The Cat Came Back

October 27, 2014: John Constantine knows how to put Humpty Dumpty back together again- but all the king's men aren't having any of that.

Titans Compound

The hilly territory rises abruptly at the western edge of the
valley, and the entire area is part of a limited development zone. Many roads
lead there, and off one such road, a half mile into the woods, a strange
three-lobed granite 'castle' stands, three circular towers connected by a
curved wall twenty feet tall, enclosing a garden-like courtyard dominated by
a large fruit tree with grafts from many different kinds of apple, cherry,
and peach.
The tower closest to the compressed-gravel road is the one with the
obvious entry door. The area has cameras and other sensors scattered
throughout, and may have other entrances and exits.



  • Circle of Oroboros
  • The Cait Sidhe

Mood Music:
Shattered Glass

And Then S*** Got Weird
Part The Second

The Titans Castle. They had a castle, which was infinitely better than a single tower. On this particular night, Keith's reached out to all available team-mates to catch them up with what has transpired so far. The two glass swords, practically vibrating with Faerie Magic to those who are sensitive enough to feel them, rest on the long dinner table.

"… and thanks to Booster, Gar and Zach, we got these swords here. Now we're just waiting for John Constantine to contact us back to see what exactly they're used for. And, well… to see what the hell it is we need to do to get the Cait Sidhe back inside me." The redhead rests his elbows on the table, looking at the assembled team-mates, plus Booster Gold, the guest star of the evening.

"So… now that you know everything that's happened so far… I just want to thank all of you for helping me with this. And to apologize for the huge fricking mess. The Cait giving my powers to the Joker is bad enough, I just hope that we can catch him before there's an 'and it gets worse' addendum."

He sits back on the chair and sips his water, now that he had said what he wanted to say. His team-mates could say what they wanted to say.

Bunker tugs his cowl into place. "You have my sword," he grins, as he repeats a line from the movie. "You know I'm at your back, mi amigo especial," he grins. "Whatever you need me to do."

"Axe me no questions," Gar says, as he dumps freshly popped popcorn from a wok into a big metal bowl. Slightly singed, butter added and stirred through it, this is not your diet microwave air-popped nothing.

"What's up with the Wizard of Time and Space-out anyway? I got the feeling something happened but I can't say what it was, except that I don't think Johnny had to die this time."

There might be a bit of disappointment at that, or he could just be trying to get a popcorn hull out of his teeth as he talks.

Having claimed the room overlooking the entrance, Raven has been sitting on the floor with her legs crossed watching as each team member and guest appear through the doors. All around her candles are burning with an eternal flame that never actually licks the wax and her eyes have taken on a deep set glowing violet with a small bit of breeze kicking up the length of black hair cascading down the small of her back.

At some point she adjourns with the others to the ready room to listen to the plan and fixes Keith with a steely gaze. "Have there been any jokes made about the fact that you are a ginger and have no soul?" Completely dead pan and without event he slightest hint of merth.

Booster Gold is standing there, shining and smiling, clearly over the horror and disgust he was feeling after their tour of Faerie. "It's cool, dude," he says as he points a finger-gun Keith's way. "All the stuff that happened. I'm pretty much over it." Booster does look cheerful, so this may be sincere. "I have no idea how to do anything magical, but if you need some heavy lifting done, I'm here for you guys."

A door cracks open, then swings wide, admitting the sound of blaring polka music and a raving party going on inside what looks like a Victorian-era parlor. Constantine sticks his head around the door, then walks out of what had been a modest supply room, a bit of confetti on his head and shoulder.

"Oye, you lot," he says, staggering a bit- drink in hand and covered in confetti. "Sorry I'm late, Oktoberfest started last month and we've been killing our livers for four weeks straight," he says with a belch. Took me a few tries to land my girl." He prances- almost minces in, the door slamming shut behind him. He stops and backtracks two paces, looking askance at Raven. "I'm digging the gothic look, luv, very dark and trendy," he says, after looking the girl over with a nod of approval. And then he's off, humming a polka song and moving light on his feet. John Constantine is druuunk.

He stops and looks at Keith, eyes narrowing in a judicious examination of the man. "Hmm. I'd say I'm just in the nick of time. Glad I didn't boff the landing, I could have gotten here tomorrow relative to you. That'd be embarassing," he says, smiling at everyone. He looks at Gar, then kills his whiskey and more or less drops the glass into Gar's hands. "Macallen Eighteen, boyo, be right sharp about it."

Constantine flicks out his overcoat and jams his hands into his pockets, looking down at Keith like a looming blonde bastard spawn of Death himself. "You ready for this, mate?" Constantine asks the man. "No going back from here, you know. We could give back the Brightdaggers, make some apologies, and I could probably get you… I don't know, ten years? Maybe fifteen? Fifteen years is a lifetime, mate," Constantine tells Keith, tilting his head to the side and examining his face.

"Is this still what you want?"

"Actually, Raven, you are the first to make that joke." Or, rather, mention the joke. But considering Raven's sense of humor (such as it was), the mention of it was a titanic feat as far as the concept of Raven telling jokes went. He would mark his diary, if it weren't still at his apartment. "Be that as it may, I am pretty attached to the sou-" And John Constantine enters. Keith tenses visibly.

It is bad enough that he is going to end up owing his life to Constantine, but the man knew it. And he would never let him forget it for a minute. He reaches out under the table to put a hand on Gar's knee- because he seems to have about the same dislike for the blond man as he does.

"What do you mean?" Keith asks Constantine with an almost colossal effort to remain polite. "We've gone too far already, and fifteen years may be a lifetime for a golden retriever… but not for me."

