Hellblazer #255 July 2009) concludes the two-part 'Regeneration' storyline. John deals with the fallout from a terrible decision made 400 years ago.
Lighting a cigarette, John confronts the ghostly plague doctor who tells him that it needs his help, for it has done something wicked.
A while later, Phoebe arrives at the building site with Emil. She says that John's blood has an extremely high level of toxicity and that it's a wonder that John is standing at all. But he's not standing right now - he's sitting down on some rubble waiting for them to arrive, the ghost having left without telling him anything. Phoebe tells him he has to get back to bed now.
Back in the 17th century, Fernby is still trying to convince his wife that it's a good idea to pimp their daughter out to the plague doctor in exchange for papers to leave London. He fails, but not before the girl overhears and leaves the house.
Phoebe visits John in Emil's flat and finds him out of bed once more. She tells him to get back to hospital and he tells her to get out of the building.
Flashback: Fernby's daughter has gone to the plague doctor of her own volition. He drags her into an abandoned home to have sex but she is horrified when he takes off his mask and reveals that is himself infected with the plague.
John is back at the Olympic site, digging up five skeletons, when the plague doctor appears to him once more. It tells him to move the bodies so that it can find peace, but John demands an explanation. It removes its hood to reveal that it is, in fact, Fernby, who tells his tale.
Having found his daughter standing over the murdered body of the plague doctor, Fernby reassures her that they will escape and takes the dead man's clothes. Dressed as the doctor he was able to get his family out of the city, but before they made it to Kent they found the road blocked by soldiers. Realising that there could be no escape he took the family out to a field and murdered them, dumping their body in a ditch before cutting his own throat. And now he cannot rest, since his own body lies next to the family he loved and killed.
Constantine, furious that Fernby would kill the people he loved rather than lose them, refuses flat out and leaves the ghost to its misery. Realising that he'd nearly made the same mistake with Phoebe, he chases her down the following day and asks to get back together. But she refuses outright. He jokes that he could put a spell on her to make her love him and she says that even he wouldn't stoop that low. John isn't quite so sure.
- Emil was first mentioned in Hellblazer issue 251. He's the owner of the flat John was staying in up until the end of this issue.
- John's seizures and fainting are the result of an addiction to Julian's skin; the next storyline goes into more detail on the issue.
- This is the last issue to feature a cover by Lee Bermejo.