|||||Jet Black Stare "Ready to Roll" ||]|
Warnings: slash, swearing, death and ressurection, AU.
Pairing:Nuada/John Myers, mentioned Nuada/Nuala.
Fandom: Hellboy movieverse.
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters and these settings. All the OC's are mine, but that's it pretty much.
Summary: Long buildup to the actual action, but necessary>_>
Or rather, it has started with a pumpkin pie.
In a small, cosy bakery on the East Coast that unknowingly employed two well camouflaged house elves. Tiny creatures possessing magical ability that allowed them to hide in the smallest spaces around the kitchen – from millimetre-wide cracks between cupboards to a shadow of a broom. From what John knew, they’ve started working in the bakery long time ago, when it belonged to the father of the current owner. They’ve had a contract with the old man, but now they worked on their own and the new owners didn’t even know about them.
Tik and Tak, as they were called, were mainly taking care that the dough didn’t deflate and that bugs and cockroaches stayed away from the kitchen. As a payment for their service they gladly picked up crumbs left in the pans and on the first of every month nicked a whole glazed bun. With raisins. This was something they were ashamed to admit, but John assured them in friendly whisper that the baked probably didn’t even realise a lack of one bun a month so it was nothing to feel bad about.
He’s befriended them by complete accident. One time after a very unpleasant mission he simply entered the bakery to buy himself something to eat – ordered by Kowalski to leave the clean-up to his squad and piss off and goddamnit Myers, get some coffee in yourself, will ya! (it was major’s usual way of being kind without appearing to be so before his squad.) Always willing to compromise, John gladly pissed off.
Just as he was sitting at the table in the corner of a small lobby with his pumpkin pie in one hand and a latte in the other, saltshaker on the table jumped and two pairs of big, shiny eyes stared at him from its shadow. And a tiny, high voice pleaded: “Don’t take us away!”.
John didn’t know how the flow of gossip in the Other World worked, but it had to be impressive. They have barely finished relocating one irate mermaid who for some reason decided that pulling port workers underwater was a good idea, and everyone concerned already knew that BPRD is in the town.
Not wanting to look like a bigger weirdo that he already was, John daftly put a wireless headphone in his ear and started the questioning. After he’s got his answers, he shared his pie with the house elves and promised them that, yeah, they could stay where they were as long as they behave.
From this point on John made it his custom to check on them bakery time he was in the neighbourhood. The pumpkin pie was excellent and he’s always got all the newest gossip from the Other Side. As it turned out, the house elves were at the top of the unofficial info-ladder and usually knew everything first.
As an agent, John always believed in being well informed – no matter which side shared the info. Granny McCoy, Tik and Tak – they were just a part of those John could refer to in a time of need. There was Olga, a Russian rusalka living currently in the Great Falls, Washington. Another onewas a gargoyle occupying the roof of St. Patrick’s church in New York (most of the people thought there’s no gargoyles on the church, but that only meant they’ve never bothered to look hard enough). They were cooperating with him because every rogue Other that caused trouble was bringing problems on the heads of them all – as once Olga has put it.
So, one November evening greeted John entering the familiar doors, ordering his usual pie with medium latte, and taking his usual place in the corner. It was a... bad month. Halloween was always trying, but this year it was especially harsh; they’ve lost agent Smith and a dozen other men was wounded on the job.
John was about to get into his pie when the saltshaker jumped. Tik and Tak shyly stepped from behind it.
John never knew what sex they were exactly, because they’ve looked equally feminine and masculine, and just plain Other. He’s had the same problem with wodyanoy and striges, couldn’t guess on his own and asking always seemed rude.
House elves looked like mirror images of each other, the only difference was that Tak wore blue hat on his head whereas Tik’s hat was red. Underneath them were identical tousled mops of ashen hair, delicate faces with big opalescent milky eyes, and stick-thin bodies dressed in miniature copies of old-fashioned baker’s aprons. The image ended on two pairs of tiny shoes adorned with sequins.
