Hello everyone. This is my first attempt at angst, so I'm sorry if it's terrible. I'm also really sorry about the length; once I get going, I find it hard to stop.

This story is also only based on the movie. I'm going to read the graphic novel, but since I have not read it yet, I cannot refer to it. The events of this story were based off of the film and Wikipedia.

Anyway, please review and of course, enjoy!

No flames please. You will make me cry and you don't want to see that, now do you?


Twilight had settled on the city, which meant it was beginning to light up, to blaze with a strange, ethereal glory. To the unobservant the lights of the skyscrapers and other various buildings were beautiful and warm, inviting; but he knew the truth.

It was only a mask. The lights were only to hide the filth and scum, the depravity and lasciviousness of those who dwell there.

But, he thought to himself, it was not the only thing hiding behind a mask. Though he would never admit to any human being alive or dead, some of what his former partner's words had struck a cord. "At least I'm not the one still hiding behind a mask." He had retorted, made it seem like he hadn't cared, just like the old days. He had never cared what his partner thought. What anyone thought.

But now part of him wondered why. Why did he push himself so fervently to protect those who feared and even hated him? Who shunned him and called him freak and psycho and monster.

No. It was not for them. He had to punish those who wronged others, who let their sins flow out and taint others, to hurt, to corrupt. They were the reason he wore his face. They were the reason Rorschach was born.

Gazing down upon the unappreciative denizens of the city, he reminiscences on the true reason why.

**************************************

His mother had never been a saint. And he never truly loved her. She fed him and clothed him, albeit grudgingly, and he had appreciated her for that. She had a short temper, and he found this out almost as soon as he could walk. Every mistake was responded with a blow, every annoyed remark was greeted with a screaming session.

But while he had not loved her, he had never hated her either. That was until one day, when he was nine years old.

School had been dismissed early and he walked home. He entered the apartment and called his mother, but heard no response. It was then that he heard the gasps and moans. The noises had frightened him and he walked slowly down the hall, where his mother's bedroom door was open.

She was with a man who was kissing her passionately and running his hands over her skin. He did not know who this man was or what exactly he was doing to his mother. He had asked tentatively, "Mom…is he hurting you?"

They had both turned to look at him, his mother looking shocked and upset and the man storming off and shouting about her letting her kid hang around while she worked. For a moment she had tried to beg the man to stay, but he left. Turning on Walter angrily, she screamed, "I should have gotten that abortion!" accompanied by a strong slap across his face. It stung long after she slammed the door.

It was then that the realization hit. She did not want him. Had never wanted him. She would have been happier if he had never come into existence. And it was then, when the terrible feeling had sunk in, he'd first felt hate. Not just hate for his mother, but hate for the entire world. Surely the world had something to do with his mother, for making her this way. Weren't people supposed to care for one another? Yet no one cared about him. If he died, there was not a single person who would mourn him.

He did not cry when these thoughts entered his mind. He merely wrapped some ice in a washcloth and pressed it against his mouth, then solemnly walked to his room.

**************************************

Though it had hurt terribly at the initial revelation, the pain ebbed over the next few months. He had always been taciturn, but now he rarely spoke whatsoever. Teachers would call on him in class and he would just sit there, not responding. This convinced many of them that he was slow, but his high test scores always proved otherwise. He was simply a quiet, brilliant little boy.

This was his façade, his first mask. For while he appeared unremarkable, boring, someone who would merely blend into a crowd, he was not. He merely pushed emotions deeper into himself, so that they could never surface, never make him feel the hurt he had felt that fateful day when he was nine. If anyone could have ever seen past that mask, seen past the plain, freckled exterior they would have seen all of his potential, all his thoughts, his hopes, his fears, his desires.

But no one ever did. And that was all he had remained. A plain, boring, freckled boy.

So he was content for a while. The existence did not provide him with much happiness, but it didn't give grief either.

It was when he was eleven that two boys managed to get him to react to something. They had stopped him on the street, calling out their usual vulgar remarks. He had ignored them. They were talking about his mother.

He didn't care. He knew she was a whore.

It was when they had begun talking about visiting her themselves. "Think she'd suck my dick for a dollar?" It shouldn't have gotten an emotional response from him. He should've nodded politely and walked away as he always did.

But this time, something different happened. He envisioned his mother, sighing in ecstasy as the man groped her, but it was not the man. It was the teenage boy, caressing her, violating her.

He had screamed and punched the first boy in the crotch, then slammed his lunchbox into his head. He was down. He leapt onto the other boy, eyes practically flaming, desperate to hurt the source of his newfound emotions.

He had bit his cheek and yanked his head upwards, like a starving dog, tearing the skin with a satisfying RIP! He had then sat there; grinning in savage triumph, with the bloody shred of skin his trophy.

**************************************

Child services had taken him away, deeming his mother unfit to raise him and him a problem child. He had spent the next few years at a school for troubled children, where he had taken gymnastics and martial arts.

He had studied philosophy and religion, intrigued at the way people's minds worked, their theories and their dogmas.

These classes gave him a more critical outlook on the world. Every person he met was scrutinized and judged upon first meeting. He knew everyone had secrets and skeletons in their closet.

