John is many things, but coward is not one of them. He might be reckless, often cunning and most of the time a remorseless jerk, but he never cower in fear or dread.
Until now, the moment he’s looking at a pale raven haired girl in black tank top and jeans standing in front of him now.
He would’ve dismissed her without a second thought, would have paid her no mind, if it’s not for the ankh hanging around her neck. Because that ankh, that is an unmistakable sign of her identity.
“No,” he croaks, and he can feels his chest tightening, his heart beating wildly against his rib cage. “No, no you can’t be here.”
She arch her eyebrow, the faintest sign of surprise, before her feature soften with understanding. “John Constantine,” she says, and her voice is a melodious tone of a familiar song he never wish to hear again. “I’m surprised you can see me, but I guess it’s to be expected given your occupation.”
“No—” John shakes his head, unable to response to her words because of the panic that overtakes his system. “Please, please, there must be some other way. PLEASE!”
“I’m sorry,” she says softly, and she looks very sad. “It is way harder for you, I know, considering that you can see me leave with her.”
And even as she says that, he can see…her. He can see Elsa – nothing but a faint translucent shadow, but he knows the shadow will turn solid in due time. Time that is passing far too fast for his liking – materialising next to the raven haired girl.
Next to Death.
“I’m sorry,” Death says again, kneeling in front of John and reaching out to put her hands on top of John, uncaring of the blood staining his hands. “I’m really sorry, but it is her time.”
Helpless, John feels a sob escaping his throat and he would be ashamed of crying so openly any other time, but not now. Not now, when he’s looking at Elsa’s lifeless body in his arm while her soul is getting ready to leave him – for real. Elsa would never stay around as ghost, John knows, but it still hurts to see her crossing the bridge.
Leaving him alone in this dull world.
“Perhaps…” Death’s obsidian eyes flick to Elsa’s now fully formed soul, then back to John, before she squeeze his hands and says, “I can’t break the rule, but I can bend it a little. Would you like to say goodbye to her?”
It’s a kindness, John knows, but it still is one that he can’t help but to feel bitter about. What good is a prolonged few seconds when she would still leave?
Yet it is all he have, and he knows it’s more than what anyone else ever get.
“I’m sorry,” he finally manages to say, but then he can see the annoyed glint in her eyes and he broke down. “Fuck, love, I’m so sorry. Should have never dragged you into this, should have never called you and brought you into the clusterfuck that is my life. I’m just—”
“Shut up,” Elsa cut him off, and he let out a desperate laugh. Even in death, she’s still fierce and beautiful, and she would never abide to his nonsense. “Just shut your bloody mouth, you git. You never dragged me into anything, I made my own choices and pick my own battles. My life are mine to do as I damn well please, and if I just happened to die, then it is my own damn fault for not being on my best form, okay?”
It is only then he realises that Elsa is now standing in front of him, and Death is nowhere to be seen. But he knows she’ll come back, and that he doesn’t have long. And he wants to pull Elsa into one final hug, but his stretched hand touch nothing but air and besides, he can’t really move her body from his lap.
A flicker of something flashed in Elsa’s eyes – and they’re still as brilliant as ever, still so full with life and it’s unfair, unfair that she had to leave first – and before John could actually piece together what’s happening, she bend down and press her lips against his.
And it feels real.
He suspect Death have something to do with it, but he couldn’t care less because all the fiber in his body is concentrating on making this one last kiss the best one of their life while at the same time memorising every single details.
He’ll never get another chance, and this will be his only salvation.
“Bye, you bloody git,” she whispers against his lips, before straightening up and walking away, approaching Death so they can walk side by side without ever giving him another glance.
“Bye, love,” he says, after some time, but his eyes are cast down on her pale face and his fingers are carefully caressing her cold cheeks.
It’s true, after all, that John Constantine brought nothing but sorrow and death to the people he loves. Even if she happens to be a Bloodstone.
À la mort,
Prompt: Taylor Swift’s Wildest Dreams.
“I thought heaven can’t help me now, nothing lasts forever. But this is gonna take me down.”