Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Dick, Edmund Caldwell, Ollie/Dinah
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: The Bats and Arrows make their way to the Adirondacks.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): November 11, 2008
Date Of Posting: October 15, 2009
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1464
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
On the precipice,
Ready to fall,
You are there,
To save me.
"On The Precipice"
Batman stealthily approached the cabin, a black wraith in the leafless woods.
Fortunately, many of the trees were of the evergreen and spruce variety, cloaking the Bat as he came closer.
The Caldwell cabin was old-fashioned clapboard, weathered shingles a rustic touch. Tall evergreens and spruces towered over the cabin, the wind off the lake whispering through the stand.
He could see no activity around the cabin. Harrison and Halliburton Caldwell were still in Gotham, so unless Edmund had brought a staff with him, he would be the only one here.
If he was here at all.
He saw a flash of sunshine several yards away. Robin.
Batman’s mouth quirked into a half-smile.
Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Speedy were also approaching from different directions.
Batman concentrated on the cabin again. The windows were still shuttered, but Edmund might not want to advertise his presence here.
Especially since he has another man’s slave.
Batman very carefully did not dwell on Clark the human being. He needed a clear head in order to pull this off. Emotions were…dangerous.
Very carefully he crept up to the cabin. It would be a good idea to get inside. Not many rooms to search. If Clark was there…
Batman opened the shutters, relieved that there was no creaking or other noises.
The blinds were drawn. He tested the sash. Locked.
A few minutes later the window opened, courtesy of tools from his utility belt. He slipped inside, the blinds rattling.
Batman’s eyes adjusted to the gloom. He saw a dresser, ladderback chair, portable TV, and bed, and on that bed...
Batman’s heart raced.
Oh, god, oh, god!
Clark was naked and spread-eagled on the bed, chains glinting in the light streaming in through the window.
“Clark,” Batman whispered.
Clark turned a tear-stained face.
“Bruce,” he breathed.
Batman touched his shoulder, Clark trembling. “It’s okay. You’re safe now.”
Thirty Minutes Ago
Edmund entered the room and shut off the TV. “So, did you enjoy the preview of what is to come?” At Clark’s silence the old man smiled. He came around the bed and sat down, stroking Clark’s thigh. “Oh, so much pleasure we’re going to receive. You?” He pinched Clark’s thigh viciously, a small whimper reaching his ears. “Not very vocal, are you? We’ll change that.”
Edmund chuckled and leaned forward, whispering in Clark’s ear, “Even if your so-called Prince rescued you, whore, he would never look at you the same way again. My seed is in you. He’ll never stand for that.”
Edmund gently patted Clark’s cheek and rose. “The boys will be here soon. Sleep, my salacious slut. You’ll get very little of it this weekend.”
The door closed behind Edmund.
Clark let the tears flow.
Batman held on tightly as Clark clung desperately, shaking as if he was going to break apart.
“It’s all right, it’s all right,” Batman crooned, smoothing Clark’s hair.
Finally he pulled away. “I have to go and put the fear of the Bat into Edmund.”
“Don’t leave me,” Clark whispered.
Batman hesitated. He couldn’t let Edmund get away with this, yet he didn’t want Clark anywhere near the old thief.
“Here, get dressed.”
He had carried clothes for Clark in a pouch attached to his utility belt: boxers, sweatpants, sweatshirt, socks, sneakers. He helped Clark get dressed, his lover still shaking. He grimly noted the bruises on Clark’s arms, chest and thighs, but saw no other evidence of abuse.
A hand shot up and grabbed his arm.
“Please don’t go.”
Suddenly a glittering waif slipped in through the window. “I’ll stay with you, Clark.”
“Thanks, Robin.” Batman kissed Clark’s temple. “Stay.” He slipped out of the bedroom.
Robin saw Clark shaking. He immediately wrapped him in a fierce hug.
“It’s all right, Clark. You’re safe now.” Robin stroked Clark’s back, murmuring reassurances.
“I couldn’t help them,” Clark whispered.
Robin frowned. Who was Clark talking about? He was probably confused. Maybe Old Man Caldwell had drugged him.
