Summary: I completely BS'd this chapter at about one in the morning. I am going off of some fuzzy memories and complete and utter bullshit. So… it's slightly fabricated.
Just read it and shut the fuck up.
Disclaimer: I own Diana, the bitch's little sister. Since the bitch's sister IRL didn't do shit to me, she will just be a minor character with no real role.
"You're sure you can do this alone?"
"Yes, I'm sure." Ichabod didn't meet Katrina's concerned gaze. His heart was pounding and he felt like he was going to be sick. "I don't need to be dragging you into something that you don't need to be dragged into, anyway. It's my problem, I'll clean it up."
"All right." She patted his shoulder. "If you need anything, I'll be here by the road."
"Much appreciated." Ichabod inhaled shakily and dried his palms on his trousers. He could not, for the life of him, stop sweating.
"Are you sure you can do this? You're pale as a ghost."
"Yes, Katrina, I'm sure. I'll be fine." He gave her a weak smile.
"You don't look fine." Katrina thought he looked like he was going to faint. "You look like you're about to be sick."
"Thank you." Ichabod sighed. "Just let me take care of this. I'll feel better if I do."
"If you insist." She stepped back. "You know where I'll be."
"Noted." He looked up the slight incline and blew his hair out of his face. "Right… So this is where she lives."
The house was set about 100 yards away from the road. From where Ichabod stood, he guessed that the house was small and rather shabby.
(looks can be deceiving ole chap)
"Okay… Going up." He started up the sloping lawn and found himself stopping about halfway, as if to question what he was doing.
(this will all end in tears)
"No reason to fret." He inhaled shakily and braced himself. "She won't do anything to you. She already hit you once. It's all out of her system." He continued up to the house until he was at the front steps.
(turn back while you still can)
"Pull yourself together, man." Ichabod scolded himself quietly, took in a deep breath, and knocked on the door.
"Coming!" He heard a high-pitched voice call. There were running footsteps and the door opened. "Who is it?" A young girl with long brown hair was poking her head out. She looked to be about 9 years of age.
"Pardon, but is this the Gibson residence?"
"Is Hannah home?"
"Yes. Do you want me to go get her?"
"Yes, thank you." The door closed.
"HANNAH!" He heard the little girl yell.
"What do you want, Diana!" Hannah's voice sounded from the back of the house.
"There's a man who wants to talk to you!"
"I'll be right there!" Ichabod heard a door slam and footsteps approaching the door.
(here she comes ole boy brace yourself)
He took a deep breath and braced himself as the door opened.
"I thought I told you to never talk to me again." Hannah looked angry. Her face was even blotchier than usual and her voice was accusatory.
"You did." Ichabod did his best to sound like he wasn't about to faint. "But I feel like we should talk about what happened yesterday. I feel like we said some things that we shouldn't have said."
"…I meant every word, Crane." Hannah stepped outside and glared daggers at him. He flattened himself against a wall and glanced around nervously. "I meant every word I said about not wanting to ever see you again."
"I…" Ichabod inhaled deeply and drew himself up to his full height of five feet, seven inches. Even then, she stood at least an inch taller than he did. "I just believe that maybe we could talk about this, sort this whole thing out, perhaps without the use of your fist, this time."
"No." She rolled up her sleeves, exposing her ham-like forearms, no doubt muscular from household chores. "We will not talk about it. I am a grown woman, Ichabod Crane. I can make my own damn decisions. Nobody put me up to this."
"I never said that." He swallowed nervously and eyed her clenched fists. "The thought never even crossed my mind."
"Go to Hell, Crane. That's where you're going to end up, anyway." She sneered.
"That was a little uncalled for, Hannah." Ichabod's voice was beginning to waver as he stared wide-eyed at her reddening face. "You didn't need to say that."
"Doesn't make it any less true." Hannah cracked her knuckles. "You're nothing but a weak little rat who does nothing but kiss ass."
"Now, be reasonable, here, Han-" He was cut off by the impact of the palm of her hand against his cheek. She had hit him hard enough to make him lose his balance and fall off the stoop.
"Don't make me do that again." She growled.
"Ow…" He raised a hand to his cheek and spat blood. "Damn you, Hannah! What is the matter with you?"
