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FIC: Between the Brushstrokes - [7/?]

Title: Between the Brushstrokes
Fandom: Watchmen
Characters/Pairings: Daniel, Rorschach, Adrian, Manhattan in pt 1, Dan/Ror (gee you think?) later on.
Date Written: 2009
Summary: A lot happens in the in-between spaces; in the tiny intervals of time in which no one is watching, we are free. Dan and Rorschach face the future more head-on than they expected; Adrian learns about regret and what happens when you're wrong.
Rating/Warnings: PG-13, some language. Philosophy, violence, twilight zone bullshit, time travel, pretentious metaphors, and Waffle House.
Notes: Yet ANOTHER kinkmeme prompt. Post-GN fixit. In progress.
ART NOTE: Art here is by radishface , <3. NOT ME.


*

Dan blinks himself awake, a deep ache in the back of his skull complaining at not enough sleep or not restful enough sleep or some other intangible deficiency, but he's being stared at and that old survival itch in his brain won't let him ignore it.

Rorschach's no more that eight inches in front of him, eyes narrowed in rapt concentration, and he's not even really used to seeing him like this yet, without the mask, not enough familiarity to short-circuit the instinctual jump back and away -

- away from a threat, but no attack comes and context reasserts itself; Dan takes a breath, loosing his fingers from around the clumped handfuls of bed sheet. Closes his eyes again, lets out a long-suffering sigh. "The hell - Rorschach. What are you trying to do to me?"

The clock on the bedside table flips its digital display over to 6:17. It's six in the goddamned morning.

The consideration drags on for a second or two more; Rorschach stands fluidly, walking over to the television screen set into the wall. "Making sure," he says, as if that is self-explanatory enough. Picks up the plastic monstrosity of a remote control, all jujube colored buttons, puzzling at it for a few seconds before using it to switch on the screen - and immediately mute it. Flips through the numbers that have always been the local news outlets. "Most mind-control programming takes effect while unconscious."

Dan pushes back the blanket, runs fingers over sleep-dulled eyes. Laughs, but there's very little real humor in it. "Yes, because we've dealt with mind-control so extensively in the past."

No humor, because they've done no such thing, and this is as untested as waters ever get. There's no way around it: this could end very badly if they're not very, very careful, and maybe even if they are.

Channel 4, 7, 12, Rorschach even tries PBS over on 13 - nothing. Just early morning bread and circuses, the vacuous idiocy coming across clearly without any need for sound. "Have read books, Daniel," he clarifies, voice uninflected and giving nothing away. The television snaps off.

"Books." Dan blinks, and shifts to the edge of the bed, getting his feet under him. He's not trying to be sarcastic, but it probably comes out that way: "Are we talking psych journals here, or science fiction novels?"

Rorschach shoots him a withering glare that says 'neither', that says 'don't be stupid', then ducks to pick up his boots, work them on. One of his socks has a tremendous hole in the toe. "Were also talking in sleep. Suspicious."

Dan puts aside thoughts of sock-replacement, narrows his eyes. "Really? What was I saying?"

The stretch of nothing following the question could almost be called an embarrassed silence, if Dan didn't for damn sure know better. And he does. But there's definitely something in the way Rorschach turns abruptly to the window, pulling the blind back just enough to study something interesting in the street below for longer than is strictly necessary. "...nothing relevant to the investigation."

"If it made you think I was still under the influence of this thing, I'd say it's relevan-"

"Not relevant," Rorschach insists, pulling the blind back a touch further. "Just. Strange. Unusual enough to be suspicious, given the timing."

...that could be anything, anything at all, and Rorschach's definitely putting off a defensive concussion wave of 'don't ask again', bristling and knife-edged. Dan just nods, conceding defeat this time; pulls himself up, heads for the room's bathroom to shower. If it's important, he'll find out eventually. If it's just that he was...

Well. No point wandering down that mental path at this precise moment, anyway.

"Would avoid the water," comes the voice after him, subtly more gentle in a way that tugs painfully - and Dan regrets, sometimes, having learned to hear these fine distinctions. "Could be additional control vectors in supply. Contaminants."

