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FIC: Visions and Revisions (3/3)

Title: Visions and Revisions
Fandom: Watchmen
Characters/Pairings: Z!Ror/Dan, Laurie
Date Written: 2010
Summary: Stupid Dan breaks his stupid arm. Laurie has to stand in for him - and work with Rorschach - on a critical mission, and reevaluations are made all around.
Rating/Warnings: PG-13, minor language.
Notes: Dear god I have no idea what I'm doing here please don't kill me.

Part 1 here.
Part 2 here.


Dan!” she shouts, voice pulling him up from the workbench before she’s even out of the dull dark circle of the tunnel’s shadow. When the light hits her eyes, blinding after so long underground, the blasting field of white white white takes a second to resolve itself into the human shape coming towards them, careless in its haste. She’s lurching unevenly; Rorschach’s all but draped over her shoulder now, and it’s awkward and she's exhausted but they've made it. “Get your sewing kit, Raggedy Andy here’s about to drop an arm.”

“Whore,” Rorschach counters darkly through the mask, voice and eloquence both strained. There isn’t much actual venom behind it though, which is bizarre enough on its own; Laurie just counts it as a good sign that he’s still coherent enough to insult her at all, genuinely or not.

“Yeah, whatever, love you too. Shut up. Dan, give me a hand here, would you? Heavier than he looks.”

Dan insinuates his good arm between them, bundles the clinging body off of her and shoulders Rorschach over towards a low workbench that seems set up to do permanent double-duty as a first-aid table. “Yeah, I kno– shit, he's bleeding. That's not... what the hell happened?”

“Didn’t go to plan.”

“Usually doesn’t. This is a little bit beyond that." Getting Rorschach up onto the table is an effort, and he immediately starts peeling back layers of fabric, looking for the source of the leak. There's a simmering of panic just under the veneer of practicality, and it's peeking through. "Christ, I don't even know if I can handle this."

"Don't you usually fix this kind of thing up for him?"

Dan shakes his head, but it's not really an answer – more just a gesture of frustration, as the scattershot of wounds comes into view. "Yeah, but... I'm not a doctor, Laurie. Whatever's ripped up in there is probably pretty big and pretty important. I mean, maybe if it's big enough, I can still get stitches into it, but that's assuming I can figure out what goes where. Here, can you get that light?"

She drags the standing lamp over, points it down before he has to tell her. Under the halo of its glare, she can see the shift when the engineer in him takes over clearly, fingers pressing in under fabric, tracing along lines of muscle and bone and sinew, trying to map it out and make sense of it all. "It's a slow enough bleed that we're not really in a rush, at least. Dammit, this is why I told you to take the vest, you stupid bastard."

“Yeah, because so many vests cover shoulders too," Laurie says, sarcastic, fiddling with the lamp head to try to get him a better angle. Then she freezes into a startled silence, blindsided suddenly by the fact that she’s just caught herself defending Rorschach of all people and seriously, what the hell is that about–

Dan seems just as thrown, glancing between the two of them curiously until Rorschach shifts on the table, obviously in pain, good hand going to his shoulder to find and press into the wounds. He probably hasn't had to tap into 'stop the bleeding' instincts in a long time but she guesses old habits don’t die easily.

“Don’t,” Dan’s saying, taking hold of him by the wrist and peeling the hand away, settling it back against the table. “You’ll make it worse,” he’s saying, and she can't tell if he actually knows what he's talking about but his voice is suddenly flooded with all the tenderness and worry she used to hear from–

That she hasn't heard in–

“I need to go talk to Laurie for a min – Rorschach. Listen to me. I need to go talk to Laurie. I’ll be right back." Reassurance, barely plastering over his own building panic. "Keep your hands down until then, okay?”

The form on the table nods after a moment, seemingly unsure as to what he's agreeing to, and Dan pulls her away by the elbow, outside the circle of lamplight.