For an untrained eyes they both could seem to be some old-fashioned dolls, but a trained individual could plainly see that their teeth were surprisingly sharp and their tiny fingers were topped with needle-like claws.
A sudden memory of a recording with Tooth Fairies made John shudder. No Other was defenceless and entirely safe. Mister Andersen would be very surprised if he ever knew how long and sharp were the teeth of his Little Mermaid.
“Welcome, mister Myers!” greeted Tik.
“Hi, John!” greeted Tak.
“Hello,” answered John quietly. He swiftly craved two small pieces from his slice of pie and handed them to the elves on the end of a fork. “Help yourself.”
Tiny creatures didn’t have to be told twice. They were little gluttons for everything that was sweet. John took a minute to get a head start on his coffee.
“Do you want to know something, John?” asked Tak, wiping his mouth on a sleeve. “Something really cool?”
“ Let him finish his coffee!” Tik scolded his twin and neatly wiped his little hands on the apron.
John smiled and obediently continued to drink his coffee. It was nice, to just sit there and not have to think. When he put the empty mug in the table, house elves brightened considerably.
“What do you have for me?” he asked, leaning in to hear them better barely stifling a yawn.
“Oh, are you tired, John?” Tak was instantly concerned. “Did you work a lot again? Mommy says that when humans work too much they get sick and die.”
“No they don’t, stupid!” Tik was indigent again. “It was before, now they have Holidays and Sickleaves!” The turned his shiny, pale eyes on John and asked in concerned voice: “Do you have Holidays and Sickleaves, mister Myers?”
“I do,” he could barely refrain from laughing, but stopping an incoming argument was more important. “And I am okay, just a little winded after Halloween. What did you want to tell me, then?”
House elves sighed in perfect tandem and the worry on their faces disappeared.
“You know, it’s like this...” Tik started.
“No one can know about it!” Tak cut in.
“...and you have to promise to not tell a soul...”
“...or we’ll get in trouble...”
“...and our mommy will get mad...”
“...and it will be bad.”
“I promise not to tell a soul,” John tried to sound as if he wasn’t amused by their pattern of speaking. Promises were a big deal among the Others. “Scout’s honour!”
Oh, that stung for a second. These glitches of the heart have to stop, because it’s getting ridiculous! He was sure that he’s got over tearing up at the sight of a cat!
Meanwhile Tik and Tak nodded to themselves and both took a big breath to whisper loudly:
“A Lady is going to visit this Side...”
“...and you’ll probably meet her.”
The capital letter was perfectly pronounced.
John burrowed his eyebrows and asked: “What ‘Lady’?”
Tak shook his little head so hard that his hat almost fell off.
“We can’t tell you!” he sqeaked.
“You’ll know Her when you see Her,” assured calmly Tik.
And then they both looked at John with identical expecting expressions and he could do nothing else than sigh a little and share his pumpkin pie again.
All the way to the hotel agent Myers was thinking about this new, puzzling information that the house elves shared with him. They seemed very excited about that whole ‘Lady’. Who could that be? Hopefully not another Nature Spirit. Mother Earth didn’t like humans a lot, they were aware of it, but if she could contain this dislike a little bit longer...
John was too tired to research that ‘secret’ properly. He was sleepy and in need of a shower. Hotel beds were surprisingly comfortable and the sheets smelled of cleanliness – his sheets at the base always smelled of the same detergent that got irritating after a while.
For a few months already John kept promising himself that he’ll find himself a flat and move out of the BPRD, but it never happened. Why would he want to leave? He worked, ate and slept in the library – he’s got a separate room on the other side of the corridor only because Kowalski has threatened him with bodily harm if he finds John slumped on the desk one more time.
As far as half-measures went this one was smart, efficient and completely pathetic.
John promised himself that he will stop waiting for them and wanted to keep that promise. Until now, it was going great: he has his work, his responsibilities, and no personal life whatsoever.
It was fine for now.
Right until the unicorn decided to send it all to Hell.