Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Ollie Queen, Lex Luthor, Steve Trevor, Hal Jordan, Alfred
Series Notes: In the 23rd century, Earth is a technologically-advanced society that practices the ancient institution of slavery. The wealthy freeman Bruce Wayne acquires a highly-prized pleasure slave whom has fallen in love with him…but can the Prince of Gotham ever return that love? And will it all be moot as a weak abolitionist movement slowly gathers strength while the Galactic Empire remains in a perpetual state of Cold War? The entire series can be found here.
Categories: Drama, AU
Rating: (this chapter): PG-13
Summary: Bruce brings his guests home as Wayne Manor sparkles with hospitality.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): April 11, 2007
Date Of Posting: August 28, 2007
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 2083 + 1345 (Total: 3428)
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Gold forks and knives
And slippers glass,
Sparkled and shone,
Bold as brass.
The palace sat
High on the hill,
The Prince’s subjects
Bent to his will.
His crown was gold,
His slave bejewelled,
All bowed before him,
As he wisely ruled.
“Enchanted Fairy Tales”
GOLDEN SILVERWARE AND GLASS SLIPPERS
Halloween in Gotham was like Salem, Massachusetts during this week or Mardi Gras in New Orleans: a week-long round of wild festivities that brought thousands into the city. Other cities such as Metropolis and Star City were excellent hosts of the holiday, but Halloween lived in Gotham’s blood. Metropolis laid better claim to Christmas and New Year’s with its fairytale lights and holiday magic. Gotham’s gargoyles, flying buttresses, and mansard roofs welcomed being draped in figurative black.
Bruce watched as the daytime crowds were already starting to become costumed. His mouth quirked as he saw a few Bat-costumes.
He settled back against the leather seat of the limousine. It was usually the busiest time of the year for him in his other job. He would have to find a way to balance things out this week.
Brendan found a parking space outside Gotham Union Station. Bruce headed inside the beautiful Beaux Arts building, the cavernous hall bustling with travelers. The sleek, sophisticated trains were designed to look like Art Deco trains of old but were incredibly fast, unlike anything passengers of the 1930s could have expected. Monorail travel was the preferred mode for most travelers, its quiet efficiency surpassing air transport.
“The 8:47 train from Metropolis is arriving at Track 10.”
Bruce headed there. The train from Star City would have merged into Metropolis, so Ollie and Lex were coming in together. The train glided in noiselessly, the passengers disembarking, some already in costume. Bruce spotted his friends and waved.
Ollie and Lex came over to Bruce, prisms of rainbow light spilling through the stained-glass windows high up in the station roof.
“Bruce, thanks for the invitation,” Ollie said as he shook hands. He looked around the station. “This is like Salem.”
Bruce laughed as he next shook hands with Lex. “Pretty crazy, all right.” He signaled his chauffeur to take his guests’ bags. “Majors Jordan and Trevor are coming up on the 9:45 Washington train. Would you gentlemen mind spending time in the coffee shop, or would you prefer that I have Brendan take you to the Manor and return for me and the majors?”
“Oh, coffee sounds fine, Bruce,” said Lex.
“Second that.” Ollie handed his bag to Brendan.
Bruce led them to the coffee shop, already busy with customers. They settled at a corner table and ordered coffee and bagels.
“So, how’s production going?” Bruce asked.
“On schedule,” Lex said with satisfaction. “General Stark did an inspection at the plant last week and seemed pleased.”
Bruce smiled at the waitress who brought their order and stirred his coffee as Lex and Ollie put sugar in their cups. “Did Stark mention anything more about the problems on the breeding farms?”
Lex shook his head. “Touchy subject, not to mention top secret.” He smiled. “Of course, with my top clearance, we can discuss it, but the general seems reluctant to do so.”
During this conversation, Bruce and Lex had kept their voices low. As an elderly couple was seated at the next table, Bruce quickly changed the subject. “I hope you brought costumes. The Masquerade at the Art Museum this week is one of the premier events.”
“I did,” Lex said. “I think it might be time to pull out Alexander the Great again.”
“Wise choice, Lex,” Bruce said in amusement.
