M/m sex, discipline, spanking. If the idea of a discipline relationship between consenting adult men offends you, so will this story.


Remedial Education

Walter looked at the sullen dark-haired man slumped on his office couch and sighed. They had been talking in circles for almost an hour, but were no closer to an agreement than before their discussion had begun.

"I still don't see why it matters to you," Alex said sulkily, settling deeper into the cushions.

"It's not healthy, Alex. And it's not necessary. I'd never punish you for throwing up." Walter paced distractedly back and forth.

"I don't give a fuck about that, Walter. I'm not going to chance it."

"Alex, please," Walter stopped in front of Alex and taking his chin in his hand, gently tilted his face so their eyes met. "Could you just not do it anymore?"

Alex looked away.

"Alex," Walter tried again. "What's the worst thing that could possibly happen if you did throw up while you were being spanked?"

"You'd make me clean it up?" Alex asked uncertainly.

"That's what worries you?" Walter had the feeling he was missing something.

Alex sighed miserably.

"I knew it," he said resignedly. "Please, Walter, it's just easier my way. OK?"

"Alex, I just don't get it, " Walter said. "Explain this to me again."

"Look, Walter, I'd rather make myself puke than lick it up from--"

"Lick it up! Lick it up? For the love of God, Alex, is that what you thought I meant by clean it up? Is that the sort of man you think I am?" Walter was aghast.

Alex blanched and shrank back, his terror obvious.

Walter closed his eyes, softened his voice.

"Alex, I'm not angry at you," Walter said. He seated himself alongside Alex on the couch, took Alex's good hand in his own and massaged the tense fingers reassuringly.

"I'm sorry I raised my voice, Alex. It's just that I would never do that to anyone. And I promise you, no one's ever going to do that to you again." Walter felt Alex shudder.

I hope there is a hell, Walter thought, and I hope the bastards who made Alex what he is suffer the way they made him suffer. Walter made a conscious effort to steady his breathing, not wanting to upset Alex further.

"Listen to me, Alex," Walter said. "Try to hear what I'm telling you. I do not feel right spanking you if it's so frightening that it makes you vomit. That's an extremely powerful statement for your body to make. It tells me that at a very deep level, you don't want this kind of relationship, no matter what you say."

"No! Walter, I do," Alex pleaded. "I've never actually thrown up when you've spanked me; I'm just afraid I might. The times I threw up, I wasn't spanked; I was beaten. Walter, please, I want to stay here with you and Fox. I'm trying so hard. I let you and Fox touch me. I let you and Fox fuck me. I let you spank me. I'll let you do anything else you want. Please, Walter." His voice was rough with unshed tears.

Walter sighed. This discussion was turning out to be even more disturbing than he had anticipated. He was taken aback by Alex's last statement. Alex sounded as if he got no pleasure from either the physical contact or the sex. It was not clear to Walter why Alex even wanted to stay.

"Alex, what do you get out of this relationship?" Walter asked quizzically. Alex tilted his head fractionally, trying to figure out what Walter wanted him to answer.

Walter caught the slight gesture.

"No, Alex, not what do I want you to tell me," he said reprovingly. Then, gently, "Answer me as honestly as you can. What do you get out of being here with Fox and me?"

Alex was silent.

"A warm place to sleep?" he asked hesitantly. Walter was about to snap at Alex for being frivolous, when he realized all at once that this was probably as close to the truth as he had ever heard Alex come.

"Alex, you can have that without being spanked," Walter said very softly, not wanting to spook Alex with an excess of emotion. Alex closed his eyes.

"I never had anyone spank me before you, Walter," he said in a flat voice. "I got beaten, plenty of times. But no one ever spanked me before. Please, Walter, I'm used to making myself vomit. I feel safe knowing that I won't throw up even if I'm punished."

"This is not a healthy way of coping, Alex. Just how often do you do this? Tell me the truth."

Alex winced.

"A couple times a week? Whenever I do anything that I worry you'll punish me for," he answered nervously. "Please, Walter, is that wrong? Are you going to punish me for that?"

Walter sighed.

"That certainly makes sense, Alex. You throw up because you're scared of being punished and I punish you for throwing up? I don't think so, Alex."

Alex's expression gave away nothing. As gently as he could, Walter guided Alex's head into his lap. Obviously uncomfortable, Alex forced himself to acquiesce, unsure what Walter wanted of him. To Alex's confusion, Walter merely stroked his hair absentmindedly, preoccupied with the problem of his bulimia.

"How long have you been throwing up like this, Alex?" Walter asked gently.

"Forever," Alex shrugged. "Walter, it's no big deal. I don't want to talk about it anymore."