Dan pauses, hand on the doorknob.

Contaminants. In the water. Adrian didn't say anything about water; just light, and Rorschach's been going on about the dangers of municipal water for as long as Dan's known him. And he's been wearing the same clothes for three days now and...

"Tell you what." The smile's genuine this time, voice going louder as the door clicks shut behind him. "I'll keep it short, and shout if the showerhead starts telling me to kill people."

There's a grumble of something like indignation from the room, something that sounds like 'not funny', and this time Dan lets it go because no, it really isn't.

*

Outside, the tail is gone, and there's no one else around with that telltale spark of awareness in their eyes to indicate overnight relief. Dan almost feels sorry for the hotel proprietor - knows a raid is a possibility within the next few days - but the light is about to change and there's something about its deep, deep redness that makes the brilliance of the sky start to swell up around him and drown out the details, make it hard to remember what he was just thinking about, blue-white and warm and...



"Daniel," Rorschach hisses, a strong hand clamping down on his shoulder and shaking, hard. There’s a note of panic in it.

Dan shakes himself, just as hard, blinking against the hazy black spots dancing, foreign and hypnotic, at the edges of his vision. He claps one hand over his top pocket, then digs for the goggles; slips them on, fast, and starts flipping through the settings. "It's in the traffic lights," he mutters, disbelief coloring his voice, and at least one of these filters should be able to-

His fingers lift away from the goggles finally, hanging in the air for a moment as he examines the far lightpost under this configuration. Squints behind the lens glass. "Probably in the damn streetlights too, when they're on."

He senses more than sees Rorschach take a step towards him, further into his personal space than Rorschach himself ever allows, but so much of their friendship has been based around Dan ignoring all the double standards and hypocrisy. He does so now, as he probably always will.

"All right?" Rorschach asks, quiet and even, sounding ready to disbelieve any answer.

One more small adjustment, and Dan nods, looking down. "Yeah. Nightvision with the red filtered out seems to get rid of it."

"Hnnk," Rorschach grunts, shifting his hands in his pockets. Still close, still studying. "Light yesterday wasn't red."

Dan scans around, following the line of traffic to its destination as far as he can before the meandering caravan ducks out of view. There's a lot of traffic today - a lot more than there has been on other mornings. If it's a weekend - but no, it's too early for recreation. Morning rush. It's just barely past seven. "No, but white light has every other color of light in it. Easy enough to hide something in the red section of the spectrum. You're not getting anything from it?"

Rorschach turns to look long at the red signal, a delicate array of tiny individual bulbs arranged into a circle. Looks for what seems like too long, the seconds stretching; traffic flies by in a blur. Pedestrians wander around them, steps in perfect sync, clapping across the concrete; somewhere under it all, his watch ticks its way towards midday.

Midday, five hours away, and Dan thinks of the painful grey haze he's just starting to remember in broken, dreamlike pieces, of a desperate confusion of place and time and self - of a child's mouth drooling blood into the snow, smile vicious and mocking. The last one bothers him the most, beyond his ability to understand, and he's about to reach for Rorschach when he turns back on his own, head shaking in a negative.

"Nothing out of the ordinary. Just a light. Must need the initial programming to be susceptible to it." He pauses, eying Dan with something that hangs with the same weight as distrust but without any of its messy, sharp edges. Turns back to the street. The lights have already cycled against them, red to green to red again. "What was in it?"

"Hell if I know. It's not like I could see the data stream, if that's even what it was." Dan shuffles through a pocket, pulls out the silver-colored key. Glances down at it, at the way the sun catches on it like a shard of mirrorglass, sending Morse-coded signals out from nowhere’s jagged heart. "Just made me feel weird. Detached. Not really present, until you grabbed me.”

His wrist twitches; the light flashes through his goggles and a thought surfaces, a memory but also not a memory. "...and like I really, really wanted to stay exactly where I was."

Rorschach doesn't respond for so long that Dan feels those persistent beginnings of worry again, looking up from the key to his partner's face, seeking and finding and holding eye contact like it will somehow insulate them both from whatever is trying to work its fingers inside – an unknown enemy at untried gates. There are things they do not know that they need to: what it is, how subtle it is, how much control it can exert – and he can feel it back there now, like a faded wall of graffiti painted over six times, viewed through a late winter mist.

