Oliver grabbed his suitcase from the carousel and headed toward the airport exit to wait for his ride. He was scoping out apartments for he and his boyfriend back west; Ben was in his last semester of college and couldn’t take off for the trip. He tossed his sunglasses on as he left the fluorescent gray tiles for the outside. If all went well, they’d be making their way across the country shortly after graduation at the beginning of May.
He smiled as he spotted Ben’s brother, Danny, pulling up in his red Civic. Two minutes later, Oliver had stashed his suitcase in the trunk and was buckled into the passenger seat, chatting away with his semi-in-law.
Oliver missed having Ben there, but he was also excited to hang out with Danny and Emma. Oliver knew Ben idolized Danny, and it was easy to see why— Oliver idolized him a little himself, truth be told. Even now, idly catching up on their respective lives, he felt like Danny really cared about him as a person, and not just an obligation as his brother’s significant other. It made Oliver feel special.
~ ~ ~
Dinner with Danny and Emma was a simple affair at their home. They laughed through the meal and then through several glasses of wine before heading to bed. Oliver didn’t have any appointments until the next afternoon, so he was excited to sleep in. He called Ben, recounting his plane ride and exchanging the trivialities of their days, then drifted off, completely content and carefree.
~ ~ ~
The next morning Oliver had the house to himself, and decided to have coffee in the backyard at the small table there. It was still cold back home, but here it was sunny and relatively warm. Humming birds darted up occasionally to drink from the red feeder they had up, and he could hear the hum of bees in the bushes nearby.
Oliver felt his stomach drop as he clearly visualized his travel epipen sitting on his nightstand at home. He had gotten it out to check the expiration date, and then… that is where it must still be sitting. He took a sip of his coffee as he thought about what he should do. He’d double check his bag when he went inside, of course, but he felt confident that he’d forgotten it.
The background buzzing suddenly sounded foreboding instead of welcoming, and Oliver rolled his eyes at himself. The pen was for emergencies, and he wasn’t going to have any emergencies. He’d only ever used the thing once, years ago, on a camping trip with his family in high school. He still kept one in his car and his briefcase, but he didn’t have either of those with him, and that was… fine. It was fine, he told himself firmly. He was 26 years old now. He didn’t have any food allergies, only stings to worry about, and he just wouldn’t get stung. How often did adults actually get stung anyway? Never.
Close to never.
Still, as a precaution, he decided to finish his coffee inside.
~ ~ ~
The day passed without incident, as did the morning of the next one. Oliver had lunch with Danny, who was working from home. In the afternoon Dan went upstairs to continue working while Oliver got back on the phone with Ben, discussing the apartments he’d viewed. They made lists of pros and cons over Skype and went back and forth on some of their options for a while before tabling the talk for the next day and after the last two appointments. It was when their talk turned to chitchat that Ben absentmindedly reached over to the nightstand and grabbed the epipen Oliver had left there, holding it up to the camera and saying “What’s this about, by the way? Did you switch it out with the one in your briefcase?”
Oliver glanced at his own guilty face in the phone screen as he hesitated to answer. That was all it took for Ben to put two and two together and he practically screeched, “You didn’t bring one?!”
“I don’t know why I didn’t stick it back in my bag. I was just checking the date and got distracted.”
Ben crossed his arms and scowled. “Well did you already call in a new one?”
”I think I can survive two more—“
”Or how about not a chance, mister!” Ben said, cutting him off. “You wouldn’t let me check the mail without an epipen in my pocket if this was me.”
Oliver scowled right back at his partner. Ben was 100% correct, which was irritating in this moment. “Well it’s not you, and my insurance doesn’t cover a replacement, and it was stupid to leave it home in the first place.”
Ben rolled his eyes. “So you’re gonna punish yourself for being forgetful with anaphylaxis?”
”No, Benjamin, because I’m not going to get stung in the next 48 hours.”
”But if you do, Oliver, you should have an epipen! It’s for emergencies! You never know!”
”Drop it, Ben. Please? It’ll be fine.”
”Get a replacement. Do it or else.”
