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Mundane Hazards
It was hard to tell which was worse: the glaring white-enameled chaos of the Emergency Room, or the fact that Rorschach had to be there. Or rather, Walter. It was Walter who got injured beyond a point he could work past as Rorschach – Walter who'd been unlucky enough to be standing in just the wrong place when a trainee lost control of a pallet full of fabric that crushed him against a wall. He supposed he was lucky one of the rolls fell in front of the jack's wheels and stopped it before it did more than crack his ribs – at least two, judging from the vivid sense-memories that were re-playing annoyingly in his head as he waited. Daniel was off ostensibly in search of coffee; he'd briefly tried keeping Rorschach distracted from his impatience, but he finally opted for just giving his partner space.
The entire factory floor had gone quiet when it happened, and his supervisor turned white as a sheet, he remembered. The trainee had been babbling something, but he'd been too bu
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Mature content
Priorities, part 2 of 2 :iconfuguestate:FugueState 0 0
Mature content
Priorities, part 1 of 2 :iconfuguestate:FugueState 0 2
Mature content
Misunderstandings :iconfuguestate:FugueState 1 0
Noise is a constant. Organic, fabricated, rhythmic, chaotic. Steps on the stairs outside the door - stomping, running, shuffling, stumbling. Voices, all the time, at all hours. Shouting. Laughing. Crying. Cursing. Screaming. Fists and chairs and headboards against walls. Water groaning and knocking through pipes. Wind and rain and street noise seeping through windows and past open doors. Floorboards and walls popping and creaking with age and movement. Vermin scavenging. Radios. Record players. Doors.
His dreams, when he has them, are mercifully silent.
Here Comes the Rain
Rain cleanses nothing here. What it does do is wipe away the layers of prevarication that people insist on constructing. It brings out the truth of personalities, dissolving false courtesies and empty promises - the longer a person stands in rain, the more honest he will become. It does the same for the city, eliminating the garish colors and deceptive grays that gloss over flaws, distract from
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[Ten challenge fic drabbles, multiple fandoms.]
I. Guise
A double-breasted suit straight out of the 1940s, made to measure.  Suspenders and a stubbornly white dress shirt.  Scarf at the throat, always in a knot.  Always.  Brown leather gloves scarred at knuckles and fingertips.  Brown fedora, drawn low over invisible eyes.  Trench coat with seemingly bottomless pockets.  Old but well-pedigreed boots showing miles upon miles of walking (and climbing, and fighting) underneath their careful polish – they've been re-soled at least twice.   The mask, the only truly alien aspect, covering everything in shifting black and white shapes that only appear unreadable.
And only Dan is allowed past any of it.
II. Ill-Met
"You should never have kissed me, Red.  Hee!"
"It wasn't on p-purpose, you idiot c-c-clown.   How was I to know you'd b-be here tkkxxnt-too?
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"R--" He caught himself just in time and modulated his voice to a much quieter volume. "Why are you calling me?"
"Wanted to apologize. Phone idea wasn't stupid. Was not at optimum performance last patrol, let tension carry over into our conversation. My initial assessment was hastily formed."
"Well... thanks. But - why are you using this number and not, uh. Not my other one?" Dan cringed, wondering how many people around could hear his side of the conversation and assumed he was talking to a mistress. Rorschach would be livid at the association, he was certain.
"Tried. You didn't answer. Important."
"Well, I appreciate that..." A lot, really, considering apologies from Rorschach were about as rare as sightings of Halley's Comet.
Rorschach preempted his next question, sounding slightly impatient and... reluctant? "Apology was not only reason for call."
"Are you--" No, he didn't sound hurt, Dan realized, and figured he'd best just get to the point. "Wha
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The children know his name, but they don't say it.  To say his name is to call him, and you only do that if you really mean it - if you really need him. Those are the rules.
(The adults didn't believe, not at first.  Their children had simply been lost, and afraid, and their imaginations ran away with them.  Only when enough bloodstains had been found, when enough parents caught their children conversing with shadows, did they begin to wonder.)
