Title: Rainbow's Freedom (Sanctuary Arc) (15/17)
Characters/Pairings: Clark/Bruce, Alfred
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 ever 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): NC-17
Summary: Clark learns more about the Batman.
Date Of Completion: March 8, 2007
Date Of Posting: April 24, 2007
Disclaimer: I don't own 'em, DC does, more's the pity.
Word Count: 1812
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
An apple a day
Will bring your lover
Out to play.
Love had a way of mitigating the coldness of his manacles. Clark rarely even noticed the weight of those bracelets and his collar, lightweight as they were. They even made beautiful rainbow prisms in the sun. Sometimes he worried about why he so readily accepted his bondage, as if he was suppressing yearnings for freedom, but maybe all he needed to know was he was born a slave and couldn’t change it.
He had read that love was supposed to be blind. In his new experience, it was just the opposite. As if a veil was lifted, Clark was observing his Master with new eyes.
He saw the intensity underlying the considerate Master, but that in itself was not new, except that Clark became more aware of how controlled Bruce really was. He was charming and urbane but focused with a single-minded intensity on tasks.
Bruce’s consideration was always noticeable, and Clark was more aware of how gentle he was with Alfred and him. He was appreciative of any little gesture they made such as the flowers Clark had put on his desk in the study.
Love was supposed to cause one to overlook the beloved’s faults, but Clark preferred a clearer picture. While he daydreamed and hummed and was thoroughly besotted, he felt that he was viewing life at the Manor with more clarity.
Or maybe he was just happy.
& & & & & &
Alfred was peeling apples while listening to the radio. His young Master and Clark were inordinately fond of his pies.
“Would you allow me the use of your kitchen?”
Amused, Alfred asked, “Why?”
“I’d like to cook a meal for Master Bruce tonight.”
“That’s a lovely idea.” Alfred smiled as Clark took out a peeler and picked up an apple. “What would you like to cook?” He had been teaching Clark to cook several dishes in addition to baking. Clark had a knack for it. Alfred wondered if it was all natural talent or if someone had taught him.
The butler wondered what it would be like to have no past, never sure of what skills you possessed? He had been part of this house since he was a young man. He knew the history of the Waynes better than he knew his own family’s.
“Green Arrow and Black Canary were honored today in Star City for their instrumental involvement for bringing down the Ruiz drug cartel.”
“Well, Bruce likes roast beef, right?” Alfred nodded. “Carrots, potatoes, maybe some apple pie for dessert?”
Alfred chuckled. “Yes, apple pie for dessert.” When Clark’s stomach wasn’t queasy due to his quinium injections, his appetite could be prodigious. “Have you determined that he will be home this evening?”
“Yes.” Clark’s sure fingers were peeling the apple with precision. He frowned. “Until he disappears.” He sliced the peeled apple into fat, juicy pieces and dropped them in the ceramic bowl. “Why does he work so late, Alfred? Sometimes he doesn’t come to bed until dawn!”
Alfred started on a new apple. “He is what I believe you Americans call a ‘night owl’.” He deftly peeled the fruit. “He…does not like to sleep many hours.”
Clark finished his apple and picked up a new one. “Is it because of his parents?” he asked softly.
The kitchen was quiet as the sounds of paring continued, the radio with dead air, then classical music began to play.
Quiet again, mixed with music, then Clark said, “I’m sorry.”
“Everyone who knows Master Bruce to any degree beyond the superficial knows how that night affected him. He…is a driven man, Clark. His childhood ended that night.” Alfred finished with the apples and took out a new bowl. Clark dipped out the flour from the canister into the bowl.
They worked in tandem, adding flour and water together in the bowl, then dumping it out onto a board taken out by Clark. Clark kneaded the dough, Alfred watching as he brought out a pie plate.
They were large hands, a few calluses evident from the outdoor work he loved to do, otherwise smooth and well-manicured. Clark loved to revel in his senses, whether digging his hands into the earth of the garden or inhaling the scent of his favorite yellow roses.
Perhaps being such a sensualist helps him with his primary role in the bedchamber.
Alfred was pleased that Bruce had acquired a bedslave. With the pressures under which he functioned, an outlet such as the beautiful man helping him bake pies was an excellent one.
You lighten Master Bruce’s burden, Clark.
Clark hummed along to the music on the radio and Alfred said, “You seem quite happy.”
“I am, aren’t I?” The thought of being happy seemed to make Clark even happier.
Alfred chuckled, using the rolling pin to flatten out the pie crust while Clark washed his hands and the bowls. He sprinkled cinnamon into the mix.
The music ended and the announcer’s voice said, “The lead story this hour is the Batman’s dismantling of a crime ring here in Gotham specializing in ancient Egyptian artifacts. The timing is fortunate as an exhibit of another set of Egyptian antiquities is scheduled to visit the Gotham Art Museum two weeks from now…”
“Yes?” Alfred was putting the finishing touches on the pie by folding in the apple slices and tamping the crust over them.
