Chapter 1: Kept Secrets
It wasn't a matter of what or who, let alone a matter of where or why. When he called, you went. There were no reasons for the inevitable, no remorse for the unmistakable courage that coursed through the veins of the unknown person standing just steps in front of him. Noise was absent, save for the soft beating of his own heart thumping against his rib cage, a pace that only quickened in the presence of the mystifying vigilante, staring him down from the shadows cast by the side of the building, the moon shining just behind it.
He wasn't scared; he was rarely scared. A bit unsure, maybe. He let his hands rest on his hips, casually standing his ground, but not a word escaped his mouth; the words were not there, and his mind was a little numb. He had a million thoughts, a little speculation racing through his mind, questions and concerns waiting on the tip of his tongue; but his mouth felt dry, and no matter how much he attempted to salivate, he could not find the means.
Gordon wasn't too sure why Batman had asked to meet him in such a secluded area. The city had been quiet for a few days, so there was nothing new to talk about, and their relationship was purely professional, was it not? Gordon would consider Batman his friend - best friend if he had to claim one - but they were hardly closer than the crime scenes and once-a-week-meetings that brought them together allowed. But tonight, Gordon had received a call in his office, a bit desperate and unlike Batman in many ways. He had told Gordon it was important, but not entirely urgent, and asked if they could meet, the sooner the better. Obviously, Gordon chose sooner. No more than twenty minutes later, he was staring at the man who rode the shadows like he would a lover: close and tight, intimately.
A thought crossed Gordon's mind. The date was approaching the one year anniversary of the death of a mutual friend: Rachel Dawes. He had nearly forgotten about it, the memories still painful from the days that followed that fateful night. And he was sure Batman had not forgotten at all. The dark knight took pride in saving others, and Gordon was sure the other man felt he had failed Rachel. But Gordon never brought it up anymore, painfully aware of the burning stare he always received when he attempted.
He was certain now the date had everything to do with Batman's urgency. Maybe he was ready to talk about the event. But Gordon wasn't sure he was ready to be sentimental, especially with the Bat.
Gordon switched footing, rocking back and forth on his feet; a whole two minutes had passed without a word being spoken, and Batman just stood in his shadowy covering, words obviously not the first thought on his mind, either. Gordon could speak first, but the dry, parchment-paper feeling in his mouth still did not let up. He was sure it was because he knew Batman needed the first word, or at least the first gesture of acknowledgment.
Finally, the other man moved - not much, but enough to where Gordon could see the shadows of his arms move upwards, making a movement he could not make out clearly. Gordon swallowed, a lump in his throat, his chest heaving as he blew out a long breath, becoming increasingly aware of what the other man was doing. He did not want to know, he did not want to see, he did not want to keep looking. He had known Batman for a few years now, and he never once even wondered; or was it he did not care? No, he cared; he cared far too much. If he knew the man behind the cape and cowl, he would be forced to care more.
He took his glasses off, pinching the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger, and squeezed his eyes shut. If the man before him stepped forward, he was sure he would see an unmasked face, see the eyes more clearly, the bone structure of jaw line and cheeks. He would know a man and his secrets, and he was not ready to know any of it.
Gordon bent his head low, keeping his eyes on the ground, staring at his own feet. He held a hand up in front of him as he heard the soft click of boots start forward. "No! No, please," he begged. "I don't want to know."
The steps kept up, the splash of water as one booted foot stepped into a puddle directly below Gordon's feet, and then the other foot was there too. He put his glasses in his coat pocket, so as not to be tempted to put them on. He shook his head, keeping his head bent, another sigh escaping his lips.
"Gordon..." The voice was soft, not at all the harsh, deep growl he usually used; it was not too familiar, but not unfamiliar either. "Jim." It was a whisper, one that made his the tiny hairs on his skin stand straight.
Gordon squeezed his eyes shut again. The man had leaned in a little closer and Gordon could almost make him out in the puddle below, the moonlight hitting just right. He shook his head and started to take a step back, but two strong hands grabbed his shoulders tightly, and Gordon felt bony fingers dig into his arms; the man was un-gloved.
Gordon lifted his head, eyes still shut tightly. "I don't want to know..." he pleaded again, wiggling against the grip of the obviously stronger man, aware his arms would be bruised in the morning.
"You don't have to know. Not right now," Batman said, his voice low, sounding almost dangerous, but still lacking the growl Gordon wanted for reassurance.
"Can you let go, then?" Gordon attempted again to wiggle away, the hands around his arms this time giving way just a little bit.
"Not yet," Batman whispered, and Gordon felt hot breath on his lips, the space between the two men rapidly becoming obsolete. Gordon felt the touch of soft lips brush against his, pecking softly. "I don't have a lot of time." Batman's voice cooed softly, a wet tongue licking at Gordon's mouth. He stiffened at the sudden intimacy, pulling his face away, squeezing his eyes shut even tighter. The urge to open them was strong, overwhelming. Gordon kept his ground.
Batman's left hand let go of Gordon's arm, and there was a rustling before he felt the other man slip a hand into his pocket and then out again. Batman pulled away from Gordon, who was too surprised to move.
"I have to go," Batman growled this time; Gordon heard another rustling and then complete silence. He opened his eyes after a few minutes, utterly aware he was completely alone. He stuffed a hand into his pocket, rummaging for his glasses, finding them and an envelope.
Gordon pulled out both articles, placing the glasses back on the bridge of his nose and holding the envelope in his hand. It was addressed to him, neatly written in beautiful cursive writing. Gordon shoved it back into his pocket, and started walking back towards his car. He knew what it was, and he did not want to know, and he wanted to know even less now with the circumstances and Batman's flighty and uneven approach with him just moments ago. He was not sure what Batman was up to, or why he had the sudden urgency or need to tell Gordon his secrets.
Maybe he had been wrong about Batman remembering the date. Gordon reached his hand into his pocket and took the envelope out again. He could open it and know for sure or he could rip it up and pretend it never happened. He chose the latter, of course.
He took the envelope between his fingers and ripped it in half again and again until nothing was left but tiny pieces of paper. Even if he wanted to piece it back together, there were far too many to glue back. He let the pieces fall from his hand and scatter in the sudden gust of wind. No, Gordon would not know any vigilante secrets tonight.
Chapter 2: Sunday Afternoon
Sundays were Gordon's only days to himself, and sometimes, depending on criminal activity, he didn't even get those. When he was still married he would have spent them with his family, taking the time, or attempting, to let his wife know he still loved her and cared for her; to try to convince her, and himself, that Gotham was not the first priority in his life. Barbara was never convinced; she knew him too well. A month after his promotion to commissioner she left him, took the kids and fled the city. How could he blame her? Nothing in Gotham was safe, and if she and the kids had stayed, another Harvey Dent incident could have happened all over again. No, Jim Gordon knew his family was better off without Gotham and without him.
Now, his Sundays were spent alone, either cleaning his rarely-used apartment, working from home, or just sitting in the dark thinking about work. Gordon had no friends, no one outside work to call when he was lonely (usually because they were working when he was off). This particular Sunday afternoon, Gordon walked the cemetery paths alone, hands in his pockets, head tipped down, watching the path slide by him with each step he took. Only a year ago the Joker terrorized the city and ruined the soul of one very noble man by destroying everything he loved: Rachel Dawes and Justice.
Gordon stopped on the path, turning his head to the plot of land where Rachel was buried, not surprised to see dozens of flowers and candles covering her grave in her memory. In front of the grave was a man, on his knees, head bent, hands resting at his sides. Gordon could hardly identify the figure from behind, and approached him slowly. He reached out his right hand to touch the man's shoulder, expecting to startle him a bit, but was surprised when the man did not even flinch.
"Ms. Dawes was a friend of yours?" Gordon asked, his voice low and soothing. Usually he just kept to himself and would have let the man be, but Gordon felt a nagging voice in the back of head, urging him to at least try to comfort the man, the best he knew how (which wasn't saying much).
He moved his hand away from the other man's shoulder when he did not respond right away. "She was quite an assistant DA." Gordon was aware he sounded uncaring, mechanical, forced; but being emotional with another man was hardly his area of expertise.
"Yes," was the only response Gordon received. Slowly, the man pushed up to sit on his knees then carefully got to his feet. Jim watched as the man turned around to face him, surprised to see the young, handsome features of Bruce Wayne staring back him, his eyes hollow, tired -- a sure sign of sleep deprivation.
Gordon had nearly forgotten that Wayne and Dawes had been long-time childhood friends, and, of course, everyone presumed that Bruce Wayne was without real feeling unless it dealt with parties, money, and supermodels. Jim felt a little ashamed for believing it, especially now he saw that Wayne was having a harder time handling grief than anyone gave him credit for.
Wayne only stared at him, eyes blazing with emotion, his lips a thin line, his jaw set to show no other sentiment. His hair was cleanly cut and styled back, face shaved, suit pressed, and Gordon could not help but feel a twinge of attraction to the playboy. Even in sorrow, Bruce Wayne had a charisma about him that dragged you into his stare and wrapped your soul around his fingers. Gordon reached out a hand to touch the other man's shoulder again, but Wayne caught his hand with his own and pulled Gordon towards him.
Gordon stumbled over his feet, nearly falling into the man, catching his balance with his free hand on Wayne's shoulder. He jerked his hand away from him, heat flushing his cheeks. Gordon attempted to pull his other hand away, but Wayne pulled him closer, sliding a muscular arm around Gordon's back, and he tensed as he was drawn in closer.
"I, uh...Mr. Wayne..." Gordon started. His nose was less than an inch away from the other man's, and he could smell sweet mint on his breath and the subtle scent of musk from his aftershave. It would have been soothing, if Gordon had not been a little uneasy.
Wayne let go of Gordon's hand, placing a finger over his lips and shaking his head. Wayne's eyes bore into him, dug around his soul and pulled him in closer. Gordon was unaware he was even moving in towards the other man until their lips met, only softly at first. Gordon felt rigid in his skin, wanting to scream and pull away, but his flesh was melting into Wayne's embrace. The man placed a hand on Gordon's neck, kneading soft circles into his tense muscles, allowing him to relax more, falling against Wayne in an attempt to keep stable.
Needy teeth nipped at Gordon's bottom lip, and he obliged, parting his lips and allowing a slithering, wanting tongue into his mouth. He pushed back against the warmth with his own advances, tipping his head to the side for better access to the younger man's open mouth. Gordon felt around, tasting Wayne, cherishing the soft lips against his own, grunting when the other man pulled away.
Gordon opened his eyes to find Wayne staring at him, into him. Gordon tried to catch his breath, but didn't break the gaze, searching for an answer to the actions of Gotham's Prince. Instead, Gordon was caught completely off guard by the intensity of Wayne's stare; it felt as if he was being stripped naked, raped, and left vulnerable in an empty alley. Why did that stare remind him of someone else's? And most importantly, why was he enjoying this intimacy with another man?
Gordon turned his eyes away from Wayne; what was he thinking allowing this to happen? He barely knew the boy. Gordon felt ashamed. How could he suddenly feel so attracted to a man he never talked to, and maybe saw once in a while at parties? Wayne brought a hand to Gordon's face and brought his gaze back to his, but said nothing. Gordon noticed there was something fierce and needy in the man's eyes, but didn't anticipate his next move.
Wayne slammed him back against a tree, pushing his chest into Gordon's, stooping his head and licking a trail up the older man's neck, biting at the skin just below his jaw. Gordon closed his eyes, whisper soft kisses touching his ear. A low growl rumbled through the man pressed against him, a noise that was very familiar to him; but in his mind set, he could not place it; he was just too overwhelmed with heat and desire. What thoughts he did have were to get away; he was far from attracted to men, right? But just the thought of Bruce Wayne was sending shock-waves through him, an inkling of need coursing through his blood, telling him that everything he was feeling was natural and perfectly normal. Normal...
"Oh, Jim..." Wayne muttered into his ear, pulling away to look at him. Gordon gazed back at him, puzzled. He had never been on first name terms with this man, but then again they had never been on intimate, kissing terms either. It was strange to hear his name spill from Wayne's mouth; it made him mentally shiver, body trembling against the younger man.
Wayne moved his right hand to Gordon's face, caressing his cheek with affection, soft and careful. "There is something you should probably know," Wayne started, his voice still low; tender, but strong.
Gordon finally broke the gaze, his instincts kicking in, and slipped out from underneath Wayne. He brushed himself off, and held his hands out in front of him. "I don't really need to know, Mr. Wayne." Of course, he was assuming that Wayne was about to tell him he was gay, but from the look on his face, Gordon knew that was not the case at all. Wayne gave him a small frown, a little disheartening to see, and Gordon sighed, feeling like an jerk.
He walked back towards the man, hands on his hips, took a deep breath and waited for Wayne to speak. But instead of words, Gordon found his mouth surrounded again by Wayne's lips, a forceful tongue intruding, slipping against his teeth. When Wayne pulled away again, Gordon was in too much shock to say anything. He stood there, eyes a little blurred, glasses askew, trying to find words in the mush his brain had become.
Behind Wayne the sun was sitting low in the sky, beams of light surrounding him, such that Gordon saw only the silhouette of the man, and Gordon could have sworn Wayne looked like someone he knew. No, reminded him of someone he knew, especially now that he was gaping at him, not saying a word. Wayne leaned his head in closer to him, his head now blocking the sun that had caused Gordon to squint. He could see Wayne's face again, beautiful and young, and Gordon felt an overwhelming urge to touch his cheek, to show his own rising affection; but his common sense was chiding him in the back of his mind, and he kept his hands at his sides.
Wayne didn't seem to notice Gordon's inner struggles; he seemed bent on getting as close to him as possible, his lips now centimeters away from Gordon's ear, "Just as Gotham will always need you, Jim, I will always need you."
