Professor Trevor Bruttenholm sighed quietly to himself as he looked out the window. The snow was beginning to fall much faster now, thicker as well. By morning, it would be easily reaching several feet in depth! Well, that might cause some problems for the party the next day, but he smiled to himself as he peered into the room he had just left.
The young red demon slept soundly, holding the little toy pistol tightly to his chest, his tail twitching as he drifted into sleep, the story of the Golden Army swirling in his dreams.
The old man grinned as he carefully put the book away and then went into the kitchen to make himself a tea before he turned in as well.
Tomorrow was Christmas day and he knew for a fact that the young Hellboy was going to be a challenge to control, just as he was every year when this day rolled around.
It had been 11 years since that cold night in 1944. 11 years since they had destroyed that portal and he had adopted his son. He chuckled as the water boiled and he poured it into his mug. Despite the difficulties and trials that came with raising a child, not to mention a demon-child, Bruttenholm didn’t regret his choice. He loved the young demon dearly as his son and he could see that his love was genuinely returned.
For a while, the old man sat in front of the stove and drank quietly, simply enjoying the quiet of the evening as the snow continued to pile up outside. After he had finished, he turned his gaze to the small Christmas tree that Hellboy had begged him to put up in the corner of their little living quarters. After a glance at the little demon’s bedroom, Bruttenholm snuck to the closet and brought out a box wrapped with festive papers. This he tucked under the tree and then with a chuckle, extinguished all the lights and went to bed.
“Father! Father! Wake up!”
Bruttenholm blinked a bit, wincing as bright lights invaded his eyes. Someone had opened the shutters on his window apparently. He could see a red blur in front of him and reached for his glasses, asking, “What is it, son?”
Hellboy was smiling hugely as he pointed to the now un-shuttered window, saying, “Look at all the snow! I’ve never seen so much before!”
With a smile of semi-forced patience, Bruttenholm nodded and sat up, yawning, “That’s right… It was snowing all night long.”
The demon rushed to the window, his little toy pistol firmly held in his tail as he used both hands to pull himself high enough on the window to see out. “Can I go and play? Please?” He turned back to his ‘father’, putting on a pleading expression.
With a quiet sigh that his rest had been cut short, Bruttenholm sat up and nodded, getting out of bed. “Very well. But you will not have too much time. We have a party to go to tonight.”
Hellboy’s smile turned into a frown as he said, “A party? It’s not another one of those ‘parties’ where we sit and listen to people talking about me, is it?”
Bruttenholm chuckled as he shook his head. “Well, there will be a little bit of talking, but I think you’ll enjoy yourself none the less.”
“Okay…” Hellboy said trustingly, and then his face brightened. “I’m gonna get ready!” He then ran out of the room, his little hooves making soft ‘clacking’ noises on the floor.
But of course, about three seconds after he had exited the room, Bruttenholm heard a cry of delight. He smiled as he got up and put on his robe, then walked into the living area where he found Hellboy sitting with the gift between his legs, his tail squirming around in great excitement as he grinned broadly. “You were right! Santa came!”
Bruttenholm sat down next to the little demon and amid giggles from the child and shreds of paper flying everywhere thanks to his exuberance, they managed to reveal the present; a new toy pistol, this one including a belt and holster, specially modified to sit on the demon’s waist and not hinder his tail, as other belts ended up doing. It was also modified to have the pistol on his left hip, to compensate for his hands.
Hellboy immediately put it on, or tried to, his stony hand unable to operate the clasp very well. He asked his father for help, squirming excitedly until the task was done, then hugged him gratefully, immediately playing at shooting at any ‘enemies’ within sight.
Quickly though, Hellboy wanted to play outside with his new toy and Bruttenholm helped him to get dressed, but it as a tad difficult as the demon was wriggling around happily, trying to speed up the process but only slowing it down. But with patience, Bruttenholm got the little demon’s coat on and after getting his own, they went outside.
About five minutes later found both the father and his son outside in the deep snow. Bruttenholm was bundled up with a heavy coat, hat and gloves, while Hellboy seemed perfectly fine with a medium coat and pants and one glove. His stony hand, while able to register temperature differences, seemed immune to any extreme heat or cold. He wasn’t wearing a hat either, as they had found that wearing a hat often ending up in a fight to remove it, as it would usually become tangled on the tips of the little budding horns. This would be especially a challenge since one of them had broken due to a fall from a tall tree that Hellboy had climbed, despite his father’s warnings, and the broken tip was jagged until it grew back.
