Author's Note: This is in response to my Ipod challenge. *song lyrics are in italics from the album 'Haunted' by Poe. Verse/Setting: post Sorcerer’s Apprentice 2010.
Disclaimer: Don’t own Sorcerer’s Apprentice 2010. Not being paid for this fic.
Warnings: AU; discipline of adult.

Hey Pretty

Well it's 3a.m. I'm out here driving again
Through the wicked winding streets of my world
I take a wrong turn break it but I'm too far gone
I've got a siren on my tail and that's not the fine
I'm looking for

Dave smiled into his rearview mirror, only an ingrained sense of respect for authority keeping him from waving his middle finger at the rapidly disappearing lights behind him. Balthazar would not be happy with his use of magic for personal gain- although Dave suspected he’d be even less impressed by having to bail his apprentice out of jail for a DUI.

To be honest, Dave wasn’t terribly impressed with himself. It figures he’d be the type of drunk to not actually get anything out of being drunk. He could still tell exactly what was going on around him and as for forgetting? Well, the more he’d drunk, the more he’d seemed to remember…so that plan had backfired spectacularly. When he was at home and sober, he’d probably feel all shades of guilty about his actions, but right now- he just wanted to feel good again.

He didn’t know how he could ever feel good again. Becky…HIS Becky…had gotten an offer of an internship in London of all places. And instead of being willing to work through a long distance relationship with him- and really, it wouldn’t be all that long a distance considering he could fly over on the Eagle to see her whenever he wanted- instead of being willing to work with him, she’d decided it would be better to break things off completely.

“You need to focus on your training, Dave…” the younger man mimicked in a sing song voice.
“We can stay friends…” he continued, his tone turning slightly bitter.
“If it’s meant to be, we’ll find each other again…” he snorted at the last bit, then brushed a hand over his eyes angrily.

“Woulda thought us finding each other again the first time we got separated woulda been sign enough we were meant for each other,” he mumbled morosely. Well- if Becky couldn’t see that they DID belong together, maybe it was better that she wouldn’t be a part of his life anymore. Maybe she WAS holding him back. Maybe he just needed to find someone who matched his interests and abilities just a little bit more than Becky had.

Straightening his shoulders, Dave decided to go look for just such a person.


I see a stairway so I follow it down
Into the belly of a whale
Where my secrets echo all around
You know me now but to do better than that
You've got to follow me
Boy I'm trying to show you where I'm at

He couldn’t help glancing nervously around before he followed his companion down the narrow steps into what appeared to be a cellar club. He was chagrined to realize that his nerves had nothing to do with the fact he was in a very seedy part of town and everything to do with the fact that he was deliberately heading into a club that Balthazar had given him direct and explicit orders NOT to ever go near, let alone into.

He had met his companion at another bar across town, shortly after he’d escaped being pulled over. Several bars- and drinks- later, she had suggested this location for their next and possibly last stop. She hinted that her apartment was on the second floor above the club. The woman- she definitely wasn’t a girl and he couldn’t rightly call her a lady, was drop dead sexy and no one like her had ever paid attention to Dave before. In his inebriated state, it had seemed like a really good idea. That didn’t keep him from having second thoughts. An angry Balthazar was not a Balthazar Dave wanted to stand in front of. He’d just have to be very careful that his master, never find out where he’d gone or what he’d done.

When she turned to look up at him and crooked her finger to him in a beckoning way, he blushed at his body’s response and shifted slightly to try and hide it. The knowing look she gave him only caused him to blush more darkly. Swallowing hard, he pushed down any lingering doubts about what he was about to do and followed her down and into the club.

If he did a tiny spell to keep Balthazar from finding him, well- no one would know but him, right?


