Fic: A Terrible Thought (PG-13, L/R, R/Other)
- This is so unfinished it's not even funny. I just had to get
feedback, so I'm posting what I do have, which is parts 1-2, which
aren't marked, and which aren't betaed. And everyone give it up for
the beta fish Mwari! And please, constuctive criticism is the path
Title: A Terrible Thought
Author: Errie Wyvern ( errie_wyverns_celery@... )
Summary: Someone falls back a century to meet someone who should fall
forward the same way.
Rating: Might escalate up to an R. But for now, a friendly PG-13.
Notes: This is a crossover between X-Men the Movie and Sleepy Hollow,
the 2001 movie. The person who lost her memory isn't that hard to
figure out, and the others I tell sooner or later. Kudos to Poe for
coming up with the ingenious lyric at the beginning.
Disclaimer: Own nothing. Protesting violently. Will work for
Wolverine and Hessian clones. Lyric belongs to Poe. No infringemnt
--A terrible thought can have a terribly long career--
Quiet leaves scraped along the ground, their crunchy dryness almost
making one believe that a drought had come, instead of just autumn.
They went over a worn path, speeding up as they did so. It would seem
that even dead leaves known when something evil is near.
Unfortunately, the same could not be said for a certain young woman.
She walked along the path, not knowing that evil lurked in the
shadows. But then again, she wasn't aware she was walking. The young
woman was staggering through the leaves, breaking the eerie stillness
that seemed to settle everywhere, much like a thick coat of dust.
If one had been walking that unlikely path at the same moment as the
unaware young woman, they would have first noticed that she was not
well. There was an aura about her that spoke volumes. The second
thing one would notice would be the still, broken look in her eyes.
Something was not right.
Her green coat scraping the ground, she stumbled a little bit. A
pale, shaking hand went forth and leaned against a black, twisted
tree. The hand suddenly went stiff, long fingers spread and broken
nails painfully clear against rough bark. A clear, fearful look
entered the chocolate pools of her eyes. Her head lifted, and she
stared at her hand.
She licked her chapped lips with her pink tongue, clenching her teeth
together. She then carefully steadied herself, spreading her legs and
setting her black booted feet into the ground. Slowly, as though in a
movie, she lifted her hand away from the tree. Closing her eyes, she
turned her hand over and opened her eyes.
It was covered in blood.
Eyes wide open, she tore them away from her palm and up the twisted
trunk of the tree. It appeared to be a grotesque travesty of
screaming face. There were crevices in the tree everywhere, and they
were all filled with blood. The bark was twisted and rough, as though
someone had come along and set fire to it. The roots were tangled
together at the bottom, but it looked like there might have been an
The young woman had a flashback at the sight of the tree and the
A handsome man in a cage.
Blood and silverish metal, some sort of dog tag.
"I told you I'd take care of you."
"Well, you've done a real bang-up job with that, haven't you?"
She shook her head, and then used her clean hand to push the hood
away from her chestnut hair. A few strands of silver fell into her
eyes, and she impatiently pushed them away. When she got a second
look at the tree, it came to her that it was unnatural, a work of
something beyond Mother Nature.
A twig snapped from somewhere off to her left. Fortunately, she had
enough sense left to hide. And hide she did. Just not well.
Tucked away behind the tree, keeping dead branches in front of her,
she heard a distinctively male voice start chanting something in
Latin. She peeked out from behind the dead tree, coffee and cream
locks spilling over her shoulder. Dark eyes narrowed, she spied a
cloaked man with a white skull. Silently gasping, she noticed that
the skull had pointed teeth!
The man threw his hood back, revealing dark curly hair, chiseled
features, and shadowed eyes. He lit a fire, burning what looked to be
herbs and hair? The gross smell reached her nostrils, and she
grimaced. Tucking her bare hands under denim covered legs, she
continued looking at what appeared to be a strange ritual.
A sickening sound was heard, like sticky pasta being pulled apart.
Dark hooves appeared, then a huge horse, with an equally huge rider.
The young woman's eyes widened, and then she turned and pressed
herself flat against the side of the tree. Taking a peek, the man
seemed to be communicating with the headless?! rider.
