Cpt. Jack Harkness/Xander Harris/Ianto Jones (mostly Jack/Xan)Warnings:
BDSM, M/m, Caning & Punishment/PenanceDisclaimer
I don't own the characters or ideas behind Torchwood or BtVS, no money has or will be made from this fic.Summary:
Jack finds out that Xander has been keeping a secret from him. It’s not the subject of the secret that bothers him but the lack of trust that has been shown him. Non-disclosure can be worse than a lie. A/N:
Written for my kink_bingo card: Caning & Punishment/Penance
. One Shot – Stand alone. 3350wds.
More than anything, Xander hated the look that was in his Master’s eyes: the disappointment on his face and the look of betrayal. He wished the ground would open up and swallow him whole. He shifted slightly, not able to meet the intense blue eyes, his own guilty brown ones remained fixed on the ground.
They were at some kind of standoff it would seem. Stood, in the middle of an alley in the middle of the night and neither one of them knowing what to say: Xander because he wasn’t sure how to explain or apologise and Jack because he was so angry he didn’t trust himself not to say something he’d regret.
Xan was vaguely aware of Ianto pulling Gwen away back towards the SUV and he wasn’t sure whether to be grateful or more terrified at what would happen. At least Jack wouldn’t do or say anything too bad with her there, but with her gone…? He could feel those eyes bore into him with displeasure and despite wanting to say something, anything, he couldn’t quite form the words: it was a first for him.
Captain Jack Harkness stood looking at his boy, every nuance of his posture spoke of sadness, guilt and apology. But he couldn’t help but feel like he didn’t really know the young man in front of him after almost eight months together. There had been a secret between them, one so big that he wasn’t sure he knew how to get passed the hurt he was feeling at the lack of trust. It hadn’t been easy letting the brunette in, but he was eager and passionate, fought like the world might end tomorrow and he wanted to go out kicking the bad guy’s ass and to top it off he was insanely beautiful without actually knowing he was. Xander Harris had launched an all out assault on him that had left him incapable of resistance. And even if he’d been able to stop him, when Ianto joined the battle, he was rendered powerless.
Ianto wasn’t a sub, more like he was just into trying anything and everything. Xander on the other hand, thrived on being dominated: a discovery that had been purely accidental. Jack had long since settled for games of domination and submission until Xan had shown a need and desire for something more and he himself had started to allow his own true nature out with him. Ianto settled somewhere between them so neatly, he was equal to both of them; neither dominant nor submissive. They were an odd triad, but they worked.
Now, though, Jack was questioning whether that had all been built on the foundation of one big lie, that the trust had been superficial and that Xander had never really let him in completely.
Xander opened his mouth more than once but was unable to find a way to say what he wanted. In the end he gave up. Shoulders slumped as he wished it would rain to reflect his mood. It nearly always rained when you didn’t want it to, how come it didn’t rain when you did?
Jack took a deep breath and let it out slowly, trying to calm himself. “Go and get in the car,” he finally bit out, a little sharper than he’d have liked but the forcefulness would convey that he shouldn’t be argued with.
The younger man nodded without raising his eyes and dejectedly made his way to the SUV where the others were waiting. He thoroughly expected a frosty journey home.
The head of Torchwood three paused a moment after watching the retreating figure round the corner. Glancing down at two neat piles of dust on the concrete, he frowned, turned with a twirl of his coat and made his way back to the car.
No one spoke for the entire journey. Of course, Gwen was looking from one to the other then back again and shooting pointedly questioning looks at Ianto who would only shrug and immerse himself in his own concerned ponderings. Jack decided to drop her off at home. Leaving a bemused ex-police officer standing outside her block of flats as the sleek black Torchwood SUV screeched off around the corner.
Xander knew better than to try to say anything now, and Ianto seemed to figure out as much himself. Jack looked thunderous and his driving was even more insane than usual. It was miraculous they made it to their destination intact.
