He wasn't used to being in the city, that much was for sure.
Hunts in smaller towns were preferable, or out in the countryside. There were a lot of upsides to having more room for the job. But in cities like this, discretion was near impossible. Granted, some hunters saw it the other way around, but John would never understand it. He had plenty of reasons to steer clear of these places, and he berated himself for setting aside those -entirely rational- preferences in order to complete the job.
Could have left it to another hunter. Could have called for backup... But here he was, utterly alone in this shit hole, wondering where the hell he went wrong in his investigation. He had ended up in some hovel on a bad side of town, weaponless and dumped by the witch he'd been after.
After weeks of tracking leads, trying to find a pattern, he'd ended up here. Well, he wasn't sure how he ended up here particularly, but...in Gotham city. Or outside of it, really. How he ended up here, well, he'd let his target get the best of him. Upon arriving in the city, and actually getting an idea of what the hunt would entail, he'd discovered that the one witch he'd been tracking was actually part of a small coven. A handful of 'accidents' starting on the east coast and increasing in number as they moved north towards New York. Once he was in the city, and realized what he was really up against, it hadn't taken long to find who he was looking for.
And it didn't take long for them to find him.
At least he got the other two before the whole thing went south. Two less to worry about, two less to throw him off. The third was the one that slipped away, and chasing after her was a mistake. He realized that now, finally managing to drag his eyes open. He had a splitting headache, which he was sure started whenever he'd been hit over the head. A cursory scan of the room revealed nothing concerning or extraordinary. If anything, it was either an abandoned house or apartment building, the latter being most likely, given what little bit he could hear from outside.
There was just enough light to make out how bare the room was, which left nothing to conceal his captor, if she was even there. There was the rest of the building to consider, so after taking those few moments to gather his bearings, he pulled himself to his feet. The floor creaked under his boots, loudly, and he winced before reaching for his gun. Then any of the knives he carried.
His hands fell to his sides, empty, so he scanned the room for anything he could use instead. Something sharp or blunt. His key to the car wouldn't work unless it was an absolute emergency, otherwise he'd risk delaying the only means they had of travel. He pushed through the rotted door into the rest of the main floor to keep searching.
He hadn't come this far just to give up or lose, but here he was, empty handed and nothing to show for the weeks of tracking and research. It would probably take months to find this witch again, given the amount of time it took to find her in the first place. Now that she knew he was being hunted, she'd bolt.
Or she could come after John. If she'd gone through the trouble of hauling him around after knocking him out, she probably had a reason.
With a string of curses, he slammed the car door after getting in, firing up the engine to get back to the motel as fast as possible. If she was there, or even planning on going there, he wasn't equipped to fight her off. He wouldn't put his family at risk that way. He could come back later, regroup somewhere and come up with a new strategy. But get somewhere safe first.
John cleared the building as meticulously as possible, and after checking over himself to be safe, made his way back downstairs. With no bite marks or hex bags to speak of, and only his pride and weapons missing, he figured he could pass this along to another hunter and get his sons the hell out of dodge.
He managed to get the old front door to budge open with a single, hard kick, and he was quick to leave the place behind to gather his bearings.
Gotham was a mysterious and unfamiliar place as any given his line of work, but John wasn't going to be discouraged and possibly the most vital part of the job. There was no telling why the witch had grabbed him and dumped him off somewhere without hurting him - or killing him - and at this exact moment, his focus had to be on his children.
He walked a few blocks, keeping his collar turned up and his head down, avoiding the gazes of passersby while he tried to locate something that he'd recognize, and just when the frustration started to overpower just about everything else, he spotted the one thing that would work the best. Parked, unharmed, around the corner of a crumbling brownstone was the impala. He didn't even remember driving it here, but he figured most of the day was missing from his immediate recollection.
John returned to the motel in far less time than it legally should have taken, but the legality of his line of work was the absolute last thing on his mind right now.