stop. look. listen.


When he thinks about it later, he had acted irresponsibly, but probably not in the ways Gordon had meant when he said so, his voice quiet and yet angry. Probably not angry at Bruce, as such, you have to care to get angry, and up till this point his interactions with the new commissioner had been few and far between, if one didn't count Batman, and Gordon definitely didn't, for the simple reason of not knowing about Bruce being the masked vigilante.

Bruce can't tell for sure what brought this on, from Gordon's end of things, but he can guess, and guess pretty damn well. It's been a difficult few weeks at the police department, the administration hadn't yet recovered from Loeb's death, and Gordon was already making further changes, furiously reviewing every personnel file. Ramirez had been the first one fired, or maybe she had resigned, the office gossip wasn't sure about this one, and it's not exactly like Batman could ask Jim Gordon himself. Some things they didn't talk about, in fact, lots of things they didn't talk about. She had been the first, but she certainly wasn't the last. Batman did his part, making sure every scrap of information on possible illegal dealings of any member of the Gotham's finest made it way to Gordon.

It makes for a better PD Department, but it definitely doesn't improve Gordon's mood. The fact that his wife and kids go on extended winter holidays to Chicago probably doesn't either. Officially, neither Bruce nor Batman know about this last part. Officially, neither Bruce nor Batman know about a lot of things, but somehow, they do, he does.

He knows that Gordon kept the office at the MCU not only because, as he claims, the one in the city hall still makes him feel like he's waiting for his boss to tear him a new one, but because, at MCU, he can go upstairs whenever he wants, up the narrow staircase, to the roof with a now broken light, lean against the railing and watch the city, and then look up, to the sky not marred with any signs, just dark clouds. Batman hadn't showed up there for weeks, and he's not going to, but Gordon still waits up, even though they have other places to meet. None offers such a good view of the city, though.

The penthouse had an even better view, from much higher up, and a nice 360 degrees at that, and not even an hour ago he had been standing by the window, fixing up his tie, and reluctantly awaiting the arrival of the first guests. About five minutes later he was already in the garage, starting the ignition of the new Ferrari, bought to replace the damaged Lamborghini. Sometimes before that, Alfred had came in, worry on his face as he switched on the news for Bruce to see.

In hindsight, it would have been more logical to pause, change into the suit perhaps, but he had been wary of making the appearances as Batman, especially in places where so many cops could be found. In hindsight, he might have just left the matter alone; Gotham's police could probably deal with it well enough, but not without some casualties, and right now, casualties were unacceptable. He had vowed that no one else would die if he could help it in any way.

In hindsight, however, everything seems much simpler, that's mostly the point.

Ten minutes after the car rolled onto the street, and fifteen minutes after he had tried to smooth down his tie, he's sitting down on the concrete pavement, the wound on his head looked at by an ME, and he watches Gordon bark orders to the officers. Another car down, Alfred won't be pleased, but at least it had been the only casualty this evening. Of course, whatever he's going to hear from Alfred, it might be nothing compared to what Gordon would like to say, judging from the looks he keeps throwing Bruce.

"Thank you, you're a miracle worker," Bruce tells the ME, who blushes and walks away, shaking her head. Maybe the drawl and the leer was overdone, but he has a concussion, he thinks, and setting the playboy routine on just the right level proves to be challenging.

Gordon nods at Detective Stephens, apparently giving him the lead over the chaos that is the crime scene, and walks up to where Bruce is sitting. He doesn't look all that pleased, his mustache covering the tight set of his mouth, biting back the words he's dying to say.

"Come on, Mr Wayne, we should get you home before your guests start to worry," he says instead, managing to keep most of his irritation from colouring his voice, or showing up on his face, but Bruce had seen him go through almost all emotions, he can tell what he's feeling now. "We really need to stop meeting like this, too," he adds, as if he had prepared the line earlier, in an attempt to have something to say.

"You could always just show up at one of the fundraisers," Bruce says lightly. He knows damn well that Gordon was invited to the function tonight, and knows just as well that the man had no intention of attending.

"One of these days, Mr Wayne," Gordon lies, and waits until Bruce gets into the car before walking around it and getting in himself. Bruce wonders briefly why Gordon didn't order some unlucky rookie to drive him home in a squad car, but that's probably because Gordon doesn't trust him not to cause another accident tonight, even if all the accidents so far had been enormously helpful to the police.

Gordon's fingers close tightly around the wheel, enough for his knuckles to whiten. He's probably thinking he has better things to do than escorting home billionaires who had just crashed their second car this month. Something twists in Bruce's stomach, warm and surprising, and he can't identify the feeling, but it's not unpleasant. Surprising, yes, but not unpleasant.

"Can this car go any faster?" Bruce asks cheerfully, and honestly, he hadn't thought this through, which might be blamed on the concussion, or the fact that Gordon is driving at a snail's pace. Bruce wonders if this is really the same guy who drove the truck that Joker was shooting a bazooka at.

Gordon doesn't answer for a very long moment, but his mouth works under the mustache, as he bites his lower lip. It's kind of... no, Bruce hadn't thought about that, not at all. But the warm feeling in his stomach is back, and it's spreading lower, and his dick is starting to take notice. It's just wonderful, and he almost bangs his head against the window, but it wouldn't be helpful, considering the concussion, not helpful at all.

Really, if he got off on disapproval, he would be in great trouble with Alfred, and he's not even thinking about that one. Although, thinking about it does relieve the situation a bit, and he's mostly able to get his treacherous dick under some semblance of control.

Gordon still doesn't answer, but the car, almost imperceptibly, slows down even more, and Bruce bites back a scathing comment. Irritating the good commissioner even further could prove quite unhealthy, or at least, very stupid, judging from how, well, attractive the mild annoyance was. This really was most inconvenient. So instead of commenting, Bruce stares outside of the window, at the buildings they pass. Gordon isn't inclined to disrupt the silence either, and a good three minutes pass before Bruce realises that he's not upholding his public image at all, demonstrating that he can be quiet and considerate. This wouldn't do, not with someone as perceptive as Gordon.

"I really don't know what the fuss is all about, you know?" he drawls, leaning back in the seat, gesturing widely with his hand. Gordon doesn't even spare him a glance, but that doesn't matter. "I was just trying not to be late to my own party for once. Not my fault your people had all this blockade thing going on."

The car pulls into the underground garage of the apartment complex, and Gordon is still silent, even though he does get the look uncannily similar to the one Alfred gets when he's trying really hard not to say something, and usually ending up saying it anyway. It's not an attractive look by any means, but somehow it is on Gordon.

"Thank you for the ride, commissioner. Next time, we should put the light on, this would be hilarious," he winks in his well-practiced way, and reaches for the door handle, when a humorless snort from Gordon stops him.

"Is it all just fun to you, Wayne?" he asks, and Bruce turns, covering his surprise with a look of pleasant interest that he probably doesn't pull off all that well. He also wonders, briefly, where did 'Mr' go, but mostly, Gordon's tone, quiet and calm on the surface, hot and cold anger underneath, has him back to hard in the space of a second, and that's really, really not good. It shouldn't turn him on like this, the barely hidden disdain, but it means he got to Gordon, scratched something under his skin, and it's an intoxicating, heady feeling.

"What's the point of anything, if it's not fun?" he grins widely, shamelessly, and it only makes Gordon's eyes flash, more colour showing on his face, and Bruce is pretty damn sure that if he laid his fingers on the side of Gordon's neck, he would feel the blood racing in his veins, faintly visible under the skin.

"The blockade, Wayne, had been there for a reason, though I doubt you'd know this. It's a miracle you hadn't fucked the entire operation up, and made it out alive, but believe me when I tell you, this was not fun." His voice is almost shaking, the words come out jumbled, and Bruce thinks that the next step, if he says something foolish again, would be Gordon hitting him. This too shouldn't be tempting... He thinks of it briefly, Gordon's tight fist colliding with his jaw, leaving a mark for everyone to see.

He doesn't even notice when he moves, his lips covering Gordon's hungrily. Gordon's hand wanders to Bruce's shirt, tangling in the cloth, but before he pushes away, before he pulls away himself, anger turned into confusion, there's a moment where his lips soften, just briefly, but Bruce didn't imagine it, it was there. Interesting. And maddening, because then he does pull away, leaving Bruce panting, painfully straining against his pants.

"Better go to your guests, Mr Wayne."

'Mr' is back, and the anger is gone, and it's more of a disappointment than Bruce thought it would be. "You might be right, wouldn't want them to have too much fun without me," he says, shrugging, and gets out of the car, not looking back. Most inconvenient, and god, he really should stop by the bathroom before he actually joins his guests, because this might just be embarrassing.

