written by destinyawakened
Thursday evening was full of trouble. Gordon and his crew were called out to a hostage situation down at the warehouses by the docks. It had grown typical of Gotham, and it was something they had all just gotten used to doing at least once a week. Usually it was just some random who wanted money or to make a show of things, but tonight it was a little different. Well, more than a little different.
Batman had arrived on the rooftop across from warehouse and stood next to Gordon. “What's the situation?” The vigilante asked.
“Remember that doctor over at Arkham that was fired for getting a little too close to her patient?” Gordon asked as he put the binoculars up to his face again to see if the situation in the warehouse had changed. So far, nothing.
“Doctor Quinzel.” Batman's answer wasn't another question, he understood completely. Harleen Quinzel had gotten involved with a rather famous patient at Arkham Asylum: The Joker. Someone on the inside found out about it and had her fired. Since then she had been seen around Gotham slowly slipping into a state of hysterics and insanity.
“She's really lost it. She'll end up in a padded cell right along next to her former patient.” Gordon grumbled. Batman had moved to the ledge of the building and looked back at Gordon.
“This shouldn't take too long.” Batman rasped.
“I wouldn't be so sure. Joker's henchmen have taken quite a liking to her. Watch your back.” Gordon replied to the masked man as he slipped down off the side of the building into the shadows of the warehouses below. Gordon watched carefully, keeping an eye on Batman and an eye on the SWAT team on the opposite side of the building who were still trying to figure the best way to get inside.
Quinzel, a tall blonde with a long slender waistline and donning the unmistakable face paint the Joker always used, had her arm around a little boy’s neck and large pistol to his head. She was yelling something at the SWAT team that was attempting to get into the building, and suddenly Gordon found himself barking orders to stand down into his handset. This wasn't going to go well if she started actually killing people.
Gordon didn't know how the woman had even gotten all the people to the warehouse, but with the aid of the Joker’s henchmen it wasn't hard to imagine. He just hoped Batman got there in time. The vigilante was quick, seamless, and slipped in and out of shadows quicker than Gordon could catch. Batman had most of the henchmen down in a matter of two minutes, but was left face-face with one rather larger henchman. He watched Batman throw a lot of good punches, mostly to the man's face, until the other finally took a fall. That left Quinzel.
It didn't take much. After all her bodyguards were gone she shattered like good china. Batman disarmed her when she weakened and was able to bind her with a pair of cuffs before Gordon had to give the SWAT the go ahead. Soon Batman was on the rooftop with him again, cradling his left hand.
“Like a brick wall?” Gordon mused. Batman didn't answer, he merely gave Gordon a curt nod and left.
It was the one thing Jim Gordon had been trying all week to avoid, hoping that it would not come down to this in the end. And yet, to his disbelief, there was Bruce Wayne standing at his secretary's desk. One hand in his neatly pressed navy blue, pin-striped suit pants, and the other gesturing towards Gordon's office. The commissioner felt his stomach wrench uncontrollably. Was there a chance in hell he could just jump out the window and not get hurt? Unlikely. He was a couple stories up and a broken leg was bound to happen.
It was one thing to keep seeing Bruce in public places or even at his home; but this was his place of work and he would not be embarrassed here in front of the people who looked up to him and respected him. Maybe if he slipped out while Bruce was busy talking to Karen, Gordon could make it to the restroom and wait there until the billionaire left.
Yes. That was the best idea he'd had yet. Gordon went for his office door and turned the handle. He grabbed his jacket off the back of the door and turned to head out when Bruce was suddenly right in front of him, pushing the door open. He had one of the million-dollar smiles plastered on his face and his hand was resting on the glass of the door where Gordon's name was printed. His gaze, no matter how genuine and gently the playboy tried to make it, was always far too intense for Gordon and it felt like fire burning through him. It was definitely not the gaze of someone so carefree and clueless.
“Commissioner,” Bruce said. At least he wasn't calling him 'Jim' yet. “Are you headed somewhere? I was hoping I could take just a few minutes of your time.”
Gordon glared at the billionaire as he dropped his jacket onto the back of his chair and opened the door the rest of the way for the younger man to come inside. “Take a seat.” He gestured to the chair on the opposite side of the desk. Bruce kept that damn smile plastered to his face, holding his suit jacket to his stomach as he sat down.
