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One night, Dan told Laurie that he was going on patrol by himself. When questioned why, he told her he just needed to be alone for awhile and she didn't need to come with him this time.
He was pretty sure he had pissed her off.
No matter. Dan went to the basement, putting on his Nite Owl costume, like he always did. Dan thought about taking Archie, but, ultimately deciding against it, strode out into the dark and dismal streets of Manhattan.
It wasn't long before Dan came upon a mugging outside a deserted warehouse. Approaching slowly, he caught the would-be mugger by surprise and rapidly dispatched him.
Dan sat on a crate. It felt good to be busting bad guys again. But there was something missing…
He didn't even have to think to know what it was.
It was amazing how much he missed the guy. Ever mysterious, but he was always there when you needed him. Rorschach had been way better at busting balls than Daniel was. He wasn't afraid to kill.
He was usually uninvited.
But Dan had accepted him for who he was, and that was all that mattered, right?
Rorschach had been a good partner, and an even better friend.
Perhaps the saddest thing of all was that no one cared. There had been no funeral (there had been no body to bury), and there had been no memorial service. Everyone had just moved on with their live, forgetting the man who had tried so hard to rid their city of the scum that had (and still) infested it.
Putting his head in his hands, Dan began to cry, tears slowly leaking down his face. He didn't care if anyone saw. It didn't matter. He had just lost one of his best friends, and nobody cared. Nobody cared. Even Laurie was indifferent. "He was a weirdo," she had told him. "Just get over it."
But Dan couldn't get over it. He just couldn't…
Dan laughed bitterly. His mind was playing cruel tricks on him again. Why must he always feel more pain? Wasn't it all enough?
Dan looked up.
On a large pile of crates sat Rorschach, head resting on his chin as though deep in thought.
No. No way. This could not be. Dan had watched him die. Watched that—that blue behemoth, with no feeling, no expression, destroy his best friend. It had been so quick, so final. He was gone forever. Yet, here he was, sitting a mere few feet in front of him.
It was impossible.
But it was true.
Dan went over to Rorschach. Rorschach looked confused, though Dan was just guessing. Rorschach saw him and hopped down from the stack of crates.
"Daniel. Been missing you."
"Me, too," Dan said, his voice cracking. He was trying not to start crying again.
"Only friend I ever had. Miss you quite a bit."
"Yeah. You were always there when somebody needed you. When I needed you." Dan replied.
Dan noticed something. Looking closer, he noticed Rorschach's features were blurred and fuzzy around the edges.
Rorschach looked around him, as though worried something was there. "Must go now. Remember Daniel, I live."
But instead of turning and slipping into the shadows like he usually did, Rorschach faded and flickered like a bad television signal before disappearing entirely.
Dan realized he had been talking to Rorschach's ghost.