A/N: This was actually inspired by a costume I wore, but because I'm a nerd, I had to invent a backstory for it. I'm going mostly off the movies, but there's a little from the comics thrown in, too. I don't own anything you recognize. I'm not really sure where I'm going with this, so I'd really appreciate any advice or comments. Thanks.
He'd always thought that he was alone in the world. She'd always known she wasn't.
When Rasputin convinced the Nazis to summon Hellboy as part of his Operation Ragna Rok, the Beast of the Apocalypse was brought into the world with a companion, the Guide. As it was his destiny to bring about the apocalypse with the Right Hand of Doom and to wear the Crown of Chaos, it was her destiny to bring him to this. So, when these small red children were discovered by Professor Trevor Bruttenholm and their purpose deduced by the newly formed Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, it was decided that they should be separated for their own safety. They were young. It was believed that they might even be able to convince them that the other never even existed. In Hellboy's case, this was possible. There had been some worry that with a talented psychic like Abraham Sapien around that the secret would be lifted from Professor Broom's mind, but the professor had found a way to lock the most important information into a part of his brain that even Abe couldn't penetrate. However, in her case, no amount of persuasion would lead her to believe that he was just an imaginary friend she'd created as a child. No, she was psychically linked to her charge and the link was too strong to delude her. When he felt something strongly, she experienced the emotion. When he was in pain, she felt it. Her teenage years had been hell, being influenced by two sets of hormones.
While he'd been raised at the BPRD headquarters in Fairfield, Connecticut, she'd been sent to live as far from there as possible, a remote base in Phoenix, Arizona. Thinking about it still made her smile ruefully. Sending a demon to live in the closest thing the United States could provide to hell on earth. That was the BPRD's sense of humor.
The Professor had come to visit her occasionally while she'd been growing up, but he devoted most of his time to raising Hellboy. He told her that was because he needed more supervision, that she was such a good girl that he could trust her on her own. She'd still felt jealous and lonely. Feelings that she'd regretted immensely when she found out about the Professor's murder. After that, she'd learned to think of the times that he had been with her as precious.
The two agents who had seen both her and Hellboy told her that she looked younger. She didn't know why. No one really understood how they aged. She wondered if that's why they treated her more like a kid and less like the powerful force for potential destruction that she was.
When she'd found out about his honorary human status, she'd been jealous as hell. Sure, they were both technically top secret, but she was so classified, she couldn't even have a paper trail. So, while he was being dubbed nearly human and called the world's leading paranormal investigator, she was stuck looking at cattle mutilations in the southwest and Mexico.
The most recent jab had come after she'd nearly died unexpectedly. She'd known it was something to do with him, but it had taken some time to figure out what had happened. Apparently, he'd messed with some elven prince who'd stabbed him in the chest with a magical spear. Luckily, they saved him, and her by extension, but in the aftermath, they'd let it slip. He was going to be a father. He had someone and soon he'd have a family. She had nothing…and she wasn't going to take it anymore.
On her next mission, a possible chupacabra attack, Hellgirl ducked her handlers, something she hadn't done since she was a teenager. She could hear them over her communicator, yelling at her to respond.
"Not this time, boys." she said out loud, switching off her locator.
Hellgirl had discovered when she was younger and testing her boundaries that it was easier than one might think for her to get a car to stop and give her a ride. Apparently there were enough kinky guys out there for a red-skinned girl with long dark hair to hitchhike. She could only imagine how they'd react if they saw her horns or her tail. And they thought she was a freak.
Hellgirl adjusted her hat to make sure her small red horns were concealed. She'd heard from one of her handlers once that Hellboy filed his horns to look more normal. She'd never bothered. Hers were small, anyway. She was more self conscious about her tail. She hated the attention it brought her. As if she needed another reason for people to stare at her ass. So, despite the discomfort, she tended to keep it either tucked down a pant leg or hidden by a long jacket. Her hooves were less of a problem thanks to the special boots the BPRD supplied her. Other than that, she felt she looked fairly normal. She didn't have yellow eyes like she'd heard her counterpart had. Her eyes were simply a dark brown. Her features were sharp, but cohesive which was accented by her shear style of bangs and her long straight hair. She was slightly taller than average and curvy. It bothered her sometimes to think that she looked like the sort of girl guys liked to get tattooed on them. If only she had an angelic sister.