"Look," he says, glancing nervously between her and the bench, lifting his casted arm for consideration. "I can't do this by myself. I know it's a lot to ask, but–"

"Yeah, I can help," and she's a bit surprised at her own quick willingness, but then the borderline fear on Dan's face breaks up into relief and defines itself by its absence and she knows that feeling, circumstances piling onto circumstances until it's an intractable mess, despair rushing in to fill all the cracks. If she doesn't stay there's no option but a hospital and she remembers that story from the first weeks of the outbreak, too. "Nothing better to do today anyway, right?"


"Not..." A strangled sound, as the fabric starts to peel back in pieces. With the sticky sheen of sludge that passes for his blood seeped through it all, it must feel like some painless skinning, flayed away a layer at a time. "Not appropriate for her to see–"

Dan shakes his head, works at it as best he can with one hand, laying torn grey skin bare. "She's already seen half your face. I doubt any of this is a surprise."

"Don't want–" he growls, cutting off with a sharp breath when Dan pulls a piece of shredded fabric out of where it's become embedded in the wounds. Reaches up with his good hand and wraps it, blood-caked glove and all, around Dan's wrist; gives it a sharp tug, and all his strength obviously hasn't left him. It's an unbelievable deadlock – bastard’s arm is half off and he’s got to be delirious from the pain and he’s still fucking fighting.

“Look,” Dan says, twisting out of the hold and gripping that pale exposed jawline. She's reminded suddenly of a childhood friend who'd had a habit of grabbing strange barking dogs by the muzzle to quiet them down; she'd never been bitten either. Laurie still doesn't think she'd have the fearless confidence Dan's exuding, holding Rorschach still like that. “I’ve only got one hand that actually works. I can’t do this myself this time. You either lie back and stop struggling and let us fix you, or I’m going to pump you full of morphine now and you can thank us when you wake up.”

She can see the calculations running in the way Rorschach tilts his head against the grip – figuring out his odds of thrashing effectively enough to avoid the syringe, working out the chances that he’ll actually lose the arm if it’s not taken care of on account of Dan not being able to stitch one-handed, trying to understand the implications of the bleeding and just how bad this really is, and...

“Fine,” he finally says, head dropping back onto the table with a thunk too loud and resonant to be healthy. Dan doesn’t seem concerned; just reaches for the shears and starts cutting the sleeve and shirt away. He’s very careful to keep to the seams.


“You’ve gotten really good at this,” Laurie remarks, voice quiet, after the first few holes have been closed, the muscle underneath sewn up with an entirely different technique than she’s used to using on skin. Careful, nimble fingers pull a half-knot tight, leaving it to her to finish it two-handed. From the side, she can feel Rorschach glaring right through the mask, probably insulted at being talked over like a conversation piece.

“I’ve had to,” Dan just says, matter-of-fact, reaching for a fresh suture and handing it to her to thread.

Under their hands, Rorschach growls, but does not struggle.


“All right man, we’re almost done with the easy stuff. Let’s get this in so it can start working.” Dan brandishes the prefilled syringe of morphine with his good hand, gestures for Laurie to hold Rorschach’s arm down and still – anticipating the fight.

It comes as expected, a thrashing weakened by pain and exhaustion, compromised by the poor leverage of his position. Still a valiant effort, for all that it accomplishes; Laurie just holds on harder, and doesn’t let go. “Nng… no need, don’t want–”

“Shut up,” Dan says, slipping the needle in and pushing the plunger, slow and steady. “I just closed up nine deep tissue wounds, haven't even gotten to the bleeding yet. Your shoulder looks like the hamburger you had for dinner last night. You don’t get a say in this today.”

It doesn’t have any immediate effect aside from the scowl that somehow manages to deepen even further, but Dan doesn’t seem concerned, turning back to the mess in front of them. A good half of the surface injuries haven’t been closed yet, but at least all the slugs are out; he gestures to her for a freshly threaded needle.

