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Every time Lestrade looked at Sherlock, he felt he was really looking at his youngest son, Will.

While he was nowhere near as intelligent as Sherlock, Will was significantly clever. He had sharp, bright eyes and a chestnut colored mop of hair always covering his face.

Will was their...er, most difficult child. Out of the three boys, he was the most defiant and ill-tempered, his mood worsening as he got older. He skipped class so often it was a surprise to his teachers when he actually attended. The classes were too easy for him, too boring.

Will's older teen years were absolute hell for both him and Lestrade, but they got through it. Bless his heart, the boy had just started Uni, studying to be a surgeon. In fact, all Lestrade's boys were at Uni. The nest was now empty, all the loud noises of three boys in one house had stilled to an irritating silence.
---
It should have been suspicious when Sherlock brought donuts to Scotland Yard. He never did things like that. His face was painted with an angelic smile as he presented them to the crew.

"Thanks, Freak." Was all Donovan said before reaching in to grab a Boston cream.

Lestrade was trying to cut down on his sugar, so he declined, but Anderson just so happened to be passing by and accepted a few.

It should have been suspicious when Sherlock himself didn't take any
---
Later that morning, they were at a crime scene, an odd double murder, when the two started to feel the effects. Donovan felt it first, and Sherlock reasoned it was because of her smaller frame and lesser body weight.

Donovan was in the middle of conversing with the copper who found the bodies, when a sharp pain struck her in the head. Her eyes widened and she leaned against the wall for support, rubbing her head. Her mouth felt like a desert and her legs felt weak. She paused her conversation to get a drink of water, but it did nothing to aid her dry mouth. As she took another swig of water, she noticed a distinct pair of eyes watching her the whole time.

"You!" She shouted, pointing an accusing finger at Sherlock. He acted the innocent, his pale face in faux surprise, thick brown brows jumping up. "You freak, you poisoned me! With those bloody donuts."

Perfectly on time, Anderson started to groan, clutching his head. For one second, Sherlock failed to cover up his analyzing face. Lestrade caught in just in time for Sherlock to replace it with his innocent gaze.

With narrow eyes, Lestrade looked from his sick coppers to Sherlock's pure little face, then back to the coppers.

Will had once put laxatives in brownies and handed them out to all his teachers. He had been expelled for that one. Granted, that had actually been funny.

"Oh, I would never harm an-" Sherlock started, prepared to dole out a long, winded defense.

Lestrade interrupted, grasping Sherlock's bony shoulder and hauling him down the stairs and into the chilly winter air. Sherlock struggled a bit, he didn't like the manhandling.

"Did you poison them, Sherlock? Did you?" Lestrade asked harshly, his breath visible in little puffs because of the cold.

Sherlock faltered for one tiny moment, which was enough for Lestrade. The curly dark head studied the cracks in the pavement.

"You did!" Lestrade groaned, rubbing his eyes in frustration. "Bloody hell, Will."

"I prefer to be called Sherlock, and besides, it was just a little bit, not enough to seriously injure them. I just wanted to see the effects when two different poisons were diluted and comb-"

Once again. Lestrade interrupted the childish consulting detective. "Enough!" Sherlock's head snapped up to attention at the DI's voice. "I know it's not easy with John gone, but you simply can't be poisoning people! It's far, far beyond the pale."

John was off in Manchester, taking care of his sickly mum. She had pneumonia, which was even more serious because of her age. With John not there to keep an eye on him, Sherlock spiraled down into bad behavior. He was doing whatever he wanted, and what he wanted was not often good.

What was that old saying? When the cat's away, the mice will play.

"I know why you do this. It's a big cry for attention, like a kid drawing on the walls." Lestrade ducked his head down to look at his phone, typing quickly. "You need attention? I can't deal with this now, but I'll be off by five. If you're still at your flat at five, it'll prove what you need."

Sherlock didn't respond, just seemed to settle down into a bored expression. He didn't want to give Lestrade the satisfaction that he was right.

"I've called a cab. You're off the case till we've dealt with this." Lestrade added, seeing Sherlock's face was a bit too complacent.

His expression immediately changed, clear, bright eyes wide and his plump lips open in surprise. "Oh, be reasonable! I've nothing to do, I'll blow my own brains out from boredom." He exclaimed dramatically. The defiant glare in his eyes was a carbon copy of Will's.

A copper opened the door, calling for Lestrade.

"I've got to go. You sit tight and wait for the cab. I'll be seeing you at five." Lestrade ordered, walking back to the crime scene/house. He turned back to Sherlock as he entered the door. "And if you're so bored, read a bloody book!"

Sherlock crossed his arms and frowned, looking exactly like a petulant child.
---
The clock on the wall and Sherlock became mortal enemies as he waited for 5:00.

4:54, tick tock, tick tock. Sherlock, dressed in a white tee and pyjama pants, lounged on his chair, never breaking eye contact with the horrid contraption. Tick, tock, tick tock. 4:55.

