Crack ship post really, but the idea hit me so here we are. This is also one of the first mainly dialogue pieces I've done and I really enjoyed it. (Even if the likelihood of anybody reading this is low)
Mario came into work with a chipper pep in his step. In a little over a week he was going to be marrying one of the kindest women in Gotham, the beautiful and intelligent M.E. of the GCPD, and he was perfectly fine with admitting it was getting to his head just a little. He flew through his first few patients with ease, the bubbly smile he came in with only starting to dwindle down after the seventh or eighth patient to come in with just a minor ache or pain.
When he left the exam room of Mrs. Wergner, a kind, little old lady who came in around once a month thinking she was dying because she was bloated, to ask the nurse for his next assignment, the nurse carefully handed him a new chart, watching hesitantly as he read over the patient basics.
Jim Gordon's name was neatly printed at the top of the paper, because of course.
Nothing like having to treat your fiance's ex fiance to really carve away at the happiness of the day.
Bullet graze along the shoulder, some bruises and cuts, mostly just a simple look over. Police standard and all that jazz. It should go by quick and (hopefully) rather painlessly, as long as they avoided talking about Lee... He waved the clipboard at the nurse with sarcastic enthusiasm before turning towards the exam room Jim was waiting in.
"Nice coat, doc." Jim greeted with a falsely cheery grin.
Mario glanced down at the white cover curiously, noticing the bodily fluid spatters over his breast for the first time, "Oh. Sorry about that, I hadn't noticed them. Mr. Kennedy was a little sick today. I'll change before I see my next patient."
"Isn't that kind of unprofessional, wearing that to see a new patient?"
Mario scoffed, setting his chart down onto the table beside Jim and deciding to start with the cut on his face. "The day I take criticism from Jim Gordon on workplace professionalism is the day that I quit." He placed his hands under Jim's jaw so he could manipulate his head around with ease and examine the superficial wound, "Don't think I don't hear about the stuff you get up to."
Jim flinched then, and Mario realized he'd brought up Lee without intending to. He mentally kicked himself before reaching for a cotton swab and the disinfectant.
"How is she?"
Mario sighed, already exhausted from the inevitably awkward oncoming conversation. They were really going to do this. "She's great. Finally agreed to take some time off for the honeymoon."
Jim nodded slowly, staring at the floor, "Where are you going?"
"I don't think I want to tell you that." Mario snorted, and told Jim to stay still when he flinched away from the antiseptic.
"You think I'll follow you two to Tuscany?"
"Nice try, but no. And I wouldn't put anything past you."
Jim's lip quirked with amusement at that, and he was obediently still when Mario changed from bandaging the cut on his cheek to dabbing the bullet graze on his shoulder, "Not Italy then?"
"How about Norway? I hear they've got some popular romantic destinations there."
Mario snorted, "It feels like you're trying to set me up here."
Jim grinned devilishly, "Why would you think that?"
Mario slapped his arm over the bandage on Jim's shoulder and tried not to feel too pleased with himself when Jim squawked. "You're all clear. Go home, rest up and take a painkiller if you need to."
Jim huffed out a sarcastic laugh before leaving the room with his jacket draped over his arm.
He was back the next day with a knife wound in the side and claw marks down his forearm.
"Jesus." Mario let out, "It hasn't even been a full twenty four hours, Gordon."
"Police work keeps you on your toes." he offered weakly, hand pressed tight over his side, just below his ribs.
Mario worked quickly, thankful that nothing vital had been hit or else there would have been a lot more blood. "You'll be fine, but you should be more careful." he chided, "A few inches to the left and you could have injured something important."
"Still hurts like a bitch."
"Good. What happened there?" Mario asked, gesturing to the scratch marks on his arm.
Jim looked the scratches once before shrugging, then wincing when the action bumped Mario's careful hands away from where they should have been caused a little pain, "She was trying to get me off her boyfriend."
"What were you doing to her boyfriend?" Mario continued to prod, deciding that keeping the conversation on Gordon's escapades was a smarter choice then letting the conversation fall back on Lee.
