Pairings/Characters: The Manor, Bruce/Dick, Alfred
Series Notes: This series will focus on the settings of the DC Universe, in different timelines and ‘verses, and sometimes with different pairings. The entire series can be found here.
Genres: Challenge, Drama, Historical, Romance
Claim: For the dcu_freeforall Challenge (Bruce/Dick)
Prompt: T 1; P 42: Wayne Manor
Prompt Count: (13/15)
Summary: Wayne Manor has been here since the country’s beginnings and has seen tragedy give birth to a great Mission and an even greater Love.
Date Of Completion: February 15, 2010
Date Of Posting: November 7, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1041
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Stands the ancient Manor,
Wreathed in silence
And solid brick
Of a Family
And a Mission.
"Ode To Wayne Manor"
Wayne Manor had been here, on this land, since before the Revolution.
Gotham City was just a village then, keeping an eye out for Indians, though half the population died that first winter from disease and cold instead.
Montmorency Wayne built the foundation and the modest cottage with a thatched roof by-the-sea. A thick forest of trees surrounded it, and it was a fine location indeed.
The thatched cottage became a fine house of brick, and the Waynes grew and prospered, along with Gotham, now a sizeable town instead of a village. Anthony Wayne and a host of others went off to war, and Anthony became Mad Anthony Wayne, returning a hero of the Revolution, though plagued by war’s dreams.
The fine Colonial house became the Manor in the Era Of Good Feeling, the early 19th century once again prosperous.
The gardens grew to magnificence, and the moonlight shimmered and the sun sparkled on the sea.
The Manor saw triumphs and tragedies, sheltering her family from the outside world while becoming a symbol of its power. She weathered the storms, whether of sea or of land, and watched the grand ships ply toward Gotham Harbor as the town grew to a city.
She was grandeur and wealth and always tasteful, though some called her brooding.
Down below, in the rich soil, were the caves, water trickling as bats chirped and squeaked high up on the ceiling. And there Andrew Wayne and his wife Sarah and their children ran the Underground Railroad, ushering slaves on the road to Canada and freedom.
And when the Civil War crashed down on Fort Sumter off the Charleston coast, their son Captain Elijah Wayne was there, a Rebel cannonball nearly taking his head off. That cannonball would find its way into the family vault, deep within her.
She was there, solid rock of ages, when four sons left to fight at First Bull Run, Fredricksburg, Chickamauga, Antietam, Gettysburg, Chancellorsville, the Wilderness, Cold Harbor, and Sherman’s March-To-The-Sea, making Georgia and South Carolina howl.
She was there when only three returned, and one of those without a leg, and the other two just as scarred, though on the inside.
She was there when Lily Wayne lost herself in grief over her lost baby in the 1870s, and prowled the house and grounds, always searching, but never finding.
She was there when the new century began, filled with promise and hope.
And what a century it was!
Excitement and golden summers turned to dust when the Great War began, then the Jazz Age spiraled and danced, crushed by the Great Depression, and then the second war across the world. The Cold War came, crystalline and frosty, a land war in Korea draining treasure and blood, and a New Frontier, melting away in blood in Dallas, and the country convulsed.
Through it all, the elegant lady protected and nurtured her family as the City beyond her borders grew like a wild child, fractious and dangerous. It matched the restless waves of the sea close by her while she was eternal like the waves foaming on the shore.
Triumphs and tragedies reverberated through her quiet walls, children’s laughter spilling out generation after generation down polished halls lined with gold-framed paintings of ancestors and tables with Ming vases and other priceless heirlooms. Drapes of rich velvet framed the tall windows that let in the sun or closed in the darkness when drawn.
And then a tragedy struck that shook her down to her very foundation. The child she had watched grow into a fine young man, who had brought his bride home and had welcomed their son into the world, had been cut down in the city along with his lady, leaving behind their child.
She had known when this child had been born that he was destined for greatness. He was the most sparkling of all the Princes who had come before him. This one was a part of her, of the Manor, of the city beyond…yes, he would do great things.
Down below in the Cave beneath her, he set up what he needed for his Mission, and she was what he needed. And the Chamberlain, loyal and understanding her in ways that even the Prince did not, aided her in doing what was needed for the Mission.
And then when another child came home, brought by the Prince, her child, she sensed his pain, and learned that he had suffered the same tragedy as her child.
And now they were both her children.
And the younger one grew, nurtured to be his natural self by the Prince and his Chamberlain, bright and sparkling, charming as only a happy child could be, swinging from her glittering chandeliers and sliding down her polished banisters.
And the happy child grew into a beautiful young man, and his lonely Prince fell in love.
All the hurts, all the sorrows, all the joys were within her, and she sheltered her sons from the world so bent on hurting them.
She was a part of the City, and yet not part of it. She was of the City, and yet apart from it. And while the City had the strongest grip on the Bat, she held the strongest grip on the Prince.
Love lived in this house again after years of sorrow and grief. When the Crown Prince had arrived, he had brought the laughter again after a period of mourning.
The Chamberlain of the house cared for her always, and they worked in concert to keep their boys happy and safe.
Here within her confines was a haven, the place where the lovers could love, far from the prying eyes of a judgmental society.
She who had seen so many generations of Waynes would never be judgmental.
She would listen to soft sighs on silk sheets, to cries of passion and declarations of love, watching beautiful bodies twist and turn, and know that it was good.
She was the Manor, and she would shelter those who called her Home.