Disclaimer: I do not own Hellboy. I do however own my OC, Ms. James.
Rating: T, for very mild. There is cursing and offhand mentions of death.
Summary: We all know how nerve wrecking interviews are. Interviews for the Bureau are more nerve wrecking than most...and that's just for the interviewer.
Warning: For bizarre turn of events and total crackness.
"So...Ms. James. It says in your file that you grew up in Austin, Texas, went to the local highschool, community college, graduated in Zero One, married your childhood sweetheart only to divorce him three months later. You've been working in the FBI accounts department for the last six years and have virtually no field experience."
The incredibly thin file came to fall from the balding man's hands and landed with a soft, light thud on the highly polished surface of the interview desk. The man scowled at the somewhat nervous expression on the young woman's face. If he was making her nervous...she was really looking to get in on the wrong profession.
"Is all this correct?" He inclined his head slightly and met her rather wide eyed gaze, squarely.
She cleared her throat a little, somehow managing to avoid the wheezy cough that tried to break out of her incredibly dry mouth.
"Yes, that's correct." She seemed to remember herself and added in a hasty "Sir" after a substantially awkward pause.
The man folded his hands across the desk and leaned forward in his chair. The decrease of space between them sent the woman to the back of her seat. Unconsciously putting as much distance between them as she could. It wasn't unnoticed by the interviewer, either. He audibly sighed.
"Putting it frankly, Ms. James, this organization takes the best of the best. Did you see the guy that I interviewed before you?" She nodded uncertainly. "He graduated from MIT at the top of his class. He plays the piano. Has worked in our Washington office for the last five years. The guy has somehow managed to wrack up over two hundred hours of field work. He's a martial arts enthusiast. Ms James, the only thing about your application that I find impressive is that it somehow made it past the first screening process to magically land on my desk."
He lowered his tone when he noticed her hands visibly shaking. He was used to being rude and being ignored regardless. It didn't feel right; this woman being so utterly terrified of him. He sat back and softened himself up a little. This young woman's only crime was trying for, what was on paper, a really high paying job.
"Not to put you down and all, but I just don't think you're suited for the job, Ms James. Speaking from experience, it's not only physically taxing, but it also carries with it a great amount of personal risk and frayed nerves. It would be irresponsible of me to put you in harms way when you've had so little field experience."
The fear on the woman's face disappeared only to be replaced with disappointment. Her line of sight lowered until Manning was sure all she could see was her lap. The agent closed the file slowly. He'd a number of unofficial questions for the woman. The Bureau was highly classified. So for one, how the hell did she manage to find out about this interview?
The woman made to stand, thinking the interview over but Manning gestured for her to remain seated. Confusion and renewed terror lined the young woman's face as she perched herself on the edge of her chair.
"Ms. James, the Bureau is a top secret organization, only those with the highest military and political clearance know it even exists. Even at that, if you asked them, I doubt they could tell you exactly what it is we do. This is completely off the record and you won't be in any trouble for telling me, but how in the hell did you find out about this interview? I have your superiors' recommendations and they approved your application. But I know for a fact that they never got wind of the position."
Manning leaned heavily against the back of the chair. Expectant. Altogether unimpressed.
The brown haired and altogether doe-eyed woman inched forward a little, her voice lowered for some bizarre reason that the Agent couldn't quite understand. The volume at which she spoke was nothing more than a whisper.
Manning wasn't really certain he'd interpreted what she'd said correctly.
"I beg your pardon?" His voice belayed the fact that he was completely dumbfounded.
The woman glanced back at the door before looking at him seriously. Sincerely.
"I said, that the monster under my bed told me. He gave me your address."
In any other interview room, said interviewer in question would have burst out laughing and had her escorted out to waiting orderlies and a tight white jacket. Not in the Bureau. As it was, Manning had reached for a pen and paper to get a description of the creature.. if she wasn't completely crazy of course. Though, the monster in question got their classified address right, that pointed heavily in the 'very, worryingly sane' direction.
The woman had lowered her gaze again and the problem with her story suddenly struck the Agent.
He almost dropped his pen. This had to be some sort of office joke. This woman could hardly make eye contact with him and he was expected to believe she was having career changing conversations with a monster under her bed? That was so fucking dumb.
"Miss, do you mean to tell me that there's a monster under your bed talking to you? And you haven't, I don't know, fallen into hysterics, run screaming to your local police station, had yourself committed? Are you telling me that there's a creature living under your bed and you're...okay with it?"
This was sounding dumber by the second. Manning was almost wishing that he hadn't asked her about it.
But lo and behold, the woman was nodding. This didn't make sense. Security leaks made sense. One of the guys telling his job-seeking girlfriend about it made sense. Even a psychic divining the position from the great unknown made more sense than a mouse of a woman getting career advice from the monster under her bed. A monster that not only knew the address of the building, but knew a job was up for grabs.
This had to be a set up.
Manning spent several minutes looking around the office waiting for one of the resident loons to just jump out with a camera and say something about the look on his face. Because, frankly, the look on his face wasn't going to be getting funnier any time soon.
Not a damn giggle, or cough, or badly muffled choking sound. Nothing but the once more petrified stare of the woman in front of him.
He swallowed and inhaled deeply. Before this day was through he'd need to stock up on his antacids. That was for sure.
Gripping the pen slightly harder than was needed or good for the pen's continued existence, the agent asked her to describe her monster.
The woman looked at him blankly. As though he'd just asked her something incredibly stupid.
"I wouldn't know, I've never seen it." Was her gem of a reply.
Manning had to fight, tooth and nail, to keep from leaning across the desk and throttling the woman. She was either crazy or this was a set up of biblical proportions. He choked back a large lung full of air and held it in, counting backwards from ten. Upon exhaling he found himself calm enough to ask the rather obvious, unimaginably glaring question.
"Ms. James, if you've never seen it...how do you know that there's an actual monster living under your bed? Would it perhaps make more sense if this monster was just in fact a hallucination, or a figment of some kind?"
She shook her head vigorously.
"It's definitely real. It talks to me when I'm lying in bed and..and it ate all the rats in my apartment. There's no imagining that." She seemed to genuinely believe it.
"And it spoke to you and told you about this job?" Her head bobbed once more in reply.
"Right, it didn't happen to mention how it knew there was a job vacancy, did it?" He was rapidly losing interest.
Ms. James smiled widely, showing teeth that seemed just a little too large for her small face.
"He said he ate the man you're replacing."
The pen snapped in two and fell from Agent Manning's hand.