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Title: Masquerade (1/2)
Author: MustInvestigate
Disclaimer: I only own action figures
Rating: NC-17
Character(s)/Pairing: Daniel/Walter
Warning: Unbeta’d. Also, graphic male/male sexual activity and abuse of clubbing stereotypes.
Summary: Sundry ideas nicked from the kink meme. Rorschach secretly follows Nite Owl and Ozymandias’ investigation into a notorious vice club, with surprising results. And, as always, by ‘surprising results,’ I mean ‘really awkward sexy time.’ For once, this is set in a purely movie!verse, meaning Walter is five or so years into vigilantism, but still a young ‘un of 21, and Daniel is somewhat older.



Rorschach’s Journal, November 5, 1971

20:45, Following up on tip overheard Ozymandias offer to Nite Owl. “Masquerade” – nightclub often mentioned in underworld in drug and vice circles. Nite Owl has commented several times recently on “harsh” schedule of patrol and need for rest – suspect misguided kindness in not sharing information, and as such will follow investigation in secret to avoid further lectures.

Despite personal dislike, will not leave Ozymandias without back-up, either, when taking on notorious den of criminal perversity.

Am reluctantly infiltrating in disguise, to avoid notice of fellow masks. Uniform hidden nearby – close enough if rapid response is required? Can only hope.

22:10, $7 cover charge? Outrageous, the price filth will pay for access to cesspit. Kicked in remote side door, entered through kitchen. Not clean. Will notify Health Inspector.



Dan drained the last of his third beer and forced himself to order a cola instead of a fourth. When he and Adrian had arrived, there’d been several rounds of what tasted like syrupy grain alcohol in shot glasses before the other man went into the bathroom with a crowd of sycophants for “just a minute” (almost an hour ago), and Dan was a deep breath away from completely smashed.

The cola turned out to be diet. Dan made a face at the undertaste of bitterness but sipped at it anyway, just for something to do with one hand. He found himself desiring a smoke for the first time in his life, just so he could keep the other hand occupied as well, instead of fluttering from his pocket to the sticky bar in front of him. He watched the morass of color and bodies with envy, trying to ignore the music they moved to.

He’d been uneasily flattered at the other vigilante’s persistent attempts to forge some friendly connection. Dan had friends, sure, but they were mostly former classmates and neighbors, not brilliant and startlingly attractive individuals who actively courted his attention.

It started with the nonchalant removal of the mask in front of both Dan and Rorschach, who drew in a sharp breath as if the other man had unzipped his fly. “I’m Adrian, by the way, when I’m not wearing a cape. Usually. Adrian Veidt.”

Dan managed to fight the social conditioning enough to keep his own face covered as he took the offered hand and gave his daytime name. Rorschach shook his head at them both when they turned to him and walked away in disgust.

Then it was professional compliments. “Daniel, I’m impressed with the way you handled that arsonist/gang fight/drug dealer/hangnail,” until Dan was sure he could draw Rorschach’s ‘eyeroll’ pattern from memory.

Next came the invitations to ‘put their heads together’ on ‘group coordination.’ Dan managed to satisfy the other man for a while with quick chats after the regular Crimebusters meetings, but Adrian finally pulled out the big guns: “Look, I’m not trying to be obnoxious, I just…don’t have many real friends. And none at all that know about this part of my life, just the unimportant parts. I see – ”

He paused, offered a self-conscious smile, “ – what you have with Hollis and with…with Rorschach, and I wish I had that. A friend or two I could trade heroic tales with over a beer some evening.”

Dan was so distracted by the twin images of beautiful, charming, billy-no-mates Adrian and Rorschach chugging from a tall boy in Hollis’s easy chair that he agreed to meet up with Adrian at his current favourite nightclub without asking any of the important questions.

For instance, what should I wear?

Adrian’s face had fallen for just a moment before he rallied with, “Geek chic! I love it. You certainly are an original, Daniel.”

Dan had missed his chance to retort in between noting that Adrian was not, should it come up, Jewish, and that his love of gold lame fabric went far beyond his hero costume.

He told himself that a man who’d only recently upgraded to armor from purple tights had no room to judge others, but the resolution fell apart as soon as his eyes adjusted to the dim light. The rest of the nightclub’s inhabitants made Adrian look like a virginal wallflower.

Which led him to the second good question he should have asked: exactly what kind of nightclub is this?

