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Title: Compromise
Author: MustInvestigate
Disclaimer: I only own action figures
Rating: eventually NC-17
Character(s)/Pairing: Comedian/Rorschach
Warning: Graphic m/m sexual activity, dubious consent
Summary: Late 1960s - the brief Crimebusters heyday. Now with more sex.


Edward Blake had many reasons for attending Crimebusters meetings, none of them very good.

He liked seeing the kid, for one. Sure, she was clinging to that big blue freak and looked at Blake like he was a particularly fragrant Hudson floater, but she spoke up when she had something to say and fought like a rabid mongoose in a reptile house. It could make an old man feel proud, a little.

He was being paid to keep an eye on the pantyhose brigade, for another. Groups of do-gooders had their uses, but could be one round of kum-bah-yah away from becoming socialist agitators, bleating on about poverty and social inequality being the true underlying causes of criminal activity. Fight the real enemies! poor old Byron had been known to blubble, not long before the white coats had tucked him away.

As if it actually mattered whether someone starved to death in a slum instead of ending up a burnt crust on the bricks a few years down the line. But Blake knew he had no chance of illuminating these idealistic young things. He could just about slam the lid down on their more annoying enthusiasm, and even that was more diplomacy than he wanted to dirty himself with these days.

No, mostly he was here because – if he was being honest with himself, and Blake was nothing if not brutally honest – because he’d won. He’d broken good old Nellie, who had abdicated the big chair to the living Oscar statuette and now sat in the back, glaring all wobbly-chinned at the Comedian and practically glowing every time one of the kids threw a pity question his way. It was a sight to savor.

And there was no point in winning if you weren’t going to enjoy the goddamned spoils, if you scurried away the same as if you’d been beat.

It was Nite Owl’s turn at the big city map tonight, marking up the various warehouse districts with – Jesus H. Christ – color-coded thumbtacks.

“As you can see, the recent outbreak of hijackings seems to focus on trucks originating from these three places. We’ve been tracking the local gang activity to see if one in particular has territory in all three areas – ”

He looked at Rorschach, who shook his head in frustration. “This is definitely a Graeme Street Dogs neighborhood. Many graffiti tags, none of them defaced. The other two are in disputed blocks, but not by the Dogs.”

He tilted his head – Back to you – as simpering as any blow-dried newsreader.

“So, we’ll keep investigating,” Nite Owl trailed off, fiddling with the box of tacks. “Unless any of you have some thoughts…?”

Blake snorted. You could overlay your pretty little map with one displaying union density and have your answer. Fucking Teamsters are all on the take.

The two self-declared partners glanced back at each other and shrugged simultaneously.

Now there’s a problem, Blake thought. Nellie and Hooded Justice all over again.

Having H.J. as perpetual backup had given Captain Metropolis some difficult ideas. Expansion, for one – connecting with the mask groups in Chicago, D.C., even as far south as the freakshow patrolling New Orleans, to take on the really big fish. The fact that those bottom feeders were captains of industry like any other and kept fins in every useful politician’s pocket went completely over his head. Fortunately, without that big bastard to cover his back, Nellie kept his aspirations more reasonable.

Blake decided to put a stick in the spokes of that wheel before it picked up any speed.

“I’ve been following a tip that might dovetail with your interests,” he began. “Not sure, though. Could use a hand if I’m going to go in deep on this one.”

Impulsively, he picked the tougher nut to crack. “Rorschach, you up for it?”

The immediate frown on Nite Owl’s face told him his instincts were still good.

Rorschach looked between them uncertainly. “I…of course. I’m happy to help.”

And just to put the boot in… “Actually, I could really use an aerial view before we go in. How ‘bout I borrow that great pretty toy of yours, Nite Owl?”

Nite Owl shook his head. “It’s too dangerous. The Owlship is really more of a prototype – there’s too many adjustments still to make, and if something failed in mid-air, you could take out an entire block coming down.”

“Ah, come on, Hooter…”

“I can man the controls, Nite Owl. I’m sure I’d recognise any deviations in its operation early enough to set Archie down safely, and secretly.”

Ozymandias cleared his throat meaningfully. “I’m glad we’re finally thinking more as a team. Pooling our manpower – and womanpower, of course – in the most effective manner is something we all need to be flexible with. This is a real turning point for us.”

He glanced at Nite Owl, who wilted a little.

“As long as Rorschach is at the wheel, fine. Just be careful.”

Beautiful. Blake grinned and tilted his chair back on two legs. “Don’t worry. I’ll give them both back to you in one piece.”

Silk Spectre sniffed. “If we’re done here? It’s just Mom insists I’m home by 2, and I’d like to actually accomplish something tonight?”

Blake left with the first wave as the meeting broke up, regretting just a little how that forced Laurie to scurry ahead to avoid him. Exits were important. He stepped around a corner of the building and waited.

He heard Rorschach and Nite Owl step out together.

“Should I…not have volunteered?”

“No, no, it’s fine. Maybe I should come along anyway.”

“No, we can’t abandon our line of inquiry entirely. The Comedian’s work will likely be unrelated.”

“Well…you’re right. Maybe our paths will cross, anyway. Just be careful. You’re the only one I trust up there with my Archie.”

Blake smirked as he turned the corner.

“Rorschach!” he called, enjoying the way the partners startled and broke their intimate tête-à-tête. “Tomorrow night, meet me at the dock nearest the Dog district.”

What the hell, this might even be fun.

* * *

Blake liked gang work. They were tenacious and clueless fighters, and bred like cockroaches. You could crunch as many as you wanted under your boot and never worry about running out.

The dock workers had dropped back into the shelter of the depot, passing hand-rolled cigarettes from hand to hand and making bets on the fighters. One cheered him on.

“Go, man, go!” he laughed, slapping his co-conspirators on the back. “Get those fucking muggers!”

