Chapter: Jim Gordon
Disclaimer: Like I own anything.
AN: So this idea came from my parents, who grew up on opposite sides of the world, Korea and Puerto Rico, but met in Los Angelos on a family vaction. Any way, it got me thinking that there must be so many random meetings in our life that there is a possiblity of meeting someone randomly who would later become incredibly important in your life in the future. So this is a little collection of loosely related one-shots that illustrate times that Jack Napier, the future Joker, met key players from the Dark Knight. Please read and review!
Call it coincidence or call it fate, either way, some lives are destined to be inextricably intertwined.
Detective Jim Gordon looked up from his desk with tired eyes, his face sunken in from numerous sleepless nights. Only two months on the job and he was already feeling worn down by the responsibility and the pressures. His wife had been begging him to take it easy, to slow down and he would always promise her that he would. But then some broken hearted little kid with murdered parents would walk in the bullpen or some sad young woman who had been raped, and they would look at him with their half-dead eyes and he would forget about all of his promises to Barbra and throw himself back into the underbelly of Gotham.
Detective Ramirez gave Gordon a look that clearly said, 'Rookie, you are going to get royally screwed right now'. "You know that kid they just brought in?"
He was wary about his reply, really not wanting to get stuck with any extra paperwork. "Yeah."
Ramirez gave him the buddy-buddy eyebrows, the ones that said 'you should probably just say yes to whatever I am about to ask'. "Do you think you could take his statement? I am really not good with kids and I saw the way you handled the Wayne kid a few weeks ago, you're a natural."
The steady pounding that had started in his head began to get a little louder and yet Gordon still wanted to slam his head into the wood of his desk. He was nice to one kid and suddenly he's Mister Mom, perfect. He craned his neck and saw a little boy with blonde hair, sitting in the Chief's office. The little guy was tiny, probably malnourished, and Gordon could tell, even from a distance, that the kid was probably covered in bruises. It broke his heart to see a child so broken, and broke it even more to know that there were hundreds of kids just like this one who he couldn't save.
Taking a soothing breathe, he sighed, "Yeah, sure. I just don't wanna get stuck with the paperwork, okay."
Ramirez slapped him heartily on the back, "Sure, no problem. Thanks, man." Gordon, nodded his head, he liked Ramirez and the guy deserved a break, especially since he had a brand new baby girl at home. It was hard enough seeing a kid so wrecked but to have one of your own probably made it ten times worse.
Feeling like he was heading to a root canal, he grabbed a notebook and shuffled over to the boy. The poor kid looked scared out of his wits and Gordon immediately noticed that he was still wearing the bloody shirt that he had on when they had brought him in. A sense of anger overwhelmed him, as he considered how frightened the little guy must be, still covered in his parent's blood. He promised himself that he would get him cleaned up as soon as he took his statement.
"Hey," Gordon said as he approached the boy. The kid jumped at least a foot in the air, before breaking off in nervous giggles. "Hey, hey. It's okay," he put a hand on the boy's shoulder to steady him, noting that the kid was as cold as ice. "My name's Gordon. What's yours?"
The boy looked up at him with brown eyes, full of fear, confusion, and just a twinge of anger. "Jack." He replied in a whisper.
"Hi Jack." He struck out his hand, hoping to gain a little camaraderie by treating the kid like an adult, Lord knows he had been through more shit than most other adults he knew. His hand was shaking a little as he grabbed Gordon's. "Woah," he said, in mock surprise. "That is some handshake you got there." He sounded stupid but the kid seemed to like the compliment because the corners of his mouth twitched just a little.
"Listen, Jack. I am going to need you to be a big boy now. Can you do that?" There was a pause, as though the boy was really debating between helping or not. Eventually, he nodded in ascent. "Great." Gordon smiled at the boy enthusiastically. Pulling out a notepad and pencil and continued, "Okay, Jack. I'm going to need you to tell me what happened today."