Rorschach’s mouth is set in a hard line, looking like fury and betrayal. Laurie’s hands are smeared with dark, purplish blood; Dan had needed her help getting in at the worst of the damage and infection doesn't seem to be enough of a concern to warrant gloves, though he had done a quick palms-to-backs check of her hands for open injuries before letting her dig in. Acute central cyanosis, her ancient first-aid lessons chime in helpfully as she studies the dark smears. Not enough oxygen in the blood. Open the airway...

...god, fuck first-aid; that's a big artery that Dan's stitching up there, running over the muscle and just under the joint she'd put back into place back at the warehouse. Oozing sluggishly, the source of most of what made it onto his coat, but – and she's no expert but she can hazard a guess – if he were human he'd probably have been dead before she hit the ground behind him.

“Hey,” Dan says once the last vascular stitch is in, once he's wiped away the blood and found no more welling up to replace it. His grimness is fading, relief taking its place, and he reaches down to tap Rorschach lightly on the cheek. “Come on, it’s for your own good.”

“Yeah," and Laurie is seized by a sudden boldness, maybe something to do with the Terror of the Underworld – the Undead Terror of the Underworld no less – lying here exposed and split open and acting like a sulky child. Might be to do with the blood on her fingers; something in this mess that she understands. "Don’t be so pissy, you know you’ll be grateful when it kicks in.”

Rorschach grumbles, and Dan laughs for the first time since they got in even if it is hollow and a little desperate, and Laurie threads another needle and hands it over without needing to be asked.


“Goddamn he’s deep,” Laurie grouses, shifting her half of the weight over to Dan. They’d gotten him halfway up the basement stairs before the drugs had apparently decided to kick in all at once; they’ve hauled him the rest of the way up and into the guest room, but it's not been easy going. The room itself doesn’t seem to get much use, but either the thought of another set of stairs is too daunting or Dan’s just too sheepish to brazenly drop Rorschach in his own bed – or, possibly, he thinks she might have forgotten and doesn’t want to remind her.


“High as a kite,” Dan concurs, settling the deadweight down carefully into the heaped blankets, careful of the stitched-up shoulder. “That’s why I try to time it. He hates being this out of it while I’m still working on him.”

“Didn’t think it was going to work at all. Took long enough.”

“Always does, yeah.”

“Bet he’s a cheap drunk.”

Dan laughs, airy, kind of shaky. “He was a cheap drunk before; no idea what the hell you’d call it now. Should have seen the first cup of coffee he had after…” he waves his hand vaguely over the pale patched-up mess of bandages and bruises. “Closed up in the ship, so no possibility of escape."


“He was seriously tweaking out, pretty much literally bouncing off the walls. Was trying to take the ship apart from the inside at one point.”

It feels natural then, to laugh together, like some rusted over pressure relief valve has been knocked off with a sledgehammer. Brothers in arms or some shit; they're both bloodied and crosseyed from the work and it lasts as long as it needs to, trails off when it can. Laurie catches herself rubbing at her arm like she’s got a deep-muscle itch that she can’t get at.

She narrows her eyes at the form on the bed. “This happen a lot?”

“Often enough,” Dan says, and he seems terribly tired all of a sudden, as if all of this has caught up at once for him, too. He sits on the corner of the bed, head heavy in one hand as he tried to rub a tension headache away. “Usually get more of a fight on the painkillers, but… yeah, he's been just a little careless.”

("It's different," he'd said in the tunnel, voice running all over itself like syrup and hollowed by its own echo, and real immortality has its advantages, doesn't it?)

(He’s gotten good at it because he’s had to.)

She hasn’t washed her hands. She’s been messier than this, been up to her elbows in blood before – usually civilian, and that’s bad enough – but this just feels different, somehow. The stitches they’ve put in look fresh and raw, but they’re not the only ones there; older wounds snake all over him, sutures bristling from his skin. "No kidding. Jesus, he looks like Frankenstein's monster," she says. "So, um. Will those... heal, or...?"

