Watchmen fic. Rorschach's legacy. Oddly, not a comedy fic this time, wtf.
Girl is still alive. Her leg has been severed, clean cut above the knee. Butcher implements on table. Bloodied cutting board. Bleeding stopped; likely wound has been cauterized. Small wood stove in room has old style of manually heated clothing iron nearby. Girl's clothes are gone. Cuts on her body, bandage on remains of missing leg. She is unconscious. Skin pale, likely feverish. Needs hospital quickly.
Dogs fighting over bone in yard. When girl is safe across street, resting on overcoat, dogs taken care of. Criminal returns home. Criminal taken care of.
Rorshach stands across street and watches the house burn. Nobody gets out. Whatever remained of Walter Kovacs dies. Only Rorschach left.
Girl in his arms opens her eyes, firelight making her pale face gold. Eyes are black like empty sky. She watches house burn too. She knows universe means nothing. Not if she can be put through such things. Whatever remained of Blaire Roche dies. She is alone in unforgiving universe.
No. Not alone. Rorschach is with her. And she is with him.
Emergency room doctor puts drip in her arm, stitches her cuts. She has severe concussion and massive blood loss. May not live. Rorschach calls her parents. They catch cab to hospital. Rorschach meets them as cab arrives at entrance. Tells cab driver not to charge them. Driver isn't stupid, agrees quickly. Roches are good American family, but not wealthy. Should not have to pay for cab to hospital.
Rorschach does not stay. He sleeps badly. Cannot stop thnking about Blaire Roche, abused and frightened and in pain. Losing her leg. Losing the part of her that is Blaire Roche.
Newspaper two days later says she will survive. Rorschach feels comfortable returning to hospital. Waits until late hours before sunrise. Night nurse does not hear him arrive by window. Mrs Roche asleep in chair beside hospital bed. Good woman. Modest. Loyal to husband. Does best to protect daughter. Even best not always good enough in meaningless world. The world needs Rorschach to impose meaning. To save little girls like Blaire Roche.
Girl's eyes are open. Still dark like sky. She watches him slip inside room, silent. Does not speak. Rorschach nods hello and sits beside her. She reaches for his hand, and does not let go for long time.
Years pass. Girl has problems at school. Gets into fights. Bleeding-heart teachers think it is because her prosthetic leg makes her awkward, resentful of other students. Rorschach knows it is because she hates to see smaller children bullied. One opponent loses section of scalp when she pulls his hair too hard. Head wounds bleed a lot. Blood splatters her face like inkblot. She smiles.
She is a good girl. Not sexually promiscuous like many juvenile delinquents. Body is no longer the body of a child's, not when she is sixteen years old. Looks like a woman. It's unfortunate, but Rorschach knows she is not really a woman. She is something different. Like him. They are outside those concerns. Other things to think about. Thinks that whimper in the dark.
Journal goes to New Frontiersman; only reliable news source not bribed by decadent liars. Truth will be known even if Rorschach does not survive.
He leaves Dreiberg for long enough to make one other preparation for his death. She has window open. Always has window open, though she must know it would not matter if he had reason to come in. Her eyes are black when she opens them and looks at him. She does not speak. She does not look surprised. It has been ten years. She has not forgotten his face. Hers is dark and light in outdoor streetlamp glow and night shadows. Tree branches move, shadows shift. Her expression stays the same underneath the movements. She looks like him.
He knows she is a faster runner than many who have two legs, despite her prosthetic. Never lazy. Always pushes to limit of abilities and then beyond, out to other side. No compromises.
City will be safe. City will be protected. Even if he dies. She has not been Blaire Roche for many years.
Rorschach reaches for her hand. They do not let go for a long time.