With Big Brother’s Approval

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Ben couldn’t stay still.  He sat on the couch.  He stood up again.  He sat on the loveseat.  He stood up again.  He sat at the dining room table.  He almost stood up again.  He heard keys in the door.  He froze.

Oliver walked in, oblivious to his boyfriend’s severe case of jitters.  He walked over to kiss Ben on the cheek, then headed straight for the fridge.  “Hey, babe.  How was your day?” he said, pulling a bottle of water out and going to join Ben at the table.  He finally looked at his boyfriend’s face as he sat down, and immediately his own face reflected concern.  “Hey hey, what’s wrong?”

“I did something really dumb, Ollie.”  Oliver’s eyebrows knit together.  Ben only ever called him “Ollie” when he felt scared or guilty.  “What’d you do, honey?”

“I forgot about a big project.  Like, really big.  For microeconomics.  It counts for a lot.  I don’t know how I forgot.  It just slipped my mind.”

Oliver, at 24, had graduated not long ago.  He gave his 22 year old boyfriend an appraising look, then asked “Was it in your planner?”

Benjamin bit his lip, glancing up and back down. “No.”  Oliver rolled his eyes in frustration- this had been an ongoing point of contention- then said, “Okay, well did you talk to your professor after class?”

Again Ben could barely bring himself to glance upward before he replied with another quiet “no.”  Oliver sighed, then said “okay, well have you called Dan?  He’ll tell you what to do.  He can’t fix it, but he can tell you the best way to approach your professor.”

Ben’s usually tan complexion visibly paled.  “I cannot tell Danny.”

Oliver’s eyebrows shot up at that.  “Your brother is a professor.  You are absolutely going to call him and see what he has to say.”

“I can’t, Ollie!” Ben cried, looking up.  “He’ll murder me.”

Oliver rolled his eyes again.  “You’re being dramatic.”

“You don’t know him.  He’d probably show up here after a phone call like that.”  Ben’s lip was between his teeth again, and Oliver watched as the young man shifted uncomfortably in his chair.  He’d noticed this before, other times when Ben felt guilty, or even occasionally when he was actually on the phone with Danny, though Oliver could never hear what was being said on the other end of the line.  Oliver had never met Ben’s older brother, but he’d heard plenty about him and “met” him through video chat.  His curiosity made him push.

“Let’s say Dan does catch a red-eye.  Let’s say he shows up tomorrow morning.  Then what?”

Ben shifted again and stared at the floor.  “Just nothing.  Forget it.”

Oliver wasn’t dumb; he had his suspicions.  He reached over and tilted Ben’s face up, forcing him to make eye contact.  “I will not.  What would Danny do, Benjamin?”

A pout began to take over Ben’s expression as he pulled his face away, staring silently off toward the living room, refusing to speak.  Oliver moved his hands to his boyfriend’s knees, deciding to take Ben’s silence as affirmation and making the leap.  “I know what I would do if my little sister called me, young man.”

Ben crossed his arms over his chest, risking a quick look at his boyfriend’s face before glaring defiantly back away.  It wasn’t that he’d never heard a note of authority in Oliver’s voice before, but this wasn’t a note- it was the whole damn orchestra.  His stomach was in knots as Oliver continued.  “What I would do, and what I have done, is make sure she had a hard time sitting comfortably for the next evening or two.  I would give her a solid reminder about why we have rules- for instance, why I made you buy a planner- as well as a good incentive to pay attention to them next time.  And I think,” and he turned Ben’s face toward him again, “that your big brother would do the same for you.  Am I right?” he asked, not unkindly.

Ben left his face in Oliver’s hand but his eyes were downcast as he whined, “Ollie…”

“Am I right?” he asked, more firmly.

Ben took a deep breath and then nodded, turning his wide blue eyes up to meet Oliver’s dark black ones.  Oliver nodded his head slowly and thoughtfully, reminding Ben so much of his brother that he automatically rolled his eyes.  That was a mistake.  Oliver’s eyebrows shot up immediately and Ben could practically see him make a decision.  Too late, he tried to stop the clear path they were on.  “Ollie don’t!  I’ll call Danny!  I’ll ask him what to do!”

