Summary: John's dying and Chas is the one who must take care of him.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything to do with Constantine. I don't own John or Chas. I also don't own the rain. Isn't it sad :
He fell from his bed with a loud thud, hitting his elbow painfully on the ground. What the hell had happened? He blinked blearily, the bright morning light seeping through the filthy window. Chas Kramer was alone in his room, wearing nothing but a pair of white cotton boxers, sprawled out on the floor.
Catching a glimpse of the time, he cursed inwardly. He was late again. He really needed to get himself a new alarm clock but money was tight and John had not paid him in over three weeks. Chas stood up quickly running a hand through his messy locks. His stomach growled angrily as he bypassed the fridge, heading instead for the door. Not that there was anything in the fridge which was edible anyway. It was two fifteen in the afternoon, John had been very specific when he has asked, no ordered, Chas to be there for exactly one pm. He was over an hour late; John was going to be pissed.
"Come on move!" He shouted at the traffic ahead of him.
Of course, no one could hear him but it made him feel better all the same. It was now two thirty and he was getting nowhere. The only sound that could be heard was the honking of horns, even though he had the stereo on. This was a joke. Chas knew the second he arrived at John's apartment he would be turned away. John would be furious and refuse to let him in. He would curse and scream and threat. He always did.
Chas had been working for John Constantine for over a year now. He had met the exorcist by chance at the library, they had both been looking for the same book and when Chas got there first John demanded he hand it over or there would be trouble. After half an hour of arguing over who needed it more John offered the boy money to translate it. That way he needn't bother reading the very long, very old book himself. They both won. After Chas finished the translation John decided to offer him a job and here he was rushing to his boss's side. Of course, the job didn't just entail translations the majority of the work was chauffeuring John around LA while he sat in the cab and read. It was a boring and tedious process but on occasion, he was allowed to have a look at John's personal collection, which contained many very rare, very expensive artefacts. There was also the possibility that one day he would be allowed to help with the exorcisms but so far, nothing had come of that promise.
Traffic was moving again, now he was only two blocks from the bowling alley. Oh how he was dreading what was to come. As he pulled the cab up to the curb, he had to take a deep breath. He didn't want to admit it to himself but a part of him was scared of John Constantine. He was scared of the anger the exorcist possessed, scared of the way he would sometimes look at Chas after he had done something incredibly wrong and stupid. He really wasn't looking forward to this confrontation but John wasn't always such a scary person. Sure, he was a real class A asshole but on occasion, he would make Chas smile or perhaps even laugh. However, that was only two percent of the time.
He almost couldn't bring himself to knock on the door. Could practically feel the icy cold stare he would receive through the heavy mahogany door. He brought his fist down as lightly as he could. Maybe John wasn't home. No such luck. Chas heard the sound of a chair being scraped back on the floor, shuffling and then finally the locks being slid back. The door opened revealing John Constantine looking surprisingly calm.
"John, I'm really sorry. The traffic was terrible and there were so many cars… and my alarm didn't go off and I got here as soon as I could, I really did. I'm so sorry John." he hurled out in a blur of words.
He was so desperate to try to explain himself to his boss he didn't even notice John had left the doorway and was now seated at the table in the middle of the room. Chas made his way nervously towards him, shutting the door softly behind himself.
"Am I too late? Can you still make it?" Chas asked timidly.
"It doesn't matter." John replied.
His words were so soft, so… broken and empty,
Chas was automatically worried, he had never heard John sound like this before. Looking at him now, bags under his eyes, matted and messy hair. There must be something wrong.
"John? Are you okay?" He asked, edging closer to his mentor.
John laughed a cold harsh sound from deep within his throat.
Chas couldn't understand, didn't know what to do. What was going on?
"John… you're scaring me. What's wrong?"
John ignored him instead; he chose to light a cigarette, taking a deep drag before pouring himself a large glass of whiskey. He couldn't bring himself to look at the boy before him. Couldn't burden him with this.
"Answer me!" Chas demanded angrily.
John looked up a little taken aback; his chest was tight as the nicotine took its grip. He really shouldn't be smoking these things…
"Chas I'm dying."
Chas was confused. His big brown eyes staring attentively back at John's. He didn't have the slightest clue what was going on.
"I'm dying Chas, lung cancer." John drained his glass, his eyes fixed on the boy.
"Wha… I mean how? Why?" Chas didn't know what to say. His mind was spinning.
John smirked. There really wasn't anything funny about the situation but this was a classic Chas reaction. Tell the kid you're dying of lung cancer and he asks how and why.
John cleared his throat.
"I won't be needing you today; Hennessy's taking care of it."
Chas just stood there looking blankly at John. Sure they weren't the best of friend's, weren't even that close but John was a good guy. He helped people out a lot. To hear he was dying… it was a real blow.
"Can't I stay? You know and talk?"
He wanted to help John, Chas knew he didn't have many friends, no family he knew of, no wife or kids. He was going to need someone to get through this… but he wasn't going to get through this was he? John had said he was dying. There was only one outcome here.
