I apologize in my general LAG of updating, but I've been a little sick with my kidneys (again) and, well, it's hard to concentrate on much else when you've got a cramp in your nethers! Anyways, enough of that. Here's another installment, hope you like it!

Bad Day

By J.L. Stone

Abe got a mental shock very suddenly. He had been completely immersed within the pages of Stephen King's "The Eyes of the Dragon". Normally, the amphibious man was not a fan of King, but this book seemed to have full potential, and he thought that the author pulled the fantasy genre off with expert grace. But, he was pulled from the book by this mental shock, which he recognized all too well as one thing: Hellboy was angry. And not just angry, but fuming, furious, downright pissed. And to make matters worse, Tom Manning would not quiet his nagging.

Meanwhile, across the room that was one Trevor Bruttenholm's study, Liz Sherman looked up with equal concern. Her eyes met Abe's. She didn't need a telepathic ability to see that H.B. was about to snap Manning like a twig, but there wasn't much she could do. Calm him perhaps. Abe nodded to this thought and Liz rose, placing her copy of "The Catcher and the Rye" on a coffee table.

Thus, in the hallway, H.B. and Manning had come to a halt and were now arguing rather vigorously about the importance of paper work and record keeping. Everyone knew Hellboy wasn't one for written work: He was a field man, and that was that. End of story . . . except, it wasn't the end of the story for Manning.

"I've told you before; you need to turn in your reports, how simple is that?" Manning sounded like a scolding mother. Seeing as how Hellboy had never had a mother, he poked a finger into his "boss'" chest and glared down at him with narrow, golden eyes.

"Look bucko! I told you I'd get the report to you . . . s'just back off!" Words of wisdom from a man pissed. The best thing Manning could do right now was back off, but he wouldn't, mostly because he was a rotund, stubborn prick. Liz, coming up slowly behind Manning drew H.B.'s attention for a brief moment, before . . .

"Look at me, Red!" Manning took a step closer to Hellboy, an obvious sign of aggression—to H.B. at least. Liz floated around to the side of them, just listening and being generally ignore.

"Dr. Manning." Her voice wasn't nearly loud enough to pierce through his haze of anger and annoyance. So, Liz waited patiently.

"I'm lookin'!" Hellboy yelled as Manning stepped closer. The doctor cocked his head.

"Now, I don't like your attitude, Red. All I asked was for you to—"

"Give you my report, and I said I'd get it to you."

"You said that two weeks ago!" Manning's face was turning pink. He shook his head. "Are you completely irresponsible? Do you have any idea what sort of pressure I'm under here?"

That was the last straw. Hellboy began forward, and eventually, he pinned Manning against the wall, his eyes livid.

"Pressure? You want pressure? Try getting flung from a two story building—then, THEN, you can tell me about pressure, Manning!" Hellboy's chin was even with Manning's as he lowered his gaze to look him in the eyes. "And if you really want pressure . . . I'll be glad to pop that zit between your shoulders."

"H.B., c'mon, stop." Liz put her tiny hand on H.B.'s warm, fleshy arm. This seemed to snap him out of his anger, and he turned on her, as if noticing her presence for the first time.

"Liz . . ." he trailed off, and, realizing how much of an ape he just looked like, he backed off, rubbing the scruff at the base of his skull. "Waddaya doin', Liz?"

"Stopping you from killing Manning." A small smile spread across her dark lips and she walked forward, leaning her head against his large, muscular chest. Red put both arms around her gently and sighed. Manning, meanwhile, skittered off down the hallway, disappearing around the corner to either recluse into his office, or clean the piss from his pants. Either way, Hellboy was glad to be rid of him.

"Thanks, Sparky." Red said, his Jersey accent bending the word just slightly. Spaarky, is what it sounded more like. Liz just smiled and nuzzled against him, her hair tickling his flesh. He netted his fleshy fingers through her hair and took a deep breath. The fire of anger had subsided thanks to her, which was ironic, seeing as how she was a fire starter.

"Red . . . we need to work on your anger."

He sighed at this, "I know." With a step back, he surveyed her dark eyes and she crossed her arms over her chest as they stood facing each other in the hall. She bit her bottom lip and looked up. Red smiled a bit, "It's been a bad day."

"I thought so," Liz uttered. Her smile was small as she waved a hand and began away. But, she got no more than two steps when warm, strong arms wrapped around her waist, pulling her close. She turned in his arms and brought her lips to his, and they stood like that for a long while, lips touching in the cold, steely corridor. Finally, he released her and she smiled playfully up at him. He did the same.

"Thanks, Liz. I think you just turned my bad day into a good one."

Liz shrugged, "Any time, Red."