“What can I do for you, Mister Wayne?”
Bruce scoffed at him. “I thought we were on better terms that? Please, call me Bruce.”
Gordon had to hold back the eye roll that he felt threatening around his sockets. He knew Bruce was waiting for Gordon to offer that the younger man call him by his first name as well. Too bad for Bruce Wayne – Jim Gordon wasn't easily fooled. “Alright, Bruce. What can I do for you?”
“I was hoping you could round up a few of your best and work security at the press conference I'm holding later this afternoon. I'd hire some of those rent-a-cops, but they really don't do any good.” Bruce leaned back in the chair, his hands fold neatly in his lap and Gordon couldn't help but notice that the man's knuckle's were slightly scraped and bruised. Not entirely uncommon for a polo player, but the injury didn't looking fitting to the sport.
Gordon let his gaze return to Bruce's cool glare. “I really don't think we're going to have time for that, today. It's a bit short notice –”
Bruce made a deep, almost over done, sigh. “I've already talked to Mayor Garcia. He told me that you'd be more than happy to do this small favor for me. It'll be a max of forty minutes out of your day, Jim.”
Gordon was a bit appalled that Bruce had gone around him to the mayor first. What was even the point of asking the commissioner if you were just going to go one step above him? “Now, listen. I don't think that's quite fair. If you want something from me, you come to me, Mister Wayne –”
“Bruce.” The playboy said nonchalantly.
“– Bruce. The mayor doesn't know every little thing happening in this office on a daily basis. I do not have time today to run security for a forty-minute press conference. I don't think anyone is going to want to try and shoot you in that small amount of time.”
Even though Gordon had raised his voice to the billionaire, Bruce didn't seem phased by it in the least. “Commissioner, I would gladly pay any one of your officers double their usual pay for less than an hour of work. Do you think they would really deny that?”
“No. I call it fair trade for a job they're trained to do.” Bruce stood from the chair and leaned his palms flat on Gordon's desk, towering over him. “Look. Mister Stark is very particular about his security and I promised him only best. The way I see it, James Gordon – you and your fine selected few – are the best.”
Gordon couldn't help have a feeling that this was the reason that Bruce Wayne was stalking him all week. Bruce had gotten cozy with his family, flirted with his ex, his daughter, and even Sarah, and gave his kids things they didn't even really need. Bruce even helped Gordon at the store with his phone. Maybe the billionaire thought Gordon owed him something.
“Look, if that is what all this week has been about – you know with the stalking and everything – you can drop it right now.” Gordon said accusingly.
Bruce's eyes got the dazed out, glazed over look to them and his lips curled in confusion. “I'm afraid you've got my intentions all wrong, Commissioner. I had heard about your divorce and the terrible antics your ex-wife caused some time back. So when the opportunity arose to finally reach out a friendly hand, I thought I should take it. I'm sorry if you mistook actions as 'stalking' or anything else ill intended.”
Gordon felt his face burn hot with embarrassment. Maybe he had taken everything purely out of context and read a little too much into it. Or maybe not. Gordon's personal life wasn't on public display and very few people knew about how horribly the divorce proceedings had gone – Gordon had only told a few people, which really was starting to lead him to believe Bruce Wayne was closer to Gordon than he first expected. Bruce Wayne knew someone in his inner social circle and if he dug a little deeper he have the answer right in front of him. The question was, did he want to know?
Bruce's expression softened and he headed for the door but Gordon had already gotten up and put a hand out to stop him. “Look. I didn't mean to insinuate anything. It just seemed that you were stalking me. You showing up everywhere I was this week was a little creepy.”
“Pure coincidence. Scout’s honor.” Bruce said, and yet Gordon doubted Bruce was ever a scout. It did settle his thoughts though on the situations of the last week. Maybe it was all coincidence.
“Alright. So, truce?” Gordon held out his hand and Bruce took it. Gordon noticed the younger man's hands, though looking well manicured, were rough and callused and the bruising on his knuckles up close was worse than he expected. The father in him wanted to lecture him on caring properly for injuries.
