Thanks for reading. This is a short one shot I got when I first watched TDK, but I've been tweaking it every few weeks or so for years. I don't know why I chose now to post it. I realize it's very similar to KrisEleven's "The Only One in a Mask", so don't hate for copying, I wrote this before I read that, and got permission to post this. And incidentally, TOOIAM is great, so everyone should read it.
Disclaimer: I don't own The Dark Knight. Or maybe I do. How do you know? I could be Christopher Nolan, and no one would ever know. I could legally change my name and everything. No, that could raise some complications. Fine you got me, I'm not Christopher Nolan…I'm Gary Oldman! And while you contemplate that, here's the story.
Harvey and Batman both lay unmoving on the ground, forty feet below. Time was behaving very oddly. The moment as Gordon gazed down at them stretched into infinity, and yet he recalled no passage of time descending the skeletal stairs to reach the ground. Now he realized he was truly alone. Batman, his greatest ally, was gone. Only now did the irony hit him that the man he trusted most in the city was one whom Gordon had never seen face to face, had never heard string together more than ten words at once. Batman and Two-Face. Three faces Gordon would never see again.
As though from a great distance, he heard Jimmy yell anxiously, "Is he okay, Dad?"
But Gordon remained silent. All was lost now. Harvey would be mourned and honored. Batman would rescind into fold memory, bittersweet and uncertain. No one would remember a face beyond the black, bat-eared mask. What was the harm? Gordon knelt down, and reached towards the man's face. His hand twitched involuntarily. He couldn't just unmask the Caped Crusader, just like that. It wasn't his place, his right. But, he asked himself, who would remember him then? How could the city leave its greatest hero nameless, faceless? Gordon laughed at the absurd idea that in 50 years or 100, Batman's name would be in history textbooks, next to a paragraph about Commissioner Loeb's assassination, and a mug shot of the Joker.
"Oh, what the hell," he whispered. He grasped the mask firmly in his hand. It was rubbery to the touch, but brittle. He pulled.
But there must have been some kind of mistake. Gordon felt a numbness spread through his body as he recognized the face. It couldn't be…him. Not Wayne. Fucking Wayne. He was a spoiled billionaire, uncaring about anything save his next giant splurge, or the model du jour. In Gordon's memory, the blank face became animated once more. Wayne sat in the open door of his totaled Lamborghini, suspiciously calm about the destruction of his $300,000 car. He looked up when Gordon said in a determinedly even voice, "It's Mr. Wayne, isn't it?" A curt nod. "That was a very brave thing you just did."
"Trying to catch the light?" Wayne had said, and Gordon had accepted that. Who would suspect Bruce Wayne of a thought process anymore noble than cutting the line and running a red light? He'd assumed the car was protecting the van. He'd assumed the driver was a self-centered douche. And of course that was how Batman had stayed anonymous for so long, playing off the public opinion. Everyone thought about Bruce Wayne, read about his grandiose possessions, his indulgences. He'd romanticized the entire Russian ballet in the Caribbean. At the exact same time that Batman went to Hong Kong to get Lao. How had Gordon not seen it before?
The secret would get out now, he supposed, when Bruce Wayne vanished the same day Batman was found dead. A good light cast too late on the city's resident bastard.
"Dad?" Jimmy yelled again.
Gordon ignored him a second time, because Wayne's jaw clenched, and the his eyes flickered open to see Gordon stared traitorously down at his unconcealed face. Wayne's hand fluttered involuntarily up to his cheek, and Gordon saw momentary fear cloud his eyes. He realized the mask was still clenched in his hand. He held it out apologetically and stood back as Wayne got painstakingly to his feet.
Wayne nodded his thanks, breathing hard, and pulled the mask over his face.
"Batman escaped before I could call in my reinforcements," Gordon said quietly. "Who knows where he went."
Again, Batman nodded. Gordon's mind lit fleetingly on a future image of the fundraiser to which he'd been invited, for some faceless politician. He was sanctioned by Wayne industries, and the party was to be at Mr. Wayne's house. Gordon imagined himself now, shaking hands politely with the host, exchanging vague polite small talk, politely allowing the polite, white haired old butler to take his coat, admiring the ostentatiously expensive décor. Only now, knowing that it was all a façade, that this house, these riches, were the real mask. The man himself in all his splendor stood now before Gordon, bleeding, panting, knowing exactly what Gordon was thinking.
Mr. Wayne was so much easier to resent for all his money, the ease and humor with which he lived his life. He was detached, the least citizenly of Gotham's citizens.
Batman was beloved, or feared. Perhaps he should merely say familiar. When you saw Batman leaping over a rooftop, you felt that undeniable fleeting surge of hope, praying the he could make the city a better place as he struggled against mobsters and business men alike. As Batman fought Bruce Wayne. And Gordon knew that the man who was standing was much more a two face than the man who lay at his feet. Four faces. The four faces of Gotham.
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