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Misunderstandings Consequences Aftereffects

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Consequences

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Daniel glances down at his watch for what feels like the hundredth time, but it tells him what he already knows. He has very much missed the rendezvous time with his team at the Stargate, and by now they will be looking for him. He has no idea when to expect them – they’ll assume he got caught up in his studies somewhere in the city, and he’s sure they’ll exhaust all options of asking around the contacts he’s gathered this week before escalating the search to include anyone else. He can only hope that someone will find them and tell them where he is before they totally panic.

Standing, he walks the few feet across the room and tries the door handle again, but it remains locked from the outside, just as it has for a couple of hours now. Turning to put his back to the door, he contemplates the cell again. It can’t be bigger than twelve feet by twelve feet. The floors are a short-loop, burgundy carpet, and the walls are a slightly textured boring greige color that would neither one be out of place in a particularly unimaginative Earth office. There’s a single, armless chair; a small bed with a pillow and blanket folded at the end, and behind a semi-transparent screen that would blur details but hide nothing, a sink and a toilet. On the wall beside the door, there is a large mirror that he suspects is actually a one-way window. There’s no obvious way to turn off the single overhead light. It might look like a particularly depressing hotel room at first, but he’s spent enough time now at Stargate Command to recognize the Osparian version of a holding cell.

Moving away from the door, he ignores the chair and the bed and sinks to the ground where he can see the door, leaning his head back against the wall and closing his eyes, trying to figure out where it all went wrong. He’d been looking for a specific text that one of his contacts had recommended, a history of Ospar that would have been particularly useful to study before anyone returned for further diplomatic negotiations. It was quite rare, out of print, so he’d been urgently working his way down a list of rare booksellers. It was in the fourth shop, when he was deep in the stacks and had just managed to put his hands on the volume he was searching for, that he had heard the sound of the girl yelping and the unmistakable sound of flesh hitting flesh.

Of course, he’d rushed to the front of the store, and been shocked to find the bookseller behind the counter with the young woman who had been reshelving books when he came in over his lap, her bare bottom already a bright pink. For a moment he’d stood, open-mouthed, unsure what to do. Spanking wasn’t unheard of on Earth, either, though he’d never seen someone spanked in public like this. It wasn’t until the man traded his hand for a thick wooden ruler on the desk and the girl’s cries became sobs interspersed with yelps and stifled screams that he couldn’t stand it anymore.

Of course he had interfered! The man was beating the poor girl! But when he had stopped the man, jumping over the desk and grabbing the ruler right out of his hand, the man had been enraged. Daniel had been concerned that the man planned to attack Daniel – so when he advanced on him and grabbed his arm, shouting in the Ospari language that Daniel could only understand about a third of, he thought he was defending himself when he decked the guy. He still doesn’t quite understand everything after that. The woman – who he thought he was helping! – had called the guard, and the other people in the shop had also stared at him as if he was a dangerous criminal, and they must have given statements to the Legion officers to that effect, because the aforementioned officers had escorted him here, to this holding cell, and confiscated his tac vest and all of his weapons. The only thing they hadn’t taken was the rare history book which he somehow was still clutching – but he can’t bring himself to be interested in reading it now, so it is discarded on the bed. He could only hope they’d been listening when he tried to explain who he was and that he needed to contact his team, because nobody had entered or tried to speak to him since then.

He must have dozed because the click of the door lock wakes him up. He scrambles to his feet and feels a sense of overwhelming relief when the first person through the door is Jack, followed by their Ospari guide.

“Jack! Thank god!” Daniel finds his balance and stumbles forward. “I wasn’t sure if they were even paying attention when I told them who I was and where I was fr…om.” Jack’s frowning in a way that slightly turns Daniel’s stomach upside down. “Jack?” His gaze flickers to Callo, who doesn’t look any happier. “Callo? What’s going on?”

“Are you hurt?” Jack puts a hand on his shoulder, looking him over once head to toe.

“No, Jack, I’m fine. You wouldn’t believe how I got here, though, I don’t really understand. There must be some sort of misunderstanding, Jack, what did they tell you?”