“Truce. And now about the security...” Bruce bore that smile again and Gordon gave in completely.
“I'll get on it. You get forty minutes, nothing more.”
Gordon had gathered Sarah (though she was not happy about this), Renee Montoya, and a handful of others to help out. They didn't need that many for such a short time and such a small press conference. In fact it was kept pretty low key, a few members of the press were from varies newspapers, most noticeably Clark Kent who was accompanied by a dark haired woman whom Gordon assumed was Kent's partner, Lois Lane.
Tony, Bruce, and Lucius Fox were on a stage in the middle of downtown Gotham. Police barriers were set up to keep out passing bystanders. Gordon couldn't figure out why they just didn't hold the conference at Wayne Enterprises, but to each their own, he thought. He was sure there was good reason, unless they just needed a change of scenery.
Bruce let Lucius do most of the talking about Wayne Enterprises and their role in developing the defensive equipment for military at a low cost. Stark Industries, according to Tony, was taking on the role of weapons, but not terroristic types like his company had been known for in the past. This time Stark Industries would be going for a more hands on approach and make hand-to-hand combat weapons, decreasing the chances of fatalities unless needed. It was the military after all, and in war there was no room to think twice. But hands guns and close range weapons were a big step from missiles and explosives. It was probably a very good call on Stark's part.
Both companies were going to work side-by-side to develop new light weight armor for the men and women on the battlefield. Apparently Wayne Enterprises had a few test projects and everyone already knew Tony Stark had a few armored suits of his own, so there was nothing new there. But light weight armor made Gordon think of someone else completely.
Batman. Which brought Gordon's thoughts back to where the vigilante knew Bruce Wayne or worked for Wayne enterprises. He hated having these thoughts, because the more he thought about the more he placed certain pieces together. The more he didn't want the revelation that was on the tip of his thoughts...
He had to push the thoughts aside. There was no room for them, especially if he wanted to keep Batman safe and out of the line of fire of the Gotham police. The more Gordon knew, the worse things could become for Batman.
The press conferences ended no more than thirty minutes later and Gordon approached Bruce who was talking with Tony, Clark and Mayor Garcia. They were carrying on best scores in something and Bruce quickly looked to Gordon with a huge grin on his face. Gordon didn't like it; he didn't like it at all.
“Jim! All of us are going golfing. Would you care to join us?”
Gordon merely blinked. Golf? Him? He hadn't picked up a club since the first time in college when he decided it was just not a sport for him. “Uhmm, no that's alright. You all go have fun.”
“Jimmy!” Tony said with a roll of his eyes. “Get your panties out of a bunch and loosen up now and then.” Gordon glared at the man.
He was going to protest again when Garcia gave him a small smile that had the hint of suggestion that this “golfing” might not be exactly what Gordon was thinking. “Alright. Let me go find my car –”
“Nonsense!” Tony said and he turned to Bruce. “Where is your limo? We should definitely all go in the limo!” Bruce had rolled his eyes at the other man and made a gesture for everyone to follow him. Tony had taken up behind Bruce, Garcia not far behind and Clark hung back with Gordon.
“It's really a pleasure to meet you, Commissioner.” He said casually. “I've been following the events in Gotham for some time now, and given the circumstances I think you're doing a wonderful keeping everything orderly.”
Gordon shrugged his shoulders as they approached the limo. “I have a lot of help. One man can't make much of a difference on his own.” Gordon allowed Clark to enter the limo first, sliding in last. He shut the door behind him, now sitting directly across from Bruce Wayne.
“Usually takes two, I say.” Bruce said. He was looking at Gordon knowingly. “One man can make a difference to a point, but when two people become partners, things tend to go a lot smoother. Just like two companies joining together to make something better for the world.” He motioned to Tony, who wasn't even paying attention; instead he had his hand in the mini bar on the side of the limo and was pouring himself a scotch.
“Mhmm.” Tony muffled in agreement taking the glass he poured the golden liquid into and taking a sip, “Totally, Bruce.” The younger billionaire rolled his eyes.
Clark was taking notes down on a pad of paper and Bruce shot him an awful glare. “Will you put that down? Not everything that is said here is to be published by your paper. You know I expect this of Lois, not you.”