"Alex, I am not comfortable with spanking you if it is so stressful that you feel the need to make yourself vomit before you'll let me turn you over my knee. We need to talk about other punishments instead. I really don't think I can continue to spank you, Alex. "

"Fuck you, Walter, that's not fair! I've tried so hard! You can't fucking do this. It isn't fair, Walter. You're a bastard, you know that?"

Walter looked at Alex. Alex was furious.

"Alex, something I said obviously upset you. Tell me what it was. Help me out here."

"Aw, fuck it, Walter. I'm an asshole. I let you spank me like a fucking kid and now you don't want me anymore. Well, fuck you, I don't need you either. You know what, you sonofabitch? Your fucking spankings don't even hurt--"

Alex yelped in surprise as Walter tipped his head from his lap and tugged him forward across his knees. He smacked Alex's denim covered butt, hard. Alex yelped again.

"So they don't hurt, Alex?" Walter gave him another hard smack.

"Walter, no! Please!"

Alex got only the two swats. As suddenly as it had begun, the spanking was over.

Walter ruffled Alex's hair with his stinging palm.

"Ouch. Remind me to take down your pants next time. Alex, Alex, Alex. What am I going to do with you?" he asked rhetorically.

"Don't you know?" Alex seemed to need the question answered.

Walter gathered him in a firm hug.

"I'm going to teach you to feel loved, Alex. I'm going to teach you to feel safe. I'm going to talk to Fox."

Fox sighed. He was worried. Walter's goals for Alex's emotional growth were unrealistic. Walter refused to accept that there might be no way to repair Alex's damaged psyche.

"I'm not sure we can do anything helpful, Walter. He needs to feel he's in control. Throwing up voluntarily is a form of passive resistance, a defense against feeling powerless."

"Well, he has to stop. I'm not going to allow him to go on like this. You're a trained psychologist, Fox. You were the finest profiler the Bureau ever had. Surely you can figure out some way we can help him." It was an order.

"Come on, Alex, shift over," Fox said. Alex groaned. This touchy feely stuff was a royal pain. Walter and Fox had had one of their closed-door discussions, and the upshot of it was, Alex was supposed to Learn to Relax and Accept Being Touched.

Lovely. Sullenly, Alex laid his head in Fox's lap. Mischievously, he traced a finger over Fox's zipper. Pressed his mouth against the cotton fabric, and blew. Felt Fox stiffen.

"Alex, no," Fox said. "Cuddle. Turn your head the other way. That's good." He shifted Alex's mouth from his groin with a resigned sigh. If anyone had ever suggested he'd be turning down a blowjob from Alex Krycek, he would have laughed.

"Fox--" Alex began, then stopped. He despised whining.

Fox stroked Alex's hair, hearing the rest of his unspoken protest. I don't need this I'm fine leave me alone shit I don't like being touched. He and Walter had heard and discounted Alex's speech. Walter was adamant. Their traumatized companion was going to learn to enjoy being touched, if it killed all of them.

Alex sighed unhappily. He had learned long ago how to use his body to please the people with power over him. He didn't get why Fox and Walter thought this shit was so important. They both insisted that his dislike for non-sexual contact was unhealthy and needed to change.

Alex didn't like their new rules at all. He didn't understand them. But he wanted Fox and Walter to be happy with him. He wanted them to let him stay.

Fox watched Alex's face carefully. He could sense the dismay beneath the neutral expression Alex had long ago mastered. Fox sighed too. As a psychologist, he was not very sanguine about the chances that Alex could be healed. It was Walter who confidently believed that Alex could be taught a more comfortable way of living in the world.

Walter wanted Alex forced into relaxing, Fox though wryly. He had tried to explain to Walter why this was an oxymoron. Walter had simply refused his explanations.

Walter was happy to see Alex resting with his head in Fox's lap. He sat down alongside Fox, slung his arm around Fox's shoulders and hugged him affectionately. Reached over to tousle Alex's hair.

"Shit, Walter, I hate when you do that!" Alex moaned.

"Tough," said Walter unsympathetically. "Learn to like it, Alex." Fox felt Alex tense.

"Walter," Fox warned. "You're pushing him too fast. He's scared."

"Fuck you both, I am not scared!" Alex said. His startled "No!" as Walter tugged him over Fox's lap and into his own belied his angry words

"Not scared," Walter mused, stroking Alex's dark hair gently from his pale face. "I hope that's true, Alex. I don't want to frighten you." Alex pulled back.

"No, don't fight me. I'll win, Alex, I'm stronger than you," Walter said. Alex stilled instantly.