"There is nothing wrong with me." Hannah put her hands on her rather large hips. "You're the problem. So fuck this, and fuck you." She opened the door, entered her house, and locked the door behind her.
"Ow…" Ichabod sat up and groaned. By then, his heart was hammering inside his chest and tears were already forming in his eyes.
So it was true. She truly hated him. She hated him enough to say those horrible things to him.
"What is wrong with you?"
He sniffled and stood on wobbly legs. The sting of her hand was already beginning to fade, but his mind was still reeling from the things she'd said.
(fuck this and fuck you)
(go to hell)
"Oh…" Ichabod raked his arm over his eyes and started to walk back toward the road. By then, he was beginning to feel dizzy and he wanted to do nothing more than cry.
"What did she do?" He heard Katrina ask.
"What?" He looked in her direction and sniffled.
"What happened? What did she do?" She rested her hand on his shoulder and let her eyes scan his face. "Did she hit you?" She let her hand ghost over his cheek.
"She hates me." Ichabod pulled his overcoat tighter around him and crossed to the cluster of trees that stood on the side of the road. "She hates me enough to hit me…" He let tears run down his cheeks. The fluttering in his stomach had intensified considerably and he felt like he was going to be sick.
"I'm sorry…" Katrina started to rub his back. "I should've gone with you. Maybe I could've stopped her from hitting you, or-"
"No." He leaned on a tree and closed his eyes. "It wouldn't have made a difference." He sniffled and wiped his eyes. Despite his best efforts, the urge to cry was starting to overwhelm him.
"Come on." She put her arm around him. "Let's get home. I'll brew some tea."
"All right." Ichabod let Katrina lead him back in the direction of the Van Tassel estate.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"No, I don't want to talk about it."
They walked in silence until they were inside the house.
"I'll, uh… I'll be in my room for a few minutes, if that's all right." Ichabod glanced toward the stairs leading up to his room.
"That's fine." Katrina tucked her hair behind her ears and started rummaging through a drawer. "It'll be awhile until the tea's ready."
"Right." He sniffled, shuffled across the room, and dragged himself up the stairs.
Almost as soon as he entered his room, the tears he'd been holding back were starting to run down his cheeks in rivers and before he knew it, he was sobbing. He sat down on his bed and put his head in his hands.
"Why did she wait until now to do this!" He found himself asking aloud.
He didn't have an answer.
There was a soft knock on the door after about five minutes.
"Ichabod?" Katrina's voice was soft and muffled through the door.
"Come in." The constable cleared his throat and inhaled shakily. The door opened and Katrina stepped in, holding a tea tray with two mugs and a teapot.
"How are you feeling?"
"Not good." Ichabod sniffled and lowered his eyes to his hands. His eyes felt like they were full of sand.
"Are you sure you don't want to talk about it?" Katrina handed him a mug.
"Thank you." He accepted the mug and took a small sip. "No, I'm sure. I don't want to talk about it."
"It might help you feel better if you do."
"No." He swept a hand over his cheek.
"I don't…" He sighed. "I don't want to cry in front of you again, Katrina."
"…Is that all?"
"I guess." Ichabod stared into the mug in his hand. "My pride is about all I have left, I suppose."
"I see." Katrina sighed. "I understand that you might feel a little emasculated, but trust me on this. There's no shame in crying. Sometimes it really does help." She put her arm around him and pulled him close.
"I'll take your word for it, then." His voice wavered and tears ran down his cheeks. Despite his best efforts, a lump was forming in his throat and his lips were beginning to tremble. "I'll take your word for it…"
"Shh…" She massaged his shoulder and gave him a gentle squeeze. "Just let it all out. Let yourself cry. I'm right here."
As much as he wanted to, Ichabod could not stop himself from crying as his mind flashed back to what had happened earlier that day. The memory of her words cut into him like knives and he could still feel the sting of her hand hitting his cheek.
"There, there…" Katrina swiveled to the side and pulled him into a hug. "It's going to be okay."
After about 15 minutes, Ichabod was beginning to calm down. By then, Katrina had stopped talking and had taken to keeping her arms around him, humming quietly to him, and stroking his hair.
"Everything's going to be fine." She whispered into his hair.
"I hope you're right." He sniffled and dried his eyes on his shirt sleeve.
