Summary: You get a new story for the first time in a long damn time. Enjoy. Basically, it's just an experience of mine, but in the form of a Sleepy Hollow fic. The antagonist in this is portrayed by PaperShredder15.

Also: It's a good idea to listen to the New Moon soundtrack while you read this. It's just perfect with this fic. Don't ask me why.

Disclaimer: I don't own Sleepy Hollow. If I did, there is no telling what I would do. And since PaperShredder15 is now completely dead to me and no longer exists in my mind, does that mean I own Hannah, since that would make PaperShredder15 fictitious?

WARNING: Contains denunciation of a fellow author on this site. Just puttin' that out there.

Improved and re-posted because the admins on this site are bloody idiots and they deleted the first draft.

Bastards.


KNOCK KNOCK

Ichabod opened the front door at the sound of a knock. Standing on the porch was a chubby woman with spectacles and straight, dull brown hair that went to her shoulders. She stared coldly at Ichabod, who seemed to light up when he saw her.

"Hannah!" he exclaimed, stepping out onto the porch to meet her. "I haven't seen you in years! How are you?"

"I have some news for you. I heard you were here, so…" Hannah glanced around and shrugged. "I've hired a coach and can't stay long."

"Oh." Ichabod closed the door and turned back to his friend. The ghost of a cold smile sat on her blotchy face, but it didn't seem to reach her dull, emotionless hazel eyes.

"Come." She said. "Take a walk with me." She turned on her heel and stepped off the porch, motioning for Ichabod to follow.

Ichabod shivered as Hannah began to lead him in the direction of the woods. She walked at a brisk pace and it was difficult for him to keep up.

"Hannah?" he called after her. "Aren't these the Western Woods?"

"Possibly." Hannah replied blankly, turning and casting an emotionless gaze towards Ichabod, making him fidget nervously. She turned back, lifted her copious skirts, and began to walk.

Hannah stopped once they reached a clearing. Ichabod stopped as well, panting from the combination of the frigid air and the brisk walk.

"Ichabod, I have something to say." she began. "I'm not sure how to say this, so I will just say it plainly." She cleared her throat and continued. "I'm not interested in being friends with you anymore."

Ichabod looked up at her and wrinkled his brows in confusion. "I-I don't-"

"It's nothing you've done, I assure you. You've done nothing wrong. In fact, you've been nothing but kind to me ever since we met as children. But I feel that you bring back bad memories and I must move on." Hannah was no longer smiling. Her face was a cold mask of indifference and her voice had become monotone and completely absent of warmth.

"Hannah, if there's anything I can do-"

"Don't."

"But-"

"Hush. Do not call on me. Do not ever speak to me again. I will not respond." Hannah was now glaring at Ichabod. "This is the last time we will ever speak to one another or see one another. I will make sure of it."

Ichabod's jaw dropped. He was shocked that she would do something like this. As Hannah began to walk away, he ran to catch up with her and lightly touched her shoulder.

"Hannah, I-" Ichabod was cut off as Hannah's fat fist connected with his jaw, knocking him backwards onto the cold ground. "Damn it! What is wrong with you, Hannah?"

"Get it through your thick skull, Ichabod Crane! Never again!" She shouted angrily, curling her free hand into a fist and turning on her heel to walk away.

Ichabod spat blood, sat up, and put a trembling hand to where he'd been struck. She had never hit him before, nor had she ever been so cross and angry with him.

He stood and looked around the clearing. Hannah had disappeared without a trace into the woods. The only evidence that she had ever been there were the tracks through the dead leaves covering the dirt.

"What is wrong with you?"

Angry tears stung his eyes as he began to walk back into the woods in the direction he had seen his friend storm off. She was nowhere to be seen, but that didn't faze the young constable.

Ichabod continued through the woods until twilight. It was beginning to get dark and that, coupled with the tears that he kept having to blink away so as they wouldn't flood down his face, made it nearly impossible for him to see where he was walking.

(dark it's too dark out here I can't see I'm lost somebody help!)

"Hannah! I know you didn't just leave me here to die! You don't just do that to someone! Where are you?"

