Dark and Pretty

February 28, 2016:

Constantine catches up with Lwa at a Gotham Cemetery.

Bristol - Gotham

North of Gotham City across the Gotham River lies the storybook come to
life lands of Bristol with it's rolling hills, acres upon acres of peaceful
farmland, rich pastures and lush woodlands.

Bristol is a stepping stone between New York City and Gotham itself along
Interstate 98 before one reaches the Robert Kane Memorial Bridge that leads
in to East End.

Within the attractive expanse of Bristol one can find Brentwood, an
upper-class suburb, the Gotham Heights surburbia district and the very
wealthy Crest Hill community. This wide strip of residential area is
Gotham City limits, especially Crest Hill and Brentwood.

Brentwood Academy, the Palisades Country Club and the Gotham Cemetery can
also be found here.




NPCs: None.


Mood Music: [* None.]

Fade In…

From grits and grime to some place a bit more bookish, night seems to affect Gotham differently depending on where one spends their evenings. For whatever reason, the homeless floof known to some as Lynette finds herself moving from New York to Gotham on a regular basis, usually walking both ways. Tonight, she keeps to the peace that is Bristol, having hidden away from castles made of metal and glass to old markers of stone, draped with vines and peppered with moss.
The graveyard itself wasn't open during this time, the gates locked and kept close during the night, but there's nothing a little climbing wouldn't solve. Besides, she was probably scrawny enough to squeeze through a few of the bar gaps as it was. Resting against the statue of a mournful Virgin Maria, she sits in the lotus position and stares at something in her palm.

It glimmers, catching the moon's glow on its smooth surface, and for the life of her it's a thing of wonder. Her finger softly prods at it, brushing it delicately, almost like one would to Tolkien's One Ring; thankfully there are no dead fish around her, so there's still time.

"You hang out in graveyards often?" John, Master Of Sneaky Arrivals, speaks up from his position leaning against an obelisk that says DAISY on it in block font. The graveyard here is practically a historical site— under maintained, overgrown with vines and weeds that are being barely held back by the will of man. Nature seems intent on reclaiming this little isolated part of Bristol back from humanity.
He pushes off the obelisk and takes a few lazy, swaggering steps towards Lyn, fishing for a cigarette in a crumpled pack. He slaps one up and pulls it from the case with pursed lips, and uses his silvered zippo to stoke it to life. Smoke rises and whirls around him, hanging like a ghastly halo.

"When I can." She answers gently, tearing her eyes away from the tiny charm in her hand and settling them on John. For whatever reason tonight, her glasses are missing, and those serpent like peepers are on full display. "I like'em. Deys somet'ing peaceful 'bout death. Restin' n' returnin' to nature n'de earth." Moving to stand, she dusts off her rump and the back of her thighs with a soft swat of her free hand.

"I like dark n' pretty t'ings. Dis place? dis city? It one of dem." She decides, turning her attentions toward the gothic skyline of Gotham itself. "How 'bout you? Y'takin' some time t'y'self, or jus' followin' up on me again?"

"Following you," John confirms with an airy and unapologetic tone. He puffs a few more times, cigarette wiggling as he talks around it.

"I've decided to take an interest in your well-being, for reasons that are mostly professional and only a wee bit prurient," he says, one eyelid flickering in a wink at the leggy mambo. He walks closer and stops a half pace away, hangs hanging loosely in his coat pockets.

"Gotham's got the market cornered on dark and tragic, that's for sure," he agrees. "If you've got a taste for the melancholy, this is the city to be. That and London. But London rains more," he concedes.

"Mmm, maybe I make it dere someday. Ain't never left de states. Well, ain't never travelled 'till a couple years back, t'b'honest." The wink only draws a dimple-cheeked smirk from the girl. "Guess I be flattered. Would'a been more so ifn' ya hadn't left m't'sleep alone. Dems sheets was cold, John."

She closes the distance between the pair and opens up her hand, showing the man the charm. "Went walkin' wit a new friend. W'turned left when I guess we shoulda turned right. Ended up in dis magic market place. Lady dere, named De Finder, gave me dis. Said it's a luck charm. Ain't it pretty?" She grins at this, eyeing her own lil treasure proudly.

