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Toxic Shock

Title: Toxic Shock
Author: quietprofanity
Fandom: Watchmen
Pairings: female!Nite Owl/female!Rorschach
Disclaimer: Characters are not mine and are used for non-profit purposes.
Warnings: Rule 63, Non-explicit f/f foreplay, explicit discussion of menstrual cycles.
Summary: Kinkmeme prompt: They say when women work together for a long time, their periods sync up. Take rule 63 and work with this, anons!

~*~*~

Danielle doesn’t need this.

It had been a bad night, and it’s shaping up to be a very bad morning. The second day of her menstrual cycle is usually the worst: when the cramps make her want to curl up in a ball, when she needs both a pad and a tampon to staunch the flow. She didn’t want to go patrolling this evening, but Rorschach and she had been sniping at each other all last week. So when he showed up at the Owl’s Nest ready to work, she fired up the Owlship’s engines, not wanting to get into another fight.

The first couple of hours were brutal. She felt tired and pulled herself up out of the pilot’s seat only with extreme reluctance, but after the first fight – she and Rorschach had chased down a couple of gang members – she could feel her limbs warming, her muscles loosening. These and the bursts of adrenaline kept her going. Yet as the black of night began to fade into the blue light of near-dawn, she was eager to curl up in her brown robe and owl slippers with a bowl of ice cream and watch Paul Newman movies on TV.

Then Minnie (“Short for Minerva. You know? The goddess Pallas – her symbol was an owl.”) decided not to start.

Last night was warm, and as Danielle lies underneath the Owlship, sweating in her suit while her back grinds against the hard asphalt ground of the alleyway, she can tell the day will be a scorcher. She feels very uncomfortable.

At least Minnie’s problem doesn’t seem to be a major malfunction. It’s more a bunch of little ones: a blown fuse, some frayed wires, a few oil leaks. Danielle has been too lazy with the maintenance lately. She has some spare parts inside the ship, but it may take an hour to get Minnie going again if every wire needs to be replaced, then the rest of the day to fix the leaks. No relaxing day with Paul Newman movies for her.

Rorschach has been acting strangely while Danielle’s been investigating the problem. She looks to the side to see his feet as they pace the length of the Owlship. Danielle can hear the sugar cubes crunch loudly between his teeth. At one point he stops, leans against the Owlship and moans like he’s aching.

“You all right, buddy?” she asks, trying to ignore the hard weight within her womb. Danielle thinks instead about how weird that nickname is for him, how she’s never called any guy in her life that before. Of course, Rorschach isn’t like any other guy she knows. She means that in good and bad ways. He’s very old-fashioned, very suspicious of women despite deciding to pair with her. Yet despite his beliefs he somehow never treats her as an oddity. Danielle’s spent years in the company of men – at Radcliffe-Harvard, at engineering showcases, at the ornithological society – always introduced with the “woman” or “girl” signifier before her profession, always had her accomplishments followed up with “And she’s a woman!” or “Good, for a woman.” If nothing else, Rorschach treats her accomplishments as a given. In Danielle’s eyes this makes him more respectful, a better friend than many of the men she meets in school or while dating.

Rorschach’s reply to her question is gruff, short. “How much longer?”

However, he obviously does not feel like being friendly today. Well, neither does she.

“I don’t know. Maybe an hour,” she says. Her voice comes out snippier than she wants. The fuse and one of the wires will need to be replaced. She rolls out from under the ship. Ugh. She needs to pee.

“Have work in two hours,” Rorschach says. “Too far to walk. Need to change.”

“Look, I’m sorry. I want to get out of here as much as you do.” She re-enters the ship, goes to the supply closet beneath the coffee dispenser. Rorschach follows, looks into the sugar bowl near the coffee pot as she crouches below.

“Need more sugar.”

Christ, is he serious? He’s had to have eaten twenty this evening already. She finds the spare fuse and wire, digs deeper. “I don’t have any more. I … oh, crap.” She presses her head against the counter.

“What?”

Danielle looks up and out of the corner of her eye at her partner. She isn’t sure if she wants to say. Rorschach’s hang-ups about women and how they should behave are innumerable, and if pretty much every guy she’s ever met has been an immature jerk about periods, she’s positive Rorschach won’t be any better.

She’s also positive she’s too pissed off to care.

“I’m out of sanitary napkins,” she shakes her head, stands up. “Nevermind. I have some tampons back at the Nest. I guess I’ll just hold it. I feel so gross, though.”

“Tampons?” His voice is a mix of amazement and disgust.

Danielle frowns. “Yeah, tampons. It’s something lots of women need.”

“Shouldn’t use those.”

Oh, fucking hell. She can’t believe this. “Excuse me?”

