wirtten by destinyawakened
“I'm not quite sure I understand your motives, Master Wayne,” Alfred Pennyworth calmly said from beside Bruce Wayne. Alfred was Bruce's long time butler and friend, a person Bruce could call family without the attachment and pressing eyes a real family offered; even though Alfred tried often.
“I think they're rather clear. You don't have to be apart of this if you don't want to be,” Bruce said simply, hitting a button on the keyboard of his computer and the screen went blank. Bruce leaned back into the chair, folding his arms over his chest and looking up at Alfred. The older man sighed, shoulder's slumped, and shook his head. Bruce knew that Alfred never denied him when he needed the help – the butler was far more dedicated to Bruce than the billionaire would ever give him credit for.
“I'll help you in anyway you need, sir,” Alfred offered Bruce the mug he was holding his hands, a cup of fresh coffee from the café down the street; Alfred always poured the dark liquid into a new mug so Bruce never suspected Alfred didn't make it himself.
Bruce took the mug gratefully, giving Alfred one of those grins that showed all his sincerity and trust; a smile that only Alfred could warrant from him these days. “I know it seems extreme, Alfred. But after the fiasco with the Joker, and corrupt cops hiding in the walls of MCU – I can't take the chance. This city deserves only better.”
Alfred nodded, hands clasped in front of him. “I only pray that this doesn't backfire. Someone's liable to get hurt.”
“Don't worry about me, Alfred. I know what I'm doing,” Bruce reassured, a strong tone taking form from deep in this throat.
Alfred turned to leave – to take care of some the business at the Penthouse – and turned his head back to look Bruce in the eye. “It wasn't you I was worried about, Sir.”
Commissioner James Gordon. The name was etched in flat, black ink on the door of his office at City Hall. Gordon traced the letters with his finger tips, feeling the indents and curves. He'd seen the name on his office door every day for the last month – since his promotion. He thought for sure by now that he would have gotten used to it. For Gordon it was just another reminder of why his wife took the their two children and left without even so much as goodbye. It hurt; it was hard to move on some days knowing that he couldn't go home and see the grin on Jimmy's face or the blond curls of Babs bouncing towards him when he walked through the door.
Just more memories that he needed to bury as deep as he could get them. He touched the doorknob with a twist of his wrist and pushed it open. Linda had warned him just minutes before that a a courier had been sent up to his office and had been told to wait. Gordon didn't need to know what the man was delivering, it was pretty obvious by the size of the envelope in the kid's hand.
“Mister James Gordon?” the kid asked, and Gordon gave him a sullen nod. The kid handed him an envelope. “I need you to sign on that front of that envelope and take the contents out.”
Gordon did as he was asked and when the kid was gone, he sat down at his desk and flipped through the booklet of papers on his divorce. All he had to do was sign the papers, agreeing that he would pay so much for child support each month and they would stay out of his life. Not exactly how he wanted things to be, but considering there was no talking to Barbara on the matter – or changing her mind – he did what any man would do when he knew his marriage was over. He signed the papers, placed them into a new envelope, addressed it to Barbara's lawyer and placed it on Linda's desk to be mailed.
He trudged back to his office to find his door wide open, when he could have sworn he left it only slightly cracked. Gordon peeked his head around the side to see none other than Bruce Wayne standing by the tank of water that sat on a bookshelf, watching the fish. Wayne turned his head to look at Gordon, a smile brighter than the sun itself spreading across his lips. Wayne stepped forward and offered his hand to the commissioner in greeting.
“Commissioner Gordon, I'm glad I caught you,” Wayne said suavely, and there was something in his tone that set Gordon at ease as he took the younger man's hand.
“Mister Wayne, what can I do for you?” Gordon found himself asking curiously.
Step One: Prove Yourself.
It took a lot more effort than Bruce anticipated to get the commissioner to go out to dinner with him. At first Bruce had just casually offered dinner to the obviously lonely older man. Bruce knew full well that Gordon's wife left him just weeks prior and they had just finalized their divorce. Gordon refused, he had said he had a lot of work to catch-up on. That was when Bruce brought out the big guns and said it was work, that Bruce was considering giving a very large donation to the GCPD and needed to talk it over with the Commissioner. This caught Gordon's attention. Bruce wasn't sure if the man actually was lonely and needed the excuse to get away from the office, or if he was truly interested in what Bruce had to say about the donation.