Bruttenholm watched with a warm smile as Hellboy pranced and played in the snow, never having seen it over a few inches deep. Seeing drifts of it was simply amazing to the demon and he played recklessly, his laughter echoing around the compound they were staying at.
After a good three hours of playing, Hellboy finally admitted to being too tired to play anymore and clung, with his normal hand, to his father’s hand, looking tired, but happy, as he was led back inside, his tail now curling inside of his coat to keep warm.
Once back in the warmth of their ‘home’, Bruttenholm showed Hellboy how to tap his hoofed feet rapidly on the rug to get any extra snow off, and then herded him into the bathroom. There, he stripped him down and put his wet things to dry; while Hellboy went back to his room and put on warm, dry clothes.
After he had gotten the little demon all clean and proper, Bruttenholm announced it was time to get going for the party. Hellboy groaned and made a bit of a fuss as his father worked to get his hair straight, clean off his horns and generally make him look presentable. However, despite what his father said, Hellboy was adamant about keeping his new pistol and wouldn’t budge without it. Literally. He even went so far as wrapping his tail around the leg of the sofa to get his point across. With a sigh of thin patience, the professor finally agreed, but made Hellboy promise not to ‘shoot’ anyone at the party.
Frowning grumpily, Hellboy took Bruttenholm’s hand as they exited their ‘home’ and walked over to the truck waiting to take them to the party. Bruttenholm made general talk with the drive while the little demon peered out the window. He wasn’t often allowed out of the compound because of something that his father called ‘security issues’, whatever that meant. He took great interest in seeing the rest of the compound, twisting and wriggling in his seat to get better angles.
When they finally got to the auditorium where the party was to be held, Hellboy’s smile at seeing the ‘outside’ world faded yet again. He should have known. He could recognize a lot of the people already there, and he knew them to be those boring guys who would ask a thousand questions and take forever to answer anything you asked them. He scowled to himself as he followed his father, anxiously aware of the looks he was getting. He stared back defiantly, remembering that his father always told him to never be ashamed of himself.
He was taken into another room, where he saw a bunch of tables with food, and people milling around, drinking, eating and talking. He was immediately drawn to look at the tables of food, but stayed next to his father, wanting to behave for him.
After hearing his father greet a whole bunch of people, he asked him quietly, “Father, can I get something to eat?”
“In just a moment, son…” his father replied, smiling. “Be patient…” Though he sighed softly, Hellboy obeyed and remained quiet for the rest of the boring talks.
Finally, after way too long for the little demon, Hellboy as pleased when his father kneeled to talk with him. “Now, the official talks are going to begin.” He then quickly went on upon seeing the hopeful little face come crashing down. “I have talked it over with them, and it’s all right for you to go and eat at the buffet table, right in that next room there, provided you don’t make a mess. You can even take a plate into the little room that’s also in there. No one will bother you, I’ve made them promise to leave you alone.”
“I won’t make a mess.” Hellboy replied, beaming happily. “And thanks.” He then gave his father a hug and Bruttenholm smiled warmly as he returned it, his eyebrow raising as he felt the little red tail coil around his wrist.
With a chuckle, he patted the demon’s head, careful of the horns, and then gently shooed him towards the table, watching as the demon ran off eagerly, his hooves making little ‘clack’ing noises on the tiles as he went to the other room.
His moment of happiness was disturbed as he felt a hand on his shoulder and saw it was one of the other men, asking for his audience. He sighed, but got up and after one last wave to the little demon, which waved back at him cheerfully before ducking into the room, he went off to talk with the other men.
Hellboy grinned as he examined the table in front of him. Look at all this stuff! There was candy and meals and appetizers and everything! While he didn’t usually like going to these parties, the food was always enough to make up for all the boring talking he would have to listen to.
One thing that was so cool was all the different types of food that were at these parties. When he had asked his father about it, he had been told that because the society he belonged to came from all sorts of areas around the globe, and they would bring different dishes.
Grabbing a plate, he quickly piled on a bunch of different foods, mostly sweets, but he went for some of the normal food too, recalling that one time he had been sick after just candy. He had no desire to feel so sick again!
After he had loaded his plate to near-overflowing, the little demon took it to the room his father pointed out, and was thrilled to see a small table and chair had been put in there for him. He grinned and put his food down, looking around. It was apparently some sort of kid room, with an area for toys, and posters on the walls. Maybe it was for the kids of the other people on the base? Who knew?
