Fan Fiction

Hellblazer: To Save A Demon’s Soul
by MrWayne
John Constantine, Hellblazer and related characters are the property of DC Comics and Alan Moore, Steve Bissette, and John Totleben.

"So, Mr. Constantine..." began Sandra.

"John, love. Mr. Constantine's me bloody father, or was, may he rest in peace, though I doubt he will. I'm only 'Constantine' to people who don't like me. Call me John," replied Constantine, as he lit the second Silk Cut of their meeting so far.

"All right. John. Can you help me?"

He took a deep drag from the cigarette, savoring the nicotine. He let the smoke slowly trickle from his nose as he looked the Zebra Girl over.

"Right, " he said. "You say you were a normal bird once, until some prat manhandled a magical tome and *bam*, there you were?"

"That's pretty much it."

"Hmf." Constantine began pacing a slow circuit around Sandra, sucking the Silk Cut between sentences. "First off, you're friend is no friend to you. If he's still got that book, he's more dangerous than you'll ever be. Second..."

"Hold on!" she said. "Jack's been trying to research a cure for this, this... condition. And he's helped me through some pretty nasty situations."

"Oh, yeah? Would you have been in those 'nasty situations' at all if it weren't for him? I'm tellin' you, love, from my own experience, otherwise sane, intelligent, and reasonable people who've delved into the magical arts have usually gotten themselves either dead, damned, or both. And your friend seems to have started without the benefit of any of those assumptions."

Sandra glared at Constantine, flashes of power dancing around her head. "Jack. Is. My. Friend. He may be an ASS sometimes, but he's still my friend!"

Constantine dismissed her outburst with a wave. "As you like, love. I'm just warning you. Settle your feathers and let me get on with this." Sandra still fumed, but the nimbus about her horns dimmed considerably.

"Second," he continued, "also from my own experience, you will never, ever, no matter what, ever get your old life back."

"What?" she said hopelessly, looking at her four-fingered hands. "But, I thought..."

"Hang on! I never said you would never have a human body again. I said you'll never get your old life back. As in, once you've been touched by magic, your *life*, the way you *live*, is changed forever."

He stopped pacing and looked at her. "Look, darlin', tell me this: if, God forbid, your mother died tomorrow, would it change you?"

Sandra gulped, and shifted her left hoof unhappily. "Of course. I, I haven't seen her since this, this happened to me. If she died, if I never saw her again..." Tears slid down her cheeks and forehead, then splashed onto the floor, leaving small smoking points in the wood.

"There, there, love," said Constantine. He took out a pocket kerchief and handed it over. "Here."

"Thanks," she sniffled, wiping her face and blowing her nose. The cloth sizzled and smoked in her hand. "Oh, I'm sorry, I..."

"Skip it. It's my fault, I brought the matter up. But, Sandra, love, you see, relationships touch us on a magical level. They can help or hurt, sometimes both. Once you've been touched that way, for good or for ill, you've changed, and you can't go back. You can only go on."

"Okay," she said, dabbing at her nose with the smoldering remains of the kerchief. "I see. I think."

"Look, love, suppose we can work out how to restore your human body. Will you ever forget what's happened to you? Could you? Could you live your life, love your loves, just as you had before all this?"

"No." she said bleakly. "No." She paused. "You keep saying, 'restore your human body,' and 'have a human body.' What do you mean? Why don't you just say, 'make you human again.'?"

"I'm afraid that's not an option, love. Never has been," he said, resuming his pacing.

Sandra froze. "What do you mean?"

"It's what I've been trying to say about changing, and your old life." He paused to pull another Silk Cut from the packet, lighting it off the first, which he then pinched out and put in his pocket. "Demons, gods, whatever, once they've touched you, you stay touched. You've still got your soul, or I wouldn't be talking to you. But your soul's been crossed up with the essence of hell, the pit, whatever you want to call it. You're marked, sure as that berk Broadshoulders is marked, except it's your soul that's branded, not your forehead. Even with a human body, you'll never be able to *not* perceive that paranormal, the divine, or the damned, and they'll always be able to see you."

Sandra thought about this, considering all that he'd said. "So, you're saying that weird... crap... will still keep happening to me, even if my body is restored?"

"No, love, I'm telling you that weird crap's been going on all around you since always. Now that you've been immersed in it, there's no dryin' off, so to speak. The weirdness used to ignore you, because you were just another human, another pawn, an insignificant piece in the game. Now, to beat this metaphor to friggin' death, you've been dragged to the back row and promoted. There's no going back, no matter what flesh you wear."

She looked at him soberly. "I have no choice?"

"None whatever. Stinks, dunnit?"

She looked back at her hands. "So if I go back to a human body, and give this up?..." she trailed off.

He took another long drag from the cigarette. "If you go back to having a human body, most likely you'll lose all the demonic powers you've been using." He drew in another lung full of smoke. "You'll also only have a human body to fend off whatever comes nosin' about after dark. You'll either have to learn magical combat, and bloody fast, or learn how to run, or..."

The pause continued for some time. "Or what?" she insisted.

"Or," he said, frowning, "you'll have to rely on Jack the Prat to protect you, which I don't advise."

Sandra stared past Constantine to the mantle, where a picture of her mother smiled back at her. "All right," she said tightly. "I've heard your advice. I still want to be human again."

Constantine stood and waited.

She glared at him levelly. "So, Constantine, what do I have to do?"

He smiled grimly. "Well, love, there's usually a certain way these things have to be done, and when that's the case, there's no getting around it." He finished off the cigaratte and crushed it into his palm. "I'm afraid you're going to have to go to hell."
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To every man is given the key to the gates of heaven. The same key opens the gates of hell. - Buddhist Proverb