“Daniel.”

The tone shuts him up, and he blinks at his friend silently. For a minute, they’re both silent, and Jack seems to be steeling himself for something. “I do know, Daniel. Apparently, that’s how things are done here on Ospar. Corporal punishment is their go-to thing for most circumstances, and how we missed that completely in a week I have no idea.”

“But…he was….and she was…” Daniel can almost hear the girl’s sobs in his head. “He was hurting her! How is that normal here?!”

“Daniel,” It’s Callo who answers him, his voice gentle, but his eyes are firm. “It is our way. It is an immediate consequence, which ensures peace and cooperation at all levels of our society. Instead of long imprisonments, and fines that affect the livelihoods of families, and resentments that build, we have swift and just reparation. Yes, it’s painful in the moment, but there is no lasting injury and both parties are free of guilt and bad feelings. It is applicable for all but the very worst of offenses here. You are so open-minded about other things, surely you can see the value of this system.”

“Seriously?” Daniel hears himself squeak the word, looking between the guide and Jack in bewilderment. “And everyone just…allows this?”

“It is our way, Daniel. It has worked for us for hundreds of years. We have all but eliminated prisons and crime rates on the world are very low – you have noted that yourself.” Daniel does remember making that comment to Callo early in the week, but it would have been nice if he’d explained the reason why then, instead of just accepting the compliment with a smile!

“It gets worse, Daniel.” Jack’s arms are crossed over his chest, and he’s looking at Daniel but for once the archeologist isn’t sure what his eyes are saying. He looks determined but…regretful?

“Worse? I’m in jail on a different planet, Jack. Not sure it can get much worse.” He’s trying for joking, but the older man doesn’t smile.

“According to the Osparians, you’ve committed two crimes worthy of ‘reparation’, and they’re not budging on the sentence."

Daniel can almost hear the air quotes around the word “reparation”, and he knows if Jack’s arms weren’t folded he would have made the gesture. “R-reparation?” He doesn’t like the sound of that, at all, especially paired with Jack’s scowl and Callo’s worried frown.

“As far as I can translate, Daniel, it’s their polite term for a spanking-"

“You’ve got to be kidding me, Jack, no way!”

“And they’re quite insistent.” Jack finishes as if Daniel didn’t interrupt. “I’ve been trying to talk them around, but they aren’t in a negotiating mood. Daniel, don’t.” He holds up a hand when Daniel tries to interrupt him again, his voice hardening just enough to silence his teammate, and he’s shocked enough to abide. “I promise you, I tried. You broke their laws, and they're not giving us any wiggle room. The only concession they’re willing to make is to give you a choice of who does it. Me, or the officer whose job it is to mete out judicial spankings on a regular basis.” Daniel understands the complicated look on his face now, the strange mixture of emotions. “They told me if I go back to the Gate for help, we’re forfeiting the choice and they will let the officer punish you before I return, so I don’t think we have a lot of options here Danny. It’s me, or the Osparians.”

“Jack….” He can’t form words past that, he’s too shocked, just staring at his team leader as if he’s grown a second head. Jack’s expression gentles and he reaches out to put a hand on the back of Daniel’s head, the contact grounding and reassuring both of them.

“I know, Daniel, I know. It really sucks. I don’t want to do this either. But it’s me, or some stranger; I can’t figure us a way out of this. It’s up to you.” He doesn’t rush Daniel’s decision, standing quietly, watching the archeologist’s face. Finally, Daniel breaks eye contact, looking down and then at Callo out of the corner of his eye.

“You, I guess.” It’s a whisper, and his heart is already starting to race. Jack ruffles his hair once and then turns to look at their guide, who is standing near the door looking anxious.

“What do I need to know?” His voice is hard again, that strangely determined tone that Daniel is pretty sure is mostly trying to cover a lot of anger at the situation. “I’m only doing this once and if someone else tries to lay a hand on him when I’m done we’re going to have an international incident on our hands, so tell me what I have to do to satisfy this damn ‘reparation’.”

