Pairing: Jim/Bruce, eventually.
Rating: PG-13 for now.
Word count: 1340
It didn’t start half bad. The event was a fundraiser, which meant less glamorous but more politically-minded crowd than some of Wayne’s parties, and that in turn meant better alcohol and music that wasn’t making Jim want to borrow Montoya’s gun to shoot himself.
Their host was nowhere to be seen, but it was early, and no one really expected Bruce Wayne to be on time to his own party, it would mean no grand entrance of the kind he was famous of.
“He drove into the house on a motorcycle last month,” Montoya informed him, a little glint in her eye, and he sighed, even more heavily once he noticed that Garcia was glancing towards them.
“What did Sparks want?” Jim asked, and the abrupt change of the topic caused her to look at him suspiciously, all raised eyebrows and ‘really, now and here?’ painted all over her face, but something in his expression must have clued her in, because she just rolled her eyes briefly.
“They have something that might tie in to our leak, small stuff, some evidence gone missing, nothing major like guns or drugs, but a bullet here, a flash drive there…”
“And I wasn’t aware of that because?” he asked dryly, causing her to shrug, biting her lower lip to hold a remark back.
“You know that the CSU likes to handle their own affairs. A report would have probably made your desk at some point.”
That was true, and at least it saved him another long argument with the Head of the CSU. Especially, if Garcia did what he planned to do, that they had one incoming, about the budget cuts.
“Can I go and enjoy little cheese cubes now?” she asked pointedly, and he reached out to touch her shoulder, stopping her from turning.
“Just a moment. Montoya, how do they even know we have a leak?”
“You pay them to be smart. Well, not you, the city, but still,” she sighed heavily. “Everyone has heard about Zsasz through the grapevine by now, and the rumours are starting, and people start to figure out he must have had a source. Being suspicious bastards is kind of in the job description.”
Yes, he supposed it was. At least it was his excuse for being one. At least Garcia seemed to be heavily involved in a heated discussion with the DA, which meant Jim was relatively safe for the next fifteen minutes or so.
“Cheese cubes, boss. They wait for no woman,” she said cheerfully, and was spinning on her heel to march away, when Bruce Wayne appeared to her side, smiling widely. Apparently they had either missed his grand entrance, or he abandoned flashiness in favour of surprisingly stealthy sneaking up on people.
“Commissioner, how good to see you,” he announced, for once remembering who Gordon was, apparently. Lucky him. “And…” he turned to look at Montoya, smile firmly in place, growing even wider if that was possible, but something didn’t seem right, his expression just a little forced, just a little out of place.
And Jim was pretty sure it qualified for the ‘suspicious bastard’ territory, but he was intrigued anyway.
Then Wayne’s smile turned genuine, after a brief flicker of recognition, and he raised Montoya’s hand to his lips, which wasn’t as strange as her not snatching it away immediately, just frowning slightly. Apparently, Wayne’s charm did work on everyone, which was probably a good thing, because if she shot him right there and then, it would have been damn hard to cover up.
“Detective, how nice to see you here,” Wayne told her, and she half laughed and half rolled her eyes. He requested a dance, and she begged off, and the conversation went for a longer moment, without Gordon’s involvement, mostly to his relief.
There was something off about the entire conversation, but he couldn’t quite place it. If it wasn’t Bruce Wayne, he’d assume the man was nervous for some reason, anxious, but the idea seemed inconceivable. And there was the fact that he had spent a good ten minutes flirting with Montoya, who, while certainly very attractive, was not one of the starlets and socialites Wayne usually surrounded himself with. At the very moment, the room was full of young women who would have a different response to his flirting, not Montoya’s morbid fascination and amusement.
At least, until one of the aforementioned young women had apparently decided enough was enough and dragged Wayne away, insisting he had to meet someone or other. And that was pretty much when the most surreal event occurred, Wayne glancing at Jim finally, a brief look of regret, and what was that all about?
“How does he even know you?” he asked Montoya quietly, and she shrugged.
“No idea… no, wait. Six months ago or so, I think. He crashed his motorbike into a car we were pursuing… apparently didn’t think anyone else would be speeding in this city.”
“Yes, he does that,” Jim muttered, shaking his head.
“I wrote him a ticket, he offered sexual favours to get out of paying… or I think it was sexual favours, I do not speak billionaire playboy very fluently,” she grinned. “Talk about barking and wrong trees,” she added and stepped aside, her eyes brightening. “Crab puffs. See you later, boss.”
He snorted at that; only Montoya would come to a party like this only for the free buffet. Unfortunately, her quest for food had left him alone in the middle of a rather large room, and it wasn’t just Garcia he didn’t really want to talk to, there was a whole list of people, longer than his arm.
He strolled towards the balcony, reaching for his cellphone for appearances’ sake. Of course, once he had, he did call Stephens, to make sure everything was alright in the city, and got mocked for his trouble.
“Do I have to call Montoya and tell her to make sure you’re enjoying yourself?”
“Her approach to this would be threatening me at gunpoint. Not exactly leading to enjoyment,” Jim muttered and Stephens laughed.
“I wouldn’t know, but I’ve heard some people actually like that,” he offered and disconnected, leaving Jim without a chance to retaliate, which was just that little bit irritating.
“Not enjoying the evening, commissioner Gordon?” Wayne asked, walking out into the balcony, and leaning against the railing. “I grant it, one of the more boring of my parties, but it can’t be that bad.”
“Which would be why you’re here, and not inside?” Gordon asked dryly, not really in the mood for this particular type of conversation.
There was a lengthy pause, Wayne’s expression so neutral it had to take some effort. “Yes, that would be why,” he agreed, lying through his teeth, but Jim couldn’t quite figure out why would he.
The silence that followed shouldn’t have been companionable, but it was, somehow. Wayne looked away, relaxed and peaceful, none of the almost manic cheerfulness he wore just moments ago, inside. His gaze was fixed on something distant, giving Jim a chance to study his profile, a little too blatantly, but apparently they weren’t adhering to social conventions anyway.
He had the weirdest feeling of déjà vu, both comfortable and strange at the same time, and he shook his head, trying to get rid of it.
“Gordon,” Wayne started, turning towards him, then apparently rethinking whatever he was going to say. “Nevermind. I’d better get inside. Things to do, people to…” he let his voice fall into a rather obvious innuendo and stepped back, turning away.
“Wayne,” Jim said before he thought, forgetting the honorific, but then again, Wayne started it. Wayne stopped, making half a turn, not looking at Jim, and the moment was gone, whatever it was. “Sorry, nevermind,” Jim repeated, and a second later, Wayne was gone, back inside.