He only comes to children - to the lost, the endangered.    The ones who can't run to safety are found sound asleep wherever they were being held, small peaceful islands at the epicenter of absolute carnage.  They never wake until they're brought somewhere safe.
(The Sleepers, as they came to be nicknamed, were never quite the same afterward.  There was always something about them lying just under the surface of their young, somber faces.)
He is not infallible.
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Mature content
If At First You Don't Succeed- :iconfuguestate:FugueState 0 0
Restitution - epilogue
"Do you dream?"
The question is asked casually, with the weight of a thousand others behind it.  He looks over at her, the mask's ink swirling into shape after shape.
They sit on the swings in an empty playground, Blaire's parents and Nite Owl standing within view but far enough away to afford some privacy.  He's dressed as she remembers him, in his trademark suit but without the trench coat.  Even though the one he has now is new, he keeps it folded off to one side for this.
"Do you dream about when you found me?"
Her shoes scuff in the dirt, barely touching as she drifts back and forth.  A breeze makes her hair flutter, the faint sodium light from the streetlamps giving her a ghostly cast.  He shudders at that thought.
She's looking at him, but he finds himself keeping his gaze fixed at his own feet where they hold him in place.  He rocks slowly to and fro, his hands clenching on the chains at either s
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"Really?  You think so?"
"I do, Mr. Finch, and by the sound of it, you do as well."
"It's not about what I think... this is the most popular toy of the season.   Possibly ever, to hear the news."
"Aw, I think it's cute.  What do you think, Evey?"
"Eve, that sound is most unbecoming of a lady."
"Spoilsport.  I have to say I'm with Dominic on this one."
"So you think this - " V held a small plastic figure aloft, "is cute?"
Evey's grin was positively Cheshirean.  "Absolutely."  She stepped forward, showing off the toy's features as enthusiastically as any commercial.  "Look at it - all that detail in the mask, and they even got the length of your knives correct."  
"And the fabric weave."
"You would notice that, Dom."  Finch's dour face almost cracked a smile.
V was not impressed.  "When," he asked, "have I ever employed a 'karate chop' to dispatch my
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Captcha fic 8
- weined from -
The brownstone was ringing with curses, thunks and clatters in a path from the still-vibrating dresser drawers in the bedroom all the way down into the basement. Dan, well aware that anything he said at this moment would be met with sharp-tongued scorn or outright hostility, chose to maintain his strategic position half-hidden in the shadows of the study where he'd buried himself in a prospectus for a raptor facility upstate. He'd endured days of this already - they all had, really - and he was running out of ideas.
Walter briefly looked up when Laurie stormed down the stairs past Archie, his hand pausing in the notes he was taking as she kicked a box of spare parts out of her way.
"What?" She rounded on him, fists already clenching.
"Problem, Laurel?"
"Don't give me that fucking look - this is driving me nuts and you know it!"
"Was your own choice to-"
"I know, goddammit!" He actually blinked at her, but she was past noticing as she set the punching bag in her sights.
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Captcha fic 7
- drive repealed -
Of course it was the little Roche girl who broke the stalemate. The police riots had been ugly, fueling the fire against vigilantes and getting the Keene Act pushed through Congress, but there had still been resistance here and there. Even the news media, who'd been all too eager to focus on the lawlessness caused by NYPD's absence, couldn't keep an entirely confident tone when they quoted Senator Keene's assurances that "America has spoken, and we are listening."
Her parents didn't want her to get involved. She was only eight years old, after all, and she still awoke screaming from nightmares. But once her school showed the Senate's PSA in her class, there was no stopping her.
Every day she could be seen on her street corner - A childish likeness of Rorschach dominated a posterboard sign that she brandished like a shield which proclaimed in large, careful block letters, "Bring him back."
People still remembered what happened. No one laughed, or tried to stop her - n
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Captcha fic 6
- huskier to -
"Always. It feels like always."
The blood is slowing, but the coppery fear-taste is still burning the back of his throat and he can't stop pressing his fingers to the pulse at his partner's neck to make sure it's still there.
"I couldn't tell you. I didn't know if -"
They have close calls all the time. Just last week there was that katiehead with a gun... They risk their lives and think nothing of it, just concentrating on the takedown. They could have been killed any number of times by now.