It was not a voice Gordon expected to hear from Wayne, it was a low deep growl, and one that Gordon knew all too well from the past few years working with Batman; but this was not Batman, this was Bruce Wayne. And what was Wayne talking about? He rarely spoke to the man...but then why did his words rip into him and claw at his soul? Gordon felt a sense of understanding, but he was still unaware as to what his mind was attempting to piece together.
Wayne took Gordon's face into his strong, callused hands, bringing him out of his thoughts. He brought his gaze back to Wayne's, watching the unsaid mix of turmoil and lust play out behind his hazel eyes. Gordon shivered; his heart ached suddenly, his chest heaved and his mind felt numb with fear. Fear? He was not afraid of Batman, and he was not afraid of Bruce Wayne... but he was afraid of Batman being Bruce Wayne... the last intimate details finally connecting together, the puzzle suddenly complete and the picture very clear. Everything, Gordon realized, made sense now.
"Wait," Gordon started, but Wayne held his shoulders in his strong hands and kissed his face softly, a gesture that suggested love and respect, and Gordon felt himself falter, unguarded. Why was it he had never known he had these feelings before? But the answer was simple, and everything he wanted was suddenly in one person, rather than two. "Bruce..."
Wayne shook his head and kissed his lips softly, whispering against them, "Don't speak." And he kissed Gordon again: hard, strong, powerful, and understanding.
When Wayne finally let Gordon breathe again, the sun had started to set over city, and the younger man looked out to the lights brightening up Gotham, waiting for the night to reign.
Gordon watched Wayne carefully, not sure what to expect anymore, but he said nothing and neither did Wayne. He began to wonder, after the events that had just taken place, exactly what would come of his friendship with Batman and how the impending relationship with Bruce Wayne would open up. Gordon would be the first to admit being skeptical, but a feeling deep in his gut told him that everything he had just embarked on was right.
Wayne looked at him, apparently aware of Gordon's inner conflict. He expected the younger man to say something, to tell him it was all over and in the morning they would go back to being common friends. But Wayne said nothing; he just watched the sun drift further down behind the skyscrapers, nodding politely to a passing couple out on a walk of their own, hands intertwined.
A hand took hold of Gordon's, lacing their fingers together, and pulling him just a little closer to the other man. He took a glance at Wayne through the side of his glasses, watching the eyes of a man who had seen more in his short life than many would see even if they lived to be one hundred years old. Wayne turned his face to look at him, and smiled smugly, bringing down his barriers just a little. Gordon felt a twinge of endearment pierce his heart and squeezed his hand. How he got here today, and why, he would never know. He did know that everything would be different now, and he hoped, for God's sake, it was for the better.
Gordon looked out over the city, still holding Wayne's hand tightly. A wave of contentment washed over him. He was briefly reminded of Barbara and how they would watch the children in their sleep. Except, now he was with Bruce Wayne -- Batman -- and their child was Gotham City herself, and she was just waking up.
Chapter 3: Confessions
It was everything or nothing, and Gordon knew it. There was no in between with Batman. You gave him your all or you gave him nothing. Gordon was not sure why that was; maybe it had something to do with Rachel after all, but that was a question for another time. Right now, all that mattered was that Bruce Wayne was Batman, and he was asking Gordon for a favor-- a promise that would change how Gordon lived every day. No... this was why he had tried so hard not to find out.
"Yes. Yes, of course," Gordon managed to mumble, waving a hand at him, a gesture for Bruce to stop staring at him with those pleading hazel eyes. How could he say no? The man obviously trusted him, or else he would not have let Gordon find out the truth.
There was only silence between them, but it was not awkward or strange; it was comfortable, soothing. They had been watching the night life of the city wake for a few hours, and the sun had bled down the horizon until it disappeared completely. Gordon had not kept track of time, but he would guess it was close to eight now, and he knew their chance meeting would be coming to an end soon.
Beside him, Bruce took a deep breath and let it out slowly, jingling keys in his pocket. Gordon smiled at him, still reveling in the aftermath of their encounter just hours earlier. He wondered how he had never realized how attractive Bruce Wayne was. He was well-kept, manicured, handsome. Fake, Gordon thought. Yes, fake was exactly the word he kept hearing at the back of his mind. It was not a bad thing, though. No, Gordon saw the need for Bruce's appearance, even understood it better than anyone else ever would. No one was likely to suspected a dense, boozing, billionaire to beat criminals to a pulp every night.
"How do you do it?" Gordon asked as he took a few steps closer to Bruce, facing him.
Bruce moved his head to look at him, body facing out towards the city. "Do what, Jim?"
"This charade. Hiding. Don't you ever just want to be yourself?" The question spilled out faster than Gordon thought it, and he was a little ashamed. He expected Bruce to put up some defenses, make some excuses, even.
But Bruce just nodded. "Everyday." He let out another sigh, kicked at a some loose gravel by his feet.
"No one else knows?"
"Alfred. Lucius Fox suspects, but will never admit to knowing." Bruce looked at Gordon then, his eyes sad and hollow, just as they had been earlier. "Rachel."
There, Gordon thought. There was that name he had been suspecting was behind every single action of Bruce Wayne and Batman the last two days: Rachel Dawes. The name seemed to linger tensely in the air, and Bruce said nothing else. Gordon wanted to give some words of comfort, but the sentiments forming in his thoughts did not seem to fit. He never knew a lot about Rachel's personal life and knew even less of her relationship with Bruce. Gordon felt saying anything would be an intrusion; when Bruce wanted to talk about it, Gordon would be there for him.
Bruce stepped over to where Gordon stood, taking him by the shoulders and gazing intensely into his eyes. "And now I have you."
Gordon almost laughed. The words were a little sappy for his taste, but the look on Bruce's face suggested that he meant every word, sappy or not. Gordon gave him a slight smile, one that was hidden partially under his mustache. He patted Bruce's arm with his hand, feeling the younger man lean in to kiss him.
Their mouths met for a soft flutter. Bruce wrapped his arms tightly around Gordon, clasping his hands at the small of the older man's back. They stood forehead-to-forehead, gazing into each other's eyes, lips just barely touching. Gordon allowed an arm to envelop Bruce and placed a hand on the back of the younger man's head, holding him as close as he could. Their lips meshed together, soft and slow.
Their embrace was warm. Gordon --to his own surprise-- would have preferred to stay in Bruce's arms a little longer, but the younger man retreated an arm's length away. The fog on Gordon's glasses dissipated and he could see the gentleness in Bruce's eyes. He knew what was coming next, and a part of him hoped everything that happened today was just one big dream. If it was a dream, the other part of him hoped to never wake up.
"I have to get home," Bruce whispered.
Bruce flashed a smile. "Suit's at the manor."
Oh, he was going patrolling. It was not going to be easy to watch Batman run off every night to fight crime, now that he knew the man behind the mask. It changed Gordon's view completely. He could not be sure what Bruce was to him, or what he was to Bruce. He did know that he was going to worry all damn night about the man, even though he knew that Batman could very well take care of himself.
I didn't want to know.
Gordon shrugged and nodded his head, an approval or maybe just an agreement; he was not sure which he was really feeling. Bruce leaned in and kissed him again. It was a pleasant, loving kiss and Gordon felt his bones melt in the other man's grip. Bruce pulled away, and Gordon breathed a moan; he was not sure how much of this his body could take. He was getting too old for this sort of affair.
He knew that in this developing relationship, he was going to need to learn to share Bruce with Gotham City; she was always going to come first. It would not be as hard as he thought, and he vaguely remembered having asked Barbara to do the same for him years ago. Gotham City was, after all, the air Gordon breathed. He could not help but think of it as an intimate love affair; the three of them, wrapped up in each other for years, if not forever.
Well, at least until retirement. It was a nice thought to have, but not one he could count on any time soon.
Bruce was speaking again, but Gordon did not catch it. Bruce kissed him one more time, this time as if it were the last for a very long time. Bruce was radiating a mix of emotions: lust, care, and most noticeably sadness. He pulled away and gave a small endearing smile. Gordon watched the other man's defense falter. Bruce was letting Gordon see him with his shield down, unguarded. Gordon felt a twinge of sympathy for him, remembering for a moment when Bruce's parents died, and how very vulnerable and impressionable that boy had been then.
Oh, Bruce, Gordon thought. Every aspect of the young man's life was finally making sense. Why not don a bat costume and beat up criminals to avenge your parents' death? Sure, it was not exactly normal in any sense of the word. But why not? Gordon was starting to find it admirable, only adding to the already mounting attraction he had for Bruce.
And now Bruce was turning to leave, but Gordon caught him by the arm. Bruce turned his face to meet the older man's eyes. "Jim?"
"All this...today. It wasn't all just because you were lonely was it?" Gordon asked. He gestured to Rachel's grave not too far from them. Gordon knew grief could make even the strongest person lose control -- he had seen it many, many times before.
Bruce furrowed his eyebrows, biting his lower lip in thought before giving an answer. "No." He looked at Gordon as if his heart had been ripped from his chest and stomped on. Maybe it was the wrong question to ask after Bruce so willingly expressed his deepest affection for Gordon.
And there Gordon was, yet again, feeling like a jerk. The blazing stare Bruce gave him made his skin burn in embarrassment. He really should learn to be less abrupt, but the interrogator in him would never allow that. Bruce looked away, hands reaching into his pocket for his keys. Gordon reached out and touched his arm, to show that he meant well, at least.
"Rachel was a lot of things to me, Jim. She was my oldest and dearest friend. She was my hope that Gotham would one day not need Batman. That one day I would not need Batman." Bruce shook his head, a mocking grin on his face, one that resembled disbelief. "When she died...when Dent died...I knew everything changed. There are always going to be criminals like the Joker in Gotham City. Gotham needs Batman." Behind the glowering stare, Gordon could sense the lingering, unsaid words on Bruce's tongue: I need Batman.
"Jim," Bruce started again, "You're the only one I feel can understand." It seemed he had something else he wanted to say, but he closed his mouth, silent.
Gordon did understand. He probably understood more than he cared to admit. Bruce was lonely but not in the sense Gordon had asked him about. Bruce was lonely because he had no one to share his life with; no one to come home to or share in his nightly patrol stories. No one who would understand the reasons he went out in costume and dealt out justice with brute force. Bruce wanted a normal life to balance out his alter-ego. Some way to still feel he was a part of society. The Bruce Wayne the media knew was far from the man standing next to Gordon. When he looked into Bruce's eyes again, he saw nothing more than complete trust.
Gordon nodded, but said nothing. There was not much you could follow up with after that. He felt suddenly awkward in his own skin, the urge to hold Bruce, and tell him that everything was going to be fine, and that he did understand. He wanted to tell him to just let go of everything, if even just for a little while. But the moment for that was gone, and Bruce was already walking back up the path past the graves towards the parking lot. Gordon followed, jogging catch up.
They reached Gordon's car first and Bruce stopped short of the driver's door. Gordon stood up against it, fiddling with his keys, aware Bruce was staring into him, just as he did when he wore the bat costume. It made him shiver in the surreality of it; to have Batman stare you down with out the cowl was unsettling.
Gordon wanted to apologize for bringing up Rachel. He wanted to apologize for doubting the younger man's intentions. But in Gordon's head it all made no difference; Bruce -Batman- could not be budged, he had control of the situation and Gordon was just along for the ride, for now.
"I'll call you sometime before twelve tomorrow. Maybe we could go for lunch?" Bruce's face was a sudden mask. Moments before he was somber and broody, and now he was giving Gordon a chancy smile. Gordon wasn't having it, and he knew better than to believe Bruce could switch emotions so easily. Always an act, Gordon thought. Just how much of Bruce Wayne was real, and how much was an act? The overt happiness he was projecting was undeniably fake, Gordon could sense it.
"Alright. I'll be at my office. I know you have the number." Gordon keyed the lock on the door, pulling it open. Bruce stuck a hand out to stop him.
"Everything is fine," Bruce said blandly, and he kissed Gordon sweetly on the lips and then his cheek, swiping a hand under his chin as he did.
Gordon wanted to protest, but Bruce had already turned to leave. He stalked away, hands deep in his pockets. Gordon watched until the darkness surrounded him and he disappeared. He slid into the seat of his car, started the engine and sat there. There were still questions he wanted answers for, but he knew to get them he would have to prod around gingerly.
The matter of Bruce having the sudden urge to tell Gordon his secret was still lingering in his mind. Why now? Gordon could chalk it all up to the man being lonely, but he felt there was more to it than that. There was something Bruce was not telling him, and Gordon was more than determined now to figure out what it was.
He put the car in gear, pulling out of the cemetery, and drove home. The night was still young, but he was not. He knew he could go on scheming of ways to get into Bruce's head, or he could just go home and have a good night's sleep for once. Knowing Gordon, it was going to be both.
But first, Gordon was going to call his children and bask in the warmth of knowing they were safe, and away from the never-ending hell-hole that was Gotham.
Chapter 4: Arkham Break In
Dreaming was useless. More thoughts than anything, no real visions, no coherency. When Gordon thought he had fallen asleep, his eyes would shoot open and he'd be staring at the clock again, only ten minutes past the last time he looked. His thoughts were roaming around his mind in a jumble of inconsistency and worry. Confusion. Mostly worry.
Gordon rolled on to his side, punching at his pillow as if this was going to make a difference in his restlessness. He had called his kids, talked about school, their friends, and how their mother was (she refused to talk to him). He was relieved to hear they were doing well and that nothing out of the ordinary had happened since their move last year. Gordon missed them. He couldn't say he missed Barbara, not much anyway. He had loved her enough to rely on her to be there for him and thought she had loved him just the same, but those were the delusions of a failing marriage. She punished him, of course, for never being there when he said he would be, when work called and he had to go; Gotham City came first, and if he could do it all over again, he would make different choices. Maybe.
