Constantine: Birth - Angela never thought she would have a child.
This is a story that has been lurking in the back of my head since, oh, my second viewing of the movie, and im glad to have gotten it out onto paper. I rewatch Constantine at least once a month, due to love of Angela and John Constantine. If i have one regret about this story, its that i couldn't fit more of Constantine himself into it.
I still want to play with this idea, the idea of birth and the mental picture of Angela gagging in fear when she feels her stomach turn over for any reason.
In case you don't want to go over to the yuletide site to read it, for whatever reason:
Summery: Angela never thought she would have a child.
When Angela was young, and Isabel was still her mirror image, Angela got sick.
Her parents and the doctor spoke in hushed, worried tones, and her mother cried against her father's shoulder.
Angela can still remember her mother crying.
She doesn't remember many of the details otherwise, but she can remember the throb of pain, low and aching, in her stomach and the antiseptic smell of the hospital, and Isabel standing beside her, holding her hand and laughing in the dark.
You didn't believe me, Angie.
Isabel whispered things Angela couldn't hear, and then she laughed, low and bitter in her throat. The shadows had wings and the air stank of sulfur. Isabel was going to let the dark things eat her alive. Isabel's eyes were terrible and bright, and shined like the dark things would, if they had eyes.
When she told her parents the week after, when she was feeling better and able to sit up, they said she had been having a nightmare. That her fever had been high, she had been taking strong pain medication, Isabel loves you and I'm so sorry, honey.
When she was little, the details weren't that important. Her sister, Izzy, loved her and saw things and sometimes would look at her like she was hungry.
And she loved Izzy and didn't see things and was afraid of the dark, and would never be able to have children.
As she got older, she started to forget that night in the hospital. She would sometimes have nightmares of things with Isabel's face and laughing, gleaming teeth, but they were just dreams.
She didn't understand when Isabel would look at her sometimes, face blank but eyes glinting with something dark and shadowed. She didn't understand when she woke up in the night, gasping, nightmares of twisting pain beneath her skin, curling her into a ball around her swollen stomach.
Years later now, lying writhing underneath John Constantine on a hospital floor that smells of antiseptic and sulfur, she remembers everything. She could almost laugh at the absurdity, if she could only breathe.
Isabel had been there in the hospital that first time, and had laughed, because she could see and Angela couldn't. Isabel knew, already, even though she was so young, because she would still listen to the dark when Angela turned her face away.
I don't hear anything, Izzy.
Isabel had told her, had tried to warn her. In the dark, teeth flashing like something hungry, Don't worry, Angie. Her eyes had flickered, something hard and sharp behind them. You will have a child and die in the birthing. And she had laughed, bitter and choked, young voice sounding old and tired. Better you than me. But she had been crying when she said it, and Angela was so very tired and so sick that she couldn't understand what her sister meant.
And when she woke up, she thought it had been a dream, because Isabel was there and was holding a get well soon card and had hugged her tight. You can take care of me, Angie. Isabel had smiled, and she did not look hungry, but looked just like Angela again. Mirror images. A matched set.
Now, finally, gut twisting and straining with the demon child growing in her, gnawing its way out of her body, Angela knows what Isabel had known when they were small.
Angela is going to die.
Isabel had made a bargain somehow. One soul for the father and his hell, one body for the son. She had given of herself to Hell, and was giving her sister to bring Hell to the world.
Or maybe she hadn't bargained. Had just seen it, known it would happen, and let her sister die in pieces on the floor of a hospital.
Like Isabel had died, days before, just a few feet away in the same pool of water where Angela had fallen to Hell.
Maybe Isabel had given her sister to the son of the devil.
Or maybe she just didn't want to be the one who brought the world to Hell.
Angela remembers how Isabel's laughter rang in the air as she whispered to her sister, sick and sweating on the bed.
They need someone who can see in the dark, Angie. Isabel's face, both angry and sad, leaned over her. Can you remember?
Angela is going to die, ripped to pieces by her ill gotten son and her sister's cowardice.
She is going to die, beneath the hands of a man who can see the dead thing crawling beneath her skin, who is gasping and choking as he speaks words that won't stop what is happening.
There is salt on her lips, and she wonders hazily if John knows that he is crying. His voice is getting horse, and he keeps stumbling over the words.
The face beneath her skin presses upwards, straining to push through to her side of the world, and the pain is so sharp, she wishes she could pass out. But for some reason, she can't. All she can do is open her mouth in silent screams. She wants to fight, but John is weighing her down, hand burning against her swollen stomach. The Latin echoes strangely and she can feel it ache inside her bones.
It isn't supposed to be like this.
She has heard that giving birth is painful, but that was the normal kind of childbirth. The kind without the devil involved, surrounded by doctors and bright hospital lights and a man, holding her hand, urging her to push.
It isn't supposed to be the other way around. The woman giving birth is supposed to be surrounded by friends and family, laughing and cheering, full of joy.
Instead, there is a hospital full of demons in human form, awaiting the birth of their Master's son.
Waiting for her to die.
The man holding her hand is not supposed to be chanting in Latin and trying to push the child inside her back where it came from.
The child inside her is supposed to be a joy, not her destruction.
Angela never thought she would have a child.
Angela never thought her sister would commit suicide.
Angela never thought that demons were real.
I'm so sorry, Angie.