Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Barbara, Dick, Clark/Bruce, Alfred, Brendan
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): G
Summary: Pizza makes everything better. ;)
Date Of Completion (First Draft): February 20, 2010
Date Of Posting: May 24, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1057
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author's Note: Written for my 2010 DCU Fic/Art Bondage Challenge.
September 16, 22 – C.E.
RIGELLIAN FIREPEPPERS ARE OVERRATED...NOT!!! ;)
As dusk fell at the Manor, Barbara and Dick finished their session, showered and joined Clark and Bruce in the entertainment room after making a batch of chocolate chip cookies.
“Mmm, a treat!” Clark said as he took a warm cookie from the plate that Barbara offered him.
“Shall I prepare something for dinner, sir?” Alfred asked as he came in from the library.
“No, Alfred. If you’d like to join us, no cooking for you. In fact, everyone up for pizza?” asked Bruce.
Squeals of delight erupted from Barbara and Dick, and Clark smiled.
Dick beamed. “Pizza makes everything better! I’ll go get Brendan!” He dashed out of the room to amused looks.
Once Brendan arrived, pizza orders were taken.
At the last suggestion, everyone looked at Dick, whose grin lit up the room.
“Rigellian firepepper?” Barbara laughed.
“I like hot ‘n’ spicy.”
“That’ll rip your esophagus out!”
Dick laughed. “How about it, Bruce? Can we order that? If I’m the only one to eat it, more for me.”
Clark punched him lightly on the arm while Dick giggled.
Bruce took out his cellphone with a shake of his head. “Your wish is my command, Richard.”
Dick practically bounced off the couch.
“Mario, hi. A tidy little order for the Manor, please.” Bruce smiled. “Yes, it’ll be a diverse one. Ready? Here goes.” He rattled off the list of toppings. “Yes, the Rigellian firepepper is for my Squire.” Dick laughed delightedly and Brendan ruffled his hair. “Excellent. We look forward to your masterpieces.” He flipped the phone shut.
Bruce cued the movie back up that he and Clark had been watching, and there was much critiquing, everyone feeling comfortable enough to offer opinions.
“This is acting?” Barbara huffed.
“Simply dreadful,” Alfred opined.
“It’s an action movie. It’s supposed to be dreadful,” Dick laughed.
“But this bad?” Barbara countered.
“Don’t worry, this movie’s almost over,” Bruce assured her. “And we’ll start a new one when the pizza comes.”
True to his word, another movie was ready to start when the doorbell rang.
“I’ll get it.” Bruce jumped up and left the room.
Barbara watched him go. “He’s really special, isn’t he?”
“Oh, yes,” Dick agreed. “A lot of Masters are taking part in Free Your Slaves Day, but Bruce is really doing it up big. He won’t let us do a thing."
Brendan smiled. “He’s a really great boss, Barbara. Very generous.”
Admiration shone in Barbara’s eyes. She was also having a great time. She would have to tell her father all about it.
“I’ll go help. That’s a lot of pizza,” she said, glad to serve those who served.
Barbara bounded out of the room and hurried to the foyer. Bruce was tipping the pizza delivery boy (no doubt generously) and trying to balance six pizza boxes.
“May I help?” asked the boy.
“I’ve got it,” Barbara said, taking two of the boxes from Bruce.
Bruce kicked the door shut after the delivery boy left, following Barbara into the kitchen. They set the boxes on the table.
“Mmm, these smell delicious.” Barbara said. “Hmm, we need paper plates, napkins, and knives to cut the pizzas.” She ticked off the items on her fingers. “Oh, and glasses and soda.”
Barbara smiled. “I hope I’m not being too presumptuous.”
“Never.” Bruce took out the glasses. “I hope you’re having a good time.”
“The best! Your Family is the best.”
He smiled. Of course Barbara would know that his Household was his Family. She was a very perceptive young lady.
She was busy taking out the paper plates and grabbing a fistful of napkins. “I…consider Dick a friend, Mr. Wayne.”
She looked up at him. “They’re all so wonderful.”
“They’ll be free someday.”
Barbara flashed a smile as she said, “I’ll be right back.”
Bruce looked out the kitchen window, a strong gust of wind blowing through the trees, golden leaves shining in the sunlight.
Barbara was a good girl. She came from good stock. Jim was integrity itself.
She was also smart as a whip, a National Honor Society student who was also an Olympic gold medalist. She was a good friend to Dick, even with the obvious problems.
Problems of free and enslaved, of mores and codes, of so many things, and yet what remained important was the friendship between his boy and the bright, vivacious girl with the kind heart.
Barbara bounced back into the kitchen, reminding Bruce of Dick. He smiled affectionately.
“Everyone’s ready, Mr. Wayne.”
“Coming right up.”
She poked her head into the refrigerator. “I see big bottles of soda. Should I avoid any particular kind?”
“No, all is good.”
Barbara took out bottles of Coke and Sunsparkle, heading for the entertainment room.
The arrival of the pizzas was happily greeted, and soon everyone was munching away happily while watching the movie.
Bruce felt a sense of contentment. He had always feared losing those he loved after the events in Crime Alley, keeping people at arms-length, but he had learned from his Family that you should enjoy the time you had, because loss was inevitable, and if so, would you not prefer memories to none at all?
So Bruce held these times in his heart, knowing that he could be alone someday. He knew the harshness and cruelty of this world, especially to the vulnerable, and Clark was possibly living on borrowed time.
But this was not the time or place to think of such things as he watched Clark laugh. No, this was time to enjoy the moment and to make the memories that would fill his emptiness when the inevitable came.
“Wanna try my pizza, Bruce?”
Bruce looked at Dick, whose blue eyes were sparkling.
“I think I will.”
“Careful, Mr. Wayne. That stuff’s lethal,” Brendan warned.
“I think I can handle it.” He had seen Dick take large bites of his pizza. Maybe Rigellian firepeppers were overrated. He picked up a slice and bit into it.
“Ahh!” Eyes watering, he grabbed his glass of Sunsparkle and drained it, Dick laughing and Barbara saying, “Toldja!”
As the fire burned down his throat, Bruce did not care.
He was happy.