But Gotham needs you, he thought. He knew that, and Gotham was his first love, long before Barbara made her appearance. He would never turn his back on the city that he held so near to his heart. Too many memories. Too much time spent saving a practically unsalvageable city. Gotham was corrupt. And that was why so many years ago he dedicated his life to protecting her no matter the cost. Barbara said she understood. Said she loved him no matter what his choices. Except, somewhere in between having two kids and the promotions, she faltered and stopped understanding. That was when Gordon knew no matter what he did, she would never really forgive him for anything.
He sighed, beating the pillow again, watching the pitter-patter drizzle of rain down the window. When had it started to rain? He wasn't sure. He was too emotionally caught up in his thoughts to have noticed. Maybe if he closed his eyes and listened to the rain he could relax his busy brain. He closed his eyes, clouded his mind with the sound of water trickling through the gutter pipes just outside the window, soothing his mind into a peaceful blur. He felt his limbs become numb, his body weightless, and his breath slow. He tried hard not to know he was falling into a restful sleep, afraid he'd break the moment...
It felt like only seconds after his eyes closed that his phone rang on the nightstand, bringing Gordon out of his muted, gray dreams of nothingness. He reached for the phone, groggy. He hit the talk button, clumsily bringing the receiver to his ear.
"Gordon," he fumbled out.
"Commissioner. I'm sorry to wake you so early in the morning, but we have a situation you may want to be aware of." It was Stephens. He sounded rushed and awkward. Was he working the swing shift? Gordon couldn't remember anymore; days blurred together too often to know who worked what.
"I'll be there in twenty." Gordon hung up the phone, rubbing his eyes and attempting to wipe the sleep away. A glance at the clock told him he had slept maybe three hours, but that was three hours more than he could have had. Well, there went his last day off for another week. He said a mental goodbye to his sleep as he slipped his pants on, threw on a button-down shirt, and found his shoes. The situation had better be good, or he was never going to let Stephens live it down.
Gordon parked his car in the parking garage across the street from MCU. The rain had not let up since he left his apartment, the streets slick and glossy, and he was reminded briefly of a couple nights back and meeting up with the Bat for a strange rendezvous. No, he couldn't think of that now, with more pressing matters to see to first.
He ran across the street, the roads dead so late at night -- or was that 'so early in the morning'? It did not matter. He was awake, there, dazed. Loss of sleep did that; his mind was numb and he just took action without thought. He sped up the steps to the front of MCU where Stephens was waiting for him, door opened.
"This had better be good," Gordon mumbled as he took the plastic cup offered to him by the other man. He sipped it. It was bitter, no sugar and just a dash of cream -- exactly the way he took his coffee every single morning. Judging from Stephens' behavior Gordon could only assume the situation was bad. Then the other man spoke, an unsteadiness in his voice.
"Break in at Arkham. About three hours ago." Stephens was walking with Gordon now, keeping pace as they headed towards the elevator. Gordon peered at him, a scowl now spread across his face.
"And we're just now hearing about it?" Gordon tried to hide the surprise in his voice, mostly due to the fact that he had not heard from Batman about this, and was sure he would have at least dropped him a text message or something.
And then Gordon heard Stephens' voice in his head again, repeating his last words: break in at Arkham, not break out. He looked at Stephens, who seemed to know what he was thinking before he even deduced it. He only nodded at Gordon as they stepped into the elevator, Gordon punching the button for the second floor.
"So, break in. Exactly what happened?" Gordon took another sip of his coffee, leaning back against the cool metal walls of the elevator car. He was carefully watching the other man, who was rocking on his feet just slightly, nervously.
"Well, someone hacked past security and surveillance. Okay, to be honest, they haven't told us exactly how it happened yet. We've got some guys down there investigating." Stephens rubbed at his nose and met Gordon's gaze with one that was weary, unsure. "Whoever it was let all the nuts out. And I'm not talking just the average run-of-the-mill crazies, Gordon. I'm talking The Joker and that dame that runs around with him now, Doctor Crane, even the newest recruit: Edward Nygma."
Gordon watched the doors slide open into the dimly lit hall-way, taking another very long sip of his coffee. He felt his chest grow heavy, and his veins boil. Why, after all these years, was he still so surprised when the impossible -- or seemingly impossible -- happened? He pushed his elbows off the back wall of the elevator and continued out into the hall,turning the corner towards his office door. Stephens was only steps behind him, and Gordon knew he wanted to say more but was waiting for Gordon to acknowledge the last bit of information first.
"Didn't we just put Nygma in there?"
"About two weeks ago. If, I, uh, remember right, Batman caught him and left him here for us." Stephens was a little hesitant; he never liked to talk about Batman around Gordon, aware they had had a solid alliance before last year's Harvey Dent fiasco. As far as Stephens was aware, Batman committed those murders. This also made it difficult for the man to accept any criminals caught and bound by the vigilante. But they always did anyway; it would be stupid to let a criminal free based on ill feelings towards one man.
"And no one knows who this mystery person was that broke in and let them out?" Gordon was skeptical, the tone of his voice was dripping with annoyance. Every time he had a day off, he came back to incompetence and unorganized insanity, and he worked all week to get it back to normal. Just to have it undone all over again. Sometimes he wondered why he bothered taking his day off at all. He pushed open the door to his office and flicked the lights on, holding the door for Stephens to pass through.
"The staff said it was a man. Most likely."
"Most likely?"Gordon pushed his glasses up his nose, staring at the other man in scrutiny.
"The guy was in a beige trench coat, and some kind of mask that covered his whole head. That's all that came back consistent with the staff and other patients."
Gordon frowned into his coffee -- now lukewarm -- downing the rest in one big gulp. He placed the plastic cup on his desk, and then folded his arms over his chest. "Hopefully the security camera will have caught something." He let out a long breath, walking towards the window looking out on the dull city view. The rain had let up a little, but the night was incredibly dark and still; patient.
He slumped his shoulders and turned around to face Stephens again. "Alright. Form a couple of groups and we'll start a city-wide search for the escapees. They couldn't have gotten too far."
Stephens nodded and turned to leave. He was halfway out the door when he swiveled on his heels to face Gordon again. "I know we aren't suppose to talk about him. But do you think he's going to help?"
Gordon, who already knew Batman was likely on the case, did not even move. He looked Stephens in the eye, staring him down with authority and holding his ground. He was not going to give an answer and show where his alliances were. He had learned the hard way with Dent that you could never be too careful about who you trusted. "That's all, Detective."
Stephens nodded, turned tail, and left.
Gordon walked over to the door and gave it a shove. He listened for the click of contact with the frame before he took a seat at his desk. He knew he had other things to do than be sitting around, but he needed a moment to himself to collect his thoughts on what had to be done next. Three escaped mental patients, and one wannabe. The town should have been in shambles by now: fires, explosions, something. It was too quiet in Gotham City considering her current circumstances.
First, Gordon wanted to know the identity of the mysterious man who had broken into Arkham. Who had the clearance or know-how to pull that off? Shamefully he thought of Bruce, but knew that answer was absurd and highly out of the question. Bruce might have had the money, knowledge, and pure know-how (because lord knows how many times he'd sneaked up on Gordon in highly restricted places), but he was not the type of person to be breaking out criminals. Who had done it was not the issue right now. The main problem was rounding up the criminals and getting them back to Arkham before chaos broke loose all over the city. Gordon did not want to wait around for it, but without a lead as to where they had gone, he was pretty well stuck.
The sound of rain outside grew stronger, nearer. A breeze crept up on Gordon, and he turned around, facing the window just in time to see Batman closing it. Gordon felt his blood boil a little, the way it always did when he saw the man in his suit, even before he had known it was Bruce Wayne. He turned his mind off the subject and approached the man, hands in his pockets. It felt different somehow, to be near the Bat, knowing the man behind the cowl. But at the same time, it still felt the same, because it didn't look like Bruce. There was no stylish brown hair, no gleaming hazel eyes, no fine pressed suit or shined shoes. No, even the presence of Bruce Wayne was not there. Nothing was laid back and easy about Batman.
"I suppose you already know," Gordon said, slumping against the desk for support. He watched Batman's eyes as they studied him, unmoving. Batman's stance was the one he always had when they talked: arms at his sides, hands balled into fists, legs set apart, always ready, eyes glaring but dark. Gordon had grown accustomed to all of it, and it had been awkward when Batman changed it up. Gordon was glad to see he was back to his normal routine.
"I've taken care of Crane and Nygma," Batman growled, voice deep and throaty, as usual. Gordon shivered, remembering hearing that voice escape Bruce's mouth earlier. He felt himself come unglued as he realized he was still thinking of the two men as separate identities rather than one. Gordon would have preferred to be shown that Bruce was Batman, rather than just being told. He didn't want to ask Batman to take the cowl off, not at MCU. There was still a man hunt for Batman, and the last thing Gordon wanted on his hands was Batman's arrest.
"Oh?" He looked over the top of his glasses at the costumed man before him, his gaze returned with a slightly heated one, almost annoyed, but there were no other indications shown on the Batman's face to clarify it.
"I'll be going after Joker next." Batman's voice was unbearably raspy, and irritated was far from the emotion Gordon heard in his voice. It was a little more desperate, and a bit weak. Batman turned to leave, Gordon reached out a hand to grab his arm, and the other man turned around to meet his gaze once more.
Gordon had wanted to tell him that he should slow down, rest, not worry about the Joker right now; but his eyes showed no sense of understanding in that moment. Gordon knew Batman always had his way, always had to have control. Gordon searched the man's face for some sign that he would listen to what Gordon said, but the stone set jaw, the thin-lipped line of his mouth and the cold, glossed-over eyes told Gordon that there would be no point in even trying.
"Be careful, at least?"
Batman nodded curtly. Gordon had almost hoped for a better response than that, something a little more personal. The Bat turned to leave and then turned halfway around again, and in one swift move, Gordon felt himself being pushed down on the desk, Kevlar-gloved hands pinning his shoulders flat. Batman's warm mouth was around his, licking gingerly at Gordon's lips. As if acting on instinct, Gordon parted his lips and sucked in Batman's tongue, swirling it with his own, nipping at it with his teeth. One gloved hand slid roughly down Gordon's side, sending shivers across his skin. Gordon kissed the man harder, the smell of leather mixed with the familiar scent of the aftershave he remembered smelling on Bruce, and it made him go limp under the armor above him.
Batman moved away, breaking the sweaty kiss and glaring down into Gordon's eyes. A growl escaped the Bat's mouth, almost agitated. Gordon took a deep breath and pushed against the other man with his hands, and moved to a sitting position on the side of his desk, feet barely touching the ground. He pulled at his pant legs, adjusting himself, aware of his asserted arousal, hot pulses still emanating through his veins.
Batman watched him, and Gordon could have sworn he saw the man smirk. "Will you get out?" he asked, half kidding, but sorely meaning it in his current state of being. If Batman stayed, he was afraid of what he would do to him. And there were more important matters at hand than being seduced by the dark knight. Not right now...
Gordon watched as Batman opened the window, slipped through it and into the shadows of his surroundings. He walked over to the window, hoping to catch a glimpse of the man, but he was darker than the night itself, and the sky didn't allow for any illumination. Gordon shut the window and pulled out his cell phone to place a call to Arkham. He had work to do. The time had come to stop playing house with Batman, to return to the real world. At least for a while; at least until this mess was sorted out.
Chapter 5: An Unexpected Visitor
Gordon slowly tapped his pen on his desk to the rhythm of the rain spattering against his office window. He was more than little a agitated, and he had every right to be. He'd spent more than hour an on the phone with Arkham Asylum, just to be told that someone would be by before noon with the surveillance footage requested. Why they could not have told him this to begin with instead of tossing him around from office to office, Gordon could only guess. The whole incident was highly suspicious and left Gordon with quite a few unanswered questions: how could someone break in to Arkham? And how could that same person free four patients? Or should that be prisoners? In Arkham it could have been either. Or both.
Arkham was a high security mental institution built to secure not only the insane but the criminally insane as well. Wayne Corp. had made improvements to the security system and donated brand new technology to Arkham after Crane's fear toxin escapade two years prior. Therefore Gordon found it hard to believe that someone could just walk into Arkham with the intent of setting free dangerous criminals without knowing a thing or two about the workings of the advanced technology. It left Gordon with one of two possibilities: an inside job or one perpetrated by someone working for Wayne Corp. who had helped build the system. Either was likely, but the real question was why?
Since the lock-up of Edward Nygma there had been no terroristic criminal threats to the city, so the other side of the question was why would anyone want to spawn more havoc in an already crumbling city? Yes, Batman had been able to apprehend Nygma and Crane within a few hours, but it still left Joker and his newly-found sidekick out on the streets to create inevitable mayhem. Who-ever let the four of them out obviously had a need for their escape, but exactly what that need was was not very clear yet.
"Gordon," a voice called from behind his shoulder. He turned his chair to face Stephens, who was standing at door, palms against the frame. "Crane and Nygma are locked in county prison, as you asked. Extra security." He dropped his arms to his sides, stepping towards Gordon to speak in a more hushed tone. "The scouting teams couldn't find any trace of the Joker or that quacked-up groupie of his. There's been no sign of them anywhere since they left Arkham."
Gordon chewed the inside of his lower lip; he had secretly hoped Batman had already caught the Joker. He sighed, but this was the Joker he was thinking about, not just your run-of-the-mill bank robber. At least the Joker isn't out terrorizing the city. Yet. Gordon hoped some leads would surface and GCPD could take control of the situation quickly. Hopefully before the media gets a-hold of this, he thought. So far, it had been kept silent, but it only a matter of time before someone let it slip and the GCN had it blaring all over their network.
