Hands Off

Kimberly Marie Reed was 20-years-old and she had her whole life ahead of her. There was nothing she couldn't accomplish, if she put her mind to it. Any job, any path, any road that there was, she could take. At her age, there was a world of possibilities in front of her. Her childhood days were gone and put behind her. No longer would she spend hours talking on the phone with friends, or go shopping at the mall every weekend. Kimberly was a woman now, and it was high-time she acted like it.

So she did what any woman would do in order to broadcast her new adult status.

She got a job.

Really, Kim was lucky to get hired at the ice-cream store. It was only three blocks from her parents apartment, and she had discounts on ice cream. Who wouldn't love that? Convenient, easy to get to, and all the sugar one could want. Unfortunately, there was a downside. Due to school, she was only able to work after 5 pm. Usually this wouldn't be a problem, except that her shift ended at 11 pm… well after dark.

Nighttime in New York was dangerous. Normally empty alleyways played host to drug deals and rapes, and the city seemed to be alive with crime. The bums and hobos seen curing the day time were harmless. Compared to the people who walked the streets in the dark.

Three blocks. Three measly little blocks to her parent's apartment, but those three blocks might as well have been miles with the danger she would be in. Her can of pepper spray would only do so much if she were to be attacked.

The day had been going well. It was sunny, a strange occurrence in New York in March, and she had gotten a B on her English test. She had bought a David Bowie cassette (Let's Dance) and had listened to it on her walkman when the store was empty. Her shift was quiet. Only seven people. It was one of those days where nothing could go wrong.

And then her shift ended.

Humming 'China Girl' under her breath, Kim locked up the store and began to walk those three blocks to her home. It was only three little block. She would be fine. Still, her hand clutched her pepper-spray tightly and held her arms firmly against her, as if making herself smaller would help her escape notice.

She was just passing an alley, one block from her house, when she heard a loud crash. She ignored it and sped up, her palms sweating against the metal can in her hand. It was only when she heard an ear-shattering scream did she pause. Was someone hurt? Was someone in trouble?

"Oh shit! Oh god! Please don't!"

A man came limping out of the alley, walking backwards. Kim dodged him and took a few steps away, her hand shaking.

The guy was sweating buckets, his white shirt splattered with blood and his ankle was bent sideways, obviously broken. He was clutching his hand, of which three fingers were snapped backwards all the way. Tears poured down his pasty white face as he stumbled backwards.

Kim opened her mouth to ask him if he was alright but the words got caught in her throat as she saw what was pursuing the man.

The first thing she noticed was the mask. It was a dirty white, with constantly shifting black patches, oozing symmetrically. His head was covered with a tatter brown fedora, which he had tilted low. A filthy white scarf tied around his neck and a long brown trench coat that was stained with patches of blood and dirt and grime. Purple pinstripe pants and mud covered brown shoes clothed his legs and feet. He wasn't very tall, and het he seemed to loom ominously. His mask shifted patterns rapidly, each pattern seeming deadly.

Kimberly recognized him instantly. The man who's photo was often in the paper. The words 'Wanted' and 'Dangerous' usually accompanied the picture.

The masked vigilante known as Rorschach.

Rorschach stepped towards the man and he either didn't see her, or didn't care about her. The man was whimpering and pleading, his cries weak and pathetic. The vigilante took another step forward.

The man turned and tried to limp away. That was a mistake.

Rorschach charged, his whole body behind the movement. Powerful strides, the coat whipping behind him. He leapt. The man went down with a cry, not even having a chance to raise his arm to defend himself.

"Using drugs. Not good. Bad. Bad must be punished."

Kim watched with her mouth wide open as Rorschach smashed the man's nose into the concrete, blood splattering in all directions. An audible crunch was heard and her stomach churned.

"Can't snort drugs without nose."

The man wasn't whimpering anymore. In fact, he wasn't doing anything anymore. Not screaming, not moaning… not moving.

Oh god, oh god! Was he dead? Holy shit! What was she going to do? Oh god! Why was this happening to her?!

