Title: Rainbow’s Freedom (Justice Arc) (55/61)
Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Lex/Jamie, Jonathan/Martha, Dick/Roy (Roy does not appear in this chapter), Alfred, Hank Stanley, Henry, Chet Kelly, Roy/Johnny, Marco Lopez, Mike Stoker, Lana Lang, Jack Kennedy, Hal/Steve/Diana (Hal & Diana do 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): G
Summary: Christmas is a time for Family.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): November 13, 2011
Date Of Posting: January 27, 2013
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1882
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The magnificent story cover is by the wonderfully-talented ctbn60. Thanks so much, luv! :)
Silver and gold,
And snow falls
From the sky.
The heart is
The superheroes’ association remained nameless as they slowly worked out the details. They made no announcements, preferring to remain out of the public eye while they learned how to work together.
Clark stayed in close touch with Kara, assisting her when possible in the Rebellion. Whenever he went off-world with her, his parents and his family at the Manor fretted and worried, but he knew what he had to do.
Lex and Jamie kept their secrets, sure that they were right about Clark but not pushing to know too much for certain with Lionel lurking around. Jamie insisted that Lionel was up to something, and Lex couldn’t disparage that suspicion. He had the same feeling.
Snow fell on Gotham during the holidays as Bruce and his Family celebrated. The Manor was beautifully-decorated with wreaths and garlands of holly and red bows, the giant tree in the living room decorated with all the Family heirlooms.
One day close to Christmas, Clark and Bruce were sitting on the living room couch admiring the tree as a fire crackled merrily in the fireplace and snow came down outside the windows.
It’s like a Norman Rockwell painting, Bruce thought wryly.
Never would he have thought that his life would turn out like this that day that he had attended Silas Bracken’s private auction.
How could I have known that I would meet the love of my life there?
It was dizzying to think back on all that happened the last four years. He was so happy, which worried him a little.
But I was so hollow and never even knew it. A house that echoed with emptiness, a heart that didn’t even know it was lonely.
He marveled at his own obtuseness, but he supposed it was like a man who never knew love, therefore never knew what he was missing. Bruce shuddered to think what his life would have been like if he had never brought Clark home that day.
“I want to go to the farm for Christmas.”
Bruce felt a little jolt. “Of course you can go home. I’m sorry that I didn’t think of it.”
“I want you to come with me.” At Bruce’s blink, Clark smiled and entwined his fingers with his lover’s. “Of course I want you with me! And Dick and Alfred, too.”
Bruce smiled and drew Clark into a kiss.
The Kents welcomed their guests warmly, even though neither one was thrilled with Clark’s choice to remain Bruce’s slave. Martha genuinely liked Bruce and Jonathan was getting past his visceral reaction to the billionaire buying his son for sex. Bruce suspected that while both Kents were not one hundred percent happy with the situation, they would be the perfect hosts, especially for this holiday.
The house was decorated with a large wreath on the front door, a red bow and berries its motif, and garlands of holly twining around the porch railing and pillars.
Inside were the same garlands around the balustrade of the staircase, and ceramic Santa Clauses, snowmen, and a certain red-nosed reindeer decorated the living room and kitchen. In the dining room mirror and on the mantelpiece were Christmas cards, and in the corner of the living room was the tree. It glittered with silver and gold garlands and family heirloom ornaments. A gold star twinkled at the top of the tree.
Bruce could feel the warmth in the house and not just from the fire in the hearth. The Kents exuded genuine hospitality, and love lived in this house. It reminded him of the feeling he had experienced with his parents, especially at this time of year.
The smell of apple pie baking had everyone’s mouths watering, and unpacking was swift and efficient with pie as the reward. Everyone sat around the kitchen table and enjoyed hot apple pie, French vanilla ice cream and sparkling apple cider.
“Snow’s expected tonight,” observed Jonathan.
“Perfect! Snow on Christmas Eve should be a requirement,” Clark said cheerfully.
“We had a storm last week,” Martha said. “Not huge but enough to make things pretty.”
“Snow in Gotham just gets dirty.” Clark’s tone was wry. “Luckily it’s different at the Manor.”
“It always looks like a Christmas card there,” said Dick as he drank his cider.
“Alfred works ceaselessly to see that it looks that way,” said Bruce proudly.
“With much assistance from all,” added Alfred.
“Here, here!” Martha raised her glass.
After the delicious snack, presents were unpacked and spread out under the tree. Clark and Dick went with Jonathan to the barn while Bruce sat at the dining room table to discuss National Abolitionist Society business with Martha.
“How’s the enforcement of the new Slave Protection Law going?” Bruce asked.
“Sporadic at best, which is no surprise.” Martha opened a file. “This lists the complaints registered by freemen and freewomen who witnessed violations. Unfortunately, slaves are still not allowed to testify against freemen, but they can bring forth complaints now and the law is required to record it. The complaints with teeth are those made by freemen either independently or as a buttress to a slave complaint.”
“Hmm, you’re right, the teeth are needed.”
Martha smiled. “How’s Batwoman?”
Startled, Bruce asked, “I beg your pardon?”
“Batwoman’s smile shows a nice set of predatory teeth.” Innocence shone in Martha’s green eyes but Bruce saw the truth there.