"Keep a team out. Something's bound to come up. Let me know when it does," Gordon said. He watched Stephens nod solemnly, pull his cellphone from his pocket, and walk back down the hall.
Gordon groaned, head in hands. He missed being on the streets and having a more physical control of situations, such as these. But being Commissioner meant that he had to finish paperwork before he could go out to play. It meant more responsibility, less activity, and a lot less fun. Not fun in the sense that it was playtime for him, but fun in the sense that it was exciting and got his adrenaline pumping. Sitting at a desk for most of the day was hardly exhilarating and had really taken a toll his physical fitness. A part of him almost hoped the Joker would appear just so that he could get out of the office and lead the hunt himself. It was a very small part, though.
He swiveled his chair back to his desk, staring at the already mounting pile of paperwork he had to finish. Shouldn't take too long, he thought, and set to work in the hopes of finishing before the Arkham representative arrived.
A tap at the door brought Gordon's attention away from the last few pages of his work. He mumbled "come in" and finished signing his name to the file in front of him. He closed the folder, put his pen down, and stood from his desk to greet his visitor. He was surprised to see a nicely-groomed, red-haired man –dressed in a suit that could easily match up to ones Bruce wore -- standing in his doorway. The man held a stack of disks in one hand and had extended the other to Gordon.
Gordon took the man's hand. "Jim Gordon."
The man smiled, gripping Gordon's hand firmly. "Doctor Thomas Elliot. I'm here on behalf of Arkham." He released Gordon's hand and replaced it with the disks. "I was told you would be needing these."
Gordon fingered the disks; there were quite a few to go through. He'd be watching these until the sun came up the next day. "Thank you." He motioned to the chair on the other side of his desk. "Were you working when the break-in happened?"
Doctor Elliot took the offered seat, crossing one leg over the other. "I was not."
Gordon took his seat again, placing the disks in his drawer and locking it shut. He turned his gaze to the man in front of him, who was sitting back in the chair now, hand on the arm rests. "Oh?"
"A doctor's entitled to a night off now and then, Jim." Doctor Elliot said smoothly, obviously not caring to be formal, and his bluntness set Gordon a little on edge.
"Sorry. Gordon." The man waved a hand apologetically, but Gordon half-suspected he didn't really mean it. "I know you're going to ask me where I was, and the answer is at home. You ask my housekeeper, she was there with me."
Gordon picked up his pen and jotted down the information on a small pad at the edge of his desk, more of a reminder. The man was quick and surprisingly on top of it. Maybe a little too on top of it. Gordon filed that in the back of his mind for now; he would have to reserve judgment for later. There was no point in jumping to conclusioms.
"And what do you do at Arkham, Doctor Elliot?"
The Doctor smiled widely, eyes narrowed as his voice dropped an octave. "I'm a surgeon."
Gordon raised his eyebrows, surprised. "Arkham needs surgeons?"
"Experimental procedures," The man stated, tone still intact, unfaltering.
"Experimental." Gordon had to hide the suspicion creeping into his voice. It wasn't a question, but a statement he was trying to work through his mind. He hadn't been aware that Arkham did any more experimental surgeries. The thought made his skin crawl.
"It's very classified, Commissioner. I suggest that if you want to keep asking these questions, you take it up with Arkham's Chief of Staff. I'm sure he could get you the appropriate information." The doctor's smile was the same, but his tone had gone rather dark, and Gordon's suspicion grew to abnormal levels. Just the term "classified" was enough to send his concerns over the edge.
Gordon was about to respond to Doctor Elliot when he heard a knock at the door. He turned his head to see Bruce, one hand in his pocket, standing in the doorway glaring at the man on the other side of his desk. Gordon stood, and Doctor Elliot followed suit, extending a hand to Bruce. Gordon watched as Bruce took the doctor's hand, a heated look in his eye and a smug, fake smile plastered on his face. Hardly a combination Gordon ever wanted to see again.
"Bruce!" Doctor Elliot exclaimed. He stared at the billionaire with a gleam in his eyes that was far from trusting.
"Tommy." Bruce's tone was flat with false excitement. Gordon stared at the two men, an obvious tension radiating from Bruce and an unusual boost of confidence in the doctor, who seemed to stand a little bit taller now, towering inches over Bruce.
"You two know each other?" Gordon waved a hand between the two men and then settled against his desk, arms folded over his chest.
Bruce looked as if he was going to answer Gordon, but Doctor Elliot stepped towards Bruce and placed an arm around his shoulder and brought him into a side ways hug. "Oh, Bruce and I have been friends a long time. Went to school together."
Bruce winced at the strong grip Doctor Elliot had on his shoulder and his smile cracked into a thin line. Bruce's eyes met Gordon's helplessly, an obvious pain lit up his eyes. Bruce finally shrugged the man off, straightened his suit and stood a few steps back from where he had been, keeping distance between them. Gordon eyed Bruce suspiciously as he favored his left side; he wasn't doing that earlier this morning. He wondered why kind of fight Bruce had gotten into.
There was a thick silence, deafening and uncomfortable. There was tension between the two and Gordon didn't feel like being caught in the middle of a silent feud; "Mr. Wayne, would you mind waiting in the hall for a few minutes while I finish up with the Doctor Elliot?"
Bruce let his smile brighten again and gave Gordon a nod. He left the room, shutting the door behind him. Gordon looked back at Doctor Elliot, who had resumed his seat across from Gordon's desk, mischievous grin lingering on his lips and his piercing blue eyes fixed intently on Gordon.
"If you'll just write down your information for me, Doctor Elliot, one of my detectives will be by sometime in the next couple of days to talk with you and your housekeeper further. For the records, of course." Gordon didn't want to sound accusing. He had a lot of questions he still wanted to ask, but knew the doctor was not going to divulge any useful information. Gordon would have to do his own digging around.
"Of course." The Doctor reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a business card and a pen, quickly jotting down some information on it. He placed it on Gordon's desk and slid it over to him. "I work long hours, Commissioner. So if you need to you can call that last number there and speak with my housekeeper about scheduling a meeting."
Gordon took the card and placed it in his pocket. He then stood, offering his hand once more to the doctor. The other man followed suit--taking his cue -- shook Gordon's hand and walked towards the door. "I'll get these disks back to you as soon as we're done with them, Doctor Elliot."
"We have our own copies, Commissioner. You can keep those." Doctor Elliot opened the office door and walked into the hall-way. He heard him say something to Bruce, who quipped something back nonchalantly. Gordon couldn't quite make out the conversation, something about dinner in the next few days and telling "Alf" hello for him. There was the patterned clipping of shoes and then silence. Bruce strolled in, closed the door behind him and leaned against it with his hands in his pockets.
"Nice friend," Gordon mumbled sarcastically, as he thumbed through the last of folder of paperwork. When he didn't receive a response he looked over at Bruce, who seemed to be contemplating something.
"What did he want?" His tone came across as abrupt and cool, even a little demanding.
"He brought some disks of the surveillance footage at Arkham. I'm hoping to review them this afternoon." Gordon closed the folder in front of him and stood up from his chair.
Bruce nodded, a distant and distracted look in his eyes suggesting he had something else on his mind. Gordon wasn't sure if it was about Doctor Elliot or something else entirely. The silence between left for a change of subject. But Gordon found himself at a loss for words. He walked closer to Bruce and placed a hand on his left shoulder. He watched the other man's face twinge in a sudden onslaught of pain, his body dipping on the left under the weight of Gordon's hand. He felt a little cruel for doing it, but knew Bruce wouldn't talk about it otherwise.
"A little mishap this morning," Bruce grumbled, his voice low and distant, possibly even annoyed.
Gordon removed his hand from Bruce's shoulder, feeling bad that he had accidentally hit a wound. Bruce closed his eyes and started some breathing exercises. He wasn't exactly sure what Bruce was doing, but whatever it was was obviously easing the pain. Bruce face when expressionless and a few minutes later he opened his eyes. He took one last deep breath and pushed away from the door with his elbows.
Gordon would be lying to himself if he said he wasn't worried about the man, but Bruce seemed to be in control of the pain and whatever else happened to be on his mind that he wasn't sharing. For now, Gordon let it go. There was a more important matter that needed attending.
"How was the clown hunt?"
A sigh escaped Bruce's lips, one that sounded frustrated. "Tracked him down." He let out an uncomfortable laugh, almost hysterical."Well, he tracked me down, anyway." His voice indicated that maybe he didn't believe it himself. Bruce rubbed his face with his hands, and Gordon noticed just how gaunt and hollow his eyes looked. Had he even slept today?
"Care to elaborate?"Gordon asked, knowing that his request was not likely to get answered.
Bruce shook his head and began to strip off his jacket. He placed it neatly over the back of a chair, and began to loosen his tie. Gordon watched him, not entirely sure what he was doing until Bruce started to unbutton his white shirt. He stared in horror at the large, purple bruise that covered the whole left side of Bruce's torso. Gordon wouldn't be surprised if there were a couple cracked ribs as well.
Bruce seemed to notice the worrisome look Gordon was giving him as his eyes examined him. Bruce shrugged. "It looks worse than it is." That's a lie, Gordon thought,and he began to wonder how many other life-threatening wounds Batman had obtained over the last few years The question was one Gordon didn't really need answered. All a part of the job, he had to remind himself. There was nothing safe about what either of them did. He couldn't bother himself to worry so much, but it was definitely going to take some getting use to. And how many times had he told himself that today? Five? Ten? Too many. Think about it later.
Gordon wanted to reach out and softly trace the large bruise up Bruce's ribcage, but felt more than awkward even thinking about the action. Instead, he moved around Bruce, checking the damage a little more. He quickly noticed a large patch taped down with surgical gauze on the back of the man's left shoulder, tinted red with seeping blood. A fresh wound. "What happened here?" Gordon barely touched the wound and Bruce shuddered, his bodily instinctively jolting away from the source of pain.
"You know Joker and his love for knives," Bruce mused sarcastically. Even in the situation, Gordon found Bruce's sense of humor enlightening; it was a side of him that rarely showed through in the playboy persona and never in Batman. Gordon found himself hoping the humor was a bigger personality trait than Bruce let on.
Examining the wound further, without taking the gauze off, Gordon began to wonder if the Batsuit was really protecting Bruce the way it should have been. He knew the Batsuit wasn't invincible, but he didn't think it allowed for such horrendous wounds either. Then again, he had never been around the Bat long enough to fully examine the suit up close and personal. May have to change that, he thought. He came back around to stand in front of Bruce, eyeing each and every scar and fresh wound he saw. If anything, Gordon was in awe of the man for taking such beatings almost nightly and not once complaining about it.
Bruce reached out and grasped Gordon's hand, bringing the older man's eyes up to meet his careful glare. For a moment neither of them said anything, just shared a slow silence. When Bruce spoke it was but a raspy whisper; "I'm going to find him." He placed their hands, Gordon's palm down, over his heartbeat and took a deep breath.
Gordon awkwardly placed his free hand on Bruce's arm. He could feel the man's tension glide away, muscles relaxing under Gordon's touch. "Are you sure that's wise, Bruce? You don't really look like you're in the best of shape to be -"
Bruce pressed his lips against Gordon's, wrapping his good arm around the older man to bring him in closer. Gordon was vaguely afraid of being caught, worried that someone would walk in, but the thoughts escaped him at the light flick of Bruce's tongue against his lips. Gordon parted his lips, lapping gently with his own tongue around his partner's ravenous mouth. It wasn't rushed or lustful; it was smooth and delicate, like a trickling river. His body molded against Bruce's body like warm clay, and for a moment he forgot he was standing in his office in the middle of a city lost to chaos. None of it seemed to matter for those few lost, hopeful seconds.
Bruce lifted his mouth away, his lips brushing Gordon's as he spoke, "I could show you just what kind of shape I'm really in." Sensual, inviting and unexpected were the only words Gordon could find to describe the way Bruce spoke those words. But it also made him feel nervous and overwhelmed, and downright unsure of himself.
Gordon snorted an uneasy laugh and pushed away from Bruce. "I've got work to do." He gave Bruce an apologetic smile, and received one with similar sentiments in return. Gordon could already tell, once Bruce let his guard down, that the man was very passionate with his emotions. He'd seen it first-hand when the Joker kidnapped Rachel and Harvey. When Rachel died. When Harvey died and Batman told him what had to be done. Gordon found himself relishing the little things he was beginning to notice about Bruce, things that two years ago he never would have deduced about the billionaire at all.
Bruce was sliding his arms carefully into the sleeves of his shirt. "No lunch today, Jim?" His voice had a suave translucency to it. His eyes looked lazy –tired -- but were fiercely set on the older man. Gordon felt like a thousand tiny fire ants were biting at his skin as he flushed at the younger man's lustful stare.
"I've got a lot to do, Bruce. Can I take a rain check?" Gordon asked. He watched Bruce finish buttoning up his shirt and took in the last glimpse of the well-toned body, shuddering mentally. Since when was he so attracted to men? Since Bruce Wayne became Batman. Gordon ran a hand through his hair as he watched Bruce finish buttoning his shirt and start on his tie.
Bruce eyed him with an impish grin, finishing the knot and straightening the tie. "I'm holding you to that, Commissioner." He reached over the side of the chair, grasped his jacket and tugged it on.
Gordon stopped Bruce just short of the door as he went to leave, "Be careful tonight. And you should really think about getting some rest first." He smirked, "You look like shit."
Bruce scrunched up his face and furrowed his brows, a frown his lips. But Gordon knew it was a facade. Bruce looked at him sideways as he headed out the door into the hall, that smug little grin plastered on his face. "Rest? I, too, have lots to do today, Jim."
