A/N: This story was originally written very early on in season one, after episode two or three. It is almost completely AU, with one or two references to events from the show. It is rated M for reasons, but that will come later as Katrina needs to be dealt with first. I do not write infidelity.
"He can stay with me." The words are out of Lieutenant Abbie Mills' mouth before she realizes she's said them.
Several sets of eyes, including the unsettlingly intelligent blue eyes of Ichabod Crane, lock on Lieutenant Mills' small frame.
"I mean… I've got an extra room, and… I'm the only one here who isn't completely freaked out by the guy," she stammers, trying to recover. Grasp for a reason why she's just volunteered to take on a roommate who is over 250 years old.
Problem is, he appears to be somewhere between 25 and 30. Problem is, he still doesn't seem to have a grasp on the modern world, and who could blame him? It's a good thing he's wickedly brilliant, or he'd undoubtedly be terrified.
Problem is, Abbie is just a tiny bit attracted to him.
"And it's not like he has any means to pay rent," she finishes. Mental note: find a way to get Crane paid for his consulting work.
The department decided that they would no longer finance Crane's motel room, despite the fact that he's proven undeniably beneficial to solving these strange cases that seem to be cropping up with increasing frequency. Also, there have been complaints, both from the guests and the motel staff.
He'd broken a few items in his attempts to figure them out. The telephone. The remote control. The bathroom faucet.
He spooked the other guests with his antiquated manners and clothing, his unending questions (though most of those were directed at the poor rookie soul who drew the short straw and wound up guarding his door).
And then there was the screaming. Crane had nightmares. And the other guests tended to be less than sympathetic when the weird British guy screaming bloody murder in the next room woke them up at 2 a.m.
"I won't be an imposition?" Crane asks softly.
"No more than you already are," Abbie answers, smirking.
"Very well, then. Mills, you have a housemate," Captain Irving declares.
Abbie rolls her eyes. As if I need his permission. He doesn't own my house, I do. And the way I see it, he should be thanking me, not granting me his blessing.
"Come on," she says, plucking Crane's sleeve, "let's go get your things."
"Um, I don't really have any… things…" he says, following behind her. She's a full foot shorter than he is, but she walks incredibly fast. Still, it doesn't take him long to catch up.
"There's nothing in the room you'd like to retrieve?" she asks, stopping suddenly. He almost falls over her.
"Sorry," he apologizes. "Well, yes, just those few toiletries you bought me when I first arrived. Woke up. Again, thank you for those."
"You've thanked me six times for that stuff, I got it," she chuckles, climbing into her squad car. He climbs into the passenger seat. "I think we'll need to go shopping at some point. At least get you some new clothes; aren't you tired of wearing that same outfit? You've been wearing it for, like, three weeks straight."
"It's comforting having something of my old life to cling to. Well, it was. I think I would like some other garments, yes," he finally decides. Then he looks at her. "Can we go to Wal-Mart, perhaps? I should very much like to see that place. It looks like an amazing marketplace."
Abbie laughs, pulling into the motel parking lot. The image of Ichabod Crane in Wal-Mart is just too good. "How do you know about Wal-Mart?"
"Television. Fascinating thing, that. Do you know that there are washing powders that can remove any stain, no matter how set in…"
"Crane," she interrupts him. "You can't take commercials so seriously."
"Why ever not? Surely they aren't lying. Not on a medium that is so readily accessible to the general public!"
Oh, dear, he's getting all righteous now. This is the "Ten percent levy on baked goods" issue all over again…
"Well, let's just say that often things on television are… bent… to make things look a little better than they may actually be," she tries to explain.
"Why on earth would they do that?"
"To get people to buy their product or use their service," Abbie says with a shrug. "Now let's go get your things."
They walk up to his dank little room, one of those seedy motel rooms where everything seems stained a permanent shade of harvest gold because it hasn't been redecorated since 1978.
I should have gotten him out of here sooner, Abbie realizes, looking around and realizing she's a bit afraid to touch anything.
She's seen too many crime scenes in just this sort of motel room.
Abbie waits while Ichabod takes the plastic bag she gave him from Walgreens and puts the toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant (that was an interesting conversation), and comb back inside. She is initially surprised that he still has the bag, but when she thinks about it, she really shouldn't be. He comes from an era where things were not wasted. "Disposable" probably wasn't even a word, then.
He wanders into the bathroom, the closed part where the shower and toilet are, and she follows, leaning against the doorframe.
"Grab that little shampoo bottle," Abbie says, pointing.
"I cannot use your shampoo?" Crane asks, plucking up the bottle. It looks ridiculously small in his large hand. The shampoo v. soap conversation actually wasn't too bad, she recalls.
"No, you can't," she says.
He quirks his head at her, curious now. "No?"
"Crane, my hair is… different than yours. It needs different products. Here, touch it," she says, turning so her ponytail is facing him.
"Um," he hesitates.
He probes with one finger, then, emboldened, takes a lock and rubs it between his thumb and fingers.
"Hmm, yes, I see. The texture is much coarser. It is very different." He rubs it for another moment and drops his hand.
"I'm going to try and get us to Wal-mart tonight, but in case we don't get there, you'll at least be able to use that," she says, tapping the bottle. "Have you got everything?"
"Yes, I think so," he says, dropping the little bottle into his bag.
"Yeah, we seriously need to get you some more things."