To Skin A Cait

<October 26, 2014>: Constantine gets his own showdown with the Cait Sidhe.

The Chapel Perilous



  • The Cait Sidhe

Mood Music:

"I am John Constantine," the man declared in a booming voice. "I have come for the Brightdaggers. You're going to let us walk out of here with them, unmolested. Or I am prepared to rain a hell upon you the like of which you've never seen. And if you know my name, you know what I magic I can wrought over your heads. Do you really want to risk my wrath?" he said, staring down the small army of the Fae.

That was but a scant few seconds ago, and now the man known as John Constantine was back inside the Chapel Perilous.

And he was not alone.

The doors slam behind him- but it is of little consequence for a man of his lore to open them again when it is needed.

The chapel is darker than it was before, especially near the altar where the swords were kept. Now shadows gather, and those shadows have two golden eyes, catlike, staring at him.

"You are far from where you usually go, Hell-dweller. Demons are one thing, but are you truly foolish enough to meddle with the fae?"

"Oh- oh I'm far afield?" John says, pressing fingertips to his chest disingenuously. He purses his lips and nods, walking a slow half-circle, one hand dropping loosely at his side. "Last I heard, Cait, you were rampaging around Gotham wearing a meatsuit. Now, now lookit you," he scoffs, gesturing broadly at the shadows. "Can't even be bothered to apparate properly. What's wrong with you, eh?" he asks, a bit belligerently. "Lost a bit of your pluck, what with being discorporeal and all?" He fishes in his pocket for a cigarette and lights up, puffing heavily four or five times and letting a plume of smoke surround him. He flicks his fingers a few times, scattering ash away from him, and watches the feline eyes scrutinizingly.

"Your reputation does precede you, Constantine." The shadows part to reveal an anthropomorphic cat of enormous size, black from head to toe except for a touch of white at his chest. The only accessory he seems to be wearing is a collar of writhing thorns around his neck. It reeks of magic- Oroboros magic, and some scrying from Constantine's side might reveal the fact that it is doing something to the Cait. Perhaps preventing him from thinking of something.

"You are known as a major nuisance. I do not know what you mean by this 'meat suit', but it is high time that you left Faerie. It is not for you." He smirks. "Consider this an invitation back to whence you came from. It is a bad idea to reject the courtesy of the Kindly Ones."

"If the Fae are 'The Kindly Ones'," Constantine says, wrinkling his his lips in a moment of contemplation, "then I'm a frog's arse." He smirks at Cait and spreads his hands wide, flicking more ash to one side. As the Cait moves from the shadows, he starts in the other direction, gesturing with the ashing, smoking cigarette. "How about that?"

"See, because the Fae's version of a kind favor is to put a man to sleep for a century instead of killin' him. Right? Or to fulfill a man's every desire by killin' him right after it's granted." He grins at the Cait, matching him tooth for tooth.

"See," he says, suddenly reversing direction and taking two strides at Cait, moving as unpredictably as a swallow in flight. "I don't think even /you/ know what's happening here, Cait," Constantine says. "And you used to be /so good/," he says scornfully. "The Great Cait Sith- None Can Hold Him Against His Will," Constantine says, scrawling the words in the air with an open palm, cigraette ashing a trail. "Now look at you, just a … feckless beast chained to the will of the Circle," he snorts. "You never knew how good you had it in that poor bastard's head, did you?"

"You speak nonsense, mage," the Cait stands up on the altar, looking down at Constantine. "Have you come here to do nothing but bore me with your fictions? The Circle and I-" and here the collar acquires an eldritch glow, the Cait's voice acquires a special monotone, as if his will were subjected to something else "-are working towards a greater goal, one beyond Faerie and one beyond the scope of your pitiful mortality."

He waves at the man, "Your time is done. You may leave now." The voice has acquired a shap edge to it.

"Well, nonsense is, like, ninety percent of what I do," Constantine admits, turning his back on the Cait and squinting out the windows of the Chapel. He flicks his cigarette some more and waves vaguely at the smoke around his head.

"You know, I don't think you can pull it off?" he remarks, turning to look back at the Sith. He drums his cigarette in one hand, batting the filter with his thumb. "You and the Circle. I think they're just plum our their arse on this one, and even if you've got the mojo, you know you're really not all that much without a mortal host. Even in Faerie," Constantine remarks, squinting at the Cait. "Don't get me wrong, I mean- you're plenty dangerous, but this really isn't your cup of tea, eh?" He squints, with askance. "I mean, really?"

The feline narrows its eyes. The man seems to be speaking in circles to him. "I have neverrrr had a mortal host. I would never denigrate myself to such a low."

There is a subtle pulse coming from the Cait, chaos begins to gather in the Chapel. "Yet you are not as I am. The pleasures of the flesh are often welcome in your life, are they not?"

They are not in the Chapel anymore, and yet parts of it shine true here and there in between the golden curtains of the sumptuous palace to which they have arrived. Constantine is surrounded by some of the most astonishing creatures any mortal man has seen- beautiful, female, and shining with the beauty of Faerie. "You have done enough, mage. It is your time to rest."

"Bo-ring," Constantine declares, rolling his eyes upwards and shrugging. He smiles thinly at the Cait, still smoking his cigarette. "'ere, want to see my party trick?" the wizard asks, gesturing with a cigarette. He grabs one of the women in one hand, an ethereal drink with the other, and… does a body shot off of her. "Woo, that'll clean out the sinuses, ey mate?" He does something that looks like a bad I Dream of Jeanie maneuver- he snaps his fingers twice, clasps each elbow once, slaps his heel into the palm of his hand and spins once counterclockwise.

