Notes and Disclaimers at end
Assistant Director Walter Skinner frowned over the papers in front of him, ignoring the nervous young agent fidgeting in the doorway.
"Sir?" Krycek ventured nervously. "You wanted to see me?" He swallowed hard as Skinner pinned him to the wall with a harsh glare.
"Sit down, Agent Krycek," he snapped. "I'll be with you in a minute."
Alex stepped quickly over to one of the chairs facing the AD's desk and sat down, perching uneasily on the edge of the seat. He swallowed hard as he realized that the paper in AD Skinner's hand, the paper that seemed to be making Skinner's jaw clench harder and the veins in his forehead stand out in even sharper relief, was in fact the report he himself had submitted that very morning. Alex fidgeted as the AD continued to read, occasionally grumbling and shaking his head. Oh, shit, Alex thought, chewing his lip. Why do I keep letting Mulder get me into these messes?
Alex watched Skinner from under his lashes, his heart pounding triple-time. He'd wondered what it would be like to be on the receiving end of one of Skinner's legendary ass-chewings. He had a feeling he was about to find out. He found his gaze dropping to Skinner's broad shoulders, his muscular arms, muscles toned, hard as the wood of the desk they leaned on. His broad, well-shaped hands, long strong fingers...Alex swallowed again, let his eyes travel back upward, where he was horrified to find his stare met by a pair of very displeased brown eyes. Alex paled and looked down. After a moment, Skinner returned to his ruthless perusal of Krycek's report.
Alex twisted his hands nervously in his lap. Skinner alternately fascinated and intimidated him. He couldn't deny to himself the attraction he felt. But Alex had had enough of drill instructors at Quantico, had been hoping to find a fortunate post under some fat, laconic pencil-pusher. He had been surprised and a bit disconcerted at his first meeting with Skinner. Something in the man's bearing, in the set of his jaw and the deep rumbling sound of his voice as he barked orders at his hapless agents told Alex that there was no slacking in this man's department. He slumped glumly, pondering his misfortune. It would be his luck to end up with an ex-Marine as his boss.
At length, Skinner placed the papers neatly on his desk, folded his hands and regarded Alex in stony silence. Alex tried to stop fidgeting, tried to sit up straight and look appropriately attentive and contrite at the same time, not an easy trick. His stomach roiled and fluttered with that called-to-the-principal's-office feeling he'd had all day, ever since Skinner's secretary Kim had stopped by his desk to tell him that the AD wanted to see him in his office at one o'clock sharp.
Finally, Skinner spoke, his voice deceptively calm.
"Do you know why I called you in here, Agent?"
Alex bit his lip, looked at the report in front of AD Skinner.
"Something about my report, sir?"
He jumped as Skinner's broad hand slammed down on the papers, making the edges ruffle in the resultant gust of air.
"You could say that, Agent Krycek!" he barked. He stood, an imposing figure in his white shirt. He held the offending report in his hand, shaking it in Krycek's general direction.
"You call this a report, boy?" he snapped.
Alex's eyes suddenly went flinty and hard. His own jaw clenched. He hated being called boy. His father had called him boy. His DIs at Quantico had called him boy. He was no boy. He stood up, facing the AD down in his own office.
"Don't call me boy," he growled. Skinner stepped closer, getting into Alex's personal space.
"Sit. Down. Agent. Krycek."
Alex held firm, trembling a little in his cheap suit. The AD towered over him, his face like a thundercloud.
"I SAID SIT DOWN!"
Alex dropped down into the chair, eyes riveted on the carpet, his heart pounding.
Skinner leaned against his desk, his big arms folded, staring down at Alex with a predatory smile on his face.
"So," he said, almost conversationally, "is this what they're teaching the recruits at the Academy these days? To hand in half-assed reports obviously scribbled on the fly, lacking pertinent information, full of sentences that purport to convey fact but actually lead nowhere, and coming to absolutely no conclusion at all, save that the agent who submitted it is off to a very poor start with his new Assistant Director?"
