Author’s Note: A tag to episode 2x5 ‘Bad Manners’. Half of the lines are straight from the show.
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of these characters, and I’m not making any money from this story.
Warning: Non-consensual spanking of an adult.


You Didn’t Win


Malcolm arrived at the Windsor School of Etiquette and walked through the doors calling out, “Hello?” As he looked around the room, he felt a presence behind him, and knew before he turned that he’d find Ainsley standing there. After seeing her at the crime scene, and having her upstage him by realizing the dead women were wearing debutant dresses instead of wedding gowns, of course his sister would come here next.

He turned with a tight smile and said, “What did they even teach you here anyway?”

She shrugged. “Proper posture. Table manners. How to demonstrate respect towards others.”

“Hmm. Two out of three’s not bad.” He said, giving her a look. She’d been disrespectful to Gil that morning at the crime scene, stepping past the police barrier when she clearly knew better.

“You’re just peeved I beat you here.”

Malcolm shook his head. Did she really believe that? “I’m annoyed because you’re treating solving a murder like it’s a competitive sport.”

Ainsley rolled her eyes. “We’re brother and sister. Everything is a competitive sport.”

The more callous she behaved, the more concerned he became. Stepping closer he stared into her eyes intently. “There are two dead women, Ainsley. How does that make you feel?”

Apparently caught off guard by his question, she frowned. “It… It’s terrible. Why… Why would you even ask me that?”

Malcolm had yet another flash of that horrific night when his little sister had killed Endicott. The night she couldn’t remember. Wanting to steer clear of that can of worms, he shook his head. “I’m sorry. Places like this just remind me of the people who cut us off after Dad’s arrest. Etiquette doesn’t mean anything Ains. All it does is cover up the truth.”

Their conversation was cut off when Miss Windsor, the woman who ran the school came down to answer their questions about the school and her former students who’d been murdered.

# # #

Later that day Malcolm was working up a profile at the precinct when Gil called him in to look at the news. There on the screen was his little sister next to yet another dead body. He stared in horror as his sister’s voice flowed from the television.

“I’m Ainsley Whitley, and I’ve just found the third victim of New York City’s newest serial killer, The Debutante Slayer. I’ve called the police, and obscured the face of the victim. Please stay tuned for more exclusive details from the scene.”

Gil swore under his breath, and yelled out, “I want units there, now!”

People around them scrambled to comply. Gil turned to Malcolm, shoved a finger in his chest, and said, “Stay.”

“What? I can’t just…”

Gil put a hand on Malcolm’s shoulder and squeezed it just a bit harder than friendly. “It’s Ainsley. I know, kid. Trust me, I know. But unless you want to have another discussion like the one we had a few weeks ago after you almost got killed starting that fire in a sealed room, you’re going to stay here and let the police do their job.”

Malcolm was torn. His first instinct was to rush out and save his sister, but logically he knew the cops could get there faster and do the job better. Plus, he really didn’t want to have another one of those discussions with his surrogate father. He’d had trouble sitting for the rest of the day after the last one. Not so much because of the pain. Pain was unpleasant, but he could handle it. He’d had trouble sitting because it kept reminding him of the panicked expression on Gil’s face when they’d found him, and the heavy disappointment in Gil’s voice when he’d said they’d gone over the same issue too many times while taking off his belt. Reluctantly, Malcolm nodded.

Gil patted his shoulder. “Good.”

Fifteen worrisome minutes later, Malcolm finally got the call that his sister was in custody. Half an hour after that Gil arrived with Ainsley in tow and ushered them both into the conference room.

Without saying a word, Gil pointed to one of the chairs while glaring at Ainsley. Malcolm gulped for her, having seen that look way too often. But his sister apparently had no self-preservation, because she huffed, sat, and glared at the older man.

Gil pursed his lips and turned the television on to show her the clip of herself. When she simply smiled, he turned it off and scowled at her. “What in the hell were you doing?” he demanded, but then held up a finger before she could answer. “And if you say ‘my job’, I’m going to arrest you for obstructing a murder investigation.”

Malcolm nodded in agreement.