"Walter, don't rush him," Fox warned again. "He doesn't have the flexibility to move this quickly. Take it slower. What you're seeing now is obedience, nothing more. He's very good at doing what he's told. He learned that the hard way."

"Shit." Walter closed his eyes. "I'm sorry, Alex," he said in a very subdued voice. "I don't want to frighten you. I don't want to force you to do anything. You've been made to do more than enough things that you didn't want to."

Walter's apology made Alex feel better. This wasn't the coercion he'd endured before. This felt very different.

"'T'sokay, Walter," he said softly. "I'm not scared, Fox." Then, arching his back in a way he hoped was seductive, he begged, "Fuck me?"

Walter and Fox looked at each other. Truth be told, the damaged man sprawled across both their laps evoked more pity than lust. But they didn't want to hurt his feelings, either, as he offered himself in the only way he truly understood.

"Bed?" Fox suggested. Walter nodded. Alex sighed with relief. Anything had to be better than this fucking cuddling. He shivered in anticipation, fear and want inextricably fused.

Their bedroom was warm and dim. All three men stripped automatically to their boxers. Alex slipped off his prosthesis. Walter flipped back the covers.

Sandwiched in their bed between Fox and Walter, Alex looked anxiously from one to the other, not sure where to start. Fox leaned over, kissed him gently. Alex froze.

"Alex, what's wrong?" Fox asked.

"Just fuck me!" Alex widened his legs.

Fox ran his hand carefully over Alex's belly, felt his hardened cock pressing upwards to meet it. He slipped his long fingers inside Alex's boxers, watching Alex's face intently.

"Let me suck you, Fox?"

"No, Alex. Not this time."

Fox stroked Alex's cock firmly. Walter slipped his arms around Alex and held him close as Fox paused in his stroking to ease Alex's boxers off. Alex closed his eyes.

"Nothing's going to happen that you don't want, Alex," Walter promised quietly.

The newly familiar words comforted Alex. He knew Walter meant them. Fox and Walter had both made clear, over and over, that what they did in bed was for Alex's pleasure as well as theirs.

Fox continued to caress Alex. Shrugged off his own boxers and rolled until his own stiff cock aligned with Alex's. Held the two organs together. Alex moaned at the friction, straining against Fox's lean body.

Walter slipped his hand to Alex's buttocks and began to massage them, letting his hand gradually slip between the taut cheeks. He made small, exquisitely gentle circles along the inside edges of Alex's buttocks, brushed his fingertips in butterfly light strokes over the tight rim of muscle, the delicate skin between anus and balls. Relished Alex's breathy sighs.

Good, so good. Alex surrendered to the unfamiliar gentleness. His head lolled back against Walter's chest, his throat trustingly exposed. Walter kissed the white neck gently, careful not to bruise.

"Harder, oh yes, harder. Hurt me," Alex begged.

Walter and Fox looked at each other. They had discussed this. Reluctantly, Walter released Alex and rolled back onto his side of the bed. Adjusted his own erection as comfortably as he could. Fox for his part stopped caressing Alex's cock. Wiped his slick hand on the sheets. Tried to think of something, anything, besides the tingling in his own cock.

Alex looked from one man to the other.

"What the fuck?" he asked. Confusion was quickly followed by fury. "Oh, yeah, I forgot, this is the kinder, gentler kind of fuck. Shit. You're both bastards. I hate you!"

Fox and Walter exchanged rueful glances. Fox had warned Walter to anticipate this.

"Alex," Walter said gently. "We're not rejecting you. We'll continue if you want. But we discussed this. I know you remember. We are not going to play at hurting each other during sex. Not right now. We made an agreement."

"Oh," Alex looked put out. "That. Fuck you, I don't get this, I don't fucking get this! Why the fuck do I have to do this your way, Walter? Who made you the boss--" He quieted suddenly.

"Oh," Alex said again. "I did. I remember now."

"I know this is hard for you, Alex. But Fox and I have discussed this at length. We--" Walter broke off, looking in bewilderment at Fox, who was laughing hysterically. "Fox?"

"Oh! Shit, Walter! 'Hard!' 'Length!' It's clear where your mind--"

Walter clamped his hand firmly over Fox's mouth.

"Alex," he ordered. "Tickle him!"

Alex looked at Walter as if he'd lost his mind.

"Mmpf!" Fox shook his head. "Wl-mmpf!" Walter removed his hand.

"Alex can't process things this fast, Walter," Fox said, all hint of levity gone. "He doesn't know you're joking, Walter."

Alex's face gave no hint of his emotions, but Walter deferred to Fox's acute sensitivity. He hugged Alex reassuringly.