Obfuscated. Hard to read. But still there. What if-

(What if it tries to make you-)

"...red light," Rorschach finally offers, with the weight of long and careful thought. He gestures to the post. "Means stop."

(What if it tells you to-)

(What if you can't-)

(Stop.)


Dan blinks, shaking the thoughts off, and it takes him a second to catch up to the implication. Red means stop. Stop means stay exactly where you are. "...ah, hell. They're that far gone?"

"Would you have made it anywhere yesterday, alone?" Rorschach asks, and Dan has a sudden image of himself wandering into the path of a delivery van, smiling and smiling and then, very quickly, not smiling anymore. He winces, and Rorschach grunts lowly, turning away, the same vision etched plainly into the sound. "This is how they survive."

The light changes again, an ingrained symbol instructing them to go, to walk, Green Means Go, and there's a tug in his feet, nerves responding brainlessly as they do in a fight - before Dan catches it, reaches up and changes the filter to a different wavelength. He sighs in frustration, bleeding over into anger; next to him, Rorschach is silent.

Only after several seconds, when he's sure the decision is his own, do they step out into the crosswalk.

*

"VCB," Dan reads off of the key, squinting through the grey-green nightvision fog. Next to him, Rorschach is hunched over, pawing through a thick phone book, yellow pages rustling and tearing under unforgiving hands. The book is just sitting on the ledge of the payphone kiosk, not tied or corded down because, of course, no one would ever think of stealing it when they only think the thoughts they're told to by any one of thousands of humming lights.

An interesting idea, that - find out where all the instructions are coming from, and change them. 'Steal phone books', they'd say. 'Call in sick to work.' 'Do something you want to do.' He can see the carnage instantly, twisted wrecks in the roads, pedestrians run down, citizenry falling under the weight of their own learned helplessness, and anyway: if he lets Rorschach at it, he's sure 'storm Veidt's headquarters with torches and pitchforks' will be slipped in when Dan isn't looking.

You don't pull the life support without something ready at hand to replace it. That's how you end up with a bodycount.

A sharp sound, and this time it really is swearing, though far more esoteric and arcane than anything Dan's ever said or heard. Rorschach tears the entire page out of the book, leaving a gap in 'banks' that Dan very much doubts anyone will miss.

"What is it?" he asks, trailing after Rorschach in his double-time march back the way they came, wrong way up the sidewalk, narrowly avoiding one head-on pedestrian collision after another.

The sheet of thin yellow paper is shoved into his hands, and even rushing as he is to keep up, needing to keep one eye on the path in front of him for obstacles and hampered by his limited vision, the words on the page jump out: VEIDT CONSOLIDATED BANKING.

(All roads lead to...)

"Oh... oh. Oh shit. Rorschach-"

"Is this way," Rorschach says, voice gruff and uneven. "Main branch. Passed it yesterday."

"We can't just walk in there..."

Rorschach pulls up short. "You have the key?"

"Yeah, but..."

Rolling his shoulders under the unfamiliar coat, Rorschach turns and starts walking again, at a slightly more manageable pace. Dan steps into time beside him.

"Then of course we can. Customers."

*

It isn’t a bank so much as a vault built for showing off, the heavy brushed-metal turn-wheels set into each door decorated and embellished and no less intimidating for it, reflecting in the mirror-like marble of the lobby floor. He doubts the auxiliary locations are anywhere near as decadent as all of this – probably just the usual grey-blue scrubby carpet and grey-blue walls and plastic cups of free ballpoint pens that always seem to have been chewed on – but this is where the serious money is kept, the cash backing their most important investors, the funds they dare not trade away. And, apparently, safety deposit boxes taken out by the most influential names in the city.

Dan’s been in a lot of banks. Grew up around bankers, knows the ins and outs, has been in some of the most professional financial institutions in existence, if only as an observer. He is, therefore, completely shocked when the uniformed staff member takes one look at the key, enters the number into his computer, and goes off to retrieve the box without even so much as asking him for identification.

