Fandom Category: Hellblazer (comics)
Pairing: Zatanna Zatara/John Constantine
Fic Title: beauty in the breakdown
Link: beauty in the breakdown
Rating/Warning(s): General Audiences. Mentions of (canon) character death.
Why This Must Be Read: He's very clear when they first meet: "Someday I'm going to break your heart." When he's right, John Constantine is right.
While the story is listed as part of the Hellblazer fandom, the canon for this pairing that the fic draws on actually came out in 1986. What I love about this fic is the absolutely beautiful exploration of Zee and John's history, and the strength of their relationship even outside romance.
Later, the thing that makes her hate John the most is his selfishness. He'd known on some level what would happen, so he'd kept it from her. Selfish. (And maybe she's a little selfish, too, drowning in the grief of being left behind. Of being the reason her father is gone.)
There are words, so many words. Angry, heated accusations based more in truth than they probably ought to be. ("The Great Evil Beast, John! You knew better! You always know better! And yet—here we are.") And tears. Tears of anger, tears of sadness.
She hates John for being right. She hates that he has broken her heart. (Beyond all repair, she suspects, but she's still young then.) She hates herself for ever thinking he might not. She hates her father for leaving her behind—for taking her place. It was her that caught His eye! It should've been her to burn. But she's still here and he's gone.
It's both of their faults she's still alive and her father isn't. John's for not telling her what he knew, her dad for dying when it should've been her. (Except that it's really her fault because she was the one meant to die and these men couldn't let that happen. Because they love her. She hates them all the same.)