WHO Constantine & Watson
WHAT A routine exorcism that becomes unroutine
WARNINGS NPC Death, Creepy Pasta/Religious content/Dark magic
Laura's house didn't give a vibe. Joan figured that from the outside it looked like any other house in the neighbourhood; nice garden, good upkeep, a lovely family home. The warm red of the brick was even a nice tone to it all. It wasn't the sort of place that really gave off an unwelcome feel. Although the second Joan had stepped into the house, she'd felt something.

While Laura had at least taken Joan's advice in sending her kid and husband away, staying with his mother for the time being, she'd refused to leave herself. Apparently she felt she had something to prove, although Joan wasn't sure who to or what for. She'd told Joan about the constant ill feeling in the house, about the odd happenings to decor or temperature changes, the noises and presence.

It was a lot of activity in a house, as far as Joan could tell it was almost too much. John had mentioned portals and that had thrown Joan a little more than usual. Although she was hoping she'd be able to broaden her knowledge of things a little more. She wasn't entirely prepared for just how drastically cold the house was when she'd arrived, ready and waiting for John, while Laura paced in the hallway.

They hadn't entered the house proper, just the main entrance way at the bottom of the stairs. Joan still didn't think it was a good idea for Laura to be there, it had been one thing when John needed to see if there was a possession going on. This was entirely different.

It's with no sense of relief that John finds his way easily into the "active" house. He didn't need a burning frankincense or a lifetime of well logged memories in his head to know a sinking feeling in the pit of his gut. The temperature changes were spotty, very paranormal, very due to the fact that this house was littered with spirits.

He wouldn't call the lack of demonic presence a good thing--anything that bothered a child, or a family at that, was something to be concerned with.

There was only so much he could hope to prepare for, and it's what he did best, armed with a leather bag in his hand of a few helpful artifacts or trinkets for a given situation. What put him off was the sight of the homeowner who had obviously sought to stay for the investigation of her would be haunted house. It turned his usually curled lips further into a frown, regarding Laura with no more than a look as he set the bag against the wall beside Joan, moving past the ladies with no formal greeting as he moved about the room, hand running along the side of the walls.

"I take it by your presence Mrs, that you'd rather ignore a perfectly good warning when you see one?" Constantine felt around for the cold spots and fluctuations in energy before lifting his eyes to meet with Watson's. "I doubt the house is possessed as one entity. Would've tried to throw us out by now. And there's too many separate incidents of activity in varying sorts of..personality."

Joan was still a little iffy on the idea of a portal, while she understood that it was likely, given the paranormal and demonic entities she'd been studying recently, she still wasn't quite ready to accept portals to hell dimensions and the like.

Laura, despite all of Joan's warnings and attempts to get her to just take a step back, was adamant that this thing wasn't running her out of her home. Even if Joan did try to tell her that it was slightly more complex than that. "Laura feels like the entities want to push her out. She's intent of proving they won't." Even Joan's tone told of just how stupid she thought that was.

Joan at least had her protection, the amulet John gave her due to her own stubborn refusal to back off from things she rightly should've run away from. Laura just snorted, standing with her arms crossed in the corner, rigid and uncomfortable. "The attic is the worst, the kitchen and in here too."

It might at least give John an idea of what was going on in the house, but Joan had tried at least. "And there's a … presence in the upstairs bathroom." Really, multiple entities made sense to Joan, considering the scattered activity, and the difference in it all. John confirming that made her feel a little less out of her depth on it all.

"There's a real similarity in pride and stupidity, yeah?" He shot a look quickly from Joan to Laura, shaking his head and shrugging off his coat. Sure, why let a couple of spirits bully you out of your home, he got it. There was just a way of doing things. John wasn't about to tell a dentist he'd make his own fillings because he didn't want the cavities to win.

With a hefty sigh, the mage rolled the sleeves of his shirt up and opened up the bag he'd brought in search for one of his newest tools.

