Summary: The Justice League share some time with Commissioner Gordon after Batman is injured. No pairings.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these DC superheroes.
AN: *Not* related to my other Justice League fics, if anyone’s wondering.
AN2: This is a JL fic, but please note that it does have references to Batman Begins & The Dark Knight.
“So, I’m guessing by our lack of calls last night that everything went well?” Superman asked upon entering the monitor room with Diana.
“It was surprisingly quiet,” J’onn answered.
“That’s nice to hear for once,” Wonder Woman responded.
Flash, who was leaning back in one of the chairs, hands behind his head, gave a half-hearted shrug. “I guess even the bad-guys need a break every once in a while.”
J’onn nodded, “Indeed. There were a few minor conflicts but nothing requiring our specific services. At the moment, only a fourth of the members are on League-related cases.”
“Anything on Bruce?” Diana asked, a quick glance around the room showing her that their other member wasn’t present.
Flash shrugged again, “You know Bats, even if he needed our help, he wouldn’t ask for it.”
Superman snorted in agreement, “You can say that again. No news from Alfred, though?”
Both men shook their heads and everyone in the room was left with the feeling of annoyance, even though no news was technically good news when it came to Batman. It was an accepted fact by then that the Bat never took the night off; if he didn’t have JL duty, then he was roaming the streets of Gotham at night. However, it was ridiculous that even after all their time together they had to rely on news reports and not-so-secret check-ins (they’d given up long ago trying to sneak behind the other’s back) from an elderly butler to make sure their colleague was safe.
“Light should just be coming up in Gotham, he’ll be heading to bed right about now,” John said as he walked over to the group, followed closely by Hawkgirl.
They all nodded in obvious relief, though no one voiced aloud the fact that they could officially stop worrying about their reclusive human member, at least for the night. None of them would deny that Batman could handle himself, and (grudgingly) admitted that there were times that he had not only single-handedly managed to outsmart the enemy, but also themselves. However, all six had seen the seemingly invincible man down for the count at least once, and once you had the sudden shock of just how human Batman was, it was hard to stop thinking about.
Of course, no one said anything directly to Bruce, and they tried to curb their speech whenever they were anywhere that might have carried any of his bugs (which was, most likely, everywhere, but they didn’t like to dwell on that thought). They didn’t doubt he knew anyway, and it probably ticked him off. But, what else was new?
There was a sudden beeping at the computer, and they all turned to look at the information popping up on screen.
“Well, speak of the devil,” John said.
“More like speak of the Bat,” Flash joked.
“Some would argue it’s the same difference,” Superman joined in. Walking forwards he hit the respond button, “Hey, Bruce, shouldn’t you be in bed by now?”
They all tensed as a moment passed without Batman’s usual witty response.
“Batman?” he tried again. They gave each other worried glances as there was still no response.
“Already on it,” the Martian responded, typing quickly on the screen to pull up the other’s current position.
They paled upon seeing Batman laying flat on one of Gotham’s dirty streets, a regular-looking man with glasses pressing down on him with a knee while he fiddled with the JL communicator.
“Is Bats being mugged!” Flash yelped out, suddenly sitting straight up in his chair.
“J’onn, can you teleport him back here?” Diana asked, suddenly very worried. How long had he been laying there if someone was ballsy enough to try and steal from the terrifying Batman? What if he was…
“Yes, but I’ll need to bring up the other individual as well,” he replied, hand hovering over the appropriate button.
Superman nodded, “I think we can handle him. Even if it’s some kind of enemy trick, I’d rather have him loose on the ship than risk Bruce dying down there.”
Even before he’d finished speaking, J’onn hit the button to call him up and so the unknown man and Batman appeared just as he’d stopped.
They all glared at the individual, who gave them a look of shock before looking back down at the communicator in his hand uncertainly. They smirked, the poor thief certainly didn’t know who he’d been messing with, had he?
The man’s face seemed to change as he took in his situation, but, surprisingly, it didn’t turn into fear. “Thank God! Hurry, he needs your help!”
They stared at him blankly for a second and the other glared at them as he removed the knee from the other’s chest. Standing up, he snapped, “Now would be preferable!”
Their eyes widened in horror as they could finally see the blood running down the other’s black pants and Batman’s likewise colorless suit. In the time it took most people just to process the situation, Superman had their fallen comrade scooped up in his arms and was flying down the hallway.
“Somebody stay with him!” he called over his shoulder. Unsurprisingly, Diana took off after the two, as did J’onn, leaving the unknown man with the last three Founders.
