Author’s Note: Pairing: Walter/Paige
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of these characters, and I’m not making any money from this story.
Warning: Disciplinary spanking of a minor, and disciplinary/erotic spanking of an adult.


THE DESIRED EFFECT


There was absolute silence in the warehouse, an absurd rarity.

Six people stared warily at one grimy, scared, hostile little girl. They had just grabbed her, literally, out of the gutter where she landed after being tossed from a moving vehicle. Cabe and the police continued the chase; there was no doubt they would soon catch up with the filth that had been holding this little girl as “collateral” against her mother’s testimony in their upcoming trial. What the filth had not counted on was that the child’s junkie mother hadn’t really given a damn what they did with her kid. So she inconveniently overdosed with the trial still two weeks away, and since keeping the kid seemed useless at that point, they simply dumped her. And now Scorpion, fresh from cyber-tracking the mob members, got to clean up the mess.

Paige approached, and knelt down a couple of feet away from her. “Sweetie, it’s ok now. You’re safe with us here. I’m Paige, and these are my friends. They helped find the men who took you.”

The child, who appeared about 6 years old, eyed Paige warily and asked, “Where’s my mother?”

Paige swallowed, Happy turned away, and Sylvester found a sudden need to be elsewhere.

“Honey, I’m sorry, but your mother…well, she was very sick.” Paige stopped, unable to continue.

“She OD’ed, didn’t she?” The girl asked, without the slightest trace of emotion.

Paige’s mouth fell open. “How did you know that?”

“Bound to happen sooner or later.” That was the voice of a jaded teenager, coming from a 6-year old body. “What happens to me now?”

Stifling her surprise, Paige answered, “For now, you’re staying with us here. Protective custody.” She wasn’t about to explain that there were several more mob members on the loose, and the child could be a danger, since no one knew what she had or had not seen and heard.

“I’m hungry. Can I have something to eat?”

“Let’s get you cleaned up first, and then we’ll get you some dinner.” Paige headed off to give her small charge a much needed bath. Toby looked at Walter. “She’s a tough one. I’d guess she didn’t have much of a life with that mother.”

“You think?”

# # #


Three days later, their guest was still with them. The time had not been without its ups and downs. Paige and Ralph had eventually gone home for the night, leaving the rest of the team to cope. Sylvester, always nervous, had shied away from much personal contact. Toby had spent enough time with the little girl, whose name they determined was Manda, to learn way more than he wanted to know about her former life. None of it was pretty. She’d been left on her own a lot since toddlerhood, basically neglected and ignored, although thankfully not physically abused. Her life up to this point had, however, left her with some very dubious views on relationships. In other words (in Toby’s words) the kid was a mess. Completely distrustful (with reason) of everyone. After 3 days of relating to no one, something broke and she suddenly latched onto Walter. Which left everyone shaking their heads. Paige and Toby tried to coach him, but Walter’s main parenting skills seemed to consist of patiently letting her follow him around and attempting to explain to her exactly what he was working on. Somewhat unconventional, but Manda seemed to soak it up like a sponge. Still distrustful of the others, she adored Walter. After another couple of days, Ralph won her over with a remote controlled car race, and from then on the two became fast friends. This also led to a grudging acceptance of Paige, since she was Ralph’s mom and obviously ok with him. Manda started to turn into a (if not quite NORMAL) more understandable kid.

Until the day she was playing poker with Toby, and winning. Completely incredulous, Toby kept dealing hand after hand…and losing hand after hand. Finally, growing more and more annoyed and frustrated, the professional gambler accused her of cheating and reached over to grab her cards.

She bit him.

“OUCH!” He yelled, jumping back and holding his injured hand in front of him in total disbelief. “She bit me! Walter, she bit me! She BIT me!”

Walter looked up from his current project, decided that the sight of Toby hopping up and down and clutching one hand warranted a closer look, and wandered over.

“Manda, did you bite him?”

“Yup.” She seem oblivious…or perhaps just slightly amused at Toby’s antics.

“Why?”

“He said I was cheating.”

“Were you?”

“Yup.”

Walter went over and crouched next to her. “Cheating is not right. We don’t cheat here, especially with our friends. And biting is VERY not right. We don’t hurt our friends, either. Understand?”

“Yup.”

“And Toby, you shouldn’t be teaching her to gamble anyway. You KNOW what that does to you.”

“I wasn’t teaching her; she knows way too much already!” Toby protested.

Feeling sure he had NOT made his point, but not knowing what else to do, Walter walked away. Toby headed for the bathroom to get a band aid (which really wasn’t needed, but tell HIM that), and life pretty much went back to whatever passed for normal.