Bunker sits back and crosses his arms, regarding Constantine. He looks ambivilant, but the other seem to trust the man, so he remains quiet. But watchful.

Gar takes the glass and puts it in the dishwasher. He finds a clean glass and fills it with … water. The kind that W.C.Fields hated, fresh spring water that has had fish being ENTHUSIASTIC in it. Taken from downstream of the salmon spawning pools, and then filtered. Alas, the filtering was required by the FDA.

"Nice job appropriating the door, there. That's actually not a supply room, that's the john," Gar lies. He isn't going to say anything too mean to John while he's drunk, after all. That's all stuff to save for the hangover.

Raven immediately fixes her eyes on the portal doorway and the blonde brit that steps out from it still swaggering with the last drop of booze. Her violet eyes move up to his when he vocalizes appreciation for her manner of dress. "You stink of sulfur." She states flatly, tilting her head to one side. "I wager you know a thing or two about 'borrowed' time?"

She did not jump to Keith's aid, it is impossible to tell how she actually feels now anymore than it ever is, she could very well be asking Constantine a question.

Turning back to Keith to regard him for several long seconds, "Ah, well good." Of her being the first to make the joke. Not really appearing to care as much as her words suggest.

"Tomorrow?" Booster is focusing on the wrong thing, when Constantine arrives. He looks very interested as he asks, "Do you have a floating now-point so you can cross into different points in time?" Wait. This is not the time or place to start this discussion, even if he really wants to do so. Especially after Raven offers her comment. Waving his hand as if to brush off his own question, he says, "Eh… Keith seems pretty determined to carry this through. So I support that. I'm just not sure how those swords come into play in all this."

"I /do/ love a girl with a sharp wit," Constanine says over his shoulder, wagging a finger behind him without looking. He turns and winks at Raven over his shoulder. "What say we when this is all said and done, you clean the shadows out from behind your ears and we nip down to the pub for a drink?"

Constantine looks at the glass that arrives in his hand, frowns at it, then just chucks it over his shoulder with a grimace. "Bloody hell, you Yanks have a lousy streak of humor," he complains. "And no, it's far too complicated to explain to someone who's above counting on his fingers and toes to keep track of dimensions," Constatine says, absently dismissing Booster.

"Well then, let's bring the kitty out to play." Constantine throws something at the wall, and it flies and expands through the air and when it slams into the steel wall, it's a full-sized parlor mirror, at least nine feet high and four wide. There comes a roaring scream and the Cait charges from the mirror, eyes glowing-

-and he hits the glass, slamming into it with a pained yowl, before retreating back into the demiplane.

"Right then," Constantine says, walking towards the Brightdaggers. "Here's the deal, mate. We've got to sew your soul back together," the lanky Brit tells Keith a bit drunkenly, making a cigarette appear out of nowhere and lighting up. "First step, you take your friends into there and get the collar off the cat. The swords, now, those are Step Two," Constantine explains, picking one of the blades up clumsily and looking it over. "See, you've got to die before you can properly stitch up a soul. Means we've gotta kill ya," he says, with a bob of his eyebrows and a grin. He levels the point of the sword at Keith's chest and mimes a jab. "One through the Cait's heart, once you've got the collar off him. Then, you take both swords to the chest at once. Right into the ol' ticker," Constantine explains. "Dead, alive, dead, alive again, and all is right. Like popping out a bad seam to fix a sewing mistake," he says, beaming at everyone. "Right, any questions? Was that enough exposition?"

Keith pales at Constantine's explanation. Considering he's rather fair, this means he almost goes transparent as he reaches absent-mindedly to touch that part of his chest where the mirror shard pierced him six months ago. Right through the heart.

"-going through that again?" it is lucky that humans can't recall pain. They can recall how intense pain was, but that's only second-hand information about an event itself- the readouts are all that's left, usually. He remembers the pain, the sensation of his life ebbing away. The pain, so much pain.

He looks down at his hands on the table for a while. Fear and apprehension are natural emotions to experience under the circumstances, but it doesn't make them any less embarrasing.

He looks at the Cait Sidhe, trappped in the mirror. "…I guess we don't have any other choice. If I don't go through with it…"

Exhalation. "Okay… who does what? And… where do we." Pause. "Where do we kill me? I'd rather it not be on the table here. People have to eat." Weak attempt at humor is very weak.

Bunker shakes his head. "That.. wow.." he swallows as he listens to the mage's matter-of-fact explanations. He reaches for one of the swords, pulls his fingers back, then steels himself and takes one. "We do what we have to do," he says. He looks to Constantine, at the mage's question. "I guess it's like Keith said. The specifics, of where and when and how."

Gar chalks up an invisible "one" for now. Actually made John almost drink water. He'll give the vile Englishman actual booze when the ritual succeeds, and no sooner, and it does NOT sound like a good ritual to him.

"Yeah, John, your timing and command of detail is as precise as ever. I assume I'm the one takes the collar off the Cait? What to take it off with? Iron, a Brightblade, my own claws? And who's in the way? And how hard is he going to be fighting back? Also, timing on the 'dead' bit… how long do we have? In USEFUL units please."

"If it is all the same to you…" Raven begins, listening to the explaination of tonights dinner entertainment, "I believe I will take a rain check. I do not drink and you do not strike me as a good role model." To John, all while watching Keith's reaction to the plan. In a way she seems understanding, a strange sort of feeling that comes off of her. Like she has been in the exact same position, if for completely different reasons. On the other hand, she still seems indifferent.

It's really touch and go.

