Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/bruce, Dick, The Joker
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): PG-13
Summary: The fall-out begins.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): May 10, 2008
Date Of Posting: March 5, 2009
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 640
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
He will always regret it."
"The Slaveowners’ Manual"
“Clark! Bruce! Come on in! The water’s fine!”
Dick splashed in the waves, darting around like a dolphin as he laughed and gamboled. Clark and Bruce exchanged happy glances. Hand-in-hand they walked down the beach.
Calliope music began to play and Dick grew excited, swimming toward the sound.
Suddenly the waves parted and a brightly-colored figure broke the surface, startling Dick.
“Dick! Get away!” Clark screamed.
The clown face grinned evilly and grabbed Dick, who struggled furiously.
“Clark! Bruce! Help me!”
Clark tried to run forward but his feet were stuck in the sand. Bruce did no better, though Clark begged him to save Dick.
The Joker’s maniacal laugh hurt Clark’s ears. “C’mere, little birdie. We can have lots of fun together.” The Joker slipped an arm around Dick’s neck and began swimming away. “Just you and me, under the sea…” A knife glinted in the sun.
“No!” Clark struggled as the Clown Prince pressed the knife to Dick’s throat.
“Just you and me…” The Joker crooned into Dick’s ear as they disappeared under the sea, now a rich, deep red…
He awoke with Bruce’s hands gripping his arms.
“It’s all right, Clark, it’s all right.”
“No, it isn’t.”
Clark slipped out of Bruce’s grasp and out of bed, put on his robe, and quickly went to Dick’s room.
The boy was in a deep sleep, exhaustion shadowing his face. Clark gently stroked his hair with a featherlight touch.
Bruce appeared in the doorway, tying his robe’s sash. “He’s all right, Clark.”
“He can’t be Robin anymore.”
Bruce blinked. Uncertain of how to proceed, he cautiously approached the bed.
“He nearly died.”
Bruce gazed down at the sleeping child, his stomach knotting at the memory of the Joker nearly slitting Dick’s throat.
Several minutes later Clark rose and left the room. Bruce gently caressed Dick’s hair, then followed Clark.
Back in their bedroom, Clark was pacing. Bruce closed the door behind him.
“Clark, what’s going on?”
Clark stopped and looked at Bruce. “He can’t go back out there.”
“I know it was a close call…”
“Close call?! He was almost killed out there!”
“It’s dangerous out there.”
Clark’s eyes sparked. “Don’t you care that he almost died?”
Anger rose in Bruce. “Of course I do!” He frowned as he crossed his arms. “I know you got scared, Clark, so was I, but Dick burns for justice as I do. He shares the Mission…”
“The Mission!” Clark’s jaw clenched in anger. “The Mission isn’t more important than Dick!”
“Of course it isn’t.”
“But you will let him continue going out there.”
Bruce said nothing but Clark could read his expression. He walked past Bruce on his way out.
Clark turned back. “Are you going to continue?”
“Yes, that’s my decision.” Bruce set his jaw. Princely blood surged in his veins as his crossed arms tightened.
“So that’s it? The Master’s decision? So much for a partnership beyond the manacles.”
“…defying you? Yes, I am. You can drag me down to the whipping post in the garden.”
With a swirl of his robe, Clark was gone, leaving Bruce in a state of semi-shock.
Clark strode down the hall, entering the guest room on the other side of Dick’s room. He shut the door, shaking with anger…and the realization of what he’d just done.
He winced as a sharp pain sliced through his head. Bruce would be furious with him, but he could not back down. Dick’s safety…his life…was at stake.
He crawled into bed with a moan, pulling the covers up over his aching head.