Later that night, the second conflict of the day erupted. Sylvester was rummaging through his desk drawer somewhat frantically. “Hey, who took my Mars bar? I had one stashed in here and now it’s gone…Toby, did you…” At that point he spied Manda, slinking quietly into a corner, with a suspicious smear of chocolate on her face. “YOU!” He pointed a finger and strode in her directed. With a guilty look, she squealed and tried to dodge around him, but he grabbed her as she went past and…

“OW!!!” Sylvester was shaking one hand and bouncing on his heels. “She bit me! I’m going to get rabies! Hepatitis! Do you know that the odds of contracting a fatal disease from a bite are…” He was interrupted by Toby, who put a hand on his shoulder and steered him towards the bathroom. “Come on, I’ll wash it off and wrap it up for you.” He spoke over Sylvester’s protests. “I’m a doctor, remember? I’ll make sure you don’t die of blood poisoning.”

“Blood poisoning!” Wailed Sylvester. “I could get blood poisoning!” Toby dragged him away.

Walter had meanwhile confronted the little cannibal. “Manda.” He started, somewhat less patiently than the last time. “We do not steal, especially from our friends. And what did I tell you about biting?”

“If you don’t remember, why should I?”

Walter blinked…that was a lot of sarcasm from a six-year old. But, she WAS a six-year-old. Maybe a different tactic was in order. “Manda, we do NOT bite. If there is a problem, we talk about it. We use words. If you bite someone again, I will have to…I will…” he had to think for a minute. “I will spank you. Is that clear?” He did his best to sound stern, and it came off surprisingly well.

She stared at him for a minute, then nodded. When she was relatively well-behaved for the next day or two, Walter mentally congratulated himself on knowing how to psych out a six-year-old. It was easy to forget that she was a very damaged six-year-old. He congratulated himself too soon.


# # #

“Walter!” Paige called out loudly over her shoulder. “Manda just bit me!” She looked back at the little girl with a knowing smile. Manda’s eyes widened, and she gave a tentative smile in return as Walter half-ran into the room.

“Manda, we talked about this, didn’t we? He dropped to one knee in front of her and reached out to grasp both her shoulders gently but firmly. “Why on earth would you bite Paige? She’s the kindest lady I know, and she’s only trying to help you.” He stared compellingly into her eyes. Unseen, Paige slipped quietly from the room.

The child shrugged, and looked down at the floor. Walter gave her a gentle shake. “Manda, look at me.” She did look up then, meeting his eyes and seeing there only concern. Concern, and…

She looked down again. A number of thoughts went through Walter’s head, and like the genius he was, he processed them in record time. Unfortunately, all that processing still left him without a clue as to what had caused this. Manda stirred restlessly beneath his hands, and he realized he had to do something…he just didn’t know what. She looked up at him suspiciously, but still said nothing.

“Manda, do you remember when we talked about biting?” He asked with an attempt at sternness. She nodded, and got a faintly hopeful look on her face. “I told you that biting was NOT an effective way to communicate, and that you have to use your words, remember?” She nodded and looked sulky again. Walter gave it one last try. “So why did you bite Paige? Why didn’t you TALK to her?”

Her frustration took over. “I DID! I DID talk to her. People talk all the time, but they don’t mean what they say. YOU don’t mean what you say!” She tried to pull away from his restraining hands, and almost succeeded. As his grip tightened, she struggled harder. He tried speaking soothingly, trying to calm her down, but she just grew more and more agitated until finally she kicked him. Hard.

With a startled “OW!” Walter let her go, and she darted for the door. His reflexes worked well, though, and he grabbed her before she made it. “Hold it, Missy!” He growled, and she went still in his grasp. Suddenly quiet, she glanced up at him through her lashes, curious and …hopeful. Something in Walter’s brain finally clicked.

Picking the child up, he settled her firmly in his arms and strode over to the nearest chair. “Maybe you don’t remember our talk at all,” he commented, “so I’ll remind you. You are not to bite people. I told you, if you bite someone again, I will spank you.” He felt her shudder slightly, and quickly checked her facial expression…not the slightest sign of fear. Caution, maybe. Pleading…yes. But not pleading for him to stop. Pleading for him to keep his promise. He did.

He plopped down in the chair, turning her in his arms so that she landed face down over his lap. Before she could move, protest, or otherwise react to the situation, he landed half-a-dozen sharp smacks on the seat of her jeans. Somewhat to his surprise, the not-terribly-severe spanking elicited a flood of tears. Manda clung to his leg, sobbing as if her heart would break.

Walter pulled her up against his chest, wrapped his arms around her, and felt hers slip around his neck and hold on tightly as she continued to cry. He patted her back and made soothing noises in her ear until she settled down somewhat. Pulling back slightly so he could look at her, and she could look at him, he said, “I said I would, and I did. Better now?”

