Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Rainbow Prisms Arc) (17/42)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Jonathan/Martha, Dick, 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: Bruce appreciates the meaning of the Kent Farm to Clark.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): November 21, 2010
Date Of Posting: November 3, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 985
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
The trees guard our home,
The wind heralds our joy,
As we glory in
The Good Earth.
"The Good Earth"
THE GOOD EARTH
As Bruce helped Martha with clean-up, he realized that he still felt very comfortable with this woman. He knew her better than Jonathan, and they worked well together. Still, he was aware that things were a little awkward between them.
As he helped Martha wash the dishes, he chatted with her, some of it trivial and some of it Society-related. She smiled and was her usual warm self, though he was sure that he detected some coolness between them. He decided to try and breach the wall.
“I didn’t know anything about Clark’s background until a little while ago,” he said quietly as he dried a plate.
Martha looked up from the soapy sink. “I have no reason to disbelieve you.”
“Are you sure?” He sighed. “I did have your son as my pleasure slave for the past four years.”
“I know.” Martha handed him a plate. “I read people pretty well, Bruce. I highly doubt that you’d join my Society, working with me side-by-side, while knowingly keeping my son in your bed, powerless and amnesiac.” Her mouth quirked upward. “You’re very good at playing the devil-may-care playboy, but I know there’s no cruelty in you.”
Bruce swallowed. “Thank you.”
Martha smiled. “It’s the way I see it.” She handed him a glass.
Bruce wiped it, eyeing it critically in the sunlight, and wiped it again. “I love Clark very much.”
“I know.” Martha scrubbed another glass. “I’ve seen the way you interact with Dick and Alfred. You love them, too, in different ways, but no less.”
“That’s true.” Bruce looked at her earnestly. “I love each one of them and would never do anything to hurt them.”
Martha looked at Bruce. “You protect them.”
“With everything I have.”
“Yes, I know, otherwise I would ensure that Clark never returned to Gotham with you.”
Bruce knew Martha was speaking the truth. He could see it in her eyes.
I wouldn’t want to be at loggerheads with Martha Kent over anything!
They finished with the dishes, Martha inviting Bruce to come sit with her on the front porch. She indicated the swing and they settled in.
The fall air was crisp and smelled of apples from the nearby orchard. It was cool but not uncomfortable.
“You have a beautiful place here.”
“Thank you.” They began to swing slowly. “It’s been in Jonathan’s family for generations. His ancestors came during the days of Bleeding Kansas in the 1850s.”
“Yes, a legacy can be a good thing.”
Martha smiled. “Yes, you’re very familiar with legacies. How old is the Manor?”
“It was first built in 1626, but very different from how it looks today. It went through various transformations but the kitchen still has the original beams from 1626 and a few other items as well.”
“So each generation added something new?”
Bruce nodded. “And the smaller house of the 17th and 18th centuries eventually grew into what you see today.”
“You love that place very much.”
“I take my strength from Gotham.”
Martha kept the swing going by pushing off with her foot. “Clark takes his strength from here.”
Bruce swallowed. “I understand, but Clark considers the Manor home, too.”
Martha said nothing, the wind whispering through the trees in the silence.
A few minutes later, laughter drifted down from one of the upstairs windows.
“Dick seems like a very happy boy,” said Martha, tilting her head up and smiling.
“He is.” Bruce couldn’t help but smile, too. Dick was infectious that way. “He’s adjusted so well.”
“Yes, his life was very different in the circus.”
Bruce nodded. “It nearly broke my heart the night his parents died. He saw everything. And there was fear mixed in with the grief. Would Pop Haly have to sell him now that the act was gone? The circus was struggling financially.”
“But you stepped in that night.”
“Yes.” Bruce’s eyes took on a faraway look. “I knew what he was feeling.”
The swing creaked in the silence and Martha placed her hand over Bruce’s
More laughter spilled out of the house as Dick scrambled down the stairs, followed by a more sedate Alfred. They came out onto the porch, Dick’s eyes sparkling. He looked eagerly out over the fields.
“When Clark gets back from the barn, he can take you on a tour of the farm,” Martha said.
“That’d be awesome!” Dick bounced on his toes, looking toward the barn.
The adults exchanged amused looks, Alfred taking a seat in one of the wicker chairs.
As if on cue, Jonathan and Clark emerged from the barn. Seeing the group on the porch, they headed that way.
“Clark, your mom says you’ll give us a tour of the farm!” Dick called.
“Oh, she did, did she?” Clark teased as he ruffled his young friend’s hair as he and his father reached the porch.
“Yes, she did!”
Martha laughed. “Looks like I booked you as tour guide, honey.”
“That’s okay, Mom. Dad, can I take the truck?”
“You sure can. You know where the keys are.”
Clark nodded and went inside, Dick cartwheeling down the porch steps.
”That’s really amazing!” Martha clapped. “You certainly have real talent, Dick.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Kent.”
Clark came back out with the keys. “Bruce, Alfred, would you like to come along?”
“I am most intrigued,” said Alfred, rising from his chair.
“Me, too.” Bruce also rose, and Jonathan took his place on the swing.
“Let’s go, then.” Clark tossed the keys up and caught them, smiling at his parents. “Thanks for the car, Dad.”
Jonathan laughed. “Any time, son.”
He and Martha watched the happy group as they piled into the truck and Clark drove off down the dusty path toward the fields.