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Fic: A Terrible Thought (PG-13, L/R, R/Other)

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  • erriewyvern
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 21, 2002
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      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
      of rightousness.

      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
      intended.

      --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
      opening.

      The young woman had a flashback at the sight of the tree and the
      blood.

      /flash/

      A handsome man in a cage.

      /flash/

      Blood and silverish metal, some sort of dog tag.

      /flash/

      "I told you I'd take care of you."

      "Well, you've done a real bang-up job with that, haven't you?"

      /flash/

      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
      cleanly off.

      The sound, the sknit, had unfortunately triggered a memory from
      somewhere deep inside the young woman. This too proved to be her
      undoing.

      /flash/

      A shady bar. Same man in the cage. Hope he wins. Ouch, looks like
      that one hurt.

      /flash/

      "Look out!"

      sknit

      /flash/

      "When they come out, does it hurt?"

      "Every time."

      /flash/

      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
      place it.

      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.

      /flash/

      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.

      /flash/

      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
      shoulder.

      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
      were terrifying.

      Silence.

      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
      wasn't afraid.

      "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
      night.

      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
      waited.

      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
      girl.

      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
      him up.

      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?"

      "I didn't."

      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
      Horseman…"

      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
      but air.

      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
      of her.

      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.

      *flash*

      "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.

      "Marie…"

      "Go grieve now, Logan. And let me die away in silence."

      *flash*

      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."
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