Hello, friends! So right about the time Sleepy Hollow was going on its winter hiatus, I hit 250 followers on Tumblr. On a lark, I decided to ask my followers for fic prompts. I promised to fill them all. It seemed like a fun way to fill the hiatus...and correct some of the directions the seasons has taken so far.

I may have underestimated the interest level. I wound up with 53 ficlets ranging from a hundred words to two thousand. Some of them are really dark; some of them are the fluffiest, silliest things I've ever written. They are presented here with the original unedited prompt (usernames are Tumblr names) and in no particular order. There is no internal continuity - some fics are strictly canonical; some involve an established relationship between Ichabod and Abbie; a few involve AUs where characters like Katrina or Hawley don't exist. Read the prompts and you should be fine.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this experiment; it was an absolute blast. I hope you enjoy.

tylerbabe1231asked: Hello Creeping Muse these are my prompt.. motorcycle ride, day at the beach and sex in archives or the cabin

He let her drive the bike. That always made her happy. Not just because he drove like a bat out of hell, but because she loved the rattle and hum of the engine between her legs, the security of having his arms wrapped around her waist, the way he would rest his big old head on her shoulder as they flew down the road.

They turned their backs on the river and meandered their way across the county. They took the side roads, whizzing past cemeteries and green valleys and a metric fuckton of country clubs. Occasionally Crane would shout something in her ear, pointing out some battle site or the half-ruined home of an old friend, but mostly they let the roar of the engine and the closeness of their bodies speak for them.

They stopped in the Town of Rye and ate fish and chips overlooking Long Island Sound. Crane doused his in way too much malt vinegar, a move Abbie was convinced was designed to keep her from stealing his fries. Later, when they walked down on the beach, shoes in hand, he bought ice cream to make up for it, and didn't even complain when she immediately ate the crunchy, chocolatey bit at the bottom of the cone and sticky sweetness ran all over their hands.

Neither one of them was tempted by the water. Crane didn't swim, and Abbie wasn't much for it since her surprise dunking in the Hudson a few years back. But they sat in the sand and built rough castles – one of which Crane claimed was an exact replica of his ancestral home – and watched the fishermen cast their lines and the kids chase seagulls.

As they headed back for the bike, a cold wind kicked up from the west and fat raindrops fell from the sky. For once Abbie was glad Crane wore his big old coat even in the summer, because now he wrapped it around her shoulders. They laughed as the sleeves fell long over her hands and kept laughing as they mounted the bike and swam toward home.

And nowhere had ever felt as much like home as the cabin. Sometimes it was too small, yeah, and she was set to murder Crane if he didn't shut his face about some new modern outrage or some ancient piece of boring trivia. But mostly it was warm and cozy and filled with good memories. More of them every day.

They were drenched to the bone when they stumbled through the door, but that was just the perfect excuse to pull dripping clothes from slick limbs, to push wet hair from panting faces, to quickly stoke the fire and collapse in front of it in a tangled pile of limbs.

"This was a good day," she murmured when they were dry and drowsy, Crane's hand twitching across her belly, her leg dangling over his hip.

"They are all good days, so long as I'm with you."

She laughed. "That's a lie. We've had some fucking awful days." Some of them because of demons. Some of them because of loss. Some of them because they were shitheads and couldn't always find the right words or keep the right promises.

"I would not trade even the very worst of them for a thousand years without you."

She looked up at him somberly. "You mean that? You wouldn't go back if you could? Wouldn't go back to being a hero and a husband and a father and all those things you were meant to be?"

"This is what I am meant to be. And where. And when." He punctuated each phrase with a deceptively soft kiss. "I have no doubt of that, Abigail. Nor should you."

She didn't have much to say to that. Wasn't sure what even could be said. So she pulled one of the big, scratchy flannel blankets down over them and he soon he was fast asleep, making that weird whistling noise of his.

Only then did she find the courage to reply. "I love you," she said for the first time.

She swore she saw him smile.

Anonymous asked: This is an amazing thing you are doing with the fics by request I really wanted to request a smut-fic but with my uneasy icabbie feels with this rollercoaster of a 2nd season I'm hesitant ...what about a game night? With Jenny too! Pls and thnx!

The game night was Ichabod's idea.

Making it competitive was Abbie's.

Making it a drinking game was Jenny's.

"Back before people spent their precious leisure hours staring slack-jawed at a jangling box, we spent them in convivial companionship," he'd sniffed. "We could play at blind man's buff or Pope Joan for days. And I'll have you know I was a noted champion at snap-dragon. I only seriously burned myself the once."

