Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Dick, Alfred
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: Dick is determined to get Bruce and Clark back together.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): May 13, 2008
Date Of Posting: March 20, 2009
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1586
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
but keep watch over it so that it doesn’t boil over and make a mess."
Clark awoke, shivering as he pulled the covers up more tightly to his chin.
It was quiet in the Manor at this hour. At four o’clock, patrol should be finished. He listened for any noises but all was quiet except for the rhythmic sound of the ocean.
He tried not to think of Dick’s first night out as Robin after the kidnapping.
He tried not to think of removing himself from his Master’s bed.
Bruce would well be within his rights to whip him for such insolence, thinking of the whipping post in the garden that now served as a rose trellis. He had dared defy his Master and deny him his body, which was his primary duty, after all!
But what could he do? If he and Bruce were to be more than Master and slave, shouldn’t Bruce listen to him instead of pulling out the Master card and high-handedly making the decision about Dick?
Was he still just a slave to Bruce?
Wincing from his headache, he burrowed deeper into the covers.
“Good job tonight.” Bruce pulled off his gauntlets and Dick bounced happily.
“Thanks, Bruce!” He removed his cape and gauntlets, wiggling his toes as he removed his pixie boots. “So, what’s up with you and Clark?”
Bruce froze in the act of removing his cape. “That needn’t concern you.”
“’Course it does.” Dick unlaced his tunic. “We’re family, right?”
Bruce’s expression was unreadable, his cowl still on. Dick continued to cheerfully disrobe and grabbed a towel as he headed for the showers.
After a snack in the kitchen, Bruce and Dick headed upstairs. Dick said “Good night” in a soft voice and went into his room, Bruce’s “Good night” trailing after him.
Bruce sighed as he entered his room, glancing at the empty bed, a mixture of pain and irritation slicing through him. Royal blood boiled as he thought of his slave’s defiance, the urge to punish strong in him, but then he sighed again.
He brushed his teeth and returned to the bedroom, untying his robe as he slid into bed, his arms sliding across empty space. Shivering, he pulled the covers up.
The whole day had felt wrong, from waking up alone to breakfast in town to a day filled with meetings and reports while his mind tried to wrap itself around Clark’s rebellion.
He understood Clark’s fears. Did he think that Bruce wasn’t afraid, too? But he understood what drove the boy. Apparently Clark didn’t.
Bruce also knew that that this was unexplored territory. Maybe he and Clark had been deluding themselves that a Master/slave and lovers’ relationship could work.
Utterly weary, Bruce fell into a troubled sleep.
When Dick awoke the next morning, he was determined to fix things between Bruce and Clark. He hated that he was the cause of this rift.
He was afraid that the breach would never be fully healed. As lovers they could make things up, but as Master and slave…?
Dick knew that rebellious slaves were not looked upon kindly by their Masters, even very kind and considerate ones like Bruce. If this went on too long…
Dick bounced out of bed, quickly showered and dressed, and went down to breakfast.
The kitchen was empty except for Alfred, who smiled in greeting.
“Good morning, Dick! And what is your preference this morning?”
Dick set his place, then started to set two others.
“No need of that. Master Bruce has already left for the city and Clark is not feeling well. He will be remaining in bed.”
Dick frowned. “The guest room bed.”
Dick sat down and put his face in his hands. “What are we going to do with these two, Alfred?”
Amusement laced Alfred’s voice. “What, indeed?”
Bruce went through another strange day, seemingly normal on the surface but possessing a dream-like quality.
He simply wasn’t used to defiance, whether as Bruce Wayne or Batman. Clark being so adamant had shaken him.
Bruce knew that he possessed a dichotomy of self-analysis: he could be both brutally honest and self-delusional. He understood his strengths and weaknesses as a businessman and crimefighter.
He was less certain of them as a person.
He expected to be obeyed. That he knew about himself very well. While he gave Alfred unprecedented free rein in running the Household, and certainly was lenient in many things with Clark and Dick, he would never countenance disobedience.
And yet here he was, allowing Clark to leave his bed.