“Toxic shock syndrome,” Rorschach says. “Probable risk of death. Also, bad product for young women. Could take a women’s virginity. Makes them loose, more eager to be sexually active.”

Danielle buries her face in her hands. Christ, is she talking to her partner or her mother? She takes a deep breath. Count to ten, Dani, she thinks, count to ten.

“Look, you don’t know what you’re talking about and I need them because otherwise I get blood all over my costume from moving around so much and I don’t really need to put my owlsuit in hydrogen peroxide every month –”

“Hydrogen peroxide?” he asks, incredulous. “Why?”

“It gets rid of the stains.”

“It does?”

“Yes.”

Rorschach makes a noise that might be a “hurm” and Danielle suddenly wants Rorschach to go away. She reaches into one of her belt pouches, picks out a twenty dollar bill and some coins.

“Look,” she says. “If you really want to help me, there’s a convenience store down the street. Go buy me some paper towels. I need to work on the ship for awhile and it’s really leaky down there. You can use the coins to call in late for work too. Okay?”

As Rorschach’s fingers close around the money, Danielle realizes she’s asked for something ridiculous. Did she actually just tell her masked vigilante partner to walk into a convenience store with a mask over his head and pick up her groceries? But Rorschach shrugs, legs moving stiffly as he walks away. Danielle wonders again if he’s hurt, but part of her is too frustrated to ask.

~*~*~

It actually doesn’t take as long as she expects. While Rorschach’s away Danielle replaces the fuse and the wire. Almost as soon as the wire is in Minnie is already vibrating, eager to take to the air. Danielle turns off Minnie with her remote control before the thrusters can fire and burn her cowl and hair. For now all that’s needed will be oil cleanup. Danielle sighs with relief. Thank God. She’s so ready to go home.

Rorschach is back very soon after, outstretches his arm beneath the ship to hand Danielle the roll of paper towels. When she’s done cleaning, she finds him inside the ship. Rorschach has a shopping bag in his hands, still filled with items.

“Bought these for you.” He pushes the bag into her hands.

Danielle looks inside. There’s a box of sanitary napkins in the bag, as well as a carton of chocolate ice cream and a jar of nuts.

“Don’t worry about change. Used my money,” he says. “Heard nuts are supposed to help.”

Danielle’s mouth drops open. Rorschach did this for her? Mooching, insulting, inconsiderate Rorschach did this for her? No man she’s ever known would have ever … Danielle smiles, then laughs, the tension of tonight and the past week melting away.

Rorschach asks if she wants to eat the ice cream now, but her gloves are greasy with oil and she wants to get Minnie back to the Nest now that she’s on and running. When they get back, after Danielle’s cleaned up and refreshed in the bathroom (and Rorschach steps out to use it, too) they sit on the floor of the Nest, spoons from the kitchen in their hands.

“I thought you had to work,” Danielle says. She chews on the nuts she’s sprinkled over the ice cream.

“Took the day off,” he says, and Danielle can’t keep herself from blushing as Rorschach licks a spot of chocolate ice cream off his lips. “Don’t feel well. Starting to feel better.”

So is she.

~*~*~

It’s only after Rorschach leaves that Danielle realizes a few extra sanitary pads are missing. So are a few tampons. And her bottle of hydrogen peroxide. She waits until her period is over to confront Rorschach about this.

Six months later Rorschach is curled up in Danielle’s bed, her naked body pressed against Danielle’s.

“Rorschach?” Danielle asks.

Rorschach raises her head, and Danielle can’t help but smile. Rorschach is so dangerous but her mop of curls makes her look like Little Orphan Annie. A very dour, grumpy Little Orphan Annie.

“When we first started this, did you blame the tampons?”

Rorschach snorts, lowers her head back into the space between Danielle’s neck and right shoulder.

“Still shouldn’t wear them when not on patrol,” Rorschach says. “Risk too high.”

Danielle rolls her eyes. “It’s not that risky. You can’t believe every old wives’ tale you hear.”

“Cycles always occur at the same time.”

That is true, Danielle thinks. She reaches her hand underneath Rorschach’s chin, lifts it up and runs her tongue over her partner’s lips, making Rorschach shudder. “It’s not so bad, though,” Danielle purrs, gives Rorschach an extra kiss. “It means we ovulate at the same time.”

“That’s a myth,” Rorschach says. “Lie by lascivious men convinced whorish nature hides inside every virtuous woman.”

Danielle laughs, and reaches between Rorschach’s legs.

“You sure about that?” Danielle asks.

Rorschach’s breath catches. She lets out a soft, high moan that can only come from a female. Then they don’t talk about this, or anything, for a very, very long while.

The End.

Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
scarlet_carsons
Oct. 31st, 2009 08:25 pm (UTC)
YOU MADE PERIODS SEEM ROMANTIC.