Clark looked rather embarrassed and carefully slid the notepad into jacket pocket along with his pen. He then adjusted his glasses sat back against the leather interior, arms crossed. He sighed heavily. Gordon almost felt sorry for him.
“Clark...” Bruce started. “Look, I just don't need my personal life and views thrown all over the paper for the tabloid to get a hold of. I have reputation to uphold here.”
“Oh you mean that playboy persona? Where you drink and schmooze your way through parties and pretend to take home a new girl every night, when really you just go home to Alfred and complain?” Clark spat back at Bruce. Gordon had the feeling these two were much better friends than they let on, and that Bruce was in fact a far different person than he publicly let be known. So…Bruce Wayne wasn't the dense playboy everyone thought he was.
Bruce was now glaring at Clark as if he'd just let go the biggest secret in the world. Tony choked on his drink at the comment. “You know, Clark –” Bruce started, but Tony placed a hand on his shoulder to stop him.
“Why are you feeing into it? You know he does this to get a rise out of you.” Tony said and offered Bruce his drink. Bruce pushed the glass away and continued to glare at Clark. Clark looked at Bruce and then he turned his head to look at Gordon. He gave the commissioner a look that Gordon couldn't quite place, almost as if he just realized that Gordon wasn't actually in on some secret joke.
“Sorry, Bruce. I didn't know.”
“Shut-up, Clark.” Bruce said and he crossed his arms over his chest and stared out the window the rest of the ride. The mayor looked over at Gordon with a look of confusion on his face as well, but only shrugged. At least Gordon wasn't the only one out of the loop.
By the time they arrived at their destination Clark had managed to get Bruce to forgive him and lighten up. Tony had finished two scotches and Garcia had been able to convince Tony to give him a substantial amount of money for the next time he ran for Mayor. Gordon had watched the antics in some confusion, not sure if he really wanted to get involved or not.
They all piled out of the limo and into the parking lot of huge miniature golf course. It was one of those places where you could play mini-golf, hit balls at a batting cage, and even go play games in the arcade. This was far from what Gordon had expected. He looked over at Garcia who was trying to suppress a laugh as he saw Gordon's wide-eyes expression.
“Despite what Bruce or Tony say, neither of them actually know how to play golf. I don't think Mister Kent does either. I think I'm the only one that plays. We decided that miniature golf was an acceptable exchange for the real thing. Tony even called ahead and rented the park out to ourselves. It should be... interesting.”
Interesting was an understatement.
They all walked into the main building to get their putters and balls. Tony and Bruce took care of everything. They were handed five putters, five balls, and five score cards along with pencils to write it all down. Gordon couldn't remember the last time he played miniature golf, but he was sure it was some years ago when Babs still thought it was a cool thing to do for her birthday.
He looked reluctantly at the putter in his hand and the neon orange golf ball in the other. How did he talk himself into this?
The first hole was one of those easy shots where you just had to the hit the ball in a straight line with very little force. Gordon watched as everyone but Tony managed it. Tony apparently had had one too many drinks in the limo ride and couldn't quite keep himself straight enough to get the ball in the whole on the first try. In fact, it took him three more tries. That was when Bruce stalked off to find Tony a bottle of water and aspirin.
The next few holes went by in much the same way, except Clark was now having issues keeping the ball in the designated area. When the hole called for a bit more strength behind the putter, Clark over did it and the ball would go flying and he would have to go ask the clerk for another. Gordon was getting a bit annoyed by the fifth time it happened. Clark kept apologizing and blaming the awful green turf and the horribly old golf putters.
Funny how no one else seemed to be having that issue.
Tony was finally sobering up by the time they reached the seventh hole. It was one of those holes that required a bit of strategy. There were three separate holes that the ball could go into in order to be shot down to the lower half the game and where the hole would be finished. Tony took a quick assessment and hit the ball. His went for the middle hole and landed a few feet away from the hole at the bottom.
Clark was taking it slow and his took the first hole, which landed his ball at the bottom furthest away. Mayor Garcia, being a golfer, took his damn sweet little time, addressing the ball and getting himself situated. He tapped the ball with the putter and it took the same hole as Clark's. Gordon heard Garcia swear under his breath and walk down to meet the other two waiting.
