Author's Note: This was written as an RPG (Role Playing Game) between me and a new friend/co-author named Phoenix360. The story takes place during Season 1 Episode 4 'Going Rogue'. I'm playing Dr. Wells, and Phoenix360 is playing Cisco. This story takes place in the same universe as my story 'An Effective Punishment', but takes place prior to that one.
Disclaimer: We don't own any of these characters, and we're not making any money from this story.
Warning: Coerced disciplinary spanking of an adult male by his mentor/boss.
Co-Author's Website: Phoenix360's page.

A Difficult Punishment

It had been a long day, and Dr. Wells was more than ready for it to be over, but he needed to have a serious discussion with Cisco about what he'd done before he could go home. He'd been truly angry with the young man earlier in the day when Cisco had told him about the missing cold gun he'd created without permission. But as the day had progressed, his anger had mostly dissipated as the team worked together to solve the problems Leonard Snart, a.k.a. Captain Cold, had thrown at them. Now he was left with disappointment and frustration in the younger man's actions, and he was committed to making sure it wouldn't happen again.

It was late, and everyone was getting ready to go home. There wasn't anything else the team could do tonight to find Snart, the cold gun, or the diamond Snart had taken. Felicity had said goodbye, Caitlin was cleaning up her workstation, and Barry was headed to the locker room to pick up his stuff.

Wells knew it was time to get this unpleasant task over with. "Cisco," he said when they were alone in the room. When the young man made eye contact Wells put a hand on his upper arm, and said intently, "Don't you ever do anything like that again. Do you understand me?"

"Yes, Sir."

Hearing sincerity in the younger man's voice helped to appease any residual anger Wells had been harboring. With a curt nod, he let go of Cisco's arm and started to roll his wheelchair away as he said, "Once everyone else is gone for the night, come see me in my office."

Cisco, who had just been trying to get out of there as quickly as possible and drown his guilt and sorrows with lots and lots of booze, froze in place upon hearing these words.

Turning around, he stared with wide, brown eyes at Dr. Wells' retreating wheelchair before letting out a comically loud gulp. Rather than go join Barry in the locker room like he'd originally intended to, he walked with weak legs to one of the chairs and collapsed down onto it, covering his face. 'Not good, not good. Cisco, what are you going to do? Why did you have to be so stupid?'

Only once had he been asked to see Wells in his office once everyone else was gone and, if it was anything like the first time, nothing good was in store him. It had not been too long ago, before the particle accelerator had blown, when Dr. Wells still had the use of his legs. That asshole, Hartley Rathaway, had always pissed Cisco off, but, on this particular day, he'd really managed to get under his skin. Long story short, it had culminated in him losing his temper and punching Hartley in his smug face, breaking his glasses. It had been worth it at the time, but Cisco had ended up singing a different tune by the end of the day, when a displeased Dr. Wells had called him into his office and promptly punished him by... by...

Cisco let out a loud groan before trying, futilely, desperately, to convince himself that he was jumping to conclusions. Dr. Wells probably just wanted to go over something last minute with him... he hoped.

But, try as he might, he knew he was just kidding himself and, by the time both Barry and Caitlin had departed, the young mechanical engineering genius stood outside his boss's office, feeling as if he was going to be sick. The short wait had done nothing to calm his nerves, in fact achieving the exact the opposite. He had managed to work himself into a frenzied panic, wondering just what Dr. Wells wanted to see him about. He knew it was probably for punishment, he wanted to believe it was just for a talk, but he feared it was for something far, far worse.

What if...what if Dr. Wells was going to fire him?

Tears began to fill up Cisco's eyes as such a possibility became more and more plausible. He'd messed up today. He'd really messed up. Not only had he designed a weapon, something which Dr. Wells made no secret about detesting, he'd made one that could specifically hurt The Flash a.k.a. Wells' greatest creation, Team Flash's hope and glory, and Central City's very own superhero. Add on how said weapon now lay in the hands of the enemy and someone had died as a result and Cisco wasn't so confident about his employment at S.T.A.R. Labs for the foreseeable future.

He remembered the conversation he and Dr. Wells had had earlier. He'd never seen the older man so angry before.

"You didn't think. Because if you had, you would have discussed with me first your desire to build something that in theory could hurt anyone and, in particular, Barry Allen!"

"I'm sorry. If you would just let me explain-"

"You know how I feel about weapons, Cisco, they do not belong in S.T.A.R. Labs. Now, you are going to figure out a way to locate this gun and you are going to do it right now.

Cisco hesitated to knock on the door. Just how angry would Dr. Wells be if he were to no-show?

While Wells was waiting for Cisco, he went to his computer and pulled up the security camera for the main lab to observe the younger man. There was no doubt in his mind that Cisco had an inkling of what was going to happen as soon as he got to the office since it had happened once before, and he wanted to see how the kid was taking it. For quite a while he watched Cisco simply sitting in a chair in the lab, clearly thinking things over. As he'd suspected, there was no anger or resentment in the kid's expression. He saw embarrassment, shame, and a healthy dose of dread and worry cross Cisco's face while he contemplated his fate, which assured Wells that he'd chosen the correct punishment for the young man.

