Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Dick, Alfred
Series Notes: In the 23rd century, Earth is a technologically-advanced society that practices the ancient institution of slavery. As Bruce and Clark try and adjust to being lovers as well as Master and slave, on a warm spring night a new member of the Wayne Household is added: a little boy whom Bruce sadly identifies with. Dick Grayson further pushes Bruce along the path of Abolitionism as the child brings further Light into the Manor. The entire series can be found here.
Genres: Drama, AU
Rating: (this chapter): G
Summary: Dick is brought home to Wayne Manor.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): August 17, 2007
Date Of Posting: April 8, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1026
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
From the nest.
Its tiny heart
In its chest.
To reach the sky.
To make you
Tended and petted
Lavished with care,
Little bird is home now,
In the air.
Emily Adams Cutler
“Yellow Roses And Other Poems”
LITTLE BIRD HOME
The limousine glided along the streets of Gotham quietly. Bruce looked out the tinted window, trying to chase away old memories.
Memories that lived in the darkness of night, with screams and blood and an awful, tearing grief.
Bruce looked at Clark and Dick, a small smile curving his lips. Obviously the two had already bonded. Clark’s heart had already been captured by the young boy asleep in his arms.
As for his bond with the boy…
In the moment he had met the child’s eyes asking him why Bruce had bought him, a bond had been created between them, lightning-quick and draped in shared pain and grief.
Bruce gently laid a hand on the boy’s hair, Clark giving him a smile.
The city streets turned to country roads, and Bruce began to feel a little better. As much as Gotham was in his blood, Wayne Manor was all that much more.
As the limousine went through the iron gates and up the curved driveway, Bruce thought of his small Household and how it was now expanded by one.
A sense of déjà vu settled over Bruce as the limousine pulled up to the front door, Alfred coming out and Bruce exiting the car, Clark right behind him as he urged a sleepy Dick forward.
“Alfred.” Bruce took a deep breath. “I made a purchase.”
“Yes, sir.” Alfred looked at Dick. “The evening news had the story.”
The echo of that conversation from six months ago hung in the pleasant spring air. Dick’s tired eyes grew wide as he took in the grand, imposing Manor. He looked at Alfred and instinctively relaxed. Alfred smiled at him and gently escorted him into the house, a hand on his shoulder.
More wide-eyed looks from Dick as they entered the gleaming foyer, his sequined costume sparkling in the light from the chandelier, yellow cape bright and cheerful.
Bruce said, “Dick.” The boy immediately turned. “Alfred will explain your duties, but not right now. Try and get some sleep.”
“Alfred, he’ll be in my old room.”
“Very good, sir. Come this way, Dick.”
Dick obediently climbed the grand staircase with Alfred, once again looking extremely tired.
Clark quietly took the small bag that he had helped Dick pack from Brendan. He removed his glasses and tiredly rubbed his eyes after the chauffeur had left.
“His life before wasn’t all smiles and happiness.”
“No, but he won’t have to worry about such service again.”
Clark replaced his dark glasses. “I’ll bring his bag up.”
Bruce folded his arms and watched Clark head up the stairs. He stayed motionless for several minutes, then, as if drawn by a magnet, walked down the hall to the library.
& & & & & &
When Clark entered Bruce’s childhood room, he saw Dick standing in front of the antique Haly’s Circus poster on the wall, fresh tears running down the boy’s face. Alfred was turning down the covers on the bed.
Clark went up to Dick, resting a hand on his shoulder, gently squeezing.
Dick turned and wiped away his tears. “I…I…”
“It’s all right to cry.”
“A…A Squire can’t be bawling all over the place…”
“Dick, Master Bruce won’t begrudge you tears on this night.”
Dick swallowed and nodded. Alfred took the bag from Clark and set it on the bed. “Let’s get you unpacked,” he said, and Dick moved to help. He looked at Clark and gave him a tiny smile, then started helping Alfred sort through his clothes.
Very soon the clothes were placed in drawers and the closet, Dick had changed into a pair of light-blue pajamas and climbed into bed, and Clark was tucking him in. Alfred said goodnight and Clark was about to follow him when Dick said his name.
Clark sat on the edge of the bed. “What is it?” he asked softly.
Worried blue eyes met his. “Clark, what about my parents? Where will they be…be buried?”
“Master Bruce will take care of everything. He’s going to bury them in the slave section of the Wayne family plot. Please don’t worry.” Clark tilted his head. “What else, Dick?”
“What kind of Master is…is Lord Wayne?”
“A good man, Dick. Gentle and kind and he’ll always protect you.” Clark gently cupped the boy’s chin. “He expects obedience, as any Master would, but he’s fair and generous.” Clark felt that he had to add the part about obedience. He didn’t want Dick to get the wrong idea about Bruce’s generous nature. Bruce indulged and even spoiled, but he didn’t tolerate outright disobedience.
Dick relaxed, and Clark smiled at him. “If you need something, Master Bruce and I are right next door, and Alfred is a few doors down.”
“Shouldn’t…shouldn’t I be serving, not being served?”
Clark gently pushed Dick’s hair back off his forehead. “You’ll be serving your share, believe me, but in this Household, you have the right to be cared for.” Clark smiled sadly. “I know it’s hard, but try and get some sleep. And…you’re safe here.”
Clark started to rise when Dick grabbed his hand.
Clark smiled again and squeezed his hand. “You’re welcome, Dick.”
& & & & & &
Bruce stared at the painting of his parents, the old pain flaring deep down inside him. He’d never forgotten that night, but there were days when the pain was dulled, almost bearable, and he even managed to smile and laugh, but there were days when it was as fresh and raw as he had first experienced it…
…and tonight was becoming raw and sharp.
Clark appeared in the doorway, then walked into the room. He took Bruce’s cold hand.
“Come to bed, Bruce,” he said softly.