A/N: I apologize for the delay, but I offer to you the next chapter in the story.

The dialogue in the flashbacks are taken from two sources: 1) "Hellboy" by Guillermo del Toro, Production Draft – 6/14/03 . and Hellboy Script- Dialogue Transcript by Mike Mignola /movie_

This is also unbeta'd, but trickiegyrl looked it over. All mistakes are mine.

Chapter 6

She was floating…weightless…as airy as the clouds.

"What are you doing to me?"

No answer was forthcoming, just a tinkling in her ear. She turned her head to the left as she tried to identify the sound.

"What are you trying to say to me?"

No one replied to her inquiry. Instead, as she concentrated, the tinkling seemed to become louder and the sound morphed to resemble a buzzing noise.

She giggled. "Buzz, buzz little bee."

The sound grew in intensity.

"Come; tell me all your secrets."

Louder, deeper until she thought her ears were bleeding. She tried to hunch her shoulders.

"Please… please… stop."

The noise seemed to reverberate, causing her nerve endings to seem to quiver.

"No." She fought to concentrate. To summon the fire, her comfort and her curse, as the gong rocking her soul continued to clang. Finally, in desperation, she cried out,

"Who are you?"

Images played across her mind.

A young man bent over Hellboy; his hands touching, caressing.

"Oh, God. You've lost a lot of blood."

Hellboy regarded the other.

"This is nothing. You know what'll kill me, don't you?"

The man stands and faces her; the two of them stare at each other.

She recognizes the visual examination… a challenge.

The scene warps only to coalesce on another. She and the man, his name is Myers, are sitting on a bench sipping coffee. He speaks.

"My uncle, he used to say we like people for their qualities… but love them for the defects."

She scowled. "Who does he think he is, Confucius?"

Once again, the image shifts. It twirls like a photograph blown on wind currents, and she is in Hellboy's room. Gesturing to his body, the half-demon speaks.

"Listen. I'm not like Myers. He makes you feel like you belong. And… that's good. It really is. I…wish I could do something about this… but I can't. I can promise you only two things… One: I'll always look this good. Two: I won't give up on you. Ever.

Even so, you did… you brought me back, and then you cast me aside….

Before the thought is finished, a final scene plays on the screen behind her eyes.

The smell of rot drifts upward; its release facilitated by the feet splashing in the shallow cesspool. Myers concentrates on his flashlight beam.

"So, he thinks that you and I… That's why he's mad at me…" She doesn't reply and he clears his throat. "But it's not true, is it?

She continues to stare ahead. "What?"

His cheeks blossom pink as he takes in the woman standing before him. "That you feel that way about me."

Her disdain makes his blush deepen. "You want to know…Now...? Here? Red, white, whatever… Guys are all the same."

My feelings weren't your concern. You were worried about destroying your chances with Red….

The words burned like acid in her soul. More images raced, jumped, and spun. The buzzing in her head expanded, threatening to engulf her very being – she threw back and head as a wail of pure agony erupted from her throat and at once, the noise ceased; the silence as deafening as the buzzing before it. She strained desperate for any sound- the slightest whisper. Finally, when then the vacuum threatened to swallow her whole, she heard a soft voice murmuring,

"My child."

The words moved over her soul like a cooling brook; she calmed.

"Your child?"

"Yes." A touch, more like an exhalation, kissed her skin. "You have been my child since I first awakened the power within you."

"You were the one…"


"Why would you call to me?"

"My young one… so impatient."

Her voice rose. "Why?"

Gentle fingers caressed her cheek. "So you can have the one thing you desire the most… you can be normal."

Her breath hitched. "Normal. How?"

"When you came back-since he brought you back- from the other side, you returned with a piece of my god living within and once those who have wronged you have been punished; he can free you from the horror which consumes your being. The flame destroying those you love-"

"-and I will be normal?"

She sensed the being smile. "You will be normal."

"What must I do?"

"You must be patient, my little phoenix, but first we must give them a gift."

She frowned. "A gift."

She flinched as the gentle brush of fingertips over flesh covering her abdomen.

"A gift."

The world was ripped asunder as pain enveloped her.

After the needle sent the numbing relief of the Thorazin speeding through her veins, Liz realized she had been screaming.