On her forehead the Chakra flashes a bright red and then settles to a dull pulsing crimson beneath the dark hood she's now pulled up over her hair. "I doubt that this is as easy as it is described." ''That'' is the measure of Raven's understanding of easy? Looking around steadily, measuring the shadows on the wall like a teller reading cards.

"Corking hell, how should I know?" Constantine asks Gar, turning a withering gaze onto him. "You think this is an exact science, that there's a, a," he gestures vaguely, "manual laying around for this? Get the daggers! Get the collar! Stab 'em in the heart and see what happens! Blimey, people think I'm a bloody repository of magical knowledge."

"Me, I'm gonna be busy out 'ere," Constantine says to the crowd, gesturing around them. "Going to turn this fruit flat into a killing field. Circle Ourobourous is on their way right now, and we don't have time. So you," he says, looking at Keith with a wagging finger, "tighten up your knickers, get your danglies in order, and head on in there. And if you can't get the Cait under control, I'm going to toss that mirror into the darkest part of my cupboards in the House, and you'll be stuck in there for an eternity, or until I get around to finding someone to help you, whichever comes first."

"There's no need to be like that, dude," Booster tells Constantine, mildly. "I know a lot about temporal mechanics. I'm from the future." The mildness vanishes, though, when the Cait is revealed in its mirror-trap. Booster's eyes narrow behind his visor, and when the thing slams against the glass, he very quietly says, "Yeah. That's what you get." Then, in a louder conversational tone, he says, "Keith, I know this is gonna be unavoidably awkward. But I think it'll be slightly less awkward if you elect people to do the stabbing, than have people volunteer to stab you."

Keith bites down on his tongue, trying to think. Yeah, choose the people who would end up leaving him deader than Disco if the ritual went wrong. How could he ask that?

He does, however, notice Booster's expression. There is something he can ask right away.

"Booster… what do you say you get over into that mirror and teach the cat a lesson for… that thing with your mother? That ring of yours may be just the thing to get that collar off him. And then you can scruff him."

Even though the Cait was technically a part of him, he has no compunctions in asking the man that. He's lost a mother, too, he knows what his reaction would be if they did what the Cait did to Booster.

Slowly standing up, pushing the chair back, the redhead looks at the blades. "Not exactly a win-win situation, is it? I've got to choose two people who might end up leaving me dead on the slab if things go wrong. No pressure." Mutter.

Bunker looks to his friend, and puts one of the blades back from examining it. "Just say the word…"

Gar quirks an eyebrow at John. Contained in that eyebrow quirk, for any wandering telepath (and given how hard Gar is thinking it, possibly some at a distance, behind shields) is the unspoken You smarmy little know-it-all, this is what always happens, you make a big noise like you know what you're doing and it's everyone else who has to make the sacrifices and suffer your arrogance.

This is also a bit unfair. John allegedly dies, suffers, or gets stomped almost a third of the time, which is honestly pretty good for a wizard who hasn't got an enormous collection of debt-to-demons, or a Big Title like Dr. Strange.

"Please feel free to kill blackberries, and try not to murder the ancient tree," Gar says. He looks at Keith. "I'm going to go after the collar. I … don't know if I can stab him. It'd be like stabbing you."

He takes an iron kukri and glares at John. "If I go in there, and I have to come back the long way, I'm gonna spend part of that trip infesting you. Just so you know."

Thankfully Raven is there to take some of the weight off of Keith's back. She turns away from her shadow watching and walks over to the table where the glass swords are laid out. Without invitation or flinching, she takes one up and lays it on her shoulder. "I am an obvious choice." She points out.

Her eyes close and a second version of her, this one comprised entirely of purple shadowy energy, slips side ways from her cloak to take the other blade in it's whirling shadowy hand. "Aside from the snarky british magic entertainer, I am the least likely to let the possibility of your death affect their decision to thrust the blade." She may be broken up about it, maybe… but would she still stab him knowing it might be the final goodbye?

The look in her eyes says yes.

"I will create a field around Constantine when the Druids arrive. I will remain here to hold them off while he completes the ritual."

"Ooooooh," Constantine croons in a high pitched voice. "Twinsies, eh? I like that trick," he says with a rakish grin, leaning back a bit and gesturing at Raven and her alter-ego with a flippant gesture. "You sure about that pint of lager, love?"

Constantine turns back to the group, then fishes in his pockets and starts producing an endless quantity of small candles, strings, and even a portable airbrush. "Right you lot, off you go," Constantine says, walking up to the nearest wall and promptly tagging it with the spray paint as he starts creating a rune on the bare metal face. "You're going to see a light burning in the sky," he explains. "When that light starts to dim, you're out of time. I don't know how long that will be relative, in there, it might be… oh, five minutes, or thirty minutes," he says, wrinkling his nose a bit carelessly. "Either way, when the light goes out, the portal's snuffed and the Cait stays in there for eternity. Don't know what'll happen to anyone still inside, so, y'know, if you can't get it done, best to cut your losses and run. Everyone understand?"

And with that, Constantine gets about the business of preparing the Tower for the attack by the Circle.

Booster rubs his chin. "Yeah it would be pretty unfair to ask Gar to stab either of you." After another moment of thought, he cheerfully adds, "I'll totally stab him, though, if you need me to do that. Otherwise I'll just beat him senseless and hold him down while Gar gets that collar off. You know…" He cracks his knuckles and smiles in a placid way. "Anything to be helpful."

Keith nods slowly and looks at Gar and Booster. "Alright… do what you have to do. But if you start running out of time- leave him in there." He walks up to Gar, fists clenched for a little. He had expected maybe a little time to talk, just in case… but of course, that wasn't the way things worked out usually.

