Title: A Variety of Hoods
Genre: plotless fluff/humor
Summary: Chloe and Oliver discuss various TV and film incarnations of Robin Hood.
Warnings: I suppose there's some spoilers for the Russell Crowe Robin Hood film if you haven't seen it yet. (P.S. Don't bother.)
In retrospect, it was surprising that it hadn't been Oliver to start this, Chloe thought idly, reaching for the mongolian beef. This whole situation had his name written all over it, but it had been her fault. She'd been asking for it.
It started with Netflix, really. A couple of months ago Chloe had been looking for something to watch late one night when she didn't have anything better to do, and had stumbled across BBC's Robin Hood series. Oliver had come home to find her watching a band of merry men running around shooting arrows, and the discussion had begun.
"What," he asked slowly, "are you watching?"
She looked up from the sofa. "Guess."
At that particular moment, the TV had supplied their answer in the form of the Sherif of Nottingham, mocking Robin Hood.
"That is not Robin Hood," Oliver said, sitting down beside her and stealing some of her popcorn. "He's too scrawny."
Chloe laughed, elbowing him and re-seizing the popcorn. "Technically, it makes sense for him to be smaller, since he's an archer. And anyway, for practical reasons, they had to cast a smaller guy to make Little John look comparatively huge, right?"
"That's no excuse. He doesn't even look muscular."
Chloe shot him a look and saw immediately that he was only poking fun because he could. He was already completely absorbed, eyes glued to the screen.
"Is this a movie?" he asked.
"No, it's a British TV series. And personally, I think he's quite attractive," she added casually, knowing it would goad him.
He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. "You've got to be joking."
Chloe shook her head, suppressing a smirk as she kept her eyes on the TV screen. "I'm serious. I think he's cute."
Oliver narrowed his eyes and turned back to the screen where Robin was smiling about something. "His teeth are crooked!" Oliver exclaimed. "Come on!"
Chloe laughed, throwing a piece of popcorn at him. "Listen, first of all, most British people can't have their teeth straightened currently because their health insurance doesn't cover it. Second of all, that's probably historically accurate anyway because they definitely weren't getting braces back during the crusades, now were they. Now be quiet, I'm trying to watch this."
He started to say something else, but she quelled him with a look. Sourly he folded his arms and slouched into his seat on the couch more comfortably.
Minutes later, though, he was scoffing and muttering, "Historically accurate my arrows," under his breath.
Chloe rolled her eyes. "What now?"
"He's using a hunnish bow. A modern one. And there's rubber on the soles of his boots. And his collar is clearly machine-sewn."
Ignoring the clothing misnomers, which she had already picked up on herself, Chloe questioned the first statement. "What kind of bow? I thought they called it a Saracen bow."
"Hunnish. They said it was Saracen?" he scoffed again.
She gave him an amused look. "Well it's not like anyone would know but you, and I'm sure it at least bears a passing resemblance. Anyway, I think some of the anachronisms are on purpose. Especially the clothing. And they don't always talk like people from that time period anyway."
"Why would he have a Saracen bow, anyway?" Oliver ignored her. "He's English."
"Because he just got back from the Crusades and he learned to respect Saracen culture there. And he said the Saracen–"
"–bow was smaller to carry around."
"Who's that?" Oliver asked, not paying her any attention.
"That's not Marian."
"That's not Robin Hood. That's not Maid Marian," Chloe quoted him with another roll of her eyes. "What's the matter with Lucy Griffiths?" she asked.
"She's too…I don't know. I don't like her."
"She's only been on screen for two seconds."
"And she's wearing pants! Maid Marian doesn't wear pants! It's medieval England!" he said.
"Now you're just being childish. We already discussed that the costumes aren't very accurate. I happen to like a lot of them, though."
"I just think Marian should be different," he said.
"I like her."
"Yeah, well you also like Mr. Crooked Teeth over there, so that's not surprising."
Chloe laughed. "His teeth aren't that crooked. We can't all have billion dollar smiles, and it gives him a boyish look that's really cute."
"I can't believe you think he's attractive."
"He's got charis–wait." Chloe stopped and turned to look at him. "Are you jealous?"
"What?" he asked, looking at her like she was crazy.
"Oh my gosh!" she said gleefully. "You're jealous of a fictional character!"
