Let's Go Home

Chapter 6

Summary: How does Icabod feel about his first doctor's visit in the modern era? Will he need Abbie to hold his hand while getting his shots? (I'll give you a hint, the answer is yes!)

A/N: I like to write Icabbie friendship, with added adorableness, of course. I hope you enjoy!

And Now, the Continuation…

'Keep your mouth shut and let me do all the talking, she says? Please, be my guest. This whole misunderstanding was just as much her fault as mine, anyway, since she was paying more attention to that infernal communication device than to me,' Icabod thought to himself.

'Well, Lieutenant, challenge accepted! I shall consider this a reconnaissance mission. I must make myself as unobtrusive as possible while I observe their operating procedures, any gaps in their security, any bit of information about this new century that may prove beneficial to the cause…'

Miss Mills was explaining to the receptionist and the unpleasant nurse who had accosted him just a few minutes ago, "I'm Lieutenant Abbie Mills with the Sherriff's Department and Mr. Crane is helping me with a case at the moment. He's visiting from England and it turns out that there was some huge bureaucratic mess-up with the paperwork and now it looks like he hasn't had any of the requisite immunizations or vaccinations. He's going to need tetanus, chicken pox, everything."

Icabod really would have swallowed his pride and apologized to the nurse for the earlier misunderstanding, if only it weren't for her condescending, distrustful glances his way. And besides, he was under strict orders from his Lieutenant not to speak a word.

Clearly, Abbie's audience was not quite grasping the situation. Nurse Henford, as her little silver nameplate read, was still hesitant to let Abbie accompany him to the elusive examination room.

"Crane is," Abbie hesitated, looking from the nurse to Icabod, then back again, "He is, ah…"

'Oh this should be good,' Icabod thought as she floundered.

"…special," Abbie concluded.

Icabod raised an eyebrow imperiously. 'What is this? She can say that I am special, but when I say essentially the same thing, it is cause for much yelling and uncivil behavior?'

Abbie shot him a glare that clearly said, 'Keep that mouth shut, Crane!'

Much of the cultural context of the exchange was lost on him, but Icabod could still hear the connotation of the words and felt slightly offended, though he could not put into words exactly why.

"Trust me, this will go much more smoothly with me there," Abbie informed the nurse.

Finally, they were led down the hallway and ushered into a small room.

"Someone will be with you shortly," Nurse Henford said crisply and shut the door.

They were alone in the room with white walls, a strange bed covered with a long sheet of parchment, and a small sink and counter. Abbie sat on the round stool and slowly spun around in circles.

It was often a relief to be alone with Abbie. Icabod was curious by nature and it was a constant strain for him to behave calmly in public; there was always something new and unfamiliar that he wanted to look at or touch. For now he was free to investigate his surroundings. What possible purpose could a jar full of thin wooden sticks serve? It couldn't be for kindling, could it?

A new nurse with a much friendlier countenance appeared and went about recording Icabod's vital statistics. He was instructed to remove his boots and jacket and stand on a scale. He stood with his back straight against the wall for his height measurement. The wooden stick was a 'tongue depressor' and used when examining his mouth and throat. A strange light device was poked into his ears and his nose.

Abbie seemed to quite enjoy watching his reactions. He started making strange expressions whenever the nurse wasn't looking at him. If he had to endure all this poking and prodding, he might as well have a little fun.

The nurse wrapped a black cuff around his upper arm. "I'm going to take your blood pressure now," she said, clipping a small plastic object to his finger. While she examined the instrument, Icabod made a face at Abbie, opening his eyes extra wide and slightly tilting his head to the side.

There it was, Abbie's grin. In just a few seconds she would laugh out loud and tell him to 'stop it!'

His blood pressure reading finished, the nurse said, "Please remove your shirt so I can listen to your heart."

The nurse placed a cold metal circle attached to a listening device on his chest and then on his back, instructing him to breathe deeply. Her expression barely changed when she saw the long scar across his chest. Icabod was infinitely grateful for her tact, as he certainly was not prepared to explain how he had received such a scar.

'The tools of the trade may have changed,' Icabod reflected, replacing his shirt, 'but this is not altogether unlike the physical examination I underwent upon my conscription to the King's army. I am ready to perform calisthenics at a moment's notice! I must prove to Miss Mills that her concerns over my health are wholly unfounded…well, aside from the blood test conundrum…'

The nurse wrote some notes on her chart, left for a few minutes, and returned holding a small tray which she set on the counter. She lifted the sheet of paper covering the tray to reveal an arrangement of foreign implements.

