?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Fandom: Watchmen
Date Written: 2009
Summary: Captcha/Commentfic Ficlets. #1 is a comment fic from comment_fic , and has been tweaked just slightly to be zombieverse since that was what was in my head when I was writing it, and it's also vaguely, abstractly porny. Stalker!Ror in #2, Bernies in #3.
Rating/Warnings: PG-13 for #1, PG for #2 and #3

#1
Title:
The Way a Crow Shook Down on Me
Prompt: 'Dan/Rorschach, snow'

"So, ah." Daniel fiddles with something on the dashboard, though nothing really needs fiddling. Outside the ship's great glass eyes and illuminated by citylight, snow is swirling in thick, unpredictable whorls; a giant's fingerprint on the glass, always changing. It's been a long night of traipsing through waist-high snow just to get to the crime scenes, and they're both unspeakably tired.

Outside, a streetlight flickers, goes out. "What's- What's wrong?"

Rorschach twitches. This is still a new thing, this asking. He's been brooding in the copilot's chair between busts all night, knows he's been drawing attention to it unnecessarily. Wishes, for once, that Daniel were more obtuse; a few months ago and he would have just let it slide with his usual quiet patience. Now he asks.

"Don't like snow," he says, full-stop. No further explanation.

Daniel laughs, open and guileless. "Gee, and to think I was sitting here loving it. I think my ass is still frozen from that last one." A pause, considering, then: "Why not?"

Rorschach crosses his arms over his chest, sinks back into the seat. Thinks about cold brick walls and a barren yard filled with too many boys, of snowmen and snow angels and–

"What, is it just the cold? Or–"

Now the snow angel is bleeding, or he is, and the older boy is not, never is. Never will be, in any of the cold places of the world.

Never–

"Makes me feel morbid," Rorschach answers finally, startling himself with the honesty. Gestures vaguely with one hand. "Axe somewhere, waiting to fall."

Daniel stares at him for a moment, then laughs again, and presses a button on the panel. The hatch in the ship's belly slides open and they're low over the city, over a deep snowbank. "That's ridiculous," he says; Rorschach can hear the fondness behind the words. “Everything makes you feel morbid.”

And both surprise and Rorschach's exhaustion are on his side as he hauls the smaller man to his feet and shoves him straight through the hatch.

*

A soft landing; a billowing oomf from all around him as the stuff displaces, compacts under his weight and flies up to dance above him, crystal in the streetlight. Dizzying. From above, laughter again, muffled by the snow.

Furious. Enraged. Going to– going to– and Daniel must be out of his mind with fatigue, but it's no excuse, and he’s going to–

Then Daniel is in the snow too, on top of him, sealing this man-shaped hole against the light and the cold air and the heat of his body collects between the walls of soft ice and his mouth is–

And his hands are–

Daniel's muttering something about insulative properties and how the snow can fucking well do something for them tonight, and about how much he's wanted this, all night, how badly he's needed it. The fury dissipates all at once, is replaced by a familiar scrabbling burn, crawling its sickening way through bone and skin, shaking a low, bitten-off moan free as it goes.

Through his clothes and his mask, wherever Daniel touches him, the ice crystals prickle and melt in that lingering warmth and slide, slide, down the planes of his face like watery fingers, like the fingertips that are solid on his hips, glancing across his thighs, soft over his face and god, his mouth

–he braces his heels in the packed snow under him, arches up against taut muscle and strong hands–

["Snow angel, snow angel," the younger boys had said as he lay back in the cradle of white, watching the flakes swirl towards him and he'd felt safe–]

And in this tight, hot-cold space, the noises wrung from deep in his chest seem obscene, indulgently loud, but nothing escapes to the air above – and once the falling white has frosted over Daniel's cape and cowl, there is nothing to see in the quiet city darkness but another patch of snow, shifting just a bit too rhythmically in the wind.

Safe.

*

#2
Title:
And You Won't Even Notice
Prompt: 'a stalking'

The raisin bran is exactly where he remembers it being; almost a decade on, and Daniel hasn't so much as changed the organization of his pantry.

