AN: Okay, so this popped into my head and wouldn't leave me alone. I really don't think it's very good, but I'm sharing anyway cause otherwise it's just pointless. For those of you wondering about my JL fic, I'm working on it! Watch for an update soon!
Disclaimer: Everything related to Batman is property of DC comics.
Commissioner Gordon signed off on the report he had just read and put it aside, sighing as he reached for the last one in what had been a rather large pile. One more to go, then he could call it a night. A breeze tickled the back of his neck and the feeling he was not alone washed over him.
"Batman?" he questioned, turning his gaze to the shadows his mysterious friend loved so much.
"Nope," replied a very young voice and Gordon lifted a brow in surprise.
"Last time I checked," came the reply, which was followed by a strange little giggle.
Frowning, Gordon turned his chair toward the boy who had yet to emerge from the shadows. "Robin, you okay?"
Another weird little giggle that was quickly stifled. "Sorry," the boy murmured, stepping into the dim light. "I may have a concussion. Or I may have breathed in more of that gas than I thought...I'm not sure."
Gordon drew in a sharp breath when he saw the small boy. He was covered in scrapes and rapidly emerging bruises and a trail of blood was making its way steadily down the side of his head from a hidden wound.
"Good lord!" he exclaimed, jumping to his feet, which startled Robin into a fighting stance. Jim froze, holding up his hands and murmuring, "Easy son, I just want to look at your head."
It was a few seconds before Robin relaxed his stance, allowing the Commissioner to close the distance between them and examine the wound.
"Sorry," Robin apologized with a slight giggle. "Little tense."
"Not surprising," Gordon replied, moving to where he kept a first aid kit. "What happened? Where's Batman?"
"N-Not sure. Had a run in with the Joker, stuff blew up, got separated. Can't really remember how I got here, but I suddenly saw your office and I know your Batman's friend...he trusts you which means I can trust you. So I came up."
Gordon paused in his gentle cleaning of Robin's head wound, rather touched that Batman's protégée felt he could come to him when he was in trouble. "You sure can, son," he murmured, continuing with his task. "You can always trust me...always come to me no matter what."
He finished cleaning the wound as best he could and, shaking his head, said, "You need a doctor..."
"No!" Robin exclaimed, startling Jim as he moved faster than he should have toward the window. "J-Just need to find Batman. I-I'll be fine after that."
"Now hold on just a minute young man!" Jim said, his tone demanding obedience. "There is no way on God's green earth that I'm letting you chase after Batman in your condition."
He guided the youth to his couch and gently pushed him down on it. "Stay," he ordered and moved to his desk, pressing the button to his intercom. "Lisa, tell Montoya I want to see her right way," he said, never taking his eyes from the boy on the couch.
There was a moment of silence and then a quick knock on the door. "Stay," he murmured again as he crossed the room to answer the door.
"You asked for me?" Rene Montoya, one of Gordon's most trusted officers, asked.
Jim nodded shortly. "Go up to the roof and turn the signal on. Wait for him and when he shows, tell him to come to my office. It's urgent."
Montoya nodded and hurried off, sensing it would not be a good idea to ask questions. Jim closed the door and turned back to Robin, his heart jumping to his throat when he found the boy gone. "Robin?"
A giggle escaped the shadows and Jim sighed in relief. "You should lay down and rest, Robin. Batman will be here soon, I'm having the signal turned on."
As the words left his mouth, he looked out the window and saw said signal light up the sky. Robin slipped out of the shadows and Gordon couldn't help the twinge of anger he felt as he watched the boy. He couldn't have been older than eleven or twelve, what the hell was he doing running around fighting crime he had no business being involved in? Who in their right mind would allow a child to endanger himself like that? This kid should be building tree houses with his friends and tormenting girls, not tangling with the likes of the Joker!
Not for the first time, he wondered about his mysterious friend's sanity and briefly toyed with the idea of unmaking the boy and getting him the hell away from the life of a vigilante and into the life of a normal boy. He sighed inwardly. But then, that would be betraying a trust and a friendship he was not willing to betray. The Bat had saved his life numerous times and, while he wasn't sure how he could ever repay the man, he knew it was certainly not by interfering with what was most likely a father/son situation. But that didn't make him any less angry.
"You have any kids?" Robin's question drew him from his thoughts and he nodded. "Yes," he answered, "I have a daughter. Barbara." He reached for the picture he kept of his beautiful little girl and turned it so Robin could see her. "She's just a little older than you are."
"She's pretty," Robin murmured, which brought a proud smile to the Commissioner's lips. "What's she in to?"
It took a few seconds for Gordon to realize that the boy was asking what Barbara's hobbies were. "Gymnastics," he replied and Robin smiled. Gordon laughed quietly. "Yeah, you two would get along pretty well I think. Not that I would ever let her jump off rooftops..."
Robin smirked. "Where's the fun in that?" he asked, another giggle escaping his lips.
Jim studied Robin for a few seconds before asking, unable to resist any longer, "Why do you do this, Robin?"
Robin didn't bother feigning ignorance to the question. He shrugged and said, "Cause I need to," trying unsuccessfully to stifle another giggle.
"You need to?" Jim repeated, struggling with his growing concern over the giggles. "You're what, eleven, twelve? What could possibly give you the 'need' to risk your life night after night?"
Robin blinked at him, snickered and squeezed his eyes shut to get a grip on himself. "Same reason you do," he answered after a few seconds. "I just started a lot younger is all."
Jim raised a brow. "A lot younger is eighteen, possibly seventeen. You can't even shave yet!"
Robin's attention was suddenly drawn to the window and Gordon turned quickly. The first thing he noticed was that no one was there. The second thing was that the Bat signal no longer lit the sky. Turning back, he drew in a surprised breath when he found Batman standing before Robin, carefully inspecting his head.
"Commissioner Gordon has a daughter who does Gymnastics," the boy suddenly blurted out. "He won't let her run around on rooftops though," he added with a quick burst of laughter which he clamped a hand over his mouth to try and contain.
Batman frowned and Gordon was sure an eyebrow was being lifted under the mask. "Got some of that gas, did you?" the vigilante questioned, removing something from his belt and pressing against Robin's arm. Robin sighed in what sounded like relief and Batman put an arm around him, pulling him close as he turned toward Gordon.
"Thank you, Jim," he murmured, a true note of gratitude in his voice. "I owe you one."
"Not as many as I owe you," Jim replied. "He going to be okay?"
Batman nodded, looking down at his now groggy companion. "Yes, he'll be all right." He guided the boy to the window where he picked him up as he was no longer in any condition to travel on his own.
'The Batmobile must be nearby,' Gordon thought as he watched, surprised by the open tenderness Batman was displaying. 'You're Batman's friend...he trusts you.' Robin's earlier words echoed in his mind, bringing a smile to his lips.
As Batman prepared to shoot a grapple gun, Robin raised his head from where it rested on his mentor's shoulder and smiled weakly. "Thanks for hanging with me, Commissioner," he murmured, then they were gone.
Jim moved to the window, confirming that they had vanished. "Any time, son. Any time."