Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Rainbow Prisms Arc) (9/42)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Lex/Jamie, Lionel Luthor
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): PG-13
Summary: Lex spars with his father while musing about Bruce’s Secret.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): October 16, 2010
Date Of Posting: September 24, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1785
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
Plans and lies,
Webbed and dark,
Laced with snark.
Lex sighed. Everything was in disarray. The Kryptonian Control Committee was temporarily suspended until investigation of its members could conclude after the arrest of Jeremiah Bracken. His cousin, Silas, premier slave dealer, was on the run, but the Govs were confident that they would apprehend him. After Batman had left him trussed up for the Gotham Police Department, one of Gotham’s Finest had been bribed to allow him to escape, though it was only speculation about the bribe at this point.
However, knowing the history of the GCPD before Jim Gordon cleaned it out, it’s not a shock.
Lex gazed out the window of his study, enjoying the view of a brilliant fall day. The trees were reaching their peak of color and the sky was bright blue. He would have to get out there before the day was over.
Jamie was sitting on the couch using a laptop to search through the news bulletins to keep Lex up-to-date. He sat cross-legged, wearing jeans and a pale-green shirt that set off his green eyes to perfection.
Jamie preferred to dress casually within the confines of the mansion, and Lex indulged him. Besides, hip-hugging jeans and tight T-shirts were just as sexy as expensive designer wear. Even better at times, if he thought about it, which he did, quite frequently, in fact.
“Well, son, it appears your Committee is in a bit of trouble.”
Lionel’s smooth voice instantly garnered attention. Lex looked up from his laptop, Jamie tensing on the couch.
The tension of his pleasure slave was not evident to anyone except Lex. Jamie always felt some tension around Lionel, who was honoring Lex’s ‘hands-off’ policy, but you never knew if he was going to poach.
Lionel entered the room with a confident stride, as always. Lex remained seated, his expression cool but faintly amused. He was up for some verbal sparring today, and there was no better sparing partner than Lionel.
“Keep your distance from the Caldwells.” Lionel sat down in the chair in front of the desk, crossing his legs, at complete ease. He had not acknowledged Jamie but was very aware of the slave’s presence.
“Even moreso now.” Lionel steepled his fingers. “Ever since the trial, Edmund’s been crazier than ever.”
“How can you tell?” Lex smirked, aware that Jamie looked slightly ill.
“Just things I hear. His sons are giving him a wide berth.”
“Hmph, they should do that all the time.”
“I have to agree.” Lionel buffed his fingers against his sleeve. “The man should be in Belle Reve.”
“He must have a lot of payments out there to keep him out.”
“You’re probably right.” Lionel smiled, Lex recognizing it as a predator’s smile. “I suppose Caldwell stock has dropped.”
“Now, Dad, I know that you’ve been on top of things since the verdict came down.”
Lionel’s smile widened. “You know me well, son.”
“Are you planning a move against them?” asked Lex, honestly curious. He was CEO of LexCorp, an important subsidiary of LuthorCorp, so any of his father’s dealings would affect him.
“I think it best to follow my lifelong policy: steer clear of Edmund and his warped brood.”
Lex nodded slowly. He could not argue with that. He glanced at Jamie, who was seemingly absorbed in his laptop.
“No, son, I’m more interested in the hoopla surrounding your Committee.”
“It’s not my Committee, Dad,” Lex said wryly.
“Ah, but you were a part of it.”
“I am a part of it. We’ve only been temporarily suspended.”
“’Temporarily suspended’ usually means ‘permanently disbanded’ in politicospeak.”
“You may be right, but I can only go with what I’ve been told.”
“Tsk, tsk, Lex, I taught you better than that.”
“True, Dad, for cutthroat tactics, you’re the best.”
Lionel’s smile acknowledged the compliment. “Do you think your fellow Committee members will be exonerated?” Lionel appeared to be casual in his interest, but Lex knew better.
“I have no idea. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?” Lionel chuckled. “All I know is that I have nothing to fear.”
“That’s good. Covering your tracks is always important.”
Irritation flared through Lex. “I’m not guilty of slave smuggling.”
“Good thing. The Government frowns on that sort of thing.”
Lex smirked. “I would say so.” He leaned back in his chair. “Are you interested in my fellow Committee members for your own purposes?”
Admiration glinted in Lionel’s eyes. “You’re always been smart, son.” He tapped a finger on his knee. “It’s always a good idea to gather information.”
“So that it can be used against someone in the future.”
Lex nodded. His father was a bastard, but he was a smart bastard.
“I don’t know if there’s much to find out. Sure, everyone has skeletons in their closet, but I don’t think any of them are involved in the smuggling.”
“They don’t have to be.”
Lex’s eyes narrowed for a second, then widened. “Of course,” he murmured. “Other information could be useful.”
”Naturally.” Lionel’s tone was smug.