**************************************

When he was sixteen they told him that his mother had been murdered; he nodded and remarked, "Good." He could tell they confused as to why a boy would be happy his mother was dead.

She wasn't his mother. Mothers cared. She had merely been a lonely, angry woman who had happened to give birth to him. So he had thought of her this way. So he would remember this way.

**************************************

When he was seventeen he worked as a tailor. He wasn't very good at it, but the pay was livable and the work was bearable.

He liked handling the fabrics, watching them take shape under his hands, like an artist molds clay. It was fascinating and in a way stimulating. They were proverbial people; upon their completion, clean and free of the harsh conditions the world presented.

After they entered the world though, they encountered things that would stain and tear and wear them. Some were kept in better conditions than others, and some became so decrepit they were kept away from the rest of society, far too stained and broken to be worth fixing.

It was here he had first encountered his face. A woman had ordered a dress made of a special fabric created by Dr. Manhattan. Two layers of latex with liquid trapped between them. The liquid was heat-sensitive, constantly shifting, the black contorting over the white, but never completely motionless.

It was captivating, ceaselessly moving, black and white, but never turning into shades of gray.

When the dress was finished, the woman had refused to buy it, claiming it was ugly and nothing like she had envisioned it to be. So he had set the miraculous fabric aside.

A few weeks later a woman named Kitty Genovese was murdered. He had read it in the papers and didn't know why, but a gut feeling told him that this was the woman who had rejected his tailoring. The paper had claimed that some of her neighbors had heard her scream and yet, had done nothing.

It had disgusted him, how the world could just continue and not even pause to acknowledge the horror that lay right beyond their front yards. How people could hear a dying woman and merely turn off the lights and go to bed.

How they could be content with the mask, the lies of society; the society that claimed everything was okay, and if they went along with the lie maybe it would come true. He saw past the mask; saw the darkness in the hearts of men.

He made a vow to himself, a covenant, that he would fight the horror, the evil, the darkness that lived inside the city. So he had fashioned his face from the same fabric the murdered woman had requested. And with his new identity, he had sworn that he would protect humanity from itself, from its own greed and loathing and self-hatred.

Black and white, but never slipping into shades of gray. It was how he viewed the world. There was no neutral, you were either good or evil. So the innocent was spared, and the guilty were met with retribution. There was no in-between, and as long as he never compromised, would be how long he would remain constant and level-headed.

**************************************

Fighting crime had introduced him to Nite Owl. Soft, naïve, too trusting Nite Owl. But a good man nonetheless.

It had been Nite Owl who had convinced him to go to the Crimebusters meeting, to join their team The Watchmen. And for a while he had been a member, had belonged to something. At that time, he did not kill. He had believed that if he did so, it would make him as low as the scum that he put away.

They had busted drug dealers and broken up gang wars. Found murderers and thieves alike and put them behind bars.

When Nite Owl had revealed his identity to him, that he was really Daniel Dreiburg, it had been a massive shock to Rorschach's system. For so long had he thought of him as Nite Owl that he had utterly forgotten the possibility that there was someone else behind that mask. That was actually a pair of brown eyes and curls and a goofy grin.

But after it wore off came a wonderful feeling of responsibility and trust. This man, Daniel, trusted him with his secret identity, his most guarded secret. And though Rorschach could never reciprocate, he had developed a feeling of endearment to the man. That he was his friend.

**************************************

They were a good team. But he had decided to take a case on his own. Nite Owl had been sick and he had assured him that he would be fine by himself and to get some rest and soon he would be all better.

The case was a missing girl, aged six, by the name of Blaire Roche.

This case meant more to him than others, because of what she was. A child. Probably frightened and wishing for her parents. Though he was an adult, all of the hurt he had endured during his childhood still lingered with him, forever staining his soul. No child deserved that.

He broke a man's arm to get a tip. Apparently she was at the home of a man named Gerald Grice. He kicked down the door and entered. The place was filthy, items strewn around haphazardly with dirt and cobwebs as the only visible residents. He took out his flashlight, the wan beam shining on particles of dust hanging in the hair.

The girl was nowhere to be found. He kept searching, uncovering a cabinet full of cleavers and knives. Suspicious. But where was the girl?

He remembered spotting the stove. Remembered being drawn to it, by some invisible force. Opening the door, he shone the flashlight upon its contents. Underwear, stained with blood. Her blood.

He fought the rising nausea, as images flashed before his eyes. The little brown-haired girl crying, her eyes pleading and her mouth in an upside-down smile, begging stop it, just please stop.

Clutching the item in his fist he continued searching, now in fervor. Where was her body? He had to find it. And as he searched the awful feeling that he had failed, had let the little girl down hung thick in the air, made it hard to breathe, pervading and filling his mind with its terrible poison. Where was she?

He moved as if in a trance, opening up drawers and cabinets and trying to ignore the stupid dogs fighting over scraps. If only they would be quiet, then maybe he could concentrate.