Once Cisco got up and headed in his direction, Wells turned off the computer screen, and rolled around the desk to sit in the middle of the office. Wells heard Cisco's footsteps in the hall walking to his office, but once they stopped, he didn't hear a knock. As the seconds ticked by with only silence on the other side of the door, Wells became slightly irritated. He knew this was the last thing that Cisco wanted to do, he didn't really want to do it either, but the kid needed to face up to what he'd done, like it or not.

Wells crossed his arms and said loud enough to be heard through the door, "Making me wait isn't helping your case Mr. Ramon."

Cisco, still debating the pros and cons of making a run for it or coming up for a convincing enough lie to get out of this, jumped when he heard Dr. Wells call out to him. His blood running cold, he stared at the door, trying to work up the courage to open it. Wells knew he was outside, so making him wait any longer would only make him angrier than he already was. Not that that mattered much if he was really about to be fired...

Sucking it up and deciding to take the 'walk of shame', so to speak, Cisco took a deep breath, counted to five, and opened the door.

Any resolve or courage the young man had left him the second he shut the door and saw Dr. Wells waiting for him in the middle of the office, arms crossed. He didn't look very impressed, but at least it wasn't the fury he'd seen in the man's blue eyes from before when they discovered the cold gun was gone. Cisco wouldn't admit it to anyone, but he'd honestly been frightened of his boss. And not the kind of fear he was feeling now, but the 'Please don't kill me', kind. It made him grateful that Barry wasn't seriously injured in any way because, if he had, forget being fired, Dr. Wells might very well have killed him!

Speaking of Dr. Wells...

"Sorry, Sir, I d-didn't mean to make you wait," he apologized, unable to look the older man in the eyes, opting instead to keep his gaze focused on his shoes. He didn't think he could keep a hold of himself if he had to face Wells.

With a sigh, Wells said, "Earlier today when I found out what you'd done..." He shook his head. "...I was angry, and I didn't give you a chance to explain. I've calmed down, and you've had time to think things over, so I'm ready to hear you out, but I doubt anything you say is going to change my mind. What exactly made you decide to build that weapon without authorization?"

"Sir, I swear, I never meant for any of this happen. I-I didn't even make it to take down Barry." Cisco cringed, he should really choose his words more carefully.

Exhaling, he started again, "What I'm trying to say is, Dr. Wells, I invented it shortly after Barry woke from his coma only as a Plan B in case he turned out to be evil - well, I don't mean evil, more a threat, like the other metahumans we've encountered so far. But, then we started Team Flash and I saw what a good person, a hero, Barry was and I realized there was no need for the cold gun." Cisco still kept his eyes planted on the ground as he said this. 'Don't look him in the eyes', he kept repeating over and over in his mind. 'If you do, you'll lose your cool completely.'

And then, feeling as if it wouldn't hurt to add on a little more... "I know I should have told you about the cold gun then, it's just... Dr. Wells, one of the reasons I also built it was because I wanted to challenge myself, so see if I could do it. That gun was proof that I could. And I never thought it would be stolen. If I had, I would have taken more precautions to ensure that didn't happen."

These were all perfectly valid, reasonable reasons, Cisco felt. But, as for not getting authorization? It was because he knew that, regardless of the arguments he'd just made, Wells would never have allowed him to build it. It was designed to do harm to Barry Allen, The Flash, so it could not exist, case closed, no ifs, ands, or buts. His wonderful creation would have then probably been destroyed, all that hard work going down the drain. Better to lock it away and never let it be used, content with the knowledge that he had it, that he had created it rather than see it all go to waste, he thought.

"Erm, that's, that's it, Sir," Cisco finished, now awaiting his boss's judgement.

Unsatisfied with that explanation, Wells leaned forward, put his elbows on his knees and laced his fingers together. "You didn't answer the important part of my question, Cisco. I understand why you originally wanted to make it, and I understand why you didn't ask for permission, because you knew I wouldn't give it to you. What I don't understand is why you decided to do it anyway. I have to assume that you calculated the likelihood of getting caught vs. your desire to make the gun, and surmised that you'd get away with it. The other possibility, which I find much more difficult to believe, is that you had the impulse to make it, and didn't think over the consequences until after it was built, and then hid it from me because you knew I wouldn't approve."

Trying not to get angry again, Wells took a deep breath, and said firmly, "So now you look me in the eye, and tell me if it was a calculated move on your part, or if this was another impulse control issue like when you punched Hartley."

It was hard - unbearably hard - but Cisco managed to obey the older man and tear his eyes away from the floor to face him. The second he did, he flinched at that cold, blue unwavering gaze and found himself struggling to answer.

