Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Edmund Caldwell, Harrison Caldwell, Halliburton Caldwell, Alfred, Dick, Ollie/Dinah, Melody, Roy
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): R
Warnings: Disturbing imagery, mutilation
Summary: Memories are brought out by Clark’s screams in the night.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): November 20, 2008
Date Of Posting: November 3, 2009
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1014
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Like hot springs.
Like cold ice.
"Lurking In The Night"
Clark struggled against his bonds, terror welling up in him as he heard laughter in the next room.
“We’ll have fun with this one, eh, boys?” Edmund’s voice was gleeful.
“Can he take two of us at once?” asked Harrison.
“He’s got a whore’s mouth like I’ve never seen.”
“What about his ass?” asked Halliburton.
Howls of laughter swept over Clark, who couldn’t stop shaking. He desperately tried to snap his bonds, yelling silently for Bruce, terror flashing through his body.
Please don’t! Please don’t come into this room!
Suddenly, Edmund was looming over him, knife glinting as his loathsome sons put their hands all over his body, Edmund pressing the knife to Clark’s skin under his eye…
“Such a pretty eye,” he crooned, and pushed as pain blossomed…
Clark held his face as he bolted upright in bed, shaking violently, his screams echoing around the room.
Bruce grabbed his shoulders. “It’s all right, it’s all right, your eye is fine, you’re whole, I swear!”
Tears streamed from Clark’s face as he moaned, desperately holding on to Bruce as Bruce’s arms were banded tightly around him.
“Don’t leave me! Don’t leave me!” he pleaded.
Bruce stroked his hair and back, tears in his own eyes. “Never, never leave you, love. It’s okay; it’s okay. I’ll never let you be hurt again.”
Clark sobbed, overwhelmed by the nightmare and his relief.
The door opened. Alfred asked softly, “Master Bruce?”
“It’s all right, Alfred.” Bruce saw a worried Dick right behind the butler. “Clark’s all right now.”
“Very well, sir.”
Alfred’s voice held a skein of skepticism but he did not inquire further. He ushered Dick out.
Bruce rocked back-and-forth, trying to calm his shaking lover.
Finally Clark stopped crying and pulled away from Bruce.
“No need.” Bruce smoothed Clark’s hair back and handed him a tissue. You went through hell.”
“Not like…like other Caldwell slaves.” Clark touched his eye with a trembling hand.
“Thank God!” Bruce kissed the top of his head. He eased Clark down. “I’m right here, Clark. I’m not going anywhere.”
“Thank you, thank you.”
Bruce curled up beside Clark, pulling the covers up over the two of them.
Dinah opened the door of Melody’s room.
Her heart sank.
Melody’s knees were drawn up, her head resting on her crossed arms over her knees as she rocked back-and-forth.
“Melody, dearest,” Dinah said softly.
Melody continued rocking. Dinah went to the bed and sat down, rubbing the little girl’s back.
“Bad memories, sweet?”
“Y…Yes,” Melody breathed. “ She lifted up her head, eyes glistening with tears. “It reminds me of some nights at Oakwood. The screams…slaves waking up screaming…some without…” She shuddered.
Dinah felt sick to her stomach. “You’re safe now, Precious. Edmund Caldwell will never hurt you again.”
“But, Mistress, that’s not so for the slaves still owned by him.”
Troubled, Dinah drew Melody into an embrace.
Dick quietly withdrew from the doorway. When Clark had screamed, he had jumped out of bed and gone to the master bedroom right behind Alfred. Bruce was taking care of things, but Dick had still been shaken. Walking back to his room, he had nodded to Dinah as she passed him.
She had gone into Melody’s room and Dick had paused by the doorway, horror welling up in him as he heard Melody’s words.
Back in his room he sat on the bed and drew his knees up, gazing out the window of his room at the stars.
A soft knock on the door brought his head around. “Come in.”
Roy slipped inside, closing the door behind him. “You okay?”
“Yeah, sure.” Dick patted the bed in invitation. Roy climbed up. “I’m not the one with nightmares.”
“Yeah, but it can rattle any of us.” Roy crossed his legs. “We’re getting an idea of life under the Caldwells from Melody.”
Dick shivered. “ I can’t imagine living like that, Roy.”
“I know. Even Old Man Broward only beat me a couple of times at the brothel. He coulda done worse.”
Dick’s eyes were sad as he regarded Roy but said nothing.
“How did Pop Haly treat you?”
“Real good.” Dick rested his elbows on his crossed knees. “He didn’t treat us like slaves all the time. We were performers and were expected to practice and be the best showmen we could be.”
“Did he ever whip anyone?”
“A few times, but the slave was really mouthy. He couldn’t keep quiet. Pop just couldn’t let it go.”
Roy nodded. “I guess a Master can’t tolerate an insubordinate slave.”
Roy straightened his back. “Was it bad?”
“Oh, no, they weren’t bad. Nothing like Clark suffered under Old Man Caldwell.”
Roy sneered, “Caldwell’s a psycho. I’ve seen Masters who like to inflict pain once in awhile, but the real sadists are like Caldwell. It’s a miracle that Clark wasn’t hurt badly.”
“He would have been if we hadn’t found him.”
“Yeah.” Roy leaned forward, chin in hand. “He must’ve been scared to death.”
“I’m sure he was.” Dick remembered Clark’s shaking when they’d found him. “He’s…fragile, Roy."
Roy nodded slowly. “I know. We’ll protect him.”
Dick smiled at Roy’s use of the word ‘we’. “Yes, we will.”
“Is Mia all right?”
Dinah closed the door and shed her robe. “As right as a former Caldwell slave can ever be.” She slipped into bed and curled up against Ollie, who slid his arm around her. “Clark’s terror brought back bad memories.”
Ollie starred at the ceiling. “I’d love to rip Edmund’s throat out.”
“I’ll be right behind you in line.”
Ollie snorted. “Maybe I should let you go first and take care of the leftovers.”
Ollie shivered. That tone of Dinah’s voice almost made him feel sorry for Edmund.