Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Alfred, Silver St. Cloud
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: Clark and Alfred spend a quiet evening together bonding closer while Bruce is out.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): July 23, 2007
Date Of Posting: December 1, 2007
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1817
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
“Lovers come and go,
but friends are forever.”
Lecturer and Novelist
A QUIET EVENING WITH POPCORN
Bruce was welcomed at home with congratulations for the successful acquisition. Alfred proposed a special dinner.
“Thank you, Alfred. Can I take a raincheck? I’ve being feted by some business colleagues tonight with a little soiree.”
“Excellent, sir.” Alfred’s eyes shone with pride.
Clark was also proud. He wished that Bruce would stay home but understood. A slight headache throbbed between his eyes, but he kept a smile on his face. His Master did seem less angry about the trapeze incident and was quite cheerful tonight.
Bruce dressed in his finest tuxedo and looked stunning. Clark was speechless.
Little wonder that he’s Gotham’s most eligible bachelor.
Clark sighed. He was beginning to feel a little like Cinderella left home while Bruce was off to the ball. Unfortunately, there was no fairy godmother to make his collar and manacles disappear.
“You look a little tired. Try and get some rest, will you?” Bruce said quietly.
Hope surged in Clark’s heart. “I’ll try, sir.”
“Good.” Bruce adjusted his tie. “Don’t either of you wait up. It’s going to be a long night.” He smiled rakishly and took his long coat and tossed it over his shoulder, walking out the front door to his waiting limousine.
& & & & & &
Alfred was certain that Clark was besotted. The look of longing on his face when he looked at Bruce clinched it.
After dinner Alfred suggested, “Why don’t we have some popcorn while we watch some telly?”
Alfred was glad he had suggested the time together. They watched a British mystery, to Alfred’s delight, and the popcorn was good. Clark seemed to be relaxing.
“I’ll get us some more popcorn,” Clark offered.
Alfred changed the channel.
“Here we are at Club Maxine as the banquet honoring the Prince of Gotham is ending. The brightest lights of the city attended the dinner to honor Bruce Wayne, who just engineered a major business coup for Wayne Enterprises. Seen here is Mr. Wayne, leaving the club with Ms. Silver St. Cloud, top supermodel and former girlfriend of Gotham’s favorite son.”
Bruce Wayne smiled at the crowd, the diaphanous Silver St. Cloud on his arm. Her gown was white shot through with silver threads, a white silk wrap around her arms. A diamond bracelet glittered at her wrist while a diamond necklace sparkled at her throat. Her platinum-blond hair was long and silky, framing a face that the camera loved. Light-blue eyes twinkled as she projected an aura of happiness.
Alfred was surprised. Master Bruce had not dated in months, but when he did, it was either Silver or Vicki Vale. His surprise came from the fact that the Master usually mentioned when he was going to squire either lady about town.
Clark sat down, offering Alfred the popcorn. His eyes were fixed on the screen.
“Ah, here we go! And thank you for getting the popcorn, Clark.”
After a few minutes of popcorn-munching, Alfred said, “Clark, you do understand that Master Bruce must keep up a certain image to help deflect from his night persona?”
Clark looked at him. “I do.” He blushed slightly. “I know what my duties are, and that doesn’t mean Master Bruce isn’t going to go out with others.” He frowned. “And least, my duties used to be serving him in bed. If I could just ask why…” He stopped and smiled slightly. “But I know: never, ever be presumptuous.”
Alfred patted his hand. “I ask that you have patience, Clark. Master Bruce is working things out in his head. I recognize the signs,” he said wryly. Clark chuckled. “But patience and understanding will be your best assets. You can be frustrated and angry, but it is advisable not to let the Master know it.” Alfred’s voice was gentle. “Despite his behavior lately, Master Bruce has kindness in his heart. It is sometimes difficult for him to show it.”
Clark twisted his hand to grasp Alfred’s. “I know, Alfred. I’ll wait as long as it takes to find out why…well, as long as Master Bruce doesn’t sell…send me away, I will always serve him the best I can.”
Alfred squeezed his hand with a smile.
After the end of the program an hour later, Clark said, “I’m tired. I think I’ll go to bed.”
“Of course. See you in the morning.”
& & & & & &
Clark slowly entered his room, unbuttoning his shirt. He smiled faintly at the circus poster. It was a vintage 1888 poster featuring Haly’s Circus, one of the oldest ‘little circuses’ in the country. It was a colorful rendition of elephants, clowns, jugglers, aerialists, tigers and a trick rider on horseback.
So Bruce had been a circus fan as a child. Not surprising, given his love of the trapeze.
Clark’s smile faded, remembering the last disastrous session on the trapeze.
He brushed his teeth and finished undressing. Climbing into bed, he pulled the covers up, including the extra quilt. He could have worn pajamas but a part of him was still waiting for Bruce to avail himself of his services, and he had to be ready.
He shivered under the covers. It was more pathetic than ever, considering his Master was out with the beautiful Silver St. Cloud.