The party, judging by the sounds, is in full swing, and hopefully Alfred had been distributing enough champagne to keep everyone cheerfully busy and away from the corridor leading to the bedroom. Bruce makes his way there, managing to avoid everyone but Alfred, who must have some sort of sixth sense or a weird sonar built in, because he emerges the moment Bruce steps out from the elevator, and gives him a disapproving look. And no, it doesn't have the same effect, thank heavens, so it's less of the disapproval thing, and more of a James Gordon thing. Which doesn't improve the situation much, but is a little bit less awkward than it would be otherwise.

He gives Alfred a 'not now' look and marches into his bedroom, closing the doors behind him, breathing out, back of his head banging against the solid wood of the doors. Probably not a good idea, adding to the concussion, but he really doesn't care. What he does care about is undoing his pants efficiently, taking out his cock and stroking fast, thinking of the way Gordon's fingers closed around the wheel, long fingers whitening, hands almost shaking from the tightness of the grasp.

He imagines these hands on his dick, hold almost as tight, as Gordon would lean closer, marking his throat with his teeth, grazing his jaw, hard enough to leave bruises for everyone to see, then finally moving to kiss Bruce, bite at his lower lip, maybe draw blood. He groans, working his cock faster, his whole body shaking from it, head once again falling against the door with a soft thud, everything going black for a long moment as he comes into his hand.

He washes his hands in the bathroom, and changes his pants. He spends few moments looking into the mirror, surveying the damage, the cut on his forehead, not as deep as it seemed before. His lips are swollen, he's not sure whether from the half-kiss with Gordon, or the way he bit them moments before, to keep himself from screaming as he came. His eyes are still wide and darkened, but that shouldn't matter, if anyone were to notice, they'd probably assume he was drunk or on drugs. Sometimes the reputation was slightly irritating but greatly useful. He runs his hand through his hair, it doesn't help much with their state, but the hellish mess is back in fashion, people pay fortunes to have them styled this way.

He ignores the look Alfred gives him as he joins the guests, smiling widely in greetings, not even bothering to excuse his late arrival. He says a few words about the cause and, mid-performance, snatches a glass of champagne from a passing tray, then joins the crowd as the music starts, twirling some blonde starlet around the floor a few times. On their second turn around the room he catches a surprising sight of one Jim Gordon, chatting comfortably with Mayor Garcia, and the sight literally stops him in his tracks.

"What is it?" Maria, or Mary, he's not sure, asks, and he shrugs, dropping an apologetic kiss on her cheek.

"There's someone I need to talk to, excuse me," he says, giving her one of the most winning smiles, and makes his way towards the commissioner, trying not to walk too fast. Gordon doesn't seem to even notice his presence, he continues telling Garcia of the pursuit of the evening, and why it would be good to have a few more cars at the PD disposal.

Somehow, with all the declined invitations, Bruce had assumed that Gordon would be uncomfortable at a party like this, but he doesn't seem to be. He has his work suit on, dark gray with a dark red tie, a stark contrast to all the tuxes and ball-gowns in the room, and yet he seems just as confident as on a crime scene, and this is most inconvenient, because Bruce thinks he could deal with a slightly uncomfortable Gordon, but right now his dick is once again taking notice, and that's, once more, not good.

"Ah, commissioner," he says pleasantly. "Now that's a surprise."

Gordon turns slowly, giving him a curious look, then shrugs, mostly for Garcia's sake, probably. "I've figured, if I was already here, I might just as well see what I've been missing."

"I'm sorry to hear about your car, Mr Wayne," Garcia says, trying to hide an amused smile, and Bruce is close to rolling his eyes. He's not entirely sure what Gordon had been telling him, probably the whole damn truth and nothing less. The crash was probably all over the news by now, but he could take whatever the reporters dished out, he wasn't sure if he was going to like the spin Gordon gave the entire thing.

"Oh, that," he says, waving his hand dismissively. "I needed an excuse to get a new one anyway," he adds, and Garcia laughs politely, because Bruce Wayne needing an excuse to buy a car is quite funny. Gordon doesn't even smile, just looks at Bruce for a long moment that seemed to stretch on forever.

Before anyone can say anything more, Garcia excuses himself, grimacing slightly as his wife signals him discreetly to come join her immediately. "Speaking of cars, commissioner," Bruce starts, calling up a polite guileless smile. "I have a few unjustified tickets that I wanted to talk to you about."

Gordon's look turns into slightly annoyed again, and has Bruce mentioned that this is highly inconvenient? Because, damn, it really is. "What are you playing at, Wayne?" he asks, and Bruce's breath catches in his throat, his mouth suddenly dry and lips parched. The 'Wayne' is back, low and almost growled, the annoyance is back with vengeance, aided by true anger. If Bruce thought Gordon had been angry before, now he's furious, his eyes cold and assessing, and it sends a fresh wave of desire straight to Bruce's groin.

"How about we talk outside?" he asks, gesturing at the balcony's doors with his champagne flute, and he can't keep the suggestive note from creeping into his voice. Bad choice. Gordon's eyes cloud a little bit more, darkening, his mouth setting into a tighter line.

"How about not," he suggests, far from pleasant. "I do not imagine what you're trying to achieve here, Wayne, but keep me out of it," he says, holding Bruce's eyes in warning gaze before turning and walking away, into the elevator, the button of which he pushes in with considerable force.

He apparently got what he came here for; telling Bruce to back the hell off. Which, apparently, had a rather opposite effect. Honestly, one of these days, Bruce swore, he was going to choose something that was easy and uncomplicated and good for his health. One of these days.

Now, he just stands there rather stupidly, the party going on behind him and without him, and he watches as Gordon tugs absently at his collar, watching the numbers on the elevator go up, before the doors swoosh open. Bruce moves fast, sliding into the elevator just as the doors close again, Gordon looking at him as if he was crazy. He probably is, so that's alright.

It's insane, he had seen Gordon angry before, he had even seen him angry at Bruce, well, Batman. For god's sake, he had Gordon pull a gun on him once, you didn't get angrier than that. But it wasn't this, not the chastisement and disapproval, not the stern tones and disappointed annoyance. It's more personal, hits close, gets under his skin and sends his pulse racing. It is rather insane, yes, but it feels quite fantastic.

"I'm not playing at anything," he says plainly, letting his defenses down enough to have his face speak for him, back up his words. "Fuck, I have no idea what I'm doing at all," he admits, laughing lightly at himself, and something shifts in Gordon's expression, changing into mild curiosity, a bit of wonder and confusion.

"What are you doing?" he asks, and Bruce shrugs, moving closer, this time taking a moment, just in case he was going to get punched after all. It doesn't happen, and few seconds later he's kissing Gordon again, fingers tangled in his air, making a mess of them. And the best part is, Gordon lets him, not yet responding, but the slight shift of his hips tells Bruce that this might be on the table yet, that this might happen. It's a tad terrifying, but in a rather good way.

"I think it's rather obvious what I'm doing," he mutters against Gordon's lips, and moves back into another kiss, but the doors are swinging open again, and when Bruce reaches to push the button that would close them again, Gordon still his hand, fingers tightening around his wrist, and fuck, that's good, too.

"You should get back to your guests," Gordon says, and steps out of the elevator, his serious expression completely disagreeing with the rather messy look he's sporting now, hair in mess and tie askew, but it doesn't lessen the conviction in his voice. It sounds final.

And Bruce would have probably bought it, if not for the fact that the condition of Gordon's pants was rather similar to the one he found himself in again; almost painfully hard. The doors closed again, and Bruce considered his options, and possible actions from this moment on. He had a rather sneaking suspicion that most of the plotting would have to wait until he had made another trip to the bathroom. Most inconvenient, Alfred will surely disapprove.

In hindsight, Bruce can see how the next time he saw Gordon looked suspiciously as if he had planned it. He didn't, but explaining himself to anyone was pretty much pointless, and explaining himself to Gordon was very much so. Especially since it was entirely possible that he would have planned something very similar, given more time.

After the party he had arrived at two choices, ignore the sudden attraction to Gordon, or act on it and get it out of his system as soon as possible. The former could get very inconvenient at the most importune moments, the latter was almost certainly going to earn him a punch or two. He had tried the in-between option, and found the girl he had danced with before, whisked her away to the bedroom. It wasn't the same, clearly, softness where he wished for hardness, and compliance where he expected to be resisted, maybe fought, but with his eyes closed it was the next best thing.

He even managed to change the moaned 'Jim' into 'Jane' just in time; it wasn't the girl's name, of course, but she didn't mind, probably even expected it. He slipped out of the room soon after, and she didn't linger after the party; she was one of the smarter ones, who knew how the game went.

In the morning Alfred glared at him just a tad, but whether it was about the bra he found tangled in the sheets in master bedroom, or about the other part of the evening, Bruce wasn't sure. And if it was indeed about the jerking off, or about kissing Gordon in the elevator... he didn't want to know how Alfred learned about these things. He just did, somehow, always. It was better to simply ignore it, he had learned to do that by now.