Their house was quiet when they got home, which stood to reason as none of them were there, but usually their arrival was filled with chatter and laughter, or at least exhausted declarations of needing sleep, food or something else entirely. Tonight there was silence. And Ianto quickly disappeared without a word, his radar for trouble inevitably driving him to some port of safety within the house.
Xander watched as Jack moved around the downstairs area, through the living space and kitchen, fixing a drink and then discarding it untouched. Watched as he shed his greatcoat and hung it up, rolled his shirtsleeves up and pushed his hands in his pockets before pulling them back out and running them through his hair. He was constantly in motion even when he paused. The young man pulled further and further into himself, hoping that he could disappear if he could just shrink away enough. When the other man finally spoke it wasn’t what he’d expected to hear.
“Why?” Jack asked simply.
He didn’t know if he meant ‘why were you doing it?’, ‘why didn’t you tell me?’ or ‘why something else completely different?’. He dared to look up and saw the crushed look in blue eyes that was competing with a hardness he hadn’t seen in months.
Xander took a deep breath and crossed to him. Went to his knees and dipped his head in a position of submission. His thoughts were chaos and he didn’t know if he had the answers. “I don’t know, Master,” he told him honestly, his voice small. There had been many possible reasons and he’d never quite been sure what had held him back, but held back he had.
“I never meant to…” Xander trailed off.
Jack studied the bowed head of the figure at his feet; affection warring with hurt feelings. He threaded his hand into the soft waves of Xan’s hair and tugged his head back forcing him to look up at him. He bared his own pain to the young man and almost surprised to see the same distressed look staring back at him as he thought must be on his own face: it momentarily knocked him off his mental stride. It was hard to be angry with a boy who was looking at you like that. He had to quickly pull himself back together.
“Well, you’ll have time to think about it during your punishment,” Jack told him. He expected a complaint, a pout or some kind of attempt at getting him to change his mind. He was surprised when all he received was a nod of acceptance and the quiet reply.
The captain studied him a moment before giving a nod as if he’d just come to a decision. “Up,” he ordered, “and follow me.” He didn’t wait to ensure he’d been obeyed; he simply made his way upstairs to their playroom.
Shortly after buying the property, Ianto had surprised them with a top spec attic conversion that had been sound proofed to the highest quality. Together they’d kitted it out with everything that their hearts had desired. It could be completely separated from the rest of the house with a lockable door, bed, shower room and small fridge that held drinks and snacks. Jack and Xander had once stayed up there for two whole days before a rift emergency had pulled them from their fun. It was both a room for fun and where they went if there was any punishment to be handed out. Right now, it would be the latter.
Without Jack issuing the order, Xander stripped off his clothes the moment that they stepped into the room. It was in the rules and was expected of him every time he entered the room no matter what the reason for him being there was. He folded them neatly and placed them in the small cupboard that was sat just inside the door for that very purpose. When he straightened and looked up, Jack was looking at him with such focus that it was enough to make him shiver. He wasn’t hard: he knew that whatever would happen it wasn’t likely to turn him on in any way. There was no arousal in disappointing Jack and this was the first time he’d discovered just how deeply he could do that; usually it was just petty little annoyances.
Jack was suddenly in his space and grabbing a handful of hair, using it to direct him abruptly to the corner that most of his punishments involved. Metal handcuffs were snapped in place on his wrists as they were pulled behind his back and he suspected they were Jack’s work ones as they never usually used metal ones. A moment later that thought was driven away as a spreader bar was secured between his ankles leaving him standing somewhat awkwardly. He expected his collar to be fastened around his neck but that never came.
“You’ll stay there and think about what you’ve done until I’m convinced it’s enough,” Jack said, his voice threaded with a steel that was usually reserved for alien’s trying to harm the human race.
“Yes, Master,” Xander replied softly as he focused on a spot on the wall directly in front of him.
