Pairings/Characters: Jim Gordon, Batman (Bruce/Jim eventually in this series)
Spoilers: For Batman Begins and The Dark Knight
Summary: Commissioner Gordon prepares to shatter the Bat-signal as Gotham howls for the Batman’s blood.
Date Of Completion: September 4, 2008
Date Of Posting: September 6, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 729
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author's Note: Jim uses 'Batmobile' here because that's what the press has dubbed it. He of course doesn't know that Bruce calls it the Tumbler. :)
Rain fell steadily, running in rivulets off the visors of the police officers’ caps and plastering the hair of the reporters and various city officials gathered on the roof of the Gotham City Police Department this night.
If one was born and raised here, one was accustomed to it. It either rained or threatened rain in Gotham, normal and even comforting in its quiet rhythms. The sunny days of a city like Metropolis seemed…odd.
Jim Gordon slowly approached the Bat-signal, hefting the ax in his hand. Its weight was burdensome, growing heavier the closer he got to the giant light (just like the knot in his stomach), a low hum of power accentuated by the plink of raindrops.
“I couldn’t find any mob bosses.”
The faces were eager: the reporters because of the story they would write or photograph or break into television programming for; the cops because they hated copkillers, though a few faces were confused and upset, trying to cling to the faith that this city killed almost daily; the politicians, trying to show they were on top of things after so much chaos.
Gotham was a harsh mistress, demanding much from those whom were loyal to her. Jim understood.
Oh, sure, he and Barbara had discussed him transferring to Star City, Metropolis, New York, Boston…at least a dozen times, seriously considering it, usually when he was at his weariest after a day of futility and hopelessness, watching his partner and other cops fattening their wallets and him staying honest, his family stuck in a shabby walk-up while promotions came slow.
Now, of course, he was Police Commissioner, and besides…he couldn’t leave. He loved this city.
It was a bond between him and the Dark Knight. A man like him didn’t train as hard as he did or risk his life every night just to fight crime.
There had to be something more.
“We can bring Gotham back.”
He could hear the muttering in the crowd.
“Damned friggin’ Bat.”
“Smash that freak’s symbol!”
“Watch for my sign.”
It had come in the form of mob boss Carmine Falcone, strapped to a light like this one, creating a fuzzy bat-shape in the clouds.
Bats flying through Arkham, shattering windows, and the Bat flying down in their midst.
Theater at its best.
“Gordon, there’s nobody left to send.”
“So I’m on my own?”
The Batmobile flew over the raised bridge and landed beside him while the Narrows’ air swirled with poison.
“You’re just one man?”
“Now we’re two.”
Not on his own anymore.
A Kevlar-clad body, lying in the street, his cape fanned out, at the Joker’s mercy.
Except, of course, the Joker had none.
Jim saved the Batman.
The Batman saved his son.
He lifted the ax. The bodies crowded around, eager for payment. The White Knight was dead and disfigured. The Dark Knight had killed cops and other innocents, crushed their hope; someone had to pay…
Jim lifted the ax higher.
In his mind’s eye, he could see the dark figure painfully rising to his feet after a hellacious drop, could hear the dogs howling, the cops shouting as they pursued him relentlessly…
Jim felt hemmed in, weighted down, the knot in his stomach heavier than the ax…
He lowered it and turned around.
Gothamites were strong. They lived in this city every day, surviving madmens’ terror and poison and yet they still came back. They prided themselves on being tough and able to roll with the punches.
This lie about Harvey Dent…they didn’t need that. He’d seen up close how insane Harvey was, how utterly destroyed. That didn’t negate all the good he’d done before.
The Joker had killed him long before Harvey’s heart had stopped beating.
The people of Gotham deserved the truth.
And so did her protector.
“I never said thank you.”
“And you’ll never have to.”
The ax was unmoving at Jim’s side.
Consider this my thank you.
He began to speak, the knot dissolving, gasps of shock exploding from the gathered, here to see a symbol shattered.
Instead, the rain continued its steady thrumming, washing away illusion, glittering on hard, unyielding concrete, a Gothamite’s string of shining pearls.
Truth continued to spill out like a waterfall over rocks as Jim stood before the Bat-signal, diamond-wet as the beam of light pierced the dark night sky.
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