Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Rainbow Prisms Arc) (20/42)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Roy/Johnny, Lauren Adler, Annie, Kathy Kane, Maris Adler, Craig Brice, Hank Stanley
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: Roy and Johnny get help fighting a fire from one of Gotham’s heroes.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): November 29, 2010
Date Of Posting: November 15, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1593
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
In turnout coats
To save us all.
Spencer J. O’Reilly
"Ode To Firefighters"
FIRE ‘N’ ASH
Heat seared Johnny’s turnout coat as he and Roy moved through the mansion. The fire was devouring the foyer and the rooms on the first floor. They were going to need the snorkel to get down.
They searched methodically, chalking an ‘X’ on each door as they made their way down the hall. Their thermal imaging equipment was bouncing signals all over the place. If a fire was hot enough, they could get mixed signals.
Roy hesitated at the entrance to a bedroom.
He must have heard something.
Roy plunged into the smoky room, Johnny right behind him. Roy headed for the closet while Johnny quickly checked under the bed, finding nothing.
His partner yanked open the door and scooped up the huddled little girl. He gestured toward the bedroom doorway and Johnny nodded. They would meet the snorkel on the east side of the house.
The girl coughed. “Annie! Where’s Annie?”
“Who’s Annie?” asked Roy as he prepared to put his oxygen mask on her.
“She’s my slave but she’s my friend, too!”
Anger flashed in Roy’s blue eyes. The Mistress of the house had only mentioned her daughter and nothing about a slave girl.
“Take this one out! I’ll keep checking!” Roy said over the noise of the encroaching fire.
Johnny nodded and Roy began his search again by handing off the girl to him. Johnny hurried across the hall. If the snorkel was there he could hand off the girl as 116’s paramedics were on the scene and help Roy in his search.
Suddenly, the ceiling above their heads began an ominous rumble and the girl in his arms screamed. Johnny protected her with his body as the debris rained down on them.
The weight felt like it was crushing Johnny, but a quick inventory revealed pain in his right shoulder and ribs. He could dig their way out since he wasn’t pinned. With a grunt he heaved off the debris and said, “Honey, crawl on out. I’ll be right behind you.”
The little girl nodded, swiftly obeying. Johnny was grateful to see that she had stopped crying. That would make things easier.
He crawled out behind her, the smoke setting her off with hacking coughs. He gave her more oxygen, his lungs fighting the smoke. Flames cut off their escape to the hallway.
Hope Roy’s all right.
The window was their only hope. Johnny brought his charge over to the window, taking his ax and knocking out the glass. He grimaced as his shoulder flared from the activity.
“Hey! Up here!” he rasped, the girl adding her voice to Johnny’s.
The firemen saw them and the snorkel moved their way. Once it reached the window, the fireman helped the girl into the basket, then aided Johnny.
“Did Roy get out?” he coughed.
“I gotta go back in there!”
“You’ll have to take it up with your captain.”
Johnny impatiently waited for the snorkel to descend, its pace glacial to his frantic mind. The fire was raging through the mansion and Johnny’s throat constricted. He couldn’t lose Roy, he just couldn’t!
“Mr. Fireman, your friend will be okay.”
Johnny looked down at his small companion. “Thanks, honey.”
Finally the snorkel reached the ground, one of the paramedics from 116s lifting the girl out.
“Check her out, please. I gotta go back inside for Roy!”
Captain Hank Stanley’s voice froze Johnny.
Roy forged through the smoke. He hated to leave Johnny, but it was often necessary to separate during a fire. He called for Annie, knowing that time was short. He strained to listen for any calls for help.
There! The last room down the hall. Roy hurried, sure that he had heard a cry.
Battling through the ever-increasing smoke, Roy entered the bedroom and immediately a young blond girl dashed forward.
“Oh, thank you, I didn’t think anyone would come for me!”
“Don’t worry, Annie, the Fire Department comes for everyone.”
Annie hugged him and he felt his eyes mist over. He caressed her hair and said, “We’ve got to get out of here.”
“Is Lauren all right?”
“She’s with my partner.”
Annie nodded and gratefully took his oxygen mask as they went out into the hall. The portraits lining the wall were doing a macabre meltdown, the wallpaper curling as black ash began to fall. Flames blocked off the rest of the hall, and Roy prayed, Be all right, Johnny.
“We have to get to the roof,” he coughed.
“These stairs will take us to the widow’s walk,” Annie said.
