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.
I don't own Sleepy Hollow.
Edited as of February 2016.
"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 my personal affairs."
"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. For the life of him, he could not stop sweating.
"Are you sure you can do this? You're white as a sheet."
"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."
"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.
He started up the sloping lawn and found himself stopping about halfway, as if to question what he was doing.
"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.
"Pull yourself together." 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 a crack. "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?"
"If it's not too much trouble." The door closed.
"HANNAH!" He heard the little girl yell.
"What do you want!" 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. 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." 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 approximately 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 and 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. "We will not talk about it. I am a grown woman, Ichabod Crane. I can make my own decisions. Nobody put me up to this."
"I never said that." He 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 uncalled for, Hannah." Ichabod's voice was beginning to waver as he stared at her reddening face. "You really 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 the hit to his face was making his eyes water.
So it was true, then. She truly hated him.
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.
Ichabod raked the back of his hand over his eyes and started to walk back toward the road. By then, he was beginning to feel dizzy and a lump had formed in his throat.
"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 again?" She touched 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. 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 tray with two mugs and a teapot.
"How are you feeling?"
"Awful." 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, Katrina."
"…Is that all?"
"I suppose it is." Ichabod stared into the mug in his hand. "I've never cared much for crying in front of others. It feels wrong."
"I see." Katrina sighed. "I understand that you might feel a little emasculated, but if you need to, I won't judge." She put her arm around him and pulled him close.
"No. I just... I can't. It's nothing against you, it's just that I don't know you well enough for that."
"I understand." She nodded sympathetically. "Well, if you need to talk, I'm here."
"I appreciate it."
"Take your time. Just know that no matter how bad things get, they will pass."
"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. "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. What are you thinking?"
"Listen, I'm an adult. 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." He pointed at the bruises that had formed. "Please, don't do it. I'm begging you."
"This has to be settled. Now." Katrina turned back and exited the room.
"Oh, God…" Ichabod sighed and hung his head. "What are you thinking, Katrina?" He lifted his head. The fluttering in his stomach had started back up and his hands were shaking.
"This can't end well." He reached for his coat. "I can't let her do this." He put 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." Ichabod stumbled up to her.
"Confront Hannah. I can't let you do it."
"Because she could kill you if you were to aggravate her. She could easily break your bones."
"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. "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! Stop!"
"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 both scared and exasperated. "I don't want you getting hurt!"
"Relax." She gave him a reassuring smile. "Everything's going to be fine. Now look…" She pointed up at the cottage. "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.
"Fine." He shuffled to the side of the road and shivered. "Just don't let her grab you."
"I won't." She turned away and started up the slope.
After a minute or so, 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. "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, much to his relief.
He cracked his knuckles and stared.
"What are they saying?" He 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 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 badly."
"Actually, it is your fault. You said those things to him. You hit him twice. You left him in the Western Woods to die, for goodness' sake! 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 may be putting on a brave face, but I know he's very upset about all this."
"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 also 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.
"What are you-? There's no need for that!"
"Get over here!" The brunette tackled the blonde off the stoop.
"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 him?" Katrina'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 he was able to grab her arm.
"Don't you dare hit me again."
"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. "What are you doing?! Stop!"
"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 got to his feet and started to walk back to the road. "I didn't need you to fight for me, Katrina."
"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 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."
"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! Don't scare me like that again!"
"Calm down." She reached up and cupped his cheek in her hand. "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.