Title: Sacrifices (Part One)
Author: Dakota-Jones (DJ)
Pairing: John Constantine/Chas
Rating: Strong PG-13, may go up later
Spoilers Movie: Lots.
Summary: Chas is changed for heaven's purposes, but that's one thing John won't accept. He stages his own personal war against heaven to win back the young man's spirit that he knew and loved, but everything has a price…
Thanks: To Kristin for helping me tweak the idea.
It'd been two months since that night at the graveyard, when John had seen him. And he thought he was going to lose his mind.
He'd gone back to the grave five nights in a row after that, hoping for another glimpse of Chas, another hint that his apprentice was adjusting to the afterlife, but the angel had been elusive. Worse, none of his contacts knew anything about the born-again half breed.
It was as if he'd completely disappeared.
John took a drag off his cigarette, blowing a cloud of smoke, blurring his view of the bland ceiling in his apartment. His free hand traced the edges of one of the crosses on the bedspread, running across each stitch, memorizing the texture and forgetting it just as quickly. He didn't like being idle like this, but it wasn't time to go. Not yet. He'd promised his next client that he wouldn't be seen coming through her door till after dark.
The rich people were sometimes like that. Willing to let their children suffer a little longer for the sake of the neighbors never seeing strange people coming and going. Not that John cared, especially since he could make these people pay a helluva lot more than the common herd.
The apartment was so silent that when the streetlights outside came on, John could hear the electric crackling and then the sharp snap. He took one last drag off the spent cigarette before putting it out in the ashtray beside the bed, and then he slowly sat up and sighed.
Normally, right about now, Chas would be packing up the bag in the kitchen, getting together far more than John knew he would need. The boy was thorough; John was sometimes afraid he'd throw in a couple beers and the kitchen sink, 'just to be safe'. But now, John had to pack his own bag, which seemed painfully light without all the extra religious paraphernalia Chas would normally pack.
He silently walked to the kitchen, and as always, half expected to hear Chas's voice, repeating his name about five times in one sentence. He always did that, saying John's name like some kind of mantra that would impress the older man. John wasn't sure whether to be flattered, amused, or annoyed.
Now it didn't matter. After all, he wouldn't hear it again.
He picked up the bag off the table, his arm jerking a little too hard because of how light the bag was. He put an extra carton of cigarettes in his pocket, finished off the day-old shot glass of whiskey on the counter, and then he headed for the door.
Can I come, John?
John, come on, you know I know how to do all this shit! John, I've been studying this type of demon, and…John, are you even listening? John?
I'm listening, kid. I just don't care.
You know, John, this whole thing with you calling me 'kid' all the time probably isn't helping my case.
John could play any conversation they would've had in any situation, moreso than ever this one. It ran through his head over and over again in the taxi, which he was used to smelling like licorice, but this one reeked of fish, probably the driver's day job. John kept trying to conjure up exactly how Chas's voice would've sounded, how many times in one sentence he'd repeat John's name, the exact pitch of his words…
Jesus, you're obsessed, his logic broke through, and he tried to focus his attention on something other than his curly-headed apprentice. He looked out the window, watching as the nightlife of downtown LA slowly faded into the suburbs. It was such a stark difference that John could almost imagine he was in another state, another county, foreign.
He got out of the cab, grabbed his bag, and started to walk away.
"Hey! You pay me!" A strong Muslim voice stopped him, and he blinked and turned around.
Oh, yeah. You have to pay him, Constantine. Great job of getting your mind off Chas.
He paid the driver, picked up his bag, and looked at the house before him. It was a two story brick colonial style home, probably worth a couple million dollars. He walked through the front gate and through a small flower garden up to the large, wooden front door, and then he rang the doorbell.
Go back to the car, kid.
I'm just carryin' the bag in for you, John. Doin' you a favor.
That's fuckin' sweet, Chas, but I can carry the bag on my own. Go back to the car.
The door swung open, revealing a tall blonde woman who looked like a walking ad for Botox. Her age was still evident in her eyes, though; the eyes always gave it away, along with the bottle-blonde hair cemented into some kind of poofy, cowlicked style. Her nails were perfectly manicured, and her outfit was perfectly pressed with matching shoes.
"You're John Constantine?" She asked, her voice strained and tired. John nodded. "Oh, thank God. She's putting up such a fuss in there, and the priest told me to call you, so I just-"
"Where is she?"
The lady seemed put off by his interruption, but quickly recovered. "Upstairs, third room on the right."
Go back to the car, kid. Lady, don't let him in.
But I can help!
Stop pouting and get your ass back in the car, Chas.
The exorcism went like most had in the past two months; uneventful, nothing out of the norm. John took a taxi halfway home, but then decided to walk the rest of the way. He needed the time and fresh air to think.
He actually remembered to pay the driver without being reminded this time, and he stepped out, quite suddenly relieved that Chas hadn't packed the bag. Walking like this, it would've been such a weight.
Maybe you can get used to this. Maybe it will be for the better, for both of you, John thought, thinking about lighting up a cigarette but deciding against it for now. He'd cut back on the smoking, or at least tried to. At least he didn't go through three or four packs a day; he'd cut it down to one. It was a start, anyway.
He heard a muffled cry of pain and a scuffling sound from a nearby alley, and as usual, he ignored it. You only paid attention to that kind of stuff in LA if you wanted to get yourself killed.
He couldn't block out the sounds of the fight though, especially as he came closer to the alley. A slam, the sick sound of a fist hitting flesh, and a sudden 'crack'. Most likely two gang members duking it out.
"Damn fuckin' half-breed!"
…Or maybe not.
John sighed. He never did get a break, and now he had to deal with a renegade half demon. It just never ended. He could smell the sulfur already, and the heavy, strange scent of demon blood. But he sensed…something else. An angelic presence. No, not quite an angel…an angel half-breed.
An angel and a demon, fighting on the streets? That was an uncommon occurrence. Angels didn't fight. So most likely, this was an angel getting the shit beat out of him by a demon.
As soon as he turned into the alley, though, he could see that this was not the case.
Even in the dark, the figure seemed to have an unearthly glow. The angel stood with one foot on the demon's chest, the other between his legs, a gun in hand, no doubt loaded with some kind of enhanced bullets.
It was Chas.
One, two, three, four shots to the demon's forehead, and John froze, staring at the white clad figure whose perfect white pants were now marred with splattered blood. But as quickly as the blood hit the fabric it faded, seeming to die away as the demon gave a few final twitches.
The word choked out before John even realized it, and the angel's head slowly tilted up to see the exorcist in the mouth of the alley. A smirk lit up on his face, one that didn't quite reach his eyes, which shone gold with mischief. He tilted his head, looking very cat-like in the moonlight. Then, with one fluid movement, he lifted his index finger to his lips, as if to say, 'Don't tell, John'.
Before John could move or think on what he'd just witnessed, Chas's wings appeared and spread, and with one strong flap he was gone into the night sky. The demon's body was crumbling, flaking away, and would soon be gone as well, carried away in the wind.
John couldn't move. He couldn't believe this. He'd just seen Chas, looking very much like a seasoned prissy angel, silently kill a demon without a second thought. And also, for no obvious reason that John could tell. And he hadn't even stuck around to say a single word to his former 'employer'.
"God…what did you do to him?" John muttered, stepping forward and studying the remains of the demon.
He wouldn't let this go. Something had happened, and he didn't like it. He would find out what they'd done with his youthful, charming apprentice, the Chas he knew, the Chas he'd been close to loving. So close, but too late. Much too late.
As far as he was concerned, Chas's soul belonged to him. And he'd fight God Himself to have that right for all of eternity.