"If this goes south… for any reason," Keith says very quietly as he gives Gar a tight hug. He taptaps the little cheshire cat on Gar's necklace, and gives him a quick kiss.

He steps back, conveniently not looking directly at anyone. "Thank you, Raven… remember, one for the Cait. One for me." His voice is shaky. He looks at Miguel. "… if you want to stab the Cait instead of Raven, you can always ask. I am sure she would rather not suffer the indignities of Constantine's 'twinsies' remarks when he comes back."

Because, seriously, this was a gruesome ritual they were talking about here, and he goes and hits on Raven?

Bunker's eyes widen behins his cowl and he nods. "Ah, well.. I'll remember that," he says with a sudden smile. "I am sure she would not."

Her Goth Shakes bring all the Peevy old magicians to the yard, apparently.

Raven takes Constantine's overtures in stride, "Yes, quite sure. I am not yet convinced that having a conversation with you at any length would not require a penicillin shot." As deadpan as always, now with a shadowy duplicate beside her, both of them carrying swords.

"I heard the plan, Keith." She assures him quietly, keeping her back to the affection display between him and Gar. Perhaps intentionally or just by pure coincidence. Turning just a little, Raven's soulself duplicate hands Bunker its blade and returns to the woman as easily as it appeared.

After exchanging hugs with Keith, and making the fangirls either squeal or hate, Gar walks up to the mirror. He turns into something that has very long teeth and looks like a manx cat on steroids. Lots of sharp, about shoulder high to Booster.

"Shall we go play with the cat?" the green smilodon says, and pushes his way into the mirror. There may or may not be immediate yowling and thrashing on the other side.

"Ooh," Booster says, at Raven's dig at Constantine. His attention is drawn by Gar, then, and he says to him, "Don't worry. We'll have this done quick… I'll clobber him and you snap off that collar." He follows the sabercat, lightly twisting the golden L* ring on his finger, as if to reassure himself that it is still there. In a thoughtful tone he says, "I wonder if it'll remember me."

There's an audible shudder outside. The earth seems to tremble and quake and then magic surges against John Constantine's defenses. "Titans!" A voice echoes in the courtyard. "Titans! Come forth! Lest I bring your home down around you!" The earth rumbles ominously to accent this.

Previously there had usually been a dozen or so druids involved in any attack. Outside the Titans compound there is just one. With a spear. Not cowled or hooded his shaven head and craggy features are there for all to see.

"I shall not ask again, Titans!"

Constantine blinks and walks to the window, peering down at it, then frowns. "Well, if I know my tropes," Constantine says to Raven, wagging a finger, "that's gotta be some kind of Arch Druid or Nega-druid, or… I don't know, a Dire Druid. With the little," he crooks his fingers near his mouth, "fangs, or whatever."

"I'm going to head down and deal with Johnny Appleseed down there," Constantine tells Raven. "Can you keep these wards up? They're plugged into the ley lines here, so I don't think they're going to break." He hesitates. "Ninety, ninety percent sure."

"Eighty." He vacillates again. "Maybe seventy, but at least- I mean, yeah, at /least/ seventy percent sure."

He walks over to the mysterious magical door and with a gesture, dismisses it from reality, then cracks his neck and moves to a window.

"All right, all right, I'm comin' down!" he yells at the druid. "Stop knocking down the building, orright mate? Five minutes!"

"Oh, fuck, no-" Keith mutters. "We're not going to lose another home." The redhead frowns, looking tense.

The greeting that Gar and Booster receive is not exactly kind. The Cait, imprisoned in Constantine's keepsake, is now fully under the workings of the collar, which seems to shine with a sickly green light. His eyes glow with the same light, and he looks rather emaciated.

He flies towards Booster, not even verbalizing a threat but resorting to a primal growl, claws drawn towards the man from the future.

"He might need backup…" Keith looks to Raven and Bunker. "If either of you want to go and face off with the druids, it's ok. We can't do anything until Gar and Booster come back."

Bunker shakes his head. "From what I've heard, he can handle the leaf-eater out there. I'm not leaving you," he says, hefting the sword.

Raven regards the magical wards with a cut of her eyes in their direction and gives Constantine a curt nod, "I can sustain them." Said rather confidently. As he makes his way towards his magical doorway, then back to the window, she joins him to stare down at the single individual come to interrupt their Keith killing ritual.

"I am certain you can handle it." She says to John and slightly as well to Keith to whom she glances. Her eyes close for a moment and several swirling purple/black portals appear around one of the internal walls of the room where they're gathered. "A portal to each floor. Incase they get inside."

Then she moves over to the wards to make certain they remain intact. "If you need assistance, scream like you are dying." To John.

The fierce attack of the starving elf-Cait on Booster Gold allows Gar to circle behind him and he transforms, immediately, into a greenback mountain gorilla, and grabs for that ferociously flying furball. He tries to wrap him up in a grapple, but there's also that kukri-knife in his left hand, which he slides, ever so carefully so the iron part doesn't touch Sidhe skin, cutting away at the cursed thorn.

"Here, kitty kitty…" Booster calls out as he enters the mirror. When the Cait immediately launches itself at him, Booster says, "Aw, you missed me!" He does not try to dodge, because when he has his force field up it is unlikely he will even get his hair ruffled. He just swings his ring-wearing fist at the Sidhe's face. "Don't make this situation harder than it needs to be, Old Yeller!" Booster's other arm comes up then, grabbing, trying to help hold the Cait in place so Gar can work on that collar.

