Instead of the butler or any of the Wayne kids, the man who answered the door at Wayne manor was no one that Jim Gordon knew.
"Morning, Commissioner," the man said, yawning.
It was nearly ten; Jim wasn't sure why the man looked like he had just rolled out of bed, though he supposed that it seemed to be a pattern for the Waynes to never really do anything before at least nine.
"Good morning," he said. "I need to discuss something with Mr. Wayne. Is he in?"
The man blinked slowly. "Police business?" he asked.
"Not as such," Jim said, unsure if admitting that was more likely to get him in the door or sent away.
"Just curious," the man said, a quick smile making its way onto his face, before he stepped out of the way and gestured for Jim to come in. "Alfred's in the kitchen. He'll go wake up B."
Jim followed behind him. "What would your name be?" he asked.
"Jay," said the man. As they walked into the kitchen, Jay said, "Alfie, the commissioner's here to speak with Bruce."
"I'll go and inform him then," the butler said. "Would you mind taking over the bacon?"
"It's not that weird tofu bacon Damian eats, is it?" Jay asked suspiciously.
Alfred looked amused. "Indeed not. I cooked that first."
"Okay. Go wake up the old man, I got this."
Alfred walked out of the kitchen. Without turning to look at him, Jay said, "You can sit at the table. You want coffee or anything?"
"Coffee, please," Jim said.
Jay flipped bacon with his spatula, then reached up into the cabinet beside him, pulling down a coffee mug.
"I'm guessing black?" Jay said, almost wry, as he put the mug next to the coffee maker and started to pour.
Jim drank black anyway, but he especially didn't want to put cream or sugar in a cup of coffee that was no doubt much better than the swill they drank down at the precinct. He wanted to enjoy good coffee for what it was.
"Yes," he said.
Jay placed his coffee in front of Jim, then turned back to the bacon, dumping the pan out onto a plate and setting it off to the side. He pulled down another mug, pouring himself a cup of coffee, and then, as Jim watched bemusedly, poured the remaining coffee in the carafe into a thermos, and tucked the thermos in a cabinet under the counter. He looked decidedly pleased with himself as he did so.
Jay settled at the table, his own mug of coffee in front of him, and Jim hadn’t noticed Tim Drake-Wayne enter the room, but he was reaching around Jay for the mug of coffee. Jay slapped his hand away.
“Get your own coffee, you piece of shit pretender,” Jay said, scowling.
Tim turned away and trudged, zombie-like, toward the empty carafe. Jim suddenly knew what Jay had been up to with the thermos, and he barely stifled a snort of laughter by sipping from his mug. Jay shot him a grin.
“Ngh,” Tim said, staring blearily at the coffee maker. He picked up the carafe, peering inside it like maybe more coffee would magically appear if he looked at it from the top instead of through the glass sides.
Then he put it back down, and made his way, still resembling nothing so much as a zombie, toward the fridge behind Jim, the one he had seen as they walked into the kitchen.
“Damn,” said Jay quietly. “Forgot I needed to dump all his stupid energy drinks.”
Jim heard the crack of a can opening behind him. Jay frowned before taking an obnoxiously loud sip of his coffee.
“So,” Jim said, “are you one of Wayne’s new kids?” Because only siblings acted that way toward each other, and it seemed like every time Gotham turned around, Bruce Wayne was adopting more kids. It was a reasonable question.
“What?” Jay asked. “No, I’m—” He paused. Very slowly, his head tilted as he looked over Jim’s shoulder in the most obvious way he possibly could.
“Yep,” Jay said blandly. “Me and Duke, the newest kids, that’s us.”
“Is that so,” Jim said, amused despite himself. “Do you mind if I ask how that happened?”
Jay propped his chin on one fist, still blatantly staring over Jim’s shoulder. “Sure,” he said agreeably. “Let’s see, how long ago was that…three beers? What, like three beers ago? He was drinking when he adopted me? That explains a lot. Oh, three years. I thought I was adopted around the same time as Duke, but, you know, my memory’s so bad.
“If you’re going to resort to signing, learn how to finger spell, dude.” He met Jim’s eyes and announced confidently, “I was adopted three weeks ago.”
Jim took another sip of coffee to disguise his smile.
Jay’s eyes flicked away from his again. “I was walking home from…school? How old do you think I am? Class, at Gotham U. And then – I have no idea what you’re trying to tell me. Bruce saw I fit his requirement of dark haired orphans and took me in, let’s just go with that.”
“I hate you,” Tim said tiredly.
“Come up with better cover stories,” Jay shot back. “And seriously, learn how to finger spell, pretender.”
Jim smiled a little. “So you are brothers, then,” he said, because that was the only truth in what they had told him. “Only siblings come up with nicknames like that.”
“Oh, no,” Jay said. “I’m just a family friend. One who knows that Timmers here wants to be an actor when he grows up,” he added earnestly. "Or a con man, but he's terrible at coming up with lies, so we try to help him out whenever we can. For practice."
“Die in a fire,” Tim suggested.
Jay opened his mouth, glanced at Jim, and shut it again.
“You’d probably be a shitty actor, anyway,” he muttered.
“Boys,” Bruce Wayne said from the kitchen door, hair still faintly damp from a shower. “Stop fighting.”
“Tim started it,” Jay said.
“I don’t care who started it, I’m ending it,” Bruce said, in the unmistakable, universal tone of fathers everywhere. “Commissioner, would you care to join me in my study?”
Jim rose, leaving his empty cup behind him, and followed Bruce out of the room. As they left the room, he could hear Tim starting in on his brother again.
“Where the hell did you hide the coffee?”