1965-03-21 - Vexing Exes and Extinguishing Wizards
Summary: In which Cassidy finds John after he attempts to bring Aloy back. It did not go well.
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cassidy constantine 


There area always a number of things from the profane to the arcane one just accepted about John Constantine; Gutter Mage, the Laughing Magician, the Saint of Last Resorts. The chief of things one had to accept was the reality that everyone around him, everyone, suffered for knowing him; most of all John Constantine did.

He'd spent four weeks preparing this ritual, and four days dawdling on performing it drinking himself into a stupor because, as every man that avoids going to the doctor can tell you, once you get an answer you have to live with it. Maybe he could sit in denial a bit longer and if he just put off finding out what happened with Aloys a bit longer, well… maybe the results wouldn't be so bad. Maybe he'd actually come back but John wasn't foolish enough to believe in fairy tales. At least, he wasn't foolish enough to think all miracles didn't have teeth and certainly were free.

He'd waited for Cassidy and Jess to go take care of their own things before he'd rearranged the workshop to perform that ritual to let him reach across the void; to commune with the soul of his dead lover for answers to teh big question: What was he onto, How did Aloys know John was a target to hide him, how John became a target, and chiefly: was he free of Hargrove's reach.

By the look of the room when Cass returned… the prognosis didn't go… favourably. Foremost the room was dark in the corners without the lights on lit only by a central light source, and the room was cold. Things were tossed, and there was a large scrapbook on the floor. That light source, however, was not summoning candles, but a naked, crumpled John Constantine with forehead pressed to the floorboards with blood from an overturned bowl matting the side of his hair.

Cassidy comes wandering into the room and stares for a moment at the darkness, at the blood, and at the flames. He had been out doing Cassidy things and came home to naked flaming John in the middle of the workshop floor. And so he shuffles off without a word. The next thing John knows, he's being hosed down with the fire-extinguisher coffee-table style. "One o' these days, you're gonna set the whole damn place on fire an' I'm not gonna be here t'put you out."

Constantine let his fingers curl into fists as the cold of the room got a bit colder and then just… dark. Well at least the lights would still work when flipped. Well two guesses what happened with the room and the first clue was it looked like absolutely no battle took place. He murmured from the floor, "Could just… beat me t'death with it. Don't know it'd improve our situation." For what it was worth he looked completely unharmed by the fire. Likely more at peril from being cold and without his clothes. He was quiet for a moment longer before he added, "He was a bloody idiot, Cass. Murdered in this very room and we can't… even reach em, t'choke the life right back out of em." Okay so he had mixed feelings.

"I'm gonna turn on the shower, warm up the water. You're gonna wanna wash those chemicals off'aya," Cassidy says, clearly having heard what John was saying, but also clearly taking care of practical matters first and foremost. "You're gonna go up there'n wash off, put some dry clothes on, an' I'm gonna start in on cleanin' up this disaster on down here, eh? Then.. we're gonna have a cuppa an' you're gonna tell me what you're on about."

Constantine didn't move for a moment, but as he'd been an emotional angry heap and the flames of emotiona had (literally) burned low (on him it seemed… so there was that) there seemed to be naught else to do but make a rational agreement to what seemed like sound sense. It was will alone that moved his limbs but, eventually was moved and was trundled off to seek a shower and just sat there until the water ran cold, and eventually coughed up one wet wizard who reappeared in housepants, t-shirt, and a towel over his head. Something flapped the unflappable Brit. That too would not go unanswered.

Cassidy didn't seem to be asking any questions, nope. He was just giving orders, and when he saw that John had followed them, he appeared with a cup of tea that was hot and would continue to warm the soggy wizard. He'd already been at cleaning the downstairs area which looked a bit better. At least the blood was up off the floor - and no he didn't lick it. When John is settled down, Cass flops into a chair and stretches his legs out. "So, who was it that was murdered an' we can't be re-murderin'?"