There were women, sure. It’s just that Dan suspected most of them had shaved far more than their legs that morning.

Daniel had endured a moment of bone-deep panic – why has be brought me here? what’s he trying to say? is this blackmail? – before his brain kicked into gear. This was Adrian’s choice of venue, those were Adrian’s friends running to embrace him and paw at what was apparently a “fabulous” outfit, and if Dan chose to storm out of the club in horror, it was Adrian who’d be at Dan’s mercy.

So, he’d stayed.

To spare Adrian embarrassment and worry.

And, as the alcohol slowly began to displace the blood in his veins, because he’d never seen anything like this crowd in his life, and it was interesting.

And, as he now fought to keep upright on a stool that was way slipperier than it had any reason to be, because he’d never have the balls to go in one of these places on his own, and he might as well take advantage of the situation thrust upon him.

Dan wasn’t homosexual, no. He liked girls. Women. Women were all soft curves and smelled nice and had pretty faces on which nearly any expression could set feathers fluttering in his stomach as long as it was turned on him, and he’d really enjoyed every single experience he’d been fortunate enough to make love with, when the down-south equipment was working that is, but he’d been assured that happened to every man sometimes and they just never talked about it, so, to sum up: straight as an arrow, that was Dan.

He was just, in addition to that, a little bit curious.

You couldn’t spend nearly every night in a skin-tight outfit surrounded by other guys in skin-tight outfits (along with one gigantic nearly-naked blue man and one…Rorschach) without getting a little curious.

And he was in the perfect place to satisfy that curiosity once and for all. So, Dan resolved to do exactly that.

The only trouble was that he had no idea how to go about it. The other men must have some idea, but none of them had spoken to him except the bartender, who wore at least two cows’ worth of leather and was probably just trying to pad out his tips. And Adrian hadn’t really bothered with any introductions, not that his friends were really Daniel’s type. Whatever that type was.

Dan sighed. Another one for the list of social situations he didn’t quite get. He was drunk, dressed wrong, drunk, and petulantly horny. Oh, and a little drunk.

He crunched on bitter-syrupy ice from his glass and scanned the crowd. For just a moment, another’s eyes caught his, and Dan chuckled, thinking about a song his parents used to dance to in the living room when he was little. Across a crowded room something something…

This was promising. Dan peered through the cigarette haze. The other man, tucked back in a corner booth, had already dropped his gaze and was focusing on the small notebook in his hands. He was writing, but in a way that made Dan think he was just re-tracing over words he’d already written in order to appear entirely absorbed in his work.

In fact, he peeked up over the notebook as Dan watched. Dan switched his gaze to his drink just in time to miss making eye contact again and risk scaring the guy off. Or else he should have kept looking, maybe, and had just discouraged him completely by appearing disinterested.

He thought about getting another beer and making his night’s plan to get so blotto that Adrian would be forced to come back and carry him home. But since he wasn’t entirely sure Adrian was even still in the club, he returned to Plan A, eyeing the stranger who at least hadn’t left his booth.

Definitely promising, if Dan could figure out the rules of this thing. He wasn’t attractive, exactly, sharp features all fighting each other for space, thin lips clamped in a nervous frown. And the thick hair, which could be any color under the shifting club lights, had apparently been trimmed with a butter knife. In the dark. By a disgruntled oragutan.

But he was writing, in a nightclub. As if he couldn’t wait until later to get his thoughts down on paper. And his suit was even more out of fashion than Dan’s. Maybe he was a young Alan Ginsberg, one of those old-school bohemian types. Dan knew lots of poems. Ones about birds, anyway. Poets liked birds, right?

Dan ordered another cola, with a drop or two of rum to bolster his courage, not that he needed it. He approached strange men every night, after all.


22:45, Nite Owl and Ozymandias have also chosen to infiltrate Masquerade in disguise. Perhaps memorising layout for later raid? Ozymandias seems to have many contacts, established previous to this visit. Noted several dealers and prostitutes circulating in crowd, greeting one another – possible joint syndicate?

Ozymandias has been investigating facilities for some time. Daniel increasingly inebriated. Affected by disgust at surrounding Caligulian decadence, or corrupted by it? Planning rescue effort, but reluctant to break off watch long enough to regain uniform. Should have kept on hand. Stupid mistake.

Daniel has been speaking to bartender for several minutes. Bartender looks like gang member, but face is not familiar. Ozymandias still in facilities. No stir in crowd to indicate nearby violence as cause of absence.

