Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Justice Arc) (15/61)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Annie, Clark/Bruce, Dick, Alfred, Ollie/Dinah (Dinah does not appear in this chapter), Roy/Johnny
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: Thanksgiving preparations are underway as an invitation arrives at Wayne Manor.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): March 25, 2011
Date Of Posting: May 21, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1649
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
Father Patrick O’Malley
St. Francis Xavier Church
Annie looked up at her benefactor and swallowed. She adjusted the clothing that he had given her and tied her brown hair back in a ponytail. She looked like a typical twentysomething girl ready for backpacking across the Empire on the broke student plan.
“Is your backpack ready?”
She nodded. “Thank you for all the provisions and money. And the identification papers.” She was now Allison Wexler, Human of Earth, with Canada as her origin country. Her shade of brown hair had darkened, and her eye color was changed from brown to hazel, her make-up giving her a different look. It was subtle, but all together combined to make her appearance different.
“Now, the final touch.”
The robed figure reached out and with a tiny electronic device, unsnapped her manacles. She stared down at her bare wrists, stiffening as he touched her collar after pointing the device. The heavy weight of her collar was gone for the first time in her life. She swallowed and rubbed her neck.
He put a hand on her shoulder. “We have to go.”
She nodded. Picking up her backpack, she stood ready. She felt a sharp pinprick in her arm, and blackness fell.
When Annie opened her eyes, she felt a little groggy. She was sitting on a bench in a park. Was it Wayne Park?
She did not recognize it, but she had not been to the park that often. She was more acquainted with the ceiling of Edmund Caldwell’s bedroom than the open sky.
She dug her travel pad out of her backpack and switched it on, trying not to rub her neck. Her GPS told her that she was in Luthor Park located in Metropolis. Surprised, she marveled at her benefactor’s power in getting her here so efficiently.
She ran through what was uploaded onto the machine and saw the topic, Travel Schedule. Clicking it on, she received her instructions: Take the 10:06 A.M. train to Boston, and then take the 1:12 P.M. shuttle to Jovara.
Annie relaxed a little. Jovara was a good place. She could manage to fit in there, especially if there were other Humans there.
It was time to start her new life.
Bruce chopped celery while Dick kneaded dough for the apple pie. Alfred checked on the fresh bread baking in the oven.
Clark entered the room, rolling up his red flannel sleeves. His manacles glittered at his wrists. All three turned to look at him, questions on their faces.
“The passenger made the train safely.”
Clark asked Alfred, “What would you like me to do?”
“Peel and chop the apples for the pie.” The sound of a small truck chugging up the driveway alerted Alfred. “Ah, the daily post.” He headed to the front door.
“I’m glad that Annie’s on her way,” Dick said, nimble fingers kneading the dough, its pleasant aroma tickling his nose.
“Hopefully she’ll make it.” Clark started peeling the apples, his mouth watering at their aroma.
Bruce continued chopping the celery. “We’ve planned it all out. If Annie follows the directions, she should make it. Good thing she knows how to read though we could have made the instructions auditory.”
For a few minutes silence reigned in the kitchen except for the chop-chop-chop of Bruce and Clark’s knives. Alfred came in and said, “An invitation from Lord Oliver, sir.”
“Really?” Bruce set down his knife and took the heavily-embossed invitation from Alfred. “Hmm, Dinah’s name is on it.” He laid it on the table. “I better get the letter opener. I’ll take the rest of the mail, Alfred.”
Bruce sorted through the mail as he walked to the study. Nothing very exciting. Most of his business correspondence was electronic, with the exception of special messenger services.
He thought of the special courier envelope that Lex had sent him not long ago, telling him of the facts he knew about how Kryptonians were controlled, and his and Jamie’s speculations.
Bruce entered the study and put the mail on his desk. Lex had not mentioned anything about the material he had sent when he was here during Halloween Week. Bruce had not been sure how to handle it, so he had decided that if Lex brought it up, he would talk about it, otherwise would stay silent. Since Lex had never said anything, the status quo remained.
Bruce picked up the letter opener. It was silver with a red handle, tiny diamonds encrusting the edges. A perfect miniature Wayne family crest was etched into the handle.
He was a creature of privilege, of royalty and lineage and heritage. He enjoyed wealth and fame and power, but with it came great responsibility.
He hefted the letter opener. He would gladly take on that responsibility if it meant the power to help people like Annie and his own family.