The man, it seemed, was trying to direct the horseman, and the
headless, and seemingly undead, rider was having none of it. The man
pointed angrily to the skull. That proved to be his undoing. With a
sknit, the rider unsheathed his sword and chopped the man's head
The sound, the sknit, had unfortunately triggered a memory from
somewhere deep inside the young woman. This too proved to be her
A shady bar. Same man in the cage. Hope he wins. Ouch, looks like
that one hurt.
"When they come out, does it hurt?"
The headless horseman was standing there now, just searching for
whoever made the sounds. The young woman took this time to study him
and get her breath back. He was very tall, even sans head. He was
dressed in dark colors, a black cape and black and silver chest
armor. He had boots, tall black boots. His pants were tight and
black. When he moved, the vermilion lining of his cape was revealed.
Most of it seemed to have a velvety texture.
She must have made a noise, because he looked her direction. Then,
deciding she wasn't good enough to waste his time on, he walked
towards his head. The young woman got an idea, running down the side
of the tree and snatching up his head.
For the first time she could remember, she found her voice. "You want
it? Come after me and tell me who I am." She then ran back up the
tree, this time climbing all the way into its dead branches. The
headless man had run after her, but her light weight had enabled her
to climb higher in the tree than him.
She laughed at him, holding the skull high above her head. She was
just about to tease him some more when there was a subtle change in
the wind. She raised her head slightly, nostrils flaring. There was
something in the wind. A smell. She closed her eyes and tried to
The Horseman had seemingly heard/smelt/seen something as well, and he
unsheathed his sword and brought out his battleaxe. The young woman
tucked the skull into a large pocket in her green overcoat. Then she
brought her scraped hands closer to her black flowered shirt. She
tucked her chin under her purple scarf, keeping a close lookout for
anyone that would try to climb the tree after her.
Out of the trees came several heavy horses, their shaggy coats and
feather flying. On their backs sat men in colonial costume. `That's
funny,' the young woman thought, `I don't remember much, but I
certainly don't remember anything like that.' Then she took a closer
look, and another memory reared its ugly head.
A woman with white hair in the front of the class, writing something
on the blackboard. "The end of the 19th century was a time of
inventions, bohemians, and corsets. The women wore huge dresses like
the diagram on page 78. If all of you will turn to page 80, you will
see the wonderful fashion statements that the men made back then.
Some of the pants remind me of Richard Simmons." The class laughing.
Long lashes fluttering, the young woman coughed, pressing a hand to
her lungs. She gasped in large amounts of cold air, scouring her
deprived lungs. A man about her age came around the giant tree,
yelling "Miss! Miss! How did you get to be up in the tree? Did the
Hessian Horseman drive you up there, Miss? Are you going to have an
attack of the vapors?"
Glancing around, the young man saw that his comrades were keeping the
horseman busy, but that wouldn't last long. He winced as he saw
Elliot Pierce's head fly off. Then he thought of the young lady up in
the tree! Why, she must not be exposed to this kind of violence or
carnage! Her weak female system would go into overload, and the
vapors would come.
The man climbed the tree and looked at the near-fainting young
woman. "Miss, don't worry. I'm here to save you." He gave her what he
hoped was a charming smile. Then he proceeded to lift her over his
She opened her eyes at the sudden movement, and a fleeting look of
recognition passed over her face. "Logan " she whispered. The man's
hazel eyes widened, then the young girl fainted in his arms. He then
started to slide down the tree, jumping from branch to branch.
When he reached the ground, he didn't stop to look around for his
companions. He laid the girl gently over the rump of his white mare,
making sure she was comfortable. For a moment, he almost passed his
hand over her cheek. Then he stilled, and listened. The sounds heard
Nothing in nature is silent. There is always crickets, birds, frogs,
wind, something making noise. This, however, was not a place of
nature. It was a place of evil. When he turned, the man saw the slain
bodies of his brothers. They all had their heads severed, the virgin
snow crimson with their life blood. All five others that had come
with him were dead.
There, on the far side, lay Elliot Pierce. His favored mare,
Vermilion, a red bay, lay beside him. His wife Devonny would have a
hard time accepting this. She was six months pregnant. And they had
four other little ones at home.
