Title: Rainbow's Freedom (Sanctuary Arc) (8/17) (Part 1)
Characters/Pairings: Clark/Bruce, Alfred, Ollie Queen, Harvey Dent, Dax Mantell
Series Notes: In the 23rd century, Earth is a technologically-advanced society that practices slavery. The wealthy freeman Bruce Wayne acquires a highly-prized bedslave whom he learns to cherish...but can he every truly love a slave? 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: A gentleman's Code of Honor should never be broken.
Date Of Completion: February 21, 2007
Date Of Posting: April 3, 2007
Disclaimer: I don't own 'em, DC does, more's the pity.
Word Count: 2886
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author's Note: Once in awhile an original character will slip into the group up there in the Characters/Pairing line, so if you don't recognize the name, that's probably why. :)
The second part of this chapter can be found here.
“A gentleman should always be honorable
in all of his dealings, especially
with those who are his friends.”
Bertram Ellison Adams
“The Gentleman’s Code”
Bruce surveyed Clark, noting his nervousness. His slave was freshly-showered after their work-out, dressed in a white silk shirt and light-blue slacks. He fingered a manacle and awaited Bruce’s verdict.
Bruce pushed the hanging strands of Clark’s hair off his forehead. He didn’t want the curl showing. He didn’t know why but he had learned long ago to trust his instincts.
“And, of course, your dark glasses.”
Clark slipped them on.
“Very good, Master Bruce,” Alfred approved.
“Well, a full Veil wouldn’t allow for much companionship.” Bruce crossed his arms, his all-black outfit flattering him. He looked like a commando in turtleneck and slacks, Gucci loafers on his feet. “I could keep Clark here under a House Veil, but I do want to be able to walk through a bazaar or in the park with a companion, not a possession.”
“So the debut of the latest Wayne Acquisition has come?”
“Yes, it is a coming out, isn’t it?” Bruce looked at Clark. “So, Clark, ready to be introduced to the world?”
Still nervous, Clark nevertheless squared his shoulders. “Yes, Master.”
Bruce and Alfred exchanged approving looks.
“Will you return for dinner this evening, sir?”
“I intend to. If my plans change, I’ll call you.”
Alfred nodded. “Have a good day, Master Bruce, Clark.”
& & & & & &
The ride into the city was quiet. Cars were generally quieter than those of earlier generations , powered by the element irridium as discovered thirty Earth years ago, though a powerful engine could still make a noticeable noise. Bruce wondered at his uneasiness.
I could keep him hidden away. I will if I have to, but damnit, I want to have him with me.
“Where are we going, Master?”
“To the Gotham Stock Exchange. I need to see some people. Then maybe we’ll have some lunch.”
Clark looked worried. “Will I have to…to kneel…?”
“No, you’ll be seated just like me in a restaurant.” At Clark’s look of relief, Bruce felt a twinge of guilt, then continued, “You will have to keep your gaze downcast, glasses or not, when I meet someone.” Clark nodded. “And, Clark…” Hi slave looked directly at him “…you must obey me instantly.”
Clark removed his glasses, his eyes a very clear blue. “Always, Master.”
Bruce felt a surge of happiness at such an oath of fealty.
Of course he must say so. You’re his Master. Bruce adjusted his wristwatch. Hmph. You know it was different.
Bruce and Clark emerged from the limousine in the heart of the financial district, Clark’s dark glasses firmly back on.
Well-dressed stockbrokers and other financial mavens hurried by on their way to self-important destinations. There were no reporters or paparazzi around but Bruce knew it was only a matter of time.
A woman dressed in a Russian sable tottered by on high heels, leading a young man by a length of chain attached to his collar. Another slave trotted by, sunlight glinting off his collar as he held a manila folder in front of him.
They passed a newsstand. Copies of Christianity In The 23rd Century posed the question, ‘The Great Debate: Do Slaves Have Souls?’; the cover of Time asked, ‘Is The Batman Necessary?’; Gotham Arts And Culture featured a story on the current exhibition at the Gotham Art Museum, ‘Amazons In Chains’, and Washington Weekly opined on the Senate’s Armed Services Committee recommending an increased budget for the Pentagon.
Bruce and Clark entered the Victorian-era building that housed the Gotham City Stock Exchange. The lobby was filled with people coming and going, Bruce forging ahead as he and Clark headed for the trading floor.
Bruce stopped, Clark sidestepping just in time to avoid bumping into him.
