This work is Copyright © 2015, by Sylvia Boswell. All Rights Reserved.
It took two more years and in that time I got even more familiar with Batman’s Rogues Gallery. Each time we put one back in Blackgate, Belrev, or Arkham, I would pray with the rest of the department that they wouldn’t get out again, but soon I realised that the one I feared above all the others was the Joker. The non-stop smile gave me the creeps.
In the aftermath of the Incident, the Joker had so far remained In Arkham. Barbara was confined to a wheelchair, and the doctors said she would never be able to walk again. Kyle and I grew closer every day and we had become regular partners even though I had yet to earn my detective’s shield. But I knew that was soon to change.
“Hey Jess,” Bullock sat at his desk, a hotdog in his hand. “The boss wants you in his office.”
“He up there now?” I asked him simply as I mounted the stairs.
“He should be,” came the reply. I looked at Kyle’s desk and he just winked. For the record, I almost wanted to hit him at that moment.
On the way upstairs, I wondered what was up. Was it my annual review? No, that was in October, and it was mid March. Did I screw up a report? No, otherwise I would be on my way to Montoya’s office rather than the Commissioner’s.
When I hit the landing to Gordon’s office, I was quite nervous, but then I worked my face into an expression of serene calm. After that I knocked, perfectly calm.
“Enter,” the voice of the Commissioner came from the door.
“You wished to see me sir,” I answered as I walked in. I tended to dress in simple biker style. A tank top, blue jeans, and a leather riding jacket. My sidearm, a Beretta 9mm compact, was in a shoulder holster, and my badge was on my belt. Hair was curly and messy from my motorcycle helmet. I usually wore my hair in a tight ponytail but I had very little time to arrange it when I arrived.
My appearance was sloppy compared to my father figure. He sat straight in his glasses, clean salt-and-pepper hair, and mustache perfectly groomed. He wore white shirt and tie. By the end of the day I knew he would loosen the the tie and undo the top button of his shirt.
“Jessica,” his voice was gruff yet gentle as he stood up, holding a box in his hand. He looked right into my eyes when he spoke again. “Kyle has been hounding me for the last month for this. I held off till now so as to not to be seen as showing you favoritism. Then Rene and, oddly enough, Harvey got on the bandwagon. Officer Jessica Holm, it is my honor to promote you to Detective 4th class.”
With that he handed me the box. Slowly, not believing the words, I took out the the new detective shield. I almost burst into tears. This was what I had been working toward for two long years.
Slowly, as if afraid it would disappear, I changed out the badges. It felt heavy, yet right. Then I looked at the man who had inspired me. “How do i look?”
Jim Gordon smiled and took me by the shoulders. “You look great. Your parents would be proud,” he hugged me then as I did finally cry.
I straightened and managed a smile. “So i take it I am now Kyle’s full-time partner?”
“Does it displease you?”
“No, Kyle is a good man and an even better detective. I would be honored, after I punch him for knowing and not telling me I was promoted.”
Gordon chuckled. “Well, do me a favor. Join Barbara and me for dinner.”
“Alright,” I grew serious then. “Permission to get to work?”
With that, I left his office, a smile as big as the Cheshire Cat’s on my face. As I reached detective country, my face was studied; after all, they all knew. It was Montoya who greeted me first with her heartwarming smile but there was mischief in her eyes.
“Sorry for this,” she said softly, and then in a voice that all could hear, “Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce the newest detective on the GCPD: Jessica Holm!”
Cheers erupted from all corners of the detective floor. Bullock sat there a slight smile. He was the most senior of all the detectives, and Gordon’s right hand.
Kyle then came up, that goofy grin I was so fond of on his face. “Welcome to the club.”
“You knew,” I accused him in a low voice.
“Of course I did. I am the one who put you up for a detective’s badge,” he smiled placing his arms around me. “Gordon and I have been planning this for a while. You got to admit it is a well earned gift. Happy anniversary.”