Chapter 6: Hush
"Surveillance footage checks out," Gordon said to Stephens, who was walking into the meeting room with two cups of coffee in his hands. Gordon reached up and turned the television off. He pushed the eject button on the DVD player and took the disk out. He had watched at least twenty of these disks, all full of pointless footage. The last disk was the one with the break-in footage he was looking for. He wasn't sure why Arkham thought he needed a whole days worth of video.
"Guy with weird mask made of bandages and tan trench?" Stephens asked, handing Gordon one of the two cups of coffee. Gordon took the hot beverage, sipped on it, and smiled a little at the other man in thanks. He was beginning to think Stephens was the only detective he had left that he could trust. Well, at least with his coffee.
"Yes. He had a subtle approach though. As if he knew exactly what he was doing and where to go." Gordon sat sideways on the edge of the conference table, facing Stephens.
"It's definitely an inside job. He had pass-codes to every system there. No one gets those codes without working there. So, either he's an employee there or is very, very friendly with someone who is,"Stephens stated, taking a sip of his own coffee, watching Gordon over the rim of his cup.
Gordon chewed at his lower lip as he thought for a moment. "Doesn't make sense, does it?" He tried to make it all fit together, but the question still lingered: why would someone let four criminals free and then walk away as if it was nothing? What was the purpose?
The other man shook his head. "No. But if it is an inside job, I think the best idea right now would be to get some statements from Arkham employees."
"Didn't your team do that Sunday night?"
Stephens shrugged. "We took statements from those who witnessed it. I really think we need to investigate a little deeper into Arkham. Something smells fishy, and it ain't their cafeteria."
Gordon was immediately reminded of the fear toxin fiasco with Doctor Crane a few years back – how he used it on his Arkham inmate patients and then on the rest of Gotham. No, they didn't want another one of those incidents to happen. "Alright. Take a couple officers with you. I want a full report in the morning."
The detective nodded, throwing out his plastic cup, now drained of coffee. He turned around as he was leaving, walking backwards out of the conference hall; "Don't forget to finish the paperwork for the Nygma case. Mayor called earlier and said he's been waiting over two weeks for the full report."
Gordon waved him off. "I didn't forget," he said. It was a lie, though; he had forgotten. In the in the current days' mess, with everything involving Batman – Bruce – he'd forgotten all about the report. Well, he would definitely be busy the next day, finishing that and all his other paperwork. All work and no play, he thought, makes for a very, very long day. And as much as he didn't want do the work, he knew it was his sole duty and priority; he'd made a promise to Gotham, and he had to keep it, no matter the job he was given. Oh, the pains he went through for his city.
Another day passed where Gordon didn't leave his desk except to use the bathroom and pass out for an hour or two on the couch in the officers' lounge. It had now been two days since Gordon had seen Batman; two days since he'd heard from Bruce. It was Wednesday now, the day they usually held their weekly meetings out on the roof of MCU – something they had started doing over a year ago when Gordon was forced to smash the floodlight. It was a way they could keep in contact without anyone becoming suspicious. He hoped Batman didn't forget tonight. He needed to be able to talk to him about the case, to get his opinions. To know he was alright. Gordon found himself caring more about the last part. He couldn't help but be worried; it was very unlike Batman not to keep in contact with him when such a huge case was present. Gordon almost felt he was being avoided, shunned. Maybe he was imagining it; maybe he wasn't.
The sun was setting behind the skyscrapers of Gotham, the last bit of orange in the sky fading to a dark gray, lit with the lights of the city below. Gordon folded his arms around himself – against the winter chill that was settling in; he could tell the season was going to be long and rough. He glanced at the watch on his wrist, which showed just a little before seven-thirty. Batman would be there any minute. Hopefully. Maybe. No, no... he would be there. He was always there, maybe not on time, but he always showed.
And just when the worry started to set in, a tap on his shoulder sent him spinning on his heels, facing the masked vigilante. "Goddammit," he muttered, clutching his chest with one hand. No matter how many times Batman sneaked up on him, he was sure he would never get used to it. He puffed a few deep breaths to slow his heart rate back down. Batman had a gloved hand on his shoulder, and Gordon relaxed at the touch, letting his posture slacken a little.
"I don't have a lot of time," Batman growled. It sounded different somehow, almost weak. Gordon searched the man's eyes, expecting to see the cold, hard expression of Batman glaring at him from behind the cowl; but instead he got the sad, tired eyes of Bruce Wayne. Very tired, Gordon noted. He didn't need to see the man without the mask to know he was exhausted. After two years, he could tell a lot of things about him without so many words being exchanged between them. Well, a lot of things except an obvious secret identity (but that was because Gordon was too stubborn to notice).
"You don't look so good," Gordon stated, as his eyes never left Batman's. He wasn't sure what it was, but he was sure something wasn't quite right with the dark knight. There was definitely a distance in his stature. "What's going on?" It wasn't a question, it was a demand. He had let Bruce --Batman-- keep him in the dark about this long enough.
Batman bowed his head and let out a heavy sigh, his breath misting out of his mouth; "I'm a mess, Jim." He stepped a few paces back from Gordon, shaking his head. "I haven't slept in days."
Well, it wasn't what he was looking for, but it was a start. Gordon nodded an understanding and tried to reach out for the other man, but Batman stepped back a little further, just out of his reach. Gordon dropped his hands to his sides in defeat. Why so distant? he wondered. "You aren't invincible, Bruce."
There was a sigh, and Batman flexed his gloved fingers in what Gordon guessed was annoyance; "I haven't had time. The Joker's been all over me since Monday." He paused, spreading his hands out in front of him. "He doesn't just follow Batman. He follows Bruce. He knows."
Gordon wrinkled his eyebrows. "What do you mean 'he knows'?" He knew what Batman meant, but he found it hard to believe that Bruce would let his guard down enough for the Joker to figure it out.
"He knows. He knows who I am. Every turn, he's there. During the day he's in disguise. It's one big game to him." Batman took a step closer to Gordon and lowered his voice into a disheartening, painfully rough growl. "He's working with someone."
"Joker doesn't work for other people," Gordon stated. The thought was unfathomable, but a part of him could believe it. Give the clown what he wanted and he'd probably do anything. And it was already pretty obvious that the Joker loved tormenting Batman. Maybe...
"He has to be." It was a whisper, a sound unfamiliar coming from Batman's lips. "He's keeping a low profile, and that's not like him."
Gordon knew Batman had a point. The Joker wasn't one for sitting around when there were bigger games to play, and Gotham was an awfully big playground. "Do you think he's working with the man responsible for breaking him out of Arkham?"
The only response Gordon received was a slight nod. There was a moment of silence between them, and he wasn't sure what the other man was thinking. "You need to get some rest. You aren't doing this city any good being out in the state you're in."
"I can't rest. Not until Joker's back behind bars in Arkham," Batman replied, his gaze steady and his jaw locked. Gordon knew the look all too well; there was no use in arguing. He sighed and brought his hands to his hips, shrugging defeat. Someday Batman might actually listen to him. But then again, when did Gordon ever take his own advice?
A clank from the side of the building brought Gordon's attention over to the ledge. Batman was there first, looking down over the edge, fists balled at his sides. Gordon walked up beside him, but was pushed back by a gloved hand. "Stop," he whispered harshly. "He found me again. Last thing I need is another reason for him to link you to me." There was a whisper of a curse under his breath, and he leaped to the ledge, ready to jump.
"Wait! If he's here I can get some of my officers -" But Gordon was too late, and Batman was already gone, disappearing into the dark pit of shadows below them.Gordon rushed down the stairs that lead back down to the first level of MCU, jumping down the last five steps, rounding the corner to the back door that lead to the streets behind the building. He pushed the door open, grabbing his gun from the shoulder holster sitting under his left arm. He heard hysterical laughter resounding through the empty alley.
He pushed his back up against the wall, moving as carefully as possible to keep his foot-steps silent. Slowly he stuck his head around the corner, seeing the hideous painted face of the Joker, who was engaged in an all-out brawl with Batman. Gordon could tell the vigilante was not as his best – the Joker was landing quite a few punches and even managing a couple stabs with his knife between the armored plates on the Batsuit. Gordon was impressed when Batman kept going, even with obviously painful injuries.
The Joker was in sight now. Batman had noticed Gordon and left a clear shot for him to disable the Joker. Gun still in hand, he aimed and pulled the trigger. But his shot was thrown off by a well-placed smack to his face that knocked his glasses off. He bent to the ground and frantically groped for his glasses. A soft crunch beside him brought his hazy eyes up to a black and red blob that somewhat resembled a female form. He tried to aim his gun but had it smacked from his hands before he had a chance to gain a better hold.
"Well, well, well...if it ain't the Commish," the female called, tauntingly. Gordon found himself up close and personal with the nozzle of a spray can. The girl leaned in close and Gordon could see a wide, painted, black smirk spread across her lips and cheeks. Her blue eyes sparkled against the black cloud of makeup surrounding the hollows of her eyes. "Couldn't stay out of it, could ya, Jimmy?"
Gordon reached out to grab the girl's wrist and knock the can from her hand, but she had already pushed down the nozzle. A spray of something that smelled of gasoline and insecticide washed over his face. He immediately started to cough and convulse. He grabbed his chest, trying to catch his breath. Within seconds his vision blurred, and he fell against the wall as his limbs went numb. He could hear the giggling of the girl and saw her booted feet as she walked past him. He thought about grabbing at her but found himself paralyzed and unable to move. He closed his eyes, nauseated.
He vaguely remembered hearing Batman yell out his name in panic. He heard the loud crack of fist meeting jaw and hoped it was the Joker face being pummeled.
He managed a groan and his breathing slowed. And he heard a set of footsteps approach him from behind. His hearing started to fade and Gordon realized he was falling into a black pit of unconsciousness.
Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.
Gordon felt his head pulsing to the soft ticking of a clock. He wasn't sure where it was coming from, but if he had to guess, it was right next to his head. Either that or he had the worst hangover of his life, but he couldn't remember drinking. What had he been doing? Oh, that's right: Batman, Joker, wannabe female Joker... it was all coming back. But where was he now? He tried to open his eyes, a bright light above him blinding him into squinting. When he tried to shield his eyes with his hands, he found they were tied back behind a chair. He attempted his legs, but those, too, were tied to the chair. Wherever he was, it was cold, and he didn't have his jacket on anymore. He was left in his thin dress shirt and pants. Was he outside? Sure felt cold enough to be outside.
He allowed himself to open his eyes again, adjusting to the light. He was in what he assumed was a warehouse; it was dank, damp, and down-right cold. His eyes adjusted to the light, but without his glasses it was almost useless. He could, however, see the unmistakable outlines of hundreds of oil drums. He turned his head to the left and saw the red digital numbers of a timer, counting down with less than two hours left on it. He could only assume the timer was connected to the barrels. The situation was all too familiar, except the last time he had been on other side – trying to save the person who had been in his place.
Desperation started to sink into the pit of his stomach, as he realized that he could very well meet his end the same way Rachel Dawes had a year ago. Thoughts of his children, of never seeing or talking to them again bounced around in his head. This was not the way he intended to end his career, or his life for that matter. He found himself placing all his hope into Batman, hoping he had some clue; hoped that he would come and save him, the way he had done for every other dire situation in the past two years. But that was a needy and selfish feeling, and Gordon suddenly loathed himself for even having thought it. He didn't even know if Batman was alive. Someone had to have put Gordon in this warehouse, and it was most likely the Joker and his wannabe sidekick. That left Gordon fearing that Batman had taken a fall. Was he wounded? Was he dead? Dread seeped into his blood, and he growled in anger. Somehow he would find a way out of this. He was resourceful, and he had been in situations that were – well, not quite similar – before.
Footsteps from somewhere behind him pulled him out of his thoughts. A hand touched his shoulder and Gordon felt his body shiver as he craned his neck to look behind him, to no avail. The hand squeezed his shoulder and slipped off. A man walked past him, tan trench-coat, bandages wrapped around his head and face, covering everything but the nostrils and the eyes. The man stopped two feet away from Gordon, hands in his pockets, the light from above shining around him and creating a menacing silhouette.
"I was really hoping you were like the rest of your useless police squad," the man mumbled from under the bandages. He sounded a little muffled, but Gordon understood him perfectly. "Too bad."
"Who are you?" Gordon questioned, more curious than angry. There was no need for anger; it wasn't going to get him anywhere.
The man laughed. "I really thought you and Batman would have figured that out by now. By the way Bruce stared me down the other day, I would have thought for sure he'd figured it out." Gordon let the surprise slip into his expression. Bruce had been right. If the Joker knew who Batman really was, then so did the man he was working with. And he didn't have to guess; the man straight-up admitted it. "Don't look so surprised, Gordon. Not everyone in this city's oblivious."
"Where is he?" Gordon asked; he let his expression harden, determined not to give this man any more pleasure off his emotions.
"I imagine he's out looking for you." The man started to pull at the bandages on his face, slowly unraveling them as he spoke; "After he took care of the Joker and his bitch, he went looking for you. Too bad you weren't there." Gordon could tell the man was smiling behind the bandages; the amusement was in his voice.
Gordon watched the intricate process of removing the bandages, hypnotized by the pile of white falling to the floor at the man's feet. Gordon watched as the last of the white cloth dropped to the floor, bringing his eyes to meet the other man's. Before him, the red-haired Doctor Elliot stood, a gun in one hand – fixed on Gordon – and a smirk on his face that suggested he was reveling in Gordon's sudden surprise. Except Gordon wasn't as surprised as he thought he would be. Somehow, he had had the feeling it was Thomas Elliot all along. The clues had all been there in front of him, and he refused to see them.