As he sat, he noticed that the chair had been cut in the back and he was able to let his tail go through, so it wasn’t squashed to the seat, or sat on. He was thrilled with this and after getting comfy, settled down to eat. He ate the warm stuff first, like the spaghetti and the meatballs that came with it. After licking the sauce off his fingers, he then went after the lasagna. He had never had this before, but he tried it willingly, soon delighting in it and eating it quickly. After this was done, he went for another new food he had seen on the tray; something called nachos. They looked like yellow triangles, but he was curious. He grabbed one and dipped it into some of the remaining tomato sauce from the lasagna and took a bite… and instantly fell in love.
He devoured the rest of them in record time, and was disappointed when he found he had finished them. Well, he knew what to get on his second trip! Grinning, he quickly ate the few cookies and brownies he had added to the plate, and then dashed back to the table. He could feel he was a bit full, but not nearly enough to stop eating.
As he heaped his plate with nachos and other food, he could hear in the big room that there was still a lot of talking going on. Boring stuff… Yuck. He was glad he was here and not out there!
Taking his loaded plate back, Hellboy frowned when he saw that the heaping of nachos had left no room for cookies. So he put his loaded plate at the little table, and then went back out, refilling another plate with other foods. Back in the room, he ate the nachos with delight, taking a pause to eat something else now and again, loving almost everything.
Except for those green veggies… Those weren’t so great… But he ate them anyway, recalling that his father said they would help him to grow big and strong. He didn’t much understand this logic, but his father had never lied to him.
After he had finished these two plates, the demon paused for a minute. He had never been able to eat so much at a time before and he could feel that his tummy was getting a little bit round. It kinda hurt… But the quickly fixed the problem, by struggling with his belt, finally managing to undo it. He lay his pistol aside almost reverently, sighing in relief.
There, that felt SO much better!
Now without any restraints, he went back to the food table and made a few trips, finally ending up with five plates on the table, each one filled with a different food. One of them was devoted to nachos, of course. He couldn’t get enough of that stuff! Another one had lasagna and spaghetti combined. One had a small pile of mixed veggies, but then a huge serving of mashed potatoes to counter the green-ness. The next plate was actually a bowl, holding a dish called ‘chili’. He had been surprised to find that the dish was actually HOT. While he couldn’t get burned, the sudden heat had surprised him. And the last plate, of course, was piled high with sweets and cookies.
He put the plates in order, starting with those veggies to get them out of the way quickly. He ate them first, as fast as he could, scowling a bit at the taste. He could never like these things! He quickly got rid of the taste by eating the mashed potatoes next, enjoying himself.
Right about then, he realized how thirsty he suddenly was and got down from his little table and went back into the food room, but going carefully. His little belly was poking out roundly from under his shirt and was sure that anyone could see it.
But he saw no one, and heard nothing but chatter and talking from the next room.
While he had his chance, he walked into the food room and found a dispenser for drinks. It was too high for him to reach, so he went and got a chair, shoving it in place below the dispenser so he could climb it, a bit clumsy now from his round tummy.
He saw that there were several dispensers. He looked at the labels, and frowned at the ones saying ‘coffee’ or ‘orange juice’. Yuck… He didn’t want those! But then he saw the one with ‘water’ and put some in a glass, drinking. But it wasn’t enough somehow… He looked and found another one by the coffee, saying ‘milk’.
He took a glass of this and smiled. It was perfect! Just what he wanted! He took a big glass of this, and then filled up a second, then a third. He had a lot of food to finish after all! He put the three glasses carefully on the edge of the table and climbed down, and then used his tail to transfer them down one at a time, holding one cup carefully in his rock hand, holding one normally and then carrying the third in his tail. He then walked on tip-toes, or rather tip-hooves, back to his little room, and put them down carefully.
Unfortunately, his movement of putting down the glass knocked down one of his empty plates and he stared at the splotch of tomato sauce on the floor. He sighed, but went into the food room again and got some napkins, cleaning it up. He had promised not to make a mess, after all! He could be a handful, but he at least knew right from wrong!
