[identity profile] dangeroushabits.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] neutral_omens
Date: April 15th, 2001
Status: Private (Kit and John)
Setting: Garden, evening
Summary: Damn cryptic Englishman...

John had grown quite fond of the Manor gardens. They were a good place to let his feet roam unattended while his brain sorted out whatever knotty problem it was dealing with at the moment. And even with a number of non-sleepers occupying the Manor (among whom he sometimes counted himself,) the best time to find solitude out there was generally at night.

He wasn't exactly overwhelmed with company in any case. He and Kit had gone right back to arm's length by a sort of unspoken agreement after that night with Crowley. Not that it hadn't changed anything; there was almost a sense of relief that they'd finally got that out of the way, and yeah, the sex was still great and they were still the same pair of dirty-minded perverts they'd always been (and it was both of them--John would never have issued that kind of challenge if he'd thought Kit was at all likely to regret accepting it.) But that was all pretty much secondary to the main issue, when you came right down to it; sex had never been the problem.

He'd realized a day or two afterward (and after the expected awkward morning scramble, and a sharp elbow in Crowley's ribs to remind him to hide his eyes before Kit opened hers) that there had been a certain symbolism to the whole business, though it hadn't been conscious on his part: those two mismatched halves of his life were pretty much embodied in two people at this point, and putting either one of them ahead of the other was just not an option.

Only thing was, bringing them together like that, however well it seemed to have worked out in the short term, had to be one of his masterstrokes of self-destructive dishonesty to date. Kit still didn't know what he'd prodded her into taking to bed, and when she found out...

Well, Hell hath no fury and all that. And indeed, given a choice between Kit's outrage and Lucifer's malice, he'd already proven he dealt far better with the Morningstar.

And then there was Aziraphale, who'd been making himself scarce for some time, and who represented an entirely different sort of problem (only not really.) The one thing John had left out of his spur-of-the-moment confession to the angel was probably the one thing he absolutely should have told him. And would have to, eventually, he suspected, to head off any future complications it was liable to cause.

He knew Crowley wasn't intentionally using him as a substitute for the angel, but in some ways that was exactly what he'd been doing, and John was doing nobody any favors by allowing it to happen. Crowley needed not only a drinking partner and an occasional security blanket (not that John minded playing those roles,) but the equal and opposite counterpart that had kept him in balance for millennia. John could never be those things, even if he'd cared to try. That particular pair of shoes was too big and much, much too clean for him to fill. He had no idea how that whole situation could be set straight, and it really wasn't his business to try, but things just weren't going to be right until Crowley and Aziraphale were back on friendly terms again.

At least he'd managed to negotiate some kind of cease-fire between the demon and Loki. That was a load off his mind. Now if the cursebreaking coming up in a few days could just be managed without anything blowing up (like Loki, for example...) Oddly enough, though, that struck him as the least complicated of his current problems. Magic was nowhere near as tricky to handle as relationships, even a botched god-level job like the one Czernobog had cooked up.

Lost in thought, he wandered the well-worn path on autopilot, oblivious to his surroundings.

Date: 2007-08-28 07:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-npc-here.livejournal.com
She was used to John's introspection.

In years past, when they'd shared a flat, and even before, she'd occasionally caught him gazing at her; sometimes smiling, but more often than not looking as though he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. He'd always had some answer ready when she'd asked what he was thinking about, but she knew that none of them had ever really begun to address what was really going on inside his head.

Then again, she'd usually cut him off when any of those bottled-up concerns had begun to leak out. They usually turned out to be exactly the kind of shite she'd never wanted anything to do with.

Still time to turn back, she thought somewhat dryly; John hadn't yet noticed her watching him from her vantage point nearer to the old house, wandering aimlessly as he seemed to be.

Or maybe she could make an effort. Maybe, if they could manage to help out one of his mates, there was something they could rebuild with each other. What had Crowley said to her?

"You didn't come back after seven years, travel hundreds of miles, and stay here for months just to break his heart again."

Well, Jesus.

She caught up with him quietly, though he didn't seem to notice until she'd spoken. "Am I interruptin' something?"

Date: 2007-08-31 06:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-npc-here.livejournal.com
"No. Just thought I'd get some air before goin' to bed." The truth was, she'd been wandering somewhat aimlessly before she'd caught a glimpse of John in the gardens. As she approached, Kit too flashed back on his shocked reaction when she'd first arrived at the manor. She wondered if any of that surprise had worn off; she knew she still wasn't quite sure she was really here, some days. "You?"

Date: 2007-09-01 06:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-npc-here.livejournal.com
"You'd be better off for it, I don't doubt." With a wry grin, Kit selected one of the Silk Cuts, placing it between her lips to accept John's offer of a light. She took a deep draw on her cigarette, exhaling slowly. "Thinking 'bout anything in particular?"

