written by destinyawakened
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.