And he clearly is no longer participating in the glamour. "Nice little trick there, though," Constantine compliments the Cait. "I liked the bit with the two girls in the corner- very Caligula," he compliments, quirking a brow towards the cat. He ashes his cigarette some more and takes another hefty drag, before blowing more smoke and adding it to the volume around his head. "Got any others in your pocket? Oh wait- no pockets. Very racist of me," Constantine apologizes. "I do wonder, where you keep your keys," Constantine remarks in a tone that is somehow incredibly insulting.

Being stuck in a mirror for one thousand years has dulled the Cait's edge. The poet Senchanw was one thing, but being out of touch with the modern world has not prepared him for the sheer level of postmodern irreverence that is Constantine.

He does have his tricks, though. His eyes glow green for a second, and then—

Constantine is an old, old man. The glamour of fear might give the impression of aging sinew, halting breath and aches everywhere. In the mirror that is closest to one of the girls, Constantine looks like he is hundreds of years old… and looks the part. "It is not so easy to be blythe when you are faced with the threat of your own impending disappearance. Fading away like the inconsequential conjurer of tricks that you are?"

Constantine promptly unbuttons his fly. And lets his Johnny dangle. "Oye, allo boyo! Wake up, lookit all the lovely lasses and arses round here!" he says, thumping his thigh. Wizened and old, he looks around a few times at all the tantalizing Fae promises of fleshly pleasure… and his body has a very clear biological reaction.

"Well, the ol' danglie bits still work, eh?" Constantine says, beaming at the Cait. "I guess I can pull a Hugh Hefner and spend the rest of my days covered in piles of beautiful women, most likely multigenerational descendents of the people I've rescued."

The glamour warps and shifts, and suddenly Johnny and the Cait are standing nearly nose to nose. Constantine grins fearlessly at the Cait. "Also, you should know two things about me. One, don't try to fucking outsmart me, because you can't. Two," Constantine takes in a huge inhalation of the cigarette smoke and exhales, billowing it right into the Cait's face. "These aren't real cigarettes." He winks and this time, Constantine vanishes- just as the Cait gets a billowing faceful of rosemary, thyme, eleven other herbs and spices in a proprietary blend… as well as a surprisingly high iron content. The equivalent of tear gas, when used against the Fae.

The Cait lets out a yowl as it is hit with the accursed vapors. Iron is not good for the Fae, and neither is any of the other spices combined. The creature falls to his knees, rubbing at his eyes as he becomes completely paralized, temporarily, under the effects of the infusions. "Accursed threepenny wizard! I will tear your innards and make of them-" he cannot continue, as he begins to cough. Each cough accompanied by a Chaos Wave, which begins to unsettle the foundations of the Chapel, causing rumblings in its foundations.

"Do what, kitty?" Constantine asks, his voice disembodied. "Gonna eat me up? Cut me into pieces, snicker snack?" There's a vague sense of the man's presence as his glamour wears off, something only the acute senses of the Cait would pick up on. "You're just a third-rate Fae, a step up from a bloody leprechaun, mate. You're an /embarassment/," Constantine says in a tone of cutting scorn. "A washed out has-been that's been stuck riding a meatsuit topside for so long, he's forgotten what the eternal tulips smell like." Slowly, as Cait's dim vision clears, Constantine can be seen in a haze-filled view about fifteen feet away- within a good pouncing difference. He's smirking. "You were dumb enough to get a faceful of faerie mace, you were dumb enough to be collared by the Circle, and you're just a patetic, mewling little quim at the end of the day, aren't you? Eh?" Constantine laughs, turning his back on the Sith. "What a pathetic piece of work. I don't know why that boy even wants you back."

The collar flares brightly.


A crackle of lightning. But the presence of iron has weakened him enough that the collar is working overtime to try and assert his nature. "Promise… a Promise. There was a promise…"

The Cait stands up, unsteadily, and claws at his collar, letting out a roar of fury. Underneath the diminished creature, there is the full nature of his Fae self- shackled, dimninished, impeded from relishing in his full nature.

"Why are these thoughs in me? I do not remember these… mortals… the green one, the … you have ensorcelled me with these tales! No more!"

He launches himself as Constantine, claws bare. An amateur mistake, something only the freshest of Faelings would make.

Then again, the collar is ensuring that only a tiny portion of the Cait's mind is unfogged- that which deals with the creation of chaos. Anything else is quickly shocked aside by one of the releases from the Circle's collar.

It is, when you look at it, an extremely cruel thing to have done to a creature whose entire identity is centered around the sharpness of its mind. But the Circle does not care for it- all it cares is that it be capable of destruction.

The Cait's launch is a perfect one- a predator's assault, fast and vicious, and his claws sink into Constantine's shoulders, carrying him to the ground. Constantine has time for a turn, a shriek of pure terror… and then he evaporates into smoke.

Inside of Fae proper, Constantine lunges forward and snaps his hands against the side of the full-sized mirror, which resembles something you'd find in a particularly upscale manor house. And, much like a fantastic magic trick, the mirror shrinks, then shrinks again, and in a few seconds, Constantine's got the the mirror the size of a palm mirror, looking through it at the Cait, trapped inside the demiplane- which, as it happens, looks exactly like the local part of Faerie they're on. He snaps his hands together and makes the mirror vanish up his sleeves, looking at his fingertips. "Well, I guess I owe Papa Midnight that bottle of Johnny Walker," Constantine says to himself, wiping his fingers on his stained overcoat. "Damn, he's going to be sore I'm not dead this time." Constantine peers at the window of the Chapel, eyes narrowed. "Now, let's see if the kids got a ride home all right…"

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