"Dr. Wells, I..." Cisco begun, but, thinking better of it, shook his head.

He was trying to figure out which of the two choices would be better, or, to be more accurate, which would displease the man less and prevent a more severe punishment. If he said the former, than he'd be pretty much admitting that he knowingly, intentionally, went behind his boss's back to build an invention he knew would not be allowed under any circumstances. If the latter, then that would mean he'd gone and made the same mistake again, clearly having learned nothing the first time he was punished.

Insubordination or Impulsiveness? Which to choose?

But, when Cisco stared back into those blue eyes, he realized that there was no way he could lie. Dr. Wells would see right through him and, more importantly, he wouldn't be able to handle the shame, the guilt.

"The first one, Sir. I knew, I just...I just thought I could lock it away and that'd be the end of it," he all but whispered.

He'd known right from the start that, if he wanted to build it, he'd have to gain approval from Dr. Wells first (as did all of them when it was related to S.T.A.R. Labs or The Flash). And, he'd also known that there was as much chance of that happening as Batman himself dropping by for a visit. In the end, he'd come to the decision that the pros far outweighed the cons, that he knew better than Dr. Wells and that such a device - he refused to say weapon - would be sure to come in handy one day.

He was wrong. So, very wrong, and he was suffering for it now. Now, he regretted building the damn thing. Barry felt betrayed and their relationship might never be the same again. A man had died, Captain Cold had it in his possession and now...

His lip started to wobble. Unable to stop himself, Cisco choked out, "Please don't fire me, Dr. Wells. I'm so sorry!"

"Fire you?" Wells shook his head. "I'm not going to fire you, Cisco."

Firing the kid was the last thing on Wells' mind. There was no replacing Cisco's genius, or his problem solving capabilities, and Wells genuinely enjoyed the younger man's company most of the time. He hadn't planned on it, but over the years he'd formed a somewhat paternal bond with the young man, which made punishing him that much harder, but it needed to be done. This was the first time that Cisco had deliberately done something that he knew he wasn't supposed to do at S.T.A.R. Labs, and Wells was going to put an abrupt halt to that behavior.

At first, Cisco felt nothing but an overwhelming relief. Relief that Dr. Wells wasn't going to cast him out of S.T.A.R. Labs, never to return. He couldn't imagine such a life. Not being able to come in every day and work alongside and have fun with Caitlin, Barry, and Dr. Wells. At this point, they were more of a family to him that his own.

"Oh, thank God," he half gasped, half laughed before wiping at his face with his hand, trying to rid himself of the tears that just wouldn't stop falling.

And then he heard Wells' next words and the relief was replaced with fear.

"I'm going to punish you." Wells started adjusting the armrests on his wheelchair so that they were pointing toward the ground and out of the way. "I know it was difficult for you to admit that you purposely made the gun behind my back, and I appreciate the honesty, but I can't let that behavior slide." He made eye contact with the miserable looking kid and said, "So you're going over my knee for a spanking."

"A spanking?" Cisco repeated dumbly. He didn't know why he was surprised. Hadn't this been his first guess before he started to fear the repercussions of his actions would be worse? After all, Dr. Wells had spanked him once before, it was only natural he'd do it again should he ever step out of line like he did with the Cold Gun. He couldn't even hope that Wells might have decided on another befitting punishment because, as his boss had gone out of his way to explain to him the first time, he punished each of them according to what was most effective. And what was effective for Cisco was receiving a spanking.

Only thing was, Cisco really didn't want to get spanked. Aside from being humiliating, it hurt. And he had an inkling this one was going to be even worse than the first one he received from the older man.

"But, Dr. Wells, I'm in my twenties!" He spluttered, face flushing. "And, and I know what I did was wrong, but it was for good reasons. It's not like the first time when I lost my temper and attacked another co-worker! And-and... Please, Sir, don't give me a spanking..." he finished rather pathetically.

Wells shook his head, and forced himself to stay firm when confronted with Cisco's woeful expression. He knew that the young man was dreading this, but he also knew that if he didn't punish him, Cisco would be berating himself about it for weeks. He also knew that if he didn't take care of this today, there was a very good chance that Cisco would try something like this again a year or two down the road. Only next time, it might be even worse.

"You're right, this isn't like the first time. The first time was an impulsive mistake. This time you were purposely deceitful and insubordinate, so you are getting spanked."

He pointed to the floor next to the right side of his wheel chair and said, "Come here."

Cisco shook his head, impulsively taking a step back. It wasn't done out of insolence, he didn't mean to disobey Dr. Wells. Rather, he acted purely out of fear. It didn't matter how he'd already gone through this once with Wells and a couple of times in the past with his grandma, he'd always dread the pain that came from taking one. That was perfectly natural, right?

