Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Alfred, Ollie/Dinah (Ollie does not appear in this chapter), Lucius Fox, Dick
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): G
Summary: Clark is back home at Wayne Manor…but is he safe?
Date Of Completion (First Draft): November 23, 2008
Date Of Posting: November 9, 2009
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1037
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Takes a second.
Takes a lifetime.
Clark awoke, immediately reaching for Bruce.
Panic rose up in him as he encountered emptiness. Where was Bruce? He clambered out of bed and went into the bathroom.
Nervously he reached for his robe and jumped when the door opened.
“Ah, good to see you up, Clark. Will you be joining us for breakfast downstairs?”
“Alfred! You startled me. N…No, I don’t think I’m up to it. I’m not feeling so well.”
“Oh, dear. Then get back into bed. Would you like me to bring up a tray? Tea and toast?”
“Yes, thank you.” As Alfred turned to go, Clark took a step forward. “Is Bruce still here?”
“Yes. He’ll be going into town to see his guests off and work at the office.”
“Will he…be coming up?”
Alfred smiled gently. “I’ll make sure he does.”
Alfred left and Clark paced nervously.
He hated lying to his friend.
Alfred came into the kitchen.
“How’s Clark, Alfred?” Bruce asked quietly under the hubbub of conversation. “Is he awake?”
“He is rather unwell, sir.”
Concern deepened in Bruce’s eyes. “Damn. Well, at least he wasn’t ill when Caldwell had him. We’ll take care of him.”
“Most assuredly, sir. I am taking up a tray of tea and toast.”
“Very good, Alfred.”
“Oh, and sir?”
“He would like to see you before you go.”
The jovial breakfast continued, Bruce joining in as one part of his mind worried about Clark.
As breakfast ended and everyone prepared to leave, Bruce said, “I’ll be right back. I just have to check on Clark.”
“Good idea,” Dinah approved.
Bruce went upstairs, his heart saddened at the sight of Clark curled up in bed. He quietly approached the bed and Clark opened his eyes.
Bruce heard the relief in Clark’s voice. He sat on the bed and brushed the hair back from his lover’s eyes. “Alfred said you’re not feeling well.”
Clark closed his eyes. “Not very.”
“Stay in bed. Dick can help Alfred today.”
“Are you coming back after seeing the Queens off?”
“I have work to do in town.” At Clark’s disappointed look he felt guilty, cupping his companion’s face. “I’ll try to get back early.”
Bruce kissed Clark’s forehead, leaving the room with a heavy heart.
Clark shivered under the blankets and quilt.
Bruce finished up his tasks as quickly as possible in his office at Wayne Enterprises. Lucius came in and gave him a rundown on the stare of the company, then asked, “How’s your Prize?”
Bruce sighed. “All right, considering.”
Lucius raised an eyebrow. “Was he hurt…in any way?”
“Edmund put a scar beneath his eye and threatened him, but nothing further than a few bruises.”
“Good.” Lucius leaned back. “We’ve had inquiries.”
“I’m sure you can handle the media.”
“Lois Lane seemed rather concerned.”
“That’s nice of her.” Bruce rubbed his eyes. “I’ll have to get back to some of the people who left messages for me while my Prize was missing.”
“Martha Kent, Lana Lang, others.”
“You’re very lucky to get your Prize back.”
“Very.” Bruce flipped a letter opener up-and-down. “He was brutalized by Caldwell.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
Bruce sighed. “I can’t tell you how relieved I was that he was in good shape when he was found.”
“Not missing anything?”
Bruce shuddered. “No.”
Lucius looked closely at Bruce. “Are you still going to charge Edmund?”
Lucius’ eyebrow raised. “So you’re going against the Code?”
“Yes.” Bruce cocked his head. “Do you disapprove?”
“Hardly.” Lucius folded his hands. “Men like Edmund Caldwell are a danger to society. Their sadism pollutes every decent thing, not to mention the slaves unfortunate to be in their hands.”
“But you have reservations?”
“Only for the company, Bruce.”
Bruce tapped the letter opener on the desk. “Stock?”
“It might drop. Depends on if people see this as a disturbing trend on your part.”
It was Bruce’s turn to raise an eyebrow. “Disturbing?”
Lucius nodded. “Toward Abolitionism.”
“But I’ve already spoken out for more humane treatment of slaves and intend to continue to do so.”
“I figured as much.” Lucius smiled. “The company’s stock has gone down since you began speaking out, but not at plummeting level. Some people consider it socially responsible like the green movement.”
“So Wayne Enterprises has another layer of social responsibility?” Amusement laced Bruce’s voice.
“Yes, in addition to our green responsibility. But there’s always the reverse.”
Bruce nodded. “Those who disapprove of my stand.”
“Which will increase if you charge Edmund Caldwell and require a trial instead of a fine.”
“He won’t do a day of jail time, unfortunately.”
“But the fact that you had the audacity to put him at risk for a prison sentence means you’ve definitely broken your Gentlemen’s Code.”
Bruce’s hand tightened around the ivory handle of the letter opener. “Gentlemen don’t kidnap other gentlemen’s slaves.”
“Yes, but a lot of your shareholders won’t see it that way.”
“Maybe so, but I can’t do anything differently, Lucius. I just can’t.”
Lucius nodded. “I understand, Bruce.”
Bruce smiled. “I’m extremely fortunate to have you as my CEO, Lucius.”
“I’d say you’re right.”
Bruce laughed as Lucius smiled.
Bruce arrived home and after greeting Alfred and Dick, immediately went upstairs.
Clark was sleeping but awoke as soon as Bruce entered the room.
“That I am.”
Bruce sat on the edge of the bed. “How are you?” He touched Clark’s forehead.
“Okay, but better now that you’re here.”
Bruce smiled. “Good. Will you be able to come down to dinner?”
“I…I don’t think so.”
“I’ll have Alfred send up a tray. I’ll come back to see you before patrol.”
“Patrol? You’re going out tonight?”
“Of course.” Bruce kissed Clark’s forehead and began to rise.
Clark grabbed his arm. “Can you…can you stay a little while?”
“Certainly.” Bruce sat down again. “Your eyes look clear. No fever?”
They chatted for awhile, and when Bruce left for patrol, Clark watched him go with troubled eyes.