Author’s notes: This part follows directly after Part Thirty-One. Remember this is taking place in December of 1978.

Warning: This is definitely heading for a ‘T’ (PG13) version of sexual behavior.

Chapter Five: Abe Sapien: Sibling Rivalry: Part Thirty-Two

At first Kate Corrigan had found Abe Sapien’s explanation about the eccentric way he and Hellboy had been communicating so fascinating that she didn’t notice how long it was taking Hellboy to join them. After she had noticed and started worrying, she was more than relieved when Hellboy eventually arrived to where they were waiting for him at the foot of the stairs that lead back up to the surface.

Kate may not have been psychic herself, but was closely enough attuned to Hellboy’s moods that she didn’t need Abe’s mind-reading abilities to note that Hellboy seemed upset. Abe, on the other hand, became keenly aware that Hellboy no longer wanted him inside his head any longer. The emergency, as far as Hellboy was concerned, was over and he wanted his thoughts and memories again off-limits. This didn’t necessarily surprise Abe, but it still saddened him.

Hellboy tried to smile as he arrived, but it was obviously a struggle. Going up to Abe, he whispered something in an ear-hole imperceptible to Kate. Nodding, the fish-man turned from Hellboy and walked up the stairs. As Kate began to follow him, Hellboy touched her shoulder to stop her. He then sat down on the bottom of the cement staircase, indicating that he wished Kate to join him.

When she sat at his right side, he wrapped his huge stone hand around her waist. As he gently stroked her hair with his left hand, she leaned her head on his shoulder and wearily closed her eyes. Kate’s hair was now fairly neat; pulled back in the clasp Hellboy had returned to her when he finally found where she and Mindy Carlton were imprisoned. It was very satisfying to him that those wooden chairs the rat had the two women bound to for hours on end were now burning away to ashes.

Burying her face in Hellboy’s shoulder, Kate began to cry for the first time since she had been snatched from the Emerald Diner. This broke Hellboy’s heart; he hated seeing ‘his Katie’ like this. Kissing the top of her head, he said, “Don’t blame you for being upset, but it’s all over now.”

Kate raised her head again. Hellboy could now look into her tear-streaked face; her expression was hard to read. She shook her head, “I’m more than upset, Hellboy; I’m absolutely furious.”

She took a deep breath to stop the tears that were more the result of rage rather than grief or fear, eventually saying in a voice laced with disdain and hatred, “How dare that creature jerk around with us like that? What makes it that goddamned furball’s business what you do with your life or if Mindy and I choose to associate with you? Damn right, it’s all over now; and it had better stay over.”

Hellboy pulled Kate even closer to him, “It’s really over, Katie. Furball shouldn’t be back; at least not for a very long time. Kind of obliterated its ‘physical manifestation’ after you escaped.”

“Good,” Kate growled, “I hope that hurt like hell.”

Smiling at Kate’s unusually aggressive tone, Hellboy kissed her forehead.

Gently pulling away from him, Kate stood up and stretched. “Is there some reason why we’re hanging around down here instead of returning to the surface?”

Still seated on the step, Hellboy stopped smiling and looked away. “We need to talk.”

Sitting back down on the step, Kate gently turned Hellboy’s head, coaxing him to look at her again. “Talk about what, Hellboy? Can’t this wait until we get back to the Bureau?”

Hellboy pulled away from her, “I have something I need to say and you know they never give me any real privacy. Once we leave here, we will never be alone like this again. Abe won’t be able to stall the other guys for too much longer, so we need to hurry it up.”

Kate again stood up, “In a hurry or not, Hellboy, you’re going to have to let me retreat to some corner and relieve myself first. I’ve not had a chance since I was in that diner and I drank a whole lot of soda and coffee before those rats showed up. I suppose some spell must have been cast while we were tied up, but now I’ve got to go with a vengeance.”

Without waiting for a reply, Kate moved away to find a section of the tunnel where she could answer this ‘call of nature’ in as discrete a manner as possible. Before she got far from the stairs, she came to realize that Hellboy was following her.

Turning to face him, she laughed, “I think I can go potty all by myself, Hellboy. I’m a big girl now.”

Hellboy gave her a little grin, “Still not too sure what crap might be down here, Katie, and I’m not about to let you wander off alone. You don’t need to worry, I won’t look.”

Returning his smile, Kate then walked on until she found a suitable corner. Turning toward the wall, she proceeded to un-tuck her plaid shirt from her jeans. Hovering protectively near her, Hellboy turned his back; thus providing both a guard to her safety and a barrier for her to hide behind in case one of the BPRD agents should come looking for them.

While he was standing there, he mused on what he wanted to say to her and what would be the best way to put it. He hadn’t even realized that Kate had finished when arms unexpectedly hugged him from behind and lips softly planted kisses on a very sensitive spot on the back of his neck.

“Oh God, Katie,” Hellboy groaned, “I’ll never be able to say what I gotta say if you don’t stop that.”

“Do you have to say anything?” she whispered, as she planted another kiss in the same spot.

Abruptly, he pulled away and turned toward her, “Yeah, like I said before, we need to talk.”

