Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Justice Arc) (29/61)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce (Clark does not appear in this chapter), Arlen/Adele (Arlen does not appear in this chapter)
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 meets Adele in a discreet restaurant.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): June 5, 2011
Date Of Posting: August 24, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 873
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
The perfect place
In which to meet
Those whom might not
Be of my class
But, oh, I can forgive that
For that ass!
"My Lovely Tearoom"
In 2006 C.E.)
MY LOVELY TEAROOM
Bruce sipped his tea as he waited. The upscale tearoom was quiet, the murmur of conversation discreet and cultured.
A place like this was familiar and comfortable to Bruce. Not as busy as a regular five-star restaurant, its peace and discretion was exactly what its customers wanted. The waiters and waitresses were impeccably dressed and groomed and knew exactly the tone to take with their High Society patrons.
While Bruce often mocked his own social world, much of it shallow and pretentious, he admitted to feeling comfortable with other aspects: the deference shown him due to his high-born position, the ease with which he moved through life, never having to worry about a roof over his head and where his next meal was coming from, and places like this: quiet, cultured and discreet.
It was certainly different from how Clark had grown up in Smallville on a farm, diners being the types of restaurants he usually frequented and the glitz and the din of the circus in which Dick had grown up. He would enjoy occasional immersions in their worlds, but this was his world.
And the perfect place to meet Adele Hawkins.
He looked around at the cream-and-gold décor and the quiet click of the waitress’ high heels. He did not envy them working in heels, but it was the fashion now. He had never liked being a slave to fashion, but he had to keep up with these things. As the Prince of Gotham, he had an image to maintain.
The tables were placed far enough apart so that conversations could not be overheard. Not that anyone would raise their voices even if they were angry. It just wasn’t done.
He saw the tall, spare form of Adele Hawkins at the entrance to the dining room and stood as the maitre d’ led her over.
“Thank you for coming, Adele.”
“I’ll admit to curiosity, Bruce.” She sat down and ordered a pot of tea. The maitre d’ bowed and left. “Why do you want to see me and not my husband?”
Bruce liked her directness. He smiled and said, “I need your help.”
“Oh?” Genuine interest piqued her face. Impeccably-dressed in a pale yellow suit with matching pillbox hat and pumps, she wore a string of pearls and matching earrings. She removed dainty white gloves, her brown eyes gazing steadily at Bruce.
“I need you to state to the police that Edmund Caldwell was one of the men who damaged the Government pleasure slave the other night.”
She raised an eyebrow. “I wasn’t there.”
“No, but you would have seen Edmund in the house.”
“I was at the home of a sick friend that night.”
Disappointed, Bruce saw a chance to finally nail Edmund slipping away. “I’m sorry to have troubled you…”
“I came home around two o’clock when my friend’s daughter took over.”
Bruce took a sip of tea. “Oh?”
“Yes.” The waiter arrived with her pot of tea and poured a cup, than departed. “I was tired, drained, in fact, after attending to Cecilia, but I could still see something was up.” Her lip curled. “My husband was on the prowl again.” She took a sip of tea.
Bruce carefully kept his expression neutral. Adele Hawkins was a shrewd woman, and could see through any falsity that Bruce might present. She had been a friend of his mother’s and had known him since childhood. They understood each other in the ways of their class. He had to be extremely cautious.
“There were gentlemen present?”
She snorted delicately. “I’d hardly call Albert Scoggins a gentleman. He wants to be one.” Her aristocratic contempt dripped from every word. “Edmund Caldwell has the pedigree, but I would not call him a gentleman.”
“So he was there?” Bruce curled his fingers around the handle of his teacup.
“I saw him leaving around 2:30.”
The waiter appeared to take their orders. Bruce chafed at the delay but smiled and ordered a garden salad and Jovaran mixed-berry wrap. Adele also ordered the garden salad and decided on the vegetable soup. The waiter nodded and went to the kitchen to place their orders.
“You were still awake at 2:30,” Bruce said.
“That’s right.” Adele took another sip of tea. “I saw him sneaking out around that time. I was at my bedroom window to close the drapes when I saw him scuttle out the back door and get into his limousine.” She poured a fresh cup. “Usually orgies don’t break up until dawn, and I get the bleary-eyed guests at my breakfast table.”
Bruce made a sympathetic noise as he picked up his fork as the salads were delivered.
They ate for a few minutes, then Adele said, “Edmund violated his parole.”
“And you want me to state that fact, as the law can’t take a slave’s word.”
“That’s right.” Bruce crunched a crouton.
"I would be exposing my husband as an accessory.”
“Yes, you would.”