This chapter brought to you by a surge of inspiration from the Crisis on Infinite Earths CW event. Sorry for the long wait (finals season), hope you enjoy some more Constantine sass!
It wasn't every day that you found out the devil was real. At this point, Danny wasn't even sure how to react to the news that he was a nightclub owner in Los Angeles. The only thing that was surprising was that the fallen angel wasn't based out of Gotham. He figured the devil would feel right at home with the greed and chaos that ran rampant in the city… then again, was Los Angeles really any different?
His hunt for the aptly named "Lucifer Morningstar" had led him back to the mysterious doorstep of John Constantine, who had promptly shut the door in his face when Danny first asked about the devil. Lucky for him, the House seemed to be on his side, as just like last time, the door swung open on its own accord to allow him entrance.
"You mean this request wasn't a prank?" Danny called loudly, hoping he would hear a response that he could follow to find the magician. The loud snort that came from the end of the hallway led him to a sitting room with bookshelves lining every wall. Constantine was flipping through an old-looking tome, his back to Danny as he approached.
"The bastard's real, all right," Constantine muttered. "A real pain in my arse."
Danny shrugged. "I find that's a common trait in the superhuman community. What's in the book?"
John glanced up at him, his eyes narrowed as if he was deciding whether Danny was worthy of the explanation. (He was.) "It's a record of dear old Lucy's movements. Lets me know what the bloody hell he's up to nowadays."
"That's… coincidentally helpful."
"Magic manages to be so every once in a while," John agreed with an amused smirk. "If I'm to bring you to him, I want to know who's been mad enough to request this prick."
Danny pulled a folded pile of papers from his overcoat and handed them over. "A thirteen-year-old terminal cancer patient. It just says she wants to ask him something, but there's a note from the nurses that they assumed her pain relievers may have triggered her belief in a 'made up man.'"
John read over the case file and frowned in interest. "Interesting. Alright, I'll take you to him, but only if we can make a pit stop at UCSF Children's on our way. I've been meaning to visit my Pegasus fangirl for a bit, and seeing as the 'Prince of Darkness' has made his home in sunny SoCal, it's not far away." He closed the book with a heavy thud and returned it to its place on the shelf as Danny tried to hide his happy smile that John Constantine had a soft spot. "I hope you're ready to teleport again, Danny Johnson!"
Danny's smile abruptly vanished as John gripped his upper arm and whisked them both away across the country.
"The amount of 'annoyed' I am at you right now is 'very,'" Danny groaned as he leaned against the sink in the hospital bathroom, willing himself not to vomit from the nausea Constantine's teleportation had induced.
"Makes us square," John laughed. Danny got the feeling John was enjoying him suffer a little too much. "It's about how I felt when you said you were looking for the Devil."
Taking a final deep breath, Danny straightened himself, checking in the mirror quickly to make sure he didn't look too sick before he led the way out of the bathroom and towards Taylor Pyne's room. "No wonder they sent me to find you; you're an evil man, John Constantine," he proclaimed jokingly. John merely winked at him in response.
When Danny had received Taylor's case, he had understood that the young girl wasn't likely to survive for long (between her needing a lung transplant, her rare blood type, and catching pneumonia, the odds weren't great). He knew Constantine was somehow responsible for her slowly improving conditions; while her lung disease was still present, she had recovered completely from pneumonia and was renamed a candidate for a transplant. It was just a waiting game now, one that seemed to include fun visits from John every now and then based on the fact that several nurses they had passed called out casual greetings to the magician.
The little redhead perked up immediately when they entered her room, and Danny was amused to hear that she still mistakenly called John "Mr. Costatine." He stayed out of the way as John pulled a chair over and sat next to Taylor, intent on continuing their fantasy story adventure about a ginger princess and her trusty flying horse.
(He made sure to stealthily take a video of John imitating a horse for the story's sound effects).
Danny truly felt bad to have to end John's visit with Taylor, but he did have a duty to fulfill for his newest wisher. After another bout of dizzying teleportation, Danny found him and John standing in the shadowed side alley of a busy Los Angeles street.
"I'm not dealing with his thug demons he has as security," John muttered in explanation at their landing spot. "Besides, he's got a back entrance for those 'in the know.'" He walked purposefully a bit deeper into the shadows to reach a cleft in the cement wall of one of the buildings, and Danny waited patiently as he knocked on the protruded section. The section of the wall slid open to form a doorway into the most expensive looking lounge Danny had ever seen in his life – and he had seen Lex Luthor's private jet.
The room was empty, so Danny wandered around it as John laid down on one of the three sleek leather couches and lit a cigarette. There was a grand piano in one corner of the room, and a wine cooler that held wines from the early twentieth century. The coffee table looked like pure mahogany… and were those diamonds inlaid in the wood?
"The bastard likes to show off," John took a long drag and chuckled at Danny's incredulous expression.
Danny sat on the opposite couch. "I mean… I should've expected it. Isn't wealth a part of the Devil's deal anyways?"
"Oooh, looks like someone's done his research!" Danny's gaze shot towards the tall, dark haired man in the impeccable suit as he walked into the room, clapping slowly in a dramatic manner. The man's eyes flashed golden dangerously as he turned his attention onto John. "I just can't seem to get rid of you, Johnny, can I?" He asked, and Danny could hear the warning to his sharp tone.
Constantine blew a cloud of smoke into the air before grinning slyly. "Always a pleasure, Lucy."
"Yes, so you always mention and yet here I am, quite aggravated!" The Devil looked back at Danny and dipped his head the barest amount in a polite greeting. "Lucifer Morningstar, and if I may guess, you must be that 'Villain Wrangler' we've been hearing so much about recently."
Danny sighed in defeat at the title. "It would seem so. I'm Danny Johnson… sorry for bringing John, but he was the only way I could find you."
