M/M sex, discipline, spanking. If the idea of a discipline relationship between consenting adult men offends you, so will this story.
ELIZABETH MARSHALL STORIES
"You fucking asshole!" Fox's scream echoed through the house.
Startled, Walter jerked his razor across his face, taking a neat slice from his own chin.
"Nice going, Mulder," Walter swore softly. Red streaked his towel as he hastily dried his face and went to investigate.
Fox was leaning over the kitchen sink, splashing water at his face. His nose was gushing blood and his tee shirt was soaking wet. Walter put his arm around Fox and helped him to a chair.
"Head back, Fox," he said calmly, pinching the bridge of Fox's nose firmly between his thumb and index finger. "Don't talk, just breathe through your mouth. You're going to be OK, easy now." As he soothed Fox, he looked for other injuries, but didn't see any. It seemed Fox had taken only one blow.
As Walter's fingers contained the bleeding, Fox's breathing steadied. He leaned into Walter, closed his eyes as Walter stroked his hair back from his forehead.
Alex slipped into the bedroom. He felt sick.
"What happened, Fox?" Walter asked. Fox shrugged.
"Alex slugged me," he said. "What does it look like?"
"Why, Fox?" he asked.
"Do I know? I didn't do anything," Fox said, aggrieved. "He's a fucking lunatic."
Walter frowned. It was uncharacteristic of Alex to react so violently to Fox. Fox was the one with the quick temper. Alex was well schooled in keeping his feelings hidden.
Walter wrapped ice in a dishtowel and handed the cold compress to Fox.
"Keep this against your nose, Fox, it should help keep the swelling down. I'll be right back."
Walter had noted Alex's retreat. He wanted to hear Alex's side of the story. Entering their bedroom, Walter stared nonplussed at the lump in the center of their bed. The incongruity of the former Consortium assassin hiding under the covers made Walter shake his head.
"Alex," Walter said. "I do realize you're under there, you know. I'm not stupid."
"You can't spank me. I'm sick."
"You're upset, Alex, you're not sick," he chided gently. "Come on, can you at least look at me? It's very hard to talk to a blanket." Gentle humor was one of the few disciplinary strategies the Consortium had never employed, and Walter found it invaluable in handling Alex.
Shamefaced, Alex emerged. He huddled into himself, his good arm tucked around his knees.
"Fox hit me first," Alex said. He dropped his eyes as an irate Fox appeared in the doorway.
"I was playing, you asshole! Playing! Walter, I smacked his butt once! I was goofing around. That's all I did, and he punched me in the face. I'm lucky my nose isn't broken."
"You hit me, Fox. It wasn't meant to be funny," Alex said angrily. "You hit me hard, and it hurt. He isn't allowed to hit me, Walter, right?" Alex's voice wavered.
"That's right," Walter said. "Fox doesn't hit you. You don't hit Fox. You're both going to be punished."
"Good!" exclaimed Fox.
"No!" exclaimed Alex.
"What the fuck do you care, Alex, Walter never does anything but spank you anyway," Fox said. Their discipline arrangements were no secret from one another.
"You let him cane you, you sick bastard. You fucking ask him for it," Alex said, flushing at Fox's accusation.
"Be quiet, both of you. Right now," Walter said loudly and sharply. "Fox, go into my office, find a corner and face the wall. Alex, stay here in our bedroom until I call you." Walter gently closed the door behind him.
Pausing in the hallway, Walter took a deep breath. This wasn't a simple "misunderstanding" that had ended in a bloody nose and hurt feelings. Fox had never felt moved to slap his butt. It was more than the innocent kidding around Fox claimed it was. Fox felt he had the right to punish Alex. Since Walter refused to allow it, Fox had asserted himself more subtly.
On the other hand, a smack on the butt and a punch in the nose were hardly equivalents.
Sighing, Walter followed Fox into his office. Fox stood in a corner, face to the wall, as Walter had ordered.
Will wonders never cease, Walter thought to himself. Fox's obedience was proof positive that there was nothing innocent in his smacking Alex. Usually, Fox lounged on the couch reading until Walter appeared.
Fox could stand in the corner or on his head, for all Walter cared. He only gave the order because he knew that on some level, Fox found it a reassuring part of their ritual. Walter knew Fox would do no real thinking until his butt was good and sore.
"Very good, Fox," Walter said gently, understanding that Fox wanted to demonstrate he was sorry. "You're still going to be punished, but I'll certainly take into account how cooperative you're being."
