Author’s notes: Just a little something for the holiday. Somewhat connected to the ‘Abe Sapien’ chapter to Hellboy’s Family, but it’s not necessary to read that before you read this. Main characters not mine. Kate Corrigan derives from Mike Mignola’s original Hellboy comics, but the way I use her is original to my story. I suppose I should have been working on the completion of the ‘Abe Sapien’ chapter, but I was in the mood for holiday angst and fluff.

Warning: This is definitely ‘T’ (PG13). Sexual behavior suggested at, but nothing graphic.

Moving On: A Hellboy Tale of the New Year

Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense
Newark, New Jersey
1/1/2005 (New Year’s Day)

Bad weather having delayed her flight, Kate Corrigan, to her dismay, had missed Trevor Broom’s funeral in early November. But she had managed to arrive to Newark in time that evening to be with Hellboy and to share his grief in this devastating loss before he bolted himself alone in his room for over three days; and to be there for him when he had finally ended this self-imposed isolation.

Before this sad event, Kate hadn’t seen Hellboy, a long-time friend and sometime lover, in more than five years; having accepted a temporary position at the University of Pittsburgh, researching reports of abandoned coalmines that had been infested with goblins.

Later in November, when Hellboy, Liz, Tom Manning, and other BPRD agents had traveled to Moscow in pursuit of the murderer of Trevor Broom, Kate had returned to Pittsburgh to complete her research and wind up her affairs there. She returned to Newark in time to spend New Year’s Eve with Hellboy, Abe Sapien, still recuperating from his recent injuries, and their friend and colleague Liz Sherman.

Liz was dressed in a simple, but classically beautiful black evening dress; something Hellboy had bought as a Christmas gift from an online vendor. Kate was dressed more casually in dark slacks and a form-fitting holiday sweater, red poinsettias on a dark green background. Hellboy and Abe were both pretty much dressed in their usual black outfits since neither usually had reasons for dressing up.

Kate had met Liz a few times in the past; soon realizing, at the time, that Hellboy was in love with Liz, even if Liz had seemed uncertain of her feelings for him. Now Kate was meeting her once again at this New Year’s Eve get-together. She noticed that both Hellboy and Liz seemed hesitant to speak of what had happened to them in Moscow in November. Yet, she was very much aware that whatever this had been had also finally brought them together in a relationship of fully reciprocated love.

They all toasted the New Year at midnight with glasses of excellent champagne. Liz eventually fell asleep in Hellboy’s arms on the mattress-in-the-back-of-a-pickup-truck that she had been sharing with him ever since they had announced right before Christmas their engagement to marry. Kate then assisted Abe, who didn’t need much champagne to make him drunk, back to Trevor Broom’s former office where his aquarium was still located. When they arrived there, as drunk as he was, he still managed to notice that Kate seemed a little down.

Speech a little slurred, he placed a hand on Kate’s shoulder, “How about telling me all your troubles, Professor Corrigan?” As he had intended, that made her laugh. Once, many years before when he helped rescue Kate and another woman from a demon in the shape of a five-foot tall rat, she had told him that guys who saved her from giant rats should call her ‘Kate’ instead of ‘Professor Corrigan’.

The laugh turned into a sigh, “Abe, I knew from the beginning of my romance with Hellboy almost thirty years ago that he was never truly ‘in love’ with me; even though we loved each other dearly. We were mainly just really good friends. He’s still my best friend in the whole world. But I’ve known for years now that he had fallen head-over-heels for Liz; maybe even before he did.”

Kate moved away from Abe to stare into the dimly burning fire in the office’s central fireplace for a long time before going on. “That’s one of the reasons why I took the job in Pittsburgh. I felt I needed to get out of the way of anything that might develop between them. I’m actually very pleased that they’ve finally worked it all out; so, I can’t quite figure out why I feel so bereft.”

She turned back toward Abe with a self-deprecating grin, “Maybe it’s just the idea that I’m entering into another new year; that I’m almost fifty five years old and still can’t find someone to replace what I had with Hellboy. Sure, I have a whole other life away from the Bureau and I’ve had plenty of guys, both in New York and Pittsburgh. Yet, even though I was no more ‘in love’ with Hellboy than he was with me, none of these men ever made me feel like he did.”

Abe took her by the shoulders. “How was that, Kate?” He had an expression in his eyes that she had never seen before. “How did he make you feel?” Kate blinked up at Abe, taken aback by the usually aloof fish-man asking such a personal question. Unexpectedly blushing, she averted her eyes to escape the odd intensity of his gaze.

For some reason she found herself replying; almost in a whisper, as if speaking to herself, “Like I was the best thing that ever could have happened to him; like my love for him was some sort of special and priceless treasure. I’m sure he’ll make Liz feel exactly the same, maybe even more so, since he’s in love with her in a way he never was with me.”

Kate tried to move away, but Abe compelled her to look deeply into almond-shaped eyes that were a deeper shade of blue than she had ever noticed. “Those other men never made you feel like that?”

Kate shrugged, “No matter how much they cared, for them I was nothing more than one of the many women they might have chosen. Dime a dozen, if you know what I mean—certainly nothing special. Hellboy never made me feel that he chose me just because I was the only woman around. He acted as if what we had together was some sort of unexpected and beautiful miracle. It may not have been destined to last, but I can’t help missing it; even though I’m happy for what he’s found with Liz.”

“There’s always me, Kate,” Abe spoke so low that she barely heard him. Before she quite registered what he had said, Abe pulled her into the most deeply passionate kiss she had ever received since the time Hellboy kissed her when they had rescued her from the giant rat in 1978.