"No games involving fire," Abbie had ruled. "But I like the idea of busting out the board games. But let's make it interesting."

The winner of the three-part game extravaganza would be exempt from the tedious job of cleaning and maintaining weapons for a month. No more oiling guns, no more sharpening blades, no more scrubbing ectoplasm off body armor. Everyone agreed it was a pretty choice prize.

"That raises the stakes a little, but I wouldn't say it makes it interesting.Every time you lose a hand or get a question wrong or whatever, you have to drink. Every time you lose a game, you have to take a shot."

Abbie wasn't as crazy about that idea. The other two had height and weight on her in the drinking department. But she did have experience. In the end, they'd all agreed. One blustery Friday night, they all flopped in front of the cabin's fireplace with a few pitchers of margaritas and a stack of games.

Abbie went first. Trivial Pursuit.It wasn't her favorite game (Settlers of Catanfor the win), but it was one where she knew she had an advantage. Crane was missing out on two hundred odd years of pop culture and history; Jenny was often out of the loop on account of her traveling and her other…time away.

She filled out her pie first, but they had her sweating there for a minute. Jenny dominated at sports and geography, while Crane gave a surprisingly strong showing in arts and literature. But they all found themselves taking a few sips of their drinks as they fumbled questions on the date of Elvis' first concert, the number of players on a volleyball team, and which fingernail grows the fastest.

"A clever strategy, Lieutenant," Crane said after he finished coughing from his shot of tequila. "But I am confident my game will be your undoing."

"Talk, talk, talk. I'll believe it when I see it."

Crane must have done some research, because he pulled out a copy of Pictionary.

"Really?" Jenny asked. "You could've picked some random old-timey game no one's ever heard of, but you go for Pictionary?"

"Unlike your sister, Miss Jenny, I am a kind and benevolent soul. I would never play upon my opponent's lack of cultural knowledge to feed my own ambition." Abbie blew him a raspberry. He ignored it and continued: "Rather, I shall play to my own strengths. I have a steady hand and a memory of some renown. I am confident that you are…what is the phrase? 'Going down'?"

They didn't have enough players for true teams, so they all gave their word they would guess honestly. The artist got two points; the correct guesser received one.

It was a close game. Yeah, Crane was the best drawer, no doubt about it. His drawings weren't just clear, they were clever. Sometimes too clever. Jenny and Abbie stared at him blankly as he scribbled what looked like a drinking glass with a dark splotch on it.

"I got nothin'," Jenny said.

"The Holy Grail?" Abbie shot in the dark.

"Oh for the love of – it's stained glass!"

They made him take two drinks for the awful pun.

Abbie was a lousy artist but a great guesser. And Jenny was just fast – she could slam out a recognizable hippo in ten seconds, or guess "first base" before Abbie had even figured out which way was up. But in the end, Crane won. He looked unbearably smug as he poured their penalty shots.

Abbie was feeling no pain at this point. She wasn't drunk, but everything was warm and slightly out of focus. She clapped her hands together. "Okay, Jenny. What game am I going to whup your asses in next?"

Jenny produced a deck of cards from some Indian casino upstate. "Poker."

Abbie grinned. Perfect. For a while there, she'd played in a monthly poker night with Corbin and some guys from the department. "Hold 'em?"

"Yup." Jenny shuffled the cards once, then looked up at them innocently. "Did I mention it's strip poker?"

Abbie took a drink. "You really wanna do that to Crane?"

"He's a big boy. I heard those Revolutionary War camps could get pretty wild. You in?"

Crane's eyes darted uncertainly between the sisters. "Strip. As in…?"

"We don't have to do it," Abbie said. "We can just play it straight.

"No we can't. The rules were that each person gets to pick one game. This is mine."

"It all seems in good fun, Lieutenant. But if you would rather not, of course we shall demure."

Yeah. Like she was gonna back down in the face of Jenny's smirk or Crane's overly solicitous concern. She took another drink. "Fuck it. It's not gonna be a problem for me anyway because I'm gonna win."

They took a few minutes to explain the game to Crane, but he caught on fast. "It is but a variant of brag. Simple enough."

Jenny took the first two hands. Shoes came off. Abbie had a run of stellar cards with the next two hands and managed to keep her socks on, but then Crane realized how easy it was for him to count cards and he roared back. Soon Abbie was shedding her jacket.

