AN: First Constantine story, only seen the movie once, so hope the guys are in character. Believe it or not, inspired by a book by Patrick O'Brian, a sea writer. So thanks to him. Pre-movie, and if possible, reviews are greatly luved. I would like to know how I did. Thank you. :0
What a night.
Constantine took a deep breath, and rubbed his temples then made way to his eyes. As if dying weren't enough, every time he closed his eyes little demons would be laughing hysterically in his face chanting.
"Soon, Constantine, soon."
And he would wake up, blearily muttering assholes as he lighted another cigarette and he would sit up and listen silently throughout the night at the haunting tunes of LA.
Luckily this time, it was already morning, and Chas was already down below, Constantine noted with a hint of approval. He had to give the kid credit, he was never late.
Quickly Constantine got ready, there was always a "demon" lurking around some corner or other. Always, and everyday Constantine would go to Hesseny and ask. If he didn't have anything, Constantine and Chas would patrol the city making sure that held true.
Yes, Constantine was that paranoid. If that's even the word…because in Constantine's case, he may be paranoid or the like, but in the end he usually ended up being right.
Today was no different.
He knew no good would come from today.
And for the most part, he was right.
"Not today kid." Were the first words that spilled from Constantine's mouth. He was in no mood to deal with the kid's pleading or questions, or anything else. He just wanted silence. For once. Was that too much to ask?
Chas stayed silent. There was no hello, no "Hey John!" or "Hey can I…?" or "Hey can you…?"
It was as if the kid could read John's mind, he stayed quiet.
Constantine was no fool; he took advantage of the silence and took a quick nap in the cab as they rode on. A nap in blissful, peaceful, beautiful silence.
Hesseny had an exorcism for him, down by Venice. A mid-life bachelor whose roommate had called the church frantically, noting that it wasn't anything normal that had possessed his friend.
He would've called the cops, except well…they weren't exactly here legally…he hoped the church would keep their secret and just help. The church then located Hesseny, knowing that he knew Constantine, and this was, after all, his specialty.
Constantine briefly wondered why the church couldn't send a priest over themselves.
Priests were generally able to handle the job, but ah well, more fun for him.
Chas pulled up at the address, and Constantine looked at the sad shack before him. Yea, fun. Constantine got out of the cab quickly, noting that he felt different…he wasn't usually on the edge as he usually was.
Ah, the kid hadn't asked to come along.
Was the kid actually finally taking him seriously? Had something finally changed his mind?
He expected adolescent to pipe up behind him in contradiction.
So alone, John went into the foul smelling, rat packed, and grim apartment were young brown eyes stared at him in question, along with fearful adult eyes. Holding tightly onto their children murmuring prayers in Spanish, wincing at each time the screams from above came through.
Same as always. John allowed a small wink to a little boy, hopefully one to reassure the child. It did, and the boy broke into a grin.
"Gracias señor Constantine." Startled John looked back at the child and noticed his wings, and the child lifted his finger to his lips and winked back as well. "Ayúdeles…"
And John went up, wondering how his subconscious always managed to zone in the half-breeds. He also wondered how they all knew him. He would talk to the kid, but he spoke not a word of Spanish.
Well he knew some, like the current ones being flung across the walls.
"Diablo…ojos… Juan!" There were a whole lot of words in between, frantic shouting and objects being flung…great…flung…meaning the guy wasn't held down properly.
This would be fun.
"Oh! Señor, Señor gracias! Por todo! Si algún día, usted necesita—"
"Sí, sí…no problem, no problemo."
"Problema. ¿Problemas siempre son de mujeres, verdad?" The roommate corrected, chuckling.
"…Adios!" Constantine then slammed the door to Chas' cab, shivering. He was covered in spit, some blood, bruises…he just wanted to go home. The demon wasn't so hard; he just chose a very strong body to posses. Sorely John rubbed his jaw, and then turned to look behind him, where the man was still waving happily, along with the angel kid from before.
And why exactly didn't you help?
Somewhere a voice replied; It was fun to watch.
An angel, but a kid first, how about that?
Speaking of kids, John's own apprentice was still working in silence. It was unsettling to say the least…don't tell me the kid was possessed too? Wasn't one enough for today?
"You all right kid?"
"Wha-? Oh yea, John fine, just thinkin' ya know."
"Oh, so that's why you're so different today."
Nothing. The kid must've been in deep if he didn't catch that. John shrugged and sat back in the sat, allowing the windy breeze to caress his face and forget all his troubles for the second.
Briefly John opened his eyes and caught sight of a brief glint of light, and found it came from a medallion that hung from Chas' mirror. It swung from side to side, and the click-clack sounded as each time it hit one end.
Why did he just now notice it? And what the heck was it?
"That-That medallion thing!"
"You can see it?"
"Of course I can see it! I can hear it too."
"It's Saint Frances of Rome." John squinted sure enough there was a little image of a nun, hands clasped together and a little angel kid beside her.
