Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Roy/Johnny, Clark/Bruce, Dick, Joe Early
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: Loved ones are appreciated.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): April 5, 2011
Date Of Posting: June 12, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1388
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
Johnny grimly followed Roy through the flames and choking black smoke. Gotham was riddled with old, abandoned warehouses that attracted firebugs like flies to honey. This particular warehouse was an inferno by the time they had gotten the call. Unfortunately, two teenagers had been observed running inside just before the fire started, so rescue men had to be sent in.
Johnny was grateful for the sweet, clean air flowing from his oxygen tank. Briefly he wondered how firefighters in the past had been able to maneuver with much heavier tanks before the new model had been designed.
Roy gestured to go down an aisle and Johnny nodded. They kept their eyes open for the teenagers but saw no signs of them. Johnny cursed behind his air mask. Stupid kids! Jeopardizing not only their own lives but those of firefighters as well. He sighed. Rescuing people who didn’t think was all part of the job.
He and Roy swiftly but efficiently searched the area. Just as they were turning away to search another area, a loud crack! brought their heads up just in time to see the ceiling crash down upon their heads.
“One thousand pounds. Nice.”
Clark grinned as he showed off, the two weights easily high as his arms stretched upward, balancing the two five-hundred pound weights. Dick balanced on his hands in a handstand. Bruce nearly laughed. What a family he had!
Clark flexed his muscles, Bruce muttering, “Show-off.” Clark’s bright smile grew even more dazzling. He gently settled the weights on the Cave floor.
“Do you need another dose of sunlight?” Bruce asked.
Clark shook his head. “No, I’m good.” He smiled as Dick walked by him on his hands. “The sunlight seems to be settling into my cells, though with the weak winter sun, I will keep alert as to energy levels.”
Bruce nodded. “It wouldn’t be a good idea to let you get dangerously low, but we’ve had to be careful about the rate of your absorption.”
Clark nodded. “Too much overwhelms me. I wonder if that’s a side effect of my lengthy power suppression?”
“It could be.” Bruce’s tone was thoughtful. “We don’t know all the effects, certainly. The Control Committee studied their subjects but…” Suddenly uncomfortable, he stopped.
Clark continued sadly, “…they never lived long enough to find out.”
Bruce nodded mutely as Dick lowered his legs to the floor and sat on his haunches, looking up at his mentors with sadness in his eyes.
Bruce hated talking about the cold cruelty of the world to Clark and Dick. Both were similar in their vulnerabilities in the way they viewed the world with astonishing optimism, considering their slavery experiences. They were not naive, but their belief in people’s essential goodness humbled Bruce, who usually saw the darkness in people first.
But who can blame me? Aside from sadists like Edmund, there are people who enjoy torturing and humiliating their slaves. Not to Edmund’s extent, thank goodness, but still a level of cruelty.
He ruffled Dick’s hair as his thoughts raced. It was different with consensual BDSM. Freemen who looked to play darker games but were uneasy with consent issues when it came to slaves sought out others who were like-minded in specialized clubs, some of which Bruce had explored in his college days. Humiliation was what the sub needed, and there were safewords.
Bruce had used safewords with Clark and still did. They had such an odd mix of a relationship: even when they were Master and slave only in the early days, Bruce could never bear to hurt Clark, even inadvertently for sexual pleasure.
Now they seemed to be a mix of Master/slave and Dom/sub, with consensuality in the equation. Sometimes it made his head hurt.
Bruce looked at Clark. “Oh, yes. Just thinking.” He smirked. “About your charms, mostly.”
“Oh, brother,” Dick said, rolling his eyes.
Clark laughed and ruffled the boy’s hair. “Oh, darling, thank you.”
Bruce chuckled and drew Clark into a kiss while Dick pretended to groan and moan. “Get a room, you guys!”
Johnny woke up abruptly, groaning at his sore back. Hospital chairs were ergonomically better these days, but sleeping in them was not recommended, especially with bruised ribs and a sprained left wrist.
He could hear the soft beeping of the monitors, reassuring because it meant that Roy was still with him.
He reached out a trembling hand to touch a strawberry-blond lock of hair. Images of smoke and fire filled his vision as he remembered digging his way out of the ceiling debris and the moment of panic when he thought of Roy. Clawing through the rubble, he had found his wounded partner, bright crimson staining his right leg.
I never want to feel that kind of terror again.
He had screamed for help, the walkie-talkie crumpled and useless. Miraculously, his crewmates had appeared and helped him dig Roy out and take him out of the raging inferno.
They had stayed with him at the hospital during the wait when Roy was in surgery, and there to catch him when he had nearly fainted in relief at the news that Roy had survived surgery and would probably make a complete recovery.
Johnny sniffled, digging out a crumpled tissue from his pocket. He wiped his eyes, keeping his gaze on the pale face of his Master and lover. He curled his hand around Roy’s.
The leg wound had been dangerous, but the surgery had repaired the damage. Dr. Early had assisted the vascular surgeon, coming to tell Johnny and the rest of the crew the good news.
It had been Dr. Early who had arranged for Johnny to stay with Roy. When the two of them were alone in Roy’s room, Johnny had expressed his gratitude by kneeling at the kindly doctor’s feet and bending down to kiss his shoes. Dr. Early had responded by running his fingers through Johnny’s hair and smiling gently at him as Johnny got to his feet.
Because of Joe Early, Johnny was not only able to stay but was protected as the doctor sent up a Security guard. It was too dangerous for Johnny to be without a Master or some form of protection, so the guard was necessary.
“Dr. Early says you’ll be back at work in a month,” Johnny said softly. “I hope I get Charlie as my temporary partner. He’s nice, and a good paramedic.” He squeezed Roy’s hand. “I’ll visit you when I’m on duty as much as I can, and when I’m off I’ll be here. I won’t bother you. I’ll do chores in the morning and ask Chet to bring me in the afternoon.” Sometimes it was really inconvenient to be only licensed to drive the squad, and the bus was out of the question unescorted. Same for a taxi.
He sat back in the chair, knowing that Dixie would be in soon at the start of her shift. He closed his eyes, listening to the hospital sounds: a rattling cart, the shrill of a telephone, murmured voices.
He realized that he was sitting with his legs spread and slowly closed them.
Old habits die hard.
His pleasure slave training had dictated that whether sitting or kneeling, his legs should be parted so that he was always open and ready to be taken.
When he had first stated working as a firefighter, the men of Station 51 had seen no reason to continue that show of submission. Captain Stanley had kindly informed him that he would not be required to kneel or be chained, and he was expected to sit at the table for meals, not sit at Roy’s feet and be fed at his whim.
He had gone home with Roy after their first shift and been given a separate bedroom. Confused, he wondered if he had lost his appeal, but later learned that Roy wanted to get to know him, not just use him for sexual release.
Aw, Roy, you’re too good to me.
Johnny slowly opened his eyes, sitting up with a smile as he saw his lover’s bright blue eyes looking at him. He grasped Roy’s hand.
“Welcome back, Roy.”
Never leave me.