Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Justice Arc) (24/61)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Dick, Alfred, Roy/Johnny, Mike Stoker, Chet Kelly, Charlie Dwyer, Adele Hawkins
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): R
Warnings: Slave abuse.
Summary: Roy gets an idea to help Johnny.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): May 10, 2011
Date Of Posting: July 20, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1720
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
The Lord of the Manor
At his whim.
Lady Margaret Berry
"In Days Of Yore"
BY HIS LORDSHIP’S FAVOR
“We should re-establish the Underground Railroad.”
Bruce looked up at Clark, who was sitting on the couch in the library while Bruce sat behind the desk. “A noble sentiment, but how do we go about it without getting caught? We were lucky with Annie.”
“I know.” Clark rubbed his face, his rainbow manacles winking in the sunlight streaming in through the windows. “I’d like to just grab all the Caldwell slaves and send them on their way.”
“I’m with you there.” Bruce looked thoughtful. “We should really think about how to set up the Railroad.”
Clark perked up, Bruce noticing. He loved it when he could make Clark happy. Dick, too.
He sighed. Dick was not completely happy with him right now. He hated it when there was tension between him and his boy.
“Dick will come around, Bruce.”
Bruce laughed. “Since when is mind-reading one of your powers?”
Clark grinned. “Just a natural power, I guess.”
Bruce snorted. “You have many natural powers, my dear.” He stood up and walked over to the couch, leaning down and kissing his lover.
“You are sweet,” Clark breathed.
“Not as sweet as you,” Bruce said, straddling his slave. He ran his fingers through Clark’s hair and kissed him again. Clark’s hands cupped his buttocks, his eyes shining.
Out in the kitchen garden, Dick helped Alfred remove dead branches from the shrubs after the harsh winter. They worked in comfortable silence, the bright sunshine making it easy to work.
The sound of the sea soothed Alfred. It reminded him of his childhood in Brighton on the English coast, the salty air bracing and smelling of fish and brine.
Alfred cut another broken branch, dropping it into the wheelbarrow. Dick picked up several branches from under the bushes and dumped them in the wheelbarrow, too.
“Am I wrong for being upset by the Veiling?”
Alfred cut another branch. “No.” He dropped it precisely with the others. “It is a step that will change things, though not drastically.”
“But it will.”
“I have to wear dark glasses every time I step off the estate.”
“You wear them now.”
“True.” Alfred inspected a bougainvillea. “Master Bruce would not decree this without a good reason.”
Dick sighed. “I know, I just…”
“It is difficult for you to adapt.” Dick nodded and Alfred’s smile was gentle. “Dick, I know it can be difficult being a slave. It can be frustrating, annoying, and disheartening, even with a kind Master like Bruce, but we do have hope. We are working for Abolition every day, all of us, not just Master Bruce.”
Dick looked down at the bougainvillea. “I know.”
Alfred put a hand on the boy’s shoulder and squeezed gently. “You do us proud every day, lad.”
Dick looked up and beamed. “Thanks, Alfred.” He glanced at the contents of the wheelbarrow. “I’ll go dump this in the pile.”
“You do that.”
Dick quickly wheeled the barrow away. Alfred smiled. Dick would adapt. He expected no less of him. And, the Day of Jubilee would come. Of that he was certain.
Roy brooded as he drank his coffee. He had not slept well since Johnny had been taken away three days ago. He had gotten through the remainder of that shift like a zombie, doing his job more by instinct than by conscious thought.
He knew that such a day would come. Johnny was a Government slave and could be sent anywhere, anytime. They had been living on borrowed time but never spoke of it, preferring to live in the moment and leave tomorrow to tomorrow, since there was nothing that they could do to change it.
Roy was proud of his crewmates. They had expressed horror and anger mixed with shock. They had known that this day was coming, too, but had adapted the same attitude: why dwell on what could not be changed?
But the reality is always different from the abstract.
Roy continued drinking his coffee, the other crewmembers not attempting to engage him in conversation, for which he was grateful.
He could not help but think of Johnny by his side in the squad, in a fire, at the hospital. He remembered what he looked like first thing in the morning when they were waking up and last thing at night before they went to bed. He remembered the sight of Johnny cooking in the kitchen, laughing as they rode horseback, eyes shining in candlelight as they enjoyed a romantic evening.
Johnny was a consummate professional as a firefighter and paramedic, risking his life for people who considered him less-than-human. The thought angered Roy, his blue eyes flashing.
He sipped his bitter brew.
Mike turned on the radio, keeping it at low volume. The news came on, and the announcer went through galactic and planet-wide news first, getting to the local stories next.
