Watchman (c) Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, I only entertain this absurdly fluffy idea.
The relationship between Dan and Rorschach is taken more from the movie than the novel.
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Dan Dreiberg woke as his head slipped form his hands, his glasses sliding from his face and landing with a T-TAP on the floor. Dan shook his head in surprise. For a moment he didn't remember that he was sitting on the couch in the living room of his own home. His senses finally came to him as he reached for his glasses.
Stitching Rorschach up and threats being thrown. Dan replaced his glasses and looked around the room. The predawn light was peeking through Dan's kitchen windows. Dan leaned back on the couch, almost afraid to stand. It had been a long time since he'd fallen asleep sitting up. He remembered the last time he'd done it. The night he quit. He also remembered that the body loved to stay; painfully, locked in the position, if not given time to relax.
When Dan felt his legs would support him, he stood and walked into the slowly brightening kitchen. He stood still a moment, trying to get his mind to focus on what he should do first. He needed to get Rorschach a fresh change of clothes. But first and foremost, Dan had to make sure that Rorschach was still in the house.
Dan walked as quietly as he could towards the still closed door. Before turning the handle at all, Dan leaned an ear against the door; hoping to hear some sign of life on the other side, and was glad to hear his ex-partner's; still labored, breathing. Dan backed away from the door and lightly jogged up the stairs to his own room.
He opened the door and made a bee-line for his wardrobe. Dan tossed open the doors, finding most of his "good" clothes inside. He pushed jackets and suits out of his way; throwing several sets of clothes around, not finding what he was looking for. Suddenly, he started muttering to himself.
"Pinstripes, pinstripes. . . ? Pin. . .where the hell did they go?" Dan opened the top drawer to his dresser, instantly finding; both, the long-sleeve shirt and pants he was searching for. Dan lightly jogged back downstairs, pausing at the bottom. Dan was trying to think and failing to do so. He shook his head and allowed his body to act of it's own will. Dan walked into the kitchen and placed the clothes on the back of a chair. Dan looked around, quickly finding his inquiry. He picked up a pen and a small pad of paper; to jot down a small note.
"Getting food. Be back soon," Dan paused a moment, entertaining the idea of signing the memo as Nite Owl. But his rationale won out and he signed it, "Daniel." Dan reached up to grab the small sugar tin from atop of the fridge. He popped it open, grabbed a handful of the cubes inside, and stuffed them in his right pocket. Dan left the tin on the counter; knowing Rorschach would like more later. Dan ripped his note from it's pad and grabbed the clothes from the chair.
Dan walk to the guest bedroom, almost not wanting to enter; for fear of actually incurring the wrath of Rorschach. But Dan quickly decided it had to be done. He heaved a sigh and gripped the metal handle. He heard no movement from inside as he began to turn it as slowly as he could. When the latch left its hole, Dan barely pushed the door open. He heard a huff and a rustle from beyond the door. He kept pushing the door 'til he; just barely, saw the dark walls of the room. Dan kept the handle taught as he slowly pushed into the room. He released the handle gently, trying to keep it from making noise.
Dan saw Rorschach sleeping, curled ever so tightly in a ball. He noted the fact that Rorschach still had his mask on. Dan was about to enter the room, when his leg bumped against something hard. He looked down to find a chair; that normally sat next to the bed, sitting beside the door frame. Dan cracked a half-smile and placed the pants along the seat; draping them over the back slightly. He placed the note between his lips and folded the shirt before placing it atop the pinstriped pants. Dan reached into his pocket and pulled out the sugar cubes, keeping one for himself. Dan placed the cubes just under his note and quietly exited the room. Pulling the door ever so slowly, as to not make any noise.
Dan heaved a great sigh when he finally closed the door and nothing came flying at the wood. Dan unwrapped the sugar cube, placed it in his mouth, and grabbed his coat. He pulled it on and walked to the front door; finding himself almost missing the fact that it wasn't broken in this time. Dan opened the door and stepped out into the world. He noted that the rain had done its best job to clean Rorschach's blood from his small, granite porch. Dan jogged down his steps and made his way to the Gunga Diner.
