Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Bruce/Jim, Renee Montoya, Gerard Stephens, Pat O’Callahan (EMT)
Genres: Angst, Challenge, Drama, Hurt/Comfort
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
General Summary: They always thought that it would be Batman, not Bruce, shot down in the streets of Gotham.
Chapter Summary: On a rare sunny day in Gotham, Jim’s world falls apart.
Date Of Completion: June 10, 2009
Date Of Posting: June 11, 2009
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC and Warner Brothers do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1228
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: It seems that I can’t write Bruce/Jim without it turning into a trilogy! ;) I was starting to revise the second part of my other trilogy, Wings Of Darkness, but this plot bunny has been nibbling incessantly, so I finally gave in. When the Muses talk, I listen! Enjoy! :)
Written for my 2009 DCU Fic/Art Tabloids Challenge. :)
The entire series can be found here.
"READY FOR LUNCH, COMMISH?"
“Ready for lunch, Commish?”
Jim smiled at Montoya, whose dark eyes were twinkling. He shrugged on his suit jacket and said, “Yes, I am.”
“Good. Can’t keep the Prince waiting.”
She chuckled as she left the doorway and Jim sighed. Of course she knew. He doubted that many people knew that he was dating Bruce Wayne. He and Bruce had decided to keep things under wraps for now, wary of living their lives in the tabloid spotlight which would be inevitable once their secret got out.
Jim headed out into the noisy squadroom, nodding to Stephens and following Montoya as he threaded his way through the desks.
He was accustomed to attention from reporters, but not of the tabloid variety, or at least not often. He wanted to have some time with Bruce before the inevitable happened.
Luckily he was good at keeping secrets, and this one wasn’t even the biggest.
He paused in the lobby, guessing that Gerry might know the truth, but Montoya was a lock. Women were usually better at these things. He adjusted his tie. Meeting with Bruce for lunch was okay, as they really did have some Wayne Foundation business to discuss. Montoya waved to him as she went outside and headed for the diner down the street.
The day was bright and sunny, a rarity for Gotham, and Jim was glad he had the chance to get out of the office and enjoy it, especially with Bruce. Glancing out the window, he saw his lover hurrying across the street, waving at him with a smile, dressed in a pearl-gray suit and vest with white silk shirt. Jim felt an answering smile on his own face and turned back as he was accosted by a detective. A quick word, and then he was ready to step out the door when he heard the crack of gunshots, then screaming.
He slid his gun out of its holster with practiced ease, taking stock of the situation. People running, ducking for cover, two people already down, a third at the edge of his peripheral vision, sprawled out on the pavement already pooling blood…
Jim shouted orders to the officers milling around in the lobby and word spread quickly that they had a situation. He saw a glint of light from the building across the street and ran to a side door, two patrolmen following him. He pointed to the building and they nodded, taking off down the alley and working their way around, hopefully out of the sniper’s range.
People ran by, one woman carrying her crying baby, and Jim scanned the street. He spotted Montoya in the doorway of the diner, her gun out. He didn’t see Bruce. Maybe Batman would make an appearance, but unless Bruce carried his armor in his back pocket, highly unlikely. He was probably leaving it to the police, good boy.
The SWAT team went to work, taking up their positions, and it was all over quickly. The gunman tried to run but the two officers that Jim had sent got the drop on him, and there was a fight on the roof. Jim dashed out and headed for the building. Montoya was running from the diner.
“Commish, I’ll take care of this.”
Jim skidded to a halt. Officers were taking care of the wounded victims further down the street, and there was the man stretched out on the sidewalk in front of Denholm’s Department Store…
The words were soft and agonized. He ran to the victim, hands shaking as he fell to his knees and turned the head toward him, blood soaking into the broad chest, bubbling-bright against his pearl-gray vest and white silk shirt.
Long lashes fluttered and Bruce’s hazel-dark eyes met Jim’s. “Jim…” he rasped, gasping for breath. Cold fingers grasped his, too weak to hold on. Jim closed his fingers around Bruce’s, the younger man’s fingers trying to squeeze.
The world tilted, everything around Jim a blur, sounds chaotic and people rushing around them, his mouth opening and the words tumbling out, “Don’t leave me, Bruce! Hang on! It’s all right, I’ll take care of you, never let you get hurt again…”
He fumbled for his handkerchief and used it to press on the wound. Thank God the bullet hadn’t hit the aorta! Bruce would be dead already…
The thought made him sick and he concentrated on stopping the blood, blood roaring in his ears, pumping through his heart, his hand shaking but strength pressing down…
The world rushed around him, as blurred as if he didn’t have his glasses on, the only clear part of him slowly bleeding to death on the pavement on the main street of the city instead of a dirty alley.
Ironic. We always thought it would be Batman, not Bruce.
“Hold on, Bruce. It’s okay, I promise, I’m here…”
He thought he heard a voice, insistent in his ear, but he could only see Bruce’s eyes, pain and shock and desperation in their depths, lips trying to form words as he gasped. The fear of a little boy from so long ago touched Jim’s heart as it had done then.
“No, don’t talk. Keep fighting to hold on!” Jim pressed down on the handkerchief and ignored the blood seeping out through his fingers. He gently brushed a lock of Bruce’s hair away from his eyes, trying to remain calm, project strength and calm because inside he was screaming, no, why now, why us…?
A hand on his shoulder shook him gently, then harder.
“Commissioner…” the voice pleaded.
No, he had to concentrate. Bruce was counting on him!
“It’s all right, Bruce. Hold on, it’s okay, it’s okay…”
Startled, he felt himself dragged up out of the strange tunnel and blinked owlishly at Renee Montoya, her worried face looming close.
“Commissioner, the EMTs are here. They need to work.”
Panic skittered through him. He couldn’t be separated from Bruce, who moaned. He looked down at his young lover and saw his eyes closing…
A gentle voice said, “We’ll take care of him, sir.”
The EMTs started their work, Jim’s hand removed from Bruce’s chest, the handkerchief dark with blood. His own suit had flecks of blood on the light fabric. He still held on to Bruce’s hand, the fingers so cold…
He listened to the EMTs snapping out readings and procedures and could feel his knees stiffening, but he didn’t rise. He couldn’t.
Montoya’s hand was still on his shoulder. She was talking to other officers, and Jim recognized Gerry’s voice. He kept his eyes on Bruce’s face.
“Okay, get him on the gurney and let’s roll!” said one of the EMTs, the older of the pair.
Jim stood up, stiff-kneed but determined. He finally looked at Montoya.
“It’s all right, Commissioner. Gerry and I have it all covered. Go with Bruce,” she said softly.
He threw her a grateful look and told the EMTs, “I’m going with you.”
“Let’s get going, then.”
Jim kept Bruce’s hand in his, only surrendering it when they loaded his lover aboard the ambulance, scrambling inside as the older EMT stayed with Bruce and the other ran to get behind the wheel.
Jim took Bruce’s hand again, and the ambulance doors closed as the siren wailed and they took off for Gotham General Hospital.
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