"Why?" Gordon asked, his eyes narrowed on the man, a sincere hatred building in his gut.
"Why Bruce? Why set free known, insane criminals? Why you, Commissioner? Which is it? We have time for all three if you like." The man let out a laugh that caught Gordon's ear, and he cringed. He didn't say anything to the man, expecting him to know the answer already. Elliot nodded.
"Why Bruce? Why... why not? His parents died and he got everything. My father died and I was left with my mother, attached to her hip until the day she died. Why did Bruce get everything I wanted? He liked his parents. I loathed mine. It should have been the other way around. My parents should have been gunned down. I should have inherited my father's money. I should have gotten to travel the world without supervision!" There was a rage building in the man, but he tried hard to keep his calm. Elliot was jealous of Bruce. That much was very, very obvious.
Elliot seemed distracted and then looked back at Gordon again, fierce eyes bearing into him. "See, I've been planning this for a while, Gordon. This was planned long before Bruce Wayne decided to become Batman. But Batman just added to the fun. Especially after I met the Joker a little over two years ago. Oh, he had ideas, great big ideas that worked out perfectly with everything I had ever wanted to do to Wayne. To break him emotionally. Torment him physically. Kill him completely. He's so undeserving of everything he has."
Elliot paused as if considering his next words carefully. "I'm sure you knew Rachel Dawes? Bruce's little girlfriend? Her death was inevitable. Planned years ago. It just worked out so perfectly with Dent's demise. Even better." The man laughed again – evil, cynical and gut wrenching.
Gordon felt his heart sink further into his stomach, the beat quickening as he started to realize the seriousness of the situation and of everything that had happened in the last year. Everything that broke the playboy down and made him lose hope was because of a man Bruce once thought of as a friend; a friend who wanted him dead, but not before toying with his emotions and torturing him. He shook his head, but kept his expression solid.
"Ah, yes. And now, on the anniversary of Rachel's death, just when Bruce thinks he can get over her finally, I show up and break-out Gotham City's most hated and loathed criminals. And why? Torment. Keep Batman and Bruce Wayne on their toes. Mentally and physically falling apart, just waiting for me to swoop in and finish it. And that, my dear Commissioner, is where you come into play."
Chapter 7: Choices
"If you're going to kill me, just do it," Gordon said.
Doctor Thomas Elliot stood in front of Gordon, one gun fixed on him, free hand casually in his pocket. His glare was deadly, crazed and frightening. Gordon wasn't sure he wanted to know what his part was in the doctor's grand scheme, but he had an idea. After all, he was tied to a chair surrounded by hundreds of barrels of gasoline. He had a pretty good notion as to the role he was about to play in the breaking of Bruce Wayne. And Gordon suddenly wished he'd forced Batman to stay behind and let the police take care of the Joker.
Doctor Elliot laughed; " I could, but that would take all the fun out of my plan. And the Joker assures me explosives are much more exciting."
"Batman won't fall for your trap." Gordon narrowed his eyes at the man, honestly hoping that Bruce wouldn't fall for it; but he had too good a heart to ignore the situation. Gordon was sure Elliot left him enough clues to find the warehouse just in time to see it blown up with him inside. He could imagine the breaking point for Bruce and knew the criminals would be the ones that got the brunt of his emotions.
"I doubt that. Tell me Commissioner, how well do you function when you haven't slept in more than three days?"
Gordon opened his mouth to talk but found he had a lump in his throat, the result of being nervous, anxious and worried. Bruce wouldn't be thinking straight and wouldn't see the trap for what it was. He would only be thinking of saving Gordon and not the possible outcome. But what would be the outcome? If Gordon was killed, yes it would break Bruce, but he would still be alive. There was more to Elliot's plan than he was letting on.
"What's the average response time for Gotham City Police?" Doctor Elliot asked as he pulled out his cellphone from his pocket and flipped it open. Gordon was silent and Elliot laughed. "I didn't think you'd actually tell me. I'll call them right before I leave." He flipped the phone shut again.
"What would be the point?" Gordon wasn't sure he understood.
"You aren't going to be around long enough to care, anyway." Doctor Elliot turned the timer on the barrel, and picked it up. "I know the clock says we have a little less than two hours, but I think I'm going to change that." He started to punch at the buttons on it, glancing at Gordon as he did. "Two hours is far too much time for Batman to find and save you. That won't do at all." He set the clock back down. Ten minutes flashed and then started to count down all over again.
Gordon frantically started to pull at the ropes holding his hands behind his back. Elliot had tied one hell of a knot. Gordon knew there was something he could say to the other man, but his thoughts were engaged elsewhere, and he didn't quite feel like having witty banter with a man who was about to blow him to smithereens. That would be a waste of time rather than a helpful distraction. Elliot was laughing and shaking his head.
"You can keep trying, Commissioner, but I doubt you're going to get through those ropes in time to get out of here." Elliot smiled mockingly and placed a control down on a barrel not far from Gordon. It was the detonator switch. "If you do happen to get out --then I've obviously failed-- you can switch the explosive off. Nine minutes, Jim."
The sound of the doctor's shoes clicked softly against the pavement of the warehouse floor as he walked past Gordon, out of his eye sight. The creak of door hinges and the small clang of steel meeting steel told Gordon that the man had left. He didn't have a lot of time, and he knew he needed to keep his thoughts focused on getting out of this alive, but he couldn't help thinking that he was letting his kids down. Letting Bruce down. Letting Gotham down. Letting himself down. No, no... he had to stop the nonsense and focus. Focus. If you dislocated your thumb...
But he didn't need to think about that much longer. He heard the shattering of glass above him and turned his head to the side as small shards flew in his direction. There was a light thud that followed. Gordon turned his head back to see a dark figure, but without his glasses it was blurry. Not that he needed to see to know it was Batman; who else would crash through a glass roof so nonchalantly? Gordon motioned for the detonator switch and Batman limped over, grabbing it. He looked at Gordon as he pushed the off button. A little too easy for Gordon's taste. But nothing blew up; no alarms went off.
Gordon looked at Batman and shrugged his arms, silently asking him to get him out of the ropes. Batman smirked, and Gordon halfway knew what he was thinking. Now was definitely not the time to be thinking about such endeavors. But Gordon found that Batman stopped just short of coming closer as the sounds of helicopters flying over the top of the warehouse could be heard, their searchlights blaring down through the broken glass roof. Gordon searched Batman's face for a sign that he was going to flee. But then he noticed the tired glare, the slow sway of the other man's body from exhaustion, and trail of blood seeping down the side of Batman's armor. Gordon had almost forgotten about the fight Batman had been having with the Joker before he blacked out.
A squad of SWAT officers had jumped down through the hole Batman had made just minutes before. Another group of SWAT entered through the back entrance and then another through the front. Gordon gave Batman a look of sincere apology and regret. He knew in normal circumstances Batman would have easily taken care of the SWAT team without faltering; but nothing was normal about this situation. Batman –Bruce-- was on the verge of collapsing and needed medical attention. Gordon pleaded silently with his eyes for Bruce to some how get out of there. But Bruce shook his head just slightly and closed his eyes. He knew it was over. He had been run-down and had nothing else up his cape. He had let his guard down and slipped up.
"PUT YOUR HANDS ON YOUR HEAD AND DROP TO YOUR KNEES!" yelled one SWAT officer who was moving slowly towards Gordon and Batman.
Bruce put his hands on his head and dropped down to his knees in front of Gordon, opening his eyes again to look at him. His eyes were weary and bloodshot filled but with such passion that Gordon felt his heart skip. He wanted to reach out to the other man and hold him close and tell him it was all going to be over soon – even if it was a lie, wouldn't have mattered this time. Bruce, deep down, was still that little boy from so many years ago, looking for comfort, acceptance and a reason. And this time, Gordon couldn't help him. He opened his mouth to say something but Batman shook his head.
"Gotham needs you," he whispered hoarsely. The SWAT officer had come up behind him, taking his hands and cuffing them behind his back. Gordon saw Batman's body give out in exhaustion, and he fell face first to the pavement. Two more SWAT members joined the first and attempted to pull the vigilante to his feet.
Someone came up behind Gordon and started to cut away at the ropes binding his hands together. "Lucky we found you when we did." The voice belonged to Stephens. He cut away the last of the rope, and then bent to start with his ankles. "Checked into Doctor Elliot while I was at Arkham. He checks out everywhere except with his housekeeper. I guess he paid her off to keep her mouth shut. Apparently it wasn't quite enough."
Gordon rubbed his wrists, half listening to Stephens. His attention was focused mostly on Batman, who was being dragged out of the building. Gordon kicked the ropes off his ankles and stood. "HEY!" He yelled at the SWAT officers. "He goes to MCU!"
"I didn't think the Batman worked with the likes of Hush," said Stephens, standing from his place on the floor and looking Gordon over with a watchful eye.
Gordon shook his head, wanting to say that Batman doesn't and wouldn't do that, but he kept his comment to himself. "Hush?" he asked instead.
"Yeah. It's the name Doctor Elliot adopted for himself. Joker was all too happy to spill the beans on that one.." Stephens rolled his eyes. "You okay, Jim?"
Gordon looked at the detective and smiled just a little; Stephens never called him by his first name unless there was reason to be worried. "I'll be fine."
Stephens nodded, a small frown forming at his mouth. "It was only a matter of time, you know." Gordon was a bit surprised to hear the words sound sincere, as if Stephens somehow knew that he had been working with Batman all along.
"I know," he said, and then whispered again, "I know."
Gordon sat on the cold, metal bench in the back of the SWAT van, hands folded in his lap, staring at the Batman sitting across from him. He had convinced the SWAT leader to let him ride in the back, by himself. After all, what good was being Commissioner if he couldn't use it to his advantage now and then?
Batman hadn't said anything. His head was propped up against the back of the van wall, barely sitting up straight. Gordon could tell he was on the verge of passing out. He quickly snapped the privacy window shut, not wanting the crew in the front of the van to see or hear them. He carefully stumbled over to the other side of the van and sat down next to the vigilante. He took out the cuff key and removed the cuffs. He then took the other man's right hand and stripped the Kevlar glove off and then did the same with the left, placing them on the seat beside him. He looked at the bare hands for a moment and then twined their fingers together.
Silence grew between them, but Gordon found he didn't mind; he'd rather not be reminded right now that the world outside was about to fall apart around them. The city he had loved for so long would soon tear apart her own child --Gotham's Prince. No one would see it coming, but everyone would want justice for the people who died a year ago. It would only be fair --fair to everyone but Bruce. Gordon knew they would stick him in Arkham, as only a crazy man would run around in a bat costume. No, no... don't think about that now, just stay in the moment. For Bruce. He squeezed the other man's hand, receiving a weak squeeze in return.
"Jim..." A soft whisper with a hint of hoarseness escaped Batman's mouth. Gordon turned his head to look at him. Their eyes met for a moment that felt like a life time; everything felt slow and blurry around them. It was then that Gordon knew he had fallen for the man harder than he cared to admit. He admired his courage, the fierceness in his eyes, the deep brown color of his hair, the way a suit looked on him, his rough growl, and even that stupid smug grin. And what horrible timing to have such a revelation, he thought.
He moved closer to Batman, cupping the right side of his face with his left hand. He leaned in and kissed him softly on the lips, relishing the small moan that escaped the man's throat. He kissed Batman a little harder, tugging at the cut on his lower lip and pulling it into his mouth. Gordon slid his tongue into Batman's mouth for only a moment and then pulled away. Batman was gazing at Gordon, his eyes soft, sad, and lost.
"What happens now?" It was not the growl Gordon always expected from Batman; it was a whisper that sounded strained and small.
"I think you have two choices: turn yourself in and risk prison or time spent at Arkham, or we attempt to clear Batman's name before they even start to think about de-masking you."
Batman was silent again and his grip in Gordon's other hand had slackened. Batman's eyes were half closed. "I'm not sure clearing my name is going to go over well. We still lied to the entire city. I planned on turning myself in once. I think it's time I do what has to be done."
Chapter 8: Unveiling
"Are we going to a take that mask off him or not?" an officer asked from behind Gordon. He was standing behind the glass wall of the interrogation room along with a small group officers from the "catch Batman" task force the department had setup over a year ago. Gordon had his arms folded over his chest, shaking his head.
"He has the same legal rights as anyone else. We're waiting on his lawyer." And his butler, Gordon thought. Bruce had asked him to call Alfred Pennyworth, his butler and the only man Batman trusted to mend his wounds. It was going to difficult to be explain to the other officers when he showed up, but Gordon had a few ideas.
"He killed five people! He doesn't deserve anything!" The officer was raising his voice to Gordon and moving towards him. Gordon stared at him with cold eyes, a glare he'd only given the Joker once in interrogation, and maybe a couple times to his kids when they were out-of-line. The officer stepped back, shut his mouth, and glared back at Gordon.
Stephens stepped between the two. "Jenkins, why don't you go take a breather?" he said to the younger man, holding up a hand between them. Jenkins nodded and walked to the door and out of the room. Stephens turned back to Gordon, suspicion evident in his eyes.
"Don't look at me that way," Gordon said, turning his eyes back to the two-way glass, watching Batman's every move. He would have rather been in there with him tending his wounds the best he could until Alfred arrived. He was only disappointing himself with those thoughts, and it didn't do Bruce any good to be distracted.
"Sooner or later that mask has to come off."
"I know that." Gordon started. "But I don't think everyone in Gotham needs to know. Do you know what this is going to do to the man under that cowl?"
Stephens went silent. His face wore an expression that suggested he hadn't really thought about it. "Commissioner. He killed five men. Are we really showing him sympathy?"