“Agreeable,” Rorschach muses from his shoulder, speculative.

Dan nods, peering at the computer, pitching his voice to a discreet near-whisper. “Not how it usually works, but it might be like the phone book. No one expects people to pull anything anymore.”

“Too trusting.”

Dan steps to the side, angling himself around to get a better view of the screen. “Well, they’re a lot of things. We start listing off labels and we’ll be here all day.” He pauses, taking in the details on the screen. “…it’s in my name.”

Distantly, a clock rings out the hour. Rorschach is silent for a moment, and Dan could swear he’s counting the chimes, hands pulled free from his pockets. They stop at ten – Rorschach gives a distant nod. “Veidt must have wanted to make sure you’d have no trouble.”

“Yeah, but again, why? What side is he playing on here?”

A quiet hrmph, and then the obvious: “Both of them.”

Dan reaches out as if to take hold of the mouse, to dig deeper; stops before contact is made, thinking better of it. He could do it easily enough – the interface looks just like the one in Adrian’s office – but better to not leave fingerprints around in suspicious locations. Better not to-

-it looks just like Adrian’s. And a decade has passed.

The television. The digital clock. The vehicles and transit system; the microfiche machine at the library. All identical to what Dan remembers existing the day they left for Antactica. Which means…

He glances down at his partner. “Kind of random, but have you noticed the way tech hasn’t really advanced like it should have in the last ten years?”

Rorschach looks right back, gaze flat and intense. “…traffic lights have changed a bit.”

It’s a good twenty seconds – and the staffer is re-emerging, a heavy metal lockbox and a second lighter, cardboard box in hand – before Dan realizes that that was actually a joke of some sort. And now there’s no time to react, but the smile comes regardless, covered up but leaking through into his voice.

“I just mean,” he whispers quickly through his hand, trying to get it out before the man is in hearing range, “That there’s been no innovation. Because innovation requires passion and ingenuity?”

“No innovation, no progress for humanity,” Rorschach finishes, picking up on the thread easily. “Finally. A sensical motivation for Veidt’s assisting us.”

Dan just nods; the boxes are being set in front of them and open speech is no longer safe. They watch as the man transfers items from the lockbox to the double-walled cardboard carrier, ‘VCB’ emblazoned on all sides: stacks of papers, binders, folders, brown-wrapped packages of odd sizes, and in between layers and layers of what look like legal documents, a beaten red leather notebook that makes Rorschach go instantly on guard, eyes refusing to leave the bin even after Dan picks it up and they start walking out. Their mirror-duplicates stalk them in the shining marble floor, meeting every step they take until they are out on the sidewalk, and gone.

Inside, the man watches them go with a dull empty smile, and with a dull empty smile, reaches under his desk to press a carefully hidden yellow button.

*

Adrian is sitting at his desk, expensive fountain pen dancing over the signature lines of documents that never seem to stop coming. It doesn’t bother him; it is a relaxing and somewhat zenlike activity, one that requires almost no mental investment and therefore frees his mind to wander. To play.

There’s a yellow light blinking on the console at the center of his desk. It’s distressing, and he isn’t sure why; a thought is rambling through his mind, with a trailing end-socket that would fit the blinking yellow light perfectly if only he could get them to connect. Every time he tries, it feels like something is stepping in and blocking him, swatting the thought away like an errant fly.

He wants them to connect, because then they will both go away and leave him to his mental playscape. He’s dragged out of it far more often than anyone else in this world and he accepts the necessity of that. He doesn’t have to like it.

With a burst of concentration that he has just enough clarity to be proud of, he grabs the thought by the tail, spins it round, and jams it face-first into his awareness of the light blinking, blinking, urgent and unhappy in front of him. The two join up, and like some ancient mechanical puzzlebox, some relic from Macedonia or Greece, all the interlocking pieces swing and slot together into a patterned framework that contains, within its unspeakable complexity, an instruction.

Without needing to think any further, he reaches out and presses a button, brilliantly yellow as well, inset deeply into the desk.

