Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Justice Arc) (42/61)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Dick, Kara Zor-El, Jonathan/Martha, Hal/Steve/Diana (Steve 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): NC-17
Summary: Kara and the Kents learn about each other.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): August 9, 2011
Date Of Posting: October 30, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 2351
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
Speech at the Political Guild’s
2,067th Annual Gathering
PUMPKIN MUFFINS ‘N’ APPLE CIDER
Clark cleaved through the water, enjoying its coolness on his skin. He glanced back with a smile to see Bruce right behind him. He turned his head forward and speeded up a little, his rainbow collar and manacles sparkling in the sunlight. He could feel strong fingers grasp his ankle, and he was drawn back toward Bruce. He laughed as Bruce snaked his arms around him, holding him tight against his chest. Warm lips nuzzled his ear.
“You’re pretty frisky this morning, Master.”
Bruce smirked. “You bring it out of me, my Prize.”
Clark turned in his grasp to face Bruce and they kissed.
They were alone in the water, enjoying time on the private beach close to the Manor. Dick was helping Alfred in the garden and would be down after they were finished to cool off, so Bruce and Clark were taking advantage of their relative privacy.
“You inspire me, Master.”
Bruce smirked and tweaked Clark’s nipples. He bent him back to float on the water as he skimmed his fingers over Clark’s chest and down his groin, his lover squirming. Smiling with predatory glee, Bruce continued stroking as they floated, a gentle swell bobbing them up-and-down.
Clark peeled down Bruce’s bathing trunks and smiled as the swelling cock swayed at attention. Clark’s hand gently grasped it and began stroking and kneading, Bruce gasping and bucking his hips. He moaned and threw his head back, Clark increasing his stroking as he brought Bruce to climax, Bruce letting himself float in blissful lassitude.
“A nice summer day,” Clark said mischievously.
Bruce snorted and pulled up his swimsuit. He rolled over and noticed Clark’s erection.
“Let me return the favor.”
Clark’s smile was radiant as Bruce pulled down his swimsuit and wrapped a hand around his cock, stroking and kneading with nimble fingers. Clark moaned and twisted in the water, and as Bruce increased his attentions, Clark’s thrashing increased. He came with a thrust of his hips, his shout echoing over the water.
Floating in limp satiation, Clark opened his eyes a slit to see Bruce’s smug ace.
“You are a Prize,” Bruce said as he reached down and kissed his lover.
After pulling up their swimsuits, they floated for awhile, looking up at the bright blue sky with fat white clouds scudding across the azure expanse, Bruce slipping his hand into Clark’s.
Dick’s shout from the beach alerted them to his presence as he waved and plunged into the surf, joining them with a sparkling smile. He splashed Bruce and Clark and the fight was on.
The three of them played for about a half hour, then Dick noticed Alfred standing at the water’s edge at precisely the spot where the water would not touch his shoes.
“Must be something important,” Bruce said, swimming into shore.
“A most frantic call from Miss Prince, sir.”
Kara observed the Kents going about their business, doing chores before the heat became too brutal. Afterwards they started working on N.A.S. matters. She listened in with her super-hearing as she floated high above the farm.
It was amazing to think that these farmers could have successfully raised the Sal-Vor of Krypton, the heir to the House Of El, most powerful House of all. They knew that their adopted son was wearing a collar and manacles and serving that arrogant royal, Bruce Wayne, in Gotham. Serving him in bed, no less!
She shook her head. She would never understand Humans.
She floated to the ground, changing her clothes to the demure college girl outfit that she had worn before, and marched up to the front porch and rang the doorbell. Jonathan opened the door, surprise on his face.
“Hello, Mr. Kent, Mrs. Kent. I would like a moment of your time.”
“Come in, Kara,” said Martha from her seat at the dining room table, smiling at the younger woman’s surprise that she knew her identity.
Kara entered the house a little warily, taking a seat on the living room couch as Martha and Jonathan took their customary seats. She wondered why she was feeling so nervous. She had superpowers! These Humans could not hurt her. Still, she found herself wanting to squirm as the Kents trained their gazes on her.
“So, now, we realize you needed to keep your true identity a secret,” Jonathan said. “We understand that.”
“You do?” Kara asked coolly. She was afraid that she had handed them an advantage by showing her unease. What was her father’s old saying? Never let them see you sweat.