Callo glances at Daniel with a clear wince and then looks back at Jack like he can’t bear to see Daniel. “I’ve talked them out of a witness in the room as a concession to your status as foreign diplomats. But they’ve insisted the door be left open so that they can hear the punishment. If you’re going to refuse an implement-“ Daniel can’t help but make a low sound of horror and Jack squeezes his shoulder, silently reassuring him that of course he is – “they’ll expect it to be on the bare buttocks. Reparation is expected to end in tears as a genuine sign of the recipient’s remorse.” The guide glances at the door and then finally manages to look up at Daniel instead of Jack. “I’m sorry, Daniel. Truly.”

Jack keeps his hand on Daniel’s shoulder as Callo slips out the open door, leaving it cracked behind him. Daniel is silent, mind completely blank, unable to quite process what’s about to happen. When Jack takes his hand off of his shoulder he wraps both arms around his middle and just watches his team leader turn in a slow circle, giving the sparsely furnished room a once-over. After a moment he crosses the room and grabs the chair, spinning it around and putting the back up against the wall under the mirror. Daniel stares at him, head tilted slightly in confusion.

“It’s a window on the other side,” Jack explains, walking back over to Daniel slowly. “If we’re sitting there, the most they’re gonna see is the back of my head. They may be getting to listen, but they’re not going to get to watch.” He stares down into Daniel’s face for a moment, looking for something, and finally puts a hand under Daniel’s arm and walks them both towards the chair. Daniel is not sure he’s ever seen a more ominous sight than that empty chair feels at the moment. Jack sits down in the chair, pulling Daniel the rest of the way to stand in front of him. “C’mon, kid, let’s get this over with and we can go home, okay?”

“Jack…” He hates the way his voice sounds, but he’s glad he got any sound out of his dry, tight throat at all. Daniel is afraid – not afraid of Jack, exactly, he’s not sure he could ever be afraid of Jack, but the sheer unknown of this is terrifying. Which is stupid, he has died before and been brought back to life; he’s been shot and stabbed and roughed up in more ways than he could ever have imagined since he joined the Stargate program but the thought of Jack spanking him is just too…intimate, in a way, and it’s choking him. He knows Jack’s strength firsthand, and he can still hear that girl from the shop’s wails in the back of his mind.

Plus, in actuality, he does feel guilty. Even if he doesn’t agree with this, he can’t believe he attacked that man. How does that make him any better than the man for hitting someone else? Stopping him from smacking the girl with that ruler, that was fine, but then to hit him? Jeez, he can’t even stay out of trouble on a simple mission with no Goa’uld and nobody after them.

“I know, Danny, I know.” Thank god Jack doesn’t need him to voice any of this. “It’s going to really suck for a couple of minutes, but it’ll be ok. I got spanked plenty as a kid, you know, I can tell you from experience it’s not the end of the world.” He’s trying, even now, to raise Daniel’s spirits and so Daniel rewards him with a tiny smile (the best he can manage) and nods to signify that he’s ready.

At least Jack seems to have some idea how this should work. He reaches out when Daniel just continues to stand frozen in place to unbuckle Daniel’s belt, and then the button and the zipper on his cargo pants, when it becomes obvious that either Daniel doesn’t intend to be an active participant or doesn’t have a clue how to proceed. It’s a little bit of both, honestly, and Daniel is beyond grateful when Jack strikes up a running explanation in a low, calm voice so that he knows what is going to happen before it does. “This will be easier when you’re standing up, but I’ll leave your boxers on until you’re over my lap.” He slides Daniel’s pants down past his butt before guiding him to his right side and pulling firmly until Daniel lowers himself over his knees. It still feels almost like it’s happening to someone else, but he can hear the soft whine come from his own throat when Jack slides fingers into his boxers, and Daniel can’t help but throw a hand back to stop him. “Sorry, but this one I’m not giving you a choice, kid. I’m not spanking you with whatever crazy implement they come up with just so we don’t have to do this bare. It’s not like it’s not something I’ve not already seen a million times in the locker room, Daniel.”

