A/N: Hello, all! Here is a new story for you! This one is a little different from my previous one shots as it is set after the Second Season ending, which I had mixed emotions about.
Anyway, I hope you guys like this! Enjoy!
Trust & Betrayal
Ichabod sat at the table in his cabin, staring at the walls in silence. He had his hands clasped over his mouth as the past few days played over and over again in his mind. It had been three weeks since Katrina's death at his hands and he'd barely spoken to Abbie or anyone since. He knew he should call he or go see her but he could find the strength to do neither. He was too ashamed to go to her.
He heard a knock at his door and got up. He opened it to find Abbie standing there.
She looked at him, awkwardly. "H-Hey."
"Afternoon, Leftenant," he greeted.
"How are you?"
"I believe the term is… I'm making it."
"Alright. I just… wanted to check on you. You hadn't called."
"Yes, I do apologize for that. I've been… distracted my events of recent days."
"It's okay. I get it."
He wiggled his fingers, "Er, would you like to come in?"
She was surprised to hear that. Since he hadn't called, she figured that he didn't want to see her. "If it's okay with you. I don't wanna intrude."
"Not at all. Please, come in."
Abbie gave a small smile. She entered the cabin to see that it was just as much in order and clean as it ever was. She took that as a good sign.
"Would you like anything to eat?" Ichabod asked.
"Uh, no," Abbie shook her head. "Not hungry. Thanks. I just came to check on you."
He nodded, "I'm glad you did." He motioned toward a chair at the table. "Please, sit down."
"I don't wanna take up your time."
"Don't be ridiculous. Please."
She sat down at table and he did the same, turning his chair to face her.
"Actually…" Abbie said. "I… wanted to come by and talk to you."
"I imagined you would." Ichabod leaned over, clasping his hands together. "I'm sorry. I've been wanting to talk to you, too, but… I just could never… bring myself to do so."
She leaned forward, as well. "I understand."
"I don't think you do. Leftenant…"
"Wait. Just… let me go first. Please?"
He nodded, "Of course."
She gathered her thoughts together, which she was surprised she had to since she rehearsed what she was going to say to him for the past few days. She looked at him and stared in his eyes. That was the difference.
Abbie took a deep breath. "I know all that happened… it wasn't easy for you. I'm sorry about that."
"There is no reason for you to apologize," Ichabod replied.
"Yeah, there is. Lots of reasons. I'm sorry I haven't been there for you in the past few days, either."
"There is a saying that phones work two ways."
"It doesn't matter. I knew this would be hard for you. But I didn't know if I should give you your space or help you out so… I took the safer path. For me. Kind of the coward's way out."
"Of many words I would use to describe you, Abigail Mills, 'coward' will never be one of them."
She gave a half smile before it faded away. "But, because of all of that, everything that happened…" She took a deep breath. "…and I understand if you wanna… dial it back on our relationship." She stopped. "I mean… our friendship."
He blinked in confusion.
She noticed his bewilderment. "Uh, sorry. I mean… take time off and… not be as close."
Her jerked his head back. "Why would I want that?"
"Because of what happened. Because of how it all ended with Katrina." She shrugged. "And it's not like we haven't already done that."
He closed his eyes and exhaled, ashamed of himself.
She gathered all of the will she could to get this last admission out. Before she even said it, tears had already formed in her eyes. She knew this could very well be the end of their friendship. "I understand you hate me, Crane."
He looked at her immediately in surprise, "What?"
Her tears were rolling down her face. "You killed her. You killed Katrina. To save me. Maybe, if it hadn't been for me, things would've been different. Maybe… if I hadn't gotten in the way…" She stopped and looked away from him. She shook her head and looked back at him. "I am so sorry, for all of this. I get it, Crane. You can't forgive me for the part I played in this. I understand."
"You…" he said. He closed his eyes and exhaled. He looked back and, gently, took hold of her hands in his.
She looked at him, surprised.
"Do not blame yourself, Abbie. Please. I can't express how sorry I am that I allowed you to believe that this is the reason I've been distant. I don't blame you. I'm angry with myself."
She blinked in confusion as tears still fell. "For what? For killing her? Crane, don't…"
"No. For almost turning my back on you."
She stared at him for a while. "What?"
"I'm so sorry for my distance in recent weeks. It's… been difficult for me to realize that I chose Katrina over our friendship."
"I can't blame you for that. She was your wife."
"No. She wasn't. Not at the end. She was… someone else."