Money changed hands as he swept the legs out from under the kid in the studded leather collar and quickly wrapped his hands together with sturdy yellow tape. The payoff had clearly come from the gang to the middle-aged guys in transport uniforms, but when the cops came it’d be the usual story. The workers had gathered on some innocent midnight errand – what the hell that could possibly be was a problem for their limited imaginations – and been set upon by armed thugs who were about to snatch away their milk money before these big strong heroes came to save them. The heroes could say what they wanted, but they were a half-dozen men who’d tell the same story, and at least one of them would be related to the cop investigating. The punks would go to jail, or reform school, and by next week there’d be a new kid capo with a brilliant idea to bribe the muscle so they’d waste no effort hijacking shipments of Nostalgia or curling irons.

That was the real problem with criminals. So damn many of them, all hatching the same schemes that were old in Nero’s day. It got fucking dull.

Which was why it was good to get out with the new blood sometimes, he reflected, watching Rorschach finish off the final two. The guy fought like they’d raped his Ma, and he was all raw power and speed, no armor. So old school it brought a tear to the eye. One came after him with a length of half-inch pipe, but he might as well have been moving in slow motion. The pipe came down where Rorschach had been standing, but he’d already tumbled to the side, knocking over the other punk. Up in a flash, he stomped before the guy even realised he’d missed, breaking his wrist, and kicked in his teeth for good measure.

The dock workers cheered lustily when he caught the pipe on his boot, kicked it up in the air, then grabbed it and bashed in the last punk’s head in with one smooth motion. Rorschach’s head whipped around in their direction, and he took one step, raising the pipe.

Blake stepped in. “Can I leave notifying the police to you, good citizens?” he called sardonically.

One waved back, rolling up a new cigarette. “Yeah, I’m on it.”

The rest melted into dark streets.

Show’s over.

“C’mon,” he said. “Let’s call it a night. Wanna go get a beer?”

“They took bribes, gave information,” the other man insisted. “They’re the root of this whole mess.”

“The criminals are the ones doing the hijacking. These idiots, they’re not going along with it for the money. Well, they like the money, sure. Who doesn’t, right? But they agree to start with so that when they’re driving along and the mooks show up, they can get off with just a few civilised punches to make it look good. They don’t get shot in the face and left in a ditch.”

Rorschach seemed to glare at the remaining man, who watched them argue with dull curiosity as he smoked.

“If none of them went along with it, criminals would have to hijack random trucks with no promise of profit, and face resistance and eventual prosecution. They’d abandon the effort.”

“Yeah, and the first driver to try that would end up on life support, and the rest would tell the bastards everything they wanted for free. They’re not us, pal. They’re life’s victims. They’ve chosen to be.”

The other man looked for a long time at the empty street. Even the smoker had wisely vacated. He kicked a Dog that chose the wrong moment to moan weakly.

“I’ll remember their faces,” he promised.

“You do that,” Blake replied, clapping him on the shoulder and grinning behind his hand when the other man froze. “For now, though, how about we find out what that ugly ship can do?”

* * *

Rorschach piloted them into a cloud bank with all the verve of an octogenarian farmer on his tractor. Blake leaned in the window, enjoying the view and watching for cracks – in the other man, although he wasn’t entirely confident about the windows either.

Rorschach sat stiffly, both hands on the wheel, cocking his head at every grumble and shake. He’d flown them in silence, except for once pointing out that the ship could also go under water, but he didn’t particularly like to do so. Blake had tested a theory, stretching and spreading out while watching the other man shift farther away and hunch over in his chair, but stopped before Rorschach was actually in the fetal position.

So, he knew the man liked his space. And was shit at the small talk.

Blake broke the silence. “How long have you and the Eagle Scout been working together?”

Rorschach paused before answering. “Since last year.”

Maybe three months, six at most, Blake translated.

He waited for the other man to elaborate, to fill the growing silence, but it didn’t work.

“So, how’s that working for ya?”

Another pause. “We’ve made good progress. More than we did working separately in nearby areas.”

“That’s good, yeah, but – you like having a buddy? Someone to share the burdens of this dangerous life?” Blake tipped him a winning, ironic grin.

The mask regarded him, shifting slowly. “We work together,” he said. “And yes, we are friends.”

“Know each other’s real names, hang out in each other’s homes?” Blake fished. The long silences were interesting enough themselves. Was he hiding something specific, or just paranoid in general?

The black shapes shifted above the chin. Was he pursing his lips speculatively or baring his teeth?

“It was like that with the Minutemen,” Blake continued, as if oblivious to the thin ice he scampered across. “Except for Hooded Justice. We knew each other’s names, day jobs, hell, we practically lived at Nelson’s place. All those souvenirs he kept up in display cases – I tell you, one random burglar stumbling in there, and it would’ve been all over.”

“Not very secure,” Rorschach offered cautiously.

“Good for morale,” Blake shrugged. “Good in other ways, too. But very bad, as well. It’s…well, you’d understand. You’re prior military yourself, right?”

He clearly wasn’t. A boxer, maybe, even a wrestler like H.J., but not a soldier. Something with a clearly defined ring, instead. Rorschach was a small-picture fighter, his attention confined to his line of sight, with no thought of establishing an avenue of retreat. But most guys liked to hear they had a military bearing.

And he’d obviously ticked a box here. Rorschach sat up straighter and swivelled to face him, setting the craft to hover just above the cloud line.

“No,” he said, but his voice betrayed a certain pleasure.

“Huh. That’s a surprise. I’d have bet the farm on it.” Blake smiled and fished a cigar out of his vest. “You got a lighter anywhere in this thing?”

Rorschach handed him a bent pack of matches. “You ask a lot of questions.”

“What, the owl-lighter location is privileged information?” He laughed. “Nah. I’ve got a gift for people. For getting in their heads, you could say. It’s useful in my line of work. And I like to know if I’m right. No harm meant.” Blake spread his arms, the picture of wounded innocence.

“Hrmm.” Rorschach seemed to mull this over. Blake reprimanded himself for watching the patterns change instead of the body language, and used dramatically lighting his cigar as a cover for looking him over, feet to head. Definitely tension there, but maybe a bit less now?

“My father was a soldier,” the other man finally offered.