Jim, as if reading his mind, interjected, "How about Bali or Bora Bora?"
"Lee doesn't want anywhere too flashy." Mario answered before he could stop himself.
He frowned sternly at Jim, letting him know he didn't find Jim's antics amusing. Gordon merely grinned, toothy and brighter than he had any right to given the pain he must be feeling from the stab to his torso. "So probably not Paris then, huh?"
"She never said- stop that." he hissed, and hastily finished cleaning the wound before carefully slotting a bandage over it.
"So maybe Paris?"
Jim chuckled before sliding off of the table and heading for the door, waving once and tossing back a "Thanks for the help, doc."
"How's the stab wound?" Mario asked conversationally as he wrapped up Jim's twisted ankle.
Jim shrugged, casually kicking his free foot back and forth off the end of the table, "It doesn't hurt too bad, I think it was pretty superficial."
Mario raised an eyebrow, "As a doctor, I can tell you it wasn't. Though, it was a straight slide in, so that might help with the healing. Your attacker didn't jerk the knife around."
"Didn't get the chance."
Mario clipped the end of the bandage and instructed that Jim stay off it if he could; it would heal itself in a manner of days, but it would be painful to walk on.
When Jim hopped off the table, not a care in the world, Mario was stunned. He'd only shown minimal discomfort for how much the action had to have hurt his foot. "What are you doing?"
"Going back to work." he replied simply, like it was obvious.
"I just told you to stay off that foot!"
Jim smiled, grabbing up his shoe to slip on over the injured foot, despite Mario's wide, shocked eyes and immediate warnings, "Got places to be Doc. Little bit of pain isn't going to stop me."
Mario wondered briefly, a fleeting thought, if maybe Jim just didn't care if he was hurt as he strut out from the examination room. Jim looked as at ease as ever, hobbling only slightly as he went.
"How do you manage to keep doing this?" Mario asked when he opened the door to see Jim, familiarly sitting atop the examination table.
Jim shrugged, "Danger follows me."
"I think you seek it out."
Mario set the clipboard aside, looking over Jim's dislocated thumb with nervous curiosity. "How'd this one happen?"
"Gave the wrong man a handshake." Jim said, holding back a smirk.
"Had a shotgun yanked back from my hand, took my thumb with it the wrong way. S'what I get for not paying attention."
Mario tried not to think about how he knew Jim was much more attentive than that and would have-should have-easily noticed someone reaching for him from behind. Jim would've at least had the sense to not leave his body at an angle where he could dislocate something after he did notice..
The idea that Jim could have been purposely letting himself get hurt had already been running through Mario's mind, but he felt more solid in his theory now. He didn't comment on it though, if Jim wanted to get himself hurt that was his own business, not Mario's.
"You could always try California if you don't want to leave the country."
Mario sighed, knowing Jim had probably noticed Mario watching him and wanted to get his attention on something different. Using his honeymoon plans was a little low though. He let himself oblige Jim's whimsicality anyway, thinking it was better than silence, "Sharks in the water, even little ones in the shallows."
"You're afraid of sharks?" Jim asked, smirking.
"Everyone's afraid of something."
"No sharks in Gotham. You could always just stay here." Jim smiled, and Mario tried not to read into the little bit of hopefulness he caught in Jim's tone.
He shook his head, "The point is to get away from Gotham for a while."
"I get it." Jim interrupted, raising his uninjured hand in surrender, "I'm shutting up."
The interrogation he'd been expecting from Lee for days finally came over a lovely dinner out. He hadn't been expecting it when she suddenly brought up Harvey Bullock, wondering if this was some new dunce he had to be worried about, but then she mentioned him explaining Jim's recent carelessness to her and the pieces fell back into place. He listened closer than he meant to when she gave a few more details about the incidents than what he'd heard directly from Jim.
"Harvey says he's been there every day this week." she said accusingly, like somehow it was Mario's fault that Jim was a reckless bastard.
"He's shown up with small injuries, yes." he admitted before taking a tense bite of his pasta.