Sound advice, Dad, and useful, too.
“We do. We raised Kal-El in secrecy.”
Her eyebrow rose at his use of the Kryptonian name. “Yes, I know.” She resisted the urge to twist a strand of her hair. “I thank you both for that, otherwise Kal-El could have been killed or taken and experimented on. Instead he was given a happy childhood.”
Martha and Jonathan smiled. “He gave us joy,” Martha said.
Kara thought of her cousin as a baby and smiled, too.
“So what are your plans going forward?” asked Jonathan.
Kara sat back on the couch. “I have business here on your planet.”
“That involves Clark?”
“Apparently not. He refuses to help with Kryptonian business.”
“Risky business, you mean,” Jonathan said grimly.
“This is a risky universe we live in.”
Jonathan twisted his mouth as he crossed his arms. Martha stood and went into the kitchen, returning with a tray of pumpkin muffins and glasses of apple cider. Kara gratefully took a glass and plate of muffins.
“Kara, Clark needs time to re-acquaint himself with his abilities. He was without them for four years.” Martha settled back into her seat after serving Jonathan the cider and cookies.
“Serving as Bruce Wayne’s bedslave.”
Jonathan and Martha exchanged looks. “Yes, Martha said.
“He still serves in that capacity.”
“Yes.” Martha sipped her cider.
“And that doesn’t bother you?”
Again they exchanged looks. “It does,” Jonathan admitted, “but we understand why.”
“Could you explain it to me, then? Because I don’t.”
Martha took the lead. “He needs it to continue his cover.”
“Can’t he do that as Clark Kent, your son? He grew up that way.”
Martha and Jonathan smiled with pride, and Martha said, “He did, and he’s still our son, but he’s built a life in Gotham.”
“Because he thinks he’s in love with his enslaver?” Kara snorted.
“He is in love, dear.”
“He’s a victim of that syndrome…what do you Humans call it?”
“Stockholm Syndrome,” supplied Jonathan. He ate a muffin as he sat back in his chair.
“That’s it. He’s a victim of Stockholm Syndrome. He doesn’t really love Bruce Wayne.”
“I’m sure that was part of it in the beginning, since he awoke with no memory and in that awful slavers’ camp,” Martha said.
Kara frowned. She loathed the thought of her cousin in one of those filthy places.
“Bruce protected him. I shudder to think what could have happened to him if he had ended up in an abusive Master’s hands.”
“Like Edmund Caldwell?”
This time Martha did shudder, and Jonathan could not help but do the same, too. “Edmund Caldwell is scum,” he said grimly.
“And yet he is allowed to continue owning slaves even though he’s a proven sadist, and still retains his privileges in society,” Kara said angrily.
“Unfortunately, yes,” Martha said.
“Just as you said: wealth has its privileges,” Jonathan said, looking unhappy about the economic realities of life.
“You should demand that your son climb out of his bed of shame.”
Jonathan sighed. “We have tried to talk sense to Clark, but he’s determined to stay with Bruce.”
“To be fair, Bruce has been good to our son.” Martha looked mildly rebellious.
“He is arrogant, Mrs. Kent.”
“Martha, please. You’re family.” Martha smiled at Kara.
Kara blinked, looking at Jonathan’s smile of welcome to add to Martha’s. She had not thought of being part of the family.
Her first reaction was to bristle. She was a member of the House Of El! Why would she want to be part of some Terran farm family?
Yet she was honored. These people had taken in Kal-El at great personal risk to themselves, and had raised him so that he could have a normal childhood instead of becoming a lab rat or being killed outright.
Didn’t honor require that she honor these people?
“Thank you,” she said. She bit into a muffin and the flavor was delicious. “But can you really trust the so-called Prince of Gotham?”
“He loves Clark.” Martha pushed a strand of red hair back from her eyes. She seemed to consider that fact was all that was necessary on Bruce’s part.
“So he says.” Kara drank the cider, the cold liquid pleasing.
“I doubt that Clark would stay with a man who didn’t love him.”
Kara leaned forward “But what if he’s being fooled? Does Kal-El have a lot of experience with matters of the heart?”
Martha and Jonathan exchanged a look. If Kara had not been so fascinated by their silent communication, she would have been irritated.
“He was fond of a girl here in Smallville, but didn’t have a lot of romances,” said Jonathan.
“So he’s inexperienced.”
