A/N: Since it's Valentine's Day, I wanted Hellboy and Liz to get a piece of the action, in this light touch of a one-shot told from the male point of view...Reviews are love!
Disclaimer: I don't own Hellboy, Liz Sherman and the BPRD. Only this story is mine.
If I knew what I was doing, if I'd ever done it before – this might likely be the most awkward thing I'll ever make happen with Liz. Scratch that. I know a couple more to top it...and those, I – yeahhh, mmm – never mind. Better move on.
It turned out alright when I brought Gian Orsini on board to help me out on the QT. Depending on what happened the night before, he could be a dog or a ladies' man, but his brother owned a popular local florist shop. Gian didn't want it known around the Bureau, but he admitted to me that he got his hands into flower arranging when Mario was short-staffed. And this week was going to be a series of sweatshop nights for the brothers, filling last minute orders for Valentine's day. I wasn't one of them. Gian came through for me. I didn't know a bird of paradise from a barrel cactus, but I picked out a few dozen beauties from photos of the on-hand flowers he sent me from the shop.
And then, the other deal I was into bothered me a lot. Gian liked the idea of me feeling like a fish flopping in the boat, but he handed over his credit card and promised to pick up the thing for me, once I had it bought. Then he threw up his hands and told me I'd have to phone it in. Literally. I had something researched, on-line pictures, and the numbers for some stores. Oh, man. I played Orsini on the phone, the dumbest guy who ever asked how to buy for a lady. Lucky for me, they were used to that and didn't laugh – much.
If Liz was suspicious of me in that first week of February, trying to find out the size of her clothes, she didn't make anything out of it. By the sixth time I called the one store, (no, it was a vintage boutique – excuse me!) the women all knew my voice. I was ready to close, but first, they made me listen to the details. Maybe something I should get educated about. They weren't preaching to the choir, that's for sure. Sateen fitted ribbon-laced bodice, overlaid with eyelet, graceful yards of breathable cotton gauze, shirred sleeves. If it matched the picture, that's all I needed to know.
I was on time for it. Gian was on top of everything. But Liz acted like it was any ordinary day, and had nothing to say about taking any deliveries. Late afternoon, she gave me a little kiss, said she'd see me later and left our place. This turning into a big bust wasn't what I had in mind. If she was disappointed, she was hiding it. It could've all gone rerouted somewhere in the spread of the HQ. I had to get to her, but where did she take off to? Over and over, no answer for a whole hour.
It happened just when I was heading out in a sweat. Liz calling me.
"I'm in the auditorium, all alone. Get over here, now. Come up to the stage and don't say a word."
"Babe! Anything wrong?!"
"Remember. Not a word."
So I talked myself back into some kind of normal. I had floors to run and elevators to jump.
Those doors, not locked. I ripped them open on high adrenaline. Music, soft and slow. Was this all her? The seating rows - empty, every one. The stage curtains were closed, and I was over the stairs and finding the middle to get through, as hard as I could go. And then I stopped like the end of my leash jerked me back. I knew I was supposed to like what I saw – but, no Liz. There were a few things set up on purpose...a Japanese screen standing at the back with a fancy antique lounger in front, a slow electric fan off to the side, and a big wide armchair facing upstage. Soft lighting. Easy tempo instrumental. Not a word. I got the idea that nothing was going to happen until I took that chair.
I couldn't help my fingers crushing into the armrests, until I saw the love of my life come from behind the screen, like an angel walking on air. In a few steps, she stopped still in front of the chaise, and gave me that little curve of a smile and her magnetic come-on eyes. Not a word. I didn't breathe. She was holding a double armload of flowers, and her long hair moved and lifted in the little breeze. The white cotton dress. The picture came so alive on her body. The long skirt floating and clinging to her pretty legs – my eyes couldn't get enough. Then she turned to the chaise and bent to lay the flowers down, so smooth, still swaying with the music. Her dress brushed against the floor and her bare feet when she did a slow spin with her arms stretched out, showing me those long soft sleeves. I learned to recognize a bodice, and this one hugged her in the right places, on down to her little waist. I've watched my share of music videos, and call me a wuss, but I like the looks of women in white cotton gowns taking dreamy walks in fields of flowers, just as much as the men who wrote songs about them. My Liz looks like, moves like all of those sweethearts.
God, she had me nailed to my chair when she slow danced to the chaise and sat there as light as a snowflake, inching her skirt up, and watching me. She began to lay herself down on her side, folding up her legs under the fall of white cotton. Her hair slid over her shoulder when she rested her head on her bent arm, her loving eyes always on me. It all piled on me then, she was so beautiful. My throat caught tight, and if my eyes were wet, this was the time. Not a word. She came into my arms like a dream on a cloud. The tributes were all our own. Nobody can say we didn't get the romance right. We made it work, but Liz does it better. Love you, Babe.