Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Rainbow Prisms Arc) (28/42)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce (Clark does not appear in this chapter), Kathy Kane, Roy/Johnny, Laura Rogers
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, Drama, Slavefic
Rating: (this chapter): PG-13
Summary: With Robin absent, Batman patrols with Batwoman.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): January 1, 2011
Date Of Posting: December 23, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1129
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
Tongues of flame
Dusted with stars,
As the world burns.
"Fiery, Fiery Night"
FIERY, FIERY NIGHT
Batman missed Robin.
He had no objection to working with Batwoman. In fact, he found it quite enjoyable. She was tough, skilled, and beautiful to look at, and her passion for crimefighting was obvious.
Still, Robin was his partner, not Batwoman. He had been on patrol six nights without his Little Bird, and he was excited about Dick coming home tomorrow. He had kept in touch with Dick and Clark and had never once asked Clark when he was coming home, afraid of the answer.
As he leaped over the rooftops, following Batwoman, he knew that he could order Clark home, and he would come.
He wasn’t going to do that.
Not for something this important. He couldn’t bear the thought of Clark living at the Manor but yearning for the farm. No, Clark would have to decide, technicality or not: would he pick up his old identity of Clark Kent and perhaps find himself back at The Daily Planet, able to get his journalistic career going, or remain Bruce Wayne’s pleasure slave until Freedom came?
Batman watched as lush red hair rippled out behind his partner for the night. He wondered if that was really any choice at all.
I know that Clark loves me, but who wouldn’t choose freedom over slavery?
A glow in the distance pushed such gloomy thoughts aside as Batwoman pointed, and he nodded.
They reached the site in ten minutes, fire billowing up out of an old tenement building. Batman noticed with interest that the men of Station 51 were among the firefighters on the scene. Ever since the paramedics had come in response to Alfred’s illness, he had taken an interest in the men of A-Shift.
The firefighters were working efficiently in the midst of chaos. They were entering the building to get the residents out, other men and women using equipment to fight the fire from the outside. The Bats would stay out of it unless need arose, like the last fire that Batwoman had assisted.
Batman watched the firefighters, admiring their professionalism and courage. Despite his own armor and other gadgetry, he never liked going into fires when it was necessary while chasing a suspect or saving those trapped. There had been many times that he had saved the helpless before the firefighters arrived, but he never liked the intense heat or danger of burns or smoke inhalation if he got trapped or his equipment malfunctioned.
Yet these men and women went into fires numerous times for years, sometimes every shift.
“Brave men and women,” murmured Batwoman.
“Yes.” Batman saw a flash of blond hair as one firefighter removed his helmet to put on his SCBA. His partner’s hair was dark and shaggy. “Definitely Roy and Johnny.”
“Sorry, just thinking out loud.”
Batwoman nodded as she watched the activity below. “Wait, 51 is the station with the slave firefighter/paramedic?”
“Yes.” Batman watched Roy and Johnny enter the flame-ravaged building. “I didn’t know that was common knowledge.”
“It’s not.” She smiled. “I have my sources.”
He inclined his head in acknowledgment. Of course she would have sources. As a Bat, it was required!
“Are you actually smiling?”
Batman quickly stopped. “No.”
Batwoman laughed, her grin lighting up the night.
They returned to their vigil for several minutes, staying alert, the flames leaping up toward the sky that glittered with stars. Batwoman spoke. “I suppose the lack of publicity about a slave serving in the Fire Department is for his protection, but it would serve the Cause well.”
"Maybe they’re leaving it up to him.”
Her tone turned wry. “Slaves rarely get a choice about anything.”
“I would guess that his shiftmates would be very protective.”
“Not that the Government cares, but if there were problems with his shiftmates, they would probably remove him.”
“I agree.” Batman kept an eye on the windows in case a trapped victim made an appearance. The door on the roof opened, and a woman in a nightgown and robe stumbled out, frantically shutting the door behind her.
“Looks like our cue,” said Batman as he shot a grapple line to the burning building.
“Good luck,” said Batwoman as her companion swung over to the roof.
The woman yelped in surprise, her nerves already frayed. She took a step backward.
“It’s all right, ma’am,” Batman said soothingly. She flinched as a flashover pushed glass out of a window below them, flames leaping out with a roar. “I can get you off this roof.”
Batman nodded. “I can wrap this line around you and take you over there.” He pointed to Batwoman on the other roof.
The woman paled, brown hair tumbling into her eyes. “Swing all the way over there? This high up?”
“Yes, ma’am. I do it all the time.”
“Maybe you do, but I don’t.”
Batman smiled and wished that Robin was here. He was able to soothe and charm victims with ease.
Well, I have Batwoman with me.
“Please, ma’am, it’s a safe way to get away from the fire.” He signaled to Batwoman, who swung over. “Batwoman and I can get you off this roof.”
Batwoman’s smile was pleasant instead of the smirking one she usually used to keep criminals off-balance.
“We can both swing you over if you like, ma’am.”
“Hello, Laura.” Batwoman started putting a line around the woman. “With the two of us, it’ll be as easy as pie.”
Laura calmed down, Batwoman keeping up a gentle patter. Batman slipped a line around Laura, giving her double protection.
They shot off grapple lines and prepared themselves for the swing over. Laura watched their preparations nervously, flinching as an explosion rocked the building.
“Okay, let’s go,” Batwoman said.
The duo swung off the roof, their charge in tow, and the firefighters took note, crossing another victim off their search list.
The trio reached the safety of the nearby roof, Laura letting out a sigh of relief. “Thank you!” She hugged Batwoman, the redhead patting her shoulder, sending Batman a wry smile.
Batman wasn’t miffed. He wasn’t supposed to be warm and cuddly, after all. That was Robin’s job, and, apparently, Batwoman’s.
“I’ll take her down,” said Batwoman.
Batman nodded, returning his attention to the fire.
He saw Roy and Johnny stagger out just as an explosion blew them across the street. Other firefighters quickly reached them, Roy frantic over his unconscious partner.
Clark had told him that he suspected that they were lovers, intriguing Batman. They were often in life-and-death situations that strengthened their bond.
He would have to keep an eye on those two.