The Path Not Taken is a Hell Boy II Fan Fiction story which centers on Prince Nuada in a "what if…" scenario which takes place one year before he would have appeared at the auction house. (AU)

Pairings: Nuada/OC, Nuala/Abe mostly might throw in a sprinkle of Hellboy/Liz too in time.

Full Summery:

Princess Nuala of the Clan Bethmoora elves loves her twin brother dearly but through their strong bond she is pained by what grows darker within his heart with each passing century. After carefully weighing the pros and cons she presents him with a seemingly simple offer:

Live among the humans as one for a year and for this she will hand over her part of the crown. One of three pieces and a first step in someday awakening the Golden Army to destroy the human race in what Nuada believes is the only way to save their people.

Far older than the millennium give or take a few centuries, already in exile and hidden in the shadowy depths of New York city, Prince Nuada with little hesitation accepted her challenge.

What is just one year, after all?

He reasons but all too soon he discovers that being human is not as easy as it looks and the powerful enchantment placed upon him has changed more than just his appearance. Weaker, struggling to make ends meet, unable to use magic and barred from all lands his remaining kind reside in or receiving their aid, Prince Nuada is no more. Nathan Lance however is starting to count the months, weeks, days, hours and even minutes until the spell is lifted.

But will one quirky, stubborn and funny woman, her roommate and an old pawnbroker be enough to sway the Prince Nuada from the path of raising the Golden Army to another?

Still working on this story and will finish it. I like to take my time with it plus there is school/work ...ugh! Goal is a chapter a month maybe two. Also if you started reading and then decided to quit reading please let me know why.

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Prologue

"The thunders breaking at her feet:

Above her shook the starry lights:

She heard the torrents meet."

-Alfred Lord Tennyson

The path in the forest was misty and dim. The twinkling night sky peeked between the sheltering branches of the trees above. She looked down from them to her wiggling toes in the cool damp earth and smiled. Her mother always scolded her whenever she ran outside without shoes. But now her mother could not stop her as she skipped along the winding path. Stopping now and then to pick up an interesting looking stone, sniff at a flower or follow the fireflies and moths as they went about their business.

Gently she caught one of the glowing bugs, brought her cupped hands to an eye and peered inside. She gave a soft laugh as the little legs tickled at her palms and fingers, lighting them up. Opening them she watched him crawl a bit before he decided to take off. She followed his path until she lost him in the stars. At least she was pretty sure the firefly was a male. Her father had told her that it was the males that would fly about putting on a display. And if a female liked it she would blink back. Her father also said it was not nice to put them in a jar not even for, in her sulking words, "But it's only for one night."

When she continued to pout he added simply, "How would you like to be put in a jar and stared at?"

Even to her six year old reasoning the question drove his point home. Immediately and solemnly she promised, "I'll never ever put anything in a jar-not even if it's really gross." It earned her one of his warm smiles and even rarer full laughs.

Looking about she suddenly wished her father was here, her mother too. But then they both had very important work which kept them away for long hours. Work they said would make very ill people well again.

With a resigned sigh she kept walking till she found a puddle and was suddenly glad they were not about. For with a mischievous grin and checking one more time around for her mom, she stepped into it. Giggling as the mud squished between her toes.

"Eeeeewww…"

She wiggled them picking one foot up then switched to the other. It made funny sounds.

SPLAT-SPLAT! SPLAT-SPLAT!

Crinkling her nose and laughing some more, she knew if her mom was here she would be put into time out for sure. Her dad however would probably take off his fancy shoes and socks then join in. How much time passed while doing this, mattered little. To her it was pure fun. Eventually in her search for an even bigger and muddier puddle she wandered off of the path into the woods. It did not seem too long before she realized with a start she could no longer see it. The crickets had also gone silent. Hearing something else instead had her turning in circles slowly, trying to determine the direction of the soft swishing and metal hitting metal over her hammering heart.

A few odd flashes of something colored white among the trunks caught her eye. Then she heard the distant voices and started to calm. At least she was no longer alone. Yet cautious still, she slowly and carefully wandered her way to the small clearing. The voices grew louder and seemed friendly but what she saw kept her from emerging fully from the brush to say hello.

It was what appeared to be a man and a woman fighting each other with swords. But from their coloring they could not possibly be human and from their smiles she guessed they were only practicing and even having some fun.

