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FIC: Now, As Before - [2/12]

Title: Now, As Before
Fandom: Watchmen
Characters/Pairings: Dan/Rorschach, lightly
Date Written: 2009
Summary: "After changes upon changes we are more or less the same."
Rating/Warnings: R. Language. Violence. ZOMBIES. Cracky premise, non-cracky treatment.
Notes: This is completely a guilty indulgence – I love reading zombie AU fics, don’t usually write stuff like this. So! This was a zombiefic challenge from elsewhere(the kinkmeme *coughs*). AU. Pre-Roche, so expect reasonably complete sentences from our favorite psychotic redhead. Warnings include: 'zombies created by SCIENCE' cliché, bad science on top of it, mild gore, MotherHen!Dan, non-explicit slashiness(Dan/Ror). Also: OMGWTF*LONG*.This sucker is sitting at about 50 pages in Word right now. End notes are at the end.
Spoilers: Some Roche stuff eventually. Not much else.

EXTRA NOTE: All illustrations are by liodain , NOT ME.


*

Day 3.

*

Rorschach's been drifting in and out of sleep all day in the guest room, and Dan stands in the doorway for a minute, just looking in. His partner is hopelessly tangled in sheets that will likely need changing again in the morning - he's been sweating buckets - and restless. The mask is laying folded neatly in half on a nearby table, spoils of the battle Dan finally won early this morning when the fever spiked dangerously high and he'd been forced to put hands to either side of Rorschach's head and hold it there against the pillow and explain in explicit detail exactly what he would do to the stupid bastard if he went and boiled his brain.

"Infected," comes an indistinct mutter from the room.

"I'd imagine so, yeah," Dan replies, walking in, fresh bandages rolled in one hand. "It's deep. No way we could've cleaned it completely." He sits down on the edge of the bed, reaching to peel back this morning's dressings and determine if they need changing - a bizarre bravery backing his actions that has come on in the last few days. He'll have to retrain himself once Rorschach is coherent and present and personal-space-obsessive as usual again

(if he makes it)

but for now, he’s going to take what breaks he can get.

Rorschach grunts in frustration, rolling his head loosely to one side, eyes fever-bright and focused somewhere in Dan's vicinity but not quite on target. Speaking is an effort. "No, Daniel. Infected."

Dan sighs, both at the delirious assertion Rorschach's been making for most of the last 24 hours and at the red, swollen mess under the bandage. He reaches for the bottle of Isopropyl by the bedside. "You've had a high-grade fever most of the day. You'll forgive me if I don't trust your judgment."

"Hope you have that pistol on you," Rorschach mutters, glazed eyes shuttering closed.

There's a moment of silence and inaction, then Dan sets the bottle back down, too hard. Irritated. "Oh, for the love of- okay. Let me see." And he reaches both hands down to the smaller man's unresponsive face, none-too-gently prying eyelids open. Watches the pupils dilate appropriately. Slides both hands down to his throat, pressing in at the pulse point. "Eyes look fine, pulse is strong. And you're heating up, not chilling down, in case you hadn't noticed."

"Noticed."

The alcohol probably stings, but Dan's annoyed beyond caring at the moment. Annoyed and, in the back of his head somewhere, just a little bit honestly terrified despite what logic and reason tells him. The things he's been hearing on the news, and that call on Archie's radio from Ozymandias, all disjointed and broken and screaming in the background... "No more... 'infection' bullshit, then." Yeah, he's definitely going to have to retrain himself later. And he's still refusing to say the word. "It's infected all right- with bacteria. The normal kind you pick up dragging a gaping wound all over the city, wrapped in a filthy trench coat. We break this fever and from there on it'll be fine."

There's a noise in response but it doesn't say much, and Dan doesn't say anything either, just quietly cleans the injury and rebandages it. No words out loud, but before he leaves - Rorschach's drifted off again - he reaches down and runs a hand lightly over the bristle of his friend's impossible hair, the only thing that'd surprised him when the mask came off, and catches himself thinking, irrational and panicky:

(Please, just... please. Don't do this to me.)