Which ever it was, it didn't matter now. What mattered was Jim Gordon was sitting across from Bruce Wayne at one of the more prestigious restaurants in Gotham – Bruce's choice. Gordon was looking over the menu and Bruce was tapping the side of his wine glass with his fingernails, staring at the ripples in the red liquid. When he looked up to see if Gordon had decided on something, the older man was staring at him in a rather annoyed fashion. Bruce gave one of his infamous playboy grins, and placed his hand flat on the table.
“They always have wonderful pasta dishes here,” Bruce said calmly when Gordon glanced back down at his menu, looking over the top of his glasses to see the words a little better.
“I was leaning more towards the steak,” Gordon replied to Bruce's comment, obviously not wanting to seem like he had no idea what he was ordering here. Unfortunately for Gordon the steaks here were not made of cow, but ostrich. Bruce bit down into his lower lip to keep himself from spurting out in laughter at the thought of Gordon's face when he bit into a steak that was not what he was expecting.
Gordon placed the menu down on the table, folding it. He looked at Bruce curiously, and the playboy couldn't help but keep his vibrant grin. “Something wrong with the steak?”
“Not at all. It's a very good choice.” It wasn't a lie, the ostrich was very good and if Bruce was lucky, Gordon would actually like it. Gordon shrugged and didn't push it any further than that. They ordered their meals minutes later, and Gordon had a glass of scotch brought out, after Bruce insisted. Once the Commissioner had a few sips, Bruce set down his glass – still quite full – on the table, leaning himself onto his forearms so that he wouldn't have to speak louder than was necessary for Gordon to hear.
“The Wayne Foundation and it's board members have been speaking recently about the needs of the city. We could give our money to the poor, create more shelters, soup kitchens... but the fact is we have tons of those already operating in the city. With these crime sprees on the rise, we all agreed that the Gotham City Police Department could use the money. Major Crimes needs repair, better holding cells, new equipment for all your officers, cars with new technology. You name it, we'll be there to provide it.” Bruce explained, and it seemed he caught Gordon off guard, as if the older man expected Bruce to be a bit more subtle in bringing the up subject.
Gordon raised an eyebrow at the younger man. “You aren't just going to write us a check and tell us to spend it wisely?”
Bruce rolled his eyes exasperatedly, shaking his head. “A check seems so informal and less personal. I'm leading up the project myself. If you agree, we'll be working together to create a better more equipped police force for Gotham.”
“That is very generous Mister Wayne, but a man so involved in his company, such as yourself, must not have the time for such an extreme projects. A check would be sufficient.” Gordon still had that baffled look on his face, somewhat thrown off by Bruce's proposition. Maybe there was something in the PD the commissioner didn't want Bruce to know about...
Well of course there was: Batman. It just proved a little more than Gordon had no idea who Batman really was. If Bruce had his way, it would stay that way.
“Nonsense!” Bruce said as he gestured his hand to brush off the remark. “There is nothing more deserving of my time than getting Gotham back to normal.”
Gordon attempted to hold back a laugh but that resulted in him coughing. He took a sip of water and, cleared his throat. “Normal for Gotham isn't all that great Mister Wayne.”
Bruce nodded, chewing on the inside of his cheek before giving a more thought out answer. “Well, then to bring Gotham back to its prime – the way it was before Thomas and Martha Wayne were killed.” Bruce had long since gotten past saying his parents' names without breaking; he was stronger now. Gordon looked taken back, sympathetic even, and Bruce found he didn't quite like that look on Gordon.
“Your father had quite a vision,” Gordon said softly, looking the other way for a moment, and then his eyes met Bruce's again and the answer to Bruce's proposition was more than evident in the way the commissioner's smile appeared faintly behind his mustache. “Alright, Mister Wayne. You have a deal.”
Bruce reached for his glass just as Gordon brought his tumbler up for toast. This time Bruce did sip his wine as he smirked behind the glass.
Step One: complete.
“Master Wayne, are you quite sure this is way to go about doing this?” Alfred asked a few weeks later, handing Bruce a mug of coffee. Bruce looked up at the older gentleman, ticking his head to the side in question.