Well I've got a mind full of wicked designs
I've got a non-stop-whole in my head-imagination
I can't forget I am a sole architect
I built the shadows here
I built the growl in the voice I fear
You know me now but to do better than that
You've got to follow me
Boy I'm trying to show you where I'm at

He wished he’d listened to the little voice that told him not to disobey his master. He wish he’d ignored listening to his libido. Above all, he wished he was anywhere but where he currently was. He should have known that his normal luck would be in play. There was no way a drop dead gorgeous woman could have ever wanted to be with him unless she wanted something from him- or she was bat-shit crazy.

Of course, his companion ended up being both.

As had a majority of the patrons in the bar.

It had been a set up, and of course he’d walked right into it.

How he’d ended up in the room, even deeper in the bowels of the earth than the club had been, he hadn’t a clue. His cell phone was long gone. He had his pointy toed old man shoes on- but he didn’t have clue one about what type of spell he could or should use to get himself out of this mess. The alcohol had apparently decided to kick in and had pretty much mangled his ability to remember anything useful.

It didn’t help that his companion was mocking him, teasing him and leading him down long dark hallways with promises of freedom if he could only find her. Every time he thought he was close, her voice would laugh in his ear, but when he reached out toward her, she wasn’t there.

He wanted to go home. He wanted to be safe with his master- his father- even if it meant facing said man’s displeasure and correction. But he had listened to promises that he should have known would never come true- from lips that were too perfect to be believable. He’d been a fool.

Hey pretty
Don't you wanna take a ride with me? Through my world
Hey pretty
Don't you wanna kick and slide with me Through my world
Hey pretty
My pretty baby
Rock it through my world


To say Balthazar was displeased would be an understatement. He’d spent the better part of six hours trying to locate his wayward son; for blood aside that was what the boy was. Dave had missed practice. That wouldn’t have been a problem, except that Dave KNEW that if he was going to miss practice, he was to call Balthazar and let him know that he would be missing and why. With Morganians still out and about looking to kill the Prime Merlinian, Dave’s safety depended on Balthazar knowing his whereabouts.

Two hours after starting his search (and to be honest an hour and a half after he’d started to worry), Becky had finally returned his call- only to inform him that she and Dave had broken up BEFORE Dave was supposed to come practice and she hadn’t seen him since then. So not only did he have a missing apprentice, but said apprentice was probably depressed and not thinking clearly, so he could be anywhere by now.

Even more frustrating was the fact that every locator spell Balthazar had done had not worked. The only way that could happen was if someone else had done a spell to cloak Dave’s presence. If Dave was deliberately cloaking his presence from his father….well- Balthazar wouldn’t want to be in the boy’s shoes if that was the case.


“Stupid, stupid, stupid…” Dave muttered to himself, hitting himself on the head several times before wincing and cradling his head instead. He continued to berate himself silently, even as he undid the cloaking spell he’d JUST NOW remembered putting up before coming into the club. If he died down here like a rat lost in a maze, it was his own idiotic fault. “Never gonna drink again…” he muttered softly before slumping down against the wall.

He’d given up trying to find his tormentor an hour before, finally realizing that she likely wasn’t even in the building any longer. For whatever reason, they (and he really wanted to know who ‘they’ were) wanted him down here, alone and scared. The only thing he could be grateful for was that they didn’t appear to be Morganians. If they had been from the order of Morgan Le Fey, he didn’t think they would have left him alive for this long.

Which meant they were some other type of crazy. What type of supernatural being preferred mazes and tormenting their victims? If he ever got out of this alive, he’d have to pay more attention when Veronica was attempting to teach him about the other magicals.

The sad thing was- Balthazar had probably told him what beings they were when he’d told Dave to not come near this place. He’d really screwed up big time.


“FINALLY!” Balthazar could have wept from joy. He’d done yet another locator expecting the same non-results, when the tiny beam of light indicated the location where he could find his boy. His joy was short lived as he looked at the spot on the map that the light indicated. Sighing, he stood up and ran a hand wearily over his face.

