Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Jonathan/Martha, Alfred, Dick, Brendan, Brad Stryker, Harold Allston
Series Notes: In the 23rd century, Earth is a technologically-advanced society that practices the ancient institution of slavery. New superheroes appear on the scene as the Abolitionist Movement gathers strength. Meanwhile, Lex gets his heart’s desire while long-held secrets begin to spill out of the Manor. Nothing will ever be the same again.
The entire series can be found here.
Genres: AU, Challenge, Drama, Slavefic
Challenge Category: Section E (Slavefic)
Rating: (this chapter): PG-13
Summary: Bruce and Clark go after the blackmailer.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): January 7, 2010
Date Of Posting: April 24, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1372
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author's Note: Written for my 2010 DCU Fic/Art Bondage Challenge.
For they are all
That are truly
"Time In A Bottle"
Clark sat up in bed with Bruce’s help, Bruce arranging the pillows.
“Some.” Clark bit his lip. “I’m glad that Edmund will be punished, but the blackmailer’s disappearance worries me.”
“It worries me, too. Maybe we got lucky and he met an untimely demise, but life is rarely that neat.”
Clark sighed, resting against the pillows. “We have to keep our boy safe, Bruce.”
“We will.” Bruce lightly squeezed his lover’s arm.
“What a wonderful kitchen you have here, Alfred.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Kent.”
“Bruce raves about your cooking.”
“Ah, the Master is most kind.”
Martha smiled. “May I help? I’m a fairly good hand at the skillet myself.”
The butler smiled. “Certainly, m’lady.”
“Blueberry pancakes all right?”
Martha was in her element, and she and Alfred worked smoothly together.
Dick walked in, taking a deep breath. “Mmm, smells delicious!”
“Sit yourself down, my boy,” Alfred said.
Dick beamed as he pulled out a chair.
Upstairs, Jonathan finished buttoning his blue flannel shirt as he walked down the hall. He slowed down as he came close to the master bedroom. The door was closed.
He still could not quite wrap his mind around Bruce owning a bedslave. It made him uncomfortable.
The whole set-up here was not exactly soothing: the incredible wealth, the entire Household made up entirely of slaves, the gloomy city…
He sighed. Bruce was needed for the Cause, and was a good man, but all this Prince stuff…
The door opened and Bruce appeared. “Oh, good morning, Jonathan.” He closed the door behind him.
“Good morning, Bruce. Your, um, Prize all right?”
“Still under-the-weather.” Bruce and Jonathan walked down the grand staircase. “Brendan will take you to the station in plenty of time to catch the Metropolis train. Lex will be thrilled to host you and Martha next.”
“Lex is okay. It’s Lionel who fries my fajitas.”
Bruce laughed as they crossed the foyer. “Lionel is one to watch out for, all right.”
“I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him.”
They entered the kitchen and Dick said, “Master! Mrs. Kent is helping Alfred make blueberry pancakes.”
“Mmm, I can smell ’em. Yum.” Bruce ruffled the boy’s hair on the way to his seat, asking Jonathan to take a chair. Dick was his usual cheerful self, though Bruce thought he detected a slight strain in his voice.
Probably worried over Clark.
Alfred and Martha brought the plates over to the table, and the silver pitcher of maple syrup was passed around.
“Wow, thee are good!” Dick eagerly enjoyed the pancakes.
“I’m glad you like them, Dick.”’ Martha sat next to her husband. “How’s your Prize, Bruce? Should we send up a plate for him?”
“Thanks, Martha, but his stomach isn’t up for food right now."
“A pity.” Jonathan squeezed his wife’s hand. “Anyone eating Martha’s pancakes would be cured of what ails ‘em.”
Grins appeared all around, and Martha said, “Clark certainly liked them.”
Bruce, Dick, and Alfred were startled.
“Clark?” asked Bruce.
“Yes, our son.”
Surprise flickered across Bruce’s face. “I didn’t know you had a son.”
Jonathan and Martha exchanged sad looks. Martha said, “We do. He was lost while traveling in space years ago.”
Jonathan squeezed Martha’s hand again. “Thanks, Bruce. We haven’t given up hope.”
Martha smiled a little. “Clark loved my cooking. Baking, too. Pie was his favorite.”
Jonathan grinned. “Apple pie, cherry pie, lemon pie…it was all good.”
