Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Rainbow Prisms Arc) (38/42)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce (Bruce does not appear in this chapter), Alfred, Jonathan/Martha, Lana Lang, Kathy Kane
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: The Kent Family enjoys a typical day on the farm.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): February 2, 2011
Date Of Posting: 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1540
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
Of cold, crisp air
And know that
Life is fair
If you live
In the shadow
Of the autumn sun.
"The Autumn Sun"
JUST ANOTHER DAY DOWN ON THE FARM
Clark awoke to the sound of the rooster crowing and smiled. He felt the sun’s rays on his face, the familiar tingle of energy going through his body. He stretched luxuriously, the smell of bacon tickling his nose.
He could hear his father outdoors, and a gust of wind rattled the windowpanes. They were in the full bloom of autumn with winter not far behind.
He tossed the covers off and yawned, ready for a shower and some breakfast. His gaze fell on the cellphone on his nightstand and he picked it up, flipping it open.
“Good morning, Alfred!”
“Clark, good to hear from you. How are you, dear boy?”
“In perfect health.”
“Excellent.” Alfred’s voice was warm.
Clark smiled. “Bruce and Dick still sleeping?”
“Everything go all right last night?”
“Great. I hear that the Batwoman is really making headlines.”
“She is more than capable, to be sure.”
“Good.” Clark could hear his mother humming to herself in the kitchen. “I’ll call later.”
Clark clutched the cellphone a little tighter, careful not to leave dents in the plastic. “Have a good day, Alfred.”
“And you, too, Clark.”
Clark hung up, staring at the phone’s bright red plastic casing. He had deliberately not signed off with “See you soon” to Alfred. He was grateful that the butler had not asked if he had a decision yet. He felt guilty enough about taking this long, grateful that Bruce was allowing it.
He grabbed his robe and went down the hall to the bathroom, shucking his pajamas and underwear and stepped into the steamy tub, pulling the curtain across. The bathroom was too small for both a shower stall and tub, so the tub doubled for both baths and showers.
He let the hot water sluice over his body, tilting his face up as he washed his hair with apple-scented shampoo. He felt well-rested after a good night’s sleep.
As he washed his hair, he thought of Bruce’s generosity. Bruce was allowing him as much time as he needed. Clark knew that if he chose to remain Bruce’s slave, obedience was part of the package. He could not declare that he would remain a slave and then ignore the rules.
He rinsed his hair, taking the bar of soap and washing up as he thought of what that decision would mean going forward. He could be Clark Kent, a free man with a promising career in journalism, or Clark, Bruce Wayne’s Prize, subject to the rigid rules of what being a slave was about in this society.
He finished his shower, dried off, and quickly got dressed in a red plaid shirt and blue jeans.
Downstairs, the kitchen was filled with the mouth-watering smells of waffles, sausage and bacon. Fresh California strawberries were set in a white bowl in the center of the table, a pewter cup of brown sugar next to it.
Early morning sunlight streamed into the kitchen, accentuating the yellow walls and bright green plants on the windowsill. One plant hung from the ceiling in a wire basket in the corner, its bright green leaves shiny and heart-shaped as the vines trailed down.
Along one wall was a shelf of plates: blue willow, sunshine yellow, Yosemite National Park and Niagara Falls souvenirs.
Martha set a plate of waffles sausages and bacon in front of Clark, smiling as he thanked her profusely. Jonathan came into the kitchen through the back door and washed up at the sink.
“Ready for a big day, Clark?”
“Yes, sir.” Clark sprinkled sugar over the strawberries he had put on his waffles. Martha set a sparkling jug of Vermont maple syrup on the table and Clark poured the contents over his waffles. “We’re clearing rocks from the north pasture, right?”
“That’s right. It’ll save me a lot of time.”
“Glad to help. I could use the exercise.” Clark took a bite of waffle. “Mmm, always the best, Mom.” Jonathan and Martha took their seats and Clark asked, “So what are your plans today, Mom?”
“I have a conference call with Lana and Kathy.”
“This early?” asked Jonathan.
