Zed scooted her chair closer to John’s. “This is nice,” she said with a grin, the dim lights of the bar reflecting in her dark eyes, “You know, having friends, being able to talk about what we do.” She cocked her head at John. “It’s new. Different. But I like it.”
“I’m glad you do, love,” John said sincerely, “With all you’ve been through, you deserve a little happiness now and again.” Zed beamed, and John added, “But, technically, our work here is done now. And we’ve still got the Rising Darkness to deal with.”
“We can help with that,” Dean spoke up from where he’d been listening across the table. “Sammy and I don’t have any more cases at the moment, and this Rising Darkness seems pretty serious. We’d be happy to help you out with it. You can’t say we’re not experienced.”
John tilted his head towards the Winchester brothers in acknowledgement. “Right you are, lads. Can’t say a little help would hurt. I was planning on leaving tomorrow.”
“We’ll meet you,” Sam grinned, “Say, breakfast at the diner next door at about eight, then we’ll get on the road?”
“Sounds great,” Zed glowed, “John, this is what I mean! More people, more friends, it’s great!”
John gave her a smile, then glanced over at Chas. It’s not easy for me to trust people that quickly, John thought, but they’re my godchildren… Chas noticed his glance, and leaned forward to whisper softly in his ear. “I’m proud of you, John,” he said, and John could feel an uncharacteristic blush sweep across his face. After a beat, Chas added, “And I love you.”
John twisted in his seat to give Chas a quick chaste kiss on the lips. “I love you, too,” he murmured softly. “And I always will.”
“Crowley,” Sam nodded in response. The summoning spell had gone off without a hitch, and Crowley was now standing in the woods behind Constantine’s millhouse with Sam, Dean, and John.
Crowley cocked his head, seemingly surprised to see John. “What do you want from me this time? And why on earth are you boys working with John bloody Constantine, of all people?”
“Hullo, Crowley,” John grinned, “We just wanted some information, is all. We’d like to get into the pit, and something tells me you can help us with that, mate.”
Crowley laughed. “The pit? You mean Lucifer’s pit? Why would you want to get in there? And what makes you think I could help you?”
Dean growled, “Because we can make you help us.”
Crowley held up his hands in surrender. “Calm down, squirrel. Anyway, I can’t help you with this one, much as I’d love to. Lucifer’s no longer in the pit.”
John spread his hands in exasperation. “Then why isn’t he in power again, taking care of this Rising Darkness issue?” His voice rose with frustration.
“Couldn’t tell ya,” Crowley shrugged, “He’s abandoned Hell altogether. Seems he’s gone on a little vacation.”
“Where’s he gone?” Sam demanded.
“Where all the vacationers go,” Crowley rolled his eyes. “From what I hear, he’s partying it up in Los Angeles with his right-hand demon.” He frowned at them. “Why are you boys so interested, anyway?”
John waved a hand at him in dismissal. “We don’t need you anymore, mate, you can go now.”
“Wait,” Sam suddenly stepped forward, “How the hell did he get out of the pit, anyway?”
“Hell if I know,” Crowley cried, “It was probably Mazikeen who broke him out, the sneaky little demon. From what my sources told me, she’s the one who’s with him now.”
Dean sighed. “So, what, we go to LA to find Lucifer and his right-hand demon?”
John grinned at that. “Sounds like a plan. I haven’t been to the ol’ City of Angels in a dog’s age; this oughta be fun.”
“Fun,” Sam shook his head. “Yeah, that’s the word.”
“You want to go on a road trip to LA on a search for Lucifer―the actual Lord of Hell, Lucifer―who might possibly be somewhere in that city with a demon sidekick, based on information given to you by the new Lord of Hell?” Chas lifted an eyebrow in John’s direction.
John pulled on his trenchcoat and turned to grin at Chas. “That about sums it up. But don’t worry about his demon sidekick―if Crowley was telling the truth, and it really is Mazikeen, I think we’re in luck.”
“In luck?” Chas frowned. “Because he has a demon with him?”
“No,” John rolled his eyes. “Because I’ve met this Maze, and may have possibly also slept with her a few times, and therefore am currently on her good side.”
Chas’s frown deepened. “You slept with a demon,” he repeated, sounding incredibly displeased, as if that was the stupidest thing John had ever done.
John inwardly snorted. I’ve done much stupider, he decided not to say aloud. “Ah, don’t get jealous, love,” he crooned instead, abandoning his packing to slink over to where Chas was sitting on the bed. “It was a long time ago, and it was purely physical. Besides,” he straddled Chas in one smooth motion, placing his hands at the back of Chas’s neck and pulling him in to whisper in his ear, “I love you.”
