stop. look. listen.

An AU ending of TDK results in Barbara Gordon's death. James Gordon is left to deal with the fallout, raising two kids on his own, and dealing with his new job. But he might have an unexpected ally in Bruce Wayne, however the billionaire's sudden entrance in his life continues to baffle him.

Part one: Solid Ground.
Barbara Gordon's funeral takes place in the early morning, the air is still crisp and fresh, like after a long storm. The timing is worked out perfectly so that there is a brief gathering at Jim's house afterwards, and he has enough time to make it to her killer's funeral and give a speech on what a hero he was.

Part two: Common Ground.
Mindful of Barbara's father being the police commissioner, he had prepared the answers to all typical questions, their destination, the time of bringing her back home ('what time should she be back, sir?' was the preferred answer), did he drive, what did he drive, did he really think he should drive, all the basics, asked with arms crossed and frown on the father's face. Steve had been through this before, but it was never a pleasant experience, and he would have gladly skipped it and just met Barbara at the movie theatre, but at the suggestion she threw her hair over her shoulder and gave him a look that clearly said he must have been kidding.

Part three: Breaking New Ground.
The night is really cold, even more so than a usual December night in Gotham. Steve rubs his hands together, wishing that for once he actually wore gloves. Of course, the simple solution to the cold would be to finally knock on the Gordons' doors, but when was the last time he actually did something reasonable?

Part Four: Grounded in Fact and Fiction.
"Yes. And Bruce flipped out, as anyone would because, yes, oh your God, and gave them a rather good quote," Jimmy sounded both mortified and amused now, which was better than Babs felt, as she stopped on mortified and couldn't really move on.
"Oh my God. What quote?"

"Well, the story they went with was not his and yours impending marriage, so you can breathe freely, but Dad isn't so happy about being outed in the morning papers."