Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Rainbow Prisms Arc) (26/42)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Jonathan/Martha (Martha does not appear in this chapter), Clark/Bruce, Dick
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: Clark tests his powers under his father’s supervision while Dick helps.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): December 21, 2010
Date Of Posting: December 13, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1123
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
LIKE OLD TIMES
“All right, now!”
Clark’s heat vision shot out at Jonathan’s urging, melting the empty soda can. Dick’s eyes sparkled as he impatiently shifted from foot-to-foot, then took off to check on the can and set up another one. He put his hand close to the melted can but didn’t touch it.
“It’s still hot!” he said.
Jonathan nodded. “Sounds about right.”
Clark smiled. “Heat vision’s one of the trickiest of my powers.”
“I take it you’re managing your hearing?”
Clark nodded as Dick ran up. “How do you do that, Clark?”
“Melt soda cans or manage my hearing?” teased Clark.
Dick laughed. “Yeah, the hearing thing.”
“Well, it’s tough, but I learned to be selective, otherwise I would go crazy." Dick nodded sympathetically. “On one level, I’ve shut down everything but the normal range of hearing, but on another level I can here when a major disaster occurs. I shut that down, too, because I can’t do anything about it, at least not right now.”
Dick and Jonathan exchanged looks. In the short time he had known Dick, Jonathan was impressed with the boy’s sharp intelligence. It was obvious that Dick cared a great deal about Clark.
“No, you can’t right now, and that’s society’s fault for supporting slavery and those reprehensible Hunt Decrees.” Jonathan noticed that Dick tensed slightly.
“I suppose you’re right,” Clark sighed.
“I know I am.”
Clark laughed. “Okay, Dad.”
“Melt the next one.”
Clark obeyed, his eyes glowing red as laser beams shot out and hit the aluminum can, a red nimbus growing around the object. It began to melt and buckled as Clark continued the assault, the can turning into a glowing heap of slag.
Clark smiled, teasing Dick, “Maybe I should add some sparkles to the effect?”
Dick laughed. “I wouldn’t object.”
“Bruce would…” Clark faltered, then said, “I wonder how he’s doing? We should give him a call.”
Dick produced his cellphone with a flourish. “He’ll be getting ready for, uh, his meeting.” He punched in a well-remembered number.
Jonathan saw the way both Dick and Clark’s faces lit up as the boy connected with Bruce.
What is it about him that draws them to him?
In Jonathan’s opinion, Bruce Wayne was a cultured aristocrat with a nice smile, but no doubt guilty of arrogance and other traits of men of his station.
I’m honest enough to admit that I’m disturbed by him buying Clark as a pleasure slave, but I do understand that he saved him from a far worse fate. It literally makes me sick to my stomach to think of Clark in Edmund Caldwell’s hands.
He remembered the tape shown at Edmund’s trial and shuddered. He and Martha had gotten a preview of it and he still had been disturbed by it the second time around. Their boy had been very lucky to escape Edmund's clutches without permanent disfigurment, though the rape infuriated Jonathan.
“Yeah, we’re testing Clark’s heat vision. It’s so cool! We’ve using soda cans. Meltin’ ‘em all to slag!” Dick laughed. “Yeah! Guess we’re performing super-recycling.” Clark put out his hand. “Here’s Clark.”
Clark took the cellphone while Dick scooped up a batch of cans and ran to place them, choosing several yards farther away this time.
“Yes, we’re recording data. We’ll let you peruse through it, promise. How’s everything back at the Manor?” Clark listened intently, then smiled. “Good. How’s the weather?” He laughed. “Yes, that’s typical Gotham weather. Better be careful when you go out tonight.” His tone was slightly worried, and his voice dropped to a softer tone. “I love you.” His smile was incandescent as Bruce replied. “Yes, certainly.” He waved the phone at Dick. “Bruce wants to talk to you again.”
Dick ran back and took the phone. He walked a short distance away, giving Jonathan an opportunity to talk to Clark alone. Dick was a good boy, but fiercely protective of Bruce.
And from what I’ve seen, it isn’t just a Master/slave thing.
“What’s this meeting that Bruce has to be so careful about?”
“Oh, it’s a meeting with people he calls sharks. Business is a tough profession!”
“Big business, eh?”
Clark nodded. “It’s as shark-like as politics, which, come to think of it, Mom navigates pretty well.”
Jonathan laughed. “I leave it all to her.”
“Oh, don’t you know it. The smartest thing I ever did was to hitch my wagon to your mother’s rising star.”
“Can’t argue with that.”
The waning afternoon sun glinted off Clark’s rainbow manacles and collar. He had explained why he kept them on, though now they were duplicates instead of the powers-suppressing Rainbow Kryptonite.
Jonathan understood the technicality: if Clark was Human, he could not be legally enslaved if he had been born free, but as a Kryptonian, he could be freed by petition to the appropriate Council on Krypton. Of course the Catch-22 was that with Krypton gone, there was no Council to petition, and then there was the not-so-little concern of a Hunt Decree.
Jonathan figured that Clark could go the route of passing as Human and therefore be eligible for manumission by Bruce, but if he chose to stay with his Master, he would continue wearing the slave jewelry.
He also suspected that Clark didn’t want to hurt Dick or Alfred’s feelings by going without the jewelry in private.
“Glad to have you with us, Clark. It’s been a long time.”
Clark was watching Dick chatter to Bruce and looked at his father. “I’m glad, too, Dad.”
Jonathan smiled and clapped a hand on his son’s shoulder. “Like old times, eh?”
Clark smiled fondly. “Yeah. We didn’t exactly have a manual for my powers, did we?”
“No. Trial-and-error, all the way.”
“But we managed.”
Jonathan’s smile grew brighter. “We always do.”
Dick ran back to them. “Bruce is fine.”
“That’s good,” Clark said with a smile and Jonathan suggested one more power display before going back to the house.
Clark concentrated, the red beams shooting out of his eyes as he methodically melted each of the six cans while Dick watched avidly.
Jonathan decided that Clark would make the right decision. He hoped that he would resume his life as Clark Kent and use Smallville as his home base if he could get a job with The Daily Planet in Metropolis and leave life as a pleasure slave behind, but that would be up to Clark.
Let’s just hope this time will convince him of the first option.
Dick laughed as Clark melted the last can. They cleaned up the area and headed back to the farmhouse as the shadows lengthened across the fields.