Veritas

by 'rith


I say: "I hate you, John."

He says: "I know, love."

His eyes are full of sorrow, and I wish I could believe it's feigned, because hating John would be so much easier if it were. This is the man who killed my father and whose friends have the alarming tendency to die horribly. He leaves casual destruction in his wake, ruined lives scattered behind him like so much waste, while he walks away clean.

But their shadows follow him, hang on him like an invisible cloak, and at odd moments you can see the cracks in the glittery fašade of his indifference. Between the alcohol and the inevitable cigarettes lies the awful knowledge of things he's done and things he will do again out of pitiless necessity. He thrives on the games he plays and hates what he's become.

Or maybe that's only what he wants me to see.

When he shows up at my door he says, "I'm tired, Zee," and despite everything he's still welcome in my home, under my skin, and no spell I know can exorcise him.

I say: "I love you, John."

He says: "I know, love."

The look in his eyes doesn't change.


{200 words}

Random inspiration: The Zatara in *Kingdom Come* is identified as the son of John Constantine and Zatanna Zatara.





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