TITLE: Somewhere Between
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Hellboy, John, or any of these characters, I just had a random urge to take them out to play…
This is going to switch between HB and John's perspectives, they'll be marked like below.
Also, I must thank the lovely gbheart for both editing this story and helping the British characters be more British and not just my American wannabe Brits :).
We'd only shared one kiss before it happened. Actually, it really couldn't be called a kiss. It was clumsy and sloppy 'cause I was treading in unfamiliar territory and he was too damn nervous to be much help. Despite all that, it was still one hell'uva kiss. Course, John being the way that he is, he dismissed it as me trying to get his goat and we haven't talked about it since.
I can tell John wants to ask me what was going through my head when I did it, but just can't get up the gall. He's curious by nature, but you can always tell when he doesn't really want to hear the answer to something. Thing is, I don't know what I'd tell him if he did ask. I mean, I thought I loved Liz and I thought she loved me, but after the fickle broad left for the thirteenth, or maybe even fourteenth time (who keeps track), I realized that it wasn't me she kept coming back for. Liz comes to the bureau to feel safe… from herself.
Don't get me wrong, I'm still crazy about the girl and I would do anything for her. We grew up together, but I think we had more fights while we were dating than we did before. It seemed like everything I did got under her skin like a damn bug. I couldn't do anything right for her. It's kind of funny 'cause John was always the one trying to patch things up.
Anyway, once she was gone again I got kind of pissed off at everything for a while. Abe said I was 'acting like a two-year-old who'd been denied sweets'. I don't know, maybe I was, but Abe always has to be so damn straightforward about everything. You'd think he could cut a guy a break and phrase things a little nicer.
Thing is, this time Liz didn't go back to an asylum. Maybe something changed while we were in Russia. It's like she's found this strength that nobody knew she had. This time, Liz left our freak show to live out there. When I last checked on her, she had a boyfriend… I should pop a bullet in that bastard's head and drag her back where she belongs, but, instead, I'm kissing John.
Somewhere between him trying so damn hard to be my friend and taking care of me, Boyscout got real cute. I guess I really started noticing once Liz was gone. That kind of makes him sound like a rebound… Boyscout is not a rebound, I think he's always piqued my interest, but I was too wrapped up in the idea of Liz and I. I've always had a weird urge to protect the squirt, but it could be because he always seems to get in so much trouble. From the first damn day he started work with us, he's been in trouble constantly.
Boyscout really isn't inclined to let me work the way I want to. Cute though it is that he thinks he needs to charge into battle next to me, it isn't good for his health. Although, it doesn't matter how many times I tell him that I work alone. As cute as it may be, it's his 'go get 'em' attitude that landed us in our current situation. He's bleeding like a stuck pig in the back of the BPRD garbage truck and I'm about as helpful as a sword in a gunfight.
Werewolves of all things, why the hell did we have to go after werewolves? And why did they make a den so damn close to a big city? Of course they're going to send us into a werewolf den, especially when the damn idiots start eating people nearby. You'd think they could just arm a few FBI guys with silver and save the big guns for demon infestations or open rifts to hell. I mean, seriously, sure werewolves are dangerous, but when you know how to handle them, they're really nothing compared to a lesser demon or Samael. That beast was a bitch and half.
Point is, you have to know how to move through a wolf's den and John had no clue. Didn't stop him from charging in with the rest of us. He managed to hold his own for a while. I know I don't give Boyscout much credit, but he really is a pretty good fighter for a human. But a lot of times, being human in this Bureau is what gets you killed. You have to be able to survive some serious punishment and keep walking.
We weren't through half the pack when a big bastard came out of nowhere and knocked John to the floor. He had his teeth in Boyscout's gut before I got a shot off. Werewolves are quick, but I should have been faster. I should have been paying closer attention to John. Abe and another agent carried him off while I finished off the rest of the stragglers and ran back to the truck. It was under the fluorescent lights that I could finally see how bad it was. Myers was screaming bloody murder while Abe carefully replaced his organs. It was too bad I'd already killed those furry fuckers, 'cause I really wanted to rip one limb from limb.
Abe looked up at me with an expression I haven't seen since Dad died and told me that John was heavily infected with the lycanthrope virus. Was? Hell, is. We haven't even gotten back to base yet. I want to do something for the squirt, but Abe slaps my every move away. He's gone into attentive doctor/nurse mode and doesn't want me to aggravate John's condition in any way. Like I could make lycanthropy any worse, but Blue is boss in these situations. I put my hand on John's shoulder and Abe allows it. It's better than nothing.