As she'd predicted, it didn't take long for her to catch a ride. It was going to take some time to work her way from Arizona to Connecticut, especially if she had to break a few fingers to keep from being molested along the way, but she was nothing if not stubborn. So after many days of forced conversation with lecherous strangers and sleeping on the side of the road (she couldn't let her guard down like that in the car), she finally made it to Fairfield. She'd wondered at first how she'd find him, but the closer she got, the stronger the pull of her psychic link. Now that she was so close, she felt it like a rope tugging her in the right direction.
Standing in the shadows, looking at the gates surrounding the Squeaky Clean Waste Management facilities, she scoffed. Sure she was envious and resentful of the life he had, but at least she didn't have to live in a trash factory. At least she lived on a good, old-fashioned Air Force base.
"Well, now I just got to figure out how to get inside." HG mused to herself.
She tossed around a few ideas, but the security looked pretty tight. Finally, tired, hungry and frustrated, she decided to just go with a direct approach.
"Ah, hell with it." she grumbled, stepping out of the shadows and marching up to the front gate.
She was sure alarms were already going off inside the building since she knew surveillance must have caught her as soon as she stepped out of the trees, but she smirked to herself and rang the buzzer anyway. She pondered for a second what to say. Top secret government agent here to see her equally top secret demon brother? HG calling HB? Honey, I'm home?
She needn't have worried about it. No one responded to the buzzer, but the gate swung open. Hellgirl looked around cautiously as she stepped slowly inside. She felt a little bit like the weary traveler entering Dracula's castle. The gate even whined as it opened just like a creaky Transylvanian castle door.
The gate shut behind her with a definite clang. Hellgirl glanced over her shoulder at it, but continued to move towards the building. She had almost reached the door when it suddenly flew open and people poured out. They swiftly surrounded her, but she wasn't concerned. She'd been waiting for a response like this. Looking around at the agents encircling her, her cools eyes taking in their weapons, Hellgirl pulled off her hat to expose her horns.
"Hey, guys." she greeted them.
Silence answered her until a single voice muttered into the void, "Oh, crap."
Hellgirl turned, focusing on the source. It was a larger, bald man standing behind the ring of agents. He was the only one she saw that showed a flicker of recognition on his face. Facing him directly and ignoring everyone else, Hellgirl addressed him.
"We gonna stand out here all night?"
"You! You're not supposed to be here." the man protested as if he could make her disappear if he just objected strongly enough.
"But I am here and I'm not going anywhere." Hellgirl replied, her voice strong and even to cement her words.
Turning to some of the agents nearest to him, the man quickly issued orders, "You two, go lock him in his room. Now!"
The two agents broke from the others and ran back into the building. The rest closed ranks, filling in the gap they left. Hellgirl rolled her eyes. She wasn't sure exactly what they thought they were going to do. It wasn't like they were actually going to shoot her.
"What are you doing here?" the boss man demanded.
"Sight-seeing." Hellgirl quipped dryly in response. She was seriously tired of this. She was hungry and worn out from the trip here. Why couldn't they just give up and let her do what she wanted?
"You need to go back to your base." Mr. Grouchy and In-Her-Way snapped, apparently not pleased with her attitude.
Hellgirl's eyes narrowed into a glare and her stance widened as she placed her hands on her hips, "Make me."
The agent scowled, practically twitching in annoyance at her response. She could almost feel how much he wanted to order some of his men to go after her. He'd simply end up with some injured agents for his trouble, but she didn't know if he knew that. She silently dared him to try it with her eyes.
"What's going on here?"