That done, he leans into his chair, returns to the signatures. That sound is back, echoing around in his head, in all the places that he suspects, at times, didn’t used to be so hollow – it sounds like someone shouting at him, howling in rage, and it’s making his left wrist itch and shiver like it usually does.

He rolls his wrist in his fingers, working over the nerves there, and ignores the sound until it fades, defeated and exasperated, back into the static.

*

Elsewhere, they are dumping the contents of the cardboard box onto their makeshift table – three boards pulled hurriedly over some cinderblocks, the warehouse walls creaking around them, climbing into the endless black of the ceiling rafters – and are trying to make sense of things that make no sense, all of humanity’s future wrapped up in brown paper and age-stained manila folders under their hands. They have no way of knowing that a countdown has started.

*

-----> Chapter 8.

*

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Comments

( 57 comments — Leave a comment )
bane_6
Jun. 14th, 2009 02:12 pm (UTC)
Augh. Cliffhanger. Again. I can't help but hope we'll find out what the sleep-talking was eventually. Maybe? Please?
etherati
Jun. 14th, 2009 03:54 pm (UTC)
I think it's pretty obvious from Ror's embarrassment and unwillingness to talk about it what the sleeptalking was about. XD Buuuut the *loose* plan in my head does allow for an eventual mention of it. No promises, because the plan is being tweaked all the time.
(no subject) - bane_6 - Jun. 14th, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - etherati - Jun. 14th, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
nabaroo
Jun. 14th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)
Augh, I'm getting so impatient. I'm like, "Did she upload? Did she upload? UPLOAD?!" and then when a new chapter comes I'm thinking "sweet!" but then it's only one, and I'm thinking, "no!"

Torture, woman. Pure torture.
etherati
Jun. 14th, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
I can only write so fast! Heh. I'm not deliberately trying to torture.

And I can only apologize, because relatively soon, things are gonna get really rough really fast and I know from my own reading that these kinds of events being spaced out by updates are terrible. So I'm sorry, in advance.
midnite_vision
Jun. 14th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
Maybe we'll finally know what the hell is going on in the next chapter then. I'm dying of curiosity. And I have a nasty feeling that the whole thing with Dan slipping is foreshadowing.
etherati
Jun. 14th, 2009 03:58 pm (UTC)
That would be the obvious foreshadowing, wouldn't it? So, do I go with the obvious, or....?

The next chapter will have a bit of a knowledge dump, yeah. Which means I need to get it all straight in my head before I start trying to write it. XD

i_am_your_spy
Jun. 14th, 2009 02:55 pm (UTC)
AUGH SUSPENSE!

This is really cool.
etherati
Jun. 14th, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Suspense seems to be the only thing I'm capable of writing these days. :(
(Deleted comment)
etherati
Jun. 14th, 2009 04:02 pm (UTC)
D: I DO NOT MEAN TO CAUSE MEDICAL CONDITIONS.

(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - etherati - Jun. 14th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
des_pudels_kern
Jun. 14th, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC)
Or Rorschach might be one of those that are immune...

Countdown? Countdown to what? What what what? Do you always have to end your chapters in cliffhangers

And my slash-focused mind is convinced it knows what Dan was talking about in his sleep.
etherati
Jun. 14th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
IF I TOLD YOU COUNTDOWN TO WHAT IT WOULDN'T BE A CLIFFHANGER.

And, yeah, pretty much. Not really intentionally - I don't think 'ok hitting around 4000 words here, need a cliffhanger' - it just that chapters tend to feel 'finished' when I hit a point that both wraps up those events and pokes at the next set of events, bridging them in a way that says 'yes, this over here is done with, because results are coming in and there's no turning back now'.

(Yes, you do know what Dan was talking about in his sleep. You are absolutely correct. XD)
(no subject) - des_pudels_kern - Jun. 14th, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - etherati - Jun. 14th, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - des_pudels_kern - Jun. 14th, 2009 04:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - etherati - Jun. 14th, 2009 05:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - des_pudels_kern - Jun. 14th, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - etherati - Jun. 14th, 2009 05:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
sandoz_iscariot
Jun. 14th, 2009 07:24 pm (UTC)
Awkward hotel trips are one of my Bulletproof Kinks, even if all that happens is incriminating sleep talk and watching your partner sleep like a big creeper. *stupid grin*

I love the suspense and Adrian's motivation for helping them--very Adrian. And that final sentence is more than a bit worrisome. Eeeeee.
etherati
Jun. 14th, 2009 08:21 pm (UTC)
Ror has no idea how creepy he's being there - just figures he's being practical and everything. BUT NO ROR YOU ARE BEING CREEPY.

