Chapter 11
Talking with Desmond

After Nuada's abrupt exit from the library Oriel spent most of the day pondering over his strange behavior. The answer eluded her as the evening fell and as her stomach growled she decided that perhaps she should go eat dinner. But first she wanted to put her diary away; happily she clutched the notebook close and skipped off toward her rooms. She contemplated on where she would hide it but soon decided that under her mattress seemed like a good idea. Sure that no one would find it; she left and took off toward the Mess Area at a full sprint.

The long hallways and the lack of people about made the sprint much easier. If she tried, Oriel supposed she could go even faster, she was half tempted to try but as she pondered the pros and cons she failed to notice Desmond and successfully ran him into the floor. Oriel gave out a shocked cry as she ran into his large frame and the two were sent flying back several feet. Desmond grunted as he landed on his back with a heavy thud, his body cushioning Oriel's fall.

Shocked, Oriel jumped back immediately realizing that her carelessness may have hurt the new agent. In her agitation and fear her wings tried to expand to their full length as she tried not to panic. She rushed over to his side and tried to feel for any broken bones and when she found none she breathed a bit easier. Desmond gave a groan as the winged woman shook his shoulder a bit. Slowly, he opened his eyes and dazed green orbs glittered back at her. She heaved a sigh of relief; she had not hurt the poor man. She stood carefully and held out a small hand for the younger man to take and she easily helped him to his feet.

"Thanks" he said, Oriel smiled at him. Desmond look back down the hall and he seemed to realize that they had traveled quite a few feet when they collided, "Man, you must have been bookin it down the hall." He commented, nervously he gave her a side glance, "How fast do you think you were going?"

Oriel shrugged her shoulders; the younger agent gave an amused huff and turned his full attention to her. He seemed to study her intently and his eyes spent much time on her large white wings. He must have realized he was staring because he looked away embarrassed.

"So I realized it's almost dinner time, but I'll be honest with you I'm lost." He said with a smile and a light chuckle, "Do you think you could help me find the Cafeteria?" Oriel nodded vigorously and she took his hand without hesitation and led him down the familiar halls. Several minutes later they came into a bustling Mess Hall and she gave him a small wave as she went into the line to get her food. She piled her plate full of fruit and veggies and she went over to her usual table taking her usual spot.

Oriel realized that during her stay she had grown less wary of Hellboy, she now understood that he was a gentle giant but she also knew that he was scary when he was mad. It was fortunate that hardly ever happened. Eventually she came to accept his presence to the point where she could even sit next to him without trouble. Red gave her a huge grin as she sat down a foot or two away from him and she returned it with just as much enthusiasm.

Dinner started with not much excitement, though Oriel took an interest in Desmond as he tried to find a spot to sit. She watched with pity as he nervously glanced around for an inviting place and she was about to wave him over when he chose an empty table near the door. He looked lonely and lost sitting by himself but before she could go and entertain him Nuada walked through the door. The tall elf cast Desmond a fleeting glance before striding off to get his own meal. Within a few minutes he sat down next to the winged woman and he bowed his head in greeting.

Oriel nodded as she started to scrutinize him, her white eyes searched his face for any sign of the emotions he had shown earlier but she saw none. With an unsatisfied sigh she finished off her plate, what had caused his mysterious behavior and what was all the loneliness she had seen. He had his sister; he got along with his fellow agents. But, as Oriel thought of it more, there was more to it than what she was seeing. The more she studied his past actions with other people like Liz or Red; she noticed that he was respectful. Not nice or friendly, as he was with her or Nuala.

This puzzled her even more, and as she thought back more and more she also now noticed how everyone seemed extremely wary of him. Like he was the one they should fear instead of Red, she couldn't see how this was possible Nuada was such a kind and caring person once she got over his towering and terrifying presence. Did no one else see this side of him, and if not what kept them from seeing this? The answer eluded Oriel as she finally came back to reality, while she had been off deep in thought everyone had finished eating and even her plate had been taken up for her.