Hellgirl whirled to see the new arrival. It was a woman with short blonde hair, a sharp nose and quick eyes. Hellgirl's first impression of her was that she looked bookish, scholarly. Her second impression was that she looked like a girl that could handle herself okay. She certainly seemed to be commanding attention at the moment. Despite the situation, HG found that she instinctively kind of liked her.
HG and the new arrival locked eyes. Hellgirl saw surprise and curiosity. She flashed her a smile.
"Who is this?" the blonde asked, glancing away from the demon girl to look at the bald man.
Hellgirl was pleased to see a look of frustrated resignation settle onto the man's face. With a sigh and a grumble, he deflated.
"Alright, let's take this inside. McDonald, Jones, Childress, and Martin with me. Everyone else, back to work!"
Four agents separated from the others while everyone else disappeared back into the building. Hellgirl shifted her weight impatiently until the four agents moved to escort her inside. The bald man led the way and the blonde woman trailed after. Hellgirl could feel her eyes on her and grinned. Blowing her ultra top secret cover might be fun.
Hellgirl was herded into the building. Inside was a large hall and a wide reception desk manned by a solitary agent. The group stopped before the desk over a large golden emblem on the floor. Hellgirl wasn't entirely surprised when the floor began to drop beneath their feet, lowering them to a hidden lower level of the compound. Here there was a commotion of people running about, doing various tasks. Hellgirl's eyes swept over them, but dismissed them. She didn't care about any of them. Rather, her eyes were drawn to a hallway off to her left. She knew with unfailing certainty that Hellboy was down that hallway somewhere.
As the unusual elevator hit the floor, Hellgirl was ushered away from that hallway and down another on the right. She soon found herself in a large room with a table and chairs situated in the middle. Without waiting for any prompting, HG strode to the table and plopped down in a chair. She settled herself so she wasn't squishing her tail and leaned back, resting one ankle atop the other knee. She glanced around at the others who were still standing as if to ask what they were waiting for. The blonde and the bald man joined her at the table. The other agents remained standing.
"Manning, who is this?" the blonde repeated herself.
"This," Manning answered, gesturing at Hellgirl without even looking at her, "is a gigantic problem. One we did not need."
"Boy are you a charmer." Hellgirl commented, "Let me guess, you're single."
Manning glared at the demon before turning back to the as of yet unidentified blonde.
"This is beyond classified. Hellboy doesn't even know about this." Manning continued.
"Her." Hellgirl interrupted. Manning's eyes cut to her, "Her. Not 'this.'"
Manning continued as if she hadn't spoken, "When Hellboy was discovered by Professor Broom, he wasn't alone. There were two creatures. One was Hellboy. One was…her."
Hellgirl spread her hands and inclined her head.
"I don't understand." the blonde said, her brow furrowed in confusion, "Why haven't I heard about this? Why doesn't Hellboy know about her?"
"Let me take this one, Prince Charming." Hellgirl cut in before Manning could answer. She leaned forward towards the blonde, "You probably know my big bro's story, right? Right Hand of Doom and all that? Well, I'm the Guide. I'm supposed to bring him to his destiny. So, when Pops figured that out, him and the big bosses decided it would be safest to keep us as far apart as possible. They even tried to convince us that we just imagined having a sibling. Guess it worked on big bro. Didn't fly with me."
"Fascinating." the woman said, staring at Hellgirl with rapt attention, "How did you know Hellboy was real?"
Hellgirl felt some of her attitude dissipate in the face of this woman's genuine interest, "Well, we're linked. I can sort of feel him. When he feels something really strongly or when he gets hurt, I feel that, too. I guess it makes sense that I'd be super aware of him since I'm supposed to guide him. Still kind of a pain in the ass, though, since he seems to try and get himself killed on a regular basis."
The woman cracked a small smile at that and Hellgirl got the impression that she must know her estranged brother pretty well.
"Hellgirl." she introduced herself, reaching a hand across the table.
"Kate." the woman replied, her pale hand gripping Hellgirl's red one firmly.
"Well, that's great." Manning grumbled sarcastically, "But I'm in charge here and I want to know what you think you're doing here."
