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15 May 2009 @ 04:08 am
i hear my neighbors talking.  
Watchmen.
Bernie, at the dinner table.


My favorite foreshadowing in the whole comic is probably Little Bernie's line: "Hey, man, I ain't buyin' this! Ripoff story ain't got no endin'!"

So, here's a bit of incredible sap.



"--I said where'd you get that hat, Bernard?"

His foot pauses on the third rickety step, halted clean in his tracks just like a scared deer.

"Newsvendor gave it to me."

His mother just stares him down, hard. Waiting. Waiting for the jittery fingers and feet and smile that usually accompany his lies to surface.

They don't.

"Dinner's in half an hour," she murmurs, his possible misdemeanor already forgotten when she ducks back into the kitchen and begins raiding cabinets for the right kind of spice. He heaves a sigh (not too loud, though) and continues up the stairs to his room, his own safe haven in this bugshit insane world, comic book tucked securely in his hip pocket. He won't read it right now.

He'll just lay on his bed for a while.


-


Grown-ups - most of 'em, anyway - like talking about the good ol' days, never shutting up about how good they had it back then, yet still complaining about how kids have it way too good today. They never bother explaining how both things are possible at once.

Because they're grown-ups, they probably think they don't have to make sense.

That newsman-- he seems to favor past, present, and future with the same level of contempt.

It's a nice change.

His expression's far-off, excise; he's pushing chopped carrots around on his plate, forming a crookedly deranged smiley face, when his mother stands with the large ceramic pan, wooden spoon in hand, and slops a second helping of casserole onto his plate. She eyes him warily.

"What's got your mind up in the stars tonight, boy?"

"Nothin'. Just thinkin'."

She hmmphs at that - what thirteen-year-old boy ever just thought something that didn't somehow lead to trouble, is what that hmmph says - but adds nothing else, only leans over the table a little more, spoon extended to his younger sister's plate, now, ignoring how her smallest daughter's nose wrinkles in dismay. He's watching her, the grim set of her mouth and her slim, steady hands, and suddenly, he's remembering what the newsvendor said to him today: "You get home to your mom, okay? You be good to her."

He'd thought the old guy had cracked, couldn't understand what in hell made him just say that. Now, he thinks he's starting to.

He waits until the girls have already made their way to the sink, not used to feeling so uncomfortable in his own house, around his own mother, and the sudden, sharp awareness of the large space between them in the high-ceilinged dining room makes the words come out-- small, somehow.

"...I love you, Mom."

"I'm glad to hear it, Bern, but that love and kisses routine ain't gettin' you out of helping with dishes tonight."

(But he does. Just not the way she seems to read him better than anyone else.)


 
 
 
precious: not a faggotholyheat on May 15th, 2009 08:27 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed this. You don't really see much of the minor characters in terms of fics, but I always liked the two Bernies, and I'm glad you showcased them. The tone is perfectly in sync with the comic, too.
i just don't get off on funerals, man.: new blood.orangesparks on May 15th, 2009 08:57 am (UTC)
Thanks! I love the Bernies, too. (I was sort of amazed at how my feelings leapt from minor annoyance at being "dragged out of the story" by their first few interludes to ":D" when Bernard gave little Bernie his hat, and then to "DDDDDDDDDD:" in their last panel together.)
Ronch Ronch Ronch: Watchmen: Comic Nerdsandoz_iscariot on May 15th, 2009 01:18 pm (UTC)
Berniefic! Yay! I really enjoyed this look into his non-newstand life.

My favorite foreshadowing in the whole comic is probably Little Bernie's line: "Hey, man, I ain't buyin' this! Ripoff story ain't got no endin'!"

OH SH
i just don't get off on funerals, man.: you think i'm scared?orangesparks on May 16th, 2009 03:26 am (UTC)
OH SH

I KNOW, MAN D:
Superintendent Harry 'Snapper' Organstheonlytwin on May 15th, 2009 02:09 pm (UTC)
BERNIES. BREAKING YOUR HEART WITH THIER QUOTIDIAN BEAUTY.
really, really love this.
i just don't get off on funerals, man.orangesparks on May 16th, 2009 03:27 am (UTC)
<3!
quietprofanityquietprofanity on May 15th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC)
Awww, how sweet. I love the last line. And the line you used to draw us into the story. And the smiley face. Good stuff.
i just don't get off on funerals, man.orangesparks on May 16th, 2009 03:27 am (UTC)
Thanks! <3
(Deleted comment)
i just don't get off on funerals, man.orangesparks on May 16th, 2009 03:27 am (UTC)
SAME HERE, DUDE. They totally won me over as time wore on.
eugenetapdance on May 15th, 2009 05:51 pm (UTC)
Fuck yes, amazing Watchmen fandom writers, fuck yes, keep bringing the fic that confuses me about whether fandom is a legitimate literary discipline or not.

Seriously though, fic like this makes me wonder just what the hell we're doing when we write this stuff -- I mean, this could be an episode in the comic and not interfere with tone at all, only expand a little more on a minor character.

What I'm trying to say is that this is v. v. v. fierce. Well done bringing that infamous smiley face back into it, not to mention the theme of nostalgia.
i just don't get off on funerals, man.: rough-knuckled.orangesparks on May 16th, 2009 03:29 am (UTC)
Ha, wow; thank you so much, dude! It's ridiculously flattering that you think this fits the tone of the comic. (And Little Bernie is TOTALLY the type of kid who'd play with his food.)
girl talk22by7 on May 16th, 2009 08:17 am (UTC)
I will just be lazy and second this entire comment. I love this fandom, I love this fic.
i just don't get off on funerals, man.: new blood.orangesparks on May 17th, 2009 01:47 am (UTC)
<3!
roachroachpatrol on May 15th, 2009 07:25 pm (UTC)
Aww, this is really sad. But very cute. I don't know whether to daww or baww.

I think you really got him spot-on, and I like his mom, too.
i just don't get off on funerals, man.orangesparks on May 16th, 2009 03:30 am (UTC)
I was afraid it transcended the cheesy factor, but finally just went, PSSSSSH, DON'T CARE. I'm glad you liked this!
shoe_bug: Rorschachshoe_bug on May 15th, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
YES! Berniefic! ♥
There simply isn't enough love for these two in the fandom. You don't know how happy it makes me to see this. You captured his personality so well and it's just, ugh, I LOVE IT!
i just don't get off on funerals, man.: new blood.orangesparks on May 16th, 2009 03:30 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! <3
findmyantidrug on May 16th, 2009 11:10 am (UTC)
All of your stories are gorgeous, and this one is no exception! I absolutely love how you write Bernie, and his family - it's spot-on and very characterized (if that makes sense?) and...awesome. I love how this straddles humorous and contemplative and sad, just like Bernies' arch in the comic. Fantastic job. :D
i just don't get off on funerals, man.orangesparks on May 17th, 2009 02:01 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you feel it shifted through different themes instead of just coming across as straight sap, heh.
gisho on May 21st, 2009 06:43 am (UTC)
Very belatedly: yay! This is brilliant and I enjoyed it a lot. (Bernie was a cool character and I wish there was more fic with him.)
i just don't get off on funerals, man.orangesparks on May 22nd, 2009 02:47 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! (Me, too, man. There definitely needs to be more Bernie fic - of course, you could always start rectifying the situation yourself, cough, cough......





...not subtle enough?)