A/N: Leave it to these two losers to drag me out of my years long fic-writing dry-spell. This is short and (hopefully) fluffy, and in case you can't tell, I ship these two like nothing else. This has not been beta-d and all mistakes are my own. I hope you guys like it!
Disclaimer: I own nothing belonging to FOX or the creators of Sleepy Hollow
"C'mon, Crane, just a little bit farther," Abbie said, making haste as she strode through the darkening forest. For once, she was navigating the wooded areas around Sleepy Hollow better than he.
"You still have yet to tell me where we are going, Lieutenant," Ichabod said, dutifully carrying the wicker basket he had insisted on carrying,filled with food Abbie had packed for them. Not this blasted "fast food" for once. As much as he had enjoyed his brief jaunt into the world of "French Fried" potatoes, he thoroughly preferred food in which he could distinguish the contents.
"There's a clearing up here, far from the city. You'll see," Abbie said. "Just past this rock, and we'll be there." A large boulder loomed perhaps a hundred meters ahead of them, and Ichabod could already see the trees begin to thin. The sun fast beginning to set, but before it had the chance, they emerged into a small clearing atop a hill, from which you could see the entire sprawling "small town" of Sleepy Hollow laid out in front of him like a postcard.
"This is truly a wondrous sight, Miss Mills, but is there a reason we could not have just stayed home and had supper there?" Ichabod asked, transferring the basket to Abbie's open hands. She unfolded the red gingham-print blanket sitting on top and laid it on the ground before sitting and taking out the contents of the basket.
"Yep, but just wait. You'll see," she said and handed him a plate with a turkey sandwich, potato "chips", and a glass of a sweetened concoction Abbie had called lemonade.
"Okay, so first order of business," Abbie said, getting her own plate of food. "This is a picnic, and is about as white-picket-fence-apple-pie American as you can get, and everyone needs to go to one at least once in their lives."
"Lieutenant, apple pies did not even originate in the United States, in fact they were first concocted by-" Ichabod began.
Abbie held up her hand. "I do not even want to know, Crane. The sentiment stands."
Ichabod took a bite of the sandwich and swallowed, "Well, then. Onto a different topic. Miss Mills, I still do not understand why you don't cook more often. You are a simply marvelous chef."
She took a sip of her lemonade and set the cup down on a relatively flat area. "Never have the time, and Crane, it's just a sandwich. Not filet mignon or anything."
"The sentiment stands," he parroted, and gave her a grin. She tried her best to look annoyed, but he could see the laughter in her dark umber eyes. "How is this preferable to eating indoors, where you have proper utensils and tables on which to set things?"
Abbie shrugged. "You get to spend some time in the great outdoors with your family, eating food and bonding. At least that's what I think the original idea was. Never did get to do it as a kid though."
Ichabod couldn't help but feel a sharp pang of sympathy for his fellow witness. Miss Mills certainly never showed it, but her past hurt her, and all of the missed experiences-however different from the classical childhood experiences of Ichabods own pre-pubescence-weighed heavily on her. He reached for her hand, resting on the blanket beside her. She looked at him and he melted just a little bit when she squeezed his hand back.
"I am honoured to share this picnic with you, Miss Mills, and I hope I have proven to be amenable company in the absence of a preferable alternative," Ichabod said, looking earnestly into her eyes.
"I couldn't have chosen better company," Abbie said, grinning. He smiled back, happy once again knowing there was no one better chosen by God's grace to be his fellow witness than Miss Abigail Mills. He retracted his hand, not wanting to intrude, but almost missed the warmth of her skin against his. Ichabod immediately banished the thought. He was married, very much happily married to his Katrina, and shouldn't be having these thoughts about his partner.
Abbie hadn't noticed his mental chastisement and began collecting dishes. "Sun's going down and I don't want to miss a second," she said.
"Miss a second of what, Miss Mills?"
"You'll see," Abbie said sagely. Ichabod was fast growing tired of that phrase, but didn't want to put Miss Mills out of her good temper. He helped clean up the rest of their mess, and before they knew it, the sun had set, painting the horizon in reds, oranges, and purples before settling into a deep, midnight blue.
"Now lay back, and just watch," Abbie said. "It'll start soon."
Abbie lay back on the blanket crossing her arms underneath her head and watched the sky. Ichabod did the same, trying to manage the same kind of easy grace the Lieutenant possessed. Once he was in the same position as she, he asked, "Would you like a lesson on the constellations while we wait? I've heard they aren't as well known in your time."
