Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Justice Arc) (25/61)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Charlie Dwyer, Roy/Johnny, Adele Hawkins, Joe Early, Dixie McCall
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: It’s a race against time to save Johnny.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): May 16, 2011
Date Of Posting: July 27, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1637
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
In a sea of blue,
As I weep
“My god,” whispered Charlie.
Roy was frozen, horror immobilizing him until he snapped out of it and rushed over to the bed. “Johnny…” he said urgently, “My god, does he still have his eye?” He checked and almost fainted with relief to see that Johnny still did, cupping his cheek. He reached to take his partner’s pulse. It was weak and thready.
Charlie contacted Gotham General Hospital. “Roy, BP and respiration?”
Roy gave him the numbers, adding, “He’s hemorrhaging. We have to stop the bleeding.”
Charlie nodded, breaking out compression bandages and handing them to Roy.
“I found him here like this when I was inspecting the cleaning,” said Mrs. Adele Hawkins, barely contained fury in her voice. “He was out of it and bleeding all over my good sheets.”
Johnny’s eyes fluttered open just as Roy was going to make a retort. Immediately forgetting her, he said, “Johnny?”
Roy smoothed the sweaty strands of hair back, noting how clammy his lover’s skin felt. “Yep, it’s me, Junior.”
“Roy, I…” Shame flooded the expressive brown eyes.
“It’s going to be all right, “ Roy said softly, giving Johnny a smile despite his gut clenching. Charlie was talking to Gotham over the biophone, Joe Early’s calm tones coming over the airwaves. Charlie started an I.V. and Roy said, “I gotta stop the bleeding, Junior. Just relax and let me take care of you.”
“Okay, Roy,” Johnny whispered, his eyes sliding shut.
Roy carefully pressed the bandages up against Johnny’s rectum, fear curling deep within him. The last time Johnny had been used as a pleasure slave, he had been injured so severely that he had required surgery. Now it was happening again.
He clamped down on his anger. He had no time for that, or the fear. He had to be professional and save Johnny’s life.
“His B.P…” Charlie said.
”I know. He’s losing too much blood.” Roy swore as his hand clanked against the chains. “Ma’am, do you have the key for these things?”
She looked in the nightstand drawer. “Here.”
Roy handed the key to Charlie, who unlocked the chains binding Johnny’s wrists and ankles. Roy pressed the bandages a little harder, alarmed at the amount of blood soaking through the gauze. Charlie began to move Johnny’s arms, and the slave hissed in pain.
“Ouch, that’s swollen. Broken?” Charlie asked.
“Yes,” Johnny answered weakly.
Roy kicked himself mentally for not having noticed earlier. He was failing at taking care of his lover and his patient.
“We have to immobilize this arm,” Roy said. “Is an ambulance on the way?”
Charlie nodded. He got out the splints and treated Johnny’s arm. “That bruising on his ribcage…”
Roy nodded gravely. “Could be signs of internal bleeding.” Charlie gently examined Johnny’s abdomen, stopping at Johnny’s whimper of pain. He got back on the biophone.
“Gotham, signs of internal bleeding with distended abdomen.”
“Okay, 51. Let’s have the vitals again.”
Charlie relayed the new vital signs as Roy continued to apply pressure.
“Is the ambulance there yet, 51?"
The sound of a siren in the distance answered for Charlie, though he relayed the information, anyway.
“Good. Transport as soon as possible.”
The siren grew louder and finally shut off as the ambulance arrived.
Adele Hawkins said, “You can take the sheets. They’re of no use to me anymore.”
“Thank you, ma’am,” said Roy as his blood boiled.
The ambulance attendants pounded up the stairs, surprise on their faces as they recognized Johnny but they said nothing, only started to help get Johnny onto the stretcher.
“Watch that arm,” Roy said as they lifted Johnny off the bed. His hand was still applying pressure, so he was going in the ambulance. Charlie quickly gathered up their equipment and followed the stretcher down the stairs.
Roy was icily professional, clamping down fiercely on his emotions. Somehow he was able to view Johnny as just a patient instead of the love of his life. He coolly catalogued the black eye, split lip, dark bruises and cuts, broken arm, torn nipples and rectal bleeding. Dried blood was at his patient’s hairline. Tying off the pressure bandage, he inspected Johnny’s head and found a deep laceration. Swearing, he picked up the biophone microphone and said, “Gotham, Squad 51. Patient also has a scalp laceration but no fresh bleeding.” He took out his penlight to re-check Johnny’s eyes. “Pupils are still equal and reactive.”
“Okay, 51,” said Joe. “Keep an eye on him for any concussion symptoms, just in case. How’s the rectal bleeding?”