"Easy now, it's OK."

Without warning, Alex jerked free of Walter's embrace. In one smooth move he catapulted out of the bed and fled to the bathroom. The sound of retching made Walter close his eyes.

Fox took a deep breath.

"It's not your fault, Walter," he said, correctly reading Walter's guilt-stricken face. "He's badly damaged, Walter. Mistakes are going to happen despite your best intentions. You're not always going to get it right."

With a sigh, Walter swung himself out of bed and padded to the bathroom. Alex was bent over the toilet, gagging. Walter slipped a comforting arm around his waist, rubbed his back gently.

"Let it out, Alex. It's better out than in. I've got you now, let it out." Alex's body contracted and he vomited again. Walter willed his own stomach to stay put.

Alex straightened slowly. He shivered as Walter flushed the toilet, lowered the lid and eased him down on it. Walter wet a washcloth, wrung it out, and wiped the sweat and traces of vomit from Alex's white face. Filled the cup beside the sink with water, let Alex rinse his mouth. Alex leaned over and spit the water in the sink.

"Shit, Walter, I'm sorry," he said despondently. "It wasn't on purpose." Alex shivered again. Walter sighed.

"Don't you think I know that, Alex?" he asked softly. "Come on now, let's get you back to bed." Taking Alex's good elbow, he helped him to his feet, down the hall.

Fox helped Walter ease Alex into the bed. Alex was shaking.

"Fox," Alex whimpered. "Fox, I'm scared. I'm scared, Fox." Fox curled himself around Alex's back.

"I'm here, Alex, I'm right here," Fox soothed. "Nothing's going to harm you. You're safe, Alex."

Walter cradled Alex's head against his chest.

"It's all right, Alex. We've got you now. It's all right."

"I'm a fucking asshole," Alex whispered, shamed and frightened by his own vulnerability.

"No," Walter said softly. "You're a brave man, Alex. We know how hard you're trying. We know." He tucked Alex even closer. "Just rest now, Alex. It's going to be all right."

Alex was quiet and subdued at breakfast. He ate only because Walter insisted. He was glad when Walter left him alone with Fox.

"Would you do something for me, Fox?" Alex asked.

"Sure, Alex. What do you need?"

"Would you spank me?"

"What? Alex!"

Alex shrugged.

"Please? I need the practice," Alex said softly.

"You can't practice getting spanked, Alex," Fox said reasonably. "It doesn't work that way."

"Why not?" Alex asked

"It's a crazy idea, can't you see that? The thing about being spanked for punishment is, you have no control over it. You can't just yell 'start;' 'stop.' You don't get a safe word. It's like sex; you just have to do it..." Fox's words faded at Alex's expression.

"I practiced, Fox. I practiced sucking cock until I was sure I wouldn't gag. I practiced taking it up the ass until I barely needed lube. I practiced every fucking thing I ever had to do, Fox. Stealing. Breaking and entering. Fucking. Killing. I can practice getting my butt spanked. I don't see why you won't help me out here, Fox." Alex scowled in frustration.

"Fuck you, Fox, I know you used to throw up when you were stressed! When I was your partner, before, plenty of times I saw you duck out, come back white as a sheet. Shit, Fox, you didn't fool me. I did it myself; I knew what you were doing. Spank me, Fox. Let me practice getting through it. I could tell Walter about you..."

"Blackmail, Alex? Did you practice that, too? Don't you think Walter already knows about my little problem? Sorry to disappoint you, but he does. And I'm not going to spank you. It's a crazy idea, Alex."

"Please, Fox, I'll do anything you want," Alex said, licking his lips. "There's got to be some shit you're into that Walter doesn't like? Rough stuff, maybe? I'm good, I'm clean, I'll do anything you tell me to. Please, Fox, I'm fucking begging here."

"You need to talk to Walter, Alex," Fox said gently. "Listen, it's not that you're not hot. But I'm not your enemy anymore, Alex. Trust me, what you want, you don't need. You need to tell Walter what you asked me, and why."

"Shit." Alex was crestfallen. "He'll kill me."

"No, Alex. He'll help you."

"Fox, you think I'm sick for needing this?" Alex asked.

"I ask him to cane me, remember? There's a lot of that going around."

Walter seemed to understand Alex's desire for a practice spanking.

"I'll do it, Alex, but I'll do it my way. I decide how hard and how long. And Alex, you don't make yourself throw up beforehand. I won't ever spank you for vomiting. Don't be afraid."

"Please, Walter," Alex begged. "I'm scared I'll throw up. I'm really scared." His green eyes searched Walter's face, hoping for a reprieve.