*

---->Chapter 3.

*

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
februaryfinds
Apr. 13th, 2009 02:47 pm (UTC)
Fabulous, fabulous, fab!
etherati
Apr. 13th, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
roachpatrol
Jun. 8th, 2009 06:25 am (UTC)
ZOMBIE AU. FUCK YEAH.

On a more serious note, you're ripping my fucking heart out, and I like it so much! The pictures are almost as amazing as your writing, which is spectacular, and this chapter made me do a little victory dance on my sofa because I am overcome with how much win you have packed in here.

Off to go read the rest!
etherati
Jun. 8th, 2009 06:48 am (UTC)
Aw wow, you probably have no idea (because I'm a goddamned chicken about commenting on stuff) but I freaking love your stuff so it's a huge honor that you're reading/enjoying this heh.

I hope you enjoy the rest - the beginning's a little deceptive because the chapters are short. They get holycow!long by the end, but hopefully the payoff is worth the time investment. :D

Also, btw, the art's actually by liodain, not by me hah. I have a few of my own drawings in the big NaB art post but they're so crappy I would never inflict them on people kind enough to be reading my stories.
akemi42
Aug. 4th, 2009 05:54 am (UTC)
Wonderful! And the art too... *smiles*
etherati
Aug. 4th, 2009 06:02 am (UTC)
The art's liodain's, but yeah, it really ties the scene up nicely i think. :D
ladydarthorn
Sep. 2nd, 2009 10:49 am (UTC)
FFFF Read the entire thing in one hit last night, but here I am rereading it so I can comment every chapter because I'm obsessive xD
This whole chapter made me a little sad, even reading it the first time you know where its going >:
Also, I love the art you insert into the chapters! it really adds something to the story.
etherati
Sep. 3rd, 2009 02:09 am (UTC)
YOU'LL GET NO ARGUMENT FROM ME :D

Yeah, I remember when I was first writing it it was just ... sad. Because, yeah, you know exactly what's going on, and since it was not written yet, no one knew that it would end up kind of okay. :|

The art in this story is by Liodain! :D Liodain is awesome beyond belief.
hohaiyee
Jun. 25th, 2010 03:27 am (UTC)
I'll feel worse about Ozy screaming
If it weren't for the fact that I just finished the novel and I still think he's a bastard, and SOMEHOW, might be responsible for the zeds.

...and I think, if z-day every happen, imma just gonna call it, zombies zombies zombies, they ain't Voldemort.
etherati
Jun. 25th, 2010 03:45 am (UTC)
Re: I'll feel worse about Ozy screaming
Zeds! WWZ fan?

Yeah, Adrian's a bastard, and he'll be more of a bastard before this is over. :D
hohaiyee
Jun. 25th, 2010 07:04 pm (UTC)
WWZ is like me bible
...and yeah, read Max Brooks, the survival guide and world war z, and before the self parody 2nd one I already see the problem with the first (staircases can be hard to destroy depending on where). I heart Max Brooks and if I could vote for him, I would, because screw this left-right bs, we need an anti-zombie plan! If all people have a combo of secure homes well stocked with food and ammo, we'll never have to worry about zombies or pretty much anything.

Like: extreme left; rely on the nanny state! Leaving people screwed when the state collapse
extreme right; we can all be islands! Ignoring that everyone you ignore isn't going to ignore you, especially when they are hungry for your flesh.

Dunno which is worse especially since they actually feed into each other. Extreme Left, like Communist China, denies individual responsibilities, people in charge refuse to recognize that they do have more power and act according to protect those under their power. Extreme Right, denies that everyone starts with a different island and that some nannying, MOTHERING, is required to bring up individuals who can individual.

...and Brooks is politically relevant because zombie is just a metaphor for a combination of plague and hunger and a majority of desperate deprived people. Christ, people eating each other when the food ran out? Happened, no need for virus.

< / rant > sorry, got off rail there!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )