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Mike zoned out again, enjoying the relaxing freedom of being Harvey’s sub, with nothing else required or expected of him. He didn’t have Louis yelling at him that he wanted some briefs proofed yesterday, or the everyday whirl of everything his eidetic memory refused to forget. His silent night was proving more restful than he’d expected.

He noticed a man in a grey woollen sweater enter the bar, with a lanky companion who made Mike sit up and take notice, causing a sweetly painful tug on his nipple clamps in the process. The tall man had dark curly hair, and an aristocratic air. He looked like a thoroughbred horse – brilliant, beautiful and high strung, with a tendency to over-reach and crash. The first man, by comparison, had the upright bearing of a soldier, and kind, if somewhat world-weary, eyes.

“I really have no idea why you brought me here, John,” the tall man said, in a cut glass British accent, glancing around dismissively, as if it was the most boring place on earth.

“It’s a BDSM club. That doesn’t faze you, Sherlock?” his companion replied, taking a seat at a nearby table. He gestured Matt over, and gave him a drinks order.

“I can see what it is,” Sherlock said impatiently. “I just have no idea why we’re here. Unless…” He wrapped his coat around his slender body and sniffed derisively into the air. “Is it possible that you believe our victim was interested in such sexual practices? If so, I can tell you that you are completely wrong. Our victim was a virgin, entirely uninterested in any kind of sexual act.”

“This has nothing to do with the case, Sherlock. Now sit down,” John ordered, and, much to Mike’s surprise, Sherlock did just that.

“If it has nothing to do with the case, then why are we here?” Sherlock glanced around haughtily.

“Because, Sherlock, because we are in New York on holiday. We are not here to track down bodies, find killers, or seek out mysteries for you to solve. You promised me, before we left Baker Street, that this would be some down time. You said we’d been working very hard, and after that unfortunate incident where I got beaten up, and my arm was almost broken, you said, Sherlock… you said…” John looked increasingly heated as he spoke, although that seemed to have no effect on his companion. John made a visible effort to calm himself down, and continued in a quieter tone. “You said, and I believed you, muggins that I am, that we would be going on a holiday. I had no idea you’d accepted a private commission to investigate some centuries-old murder!”

“One hundred and eighty three years is just a little shy of being ‘centuries’, plural,” Sherlock said. Mike winced. Sherlock clearly took the phrase 'socially awkward' to a whole new level.

“I don’t care!” John exclaimed. “Anyway, seeing as this is my holiday, and seeing as so far all we’ve done is traipse around in the freezing cold, looking for clues in old churches like some third rate take on The Da Vinci Code, I thought that tonight we’d do something that I want to bloody well do for a change!”

Sherlock pursed his lips. “I think you’ll find that The Da Vinci code is already considered third rate,” he murmured.

“I don’t bloody care!” John snapped. “I’m just sick and tired of freezing my arse off climbing into crypts with you.”

“So you brought me here.” Sherlock thought about it for a moment, a frown creasing his forehead. “Hmm. Usually, I find you entirely predictable, John, but on this occasion, I must admit your logic flummoxes me. Of course, I do appreciate that you aren't always a very logical person, yet I can usually divine some kind of flawed rationale to your irrational impulses, but not on this occasion.”

“You can’t?” John took a sip of the beer Matt had placed on the table in front of him.

“No.” Sherlock looked perplexed, as if this bothered him greatly. “Clearly, this is a private members club, so you must have gone to the trouble of finding it and obtaining an invitation to its opening night.” He waved his hand at the banner over the bar. “It’s not as if we just came in here to get out of the cold, without realising the kind of place it is. So, I can only assume you are trying to tell me something.”

“No shit, Sherlock.” John rolled his eyes.  “Go on.” He waved his hand in the air. “Keep going with the deducing thing.”

“It’s possible that you’re making some kind of philosophical comment on the inherent masochism of, as you put it, 'freezing our arses off' in cold churches over the past few days, but this seems a somewhat opaque method to employ of driving that point home.” Sherlock glanced at the St. Andrews cross, and the rack of implements beside it, his forehead creased into a puzzled frown.

“Keep going. I’m sure you’ll get there,” John said, taking another sip of his drink. “See, I got beaten up, and you paced up and down the hospital corridors all night long in what I can only describe as a right old state. Then, as soon as I left hospital, you invited me to go on holiday with you, and so it might be entirely possible that I jumped to the conclusion that…”

“That I wanted to ensure your full recovery by taking you away from London, and insisting you took a holiday, yes,” Sherlock said. “That still doesn’t explain this place, though.”

“Really?” John wrinkled up his nose. “I mean, really, Sherlock? It never ceases to amaze me how one man can be so intelligent and yet so dense.”

“Would you like to give me a clue?” There was a pained expression on Sherlock’s face.

“Okay. I will.” John leaned forward. “Irene Adler,” he said quietly.

Sherlock looked even more perplexed. “She’s not here, is she? Although, this is the kind of place where she might be located.” He glanced around musingly.