The dreams had brought him but a few of his artifacts and books--would have made things too easy, but the stone runes in his hand should make things go rather quickly seeing as if there was a great deal of activity and the ghosts were being shy...well, John didn't like surprises. "Let's just double check there's no bloody demon in here pretending to be restless spirits before we go trudging in." Nevermind the two white candles he'd set out across from each other on the table. All in good form of the craft, Constantine flicked open his lighter to light them and held out the stones in his hand, the blood in his ears blocking out sound as he reached out with his magic. "Holy Mother of Earth, Mother of the Higher Realm, guide my hand. Reveal the evil that dwelt here."

Dropping the stones upon the table they turned abruptly, facing upwards to reveal the runes in each perspective, one, two, and three lighting up, tugging at the frown on John's face. Nothing demonic and yet nothing singular. "One place at a time, then. The attic is the worst?" And onwards he moved to trudge up the stairs, neither patient nor willing to play the games of what was apparently more than one spirit, conveniently being quiet at the presence of an exorcist.

Joan had to roll her eyes at the comment. She was aware that John had his reservations, yes. But they'd been over it all before by this point. Laura wasn't really sure what to make of things, but just moved out of the way when Joan backed up to let John do his little check for demons.

After Mr Carter, Joan would happily avoid demons if she could.

"Is he always this rude?" Joan almost snorted at that, following John from the main room to the stairs, to head up to the attic. Laura apparently defensive at John's bluntness.

"Believe it or not, this is him polite." Although Joan understood the sentiment behind it. Laura was being foolish, maybe Joan was too, but she was taking necessary precautions, and she did listen when John mentioned the dangers. It was just that she knew now, what was going on around here, what there was in the world. And Joan wasn't the sort to bury her head in the sand for very long either.

The door to the attic was on the second floor, at the end of the hall. Up a short staircase there was another door, this one slightly older looking, a dated door handle on it, sad and decaying wood. The strangest thing was the clawed marks on the outside of the door, just at head height. The attic itself was nothing special. Somewhat organised, for an attic. Space in the centre of the area, boxes stacked up to the side, a large old fashioned chest at the far of the room where there was a window, sealed shut with cobwebs and dust dulling the glass. There was a seamstress' mannequin at the far of the room, facing towards the window, and an old wardrobe just behind that in the very far corner.

It was dull, but not pitch black. But what Joan noticed the most was how uneasy she felt, just standing there, like there was a hard pit in her stomach.

A bloody fucking mannequin, there had to be one. Of all the things that John dealt with and it was the faceless clothing models in a department store that really made him want to turn around and head back down the stairs. The sickness that crawled into his stomach wasn't unnoticed--another parlor trick for those who didn't want the living present in their space.

"The sick you're feeling in your gut is a sign we're not wanted in here," John explained to the ladies behind him, stopping short in the center of the room. The spirit had been here for some time, were in tune with their environment, the energy and it's emotions, how to control that and put it into the others who were here. Namely the owners of the house and in any case it would have been a waste to tell Laura she was part of the problem in which it made the spirits angry. "I'm addressing the entity or entities that dwell in here. Who are you? Tell me your names."

Working with a more serious demon, it was unlikely they'd speak out their name, you never knew, they were an easy bunch to fool. Spirits could be sometimes as well. Whoever was in this attic didn't seem to want to cooperate.

The sinking feeling turned upside down to the point of nearly retching but a man who smoked his weight in smoke a day had a strong stomach. Walls of the attic creaking definitely, the window scratching, what lights had illuminated the way behind them flickered restlessly. Only, there was more activity downstairs. Undoubtedly from their friends. "You're not wanted here any longer, this isn't your house. In case you hadn't noticed yet--you're dead. Time to move on."

There was a small courtesy afforded for the less than knowledgeable ghost. It happened, certainly. A number of poor souls stuck and unknowingly so.

Joan narrowly avoided rolling her eyes and making comment on the ‘no duh' moment of ill feeling. She'd thought that was the spirits trying to hug them. But she didn't need to backtalk with John right now, least of all while Laura was hovering around and this place felt foreboding and dark enough as it was without her and John sniping.

She half wondered if that was a side effect of this place, if her shortness of patience was the house or the entities in it, all she knew was that she was in no mood for it at all, and she usually didn't mind John's moderately obvious but vaguely educational commentary on the beings or things he was doing. If they helped her learn more, right?