Without waiting for a reply, Hellboy turned and started back toward the stairs. Mystified by his tone, Kate just followed him.

“Well, what is it you want to say to me that just can’t wait?” Kate asked as she sat on the steps next to Hellboy, who had again seated himself there. She noted that he neither looked at her nor again wrapped his arm around her.

“UCLA,” he said in a low voice, “I know you’ve been offered a really great job there; better than anything you have right now at NYU.”

Kate stared at Hellboy for a second, “I’m not planning to take it, so I never told anyone except Trevor. How did you find out about it?”

Still not looking at her, he shrugged, “Let’s just say I found out.”

He took a deep breath and then forced himself to look at her, “Kate, I want you to take that job. Move to California and get the hell out of my life; it would be safer for you and easier for me.”

Her face flushing in anger, Kate jumped up and started to ascend the stairs. Halfway up, she turned back toward him. He was still sitting on the bottom step, his head now dejectedly dropped down in his stone hand. Her initial anger dissipating, Kate went back down the stairs to sit next to him again.

He appeared oblivious to her return, but she knew he noticed. “Look, Hellboy,” she said after sitting silent for a few moments, “I know you’re not intentionally trying to make me angry, but I hate it when people tell me what to do. We’ve been best friends since I was eight years old. You can’t just force me out of your life like this.”

Lifting his head and looking over at her, he sighed, “At that Halloween party, I promised you I would never hurt you. What’s the good of that, Katie, if I hurt you just because I exist?”

Kate, instead of answering Hellboy’s question, leaned her head on his right shoulder. Still refusing to touch her, he sat for a long time before speaking again. “It’s different with Pop,” he said after what seemed like an hour of tense silence, “I know I’d never get him to leave me, even if he knew he’d die because he stayed. But maybe you still have a chance to get away before something else happens to you because of me.”

Kate raised her head from Hellboy’s shoulder. “I am not about to leave the only family I have left. Trevor has been my mentor, colleague, and almost father since I was nineteen. Yet as close as I am to him, that is nothing compared to what I feel for you.”

Hellboy started to say something, but Kate went on, “Let me finish. You were almost the only person I could turn to when my father died; my mother was, and still is, useless in that way. Yet, for close to eleven years after that, I could only write letters to a ‘Frank Redford, Jr.’ of Brooklyn. There was nothing I really wanted more than to see you again. Signing up for a class with Trevor when I first came to NYU eight years ago changed everything. Now, I could no more leave you than he could.”

“But, Katie,” Hellboy finally managed to interject, “Something like this could happen again. You could get hurt or even die. Just go to California and forget all about me.”

“To forget you would be to die,” Kate whispered, as she pulled Hellboy into a fervent kiss that forced out all ability for rational thought. Almost without his own volition, his huge right hand gently drew Kate closer as his left hand eagerly began to explore her body; something he had only done in his dreams since they kissed at that Halloween party. As Kate enthusiastically returned Hellboy’s caresses in ways that were totally new to him, the kiss became even more passionate.

Watching television and movies had given Hellboy a good idea of the kinds of things that went on between men and women. When he had been younger, other senior agents he was close to had alleviated some of his curiosity on certain topics he was hesitant to ask Trevor Broom about. None of this had prepared him for the intensity of what he was now experiencing in every part of his being.

Startled by these almost overwhelming sensations, Hellboy pulled back breathlessly from that kiss. He gazed down into blue eyes that were now dark with desire. Finding it hard not to laugh at his stunned expression, Kate calmly readjusted the silver clasp and straightened her now mussed hair.

“Still want me to go to California?” she said, standing up from the step they had still been sitting on.

“Goddammit!” Hellboy said, as he got up to stand next to her, “That’s nothing but blackmail, Kate.”

“Nah, just a promise of many things to come,” she said, starting up the stairs, “Let’s get the hell out of here so I can show you.”

Hellboy moved up the stairs after her. “Katie, wait; are you sure you really want this?”

Smiling, she put her right hand in his left, “Never been more sure of anything in my entire life.”

Hand in hand, they ascended the staircase. Despite Kate’s prediction at the Halloween party of the impermanence of any romance between them, they both felt this new stage in their relationship could only make their long-time friendship even more vital and deep; regardless of how things turned out the friendship would always remain.

They exited the enclosure to the relief of Abe and the other agents, who were becoming impatient.

It was now well after seven a.m. One of the agents handed a grateful Hellboy the black cloak he had been using earlier. As they walked along Saint Nicholas Avenue, Hellboy stopped to admire an old red truck with a ‘for sale’ sign parked near the Harlem School of the Arts. “Jeez, Kate, I could make a really great bed out of that if I could ever get my hands on it.”

As they walked together toward the garbage truck, Abe memorized the information from that sign on the red truck. Trevor Broom had explained to him the meaning of Christmas and he had been wondering what to get Hellboy as a gift. He hoped Broom might help him purchase that truck.

More to come...

Author’s afterword: I’ve decided to move Hellboy's coming birthday and Christmas into a separate part. I’m hoping to get this written and posted by sometime on Christmas day. 1978 is certainly turning out to be an interesting year for Hellboy.

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