"You know what will happen to him," Abe mentions, catching my attention.
My head snaps up and I all but growl at him, "Not all wolves are dangerous. He could be docile."
Abe sighs and checks John's vitals, his hands hovering over his pulse points and chest. He talks as he tends Boyscout, "There's a standard probability that a wolf will become a man-eater, which increases anytime he tastes human flesh. It is very similar to the cases in tigers, lions, and even bears. Many carnivores have developed the tendency to be man-eaters. There have been numerous recorded cases in Kumaon and…"
I cut him off, "We're talking about Myers here Abe! When has he ever done anything rude without apologizing, let alone something vicious?"
"Well," Abe starts. I can tell he's finding the best way to phrase whatever he's about to say, probably to smooth my reaction. "Manning won't be pleased to let him roam around free."
Aka, he'll either want him dead or caged up like some animal. My lip curls at the thought. Manning and I have been getting along pretty well since Russia. I think we've finally come to an understanding: he stays out of my way and I try a little harder not to make his job more difficult. He owes me after I saved his life. Maybe he'll let me keep John under my care. Reverse the roles, I guess. Knowing the way the Bureau works, they'll probably haul John away and just stick me with a new babysitter. Like I need watching. I can't help but snort at the idea.
Boyscout shifts under my hand with a pained whimper. Sweat has broken out all across his face.
"He's developing a high fever," Abe tells me unnecessarily.
I can feel the heat of his skin coming through his shirt. Blood is still spreading from beneath the compress Abe applied to his stomach. The gauze is soaked. Blue tries to ask Myers a few questions, but gets little more than grunts from him. I think he's conscious, but not all here.
I brush some of the hair out of his face. Alright look, I don't get nervous. Nothing scares me, but the possibility of losing Myers, the first liaison that hasn't taken years to win me over, scares the living hell out of me. And I've got a damn lot of hell in me, so that's hard.
"He's losing a lot of blood, is he going to make it to the change?" I ask Abe.
He shrugs gingerly, "Who can tell? I'm not all that familiar with the lycanthrope virus, but I will read up on it as soon as we've gotten John stabilized."
Now that my hand is resting on Boyscout's face, I can't help but run my thumb over his cheek. I'm really starting to wish I hadn't let him think that kiss was a joke. Well, I really wish I'd banged him, but I doubt innocent, blush-when-anyone-makes-a-dirty-joke Myers would let me jump from first base to home plate.
Did I just make a baseball innuendo? Ignore that… I hate baseball.
I don't realize that Abe's been observing me until he speaks. "How long has this," he makes a gesture with one hand from John, then to me, "been going on? It seems like something I would not have missed."
I pull away from Boyscout and stick Abe with a glare. "There's nothing to this," I make a mocking version of his gesture; "I'm just worried about the squirt." As if in defense, I mutter, "He is one of us after all."
"Even without reading your mind, I know your habits well enough to know that you do not normally show concern in such a manner. There was a definite affection to both your expression and your touch."
"Stay out of it, Abe," I growl in warning. The threat has little effect on him.
"So, it's one-sided then," he presses.
I often find that the best tactic with Blue is to ignore him, but he usually withdraws his curiosity just before I get to that point. Either way, this conversation is over. It's none of his business anyway. I think Abe senses my aggravation, 'cause he doesn't ask again.
The truck hits a killer bump, jarring Boyscout enough to make him cry out. It doesn't help that I'm worried, but the very least the damn driver could do would be to avoid the potholes the size of the GRAND CANYON! I slam my fist into the speaker connecting us to the front, "Take it easy up there or I'll turn you into a fucking pancake!"
The agent driving stammers out an apology, but I shut off the communication before I hear it all.
"I think that was a little unnecessary, Red. He's doing his best."
I grumble, guilt stirring a little. Blue can do that to me, but it doesn't mean I'm going to apologize. 'Scout get's resettled, his grimace smoothing into a furrowed brow. My hand strays back to John. It's like I'm drawn to his hair. I run my fingers through it. John's hair is soft, even if it is slicked with sweat. It reminds me of my cats… well, minus the sweat.
Myers opens his eyes and looks at me. Considering he couldn't even answer Abe a second ago, it weirds me out a little.
