In three days Bruce has three eerily similar conversations, all telling him to take some time off and rest. He would suspect a wide conspiration, but it's Batman, not him, who is the paranoid one (and this very sentence might just indicate there's something very wrong with him, beyond the obvious, but he prefers not to consider that).
Alfred is first, with gentle reproach and concern, in his best mother hen mode, with "Maybe it would be time to rest, Master Wayne, hmm?" This, however, he is well accustomed to, and therefore immune to. Alfred, of course, knows that, but this doesn't stop him from making the guilt trips. He probably packs the picnic basket.
Then, of all people, Gordon, but this might be just the annoyance talking, as showing up on the roof of the MCU just when the majority of people on the force were turning every stone to find him and kill him very dead, is not close to the best idea he ever had (the best idea he ever had just might be dressing up as a bat. It's really not a good scale to which one should measure ideas).
"I know this might sound ridiculous, but don't you have a home to get back to? Or someone at home?" Jim offers, and Batman gives him a searching look, while Bruce is panicking slightly. And the problem with Gordon is, of course, you can never be sure of whether he's joking, or deadly serious, because the mustache covers up most of his facial expressions. Could he possibly know?
"I guessed not," Gordon finally smirks, and nods. "But all the same, don't let me detain you."
There's not much one can say to that, but Batman is not known for walking away without a final word (walking away in the middle of someone else's sentence is just as good). "Keep me posted," he says, and Bruce has to admit, it's pretty lame.
"Don't you sleep?" Harvey asks later, and when you get concern and sympathy from someone in Harvey Dent's situation (dead, among other things), you know things are getting slightly out of hand.
"Why sleep when you can party?" Bruce says, wide and easy smile that's almost as cheerful as it is fake.
Harvey snorts. "Some party," he mutters, gesturing between them, taking in the bed, the tv, the painkillers on the bedside table.
"It's true, I had better," Bruce agrees, and launches into the story of that one time in LA, with Scarlett and Jessica, but Harvey shakes his head before he even reaches the good part, the one about the donkey in the Ritz' bathroom (and let this be put on record, Alfred clearly has too much fun coming up with all these trips and alibis).
"What happens now?" he asks, and Bruce holds back a grimace. That's exactly the subject he had been avoiding. Along with others he'd been avoiding, of course. There are... options, he'd been considering. It sounds cold and clinical, put like that, but that's how it has to be, there's lot to be taken into account.
"The moment you get better, the jet can take you anywhere you like. Something european, maybe? There's lots of pretty small countries east of Germany, I've heard," he offers, fake smile back on his face in full force.
"I won't leave Gotham," Harvey says quietly, his eyes closing again, and Bruce almost sighs. There's that, exactly as he thought. And the worst thing is, he understands, because for all the Gotham has taken from him, them, this is home. This is the city that holds his parents' graves, Rachel's grave. You can't walk away from that, no matter how much you try (and he went to Tibet, of all places, he should know).
Bruce looks away. "You can't exactly stay, either," he says, smiling faintly. The downside of being the city's hero is the city knowing your face (usually). "What with the nice funeral ceremony, and all."
He doesn't sound very convincing, he knows. Probably because he really, truly doesn't want Harvey to leave. Small european countries are overrated anyway, their roads are never good enough for a Lamborghini (he contemplates buying one. Country, not Lamborghini, although he'll need to replace that, too. He could do something about the roads, and the speed limit, and maybe get Batman a plane.)
"I'd think the ceremony would be the least of my problems," Harvey mutters, his fingers twitching slightly, as if turning a non-existent coin between them. "You don't know," he offers quietly. "The things I've done," another flip, thumb and index finger, and it takes all of Bruce's willpower not to reach, not to still the movement, not to grasp the wrist a little too hard.
"You didn't do anything. Don't you watch the tv?" he gestures behind him, at yet another coverage of the investigation on Batman's whereabouts. The current leading theory is that he was a corrupt cop fired after Dent's internal affairs investigation. He has to admit, Gordon has a flair for dramatics and a nice sense of irony. "It was all him."
Harvey shakes his head again. "I can't let..."
"Yes, you can," Bruce stops him forcefully. "Gotham needs this, needs to believe," he says, then smiles widely. "Besides, you wouldn't want to spoil Commissioner's pretty speech at the ceremony, now, would you?"
He holds still under Harvey's searching glance. "Maybe it does," he says quietly, and then a ghost of smile appears in the corner of his mouth. "She always told me you weren't just a pretty face," he says, an apparent non sequitur, but Bruce understands. He smiles.
"So, at least I'm pretty," he says, the smile fading as the second thoughts appear, but Harvey just rolls his eye, the one not covered with bandages.
"Very pretty," he says, and doesn't quite pull the sarcasm off.