HELLBOY'S FAMILY

Author’s notes: This continues directly from Part Thirteen. Reminder: the date is November 23, 1978 (Thanksgiving Day). Please read previous parts if you haven’t done so. If you have, thanks for reading!!

Chapter Five: Abe Sapien: Sibling Rivalry: Part Fourteen

Hellboy sat up straighter in his hospital bed. Dr. Robert Patterson was whispering to Trevor Broom about not telling him about something until he was stronger; obviously it was something he was not supposed to overhear. He looked at them closer.

His heart started to beat faster and the blips from the heart monitor he was connected to demonstrated this. “Tell me what? What exactly happened back there? Did all those kids die?”

He racked his brain for any scattered memories of the events of Sunday, November 19th.

Patterson and Broom turned toward Hellboy, who had closed his eyes to concentrate on recalling something of that terrible day.

Like an image slowly coming into focus, a single event started to become less hazy.

“Shit, I shot Abe, didn’t I?” Hellboy groaned.

He opened his eyes again and looked from Broom to Patterson and then returned to Broom. He hoped against hope that one or the other of them would tell him that this memory was just his imagination—the product of a brain overwrought by the physical aftermath of his possession by that dark and powerful entity.

Neither man said anything and Hellboy closed his eyes again. “Damn.”

Trevor Broom walked up to Hellboy’s bed and placed a gentle hand on his shoulder.

“Son, as far as Abe or I can tell, you thought you were shooting at something out to harm you. You were already more than half possessed by that wretched entity and that just further confused your perceptions. It really is not your fault and, thank God, Abe was not badly injured. The very fact that you missed shooting anything vital at that point-blank range is, in my opinion, as much related to your true self fighting against this entity as to your bad sense of aim.”

Hellboy looked up into Trevor Broom’s face. “He’s really not hurt that bad? You’re not guffing me, are you, Pop?”

Broom shook his head, “It’s his shoulder. He should be just fine in no time.”

“Good,” Hellboy sighed and then gently pushed Broom’s hand away from his shoulder.

“Sorry, I need to be alone right now.” Despite still being connected to some tubes and his bed being in an upright position, he managed to roll over onto his side and face the wall.

Hellboy stayed that way for hours. When Martha Wilson came in to change his IV bottles, he barely acknowledged her presence. She patted his shoulder, put the bed back down into a reclining position, dimmed the room lights, and went back out.

Some time later she returned, turned the lights back up a little, and adjusted the bed to make Hellboy sit back up. He blinked up at her in surprise.

“Hey, Marty, what’d you have to do that for? I was sleeping.”

She fetched a chair closer to the bed and sat down. “So, tell me H.B., were you really sleeping?”

He groaned under his breath, “You know me too well. Of course, I wasn’t sleeping.”

Martha smiled, then reached out and took his left hand. “Do you know what day this is, H.B.?”

“Nah, I’ve lost track, you know.” Realizing that Martha was interested in some sort of conversation, Hellboy pulled himself up straighter in the bed. “So, what day is it?”

“It’s Thanksgiving,” she said as she squeezed his hand, “You know how much your father loves to celebrate Thanksgiving, even though he’s not American. I remember all those years you two lived here in Boston and how he knew I didn’t have any family and would invite me to have dinner with you. I don’t like the idea of him spending this special day apart from you like this.”

“I don’t feel much like celebrating right now, Marty.” Hellboy tried to disengage his hand from hers and turn back to face the wall.

She squeezed his hand even harder, “I assume not, but it would do him a world of good if you tried. It’s been almost five days since this all happened, you know. Over all that time, your father hardly ate or slept; his only thought was how happy he would be if whatever had a hold of you could finally be banished. Now, all he’s doing is pacing up and down the corridor blaming himself for what happened.”

Hellboy stopped her from saying anything further, “No, Marty, no, no. It was all my fault. Father and Abe were just doing their jobs. Me, I was being a big, stupid ass.”