Constantine sat quietly hand wrapped around the mug just looking knackered beyond belief. His jaw tightened, untightened, and clenched again. His eyes fixed on teh edge of the coffeetable that had more stamina than the damn Hulk for a while before looking up to Cassidy. It hurt and he didn't quite have an answer or a fix for this one. "Aloys …wasn't able to be called back from the dead, Cass. Hargrove took him… and canibalized his soul for information… and parts. The same way Al tried t' do t' me jes over 5 years ago in this very room before that got all cocked up." John toom his time with this and admitted against good sense, "Wa on and off we were for aroun' 15? 16 years… Been tryin to reconcile that too I suppose. Well… not after he tried t'punch my card, but before that."

Cassidy watched John take the mug and then settled in to sip from his own, studying the wizard from across the way. "Hargrove.. is the one that's chasing you and Lindon and whatnot, right?" Cassidy asks, making sure that he's on the same page with that one. Then he squints a bit and says, "So your ex, whose place we're stayin' in, tried to cannibalize your soul? And now, this Hargrove, cannibalized his?" He raises both brows and says, "Well, that's.. I can see how that might lead to a few conflictin' emotions, there."

Constantine stared at his tea listening to the Irishman break things down ino its base building blocks. There was something familiar about Cassidy. He spoke in a tone that was closer to home and in language and vice on his level. Mostly? He didn't startle and he needed that balance, and… he needed a friend and he was more than scant short of those on the best of days. The toweled head nodded, "Right bollocksed mess it is." John drank his tea and looked to teh table where a notebook lost a few news clippings and was otherwise crumpled, overturned, but intact. Well… his rage didn't let him burn everything he was going to need so there was that. Sighing bloodshot eyes looked back into his tea, "Was with Al for… a while. sometimes long distance winters. Sometimes we'd just travel, but we were once a hell of a team. Then… he came upon a path and… well… I won't fault him that ambition got the better of em. Gets the better of all of us sooner or later. Didn't seehim throwing 9 years away and betrayin me though. That… didn't go as either of us planned really."

Cassidy has seen some shit in his couple centuries of life, and so while he can absolutely still be surprised, and even dumbfounded to silence — it takes quite a bit, and frankly, he's come to expect strange things when it comes to one John Constantine — and he hasn't even known him that long. Still, he sits and listens with his mug of tea in hand, the tattooed vampire giving a small nod of his head every so often. He gets up then and he walks over to John and drops a hand on his shoulder, giving it a squeeze. "So, you were hopin' that you could dredge him up down there an' have a bit of a chat about what all that was about? And it didn't turn out quite that way, leavin' ya with no answers, jus' more questions, an' the knowledge that there's a man out there still wantin' to eat yer soul. That's.. a bit much for one afternoon. Bollocksed ain't the half of it."

Constantine turned the teacup around in his handsnodding his head to teh side as if 'maybe', but the expression on his normally aloof face read otherwise. yes. Yes it mattered. Yes he'd hoped. Hoped for a lot of things and like watching Morbius dissolve in his hands? John was ever reminded he's not allowed to have nice things. He accepted it but it burned at his charred lil shriveled soul. "No answers but… THree days before he was killed here, seems by… Hargrove or this name I found in his journal. This Sterling? He pulled my name from… somewhere so they wouldn't find me. He may have tried to kill me nad eat my heart buta solid effort was made even if too late. I wanted answeres." His jaw set in a frustrated scowl. "I wanted… to kow why he saved me. I wanted to know how ot… why… any of this is-" He paused and squint looking at Cass with sharp eyes, "How did he know that anyways?"

Cassidy stands still by John's side with one hand on his shoulder, just letting the man work through all of it on his own for the most part, because this part was hard — the searching for answers within, trying to puzzle things out, knowing that those answers would likely never come. He knew it was hard, and that he couldn't provide those answers, but what he could provide was balance, support, and more tea. "Maybe he realized that he was wrong? An' figured that the best thing he could do for ya if he was gonna go out would be to give ya a fightin' chance not to be devoured. You might never know for sure, so it might make more sense just to choose to believe that for some reason, maybe for those fifteen or sixteen years, he decided to do it as sort of an apology." Because if you can't have the truth, why not a story with a bittersweet sort of ending.