Gordon gestured for Bruce to go ahead. Bruce mumbled a thanks. Gordon mostly let him go first because he had been watching the billionaire since they started. The usually laid back, all-fun-and-games, playboy was taking the game quite seriously. He squatted down to check playing field; Gordon assumed he was sizing up the angles. After about two minutes and the three down the stairs yelling at him to hurry up, Bruce stood to putt. He was very precise with his stroke. Gordon watched as the black ball gracefully made its way up the hill, around the corner and dropped into furthest hole from them. He then watched as the ball rolled out down below and into the hole.
Bruce walked by Gordon and patted his shoulder. “It's quite easy. I'm sure you'll get it too.” And he joined the others.
Gordon didn't really care how he did on this whole, he was still too in awe of Bruce and how well he analyzed the course and managed that. It could have been luck, but Gordon was sure Bruce had figured out the trick to the hole. So, Gordon hit his ball and moved on.
The rest of the game ran much the same, except as time went on Tony got better as he got sober. Clark continued to hit more balls into the water because he over shot, and Bruce took his time to figure out the course. Garcia was with Gordon, they were in the game now to watch the others' antics and the way they played things out.
“Do you get the feeling they're all very close friends?” Garcia asked Gordon as they finished the eighteenth hole and were heading into the arcade area. They had wanted to leave, but since they all arrived in Bruce's limo, they had to wait on him.
“You mean the bickering like brothers? Yeah, I get that feeling too.” Gordon agreed. He returned his putter and ball to the nice cashier at the counter. Clark had gone back outside with a bat in hand, saying he was going to go hit some balls at the batting cage. Tony and Bruce were no where to be seen. Gordon began to wonder if they had sneaked off and left them here.
'I'll go check the food court.” Garcia said and Gordon nodded. He wandered around the arcade until he heard some most obnoxious sounding dance music he had ever heard. He rounded a corner to see Tony and Bruce at a game called Dance Dance Revolution.
“I don't know why you insist on playing this game with me. I always beat you.” Bruce quipped as he shimmied out of his suit jacket and threw it to the ground beside the dance pad. Tony started on his, taking his sunglasses off as well.
“I've been practicing.” Tony said.
“Oh? Did you buy one for you mansion in Malibu?” Bruce was unbuttoning his cuffs and rolling up his sleeves now.
“Despite what you believe, it’s a great workout. Helps with agility and stamina.” Tony had started to do the same and then kicked off his shoes.
“Yeah, you would need help with that.” Bruce smiled at the slightly older man with a sly grin. “Luckily for me I had better training...” He trailed off as he saw Gordon watching them. Tony smirked and elbowed Bruce in the side.
“Don't let Jimbo distract you, Brucie. I don't want to win on default.” Tony pushed the coins into the machine and selected the song. Bruce had turned his attention back to the game. Gordon went and stood beside them. The game started off pretty slow and Gordon assessed it as another one of the dumb games kids played out of pure boredom. Except that Tony was right, it was definitely a game you could do in place of exercise.
“What are they doing?” Garcia asked as he stepped up next to Gordon. So far Tony was winning.
“Trying to prove which one is more masculine.” Gordon shrugged. The game started to get faster and Tony slipped up a handful of times while Bruce kept up the pace of the lights on the dance floor below him.
“By dancing?” Garcia shook his head in disbelief.
“I get the feeling these two are very competitive.” The commissioner pointed out. He was watching Bruce carefully, at the movements his feet made, the way he did the side steps, jumps, shuffled, whatever it was they were doing now. His movements were much more fluid than Tony's were, and he had yet to miss a step.
Finally, Tony stopped and jumped off. Bruce finished out the song and then stopped, grinning wildly at his opponent. “Forfeit?”
Tony grabbed his bottle of water from beside the dance pad and chugged it, nodding at Bruce. “This time. You win this time. But mark my words, Wayne. You will go down.” In any other case Gordon would have taken that as a threat, if not for the obvious tease hanging thick in Tony’s voice.
“I look forward to it, Stark.”