What he had trouble ignoring, however, was the memory of Gordon's fingers closing on his wrists, of the way they tightly grasped the steering wheel before. It was bordering on insanity. He was going to have to do something about it, he just have no idea what exactly, yet. 'Yet' being the key word. Alfred had occasionally called him stubborn to a fault, Bruce preferred to think of himself as persistent, or determined, but arguing semantics never got you anywhere, and the point was, he was going to see this through, one way or the other.

But even before he could consciously form any sort of a plan, coincidence interfered, in a way that could be considered funny if you weren't actually involved in the entire thing.

Two days after the party and the car crash he's walking into a coffee shop in the midtown, the biggest sunglasses he could find perched on his nose, mess on his head that actually took ten minutes and some hair product to achieve. He left his tie in the car and purposefully messed up his shirt, too; no one would think twice about Bruce Wayne stopping for a cup of coffee on his way back from whatever party that lasted well into the morning, not even two suspects having a clandestine meeting in this very coffee shop. After all, who would take seriously an idea that Bruce Wayne of all people was pretty much stalking you?

Well, Jim Gordon, from the look of things, actually. But that would happen later.

When he enters the cafe, it's almost empty, a slow morning, a group of students in the corner, chatting aimlessly, a girl with big headphones and an even bigger book, a redheaded woman going through her purse with some irritation, and the suspect he's after, at the table in the back. Bruce sits down, keeps his sunglasses on, and puts a good show of being hung over, which doesn't stop him from flirting with the waitress, a nice blonde girl who doesn't seem all that impressed, but gives him her number anyway.

The relative calm lasts for about two minutes, because right about when he's getting his coffee, and the napkin with the waitress' number scribbled on, Jim Gordon comes out from the general direction of the restroom, and sits across the redheaded woman, whom Bruce can now recognise, and is surprised he hadn't done so earlier. Barbara Gordon, who was supposed to be in Chicago from what he heard, and who now was gathering her things from the table, a cellphone, a manilla folder that looked very official, putting them in her purse and fighting with its clasp. Gordon says something Bruce can't hear, and she shakes her head and forces a smile, then walks out, passing Bruce with just a quick curious glance.

Gordon's gaze follows her out, just slightly sad and distant, and Bruce can tell the exact moment when he notices him. Gordon is never going to be a great poker player, there's always a moment before he schools his expression down, a very short moment, but it's there if you look for it.

There's surprise, and then, just briefly, annoyance, and then all the emotion is gone, covered up, and all that's left is a searching steady look, fixed on Bruce. And Bruce is not a stranger to staring contests, and this time he even has the advantage of huge sunglasses, but then again, the staring contests he usually partakes in don't make him instantly hard.

What apparently does make him instantly hard is Jim Gordon looking at him as if he wondered what the fuck Bruce was doing there, and why the hell things like that happened to him. It was a new kind of look, not the one Bruce was used to getting, not as Bruce Wayne, and not even as Batman. At the sight of Batman most people looked scared, and Jim Gordon usually looked relieved and just a little, well, happy was possibly the right word. And that felt good at the time, someone looking forward to seeing him, someone he could rely on. Why it felt so much better to have the same man look at him with irritation and certain dislike, he couldn't tell. But it did.

He's vaguely aware that he's not the only one noticing Gordon, the suspect he had came here after looks a little nervous at the sight of Gotham's commissioner, and leaves the cafe promptly, already reaching for his cellphone. He is probably going to arrange for a new meeting place, and Bruce will have to get the location of that. It's inconvenient, but for the moment, he doesn't care.

He just looks back at Gordon, and, after few more seconds, reaches out to take his glasses off, folding them absently and placing them on the table. Gordon holds his gaze, eyebrows rising just a tiny fraction, his forehead furrowing. This is commissioner Gordon at work, Bruce thinks, trying to figure out the puzzle. It's not entirely comfortable, being the puzzle he's trying to work out, but at the same time it's a strangely good feeling, warm spreading throughout his body, pulsing under his skin. And it's not only going into his dick either, it's something more now. What, he can't tell yet, but it's not unpleasant. Slightly worrying, but not unpleasant.

Gordon stands up, eyes not leaving Bruce's, then turns on his heel and marches back into the restroom. It's not an invitation, as such, there's no come-hither look or knowing gaze. Bruce would actually pay good money to see a come-hither look on Jim Gordon, because that would be something, but what he gets now is simply Gordon knowing he'd follow, wanting to have the conversation, or the confrontation, somewhere that's not so public. And there will be a confrontation, he can tell that much from the tight set of Gordon's shoulders, the purpose in his steps.

He thinks he's looking forward to that.

Contrary to the popular belief and the latest story in one of Gotham's tabloids, he doesn't go to public restrooms with intentions of quite possibly pushing someone against the stall doors and having his way with them, but he's debating the idea of starting doing just that. Gordon is leaning against the sink, his arms crossed, half-defensive half-furious, and that's a surprisingly attractive look on him.

"You wanted to see me, commissioner?" he drawls, possibly overdoing it a little, but with the opinion Gordon has about him, he shouldn't worry.

"What the hell are you doing?" Gordon asks, voice quiet but heated with anger.

Well, if he puts it like that, there's only one way Bruce can answer. "Enjoying a great cup of coffee. See, I've been to this wild party last night, woke up in some girl's apartment, and, believe it or not, there was not one, not two, but..."

"Wayne," Gordon stops him, all but spitting out the name.

This probably should be the moment where he backs off, the moment he gives in. Especially on the morning when, from all he had seen, Gordon had just signed his divorce papers. It's not the right time, and certainly not the right place, and honestly, he doesn't give a fuck about that.

"What does it look like I'm doing?" he asks plainly, taking a step forward, and a brief look of understanding comes across Gordon's face, as if a piece of puzzle just fallen into place. It's not the right puzzle, probably, but it makes Gordon's eyes lose some of the coldness and anger, and his stance eases just a bit. That's not exactly what he wanted, he doesn't need the understanding or the gentle worry. "I would have thought your investigative skills were much better, commissioner. Or maybe that's why you needed an overgrown bat doing most of your work for you. Too bad how it turned out, eh?"

He should have bit the words back, it's not even picking at a fresh wound, this is more like stabbing exposed flesh, the words are spilling like poured acid but he can't hold them.

It does earn him a reaction he's been looking for, though. Gordon's fists tighten, and for a brief moment Bruce braces himself, prepares for the inevitable punch, but it doesn't come. He's oddly disappointed. He would have welcomed the skin on skin contact, however brief, and it would have closed the distance between them. But all that happens is all the colour draining from Gordon's face, his lips setting into a tight uncompromising line.

He should say something, he thinks, but isn't sure whether whatever would come out of his mouth at this moment would be an apology or an insult. He's not sure which he'd prefer. But before he can say anything, Gordon's whole body presses against him, pushing him towards the wall. It's not what he expected. It's rough and almost violent, but the fit is not quite like a one you'd get in a fight, it's closer and more personal, and Bruce's dick takes notice, and from the stirring against his hip, it seems like Gordon is in a similar situation himself.

Gordon's forearm presses against Bruce's neck, but it's more of a symbolic gesture than anything else, the hold is not strong enough to be intended as threatening.

"What do you want, Wayne?" The words are quiet, just a hint of a hidden intensity behind them. Gordon sounds really interested and just a little bit baffled by the entire thing, and even his own actions. His eyes are darkened, be it with anger or the surge of desire, Bruce doesn't care, as long as Gordon's breathing is harsh and shallow, as long as his dick is tightly pressed against Bruce's thigh, close enough to his own to make his world spin.

"This," he mutters, his head bowing forward, his lips an inch away from Gordon's. "I want this."

It's not exactly a specific request, but the gist of it is pretty clear, and Gordon doesn't back off when Bruce kisses him hungrily and messily, all teeth and tongue, but he doesn't really respond either. Bruce groans in frustration, and in response Gordon efficiently works his pants undone, sneaks his hand inside Bruce's boxers, palming his cock. His other hand rests on Bruce's hip, fingers digging into the flesh, hard enough to leave bruises for later, and it feels better than it probably should.

Bruce thrusts into Gordon's hand, his head rolling backwards, hitting the wall with a soft thud. He forces his eyes to stay open when he catches the sight in the mirror to their side and can't look away from it. Gordon's biting his lip in concentration, his hand working faster, fingers tightening as he moves closer, his mouth almost on Bruce's neck but not quite, hot breath against his skin, just there on the pulse point. As Gordon's hand moves to cup his balls, squeezing just hard enough, Bruce moans, low and needy. He's not sure what exactly he needs, but this is close enough that he can pretend it's right.