“Well, that explains it. The old man taught you everything you know?”

Another pause. “He died in Germany.”

Blake did the math, assuming Rorschach had to be well on the sunny side of thirty. “You don’t remember him?”

“No.”

Blake sang a quick Hallelujah chorus inside his skull and adjusted his demeanour to something more fatherly.

“Sorry to hear that. I wish I could say I mighta fought beside him, but they sent me to France. Special Ops.”

Extremely special ops.

The quietest of gasps. “You fought the Nazis?”

“Up close and personal.”

Blake yawned, stalling for time.

Rorschach pressed a button and hopped out of his chair, pulling paper cups from a hidden compartment. The welcome tang of percolation filled the ship.

Blake laughed. “This thing has all the mod cons, huh? All it needs is a sweet little stewardess to bring it to us.”

Rorschach tched. “It’s fine like this.”

Another interesting piece of intel to file away.

Blake smoothly spun out a tale of heroism and bonhomie on the battlefield (mostly salvaged from a Garrett Fielding war flick the kid would have been too young to remember) while Rorschach scavenged for powdered creamer and sugar. He didn’t think any of his real war stories would go over half as well.

“But that’s what it’s like,” he finished as the other man handed him a cup. “Nah, black’s fine.”

Rorschach peeled six sugar cubes before he seemed to notice Blake watching in sickened fascination and covered his embarrassment by stirring vigorously. Sludge scraped along the bottom of the cup, and Blake suppressed a shudder. He paused again, cup hovering halfway to his mouth, before reluctantly pulling his mask up to his nose and sipping.

Blake gleefully noted every small sign of unease in the usually unflappable detective. Got him on the ropes.

Blake spoke toward the window, as if he wasn’t memorising every inch of the exposed face from the corner of his eye: sharp chin, thin lips, surprising pug nose, acne scars, uneven teeth, red or blond stubble. He might recognise him on the street, or might not.

“I’ve served with a lot of good men. I had to trust them with my life, and they had to trust me. There’s no other way. And until the shit really hits the fan, you’ve got no way of knowing who’ll cut and run and who’ll cover your back until the end. Could be your best buddy, or maybe he just pukes on his boots while the biggest asshole in the platoon jumps on the grenade.”

Rorschach swallowed hot coffee too quickly and winced.

“Like the Minutemen. I trusted all of them. Took their advice, even when I didn’t agree. Backed them up every time they asked. And in the end, they all dropped away with their own petty excuses while I left to serve my country, and that was a real blow. And then Hollis wrote that damned book, regurgitating every lie and innuendo for his own profit. Hung us all out as monsters and laughingstocks.”

Blake upended his cup, barely feeling the heat down his throat. “And if I had to do it again, I’d do the same damn thing.”

Rorschach was immediately at his elbow with the pot, motioning for him to set the cup down. The servile display sent a stab of disgust through Blake. He dropped his cigar on the dashboard and, moving on instinct, grabbed the wrist holding the coffeepot and stood, reaching for the other man’s mask.

Hot liquid splashed to the floor, just missing his leg. Rorschach’s free hand jerked up to his forehead and succeeded only in knocking off his hat, for Blake had not yanked it upwards, as expected. He’d hooked a finger underneath, feeling flushed skin through his glove, and pulled the mask down under Rorschach’s battered chin. Only the familiar shifting pattern looked back at him now.

He smoothed the slippery fabric with one hand, lingering long enough to feel a tongue move over the dry, twitching lips. Surprisingly large muscles clenched under his other hand, and he knew he was seconds away from an attack.

“I’m trying to make a point,” he said, quiet and firm. “And I’m sorry that bothers you, but it’s the kind of point that requires a manly grip to come across right. Not like some fat fuck professor spouting off to his cocktail buddies about the meaning of lives he’s never lived.”

He smiled without humor and let go. “Maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree, anyway. You and your partner have got to make your own mistakes, I guess. Everyone does.”

He picked up his cigar and leaned in the window, bracing himself with both arms, smoking tiredly. Do I have to paint a target on my back, kid?

Blake waited for the response. Had he done enough damage? Gotten a paranoid mind focused on the obvious softness of a good man, pushed the gears into grinding out a logical conclusion? Put the good ol’ Comedian in mind as the harder, more reliable bastard to turn to when the going got rough – and it would. It always did.

He thought he had. Blake just wished he’d been able to pick his ambush. Anywhere it couldn’t possibly end with him dropped out a mile-high hatch.

He heard a deep, fortifying breath and turned to find Rorschach standing at attention, obviously braced for impact. “You’d do the same thing?” he whispered, prompting.

Blake worked an expression of pride across his features, keeping his smirk inside. If Nite Owl could see this – and hell, maybe he did have a little spy-camera turned on them right now, he seemed the type – his partner, submitting to manhandling? Even begging for it, just a little? No, he would not be pleased.

Blake found he liked the idea that Nite Owl was watching them right now, back home in his civvies, in a dark room with only the flickering light of his monitor, on the edge of his seat and white-knuckled. He decided to assume it was true – he always worked best with an audience.

Besides, it wasn’t like he’d never taken the rough before, when there wasn’t any smooth to be had.

Blake carefully took hold of Rorschach’s shoulders, wondering if he got hot and bothered during a good fight. Of course – they all did. Why else would they do it, night after night?

“I’d do it again,” he confirmed, “Deal straight with every one of them. Because any of those soldiers, or none of them, might be the one thing that keeps you alive and sane someday.”

He sighed with genuine weariness and leaned closer. “And take it from me – you can’t put everything on one person. All your hopes, your needs, your expectations…they won’t give you that. They can’t live up to that. Especially the good guys.”

Blake shook his head slightly, inches away from the mask. “You’ll always go too far, for their tastes, or want to. It curdles…it sickens the partnership. Infects it. Until you can’t stand the sight of each other and don’t know why.”

The younger man was breathing hard and trying not to. Blake didn’t need to see his expression, not when misery and growing panic radiated from the stiff body.

