Title: Judgement Day
Series: Little Fantasies
Alex turned his iPad a little to the left. Julien was sleeping next to him and he didn't want the soft light to waken him. Julien was exhausted and needed all the sleep he could get. The start of school was always a crazy time for his Brat. Alex chuckled a little. Not so long ago, the idea of calling Julien a Brat wouldn't have even entered his mind. The term brat brought to mind young children throwing temper tantrums for sweets in a store. Not something Alex ever wanted to deal with....ever!! And Julien was a grown, mature man, not one to throw temper tantrums. Not even for sweets.
But over the course of their relationship, Julien had sent not so subtle messages to him. Showing him stories of adult discipline, pictures of bare bottoms laid over strong laps, and oh so casually bringing up topics of implements. Alex might not have known about discipline in adult relationships back then, but his Julien had educated him. Now Alex knew the terms Top and Brat had nothing at all to do with children or temper tantrums.
The stories that Julien devoured hadn't been Alex's preferred genre, but every couple of weeks he liked to get online and read what his Brat was reading. Their relationship didn't resemble the stories at all, but they often helped Alex figure out what Julien needed. Sometimes, Julien would intentionally brat or leave out the rectal thermometer to let him know that he wanted discipline. Sometimes Alex could see the stress or tiredness in Julien's face and know that his Brat needed something from him. But Alex wasn't a mind reader and reading some of the fiction online gave him insight into Julien's mind.
So that's how he came to be reading online discipline stories at midnight while Julien snored loudly beside him. As he finished one story he started to read some of the comments left by other readers. Typically Alex didn't read the comments, but something caught his eye. Reading through the messages, the topic of abuse was being talked about. Scooting up to instinctively get closer to the screen, he continued to read. His stomach tightened as he read some of the comments. Not every comment compared spanking to abuse, some tried to explain and defend discipline, but the few he did read had his heart pounding.
Did he abuse Julien? He silently asked himself, then had a conversation inside his head. Julien had been the one to bring up the topic of discipline and spankings. Julien often asked for a spanking. Some of their spankings were playful and erotic. Was that abusive? Alex was the one who had demanded that Julien have a safe word. And the one time Julien had used it, Alex had stopped immediately. He knew the safe word was sacred. Once it was said, everything stopped.
But here there were people talking that any violence toward a lover was abuse. That it was subjugation. Alex didn't want Julien to ever think that he was being controlled by him. That he wasn't a full and equal partner. He could feel his heart pound with stress. Taking a deep breath, Alex exited the story site he was on and closed the iPad.
It was late and Julien hadn't been the only one overworked the past few weeks. Maybe he was just taking the comments wrong because he was overtired. He'd get a good night's sleep tonight, sleep in late, and when he woke in the morning, he'd not have this terrible knot of guilt in his stomach. Setting the iPad on the nightstand beside him, Alex slid deeper under the covers and wrapped his arms around Julien. Now if he could just get his mind to stop thinking....overthinking, and go to sleep, he'd feel differently tomorrow.
Alex groaned as sunlight pierced his closed eyelids. Slitting his eyes open, he noticed the curtains had been closed, but the bright sun found its way into their bedroom by the small part in the two sides of the fabric. Swinging his feet off the bed and sitting up, he wondered at the tight, uncomfortable feeling in his stomach. He felt anxious. He never felt anxious first thing in the morning! That was a trait of his Brat.
Oh, yeah. His Brat. Discipline. Abuse. He remembered the unease he'd gone to bed with. Damn, he'd hoped it would be gone with the night.
He grabbed his clothes and headed into the bathroom. After showering, shaving and the rest of his morning rituals, he walked toward the kitchen. Like a great warning light, he noticed the cereal bowl Julien had left on the counter. One of his Brat's way of signaling he wanted a spanking.
Pulling out his own bowl, Alex made himself some breakfast. Gathering up the cereal and a cup of coffee, he wandered out to the living room. Julien was leaning back with his feet propped up on the coffee table. Sitting down beside him, Alex nudged Julien's feet. "You're up early."
"Yeah, I passed out hard last night," Julien said and then turned up the TV.
Alex could feel Julien's eyes on him. He knew that his Brat was doing a bit of intentional bratting. Alex knew this was coming. He knew it last night, that was why he was reading the stories Julien loved so much.
Ignoring Julien, Alex continued to eat his breakfast. As he ate, Julien kept bumping in to him. Still pushing buttons, hoping for a reaction. Alex was determined to keep his cool and not give him one. Finishing his cereal, he stood up and took his dishes into the kitchen. He rinsed his and Julien's bowl and put them in the dishwasher. Picking up the dishrag, he started wiping down the counters.
"What are you doing? I'll clean up after myself.....eventually." Julien's voice came from the doorway.