"Come on, Wayne," Gordon says, harsh and impatient, and it sends Bruce over the edge, and he spills into Gordon's hand, his body shuddering violently, only Gordon's weight tightly pressed against him keeping him in place against the wall.

After few seconds Gordon moves away, reaches out to tear a paper towel off a roll, wiping his hand in a matter-of-fact manner. He doesn't look up for a long moment, and it gives Bruce some time to get his breathing under control. He still doesn't move to clean himself up, but he's going to, any minute now, when his brain and his hands work properly again.

Gordon hesitates for a briefest of seconds, glancing at Bruce quickly, something unreadable in his face, but then just discards the towel into the waste bin and walks out, without as much as a backward glance.

Minutes later, when he's washing his face and looking up into the mirror, Bruce thinks this was a right moment to say something, maybe try and do something about the unmistakable hardness in Gordon's pants. He faintly regrets not having done so, but, he thinks there will be other occasions. After all, if he had any thoughts about getting this entire thing out of his system, over and done with, this hasn't helped, if anything, it might be getting worse.

Two days after the coffee shop, and after the restroom, is the day of the grand fundraiser for the rebuilding of the Gotham General. Bruce almost doesn't go. He knows that Jim got roped into attending, the commissioner had muttered something about that to Batman, few nights ago, and Bruce doesn't know if it isn't too soon. Being accused of stalking would be the least of his problems, he's been accused of much worse.

But it's getting too complicated, even for him. He thinks too much about Jim, and the mere fact that he started slipping and calling him Jim in his thoughts confirms that he's in over his head.

But he had already confirmed his attendance, and, well, it's Gotham General. It would be different if he had an excuse of Batman being needed somewhere, but the city has been quiet for the last few days, and there's nothing urgent and pressing. Damn.

He ties and reties his bow-tie three times before he gets the knot even remotely correct, but the moment he emerges out of his bedroom, Alfred tuts quietly, and sets into redoing the knot himself, making a point of not saying anything. Bruce is pretty sure the butler guesses the cause of his anxiety, and really, really hopes that all he has is a general idea, and that his omniscience doesn't extend to the more sordid details of the entire thing. He's not comfortable with Alfred reading his mind and getting visuals from the bathroom. Or the car, or the elevator. Yes, it is worse than he thought, but then again, it usually is.

He gets into the party fashionably late without even trying, and the moment he enters his gaze immediately finds Gordon. He's talking to the new Assistant DA, probably discussing work, because he looks surprisingly comfortable and relaxed, even in the slightly ill-fitted tux. Bruce picks up a champagne glass from a passing tray, and lets himself be pulled into a conversation the Mayor, his wife, and few others, and tries his best not to cast glances into the general direction of the city's commissioner.

But casting glances or not, he can still see Jim out of the corner of his eye, and knows exactly when Gordon turns to look at him. He half expects the annoyance to make a grand come back, but there's no even a hint of it, Jim's face is completely calm and composed. The look he sports is oddly familiar, and only after a moment does Bruce place it, he had seen it before, but never as Bruce Wayne. It's the one from the crime scene and hostage situations when the risk has been assessed, and no matter how fucked up the situation is, at least Jim is ready for whatever it holds.

Bruce isn't sure what he classifies as, in this scheme, is he a suspect, or a puzzle, but the sensation of having that look concentrated on him is overwhelming.

Gordon holds his gaze for just a second longer than polite and necessary, then nods lightly, and turns back to his conversation.

The party drags for what seems like hours, but is probably just minutes. Bruce goes through the tedious small talk, dropping just enough of outrageous comments to cement his reputation, such as it is. Sometime at the end of his lengthy tirade about the speed limits and traffic lights, he's conscious of Gordon joining the group, nodding at Garcia and a few others. Bruce turns to him with a wide smile and a sweeping gesture of his hand.

"What do you think, commissioner, could something be done about the limits?" he asks cheerfully, and Jim puts on a decent show of frowning, his eyes serious and fixed on Bruce.

"If you're that tired of obeying traffic laws, I suggest you switch to some other means of transport. Could I suggest a chopper? Much less risk of crashing into somebody else," he adds pointedly, and draws a few polite laughs from those gathered around Bruce.

Bruce raises his champagne glass in a silent salute, and the liquid swirls in it, almost spilling. "It was just two cars, I don't see what the big deal is," he says defensively, and more people laugh, just as falsely. Gordon doesn't even smile, just keeps on watching Bruce, and one can almost see that brain working furiously, picking at the problem in front of him.

The conversation turns into the condition of the roads, and from there, somehow into stock prices, and Bruce doesn't pay much attention, except to offer a flippant comment or two. Gordon had excused himself to make a call, then never rejoined the group, getting pulled into another conversation in the far off corner. Bruce makes a point of not staring, and doesn't even look in Gordon's direction, but he's still constantly aware where Jim is and whom he's talking to.

He sort of hopes he's not imagining it, but Gordon seems similarly distracted, the slightly curious look on his face, like the ones he gets when he's staring at the evidence or crime scene reports well after hours. Not that Bruce was even looking in that direction.

Two hours into the party, which is much longer than Bruce thought Gordon would stand, and close to Bruce's own limit, he's coming out of the bathroom stall, adjusting his jacket, and Gordon is standing by the sink, washing his hands. Bruce thinks, a little smugly, that Gordon was talking to one of the city council members when Bruce left the ballroom, so at least this time he wasn't the one following people into elevators and bathrooms. He also thinks that they should stop meeting in elevators or bathrooms. Even the car was better.

"Mr. Wayne," Gordon acknowledges, and apparently they're back to pleasantries, which doesn't seem good. The honorific doesn't sound right at all either, and Bruce think he preferred the angry condescension of 'Wayne'.

"Jim," he shoots back cheerfully, reaching to push the soap dispenser, watching Gordon in the mirror. The casual use of the man's name makes him tense briefly, a flash of something that might be annoyance in his eyes, replaced quickly by a calm of figuring something out. It's all gone in an instant, but Bruce hadn't imagined it. He doesn't like it, thinks he had preferred the anger, as at least the anger leads somewhere highly pleasurable if just a tad dangerous.

For a while there's just the sound of running water as Bruce washes his hands, then dries them off. Jim is looking somewhere to the side, as if the delicate patterns on the wallpaper were the most interesting thing under the sun. Bruce is half tempted to just push him against the wall, have his turn in reducing Jim to a trembling mess, pushing into Bruce's hands, maybe his mouth, yes, that would do nicely. But a restroom of an expensive hotel hosting the Mayor's benefit isn't quite the same as a bathroom in a coffee shop, with its stained walls and graffiti.

"I was just going to get away from here," Jim says, his voice sounding surprisingly loud after the silence, and Bruce looks up sharply. He considers pretending to misunderstand, maybe getting a frustrated huff in return, but it would be counterproductive.

"I was thinking of doing the same, but I've sent my driver home," he lies, and the small smirk on Jim's face tells him that he's as transparent as he thought he was. "Could I trouble you for a ride home once again, commissioner?" he asks politely, and neither of them pretends to believe in that excuse.

Jim hesitates for a briefest of seconds, then nods his agreement. They leave in an almost companionable silence which sees them through to Gordon's car and then some time later, in spite of the slightly too loud engine. Gordon's driving faster than the last time Bruce had been in his car, though not by much; he stays well within the speed limits.

Bruce watches how Jim's fingers close around the wheel, pale against black, and thinks how surreal this is. It didn't feel that odd before, even though it probably should have, but then they were driven by adrenaline and frustration. It's different now. Jim's hand twitches slightly, moves down the side of the wheel as if in caress, and Bruce wills him to step on the gas, because they're not close enough to the penthouse yet.

Then, as he glances outside at the buildings they pass, he realises they're not going to the penthouse at all, but are already halfway to Jim's house. Bruce thinks of pointing it out, making a show out of questioning Gordon's intentions, but at this point he's not entirely sure Jim wouldn't just tell him to get out of the car and leave him on the side of the road. He still almost does question him, just to see the reaction.

And it at least saves him the pretending to ask Jim up for a cup of coffee, and the questions Alfred is bound not to ask.

"Come on, Wayne," Jim says, turning off the ignition, and he gives the name an almost playful tone, light and flippant, and Bruce thinks that it's just as it should sound.

"You know, Jim, I've never pegged you for an impatient type," he lies. He had seen Gordon on stakeouts and on the sidelines of hostage situation, the man fidgets and gets anxious if he can't do something about the situation, and fast.

Now, the moment the doors close behind them, Jim pushes him against the hall's wall, Bruce's head hitting the coat rack rather painfully. His fingers impatiently tug at Bruce's shirt, pulling it out of his pants. When his fists close on the material, pushing it up, the veins on the back of his hands become more visible under the skin.