That was just as well anyway. Between the tequila and the fire, she was feeling almost uncomfortably warm.

As Abbie's jacket hit the floor, Jenny stood and yawned. "You guys have fun. I've got a thing."

"You're not fucking serious."

"But Miss Jenny, we were so enjoying the pleasure of your company. You can't just leave now."

"Can and will. I'm meeting a contact about a thing we're gonna want. I'll tell you more tomorrow. Besides, you guys are both up a game on me." She waggled her fingers and before Abbie could threaten to murder her baby sister, she swept out into the night.

Abbie and Crane stared at each other. Yeah, it definitely was hot in here.

"We needn't finish. Or we needn't finish with these particular stakes."

Ever the gentleman. But it was just a game. Just a stupid game. People played strip poker all the time and it didn't mean anything.

"Deal the cards."

With just the two of them, the hands came quickly. Her straight flush beat his two pair. His coat was folded neatly on the floor. She won again with some award-winning bluffing, squeaking by with a pair sevens.

He tugged his shirt off over his head a little too casually, a shade too quickly. He got tangled in the head hole for a minute but was soon folding it and laying it on top of his coat. God, she always forgot how skinny he was. Made her want to go fix him a sandwich here and now. But there was lean muscle there too, and just enough hair to keep him from looking like a scrawny sophomore. His hand fidgeted over his scar. Was he self-conscious about it? Or was his hand just drawn there, right to his heart?

"I believe it is your deal," he prompted, licking salt from his lips.

"Oh. Right."

It was getting harder to keep track of the cards. How many aces were out? Shit. Focus. You're not that drunk, Abbie. And just because Crane's sitting there half naked is no excuse to lose.

She lost.

She refused to make a production out of this. It was nothing he hadn't seen before anyway, back when they'd barely known each other two weeks. Why did it matter now? She yanked her shirt off defiantly and threw it aside; fuck folding. She met his eyes and dared him to say something.

He didn't. But he looked. His eyes fell down over her, slowly, not rushing to her tits. They caressed down the column of her throat, lingered at her collar bones. And yeah, he took in the soft mounds of her breasts, but then he moved downward, across her stomach, playing about her navel, the button of her pants. Then he met her eyes again and reached for the deck of cards.

They both squinted at their hands. "Ladies first," Crane offered.

She showed her cards. Four jacks.

Something in his face twitched. He lowered his hand. A minor flush.

Abbie leaned back on her elbows. Fuck it. Fuck feeling weird. Maybe it was the tequila talking, but this was supposed to be fun.She was going to enjoy the show goddamn it.

Crane rose –and rose and rose – and reached for the buttons of his pants. He gave her a quick glance, to make sure she wasn't going to faint away of the vapors, she guessed, and then slipped out of those ridiculous trousers.

She knew he was a boxer man because she's the one who bought them for him. But buying them and seeing them were two different things. It wasn't that seeing him in them was sexy, exactly, but it was…vulnerable. Private. Something she wasn't supposed to see.

She couldn't look away.

"You seem to have me on the run, Abigail. One more hand and you could win it all."

"Better get to it then, huh?"

He sat back on the floor, carefully cross-legged. She dealt. He was silent for a long, long moment. He pulled his cards into a neat pile and placed them on the floor in front of him. "I fold."

"You can't fold.Not now. Not this close to the end. You're just scared of how hard I'm gonna whip your—"

She flipped his cards over. A royal flush.

She looked from him to the cards and back again. Maybe he didn't understand. He was still new to the game, after all. "Crane, this is—"

"I fold," he repeated. "If ever I am granted access to the fullness of your body, I wish it to be of your own desire. Not due to the follies of a card game."

Jesus. He meant it. He said stuff like that, and to the very bottom of his soul, he meant it.

Abbie turned her back on him. She slid a finger beneath the strap of her bra. "It can be because of both, can't it?"

She let her hand fall. It was up to him. If he was serious, if this was what he wanted to do, then he could do it. If not, they'd chalk it up to the booze and repress. You know, the healthy way of dealing with things.

But then his calloused fingers were on her back. There was no fumbling with the bra; it was unfastened in a hot minute. But he took his time pushing the straps down. First one. Then the other. The bra fell away and he traced where it had been, drawing lines along her shoulders, around the curve of her torso with a long finger.

By the time he actually found her breasts, hefted their weight in his hands, thumbed across her nipples, Abbie was ready to burst into flames. But he continued to take his time, tracing these new hidden places of her body, savoring her every angle and aspect without ever even lookingat them.