It was also a matter of pride. He was an adult now, not a little kid! The first time was shortly after being hired at S.T.A.R. Labs, when he was still shy, star-struck, and desperate to prove himself. So, when Dr. Wells had called him into his office, placed his hands on his shoulders, and calmly but sternly told him he was going to punish him with a spanking, no way was he going to argue. Even though it had been humiliating - Wells stated he normally gave over the desk spankings, but said he'd make an exception with Cisco - even though Hartley totally had it coming, he hadn't put up a fight because spanking or not, it was his idol. Harrison Wells.

Now? Cisco liked to believe that, since their relationship had progressed somewhat from the days of celebrity boss and his adoring employee, that his boss might be swayed.

And then he saw Dr. Well's expression, and he started to lose his resolve.

"And what if I refuse?" He gulped, still trying to stand his ground. "Wh-What happens then?"

"Cisco." The word was heavy with disappointment. "You're not going to refuse. You're just delaying the inevitable, and making this harder on yourself. But if you'd like me to play devil's advocate, I will. If you want to refuse that's fine. You can go home, and you can stay home until you've decided to take your punishment, because you're not allowed back in the lab until this is done. I know the guilt will eat at you, and you'll be back here in a couple of days in the same position you are now, but feeling worse."

"So let's get it over with." Wells jabbed his finger towards the floor by his chair again and said, "Come here. Right now."

The young boy didn't know what was worse. The disappointment that was tangible in Wells' voice or the fact that everything he'd just said was one hundred percent right. He wouldn't refuse and, if he did, it would only be a matter of time before he returned, begging to be punished because he couldn't sleep at night, because he deserved it.

Oh, he could leave and just not come back, but even he wasn't stupid enough to actually consider that. The only thing worse than being fired was quitting of his own violation - and to avoid a spanking of all things!

Resigned to the fact that he was going to be waking up to a very sore bottom tomorrow, Cisco began to slowly but surely approach Dr. Wells, shortening the distance between them. It felt like an eternity, but soon he was standing in the spot the wheelchair bound man had pointed to, feeling more dejected then he'd felt in a long time.

"I'm sorry, Dr. Wells," he said in a low voice. "For everything."

Pleased with the compliance, Wells said with some sympathy, "I know you are." He reached out and clasped the younger man's wrist in a firm grip. "But sometimes being sorry isn't enough."

He gently pulled at Cisco's arm to get the younger man across his lap. Once the kid was in place, Wells wrapped one arm around his waist to keep him there, expecting him to disagree with this next part. "These jeans are coming down," he said in warning before reaching under with both hands to unbutton the kid"s pants.

Face aflame with embarrassment, Cisco tried his best to get past how he was currently lying across his boss's lap and instead focused on getting into a somewhat comfortable position. Though froze when he heard Dr. Wells' words.

"What?" He yelped, eyes widening with horror. "Dr-Dr. Wells, you can't!" Craning his neck, he watched in horror as the older man managed to unbutton his trousers and pull them down, exposing his boxer-clad backside. He felt the urge to reach back and swipe at Wells' hand, to stand and hoist them back up, but he knew that would win him no favors.

"Sir, please!" He tried again. "I thought you kept the clothing on!" And then a horrible thought came to him. "You're not going to spank me bare are you!? Please don't, I'm begging you!"

Once the jeans were down, Wells secured his grip around Cisco's waist, and gave the panicking kid some reassurance. "No, the boxers can stay up."

He knew that Cisco wouldn't appreciate it, but he'd made an exception to the clothing staying up this time, specifically because he felt like Cisco was a family member rather than an employee. "I don't want to have to do this again, so I'm going to make damn sure this is something you plan to avoid in the future."

Having said that, Wells raised his right hand high, and brought it down with a resounding smack dead center on the kid's boxers.

Cisco let out an undignified yelp as Wells delivered the first smack, shocked at how much it hurt. It was nothing like the first time or any of the spankings his grandma had given him when a boy. It didn't take long for him to realize that it was due to the fact that that he lacked trousers or shorts on this occasion. The boxers may have covered his dignity, but, in terms of shielding the blow, they weren't all that effective. He might as well not be wearing them at all!

Hardening his heart to the pitiful yelp the kid had just made, Wells kept going. He knew before they were done, Cisco was going to be doing a lot more than yelping, and he wasn't about to let tears sway him from the task at hand.

Wells was as patient, methodical, and calculating with spanking as he was with everything else in his life. After that initial swat, he started a pattern of two smacks in a row on the right side, followed by two smacks in a row on the left side. He concentrated the first few swats near the top of the kid's rear end, and slowly started working his way down, listening closely to the young man's reactions.

Tears had already started to pool up in Cisco's eyes, much to his shame. He'd never had a high tolerance for pain, but, still, he thought he'd be able to last much longer before he started crying. But he couldn't, it hurt too much. The force of the smacks jolted his body every time they landed, and he was already starting to feel the discomfort. It was like this itch, one that only intensified the more and more Dr. Wells brought his hand down on his bottom.

"Urngh..." Cisco clenched his eyes closed, when Wells smacked the lower side of his bottom, four on each side. The lower down it went, the more it hurt. "Ow, ow, ow," he mumbled under his breath.