“I don't see any other possible ways to execute this effectively, Alfred. If you have any better ideas...” Bruce trailed off, motioning his hand at the computer screen, watching as Alfred dutifully shook his head and closed his mouth. It had be learned long ago not to argue with Bruce, there was often no reason for it. Alfred was there to offer his advice when it was needed, and nothing else.
“No, Master Wayne.” The older of the two men said with a heavy breath. “Shall I assume you'll want the limo brought around Wayne Enterprises at seven this evening, sir?”
Bruce let his eyes wander back to the computer screen. “Yes.”
Jim Gordon took once a week to sit down at Major Crimes and go over case files with the detectives. Gerard Stephens was now the lead for the MCU, and often let Gordon use his office for his private meetings when he needed to have them. Today, however, was merely a walk-through and playing catch-up.
“You're really working with Bruce Wayne on redeveloping all the branches of the GCPD?” Stephens asked Gordon as they walked into the building, heading down the hall towards the bullpen.
Gordon nodded. “Surprised me too. The kid has a better head on his shoulders than a lot of us realize.” He glanced sideways at Stephens over his glasses. “Between you and me, I think he's just had one too many wild nights. You know how those rich kids spend their money; getting high, drinking 'til they pass out...”
“... Taking home another beautiful woman every night,” came a voice from behind them. Gordon turned around slowly to see Wayne standing there, a sincere and not-at-all annoyed smile on his face. You'd think he liked to hear ugly comments made about him. Maybe he did.
“Mister Wayne,” Gordon greeted, and where he would usually have an irritated tone for the playboy, he found that after the dinner the other night, he couldn't quite muster that feeling anymore. “What brings you to Major Crimes? I didn't think our meeting was until Friday morning?”
“It's not. I'm actually here to see Detective Pearson,” Wayne said casually, stepping between Gordon and Stephens. “You wouldn't happen to know where I could find her, would you?”
Stephens was wide-eyed and already pointing to corner of the bullpen where Pearson's desk was located. Wayne patted both men on the shoulder's as he pushed past them in the direction he was pointed. Elizabeth Pearson was a new recruit, hired just before the events in October. Gordon watched as the young blond stood from her desk as Bruce approached, leaning into hug with the billionaire. Gordon was vaguely suspicious as to where the two had met. Gordon decided he would wait to find out until Wayne left. Which wasn't until Stephens kicked him out three hours later, and only then it was because Detective Pearson hadn't been able to get any work done with Wayne distracting her.
Gordon wandered over to her desk, maybe a little too casually, and placed her case files on her desk. “Bruce Wayne, hm?” His tone was more fatherly than he intended, but with a reputation like Wayne's, he couldn't help but worry.
“Yeah...” She started to say, that dreamy look in her eye that many women got when they thought about Bruce Wayne. Gordon had to stop himself from rolling his eyes. “We met this morning at a café down the street. It was so random, too. I didn't think a man like Bruce Wayne would even give me a second glance,” she paused for a moment and looked at Gordon thoughtfully. “He's taking me dinner tonight.”
Gordon wanted to tell her not to give her hopes up too high, this was Gotham's Prince after all, a man who made a spectacle of himself almost weekly by trying to out do himself each time. Did Pearson have any idea what Bruce's intentions were? She tipped her head at Gordon and shook her head.
“I don't want a lecture, Commissioner. I'm not expecting a lasting relationship from a man like Wayne.” Pearson leaned in and bumped her shoulder into Gordon's playfully. “But a girl can have fun can't she?”
Step Two: Become an Acquaintance
Bruce took Detective Elizabeth Pearson to dinner two nights in a row, breakfast the one morning she stayed the night at the penthouse, and lunch the next day. She was honestly not his type, but Bruce was very good at pretending and very good at acting like he cared about what she had to say. She seemed to enjoy herself and he could sense that she knew it was only a fling – which would make it that much easier when he finally broke it to her that he was done.
Bruce took the days they had dates for breakfast and lunch to wander around the offices of Major Crimes, making casual talk with the other detectives, fishing for answers and information about Gordon where he could. And it just so happened that word would get back to Jim Gordon that Bruce was about asking questions and hovering over shoulder's, and Gordon would appear at MCU faster than lightening. Bruce was able to small talk Gordon, avoiding the subject of their meeting for Friday altogether.