23:00, …May have misinterpreted nature of Ozymandias’ tip.



Walter had filled every o on the page and started scribbling in the circular parts of each p and d as well, resisting the urge to look up. He’d been spotted, but it wasn’t clear if Daniel had recognised him in disguise. Perhaps Nite Owl’s senses were sharp enough to catch a spy even in his…enervated state.

Walter regretted the necessity of disguise. He needed his layers of Rorschach between him and the pulsating tsunami of filth that threatened to swamp him. Rorschach was unaffected by the disgusting sights he encountered every night, his response only to end or avenge them. He was impermeable.

Walter, however, was…more permeable. The music forced its way through his weak eardrums and set memories struggling underneath the rotting fabric of his will. The twin symphonies of fornication and battery put to song, and from the corner of his eye he saw men twining with men on the dance floor, lascivious lacquered lips pursing together. He shuddered and stared harder at his notebook. Out of p’s and d’s. He moved on to the smaller loops in a’s and e’s.

His mother had always played music, he suddenly remembered. Until she had to pawn the record player. Nothing like this, all fecund squirming rhythm, but played just as loud, until the speakers buzzed in protest.

Walter rubbed his eyes and wished desperately that he was wearing his proper uniform, or at least some ear plugs. He needed a plan to get to the alley behind the club and change without dropping surveillance. Abruptly abandoning his post would not only confirm him as a spy if seen but leave Daniel vulnerable to interference.

A large hand touched the spiral top of his notebook. Walter started and yanked it back to his chest, glaring at whoever had the temerity to touch his work. But that was a prevarication – he knew it had to be Daniel. No one but Nite Owl could sneak up on him.

“Sorry, sorry! Didn’t mean to startle you. Um…can I sit down?”

Daniel’s eyes were impossibly huge and wet when not protected by goggles.

Walter nodded, keeping his features immobile. No point in pushing Daniel away if he’d been recognised, and, if not…it was easier to keep an eye on someone from a few feet away instead of across a veritable depot of perversion.

The other man settled into the booth, the cheap vinyl buckling underneath him. Walter tucked his notebook away and waited.

“I’m Dan,” he offered.

Not recognised, then. Good.

“And, uh, you are?”

Walter tried to think of a fake name, but only “Daniel” came to mind. Rorschach usually spoke slightly lower than Walter – Walter almost never spoke in any case – but he thought it best to pitch his voice slightly higher than usual to be sure.

“Walter.”

“What?”

“Walter!” he shouted over the music. So much for disguising his voice – he could barely be heard, let alone identified.

“Oh. Hi, Walter. Nice to meet you.”

Walter nodded uncomfortably. Meeting new people was really more Rorschach’s thing.

“So…um…do you come here…a lot?”

“No.” Emphatically, no.

“Me neither. I, er, that’s why I came over. Because you look as out of place here as me.”

Walter nodded again. That was certainly true. If Daniel only knew how true.

Encouraged, the other man continued. “Actually, I’m only here because an acquaintance sort of…guilted me into it. Went on and on about how he didn’t have any real friends because…er, well…”

Daniel looked over his shoulder toward the men’s facilities while Walter made a mental note to kick in Adrian’s perfect smile the next time their paths crossed. Taking advantage of Daniel’s kind nature was Rorschach’s privilege, and no one else’s.

“…because he’s kind of an asshole, as it turns out.”

One corner of Walter’s mouth quirked upward.

Daniel waggled his thumb between the two of them. “Apparently, this look we’ve got is called ‘geek chic’.”

“Hurm,” Walter grunted, nonplussed.

Daniel paused, head tilting in thought, before shaking his head a little and continuing. “But I think anyone here would disagree with only one of those words. Although…your suit is nicer than mine. And, hey! You’ve even got a waistcoat!”

Walter squeaked as the other man swooped without warning and pulled his suit jacket open, pawing at the material over his stomach.

“It’s got buttons!” Daniel announced with delight, slipping two of them out of their buttonholes to examine the stitching.

Walter reminded himself it was Rorschach that broke fingers and contented himself with grabbing Daniel’s hands. A spark jumped between their fingers, simple bioelectric discharge probably caused by Daniel rubbing the slick fabric, but both men froze and stared at their joined hands: Daniel in fascination, Walter in terror.

They looked up and made eye contact a second too late, letting go at the same time.

“Sorry, I’m a little…er…” Daniel took a fortifying slug of his drink – cola, from the look of it.

