AN: I wasn't sure about posting this, but then I figured, hey, why not? So here it is.
"Before I die, kid, I'll show you what I mean when I say 'real pleasure'."
John had said that so many times that Chas simply passed it off as another empty promise now. But that was okay- John had made him so many empty promises that it was practically a part of the ritual now.
The ritual, the secret, the unspoken nights…it all meant the same. Every day, all day, everything went normally; there was pleading on Chas's part to join John on the exorcism, always denial on John's part, and that was enough to keep Chas's mind off it while the sun was up.
It was when the sun went down that everything took a flip; reality, promises, emotions, everything. Every night, Chas fell asleep on the couch usually with a book or a notebook in his lap. And every night, about an hour after Chas fell asleep, John would return from an outing to a bar and awaken the sleeping boy with rough shaking.
The smell of alcohol and tobacco heavily mixed had become a sort of trigger for the curly haired boy. He knew what was expected of him, and most of the time he enjoyed it; sometimes, though, John overdid it. He drank too much, or his emotions were too unstable, and Chas would stumble out of the bedroom quite a while later, bleeding and sobbing.
Those nights were filled with grunts and moans of pleasure, gasps and whimpers of pain, and the violent shifting rhythm of the bed moving underneath two bodies locked in an intense session of fucking. There was nothing more to it; John was eager to release his built up anger and desperation, and Chas was there, always eager to please no matter how far his mentor seemed to take things. Chas knew he was being taken advantage of, and he knew full well that one day John would go much too far, but John was all he had.
If that was all John Constantine asked of him, a rough nightly meaningless fuck, he could deal with that. It was rough…but that was okay. He was a strong-willed kid.
Some nights John wouldn't return. Chas would wake up feeling like something was off, and though he knew the exorcist would simply return with a worse hangover than usual after a night in the gutter, he still wouldn't sleep. His mind wouldn't let him. The ritual was set deeply into his mind, imprinted there like a strange necessity.
But that was okay.
Chas thought it could be like that forever. John seemed so strong, so immortal that it couldn't possibly alter.
One night, though, it did.
It was raining. Other than that, nothing was different outwardly about the night. It might've been close to 2 in the morning, Chas wasn't sure…all he knew was that it was one of those nights that John hadn't come home.
He sat at the kitchen table, sipping bravely at a glass of whiskey, though he would never drink enough to get drunk. Just enough to give him a pleasant buzz to numb the pain in case John came home angry. It was always a good possibility.
Something on the kitchen counter caught his eye, and he stared at it for a few moments, uncertain. John never just left things sitting out like that; though he lived in a marginally slum-like apartment, he liked everything to be in its place.
Chas slowly stood up, taking another sip from the glass before setting it down on the table. He shuffled over to the counter, picking up the large manila envelope and pulling back the metal tines that held it closed. He knew he probably shouldn't be looking through John's stuff, but if John was upset enough to leave it sitting out, if he came home tonight it couldn't make things worse.
Inside was a stapled, official looking document, and Chas tugged it gently out of the envelope and held it in trembling hands. And as he read the first line, the ticking of the clock magnified to a pounding, painful sound in his ears.
It was a will. A last will and testament. John's will.
He exhaled shakily, his eye skimming across the legal jargon, trying to make sense of this. Sure, John had been coughing a lot more lately, and maybe a little blood was involved, but John wasn't dying. It just wasn't possible.
He looked through the document, and quite suddenly, one sentence hit him the hardest, stood out the most. His breath caught in his throat, and he read that one line over and over, unwilling to believe the printed words in his hands.
All facets of the estate of John Constantine are hereby entitled to one Chas Kramer upon the death of the forementioned.
"Your curiosity is astounding, kid."
Chas jumped about a foot in the air and spun around, the will dropping to the floor at his feet. Behind him John stood with an air of casual amusement, an almost finished cigarette held lightly between two fingers. But…something was different. Something was very, very different tonight.
Chas didn't smell any alcohol on him. Not a trace of the vile liquid came from John- only the minute amount he'd consumed himself.
"I…I'm sorry, it was just…and I was…"
John chuckled, taking one more drag off his cigarette before crushing it into the ashtray on the table. "I left it out because I knew you'd read it, Chas."
Chas blinked, looking from John, to the papers on the floor, and back to John. "But…why?"
"6 months. A year, at most."
Chas felt his chest tighten. "No."
"It's not an arguing matter. My lungs don't exactly take orders."
Chas bit his lower lip hard, dropping his gaze to the floor for a few moments to gather his wits before looking up again. "Can't you…isn't there some kind of chemo? A treatment? Lung transplant?" He asked desperately, and John actually laughed.
"Chas…I've been through every option. Don't start."
Chas dropped his gaze away once again, and then he turned and stepped up to the table, lifting the glass of whiskey to drain it. He couldn't handle this, not tonight. Not ever.
John's hand grabbed his wrist before the glass reached his lips, though, and his hand was pushed back down to the table. He lowered his head as John stepped behind him, prying his hand off the glass, placing gentle kisses on the back of his neck. Chas shivered.
"I made you a promise, Chas."
And that was when it changed.
The rest of that night was like a fantasy, full of gentle caresses, Johns tongue tracing light designs over his whole body, the arching of Chas's back in absolute ecstasy, his toes curling with each time the sensations became overwhelming…and this time, the rhythm of the bed shifting was slower, a sliding beat beneath moans and gasps of blinding pleasure.
Chas lost track of time; all he knew was that when they were finally both completely spent, a mess of tangled, sweaty limbs on the damp sheets, the sun was just beginning to break through the maze of buildings outside. There was an audible 'snap' in the midst of heavy breathing as the streetlights switched off, and a bit of Chas's logic finally broke through. He started to get up, knowing that he needed to get back to his place. His couch.
A firm hand grabbed his shoulder, pulling him back down till he was lying down again, and he looked at John with wide, questioning eyes.
John smiled. It was a weak smile, a tired smile, but it said everything without a word. Chas cuddled closer, pressing against John's chest. He let his eyes close and felt John's hand run through his curly hair, and he sighed softly.
John Constantine had kept his promise, for once…but it was a bittersweet satisfaction.
It always was when John was involved.
But that was okay.