It was all in his plan, and so far it seemed to be working.
On the fourth day, Thursday morning, Bruce was out of bed by seven, when most mornings he didn't bother to be out of bed before eleven AM at least. He had offered to walk Elizabeth from her apartment to work just a few blocks away from where she lived. He didn't really mind, his week was pretty open until tomorrow, Friday, when he would finally get a chance to meet with Gordon on how Wayne Tech and the GCPD would be working together and continue to poke his way into Gordon's life a little more. If the day went as planned.
He held the door open for Elizabeth, allowing her to walk through and just as he was going to let the door shut behind him he heard someone call out to hold it. Bruce shot his hand back, palm to the door. There was Jim Gordon, dressed as he always was in a semi-business suit, but one of those awful plaid shirt and a tie that could pass as almost older than Bruce. Gordon mumbled a thanks and took the door while Bruce let his hand rest on the small of Elizabeth's back, leading her down the hall way. He turned his head back to the commissioner, who was following very slowly behind them, and flashed him a wide grin, teeth bearing painfully against his lips.
“I'll pick you up about six,” Bruce said to the detective as they arrived at her desk. She tipped her head to the side and shook her head.
“Oh, Bruce...” she sighed and the billionaire already knew the look in her eyes, it was one he warranted from many women; it was usually the other way around. “I know I'm just the next girl on your list until another one comes along. The last couple days have been fun, but I'd rather be seeing someone wants to start something serious.”
Well this really made everything easier, didn't it? Bruce shrugged his shoulder's, and stuck his bottom lip out just slightly, eyes pleading at her. “Are you sure I can't convince you to do just one more dinner and dessert?” He asked emphasizing dessert the most, his voice going an octave lower as he leaned in towards her ear.
She pushed back on his chest playfully. “Mister Wayne, we both know that might be a bad idea,” she teased, and then she expression softened. “If you ever decide to settle down and stop this life you seem to enjoy, you go ahead and call me.” She picked up a files off her desk and walked past him. He would never be calling her, in fact he found her far more droll and annoying than most women he had ever dated. He shook his head in disbelief, aware that there was a pair of eyes watching him.
“I guess that never happens often does it?” Gordon asked from behind him, hands in the pocket of his slacks, right shoulder leaned against the wall.
“No. Not often.” Bruce replied calmly, turning around to meet the gaze of the Commissioner straight on. “Would've happened sooner or later.”
“You weren't expecting the sooner though, were you?” Gordon questioned; he must have caught the light stall in Bruce's voice as he said it. “Unfortunately, dating a detective is probably one of the dumbest ideas you've ever head.”
“Oh, I don't know about the dumbest,” Bruce quipped back playfully to the commissioner. “But I see your point. Models are one thing; everything goes over their head.”
“And an officer of the law will always know when you aren't being entirely honest,” Gordon finished for him, he had a little bit of smile forming on his lips, and Bruce could see that their quaint banter was actually allowing the commissioner to see Bruce for something other than the playboy.
“It's too bad though, I had these great dinner reservations...” Bruce hinted in an almost not so subtle tone. Gordon shook his head at the younger man.
“Afraid you're still going to be on your own. I have to get this proposal together for mayor in the morning before our meeting at Wayne Tech. I'll take a rain-check though.” Gordon said politely, obviously before he had thought about what he was saying, because he looked about ready to retract the statement all together. Bruce didn't allow him the moment.
“Deal. Maybe tomorrow evening, to celebrate our joined efforts.” Bruce smiled promisingly and Gordon nodded. “I can send a car around City Hall around seven tomorrow evening to pick you up.”
Gordon went from nodding to shaking his head. “That's not necessary, Mister Wayne –”
“– Bruce. I can drive myself,” Gordon assured him.
Bruce narrowed his eyes, this was not going to work into his plan. But he could get this to work. Yes. “Well, let me at least give you my number in case you're running late. Nothing worse than someone waiting around for you without knowing what's going on.” It was a good excuse, wasn't it?
Gordon seemed to contemplate it and then he gestured for Bruce to take out his phone. “Works both ways, you know.”