"Can you hear me?"
He's fighting tears, and it makes him angry. They can't go to a hospital. All this work they do, all this work...
"I wasn't honest with you. With myself. I'm sorry."
Breaths flutter against his ear.
"I'm sorry. I love you. I'm sorry."
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Captcha fic 5
- new engulfed -
He can't breathe.  Can't convince his lungs to fill, or to release.  Air shudders in the in-between of his muscles' indecision, finally sobbing out of him in a rush while his fingers twitch in confusion, wanting to clench, wanting to latch onto something but (afraid) uncertain as to what, or where.
No one has ever...
Eyes hold him, pin him in place as he teeters on the edge of standing, falling, as his mind stutters to a halt at the simple, unexpected sensation of hands reaching past layers of (defenses) fabric to skate the gentlest of fingers down his sides.
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Captcha fic 4
- illness chides -
It's his own fault, and he knows it.
Dan caught the bug last week and Rorschach had still pushed him to patrol. Criminals don't care if you're sick. They won't slack off just because you're not feeling well. Dan had done his best, suppressing coughs and snuffles through stakeouts and breathing through his mouth when his nose got too stopped up.
It made him a little slower and frayed his temper to a point that he may have used more force than was his wont, but that was all right. The reek of menthol and the litter of kleenex on Archie's floor became just another testament to Nite Owl's dedication.
He wasn't sympathetic toward his partner through any of it, because that wasn't what Nite Owl needed. What he needed was to stay strong, to not let his guard down, and to know that his partner still had his back as they went out every night.
Now he suppresses yet another sneeze and is at least thankful his nose hasn't started running (yet). His throat alternates between burn
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Captcha fic 3
- the doorways -
"Geddown, kid!"  A shotgun blast comes from in front of him and the thug he hadn't seen behind him goes down when the rubber bullet takes him high in the chest.  He rolls, getting a brief glimpse of the Comedian's combat-cheerful face and dives to
gather up the impossibly small life into his arms even though his hands - the ones that can manipulate the tiniest circuits with ease - feel far too large and clumsy for something so fragile and he's scared half to death.  Laurie smiles up at him in exhausted triumph, and she's never looked so
crushingly dull, but this is what his father  wanted and he's good at it.  This bank was his father's legacy to him, and the best chance he'd have at a solid career for supporting a family someday, so he runs it now with the utmost
anxiety after hearing his friend's reaction.  He doesn't know anything at all about this character, and a comic book movie?  God, this cou
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Captcha fic 2
- commuter Mr -
She sees them all, depending on the day.
Midnight to three there are the drunks who don't want to go home yet. The happy drunks are all right, but they don't often have much money left by then. The angry ones, the ones dumped by girlfriends or the losers of fights - they're the worst. She counts herself lucky if the marks fade quickly.
Two to six is when the truckers come by on their way to pick up or drop off whatever. Sometimes all they want is someone to talk to, a pathetic substitute for the wife left behind. Other times she feels like G-18 on some travel bingo card. Lots of them have speed, though, which is a nice bonus.
From seven to eleven she can maybe get some sleep. Or eat. Both, if she's feeling ambitious.
Lunch hour onward is busy. The white collars typically start things off, sneaking off for their "meetings" and "appointments". The blue collars come later, wanting a pick-me-up before going out with the guys, or back to the ball and chain at home. Then come
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Captcha fic 1
- birth minutia -
"What? What did I do?"
Daniel is following him down the stairs, past the Owlship, catches up with him in the tunnel.
"Please, Rorschach, I don't understand what's made you so upset?"
The distress is genuine; he can hear it. He stops, but does not turn around. Daniel is wise and does not touch him.
"Prying, Daniel. Multiple times now."
"Because I asked you where you're from?" Bewilderment now, layered on top of the distress. Either he truly doesn't understand or he is much better at lying than he seemed to be.
"And eye color. And family. And habits." It's obvious their partnership can't continue.
Wh-- Rorschach, that wasn't prying, I was just... trying to get to know you, just a little! You're my partner, we watch each other's backs - and hell, I like you! You're my friend, that's what friends do!"