Date: 2007-09-06 05:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-npc-here.livejournal.com
Kit smiled. "Aye, all right." She accepted John's hand, following as he continued his path around the garden, setting out at a lazier pace than before.

As usual, it felt as though there was much to be said but neither of them had much inclination to say it. As she took another drag on her cigarette, she considered breaking that trend, and yet, by the time her lips parted to speak, all she said was, "Talked to Crowley last night."

Date: 2007-09-06 06:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-npc-here.livejournal.com
"Oh, aye? He handled his half of a bottle of scotch well enough." Kit grinned; they both knew well enough that she'd once been able to drink John clean under the table, and she'd be willing to bet she still could. "Anyway, he didn't say anythin' too awful. Just a bit about how you met, somethin' about you trading clothes, and a little insight into why he's always got those glasses on..."

Date: 2007-09-08 06:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-npc-here.livejournal.com
Kit snorted. "A French maid outfit? God above. Surprised it fit him at all, what with that stick up his arse." Her hand shifted in John's, though she didn't let go. "Met Gabriel the other day, as well..." She wasn't sure the story had gotten around to John yet, but she might as well set him straight on it before anyone else had their say.

Date: 2007-09-09 09:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-npc-here.livejournal.com
"Aye, you might say that," Kit said with a grim smile. "He seemed none too fond of you, anyway. 'Course, I may not have helped much on that note..."

Date: 2007-09-13 07:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-npc-here.livejournal.com
"Eh, it's not what I said so much..." She cast her gaze down as she dropped what was left of her cigarette and stamped it out on the ground. "Just, he was talkin' shite about you, right? And Crowley said somethin' about... about him refusing to help you when you needed it. So I punched him."

Date: 2007-09-19 07:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-npc-here.livejournal.com
There was a reason they called it 'fight or flight'; Kit felt as though they were nearing the edge of something, some chasm she'd been trying not to tumble into - probably just as much as John had been trying to keep her from it - and the rush of it through her blood made her want to run. Whether figuratively or literally, she wasn't sure.

It'd be so easy to turn around and go; she'd done it before, after all, when things had gotten too dangerous. She could leave this place and never have to worry about what secrets it held, about all these cryptic statements whose meanings she dared not divine. She'd never have to think of it, or be stuck in this limbo between pressing curiosity and blissful ignorance.

And, in all likelihood, she'd never see John again.

When had that become the thorn in her side that was keeping her here? But she knew the answer: from the moment she'd arrived. Crowley was right. She hadn't come all this way after seven years for things not to work again. Nor had she been foolish enough to think it'd be easy, that they could pick up from some idyllic starting place. It was going to take work on both their parts, and perhaps for her, for right now, that meant not shutting out every little detail she didn't want to hear.

"They're all... like you, are they?" It wasn't any particular hesitancy on Kit's part to speak the word; rather, she didn't know what word to use. Brendan had fancied himself a sorcerer, but she didn't know what terminology John preferred. She didn't even know what John did, apart from the occasional scam. That had all been a part of his 'bad shit.' She'd never asked, and he'd never told her. "That Gabriel bloke? An' Crowley? They do what you do?"

Date: 2007-09-24 05:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-npc-here.livejournal.com
Kit tilted her head curiously, though she listened intently to everything John told her. "You seem to trust him quite a bit," she murmured when he was through, "for someone who can be kind of a wanker."

It wasn't meant as a criticism, but rather just a statement of her surprise; she'd gathered that John cared a great deal about Crowley, but still, the friends about whom he'd speak so highly seemed few and far between. Chas, and Brendan, perhaps. It made her wonder what he said about her when she wasn't around, but even more, what Crowley had done to earn such trust from such a gruff old bastard as John.

His first statements were something of a concern, though; she'd seen enough sectarian violence back in Ireland to know it was not a subject to take lightly, even if it was factions she hardly dared talk about herself. "These... sides you're talkin' about. Any chance they're the reason you showed up in Belfast?"

Date: 2007-10-03 07:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-npc-here.livejournal.com
"That's not what I meant," she began, and then shook her head. "Jesus, John, I don't know what I mean. Obviously I don't know what you've gone and gotten yourself into. I just..." She wished she had another cigarette, just to occupy her hands; she was watching them needlessly now. "D'you have any idea how frustrating you are? You say you're dangerous, but if I say it, you get all bent out of shape. You say it's all bad shite, but if I don't want to know, I'm just makin' things harder on you. And I stupidly thought I could separate you from the rest of it, once, but obviously..." But she stopped there, because that seemed something neither of them wanted to hear.