The only way the boy could have ended up there was if he willingly followed someone there. The Succubae and Incubi that frequented that particular club were very careful to only go after people who knowingly and willingly followed them in, not wanting to draw more attention from the authorities. Every police raid on the building- anyone found (if they were found) always admitted that they had willingly gone in and that they hadn’t actually been made prisoner. They just weren’t able to find their way out.

Those who weren’t found, no one knew what became of them- but it was easy for the bars patrons to claim that the missing individuals had already left. No one could ever prove otherwise. Balthazar suspected a large portion of those people who were still missing, had actually NOT found their way out and had died. The only reason he hadn’t shut down the club before was because it would mean starting a war with the entire species- a war that he could never win unless he committed genocide, and he wasn’t willing to stoop that low. As long as they only went after ‘willing’ people, he had grudgingly left them alone. Of course, now that his son had inadvertently become one of the ‘willing’ he would need to step in.

Luckily the patrons of the club knew who he was and had a healthy respect for his power. It was possible (not a given but possible) that he’d be able to negotiate Dave’s release without having to do battle. They knew enough about him, he doubted they would attempt to lie to him in the same way they lied to non-magical people, but if they did try to lie he wouldn’t accept ‘he left’ as a response.

Shaking his head, he grabbed his leather duster and hugged Veronica. She hugged him back tightly and gave him a quick kiss.

“I’ll have his room made up for him…normally I’d say don’t be too hard on him- but if you don’t give him reason to think carefully before ever pulling a stunt like this again, then I will.” She frowned. Balthazar blinked at her then nodded.

“Don’t worry beloved. When I’ve finished with our boy, he will have double and triple thoughts before he decides to disobey again,” he chuckled softly, kissing her forehead before quickly leaving to go rescue their child.


Dave was tired and his head was throbbing as if someone was beating the inside of his skull with a mallet. The only reason he hadn’t fallen asleep yet was because he knew something was wrong about this place that he had ended up., and he suspected that if he fell asleep he might never wake up again.

To keep himself awake, he tried to focus on the different spells he had learned that might help him in this situation. The first spell he had attempted was a spell to produce light. He did not like being in pitch black, unable to see anything more than an inch in front of him. When the light didn’t penetrate the darkness, he knew he was in deeper trouble than he had already suspected.

Only magic could counteract his own spell. Had he actually been captured by Morganians? He still did not believe that to be the case. Which meant some other type of magical being had him. He rubbed his head again as he tried to remember what Balthazar had said about this particular club when ordering Dave to stay away from it. Pounding headaches weren’t terribly conducive to remembering things though. He was lucky he had been able to perform the two spells he had attempted, given the state of his head right now.

“Just keep awake, Dave. Your master will find you soon enough…” he muttered under his breath in an attempt to calm his nerves.


It hadn’t taken Balthazar very long at all to reach the club. As it was well after ‘closing’ time, the street in front was quiet and everything appeared to be locked down. Dave’s car was on the same block- though not in front of the actual club. Looking around to make certain he wasn’t being watched, Balthazar quickly transformed the car into a matchbox toy and then picked it up to put in his pocket.

Dave would get his car back once his grounding was over with- perhaps six months from now.

Grimacing, Balthazar walked to the front door, opening it without any difficulty. Mere locks couldn’t keep him out of a place he wanted in. He wasn’t surprised when two bouncers met him before he’d taken four steps into the building. The two incubi looked at him through shadowed eyes, recognizing him immediately. Their boss would not be happy if they started a fight with this man without finding out why he was here first.

“I’ve come to retrieve my son,” Balthazar said without preamble.

“If your son is here, it is because he wanted to be here…” Balthazar wasn’t surprised when a voice from the shadows answered him. The club’s owner had come out the moment he realized who was in the club. The man motioned the two bouncers away, then stepped out to face the sorcerer himself.

“That may be- but he was not thinking clearly, so it is debatable if he was capable of making such a decision.” Balthazar shrugged faintly, a tiny grin on him face. He knew as well as the owner that Dave’s willingness or lack of willingness didn’t matter. Balthazar would not be leaving without his son and it would be in the best interest of all involved to just let him take the boy.