"Kid, I didn't think you were Catholic." Chas shrugged.
"Can't be too sorry, plus she's the Patron Saint for cab drivers." Chas stated proudly, his eyes glancing from the road to the medallion.
"Yea?" Constantine couldn't help but chuckle, "There's a patron saint for cab drivers?"
"There's a patron saint for everyone John, even possessed people…and drug addicts." Chas sniffed at the newly lighted cigarette, and John gave the kid a glare as he shoved the box back into his pocket.
"Why the sudden interest in Frances kid?"
Another pause, the same thoughtful silence that John had been surrounded with all day, John was slowly getting frustrated and finally…
"She spoke to me."
"What do you mean 'spoke'?"
"Exactly that John, Christ, she spoke to me all right?" John opened his mouth, but then closed it again, deciding to let the kid continue.
"Last night, this morning, whatever…I had a dream that I was asleep in my cab waiting for you, as always, and suddenly I wake up…and this beautiful...I guess unearthly…it was the happiest feeling I ever had John…" Constantine noticed how the kid licked his lips in excitement and how the kid had a smile as large as one can get across his face.
"Then…then this yellow light filled the cab, I forgot everything…I forgot the cab, my snacks, you…it's just me and, and this beautiful angel…Frances…she then bowed and gave me a kiss on my forehead…I didn't think about it then, I was just so happy to be there."
Heaven. The kid was dreaming about heaven, Constantine rubbed his wrist absently. Why? Why would the kid be dreaming about heaven?
"Then she spoke to me 'Chas…you shall be here soon. Soon, but not yet. You shall be strong, be careful…we're waiting for you….' And then there were my grandparents, my dog from when I was 6…everything was so clear. So...happy, and she gave me this medallion, draped it across my neck. I didn't want to leave John. I wanted to stay, I so wanted to stay….I thought it was all a dream but…" Chas motioned his hand towards the medallion "…this was still here. I thought I went nuts…but you can see it, right?"
The kid was so open with John, he had told him his exact dream, word for word. That still had Constantine shocked, so it took him a while to register Chas' question.
"Yea." He croaked. "I can see it."
The kid was going to die. Soon. A warning, a gentle warning, but one none the less.
"I've been telling you this is a dangerous job, haven't I?" He just knew the kid was going to die because of getting involved with him. He couldn't handle that, he had so many lost friends in the past. Chas couldn't be just another name on the list, no…the kid had to grow up, have a life of his own, and succeed where he had failed. Maybe get married, breed some more little annoying curly-haired Kramers into the world. .
"Yea you have."
"Maybe it's time you listened kid. I can always find another apprentice." Harsh words, even Constantine winced at them, but if they could save the kid's life, so be it. As soons as they were out of his mouth, he felt his friend in front of him stiffen. Constantine bet that Chas' knuckles were turning white, what with that pose he was holding.
"Yea." Came the forced answer "After all, I'm just another kid, another driver, another slave…" a sharp sarcastic laugh. "We're always replaceable."
Aw, no kid, I didn't mean it like…well at least maybe now the kid would have some sense and keep away.
And the ride lapsed into silence one last time.
Oh…damn, what a day for a headache. John woke up with a yawn, and looked out the window, as he did every morning. And was surprised for that half-second when he noticed that Chas' cab wasn't there.
Well….good, glad to know the kid still had some brains left. About time he learned that nobody can stick around John Constantine for long. Slowly Constantine got dressed, brushed his teeth, and allowed his body to work on auto.
Constantine closed the door behind him, and went past the bowling alley, hoping to find a cab.
Ah! There! A sign of good fortune. A cab, empty…and was that…oh.
"—and I told ya sir, like every morning, this cab is taken." It was Chas with arguing with a poor old man who looked to be about in his 70s. John then noticed with amusement that the old man delivered a sharp kick to Chas' shins; Chas then fell to the ground and shook his fist at the old man who was hobbling quickly away.
"Tomorrow you old bastard! You'll get yours you little shit…"A pitiful moan was heard as Chas rubbed his shin. Chas then looked up as a hand was forced into his face; it was Constantine offering him help. The apprentice took the hand gratefully, and allowed himself to be pulled up.
"Hey kid, what are you doing here?"
"What do you mean what am I doing here? I'm giving you your ride."
"What about Frances?"
"Yea, well she's still around." Chas rubbed his neck, and Constantine caught sight of a flash of silver. "And so am I. Ah ha…" Chas laughed pointing a finger in Constantine's face "I'm not that easy to get rid of, nice try."
"Kid, and here I was giving you points for being a smart kid after all."
"Yea, yea, well you've always told me I don't have much sense. Now are you getting in the cab or what?"
I'm glad kid, I'll admit it, I'm glad to have you back.
"Oh hey John! I just read yesterday and I was wondering…"
"But John, it's just-"
A huff and a pout filled silence that lasted for a brief two seconds.
"How about I-"
Yes, definitely glad to have you back kid.
Make sure you stay awhile.
I would hate to miss you.