"Why is he talking to them?" Laura didn't seem inclined to bite her tongue though, hugging herself around the waist like she was reading to vomit over the floor. Not that Joan blamed her.

"They can hear us, they probably know what John is too." She'd gotten that impression from the general not happy to see him that was the demon incident. "Sometimes, the entities or spirits just need a little nudge, they need to know and acknowledge that they're dead and they'll… settle, I guess? Pass on? Leave?" She knew she was dumbing it down a lot, but that was fine.

"Other times, it's not nearly that simple, and that's where John's expertise comes in." Unfortunately this didn't feel like it was going to be an easy thing to solve.

The presence of spirits could definitely mean a change in emotions. They thrived off of the energy of their plane, which meant manipulating emotions for a much stronger draw of energy was definitely in the cards for them. While John was of the mind not to taunt the ghosts perhaps as much as he had been, he at least wanted to gauge what he was dealing with based on reaction. But the birds in the corner were chirping away and he had to tell them to shut it.

Rumblings from beneath the floorboards of the attic suggested that yes, whomever dwelled here had heard, but still was not making an exit without a fight.

That's when the small bit of patience left and doing things the sweet way, like reminding a spirit they could pass on, was not going to work and Constantine would rely on his magic and the ancient text in his head. Text that usually worked pending on the spirit. "In the name of the Creator, you are hereby commanded to leave this place. By the blood of Man, be not and be gone! Ab insidiis diaboli, libera nos, Domine!" As the words finished, the air physically feel less condensed, seemingly clearing--until new cries began from the bathroom downstairs, the common room they'd just come from, and other dark parts of the house. All protesting a leave in anger and defiance, ready to lash out and stay right where they were, no matter what it took.

The commotion downstairs had Laura and Joan flinching slightly, Joan instantly turning to John as if to be sure that it wasn't some unforeseen backlash or the like. Of course she understood that not every spirit or entity would happily just leave at the first nudging to do so, that would be far too easy.

"We should get you out of here," and Joan knew that John would likely think that Joan should leave too, but that argument would go exactly nowhere and she hoped he realised that rather than waste time with both of them being stubborn. But Laura didn't need to be there, and hopefully she could see that now. "Come on, before you get hurt."

Hopefully whatever spirits were kicking up fuss would just let Laura leave, rather than not. Joan was hoping for an easy way out at the very least. She glanced at John to try and make sure it was okay before starting to lead Laura downstairs, under the assumption that her amulet could help deflect any potential threats from the both of them if she just kept Laura close.

Whatever it was with these women and completely disregarding his wishes on wanting them to stay away from the dangerous might and disfunction that came along with spirits and demons, John would never fully understand. There was a large portion, the majority of the portion, in which he legitimately did not want them hurt. He was something of an asshole but that didn't mean he thought people should be harmed or suffer in any which way they didn't deserve. Least of all people he actually gave half a rat's arse about. And then there was the portion that was utterly pissed on that he wanted them out because they got in his bloody way.

Everyone was so up in arms about what they wanted and what they were comfortable with no one thought to consider that perhaps more bodies only worked against the exorcist. The more the spirits had to work with to harm the less Constantine could focus on the real problem.

He followed after the ladies down the stairs, eyes and ears open for the next sign of what could only mean more spirits. The temperature dipped as they descended and he could feel the energy rising from the bathroom and sitting room of the house. These spirits had been here for some time, knew what they were doing, how to get their energy, and how to use it.

"Sooner rather than later," he echoed Joan's insistence on finally getting Laura out. Maybe he could lock them both out at the same time if he had the chance. But instead kept his attention to the darkness filling the room. "This is going to take a bit more time and you can't sit about." Grabbing the chalk from his pocket, the mage dragged it along the walls of the hallway, working as quickly as he could to mark the house with the sigils to send the ghosts on. Sometimes words didn't always work.

Only problem was, this was taking more time.

Laura hadn't ever been a superstitious woman. She'd been raised Catholic and lapsed in later life, believing sure, but rarely practising. So the notion that spirits had a grasp on her dream home, it took a lot to convince her of. She'd blamed everything reasonable at first; her kids playing pranks, her husband moving things during the night, sleepwalking, the old house, neighbourhood kids, all kinds of things she could think of before she arrived towards the spiritual and ghostly.