“So you need other people, too. The ones that can fill in the gaps. The rest of us. For instance – ”

He changed tactics, abruptly dropping his hands and stepping away. Rorschach took an involuntary step forward. Blake fell into a loose fighting stance.

“Your uppercut could really use some work.”

“I…my…what?”

“Your uppercut. You could be getting a lot more impact if you’d throw your hip into it, instead of just your shoulder. Right now, it’s a weak point in your attack.”

Rorschach only tilted his head, fists clenched at his sides.

“C’mon kid – it’s not like I give everyone the benefits of my experience here, and it’s a limited time offer.”

Rorschach reluctantly removed his trench coat, fingers brushing the smoothness of his head as he tried to take off a hat that wasn’t there. He found it on the floor and threw both out of the way.

He moved to almost within arm’s reach of Blake and shifted his balance forward, onto the balls of his feet, knees slightly bent. The fist came up more slowly, protecting his chest and face. Blake decided he’d definitely had formal training, but not recently. The sparring posture was reflexive, but stiff; it had been a long time since he’d fought only for practice.

Blake threw a punch, clipping Rorschach on the chin as he jerked backwards not quite quickly enough.

“See,” he said, “Fast and hard. No wasted movement. Try it.”

Rorschach feinted to the right and punched with his left (aiming for his adam’s apple, Blake noticed with appreciation), which would have fooled most of the idiots they came up against. Blake deflected it easily.

“Still too slow. You should be feeling it here,” he ran his hand along the other man’s side, enjoying the full-body twitch that caused. “Keep it tight.”

The next one was better. “Again,” he said, and blocked one aimed for the gap between his chestplate and reinforced trousers. Blake was suddenly glad he hadn’t been this kid’s boxing coach.

“Alright, alright, you’ve almost got it,” he admitted grudgingly, “so try mixing it up.”

Blake ducked without warning and swept one heavy boot toward his knees. Rorschach jumped out of the way and dove forward elbow-first, catching Blake in his chest.

Blake twisted, deflecting most of the force, and tried to grab his opponent as he slid past. Rorschach was too fast, whipping back around and attempting the uppercut. He almost landed it, too, but Blake was ready. He caught the hand and wrenched Rorschach’s arm up behind his back, then threw him into the opposite wall.

“Better,” he grinned, enjoying the pure fury in the other man’s posture. “But like you mean it this time.”

Rorschach grunted and kicked him in the stomach.

“Punching! We’re working on punches here!” Blake wheezed and returned with a kick to the shin.

They joined in earnest, quickly heating up the interior of the ship. The small space worked against Blake, whose head brushed against the ceiling. He quickly switched to an almost purely defensive strategy to avoid leaving any openings for the smaller man to get at his vulnerables. Six extra inches could be a real bitch against a short guy who knew what he was doing. Rorschach had already gotten in a sucker punch to the sole unarmoured place on his abdomen that he’d be feeling tomorrow.

Rorschach got in close and gave him an opening by pausing for just a moment, the infinitesimal hesitation of someone prepping for a new move. Blake confidentially shifted to block it.

Instead, Rorschach ducked under his raised arm and kicked the back of his knee.

Blake was grateful for the padded armor that cushioned the worst of it, but the impact still jolted up to his skull as he stumbled and landed on one knee. He had a sudden vision of himself, bleeding out onto the owlship’s grooved metal from the shattered coffeepot embedded in his back. He flailed behind him and, with far more luck that skill, managed to grab the other man’s belt and drag him to the floor.

Blake pinned him there by the simple expedient of falling over.

Their chests jostled for space as they fought to get their breath back. Rorschach’s shoes scraped the floor, but he was lying vertical to the grooves and couldn’t dig his heels in. Blake watched the mask hollow over his mouth with every breath, the black ink inside fanning frantically.

“I think I won that one,” he said, showing his teeth.

“Fine,” the other man grunted. “Now get off.”

When Blake didn’t immediately comply, he huffed and wriggled, trying to free an arm or throw the other man off. He’d nearly succeeded when Blake’s amused ‘I can feel that, you know,” stopped him cold.

Blake felt the man trying to shrink into the floor and pressed forward, grinding against the other man’s groin, regretting that the shielding around his crotch hid his own arousal.

“I…um…it’s not,” the other man insisted, and tried to roll on his side.

“It’s not, huh?” Blake let him raise his head, but kept his hips firmly pinned.

“I’m not…” he struggled to force the word out, “…homosexual.”

“I know,” Blake rumbled, his voice half an octave lower than usual. In a pig’s fucking eye you’re not. “What, you think I’m a faggot?”

Rorschach shook his head, still struggling.

Blake pulled the scarf down with his teeth – Rorschach froze again and shivered at the drag of stubble on his skin – and gloated. The smaller man was the shade of a fire engine underneath all those clothes.

“You haven’t heard a thing I’ve said, have you?” he chastised, mildly. “There’s things your best buddy will never do. Not a good man like him.”

Blake emphasised “good,” watching the pattern shift from eyes to wings as Rorschach fumbled for composure. “So, you can either let it sicken you both, or…”

He let one of Rorschach’s arms go and worked his hand in between their bodies, cupping the straining erection through his pants. The other man whimpered.

“Get another to take up the slack,” he whispered, running the tip of his nose along the mask, feeling more than hearing the other man gasp. He smelled of sweat, coffee, and the faintest ghost of cheap soap.

Nite Owl, you cocktease, I hope you’re getting a fucking eyeful.

Blake wondered where the best place for a camera would be and decided on the dashboard. There were two things he didn’t have to guess at: Rorschach wouldn’t say yes, and given just seconds to think about what they was doing, would leap out the hatch himself to get away.

Blake stood and took Rorschach’s arm, ostensibly to help him up but mostly to keep the thread of contact. Rorschach stared at his feet, trembling.

“Turn around,” he said, pushing him none-to-gently into the back of the driver’s seat. He tugged off his gloves, dropping them on the dash with the ashes of his forgotten cigar. Both hands slid down Rorschach’s hips, pulling him flush with Blake’s armoured vulnerables, then plunged lower.