"I am right." Katrina patted his back. "Because I'm going to take care of it."
"…What?" Ichabod lifted his head from her shoulder.
"You know what she did to you. I know what she did. And I can make sure that she never does it again."
"You don't mean…" Ichabod furrowed his brows in confusion. "What are you going to do?"
"I'm going to go have a little chat with Miss Gullery-Gibson." Katrina stood and started to walk toward the door when she felt a hand grip her arm.
"Katrina, don't do it. I'm begging you. Don't do it." He pleaded.
"Ichabod, I'm a big girl. I can take care of myself." She jerked her arm free and turned to face him.
"No, Katrina, you don't understand. Hannah could kill you. You saw what she did to my face. And that's just when she's in a good mood!" Ichabod's eyes were beginning to water again. "Please don't do it. I beg of you, please don't do it."
"This has to be settled. Now." Katrina turned back and exited the room.
"Oh, God…" Ichabod leaned on the wall and slid to the floor. "No… This can't be happening…" He groaned and rested his head on his knees.
(be a man and go after her)
"I can't let her go alone." He lifted his head and dried his eyes after about 5 minutes. By then, the fluttering in his stomach had started back up and his hands were shaking.
"She can't be alone." Ichabod got up off the floor and reached for his coat. "I can't let her go alone." He pulled his coat on and ran out the door. "Katrina!"
By the time Ichabod caught up with Katrina, she was already starting the walk up the sloping lawn.
"Katrina!" He was breathing heavily from the run. "Wait!"
"What are you doing?" Katrina turned around and stared at him. "I thought you were going to wait back at the house!"
"Katrina… I can't let you do this."
"Confront Hannah. I can't let you do it."
"Because…" Ichabod stumbled up to her and took her hands. "Because she could kill you if you were to aggravate her. She could easily break your bones."
"…Ichabod, I think I'll be fine if I keep a safe distance."
"Katrina, I don't think you understand how strong she is. She knocked me to the ground when she hit me, and that isn't even the hardest she can hit!" Ichabod gave her hand a gentle tug. "Please, let's just go home."
"No. I am not going to let her get away with hurting you like that." Katrina tugged her hand free. "And I honestly don't think that this will get physical. I've known her as long as we've been neighbors. I think I know how to talk to her."
"It WILL get physical and she WILL hurt you! Listen to me, please!" He grasped at her hand but she was already walking away. "Please, Katrina! I'm begging you!"
"I can do this! I don't need to be protected!" She sighed and pointed at the road. "Go wait at the house, all right? I'm sure it'll all turn out fine."
"No, Katrina!" Ichabod looked like he was about to cry. "I don't want you getting hurt!"
"Oh, you…" Katrina approached him and pulled him into a hug. "Calm down. Relax." She patted his back. "Everything's going to be fine. Now look…" She pulled away and pointed up at the house. "You can see the house, can't you?"
"So, if it will make you feel better, you can stand by the side of the road and watch the whole encounter." She patted his arm and started back up the incline.
"Okay… I guess I'll wait…" He shuffled to the side of the road and shivered.
"Just don't let her hurt you…"
By then, Katrina was at the door and raising her arm to knock.
"Oh… I can't watch…" Ichabod turned around and started to pace. "No… I have to watch. No… Damn it!" He sat down on a fallen tree trunk and started to rock back and forth. "Damn it, Katrina, why?" He looked up at the house. The door was open and Hannah was standing on the stoop, having what appeared to be a civilized conversation with Katrina.
(went better than expected)
He cracked his knuckles and stared.
(can't see move closer)
"What are they saying?" Ichabod got up, headed toward the row of trees that lined the edge of the lawn, and crept up to the house.
"…hear from him again."
He paused. He thought he could hear Hannah's voice.
"I realize that." Katrina's voice was just as quiet. Ichabod crept closer.
"I told him that just this morning. He's so stupid that he doesn't understand."
"He is not stupid. He is a brilliant person."
"Well, why does he keep coming back?"
"…You really feel the need to ask this? He keeps coming back to you because you hurt him and he would like to patch things up."
"He's been kissing ass. I can't stand people like that."
"Hannah, he was not doing that." Katrina's tone was growing increasingly irritated. "You have to understand where he's coming from. You hurt him. Not just with your fists, but with your words, as well."
