A Little Work in the Graveyard
Roleplaying Log: A Little Work in the Graveyard
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Constantine and Batgirl finish some work in the graveyard and stirs up a Gentleman Ghost

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: May 11, 2019
IC Location: Gotham Cemetary
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 12 May 2019 06:00
Rating & Warnings: PG
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

It's a rather straightforward operation, at least relative to the lives some people lead: John dispels the ritual enchantment etched into the stone of a particularly foreboding mausoleum and removes the anchor binding it to this world… while Batgirl puts a little fear into those poor, arrogant souls courting untold catastrophe for the insidious promises of a malevolent entity.

Mostly because John's way was more than a little nastier, and she has a soft spot for such sorts, most likely. … case in point. The warlock strides back out into the cemetary ushered by aromas of molten metal and incense, the fading shimmer of culminating spellwork casting flickering shadows as if in peculiar torchlit relief. Constantine lights a cigarette with his uniquely adorned zippo, snapping the lighter shut with a flourish and dropping it back into one voluminous longcoat pocket, this one inside the left breast.

Drawing deeply, John surveys the graveyard thoroughly over that burning cherry as a thick fog roils and rises around him. Not the ominous portent of chaotic disaster, for those attuned to such things; the resonance of peace and clarity. The land and sky breathing a deep, relieved breath as a dangerous rift is sealed, and the spirits within this place find at least a measure of spiritual peace.

* * *

These nights just keep getting weirder and weirder. The purple-clad woman is trailing in after John with a little smirk at her lips. At some point in their time together, Babs has finally found everything that John does just part of the life. It's the most unstable stability one can ask for.

When he lights up a cigarette, the woman casts a careful glance around them. She lingers back to watch John's back as she often does. "Alright, so… what exactly are we waiting for again?"

* * *

Things like this don't happen without drawing attention of some kind. In this case it's something previously unnoticed until after the fact, the change disturbing something that's been present long enough that none could rightly say there had been a time when it had been otherwise. The resulting by Constantine's hand was like tossing a stone into a still pond, the act sending ripples across planes only choice few living are actively aware of. And a larger number yet who dwell in that delicate space, although fewer still manage to slip between them.

Being amongst the dead while making him privy to secrets and histories past did not particularly mean that the Gentleman Ghost was so thoroughly versed in matters such as what brought the occultist and the vigilante to this cemetary this evening. But being dead has not by any means dulled his curiosity.

Entering the world of the living is merely like stepping past a curtain for him, and he arrives with the growing fog, his form bearing just about the same in matters of substance. From head to toe he wears white, dressed in the attire much suited to a costume party or the old Victorian days, his cloak fluttering soundlessly behind him. No light reflects off the monocle that appears to float in the absence of a visible face, just as the tall hat perched upon an invisible head.

* * *

"Always best to be sure nothing went wrong, luv." Constantine notes simply; accurately. In an ideal world, nipping shit like this in the bud would also provide some certitude as to stopping still more from going wrong; but the one they've got is decidedly imperfect. It's the same in magic as any other aspect of the neverending war against crime and villainy, etc etc: there's always another idiot ready to step up no matter how many bad actors one removes, and there's just no way to predict which way the wind is going to blow next.

The spirit banished tonight could have had enough might and expertise to draw John and Babs into its own pocket dimension, or across the shroud into countless other dead. A particularly dapper ghost could appear in the fog, with a top hat, a monocle, and no goddamn face. The magician blows out a plume of smoke with several lingering, breathy coughs, and scowls lightly.

"And what fresh, tuxedoed hell did you climb out of?" The banter is at once wary and affable, abrasive and charismatic, in a strange way. It's a John thing; weirder and weirder. "Don't feed me bollocks, it's been a long night." It's been a long year. The warlock starts at a rather different place than many in his field: as of yet, there's no attempt to further discern or compel the oh-so-dapper ghostman. It's like talking to anyone else, really. With a greater percentile likelihood of extreme madness and danger, anyway.