Alex stared mutinously at the carpet. Fucking Mulder. He never should have let Mulder talk him into pub-crawling on a work night. Asshole slammed back the Moscow Mules like they were going out of style and came sashaying into work the next morning looking like a million bucks. Suit pressed, not a hair out of place. Sat at his desk grinning, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, wolfing down a western omelette while Alex hunkered over his desk feeling like a steel drum band had taken up residence in his brainpan and a taste in his mouth like he'd spent the night licking the inside of every garbage can in Dupont Circle.
It had been quarter to eight when he'd remembered the report. The report that was supposed to be on Skinner's desk at nine sharp. The report that was supposed to explain neatly and in meticulous detail just what he and Agent Mulder had done during their four day sojourn in central Iowa. Not omitting the crop circles, the cattle mutilations and the mysterious glyphs found painted on the side of several grain silos. Also providing an explanation for why no federal agent would ever again be permitted in the Cow and Crab Tavern. Delving into the conundrum of why a report appeared on the local police blotter of two men, whose descriptions were suspiciously close to that of Agents Mulder and Krycek, reportedly seen staggering around in the parking lot of said establishment, drunk as lords, shining flashlights into the night sky and screaming "Come down here, you assholes! We can see your eyes!" And examining quite closely the reasons behind the submission of an invoice to the Federal Bureau of Investigations by one H. P. Sykes of Grummet for a John Deere tractor and a manure spreader.
Shaking and nauseous, Alex had hastily typed the report, every click of his keyboard seeming louder than cannonfire. He'd gotten the report to Skinner at the stroke of nine, then tried to make himself scarce. He hadn't quite succeeded.
"Well, boy, what do you have to say for yourself?" Skinner demanded, interrupting Alex's reverie. The young agent looked away, but not before Skinner saw the glimmer of defiance in those forest green eyes. He smiled to himself. He'd noticed the rookie agent immediately, of course, had found it hard to keep his eyes off him. Even the overzealous use of hair gel and those godawful Sears suits couldn't hide the boy's overwhelming beauty. And he had fire...oh yes. Nervous as a cat and shaking like a schoolboy at the thought of the reaming to come, but that spark, that stubborn spirit shining through. Skinner's smile widened as Krycek's fine-boned hands twisted nervously, as those perfect white teeth nibbled at that lush bottom lip. Oh yes, he thought, a reaming you shall have, my boy.
Alex gulped and finally dared to look up. Skinner's brown eyes were fixed on him, one eyebrow arched, awaiting an explanation. But there was something else, something behind that stern look, something indefinable.
"I..." Alex began, his voice cracking slightly as it issued from a dry throat. "I didn't spend the time on the report that I should have, sir. I-I'm sorry."
He looked down again. Skinner didn't move. After what seemed like an eternity, Alex cautiously looked up.
"Sir? Is that all, sir?"
"I'll let you know, Krycek."
Alex dropped his gaze again.
Skinner continued to perch almost jauntily on the edge of his desk, amused by the young agent's attempt to vanish into the upholstery of the chair in which he sat.
"So tell me, Agent Krycek," Skinner drawled. "What do you think should be done with a young man, new to his position, who puts drinking and carousing ahead of his career? Who comes to the office of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, by which he is employed, hung over and smelling like a brewery? Who hands in slipshod work and hopes to get away with it?"
Krycek's jaw dropped.
"Sir! But I...how..."
Skinner smiled again.
"I had Agent Mulder in here an hour ago. Let's just say he now appreciates the value of thorough and meticulous work. And he now has a very enlighted opinion on the responsibilities of a senior agent. He takes a very dim view now, I don't doubt, of his role in the corruption of his juniors."
Alex looked down at his shoes.
"Yes sir," Alex whispered to the carpet. "Agent Mulder and I went out drinking last night. I...I had a little too much and I was still feeling the effects of it this morning. I let it affect my work and I'm sorry, sir. I promise it won't happen again."