“No, she’s not bloody well here! We’re here. Me and you. Because you’re not the only one who can deduce things, Sherlock. I saw the way your pupils dilated around her – at first I thought you just fancied her, but then I realised it wasn’t her – it was the riding crop, and the sexy whips, and all the shit that went with her. So, I figured then that the key to the mystery that is the great Sherlockian sexuality was a place like this.”

“Really?” Sherlock looked bored. “Well, I’m afraid you’re wrong, John. So, can we go now?” He got up, glancing at his watch. “We just have time to investigate the -”

“Sit down, Sherlock,” John ordered, and Sherlock sighed but did exactly as he was ordered. Mike gave a little smile around the sides of the gag, and moved his head slightly. John clearly saw the motion, because he looked over and gazed at Mike for a second, their eyes meeting. Mike could see John’s gaze traveling over his bare chest, taking in the clamps, the gag, and his position kneeling at his dom’s side, with Harvey’s hand resting lightly on his shoulder. “No, you know what, Sherlock,” John said, turning back to his companion. “Don’t sit – kneel. Right here. Beside me.”

“I beg your pardon!” Sherlock retorted.

“Kneel. Here. Now.” John pointed imperiously at the floor beside his chair.

“No,” Sherlock replied, his nostrils flaring.

John sighed. “Okay, let me spell it out for you, Sherlock. See, I figured out what all this is about. You dragging me around old church yards, and crypts, and generally being a pain in the arse. I finally figured out that what you want, what you’re screaming out for, is someone to tell you when to stop. You need a good dom, Sherlock, and that’s a role I intend to inhabit in your life from now on.”

“You,” Sherlock repeated blankly. “Want to be my… dom?”

“No, Sherlock.” John leaned forward and put his hands on either side of Sherlock’s face, holding him gently. “I already am your dom, Love, don’t you see that? You cast me in that role from our very first meeting, and it was one I was perfectly happy to occupy, without even realising it. Only now I think we should stop pretending, because that’s what we’re doing. You were scared when I got beaten up, Love. I know that. You were upset and scared, and you did the only thing you knew how to do – you brought me here, hoping to goad me into some kind of reaction. Maybe into leaving you – at least that way you wouldn’t have to be scared of me getting hurt again – but maybe, you also thought that if you annoyed me enough, I’d step up and fully take the role in your life that you want me to occupy: your dom.”

All the blood seemed to have drained from Sherlock’s pale, aristocratic face. “An interesting theory, John,” he murmured, although the lawyer in Mike noticed that he didn’t deny it.

John rolled his eyes. “You drive me nuts, Sherlock, but I love you to bits, and I think we both know that you’d be a lot happier kneeling by my side in here for a few hours than dragging our frozen arses around a few more spooky old crypts. Yes?”

Sherlock gazed at John for a moment, and Mike held his breath, wondering what would happen next.

Then, finally, Sherlock sighed. “I’m afraid I’m not a very good sub, John,” he admitted, casting his eyes down to the floor. “When I was younger, Mycroft used to direct my more… erratic impulses. But since our estrangement, I’ve found myself drifting. I did make some brief forays into this kind of club a few years ago, but I never found any dom I could bow my head to. They were all far too stupid. Not that you're overly intelligent –"

"Thank you," John interjected, with a long-suffering roll of his eyes.

"But you are… well, much to my surprise, I find you understand me, and, just as surprising, I find I trust you. I also find…" Sherlock paused, looking uncomfortable. "Well, I really am most inordinately fond of you, John. When I almost lost you recently…" He lowered his head for a beat and then looked up again. "You’re right – I do yearn for someone I trust to impose a certain discipline and control on me at times – but I’m afraid I’m far too proud to be bridled, and much too stubborn to be tamed.”

“But you’re not too wild to be trained, my love,” John said softly. “Do you really think I can’t have you trotting at my heels and eating out of my hand, with just the right application of love and control, in perfect measure?”

Sherlock considered that for a moment. “I'm afraid you'll find me a very wilful sub, John,” he said with a sigh. “It won’t be easy.”

“I know precisely the kind of sub you are, Sherlock – I’ve been topping you for months already:  arranging your business affairs; telling you what to say so as not to completely piss off the media, or the police, or even your own bloody brother; organising your diary, and, most of all, making sure there’s always something in the fridge for tea, because it’s not like you ever remember, and I swear you’d starve to death without me.”

“I thought…” Sherlock paused. “I thought you weren’t gay, John. You’ve certainly said so often enough.”

John sat back in his chair with a sigh. “Yeah, well, I thought that too. Turns out I was wrong, because all I could think of when I was crawling through that crypt behind you earlier, was how much I wanted to get hold of that ripe arse of yours and fuck you senseless.”

“One of the things I like most about you, John, is your language,” Sherlock said, with a pained look. “Very earthy and to the point.”