* * *

"Which is why I'm asking," Barbara says dryly to John. "It wouldn't be the first time when you've been swaggering around with confidence and something jumps out to try to eat our face." Then humor slides easily into her words as well as layered affection. "Not that I don't trust in your abilities, John."

Then she is taking a more calculated look around the cemetery, still searching for anything that might be waiting to attack them in retaliation. But instead…

Barbara turns toward Gentleman Ghost, and she blinks in surprise at the familiar apparition. "Hi." The word is short, punctuated by her surprise. Then she glances toward John briefly before she gestures toward the Ghost. "We've met. He's okay." She hopes.

* * *

A dry chuckle is the response, and after what great commotion Constantine had stirred up earlier, Craddock isn't in the least surprised that he's addressed by him with such insouciance. "No need to be rude," he says, coming to a halt at a respectable distance where he won't put a man on edge who could possibly do unpleasant things to a world-weary spirit. Gloved hands rest upon the orb topping the cane he totes as he rests it before him.

His head turns slightly, if only noticeable for the slight movement of hat and monocle, and upon recognition by Batgirl, he lifts a hand to tip his hat slightly in acknowledgment of her. "Miss Bat, good evening to you and your…interestin' companion."

Ah, but it seems that the gruff one actually did mean for his question to be answered. The Ghost offers a shrug then. "A long night indeed. Seems you two've been busy." His hat tilts in the direction of the mausoleum. "I'm not here for trouble. Just come to see what all the noise was about."

* * *

No need to be rude. Constantine snorts derisively. "That's bloody arguable." It's not exactly targeted nihilism, however: just generally argumentative. He'd argue with Batgirl, but it's a losing proposition particularly when she's.. not wrong.

The vigilante's familiarity and lack of alarm does a fair bit to sway John's more paranoid impulses in response to the well-dressed spectre, but it's unlikely the warlock is going to match some entities' standards of politesse anytime soon. "Bunch of stupid fuckin' kids with the wrong damn ritual, thinking they were dealing with an ancestor and actually feeding a real nasty bugger trying to open a fuckin' rift." In short.

Constantine subconsciously takes half a step sidelong towards Batgirl… though whether protectively, or for protection, is often up in the air. "He thinks I'm interesting." John reiterates with ample faux glow, like it's a clear compliment and not a politely nondescript adjective. Flattery will get you everywhere.

* * *

"Of course it is, because you argue with everything." Barbara's tone remains dry for John before she glances back toward the Gentleman Ghost. She smiles warmly to him, and she inclines her head because she rather does like his formalities. "Our evening is far better now, sir. And yes, my companion." She gives John an amused smile.

"This is John Constantine. He's actually quite brilliant, but also knows it." Then she inclines her head slightly. "We're not here to give you any trouble either. We've just finished up." Beat. "And how are you doing this evening?"

* * *

The dry expression that crosses Craddock's face is lost on the two for his features being presently invisible, but perhaps the notion of it might transmit with the heavy sigh he offers at Constantine's explanation. He seems to look at the man before offering him a nod. "Oh, well in that case, all well and good that you came and set that to rest," he says. Depending upon circumstances, things could end up rather messy on both sides of the plane.

"John Constantine, is it? Ah… the name is familiar. I'm certain I've heard it b'fore." He refrains from details, but then considering Constantine's business it probably shouldn't be surpising at all that his name's gotten around in such places.

Barbara's question is met with a quiet laugh in amusement. "How am I doing? One evening's as much the same as another. But perhaps I should appreciate the fact that you ask me such things like one would a normal person."

* * *

"Pot: Kettle, luv." John notes succinctly; he could double up, if Babs prefers. Turning the indictment and compliments on their heads in turn seems par for the course in their case, easy banter despite any situational oddity.