Returning to the kitchen, he slit open Ollie’s invitation. Reading it, his face broke into a smile. “We’re all invited to the engagement party of Ollie and Dinah.”
“Yes!” Dick did a little jig. “’Bout time!”
“When, sir?” asked Alfred.
“December 16th at Queens’ Castle.”
“Excellent. That will give me sufficient time to prepare.”
“Quite a logistical nightmare, getting this Household on the road, eh, old friend?”
Alfred waved his hand negligently. “Pshaw, sir, if I can get you all to Jovara, I suppose I can get you to Star City.”
Grins all around, his family agreed.
“Well, we knew they were getting married, but I wondered if they were going to do an engagement party,” Bruce said as he took a bowl of cranberries, spread some out on the cutting board, and began chopping. “Usually big Society weddings go the full route, so it looks as if Dinah and Ollie are going to do it up right.”
“We’ve never been to Queens’ Castle. Should be fun,” Clark said.
Bruce’s thought drifted back to Halloween Week and a conversation between him and Ollie in the library...
“Sure, Ollie.” He set aside his stylus and leaned back in his chair, offering Ollie the seat in front of his desk. Ollie settled in, his posture relaxed. “What can I do for you?”
Ollie grinned. “Oh, just be my best man.”
Bruce’s surprise registered on his face, then a smile broke out. He stood and came around the desk, hand outstretched. Ollie’s smile was dazzling as he stood and shook Bruce’s hand.
“I’d be happy to. Thanks, Ollie.”
“Hey, you’re my oldest friend. I knew you even before I knew Lex. Do you think he’d be okay with being an usher?”
“Oh, he’d be fine with it.” Ollie waved his hand airily. “Dinah and I would like to invite your Family to be part of things, too. How would Dick feel being the ring-bearer next to Mia, who’s the flower girl?”
“I think his sense of showmanship will love it,” Bruce said dryly.
They both laughed.
Bruce dumped out more cranberries. The wedding was going to be a lot of fun.
The smell of Irish stew permeated the kitchen as it bubbled on the stove. Green beans were cooking in another pot, and onions were laid out, ready to be dipped into a deep fryer.
Roy yawned as he padded into the kitchen in slippers. It had been a tough shift, but now they were off for two days, including Thanksgiving.
Smiling, Roy checked on the food, whistling as he worked. He was dressed in jeans and a light-blue shirt, his blond hair slightly mussed. He stirred the stew and beans, checking the fryolator. He would work on the onions after lunch.
“Mmm, it all smells so good!”
Roy smiled as Johnny shuffled into the room, wearing jeans, a red shirt, and socks. His glossy black hair was wild, hard to tame on the best of days. His Indian slave collar and bracelets gleamed in the morning light. He looked fantastic.
“Glad you like my Irish stew.”
“I love anything Irish.” Johnny’s brown eyes twinkled. “How are the green beans coming along?”
“Perfect.” Roy lightly smacked his lips with his fingers. “Just the right amount of melted butter in the pot.”
“Man, Dixie sure likes that old recipe, doesn’t she?” Johnny looked at the onions ready to be turned into onion rings to go with the green beans for the casserole.
“I’m glad that’s what she asked us to bring to Thanksgiving dinner. It’s not that hard to make.”
Johnny went over to the stove and inhaled the aroma of the stew. He stirred the beans with a wooden spoon. “Glad Dix isn’t trying to do it all by herself this year.”
Roy laughed as he set the table. “”She’s a smart woman. Besides, she’ll have Dr. Brackett and Dr. Early at her beck-and-call.”
“Somehow I can’t picture Kelly Brackett slaving over a hot stove.”
“With Dixie as Mistress, he will.”
Johnny laughed, taking another spoon to stir the stew. He sobered as he glanced over at Roy. “You’re sure about not seeing the kids on Thanksgiving?”
“I’ll see them on Christmas. Besides, skipping a holiday with my ex-mother-in-law suits me just fine.”
Johnny grinned. “She never really liked you, did she?”
“That’s the understatement of the year.” Roy came over to the stove. “I’ll ladle out the stew. Drain the beans, will you?”
Johnny nodded. “Ha, who would’ve thought that Chet would have a fryolator?”
“The mystery of the Kelly mind is mystifying.”
Johnny laughed again and drained the beans into a colander. He looked at Roy. “Thanks for being you,” he said softly.
Roy swallowed. He had a lot to be thankful for, of that he was certain. He put his arms around his lover’s waist and nuzzled his neck. Johnny purred happily.
Please, let us always be this happy.