Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Dick
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 begins his training, and Clark wants to help.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): January 31, 2008
Date Of Posting: November 10, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 749
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Dr. Alicia Moore
“Handbook For Parents”
THE EDUCATION OF A LITTLE BIRD
“That’s right, tuck-and-roll. Now come up and hit hard!”
Bruce’s voice was firm but encouraging as Dick followed his instructions. The boy was on his feet and punching the bag hanging over the mat.
“Good.” Bruce suddenly stepped on the mat and feinted, Dick reacting instantly and ducking, coming up with a punch of his own. Bruce parried and they were in full engagement.
Clark watched from his vantage point on the rowing machine. He didn’t claim to be an expert, but the boy looked very, very good.
And on the trapeze? He was showing Bruce a move or two.
Clark had always wanted Bruce to have a partner out on the streets, but worried over Dick. He was just a boy! Quick, intelligent, and physically capable, but Clark still worried. He loved this bright child who had come into their lives and didn’t want to see him hurt…or worse.
But he could not argue with Dick’s reasoning. As a slave he faced danger every day. Danger as the Batman’s partner would not be all that much more.
Dick laughed as he laid a punch on Bruce. Bruce smiled but continued, Dick dancing away, then made a spin move and kicked.
Clark saw that Dick had caught Bruce by surprise with that move but Bruce countered quickly.
Suddenly Bruce got in a shot and Dick ended up on the mat with a whuff! of air.
“Sorry ‘bout that,” Bruce said smugly. He reached down and helped Dick up.
“No, you’re not!” Dick grinned as he bounced up.
Dick burst into laughter. “What’s next, Bruce?”
Dick’s eyes lit up. He somersaulted backwards and ran to the trapeze and climbed up the pole as quick as the Flash.
Bruce shook his head with a smile. “Let’s join him.”
Clark jumped up from the rowing machine. “Right behind you, Master.”
“That’s a good position to be in.” Bruce winked.
They climbed the poke and settled on the platform, Dick already swinging out. Clark admired his grace as Dick swung around and caught the bar, swinging back.
The routine utilized the skills of all three of them, Dick so happy he was nearly flying without a bar.
Clark loved the flying, too. He wished he could practice more frequently but was just glad today was a dizzy-free day.
Today was a very good day.
“Look carefully at this photograph, Dick. What do you see?”
Dick studied the digital still, Clark looking, too. He was enjoying taking part in the training when he could. Dick made his observations.
“Very good, but the lamp is a key piece. Now…”
After the detective session, Bruce said to Dick, “I want you to get ready for hand-to-hand training.”
Dick bounced out of his chair and hurried to the gym.
“I’d like to take part, too.”
Bruce shook his head. “Yesterday on the trapeze was fine. Today you don’t look well.”
“I feel fine.” At Bruce’s piercing look he amended hastily, “Not for flying, but I can spar.”
Bruce turned to leave. Clark hurried forward and grasped Bruce’s arm. “Please, Bruce, I’m sure I can help.”
Bruce shook off his arm. “I said no!”
“Damnit, Bruce, what reason do you have for banning me? I want to be a part of Dick’s training, too. I…”
Clark winced as a pain sliced through his head. Bruce grabbed his arm.
“I’m…I’m sorry. You’re probably right. I shouldn’t try and horn in…”
“Sit down.” Bruce escorted Clark to the couch. He sat next to his lover. “Clark, I’m sorry.” Bruce gently stroked the back of his Beloved’s neck. “I’m so used to giving orders that sometimes I forget to consider your feelings.”
Clark smiled a little. “You expect obedience, and you should.”
“I should still listen.” Bruce’s dark-blue eyes were piercing but gentle. “Training with Dick is important to you, isn’t it?”
Clark nodded. “I want to help.”
Affection shone in Bruce’s eyes. “I think that can be arranged.” He put a hand on Clark’s chest. “As long as you’re well.”
“I’ll tell you the truth about that.” Clark was so earnest that Bruce smiled.
“So you can spar, but no trapeze?” At Clark’s nod, Bruce made a decision. “All right, come with me.”
A smiling Clark followed Bruce to the gym.