He feebly wiped at his eyes. He was adamant that he wasn't going to cry. He would work through the pain!

Wells could tell by the young man's tense body that twitched slightly with each smack that the spanking was getting to him. He kept moving the swats down until he was just past the crease where Cisco's butt met his thighs, and then he started over again at the top. Once he was spanking skin that was already undoubtedly sore, he said conversationally, "Tell me Cisco, are you allowed to start new projects here at the lab without getting my approval?"

Biting his lip, Cisco very nearly cried out when he felt Wells' hand move back to the top of his rear. By the time he'd reached the bottom, the pain in the top part had had time to dull somewhat. So, when he went back to targeting it again, the pain he felt was even worse. Now it was no longer a slow-burning itch, it was a full on sting, one that had him squirming against Dr. Wells' grip.

Trying hard not to swear or keep on moaning every time the older man landed a particularly hard swat, Cisco gulped and replied, "N-No, Sir..."

And then, in a moment of desperation, he reached back to shield his bottom. "Dr. Wells, I'm sorry, but it really hurts...!"

Wells stopped spanking long enough to grasp Cisco's wrist in his left hand. "I'm afraid it's going to hurt a lot more before we're done."

He kept a tight grip on Cisco's wrist, as he wrapped his arm back around the younger man's waist so that the hand Cisco had tried to block the spanking with was now being kept under his own stomach. Wells started spanking again exactly where he'd left off, and said, "Are you allowed to build weapons in the lab?"

"No, Sir, because weapons have no place in S.T.A.R. Labs," Cisco replied, mimicking the words the man had told him the day he first hired him. As Wells landed another hard swat, he desperately tried to defend his actions. "Bu-But, Dr. Wells, it wasn't a weapon! A weapon is created with the intention of injuring or killing and I never intended to hurt or kill Barry! It was just a contingency plan, that's all! I didn't want any of this to happen!"

Without the use of his right hand, Cisco had no way or stopping the tears from falling and, within seconds, he lost all composure and started sobbing. This was partly because the spanking was starting to hurt something fierce, but mostly it was emotional pain. It had been a rough day and, though he and Barry had seemingly patched things up, the guilt was very much still there.

Wells refused to let the distressing sound of Cisco crying change his course of action. He continued spanking with the same speed and force, but he couldn't help the note of sympathy that entered into his voice as he said, "I know you didn't mean for any of this to happen, and I know you'd never intentionally hurt Barry or anyone else. That's not what this is about." He'd reached Cisco's thighs for the second time, and stopped spanking for a moment.

He put his spanking hand on Cisco's lower back in comfort while he said, "I hope you understand that if the cold gun had never gone missing, and no one had been hurt by it, I'd still spank you for making it in the first place. I may not have found out about it this soon, but odds are I would have eventually discovered it."

The momentary pause in the spanking brought little relief to Cisco who was currently lost in his guilt. Well's reassurance brought him no peace of mind because, regardless of what could have, should have happened, the damage was still done. It wasn't even about the punishment anymore. It hurt, but Barry never trusting him again hurt even more. As did the fact that a man had lost his life because he didn't have the sense to tell his boss about his creation or lock it away securely enough. This was the kind of stuff that a simple "I'm sorry," wasn't going to fix, not right away, maybe even never. And that killed Cisco.

Now all he wanted to do was leave and go bury himself away in his room and be left alone to his guilt.

"Dr. Wells," he managed to compose himself enough to speak. He looked over at the older man with red-rimmed eyes. "Ca-Can I go now? I-I think I've learned my lesson." He nodded his head, trying to convince himself. "I really have. You-You don't need to keep on doing this, Sir."

He tried to tug the hand pinned under his stomach free, but, much to his dismay, Dr. Wells didn't relent.

"We're not done yet." Wells said tightening his hold while he spoke. "That spanking you just got is the same spanking you would have gotten for making the gun no matter what happened. This next part isn't about you learning your lesson, because I believe you when you say you've learned not to go behind my back. This next part is going to be about your guilt."

"I know you'll beat yourself up about this for months if I don't do a good job of punishing you, and I'd hate for that to happen. So I'm going to let go of your hand for a minute while I take off my belt, and you're going to stay exactly where you are. Is that understood?" He kept his grip tight on the boy, waiting to hear compliance before letting go.

A fresh wave of fear washed over Cisco. His sobs came to an abrupt stop and he gazed back at Dr. Wells in confusion. "Your belt? Wait, you're not actually going to use your belt on me, are you?"

It soon turned to dread when he realized that, yes, his boss fully intended to whoop him with his belt.

His face turning white, the young man shook his head. "No, no, no, please don't, Sir! You really don't have to! I'm fine, really! I just need to sleep on it! B-Besides, my own grandma never used an implement on me and..." Cisco trailed off when Wells' expression didn't waver. It seemed he could beg till he was blue in the face and the man would still remain steadfast in his decision to spank him with his belt.