“Yeah, well, I’m a soldier, and God knows you need someone to manage you – in the bedroom and out of it. Look, Sherlock – here’s the deal. You can go off sniffing after whatever cases you want, and I’ll come with you, and hold your coat, and admire your genius. But when I step in and say enough’s enough, or reprimand you for being out of line, then you will listen to me, and you will obey me, and I will take it out on your arse if you don’t. I’ll let your genius shine, my love, but I won’t let it destroy you. I care about you too much for that.”

“That’s your deal?” Sherlock said slowly.

“That’s my deal.” John planted his hands on his knees and gave a firm nod. “It’s up to you now, Mate.”

Sherlock thought about it for a moment, and Mike watched him, wondering what the outcome of this little duet would be. Then, Sherlock got to his feet, walked over to John’s side, sank gracefully to his knees beside him, and lowered his head.

John didn’t say anything. He just gave a satisfied little grunt, picked up his drink, and took a sip.

“Nice beer,” he murmured, to nobody in particular. Then he reached out, placed his hand on Sherlock’s head, and stroked the dark curls. His eyes met Mike’s again, over Sherlock’s head, and John gave him a wide, relieved smile. Mike managed what he hoped looked like a smile in return, around the sides of the gag.

"Are you okay, Pup? Do you need a drink?" Harvey asked, and Mike glanced up at him with a grimace as the movement made his already sore nipples ache. He shook his head gingerly, enjoying the silence too much to want to relinquish it just yet. Harvey’s hand brushed against his neck, and Mike zoned out again, listening in to tiny snatches of conversation.

A beautiful, raven-haired woman, wearing a pair of tight black pants and a white shirt, was arguing with her pretty, blonde companion, who was dressed in an electric blue corset that showed off her hourglass figure and round breasts to perfection.

“You brought me to this place because you thought I’d like it, Maura?” the raven-haired woman demanded incredulously.

“I did, Jane, yes. Well, that and the fact my Uncle Hammer owns it.”

“A bunch of perverts, dressed up in insane outfits, and you thought I’d like it?” Jane looked shocked as she glanced around the place.

Maura frowned. “They aren’t perverts, Jane. In fact, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders officially declassified an interest in BDSM as a mental health issue back in 1994. It’s ridiculous that it was ever classified that way in the first place. You see, repeated studies have shown that BDSM role-play can greatly enhance the sexual experience, and some speak very highly of the almost spiritual sense of catharsis that they get from experiencing a sound flogging.”

Jane planted her hands on her hips and glared at her companion. “A flogging? Are you serious?”

“Yes.” Maura looked surprised. “Would you like to try it, Jane? I'm very happy to take the role of ‘dominant’, or ‘top’, although I must confess, I did imagine that role might be more to your liking.”

“I’d just like to get out of here.” Jane looked around, clearly desperate to find the exit in the crowded bar.

“Okay. Just wait while I get changed. I left my regular clothes in Uncle Hammer’s storeroom.” Maura pointed to a door behind the bar.

“Hold on a minute, Maura.” Jane put her hand on Maura’s arm. The corset was cinched in tight at the waist with black silk lacing, and Maura wasn’t wearing anything else other than a pair of black tights, some frilly black panties, and a pair of knee-high shiny black boots. “Let’s not be hasty about the whole getting changed thing,” Jane said, glancing at Maura’s enticingly heaving breasts.

“You’d like me to keep wearing it?” Maura asked, with a smile.

“Well, it’s a nice costume, and you look good in it, Maura. Really good. Like a slutty saloon girl from the wild west who needs to be roped in and…” Jane paused. “What was it you were saying about role-play?” she demanded.

Maura laughed. “Why don’t you take me back to the hotel, and we can find out if those studies are correct?”

They brushed past Mike on their way out, and another couple came into his line of vision.  One of them was tall and lanky, with unruly dark hair and lazy hazel eyes. The other was broad, with light brown hair and bright blue eyes, and he trotted along at his companion's side like he was born to be there, talking non-stop while his friend listened tolerantly, occasionally breaking into the monologue to say something, in lazy, laconic tones.

“Lorne sent us here, Colonel? Why? I mean, does he think we… uh… I mean – what?” The blue-eyed man cast an agonized glance at the St. Andrew’s Cross in the centre of the room.

“Lorne said it was his Christmas present to us,” the colonel replied. "He gave us membership for the entire year you’re stationed in NYC, working on that top secret doo-dah thing, Rodney.”

“It’s not a doo-dah thing, Colonel, as you know perfectly well. It’s a study into the thermo-nuclear properties of… oh… agh!” Rodney edged away as a nearly naked woman in a leather harness pressed against him on her way to the bar.

“I know naked women scare you, Rodney, but could you make it a bit less obvious?” the colonel said, with a sly grin.

“Are you saying you’re not freaked out by this place, too, Colonel?” Rodney said hotly.

“Yup.” The colonel sat down at a nearby table. “I mean, c’mon, Rodney! You’ve fought the Wraith and done battle with the Genii! Why would you be scared of a little naked flesh and some nipple clamps?”