Lucifer's smile tightened at the reminder of Constantine's presence. "Yes, well, then I better hear you out so he can leave even faster."
"Oi! Still here for now, Lucy."
"Tragically," Lucifer declared, looking up at the ceiling in a silent prayer to keep his temper. "So, Mr. Johnson? What brings you to my lavish abode?"
Danny brought out the case file for the second time that day and handed it to Lucifer, who took the papers and sat on the remaining free couch. "Beth is a thirteen-year-old patient with terminal lung cancer at the Coast City Cancer Center. The form says she only wants to ask you a question, but there's a footnote saying that the nurses thought her drugs were making her hallucinate and ask for 'the angel Lucifer' mistakenly." He shrugged helplessly. "If a kid can know to ask for Ra's al Ghul, I don't see why one can't ask to see you."
The three men sat in silence as Danny waited for Lucifer to finish reading over the file and John continued to inhale nicotine into his lungs periodically. In the quiet, Danny wondered what had caused the Devil and the magician to be so bitter towards each other. They reminded him of Selina and Bruce's bickering whenever "that bitch Talia" was brought up.
The crinkling of paper refocused Danny as Lucifer handed him back the file. "Interesting. I'm curious to see what she has to say." Lucifer's gaze was considerably less hostile as he turned to Constantine. "Would you like to do the honors?" He asked the blonde as rose and straightened his suit jacket.
"We're going to visit her now?" Danny was confused by how quickly Lucifer had decided. He was answered by a pair of matching smirks.
"It's one thing for Poison Ivy to visit a kid, mate. Best not to make it known the Devil showed up for a visit." John beckoned impatiently for Danny to join them, who reluctantly sighed before John teleported all three of them away.
He still despised this method of transportation, but Danny was finally starting to get a hang of it. He wasn't even nauseous when they landed in the corner of a dim hospital room; the lights were off, and it looked to be dusk by the low light coming through the windows along one wall. There was a woman seated in a chair next to the lone bed in the room, and Danny rubbed his temples in defeat as John flicked a hand and the woman slumped over, fast asleep before she could react. They now had the undivided attention of the thin girl reclined in the bed.
Beth had a knitted beanie on her head that matched her bright green eyes. Danny didn't see any hair peeking out from under it, and knew the ultimately unsuccessful chemotherapy had taken its toll. Her left hand had an IV inserted in it and was rested loosely on the homemade quilt that covered her white hospital sheets. She raised her free right hand in a cheerful wave.
"Hello Mr. Wrangler, Mr. Lucifer," she smiled cheekily, before shifting her gaze to Constantine. "I don't know who you are, but you smell like smoke." Her nose wrinkled in irritation as she narrowed her eyes at him. "That's not good for you, y'know."
John shrugged, but did take a few steps further away from her in silent apology. "I've heard." He nodded his head at Lucifer, who was closely observing the teenager that had asked to meet him "Also heard you were looking for my pal Lucifer here."
It was Beth's turn to shrug. "I figured it was worth a shot. The whole internet knows about the Villain Wrangler getting the Penguin and Harley Quinn and some others to show up for other kids. If anyone could find Lucifer, it'd be him."
Hearing Beth refer to him as such surprisingly didn't bother him as much as when other adults had called him by the nickname. The sincerity in her voice lifted Danny's spirits, and he even unconsciously stood taller.
"Well, Ms. Bethany, I am at your service," Lucifer finally said, giving the girl a sweeping bow. "You wished to ask the Devil a question?"
"Yeah." Her eyes glanced towards the woman asleep in the chair next to her before looking back at her visitors. "I only remember bits and pieces from when I was little, and my mom never told me exactly what happened to my dad, but I don't want him to come back and hurt her when I'm gone." She gripped her quilt tightly with both hands. "Can you make sure he won't?"
Lucifer regarded Beth curiously before he stared blankly at the wall and his eyes flickered black.
Beth's jaw dropped. "Uh… is that normal for him?"
"Probably," Danny nodded at the same time John huffed and agreed: "Yeah. He's just searching for your father's soul is all."
Lucifer blinked several times as his eyes returned to normal and his figure relaxed, signaling his presence was back with them. "You won't need to worry about your mother," he assured her gently. "They won't be meeting again." His words had such finality to them that Danny immediately knew Beth's father hadn't been alive for probably a long time before she asked.
Beth let out an airy, disbelieving laugh as Lucifer's words registered with her. "Oh thank God, she's safe then." She paused abruptly, realizing her choice of words. "Er, sorry: thank Devil?"
Danny and John burst into laughter. He really couldn't help himself after seeing her worried expression, and he knew John just found anything at Lucifer's expense funny. To his credit, Lucifer wasn't fazed by the girl.
"Either in this case is technically correct, although the second is much more appreciated."
Beth grinned up at him. "Thank you."
"You're most welcome! Now my dear, while your company has been pleasant, I cannot say I wish to spend any longer with my companions." He turned to glare at John, who was still chuckling. "However, they are my ride home, so I must bid farewell for now."
The tiny girl waved at them more energetically this time as Constantine moved to grab onto Danny and Lucifer, but a sudden cry of "Wait!" from her made them all freeze.
"Can I see your wings?" She asked timidly this time, not able to look Lucifer completely in the eyes as she spoke.
Danny wasn't sure what he was expecting, but by John's muttered comment of "show-off" as the Devil took off his jacket, he really shouldn't have been surprised to see a pair of white wings tear their way through the back of Lucifer's shirt.
With a wink from Lucifer and a delighted laugh from Beth, the three men vanished from the room.
bethisbest: #TheVillainWrangler legit showed up with someone I thought didn't exist. He really can find anyone! (5k likes)