“The Batman is such a shadowy figure. What do you know about him?”
Alfred placed the pie in the oven, shut the door, turned it on and set the timer. He could have used the microwave but preferred the old-fashioned method for certain projects. The antique stove was still in working condition.
The butler gestured that they clean up, then put a kettle of Earl Grey on to boil. Clark waited patiently through all this for an answer to his question, following Alfred’s lead in sitting at the kitchen table.
“He is a vigilante in the strictest sense, I suppose, as he has no Government authority for his crimefighting, but he’s a positive, in my opinion. He helps the frequently-beleaguered Gotham Police Department in their quest to keep order.
“The Batman is said to strike fear in the hearts of criminals, a most superstitious and cowardly lot.”
“How long has he patrolled Gotham?”
“Only a few years.” Alfred rose to tend the whistling kettle.
“Did he precede the other heroes?”
“Yes, he was the first.” Alfred poured tea into handpainted teacups and placed them in saucers on the table. “The others began to make appearances soon after, such as Green Arrow and Black Canary in Star City, for example.”
“Hmm. I wonder what drives him?”
Sometimes it was easy to overlook Clark’s intelligence. Because of his illness, he frequently suffered from periods of confusion, especially right before and after his weekly quinium shot, and his amnesia made him ignorant of many things he should know.
“He probably has a strong sense of justice,” Alfred said.
“He must, to go to the darkest parts of town and meet criminals on their own turf.” Clark sipped his tea. “I find him dark and mysterious, but admirable.”
Alfred drank his own tea.” Motivations are varied, but it’s what drives us all.” Alfred set the cup down, clinking the saucer. “Even the Batman.”
Clark nodded, drifting into thought.
The smell of apples and cinnamon was warm and always pleased Alfred. The Manor was home to him after all these years. Sometimes he could barely remember his life before his arrival here.
“Well, we should check to see if we have the necessary ingredients for your dinner tonight.”
& & & & & &
Clark set the table in the dining room. He thought about the dark figure who served as Gotham’s guardian. Interesting that he had chosen a bat as a disguise.
I’d love to meet him someday.
He finished setting the table and called out, “Alfred, I’m going upstairs to shower and change.” His Master would be home soon.
& & & & & &
Bruce walked in, the delicious smells of roast beef, carrots and potatoes wafting out to greet him.
“Alfred!” he called, depositing his briefcase on the hall table. “Dinner smells great!”
Alfred emerged from the kitchen, wiping his hands on a dishtowel. “It’s not my cooking, sir. Merely my assistance.”
“What, did you order a catered meal?”
“No.” Alfred smiled as Clark appeared. “Here is your chef, sir.”
Surprise, then delight lit up Bruce’s face. “Well, I look forward to sampling your culinary delights, Clark.”
And more after the meal.
He could see that Clark could divine his thoughts, his slave blushing slightly but smiling.
“I’ll be down shortly.”
& & & & & &
Bruce savored the tender beef, truly impressed by the meal Clark had prepared.
His gentle and loyal slave had been…glowing…for the past few days. He looked more beautiful than ever.
“Alfred considers you a prize student.” Bruce ate a savory carrot. “Very talented.” The art of cooking mystified him.
Clark smiled. His eagerness to please was a good quality in a bedslave but was also endearing.
“Yes, very talented,” Bruce murmured.
When the entrée was finished, Alfred brought in two slices of apple cinnamon pie with coops of French vanilla ice cream.
“So, how are your secretarial skills?” Bruce asked.
“I’d like you to accompany me to a meeting tomorrow and take notes for me.”
“We’ll be meeting Majors Hal Jordan and Steve Trevor.” He laughed at the eager look in Clark’s eyes. Just like a little boy at Christmas.
“Mmm, and you made the pie, didn’t you?” Clark’s proud smile made Bruce laugh affectionately. “It’s delicious.” He winked. “Just like you.”
Yes, definitely glowing.
& & & & & &
The moonlight limned Clark’s body, his manacles and collar sparkling with iridescent color. Here in the black-draped bedroom, Clark was a shining star.
“My Starchild,” Bruce murmured.
Bruce clutched Clark’s shoulders, bestowing butterfly kisses on his face. “Mmm,” Bruce purred, the smoothness of Clark’s skin a delight to the touch. Bruce’s tongue slipped into Clark’s mouth, his warm hands caressing his slave’s chest. Clark moved beneath him, their bodies in sync as Bruce whispered, “Turn over.”
Clark smiled and obeyed, sighing as Bruce prepared him, anticipating the sweet thrust of passion. More butterfly kisses on his shoulders, down his spine, around curved buttocks, until…
Clark moaned as Bruce entered him, pleasure flooding his body. Electricity tingled along his limbs, his fingers clutching the sheets.
Love flooded him along with Bruce’s seed, happiness threatening to crush him with its intensity.
Bruce gathered him into his arms, Clark falling asleep, a smile curving his lips as his mind imagined it saw the Batsignal shining through the undraped window.