Bruce bites at his lower lip, his tongue forcing Jim's mouth open, sneaking inside. Jim's hands rest on his sides, his whole body pressing against him. Two fingers trace a long scar right above Bruce's belt, but Jim doesn't pull back in surprise, doesn't look up questioningly, as Bruce expected him to. Maybe the heat of the moment finally took over the cop instincts, or maybe Jim just doesn't care what billionaire playboys do with their time that might cause injuries.

Somehow Bruce doesn't think it's that.

"Jim," he says, breathless, as Jim's mouth move along the side of his neck, leaving a wet trail, his mustache tickling the tense skin as Bruce's head falls back, eyes closing.

Jim doesn't answer, but his fingernail scratches at the scar, hard enough that Bruce groans, and bites at his own lip, tasting copper. His hips move on their own, thrusting into Jim, and a hand rests on his side, steadying him.

It would be easy to just stay like this, completely pliable as if his bones had turned into liquid, as Jim pushes his hand inside Bruce's pants, but Bruce figures it should be his turn now, that he owes Jim something for the bathroom. He pushes himself away from the wall, using the momentum to turn them around, to have Jim pressed against the door, the protesting moan indicating that his back had a rather unfortunate meeting with the doorknob.

"Wayne," Jim says, and it's both a warning and a plea, and Bruce ignores both, sinking to his knees, tugging at Jim's pants none too gently. Jim rests his hand on Bruce's head, seemingly for balance, then the hand slides lower, fingers tangling in the soft hair at the back of Bruce's neck, tilting his head up.

Jim's glasses are askew, and as he looks down over the rims, his eyes are unfocused and clouded. There's a wonder and recognition in his eyes as Bruce takes out his swelling cock, palm sliding across the heated skin.

"You've thought about this, haven't you?" he asks, and his voice comes out a little bit lower than intended, and Jim shudders, the tip of his dick pressing against Bruce's lips as he guides his head closer.

"Yes," he says, a flat-out admission that Bruce hadn't quite expected. He tugs off his glasses, haphazardly placing them on the hall table, and closing his eyes for a long moment, his breathing harsh and shallow, but when he opens his eyes again, they're clearer and fully fixed on Bruce. It's disconcerting, and incredibly hot. "Do you like the idea? Me getting off to the thought of your mouth on my cock?"

Bruce groans, and parts his lips finally, his tongue sliding across the tip, right before he takes Jim deep in, his dick heavy and perfect. Jim's fingers tangle in his hair, pulling him closer, the start of what he was saying turning into a drawn out moan. Bruce looks up, watching Jim's face, the concentration as he tries to gather his thoughts, the intensity as he watches Bruce's mouth slide along his cock.

"Look at you," he says, his vowels carefully enunciated. His tone is warm and approving, and it goes straight to Bruce's dick, as if he wasn't hard enough. "Look at you take it."

Bruce groans around Jim's cock, reaching out to stop him from pulling away as he shudders and comes. Bruce moves away only then, licking his lips, and Jim keeps his eyes closed, palm flat on the wall for balance, head bowed as he tries to keep his breathing under control.

Bruce pulls himself up, using the pretense of regaining balance to place his hand on Jim's side, fingers lightly spread in the folds of his jacket.

"You could at least take that off," he suggests, smiling, and Jim looks at him in some surprise. Only when the line on his face smoothen, and his shoulders relax, is Bruce able to tell there was any sort of tension. Apparently he's not as good at reading the commissioner as he was thinking himself to be. "You have coffee?" he asks, stepping back, and Jim is rolling his eyes, and tucking his dick back in, which is a most interesting combination.

"Something might be found," Jim offers, and it's as much of an invitation as Bruce is going to get. He heads towards the kitchen, not waiting for Jim, who follows him, slightly bemused. Bruce finds the mugs and the coffee, and generously measures out the spoonfuls, watching as Jim walks in, taking off his jacket, hanging it over the back of the chair, along with his bow tie, which he eases off with a silky sound. With a rather relieved expression he unbuttons the top of his shirt. His movements are matter-of-fact and efficient, not designed to do anything but make him comfortable, and Bruce thinks he might be panting at the sight, almost tempted to forego the coffee.

But this feels good, too, the soft smile Jim sends him as he puts his glasses back on and runs his hand through his hair. Bruce can exercise a little patience, it's bound to pay off, soon.

Jim Gordon, Bruce discovers, can set records in drinking coffee agonizingly slowly. It's probably a force of habit, stemming from long nights on stake-out, or over the paperwork, the way he turns the cup in his hands, as if absorbing his warmth. It's also distracting like hell, the way his fingers close around the mug.

Bruce himself drinks the coffee fast enough to burn his lips and his tongue, and spends a very long time just watching as Jim lazily drinks his. They don't talk, and the silence is surprisingly comfortable. There is a vast number of topics Bruce could broach, but none of them is something Bruce Wayne would be interested in, or know anything about. Sometimes being Bruce Wayne gets a tad tiresome. Jim seems fine with no talking, however, he's deep in thought, eyes fixed on the steaming mug in his hands, watching the dark liquid swirl, obviously pondering something. Bruce really hopes he's not having second thoughts.

"So, how about you try and be a good host and show me around the place? Starting with your bedroom?" he asks, smiling hopefully.

"You could at least grant me this moment to recover and finish my coffee," Jim grumbles. "It might have escaped your notice, but I'm not that young anymore."

It hasn't, and that's mostly the point, Bruce thinks, but aloud, he just groans theatrically. "Is this what happens to people in their old age? So unfortunate."

Bruce had expected another eyeroll, maybe a glare, but Jim actually laughs, low and warm, and sends him a look that could be almost described as fond. "Asshole," he says, but it doesn't sting at all. Besides, that's kind of what Bruce had been aiming at, so it's good to know he still has it.

"Bedroom?" he repeats, and Jim stands up, pretending to be much more reluctant than he is, and he isn't reluctant at all.

"We might as well," he agrees, and reaches out, pulling at Bruce's arm, dragging him close, and they fumble into the bedroom as Jim is haphazardly pushing the jacket off Bruce's shoulders, and their lips lock hungrily.

The jacket lands somewhere in the middle of the corridor, along with Bruce's bow-tie. Jim is pulling at his shirt now, finishing what he started back in the hallway, tugging it out of his pants completely. The undershirt is next, and Bruce is about to protest, when Jim's fingers scratch across a long bruise at his side and all he does is groan, and shudder, and throw all the caution to the wind.

After all, if there's anyone he can trust, it's Jim Gordon.

Jim Gordon, who doesn't give the bruises a second glance, even after Bruce shrugs, and mutters something about playing polo. It's such a blatant lie it should cause at least a raised eyebrow; there's no chance in hell commissioner Jim Gordon wouldn't recognise a bullet wound, or a stab wound, or a burn... but either he really doesn't, or he doesn't care, and this is just a bit disappointing.

He doesn't dwell on that thought for long, because Jim is pushing him onto the bed, mouth on his neck and Jim's knee between his legs, hands roaming all over the exposed skin. Jim pulls away, his eyes fixed on Bruce, just slightly unfocussed without his glasses on. His face has, once more, that look of intense concentration that works wonders in making Bruce even harder, however impossible he thought that mere seconds ago. Bruce's pants are being pulled down now, with even more impatience in Jim's movements than before.

"Shoes," Bruce mutters, and Jim snorts, rolling his eyes at the apparent non sequitur.

"What about them?"

"It would be easier without them."

Jim doesn't even look away from Bruce's face, just reaches to dispose of Bruce's shoes, then his own, with enough force to have one of them slide out into the corridor. "There," he announces, and it's Bruce's turn to roll his eyes, but it doesn't last long, as Jim is tugging his pants off along with his boxers, and uses every chance to run his fingertips across Bruce's skin, his knee, his inner thigh. And he was going to mention socks, too, but there's no coherent thought in his head, at least not one he could voice at the moment.

Jim's fingers close around his cock, giving it a few slow strokes, and Bruce throws his head back, eyes closed, biting his lip hard enough to feel the metallic tang on his tongue. Jim's mouth move across his exposed neck, biting lightly, and then he's moving away, and Bruce gives a groan of protest.

"Patience, Wayne," Jim says a tad too smugly for Bruce's liking, and Bruce forces himself to open his eyes, pull himself up, resting on his elbows. Jim is rummaging through the sidetable's drawer, triumphantly pulling out a box and a small jar, and Bruce makes an effort of frowning suspiciously.

"Don't tell me. You used to be a Boy Scout, commissioner."

"I figured it was only a matter of time until..." he shrugs, placing the condoms and the lube on the bed beside them. This is the first time he seems at least a little bit unsure, and Bruce savors the moment.

"Until what, Jim?" he drawls, and Jim gives him a look, the one that plainly says 'asshole'. It's a pity he doesn't say it aloud, Bruce had a damn good comeback and an even better double entendre.