He didn’t seem to be paying much attention to them, however, as he tried to look around GL in order to watch their departure.
“You do have the technology needed to help him, don’t you?” he asked in a worried voice.
The three superheroes gave each other looks and he seemed to jerk his gaze away from the, by then, empty hallway to look at the darker-skinned man.
“I mean, for us normal guys?” he clarified.
Flash snorted at the implication of the Bat being a “normal” anything, and, if the other’s boyish little smile was anything to go by, he was thinking the same thing about his own statement.
“Don’t worry, Bats is in good hands,” the red-clad young man responded.
The other nodded in wary acceptance, and they could all sense him relaxing, if only a bit.
John held out his hand, “If I may have the communicator back?”
He gave him a few seconds’ worth of confusion before seeming to understand and giving up his piece of JL equipment without a fight.
The three League members then stood there awkwardly for a moment, trying to decide if the other was friend or foe to the Dark Knight. They’d never really had to deal with such an odd situation (at least in regards to Batman). Usually, if it wasn’t Alfred or one of the Batclan, they were to be distrusted at the very least.
“So, are you a…friend of the Bat?” Flash finally asked awkwardly.
Though a slight movement alerted them to the fact that he’d caught the question, he continued looking around the room, giving the impression of thinking about the question. Only “friends” of Batman would actually have to contemplate the answer.
GL noted that the other looked more like a curious citizen visually browsing than a mastermind planning something, but he wouldn’t take his chances. For all they knew, he could have harmed Batman as part of some plan. The bad guys in Gotham were just…bad.
Turning back to them after a minute, he slowly pulled open his jacket and, catching sight of a firearm, Flash was about to scoff at his idiocy when the Fastest Man Alive realized what was above the weapon. A Gotham City Police Department badge.
“You could say we’re more like…partners,” he said with a slight smile. Letting his coat fall back to its original place, he stuck out a hand towards the man in green. “Commissioner Jim Gordon.”
They relaxed slightly. While they didn’t know anything about the man personally, and Batman hardly ever spoke of the other directly, it had been implied before that he was an ally. That combined with the fact that every article about the man included the phrase “last honest cop in Gotham” at least three times was enough to dispel their doubts. So long as he was actually who he claimed to be, of course. Working with someone like J’onn day-to-day did put the thought in their minds as to otherwise.
“John Stewart, Green Lantern.” John introduced himself, as he took the offered hand.
Flash jumped in and quickly began shaking the other’s entire arm almost before John had pulled away fully. “Of course, you must know me, I’m the Flash!”
The middle-aged man gave him a kind smile and nod, seemingly not bothered by his spazziness.
Once done introducing himself, he flashed back to his spot between the other two heroes, giving Hawkgirl a chance to greet the other in what she thought was a much more dignified way.
“Shayera Hol, also known as Hawkgirl.”
The Commissioner nodded again.
“Forgive me for not introducing myself right away. I suppose I was in some shock,” he said once they were done.
“Yeah, seeing Bats like that can give you nightmares,” Flash agreed. His teammates gave him incredulous looks. He held up his hands in confusion, “What? This guy’s cool, Bats talks about him all the time.”
The other coughed to cover up a snort, “And by that, I suppose you mean that he’s mentioned me all of three times over the course of several years.”
Flash smiled, he was beginning to like the older guy. “Nah man, don’t sell yourself short. It was more like four,” he joked, holding up the correct number of digits.
“Ah, that sounds about right,” Gordon responded.
“What sounds right?” Superman asked upon returning to the room.
Flash pointed to the other with his thumb, “Nothing, the Commish and I were just having a deep discussion about Bats’ psychology.”
Diana raised an eyebrow as she came in behind the other, “Really?”
Gordon tilted his head to the side and gave a little one-sided shrug as he responded, “Something like that.”
He held out his hand towards the other. “Commissioner Jim Gordon.”
Superman shook the appendage vigorously, though he was careful to keep any real strength out of it. “I must say, it’s a pleasure to finally meet the great Commissioner Gordon.”
The other flushed slightly, “Likewise to you.”
Gordon nodded in the Amazon’s direction and she returned the greeting.
“So, now that everyone is introduced, let me be the first to assure you that we have the finest technology money can buy and an amazing medical team. Batman will be up and about before you know it,” Superman assured the other.
“What’s your rough estimate for recovery time?”
“I don’t have much experience with human wounds…”
The Commissioner tensed, hand creeping towards his gun, before the other seemed to realize the green being materializing from the wall wasn’t a threat and relaxed again.