"Well, he needs to toughen up. It's not my fault that he's taking it so bad."
"Actually, it is your fault. You said those things to him. You hit him twice. You left him in the Western Woods to die! And you wonder why he's so upset with you?"
"Like I said, he needs to toughen up. I did him a favor."
"No you didn't! He is a wreck!"
"Well, that's his fault." Hannah retreated into her house and was about to close the door when Katrina stuck her foot into the doorway. "Get your foot out of the doorway."
"No! I will not. You need to face the fact that what you did was wrong, Hannah. You were wrong to just drop that news on him like that."
Hannah's face reddened and she stepped outside. Katrina backed away.
"You were wrong to hit him and you were wrong to leave him in the woods!"
"Shut up!" Hannah rolled up her sleeves and swung at Katrina, who ducked.
"There is no need for violence!"
"Get over here!" The brunette tackled the blonde off the stoop.
"Katrina!" Ichabod felt panic surge through him.
"Get off me!" Katrina's voice was muffled by Hannah's hand smushing her face.
"Shut up, you little bitch!" Hannah's spectacles had fallen off at that point and she was sweating.
"Ow! You're on my hair!" Katrina reached up and smacked her in the face. "Get off me!"
"Ow!" Hannah's hand went to the red mark on her cheek and Katrina took the opportunity to roll away and get to her feet. "That's it!"
"What're you going to do, hit me? Hit me like you hit Ichabod?" The blonde's nose was bleeding.
"Oof…!" The brunette got to her feet with some difficulty.
"Stop it!" Ichabod ran up to her. "Both of you, just stop it!"
"Out of my way, Crane!" Hannah shoved him aside.
"STOP!" He got to his feet and planted himself in front of her. "Both of you! Stop fighting like a couple of jealous cats!"
"Shut up!" Hannah raised her hand as if to hit him, but he was ready this time and was able to grab her arm.
"Don't you dare hit me again." He tried to sound as brave as possible, but he could not stop his voice from wavering slightly.
"Yes, Hannah, listen to him." Katrina brushed dirt from her dress. "Listen to him or there will be consequences."
"Like Hell there will!" Hannah spat. "He couldn't hit me if he tried!"
"I wouldn't try to hit you anyway. I don't hit women, because that would be rude." Ichabod cleared his throat. "Even if they were rude to me, and pardon me, but hitting me was awfully rude of you."
"Don't you give me an etiquette lesson!" The brunette bent her wrist, grabbed his arm, and twisted it.
"Ow! Ah…! Stop it! Let go!" His face contorted in pain as he dropped to his knees. "Please!"
"Fine." Hannah released Ichabod's wrist. "But remember this: I broke your arm when you were 14. I won't hesitate to do it again."
"Ah…" He cradled his throbbing wrist and whimpered as she retreated into her house and locked the door.
"Are you all right?" Katrina knelt down next to him and placed her hand on his shoulder.
"No." He sniffled, got to his feet, and started to walk back to the road. "Y'know, I didn't need you to fight for me, Katrina." His voice was shaky.
"Ichabod, what was I supposed to do? Let you wallow in misery for a week?" She ran to catch up with him. "Let her beat you to a bleeding pulp?"
"You should've listened to me!" He turned to face her and she could see tears running down his cheeks. "I told you that you'd get hurt, and now look at you! You're hurt!" He sniffled, turned back around and continued toward the road.
"I'm fine, look." She pulled a handkerchief from her bodice and dabbed at her face. "See? I've already stopped bleeding." She touched his shoulder.
"You could've gotten seriously hurt." Ichabod sounded like he was starting to cry.
"Yes, I know." Katrina patted his back. "But I'm not."
"You could've been!" He turned to her and grabbed her shoulders. "Don't you ever do anything like that again!" By then, he was sobbing. "Don't ever scare me like that again!"
"Calm down." She reached up and wiped a tear off his cheek. "I won't do it again, I swear."
"I promise." She wrapped her arms around him and pulled him into a hug. "I won't do that again."
"Good." Ichabod rested his forehead against hers.
"Come on." She took his hand. "Let's go home."
They continued on home.
I'm going to end this chapter here. Why? Because it's 2 in the morning and I'm tired as fuck.