It had been an accident, really. And with all the fights hed gotten in, Dan sometimes wondered how it hadnt happened to him sooner. All the same, it had hit him one night while he and Rorschach were out on a routine patrol.
It had started as many of their evenings did; theyd been aimlessly roaming when theyd heard the familiar sounds of distress. It was obviously an attempt at both mugging and rape, and soon the duo of vigilantes had their hands full with busting the gang of slugs who were responsible.
They were all just a bunch of young punks, and pretty easily dispensed with. However, Nite Owl was unlucky enough to catch a quick blow to the head from one of the larger ones--and he was wearing brass knuckles. Gritting his teeth against the flashing pain, Nite Owl spun to take out his attacker, but found that hed misjudged the turn and managed to stumble against the wall of the alley. Disoriented, he tried to right himself, but before he could recover a hand was at his throat, squeezing with merciless strength. Nite Owl choked, trying reflexively to draw a breath, but failing. He tried to swipe, to scratch, to kick, but the hand around his neck remained clenched with iron resolution, no matter what he did. And the effort was making him begin to weaken; he felt as though his limbs were filling with smoke, thin and wispy. His head was spinning and his vision was blurring, as tiny fireworks popped in his head. And still his throat continued to work, continued to spasm uselessly despite the remaining rational part of his brain that realized it was of no use. The fingers were tightening even further, and Nite Owl could just make out a grimy-toothed grin on the face of his assaulter. Nite Owl could feel himself beginning to slip down into someplace soft and dark, and strangely the panic began to leave him. He felt almost peaceful. It was an emotion that he didnt often experience, so he found himself giving in without any thought.
However, in the next instant, a jolt reverberated up the arm holding him, and the fingers were ripped away from his windpipe. Nite Owl gasped, sucking the air back into his shriveled lungs as forcibly as a reversed scream. It stung, but he felt an exquisite rush as the feeling returned to his limbs. He thought he could feel every one of his veins pumping the delicious oxygen to his system.
After hed recovered a bit, Nite Owl looked over to see that his assailant was on the ground and not likely to get up again. And every one of his fingers was broken. Looking up, Nite Owl saw that the skirmish was just about over; Rorschach was making the last of the thugs eat pavement and then standing back with an indecipherable stance. Rorschach looked over his shoulder at Nite Owl.
You okay? he asked in his gravelly voice.
Yeah, I think so, Nite Owl replied, surprised at his own hoarseness. He reached up and gingerly felt his throat, wincing as he felt the bruising even through the thick cowl.
Getting close to morning, Rorschach noted. Should get back.
Yeah, Nite Owl agreed vaguely. He took a shaky step, ready to start towards Archie, but stopped dead as he realized he was currently sporting a tremendous boner. He hadnt noticed until hed moved and it had rubbed quite uncomfortably against the front of his codpiece, and now it was impossible to ignore.
Daniel? Rorschach grunted with a facial shift that was the rough equivalent of a raised eyebrow--as far as Nite Owl could tell.
Coming, Nite Owl choked out, hoping that his cowl covered enough of his cheeks to hide his blush as he awkwardly hobbled down the street to the waiting Owlship. He could only pray that Rorschach attributed it to an injury in battle. The shifting mask had no hints forthcoming.
Later, once Rorschach had left--a process which was hastily encouraged by Nite Owl--the costume was carefully discarded and Nite Owl became Dan once more. Unfortunately, he became a Dan who was totally unprepared to deal with this new development, and merely sat on a kitchen chair staring at his naked erection and trying not to hyperventilate.
He reeeally didnt want to think about what it meant. He was trying desperately to clear his mind of all thought, but his traitorous brain kept coming back to the fight.
It was perfectly normal, he tried to rationalize to himself. Hed never been that close to dying before, and it was something he would naturally revisit and think about for a while. He remembered back when hed taken his first punch straight to the gut, how much hed played the sensation over in his mind, filled with fleeting gratefulness that he wasnt currently feeling it, but also with trepidation at the prospect of future blows. So of course, his brain would try to analyze the sensation of being strangled. The weakness, the panic, the choking, the sparks, the weightlessness, the muffling blackness, the lovely oblivion And then the swift rush of life, like crystalline white fire filling his body!