Walter drew Alex into a hug. Rubbed his back gently.

"Alex, you don't have to be spanked. There are a lot of non-corporal punishments I can impose. I'd prefer that, as a matter of fact. I don't feel right spanking you when you're this frightened."

"Please Walter, I told you before, I need you to spank me. It helps me learn. It makes me feel safe. Please Walter, you promised!" Alex was panicky.

"All right, Alex. We'll try this. But my way, Alex. No more making yourself vomit. I'm prepared to risk you throwing up during your spanking. Here."

Walter unfolded three old, heavy terrycloth bath towels. He draped them over his lap, over the couch, over the rug.

"Alex, even if you do throw up, it's all right. It doesn't matter if these get dirty," he said softly. "They've seen a lot worse. Come now, Alex, across my lap. Tell me what you need this spanking for."

Alex stretched himself obediently across Walter's lap, his head and torso on the couch, generous amounts of terrycloth toweling puddled in front of him. He tensed as Walter lowered his sweats and boxers. Walter rubbed Alex's back in slow, encouraging circles.

"Alex? Talk to me?" Walter was concerned. He smoothed Alex's dark hair tenderly.

A surge of warmth took Alex. It spread from under Walter's hand on Alex's forehead, into his brain, over his face, down his chest, through his belly and groin, to the soles of his feet. A sensation as intense as orgasm, but altogether different. Alex had never known such a feeling. He felt suddenly, unbelievably safe. Protected. Accepted. Loved.

Alex smiled dazedly, rubbing his cheek against the terrycloth. So soft, so good. So safe.

"Alex? Alex, where are you?" Walter asked, giving him a gentle, experimental smack on his ass.

"Umm," Alex replied, his smile widening. He shrugged his shoulders, giggled.

Walter shook his head. He had never heard any sound remotely as relaxed and happy from Alex before.

"Alex? Alex, what do you need? Can you tell me?" Walter asked gently. He very much wanted this silly, blissed out Alex to feel well cared for and loved.

"I love you, Walter," Alex whispered. "I'm all yours." Abruptly, he began to cry.

Suspending judgement, Walter simply tried to respond authentically to Alex's mercurial emotions. He stroked Alex's heaving shoulders, but made no attempt to hush his sobs. He just wanted Alex to know that he was held, that he was heard and that he was safe.

Alex gagged. Tried ineffectually to choke back the bile that rose in his throat. Vomited onto the soft toweling. Began to cry harder.

Finally, Walter interceded.

"It's OK, Alex, it's OK. You're safe now. Let it out, Alex, I've got you." Helping Alex right himself, Walter rocked him comfortingly.

The gagging ceased, along with the tears. Alex looked at Walter shamefacedly.

"I'm a fucking asshole," Alex said softly.

"You're a brave man," Walter said. "You're a very beautiful, very brave man. Come on now, let's clean you up." He balled up the soiled terrycloth. Carefully, he helped Alex to his feet and ushered him into the bathroom. Stashed the dirty towels in the hamper.

Alex was shaking. Walter helped him out of his shirt, wrapped a towel around him to keep him warm, and began to run him a bath. Alex sat slumped on the closed toilet seat, looking thoroughly miserable.

"You'll feel better soon," Walter promised, as he undid Alex's prosthesis. "Come on now, step in." Taking Alex's good arm, he eased him into the warm water. Very gently, he took Alex's jaw in the palm of his hand, turned the tear-streaked face towards his own.

"Listen to me, Alex. You have nothing to apologize for. This is something we have to get past together. Do you understand me? I'm not angry with you. You didn't do anything wrong."

Alex's eyes filled again, but this time with relief. He nodded, unable to speak, and a few more tears slipped down his pale face. Walter daubed them away with the corner of a washcloth.

Walter wet the washcloth and began to wash Alex from head to toe. His lover's scarred body saddened him. Alex had not had an easy life.

Alex was unaware of Walter's musings. All he knew was that he was being cared for in a way he found profoundly satisfying. He welcomed the intimate way Walter's hands cleansed and caressed him. Smiled hazily as Walter massaged shampoo into his hair, worked his fingers into his tight scalp. Tensed as Walter tilted his head back to rinse the suds; relaxed as he realized Walter would be careful to keep the water from his eyes and nose.

"Come on, Alex, let's get you dried off and into bed," Walter said finally.

"Walter! It's the middle of the day!"

"I know, Alex, but you're all wrung out. A long nap will do you a world of good."

