Pairing: Jim/Bruce, eventually.
Rating: PG-13 for this chapter.
Word count: 1322
Jim woke up to a scent of freshly brewed coffee, someone moving in his bedroom, and a still warm other side of the bed.
Opening his eyes just a little and squinting, he could see the window, the small part not covered by the curtain, dark gray sky. Not dark enough to be the middle of the night, which mean that Batman stayed the night; another little thing to add to the growing list of surreal.
“I could get used to the coffee,” he said lightly, busying himself with finding his cellphone and checking the time (five a.m.) and the messages (one, from Montoya, about getting a lead on their CSU leak and saying that she was going to request a warrant). He wondered, briefly, if the ‘lead’ was Batman, and if so, if he was worried about the case standing up in court.
Truthfully, though, at the very moment he had a hard time bringing himself to worry about anything all that much.
“Too much caffeine is unhealthy,” Batman said, sounding like a public service announcement of all things, and as if he had that line said to him a few times and was now reciting it from the memory.
Jim snorted and closed his eyes again, leaning against the headboard, giving the Bat enough time to put on the cowl and disappear. It took longer than it should, small hesitance in Batman’s movement, but Jim waited through it. The day was going to be difficult enough without starting it with an awkward morning.
He had a morning meeting with Garcia, because some things could be postponed but they couldn’t be avoided, and he emerged tired and irritated, but at least it went better than expected, due to a few charitable donations made to the department, the most significant one last night. It led Garcia to believe that Jim had done his job and impressed some people at the party, an odd theory Jim was happy to run with if it got Garcia to sign off on the budget.
Unfortunately, this seemed to exhaust his luck for the day, and he was welcomed by Stephens’ grave face upon his arrival at the MCU.
“Corrigan’s not our guy?” he asked with some surprise. Batman’s intel was usually right on the money.
“Oh, he’s our guy all right,” Stephens muttered, closing the doors behind him as they walked into his office. “Proving it won’t be easy, he knows the system and is not talking. Well, not talking about the stolen evidence and the leaked information. He is saying quite a lot about other things.”
He dreaded to ask. “What things?”
“His arresting officer’s sex life, you, MCU’s incompetence in general, Batman,” Stephens shrugged. “You name it, he’s probably mouthed on about it.”
Jim sighed. That was a predictable route that many of the suspects took, mostly to blow off steam and see the reaction on the interrogating cop’s face. Corrigan doing that was disappointing. But Stephens seriousness was clearly indicating that it wasn’t all.
“Gerry,” he prompted.
“His arresting officer was Montoya,” Stephens said, sighing. “She was the one interrogating him, too.”
Now Jim could see the reasons for the worry. Montoya was a good cop and an even better detective, but her short temper wasn’t always the best thing in the interrogation room, and she had been worked up about this case for days.
“How bad is it?”
Stephens shrugged. “Bullock dragged her out of the room before it could get really bad, but she punched him twice. His lawyer is having a field day with it. Now even if by some miracle we get a confession, it won’t stand, and the evidence we have is mostly circumstantial. Getting a conviction will be fucking difficult bordering on impossible, and that’s if we get a sympathetic judge.”
“Fantastic,” Jim muttered, fighting an urge to punch the wall. “He’ll walk.”
“Probably,” Stephens agreed. “Probably won’t work in the CSU for much longer, you know how much Matthews cares about the integrity of the lab, or whatever he calls it.”
It wasn’t very comforting, but it was something. Jim sighed again, trying to relax just a little; he was going to be calm and composed for the next conversation. “Where’s Montoya?”
“Rec room. Hopefully not getting more caffeinated.”
She wasn’t, an untouched coffee cup sitting in front of her as she banged her fingers on the table in a disjointed rhythm. Bullock was sitting on the chair opposite her, discussing the advantages of one kind of a car over another, Jim couldn’t tell which, and probably neither could Montoya.
“Bullock, Stephens is asking for you,” he lied, nodding at Harvey and getting a short nod in return, Bullock making himself scarce in a matter of seconds.
“Sorry, Boss,” Montoya said immediately, not even looking up, and he rolled his eyes.
“From what Stephens said, Corrigan deserved it,” he said dryly. “But if it’s all the same to you, next time try not to hit the ones who know their rights, would you?”
She smiled weakly, and still didn’t look up.
“Renee,” he tried gently, and she did raise her head now. “Stephens will probably put you on desk duty for a while, and you’re off the case.” He waited for her nod and only then continued. “Are you okay?”
She shrugged. “What he said about me and… what he said about me, it was true. Mostly. I didn’t want everyone to know, it’s enough that Harvey’s on my case constantly…”
Jim nodded, waiting through the silence for her to continue. She searched his face and apparently found what she was looking for, because she forced a small smile.
“They always say the same things about cops, you know?” she asked, shrugging. “But Corrigan was sort of one of us, he should know better. He shouldn’t have said…” she didn’t look him in the eye now, gaze fixed on her coffee cup, which she turned slowly in her hands.
He could probably check the tapes from the interrogation room, but he knew already what Corrigan said, just from the way Stephens and Montoya moved around the subject. It had been one of the favourite topics among the skels two years ago, and apparently things didn’t change that much just because the Gotham PD was officially set to arrest Batman.
“How much do you trust him?” Montoya asked finally, after biting her lip for a long moment.
Jim shrugged. “Completely,” he said plainly, and she looked up this time, surprised at his quick admission and the matter-of-fact tone.
“Oh,” she said. “That’s… good, I suppose.”
He nodded and reached out, patting her hand briefly. “Go home, Montoya. I’m pretty sure you hadn’t slept much in the last few days. I’ll have Stephens find you some interesting files to look through as you’ll be riding the desk.”
She smiled and stood up, picking up her mug and emptying it into the sink. “I kind of miss the old times, when the Bat would help with the interrogation. I’d like to see Corrigan mouth off to him.”
Jim smiled slightly and followed her out to the main area, watching as she stopped by Bullock’s desk.
“Daria,” she said, loud enough for not only Bullock, but pretty much everyone in the room. “There’s no boyfriend,” she announced with fake cheerfulness. “There’s Daria,” she added and turned slightly to nod at Jim before she walked out.
“What?” Bullock asked, his voice pitched just a little bit higher than usual. Jim rolled his eyes, as Stephens slapped Bullock on the back and snorted.
“I’m sure someone will explain to you what ‘having a girlfriend’ means,” he said helpfully.