Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Lois Lane, 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): PG-13
Summary: Lois learns more about the Wayne Household.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): January 9, 2008
Date Of Posting: September 23, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1172
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Can be like family members.
Slaves are property.
Professor Reed Martin
“The Master/Slave Dynamic”
A BEAUTIFUL FAMILY
The sound of laughter drifted in through the windows. Dick was cartwheeling across the lawn, Alfred and Clark his appreciative audience.
Bruce directed his attention to Lois, who had looked out the window at the cheerful sounds. Her direct question to him about his belief about Abolitionism hung in the air.
“I believe in humane treatment of slaves, Ms. Lane. The Abolitionist Movement is working toward that goal, and I support it.”
Lois decided to drop this line of questioning. Bruce Wayne was not about to come out directly for Abolitionism unless he was willing to sell his slaves.
From the affection in his eyes when he had looked out the window, there would be no sales pending.
“An admirable sentiment, Mr. Wayne,” she mumbled.
“What are your views, Ms. Lane?”
Wayne seemed genuinely interested, so Lois considered her words carefully.
“As a reporter, I’m not supposed to give opinions, but I’ll make the exception.” Bruce’s smile was charming, at the very least. “I don’t believe human beings…any beings…should enslave others. It’s not pre-ordained by God or the Gods as to who’s born slaves or free; it’s just random chance. We’re the lucky ones who won the birth lottery.” She jerked her head toward the window. “They weren’t.”
Lois saw the expression that flickered across Bruce’s face. Suddenly apologetic, she smiled. “I believe you when you say you treat your slaves well. They’re probably happy, or as happy as anyone can be in their situation. I don’t believe you are a cruel man.”
Lois realized that she honestly believed that, to her surprise. Either Bruce Wayne was a helluva actor or he really did care about his slaves.
“Come meet them.”
Pleasantly surprised, Lois followed Bruce out to the backyard, picking up her book from his desk on the way.
Dick was somersaulting while Clark and Alfred laughed and clapped. Dick landed and bowed with a big grin. When he saw Lois, his smile faded and he ran to stand between Alfred and Clark, eyes cast down.
“Ms. Lane, my Household.”
Lois heard the pride in Bruce’s voice.
“This is the head of the staff and Majordomo of the Manor, Alfred.”
“A pleasure to meet you, m’lady.”
“Thank you, Alfred.” Lois noted the proper mien and approved.
“This is my Squire, Richard.”
Dick looked up. Lois blinked. The joy and brightness radiating from the child made her smile.
“You’re an excellent acrobat.”
“Thank you, ma’am. I come from The Flying Graysons.”
“Ah, that’s right. One of the best trapeze acts in the country, nay, the world.”
Dick beamed. He looked ready to spring into another set of somersaults.
Delighted, Lois looked at Bruce, who nodded. Her fingers cupped his Prize’s chin and lifted.
This slave was certainly worthy of the title. Even partially-Veiled, she noted the strong, muscular body; the glossy dark, hair; and the lush lips.
She wished that she could see his eyes. They were probably stunning.
Beautiful voice, too. Quite the Prize.
She dropped her hand away, but not before lightly rubbing his chin.
“I have something for you.” Lois presented the Prize his book, opening it to the page with her autograph.
His smile lit up the garden.
“Thank you so much, m’lady!”
“You’re very welcome.”
The smile blazed through her.
Wayne, you’re one lucky man.
It was a beautiful day: sparkling ocean, singing birds, warm sun.
And a beautiful family out enjoying it, with three of the four wearing manacles and collars, owned by the fourth.
And yet Lois could feel their happiness.
She smiled at the shy Prize, at the bright-eyed boy, at the serene English butler.
“It’s lovely out here.”
“Let’s finish up at the table.”
There was a round, white table by the seawall. Lois and Bruce sat down and Bruce asked, “So, what did you think of my Household?”
“A very charming group.”
“I consider them lucky to be here, on this estate.”
“Now, a few more questions, Mr. Wayne, about the charity ball you plan on attending in Metropolis…”
When the interview was finished, Lois stood up and said, “Thank you, Mr. Wayne. A very informative interview. Expect it in The Daily Planet’s Sunday Magazine.”
“I look forward to it, Ms. Lane. Your work is exemplary. And thank you again for signing my Prize’s book.”
“You’re welcome, Mr. Wayne.” Bruce signaled Alfred to escort Lois out. “Oh, and Mr. Wayne?”
“You’d better Veil Richard in a few years.”
Bruce looked over at Dick. “Yes, I know.” He looked at Lois. “Thank you for your concern.”
Lois nodded and followed Alfred out.
“Bruce, did it all go well?”
Bruce smiled at Dick’s inquiry. He ruffled the boy’s hair.
“Yes, it did.”
“Cool! This is your first shot in your NAS campaign!”
“It sure is.” Bruce patted the spot on the picnic table bench next to him. “Up here.” Dick happily hopped up onto the bench, Bruce putting his arm around his shoulders. He suddenly wanted to keep his little boy as a child a little while longer, because Lois was right.
His beautiful little boy was going to attract a hell of a lot of unwanted attention as soon as he reached puberty.
He was going to be stunning.
Dick laughed as a robin hopped up on the table, bright eyes inquisitive.
“I gotta fill the bird feeder again.”
“Yes, you do.” Bruce hugged him. “He and his wife have a home above the kitchen door.” Dick chuckled and the robin flew off into a tree. “Alfred tells me that you take care of all the birds around here. You’re even worried about the bats down in the Cave.”
Dick squirmed a little. “Bats sometimes need help, too.”
“Yes, they do.” Bruce stroked Dick’s hair.
They watched as another robin flew to the nest over the door, settling in.
“Must have eggs.”
“They’ll be babies soon!” Dick was delighted at the prospect.
“Yes.” Bruce patted Dick’s back. “You know that I’m proud of you?”
Dick twisted around to look at Bruce. “Why?”
“You’re just right with people like Ms. Lane. She was very impressed with you.”
“Yes.” Bruce smiled. “You’re a Light to this Family, Dick.”
Dick blushed and ducked his head. “Thank you, Bruce.”
Bruce kissed the top of Dick’s head.
Alfred returned and Bruce said, “Ask Clark to come over, Alfred. After you…” he hugged a giggling Dick “…go get changed and go down to the beach. Alfred, please accompany him.”
Alfred nodded while Dick hugged Bruce in joy and scampered off.
Alfred and Clark returned and the butler went inside to change.
“What is it, Bruce?”
Bruce reached up his hand to grasp Clark’s. “Let’s go upstairs.”
Surprised yet delighted, Clark happily obeyed.