Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Hal/Steve, Dick, Roy, Melody, Ollie/Dinah, Clark/Bruce, Lex/Jamie, Madame Zee
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
Summary: Madame Zee’s predictions are of Rainbows of Light…and coming Darkness.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): August 16, 2008
Date Of Posting: June 7, 2009
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1417
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
The Freedom Chronicles
Steve smiled as he pushed Hal’s wheelchair. Dick looked ready to cartwheel and Roy and Melody were equally excited.
Well, he couldn’t blame them. The street fair in Gotham during Halloween Week was exciting. The smell of fried dough and grilled sausage carried on the clear night air, stars sparkling overhead.
The vendors’ tents glittered with sequins and bright colors, pennants snapping in the breeze. Hawkers called at the crowds, trying to entice customers to sample their wares.
Dinah was as delighted as the children, bright-eyed and sparkling. She laughed as she put her arm around Ollie’s waist. Bruce and Lex walked with their pleasure slaves, and the entire party was enjoying a good time.
As he pushed Hal along, Steve watched a dark-haired belly dancer jangle and jingle as she moved in gold and silks, giving prospective customers a sample.
He stopped walking abruptly.
“Diana…” he said softly.
The Amazon smiled at him as she swirled her veils, turning around in a whirl of color. She turned back, and she was once again the original dancer.
Hal was looking up at him. Steve quickly smiled and resumed pushing. “Having fun?”
Hal’s voice was contemplative. “Great time. You?”
“You know this is my favorite time of year.”
Hal was facing forward again as they trailed their group. “You had another dream last night.”
“Everyone has dreams.”
“You sounded upset.”
“You know dreams are weird.”
“Was it the crash again? You were yelling, ‘No!’”
“Eh, you know soldiers have memories we’d rather forget.”
Hal said nothing further, for which Steve was grateful.
“Ah, Madame Zee,” said Bruce, stopping at the glittering black-and-yellow striped tent with the sign proclaiming palm and Tarot readings. “Any takers?”
“I’ll go.” Steve stepped forward, heart pounding. He needed answers. Maybe Madame Zee could provide them.
Steve entered the tent, recognizing the familiar hangings and art on the canvas walls. The rich colors soothed him, and he stood in front of the table covered in dark-blue silk with gold tassels. The pewter dragon’s ruby eyes winked in the light of an old-fashioned oil lantern, coiled as the base for the crystal ball.
He breathed in the patchouli scents, trying to calm his racing pulse. He wished he could get rid of these jitters.
Steve jumped. “Oh, hello, Madame Zee.”
“Please have a seat.”
Steve sat in the black, lacquered chair, glad that the fortuneteller could not see his hands, which were knotted up in his lap.
Zee was dressed as she always was: in the traditional costume of peasant blouse and voluminous skirt, the blouse squash-colored and the skirt a deep blue. Bracelets and necklaces jingled as she moved, huge gold hoop earrings swinging from her ears. She wore a blue bandanna patterned with yellow stars over long, blond hair.
“Let us begin.”
Zee shuffled the Tarot cards. “Your Path has grown since last we met, Major.” She frowned slightly. “Your journey…you’ve met a Priestess.”
“A Princess, actually.”
“Close enough.” Her slight smile amused Steve. “I see…a Trinity.”
Zee’s bracelets jangled as she set down more cards. “One in your future.”
Zee frowned again. “The cards are being opaque.” She gathered them up and set them aside. “We will try the ball.”
Steve watched as she passed her hand over the crystal ball, rainbow mists beginning to appear. Her eyes closed, sinking into the state of mind necessary to her divination.
“Blue…sea…air…white star in the sky…abyss…pain…the whipping post…bracelets…golden eagle…stars and stripes forever…”
Steve’s eyes widened. He saw misty shapes coalescing, breaking apart, ribbons of sparkles twisting and turning, rainbow colors filling the ball.
“...there is only one Freedom’s Rainbow…” her voice grew even softer “…blood of warriors mixed with bringers of peace…suffering…break the chains…the golden eagle soars with the silver star and emerald stone…free thy people!…serenity covers all…like a pink cloud falling…covers gently…wispy cotton candy…rainbow…rainbow…”
The Gypsy stopped, opening her eyes. “A Great Love.” She looked at Steve. “Your soulmate…Trinity…”
“What is this Trinity?”