Animosity flooded back into Hellgirl's system and her eyes were hard when they met Manning's, "My father is dead. I've been kept away from my brother my whole life. Now I find out that he's about to become a dad. I've spent my whole life doing whatever you people wanted me to. Now I want something. I want my family back."
Manning broke eye contact, but didn't hesitate to reply, "No way. Absolutely not. I am not risking the apocalypse because you're feeling lonely."
Hellgirl growled and it took an amazing force of will to keep her in her chair. She wanted to just leap across the table and beat the snot out of this guy, but she knew that wouldn't get her anywhere no matter how satisfying it might be.
"I won't go back." she bit out instead.
"Oh, yes you will." Manning replied, "You'll go back and if you don't cooperate, I'll have you locked up and throw away the key."
"I want to see him." Hellgirl persisted.
"No." Manning denied her again.
The three in the room all froze. Manning paled and beads of sweat appeared on his brow. Hellgirl felt a chill run down her spine. She knew that voice. Kate glanced between them and the door to the room uncertainly.
"Manning! Where the hell are you?" the deep voice bellowed again.
Manning scrambled to his feet and moved quickly for the door.
"All of you, come with me. Do not let her leave this room." he called over his shoulder to Kate.
Kate stared after him as he and the other agents hurried out the door. If this girl was anything like Hellboy, she wasn't sure what she could do to prevent her from doing anything she wanted to do. Hellgirl met her eye and Kate knew they were both thinking the same thing.
"I'm walking out that door." Hellgirl said, her voice brooking no argument.
"I won't try to stop you." Kate replied.
Hellgirl smiled at Kate briefly and Kate wondered about this girl. Her story was moving. And while she understood why the BPRD had done what they did with her, she couldn't help but feel that the girl had a point, too. She deserved more than to be locked up somewhere, only released to do the BPRD's bidding, always knowing that she had family out there, but never able to see them. Kate tried to imagine what that would be like and found that she couldn't. Not completely.
As Kate pondered her, Hellgirl wasted no time moving to the door and out into the hallway. She felt a little disoriented in this unfamiliar building that seemed to be built like a maze, but her psychic link pulled at her and she followed it. It led her around a corner and she found herself staring at a tall, broad back. The back was covered in a tan duster. Glancing up, Hellgirl saw dark hair pulled back in a sort of samurai style. Past this figure she saw Manning's horrified face.
Hellgirl felt her heart hammer in her chest and then stop as the large figure in front of her turned around.
The bare red skin of his chest was the first thing she saw, since she was many inches shorter than him. Looking up, she saw dark facial hair along a strong jaw line. Cheekbones were just as sharp. Nose looked like it had been broken a few times. Eyes were a startling yellow against the red skin. Two large filed down horns stood out on his forehead like a pair of red goggles.
Hellgirl had thought about what she'd say to him when and if she ever met him, but nothing came to mind. In fact, it was all she could do to let out the breath she'd been holding and draw in another shaky lungful.
"What…?" Hellboy asked in confusion, staring at the red girl in front of him.
His first thought had been that this was a really stupid prank. But then something had niggled at him deep in his brain. There was something about her, something vaguely…familiar.
"Oh, this is bad." Manning mumbled, snapping them both out of it.
"You're real?" Hellboy asked, still trying to piece together the fuzzy impression of memories from his very early years.
All he could remember was another red person, like him, and then Father telling him he that he'd had an imaginary friend. Father had never lied to him…until now.
"I'm real." she confirmed.
"I can see the family resemblance." Hellboy commented in an attempt to lighten the mood, his eyes glancing up at her horns.
HG reached a hand up and touched a horn self-consciously.
"Yeah." she agreed, a smile flickering across her face, a short laugh escaping her but coming out more like a hiccup.
"Hellgirl." she supplied.
"Huh. Guess they were as creative with you as they were with me." he mused, a wry grin on his face.
"Steve and Lucy probably wouldn't have stuck." she agreed.
"Okay! Okay, that's enough! Back up. Separate. Now." Manning ordered, wedging himself between them and attempting to push them apart.
