Cutscene: Tug
IC Details

Lincoln March delivers his acceptance speech, and a sniper takes his aim.

IC Date: November 19, 2019
IC Location: City Hall, Gotham City
OOC Notes & Details
Posted: 20 Nov 2019 01:21
Rating & Warnings: PG-13
Associated Plots

Jim Gordon stands in a heavy overcoat as a typical Gotham City rain drizzles down on the pristine white steps outside City Hall. The crowd is arguably modest, but intentionally. Concentrate too many people in one place in Gotham City, and it attracts attention — strange, dangerous attention. It was his idea to keep the invites narrowly focused — press, high-level supporters, and security. As the former — he's still having a hard time reconciling that word, former — commissioner, he knows which off-duty cops to call in to moonlight as crowd security for the new mayor.

He tilts his head away from the rain, slipping aside his glasses to brush away the water droplets forming on the smooth lenses. Her voice carries through the rain, and he looks up at the cheerful call, "Dad!"

She is a blur across the street, waving like she did as a child — full arm at the shoulder, stretched high with her fingers all splayed. He smiles, ducking his head a bit to reseat his glasses, only to look up to see Barbara jogging across the street with her umbrella held high. The puddles splash up her bright turquoise rainboots, leaving them glossy and reflective in the dull daylight.

His daughter is at his side in an instant, lifting up onto the balls of her feet to press a kiss to his cheek. Then she's beaming up at him. "Look, I'm not even late." The pride in her voice is braided with self-deprecating humor. It amuses Jim, and so he smiles easily.

"Would you like to take another run around the block? I'd hate to upset a trend."

She punches his shoulder lightly, but there's a renewed warmth there that he hadn't seen in Barbara in recent weeks, months. So, he wraps her up around her shoulders and presses a warm kiss on her forehead before he leads her toward the stairs. March still isn't out, but there's plenty of press gathering and the podium is being shielded by some new junior admin with umbrellas.

"You didn't have to come, kiddo. It's just another speech."

"I'm not here to support March, Dad. I'm here to support you." Babs smiles up at her dad. "Besides, I was able to take the day off. Bonus."

He chuckles. "Bonus."

Together, they scale the wide stairs with Babs's umbrella held aloft over them. It isn't wide enough to shield the pair of them, leaving a shoulder each under the rainfall. Just as they arrive on the topmost step, Lincoln March comes bounding out of City Hall with one of his closest assistants chasing after him with an umbrella. March carries himself with an easy youthfulness that Jim almost envies — his daughter has two more years until she is thirty, making him encroaching on sixty. There is no more youth to his steps.

But his daughter is saying something to him, and he turns his head toward her with an arch of a brow over the heavy rim of his glasses. "Hm?"

"I said," Babs repeats, perhaps not even noticing his focus had drifted, "I hope that March can get you back behind the desk, Dad. A lot of people feel unsafe out there." Her brows frown together to match the tight line of her mouth.

"I don't know, kiddo." Jim turns his head back up into the rain, avoiding looking her in the face as he sighs, "Maybe it's time to think about retirement."

Just as his daughter starts to reply, the squeal of a microphone draws both their attention to the podium where Lincoln March stands, smiling almost self-deprecatingly into the crowd. Jim just smiles an apologetic smile at Barbara, and then turns slightly to regard their new Mayor.

Barbara knows what to expect from Lincoln March's speech. It is not all that dissimilar to his stump speeches — he is here to bring Gotham back into the light, to force corruption and deception out of the shadows, to give the vigilantes of Gotham reassurances that they are no longer needed. It is the last bit that causes her chin to duck, her eyes half-closed to think about those words. To reassure us that we're no longer needed.

What would it be like, she wondered, to no longer be needed?

When she looks back up, a glint of something catches her eye high along the windows of the building across the street. That part of her that March just proclaimed the city would never need again tingles with a natural instinct that the Bats only nurtured.


Then she's reaching for her dad, reaching beyond him for Lincoln March…

There is a tugging sensation in her middle, and suddenly she is tumbling, the world spinning wildly around her. Dimly, she hears shouts, screams, sees motion, people running this way and that. Her father's face fills her vision, the lines around his mouth and eyes deep, his age writ clear for her in a way she hadn't really noticed before except right after he was suspended by Mayor Hedy. Ex-Mayor Hedy, she thinks, only to realize just how unimportant that extraneous detail really is.

Her dad is saying something, his eyes wide and frantic, his voice should be loud, but she can't hear anything over her heartbeat. Her brain starts processing the information bambarding her senses. Her dad's hands are bloody. Is he hurt? She's starting to feel cold. That can't be good. Did she get shot? She's been shot. She needs to get up. The shooter is still out there. But, she can't feel her legs at all.

Then, darkness swallows her, obliterating her view of her father and muffling the scattered sounds of screams.

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