Rorschach’s fists tightened on the chair until the frame squeaked.

The Comedian’s touch was that of a veterinarian taking some mute beast’s temperature. He ran his fingers along the straining length, feeling the rapid pulse and absently smearing the copious pre-cum around the head. A seam ripped under his knuckle as he shoved in lower to cup the other man’s balls, high and tight to his body.

This won’t take long.

Rorschach dragged in air through gritted teeth, knees wobbling.

“Christ, kid, calm down. You’ll give me a swelled head.” Blake plucked at Rorschach’s waistband. “Take care of this for me, will ya?”

Rorschach unbuttoned and unzipped with shaking fingers while Blake’s mind raced. There was probably some form of lubricant on the ship – he could easily picture Nite Owl as the post-patrol jerkoff type, and immediately wished that image out of his brain – but no time to search. There was a tube of grease in his belt that he used in the guns when they got close to jamming up on a hot night. It would probably do the trick, but no way was he going to spend all morning scraping that off his dick.

Rorschach’s hands fluttered like uncertain butterflies before settling back on the chair’s headrest.

Blake fished quickly through his pockets, not really expecting to find what he did: an elderly, foil-wrapped condom. Not many women insisted on that, not with the Comedian. It was generations away from the raincoats he’d suffered with – when absolutely forced to – in his youth. Self-lubricating, strong as steel and thin as wishes…another industrial miracle courtesy of the new blue American God.

Blake shoved the other man’s pants and underwear down his thighs and kicked his feet farther apart, ripping open the packet with his teeth. Rorschach jumped at the sound and half-turned his head, but dropped his gaze rather than watch Blake undo his trousers. A heavy belt clanked to the floor, and Blake groaned happily as his erection was finally free, enjoying Rorschach’s flinches at both sounds.

He could tell himself that this was a purely Machiavellian exercise, putting something primal and revolting between the dangerously idealistic partners while burning off his post-patrol horniness in the bargain. But the sight of the brutal fighter, that adamantly enigmatic ice queen, reduced to a body-wide quiver by his rough touches was yanking his chain now all on its own.

The sunless pale skin was mottled with yellowing bruises, souvenirs of the street. Blake wanted to leave his own set. He hoped with all his heart that Nite Owl was somewhere in the city watching him do it, tears of rage in his eyes even as he yanked his own stiff prick.

Blake cursed the condom out of habit even as it rolled on easily. It left his fingers greasy and half-coated with synthetic slickness. He found Rorschach’s opening and roughly pushed two fingers inside.

This ain’t hearts and flowers, kid he thought, expecting protest. Rorschach shook his head violently, grunting out some kind of Biblical mumbo-jumbo – which Blake was surprised to find almost painfully erotic – even as he pushed back to impale himself on Blake’s fingers. Blake twisted them, fascinated by the strangled moans and isolated words – can’t…sickening…nnugh! – that provoked.

Good enough. He pulled his fingers back and wiped them on the other man’s shirttail before positioning himself. He pressed forward, finally breaching the other man’s entrance. Rorschach let go of the chair and covered his masked face with both hands, trying muffle the loud groans wrenched from his chest.

Blake grabbed Rorschach’s hips in a punishing grip and forced himself in an inch or two further, but it was like trying to fuck a crack in Mount Rushmore.

Sweat-darkened red hair peeked out below the back of the mask. Blake touched the strands, obscurely pleased with the color, before tugging the material down to cover them.

“Relax, kid. Or you’re gonna snap me right off inside you.”

Rorschach moaned and twitched under him, obviously affected by that image.

You sick bastard, Blake grinned, liking the other man more and more. He reached around and made a tight circle around the base of the other man’s cock to prevent him from coming. “C’mon, deep breaths. In…out…in…out…”

He matched shallow thrusting to his words, slowly working his way deeper, until the clamped muscles eased just enough to fully seat himself. He paused to wipe the sweat from his face.

“You’re really making me earn this,” he grumbled quietly.

“No…no…” Rorschach moaned, shaking his head.

The speakers set in the dash crackled to life. “Rorschach? Um…Comedian? Come in if you’re there.”

Both men stiffened, one guiltily and one gleefully.

Blake leaned over to whisper, “Is that thing on in here too?”

Blots moved like blood splatter. Rorschach nodded.

“I heard about the Dogs bust on the police scanner an hour ago. Um…good work, there, er… Are you there?”

“Yes,” the Comedian whispered and began to thrust.

Rorschach let out a surprised whimper and yanked his mask up to his nose, biting into the leather of his gloves.

Blake let go of the other man’s cock and slapped his ass. The noise echoed off the close walls, almost covering Rorschach’s strangled yelp.

“Who’s there?”

Blake hooked an arm around Rorschach’s neck, dragging him up into his chest. “Nothing to say to your buddy just now?” he whispered, chuckling.

He could feel the pressure building in the pit of his stomach and willed it to hold off, slamming into Rorschach’s unresisting body. The other man bit savagely into his own wrist, drops of sweat or tears sliding under the mask.

“Rorschach! Rorschach?”

Rorschach came, untouched, splattering and staining the seat’s leather, a proper name strangled behind his gloves. Blake was glad of that. It was just too fucking silly when someone squealed Oh, Comedian! in the throes of passion.

Although he wondered where Rorschach got the idea his real name was Daniel.

His own orgasm snuck up from behind and bashed his brains in. He came with a long, satisfied groan, hips snapping forward and crushing the other man into the headrest, the sensation already evaporating from his memory while his body still twitched.

Rorschach grunted, out of breath, and pushed him off, quickly pulling up his trousers.

“What the hell is going on up there?” Nite Owl demanded, but his voice lacked conviction, as if it came from the pit of his stomach.

Blake chuckled. “Well hiya, kemo sabe. You missed all the fun!”

Rorschach froze in the act of buttoning his pants.

“I think your district will be pretty quiet for the next few weeks, since we mopped the streets with the ringleaders,” he continued. “It’s a shame you weren’t there to get your licks in.”

