Professional Courtesy

February 08, 2017:

John Constantine, on the suggestion of Jessica Jones, drops by the apartment of one Elinor Ravensdale, purported ghost whisperer, on an errand of professional courtesy — and personal curiosity, of course.

Elinor's apartment.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Jessica Jones

Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Most nights Elinor spends it roaming the streets of New York, learning the city, the people who are left forgotten there and helping those whose voice has been lost and forgotten. A former client of her legitimite photography business is having trouble with a new restaurant that they're opening and she was going to go check it out. Her camera is shoved into her bag, as well as some energy drinks and some snacks. She cracks open the window to let her cat out onto the fire escape, she knows better than to leave him alone in the house with the ghosts who linger there. "Alright. All of you behave, I want my kitchen back to working order before dawn, or else." A cupboard in the kitchen slams as if an unruly teenager was protesting. "Thank you." She says as she grabs her keys and walks toward her front door.


John Constantine is not in the habit of making house calls without very good reason. Usually those reasons have something to do with some sort of in-progress threat to the sanctity of existence, but occasionally — for the right people, and the right reasons — he has been known to check into other things, for other reasons. This evening's stop by the apartment of one Elinor Ravensdale is just such an errand.

Jessica Jones had her reasons for asking him to do it, and he had his own reasons for following up. None of those are evident in his expression as he takes a lean against the frame of her door, lifting one hand out of his pockets and using the knuckles to rap on the front of it, coincidentally just as she's getting close to opening it, herself. His face is collected into a polite sort of look, though there's always the distinct impression that he's feeling wry about something, even when he's not.

He's paying attention with more than just his eyes and ears. The part of him that senses things that most people cannot — magic, in particular, but it's also the piece of him that can pick out ghosts in a crowd as easily as other people see signs for Starbucks on a busy street — is tentatively open. Guarded, but receptive.


Elinor did not expect to see a living person on the otherside of the door. The room darkens behind her but once she realizes that there isn't an immediate threat on the otherside the shadows around her calm. "I'm sorry, can I help you?" Elinor is dressed in a long dark coat with a rich purple scarf around her neck to keep the chill off. "I don't remember making any appointments tonight."

There are a fair amount of ghosts hanging around in Elinor's apartment. There is a teenager in the Kitchen, going through all of the cabinets looking for junk food that it can no longer consume. On the couch is a man out of time, he looks like an eighteenth cenutry poet and is reading a cheesy bodice ripping romance novel, making random noises of disgust, but he continues to read. Behind Elinor is a boy who looks to be 8 years old, dressed in a ninjaturtles t-shirt with a worn backpack on his shoulders, he looks ready to follow Elinor wherever she goes. He excitedly waves at Constantine and beams a huge smile up at him.


For the first few moments after Elinor opens the door, John isn't looking at her, which is not really standard procedure for strangers who knock on other people's doors. Eyes the color of a cloudless blue sky slide from one side of her apartment to the other, taking in what there is for him to see from where he's standing, and they ultimately land on the little boy beside her. The kid gets a half-smile and a wink. "Nice shirt, kid," he says. From the moment he opens his mouth it's apparent that he's not American: that accent is straight out of Liverpool.

His gaze ticks up, meets Elinor's, finally. "Sorry to drop by unannounced, but all I had was an address. Sounds like you've met a colleague of mine, one Miz Jones, detective. She thought I might want to get in touch. Sounds like you and I travel in similar circles."


Elinor finds him a bit rude before she realizes what he's looking at. While he inspects the child ghost, she inspects him, furrowing her brows until he addresses her. "Miss Jones?" Elinor questions before she fully opens the door and gestures him inside. "I didn't think she liked me enough to reccomend me to anyone." She says with a shrug. "Perhaps we do, perhaps we don't, I suppose it depends on just what sort of circle you run in?"

The young boy looks very excited to be noticed he jumps and waves his hands up at him and does a spin. "Mikey is my favorite! He is the best, and he gets to eat pizza every day. Do you know how great it would be to eat pizza everyday!" He seems very excited to talk to someone else besides Elinor.


