by Chicago

EPILOGUE: some months later

"Jim! So good to see you! And you brought Barbara!" Bruce gushed as the commissioner and his daughter entered the Vista Room at the top of the Imperial Building.

"Hey Bruce," Jim returned the greeting, accepting his friend's welcoming handshake. "You know how I feel about these monkey suit affairs, but it is a good cause."

"Any excuse to get Brucie in a tux is a good cause," the woman on Bruce's arm giggled.

"You flatter me, Aurora. Aurora D'Allain, this is Police Commissioner Jim Gordon and his daughter, Barbara. Jim, Barbara, this is Aurora."

"Ooh, the real live police commissioner!" Aurora reacted as she took Jim's hand. "And Barbara. I swear, Brucie must know just EVERYBODY."

"Only the people who count, Aurora," Bruce replied, beaming at her. "You know, Barbara is quite a student of the history of Gotham. Maybe she could answer some of your questions about the skyline while I catch up with Jim, here."

Aurora gave a little pout. "Are you brushing me off, Brucie?"

Bruce gave her a peck on the cheek. "Never, darling, but I don't want you to get bored. I'll come find you too in a bit."

Bruce and Jim moved off, but not before Barbara shot Bruce a look that could kill.

"So is it true you know all about all these new buildings in Gotham?" Aurora asked. "I mean, the city is so pretty, I just have to know what all these skyscrapers are called."

Barbara pasted an artificial smile on her features as the two women moved toward the observation deck of the Vista Room. "Well, I lived here during No Man's Land, so I got to see them all get put up."

"You *lived* through that? Wasn't it terribly dangerous?"

Barbara shrugged. "I got by. Somedays I even kind of miss it."

Instead of the vacuous giggle that Barbara expected, Aurora's face took on a sympathetic smile. "Well, I've heard home is less a place than a feeling," she said lightly, but not without meaning.

Barbara froze and turned from the view to her companion. Aurora's smile had softened, taken on a hint of irony. Her eyes were lit with a familiar humor. "J'onn?" Babs whispered incredulously.

Aurora turned back to the view. "I guess even Gotham has horizons if you climb high enough," she remarked.

Barbara nodded and followed her gaze. "Yes," she agreed, "I guess it does."


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