Dan gasped as his cock gave a sudden twitch. He clenched his fist against the table, knuckles whitening. He could be as coy as he liked, but he recognized that soon he would have to own up to this new discovery: hed enjoyed it. More than enjoyed it, hed loved it. Reaching down to wrap a hand around the source of his current ache, he realized that he was already craving more. Fantasies unraveled like disjointed rolls of film in his head, and soon he was panting and biting down on his hand as he gave in to utter rapture.
Dan had lived in the city long enough to know that there wasnt anything you couldnt find, particularly if it was covert and filthy. However, getting up the gall to go out and find it was quite another thing. It had taken several days, a phony moustache, and a very uncomfortable inquiry at a local club, but finally Dan was sitting by his telephone with a hastily scribbled number in his hand, sweating and trying to come to some kind of inner resolution. However, he knew he couldnt come this far and then turn back. He had to follow it to its conclusion.
With shaking fingers, he dialed.
When he opened the door, Dan was surprised at how normal the man looked. Hed been half expecting leather underwear. But the man at his door was clad in an almost absurdly normal combination of jeans and a t-shirt. His age was a bit imposing, however; Dan had been expecting someone younger, but this guy couldnt have been less than 35, and the full beard made him look even older.
Nonetheless, Dan invited him in and offered him a drink, feeling supremely idiotic. The man seemed accustomed to tentative clientele, and tried his best to put Dan at ease, accepting a cup of hot tea and smiling gently.
Dan sat at the table across from the guy, scuffing his slippered feet against the floor and clearing his throat sporadically.
Well, uh he began haltingly. I--I dont really Uh, Ive never done this before, he confessed, feeling like a bumbling teenager all over again.
Heh, dont worry, the man said, laying his mug down. I see em all the time. Yknow, sometimes it makes people feel less awkward to just get right into it.
O--oh, uh, yeah, sure, Dan gasped, standing up so fast that he knocked his chair backwards. He mentally kicked himself as he righted it, but the man just chuckled good-naturedly and stood up. He walked over and laid a warm, heavy hand on Dans shoulder, and Dan felt the lump in his throat give a jump. But when he looked at the mans pleasant brown eyes, he felt himself start to relax just the tiniest bit.
So, how do we, uh begin? he asked quietly.
Just let me handle everything, the man murmured, smiling reassuringly.
Less than ten minutes later, Dan was on his couch, pants unzipped, glasses pushed up to his forehead, mouth wide open, letting out tiny choked gasps as his--assailant? Hired man? Whore?--allowed his grip to fluctuate, permitting Dan tiny gulps of air before resuming the pressure. It was nothing like in the alley. It was like the different between a quick fuck against a wall and slow, worshipful lovemaking. The man above him was skilled, artistic, and Dan was more turned on than he could ever remember being in his life. He was distantly aware that his hips were jerking upwards, rutting against the mans leg like an animal in heat. He was too far gone to be embarrassed; the blackness was already surrounding him, enveloping him in a deafening embrace.
It was bliss.
Dan wasnt sure whether he was about to pass out or come, but before he could do either, he heard--as though through a long tunnel--a loud, splintering bang. The hands around his throat released their grip in shock, and Dan sucked in an instinctive breath. He had to force himself to pull himself together and focus on what exactly was going on, but his sense of reality was further thrown off when he felt himself knocked off of the couch, banging his elbow on the coffee table.
Dan gritted his teeth against the pain, trying to orient himself. He felt hands grip at his shirt and heard a yelp of surprise. He looked up to see the man being hauled backwards, his fingers being ripped from Dans shirt by the force of it. Dan could only watch in shock and confusion as the man with the skillful hands and reassuring smile was picked up and thrown clear into the kitchen, the crack of his head against the cupboards echoing like a gunshot. But what was even more shocking was when Dan pulled his glasses down and suddenly realized exactly who this uninvited attacker was.
Rorschach! Dan tried to shout, but it came out broken and raspy, and sent Dan into a coughing fit.
As he tried simultaneously to pull himself to his feet and try to regain a normal breathing pattern, Dan could hear the fight continue. Cracks and thuds were interspersed with whimpers and screams from the man, and barely audible grunts from Rorschach. Finally there came the sound of a blow that had a sickening finality to it. Dan lurched over to the kitchen counter and looked over to see his fleeting companion lying in a horribly unnatural position, blood pooling onto the floor under his head.