“I would say that’s true.”
Kara frowned. “I must tell you, Kal-El is important moving forward. Our people are in desperate need of our Sal-Vor.”
Martha looked at Kara sadly. “Clark is not a Savior, Kara, he’s just a man.”
Kara shook her head. “No, Mrs. Kent…Martha. He is a Savior. He is the symbol that will rally our people against our oppressors.”
“But why, Clark?”
“He is the Heir Apparent of the House Of El, the Crown Prince.”
Martha frowned. “He’s royalty?”
“In a way. He’s certainly not the pseudo-royalty of Bruce Wayne. On Krypton, there were Kings and Queens in the distant past, and the royal bloodlines evolved into influential Houses. The House Of El is the most powerful of all the Houses, therefore, Kal-El is the most influential Kryptonian.”
Martha leaned forward. “But, my dear, Krypton is no more, and your people are scattered. I daresay a generation his grown up with no firsthand experience of Krypton. Why should they rally around Kal-El? He wasn’t even raised Kryptonian.”
“I know.” Kara lifted her chin defiantly. “But symbolism is important, especially to a Hunted people. If heroes emerge from the remnants of our people, that’s fine, but Kal-El represents our past and our future. He represents the glory that was Krypton and can be again.”
Martha sat back. “Why can’t you be that symbol?” She bit into a cookie.
“You’re a member of the House Of El.” Martha waved her muffin at Kara.
Kara frowned. “But I’m not the Crown Princess.”
“But you fight tirelessly for your people. Why can’t you be the symbol?”
Kara looked uncomfortable. “It’s just the way it must be.” She took a sip of cider.
“Sounds a little sexist to me,” Martha drawled.
Kara sighed. “Tradition often is.” She shook her head. “There is nothing for it, I’m afraid. The Sal-Vor is Kal-El, not Kara Zor-El.”
“Tell us about your parents,” Martha said gently.
Kara looked at her. Oh, this Terran woman was good! But she allowed herself to be drawn in. It had been so long since she had been the object of a mother’s concern. Her heart ached.
“Mother was strong and beautiful, a woman of great political passions. She and Father were very active in House politics. She didn’t neglect me, though. She taught me how to play the lyrette and to dance. If she hadn’t joined the Political Guild, she would have definitely made her mark in the Arts Guild.”
“So this was your social structure?”
Kara nodded. “When a Kryptonian comes of age, we select the Guild for which we have the most affinity. You can follow your House lead, which is our case was Politics, Science, and Arts, or go your own way in another Guild. My father chose Science, like his brother Jor-El.” She ate a second cookie. Truly Martha Kent was a fine baker!
“What other Guilds were there?” Jonathan asked, intrigued.
“Oh, Military and Labor, but the class who served in Labor were assigned. They were not of the class to choose, though some were assigned to Military in times of war.”
The Kents frowned. “So it was a strict class system?” Jonathan asked.
“Unfortunate for the lower classes,” he muttered.
“So your father was in Science?” Martha asked.
“Yes, and while often overshadowed by Uncle Jor-El, he did fine.” Pride was evident in her voice.
“They sound like fine people. What were their names?”
“Allura and Zor-El.”
“Lovely names. So Jor-El was in the Science Guild? Where was Lara?”
“Aunt Lara was in the Arts Guild.”
“Was she an artist or dancer?”
“Writer, actually, though she did play the lyrette and danced rather well.”
“Must be where Clark gets his ability from,” said Jonathan proudly.
“He is a fine writer.”
“Sure is. The Daily Planet doesn’t usually take an intern and send him around the Empire for a travelogue.”
“When was this?” Kara asked.
“When he graduated college and then was lost to us,” Martha said.
“Perhaps he can still write.”
“Not as a slave.”
Kara smiled. “We’ll see.”
Hal finished his meal in the cafeteria, pleased that Aldebaran beef had been on the menu. He looked up as a staff member from Communications approached his table.
“You have an urgent message from Earth, GL 2814.”
“Thank you.” Hal took the message cube and activated it after he went out to the balcony. No one else was around. Diana’s beautiful visage shimmered in the morning light of Oa.
“Hal, there is trouble. Steve is missing, and no one will tell me anything. Please, can you find him?”
Hal’s stomach clenched as he gazed upon the worried face of one of his lovers.
I’m comin’, Stevie. Hold on.