HOW DID YOU DO THAT.

When I first saw the description of this fic on your lj, I was like, 'a fanfic about periods wait what' but good god that was actually adorable.
quietprofanity
Nov. 2nd, 2009 01:22 am (UTC)
YOU MADE PERIODS SEEM ROMANTIC.

HOW DID YOU DO THAT.


Romantic periods? Awwww. Um ... actually, I do not know. Maybe it's the ice cream? (That could be rather American 1950s era dating, right?) But uh ... [shrugs]

When I first saw the description of this fic on your lj, I was like, 'a fanfic about periods wait what' but good god that was actually adorable.

Awww. Thanks! :D
radishface
Oct. 31st, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC)
This? This was SO FANTASTIC. I was going to tackle it (the prompt) when I had my time but this is soooo freakin' good. In a way D/R have a whole different set of issues and interactions BECAUSE THEY ARE WOMEN and you characterise them brilliantly. I will come back at a later point and try to formulate my thoughts more coherently but just wanted to let you know that this was amazingamazingamazing.
quietprofanity
Nov. 2nd, 2009 01:33 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for your comment! So many comments are leaving me at a loss of words today. I'm really glad you liked it so much!

In a way D/R have a whole different set of issues and interactions BECAUSE THEY ARE WOMEN and you characterise them brilliantly.

Aw, thanks. I really like the idea of 63!D/R relating to each other as women, even if the gender!angst of Wanda sometimes gets in the way of it. So this prompt was really fun because of that aspect.
i_am_your_spy
Nov. 1st, 2009 12:41 am (UTC)
I think this is my favourite Wanda ever.

Also, crimefighting on your period? Those are some tough gals. I can barely get out of bed.
quietprofanity
Nov. 2nd, 2009 01:37 am (UTC)
I think this is my favourite Wanda ever.

Oh wow! I still think conceptofzero's got me beat, but THANK YOU! :D

Also, crimefighting on your period? Those are some tough gals. I can barely get out of bed.

My mother is a proponent of the "Get your ass to the gym and it'll make you feel better" school of period-pain management, but I still couldn't crimefight on a hot day, no siree.
roachpatrol
Nov. 1st, 2009 01:10 am (UTC)
D'AWWWW.

This is the cutest fucking story EVER. I loved Rorschach's reaction to the hydrogen peroxide thing.
quietprofanity
Nov. 2nd, 2009 01:43 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! (I figured even grody-hygiene Wanda would be on the lookout for tips to preserve the purple pants.)
sweetphaex
Nov. 1st, 2009 02:01 am (UTC)
ROFLS at your "Sensitive straight girl" tag awwww <3
quietprofanity
Nov. 2nd, 2009 01:48 am (UTC)
Hee. I just always have "WTF SELF? LESBIANS? LIKE YOU THINK YOU'LL KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT JUST CUZ YOU HAVE A VAGINA?" internal monologues when I write f/f, so hence the tag.

(Like now. "Why is the happiest f/f fic I wrote about gender-reversed dudes? Nooooooooo!")
(Deleted comment)
quietprofanity
Nov. 2nd, 2009 01:54 am (UTC)
I've always wondered how periods would work with a female Rorschach, and this is the best answer eveeeer X)

Hee. So many Wandas are non-menstruating, though. So I guess this is would be the answer by default. :)

(Lord, now that sounds like a commercial. "Four out of five rule63!Rorschachs fail to menstruate. For more information, call ...")

And I really don't know how you did it, but you made them having their periods at the same time seem oddly romantic...

Like I told scarlet_carsons, I HAVE NO IDEA HOW THAT HAPPENED EITHER. Thank you!
lalondon13
Nov. 1st, 2009 07:52 am (UTC)
This is the first gender reversal story I've read for Rorschach and Dan, and I really liked it :D I love Rorschach warning against toxic shock syndrome, buying ice cream, stealing tampons and being compared to little orphan Annie. XD Good show!
quietprofanity
Nov. 2nd, 2009 02:04 am (UTC)
I love Rorschach warning against toxic shock syndrome, buying ice cream, stealing tampons and being compared to little orphan Annie. XD

That sounds like you like EVERYTHING SHE DOES. Which is awesome. Thank you so much for reading and I'm tickled to be your intro to rule 63! :D
findmyantidrug
Nov. 1st, 2009 12:37 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this; all the little details you put in that distinguished between canon!Dan and Ror and 63!Dan and Ror were great, and I love that you 63'd Archie! That is just neat. Echoing the 'wow you made periods romantic' sentiment, too.
quietprofanity
Nov. 2nd, 2009 02:21 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! (I liked making Archie a girl, too.) And I do not know how I made periods romantic, but I'm glad you think so as well. :D
michichu2
Dec. 15th, 2009 04:55 pm (UTC)
OH GOD RORSCHACH BUYING HER ICECREAM AND THEN EATING THE ICECREAM TOGETHER :D :D :D :D cute cute cute.