Now resembling something of a downtrodden puppy, Cisco pleaded, "Please, Dr. Wells, I'm begging you! I don't think I can handle the belt!"

Wells had to look away from those pleading eyes, or he might have given in, and that wouldn't have helped Cisco get past this. Instead, Wells looked at the kid's rear end. He moved his spanking hand from the kid's back and let it rest on the upturned bottom over his knee in warning.

"This isn't negotiable, Cisco. I know it will hurt, and I know you're feeling pretty miserable right now, but you are getting spanked with the belt, because someone died today, and you're going to have a hard time living with that. If you refuse to be still while I take off my belt, I can always spank you with my hand some more until you agree." He gave the boy a small spank, more like a firm pat than the hard slaps he'd been doling out earlier.

His lip wobbling at the warning, Cisco had no choice but to accept defeat and nod his head. What could he do? Wells wasn't going to give until he complied and, if it was going to happen, better now without any problems then him kicking up a fuss and having to endure another spanking that lasted who knows how long.

He supposed he could always jump off Dr. Wells' lap when the man released his hand, but there was no way he was going to even attempt that. Wells may not be able to chase after him, but he could make it abundantly clear that he was even more disappointed in him for his behavior, and that was even worse than anger. And then Cisco would just end up returning to finish off the punishment, still receiving a spanking with the belt, but also the hand again for his troubles.

"Ok, Sir. I'll keep still."

"Good boy." Wells knew the praise was a bit juvenile, but he doubted Cisco was feeling particularly mature at this point in time, and he wanted him to have every incentive to stay put.

He let go of Cisco's wrist, and used both hands to unbuckle is belt. It made a slithering sound as he pulled it out of the loops of his pants. He quickly doubled it over, keeping the buckle and the other end in his hand.

True to his word, Cisco had stayed very still, including keeping his right arm where Wells left it. Once he had the belt in his right hand, Wells wrapped his left arm around Cisco's waist again. He clasped the kid's wrist in a firm grip, and pulled the boy closer until he was snug against his stomach, expecting involuntary struggling once this portion of the punishment started.

Wells raised the belt up and said gently, "Once this part is done, it will be over, and you'll be forgiven." In contrast to his soft tone of voice, the belt made a whistling sound as it went through the air, followed by a loud snap as it landed on the upper part of the kid's backside.

A high-pitched shriek of pain and surprise ripped through Cisco's mouth and, immediately after, he fell into a fit of sobs. It hurt just as much as getting whipped with a wound up towel, no, even more so! The knowledge that he'd be forgiven once this was over provided little comfort, mainly because he had no idea how long he had to endure this. Frankly, one was more than enough.

His legs kicking wildly and half worried the older man would snap at him to calm down, he alternated between "Please, Dr. Wells," and "It hurts, it hurts!"

Wells ignored the pleading, and kept snapping the belt down. Responding or stopping would only prolong the kid's suffering at this point. He tried to land each blow right under the last one without overlapping them, but it was difficult to aim while the kid was squirming around so much. He'd originally planed on ten with the belt, but after hearing Cisco's reactions, he stopped at eight, knowing it was enough. The kid would be sore for a few days, and hopefully that would be long enough for him to get past the guilt of what had happened today.

He let the belt drop to the floor, released Cisco's wrist, and started rubbing circles on the younger man's back, waiting for him to calm down.

In reality, the amount of times Dr. Wells brought the belt down on him wasn't that much. But, for Cisco, it could have been a hundred for all he cared, it hurt so much. Unlike the hand spanking from before, Wells only targeted one specific area with the belt, so the pain was far more intense and unbearable because of it. When he wasn't thrashing furiously against the man's surprisingly strong grip, he was a hysterical mess, practically begging for it to be over.

And then, mercifully, it was. The pain came to an abrupt stop, he heard the sound of the belt hitting the floor, and felt the soothing sensation of a hand on his back and he knew that it was finally over.

Relief washed over Cisco, but he found he couldn't stop crying - it was the incoherent, gasping kind where it was hard to get a word in edgeways, but he tried regardless. "I'm so sorry, Dr. Wells! I'm so, so sorry!" And then he just gave up, deciding he wasn't going to stop until he'd gotten it all out of his system.

Wells took a deep breath, glad to have the worst part over and done with. It was truly heart wrenching to hear the kid's sobs. At times like this he wished suspending the kid for a week would be a more effective punishment for him than spanking. That would certainly be less difficult and emotional for Wells, but he knew that wouldn't help the younger man to get past what he'd done, and he cared about him too much to let him wallow in his own self hatred.

"I know you're sorry," Wells said, speaking in a calm and gentle tone while continuing to rub the kid's back. "I accept your apology, and I forgive you." He waited for a few seconds until the crying sounded less frantic and then said in the same soothing tone, "Today was a miserable day for all of us, but it was especially bad for you. Even though you're going to be in pain, I promise tomorrow is going to be much better for you inside here." He cupped a hand on the back of Cisco's head for a moment, indicating his brain, and then went back to rubbing his back, waiting for the tears to stop.