The room was starting to clear up as people slowly drifted back to work or to bed, almost everyone anyway. Desmond seemed slightly lost as he finished his dinner and cleaned up. He eyed the door warily and the winged woman gave a small knowing smile, she had been the same way when she had to brave the confusing halls of the BPRD. Swiftly she stood and walked toward the taller man and tapped him on the arm, he jumped slightly and looked down at her. It took a moment before he recognized her and smiled. She motioned for him to follow, figuring she could at least lead him back to familiar halls.

As they walked out of the Mess hall together she looked back to wave good-bye to her friends, she paused slightly at the intense gaze Nuada directed towards Desmond's back. He seemed to notice she was watching him and it immediately disappeared as he turned away. More puzzled than before she shrugged it off and left.

Nuada watched Oriel and the human leave together and a rush of white hot emotion ran down his spine, the hairs on his neck bristled and he found his mouth had curved into a small sneer. What was the cause of this resentment he felt toward the new agent? He was nothing more than a human, why should he feel any different about him than he did about the others? He watched as the man turned to Oriel and said something to her she obviously found it amusing and she gave a small laugh, her wings quivered in her delight.

"Do I sense jealousy brother?" Nuada gave a start as he turned to face the very knowing eyes of his sister. He stiffened and half thought about denying her observation, but he could hide nothing from her. Instead he chose not to dignify it with an answer and he turned away from her in a huff. Amused at his child like antics Nuala gave a small smile and left him to his own devices.

Him, Jealous? The thought was absurd, but whenever he thought about that human talking with Oriel he felt the same intense dislike run down his spine. He gave a low grumble as he left the cafeteria hoping to find a way to take his mind off of Oriel and her newfound companion. As he walked toward his room to get his training gear he gave a huff and stopped in the middle of the hall. Why would he be jealous of a mere human? There was nothing extraordinary about him; he had neither powers nor any magical lineage. But Oriel likes him. With another grumble of anger Nuada took off toward his room again determined to ignore that nagging little voice trying to tell him something he was almost afraid to know.

"It's Oriel, right?" asked Desmond as the pair walked down the hall towards some unknown destination, the white haired woman dipped her head in confirmation and the agent gave a serious nod. "See I'm usually really bad with names, so I don't want to forget." She gave another chuckle; he would soon find that most of the agents here would be pretty hard to forget. She noticed that despite the fact he as trying not to, he was looking at her wings from the corner of his eyes. She grabbed his wrist and made him stop, he opened his mouth but he promptly shut it when she spread her wings to their near full length. She gave him a nonchalant shrug to tell him that she didn't care if he stared or not.

Desmond seemed to understand as he nervously rubbed his neck, "I didn't want to be rude; I sort of figured you might not like people staring."

"N-not anymore." She said quietly, she watched as her new friend stepped back in surprise,

"You talk!" he blushed as he realized he had just stated the obvious.


"I thought you were one of those silent types, I'm sorry." Oriel waved away his apology as he looked away sheepishly. She could see he was trying to hold in his questions and she had to admire the way he tried to act so respectful. It was silent for a moment before Desmond finally got the courage to speak again,

"Were you born with them?" Oriel nodded and slowly she watched as he got over his shyness and started to study her gift a little more. Slowly, as if not to startle her, he stepped around her and reached a timid hand toward one. Before his fingers brushed the clean white feathers he stopped to look at her, his eyes asking for permission. She nodded once and she felt his touch slide down the outer bone, he traced it and seemed to look for every sinew he could find. His touch seemed to memorize every muscle and cord and she saw that he admired their beauty. Then he lifted away his fingers and stepped back, "Thank you." Oriel could only smile at him.

A/N: Wow has it been that long since I updated. I am so sorry guys. A lot of stuff has been going down lately with my dad in the hospital and me having to move. I'll try to update soon but I can't make any promises.