Step Two: Complete
“Are you quite sure, sir, that Commissioner Gordon is even going to attend this function?” Alfred asked as he continued to address off-white envelopes with a pearl black pen, in the neatest cursive handwriting Bruce had ever seen.
Bruce flicked his eyes from the writing on the envelope, to his laptop screen. He was putting the last touches on the paperwork for beginnings of the GCPD and Wayne Tech project. “I have a feeling he'll be coming to this one.”
“He's turned down all your other invites, Master Wayne. I don't see how this one will be any different,” Alfred commented drolly as he finished the return address on the envelope and slid it across the glass finish of the table to just at Bruce's reach. The billionaire looked down at it but didn't pick it up, he didn't want the ink to smear. To make an impression, to have the commissioner think he was just as special – if not more so – than everyone else Bruce invited to these stupid events.
“I think with enough convincing Jim Gordon will be more willing to attend this...” Bruce glared over at Alfred who was not amused that Bruce couldn't even remember what sort of even the was hosting. “Uh... costume party. He'll come.”
Step Three: Be his Friend
“I think the first step is to outfit the entire force with Kevlar vests, and not just the standard bulletproof ones that you have now. These will be lightweight, three hundred and sixty degrees coverage with no chance of bullet slipping through the side.” Wayne said as he handed Gordon the drawing, specs included. The drawings were very detailed and Gordon was impressed with the amount of attention that Wayne was giving the project so far.
“Won't they be a little costly?” Gordon asked as he continued to skim the page, noting the the scribbled 'B.Wayne' down on the side of the paper. Gordon would have never pegged Wayne an artist, must less someone with the capability to sit and draw out something so detailed. When did he have the time?Unless a lot of what the press wrote about Wayne was only what Wayne wanted them know. It was silly to think Wayne didn't have at least some free time.
“Cost isn't an issue here, Commissioner. It costs more money to train and replace an officer who is killed in the line of duty than it is to make one of these to save the life of an officer.” Wayne explained, still standing at the head of the long conference table, the Wayne Enterprises CEO at the other end, simply watching. Gordon wanted to say something about vests only protecting an officers torso, that helmets wouldn't work and it was still likely for one of them to be shot in the head, but Wayne seemed so confident and Gordon found he didn't have the heart to tell him.
But, he didn't have to either. Lucius Fox, the CEO, opened his mouth first. “Mister Wayne is well aware, of course, Commissioner, that vests don't always saves lives. But a high percentage of death in the police department are results of chest wounds. We can hope to at least lower the number a deaths each year by providing these vests.”
Gordon didn't want to know where these two got their information; whether they hacked the system for the PD or simply asked the mayors office for it – it didn't matter. They obviously had thought a long time on this. Gordon wouldn't lie, it set his nerves at ease about the situation. Wayne slid another larger piece of paper towards Gordon, this one had a design for new police cars on it, armored though, but the same look as the old ones.
“We've figured if we take the cars you have now and add the armor on, it would be far less costly than buying over hundred new cars. Wayne Tech has seen the amount of damage police cars go through in Gotham, and we'd like to see if the armoring helps before investing more money into newer vehicles.” Wayne explained, pointing out a few of the features of the drawing, where the armor would go around the sides of the vehicles, and even a more durable bulletproof glass, lined with a thin coating of spray on Kevlar. There was a lot of technology here that Gordon had no idea existed, but he was happy to have it if it meant the men and women on the force to could do their jobs in a safer environment.
“I'll have to run these by the Mayor for approval, but these all look amazing. I can't even begin to thank you Mister Wayne, for all of this.” Gordon said, and Bruce shrugged his shoulder, offering one of those attitude inducing playboy smiles.
“We've already sent copies to the Mayor. I'm sure he'll find them more than acceptable.”
The meeting continued for another half hour before Lucius called it quits and they set up their next one for a week later. There was a lot of work to be done and the prototypes would be in by that time. Bruce caught Gordon on his way out the door, by touching the man on the shoulder. The commissioner turned around, a weary smile parting at his lips.
“I want to thank you again for allowing Wayne Tech the opportunity to give back to the city,” Bruce said with a gracious tone in his voice. He tried his best to sound less fake, because everything he said when in his facade always sounded so fake to him. Gordon didn't seem to notice; why would he? He didn't know playboy Bruce from serious Bruce.