He had to re-establish his authority, and they could go from there.
Bruce’s opportunity to re-assert control came as soon as he got home. He met Clark in the second floor hall.
“Come,” he said, deliberately allowing imperiousness to enter his tone.
A tired-looking Clark, dressed in robe and pajamas, obeyed.
They entered the master bedroom and Bruce turned to face him at the foot of the bed. “You belong here.” He took hold of Clark’s arms, leaning forward to brush his lips over Clark’s unresponsive ones.
“Are you ordering me back to your bed?”
Anger coursed through Bruce and he tightened his hold. He looked at Clark’s tired eyes and let his hands slip away. Weariness and guilt slipped through his bones.
Clark left Bruce standing alone in his bedroom.
Dinner that evening was excruciating with only the clink of silverware echoing in the cavernous dining room. Dick thought it a waste of Alfred’s excellent cooking because little was eaten.
He went to bed after patrol still trying to figure out to get two stubborn men back together.
Dick awoke early the next morning. He went to the bathroom and his on his way back to
bed he peeked out and saw Clark walking toward the seawall.
The warm bed was certainly inviting, but this was too good an opportunity to pass up. He dressed and slipped downstairs, putting on coat, hat and gloves, tying a scarf around his neck as he quietly went out the kitchen door.
It was cold this January morning but also bright and clear. Dick never minded cold. He liked the way he felt more energetic in this kind of weather.
The soft shush of his boots through the snow alerted Clark to his presence. Clark smiled as Dick came up to his side, leaning on the seawall.
The ocean was frosty-blue, whitecaps bobbing as the waves sparkled under the winter sun. A freighter sailed slowly on the horizon as seagulls flew by, impudently looking for a hand-out.
“I’m okay, Clark.”
“I know.” Clark’s gloved hand ruffled the hair not covered by Dick’s hat.
“So why are you so angry with Bruce?”
Clark watched the freighter. “He won’t discuss it. Just…orders.”
Dick laughed. “Sounds like the Prince.” His eyes were very blue as he looked at Clark, who looked back. “And he is the Prince.”
“I know that.”
“Do you? Do you feel it in your bones?” Dick reached out and squeezed Clark’s hand. “It’s in his blood. He can’t help himself. This lovers thing is new to him.”
Affection softened Clark’s eyes. “You’re very perceptive.”
Dick grinned. “Of course.” His smile faded. “Clark, I know you’re worried about me. I understand that and, believe me, it makes me feel good.” Bright smile again. “But you and I both know how it goes for people like us. Remember when I was pestering Bruce to train me and he was so reluctant? You supported me because you know how we’re at risk every second of every day.” He squeezed Clark’s hand again. “I need to do this, Clark.”
Clark’s eyes misted. “You and Bruce and Alfred are the only family I have.”
Dick knew that Clark had no memory of his biological family, if he had been raised with that family at all.
“I know,” he said softly, and hugged Clark tight.
Bruce pulled back the bedroom drapes, wondering if he should leave early for the city again. He saw Clark and Dick sitting on the bench by the seawall, surprised because of the weather.
Watching them, he made a decision.
Clark heard the crunch of boots on snow, looking up as Bruce came into view. His expression of hesitancy pierced Clark’s heart. “Have a seat,” Clark said lightly.
Bruce sat on the other side of Dick, watching as a new freighter glided along the horizon. Sunlight glinted off the lighthouse, snow blanketing the rocky island.
Dick’s legs kicked back-and-forth. “Everything’s okay, Bruce.”
“Oh?” Bruce’s voice was laced with amusement.
Bruce looked at Clark, who smiled a trifle ruefully. “I’m sorry, Master.”
“So am I.”
Bruce put his arm along the back of the bench and his gloved fingers touched Clark’s.
“I suppose you’ll have to punish me.”
Bruce’s mouth quirked. “I suppose I will.” Bruce’s eyes glittered as he looked at Clark, who felt a flutter in his groin and smiled.
Dick grinned happily between them.
When all three went inside, Alfred had a piping-hot breakfast waiting.