Jack left him there and the silence in the room was almost suffocating. The lack of the collar combined with Jack’s open displeasure was turning his stomach inside out. He wanted to think but the thoughts were such a jumbled mess. He’d never been much good at analysing his own actions. He knew he had to come up with an answer and the more he tried the harder it became as words kept slipping away from him in desperation. It didn’t have to just be an answer it had to be the truth and that was somewhat harder to get to.
He had no idea how long had passed as he’d stood there with his thoughts spiralling out of control. At one point he’d gone off at a complete tangent as he pondered how lucky it was that no one in the close vicinity was a telepath. He was fairly sure he was on the verge of a panic attack, when warm hands rested on his shoulders from behind making him jump.
“Ssh,” Jack whispered by his ear and massaged the tense shoulders. “Deep breaths, boy, nice and slowly,” he said softly.
The change in tone from earlier was considerable and made Xander’s thoughts reel even more. He tried to do as he was told and took deep shaky breaths but he was fairly sure they were ending up more like ragged gasps. The hands on his shoulders wrapped around and rested on his chest as Jack started to breathe how he wanted him to. They’d done this before, only the reasons were different, and he found himself falling into a matching pattern.
Xander found the panic had receded and he was a lot calmer even though he didn’t remember how he got there. They continued to breathe like that a moment longer until Jack’s hands fell away and he stepped back. There was a silence again and he dropped his head forward in defeat. “I don’t know, Master, I’m sorry, I don’t know.”
“I’ll help you figure it out, boy,” Jack declared, not able to put quite as much displeasure in his voice at the bleak tone.
Strong hands made quick work of removing the spreader bar and he was guided to the horse. His ankle cuffs were quickly secured to the legs as he was bent over it. Xander loved to get spanked, and any other time this position would mean such good things, but this wasn’t one of them times. He saw Jack retrieve a cane from the toy cabinet, a straight blue polycarbon one, which Xander hated with a passion. He whimpered just at the thought of how it would feel.
Jack rested a reassuring hand on his boy’s back and rubbed in small circles. “You know why I’m doing this, I don’t need to ask you to tell me and we will be talking about it when we’re done here,” he told Xander firmly, “I don’t want you to try to think, I just want you to open your mind.”
Then, without warm up, warning or any pre-amble, he brought the cane slashing through the air and slicing across Xander’s ass. He had a moment’s thought of how it was just as well he didn’t want him to think before the searing pain obliterated even that.
Each fiery slash of the cane made him cry out, gasping for breath and whimpering between strikes as line after line was laid down over his flesh, accompanied by the whipping sound as it cut through the air on the way to contact its target. It didn’t take long for tears to come to his eyes and he squeezed them closed even tighter than they had been as red flashed behind his eyelids with each new addition to the flare of pain.
Jack didn’t restrict his actions to his boy’s bottom, but worked his way down the back of his thighs as well, blistering them with the harsh rod. Red welts crisscrossed the normally pale skin and he had to make himself continue.
The tears that had been rolling down his cheeks became all out sobs of pain and Xander didn’t try to hold back as he let himself cry. His breathing hitched even between strikes as he struggled to deal with each new lightning flash and the ever-increasing sting from past strikes. The pace was slow and steady and gave no hint of when it might stop. His thoughts were silent though and it was a strange sort of relief at the same time as it wasn’t.
By the time that Jack stopped, Xander was crying so hard that he hadn’t realised that he actually had finished and was being released. His ass and thighs felt like they’d had the skin flayed off them and he was fairly sure he could act as a heating system for a small village with the way the heat was pouring off them.
Jack helped him carefully up and guided him to the bed before wrapping him up in his arms. He waited. He’d been equally as effected by the caning, although probably not for the same reasons. All he could do was hope that it had worked.
“Didn’t want you to laugh at me,” Xander said through his sobs.
Jack frowned. “Why would you think I’d do that, boy? We deal with weirder stuff every day, it’s not much of a stretch to find out vampire’s are real.”
