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?