Walter could feel the blush spread into the roots of his hair and winced. He coughed to cover his embarrassment, then kept coughing because the dry, smoky air had left fishhooks in his throat.

“You okay? Where’s your drink? Never mind, here, have a sip of mine.”

Walter looked at the smudged glass dubiously, but after three more racking coughs forced himself to take a sip from the side with the fewest lip prints.

“Engh!” He nearly spat it back out. It was the worst cola he’d ever drank, both too sweet and far too bitter. It tasted like the smell of a poisoned mouse rotting in the wall, corrupt and sickening.

“I know,” Daniel said. “I swear they only have diet in this place.”

Walter choked down another swallow and cleared his throat, putting the glass back on the table as far away as he could reach. Dieters had to be desperate if they’d suffer through that.

“You okay?”

Walter nodded.

“Good. Good. Um…” Daniel tapped a disjointed rhythm on the table, making the glass rattle. “I meant to ask, what were you writing?”

Walter shrugged.

“Poetry?”

Walter shook his head. Poetry? Who did Daniel think he was talking to?

“Are we going to play Twenty Questions?” Daniel asked, suddenly grinning. “I’m really good at that.”

Walter snorted. His partner looked like a kid begging for ice cream.

“Crime,” he replied.

“Like a detective novel?”

“…something like that.”

“Heh. You should meet my p– my friend. He’s like a living Sherlock Holmes. Or, no, more like one of those film noir detectives, same kind of suit. Like yours. And I don’t think Sherlock ever beat anyone up, but Dixon Hill did all the time.”

Walter almost smiled at the frank admiration in Daniel’s voice.

“What are you writing about?”

“Nightclub. Drugs. Vice.” He tilted his head toward the bacchanalia in front of them. It seemed like another world, now, held at bay by thick glass. Having his partner by his side, even inebriated, was almost as insulating as his mask.

Daniel’s face fell. “So, uh…oh. You’re just here for research?”

Walter had never told a lie in his life. It didn’t fit his moral code and, anyway, neither Walter nor Rorschach ever needed to. No one asked Walter anything, and Rorschach had simple answers for any he was posed, mostly variations of “Breaking them, if you don’t tell me what I what to know.” He tried to nod, to approve the fiction that Daniel was building, but it was difficult.

“Researching, yes. Well, investigating. That’s a better word for it.”

He shut his mouth firmly, before “Watching you” could slip out. He wasn’t used to censoring himself around Nite Owl, and suddenly realised he’d grown dependent on simply talking to the other man, verbalising every thought in case his partner had something useful to contribute or would appreciate a particularly clever metaphor. Another weakness that had slipped through Rorschach’s supposedly tight control…

Daniel stared at him for a long time, squinting, before smiling. “Me too.”

Walter breathed a quiet sigh of relief and stole an ice cube from Daniel’s drink, crunching it between his teeth.

“You do that too?” Daniel gulped back the rest of his drink and caught a cube in his mouth. “It’s weirdly satisfying, isn’t it?” he mumbled around the melting ice.

Walter found himself staring at the cold, reddened lips and looked down at his hands, tightly clenched together on the table. He had to get Daniel out of there, now.

“Do you like this music?” Daniel asked, fishing out another piece of ice.

“No,” Walter shuddered.

“Me neither. I like…you know…the older stuff. Songs you can actually dance to.”

Walter grunted in something like agreement. It had never occurred to him to dance, but, yes. Music with an actual melody was preferable, if there had to be music. Like the records Daniel put on when he was alone in the basement, working on new gadgets or tuning up Archimedes. Usually singing along. Surprisingly tuneful voice.

Daniel stared into his glass, swirling the last drops with exaggerated nonchalance. “You, uh, you wanna get out of here?”

“Yes!” Walter nearly shouted, getting to his feet. Problem solved.

Daniel shrugged, following an internal script. “I mean, somewhere more quiet, but I understand if you don’t…wait, what?”

Walter grabbed his arm when Daniel made no move to stand and propelled him toward the door via the shortest route, across the corner of the dance floor.

“Wait,” Daniel said, “I need to get my coat from…you know, never mind. I hate that coat. Let’s go. Erm…my place okay?”

“Fine,” Walter gritted out, shrinking from the press of bodies even as he pushed through. He thought of Adrian with a pang of guilt – even if he did not deserve rescue, Rorschach would not leave a fellow mask in such danger – but caught sight of the man heading their way as if the thought had summoned him.