Ollie Queen smiled as he held out his hand and Bruce shook it. “Glad to see you out and about, Bruce. You’ve been working at home a lot.” He looked at Clark, whose head was bowed, as was proper.
“Yes, well, I needed to attend to some things.” Bruce knew protocol demanded that he grasp Clark’s chin and present him for inspection unless he chose to ignore his slave’s presence. The lack of presentation would label him property of either no consequence or of such prized status he was not to be exposed.
But no notice of him would be more compatible with a Veil.
All of this raced through Bruce’s head in the space of a few seconds. He decided on another option: he lightly touched Clark’s arm just above the manacle. Clark raised his head, Bruce noting with pride the look of appreciation in Ollie’s green eyes. Ollie had seen Clark at the auction but not this close.
He’d probably propose marriage if Clark removed his glasses, Bruce thought in amusement.
“So, why are you in Gotham, Ollie?”
“I had a meeting with Harvey. We’re working on a Government contract together.”
The three men walked toward the trading floor, Clark staying a step behind.
“Is this a new one?”
“Yep.” Ollie stroked his now-beardless chin. “Looks like the rumors may be true.”
“About the Collective?”
Ollie nodded. “Been awhile since we had a war.”
“Mmm.” Bruce frowned. “A war with the Collective would be full-scale, messy, and very lengthy.”
“That’s why the Govs want to start loading up.”
“What’s the manpower situation?”
“Not sure.” Ollie waved to an acquaintance. “The breeding farms are supplying the slave soldiers, but stories have been drifting around that they’re short of freemen officers.”
The noise of the trading floor blasted out as the ornate doors opened. While Bruce usually preferred quiet, his pulse always raced with excitement when he entered the floor.
Maybe the financial buzz is in my blood.
Bruce and Ollie surveyed the scene from the balcony that ringed the chaotic floor below. Clark leaned over, interest obvious in his face.
Brokers shouted and listened to earpierces feeding them information, computer screens glowing with numbers. Large television screens dominated the floor, news reports mixed in with trading numbers flashing across the screens.
Bruce watched the monitors. He saw no evidence of any military build-up, but then the Government would want to keep it quiet until they had subtly prepared people for the possibility. Businessmen like Ollie would be privy to much more information than the general public.
Ollie pointed down to the floor and waved. “There’s our brokers. I set up a meeting with them.”
Bruce nodded. Meeting with his broker had been the reason he had come into the city. Ollie was a bonus.
“I see you have a new whore.”
Bruce turned. Harvey and another businessman, Dax Mantell, were smiling wolfishly at Clark. Ollie remained cool but inched infinitesimally closer to Clark.
Bruce allowed his smile to be cordial. The term was not insulting because technically it was true, but he still disliked it.
“Harvey, Dax.” He inclined his head. “I didn’t know you were on-planet, Dax.”
The Rigellian smiled. Resembling Earth Humans, the Rigellians were the first race that mankind had encountered as they had moved out into space in the 21st century. His dark hair was streaked with purple, a natural hair coloring for his species.
Rigellians also were one of the oldest races to practice slavery, renowned experts in the slave trade. Paired with the Orions, they dominated the richly profitable industry.
“I just arrived yesterday.”
The accent was slight but noticeable. Clark stiffened, his fingers curling around the railing.
“Can we see your new pet, Bruce?” Harvey asked. His eyes were nearly glowing as they raked over Clark’s body.
“Certainly, you may view my Prized Possession.”
Bruce lightly touched Clark’s arm.
As Clark turned, Bruce saw the understanding on Dax’s face. Bruce had deliberately used the euphemism for bedslave, which also telegraphed a ‘hands-off’ policy.
Let them ogle all they want. They won’t be seeing much. Bruce wasn’t about to order Clark to disrobe for them. Damn, maybe I should have Veiled him. But he didn’t want that! He didn’t want Clark to trail around after him either half-naked or completely covered. Maybe he should just have left him at home, but he didn’t want that, either.
His scowl seemed to amuse Harvey, who was eager to undress Clark, even if only with his eyes. Clark kept his gaze downward, remembering the protocol, and Bruce deliberately did not lift his chin up. Dax was enjoying a survey, but more restrained than Harvey’s open leer.
“High quality, Bruce,” Dax said appreciatively.
“Yes, extremely high quality,” Harvey purred. His hand hovered close to Clark’s hip, but it would be extremely bad taste to touch Bruce’s slave without permission. “Such delicious lips.” Harvey turned to Bruce. “May I taste him?”