Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Justice Arc) (9/61)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Dick, Ollie/Dinah, Roy, Melody, Hal/Steve/Diana, Lex/Jamie, Evangeline Summers, Charles Stoddard
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: Bruce is protective of his Family at the Harvest Ball.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): March 2, 2011
Date Of Posting: April 14, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 940
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
As it glitters
As the scent
Of the lemon trees
Wafts upon the breeze.
The Harvest Ball glittered at the Gotham Arboretum, fountains spilling water merrily as numerous plants and flowers were natural decorations. A grove of lemon trees in terracotta pots was a prime attraction. Freshly-squeezed lemon juice was being offered by the waiters as they circulated among the guests.
Bruce was pleased at the compliments given to him, Clark and Dick. The Arrows were having fun, too, and Hal, Steve, and Diana had chosen to go as Batman, Green Arrow, and Black Canary, amusing those in the know greatly. Steve was Green Arrow and Hal was Batman, Diana’s blond wig and fishnet stockings garnering quite a bit of attention.
Lex and Jamie were more demure, though Lex as Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic, and Jamie as Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, was a fine combination.
Some of them had combined for the superhero theme, while others had been sheer coincidence.
Great minds think alike, Bruce smirked.
The Arboretum had been a good choice for the ball. Bruce found the atmosphere pleasant and relaxing. He always loved a walk through the gardens at home, and this reminded him even more of the greenhouse.
He passed bougainvillea and cattleya flowers, their scent redolent in the moonlit hall. Small lights were strategically placed around the marble-and-glass room that was splashed with color.
“Go and mingle,” Bruce said to Clark and Dick. “Brad and Sam are here, along with Arboretum security, but mind your surroundings.”
His slaves nodded and drifted off through the crowd, coming close to Lex and Jamie. Bruce walked toward a small alcove by a small water fountain, taking out his cellphone. He had to make a call and preferred to do it in relative privacy. Before he could make the call, another came in.
“Bruce, you wished an update on King Jovan’s condition.”
“Yes, thank you, Lucius.”
“The King is still in critical condition. King Jodelle is by his side.”
“I’m sorry to hear that he’s still critical. King Jodelle must be so worried.” The spray from the fountain was a light mist, cooling him in the overheated room.
“He is, according to Sefran. He’s very worried about Jodelle.”
“Yes, I can imagine. Anything further on the investigation?”
“No, but their best investigators are on the case. King Jodelle has done much to keep the people calm, even while he is worried.”
Bruce knew exactly how Jodelle was feeling. “If I can do anything to help, please let them know, Lucius.”
Bruce signed off and punched in the number for his call. He would keep the news private, as Sefran had requested on their last call. He had asked Lucius to find out the status of Jovan for him since he wasn’t close to a computer, and interstellar calls couldn’t be accessed on a cellphone.
The first time he had called, Sefran had requested the privacy. They were keeping things under wraps on Jovara, which was why the erroneous report of a successful assassination had first circulated. The Palace had corrected that report, but few details were given out on Jovan’s condition.
Bruce concluded his business and heard a familiar socialite’s voice close by speaking to Charles, another High Society swell.
“I don’t see Edmund tonight.”
“After his disgrace?” Charles snorted. “Not that he has any sense of shame, but I suppose even he might feel uncomfortable showing his face here at one of the social events of the season.”
“He has been laying low.”
“Like a snake in the grass.”
Evangeline laughed. “Well, at least we’re spared from his messianic presence.”
“Oh, darling, your thesaurus is showing,” Charles drawled.
Evangeline laughed again, then her voice sobered. “He’s a fanatical as the anti-slavery zealots, just coming from the other side.”
“Zealots of any stripes are crashing bores, darling.”
“I agree.” Bruce was surprised to hear a hint of compassion in Evangeline’s voice. “God help those slaves of his, sequestered with him.”
“True, he can’t get new ones, and Harrison and Halliburton are barred from getting him fresh meat, but he’s a wily old fox. He’s probably already found his way around it.”
She sighed. “You’re probably right.”
The two socialites moved away, Bruce pondering their conversation. He called his Security Chief. “Brad, I want extra security put around the estate, and upgraded security around all my slaves when we’re off the estate.”
His subordinate answered crisply, satisfying Bruce.
Good man. He’ll do exactly as I ask.
As he slipped out from the alcove, he immediately scanned the crowd for Clark and Dick. His bodyguards had them under close surveillance, and Clark could not be hurt or kidnapped anymore without Green Kryptonite, but Dick was vulnerable. He could take care of himself if he was allowed to do so, but there was the catch: as Robin he could defend himself to the hilt, but as Dick, he was rendered helpless by the rules.
Bruce quickly traversed through the crowd, searching for Captain America and Bucky. He felt a sense of relief when he saw them in the center of a group of admirers.
“Oh, aren’t they just perfect!” exclaimed one society matron as she clasped her hands in sheer delight.
“And here comes Iron Man!” Clark said with a smile, all eyes turning to Bruce.
“Thanks, Cap.” Bruce took his place next to Clark, where he wanted to be as Dick was on Clark’s other side. His family was all here, together and safe.
He would do anything to keep it that way.