Several minutes later, Rorschach jolted up in bed; grabbing the lamp on his way. To his surprise, Dan was not in the room. Rorschach set the lamp back on the nightstand and sat up proper; his chest and shoulder aching from the sudden motion. Rorschach sat a moment, trying to analyze exactly what had happened last night.
He had threatened Daniel and Daniel had actually threatened him back. It was the quality Rorschach would have liked to see more of in his former partner. Maybe they would still be working along side each other if Dan asserted himself more often. Rorschach twisted his body to place his feet on the floor.
"Should leave and get home," Rorschach said to himself. When he looked up, he saw the clothes sitting in the chair. "Hurm. . . . Mother hen was here." Rorschach reached to the nightstand and grabbed the bottle of painkillers. He popped the top and dumped three onto his hand. Rorschach set the bottle down, lifted the fabric from the lower half of his face, and popped the pills; swallowing them dry.
Rorschach shakily stood from the soft bed; placing most of his weight on his left leg. He placed a little more weight and pressure on his right leg with every step he took. Rorschach picked up the short note when he reached the chair by the door. He read the note as he picked up the sugar cubes from the black fabric of the shirt.
"Food. . .should eat something. Regain some strength." Rorschach unwrapped one of the cubes; single-handed, and popped it in his mouth. He grabbed the shirt and pants as he listened for any noise beyond the door, just in case Daniel didn't actually leave the apartment. When Rorschach was sure he was alone, he walked the clothes back to the bed to change. He placed the cubes on the nightstand as he tossed the clothes on the bed.
He changed his pants swiftly, examining the wound as he did so; making sure the stitches were still secure. The stitches were tender, but still holding the wound closed. Rorschach was surprised that he and Daniel were about the same size. Around the waist. Rorschach sat on the edge of the bed, to slip his shoes on, but also to roll the hem of the pinstriped pants up several inches.
As Rorschach sat straight, his ribs ached. He would have to take it easy for several days, but it was an idea that didn't sit well with him. So many deserving of retribution would be walking the streets and he'd be laid up with seven broken ribs. He stood and slowly pulled the shirt over his head, grunting a little as he did. His shoulder appreciated the movement as much as his ribs did.
Rorschach slowly pulled his trench coat over the black fabric and swiftly buttoned up. He tied the sash tight before grabbing the sugar cubes and stuffing them in one of his pockets. Rorschach limped to the door; placing his tattered fedora atop his head and tucking his scarf into the coat, as he opened it smoothly. Rorschach closed the door before walking into the kitchen; pulling his gloves on, and spied the sugar tin on the counter. As Rorschach crossed the kitchen, Daniel's phone rang. Rorschach walked to the small tin, grabbing several cubes as Daniel's machine picked up.
"Hello, this is Dan Dreiberg. I'm not home at the moment, please leave your name, number, a small message and I'll try to get back to you as soon as I can." Then came the beep, followed by a moment of dead silence.
"Hi, Dan. It's Laurie. Laurie Jupiter. I was reading the newspaper this morning and thought of you. I don't know if you've seen it, but. . .Rorschach killed three people and seriously injured five others. I just wanted to let you know. . .just in case you see him. . . ," Laurie paused as someone picked up the phone.
"Dan?" she questioned the dead air on the other end. "Dan. . .is that you?"
"Would never hurt Daniel, Miss Jupiter," Rorschach finally spoke into the handset. He heard Laurie go silent.
"Hello, Rorschach," she said after several moments.
"If that is what you're suggesting, Miss Jupiter. He's a friend. . .a good friend."
"That's not what I'm saying, Rorschach. You. . .you're dangerous, is all, and I'm sure Dan already knows. Hell. . .the whole of New York knows," Laurie paused, expecting Rorschach to say something, defend himself in some way. When she heard nothing, she opened her mouth to say something else only to be interrupted by the vigilante.