Thankful for the ready access, Roy followed Annie up the stairs to the roof.
It was probably lucky for them that this was a mansion in an exclusive neighborhood outside of Gotham. He doubted that ordinary houses would have allowed such easy access to the roof.
A rush of cool night air was a welcome relief as they emerged out onto the roof. Roy hurried to the edge, waving down toward the men below while searching for Johnny, frustrated when no one spotted him.
Suddenly a whoosh of air alerted him to the presence of…
White teeth gleamed in the darkness. “That’s right, sir.” She smiled at Annie. “Ready for a ride down?”
Annie beamed. “Yes, ma’am!”
“Then let’s go.” Batwoman looked at Roy. “I’ll be back.” He nodded.
She gathered Annie into the crook of her arm and with the other, used her decel line to leap off the mansion and to the ground, fingers pointing and faces upturned as Batwoman made her rescue.
Johnny looked up, seeing red hair flying as Batwoman leaped down from the roof of the mansion, the missing slave girl in her arm. He looked up and saw Roy on the roof.
As Batwoman alighted, he ran forward. “My partner’s still up there!”
Batwoman handed Annie to him. “I’m going back for him right now.”
Johnny hid his wince as his shoulder flared in pain as he took Annie’s weight. “Please hurry.”
Batwoman shot a grapple line up, Johnny watching anxiously as he held Annie tightly. The girl watched just as intently, worried about her rescuer.
It wasn’t long before Batwoman swooped down with Roy, who looked a little woozy at coming down on a single line, but he was smiling.
“You okay, Roy?” Johnny asked as he ran forward.
“Right as rain, Junior.”
Johnny’s smile lit up his face, Annie laughing in delight. Roy clapped a hand on his partner’s left shoulder and drew him into a hug.
Johnny nearly cried in relief. Close calls were a part of their jobs, but the fear never left him.
When they parted, they all hurried over to where 116s had set up a treatment area. Lauren was with her semi-hysterical mother. Paramedic Craig Bruce was trying to calm her down.
“My baby was in that fire!”
“Yes, and now she’s out,” Brice said calmly.
“She could have been burned to death!”
Johnny knelt down next to Lauren. “How are you, honey?”
“I’m fine, Mr. Fireman…”
Suddenly, Maris Adler shoved Johnny forcefully and he landed on his butt, the wind knocked out of him.
“Get your filthy hands off my daughter, slave.” She pulled his turnout collar aside, revealing his slave collar. “And a filthy Indian to boot! Get away from us!”
Johnny’s shoulder and ribs screamed at him as he tried to obey.
“Ma’am, this slave saved your daughter’s life.” Roy’s voice was icy, and Johnny hard the restrained fury underneath as the blond rested a comforting hand on his partner’s good shoulder.
The sharp-angled face of Maris Adler contorted into something ugly. “Slaves should not be in the helping professions, Fireman. They can fight fires because who cares if a slave gets burned to a crisp, but they shouldn’t be in rescue work, dealing with freemen! Who the hell even came up with the ridiculous idea of training a slave and an Indian, of all things, to treat people in need? Slaves are scum, and Indians are worse! Scalping, filthy drunks!”
“Now listen here…” Roy snapped, unable to take anymore.
“What’s going on over here?” demanded Hank as he came over to the group.
“This woman objects to Johnny saving her daughter’s life because he’s a slave and an Indian,” Roy bit out.
Hank’s frown deepened into a scowl. “Ma’am, let Brice help you with your daughter and leave my paramedics alone.”
Rage burned in Maris’ face. For a thin woman, she contained strength that the men could only guess at as she hurled the biophone at Johnny, who cried out as it hit his injured shoulder.
“Get away from us!” Maria screeched, gathering Lauren and holding her close.
Roy was more than happy to lead Johnny away from the furious woman. “Ungrateful bitch,” he muttered.
Johnny was shocked. Roy never said things like that, especially about a distraught mother.
“Did she hurt you?” Roy asked.
“Huh? Oh, yeah, my shoulder’s a bit tender.”
“Come over to our squad and I’ll take care of you.”
“You always do,” Johnny said with a little smile.
Roy answered with a smile of his own, and helped Johnny sit on the bumper of their squad as he squeezed his partner’s good shoulder.
Across the street with a crowd of onlookers a man leaned on his cane as he watched Johnny and Roy intently, a smile spreading across his face.