Chimera
By Angelfirenze and ChiaraStorm

Disclaimer: Nothing is ours, particularly not Constantine or House. This is a source of constant sorrow.

Inspiration: Duh. Panic! At the Disco's new album, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, and the song, 'Passive,' of course, by A Perfect Circle, among others. Chapter One of 'Drenched,' by iminsanehonest, who has kindly consented to let me borrow a not-so-minor plot point.

Summary: "Well, I just was going over the bound editions masquerading as your file. Less than a year ago you were diagnosed with stage four terminal lung cancer."

Dedications: Again, this chapter is dedicated to iminsanehonest, as well as ChiaraStorm, who totally jumped on board the moment I mentioned this idea. ::bright grin::

Part II: Meeting

"House!"

House cringed and frowned deeply as the click of Cuddy's heels got closer and closer. The damned elevator was taking longer and longer to get here. He just knew she had maintenance in her pockets.

Bastards.

Scowling, he slowly turned around as Cuddy came clicking up to him. Taking a deep breath, he smiled brightly at her, knowing from the look on her face that she would shortly bury him in Clinic work or some other drudgery. He wasn't disappointed.

"You know, House, if you weren't so busy hobbling away from clinic duty this morning, you might have realized we're short of beds."

"Really?" House asked, surprised and curious enough not to make a snide comment. "You mean people actually like coming to this hellhole?"

"Apparently so," Cuddy said, eyebrow raised at House's uncharacteristic lack of sarcasm. "Now, there's a particular patient who came in about a half hour ago after crashing into a light pole. And, yes, House, he was stone cold sober. The EMTs at the scene verified that he is coherent and understands the pile of crap he's landed in. He'll be placed in the Diagnostics Department. You get his case." With that, she pushed a thick manila folder into his hand.

"What? Why?" House frowned, looking up from the file and glaring at his boss. "It's just a broken leg."

"As I said earlier, you have free beds whereas the rest of the hospital is short. Shut up and take him. He's as mean-spirited, arrogant, and rude as you are. You two should get along just swell."

Cuddy smiled at House, clearly reveling in his annoyance. "Go on," she elaborated. "Chop chop."

House smiled back, leering at her. "You know, if you went down to the ER instead of me, I'm sure the sight of the girls chomping at the bit will set the poor bastard right at ease."

Cuddy rolled her eyes, pointing in the direction of the emergency room. "Go. Now. Before I give you an entire extra month of clinic duty."

"You're so mean to me," House pouted, tracing an imaginary tear down his right cheek. Turning around and limping back past Cuddy, he forged onward to the doom that was the overcrowded emergency room.

"Bastard," Cuddy murmured affectionately under her breath.


"You do realize you're in a hospital, don't you, you illiterate moron?"

John Constantine looked up from the fresh cigarette he was lighting to see some bastard in a jacket and t-shirt limping through the door with a cane.

He sneered. "Yeah. Planning on doing something about it?" He eyed the cane. The other asshole smiled grimly and held up what had to be his file. Fuck.

"Well, I just was going over the bound editions masquerading as your file. Less than a year ago you were diagnosed with stage four terminal lung cancer."

He paused and limped over to the cabinet, where he leaned heavily against it, his eyebrow raised in nonchalance. "A week and a half ago, your doctor in Los Angeles ordered up three x-rays—"

"Two. I wasn't going to sit through that shit for a third time."

"Fine. Two. Either way, the aggressive cancer tumors in your lungs are gone. Poof! Like someone reached right in and snatched 'em out."

John fidgeted slightly, distinctly remembering the pain of Lucifer's hands digging around inside his chest.

You're going to prove your soul belongs in Hell…

"Now, that's all fine and dandy—you're reasonably healthy again. Can't say much for the brain, though, what with your car currently in the compromising position of being deeply involved in a torrid affair with a light pole downtown—can't say much for the eyes, either, seeing as you clearly can't read the signs written with large, glaring red, five hundred-something point font letters that say, NO SMOKING, you idiot!"

The bastard suddenly lurched forward, moving far faster than John had given him credit for, and limped across the room over to John's bed, whereupon reaching it, he snatched the cigarette out of John's mouth and threw in on the ground, stepping on it and putting it out.

"I'm not going to stop you from fucking your lungs back up. That's your business. You want to die a horribly painful death, hacking up bits of your bronchial tubes and your alveoli, your visceral pleura, all of it—then you go right ahead. Should be fun. Suffocation by asphyxiation. However, asshole, you won't do it in this hospital and certainly not while you're my patient."

John stared at this son of a bitch who had just identified himself as John's new doctor. "You're not wearing a white coat."

Then he proceeded to marvel at the incredibly asinine statement that had just left his mouth without his permission. Sure enough, the…doctor smiled; a dark smirk full of cynical amusement that the stubble covering his face did no favors for, regarding possible comfort. Who the fuck was this asshole?

"You're not wearing a white coat," the doctor mocked, his smirk growing further. "Is that the best you've got?"

John smiled back and gave him the finger. "You'll have to forgive me; not really at my best right now. My leg isn't all that much up for witty repartee at the moment."

"Excuses, excuses," the doctor dismissed, rolling his eyes and limping closer to the bed. He reached down and grasped John's torn pant leg, ripping the fabric further to examine the brand new cast fitted by one of the nurses the previous hour.

"Aw, isn't that sweet; the nurses gave you a blue one."

He tickled John's exposed toes and snickered when the younger man jumped slightly before yelping in pain. "Hey—cut that shit out!"

The doctor merely smiled. "So, John Constantine who's-on-a-mission-to-put-himself-in-an-early-grave, not to mention, fuck up my lungs, too, while he's at it...you're my responsibility for the next however many days. We're both shit out of luck. Oh well."

With that, he turned and limped out of John's room, shutting the door behind him. It was only once he'd gone that John realized he still didn't know the asshole's name.

...TBC...