Ainsley didn’t seem the least bit concerned about Gil’s pre-lecture anger. She calmly took a business card out of her purse and slid it across the table to Gil. “The lawyers at ADN. They’re looking forward to your call. And my brother can put you in contact with our family attorney.”

Malcolm couldn’t take her caviler attitude. “Try psychiatrist. You find a body and you shoot, what, a promo?” He asked incredulously before leaning on the desk and staring intently at her. “What if the killer was still there?”

“Well, then the video would be much more exciting.”

Her phone pinged causing her to look down and miss Malcolm’s shocked disbelief. He turned to Gil, and could tell the older man was worried as well, but instead of yelling at her or making veiled threats of physical correction, Gil just sighed and crossed his arms.

“How did you know the victim?” Gil asked.

“A few classes in college.” Ainsley answered without taking her eyes off her phone. “But we met at Miss Windsor’s school.” She started texting while talking. “I got in contact with every debutante I knew, especially those with drug problems, and left her a message yesterday thinking it’d go nowhere. Then she called.”

“What did she tell you?”

“Uh, that she was scared. That’s it. She wanted to talk in person.” Her phone pinged again.

“Who is that?” Malcolm demanded, pointing at the phone.

“I’m working.” She answered, clearly annoyed. “My producers want updates. My agents want to use this as leverage to up my deal with the network. And the next ten texts are from Mom.” Turning to Gil she asked plaintively, “Can I go now?”

With his arms crossed tightly Gil said, “I want the video from that phone, and a list of the girls that you called, or that phone is mine.”

Ainsley sighed and stood while typing on her phone. “There. Now you have the video and screenshots of all my texts. Now, will you please stop being sore losers and let me go back to work?”

Malcolm could not believe she’d just said that, and what’s more, he couldn’t believe that Gil wasn’t doing anything about it. Figuring it was up to him, he scowled at his sister and tried to channel Gil. “Ainsley, you’re being reckless.”

“Oh, my God!” She exclaimed. “Are we not going talk about the crazy hypocrisy of you lecturing me about being reckless?”

Malcolm exhaled, but couldn’t logically argue her point, no matter how much he wanted to. While his mind raced to find a suitable response, she continued.

“Someone needs to catch this killer. It might as well be me.” With a nod and a flippant little turn of her head, Ainsley walked out of the conference room.

Malcolm turned to Gil with disbelief. Why was the older man just standing there and letting Ainsley leave? Malcolm hurried to the door, shut it, and hissed, “What are you doing?”

The lines in Gil’s forehead creased even further. “I can’t hold her for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. No matter how much I might want to. And you and I both know if I tried arresting her for obstruction, it wouldn’t stick.”

Malcom shook his head. “Two weeks into being a consultant for the precinct, you gave me a choice. Start taking responsibility for my reckless behavior in the form of corporal punishment, or stop being a consultant.” He gestured towards the door. “So why the hell aren’t you going after her, taking her home, and spanking some caution into her.”

Gil shook his head, walked up to Malcolm, and put a comforting hand on the younger man’s shoulder. “You see me as a father figure. She doesn’t. I spent a lot of time with you when you were growing up, and I spend a lot of time with you now. I haven’t spent enough time with your sister to forge that kind of relationship with her.”

Malcolm’s emotions warred with his logic. Everything Gil had said was true, but that didn’t make it any easier to see his sister putting herself in danger. And without some kind of negative reinforcement, she’d most certainly do it again, because the television studio was showering her with positive reinforcement as they spoke.

Gil squeezed Malcolm’s shoulder. “Want me to put a unit on her? They can discreetly follow her. Make sure she doesn’t get into more trouble.”

It was tempting, but he shook his head. “She’d never forgive us if she found out.”

Gil patted his shoulder before letting go. “Then I guess we’ve got our work cut out for us.”

“We need to figure out who the killer is before Ainsley.” Malcolm easily followed Gil’s train of thought.

“Let’s get to it.”

# # #

Malcolm spent the rest of the afternoon working the profile, and trying to figure out who the killer was. Near the end of the day he had a short discussion with Edrisa about land line phone numbers that finally helped him break the case. But the instant he realized the woman who founded the Windsor school fit his profile, he also realized Ainsley fit the victim’s profile.   