Oliver’s eyebrows raised a bit challengingly. “Do it or else what?” he asked, calling Ben’s bluff. He knew Ben was right, but he couldn’t help digging his heels in for some reason. He did not want this to be a big deal.
”Do it or else…” Oliver watched Ben’s eyes narrow as he tried to come up with an acceptable threat. It didn’t take as long as Oliver would have guessed. “Do it or I’m calling Danny.”
Oliver’s eyes went wide, giving away how effective this was before he could control himself. He could picture Danny’s look of disapproval, and it made every muscle in his chest tighten. And he might even see fit to…
“Do not call Danny!” Oliver hissed. How disappointed did Danny have to be before he decided to take action? Oliver didn’t want to think about that part. “I’m serious. He’s busy and he’s not gonna care anyway.”
”Ha!” Ben said. “He likes you more than he likes me. He is definitely going to care.”
”He does not!” Oliver said, offering no real defense otherwise.
”Promise to get a new epipen tomorrow.” Ben looked smug, knowing he had the upper hand for once and enjoying it thoroughly.
”Ben, I am not going to—“
”Your funeral. I gotta go. Got a phone call to make so I can take care of my stubborn boyfriend.”
“I’m serious, don’t you—“
”It’s for your own good! Love you!”
”Ben! I swear—“ And then he was talking to a blank screen.
Oliver grabbed his pillow and yelled into it. “Fuuuuuuuccck!!!!”
The landline! Oliver scrambled out of the guest room and into the kitchen, where he grabbed the portable phone from its holder before it could ring a second time. “Ben!” he whispered into the reciever, only to hear his boyfriend reply, “Sorry, must be a wrong number!” before the solid click of disconnection.
Oliver huffed as he put the phone back down. He leaned back against the counter and crossed his arms, then realized how pouty he was being and uncrossed them again.
He didn’t have long to wonder what was going to happen next before “next” came walking out of his bedroom door. Oliver looked up to the indoor balcony to see Danny standing there, still in his slacks and button-down from work, though the cuffs were undone and his shoes were off. He seemed confused as he looked down at Oliver, one hand on his hip and the other holding his phone to his ear.
Oliver had no idea what exactly Ben was telling him, but he could see the muscles in Danny’s face tightening as he listened. His gaze down on him felt less questioning and more menacing, too. Oliver wondered if he could just melt himself into a puddle, perhaps Alex Mack himself out of this situation, but then Danny was hanging up the phone and walking down the stairs. Oliver straightened up a little, trying desperately to act normal. “Hey. How’s work going?”
Danny put his hands casually in his pockets as he reached the bottom floor. “Work has been fine. I was interrupted by a phone call.”
”Oh yeah?” Oliver said, in a voice that sounded too high to be his own.
“Mhmm,” Danny continued, impossibly calm. “That was Ben, asking me if I knew you had a bee allergy. Which I did know. You mentioned it last summer.”
”Oh yeah?” Oliver said again; he didn’t want to give anything away that Danny might not yet know.
”And then he asked me if I knew you usually carried an epipen, and I did not know that.”
“Usually,” Oliver answered weakly.
“What time is your first appointment tomorrow? I can run you by the pharmacy and then drop you off wherever you need to be before work. My schedule is flexible.”
Oliver tried to protest but no words came out when he opened his mouth. He took a deep breath and tried again. “I appreciate it, but I really think I’ll be okay. I just have two more days.”
Danny nodded slowly, seeming to consider Oliver’s point, but he just said out loud, “I think I would feel better if you had one for those two more days.”
Oliver could only keep Dan’s gaze for a moment before his dropped to the floor. He was frustrated but knew defeat when he saw it. At least he didn’t seem to be in any sort of trouble. He sighed and mumbled, “This is why I didn’t tell anyone.”
When he glanced up again, Danny’s eyes had narrowed. He was setting his phone on the kitchen counter, and then slowly rolling up his loose shirt sleeves as he spoke. Oliver swallowed, though his mouth was dry.
“How long did you know that you ‘didn’t tell anyone?’ I was under the impression that this was a new discovery, Oliver.”