By then, the shock of the events hours earlier had been replaced by anger. But soon, anger gave way to sadness, and sadness eventually gave way to panic as he discovered that he was walking deeper into the woods.

"Get a hold of yourself, Crane…" He took in a shaky breath as he glanced around as if watching for

(things that go bump in the night)

potential threats.

"Oh!" He yelped at a sudden sound and grabbed hold of the trunk of a nearby tree. He was so startled that he didn't even notice his foot slipping between the roots of the tree.

"Damn it, Crane, get a hold of yourself. It was just a cricket." He laughed nervously. "Just… Just a bloody cricket. No need to be scared." He sighed. "It's not like something's reaching out of the ground to grab you and drag you down, never to be seen or heard from again..." He chuckled nervously and began to step away from the tree when he felt something tighten around his ankle.

"No!" He let out a shriek of horror and fell against the tree.

(coming up coming to drag you to Hell where you belong!)

(it's coming it's coming up to take you away with it fight you have to fight it before it takes you you'll die leaves in your hair bugs spiders hatching their babies in your skin FIGHT IT NOW FIGHT IT)

Ichabod crumpled to the ground in a dead faint before he realized that it was merely tree roots grasping his foot.


Night had fallen. The woods had gone almost completely dark and silent, save for the sound of Ichabod's labored, shivering breaths and the occasional howl of a distant animal. The temperature had also dropped several degrees, chilling the young constable to the bone. Consciousness had, for the most part, left him nearly oblivious to his surroundings.

"I see him!" He vaguely heard someone shout off into the distance. The voice sounded young, as though its owner was only around 12 or 13 years of age.

"Where?" Another voice called out. This voice sounded farther away and much older than the first. Ichabod opened his eyes slightly, lifted his head off his arm, and looked in the direction of the voices. A small lantern illuminated an area in the distance and moved closer, bobbing up and down as the small figure holding it jogged toward him. Ichabod closed his eyes again and let his head fall back down onto his arm again as the figure drew closer still.

"Mr constable, sir?" They asked, and Ichabod knew them to be Young Masbath. He groaned weakly as the servant boy knelt down next to him. "Are you all right?"

"Do I look like I'm all right?" Ichabod thought miserably. "I've been left in the woods to die by someone I thought was my friend. Of course I'm not all right."

"Constable Crane?" The second voice was very close now and a firm hand shook his shoulder gently. Ichabod drew in a deep, shuddering breath as he felt himself being lifted into a sitting position and prodded for injury.

Ichabod gasped as a hand freed his ankle and squeezed it gently. It hurt almost like he'd broken it.

"He must've twisted it, or something." The elder of the voices commented. "Other than that, I'd say he looks fine."

(stop talking about me like I'm not here)

Ichabod sighed softly as a pair of strong arms wrapped around his waist and knees, lifted him off the ground, and began to carry him back.


Hannah chuckled humorlessly to herself as she stalked out of the Western Woods under the cover of the darkness. It had worked.

(lived here for years I know the woods left him to die so stupid gullible fell for it)

She pulled her cloak around her and yanked the hood over her head as she heard shouting coming from the Western Woods. The sun had long since set and she was beginning to wonder why Ichabod

(stupid stupid so damn stupid)

had not followed after her.

"It would've been just like him to get lost." She thought aloud with a dark chuckle. "So stupid. Never knows where the hell he's going."

"I see him!" She heard a young boy shout faintly. They sounded as thought they were deep in the woods. The trees muffled his voice, but she could see a very faint glow emanating from where the voice most likely was.

Hannah sighed and sat down on a tree stump. What was the boy shouting about? Did he find Ichabod, or something? She propped her chin up on her fist and sighed in anticipation.

After a few minutes of waiting, Hannah saw a man with shoulder-length red hair emerge from the woods carrying a large bundle. After him came a young boy of about 12 or 13, holding a lantern. Hannah recognized the two as Killian and Young Masbath. But what

(or who)

was that man carrying?

Hannah stood and crept closer to the two without being seen in the dark and realized, upon closer inspection, that the bundle the redhead was carrying was Ichabod. His eyes were closed, his skin was even paler than usual, and his head rested on his carrier's shoulder.