His heart dropped to his toes when the doorknob twisted and opened at 4:56. He didn't know whether or not to feel relieved.

"The Yard let me off early today." Lestrade said as he walked up the stairs. Just as he expected, Sherlock was waiting for him.

"Let's not waste any time. Where's your bedroom?" Lestrade said, shrugging off his jacket and leaving it on the couch.

Sherlock didn't say a word, but led the way, noticing that Lestrade was... rolling up his sleeves? Sherlock stopped in the middle of the hallway.

"Are you going to smack me?" Honestly, it was quite the slow deduction, considering all the other hints.

"I'm fairly certain that's what you need. Now, move along." Lestrade's voice had just the right combination of sternness and kindness, and Sherlock found himself continuing to walk towards his bedroom.

As they entered, Lestrade looked around the room, trying to figure out how to go about this. Sherlock was just a bit too tall and gangly to comfortably put over his knee. He did spy a sturdy-looking chair.

"Sherlock, how old are you?" He asked, looking over the chair.

Sherlock looked a bit confused by the question, but answered nonetheless. "Twenty-five." The exact age of Lestrade's second son.

"Do you have a hairbrush of some sort?" Lestrade shook the chair a bit.

Sherlock's eyebrows shot up almost comically. So now they were in the implement zone. "No."

"I'm sure your landlady must own one. Go down and ask for it." Just the thought of Mrs Hudson's everknowing eyes was enough to make him recoil.

"Something the matter?" Lestrade asked, seeing Sherlock's uncomfortable face.

"She'd know and it-it would be humiliating." Under the threat of punishment, Sherlock had morphed into a sulky little boy. Where was the boisterous, pompous detective?

It's not like Sherlock couldn't handle a bit of embarrassment. He had bloody poisoned two people!

Still, Lestrade complied. "Go get a spoon from the kitchen."

Sherlock nodded and quickly retrieved a medium-sized wooden spoon.

"Okay, let's put this all behind us. You'll get fifteen with my hand and ten with the spoon, okay?" Lestrade said, placing the spoon in his back pocket.

Sherlock nodded, which was Lestrade's green light to go ahead. He grabbed the younger man's hands and led them to hold onto the back of the chair, bending his backside up into a target.

Lestrade placed one hand on Sherlock's back, rubbing for a moment before bringing the other down with a resounding smack. At that moment, Sherlock wished he hadn't have changed into such flimsy pyjama bottoms.

Another smack fell down, and Sherlock bit his lip to keep from crying out. It stung fiercely. Lestrade didn't say anything, didn't scold. They both knew why they were here.

By the third and fourth swat, Sherlock had resorted to stomping his left foot.

Lestrade paused. "Sherlock, there's no need to keep quiet. It's a spanking, and it hurts. There's no shame in voicing it." And with that, he delivered another smack, right on his sitspot.

Sherlock breathed hard and let out a very quiet "ow".

Lestrade continued until they were up to fifteen, Sherlock going from emitting mumbled ow's to sharp yelps. His breathing was ragged and the combination of the pain with the embarrassment of a spanking were quickly bringing him to tears.

"I'm starting with the spoon now, okay?" Lestrade warned, fishing the spoon out from his pocket.

The curly head in front of him nodded. "Okay."

The first swat with the spoon brought Sherlock to swears. "Fuck." He whined through gritted teeth. Lestrade decided to let the swear go and smacked him again, this time near his thigh.

Seeing that Sherlock was near the end, he rained down the spoon in rapid succession, flying through the numbers.

Sherlock yipped, letting go of the chair and standing. "I"m sorry, I'll never poison anyone again!" His eyes were red and wide.

Lestrade calmly led Sherlock back to the chair and repositioned him. "You know how this works. Three more, okay?"

"Okay." Sherlock said, preparing himself for the final few swats.

Lestrade didn't waste time and brought them down before Sherlock could so much as blink. The swats were not as hard as before, though.

Sherlock sighed and stood without facing Lestrade, wiping his eyes and straightening up.

"Hey, what did I say? No shame." Lestrade said, turning Sherlock's body to face him. Bless, the boy looked like a child, with his wild hair, big eyes, and reddened nose. He wrapped him in an embrace, rubbing soothing circles on his back.

Lestrade plucked a tissue from the box at Sherlock's night table and handed it to him.

"I'll make you a cuppa, and you can come down when you're ready." Lestrade said, watching Sherlock blow his nose.

"The tea's in-"

"I've been on a hundred drugs busts in this house, I think I know where the tea is." Lestrade said with a wry smile.

Sherlock smiled too, a small one but a smile nonetheless.

"Remember, I'll always be there when you need this kind of attention, okay?"

Sherlock looked to the floor for a second before looking up to meet Lestrade's kind brown eyes.

"Okay."