Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Justice Arc) (2/61)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Dick, Kathy Kane, Barbara Gordon, Ollie/Dinah, Roy, Hal/Steve/Diana (Steve does not appear in this chapter), Lex/Jamie Series Notes: In the 23rd century, Earth is a technologically-advanced society that practices the ancient institution of slavery. Clark begins training under the Bat and secrets are uncovered as the Abolitionist Movement makes rapid progress with old and new methods. Can Freedom outrace rumors of War as the Galactic Empire rushes headlong to a new future?
The entire series can be found here.
Genres: AU, Drama, Slavefic
Rating: (this chapter): PG-13
Summary: There is a new Bat in Gotham again! ;)
Date Of Completion (First Draft): February 11, 2011
Date Of Posting: March 9, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1199
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
October winds were always cold in Gotham. Batman and Robin lightly landed on the rooftop over the raucous crowds celebrating in the streets below. Feathers and sequins sparkled, Robin watching every movement as Batman smiled fondly.
A rustle of silk brought his head around. “Hello, Batwoman and…?”
Batwoman smiled as she put an arm around the slender girl clad in a deep purple costume with yellow cape, gauntlets, and boots. Red hair streamed out from under her cowl.
“Gentlemen, may I introduce you to Batgirl.”
Batman raised an eyebrow but it was Robin who grinned and said, “Welcome, Batgirl!”
“Thanks, Boy Wonder.”
Robin’s smile didn’t falter, but he was certain that the voice sounded familiar. He wondered if the red hair was a wig or not.
“So Batgirl is well-trained,” said Batman. It wasn’t a question.
“Of course, Batman. I wouldn’t allow her out otherwise.”
Batwoman’s smile remained her confident, almost-mocking self, but Robin sensed her irritation. He suppressed a sigh. Batman was always looking out for others, but he had the annoying habit of believing that he was the only one who knew how to do something.
“We could use all the hands we can get during Halloween Week,” said Robin.
Batgirl and Batwoman smiled at him, and his own smile grew brighter. He liked making people feel good about themselves. He figured that the world was tough enough without making it even gloomier. Besides, that was Batman’s job!
He chuckled to himself while Batman let out a little huff of annoyance. Robin bounced over to the roof edge. “So far, so good,” he said.
Batgirl joined him. “Are the other heroes here tonight?”
“Yeah, they like to help out during this week. The Arrows, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern are really cool.”
“Really? That’s good to hear. I hope I get to meet them, too.”
“I’m sure we will.”
Robin laughed. It was nice to have another hero his own age around. Speedy was, but was based in Star City. He would see Batgirl more often.
“Help! My purse! Stop, thief!”
Batgirl and Robin were over the side immediately, using their decel lines with ease. Their mentors watched from above, ready to help if necessary, but the younger heroes worked in sync as if they already were familiar with each other’s moves.
They both grabbed the thief as he darted into an alley, his yelp music to their ears. Robin plucked the purse out of the thief’s hand and Batgirl quickly trussed him up with her nylon rope.
“Good collar, Batgirl.”
“Thanks, Robin. He’s all yours, Officer.”
The patrolman who had run into the alley smiled. “Thanks. Did Robin call you Batgirl?”
“Welcome to Gotham, Batgirl.”
She beamed, Robin matching her. They swung back upward to rejoin their mentors.
“Good collar, Batgirl,” said Batwoman. “You work well with Robin.”
“He’s a natural.”
Robin laughed. “So are you.”
“Quite the mutual admiration society,” Batman said dryly.
“C’mon, Batgirl, race ya!”
The two flew over the rooftops, Batwoman laughing at her counterpart’s grunt.
Robin enjoyed the impromptu race through downtown. Every move of his was matched as he ran and leapt and swung. His new colleague was able to keep up with him, happy and free, and again Robin felt as if he knew her.
And as the moonlight shone on her red hair and she leaped to the next building, balancing on the edge as if she was on the balance beam, he knew.
As he landed on a roof he whispered, “Barbara?”
She turned and smiled. “Yes, Dick?”
“Wait a minute! You knew?”
“Of course.” She hopped off the edge. “I’ve suspected for awhile, watching vid footage of you in action. A gymnast can recognize another gymnast’s moves, mask or not.” Her voice grew excited. “So the Prince of Gotham is the Batman!”
“Does Batwoman know?”
“If she does, she hasn’t said anything to me.”
Robin bit his lip. “Barb, no one can know…”
“I know. I won’t tell Dad or Batwoman. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if both know.”
“Me, either, but it’s best to keep the circle small.”
Robin grinned. “You’ve got some good moves.”
"Of course. An Olympic gold medalist should.” Barbara lifted her chin with a smirk in her voice.
Robin laughed as their mentors showed up.
Batgirl was excited to meet Black Canary, Green Arrow and Speedy, and her eyes grew wide behind the white lenses as Wonder Woman and Green Lantern joined them.
Robin was glad to see her so happy. Barbara was a good friend, someone who never made him feel less because of his slave status. He was sure that she was going to be a good superhero.
Back at Wayne Manor, Lex held a sleeping Jamie in his arms. It was in the wee hours of the morning, and the stars were sparkling in a clear sky as he gazed out the window of the guest room.
His mind was racing. He had probable knowledge of a Kryptonian without any lab controls, merely the controls of faux quinium and an equally bogus disease. Clark had been living with effects of Serum K-16 for four years now and would probably be showing some of the signs of the damage long-term use of the serum and Rainbow Kryptonite would have on his body. Bruce would not allow Clark to continue wearing the Rainbow K manacles and collar if they were hurting him. So why was he still wearing them?
One: They’re not really Rainbow Kryptonite and Clark isn’t a Kryptonian.
Two: They were real; Clark is a Kryptonian, and Bruce had non-K duplicates made.
I can’t accept a third possibility: that they’re real K, and Clark is Kryptonian, and Bruce is still controlling him without telling Clark the truth.
That would be something that Lionel would do. Me? Well, it wouldn’t do much good to have a subject that could be damaged in the future, would it?
He sighed as he lightly combed his fingers through Jamie’s shining locks. He knew that he was fooling himself. As a scientist, he would be eager to study Clark, but he in good conscience could not knowingly allow Clark’s health to be damaged. It was why he had insisted upon the cessation of experimentation in their subjects. He thought it a zero-sum game: they could acquire knowledge and use the Kryptonians as soldiers, but no one would be left alive to carry out their orders.
Maybe it’s best just to keep things the way they are. I’ll know; Bruce knows I know, but we just don’t speak of it. I can help keep his secret. Jamie, too.
Secrets, I guess I should say. Dick’s at terrible risk, if Jamie and I have figured this out right about him being Roma.
Lex shuddered. Dick was such a bright soul. To think of him crushed under the cruel heel of the Government was a bitter thing, and the same with Clark.
Suddenly the world seemed an even more dangerous place as he tightened his hold on Jamie.