"Hey Boyscout, you're going to be okay," I say, not sure of what else might be appropriate.
His soft brown irises melt slowly from deep chocolate to bright golden yellow before he closes them again and I know the change is going faster than it should be.
"Um… Abe, I think we may have a problem."
Blue leans over, humming his interest.
"Check his eyes," I tell him.
Abe does so and shines a bright penlight into them. John's pupils dilate into slits, common in cats and werewolves. Strange that they would share such a trait.
"That's not good," Abe states, a little too calmly for my taste.
"That means he's getting close, doesn't it?"
"Yes, and, if we don't get back soon, this is going to get very messy."
I give him a look for that, "And what the hell is that supposed to mean?"
Abe checks Boyscout's stomach wound while he answers, I'm grateful to see that the bleeding has stopped, "While I don't know too much about lycanthropy, I do know that the change can be very jarring and violent."
That crappy response leaves me more curious than satisfied. "You care to elaborate on that?" I grate out.
"Well," again, he's picking his words carefully, "it usually involves a lot of vomit and shed skin."
"Crap," I mutter.
I punch the speaker again, "Hey, pick up the pace, would ya'?"
I get a warbled affirmative. The device isn't doing so hot after my first attack on it and I have to fool with the button a minute before I can get it to shut off. Abe slides open the truck's shades and peers out at the passing landscape.
"We're just outside of town. Theoretically, if we miss the lights… or run them, we should make it in time. Theoretically."
"Theoretically," I echo, watching John's face tense and relax in a bizarre pattern. Theoretically was not the word I was hoping to hear.
When we make it to HQ, we hit the ground running. Abe called ahead and ordered a medical team and stretcher to be ready for our arrival. Another thing on his list of requests was a lycanthropy expert. I don't know much about the guy besides that he prepared and gave our brief for this mission. He was easy to spot amongst the familiar doctors and nurses. The same medical group has taken over what Abe couldn't handle for years, including his own care.
They move Myers into the building with the precision you would expect from their kind of experience. They've all seen a lot of weird shit since they started with us.
I run with the stretcher, leaving Abe behind to discuss symptoms and signs with his expert. Curious as I am about how he plans on fixing John, I'm not leaving the squirt for anything. That is, until a nurse blocks my way into the surgery room. I practically run into the woman, since she's a bit below my eye level. I know I've met her before, but I can't place her name just now. Hell, they all look the same once they put on the damn scrubs and masks and it doesn't really matter who she is, just that she's in my way.
"I'm going with Boy-" I catch myself halfway through the nickname, "Agent Myers."
"No, you are to remain here. No one is allowed into surgery except doctors and trained medical staff."
I try to interrupt her, but she raises her voice.
"You, Hellboy, can have a seat in the waiting room and someone will be with you when we have an update on Agent Myers' condition."
"Hell no!" She probably weighs about a hundred and forty pounds. If she thinks she's going to stop me, she's got another thing coming. It's not like I'd hurt her or anything, but she WILL be moving.
I'm considering picking her up and shifting her over a few feet when Manning comes around the corner like a one-man stampede. I don't think I've ever seen him run before.
He's talking as soon as he comes within earshot, "What the hell happened?"
I would be the one he asks… "Shit hit the fan and Myers got torn up. He's infected."
The nurse gives Manning a look and disappears into surgery. I'm sure it was the 'keep him here' look. Crap. I've blown up at Manning before, but I'm a lot more likely to get in trouble moving him out of the way. The nurse wouldn't have done anything except yell at me.
Manning puts his hands on his hips and stares at the doors separating us from John. Priorities are going through his head. He's wondering what the likely-hood is that Myers will turn out to be dangerous.
I toss my two cents in while he's thinking, "I could take care of the squirt, make sure he stays out of trouble."
He turns to me, his mouth open with some retort, so I barrel on, "I mean, what's he going to be able to do to me? I think I can handle him."
"What if he infects you? The last thing I need is a giant, red, werewolf-demon rampaging around this place."
Okay, so I didn't want to bring this up, 'cause I know Manning's going to be pissed that he wasn't informed, but here goes, "I can't be infected." It's a bit edited.
"And how do you know that?"
I scratch the back of my head. I really don't want to tell him the rest. Hell, I didn't even tell Abe when it happened. "I got bit before and didn't change," I kind of mutter the words, like it'll help.
Manning's voice shoots up an octave, "What? When? Why didn't I know about this?"
