Pairing: Gordon/Batman, eventually.
Rating: PG for now, will go higher in later parts.
Summary: In Gordon's life, everything came secondary to the city.
With thanks to the_summoning_d for the beta :).
prologue part one part two
The walk to the car was quite possibly one of the longest in Gordon's life, even though he had parked nearby. Over the radio he could hear the frantic search for the Batman, someone claiming he was heading towards one of the bridges, the pursuit following swiftly. At this point, of course, every shadow was the Bat.
It was really too bad that the real Batman was much, much heavier than a shadow. Gordon supposed the suit didn't help. He was really damn glad when they finally got to the car.
"Try not to bleed on the seats, if you please," he muttered, helping the man inside.
Batman made a strange sound, which might have been a snort, and might have been a groan of pain. Gordon hadn't had time to look at the wound yet, eager to get out of there as soon as possible, but it probably wasn't just a scratch.
He started the car, making sure to take the turns smoothly, navigating out of the tight alleys of the area. Two passing police cars paid him no heed, but his pulse raced anyway. Not every day was he driving with a wanted man in his back seat. He glanced into the rearview mirror just in time to see the Batman looking back at him.
"Nice suit," the Bat said, and Gordon rolled his eyes. He had discarded the offending bow tie the moment he had left the party, and by now the shirt was far from crisp white, but it was still the blasted tux; and coincidentally, one man who shouldn't comment on anyone's attire was someone wearing a cowl with pointy ears. On the plus side, if the wry humour was back, maybe the injury wasn't that serious. Or maybe Batman was just one of those people who felt sarcasm was necessary in the face of death. Gordon really didn't like those people. Unless he was the one dispensing the sarcasm, of course.
"Thank you. I figured now that I'm the commissioner, I should make an effort and dress up for the major crimes," he said dryly.
Now there was a definite snort in return, followed by a pained sigh. "Where are we going?"
Gordon kept his eyes on the road. "Oh, I thought I'd dump you at the ER, you mind?" he muttered, then sighed. "My home. Unless you have a better idea."
Silence filled the car, and Jim nodded to himself. The Batman may trust him, as much as he would trust anyone, but there were limits. And that was a good thing, Gordon thought; he wasn't sure he wanted the responsibility of knowing any more than he already did.
"Your family..." Batman said quietly, and Gordon shook his head, trying for a smile and managing a tight grimace.
"Barbara took the kids to visit their grandparents. They won't be back for at least a week." Supposedly. But the weekend visit had already turned into two weeks so far, and even though the school year was approaching, Jim wasn't sure the kids would be back for that. Barbara mentioned a great school nearby her parents, one her niece went to, quite a few times, talking about art programs, sports facilities, and safety. You didn't have to be a cop to put things together.
They didn't say anything after that. Batman closed his eyes and settled more comfortably into the seat, and Gordon listened to the chatter over the radio, making sure that the wild goose chase was actually wild and in no way closing on them. As he pulled over in front of his house and turned the engine off, he looked over to the back. Batman's breathing was more even now, and not as shallow. For a moment, Gordon thought the man was sleeping, and hesitated to disrupt him. But the dark eyes opened, the look clear and fixed on him. And for another moment, Jim couldn't look away.
"We should go in," he said, moving to open the car's doors and get out, walking around it to help Batman out. "Also, just a thought, you may want to invest in a bulletproof suit one of these days."
"It is," Batman offered, as they made their way up the stairs. At Gordon's raised eyebrow, he added. "In theory." The pointed silence caused him to add, "Got me in one of the weaker spots."
Gordon would have laughed at the slightly wounded tone of the rasped voice, under any other circumstances. For now, he just got Batman to the couch, and went to the first aid kit in the bathroom. On the way, he glanced at his watch and, grimacing, reached for his cell. "Barbara? It's me. No, there's been a hostage si..." he paused, listening, and at the same time sifted through the kit. "No, I'm fine. Are the kids asleep?" He waited as she made her way through the corridor, and to the kids' room, then smiled as his son's voice perked up over the line. "Hi, Jimmy," he said, and listened to the boy talk about his day, then to Babs as she has taken over, babbling about the neighbours' cat having kittens.
Finally, Barbara took over the phone, and he assured her he'll be calling tomorrow, and that yes, he was fine. Her voice was quiet, withdrawn even as she told him to take care of himself, but he didn't expect anything more. As he disconnected, he reached to take off his glasses; pinching the bridge of his nose tiredly, then rubbing his brow briefly. Then, putting the glasses back on, he finally spied the antiseptic he'd been looking for and made his way to the living room with the bandages and supplies.
Batman was watching him with enough concern to tell Gordon he had heard the entire conversation, and reached his own conclusions. Gordon sighed, hoping that the conversation style he was used to from the man would continue, and there would be no mention of this.
"Does the suit actually come off?" he asked, laying the bandages on the coffee table and looking down at the Batman, who nodded slowly and moved to unlock a complicated-looking contraption at the side, easing the top of the suit off until the wound was exposed.
It didn't look that bad: the shot had missed all the major organs, and lodged itself in the flesh. Less blood than Gordon expected, too, unless the suit managed to soak it up. "Fine, don't move," he ordered, kneeling at Batman's side, working to retrieve the bullet and clear the wound before patching it up. Batman's breathing grew ragged, his muscles tensing. "Don't. Move," Gordon muttered, glancing quickly up, then turning his attention back to the work at hand.
He wasn't sure what he felt at the look in Batman's eyes, but he was sure he didn't want to think about it at the moment. Or possibly ever.
The injury he was working on clearly wasn't the first one. Some were old, years old, and some startlingly fresh, a few weeks at best. There was at least one still with stitches, that he could see, and curiously, the stitch started uneven and messy, but somewhere in the middle turned careful and almost perfect. Just one more mystery about the man, Gordon supposed.
"Done," he muttered, moving away, his fingers once more brushing his alongside the bandage. "Now, painkillers," he added, reaching for the container, but Batman stilled his hand.
Gordon rolled his eyes. He wasn't a great fan of pain medicine either. They tended to dull your mind and cloud your thinking, but honestly, even he thought being shot warranted some relief. "You know, you're quite an idiot," he said pleasantly, and tensed when he realised he actually said it out loud.
Batman just smirked. "So I've been told," he said quietly, and shifted in his seat. Gordon nodded.
"As long as you're aware of that," he smiled slightly. "Stay as long as you want," he added, standing up. He didn't expect it to be too long, but hoped that the man would at least rest a little before moving.
"Thank you," Batman said, and his voice sounded a little differently than usual; still hoarse, but not quite the same.
Gordon nodded, and went down the corridor to his bedroom. He'd like to say he didn't look over his shoulder at the man shifting on the couch to find a more comfortable position, but he'd be lying.