Instead, Jim reaches for the jar, and then pushes Bruce's legs further apart, his left hand taking over stroking Bruce's dick, while he generously coats his fingers in the slick substance.

He kisses Bruce again, lazy and lingering, as if he never intended to stop, certainly not when the tip of his finger presses against Bruce, and slowly pushes inside. His fingers work Bruce completely undone, skilled and efficient, and Bruce realises this is certainly something Jim has done before. It's rather obvious, yes, but it's not something he had thought of before, Jim with other men. The wave of heat that goes through him is both an arousal at the thought of this, and a slowly-spreading jealousy. He certainly hadn't expected that.

But, seconds and eternity later, as Jim thrusts into him, his low voice muttering something inaudible, Bruce thinks he should have, he had been on a slippery slope ever since the car, and probably longer before that.

"God, Jim," he groans when Jim speeds up, stroking Bruce again, out of any rhythm, his fingers tightening just a bit too hard, but Bruce welcomes that.

"Bruce," is all he says, and it's all he needs to say to have Bruce coming hard, Jim following close behind. The kiss they share then is hungry and painful, and their blood mixes on their lips.

A lot of time passes before the ringing in his ears stops, before Jim slowly eases out of him and rolls to the side. It's a long moment before either of them moves again, before they make some sort of effort to clean up the mess. Bruce hesitates, reaching for his pants, and Jim can apparently read the hesitation without even looking up.

"I hope you don't snore," he says, and that's as much of an invitation as Bruce is going to get.

"I hadn't any complaints," he offers, trying for an offended tone, and the look Jim gives him is full of mocking disbelief. "I hog the covers," he adds.

"Yes, that much I expected."

Bruce drifts off to sleep soon after that, and sleeps easier than he expected to. It might have something to do with being exhausted, when you think about it. When he wakes up, the sun is just barely up, first rays filtered through the drawn curtains.

The bed beside him is empty, but still warm. A scent of coffee wafts from the general direction of the kitchen, but Bruce doesn't move, because he can hear Jim talking, and he can't yet tell whom with. He closes his eyes and listens, and figures it to be a phone conversation, only Jim's voice, quiet and warm.

"Of course I'll be there," he's saying, and it sounds unlike anything Bruce heard in his voice before. He rather likes it. "Wouldn't miss it. Have you been practicing the throw I showed you? Yes. Good. Saturday, then. Can you put your mom back on?" he asks, and there's a long moment of silence, before Jim's voice comes back, a smile rather evident in it. "Yes, three o'clock, I know, Barbara. I'll be there. Yes." Another pause, shorter, and then "yes, me too," a soft admission that sends a shiver down Bruce's spine.

It feels wrong now that he listened to that, as if trespassing on something. He takes his time getting dressed, and only when he's sure Jim has finished the conversation does he make his way to the kitchen.

"Coffee?" Jim asks, not looking up, and Bruce accepts the cup and turns it in his hands for a long moment. "Something wrong?" Jim glances up now, frowning slightly, and Bruce almost sighs. He didn't use to be so easily read.

"No, I just remembered I need to be at the office this morning. Those meetings are so boring I can sometimes feel my brain leaking out through my ears, but Fox insists," he says lightly, taking a gulp of coffee, the mug covering whatever expression could give him away.

"I bet," Jim says, and whether he refers to boring meetings or Lucius' insistence is anybody's guess, but his voice is light and easy, as when he's bluffing. And Bruce has no idea what this might be about now.

"So, I should get going," he adds, and Jim nods.

"I guess you should."

And that's pretty much that. Bruce can't pinpoint where exactly it went wrong, but the sound of the door closing behind him seems final, depressingly so.

Bruce walks for three blocks before he signals a passing taxi, which is roughly the amount of time it takes him to get rid of the litany ringing in his ears: what the hell were you thinking? He wasn't, mostly.

But it's fine, he's fine, and by the time he gets to the penthouse, he's no longer thinking about Jim Gordon.

Alfred looks up when Bruce walks in, and draws himself up in that certain way that implies that Bruce is in serious trouble, but of course, Alfred won't even mention it. Well, not straightforwardly at least.

"At least I knew you weren't dead, newspapers would have reported that," he says dryly, and Bruce feels a pang of guilt that translates well into irritation.

"Just leave it. You're not my..." he pauses before he can finish, before Alfred's face can register any pain or disappointment. "I'm sorry. I should have called," he says quietly, and Alfred nods briskly.

"You should have, sir," and he leaves it at that. Or, doesn't leave it at that, because after a moment, a cup of steaming tea is placed by Bruce's elbow, along with a plateful of biscuits. It's a typical display of Alfred's comfort, and Bruce is strangely grateful for that, and for the lack of any subsequent questions. Especially since he doesn't even know why the hell he's so disappointed.

After all, he hadn't expected anything from this, whatever it was, beyond the obvious and pleasurable. Thinking about it leads nowhere, so he doesn't think about it all that much, apart from a passing thought when he's on the verge of falling asleep, and he remembers the way Jim's hand felt on his dick. Other than that, not all that much.

Days pass, as they're bound to, and he goes to the gala hosted to raise money to save the opera building or whatnot, he hadn't paid that much attention to the invitation, and wrote the suitable check not thinking much about it. Gordon doesn't show up, which is not surprising at all.

Bruce goes home with Amanda, who doesn't seem to have a last name, and is apparently one of those girls who are famous for being famous. She also gives one hell of a blowjob, smiling just a tad wickedly when her fingers slide lower, gently pressing inside him as she takes him deep into her mouth. He might have muttered the wrong name just then, before pulling her to her feet and fucking her hard against the wall, skirt hiked up around her waist.

She smiles at him after, and writes her private number on her business card, with a tired expression of someone going through the motions, knowing full well he wouldn't call. "But hey, if you have a moment at some shindig, I could use a photo opportunity. I'm trying to launch a clothing line," she tells him dryly, small smile tugging at her lips, and he laughs. Honesty, always unexpected, and always refreshing.

He can count the honest and the direct people in his life on the fingers of one hand, and still have enough fingers for a peace sign. If he was the type to show peace signs, which he's most certainly not. But counting them leads inevitably to thinking of Jim Gordon, and he's most certainly not thinking of him.

It gets a little more difficult to not think of Gordon two days later, when he sees the man face to face, or cowl to face. Jim comes into the room before any of his men, which is not a typical commissioner behaviour but is certainly a typical Jim Gordon behaviour. Upon seeing Batman he lowers his gun and reaches for the radio, signaling an all-clear and sending everyone to the other rooms.

"Found anything?" he asks Batman, placing his piece back in his holster, looking around searchingly.

Bruce shrugs, indicating the painting on the wall. It's an incredibly ugly painting, but what matters is the safe behind it. Jim hesitates before moving in its direction, watching Batman for a long moment.

"How you've been?" he asks finally, a smile pulling at his mouth, as if he recognises how ridiculous the question is.

The moment stretches as Bruce wonders if he should answer, knowing that Jim doesn't really expect it. "Fine," he says finally. "You shoulder?" he shoots back. He had seen the short scrap from the window, debating whether he should intervene, dozen or so SWAT officers be damned, but Jim pulled himself up quickly, punching the guy right out, leaving him behind for Stephens to handcuff.

"Fine," Jim says, and he might be laughing underneath that mustache, it's usually hard to tell. His radio perks up and he reaches for it, barking orders, and when he looks up, he shakes his head, staring at the place where Batman stood just seconds ago. "Typical," he says to himself, and Bruce stays just long enough to see him make his way to the painting, muttering something about the ugliness of it and the interior design habits of drug dealers not being what it used to be.

Later that night he walks the length of Jim's street three times before he climbs the stairs leading onto the porch. When Jim opens the doors, old t-shirt and slacks, holding an ice-pack to his shoulder, Bruce doesn't remember what he wanted to say, and wishes that he went with his first idea and actually rehearsed the opening line.

Jim, however, just moves to the side, inviting him in wordlessly. "Rough night?" he asks finally, indicating the slightly rumpled black tux and undone tie that Bruce is sporting. He had thankfully planned this far ahead, much to Alfred's silent amusement when Bruce ransacked the bags prepared for dry-cleaning. It might be overdoing it, but he's obviously not thinking very clearly, so he may just as well give in.

"You can say that," he offers, and looks pointedly at the ice pack Jim is holding. "As was yours, I see."

It wasn't intended to be funny, but Jim snorts, biting his lip as if reluctant to share the joke. "I hardly think our experiences would be comparable, Mr Wayne."

That's what he thinks, Bruce muses. "Oh, I don't know, some of the things that happened at the party, I'm pretty sure they're illegal in at least a few states."

"The important thing is, Mr Wayne, are they illegal in this state?"