Lee looked at Mario with concern, but he knew it wasn't for him. Deep down he knew Lee still loved Jim, she probably always would, but he didn't have the courage to bring the subject to the surface. If they ever had the chance to really sit down and talk it out, she'd leave him, he was sure. She'd come to realize she'd chosen Mario because he was safe. Though, her ideas of safe were a little warped if she had seen the son of a Mafia Don as 'safe'. "He's fine." he added, frowning into his wine glass.
"It's just worrying that he'd be there every day..."
"He's a tough guy-"
"Jim Gordon keeps his emotions buried. If there's nothing he can do about them then he resorts to throwing himself into dangerous situations." she stated with bite, abandoning her plate and leaning back against her chair with a frown, "If he's doing this because of our wedding..."
"That would not be your fault, Lee." Mario snapped, leaning forward to reach for her hand and offer some reassurance, "It's Jim's issue. If that bastard wants to be an idiot and go out getting himself hurt again and again instead of just talking to us-"
Lee blinked curiously, "You're worried about him too..." she said, staring at Mario with some kind of newfound understanding.
Mario balked, "I'm not worried about him. I'm worried about you."
"Are you two friends now?"
Mario scoffed, retracting his hand and returning to poking at his food, "I wouldn't call us friends, but he's tolerable I suppose."
"Do you chat when he comes in?"
Lee leaned forward onto her elbows, looking at Mario curiously, "What do you talk about?"
Mario snorted, "Our honeymoon plans mostly."
Lee chuckled, surprised, "Really? Did you tell him about Paris?"
"I've never told him what the plans are. He mainly just guesses and offers suggestions."
"Are you going to tell him?" Lee smiled, finally comfortable enough to take a sip of her wine.
She smirked around the rim of her glass, "So that he'll keep guessing?"
"So he won't follow us when we go."
Lee set her glass down then, looking up at Mario with some hesitation, "You really think he'd follow us on our honeymoon?"
She didn't answer, but instead stabbed a forkful of salad from her plate, "Make sure he's alright when you see him tomorrow."
Mario didn't want to bring up that she shouldn't be worrying, or that she was assuming he would come in again soon, so he busied himself with twisting a large mouthful of pasta onto his fork. He didn't want her to think too much on it; on him. He wanted Lee to give up Jim Gordon and he wanted Jim to give up Lee. He tried not to think too hard on where this sudden need for Jim to also move on had come from as he downed his bite with a gulp of wine.
"You can't keep doing this," Mario sighed, lifting the needle to Jim's forehead, "She'll see it. Lee will want to help you and she's trying really hard right now to get past you."
"It's just a perk of the job," he replied, wincing just a little at the first stitch. "Lee knows that."
"You're doing in on purpose and you know it."
Jim grinned impishly, and for a moment Mario could see why Lee might be weak for someone like Jim, "Maybe I just like being fawned over by worried doctors."
"I'm not worried about you." Mario snapped back, harsher than he'd intended and apologized when the needle went just a little too far in and Jim flinched.
"Good." Jim retorted, "Stop telling me what to do then."
Mario frowned at Jim, but didn't press any further. He finished the last of the stitches and cautiously slipped a couple butterfly bandages over the cut.
"Canada probably doesn't have sharks."
"Canada isn't a honeymoon destination." Mario replied with a wiry smile, "What would you even do in Canada?"
Jim relaxed back against the chair, "They have street performers in Victoria, Harborside bars, some big, fancy hotels..."
"Gotham has street performers..." he said, and as an afterthought, "and Lee wouldn't be interested in bars."
Jim shrugged, "Well, you also don't exactly go on a honeymoon for an out of the hotel experience, do you?"
Mario's grin slipped, "You do if you're trying to establish a long lasting marriage."
At that, Jim sat up and raised a questioning eyebrow, "Trouble in paradise?"
"Nothing I want to discuss with you."
"You're good to go." Mario said decisively, standing to head for the door. He stopped just shy of reaching for the handle before cocking his head to the side to speak over his shoulder, "Take care of yourself, okay? There's no sense in getting yourself hurt. If you're trying to get her attention, just go and talk to her."