Adrian looked tousled and rather energetic for late in the evening, but otherwise unharmed. Walter nodded to himself, pleased that his ordeal was nearly over, and began to detour toward the last vigilante in the club. He had two hands and two wayward babes to shepherd out into the fresh air, then the rest of the night to patrol. Three problems solved.

Adrian raised a hand to beckon Daniel over, then moved his gaze reluctantly to Walter. He made a disgusted face and called out, “Dan – yull!”

He looked from side to side at the oblivious crowd surrounding him and mouthed with slightly more discretion: You can do better.

Daniel frowned and tucked his hand into Walter’s elbow, all but dragging him to the door with surprising strength.

“Isn’t that your friend?” Walter asked, weakly. His face felt like it might burst into flame if brushed by a stray cigarette. At the moment, he’d happily let Adrian fall into any dire trap that awaited him, but Daniel certainly wouldn’t leave a man behind.

“No,” Daniel replied firmly. He pushed past the bouncer but got caught up in a gaggle of newcomers heading into the club. Walter pulled them both to the side, stumbling in the dark and almost falling into a relatively quiet corner near the door, behind some potted plants.

“Sorry,” Daniel started, ducking into the cramped space next to him. “I mean, yes, that was my friend, but, he’s, well…kind of an asshole.” He shrugged. “Don’t – ”

“You said that already,” Walter wheezed, wriggling against the warm mass of his partner that was squishing him into the corner. He didn’t like to think of what else had touched those walls, now brushing along the back of his neck.

“I think he’s just totally focused on looks, you know,” Daniel continued, oblivious, “and…um…wait. That sounded like…I didn’t mean that like it sounded. You’re…”

“Could you…?” Walter pushed at the earnest weight pressing into him.

“I could,” Daniel nodded decisively, and grabbed Walter by his lapels. He hesitated, licking his lips, eyes darting somewhat fuzzily between the other man’s left and right eyes.

Walter swallowed. This was not going as well as he’d hoped. His partner was clearly out of his mind and had mistaken him for some sort of criminal. He braced himself for the first blow and reminded his inner Rorschach that he would only fight defensively, and only enough to get Daniel out of the den of sin that had addled him so terribly.

Cold lips mashed into his, driving the back of his skull into the wall with a thump.

“Mmph!” Expecting a fight, Walter’s over-tensed nerves interpreted the gesture as a combination bite-headbutt, paused to marvel over the bizarre brilliance of such a manoeuvre, ran through several semi-lethal responses, and settled on grabbing the other man’s head and yanking it away from him as the best purely defensive move.

Unfortunately, Daniel moaned as soon as he felt hands settle on the sides of his face and mirrored the gesture before Walter got a grip. He forced Walter’s head to tilt up, slamming it back into the cement-block wall again, and deepened what Walter belatedly realised was an attempted kiss.

Walter shivered, mind briefly grinding to a confused halt. Heterosexual men did not kiss other heterosexual men. Handshake, yes. Kiss, no. Therefore, this could not be happening. There was no appropriate reaction to take, because it simply wasn’t happening.

Daniel slid a roughly exploratory tongue between Walter’s lips, tracing the ridges of his teeth, and it was pure shock that made his mouth fall open and seem to welcome the intruder.

Not that any of this was actually happening. Daniel’s tongue did not taste faintly sugary against his, the foulness of the cola transmuted to sweetness in his mouth. Walter did not think of melting sugar cubes as the lips warmed against his, demanding and bruising. He did not bury trembling fingers in thick chestnut hair, forgetting to breathe for long minutes.

He heard someone clear their throat. Loudly. Someone moving him on – yes, that did happen to Walter. Often. He clung to the reality of it, using it as a wedge to force the other sensations into his perception as well. Real. Happening. Had to be stopped.

Had the wall been gently sliding up his back when he first leaned against it? He pushed Daniel away, successfully inhaling one deep breath of stale, smoky air before the lips claimed his again. Hands grabbed his shoulders, holding him in place.

He blinked against the dark spots dancing in his vision, eyelashes brushing the other man’s glasses. He couldn’t see the other man’s eyes, but knew they were closed. Had to be. Daniel was, it seemed, very drunk. Walter had witnessed drunks and addicts hallucinating – talking to people not there, trying to lean or walk on imaginary surfaces, demanding to speak to their long-deceased mothers. Obviously, the same thing was happening here. Daniel was picturing someone – some woman, of course – he actually wanted to be kissing.