Constantine sighed and let that hand be solace on his shoulder. The bridge of his nose wrinkled admitting, "Never really quite turns out to be that way does it, mate?" He sighed still… willing to entertain these things. The side of his head leaned against Cass' arm as a silent 'cheers' to him for many things right now. Still he considered this. It had merit and… too much history and John slipped up and fucking cared. Sitll that one question was bugging him. Looking up to Cassidy he tried to reason it out. "Cass he had the ritual… to do these things. How… did he find out? He had to have known about… Hargrove while we were together? The ritual-" John's face went ashen and hi s hand lifted from the mug to splay across his face, "Awww fuck me with a nun's dildo. Cass… he knew the ritual and knew I was a target. The only way to know that is if he was fekking working for him at some point or… still? TO what end I don't… know." John's Jaw tightened and he looked honestly alarmed and then squint to Cass, "You think he's the one that ran me up the flagpole to even begin with?"

Cassidy only has half an idea what John is talking about, but he seems willing to just be there, a presence and an arm to lean against, to ask questions until John managed to suss it all out for himself. He shakes his head a little bit about how the man knew. When John comes around to his own conclusion on the matter, Cassidy frowns a bit and says, "Well, it's possible, sure. He coulda been workin' with him. Coulda been chasin' him and found out what he was up to, too. Coulda been trying to figure out what Hargrove was doin'. Or he coulda very well been targettin' you an' done ya dirty. Maybe he didn't know he was about t'die an' he pulled your name because he wanted to be the one to figure out or take whatever it is he thinks you had. I mean, we could go t'all kinds of dark places with this."

Constantine couldn't argue with thatlogic. They could dig a hole into all sorts of dark places, and while they might getting frighteningly close as the man DID try to kill and magically consume his signifigant other of a decade+, there would be no way of knowing what that answer was. Would knowing benefit them at all? John's hand just held his face while all of the possibilities ate away at him in a barrage one after another after another until his knuckles went white, and his face was wet again> He did not catch himself or Cass on fire.

Cassidy wasn't entirely aware that there was the danger of being caught on fire, else he would have brought the fire extinguisher with him when he brought over the tea. So it's probably fortunate that John manages not to. Still, Cassidy has an amazing capacity for staying perfectly still for someone who is usually restless and active. But right now, he just stands next to John, "Me point is, really, that we're never goin' to truly know what happened, an' we can't be askin' him. Maybe we should focus on throwin' a bag over this Hargrove bloke and beat it out of him. He's still kickin'. We could use some magick voodoo of yours to figure out if he and your guy were in some kind of cahoots, right?" He gives a squeeze to John's shoulder when the man's knuckles go white again.

Constantine sat collecting himself. He was better at making a plan but there had been too much anger clouding his ability to do so. Well Astra might have some excellent company because this whole revelation was going to be haunting him for a while. Finally his breathing slowed and his knuckles unblanched and returned to colour and he rubbed his face trying to compose himself. He reached over and patted Cassidy's hand communicating he was still with him there. Not much big on words but with him. "Might be a way to do just that. Or even pay em back in kind. Oi, mages are such unbelievable twats. How you put up with all of our world swallowing bag o'bullshite I dunno… but I appreciate that ya do, mate."

Cassidy laughs a little bit then and says, "Wizards, Gods, Angels, Demons, metaphysical and spiritual bullshite of all manner of speakin'.. it sure beats just countin' out another century gettin' in random bar fights. Now I can get in random bar fights and fish in a hallway that goes into the void while repeatedly hosin' me mates down with a fire extinguisher." He gives John's shoulder another pat and a squeeze. He doesn't seem to mind the talking or the not talking. He's just there being there.

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