfaction.


“Do you think it looks good?" Marian asked.

Hiss's head perked up and his tongue flickered. The corset gave Marian's bust a heavier, prouder look, and the tight lines of her corset led the eye down toward her hips, with a sliver of sleek, stockinged legs all the way down to her tall heels.

“Sssplendid," he told her.

Marian blinked away a few flashes of color. She instinctively stared into Hiss's eyes. She pulled out the stool in front of her makeup desk and sat down, searching for colors rich and bright enough to catch someone's eye. She glanced briefly at Hiss, climbing up onto the top of the desk, but she wasn't bothered by that. She was used to Hiss crawling around her room--they were good friends, after all.

“If you want to find a man, you're going to need more passion," he told her.

Marian paused, pursing her lips and looking at the shade of red she'd chosen, before she spoke.

“What do you mean? I look pretty, and I want to find a husband...isn't that enough?"

Hiss shook his head. “Not quite. You need to show that you're eager, that you're looking and you want something. What do you want?"

Marian brushed oily black eyeliner along the bottom of her eyes, giving her a dusky candle-flame gaze. She wasn't sure what Hiss wanted her to say, so she looked over at him, looking for the answer in his eyes.

“I" she said.

She thought she wanted to marry more than to have money, but if marriage was a given then yes, she wanted money. Money to buy more dresses and corsets and jewelry.

“What do you want?" Hiss asked, leaning closer, more insistent.

“I want gold," she said, as if the thought was simpler to grasp now. Finished with her dark violet eyeshadow, she reached for her small jewelry box and picked out some earrings to wear. A tingle traced up along the inside of her thighs and her tail stiffened and she dug her toes into the bottom of her shoes.

“Tell me what you want," Hiss said. He was about three feet from her face now.

Marian's chest rose and fell faster. She abandoned her jewelry for right now, clutching the edge of the desk lightly instead. Some great feeling was welling up in the pit of her stomach, turning her skin tender, making her fur stand on end and her tail curl and her ears ring. It burned at the corners of her eyes so she blinked, but she never looked away from Hiss. She wanted to dig her hands into her jewelry box and wear everything at once, but if she let go of her desk, she might fall.

“I-I want gold," Marian said, trembling slightly. More than she wanted children, more than she wanted a kind husband, she wanted money.

Hiss moved closer. He was inches from her nose, close enough that his tongue nearly flickered against her lips.

"What's that?" he asked. He was eager, but calm, collected, his voice level.

Marian was bubbling over. She could only manage shallow gasps. Her chest squeezed tightly against the dress and corset she'd never have considered wearing before today.

"I want gold!" she shouted. The words came with a sudden rush, flowing out of her like a dam had burst.

Caught in the tide, rushed away by crashing currents, were her cares and concerns for others. Her claws sunk into the desk, but she nearly fell anyway. Her legs ached and her knees trembled and she couldn't help it any longer. Twin thoughts pounded through the roaring chaos: money and pleasure. Nothing could quite compare to those two perfect ideals.


Hiss was worried that he had broken something. He'd gotten excited and rushed things and maybe the poor maid couldn't take it all.

He flinched involuntarily when Marian grasped his neck. Her face, dark with makeup, looked nothing like the doe-eyed maid he knew. He'd never seen her with such a look of need, either.

Her lips touched his and Hiss flushed suddenly. His plan momentarily forgotten, he sputtered softly and leaned against Marian, who stretched out an arm for him to coil around.

"Hiss," she said, a dangerously clever curl in her voice. "Do you think I could see Prince John?"

Hiss flickered his tongue and wrapped himself around her offered arm.

“He was...quite cross when I left. Maybe after he calms down," he said.

Marian's finger ran along the underside of Hiss's chin and the tip of his tail shook eagerly like a canine's tail wagging.

“Could you calm me down, Hiss?" Marian asked.

Hiss's eyelids drooped as he stared into her smoky eyes. A dumb grin spread across his face.

“Yessss," he hissed lazily.

Marian drew Hiss closer, letting him slide from her warm arm onto her even warmer chest and shoulder. His tail slipped down between her breasts and a light blush tinted the snake's cheeks.

Marian looked down at him and his whole long body felt as if it was made of jelly.

“Don't stop," she said.

Hiss blinked back a few blotches of color that popped in front of his eyes. His body drooped against her soft bosom like she wanted.


Prince John pushed his pillow over his ears.

"Go away, Hiss! I'll have you hung, treasonous worm," he moaned.

The knocking at the door came again.

Prince John rolled over and tossed his pillow at the door in a fit of anger.

Now without a pillow, he groaned and climbed out of bed, grabbing the pillow and opening the door with a scowl. His fur was matted from sleeping and the ill-fitting crown drooped down over one of his ears and he wore a nightgown that looked more suited to an old maid than a noble.

Standing in front of him was a smouldering vixen, hands on her hips, back curled slightly as if trying to present herself to him. She raised her carefully arched eyebrows and breathed in slowly, to squeeze her chest against her corset.

Hiss had draped himself over her shoulders like a fur stole, but picked his head up with a proud smile. "Sssire, may I present the Maid Marian," he said, before slithering down her side and onto the floor at her heel.

While Prince John's eyes roved over her body, Marian's eyes glanced from John's crown to his jeweled rings.

"Maid Marian?" he asked, somewhere between incredulity and amazement.

The vixen's arms draped around his shoulders and she pressed her body against his. He hadn't known that feeling of a warm, soft body against his own, but once he felt it, it seemed like his whole life had been missing that feeling.

"I'd prefer Queen Marian," she said, moving her hands down to his chest, pushing him gently toward the bed. "With my own crown, of course. We could go shopping for our honeymoon. Clothes from London, perfume from Paris, jewelry from sunny Spain..."

Prince John laughed. It was equal parts disbelief and fear. Every bit of his cunning told him this was a trick. Every inch of his body wanted more of it, trick or not.

“Come here, your highness," Marian cooed.

His eyes darted up, giving Hiss a desperate look. The snake just nodded, smiling and making a thumbs-up shape with the tip of his tail.

Then he fell onto the bed, and everything became soft velvet and red fur and deep breaths.


Marian sat on the floor in front of the fireplace, loosening the knot on a bag of gold. Outside of the flickering light, Prince John was sleeping soundly. Probably with a thumb in his mouth but, ah, the things she'd do for gold. She saw the sparkle deep inside the burlap and brought it out, folding down the fabric to run her hands through the coins.

She giggled to herself as she laid out her plan in her mind. Step one, count up Prince John's treasury. Step two, get the finest luxuries gold could buy. Step three, raise taxes. Step four, repeat.

Robin Hood wasn't even on her mind. She had no love left for childhood crushes--she loved gold, and herself, and everything else was a means to those ends.