"Talk about what? The weather?" John scoffed.
He knew the kid was just trying to help, to make him feel better or what not but how could he feel better? He was going to die a slow and painful death and then he was going to hell for all eternity to be tortured for his I sins. /I
Chas looked away. He had never had to deal with death before, he wasn't sure how to. Was there a specific method for it?
"Urm… I don't know what to say, John." He mumbled quietly.
"You don't need to say anything. It is what it is and nothing can change that. I'm fine. Just go home, take a few day's off. I'll call you if I need you."
Chas nodded. There was nothing more he could do here and although he was reluctant to leave John on his own he knew his presence would do more harm than good.
John stumbled back to the cab, he was exhausted. Both physically and mentally. He opened the back door dropping into the seat heavily.
"Drive." He commanded pulling a cigarette out of his pocket and lighting it.
Chas scowled at him from the driver's seat, setting the vehicle in motion never the less. He didn't approve of John smoking. Not in his condition but as John had told him time and time again, he was going to die regardless, this was just the coffin nail so to speak.
"How'd it go?" he asked, hating the uncomfortable silence that was encasing the cab.
"Fine." John replied.
The truth was it hadn't gone fine. It was one of the hardest exorcisms he had ever performed. The demon was stronger than he had anticipated and the cancer was making him weaker by the day. It had taken everything he had to get the job done.
They arrived at John's apartment. Chas grabbed John's equipment from the trunk while the exorcist made his way upstairs.
When Chas got upstairs, John was in the bathroom coughing violently. At first Chas tried to ignore it. It had happened many times since John had broke the news to him but this was different… he wasn't stopping. Chas rushed into the bathroom to find John clutching the sink, blood staining the white porcelain.
"Shit." Chas cursed.
Things were getting worse.
He rubbed the older mans back, trying to help soothe the coughing some how, to his surprise it worked. John was gasping for air, his entire body shaking. He didn't know how much more of this he could take. The pain was unbearable but he refused to go to a hospital. He wouldn't die in one of those places.
Chas gently helped John into the living room, easing him onto the couch. He quickly poured the exorcist a glass of whiskey, which of course was downed in seconds.
"John, you need a doctor." Chas said worriedly.
John just shook his head. Trying desperately to catch his breath. He hated relying on Chas like this. He felt so vulnerable and exposed.
Chas kneeled down in front of his boss. He looked so pale and drained, it was painful to look at. He took John's cold hands into his own, staring sadly into his cinnamon eyes.
"You need help." He whispered, his voice shaking and broken.
They had formed a bond over the past few months. Chas was always there to help when John needed him and although John never thanked him, he knew it meant a lot to his dying mentor.
John closed his eyes. He couldn't bear to see the hurt in the younger mans eyes, couldn't bear to think that he cared.
"It's okay." He said softly, rubbing a thumb over John's delicate hands.
"It's going to be okay."
Chas gently rested his head on the other man's knee, breathing in his scent. The thought of losing John was unbearable, he couldn't see how anything was going to be okay but he had to believe it. Otherwise he would just fall apart, then what good would he be to John?
They remained like this for a few moments before John cleared his throat. Chas blushed slightly, quickly getting to his feet. John was looking at him rather oddly and it made him feel slightly uncomfortable.
"Erm… can I get you anything?" he asked, eager for John to stop staring.
The exorcist smiled slightly, a rare sight these days.
"No I'm fine. You can leave if you want."
Chas shook his head. No, he didn't want to leave. For some reason he wanted to hold John tight and never let go. It was a little weird, okay a lot weird. Snuggling with another man was strictly taboo, especially with John Constantine. Hard ass, wiseass, tough as nails exorcist. He didn't do the whole hugging thing. Chas cursed inwardly. Why the hell would be want to hug John, it wasn't a manly thing to do, was it?
John cut into his thoughts, he hadn't realised he was gazing at the older man like a moron with a small smile playing upon his lips. Man he could be such an idiot sometimes. Maybe he'd be better off going.
"Sorry, I guess I'll go then. If you need anything you'll call?"
John nodded so Chas left.
Lip's pressed hard against his own, a hand trailing teasingly down his bare chest. His heart was pumping, he could hear it hammering in his chest. Every feeling was enhanced , every nerve ending anticipating the next feather light touch to arouse it. He was so turned on. He felt like he was burning up, tiny beads of sweat gathering on his forehead. He arched hungrily into the touches, moaning as rough stubble grazed his face. His eyes fluttered closed, his teeth gently bit down onto his lip. It all felt so good, he was breathless and exhausted but he wanted more. He felt a hand stroke his groan, could hear the sound of his zip being undone. He wanted this so much, wanted to be touched…
Chas practically jumped out of bed. He was shaking, sweat soaked his body. Everything had seemed so real. His mind was spinning, he couldn't think straight. I What the hell was that? /I He blinked several times, padding slowly to the bathroom to splash some cold water onto his face. He had been so aroused, was still so aroused. Looking down at his boxers, he groaned. Sure, he had had sexual dreams before but none like this and always about a girl. He was so caught up on what had happened in his dream it took him several minutes to realise who he had been with.