After he had cleaned up, Hellboy sat down, on the floor this time, and putting the plates and drinks around him, started to eat again in earnest. He finished the mashed potatoes, and then went for the lasagna and spaghetti next, enjoying how it was to slurp up the noodles without fear of his father chiding him on poor manners. After finishing and wiping the extra sauce from his face, he turned to the chili, grabbing a spoon he had taken from the food table. He found it to be an interesting taste, kind of spicy, and he instantly loved it. But he quickly found he had to eat it carefully, because it was very messy! After having it drop in the plate messily, he put a napkin on his lap, like his father had showed him, to keep his pants from getting all dirty.
When the chili was done, Hellboy pulled one of the glasses of milk closer and drained the whole thing, sighing in content afterwards.
His belly had swollen to be rather large now, almost half the size of a basketball! It made his shirt too tight, so he took a few minutes to get it off, putting it on top of his belt and gun, so it wouldn’t get dirty. He then leaned back again, his normal hand resting on his rounded belly, rubbing it in awe. He knew he would have trouble standing at this point, but couldn’t find it in himself to really care. This was the best party EVER!
After resting a bit, he went with delight to the nachos, eating them quickly and having a blast. He had never known something could taste so good! He scraped the other plates, which still had tomato sauce, clean as he worked through his chips, soon finishing the entire plate. He then licked the plate, just in case he had possibly missed anything and then turned his attention to the plate of sweets, grinning.
As he pulled the plate close, he used his tail to carefully bring closer the two glasses of milk, knowing he’d need them.
He got through the cookies easily. They were soft and easy to break apart and dunk in the milk. He dropped a cookie in the glass once and had to fish it out with his tail before it got all soggy.
The brownies were also easy, but he couldn’t dunk them. He tried, but they were too dense and wouldn’t absorb any of the milk. But he didn’t mind and ate them anyway, finding that some had bits of walnuts inside, which were nice and crunchy.
They were very thick and heavy though, and he finished off one glass of milk after eating them, starting to feel very, very full. His belly was quite a bit bigger now, practically the size and a half of a basket ball.
With the last glass of milk, Hellboy used it to eat the rest of the cookies, called Oreos. He learned quickly to find delight in dunking them, then opening them, licking them clean of the sugary cream, then dunking the chocolate cookie slices in the milk and eating them. He took his time with this, enjoying himself, despite the fact he felt sleepy now.
He finished the cookies and the milk and for a while, just sat there, surrounded by all the empty plates and glasses; a sleepy, satisfied look on his face. He struggled to get to his feet, but quickly discovered that there was no way he would be able to stand up.
Grunting, he managed to get on all fours, the only way he could move, and managed to get himself over to where he had put his shirt and belt. He grabbed his shirt with his tail, unable to stand to reach it, and rolled it roughly into a lump, settling down. He curled up and used it as a pillow, his tail drawing his toy pistol closer.
He cuddled the toy possessively close as he went to sleep almost instantly, his tail curled up around his rounded belly.
Bruttenholm was relived when the talks finally ended. It had been almost two hours! He was glad he had told Hellboy to go and eat; otherwise the poor demon would have been frantic with boredom by now, that or all but biting the constantly questioning men.
After he had nodded and said his goodbyes to the other members, he went to the food room, trying to find his adopted son. A first glance into the food room showed that the table had been hit heavily, but Hellboy was nowhere to be seen. Bruttenholm then went into the side room and stared in shock.
The little red demon lay on his side, curled up around a hugely bloated stomach, his little thick tail also curled around him. Hellboy’s stomach was enormous, and from all the plates he could see scattered around him, frankly, Bruttenholm wasn’t very surprised. He knew that Hellboy had a tendency to eat a large amount, a surprisingly large amount at times, but he had never seen him go so far before. He knelt beside him, stunned.
With a note of amusement, however, he noticed that Hellboy was still holding onto his present. After a sigh, he gently rubbed at the red-skinned shoulder, saying, “Wake up, son… Time to go home.”
The little demon woke reluctantly, blinking sleepily as he murmured, “Father?”
After some effort, Bruttenholm managed to get the stuffed demon upright, and then in his arms, where he was shocked by his weight. After draping his coat over the sleeping demon so no one would see him, he managed to carry him to the car, which took them back to their home.
Once there, he was able to get Hellboy awake enough to undress and then helped him into bed, where the demon went straight back to sleep, his tail going limp. Bruttenholm gently grabbed hold of the tail and tucked it back into the covers before giving the demon a bemused, but loving rub on the head, watching a smile creep over the little face, and then smiling himself.