She nodded, and sniffed. “I guess maybe you DO mean what you say.” She snuggled up against him again. Walter sighed with relief, tucked her head under his chin, and rocked gently back and forth. Apparently, this time he had got it right.

“I didn’t, you know.” Her small voice was muffled against his chest.

“What do you mean, you didn’t?” He asked gently.

“Bite Paige.”

“Wait a minute. Paige said you bit her.” Walter frowned. She nodded against his chest.

“Yup. We talked, like I said. I told her nobody means what they say. She said you did, and that she trusted you, and that I needed to trust you too. Then she yelled for you.”

Walter looked perplexed. “So Paige lied. So that I would prove to you that I keep my word.”

“Yup. Lyin’s a bad thing, though, isn’t it? Bad like bitin’ people?”

“Yes.” He said firmly. “Lying is a bad thing. You are not to lie to me.”

“But Paige can lie to you?”

“No, Paige should not have lied to me either.”

“So you gonna spank her too?”

Walter stifled a grin. “That, young lady, is none of your business. Now if you are feeling ok again, why don’t you run out and find Happy and Toby. Tell them I said to get you some dinner…maybe McDonalds?”

Manda bounced off his lap with delight, and headed for the other room, but halfway to the door she came racing back, threw her arms around him, and said, “I love you,Walter.”

“I love you too, baby.”

He heard the commotion as she hit the other room, demanding McDonalds because “Walter said so!” Standing in the doorway, he nodded at Happy and said, “Take her out for dinner, would you please? And take Ralph and Sylvester with you.” Sylvester grabbed his jacket, already complaining about germs found in a fast food place, Ralph yelled “Race you!” to Manda and stampeded for the door with her just a step behind him. Toby gave Walter a quizzical look, glanced at Paige who had been noticeably excluded from the dinner date, and suddenly got a knowing smile on his face. With a backhand comment about always missing all the fun, he shepherded Happy out the door after the rest of the crew.

Paige looked inquiringly at Walter, wondering at the obvious gambit to leave the two of them alone. With a self-satisfied smile, she said, “I’m glad that worked out for you. Manda really needs you, Walter.”

Walter leaned against the doorframe, arms crossed over his chest. “Yes, she does. And I plan to be there for her, whatever she needs. What she does NOT need, though, is somebody teaching her that lying is acceptable.” He sounded stern, and sure of himself, and … not at all like Walter.

Somewhat nonplussed, Paige replied a bit timidly, “Well, sure, but this was in a good cause. It had the desired effect, anyway.”

“It did. Right up to the point where she asked me if lying was bad, and if it was alright for her to lie to me since you did.”

Paige looked concerned. “Oh, Walter, I didn’t mean her to think that! I just thought it was the quickest way to get her what she needed from you.”

“Well, it was. But it seems to have an added consequence as well.” He paused ominously, but when Paige simply shifted nervously on her feet and didn’t ask any questions he continued, “The next thing she asked was if I was going to spank you for lying.”

Paige’s mouth dropped open in shock. “Well, I can see where she’d think that, but I hope you told her that grownups don’t get spanked!”

“They don’t?” He quirked an eyebrow at her.

“No of course they don’t!” Her voice shook a bit, and she started backing towards the door. He forestalled her with a quick move, crossing the room in a split second to grasp her firmly by the arm. “And just how do you expect me to explain to her that the rules for her don’t apply to you too?” He was far too close, far too sure of himself, far too…male. She tried to pull away, without success. Her emotions were rioting all over the place at the feel of his fingers pressing into her arm, his body brushing against hers, his face so close she had only to purse her lips for a kiss…and then shock took over as he propped one foot up on the toolbox and yanked her forward over his knee. Before she could react, he landed a hard swat on the seat of her pants.

“THAT is for lying.” SWAT, SWAT. “And for manipulating me.” SWAT SWAT “And for assuming you knew how I would react.” SWAT SWAT

Paige was trying to kick, but with both feet up off the floor she was simply wriggling helplessly and making a much more attractive target. She would never have dreamed that Walter…WALTER, of all people…would spank her. Or that he would have such a bloody hard hand! A few more swats and her already compromised composure broke completely. She started to sob.

He stopped spanking immediately, set her back on her feet, and pulled her into a fierce embrace. The next thing she knew, he was kissing the tears from her cheeks, murmuring words of endearment that she never would have suspected he even knew, and she was leaning against him and clinging every bit as hard as Manda had earlier.

“I cannot believe you did that!” She muttered against his chest.

“Honestly, neither can I.” He responded. “But it seems to have had the desired effect.”

He tilted her head up for a deep, satisfying kiss, and she stopped protesting, stopped thinking, stopped breathing. She simply melted against him, and smiled to herself at the prospect of ever more pleasurable desired effects.


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