Cisco, still crying but now starting to calm down, nodded his head at Wells' words of comfort. It probably didn't seem like it, but he was paying attention to what his boss was saying.

"Yes, Dr. Wells," he said, his voice weak from how hard he'd been crying throughout the spanking. Wiping his sleeve over his eyes, he grabbed a hold of the wheelchair and hoisted himself off the man's lab, pulling up his trousers as quickly as possible, regardless of the effect the course material had rubbing over his sore, throbbing ass.

He caught a sight of his reflection and marveled at what a mess he looked. His eyes were moist and red-rimmed, his face puffy and streaked with his tears. Basically, he looked like crap.

"So, er, I guess I'll be going then, Dr. Wells..." He said awkwardly.

Wells scooted his wheelchair back a few feet to his desk, and grabbed the box of tissues that was on the edge, and held it out for Cisco. "Clean yourself up, and give yourself a minute to get your bearings before you take off. I need to assure myself that you're really okay before I let you go."

Nodding, Cisco accepted the box of tissues and, plucking some out, started to wipe his face and eyes with them. It was far more effective than his sleeve and, soon, he was back to looking somewhat decent.

Discarding the box back on the desk, he stood in front of his boss and tried to articulate what he wanted to say. "Erm, D-Dr. Wells..." He swallowed before finally, "Thank you. For not firing me, and for the punishment. It means a lot to me that you care that much. I never really get that from my parents - too busy fawning over my brother Dante, the 'favorite child'. And you're right, I don't feel so good right now, but, at least I won't feel worse days or weeks from now, right?"

Cisco could see it now. At first he'd see reports on the man who died, and then, when the guilt returned and hit him full force, he'd start obsessively keeping tabs on Captain Cold, checking if there were any more victims. And if there were...

He shuddered, wrapping his arms around himself - face twisting with anguish. "What if more die because of that gun, Sir? This punishment won't be enough to make up for that! And what about Barry! He hates me now, Sir!"

Wells felt a rush of affection for the younger man when he actually thanked him for the punishment. Not many young people would be able to admit that they'd needed something like that. But then when the kid started getting upset again about possible future events, Wells knew he couldn't send the kid home just yet.

"Barry doesn't hate you, Cisco." He wheeled himself to the small loveseat that was against the wall. "Come over here and sit next to me on the couch for a couple of minutes so we can talk." He easily transferred himself out of his chair and onto the couch.

Sighing lightly, Cisco made his way over to the couch and tentatively took a seat next to Dr. Wells. He almost plopped right down, as he was prone to doing, but managed to stop himself in time, remembering how sore his bottom currently was and would be for the next couple of days.

"Okay, maybe hate is a bit of a strong word, but...well, you saw his face earlier, Dr. Wells! He could barely look at me! I'm just scared this is something we'll never be able to get passed..."

Wells put his arm around Cisco's shoulders, and pulled him close to lean against his side in a partial hug, and said, "Barry was angry when he found out, we all were, but Barry isn't going to hold this against you forever. He was already well on his way to forgiving you before he left tonight. Give it a couple of days, and you guys will be back to normal."

"Now, if Snart ends up killing someone else with the gun... well there comes a point when you just have to let things go, or they'll end up crushing you. There's a difference between taking responsibility for your mistakes, and wallowing in them. You admitted that you made the gun, you've taken your punishment for doing it, and I know you'll continue to do everything in your power to get it back. That's all you can reasonably do. When the metahumans hurt or kill innocent people using their abilities, technically that's my fault since the particle accelerator exploded under my watch, but at some point the blame shifts from me to them, and the same is true for Snart. Everyone he hurts after today is on him, not you."

The whole time Dr. Wells spoke, Cisco felt himself relax more and more, his guilt and worries lessen until, by the time the man had finished, he was already starting to resemble the Cisco Ramon they all knew and loved. That optimistic air he always carried around him returned and his body language was not as tense. In fact, unbeknownst to him, since Wells had wrapped his arm around his shoulders, he'd unconsciously leaned closer towards the man, enjoying the comfort. If Cisco was bolder, he'd turn the partial hug into a full one, but he didn't. This was his boss after all and, while he saw the man as something of a surrogate father, he wasn't so sure it was the same for Dr. Wells.

Exhaling deeply, he turned to Wells and gave a small smile. "Yeah, you're right. You're always right, Sir. There's no point in wallowing in my guilt, that'd be just as bad as me refusing to take any responsibility. The best thing I can do is try and make it up to Barry and to get that gun back from Captain Cold - I mean Snart - as soon as possible."