Yeah. I mean, I don't doubt Adrian would be sorta 'eh' about the idea of everyone being turned into utterly soulless puppets, but what would really get him is the dead-ending of the human experiment. We were not meant to be halted at like 1987 or whatever and never budge again. He had higher hopes than that. Was a dick about them, and did wrong things to pursue them, but he still had them.
yellowdumpling
Jun. 14th, 2009 09:09 pm (UTC)
Oh man, I have a feeling Veidt is gonna send the ol' vagsquid down on Rorschach and Dan (figuratively, but hell, who knows? xD).
Dannng, I REALLY like this AU. Like, alot you know? O_O And zomggg, the cliffhanger is killing me!! And I wanna know what Dan spoke in his dream!! XDD
etherati
Jun. 14th, 2009 09:20 pm (UTC)
Dan said a lot of incriminating things that really do have nothing to do with their investigation and that were enough to make post-Roche, post-GN Ror shuffle around embarrassedly and change the subject. I think you can probably take a guess. :D

No literal squid this time, buuuut there is a hard rain a'comin', as they say. It's getting worse from here.

I'm glad you like it! :D
(no subject) - yellowdumpling - Jun. 15th, 2009 02:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - etherati - Jun. 15th, 2009 02:40 am (UTC) - Expand
danceswithelvis
Jun. 14th, 2009 09:43 pm (UTC)
I'm really liking this. I like how tense everything is...literally a "edge of your seat" type of story and you keep trying to guess what it up next.

I just can't help worrying that Rory is going to end up meeting the same in end in a way. :-/
etherati
Jun. 14th, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
It's okay to worry. It just means you're paying attention. *coughs* Not to confirm or deny anything in particular, just that there are things to be worried about.

Thank you so much. :)
snake_easing
Jun. 14th, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC)
Oooh! Love where this is going. Nice work on plot and world. Can't wait for the D/R to start showing up more blatantly.
etherati
Jun. 14th, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC)
I'm one of those people, I'm real fussy about not forcing things to happen before it seems 'right' - and considering this is post-GN Ror we're talking about, it's gonna have to get a whole lot worse to get him to own up to himself about all of that heh. But it'll happen, have patience. :)
(no subject) - snake_easing - Jun. 14th, 2009 11:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
onikotsu
Jun. 15th, 2009 03:07 am (UTC)
Creepy socially retarded Rorschach makes me squee and the fact that the fate of the world is being decided on a ghetto table is pure love. Will you marry me?
etherati
Jun. 15th, 2009 04:20 am (UTC)
I am already promised to too many others D:

Yes, in a dingy warehouse in the old meatpacking district with no lights except the sun oh and, and, and! One of them is borderline sociopathic, and the other's been subjected to mind-control programming!

Isn't life AWESOME?

Thanks so much :) I'm having such fun with this.
anactoria
Jun. 15th, 2009 12:30 pm (UTC)
Eep! This is still great. *waits anxoisuly to find out what's happening*
anactoria
Jun. 15th, 2009 12:31 pm (UTC)
Or even anxiously, possibly.
(no subject) - etherati - Jun. 15th, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Jun. 15th, 2009 05:07 pm (UTC)
...omg.
Helluuurz. I... okay, I've never commented, only because I have no livejournal account; I don't really plan on getting one because my mind is creepy when it comes to having an account on a website. Eventually, I would forget about it and leave it. DX;;

So this story.
And most of your stories in general. Gah.
You. YOOOOU. You must have years of experience to write the way you do; I know I've improved since... well, since I wrote those Wizard of Oz stories at age 9 (I would HOPE I've improved; those little books are painful to look at years later). But dayum.
Now, As Before... I couldn't stop reading it until I got it done, and I have only read one other series on Watchmen that has kept me so engaged like it did (and quite frankly, it wasn't as in-character as your stories).
The other smaller stories inbetween are just as beautiful in their own ways; my favorite was... y'know, that's not fair to choose a favorite.