It was the only explanation. After all, no one wanted Walter. He was grateful for that. It was an extra layer of insulation from temptation. He tightened his grip on the other man’s hair and resolutely pulled him away.

“Daniel,” he said firmly – or tried to. The name actually came out in a wheezy whisper.

“Mmm…” the other man rumbled and ducked to nudge Walter’s chin up out of the way, kissing from his Adam’s apple to his jawline. The stern words died in Walter’s throat.

The bouncer, he saw through strands of Daniel’s hair, was watching them, a look of amusement on his broad face.

Amused, at such a degenerate display? Walter wondered why the man wasn’t sickened, wasn’t immediately phoning the police to report public indecency. He bit back a moan as Daniel found a particularly indecent spot in the hollow of his collarbone and tried to squirm away.

“No you don’t,” Daniel chuckled, pulling the stiff collar aside and attacking the exposed skin. Walter closed his eyes as they rolled back into his skull, swallowed hard – the tormenting lips tried to follow the motion along his throat – and tried to imagine his mask and scarf, safely protecting him.

It was no good – Rorschach had, rightly of course, fled the pornographic assault, leaving Walter to face it alone. For just a moment, he hated his alter ego, even if he was entirely free of the weaknesses that plagued Walter, almost as much as he hated whoever Daniel had in mind. Whatever temptress could leave a good man like Daniel in ruins like this.

The bouncer cleared his throat again, louder.

Walter grabbed Daniel’s hair again and pulled his head away, trying to get him turned around. He yanked hard on the roots, hoping the pain would bring his partner back around, dispel whatever whorish vision tormented him. But the other man only smiled shyly, the expression at odds with the debauched and swollen lips, and nuzzled Walter’s stubbly cheek with the tip of his nose.

“God, Walter,” he whispered, “You’re so…so…”

He ran his hands down the other man’s arms, seemingly oblivious to the way he stiffened at the sound of his own name, squeezing the muscles underneath. “You don’t spend all your time in front of a typewriter, huh?” he huffed in surprise.

“No,” Walter forced out. “Daniel – ”

The other man ignored him, brushing the unruly hair back from Walter’s forehead. “And your hair is so soft,” he continued, planting a kiss on his temple.

Walter watched the bouncer physically wipe the smirk off his face, leaving a stern mug behind. He tapped Daniel on the shoulder. “C’mon, Professors – take it outside. This is a classy joint, y’know.”

Daniel jumped, almost elbowing Walter in the face as he whipped around. “S-sorry,” he began, “This isn’t…er…isn’t what it looks like…”

Walter regained his scattered wits first and shoved Daniel past the bouncer, who had crossed his arms in a gently menacing manner, and out the door. The usual foul city air, with its grace notes of gutter decay and ozone, had never smelled so good.

He let Daniel go, breathed deeply and shoved his hands in his pockets, then hurried to re-button his suit jacket. He wasn’t decent, visibly half-hard under his trousers, and felt only a little better when safely covered. Adrenaline, he told himself, hunching his shoulders so that the fabric fell loosely to his thighs. Happened sometimes, during a fight. Unfortunate, but normal.

Daniel looked bashfully from him to the passing cars. Walter nodded to himself, acknowledging the small accomplishment. Partner was safe. Rest of the night was his to patrol the streets. Over-sensitive rod uncomfortably wedged in his underwear would desist soon enough if ignored.

Walter hoped that this was a particularly crime-ridden area.

He left Daniel optimistically watching the street for an available taxi and ducked down the alley toward his clothes. It would be such a relief to shuck Walter off for the night and take on the far more comfortable face of Ror–

“Great idea!” Daniel said, bounding after him. “Man, I gotta go too. Funny how you don’t notice it until you’ve left the place, and then you’re so full you could burst.”

Walter turned away as Daniel found a suitable spot – thankfully not where he’d hidden his clothes – and unzipped. He threw his head back and groaned in pleasure as the pressure on his bladder released, and some traitorous part of Walter wondered if that was how he sounded when…

No. He did not care about such things.

“Why are…you…oh. Shy bladder, huh? I shoulda thought.” Daniel tucked himself away (and Walter definitely kept his eyes on Daniel’s face as he did so). “Look, I’ll go flag us down a cab, ok?”

