Okay, I did NOT plan to have this done so fast! AT ALL! Guess it was closer to done than I thought. Oh, well! Enjoy the big reveal! I think you guys are gonna like this! I know I did!
So, a little logistics: the title is inspired by a line from the great Ed Sheeran song, "Thinking Out Loud." And the ending, I borrowed elements from Kyoko Kasshu Minamino's "The Set Up".
Right Where We Are
It had been three days since Abbie and Ichabod's first kiss when Jenny walked into the museum and found Abraham writing on a clipboard.
Jenny smiled and called out, "Hey, Abe."
Abraham looked up and smiled, "Ah! Jenny! Good to see you!"
"Not much. Though, I've learned things have progressed well with our mutual loved ones."
"Yeah, Abbie won't shut up about Crane," Jenny said.
"Neither will Ichabod about Abbie," Abraham replied. "If he says she's incredible one more time, I'm telling him to propose."
"Can you just tell him that now? At this rate, we're gonna get a kid out of this deal in the next nine months."
Abraham smiled, "Well. Ichabod's always wanted to be a father."
"Abbie's always wanted to be a mother, too," Jenny said. "She just won't admit it." She smirked. "Did you hear they finally kissed?"
Abraham, slowly, raised an eyebrow. "Did I hear they kissed?" He set his clipboard aside, "I'll explain it to you this way, Jenny. Ichabod Crane can give a 45-minute lecture on the historical inaccuracies of any, I stress, any period piece movie, whether you want to hear it or not. He can dissect almost any dead language and give you an A+ paper as to why they are dead. But, never, including his marriage, have I received the level of detail from him about one kiss from one extraordinary woman, his word by the way, as I did when he kissed your sister."
Jenny stared at Abraham. "So, what? He likes her?"
Abraham narrowed his eyes and Jenny just laughed.
"Anyway," Abraham said. "They have a date tonight."
"I know," Jenny replied. "Think they'll finally figure out what we did?"
Abraham smiled. "They might." He had an idea. "Actually, Ichabod's on his way here. Care to stick around?"
"So, he can start to make some kind of connection between me and you then me and Abbie?" Jenny asked, smiling devilishly.
"I won't tell him your last name."
Jenny, playfully, put her hand to her chest. "Abe. You just get me. If I wasn't so in love with Joe…"
"Ah!" Abraham waved her comment off. "It would never work out. I'm too irritating."
A little over 20 minutes later, Ichabod walked into the museum and headed for Abraham's office. He walked in, finding Abraham looking at his computer.
Abraham looked up and smiled, "Ah! There you are!" He quickly hit send on his phone, sending a text to Jenny. He grabbed a book next to him and presented it, "Here it is."
"Thank you," Ichabod said, taking the book.
"I can't imagine why you want your old writing handbook back."
Ichabod examined the book, "I am… planning to dabble in writing again. Some poetry, to be specific."
Abraham jerked his head back. "You haven't done since before you and Katrina were married."
"She called it a waste of time."
"I remember. What stirred your renewed interest?"
Ichabod sighed. "If you must know, it's been by the request of Abbie."
Abraham slowly began to smile.
"Shut up," Ichabod repeated.
"Did I say anything?" Abraham asked.
"I didn't say anything!"
A knock came to the door and Abraham said, "Come in."
The door opened and Jenny walked in. Ichabod looked at her and he couldn't help but stare, seeing a resemblance to Abbie in her face. Jenny and Abraham caught his gaze, figured out the reason for it, and it took every bit of willpower from both of them not to give anything away.
"Hey, Abe," Jenny said. "I just wanted to let you know I'm done with my deliveries for the day."
"Excellent, Jenny!" Abraham said. "Thank you."
"No problem." Jenny looked at Ichabod, "Who's your friend?"
"Where are my manners?" Abraham stood up, "This is Ichabod. We grew up together in England. We've been best friends since we were children." He looked at his best friend, "Ichabod, allow me to introduce you to my dear friend, Jennifer."
"Everyone just calls me Jenny." She extended her hand out, "A pleasure to meet you. Ichabod, right?"
Ichabod shook her hand, still gazing at her. "Yes." He let go of her hand and shook his head, "Forgive me, madam. It's just you… remind me of someone."
"I do?" Jenny asked.
Abraham had to force down a laugh that was trying to escape.
"A good person, I hope."
"One of the best I've ever met," Ichabod said.
"I'm honored, then," Jenny said.
Ichabod shook his head again then looked at Abraham. "Well! I must be on my way." He looked back at Jenny, "It was a pleasure to meet you, Jenny."
"You, too, Ichabod."
"I'll walk you out," Abraham said to Ichabod.
"Me, too," Jenny said. "I need to be leaving soon anyway." She then, purposefully and almost barely audible, said, "Need to give my sister a call."
Abraham bit the inside of his cheek, right away. He subtly steadied his breathing until he was sure he had a hold of himself.
Once they got to the lobby of the museum, Ichabod bid them farewell. As Ichabod was leaving, Jenny almost let a giggle slip out, prompting a swift smack to her arm from Abraham. Right before Ichabod walked out of the door, he turned and waved at the two and they waved back. They gave it fifteen more seconds to make sure he wasn't coming back. Once they were sure they were safe, they erupted into laughter.
