She ducked behind a wall, reloading while she considered his question. “Uh…” What the fuck, James? Do you think she just has an inventory of the nursery in her head? ”Maybe. I guess. Sure.” She dropped her voice to a low whisper, because talking would likely give her location away to her pursuer, and then…
"Hey!" She snapped into the communicator as soon as the man who was shooting at her a moment ago fell down. "I had that guy, I was just distracted thinking about diapers, you idiot.”
While it was something that needed to be done, it wasn’t the real reason he decided to drop in on her. Rather, not the entire reason.
"I know you did, but I got impatient… either way, same result. It’s not like either of us would let an AIM goon walk out of here alive knowing that we have a kid. No matter how well protected she is. Anyway… there’s more to my little drop in than that."
"Kinda busy getting shot at. What?”
"I can see that… but this is important. Diapers. Should I pick some up while I’m out?”
She had that guy. He takes him out anyway. Cause he could.
//Much like one James Buchanan Barnes, rumors of my death have been highly exaggerated. I’m alive. Trying to breathe life into ye olde muse. Aside from one thread, I’ve lost track of all others, so if you want to try and do something with Buck…
Like this/message me, I suppose.
A Better World [Hellboy AU]
Pierce was familiar to her too, but in the way of his slimey personality over his physical appearance. Everything about the man orchestrating this ‘deal’ set her on edge, and the fact HB was directly at risk, just as he had been in the Red Room. “This isn’t freedom, Hellboy. It’s service, just as we served before.” But still, it was better. SHIELD was the ‘good guys’ weren’t they? Or at least the best possible option short of hiding forever. And with a teenager with red skin who stood eight feet tall and eat ten times the average man? That wasn’t going to be a task Natalia and the Soldier could keep up long. “Do not forget that. These people are not our friends. They are our employers
and nothing more.”
Hellboy said nothing, crossing his arms like a pouting child as his parents lectured him. They just did’t like his new friend, that’s all. They thought the worst in everybody and it wasn’t fair, dammit.
Natalia did feel better in a small way having their criminal records officially expunged, but she knew it was formality. SHIELD was’t going to forgive and forget who they were, what they had done in service to the Russians, so easily. The agreements implied civility, a willingness by both parties to let the past remain in the past.
But she saw nothing outwardly diabolical in the wording, nothing stating they would be executed or jailed for not asking how high when Pierce ordered ‘jump’. And even if it had, that wouldn’t have mattered. Natalia knew how worthless words could be to some. If this Pierce was that sort of man, she didn’t know for sure yet.
"Ma." Hellboy nudged Natalia with his tail, hoping she’d ‘approve’ of signing the contract. Of course she’s sign, and it would be as valueless as the paper it was printed on to her. She took the pen Pierce had offered her, carefully signing her name on document.
He had to wonder if he had encountered Pierce once before… perhaps on a mission that Department X had erased from his brain. Maybe even from his life before Department X. Did they not call him ‘The American’ in whispers? Natalia had always teased him about his hint of an accent. The Soldier- James, resolved to pay it no mind. It wasn’t a concern at the moment, they had bigger things on their plates with which to deal with.
They were neither no ‘good guys’ or ‘bad guys’. They were still assets, tools to be used by a supposedly lesser evil. If things went south and they had to turn… well, they’d be fugitives if they didn’t sign the contracts, wouldn’t they? Even if the agreement would keep Hellboy out of it… would he ever truly be free? He couldn’t go out to the beach in the summers. Go see the latest motion picture out in the cinemas. Anything that was too public…
He had resigned himself to those facts, even if he didn’t like them. Being watched over by essentially two ghosts… he was as inconspicuous as someone of his size could be when out in the field. If this was made him feel fulfilled, happy even, could they deny him that?
…Of course they could. Though it wouldn’t be worth the frustration. <”We will work for SHIELD. I’m not going to let impressions of one superior officer…I’m not sure I have soul to sell, but I would do so to ensure your safety.”> James had no idea as to whether or not Pierce spoke Russian. He didn’t care either way. The ‘amnesty’ was a joke. They wouldn’t forget, and they would only forgive so long as they proved useful. None the less, he scribbled his name beneath Natalia’s, offering Hellboy his pen with just the slightest nod.
Pierce was already breaking out the faux welcome wagon speech. About the greatness of SHIELD, their potential, what they were all capable of together. James wasn’t even listening as Pierce gave him a charismatic smile, telling how either Stark or ‘Dr. Zola’ would love to get their hands on his arm, study and upgrade it. It served it’s purpose as it was, and he had enough of being a lab rat. Though Pierce seemed adamant… suggesting that he’d return to fetch him later to offer the ‘good faith’ gesture.