“No, it’s at ten o’clock.” Martha drank her cranberry juice. “Those city girls in Washington and Gotham can’t get up as early as I can.”
Clark and Jonathan grinned. “Well, Mom,” said Clark as he picked up his glass of juice, “You’ll have the head start on ‘em.”
“Of course,” Martha said serenely.
Clark easily lifted the boulder and flew it over to the edge of the field. Jonathan was handling the smaller rocks while Clark broke up the boulders into smaller pieces.
The day was perfect: bright blue skies, crisp breezes, riotous color as the leaves were starting to turn. Clark gloried in the day, enjoying the feel of his muscles working as he lifted rocks and broke the larger ones apart.
It was good work, hard work, close to the land. It was work that he had grown up doing and had always loved. The gardens at Wayne Manor were good for such things but were a scaled-down version.
The sun warmed his skin, energy pulsing through him. He remembered exercising every day as a teenager, burning off excess energy. He had worked, flown, run, and anything else to keep from being consumed by the energy thrumming through his body.
Clark’s fist smashed into the boulder, breaking it into smaller pieces. It felt good, his muscles expending energy as he worked. His father was far enough way to be safe from flying debris.
There was no glint of sunlight off rainbow manacles. He had left his collar and bracelets in the truck close by, just in case someone came along.
As Clark pounded the rocks, he wondered what it would be like to have a real fight with someone of equal power. He had never gone up against anyone like that. His abortive attempt at rescue on the Beta Colony had involved flying and the possible dismantling of weapons, but he had no chance to do the latter as the Empire forces had hit him with Green Kryptonite.
He shuddered at the memory of the pain, his fist smashing solid rock. He didn’t know if there was a cure for Kryptonite poisoning. He would have to look into that.
The final pieces went flying.
“Good job, son!”
Clark looked up with a smile.
Martha sat down at the dining room table, cup of coffee safely set far away from her laptop’s keyboard. Print-outs were scattered around the table, and she prepared other notes by opening on-line files.
When the grandfather clock chimed ten o’clock, she activated her conference call software. Smiling, she chirped, “Good morning, ladies!”
Both women grunted as their images came on-screen. Lana yawned, her hair a bit disheveled as she had hastily pinned it up. Kathy looked as if she had just rolled out of bed, wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a Gotham Knights logo, and her hair was wild, as if she had quickly run a comb through it.
“What’s up with you girls? You used to be early risers,” Martha chided.
“I was at one of Sapphire Mesta’s parties last night,” said Lana. “I got in at three this morning!”
“I had, um, a charity ball,” said Kathy.
“Well, girls, we can always hold this meeting later.”
“No, I have a full afternoon schedule.” Lana waved her hand as she yawned again.
“Okay, business at hand…”
Martha conducted the meeting while her colleagues gradually became sharper. Martha sent them her lecture schedule and Kathy said, “I was contacted by Lois Lane yesterday.”
“Oh? About what?” Martha sipped her coffee.
“She said that Wonder Woman is interested in working with us.”
Martha set down her cup, and Lana looked intrigued.
“How so?” Martha asked.
“She intends to speak out more. I say we contact her and see what we can do.”
“How should we contact her?’
“Through Lois or Etta Candy, editor of The Boston Lantern.”
“Let’s do it. She’s built up a lot of good will, even in the short time she’s been on the superhero scene.”
“She’ll be a wonderful spokeswoman,” Lana said enthusiastically.
While she and Kathy discussed options, Martha sipped her coffee and wondered how Clark would handle this issue if he embarked on a public superhero career.
It was no guarantee that he would go public. As a Kryptonian, he lived under the shadow of a Hunt Decree, and the Government had already used Green K on him. They would do so again in a second if Clark appeared using Kryptonian powers.
Kathy’s voice was amused. “Now who’s off in La-La Land?”
“Sorry. What were you saying?”
Lana and Kathy smirked.
Clark smashed another boulder. The sun was high in the sky as noon approached. Jonathan removed his work gloves.
“Come on, son, it’s time for lunch.”
Clark smiled. “Always ready for that, Dad.”
Father and son climbed into the truck and headed back to the house.