"I was just kidding around, Walter," Fox said tentatively.
"That won't wash, Fox," Walter said. "Talk to me. What's really going on here?"
Fox groaned, frustrated.
"You let him get away with murder, Walter. All he has to do is look scared and it's, 'Poor Alex, does it frighten him? Come, Walter will make it better...' It doesn't matter what he does, three quarters of the time, all you do is make him write lines. I, on the other hand, get six of the best if I even look at you sideways. It's not fair!" Fox was peeved. Walter walked over to the corner, turned Fox to face him. Stroked his cheek gently, taking in his bruised face. Kissed Fox fully and deeply, felt Fox's mouth soften beneath his.
"I love you, Fox. I absolutely love you. No one will ever, ever take your place. You're a beautiful, sensitive, special man and I love you forever," Walter said, looking into Fox's hazel eyes. Fox grinned and flushed slightly.
"You think I'm jealous," Fox said. Walter waited.
"Maybe I am. But Walter, it's hard sometimes. You come down on me like a ton of bricks, and you let Alex do whatever the hell he wants. It doesn't feel fair."
"I'm sure it isn't fair, Fox. But neither is the fact that Alex was so badly abused, for so many years, that even the slightest show of initiative is a struggle for him. You, on the other hand..."
"I know, Walter. Showing initiative was never my problem. It's not that I can't understand, intellectually, that you're not favoring Alex. But I hate that you cane me and you spank him. I hate it!" Fox scowled.
"It's your choice, Fox. You're the one who has a thing for canes. I would be just as happy to use my hand or my belt. This is open to discussion Fox, as long as you're not bent bare-assed in front of me. At that point, it's not your decision. Just so we're clear," Walter said.
"Shit, Walter, you know me too well," Fox sighed ruefully. "Yeah, there's something about canes... Speaking of which, how many strokes am I going to get?"
"Three, Fox. I think that's fair. You don't hit Alex. Period. Full stop. I will punish you if you do." Walter's voice was very firm. Fox shivered in anticipation of what was coming.
"Come on, Fox," Walter said, rubbing the taut muscles at the nape of Fox's neck soothingly. "You'll feel better once we're done. Take your pants and boxers off, please, and bend over the chair." Fox swallowed hard. He wanted this, needed this, and yet...it was so hard to offer himself up willingly for punishment. Walter waited patiently. He knew how hard it was for Fox to trust him this way. Knew, too, that Fox needed this, that he craved the structure, the grounding Walter's discipline gave him. Fox needed both the physical release strong sensation gave him, and the emotional catharsis of being punished and forgiven.
"Tell me what this punishment is for, Fox. Why are you getting three strokes of the cane?"
"For being jealous," Fox said. Walter rubbed the small of his back gently, sorry to see Fox flinch reflexively at his touch. Continued until Fox relaxed under his massage.
"Do I punish you for your feelings, Fox?" Walter asked. Fox shook his head negatively. "What is this punishment for, Fox?"
"For smacking Alex. I thought I was kidding around, but I can see now I wasn't. I was angry and jealous and I hit him. And it's not my place to punish him," Fox said. "It's your choice, and your responsibility. Give me six strokes, Walter, please."
"No, Fox. Three strokes. It's not your choice," Walter said firmly. Felt Fox inhale deeply, then with a sigh, soften into his hand.
"Yes, sir," Fox said softly.
Walter stepped back, picked up the thin, whippy cane and laid it against Fox's bare ass, wanting to be sure the position was right. Fox tensed. The cane itself felt cool to the touch. The first stinging stroke across his buttocks was anything but.
"Owowowowow!" Fox howled, as a hot, biting sensation fired his nerve endings. It hurt. It hurt! Shit!!
"Count, Fox," Walter said calmly, steeling himself against Fox's earsplitting shrieks. The screams were part of the release Fox needed. Walter had long since resigned himself to them. He was glad they had no nearby neighbors.
"One! Ow! Thank you, sir!" Fox yelped. "Ow! Two, thank you, sir! Oh, shit, that hurts!! No more, Walter, please, no more!" Walter sighed as he rubbed gentle circles over Fox's back.
"Brave Fox," Walter crooned, knowing Fox wanted, needed to see this through. "Brave Fox, just one more and it's over with. Shh, breathe, you need to breathe."
Fox took a deep gulp of air. Walter let him take a few more breaths, then standing back, brought the cane down for the last time.
"Ow! Shit!! Owwwwww!!! Three oh shit three! Thank you sir!" Fox straightened up, his face pale, his breathing rough. Walter hugged him tightly.