Jim made a noise that sounded disbelieving, "That almost sounds like permission, doctor."
Mario scoffed, "It's not that I like the idea of you alone, talking with my fiance about your feelings, but I'd prefer you get them out that way rather than getting yourself killed."
He didn't wait around long enough for Jim to reply, stepping out to the hallway and not looking back as he thought about why he suddenly cared whether or not Jim Gordon was hurting himself. It was because Lee would be devastated, he told himself, disregarding the fact that truthfully, it would be better for his relationship with Lee if Gordon was gone.
"Jim came to see me today..." Lee said as they were undressing for the night, setting a great mood right off the bat.
"When I said that it wasn't a good idea for us to be talking, he said you told him to come see me..."
Mario huffed, kicking away his pants and sitting on the edge of their bed to pull off his socks, "It was a better alternative to whatever it is he's doing now. What did he say?"
"He... wished me luck. With you. He actually told me that he hoped we would be really happy..."
Mario paused, one sock only halfway off, to stare at Lee, "That's it?"
"What do you mean, 'that's it'?" she asked, frowning at him from the closet as she slipped into her nightgown, "What were you expecting?"
"A declaration of love, honestly."
"He's moved on."
Mario sneered, "Sure he has. You can clearly tell by all this suicidal behavior."
"I..." Lee started, pausing as she made her way over to the bed, "I really think he might have, Mario."
"Why would he be behaving like this then?" Mario pressed, flopping down onto his back as she climbed in beside him.
Lee shrugged, and Mario tried his best not to read into the expression on her face, "There must be something else on his mind." and she'd never made a face like that for him.
"So, he's genuinely offering honeymoon advice?"
She smiled, chuckling as she reached for his hand beneath the covers, "I guess so. Disappointed?"
"Pfft. Why would I be?" he grinned, leaning in to give her a quick, chaste kiss before reaching over to turn out the light.
"This one... wasn't my fault..." Jim gurgled as he tried to cling to the counter of the nurses station.
Mario was wide eyed, staring at Jim exasperatedly as he rushed to catch him before he fell over. His shirt was stained with red, covering so much area Mario couldn't immediately tell where the wound was and it frightened him more than it should have. He called to the nurses for a room, forgoing the wait for a gurney in favor of tossing one of Jim's arms over his neck to help him hobble.
"You stupid, self sacrificing son of a-"
"Careful doc," Jim smiled, teeth a little stained with blood and eyes tiredly lidded, "there are ladies present."
"If you survive this, I'm going to kill you."
Jim snorted, then coughed when the action brought blood into his nose, "Seems rather redundant... to fix me then..."
"Stop talking or you'll make it worse." Mario ordered, helping Jim lay down on the table as a nurse worked to get his shirt off. Mario tried not to stare as much as he did.
If it weren't for the palm sized gash in Jim's stomach, Mario would have been hard pressed not to look at the surprising amount of toned muscle that hid behind Jim's shirt. He busied himself with getting the wound closed as fast as he could, calling the nurse for a hot towel and some anesthetic just in case. Jim wasn't fussing too bad about the pain, but he knew Jim was the kind of guy to grit his teeth and bear through it. The wound looked like a dog bite, different puncture wounds making up the whole of it and sending Mario into a frenzy of quick, temporary stapling while before stitched together what he could.
The process took far longer than he wanted, and when Jim passed out for a few moments his heart had absolutely dropped. The nurse spurred him into continuing with a gentle hand and a concerned, "Doctor", and Mario did his best to keep a steady hand as the second nurse coaxed him back into consciousness.
When he was finally done, Jim was still breathing and the nurses had gone on to other assignments, he finally allowed himself to get angry.
"What the hell were you thinking? A dog? What did you do?"
"Suspect had a guard dog we didn't know about." Jim offered defensively, "He was about to get away-"
"So you let him get away, Jim. Are you trying to kill yourself?"
When Gordon lowered his eyes and took too long to answer Mario felt pressed for breath, "Jim. I will call the proper services if I need to."