“I’m not scared.” Rodney wrapped his arms around his body, the gesture screaming his discomfort. “I’m just confused. I mean, why would Lorne send us here, of all places?”

“He says here that he’s sick and tired of us ignoring the soldier/scientist rule, and he hopes this will point us in the right direction,” the colonel said, glancing at the card he was holding in his hand.

“What on earth is the soldier/scientist rule?” Rodney asked, still hovering nervously at the colonel’s side.

“I have a fair idea, judging by the graffiti in the Marine quarters’ restroom.” The colonel grinned at him. “Just sit down, Rodney. Nobody is going to hurt you.” His expression changed, and Mike suddenly saw a hint of steel in the man. “You know they’d have to get through me first,” he said firmly.

Rodney nodded uncertainly. “Well, you have done a great job of protecting me so far, Colonel, which is why, of course, I requested that you be my personal bodyguard while I’m in New York, working on the study into the thermo-nuclear properties of...” The colonel raised an eyebrow. “Oh, okay, the top secret doo-dah thing!” Rodney threw up his hands. “Of course, it’s only right that I demand the very best bodyguard in the world to protect this highly valuable commodity – namely, my brain.” He pointed at his own head. “It would be an immeasurable tragedy, a disaster on an unprecedented scale, and an absolutely catastrophic loss to the world if my incredible brain wasn’t in it, so it makes total sense for you to accompany me as my bodyguard, everywhere I go.”

The colonel grinned. “That’s another thing Lorne mentioned in his card,” he said, glancing at it again. “He says that we might as well admit it to ourselves, because we’re not fooling anyone with that cover story about me being your bodyguard.”

“What?” Rodney bristled furiously. “What does he mean by that?”

“Probably something to do with the fact that ever since we got back from Atlantis, we’ve requested joint postings,” the colonel replied, with a wry shrug.

“Hang on! Is Lorne suggesting that we’re gay for each other?” Rodney spluttered. “And if so, why didn’t he buy us a year’s membership to a gay bar for Christmas, instead of this place?” He waved his hand around furiously, hit a passing dom, clad from head to foot in leather, and shrank back in alarm. The dom just laughed and moved on.

“I guess it’s probably something to do with me mentioning to him one night, when I was very drunk, that I fantasise about spanking your ass,” the colonel said. “Amongst other things. I mean, there are other things I’d like to do to your ass apart from spanking it, but I’d definitely like to spank it.”

“WHAT?” Rodney looked at him, aghast.

“Well, it’s a nice ass, Rodney. All juicy and plump.” The colonel grinned.

“Are you sure you aren’t drunk now, Colonel?” Rodney demanded. “Right this minute?”

The colonel considered that for a moment, and then shook his head. “Nope. I’m not drunk, Rodney. I’m just tired of pretending.”

Rodney frowned. “Pretending what?”

“Of pretending there’s ever going to be anyone else for either of us but each other,” the colonel replied, with a shrug. “I stopped dating women years ago, and let’s face it, you were never great at that."

"I was!" Rodney puffed out his chest. The colonel raised an incredulous eyebrow, and Rodney sighed and visibly deflated. "Oh, okay, I wasn't. But that isn't, I mean, it doesn't… uh… you and me?" He looked flabbergasted.

The colonel shrugged. "Why not? We’re crazy about each other, Rodney. We're so crazy about each other that we ask for quarters next to each other in all our postings. In fact, it'd make it a whole lot easier if we just got married. Then we could just share quarters.”

“Married? Come now, you really are drunk, Colonel. Married! Wait…” Rodney’s eyes were a wide blue picture of astonishment. “Are you proposing to me, John?”

The colonel grinned and held out his hand. “Why not? C’mon, Rodney. Stop pretending, and give in to what Lorne says is…” He glanced at the card again, “The ‘cosmic inevitability of the soldier/scientist rule’.”

Rodney glanced at the colonel’s outstretched hand and shook his head, frowning. “I still have no idea what that is.”

“Apparently, it’s a kind of universal law, whereby the smart guy and the tough guy always have to end up together. That’s you and me. Well, except for the fact that I’m smart as well as tough.” He grinned.

“And modest to a fault!” Rodney glared at him.

The colonel waved his hand impatiently. “C’mon, Rodney. You know you want to.”

Rodney appeared to ponder that. “Well, if it really is a universal law – maybe actually a scientific fact – possibly even proven by the Ancients, then I suppose I must bow to the laws of physics, and… umph!” He let out a startled cry as the colonel grabbed hold of his hand, pulled him onto his lap, and kissed him hard on the mouth. Rodney sighed and melted against the colonel, wrapping his arms around him and kissing him back whole-heartedly.

Mike sighed too; so many happy couples getting together. He glanced at his dom, and Harvey reached over, put his finger under Mike’s chin and raised his head up. The movement tugged on his nipples clamps, sending a wave of thrilling pain through his body, and Mike moaned and arched up against his dom. Harvey smiled and bent his head to kiss him, and Mike melted against him, the warm kiss of his dom making the pain in his nipples worthwhile.