Dealing with the constant stress of the goings on had led her to talking to Joan, who dealt with weird shit, her words, all the time these days. Getting some kind of insight on what might be happening hadn't really helped to settle her tension either. Joan just confused her and brought up more questions, things that Laura was determined to put out of her mind after this and move on.

Getting down out of the attic, feeling a little short of breath while trying to navigate the hallway, Laura leaned on the wall, trying to catch her breath for a moment. "Laura, c'mon," Joan took a hold of her elbow, helping her stand off the wall, just as three long, deep scores dragged from one end of the hall to the far end. Laura would've swore she saw blood seeping from the wall but blinking in shock all that was there were the gouges in her wallpaper.

All the doors in the house slammed shut at the same time, the lights flickering a little overhead as Joan and Laura stopped short of the bathroom. "This can't be good." Joan Watson; stater of the obvious.

The house was a beacon of supernatural energy. Now it was easy to see how it was mistaken for possessed. The spirits may not have been a single entity but they thrived off of one source of power and cultivated together. It would be impressive if not giving Constantine a run for his money.

"Keep moving, don't stop in there." They didn't need to get corralled by the damned things, least of all by a few doors and windows.

While John was busy bringing his sigils to life, bright blue mana glowing on the walls, the ghastly spirits had began to manifest where they could, dark figures huddling about the blackest corners of the room, in the bathroom where the girl's had stopped. He noted briefly that Joan was behind him and nearly told her to get moving when John remember she was already down the hall. Blinking, he called further down from where he knew her to be, a brief glint of a figure reflecting from the mirror above the sink. But it wasn't Laura. And the figure behind him hadn't been Joan either.

"Stay out of there! Don't look at them." Doppelgängers, an odd mythology but in a house of negative energy all omens were a bad omen. They were at a last resort as the mage finished making his sigils to send them to the light and on their way.

Joan wasn't sure what they weren't to look at to begin with, focusing on pushing her way down the hallway with Laura to get to the door and hopefully get out for air. While she wasn't entirely enamoured with the idea of leaving John inside with this, she wasn't exactly helpful herself, that much she knew. All of this was getting just a little too intense.

Laura seemed to pause in the hallway, just as John had warned them to not look and Joan was wondering what new insanity was about to claw its way out of the recesses of this pit, just as the bathroom door opened and Laura just stared, stuck, in shock. Joan was too far past the doorframe to see what she'd seen, but Watson had the good sense to not peek.

"Laura, we need to keep going, come on." Grabbing her wrist, Joan tugged her further along, noticing the Laura was just staggering a little behind her. "Are you okay?" Outside, she needed to get---

They were in the entrance way, just shy of the living room doorway, when Laura hit her knees, Joan twisting to try and catch and steady her, just as she noticed the sickly look to Laura's skin, and the claminess, "What's wrong with her?" Laying her out, checking the vitals, Joan found a startlingly slow heartbeat, barely there and thready.

John had barely begun to cast his spell when the spirits reached out to take what they could while they could get it. He thought the girls could have handled themselves past the point of walking a few steps and keeping their eyes on the door and nothing else. But as usual, his humanistic hope was for naught.

"Bollocks," he cursed under his breath, abandoning the sigils and his spell to sprint and meet the collapsing Laura and a confused Joan, trying to resuscitate her. Constantine couldn't focus his spell and watch them at the same time. Talented as he was for knowing this magic in this life for such a short time--he was no veteran as he had been in his dreams just yet. "She saw a bloody Doppelgänger--it's a bad omen, get her out of the house." He didn't have time to sit and explain all the technicalities of this one particular mythology. Yet by the time he was checking for a sign of life from Laura he felt no heartbeat from her neck. Jaw clenching, he pushed her back onto Joan.

"I need to cast them out. Don't look at anything and don't bloody move." The spirits knew they were on their way out. They were grasping at straws, and now Laura's life energy.

This time he stayed by them as he went under the trance of releasing his own arcane energy onto the house, pushing back on the combined energy and emotion soaked into the grounds for years, flowing through the power of the sigils marked on the walls. "Relictum spiritum expurgationis." The pull and backlash was a great one indeed. What light was left in the house flashed out, the panels and objects in the ceiling and walls shuddering in one heavy sigh before dying out..

