C'mon, as a whumper, how could I *not* tag this episode? *sigh* So. Much. Awesome. :D

There is no pain.

His brothers bear him no malice and the poison is formulated accordingly. And so there is no pain, only a growing lethargy, a heaviness that settles deep into his bones and a burgeoning fatigue that leeches the strength from his muscles.

His breathing starts to slow and his head feels heavy.

There are no words between them – they have said all that can be said. She just holds his hand and gazes at him with a raw, angry sorrow in her eyes. It's one last stain on his overburdened soul, the knowledge that he put that look – that hurt – there. A part of him wishes she were not here to see this but another, more selfish, part is glad of her presence, glad not to be alone... glad to have these precious last few minutes with her.

His limbs start to feel numb as his chin sinks to his chest. His vision grows blurry but it matters little as he can barely keep his eyes open. A wave of dizziness washes over him and he's barely even aware that his nerveless fingers have lost their grip on her hand.

Lights dance across the insides of his eyelids, a dizzying kaleidoscope of colours. There's a roaring in his ears and he feels like he is falling. Memories, unbidden, flit through his mind, a confusing welter of sounds and images and smells; the acrid tang of gunpowder drifting over the battlefield, the sharp pain of the horseman's blade, Katrina's face, the feel of her arms around him, her voice begging him to stay.

"Ichabod, no! Stay with me!"

"Stay with me."

But it's not Katrina's voice. It's Abbie's.

"Stay awake, Crane."

There are more voices, muffled and distorted.

"I wasn't sure I'd make it in time. He doesn't have to die."

"What do you mean?"

And then a single voice pierces the fog, a voice that compels him.

"Not yet!"

He drags his eyes open but it takes such effort, almost more than he has left.

He struggles to focus as a strange man peers closely at him. He's vaguely aware that the room is suddenly full of people.

Voices babble, blurring in and out of focus.

"He's almost gone. Clear the room. All of you."

"Everyone out, now." Abbie's voice. He wants to call out to her but it's all he can do to focus his eyes, to keep breathing.

"This had better work."

His body feels slow, heavy, each breath is an effort. His voice is barely above a whisper as he asks the stranger, "Who are you?"