Jack takes his wrist and pins the hand he’d put back over his butt to the middle of his back, using his other hand to pull his boxers down to join his uniform pants. The room feels suddenly cold with his bottom bare and Daniel shivers, but he’s not sure if that’s the temperature or the apprehension roiling in his gut. There Jack pauses, his right hand resting on his bottom in warm contrast to the cool air of the room. Daniel can feel him breathing, and tries to match his own breaths to the deep, calm ones Jack is taking; it helps, for a moment, and his heart rate comes down from energizer-bunny to just a fast sprint.

The hand leaves his butt and there’s a heartbeat of quiet, and then he hears the first swat before he feels it. It’s loud in the silent room, and he jumps at the sound more than the feel. That comes second; it’s a sharp sting, but nothing unbearable. A second swat falls, the same crisp loud noise followed by an unpleasant sting, and Daniel lets out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding. Jack quickly settles into a rhythm; the smacks fall too fast for Daniel to count but at first, they don’t seem to increase in severity, and he lies quiet and mostly relaxed over his friend’s lap and wonders at the efficacy of this as a punishment – Callo had made a point to mention crying, but right this minute Daniel can’t imagine this bringing a grown man to tears.

After a minute or so, he’s aware that the sting is building in a way that is definitely not pleasant, and he’s starting to feel the urge to squirm around in his team leader’s grip, to try and relieve the incessant stinging. Just after he loses the battle and mutters his first startled ‘ow’, Jack pauses. Reaching around his waist, he lifts Daniel a little further over his lap, and Daniel grumbles in protest when he realizes that the shift was calculated to lift his bottom higher, making it a clearer target, and he feels more off-balance hanging further over Jack’s knees. Jack also takes a better grip on Daniel’s wrist and puts some weight down on that arm and elbow, pinning him quite effectively in place.

When his hand falls again in a crisp swat, Daniel yelps. It stings more now that Jack had paused, but he’s also pretty sure Jack’s hand is landing harder and louder than before. His hand falls randomly, leaving no room to guess where the next swat will be, and covers the entirety of Daniel’s butt. The stinging quickly builds into one solid, hot sting and Daniel starts to wriggle in earnest, though with Jack’s grasp on his wrist, he isn’t making any progress. Another layer of sting, and another; then hotter; it feels like he sat down on a hot iron. He gives in to the desire to kick his feet, but that doesn’t stop Jack’s hand from falling and falling, and it doesn’t seem to inhibit his ability to hit his target every time.

Jack’s hand is falling lower now, and Daniel finds out quickly that the lower half of his butt and the tops of his thighs are way more sensitive than the top of his butt where the majority of the smacks had been before. He yelps out loud and then bites his lip, muting all of his pathetic noises for about one circuit of hot, painful swats before Jack notices (how he knows, Daniel will never know, but somehow he does). “Stop biting your lip. You’re going to do yourself real injury.” The order comes from above, but with the start of humiliating tears pricking in the corners of his eyes, Daniel shakes his head, not wanting whoever is outside that door to hear him plead and cry. He’s totally forgotten that the Osparians have demanded the tears, the humiliation; he just knows he desperately doesn’t want them to hear any of it.

Daniel,” Jack growls his name at his continued refusal and lowers his attack again, landing serious swats back and forth to one spot on the tops of each of Daniel’s thighs that makes it feel like he is holding a blow torch to those two spots. Daniel gives in, releasing his lip so he can give in the urge to yelp in painful, urgent objection to each one of those extra hard swats. Almost as soon as he does, Jack relents and goes back to smacking his bottom, though Daniel isn’t sure he lets up on the intensity of the swats at all.

“Please!” He hears himself offer, “Jack, please! J-jack!” Giving one last big struggle he kicks hard and then collapses over Jack’s knees with a whimper. “I’m s-sorry! S-so sorry, Jack.”

“I know, kid.” The swats don’t stop, but it almost sounds like Jack is close to tears too. Which can’t be right, but Daniel can’t see his face so he only has the sound of his voice to go on. “C’mon, spacemonkey, you’ve got to give it up and we can be done.” Some combination of the sound of Jack’s voice, the rarely-heard and affectionate nickname, and the fact that Jack lowers the swats again to the very lowest part of his butt finally sends Daniel over the edge and he gives in to the tears, limp over Jack’s lap as he sobs out from the spanking, but just as much from the guilt, fear, and frustration of the day.

