EDIT: So NOW I can change it! *rolls eyes*
Enjoy the last chapter of Rainbow's Freedom for 2011! :)
Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Rainbow Prisms Arc) (30/42)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce (Clark does not appear in this chapter), Alfred, Roy/Johnny, Dick, Brendan, 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, Challenge, Drama, Slavefic
Rating: (this chapter): G
Summary: Roy and Johnny inspect Wayne Manor.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): January 6, 2011
Date Of Posting: December 31, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1298
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
Gotham General Hospital
September 6, 2246 C.E.
Bruce wandered into the kitchen. “Those cookies smell delicious, Alfred.”
“Yes, well, molasses treats are some of Dick’s favorites.”
“They’re on my list, too.”
Alfred smiled. “Thank you, sir.”
Bruce shifted from foot-to-foot, Alfred smiling to himself. The doorbell rang and Bruce frowned.
“That can’t be them. It’s too soon.”
“Perhaps it would be best to go and see who it is, sir.”
Bruce shot Alfred a look, the butler suppressing a smile. Bruce left the kitchen and crossed the foyer. When he opened the door, he was pleasantly surprised. “Gentlemen, there’s no fire here.”
Roy DeSoto laughed. “True, Mr. Wayne. My partner and I are here for inspection.”
“Ah, yes, the Fire Commissioner did say there would be after the Adler fire.”
Once in the foyer, Roy took charge, asking to see where the fire extinguishers were kept. He and Johnny checked them for effectiveness, noting they were up-to-date instead of too old to use.
Bruce pointed them out as they walked through the house.
“I’d like to inspect the wiring in the kitchen.”
Roy and Johnny followed Bruce into Alfred’s domain, and the butler acknowledged the visitors graciously. “Would you like some cookies?”
“Well, we…” Roy began uncomfortably.
“I promise; it’s not a bribe,” said Bruce with a smile.
Roy laughed. “I guess a couple of cookies wouldn’t hurt. Thank you, Alfred.”
“I should be thanking you,” Alfred said warmly.
“Just doing our jobs,” Roy said with a smile, but Alfred tut-tutted.
“I could have died without your help last year.”
Johnny smiled as he accepted two cookies, Roy getting two of his own.
“Mmm, very good,” Johnny said.
“And, believe me, this guy’s a foodie. He knows his stuff,” Roy teased as Johnny blushed. “Listen, Junior, you inspect the kitchen. Mr. Wayne, I’d like to inspect your fuse box.”
Bruce led Roy down into the basement, switching on the lights to the cavernous area.
Bruce grinned. “Everything’s big here.” He pointed out the fuse box and Roy took the key that Bruce handed him and unlocked it. He used his small flashlight to check the wiring.
“Old houses like these can be tricky with wiring,” Roy explained.
“Yes, I know. It’s tough to completely modernize.” Roy nodded. “I know it’s your job, but I truly am grateful for the care you gave Alfred last fall.”
Roy smiled. “We appreciate it.”
“It must be unusual having Johnny as a partner.”
Roy glanced over at Bruce. “It can be.”
Bruce hoped he was being diplomatic. He didn’t want to come across as anti-slave.
“Do the two of you encounter many problems?”
Roy checked the last fuse and closed the box, locking it. He handed the key back to Bruce. “Sometimes. The Adler fire was a prime example.”
When Roy didn’t elaborate, Bruce gently reminded him, “I am a member of the N.A.S., you know.”
Roy smiled slightly. “Yes, I know. Your family also has major influence on Gotham General Hospital and its S.A. policies.”
“My family founded the hospital generations ago. We definitely want them to treat everyone who comes to their door.”
Roy nodded approvingly. “It’s one of the reasons I like being based there as a paramedic. I’m really not all that fond of medical personnel refusing to treat those in need.”
Bruce could see the fire in Roy’s blue eyes, and this time it was his turn to approve.
“The men at your station aren’t uncomfortable with Johnny in their midst?”
