Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Rainbow Prisms Arc) (14/42)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Dick, Jonathan/Martha, 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): PG-13
Summary: Jonathan and Martha hear their son’s story.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): November 10, 2010
Date Of Posting: October 20, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1485
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
THE FIRST STEP
The grandfather clock continued to tick loudly in the tense silence. They could hear the murmur of voices from the kitchen along with the sounds of cabinets opening and closing, and the clink of china.
Bruce was uncomfortable and not a little worried. He hated to be the cause of a rift between Clark and the parents he had just found again.
Clark and Dick sitting close beside him on the couch gave him courage. Why he, the Prince of Gotham, CEO of Wayne Enterprises and head of the Wayne Foundation, not to mention being the Batman, should be afraid of a farmer and his wife should be impossible, ridiculous, ludicrous.
Yet he was very afraid.
Clark loved Jonathan and Martha Kent. They were the parents who had raised him and Clark’s memories that he had recovered so far were good ones. Bruce had to trust his lover’s instincts.
Jonathan glared for a few minutes, then tapped his fingers against the arm of his chair, visibly trying to calm himself down.
Martha entered the living room. “Alfred will bring in the tea when it’s ready.” She perched on the arm of Jonathan’s chair, resting a hand on her husband’s shoulder. “Clark, dear, begin your story.”
Clark nodded, Dick transferring to Clark’s other side, sensing that he was going to need support. The gesture was not lost on the Kents.
“I woke up about four years ago, and had no memory at all. I didn’t know who I was, and I certainly didn’t know that I was Kryptonian. I…I was in a slavers’ camp.”
A little gasp came from Martha while Jonathan looked vaguely ill. They had read enough reports on slavers’ camps to know the conditions Clark had woken up in, not to mention what he had suffered.
“I was taken to Gotham for private auction, and Bruce bought me.” He smiled at Bruce.
“For sex,” Jonathan said flatly.
“Yes.” Jonathan and Martha were both surprised at Clark’s quiet assertion. “But it’s not what you think.”
“What are we supposed to think, Clark?”
“Martha…Jonathan…I’d never had a pleasure slave before.” Bruce spoke quietly. “The only slave I’d ever had contact with for most of my childhood was Alfred and after…after my parents died, he raised me.”
Martha bit her lip and Jonathan’s hard glint seemed to soften slightly.
Clark slipped his hand in Bruce’s. “Bruce never hurt me. I knew he wouldn’t, from the very beginning. He protected me from the likes of Edmund Caldwell for a long time.”
Both Kents went stark-white, Martha’s hand flying up to her mouth. “Omigod, Clark…”
“I know, Mom. Caldwell did get me, but I survived it.”
Jonathan groped for Martha’s hand and she took it, squeezing it tightly.
“Clark, that tape…?” Martha asked, her voice trembling.
“He never did anything to me from that tape.”
Bruce felt guilty but kept silent, Clark squeezing his hand and Dick pressing up against him. Alfred chose precisely that moment to arrive with the tea tray.
Bless you, Alfred.
The butler passed around the teacups, sitting in the other overstuffed chair. He had eschewed any food, correctly deeming everyone to be too tense.
Everyone had a sip, murmuring their appreciation of Alfred’s brewing skill, and Martha spoke again.
“Clark, honey, if your memory was gone and Bruce didn’t know your true identity, how do you know it now?”
“Well, records from the Kryptonian Control Committee fell into our hands.”
“’Fell into your hands?’” Jonathan frowned. “Or do you mean Lex has something to do with this?”
The Wayne Family exchanged looks amongst themselves.
“Very perceptive, Dad. Lex and Bruce are old friends. Lex sent the materials.” Clark kept silent about how the Batman had gotten hold of Silas Bracken’s records.
One major revelation per day.
“So Lex knows?”
“He must suspect.”
Jonathan sighed, rubbing his face. “Lex is all right, but I wouldn’t trust Lionel as far as I could throw him.”
“Lex would never turn over this material to Lionel,” Clark said.
“Probably not, but Lionel has his way of getting information.”
Bruce silently acknowledged Jonathan’s point. He had worried about that himself.