"Daniel is out. Have him call you later. Good-bye, Miss Jupiter." Rorschach placed the handset back on the base before Laurie could say anything. Rorschach finally pulled his face down, after popping one more sugar cube in his mouth.
Dan opened the door to his apartment and tried to close the door silently after he'd entered. He looked down the small entrance hall and was particularly shocked to find the door to the guest room still closed. He had figured Rorschach would be up and about by now.
"Rorschach. . . ?" Dan half questioned; surprise laced in his voice, when he turned into his kitchen to find the vigilante up and dressed; his hand still on the receiver of his telephone. Dan adjusted the bag in his arms, waiting for some reply.
"Good morning, Daniel." Rorschach turned away from his friend as he made to sit at the small table in the room. "Miss Jupiter called. Said you'd call her back." Rorschach looked at Daniel, still standing in the door to the kitchen. He watched Daniel's eyes float between him and the phone on the counter.
"Were you polite, at the very least?" Dan questioned his eyes coming to rest on Rorschach.
"Polite as I could be, under circumstances." Rorschach's normally monotone voice flirted with anger for a moment. "She left a message." The vigilante pointed to the machine. Dan could tell that Rorschach didn't want to continue on the current topic of conversation, so he changed subjects.
"How do you feel?" Dan asked, his voice on the verge of nervous. He'd been worrying about is ex-partner on the walk to and from the Gunga Diner. It un-nerved Dan to leave him alone in this state.
"Fine." Rorschach's gravel voice was taking a different tone now. A mingled sense of disgust and anger.
"Have you taken any painkillers?" Dan inquired, reaching into the brown bag he was holding. Rorschach simply nodded. Dan sighed as he pulled out a sandwich. "Eat this, simple grilled cheese. You shouldn't have pills on an empty stomach." Dan handed the warm sandwich to Rorschach before crossing the kitchen.
"Hurm," was all Rorschach said as he looked at the grilled cheese.
"What, Rorschach?" Dan questioned; without turning to see the blotted face of his friend, as he pulled three other sandwiches from the bag.
"Fine line between friend and mother, Daniel." Rorschach's head snapped up when Daniel slammed something on the counter. A plastic container of soup or broth. "Something wrong?"
"After that comment, you have the gall to ask me if something's wrong?" Dan turned to the vigilante still sitting at his table. "I'm tired of it Rorschach. Tired of you coming here, at your leisure, to be fixed up, because you can't do it properly alone. And then being insulted for helping." Dan grabbed another sandwich and one container of broth and placed them in front of Rorschach. "If you don't want the help, don't come here. There will always be a certain amount of. . . ," Dan paused trying to find the right word. "Of mothering. That can't be avoided. You come here because you have no one else to turn to, I accept that fact, but I have also accepted my fair share of insults from you. I'm just tired of it, Rorschach."
Dan sat down at the table, across from Rorschach; whom was simply looking him over, almost confused by the words he'd just heard. Dan removed his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose.
"Listen. . . ," Dan started, almost expecting Rorschach to interrupt. "I'm sorry for flying off the handle. . . . Everything I said is true, I just. . . ," Daniel huffed. "I shouldn't have said it." Dan looked up to see Rorschach standing. Dan almost argued that Rorschach had to stay 'til nightfall.
"I'll stick to the shadows, won't pick fights. Rather have the truth." Rorschach placed both sandwiches in his left pocket and held the container of broth in his left hand.
"Be seeing you, Daniel." Rorschach held out his right hand. Dan replaced his glasses and took Rorschach's gloved hand.
"Be seeing you, Rorschach." The vigilante broke the shake first, limping towards the basement.
But Dan wouldn't see Rorschach. He'd read of the vigilantes exploits. He'd read that Rorschach had just barely outwitted the NYPD more than once again. He wouldn't see Rorschach for four years. He wouldn't see his friend 'til a rainy October night in nineteen eighty-five. A night, where Rorschach would toss Dan a smiley face badge with a drop of dried blood on it. Daniel wouldn't see Rorschach until he would tell him that a comedian died in New York.