But this new story is even more attention-grabbing; I was thrilled when I found it had more than one chapter up by the time I found it. Something about long stories, hurm?
Now, of course, being at chapter 7... -obsessively clicks 'refresh' button- I don't even know what it is about this one; I've never really been into all that Twilight Zone stuff, but it's interesting to see it applied to this universe. There's still so many questions to be answered, too.
...
Though I have to say my favorite part of this series is those little moments Rorsch and Dan have. -shrug- I can't lie about that; I'm a freaking Dan/Ror whore. (Haha. Rhymed.)
But that mixed in with the plot, not just making IT the plot, makes the story a lot more filled out and believable. Thus, it counters my own writing in every way (in my own opinion. Dx -cwy-). I'm slightly envious, but you're really an author to look up to. So you just make me want to try harder. x3;;
I'll try to comment a little more; you deserve all the support you can get. :3
Your local basket-case reader,
Vivi
(Anonymous)
Jun. 15th, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
Re: ...omg.
And may I just add that I made an unnecessarily long comment without meaning to. I'M SORRY. ;w;
Re: ...omg. - etherati - Jun. 15th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ...omg. - (Anonymous) - Jun. 15th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ...omg. - etherati - Jun. 15th, 2009 06:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
etherati
Jun. 15th, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I worry that these kinds of ideas end up being overdone - them fighting Adrian in the aftermath - but I'm glad to hear that this take at least seems original. :D
jack_infinitude
Jun. 17th, 2009 07:20 am (UTC)
"Probably in the damn streetlights too, when they're on." ... "No, but white light has every other color of light in it. Easy enough to hide something in the red section of the spectrum. You're not getting anything from it?" ... "...red light," Rorschach finally offers, with the weight of long and careful thought. He gestures to the post. "Means stop." ... Dan blinks, shaking the thoughts off, and it takes him a second to catch up to the implication. Red means stop. Stop means stay exactly where you are. "...ah, hell. They're that far gone?"

DAN AND RORSCHACH (AND BY DEFAULT, YOU, BECAUSE YOU ARE WRITING THEM) ARE WAY SMARTER THAN ME. Seriously, I would have never made that kind of connection. If I was in this Twilight Zone episode, I would be so toast.

So, yes. Loveliness everywhere, what with Dan and Ror being the whizkids they are, and Dan talking words of truluv in his sleep.
etherati
Jun. 17th, 2009 07:34 am (UTC)
THIS COMES BACK. In the next chapter. Which I'm in the middle of writing. And boy is it a doozy.

Thank you so much. :D I try to do them justice; Dan is all crazy technical but it's Ror who makes all the brilliant leaps of intuition and deduction, and I try to keep both of them smart in the right ways to stay true to that.

Of course, this next chapter is where that really gets tested because sometimes, the intuitive leaps, the gut-instinct decisions, seem REALLY REALLY STUPID at the time, and part of being brilliant is being able to trust yourself enough to go through with them anyway.

(Dan sleeptalking <3)
hoo_hah
Jun. 25th, 2009 01:01 am (UTC)
ok so i read the newest chapter and didnt know what the fuck was going on so i started from the beginning (like i should have done in the first place but i really just expected some vaguely plot driven porno) and i just wanted to give you props. like everyone else has. but i wanted to mention that your style of writing is very memorable.

it sounds like you read a lot of either palahniuk or vonnegut and it shows in your writing. although i could be completely wrong and im just crazy. the awesome thing is that i write imagery the exact same way; if only i was as good at it as you are. hahaha.

also: about a week ago my friend left to the east coast for the summer, but the night before he left we sat in a park at night just talking. he randomly brought up something called alien hand syndrome, if i recall correctly it was because he said he was going to stab me without him actually knowing it and i was like what the crap are you smoking. regardless, i think thats similar to what youve integrated into your story. i thought it would be neato to mention.

anyway thats my life story. i hope you write a book someday.
etherati
Jun. 25th, 2009 01:28 am (UTC)
Oh man, starting on 8 without all the lead-up must have been REALLY confusing.