"Eventually, yeah. His, uh," and here Dan rubs at the back of his neck, self-conscious in the way he gets when he knows he's likely about to get too technical. "His cell division rate's a lot slower, so they take a long time to close up, but they'll get there."

Laurie nods, almost too quickly; had thought, for a moment there, that maybe the injuries just stayed, building up until he'd be held together by nothing but surgical thread and will. She sighs, glancing at the window. "So he'll be okay."

A second of silence before her brain catches up with her words and she lifts her head to find Dan looking at her like she's just expressed actual concern for someone she's supposed to despise or something crazy like tha–

Shit. Busted.

"So, ah," Dan says, smile quirking at the corner of his mouth. "Should I be wondering when the invasion’s planned for?”

“Ha ha, pod people, very funny.”

"Well, I mean, Rorschach actually shuts up when I tell him to, and now you’re concerned enough to ask… what am I supposed to think?"

She laughs, a little hysterical. The adrenaline's dropping off. "Shut up."

“I just wouldn’t want it to fall on a day I have plans. I hope the evil overlords can respect that.”

Another snort of laughter that trails off into nothing, and outside the open window, Laurie can hear traffic and construction and angry shouts – and under those gaudy, busy noises, the quiet susurruses of people out for the morning air, voices pitched only for each other, furtive in their shared confidence–

[Dan, halfway through extracting the eighth slug, leaning in close to whisper something secret and soothing against a gasp of pain so sharp even Laurie had jumped – words a quiet leaf-rustling of encouragement and apology and things she’s in no position to identify]

–in their shared world, private and dense with meaning. Outside, today and tonight and yesterday and tomorrow: ordinary lives marching past, ordinary things that they will never be a part of, and in that, they are all alike.

“…fuck it," she says, hands pushing back through her hair, yanking out the band with too much ferocity. "I need a beer. You have beer, right?”

A moment for the thought to connect, Dan's eyes following his fingers as they smooth over the thick patterning of stitchwork. Then he's nodding, distant. “Yeah… yeah, I do. Think I need one too.”



( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 8th, 2010 04:15 am (UTC)
"Yeah, whatever, love you too. Shut up..."

DAMMIT! I LOVE your Laurie so much! I just wanna hug her....and that's a rare thing, for me to want to hug a female character.....

"Dammit, this is why I told you to take the vest, you stupid bastard."

I love it when Dan gets angry! It's so cute....And Rorschach pouts! Adorable, bloody fucking adorable!

“Shut up,” Dan says, slipping the needle in and pushing the plunger, slow and steady. “I just closed up nine deep tissue wounds, haven't even gotten to the bleeding yet. Your shoulder looks like the hamburger you had for dinner last night. You don’t get a say in this today.”

Damn.....Rorschach just got whipped. LOL! *hugs Dan*

MAN! I love your stuff! I was really nervous before i read this because i had to drive home (in the dark and I RARLEY drive....even though i should practice more so i can get my license instead of permit) so i was feeling bad, but then i read this and I feel A LOT better, so thank you for writting your wonderful stories that make me so happy.
Feb. 8th, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC)
Rorschach won't admit it, but he's totally whipped. XD

And yeah, that was one of my favorite lines of hers, just because of how flippant it is and how casually dismissive of Rorschach's bullshit.

Thank you, and good luck with the driving!
Feb. 8th, 2010 04:34 am (UTC)

I love her outside perspective on their relationship... have I said that already? Oh well, I still love it. It brings all the little differences in the way Dan & Ror act toward each other to the foreground in a refreshing way.

I'm so glad to see the three of them just a little bit closer through all this. I just always like the way you write friendships and treat them as something important, 'cause they are.

Also YAY susurruses, susurrant has to be one of my favorite words ever so I'm strangely pleased :D
Feb. 8th, 2010 05:59 pm (UTC)
They think they're being SO DISCREET heh god stop lying to yourselves, boys. EVERYONE KNOWS.