“And the Daughters Of The Revolution have announced a re-enactment of the Battle of Monmouth, which also was a battle in which General Mad Anthony Wayne took part. No word if his descendant Bruce Wayne will be in this reenactment as of yet.”
Roy nearly jumped out of his chair. “Of course! Bruce Wayne!”
“What about him?” asked Chet.
“He’ll help me get Johnny back!”
Alfred appeared in the doorway of the library. “Sir, Firefighter Ro DeSoto is here to see you.”
“Another inspection so soon?”
“I believe this is a personal matter, sir.”
Bruce exchanged a look with Clark, who quickly slipped his dark glasses on.
“Send him in, Alfred.”
The butler nodded, and a few minutes later, a nervous Roy DeSoto was shaking Bruce’s hand and nodding at Clark to acknowledge him. He was dressed in his uniform and carried his handi-talkie, a quaint piece of equipment that the tradition-minded Fire Department had kept as standard equipment though it was as fast as any Ipad or other more modern machine.
“Have a seat, Roy.” Bruce sat in his chair behind the desk, Clark remaining on the couch. Roy DeSoto was not a man who expected slaves to kneel in his presence. “Now, what can I do for you?” As Lord of the Manor, Bruce knew when someone needed a favor. He just hoped that he could grant it.
Roy was clearly distressed. “I know this is a big favor I’m asking you, but…”
Bruce nodded. He understood. Even though Roy and Johnny had just been doing their jobs when they had taken care of Alfred, Roy was in such need that he was willing to trade on that. Bruce had no problem with it, because job or not, he was grateful. He would gladly grant Roy any favor he needed.
“They took Johnny away.”
Bruce leaned forward, registering Clark’s soft gasp on the edges of his consciousness. “How?”
“Senator Arlen Hawkins went to the higher-ups and decided that it was time for Johnny to be used as a pleasure slave again. Forget that he’s one of the best damned firefighters and paramedics the Department has, and my…” He hesitated, but Bruce could guess what he was going to say. “It’s just not right,” Roy finished, misery in his blue eyes.
Bruce had to agree. He knew Arlen Hawkins and detested the man. Lana had told him about his dirty dealings in the Senate, which was not surprising, considering politicians’ unethical behavior, but Lana had said it went beyond the pale. Bruce did not doubt her. He saw Clark’s expression and knew what his lover wanted.
“You’d like to see what I could do.”
“Yes.” Roy squared his shoulders. “I know this is a big favor to ask…”
Bruce held up a hand. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll be glad to do it.”
Relief spread across Roy’s handsome face and he stood. “Thank you, Mr.Wayne.” He held out his hand. Bruce rose and shook it. Roy turned and smiled at Clark, who smiled back and said, “My Master will do all he can, and that is considerable.”
Roy was pleased and Bruce proud of the vote of confidence that Clark had just given him.
“Thank you,” Roy said to Clark and turned back to Bruce. “I’ll be forever grateful.”
Bruce opened his mouth to reply when Roy’s HT went off. “Squad 51, man down at 681 Oceanview Drive, 6-8-1 Oceanview. Time out, 11:16.”
“Squad 51, responding.”
“That’s just down the road,” Bruce said.
“Good. I have to go.”
“I’ll keep in touch.”
Roy nodded and hurried out of the library.
“That’s a good thing you’re doing, Bruce. Clark smiled, a nimbus of light around his head.
“An injustice was done. I like to right injustices.”
“You’re an old softie.”
Bruce snorted as Clark smiled.
“Did you get everything straightened out?” asked Charlie as Roy slid into the driver’s seat.
“Yep, let’s roll.”
The siren wailed and the lights flashed as they drove down Oceanview Drive to 681. The front gates were open and Roy drove the squad up to the impressive-looking mansion of marble pillars and three stories. The front door opened as the paramedics were getting out their equipment.
The woman in the doorway was in her fifties, brown hair fashionably coiffed, her dress expensive but tasteful. She was a thin, severe woman with an expression to match. “Follow me,” she said crisply.
“Yes, ma’am,” said Roy, Charlie right behind them.
They lugged their equipment up the grand staircase as the woman said, “I found him this morning. My husband and his friends don’t take care of their toys.” Her voice dripped with contempt, whether for her husband and his friends or the slave, Roy was not sure. It could be both. “Right in here.”
The woman gestured to a bedroom and Roy and Charlie went in, both stopping still in shock.
The slave on the bed was still chained, his body a mass of cuts and bruises, one eye blackened and his lip cut. Blood trickled down from his nipples and cut a jagged swath across his right cheek, but the blood that was of most concern was the pool of it on the sheets underneath him, dark and spreading.
The battered slave was Johnny.