Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Alfred
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: During the Christmas season, Bruce takes stock of the special people in his life.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): August 4, 2007
Date Of Posting: January 15, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1142
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
The winds are harsh
And the air is cold,
Within the home,
‘Tis silver and gold.
‘Tis the season
For garland and bow,
Skies of blue,
And sunlight- on-snow.
By the crackling fire
Warmth melts the ice,
Love resides here,
Ginger ‘n’ spice.
Emily Adams Cutler
“Yellow Roses And Other Poems”
Wayne Manor was ablaze with light.
Tasteful decorations were artfully arranged in the foyer, from evergreen-scented garlands entwined on the Grand Staircase to vases of holly on the tables. Silver-and-gold garlands streamed through the greenery, and in the living room a giant Christmas tree awash in silver-and-gold and delicate, airy, glass ornaments dominated one corner of the room. An heirloom gold star decorated in sapphires and topazes glittered at the top of the tree.
Sparkling decorations mixed in with more evergreens and red bows on the exterior of the Manor. Some of the spruce and evergreen trees had been decorated by Clark and Alfred.
Just as with Thanksgiving, Bruce was feeling the emotion of the holiday for the first time in years. He had allowed its form for Alfred’s sake but had not felt its spirit.
Now, it was as if he was seeing things through Clark’s eyes. Clark could not remember if he had ever celebrated Christmas, but the holiday delighted him. He had eagerly helped Alfred with the decorations, and Bruce had even joined in to decorate the giant tree in the living room. The glittery garlands and baubles reflected in Clark’s glasses, his blue eyes big and full of wonder, and Bruce was utterly charmed.
Bruce entered the living room, Clark staring up at the tree.
“Clark?” he asked softly.
“I feel as if I remember this.”
“A tree. A house filled with warmth and the smells of good food coming from the kitchen.”
“Is it a specific place, or more of a feeling?”
Clark reached out to touch a dangling glass ornament.
Bruce wasn’t surprised. Clark must have been raised in an extraordinarily-good home, considering his virginity had been intact until his mid-twenties. Some Masters raised especially-beautiful slaves in isolation in order to command high prices, as virgins were highly-prized on the market, and some owners simply were good people, raising slaves without using them for sex when they came of age.
Though in Bruce’s experience, Clark would have been pegged to eventually make spreading his legs his primary slave function.
He lightly kissed Clark’s cheek.
They sat on the couch by the fireplace, a fire merrily crackling away. Alfred provided hot chocolate, Bruce smiling over the tiny marshmallows floating on top. Alfred took a seat in the corner, reading a book.
Snow fell lightly outside the window. Bruce felt more content than he had in years.
He and Clark talked softly, Bruce always happy during these little conversations. He was thrilled that brains came with the beauty.
Clark was the catalyst for all this contentment, and Bruce was happy to acknowledge that. His reasons for pushing Clark away were still valid, but he was done with all that now. He had committed to Clark. Hell, if Clark were a freeman he would have proposed marriage by now.
The morning passed to afternoon, Alfred going to prepare lunch. Clark was reading and Bruce moved to the window, sitting on the windowseat.
The snow had stopped, winter sunlight creating glittering diamonds on the white expanse covering the grounds. It was beauty that Bruce always loved to see.
His gaze fell on the smoke tree that his mother had planted the year he was six.
Sorry, Mom, I’m too much my father’s son.
He had tried to emulate his father and send a beloved slave away, but Clark’s anguished tears had breached his own walls, and he could never re-build them as long as he had his beautiful lover.
His foundation of denial had been shaky, for which he was eternally grateful.
How could you have sent Jamie away, Dad? Did you think of him every day, keep tabs on him? How much did it break your heart to give him up?
His father had been a stronger man, because in the end Bruce could not go through with parting from Clark.
Still, I don’t have a free spouse I also love. I can keep Clark. I just need to be very, very careful.
New Year’s was not that far away. Bruce sat back, watching a cardinal hop blood-red against the snow. It was a time for resolutions.
He was going to contact Martha Kent after the holidays.
He curled up on the windowseat. He had not let someone into his life for years. He had a very tight circle of family and friends.
There were a handful of friends he cared very much about. Ollie and Lex were on the top of the list, Bruce enjoying their friendly business rivalry and their shared backgrounds, and he knew he would give any help that they needed.
He also considered Dinah Lance, Ollie’s girlfriend, a friend. She was bright and witty and now that he knew she was the hard-kicking Black Canary, even more impressed.
He cared personally for a handful of relatives, Kathy No. 1 on the list. He also valued Lucius as a business associate and friend.
Alfred. What words could be used to describe him? Bruce had known for years that the dapper Englishman was more than just a family servant: he was a friend and had raised him singlehandedly after his parents’ deaths. Bruce cherished him and would give his life to protect him.
And of course that meant the same for Clark. Bruce had never been head-over-heels-in-love before. Not even his close friendships with Vicky Vale and Silver St. Cloud had come close.
He knew there would be rocky times ahead. Even discounting the Master/slave dynamic and the problems that could bring, Bruce had never been in such a romantic relationship before in his life. If Clark was free, they would be bound to clash, as Bruce expected to be obeyed. He had been raised as the Prince of Gotham, and while that meant his share of responsibilities, he also was within his rights to expect certain privileges.
New territory, and one that he was happily willing to explore.
Bruce looked over at Clark, who at that moment glanced up from his book and smiled at him, his rainbow manacles and collar reflecting the glitter of the Christmas tree, starlight in his sapphire eyes.
Heart swelling with love, Bruce rose from the windowseat and rejoined Clark on the couch. He slipped his arm around Clark’s shoulders and his lover nestled his head on his shoulder.
Yes, Bruce was very content.
He had a select circle of family and friends that he cared about, and he really didn’t expect anyone else to join that circle any time soon.
End of the Shadow Of The Bat Arc
Next: RobinSong Arc
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