Roy brightened. “No, they don’t mind. In fact, they’ve taken Johnny in as one of their own.” Roy’s face was animated as he said, “Johnny deserves such regard. He works hard, puts himself at risk as we all do, and he’s one of the finest firefighters and paramedics I’ve ever seen.” He gestured up toward the kitchen. “Johnny came from poverty. The Indian reservations are notorious for poor living conditions, but the Government eventually picks out the ones they deem ‘of value’ and start feeding them better, though Johnny’s always hungry.”
Bruce felt a stab of sympathy. It was easy to forget that the basic necessities of life went begging. It was too easy to forget those when focused on sexual abuse, among other things.
A loud noise upstairs startled both of them, and Roy charged up the stairs with Bruce right behind him.
Roy headed for the kitchen. “Everything all right in here?” he asked breathlessly as he skidded to a halt.
Johnny and Alfred looked at him curiously. “Everything’s fine, Roy,” Johnny answered.
“What was that noise?”
“Oh, you mean the branch falling? Master Bruce, we really need to get those trees trimmed. They are becoming too dangerous.”
Johnny looked affectionately at his partner. “See, all is well.”
Roy blushed a little but said, “Okay, that’s good. How’s the wiring here in the kitchen?”
“Tip-top.” Johnny grinned at Alfred, using one of the Englishman’s favorite expressions. “Here, have another cookie.”
Roy took the proffered cookie and smiled. “Thanks.”
Bruce understood what had driven Roy up those stairs: protectiveness of a vulnerable partner wearing slave jewelry. He understood that feeling very well.
Bruce heard the limousine come up the driveway and his face lit up. Alfred said, “He’s here,” and Bruce nodded, hurrying to the front door, closely followed by the butler. Curious, Roy and Johnny followed, too.
Bruce didn’t wait for the doorbell to ring, opening the door.
“Bruce!” Dick exclaimed, launching himself into the older man’s arms.
“Dick,” Bruce murmured, hugging his boy in delight, smoothing his hair as he swore the foyer became brighter.
Dick hugged Alfred next as Brendan and Sam came in through the door, Sam carrying his suitcase and Brendan carrying Dick’s.
“Glad to have you back, Sam.” Bruce shook the security guard’s hand. “How was the trip?”
“No incidents, sir.” Sam smiled benignly at Dick. “Though the young Squire attracted quite a bit of attention.”
“Yes,” Bruce said uneasily, watching as Roy and Johnny seemed captivated by his sparkling boy.
“Hey, you’re the paramedics who saved Alfred last year!” Dick said, smiling at the firefighters. He suddenly remembered himself and lowered his eyes, afraid that he had been too exuberant.
Roy’s warm voice reassured him and he looked up. The blond was smiling as he said, “That’s right, we were on that run. We definitely remember you.”
Dick beamed. “You guys are so cool! I can just imagine what it’s like to fight fires one minute and help sick people the next.”
“It’s an interesting job description, all right.”
Dick laughed. “So I could be a firefighter someday?” He looked at Johnny, who smiled.
“You could be. You’ve got to be in good physical shape and be smart, “ said Johnny.
“That, too,” Johnny laughed.
“That all sounds great.” Dick noticed Brendan with his suitcase. “You shouldn’t be carrying my luggage.”
“Hey, don’t sweat it, kid.” Brendan ruffled Dick’s hair. “When you get the chance, come down to the garage. Got something to show you.” He winked.
Dick grinned as he took his suitcase, Brendan allowing it with a fond smile.
Bruce walked across the foyer as Sam left the house. “Is the kitchen wiring all right?”
“Perfectly up-to-code,” Johnny said.
“We’ll just take a walk around the grounds and inspect the garage next,” Roy said.
Bruce noticed the pleasant tone of his voice and smile but the firmness behind both. He nodded, sure that the inspections in the neighborhood were in competent hands.
After Roy and Johnny left through the front door, Bruce went upstairs, eager to hear Dick’s stories about his week on the farm.