The druid grins as Constantine makes his exit. He had been floating in a whilwind, now he sets down and begins to walk forward, stopping about twenty feet from Constantine. "Hello there John Constantine. Yes, the winds have whispered your name to us."

Reaching out with his left hand the Arch Druid taps the local ley lines. "The Blood of Orboros bends to our will!" The 'flavor' of the lines shifts. The druid is poisoning them somehow. Souring them. Raven can likely feel it. It's wild and primal and utterly hostile. Even controlling it must be like riding the tiger's tail.

"You seek to imprison the Cait in vain!"

"Well, see, here's the thing." Constantine says, looking at the druid. "You're trying to harness the power of the Cait Sith. I can't let that happen, mate. And I'm not going toe to toe with you on a ley line," Constantine adds, watching the druid's focus start to go inwards. "And I'm sure not going to let you knock down these kid's nice house. So I mean, we can stand here and chuck magic missiles at one another all day," Constantine says in a meaningless babble. "You know, have a fantastic showdow of our magical abilities, have a moment of realization, maybe I accidentally step on a ley line and then we have a battle of wills, but I am just /so/ lazy," Constantine says in that hypnotic voice of the master magician- nothing magical there, all in the voice and manipulation of psychology.

And then a steel-framed gun materializes into Constantine's hands as fast as he makes his cigarettes appear, a feat of sleight of hand, and without even bothering to draw a bead, he fires four times, aiming at the Druid's chest and walking the rounds up until his sights dance on the Druid's forehead.

"And I'm something of a progressive," he adds, making an almost apologetic look from around the barrel of the gun.

Even Keith feels the corruption- his soul has been touched by magic, and so he remains always sensitive to it. He looks at Raven with concern, because she is holding the pattern.

Inside the keepsake, the Cait fights fiercely- but it is to no avail. Once that ring touches the Cait's face, it is as if fire itself had been pressed to his skin. He yowls and tries to claw at Booster in vain due to his forcefield- he is too maddened by the collar to even use that Chaos Wave that, when he was in control of his will, he used to take Booster down.

Like Martha Stewart would have said- it is a good thing. Gar's knife makes quick progress- the spell was obviously cast so that the collar of thorns would re-knot itself when damaged… but the touch of that metal is the bane of many magics. The collar slowly begins to fall apart, and when it is completely destroyed, the Cait falls to the ground, all will to fight replaced by some exhaustion.

And the reason for the exhaustion should be evident now- there are holes all around his neck from the collar. A few of them still glow with a faint, sickly aura of green. All of them are bleeding.

It is very hard to get a Fae to bleed, which only highlights the sheer awfulness behind this particular enchantment.

Bunker watches the battle in the mirror tensely, hefting the sword as they finally pry the collar off the Cait. He looks to Keith and puts the sword to his heart, ready to duplicate the thrust that must come on the other side of the mirror at the same time. "Close your eyes if you want to, bud…" he says.

No lower than seventy percent, he said.

Raven can feel the change in the ley line as soon as it starts to infect the source of the wards power and just as suddenly she's leaving the sword in the hand of another duplicate of herself so that her she's free to lay both hands upon the pulsating line of power and close her eyes against the incantation she begins to murmur quietly.

So very rarely does she tap into the darkness of her demon born magics. Dealing in those abilities is a tight rope walk at best, but given the severity of the situation, she really does not have a great many options available to her now. Wisps of purple smoke coil up from her hunched form and when she opens her eyes they are glowing a fierce violet with shades of darkened red.

The infectious energy trying to darken the ley line is met with a far greater darkness pressed to Raven's service.

Her voice, when she speaks, sounds hollow. Barely human by any reasonable definition and there's another voice atop it, something far more masculine and demonic, "They are going to bring the Cait here." To Bunker, then she falls silent to continue channeling energy into the defensive wards keeping the infection at bay.

Gar picks up the Cait Sith in one arm. "I've got you now," he says in his gorilla-rough voice. "You're safe again. We're not going to leave you in this cage no matter what happens."

He grabs Booster with the other hand, and walks forward into that lit room on the other side of the glass, and the mirror spits them both out, the exhausted and infected Cait Sidhe and Gar and hopefully Booster along with him. The nasty bits of spiky thorn? Those can stay on the wrong side of the mirror.

"Even though you kind of deserve it," Booster cheerfully adds, to the Cait, after Gar tries to soothe it. "But I figure we're nearly even, now." When the Gar-illa grabs at him, he follows him out of the mirror, and once they are back in the castle he says, "We're home! I hope you didn't do anything cool without us." After a pause, during which he looks around and up, he gestures vaguely with one hand. "Everything feels all… funky."

"Ah… the spell is br-" The Arch Druid jerks back as Constantine shoots him, repeatedly. He looks up shocked as he bleeds and stumbles. "You… cannot…" There's a sudden drain from the ley line and the bullets force their way back out of him as his skin knits back together.

"I AM KORMAK SHEPHARD! POTENT OF THE CIRCLE ORBOROS AND NOW YOU WILL SUFFER THE WRATH OF THE BEAST OF ALL SHAPES!" That magic twists again, as Raven pours her own demonic darkness into it. Only this time it's twisting outward. All around the compound the hills themselves seem to rise.

It may occur to John that the legends are true. Gaints! Storm Giants!

Or, just huge hill golems. One of those.

"Suffer, John Constantine. Suffer and PERISH!" Remember what Gar thought about John getting stomped on? Someone's gonna try now.