He had no idea why he had decided to look out the window. Perhaps the dogs' barks and growls had annoyed him so much that he had finally decided to see what was so important. And it was then that he had seen her. They were snarling as they tore at the bone, a small black shoe still attached to the end of it. A femur; being fought over in their savage match of tug-of-war.

The horrible truth had hit him right then with such ferocity, such intensity, that a rock being thrown through the window would have been gentler. The murderer had fed her to his dogs. Had done unspeakable things to her and then chopped her body up and fed her to them. Had let the beasts tear into her flesh and devour the viscera, to cover up the evidence of his own sickness.

He did not call the police. He grabbed a meat cleaver and walked out to where the canines feasted. The creatures would no longer have to serve a depraved master.

When the murderer got back Rorschach did not reveal himself right away. The man knew someone was there. He yelled for the person to show themselves. Rorschach did not move.

The man uncovered his dummy, blinking at the various objects put together to confuse him, to make him think someone was standing behind the curtain.

The first dog was thrown. Its body collided with the ground and then lay limp, dead. The man took one look at the mangled face and again began screaming for him to show himself. He still did not move.

The man continued searching, and Rorschach threw the second corpse through the window. This one collided with the man and knocked him to the floor. Rorschach struck him quickly to keep him down and then handcuffed him to his counter.

The masked vigilante was having trouble seeing, having trouble thinking. A red haze obscured his vision, his brain gripped with a mindless rage. The man was frightened. He could tell this by how his pitch rose, his eyes widened, and his breath shortened. He had a reason to be afraid.

Rorschach stood above him, quivering with rage. The man was trying to defend himself, trying to lay the blame on Rorschach. "You killed my dogs, man!" Heartless bastard, trying to weasel his way out of this; trying to find some sort of sympathy or elicit some kind of guilt out of him.

He tossed the underwear down at the man-no, monster. He watched him swallow in fright and then examine the scrap, pupils dilated in terror, fingers shaking. "You think I had something to do with that girl. I found this! What evidence have you got?"

The very air seemed to hum around Rorschach as he lividly pointed his flashlight beam at the mutilated snout of the man's beloved pet. The man gulped, sweat quite evident on his forehead.

"Alright. I admit it. I killed her. Arrest me." Rorschach had to stifle a laugh, a strange feeling of power coming over him as he picked up the cleaver. It was sharp, would easily cut through flesh or bone.

The monster was asking him he was doing. He wasn't sure himself. But the dark feeling was still coursing through his veins and he let it lead his actions, let the bizarre sensation guide him. He now held the cleaver above the monster, watching him turn a ghostly white, thrashing against the handcuff, screaming, begging to be arrested.

Rorschach was shaking, listening to the monster's lies of how he made a mistake, how he had a problem. He could see through this mask. It wasn't well-constructed, made last minute, as a final resource to try and persuade him into sparing his life.

The man screamed NO and Rorschach screamed as well, uniting their voices together as he swung his arm downward, bringing the cleaver into contact with the man's head with a satisfying THUK! The monster was silenced, crimson liquid spurting into the air with a sickening beauty.

Rorschach stood immobile for a moment, hot tears running down his face unnoticed, panting in fury and failure and remorse. This monster was dead, but so was the girl. She was gone and would never come back.

He raised his arm and brought it down onto the man's head again and again and again. He was sobbing silently, the motion now so familiar that he didn't even have to think about it. But he would keep doing it. Keep going until there was nothing left, until this monster was eradicated, till the whole terrible night was eradicated.

And then maybe when it was all gone, when there was truly nothing left, there would be a little girl; frightened and probably in tears, but also blissfully and miraculously alive.

**************************************

Walter wasn't actually totally gone that moment. He liked to pretend he was, because he was weak and pathetic and useless, but he was still there. No matter how he thought that all he was was Rorschach, able to take anything; that Walter had died that night, unable to take the horror of it all.

Yet when he interacted with people on the streets all they saw was Walter. And their interpretation kept him alive.

He hated Walter. Hated how he just took their abuse. Hated how Walter let the landlady berate him, whilst smoking and probably thinking about how she'd like to engage in filthy acts with the new tenant down the hall.

But he knew that Walter was gone when he put on his face. A feeling of total confidence would come over him, rejuvenating his weary soul with its insatiable desire for justice. When he was Rorschach, when he had shed his disguise for the day, he was unstoppable. He defeated criminals, glorifying in the sensation of power he held over them. To them he was a remorseless, commanding figure, the scourge of the Underworld.

He was no longer silent, submissive Walter who bent under the tiniest breeze. He was dominant. He was omnipotent.

And he had seen society's true face. He now saw how though the lights glowed like iridescent candles they were just the cover for the blackness. That was all there was. Blackness that grew with every lustful thought, every unkind action, every crime, every move that caused misery to another individual, till it was so large it consumed everything. Then the world was left to rot as its supposed stranglehold on corruption and chaos came back to suffocate it and leave it there to die.

So he would fight it. As he heard the sound of a woman screaming, of a man's lewd remarks toward her and the sound of scuffling feet, he knew this was his path. He left his perch and came forward to defend and to punish. For Daniel was wrong. He was not the one hiding behind a mask. He saw through the masks, and now wore only his true face.