AN: Hope you like it. Sort of like, my idea of a sequel to the movie. I am in the process of getting my hands on the first few issues of Hellblazer.

You're trying to take me, They're trying to make me.
This is the only, Give me the only thing.
Tired of trying, I'm tired of lying.
The only thing I understand is what I feel.
-Static X 'The Only'

Reality set in like a iron shod mantle. Pressing down on her shoulders and racing within her veins. She knew that this was good, because if she had died, she would not be feeling this right now. She wasn't quite sure what it was that she would have been feeling but if it was anything like hell, this was a definite plus sign. As she lay there, contemplating her mortality and the state of it, she had progressed to opening her eyes. Lying in a puddle of liquid that was much too thick to be water, Angela pulled herself up slowly and groaned as the blood rushed to her head. Figures that John Constantine forgot to give her the downside to being affliated with him. Oh wait. He had warned me, she thought darkly.

"Fucker." She growled and immediately regretted it.

A hand wrapped around her neck and yanked her off the ground, she dangled uselessly there, blinking back the stars that burst behind her eyes. "Now, my dear, sweet Angela." The voice purred, "God has been indulgent and proactively involved in your survival. You and that dumbass, Constantine." The voice of the grey figure purred, "But as far as I can see, you are quite an ungrateful wretch."

Angela fought vigilantly to keep hold of her consciousness but it was slipping fast, "What...are you talking about?"

"You see, there's a loop hole in god's contract m'dear." A hand slapped her cheek lightly, jerking her out of her stupor momentarily, "Your entire existence was based on one event. That event was going to cost your life either way, but alas, god's divine intervention caused you to survive.

"Lucky you, I suppose. I mean, it's not often that he even gives two shits about anyone. You have to remember, you are all pawns in his game. Both Lucifer's and His' giant, timeless chess game where no one knows if they are a pawn, rook, king or queen."

She grabbed the vise-like hand that was wrapped around her neck, her palm brushing against hot skin. The muscles moved beneath it, a promise of a great strength. "Who...?"

"Oh, that's right. You have never met me before." She felt herself moving in the air, the toes of her runners brushing against a leg, "You've met my crazy bitch of a sister. But then, I have sat quietly and watched her botch up the most important thing in all of existence. I am Abaddon."

Her eyes flew open and she stared in horror with a clarity that was once elusive. His skin was so light it seemed translucent. His eyes were not brown but the colour of dried blood and his hair fell in gilt waves of gold. "You...can't..." Finding her strength again, she struggled against his grip only because she was caught in the grips of something more animalistic and primal to be called fear. She was terrified of this man, no this being that stood before her. She was humbled before his all encompassing strength.

"I can taste it like a fine wine." He whispered gently, brushing his face against the nape of her neck, "Your fear is like a full bouquet of tastes that tantalize me." He chuckled, "No wonder He loves all you foolish humans. So stupid, bumbling and yet, so primal. So beautifully base."

"What are you talking about?"

"You are what god wishes he himself to be." Abaddon said simply, "See, he doesn't feel quite like you do. Sure, he feels anger, love, and even sometimes Jealousy but not quite in the degrees that you all feel it. You have a chance to die. A chance to mold yourself into something, no matter how fleetingly your lives would go by to him. Like a blink of an eye, an entire millennia can pass. So he needed a rival. Lucifer was more than happy to oblige but that's where things get complicated. They needed referees. Finalities. Ultimatums. Constantine was a referee. You are a stipulation. I am the consequence."

"But you are..."

"The angel of death? Yes well, that is true." He tilted his head to the side in an eloquent shrug, "Unfortunately my job is not quite complete. No thanks to you. I almost had you! Almost! Then this hideous job would be done and I could finally rest in peace."

"But that would mean..."

Rolling his eyes, he finished her sentence again, "It would mean that life as we know it, heaven and hell and earth would cease to exist. Yes, we know that part. Everyone knows that. God gave this role to his lease favourite of general. Which just happened to be me. Either that or he figured that I would be extra sure to get the job done. As it happens, God's not prepared to finish his game just yet. He hasn't been this amused in a long, long time. You know what happens when a god gets bored?" His eyebrow lifted in a satirical quirk, "Of course you don't, neither do I. But I can take a damn good guess. Things like this happen."


"Like this poor excuse of an existence..." He trailed off, quirking his head to the side like he was hearing something that she could not. His beautiful face contorted in anger as he turned around, whipping her about like a rag doll in time to see the door explode of its hinges. "Midnite!" He hissed, fangs suddenly appearing where there hadn't been before.

The witch doctor stepped through the splintered doorway and raised his hands, a blast of power rippled through the room, catching Abaddon in the chest. Angela jerked back with him, cart wheeling through the air to slam into a wall. She lay there, momentarily paralyzed, relearning to breathe as the ruckus of a metaphysical war of two powerful minds raged about her. She struggled to remain awake, she fought against her body's overwhelming need to shut down and heal. When finally the fight died, there was a silence and dread curled in her stomach like a clawed finger crooking. "Papa...?" She whispered, struggling to open her eyes.