But yeah. I think friendships are very important - they are not the same as 'being friendly with' and also don't even require that, not really. It's its own deep kind of relationship and allows her to be closer to them - and to HAVE someone to be close to, since Jon isn't exactly the open type. And I think that's important.

Thank you, as always <3

Feb. 8th, 2010 08:10 am (UTC)
Acute central cyanosis, her ancient first-aid lessons chime in helpfully as she studies the dark smears. Not enough oxygen in the blood.

I live for this stuff! Not science (ewww), but different people's unique perspectives on weird people's weirdnesses. I loved it in impschach and the more extended treatment here was fantastic.

My favourite part was her noticing Rorschach's scaary amount of stitched wounds and wondering if they would ever heal. Because you so would, if you've just participated in patching up a zombie. I really liked how it was actually a point of discussion rather than just a private worry.

And, that turnaround at the end, where Laurie is considering how in lurrrrve Dan and Ror are, and how Dan is The Rorschach-Whisperer...that was pretty great.
Feb. 8th, 2010 05:55 pm (UTC)
Ahaha 'weird people's weirdness', yes. There is so much weirdness there and you can bet she's never dealt with it except as an abstract, certainly not THIS close up and personal.

and how Dan is The Rorschach-Whisperer

OH GOD. He really is. I never thought of it like that. DAMN YOOOOO.
Feb. 8th, 2010 10:08 am (UTC)
This is so sweet. Even thought the content is not for the faint of heart, I just love Lauries outside perspective of Dan and Rorschach's relationship, and it so keeps in with your over all plot line. This is extremely well written, and I can't wait to see more from you. Go Z!Rorschach and Dan!
Feb. 8th, 2010 05:51 pm (UTC)
Yeeeahhh see, I'm so non-bothered by stuff like that that I sometimes forget some people can't deal with it. But there's a very real vulnerability/exposure issue being explored there under all the gory details, so it seemed important :)

And thanks! Yeah, those two really seem to kick canon's ass in so many ways. XD
Feb. 8th, 2010 03:06 pm (UTC)
Must have missed parts 2 and 3 on FFN; but this is awesome! Your Laurie is amazing, precisely the right blend of snarkiness and professionalism -- the detail of tying back her hair before jumping in, exactly what I always think about active long-haired people, athletes or superheroes or whatever. Wonderful action scenes; delightfully sparky dialogue. Thank you!
Feb. 8th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
2 and 3 haven't been posted on ffn yet; I didn't want to post 2 right after 1 and then have it be a long wait for 3, but then 3 finished itself up unexpectedly. :3

And thank you so much! I always worry I'm tipping Laurie too far to one extreme or another, and I traditionally suck at action scenes, so both of those things working well in this is a huge load off.
Feb. 8th, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
Awww, this was so awesome! I loved every minute, but especially Laurie's new found friendships. <3
Feb. 8th, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
I think she's always been friendly with Dan and I doubt she ever will be with Rorschach, but there's a lot more real respect there for both now, and they for her. And some envy, I think. But yeah, there's some solidity there now, and that was important.
Feb. 8th, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC)
YAAAY! Oh man, I loved Laurie in this so much. I love that you chose her to be the observer of their relationship because she's so sassy and observant and banters with everyone omg and I really liked that. XD Also: I love the doofy teasing between her and Dan towards the end about pod people. It made me laugh :)
Feb. 8th, 2010 07:38 pm (UTC)
The snark between her and Ror was my absolute FAVORITE part of this to write, I am not kidding at all. It was just such fun.

But yes, derpy jokes are also good. :)

Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 8th, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC)
He basically has a cutoff now of half a cup of coffee, unless it's decaf, and often fills the other half with cocoa at Dan's suggestion. The result is sweet enough that he can actually taste it (as opposed to just drinking it for the warmth) so he's rather fond of that now.

