Author: sleepersamizdat PM
Dan is a consumate observer and his favorite past time is watching Rorschach. A study in marginalia.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Romance - Dan D./Nite Owl & Walter K./Rorschach - Words: 1,186 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Published: 02-15-13 - id: 9015540
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
He couldn't tell Rorschach that it was one of his favorite things. To reveal it would be to ruin the delight he had found in this marginalia. Instead, he reveled in opportunities as they presented themselves. Here lately, the atmosphere had been seeded with opportunity and Dan had only to wait and enjoy. Rorschach had finally begun to settle into a measured level of familiarity in Dan's brownstone.
The morning air was thick with the smell of strong coffee. It was eleven o'clock and the Monday traffic was bustling. Monday morning was their Saturday morning. Sometimes they would take Sunday night off and let Osterman and Laurie handle things, particularly if they shook things up by splitting up a large gang or drug ring. Rorschach was relentless, but when he threw himself into tough challenges the results were brutally thorough but draining. He'd go days without sleep and sometimes without food. The celebration of a take down was more like a recovery time for Rorschach. Dan hated to admit it but it was these times that he would take advantage of Rorschach's weariness to administer to him. Getting him to take a decent bath or brush his teeth was easier when most of the fight was worn out of him. He'd sit, a slouching corpse, as Dan would trim his hair or give him a shave.
They'd dragged themselves back to the Owl's Nest Sunday morning and passed out for the day and most of the night. Dan was first to rise and take a shower and start a pot of coffee. Too tired to cook, he lazily threw English muffins into the toaster and got out some butter and jam. He grinned to himself at Rorschach's disgusting habit of digging the jam out of the jar with the butter knife and eating it off the side of the knife. His hand reached up to get a small dish to serve Rorschach his own on the side, but stopped. On second thought, watching him sloppily licking jam off the side of the knife and sucking his fingers always entertained Dan. He left the dish in the cabinet.
He gathered their meager but hot breakfast on a tray and sought the refuge of the living room. He was just too damn tired and sore to sit upright in a stiff kitchen chair. He set the tray down on the coffee table and flopped into his overstuffed armchair with his feet propped on the ottoman. He shook out his crinkly newspaper and waited as he heard the water running upstairs. Rorschach was in the shower. Dan had heard him get up when he was putting coffee grounds into the filter. It sounded like he had fallen out of bed rather than gotten up. Dan started to head upstairs to check on him but he heard the sounds of heavy limbs stumping in the direction of the bathroom and the door slam clumsily. Just needs to rinse the sleep off. Dan thought.
Now Dan sat in his living room, the lemon sunlight drifting in cheerily but softly, and he took a deep breath. It was going to be perfect. All he had to do was wait. He yawned and took a sip of his coffee while clutching the editorials in his other. The shower turned off upstairs and Dan heard footsteps that sounded a little bit more coordinated now. They made their way to Dan's room and Dan could hear the shuffling of fabric as Rorschach went about picking out some clothes.
When Walter first agreed to stay Dan offered to get him a new wardrobe, which Walter turned down vehemently. Dan suspected Walter viewed it as charity and was embarrassed. He continued to press the issue until Walter agreed to at least take some money and go shopping on his own. Even then, he had accepted only twenty dollars and Dan wondered how in the hell anyone could buy new clothes for only twenty dollars in New York City. At the end of the day, Walter turned up with four new outfits. Dan asked him in disbelief where the hell he found four slacks, four dress shirts, three pairs of socks, two blazers, and under clothing for only twenty dollars. Walter stated that it was a matter of fact that second hand shops had clothing that was just fine and that he could find his size if he searched enough places long enough. He begrudged the fact that the wife beaters and underwear were new but even Walter would not stoop to wearing used underwear. Dan said a small prayer of thanks in his head. Upon closer inspection, Dan could see that the clothes were used but in good condition and judging by the style, the previous owners had probably died. Walter always tended to dress like was going to be featured in film noir. The cut never looked outdated on him though, and despite his tendency towards scruffiness, he always cleaned up nice.
A slow padded thumping sounded on the stairs and time slowed as Dan's half lidded eyes flicked up. It was time. Walter appeared in the entrance of the living room and began to make his way to the sofa. His face was shaven clean and his unruly hair was still a bit wet. Slate blue orbs tracked the breakfast tray under apathetic lids. Dan always thought there was something raptor-like in Walter's sharp features. The late morning sunrays burned across the living room from the windowpanes and illuminated errant dust particles in the air. Dan noted Walter's lanky shuffle. He had a relaxed gate as he lazily wandered over to the sofa. It always amazed him how, even at rest, Rorschach had an undercurrent of action about him. Dan enjoyed observing his body mechanics. Maybe it was because that was the language they communicated with from the beginning. His mask hid all facial expression the first ten years they knew each other. The sun glinted off his profile and Dan watched his ribs rise and fall with a sigh as he ground the sleep from his eyes with the butt of his palm. The raspy scratch of stubble on skin drifted on the air as Walter rubbed his jaw. He gingerly took the lid off the sugar bowl and shook a handful of sugar cubes into his palm. Most of them he dropped into his coffee mug but some he popped into his mouth. He stirred the cubes into the drink and turned his attention to the English muffins. Propping his elbows on his knees, he slathered one in butter and then jabbed the knife into the jam pot. As he finished loading the muffin, he scooped a glob of the sweetness out with the butter knife and licked up the side of it. Some ran down his knuckles and he was keen to suck the substance off before it fell to the floor. He stopped as he noticed Dan watching. "What?" came a rumbled challenge.
Dan held his gaze as his lips turned up and he straightened his paper. "Just enjoying the view."