Gordon sighed,stepped closer to Stephens and whispered, "It's all a lie. One huge, over-done, lie." He sighed and rubbed this bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger. "It was a cover-up for Dent. Harvey Dent killed those people."
"Dent?" Stephens had a look of pure confusion on his face. "Why would Batman cover up for Dent?"
"To leave Gotham with a shred of hope that good people do exist," was all Gordon said. He didn't feel he needed to explain himself any further than that. He was sure Stephens would understand. In fact, most officers would understand, but there were very few Gordon trusted.
"You know, don't you?" Stephens asked in a hushed whisper, leaning in closer to Gordon so no one could hear them..
"I don't know what you're talking about," Gordon mumbled. He gave the other man a sideways glance and a hard stare that more than suggested the real answer to the question. "Get these men out of here. They don't all need to be here for this."
Stephens nodded his understanding and started rounding up the stray officers and pushing them out the door. With-in minutes the room was cleared and Stephens was returning with two men behind him: Mayor Garcia and an elderly gentlemen that Gordon assumed was Alfred. Gordon shook the hand of the Mayor and with Alfred, who also added a little bow to his handshake out of politeness. Gordon noted that Alfred looked pale, high strung, worried – much the way Gordon was feeling himself. Alfred watched Batman through the glass and Gordon could practically feel the ache radiating off the man. Didn't Alfred become Bruce's guardian when his parents died? Gordon couldn't remember.
Gordon placed a hand on Alfred's shoulder. "C'mon." He lead the man past Stephens and Mayor Garcia, who both looked curiously at Alfred; they obviously hadn't pieced the puzzle together yet. And unless they had been to one of Bruce's parties they most likely didn't recognize Alfred at all.
They walked out the door, down the hall and to the door of the interrogation room. Gordon unlocked it with his key and pushed the door open. He held it open for Alfred, who rushed in and was immediately at Batman's side, examining the wounds the best he could through the Kevlar armor of the Batsuit. Gordon walked over, unlocked the handcuffs on Batman's already-naked wrists and placed them on the table. Batman looked up at him and nodded his head, and Gordon knew what it was he was agreeing to. He was going to remove the cowl; he had no real choice, he was wounded and sooner or later it would need to come off anyway.
"It's just Alfred, Mayor Garcia, Stephens and myself," Gordon said as he knelt beside the chair Batman was sitting in. "I'm not sure what's going to happen, Bruce."
Alfred was already undoing some intricate buttons and latches that Gordon had never realized were on the suit. Batman raised his hands to his head and pulled the cowl off slowly, releasing a full head of sweaty brown hair. Bruce's eyes were dull and listless. The black paint smeared under his eyes had bled down his cheeks from the sweat, mostly likely caused by a fever from his wounds and the warmth of the suit. Gordon felt his heart skip a few beats; this was the first time he'd seen Batman take the mask off and actually show the face of Bruce Wayne. It was very, very real now. Everything. Of course he'd believed it before, but seeing it in front of him with all the details set it in stone...
Bruce lifted his face to look at Gordon, his eyes gleaming in the fluorescent lights. He motioned for Gordon to come closer. Gordon scooted forward and Bruce wrapped an arm around his shoulder, pulling himself to his feet, allowing Alfred to easily remove the armor. Bruce was very weak, and Gordon found he could barely hold on to him. Stephens ran into the room, confusion still plastered on his face, but concern evident as well. He went to Bruce's other side, taking his arm around his shoulder to hold him up. Gordon heard Bruce moan in pain, the pieces of armor finally off, leaving the billionaire in his boxers and dripping blood from several wounds to his shoulders, back, and ribs. Some weren't so bad, just mild cuts; others were worse, deep gnawing gashes. The wound from Monday was still there, but luckily untouched, to Gordon's surprise.
Stephens and Gordon lowered Bruce back down to the chair and allowed Alfred to continue cleaning up the playboy. Stephens left the room and Gordon got close to Bruce again. "I'm going to make this right. Some how." Even though Gordon knew it wasn't entirely his fault, he felt responsible; he had let this happen. He could have ended it months ago. Hell, he could have never started it. It wouldn't have mattered; Gotham was just as bad as it had ever been, with or with-out Dent. Mob bosses went free, still roaming the streets. Nothing had changed. Everything Batman tried to cover up for nothing.
Bruce's head fell back against the chair, eyes closed. Gordon wasn't sure if he had passed out or was merely resting his eyes. Gordon touched his shoulder softly as he turned to leave, letting his fingertips glide down the playboy's bicep. Gordon was suddenly aware that it may be the last time for a long while that he would be able to touch him. Alfred looked up at Gordon as he reached the door and gave him a slight nod of thanks and understanding. Gordon returned the nod, walked out of the room and locked the door behind him.
He stood outside the interrogation room door for a few moments to gather his thoughts and feelings. Gordon was hardly the sentimental type of man, but right now all he really wanted to do was break down. He hadn't felt like this since Barbara took the kids and left. Why was it everything that promised him a happier life seemed to fall apart in his hands? Just when he was able to grasp at it, something would go awry and he'd be left with nothing. One too many times... Everything felt out of his control; but when had anything in Gotham really ever been in his control?
A sigh escaped his lips involuntarily. He walked the few paces down the hall to the next room. Mayor Garcia and Stephens turned to look at him. The Mayor turned his head back to the glass and continued to stare at the the two men in the interrogation room.
"Bruce Wayne..." he said. "Should have been obvious."
"Had us all fooled," Gordon replied. He walked over to stand with the two men and turned his gaze to the glass. Alfred had stopped the bleeding on many of the wounds and was stitching up some others. Bruce was barely holding himself up; it was only a matter of time until he passed out completely. Gordon was surprised he had lasted this long.
"He'll have to be locked up in Arkham until we can arrange a private trial," the Mayor said. Gordon was surprised; he had been sure everyone would just want to lock Batman up and throw away the key. But the mayor was talking about a private trial, which meant he had some respect for Bruce Wayne and his need to keep his identity safe.
"I'll call to arrange a private room, if possible," Gordon said. He wasn't actually sure that Arkham had private rooms, but with enough of Bruce's money he was sure something could be arranged. He knew some cover-up story would need to be thought of, otherwise people were going to begin to wonder why Bruce was even in Arkham. It meant that Gordon's job had just gotten a little harder. There were not many doctors or orderlies he trusted at Arkham to keep Bruce's secret. Gordon could tell he was going to be spending his time between Arkham and work. Just because Bruce had to be in there, didn't mean he needed to receive treatment –at least not right away. Maybe between himself and Stephens they could work out a schedule to keep an eye on Bruce and keep people away from his cell. Gordon thought he was being a little too hopeful. If only he could keep him at MCU. But that was a disaster waiting to happen as well. Every cop in Gotham wanted a go at Batman since he supposedly killed five people. No, Arkham was definitely the safest place for him.
"He trusts you, doesn't he, Gordon?" the mayor asked, pulling Gordon from his thoughts.
He looked at the mayor, a little confused at first; he wasn't really paying attention and had to think for a moment to catch up. "I don't know. Maybe. Yes."
"Keep close to him. He might not cooperate with anyone else," the mayor said as he walked around Gordon towards the door. "I'll be in touch once I get the trial arrangements made." He opened the door and slipped out.
Gordon shook his head. "Please tell me we have leads on Doctor Elliot."
Stephens folded his arms over his chest and shook his head. "Not a word. Not a trail. Nothing. Maybe Wayne knows where he is."
Gordon narrowed his eyes and glared at Stephens in a sideways glance, "Mr. Wayne wasn't working with Doctor Elliot. He was set up by him."
"What was he doing in that warehouse then?"
"Saving my life."
Chapter 9: Unsaid Agreement
What happens now? Bruce's voice was so prominent in his thoughts that he was sure he was actually next to him, hearing him whisper softly in his ear. He hoped that when he opened his eyes he would be lying next to the young man, arm wound tightly around his stomach, holding him close, the world not shattering down around them. But that, Gordon knew, was a naive thought to have. He opened his eyes to the dimly lit room. He couldn't quite remember where he was at first, but after taking a moment to look around, he knew he was at MCU in the interrogation room.
To his right Alfred was checking and replacing bandages on Bruce, who was actually awake and alert. The last Gordon time had seen Bruce, he was passed out on the table. That was hours ago, though. Gordon wasn't sure exactly what time it was, but to say that hours had passed seemed about the right, given the way his body was aching from sleeping up-right in a metal chair. He stretched his arms above his head and rubbed his eyes. Where were his glasses? Oh right, coat pocket. He had found an old pair in his office drawer to use --no use in going blind until he could order a new pair. He dug them out of his pocket and put them on. He could see Bruce and Alfred more clearly now. Bruce looked a lot better, though he still had deep, dark circles under his eyes and massive amounts of bruising on his torso.
Gordon hunched over in his chair, elbows on his knees, and pushed up to stand. Bruce looked up at him and gave him one of the damn cheesy grins that always made Gordon want to roll his eyes. He couldn't see how Bruce could even fake the playboy thing right now under the circumstances. He shook his head and ran a hand through his hair with a little sigh. Bruce seemed to catch on that he was not too impressed with his charade. He offered Gordon a small shrug and an apologetic smile.
"You seem to be doing a lot better," Gordon said. It wasn't as touching as he wanted it to be, but he felt a little awkward with Alfred standing beside Bruce, redressing wounds.
"I've felt better," Bruce replied. He looked at Alfred, who had just finished putting on the last bandage. Bruce gestured at him; Alfred gave a little nod and what looked to Gordon like an annoyed eye-roll. He wanted to laugh, but thought Alfred might give him a dirty look next. Alfred stood and left the room. Bruce turned back to Gordon and motioned to the glass wall. "Anyone on that side?"
Gordon shook his head. "No. No one is allowed back here until we move you. But we can't do that until your lawyer gets here."
"He'll be here," Bruce said. He seemed to notice the worry written on Gordon's face. "I'm not going to go to Arkham. You and I both know I don't really belong there."
Gordon let out a disbelieving laugh. "Have you forgotten that you've supposedly killed five people? If you don't go to Arkham, you'll end up in prison. Prison isn't so nice to billionaire playboys, Bruce." Gordon had put his hands on his hips, standing over him. But then he saw the laugh Bruce was trying to suppress and realized he must have looked like an overprotective father trying to tell his kid what to do. He dropped his arms and let them relax at his sides, giving a big sigh.
Bruce shook his head, using the back of his chair to help him stand. Gordon moved forward and put a hand on the other man's bare back to help. Bruce smiled at him thankfully and then stepped closer to Gordon. "Don't worry about it. This is my issue to deal with, Jim. I let it happen, I'll fix it." Bruce placed his hands on Gordon's shoulders, stepping up to him until their faces were just centimeters apart.
Gordon felt his breath catch and could have sworn he stopped breathing for a moment. His heart was racing in his chest and he felt pounding in his ears. He had told himself that he wouldn't be allowed this close to Bruce Wayne for quite some time, and he had accepted that; but now he was closer to Bruce than he should have been allowed. Gordon felt Bruce's lips touch his, a tingling sensation coursing through him, forcing him to mesh his mouth against Bruce's. He placed a hand on the back of Bruce's head forcing him closer, tongue reaching into the depths of his mouth hungrily, searching for that moment where neither would want to turn back. Gordon felt strong arms around his torso pulling him in tighter to Bruce's bare chest, making him wish he wasn't wearing his jacket or his shirt, yearning to be nearer to the man than he had ever been. Bruce let out a deep moan, and Gordon felt his blood surge through veins, boiling against his skin. He felt that twinge of arousal and pulled away from Bruce quickly before they let it get out of hand.
Gordon saw Bruce look reluctantly at him, lips red, swollen, and protruding out in a little pout that was rather inviting; but Gordon pushed the thoughts out of his mind. He let his hand linger on the back of Bruce's head, feeling the softness of his hair. He brought his other hand up and touched the playboy's cheek; usually his face was soft, cleanly shaved, but now it was rough with stubble, and Gordon found he kind of liked it. He let his gaze run over Bruce's face and then back to his eyes. Bruce was looking at him with a small smile, eyes half glazed with lust. Gordon swallowed; in any other situation he would probably have taken Bruce up on his obvious invitation. Terrible, terrible timing, he thought.
There was a knock at the door, and Gordon pulled away quickly. Bruce folded his arms over his chest as Gordon walked to the door to open it. Alfred, a suit in his hands, was standing there with another man. Gordon moved out of the way and allowed the two men to enter the room. Alfred gave him a rather knowing look and seemed to be having a hard time holding his tongue. Gordon narrowed his eyes at him as he passed by; he didn't think Alfred cared, but he was certainly not going to take those "mother-hen" looks from a man closer to his own age.
Alfred handed the clean, pressed, black suit to Bruce, who seemed to be a bit annoyed that Alfred had brought him that instead of something more comfortable. Gordon waved his hand at Bruce to catch his attention.
"I'm going to be in the other room." He knew Bruce wouldn't care of he stayed, but Gordon gave him the privacy anyway (even though he could still hear everything in the next room). Bruce nodded and started putting on the white shirt as Gordon left.
Gordon walked into the other room and watched the men, listening to their conversation. Bruce's lawyer was not surprised at Bruce's secret identity. Maybe he knew already? His lawyer work for Wayne Corp, and if Lucius Fox knew, there could be any number of others who had figured it out as well. Or perhaps Bruce had told his lawyer in case something like this ever happened. There was a tap at the door, and Stephens walked in a few second later.
"Gordon. Mayor Garcia is here. He wants to talk to you."