[Probably hasn't changed the routes he takes, to the library, to the store, to the diner, to Mason's garage. Hasn't changed his lock company, either.]

The coffee pot is a new model but it would take a man of far lower intelligence to be unable to decipher its use; a pot is percolating, burbling and popping loudly in the quiet brownstone, within minutes.

[It won't wake him up. He sleeps so soundly these days; you know, because you've stood and watched him a lot over the last few years, testing his instincts, gauging how long it will be before he falls victim to a burglar or an old grudge. It worries you when you're willing to admit to it.]

Cereal, milk, a rattle in the drawer for a spoon, and Rorschach sits at the table, crunching on the flakes and slurping his coffee and thinking about how he could be turning out the drawers down here, going through the shelves. Setting explosives. Loading a gun.

*

He stands over Daniel, disappointed as always. It's less the shape his old partner's allowed himself to fall into - that can be fixed, with motivation – and more the complacency of the spirit that allows a man to sleep on while hands that have broken necks and strangled the life out of bodies hang over him.

Could have a knife against your throat, he thinks, watching the shallow rise and fall of breath. A gun at your temple, fingers around your windpipe, all before you would wake up. Could kill you right now. Anyone could.

Three days ago, a false closet wall had slid back, revealing a costume hanging like a shed skin, like the shell of the hero who'd been scraped off the sidewalk the night before. Comedian, his brain had supplied and then, immediately, mask killer. A moment after that, framed photograph in hand, Wonder how good Daniel's locks are, these days.

Not very good, as it turns out.

He wakes Daniel up. The sight of him, vulnerable, laid back in bed and waiting for the hands to descend, like a man already dead and given up – it's too much to bear.

["Who next? Veidt? Juspeczyk? Me?"

"You?"]

He'll tell himself later that Daniel is a failure, that his condition is his own fault, that he chose to go soft, leave himself open to attack. Then he will feel the heavy weight of the cologne bottle in his pocket, the scent of the man lingering around him with every step, like old times, like good times, and concede that he's still worried.

His shoes will take a good wearing over the next few days, the sign in his hands blistering him where his hands grip it too tightly. Daniel may not like being followed – may not like his inferior locks broken or the feel of eyes on the back of his neck or a second rhythm of breath falling across his while he sleeps, shadow lurking over him in the dark, but he's forfeited his say in the matter.

It's for his own good.

*

#3
Title:
Well Spent
Prompt:
'trips Times'

The first time he puts the kid to work, it's 'cause the Times ain't come in yet and next to the Gazette that's his biggest seller. Doesn't figure he needs to worry about labor laws or W-2 forms or any of that bullshit; just waves a twenty at him and asks if he'd be so kind as to put down the damn comic he's been reading(and isn't ever gonna pay for, of course) and make himself useful.

The kid isn't poor; ain't rich or he'd have something better to do than sit on a sidewalk reading comics, but his clothes are always clean and in good shape and he doesn't have that hungry look the real poor kids do. Still, twenty bucks is twenty bucks and every kid's got secret dreams, shit his parents won't buy him, treasures eyed behind glass windows that have got to be saved up for, meticulous and slow.

So the boy reaches for the twenty("Not so fast, kid – work first, money after," and they finally agree to half up-front and half later) and he saunters off down the street to the Times' office.

He's back only twenty minutes later, as tall a stack of papers as he can manage in his arms. "Truck flipped over on 42nd," he says, dropping the stack, snatching up the other ten-dollar-bill and plopping back into place with his comic. "They're sendin' more soon as they can. Said that should see you through."

Twenty dollars well spent he figures, as the stack dwindles with the daylight – and from the sidewalk below, the soft swish of pages turning.

*

There are other errands, other trips after this late delivery or that one, and the kid hangs around more and more often – he doesn't thank him for the work but doesn't resent it either, so he must be saving for something big. Bernard doesn't ask; just pulls out cash like carrots and sends the kid running for him and lets his old bones rest.

