A/N: This started as an angsty Spuffy story in my head. It wound up being a funny crossover piece, sans Buffy.
Yeah, I don't know what happened either.
Spike's Doc Martin's crunch noisily over the snow as he walks through the cemetery, wondering for the umpteenth time what the hell he's doing here, stake in hand, sharp eyes shifting from side to side, scanning for any beasties that might be lurking behind the ancient tombstones that are scattered around the necropolis.
Of all the bleeding stupid places to wind up, he's in Prague. Prague. Ugh. He hates Prague. Only the weirdest of the weirdoes hang out in Prague. It's more in vogue than Romania these days...every Tom, Dick and Rasputin pops by here to call on elder Gods and open rifts in space time for their own amusement, leaving the place crawling with extra nasty critters waiting to jump out at you around every corner.
One of Spike's feet sinks into the snow and he nearly loses his balance, cursing a bit louder than is strictly necessary.
"Bloody Prague. Bloody snow. Bloody stinking sink holes." He yanks his foot from the earth's embrace and makes a face at the wet, muddy mess that's now encrusting his leg from the ankle down. "I just nicked these jeans! Can't have any nice things, swear to--"
His soiled jeans are forgotten as a grave marker nearby explodes in a shower of crumbling rock and he hits the ground to avoid the flying rubble.
It does not escape his notice that the grave marker was roughly level with his head and if he hadn't been looking down, lamenting the state of his pants (which are now completely sopping with slush and no longer much of an issue), whoever had suddenly gone trigger happy in the middle of the night would've relieved him of the top of his cranium.
Not even bothering to wipe his face of the freezing wet that's trickling down his features, Spike springs up from the ground, darting for the nearest bit of cover as yet another tombstone explodes, this one a few feet to his left.
Whoever's shooting at him must have a ruddy bazooka or a rocket launcher or, or, or--
Or, he could stop theorizing about what sort of weapon is trying to kill him and just avoid dying.
He tells himself, even as his pumping legs pick up speed, he's not running to hide...per se. He's...he's...um...
Looking for a more strategically defendable position. Yeah! That. That sounds perfectly plausible.
He skids along the icier patches of ground that haven't started to thaw just yet and wins against its repeated attempts to force him to go sprawling, until one particularly treacherous patch of ice causes one of his feet to slip out from under him, sending him flying in a spectacular display of flailing limbs until he lands on his back with a rather unhealthy SLAM!
He's dazed for a few seconds; a few unfortunate seconds that he should've been using to get to his feet, because the sound of a very large something approaches, tromping through the snow with all the grace of a bull in ballet slippers. Spike struggles to sit up, scrambling for his stake while secretly doubting that he stands a chance.
He's on his hands and knees when his adversary steps into view from behind one of the hundreds of headstones, his boot crushing the fingers of Spike's left hand so badly that he wonders whether or not they've been mashed to paste. Spike swallows the sound of pain that tries to escape his vocal chords and looks up, his eyes traveling from the size fourteen boot, up the pair of slick leather pants, to the broad expanse of black t-shirt and finally, the face of the man who's unknowingly broken all the bones in Spike's hand.
It's been a long time since Spike's been in awe of anything, but, here, on the ground, looking up at this mammoth of a man in a dirt brown duster, he honest to God gapes.
If Spike weren't Spike, it might be the fact that the bloke is bright red that's so arresting, or maybe the giant stone hand that hangs a bit too naturally from the right arm of the...whatever he is, or maybe the tail that's flicking impatiently like that of a cat, but Spike has seen things far more unusual than that. It's not the stranger elements of this creature that makes Spike stare like a deer caught in the proverbial headlights.
It's the simple nonchalant manner with which the...the...demon? Well, he's got horns...or stubs of ones, anyway. No matter what he might actually be, he's demon-esque. That's probably as accurate a description as Spike is going to be able to come up with, so he settles for it. It's the nonchalant manner of the demon as he chews on the stub of his cigar--something so absurdly normal in the middle of a sea of oddity--that causes the vampire to stare.
"Hey, runt," the giant with the filed down horns jerks his head at Spike, still unaware of the fact he's standing on the smaller man's hand, "You see a kind of a slobbery, reptilian half-squid, half-Saint Bernard trounce through here?"
The part of Spike that's still functioning in the way his mind is supposed to, pipes up with an incredulous "Runt?"
His voice comes out in a very undignified squeak, a direct result of his crushed fingers, no doubt, and the demon tips his head at Spike curiously.
Spike yanks his arm sharply, trying to free his trapped hand from beneath the monster's boot. "Hand."
"What is it with everybody and the hand?" The beast puts his hands on his hips, the proportionate one looking ridiculously tiny in comparison to the other made of stone. "It's not like it's--"
"MY HAND, YOU BIG RED GIT!"