Abbie exhaled. "I'm… just sorry that you had to do that."
"As am I. But I regret far more that she made it necessary. And I'm so very sorry that I ever hesitated. Throughout the whole venture, not just at the end. You never deserved that."
"It was your wife, Crane. Your child. They were your family." She sighed. "I might've gotten full of myself. Maybe I got jealous or too emotional. I shouldn't have bit your head off at every turn about her. That wasn't fair. I just lost my head. Got caught up in being Witness and not enough in being your friend, which matters way more to me. I shouldn't have done that. It wasn't fair to you, at all. I'm sorry."
He stared at her, silently and intently.
"You said you were… jealous."
"No, I…" She stopped when she realized that she did. "Oh."
"Why were you jealous, Leftenant?"
She couldn't figure out a way to take that back. "Crane, I shouldn't…"
"Just tell me. Please. I need to hear it."
She stopped. She was caught. What was worse is that he, somehow, knew it. Even worse than that, he was staring at her. In those eyes, she found too much of what she wanted and a lot of what she needed.
"Because I started feeling things for you I know I shouldn't," she confessed. "Because, somewhere, with all of the b.s. and drama and demons and immortals… I fell in love with my best friend, my partner. A married man who has enough problems in life." She closed her eyes and bowed her head. "I fell in love with you before I could stop it and, as hard as I tried, it bled into everything about us." She looked back at him. "I felt like I was lying to you all the time. So… I tried to distance myself. Let you get some of your life back. I would just love you in silence, from a distance. I didn't want to lose you… just because I was in love with you." She bowed her head again and exhaled. All of that had been inside for a while and it finally came out.
He stared at her for a while then slowly rubbed his thumbs across her knuckles. "I would be remiss… if I said that I did not feel the same."
She slowly looked up. She was positive she heard that wrong. "What?"
"I love you, Abbie. I never knew how to say it. I… didn't know if I should. I didn't want to frighten you or make you think I was forcing you to choose or that you had to love me. Then, when Katrina returned, I was so torn… I…"
He took a firmer grip of her hands, "Abbie, please, forgive me."
She became very confused. "Forgive you? What are you talking about?"
"For nearly letting you die! For hesitating when you needed me! For betraying your trust, our partnership, our bond! I nearly threw it all away."
"Crane, you didn't…"
"But I almost did!" He had tears falling this time. "For someone I used to trust! I saw what Katrina was becoming and I ignored it. And it almost cost me you." He stopped and took a breath. "You've never betrayed me. You've been there for me, even when I'm at my most difficult. Even when Katrina was here… you were respectful. And I know it hurt you."
Abbie sighed and bit her lip. She looked down at their hands, "It did." She looked back at him. "I didn't want it to… but it did."
He moved closer. "For that and the other offenses… you have my most sincere apologies."
"I told you don't need…"
"Yes, I do."
She stared into his eyes, "Crane. You don't have to do this. You don't have to say you love me. I know you're still hurt. No one could recover from all of that. Not this soon."
"Yes. The pain is still there. But there is only thing or rather one person that ever soothes all the pain I have experienced since I awoke."
She already knew the answer. She wanted to hear it.
He wanted to say it. "You."
Her heart warmed almost more than she could stand. She felt more tears falling and shook her head. She looked down again. "You do the same for me."
"I apologize that this is how I revealed my feelings for you. I wish I had done it another way."
"No. Nothing about our lives our perfect. If this was perfect, it wouldn't be us."
"True." He moved one hand to her cheek. "I desire to have you in my life, always. But I only want that if that's what you want, as well."
She reached up and placed her hand on top of his. "You have me. Always."
Ichabod examined her face and leaned forward. Abbie met him half way and their lips connected. They both felt like it was too soon for this to happen. They had been through so much. But, just as they had always been for each other, it was a comfort to know the other was there.
They stopped and took a deep breath before looking at each other. "Sorry," they said simultaneously.
"I mean… I wanted you to do that," Abbie admitted. "I'm just… I feel like I took advantage."
"Never," Ichabod insisted. "I apologize for… not asking permission."
She gave a small smile. "You already had it."
He smiled back.
"So… where do we go from here?"
"I don't know. I want to move forward. One day at a time. Together. If that's what you want."
"It's what I want."
A/N: There you have it, folks! So, what did you think? REVIEWS, PLEASE!
And be sure to go check out my on-going chapter story, Sleepy Hollow: The Fated Ones, if you haven't already. Thanks in advance!