"I am not. I just wouldn't have cast that actor."
"You're completely jealous," she grinned, not having it. "And who would you have cast? Yourself?"
"Well someone more like me, I guess," Oliver said nonchalantly.
"You're absurd," Chloe said, poking him in the chest.
He snatched up her hand and drew her into his lap. "I'm not absurd; I just like my heroes correctly represented."
She brushed her nose against his teasingly. "I happen to like this representation."
And now, here they were, two months later, watching their umpteenth Robin Hood film and arguing over Chinese food.
"Russell Crowe makes a great Robin Hood," Chloe said stubbornly.
"He's okay. At least…he's pretty good, but this whole story is way off. I mean, first of all, they killed off the real Robin of Loxley. What's all this 'Longstride' crap. It's like he's not even the real Robin, just some impostor."
"Not to mention Prince John is completely wishy-washy. And Maid Marian isn't even a 'maid.' She's a widow," Chloe conceded with a sigh, taking a bite of the beef.
"Wishy-washy's an understatement," Oliver grunted. "I think they were going for tormented and just came up short. It's like he doesn't even know what he wants, let alone whether or not he's trying to be evil. And I can't believe they killed off King Richard!" he added for the twentieth time. "I mean, that's just wrong. Why would you ever kill off King Richard. The whole point of Robin Hood is that he's loyal to Richard until Richard comes home and sets the kingdom straight. I'd rather watch the BBC show again. At least that plot line made sense with the novel."
"Heck, even Men in Tights followed the story more closely," Chloe agreed. "Plus I just loved that Patrick Stewart was King Richard. That was awesome. But," she added, yet again, "I still like Russell Crowe."
"You'd like Russell Crowe no matter what character he was playing," Oliver mocked, stealing the bite she had perched in her chopsticks.
"Hey!" she protested. "And that's not true."
Oliver chuckled. "Sure it's not. But either way, Kevin Costner was still way better in Prince of Thieves."
"Psht. Errol Flynn was the best," she argued like she did during every movie.
"Okay, while I admittedly like Olivia de Havilland best as Maid Marian, Errol Flynn does too much prancing around for Robin Hood. And he wears tights. Robin Hood would not wear tights."
"Like you don't wear tights?" she said slyly, smirking at him.
"Don't start that again," he warned.
She shrugged, taking the fried rice from his hands. "But anyway, both those movies had much better actors playing the villains."
"Definitely. Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham? Genius."
"Don't forget Basil Rathbone as Guy of Gisbourne." She sighed dreamily. "Oh, Basil."
He snorted and poked her in the side. "No swooning over the villains. We've discussed this."
She stuck out her tongue. "Hey, either you let me swoon over the villains or we deal with the jealousy complex you have regarding all Robin Hood incarnations."
"I am not jealous."
"Whatever you say."
"I said I thought Errol Flynn was handsome and you wrote off the entire movie. And I still maintain that the only reason you love Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves so much is because I said I don't get what women see in Kevin Costner."
"I just–what. What is this?" he said, attention suddenly drawn back to the film as it came to a close. "They're all living in the forest? What is this?"
Chloe raised an eyebrow as she listened to the closing monologue. The film ended and they sat in stunned silence before Oliver finally said it again.
"I…I'm not sure."
"They're all just going to live in the forest and sing Barney songs about sharing!" he demanded. "Yeah, because English society definitely would have progressed that way."
Chloe picked up the box to look at the credits. "I wonder if the writer was a communist," she asked idly.
"They can't all live in the forest! That's dumb!" he continued, still in shock.
"I guess that's what comes of killing off Richard the Lionheart."
"Which wasn't even historically accurate," Oliver grumbled. Again. "Because he definitely did come back from the crusades."
"I don't like this one," Chloe said.
"I still like Errol Flynn's Robin Hood best."
"And I like Costner. What's on the list for next time?"
Chloe pulled her laptop over to check, then giggled. "You'll like it."
"Why's that?" he asked, taking the fried rice back now that she was distracted.
"What? Which version is it?" he asked.
"The Disney cartoon," she grinned.
Oliver rolled his eyes. "Don't even get me started on the historical accuracy of that one."
Chloe laughed amusedly. "It's a bunch of talking animals! Of course it's historically inaccurate! At least it's good!"
He thought about it. "True."