Title: Charcoal

Author: Fenikkusu Ai

Rating: T

Fandom: Constantine

Pairing: Balthazar/John

Theme: 319, Portrait in Black

Words: 584

Genre: General

Summary: John wants company, and he's not picky.

Disclaimer: I do not own Constantine.

"Let's get on with it...asshole."

Balthazar smirked behind the sketchbook.

"Asshole, huh? Can't you think of anything more original? You always call me that."

"That's what you are."

"You don't have to do this, you know. "

"But you want me to."

Balthazar nodded affirmitively.

John removed the trench coat with a flop and began unbuttoning his crisp white shirt. Balthazar settled in and enjoyed the show. John wasn't even drunk. Just angsty. And lonely. A fact John would never admit to himself.

John removed the last strips of clothing and lay down on the beaten couch.

"How do you want me?"

In all ways.

Balthazar licked his lips. "Move your arm a bit. It's blocking your pretty face."

Surprisingly, John complied without complaint. His intense eyes stared dead ahead; body naked and vulnerable before him.

Balthazar studied that body, even though he'd seen it a number of times before. John's body was moonlight pale with taut alert muscles.

But, like all humans, John was not without his flaws. There were shadows under John's eyes and Balthazar knew his teeth were stained yellow and full of tar. John was on the verge of getting cancer or perhaps already had. His breathing was too uneven, and his ribs were too visible. Beauty on the verge of Death's door.

"Stop staring and get busy. I'm on the clock," John groused.

With charcoal black as his soul, Balthazar complied and began tracing the lines of John's body.

"I'm surprised you can draw."

"Don't be. All beings have passion. Some know how to direct it more than others."

John's tone was bored. "Yeah. And you obviously have a lot of it."

"That I do."

Balthazar purposefully kept his movements slow as to draw out the process even more. The angrier John got, the more entertaining he became.

"Will I have to pay you?"

Balthazar thought. "Money is traditional, but there are other methods of payment. I don't have need for money at the moment."

Balthazar was gratified by the soft growl that exhaled John's lips. "You never do."

The minutes ticked by with nothing but the sound of Balthazar's rubbing. Finally, John spoke.

"How much longer is this going to take?"

"Depends on my inspiration. Patience is a virtue."

"Too bad you don't have any of them."

For the next hour or so, Balthazar actually took the time to form the lines of Constantine's body, texture his hair, and fill in his facial features. When he was finished, he admired his handiwork. A picture really was worth a thousand words and John's tragic soul shone right through his portrait in black.

"Finished," Balthazar declared.

"About time. Let me see it."

Balthazar obidiently handed the magician the drawing and wasn't surprised when John drew back his lips and scoffed.

"Looks nothing like me. You're no Rembradnt."

Balthazar shrugged. "Do what you will with it."

"I will." Constantine promised as he sat up. Immediately, his fingers sought a cigarette and lit it.

Balthazar measured the rise and fall of John's chest and the pallor of his skin. A friend would have advised against it, but Balthazar was no one's friend. He didn't own feelings.

He smirked. "About payment..."

John pointed his finger towards the door. "Get the hell out. I'm in no mood tonight."

"I see. Thank you for the most...amusing evening."

Balthazar left John to his brooding and the smell of nicotine. Like hell, he would wait until John would come calling again.

Bad habits were hard to break.