"I'm here, Angela." His basso voice rumbled. Strong arms wrapped around her and picked her off the ground. "Let's get you out of here." He said softly.

"You broke your..." She couldn't finish, her head dropped against his arm and reality melted into blackness.

When finally Midnite got back to the club, Angela was beginning to come around again. He gently laid her on the couch in his office and held her cold hands in his. "You okay, girlie?"

She winced, "Fine." Her voice was hoarse. Abaddon had managed to give it a good squeeze before Midnite had launched them both across the room. "How's John?"

"Not doin' so well."

"I need to see him." The pale column of her throat was already starting to bruise from the archangel's manhandling.

Midnite shook his head slowly, "Don't think that's such a good idea, Angela."

Shaking off his hands, she stood slowly and moved towards the door where she knew John was contained. "I don't care if you think it's a good idea or not, I need to see him." She needed something. Anything to keep her sane. She had just met the being that would spearhead the destruction of everything as it stood. She needed some comfort and although John could not actively give it, just looking at him had always eased something in her mind. "I have to, please." She begged when the vaudun priest stood between her and the door. He reluctantly moved aside before pushing the door open for her.

John lay in the bed, his hands and feet were tied to the strong maple posters on the bed. It had been a safety precaution after he had gotten out of bed and had attempted to try slitting his wrists again. His pale chest gleamed against the folds of sweat stained linen. The smell of decay and sickness assailed her senses. "John..." She whispered, settling on the bed beside his unmoving form.

"Angela..." He rasped, his parched lips cracking as he attempted to speak. "Water..."

A bucket of ice sat beside his bed, she picked an ice cube up and pressed it against his lips, "I... I met..."

"I know, Angela..." He stopped her mumbling with his quiet words that seemed to hold a world of bitterness and anger, "I know who you met. Him. The unmaker."

"He..." Her hands touched her bruised throat, "wants me to die because I'm keeping him from destroying everything."

Constantine's dark head rocked as he attempted to nod, "I suspected." Turning his face into his shoulder, he coughed. The spasms wracked his wasted frame, his spine bowed as he spluttered and gasped for air. Lucifer had taken the cancer from him and for a while he seemed fine. She had lingered long enough from hiding the Spear of Destiny to ensure his health and then she had left. Angela had come back to find Constantine in hospital, the psyche ward to be exact, strapped to a bed. With the help of some of the more disreputable friends that she had made, thanks to the exorcist, she had broken him out of the hospital and kept him tucked safely away. The neutral territory, Papa Midnite's base, seemed the most logical place to stash the man until they could all figure out what to do with him.

"Please get well, Johnny." She whispered gently, brushing her lips against his hot temple, "I need you now, more than ever."

Everyone had given up on him, even Constantine had given up on getting well. The only one who refused to accept that he was actually dieing was Angela, and even she wasn't quite so sure anymore. "I'll try." His response every time but the sincerity in his voice didn't meet the velvety depths of his eyes. They were dead; devoid of any emotion besides the pain for his inexplicable illness.

"Angela, Gabriel's here. She says that she's got some info you might like to know." Midnite called quietly from the doorway, his thumb jabbed to his back where Gabriel stood silently.

Angela left the room and stared at the fallen angel. Since she had lost her immortality, Gabriel had become nothing more than a nuisance. Once and a while, she dug up a real nugget of wisdom or information but for someone who was millennia's years old...she was practically useless. Besides there was no feelings lost between Angela and Gabriel. Something about trying to kill her made Angela a little paranoid around the demoted archangel. "What is it, Gabriel?"

"I have something for you." Since that fateful day, Gabriel had become a little shifty-eyed. Something like a paranoid chihuahua but bigger. "Abaddon's in town."

"I know."

"Yeah and I think I know how we can fix Constantine."

She was suddenly interested. Her eyes bored into Gabriel's, "I am listening."

"It's going to cost you..."

"Listen, I don't have time for this. Either tell me what you know or get out now."

"Fine, fine." Gabriel flicked her wrist in an imperious gesture, "It's Abaddon's right hand man that has the capabilities of sapping strength from other people. I have never seen it done but I have heard about it."

"How is it that Abaddon's here to begin with? I thought that Angels and Demons weren't allowed on earth.:

Gabriel shrugged, "He's neither. He's a halfling."

"Ah. So who is the right hand man?"

"Despair." Gabriel shivered, "And a right nasty guy he is too."

Midnite crossed the floor and poured himself a drink, "So you think that Despair is doing this to Constantine?"

"I think so. He and his brother were always doing things like this. Sorrow was more of a direct type of guy. Liked to stab someone in gut and watch them bleed. He likes it...but Despair. Despair is more of a subtle type of guy. He can feed off of a life force by just touching them once."

"So how can we stop this?" Angela looked to Midnite, who seemed to be contemplating the contents of his glass.

"We could try an exorcism."

Angela shrugged, "Why not?"

Gabriel looked bright eyed suddenly, "Can I watch?"

Midnite and Angela turned to glare at the fallen angel, "No!" The both said at the same time.

Crestfallen, Gabriel grumbled, "Fine." and slumped into a chair.