After seeing Sleepy Hollow, I was inclined to write this one-shot about Ichabod and Katrina's relationship. It's a bit sappy and kind of emo, if you will (yes, there are tears). I would love reviews, but don't go too harsh on me. Mmkay? Thanks.

Love and Memories Never Fade

A tragic and romantic Sleepy Hollow one-shot

Trace, pivot. Arch, turn.

Katrina gently drew her finger across the small puncture marks in Ichabod's hand, lingering on each tiny hole on his palm. She lightly clutched his wrist while tracing his minuscule scars with the other. He gazed steadily down at her petite, porcelain hands, his brow slightly furrowed. She was so small lying next to him on their bed; so helpless and innocent, like a child. Yet she had a certain maturity about her that he could not describe.

She lifted her gaze from his palms to his eyes and opened her mouth to say something. Her warm brown eyes, glowing with curious affection, bore into his darker ones. She was evidently looking for an explanation.

"Ichabod…" she began, glancing back down at his hands, whose fingers had now laced with hers. She looked up again and swallowed. He could tell that she did not want to pry, and yet it was her ordinary nature to. "Where did these markings come from? You did not entirely tell me how you got them."

He stayed silent, surveying their entwined fingers as his eyes grew cloudy. After a moment, he stared back at her. "I could have sworn I did."

"No, I have not heard." She shook her head slowly, her golden locks falling by her waist. When she moved, they delicately brushed the top hem of her skirt. "You only told me that your mother was murdered by your father for being a witch."

He shifted uneasily on the edge of the bed. Fondly surveying the inquisitive expression on her face, he brought her hands together and released them from his own. "I found her in a torture chamber," he quietly began, his eyes scanning everything in their large bedroom except for Katrina, "and she…" His voice immediately died on the word she, and he lowered his gaze in shame.

Katrina placed a hand on his forearm and moved it up along his shoulder. She softly prodded, "If she was tortured, how did you come to get these wounds?"

He still refused to look her in the eye. "No, it was not I who was tortured. You are correct about that. But I am tortured now in my dreams." Ichabod could see her alluring brown eyes widening out of the corner of his gaze, silently urging him to reveal more about his mysterious past. While he continued to coyly stare at the floor, she moved her other hand to his shoulders, so that she was lovingly grasping him in a semi-hug.

"Do go on," she whispered beseechingly as he finally raised his head.

"I found my mother," he halfheartedly repeated, feebly returning her stare, "in a torture chamber. As I have informed you before, I was only seven years of age." He watched her nodding, her blonde waves gently bouncing with understanding.

"I was young and oblivious as to what was happening," he recalled, his voice becoming strained. "Therefore, I did not realize that she was dead from…" his words trailed off once again as he immediately clenched his jaw. A strange feeling was coming over him; a feeling which he had not had in years of remembering his childhood. Something seemed to be gnawing angrily at his throat, forbidding him to say any more.

Katrina sensed that something was wrong. She took one hand from his shoulder and gently caressed his cheek with it, and he was grateful once again that her hand was warm against his unusually cold skin. She then slowly bent her face closer to his and slightly parted her lips. She softly asked him, "What happened to her?"

The feeling was growing stronger now inside of him. The sensation was caused by the warmth of her body and the coldness of his painful memories at the same time. He could not talk, nor could he breathe properly.

"Ichabod?" she inquired, her eyes questioning him. He assumed that his emotions were treacherously reflected by his appearance.

He could barely find a way to say it, or even express it. He balanced the words on the tip of his tongue like a knife, daring them to fall. And after a moment, they fell.

"An Iron Maiden." His voice was shaky, and it did not even seem to be his own.

Katrina withdrew her hand from his face and enveloped her mouth with it as she uttered a small gasp. Taking one look at him after he had confessed his mother's way of death, she quickly wrapped him in an extremely tight embrace. Ichabod nearly collapsed against her as the same raw feeling overcame him, even stronger than before. He had never discussed his childhood with somebody in detail, and it pained him. It pained him so much that he felt his throat constricting further, and an unfamiliar sensation grew behind his eyes. It was searing warmth, which instantly turned to heartrending moisture.

Ichabod had never cried about his mother's disturbing fate until now. It was as if he had forgotten how to cry at all since her death, more than fifteen years ago. Yes, he had often remembered her demise, and yet – he had felt numb. It was like he had no emotion at all, even when he so vividly remembered that wretched spiked sarcophagus opening. The moment had rushed by him like some kind of distorted blur, and he had never been given a chance to wallow in the actual memory – until this very moment.

After a while of silently weeping, he choked back the last of his bitter tears and pulled away from Katrina. She affectionately dabbed at his eyes with a lace handkerchief, and he felt like a silly child whose mother was wiping his tears away. A foolish child, who had cried too much already.

"Did you try to open the sarcophagus?" she quietly asked him, glancing back down at his hands. At once, Ichabod remembered that he had only told her how his mother had been murdered, and not how he had gotten the actual piercing wounds on the palms of his hands.

"I was frightened. I jumped backwards, and rested my hands on the first surface available. Unfortunately, the first surface available was… the spike-ridden armrests of a torture chair." He said this slowly, as if he needed to hear it again to believe it happened to him when he was only a slip of a boy, seven years old.

She gaped at him, unable to believe this either. Her disbelieving stare disconcerted him even further. "Ichabod, I am so sorry."

"Do not be sorry," he calmly ordered as his gaze strayed from her fretful eyes and drifted to the window. She followed the path of his stare and could not help but crack a sad smile at the sight outside of the window.

A blushing red cardinal bird, swiveling its tiny head around, was perching on the thin branch of a tree. He knew that it was Katrina's favorite type of bird, favoring them over sparrows and robins and the like. He supposed that it was the splash of crimson color that the bird brought to the dark grey world surrounding them that caused her to be so keen on them. Everything seemed black and white, but no; a dash of scarlet against the dark of everything else seemed to really be what they wanted and needed.

He tore his gaze from the cardinal and gave her a grin full of affection and heartbreak in unison. "Your favorite."

"My favorite," she agreed with an amorous smile. Sighing softly, she positioned herself beneath his arms and nestled against his side. He dotingly cradled her, for she was his only source of warmth.

After lying peacefully in each other's arms for a dreamlike moment, Katrina ran her fingers over the smooth, taut skin of his collarbone and lifted her eyes to his. She then let the torturous words slip. "It must have been horrible for you to lose her."

He tensed slightly, and he was sure that she could feel it, for she tensed with him. Quite soon after, though, Ichabod relaxed once more and gently took her small hand. He slowly guided it to his chest and lovingly pressed it against his heart, gazing back into her beautiful light russet eyes.

"Yes, it surely was, but nothing in the world would be more horrible than to lose you, my love."

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