After what felt like forever (after what felt like a second), his hands found their way to the top of her jeans. "Is it necessary for us to play the final two hands, or…?"

"I fold."

ambrosiajonesasked: Hi! I'm new to SH (but all caught up and angry!) and I love your fics so much and I have an idea: established relationship (Maybe they haven't done the do yet? Everything but?), perhaps an argument? Ichy loses control in a similar fashion to "Necromancer" with the yelling, and then takes control, if you know what I mean. (I mean bossy, "I'm in charge!" sex.) And Abby is crazy turned on and bites her lip and maybe says "Yes, sir" and oh my god I'm so sorry. Thank you!

Abbie planted a foot in the minion's chest and yanked her sword free. "I think that was the last of—"

A rush of air wooshed up behind her. Crane roared. There was a wet, squishy sound. A small thud.Then a big one. When Abbie spun around, Crane was standing over a decapitated minion. His shoulders heaved; a line of the creature's blood spattered across his face in a dark diagonal slash.

"Shit. Thanks for having my back."

Crane kicked the head like a soccer ball, sending it soaring off into the woods. Then he kicked the body. Again and again he shoved his boot into the thing's rib cage until it turned into a pulpy, formless mass. He planted his foot right on the thing's sternum and stomped down with a sickening crunch. And that's when Abbie pulled him away.

"Whoa, whoa. Take it easy."

He shook her arm free but at least he didn't go back to pulverizing the corpse. "How can I be easywhen you could very nearly died at that creature's hands?"

"I very nearly die like twelve times a day. The important thing is that I didn't."

She expected the piss to run out of him. For him to apologize and hold her face softly and tell her how terrified he was and how precious she was. For him to kiss her like she was made of cotton candy and might melt away. That was usually the way these things happened. And it was nice. It was still weird and wonderful to be treated like someone who needed to be protected.

But Crane didn't play to form. Instead, he walked away from her, fingers raking through his hair, heels digging into the ground with every step.

Abbie gave him a minute. She took the time to admire how his anger made his neck draw up into cords, how his hands were for once still, balled into fists at his side, how his shoulders seemed to grow even broader with his rage.

She found him pacing by the car. "You okay?"

"I suppose I should be the one asking you that question." His voice was still tight and a couple notches lower than usual. He looked up at her. "You areall right, are you not?"

"Yes, sir." She caught her lip between her teeth. She didn't see Crane lose it very often. He kept everything all very wound up and British. So to see him, for once, just feel something instead of think something…yeah. It did things to her. "Thanks to you."

That got through the last echoes of his blood lust. His eyes flickered over her body, lingering at the places where her shirt clung, where the neck had been tugged down to reveal more cleavage than usual.

"I think you deserve a reward." She swayed forward, accentuating the swing of her hips. But she didn't touch him. She needed to make sure that he really wasokay enough for this. That neither one of them were gonna get hurt. "What do you think it should be?"

Crane drew in two deep, shaky breaths. Shit. She must've misread something. "Hey, rain check. Let's just go home, get cleaned up." She turned toward the car. "We'll get some sleep and—"

She yelped as he seized her hips with both hands, his fingers digging into her flesh. He ground against her ass, hard and ready. She guessed it was called bloodlustfor a reason after all. "Now will do, Lieutenant."

Abbie swirled back against him, harder than she usually would have. Testing him. Usually he was perpetually (and sometimes irritatingly) romantic, sweet and tender, like they were on the cover of some fucking romance novel.

But she had a feeling that tonight might be a little different.

He grunted and bent his head. He kissed roughly down the line of her jaw, down her neck. He found that sensitive cradle where her shoulder met her neck and bit down with full force. Not enough to break the skin, but enough to send electric waves of pain and pleasure jolting through her. She gasped and grabbed his thigh to stabilize herself. He'd never—not once—but—


His hands darted up under her shirt. Feathery caresses were replaced with scrabbling fingers tugging insistently at nipples. Palms scraped, nails scratched.

Abbie made a noise she wasn't sure was quite human and bucked back against him.

"All right?" His mouth was flush against her ear, his voice low.

She just nodded. This was no time for talking,and for once even Crane seemed to get that. He nipped at her earlobe, pulled at the stud long enough to make her ache. Then he was kissing and biting down her neck and his hands were fumbling with his pants.