Xander was shaking his head and trying hard to get his breathing back to normal.
“That’s not what you meant?” Jack interpreted.
The young man shook his head again against Jack’s chest. “Not at that. At me!” he tried to clarify.
The frown deepened and then understanding dawned. He had to stop himself from being angry at the thought because if what he thought was really the case trust wasn’t the biggest issue to deal with.
“When have I ever given you reason to think I would laugh at you, my boy?” he asked quietly.
Xan gave a little half-shrug, “haven’t…but in the beginning I didn’t know you that well,” he paused gathering himself together. “But then time had passed and I thought that if I told you then…I dunno…you’d…”
Xander didn’t answer that directly instead he started down a different angle. “Back in Sunnydale, I hung out with the Slayer, that’s vampire slayer. She was this petite little blonde who looked like she couldn’t fight her way out of a wet paper bag. But looks are deceptive. We were fifteen when we met and my friend Willow and I were both normal, we helped with research, not that I was so good at that, and were moral support and stuff. Then Willow started to develop witch-y powers…uberstrong ones. I was considered even less then research boy…some how I was suddenly a hindrance. Most of my suggestions were laughed at and if I tried to go out patrolling…”
Everything fell into place as Jack listened and his anger grew but not at Xander, at the way his so-called friends treated him. “I think I get the picture.”
“I didn’t mean to not trust you,” Xander told him suddenly, shifting to look at him properly, wincing even as he moved. “I…just it’s something that I’ve done for a long time, it’s part of me. I couldn’t stand not being able to do it. I was afraid to see that look on your face. I know I’ll never be the best hunter…”
“From what I saw tonight you were pretty damn good. Never knew you had some of those moves in you,” Jack told him sincerely. “My sweet boy, I would never laugh at you or think you weren’t capable of something. You’ve no idea how worried I’ve been, since I realised you were sneaking out…I was thinking all kinds of things. Then when the alert came tonight and you couldn’t be found…only to find you fighting those…”
“Vampires,” Xander supplied as he settled back against his chest. His ass and thighs were throbbing and stinging as the blood pulsed into the wounded area.
“Vampires,” Jack confirmed. “I was so angry and… hurt. There’s so much you know about me that no one else except Ianto does and to find out that you held something back about yourself…”
“I didn’t mean to, really.” Xander told him shifting to look back up at him with earnest brown eyes. “I’m sorry Master, I really am, please don’t…” Xan caught himself and bit back his plea not to be retconned and sent away.
It was too late though: Jack was paying too much attention to let it go. “Don’t want?”
“I…I know you’re angry and disappointed and all betrayed, but I love you and I love wearing your collar. I…it’s not…I didn’t…I don’t…” he said desperately but gave up when he couldn’t get the words out and sagged against the warm solid body once more.
A hand under his chin tilted his face to meet Jack’s gaze. “What’s my collar got to do with anything?”
Xander tried to look away but found he couldn’t. “I don’t blame you, really I would feel the same, but please don’t take it away.”
“Why would you think that?” Jack asked with a deep frown.
Xander just looked at him pleadingly.
His fingers found the bare skin at Xander’s neck and understanding dawned. “I’m not taking it away, Xander. I promise you. But I have to know that the trust is working both ways between us. I’ve been honest with you about everything and I thought I knew everything of importance about you in return.”
“Does…” somewhere during the conversation his tears had stopped, but he hesitated a moment, as they threatened to fall afresh, “does that mean you don’t trust me any more?”
“It means we’re both going to have to work at getting that back,” Jack told him, “And I am confident that we will.”
“Yeah?” Xander asked hopefully.
“Mmhmm, even if I have to cane you twice a week to get there,” he said with slight amusement.
The younger man glared at him pointedly but some of the heat was lost due to the wetness of his eyes and the puffiness of his face. “I don’t think that will be necessary, Master.”
“Glad to hear it, don’t think the cane would take it.”