(I actually have the Coffee Incident written, it just needs some polish. XD)

I'm really digging on that chemistry though too; it surprised me how well she worked with these versions of the characters and how easy the interactions were to write. I'm really keen to write more with her now.

Also: thank you, as always <3
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - etherati - Feb. 10th, 2010 01:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - i_am_your_spy - Feb. 13th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - etherati - Feb. 13th, 2010 08:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 12th, 2010 12:18 am (UTC)
I love Laurie in this. I wasn't sure how you were going to end it, but that's a perfect place to stop.
Feb. 12th, 2010 04:10 am (UTC)
She really did turn out okay, I think. :) And thanks!
Feb. 17th, 2010 11:33 pm (UTC)
Dan and Laurie's banter at the end so freakin' adorable. I love how you've preserved their chemistry from the GN-- it's easy to see that they could become something more if they put their heads/hearts to it, which is really true to both of them.

From the side, she can feel Rorschach glaring right through the mask, probably insulted at being talked over like a conversation piece.


Your Laurie voice is great and like daylily said, you've really got the friendship element down between all three of them. It's tricky enough to do D/R and do it well-- but introducing another character ups the connection levels threefold-- so many things to keep track of, and very tricky to do right. You've done such a wonderful job illustrating all of them and keeping all their emotions organized! Hopefully we'll be seeing more Laurie from you... ;)
Feb. 19th, 2010 05:12 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks. I was trying to balance that, their chemistry, because you're right; in another world/life/future they had that potential, but I didn't want it to slide into anything that disrespected the relationship Dan does have. It is trickier than I thought, but I really, really enjoyed it, so I think we'll see more Laurie. :3
Mar. 24th, 2010 10:29 pm (UTC)
I just love the way you write Laurie! Man, I hate it that Dan/Ror/Laurie has somehow become my OT3, because fic is totally and completely to blame for it, but yeah. Great work :)
Mar. 24th, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC)
Well, there's teeeechnically no OT3 in z!verse, at least not in the strictest sense, but I enjoy having her around to drink with Dan and cause trouble for Ror haha XD

And thanks!
(no subject) - anonymousedward - Aug. 28th, 2010 01:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - etherati - Sep. 22nd, 2010 03:52 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 30th, 2010 07:05 pm (UTC)
Ah, I love it~! I'm fast becoming an addict to this magical Zombieverse you've made. X3 And I DO mean an addict. After a couple days without internet, I had to go to a friend's house just so I could steal their webz and open up a good handful of your fics for later. I was jonesing pretty bad, lol! Spent all of yesterday reading, reading, reading.

I was a little doubtful about Laurie at first. The movie all but destroyed her, and since THAT was my first impression of Watchmen, the skepticism makes sense. Buuuuut it's you, and it's Z!Rory, so I had to give it a chance. Very much glad I did. You do Laurie so much justice. She's got just the right amount of snippy bitch in her, without being the obligatory "Sue assigned for the hatings".
Also, I love the interaction of these three! What a well-balanced trio! Gromnomnom!
There's only one problem with your fics: I try to read them while I'm eating breakfast, and in the end I get so involved with the story that breakfast takes me nearly TWO HOURS.

Clearly, I need to stop eating breakfast.

Apr. 5th, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC)

But yeah, I agree the movie(at least the theatrical cut) ruined her pretty badly; the director's cut is slightly better but it still doesn't save the fact that Malin just can't act up to the standard of the rest of the cast. That said, in the GN she is totally feral and badass and I thought that'd go nicely with Zverse :3 Thanks!

(They really ARE a well balanced trio, which is probably why there's so much ot3 fic out there. XD)
Jun. 26th, 2010 08:51 pm (UTC)
smoky the bear has the funniest secret mistress evar
D'awwwwww, and Dan should be worried, dun dun dun! There were already zombies, why not pod ppl?
Jun. 27th, 2010 03:24 pm (UTC)
Re: smoky the bear has the funniest secret mistress evar

Thanks :)
( 32 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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