Finally, after grinding the man's face into the sidewalk a few more times, the costumed vigilante seemed satisfied. He stood, staring at the body for a moment. And then he turned to her. There was something horribly frightening about his stare. He was looking at her, she knew. She was pinned to the sidewalk by the force of it.


His voice was low and raspy and monotone, and overall terrifying.

"W-What?" She asked, her voice trembling even worse than her body was.

"Are you his drug-client?"

"NO! No! I'm not!" The patterns of his face oozed into what looked like a symmetrical tree, and yet she still got the sense that if she answered wrong, her face would end up like the man's. "I swear I'm not! I was on my way home. I just got of work! I work at the ice-cream shop two streets over… I wasn't buying drugs, I swear!"

She was babbling, a nervous habit of hers. Her face was drained of all color and her eyes were bulging in their sockets. Oh god, she didn't want to die when she hadn't done anything wrong! She just wanted to go home!

Rorschach looked at her for a long moment as if he suspected her of hiding bags of drugs in her clothes, and then finally turned and walked back into the alley without a word. He disappeared into the darkness. Kim stared after him, her mouth hanging open.

And without so much as a glance at the body of the man, Kimberly took off and ran the last block to her house as fast as she could.

In the next few weeks, Kimberly became obsessed. Her days were filled with thoughts on the mysterious masked enigma she had bumped into, and her nights were spent dreaming of white with shifting black patterns. She checked out books of Ink Blots at the local library, and scanned newspaper articles for any mention of the wanted vigilante.

Deep in her mind, she knew what she was doing was pointless. There was no way she would ever see him again. New York was a huge place and the chances of two people meeting more than once were slim. Besides, according to the newspaper, he had no discernable pattern and his nightly activities were scattered throughout the city.

Still, she couldn't help but be intrigued. Who could forget something like him? No one seemed to know who he was or anything about him. He just appeared and disappeared like some sort of phantom.

Kim hadn't told her parents or friends about what she had seen. It wasn't that she was frightened or scared of saying anything, but that she wanted to keep their meeting to herself. A secret that only she and him shared. A part of her screamed that she was acting like a school girl with a crush, but the other part of her just couldn't help herself. He was a complete mystery, and what harm was there in an innocent attraction. It wasn't like anything would ever come of it. It was just like her celebrity crush of David Bowie.

Another night of locking up the Ice-Cream parlor, her keys jingling as she tucked them into her purse. Her hand brought out the pepper-spray, her habit since she took the job, and she began the three-block walk she had grown familiar with. While telling herself she was an idiot, Kim scoped the streets for any sign of the masked man she had become smitten with.

No sign, of course. Not that she had really expected it, but hope springs eternal.

"You spin me right round, baby, right 'round…" She sang softly to herself as she crossed the street. "Like a record, baby, right 'round 'round 'round…"

It was cloudy tonight, Kim noticed, frowning. Tomorrow it would be rainy. She had to remember to bring her umbrella so we wouldn't get soaked walking home.

"I, I got be your friend now, baby! And I would like to move in just a little bit closer!" She added a little hip pop to emphasize the lyric, making sure she kept her hands fastened on her canned weapon, and still scanning the tops of buildings for her costumed hero. "All I know is that to me, you look like your lots of fun! Open up your- AUUGH!"

A hand clapped over her mouth, dragging her backwards into an alley. The same alley that Rorschach had been lurking in only weeks ago. She raised the pepper spray and sprayed it at the man behind her, but she had misjudged where his head was and missed. A hand closed around her wrist in a painful grip and the can fell to the ground from her limp fingers.

"Hey sugar," A man's voice cooed at her, his putrid, alcohol-stained breath misting her cheek. She cringed; struggling against his hand, screaming through his fingers, hoping someone would hear the muffled noise and help. Her eyes grew wide at the sight of a switch blade waving in front of her. Oh god, she was going to die!

The knife moved to her neck, tickling the sensitive skin with its wicked sharp edge.

"Shh, Shh, don't struggle, babe. I don't wanna cut up your pretty face."

Kim was shoved against the wall, her cheek scraping against the bricks roughly. Hands traveled down her hips, digging in hard enough to cause bruises.

