sermocinare: (Silhouette and her nurse)
[personal profile] sermocinare
Fandom: Watchmen
Title: A Host of Seraphim (3/4)
Rating: R
Warnings: none
Characters/Pairings: Adrian/Dan
Disclaimer: Watchmen belongs to Mr. Moore and Mr. Gibbons.
Summary: Adrian finds out that both the wings and Dan are there to stay. Dan finds out that there's nothing quite like a naughty angel.
Previous chapters: 1, 2

Dr. Schuler held the x-rays up to the harsh, bright light of the viewing screen, frowned, and shook his head. He was a childhood friend of Dan's, and had patched Dan up more than once after something had gone wrong on patrol. Dan knew he could trust Schuler to keep quiet about this, and handle it with the utmost sensitivity, which is what he had told Adrian when he had suggested they visit him. Also, Schuler worked as head trauma surgeon in a private clinic, which had the added bonus of there being absolutely no one but them around at 3am.

“I guess I don't have to tell you that this is unlike anything I've ever seen in my life,” Schuler said, still looking at the x-rays of Adrian's back. “Frankly, I'm baffled. I have no idea how this works, even now that I'm seeing the structures right in front of me. According to everything I know about anatomy and physiology, it shouldn't.”

He turned around to face Adrian, who just gave a short shrug: “Don't ask me. I'm perfectly aware that according to every medical and biological textbook in print, I shouldn't exist. But I do, so let's just say it's a miracle and move on, shall we?”

It was clear from Adrian's posture, the tension in his jawline, that he was feeling more than a little uncomfortable. Even though Adrian was still insistent on wanting to get the wings removed, he had been quite reluctant to actually go see a surgeon, or in fact any kind of medical professional, about it. And really, after what Adrian had told him the night before, Dan could understand.

“Do you think it's possible to remove them?” The tone of Adrian's voice was brusque, nervous, and Dan could see the slight tremble in his wings.

Schuler shook his head: “I don't think so. I'm sorry.” He looked at Adrian, trying to defuse the other man's nerves with compassion and honesty: “It would be far too much of a risk. These structures – your wings – they're not just some abnormal growth, like a sixth finger or something. They are entirely novel and highly sophisticated limbs, and they seem to be somehow connected to your spine. If we tried to surgically remove them, it's almost certain that the nerves in your spine would be damaged in the process. You'd end up paralyzed.”

Adrian looked away, biting his lower lip: “So I have the choice of being either a freak or a cripple, is what you're saying.”

“You're not a freak, Adrian,” Dan said, laying a hand on Adrian's forearm, his tone more impassioned than he'd intended. Really, he wished that Adrian would stop saying that.

“I concur with Dan,” Schuler said, giving Adrian a short smile before once again studying the x-rays. “Like I said, I've never seen anything like it before, but I wouldn't call it freakish. In fact, from a scientific point of view, it's quite amazing. Beautiful, even, the way your body has re-structured itself around those novel limbs. You truly are a medical miracle.”

Adrian smiled sadly, shaking his head, his arms crossed in front of his chest: “Thank you for trying to cheer me up. But I'm afraid it's not working.”

“I'm sorry I couldn't give you the news you wanted to hear, Mr. Veidt. But if there ever is anything else I can do for you, please don't hesitate to call. Dan can give you my number.” Schuler grinned at Dan: “God knows he's rung me up more than once in the middle of the night, asking to have some joint pulled back in its socket, or even bullets removed. And you can be sure that I won't breathe a word of this to anybody.”

“I'm grateful for your discretion, and that you were willing to have a look at it, Dr. Schuler,” Adrian said, then gave a small nod: “If you'll excuse us now.” He sighed, and ran a hand through his hair: “I have a whole life to re-arrange, it seems.”

They walked back to the helicopter pad where Dan had parked Archie, with Adrian lagging behind a bit. Adrian was walking as if in some kind of trance, although it was probably closer to shock, Dan thought, a tight little lump forming in his chest. That had not been what he'd wanted to hear, even though both Dan and him had, in some part of their minds, known that it was the only realistic answer.

Dan already had one foot on the steps that led into Archie's interior when Adrian spoke.

“Dan.” His voice was small, frightened, broken, and it hurt Dan to the core. “I don't know what to do. I... don't know.”

Without thinking, Dan stepped down from the ladder and went back to where Adrian was standing. Putting a hand on Adrian's cheek, he sought the other man's eyes, willing himself to project all the confidence and optimism that Adrian was lacking at the moment. “You'll figure it out. We'll figure it out. Together.”

With a short, trembling sigh, Adrian wrapped his arms and wings around Dan, letting his forehead rest on Dan's shoulder for a moment.

“Thank you for not leaving me alone in this.” he whispered against Dan's shoulder, the words barely loud enough to be heard.

“I won't. Not ever.”

“So, what now?” Dan was leaning against the edge of the dinner table, while Adrian was slumped into one of the chairs in his by now customary backwards position, his arms wrapped around the backrest, wings drooping.

