Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Carl Winslow, Alfred, Dick...
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 confront the blackmailer.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): January 10, 2010
Date Of Posting: April 25, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1100
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author's Note: Written for my 2010 DCU Fic/Art Bondage Challenge.
The House of Jorelle
THE ROYAL IMPERATIVE
It was cold, a typical late February day in the Gotham countryside. Bruce was glad for his warm coat and hat. He dug a pair of gloves out of his pocket, and was glad to see Clark knot a scarf around his neck.
He was still not happy about Clark accompanying him so soon after feeling so sick and a relapse possible at any second, but he knew that his lover would not turn back unless he became a liability. They walked at a brisk pace down the road, Clark keeping up. Bruce trusted his Beloved to turn back if necessary.
It would be spring soon, the anniversary of Dick coming into the Family. Bruce thought of his boy, his happy child despite his chains, and how that scum Winslow was threatening to blow up his life.
Well, he was not going to allow it.
He could feel Clark’s determination beside him. His gentle lover was never fiercer than when he was defending those he loved. Bruce felt his confidence grow with Clark by his side.
They reached an area of woods that bordered Greenwood, the Caldwell estate. Bruce had not wanted to use a car. Too noticeable. He wanted to find Winslow before the punk could meet with Edmund.
Bruce was familiar with the security system the Caldwells used. He had considered the company before choosing his current one. He had kept up with their advances, figuring that keeping an eye on the Caldwells was a good thing.
Fortunately, the woods bordering the estate had not been included in the system. Cameras were trained on the road bypassing the front gates and the areas closest to Greenwood, but otherwise he and Clark were free to continue through the woods in search of Winslow.
Bruce silently gestured Clark to follow him, then hesitated. Clark’s eyes were clearly inquisitive as he removed his glasses for a minute.
Bruce whispered, “Winslow wouldn’t just walk up to the front gates. He wouldn’t want a lot of people to see him meeting Edmund or Harrison or whoever.”
“So where would he go?”
“Further into the woods.”
Clark nodded and put his glasses back on as they turned away from the proximity to the estate and went deeper into the woods.
They walked as quietly as possible, sidestepping leaves frozen to the ground.
Bruce was certain that his instincts were right. Edmund was insane but smart as a wily old fox. He would never risk openly meeting with a blackmailer on his estate.
The sound of the ocean grew louder as they approached the edge of the woods. The trees started to thin out as the sea came into view.
Bruce motioned Clark into a copse of trees. The wind cut through their clothes, Bruce rubbing his gloved hands together, worried about Clark.
The sound of footsteps caught their attention. Carl Winslow appeared several yards away, stopping close to the cliff.
Clark’s face contorted in anger, remembering the beating he had taken at the hands of this man years ago. Bruce flexed his hand, itching to return the favor.
“We’re going in,” Bruce whispered, and Clark nodded.
Winslow turned at the sound of boots crunching on snow. Surprise turned to a sneer.
“What do you want, Prince?”
“Your hide, Winslow. You’re in a lot of trouble.”
“Yes. Breaching a research lab’s computer security is a serious offense, not to mention stealing confidential results and using a false name to get hired.”
Carl smirked, his lank brown locks falling into his eyes. “I’d say my sins are far less severe than yours, Wayne.”
“Well, we’ll just see about that.”
“Yes, we will.”
“Pretty confident for a blackmailer.”
“Why not? Arrest me. As soon as I tell the authorities your dirty little secret, you’ll be ruined.”
“Do you think anyone will believe you?”
“I have the evidence.”
Bruce hoped that he could keep up a cool façade. Inside, he was seething. This…this…peasant…dared to threaten him and his own!
“Evidence you fabricated.”
“Oh, is that the way we’re going with this?”
“Don’t go any further with this, Winslow. You won’t win.”
Moonlight shimmered on the ocean behind the smirking Winslow. Bruce’s hands curled into fists, the Bat lurking around the edges. There was too much at stake here to play around with this little slug.
The full force of his royal blood surged up in him. Generations of his family had protected their own. He would do the same, no matter what it took.
Winslow whipped out a shining silver disc. “This is my ticket to a lotta money and respect, Prince. And there’s power, too.” His smirk grew oilier. “Your House of cards will come down around your ears. Your slaves will end up on the block; your buddy Harold Allston will lose his medical license and go to prison; you will be right behind him, and that filthy Gypsy brat will find that the end will come slowly and painfully while I have a front row seat.”
Bruce growled and lunged for the data disc, a furious Clark right behind him, and Winslow teetered on the edge of the cliff, losing his balance as he screamed, toppling over. Bruce made a grab for him but missed, Carl Winslow falling to the rocks below.
Shocked, Clark stared down at the body as the waves washed over it inexorably, tugging it off the rocks and out to sea. A hand gripped Clark’s shoulder.
Clark and Bruce walked through the woods in silence, the sound of the sea and an occasional seagull’s cry the only sounds.
As they approached the Manor, Bruce said, “Winslow gambled and lost. After we tell Alfred, we won’t speak of this again. Dick’s safe.”
Clark nodded. That was the important thing.
Alfred met them at the kitchen door.
“Master Bruce, Dick’s gone.”
The man sitting in the dark swigged sliva, a most satisfactory drink. It burned all the way down a man’s throat to his gut. He needed that after the week of stress he had endured.
A knock on the door made him sigh. Now what? Couldn’t a man drink in peace on a Friday night? Grunting, he heaved himself out of his chair and grumbled all the way to the door. Yanking it open, he began to snarl, “What d’ya want …?” when he saw who it was.
“Pop, I need your help.”
Pop Haly tugged his Dickie inside the trailer.
Pairings/Characters: …Pop Haly