Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Justice Arc) (3/61)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Roy/Johnny, Chet Kelly, Mike Stoker, Marco Lopez, Hank Stanley, Henry, Zatanna, Hal/Steve/Diana (Hal and Steve do not appear in this chapter)
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: Roy reflects on Johnny’s life at Station 51 while Diana gets a reading from Madame Zee.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): February 13, 2011
Date Of Posting: March 16, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1214
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
This world needs."
"The World’s Woes"
THE GOODNESS OF BEING
Roy headed for the kitchen and he smiled as he heard Johnny’s laughter. It was nice to know that his lover was relaxed enough with the men of A-Shift to laugh.
When he had first arrived, he had been extremely quiet, as a slave would be in a roomful of freemen. He had expected to kneel at Roy’s feet during meals and be fed at his Master’s whim, but Roy had quickly demonstrated that he wanted Johnny to sit in a chair and feed himself.
He and the men of A-Shift had worked it all out before Johnny arrived. They had decided the only way to make this work was to treat Johnny as a colleague as much as possible.
“It’s only fair, Roy,” Chet had said. “We have to depend on Johnny in dangerous situations, and he has to do the same. If he’s going to do this job and suffer the drawbacks, he ought to get the benefits, too.”
Roy leaned in the entrance to the kitchen, half-listening to the radio, which was set at low volume, and watched Johnny with undisguised affection. His partner was sitting at the table with Chet and Mike, Marco at the counter brewing a fresh pot of coffee, and Hank sat on the couch with Henry in his lap, the basset hound yawning as he rested.
Which is all the time. Henry, do you ever get off that couch?
Amused, Roy returned his attention to Johnny, who was being teased by Chet. Johnny shot some zingers back, appreciated by his friends.
Because they really are your friends.
It was within the men’s rights to claim Johnny for their beds since Roy and Hank were not his ‘true’ owners as the Government was in that role. While Hank was his Primary Master and Roy his Intimate Master, Johnny had to obey everyone on the shift, and that meant no sexual Exclusivity Bond.
Again, the men had made a decision. To keep things professional as possible, they would not avail themselves of the services of the trained pleasure slave though once a rapport had been established, maybe something could be worked out. Johnny had already assured Roy that he would willingly service any and all of their shiftmates.
“It’d be a lot better than servicing a bunch of strangers.”
Johnny gesticulated as he argued with Chet, his slender fingers dancing as they made a point. Sunlight highlighted his thick, dark hair, and a flash of white teeth was attractive.
Everything about Johnny’s attractive.
Roy had to smile at himself. He was far gone.
“You’re nuts, John,” Chet said smugly.
“Maybe so, Chester B., maybe so.”
When the Phantom (aka Chet) had first played a joke on Johnny, he had been upset, considering it a typical bullying tactic by a freeman against a slave. Roy had been quick to explain that it was Chet’s way of making Johnny one of the guys.
“You’re free to strike back,” Roy had said.
Once Johnny was convinced, the Phantom’s tricks no longer upset him. They annoyed him, but he also struck back in the spirit of firehouse pranks, feeling like part of the shift crew.
Roy went over to the coffeepot on the stove. “The usual circus, huh?”
Marco laughed. “Once Johnny and Chet get going, just sit back and watch the show.”
Roy grinned as he poured a cup of coffee. “Good to see everyone so loose. We’re on tonight and during next shift, actually working on Halloween.”
“We sure drew the short straw.” Marco held out his mug and Roy filled it. “Mmm, I sure brew a mean cup of coffee if I do say so myself.”
“You do.” Roy watched as Johnny laughed, Chet and Mike smirking. Even Hank had a grin on his face. Henry merely yawned.
Marco smiled. “He’s happy here, isn’t he?”
Roy looked at his friend. “He is, thanks to you and the guys.”
Marco sipped his drink. “Happy to do it, Roy. A guy willing to fight fires deserves to get the best treatment possible, though I’d do the same for any slave.”
“I know.” Roy’s smile was warm. “I knew this was the best station and shift for Johnny.”
“Had us all pegged, huh?”
Roy laughed. “Well, while I was helping teach the class of paramedics, I watched other guys’ reactions. Some just wouldn’t accept a slave.”
“I’d heard he had some trouble at 10s.”
Roy’s face darkened. “He did. Only when Captain Hammer was off-duty, though. His replacements didn’t seem to care what went on.”
Marco laid a hand on Roy’s arm. “It’s okay now, Roy. You and all the rest of us will always protect Johnny.” He paused as a news announcement came over the radio.
“The Kings of Jovara announced that their new Abolition plan, implemented four weeks ago, has been a rousing success. In place of actual slavery, they have proposed a system of contract slavery, which allows former slaves to enter into contracts for pleasure services. King Jovan said…”
The tones sounded and Sam Lanier’s voice calmly recited, “Engine 10, Ladder 61, Station 51, fire at 2260 Braden Street, cross street Main. 2-2-6-0 Braden. Time out: 19:59.”
The men scrambled to the engine and squad, Johnny taking the piece of paper that Roy handed him with the address after Hank had acknowledged the call.
“Roy, this is…”
“I know.” Roy’s expression was grim as they exited Station 51 with sirens blaring and lights flashing and the big engine right behind them.
Zee smiled at Diana. “You are ready for your reading, Princess?”
“I am, Madame Zee.”
The jingle of multiple bracelets sounded loud in the tent, the noise outside muffled by the heavy canvas. Dressed in a pumpkin-colored peasant blouse and dark-blue skirt, multiple necklaces, rings and bracelets competed the fortuneteller’s outfit. Her head was covered in a blue-and-yellow scarf patterned in crescent moons and stars as large gold hoop earrings swung from her ears. She passed her hand over the crystal ball as the sweet smell of incense filled the tent.
The rainbow mists within the ball swirled and turned, Zee’s bracelets jangling louder as she moved her hand back-and-forth. Diana watched the mists, her own body swaying in time to Zee’s chanting.
“The world shudders as green mist sprays…ribbons of rainbows glitter and sparkle…the Light is dispelling the Darkness…through War’s blood…the cries of the vanquished...Trinities shine…the Sal-Vor shall lead the way…the cries of the enslaved reach out…”
Diana listened as she swayed, the words entering her consciousness as the incense tickled her nostrils, her lungs breathing it in.
“…red, yellow, and blue…green, too…soulmate so brave…love blossoms amidst the hate…shackles broken…whips’ tips gleaming with blood…fire and ice…the fire burns…”
Diana took a deep lungful of air, her bones shaking as she saw fire burn through, purifying and destroying…her eyes snapped open.
Zee was smiling. “Before another year passes, the Sal-Vor will appear.”
Excitement thrummed through Diana’s veins when she suddenly became aware of shouts and screams from outside the tent. She dashed outside, quickly followed by Zee.
Fire burned at the end of the midway, flames leaping up into the clear night sky.