"I wouldn't know," Bruce drawls, leaning back in his chair, and wondering what's the requisite amount of small talk he's supposed to go through before he can kiss Jim.

"I should probably offer you a cup of coffee," Jim says slowly, and doesn't move, just watches Bruce. "But I don't think you're here for that."

Of course he's not. He might not know exactly why he is here, but it's not for the coffee. He might be here because now even seeing commissioner Gordon on a crime scene, having the full benefit of the Batman persona to hide behind, makes him want to kiss Jim. It's well past getting it out of his system, and well into the territory of getting his fix whenever he can.

"Bruce?" Jim asks, interrupting his thoughts, and Bruce glances up, and from the look Jim gives him, surprised and breathless, he figures out that for a brief moment he might have forgotten to put up the defenses. "Come on, Bruce," Jim's voice is low, the use of Bruce's name wonderfully intimate, as he moves to stand up and reach out, pulling Bruce up.

They stand close enough for their breaths to mix, for Jim's mustache to tease Bruce's lips.

"Why am I here?" he asks, and he doesn't really expect an answer, not from Jim, and probably not from himself.

But he does get an answer of sorts, when Jim moves closer, the kiss he drags Bruce into, fingers on the back of his neck, completely different than all the kisses before. Softer, and slower, and not unlike an answer to a long riddle. It might not be a straight answer, but it's an invitation to find out, and Bruce returns the kiss hungrily.

Jim's fingers are cold from the ice pack he's been holding, sliding down Bruce's neck like a shiver. They get to the bedroom somehow, only crashing into the kitchen counter once on their way, leaving a trail of clothes like bread-crumbs, and somewhere between losing his shirt and his shoes, Bruce had lost the last of his coherent thoughts.

Jim takes his time, mapping Bruce's body intimately, his touch as different as the kiss was. As he slides lower, right before he takes Bruce's dick into his mouth, Bruce runs his fingers through Jim's hair, encouraging him to look up.

"Why am I here, Jim?" he asks, and he doesn't fucking care if he sounds insane, or needy, or whatever. There are some layers to the question even he doesn't quite comprehend.

"You tell me," Jim says quietly, warm air of his breath against Bruce's cock, a strange sensation but a welcome one. His fingernails dig into Bruce's thigh, leaving crescent marks behind. After that, it's just darkness, wet and warm, as Bruce's brain shuts up completely, as he pumps his hips up, steadied by Jim's hands.

"Have you figured it out yet?" Jim asks later, when they're laying side by side, breathing slowly subsiding.

Bruce watches the ceiling, the small crack that in time will spread. When he closes his eyes, after a long moment, he can still see the crack under his eyelids, like an echo. "Figured out what?" he asks, feigning ignorance, and willing Jim not to push. For heaven's sake, what you say when your dick is rock hard and you're about to get some shouldn't be discussed later, everybody knows that.

"Why you're here," Jim supplies, and sometimes, just sometimes, Bruce hates his tendency to treat any conversation as if it was an interrogation.

"No idea," he drawls cheerfully, and the wide smile that accompanies this statement physically hurts.

He doesn't even need to turn to look at Jim, from under his half-closed lids, glancing sideways, he can still see enough of the disappointment. He runs through the usual suspects of reasons: they shouldn't, it's better that way, it's safer, it's easier, it's safer. He still has time to back off and walk away unscathed.

"I think you should leave, then," Jim tells him, and he almost doesn't sound like he's angry. Surprisingly, the annoyance doesn't seem so attractive now.

"I guess I should," he says and moves to dress up, not looking back. "It's been great, we have to do that again sometime," he says, and it sounds like a line, and that's because it is, it's the same one Bruce Wayne had given Amanda, and Mary, and the girl from two weeks ago, whatshername.

When he steps out of the house, closing the doors behind him with care, the air is colder than he expected.

Sometimes Bruce thinks that all the major crises in his life could be measured on a scale of how Alfred reacts to them. It's strange, but not as strange as some other things in his life.

If Alfred seems amused, there's nothing to worry about. If he's annoyed, Bruce should probably consider his actions. If he is offering comfort, this means Bruce is well and truly fucked. When he's somewhere between the three, as he seems to be at the moment, Bruce is confused and slightly worried. Mostly confused.

"Why don't you just say what you want to say?" he asks, after three days of the baffling treatment, but all he gets is half a shrug and more than a half of a smirk.

"I wouldn't presume to know what you mean, Master Bruce," Alfred says, and that's that, because trying to get anything out of Alfred that he doesn't want to tell is an exercise in futility. "The annual GCPD charity event is approaching, will you be attending, sir?" he asks, and the non sequitur manages to speak volumes, seemingly without Alfred even trying.

"I don't know yet," he shrugs and looks away. "I don't think so."

"Very well, sir," Alfred says, and it's pointed, a hint of annoyance in his voice, and Bruce throws him a look.

"It's a busy time, Alfred. And Batman comes before Bruce Wayne."

It would probably be easier to get Alfred to buy his bullshit it he actually believed in it. This has nothing to do with Batman and Bruce Wayne, and everything to do with Bruce not wanting to face Jim just yet. Or, quite possibly, ever, however unlikely this was.

Thankfully, it hadn't affected the more, well, business side of things; Batman could see the commissioner, no problem. It was Bruce who had trouble even thinking of Jim. Sometimes the double identity shtick did come in handy. Rachel had once told him, that it was Bruce Wayne who was a mask, but she was only half right. The mask, the voice, and the symbol did help in hiding what he didn't want to show. Especially when he wasn't yet entirely sure what it was that threatened to spill out.

He ends up going to the charity event, mostly because Alfred raises his eyebrows knowingly every time he announces that he doesn't think he would go. Which might be just what the meddling bastard wanted, of course. Doing things to spite Alfred is always really unproductive, but somehow, Bruce doesn't seem to learn his lessons in time.

But he's trying, and that's why part of his plans for the evening includes not fucking anyone, especially not in a public restroom, and not obsessing over Jim Gordon. He figures two out of three would be nice.

He manages to keep his promise to himself for the first three minutes of the party, which is the amount of time that passes until he actually sees Jim. When their eyes meet, Jim is talking to one of the assistant DAs, and he just nods at Bruce politely, one acquaintance to another, and Bruce snatches a champagne glass from the nearest table, to have something to tighten his fingers around, even if he doesn't intend to drink it.

He figures it would take roughly an hour of small talk before he can excuse himself and make up a story of some sorts. He hadn't tried the early international flight excuse in a few months, so that might do. The most important part, the thing he had been invited for, is already over and done with, he had written the check already, and no one probably expects him to stay long. They're probably surprised he actually showed up roughly on time as it is.

"Mr Wayne," Jim says to his left, every inch the commissioner hosting the GCPD event, polite and smiling. It's just a tad unnerving, that he seems more comfortable at a damn party than Bruce is. "It's an honour to have you here," he adds, and probably doesn't mean it, but the delivery is smooth and probably practiced over and over with every single guest.

Bruce smiles. If there's one thing he knows how to do, is putting up a good show. "Commissioner," he says, shaking Jim's hand, and if his thumb brushes ever so lightly against Jim's tense skin, well, what of it? "Thanks for the invitation. I have just been saying the other day, there's never enough of partying."

"I'm sure you're trying your best to change that, Mr Wayne."

The jab has a perfect delivery, and really, sometimes Bruce isn't sure whether he hates or... likes Jim more. And great, he is obsessing and second guessing the phrasing in his own head. Still, two out of three isn't that bad.

"I like to think of it as my calling in life," he agrees with panache, and there it is, a quick gleam in Jim's eyes, a brief twitch in the corner of his mouth, like he's holding back a smile. And this exactly is why attending the party was a bad idea.

"Well, I'll leave you to it, Mr Wayne. I'm told that I am to mingle and welcome all the guests."

He's gone with that, and Bruce congratulates himself on not breaking any more of his rules, even though he did entertain a brief thought of dragging Jim to the hallway and from there, possibly to the elevator. It would at least keep them out of the bathroom. One out of three would be acceptable.

He carries out the required small talk for about half an hour, dances with Mrs Garcia because he always does, and with Detective Montoya, because she asks and because she's the safest choice in the room; he likes her too much to try anything and is pretty sure she'd break his arm if he did.

When he figures out he had fulfilled most of his duties and could very well go home, Gordon is nowhere to be seen. It's not as disappointing as it could be, because somehow, Bruce has a pretty good idea of where he might be found. It's almost like having your own song, only much more fucked up.

He catches Jim's eye in the restroom's mirror the moment he enters, and steps in, leaning against the wall by the sinks. None of them makes a crack about the situation, about meeting like this again, and how they should stop.