J’onn continued as if he hadn’t noticed anything, “…but I do have some experience with the Batman and believe he will protecting your city again within a month.”
“So long as you can keep him down that long, you mean,” Gordon responded.
“Indeed,” J’onn replied.
“If you’re worried about protection, we’d be more than willing to patrol Gotham while he’s out of commission,” Superman said, misjudging the original question’s intention.
Gordon gave him a look that was an impressive combination of annoyance, mockery, and amusement, with just enough politeness not to be called out on it. No wonder Batman liked the guy. (As much as Batman liked anybody, anyway.)
“Don’t let Batman hear you say that,” was his answer after a moment in which they were all fairly certain they’d been deemed unworthy somehow, even if the other hadn’t meant to do it on purpose.
They’d all heard the resounding “no” hidden within the joke.
“Well then,” Superman said in the momentary awkward silence that followed, “where would you like us to transport you? Do you want to go back to the station or do you need to investigate the area you were in?”
“Actually,” Gordon rubbed the back of his head, looking a little uncertain, “I was wondering if I could stay.”
The silence returned and the other hurried to continue, “Just until he wakes up. There was something very important we were about to discuss.”
“Don’t you want to get back to your family?” J’onn asked softly, trying the gentle approach first.
“Divorced,” Gordon replied with a sadness that he only half-managed to conceal.
“Civilians-” Gordon gave the other a raised eyebrow and Superman cleared his throat before starting over. “I mean, uh, non-super heroes aren’t really suppose to be up here. A complete security nightmare, as I’m sure you must realize.”
“Yeah, Bats would smother us all in our sleep when he found out,” Flash said, only half joking.
Bats was scary when it came to privacy issues.
“I see.” Gordon looked a little like a kicked puppy, and the red-clothed man felt something inside of him “ping” to life.
“Then again…” Flash trailed off, leveling a look at the unspoken leader of the group. Superman’s eyes widened.
“Uh…” He rubbed the back of his neck uncertainly, vowing vengeance on the redhead for putting him in his current situation.
He just hated seeing people down, especially someone that looked so pitiful. How a hardened Gotham Commissioner managed to pull off “pitiful” in the first place was another topic entirely.
“What do you think, John?”
John took one look at the middle-aged man and sighed.
“Batman’s gonna kill us.”
Gordon smiled, “Don’t worry, you can tell him I threatened you with world domination or whatever normal perils you guys take care of.”
Flash snorted and they all felt a little bad for the poor man. He clearly didn’t know Batman that well if he was willing to take the brunt of the other’s anger.
BATMAN BATMAN NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA BATMAN BATMAN
“He seems to be getting along well with everyone,” Diana said as she sat down with her tray next to the Man of Steel.
Taking his eyes off the other momentarily to glance at the woman beside him, he nodded before turning his gaze back towards the officer.
“For once the rumors don’t lie. As far as I can tell, that man is an honest, likeable guy.”
Superman smiled, observing several of their younger members sitting around the older man, some of whom were actually taking pointers from the crime veteran when he offered them. For his part, Flash was also sitting nearby, cracking jokes that the policeman responded to with smiles and silly little anecdotes of his own.
“A sweet man like that, you almost feel bad for him, huh?” Diana said.
“For having to deal with grumpy Bruce all the time, you mean?”
He shook his head in amusement, “I’m glad I wasn’t the only one thinking it.”
They shared a smile and continued their observation from a distance, just as everyone else in the cafeteria was.
Across the room, Flash nodded towards his fellow “big shot” members of the audience. Glancing about, he wasn’t surprised to realize that their issued warning of a civilian being in the Watchtower had had the opposite effect of bringing in superheroes by the dozen, rather than driving them off, as Supes had worried it might.
Didn’t Big Blue have any clue as to the amazing opportunity the unfortunate events had created? Now they had a bonafide “partner” of Bats to hassle for answers. And not one of his secretive, loyal-to-a-fault Batlings, who were sometimes far too like the Bat himself to be comfortable with talking about stuff like that.
The guy didn’t just have answers about the Dark Knight, either.
When it’d become apparent the other either didn’t want to, or didn’t know enough, to deeply discuss his fallen comrade, the other superheroes had started making small talk with the man. The other’s simple questions and observations had opened up entire topics that most of them hadn’t even thought to broach.
