beatrice_otter: All true wealth is biological (Wealth)
[personal profile] beatrice_otter
I'm going to be participating in [livejournal.com profile] yuletide for the first time, this year, and thought I'd warm up by taking one of the left-over prompts from last year from the Batman Begins fandom.

Title: A Night at the Manor
Author: [livejournal.com profile] beatrice_otter
[profile] Written For: [livejournal.com profile] st_aurafina 
Rating: G
Fandom: Batman Begins
Characters: Jim Gordon, Lucius Fox
Warnings: None
Wordcount: 808
Disclaimer All mistakes are mine. Everything else is owned by DC Comics and the people who made the movie.
Summary: Black-tie parties aren't really Jim Gordon's thing.

Jim Gordon tugged awkwardly at the collar of his dress uniform, wondering for the hundredth—the thousandth—time that night what he was doing in Wayne Manor of all places.  He’d rather be at home with the kids—maybe helping Babs with her homework.

Stop that,” Barbara hissed, keeping a smile pasted on her face and nodding graciously at a nearby woman wearing a necklace that probably cost more than Jim’s yearly salary.  “You’re the hero of the hour, Jim, and everybody who is anybody in Gotham is here tonight.  People are watching.”

“I know that,” Jim told his wife.  “Doesn’t make this monkey-suit any more comfortable.”  People were watching, all right.  Jim felt like a goldfish in a bowl.  The ‘house-warming’ party for the rebuilt Wayne Manor glittered, but the pretty people gathered here had probably never seen a regular cop before, much less had one as an invited guest.  The fact that he was known to have worked with the elusive ‘Bat-man’ just added to the spectacle.  Why that twit Wayne had invited him to this party in the first place was beyond Jim, but it hadn’t surprised him one bit that the man had ignored him since he’d arrived.  It was hard to remember, sometimes, that he was the solemn child Jim had sat with in the station, years earlier, waiting for news on his parents’ killer.

“May I offer you anything, sir?  Madam?”

Jim glanced at the guy—Alfred?—who seemed to be running everything.  “No, I think I’m fine.”  He lifted his glass of champagne and took another small sip.  Probably cost a fortune, but all things considered Jim’d prefer a beer.  Barbara would kill him if he asked for one.  Her marching orders had been clear enough.

“Is there a lady’s room nearby?” Barbara asked.

“Of course, Mrs. Gordon.  Just down the hall, second door on your left.”

Jim tried not to feel abandoned as she walked away; he’d braved the Narrows on Crane’s fear toxin, surely he could handle a party.  He stuffed the hand not holding the champagne in his pocket, to keep himself from tugging at his collar again.

“This is quite a party, isn’t it.”

“Yes, it certainly is,” Jim said, turning towards the voice.  He found himself face-to-face with an older Black gentleman.  He wore a tux, but unlike the other party guests he didn’t seem to have put too much attention into it.  He was neat and well-groomed, but not fancy, and he wasn’t putting on airs like most of the rest of the guests.  “Lieutenant Jim Gordon.”  He stuck out his hand.

“Yes, I know.”  The other man had a good grip, firm but not a knuckle-breaker.  “I’m Lucius Fox.”

“The CEO of Wayne Industries?”  Barbara had been following Bruce Wayne in the papers avidly; she claimed it was better than her soaps.  Consequently, Jim knew more about it than he really wanted to.  He’d gotten a kick out of the story of the board meeting that had made Fox the CEO, though.

“That’s right.”

“It’s an honor to meet you, sir,” Jim said.

“The honor’s all mine,” Fox replied.  “You did good work the night the Scarecrow’s toxin got released.”

“I just did what needed doing.”  Jim fiddled with his champagne glass.  “Your company was the one that got the mass-production of the anti-toxin up and running on practically no notice.”

“We were just doing what needed doing,” Fox said.  He lifted his own glass in salute before taking a sip.  “I’m just sorry we couldn’t get it running sooner.  Still, I guess that’s the way it goes, sometimes.  You can’t save everybody, no matter how hard you try.”

“No, you can’t,” Jim said.  “But you can save some, and maybe stop some of it from happening in the first place.  You just hope you can make enough of a difference to count for something, I guess.”

“Sounds like a very sound philosophy, Lieutenant,” Fox said.”

“Off the record, where did you get the formula for the anti-toxin?” Jim asked, curious to see if Fox would give him a straight answer.

“Oh, I analyzed a sample of the toxin and made a few educated guesses as to how it might affect the neuro-transmitters.”  It was, word for word, what Fox had told the reporters who’d asked the same question.

“And where did you get the sample?”  Jim asked the question none of the reporters had.  “In time to analyze it and get mass-production started over an hour before the pipes blew?”

“Oh, I saw it a while before the night the Narrows were gassed,” Fox said.  “Got into the club scene, somehow—you know what damnfool things young people get into at parties.”  He gave Jim an insincere smile.  “So, what do you think of this place?”

“It’s a nice mansion,” Jim said wryly.  He knew damn good and well it’d never made the club scene; somebody would have OD’d on it, and there would have been hospital records and police reports.  “Let’s just hope this party doesn’t end like the last one.”

“Oh, I really doubt it will,” Fox said, shaking his head.  “For one thing, I doubt Alfred would ever forgive him.  But you never can tell with young Mister Wayne.”

“I’ve kind of noticed that,” Jim said.  The whole city was getting unpredictable like that.  Particularly at night.

“Listen, one of the things I dislike about my promotion is that now I have to schmooze the board members and rival CEOs,” Fox said, digging out a card.  “But if there’s anything I can do—anything that might help you on the job—don’t hesitate to ask.”  He handed the card to Jim.  “I know you won’t abuse it.  We have a mutual interest in keeping Gotham safe.”

“Thank you, sir,” Jim said, tucking the card away.  The odd thing was, it didn’t feel like a bribe—Jim knew how to smell one of those from a mile away.  Didn’t think he’d ever gotten a genuine offer of help before, though.

“If you need anything tonight, just let Alfred know,” Fox said.  “He’ll take care of you.”

“He seems very good at what he does,” Jim said.  Which was a big compliment in his book, whether the guy was a servant or a working stiff or a CEO.  “Interesting, too, what little I’ve seen of him.”

“Oh, that he most certainly is, Lieutenant,” Fox said with a smile.  “That he most certainly is.”  He shook his head.  “I’ll have to abandon you to the wolves, now, Lieutenant.  It’s been a pleasure meeting you.”

“Likewise, Mister Fox,” Jim said.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-10-04 03:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hradzka.livejournal.com
Nice. Good little post-film scene here, and a nice treatment of two characters sorely neglected by fanfic. Thanks for doing it.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-10-05 07:28 am (UTC)
ext_8719: (Default)
From: [identity profile] st-aurafina.livejournal.com
OMG! This is a lovely surprise! Three very cagey old men all under one roof, all knowing more than they're letting on - it's wonderful. I love how closely they all circle around Bruce, and how much his presence is felt even though he doesn't make an appearance.

Thank you so much!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-10-05 09:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brokaw22.livejournal.com
This was great. It's so hard to find a good fanfic with these two characters.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-10-06 10:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jij.livejournal.com
Why that twit Wayne had invited him to this party in the first place was beyond Jim, but it hadn’t surprised him one bit that the man had ignored him since he’d arrived. It was hard to remember, sometimes, that he was the solemn child Jim had sat with in the station, years earlier, waiting for news on his parents’ killer.

I really enjoyed this take on Jim and on Lucius! Jim's discomfort, Lucius's wry scoping him out, the fact that Jim remembers that poor little boy and cares enough to be disgusted at what he grew up to be...it's all just perfect.

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