“How long have you and Jonathan known?” he asked quietly.
“A few months now. We saw your dedication to Gotham, knew that your wealth could provide you with the equipment you needed…all together it could mean nothing, but we got to know you, saw Clark’s devotion to you…we figured there was a good chance that we were right.”
“And I just confirmed it,” Bruce said ruefully.
Martha patted his hand. “Don’t be hard on yourself, Bruce. It was just as much instinct as putting facts together on my part and Jonathan’s.”
Bruce’s smile was a little less rueful. “Well, that’s good to know.”
Martha opened another file. “These are violations of the new Law. No surprise that some freemen are flouting it.”
“And police departments, too?”
She nodded. “No doubt Gotham would be at the top of the list if not for Jim Gordon.”
“He’s a jewel, all right. Gotham’s lucky to have him.”
They continued to discuss Society business as snow began to fall outside.
It also began to fall in Gotham. At Station 51, the men of A-Shift were sitting around the kitchen drinking coffee. The tree in the corner twinkled and sparkled with ornaments and garland, gaily-wrapped presents under its branches.
“We’ll probably have some Christmas tree fires tonight,” said Hank, sipping his hot coffee. He petted Henry on his lap. The basset hound yawned and rested his head back down on Hank's lap.
“I’d say you’re right, Cap,” said Chet. The Irishman looked at Roy, and the blond nodded. With a grin, Chet got up from the table and went to the tree, picking up a long, narrow package wrapped in sparkling blue paper with a yellow ribbon and bow.
“Here, Johnny, it’s from all of us.”
“Thanks, Chet.” Johnny took the package and eyed it suspiciously. “It won’t explode and cover me with shaving cream, will it?”
“Ha, ha,” said the station’s resident prankster. “No, it’s legit, I promise.”
Johnny still gave him a wary look but opened the package. He frowned as he saw that it contained a document. Unrolling the scroll, he read carefully, his brown eyes widening as its import hit him. He looked at Roy. “R…Roy?”
Roy smiled and nodded.
“We all chipped in,” said Chet.
“That’s right, Johnny,” said Marco. “Now you never have to worry about the Govs again.”
Mike nodded in agreement as he smiled at Johnny.
Johnny stared at the legal document that stated that he had been bought from the U.S. Government by the six men of Station 51’s A-Shift.
“This…it’s too much money!” Johnny didn’t have an inflated sense of his worth but knew that a trained and experienced pleasure slave was expensive, far more than firemen’s budgets could handle.
“We all chipped in, Gage,” Chet repeated.
“But…does this mean I stay with all of you?” If Johnny had to service each man, he would do it. Better his friends than abusive strangers.
“No, you stay with Roy,” Hank said.
“But…you guys are shelling out so much money. What do you get out of it?”
“Prestige,” Marco joked.
Roy put his hand on Johnny’s cheek, “It means that you’ll never have to worry about where you’ll end up. If something happens to me, you’ll go to one of the guys. You’ll always be safe, Johnny.”
Tears shimmered in Johnny’s eyes and he threw his arms around Roy with a big smile. The other men crowded around and Johnny laughed in joy.
Snow fell outside the Capitol conference room, creating a pretty picture in the small window. Lana sat at the table checking her watch. She had a train to catch and didn’t appreciate this last-minute meeting.
The door opened and Jack Kennedy came in. “Sorry, Lana.”
“What’s this all about, Jack? I’ve got to get home. It’s Christmas Eve.”
“I know. I got a whole clan waiting for me in Hyannisport.”
He slid into his seat, handing her a flash drive. “Watch this.”
Lana plugged the drive into her laptop and saw Steve Trevor being debriefed. She listened with interest. This was the first time that she had heard about his kidnapping. It had all been kept hush-hush. Her eyebrow rose as Steve identified his Kadoran captors.
“This is interesting, Jack, but why all this cloak-and-dagger stuff? The Kadorans are always doing stuff like this. We are in a Cold War with them, y’know.”
Lana frowned but obliged. Her eyes widened. “Did I just hear that right?”
Jack nodded. “You did.” He smiled his trademark smile. “The Kadorans are close to invasion. The questions they asked of Steve were all geared for just that eventuality.”
“So what’s our role in case of an invasion?”
Jack smiled, running a hand through his thick, blond hair.
Carols played softly on the radio as everyone sat in the living room of the Kent farmhouse, the snow falling steadily outside. The tree glittered as freshly-baked peanut butter cookies and cups of hot chocolate were consumed. Martha and Jonathan sat in their favorite chairs while Dick curled up on one end of the couch, Clark and Bruce sitting close at the other end. Alfred sat in a third chair, complimenting Martha on her cookies.
“Thank you, Alfred.”
“You’re a real treasure, Mom.”
Martha laughed as Clark grinned. “You’ve always been my biggest fan, honey.”
Clark nodded. He sipped his hot chocolate with the tiny marshmallows floating on top and reveled in the warmth of the family gathering on Christmas Eve. There had been turmoil in their lives but they had survived and would continue to do so. For now, he would dwell on the positive, and there was nothing more positive than Christmas Eve.
Happiness filled his heart.