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22 September 2008 @ 09:36 am
tooth and nail.  
Watchmen.
Rorschach. Laurie. Keeping watch and shaky alibis.


This is a companion piece/sequel to The Lean and Hungry Type. (I'm beginning to think I just wanted to write something that made a throwaway reference to Oingo Boingo's cover of 'Violent Love.')






There's a man starting to decompose in an alley on Rose and Fifth.

Multiple fractures to the skull, the apparent cause of death, once leaked spiderwebbed rivulets of congealed blood. Police are unconcerned. A routine mugging, they shrug. This complacency allows them to disregard the fact that the corpse's wallet remains untouched.

Countries are no longer at war with each other, yet they're still in constant battle with themselves.


---


It takes a while before she starts to become suspicious. For all her faults, stupidity is not one of them. She's begun to notice. Notice how his hours at the dry cleaners curiously pattern hers; how, like clockwork, he steps inside their cramped apartment not long after she arrives back with groceries or from completing another long shift at the garage.

She thinks he doesn't trust her. Not true.

He doesn't trust anyone else.

She doesn't know; can't understand. Not with her biased, liberal, needlessly forgiving mindset. Not in the way he can.

He watched. Each afternoon at the diner, where she sat nursing coffee on her lunch break. Watched the scum move in close to her. Make unwanted advances. Touch her hand. Fail to leave when she ignored him, obviously uninterested. Expect her to bend to his whim as if she were a common whore, easily bought by charm and expensive cologne.

It was a problem that needed to cease.


---


He frowns, regarding the crimson-tinged pants laid out on the table. Messier job than he expected. He sets to work on removing yet another stain from the city.

She must approve; approve in the way she does those nights when she's lying next to him, unashamed to touch him - somehow not repulsed by something that's disgusted him since he was a child. She is gentle and predatory, patient and impatient all at once. She knows firsthand what it's like to be exploited for her body, and he, too, is familiar with the taste of churning bile in his throat whenever he remembers his mother, who chose to pursue such a vile means of existence.

He wonders how she can be so calmly accepting of her own mother, who forced her into something like it.

Yet there is something to be thankful for. He know they're both spared from certain tragedy because of their fathers; good men. Uncompromising men.

(Her face grows hard and bitter whenever he speaks of this. He's learned not to anymore.)


---


The gloves are what give him away.

The tiniest detail ends up being the biggest; he had hidden them, carelessly, in the bottom of the drawer where he kept his notebooks. Figured they could be cleaned at a later date; that, perhaps, he might need them again soon, anyway.

To say she is displeased is an understatement.

The crack of her hand against his face is expected; her knee shoving violently into his gut is not. A bottle of disinfectant and a roll of paper towels lay discarded at her feet. Hands clenched at her waist, hair tied in a loose knot and dirt smudging her cheeks, she looks ridiculous and furious and beautiful.

The man had children, she tells him, landing another blow to the side of his face. Of course she didn't like him, but he had children and she's no saint, either, and how fucking selfish can he be.

She strikes again and his head knocks against the wooden sliding door of his closet. She's relentless. Feral. Exhaustion has drained some of the skill from her movement, but not enough to matter when he is not fighting back, and he cannot be truly selfish when he thinks that all along she needed to let her discontentment out, she needed this. He knows it is not him she is really angry with.

When she sinks her nails into his hipbones through his clothing, she's still whispering defeated insults.

He doesn't tell her that he does not regret it.


---


His real face has been burnt past recognition years ago. There can't be shame in this; not now. Not now that he's permanently disguised - crippled - as Kovacs.

She continues to claw at him, leaving jagged, gaping wounds. He relishes the burn of her fingers, exhaling brokenly; it is a scouring of the filth inside of him. She can cleanse him; she is his solvent.

The business end of her lit cigarette moves slowly over his flesh. Down the shell of his right ear. Against his collarbone. Slides down, further, before it digs in unforgivingly. She glances up when he doesn't scream. It's already extinguished by the time she gets to his navel. She pauses to light another, ghost of a grin on her lips, the new torture instrument clamped between her teeth as she steadies the lighter.

A crooning voice, wildly energetic, pulses through 102.4 WKSM's haze of FM static --want to make violent love, to you by the moon above-- and she tilts her head, slightly, towards the radio on the dresser.

It's always been one of her favorites.



 
 
 
Ultra: smugultramarine on September 22nd, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC)
"She can cleanse him; she is his solvent."

This is a great companion to the previous one. I love the intricacies of loathing and strange compassion. I love that to Walter, in a sense, Laurie reflects both his mother and himself. Not that he would admit the "his mother" part, but it's there.

