Title: Desperation (Rainbow’s Freedom Vignette) (Sanctuary Arc) (1/1)
Pairings/Characters: Clark/Bruce, Ollie Queen, Alfred
Genres: Angst, AU, Drama, Slavefic, Slice-Of-Life
Summary: Bruce searches for a missing Clark.
Date Of Completion: November 4, 2012
Date Of Posting: November 9, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1069
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Written for my 2012 LJ Sixth Anniversary Fic Request Meme for ctbn60. Pairing: Clark/Bruce. Prompts: Rainbow Arc, Desperation.
This vignette takes place early in the relationship of Bruce and Clark in my slavefic, Rainbow’s Freedom, before either one realizes they love the other (Sanctuary Arc).
The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
As the panic
"The Plastic Bucket
And Other Poems"
“Honestly, Ollie, you’re incorrigible.”
“I hope so!”
Bruce shook his head fondly. He leaned back in his desk chair in the study at Wayne Manor. The wind gusted outside, sending a spray of leaves down from the trees.
“Yeah, well, let’s say that the Bourne Industries deal is a piece of cake.”
“It is, you know.”
“I don’t know. I said let’s say it’s so.”
“Ever the pessimist and nitpicker, eh, Bruce?”
“I prefer realist.”
Ollie laughed. “Okay, Mr. Realist. Hey, how’s your new Prize doing?”
Bruce tapped the desk with his stylus. “How’s Dinah?”
“Beautiful as always.”
Bruce smirked. “You’re so deep.”
“Nah, I’m as shallow as a pie plate.”
This time Bruce laughed. “I’ll contact you after I talk to Bourne.”
“Okay. Talk to you later.”
Bruce flipped his cellphone shut. He was scheduled to talk with Kevin Bourne in half an hour. Until then, he could probably do some other work.
He glanced down. He’d like Clark to be sitting at his feet so that he could stroke his hair. He would never order Clark to sit at his feet in public unless there was absolutely no choice, but he liked to do it at home. Clark enjoyed it, too, as long as they were in private. He could read a book and luxuriate in the sensation of Bruce petting his hair.
Bruce rose and decided to go look for Clark instead of merely summoning him. He'd been sitting at his desk for the past few hours and needed to stretch, anyway.
He went out into the hall and could smell the delicious aroma of pumpkin cookies. He crossed the foyer and went into the kitchen.
“Ah, Master Bruce. I thought you would be showing up.”
Bruce smirked as Alfred efficiently ladled cookies fresh from the oven onto a plate and handed it to his Master. Bruce eagerly bit into a warm cookie.
“Mmm, delicious as usual, Alfred.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“Clark would love these. Have you seen him?”
“Not since breakfast.”
“Was he assigned any duties?”
“Just helping me with the laundry. I gave him freedom until lunchtime.”
“All right, I’ll go look for him.”
Bruce ambled out of the kitchen with a fistful of cookies. Some Masters would be annoyed that Alfred didn’t know where Clark was at the moment, since slaves were supposed to check in with their Masters at all times, but Bruce didn’t care. He trusted his slaves not to run off on him. Clark was especially apt to stay close. Lacking his memory and traumatized by waking up in the slavers’ camp, he was highly unlikely to wander off the estate. There was a security setup around the perimeter of the estate so if Clark needed protection, everything would be all right.
Bruce walked upstairs and checked his bedroom and the other rooms. Finding them empty of his Prize, he returned downstairs and grabbed a jacket from the foyer closet. He went out through the front door and strolled through the manicured gardens, enjoying the fresh air and warm sunshine. He ate another cookie as he placed the rest in his jacket pocket.
There was no sign of Clark. He rested a hand on the trellis, converted from the old whipping post a generation ago. Whitecaps sparkled on the ocean as he looked around for his errant slave.
“My Prize!” He called, wondering where Clark could be. He called again, a frisson of alarm going through him. Silence greeted his calls. Wild thoughts ran through his mind: was Clark hurt? Afraid? Defiant?
“Clark!” There was no one around to hear him and he felt an urgent need to say his slave’s name. “Clark!”
Panic began to rise up in him. Keep your head. Activate his collar tracer. He pushed a small button on his wristwatch and waited for information to appear on the tiny screen. When nothing happened, the panic returned. He ran to the seawall and looked down at the rocks below. He turned his head to look down the beach but it was empty except for a few seagulls. He was ready to run back to the Manor and check the security cameras when a movement caught his eye.
Bruce hurried to the stone steps leading down to the beach. He jogged over the sand toward the lone figure gazing out at the sea. He grabbed Clark’s arm and yanked him around.
“Didn’t you hear me call you?!”
“No.” Clark blinked. “Do you need something, Master?”
“Do I need…?” Bruce stared at him. “Clark, I was calling for you!” The crash of the waves on the rocks nearly drowned out his words.
Clark blinked again. “I’m sorry, Master, I didn’t hear you.” He refrained from saying, “I already told you that.” It wouldn’t be a good idea, especially with an agitated Master.
Bruce realized that he was bruising Clark’s arm and abruptly let it go. “I’m sorry.”
What is wrong with me? Why all the panicked desperation?
Bruce looked at his vulnerable slave and knew that his protective instincts had kicked into overdrive.
“Your, um, collar didn’t activate?”
Clark shook his head slowly, a touch of worry on his beautiful features. Whether it was worry for his Master or for himself because of his erratic Master, who knew? But Bruce couldn’t blame Clark if he felt nervous. Bruce had completely lost it! He attempted to smile.
“Just a little nervous over this Bourne Industries deal, I guess.”
“Oh.” Clark smiled tentatively. “You needn’t worry, Master. From what Alfred tells me, you’re an excellent businessman.”
“Thank you.” Bruce felt warmed by his slaves’ confidence in him. “Your collar must be defective. I’ll get it checked out.” Bruce smiled in an effort to reassure Clark. He saw Clark relax. “Let’s just enjoy the ocean, shall we?” Clark’s smile was like sunshine sparkling on the water.
They sat down on flat rocks and watched the waves in companionable silence.
Bruce analyzed his reaction: Clark’s vulnerability had triggered his protective instincts, though why he should throw away all of his training and start running around in panicked desperation, he couldn’t explain. Well, eventually he would figure it out. He slipped an arm around Clark’s shoulders as they watched a red-and-white-striped sailboat bob on the white-capped waves.