Oliver, in the meantime, stood and moved his chair a bit away from the dining room table.  “Oh you’ll call Dan, alright.  You’ll call him as soon as I’ve finished giving you your spanking.”  Ben cringed at the word, but Oliver seemed unfazed as he held out his hand, palm up.  His boyfriend looked up, desperation written all over his face, but Oliver kept his expression expectant and after a minute, Ben reached out and gave him his hand.  Oliver held him for a beat, making sure that the pride he felt at his boyfriend’s acceptance was written on his own face, then gently tugged him up.  He took a seat, and though Ben seemed ready to dive across his lap, he stopped him.  “I don’t think so, sweetheart,” he said, guiding the younger man by his hips until he was standing in front of the chair.  Oliver began to undo the button on his boyfriend’s shorts, and soon they were in a puddle on the floor, one which Ben compliantly stepped out of, his cheeks blazing with embarrassment but his actions resigned.

Seconds later, Ben was across Oliver’s lap, feeling his boyfriend readjust his position to his satisfaction.  Oliver smoothed the cloth of Ben’s blue checkered boxers, then wrapped an arm around his boyfriend’s lanky frame.  He rested his right hand on the boy’s backside, just for a moment, as he contemplated his next move.  This felt right.  He’d always had a dominant streak, and it was something that worked well in their relationship.  Spanking and discipline seemed the next logical addition, at least to him.  He knew Ben agreed, or he wouldn’t be here now.  Benjamin wasn’t weak-willed by any stretch of the imagination.  He wanted this, too.

No, the real question in Oliver’s mind was not whether this was okay, but how to go about it.  He thought briefly about Dan, wondering if he should do his best to imitate the disciplinary experiences Ben had had so far.  He just as quickly discarded the idea.  They would figure the details out later, but trying to imitate Danny would just be setting himself up for failure.  Oliver hadn’t been exaggerating when he’d mentioned his little sister… sisters, actually.  He had two, both younger, and while their parents were attentive and present in their lives, they had also allowed their children to get away with anything and everything.  Oliver had the fortune (though he wouldn’t have called it that at the time) of experiencing firm guidance at the hands of his grandparents, immigrants who were as strict as they were loving.  They had passed away before his sisters were old enough to remember them.

But he remembered their lessons well, and assuming responsibility for his little sisters’ discipline had come as naturally as… well… as naturally as having his boyfriend across his lap now.  As that realization landed, he let go of the last of his hesitations.  He lifted his right hand and brought it forcefully down on Ben’s boxer-clad backside.  He did so again.  He quickly found himself getting into the familiar rhythm of spanking, alternating cheeks and thoroughly warming up his boyfriend’s bottom before pausing to gently tug his underwear down below his knees.  He was pleased at Ben’s compliance, and paused to rub his back and freshly bared rear end.  A moment later, though, he hugged his boyfriend’s body close and resumed spanking him, this time accompanying his swats with a lecture.

“We have talked about writing everything down, Ben.  Everything.  You have a million things going on, and it would be ridiculous to expect you to remember every project and date.  But that is why we got you a planner.  That is why I got you a planner, actually.  Which I expect you to use.  Because mistakes like this?  They are 100% avoidable.  So I expect you to avoid them.  Is that clear?”

Ben had begun to grunt and wiggle, particularly when Oliver used harder swats to emphasize some of the points he was making.  “Yes sir!” he said, sucking in his breath, struggling to keep his hands out of the way.  Just as his left foot kicked out, the spanking stopped.  Ben felt Oliver’s hand run up and down his back, and wondered if it was over.  His breath came out in a low moan when a second later he heard “Stand up for a minute, little one.”  He blushed hard at the moniker, standing and immediately covering himself as he felt his underwear drop from their perch on his knees to the floor.

Oliver walked into the kitchen, shuffled briefly through one of the drawers, and returned with a thick wooden spoon which made Ben immediately begin chewing his lower lip again.  He didn’t argue, though.  As sore as his bottom already was, he knew he’d earned more than a hand spanking for this.  Oliver had gone out of his way to help keep him organized, and Benjamin had ignored his advice one too many times.  He lay quickly back across his boyfriend’s lap when asked to do so.  He felt the smooth wood resting on his hot backside and then the sharp sting of it coming down, immediately resuming the same rhythm that Oliver’s hand had been in.

Ben’s feet kicked and little yelps escaped from his mouth, though he tried to stay still.  Danny tended to use implements to drive a point home at the end of a spanking, using the wood to make sure a lesson stuck around for a day or two.  Oliver wasn’t putting all of his strength behind these swats but they were so stingy and so fast that Ben couldn’t think about anything except how much it hurt.