Not three feet from Elliot was Daniel Smith. Daniel was a young
blacksmith, he had not yet married. But he took care of his younger
sister and their elderly mother. His only stallion, Orpheus, was
heaving by his dead masters side. The tall draft horse was of mixed
breeding, but he was strong. What was left of the Smith family would
be able to get good use out of him. The man lightly stepped over
bloodied snow, taking up Orpheus' reins and tying him to his own
white mare, Snow Pea.
Nearest to the foot of the tree lay the body of the very man they had
come here to save. Dunham Winship was a handsome boy, but not the
brightest. They had come to save him from his own stupidity. He
feared that it was too late to save anybody, except the girl.
He took in the bloody scene, seeing bodies of men he knew little
about. George Parllet was a baker from the center of town, he had a
wife and three children. His hunter horse Satie was dead by his side.
Forrest Anderson was a fine young lad. He left behind no wife,
children, or known family. Just a thin racing dapple, Doppelganger.
The stallion soon stood beside Orpheus. Steven Quickmeir had no
family, just friends. He was the infamous drunk, and several would be
glad to be rid of his wildness. A heaving mare named Courtesan
plodded over to the young man of her own will.
From behind the young man came the sound of heavy boots with clanking
spurs hitting the ground. Turning slowly, the young man looked at the
infamous Hessian Horseman. He was impressive, but the young man
"What do you want?"
The Horseman gestured towards the young woman, then reached out with
a heavily gloved hand and lifted her from Snow Pea's back. The mare
started badly, causing the others horses to become uneasy and throw
small fits. The young man had to calm the horses before he could
think about saving the girl.
Taking this period of distress to sneak away, the Headless Horseman
walked over to Daredevil, his demon horse. Cradling the young woman
in his arms, he mounted the stallion and they trotted away into the
Several hours later
The Headless Horseman stopped in a clearing, brushing some of the
powdery snow off of a semi-smooth rock. He laid the girl down, and
While he waited, he began searching her for his head. Unfortunately,
because he had no eyes, he totally missed the pocket in her coat,
whose bagginess completely hid the bulge under the green wool.
When the young woman began to stir, moaning and shaking her head, he
reached out and shook her roughly. Feminine weakness was not
something he was accustomed to. Luckily for him, neither was the
Her hand shot out to encircle the Horseman's wrist. A sharp crack was
heard as she easily snapped hard bone through a thick layer of
leather. Still half asleep and eyes partially shut, her foot slammed
out as steel toes kicked into his stomach. She was on her feet and in
a battle stance before he had time to think twice.
Taken aback, the Horseman noticed for the first time the white skull
on the ground. He snapped his bone back in place, and it healed
quickly. Reaching down, he plucked the skull from the ground, dusting
the snow off before setting it on his broad shoulders.
The young woman opened her eyes wide as what she saw shocked her into
wakefulness. He began writhing in pain, the head on his shoulders
growing veins and muscles and eyes. Pale skin began to form, and then
black hair began to sprout. He hid for a few minutes inside of his
cape, but then raised himself calmly and with dignity.
The Hessian Horseman was very handsome, with piercing blue eyes and
spiked black hair. His face was pale and smooth, with lines that
bespoke his age before he died. He smiled at the young woman, showing
his filed fangs. She gasped, putting her hand to her head. There was
a sudden rush, like time had just enveloped her.
She seemed to go back years, slipping through decades and years,
passing through half-solid people like they were nothing but air.
With a sudden jolt, she stopped.
All around her were dank crowded streets. There were people shouting
things in German, and she couldn't understand any of them. She caught
one old woman by the arm, feeling coarse dirty cloth covering a thin
bony arm. "Baron." Was all she said.
The old woman gave a toothless smile, then pointed with a grayish
finger. Over to the right, near a crate of squabbling chickens, was a
tall black horse. The young woman's eyes widened as she recognized it
as the mount of the Hessian. The giant steed was just standing there,
munching hay and flicking his tail. He looked about in such a way
that pertained what he thought about all the humans scrambling about.