Walter wrapped Alex in one towel and used a second towel to pat his face and hair dry. He ignored Alex's grumbles as he tucked him securely under the covers. Despite his protests, Alex looked pale and tired. Walter lay down on top of the covers and spooned himself around Alex's back.

"Shh, just rest," Walter said. He held Alex until the green eyes closed and Alex's body relaxed into sleep.

A loud crash made Walter jump. Fortunately, it hadn't wakened Alex. Almost certain of what he was going to find, Walter made his way down the hall.

As Walter had expected, the living room was a disaster. A large bookcase had tipped over and books were scattered from one side of the room to the other.

"Fox," Walter said indulgently. "What is this all about?"

"I don't know," Fox said sulkily. "I suppose you're going to punish me?" He looked angry. Walter stepped forward swiftly and before Fox could escape, drew him into a tight hug.

"It's hard, isn't it, Fox? You can't be angry with Alex, because the more we learn about him, the more we realize just how damaged he is. But still, you're jealous of the time and energy I spend caring for him." Walter sighed.

"Let me guess...you stood on the bottom shelf to reach something at the back of the top shelf? Again. " Walter shook his head.

"Very dangerous. A surefire way to get my attention. The problem is, now you're worried that I'm going to punish you, and that isn't at all what you had in mind. An accurate summary, Fox? Do you want to add anything?"

"Got it in one, Walter, " Fox said, his eyes down. "And you don't even have a psych degree. But Walter, it isn't fair. Alex gets everything, and I get shit. Fucking nothing." His voice rose indignantly.

Walter looked at Fox.

"I'm willing to let your bad judgment go, Fox," he said evenly. "I know you were only looking for a little extra attention. But no more of that sort of language, or you're going to regret it."

"Fuck you, Walter." Fox grinned at him insolently.

Walter sighed. Ever hungry for Walter's attention, Fox could not resist goading him.

"In my office, Fox. Find a friendly corner, and wait there for me."

Fox obeyed without even a show of reluctance.

Walter poured himself a desperately needed cup of coffee, and sat with it in his armchair, thinking. Obviously his Fox felt neglected. Walter knew Fox despised his own neediness. Walter would have been glad to forgive him his tantrum, but he knew that only punishment would absolve Fox of the guilt he assumed like a second skin.

Walter rinsed his now empty cup and left it to drain by the sink. Not for the first time, he shook his head at the foolhardiness of a man his age having not one, but two, high maintenance lovers.

Walter, you're a glutton for punishment. Which gives you something in common with Fox, Walter thought wryly to himself.

Enough now. Fox needs you. Don't disappoint him.

Fox was sprawled arrogantly across Walter's couch, his hands behind his head, his feet crossed at the ankles. Walter took a deep breath.

"I believe I asked you to find a corner, Fox," he said calmly.

"Fuck you," Fox said, shrugging.

"That's one extra stroke, Fox. Would you like to try for two?"

"All right!" Fox swung his legs off the couch, pushed himself upright. Positioned himself facing the wall.

"Better, Walter?" he asked sardonically. Walter suppressed a sigh. It was Fox who craved this ritual, no matter how much he tried to subvert it.

"Very nice, Fox. Tell me, why am I going to punish you?"

Fox was silent.

"All right, Fox, let me help you out here. You narrowly missed crushing yourself under the bookshelf. I've told you before, if you can't reach something, use a step stool. That's why we have them." Fox nodded.

"So that's one stroke. Second, you don't curse at me. Ever. " Again Fox's head dipped fractionally.

"Sorry, Walter," he muttered.

"I know you are, Fox. But you're still going to be punished. That's your second stroke."

"Yes, Walter."

"I know there are times when Alex garners the lion's share of my attention. He is terribly needy, Fox. Sometimes we both resent that. But we knew going into this relationship that Alex was wounded. I'll never punish you for feeling jealous. But I will punish you for acting on your jealousy in ways that are destructive. That's your third stroke."

"Yes, Walter." Fox's shoulders slumped resignedly.

"Finally, when I ask you to stand in the corner, you do it. That's your fourth stroke."

"That's fair, Walter." Fox's voice was steady. "Let's get it over with."

"All right then, Fox. Pants and boxers off, please. Bend over the chair." Walter rummaged under his desk for the slender, flexible cane. Steeled himself. His Fox needed this.

Fox gripped the sides of the chair seat, his palms sweaty with anticipation, his heart racing. Let it be over fast, he prayed. He flinched as Walter touched the cane gently to his bare buttocks, measuring the correct distance.

"Four strokes. Remember to count, Fox," Walter said. Without hesitating further, he swished the whippy cane through the air and seared a fiery line across Fox's tender flesh.