Wh-what have you done? Dan choked out, gripping a handful of his own hair.
Came over to check on you, Rorschach growled, still slightly breathless from the exertion. Heard noises.
But why?! Dan cried. Why did you kill him? He looked helplessly down at the body, dozens of conflicting emotions racing through his addled brain. He hadnt been a bad man
He was attacking you, Rorschach snapped, as though this were the most obvious thing in the world. And Dan bashfully had to admit that it probably would have looked like that to anybody.
I--I just cant believe Dan gasped, holding his head in both hands. You have no idea--it it wasnt like that.
What are you talking about? Rorschach asked. Wasnt like what?
It it just wasnt what you thought, thats all, said Dan, his eyes flitting nervously around the kitchen.
Explain, Rorschach grunted, crossing his arms in front of him.
I cant, Dan sighed, feeling flickering panic rising within his chest. There was no way he was going to be able to talk himself out of this.
Daniel? Rorschach growled, the blots on his face shifting with what Dan could only assume were anger and curiosity. Dan bit his lip and attempted the only option left to him: deflection.
Listen, at least help me get him out of here. I hope you know somewhere we can dump him, Dan said, getting up and walking around the counter, careful not to step in the growing puddle. He looked up at Rorschach expectantly. Well? What is it?
Your fly, Daniel, Rorschach muttered, his head giving a twitch as though unable to decide whether to stare openly or turn away in shame.
Dan looked down and felt the blood zoom to his face. Of all the goddamn Quickly, Dan zipped his pants back up and let his hands drop to his sides, facing Rorschach feebly.
I hired him, Dan finally supplied.
Why? Rorschach asked after an extremely long and uncomfortable silence.
I I cant tell you, Dan sighed. As long as he didnt provide all the gory details, maybe they could eventually forget this, go back to normal.
Daniel, Rorschach said forcefully, taking a step towards him.
No! Dan snapped, pushing past Rorschach and pointing a dramatic finger to the broken doorway. Just--just leave, okay?
Want to know whats going on, Rorschach insisted, taking another step towards him.
Just get out! Dan shouted, totally unable to deal with the situation. He just wanted some time to think; he just wanted to be alone.
No! Rorschach snarled, reaching for Dans shoulders. Dan went on autopilot, smacking away Rorschachs arms and aiming a blow at his sternum. Rorschach deflected the hit with his elbow and came around with a fist to the side of Dans face. Dan fell back against the wall, his head exploding with pain. But he lashed out again, swinging at head height. His fit connected with only air, and he took another hit, this time in the chest. Almost reflexively, he brought up a knee and kicked forward, managing to catch Rorschach in the stomach. Rorschach fell back with a hoarse shout, and Dan tried to scramble to the door--anything just to get away. But Rorschach recovered quickly and Dan felt himself yanked back by the scruff of his shirt and slammed back into the wall. His head hit hard, and he had to blink spots out of his eyes. Rorschach was on him in seconds, hands at his already aching throat, holding him in place.
You will tell me what is going on! Rorschach demanded, his voice fallen to a dangerously low resonance. Dan clutched at the hands on his throat, trying to loosen them. Oh god, he couldnt deal with this now Any tighter, and
But to Dans dismay, his attempt to free himself only made Rorschach grip at him harder, and Dan felt his neglected cock give an interested jump.
S--st-- Dan tried to communicate somehow, to tell Rorschach what he was doing to him, but there was no way to even draw a breath. He felt himself slipping closer to oblivion, and he knew he was already too far gone. His eyes rolled back and he gave himself over to the addicting sensation.
All too soon, however, Rorschachs hands twitched and wrenched back from Dans neck, leaving him to slide down the wall, panting, erection threatening to rip the seam of his pants.
D-Daniel? Rorschach gasped in a tone that Daniel had never heard from him before. He sounded shocked.
Im--sorry, Dan wheezed, not looking up at the man above him. He didnt want to see himself in those shifting ink blots.
You Rorschach took a step back, and Dan could still hear the disbelief in his voice. It was killing him.
I didnt want you to know, Dan said, feeling the threat of tears constricting his abused throat. I didnt want anybody to know. I only just found out myself, really. I mean, I know its sick, its wrong, and I dont know how this happened Dan was gasping, trying to fight the turmoil in his chest. To his surprise, Dan found himself hauled up by a gloved hand.
