Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Ollie Queen, Lex Luthor, Alfred, Hal/Steve
Series Notes: In the 23rd century, Earth is a technologically-advanced society that practices the ancient institution of slavery. The wealthy freeman Bruce Wayne acquires a highly-prized pleasure slave whom has fallen in love with him…but can the Prince of Gotham ever return that love? And will it all be moot as a weak abolitionist movement slowly gathers strength while the Galactic Empire remains in a perpetual state of Cold War? The entire series can be found here.
Categories: Drama, AU
Rating: (this chapter): PG-13
Summary: The magic of All Hallows’ Eve begins.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): May 22, 2007
Date Of Posting: October 10, 2007
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1350
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
On All Hallows’ Eve,
In wind and leaves.
“The Book Of Shadows”
Halloween dawned crisp and clear, the sky so blue it almost hurt the eyes.
Bruce’s guests had business to conduct over computers and cellphones, and there was a relaxed afternoon before the preparations of the night. Costumes were laid out as everyone anticipated the party.
“The Harvest Ball is one of the highlights of the Gotham social season,” said Bruce as he sipped a glass of wine in the library. Ollie and Lex had joined him, Hal and Steve finishing up some business elsewhere.
“So all the veddy uppercrust will be there.” Lex sipped his own wine.
The three smiled, comfortable in their shared background.
“So, your costumes all ready?”
“Oh, yes, m’lord,” Ollie winked.
Lex affected a bored yawn. “It’s been years since I donned this particular persona again, but it’s time.”
“Alexander the Great!” Ollie said with a dawning light in his green eyes.
“Exactly, my dear Oliver.” Lex smiled. “Maybe I should ask to borrow your slave, Bruce.”
“Ah, but Alexander didn’t sleep with slaves. He slept with Hephaistion, his boyhood friend who became his Patroclus to his Achilles, and with Bagoas, a former slave.”
“I wonder what that would be like, to love someone so much that you’d fall apart after they died, as Alexander did after Hephaistion passed away first,” Lex said softly.
“I don’t know,” said Bruce. He looked at Ollie, whose love for Dinah was strong.
Ollie smiled. “I’ll be the one to go first. Dinah’s too ornery…and strong.”
Lex and Bruce smiled, then Bruce said, “Speaking of going first, I appreciate you two consenting to take ownership of Alfred if something should happen to me.”
“My pleasure,” said Ollie.
“When the time comes, you’ll take ownership, Ollie, and I thank you, Lex, for consenting to be the next in line if something happens to Ollie and Dinah.”
Which considering now that he knew they were Green Arrow and Black Canary, could very well mean an early exit from this life, just as he risked every night as Batman.
“I’m happy to do it, Bruce,” said Lex. “Alfred is a treasure.”
“Absolutely,” Ollie agreed.
Bruce sipped his wine. “I need to ask you another favor.” Ollie and Lex waited. “I want to will Clark to you.”
His friends exchanged a look. Ollie took a deep breath. “I think I can speak for Lex when I say we’re honored.”
Lex nodded. Bruce set his wineglass down. “I’d like to will Clark to Ollie first, Lex, since Alfred will be under his ownership as well. Alfred and Clark have become very close.”
Lex nodded. “I’d be happy to be next in line.” A small smile quirked his mouth. “And that will ensure that Clark is some distance away from my father.”
Bruce had taken that into account when asking Ollie first. Lionel Luthor was notorious for ‘sampling’ every manacled ware on Luthor property. If Lex designated an Exclusivity Bond with a slave, usually a pleasure slave, it was certain that Lionel would violate it.
“I’ll contact my attorney tomorrow. He has the paperwork drawn up and just needs to fill in the names.” He stood and took Ollie’s hand in both of his. “Thank you.” Ollie nodded. Bruce did the same with Lex, who murmured, “You’re welcome.”
“Well, then,” Bruce said, taking his seat again and raising his wineglass. “To old friends.”
“To old friends,” Ollie and Lex echoed.
