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04 January 2014 @ 11:58 pm
Sleepy Hollow Fic: Reverse Ancestry  
Written for yuletide 2013
Crossposted to sleepyhollowtv


Title: Reverse Ancestry
Pairing/Characters: Ichabod, Abbie
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: 1x01-1x08
Summary: Ichabod gets exposed to modern life via computer classes at the local library yet finds himself still drawn to the past
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

Other comments are housed at Yuletide/AO3.


Abbie swung her car up in front of the Sleepy Hollow library, pulling up as close as she could to the front door in the pelting rain.

As she watched Ichabod went from dry ensconced under the eaves of the single story building to almost sodden in the passenger seat beside her.

"Sorry," Abbie said, offering him a small hand towel. "But when it rains here? It's like God dumping a bucket on us all at once."

Ichabod dried his face and hands and did his best to reduce his wet hair to merely damp.

"Thank you for the use of your towel although next time I should avail myself of your largess it should be to borrow an umbrella – and in advance at that!"

"That's something I should buy for you," Abbie said, pulling back onto the city streets. "You'll want one living here. You know, you're the opposite of 'what to get the man who has everything' since you don't really have anything at all."

"What was left me in Sheriff Corbin's cabin has sufficed, along with your gracious purchases of course." He bowed his head in gratitude. "I do feel that you've been exceptionally generous, especially since I am not – at the moment – working for wages of my own." He produced a slim plastic rectangle from his coat pocket. "I found myself particularly grateful for this gift, this prepaid master of cards as you called it."

"Mastercard," Abbie corrected. "And when did you get a chance to use it? I only gave it to you last weekend and as far as I know you've only been to your computer literacy class at the library since then."

"Quite so, although according to our teacher, Miss Halliwell..." he interrupted himself in a bit of a huff. "'Must it be called literacy? I am the most literate person I know so it insults me to be referred to as illiterate even if it is only on the blasted computer thing."

"Calm down, Crane. Smart as you are, you won't get to be Bill Gates overnight."

"Is this Mr. Gates more literate than I on the intellectual playing field?" Ichabod huffed.

"Well, he did drop out of college so you've got him on that front."

"I'm sure he didn't go far then," Ichabod commented. "What is he known for?"

Abbie chuckled, amused. "Oh, just being the guy who made PCs ubiquitous all over the world." She added, under her breath, "and one of the richest men in history."

"Ah, so now I have someone to address my complaints to with this browser window thing that calls itself an explorer. Hardly! More like a maze with a thousand wrong paths!"

"Aw, did you get 404 errors again today?" Abbie tried not to snicker.

"Apparently the Gates machine is too stupid to realize that when I say Amazon I not only mean the rainforest river and not some shopping mall and too lazy to fill in my 'dot com' which I neglected to insert after my highly redundant W W W." Ichabod turned to gaze out the window briefly and Abbie let him have a moment of silence to regain his composure. "I did, however, have one good experience today. It did cost me part of my Mastercard, but it was worth it."

Abbie stopped at a stoplight and turned to look at Ichabod, finding him pensive.

"You bought something online?"

"I paid for a service – a most valuable one. I really had no idea how your Internet thing could be so valuable. Miss Halliwell assisted me with the 'sign up' process and secured me a password so I could return to the web site again in the future."

"You're killing me here, Crane! What could you possibly have wanted to pay for on the Internet?" With a gasp an idea hit her. "That's right... I should have thought of that. It works for you, but more in reverse."

"That's what Miss Halliwell said when I asked about a site that lists progeny of the founding fathers. She suggested Ancestry.com and said what I wanted was more a reverse ancestry since I was starting with the ancestors and searching for living kin."

"So that's where you signed up."

"No, although I might in the future."

Abbie frowned as she turned left, heading for the cabin. "Wait, you just said..."

"I realized there were descendents more important to find than those of my peers in the 13 colonies." He turned to face her, a softness around his eyes she'd not seen before. "When I left England for the war, I left behind a younger sister: Delilah. She, of course, didn't keep the name Crane when she married – which was after my death..." Abbie watched a shudder go through him. "It still unnerves me to consider that the date of my expiration exists in the world even as I draw breath."

"Go on," Abbie urged. "Did you find your baby sister's genealogy?"

"Yes! On a site specializing in old English family bloodlines." Ichabod enthused. "She married a barrister named Arthur Ipswich and had four children, all boys. I was able to trace the Ipswich men throughout England and here in the United States. The nearest descendents of the Crane line are a set of twins from Kent here in country to attend Yale: Eliza and Alexander Ipswich."

"So the Crane DNA lives on..." Abbie nodded appreciatively. "That must be comforting."

"It is, in a way. I just wish I had had the chance to bring four children into the world of my own." His face became saddened. "I had always wanted a household full of children – bright inquisitive minds to shape and guide..."

"I get it, Crane." Abbie pulled up in front of the cabin. "But a happy house and a mess of kids just isn't in the cards for some of us." She caught his gaze. "There's more to it than that. Am I right?"

Ichabod let his chin fall to his chest and didn't speak for a moment. "I was delighted, of course, to learn that my sister had had such a full life. The records showed that Arthur and Delilah Ipswich lived into their 70s and generated four children, fourteen grandchildren and even saw two great-grandchildren born before they passed."

"But..."

"However," Ichabod continued after Abbie's nudge, "My parents..." He took a breath. "Apparently I predeceased them, but not by much. They passed when Delilah was only twenty – within less than two years of my own recorded death. My father first and then my mother several months later. I cannot..." He paused, clearly choked up, and Abbie left him a moment of silence to recover. "I cannot but wonder if the news of my betrayal to the crown married to the notification of my death in battle might not have brought about their end prematurely."

"Crane!" Abbie gaped, unbelieving, "You were not responsible for their deaths!"

"You cannot know that!"

Abbie turned off the ignition. The sound of the rain, now gentling, still pattered on the windshield in the quiet forest.

"I can..." she hesitated briefly, "because I already had Jenny research your family."

"You what?" The look of alarm on Ichabod's face was disturbing. "Why would you not tell me if you had news of my kin?"

"Because of this!" Abbie fired back. "Because I knew you'd blame yourself for your parents dying young even if it wasn't your fault."

"It was! It had to have been!"

"Crane, listen to me! It was typhus that took your parents, not anything you did!"

Ichabod came to an abrupt halt, all the fire leaving him at once. "Typhus?"

"Yes..." Abbie softened as well. "Jenny found there was an outbreak in the area. Several thousand people died that year from typhus, hundreds from where your parents lived. Delilah had already married and moved away so she was spared."

Realization dawned in his eyes. "I could have lost her too..."

Abbie reached over and patted his hand. "But you didn't. She lives on in her children. So if you can come up with a good cover story? I'll drive you to Connecticut to meet those twins."

The rainclouds withdrew, leaving only a few fat droplets to mar the clearing windshield even as the sun began to slip through the cracks of open sky.

"Thank you. I'd like that," Ichabod said, a hopeful smile finding its way across his finely featured face. "I'd like that very much."

~1781~
 
 
 
Candi: Charlie Flowermustangcandi on January 12th, 2014 01:56 am (UTC)
Another great job! Love the Abbie and Ichabod banter. And the realization that not all modern devices are bad. :)