Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Alfred, Kathy Kane, Jonathan Kent/Martha Kent
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: Will the Branding Bill pass or be defeated? The vote begins…
Date Of Completion (First Draft): August 3, 2007
Date Of Posting: January 12, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 2286
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
“How can anyone in good conscience support this heinous bill?
Is it because they enjoy the smell of burning flesh and the sound
of the crackling fire, hearing the screams of the slaves forced to suffer?”
National Abolitionist Society
“Senator Allgood from Alaska.”
“Senator Nawlins from Alaska.”
“Senator Briggs from Arkansas.”
“Senator Jessup from Arkansas.”
The vote tally appeared at the bottom of the screen. The Alabama senators had voted ‘Yes’ for passage.
Bruce drank more water, butterflies fluttering in his stomach as the ‘Yes’ votes slowly began to pile up. Surely this wasn’t going to be a landslide…
“Senator M’butu from Colorado.”
“Senator Frobisher from Connecticut.”
The vote was seesawing, then the ‘Yes’ votes were out ahead again.
“Senator McGee from Maine.”
Tension built up as the Wayne Household watched. The tally was almost even, a minimum of 51 votes necessary for passage or defeat.
“Senator Queen from Maine.”
Bruce squeezed Clark’s hand.
“Senator Brady from Massachusetts.”
“Senator Kennedy from Massachusetts.”
Bruce felt his old thigh injury throb. He could feel Clark’s hand tremble.
“Senator Fisher from Michigan.”
“Senator Santana from Michigan.”
“Senator Prince from New Hampshire.”
“Senator McCracken from New Hampshire.”
Alfred was sitting ramrod-straight.
“Senator Freneau from New Mexico.”
“Senator Rodriguez from New Mexico.”
Bruce was beginning to sweat. Truly, these…people…in Congress couldn’t actually pass this law?
“Senator Keystone from Pennsylvania.”
It was close, too close.
“Senator Pilaski from Pennsylvania.”
Bruce could feel Clark’s trembling increase as he grasped his hand.
“Senator Kyushi from Rhode Island.”
“Senator Rossetti from Rhose Island.”
“Senator Marshall from South Carolina.”
“Senator Cargill from South Carolina.”
“Senator D’Alessandro from South Dakota.”
“Senator Solon from South Dakota.”
The roll call went on relentlessly, the tally still so close…
“Senator McKinnon from Utah.”
“Senator Scully from Utah.”
“Senator Lee from Virginia.”
“Senator Pickett from Virginia.”
Finally, after more senators were called, it was down to the nitty-gritty: if the next vote was ‘No’, the bill would be defeated. If ‘Yes’, the vote would be tied, with the Vice President breaking the tie with his vote. He had already declared his support of the bill.
Anxiety was high as the next name was called.
“Senator Drake from Wyoming.”
Everyone in the galleries, in the Wayne Household, and across America, held their collective breath.
Final tally: 51 No, 49 Yes.
Cheers went up from the NAS part of the galleries, the supporters of the bill disgusted.
Bruce hugged Alfred, then turned to Clark, who was smiling joyously. They hugged, too, and Bruce felt very thankful, indeed.
He would have to send a nice, big check to Kathy the day after tomorrow.
And ideas for further involvement were percolating in his mind.
The rest of the baking and preliminary cooking went very well in the kitchen with three very happy men.
& & & & & &
For the first time in many years, Bruce felt thankful on the holiday dedicated to that emotion. For Alfred’s sake he had allowed the holiday to be celebrated at Wayne Manor, though holidays meant very little to him since his parents’ deaths.
This year Alfred cooked a bigger turkey and went all out on the traditional trimmings: stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and salad. Bruce helped Alfred and Clark bring in the food to the dining room, seating himself at the head of the table as his companions joined him.
For a moment he hesitated. It was all well and good for him to be thankful, but he felt a little awkward. Why should slaves feel thankful for being enslaved?
He took a deep breath and decided to proceed.
“I am very thankful for the life I have, and am very thankful for Alfred, my lifelong friend who has served me with such devotion over the years.” Alfred looked down at his plate, embarrassed. Bruce smiled affectionately. “And Clark! I’m very thankful you came into my life this year.”
“So am I, Bruce,” Clark said softly.
Pleased, Bruce raised his glass. “To the Wayne Household.”
Alfred and Clark raised their glasses, echoing “To the Wayne Household.”
Bruce thought of the close vote on the Branding Bill and knew he had even more to be thankful for.
They happily dug into the Thanksgiving dinner.