“All right. What’s your ETA?”
Roy kept a close monitor on blood pressure and respiration. It was going to be a close thing. The patient was losing too much blood.
Roy nearly lost it.
The patient! This is Johnny I’m talking about!
Ruthlessly he clamped back down on his emotions. He had to stay strong for Johnny, his patient.
The ambulance ride was the longest of Roy’s career. He kept monitoring, the scream of the siren burning into his brain, augmented by the squad’s siren right behind them. As they turned into the Emergency entrance of Gotham, he said a quick prayer while preparing Johnny for transport.
The ambulance driver backed up to the entrance and the doors swung open. Joe Early’s face registered shocked surprise, but his professionalism quickly took over. Dixie reacted the same way, but in seconds she was coolly directing them to Trauma Room One.
Roy went right in with the gurney and helped with treatment until Dixie gently pulled him away.
“We’ve got Johnny’s blood type on file so it’ll be ready when we get to surgery,” said Joe.
“Surgery?” Roy whispered.
“For the bleeding,” Dixie said softly.
Roy knew that, but his professionalism was falling away, replaced by the frightened friend and lover. He watched every move intently, his stomach in knots.
Hold on, Johnny, please!
“All right, get him up to Surgery,” Joe ordered.
Roy felt dizzy. So much blood! He was terrified.
“C’mon, Roy,” Dixie said, tugging gently on his arm.
Roy watched Johnny being wheeled out. “I have to say good luck,” he mumbled. He broke away from her and ran to the gurney, taking Johnny’s hand. “Johnny, I’m here. I’ll be here all the time. I’ll never leave you.” He said it softly that no one else heard him. He would not have cared if they did. He leaned down and whispered, “I love you.”
Johnny looked up at him and smiled. “I love you, too,” he rasped, kissing Roy’s hand.
The gurney was wheeled into the elevator, and Roy had to let go, blinking away tears. Dixie grasped his arm again.
She escorted him to the lounge. Charlie rose from the couch.
“We can stay as long as we don’t get a run.” Roy nodded abstractly and Charlie looked at Dixie. “I called Cap.”
“Good job, Charlie.” She led Roy to the couch and Charlie poured a cup of coffee. Roy took the cup but didn’t take a sip.
“So much blood,” he whispered.
Dixie crouched in front of him. “He’s lost quite a bit but Johnny’s strong, Roy. He’s survived so much already. He’ll survive this, too.” She squeezed his arm.
“That’s right, Roy.” Charlie brushed a lock of hair out of his eyes. “I’ve never seen anyone tougher on a rescue.”
Roy closed his eyes. “I can’t lose him.”
“Pray for him,’ Dixie said.
His eyes snapped open. “Why? To a god who allows slavery to exist?” Anger radiated from blue eyes. “Johnny has helped save countless people, and what’s his reward? Getting put back into servicing dirty old men who use him so badly that he’s torn up and bleeding to death!”
Dixie made a grab for the cup, sure that it was headed for the wall. She took it out of Roy’s grasp and set it aside, her blue eyes intent on her friend.
“I know it stinks, Roy. I know you have every right to be bitter, but try and think positively. Rage won’t help you, not right now. Focus your energies on willing Johnny to live, because he needs that, Roy. Let the rest of us take care of the surrounding issues. Johnny should be your focus now.”
Roy looked down at his hands, briefly surprised that he was no longer holding a coffee cup. “I’ve always focused on him.”
“I know.” Dixie patted his arm. “You’re always so good to him.”
“He deserves it. He’s a good man, Dix.” Roy looked up to see both Dixie and Charlie smiling in agreement. “He deserves better than what life has thrown at him.”
“He does, and that better part of his life is you.”
Roy swallowed, his hand flexing. Dixie gently put the cup back into it.
“Now, drink that up and I’ll get you something to eat.”
“Thanks, Dix.” Roy smiled ruefully. “You take good care of us.”
She patted his arm again. “You’re my boys.” She rose and said, “I’ll get you two some sandwiches. The cafeteria food is actually decent today.”
“Yay,” Charlie said with a grin. He sat next to Roy. “Now that you mention it, I’m pretty hungry.”
Dixie smiled. “Be right back.”
Charlie laid the H.T. on the couch. “Johnny will pull through, Roy. I’m serious when I say he’s the toughest guy I’ve seen on rescues.”
“I have to call Bruce Wayne.”
“I asked him to help me get Johnny back. I should keep him updated.”
“Oh, yeah, you should.”
Roy drained the coffee cup and set it aside. He took out his cellphone and punched in Bruce Wayne’s number.
We were all too late.