Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Rainbow Prisms Arc) (37/42)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Roy/Johnny, Annie, Alma, Garon
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): PG-13
Summary: Things take a sinister turn during Roy and Johnny’s inspection.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): January 31, 2011
Date Of Posting: January 30, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1612
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
Touches the heart,
The shadows of evil
Touches the soul.
The carriage house was well-maintained, to Roy and Johnny’s surprise. They had half-expected filth and squalor, but when Roy thought about it, they had seen clean slaves.
Obviously not for the slaves’ benefit, but it’s something.
Johnny’s days as a pleasure slave had taught him meticulous cleanliness habits. A pleasure slave had to be appealing, and while no doubt there were freemen out there who liked dirt and grime, most did not.
All of these slaves could be called to the bedroom at any moment.
“Hello?” he called, his voice echoing through the small vestibule.
“They must be all out,” Johnny said, keeping his voice low.
“Yeah. C’mon, we can probably find what we need ourselves.”
The paramedics went through the first floor, checking outlets and fire extinguishers and making sure there was no frayed wiring or overloaded outlets. The stove was old-fashioned with burners, but seemed in good shape. Johnny checked off the items on the list.
They headed upstairs, checking empty rooms. Suddenly they came upon a room with a young woman lying in bed. Her light-brown hair was fanned out across the pillow, her eyes closed. Her right eye was swollen black-and-blue, and bruises were all along her bare arms, mixed with scratches and cuts.
“Ummm, Miss?” asked Roy.
Her eyes flew open. “What do you want?” She scrambled off the bed, starting to go to her knees and trying to hide a wince.
“Don’t kneel.” Roy grasped her arm lightly, feeling her tremble.
She looked up, startled. She was wearing a maid’s uniform, her hazel eyes cloudy as Roy looked her over with a professional eye of his own. Johnny was clearly concerned, too.
Roy smiled. “Hello, Annie. I’m Roy DeSoto and this is John Gage.” She didn’t answer, staring at him instead. “Let’s sit you down on the bed and check you out.”
“It’s all right.”
Roy had to do his check by sight. He and Johnny didn’t have their equipment with them, and there was no way he was going to send his partner for it or leave him here alone while he went back to the squad. Besides, he was uneasy with letting anyone in charge know that he was treating this girl. He doubted that it would go over well.
“How long have you had that black eye?” Roy asked as he turned her head toward the light streaming in through the window.
“Since yesterday.” Annie’s hands clutched her skirt as her good eye darted toward the hallway.
The poor girl’s a bundle of nerves.
Roy decided that the eye would heal, though he wished that he could take her into Gotham General to be sure.
“Do you have some aspirin you can take?” She shook her head. “Okay, I have some tablets you can have.” Roy dug into his pants pocket and produced a tab of pills. “Take one every eight hours with a glass of water.”
“I’ll get you a glass of water. Where’s the bathroom?” Johnny asked.
“Down the hall.”
Johnny went quickly as Roy checked her pulse again. “You’ll feel better after the aspirin.”
Annie shrugged. “Does it matter?”
Roy gently rested a hand on her shoulder. “It does to me.”
Her eyes hardened. “Do you want to suck or fuck?”
“What?” Roy’s eyes widened, startled.
“Do you want me to suck you off or do you want to fuck me?”
Realization dawned and Roy said hastily, “No, you don’t understand. I just want to help you.”
Slowly suspicion left Annie’s eyes, replaced by embarrassment. “I’m sorry; you were good to me and I’ve disrespected you.”
“Don’t worry,” Roy soothed. He was certain that this poor slave had forgotten what kindness felt like.
Johnny returned with the water and handed Annie the glass as Roy helped her sit up. She took the aspirin and drank the water.
“Thank you,” she said, handing the glass back to Johnny. She noticed his collar and bracelets. “You’re a…a…”
“That’s right, a slave,” Johnny said with a little smile.
“But you’re a…”
“…firefighter and paramedic, yes.”
“Just people with good foresight, I guess.” Johnny’s smile brightened as he regarded Roy.
“Well, John’s got talent for the job,” Roy said with a smile of his own.
Annie broached her own tentative smile. “That’s wonderful.”
Roy and Johnny settled her back onto the bed and Roy pulled up the threadbare blanket and covered her to keep warm. No doubt her rest period would be short.
He and Johnny left and slowly trudged on the dirt path back to the house. Pine needles strewed their way.