Wow… they are so pale… and they got eyes like… like lions!

Her own eyes grew in size as she took in the sight of them. Never had she seen beings such as this. Even their clothing was peculiar yet looked to be well made. It along with their long corn silk like hair flowed mesmerizingly about as they twirled, sprinted and even jumped about the meadow.

"You cannot remain forever on the defensive… strike back sister."

"No, I will not. In fact I wager you will tire first before I do."

"You and your betting, challenges and dares. Bad influences from those sisters… If father ever finds-"

"Whoever would tell him? And you should talk! You always accept them."

When the brother gave a small growl of frustration and charged he ended up falling. But it only slowed him down. He rolled smoothly from one shoulder to another before somehow hopping back to his feet. The sister who had ducked at the last moment had swept a leg out and tripped him.

"Perhaps you should try another approach instead of running head long into trouble all of the time? Think before you act."

"And you," he began as their blades started to clash again and again. "You think too much."

The little hidden girl smiled, she liked his sister but then she guessed he was probably okay too. As they continued to spar she could not resist remaining to watch. Naively, she thought nothing of possible danger even though they were strangers and odd looking ones at that. Smiling she took a step closer. A twig snapped under her bare muddy foot. The brother froze then whirled away from his sister. His cold, hard amber eyes instantly locking onto hers, had her stumbling backwards. She wanted to look away but felt trapped by his gaze as he came storming up to her with sword still in hand.

"Brother no!" His sister cried out but in the next moment she was banished by some unseen force. The forest melted away and even the girl's little feet were clean once more.

When she scrambled back onto them and backed up into the shadows he stopped short where the light ended and barked out, "You! Who are you! Answer me!"

There was nothing left but them, light and darkness. Her jaw worked but she could not make a sound as he squinted at her then made a disgusted face. Moments ago it seemed so different, handsome and calm. But now close up she could see the lines of worry upon it. That and what looked like vertical cuts and a deeper horizontal one under his eyes and across his nose. He smiled but it was not a nice one. In his pale face it almost looked like a cleaned skull.

"A human…" he ground out slowly as if the words themselves upon his tongue were distasteful. "How dare you come here!"

She started to cry. Seeing the tears gave him pause but then he shook little if any concern for them off.

"You should be scared," he taunted as his unwavering eyes narrowed before drawing even slowly closer.

But something in them her hackles rising or maybe it was just the fact she felt cornered. Sucking in a deep breath she screamed as loud as she could. And she kept screaming until she woke up.

"Goodness honey! What is the matter?" Her father burst into the room as she sat up crying. Her mother was still at work or so she guessed.

Between gasps she whimpered out, "I was in a forest… catching fireflies… but I left the path and… "

He patiently listened to the rest all the while gently wiping the new tears away. When she finished he reassured, "He can't hurt you. In fact… I bet he got pretty scared when you started screaming."

"R-really? You… you really think that would help?"

"Yep. You got quite the pair of lungs on yah. I say, if he gives you any more grief let him have it." Her father then gave a goofy grin and put his fists to his ears. Then popping his fingers suddenly free and wiggling he made playful exploding sounds. As if his eardrums were bursting one by one before he slipped to the floor moaning, eyes rolling back and twitching, like he was in the throes of dying. She giggled. He did too, rising back up. Tucking her back in, he mocked the odd man from her nightmare in various silly voices. In a deep one he ordered, "Human! Time to sleep! No more screams!"

She laughed harder and gave out a short one.

"Oh no! The screams… I can't stand the screams!" He cried out sounding rather duckish that time.

She screamed again a little louder and snickered breathlessly. As her father next pleaded out in a falsetto voice, "Oh stop! Please stop human!"

By the time her father kissed her cheeks then nose she was completely at ease. Smiling she closed her eyes, hugged her teddy bear tight and thought about how next time she would let that meanie have it. She almost could not wait. She liked to scream. In fact much to her mother's dismay she loved it.

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Author's Notes: For those who have read my story before, I hope with this new prologue will provide a little more background for what is to come. Don't worry the old Prologue still is there only it's been changed into a chapter. Sorry I had a bit of a block lately due to some stuff going on in the last few months and second guessing what to do next with this story. Thank you so much for subscribing and patiently waiting for more chapters.