“That is a shame. Tabitha should have realized before enticing him. She’ll be disappointed. She’s been waiting all night for him to be ready for her attentions.” The club owner smirked, not really caring about ‘Tabitha’s’ disappointment in the least.

Turning to look back into the shadows he ordered. “Collect Mr. Blake’s son from the catacombs. Quickly.”

The man turned back toward the sorcerer and gave a tiny smile. “He will be here shortly. I trust you will remember our cooperation, Mr. Blake, should…you ever feel the need to oppose us?” It was a not so subtle hint that a favor was owed.

“Of course Ebeniezar.” Balthazar smirked back. They both knew the favor would be small. The real favor Balthazar was extending was to continue staying out of Ebeniezar’s business. As long as no one was taken unwillingly and those who ‘disappeared’ continued to be a very small number, the sorcerer saw no reason not to continue as previous.

Satisfied that a blood war had been averted, Ebeniezar nodded then turned toward the door in the far back of the room where ‘Tabitha’ was returning, leading a nervous and struggling Dave, firmly by the arm.


Dave wasn’t overjoyed when his beautiful companion of the night before suddenly turned up in front of him and took him by the arm. He’d FINALLY remembered what Balthazar had told him of the club and realized exactly what she was. He didn’t want to have his life-force sucked out!

“Come, it’s time for you to go.” She’d muttered, seemingly unhappy about something, but he didn’t have time to care what. He just knew he didn’t want to go with her. He began struggling immediately.

“I don’t think it IS time for me to go! In fact, my time to go is a long, long, time from now!” He argued as he ineffectively tried to remove his arm from her grasp and pull away. She was stronger than she looked. Much stronger.

Shooting him an irritated look, she continued to drag him through the dark to Merlin knew where. “I don’t deliberately kill my dates you know. We like to avoid drawing unnecessary attention to ourselves.” She muttered darkly. It wasn’t a very encouraging or calming remark.

Dave continued struggling well past the point where she’d opened a door and pulled him through. It wasn’t until he saw his master standing there in his imposing and stern manner that Dave finally ceased his attempts to get away from her. Of course that was when she finally dropped his arm.

“Come here Dave.” Balthazar intoned calmly. Only Dave could hear the underlying disappointment, disapproval, and irritation in the man’s voice. Dave wasn’t ashamed to quickly obey his master, even if his rapid response to the order caused the others in the room to get amused looks on their faces.

Balthazar took his arm in a grip just as strong as the one Tabitha had used, but instead of trying to pull away from it, Dave found himself moving closer to the man feeling safe for the first time in hours. The slight gleam in Balthazar’s eye let Dave know that the action had not gone unnoticed by the master. The gentle squeeze the man bestowed on his apprentice let Dave know that Balthazar understood. The stern look on Balthazar’s face let Dave know that the man had a response planned for Dave’s actions tonight. Dave swallowed and looked at his feet feeling very small and contrite. Dave knew he wasn’t going to enjoy the next hour.


Balthazar had led Dave out of the club after a short nod in Ebeniezar’s direction, taking him quickly to his car. Dave looked around in confusion for a moment before asking, “Where’s my car?”

Smirking, Balthazar patted the pocket of his duster, but didn’t say anything. Dave’s eyes just widened slightly, before he looked up at his master’s face. Balthazar wasn’t looking at him, the same stern expression on his face that had been there from the moment Dave had seen him. Dave’s stomach sunk as he realized just had upset the man was with him.

“I…I’m not going to get it back anytime soon, am I?” he asked weakly, not surprised at Balthazar’s short and to the point response of ‘no’.

Swallowing hard, Dave looked down at his feet again, not saying anything when Balthazar gently helped him into the passenger seat and then went to get in and drive them both home.

