bradygirl_12 (bradygirl_12) wrote,

Rainbow's Freedom (Paradise Arc) (6/37)

Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Paradise Arc) (6/37)
Author: BradyGirl
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Dick, Clark/Bruce, Melody, Ollie/Dinah, Hal/Steve, Alfred, Lex/Jamie
Series Notes: In the 23rd century, Earth is a technologically-advanced society that practices the ancient institution of slavery. As Bruce and Clark continue to juggle being lovers as well as Master and slave, Bruce continues his Abolitionist work, and a shocking Family Secret is revealed. Meanwhile, the Queen Family welcomes a new member, and Steve and Hal meet their Destinies, although neither one realizes it yet. The entire series can be found here.
Genres: Drama, AU
Rating: (this chapter): G
Warnings: None
Spoilers: None
Summary: Dick and Melody go trick-or-treating. :)
Date Of Completion (First Draft): April 22, 2008
Date Of Posting: 2009
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1528
Feedback welcome and appreciated.

"In 20th century postwar America, a long-standing tradition became a ritual that children, free or slave, considered their own as a rite of passage. Trick-or-treating was everything that children loved: dress-up, laughter, and candy!"

Dr. Malcolm Atterbury
"The Baby Boomers
And Their Influence
On America,
Past And Future"
2206 C.E.



“Can we go now?”

Dick was nearly bouncing in his eagerness, and Bruce laughed as he ruffled the boy’s hair. “It appears that Melody is ready. And so pretty, too.” Melody beamed as she twirled a little, showing off her fairy princess costume, complete with sparkling tiara and wand.

“She certainly is,” Ollie agreed as he entered the foyer. “Ah, Mama Mia, how pretty you look!” Melody smiled, a little nonplussed at all the attention.

“Clark, Dinah, we’re ready to go!” Bruce called.

Excited, Dick picked up his orange treat bag with a silhouette of a grinning Jack O’Lantern and handed one to Melody. Dressed as the Lone Ranger, he smirked as he put his domino mask on while he waited impatiently to begin.

Dinah and Clark came down the staircase, Steve and Hal behind them.

“Are you guys coming, too?” Ollie asked as he straightened Melody’s wings.

“Wouldn’t miss it!” Hal grinned.

“Okay, then let’s mount up, Cowboy!” Bruce said to Dick, who grinned and took Melody’s hand, escorting her outside.

“Hold down the fort, Alfred,” Bruce said with a smile.

“Of course, sir.”

Lex came out of the kitchen with Jamie. “We’ll help Alfred man the fort. When you get back, we should still have plenty of time to prepare for the Ball.”

“Thanks, Lex.”

Outside, Bruce glanced up. Brendan would keep watch from his apartment over the garage, and security cameras were trained on the front door.

Never hurt to be cautious.

The night was clear and cold, perfect for Halloween. Moonlight shimmered down, illuminating the grinning faces of Jack O’Lanterns and other decorations.

As they walked along the quiet country road, Bruce remembered past Halloweens with his parents the ones trailing behind an excited little boy, who was dressed as Zorro or the Gray Ghost or Captain America.

Bruce felt the old familiar pain as he thought of his parents, but they were happy memories. He slipped his hand into Clark’s, his lover smiling as he squeezed his hand.

Dinah slipped her arm around Ollie’s waist. “Our fairy princess seems very happy.”

“Glad to see our cara mia so animated.”

“Dick brings out the best in her.”

“I’d say that Melody isn’t the only one he performs that magic on.”

Dinah noticed the clasped hands of their companions. She smiled to herself.

“It’s a beautiful night,” Steve observed as he looked up at the stars.

“Great night for flying,” Hal grinned.

Steve laughed. “Always the pilot, eh?”

“You know it, Stevie boy.”

At the first house, as lavishly decorated as Wayne Manor, Dick and Melody ran up the long driveway, ringing the doorbell and shouting the age-old chant, “Trick-or-treat!” The door opened, admiring exclamations were heard over their costumes, and candy dropped into bags as the Jack O’Lanterns leered with eerie grins from the veranda.

Leaves swirled in frantic arcs as the wind blew, the street quiet except for the silken murmur of costumes, the distant sounds of happy children and faint chants of “Trick-or-treat!” The trees whispered as their branches bent, moonlight silvering their limbs.

At the next house, the adults burst out laughing.

Four out of five of the trick-or-treaters already there were wearing Robin costumes.

“Hmm, seems like Batman’s partner is quite popular with the younger set,” Bruce observed as Dick beamed and Melody giggled.

Clark laughed. “I’m sure there are Bats around.”

“Oh, it doesn’t really matter. Children should emulate Robin. He’s a bright, cheerful soul who gets the job done without losing himself in the darkness.”

Bruce could feel Clark’s concerned gaze on him, his hand squeezed.

“Master…” Clark said softly.

Bruce looked at him with a small smile. “Don’t worry, my Prize. The darkness is beaten back by you and my sparkling Squire.”

Clark’s smile blazed, Bruce feeling warmth spread through him. He was so lucky, so very lucky.

