Rorschach prowled the alleys idly. He was hoping for someone to deal with. He kept his ears pricked for the telltale sounds of someone screaming, or the yells of rallying gang members. Anything. He supposed he should be glad he hadnt heard anything so far, but his hands itched for something to do, and his mind reminded him that evil never rests, and neither should he.
Of course, he hadnt slept for more than two hours straight for three days.
He felt stretched and pained, but he fought on. For what? He couldnt say. Some days he felt as though Kovacs was surfacing again, that glimmer of mortality showing through the identity he had become. Those days were the days he felt like taking off the mask and resting. Resting, that was all. An end to the endless work he had become a veritable slave to.
Rest would never come easy to him. To him, rest felt like compromise, and compromise was one thing Rorschach would never stand for.
The alley was quiet, but he heard something that sounded quite like a gunshot, coming from the direction of the faraway mouth of the dirty street. He quickened his pace, and sloshed through a puddle carelessly, heading straight for the source of the sound. Rorschach wasnt worried about cover, or the element of surprise. He was rightfully confident he could handle anyone he would meet on these streets.
There was a dead body, sitting against the chipped brick wall. There was a gun held loosely in his right hand, and his mouth was slightly agape. Red hair circled his gaunt face in loose tufts; his dull eyes were wide open and staring emptily out at Rorschachs knees.
Rorschach removed one glove and idly reached out to touch the blood on the mans jacket. It was still warm. Rorschach brought his stained fingertips close to his face, just under his nose. He sniffed derisively, and wiped the blood off onto the dry sleeve of the mans jacket. Suddenly, he was struck by the mans uncanny resemblance to himself. To Kovacs.
He reached down, and closed the mans eyes with his ungloved fingers. Rorschach took the gun from the mans limp hand, and held it gingerly. The metal was cold under his skin, and he traced down the barrel with his finger. He brought it up to his own head tentatively, finger resting on the trigger. He could feel the tip of the barrel through the fabric of his mask.
Never compromise, he muttered to himself. Rorschach threw the gun down, and it clattered away from him and into a shallow puddle. He kicked it hard, for good measure, and it skidded and bounced across the rough ground, and disappeared into the shadows.
Rorschach turned to regard the dead man. He imagined what it would be like to be him, to have the last seconds of his life take place in a dirty alley with nobody around. To get shot, and have his body left in disgrace to be discovered by a complete stranger who could have cared less. He supposed it wouldnt be so bad. There were certainly worse ways to die, even less dignified and less meaningful. Rorschach decided quietly that if he were going to die, he would die fighting for something. His death would have meaning.
Slowly, he turned from the body and headed out of the alley into the dim, yellow light of the street with his hand gloved once more, and resting in his pocket. He was cold, but was unbothered.
He was tired. So very, very tired.