Cleaning Up The House

Summary:
January 7, 2015: Zee visits John in the House of Mystery to find out more about who attacked them on NYE

House of Mystery

Aside from the impossibility of how one enters the place, the House of Mystery is, at first glance, a richly-appointed Victorian era mansion. A great marble statue of a robed man holding an open book and a staff resides between the grand staircases in the great entryway. To the right of the entryway are open doors leading to a sitting area-slash-lounge, furnished with well-worn leather chairs facing a roaring, cheery fireplace. There's even a bowl of candy on the coffeetable, along with a few books. The study furthur on looks like an occult shop collided with an antique laboratory and exploded- crystals, copper wire, books, bunsen flames, titraters, and all manner of books and equipment scattered all over the place. A few scorch marks on the ceiling denote either unexpected failures or successes.

Beyond these three rooms are hallways that seem to go on forever, and doorways to all kinds of unexpected rooms and nooks and crannies. Thorough exploration yields only the knowledge that Euclidean geometry no longer applies in this space, and that the House seems to have a playfully sinister mind of its own, moving rooms and hallways without warning. This is clearly not a place to go wandering unaccompanied.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


Constantine's parlor is a bit of a mess. Grimoires, iron rods, blessed icons, books, pictures, diagrams, they're scattered over the chairs and overflowing coffee table like a library of the weird got upturned in there. Cigarette between his lips, Constantine is trying to re-establish some order, shuffling papers and putting books in stacks to be moved back into his workspace. A fairly generous glass full of scotch is sitting on one of the only cleared spaces, which amounts to some papers shoved aside to accomodate a single coaster on an end table. It looks like he's been hard at work researching something, and the entire room smells vaguely like a dog has been loitering on the leather sofa.

***

Zatanna has been researching the man who attacked the pub on New Years Even and has some information to share with Constantine, in the hopes he can help her identify who it really is. She's decided to pay him a visit, and if he isn't home leave the information for him to review.

The young magician, wearing her customary sweater dress, leggings and knee high boots, teleports to outside the House of Mystery and knocks on the door.

Visiting John Constantine is always interesting.

***

John opens the door with his trademark dishevelled look- cigarette in his mouth, scotch in one hand, tie hanging loosely around his neck. His expression brightens immediately once he sees Zatanna, and he steps back from the door, opening it wider to invite her in. "Well, you're a sight for sore eyes luv," Constantine says, setting aside the sawed off shotgun he'd been holding in his other hand. "Come on in. Can I get you a spot of something to drink? I know that fake ID must be getting a bit worn out," he says with a sly grin, scratching the three-day stubble under his high cheekbones.

***

Zatanna, with a folder in hand smiles at Johns compliment and steps inside, looking around at the disarray and wrinkling her nose slightly at the smell.

Casting John a cheeky grin, the teen magi smirks a little "My fake ID never gets worn out… I just create a new one when it does" the smirk morphs to a smile and Zee nods "but yes please, I would love something to drink…"

Her gaze turns back the room "What are you doing in here… looks like a bombs gone off."

***

"Mack Linden," John explains, holding two books aloft. "Poor gel is dealing with a major demon issue and a bloody wicked magical artifact over which she has no control. I've been giving her lessons. Just enough so she can defend herself in a pinch against a faerie or a parademon. Not much use if one of their big hitters shows up," he admits, moving to his liquor cabinet and walking into it. Should Zatanna peek in, she'd see that he's wandering down a walk-in hallway that doesn't have an end in sight. He emerges with a bottle of scotch covered in dust and sets about opening it up. "Scotch all right, I assume?"

***

Nodding, Zee speaks brightly "Oh Mack, yes. Did the wards on the boat work?" the young magician recalls the blonde woman she met here a few weeks ago. "Oh well, lessons are like that. I remember the mess I used to create" with an airy wave of her hand, the young magician smirks again "Still do when I'm learning something new."

The bottle of scotch is eyed warily but Zatanna grins at John anyway "A little… not a lot, I've work to do this afternoon."

***

"That's the beauty of a magical house, luv," John grins at Zatanna. "We can sit and drink until we're blacked out drunk, and when you come to, I can pop you back in your dressing room five minutes after you left," he points out.

He finds a glass and clears off some stuff on the sofa, then pours Zatanna a few ounces and passes her the glass, then offers to clink his drink against hers. "Cheers," he smiles at the younger magician.

***

"I don't plan on drinking till I'm blacked out drunk" Zee takes the glass offered and clinks it back as she sits in the cleared space. "Cheers."

Placing the folder on her knees, Zee sips the whiskey slowly, looking at John thoughtfully. "Remember the other day, I mentioned the trouble I had at that bar? I've documented everything I can remember and was hoping to go over it with you."

***

"All right, lay on," John says, nodding at Zatanna as they both sit to talk. He rests his arm across the back of the sofa and crosses an ankle over his knee, pivoting so he's mostly facing her. His face assumes a more serious, studious expression, focusing on her face as she readies herself to outline her troubles for him.