“I’m in big trouble…” the younger man half questioned, half stated in a small timid voice. He hated when his master was upset with him. Especially when he knew a large portion of the upset was Balthazar being disappointed in his actions.

“Yes, Dave. You are in big trouble. But I will allow you to explain yourself before I do anything. Right now, however, I am driving and you will remain silent and think about everything you have done tonight. Have I made myself clear?” Balthazar kept his voice as neutral as he could, considering the fact that he wanted to yell at the boy next to him. He could see the boy shrink further down into his seat, a dejected look on his face as he whispered, “yes sir.” Relenting slightly, the sorcerer reached over and squeezed his child’s knee affectionately. He smiled slightly when the action allowed his apprentice to relax and lean back into the seat. Within seconds the younger man was sound asleep.


Balthazar took his time driving back home, knowing that Dave was likely worn out. He did contact Veronica to let her know that he had retrieved the boy and that no harm had been done to him. He then indicated that he would deal with the child after said child had rested. Balthazar rubbed a hand wearily over his face. He needed sleep too- especially if he was going to correct Dave’s behavior in a fair, consistent, and controlled manner.

He’d been very close to turning the boy over his knee the minute he had him in the car, but refrained because he knew he was still too upset and he didn’t want to deal with the boy harshly or from a point of anger. It would only hurt his son, not teach him. Taking a deep breath, he allowed himself to calm down, the worry of the night finally easing with the knowledge that his child was safe and in his protection once again. He looked over at the boy, peaceful and sound asleep next to him. The boy’s trust in him was humbling. Smiling faintly, he looked back at the road continuing the last leg of the journey home.


Balthazar had to grin, as he carried Dave into the apartment and upstairs to his room. The kid would be mortified to discover he’d been carted to bed like a five year old, but Balthazar didn’t have the heart to wake him up, and if the action made him feel happy inside and eased a little more of the worry he’d been feeling for the better part of 12 hours, then who could blame him?

He’d quickly pulled Dave’s shoes and jeans off, leaving him in his boxers and t-shirt then pulled the blanket up over the boy. After, he’d quietly left the room, closing the door behind him before heading to his own room where Veronica waited for him.

“He’s really ok?” She asked worriedly as he stepped into their bedroom. He smiled at her gently, kicking off his shoes and preparing to get some much needed rest himself.

“He is remarkably ok- the one who he had followed in was apparently waiting for him to not be drunk and to fall asleep- and he had enough common sense to not allow himself to fall asleep.” He muttered.

“Tomorrow, he will explain in detail exactly what he did and why he did it- and then we will deal with his behavior.” He smiled crookedly at her enthusiastic head nod. If Dave hoped to get any sympathy from her corner, he’d be sorely disappointed.

Crawling into the bed next to her, he tugged her close before wrapping an arm tightly around her. “Goodnight, beloved.”

“Goodnight, my heart.” She whispered back.

They were both asleep within moments.


Balthazar and Veronica woke up a few hours later, quickly rising and getting ready for the remainder of the day. Balthazar planned to deal with his wayward child first- then the rest of the day would be quiet ‘at home’ time.

They were in the kitchen preparing brunch when Dave came stumbling down the stairs, hair disheveled and still wearing the boxers and t-shirt Balthazar had left him in. Raising an eyebrow, the sorcerer cleared his throat, smiling crookedly when Dave stilled, then peered at the two of them through a bleary eye.

“Crud…I…I thought…” he stammered, then turned scarlet as he suddenly realized he was standing in front of Veronica in his boxers. “Er…excuse me please.” He quickly turned and went back upstairs as fast as he could go considering how badly his head hurt.

Snorting softly, Balthazar went to follow him. “I’m going to go have that talk with our son right now- see if you can’t fix him up some of that special tea you used to give to Horvath and I after we’d spent a little too long at the local tavern?” He grinned cheekily at her, evading her swatting hand, then ran upstairs to talk with his boy.