Harvey released him. “I think you’re having a good time, aren’t you, Pup?”

Mike just smiled, and rested his chin on Harvey’s thigh, taking care not to jostle his nipple clamps, enjoying the sense of closeness and the thrill of his own submission. He zoned out again, drifting away on a happy haze.

He watched as a blond man with an impressively toned body walked into the club, his muscles bulging against the confines of the tux he was wearing. He seemed to know exactly where he was going, and he strode over to a table in the corner and sat down opposite a handsome, brooding man with an authoritative air and dark hair.

“You’re late, Bond,” the dark-haired man said, in a clipped, British accent.

Mike thought that maybe he was starting to hallucinate, high on his own submission and the happy tingle of pain from his clamped nipples, because that couldn’t really be James Bond sitting over there, could it?

“Sorry, M. I had some business to take care of.” Bond gave a smug smile, and beckoned to Matt. “A vodka martini,” he ordered. “Shaken – not stirred.”

“Yes, sir,” Matt said, running off back to the bar.

“I heard your ‘business’. You were wearing a wire, remember,” M said sharply. “It seems to me that your ‘business’ involved you seducing some intel out of the Russian ambassador.”

“Well, you ordered me to get the information by any means at my disposal.” Bond sat back in his chair, a knowing smile on his face. “And seduction was one of the techniques I was taught when I joined Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”

Mike thought he probably really was hallucinating this. There was no way that James Bond was sitting over there, talking to his new boss, Mallory, from the Skyfall movie. Maybe it was just two look-alikes, enacting a role-play scenario.

“So, was he good-looking?” M asked.

“The Russian ambassador? He was, rather. Very… muscular.”

“Did he fuck you hard?” M leaned forward, his tongue darting out to moisten his lips.

“He did. Very spirited, the Russians. Lots of passion. Plus, he had an extremely big dick.” There was a glimmer of amusement in Bond’s eyes.

M’s eyes darkened in response. “I can see you’ve been off the leash too long. You need a reminder of who you belong to, Bond.”

“You’re right. I do.” Bond glanced around the club with a smirk. “I presume that’s why we’re here.”

“Yes, it is, 007. Now strip.”

M got to his feet, and Bond followed, an insouciant grin on his face. M walked over to the St. Andrew’s Cross, and Bond stripped off his jacket and bow tie as he followed him. He threw them onto a nearby chair, and then slowly unbuttoned his shirt. He threw that onto the chair, too, and then stepped forward, his muscles rippling. He had a very impressive physique, and the level of conversation dropped to a low hum as people sat up and watched.

A space was cleared around the cross, and the bare-chested Bond stepped up to it. M took hold of his arms, one by one, and fastened them to the cross.  

"Brace yourself. I won't be going easy on you, Bond," M told the captive man sternly.

"I was rather hoping you'd say that, sir," Bond replied, with a little smirk.

Silence fell as M picked up a flogger from the rack of implements, raised it high, and brought it down with a resounding thwack on Bond’s bare shoulders. It left a red stain that quickly faded from his pale skin, and was just as quickly replaced by a new mark. Bond merely put his head down with a little grunt, his muscles twitching tautly under the surface of the skin. M raised his arm again, and delivered several more strokes, all of them hard and perfectly aimed.

Soon, Bond's shoulders and back were glowing a warm pink from the flogging. Mike watched, transfixed, wondering what felt like to be tied up and flogged like that, with everyone watching. Bond looked entirely happy to be in this position, and M was playing the stern dom to perfection.

After a good, long flogging, M returned to Bond’s side, grabbed his hair, and pulled his head back. "Not so cocky now, are we, 007?” he demanded.

Bond grinned at him hazily. “No, sir.”

M leaned in and gave Bond a deep, commanding kiss on the mouth, forcing his lips apart and plundering Bond's mouth with his tongue. Bond hung in his bonds, looking utterly blissed out, moaning softly into the kiss. M drew back, and gazed at Bond with a satisfied smile. “That's better. I think you’ve remembered who you belong to now, Bond.”

“Yes, sir,” Bond said, his blue eyes sparkling happily. M undid his wrists, and pulled him away from the St. Andrew’s cross.  Bond swayed, and M wrapped an arm around his body to support him. “Do you want me to suck your dick now, sir?” Mike heard Bond ask, as they walked towards the back rooms together.

“You shouldn’t need to be told, 007,” M said sternly. “It’s definitely time we put that talented tongue of yours to better use than answering back and pleasuring the Russians.”

Bond gave a snort of amusement, and then the two men disappeared from sight.

A tap on Mike’s shoulder made him sit up, startled. He glanced at his dom.

“Did you like that, Mike?” Harvey asked. “Do you want to have a go?” He nodded at the St. Andrew’s Cross.

Mike tried to snap back into the moment, but he felt lost, floating high and hazy, as if in a dream.

Mulder’s face loomed into sight in front of him. “Oh, he’s well gone, Harvey. Lost in subspace. I should know – been there plenty of times myself.”

