On some nights, patrolling the city could be an incredibly dull affair. Sometimes even crime seemed to get bored with itself, and only the pettiest criminals remained to be picked off. Dan Dreiberg didn't think that it should be his job to pick those off, that the littler things should be left to the police. His partner disagreed.
Rorschach had been difficult to work with from the start, but Dan had always been able to manage. After all, they covered so much more ground working together, accomplished so much more, and he felt like the other man might be a little bit lonely, though he would likely never admit it. That assumption could be entirely wrong- Dan knew nothing of his life outside of this, after all- but he could not shake the feeling that he was doing a different sort of good by attempting to befriend Rorschach.
He tried to keep that in mind when the other man was difficult, which was often, and so he tried to keep that in mind when they faced what seemed to be another one of those dull, event-free nights. He had tried, as always, to propose that they call it a night early on, but Rorschach had only muttered, “Can't. Won't miss anything.” Dan had sighed in frustration, but gone along with it.
So now they were a few hours into the night with nothing to show for their efforts. They kept to the shadows, as they always did- if it was known that Nite Owl and Rorschach were roaming around in the open, there were a number of things that could go wrong for them. They saw nothing out of place, but Rorschach only insisted that that was further reason for them to continue. He claimed that the city could only be that quiet if something big were about to happen.
But that wasn't the case, and so much time had passed that Dan was starting to get tired, and he was starting to get tired of humoring his partner. It was then that he noticed, not for the first time, that something about Rorschach was off. He had seemed agitated- or, more agitated than usual- for a while, and it was steadily getting worse.
Dan couldn't quite put his finger on what could be bothering him- boredom, maybe?- but his walking seemed almost erratic, every other step accompanied by a jerky movement, and he would pause more often than usual, even when there was nothing worth stopping for. Every time he stopped, he would clench his fists before he resumed walking, but never said a word to Dan about what was going on.
He wanted to ask what was bothering his partner, but he knew he would be met with silence or a vague sort-of answer, so he kept to himself and continued to observe his movements and try to glean what was wrong from that. After some time of watching this strange pattern, he heard what he thought to be a low groan coming from the other man, and again he wanted to just ask what was wrong.
But then he noticed exactly what Rorschach did when he stopped momentarily, observed the exact nature of his fidgeting. Judging from the way he squeezed his legs together like he did, even if it was only for a moment, one possibility for these actions became clear to Dan.
His partner had to piss.
Of course, everyone did at some point, and he supposed it shouldn't surprise him as much as it did, but something about Rorschach had always seemed just slightly inhuman, and Dan would forget that he had all of the same bodily functions as everyone else. And he had never seen Rorschach like this before, had never seen him actually in need of a bathroom, but now, it was becoming more and more obvious that that was the situation.
And now that he had noticed, it became all the more obvious. Whenever Rorschach would jerk, or pause, Dan kept his eyes trained low and saw that yes, the man was definitely squeezing his legs together for the briefest of seconds, and sometimes, he would tap a clenched fist against his thigh as if he were debating pressing it between his legs.
It was a situation Dan knew better than he liked, having had some issues getting in and out of his costume in the early days, as well as poor planning skills. He knew what it was like to be forced to wait when you really felt like you couldn't, but the thing was, nothing was happening. There was nothing stopping Rorschach from taking a break and disappearing down an alley, or even calling it quits and heading back to wherever it was that he lived.
From what he could tell, his partner had every intention of continuing until he was certain that there was nothing going on, and who knew when that would be? He didn't seem to have any plans of stopping or breaking any time soon, even with it becoming more obvious that his little problem was becoming quite the burden.
It hit him that perhaps Rorschach was just stubborn enough to think that he could just ignore a problem like that until he was ready to face him. In fact, the more Dan thought about it, the more he could see the other man doing just that, and he wondered if he should say something, maybe try to help out a little.
“Sure is quiet tonight, huh?” he asked. Rorschach grunted in response, so Dan continued with, “Probably means it's all clear, wouldn't you say?”
“Could mean anything,” was the only response he got.
“Well, yeah, but we've been all around and haven't seen much of anything,” he said, trying not to be thrown off. “I'd say it wouldn't matter if we called it a night and headed home early.”
Rorschach shook his head. “No, can't afford to be careless. You can.”
It was all he could do not to groan at this. There were times when he admired his partner's attitude, but there were also times when it drove him crazy, and this was definitely a situation that more fit to the latter. Here he was, giving him a perfect excuse to at least take a break, and he was being met with nothing but stubborn refusal.
There was another stretch of near-silence, broken only by an occasional groan that he assumed Rorschach thought he couldn't hear. His desperation was painfully obvious now, to the point that anyone who saw him would be able to tell just from how he walked, and it didn't even look like he would be able to put up a fight if they did encounter any criminals.
Dan had started to notice something else as he watched Rorschach, though it had more to do with himself. He felt a strange sort of discomfort any time he took notice of the other man's behaviors, a quickened pulse and a dull throb in the pit of his stomach that, if he focused on it enough, start to extend downward. The sensation was so similar to another that he knew well enough that it would not be completely off-base to compare them, but he couldn't believe that they were connected. It was too unusual, too out there, to think that this feeling had anything to do with arousal.
His own feelings aside, it was clear that Rorschach was in a bad way and wouldn't last much longer. It was alarming, realizing this his partner was likely on the brink of wetting himself, and also likely to do nothing about it. The whole situation was surreal, seeing him made vulnerable like that, and, though he mostly just wanted to stop it from happening, there was a part of Dan who was very curious about the outcome.
Still, he was a good person at heart, and that part of him won out. “You know, if you want to take a break or something, that'd be fine, right?”
“No, fine like this.” It was so infuriating, the way he could say something like that even though it was obvious that he was not at all 'fine like that'. His steps were jerky and pained, his clenched fists were shaking, and his voice sounded incredibly strained. He was at his very limit, and he still tried to claim he was okay.
Dan was ready to open his mouth and say something, to lay into him about this and let him know that he knew what was going on and that he wasn't going to watch him hurt himself over nothing, when he heard what sounded almost like a whine. Rorschach had completely stopped moving, frozen in place as he let out another sound, this one even more clearly a whine.
He reflexively pressed a hand against the front of his jacket, pressing down between his legs, but it was already too late. He had pressed his jacket down just in time for a dark spot to form on it, growing rapidly before he could realize how futile it was and pull his hand away. One of his pant legs darkened as well, and Dan could hear a hissing sound as his piss hit the concrete.
And this went on for nearly a full minute, both of them still and silent as Rorschach pissed himself. Even after the last of it had emptied out, they still stood in silence, neither one really knowing how to proceed after something like that. Dan could still feel that strange feeling nagging at him, and he still tried to ignore it rather than acknowledge what it meant for him.
Finally, he decided to speak up, not only to try and ease the situation, but also to take his mind off his own feelings. “Are you alright?” he asked. There was no response. “Hey, listen, you know, it happens to everyone sometimes.” Again, no response. He cleared his throat awkwardly. “I mean, sometimes, we just get carried away and-”
“Don't worry about it,” said Rorschach, finally. He seemed eager to drop the subject for good.
“As long as you're feeling better,” said Dan.
After another moment of silence, Dan said, “Well, I think now would probably be a good time to call it a night, don't you agree?”
“You can,” replied Rorschach. “Will continue alone, in that case. Fine like this.”