"I was just going to leave," Bruce says after a moment, and Jim shrugs, indicating the doors with only the slight movement of his head. And this, exactly this, is the choice he has. Or the choice he would have, if it wasn't too much of a train wreck and if he wasn't going too fast already, impossible to stop since a long while ago.

Bruce doesn't move.

"If you tell me you've sent your car away, I'm just going to call you a taxi," Jim warns, smiling slightly. "I have to stay on and give a speech," he adds, in a tone one would rather use to refer to one's own execution.

"You sound incredibly excited about that. Maybe I should stay and listen, this is bound to be good."

"Fuck you, Wayne," Jim says pleasantly, and Bruce snorts. He wonders briefly, if he should answer to that, and if he should offer the first response he thought of.

The door to the bathroom opens, and one of the detectives comes in, startling at the sight of the commissioner and Bruce Wayne. After a brief nod, he walks into one of the stalls, and there's absolutely no sound, nothing at all, and then water flushing, and the poor man coming out, flustered, making a beeline for one of the sinks, washing his hands quickly and scattering.

"Now that was priceless," Bruce says, shaking his head. Also, probably the universe's way of telling him why the bathrooms are a bad idea for this.

"That would be one word for it."

Bruce nods, and the silence falls for another moment. In a short while, Jim will have to get back to the crowded room, and while they had made progress, or whatever passed for progress from where Bruce was standing, it's not exactly what he came here for. And now he knows what he had come here for, and he wonders why he hadn't thought of this sooner.

"Why are you here, Jim?" and he doesn't specify that he doesn't mean here, now, the party, the bathroom.

Jim smiles, as if he waited for that question.

"I want to," he says simply.

Pretending to misunderstand might be low, but Bruce wouldn't mind a direct confirmation. Hell, at this point, capital letters would be good.

"Yeah, I've figured that bathrooms were a rather big turn on for you," he drawls, and wonders briefly if Jim would rolls his eyes, or glare. Being a douchebag is an art he had perfected over time.

"You know, sometimes I wonder if you really aren't as much of an idiot as you pretend to be," Jim tells him, just a hint of exasperation under the smile. He glances at his watch. "Oh well, better to get the speech over and done with. You know where to find me," he adds before passing Bruce on his way out, their hands brushing all too briefly, almost as if by accident, even though Bruce had moved his hand to cause this and he knows that so did Jim.

Bruce thinks he might just as well stay a while longer and listen to the speech, Jim's reluctance to give it should make it quite interesting.

Bruce ends up staying for almost the entire length of the party, because the commissioner apparently can't leave the GCPD shindig earlier than the guests. Which is sort of logical, but still a dumb rule, if anyone asks Bruce. The party itself isn't that bad, even though a few people look at him strangely, he's rather known for blowing the charity events after an hour or so, mostly because he either actually has a Batman business to attend, or he gets incredibly bored.

Only Garcia actually asks, turning it into a good joke. Bruce tells him gravely that he had too much to drink but had managed to send his car away, and that the good commissioner offered to personally escort him home. Garcia seems quite happy with that; Gordon finally doing something productive in catering to the whims of the main campaign benefactors, while Jim just glares at Bruce with mild annoyance. Which is, to be honest, a great bonus of the excuse.

"Am I a personal taxi service?" he asks later, when they're outside, getting into Jim's car, and Bruce laughs.

"Do you really want me to answer that one, Jim? It's so easy it's almost insulting."

Jim snorts, turning on the ignition, and taking the route that almost definitely doesn't lead to the penthouse. And Bruce hadn't said anything the last time, but honestly, he can't always play nice, can he now?

"My, my, aren't we presuming, commissioner?"

Jim doesn't even glance at him, eyes fixed on the road, but the corner of his mouth rises. "You were the one hanging around at the party, as if waiting for your prom date."

"I could come up with a lot of jokes about a belle of the ball and prom dresses," Bruce assures him.

"Shut it."

Bruce does. He didn't really have that many jokes, three at most. And they weren't any good. Surprisingly, Jim seems more amused than anything else by the exchange, as if Bruce Wayne behaving like an asshole was something entertaining. There is still a hint of old exasperation under the smile, but it's as if he had figured out the game and is just slightly disappointed that Bruce insists on playing it.

It rather makes trying to annoy Jim Gordon pointless, if he refuses to get annoyed there's really no fun in trying, but it probably bodes well for them, and this thing between them, wherever it's going. And the desire for this to go somewhere, to have something come out of it, is not exactly new to Bruce, but it's still startling.

The moment the doors close behind them, Bruce finds himself pinned against the hall's wall, and that's sort of new too, but not unwelcome in the slightest.

Bruce considers it a great achievement when they actually make their way to the bedroom, considering that he has to make the sacrifice of disentangling himself from Jim for at least a few seconds. But as much as he came to appreciate vertical surfaces (and the pun is unfortunate but succinct), for what he wants and needs right now bedroom would do much better.

He hadn't exactly planned this, it had spiraled out of control even faster than it would if he had, but right now, as Jim undresses him efficiently and with unexpected reverence that probably hadn't been there before... he can't think of any place that he'd rather be in, anything he'd rather be doing, and it's not just for the moment.

It's almost scary, but not as scary as the gentleness in Jim's kiss, slow and coaxing and terrifying, and yet he doesn't move away, not until Jim does, breathing harshly.

"Jim," Bruce catches Jim's wrists as he tries to undo Bruce's belt.

He must be barking mad, he thinks, to be choosing this very moment. But epiphanies have their own timing, he supposes, and you can get one even when you are really only interested in something very different than life-changing events, and so is your dick.

"For god's sake, Wayne." And so, apparently is Jim. And it's another thing that hints well at any kind of the future Bruce might be thinking of, if Jim has pretty much the same idea that Bruce's dick does. However strange this sounds, even in his own head; he has a very good excuse for his thought processes to be a tad impaired at the moment.

"Jim," he says again, or rather tries to, but the hand tightening on his dick is a bit distracting, and the name turns into an incomprehensible moan.

He used to think Jim Gordon was much like an open book, unable to keep the emotions from showing up on his face, plain for anyone to see. But recent weeks proved that whatever he was thinking or feeling could be well hidden under the annoyance and the exasperation and the constant eyerolls Bruce was getting out of him.

And so now, when Jim looks down at him with gentleness and care and fucking trust, it's almost too much. He's no stranger to being on the receiving end of Jim's complete trust, no, but what Batman seems to get easily, just for the grace of being there and doing what should be done, is not something Bruce Wayne is used to, not something he expected to achieve. He feels compelled to do something in return, share that one secret that would bring all the barriers still between them crashing down, but he can't find the words.

He spreads his legs, letting Jim settle between them comfortably. Maybe it's enough for the moment, the small amount of trust this requires, he can find the words later. Later, when Jim isn't pushing inside him, and kissing him hungrily, as if trying to taste the sounds Bruce is making. Later, when Jim isn't tugging at his cock almost too hard and yet painfully perfect; later, when he's not coming around Jim, biting at his lip and drawing blood mixed with low and needy sounds.

Later is calm and quiet and dark, their breathing almost back to normal, Jim on his stomach, face burrowed in between pillows, Bruce on his back, eyes closed shut as he chases the words that still don't come.

"Jim," he tries, and he really should be coming with different opening lines, but somehow he doesn't think he will.

Jim opens one eye and squints at Bruce, his fingers moving lightly across Bruce's wrist, but Bruce will be damned if he believes this was accidental. Which, on further thought, is a good thing.

"This is an afterglow, Wayne," Jim offers, his tone tight as if he was trying to hide his amusement. "So shut up and glow, will you?" he adds and promptly shuts his eye again, muttering something against the pillow that sounds rather uncharitable towards Bruce. It's very unhelpful.

"I would, if you'd just let me say this," Bruce grumbles, and Jim looks up at that, raising his hand to dab at his eyes briefly, before propping himself up on his elbow with a more serious expression and a slightly resigned sigh.

"Fine. Have it your way."

Something in the way he looks at Bruce doesn't fit with the way he looks at Bruce, it's expectant and serious and familiar, and it finally clues Bruce in.

Jim nods, as if reading his thoughts. "I'm not an idiot, you know?" he says pleasantly, and Bruce doesn't even bother to protest and say that he never thought that.

"How long have you known?" he asks instead, and Jim laughs, and moves to get out of bed.

"Known? About three seconds, I suppose. Suspected? Since the restroom," he says and shrugs. "Come on, make yourself useful and help me make some coffee, if you're insisting on staying awake at this ungodly hour. Although I suppose it's a middle of the day for you," he muses as he's putting on his pants.

Bruce wants to ask which restroom, and how, and many other things, but Jim seems altogether too smug already. Instead, he just sets into wiping that smirk off his face differently, pulling at Jim's hand to drag him closer, licking at his mouth. He doesn't say it often, but coffee can wait, this is too good to pass on.