He was breathing heavily when the spanking finally stopped, and gratefully clambered onto his boyfriend’s lap when he felt himself being tugged up.  Danny offered him plenty of comfort after a spanking, but he found himself reacting differently in the arms of his boyfriend.  He clung to him, arms wrapped around his neck and face buried in his shoulder as Oliver held him tightly in their awkward spot on the dining room chair.  A few minutes later, Ben unwound himself and looked expectantly into his boyfriend’s face, waiting for his next command.  Oliver reached a hand behind Ben’s neck and pulled him forward, kissing him, then slid his hand down to pat the boy’s bottom gently.  “Time for you to make a phone call, cariño.”

Ben let his face fall into a pout, and Oliver couldn’t help but to let himself be delighted in it.  He found this side of Ben so charming and sweet that he almost regretted not having discovered it earlier.  He smiled, but made to stand, which forced his boyfriend up as well.  He watched the younger man pick up his boxers and slip them on, grinning even more broadly at the grimace on the poor boy’s face.  He went into the kitchen with the spoon, intending to wash it.  He cocked his head as he changed his mind, decided instead to place it in their bedroom.  He had a feeling this would not be the last time it would be repurposed.

After pulling his underwear up, Ben made his way into the living room, seeking the comfort of their big white couch.  He pulled a floral cushion onto his lap, then fiddled with his phone until he heard Oliver re-enter the living room.  He couldn’t help glancing up one last pleading time, but Oliver just raised his eyebrows expectantly.  Ben sighed and hit the video call button on his phone.  He tried not to look unhappy when his brother answered after just a few seconds, smiling from behind his office desk.  “Hey kiddo!  What’s up?  How are you?”

Ben smiled back; he couldn’t help it.  He loved his brother.  “I’m great!  Things are good.  Really good,” he said, before hearing the distinct sound of his boyfriend clearing his throat across the room.  He gulped and frowned, then said hesitantly, “well mostly good.”  He could see the concern wash over his brother’s face as Dan stopped shuffling papers and gave Ben his full attention.  “Hey, what’s going on?  Are you okay?”  Ben’s face went an even deeper shade of red as he stammered, “I’m fine.  Oliver’s fine.  I just… I have this little… not little… I have this thing at school…”

When he finally got through his explanation, his brother was eyeing him sternly.  He had to resist the urge to move his face away from the screen.  He could see Danny working himself up into full lecture mode, and he looked desperately over at Oliver, who looked back unsympathetically.  He didn’t want to be in trouble twice!  His boyfriend merely pointed at the phone in his hand.  Ben rolled his eyes, then remembered that he was face to face with Daniel, whose eyes looked ready to bulge out of his head. “No!  Danny no, I wasn’t rolling my eyes at you!!!” he nearly yelled.  “Oliver’s just…” and he groaned in frustration.  He made his eyes wide and tried to convey everything he wanted Dan to know in a look, but his big brother just stared back, waiting for an explanation.

Benjamin spared a quick glare in his boyfriend’s direction; Oliver was flat out grinning, amused by his boyfriend’s squirming.  Ben took a deep breath and then said quietly to the camera, “I already got in trouble.”

“You what?  At school?”

“Noooo… at home.  With Oliver.”  Ben didn’t know how he got the words out; he had never been so embarrassed in his life.  Danny scrutinized him a moment, then understanding dawned on his face.  “Ohhh, I see.  Oliver spanked you?” he asked, as if he were asking about a trip to the grocery store.  Benjamin nodded, then mumbled “yessir” when it became apparent that Dan wanted a verbal affirmation.  His brother nodded at this information, then said shortly, “good.”

From his spot in the love seat nearby, Oliver let out a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding.  He was glad to hear the approval in Daniel’s voice.  He liked the man, a lot, and knew how much his boyfriend adored him.  He was also pleased to hear Dan move on immediately to advice and potential solutions to Oliver’s school issues.  No more scolding or fussing.  He felt very validated.  As the conversation wrapped up some thirty minutes later, the boys having moved on to other topics, Ben summoned him over with an open arm to say hello, having seemingly forgotten about any awkwardness from earlier.  Oliver hadn’t, though he tried his best to be nonchalant as he sat on the couch next to his boyfriend and smiled at Danny.

Daniel gave him an appraising look through, one so brief that he wouldn’t have caught it if he wasn’t looking.  Then a nod- Ben was right, the man nodded at everything- and a smile, and the conversation continued as normal.  Oliver relaxed into his boyfriend’s embrace, happy to be exactly where he was.

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