AN: Sorry about the lack of updatage. Homework blows. Here's chapter 9!

Adrian led John deep into downtown, straight to a pool parlor. John knew the place was frequented by those not-quite-human, and he usually got some strange looks and a hassle walking in, but since he was accompanied by a half breed no one seemed to mind.

Adrian opened the door to a back room, where two older half breeds, one angel and one demon, were playing pool. They both looked up at John, and surprisingly enough, it was the angel who scowled.

"John Constantine," he said, as if it were some type of curse word.

"John…that's Apollo and this is Asier," Adrian said a bit nervously, gesturing first to the demon and then to the angel. "They're two of my best informants."

"Why does a half breed like yourself need informants?"

Adrian didn't answer, but Asier did.

"What the hell does a demon hunter want in a place like this?" He asked harshly.

"My apprentice disappeared recently…"

"The great John Constantine has an apprentice? Oh, that's rich…simply rich," the demon said, his eyes glowing red as he eyed John and licked his lips. Asier remained silent, staring at John carefully.

"A half breed's feather was found at the site. Adrian's," John went on to explain, ignoring the outburst. "I found him, he tells me you'll have information. So talk."

The demon looked at the angel and shrugged. "I didn't even know you had an apprentice. Don't look at me."

The angel snorted. "Yeah, it's not as if we keep tabs on the kids following you around."

John shot past the demon, grabbing the angel by the neck and slamming him up against the wall. "How'd you know he was just a kid, huh? You know somethin' you're not tellin' me?"

Adrian stepped toward them nervously. "John, you probably shouldn't-"

"Shut up!" John snapped at Adrian, his eyes not leaving the angel's. "What do you know, huh?"

"I don't know any-"

John tightened his grip enough to cut off Asier's air supply for a few moments. "That's not the right answer."

Asier seemed at a loss for a few moments, in indecision between keeping his secrets and incurring more anger from Constantine.

"The graveyard," he finally choked out, and John loosened his grip a little.

"The graveyard?"

"The graveyard by the old warehouses…it's just what I overheard. Something about a shapeshifter, and the graveyard, and somethin' about your apprentice. That's all I know, I'm not involved!"

John dropped him, taking in this new information. If a shapeshifter demon or angel were involved, Adrian could've easily been a victim of spiritual 'identity theft'. Or he could be the shapeshifter himself…but John would be able to tell if he was. Shapeshifting energy was impossible to hide.

"If I find out that any of you were involved…" He started, glaring at all three of them. He had to get to the graveyard, he didn't have time for them. He stormed out, slamming the door behind him.

He went outside and hailed a taxi, wondering why the hell he was doing so much for this kid. He barely knew Chas, and the kid certainly wasn't his apprentice. He was just playing along with that part because it was easier than explaining the truth. It wasn't like he'd ever take Chas in or try to teach him anything.

He was, after all, just a kid.

The taxi dropped him off at the cemetery, and he walked through the large metal gates and began wondering around aimlessly. He lit up a cigarette and looked around; nothing seemed out of place or different than usual. Not that he spent a lot of time in cemeteries.

"I see you got the message."

He spun around, and there was a demon half breed, his eyes glowing red and his long tail flicking around with excitement. John practically snarled, his eyes narrowing.

"Where is he?"

"You'll find out, in due time," the demon said, taking a few steps toward John, his tail swinging to wrap around John's waist. "Until then…how 'bout you quit that annoying habit of doing petty exorcisms?"

"Or how about I deport you, right here and now?" John asked harshly.

"I wouldn't do that. After all…we have that adorable little apprentice of yours. And we're always watching," the demon said, his eyes glancing up to the trees. "It's your choice. But one exorcism, one deportation…honestly, John, you wouldn't want anything bad to happen to the boy, would you?"

"You bastard."

The demon laughed, a sound that sent a chill down John's spine. "John Constantine, reduced to name calling. Chas must really do a number on the emotions…"

The demon chuckled again, shook his head, and then began to walk away.

Go and get him, John. Deport his sorry ass.

They have Chas. You heard him, one wrong move and Chas is dead.

You don't care about the kid, he's just an orphan! One life, it doesn't matter!

One thought invaded John's head at that moment- the memory of Chas's wide, dark, hazel eyes, looking up at him with a curiosity and admiration that was practically mind-numbing.

But…it does.

By the time this inner dialogue had finished, the demon was long gone. John clenched his fists and closed his eyes for a few moments, and then headed for the road at a jog. There was a way out of this, he knew it.

And god dammit, he'd sure as hell find it.

AN: Hehehe, weee, another cliffy. You know you love 'em. Now review, my pets.