Seasons turn. The comic turns out to be shit, apparently – no ending, but endings are in the air all around them by then and he's sick to death of the stink of them. Crazy hobos transmute into vigilantes, the Russians belly up to the line. He learns the kid's name, finally. Gives him his hat. Tells him to kiss his mother.

The last errand he sends him on is to fetch them both some lunch, middle of a cold day. First of November. World didn't end yesterday. Is he sure?

They eat, and the latest comic is a little better, he learns, and then Joey's there and some strangers and damn if hell isn't breaking loose around them and then light, light, and he never even found out what the kid had been saving for–

*

Twenty dollars well spent, he figures, to have someone to hang onto in the end, to pretend to be protecting, to go to pieces with as the world ends.

*

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
unimagine
Nov. 15th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
What a wonderful mixture of fluff and bawwwww.

Twenty dollars well spent, he figures, to have someone to hang onto in the end, to pretend to be protecting, to go to pieces with as the world ends.

I'll be over here, sniffling.

but he's forfeit[ed?] his say in the matter
etherati
Nov. 15th, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC)
See, I thought 'forfeit' was the past tense also, but looking it up it seems you're right. I did find this on wikipedia though:

Forfeit was the past and past participle before the 19th century.

So apparently I'm just a couple of centuries out of date ahaha. I'll fix it.

The Bernies are so bawww. :(
liodain
Nov. 15th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
Aaah the snow prompt! I was scared of what could have come of that one, but it found itself in safe hands, and without any Rorsplosions :D My wibble at the bleeding snow angel/axe waiting to fall is assuaged by snowdrift sexytimes <3

And You Won't Even Notice
hehehe

Oh man, how much do I love creepy stalky totally-in-denial Rorschach?
etherati
Nov. 16th, 2009 01:53 am (UTC)
The snow thing - specifically the conversation and then sexytiems in snow - is something I've been wanting to write for a while, and the prompt was a perfect excuse. It's funny, for all that I reffed it with all the 'Ror being morbid' stuff it never even occurred to me to Use The Prompt For Evil.

Oh man I love that song now and it's all your fault. He is completely in denial - there's no legit excuse for WATCHING HIM SLEEP, Ror. There just isn't. :(

Edited at 2009-11-16 01:53 am (UTC)
jackiemei
Nov. 16th, 2009 06:02 am (UTC)
These are beautiful and bittersweet. All three are lovely. I enjoyed the second one quite a bit because that's a little space in the GN I've thought about a few times; Rorschach making himself coffee and eating Dan's cereal before he even wakes up. Oh Danny, not a light sleeper are you? and the last one...ohh...:sniffles:
etherati
Nov. 16th, 2009 06:38 am (UTC)
The Bernies are so sad. :( Just, inherently.

And yeah, that scene in the GN has always made me wonder exactly what he was thinking and how he justified the fact that he was standing over Dan watching him sleep. XD

Thanks <3
daylilymoon
Nov. 17th, 2009 12:21 am (UTC)
These three ♥ I already left my thoughts on the last two (really loved the voices in them both), but I actually wasn't sure if they were yours or not at the time! You have out-stealthed me. I think each of these are departures from your normal style/content in different ways (good different), and yeah, I hope you're proud of these.

Oh that first one, it's so... pretty much everything I want from a Dan/Rorschach winter fic. :D It's really so quietly lovely.
etherati
Nov. 17th, 2009 04:34 am (UTC)
Hey, I guess it means my style's evolving if people aren't always catching me out anymore. XD I've been having a lot of fun playing with narrative voices lately.

Quietly lovely except for the part where Dan chucks Rorschach out of Archie into a snowbank ahahaha.

Thank you <3
sandoz_iscariot
Jan. 22nd, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)
Love Stalkerschach <3
etherati
Jan. 22nd, 2010 04:19 am (UTC)
Stalkerschach is my very favorite addition that the movie brought to us. <3

Though they did cut THIS scene out, which made me sad.

Edited at 2010-01-22 04:20 am (UTC)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )