Jim Gordon couldn't remember exactly what prompted their outing, but Jimmy and Babs insisted they go to Target. He had refused, saying there were much better ways to spend time as a family on Saturday evening, but somehow he was suckered into going. Babs had gone directly to the magazines, pulling a few of her favorite titles, then moving to the books, possibly searching for something she hasn't read before. Jimmy had gone to the video game demo counter and was now playing some game having to do with a guitar and playing songs. Gordon had watched him for a few minutes but felt way too overwhelmed with all the complicated buttons and maneuvers, that he patted the his son on the back and said he'd be looking at the cameras if he needed him.
Jimmy only shrugged. "Yeah, yeah. Okay, Dad." The boy waved his hand at him, gesturing him to go away, he'd be fine.
So much for family day.
He had the kids on the weekends, it was rare that they saw each other on Saturdays, usually the kids stayed at the house while he had to work. Somehow he managed to slip away from work for the day, only to be suckered into shopping. Gordon walked over to the cameras, he had been wanting to buy one of those new digital ones Babs kept telling him he needed, but he wasn't sure it was right for him, he had no idea how to get the pictures off the camera. He was sure that it was probably pretty easy, but he didn't really have the time to learn something new. Maybe if he roped Babs into giving him a quick run down of it...
His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of someone talking in the isle next to him. "No, Alfred, I don't think Marie would want American Psycho for her birthday," said a rather annoyed sounding male voice.
"She did mention she liked that new movie, Twilight, sir. Seeing as she likes horror movies, I was merely suggesting –" replied another man with an English accent. Gordon felt the curiosity grow in him, the second accent was not common for Gotham City. He peeked his head around the corner just enough to see who was in the isle next to him. Of all people Gordon could have thought he would run into at Target, Bruce Wayne was the last one. Didn't he shop places common folk didn't even know existed? What was he doing at a discount store?
"I know what you were suggesting," Bruce said to the older gentlemen standing at his side, who had picked up another movie to show to Bruce, and he waved that one away, too, "but I don't think Twilight is a horror movie, Alfred."
Gordon choked back a cough, ducking back behind the corner when Bruce looked over in his direction. Last thing he needed was Bruce to notice him, and, heaven forbid, start a conversation. The best plan of action was to quickly get out of the line of fire. If Bruce had seen him, he'd be coming around that corner any second. Gordon looked around feverishly, stepping quickly up the isle and around the next corner, picking up a CD and pretending to look interested in it. Maybe if he ducked his head enough...
Well, it was the thought that counted.
Gordon lifted his eyes from the CD case reluctantly, letting his gaze hit Bruce's easy eyes. Bruce flashed one of those big, all teeth smiles that made Gordon's face hurt just to look at. Bruce offered his hand to Gordon, who shook it with his free one, still holding the CD in the other, hoping Bruce would get the hint he was busy and move on. Run-ins with the playboy were rarely exciting and often left him feeling bewildered on the man's actions.
"Mr. Wayne," he said politely. The older gentlemen, whom Gordon now recognized as Bruce's long time butler, once guardian, Alfred Pennyworth. He offered a nod to the man, who gave him a slight bow and nod in return.
Bruce took the CD from Gordon's hands, turning it over and reading the back of it, a rather amused, and yet disgusted, look on his face. "Britney Spears? Really? I pegged you as more of a Springsteen fan." Bruce was actually right about that, unfortunately.
Gordon snatched the CD back, rather embarrassed of himself. He held tightly to it though, not going to let Bruce win this game of humility. "It's for my daughter. She's quite a fan."
Bruce nodded, a smug grin on his face, as if knowing just maybe that Gordon was lying. Bruce looked as if he was about to call the commissioner on it when Babs walked up, looking at her dad and then to Bruce, questioningly. Gordon quickly placed the CD back on the shelf, throwing Bruce a rather shrewd glance.
"Dad, can I get this book? I've never read it, but they just made it into a movie, and I know Jenny will want to go see it, but I'd like to read the book first! Please, Dad?" she looked up at him with begging blue eyes, holding out the book for him to see: Twilight. It was a book Montoya had been talking about for months now, but she had nothing nice to say about it. He took the book from her, reading over the back of it, to be sure it was going to be appropriate for her and he wouldn't get an earful from her mother when he dropped them off Sunday evening.
"Oh? It's a book, too?" The comment came from Bruce, who was looking at Babs surprised. He then turned to look at Alfred, who had kept quiet the whole time, just smiling politely. "Do you think Marie has it?"
"I'm not sure Marie is the reading type, sir," Alfred drawled out, lightly.
Gordon snorted, knowing all too well the type of women that Bruce dated, and the comment was far from nice. Bruce shot Alfred a look, a little frown on his face, but Gordon almost thought he could see right through it, see that behind that frown was a smile, genuine and caring, not at all dense. Gordon was beginning to wonder if Bruce was smarter than he lead on, and not at all as oblivious as he always seemed to be.
"Is Marie your girlfriend?" Babs asked, holding her books and magazines in her arms, close to her chest. Bruce smiled at her warmly.
"Kinda. It's complicated." The billionaire looked at the stack of books in Babs' arms, letting his gaze soften a bit more. "You read a lot?"
"I do. It's my favorite thing to do. I also like computers, but reading is way more exciting," she said, a big grin forming on her lips.
Great, Gordon thought, now she's going to develop a crush on Bruce Wayne.
"I have a lot of books in storage I don't use. I'd love to give them to someone who might actually enjoy them. Lots of classics." Bruce was smiling more openly now, a gleam in his eye that Gordon couldn't say he ever remembered seeing in any tabloid pictures. Something... sincere.
"You won't read them?" Babs asked, almost sadly, yet Gordon could see the a small smile daring to form on her lips, a little excitement in her voice.
"I've read them. I don't have a lot of time for reading these days." Bruce looked back to Gordon, noticing the look he was getting from the older man. "Of course, its up to your Dad..."
Well, now Gordon was backed into a corner, drowning in the deep blue eyes of his daughter, silently begging. Well, it was a handful of books he wouldn't need to buy for her, at least. He shrugged, nodding his head in surrender.
"Fine. But you have to put back the books you have now, then. I don't think your bookshelf can take much more." Babs threw her arms around him tightly, squealing excitedly.
"Oh! Thank you!" She ran back over to the books section to replace her book. Gordon narrowed his eyes on Bruce, who looked away innocently, hands now in his pockets, casually rocking back-and-forth on his heels.
"When can we come by and pick them up?" Gordon asked, rubbing the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger, a slight headache starting.
"Tomorrow might work. I can always call you," Bruce said opening up his phone, obviously waiting for Gordon to spout off his number. Gordon gave it to him, though he had the nagging feeling in the back of his head that this was not a good idea; that maybe he was going to regret this. "Great, I'll call you later tonight and see if we can work something out for tomorrow."
Gordon started to protest, but Bruce and Alfred had already started down the main isle to the check out. What had he gotten himself into? He turned around, towards the video games where Jimmy was still standing, oblivious to anyone else, playing that guitar game. He went to tell him that it was time to leave when he heard a gun shot and screaming from the front of the store. Jimmy quickly turned around, and Babs, who was already on her way over to them, ran up next to her Dad, clutching his arm tightly. He wasn't sure what he should do; he could leave his kids and go help, or stay with them and call for backup.
The latter, of course, as his kids had already been held at gun point by one mad man, why risk another round of therapy sessions?
He pulled his phone out, dialing in to MCU, maybe he could get Stephens or Montoya to send for a squad. Luckily, Stephens answered, understood the situation, as they just had the call come through the scanner only seconds before, and said some men were on their way over. Jimmy was holding tightly to Gordon's other arm. He squeezed them both to him, praying to God that nothing went wrong. He lead his kids behind the counter, along with a couple of the employees that were working at the time, telling them to keep down. He wanted to go to help, to be sure no one shot at him; at least know what was going on. But his priority was with his kids right then, who had the same terrified looks on their faces as the day Harvey Dent took them hostage. Babs was surprisingly strong, she wasn't crying this time, just holding Jimmy close, who was crying, but that was understandable. Gordon went to stand but Babs pulled on his sleeve to bring him back.
"Don't!" she pleaded, pulling on the tail of his coat. He knelt back down next to her, keeping her and Jimmy close to him. The screaming had died down, and everything went quiet. He could hear one man yell for someone to get down, and then a gun shot. Gordon found he had closed his eyes, hoping with everything that it wasn't Batman.
"Jim!" he heard Stephens' voice calling from the isle to their right. Gordon looked over, the other man rushing over to help them to their feet. "Oh thank God. You and the kids okay, Jim?"
"What happened?" Gordon felt his chest begin to ache with anticipation.
"Well, we didn't apprehend the gunman. He got away, but not with letting off a few shots and injuring a few cashiers and one security guard."
Gordon let out a breath he didn't know he had been holding, feeling Jimmy squeeze his hand. Gordon looked down at his son, who was smiling now, obviously happy with the news about Batman, too. Gordon hugged his children to headed home not much later, and Gordon received a text on his phone from Stephens saying that the gunman had been delivered to the police station bound and with a note attached from Batman.
Of course. Always on, even in the littlest cases.