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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.
Tags: "sensitive" straight girl writes f/f, fandom: watchmen, kinkmeme, pairing: rorschach/nite owl ii, rule 63
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