Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Rainbow Prisms Arc) (5/42)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Dick, Clark/Bruce, Alfred
Series Notes: In the 23rd century, Earth is a technologically-advanced society that practices the ancient institution of slavery. Clark finally learns about his identity and heritage. Will that knowledge tear him and Bruce apart? Meanwhile, Rebellion and Abolition twist and turn in the pageantry of events.
The entire series can be found here.
Genres: AU, Challenge, Drama, Slavefic
Rating: (this chapter): G
Summary: Clark takes joy in flying again. Dick joins him. ;)
Date Of Completion (First Draft): September 24, 2010
Date Of Posting: September 5, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1043
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
Joyful as you fly,
The clouds kissing your skin,
The sun dancing with the wind.
THE JOY OF FLYING
The Wayne family stood in the backyard staring up at the blue sky. Dick’s hand slipped into Bruce’s and he squeezed tightly, almost on autopilot. His heart pounded as he watched a seagull fly lazily by, the cottony whiteness of the clouds a pleasing contrast to the blue of the sky.
Bruce continued to stare, his eyes never leaving the spot from which Clark had disappeared.
Starchild. How could he stay bound to Earth?
Just as he could feel keening build up deep within him, a legacy from his ancestors, a red-and-blue blur streaked down from the sky to land mere feet in front of them.
They all took an involuntary step back as Clark shone like the sun.
“It’s wonderful!” Dick danced as his blue eyes sparkled. “It’s the best thing ever!” Clark snatched up Dick and tossed him into the air, the boy shrieking with laughter. He caught Dick and held him easily. “How would you like a flight?”
Dick’s eyes grew as wide as saucers. He immediately turned to Bruce. “Can I…may I, Bruce?” he hastily corrected himself.
“Of course.” Bruce smiled, happy to see his boy so happy.
Clark crouched, powerful muscles thrusting as he shot through the air again, this time at a far slower pace and not as high. Alfred and Bruce could still see the twosome as they wheeled slowly several hundred feet in the air. Mingled laughter could be heard floating down to the ground.
Bruce watched the grace as Dick easily matched Clark’s movements, Clark supplying the power and flight while Dick supplied the grace. Clark held him by the hand, allowing Dick to spread out, and Bruce could not help but think of ‘spreading his wings’.
He was glad he had sent Stryker and his security force to Wayne Enterprises for guarding a special conference, which Lucius was taking care of for him. He had also doctored the security cameras. All the guards would see upon their return would be a beautiful fall day, but empty grounds.
Ever practical, eh, Bruce? Never have your head in the clouds.
He looked wistfully upward.
Dick’s joy filled him with a power that left him breathless. He was stretched out beside Clark, whom he trusted implicitly not to let him fall.
He felt as light as air, the wind rushing by his ears. The clouds kissed his skin, happiness unlike any he had ever known shining through his smile.
Clark smiled at him. No words were necessary. Always, they would have this, this love of flying. Bruce might enjoy it, but it was more the means to an end for him. It was difficult for him to completely let go.
Clark understood. He might have forgotten that he could fly, but he had not forgotten how it felt.
In every movement of his body, Clark’s instincts were sound. He set a leisurely pace, allowing them to float, to drift, to cartwheel. Clark pushed off into a loop-de-loop, Dick watching as the sky pinwheeled in front of his eyes. It was cooler up here, the moisture from the clouds gentle on his skin, each drop as delicate as a snowflake.
He closed his eyes as he spun, excitement building up in his spirit. He squeezed Clark’s hand, smiling as his hand was squeezed back.
The beating of birds’ wings sounded close, and Dick opened his eyes, watching a goose flap by, honking indignantly as it nearly collided with them. Dick and Clark erupted into a fit of giggles.
Clark drew Dick in close, their eyes meeting, their smiles growing brighter. Dick felt how warm Clark’s body was, touching a bare forearm in awe. He was sure that his skin was golden, burnished from the sun.
Clark gently hugged Dick, beginning their descent. Dick could see the tiny figures of Bruce and Alfred waiting for them.
Dick also noticed Clark’s wrists. Where rainbow manacles would have once sparkled in the sun, now there was only bare skin.
He looked at his own manacles, sadness gripping his heart, but then he resolutely pushed it aside. Joy was all he wanted to feel in this moment.
Clark lightly set them on the ground.
“It was wonderful, Bruce! Alfred, it’s so quiet up there!”
“Except for indignant geese,” Clark quipped, and Dick laughed.
Bruce gave Dick a hug. “Your flying ability seems in good shape.”
“It is.” Clark tousled Dick’s hair. “Must be the old saw about riding a bike: once you learn, you never forget.”
“You sure didn’t!” Dick said staunchly, bringing another grin from Clark.
Bruce put his hands on Dick’s shoulders as he addressed Clark. “Looks like you won’t need much practice for that power.”
“I still might, but you’re right, the biggest problem will be my strength. I have to be careful how to use it, and not go around breaking things.” He winced. “I’ll have to figure out how to dial down the super-hearing, fast.” He rubbed his temples, squeezing his eyes shut.
“Do you need to lie down?” Dick asked, worry in his voice.
“No, I just…” A small smile appeared on Clark’s face. “Got it.” He sighed in relief as he opened his eyes.
“Would you like to lie down, anyway?” Bruce asked, still concerned.
Clark shook his head, looking at his lover fondly.
You’ll always worry, won’t you, Bruce?
But that warmed him. No matter what family he had out there (if he had one at all), this family would always be part of him.
“Lunch, then?” Alfred suggested, and Clark laughed as he said, “Never turn down your wonderful food, Alfred.”
Pleased, Alfred went into the house to start preparations.
Bruce squeezed Dick’s shoulders. “Go help Alfred,” he said softly.
Dick nodded, giving Clark a last quick smile as he dashed off to the kitchen.
Clark saw the joy in Bruce’s eyes. He also saw the fear underneath that joy.
Clark reached out and snapped a manacle back on. The surge of power he had felt since first removing his slave jewelry began to ebb.
Bruce’s eyes widened. “Clark, what…?!”