Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Rainbow Prisms Arc) (31/42)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Roy/Johnny, Brendan
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’s inspection continues in the Manor garage.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): January 8, 2011
Date Of Posting: January 6, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1093
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
Big Max Calvada
"American Harley Magazine"
MOTORCYCLES ‘N’ ASPIRIN
“Boy, this place is fancy,” Johnny said as he and Roy strolled toward the garage.
“It’s centuries old, like a lot of these houses here in this neighborhood.” Roy checked off an item on their inspection list.
“Mr. Wayne seems like a decent guy.”
“He was really concerned about his slave last fall, and seemed real happy to see his Squire come home.”
Roy affectionately squeezed Johnny’s shoulder. “Always looking for the best in people, aren’t you?”
Johnny looked a little embarrassed. “Maybe. But there’s a lot of bad stuff in this world and in people’s hearts. I just like to look for the good.” He shrugged.
Roy’s smile brightened. “You keep that up, Junior.”
Johnny smiled and covered Roy’s hand with his, then Roy slid his hand away as they entered the garage.
Brendan was checking the limousine’s engine and looked up. “Hi! You’re doing fire inspections, right?”
“That’s right.” Roy looked at the limousine. “Nice car.”
“It’s one of the best.” Brendan gestured further down the garage.
Both paramedics’ eyes widened at the variety of expensive cars. Brendan gave a little tour, pleased at the men’s interest. Even though he didn’t own the cars, he was immensely proud of them. Being the chauffeur of Bruce Wayne was a prestigious position in that fraternity, and he maintained the fleet with elbow grease and mechanical knowledge.
Roy loved the European sports car, his eyes lighting up. He had a sports car of his own, though certainly not as expensive. He talked about the car with Brendan, Johnny amused by his enthusiasm. Eventually he wandered off, and his exclamation of delight caught Roy’s attention.
“Is this an Indian bike?” Johnny asked.
Brendan smiled. “It is. Authentic 1906.”
“Wow!” Johnny’s brown eyes were big. Roy amusedly watched as Brendan allowed Johnny to touch the motorcycle. “I’ve never seen a genuine Indian. Motorcycle, that is.”
“Ha, ha,” said Roy dryly, but he was pleased at the chance for Johnny to see the motorcycle. He smiled at Brendan, who understood, returning the smile.
There was talk between Johnny and Brendan, detailing the history of the brand and this motorcycle in particular. Roy listened for a few minutes, then moved off to conduct the inspection, confident that he could safely leave Johnny with Brendan. He listened to the conversation as he worked, interested in the subject but just as happy to hear Johnny’s joy.
He nearly laughed. He was smitten for sure! But it was easy with Johnny.
His partner had been shy at first, as a slave would be, but once he learned that he could trust Roy and the other men of Station 51’s A-Shift, he’d relaxed more. Still shy, he could show an exuberance that brightened the station, though his tendency to chatter could border on annoying or shine as charming, depending on how tired Roy was.
As Roy checked the fire extinguisher, he remembered a time last month when he had dearly loved to order Johnny to shut up, but he refrained, wary of stifling the younger man’s sense of comfort with him. If he ordered Johnny to be silent, the slave would be afraid of ever expressing his opinions again.
Luckily, Chet had come to his rescue…
Roy winced as he headed for the pot of coffee on the stove. His headache was throbbing. Johnny followed him, chattering about the behavior of the latest victim’s mother, who had impeded the rescue more than once.
“Can you believe that woman, Roy? She kept saying her son was all right when anybody with two eyes could see he wasn’t. I mean, he was gasping for breath, an obvious problem, right?”
The chattering was quickly progressing to a rant. Roy opened his mouth to ask Johnny to be quiet, but shut it again. He didn’t want to risk stifling Johnny’s freedom to express himself. God knew he’d never had the opportunity before.
“Hey, Roy, need some aspirin?” Chet asked from the couch.
“I’ll get you some.” He gently pushed Henry off his lap, the dog looking at Roy with big, brown basset hound eyes.
Johnny immediately became concerned. “Go sit down, Roy. I’ll get you a glass of water.”
When Chet returned with the aspirin, his eyes met Roy’s grateful ones and he smiled as Johnny hurried over with a glass of water, worry in his eyes.
“I’m sorry, Roy, I’ll quit yammering. Probably doesn’t do your headache much good. Would you like to lie down?”
“I’ll see how things settle first.” Roy took the aspirin and drank down the blessedly-cool water.
“I hope we don’t get a run,” Johnny fretted.
“Don’t worry so much,” Roy said gently, squeezing his partner’s hand.
Roy finished his inspection and returned to the motorcycle conclave. He heard Johnny ask, “Is Mr. Wayne good to work for?”
“The best. He treats all people well.”
“I can see that,” Roy said, remembering Bruce Wayne’s concern for his ill slave butler and his delight at his Squire coming home.
“I’m sorry, Roy. I should have helped.” Johnny looked guilty.
“It’s okay.” Roy smiled indulgently. “You’ve helped me out. Besides, if Bruce Wayne had a classic Peugot in here, I’d be the one monopolizing Brendan’s time.”
Brendan laughed. “Perfectly okay, Mr. DeSoto. It’s what I’m here for.” The chauffeur polished the motorcycle. “How many more houses do you need to inspect?”
Roy checked his list. “Twelve more. We probably won’t get them all done today, especially since we’re on call, but the next shift will take over.”
“Is Greenwood on the remaining houses?” Brendan kept polishing, his voice carefully neutral.
Roy checked the list again. “Yes, it is…oh.”
“What’s wrong, Roy?” asked Johnny.
“Greenwood is the Caldwell place.”
Johnny paled, clutching the handlebar of the motorcycle. “Oh.”
“We probably won’t get to it today. B-Shift can handle it.”
Johnny nodded, though he looked dubious. Relief swept over his face as the handi-talkie that Roy carried beeped.
“Squad 51, man down at 6234 Edgemont Street, 6-2-3-4 Edgemont. Time out: 11:56.”
“Squad 51, responding,” said Roy into the handi-talkie. “Thanks, Brendan.”
“No problem. Good luck!”
Roy and Johnny hurried to their truck, racing the squad down the driveway with the lights flashing and the siren blaring.
Roy felt a chill run down his spine as they passed the gates of Briarwood, and he fervently hoped that B-Shift would perform the fire inspection there.