"Well… it happened a while ago and... um… Abe!" I exclaim as soon as I spot the fish-man. He's coming down the hall with his lycanthropy expert in tow. When he stops with us, the wolf guy continues on into surgery. The brief second the doors are open, I catch John's screams. I try to pay attention to what Abe's telling us, but the urge to plow in there and snatch Boyscout up is real strong. Why the hell is he screaming like that? I come back into the conversation when Abe says my name, "What?"
"This involves you as well, so you may want to listen," he scolds. "John is too far into the change, there's no way we can reverse it at this point in time. We need to move him to a secure location for the duration of the change and allow it to run its course."
"What happens then?" Manning asks, alarm in his voice.
"We open the door when he's done and see what's come of it. There's nothing else we can do. Hopefully, he'll still be our John and he won't attack anyone."
Manning is quiet after Abe finishes. I slowly encroach on his personal space while we wait for his response. He doesn't seem to notice, so I lean in a little farther. I'm hoping it will help him remember what I'd suggested. Abe isn't quite as obtrusive, but I can tell he's just as anxious as I am.
"We isolate him until he's done and then you," he shoves his finger against my chest, "will go in and see how he reacts. You're more likely to survive if he does attack and if he does, we'll have a group ready with silver ammunition. He attacks, we put him down."
He emphasizes his last words to make them final, but it doesn't mean I'm not going to argue. I get a sharp jab in the ribs before I can get a word out. It doesn't hurt, but it earns Abe a glare.
"Get him into isolation and clear out the medical staff," Manning orders and heads toward the front, probably to call in his troops and arm them properly.
The medical team breezes past us, John strapped to the stretcher. Wolf expert (I really need to find out that guy's name) is running behind them. John's skin is the color of ash now and he's arched as far off the stretcher as the restraints around his arms and legs will allow. I can hear his bones crunching as they rearrange. It's loud enough to hear over the pounding feet and John's screaming. Abe and I trade glances and take off after them. He catches up to the head of the group and starts directing them.
We're about three turns into this rat race when I realize where we're headed: Liz's room. There is no way we're locking Myers in Liz's room. Abe said John was going to make a mess, what if Liz decides to come back and finds out what happened? She's not going to stay long after that.
A few of the nurses break off from the others and wheel John into the room. The leftover MD's start taking off his restraints and pulling out IVs and removing monitors. I see my opportunity and snag Abe's shoulder.
"What the hell are you thinking? We can't let him change in Liz's room!"
Abe doesn't hesitate when he answers me, "Liz's room is fire-proof and heavily reinforced. If it could hold her during an episode, it will contain John quite effectively."
Yeah okay, he has a point.
"I was originally considering your room, since it is far sturdier, but I was afraid he might eat your cats," Abe adds, pretty effectively shutting me up. I don't know who I'm kidding… Liz isn't coming back this time.
The wolf expert is the last body out the door, but he checks John's eyes and teeth before he leaves. They close and lock the door behind him.
"As far as I can tell, he's got about an hour or so ahead of him. The first change is a slow, arduous process. Your friend is lucky he got a high dose of virus, or this would probably take all night."
"Lucky?" I snap. "He'd be lucky if he hadn't had his guts munched on!"
The lycanthrope guy (what the HELL is this guy's name? I know he introduced himself during the brief, but I wasn't paying attention… why… That's right, they'd pulled Myers in from a jog for the emergency and he was wearing a lot less than he normally does and he was… fuck, it's a wonder that I remember any of that brief.)
Anyway, the lycanthrope guy is busy sizing me up. Either he decides he's not afraid of me, or that honesty might be the best way to stay on my good side, but his response is very straightforward, "Quite frankly, Agent Myers will reap plenty of benefit from this change, assuming there aren't any major complications and he remains sane. His speed and reflexes will increase as will his strength. A wolf's immune system is unmatched, so he will never need to worry about getting sick. He will also have an amazing capability to heal quickly and survive wounds that would be fatal to a human being. If he makes it, I believe he will become a valuable asset to your team."
I did recall from the briefing that this man likes to talk, but I tend to focus on words that catch my attention. "Wait, wait. First of all: if? What's the likelihood that he won't make it?"
Abe cuts in, "Hellboy, I don't think you want to hear those odds."