“Of course, I don’t have a Bagoas to grace my bed.”
Bruce sipped his coffee. “You’re right. And you’re not getting this one, either.”
Lex smiled. “He must be a Prize beyond all Prizes.”
Bruce’s smile was predatory. Lex and Ollie exchanged amused glances.
The old friends spoke of old times, Bruce enjoying the conversation. Ollie was closer to Bruce in terms of business strategy and philosophy, Lex occasionally skirting ethical edges, but the three were close-knit, having survived the rigors of boarding school and losses in their lives. Ollie had lost both parents in a plane crash, the only survivor of that horrible trauma. Lex had lost his mother to cancer when he was just a child, leaving him to be raised by Lionel, who would never win a Father of the Year award, in Bruce’s opinion.
They understood each other from shared backgrounds in so many things. The world of men raised as billionaires was a rarified one even in this century, and Bruce was glad to have the friendship of these two men.
“The 9:45 train from Washington, D.C., is arriving at Track 6.”
“Right on time.”
The three men left the coffee shop and walked toward Track 6. Passengers disembarked, and Lex said, “There!”
He pointed toward the two Air Force majors in dress uniform, who saw them and headed right over.
Handshakes all around, then Bruce said, “I’ll get my chauffeur to take your bags.”
“It’s all right, Mr. Wayne. We can handle them,” Steve said.
“All right. And, please, it’s Bruce.”
The quartet walked out of the bustling station and toward Bruce’s limousine. Brendan took the majors’ bags and stored them in the trunk.
The ride through the city streets fascinated the out-of-towners. Costumed revelers walked around as if they did so every day. When Hal made that comment, Lex said dryly, “Sometimes they do.”
“Do you mean the Rogues’ Gallery?” asked Ollie.
“Rogues’ Gallery?” Hal asked. “You mean the Joker and Catwoman?”
“And Penguin and Riddler.”
“Seems like the Batman has his hands full,” Ollie observed.
“He seems to manage,” said Lex.
“Gotham’s full of crazies, supervillains or not.” Ollie’s green eyes sparkled as he looked at Bruce. “Present company excepted.”
“Quite all right,” Bruce smiled.
“Bruce is used to Crazy Gotham.” Ollie patted his friend’s knee.
Bruce laughed this time. He covered Ollie’s hand with his own, affection shining in his eyes. “Crazy isn’t always a bad thing.”
Lex snorted and Hal and Steve exchanged amused glances.
& & & & & &
Bruce was proud of his ancestral home as he witnessed the Air Force majors’ reactions. Awed appreciation showed in their faces as they rode through the massive iron gates, up the long, winding driveway surrounded by ancient trees, and finally up to the Manor itself.
Even with the myriad of decorations, Wayne Manor’s storied dignity rose up against the clear October sky, solid and imposing and magnificent. Clark and Alfred had put up the Halloween decorations: Jack O’Lanterns lined the front and back verandas and orange-and-yellow candles had been placed in all the windows. The pillars at the front entrance were entwined with vines that grew small pumpkin-shaped flowers. Bruce knew that a handcrafted Witch doll had been hung on the kitchen door in the back with more carved pumpkins flanking the door.
Inside, there were small displays of pumpkins, gourds, and leaves on tables and in each guest room.
As Bruce and his guests alighted from the limousine, the front door opened and Alfred appeared.
“Master Bruce, welcome to your guests.”
“Thank you, Alfred.” Bruce felt pride as Alfred greeted his guests with the utmost impeccable hospitality.
Inside the Grand Foyer, Hal and Steve looked around in impressed wonder.
“This place still looks magnificent, Bruce,” Lex said.
Bruce felt a twinge of guilt. He hadn’t invited his old friends over in a very long time.
Since Batman began.
“Thanks, Lex. Alfred does a great job of running this place.”
Alfred smiled in acknowledgment of his Master’s praise. “Gentlemen, this way to your rooms to freshen up. Refreshments will be served in the library in half an hour.”
Each man received a luxurious guest room on the same floor as Bruce’s room. His bedroom had a private bathroom, and his old room next to the master bedroom had one as well, which had been assigned to Ollie. There was a bathroom at the end of the hall for the occupants of the other rooms.