With a snort, Chas gripped John around the waist and turned to drop him onto the bed. John felt a chuckle rise in his chest as Chas leaned over John to kiss him, which the magician returned enthusiastically. The blond raked his fingers through Chas’s hair, pulling him in for a deeper kiss while Chas’s hands ran down his sides to grip him around the waist. John started to let out soft moans at Chas’s touch, which the brunet swallowed up before they could spill out. They broke apart for a moment to catch their breaths. With a sultry gaze in his eye and a devilish smirk on his face, John murmured softly, “So you’re driving, right?”
Chas dropped his head against John’s shoulder. “You’re impossible,” he groaned, his voice muffled by fabric.
“Come here,” John laughed, pulling Chas back up for another kiss, hooking a leg over the brunet’s back to pull their bodies closer together.
A soft knock at the door frame interrupted them, and they broke apart to see Zed standing there, looking mildly amused. “Did you finish packing yet?” she smirked, “You’re holding us up.”
John frowned at her. “I’m almost finished, love,” he offered, even though all he’d packed was a few changes of clothes and some magical artifacts. Chas made as if he was about to move away, but John tightened his hold on him before he could run.
Zed shook her head like she knew John was lying, but only gave a sigh in response and turned to walk away. “The Winchesters are waiting,” she called over her shoulder, “Shall I tell them that you’ll be out as soon as you’re done making out?”
“Sure, yeah,” John waved her off, and she left with a snort of laughter.
“John,” Chas shook his head. “We do have to leave soon.”
“They can wait a few minutes,” John breathed, stretching up to capture Chas’s mouth once more.
The brunet pulled away. “Seriously,” Chas said, but he was smiling. “Don’t worry, I’m sure we’ll have plenty of opportunities later. After all, it is a road trip.”
“Indeed it is,” John sighed, letting Chas get up before hopping off the bed himself to grab his half-filled magic bag. “Well then, I’m off to pack.” Bidding an amused-looking Chas goodbye with one last kiss, John made his way around the millhouse, picking up vaguely important-looking things and dropping them into his bag. He grabbed a few protection pendants, a flask of hellhound blood, an eagle feather blessed by a Mexican priest, a couple ceremonial bowls, and a bottle of gin. Never know what you might need, John mused, inwardly laughing.
He glanced around, looking for anything else he might need, and caught sight of Sam leaning against the doorframe. The taller Winchester brother gestured towards John’s bag. “You really need all that stuff?” he asked, disbelief in his tone.
John shrugged. “Might, might not, who knows,” he said in response.
“What is that?” Sam nodded to the dagger than John had just added to his bag.
“Just a little blade forged from volcanic rock, quenched with holy oil, and blessed by an archangel,” John smirked. “Nifty little bugger, that one.”
Sam’s eyes widened, and he shook his head. “Anyway, Dean’s getting antsy,” he sighed, glancing back towards the front of the millhouse as if the older Winchester brother was going to smash through the front door at any second and scream at them to ‘Hurry the hell up!’
“That’s the last of it, mate,” John closed his bag with an air of finality, then yelled, “Chas, hurry it up, mate, we don’t got all day here!”
Chas immediately appeared, carrying two bags and an annoyed expression. “I would’ve finished packing sooner if you hadn’t distracted me,” he huffed as he walked past John to the front door. John met Sam’s questioning glance, then gave an innocent shrug. Sam rolled his eyes, and they both followed Chas out to their waiting cars.
Dean and Zed were impatiently waiting, practically bouncing up and down while Chas finished loading his cab and Sam double-checked the Impala’s trunk. “All set?” Sam asked John, who looked at Chas before giving Sam a grin and a thumbs up.
“Can I ride with you two this time?” Zed practically begged the Winchesters. “I can’t spend another car ride inhaling all of John’s cigarette smoke.”
Ignoring John’s indignant ‘Oi!’, Dean chuckled and gestured to his car. “Sure, hop in.” Then he looked at John and Chas. “So, I’m thinking we’ll drive the whole day, and if we need to rest for the night we’ll call each other and find a town to stay in. It’d be better if we didn’t get separated.”
“Agreed,” John nodded, trying to match Dean’s seriousness.
Zed pointed at him accusingly. “That means if your phone rings, John, answer it. Chas, make sure he answers his phone if it goes off.”
“I’m not incompetent,” John scoffed, at the same time Chas said wearily, “I’ll keep an eye on it for him.” John just rolled his eyes, and got into the cab with an indignant huff.
Sam smiled, then stretched before getting into the Impala. “Let’s get going. We’ve got a long trip ahead of us.”