Hellboy glanced down at Manning's hand on his chest and raised an eyebrow. Manning jerked his hand back and took a few steps back.
"What's the big idea, Manning? Why didn't I know about her?" Hellboy demanded, rounding on the shorter man.
"That's…uh…that's classified." Manning hedged.
"So un-classify it." Hellboy growled.
"I can answer that." Hellgirl cut in, placing a small red hand on his large stone forearm before she could think about what she was doing.
The physical contact sent a shock through her that made her go rigid. In her mind she got a flash of him amongst destroyed buildings, a flaming crown atop his long, red horns. She snatched her hand back and the image disappeared.
"I can't allow this." Manning said, gesturing at the other agents standing by to move in.
"You don't want to do that, Manning." Hellboy warned, backing up slowly and forcing Hellgirl to back up as well.
"I'm not scared of you." Manning replied.
Hellboy scoffed at that, "If you say so. But that's not the point."
Manning looked confused.
"The one you should be scared of is her." Hellboy explained, stepping out of the way as Liz moved past him.
Hellgirl stared at the fair-skinned, dark-haired woman as she moved to stand in front of Hellboy, blocking the path of Manning and his agents. She held both her hands, palm up, in front of her. Fire flared up from her hands.
Hellgirl saw Manning and the agents all blanch at the sight of her and back up quickly.
"She already blew the door off our room. I wouldn't give her a reason to get fired up again." Hellboy remarked with a grin.
"What do you think you're going to do?" Manning demanded.
"Catch up with my little sis." Hellboy shrugged.
"I'll have your jobs for this!" Manning threatened.
Hellboy laughed, "We quit remember? You had to beg us to come back. That's an empty threat."
Manning blubbered angrily, apparently trying to think of something else but coming up blank.
"Let's go." Hellboy said, turning to go.
HG didn't need to be told twice. She quickly reversed course. She passed Kate on her way back through the halls. She nodded quickly in gratitude. Kate nodded back, staying out of the way as the trio moved past, trailed by a growing crowd of BPRD agents.
Hellgirl started to head back towards the elevator, but Hellboy shook his head and led the way in a different direction. Trusting him, she didn't hesitate to follow. Soon enough, they were in what looked like a hanger. There were some black vehicles, a large garbage truck and a small jet.
"Let's take the plane." Hellboy said.
"Don't get excited, HB." the dark-haired girl cautioned, "Get in a car."
"Fine, but I'm driving." Hellboy grumbled, heading for a black SUV.
"Not a chance." she replied, extinguishing the flames and climbing in the driver's side.
"Women." Hellboy said with an eye roll as he squished himself in the passenger side, immediately reaching down to push the seat back as far as it would go.
HG shook her head at him as she quickly slid into the back seat. Liz started the car and squealed the tires as she swiftly maneuvered the car towards the hanger doors. BPRD agents leaped out of the way to avoid being clipped by the vehicle.
Looking at the closed doors that were swiftly approaching, Hellboy glanced at Liz, "Uh…Liz?"
"Yeah, Red?" Liz asked back through clenched teeth, pushing the gas petal down to the floor.
"You know those doors are pretty solid, right?"
"Not for long." Liz assured him.
She lowered her window and reached one hand out that immediately burst into flames. Eyes narrowing and turning a fiery color, Liz focused on the doors, trying to keep all the fire in her hand. Usually Liz's whole body was consumed in the blaze when she used her power, but she'd been practicing a lot, trying to control it. Using all her concentration, she channeled the inferno down her arm and through her fingertips until it was like an arc of flames was pouring from her hand towards the doors. The metal began to glow before the heat and the pressure became too much. A chunk of the door exploded outward just as the SUV was about to impact, creating a hole almost large enough for them to drive through. They had to sacrifice the side mirrors and the paint job wasn't nearly as pristine anymore, but Hellboy wasn't about to complain. In fact, he was frankly pretty impressed.
"Nice work, Sparky."
"Thanks." Liz said, looking pleased as she extinguished the fire and rolled her window back up.