What Constantine is thinking while he dies . . . a second time. One-shot. Takes place during the movie. Dark, angst, rated for suicide. I do not own Constantine. Trust me, you'd know if I did.

It was quiet.

Very quiet.

Could be because time's stopped, John Constantine thought to himself. Yep, that could definitely be it.

No, wait – there was a tiny sound that he could just pick up with his fading hearing. The quiet sound of something liquid creeping across the aluminum flooring, making its way over tiny particles of dust, around the larger pieces of shattered glass, and along the channels created by the indents where one "tile" met another with a border of mortar so fake it was enough to drive even the mental patients insane.

It was an effort to sigh, since his body refused to breathe anymore. It was no longer a natural process to inhale and exhale, over and over again, to keep oxygen flowing through the body and release carbon dioxide. Muscles no longer needed to contract. Nerves no longer needed to transmit electric signals. The heart no longer needed to beat. Blood no longer needed to flow in any direction except the one gravity was pulling it in.

He lay there, in an eternity of silence, waiting.

It was on purpose, he knew. He could almost hear the laughter of the devils. Give him time to think about how stupid he is! Give him time to remember how he cursed himself! How he gave up any hope of redemption!

Fuck. You. All.

He didn't do it for them, or for himself, or for any fucking higher power. He was doing it because, damn it, there were only two entities in all existence that could save the world now. Only one of them would actually come down and save it. And that one was only going to come up here to get him. To gloat over John like the grand prize teddy bear which would have been won eventually, but which had decided to drop right into the waiting arms of the child who was going to tear out all the stuffing, one agonizing piece at a time . . .

To drag him down, down, down into the depths of utter despair . . .

Rushing, howling, screaming winds mingling with the agony of tortured cries echoing off of every corner and every wall and every speck of dust that tore at his soul with the strength of a thousand tiny poisoned swords, each one hitting home in his heart . . .

Fuck that! He shook himself out of the all-too-vivid memories. I have to go through that for an eternity. It's going to be an eternity minus every single damned second I can save.

Still, for every second he spent not thinking about it, he spent another in much worse memories. The feel of starched white sheets. The odd, hollow sound of breathing through a mask. The faces above him, the needles, the machines, the reports, the cries of relief from parents who didn't understand that there was nothing to be happy about. Absolutely nothing.

The horrible knowing, every moment, of exactly what could happen to him at any given second.

The second that would last a lifetime.

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