Dr. Wells was very pleased to see Cisco bouncing back from all of it, and gave the kid's shoulder a squeeze. "Exactly. That's the attitude that I want to see you with when you come in tomorrow." He took his arm off Cisco's shoulders and said, "Alright, you're free to go home. I suggest you take a couple of pain killers before you go to sleep, or everything will hurt more tomorrow morning."

"Thanks for reminding me," Cisco winced, already dreading how sore he was going to feel come the next day. Luckily, he always had a couple of Advil on standby, so he wouldn't have to make a quick stop at the store before heading home. "Doubt they'll do much good though..."

Standing up, he turned back to the older man and smiled. "Thanks again, Dr. Wells. I hope you have a nice night."

Wells smiled fondly and decided not to tell the kid that he wasn't suggesting the pain medications for his rear end as much as for all the thrashing around he'd done while being restrained. He figured that would only add to the young man's embarrassment. He waved a hand at the door and said, "You're welcome. Go on home, and try to get some sleep."

Looking forward to getting home himself, he transferred himself back into his wheelchair as the kid was leaving.

Cisco checked his watch and his brown eyes widened. The whole after-work meeting/punishment with Dr. Wells had taken far longer than he had thought it would. By the time he got back home, he'd barely have time for dinner before he'd have to go to bed. He could stay up longer, but he didn't want to run the risk of oversleeping and coming in late. That hadn't happened so far and he didn't plan for it to happen now.

Making his way to the locker room, he froze when he saw none other than Barry there.

Surprised at seeing someone else in the building, Barry said, "Hey man, what are you doing here this late at..." He stopped as he got a look at Cisco's face and slower than usual movement. "Are you okay?"

'Well, this is awkward.' Cisco thought, trying to think up a response to Barry's question. Telling him the truth was out of the question, so it was a matter of deciding whether he should flat out lie or just tell a half-truths, leaving out the more embarrassing details.

In the end, he went with the latter. "Yeah, I'm fine, dude," he joked, putting on a casual demeanor as he opened up his locker. "Dr. Wells was just giving me hell for the cold gun incident, that's all. It's cool, don't worry about it."

Barry's first thought was 'Good, you deserve it.' But after looking closely at Cisco's profile while he took stuff out of his locker, Barry was pretty sure his friend had been crying. He imagined that Dr. Wells could be really intimidating when he was angry. And he knew that Cisco looked up to Dr. Wells, so that would only make it worse. Barry always felt crappy when Joe laid into him for something. He still had some residual anger about what Cisco had done, but knowing that Wells had yelled at him for it, actually helped to put Barry in a more forgiving mood.

"That sucks." Barry said while opening his own locker, and grabbing the keys that he'd accidentally left there. "Was he really mad?"

"Not really. I mean, he was at first," Cisco answered, retrieving his possessions. "I'll be honest with you, man; I thought he was going to fire me. But, praise Jebus, he didn't. He was just really, really disappointed in me and that was even worse. I felt like I let him down, like I let everyone down..."

Wondering who Jebus was, and reminding himself to ask later, Barry winced and muttered, "Disappointment is the worst. I hate it when Joe says he's disappointed."

Hesitating, Cisco closed his locker and, turning to Barry, said, "Barry...I'm sorry. So, so sorry about what I did."

Hearing sincerity in his friend's voice, Barry closed his locker, and said. "I was pretty harsh earlier when you told me about making the gun, but I'm over it. I think I just needed some time to cool off, you know?" He smirked at himself, and said, "Bad choice of words, I needed time to calm down, not cool off. No more cooling off for me today." He held out his hand to shake. "So no hard feelings, okay?"

Cisco smiled, pleased that Barry had clearly forgiven him, that he didn't have to worry about there been any lingering awkwardness or resentment between the two of them. He considered the speedster one of his closest friends, and didn't want to lose that over some stupid gun. "Yeah, that's more than okay," he said, accepting Barry's hand. "You know you can always depend on me, right?"

"Yeah, I know." He pulled Cisco forward while keeping a hold of his hand, and wrapped his free arm around his friend's shoulder in a manly half hug. "Same goes for me. I meant what I said earlier. We're a team."

He let go, and inclined his head towards the door. "Ready to get out of here?"

"Yep. I'm starving and need food. I'm thinking pizza. Want to join me?" Cisco grinned, stomach rumbling at the thought of a large pepperoni pizza.

He was glad he'd finally put the whole business to rest. Dr. Wells had forgiven him as had Barry, and they would get the gun back from Captain Cold. Maybe not now, but it was only a matter of time. And when he did, Cisco would see to it that the device was promptly disposed of.

"I'm always up for pizza," Barry said, happy to put it all behind them. As the two of them walked out together, Barry smiled and tried distracting his friend from his current woes by bringing up a story. "I probably should hate pizza though, after the time Iris and I decided to have an eating competition when we were twelve." Barry continued the story as they made their way to the nearby pizza place that they often ordered from when they were working late in the lab.

Soon the two of them were sharing a pizza, and enjoying each other's company.

The End

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