A Better World [Hellboy AU]
Hellboy opened his mouth to protest, a scowl furrowing over his browless eyes. “Too charismatic? How’s that a thing? He’s nice, he’s givin’ me a change ta’ be something.” Red paced the conference room, his frustration evident by the way his tail twitched this way and that, the large boots that covered his cloven feet stomping on the floor with each step.
Natalia rubbed her face, sighing in frustration. She glanced at James, the Soldier, her husband and and father to her son, in every way but biological. “He’s right, Hellboy. We need to be careful. You know what they say about things that seem too good to be true.” Her tone was gentler this time, full of concern as she looked at Hellboy. “I’m not saying we know Pierce is going to use you, use all of us, but this is SHIELD. We need to keep both eyes open, because I do know they have an agenda they’re not telling us. They always do.”
Hellboy flopped himself into a large chair, the springs creaking under his weight. “Jus’ wanna change to do somethin’ good for a change. Get out there and be the good guy.”
Her heart ached a bit at the demon’s muttered confession. Natalia looked at the Soldier, unsure what to say. She opened her mouth but in that moment the door opened again, and the suave, charismatic handler strolled back in, three ‘contracts’ in his hand.
"Full pardons for all your crimes against the United States and their allies, contingent on your cooperation with and loyalty to this organization." He spoke smoothly, a cool smile on his face. Pierce looked at Hellboy, who looked eager as a teenager about to get his drivers licence.
"SHIELD." Natalia interjected, her hand darting out to stop Hellboy as he reached for his paperwork, a pen already in his hand as though he intended to sign that very instant.
"Yes, of course. Who else could I mean?" Pierce met Natalia’s icy glare with a smile she just knew was fake. She huffed, letting go of Hellboy’s left hand to allow him to take the papers. "Read it. Every last word." Natalia ordered him before pulling her own contact into her hands.
The truth was, there was something about Pierce that was…familiar, in a sense. It unsettled him. The man might think he was doing the right thing, but so did those at the Red Room. “He doesn’t know you. He doesn’t care about you, he cares about what you can do. We’re still weapons…just for the other side, now.” At least the Russians were more forthcoming. Not that he could blame SHIELD for not trusting them completely, but as far as Hellboy was concerned? They had escaped, but their son wasn’t ‘free’.
"You may like the man, but don’t trust him. He needs to earn that. In the meantime, don’t believe a damn thing he says. Don’t let him play mind games and manipulate you, take advantage of your eagerness. You are something. You’re our son. Whatever else, whoever else you are? That’s for neither Pierce or us to be. We may call you Hellboy, but soon you will have decide what kind of man you want to be.” So long as he was a better man than him…which, admittedly, he already was. It didn’t take much. Snorting as Hellboy plopped down in his chair, the Soldier- James, looked to Natalia. “They aren’t the good guys, they’re the lesser evil. The world isn’t black and white. They are using us. We’re assets to them.”
Looking to the door as it opened and Pierce entered, James sat up in his chair, looking over the ‘contracts’. What was truly the point to it? If they broke the contracts, they’d be fugitives anyway. Looking it over, he sharply exhaled. What choice did they have? Rather, what choice would prevent things from getting messy?
"I assume there’s no room for negotiation.This comes from the top, yes?" Carter. Stark. Busy people, but he was mildly surprised they hadn’t met with them yet. Though of course, would you let a demon and two former soviet assassins who had yet to accept a deal near the people running the foremost intelligence agency?
A Better World [Hellboy AU]
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. >
Hellboy AU: The Winter Soldier and Black Widow have defected to America to protect their surrogate son from his destiny. Despite Agent Carter’s claims to his identity, the Winter Soldier still has no recollection of his past life…that is, until he stumbles upon a meeting between their handler Alexander Pierce, and a SHIELD scientist who also defected some years ago. One that he apparently knew in his past life. Rather…violent, flashbacks ensue.
doyoufeelbucky understands who Bucky is as a person better than Ed Brubaker and Sebastian Stan combined! OK, maybe not that much, but the careful thought and effort the mun puts into writing Bucky makes me think Marvel should get him on the payroll ASAP.
Well then. Don’t log on this account for some months, and then I see this lie in my tag. Huh.
Arriving in America, the Widow and the Soldier elect to turn themselves in to the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division in the hopes they’ll offer their little ‘family’ protection in exchange for KGB information, and their services.
One of the SHIELD higher ups, Peggy Carter, recognizes the Winter Soldier as James Buchanan ‘Bucky’ Barnes. Former partner of her old flame Steve Rogers (Captain America) and thought to have been killed in action in 1945.
Having wanted to spare their ‘son’ from being used as a weapon, the pair are less than understanding when they realize Hellboy is classified as a SHIELD asset, and is being deployed on off the books assignments by their handler. One Alexander Pierce.