[personal profile] brancher
TITLE: Teratophilia
FANDOM: Watchmen
PAIRING: Dan/Rorschach, offstage
SUMMARY: Dan and Laurie talk about the monsters they love. Set in [livejournal.com profile] etherati's zombieverse. Written for kinkmeme.

"So, I don't want to pry," Laurie says about two beers in. "But ... Rorschach? Really? I mean ... I always thought you were straight. And he's, you know, um, kind of a zombie."

Dan is just buzzed enough not to take offense. Besides, he's gotten to know Laurie better lately, and he's starting to understand that her looks let her get away with an almost feral lack of tact. She's almost as talented as Rorschach at saying something appalling and accurate.

He kind of likes her for it, actually.

So he only shrugs. "Seriously? I always thought I was straight. I mean ... I really can't explain it. How do you explain something like that? Like -- Ok, what about you? Why are you with Jon?"

She grimaces. "Touche."

"No, no, I didn't mean it like that. I just mean, you know, I'm sure people ask you the same thing. So what do you tell them?"

Laurie slugs the last of her beer and gets up to forage in the fridge for another. "I tell them he's good to me and he can do pretty much anything I can think of in bed. That usually shuts them up ... Aha!" She returns triumphant, bottle in hand, and reaches for Dan's churchkey. "Since Jon stopped wearing clothes, though, people have stopped asking."

Dan snorts; a little beer goes up his nose. "You see? I guess there's no accounting for taste."

"Yeah, well, you know Jon and I know Jon, he's basically a big blue absent-minded weirdo with what amounts to a model-train obsession, but most people assume he's a god. So it's not that hard for them to understand the appeal, you know?"

"Yeah, I guess."

She takes a swig from her fresh bottle. "So, how do you guys have sex?"


"That's the question I get. Not 'why.' 'How.'"

"Oh, God." Dan buries his face in his hands.

"I mean ... Can you? Can he? Aren't there ..." She waves her hands vaguely. "...you know, blood-pressure issues?"

"I cannot believe you're seriously asking me this."

"Oh, give it up, Dreiberg. You know you're dying to tell someone. Who else are you going to dish to? Hollis?"

"All right, ok, yes. Yes, we can have sex." Dan squeezes his eyes shut. "We do pretty much the regular things that two people do together and I'm not going to tell you how it works because Rorschach would know somehow and then he'd kill us both and then die of shame, all right? Use your imagination."

He takes a deep breath and opens his eyes; Laurie's grinning wickedly at him across the table.

"God, you are cute," she says. "I can't believe you're this cute."

"Yeah, well..." Dan rubs the flushed back of his neck. There was a time when he would have given a lot to hear Laurie Juspeczyk call him cute. "He's changed a lot, you know. Not just the blood-pressure thing, but that's ... part of it, I think." He sighs. "Ok, if you want the honest truth, I don't think this would have happened, otherwise."

"Come on, you always had a thing for him." Her tone is teasing, but there's a real question underneath.

"Heh, well, ok, a little. I always sort of ... I just don't think I would have acted on it or anything. And he -- he certainly wouldn't have let me. Before, it was like he was always pushing back, pushing against any kind of -- of intimacy, or even friendship. Except for these weird moments where he'd come out of nowhere and be really intense about something totally random."

"Like what?"

"Oh, man, he'd show up with like, a dozen ketchup packets -- you know, like from a diner -- and hand them to me, totally solemn, like he was giving away his most cherished possession. He'd be like, Extra ketchup, Daniel. Thought you'd appreciate. And then just stand there staring at me."

Laurie barely manages not to spit out her beer. "Hahahaha! Oh my god!"

"Yeah, I know, I never knew exactly what to make of that."


"Yeah, but except for those weird little moments, it was like he was trying to -- not be touchable. Not be human."

Laurie sobers and looks down at the kitchen table, drawing a design in the condensation from her beer. It looks like a circle with a dot in the middle. "Yeah, I know a little bit about that."

"And -- and now he's not. Human." Dan chews his lower lip. "And I think he's actually more comfortable this way."

"God, only Rorschach would be happier as a zombie."

"Yeah, but the thing is, he sort of is. He's all the way over on the other end of the scale, now, and I think -- I think maybe it gives him room to push back the other way. Towards ... warmth. And maybe that's what made things change. Between us."

There's a lot he isn't saying, here; a lot he won't say to Laurie, or even to Rorschach. He thinks of pale skin, bruises shifting and fading slow as the seasons; black sutures like a sentence in a foreign script, something to be decrypted. Thinks of the cold pressure of Rorschach's fingers hard on his jaw, on his hips, holding him still.

An image comes to him: Rorschach moving out of the shadows, something animal underlying his customary grace, something predatory and utterly controlled.

I get to touch that, he thinks. I get to lie down with that coiled-up power and come out unscathed. I get to see him undone in sleep, curled in the sunlight on the living room floor. I get to make him hiss and whine and call my name.

"I just ...no one else moves like that," he says aloud.

He raises his eyes, and Laurie is watching him with a small, secret smile on her face. He has the uncanny sense that she knows exactly what he means.

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