Between the effects of the champagne and this totally unexpected kiss, Kate’s head was spinning and her knees went weak. There was also the sensation of Abe’s lips on her lips and his webbed hands caressing her back. His skin texture and body temperature were so very different from Hellboy’s; yet, rather than finding it unpleasant, Kate found herself more enthralled than she had been in years.

Abe finally brought that extraordinary kiss to an end, running his webbed fingers through Kate’s short, now slightly graying, blond hair. “What brought that on?” she eventually managed to gasp.

Abe’s face went a slightly darker shade of blue; this almost made Kate laugh, she never realized that he could blush. “I’m sorry, Kate, it was never my intention to throw myself at you like that.”

Kate leaned up and kissed his cheek. It felt warmer than usual; she wasn’t sure whether it was from the effects of the champagne or from the fact that he was definitely blushing. “Don’t be sorry, Abe. I’m certainly not. You can throw yourself at me like that any time you want.”

Drawing Kate into his arms again, Abe nuzzled the side of her neck. “I’ve always wanted to do that; ever since the first time I met you when you were tied up in that underground chamber back in ‘78.”

Pulling his head down into another long lasting, tender kiss, Kate then laid her head on his cool spandex-clad chest and listened to his heartbeat. Finding herself oddly close to tears, she again looked up at him, amazed at how much emotion could be read on what had always seemed a rather expressionless face. “Why not tell me this before, Abe? Why wait more than twenty six years?”

“What? And incur the jealous wrath of the great, red one?” Abe laughed, “We both know that Hellboy had been willing to ignore your other men because he could pretend they didn’t exist; he never actually had to deal with them. He certainly never would have tolerated any one at the Bureau making love to ‘his Katie’, especially not me.”

“Damn, right, I wouldn’t,” growled a deep voice. Abe and Kate, who had just been planning on venturing their mutual exploration a little further, sprang apart at this unanticipated interruption.

Rather than looking angry, however, Hellboy appeared to be trying not to laugh; an attempt that ended up being a losing battle. “God, you should have seen the look on your face, Blue,” he finally managed to gasp out, “I thought you were going to faint, or something.”

“Red, I wouldn’t want you… that I… that Kate… that we…” Abe trailed off, realizing he made no sense.

Hellboy laughed even harder, “Jeez, Blue, either stay off the champagne or stay off the women. Obviously, you can’t take both at the same time.”

Kate gave Abe a small wink, “As far as I was concerned, Hellboy, he was doing just fine.”

Still laughing, Hellboy turned and went out the office door again, “Carry on with whatever you guys were doing. New Year’s a great time for new love, as I’ve found out myself.”

Kate gave Abe a quick kiss on the cheek, “I’ll be right back, lover boy; just give me a few minutes.”

Kate went into the hallway. “Wait, Hellboy; are you okay? By this time, I would have thought you’d either be in the grip of Morpheus or the grip of Liz. What’s got you wandering around the halls?”

Hellboy turned toward her, still smiling; but he didn’t look as happy as he had just before in the office. “You’re the one who knows all this crap, Kate. Why in the hell do they say ‘grip of Morpheus’ when he’s really the god of dreams, not of sleep?”

“More alliterative than ‘grip of Hypnos’, I would think.” Kate reached up and touched Hellboy’s cheek. “Still having dreams about Trevor’s death?”

He nodded, “That; and some other shit I’d rather forget. I thought about going to the chapel for a little while. That’s when I noticed the lights were still on in Pop’s office and thought maybe Abe’d been too sozzled to remember to shut them off.”

“If you need some company, I’m sure Abe can wait for me,” Kate said, after a brief silence, “After all, what’s a few more minutes on top of twenty-something years?”

Hellboy drew Kate into his arms and gave her a long, slow kiss; gentle and tender, yet different from the kisses they used to share in the first throes of their passion decades before. Kate now realized that this difference was right; it was good. For the first time in a long time, she felt truly contented.

“Nah, I’ll be fine,” Hellboy said with a grin, “You know, Katie, there’s plenty of women here who would have done almost anything to get Mr. Blue Fins into their clutches, but he never was interested. Now, I can see that he was just waiting for the best. Go on and get back to him; if anyone really deserves you, he does. Just remind him that if he ever hurts you, I’ll rip all his fins off one by one.”

After Kate had returned in to Abe, Hellboy wandered toward the chapel located in the Medical Wing. He recalled vividly how his adoptive father went there every New Year’s, just after midnight, to pray the rosary in honor of the joys and sorrows of the past year and to greet the New Year with hope. Hellboy used to join him in this when he was younger, but had ceased some decades before.

Entering the chapel and kneeling before the statue of the Virgin, Hellboy drew out of his pocket one of his father’s many rosaries. He could no longer pray with the beautiful rosary he had once given Trevor Broom as a gift. That rosary had essentially been destroyed in Moscow and Hellboy had only a few fragments of it left. Yet, that fact no longer held the intense grief it once held for him.

As he prayed the traditional Catholic prayers taught to him in his youth by Trevor Broom, he came to realize that even though the past year had, indeed, been filled with sorrow, the greatest sorrow he had ever experienced in his entire life, it had also been filled with the greatest joy as well.

Later, as Hellboy crawled back into bed with Liz, taking her into his arms without disturbing her rest, he came to realize that the New Year, his first without Trevor Broom in sixty years, would also be filled with the greatest hope he had ever known.

I've now added a second chapter. Thanks for reading, Beth Palladino

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