AN: This idea has been poking at my brain ever since I first saw the movie Constantine. And no, I haven't read the comic books it's based on, so don't hack on me for accuracy.
This is my interpretation of how Chas and John first met, based about a year and a half before the movie.
"I need you down at the apartments by the old glass warehouse, John. Somethin' really interesting."
John heard the crisp nervousness in Father Hennessy's tone, and he took a long drag off his cigarette, slowly exhaling. "What makes it so different?"
"Well…I don't know, it just feels different. And I trust my instinct on those, John, you know it. Just meet me down here, wouldya?"
John heard a woman's voice yelling in the background, but it wasn't quite the words he'd expected; he'd expected words of concern, or fear, but instead the woman was yelling about 'shutting the boy up before she busted a bottle over his head'.
"I'll be right there, Father."
He hailed a cab as quickly as he could, since he hadn't ever been able to afford a car; doing exorcisms wasn't exactly bringing in a truckload of money. He lit up another cigarette in the already foul smelling cab, while the driver just glanced at him as if he were some type of freak.
Hell, he was some type of freak. Even he knew that.
He arrived at the apartment, and Father Hennessy was standing outside the door, and he visibly brightened when he saw John.
"John, thank God…"
"Don't thank him. I took a cab, not a heavenly cloud."
"Well, whoever I thank, I'm glad you're here. The kids mother is about to shoot him herself."
"She's not worried?" John asked, taking another drag off his cigarette as he followed Hennessy up the stairs.
"No, she thinks he's faking it for attention."
Father Hennessy looked back at John with what was almost a hurt impression. "You think I'd fall for it if he was?"
The door to the apartment was open, but it smelled much the same inside as it had in the hallway; in other words, utterly rancid. He scowled and put out his cigarette in the nearest ashtray as a woman came out of the back room, taking a swig of whiskey straight from the bottle even as she walked.
"Are you the guy who can shut him up? He's been makin' that goddamn noise for the past six hours, I about beat him senseless tryin' to shut him up," she said angrily, waving the bottle around in wild gestures, her brown matted hair falling out of her loose ponytail.
Great. Not just a demon, but a tied up, beaten up, pissed off demon, John thought, silently moving past the woman to the room which the growling, thrashing, and snarling sounds were coming from.
He pushed the door open, and shook his head at the sight. The boy looked to be about 16, and his ankles and wrists were tied tightly to the bed, so tightly that his wrists and ankles had rubbed raw against the restraints. His brown, thick, curly hair was wil and unkempt, and his body was covered with a sheen of sweat. He wore only flannel pajama pants and a tank top.
John walked to the bedside and looked down into the youth's wild eyes, and Father Hennessy entered the room behind him, watching on eagerly.
"I couldn't cast it out myself, John, and I-"
"The only reason you called me was because you couldn't handle that bitch in the kitchen."
"Well, that's a part of it, but-"
John didn't wait for him to finish. He stood up on the bed, straddling the boy as he kneeled down. The demon hissed viciously as John lowered his face, so close he could feel the boy's harsh, short breaths on his lips and cheek.
"My name's Constantine…John Constantine, asshole," John hissed, and the demon simply snarled and struggled on his restraints even more.
"Make yourself useful, Father. Open the curtains," John said, and Hennessy quickly moved to do as he was told. The demon thrashed and snarled all the more as light entered the originally dark room, and John quickly deduced what kind of demon he was dealing with.
He pulled out a small iron cross on a necklace, yanking it off the chain and smirking cruelly at the demon.
"Go to hell," he said, meaning it quite literally as he pressed the cross to the boy's forehead. The cross sizzled as if heated in a fire and the demon let out a shriek of agony, the boy's body convulsing with the pain and efforts of the demon to hold onto its young charge.
"Exorcizo te, omnis spiritus immunde, in nomine Dei Patris omnipotentis, et in noimine Jesu Christi Filii ejus, Domini et Judicis nostri, et in virtute Spiritus Sancti," John said loudly as the demon writhed and screamed beneath him, thrashing and struggling with each breath. He made the sign of the cross, said a few final words in Latin, and with a sudden shriek and arch of his back, the boy went limp beneath him. His skin became clear again, a tanned and flawless color that almost made him look...angelic.
The boy's eyes suddenly snapped open and he gasped as if coming up from underwater, and his eyes widened in a frightened panic as he realized that there was a man kneeling over him- not to mention, he was tied down to his bed.
"What…what the…" he managed before his eyes rolled back and he fell into unconsciousness again.
"I'm not surprised. She let him fight that demon for five hours like this before she called the church," Father Hennessy said, shaking his head. As John climbed off the bed, the enraged mother appeared in the doorway, her expression wild.
"I want that thing out of my house," she said firmly, gesturing to the limp form on the bed.
"Ma'am, he won't have any more trouble. We-"
"I don't fucking care, okay! I never wanted him in the first place, but his bastard father had to go and blow his brains out, and now I get saddled with the little freak!" The lady screamed, looking back and forth between Hennessy and John. "I'm goin' out. When I get back, if he's still here I'm just gonna shoot him, you hear me?" She continued before slamming down the glass and storming out. A few moments later they heard the front door slam shut.
Father Hennessy and John stared at each other helplessly for a few moments before Hennessy moved forward to begin untying the boy from the bed.
"John…you know I can't-"
"But he's not-"
Hennessy looked up at John, who simply lit up another cigarette. He finished
untying one hand and inspected the raw and bleeding wrist even as he spoke.
"Just for a couple days, John. Just until I can find another relative of his to take
him," Hennessy pleaded, moving on to freeing the boy's other wrist. "Come on, you know I never ask you favors unless they're very important. Would you rather have all your hard work go to waste the next time that lady loses her temper?"
"I don't think she'd do it."
"Wanna take that chance?"
John exhaled a stream of smoke into the air, and then did what he'd been avoiding doing for the past few minutes; he looked at the boy laying exhausted on the bed. The boy was breathing more steadily now, his skin still glowing and his hair tousled. He definitely wasn't over 17, he decided.
He looked so innocent, so child-like laying there, and yet he'd just been through something most adults could never claim to have experienced.
"Only for a couple of days, Father, and after that I swear I'll kick him out on his ass," John finally said, looking back down at the floor and flicking ashes off his cigarette.
Father Hennessy positively beamed as he pulled the bonds off the boy's ankles. "You're a saint, John, a regular saint."
John just gave him a look, and Father Hennessy shrugged.
"Okay, maybe not. But still…"
"What's his name?" John asked, gesturing with his cigarette.
"The kid. What's his name?"
"Chas. Chas Kramer."
AN: Eh, I didn't expect this to be over one chapter, but hey look! It is. It'll probably have two or three chapters, unless I go insane and make it a series. Review, please!