Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Rainbow Prisms Arc) (29/42)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Alfred, Clark/Bruce (Clark does not appear in this chapter), Brendan, Dick, Sam Elkins
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: Dick is coming home.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): January 2, 2011
Date Of Posting: December 27, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 965
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
Is a house without
And Other Poems"
TRAINS, PLANES AND AUTOMOBILES
The Manor was abuzz with excitement, Alfred busy in the kitchen baking molasses cookies while Bruce had changed the linens in Dick’s room to freshen it up and was now pacing back-and-forth in the foyer as a smiling Brendan had driven off to the train station.
The traffic was not heavy at this hour, for which Brendan was grateful. Gotham traffic was often like its citizens: edgy and crazy.
He cruised along at a good pace, able to drive this route in his sleep from the Manor to the city. It was a pick-up he was most happy to make.
The Manor’s just not the same without Dick.
He knew that if he missed the bright young boy, Alfred and Bruce must be missing him twice as much.
The Lord of the Manor’s been in a funk ever since he got back from Smallville without Dick and his Prize.
Brendan carefully avoided a driver who maneuvered his car like a drunk.
Aircars had made their debut a hundred years ago, but had been quickly outlawed as the accidents had piled up. With the invention of clean synthetic fuel, it was just more eco-friendly to keep transportation on the ground. The light, fast, monorail trains were remarkably efficient, most people preferring to use those instead of private automobiles.
Planes were strictly regulated, mostly for Government use or the wealthy’s playthings. A handful of airlines licensed for commercial use got people to distant spots, but for most people, the trains or ships did the job.
Gotham Union Station was a beautiful Beaux Arts building originally built in the 19th century. It was also a testament to remodelers, who had upgraded an aging facility over the generations while keeping much of the original architecture.
Brendan found a parking space and loped into the building, checking the train schedule on his cellphone. The train from Metropolis was on time.
All the major cities had train hubs. To get from Smallville to Gotham, a traveler had to take a train from Smallville to Topeka and then to Metropolis.
And then home to Gotham.
Brendan walked through the cavernous lobby, sunlight showing through the multitude of stained-glass windows and the magnificent skylight.
It might be the only place of light in Gotham.
Brendan preferred Metropolis as a big city. It suited his personality better: bright, optimistic, and engaging. Gotham was dark, pessimistic and surly, but he had to admit that the Gothic architecture was interesting, and Gotham’s spirit might be weary but indomitable, taking on the likes of the Joker and Killer Croc with a shrug.
His home city of Boston was much smaller than either city but was filled with old brick townhouses and some buildings dating back to the 17th century. Trees lined quiet streets and the downtown was a bustling cultural mecca with the old neighborhoods like the Italian North End and Irish South Boston, better known as Southie, still thriving after generations.
Brendan reached the right track and watched as the sleek train smoothly reached its track, the shushing sound accentuating the near-silence of modern train travel. He wondered what it would have been like to stand in a 19th or 20th century train station with belching smoke and incredible racket.
Could be exciting, he thought as he whistled a jaunty tune, his hazel eyes watching the disembarking passengers. His smile widened when he spotted Dick, whose smile lit up even the sunlit Union Station.
Dick laughed as he hugged his friend. Security guard Sam Elkins couldn’t help smiling at the happy reunion.
Brendan was glad that Dick had a bodyguard. Sam had gone out to Smallville when it was time for Dick to come home and had traveled with him all the way back. The boy was far too vulnerable in a world that preyed on slaves.
Brendan noticed the looks thrown Dick’s way. He was on the cusp of adolescence, ready to bloom, and would be attracting even more attention.
“How was your trip?”
“Smooth as silk,” Dick said.
“He’s right. Pretty uneventful,” said Sam. His tone suggested that he was perfectly happy with that state of affairs.
“Well, Mr. Wayne and Alfred will be very happy to see you.”
Dick beamed. He and Sam stowed their luggage in the limousine’s trunk and they were off.
As Dick chattered about the farm, Brendan wondered about this ‘loan’ of Clark to Martha and Jonathan Kent. Bruce had explained that he wanted a liaison to the National Abolitionist Society, but why Clark? He’d been at his Master’s side non-stop except for the kidnapping ever since Bruce had brought him home.
Don’t quite buy what the Master is selling.
He concentrated on traffic while listening to Dick. Sam was a naturally quiet man, so he said little except when Dick drew him into the conversation.
They left the city for the outskirts, the mean streets of Gotham turning into pastoral roads as the scenery changed from concrete to greenery.
Soon the spires of Wayne Manor could be viewed in the distance, and Dick perked up in the seat next to Brendan. He drove through the main gates and up the winding driveway, the Manor coming into full view. No matter how many times he drove this route, it was always an impressive sight.
Brendan frowned slightly as he saw the Fire Department squad truck parked in the driveway. Dick was nearly out of the car before Brendan stopped it and ran up the steps to the front door and it was opened by Bruce, who grabbed him into a hug.
Brendan smiled. “All’s well,” as Sam laughed in agreement.