Not Quite a Murphy's Law Evening
by Tracey Claybon
Disclaimer: Buffy Summers and Jim Gordon do not belong to me. They belong to Joss Whedon and DC.
A/N: I owe a major thank you to Shieldage at TtH - I left out a important piece of information in the beginning that makes the story a bit easier to understand where Commissioner Gordon is concerned. Thanks so much, Shieldage!
This revision is dedicated to you and those who take the time to tell me what you think!
Jim Gordon had come a long way from his time as commissioner of Gotham City's police force.
Right after he'd retired as commissioner four years before, civic groups and law-enforcement groups began inviting him to speak to them on a variety of diverse topics such as working with costumed heroes, handling meta-powered criminals, and speaking of his experiences in No Man's land.
Jim had particularly been in demand as a speaker on that topic in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama as they rebuilt from the absolute devastation left in the wake of the catastrophic hurricane that had plowed through the area a couple of years before.
Jim reckoned that the destruction in those areas was as thorough as that seen in Gotham post Cataclysm; he offered freely of his time and expertise in rebuilding resources to the people living in those regions, and he refused to accept fees to speak to the groups in that area, stating that as the people who came in to help Gotham City rebuild post NML helped his city to recover - it was payback for the courtesy shown him by others then to pass the favor on now to the wonderful folks of the Gulf Coast.
He'd been asked to be one of the main speakers for a conference on working with metahumans and costumed heroes in Cleveland, Ohio this week. He'd thought this was going to a slightly boring conference, with not much out of the ordinary going on... He should have remembered that a type of "Murphy's Law" always haunted the phrase "boring fill-in-the-blank" - any conferences, plane rides, etc. that promised to be boring - were usually anything but.
This one was no exception to that unspoken rule.
Everything seemed to go wrong almost from the moment his plane left the ground enroute to the Cleveland International Airport .
A major blizzard in Detroit and Chicago caused all the flights transferring through the area to be rerouted through Atlanta instead, extending all flights out of Gotham by 2 hours, which caused him to miss his transfer flight; his bags were sent on to Chicago and were all currently lost except for the laptop computer in his messenger bag , his personal belongings he'd brought with him on the plane and a change of clothes he'd put in the bag just in case.
When he finally got to the hotel in Cleveland at 10:45 pm, they had already booked his room, the hotel was full, and he was currently sitting in the lobby at 11 pm, trying to figure out where to go next.
He had seen a mom-and-pop style restaurant - some kind of diner - and a Super7 hotel half a block or so away. He called the hotel, and they had a room available, so Jim paid for the empty room by credit card immediately, informing the clerk he was coming there immediately.
After the quick cab ride over to the hotel, Jim picked up the keys at the hotel front desk, and realized he was ravenously hungry. Since he'd not eaten since he flew out 12 hours before, he decided to go to the restaurant, Trudy's Diner, to get a meal and bring it back to his room for the night.
Jim had just stepped outside the hotel's lobby and on to the sidewalk when a suspicious looking young man walked up to him, asking if he could spare some change for food. He had just turned the man down when the young man said "That's okay - I'll just have YOU for dinner!" and the man's - the creature's - face turned into something to rival the Joker for sheer terror-inducement, and he lunged at Jim.
But, before the - creature - could finish his attack, he got a look of total surprise on his face and evaporated into dust. A - sharp pointed stick - which was suspended for a moment at about heart level where the man's back had been, fell to the ground as soon as the creature went to dust. A small, denim- clad young woman now approached Jim from where the stick seemed to have come.
Jim watched her demeanor as she approached. Confident with an aura and demeanor not too different from the Batman, but not a danger to him - just creatures like this one had been. Relying on his instinct and twenty-plus years of sizing up people, he relaxed a bit, knowing this was likely one of the good guys.
She looked like she'd been about to say something to him, but after noting his reaction to her, just said, "So - you're not panicking - I guess you've seen odder things before, then?"
He said, " I'm from Gotham City. After No Man's Land, the Cataclysm, the Clench, and the Joker, let's just say that I love my city, but we do have a reputation for the - more than occasional - odd and crazy event there... Hello, I'm Jim. Jim Gordon."
The woman looked at him with growing respect as he spoke, and said, "It's a real pleasure to meet you, Commissioner Gordon. I'm Buffy Summers. I was out doing my last patrols for the night and was tracking that vampire you encountered as my last for the night... I have to get up for a conference I'm speaking at tomorrow, and was heading this way so I could get a midnight snack at Trudy's Diner - I assume that was where you were going? It's the only place open right now in the area."
He said, " Actually, that was where I was going. Care to join me for a cup of decaf coffee?"
She smiled at him and said, "I will, and I'll escort you back to your hotel. The area is clear, but this way I'll know you made it back to your room safe. Thank you for the offer!"
Jim and Buffy spoke about the upcoming conference on the way to Trudy's, and he remembered that a Buffy Summers had been on the list of speakers for his conference tomorrow. He realized that maybe the conference might not be so "boring" after all.