In the past three hours, they’d not only gotten into a hardcore debate about the advantages and disadvantages of superhero/police interaction (the others had been quite surprised to learn that the official policy in Gotham was still to arrest Batman on sight) but also trivial things such as who had the best costume and why didn’t Wonder Woman’s hair get messed up when she flew? (And, really, that was one question that Flash was still awaiting the answer to.)
“Excuse me, Commissioner, but if you would please come with me?” J’onn interrupted just as Gordon was about to re-tell how Batman had held him up with his own stapler the first time they’d met. Man, Flash would never get tired of that story.
“What’s up, J2D2?” Flash asked before the other could respond.
“Batman has awakened. He has requested to see Commissioner Gordon.”
They all gave the cop an amazed look, and Flash swore all movement in the cafeteria seemed to stop at that exact moment.
“Ya mean, like, now? While he’s all hurt and everything?” the speedster asked, not even bothering to keep the disbelief out of his voice.
“Are you certain that’s not the morphine talking, J’onn?” Superman asked seriously as he came over.
“I am certain. He wishes to see the Commissioner now.”
They turned as one to eye the other, wondering what they’d missed the first time around. For his part, the Commissioner just had a look of expectation on his face, apparently not realizing the magnitude of the situation.
Batman let no one see him injured. Ever. The only exception to the rule was Alfred, and only when necessary, if the Dark Knight could help it.
Almost as one, the entire group got up with the officer, ready to go along with him. Superman gave the non-Founders a Look and they all grudgingly sat back down, whispers breaking out almost immediately.
Walking down the hall closest to the Commissioner, Flash and Superman shot furtive glances over the smaller man’s shoulder while the others either studied him silently or made a visible effort not to look at him at all. The only one that didn’t seem to express anything was, of course, J’onn.
Superman reached to pull open the door once they’d gotten to the room, only to have a hand stop it from getting more than half-way. Gordon’s stern look responded to Superman’s confused one.
“You have your mask on, right?” he called through the ajar door, pointedly not looking in it.
“Of course,” came the reply.
Apparently all he needed, the cop removed his hand and instead slipped through the space provided.
Pushing it open more, the heroes were greeted with the sight of Batman’s glare.
“I didn’t ask for you.”
Rolling his eyes, Superman closed it once again though he didn’t doubt that Bruce realized they were planning on listening anyway. Something like this only happened once in a millenia and he, for one, wasn’t going to miss it.
“Is it right to spy on them?” Diana asked, observing Flash darting between them to press his head against the door. Green Lantern wasn’t far behind.
Flash turned away momentarily from his spot, “It’s not like Bats doesn’t know we’re gonna do it. I mean, come on, this is Mr. Paranoia we’re talking about.”
“Shhh, they’re talking,” Hawkgirl hissed.
Unable to resist herself, Diana followed suit and soon all six members were either pressed against the door, or using their powers to look through it.
“You look worse than when I brought you here,” Gordon joked, eyeing the various wires and bandages.
“Tell me about it,” Batman responded.
He knew he looked odd, sitting there with his only half his Batsuit on, the torso part of his outfit completely ripped off, curtsey of Superman.
“They weren’t kidding about the ‘best money can buy’ part, huh? I’d thought for sure even you would be out for a few days. Though, I suppose I should know better by now.”
Batman didn’t respond right away. They both knew the other was just making small-talk. If Gordon had truly thought it’d take a few days, he wouldn’t have asked to stay.
Gordon continued, “Nice people you have up here.”
“Making new friends while you waited?” Batman said, sounding almost amused. For such a tough cop, Gordon was a friendly guy overall.
“I suppose you could say that; I’ve got a coffee date with a few of the younger ones next Monday.” Gordon gave the other a boyish smirk.
“Here,” Batman said, handing over a flash drive, “the Marrks case evidence that I’ve collected.”
“Thanks,” Gordon said with a nod, accepting the change of topic easily. The other was never one to chit-chat.
“You could have waited for me to send it; it’s not quite as important as you made it seem to my colleagues,” Batman accused.
“I could have,” Gordon agreed easily, “But perhaps I wanted to get it directly from you.”
He shrugged and Batman understood the implication. The other had wanted to make sure he was ok, something which he’d normally berate his fellows for, but not something he’d fault his partner of seventeen years.
“I suppose I’ll leave you to rest then. Bye,” Gordon gave him a little wave as he turned, determined to be more polite than the other and his notorious disappearing act.
“I didn’t thank you yet,” Batman said.
Gordon smirked as he turned slightly so that he could see the other out of the corner of his eye.
“You don’t have to,” he replied, continuing on out the door. He pretended not to hear Batman’s snort.