She pulled her hand away. “I’m sorry; this isn’t an exact science.”
“I…I know.” Steve unclenched his fits. “Of course it isn’t.”
She looked at him sympathetically. “I would say that a new turn in your life has occurred.” Her eyes were shrewd. “You met the dark-haired woman of whom I spoke the last few years.”
“You’d be right.” He had remembered that when he’d arrived in Gotham with a fluttery feeling in his stomach.
“It troubles you?”
“This world troubles me.”
The fortuneteller sat back. “This universe is not a kind one.”
“Well, it’s the only one we have.”
Her eyes flickered. “Destiny is not always easy.”
“You believe in Destiny?”
“There are certain things that will be.”
“No matter what?”
“No matter what.”
Steve sighed. “You could be right.” He rose. “Thank you, Madame Zee.” He paid her and started to leave.
“Send in the Prince.”
He smiled slightly. “Certainly.”
Once outside, Steve was met with teasing, and he responded in kind, hiding his inner turmoil. “Madame Zee is insightful, witty, charming…unlike you guys.”
Laughter and more teasing answered him, and he said playfully, “Hey, Prince, Madame Zee wants you next.”
“Oh, ho, then let the Prince go.” Ollie bowed and Dina curtsied, Bruce grinning. He waved his hand airily.
“In I go. Thank you, peasants.”
Lex put his arm around Dick and drew Clark to him by tugging gently on the arm to stand beside him. Satisfied that his slaves were protected, Bruce went inside the tent.
“Welcome, Prince Bruce.”
Bruce inclined his head, acknowledging the respect. He sat down in the chair that Steve had just vacated, curious to hear this year’s reading.
Zee shuffled the cards, laying them out one-by-one. “I see…a contentment in you…and joy even greater than last I saw you…”
Bruce thought of Clark and Dick and nodded.
“You will know joy and…” she frowned. “…there is a Darkness coming…a Great Trial…testing your mettle and those you love…”
Bruce tensed, then forced himself to relax. This was all so vague. His life with filled with trials and tribulations.
“…beware the green wood…”
“Perhaps.” Zee studied the cards. “Hmm, I think we should go to the ball.”
Bruce watched the mists begin to swirl as her hand moved over it, bracelets jingling. Rainbow colors began to sparkle, Bruce fascinated as always.
“There are many rainbows, but only one Freedom’s Rainbow.”
“What does that mean?”
A smile played around Zee’s lips. “Rainbows are ribbons of light and possibility, but Freedom requires only one.”
Oh, well, he’d asked.
Zee laughed. “I know, all very mystical. Sorry, dear Prince, but I can only tell what I see.” Her eyes grew dreamy as she gazed at the crystal ball.
“You lived in darkness…for many years…the pain of loss…shocking, terrifying, numbing….rage, a hollowness…the emptiness grows, the rage never lessens…until rainbows come into your life….sweet and sure and a Great Destiny awaits you…”
Bruce’s stomach tightened, remembering his great loss…he listened as the soft voice washed over him, smoothing away some of the pain.
I already have met my Destiny. The Bat was it, ultimately.
After his parents’ murders, it had been inevitable.
“…the Rainbow cleaves…Darkness spills over…engulfing, smothering…more pain…more…”
Zee abruptly stopped. She pulled her hand away from the ball, distress on her features.
“What Darkness?” Bruce felt a little foolish, but he was worried by her dire predictions.
But that’s all they are. Predictions. No one can tell the future.
“I’ll try again.”
The mists grew brighter, almost eye-aching. Bruce tried to make out what Zee saw, but if she truly had a gift, it didn’t translate to him.
“A Great Trial…my Prince, are you ready to face true evil?”
He thought of the Joker and other forces of darkness. “I am.”
“Good. You will need great strength, great courage.” The mists began to fade, leaving the crystal clear. “Wear thy armor. Protect.”
As Bruce merged from the tent, he shivered in the clear night air.
Clark came up to him. “Is everything all right, Master?” he asked softly.
Bruce looked at Clark and grasped his hand, squeezing tightly.
“As long as I have you.”
Clark’s smile was a blaze of sunshine in the evening darkness.
Bruce saw the happily chattering Dick with Melody and Roy.
He would protect his family with everything he had.
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