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Fic: Echo (2/4)

Title: Echo (2/4)
Author: lilac28
Pairing: Rorschach/Nite Owl
Rating: R
Disclaimer: I wish I could write something as amazing as Watchmen. Sadly I did not.
Notes: Slight AU, where everyone thought Crimebusters was a swell idea. Pre-Roche Rorschach so sure he's quiet and grim, but he still has all the buttons on his over-coat.
Summary: Written for a prompt on the kinkmeme that I can't find anymore. Through a bizarre encounter, Nite Owl and Rorschach switch bodies. While struggling to right the situation, Dan learns a few things about his partner.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Twilight Lady stood impatient for his arrival, hands on her hips like a drill sergeant. Running towards her was like moving underwater, and Dan struggled to close the distance between them. His lungs felt like they were about to shatter from physical exertion and all-consuming panic. He didn't know why he was running so hard.

He just knew that he had to get to her.

He tried to speak upon reaching her, but the words failed to come out. It was important, so important, that they be close. He enfolded her in his arms, unable to articulate the need to release something inside him. Something that was burning him alive.

Then they were naked, and she was reaching up to twine her fingers through his hair. Her touched remained gentle, even as Dan felt a painless rip through his scalp and down his face. Slim hands pulled at his body, removing human skin as though he were a shedding snake. The Daniel Dreiberg layer sloughed off, leaving only Nite Owl beneath. Fully costumed, confident Nite Owl.

Twilight Lady herself was still naked. Nite Owl smoothed her fiery hair, all the while knowing it was important to restore balance. To free her as he himself had just been freed. His hands caught a seam on the top of her head, and he tore her apart in one graceful motion. Yet looking back at him wasn't the pointy mask and goggles of the Twilight Lady. It wasn't a woman at all. Looking back at him was a tiny figure in a brown trench coat and hat; face a lazy fluctuating butterfly of black on white.


They were so close. And just when Nite Owl leaned down further, the world exploded.

Dan Dreiberg awoke mid-scream and drenched in sweat, taking a few minutes of frantic gasping to get his bearings. Holy shit, what a crazy dream. He was in his room, on his bed, clad in purple and brown. What the...

Glancing over at the full-length mirror, he noted dull brown eyes under a shock of red hair. Not all of it a dream.

The events of the previous night came tumbling back. Rorschach. Moloch. The surprise of a lifetime when he took off the mask. He must have fallen asleep from stunned exhaustion. Fallen asleep for quite a while according to the clock next to his bed, which displayed 6:10 PM.

It was the next night, and Rorschach was still missing. In spirit anyway.

Dan buried his head in his hands. What the hell was he going to do now? Freaking out was awfully tempting. Okay, okay. Think. Get ahold of yourself and come up with a cohesive plan. You're in the body of a brilliant detective. What would Rorschach do?

Rorschach would find Moloch and break every digit on his shifty hands. Maybe that's where he should start. Find Moloch. Well, where he should start would be to find Rorschach. Unfortunately, even after being partners for a few years now, Dan didn't know Rorschach's name, address, or any other personal information.

Which brought him to another thought. He had to assume Rorschach was alive. Had to assume he was alive, and inhabiting Dan's own body. If Moloch had truly switched them, then his partner was running around the city somewhere dressed like a giant owl. Shit, Hollis never told me about the new levels of weirdness that this job would reach.

Hollis. Maybe he could call Hollis and get some help? Although what he really needed was someone with more resources. Someone like Ozymandias.

Or someone like Dr. Manhattan. If anyone could unravel this supernatural mystery, it was the man who could rearrange matter with his mind. Manhattan could help, and if it really was the next day then there was a Crimebusters meeting tonight.

Dan leapt from the bed with renewed purpose, spirits buoyed by some semblance of a plan. He needed to eat, that much was evident by how weak and shaky he felt. He also needed to wash his clothes and take a shower if he was to function without passing out.

The notion brought his thoughts to a screaming halt. Shower? Laundry? That would require nudity, and nudity would catapult him to new levels of uncomfortable beyond those of the awkward handshake. The alternative, however, was to work in a sub-optimal state and risk being stuck forever as a five foot six angry ginger who probably got laid less than Dan did.

A shower it was.

Rifling through his dresser, he pulled out a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt to wear while his clothes were in the wash. Rorschach's mask also found its way into his hands. Freaky situation or not, there was no way he was letting his partner's most prized possession out of his sight.

Once in front of his washing machine, Dan examined the grimy coat and pants pockets to remove any of Rorschach's lingering possessions. There was a small flashlight, a handful of sugar cubes, and a map of the subway system marked with writing more cryptic than any engineering schematic he had ever seen.