The phone was ringing but Chas couldn't quite register this. He was so shocked. Did he have sexual feelings for his boss? A man twice his age, dying from lung cancer. Was it possible? He didn't know.
He answered the phone to hear John's voice on the other end.
"What took you so long, kid?"
"What?" Chas asked in confusion.
Silence on the other end.
"Never mind. Can you come over? I need your help with some things."
Chas nodded to himself, about to hang up when he realised John couldn't see him.
"Yeah sure, I'll be right there."
John smiled when Chas entered the dim apartment, the boy was the only company he ever had, besides Beeman of course. It came as a surprise to him but he actually found the kid interesting. Sure, he could be an annoying brat sometimes but for the majority of the time he was funny, entertaining and incredibly smart.
"What can I do for you?" Chas asked, taking a seat at the table opposite John.
"I didn't want to ask you to do this, I don't want to put you in this position… but there's no one else." He said sadly.
Chas raised an eyebrow.
In front of John was a considerable amount of paper work along with the usual glass of whiskey and packet of cigarettes.
John slid the pile towards Chas.
Chas took a look, expecting it to be a translation John needed. His stomach turned. In front of him was the arrangements for John Constantine's funeral. He pushed the pile back to John in disgust. He could not and would not do this. It was painful enough knowing that John didn't have long to live but to see that? It was too much.
"No." he shook his head standing up.
"Chas?" John rose, his eyes pleading.
"I can't do this on my own." he said softly.
He felt like such an idiot asking the boy to help him plan his funeral. Of course he could have asked Beeman but Chas… just seemed more appropriate.
"How can you… I don't want you to die John!"
The words were out before he could stop them. Of course, he didn't want John to die, the thought was too much to bare. So far he had acted as normal, not mentioning the pain John's demise was bringing him but he just couldn't hold it any longer. It was driving him insane.
"It's not fair John! It's not! You're still young you could live another forty years! I don't want you to die, I don't want to lose you."
The words were tumbling from his mouth just as the tears were tumbling from his eyes. The emotion overtook him. It was overwhelming. He hadn't meant to say any of that.
"You think I want to die?" John asked angrily.
"I know where I'm going, Chas. There's only one place left for me and that's down. I'm terrified. I close my eyes and all I see is flames. It's not fucking fair! But that's how it's going to be."
Chas sobbed. With those words, it seemed John had broken him in half. Really, John should be the one falling apart, not him. The tears wouldn't stop, he began to shake, his entire body overcome with pain. Why did he care so much? He moved so quickly he didn't know he was moving at all. His arms slid around the older mans waist, his lips crashing down upon the others. It was a desperate kiss, one mingled with tears and pain. After a few seconds John responded, his own arms encased Chas in that warm musky scent that he had grown to love. There was so much tenderness behind that hard exterior, so much warmth. They kissed for what seemed an eternity, neither wanting it to end. When they finally did part they were both breathless, Chas slightly dazed, let his lips hover in front of John's. To his surprise John was pulling him back in, their lip's meeting for a second time. He moaned softly a feeling of content washed over him, his tears ceased to fall. Everything just seemed to fit into place now, seemed to be right.
John pulled back, holding Chas at arm's length.
"I'm dying, Chas." John said softly, his eyes searching the boy's for something unknown. Reassurance?
Chas whimpered. His heart ached, every time John spoke those words.
"I know." He whispered.
His arms wrapped around John, pulling him into a tight hug, holding on for all he was worth.
John was going to die, he knew that the events that had just taken place would make things ten thousand times harder for both of them but even if he just had three months of this wonderful feeling, it would be better than none. Wouldn't it?
It was raining the day John Constantine died. It was a Saturday. Chas had woken up beside the man he had fallen so desperately in love with, he reached across to take John's hand… but it was cold. His heart stopped. No. He couldn't be, not yet. The world ended that day. Everything stopped. Chas had lost the one good thing in his life. The only person who had ever mattered to him. His eyes were dry, he had done enough crying over the last few months. He was numb. Empty. Alone. Breathing became a chore, laughter a torture, love an impossibility. He was broken. A shell. John had filled him so completely, now he was nothing. Life became a nightmare.
It was raining the day they put his body in the ground. The funeral they had arranged together. What a poor turnout. Beside Beenman, Midnite and himself no one else showed. The sky was dark, large drops of rain showered them all. Chas didn't notice. He didn't notice much anymore, beside the hole in his heart. They lowered the coffin into the ground, hiding those beautiful cinnamon eyes forever. John had joked about being cremated, said it went well with what awaited his soul in hell. Chas hadn't laughed. John was being torn apart by hells beasts. He was screaming in agony for all eternity… Chas choked back a sob. The pain he was feeling would never go away.
It was raining. The rain kept pouring from the darkened sky, showering him with misery and despair.
It was raining that day, and would never stop.