“Dad, please don’t worry.”
“Of course I’m worried! You go off into space and we don’t see you for over four years because damned slavers get you.”
Clark leaned forward. “Why did I leave Smallville and go into space?”
Martha answered. “You were going to help Kryptonians who were being Hunted.”
Clark’s eyes widened. “I saw that in my dreams.”
“No, a long time ago. My memories were trying to break out through my dreams.” He smiled. “I saw you and Dad.”
“You did? So why didn’t you contact us?”
“I could never see your faces clearly. But I knew I was loved.”
The Kents smiled, Bruce happy to see the closeness amongst the three.
“How did you come to raise a Kryptonian?” he asked.
“Ah, now thereby hangs a tale,” Jonathan said. “Do you remember the details, Clark?” When Clark shook his head, his father sipped his tea and began the story.
“One night after a Grange meeting, Martha and I were driving home when we saw a shooting star. We made a wish.” He smiled up at Martha. “It came true that very night.”
Clark beamed, joining Dick in sunny exuberance. If Bruce didn’t know better, he could have sworn that they shared the same DNA.
“We saw the star burn down through the sky and land in a field and went to investigate. Imagine our surprise to see a rocketship and a little boy who had come from that rocket!”
“We discovered early that our child from the stars, rocketed to Earth before Krypton exploded, was not your ordinary little boy.” Martha smiled at Clark’s blush. “When he got cut, he healed immediately, and was strong for a toddler. He could jump and run faster than most kids. We figured since he had come from the stars, then it stood to reason that he would have differences, none that mattered to us, of course, except what needed to be hidden..”
“Did you know that he was Kryptonian from the beginning?” Bruce asked.
“No, because he didn’t exhibit the full range of powers that Kryptonians exhibit, but we soon realized that it made sense that he would eventually develop the others.”
“When Clark hit adolescence, he developed heat and X-ray vision,” said Jonathan. “He already had some form of telescopic vision. The heat vision could be pretty dicey, some spontaneous combustion, but we did get our fires lit and the bread toasted after awhile.”
Laughter rolled around the room.
“Sounds like a handy trick.” Alfred said dryly.
Clark blinked his eyes as Dick giggled.
“So you were rocketed from Krypton?” Bruce asked. As Clark nodded, he asked, “It’s a pity you don’t remember the details.”
“We learned some of the details.” Jonathan sipped his tea.
“There was a recording in the rocket, but it was damaged during landfall. Parts of the recording are unintelligible.”
“May I hear it?” Bruce’s eyes gleamed with scientific curiosity.
“Sure. Is it still in the barn?” Clark asked his parents.
“Yes,” Jonathan answered, frowning slightly. He shifted in his seat. “If you didn’t have any slaves while growing up except for Alfred, why are you surrounded by slaves now?” he asked Bruce.
Dick looked upset but kept quiet while Martha also sent an inquiring look at Bruce. Bruce grasped Dick’s hand and squeezed gently.
“Well, I’m sure you know the story of what happened to Dick’s parents one night during a performance of The Flying Graysons.” The Kents nodded, sympathy in their eyes. “Well, I understood what he was going through. I talked to Pop Haly, the circus owner, and bought Dick that very night.”
Dick piped up in a small-but-steady voice, “Bruce paid for my parents’ funerals and buried them on the estate.” Martha’s eyes glistened with tears as Jonathan cleared his throat. “He bought all of our possessions and they’re stored in the Manor. He was so good to me that awful night.”
Bruce squeezed his hand again. “Dick isn’t just my Squire, he’s my boy. Our boy.” He smiled at Clark and Alfred, who smiled and nodded firmly.
“Well, I guess that answers the question of why you’re so active in the Movement,” Jonathan said and Bruce nodded.
The silence descended again, the grandfather clock ticking loudly. Bruce thought of the clock at home that concealed the entrance to the Batcave. He stifled a sigh as homesickness washed over him.
“You really love our son?” Jonathan asked.
Jonathan sighed. “We’re not thrilled with this, but we trust Clark’s judgment. And Martha’s worked with you closely.” He looked at Clark. “So, son, are you home to stay?”