He knocked on the door softly, entering when he heard Dave’s hesitant “come in.” Closing the door carefully behind him, he eyed his apprentice silently, waiting until the younger man was squirming and staring at his feet before saying anything.

“So explain to me what you did yesterday,” his voice was soft, but it was obviously an order.

Swallowing, Dave put the fresh clothes he had gathered onto the top of his dresser then sunk onto his bed, folding his hands on his lap and staring at his knees.

“I was with Becky…she broke up with me.” Dave glanced up to see if there was any sympathy to be had from that admission. Balthazar didn’t act surprised, so he likely already knew- had probably called Becky while looking for him and discovered it then. There was a slight bit of sympathy, but the look on his master’s face indicated he should continue so, sighing, Dave admitted the rest, stuttering in some places, stalling in others, until he had confessed to everything he’d done the day before. When he finished, he looked back up to see Balthazar’s eyes flashing. The man was obviously keeping a tight reign on his temper. Dave gulped nervously.

“So…let me be certain I understand correctly.” Balthazar spoke in a soft, even tone. Dave winced, knowing that when the sorcerer didn’t show emotion is when his emotions were most inflamed. Balthazar continued, “You broke up with Becky- and to make yourself feel better about that, you went to McLeary’s bar and had a few beers. You then drove to a different bar that you can’t remember the name of and had a few more beers and a couple of shots of whiskey.” Balthazar’s voice hadn’t risen at all, but Dave felt as if he was being yelled at. He cringed and nodded.

Balthazar narrowed his eyes. “You then drove again to a third bar where you decided to forego beers and stick to whiskey and vodka. After leaving THAT bar, you caught the attention of the local police and instead of pulling over when they turned their lights on- you decided to speed through town as if you were completely sober and capable of handling a car going three times the speed limit- AND you used magic to get the police to suddenly lose sight of you so that you could go to a fourth bar.” His master’s voice HAD risen with that last bit, as if the man couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

“Yes, sir…” Dave muttered softly, unable to look his father figure in the eye.

Balthazar was almost growling as he finished the recitation. “At the fourth bar, you picked up- or allowed yourself to be picked up- by a strange woman and agreed to go to a club that I have specifically forbidden you to go to. And to insure that I didn’t find out about your disobedience, you placed a cloaking spell on yourself in the hopes that I would not find out where you were.”

Dave grimaced. “When you put it like that it sounds really stupid…” he really tried not to whine. He really did.

Balthazar closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose in exasperation. “You don’t think that behavior was far below your intelligence level???” he asked incredulously.

Dave winced and finally admitted, “Ok. It was stupid. And…and…disobedient.” He swallowed again, wringing his hands on his lap. “What’s gonna happen now?” he asked worriedly.

Balthazar frowned then ran his hand wearily down his face. “Now…now you are grounded for the next six months. Your life is work, school, and home. Your car will remain a miniature in my possession until your grounding is over. You need to go somewhere? Veronica or myself will drive or accompany you.”

Dave wanted to protest, but remembering the mess he had gotten himself into the night before, he bit his lip and nodded instead. “Yes sir.”

Balthazar nodded, relieved that Dave didn’t argue the first part of his punishment. “Now- I will spank you. Stand up.”

Dave’s mouth dropped open. THIS he truly wanted to argue against, but his voice had seemingly stopped working. Looking into Balthazar’s eyes he was chagrined to see worry and lingering elements of fear. He had caused that worry and fear. Forcing himself to stand from the bed, Dave moved to the side as Balthazar took his place then moved so that he was standing beside his mentors knee.

“I will spank you until I feel you have learned your lesson- so it would benefit you to not try and pretend that it isn’t affecting you.” Balthazar admonished. Without further comment, he pulled Dave over his lap and then tugged the boxers down to the boy’s ankles. Dave turned scarlet at finding himself in such a childish and embarrassing position again.