Skinner leaned forward until his face was mere inches from Krycek's. Huge green eyes hesitantly met his. Skinner's voice was like distant thunder.
"Oh, you're right about that, young man," he said, his voice almost a whisper. "Because if it ever does happen again, you'll be in so deep they'll have to Fed Ex you daylight. Is that clear, Agent Krycek?"
"Y-yes sir," Krycek mumbled. "M-may I go now, sir?"
Skinner dropped the report on the desk and folded his arms again. Alex gripped the arms of the chair, wanting desperately to get up and flee from the room but not daring to move without Skinner's permission.
"No, Agent Krycek, you may not," Skinner said firmly. "There is the matter of discipline to discuss."
Alex sank back into the chair, his heart sinking as well. A reprimand in his file, and so soon. This would look bad. He gulped and looked at Skinner, trying to read the man's intentions. Was the infraction serious enough to merit suspension without pay? Alex thought nervously of his new apartment and the next month's rent that would soon be due.
"D-discipline, sir?" he squeaked.
Skinner eyed him levelly.
"Yes, Agent," he said quietly. "Discipline. Specifically yours. Punishment, well-earned and well-deserved. Unless you think you don't deserve it?"
Alex swallowed hard. No! No! Tell him no, his mind shrieked. But somehow, he knew that would be the wrong answer to give.
"I...I know I was wrong, sir," he said, softly at first, then more clearly as his voice gathered strength. He lifted his head and looked Skinner in the eye. "I was wrong. I failed to put the Bureau first. I handed in substandard work. I...was disrespectful to you. I'm sorry, sir. I do deserve to be disciplined and I accept whatever disciplinary action you deem fair."
Skinner looked into Krycek's eyes for a long moment, found honesty and acceptance there. He smiled.
"Very commendable, Agent. I'm proud of you for accepting responsibility for your actions."
Alex blushed and dared a small smile.
"Thank you, sir," he said softly. "I'm ashamed of myself for my poor performance and for disappointing you. I only hope you will give me another chance to prove my worth to you and to the Bureau."
Skinner found himself staring, transfixed, at Krycek's peaches and cream complexion, so fetchingly stained a pale pale pink. He'd blushed, actually blushed at Skinner's compliment! He gazed at the lovely young man, who contritely awaited his punishment.
"Agent Krycek?" Skinner said, his voice almost too low to be audible.
"Sir?" Krycek looked up, his expression one of dread and apprehension.
"You said you would accept whatever disciplinary action I deem fair?"
Skinner began to pace, one hand rubbing his chin thoughtfully. Could it work? Did he dare? Sure, it worked with Mulder, but this young man was an unknown quantity. What if he freaked out, went yelling blue murder to the Director?
He turned, only to find Krycek standing, one hand plucking fitfully at the bottom of his hideous suit jacket.
"Sir?" Krycek said hesitantly. "I...please don't suspend me. I swear, I won't let you down again. I know I deserve to be disciplined, but please, give me another chance. Put me on wiretap transcription or reprimand me. But...I...I'm still new, and a suspension now..."
"You'd be finished in the Bureau," Skinner said matter-of-factly. You'd end up transferred to Sioux Falls or Anchorage and never heard from again."
Krycek flushed and looked down.
Skinner stood in front of Krycek, waited for him to meet his gaze.
"What I have in mind, Agent, won't appear on your record at all. No reprimand, no suspension. I see no reason why a bit of youthful overenthusiasm should ruin what promises to be a fine career."
"Sir?" Krycek's eyes widened.
Skinner hesitated, then decided, in for a penny, in for a pound. He couldn't explain it, but there was something about this boy, something that indicated he'd be accepting of Skinner's unorthodox brand of employee discipline.
"You're going to have to trust me, Alex."
The wide eyes grew huge in Krycek's pale face. Skinner saw the look and paused.
"May I call you Alex?"
Krycek blushed-again-and Skinner felt his cock leap appreciatively. God, he was pretty...standing penitently in Skinner's office, a Botticelli angel in a $99 suit.
