Author's Note: This is a fill-in between the end of the hydrotherapy room scene and the rooftop. Take it as you will. It's not necessarily how I see things happening, but I thought it was a fun concept to play with.
"How—how the hell did we do that?" asks Angela, as they stand, blinking in the now-bright early-morning sun outside of Ravenscar. It's as if there's still a dark aura around the building, the doors locked from the inside all but one, everything eerily still. Policemen and doctors stand in the corridors, not breathing and not dead. Not alive either.
"Which part?" asks Constantine, shaking the water out of his jacket for the umpteenth time and starting off down the street.
"How did we get out? Past all of them? Why didn't they stop us?" She follows, trotting along at his heels like an obedient dog. Her wet hair gives her an aura of vulnerability; or perhaps it's that all her shields have been blasted away, shattered like the glass of the hydrotherapy room doors.
"Divine intervention?" He smirks at her while looking straight ahead.
"Seriously, John." She looks as if she might cry at this simple wisecrack. He agrees with her. Suddenly he has no wish to be the asshole, no wish to be The Great John Constantine. Suddenly he remembers the shattered body left on the floor inside the building to his back. Suddenly he wants only to be allowed weakness for once, wants only to be allowed to weep.
"Seriously," he mutters, and keeps walking in the direction of his apartment.
The Jack Daniels bottle stands on the table at the ready, only it's been forgotten. The glass is still there too, the same one, though there's no spider under it now. And no smoke. No smoke anywhere in Constantine's apartment, though he desperately wishes for the comforting feel of a little roll of poison in his fingers, between his lips.
"Painkiller?" He holds up a bottle, a different one, and a fresh glass, to Angela, who simply stares at him. Her eyes are more green than brown tonight, and for some reason this unsettles him.
"What?" she manages at last. She's been asleep most of the day, though Constantine has been unable to find rest. Now, showered (in his bathroom), she's dressed in a pair of black boxers and another of his huge shirts, looking like she might get lost inside all that fabric. Sitting on his bed, she suddenly looks painfully small, and is staring up at him in a way that makes him want to wrap her in his arms and never let go. Instead he pours two glasses of vodka. Hands one to her, keeps one for himself. She continues to stare at him.
"Beautiful," she whispers, and he realizes she must still be watching him with her newfound Sight. He's used to this from newbies, knows the feeling himself, and yet those particular words coming out of her mouth makes him feel particularly strange.
"Just drink it," he mutters, pointing at the glass. Hoping the alcohol will shock her out of the Astral plane and back onto this one. It's an age-old cure in his world, though it works too well for some. He sighs as Hennessey comes to mind.
"All right," says Angela, and tips the glass to her lips, spilling a few drops as she continues to stare, mesmerized, at him.
"How did you meet?" asks Angela, attempting to sip from her glass before realizing it's empty. Constantine picks the bottle up off of the floor and pours again, avoiding the question. The alcohol has had its desired effect on her, bringing her back into herself, into the here and now. Only now she's gotten overly friendly, chatty, almost forcefully cheerful—she's using it like a shield and Constantine can see straight through, but doesn't have the heart to call her on it.
"Chas?" he asks, still playing for time.
Angela nods and sips, her eyes watering a little as she swallows. Constantine wonders whether the tears have anything to do with the alcohol. He watches her out of the corner of his eye while pretending to be fixated on the wall across the room. They are sitting side by side on his bed now, close enough that her shoulder brushes his every time she lifts her glass to drink.
"Killed his father," Constantine mutters, tossing back an extra-large mouthful and coughing more than a little.
"What?" She looks at him sharply, turns, puts a hand on his shoulder. He flinches, but resists pulling away, suddenly feeling rather masochistic. Everything about this situation hurts in the worst way.
"Botched exorcism. Told you before, I'm a one-man plague." He grabs the bottle off the floor, drains the rest of it straight into his mouth. Time to open a new one. A fresh start.
"Were you ever a kid?" Angela is lounging on the bed on her stomach, feet waving teasingly in the air behind her. Constantine can see straight down her shirt—his shirt, really—but doesn't bother to enlighten her on this subject either.
"What the hell kind of a question's that?" He stretches out beside her and props his head up on one elbow. He's drunk and knows it. He's in the mood for something reckless. He should get her out of his apartment now, before he does something he'll be forced to take back later. But he has absolutely no motivation to act on these instincts, and so he does absolutely nothing. It's good to be drunk, considering the circumstances. Better reckless than consumed with grief.
"Were you? You know, stupid, silly…fun?" Angela's slurring her words now, obviously as drunk as he is if not worse. She winks at him, and he suddenly gets the sense that she's not the good Catholic girl she makes out to be. This does not help the fiery rashness bubbling up in his chest.
"Maybe I still am sometimes." He gives her his most charming grin, which really looks something like a grimace.
"Like when?" Grinning goofily, she reaches out and traces a finger clumsily along his lower lip.
"Maybe when I'm drunk as hell."
The talking has been stopped for a while now. It is storming outside—a violent thunderstorm, or Satan's rage, depending. The lights in the apartment have flickered out as if of their own accord, and it is now lit only by a few burned-down candles Constantine has managed to find in the back of one of his closets. Outside, the city is uncharacteristically dark. The air seems electrified, filled with possibility.
In the butterlit dimness of the apartment, Angela appears true to her namesake. Her hair has dried and is fanned out on the pillow around her head, highlighted strands looking like spun gold in the candlelight. The flames dance in her eyes, bringing about too many memories though this one is a hoax.
In this pool of light, this time-suspended softness of nature, she reaches out to him.
Her hand traces his face, brushing over stubble and lines of pain that have etched themselves in over the years. She pauses with thumb and forefinger over his lips, then leans forward and replaces them with her lips. She tastes of alcohol, but then so have all the others—only this is somehow different. Sweeter. His lips burn against hers, and he moves closer without realizing it, hands roaming over her body.
Angela's fingers find their way clumsily to the buttons of his shirt, then inside, resting just over his heart. He can feel her pulse in her wrist, not quite in rhythm with his. She urges him onto his back and leans over, her hair tickling his throat. He catches her around the waist and pulls her full on top of him, struggling with alcohol-induced clumsiness.
"John," she whispers. It is then that he realizes she's crying. Her cheeks sparkle in the light, and a few fairy-dust tears fall onto his chest. They seem to burn his skin, like he's seen just hours before—and suddenly memories of the day come flooding back.
"Fuck," he whispers, practically spitting it in her face as he tears himself away from her and stumbles to his feet, unsteady as has become his norm lately.
Constantine turns and staggers away from the candlelit shrine of his bedroom and out into the night. The rain is coming down so hard it stings his face, but somehow it seems to cool the burning.
On the street, the storm has ended. The lights are beginning to come back on again, and the sun is rising, pink behind the buildings. Despite the rain, the city seems dirty as ever. Chipped. Coming apart.
Constantine finds himself standing in front of one particular apartment building. He makes his way up the steps, keeping his gaze planted firmly on the ground. When he gets to the door, he finds that a certain key has managed to find its way into his pocket sometime along the way and stay there—divine intervention? It doesn't matter now.
Silently, he lets himself in and makes his way over to the large kitchen window.
Two green eyes stare accusingly at him from the floor as slowly, precisely, he begins to write.