There was a long silence in which the boy swung his legs in the air and studiously avoided eye contact with the police officer. It was nearly three minutes later when the boy finally spoke. His tongue flicked out from his mouth and he wet his cracked lips. "My mommy is dead."
Gordon's heartstrings were tugged by the desolate tone of the boy's voice, he sounded far too jaded for a kid of seven. "I know, son, I know. But I need you to tell me exactly what happened, we need to know so we can help you. Do you understand?" Jack nodded and licked his lips again.
"Father came home and…Mommy…Mommy was out buying groceries, he…hates it when Mommy leaves the house without telling him." The boy gave a special emphasis to the word hate that sent chills down Gordon's spine. What kind of hell has this kid been through? The boy continued on, his voice now a little lighter, like he was reciting a bedtime story. "I was hiding in my closet, so Father wouldn't find me. He never looks in my closet," Jack seemed to have lost focus of the story and trailed off, "I have all sorts of things in my closet, it's safe there. I keep my comics and my rock collection, I have this really cool green rock, and," He paused, a shadow crossed over his face and for a second he looked far more sinister than any seven-year-old should, "…and the pocket knife my grandpa gave me before he died."
"That's very cool," Gordon said in a placating voice, half of him not wanting to steer the conversation back to the murder of his parents but knowing he had to. "So what happened when your mommy came home?"
Jack averted his gaze, his tongue now flicking in and out of his mouth at surprising speed. "Father wasn't happy when Mommy came home. He hit her. He called her…a…umm….whore." He now looked up unapologetically at the cop. Gordon nodded in non-judgmental understanding. "He has hit her before but for some reason he went off…" He paused searching for the right word in his limited little boy vocabulary. "…crazier…than usual. He hit her and hit her and hit her until she stopped moving. I saw it…all from the, uhh, stairs." The boy was now keeping Gordon's gaze evenly, his eyes emotionless. "He didn't see me…or Grandpa's knife. Grandpa always hated Father, said he was a no-good, son of a bitch." Gordon nodded, he had to agree with the grandfather's observation. Jack continued, unperturbed by the dark content of his little story, "So, I crept closer to Father and I…stabbed the knife into his neck." He patted the nape of his neck, "Right here. I think Grandpa would've been…happy." Gordon's eyes were stinging now from both horror and sorrow. "I killed my Father, I'm not supposed to do things like that." He tilted his head to his side, looking every bit of the child he was. "Should I be sorry?"
In that moment, Gordon knew he had to take care of this kid. If Jack wasn't looked after and loved, who knows what kind of man he would grow up to be? This boy was well on his way to becoming a really messed up individual. "You don't have to be sorry. You were trying to save your life and your mommy's life." The boy's expression changed so suddenly that it caused Gordon to flinch. Jack's face quickly transformed from sad curiosity to amusement, seconds later he was laughing bodily, drawing attention from everyone in the squad.
Trying to shake off his fear, he gently hoisted up the giggling boy by his shoulders and led him to the door where a weary looking social worker had been standing for the past two minutes. "Come on, Jack. This lady will get you cleaned up and settled." He gave his hand to the somber looking woman before whispering to her, "I want to know where this boy is and who has him, I will take full responsibility for him. Just keep me in the loop."
The woman nodded and told him she would do her best. A few weeks later, Gordon would find out that her best was a quickly scrawled memo that informed him that little Jack Napier had been lost in the shuffle and she was no longer assigned to his case. It would also inform him that despite her "best" efforts she was unable to locate his new foster home and that it was likely he wasn't even in Gotham anymore.
Gordon wouldn't hear that little boy speak again for another twenty years.
The social worker led the little boy away, who was now happily chatting with the woman. The last little snippet of conversation Gordon was able to catch, before the hum of the bullpen drowned the boy out, was, "Ms. Harner? Why so serious?"
AN: Love it? Hate it with a passion of a thousand suns? Let me know. Up next, a little childhood meeting with Rachel Dawes.