Bid into the apartment, John pushes himself off of the door frame with his shoulder, leaning back to glance down the hallway before he follows her inside. The hand he knocked with returns to his pocket, and once he's fully in the apartment, he stops and spends another few moments looking around, taking it all in.

Something difficult to describe passes through his expression when Elinor says that Jessica didn't care for her.

"Well, I'm sure you know how it is, luv," he drawls casually, "People have secrets and things they're ashamed of, and they're not keen on perfect strangers finding them out. I'm sure it's not personal."

He half-turns, glances down at the boy again, his expression a mask mild good humor. "I do, yeah." Because it's called 'going to college.'

Blue eyes flick back to Elinor. "Me? Every kind." The faint suggestion of a half-smile develops into something fuller, sharp and white, traced with something Puckishly coy. Rather than elaborate, he slides a hand into the side of his coat, withdrawing a card between index and middle fingers, and offering it out at arms' length.

It has little information on it. White, black print. JOHN CONSTANTINE, it says. Below that is an email address and a phone number. For most people who have overlap in his spheres of influence, the name alone is often enough, but it's always interesting to see who recognizes it and who does not, in those moments after he hands the card over.


The apartment is sparcely decorated, most of the furniture is second or third hand, but there are blankets and sheets to hide most of the tears in the fabric. The walls are filled with pictures, most of them taken from various places around the city. Mostly of older buildings and a lot of gravestones. All of the windows have thick black cloth over them to block out the light and the place is lit by low wat lamps and candles.

"I understand that all to well. Sadly, I learn more secrets than I know what to do with. I don't wish to know them all, but if it eases the soul to speak it, than I listen." She states plainly before she turns to the small boy. She'll lean forward and rest her hands on her knees. Her face changes, losing the furrowed brow and adopting one of fondness. "Hey Bobby, can you go tell the others I'll be running a little late tonight? You can tell them to get started with out me." Bobby perks up and salutes not only Elinor but John as well. "Okay Elly Belly!" With that he darts off through the wall and out of the hallway.

When he presents the card she'll take it in her hand and look it over before slowly nodding. "I have heard your named whispered to be by several different ghosts. NOthing bad, if you're worried." Elinor says with a hint of a smirk on her lips, though she slips the card into her pocket. "I'm Elinor, I deal with ghosts mostly. In a city like there they keep me very busy." She says with a shrug. "So what did Miss Jones think I could help you with?"


"I know the feeling," John says, of secrets. He keeps it vague, but his tone is candid: knowledge has its drawbacks. There is a price to pay for everything.

He offers the kid a loose, half-assed sort of salute as the little ghost goes racing off on his errand, and allows his humor to return eventually when she mentions rumors of his identity, passed along on phantom tongues. It's a rueful humor, though, faintly grim. "Ah. Must not have been one of mine, then."

Straightening his posture, he pushes his shoulders back, rolls them, and considers her for a long moment before elaborating as to his reasons for visiting in the first place. "There's something going on out there. Don't know if you've noticed; it's not specific to the afterlife, though it's bound to have some overlap. Things getting strange. She seemed to think you might have an interest in participating in sorting through it if you were made aware. /But,/" he adds, one brow sliding upward, "It's well fine if you don't have any interest. Just, eh. You should know things may be getting dangerous for the likes of us. People who see things. It'd be worth taking some extra precautions. Staying on your toes, and that."


"It's not pleasant, but someone has to do it right?" Elinor says, noticing that tone in his voice and recognizing that they've experienced the same thing. She shrugs her shoulders as she gestures to the ghosts around her. "Not all the ghosts I talk to are reliable, so your reputation is probably safe." There is a hint of mirth in her voice, but soon the subject changes to something more dire.

While she manages not to pace, she does fidget while he talks about what is to come. She picks at the nail polish on her thumb ast she listens. "I suppose I could take more precautions, but if you're talking wards and other magical things they're not my forte." She shrugs, though it's obvious that she is intriguded. "I can't say I've noticed anything strange. Well, I mean nearly everything I do is strange but nothing out of the normal level of strange." She frets her lip for a moment before she frowns. "Just what is it? I hope it isn't Necromancy."