The younger man swallowed again. He tried to think of a way to avoid the question; his own conscience wouldn’t allow him to lie. The silence became heavy, but Dan made no move to hurry him or make it easier in any way.
Finally, reluctantly, and looking back at the kitchen floor, Oliver said, “The day after I got here.”
When he glanced back up, the planes of Danny’s face somehow seemed sharper and his hands were on his hips. He held Oliver firmly in his gaze until the younger man visibly squirmed.
“I’m fine though? Nothing happened?” Oliver didn’t know how to force the question from his voice. “So it’s no big deal?”
“Do you have any idea what I would do to my brother if he were in your position right now?”
Oliver could feel his heart trying to beat out of his chest, but he answered tentatively, “Yes. Sir.”
“You may not be my little brother, but you might as well be, Oliver,” Danny continued, and Oliver was overwhelmed with what that meant to him— the good implications and the bad. He felt the muscles in his backside tense involuntarily as Dan asked, “Do you feel the same way?”
He nodded mutely.
“So do you understand what’s about to happen?”
He nodded again, but this time it was met with a firm “Aloud, please.”
“Yes, sir,” Oliver practically whispered. He had, on some level, been worried about Danny finding out and punishing him since the moment he realized he’d forgotten it. And he had, on some level, been worried that he wouldn’t. Now that the moment had arrived, he was only worried about how much this was going to hurt.
“But I can just go get one tomorrow,” he offered feebly. Danny looked amused as he said, “We will definitely be getting one tomorrow. What does that have to do with the spanking you’ve earned yourself, Oliver?”
Is this how Ben feels whenever I use his full name? Oliver wondered briefly. Danny somehow infused Oliver’s humble three syllables with all the formality of a British royal’s full name, no extension needed.
“We could just… do that instead? And not the… just do nothing today?” he finished lamely.
“I think you know me better than that, Ollie,” Dan said with some affection. “Meet me by the sofa.”
Oliver didn’t know how he was going to accomplish that when his shoes were suddenly made of lead. He glanced at the door, but without looking back from his walk up the stairs, Danny said “You should ask Ben sometime how often running has worked out in his favor.” Oliver had never understood his boyfriend’s grumbles about his know-it-all brother until this moment.
He forced one foot in front of the other, until he made it to the couch. Before he even thought to wonder where Danny had gone, he was back and sitting on the arm, one leg draped unceremoniously across the length of it while the other was planted on the floor. Oliver stood in front of him, heat radiating from his face and neck. It had been a really long time since he’d been on this end of the equation. He was overdue, he knew that, but it didn’t make his immediate prospects seem any less grim.
Before Oliver could really settle into dwelling on this, a fresh embarrassment occurred. “Undo your belt and unbutton your slacks, please.” He did so, fumbling with his buckle with clumsy fingers before finally getting it loosed. Almost immediately, Danny was grabbing his arm and hauling him across his thigh.
Oliver wasn’t a small man but Danny handled his body as if he weighed nothing, adjusting him forward and pulled snugly against his waist. Oliver grabbed a couch cushion in which to bury his face and stretched out his legs, trying to reach the floor. His toes touched down on the hardwood, but barely.
He couldn’t help the small moan that escaped him when Dan yanked his pants down next, pulling them to his knees before he left them alone. Oliver felt the warmth from Danny’s right hand on his waist, close to his hip. Seconds later he felt the warmth from his left as it rested on his white underwear. He tried to make out the individual fingers, tried desperately to distract himself from what was happening, but then the warmth was gone and then owww!!!
That was the last thinking Oliver did for a while; if Danny was talking, he didn’t hear it. He was barely aware of his own muffled voice as he made pained noises into the pillow, and even less so of the constant thuds of Danny’s palm connecting with his backside. He was aware of the pain and heat rapidly building in his hindquarters, and of his feet scrambling for purchase only to lift off again moments later. If he had been on the outside looking in, he would have described the spanking he was receiving as “thorough.”
He felt Danny spanking him from the end of his tailbone all the way down to the tops of his thighs. The hardest swats all landed on the roundest part of his bottom, though. Danny would linger there, blasting one spot after another with a dozen searing smacks in the same place.