"Yeow! Shit! One, thank you, sir! Jesus, Walter," Fox yelped. Walter sighed. He was used to Fox's histrionics. He brought the cane down a second time, not sparing Fox.

"Ahh! No more, Walter! That hurt!"

"Count please, Fox," Walter said implacably. He knew his lover needed this.

"Oh shit. Two, thank you, sir! Oww! Oww!! Three, four, thank you sir. Thank you, Walter," Fox sobbed. Walter had delivered the last two strokes hard and fast. He wanted this whipping over as much, if not more, than Fox did.

Laying the cane aside, Walter eased Fox's hands from the chair. Seated himself on the couch and drew Fox to him, careful to position Fox's body so that his striped bottom was free of pressure.

Fox buried his head in Walter's lap and cried the high, heartbreaking sobs of a miserable boy. Walter stroked his hair patiently. The past was never past for Fox.

"All forgiven, Fox, all forgiven. It's all right now."

Gradually, Fox's sobs tapered off. He rolled himself upright, wincing.

"I love you, Walter." He kissed Walter full on the lips, hard

"I love you, Fox." Walter ruffled Fox's hair. "OK now?"

"Yeah. I'm going outside for a bit. I really do love you, Walter."

"Want me to come?" Walter asked, knowing the answer.

"I need a little space, Walter, but it's good of you to ask." Fox stepped into his boxers and pants. "Ouch. Shit."

Walter snorted. Fox glared at him, then relented and smiled ruefully. Closed the door softly behind him as he left the office.

The things I do for love, Walter sighed, scrubbing his hand over his face. Fox would never know just how much this took out of him.

In their bedroom, Alex eased his head cautiously from under the pillow. It was quiet again. He didn't get why Fox let himself be caned, but then, who the fuck would have thought Alex Krycek would let Walter Skinner to turn him over his knee like a fucking kid? Shit, life was fucking weird.

Fox paced the length of the terrace, his buttocks burning, his heart soaring.

Forgiven. The new bands of pain across his ass eased the old bands of pain around his heart.

Forgiven. For almost twenty years he had despaired of ever hearing that word. The word Walter inevitably granted him.

Forgiven. The sting in his eyes vanquished the sting in his bottom. Forgiven. He sniffled loudly.

Walter stretched out on the couch in his office. It was unprecedented for him to lie down in the middle of the day, but between spanking Alex and caning Fox, he was exhausted. He closed his eyes tiredly and slept the sleep of the just.

Awake now, and fully dressed, Alex prowled the house, seeking Walter and Fox. Walter's door was closed.

I will knock when a door is closed and enter only if invited.

Alex scowled. Tentatively cracked the door a fraction, in clear defiance of their rule.

"Alex," Fox said.

Alex started guiltily, his hand still on the doorknob.

"Walter's sleeping," Alex said. Then, defensively, "I didn't go in, Fox."

"Easy, Alex," Fox said quietly. "I know you needed to see him. Come here now."

Obediently, Alex came closer. He flinched as Fox took his face in his hand.

"Alex. I wasn't going to hit you." Fox sighed. "Let's stretch out on our bed."

Alex hesitated.

"I can't sit, " Fox reminded him. "Walter caned me."

Alex winced.

The bed was still unmade after Alex's nap. Fox smiled to himself. There was a time when Alex would have drawn the covers taut as soon as he arose, careful to erase any evidence of his presence.

Fox flopped on his stomach. Alex stretched out alongside Fox. He looked at Fox uncertainly.

"Fuck?" Alex asked tentatively.

Fox looked at him doubtfully.

"Walter never made any rules about us jerking off," Alex said hopefully.

"Shit, Alex, it's not the same thing!"

Alex shrank into himself.

"Alex, I didn't mean to yell," Fox said, his voice softening. "It's just--"

"It's just hard to accept how Alex thinks sometimes," Walter said quietly. Two pairs of eyes turned towards him. Walter seated himself on the bed. He kissed Fox, who kissed him back. He kissed Alex, who barely moved.

"Did I do something wrong? Are you going to punish me?" Alex asked anxiously.

"No, Alex," Walter soothed him. "You and Fox can always make love. You don't need my permission. But Alex, it really is not the same thing as jerking off."

"OK," Alex said. "I get it. I guess," he added doubtfully.

Walter and Fox exchanged looks. Maybe a little demonstration would help.

"Alex, get undressed, and then come back to bed," Walter instructed.