Also, Minnie! ha!
quietprofanity
Dec. 15th, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
Hee. Thank you! I figured eating ice cream is the prime appeal of period fanfics.

Also, Minnie! ha!

Thanks! Minnie appeared in someone else's Hollis/Danielle fic on the kinkmeme so I'm super-proud of her. :D
dessieoctavia
Dec. 16th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC)
"Minnie"? That's perfect!

Rorschach and she had been sniping at each other all last week

*snerk*

At least Minnie’s problem doesn’t seem to be a major malfunction. It’s more a bunch of little ones: a blown fuse, some frayed wires, a few oil leaks.

Even Minnie's on the rag!

Thanks to you, I have a brand new pairing. I hope you've written more of it. *goes to find out*
quietprofanity
Dec. 16th, 2009 02:41 am (UTC)
Thanks for your comment. :D I'm glad you like Minnie. And the sniping -- I really didn't want to turn this into a "women on the rags be crazy" fanfic, but I thought that joke was subtle enough to work and not be too offensive.

Even Minnie's on the rag!

FFFFFF. OH MAN THAT WAS ENTIRELY BY ACCIDENT. THAT'S AWESOME.

I hope you've written more of it.

Oh, alas. I haven't. :-/ (D/R has appeared in every one of my fanfics in some permutation, but they're male in the others. I've also got an epic one I'm working on with Danielle in an OT3 with a male Rorschach and female Laurie. If that sounds like your thing, feel free to watch my journal and it should appear in a few weeks.)

But the Watchmen fandom is really awesome about sharing its toys with each other, and Rule 63 is very popular here, so let me recommend my favorites:

My Body is a Cage by conceptofzero, which is a gen retelling of the Watchmen story from a female Rorschach's point of view.

Redesign by brancher (Danielle/Laurie)

Glitter, also by brancher, which is (Twilight Lord/Danielle). Since you said you're a movie fan, you can go here to find out about the character Twilight Lord is based on in the comic, but since Twilight Lady is a VERY thinly drawn character in the comic, it's not that big a deal.

The Kitubah Series by Anonymous, in which Dan and Wanda get married and have a child, which is amazing and heartwarming/breaking despite the fact that the concept sounds really bad.

Dandelion by daylilymoon, where Wanda and Dan meet when they're young.

There's some other stuff you can find on the Danielle and Wanda tags on watchfic_dir which is of varying quality, but those above should get you started. Happy reading! :D

Edited at 2009-12-16 02:43 am (UTC)
dessieoctavia
Dec. 16th, 2009 02:47 am (UTC)
Oh, awesome. Thank you for the links, I will read them all! And I'm going to Friend you so I can read your fics; you don't have to Friend me back. ;-)

I'm more a fan of the GN than the movie, but since I did love the GN so much, I thought I should see the movie and I finally got around to it. I liked the GN better, on the whole.
quietprofanity
Dec. 16th, 2009 02:51 am (UTC)
Oh, feel free. :) (I don't friend back on this journal, just because I maintain my friendslist on my other one and I don't have any locked entries here, but if you friend quietprofanity I would friend you back there. No pressure, though.)

And oops! I misunderstood your comment on the other fic. I thought you'd only seen the movie. Yes, I'm definitely more of a GN fan, although there are parts of the movie I liked. :)
dessieoctavia
Dec. 19th, 2009 12:11 am (UTC)
For some reason I didn't see this comment until now; prolly LJ ate it. Have friended you! ^-^
hohaiyee
Jul. 17th, 2010 10:59 pm (UTC)
mutual flow is go!
LOL.

At least they could eat chocolate!

For some reason, I crave chocolate like massively before my menses, but as soon as I get it, chocolate makes me throw up, and I have to stick to gummy worms.

...and this went on for years after I stopped being a teen.

...until a few months ago, I started taking advil, which works. I used to avoid painkillers I even took less than recommended after surgery, but fuck it, tired of being bedridden. I'll be alright sans pills if I get enough sleep and stay away from rich foods, but I'm willing to deal with future cancer by advil if it means I can continue to replace sleep with sugar.


...and god, I love Rule 63, and how fandom writes it, like, Dan and Walter, the way they are, as woman, both. They are recognizable but different in a way that fits the difference.
quietprofanity
Jul. 18th, 2010 05:16 am (UTC)
Re: mutual flow is go!
...and god, I love Rule 63, and how fandom writes it, like, Dan and Walter, the way they are, as woman, both. They are recognizable but different in a way that fits the difference.

Aw, that's great to hear. Thank you so much!
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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