Pairings/Characters: Clark/Bruce, Alfred
Series Notes: In the 23rd century, Earth is a technologically-advanced society that practices the ancient institution of 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): PG-13
Summary: Clark makes a startling discovery.
Date Of Completion: March 12, 2007
Date Of Posting: May 11, 2007
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 939
On a silver night,
The Starchild bright,
Followed the light,
To the Dark Knight.
The Freedom Chronicles
Alfred was surprised and delighted to learn of future houseguests.
“This will work out perfectly, sir. I have a crew coming in next week for a thorough top-to-bottom fall cleaning.”
“Excellent as always, Alfred.”
The next few days were still a whirlwind of extra cleaning. Clark was happy to keep busy, still in the first glow of love. When he was finished with his chores, he pored over A Guideline For Slaves (The Code) and learned that love was forbidden between Master and slave, as he had suspected, but he also knew that no official code would acknowledge such a thing. He had no doubt that there were Masters and slaves out there who had fallen in love but had never publicly acknowledged it.
What was most worrisome was the loss of respect and status for any Master considered foolish enough to fall in love with a slave.
If my Master ever did feel the same way as me, he could never let anyone but Alfred know it. He would have to live a secret life.
Discouraged, Clark read over other sections of the Code contained in the book. He knew that he had committed a cardinal sin by touching a freeman without permission, but his jaw set. He would do it again if there was no help for it even while he would try and follow Bruce’s orders.
He winced and touched his temple. Whenever he had any kind of rebellious thought, he could feel the beginnings of a headache blossom in his skull.
Must be subconscious punishment, he thought with a sigh.
& & & & & &
Clark awoke, disappointed that once more he was alone. Moonlight streamed in through a crack in the curtains. He shivered and wondered if he should light a fire in the fireplace. As per Bruce’s standing order, he slept in the nude, ready and waiting for his Master, but it was getting cold at night at this time of year.
He decided against it. Making a fire would create noise. His curiosity was getting the better of him, and he didn’t want Bruce or Alfred to know that he was awake.
Every night since he had arrived, with few exceptions, Bruce had sent Clark up to bed while he remained downstairs working. Clark had been fine with that as he was usually tired at the end of the day, no doubt a side effect of his illness. Sleeping gave him the energy to please his Master when Bruce came to him deep into the night.
Clark slipped out of bed, shrugging into a cobalt-blue robe and slippers, tying the robe’s belt firmly. With a deep breath, he quietly left the bedroom and padded downstairs.
He was disobeying by leaving the bedroom and coming downstairs and he would be punished if he was caught, but he was not worried. He was more than certain that sixty lashes would not be involved! In fact, Bruce would probably just chain him to the bed, a possibility that excited more than distressed him. Stifling a laugh, he crept along the carpeted hallway, careful to avoid the creaky spots in the hardwood of the ancient mansion.
The silence was broken only by the ticking of the 600-year-old grandfather clock in the library. Clark frowned. Shouldn’t he be hearing the murmur of Bruce’s voice on the phone, the tapping of computer keys or the rustle of papers?
Heart pounding, he cautiously peeked into the study.
He walked in. The computer wasn’t even turned on.
A check of the library, dining room, kitchen, breakfast nook and even the Grand Ballroom revealed no Bruce.
Puzzled, Clark returned to the library, wondering if his Master had gone out for the evening. Drawn to the books as always, he read some titles while trying to figure out the mystery.
A sudden wave of dizziness hit him and he reached out a hand to steady himself, falling heavily against the clock, jangling the pendulum. The glass door flew open and he noticed the back of the case was ajar. He pulled it open, astonished to see a secret passageway revealed.
Clark stared. His mind raced about old houses and secret passageways from Revolutionary and Civil War days, Underground Railroad stops, a thousand-and-one reasons there should be a concealed passageway in the back of the old clock. Yes, that was it. Old historical reasons. No other reason, right?
Trembling, Clark made a decision.
As if compelled, he started down the steps of the passageway.
It was drafty as he carefully walked down the stone steps. His hand reached out for balance on the damp stone wall.
He strained to hear anything. As he descended, the stairs twisting into a spiral, he gradually heard faint noises. He couldn’t identify them.
He reached the bottom of the steps and walked out…
…into a cave.
Not just any cave. Large and spacious, it was filled with wonders.
A giant penny.
A huge bank of computers with a large viewscreen.
A set of laboratory equipment.
A dark, sleek plane with a distinctive winged shape.
An area marred with scattered tools and irridium fuel canisters, ready for vehicle maintenance.
He looked up as the sound he had heard before became louder, a rustling of hundreds of wings as a covey of bats flew down from the high reaches of the cave and out through the dark hole that opened out into a tunnel.
…the man he loved…
…was the Batman!
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