"Please roll up your sleeve," the nurse instructed and used a cool, wet piece of cloth to clean a small section of Icabod's left arm, near his shoulder. This action made no sense to him but he wasn't alarmed until he saw the nurse pick up an item from the tray and remove the flimsy plastic barrier to reveal a very thin, very sharp metal instrument. It looked more suited for torturing prisoners of war than anything else.

"What," Icabod demanded, eyes wide, "pray tell, is that for?!"

The nurse was taken aback by his shocked outburst. "Have you never seen a syringe before?" she asked, dubious.

Icabod was about to reply but Abbie cut him off, blurting out, "He has amnesia!"

Both Icabod and the nurse looked at her, both surprised.

Abbie stood up and came to Icabod's side. "You've had shots before, you just don't remember it," she lied to him.

To the nurse, Abbie continued, "He was in a terrible accident several months ago. It's affected his long term memory."

"Oh my! I'm so sorry!" the nurse exclaimed, "How awful!"

She looked between them, adding, "You could have said something sooner."

"I wasn't sure it'd be an issue," Abbie continued the charade flawlessly, "He's rather sensitive about it."

Icabod's glare was incredulous. Where did she get these stories? It was a wonder to see how easily she could adapt to any situation, never batting an eyelash. Indeed, Miss Mills would surely make a fearsome double agent, though that was a role he hoped she would never be forced in to.

"I promise, this won't hurt at all. You'll feel a small pinch and it'll be over before you know it," the nurse was assuring Icabod, all the while moving the 'syringe' closer to his arm.

"Wait," Icabod said, stalling.

Abbie reached out and took his other hand in hers. Or rather, she slipped her hand into his much larger hand. Icabod looked into her face.

"Trust me. It's really not bad," she said reassuringly, but casually, like this really was not a big deal.

"Ow!" Icabod yelped in surprise. The nurse had already stuck the needle into his arm while he'd been distracted by Abbie. He felt a sharp pinch and a slight burning sensation.

"It's best to get it over with quickly," the nurse said as she withdrew the syringe and wiped a small drop of blood from his arm with a piece of cotton.

Icabod just glared in her direction. It was no use arguing in a situation such as this, especially when anything he did invariably caused the nurse to look at him like he was a frightened child. He most certainly was not enjoying this predicament.

"Unfortunately, you have quite a few shots today. Since your records are incomplete and, apparently, possibly incorrect, it is standard procedure to give all the typical inoculations, as a precaution," she rambled on, preparing the next syringe.

Icabod looked away in barely concealed disgust. At least Abbie was here.

"After this, I'll buy you an ice cream, okay?" Abbie informed him.

"I do not want an ice cream."

"Yes you do," Abbie countered. Now she was telling him what he wanted?

"No. I do not," Icabod repeated himself. Was he really having this conversation right now?

This time he was prepared for the sharp prick of the syringe. He managed not to make any noise, only squeezed Abbie's hand a little tighter, glaring stonily at the far wall. He didn't want to let on just how much Abbie's presence, not to mention her warm touch, comforted him. She always anchored him when every unfamiliar, incomprehensible, new experience threatened to overwhelm.

He watched Abbie's good natured smile, she was going on about 'soft serve' and 'orange twist' and 'rainbow sprinkles', and thought about how, before waking up in a cave in a futuristic Sleepy Hollow, he would never have imagined such a friendship.

Since he first met Lieutenant Abbie Mills, Icabod had struggled to know how he should relate to her. An unmarried woman who wore trousers and held what in his time was definitely a man's position? It had been a lot to wrap his mind around in the first days, but Icabod considered himself an open-minded individual. In any case, he believed in social equality for above all else.

He'd found a balance that seemed to fit their relationship. He could show her the courtesy due a lady, even if it was only small things like opening a door for her, while still treating her as a trusted comrade-in-arms, even though he had never before fought side by side with a woman, and after all that she was his friend and confidant.

"…but you should probably just order chocolate. It's a classic. Can't go wrong," Abbie was saying as the nurse finally finished with the injections and placed a sticky 'band-aid' on his arm.

Icabod still had no idea what Abbie was talking about and secretly suspected that she'd mostly been trying to distract him anyway.

They were finally walking away from the Clinic. Icabod rubbed his shoulder where it was sore.

"You did good, Crane," Abbie patted his back. She did something with her key that made the SUV beep and unlocked the doors. She climbed behind the wheel as Icabod slid into his customary position at her side.

"This 'ice cream' you speak of had better be utterly fantastic."