"Oh. Stay here, will you?" Gordon said. Bruce had been kept under constant supervision and being the only two in the station who knew of Bruce's identity, it fell of Gordon and Stephens to watch him. He walked past Stephens, out the door, and down the hall, where he saw Garcia waiting by the meeting room door. He was talking to Anna Ramirez, who had recently had her badge returned to her after being forced to take a year off. Gordon glared at her. He didn't blame her first-hand for the incident with his family, but he did hold her responsible for the events that lead to it. Dent had been right about a lot of his team, especially Ramirez.
"Commissioner!" Garcia said, shaking Gordon's hand. "Detective Ramirez was just telling me about a mishap with Harvey Dent over a year ago." He started down the hall toward the meeting room with Gordon next to him, leaving Ramirez by herself, looking grave. Gordon turned his head back to look at her and she gave him a nod. He looked away, a little confused.
"Mishap with Dent, sir?" Gordon asked, as if it were the first time he had ever heard this news.
Garcia opened the meeting room door, ushering Gordon in first and then shutting it behind them. "Don't think me stupid, Gordon. Ramirez told me all about Dent's rampage and her involvement with the mob and the Joker fiasco. That is why you had her on probation, isn't it?"
Gordon nodded. "Well, yes..."
"So Dent was responsible for those deaths, correct?"
Gordon was reluctant, but the mayor was staring him down knowingly, as if maybe he had known all along it was lie. "Yes. But --"
"I don't really need to hear the excuses. I will hold a press conference to retract the story. We can't blame Bruce Wayne for murders he didn't commit. Even though he obviously isn't rejecting the claims. I don't want it to come back at us later," Garcia said. Gordon couldn't blame him; Bruce was a powerful person. If word got loose that he was Batman and that he had been falsely accused of killing five people, there would be a huge lawsuit on the mayor's hands (not that Gordon thought Bruce would actually do that, but Garcia did).
"Am I still moving him to Arkham?"
"No. I'm sure he can make bail, aren't you, Commissioner?" Garcia smiled slightly, which almost made Gordon uncomfortable. Since the mayor had found out about Bruce Wayne's secret identity, he had been much nicer to the Batman. Gordon couldn't help but wonder if it was due to the fact that Bruce Wayne had always been a huge supporter and always held such large fund raisers for him. Or maybe the mayor had just had a change of heart. For all Gordon knew, it was both.
"We're just going to let him out on bail?" Gordon asked.
"I've talked it over with Judge Hampton. Wayne is going to make bail either way. You know he would." Garcia paused to see Gordon's reaction, but he didn't give him one. "I'm actually not even sure we have much of a case here. Are you Gordon? You said yourself that Batman wasn't working with Doctor Elliot, and he is really the one we should be focusing on, don't you think? And with his name cleared from the murders, I see no reason to fight this or keep him here."
Gordon felt his head swim. He was so confused with everything that was going on. Was the mayor really suggesting they let Batman go after having the Batman manhunt of the last two years? "Mayor..."
"Gordon. Just get Wayne out of here," Garcia said, and he left the meeting room with a little wave. Gordon was left feeling very overwhelmed. What the hell was going on here?
Gordon watched through the glass wall as Bruce shook hands with his lawyer. He and Alfred left existed into the hall. Gordon walked out of the room in time to see the two men, nodded and walked into the interrogation room where Bruce sat half-on and half-off the table, looking at some paper work spread out before him. He looked at Gordon as he approached, and gave him a small smile and raise of the eyebrows.
"Apparently you're free on bail, and I think Mayor Garcia wants to drop all charges." Gordon said.
Bruce nodded, flipping through more paperwork. "Hmmm," he said, as if he wasn't all that surprised. "That's what my lawyer tells me. Alfred's taking care of the bail right now."
Gordon stepped closer to him and eyed him suspiciously, "I think its a little strange that Anna Ramirez can suddenly clear your name and the Mayor doesn't want to press criminal charges anymore."
Bruce slid off the table and walked over to him, hands placed casually in his pockets. "I told you I was going to take care of it."
Gordon just stared at him. He didn't really know what Bruce meant, but he had an idea. Bribery? Money bought a lot of people. He didn't think Bruce was so low as to do that, though. Whatever the reason, it explained why Bruce was more than calm about having to reveal his identity. Had he planned for such an occasion all along, so that he would know exactly how it went down? He knew Bruce wasn't stupid. Of course he had a plan. Of course. He only wished Bruce had brought him in on the plan, whatever it was.
"What exactly --"
Bruce placed a hand over Gordon's mouth, "Will you stop fishing for answers? I took care of it. It's done. There are a few repercussions; the worst being that I check in when I patrol now." He said in mock-disgust.
Gordon pushed Bruce's hand away and frowned. "Check in with who?"
Bruce smiled slyly; "Oh, this guy... I think he's the Commissioner."
Chapter 10: Final Sentiments
It had only been a week --one week since Jim Gordon had met Batman in a lonely alley way for a very strange rendez-vous. After the events of the past week, it didn't seem so strange after all. Batman had been trying to tell him he needed help, and Gordon had flat out refused to see it. All this, followed by his chance meeting with Bruce Wayne the following day at the cemetery, where he learned a secret he initially regretted learning, though he found it was growing on him. Why hadn't Bruce Wayne's desperation been so obvious? The man was being stalked by an old child hood friend who was more than a little jealous of the billionaire's "carefree" life style. Gordon wasn't a mind reader, though. Bruce could have come right out and asked for the help he needed. Couldn't he?
Gordon shook his head. No, he and Bruce were a lot alike; they were both too stubborn to admit when they were wrong, let alone when they needed help. And under most circumstances Bruce didn't need the help. He was very capable of holding his own, despite what people thought they knew about him. He had been able to get out of going to Arkham. Gordon still didn't know how Bruce did it or what had to be done to accomplish the task. Gordon had been so sure that once Bruce took that cowl off he was going to be cursed for life and that he'd never get to see him again. Gordon really wanted to know what it was Bruce had planned, done, figured out, whatever it was... but all Bruce kept saying on the matter was that 'it was done', 'taken care of' and to 'stop worrying'. It had started to get old, so he finally dropped the subject all together.
When it came time to let Bruce go, they had to let him walk out as Batman. Since Bruce had only revealed his identity to Gordon, Mayor Garcia and Stephens, it was the only way to go about it with out everyone else in the police force becoming suspicious. Though, keeping everyone out of the interrogation room for almost two days was pretty difficult in itself and caused even more suspicion than it really should have. People were so anxious to know who Batman really was that the job of keeping them all out was probably the most tiring thing Gordon had done in weeks. Thank God for Stephens.
And now Gordon had one more thing on his plate, one more thing that he had to fill out paperwork for: Batman meetings. It was the agreement, after all, if the city dropped criminal charges against Batman. He was surprised Bruce had agreed to work with the police and his patrols, but after seeing the guidelines on paper, he knew Bruce had gotten his way: once a week meetings discussing patrols and possible criminal activities. It was exactly what they had been doing for the past year, except now Gordon had to take notes and write up a report. Bruce found this hilarious but promised to help him the best he could. Gordon some how doubted it and knew the playboy would figure out some scheme to get himself out of typing duty.
Then there was the issue of Doctor Thomas Elliot. There had been no word on him since Wednesday evening, when he took Gordon hostage. He had disappeared: his house was sold to someone anonymous, his housekeeper had no idea where he went, and Arkham said he just never showed up for work again. It left Gordon feeling a little... well, scared. Scared for Bruce's life, scared for his own life, scared for anyone who even crossed paths with Elliot. Gordon didn't get the whole story out of Bruce, as he was sure there wasn't too much else to add, but Gordon had an idea that the man was a little touched. Gordon could hope that it was the last they had seen of Doctor Elliot, but he was sure the man would show up unexpectedly and at the worse possible time. That was just how things worked when you lived in the city of Gotham; if things could go wrong, they would.
The city lights spread out below him grew brighter as the night fell over Gotham. He had never seen a view quite like the one from Bruce's penthouse. It was amazing and tragic all at the same time. Beautiful was more than the right word ,but devastating seemed to fit well, too. Gordon was always so torn when it came to his city. One minute he was in love with her and the next he wanted nothing but to put her out of her misery forever. He leaned a little over the rail of the balcony, and let the wind blow around him, making him shiver. The winter weather had definitely set in now, and he had left his coat inside. He wrapped his arms around himself.
A hand rested on his shoulder, and this time Gordon didn't jump. He was getting use to this, comfortable. He should have been afraid of it, but at the same time he was happy for it. Since Barbara left, he hadn't had anyone to share with on a personal level, and Gordon felt he had a year's worth of emotional baggage built up in him; not that he would let all out on Bruce, but it would be nice to finally have someone to talk intimately with. Bruce came around beside him, leaning against the bars of the balcony. He handed Gordon a mug.
"Alfred said you looked cold," Bruce said with a sheepish grin. Gordon took the mug from Bruce, who then clasped his hands together in front of him, watching Gordon.
"What are you staring at?" Gordon asked as he sipped at the mug of hot coffee. It was far from what Stephens made for him, but he couldn't hold Alfred accountable for not knowing how he took his coffee; they had just started being friends, after all.
Bruce bit at his lower lip and shook his head. Gordon found that he loved the shy playboy much better than the dense one. Shy was much more becoming of Bruce; Gordon found it endearing and cute. Cute, he thought. The last time he used that word to describe anything was with his kids. What the hell was Bruce doing to him? Sentimental, Gordon? No, no... He made Bruce promise to keep anything he said to himself; he didn't need news of his soft side spreading all over Gotham.
Gordon watched Bruce bite at his lip again but this time he was looking out over the city. "I really miss this view when I'm at Wayne Manor." he said softly.
"Do you even live at the manor?" Gordon asked as he took another sip of coffee.
Bruce gave him a sideways glance of mock-annoyance; "Yes. I thought you'd like it better here."
Gordon laughed. "You might have been right."
Bruce reached out, took the mug from Gordon's hand and placed it on a near-by table. Gordon started to protest, but Bruce had already replaced the mug with his hands, entwining their fingers. "You keep running from me," Bruce muttered, nearly under his breath. He was slowly moving closer to Gordon, their clothes just barely touching. Bruce's gaze was definite and strong, and Gordon felt the urge to look away, uncomfortable. But this was Bruce, no one else.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Gordon replied. He was sure he actually knew what Bruce meant. Gordon would be the first to admit he felt awkward and unsure when it came to taking their intimacy to the next step. Though he had a feeling Bruce was bound to change that about him. He wasn't sure he minded. Since Bruce had suddenly come into his life, he'd felt need nagging at him every time he glanced at the playboy. Gordon would be lying if he said he hadn't thought about taking advantage of the other man.
"Yes, you do," Bruce breathed. He leaned in to Gordon and licked at his lips the way he had that night a week ago, when he was in the Batsuit, before Gordon knew the truth. The gesture made him shiver and Bruce noticed, letting go of his hands and wrapping his arms tightly around Gordon. He was surprised at first but then let his body relax in the firm hug, allowing his own arms to slither their way around Bruce, one hand in his hair. God, how Gordon loved Bruce's hair.
Their lips met for soft, subtle kisses; barely touching, fluttering. Gordon tugged at Bruce's bottom lip, sucking it into his mouth and nibbling gently on it, then a little harder when Bruce moaned his approval. Gordon let his tongue escape his lips in search of Bruce's, pushing their lips harder together as if trying to seal a gap. Gordon broke free first, gently giving the playboy a push up against the railings. Bruce dropped his hands to the rails to balance himself while Gordon nuzzled his nose into Bruce's neck – the thought of payback on his mind -- and traced a long, wet stripe with his tongue from Bruce's clavicle, up his neck, to his ear, where he placed a wet kiss and sighed deeply. He felt Bruce wriggle under him and try to push him off and gain back his control. Gordon pulled out a pair of hand cuffs from his pocket. He reached around Bruce, cuffing one wrist, looping the chain around the bar and then cuffing his other wrist securely.
Bruce gave Gordon an amused gaze that at first suggested he wasn't too sure about the turn of events, but then his eyes lightened and suggested Gordon keep going. Gordon moved in close to Bruce again,leaning his head down and biting softly at his neck, slowly easing his way around the buttons on Bruce's dress shirt. He kissed down the other man's neck, following the trail of undone buttons until he reached the last one and pushed Bruce's shirt over his shoulders and down to his wrists. He took a few moments to take in the well-built man; even the present wounds and scars were attractive on him. Every inch of Gordon began to crawl with heat, and he kissed Bruce passionately, letting his fingers slides down his chest, over his abdomen and resting them on the waistband of his pants. Gordon slowly undid Bruce's fly, noticing the sudden increase in breathing. Bruce had that lusty gaze in his eyes that made Gordon want to do it even more now. God, how had he become entangled in the mess that was the Bruce Wayne?
Slowly, Gordon kissed back down Bruce's chest, avoiding the more intense wounds, stopping at his waist band before sliding his pants and his boxers to the floor, taking the man's penis in his mouth. Gordon felt a little awkward at first, as he'd never done this before, but the moans and gasps escaping Bruce's mouth gave him the push to go on. He slid his tongue around the tip, working his hand up and down the shaft, bobbing his head with it. Bruce tried to push his hips into Gordon's face, and Gordon stopped what he was doing. He looked up at the other man who groaned out in almost displeasure, his eyes glazed over and pleading with Gordon to continue. He did. Long fluid strokes, tongue teasing effortlessly. Bruce voiced his pleasure with gasps and a few breathless cries of "Jim!" Gordon felt the other man's body stiffen, so he took hold of Bruce's hips and pulled him in closer. Bruce let out a winded moan as Gordon felt the hot stickiness of his lover's semen shoot down throat. He'd thought he might hate it, even gag, but he found he didn't mind at all. He pulled back, wiping at his mustache and looking up at Bruce.
Bruce was panting, and staring at Gordon as if he was about to eat him whole. "My turn."