He held up the condom. “Trash can?”

Rorschach pointed wordlessly.

“Thanks.”

“What was going on up there just now? I heard…something…”

Blake tipped a wink toward Rorschach, who quickly fastened his pants and shrugged on his trench coat, tying it tightly closed.

“We just got in, Hooter, and heard you calling for us. Maybe you were picking up another frequency.”

“Where’ve you been for the last hour, then? I picked up news of the bust on the police scanner ages ago.”

Blake shrugged even though he was sure, and sorely disappointed, there was no visual feed. “Finished our patrol, of course. There’s plenty of freelancers out there that don’t care if a major gang was busted wide open tonight.”

“Rorschach?”

The smaller man cleared his throat nervously. “We found no further activity. Heading for home now.”

Blake had heard worse liars in his time, but none over the age of three. He snickered as Nite Owl replied tersely, “I’ll see you soon, then,” and snapped the connection closed.

Rorschach halfheartedly took a paper towel to the back of the driver’s seat and spilled coffee while Blake re-lit his abandoned cigar and settled into the other chair, feet on the dashboard. It had been a good night’s work.

Rorschach piloted the ship back down to the dock where they’d originally met up and lifted open the hatch.

“What, I don’t get to see the Owlnest?” Blake chuckled, gathering himself to jump.

“No.”

“I didn’t think so.”

Rorschach stood in his usual wide-stance pose in front of the ladder, not offering to drop that down. His sudden composure made Blake nervous. He pictured how easily a knife could find its way into his back as he jumped, how a corpse could fall to the dock below to be looted by the scum that lingered there and kicked into the welcoming folds of the Hudson.

“Look, Rorschach,” he said, covering his sudden nerves. “If it helps, I’m sorry. No one likes to hear the truth. But I honestly believe it’s better for a man to know than waste his life chasing goddamn pretty fantasies.”

Like I did, he thought, even though that was as far from the truth as a hanging moon made of green cheese. He was the only damn one of them with his feet firmly in the muck.

“Lot to think about,” Rorschach replied, in a monotone that gave nothing away, and stepped away.

Blake still shivered as he leapt into the void, even after both boots were safely on the weathered boards and two long slugs of scotch worked their way through his belly on the walk home.

Date: 2009-03-27 10:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sparklybee.livejournal.com
Wow. This is amazing. You really have the Comedian's voice down - all of his thoughts and little metaphors are perfect. I also really like how you portrayed pre-Roche Rorschach. I wish that I had more coherent things to say, but I'm kind of blown away at the moment. Adding to my memories! :)

Date: 2009-03-28 10:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Thanks for this! I was surprised at how easy it is to write Comedian POV - to the point I was tempted to add a note to the tune of: the author is actually pro-union and enjoying a socialist universal healthcare system, really! :)

Date: 2009-03-27 11:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] teacrumb.livejournal.com
GUH. 8D Blake was perfect. Putting this in my memories. ♥

Date: 2009-03-28 10:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Thanks! Blake is disturbingly fun to write...

Date: 2009-03-28 01:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mizzykitty.livejournal.com
1. The sugar coffee thing, nice touch!

2. but stopped before Rorschach was actually in the fetal position.

Haha! That was awesome. I love the way Blake operates, the way he manipulates and subtly changes his persona to suit his purposes, whether he's trying to get someone to trust him, fear him, or just trying to get under their skin/into their pants.

3. LOVE the idea of Dan watching, and love that Comedian loves it too! He so would, too, I mean, he just loves an audience, doesn't he?

4. He’d nearly succeeded when Blake’s amused ‘I can feel that, you know,” stopped him cold.

Hahaha! I could totally see that.

5. Really liked Comedian's thoughts and observations on things. Very characteristic of him, I think.

6. Rorschach shook his head violently, grunting out some kind of Biblical mumbo-jumbo – which Blake was surprised to find almost painfully erotic – even as he pushed back to impale himself on Blake’s fingers.

Holy crap was that hot! =D The whole sex scene, just awesome! And when Dan started talking at them...*dies* Perfect!

7. It was just too fucking silly when someone squealed Oh, Comedian! in the throes of passion.

I had to stop and literally LOL for like several minutes here.

8. Although he wondered where Rorschach got the idea his real name was Daniel.

*dies of unrelenting squee*

9. Apropos for the Comedian to fear getting stabbed in the back after that.

Loved this fic! Pre-crazy Rorschach took some getting used to, but really liked the way those two interacted, and the oblique conversations about Dan. Awesome!

Date: 2009-03-28 10:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
I've been re-reading the comic, and got completely fascinated by the Rorschach in the Crimebusters meeting - specifically his relaxed, hands-in-pockets pose. And use of pronouns, and what all. Hence, fic, combining my what-ifs about pre-Roche Rorschach with pr0n :)

Blake kind of reminds me of blue-collar guys of my dad's generation - that dead blunt way of operating and tendency to need a certain level of control in interactions. They'll converse like it's sparring, and since you think of them as simple id-creatures it doesn't occur to you they've sussed you out until they've happily laid some devastating critique on you, all gotcha! With only the best of intentions of course :)

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Date: 2009-03-28 01:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flwrpwr-vampyre.livejournal.com
Oh this is absolutely fantastic. You captured the Comedian, hell you captured everyone's voices and mannerisms so perfectly it was like watching them. I love the Comedian's thought about Rorschach being gay so much and you even managed to make me like the undertones of Daniel/Walter, which is incredibly rare.

I could go on gushing for forever but suffice it to say I'm totally mem'ing this and linking my friends.

Date: 2009-03-28 10:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Awwwww... *blush*

Thanks so much! I love the icon btw.

Date: 2009-03-28 01:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nice-faces.livejournal.com
Although he wondered where Rorschach got the idea his real name was Daniel.

NNNNGHH...*incoherent*

Date: 2009-03-28 10:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Hee! I actually intended that to go another way, but this is the Comedian! It would never ever occur to him a sexual partner was picturing someone else - they blurt out another name, well then, they must think that's his name, dammit.