"Kinda felt normal dere. Ain't never felt dat 'fore neither."

John flashes a tight, asymmetrical smile. "I'm an early riser," he tells the girl. "And not terribly used to having company over at that," he concedes. "So chalk it up to a bad hangover and feeling a bit out of my depth."

He cups her hand with his and lifts the amulet to inspect it, eyes narrowing. "Oh, you got this at the Nowhere Market," he remarks after a beat. "She does good work. Be careful around that one," he warns Lyn in a protective fashion. "It's not entirely impossible she's at least as shrewd at haggling as I am, and she's got all kinds of things people want. I'll treat with her happily but if she's got something I really need, I don't let her know it. She knows what to do when you're over a barrel."

"Well, didn't act like y'were outta any element till I told ya what I did. Y'at least t'ank Chaz f'de breakfast we left ya?" There is a hitch of disappointment on her face. The expression soon enough leaving as they speak of the charm. "Dunno why she gave me dis. Maybe she knew me, could sense t'ings. She got a lil taste a'my aura. Makes me wonder if it was spicy." Closing her hand, she slips the charm away and returns to rest her back against the weeping mother of Christ.
"Yeah, Nowhere Market. Dat's right. Met a few people dere, too. Guy named Fenris, girl dat call herself Zee, n' some girl named Mary. De one named Mary didn't talk much, but de other two were very nice. Helpful, too. Didn't ask De Finder f'anyt'ing. Really dunno what I want or need. Well, part a'dat a lie, but I'd rather dat happen on my terms."

John frowns at Lyn, then his brows go up in relief. "Oh. Zatanna and Fenris? They're… friends, kind of," he says, struggling a bit with the phrasing. "I.. well. I had a falling out with them last year." His gaze darkens into a coal-black funk, and he turns his head to look in the direction of a clattering trash can and a yowling cat.

"Anyway, you can trust them. I wouldn't… mention me, just to be safe. Still not sure we're all on speaking terms, so there's no sense in ruining your footing before they've even gotten to know you properly."

"Y't'ink y'know me proper?" Lyn questions gently, watching the man's funk enter and linger. "Y'…wanna talk'bout what happened? Y'gonna say no, I know dat, but, gotta offer, right?" Smiling, even showing an apologetic expression, the girl turns and faces Mother Mary, the Creole's dark hair creating a classical halo of her own.
"I don' know much at all 'bout my magic, John. I do know I don' like bein' afraid of it, neither. Saved m'life, y'know. Gotta be t'ankful f'dat. M'sorry y'had a fallin' out wit y'friends. I hope y'consider me one."

"No, I don't," John agrees, his voice a low, sullen thing, shaking his head. Something that looks like regret carrying shame flickers across his face but it's gone in a microsecond. "I'm sure Zatanna will tell you, though, or Fenris." He looks in the same direction she does at the statue, but where Lyn is waxing philosophical, John's mood seems to be darkening by the moment.

"It's something to be afraid of," he says, finally, tone blunt. "There's nothing free in magic. The cost always comes and it's always more than anyone bargained for. There's no end to it, there's no happy retirement or swot spot where you kick back. You keep gaining power and enemies until you either die or are barely hanging on by your fingernails. I've hit that point too many times, and I've seen—"

He clears his throat, forcing the ire out of his tone. "I told you before, my friends have a way of turning up dead," he mutters. "There's a reason I don't have anything but familiar enemies and allies of convenience."

"Sometimes, John, I t'ink y'too caught up in y'own bullshit." Lyn comments flatly. Her own expression is thankfully hidden for the time being, but there's the familiar sting of fresh, hot tears in her eyes. "Y't'ink I don' know dat what I got wasn't outta good fortune? I killed /everybody/ dat I called m'family back home. Dat's how I came t'see what I could do. Kill'dem 'fore dey kill me."