She wanted to ask what a Doppelgänger was, she wanted to ask how she was meant to help this. But John was there and gone in a flurry of action and movement. It was fairly obvious by now that they were in a bit of trouble, everything coming alive all at once, in a manner of speaking.

There was far too much going on for Joan to keep up with, far too many things happening at once and even keeping track of John was distracting with everything going on. Instead, Joan focused on Laura, the pulse harder to find until Joan realised that she couldn't find it because it wasn't there. She didn't want to distract John, the sooner he got the spirits and whatnot dealt with, the sooner they could get out and get Laura help.

Joan just needed to keep her breathing until then. She was in the middle of CPR when John broke out the latin again and the house plunged into darkness entirely. She wasn't sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing, but it wasn't like she had the wherewithal to stop focusing on Laura right then and her chest compressions anyway.

A flick of a lighter, a small spark of flames, and John brought light back into the house until the power could find it's way again. He hoovered over the two women, making sure to give Joan her space while she tried to get the air back into Laura's lungs. Constantine wasn't a doctor, but he had seen plenty of death in this life and the one he dreamt of to know a corpse when he saw one. All death was it's own special brand of harrowing but they all shared the same lack of light in the eyes. "Joan," he said gently after a few moments, trying to get her attention to stop pressing into a cause that was lost. "She's gone, love."

He waited surprisingly patiently and silent before releasing the blue mana from his hand, bringing it down just above Laura's lips, which under the light of his magic appeared charred, until he let it vanquish again. While he didn't need any proof that this woman was gone, perhaps her friend might have. "Celestial burn marks," he continued, voice even and as gentle as the scouser could manage, trying to explain Laura's chapped lips. "From when a soul departs the body."

There were a number of reasons she could have died after having seen a Doppelgänger. Given that her soul had quite literally been ripped from her own throat and the surge of energy the house had combated while he was trying to send it along, John inferred it used her life energy as a source.

Not to be spoken of unless his friend had asked on it.

Joan didn't want to give up, even as it became more and more clear that there was nothing that would work, that resuscitation wasn't going to be effective, that it was a lost cause. Even as she had to stop, her arms aching from the compressions, and she could feel that punch in the gut working it's way up.


It was just rumbling around her head there. Even as she tried to process what John was saying, taking in the marks around Laura's mouth, the glassy eyes, Joan was still trying to think if there was something else, something that might not mean---

"But she can't---" Okay, Joan knew, reasonably, that she very much could. They weren't dealing with carebears here, this was dangerous and she'd known that going in, even in this house. But she honestly hadn't believe it would be fatal for Laura, that the woman would be struck down by some spirit that wasn't looking to move on. The notion of casualties had been there in Joan's head, the understanding that it might happen, that it was possible. She knew all that.

She just wasn't fully prepared for the reality.

Her breath was catching a little at the back of her throat, and Joan could feel the rising panic and the sting that meant it was settling in, she was processing and accepting. Pushing her hands through her hair, kneeling by Laura's body, Joan force back the crack in her voice, "I told her it would---" Joan had told her it would work out, that it'd be okay, they'd get her house back for her. Instead the house was quiet and Laura was--- Gone.

John sat with Joan while she worked through the stages of grief. Shock was always first, denial, anger would come eventually (that was the bit he usually stewed in and hadn't honestly left), but it would be some time before acceptance. Going through the motions of grief in this life hung with him, and while internally he wanted to yell at her, explain this was why he didn't want anyone else with him, Constantine kept silent.

It wasn't exactly as if he could have refused to remove the spirits unless they stayed outside. It wasn't as if he couldn't have done perhaps a bit more research, insisting that Joan wait a bit more in dealing with both of their full time schedules. He could sit there all night and list everything he could have done differently or even try to place blame elsewhere.

He'd save the wallowing for later. There was only so much silence that he could endure before pushing onto his feet, offering a hand for Joan. "C'mon, we should call her family. And see ourselves out before.." Well, before they could be blamed for Laura's untimely death.

The public and grieving family members didn't usually accept Supernatural means as a reason for the loss of a loved one.