And then the hands were gone.

A scream of pain issued behind her, and she dove for the can of pepper spray, grabbing it in shaking hands. She raised it threateningly, backing against the wall she had been thrown against so that she would only have to defend her front. As it were, she needn't have bothered. The man was down, the towering figure of Rorschach pummeling his fists into the man's stomach. The snapping of ribs sent chills down Kim's spine. She closed her eyes, wiping away the tears that had begun to collect. She trusted that Rorschach would take care of things.

He did, and the man didn't get up again.

Kimberly blinked and looked at the costumed hero that had saved her from rape and certain death. Really, he wasn't very tall at all. Only a few inches more than her 5'5 height. And yet, his presence seemed so larger than life that he practically loomed over her.

He was staring at her as well; the blots on his mask were changing slowly with the black oozing to different patterns almost sluggishly. She got the sense that he was checking her over for any damage.

"Unharmed. Stay off streets. Not safe." He grunted at her, turning to walk away.

No! She couldn't let him leave yet! After thinking of him every day for the past few weeks, there was so much she wanted to say to him and ask him! No way! He couldn't just leave like this!

"Hey!" She gasped at him, her face panicked. She lunged forward, grabbing onto his coat roughly to prevent him from moving. "I just wanted to say thank yo-UUUHG!"

The breath was knocked out of her as a sharp elbow dug into her stomach. She stumbled back, tears prickling her eyes again. "W-wha-" She tried, holding out a hand in defense, forgetting that it was the hand holding the pepper-spray.

She didn't have the chance to correct her mistake as he spun into a kick, sweeping her legs out from under her. Before she even hit the ground, he had grabbed her by the collar of her shirt. Her vision became dotted with black spots similar to Rorschach's mask when his fist slammed into her cheek. Her nose snapped and she shrieked, unable to think over the blinding pain.

Again, she raised her arms to defend herself from another punch, but he obviously took it as an attempt to choke him. He tightened his grip on her shirt and threw her forward.

Teeth were sent scattering as her face made contact with the brick wall for the second time that night. She tasted blood in her mouth and felt her nose break in another spot. Her whole body throbbed and seemed to be made up of only pain. Oh god, she was going to be killed! How had things gone so wrong? Her arm was grabbed in a tight hold and brought up behind her, the bones straining in the unnatural position. She screamed again, twisting and thrashing instinctively.

"Was bad trap. Should have used more men, hnn." Rorschach rasped at her, his monotone voice seemed filled with malice. "Recognize you from drug-dealer. Should have known then and dealt with. Will be dealt with now."

And with that, the hand holding her arm pulled just a little bit more and her shoulder dislocated. Kim's eyes rolled into the back of her head and she went limp, sagging against the wall.

Despite all her research and daydreaming about him, she had ignored one vital thing.

Apparently, Rorschach didn't like to be touched.

The End.

Authors Note: So, In view of the number of Rorschach/OC romances that are popping up since the movie came out, I decided to write a little one shot on what I think would really happen if someone tried to grab him, despite having good intentions. Rorschach is a paranoid psychopath! The only one he seems to trust is Daniel, and that is after years of being partners. The only touch he ever receives comes from either being attacked or attacking. I think that he would take someone grabbing him in an alleyway an attempt on his life and would respond accordingly. No way would he ever just allow someone to just grab him, woman or man.

Readers, take heed. Don't make the same mistake as Kimberly here did. Keep away from the Sue's and Rorschach/OC romance. Because truth is, Rorschach is really scary. He smells bad and never, ever bathes. He robs his friends for food and breaks in their doors. He kills people nightly. And while I freely admit that if there was an opportunity to get with him and not get killed, I would take it in a heartbeat. This, though, is because I know all there is to know about him, being a huge fan of both the Graphic Novel and the Movie, and that I find him endearing and lovable (in a strange, odd way).

The album 'Lets Dance' and the song 'China Girl' belong to David Bowie. The song 'You Spin me 'Round' belongs to Dead or Alive.

Anyways, reviews are welcome. Please remember that this is supposed to be humorous and not intended to be serious in the slightest.