Martha stood back up, still holding on to his hand, “Look, H.B., maybe you were and maybe you weren’t, but right now I don’t think who’s to blame is what’s important. Trying to sort out why this all happened can wait. What is important is to let your father be with you on Thanksgiving. Its time that you ate a little real food, anyway, and it would really make his day to eat with you. Shall I go tell Trevor that you want him to join you for dinner?”

Hellboy slowly nodded. But rather than letting Martha go, he pulled her closer to the bed, grabbed her into a huge hug, and started to cry. As she held him tight, he began to sob harder and harder. After a long while, he finally wept himself out and let go of her.

“God, I hate when I do that,” he snuffled, “It always makes my nose run.” Martha handed him several Kleenex. As a good nurse should, she always had a supply of these on hand.

As Hellboy blew his nose, Martha was reminded of all the times the six-foot-tall Hellboy at 8 or 9 years old would come to weep on her shoulder after some argument or another with Trevor Broom.

The last time she recalled Hellboy being reduced to sobbing on her shoulder like this had been in 1959 when he was so panicked about his ill father’s state of health. This unexpected storm of tears from the now seven-foot-tall, 34 year-old made her very much aware that whatever happened this past Sunday was definitely related to Hellboy’s relationship with his adoptive father.

Hellboy blew his nose again and wiped his eyes. “Thanks, Marty. So, do we get to eat the turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, like we did when Pop was hospitalized here back in ’59.”

“Your father can, but not you, H.B. You’ve got to stick with the bland stuff I’m afraid.”

Hellboy made a face. “Bland. That means oatmeal, doesn’t it? Don’t care how much maple syrup you put in that crap, Marty, oatmeal still tastes like oatmeal.”

Martha grinned at him on her way out of the room. “Yep, it’s going to be oatmeal. And I hope lots of maple syrup will make it at least tolerable. I might be able to see my way to letting you have a little toast with marmalade and maybe just a few slices of bacon.”

A few minutes later Trevor Broom came into the room. Hellboy slid over on his bed, leaving room for Broom to sit down on it. Neither said a word; Hellboy eventually leaned in toward Broom who took him into his arms and laid Hellboy’s head on his chest. They had not sat together like this since Hellboy had been five years old and just small enough to still sit on Broom’s lap.

Hellboy listened to his father’s strong, steady heartbeat and again realized something that he had always known; his father would never, ever stop loving him no matter how big of an ass he was. Hellboy eventually raised his head and looked into Trevor Broom’s face; he couldn’t recall when he had ever seen his father look so peaceful.

“Happy Thanksgiving, Father.”

Trevor Broom did not answer him; he just wrapped Hellboy in his arms even tighter. Hellboy laid his head back down on Broom’s chest. Both father and son heaved a huge sigh of contentment.

About a half hour later Martha Wilson looked in and decided to wait just a little longer for dinner.

The food eventually did come. Hellboy noticed that Trevor Broom refused to eat anything more than what was allowed to him. At one point Hellboy started to feel very tired again and found eating difficult. Broom stopped eating his own oatmeal, or porridge as he called it, and picked up Hellboy’s spoon and fed him. Hellboy was right about one thing; no matter how much maple syrup he dumped into it, oatmeal always tasted like oatmeal. After they were done eating, Broom drank some rather mediocre tea and Hellboy was allowed some very weak black coffee.

Hellboy decided to go back to sleep when this odd, but very happy, Thanksgiving dinner was over. Trevor Broom kissed his forehead and then sat down again in his chair and watched his son sleep. Eventually Broom fell asleep himself and drifted into a very odd dream, if dream it was.

The room became very, very cold and filled with an inky black darkness. A voice came to Trevor Broom out of that darkness.

“Human, do not think that you have won. I realize now that I must wait for the opportune time. I will be back for him; I will send others to get rid of you and I will take him.”

Broom sighed, “Yes, I know you will have me killed; I know you will take him. This will not matter; I will still win. I know this; I have seen it.”

“Bah, what power do you have that will defeat me, Human?”

“The only true power in this Universe: Love. All you have is force; my love will overcome this.”

Broom suddenly sat up in his chair. “Begone, foul demon, you will never have my son.”

More to come...

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