"I'd love one," Abbie said. "As soon as you get your ass off the grass and onto the blanket. I know how thin it is, Crane, and your clothes are dirty enough."
"It wouldn't be proper-" Ichabod said, looking over at Abbie only to be met with her glare that told him she wasn't asking. He acquiesced without another word, "scooching", as she so eloquently called it before, fully onto the blanket. Miss Mill's body was only separated from his by inches, and he could feel her body heat next to him.
"Okay, lesson time, Crane," Abbie said and he began telling her of the constellations in the late summer sky. Ursa Major and Minor, in the north, the big and little bears flung into the sky by their lengthened tails. Then onto Cepheus and Cassiopeia the King and Queen who had gotten themselves cast into the sky by their own capriciousness and narcissism. Next was their daughter, Andromeda with the great hero Perseus Cygnus, Aquila, Lyra, and the dying dregs of Sagittarius and Scorpius were next as he worked his way around the sky. Though the stars seemed dimmer than before, Ichabod was comforted by the fact that at least one thing in this world had changed completely.
Miss Mills listened intently the entire time, entranced by the same Greek myths he had loved in his childhood, and he was so thankful to be able to share them with her.
"That leads us back around to Draco the-" Ichabod began, only to see a shooting star streak out of the formation. "Miss Mills, is this-"
"A meteor shower? Yeah," she said, smiling over at him. "I guessed-correctly, just so you know-that you would be into astronomy. The news said there was a 'draconid' meteor shower today, and I thought you'd like to see it."
"Yes, I am very pleased you've showed me, Miss Mills," Ichabod said, still unused to this different kind of caring the Lieutenant showed him, which was quieter, more subtle, but just as powerful, if not more so, than the love he had shared with Katrina.
"Good," Abbie said, settling herself on the blanket. If Ichabod didn't know any better, he would think she was moving nearer to him, if only by millimeters. "Or else I would've been completely lost with this whole meteor shower thing. I've never seen one before."
"Then I'm doubly glad," Ichabod said. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Abbie rub her arms, as if to quell the gooseflesh on her skin. "Miss Mills, are you cold?"
Abbie stopped as if she had been caught doing something she should've have been. "No, I'm fine."
"Poppycock," Ichabod said, sitting up and removing his thick, beloved coat. "Please, take this. You need it far more than I."
"Crane, seriously, I don't-"
"Don't lie to me, Miss Mills. You are chilled and I am insisting you take my coat," He tried the I'm-not-asking look on her, and it must've had some effect, because with an aggravated sigh she accepted his coat and shrugged it on, taking extra care with the centuries old fabric. It was comically huge on her tiny frame, and his heart warmed just looking at her.
"Don't you look cute," Ichabod said, smiling. Abbie glared and didn't respond, though once she laid down he noticed her snuggle deeper into the coat and tucked the cuffs around her fingers.
"Admit it, you appreciate me, just a little," Ichabod said, chuckling to himself as he watched Miss Mills try and fail to hide a smile. "Microscopically," she said.
Ichabod returned her smile, looking into her eyes for another moment before again laying down. This time, he was sure Miss Mills had moved ever closer to him. Or was he the one moving closer? Either way, he couldn't be bothered to care.
Ichabod looked toward the sky, the constellations he knew so well that had guided him across sea and field. They guided him now, centered him in this tumultuous time with their steadfastness, just as the small, spitfire of a woman beside him did.
Moments of silence passed, the rare kind that Ichabod didn't feel the need to fill with chatter. It was the most peaceful he had felt since coming to this era, and words could not express the amount of gratitude he had for Miss Mills thinking to share this with him. So he didn't try, better to let the Lieutenant lay in peace while damnable words failed him and his heart. It was a surprise when it was Miss Mills broke the silence.
"I'm glad you're here with me tonight, Crane," she said, her voice lower than usual, as if she was embarrassed to say it.
"As I am glad to be by your side, Lieutenant," Ichabod said, finding the best words of which he was capable. And when Abbie's small hand reached for his, he didn't even hesitate to entwine his fingers with hers. Ichabod relaxed, now. He was perfectly content to spend the rest of forever here, with Miss Mills wearing his coat, his fingers tangled with hers while the stars shot across the endless, unchanging sky.
I hope you guys enjoyed! It's been forever since I wrote any kind of fic, and commentary and criticism would be more than welcome.