Alex heard the Brattish tone, Julien used when he was in the mood for a spanking. His stomach tightened. Could he give Julien what he wanted? What they both wanted? Suddenly, he felt his body lurch forward. Julien had come up behind him as his mind had asked those important questions. His Brat had given him a playful shoulder bump.
"Seriously. What does a man have to do to get his butt spanked? Are you not reading the obvious clues?" Julien asked in amused exasperation.
Here it is: Judgement Day, Alex thought. He'd always imagined Judgement Day as dark and stormy, lightning and hellfire raining down on them. But all he saw in the bright kitchen was the mischievous smile of the man he loved.
"Armageddon." Alex shocked himself with the one word. Not just the word, but the tone of his voice.
Alex watched as Julien's eyes darkened in shock. Julien heard the tone as well.
"Um. What? I thought the safe word was for the Brat?" Julien asked in confusion.
With his voice still stern, Alex put the dishcloth in the sink and said, "No. A safe word is for both of us. This is about both of us!"
Julien blushed and lowered his head. "Yeah, I know that. Sorry. Just kind of took me by surprise."
"Shit, Jul, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to snap at you. Come on, let's sit down." Alex walked into the living room with Julien close behind him. Sitting down on the couch, he asked, "I know you want a spanking. But what if people think I'm abusing you?"
Julien was just sitting down when he'd asked that question. Startled, he plopped the rest of the way down. "What are you talking about? What people? Are you thinking of inviting people to come over and watch? Cause if you are, I'm making it clear, I am not ok with that."
Looking at Julien, Alex said, "I'm not joking. Is this abuse? I'm striking you. That worries me."
Julien tilted his head. "It's not abuse. What we do isn't abuse, Alex. There's no fear or anger."
Alex looked down. Is that what signaled abuse? Fear and anger?
"Ok, let me ask you this; Are you ever angry at me? You know, when you spank me?"
"NO! Never. A lot of the time, I'm following your lead," Alex explained.
Julien blushed, "Yeah, I kind of top from the bottom, don't I?"
Alex thought about Julien's rhetorical question. "Maybe a little. But not really. I just read your clues." Alex saw relief flood into Julien's body.
"Good, because I don't really want to think that I top from the bottom. It's not very flattering, ya know?"
Alex made note of that in his head. They'd come back to that another time. It seemed they'd be figuring out this discipline thing the rest of their lives. But since Julien asked if he was ever angry, Alex felt he needed to know the same from Julien. "When I spank you, are you ever mad at me? At anytime? Before? During? After?"
"No," Julien answered simply and honestly. "Where did all of this come from?"
"I was reading some of the stories you like last night. Some of the comments brought up abuse," Alex said. "It hit me wrong."
Julien chuckled and leaned into Alex. Alex reveled in the feel of his love's weight crushing his own.
"I can't believe I need to explain this to you, but Alex? You do know those are fiction, right? And even if some are real or they have parts that are real, people feel really brave posting over a computer screen."
Alex nodded. He knew that people could be cruel. Write things on a computer screen, they'd never say to someone's face. And he did know that most of the stories were fiction. Julien and Alex had both looked over some of the real life blogs. The things written there didn't appeal to either one of them. So Julien continued to read the discipline stories while Alex preferred to read regular old print books.
"You know, I think of abuse as unequal. The relationship is unequal. But it really is equal between the two of us." Then Julien popped his head up and asked, "Unless I'm forcing you to do it, when you don't really want to."
"You aren't forcing me to do anything I don't want to do. I promise you." Alex took a deep breath and explained. "That may have been part of why the comment got to me. You aren't forcing me. And I may have never thought of spanking you, but I do like it. I love the feel of you over my lap. It doesn't matter if its playful, or sexy, or to just get you to release all the tension you bottle up inside. I don't like hurting you, but I do like the feeling I get-its like I'm protecting you." Alex laughed in embarrassment. "I like that caveman feeling. That alpha male thing that I'm taking care of the man I love."
Snuggling up again, Julien said, "Good. Cause I like it when you go all alpha caveman!"
Leaning over, Alex kissed Julien hard. "Remember once I said that we'd have to just enjoy the ride?" At Julien's nod, he continued, "This was just a bump in our road. They'll be others, but as long as we work them out together, we'll be ok."
Julien nodded. Then in a cautiously playful voice asked, "Now, I'm going to ask you again, 'what does a man have to do to get his butt spanked?'"
That caveman feeling that Alex enjoyed so much swelled up inside of him. He couldn't resist, he had to give his Brat another hard kiss. He wanted to imprint his being into this man. Julien had been stressed for several weeks. A spanking always helped him release that stress. With careful strength, he maneuvered Julien over his lap. "Well keeping up with that smart mouth is one way!"
As Alex brought his hand down on the pert butt, he knew this wouldn't be the last time they'd have to talk about discipline, but for now, he was just glad they'd both came through Judgement Day unscathed.