He was above them. His rider would rather slay all of them than give
The young woman looked down, noticing for the first time her manner
of dress. She was dressed in wine-red. All of her. The overlapping
folds of the gown where darker in some places than in others, and she
noticed that the hem was getting ruined by the soiled street. She had
a brick-red shawl around her shoulders, concealing the cleavage she
knew was revealed by corset and neckline of the gown.
She made her way to the horse, avoiding piles of garbage and manure.
She was forced the pick up the skirts of her gown several times. This
let everyone get a glimpse of her ruby colored shoes and stocking
covered ankles. When she finally made it over, she came around to the
front of the stallion, petting his velvet nose. He looked at her with
something akin to contempt.
A handsome young man backed out of the shady looking pub across the
way. He had tousled dark hair that made the back of his head look
like he'd just gotten out of bed. When he turned, she gasped, putting
her hand over her breast. He had the same blue eyes, only they were
softer. His face was just as pale, but smoother. When he looked at
her, he raised a dark brow as if saying `What are you doing near my
most prized possession, wench?' He then strode across the street.
When he reached her, he said in a language that she shouldn't have
been able to understand, but she did, "Good day, miss. What are you
doing around my horse? He doesn't like strangers."
She replied in the same strange tongue, "I need to speak with you,
Baron." The words felt foreign in her mouth, as though someone had
forced them there. Yet they flowed out like a smooth river.
The Baron smiled, revealing a row of sparkling white teeth. "You do?
Well, should we to someplace more private, Miss What did you say
your name was again?"
Smiling, the Baron led her across the street. He opened the door to
the dirty looking pub and escorted her inside. The inside was smoky
and covered in filth. He pulled out a semi clean chair and gestured
to it. "Madam?"
She made a face, then cautiously made her way over and arranged her
skirts to fit the small chair. The place was dank, smelly, and there
were lecherous men everywhere. She gave a terse look around before
looking straight across from her.
An elegant beauty stared back at her, mahogany locks swept high on
her head, with an odd streak of silver meandering through. Her face
was pale and round, features looking gothic and enchanting. Rubies
and gold sparkled at her throat. She gasped, oaken eyes widening as
she realized that the person across from her was herself. She looked
at the Baron, before licking her lips and rasping, "You're the
He just looked at her strangely before she felt a sickening pull in
the pit of her stomach. She stared up at the Baron, registering shock
on his face before she started to pull away. She felt the jewels
disappearing, then she looked in the mirror that reflected nothing
She fell forward a little bit, rushing past people and places that
she had never been intended to see. They all seemed as helpless and
afraid as she was. One young boy reached out and grabbed her passing
sleeve, and she recognized his slight form from somewhere along the
way, but she just couldn't tell from where.
Back with the Hessian, she fell into his arms, gasping from the time
travel. He stared at her, eyes wide open yet seeing nothing. He too
had seen a part of his past, forever changed by this young creature
who had fallen back a hundred years to give him a tantalizing glimpse
The Hessian mercenary looked down at the young woman in his arms, who
had gotten her breath back and was resting her sweaty forehead
against his chest plate. She was just laying there, resting her tired
eyes and confused brain. The Hessian set her gently back on the rock,
missing her warmth the instant he let her go.
But, mercenaries will be mercenaries. And the young woman knew this
long before she remembered anything else. Then another sharp, jerking
pain flooded her and she was alive with memory.
"Marie!" A low growl pervades the cold wind, cold rain, and coldness
of her heart. The soil under her nails is all that remains on her to
tell of her fight with the lawn. A large hole in the ground is
telling a different story.
"Go away, Logan."
"No, Marie, not until you listen to me."
"Logan, I am dead to you now. You have no recollection of this
conversation. You will go back to the mansion and grieve for me.
Because I refuse to acknowledge you, you are dead to me as well. And
I will make damn sure that you don't find me ever. Because I'm not
coming back this time." Her voice soft, slipping into him like mist,
filling his soul with desperation, fear, defeat, anything besides the
great empty feeling that used to be Marie.
"Go grieve now, Logan. And let me die away in silence."
She held her head with the pain, staring up at the clouded sky with
glazed eyes. Her mouth moved but no words came out. The Hessian
looked at her with worried eyes and she stared at him suddenly.
"Sir, sir do help me. My name it is Marie."