The Return of Constantine

April 05, 2015:

Constantine returns to New York and seeks out Wanda

An alley in Brooklyn

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Wanda had not been the most stable of people when John had first met her. Living on the street and homeless, she might have just blended in with the rest of the vagrant population of New York. But then again, there were the voices she spoke to. And Constantine strongly suspected that Wanda's voices actually talked /back/.

It had taken him some time to find her. The woman's unique, chaotic magic was hard to pin down, but once on the scent he had finally traced her to a series of alleys in a more run-down part of Brooklyn.

Like any good detective, he had found the point where he just needed to beat feet on pavement and look the old fashioned way- which led to today, and John Constantine stalking Brooklyn's dirty neighborhoods with a cigarette between his lips and a penetrating, hooded glare on his face, driving off most hoodlums with a scowl and a snarl.

The streets are darker than usual and not just because of the dark clouds overhead. There seems to be an absence of working streetlights as well. And even as Constantine walks down the sidewalk another flickers out above him. Maybe someone is trying to hide themselves? But then he can't help but catch a red glow down the end of a dark alley. And is someone…singing?

Wanda sits in a yoga stance, singing softly to herself some ancient song of the Romani. Her hands are covered with sparkling, cracking energy of scarlet. She is still dressed in rags and offcuts…and they are mostly as scarlet as her energy. "I know he's coming" she asides to no one. "Yes…I remember he promised. Everyone lies."

John's come a bit more prepared for this encounter than before. A whisper of energy flickers into being around him and there is- palpable to only unusually perceptive people- a sense of multiples eyes watching and probing, all advancing under a dispersive web of energy that serves as a shield for the British wizard.

"Hello, Wanda," he says, stopping a dozen feet away. His hands ride in his pockets, duster hanging close from his shoulders. "You're looking… the same. I'd hoped you'd pulled yourself by the bootstraps a bit by now." A cigarette bobs between his lips, the cherry ember leaving red afterstreaks in the eye and smoke climbing around his face.

Wanda's eyes flicker open to reveal milky white orbs that then quickly dissipate back to her usual blue eyes. "I have" she replies, still not looking at him. "I can do all kinds of things now." She leans over to caress the wet surface of the alley. "And the streets are my home. They keep me safe. They keep me hidden. And they don't lie by promising more." Her face finally tilts up to look at him…and then her head tilts to one side. "Are you frightened of me?" she asks nonchalantly…it seems she can see the shield. "I am a nice person" she smiles before taking a deep breath and plunging her hand in a pocket to pull out a gravy soaked chip that seems to have been there at least overnight. "Would you like a chip? Or is it French Fries here?"

"I wasn't talking about covering your arse, lass," John quips. "And I'm smart enough to be frightened of my own shadow if I see it move at night. You might be feeling perfectly friendly and whatnot, but I'd just as soon you not melt my face off in a fit of pique."

He moves a few steps closer and flicks a finger at the pavement. A little dervish springs to life and blows it clean, and the magi drops heavily onto his rear, then rolls onto one hip and leans back, hooking an elbow over his up-turned knee and supporting his weight behind him on one palm. The energies around him move in lazy circles, though their purpose beyond a nebulous notion of being a shield is hard to nail down. "I'll pass on the chip, too. I like my food a bit fresher. That will tend to disagree with me."

Wanda shrugs at the refusal of her food and pops it into her mouth. "Warmer is nicer" she admits before glancing around at the alley. "But my kitchen is broken." A frown at being accused of pique…even a pout. "I would not waste my time" she offers…and she means it in a nice way, though it may be taken as an insult. "So why are you here? One night you wanted to help me with the Souleaters…even offered me a room. And then…nothing. Did you decide you didn't like me anymore?"

“Do you think the world bloody revolves around you?" John says with an arched eyebrow. "You were in a spot and it seemed like a simple thing to offer you a safe place to hole up. Then things became complicated and it wasn't safe /or/ simple." There's no malice or ill-will in his tone. Much like Wanda's words, they can be taken any way.

"And 'like' is a strong word, luv," John says with a self-deprecating smirk. "You're cute and intriguing enough but I don't know you from my Aunt Tiddly. With what I've been doing these last weeks, I didn't need a woman doing a spirit search shacked up in my home."

Wanda's eyes grow wide and suddenly she seems to be in a trance. Her voice is now an emotionless monotone when she speaks. "Your Aunt Tiddly is here with us. She says to get looser underwear. Ones without knots. And that I am not your Aunt Tiddly" And then she is offering him a warm, if slightly psychotic, smile. "You like me" she states with certainty. "I forgive you" she adds in a nonchalant tone, her right hand sparkling with energy. "I said 'I forgive him'" she informs no one sitting beside her in a sterner tone. "And I am still in a 'spot'. Men with snakes tried to kidnap me yesterday. They could have been the ones who did before but I am not sure. They were called…HYDRA?"

"You should stop listening to spirits. Aunt Tiddly was an incorrigible prankster when she was alive." He drags heavily on his cigarette, resting his wrist on the knee aimed at the darkling sky overhead. John's eyes flicker over Wanda curiously, once off to the side when she addresses her invisible 'friend'. "Be wary of those HYDRA blokes. They're out for the blood of magi for some reason. I don't know why, but it's nefarious, and they've gotten good at catching and holding our ilk. Hate to see you end up dead in a gutter." He contemplates the woman with an expression difficult to read, eyes narrowing minutely in thought. "Do you always travel with company?" John says, flicking a wrist to Wanda's right hand.

"They talk to me when they need to tell me things" Wanda shrugs about her company. "They are not always there." Though they are probably never there and it is just her way to understand her own powers. "Spirits don't lie." A frown before she feels she should add, "Much." Then she looks confused. "HYDRA want magi? Then why do they want me? I don't know magic." The self-denial is quite strong in this one, though she does have reasons for wanting to forget it all. "I would not like to be dead in a gutter though. I would not like to be dead anywhere. I need to find my brother. He will know what to do. He always knows what to do."

"Hrm." John regards Wanda impassively for several seconds, taking deliberate breaths on his cigarette while he looks the woman over. It takes him a little bit of ruminating to come to his conclusion, which he announces by stubbing out his nearly extinguished cigarette and producing a cigarette case.

"You know something much like magic. The difference is probably entirely academic to us, but HYDRA only knows that it smells like what they're after." He lights up a fresh cigarette and tucks the case away, then gets to his feet, stoking the cigarette with a few puffs. "I can't help you with your brother but I can at least get you someplace a bit safer to stay. It's off the streets and protected from diviners. The invitation only applies to you, though- no, uh, spirits or extra passengers." His eyes flicker a bit uncertainly. "I can't risk someone breaking through the fence from the inside." He plucks a business card from his pocket and with a flick of his wrist sends it on a path to go spinning into Wanda's lap. "Think it over. Until then, be careful, lass."

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