Walter nodded, relieved. Daniel’s distraction would allow him the few minutes needed to change and escape.

Daniel chewed on his bottom lip. “You, um, you are coming back, right?”

Walter decided that a kicked puppy would be the wrong metaphor – Daniel’s eyes were far larger than any mere puppy’s, and further enlarged by his round lenses. Perhaps a fluffy owl chick bumped out of the nest and hearing the wolves approach.

He hung his head. “Yes,” he muttered, hating the lie.

Daniel brightened immediately. “Great! I just had this paranoid thought you headed down here to ditch me. Silly, right?”

“Right,” Walter whispered at Daniel’s back. He watched the other man flag down a taxi almost immediately and turn to peer into the alley’s gloom from the bright cone of a streetlight’s glow. He returned to the taxi and spoke to the driver, then tried to lean nonchalantly on an electric recharger. He missed it by a good six inches and landed on the sidewalk.

Walter threw an extra trash bag over his clothes and ran for the mouth of the alley. He could come back for them once he’d gotten Daniel safely home. The driver looked foreign, and Walter didn’t trust him with someone…vulnerable.

To Part 2.

Date: 2009-04-23 09:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brancher.livejournal.com
there is no sentence in this that is not epic.

Date: 2009-04-24 07:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
*furious blushing"

Aw, cheers :)

Date: 2009-04-23 10:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] initial-aitch.livejournal.com
Yes. What [livejournal.com profile] brancher said. So many times I stopped to re-read a sentence that was too great not to savor. Occasionally I commented out loud -- “...no one wanted Walter...It was an extra layer of insulation from temptation” is one such instance. I am impressed. Can’t wait to read the next part. There’s so much chemistry between them although they’re “strangers.” How do you do that? Well done all around.

Date: 2009-04-24 08:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
I suspect Dan has chemistry with every character - a bit like Parkman on Heroes, the Mr Buddy whose every interaction can look porny if you squint :) Or maybe it's just my love of wee beer bellies on barrel-chested guys coloring my perceptions.

Thanks for the kind words!

Date: 2009-04-25 08:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 22by7.livejournal.com
Dan is totally the Little Black Dress of Watchmen fandom!

Date: 2009-04-23 11:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bassist08.livejournal.com
Haha! I love all the little internal conflicts Walter has. You write them so well. And the little one liners are fantastic! XD

Date: 2009-04-24 07:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Walter is such a messed up little bunny (...okay, maybe the killer bunny from the end of Monty Python's Holy Grail). Glad you like the one-liners - I worry I go overboard on them. Come from writing in between being tormented by dopey coworkers and biting back sarcasm all day :)

Date: 2009-04-24 12:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] capaow.livejournal.com
omg. that is the best.
I couldn't help but giggle at some parts.
I love how you've characterized them.
and guh was that make out scene sexy.
and squee! there's the second chapter!
must go read. now.

marvelous story so far. ;D

Date: 2009-04-24 07:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
I'm glad you're enjoying! Drunk!Dan is waaaay too much fun to write.

Date: 2009-04-24 04:27 am (UTC)
ext_162397: (movie ||| gimme some sugar)
From: [identity profile] the-byzantine.livejournal.com
Dixon Hill? I see what you did there.

Honestly this is magnificent.
I love how long it seems to take Rorschach to get that this isn't some reconnaissance mission ("Ozymandias seems to have many contacts, established previous to this visit...")

I'm rushing off to read the second part, because this is a fantastic start...

Date: 2009-04-24 07:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Dixon Hill? I see what you did there.

Ah hahaha...yeah. I've just revealed my age there, haven't I?

True story: My dad, who's a big beer drinking blue collar yay-union kinda guy, during the episode where Picard was going with Worf as wingman for some Klingon ceremony or other, randomly insisted that 'Chardish' was Klingon for 'Sweetheart.' And since then, nearly two decades now, will randomly announce 'Chardish!' whenever two guys on tv are having a bonding moment and giggle like a Japanese schoolgirl. So, I guess I come by the slash goggles honestly :)

Date: 2009-04-25 05:19 am (UTC)
ext_162397: (comics ||| year one: but...)
From: [identity profile] the-byzantine.livejournal.com
Honestly, I don't see it as an ageist thing. I used to watch TNG everyday when I got home from primary school with my siblings- it was the only thing our local station played between when we'd get home and when our parents got home from work (had to turn the tv off and pretend we had all been reading or something). We grew up with all these in-jokes exactly like that, which no one else really seemed to get and drew weird looks when I'd try to explain it was Star-Trek.
I think most people just didn't know what they were missing.
Ah Sci-Fi TV: it has made slashers of us all.