He wasn’t given much time to dwell on the shame of his position. Within seconds his father-figure’s hand was rising and falling in firm, hard smacks against bared skin. Dave didn’t even attempt to be stoic. He knew he deserved what he was getting, so allowing himself to go limp, he held onto Balthazar’s leg just tightly enough to not slide forward and hit his head on the ground.

Balthazar was methodical as usual- making certain to give attention to every inch of Dave’s backside. Dave was sniffling within seconds of the punishment beginning- the pain and his own guilt spurring a quickly repentant response. By the time a couple of minutes had passed, Dave was gulping back sobs. Balthazar normally asked him why he was being punished- if the man didn’t ask him soon, Dave was positive he wouldn’t be able to answer in a coherent sentence.

As usual, Balthazar seemed to know what his apprentice was thinking. “Normally, I would ask you why you were being punished, Dave. However, the fact you admitted to everything you had done wrong tonight before we even began, I believe you know why.”

Dave choked out a strained, “Yes sir.”

Balthazar smiled faintly at how respectful the younger man always was when he was in this position, then looking at the reddened posterior in front of him and steeling himself for the final portion of the punishment, the sorcerer tipped the younger man forward so that his sit spots were exposed.

Bringing his hand down harshly on the sensitive area where his apprentice would be reminded of his folly every time he sat, Balthazar reddened the area to a bright scarlet color. Then the sorcerer stopped, allowing his hand to rest on the newly heated backside of his son. He whispered a spell under his breath- the effects of which were immediate as Dave let out a wail and began sobbing earnestly, hanging over his father-figures lap.

Carefully, Balthazar righted his child’s clothes then pulled him up to sit on his lap, wrapping his arms around the younger man in a comforting manner.

“Wh..what did you do?” Dave buried his face against the sorcerer’s shoulder, unable to keep himself from reaching back and rubbing at his very sore bottom.

“I little spell to help you in your bid to be more obedient. You will continue to feel as if you’ve been freshly spanked- until I remove the spell.” Balthazar managed to keep from smiling or chuckling at the horrified look on his child’s face.

“What you did Dave. It wasn’t just disobedient. It had the potential to be deadly- to yourself AND to other INNOCENT people who were on the road with you. You deserve a harsh punishment- but I will not harm you in my attempt to correct you. The spell is not harmful- it will just help your body ‘remember’ the spanking you have just received.” The sorcerer explained patiently.

Dave looked down, ashamed that he hadn’t even considered the danger he’d put other people into by his actions. Balthazar was right- he did deserve a more harsh punishment. The fact that Balthazar had thought ahead to the fact that a harsher punishment could harm him- and had found an alternative that would not harm him... Dave couldn’t think of what to say, so he just nodded against Balthazar’s shoulder to show he understood. He didn’t even attempt to find out how long the sorcerer would leave the spell on.

“I’m sorry, sir.” Dave whispered, snuggling closer to his mentor.

Balthazar smiled and pulled the boy closer in a tighter embrace. Dave always wanted to act as if he didn’t need the affection of his master-his teacher- but in moments when it was just the two of them, the sorcerer could always count on the boy pressing close for some type of affectionate gesture. When the boy had received a deserved punishment, he was even more clingy. Rubbing he younger man’s back gently, Balthazar kissed the top of Dave’s hair, before helping him to stand and then stood himself.

“I know, son. And you are forgiven. Finish getting dressed and then come downstairs for breakfast. Veronica should have some tea ready that will help your head.” Balthazar smile gently, chuckling softly at the hopeful look his apprentice gave him at the mention of something to help his headache.

Balthazar walked to the door before stopping just inside the frame. “Oh, and Dave?” he called over his shoulder without looking back.

“Yes sir?” Dave had been watching him leave, so had not yet started getting dressed.

“You aren’t allowed to drink again for one year.” Balthazar smirked and pulled the door shut behind him as he continued downstairs.

Dave snorted, then simultaneously rubbed his head with one hand and his butt with the other. “Believe me- I don’t think I’ll want to drink for a good long while….”

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