Bruce, Alfred and Dick could not help but smile.
“Clark left after graduating Metropolis University. He had interned at The Daily Planet his senior year but decided he needed to do some traveling, search for his family roots.”
Jonathan continued, “Clark was adopted and knew very little about his birth parents. He’d come to us as a baby.”
“Like a gift from heaven.”
The Kents exchanged a private look, and Bruce hoped that they would find their son someday.
Bruce quietly entered the bedroom. Clark was still resting against the pillows.
“Enjoy breakfast?” he asked.
“Very much. Martha and Alfred made blueberry pancakes.” Bruce sat on the edge of the bed.
“Thought I smelled pancakes.”
“Would you like some?”
Clark shook his head slightly.
Bruce put a hand on his lover’s face. “I wish I could make you better,” he said softly.
Clark smiled. “I get my shot tomorrow. I should be better.”
Bruce smiled, too. “Sure.”
Clark’s eyes were clouded. “I’ll be fine.”
Bruce nodded. They both knew that Clark’s bouts of sickness were becoming more frequent and lasting longer. They both knew that Wertham’s Disease sufferers often grew sicker as the year went on.
Bruce’s heart ached.
“Rest now.” He kissed Clark’s brow.
Martha and Jonathan said their goodbyes as they entered the limousine, Brendan driving them away.
The sky was gray as dusk began to fall, a cold wind springing up. Bruce shivered and went back into the Manor.
“Master Lex will be glad to see the Kents,” Alfred said as Bruce entered the kitchen.
“Yes, they do have a history together. Lex arrived in Smallville soon after their son went off-world. She told me a little more about that painful time in their lives. I guess Lex helped some by helping Smallville, and that’s also when Martha got involved with the N.A.S., soon after Clark disappeared.”
“Quite a coincidence about the name.” Alfred put on a kettle of tea.
“Yes.” Bruce sat at the table and laughed. “The night I brought Clark home, I saw Martha’s picture in the paper. Her maiden name was used: Martha Clark Kent. Apparently the name she and Jonathan chose was the same I did.” Bruce smiled. “A good, strong name.”
“For a good, strong man.”
Bruce nodded. His cellphone beeped. Flipping it open, he said, “Bruce Wayne.”
Brad Stryker’s voice was on the line. “Mr. Wayne, why would Carl Winslow be in this neighborhood?”
Bruce drew a blank. “Who?”
“The man you got dismissed from Aaron Brecker’s cleaning service a few years ago after the incident with your Prize. He was loitering around the gate and I remembered his name from the security files. He headed down the road a few minutes ago.”
“Thanks, Brad. I’ll check it out.”
“I’ll send Sam…”
“No need. I can handle someone like Carl Winslow.” As soon as Bruce broke the connection, it rang again. “Yes, Wayne here.”
“Bruce, Harold Allston. We’ve found the security breach. One of our new hires is the culprit. He picked the brain of one of our computer techs and got a list of security codes. He managed to get into the protected area and got the information he’s using against you.”
“Damnit! What’s his name?” His address?”
“False name and address. His real name’s Carl Winslow.”
Bruce’s fingers painfully gripped the phone. “Thanks, Doc. I’ll handle it from here.” He snapped the phone shut.
Carl Winslow was the blackmailer, wanting revenge for getting booted by Bruce from the Manor’s cleaning crew after he had assaulted Clark.
And now he was heading down the road toward…the Caldwell estate!
Bruce shot up from the chair just as Clark entered the kitchen.
“I’m feeling much better, Bruce. Must be all that rest.” He smiled, still looking a little pale, but his sapphire-blue eyes sparkled.
Bruce rapidly explained the situation. Clark went pale. “Bruce, if he tells Edmund…!”
“He won’t.” Bruce grimly put on his boots and coat, grabbing a knit cap off the hatrack by the door.
“I’m coming with you.”
“No, you’re not. You’re in no shape…”
“And I told you I’m feeling better.”
Clark quickly put on his boots and coat, Alfred handing him a cap.
“Bruce, Dick’s in terrible danger. I want to help.” Clark pulled the cap on. “If I slow you down, I’ll come back home.” He slipped on his dark glasses.
Bruce was certainly gratified to see Clark feeling so much better, and understood his motivation.
“All right, I’ll hold you to that.”
Both men hurried out of the kitchen and down the driveway, heading down Oceanview Drive.