(stupid always getting himself into trouble)

Hannah scoffed, turned away, and crept back through the darkness to her home.


Ichabod drew in a deep breath and opened his eyes. He was lying on his back in a bed with clean sheets while Katrina Van Tassel sat watching over him. His clothes were gone, and in their place was a linen nightshirt.

"Katrina?" His voice barely came above a whisper.

"You're awake." Katrina offered a faint smile and smoothed his dark hair away from his face. "You've been asleep since they brought you back." The young constable groaned quietly and shifted to his side so he faced her. "Tell me what happened. Are you hurt?"

"I heard someone talking about my ankle." Ichabod curled into a loose ball under the covers, reached down, and touched his ankle. It was bandaged and it no longer hurt to touch. "My foot must've caught on something." Katrina smiled briefly and helped him into a sitting position. He grunted and scooted out from the covers and then leaned on the headboard heavily, closing his eyes and sighing.

"Did someone hurt you?" Katrina asked softly. "You're bruised." Ichabod lifted a hand to his jaw and felt the spot where Hannah had struck him. Indeed, it felt bruised and it throbbed under his fingers. Tears welled in his eyes at the memory, but he blinked them away before they had a chance to build.

"H-how did I get here?" He asked as he lowered his hand to his lap.

"Mr Killian brought you back."

"Oh…" Ichabod lowered his eyes to the scars on the palms of his hands.

"If I may ask, what were you doing in the Western Woods?"

Ichabod gulped and sighed shakily. "An old friend stopped by." He began. "She led me into the woods and left me."

"Oh…"

"There's more." Ichabod rubbed at his eyes with the heel of his hand and continued. "All I can remember is her saying that I bring back bad memories and she never wants anything to do with me again." His voice broke and he put his face in his hands so Katrina wouldn't see the tears beginning to stream down his cheeks. Katrina moved closer to him, pulled him to her arms, and let him rest his head on her shoulder.

"Shh…" She soothed as Ichabod began to cry softly. He took in a deep shuddering breath as she began to stroke his hair, just as his mother used to do when he was upset. "I know it hurts when loved ones do things like this."

"Yes… Yes it does." He sniffled and dried his eyes. "You don't just leave someone to die in the woods! You don't just drop something like that on somebody and expect that they don't react! It just doesn't work that way!"

"No, you're right. That's a bad thing to do to someone."

"Yes, it is. You'd think she'd know that." Ichabod put his head down on her shoulder and groaned.

"Tell you what: I need you to tell me something." She whispered in his ear. "Who is this woman you spoke of?" He sniffled and lifted his head from her shoulder.

"Her name is Hannah Gullery-Gibson." He started shakily and a pained expression flitted across his features. Katrina could tell it was hurting him quite a bit to say her name, but he continued before she could stop him. "She has brown hair to her shoulders and hazel eyes-"

"You don't have to describe her for me." Katrina interrupted. "I know her. She's lived near us for years."

Ichabod's breath hitched in his throat when he heard this.

(she lied to me)

"She lied to me…" He whispered. "She lied to me!" An angry flush crept into his face.

"This must come as quite a shock to you, finding all of this out in such a short amount of time." Ichabod nodded and Katrina hugged him tightly.

"Yes. I'd had no idea that she'd been here in Sleepy Hollow all this time and she didn't even bother to tell me. She hasn't written in at least 5 years. She hasn't responded to any of the letters I've sent to her. I should've known this was going to happen." He sighed and closed his eyes.

"I don't think anybody would've been able to see this coming. We do not live in an age where we can know these things immediately just by sending a message and getting an instant response."

"I know that." Ichabod sighed again and looked up at her. "I know."

"I'll see what I can do about her tomorrow." Katrina patted his shoulder.

"No, I'll do it." He leaned forward and put his head in his hands. "It's my problem, I'll clean it up."

"All right." She nodded. "But right now, you need to get some sleep."

"Fine." He laid back down, pulled the covers up to his chest, and sighed. "Good night, Katrina."

"Good night." Katrina got up and blew out the candle on the nightstand. "Sweet dreams."


And thus ends the first chapter.