Skinner spoke seriously, his every word the focus of Krycek's rapt attention.
"You've got the makings of a good agent, Alex. You're smart, you're enthusiastic. I've seen your records from Quantico. Outstanding shot, excellent marks. Your instructors had nothing but praise for you." He saw the blush deepen and the beginnings of a smile curving those sensuous lips. He forced himself back to the matter at hand and continued.
Krycek straightened his posture, tucked his head a little as he waited for the reaming to commence.
"You've got a reckless streak, and a bit more attitude than perhaps is advisable, young man. You need discipline, guidance. A firm hand."
Green eyes met brown with the beginnings of understanding.
"What do you propose, sir?" Krycek asked softly.
Skinner went to his desk, unlocked the top drawer and removed a paddle from it. He walked back over to Krycek, whose eyes seemed in danger of swallowing his face. Skinner held the paddle out to Alex, who took it, turning it over in his hands, his face unreadable. It was an old-fashioned American school paddle, wide and flat and admirably suited for the job, with six large holes drilled down the center to ensure a particularly memorable experience for the unfortunate soul whose bottom it encountered. Alex traced a finger over its smooth surface. The paddle was obviously well-worn and well-used, and had been lovingly varnished to a high sheen. Alex looked up quizzically, his heart slamming against his ribcage. Surely Skinner didn't mean to...surely he couldn't...could he?
Skinner took the paddle and placed a hand gently on Alex's shoulder.
"What I propose, Alex, is that you take down your trousers and your underwear and bend over my desk, whereupon I will proceed to take this," he gestured with the paddle, "and ignite a fire on your bare ass, the smoldering remains of which will hopefully remind you in the coming week to place your priorities in the proper order."
Alex hesitated. He had to admit to himself that the idea had a certain appeal. He licked his lips, trying to ignore the stirrings from below his cheap belt. The idea of surrendering his bare butt to this incredibly stern, sexy man, to be spanked, like a naughty schoolboy...Alex shook himself. Getting a visible erection now would definitely complicate things. He cocked his head, looking at Skinner, who waited silently for him to decide. There was another reason to agree, Alex thought. He'd bend over, he'd get paddled, and that would be that. The slate would be clean and he could start fresh, work hard, take care not to end up on Skinner's bad side again. He recalled the compliments Skinner had paid to him a few moments ago, felt a frisson of pleasure in the pit of his stomach. He realized that he badly wanted that feeling. Wanted it often. He wanted Skinner to be proud of him.
"Sir? What...what happens after? I mean..."
Skinner nodded, understanding.
"Once we're done here, Alex, we're done. You bend over, I give you ten of the best, you pull up your pants and the incident is forgotten. You're a good b--man. I know you can be a good agent. I don't mince words, Alex, and I don't bullshit. You take your punishment and then you walk out that door and it's over. Now. Are you prepared to accept this arrangement?"
Alex gulped. "A-arrangement?" he squeaked.
Skinner looked at him evenly. "Yes," he intoned seriously. "I don't do anything halfway, Alex. You need discipline and I'm prepared to give it to you, because I believe in you. I believe you can realize your potential. So the arrangement is not just for today. It's for anytime I find you on the other side of my desk, looking guiltier than sin, and trying to explain to me why you've broken the rules. Is that a problem, Agent?"
Alex paused, biting his lip. "No, sir," he whispered at last.
"Good," Skinner said, with a genuine smile. "All right then. Let's get this over with." He went to the office door and opened it. "Kim? Why don't you run down to the cafeteria and grab lunch now? Would you bring me back a bottle of orange juice? Thanks."
He closed the door and locked it, then gestured toward the desk.
"Go on now, Alex. We won't be disturbed."
Alex hesitated, his face burning. His heartbeat was skittish, his mouth dry. A profound sense of disbelief settled over him. He was really about to bare his bottom to the Assistant Director, who was, by all appearances, going to paddle it with vigor and determination.