"Oh, my God!" Abraham wheezed out through the laughter.
"I thought I was gonna lose it!" Jenny wiped tears of laughter from her eyes.
"When he said you reminded him of someone!"
"Swear to God, I thought I was done right there!"
"And you!" Abraham said. "'I need to call my sister'?! Really?!"
"I was in the moment," Jenny shrugged.
"Oh!" Abraham wiped his eyes, "He'll absolutely figure it out. Tonight, if not sooner."
"Yeah, he'll say something and Abbie'll put two and two together. I wish we could be there."
"It's just as well that we're not. Somehow, that would ruin it."
"You're right," Jenny said. "Hey, Joe's off tomorrow. Wanna have lunch with us?"
"I would be delighted!" Abraham replied. "We'll compare notes that we'll, inevitably, be given about the date."
That night, Abbie and Ichabod met a coffee shop. Abbie ended up working later than she expected and ate dinner at work. She was going to reschedule but Ichabod was more than happy to meet her for coffee. He just wanted to see her and she him. Even if it was just a few minutes out of a day, they took any excuse they could to see each other. No matter how short the time, like tonight, it was always worth it. They were talking and laughing, simply enjoying being with one another.
"So!" Abbie said. "What else happened in Crane's world today?"
Ichabod chuckled. "Well, I stopped by to see Abraham to retrieve a book of mine he had."
"You seem like you only lend out books to people you know and trust."
"Am I truly so easy to read?"
"Only for me," Abbie smiled.
Ichabod chuckled. "Something interesting did happen."
"Yes, I met this woman…"
Abbie's eyebrow raised.
"Not in that way," Ichabod defended. "It was a young woman who works with Abraham. She… just reminded me of you."
"Oh, yeah? How so?"
"How she spoke, how she carried herself. It seemed like she could've been related to you."
"Hmm." Abbie paused as the wheels in her mind started to turn. "You said Abraham works at the museum, right?"
"The Sleepy Hollow Museum, yes. He's also heavily involved with the Hudson Valley Historical Society, preserving old buildings like Fredericks Manor and a building he says they call the archives. Though, Abraham has mentioned it was formerly known as the armoury in the 18th century."
Abbie narrowed her eyes. "My sister is part of the Historical Society, too. In fact… she delivers to the museum."
Ichabod stopped and the realization hit him like a punch to the face. He stared at Abbie. "Jenny. Jenny is your sister."
Abbie's eyes widened. "She's the woman you met today, isn't she?"
"And she seems to be very good friends with Abraham."
Abbie sat back. "You don't know her last name, do you?"
"I didn't because, only just now am I realizing, Abraham didn't tell me," Ichabod said, "and she, conveniently, forgot to mention it. It's Mills, is it not?"
"It is." Abbie pieced some things together. "You were 'supposed', and I used that term very loosely, to meet Abraham at the Lion and the Rose that night…"
"And you were 'supposed' to meet Jenny," Ichabod completed.
"And, for some reason…"
"They cancelled their plans with us at the last minute."
"Oh, that little…" Abbie scoffed. "Did they set us up?"
"Oh, indeed, they did," Ichabod replied.
They both shook their heads as so much about the night they met, finally, made sense.
Abbie exhaled, "Dammit, Jenny! Always thinks she knows what's best for me. Hell, I'm the older sister!"
"I'm wondering if it was her idea or Abraham's," Ichabod said.
"Not like it matters. I'm sure they both won't mind taking the credit for it."
"Or the blame, as the case may be."
Abbie wanted to stay angry at Jenny meddling in her life, but she gazed at Ichabod and couldn't get mad, no matter how she tried. She smirked and gave a small shrug. "Are you… mad they did? Set us up, I mean."
Having a similar thought process as Abbie, Ichabod gave a coy smile. "Not in particular. You?"
"Jenny's done way worse to me. But nothing that had… anywhere near this amazing a result."
"Abraham has always been one to pull a joke on me. I think I can… forgive him for this one. Just this once."
Abbie smiled. "Just this once."
Jenny was about to go to bed when her phone buzzed. She checked it to see a text from Abbie.
You're lucky you're my sister and he's a good man, the text read. But thank you. I love you, you controlling bitch.
The next text followed a couple of seconds later. But on principle, I'm still gonna kick your ass.
Jenny just laughed.
Eating a late dinner, Abraham was watching a soccer game on his desktop when he heard his phone. He checked it to see a text from Ichabod.
One day, I will make you pay for constantly intruding on my life, the text read. But not for this. Thank you, my friend.
Another text came through. But, to be clear, you are still a horrid twit.
Abraham nearly fell out of his chair from laughter.
A/N: And there you have it! Did you like it? I hope so. Review, favorite, follow, all that good stuff!
Like I said in "Breathless", I have one more sequel planned in this series but I really don't think it'll be up as soon as this one was. However, it should be up a little later this year.
Be sure to follow me on social media to keep up with everything I'm up to! See you soon, Sleepyheads and Dreamers!