A small sliver of doubt slips in and his step falters. Daniel's voice is still ringing true.
'That's what friends do'.
...He wouldn't know.
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'Tis the Season
There'd been no argument from either Rorschach or Nite Owl about patrolling on Christmas Eve; they both knew how petty criminals and scam artists loved to victimize the harried shoppers and moon-eyed tourists who flooded the streets at this time of year.  They'd even started before the sun was fully set, taking Archie up to wheel slowly over the busier districts.  Against his usual modus operandi, Rorschach suggested heading toward the more metropolitan areas with their upscale shops and glittering displays.  Much as he hated the rampant waste and hypocrisy that pervaded those places during the holiday season, he knew they'd be their best hunting grounds.  
"It really is too bad," Nite Owl sighed wistfully as they banked toward another cluster of multicolored illumination.
Rorschach turned his gaze away from the streets.  "What is?"
His partner shrugged, a bit self-conscious.  "It's just so pretty down there - and every
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- Halloween is for Masks -
'Halloween is for Masks'
"My shoe's untied!"
"Tommy's hitting me with his sword!"
"Hey, that's my candy bar!"
"My cape keeps falling off!"
Three pirates, a princess, two cowboys, a cat, a couple of ballerinas, a vampire and what was either a dog or a spider were gathered in a loose knot around Rorschach, who stared from one to the next with arms raised cautiously out of their reach while they grabbed at him for attention.
It had all seemed so simple just minutes ago - a small group of children, giddy with the late hour and the sense of adventure afforded by their costumes, had nearly stumbled out in front of a car. He reached them just in time, nearly getting hit himself before facing off with the careless motorist. The driver had been poised to deliver a stream of verbal abuse until he'd taken a good look at the shifting inkblot face and clenched fists before him, at which point he thought better of it.
After the vehicle slunk away, Rorschach considered his job done. He'
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Mature content
Restitution :iconfuguestate:FugueState 26 35
Male in front of chemist's shop at Regent and Beak.
One male one female, on foot at West entrance of New Hyde Park.
Emergency, assault at Spurgeon Street; three male subjects, armed, beating a male and female; notify nearest patrol unit.
Robbery in progress, residence 3368 Langton Gate; two subjects seen; notify nearest patrol unit.
Two females on foot near Southwark Bridge, South.
One male, green bicycle, Prince Albert Road near St. George statue.
Finch's back ached where he sat before the array of security monitors.  The dull throbbing had begun over an hour ago, and still he sat.  His eyes burned from the glare of the screens in the surrounding darkness and his tongue was beginning to stick to the roof of his mouth from thirst, but his vigil remained unbroken.
The Eye and Ear of Norsefire had been severed for some little time now, but that didn't mean the information stopped flowing.  Quite the contrary; in the Shadow Gallery everythin
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The first time, Evey awoke to complete blackness and the foreboding sense of someone else in the room with her.  She froze, straining to hear past the thundering of her pulse, but the silence was absolute.
There had always been at least some light in the Shadow Gallery, somewhere - V always took care to ensure she would never be lost in the dark.   But now there wasn't a flicker of illumination to be seen.  The darkness thickened around her with each passing second, swallowing every sound and threatening to suffocate her.
A faint sigh broke the silence.  V, her mind said, and the uncontrollable shuddering that threatened her small frame subsided.  She clambered hopefully to a sitting position on the bed.
V?  What's happened?
But instead of approaching her, he retreated.  She could feel it in the expansion of the silence around her.  Her fear, alleviated somewhat by V's presence, returned with a
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Killjoy97x Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Man, your gallery is simply stunning, I specially adore the drawings, you're a master at setting the atmosphere :o (Eek) 
Rockmantic2227 Featured By Owner May 27, 2012
I love your pictures about V.
I love V. he is Unique.
FugueState Featured By Owner May 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :)
wobblydaddy Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh my god your V pictures are making me melt into a puddle
FugueState Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Aw, thanks! :)
Deidara1fan Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I love you 'V' pictures ^^
FugueState Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :aww:
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