Abbie took her cue and tugged her own jeans down. Her pussy quivered as it met the chilly air. It trembled again when he put a hand around the back of her neck and bent her over the hood of the car.

There was no teasing. No more foreplay. He was just in, to the very hilt. It was fast enough and just premature enough to sting, but Abbie did. Not. Care. Her hands scrabbled for purchase on the slick car hood, but he was holding her tightly enough that she didn't need to worry. She pressed her cheek against the cold metal and turned off the part of her that thought as he pistoned into her fast and harsh and perfect.

He pushed her up the hood until she stood on her tiptoes. He arched up from beneath her deeper and harder, hitting places she wasn't sure he'd ever hit before. And when she felt him tensing, heard him gasping and growling, that's when he finally reached around and flicked her clit mercilessly, over and over again until her scream bounced off the trees and she just disappeared.

When she opened her eyes again (when she remembered she hadeyes again), Crane had laid her gently on the grass and was curled around her, making shushing noises into her hair.

"Fuck me," she whispered through a raw throat.

"I believe I just did." She gave his smug face a playful smack. "Do forgive me, dear Abbie. With the battle and then your unexpected offer, I fear I may have become a bit carried away in the moment."

"Yeah. I'm pretty pissed about it in case you couldn't tell." She stretched languidly and settled her head against his shoulder. She could still feel a faint throb beating between her legs; she could already feel a pleasant ache where his teeth had marked her. She was gonna have to bust out the concealer tomorrow.

Still didn't care.

"I was just so terribly worried. And then so terribly angryat that thing for almost taking you from me and—"

"I accept your apology." He could go on like this for days if she didn't just give him absolution. Better to just get it out of the way. "On one condition."

"You need only speak it."

"You promise to fuck me like that more often."

His laugh rumbled through her. He ghosted his lips across her neck. "I am ever at your command, madam."

primarybufferpanel asked: Heya, I sent you a Jenny/Big Ash prompt, not sure if it arrived? (you mentioned you'd only gotten Ichabbie prompts). In any case, if Jenny & Big Ash is a thing you write, I'd love something about (the first time?) a post victory drink turns into post-victory making out. Or anything about the two of them you feel inspired to write, really :-)

Jenny kept her hands shoved into her pockets as she examined Big Ash's collection. Her fingers itched to test the edges of the flint knives, feel the cool glaze of the painted pots, read the stories of the intricate bits of beadwork with her fingertips. But Ash was being incredibly cool by letting her look at these precious objects at all. She could never disrespect him by polluting them.

"This is incredible. I thought most of these objects had been destroyed centuries ago – holy shit, is that what I think it is?"

Ash peered over her shoulder at the ancient stick, the leather webbing eaten away almost entirely by time. "Manabozho's lacrosse stick. One of my favorites. No mystical powers, but a hell of a story."

"Just – wow." So much history. So much power in one place, lovingly maintained through the most impossible circumstances. She managed to tear herself away from the beauty before her and beamed up at Ash. "Thank you for this. And for keeping Ichabod from getting his fool self killed. Again."

Ash shrugged his massive shoulders. "Seems like he'll get his wish one day."

"But not today."

"But not today," Ash echoed with the smallest smirk. But his eyes lingered on hers, then dipped to her own lips before swooping back up. "Stay for a drink?"

"Yeah, sure."

After closing the artifact trunk and knocking out a quick lock spell, Ash led the way to the chest cooler in the corner of the shop. Rocket was sprawled on his side on top of it, looking cozy and conked the fuck out in his little dog hoodie. Ash picked him up so gently, the dog didn't even wake up. He just kicked his sticklike legs and sighed when he was placed on his giant, fluffy bed.

Jenny had never much cared for tiny dogs; at that point, just get a cat and then you don't have to walk it. But if Ash loved that stupid shivering thing so much, there must be something to them after all. "Cute," she said.

"He looks that way, yeah. But he once ate a guy's pinky finger. I wouldn't fuck with him. Would I? Would I? No, we don't fuck with Rocket." His voice went high and playful as he rubbed the dog's belly. Jenny had no idea if he was joking or not. She decided not to laugh, just to be safe.

After a quick pat, Ash dug a few bottles out of the cooler. Craft beer from somewhere upstate. He passed one of the wet brews to her and she popped her own top off. "To saving the world. Again. Some more."

They clinked. "World seems more worth saving when I'm doing it with you than with Hawley."

Jenny laughed this time. "Yeah, he's an asshole all right. I never understood why you didn't punch his teeth in after the way he treated you guys."