Bonus points for Oingo Boingo (of course). Ultra mega bonus points if you work a DEVO song into a Watchmen fic.
i just don't get off on funerals, man.: everything becomes clear.orangesparks on September 23rd, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC)
I love that to Walter, in a sense, Laurie reflects both his mother and himself. Not that he would admit the "his mother" part, but it's there.

So true. I think the main reason I have such a bizarre fascination with this pair is because of their childhood dynamics.

And, oh, man - I honestly was considering using 'Gut Feeling' in this before I decided 'Violent Love' was owning my soul at the moment. But it shouldn't be difficult to work it into something else, considering Laurie's canon love of Devo. (Ughhh why is she so AWESOME.) Thank you so much for the lovely feedback!
(Anonymous) on September 22nd, 2008 08:00 pm (UTC)
Oh my god, YES.

I love this. It is basically the most perfect companion to the first one (which I also loved) ever.

And bonus points for Boingo.
(Anonymous) on September 23rd, 2008 01:36 am (UTC)
Oh and I also wanted to add: I thought the whole thing was very sweet in a twisted way. Protectively (jealously?) going out and bashing a guy's head in for making advances on Laurie and then just letting her beat her rage out on him when she found out--maybe the only way Rorschach could be sweet, and oh geez it just did a number on me is all.

You just get everything right here and you've completely captured what was SO APPEALING to me about Rorschach to begin with. As one of my friends put it when I described it to him, "You've just described the appeal of monsters." That is a hard thing to pull off but you have done it with finesse.

P.S. My mental soundtrack to this was actually John Lennon's "Jealous Guy."
i just don't get off on funerals, man.: some nice flowers.orangesparks on September 23rd, 2008 04:22 pm (UTC)
Sweetly twisted? Ack; yes! That is exactly what I was striving for, and the fact that this worked for you is making my day. The fact that Rorschach is so utterly beyond repair is part of what makes me love the character so much, and it was difficult to think of a realistic (to me, at least) way for him to show "affection" towards Laurie.

And good call on the Lennon pick! On that note - thinking about it, 'Working Class Hero' is close to Rorschach's personal credo.
(Anonymous) on September 24th, 2008 06:31 am (UTC)
it was difficult to think of a realistic (to me, at least) way for him to show "affection" towards Laurie.

To be honest I can kind of picture him touching her hair while he thinks she's asleep or something like that, but certainly going out and murdering someone for her sake is more within his comfort zone.
flwrpwr_vampyre: Random - Rare pairingsflwrpwr_vampyre on September 24th, 2008 01:43 pm (UTC)
This is perfect. I love her beating him up and him just taking it because he knows it's what she needs.

I also love the cigarette burning. *hides in shame*
i just don't get off on funerals, man.orangesparks on September 25th, 2008 10:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!

(Heh - so do I! I'll be right there hiding with ya.)
numb3r_5ev3n on September 30th, 2008 04:41 am (UTC)
OH MAN HOW DID I MISS THIS?

<3

I think it's amazing the way you write the two of them. Ditto on the mother dynamic someone else mentioned...it's almost like she's helping him work through it, in a way (even though he probably wouldn't consciously realize or admit it.)
i just don't get off on funerals, man.orangesparks on September 30th, 2008 08:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you! <3
grindcore on October 24th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
dfdfj amazing.

i'm going to add you so i can continue to read your lovely watchmen fics; i hope that's cool. ♥
i just don't get off on funerals, man.orangesparks on October 27th, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC)
Wow, thank you! And of course it's cool.
(Anonymous) on February 27th, 2009 04:49 am (UTC)
super dark and fucked up?
check.

weirdly sweet?
check.

incredibly hot?
check.

greatest rare pair EVER? (right after cameron/sloane)
checkmate.
i just don't get off on funerals, man.orangesparks on March 16th, 2009 10:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Jean: misc film - elfman devilgivemethechild on March 16th, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC)
Oh my god, Oingo Boingo lyric at the end FOR THE EPIC WIN.
i just don't get off on funerals, man.orangesparks on March 16th, 2009 10:20 pm (UTC)
Your icon is AMAZING. <3 And thank you!
finmagik on March 18th, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC)
Please continue with this series I am loving it.
i just don't get off on funerals, man.orangesparks on March 19th, 2009 07:31 am (UTC)
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed!
(Deleted comment)
i just don't get off on funerals, man.orangesparks on March 19th, 2009 07:32 am (UTC)
Thank you! Of course it's fine; I'll add you back.