“I told you, I don't know,” Adrian muttered. “I feel like someone pulled the rug out from underneath my feet, and now I'm like the coyote in those Saturday morning cartoons, standing on air and knowing all too well that I'm going to plummet down the canyon in a few seconds.”

“Except that you have wings.”

Adrian gave a short, barking laugh: “Which got me into this position in the first place.”

A heavy silence fell over them. Dan looked out of the window, then back at Adrian, who was staring at the Bible that was still lying on the table with an intensity that should by rights have made the book burst into flames. There had to be something he could do, something he could say, to make Adrian realize that just because his life had changed didn't mean that it was over. He wouldn't let Adrian lose himself in this.

“What's the most important thing in your life, Adrian?”

“My company,” Adrian said without thinking.

“Really?” Dan raised an eyebrow. Sure, he knew that Veidt Enterprises was hugely important for Adrian, but he never would have thought Adrian so... shallow. So focused on money and success. Damn it, he knew Adrian wasn't like that.

There was another short silence, and then Adrian sighed: “”

“Then what is it?”

“I don't know.”


Adrian gave Dan a look that, a few days ago, would have made Dan wither, but now, Dan just narrowed his eyes at the other man: “If you're anything, Adrian, you're driven. So don't try to tell me that you don't know what it is that drives you on. That gets you out of bed every morning, and through the dark hours of the night.”

“Why are you asking, anyway?” Adrian said, his tone a tad defensive.

Dan smirked: “Don't try to change the subject, Adrian.” Then, his expression softened: “But I'm asking because, if you know what the most important thing in your life is, well, you know what you need to get back first, right? It's where you, we, need to start.”

“You know,” Adrian said, a grin playing around the corners of his mouth, “you can be pretty smart, Dan. At the moment, I'd even go so far as to concede that you might be smarter than me.”

“I'll take that as the highest form of compliment you'll give me,” Dan said, chuckling slightly. “But honestly, you've been through a lot the last few days. I bet that once you have your footing back, you'll be back to old form. Read, the biggest smartass in the world.”

“Why, thank you, Daniel,” Adrian replied, not without a touch of sarcasm.

“So, what is it? The most important thing in your life?”

“I want to help people,” Adrian said, his face serious once again, a slightly faraway look in his eyes. “I want to make the world a better place. Show people that it's better if we're united, if we work together, than to constantly be at each other's throats. It's why I became a mask in the first place. I wanted to be an inspiration.”

“I don't see any reason why you can't be a mask any more. Or help people.” Dan gave Adrian a sly smile: “After all, you're an angel now. Helping people is what you're supposed to do. Well, helping or smiting. Of course, it would be hard to keep up a secret identity, since those wings are kind of hard to hide...”

Adrian shrugged: “Actually, I was thinking of making my identity public, anyway. And retiring from the mask business.”

Dan blinked, slightly taken aback by this sudden revelation: “Why?”

“It's complicated. And after what's happened, it's no longer relevant anyway, so forget about it.” Adrian waved a hand, as if to shoo away the words he'd just said. Then, he looked at Dan, his brow furrowing in thought: “But you do have a point there. Angels are symbols for protection, justice and peace, messengers of the divine in all the Abrahamic religions, and even some others... like this, I'm a more effective symbol than Ozymandias ever could have been.”

“See, it's not all bad,” Dan said with a smile. Maybe, finally, Adrian was ready to move on from the doom and gloom and try to find the bright spots in this admittedly messy situation.

Adrian smirked: “Point taken. But still, it's going to take some major adjustments. And I'm not just talking about my costume and fighting style here. Although that is something I'll have to put a bit of thought into, too, if I'm going to go back to being a vigilante.”

“I'm sure you'll come up with something. Knowing you, I'm sure you'll have come up with something in the morning,” Dan said, smiling and barely suppressing a yawn. “Speaking of which, I think it's time I hit the couch.”

“You don't have to.”

“Oh, believe me, I do,” Dan said, pushing up his glasses a bit and pinching the bridge of his nose. “I'm terribly tired.”

“That wasn't what I meant, Daniel. What I meant was...” Adrian took a deep breath, looking away for a moment, almost as if he were nervous, before looking Dan in the eyes again. “You don't have to sleep on the couch.” There was an unspoken question in those green eyes, and for a moment, Dan wasn't sure that he knew what Adrian was talking about.

But then it clicked, and Dan felt himself flooded with warmth as something he didn't even know he had been holding back was finally released. He was aware that he was grinning, probably pretty stupidly, too, but he didn't care.

Adrian grinned back, his eyes sparkling with warmth and humor: “I can't guarantee that I won't be hogging most of the bed, though. These wings take up an awful lot of space.”

“Don't worry,” Dan replied, “I'll find some space to squeeze in. And I bet they make a really nice blanket, too.”

Pushing himself off from the table, he bent down to kiss Adrian, who craned up to meet him. Adrian's lips were soft and warm against his, and a part of Dan was actually surprised at this, since he had always imagined Adrian to be somewhat cool to the touch. Probably because up until now, that's what Adrian had always been – cool, aloof and untouchable. But the last few days had changed that, like they had changed so many things.

