Disclaimer: Lyrics belong to their owner. John isn't mine, no matter how much I'd like to own him, and Lia is mine.

Summary: Post-movie, dunno if that counts as an AU. Lia watches John sleep and thinks about their relationship. JohnOC; also my first foray into Constantine fanfiction, so please be kind.

Background: Lia is around John's age and height, slender (approx 10-20 pounds lighter) and catlike; tanned, with black hair and green eyes. John and she have been friends since they were both seventeen in Ravenscar—she is also psychic (with different strengths from him) and very powerful. During the events of the movie, she was in New York on family business and didn't return until a couple of months after the movie's end. John and she care about each other deeply—they're close friends and partners—but neither is brave enough to admit it. She owns a cat named Ember, who doesn't appear here.

(The song is "Not While I'm Around" from Sweeney Todd. Note: … is thoughts)

I softly pad into the bedroom we share, but John doesn't stir. It's been a long day and we're both exhausted—but being completely tired out is good for him, because the more tired he is, the deeper he sleeps, and the less his dreams trouble him.

Nothing's gonna harm you, not while I'm around

We'd banished several demons today; the last two had been particularly "malignant, nasty little bastards" as my part-celestial friend Bryn so delicately put it. Even now, safe in our apartment with the strongest wards our combined power can contrive around it, I can still sense them. They feel like little blips of cancer cells, slinking through the night and staring hungrily through our outermost shield. There were less of them before I left.

Demons are prowling everywhere, nowadays

Those little bastards would love to get through the shields; they hate us (with good reason, in my case), they'd love to bust through and tear us apart. But they know better than to try—without waking John, I could reduce them all to dust and still have plenty of power left. So they have to be content with glaring balefully at us and whispering dire threats to us—mostly me, but John's made a few enemies in the demon world. Turning the tables on them—like we do basically every day—feels incredibly good.

I'll send 'em howling,

I don't care, I got ways

One of the demons we banished today got desperate and jumped at John when he wasn't quite done with the exorcism. If it'd gotten there, it would have ripped his face open—but I'm not the kind to sit by and just watch. I grabbed it and pinned the damned thing down until he finished the process—nobody hurts my friends, or even tries, with earning swift, dire retaliation from me. Small wonder nobody tries anymore. No-one human, anyway.

No one's gonna hurt you,

No one's gonna dare

I sit down on the edge of the bed—a faint whiff of perfume rises to my nose, and I snort softly. It's Angela Dobson's smell. She accepted a permanent posting to Miami and left John with a broken heart a month after the Spear of Destiny incident. I returned a few weeks after that, to a broken-hearted man trying to drink his way into oblivion.

Others can desert you

I still remember the way his eyes looked when he saw me standing in the doorway.

Flashback

"John, what in the world have you been doing?" I tossed my satchel aside and crossed the room to the man slumped at the table.

"Lia?" he rasped, looking up at me with bloodshot eyes. " 'm dreaming…"

"Why would you be dreaming?" I brushed hair off his face, stroked his cheek with the back of my fingers, felt the soft hairs catch on his rough stubble. "I said I'd come back once I finished, and here I am."
"I thought—" He blinked rapidly and swallowed, a childlike quivering of the lip betraying his pretense at being strong. "I thought you wouldn't come back. That you'd left me—" his voice cracked. "—alone."

I smoothed his hair back, trying hard not to retch at the reek of alcohol; Jack Daniels, if my eyes distinguished the bottles' shape correctly. "Hush, John." My hands trembled, much to my irritation. "You're drunk and need sleep."

"I thought you'd abandoned me like she did…" He finally gave in to tears, great racking sobs that shook his whole body.

"Shh, John, it's all right. Easy, it's okay, hush now…" I sank down on a chair and gathered him into my arms, my heart aching. "John, don't cry, I'm here, I promise I'm not going anywhere, I won't leave you here alone…"

End flashback

Not to worry, I'll be there

Hey! Get away, you damned thing! Annoyed, I send a jolt through the shield, stunning the demon testing it. Must be new in the neighborhood. I sense it bare fangs at me in frustrated defiance, a grotesque caricature of a smile. Although it can't see me, I smile back, politeness in a thin layer atop barely restrained feralness.

Demons'll charm you with a smile, for a while

But in time…

This one's taken a nasty shock, and it won't try again so soon. Nothing's going to get through these shields—and to John—while I'm still breathing.

Nothing can harm you

Not while I'm around

He makes a soft noise in his sleep, snuggling a little close to me. We've both had out share of friends, and a few romantic encounters scattered throughout memory, but we always return to each other in the end.

Being close and being clever

Ain't like being true

Since the early days of our friendship, we had this implicit trust nobody else—sometimes not even ourselves—understood. We could tell each other anything—

I don't need to

I would never hide a thing from you

Well, almost anything. I still don't dare to tell him how I feel about him. Why? Because I'm scared. Of what, I don't think I need to tell anybody. Besides, it would ruin my reputation I so carefully cultivate

Like some…

I touch John's soft hair protectively. Anyone trying to get to him will have to go through me first.

No one's gonna hurt you, no one's gonna dare

In some dream, he murmurs my name. "I'm here, John. I'm not going anywhere." I whisper, and he quiets down.

Others may desert you,

Not to worry, I'll be there

Dobson had come back once to see John. At the sight of her smile, I had instinctively and instantly taken a severe dislike to her. After a few tense hours, she'd left, and I hadn't seen her since. Which was perfectly all right with me.

Demons'll charm you with a smile, for a while

But in time…

Lying down beside him, I curl around him; he nestles closer, changing us from two sprawled humans into a tangle of intertwined limbs. I am tired, too, and his body warmth is lulling me to sleep, since I've been awake far too long. Even though he's going to tease me if he catches me catnapping tomorrow, I don't mind. He needs the sleep more than I do, especially dreamless sleep like this.

Nothing can harm you

Sleep, John. I'm here. I won't let anybody or anything hurt you, and that's a promise.

Not while I'm around.

"Good night, old friend." I whisper softly. "Sleep well. I'll be here when you wake. Good night, love."

Thanks for reading! Comments are appreciated!