“Lucky bastard,” Tony’s voice said, from some way over to Mike’s left.

Harvey leaned forward and unchained the gag from the nipple clamps. Then he gently unbuckled the gag from around Mike’s neck. “I’m taking this off you now, but you don’t have to speak unless you want to,” he said.

Mike’s mouth felt weird without the intrusion of the rubber penis stuffed into it. He moved his jaw, and noticed that it was aching.

“Okay?” Harvey asked, and Mike nodded. He felt like he was underwater, and everything was muffled, moving slowly around him.

“I think I just saw James Bond,” he muttered, his voice sounding strange to his own ears, after the hours of enforced silence.

“Like I said – completely out of it,” Mulder commented.

“I think you were imagining it, Mike,” Harvey said. “Must be that conversation we had at the office earlier. Although, that guy who just took a flogging did definitely have a look of Daniel Craig about him.”

Mike smiled. It didn’t matter.

"Here." Harvey pressed a glass to his lips, and now Mike realised how parched his mouth was, and he drank the water eagerly, downing the entire glass in a few gulps.

When he was finished, he looked around and saw that the club was nearly empty, so it must be late. Only a few people were left, and Hammer was clearing away at the bar.

He saw Rick standing by the bar, talking to Matt while he worked. “Look, I’ve got a role in a new show that’s starting next year – something about some federal agents in a crack undercover unit,” Rick said. “There’s a part in the script that would be perfect for you, Matt. Why don’t I call Petra – she’s the showrunner – and ask her to audition you?”

“You’d do that?” Matt asked, his eyes shining.

“Sure. It’s just an audition, so no promises, but you’ve got the right look for the character – he’s a kid by the name of Ben Harris, new to law enforcement and really green, with lots to learn. You'd be perfect for the role.”

“And what do you want in return?” Matt asked suspiciously.

Rick glared at him. “Hang on, kid – I wouldn’t do that to you. I just remember how hard it was getting my first break, and I’d like to help you out. No strings attached. Look, here’s my number. Think about it.”

“No strings.” Matt gave a little smile as he took the card Rick was offering him. “Thanks, Rick. That’s really nice of you.”

“You’re welcome. Although – for the record – you want me to spank you, and you know it.” He gave Matt a wink, and then walked away.

“Come here, Pup.” Harvey took hold of Mike’s hand, and then, without warning, he pulled him over his knee. “I don’t think the St. Andrew’s Cross is what you need tonight, but I haven’t forgotten about you eavesdropping earlier, so it’s punishment time.”

Mike had been over Harvey’s knee many times before, but never with an audience of onlookers. He squirmed with embarrassment as he saw Mulder, Walter, Gibbs, Tony, and Rick, all standing around, watching.

He felt Harvey’s hand on his exposed bottom, caressing it, and then a firm slap warmed his ass. He gave a little yelp, but he knew this was just the beginning. Harvey’s spankings always really hurt, and he knew this one wouldn’t be any different, but he also knew that he’d be disappointed if they didn’t. He relished the stinging slaps, raining down on his naked bottom, sending fiery shockwaves of pain through his body. He loved the sense of helplessness, and the knowledge that he was Harvey’s sub, over Harvey’s knee, taking a firm punishment spanking. It gave him a thrill of humiliation to see the people watching, and he squirmed inwardly at being so exposed, even while he loved it at the same time. He loved knowing these people were watching him in this abject position, taking a spanking from his lover, his dom, his... master.

“Lucky pup,” he heard Tony murmur, and Gibbs gave a little grunt.

“That’ll be you later tonight, when we’re alone,” Gibbs said. “Don’t think I’ve forgotten about that shameless flirting earlier.”

“I was hoping you hadn’t.” Tony glanced at his dom with a grin. “No point doing it otherwise!”

Harvey increased the force of the spanks, and Mike began to whimper and yelp and scream in earnest, as his bottom was assaulted by fiery waves of pain.

He saw Mulder get up and go and kneel beside Walter, and Walter put a hand on Mulder's shoulder and squeezed. Mulder glanced up with a look of total devotion in his eyes as he gazed at his master.

Out of the corner of his eye, Mike saw Matt, standing by a table with a cloth, watching the spanking, his work completely forgotten as he gazed at Mike with a look of longing in his eyes. Mike managed to holler and scream while smiling through his tears at Matt at the same time, and Matt seemed transfixed by the sight.

Harvey took his time thoroughly punishing his sub’s backside, but then the pace of the spanks began to slow, and finally they stopped, and Mike could feel Harvey gently caressing his well-spanked bottom.

Then it was over, and Harvey helped him off his lap and back into a kneeling position on the floor.

Walter cleared his throat and got up. “Thank you, Harvey. That was beautiful.”

Harvey smiled. “Well, I learned from a master," he said softly.

