Chapter 6! Wow, I never expected to be able to get out so many chapters in such a short amount of time. I'm glad that most everyone likes it, so I'll stop talking now and try to answer some of the questions that have built up in the story.

Disclaimer: I don't own Constantine or any of its characters, places, or… anything else?

Chapter 6: Red Poppies Grow Under Crimson Wings

June 23

Entry #57

'Today's the first full day I'm going to spend in the custody of John Constantine. He seems like a nice enough guy, but I'm not so sure. I think there's something going on that's more than just that woman killed by a demon. It's strange. Last night when Chas got back late, they thought I was asleep, and they started talking about what Chas had found out. All I heard were a couple things about a demon named Balthazar and an angel with crimson wings. I'm a little confused about what's going on here, I think there's more than they're telling me. But of course, I'm a supposed delinquent, I can't think they'd tell me everything. But of course, that's why I've borrowed some of Chas's books and I'm looking through them to see if I can get some answers. I'm going to do some research now, I'll write later.'

Aerin

John's Apartment

June 23

Aerin closed her journal and pulled the key out from around her neck, locking it. She looked up at the stack of old tomes that she had piled on the table beside her bed, and sighed. "I guess it's time to start working, huh?" she said to no one in particular. Picking up the nearest book, she began to read.

After two hours of hard reading, the sound of the key in a lock of the apartment stirred her out of the worlds that she'd been drawn into. "Probably John," she murmured to herself.

"Hey Aerin, you here?" Chas yelled. He and John walked into the apartment, and John threw himself into a chair.

"That prick just ruined another hundred dollar shirt." He ran a hand through the hair at the back of his neck. "What the fuck is with the exorcisms lately? Why the hell are demons trying to escape into our world again, if Mammon's still in hell? This must have something to do with Balthazar."

Aerin's ears had picked up the name 'Balthazar', and she was listening while still flipping through the pages of the book.

"Looks like it. You know, you could let me help out a little more," Chas began, but John cut him off.

"I'm already letting you help more by letting you watch. You almost died once Chas, I don't need another ghost following me around."

Chas sighed in frustration. "Anyways, where's Aerin?" he asked and then called again, "Aerin! You in here?"

"Yeah," Aerin called back. Pulling out a piece of paper, she marked her page and opened the curtains to step out. Looking at John, she raised an eyebrow. "Are you all right?" she asked.

"Why do you ask?" John muttered.

"Because… you have blood on your shirt?" she looked at him a little more closely.

"Fuck, that cut must have opened again," he snapped at thin air. Getting up he walked over to the sink, wet some paper towels, and opened his put them over a cut on his arm.

"Do you need some help?" Aerin asked tentatively.

"I'm fine, fan-fucking-tastic," he growled. She looked a little taken-aback at his response, but she just walked back to her corner, opened the curtains, and then disappeared inside.

"Nice John that right there, that was called arrogance." Chas ran a glass of water and took a long drink. John just walked over to a cabinet and pulled out some alcohol, dabbing it on his arm with a slight hiss.

Aerin meanwhile was back to looking through the book when she came across an interesting section labeled, 'The Hierarchy of Angels'.

"That's odd…" she said under her breath. "I'm getting the weirdest feeling that this is important somehow," she began to read it carefully.

'The hierarchy of angels is the order in which they fall in importance. The highest level of angel is the Seraphim, with Cherubim below them and the Thrones under Cherubim. The lowest level of angels contains the regular Angels, with the Archangels just above them. There are seven known archangels, the most common of which is Gabriel, but the others include Michael, Raphael, Anael, Samael, Sachiel, and Cassiel. At the present, very little information is known about Anael, Sachiel, and Cassiel. However, the Archangel Michael appears at least three times in the bible.

Perhaps the most commonly known appearance is in Joshua 5:14 when he says "As commander of the army of the Lord, I have now come."

He also appears in Revelation 12:7 - 'And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon.'

Michael is the head of God's heavenly army, and is said to wear armor whenever appearing in front of mortals, but his most distinguishing feature that separates him from other angels is his crimson wings.

Aerin immediately stopped reading, her finger poised over the page. Crimson wings… the feather! Grabbing the book, she jumped through the curtain and skidded over to the table. John and Chas looked up in surprise.

"Aerin, what's up? You look like… I don't know what you look like." Chas said as he looked up at her.

She rolled her eyes. "I'm going to overlook that comment for a moment because of what I just found. John looked at her.

"What did you find?" he asked. Then, noticing the book in her hands, he said, "Isn't that one of mine?"

"Oh, yeah, sorry, I was curious about some stuff so I borrowed a couple, I hope that you don'tmind? Anyways," she paused to haul the heavy thing up onto the table, "I found something that I thought might want to know." She opened the book to the page her finger was holding, and pointed out the part about Michael.

John read through it, his face never changing. As soon as he was done, Chas pulled it over and read what Aerin had pointed out. After Chas finished scanning through the section, he turned to Aerin and smiled.

"Nice job," he said. "So we're dealing with Michael are we?" he leaned back and frowned. "At least I now know what to look for," he muttered to himself. Turning back to Aerin and Chas he said, "I'm going to pay another visit to Midnite's tonight. Chas, Aerin, are you two going to come?"

This time, both of them looked surprised.

"You're asking me to come?" Aerin asked, at the exact same time Chas said,

"You're asking her to come?" He looked over at her and then at John. "It took you forever to let me come along, and she can't even get in!"

John smirked. "And you can get in?" Chas scowled.

"I'm getting better," he glowered. Aerin couldn't help but laugh, the first genuine laugh that the two of them had heard her give.

"Well, I'm not sure what Midnite's is, but I think I'll figure something out." She smiled. Chas just sighed.

"Fine," he said. "But can we eat something, I'm hungry."

June 23 – 9:30 PM

Midnite's Club

Aerin looked at the outside of the building, it didn't seem like much. Shrugging inwardly, she followed Chas and John through the door. The red light closed around her, and the sound of barely repressed music flowed through the walls. John strode up to the man and, as he held up a card said,

"Dog under a tree." The man wordlessly moved the cord and John walked through, only turning around to see if Chas and Aerin got through.

"Aerin," Chas said, "Wait here for us. We won't take too long." Turning to the bouncer who held up a card he said,

"Um…" he squinted for a moment, concentrating. "Hippo on a log?" The man once attain unlatched the cord, and Chas walked through. Aerin stepped up to the man who pulled out another card. A strange look passed over his face for a millisecond, and then was gone.

"Hippo on a log," Aerin said with a smile.

"You know John, it won't work," Chas said. "I remember when I tried-" he stopped and stared as the man pulled the cord aside.

"What the fuck!" he half-yelled as Aerin stepped through. "How… how did you…?"

Aerin laughed again. "I figured from the look on his face that he pulled the same card that you guessed. So… I guessed the same thing." She grinned. "I used to play a lot of poker. I guess it paid off?"

John smirked at the look on Chas's face. Looks like she did figure something out," he snickered. "Come on, Aerin needs to meet Midnite."

TBC…

There. How was Chapter 6? Like it? Chapter 7 up soon!

Eagle