"What am I supposed to do?" she asked quietly. "I don't want to have to sit in the corner like a wee lass and let you protect me from whatever it is that's out there, John, no more than you want to have to try. But I don't know what else there is for it, if I stay."

She felt oddly exposed, speaking the pent up words, just as she has back in Belfast; as though some pair of eyes unseen was watching her, but she could not fathom the intent behind them.

Date: 2007-10-08 06:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-npc-here.livejournal.com
She may not have known what to expect, but some sort of fairytale reunion had been last in her mind when she'd decided to seek out John again. They'd never exactly been picture perfect, the two of them. It has always come down to choices, really. Some of them - overlooking a few unexplained scratches here and there, not asking what it was that kept him awake into the wee hours - had been relatively easy. The decision to return to Belfast, on the other hand, had ached for ages, and left scars on both of them that she was afraid would never fully heal.

But, however unconscious the realization, she was coming to see that in the end, she could never bring herself to choose anyone but John. And if this was the choice she had to make for it to work out between them the second time around, well then...

"You might be on to something, there," she admitted quietly; her eyes found the tree in question, though it took her a few moments to realize that there was no particular reason it should be lit that way, and in fact seemed to be glowing of its own accord. "Better the devil you know, an' all. I don't suppose there's any... simple way to go about it. An easy place to start. Maybe with why that tree's - glowin', is it?"

Date: 2007-10-28 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-npc-here.livejournal.com
Kit nodded slowly. She'd never really paid much attention to their words of the supernatural; what powers Brendan may have had lived on in her memory as simple tricks, usually involving keeping up the supply of whiskey. In the end, it had seem little more to her than one more stop on his road toward self-destruction.

Perhaps that's why she'd resented any reference to magic John might have made. She'd seen little more than the messes it made: the injuries she'd had to tend, the sleepless nights it caused, and yes, the bloody thugs it brought around. It had never seemed worth any of that, but maybe... maybe in all her efforts to stay as far from it as possible, she'd missed out on the upside, as well.

"Aye, but you're a wee bit deeper in than Brendan ever was, right?" she asked. She knew the answer was yes - this place told her that much - but she was curious to hear what he would say.

Date: 2007-11-28 12:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-npc-here.livejournal.com
Kit nodded, wordless for a time, as she took in what he was saying. She knew he'd been about to say that she left Brendan; a fair enough statement, as that had been about the long and short of it. She'd spotted a sinking ship and escaped. She wondered, though, just how much John worried about that. Did he see her as heartless for leaving Brendan when someone weaker would have stayed and coddled him while he pickled himself? Was he constantly worried that he was going to do the same and drive her away?

Aye, but he had, hadn't he? It seemed years ago now, but he'd stirred her up, got her scared. And she, Kit Ryan, she wouldn't take the blame, but she'd left him when things got rough just the same.

Don't go back on it now, she reminded herself. Let's just see what he's got to say.

After all, she hadn't gotten any less stubborn since that day, and she was ready to wager John hadn't suddenly changed professions. So what was there to it this time around but to know exactly what she'd never wanted to bring up before?

"You've made yourself a right career of it, I'd say," she remarked; to her knowledge, John had never had what one might call a normal job. Not that she could imagine him working the average nine-to-five. "And Crowley to? But I'm guessin' the pair of you don't work a lot of kids' parties. What is it you actually... do?"

Date: 2007-12-09 09:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-npc-here.livejournal.com
While she did manage not to laugh, Kit smiled broadly at the statement, as much at the unconvinced tone as at the word itself. "Oh, aye, a crusader? And what's your mission, Constantine? Steal from the rich and go for a pint?"

But she was listening to what he said, absorbing what she could a little at a time, and piecing it together with all the other bits she's amassed during her time here. So John and Crowley were meant to be working against each other? That was hard to imagine. Although...

"Crowley reckons you tried to kill him just before you got your arse handed to you. Is he...? I mean, do I want to know what he does, or is that subject for another walk in the garden?"

Date: 2007-12-15 07:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-npc-here.livejournal.com
"Aye, I've seen it blow up in your face a couple of times," Kit murmured, and sighed. She'd heard about as much as one person could process at once, and if John kept talking around things, he'd make them both dizzy. Her hand found his again, almost absently - perhaps for reassurance, but for whom she didn't know.

"Fair enough. That enough interrogation for one night?"

Date: 2008-01-13 09:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-npc-here.livejournal.com
"Most sensible thing you've said this evening, love," Kit replied. She wasn't even sure what she'd really understood so far, not to mention what more she could handle. She did know, though, that she wasn't ready to take the next train out of Tadfield. Aye, already an improvement there, she thought dryly.

Hand in hand, she followed John back inside to the bar.

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