Gordon sighed, hands on his hips, and giving his head one of those authoritative little shakes that Bruce noticed he did quite a bit when he wasn't too sure how to react to something. “Oh, no, Mister Wayne. It's me and the rest of the police department that owes you the thanks. This should really cut back on criminal induced deaths.” But what Gordon was really thinking – Bruce knew it because it was obviously written in sadness all over his face – was that it wouldn't stop the corrupt cops from killing off the good ones for a little money from the mob. Bruce pretended that he couldn't tell what Gordon was thinking and took that moment to hand him the envelope he had been holding.
“What's this?” Gordon asked suspiciously, reading the name addressed on it as his own. Bruce watched him touch the beautifully written words on it, his eyes flickering over the return address as Bruce's penthouse.
“It's a little late notice, I know. I wasn't going to send you an invite seeing as you always turn them down. But, I figured since we're collaborating a on a few projects now and we've had dinner once – twice if you count this evening coming – that you might actually attend this one.” Bruce said, watching as Gordon finally opened the envelope carefully with his callused fingers, trying not to tear the beautiful paper invite inside.
Gordon took the black piece of paper out and held it up to read. “A costume party? Halloween was well over a month ago, Mister Wayne” Gordon asked in sarcastic tone, but Bruce could tell he was being serious.
“It was,” Bruce stated happily, hands in his pockets now to seem more casual, hoping his change in body language would set the older man at ease again. “But if memory serves me right, Halloween was preoccupied with the hunting of a certain masked vigilante.”
There was spark that lit in Gordon's eyes, one that Bruce new well because he had seen it many times before when he talked to Gordon as Batman. Gordon hated to hear people put Batman down, because Gordon – and his now long gone family – were the only ones that actually knew that Batman was innocent. Good, Bruce thought, his faith still lies where it should.
“I see. Well, I'm not sure I can make tomorrow evening, finding a costume at such late notice...” Gordon trailed off, obviously hoping Bruce would just excuse the commissioner from the party and tell him it was fine. This was Bruce Wayne, no one ever said no to his face with out consequence. Ever.
“Nonsense! I'll have a costume delivered to your apartment tomorrow!” Bruce said with a wild gesture of his hands. He placed a hand on the commissioner's back and began to lead him out the door. “Remember, dinner tonight!”
Bruce hated these parties about as much as Jim Gordon probably did; that is if the commissioner had ever bothered to come to one, Bruce imagined Gordon would hate them. At least this one was a quaint costume party, filling the halls and living room of his penthouse with all the elitists of Gotham, dressed to the nines in the best costumes money could afford. Bruce, having not given the task a lot of thought, was wearing a white pinstriped Zoot suit, black fedora, and the classic pocket watch and chain dangling from his suit jacket. He stood against the wall, watching the crowd, sipping his champagne flute of ginger ale, and scanning the room for Jim Gordon.
It was an hour in to the party and there was no sign of the commissioner. Gordon had promised the night before at dinner that he would be there, despite the fact that he was obviously uncomfortable towards the idea. Bruce did go out of his way to find Gordon a costume, so he knew that the older man had to show up at some point; Gordon wasn't one to let money go to waste.
Bruce began to mingle with a few of the ladies at the party, one in particular that dragged him to the corner of the room, where she stood against the wall while he leaned over her with his palm next to her neck, resting on the cool marble. She was another one of those that if he didn't have other plans for the night, he would take her up to the master bedroom and fill his quota for the tabloids. That's all he ever saw these women good for; none of them ever struck his fancy for longer than a week tops.
“So, when do I get to see the rest of your penthouse, Bruce?” the woman asked, touching the lapel on his jacket with her red painted nails. She was dressed as a 1940s lounge singer, red slimming dress and all. Bruce was tempted, but... that was when he caught the sound of Alfred's voice over the shrill voices echoing through the room.
“Good evening, Commissioner,” Alfred said. Bruce turned his head over his shoulder to see Jim Gordon hand over his coat to the butler with a nod, searching the room nervously. Gordon was dressed in the costume Bruce picked out: a classic black tuxedo with bow tie. Bruce went the James Bond route, to try and ease the Commissioner into the party with out much embarassment.
