A/N: Sorry for this being late, but I sprained my ankle yesterday. Loads of fun. Not. Anyway. This is an epilogue to the story, but it's also a semi-prologue for the sequel, as some plot crept in, and now I'm furiously planning out the next few parts. As it is, this part is a little bit different in tone than previous parts. Hopefully you'll forgive me for this ;)
Dedication: For juana_a, my partner in crime XD
First day of winter, and, like clockwork, first day of snow. For Gotham PD it means more traffic, and crimes moving inside, domestic homicides rates going up, but fewer stabbings in the streets. At least the crime scenes will be warm, but that's not really an upside.
Of course, this aspect doesn't really matter to Jim Gordon as of late, he hadn't been to a proper crime scene in weeks (why yes, he does have a definition of a proper crime scene, and it doesn't involve explosives, half a dozen hostages, and an array of people in masks, thank you very much. He isn't entirely opposed to one individual in a mask, but that's neither here not there).
Snow, and colder days, mean just that his coffee is growing cold much sooner, as he sits on the steps of his house, and looks up at a sign that's not there.
"We should stop meeting like this," he says into the darkness, and is pretty sure that the darkness smirks in response.
"Have a better idea?"
"I thought you might think of something," he mutters, and takes a sip of his now lukewarm coffee. "You have the best gadgets, after all, something could be arranged perhaps? If not, there's this new development called a cellphone, have a look into that."
Now there really is a smirk, and a definite shape coming out of the shadows. "I'll do my best."
Gordon nods. "I'm pretty sure you're here for a reason, though. The charade guy?"
"That's not what the press is calling him," Batman points out, and Gordon grimaces slightly. Of course it's not.
"I think we've established a while ago what I think about the press," he says pleasantly. Well, not really pleasantly. "We don't have much, but I have the copies of all the puzzles he had sent us," he says, and reaches out with the file.
A moment passes, before Batman takes it. "About the press," he starts, but Gordon shakes his head.
"They're my problem, not yours," he says, or rather repeats. They had this conversation before.
"We should stop meeting like this," Batman throws his words at him, but this time, they're not supposed to be funny.
Gordon looks away for a moment. One grainy picture, and the press had a ball with spinning conspiracy theories about him and Batman. And, unfortunately, some of them were dangerously close to the truth.
"Jim..." Batman starts, and Gordon is on his feet in an instant.
"You have the files, let me know if you find something we missed."
"Jim." His voice tenses, and Gordon stops for a moment, already half-turned towards the doors.
"No, you don't. You have the files, and I am already late somewhere. And I assume, you too have places to be, things to do..." he lets his voice fade a little. "So I suggest you go, too."
When he turns, a moment later, he's alone, and the tracks on the ground are slowly disappearing under the falling snow. He glances at his watch, and counts. If he leaves in fifteen minutes, he will be late, but at least he'll be certain Bruce will be there before he is.
He's not entirely sure he's right about this, but he'll wait, just in case.