Even as they do a glimmering, etherial orb manifests in front of the druid and he calls up to Raven and Bunker. "Do you think the Cait will go back in so easily? Did you think we'd leave his freedom and power to a simple collar? Try and force him back in. See what happens." There's something about that orb. Something very like… the power of a promise.

As the druid speaks the magic shifts, almost seemign to sprout metaphorical thorns that dig at Raven's essence. Rather than deny her darkness, the druid seeks to draw it out, draw out the pain and fury and chaos Raven can unleash. All of it. Right now. It doesn't even matter at whom.

Constantine considers the druid, then shoots him some more more. And reloads, and shoots some more, the enchanted wrought-iron rounds ripping through the air with a whipcrack of a supersonic boom. He reloads and keeps shooting, walking forward and using the bullets to create a shield in front of him, as if driving the druid backwards with the very modern firearm.

"Excuse me, I think I'm going to need this!" Constantine says, reaching up and swiping the orb out of the air. He empties his pistol into the druid, then turns and flees, holding the orb under his arm.

"Raven!" Constantine says, popping out of one of her convenient portals. "Sorry doll, I hope this doesn't ruin our chances for a lager down the road." He moves towards one of the runes he'd painted and scratches it with a knife, shattering the tie into the ley lines. Magical feedback explodes going both ways, both to Raven and to the Arch-druid, and Constantine runs over to Gar, Booster, Keith, and the Cait.

"This is the missing key! You have to do this! Do it now!" Constantine roars over the shattering of the magical runes, shaking Gar. "You've gotta stab him! Make it happen, or the Druid is going to tear this building down and kill all of us!" He slaps the glowing, somehow material orb into Gar's open palm. "You've got to remind the Cait of his promise- well, here's his Promise! Make him hold it!"

Gar is almost… ALMOST… too shocked by John's sudden sensible and straightforward behavior, but he doesn't care. He slams the ball into the Cait Sith's hands and wraps them around it.


And then there is the moment where everything is finally coherent. The memories, the thousands of years, everything comes back to a mind that had been nothing but disarray.

Yes, he was a creature of chaos, but even personified chaos needed a certain structure, a certain method, or else it would simply cease to exist. The Druids had removed that method by sectioning off his being with that collar, so that only the chaos remained and everything else was sequestered away, his freedom in the hands of the disgusting…

The black feline pushes Gar away as he roars with barely-contained rage.

"It has been Promised." A Fae's Promise is as good as his life. What the Druids did, withholding his power to act upon it, has nearly exhausted his being. But not anymore.

Raven's duplicate does not have to do anything, the feline launches himself upon the magical sword, chest-first.

And he is gone in a flash of purple, chaotic light. The soul of the Cait Sidhe sings out inside the blade that Raven is holding, and its crystalline structure glows with an inner purple light.

Keith steps up, and he won't admit to the fact that he looks absolutely petrified.

"Rachel, Miguel… do it now!" He says, as he feels the ground shaking. He takes his shirt off and tosses it away, standing up as straight as he can. His eyes go straight to Gar's and he holds his breath.

How did she not see this coming? Raven realizes entirely too late exactly what the Druid is doing and hasn't enough time to pull her hands away from the ley line before he's had a chance to throw power at her like a fork in an electrical outlet. She was already tip toing the line, far closer than she would have ever dared a few years ago and it is now going to bite them in the collective asses.

The energy around her sucks in like a vacuum and for a brief second there is no sound at all, no light, no anything but the pulsating purple cloud of years worth of pent up emotions waiting like a nuclear bomb inside the dark clad woman, ready to explode. Then something foul and hateful errupts from her mouth, twisting her jaw open painfully wide as she slams one fist down into the ground with enough force to shake the entire upper floor of the castle.

"I AM THE DEMON TRIGON…" Demonically fueled words boiling out of her every pour without the need to actually move her lips. While she remains visible, all around her taking form is a shadowy manifestation of pure evil.

At the call from Constantine, both Raven and the shadow image of her father turn to regard the magician and both reach out a hand to stop him too late as he breaks the ward and sends magical feedback running into every fiber of her being. The feeling that she is about to be torn apart is a very real thing in that moment and it is a far more welcomed sensation than the idea that her father was only seconds from being released.

Her head is thrown back and she howls in pain, then crumples in a black heap to the floor. The shadowy image that was hovering around her howls as well, but its scream is powerful enough to shatter windows and warp reality. Pushing at the walls of the castle until the point they look as if they will buckle, then snap back into place.

The girl barely looks able to hold herself together, much less wield the sword in her hand, but once her fingers close clumsily around it she pushes to her feet. Sweat soaked hair hangs across her brow as she steps towards Vorpal and thrusts the blade forward beside Bunker. Because it's not every day you almost release ultimate evil and get to kill your friend.


Bunker watches Raven, watches the crazy goings-on around him, and has to say: "Cait. If you ever thought you causes more chaos by being outside him than inside, you were an idiot," he says, and almost - almost - flinches back when Raven suddenly turns all Exorcist on him. He steels himself, trusting to his teamates, his new friends, that they Have This. He grips the sword, holding it right over Keith, and he's steady until Raven can get hold of herself and then… SHINK, he drives it home at the same time, and he simply hopes and prays that the crazy old drunk outside actually knows what he was talking about….

Booster Gold is only somewhat aware of what is going on; as he has said, he knows nothing of magic. If everything is getting weird and spooky, then that's probably correct, when magic is involved. Since he is not in charge of stabbing anyone, he stands back and watches, at least until Raven screams and crumples. He flies over to her, but then she is standing up again on her own. He stays close, just in case she pitches over once more.