"Good Fox, all over now, we're all done. All over now. All forgiven," Walter said, his lips near Fox's ear. "All forgiven."
"Thank you, Walter," Fox whispered shakily. He was soaked with sweat, his heart was pounding, his ass was on fire, and he was freezing cold. Dizzy. Nauseous. High. Walter backed towards the couch, supporting Fox against him. Seated himself and drew Fox's head into his lap. Tugged a light blanket over Fox's shivering form.
"Oh God Walter," Fox sighed gratefully. "I love you so much."
"I love you too, Fox," Walter said, thinking to himself that it was a damn good thing he did, because there was no way in hell he would do this if he didn't. Damn. The lengths he went to to keep Fox's emotional economy balanced. He stroked the sweaty hair back from Fox's forehead. Fox lay quietly, his eyes closed.
"Thank you, Walter," Fox said. "I know you hate this. But I need it so bad."
"Hate is a strong word, Fox. I don't begrudge you this. You do plenty of things for me that you're not crazy about."
"Like picking up my clothes. Making the bed. Filing my papers," Fox said, his voice soft and happy. He felt good. So good. So sore. So loved.
"You're flying, Fox." Walter shook his head. Walter might never understand why his lover needed this, but he recognized that Fox did. And that was all that mattered.
Walter sat, stroking Fox's hair, for an unknown length of time. Finally, Fox seemed to settle back into his body. He blinked his eyes.
"Alex is going to be scared, Walter," Fox said guiltily. Walter frowned at his tone.
"Fox, you worry about yourself. I'm responsible for Alex."
Fox loved Walter's clarity. It was good to feel absolved of guilt. Nevertheless...
"Really, Walter, I'm OK now. I'm just going to get some fresh air. You take care of Alex. I'll apologize to him later." Easing himself upright, Fox pulled on his boxers and pants. He winced at the feel of the cloth against his sore buttocks.
"Yeoww. Jesus, Walter, you don't fool around." Fox deposited a kiss on Walter's bald head and left the room. Walter sighed. Two lovers this needy took a lot of energy. He breathed deeply, centering himself. He wanted to be sure he was able to give Alex his full attention.
Alex had waited obediently in their bedroom. He had heard Fox's shrieks. He had felt nothing, neither sympathy nor satisfaction.
Do it to somebody else, not me. The mantra familiar from countless nights spent hoping it was not his turn to be hurt. Not his turn to scream. Do it to somebody else.
Walter quietly opened the bedroom door. Alex sat motionless at the edge of their bed, his back straight and his face blank. Walter hated the thought of punishing him. Goddamnit. Walter forced himself to breathe.
"Alex, it's time. Come with me now," Walter said in his most authoritative voice.
"May I use the bathroom first, sir?" Alex asked in a monotone. Walter sighed.
"Walter, Alex. Not 'sir.' You can always use the bathroom."
"Thank you, s-Walter," Alex was icily calm. He emptied his bladder and bowels, flushed. Filled the glass by the sink, gulped, and with practiced ease, forced himself to vomit.
Walter heard Alex retching.
"I'm coming in, Alex," Walter finally said, not able to bear the sound of Alex's dry heaves any longer. He rubbed his back gently as Alex gagged.
"Your stomach's empty, Alex. That's enough now." Walter helped Alex straighten up, flushed the toilet again, filled the cup alongside the sink and handed it to Alex. Alex rinsed his mouth, spat in the sink, and took a small sip of water.
"I don't like it when you do this, Alex," Walter said quietly.
"I'm sorry, sir," Alex said reflexively. Long ago, far away, with a different man, Alex had lost control of himself while being punished. What followed had been brutal. Alex would never risk that again.
"Walter, Alex. Don't apologize. This is something we're going to have to work on. Come now, in my office."
Alex cast a nervous glance around the familiar space as Walter tugged Alex gently in front of him and turned Alex to face him.
"I am very disappointed in you, Alex. You know better than to hit Fox. Do you understand why you are going to be punished? Why you are going to be spanked?"
"Yes, sir," Alex said, his eyes cast down. Walter took a deep breath.
"Walter, Alex, not 'sir.' Alex, look at me, please, " Walter coaxed. "Nothing is going to happen that you haven't agreed to. There is nothing to be afraid of."
"Walter, I'm OK with this," Alex said. "I just don't want to fucking talk about it. Get it over with."
Walter understood how much Alex hated the anticipation. He would have felt the same way were their positions reversed. But it was important to be sure Alex understood why he was being punished.