I wave him off. He's probably right, "And second, Boyscout is already an asset to our team… even if he does get in the way sometimes… or need rescuing… or, that doesn't matter. Point is, he's already an asset!"
I sense rather than see Abe's look of exasperation, but the wolf guy's expression is well worth the effort. Complete bewilderment crosses his face and he mutters an apology before following the rest of the medical staff down the hall. I see him scratch his head halfway down the corridor and have to smirk.
"Right," Abe sighs. "After that childish display, I'm going to go do some research. I'm assuming that you will remain here. Don't open the door… no matter what you hear."
He disappears too and I'm left in the empty hallway. I pace at first, then lean against the wall, then keep pacing. Minutes crawl by like hours and every howl and scream Myers lets out cuts into me. I stick to what Abe told me, but it's damn hard. I almost lose it when I hear Boyscout crying. My hand's on the lock before I can get myself under control. I'm almost grateful when the howling resumes.
If I get nothing else during the longest hour of my life, I get plenty of time to think. Well, maybe second longest, but that's not relevant. I mess with my gun during one of my leaning spells. I have four solid silver rounds left from the attack on the den. Somehow, it makes sense that I should be the one to deal with Myers if it comes to it. Manning's boys are good shots, but if they don't get it right, John could suffer.
He'll have a prime opportunity for escape if they open the door to let other agents in and only a round to the head would be instantly lethal. Anything else would slowly burn through his body until silver poisoning did him in. While I don't want him gone, I really don't want a fate like that for him. If he turns out feral, I'm going to put the cap in his head point-blank. He won't feel a thing after that.
I shake the train of thought from my head. It lingers for awhile, until I put the Samaritan away. My watch says I've been here a little over a half an hour when John starts quieting down. I push off the wall and put my ear against the door. Nothing, all I get is silence.
When I still don't hear anything. I reach for the bolt. The wolf gu- Andrews! That was his name. Dr. Andrews said Myers would take about an hour, so maybe it's a little soon yet. But what if he's stuck, or didn't make it through? What if he did?
I glance down the hall, checking for any sign of Abe or Manning's boys. Now really would be a good time to check on him. Nobody will be breathing down my neck and there's a minimized chance of Myers getting out if I'm the only one dealing with him.
I disengage the lock and consider my decision for a second. Everybody's going to be pissed, but when am I not in trouble? I push the door open and slide inside, making sure to close it quick.
"Holy shit," slips out of my mouth. There's blood everywhere. It's dripping down the walls in rivers and splattered on the ceiling. It looks like a chainsaw massacre times ten. There's no way Myers lost this much blood, he'd be dead. Besides the carnage, I don't see a sign of Boyscout. The bed's overturned and propped haphazardly against the wall. It seems like the only place for him to be hiding.
A deep growl comes from beneath the mattress. I guess that means he made it through. I put my hand on my gun. Hope I don't have to use it.
I move towards his makeshift den slowly, not really sure what to expect. Myers was a tiny guy, so I doubt he's a big wolf. Then again, most people are pretty tiny to me, but Myers was a couple inches shorter than most.
He growls again as I get closer. I peer behind the mattress. He's curled up as far from me as he can get, but there's not enough light to see if he's had any complications. Hell, I don't know what kind of 'complications' I'm looking for. I'd need Dr. Andrews for any of that.
I don't want to go in there after him and moving his cover would probably freak him out, so I talk to him. There's nobody here to give me a better idea. "Hey 'Scout. I really hope you're feeling better. That was a hell of a day at the office, huh?"
He looks at me suspiciously, but edges forward a little.
"Come on, it's me HB… what other big red demons do you know?" I joke and reach my hand out to him. He sniffs my fingers and edges forward until my hand is resting on top of his head. Giving him a good scratch seems like the ideal thing to do. John leans into my touch and I can feel the gore caked in his fur.
"You need a bath."
"And a meal, I'd suspect," Andrews says from the door.
I jump like a kid caught with his hand in the damn cookie jar. How the hell did he manage to sneak up on me? Before I can answer that question, John darts out and plants himself between the doc and me. He starts growling and barking.
"Whoa Boyscout, he's okay!" I grab John around the middle and pick him up. Better that he bite me then the wolf guy. Instead of lashing out, like I thought he might, he calms and props his head up on my shoulder. Up close, I can see John's ribs through his fur.
"Why is he emaciated?"