I do in fact read a ton of Vonnegut; I have a beat-to-shit copy of Slaughterhouse Five that I've had for something like twelve years now, with electrical tape holding the spine together and all the pages horribly dogeared. Galapagos was the first I read, and I have a strong fondness for it as well, but really, everything he did was brilliant. I find it honestly amazing that it shows in what I write, and flattered at the same time, because I've never seen the connection myself. Is it in the imagery that you're seeing it?

Thank you so much for the props. :) I'm putting a lot of effort into this and it makes me happy when people like it. I do write the occasional bit of smut but I generally keep it separate from my longer plotted stories because it tends to derail them somewhat, and I'd rather focus here on split-consciousness Adrian and creepy twilight-zone blonde kids and the long-reaching consequences of making decisions for which you cannot have possibly covered all the variables, and so on, and play around with the relationship but leave the blatant slash to the cutaways. XD

BTW: Your icon looks familiar, what is it from?

Edited at 2009-06-25 01:29 am (UTC)
(no subject) - hoo_hah - Jun. 25th, 2009 02:01 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - etherati - Jun. 25th, 2009 02:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hoo_hah - Jun. 25th, 2009 02:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - etherati - Jun. 25th, 2009 03:00 am (UTC) - Expand
radishface
Aug. 7th, 2009 02:47 am (UTC)
Just drew some fanart for one of my favorite scenes of this chapter... it's not entirely accurate, but I just couldn't bear to cover up Dan's eyes with goggles.

http://radishface.deviantart.com/art/at-the-red-light-132415107

Hope you like it! *crosses fingers*
etherati
Aug. 7th, 2009 02:56 am (UTC)
Actually you're fine with the accuracy, he didn't have the goggles on yet at that point! That was, in fact, the entire problem. XD

I said over on devart but I'll say it here too, this is AMAZING, the look on his face is PERFECT, the general setup and framing and Ror's look of 'Daniel. DANIEL.' and the blown-out sky and everything is just utterly perfect.

Thank you so, so much, I am freaking thrilled. <3 <3

ETA: Can I display it with the story? Please please please? I'd have to reupload it to my 'gift art' gallery because I don't think DA allows hotlinking but it's so gorgeous I really want readers to see it, and I will credit of course, I'm just so eeeeeee over this that it's stupid.

Edited at 2009-08-07 02:57 am (UTC)
(no subject) - radishface - Aug. 7th, 2009 04:41 am (UTC) - Expand
radishface
Aug. 7th, 2009 09:42 am (UTC)
I just love this fic so much that I drew another piece for it. Okay, not so much FOR it, it's more like a parody/companion piece for the last pic (which, I see, is now embedded in the fic itself!! *squee* If you want one that's got better coloration/resolution just e-mail me and I can send one that DA hasn't screwed up in the upload).

Anyhoo, hope this brings some giggles. :)

http://radishface.deviantart.com/art/Stuck-at-the-Red-Light-132444141
etherati
Aug. 7th, 2009 10:06 am (UTC)
It's 4 AM and I shouldn't even be up so I'm just gonna paste here what I just commented over on DA:

BAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA

*takes a breath*

AHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Oh Ror. Oh DAN, you PERV. Should know better than to go off daydreaming while there's mind control devices around!

"Hrm. What were you thinking about, then?"
"Oh, just... trying to remember a dream I had last night..."
"............."

I'm so glad that there are people willing to make these jokes for me, so I can be all SRS CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT and SRS PLOT and still get to giggle in the margins. XD

Mind if I link to it in the big art dump post? (obviously this one can't really go embedded into the story bahahahahaha but I still like to keep links out to all related art etc in one conglomerated post for the people.)
(no subject) - radishface - Aug. 7th, 2009 10:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - etherati - Aug. 7th, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 57 comments — Leave a comment )

what this is.


This is a fic journal for the most part, with some art on the side and a sprinkling of personal posts here and there. I don't write as much as I used to, but I try.

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