Man of His Word
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Author's Note: This fic is a crossover between the continuity of the Angel: After the Fall comics (virtual Season 6, post-NFA) and the recently released movie Hancock. Spoilers for both will be found within.
It was a dark and stormy night in the City of Angels when the monsters came. Or, more properly, when the city came to the monsters - dragged into a Hell dimension by one ensouled vampire's very pissed off employers. But most people didn't realize exactly what had happened until that night, a very dark one indeed, had dragged on a bit longer. After all, the largest contingent of demons coming to town to chow down on the tasty smorgasbord that was now Los Angeles headed straight for a certain alleyway where four thorns in the Senior Partners' collective sides waited to be chastised. The rest of the city could wait a little while to be terrorized.
Hancock awoke with a start, a snort, and a cough, hacking up a nasty combination of rotgut whiskey, rain water, and stomach bile. Lifting up his cap and slowly opening up first one eye then the other, he saw that he had come to rest on some rooftop about thirty stories high. Maybe it was the rain that had woken him; but then, why were his clothes completely soaked already?
Grunting more out of habit than exertion, he levered himself upright on the tar paper roof. A heat exchanger on the opposite corner of the roof hummed to itself, but it didn't sound like the rhythm of its fans had changed, either. Wiping his eyes, he realized that he was hearing something else, some kind of screaming in the distance.Great. More people to cuss me out or give me dirty looks once I've saved their pansy asses.
Well, better fortify himself for the dirty work. He reached down for the bottle he knew he must have laid down with, not even looking, and hefted it up above his head. One single, solitary drop started to roll down towards the mouth. Well, damn. Must have finished it before passing out this time.
He took inventory as he turned his head back and forth, localizing the direction of the loudest screams. Bad taste in his mouth, check. Sour feeling in his stomach, check. Headache... check, but already rapidly fading. And worst of all, he didn't feel even a little drunk anymore. Having a metabolism that was as super as the rest of him made going on a bender, and staying there, a full time job some days. And hell if it didn't sound like there was no time to stop at a liquor store. Unless that was where the trouble spot was. A man could hope, couldn't he? Not really, no.
He knew which direction he was going in, now, his hearing's diagnosis confirmed by the ruddy glow of a fire his keen eyes had picked out through the rain and the night. No putting it off any longer, it was time he was on the job. Yeah, the one nobody pays you for. Or thanks you for, even.
He stepped up on the ledge, and with a slight bend to the knees and a jump, he was off, broken masonry exploding from the roof beneath him. Rain drops sprayed him with increasing intensity as picked up air speed. Here I come to save the day... only I bet old Mighty Mouse never wished he had a bottle in his hand at a time like this.
Hancock deliberately held back a bit, staying well under the speed of sound. It wasn't worth all the complaints about shattering windows with his sonic boom, and he'd be there in seconds anyway. Although I do recall he seemed to sniff the flowers mighty hard in some of those cartoons...
Hancock found himself zeroing in on the block with the Convention Center. Even sans sonic boom, his passage through the air made a whistle much like a traveling mortar shell. So it was that when he made a hard landing on the street with a spray of asphalt, it took a second for the regular people running around amongst the broken glass and the burning cars to realize that they weren't being bombed as well as attacked by monsters, and even the demons having a bit of fun were rather startled, turning away from their prey to see what had made the big boom.
As for Hancock, one thing he really hadn't been expecting was for all the trouble to come down to a bunch of big-ass thugs in Halloween costumes. Only some of these guys look awfully real... wonder if this is what the DTs feel like?
. But if he could
believe his eyes, this wasn't just some big hoax or movie shoot or whatever. That looked like real blood flowing from real corpses scattered here and there on the pavement. And that looked like real fear on the faces of that family over there - yeah, family, with kids - being menaced by what looked like a red-hued Hulk Hogan with spiky body armor and horns. Along with some smaller, but by no means nicer-looking, buddies in tow.
Who, seeing Hancock just look around himself for a second, started to turn back towards the helpless human family. Can't have that.
Hancock started walking forward quickly.
"Hey! Hey, ugly!"
The massive horned head turned back towards Hancock.
"Leave these people alone!"
The horns tilted a moment with the creature's head as it seemed to think about this request. Finally, it grated out, "And if I don't, human?"
"Then I've got to mess you up. It's just as simple as that."
One of the lesser monsters, looking like a mangy two-legged armadillo on crack, hissed at him. "Sstupid human. Can't talk to uss like that... assshole." It scratched the air with its claws.
The big horned one started to laugh with a deep rumble. "Hh, hh, yeah. We the ones that mess you
Hancock looked from one to the other monster. The rest of the group was starting to crack up, too, if all the various hisses, clicks, and moans they were generating were supposed to be laughter, anyway. "Yeah, you gonna have to stop using that word." Hopefully they didn't notice him gesturing with his hand for the family to make a break for it while the monsters were otherwise occupied.
"What word, assshole? What you do, eh?" More rumbles and moans. Hancock was tempted for a moment to riff on Joe Pesci (Do I amuse you?
), but went with his own material instead.
"Call me an asshole one more time...," said Hancock, interrupted by a chorus of 'yeah, what's in barely understandable monster talk, "and I'm gonna stick your head," he said, pointing at the horned one, and then the shorter scaly one, "up that guy's ass. Then we'll see who's an asshole."
Predictably, what followed was extremely ugly, not to mention quite lethal for the smaller of the two demons.
And that, not the hundreds of other demons efficiently beaten and slaughtered in defense of humans through the rest of the night, was how Hancock became a legend among both demons and humans, that First Night After the Fall.