Bruce thought he would might make the man squirm just a little before letting his plan take place. He turned his head back to the woman, bending to kiss her just as the Gordon's gaze passed over them. The woman had grasped firmly onto Bruce's neck, pulling him deeper to the kiss, making him quite aware of just how drunk she already was, tasting the alcohol on her breath. He'd be able to get rid of her easier than he thought.
A waiter passed them and he grabbed her another glass of champagne. He pulled away, taking her hand and leading her up the stairs to his bedroom, having to practically drag her when she began stumbled on the stairs. They reached the bedroom and she took the glass from Bruce and downed it. He pushed her onto the bed, crawling on top of her, and it was then he realized that he wouldn't need to do anything else. She had already passed out. He rolled his eyes; thank God.
Carefully, Bruce crawled off the woman, straightened his suit, adjusted his hat, and left the room. He took the stairs two at time back down to the party. He happened to reach the bottom step just in time to see Jim Gordon step out on to the balcony. Bruce followed after him, grabbing a glass of ginger ale from Alfred's tray.
“There's a lady in my bedroom, Alfred. Will you see to it she gets home safely?” murmured Bruce quickly to the older gentlemen as he continued his pursuit of the police commissioner. Bruce stepped out through the glass door, watching the older man slide a cigarette out of coat pocket. Bruce walked past Gordon to the railing.
“Thought you were busy,” Gordon said, placing the cigarette loosely between his lips and searching his pockets for what Bruce was sure to be a lighter. Sure enough, that's what it was. Gordon pulled out a silver Zippo and lit the stick.
“Should have been,” Bruce said remorsefully. “That's the issue with these parties. Everyone's drunk.” He was aware the Gordon might not understand, but the other man seemed to understand as he nodded as knowingly as he could. Bruce might have been known as a playboy who slept around, but it didn't mean he would take advantage of a drunk woman.
Gordon shrugged. “I try not to drink often myself,”. he gestured to Bruce's glass. “How many have you had?”
Bruce smiled playfully. “Not nearly enough. I'm usually wasted by now. I can't be sober and keep a conversation going with these people.”
“Why do you throw these parties then?” Gordon asked, taking a puff on his cigarette and letting it out slowly. Bruce watched the smoke for a second, thinking on just how he would get this work tonight. The commissioner seemed at ease, all he had to do was push the right button and say the right things...
“Board Members. Elite Socialites who donate at every curve. In other words, they're paying for charities I donate to,” Bruce sipped on the 'champagne'. “Their money is what's paying for the new equipment for the police department.”
“Is that why you invited me here?” Gordon asked suspiciously, butting the cigarette out on the ledge of the balcony. Bruce shook his head, looking down at his feet and then back to Gordon. For a brief moment he felt oddly attracted to the man standing in front of him, wearing that crisp black tux, hair neatly combed back, with a few wisps out of place from the wind. Bruce had to blink a few times to regain his focus.
“Uh, no. I was really hoping to have at least one other normal person here to save me my sanity.” Bruce said boldly, hoping to put himself out there a little for Gordon; hoping the older man would take a hold of that and run with it.
“Well, if you don't think they'll miss you... there is coffee shop down a few blocks away. Passed it on my way here. I sure as hell could use a cup.” Gordon said with that small little smile that hid just below the hair on his upper lip. Bruce found himself staring, and looked away to the crowd in the other room. He motioned behind Gordon to the entrance back into the penthouse through the kitchen.
"Sounds a lot better than being here.” They walked into the kitchen, sneaked behind the party guests into the elevator and out into the cool night air. They decided to walk, a few block wouldn't kill them, and as they talked they arrived at the coffee shop where they ordered two cups of coffee and sat in the corner.
“I don't know why, but I'm really glad I came to your party tonight, Bruce.” Gordon said, not even realizing he openly called Bruce by his first name, and no sound of 'mister' or 'Wayne' in sight. Bruce smiled at him over the rim of his mug.
“I'm glad you came, too, Jim. Who would have kept me sane?” Bruce teased, but with a hint of sincerity. Gordon sipped on his own coffee, settling back into the chair at their little corner table, looking content.
Step Three: Complete.