“And you learned well. You always were a quick study. As for you, young man.” Walter came to stand in front of Mike, and looked down on him. “You know, I worried about Harvey for a long time. When he came to us in DC, he was a raw talent, but I always knew he had it in him to be a superb dom. The only problem was that we couldn’t find him a compatible sub. There wasn’t anyone there who brought out the true dom in him, and made him really feel it. I understood when he decided to walk away from the scene. I knew he was disappointed that he hadn’t found a sub he could really connect with, and that he was prepared to wait forever, if need be, rather than settle for less. Then he gave me a call one day, and told me about you, so I was anxious to meet you for myself, and see if you really are what Harvey needs.”

Mike looked up, suddenly worried in case Walter had found him lacking tonight. He had been very petulant at the beginning. Maybe Walter would think he wasn’t worthy of Harvey.

Walter smiled down on him, and then he put his hands on either side of Mike’s face, lifted his head, and bestowed a little kiss on his forehead. “And you are, little one. You’re perfect for him. I didn’t think Harvey would be able to find a sub who could keep up with him intellectually, and yet also really submit to him, the way he needs, but somehow, he did. Thank you, Mike, for showing us your true self tonight. I know that isn’t always an easy thing to put out there, but you were a joy to watch, as you slowly went down into yourself, and responded so beautifully to your dom’s touch throughout the evening.”

Mike felt himself glow at the praise – Walter was the kind of man who he instinctively wanted to impress, even though he’d only met him for the first time today.

“Harvey’s a good man,” Walter added quietly. “But sometimes he forgets that – and it’s your job to remind him. Harvey’s a good man, but you make him a better man, Mike. “

Mike smiled, remembering Mulder’s words about Harvey needing someone to take care of, to remind him he was human, so he didn’t melt his wings by trying to fly too close to the sun.

Walter leaned in close, and spoke in his ear, so only he could hear. “That thing you want so much – just ask him, Mike. You might find it’s much easier than you’re making it in your head.”

He drew back, and gave Mike a little wink.

“Come on, Pup. Time to take you home and put this well-spanked ass to good use,” Harvey said, clipping the leash back onto Mike’s collar.

Mike got to his feet and followed Harvey, aware of his hot bottom flaming in the cutaway pants for all to see.

They passed Matt, still standing by the table, gazing at Rick uncertainly across the room. Mike paused, and then, impulsively, he grabbed Matt’s arms.

“Do it!” he said fiercely. “You won’t regret it.” He grabbed the cloth out of Matt’s hands, threw it on the table, and then pushed Matt in Rick’s direction.

Matt walked over there uncertainly, and Rick grinned at him and held out his hand. Matt took it, and Rick wrapped a big arm around his shoulder, pulled him in close, tipped up his chin, and bent his head to bestow a sweet kiss on his lips.

Harvey raised an eyebrow. “Playing matchmaker, Mike?”

“Why not?” Mike grinned. “It’s Christmas, Harvey. Everyone should be happy at Christmas.”

They said goodbye to the people Mike hadn’t even met a few short hours ago as if they were old friends, hugging them and promising to keep in touch: Mulder, with his monotone voice and watchful hazel eyes; Walter, with his strong, wise, commanding presence; Tony, with his sense of mischief and fun; Gibbs – quiet, stern and forceful; Rick, dramatic and noisy, with his great zest for life; and Matt, hesitant and unsure, taking his first steps on a beautiful journey.

Then they walked up the stairs together, and Mike was aware of the little tag on his collar clinking against the leash.

Property of Harvey Specter. It was who he was, and he was proud of who he was. Why the hell had he been so nervous about taking that final step when it was the most natural thing in the world?

“Harvey,” he said as they got into the waiting limousine. Ray closed the door behind them, and Harvey grabbed Mike’s hand and pulled him down, so that he was sitting on his lap.

“Yes, Mike.” Harvey played with Mike’s nipple clamps, sending little spikes of pain through Mike’s sore flesh.

“I was wondering… you see, Mulder was telling me that he and Walter are in a 24/7 relationship, where Mulder is Walter’s slave.”

“I know that, Pup.” Harvey was gazing at him keenly.

“And I don’t want that,” Mike said hurriedly. “At least, not 24/7. But I would like to play at it, sometimes. Perhaps for a weekend, or for longer when we’re on vacation? Or even, sometimes, just for an evening, when we’re both in the mood?”

Harvey’s dark eyes were shining. “I’d like that, Mike, but if we do it, then we have to do it properly,” he said quietly. “See, I love it when you talk back to me, when you’re sassy, and smart, and a pain in the ass.” He grinned. “But when we’re doing the master/slave thing, when we’re really playing at that level, then I need the kind of submission you showed me tonight. So, if we do this thing, then we do it properly, and we mean it, at least for the time we’re doing it. Yes?”

Mike nodded, understanding that the dom in Harvey needed to be expressed just as much as the sub in him. “Yes,” he replied firmly.

“You know, we don’t have anything planned for Christmas. How about we continue what we started tonight, and play at this level for the next couple of days?” Harvey suggested.

Mike grinned. “Yes please!”