The power of the ley line surges once more, comepltely in the bullet riddled druid's control. The hill giants stoop ominously over the compound, preparing to smash it to flinders.

And then there's a growl.

Through a large tear in the world steps a wolf. He's small compared to the gaints, merely the size of a very large semi-truck. But power gathers around him and as he throws back his head and howls Constantine can feel the druid's hold on the earth breaking. The sound reverberates around the landscape, carrying power with it far more than simply the noise it makes. The Gaint's reel back, shielding themselves with their arms. They're on the verge of crumbling…

All they need is a push.

"Well then," Constantine says, brushing his hands together. Keith's skewered by swords, Raven's taken herself out of the fight pretty effectively, and no one else is really equipped to take on the massive magical incursion. "Looks like it's up to me, once again," the wizard says with a sigh, looking down at the arrival of Fenris.

Constantine runs towards Raven and with a flicker of a sharp knife, scratches a fair cut along her forearm. "Sorry luv, I need a few drops of blood that isn't mine," Constantine apologizes, grabbing a dripping fistful of blood in a handkerchief. He passes Booster a pressure bandage to use on Raven and he's moving in a heartbeat, running back to the sigil he'd scratched. The wizard uses the bloody handkerchief to re-draw the sigil, connecting it in new ways, then with a triumphant shout slaps his palm into the center of it, yelling something incomprehensible to anyone who doesn't speak the language of the Fae, sending power and will coursing back out along the ley lines, blasting backwards through them like a high-pressure hose bursting back inside the building's pipes. Energy courses, backbuilds, and explodes through the ley lines like a stoppered pipe, shattering the druid's magic and his summonings like fragile glass.

And that push comes from the chaos explosion that surges the moment those blades push into Keith's heart. It is a massive expulsion of reality-rending energy that expands in an ever-widening circle until it disperses. It is pure chaos magic- the tearing down of systems and structures to make way for better ones. Raven's magic may be affected… but it's also going to do a hell of a job on the Druids when it pairs up with the blast that Constantine sends their way.

Funny, Keith never considered himself likely to work in tandem with Constantine.

The redhead closes his eyes the moment the blades go in- to spare Gar and his other friends from the look. Soon it doesn't matter what his intentions are, as his face is twisted in a mask of sheer pain. Pain becomes the entire world, pain that is beyond words, far too much to deal with. If his friends expected some miracle, however, they are sure to be disappointed. The swords shater in a shower of purple… but Keith drops to the floor. Gar's ears could probably tell that his heart stopped before he even hit the floor.

To all eyes and senses, the man is dead.

With Keith skewered and her body feeling entirely too heavy, Raven just sort of crumpled once she had preformed her part of the ritual and rolled onto her back to try and catch her breath. Constantine appeared over her at some point and left a bloody line across her forehead, but she cannot feel it for the numbness. Her eyes are sunken into her ashen face and her hair is matted, but she's enough force of will to crane her neck just so that she can look on Keith's body laying a few feet away.

Then violet eyes roll in Gar's direction.

She wishes she were in a condition suitable for comforting him, but she can only watch. "No." She says and tries to push herself up, "No, it does not end like this." Everything that has happened? Everything that is happening now? Her strength is sapped so she falls almost instantly back onto her back, "Remember what I told you, Keith. ''This'' counts as hurting him… Wake. Up.."

There's blood. Of course there's blood. It smells completely wrong and strange, but there it is. Gar wants to close his eyes, but he can't … he's watching, because if this didn't work, then he's going to have to go out there and do terrible, terrible things to that druid, and make John drink Perrier water or something equally horrible and wholesome, and then he'll have to go mythological to find something that can tear the essence out of that futtering druid, if he survived the mystical kick in the nards that he was just given.

The chaos wave actually affected Gar as well. He's … blond. His skin isn't green. Other than that he looks much the same, well, maybe a bit less hairy. But that doesn't last. He turns red, grows hair, turns green again. He doesn't notice any of it. He's watching Keith, listening for that heartbeat… If it doesn't start up… He moves over, on automatic, ready to start rescue breathing…

"Dude," Booster says at Constantine in a most reproachful way over his actions. He is crouching by Raven, then, pressing the bandage to her wound, quietly telling her, "Lay still for now, you…" He hesitates. Booster is not one to tell a woman she looks completely terrible. "Rest," he suggests, as kindly as he can manage. Staying with Raven, he looks up and sees Keith just laying there, then glances up at Gar. "How long … is it supposed to take?"

Fenris' howl continues to echo, almost resonate with the very stones, and then the dual blasts of power cause the constructs about the Titan's compound to collapse into heaps of stone and earth. The feedback utterly consumes the Arch Druid. Or… that's what the Titans can tell themselves. It's possible if anyone were to look that a certain black wolf may have dispatched the man, though if so it was quick and efficient.

"Sod off, mate," Constantine says, tiredly. To whom he speaks is kind of unclear. He pats the sigil again, sending a message to Fenris, and walks over towards the dead Keith, a look of blank exhaustion on his face. He gathers his trenchcoat up and kneels down next to the man, considering him, and then with the back of his hand, thoroughly swats Keith right in the nuts.

"Oye! Nutter! Wake up, you lazy git!" Constantine bellows at the man. "I didn't put all this time and effort into developing a corpse, and Lord knows I don't need to have a goddamn Cait lurking around my House, shedding on the carpets." He slaps Keith once or twice. "Wake up, mate! Tea's on the kettle and we're going to start a redecorating party in your apartment if you kick off!"