Andrews stays at the front of the room. I guess he's afraid Boyscout might attack him. "It's very normal after a change. The wolf's ability to heal is derived off of its high metabolism. When it's injured, it burns through stomach contents at a rapid rate, then starts to break down fat and tissue to maintain the healing process. A wolf can become extremely dangerous during this time. I'm surprised he's letting you handle him."
"What should I feed him?"
"What would you feed a normal wolf?"
I sneak John into the kitchens, hoping neither Manning nor Abe have realized that he's gone. Myers seems pretty docile and sticks to my side like glue. We'd passed another agent on the way and there wasn't so much as a peep out of John. I'm guessing that he's still himself under that furry exterior. His reaction to Andrews was probably drawn off mine.
I open a couple of the double-decker freezers, looking for steaks or bacon, anything I can give Myers. Thing is, I don't usually come down here. My food is always brought to me, even snacks, so I don't have a clue where anything is. Too bad the chef's gone home for the night.
"Boyscout, where the hell is all the meat?"
He perks his head up and flips his ears forward. Crusted blood flakes off them. He is SO getting a bath once he's been fed.
"Come on man, you bring me meals, surely you know where the steaks are," I try. I'm not sure he can understand me. Wolves might be more like dogs, reacting to keywords.
He looks away and thinks for a second, well, maybe he's listening to a rat in the walls or something, but I'm going to be optimistic and say he's thinking. Whatever he's doing, he comes to a decision and makes a beeline for one of the walk-in fridges. I follow his lead.
"This feels like an episode of 'Lassie'," I mutter. "I thought you said Timmy was in the well. Who put him in the fridge?" I call to him.
John plants his butt in front of the fridge and glares at me, ears back and everything. That means that he's way brighter than a dog, because that's about the look he'd give me if he was human. I have to laugh, which makes him glare harder.
The walk-in is filled with an amazing display of different animals and cuts. There are packaged steaks and ground beef on the shelves; I pull down a handful of them.
"You want these cooked, 'cause I don't know-" before I finish the sentence, John snatches one of the packages out of my hands and starts tearing at the plastic.
"I'll take that as a no." I'm afraid he's going to eat the plastic and Styrofoam along with the meat, but I don't think taking it from him is a good idea. Instead, I unwrap the next steak and wait for him to finish. John looks up only after he's licked the container clean. He takes the next steak a little more carefully.
Three shelves of meat later, John starts slowing down. He plops down onto the floor and sighs. The package of hamburger I was feeding him from has a few more bites left. I pinch off a chunk and roll it into a ball.
"Go long Myers."
He grunts, but doesn't move.
"Come on, you know you want it. It's just a little bite."
That gets him to raise his head a little. I toss the piece of meat at him and he snaps it up.
I prepare another ball, grinning at him. Myers rolls his eyes at me. When I throw that one, he lets it hit the floor.
He ate his own weight in meat; I'm not surprised that he feels gorged. Although, it was a normal meal for me. They've probably figured out that he's missing by now, so it's time to tell them he's with me. I bet Manning's about to go into cardiac arrest. That room does look like John mauled somebody before he got out.
I scoop Boyscout off the floor and get a halfhearted groan for it. He's falling asleep fast. I get him settled against my chest and head for the door, but a group of well-armed agents (Manning's kill squad, I'd assume) bust through before I get to it. They weren't expecting me 'cause their tactical group kind of scatters and they look at each other for answers.
One steps forward, "Has Agent Myers been under your supervision since he left the room?"
"Yeah. What'd you think he was doing, eating coworkers?"
I get a chuckle out of a few of them, but it's nervous and forced. Several lower their guns. John shifts against me and flares his nose. He's catching a whiff of the others. I doubt he has enough energy to react to them. He curls up tighter and pushes his muzzle into the crook of my arm. Even covered in coagulated blood, he's still adorable.
"Does he really look like he's capable of eating somebody?"
I don't get an answer for a minute, but a guy to the left perks up, "What's in his fur?"
Their guns come back up instantly.
"Stand down," comes from the doorway. Manning looks pissed. I can see a vein standing out on his forehead and his face is just about as red as me. Abe is a step or so behind him. He's smiling faintly, probably because he finds the whole situation amusing. I bet Manning and his boys have been running around frantically looking for a 'killer' wolf.
"What the HELL do you think you're doing? I told you to wait until the squad got there as backup."
I raise an eyebrow. "No, you told me that I'd be the one going in when Myers was done changing. He was done, I went in, he didn't bite my face off, and I figured he was good to go."
