A/N: I know that a lot of people write from Bruce's perspective, or from the Joker's (I do both) but I wanted to include Gordon's POV on the events of The Dark Knight. If you'd like to tell me how I did leave a message after the beep. Or, actually, just press that little, purple/blue button down at the bottom of screen and write me a review.

Disclaimer: Batman and The Dark Knight is way too amazing to belong to a freshman college student.

Three

It was like a bad nursery rhyme.

Three men trying to reclaim,

The first man falls,

The second takes the blame,

and the third man watches it all.

I'm a poet and I didn't know it.

Even in the confines of his own mind the attempt at humor fell flat, sounding only bitter and sardonic.

Lieutenant—no, it was Commissioner now, wasn't it?—Gordon sighed into the darkness, hands shoved deep in his pockets. It was times like this he wished that he had taken up the vice of smoking, just so that he would have something to do with his hands.

He shifted a little, leaning against the wall, and broken glass crunched beneath his feet. He looked at the broken searchlight that had once been the beacon of hope in Gotham. He lit that sucker up and the streets seemed to clear themselves, criminals running scared, afraid that the Batman would come swooping out of the night, even if they were just small fish in a stinking cesspool of an ocean.

Now…now those small fish were fewer on the streets, but only because they were getting eaten up by the big fish. By the piranhas, the sharks.

Sharks like the mob. Sharks like the crazies from Arkham still running around.

Sharks like the Great White of them all: the Joker.

As long as he could remember Gotham had been corrupted. No, that wasn't entirely true. He had some foggy, distant memories from a childhood in a brighter Gotham that hadn't seen the light of day in years. By the time he was a teenager Gotham had already been sinking, and now it was so dark that no one could even believe there had once been a golden Gotham at all.

He'd been trying to stand up for that Gotham that he believed could exist again. Scrape off the years of corruption, scrape off the mire and the criminal layer, scrape away the poverty and the insanity that seemed to be seeping through the ranks of Gotham's citizens, scrape all of that away and you'd have a Gotham worth fighting for.

He believed it was worth fighting for.

He, and Dent, and whoever the hell Batman was, they all believed in Gotham. They believed in Gotham even if no one else did.

And look where it got them.

Dent, the poor bastard, crazier than a loon, driven out of his mind by grief and pain and pushed over the edge by the Joker, and then dead. Deader than a doornail.

Batman, blamed for everything that Dent did, just to save Dent's reputation, just to keep slogging through, just to keep fighting for Gotham. Blamed and cursed and hated, when he should have been raised up as a hero. Cast in the unfair role of villain, hunted by dogs, by people, by him.

And Gordon himself. Gordon, who had to take the weight of the world—or at least the city, and Gotham sure as hell felt as heavy as the world to him—on his shoulders. He had to stand up as the Police Commissioner, when all he had ever wanted was to be a lowly detective. He'd never had dreams of power like this. He didn't want it, but it was his because there was no one else to take the job. And he had to stand up, a prime target, wanted by the mob, wanted by the Joker, wanted by every criminal who strolled on in to Gotham. And then there was the really unbearable part, because he could withstand the threats on his life. That was part of the job, and if he wanted to save Gotham he could bear that. But what he couldn't—no, what he could but didn't want to—bear, was standing up and pretending that Dent had been Gotham's white knight, and that Batman was evil incarnate.

He knew the truth. He knew the truth but he kept his lips stubbornly locked, kept silent by the force of Batman's will and by his own stubborn knowledge that this was the only way for Gotham to endure. The people needed to believe in Dent, and if Batman had to suffer for that then he would.

"You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain."

He knew the truth in Dent's words, knew it even more because Gotham had a way of seizing her brightest citizens and chewing them up. Gotham was merciless that way. He wondered, bleakly, which road he would end up following. Would he be the villain? Or would he die the hero?

As he left the roof the glass crunched beneath his feet, testament to Gotham's fury, a quiet reminder of sacrifices made.

They began as three.

Now they were down to one, one standing alone in the spotlight of Gotham, one left to carry the people's faith on his own.