Constantine's swat gets nothing. The man seems really, most sincerely dead… although, if he weren't, he would go ballistic at the thought of Constantine redecorating his apartment.


~We made a promise~
++Promises sometimes are broken++
~Not this one. Especially not to him.~
++I am too weak. I am fading. I did not have the time to recharge… I am too weak for us to merge…++
~You are fading? So was I, and I didn't give up~
++What persistent creatures you are++
~You are the one who started this whole mess. You are the one who will end it. We did not go through what we went through to end in nothingness! Take me back to Gar. Please. Take me back.~
++I am spe-++
~But I am not.~

In the space between their two souls, the Cait can perceive it: the glowing, scintillating remnants of Faerie's essence. While he had been far too much under the Circle's control to take in the essence, Keith's severed soul had absorbed enough. And enough of that was still there.

And then they both hear Raven's voice.

~This counts as hurting him~
++Wake up++


The body is consumed in a flash of purple light. Chaos magic is at work once again. This time it is a brief and very specific spell- as Keith and the Cait Sidhe merge into one soul in a white-hot moment, seamlessly, the body ritself reconstitutes in the blink of an eye.

Vorpal opens his eyes. He's wearing his uniform- the red and black one with the Cheshire smile across his fortunately non-perforated chest. He is surrounded by tiny shards of glass, some of them have gotten into his purple fur. Man, that's going to take hours to get out.

And, inside, he is whole once more. There is Keith's voice, the Cait's voice, and then there's him— all where they should be.

He does look completely disoriented for a few seconds, though, before he finally speaks and slowly pushes himself to a reclining position with his elbows. "Did… did it work?" His eyes move from Gar to Raven to Miguel and back to Gar again, and they stay there. They are not dull green anymore but bright emerald, and maybe a little more damp than they usually would be.

Raven lays her head back down when Booster crouches beside her and offers him only a curt, brief nod of exaustion. She's trying to stay conscious if only to make sure Gar is alright. She knows what he'll do if the worst happens. Inwardly she's hoping that Keith's eyes open, she will never ever say it out loud, and it would be next to impossible to read it on her expression even if she weren't half conscious at the moment.

Then his body vanishes and recombines and she lets out a breath. She almost grins, almost puts on an jovial expression, until he asks 'did it work'… Thank you.

"You are an idiot." She tells him, then lays her head down and closes her eyes. 'Did it work'. I just stabbed you in the heart and you're alive enough to ask that question. If she could roll her eyes, she would so be rolling her eyes.

"John, if he doesn't drop an anvil on you, I will," Gar says through his teeth, which are growing sharper. "Go. Kitchen. Third cabinet above the sink from the left."

That's where the bottle of scotch is waiting. Next to the bottle of thunderbird. John can take the one he wants. Or both, if he wants a mixed drink.

"It worked. Your fur is full of elf-glass, we might have to shave you. Or do something with rubber cement. But it'll be OK. You're alive."

Booster looks mildly taken aback when Constantine indulges in some corpse smacking. "Ah, percussive maintenance," he remarks, with a nod, when it apparently works. He stays by Raven, however, because Vorpal is clearly in much better shape than she is. "Welcome back… it sounded like things were getting loud outside. Also, do you guys have a medbay here or…" His eyes move behind his visor, taking in the castle-like building. "A… I don't know, a leechwife?"

Outside Fenris moves away from the compound and the Titans. A way tears open and he limps slowly into it before it closes shut behind him and is gone without a trace.

"Down, kitty, before I get out the spray bottle," Constantine says wearily. He stops near Raven and peers down at her. "You ok, luv?" he says, looking exhasted and concerned. "Sorry about the nick. Hope this hasn't burned any bridges, love to work with you again," he says, before vanishing into the kitchen. He emerges a few seconds later with both bottles in hand, moves to the little closet, and kicks the doorframe twice. "Oye! It's me, sweet'art, open up!" he shouts. The door to his mansion shimmers into existence and Constantine bumps the door open with his hip. "So long, boys and girls. Been wild," he declares.

"Oye! Whistle up that dog Fenris, I wanna buy that lad a drink," he shouts into the void, before the door slams shut behind him and simply vanishes.

"… I guess I am an idiot." Vorpal smirks a little, and watches Constantine make his exit. He slowly gets to his feet, not without groaning as his body feels like he ran a full marathon while fighting ninjas along the way.
"I'm sorry… for everything." He looks contrite, tail between his legs, ears lowered and all. He looks from Booster, to Miguel, to Gar. He'd look at Raven, but she looks like she needs the nap. To Gar, he says quietly, "Think you can fogive me?"

He also points Booster to the infirmary by letting him know about the concealed elevator. "The base down there has one… is… is she going to be ok?"

Gar has one of those super-thin combs one uses to remove fleas. He grabs Vorpal … carefully, by a minimally shardy part … and says, "Not your fault. Let's get rid of this broken glass. Start on the parts you can see, like this, and I'll make some of that energy-boosting tea for you and Raven."

All is well in the world. Well, until Gar goes outside and finds that Fenris marked one of the old-growth pine trees and it's dying now. Or something like that.

"Booster, you want some tea? There's a first-aid kit in the kitchen under the sink next to the fire extinguisher, marked with a red cross."

Raven is out.

Probably having some really horrible dreams too by the way she twitches every so often.

"Uh… probably," Booster hazards, in response to Vorpal's question regarding Raven. "I mean, I do play a doctor on TV, but my actual medical knowledge is pretty limited." He peers after Constantine as the man makes his exit, and elects to refrain from comment for now. He gently scoops Raven up so he can take her to the infirmary.

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