He waved Mario off dismissively, "It's not like that."
"Then what is it, Jim? Because I am this close to forcibly admitting you to Arkham."
Jim sighed, raising a hand to his face to pinch the bridge of his nose. Mario was upset and confused as he allowed himself to lean back against the counter, staring at Jim expectantly and unwilling to budge until he got an answer. "Is it because of Lee?"
"No." Jim rushed out, glaring at the floor, "No, it's not about Lee."
"Then tell me."
Jim shook his head, muttering in defeat, "When it first started... yeah, I was upset about Lee. But..."
"But I realized I really am over her."
Mario crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes at Jim, "Why are you still doing this then?"
"I..." Jim started, cutting himself off before raising a hand to rub the back of his neck, "I was looking for an excuse to... to come here."
Mario balked, "You nearly died because you wanted to come here?" he asked, disbelief and outrage laced in his tone, "Are you kidding me?"
"Well, it was also a good way to get my mind off some things."
Mario huffed, frustrated beyond belief, as he ran a hand over his face, "You're a masochist, aren't you?"
Jim snorted and looked up at Mario amusedly, "What if I said I was?"
Mario paused, realizing with surprise that his jarr had really been right on the nose. He'd unintentionally tapped into a rather deep oncoming conversation that would be better in the setting of a counselor's office. He decided to go the direct route and not give Jim a chance to skirt around the real issue here, "I'd tell you to go find someone who does that shit professionally and stop trying to get yourself fucking killed."
"And if I didn't want some random dominatrix putting her mitts all over me?" he retorted, leaning forward and only wincing a little before touching his stomach.
"Find a girlfriend." Mario huffed, and tried to distract himself from the fact that they were really talking about this, "And now that I know you like it, you're not getting any pity; I'm not going to feel bad when you get hurt anymore."
Jim smiled, bright and beautiful.
"You feel bad when I get hurt?"
"I feel bad when anyone gets hurt. I'm a doctor. You're not special." he bit back, turning away from Jim to clean up some of the mess sitting on the counter, more to busy himself than anything. Clean up wasn't his job.
Mario was lying, because Jim was a special case. He wouldn't be wasting his time talking about this kind of thing with just any patient. Jim Gordon was an excruciatingly difficult egg to crack, and one he wouldn't have bothered tampering with if he was anyone else. His interest in Jim is because of Lee, he assured himself, but the words seemed half assed, even as he said them to himself.
He was about to swipe the bloody needle into a sterile glass before his brain brought him back around to what Jim had actually said earlier. "...Why were you looking for an excuse to come here?" he asked hesitantly.
Jim didn't answer him immediately. He spent a moment glancing between Mario and his feet before he finally raised his head. He propped himself up with his arms behind his back and donned his best, most charming smile, but Mario could still see the nervousness he was trying to hide behind it. It made Mario nervous, wondering just what he had to hide. "I wanted to see you."
He certainly hadn't been expecting that.
Mario's eyes widened, surprised and stunned, "Me ?"
"Why in the world-? You don't have to be injured to- to... Jesus, Jim."
Jim huffed and slipped off of the table. He took two steps forward and into Mario's space before grinning again, "It was more fun than showing up with flowers."
"F-flowers?" Mario stuttered and the whole world tilted a little off balance as the declaration behind that statement finally kicked in. "Jim, do... do you-?" he gulped, "Do you have some sort of infatuation with-"
"Yes." he said simply, casual, like it was the easiest thing in the world to admit even as his lips twitched with nervous anticipation.
Mario glared, "Stop pretending to be so cool with this!"
Jim merely smiled, reaching an arm around Mario and catching him off guard as it slipped onto the counter. Was Jim going to kiss him? Right here? Bloodied and battered with Mario already confused out of his wits? But Jim pulled away with his blood soaked shirt rather than making the move Mario had been expecting. When he turned to leave, waving over his shoulder and thanking Mario for his help, Mario was completely speechless.
"Tell Lee I said hi, and that you should look into Caro."
It took all the strength Mario had not to crumble to the floor in a flustered heap after the door closed.