Skinner waited patiently while Alex, his face red as a tomato, fumbled with his zipper and finally arranged himself awkwardly over Skinner's desk, his hands grasping the sides in a white-knuckled grip, his face resting on the very evidence of his misdeeds. He felt the cool air wafting against his very exposed butt and moaned involuntarily, utterly humiliated. His gaze fell on the report, bunched up under his cheek. He stiffened his resolve, gripped the desk more tightly and waited. You can do this, Alex. You can do it.
Ten strokes and it's over.
Skinner spoke from behind Alex.
"All right, Agent. You know what this paddling is for, but humor me. Tell me why you're being punished."
Alex gritted his teeth, closed his eyes. God, just spank me already, he thought. He was glad Skinner had locked the door. The thought of anyone walking in right now and seeing him in this vulnerable position brought tears to his eyes. I graduated third in my class at Quantico and look at me now, he thought. Pants down around my ankles, butt up over the AD's desk, about to get a for-gods-sake paddling.
"I went out drinking on a work night and came in the next day unfit for duty. I behaved irresponsibly. I submitted unsatisfactory work and I displayed a disrespectful attitude toward you. I'm sorry, sir, and I will do better."
"Very good, Agent," Skinner murmured. "Hold still now. I won't make you count, but if you let go of the desk or stand up, we start over from one."
"OW!" Alex yelped. The first blow was so loud and so painful, he almost lost his grip on the desk with the shock of it.
"Settle down, Agent," Skinner growled. "We're just getting started."
By the fifth whack, Alex was gulping air, fighting back tears. The sixth swat slammed down across his reddened cheeks and he gasped, squeezing his eyes shut tightly. He would not cry, he would not cry...
Alex lost count then, a long hitching sob boiling up out of his throat, his eyes stinging with blazing hot tears. Still gripping the sides of the desk like a lifeline, he bawled helplessly.
"Ow, ow, sir, please...please, I'm sorry, I'll learn, I won't do it again, I won't, I swear!"
"I know it hurts, Alex," the soothing voice came from behind him. "I know. Only two more."
"Oh no, no, please..." Alex's pleas were quickly swamped by a fresh bout of sobs. Alex buried his face in the now crumpled report and cried, miserable in his shame. Not only had he disappointed the AD with his irresponsible behavior, but now he'd gone completely to pieces in front of him! How could he ever face him again? Bad enough to be bare-assed, bent over his desk getting the spanking of a lifetime, but to bawl like a little boy in the process...it was just too much.
The final two whacks sounded like pistol shots in the quiet office.
Skinner put the paddle down. Alex lay dazed for a moment, his backside aflame, tears of anguish running down his cheeks and puddling under his chin. After a moment, he slowly, painfully, stood up and tried to pull himself together. He hissed as the polyester scraped over his sore bottom. Skinner waited while Alex arranged his clothing. Alex looked down, unable to meet Skinner's eyes. He scrubbed roughly at the persistent tears, surprised when a handkerchief appeared in his line of vision.
"Here," Skinner said softly.
Alex hesitated, then took the handkerchief and wiped his eyes.
"Thank you, sir," he mumbled, "I'm sorry..."
"That's enough," Skinner rumbled softly. Alex felt strong hands pull him close, felt himself held against a broad chest.
"S-sir?" Alex whispered, his eyes wide. Tears sparkled in the damp lashes.
Skinner stared down at him, his brown eyes kind and understanding.
"You did well, Alex. I'm proud of you. I want you to know, just as Agent Mulder knows, that I'm always here for you boys. I'll never give up on you. Sometimes I will have to discipline you, but when it's over, it's forgotten. I know you're going to be a great agent, Alex. You're going to be a success and an asset to the Bureau. You just need a firm hand and some guidance, and I'm here to give that to you. I will not let you fail."
Alex suddenly found himself clinging to the older man.
"Thank you, sir," he found himself whispering into Skinner's starched shirt. "Thank you."
He found, with faint surprise, that he meant it with all his heart.
Notes and Disclaimers
Title: New Recruit