The spanking stops immediately, and for a moment Jack is statue-still, not even breathing, but then Daniel feels him inhale deeply and shakily and then he shifts his grasp from his wrist to twining his fingers through Daniel’s and he lifts his right hand to rub his back, his hand large and warm and very nice. He’s talking, softly; for several minutes Daniel can’t hear the individual words but the tone is nice. When his cries taper off and the roaring in his ears is lessened, he starts to hear the actual instructions. “Breath, Danny. Easy, easy, we can get out of here as soon as we get you back on your feet. It’ll be ok.” He lets the words calm him and after another few deep breaths of Jack’s, which he tries to match, his friend lets go of his hand and grips underneath his arm instead, helping to lever Daniel off of his lap and back into his feet. Daniel leans forward to hide his wet face in Jack’s chest and immediately the older man’s arms come up around him in a hard embrace, one hand still rubbing his back and the other buried in his hair.

There’s the sound of footsteps in the doorway and Jack tenses under Daniel. “Get the fuck out,” he snarls, his voice razor-sharp, every inch the hardened black ops soldier that Daniel hasn’t seen or heard from since their first trip to Abydos. There’s a little bit of a thrill, that that Jack would come out in defense of Daniel in this vulnerable moment. A murmur of voices in the hallway, and then there’s the sound of something being dropped on the ground and receding footsteps. Jack relaxes and ruffles Daniel’s hair again, resting his head on top of Daniel’s for a long moment before drawing back, putting enough distance between them to gaze into the archaeologist’s face, his own eyes dark and uncertain. Daniel tries for a smile, but it comes out closer to a grimace, and Jack gives him a matching one in return, but his dark eyes say everything he won’t say here, not when they still have a potential audience. Neither of them has forgotten the mirror-window or the open door. “What do you say we blow this joint, Danny?” he asks softly, willing to give Daniel all the time he needs to get himself together.

“Yes, please,” Daniel says the words with heartfelt conviction, drawing away and reaching down to ease his boxers and cargoes up over his flaming bottom as gently as he can. Jack turns away to give him privacy, but he still is aware he probably has gone ridiculously red because he can feel the blush stealing up his neck and onto his face. It turns out the objects that had been dropped inside the door are his confiscated tac vest and weapons, along with the small backpack he’d been carrying on his shopping excursion. He bends over to grab them and has to stifle a hiss as his pants stretch tight over his butt, but he manages to grab it all in one go and shrug into his vest, swinging the pack over his shoulder and holding the pistol in its thigh holster as he turns to look at Jack.

The colonel had wandered across to the bed and picked up the nearly forgotten history tome, and holds it up now for Daniel to see, one eyebrow raised. “All this for a book, Daniel?” he teases, though he delivers it in a much gentler tone than their normal merciless back-and-forth, and Daniel is grateful for that; Jack is giving him the opening to snark back and put them on a more even keel, but he’s also clearly still worried. Still, he knows Daniel well enough to know that he probably doesn’t want to talk about it here. Jack will certainly corner him to discuss it back at Stargate Command, but if all Daniel wants to do is get the hell out of dodge right now, he’ll back that play too.

“Yeah, about that Jack, you’d better leave that. I don’t think I ever got around to paying for it.” He winces a little at that as Jack strolls over, shrugging and tugging open the top of Daniel’s backpack to slide the book inside.

“I think this book is the least these people owe you, Danny. Let’s get out of here.” He closes the pack back up and firmly slides it off of Daniel’s shoulder and onto his own, relieving Danny of the gun while he’s at it and bending over to strap it to his own thigh in a way that Daniel was actively putting off doing. Then he swings an arm around Daniel’s back that is warm and far more supportive than the normal arm over the shoulder would have been. The indication is clear – all Daniel has to do is get back to the Gate under his own power, and Jack will take care of the rest.

 

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