Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Alfred, Clark/Bruce, Dick, Kathy Kane, Hal/Steve
Series Notes: In the 23rd century, Earth is a technologically-advanced society that practices the ancient institution of slavery. A Great Trial crashes down upon the House Of Wayne. Can Bruce and Clark’s relationship survive? Will the Family’s strength be enough to see them through this time of Fear and Darkness? The entire series can be found here.
Genres: AU, Drama, Slavefic
Rating: (this chapter): PG-13
Summary: Sometimes Christmas glitter hides pain.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): September 24, 2008
Date Of Posting: September 5, 2009
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1082
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Glitters like fairy dust
On trees, in stores,
And everyone must
Rush ‘round and ‘round
And dance and smile,
No gloomy faces,
No death row mile.
And beneath it all,
Is a melancholy
"My Christmas Stocking
Has A Lump Of Coal
And Other Poems"
"HAVE A HOLLY, JOLLY CHRISTMAS!"
Christmas season glittered magically at Wayne Manor. Alfred, Clark, and Dick always loved decorating the house and grounds, strands of white lights and garland entwined around the front pillars, the bushes, and around the kitchen door. Fragrant wreaths adorned both doors.
The giant Christmas tree in the living room sparkled with antique ornaments and glittering gold-and-silver garland.
One of Dick’s favorite pastimes was sitting cross-legged in front of the great tree, gazing up at the beautiful ornaments.
During one of these quiet times Clark came into the room and sat down next to the boy.
They sat in companionable silence, both enjoying the sunlight sparkling off the ornaments and garland. Clark put an arm around Dick’s shoulders and the boy leaned into him.
Bruce paused in the entrance of the living room, smiling as he saw the tableau in front of the tree.
He felt warmth tingle through him. For so many years, the only warmth in an empty life had been Alfred.
Now he had two more people who loved him, shining bright lights that rivaled the tree.
He made a small noise so as not to startle the duo. They smiled up at him, the light shining in two pairs of blue eyes, reflected from the glittering tree.
“It’s such a beautiful tree,” Dick beamed.
“Well, you all helped decorate it.” Bruce took a deep breath, inhaling the scent of the evergreen.
“It’s a wonderful tree,” Clark agreed. He gently rubbed Dick’s back.
“The best tree ever!” Dick bounced, Clark and Bruce laughing.
“I’m hungry.” Bruce sniffed. “I smell freshly-baked Christmas cookies.”
Dick scrambled to his feet. “I’m supposed to help Alfred bake a batch!”
“Bring in some samples, nice and warm,” Bruce called after the boy as Dick dashed to the kitchen.
Clark grinned as he stood up. “Cookies sound good.”
Bruce sat on the couch and patted his lap. Clark grinned and stretched out on the couch, resting his head on Bruce’s lap. Bruce began stroking silky black hair, settling his arm lightly across his lover’s chest.
“Are you happy?” he asked softly.
“Very.” Clark’s eyes sparkled as he gazed up at Bruce.
“You feel good today?”
Bruce hoped that Clark would continue enjoying good health. Just the occasional queasiness and headaches just before and after the weekly shot, but that was expected.
His cellphone rang. “Hello? Oh, hi, Kathy.” He kept stroking Clark’s hair. “How are you?” Clark sighed happily. “Glad to hear it. Did you get those last slaves returned to their rightful owners? Oh, good. You did such a good job of caring for those kidnapped souls.” Bruce frowned. “Another group was found? Where?” Bruce shook his head. “This is strange, though I suppose they think that during the holiday season, the police are too busy to keep an eye on everything. They can slip through the cracks.” Clark curled into him, Bruce smiling. “Thanks for the update, Cuz. And a Merry Christmas to you!”
Bruce snapped his phone shut, setting it on the table next to the couch.
“They’ve found more slaves?” Clark asked softly.
“Yeah.” Bruce sighed. “Unfortunately, kidnapping of quality slaves is on the rise.”
Clark kissed Bruce’s hand. “I’m sure that Batman and Robin can help them.”
“I’m sure they will.”
Clark closed his eyes as he smiled, Bruce’s smile fading.
He had to make sure that everything would be all right.
Steve helped Hal into bed, fluffing the pillows under his lover.
“Very much.” Hal’s eyes were soft with affection. “You’re so good to me, Stevie.”
“My pleasure.” Steve kissed Hal on the forehead and started to leave when Hal grasped his arm. “Stevie, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing, just a little tired.”
Brown eyes looked Steve over, but Hal merely smiled sadly. “Sorry.”
“You’re wearing yourself out taking care of me.”
“I didn’t mean…”
“But it’s true.”
“Not really.” Steve caressed Hal’s hair. “I’m probably just not in tip-tip shape. Some of the injuries I got in the crash have hampered my exercise program.” He tapped his hip lightly.
“I can understand that.” Hal sighed. “The docs say I’ll be able to start walking soon.”
“That’s wonderful!” Steve kissed Hal. “I can’t wait.” He rose from the bed. “Get some sleep. I’m going out to finish my Christmas shopping.”
“Is Santa going to be good to me this year?”
Steve laughed. “Don’t you know it!”
Hal’s smile faded after Steve left.
Something had been bothering his Stevie ever since he’d come back from Paradise Island.
He could see it in his shadowed eyes, showing flashes of pain that he tried to hide.
Hal groaned. Damn his sore muscles! And Steve wasn’t completely healthy. He was tired, and whatever was bothering him was draining him.
As Hal fell asleep, he was determined to find out so that he could help his Stevie.
Steve wondered through the streets, window-shopping as the snow fell slightly. Happily, Boston had dug out of the Thanksgiving blizzard.
He needed to get a few more presents on his list. What would his sister like?
He sighed. All the holiday gaiety was passing him by this year. Hal was getting better but was still sick. He was feeling tired all the time himself, his hip still giving him trouble.
And he couldn’t stop thinking about Diana.
It ate him up to think of her as nothing but a prostitute to so many men, her spirit hurt a little more every day.
He winced at the thought of her and her sister Amazons suffering this fate for centuries.
His mind went ‘round and ‘round as to how to help them. Sure, free them, and they’d be ruthlessly hunted down, and horribly tortured and executed when caught.
They were Government property, unlikely to be sold to a private buyer, and he certainly didn’t have the money.
He rubbed his face as snowflakes kissed his skin. Somehow he had to figure something out.
He couldn’t leave Diana to her fate.
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