The red giant looks down and practically leaps backwards, finally realizing why the ground under his right boot is somewhat lumpy and springy. "Oh. Sorry about that."
Spike rocks back on his heels, cradling his mangled hand to his chest as the bones start to mend with a few painful creaks and pops. "What in the hell are you supposed to be?"
"Santa Claus," the man retorts in response, "Now look, pipsqueak, you seen what I'm lookin' for, or not?"
Some of Spike's attitude starts to return with the rapid healing of his bones. This guy doesn't look so tough. "You know, I might take exception to it if you keep callin' me names, Big Red."
Spike's attitude runs for the hills when a positively massive pistol's nose is shoved in his face. "Yeah?"
The last of Spike's fingers snaps back into its proper place with an audible pop and he summons all of his courage, shoving the gun away with his now healed hand, scrambling up from the ground as gracefully as possible.
"Yeah," he snaps, grabbing the lapels of his duster and giving them a sharp tug, smoothing the leather.
"Your hand healed up real nice...and quick," the demon says suspiciously, cocking the hammer on his weapon and eyeing Spike in much the way a spider would eye a fly. "What are you?"
Spike's upper lip curls into a sneer as his features shift into game face, fangs exposed. "The tooth fairy."
A giant, slobbering, scaly monster comes out of nowhere, slamming into Spike, and sending him careening into the nearest mausoleum.
This day just gets better and better, he thinks as his spine connects with the stone, making an audible 'CRUNCH!' noise. Spike winces involuntarily, sliding down the slick marble and landing on his ass in the snow. He can't decide which is more unpleasant, the near fractured spine or the freezing slush slithering its way into his jeans. His hand still holds his stake and he jabs at the creature with the thick, sharpened piece of wood.
It shatters on impact with the beast's rock hard chest--something that appears to be a mix of armor and thick, slimy hide--and Spike stares at the remnants of the stake grasped in his palm.
The large red stone hand of the demon that Spike has already clashed with comes into view, hauling the lizard-like animal off the vampire by the scruff of the neck. It struggles and Spike slithers out from under it, backing up against the mausoleum and watching as the demon drags the monster until forcing it to face him. The gun that had been in Spike's face mere moments before is slammed under the creature's…chin?--Spike thinks it must be its chin--and is fired.
The demon is hurled at the mausoleum and slams into it in much the same manner Spike did, sliding down and landing in the snow next to the vampire with a thump.
"I hate it when they do that." The demon winces and struggles up off the ground, offering Spike his ordinary sized hand. He takes it without hesitation and is surprised with the strength the demon exerts in pulling him out of the snow.
"Don't suppose you know anything about Kanderian Sea Dog Demons, do you, bumpy?" the demon asks, flicking open his weapon and quickly inserting another round of worryingly large, odd looking bullets. "'Cause it looks like we're in this one together."
The animal paces just a few feet from the two men, snarling and drooling, preparing to pounce again.
Spike glances around himself before his eyes land on a large, sharp piece of broken headstone. He leans over and snatches it up, testing its weight and finding its girth to be pleasingly perfect for monster skull bashing. "'Fraid not, Big Red…but I find if you pound anything hard enough, it'll give."
"Man after my own heart," the demon says in his deep gravelly voice before launching himself at the Kanderian Sea Dog Demon with renewed vigor. Spike is behind him in short order, swinging the huge chunk of rock at any available part of the creature that looks like it might be the least bit vulnerable.
More shots are fired as Spike beats the skull of the monster, one of them striking a soft, unarmored piece of flesh and sinking in with an clear, loud sizzle like burgers on a grill.
The animal releases a screech and hit's the ground on its back, yellow blood seeping from its wound as it thrashes on the ground, body starting to fold in on itself with rapid decay. Spike steps back, as does the demon and both cover their faces at the putrid smells suddenly erupting from the disintegrating animal's still screaming carcass. It bubbles and melts until all that's left is a puddle of unidentifiable sunshine yellow gore.
Spike and the demon stand over the puddle-corpse, staring at it as it continues to boil in the snow.
They glance at each other over the remains of the monster, silent save for the sound of fizzing demon corpse.
It remains this way for several moments, until Spike breaks the hush.
Spike says with a curt nod of his head as he reaches into his pocket for a fag. "You got a name, Big Red?"
"They call me Hellboy," the other replies, reaching into his own pocket for a fresh cigar and popping it between his lips. "But Big Red works. How 'bout you, bumpy?"
"Spike…but they call me the Big Bad." Spike nods. "You're not from around here, are ya?"
Hellboy lights his cigar with a wooden match, taking a puff before he responds. "Not remotely."
"Then I take it you wouldn't happen to know where a bloke could find a pub round these parts."
Hellboy smiles slightly, the corners of his yellow eyes crinkling. "I might know a place…"