The first group of trick-or-treaters cheerfully went past the adults as the little party approached the second house, comparing their ‘loot’.

“Trick-or-treat!” shouted Dick and Melody in unison.

The maid at the door was delighted. “Such a lovely fairy princess! And a classic cowboy! The mask…you’re the Lone Ranger, right?”

“Yes, Miss!”

“Where’s Tonto?”

Dick laughed. “Even the Lone Ranger needs a partner, right?” He winked at Bruce.

The maid’s bracelets sparkled in the moonlight. Dick’s sleeve was pulled slightly back, revealing part of his own manacle, but Bruce knew that she wouldn’t refuse a fellow slave. He had made a discreet canvas of the neighborhood and learned which houses would serve slave children, bypassing those who did not.

He didn’t want an unpleasant memory to be associated with the children’s first trick-or-treating. He wanted to protect his family as much as possible.

“They’re really adorable,” Dinah chuckled. “Is this Dick’s first time?”

“Yes. He never had an opportunity to do this while in the circus.”

“Melody’s an old hand now. She went out for the first time last year.”

“Oh, I thought it was her first.”

“She was really nervous, poor thing.”

“She’s getting over some of her timidity,” Ollie said. “I can’t blame her much, though.” Anger sparked in his eyes. “No doubt we’re bypassing the Caldwell estate.”

“Absolutely,” Bruce said. “I wouldn’t put it past the old man to poison any candy given out to slaves.”

Dinah shuddered, Clark looking slightly ill. Hal and Steve frowned.

“This guy is like a blight on the neighborhood,” Hal said.

“That’s a good description,” Bruce agreed.

Dick and Melody ran up, the children’s eyes sparkling through their masks.

“The candy here is really good, and the maid gave us two of everything.” Dick offered his bag. “Want some?”

Bruce ruffled Dick’s hair, knocking the cowboy hat off. Dick grinned as he retrieved it.

“No, we’ll take a look after you tally everything, but thanks for the offer.”

Dick beamed and ran with Melody down the driveway.

“You’re raising a generous soul,” Steve observed.

“He already has the generosity,” Bruce said, but his voice was proud.

& & & & & &

The rest of the tour of the neighborhood was successful, the only dark spot that of the looming Caldwell estate. Melody went a little pale and Dick shivered as they quickly passed the main gates, open to lure trick-or-treaters. Even the adults quickened their pace past the House of Horrors, the neighborhood slaves’ nickname for the estate.

Bruce was glad when they reached the next house.

& & & & & &

Back at the Manor the children eagerly divvied up their candy, an impressive amount piled next to each of them as they sat in the foyer. They traded candy, giggling while they bartered and sampled.

Bruce was very happy to see them enjoying themselves. Dick’s limp had grown more noticeable by the end of their rounds, and it reminded him that happiness could always be taken away at a moment’s notice.

“So, you and Melody collected quite a haul,” Bruce said as he crouched down next to Melody.

“Yes, sir!” Dick said. “Choose a piece, Bruce. More than one if you want.”

“Yes, choose, m’lord,” Melody said shyly.

Bruce looked at two eager faces and poked through the wrapped candy. “Mmm, lemon-filled.” Bruce picked out the candy bar and looked further. “And this peanut butter cup. Love peanut butter.” Bruce winked and both children giggled.

Bruce sat cross-legged on the floor, eating his candy and chatting.

He was impressed by how quick-witted Melody was, and was glad that Ollie and Dinah had hired a tutor for her soon after acquiring her. He knew well that the Caldwells liked slaves kept ignorant.

Clark appeared and smiled. “Hey, you aren’t going to spoil your dinner, little boy?”

Bruce defiantly popped chocolate in his mouth.

Clark laughed. “Okay, be that way.” He sauntered up the staircase. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

The three conspirators grinned.

& & & & & &

Upstairs, Clark showered and laid out his and Bruce’s costumes. He had been very pleased to see Bruce with Dick and Melody. Any time that Bruce relaxed was a good thing.

Clark hummed as he put on his underwear. So far the evening had gone well, Dick and Melody thrilled with their part of the festivities.

The door opened and Bruce walked in. “I’m glad we were able to take the kids trick-or-treating.”

“They had a great time.”

The doorbell rang.

“Still at it, I see,” Bruce smirked. He came up behind Clark and wrapped his arms around his waist, resting his chin on Clark’s shoulder.

Clark smiled. “All kids love trick-or-treating.” A shadow crossed his face, unseen by Bruce. His childhood was a mystery.

“The adults’ trick-or-treating is tonight,” Bruce said cheerfully.

Clark roused himself from his gloom. “Of course. The Ball is always fun.”

Bruce hugged him. “Love you,” he whispered.

Clark smiled as he turned around in Bruce’s embrace and kissed him.

Tags: alfred pennyworth, clark kent/bruce wayne, dick grayson, green arrow/black canary, green lantern/steve trevor, hal jordan/steve trevor, lex luthor/jamie, melody, ollie queen/dinah lance, paradise arc, rainbow's freedom, robin, superman/batman
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