Lex shook his head, this time the one with the admiration. “I’ll keep my eyes and ears open, Dad.”
“Don’t forget your old friend Ron McBride.”
“I won’t.” A chill went down Lex’s spine. Business was business, but he disliked betraying a friend for non-business purposes.
Anything I find out about him stays with me, Dad.
“So,” Lionel said, “When will the investigators arrive?”
”I will be here, Lex, in case you need me.”
Lex was not fooled. Lionel would dearly love to sit in but knew Lex would refuse, or the agents would, since he was not a member of the Committee.
However, Lionel could always surprise him. His father was an expert at manipulating him but if the Govs were sniffing around, he would stand by his son. Lex could have had a far better father, but he would never have a more interesting one.
“I have to prepare for tomorrow, Dad.”
Recognizing his dismissal, Lionel smiled but stayed for a moment longer in his chair.
“How are Bruce and Oliver?”
“Doing fine, actually.” Lex laughed. “I really think that Ollie’s going to pop the question.”
“Dinah will make a fine Lady of Queens’ Castle.”
“I look forward to such an event.” Lionel rose from his chair. “Weddings are such fine events.” He thumped his chest. “Makes the heart fond.”
Lex could not help but laugh as his father waved on his way out of the study.
“Are you nervous about tomorrow?” asked Jamie.
“A little. Government agents don’t always stick to what they’re supposed to investigate.”
Jamie nodded solemnly, tapping on the laptop’s keyboard. He stopped and stared at the screen.
Lex quietly rose from his chair and sat next to his slave on the couch. “You all right?”
Jamie nodded, smiling ruefully. “Sorry, it’s just that…” He shrugged, embarrassed.
“My father unsettles you.”
Jamie looked up, his eyes showing his gratitude for Lex’s understanding. He had removed his glasses when Lionel had left, for which Lex felt his own gratitude. He had never seen eyes as beautiful as his pleasure slave’s.
He rubbed a thumb along Jamie’s cheek. “He unsettles a lot of people.’” Including myself. I’ve just had more practice with the feeling. “He hasn’t tried anything with you lately, has he?”
“Oh, no.” Jamie smiled ruefully. “It’s just as if he could, well, you know…”
Lex smiled fondly. “Yes, my father always comes across as a someone who might do something.” He laughed. “That’s a good description of him, which he’d probably like.” He gently stroked Jamie’s shiny blond hair. “Is something else bothering you?”
Jamie’s smile warmed his heart. “You know me pretty well, huh?”
“I’d like to think so.” Lex’s hand slipped down to rub Jamie’s shoulder.
Jamie bit his lip. “Do you think he suspects anything about Clark?”
Ice chilled Lex’s spine. “I don’t think so, but you’re wise to be worried. My father always seems to ferret out things you want kept secret.”
Jamie chuckled. “You’re right.” He sighed as his fingers nervously ran along the keyboard. “I just worry about all of them: Clark, Dick, Alfred, and Bruce.”
Lex could not disagree. He worried, too.
“It’s why I sent that classified information to Bruce by courier instead of computer. The Govs snoop on all of our computers.”
“But you have computers that have circumvented the spyware.”
“Yes, but codes can still be broken. Couriers can be risky, but you have to acknowledge risk in everything.” Lex stared out the windows. “I should give Bruce a call, find out if he received the special package.”
“The courier service marked it as delivered.”
“Yes, but Bruce might not have read it yet. I did mark it as urgent, but he could be out of town.” Lex began to run over how he was going to cryptically conduct the conversation over the phone. He and Bruce used private, bug-free lines, but as he had told Jamie, codes could be broken. Setting up a get-together was one thing, but discussing this delicate subject? Better to speak in code even on a private line.
Besides, he wanted to see if he could read between the lines whether or not what he and Jamie suspected was true: that Clark was a Kryptonian. His scientific curiosity was excited by the prospect, his eyes lighting up. Imagine having a Kryptonian all to himself to conduct tests on!
He sighed mentally. Of course he would not such a thing. Not only was Bruce a friend, Lex had felt a connection with Clark, too.
Well, isn’t that irony. I know my own Kryptonian and can’t do anything about it.
Lex was nearly 100% certain that Clark was Kryptonian. How Bruce was going to handle such a thing was, of course, up to him, but Lex hoped that he and Jamie would be kept in the loop, at least to some degree.
Though I wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t. He knows my father's talent for ferreting out information as nearly as well as I do. It’d be risky to say too much. He’d know I’d keep his confidence, but Lionel is always the X-factor.
Still, Lex could not help but try and find out what was going on. His insatiable curiosity would allow nothing less.
“Hmm?” Lex looked up, catching his breath as he lost himself in leaf-green eyes.
Truth be told, he suspected that he had fallen a long time ago.
Warm lips brushed his cheek, and he decided that he could wait to make that call to Bruce after all.