& & & & & &
It was time to gather in the foyer for the trip to town. Alfred chatted with Brendan, who would chauffeur everyone. The butler also had a bowl of candy ready for neighborhood trick-or-treaters. Most of the children in the neighborhood who observed the ancient custom were accompanied by governesses or other employees instead of parents, but they seemed to have fun.
Alfred and Brendan looked around at the first arrival. “Oh, good show, sir,” Alfred said.
The man in silver smiled. “Thank you, Alfred.” Hal brushed his sleeve. His costume was that of an old-fashioned astronaut, the tight silver accentuating his body. A silver domino served as his mask.
“Ah, so you have the right stuff,” Lex said as he strode in golden breastplate and sandals, his skirt and cloak a shimmering scarlet. He carried a gold helmet with a red plume, a mask built in to conceal his eyes.
“Alexander,” Hal bowed, the light of the chandelier bouncing off his costume, creating ribbons of rainbow light as he moved.
The next arrival brought laughter and applause. Blond hair peeked out from a shiny top hat, a silken black cloak flowing out behind him as Ollie walked into the foyer, white-gloved hands gesticulating as he pantomimed a magician’s trick. His tuxedo was crisply-pressed, green eyes sparkling from his half-mask.
“Bravo, sir,” said Alfred.
“Looks like we have quite a group.” Bruce strode in, sheathing his sword. Buttons gleamed down his well-tailored blue coat, his breeches spotless, his boots polished.
“Mad Anthony would be honored, sir,” Alfred said as he bowed.
Bruce grinned. “Thank you, Alfred.” He adjusted the jaunty cockaded hat and affixed his dark-blue sequined mask.
“Where’s Steve?” asked Ollie.
A look of delight crossed Bruce’s face. “Excellent, Steve…Rogers.”
Steve grinned as he walked into the center of the foyer, wearing the classic red-white-and-blue costume of Captain America and carrying the stars-and-striped round shield.
Hal laughed. “I should be Iron Man.”
“Or Hawkeye,” Ollie said. He smirked as he saw Bruce roll his eyes.
“I have the car ready, sir,” Brendan said.
“Very good.” Bruce’s guests started to leave. “Oh, gentlemen, we have one more.” Bruce stretched out his arm.
Clark descended the staircase, wearing a simple Minuteman’s outfit of boots, breeches, homespun shirt and vest, and a civilian version of Bruce’s hat.
Alfred approved. He had half-expected a highly exotic costume, perhaps with precious little material, as Masters liked to show off their slaves’ bodies in scanty costumes.
Not that his young Master was above that. No doubt some year he would show Clark off, but this year had opted for a more modest look.
But not completely modest.
The light-brown breeches were a little tighter than an American colonist would have worn, and the top two buttons of his off-white shirt were undone, showing smooth, golden skin. His shining dark hair was brushed back under the hat, a hair extension creating a ponytail tied by a brown velvet ribbon. A half-mask obscured the top half of his face. He carried an old-fashioned musket, an ammunition pouch slung over one shoulder and a powder horn attached to another strap. Slaves weren’t allowed to carry weapons except in defense of their Masters, but this was obviously a costume and a non-working musket.
“Very authentic,” Ollie said, admiring the accentuation of calf and buttock as Clark turned slightly to take Bruce’s hand.
“Yes, well, the designation of ‘Minuteman’ glamorizes ‘farmboy’.” Bruce’s smile was mischievous.
Clark smiled shyly, pleased that his costume was garnering so many admiring looks. He knew the nature of those looks and no doubt felt a little puff of pride.
It was acceptable for pleasure slaves to accompany their Masters to such events as the Harvest Ball, and young Master Bruce seemed more than happy to take advantage of that social nicety. And if anyone wanted to object, it was highly unlikely that they would do so with the Prince of Gotham.
It pays to be the city’s scion, Alfred thought in amusement.
“Don’t wait up for us, Alfred,” Bruce said.
“Very well, sir.”
Alfred watched from the front door as they party headed for the limousine. The cold air swept up the long drive, whispering through the trees while the moonlight streamed down to illuminate the grounds. Tiny yellow–and-orange lights winked around the pillars of the veranda, lending the scene an unearthly glow. Childish voices could be heard as a small costumed party trudged up the driveway.
Truly a night for magic.