There's something incredibly depressing about Gotham when it's raining.
Not that it's a cheerful and positive place on other days, no, but the streets are empty and the constant noise isn't a comforting companion but rather a disturbing white noise, static, information lost over the wires.
The quiet and rainy nights are even worse. Not that Jim misses getting drenched on the stake-outs, but it felt good to be out and do something, anything. Now, he's being told to take it easy and go home, rest, the department can run itself for the night. What do the doctors know, anyway? He knows his limits, whatever people might think, and the wound was a clean through and through, missing anything vital he might have use for.
Then again, there was nothing waiting for him at work but piles and piles of paperwork, and those could wait for tomorrow. The city was quiet, licking its wounds once again, holding its breath and wishing for the next crisis to not come just yet. Even the shoot out was just a punk kid using his cool.
Jim used to wish for quiet nights, back when he had Barbara and the kids to come home to. Maybe he should have moved to Chicago with them, but Gotham weighed him down enough to anchor him here. And of course, there were other reasons.
As if on cue, his cellphone rang, 'unknown caller' flashing over the screen. It was as good as an actual caller id; not many people had this number.
"Gordon," he said, already standing up, heading downstairs. He wasn't disappointed.
"Jim," came the acknowledgment, the familiar rasp, and Jim thought once again that for some people a masked vigilante growling into their phone wouldn't come as comforting.
"Calling for business or…" Jim hesitated, the clichéd ending of the phrase going to sound so very wrong, even if he went for clichés.
"It's a quiet night," Batman said evasively, and that was enough. Jim wasn't the only one growing restless when things were quiet, who sometimes disliked the foreboding calm almost as much as he hated the chaos.
He walked out to the back garden, his eyes taking a moment to get used to the dark, making out the silhouette in the corner. Not the Kevlar armour, just non-descript black clothes and a black mask, easy to discard and disappear.
"It's also raining," Jim said casually, holding the doors open for a moment. The garden looked depressing and muddy in the darkness, the playhouse kids left behind a sole reminder of what used to be here. Jim thought of finding some use for it, but he couldn't bring himself to change a thing, not yet.
"Didn't come here for the state the obvious contest," Batman muttered, as close to joking as Jim ever heard him.
He didn't ask 'what did you come here for, then,' even though he might have wanted to. Instead, he tugged at the rolled-up sleeve of his shirt. "It's cold," he said, possibly adding another entry to the contest. "You'd better come in," he added.
"Jim," Batman stopped him quietly. "How's your shoulder?"
"I think I'll live."
"I'm sorry," he said and Jim shrugged at that.
"What for? You weren't even there," he said and belatedly realized that that exactly was what the apology was about. "Oh, for god's sake," he muttered and stepped forward into the rain, taking off his glasses and putting them in his shirt's pocket. The world became blurry and slightly colder. He closed his eyes before pushing Batman's mask up, leaning in to kiss him. "Just come in," he whispered.
Batman didn't answer, just followed him inside in silence, punctuated by the rain growing stronger and their quickened breathing, falling into familiar synchronized rhythm.
Jim turned off the light as they stepped in; the dark and his bad eyesight should suffice, and he trained himself not to make out the features in the shadows. There were other things to concentrate on, the feel of fingers trailing his stomach, pushing his shirt up, the lips on his neck.
And the sounds, the half-broken "Jim" whispered against his skin, causing Jim's breath to catch. He wasn't sure what it was that brought Batman to his door seeking solace and forgiveness, and he didn't dare to ask. He used to think that it was because he wouldn't ever get an answer anyway, but nowadays that changed, and what he was afraid was to ask and get a response, learn things he didn't need to know, maybe even didn't want to know.
Sometimes, just sometimes, the quiet was better.