John Constantine was not a good person. At least, that's how he thought of himself. Good people were cheerful. Good people had a job far away from dark forces of the world. Good people cared for those around them and kept them safe. In his eyes, John was no better than the demons he fought.
John was silent in Zed's hospital room. He stared at the cracked, bleached white ceiling as he lay on the tiny bed. He had planned just to lay there for a few minutes because his feet were hurting. But as soon as his body touched the sheets, he felt like he was made of iron. He knew he wouldn't be able to move for a long time, the weight of a very long day taking hold.
He turned his gaze to Zed, fast asleep beside him with her back turned. She yawned as she stretched her long arms in the air. She shifted around to face him.
Constantine looked at the sleeping woman next to him. She breathed in and out slowly. Her pattern didn't falter. Her chest rose and fell in time. Small pieces of her wavy brown hair had fallen in front of her closed eyes. Her arms were curled close to her body. She looked so impossibly peaceful.
John wondered how such a kind person like Zed could ever willingly be around him. Chas was around out of a sense of duty. It wasn't really his choice. He'd leave if he felt he could. Zed, she didn't have to be around him. She wanted to. She wanted to spend time learning what he knew.
But more than that, she wanted to use that knowledge to help others, and she did it in a way Constantine never could. John spent his youth being told his mother's death was his fault. He had felt his father burn his flesh with cigarettes. He had seen a young girl pulled into hell because of him. He had experienced so much that the world was a black awful realm beyond real help. He could only keep the darkness at bay, but he knew that the world was a bloody terrible place far past true saving.
Zed, she wasn't like that. She could see the light in the world. She could see the beauty in a man trying to atone for his past sins. She was willing to let a father blow up a mine so he could get closure for his son's death. And even recently, she nearly blew her mind apart trying to help a Mom speak with her little girl. Constantine's jaded heart and mind would never have even considered what she'd thought of.
Maybe that's why she was here. He had the knowledge to combat the rising darkness, but she had the heart. If it wasn't for her, the world would not have survived as long as it had.
John slowly moved his hand to cup Zed's cheek. Her skin was smooth, clashing with the calloused and rough flesh of his palm. He carefully ran his thumb across her soft face. She felt like an angel, and he was lowly demon who couldn't compare. Her light outshone his darkness.
John has tried not have too many attachments in this life. Really, the only other friend he currently had was Chas. All others had left or died because of him. But this mysterious girl, who had inserted herself in his life with no warning, he could feel himself care for her more and more each day. He'd give up the world for her. Deep down, he knew that caring for her would only lead to hurt and death, but he couldn't bear to let her go.
John brushed the small hairs away from her closed eyes, tucking them behind her ear. He slowly sat up, wanting to leave her to sleep. But as he began to move, he felt Zed's hand lazily grab his arm. She tugged on the sleeve of his white shirt sleepily.
"Mmm," she mumbled. Her brow furrowed as she tugged on him. She obviously didn't want him to move.
Constantine gave a slight smirk. He lay back down next to her. To his surprise, Zed draped her arm on his torso and nestled her head into the crook of his neck. He could feel her soft breathing on his skin. John looked at her with a smile. He wrapped his arms around her small body. One arm slipped under her neck as he placed a hand on her wild hair, stroking it lightly. The other lay softly across her hip, holding her close. He lightly kissed her forehead, holding her even tighter.
"Don't worry, love. I'm here. I'll always be right here," he whispered in her ear. Even though she was in a deep sleep, far off in her dreams, Zed heard his quiet words. She smiled slightly, sighing contently under her breath. She held him closer to her. John was shocked, but also incredibly happy. He could feel sleep begin to take hold of his drained body. He slowly closed his eyes, drifting off to sleep with a smile.
John Constantine was not a good person. But Zed was. And he wasn't going to let anything change that.