Alex was already barefoot. He shrugged out of his tee shirt, folded it neatly and placed it on his bureau. His good hand trembled as he undid his fly and stepped out of his jeans. Folding them, he placed them atop his shirt. Slipped out of his boxers, added them to the growing stack. Finally, he undid his prosthesis and put it next to the piled clothes. He backed himself into his usual place on the bed and lay down obediently. His cock was rigid against his belly. Only his tongue, flicking nervously over his lips, betrayed his unease.

Walter stripped himself quickly and efficiently. Fox followed his lead. Alex watched with widened eyes as they arranged themselves on either side of him.

"What do you want, Alex?" Walter asked softly.

"Fuck me," Alex begged. "Oh please."

Carefully, Walter rolled Alex, face down, on top of him. Savored Alex's groans of pleasure as he took Alex's hard cock in his hand and aligned it with his own cock. Grasped both organs snugly.

Walter hooked his legs over the backs of Alex's calves and drawing up his own knees, opened Alex's legs wide, leaving Fox ample space to kneel between them.

"Lube," Walter suggested. Fox flicked the cap off the tube and took a generous gob on his fingers. He massaged the tight opening in Alex's ass, waiting for it to wink open before inserting first one, then two, well lubricated fingers deep into Alex. Scissored them gently. Alex bucked against Walter's restraining grip.

"Fuck me, Fox, fuck me now," Alex moaned.

Fox withdrew his fingers, slicked his cock with gel and pressed its head slowly through the tight ring of muscle. Ran his hands gently over Alex's hips, gripped lightly as he worked himself deeper inside. Walter's free hand came to rest on top of Fox's own.

Alex was sandwiched snugly between his two lovers. Walter held him securely splayed and open to Fox's loving assault, at the same time stimulating his cock. For the second time in less than twenty-four hours, Alex began to cry.

"Stop, Fox," Walter said urgently. "Alex! Why are you crying? Does this hurt?"

"No, don't stop! It's good," Alex sobbed. "Please..."

Fox carefully withdrew, his cock softening. Walter eased his hand from his and Alex's hard cocks; untangled their legs. Together, Fox and Walter turned Alex onto his back, their hands gentle, their eyes concerned.

"I get it," Alex whispered. "I get it now. I get the difference between jerking off and making love." He shuddered. "Am I going to be punished?"

Fox and Walter exchanged bewildered looks.

"Why would I punish you, Alex?" Walter asked.

"I don't know! They always punished me," Alex said, his voice strained. "I don't know the rules here. I don't understand anything. I'm scared!" He shuddered again.

"It's all right," Fox said. "Alex, we weren't trying to teach you a lesson. Not the way you think. Don't be afraid. We wanted to make love with you, that's all. Not hurt you, not frighten you. Just rest now. You're safe."

"No, please, I don't want to rest! Fuck me! I'm fucking begging you, I need you to fuck me," Alex pleaded.

"I can't," Fox said. He ran his hand experimentally over his flaccid cock. "I can't."

Walter took a deep breath. Unlike Fox, he was still hard.

"Roll over, Alex," Walter said quietly. "Open your legs."

Wordlessly, Alex obeyed, automatically tucking a pillow under his hips. Walter probed Alex gently. He was loose and well lubricated. Walter placed the head of his cock on Alex's anus. Alex bore down, widening himself, and Walter sheathed himself inside. He rode Alex slowly and surely, at the same time stroking Alex's upright cock. Alex came hard, gasping for breath. Walter gave two or three more thrusts and let his cum course deeply into Alex. Alex moaned.

"Easy, Alex, good, come to me now," Walter coaxed, stretching out alongside Alex and drawing Alex into his arms.

"Fox?" Alex whimpered.

"Oh yeah, Alex," Fox said. His cock had hardened at the sight of Walter and Alex fucking. With a few practiced strokes, he brought himself off. Walter smiled appreciatively at the view. Sated, Fox spooned himself against Alex and Walter.

"I can stay here?" Alex asked. He sounded sleepy and happy. Walter groaned.

"Alex, Alex, Alex," Walter said. "You are impossible. I should spank you for even asking that. Of course you can stay here. Don't ask me again." He softened his words with a kiss. "I love you, Alex. "

"What about me?" Fox asked, only half-kidding.

Walter groaned again.

"What did I do to deserve you two? Yes, I love you, my needy Fox."

"I love you, Walter," Fox chuckled.

Alex was silent. Tears leaked slowly down his cheeks from under closed eyelids. Walter smudged them with a gentle thumb. Looked at Fox; shrugged inquiringly.

"You can't rush him, Walter."

"I know, Fox. Goodnight, Alex. We do love you."

"I can stay here," Alex whispered, as he drifted into sleep.


FOR Lorelei, Samantha and Ursula. EM