Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Barry/Iris, Hal/Steve
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: Hal and Steve stop in Central City to meet Iris’ boyfriend.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): January 14, 2008
Date Of Posting: October 8, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1124
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
They ought to be registered with the Government
Instead of acting like independent contractors.”
Senator Clyde Hackell, R-TX
A LITTLE ICE IS NICE
“Barry, darling, I want you to meet a couple of dear friends.”
Barry Allen looked up from his microscope and greeted Iris with a smile. He stood up and shook hands with the two Air Force majors.
“Major Trevor, Major Jordan, glad to meet you.”
“Please, it’s Steve and Hal,” said Steve with a smile.
Barry smiled back. “I want to thank you for escorting Iris back home. She speaks highly of you.”
“It was our pleasure, Mr. Allen.”
Iris was beaming. “Three of my favorite fellas all together.”
Barry laughed and kissed her on the cheek. “Do you gentlemen have business here in Central City?”
“On our way to Metropolis. We thought we’d stop by and meet you,” Hal said.
“I’m honored.” Barry chuckled. “Let me treat you to dinner tonight.”
“Sounds good to me!”
Iris and Barry made plans to pick up Hal and Steve at their hotel. Iris kissed Barry. “See you tonight.”
“Count on it.”
Barry certainly hoped so. He never knew what was going to come up at the last minute.
He touched the ring on his finger.
The Crystal Cave was a supper club that harkened back to the days of 20th Century theme clubs. Everything was glittery and icy with sparkling walls, glass tables and chairs, and blue/white crystalline centerpieces on each table.
The waitstaff wore blue/white costumes that were tight and sequined, the women with bare shoulders and low-cut bodices, the men with pants so tight, they looked painted on.
Hal and Steve were impressed.
“Great, um, décor here, Barry,” said Hal.
Barry laughed. “Thought you might enjoy some Central City sights.”
“Oh, I am, I am!”
Iris looked like a gorgeous Ice Queen in her own low-cut blue/white gown, Barry in a three-piece suit and Hal and Steve in dress uniforms.
“The scenery’s great,” Hal enthused. “How’s the food?”
“Top-notch,” said Barry. “The chef specializes in Aldebaran sea bass.”
Hal’s eye lit up. “Excellent!”
Steve laughed. “He won’t even have to look at the menu.”
Hal winked, Barry and Iris exchanging grins.
Their waitress, a perky blond, brought menus, ice-blue with white beaded tassels.
“Ha, ha,” Hal said. “Iced teas; lemon, strawberry or blueberry ices, ice cream sundaes, Jovaran blue bass…”
“There’s the sea bass, Hal.” Iris pointed to the item on the menu.
“All set.” Hal slapped down the menu, beads rattling.
“Toldja,” Steve said with snicker.
After their orders were taken, Barry produced a section of newspaper.
“Has anyone seen this?”
“What is it?” Iris reached over and plucked it out of his hand. “Ah, the Wayne interview in The Daily Planet.”
“Bruce gave an excellent interview,” Steve said.
“’Bruce’?” Barry smirked. “You’re on a first-name basis with the Prince of Gotham?”
“Actually, we are,” Steve said smugly.
Iris laughed at Barry’s expression.
“Sorry,” Barry said, blushing slightly at his shock.
Steve grinned. “No problem. Hal and I met him last fall.”
“This is a pretty interesting interview. Bruce Wayne has never really spoken about slavery before.” Iris scanned the article.
“He doesn’t have a big slave staff, does he?” asked Barry.
“No. He has Alfred, who is his butler, his Prize, and his Squire. His chauffeur is a freeman, and so are all his employees at Wayne Enterprises.” Steve drank his icewater.
“Ah, yes. His Prize. A pleasure slave’s name.”
Steve nodded. “Far as we could tell, Bruce treated all of his slaves well. It doesn’t surprise us that he is pushing for more humane treatment in general.”
“He sounds a little…snobbish…with his talk of mistreatment of slaves as a lack of good breeding. Frankly, I find slave mistreatment to be a lack of principle and character.”
Iris turned the page. “I think he’s got the right idea. His class is highly influential. If the Prince speaks, the rest of the nobility will listen.”
“Come now, dear, you know there’s no royalty in America.” Barry grinned.
Amused looks passed around the table.
“Somebody better tell the Prince that,” Hal said affectionately. “Bruce isn’t one of those rich jerks, Barry. Sure, he can be arrogant due to his bloodline, but not as much as you might think.”
“Good to hear.”
Suddenly, the world shattered as shards flew around from the wall behind their table. Screams pierced the club as people scrambled to avoid the glass.
Hal grabbed Iris’ hand and Steve followed them as they ran to the far end of the room.
“Ladies and gentlemen, remain calm.” A man in a fur-lined blue parka and snow goggles appeared at the entrance, holding an odd-looking gun, backed by minions in ski clothes and masks.
“Captain Cold!” screamed one woman.
He bowed. “At your service. Now,” he aimed his gun, “I just want your own ice, as in jewels. Cash and plastic, too.”
One of the patrons made a move for his cellphone and the gun blasted a crystalline flash of light.
The man was frozen in a block of ice.
“Come now, quickly, and we can be on our way.”
The henchmen began circulating, grabbing valuables as they pointed their guns.
Suddenly, a whoosh! of air scattered menus, their beads jingling as they hit the floor.
A scarlet-and-gold blur disarmed the robbers. Captain Cold screamed, “Not you again!”
The blur slowed down and the Flash smiled. “That’s right.”
Cold aimed his gun but the Flash smirked as he sidestepped the ray. With a blur of motion, the Scarlet Speedster ran forward and knocked the gun out of Cold’s hand. Cold whipped out a smaller gun and aimed at the customers, but once again, Flash was far too fast for him.
Flash grabbed a tablecloth and wrapped Cold up. “Call the police!”
“Already done,” said Hal. He and Steve rounded up the henchmen while the Flash saluted them, then sped off.
“Wow, we got to see one of the superheroes in action,” Steve said with a smile.
“Pretty slick guy,” Hal agreed. “You okay, Iris?”
“Peachy. Barry, what happened to you?”
Barry staggered forward from behind an overturned table, a handkerchief pressed to his temple. “I got a head injury from some flying glass.”
“Let me see.” Iris winced. “Nasty.”
Hal smiled at the starry-eyed look in Steve’s eyes. “You’re such a fanboy.”
Steve chuckled. “I suppose I am. Wish we’d seen Batman in Gotham.”
“We’ll have to stop in Star City to see if we can catch a glimpse of the Arrow and Canary.”
“We need more heroes.”
“You’re probably right.”
Steve smiled and squeezed his lover’s hand.