It was cold here in the shadow of the pines. Roy shivered. The darkness felt…sinister.
Man, this place has really spooked you.
Roy wished that he could take hold of Johnny’s hand and pull him into a kiss, but he wouldn’t put it past old Man Caldwell to have cameras trained on the path.
He was tempted to skip the basement inspection, but his sense of duty would not allow it. They reached the house before either man was ready.
They looked up at the house, and the word ‘brooding’ snapped into Roy’s mind. He brushed his hand against Johnny’s, the brunet swallowing and whispering, “Let’s go.”
They entered through the kitchen, the cook ignoring them and Garon coming in.
“Yes.” Roy crossed his arms. “We’ll have a look at your circuit box and then be on our way.” Thank every Deity in Heaven.
Garon grunted and led them out of the kitchen and down the hall, reaching a door and yanking it open.
Immediately Roy thought he smelled blood mixed in with the mustiness. He wanted to grab Johnny’s hand and run but instead followed Garon down the stairs with Johnny right behind him. Apprehension clung to the two firefighters as they descended into darkness.
Roy swallowed, the odor of mustiness stronger now. He could swear he smelled the iron scent of blood, though it could be his imagination. He wondered if this basement had been the place where the infamous torture tape had been filmed. Quickly he put the thought out of his mind, otherwise he would become nauseous.
The basement had all the usual odds ‘n’ ends: discarded furniture, storage boxes, an old-fashioned furnace that was long disused, and pipes overhead to carry water.
Roy and Johnny looked the wiring over with critical eyes but saw no fraying or other indications that it needed replacement.
“Here’s the circuit box,” said Garon.
“Thank you,” Roy said.
Roy inspected the wires, the sound of water dripping somewhere at the edges of his mind. He finished the inspection and turned to tell Johnny, his heart leaping into his throat when he saw empty space.
“Johnny?” he called, trying to keep the panic out of his voice, especially with Garon right next to him. He could practically feel the man’s smirk.
“Over here!” Johnny called from the darkness.
Roy quickly followed the sound of his partner’s voice. “What are you doing over here?” he demanded, fear giving his voice a harsher edge than he had intended.
Johnny was standing by a door. “I heard water dripping. I thought it might have damaged some wires.”
Water was definitely dripping. Roy suppressed a shiver. “What’s in there?” he asked Garon.
Annoyance was clear in the man’s voice. “Just a storage room.”
Roy saw a glint of light on the floor, and he thought he heard a whimper. The smell of blood was stronger here. His own blood ran cold. He grabbed Johnny’s hand and started back toward the stairs.
“Thanks, Mr. Garon. We’re finished.”
“But, Roy…” Johnny protested.
Roy practically flew up the stairs, Johnny stumbling behind him. They hurried down the hall and crossed the foyer and let themselves out, bursting into the fresh air. Taking gulps of the crispness, they slammed themselves shut in the squad.
“You might be right, Junior.”
“But, Roy!” Anguish burned in Johnny’s eyes as he grabbed his partner’s arm. “If there’s a slave in there…”
“We still couldn’t treat him or her.” Roy jammed the key into the ignition and the engine roared to life.
“But Caldwell is supposed to stay way from slaves!”
“With the exception of his own.” Frustration nearly choked Roy. He saw Johnny’s expression and an ache throbbed in his chest. “I’m sorry, Johnny, we couldn’t treat a Caldwell slave without permission, and do you think they’d give it?”
Johnny looked wretched. “But to leave that poor soul there…!”
“I know, I know.” Roy’s gaze fell on the datapad. “Fuck, I forgot to get the paperwork signed. Wait here.”
Roy scrambled out of the squad and marched up to the front door. He was only a short distance away from Johnny and kept his eye on him, mentally urging a quick opening of the door.
Garon was the one who opened it. “Yes?” Impatience laced his voice.
“You need to sign,” Roy said shortly.
Nearly rolling his eyes, Garon took the pad and scratched out his name on the document that acknowledged the inspection had been done.
“I assume we passed?”
Roy wanted to smack the man’s supercilious smile. “Perfectly,” he said coolly.
“Good.” Garon nearly slammed the door shut, which suited Roy just fine. He strode off the veranda and into the squad, Johnny looking relieved that he was back. Roy handed the datapad to his lover and drove away from the benighted house on the hill, but he knew that he and Johnny would be haunted by it forever.