Ash drank. Jenny did too; the beer was shockingly good. "Too direct. But we got ours. You shouldn't trust every virility charm you're sold." Jenny nearly did a spit take as Ash held up his index finger and slowly let it droop down.

"You didn't. He didn't."

Ash took another drink.

"That is too fucking good. Ah, man. I wish I could be there when he figures it out." She shuddered. "Wait, no I don't."

"He mentioned you a few times. I thought you two were fucking."

"Not any more. Not for a long time now." The chair creaked as Ash shifted. The silence was heavy and yeah, Jenny felt a little judged. "Sometimes when you get out of the nuthouse for the fourth time, you feel a little fragile and you wind up hooking up with a blond hobbit for a while, you know?"

"Happens to the best of us." That awkward tension melted as they both shared a short laugh.

But it was quickly replaced with a different kind of tension. Jenny became hyperaware of just how close they were sitting in the lawn chairs that made up the shop's décor. Their knees almost touched. And every time he moved, she was hit by the smell of him, a weird but appealing mix of sage and motor oil.

"How about you? You've gotta have a biker babe of your own, yeah?"

Ash's tongue flashed pink as he delicately licked a drop of beer from his bottle. He set it aside. Then his hand was on her knee, thumb just stroking against the bony cap. "Why? Do you ride?"

Jenny was on him so fast her beer plinked to the ground and the smell of yeast exploded everywhere. But neither of them cared much. They were too busy weaving their fingers through long, dark hair, discovering the rhythms of their lips and tongues, and stripping off their vests.

irishfinoasked: a demon is attacking a nudist colony for reasons

Abbie tugged her shirt over her head. She hadn't realized how cold she was until she was starting to warm up again.

Behind her, Crane fumbled with the billion buttons on his trousers. "Let us agree never to speak of this day. Ever."


"Uh, no deal. Are you kidding? Did you see that woman with the tits the size of my head? And Abbie, did you see the size of Crane's—"

Abbie lifted a foot and whupped her sister's still-bare ass.

"—bayonet," Jenny muttered.

Anonymous asked: Hi, idea for a prompt was for newly "divorced" Ichabod to see a kiss between Nick and Abbie. He begins to act different and perhaps she starts to investigate? While I'm not a Nabbie shipper, I just want Ichabod to squirm a bit.

My dear sweet Non, I love you, Abbie, and myself too much to write that nasty ship even as a means to Ichabod and Abbie. Will you accept Luke as a substitute?

The words on the page were indecipherable hieroglyphs to her tired eyes. She checked the cover of the book to make sure she wasn't actually supposed to be reading hieroglyphs, but nope. Latin. Probably a good sign to call it a night.

"I'm gonna head out. We'll hit it again first thing in the morning."

"But Lieutenant, we're making real progress here." Crane swept his arms wide, indicating the messy pile of papers and books they'd acquired. "Surely a few hours more and we'll have cracked it."

"We've made no progress in the last five hours. In fact, because you realized you mistranslated those runes, we actually went in reverse."

Crane hovered up behind her and took her by the shoulders. "All the more reason to keep cracking at it. Sit. Please, sit. I'll just boil up a fresh pot of coffee and—"

Not again. Not tonight. She wasn't going to play this fucking game. She ducked under his hands and spun to face him. "This is not cute anymore. What's up with you?"

Crane had always been a drain on her time, between his Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer schtick and the real business of averting the apocalypse, but in the last couple weeks he'd gotten almost compulsive about being together. Whenever she tried to leave, he'd find some excuse why they had to research a little more, train a little harder, hunt a little longer. One night she swore he'd even faked being sick just so she'd stay and watch a few more episodes of House Hunters Internationalwhile he gave counterfeit sneezes.

As always when she called him out, Crane looked like someone had clubbed a family of baby seals in front of him. "Nothing is up. I have merely recommitted myself to the seriousness of our cause. If you do not hold it in the same esteem as I do, I of course understand."

Nope. Nope, nope, nope. Nope."You can shove your seriousness up your ass."

She grabbed her bag. Then he grabbed her bag. For a minute she thought this was going to turn into a tug-of-war – one which she would win, make no damn mistake – but then he let go. At least he had the good manners to look embarrassed.

"Lieutenant, please. Forgive me. I spoke in anger. No one could ever be more stalwart and dedicated than you."