"We are going to talk first, Alex," Walter said firmly. "Why am I going to spank you?
"I hit Fox. I'm not allowed to hit him. Even though he hit me first, the bastard." Alex sounded anything but repentant.
"Alex, you had other choices. What else could you have done?"
"Walked away from him. Talked to you. Walter, I was angry!"
"That's why you have rules, Alex. To guide you when you are angry or upset and can't make good judgements. What do your rules say?"
"No fighting," Alex said sullenly.
"And what is the consequence for breaking that rule, Alex?" Walter asked.
Alex was silent.
"Answer me, Alex."
"You spank me," Alex said bitterly.
"Why, Alex? Why do I spank you?" Walter watched Alex struggle with the question.
"Oh, shit, Walter, I don't know," Alex groaned.
"I spank you to teach you a lesson, Alex. You need to understand that no matter how angry you feel, fighting is wrong. Hitting Fox is never OK. Do you agree you deserve to be punished? Do you agree you deserve to be spanked?"
"Take your jeans and boxers off, please." Walter watched as Alex undressed. His cock was small and flaccid, nestled in his dark pubic hair. Nothing about being punished was erotic for Alex.
Walter steeled himself against the pity he felt. Alex needed consistent boundaries. Only then could they all continue to live together. Only then would they be able to keep Alex safe.
"Over my lap, Alex," Walter said gently. Silently, Alex obeyed.
Walter's muscled thighs felt warm and solid under Alex's belly. Walter's hand rested softly against his pale, scarred ass.
Walter loves you, Walter won't hurt you, Alex told himself, trying to calm the panic he felt. To willingly make himself vulnerable this way...stupid, stupid, stupid.
Walter loves you, Walter won't hurt you. Right.
"No fighting, Alex."
Ow. The first smack stung. Alex pressed his lips together. These spankings of Walter's weren't bad. They smarted. That was all. Nothing like the pain he'd endured in the past.
Ow. Alex bit his tongue. How the fuck could Walter's hand sting like that?
"Talk to me if there's a problem."
Ah. Ow. Shit. I hate this. It hurts, damn it. Ow. Alex squirmed under the relentless hail of swats. Ow. That hurt, ah Jesus, how the fuck did Walter do that? Ow! All right!!
"Ow! Ow!! Ow!!!" Alex gasped, twisting desperately. "Please, no more!"
"Had enough?" Walter asked, rubbing the small of Alex's back gently. He knew how hard it was for Alex to let himself cry out, to let himself ask for mercy. It went against everything Alex had ever been taught, and the lessons he had been given had been cruel.
"Yes! Please, Walter, I get it. I won't hit Fox again," Alex whimpered. Carefully, Walter helped Alex slide back onto his knees. Eased Alex onto the couch; drew his head into his lap. Stroked his pale, tense face.
"Did I do good, Walter?" Alex whispered, his throat tight with unshed tears. He turned his head, his green eyes searching Walter's brown ones for an answer.
"Very good, Alex," Walter said approvingly, rubbing Alex's back. "We're OK now. It's all over. I know you're sorry. I forgive you." He smoothed Alex's hair back from his forehead.
"I wish I could cry, Walter," Alex said sadly. "I wish I could cry."
"They taught you not to," Walter said.
"Yeah. They taught me, all right."
"We're OK now. It's all over. I know you're sorry. I forgive you," Walter repeated, his hand gently straightening Alex's hair. Alex sighed with relief.
They remained quiet for a long time. Walter continued to stroke Alex's hair, wanting Alex to know that he was loved, that he was safe. That the past was past. That the bad times were over.
"I'll tell Fox I'm sorry, " Alex said eventually. Walter smiled.
"That'd be good, Alex. He's sorry, too."
"Walter? I love you." Alex nestled deeper into Walter's lap. Walter rubbed his shoulders reassuringly.
"I know, Alex. I love you too."
Walter held Alex for awhile longer. Finally, with a deep sigh, Alex uncurled. Righting himself, he reclaimed his boxers and jeans and got dressed. It didn't hurt. Walter had been very careful with his spanking.
"I'm going Fox hunting," Alex said with a wicked grin. "I hear there's a red-tailed one in these parts."
"I'll make us some coffee," Walter replied. "Bring him back alive."
With sincere thanks to my beta, Lorelei, for sharing her time and insight and for Eleri Sea, Mistress of the Persuaders Archive, in appreciation of her hard work and generosity. EM