"Name's been murmured, moaned, groaned, blessed, and cursed in various circles an' circumstances." Constantine is rarely surprised when someone knows of him; particularly when they're somewhat supernatural on their own. The warlock muses over another puff of his cigarette, "More or less everything dies, and it doesn't often end there." It's a subject he has some authority on. "Doesn't get much more normal than that, mate… at a glance I'd say you came out the other side a lot better'n a lot of eternities."

This lacks the same certitude, but John is affable enough; it's impossible to say just what brings Craddock around such as he is. What purpose, what machination, what impending madness. But hey, sometimes these things work out; and sometimes Constantine is willing to play along. "Look at you all morose at the bleak mundanity of repetition, pretty bloody human if you ask me." Which no one really did. But it doesn't often matter.

* * *

Batgirl snorts delicately at that. Though it is the further subtitles to her introduction of John to Gentleman Ghost, she offers another shake of her head including a light, if not slightly amused smile. "John…" Then she looks back to Gentleman Ghost.

"You must go through highs and lows, sir. But I'm pleased to hear your evenings have been dull enough." Her nose wrinkles up slightly before she turns back to John. "We should be getting back." But then she looks back to the Ghost. No skirt to be had, she instead bows slightly. "Good to see you again." She even gives John's shoulder a little nudge to force him to say something… hopefully polite.

* * *

A grim smile touches unseen lips, a breathless laugh to follow, but he has nothing, no comment to follow up for Constantine's cavalier comment. Had he come out better than others? The Ghost can't speak for experiences outside of his own, but he wouldn't agree that this is necessarily 'better.' Were he asked directly he wouldn't even be able to say why he remained in such a state of limbo. Certainly there were prophecies and riddles, curses, perhaps, but had he really committed anything worse than any other criminal? Thankfully his thoughts do not revisit that too worn trail, nor does the fog-blessed serenity of the graveyard find itself interrupted by the sharp chill that would usually invade a space haunted by an unsettled spirit.

"I've been around long enough to know the ironic truth of your words, Mister Constantine," Craddock notes, his tone hinting a smirk. At least he hasn't taken offense. But he's observed enough of the living these days and their miraculous tendency to become bored even with such wonders about them. Or perhaps it's only because things are so drastically different from the world he'd grown up in.

With Batgirl suggesting they should take their leave, Craddock picks up his cane and once again doffs his hat as he steps back. "I'll not keep you any longer then," he says, casting a look between the two, a beat longer towards Barbara, perhaps warmed by her words. It's not often anyone says such things to a ghost, after all. "And perhaps I should thank the both of you for a small break in th' monotony of this pitiful existence," he jests.

* * *

John just smirks aside at Barbara as she recovers the PROPER approach to conversation from the ashes. Despite the obvious, obstinate mischief, there's no shortage of good will in the warlock's own quiet amusement. His initial response when nudged is just to bump his shoulder right back against the vigilante in return, because that was obviously what she was prompting. Brilliant minds.

As to better eternities, well: experience and perspective are all so very relative. It could always be worse, one could be in hell. And if one is already in hell, there's probably a worse hell out there somewhere. "If you need some help getting to the bottom of that existence, or run into some trouble.. we should talk again." There's not much sarcastic or flippant about that offer, at least. Maybe he did grasp Batgirl's urging. Maybe Constantine just takes his work fairly seriously, through all the bravado and sass.

"At the very bloody least, I have one fuckin' incredible knack for breaking up monotony." The warlock tosses the gentleman and ghost a wink, and a lopsided smile is turned towards Babs as he flicks his cigarette away, stuffs his hands into his pockets, and saunters into step at her side.

* * *

Well, that, he did not expect, and it might show in the hesitation of his movement before a bow is offered, as befitting as the name he so goes by. The Gentleman Ghost will remember that, John Constantine.

He bids them no further adieu, fading from sight after the two move to depart as well, leaving not a trace nor a disturbance of the mists that have settled between the tombstones, leaving monotony to try and reclaim what it can of the evening.

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