Its okay, Rorschach murmured almost inaudibly, looking at the floor. Dan was speechless.
Just dont go around hiring these shady types. The guy had a knife on him, Rorschach said, jerking his thumb at the corpse. And indeed, there was a knife on the floor that Dan definitely didnt remember buying.
But, Dan said, feeling the heat in his cheeks once more, who will I go to?
Someone you can trust, Rorschach whispered.
Dans brain reeled. Surely he was just hearing what he wanted to hear. It was probably perfectly innocent advice. Rorschach would walk out the door and they would never speak of this again.
But no, Rorschach was leaning forward, so hesitantly it was almost imperceptible; his hands were even rising, fingers quaking ever-so-slightly. Dan could hear his own heart thudding against his ribcage, and he felt as though he were shifting into some kind of alternate reality.
He hadnt realized how badly he wanted this until hed reached forward, tugged Rorschachs mask up to his nose, and kissed the living daylights out of him. Hell, if this wasnt reality, then why keep any inhibitions?
Rorschach gave an aborted sound from the back of his throat, and at first he didnt respond to the probing tongue at his teeth. But just when Dan was about to pull back, apologize, and then go promptly throw himself out a window, Rorschach parted his lips and met Dan halfway, their tongues dueling with equal fervor. Dan moaned into Rorschachs mouth, reaching up to pull the masked man closer. Rorschach was still tense, but he allowed the embrace, pushing Dan hard against the wall with his steely frame. Somehow Dan couldnt bring himself to be bothered by the sudden assault on his nostrils.
Moments later, Dan felt gloved fingers brushing up and down his neck, sending shivers rippling through every part of his body. Slowly, the fingers began to wrap around him, and it took all of Dans willpower to disentangle himself.
Uh, its not really all that comfortable here, he panted. Could we maybe move to the couch? He gestured lamely at the nearby furniture. Rorschach nodded curtly, and stepped back. Dan walked over and reclined onto the couch, painfully aware of how exposed he was. He looked up to see Rorschach standing next to him, looking awkward, feet shuffling on the floor. It took Dan a second to realize that, ironically, he would have to be in control of the situation.
Cmere, he mumbled, spreading an inviting arm. Rorschach hesitated, but then he bent down and jerkily crawled on top, his legs on either side of Dans. His entire body was stiff with tension, and Dan could tell that he really wasnt comfortable with this. He slipped a hand under Rorschachs coat and began rubbing his shoulder in what he hoped was a soothing fashion.
Why dont you take this off? he suggested lightly, scooting the dingy trench coat off of Rorschachs shoulder. Reluctantly, Rorschach sat back and wriggled out of the smelly coat, letting it fall to drape across the arm of the couch. Dan reached up and undid Rorschachs scarf, tossing it to the floor. He started to undo buttons, but Rorschach caught his wrist.
No, he said simply, and Dan complied. Instead, he brought his hand back up and ran his thumb across Rorschachs lower lip, already flushed and swollen. Rorschachs tongue instinctively flickered out to brush the tip of Dans finger, and Dan nearly had a heart attack. Christ, that was dirty. Well, for Rorschach, anyway.
Dan let his hand travel over Rorschachs stubbly jaw to the back of his neck, and urged him down into another kiss. Rorschachs lips met his with a surprising hunger, and Dan suddenly began to realize that maybe he hadnt been the only one harboring secrets.
Once more the leather-clad hands came up to caress his throat, and Dan couldnt have held back his moan if hed tried. Fingers stroked up and down his pulse line with a gentleness that was completely unexpected from his gruff partner. Rorschach built the pressure slowly, massaging circles into Dans throat, then gradually slipping his fingers around, squeezing steadily.
Dan gasped, relishing the sting of each air particle strafing his windpipe. Sparks began to pop in front of his eyes, mingling with the swirling black of Rorschachs face. He clutched at Rorschachs shoulders, feeling iron muscles beneath the thin waistcoat, muscles that rolled as his grip tightened.