Date: 2009-04-25 05:28 am (UTC)
ext_162397: (Default)
From: [identity profile] the-byzantine.livejournal.com
Also- this is ever better on the second read- I can't tell you how much I love it. there are so many lines that have me smirking because they are so funny and yet so snidely in character- "entered through kitchen. Not clean. Will notify Health Inspector." Love this- Rorschach he's such a petty stickler for the little rules. Its hilarious.

What I'm trying to say is... I love you. (blushes).

Date: 2009-04-24 04:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sweetphaex.livejournal.com
rolfed so hard at his disgust at the $7 cover charge XD

Date: 2009-04-24 07:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
I was so tempted to put in a scene of him actually waiting out front in line behind the velvet rope, all FFFFFFFFFFF! at the people surrounding him, and the charge being the last straw. But it got skipped as I wanted to get to the sexing that much faster :)

Date: 2009-04-24 05:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snake-easing.livejournal.com
Love the partners interacting and Ror. trying to hide in his journal, and this is an awesomely fierce version of Adrian, btw. Total asshole, but that just makes it better.

why do i not have an ozy icon? must remedy that

Date: 2009-04-24 07:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
I was totally working out some personal issues from my clubbing years there :) Glad it actually worked with the character as well!
From: [identity profile] snake-easing.livejournal.com
What can I say? I just like him super-bitchy.

Date: 2009-04-24 09:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] coldryuuza.livejournal.com
omg, Rorschach! you were so, so, so far off in this instance! lol. oh this is going to be fun

Date: 2009-04-27 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
I like to believe he only half believed his justifications, and that he had similar journal entries justifying him following Daniel to the laundromat, the library, the supermarket...heh. Stalking is love, with these two :)

Date: 2009-04-25 08:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 22by7.livejournal.com
COMBINATION BITE-HEADBUTT. No, you are a bizarrely brilliant genius, Mr. Kovacs. I love everything in this fic, including unsubtly chummy!Adrian and the clubbing stereotypes, but above all a winner is the immensely plausible ridiculousness of the things Walter does. Writing 'poetry' (heehee GINSBERG oh DAN ♥ you utter romantic) in the club? Check. Meeting new people was really more Rorschach’s thing? Check. Taking advantage of Daniel’s kind nature was Rorschach’s privilege, and no one else’s? Check. Yep, this is totally the same guy who jumps out of people's fridges. I just about died laughing.

On a more SRS note - you handle Walter's Issues pretty damn well. It is hard not to woobify him after this. :runs to part two:

Date: 2009-04-27 06:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Someday, I swear, I am going to write an uber-woobie-Rorschach fic and get it properly out of my system :) It's Jackie Earl Haley's fault for being so damn adorable! Glad you've enjoyed this so far!

Date: 2009-04-27 10:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] insaneslasher.livejournal.com
Not clean. Will notify Health Inspector.
This cracked me up.

It was the worst cola he’d ever drank, both too sweet and far too bitter. It tasted like the smell of a poisoned mouse rotting in the wall, corrupt and sickening.
Glad to meet a fellow diet cola hater.

Date: 2009-04-27 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
The really sad thing is, on the rare occasions I have a soda, it tends to be diet coke. I went on a sugar detox a few years ago (a mad dietician's magic solution for allergies, which actually kinda works), and haven't been able to manage the sweetness of proper cola since.

(And as I type, I'm eating the most enourmous chocolate-chocolate chip cookie - heh.)

Date: 2009-04-28 07:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lemonfruitpie.livejournal.com
OH MANG Adrian XD I love him and his sleazy posse here, it's awesome<3 There are so many cute lines in this, I'm gushing.

Meeting new people was really more Rorschach’s thing.

Walter’s over-tensed nerves interpreted the gesture as a combination bite-headbutt, paused to marvel over the bizarre brilliance of such a manoeuvre

Heterosexual men did not kiss other heterosexual men


These make me laugh like crazy, you have no idea.

<3<3<3!! Loving all the Walter being secretly pleased/showing off to Dan action :D We all need more of that.

And oh yeeees, suit! Walter is always win. Overall, very well done. I love all the misunderstandings and the way you wrote out Walter's thought processes.

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