Aligning themselves with SHIELD, the very organization that they had all been taught was the supreme enemy, was a risky move at best. Natalia had her reservations, but ‘James’ had made a persuasive argument, and Hellboy he was simply excited to be part of a super-spy agency that he thought wasn’t run by complete asswipes. She was outvoted, and so here they all sat, ready to sign away their ‘loyalty’ for SHIELD’s ‘protection’.
Hellboy had taken an immediately liking to the man who would be assigned to ‘handle’ them. Unlike most, he didn’t look at Red like he was some monster; he spoke to the him with a level of respect HB had never gotten from anyone save his parents. Alexander Pierce had even called Hellboy the ‘most valuable member’ of the family. Not the Winter Soldier, not the Black Widow, but Hellboy. The freak was the person Pierce was most happy about working with.
It was just the boost in confidence someone like Hellboy wanted so badly, and while Natalia was happy to see someone give her son a chance, she was leery.
<”You let you happiness cloud your vision.”> She scolded him when Pierce left to get the final paperwork. <”This man is the same as the others, he is simply working for a different ideal.”> She muttered softly, sure that the room was bugged.
"Ma, c’mon!" Red protested at full volume, the childish smile he’d worn for the last hour faltering. "Ya heard what he said. We paid our dues back in Russia, we did our time in that hellhole the Red Room, and now we’re gettin’ a chance to be the good guys and he thinks that’s important. He thinks I’m important!”
Natalia rolled her eyes, her tone still softer than Hellboy’s. “Pierce is saying whatever he believes we want to hear, Hellboy. This is not a friendship we are forming, it is an alliance. Nothing more.” She glanced over to James, wondering what he was thinking. She’d made it clean she didn’t, and wouldn’t, trust Pierce, but how did James feel about the entire situation? Hopefully he’d understand her apprehension, even if it did burst Hellboy’s bubble.
The Soldier (he still had trouble thinking of himself as James) sat in silence, watching the two argue. It wasn’t unheard of, SHIELD recruiting those who defected from their enemies…but who given who they were, he was mildly surprised that they weren’t thrown imprisoned for their troubles. Not the best life, but better than where they were coming from. At least there, their little ‘family’ would be safe.
The longer they had been away from Red Room, the more time he spent with Natalia, his own independent thoughts…opinions…they were poignant, and took a bit of processing, if not consideration. There was a reason he usually relented to Natalia when it came to decision making, and his trust in her judgement was only part of the reasoning. His emotions were overwhelming, he felt himself thinking with those most of the time rather than his brain. Or even his gut.
In this instance, though? When it came to such matters…of course he’d scrutinize anyone with interest in Hellboy. That was to be expected. There was really no way for him to escape his fate, was there? SHIELD would use him as a weapon for their agenda. The best defense was a strong offense. For the moment, Pierce seemed unaware of the Hand’s power, though. The key.
The longer they stayed in the agency’s ‘employ’ however, the more questions they would have. Tapping on the table with his metal knuckles, he broke his silence. <”He’s not wrong in seeing your potential. He may be an ally, but he is not a friend. He’s too charismatic. I don’t trust him. I don’t trust any of them, but… for the moment, they’re better than company than those with Department X. Until your well being is jeopardized, we follow their procedure. >