Dan officially couldnt breathe, although his throat continued to work reflexively; he didnt fight it, though--in fact he savored the sensation of his muscles spasming against Rorschachs unyielding hands. Black smoke was swirling into the corners of his visions, and Dan could feel his limbs beginning to weaken. He ran his hands down Rorschachs sides, scratching down over his thighs and then letting both of his arms go limp, one trapped against the back of the couch and one lolling down to the floor. Rorschachs entire body jerked at this attention, and his grip flexed spasmodically, allowing Dan a brief gulp of air; Dan couldnt stop his hips from snapping upwards, but he was too far gone to care. However, he was still coherent enough to be surprised at the low growl that trickled from Rorschachs exposed lips. Was he enjoying this?
Dan didnt want to alarm Rorschach, but he wanted--needed them both to get something out of this. Pulling his scattered brain cells together, Dan dragged his arm up from beside the couch and wriggled it between their bodies. He could definitely feel that Rorschach was not unaffected by the situation, and Dan cupped his hand around him, kneading fervently even as he rubbed himself against the back of his hand.
Rorschachs mouth fell open with a gasp, followed by a shuddering, agonized groan. The very sound was enough to make Daniel throb, and a moan rattled in his trapped lungs.
It took all of Daniels effort to stay conscious and to keep his hand working. But his exertion paid off quite quickly; and later, when he had the presence of mind to consider it, Dan realized it should have been expected--Rorschach obviously didnt get out much, and he didnt seem the type for even self-gratification.
D-Daniel, Rorschach rasped, his entire body starting to shake. However, his hands remained steadfast.
Dan suddenly removed his hand from between them, leaving only the thin fabric of their respective trousers as a barrier. Rorschachs breath was harsh and heavy as he heaved against Daniel; it wasnt long before he was convulsing helplessly and Dan felt a gush of warmth against his inner thigh.
Oblivion was creeping up on Daniel fast, and he knew there was still one thing missing. He had no possible way of communicating to Rorschach what he wanted--needed, and in fact he hardly knew himself. All he knew was that he was on the very precipice and all he needed was the barest push to send him plummeting into either unconsciousness or ecstasy.
Through blurred eyes, Dan gazed up at Rorschach and tried to communicate his need without words--and whether Rorschach was worried about his air supply or he actually understood what Dan wanted, he relinquished his grip on Dans throat. Instantly life-saving oxygen flooded into Dans chest with a delicious icy burn; his orgasm smashed into him like a solid wall of water, more powerful, more fulfilling, more complete than hed ever felt before. Dan shuddered violently; his mind filled with static; all he could process was the sensation. All too soon, the feeling drained out of him, leaving him with a buzzing numbness and an uncontrollable cough.
Slowly trying to get his breathing under control, Daniel raised shaking arms to try and pull Rorschach down into an embrace--he wasnt sure why he did it. He wasnt exactly accustomed to the proper etiquette after being erotically strangled by your crime fighting partner, but he was pretty sure it didnt include cuddling. However, he wasnt exactly thinking straight, so he fell back on an old standard. Rorschach allowed himself to be momentarily held, but then he gave a soft grunt and disentangled himself.
He stood for a moment, then pulled his mask down and surveyed himself with an indecipherable pattern of blots. Without a word, he strode into the bedroom, leaving Dan panting and disoriented. Slowly, he pulled himself into a sitting position and cleaned his glasses with the edge of his shirt. Moments later, Rorschach returned wearing a pair of Dans brown dress slacks, with his old pants thrown over his shoulder. He had another pair of pants in his hand, and he tossed them into Dans lap.
Will bring pants back later, Rorschach grunted, not looking at Daniel.
Uh, o-okay, Dan stuttered, wondering if the past fifteen minutes had been some kind of weird hallucination. He put his glasses back on and looked at his friend for a long moment.
So what now? Dan asked. It hurt to talk. He was beginning to have regrets, doubts. Should he thank Rorschach? Was this just like a helping hand? Was this just a one-time occurrence? Did he --dontsayitdontsayit--love Rorschach? He felt like hed broken some unspoken rule and was now paying the price. Theyd both been willing, but it felt like theyd stepped over a line that they couldnt step back from, and Dan wasnt sure he liked the place they were in now.
Now Im going home, Rorschach said, his voice filled with a weariness Dan had never heard before. Cover prostitute with trash bags. Ill come back for him, he finished.
Dan watched helplessly as Rorschach left the apartment, not even bothering to try and close the broken door. Vaguely, Dan wondered how he would hide the bruises on his throat for the next few days.
He fell asleep on the couch, trying to fight against the sickness roiling in his stomach and trying to forget.