If it was possible, I'd say his face turned a darker shade of red. He really might have a coronary. Good thing Abe's a doctor (not certified of course).
"You want to babysit him so bad? Fine, he's yours, but he stays with you tonight and if anything goes wrong, ANYTHING, you will be kicked out of this Bureau!" Manning screams. He stomps off after his tirade, but pauses to add, "You and Myers will be!"
Wow, that was quite a blow-up, not the worst I've seen, but pretty bad. Not like he hasn't threatened to throw me out before. He knows the FBI would look like fools for denying me so long when I appear on the streets looking for a job. He can't fire me. Besides, he's got nobody else to do his really dirty work.
Abe crosses the room, avoiding Manning with a simple sidestep. His smirk has grown into as much of a grin as Abe will ever have.
"He was looking for Myers everywhere, wasn't he?" I ask.
"Practically ripped HQ apart."
"Telling people that there was a dangerous creature on the loose?"
"And that they should evacuate immediately."
I laugh hard.
"You know, he really is going to act on his anger one day," Abe suggests, leaning in to take a look at Myers. "I don't sense any mindless rage in John as I did in the others."
"Could be that he's sleeping," I joke a little halfheartedly. I really hope Abe is right, that John isn't like those human eating lunatics.
"No, it wouldn't matter whether he's sleeping or not. A rage, a hunger like those wolves had goes down to the very central core of their being. It is easy to detect."
Good, at least I won't have to worry about him munching on anyone while I'm not looking. "We'll see ya' in the morning Abe."
"I doubt he will allow you to bathe him without quarrel. John is quite modest."
"Well, he ain't staying in my room covered with this shit."
Abe chuckles softly and flicks his hand through the air, "Good luck then."
He would say something like that. How much trouble could Boyscout be? He's sleepy, food sedated, and Myers, so there's no way I can't handle him.
I'm fucking soaked and Myers is curled in the corner, glaring at me.
He's clean, I made damn sure of that, but he's about as easy to hold onto as a greased pig.
"How long are you going to stay pissed?" I gripe at him.
Myers snorts and turns his nose into the corner. I guess that's answer enough. He snaps at an orange tabby when it get's too close to him. That's just taking this tantrum too far.
"You eat one of my cats, Myers, and I WILL kick your ass!"
His ears droop, as does his head.
"Yeah, you better feel bad," I grumble. "I would make you apologize to him, but he's hiding now. I won't see him for days."
Myers gives me the definition of puppy dog eyes. Let's get one thing straight, I don't really like dogs, I never have. Hell, maybe one bit me when I was a kid, I don't know, but I don't really like them. That look though, especially coming form Myers, that look is a killer. It makes me feel bad for the bath and yelling, all in the same go.
He only fixes me with it for a second or two before I break down, "Alright, I'm sorry. Now get your furry ass over here."
He trots over with his tongue hanging out, cats scattering out of his path like he was the plague. I pull him up onto my converted truck/bed and start laying down some boundaries, "Look, if you're going to stay in here while you're like this, we've got to have some rules. One, don't touch the cats. If one goes missing, you're the first one I'm pointing a finger at. Two, don't ever, ever… hey!" I exclaim as John crawls past me and gets settled in the covers. "Let's skip to number five; it's my bed, so move over!"
John completely ignores me.
I nudge him with my right hand, making sure I prod the stone against his ribs. The best I get is a grumble and a few extra inches of room.
"Right, I'm going to change. If you aren't out of MY bed by the time I get back, we're going to have trouble, squirt."
I shuck out of my wet clothes in the bathroom and stick them down the laundry chute. Wet dog… that's probably not a smell that's ever graced my clothing before. Well, my clothes are lucky to get back in one piece after some of our escapades, so wet dog shouldn't' be a problem for our laundry lady. BPRD is probably the worst, if not the most profitable job she's ever had. Slime, blood, mud, grease, demonic vomit, she's cleaned it all. I suspect she hates us most days.
After I'm dressed in a pair of sweatpants, I wander back into my room. Myers is still rooted to the middle of my bed. So much for threats. Do they work on anybody anymore? I sigh and move him out of the center. I don't really have a good place for him to sleep, so I'll share, just this once. I scoot him over and lay down. Actually, I'd really enjoy sharing my bed with him, as long as it involved some form of nudity… and a lack of fur.