The guests settled themselves in their rooms, changed to casual clothes, and were down in the library in thirty minutes.
Bruce was already there, and after everyone was seated he signaled for the refreshments.
But it wasn’t Alfred who entered bearing a tray of drinks and snacks. Bruce’s Prize was dressed in a white silk shirt and fawn-colored slacks, his rainbow collar sparkling as he moved to stand beside his Master, his head bowed, his eyes hidden by the dark glasses.
Bruce felt a swell of pride as avid appreciation appeared in his guests’ eyes. Ollie winked at him.
Bruce touched his slave’s arm and Clark raised his head.
“Clark is here to serve you.”
Eyes widened at Bruce’s use of Clark’s name. Each man understood the honor that had just been bestowed upon them, and understood that they were not to reveal his name to anyone outside this room.
Bruce had made the decision that morning. Ollie already knew, he trusted Lex, and he instinctively trusted Hal and Steve. Somehow it had seemed like the right thing to do.
“Excellent,” Lex said.
Each man was extremely appreciative of the slave standing before them, beautiful and pliant.
“Refreshments, gentlemen,” Bruce said.
Clark offered the tray to each guest, then quietly left the room.
“Oh, my, Bruce,” Lex said as he sipped his drink. “Little wonder you’ve been working from home so much lately.”
Everyone grinned and Bruce chuckled as he sat in an overstuffed chair. “It’s true. When you have beauty in your possession you need to take advantage of it.”
The talk shifted to the Halloween celebration, Hal and Steve curious about the genesis of it all.
“Well, one year, 1939, in fact, the city held a giant street festival in addition to the Harvest Ball, which was really celebrating Halloween. Things just grew and grew until we now have a week-long orgy of activities.”
Ollie snorted. “Orgy is right. We saw some pretty wild stuff on the way over from the station.”
Bruce grinned. “Old friend, that was tame for Gotham. The week is just getting started.”
“You think ol’ Stark lengthened the meetings so that he could go partake of Gotham’s pleasures this week?”
Ollie, Bruce, and Lex laughed while Hal and Steve smirked.
Bruce looked at the two pilots. “Gentlemen, have there been more attacks on the Rim?”
The two exchanged looks, but they knew the men in their room had the highest security clearance. Hal sipped his drink, then said, “There has been another attack.”
“We don’t know. The Collective is very slippery. We’re not even sure what they look like.” He took a longer drink. “There was a raid on another outpost in the Rim last month.” Hal set his drink down. “It was a Kryptonian.”
Bruce leaned forward. “What do you mean by raid?”
“The Kryptonian tried to free some slaves on the outpost. He would have succeeded, but…” Hal took a deep breath “…the Gov forces used Green K.”
Bruce sipped his own drink. “I suppose they’ll still continue the Hunt, then.”
“More than ever.”
Lex shook his head. “What a waste.”
Ollie nodded in agreement.
“The factions in the Air Force and the other military branches are pretty clear: either eradication or control.”
“Has anyone ever controlled them?” Ollie asked.
“We’ve heard rumors that they’ve captured some of the Kryptonians and are experimenting on them, but it’s only rumors.”
Bruce frowned. “They’d certainly be great warriors, but their abolitionist leanings would make it unlikely they would willingly help us.”
“That’s where the control comes in.”
Lex spoke. “Control would be the way to go.”
Bruce wondered if these Kryptonians could ever be controlled.
“Gentlemen, luncheon is served,” Clark said as he appeared in the library doorway.
Bruce led his guests to the dining room. Fresh flowers graced the table, and the china gleamed on a light-blue tablecloth. Sunlight streamed in through the windows, brightening a room filled with dark furniture.
Clark served the first course, a rich tomato soup, with flawless precision. Bruce felt pride as he watched his slave.
Beauty and grace.
His feelings of possessiveness surged up in him. All the beauty and shy charm that was Clark was under his command. With a single word, he could have his beautiful slave at his feet.
The glass he brought to his lips hid his smile.
& & & & & &
End of Part 1