“Time for us to have that talk now, Wesley.” Spike was leaning casually against the wall, looking deadly serious, and Wes knew what he meant. Hands trembling, he replaced his book on the shelf and turned back to face Spike.
“All right”, he responded, not sure exactly what to do.
“Have a seat, I really do want to talk for a minute. And you won’t be sitting comfortably for a day or two after this, so you might as well take the opportunity now.”
Wesley sat in the armchair on the side of the room and waited, watching as Spike paced a bit, seeming to be lost in thought.
“You’ve been terribly disrespectful today, and yesterday too, come to think of it. I was almost ready to let it go until you had to make that rude comment in front of Angel today. Nothing for it now, you know I have to punish you.”
“Yes, I – I’m sorry and I understand.”
“We have fun with this sort of thing sometimes, but I don’t like having to punish you like this. I wish you didn’t push me into it.”
He knew Spike was telling the truth. It wasn’t often that these situations came up, but Spike rarely let him off the hook when the punishment was deserved. And it was, no question. His behavior was inexcusable. Giving a smart-ass retort at home was generally resolved with a few sharp smacks to his bottom and being told off or sent to the corner. Doing it in front of someone else…well, that was another story altogether. Spike wasn’t going to stand for being disrespected in the presence of anyone who was aware of the nature of their relationship.
Wesley just nodded, swallowing hard, not wanting to say anything that would risk making things worse.
“When you were a kid, Wes, did your parents spank you for misbehaving?”
All right, so Spike really did want to talk. “No. They took away my books, or made me do extra chores.”
“What about school? Were you ever in trouble in school?”
“Not…not too much.” Wes wasn’t sure exactly where this was leading, but he didn’t think now was a good time to ask any questions.
“Sometimes, though. Why?”
“I got detention a couple of times for not turning in assignments. Fifth and sixth form, distracted by being social and trying to be like the other boys.”
“Ah, yes, I can see that. Some things about teenagers just don’t ever change.” Spike smiled, and it was real; genuine and soft. “When I was in school we got the cane when we misbehaved. Not allowed anymore, right?”
“No, not now, and not when I was in secondary school, but when I was younger, it happened on occasion.”
“To you? Did it happen to you?”
“Once”, Wes replied. He figured Spike was going to ask for details, but he wasn’t going to give them unless he was directed to.
“How old were you? Very young?”
“Seven. I was seven and I…I was drawing in my composition book, not paying attention.”
“Doesn’t sound like a very serious infraction to me.”
“It wasn’t a very serious punishment, though at the time I thought it was.”
“So what happened?”
Wesley could still feel the humiliation of it, silly, he knew, but it was there nonetheless. “I got called to the front of the room. The teacher told me to hold out my hands, and he rapped my palms with the cane. Just once on each hand, but it was enough that I started to cry.”
“Because it hurt?”
“Of course it did. I’d never been struck before, I was shocked. And embarrassed. My classmates teased me about it.” Wesley had never told this story to anyone. He’d taken great lengths to hide the marks from his parents to avoid getting in more trouble.
“Never had the cane on your bare ass, then?”
Wesley was gripped with terror. He knew what was coming now, for certain. Spike had spanked him before, taken his belt to him a couple of times, too. But this…
“No, not – no, never, I never did.”
“Thanks, Wes. I think you know by now that I’m going to cane you tonight. I honestly just wanted to know your experience. It won’t be easy for you to take, I realize that, but knowing it’s your first time helps me decide what’s appropriate. And believe me, please, when I tell you that I hope the first time is also the last.”
“Yes, I do, I believe you.”
“Good, because I’m sure you’ll feel the same way. Now lose the trousers and pants, bend over the back of that chair.”
Wes moved quickly to follow the instructions Spike gave him, still scared half to death. He stared down at the seat of the chair until Spike told him to look up.
Spike was holding a wicked-looking rattan cane. “I wanted you to see it first. Now listen carefully, love, please. You’ll have six, and you will be still. You don’t have to be quiet, but do not move. If you do, I’ll start again at the beginning. You’ll hate it and so will I, so do as I say. Do you understand?”
Nodding weakly, Wesley simply agreed and cast his eyes back down. He sensed Spike moving behind him, and he heard the cane before he felt it. A hot stripe of pain stung across the middle of his buttocks, then spread out almost immediately. Christ, he’d wanted to be able to get through at least one without crying out, so he gritted his teeth and stifled a groan.
The second blow was directly below the first and this time Wes hissed loudly, still shocked by the way that one hot sting of the cane made him feel pain all over. Three strokes, then four and that was it, Wesley cried out and started a litany of please and sorry and no more.
“Shhhh, you’re doing so well. Almost done. Just hold on, don’t move, don’t try to stand up, please, I want this to be over too.”
Wesley held on to the chair for all he was worth and tried to catch his breath but when the cane came down again, it connected right at the top of his thighs and he couldn’t help it; he screamed and started to sob. Spike made quick work of finishing up, the last bite of the cane crossing all the previous marks. Wes nearly collapsed in his tears but was afraid to move until he was told to do so.
Before he knew it, though, Spike was hauling him up, letting him cry into his favorite t-shirt and holding him close.
“It’s finished, love, no more, you’re all right.” Spike soothed him with gentle words and soft touches until Wes calmed down somewhat. When he finally managed to look at Spike, he could see how badly this had hurt him too.
That just started a fresh bout of tears laced with apologies and promises of better behavior, all completely sincere.
Spike wiped away his tears and kissed him gently on the forehead. “Go on and clean up, you’ll stay in the bedroom for the evening. Don’t worry, I won’t take away your books”, he added with a little smile. “Think of an appropriate apology to give Angel while you’re in there, yeah?”
Wesley flushed at the thought, but he had no inclination to argue considering he was standing there half-naked with his backside practically on fire. He just did as he was told, secure in the knowledge that he’d been forgiven.
And that he never, ever wanted to see that cane again.