“Let’s sit on the bed,” Robin said gently. He was afraid that Clark was going to keel over.
Once seated, Robin kept stroking Clark’s arm while Clark held his hand in a deathgrip.
He looked Clark over, frowning slightly as a he saw a tiny scar by Clark’s right eye. He thought for sure that he saw bruising around his mouth, too, his stomach sinking.
Well, if that was the worse…he knew what Clark had endured in the slavers’ camp. Not pleasant and still rape, but maybe he’d been spared further indignities.
He certainly hoped so.
“Are you all right?” Clark asked, his voice faint.
“What?” After all that Clark had suffered, he was worried about him? “I’m fine.” He hugged Clark tightly.
The Batman approached Edmund Caldwell in the living room, staying in the shadows. The old man was sitting in an easy chair, reading a book.
“Edmund Caldwell,” the Bat rasped.
Edmund looked up as the Bat melted out of the gloom. “Damn.” He closed his book. “I suppose the Prince called Gordon and then you, in turn, were called in? Pretty big gun for a whore.”
Batman carefully clamped down on his rage. He couldn’t express it, otherwise he’d reveal too much. He couldn’t be Bruce Wayne, lover and Master of this monster’s victim. He had to be the Batman, wielder of justice.
“A valuable Prize. You have no honor, Edmund Caldwell.”
Edmund laughed. “Whores aren’t a matter of honor. Sluts spread their legs and open their mouths and do what they’re told, if they know what’s good for them.”
Batman was amazed at Edmund’s chutzpah. Anyone else would have been quaking in their boots by now, because he was letting just enough righteous rage out to be intimidating.
“The Prize you stole is valuable property.”
Valuable to my heart, not just my pocketbook.
Edmund waved his hand. “I’ll pay my fine and be done with it.”
“So you think that’s all?”
“Of course.” Edmund set his book on the table next to his chair. “A freeman is never charged with kidnapping a slut. One doesn’t kidnap property.” His eyes glittered with madness, reminding Batman of the Joker.
“No, but one steals property.” Batman came forward and pulled Edmund to his feet, the Bat-cuffs making an appearance. He roughly pulled the old man’s arms behind his back. “You’ll still have to go before a judge.”
“Are the cuffs really necessary?” Amusement laced Edmund’s voice.
“Absolutely.” Batman whirled him around. “Your thieving days are over, Edmund Caldwell.”
Edmund took a step back as the Batman loomed over him.
Batman spoke into his commlink. “The package is ready.”
Edmund glared at him. “I’m not some thing you can refer to as merchandise,” he snapped.
“Yet you refer to the Prize as worse.”
“Bah! Don’t tell me you have Abo leanings! Why people can’t get it through their heads that slaves are meant to be used by those born free is beyond me. Otherwise why would things have evolved the way they are?”
Batman remained silent.
“No answer? Tsk, tsk. All the bleeding hearts who cry buckets of crocodile tears ask why a merciful God would allow slavery? Well, obviously because He believes that some are born to serve and some are born to be used.”
The front door opened and Green Arrow and Black Canary walked in.
Batman waved his hand. “Take this one away.”
Green Arrow grinned. “With pleasure.” He grabbed Edmund’s arm and dragged him protesting out the door.
Black Canary touched Batman’s arm. “How is he?”
“Do you need help?”
Batman shook his head. “No. Keep watch over that old fox.”
The Canary nodded, squeezing Batman’s arm, then she went out the door.
Batman stood in the center of the cabin for a moment, pulling his cowl back. He went back to the bedroom.
Clark jumped as the door opened. Robin quickly smiled at him.
“Bruce,” breathed Clark.
Robin turned and saw the uncowled Bat. Bruce smiled gently. “Ready to leave?”
Clark nodded quickly, standing up on shaky legs with Robin’s help. Bruce took Clark’s hand, pulling his cowl back on as he slipped his arm around his lover’s shoulders.
As Batman led Clark out, Robin noticed the disc sticking out of the vidcorder’s slot. He popped it out and pocketed it. Maybe it would be evidence against Old Man Caldwell.
He quickly left Clark’s former prison to follow Batman and Clark out of the cabin.