Date Written: 2010
Summary: Some kinds of intimacy are more allowed than others.
Rating/Warnings: PG-13, despite the title.
Notes: Vague dubconny vibes, but nothing too serious. For Kink Bingo(prompt: 'piercing/needleplay'), posted early just so I don't porn-bomb flists when I'm done. Not being crossposted until then.
He moves in and out of Daniel, effortlessly, efficiently. Daniel is very still under his hands, and he tries hard not to linger.
It isn't easy. He knows no one else is allowed this intimacy – it isn't the same for the punks on the street, with their stilettos and switchblades. They just move past, splitting things open in their wake, not allowed to stay under the skin.
Here, in this place and context, curved needle catching the light and the smell of antiseptic permeating the air, he is allowed to do this. He is allowed inside.
When he's the one injured, he doesn't feel any of it; he's numb with anesthetics, because Daniel believes in them. When it's Daniel who's injured he's stitched sober. Rorschach knows nothing about these drugs, where to administer the injections or how much, and he always makes his apologies even when he doesn't really mean them.
It's better this way.
Daniel hisses, and Rorschach stops moving, the needle halfway consumed by the skin. It's a shallow wound but in a high-flexibility area and the stitches must be placed widely to compensate. The dull end protrudes from the skin, looking lodged deeper than it is.
"Problem?" Rorschach asks, and it's gruff but he does mean it. He tries hard not to imagine other scenarios where he might say these words, but the images rise against his will; Daniel pierced too far and too hard in other ways, body closing around something other than surgical steel, breathing out a harsh need for stillness.
His fingers do not shake on the thin piece of metal. They do not.
"...no," Daniel finally says, and he still hasn't moved. Snaking down his shoulderblade, a dried trail of blood that's leaked free since they started, and Rorschach feels an impractical urge to duck and lick it away, to make the skin clean and whole again. "Keep going."
(Keep going, he would say, hitching himself higher and rocking his hips up against–)
His fingers work the needle, letting the tip reappear on the other side, straddling the slash wide. It's perfect, in its sharpness and precision, in the way it does precisely what he tells it to do. Unlike his hands. Unlike his sick, unfathomable mind.
He doesn't think Daniel knows, even after all this time.
In and out, repetitive, rhythmic. A pause on every cycle to set the needle into its tray, to tie off the bit of white suture thread and pull Daniel a fraction more together, close him off to the rest of the world. The injury is placed such that any shirt Daniel owns will hide it, and that's good; the paper boy and the grocery checkout woman and the man who owns the corner store have no right to this. No one does, and that is why he is sealing it off, meticulous. He isn't really sure what possessiveness feels like, or jealousy, but it might be something like this: stillness, and control, and making sure the flesh under him is open to no one else.
"Just stings a little," Daniel says, like he always does, a ritual. You're hurting me, says a faraway voice, so far away he often doesn't remember what it sounds like, anymore. The needle dances in and out of Daniel's body, coming out bloody every time, and he imagines all instruments of intimacy do.
When he is done, Daniel breathes out a shuddering sigh. The splash of white across his back is neat, is perfect, is like a signature or a marking and while Rorschach would never stoop to the idiocy of literally signing his name in the skin when there are far more practical needs, he likes to think that in a time when good needlework is increasingly underappreciated, it may as well be a brand.
Daniel reaches one hand behind himself, runs tips of his fingers over the bristling pattern, almost a caress.
"Thank you," he says, turning his head. His eyes are hooded and dark, and Rorschach has to bite the inside of his cheek. "I don't know what I'd do without you."
Rorschach averts his eyes, gathering the cut ends of thread into the trash, depositing the needle into the sterilization bin just to get it out of his sight. "Probably find a way to do it yourself."
The trail of blood is still there, and Daniel doesn't seem to notice or care but it's a mark of Rorschach's brief passage, telling a story of how he'd been too rough, moved too fast, pushed too deep. "I don't know," Daniel says, voice as dark as his eyes, and it's just the pain doing that, the adrenaline. "It's a tough angle to get on your own. Fingers don't really bend that way."
"Managed for years," Rorschach says, and they both know he's talking about himself.
Silence, for a stretch, and then Daniel's picking his shirt up from the floor, pulling it on easy and smooth. He does up the buttons with a reluctant slowness.
Rorschach can feel Daniel's eyes on him as he reassembles the suture kit, puts the sterile packet of needles away, their new untouchedness glittering through the plastic. As he clips the kit shut, metal latching into metal, puts this indulgence away for another night.
As he considers whether he'd been too slow on the street tonight, whether he could have spun a moment sooner and disarmed the thug before the blade made contact, and–
The eyes bore through his back, relentless and hungry.
He doesn't think that Daniel knows.