He pulls his hands from his pockets and splays them, palm-up, to either side of himself. They are elegant, expressive hands, well-made for the purpose of sleight-of-hand. "Just so happens they /are/ my forte. I might be willing to help, in exchange for a favor or two." A better man might have offered to help her because it's the right thing to do, without expectation of any kind of exchange or barter…but John is not the type of man to pass up the opportunity to accumulate favors owed.

The latter question is more difficult, and as he contemplates the answer he scrubs at the stubbled lines of his jaw and chin, eyes unfocused in the general direction of the dandy on the sofa with the romance novel. "That and other things. It's not really a specific thing. It's everything. Something's pissing about with the supernatural, generally. Like…" He pauses, searching for an analogy. "Like the tide coming in. Not just here, luv. Everywhere. I expect it won't be long before it spills over into what you do."


"I wouldn't expect a hand out, I would be more worried if you offered it for free." Because nothing is free. "Though I warn you, I have some stipulations when it comes to my craft, but I am sure that is something we can discuss later." Elinor says poilietly as she looks over her place. "I don't know what goes into warding, but I need to keep the place dark, for the ghosts." It's not completely true, but she doesn't see a sense in showing all of her cards yet.

Hearing that it's it's hard to define just what is going on with this oncoming doom, she frowns. "Whoever is doing it must be an idiot. Most of the time people bite off more than the can chew when it comes to magic." She nods her head toward the kitchen and the teenager with in. "Still I'll keep an eye out, and I can send some of my 'friends' out to keep an eye on the tide."


Ghosts do not need darkness.

John knows that. That's beyond elementary. Most of his encounters with spirits have taken place in broad daylight, in public no less. Still, he doesn't push the point; as a man with plenty of secrets himself, he's perfectly happy to let people hold onto theirs for as long as said secrets have no immediate importance to him.

"Sounds good. You've got my number now, so if you 'ear anything strange, give me a bell, yeah? An' in the meantime, I'll send Jones 'round with a few things to spruce up security in the place." Blue eyes tug away from the spirit on the sofa, returning to the mistress of the house. "Well, that's all I've got. Just wanted a peek for myself, and now you know to keep an eye out. I keep odd hours, so…" He gestures loosely in the her direction, toward the pocket into which she tucked his card. "You don't have to worry about the hour. If things go tits up, get in touch."

That being said, he takes a last glance around the apartment, and then turns for the door. "Good meeting you, Elinor."


When she isn't pressed for it, Elinor lets it slide as if it were fact. When he gets ready to take his leave, she walks over to a near by desk and gets a card of her own. "This is really all I have, but it has my contact information." She hands him a card that looks like it was ordered off the internet. It has a glossy sheen to it, with her name, email and a picture of a very nice looking dessert. "I keep late hours myself, so don't worry about calling too late either." Though his phrasing causes her to smirk. "I'll be sure to let you know if it goes tits up." She reaches for her satchel and puts it over her shoulder, since she still has places to go. She reaches her hand out to shake his when the sound of a book hitting the wall causes her to jump. The Dandy ghost starts pacing the room and cursing in French, obviously agitated by what he read.

"We should go, before he starts lamenting the loss of romance in modern society, that's a lecture I don't want tonight." There is a hint of a smirk as she leads him toward the door. "I'm sure we'll meet again John."


John pauses by the door, pivoting, and reaches out to snap the card up. He gives it a single prolonged glance, then folds it away, makes it disappear. He's reaching to shake her hand — does, grip firm, brisk, businesslike — when that thump draws his attention, and the corner of his mouth quirks, genuine amusement percolating up into pale eyes.

"Well, he's not wrong," John opines, following along in her wake. Once she opens the door for him, he tilts his head in passing.

"Oh, I'm sure we will," he agrees, in a tone of voice silvered by some of that carried-over mirth. "You take care now, Elinor."

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