There was also a small, leather-bound journal. The one Rorschach scribbled in every night.

If anything was to give more insight into his furtive partner's personality, it was the journal before it was the face behind the mask. At the very least, it could contain a name or an address. Oh, what do you expect to really find? "Dear Diary, tonight Nite Owl looked sexy in his spandex. If found please return to....."

He opened the pages, ignoring the whisper in his head that it was wrong. Being Rorschach, it seemed, was more fraught with temptation than one may have thought.

”Now the whole world stands on the brink, staring down into bloody hell, all those liberals and intellectuals and smooth-talkers...and all of a sudden, nobody can think of anything to say.

Except Nite Owl. Nite Owl untainted by the city's putrid corruption.

And when the accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout "save us!"

...and I'll look down, and whisper "no."

On that miserable day, I suspect Nite Owl will make the right decision.”

Dan slammed the journal shut, resolute in the knowledge that this was too serious a boundary to cross. There was nothing to learn in it that would immediately help his situation. There was only betrayal, and a whole lot of semi-nonsensical ramblings. He had to keep moving if he was going to get out the house in time to find Dr. Manhattan. After all, he still had to get Archie ready and-


Archie was still hovering high in the sky above the magic shop, and the remote to bring him down was on Nite Owl's belt. He could construct another one, but there was little time and no way to test it. With the Crimebusters headquarters many blocks away, his choices would be either to walk or use public transportation.

Whatever he chose, he'd have to hurry. The meeting was in just under three hours. Dan removed his white tank top and white underwear, making it a point to put on the other clothes and look at his body as little as possible. He threw the stained garments in the wash. Tighty-whities, Rorschach, why am I not surprised?

While the washing machine ran, he rummaged through his cupboards for some sort of sustenance. Pasta, cereal.....beans?

Moving of its own accord, his hand closed around the can. Heat it up? Well, there's not really time, is there? They'll be fine like this.

Before he knew it, thirty minutes had passed and with them four cans of unheated beans. The wash surely done by now, he moved to go back downstairs and put everything in the dryer.

The only thing left would be a shower.

Dan stopped at the bathroom door; one hand clutching the mask while the other lingered on the doorknob. Was he really going to do this? He had already taken off the mask, effectively rendering his partner naked. He'd even snuck a peak at Rorschach's mysterious journal. Yet washing his body seemed so intimate, perverse even. Was bathing more acceptable in light of the fact that he hadn't read the entire journal? Where did one line of propriety end, and the other begin? It figured that the limits were nebulous with Rorschach, even when he wasn't truly there.

The truth was, however, that Dan couldn't function smelling like an old foot. He turned the knob. I'm going in.

His normally bright, cheery bathroom had taken on an ominous air, as though the very walls were condemning him for the sin he was about to commit. Catching hold of his reflection in the mirror, once again Dan paused to examine Rorschach's face. It just seemed so out of place with what he knew of his partner's personality. Chipped teeth, deep-set brown eyes, freckles. No surprise, really, that he was ugly, although there was something almost appealing to Dan in the serious glower. Unmasking him had been a shock, but it hadn't been enough to erase the mystery.

Apparently the animus of Rorschach persisted even without the mask. Without its owner. Never before had Dan wanted to know Rorschach's real name this badly.

He turned his back to the mirror, undressing with the utmost haste. Let's make this quick. After reaching in to turn on the water, he placed the mask on the closed toilet seat, stepped into the shower, and yanked the curtain around the tub. Delicious warm water was soon sluicing down his foreign body, and Dan found himself wondering when was the last time it had enjoyed the luxury of a warm shower.

He began by lathering shampoo into his hair, part of him amused by how mortified Rorschach would be at the thought of "lathering" anything. Nights of mask-wearing city grime ran down his body, carried by shampoo and water. Red hair. I can't believe he has red hair. Why is that so titillating? How can one person be such a pillar of contradictions?

There was plenty of time to ruminate on the pervasive dualities of Rorschach until the water ran clear. Given how long that was, he knew that in addition to the shampoo he should be a little more thorough in his cleaning. Dan reached for the soap, seized with equal parts guilt and stomach-churning excitement. He still had yet to gather the courage to really look down.

Starting at the top, he ran the soap along his chest and arms. There wasn't much there, but he sure was a compact little guy. No wonder he could take down three men twice his size. Rorschach was certainly....taut. His heart started beating wildly as he slid the soap lower over a firm, tensed stomach.

Then he looked down, at which point three things struck him.