Date: 2009-03-28 04:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] orangesparks.livejournal.com
Holy shit, dude. This was amazing - especially your Blake voice.

Date: 2009-03-28 10:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Thanks! He is way too much fun to write...

Date: 2009-03-28 04:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluffybluesheep.livejournal.com
FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF- I LOVE THIS PAIRING

Date: 2009-03-28 10:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Thanks! I really didn't expect this to work out when I started writing. More or less, the image of Comedian and Rorschach getting it on in Nite Owl's chair popped into my head and looked woah!hot, but as to how they'd actually end up there...

I'm tempted to do a sequel now. With angst. Or maybe less angst and more sex and the Comedian not admitting to himself why he's hopefully stocking up on wonder-condoms and lingering near the docks at dawn. Or setting his sight on Nite Owl to complete the set. There just needs to be more Comedian/everyone!

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Date: 2009-03-28 02:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scarlet-carsons.livejournal.com
FUCK YES YOU WRITE THE BEST COMEDIAN EVER.

Edward Blake: he'll stop you from being over-ambitious and borrow your owlship and then fuck your partner in it and you won't even care because you'll be too busy fapping.

Date: 2009-03-28 10:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
He's an evil genius in his own way :)

Glad you enjoyed!

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Date: 2009-03-28 11:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soylentbat.livejournal.com
HOT!

Seriously, great job! This was a ton of fun to read and really believable (and I can't say I was ever a Comedian/Rorschach believer before). And so few writers bother with safe sex... it was a nice touch. :)

My fedora is off to you!

Date: 2009-04-01 09:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Thanks! I've actually enjoyed Comedian POV waaaaay more than I expected and now ship him with everyone, including both Bernards and the sugar cube bowl. But it's much easier to write when there's fictional involved...no fun interrupting yourself midstream wondering what he may have picked up working his way through everything with a heartbeat in three wars :)

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Date: 2009-03-29 04:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wheres-mai-cow.livejournal.com
Damn- good read. I admire your ability to get into Blake's head. He's the one character I think I will never quite "get". Too much of a Walter mentality I guess.

Date: 2009-04-01 09:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Thanks! Blake is interesting to me - he seems like some versions of the Joker to me, the unhinged but incisive one that forces all the characters to face uncomfortable truths about themselves. There’s little of his pre-mask background in the comic, so I wonder what drove him to be so desperate that he not end up the butt of life’s joke that he embraced it, and his late-life regret that the possibility of the world not ending leaves him crying for his mother…

Does that sentence even parse?

I love your icon, btw!

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Date: 2009-03-29 05:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yellowdumpling.livejournal.com
ASDJKLFHDLFHDLH THIS WAS AWESOME
And scary since this morning, I was actually picturing a Comedian/Rorschach scenario in which he lures/baits Rorschach into having sex with him because Ror and Dan would never do it XD

The Comedian's voice is captured perfectly. I really like how you made him so manipulative beneath a tough/"innocent" exterior. Plus, I also thought that the catalyst for Comedian/Rorschach is Rorschach's idolization of the Comedian (patriot, veteran, father-figure and what-not)and the Comedian's fascination with Rorschach (in this case, his sexuality and such). So yeah, for me, you hit their relationship spot-on, and I really hope you'll write a sequel! This pairing needs more love!!

Date: 2009-04-01 09:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
And scary since this morning, I was actually picturing a Comedian/Rorschach scenario in which he lures/baits Rorschach into having sex with him because Ror and Dan would never do it XD

Except he totally would. Both Rorschach and the Comedian. :)

I like Blake and Walter as a twisted father/son dynamic, where the ordinary people both crave that particular connection, but it gets Freudian-crunchy when filtered through their mask personas.

I'm playing with a sequel, not sure if it's really gelling, though. I'd love to read your take on the pairing!

Date: 2009-03-30 04:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] littledrop.livejournal.com
Okay, you just about destroyed any and all attempts I was making at writing this pairing. Goddamn, that was good. I love your young Rorschach and the brutality of Blake. Awesome!

Date: 2009-04-01 09:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
You have to write yours! This pairing needs more love :) Thanks for your kind words.

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Date: 2009-03-31 02:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cherie-morte.livejournal.com
Hot. This had great character dynamics--very impressed that this pairing made sense!! And I loved that he called out Dan'd name. A-1!

Date: 2009-04-01 09:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Thanks! The macho I'm-so-not-gay gay sex on both sides is surprisingly fun to write :)

Date: 2009-03-31 07:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] roboticsunrise.livejournal.com
Erghh... Can't stop re-reading...

Great stuff. Best fic I've read in a while.

Date: 2009-04-01 09:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Thanks for the kind words :)

Date: 2009-03-31 08:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rezuri.livejournal.com
Wow, this was pretty intense. <3

But poor Rorschach. I think my favourite part was him reaching up to cover his face. It's just... that's the whole situation, right there. Comedian played on his insecurities beautifully.

Date: 2009-04-04 01:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Thanks! I'm still a bit unsure about the mask/no-mask aspect - from a practical standpoint, I think he'd want it as a psychological shield, but that's his 'Rorschach' talisman, the thing that makes him his ideal that would never be doing those things.

Hurmph.

I've been leaning in the sequel toward regular sex leaving Walter more messed up than before...and I haven't yet decided how to resolve the damn mask question. Any ideas?

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Date: 2009-04-01 04:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] otakugal15.livejournal.com
WOW. Was that ever HOT. And DAMN. You're Comedian voice was SPOT ON. :O So was young Rorschach. :D

....Damn is Eddie a manipulative bastard. XD I love him so. *would totally fall for manipulations by him, even if she knew he was being manipulative*

This pairing NEEDS MORE LOVE. I've only read one other that I REALLY like, next to this one. D: Need stalker!Comedian fic.

Date: 2009-04-04 01:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Stalker!Comedian fic is coming, just slowly :) I keep thinking of more ideas from the kink!meme I want to touch on with it. Thanks for the kind words!