"I'm out." She threw the bag over her shoulder and headed for the door. Was almost gone, almost dared think that she'd successfully gotten the last word for once, when—

"Why are you so eager to go? Are you off to see him?"

Ah. And there it was. She stopped but didn't turn. "Who?"

"Officer Morales," he gloomed. "I happened to espy you across the town square. I would have hailed you, but then both of your mouths were rather occupied at the time."

She hadn't expected to get back with Luke. But after the whole thing in the cabin he'd needed someone to talk to. And one thing led to another and well, Luke always knew how to make sure she was taken care of. She wasn't sorry. "Grown-ass woman kisses hot guy, film at eleven. What's your problem?"

Crane drew in a breath to launch into a lecture—and held it. He dipped his head and scuffed a foot across the floor. "When I saw you, I…didn't like it."

"I know you don't like Luke. I don't care. He's funny and honest and he eats me out like a fucking dream,Crane." She didn't even know if he understood that phrase but she didn't care. She was on a roll now and there was no stopping her. "And then he makes me breakfast, okay? He's fun and he's easy to be with, so forgive me if I don't give a good goddamn what you think of him."

She was a little out of breath after that. She wanted to sit down, but—no. She'd be gone soon anyway. And she hadn't been planning on going to Luke's, but you'd better believe she'd ride him like a bronco tonight.

Crane was quiet, as if making sure there wasn't more coming. Then finally: "My visceral reaction had nothing to do with my feelings toward Officer Morales."

She refused to give him the satisfaction of asking why. She waited.

"That night I realized that it did not matter whose lips were upon yours. I would always wish they were mine instead." His head was bowed so she couldn't see his face. Come to think of it, she couldn't feel her own face. It was half numb and half consumed in flames. And he was still talking. "I realized I wanted more than anything to know how you taste." He panted out a laugh. "I've tried to imagine it ever since, breathing in your scent and twisting it about in my head. I've come close, I think, but my musings must fall so very short of the reality."

It would be so easy to run to him right now. To tell him that yeah, she'd wondered too. That she'd woken up so many nights swearing she could smell him, not just his familiar wool and wood smoke, but the way he smelled when he was slicked with sweat, when the room was heavy with musk and he tasted like salt and sex. That she got lost sometimes watching his hands until she had to grind her thighs together to stop the throbbing.

That it was deeper than any of that and it gave her feelings she didn't have names for, feelings she didn't dare look at too closely, lest they grow wings and fly away.

So. Fucking. Easy.

But instead, she looked at him with narrowed eyes. "And so you decided to respond to this knowledge by being a possessive asshole?"

His shoulders slumped. He threw his hands up and let them slap against his sides as they fell. "Hello. Have we met? I'm Ichabod Crane."

Abbie laughed. She felt like a traitor, but she laughed.

That gave him the courage to look at her. He moved closer, but stopped six feet short. "I am sorry. For all of it. Even for feeling this way about you. I know you'd prefer…I know it'd be simpler if…" He trailed off with a hopeless shrug.

And yeah, he was right. It'd be simpler. Like Luke was simple. It was never gonna be that way with Crane. Never could be.

But maybe it could be hard and messy and complicated and worth it.

She took the last two steps toward him.

Turns out she had a lousy imagination.

She was okay with that.

jupisanasked: 250 prompt: fencing, under AU meeting the parents

A/N: I'm not much on AUs, so I'm going to stick to fencing. Established relationship.

The Sword of Methuselah was stupid. Who the fuck designs a sword that kills the person who wields it? That is a poorly designed weapon right there. No, give her the distance, accuracy, and not-killing-the-shooter-ness of a gun any day over this hunk of steel.

But she had to admit, it was beautiful. And swords seemed to keep coming up in their fight. Yeah, she'd managed to spit the Pied Piper pretty okay on instinct alone, but that was only going to get her so far.

She hefted the sword. "I want you to teach me to fence."

Crane had his nose almost pressed against some scroll he was reading. "Insert the pointy bit into your enemy. Repeat as necessary. Clean thoroughly once finished."

"I'm being serious, Crane."

He squinted over at her. He was going to ruin his eyeballs with all this reading; one of these days, she'd have to take him to an eye doctor. But for now, sword fighting had to be the priority. "You'll not fight with that cursed sword. We've been through this."

"In our fucked-up world, there is always another magic sword. And I need to learn how to use them. I taught you how to fire a modern gun." Which had actually been easy, since he was used to garbage weapons with miserable aim. Having a multi-round weapon with a sight had been a revelation for Crane. But this was a little farther outside her frame of reference.