Turning, she faces the man, her brows sloping with apparent anger that seems to be building, even if her tone is horribly stoic. "Y'c'n be afraid all y'want, but I'm tired a'bein' dat way. Dis magic is mine, and 'm gonna control it. Ain't not'ing out dere gonna make me do anyt'ing I don' wanna do m'self. You seen de end of t'ings? Well y'ain't dead yet, chere. Chin up, Constontine, n'learn t'be t'ankful f'somet'ing."

The term 'allies of convenience' silences the girl, that rage flitting off quickly and being replaced by an obvious frown of hurt. "Guess dat's me den, too. Convenient. Right?"

"Alive," John corrects, his shoulders slumping and his tone, tired, grayed by a deep fatigue. "You're still alive, Lynette, and … there's part of me, this great, ruddy fool part of me, that sees a young woman coming into her own. And I want to … I want to take your hand and take care of you," he admits. “Maybe it's because I want to help— maybe I'm a shady old lech," he says, shaking his head. "I don't know. I know the last young lass I took in it… it didn't end well for her," he says. "Or Zatanna, for that matter. I did her a lot more harm than good."

"Now you're here, and fuck me if I don't want to say 'this time it'll be different'," he says, coat flapping open when he waves his pocketed hand vaguely. "But then I think of the graves I'll visit this year and I wonder if I'm really doing it for you, or… for me."

"M'-sure y'didn't force nobody t'stand 'side ya, John." Lyn answers at length. The silence that has grown from her still heavy and thick in the chilly air around them. "Y'ask me, I accept, n'dat's 'cause I /want/ to. So, really, if y'ask f'you, n'I accept f'me, den don' we both get somet'ing we want? Dat sounds fair t'me." She does look at the graves then, her hand reaching out to brush off some leaves from the top of one close by.

"Can't nobody blame y'for doin' what dey want. Y'ain't holdin' a gun t'dere head, n'if y'were, den dey holdin' de barrel steady. Don' b'lieve in blamin' anybody f'my own actions but m'self." Frowning, she turns and takes a few steps closer to the man, looking up at him and gently canting her head to the side.

"I only ask dat y'treat me like a friend. Keep y'doors locked, but give me chances t'find de keys, no?"

A cold early spring rain strikes up while Lyn's talking, spattering his spiked blonde hair and face. He seems to ignore it, his eyes focusing on the space just over Lyn's shoulder while she addresses him. He exhales heavily, but when she ducks her head to catch his gaze, he smiles wanly despite himself, and shakes his head. His smile's tight and strained, but her optimism is infectious.

"You're trouble, luv," he mutters, despite himself. "I measure my life by the weeks, not the years. I'm shocked I've lived this long. If you're looking for a bloke and rugrats, this isn't the place to be. But… turning you out on your arse wouldn't be right, neither," he admits. "So if you want to stick around— you're willing to put up with a crusty bastard like me— I guess I could at least be a bit less of a git about it."

It was hard to tell how much rain would be needed to successfully flatten out the girl's hair. For now, though, it doesn't seem to be doing much, but a few curls form into tendrils that cling against her cheeks, brow, and lightly bruised neck. "I don' know what I wan' f'myself. Usually, I b'livin' day by day. Can' promise I stick 'round long, neither. Don' like it. Guess I jus' got use t'runnin'."

Explaination given, she smiles side long and looks around them at the darkness and calm of the sleeping dead. "Don' want ya keepin' me 'round cause y'feel sorry for me, neither. Wanna be 'round cause y'want me dere."

"I feel sorry for everyone," John rebuts, rallying a bit at her jab and grinning lopsidedly. "Just not as sorry as I feel for myself. That's what the scotch is for."

He wipes some rain from his brow. "Blimey, I sound like a bloody college frosh whinging about his feelings and safe spaces," John remarks, swatting water to one side. He squares his shoulders, a bit that sly bastard reasserting itself in his posture. "Enough standing around in the rain— let's hop before it starts pissing like a bloody highland storm. I'm not the safest port in the storm, but I'm not going to turn you out on your cute lil arse, either," he assures Lyn with flickering wink. "C'mon, let's get somewhere warm eh?"

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