Date: 2009-04-01 11:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-rojo.livejournal.com
LOVED IT
Perfect Comedian voice, and surprisingly Magnificent BastardishXD, so manipulative of emotions. Man, on top of that physique and that amorality, he has yet another advantage?XD
I liked how the idea formed in his mind, how it sounds more like justification than anything else...I can't decide if he's really trying to do them a favour Comedian-bastardness-style, jealous of the two, just fucking with them for the hell of it, truly interested in Rorschach (in any way you interpret that)...I think there were subtle touches of all of them. I also like his fascination with Rorschach, because I've always thought he'd find him compelling, and Rorschach's idolation of him, identifying him with Charlie.

I also loved your pre-Roche Rorschach -people tend to forget he used to be an almost normal person back then-, and Dan's tense wanting-something-more-but-don't-know-what relationship with his partner, and his adorable possessiveness. Poor Dan. The Comedian's a bastard.

I hope you make a sequel and have the Comedian stalk Rorschach because he's intrigued and possibly a bit obssesed with him now. Oh, and Dan getting pissed off at knowing something happened but not knowing what

Almost forgot to comment on my personal favourite aspect to this fic!!! The power balance. The Comedian has all the emotional power, but Rorschach couldgive him a run for his money for unpredictablinessXD. Also, the Comedian is obviously stronger, but I believe Rorschach would be the more dangerous fighter of the two, taking into consideration his personality, background and fighting style. I love that it shows. Blake tends to get overpowered in fic (unless it's against AdrianXD), so it's nice of him to acknowledge the danger Rorschach presents (hey, he lasted more against Adrian; a total of seconds more, but that's somethingXD) and feeling threatened and a bit scared of him. Rorschach's a badass; glad you didn't forget ^^ (and the fights, they were AWESOMELY written. I could picture every single move, which is something I usually don't bother doing when reading fics. I could totally see the brilliant tactician that Rorschach is, coupled with his powers of learning quickly, giving the Comedian some real trouble)

Date: 2009-04-04 02:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
I hope you make a sequel and have the Comedian stalk Rorschach because he's intrigued and possibly a bit obssesed with him now. Oh, and Dan getting pissed off at knowing something happened but not knowing what.

You're reading my mind :) Writing Comedian is turning into a lesson in unreliable narrators, tho - how to get across the large percentage of his own motivations he's sure of (and smug self-satisfaction) as well as where he's fooling himself completely, and the leaks between the two. Especially given that he's now the old guy in the group instead of the teenager, and both hyper-aware and in denial of the inevitable deterioration of skills and confidence that awaits him.

Which, for writing fighting scenes, means he's both in nearly peak physical form and focusing on dirty tricks, so forget about anyone besting him with anything but a lucky shot for another decade or so :)

Thanks for both of your comments! I'm so blushing that someone would put so much thought into responding :)

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From: [identity profile] sara-rojo.livejournal.com - Date: 2009-04-06 03:35 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2009-04-13 01:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] l-syllabub.livejournal.com
Ah I read this fic a couple of weeks ago and didn't leave a comment because I'm an idiot. And then I kept thinking back to it and couldn't remember where I'd seen it, which was a tragedy!

So happy to have found this again. Apart from the brilliant Eddie voice and the way you make the pairing plausible without it just being a straight up PWP, (I mean, the way Eddie manipulates Rorschach is great) I am really impressed with the fighting!

I think lots of people find it hard to write action like that without it being stilted, but the way you describe the 'training' scene is just good, flows.

P.S Awww, Dan!

Date: 2009-04-16 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
I'm glad you enjoyed! Eddie quickly became my favorite POV - any bad joke you think of, he'd totally own :)

Funny enough, fighting and fucking can be the hardest things to write - you can certainly picture it well enough, but applying words without using the same ones over and over... Thanks for the kind words, I'm glad it came across somewhat sensibly :)

P.S Awww, Dan!

I'm working on it...he'll get his. In some form or other.

Date: 2009-04-23 08:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gothic-tampons.livejournal.com
This is awesome! I love the Nelly/HJ symettry refference and the Vauge Nite Owl/Rorschach. :D

Date: 2009-04-24 08:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
...I'd reply, but I can't stop staring at your icon!

I love the CM/HJ similarities to Nite Owl & Rorschach in the novel...it makes me feel justified in cheerleading the subtext :) Thanks for the kind words!

Date: 2009-04-29 05:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] summoner-alex.livejournal.com
This is just perfect. There's really nothing more to say - you've got Rorschach and Blake down pat. It was believable and sexy and Dan's inclusion was like icing on the delicious dubcon cupcake. I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel.

( P.S. - THANK YOU for posting on [livejournal.com profile] cigarblots because otherwise I would have missed this, and this is just what I needed today to unwind after exams. You have made my month. <3 )

Date: 2009-04-30 05:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
The sequel is started here - still puttering away on it, though :) I'm hoping to wait until I've finished it to post to [livejournal.com profile] cigarblots.

Thanks for the kind words!

Date: 2009-10-08 02:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thelistkeeper.livejournal.com
“What, the owl-lighter location is privileged information?”

That killed me. One of the best fics I've read in a while.

Date: 2009-10-10 09:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Heh, thanks! The Comedian's POV is way too much fun to write.

I'm reluctant to point you toward the beginning of the sequel, which I'm currently bashing away at finishing - in retrospect, I like where this ends. But, y'know, it's there :)

Date: 2010-06-01 11:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cousinmary.livejournal.com
Wow, your Eddie was spot on. This fic, especially the beginning, just made me think about how truly menacing the man can be. 'Cause yeah, I like a softness/angstyness in my Comedian when dealing with Laurie (which you totally touched on) but the dangerous intelligence here... very impressed :-D

Date: 2010-06-10 08:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Thanks! I based his outlook mostly on my dad and his drinking buddies, who I'm pretty sure haven't assassinated any presidents, but have that over-entitled/train-wreck/charming personality.

...actually, I never did ask what they were up to November 1963...

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