“Good... now, having this warm little ass on my lap is making me horny. So…” Harvey unzipped his pants and released his hard cock. Then he rearranged Mike, so that he was straddling him.

“You’re going to fuck me here? In the car?” Mike asked, wondering what Ray would make of that.

“Yes, Michael, I am. You’re my sub, and I’m going to fuck you any place I like,” Harvey said firmly.

“Michael?” Mike pulled back and looked at his dom.

“That’s your name for when we’re in 24/7 mode,” Harvey told him.

“Kind of like my slave name?” Mike asked, remembering what Mulder had said about the slave name Skinner had given to him also being his real name.

“That’s right, Michael.” Harvey suddenly grabbed Mike’s warm butt cheeks and pulled them wide apart, then he took a tube of lubricant out of his pocket and slicked Mike’s hole. He didn’t spend long on preparation – they were both too eager to get on with it. Harvey anointed his cock with lubricant, and then pushed it up into Mike’s hole.

Mike moaned as Harvey’s cock breached the ring of muscle and slid effortlessly into place, where it belonged, and Harvey pulled him close and kissed him hungrily, thrusting his tongue into Mike’s mouth as he thrust his cock deep into Mike’s body. Mike rode him, with Harvey’s hands on his hips, keeping him steady, as Mike rocked up and down on that big, hard cock.

Mike’s own cock strained at the front of his PVC pants, and Harvey grinned and opened them, freeing Mike’s cock and taking it in his hand. Mike sighed and pushed his cock against Harvey's hand, wanting release, but Harvey shook his head.

“Not yet, Michael. Not until I come. Hold it.”

“Please, Harvey… please,” Mike whimpered, desperately wanting to come.

"I said, not yet," Harvey replied severely. He moved his hand, and Mike felt an atrocious blaze of pain in his nipples as Harvey removed the clamps.

“That should slow you down a little,” Harvey murmured, throwing the nipple clamps onto the limo floor. He was right – Mike’s erection wilted from the pain, but Harvey nuzzled against his nipples, taking each one into his mouth in turn and sucking on them soothingly until the pain receded, and soon Mike’s cock was hard again.

“Good boy. Keep riding me,” Harvey ordered, and Mike did as he was told, rising and falling energetically, gazing down on his smiling dom as he fucked himself on his cock.

“That’s good.” Harvey’s hands wandered over his body, claiming and owning him, as was his right, and Mike found that he didn’t care about Ray in the front of the car, watching them in the mirror – he only cared about giving his dom pleasure.

Harvey grabbed Mike’s tousled hair, pulled his neck to one side, and bit down hard just above his collar. Mike whimpered, but he had never felt more owned, and he loved it. He was wearing a tag proclaiming himself Harvey’s property, he had Harvey’s big cock inside him, fucking him hard, and now Harvey was putting his mark on him.

Harvey released him and gazed at the mark on his neck with glowing eyes. “Oh, that looks good, Michael,” he murmured throatily, touching the mark with his fingers. “You look good marked.”

“Thank you for marking me,” Mike said, basking in the pleasure of being so completely owned.

“You can come after me,” Harvey told him, and he grabbed Mike’s hips in a tight hold and thrust up into him urgently, over and over again. It didn't take long before he cried out his orgasm, holding onto Mike tightly as he pumped into his body.

Now that his master was done, Mike threw back his head and screamed as his own orgasm claimed him, sending dizzying fireworks of pure pleasure through every nerve-ending in his body, and then he came to rest, with Harvey’s cock still embedded deep inside him.  He rested his forehead against Harvey’s, both of them breathing heavily as they recovered.

Mike slowly kissed his dom on the lips, thinking of all the little glimpses he’d seen into other people’s lives this evening: All those stories, and all those people, finding each other and themselves in so many different ways, and taking their first steps on this journey together.

“It’s been an amazing Christmas Eve,” he whispered into Harvey’s neck. “Thank you… Master.”

There, he’d said it, and it didn’t feel embarrassing or stupid, and he didn’t fear that Harvey would mock him for it. Instead, it felt like the most natural thing in the world. He drew back a little way, and saw that Harvey’s dark eyes were glistening, and he remembered what Walter had said about how long Harvey had been waiting for a sub he could really connect with.

“You’re welcome, Michael,” Harvey said softly, pulling Mike’s head forward, and kissing him again.

Mike snuggled against Harvey’s chest, and they gazed out of the window at the streets outside as they whizzed by in the limousine. It was late, and snow had started to fall, gently blanketing the world, muffling all sound.

“It really is our very own silent night,” Harvey said softly.

Mike smiled and leaned in for another kiss. “Yes, Master.”

The End
Friendly, Christmassy Feedback Adored!

If you want to read more about these characters, then this version of Harvey and Mike also appears in my stories Possession, Envy and The Christmas Tree. This version of Skinner and Mulder appears in my stories 24/7 and Two Masters. This version of Gibbs and Tony appears in my stories Two Masters and The Word. And a slightly different version of Rick and Matt can be found in a BDSM Universe AU in my original novel Ricochet

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