Yet he had no claim on Bruce. His Master certainly didn’t love him, and he had to be as different s possible from Batman, and that meant playing the playboy game.
What if Bruce brought home Ms. St. Cloud? And what if he wanted to share his Prize with her?
Clark lifted his chin. He would serve and make Bruce proud of him. That is, if he was to see Bruce’s bed again.
Demanding answers was the quickest way to punch a ticket out of Wayne Manor. Bruce was lenient in many ways, but he would not countenance insolence.
He sighed. Falling in love with one’s Master was guaranteed to cause complications. He touched the medallion that hung below his collar.
He curled up on his side, starting to warm up under the layers of covers.
& & & & & &
He flew through dark skies, cries echoing from far below. Fear drove him on, an urgency that hurt somewhere deep inside of him.
He swooped down, voices reaching up in hosanna, then he was enveloped by a green mist. It coated his skin, burning as he gasped, and he began to fall, clutching at his throat as he couldn’t breathe.
The darkness yawned up at him as he plummeted, stray thoughts of Bruce flitting through his mind as he tried to fly, rainbow manacles appearing on his wrists and a collar around his throat, but all was lost as fire burned through his veins, melting him from the inside out as he screamed…
& & & & & &
Clark shook as he sat bolt upright in bed, his throat raw as his screams echoed in the dark room. The door opened.
“I’m…I’m sorry, Alfred. I didn’t…didn’t mean to wake you.” Clark couldn’t stop his teeth from chattering as he clutched the covers to his chest. Nausea roiled his stomach. He was very glad he wasn’t standing, because the room was beginning to spin.
Alfred sat on the edge of the bed, dressed in a rich, dark-blue robe. Clark was aware of his nakedness under the sheet and nearly blushed at how pathetic he must look, waiting for a Master who might never come.
“Never apologize, dear boy, for a nightmare.” By the moonlight, Clark could see the sympathy in Alfred’s eyes. “Would you like to talk about it?”
Clark’s first instinct was to reply in the negative, but he changed his mind. He slowly recounted the dream.
“Hmm, well, flying is something we all dream about. Do you know whose cries you heard?”
Clark shook his head. “I just felt a sense of urgency.”
“Also not unusual in dreams.” Alfred frowned. “But this green mist that pained you: highly unusual.”
Clark felt his heart rate begin to return to normal as Alfred calmly tried to unravel the dream’s meaning. He was accustomed to Bruce’s comfort after a nightmare, but Alfred’s kindness was helping him. He felt a rush of gratitude toward the older man.
Alfred patted Clark’s hand. “Would you like to come downstairs for a little while? I can make us some hot chocolate or whatever you’d like.”
Feeling guilty at keeping Alfred up, Clark said, “I’ll be fine now. Thank you, Alfred.”
“Any time, Clark. I’m always here if you need me.”
A half-smile crossed Clark’s face. Alfred left the room, Clark curling up under the blankets, trying to relax, not sure if he wanted to go back to sleep.
& & & & & &
Alfred prepared breakfast. He had checked in on Clark, who was sleeping but looked exhausted.
The back door opened and Bruce sauntered in, wearing his clothes from last night, his tie hanging undone. At Alfred’s raised eyebrow, he said, “Good morning to you, too, Alfred.”
“Good morning, sir. Are scrambled eggs to your liking?”
“Tip-top, Alfred. I’m going upstairs to change.”
Alfred hesitated before breaking the eggs. He put them back untouched in the refrigerator and went upstairs.
In Bruce’s room, the Master of the house was sitting on his bed looking tired. He looked up at Alfred appearing in the doorway.
“Sir, I wasn’t aware you had started dating again.”
Amusement flittered across Bruce’s face. “I do have an image to maintain.”
“The Playboy of the Western World?”
Bruce laughed softly. “Fitting title.” He rubbed his face. “I dropped Silver off at her place around 2:00. I had Brendan take me to the penthouse. After he fell asleep I did a little night work.”
“The Joker is still elusive, sir?”
“Very much so.” Bruce’s voice was weariness itself.
Sympathy flooded Alfred. He patted the younger man’s shoulder. “Breakfast in fifteen minutes, sir.” He turned to go, then turned back. “Sir, what are your intentions toward Clark?”
Amusement once again showed on Bruce’s face. “Intentions? I’m not printing up wedding invitations, Alfred.”
Alfred’s mouth quirked into a smile. “No, sir, but you have moved him out of your room.” And your bed. “Have you changed your mind about him?”
Bruce’s face was unreadable but he said, “I have a decision to make. I intend to make it soon and not drag it out.” He coughed. “Is he all right? I noticed he looked a little flushed when I looked in on him.”
“Ah, yes, he’s under quite a lot of covers, sir.”
Bruce nodded. “I’ll be down in fifteen.”
Encouraged by the concern, Alfred went back downstairs to the kitchen.
Perhaps it would be enough to keep Clark here.