With that he leaned in and kissed me on the cheek. Rene smiled and punched Bulluck in the shoulder when he cat called. Suddenly Kyle knelt, a rather plain and ordinary box in his hands. Rene looked stunned, which was nothing compared to the look on my face.
“Jessica, over the past four years, you have been the guiding light for me, a partner like no other. Jessica Holm, will you marry me?” He opened the box and the ring inside was a simple silver band with one large central ruby and 9 diamonds surrounding the ruby to form a flower. It quite took my breath away and for ten seconds that felt like ten hours, I was speechless.
“I … wah … yes, of course!”
With that, he stood up, embraced me again, and kissed me full on the lips as the rest of the room burst into cheering. I was blushing and, believe me, I never blushed. Four years had led to me being very happy.
Later that day, I wore the ring on my finger and put my riding glove on over it. I placed my helmet on my head and left for Barbara’s apartment. Her father would would join us for dinner and I was going to ask them to do something for me.
A clock tower. Now if that isn’t Neo-Gothic architecture, I will never know what is. The strange thing is that it looked calming to me. It was one of the few places I felt at home. Evidently, so did Barbara Gordon. While she was confined to a wheelchair, she showed great independence of spirit. I always admired her for it.
When I arrived, I saw the Commissioner’s car already present in the lot. Entering the lobby, I turned left to the elevator. It was a new addition to the building, as it was recently renovated by Wayne Tech. The lift took me up to Barbara’s level, and when I arrived, she congratulated me on my promotion. Good, then she didn’t know the real news I was about to impart. I barely remember the dinner itself, but I do remember that after dinner we all sat in the living room and I remember how independent Barbara was. We sat down and she served us coffee, wheelchair and all. Then we sat, calm and thoughtful. Finally I had to speak
“Jim, Barbara,” my voice was calm, cool, collected, “you have been a father and a sister to me in all respects. I now wish for you to share is a joyous moment with me.”
Then I showed them the ring and Barbara smiled while Gordon looked thunderstruck. It was the latter who spoke first, trying to regain some composure. “Kyle.”
“Yes,” a simple one-word answer that had more meaning to me than anything at that moment.
“Jessica,” Barbara placed her hand on mine, “I assume you need a maid of honor, and my big, confused father over there to give away the bride”
I nodded, a smile on my face, as I gripped Barbara’s hand. I was delighted to say the least. “It would honor me greatly if you would. After all, you are the closest I have to family.”
Jim stood, smiling and gripping my shoulder. “So a detective and bride to be. How does it feel?”
He gripped my shoulder still, and for the rest of that night we remained in each others’ company, till Jim said he had to get some sleep, and, reluctantly, I followed. That night was the first of many in in a long series.
During the same evening, the guards at Arkham Asylum were making their rounds as the inmates slept. The Doctors had all gone for the night and all the lights were out in the cells. Ford was a man of many days on the Gotham Police force. He walked the dark corridors of Arkham in a calm, assured manner. Surely this would be another ordinary night.
A few of the inmates mumbled, but then Ford came to “the Batman Gallery,” as most of the guards called it, and there he passed the cell of the Joker as a blonde haired lady in the dress of a doctor greeted him. There was another guard there, supervising the doctor and Ford saw the name tag as the man locked up. Doctor Quinzel, Ford noted as he continued his rounds, then thinking how unfair the world is when the Joker got a doctor that beautiful. As he passed the Scarecrow’s cell, all the lights went out in the wing.
“Ford to hub!” he said into his shoulder walky, yet got nothing but static as he bumped into a metal door. Dark hands wrapped around Ford’s neck and a darker voice spoke to him.
“Tell me, my good sir, what do you fear most?”
Hearing this, Ford knew it was all over.
The lights came back on and guards dashed to the Batman Gallery to find two prisoners gone, Jonathan Crane, alias Scarecrow, and the Joker. They also found a dead guard with his keys missing.
This work is Copyright © 2015, by Sylvia Boswell. All Rights Reserved.