He wasn’t surprised by the various superheroes just outside, doing a terrible job of looking inconspicuous. He smirked some more. He bet Batman had a hell of a time working with them on undercover missions.
“I’m ready to go home.”
Superman crossed his arms and gave him a stern look, “You lied to us about having something important to talk about.”
“Sorry,” he said, though his smiled belied his words.
Superman sighed and indicated that the other should follow him. What else could he really do?
Stepping over to the transportation area, Gordon turned towards the man in red and blue.
“Oh, just for future reference, you might want to be careful about what you say over the communicators before you know for certain who’s on the other line.”
He had just enough time to give Superman a wink before he disappeared.
“Uh, what did he mean by that?” Flash asked, scratching his head.
Superman frowned before he paled slightly, “I think I said Bruce’s name when the link first came on.”
“Oh man!” Flash groaned, putting a hand to his forehead. “What are we gonna tell Bats?”
“He already knew,” Batman’s rough voice drifted through the room.
“For real?” Flash gasped.
“I have no proof, but there have been moments when it was obvious,” Batman replied.
Superman gave him a Look, “Should you be up already?”
“No,” Diana responded before the other could. Batman glared at the woman.
She pointed at him accusingly, “You shouldn’t even be sitting up.”
“I’m going home,” Batman said, starting to type on the computer.
Superman sighed in exasperation, “Bruce, I’m not certain that’s a good idea-“
“Alfred has all of the training needed to take care of me.”
They didn’t have to be mind-readers to guess what he thought of the ‘taking care’ part. Flash felt bad for Jeeves, he’d certainly have his hands full in the upcoming month.
Batman glanced at the others momentarily, “You can stop worrying.” He turned back towards what he was doing and they all knew he wasn’t going to change his mind.
When had he ever?
“I’m coming with you,” Superman said as he crossed his arms, his entire stance saying that it wasn’t up for negotiation.
“Clark,” Batman growled out.
“Bruce,” Superman said in the same tone.
Diana covered her mouth to hide her smile while Flash started whistling.
“Fine,” he hissed, and Superman wasn’t entirely certain his tone was all due to anger.
Checking the other’s heartbeat, he could tell the simple conversation was straining him. If Bruce was going to be stubborn, he supposed the least he could do was get him home quickly before Batman passed out in the middle of the floor.
Especially since he’d blame it all on him and stop speaking to him for a week.
Grabbing hold of the other, he ignored the glare he received, instead keeping his focus on making sure Bruce kept upright as they were teleported right into the middle of Wayne Manor.
Superman swore Alfred didn’t even blink as he merely paused in his reading of the paper.
“Good morning, Master Wayne. Mr. Kent. Shall I get the first aid kit?”
They scowled at each other and Superman was careful to let the other go when he jerked away. The last thing he needed was Bruce injuring himself more by trying to get out of the grip of a man who could crush steel without breaking a sweat.
“If I may be so bold, Master Wayne, I do believe I’m going to agree with your friend this time. Forgive me.”
With that, he got up from the couch and left. Superman assumed he’d gone to get their medical box. Truthfully, he wasn’t certain how much good it’d do.
Slumping down into a nearby chair, Batman allowed the other to see one of his brief moments of weakness.
Reaching into his belt, he pulled out a small communication device. Holding it up to the other superhero, he said, “Clark, give this to Gordon. It’ll enable him to contact one of the others if he needs to.”
Superman took it, nodding. Batman stared at him intently, and he wondered if he was expecting him to fly off at that very moment to hand it over. Knowing Bruce, he was already worrying about escaped clowns and fear-inducing drugs being let loose among the general populace.
“I know he didn’t ask for your help, but keep an ear out for him. Please.”
Superman frowned as the other’s voice got even gruffer. Checking him over, he was satisfied to conclude that he was probably just tired. Getting shot would do that to you, he supposed.
He was never more glad than when Alfred returned with the supplies needed.
“I believe I can take it from here, sir. Unless you would like to stay?”
Superman looked down, expecting to be on the receiving end of one of Batman’s infamous don’t-even-think-about-it looks, but was pleased to see him sleeping soundly.
“No, I think I’d better get out of here before he wakes up even grumpier than usual. Have a nice day, Alfred.”
With that, he flew on out of the manor, careful to take the secret routes so that no nosy paparazzi accidentally got the scoop of their life.
He had a Commissioner to visit.
This was rather small, I know. I have been working on a series and it will take some time. Hope you guys liked it. Thank you.