Crane cracked his back – Abbie cringed – and stood. He plucked the sword from her hand, but held it only with the tips of his fingers, as if the soul-stealing magic was catching. "As much as I loathe to admit it, I am perhaps not the most able of instructors when it comes to the sword." He flipped the weapon in his hand. "There is a very simple reason Abraham always managed to best me at dueling: At its finest, my swordplay was mediocre."

"Ichabod Crane admitting he's not good at something? Bless my soul."

Her teasing worked: some of that sadness fled, and he managed a thin smile. "Yes, yes, quite shocking I know. But I fear spreading my poor form and lack of finesse to you."

"So you'd rather I just blindly swing a dangerous weapon around?" She kept her tone light; it was the only way to get through to him. If she made it too serious, he'd shut down and never show her how imperfect he was. "Sounds like a good plan. Okay. We'll do that." She took a step away. On the count of one, two…

"Oh, very well. If you insist." He dropped the Sword of Methuselah onto the table as the world's deadliest paperweight. She grinned and trotted over to the weapons cabinet. The rusty old swords they'd gotten for the Henry gambit were shitty, but they'd work. And hell, they were dull as butter knives, which was actually a bonus here.

She handed him one of the swords, but he immediately set it on the table too. "We are ages away from you facing an opponent, Lieutenant. It all begins with your form." Despite his protestations, he sure fell into the teacher role easily.

"I don't need to be fancy. I don't care if I look stupid doing it. I just need to be effective."

"And if you understand the proper way to carry yourself, you will be. The rest is simply frosting on the cake."

She swallowed a smile. "Yeah. Okay. So show me."

She expected him to pick up the sword and, you know, showher. But instead, he stepped behind her.

"What do you think you're doing?"

"Teaching you, of course. You hold the blade like so." He molded her hands around the grip. Hilt. Whatever. "As though you are opening a door. Thumb like so, just against the crosspiece."

"Easy enough."

"As for your stance." He tickled his fingers down the side of her waist, over her hip. He drew a teasing circle around the top of her thigh, just where it met the rest of her body. Then in a practiced and familiar gesture, he nudged her legs apart. "Just there."

She was only human. She shivered and burned. But she wasn't happy about it. "Crane, stop dicking around. I really want to learn this."

"And so I am teaching you, am I not?" He ran his hands lower, one on each leg, to the backs of her knees. He gave a playful poke until she bent her knees. "Exactly so. And remain on the balls of your feet for quick turns, if you please."

Oh, fuck him. Part of her wanted to do exactly that. But the sensible part of her wanted to learn how not to die. So she ignored him as much as humanly possible. "Got it. Kinda like a batting stance. Easy. What's next?"

"The bits with the pointy end." He rose back to his full height and folded his giant body around hers. His hand wrapped around the entirety of her wrist with freakish ease. "A high block," he said, lifting her arm to just above her head. "And a low block." At her waist this time. As he moved, he scooted his hips against her until she could feel the outline of him through those stupid baggy pants of his.

"You ever consider that this is why you sucked at fencing?" She repeated the motion. High. Low. The sword was heavy, its weight strange in her hand. But she'd get it. She could do it.

"Oh, my instructor was a crabbed old soldier with terrible lumbago. Not nearly so distracting as I am." She almost dropped the sword on her feet when his lips brushed the back of her neck. "Fine form, though."

"If you don't take this seriously, you aren't gonna have any distraction for a while." She bumped back against him.

"I assure you, I have never been more serious in my entire bizarrely long life." He sucked her earlobe into his mouth and she couldn't bite back her gasp. He loved playing with her stud earring, flicking it with the tip of his tongue.

"You too scared to teach me? Is that it?" She hadn't expected her voice to be so breathy, but there it was. "I know you think you're bad at this, but—"

"I am not afraid. I am smitten."

Yeah. Well. Both things can be true.

She let the sword clatter to the floor and whipped around in his arms so fast he nearly fell over. "Let's make a deal. You give me one solid hour of good teaching, and I will show you a few yoga moves I've been saving for a rainy day. How's that sound?"

His hands came to rest on her waist; they nearly wrapped all the way around. "When you say yoga, you do mean—"

She grabbed a handful of his ass. He bucked his hips forward. "Yes, Crane. I mean naked yoga."

He snatched the sword from the ground and pressed it into her hand. "To arms, Lieutenant. Quickly, I say, to arms."