When the spanking stopped abruptly several minutes in, Oliver reacted out of pure impulse, reaching back immediately to grab the elastic band of his Fruit-of-the-Looms. He hadn’t planned to interfere, but he knew what was coming and it scared him. Danny patted his hot bottom, a small gesture of understanding, but then used his other hand to firmly break Oliver’s grasp. He kept a hold of Oliver’s wrist, pinning it alongside the younger man’s body, before pulling his underwear down.
Oliver kicked his right leg, frustrated. His pants slipped down to his ankles. “I’ll get a new one tomorrow! You don’t have to do this!” he said desperately. From above him, Dan’s voice told him calmly, “We’ve been over this, young man. It will be taken care of first thing tomorrow. What we have not been over,” and his hand lifted and fell again with a resounding smack, “is why this is important to me” –smack– “and Ben,” –smack– “and should be important to you.”
”Ahhhh!!” Oliver held the pillow now with his free arm, his face smushed against the seat cushion and facing the room. Danny quickly resumed a steady tempo, slower than earlier but no less potent as he spanked Oliver’s bare and reddening bottom. Oliver found that now he couldn’t help but concentrate on his words.
”I’m unhappy that you forgot your epipen in the first place, Oliver, but that I understand. You’re human. Sometimes things don’t go as planned.
“Which is exactly why it is so important for you to correct mistakes like these when you recognize them. You didn’t plan to forget your epipen, which could one day save your life.”
“I’m sorry!” Oliver yelled, but Danny continued spanking and lecturing as if he hadn’t heard him.
”And we let the people who care about us help when they can. We do not hide from each other. I would not think less of you for an easy mishap like this. I would be very upset if something serious happened to you. Do you understand me?”
“Yes sir yes sir!” Oliver said, breathing heavily and unable to stop from moving his hips this way and that. The tops of his thighs already felt swollen from the attention they were getting. He couldn’t believe now that he hadn’t come to Danny immediately, or just gotten a new prescription. They were expensive but not something he couldn’t afford. Definitely cheaper than the price he was paying now.
The spanking stopped again, and Oliver’s shoulders dropped as relief flooded through his body. He knew Danny’s hand was resting on his bottom again; the idea that he could discern individual fingers was out of the question now. But it was over. He had survived. Danny released his wrist.
”Reach in front of you, please, and hand me the hairbrush.”
Oliver turned and pushed his face down into the sofa. That’s why Danny had been on the stairs! It was not over, and he would not survive. Not a chance. A single dry sob made his lungs jump.
Slowly, though, he reached up and grabbed the solid wooden brush and handed it back to Danny before gathering both of his arms around the pillow again.
”Good,” he heard Danny say. “Thank you.”
Oliver took a deep breath, letting the small praise bolster him, and then the hairbrush lifted and fell squarely on his right cheek. He cried out and jerked forward, just as a matching swat hit his left cheek.
They came steadily after that, in pairs, hard and deliberate and awful. Oliver banged his fist into the couch after the sixth one, and let out a howl through his gritted teeth after the eighth.
“Four more, Oliver.”
Oliver whimpered, but they came down regardless. Tears that had been suppressed finally fell, leaving dark brown trails down Oliver’s cheeks. Then he heard the clatter of the brush being tossed gently onto the coffee table and his underwear were returned to his backside. Danny stood, pulling Oliver up with him, then turned and gently nudged Oliver back down to sit on the sofa arm he had just evacuated.
Oliver winced just at the feeling of cotton across his tender skin, but appreciated that he could scoot far enough back to avoid sitting on his punished bottom and thighs. He found his balance and turned to dive into Danny’s open arms, his breath hitching as he was hugged.
”Next time, Oliver, wha—“
”No next time,” Oliver interupted. “There won’t be a next time.”
Dan smiled as he rubbed the boy’s back. He wondered if Oliver meant the epipen incident or the spanking. He felt quite confident that there would indeed be no “next time” in regards to the former. As to the latter… well, he supposed time would tell.