***

Zee sits up straight, puts her glass down somewhere stable, and opens the folder she has. Zee spends a few moments recapping the night from the costume that wasn't quite right, the woman who stopped breathing, the bouncer who collapsed right up to where ''Daredevil'' kissed her and the bomb went off.

"It's what happened after that's interesting." Zee finds her glass and takes a sip as she reads her notes "The billy club he carried became a pole axe with a forked blade and" she frowns "he spoke in a gravelly voice. It was nearly demonic." Shrugging she looks apologetically at John "I just wanted him out of the bar and to stop harming the patrons and that's all I really got from it all."

***

John scoots closer so he can look at the folder in Zatanna's hands, furrows appearing between his eyebrows. "Should have shot him a few times," John says absently, a bit of the more familiar know-it-all showing through.

"Okay, so a few factors happening here," he says pensively. "New Year's Eve is a night of power- not as much as the solstice, but it's when a lot of creatures that live in transition between worlds peek out. Half of the human race is waving in the New Year, and that's enough turbulence in the psychic world to let some things wake up and slip through." He sips his scotch and contemplates the folder, lips working soundlessly as he works through a few theories mulling around in his head.

***

At Johns shooting comment, Zee rolls her eyes but remains quiet, sipping her scotch as she lets him work through it. There's a lot she /doesn't/ know about the evening and she knows the information provided is sketchy at best.

***

John drops his arm from behind Zee where it was resting on the sofa and reaches for the notes, turning them so he can read the account a bit better, his elbow bumping hers with each turn of the page. Finally, he shakes his head and leans back, rubbing the stubble on his chin. "I'm sorry, luv," he says, finally. "It's just too little to go on. Anyone who's seen Daredevil who can shapeshift wouldn't have mucked up the costume so badly. You're right that the forked axe is a bit anomalous, but that sounds like it was glamoured for some reason," he says. "With all the people you had there, you might have run the bugger off before he could pick it up again. Do you still have it?"

***

Zee shifts slightly so John has room to turn the pages in the folder. "No, he held onto it. But… he did enter a Way that Fenris had opened." Zee smirks again a little wider than before "Fenris was pretty awesome, taunted the guy to follow him through. But maybe I should check to see what Fenris sensed on his side."

Considering Johns words, Zee frowns "This guy didn't shape shift, he 'dressed up' as Daredevil. That's what else was off… the costume was made of leather." Sipping the scotch slowly, Zee looks back to John "He seemed to know me, John. I think he was surprised I was there though."

***

"Not bad of the Old Wolf," John says with grudging admiration. That's usually his tone when he has to compliment anyone, though. "If he was just some bloke, I'd say he was surprised to see a celebrity and sneaked a kiss for the giggles. But someone with glamoured weapons who is willing to tangle with Fenris?" He shakes his head, sipping more scotch and leaning his elbows on his knees, staring pensively at the fireplace. "I think he's someone more from /our/ side of the table, and a tricksy opportunist. That should narrow it down a bit."

***

"That's what I was thinking. He seemed pretty strong, physically too" Zee muses "and really, once Fenris challenged him… he went straight for Fenris and forgot the rest of us" Drinking her own scotch slowly, watching John, the young magician adds "He recognised me well before he kissed me… like across the room. I've no idea who it could be though."

***

"You're rather distinctive, luv," John observes dryly of the raven-haired magician, downing more of his scotch. "New Year's Eve, blighters in costume or masquerade… it's a wonder you weren't harassed /more/. Anonymity is a powerful enabler for some people," Constantine says. He taps the notes in her lap. "I really can't make heads or tails of it, though. I'm sorry. It's just too little to go on."

***

Zee smiles brightly at John "I had a wing man and really, I'm not the only 'distinctive' person out there. I might have been harassed more if I wasn't in the middle of a bar fight" she shrugs with a small laugh "I'll never know now though!"

Sobering slightly, Zee nods "Yeah, I thought I'd start though… I'll check in with Fenris and maybe, if I'm lucky, this guys will turn up again."

***

"See what Fenris turns up," John says, chewing his lower lip in contemplation for a few seconds. "I need something a bit more definitive to go on- a sample of his aura, a picture… maybe Fenris caught his scent while he was dancing with this fellow." He gets to his feet, mulling over the situation and looking into his scotch glass as if the answers might materialize in it.

***

Zee brightens at that. "Morien Washington was videoing it… I'll see what he has too." Standing as well, Zee closes her folder and downs the last of her whiskey. "Thanks for your time John, I'll let you know what I turn up with Morien and Fenris but I need to get moving and it looks like" she casts an amused look around the room "you have your work cut out here."

***

"Yeah," John says in dismay, looking around the mess. He downs the rest of the scotch in his glass and sets it aside, reaching for another bundle of papers. "I guess I'll see you next time, Zatanna. Nice of you to stop by. Next time maybe it won't be work related," he ventures with a lopsided grin.

***

Zee gives John a strange look, the comment appears to have caught the young magician off guard before she plasters a big bright smile on her face and offers her hand "Maybe it won't be, who can tell" she replies flippantly "but I do appreciate the assistance this time."


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