The carpet did indeed match the drapes. That's almost...cute.

Those freckles really were almost everywhere.

Rorschach was uncircumcised.

He could have suspected as much, of course, given Rorschach's rather vehement reaction to a rather tame joke Dan had made about his Bris. (Barbaric Jewish practice. You think a child can get closer to God through mutilation?) Seeing it was another matter, more intriguing than anything else. He started examining it without another thought, as though he were gently stretching the wings of a timid falcon.

Uh, ok. Gotta wash everything. I'll just, um, pull this back here and oh-

For the first time that he could remember in life, Dan pulled his foreskin back, and immediately the circumstances went from clinical and fascinating to bare and arousing. It was sensitive, far more sensitive than he was used to. He was tingling in the open air, water stroking places normally covered.

Before he could do anything, Dan Dreiberg was getting hard in his partner's body. Oh Jesus, this is twisted. Any second now Rorschach was going to rip the door off its hinges and beat him in a Nite Owl costume. He held his breath for a second, and when the door remained intact he dared to wrap a hand around his burgeoning erection.

This was not jerking off. This was just washing, or touching, or...holding. The kind of exploratory touch that had no explicit goal of masturbation. Comfort without perversion. Like the interlacing of gloved hands after a hard night's patrol. Like catching something rare and letting it just rest in your palm, no ulterior motive. Like simultaneously ignoring and thrilling to your greatest secret. What would his partner say if he were to see this? Filthy. Disgusting.

"Oh God, what the hell am I doing?" He spoke the words in a foreign voice. Rorschach's voice. And now he was holding onto Rorschach's fully erect cock.

Rorschach's voice. Saying anything he wanted.

"Daniel." He'll never know.

He palmed the head of his dick, spreading clear fluid and rocking into new sensation.

"Daniel, I want you." He'd longed for this. Dan would have been ashamed, had he not been so aroused. "Couldn't tell you. Please....Nite Owl, please touch me."

Now he had to admit that he was jerking off. He lolled his head against the tiled wall as he kept pumping in that luscious state of solo frenzy. God, it was good. Spiraling upwards with every tight-fisted stroke, he grunted and muttered everything he had wanted to hear over the past six months. Everything he had only dared to admit to in dreams. Rorschach's voice, gravel on glass and nights of noble brutality.

His free hand roamed over pale, hard skin while the other took on an autopilot relentless rhythm, lacking the self-control to properly tease, afraid the fantasy would evaporate under a guilty heat at any second. Trembling fingers finally lifted to his dour face and ghosted over every sharp corner. It really did exist under that mask.

That fucking mask, another costume piece that drove him crazy. The mask that his inscrutable partner wore. Every night. Even when it was raining. The mask that was surely waterproof.

Dan ripped the shower curtain aside and snatched at the mask still sitting on the toilet seat. Hey, I should wash it anyway, right?

Fumbling with one hand he jammed it over his head and rolled it down to just above his nose, knees almost buckling as a new wave of desire swept through him. Rorschach's shifting face had always entranced him, always made him feel more powerful by association. He guessed the costumes had something to do with it. It felt strange to come out and admit that to somebody, even if it was just himself.

To come out of the closet.

He was hovering on the edge of a cresting wave of pleasure, the world reduced to a swimming sea of black and white. With the reckless resolve of one desperately close to coming, Dan pulled the rest of the mask down over his face.

"Oh yes, Daniel. Yes, just like that! Does it feel good?"

Oh, yes. Rorschach, yes. I feel so confident. It's like I'm on fire. And all the crazed magicians, all the weird happenings in the world, they're just cases--just problems to solve.

And he was swept away, legs giving out as he slid down the shower wall, furious hand never stopping. Convulsing with the deep-bliss waves of a body that hadn't experienced release in God knows how long. Hot come splashed the mask, leaving an asymmetrical pattern that lasted only a moment before the shower washed it away. Every tug, every whisper, every sordid gasp of dirty, constricting latex, it was all so fucking good.

And it ended, like so many of life's powerful-yet-cheap sexual encounters, with a twinge of guilt and no small amount of unease. Spent until he was just a skinny little puzzle trembling on the floor of his bathtub.

When his breathing was finally under control and his body stopped shaking, Dan turned off the water and grabbed a towel. He had to hurry if he was going to make it to the Crimebusters meeting.

Next Part



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 21st, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC)
I swear this is the hottest shower scene ever ever everrr <3
May. 25th, 2010 04:12 am (UTC)
You rock and now I am very flattered. It didn't start out so pervy. It just kind of....got away from me!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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