“Feel free to snuggle in underneath them...” Adrian murmured before closing in for another kiss.

“You know, if this didn't feel so good I would be tempted to remind you that I've got other body parts in need of some attention, too,” Adrian said with a breathless chuckle. He was leaning against the wall of the guest room, wings splayed as if in full flight, his hands roaming over Dan's chest and sides.

“Sorry,” Dan said with a grin that was just this side of guilty, “but they're just so pretty. Not that the rest of you isn't pretty, too,” he added hastily. By now, he had probably touched every single feather on Adrian's wings, but he still couldn't keep his hands off them. They were perfection, pure and simple. The elegance of the lines and gentle curves, and the enticing contrast between the softness of the feathers and the strength of the bones underneath... he ran his palm over the edge of the middle pair, then closed his hand, squeezing gently.

Adrian gave a lustful whine and closed his eyes, letting his head fall back against the wall behind him. “I'm glad you noticed.”

Adrian's fingers were busy drawing intricate patterns onto the skin of Dan's back, Dan's shirt having been the first thing to go after they'd moved their making out from the living room to the guest room. Dan ran his fingers through the small, soft feathers on the edge of one of the bottom wings, ruffling them slightly, and felt Adrian shiver against him.

“Flying must have been fun, if it's always like this,” Dan said, leaning in to kiss Adrian's neck.

“That's different,” Adrian mumbled, his hands on Dan's hips now, holding them still, Adrian's own hips undulating against Dan's slowly but insistently. “That's not you touching me.”

Dan opened his mouth to reply, but whatever it was that he'd wanted to say was wiped away when Adrian's fingers were suddenly on one of his nipples, giving it a slight tweak. Dan gasped, his hips jerking forward as a bolt of pleasure sizzled through him. He heard Adrian chuckle, feeling the other man's breath against his ear, and then Adrian's teeth were on his lobe, nipping and pulling it gently. Dan moaned, and let his hands slide over the plane of the wings and down Adrian's torso to his pants, quickly undoing the button and pushing them down over Adrian's hips.

Adrian gave a relieved sigh, then made quick work of Dan's pants while kicking his own out of the way, and almost as soon as his pants were down, Dan could feel Adrian's fingers wrap around his cock. Dan moaned, feeling his knees buckle slightly, and grasped for Adrian's wings, which got an answering moan from Adrian.

“Careful there,” Adrian whispered, his lips still next to Dan's ear. “Or you'll end this before it gets really good.” With a gentle rustle of feathers, Adrian wrapped the two lower wing pairs around Dan's body, enveloping Dan in a cocoon of warmth. The feathers tickled Dan's skin slightly, just enough to send a pleasurable tingle all through his body, and with a surprising strength, Dan felt himself being pulled flush against Adrian's body.

Looking at Adrian, Dan saw his own smile mirrored on Adrian's face. Leaning in, Adrian pressed his lips against Dan's, kissing him deeply, one of his hands reaching up to caress Dan's nape. Then, Adrian started moving his hips again, rubbing his cock against Dan's in undulations that started out slow, but quickly turned more frantic, wanting.

Pulling away from the kiss, Adrian panted slightly: “Touch me.”

Dan didn't need any further encouragement, his hands reaching up to roam over the expanse of Adrian's topmost wings, following the edge from where the wing joined Adrian's back as far as he could comfortably reach. Occasionally, he would run his fingers deep into the feathers, or give the edge a gentle, but firm squeeze. His hands were beginning to shake slightly, his own arousal fanned by Adrian's cock rubbing against his, the feeling of Adrian's other wings wrapped around his body, and the sight of the other man, no longer composed and aloof, but unraveling quickly, head leaned back against the wall and eyes closed in pleasure.

By now, Dan had picked up Adrian's rhythm, following the movements of Adrian's hips with his own. While his hands were busy caressing Adrian's wings, his lips were roaming over Adrian's neck and jaw, occasionally capturing Adrian's lips for another passionate kiss. He could feel Adrian's breath hot against his skin, punctuated by the occasional touch of soft lips or a flick of the tongue.

Suddenly, Adrian's body went rigid, his eyes flying open, a drawn-out moan leaving his throat as he came, wings tightening around Dan's form. Dan groaned, barely able to move, but still rutting against Adrian almost desperately until his own orgasm took him only moments later, and now he was glad that Adrian was hugging him so tightly, since he was sure his knees would have given in otherwise.

It took a while for Dan to regain his senses, and he leaned his head against Adrian's shoulder, panting, his heart racing.

“You know,” he said once he'd caught his breath again, “for an angel, you're kind of naughty.”

Adrian laughed, and nuzzled into Dan's slightly damp hair: “You haven't seen the half of it yet. Also, I'm only, oh, about one hundredth angel. Most of me is just as human as you are, and I'm sorry to have to tell you that you had just as much of a part in this as I did.”

“Oh, don't be sorry. I'd rather you promise me that we're going to do that again, soon.”

Adrian looked into Dan's eyes, his smile happy, satisfied: “You can count on that.”

Chapter 4


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May 2013

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