He rushed out, hailed a cab, and paid them extra to speed to the Windsor school. He spent the short drive repeatedly calling his sister, muttering for her to pick up, as if she could hear him. When the cab pulled up in front of the school, he forced himself to stop and call Gil before rushing forward.

“Arroyo,” Gil answered.

“I’m here at the Windsor School. I’m ninety percent sure Miss Windsor is the killer, and Ainsley is inside. Send backup.”

Malcolm hung up before Gil could give him his patented line about waiting for back up, and rushed to the front door. After banging and yelling to be let in, Miss Windsor finally came down the stairs and opened it. After a very brief discussion about the school’s private phone line being connected to the murder victims, Malcolm quickly realized Miss Windsor wasn’t the killer, but she knew who was.

“Who is it?” Malcolm demanded.

“Your sister’s in the tea room. Go.”

Malcolm raced up the stairs, but found the room empty. In the ensuing silence, her heard faint female voices and followed the sound to a bookcase. A few seconds later, he found a secret passage behind the bookcase and went to investigate. He followed the sound of a woman’s voice, and when he reached another door, he put his ear up to it.

“Don’t worry. You won’t feel a thing.”

His phone made a noise, and he heard the woman gasp. “You should know I have a gun,” the woman’s voice called out.

Malcolm heard fear rather than conviction in the voice and opened the door to face her. It was Rachel, one of the students that he’d met earlier that day. There was a bed behind Rachel, where Ainsley lay unconscious.

“You’re not supposed to be in here. No man has ever been in here.” Rachel’s hand shook as she pointed the gun in Malcolm’s general direction.

Speaking calmly and moving slowly, he held his hands up. “I apologize. I’m just here for Ainsley”

“Get out.”

Malcom looked around the room and started to put the pieces together in his head. Rachel wasn’t just a student. She was Miss Windsor’s illegitimate child who’d been raised in hiding. He tried to talk her down.

“Miss Windsor is your mother.”

“There are some things people don’t need to know.”

Malcolm shook his head, feeling sympathy for the poor girl while keeping in mind she was dangerous. “I’m not sure I agree. Hiding things hurts people. Turns them into something they’re not.”

“No, she gave me a home. She loved me.”

“But not like the other girls. Her students. So you directed your rage towards those women. The ones who rejected that love.”

“My mother called me her secret angel. No one can know the truth.” She pointed the gun at Malcolm.

To his shock Ainsley stood up behind Rachel. He wasn’t sure how his sister had avoided being drugged, or why she’d played along with it, but now he wasn’t just worried about what Rachel might do, he was also worried about what Ainsley might to.

Working harder to talk Rachel down before one of the young women did something irreversible, Malcolm said, “Rachel, the gun is not like the debreather. It’s brutal, violent.” He could see Ainsley moving towards Rachel with a knife in her right hand, holding it exactly like she had that night.

“Don’t worry. I’m going to make your sister beautiful,” Rachel said.

“Wait,” he called out, talking more to Ainsley than Rachel. “Don’t do this. There has to be another way.” His sister moved in to grab Rachel. “Ainsley!” he shouted, unable to watch her kill again.

Rachel turned, hitting Ainsley in the side of the head with the gun in the process. Rachel immediately pointed the gun towards Ainsley. Reacting on instinct, Malcolm rushed forward and tackled Rachel.

The gun went off as Malcolm and Rachel fell to the floor, and he could only pray that she’d missed Ainsley. Rachel’s head thunked against the hardwood floor, knocking her out.

“Ah,” Ainsley moaned, holding her ear after the loud gunshot.

Malcolm pocketed the gun Rachel had been holding and then rushed to check his sister. “Are you okay?” he asked, putting a comforting hand on her back.

“Yeah,” Ainsley answered.

Malcolm helped her off the bed, but froze when the distinct smell of natural gas hit his nose. “I smell gas.”

“What?” Ainsley asked, still appearing dazed.

“We need to get out of here. Now!”

Malcolm lifted Rachel up over his shoulder to carry her while Ainsley urged, “Come on, come on!” She led them out the door of the room, through the secret hallway, and out the door onto the grounds.

When he got to the lawn in front of the school, Malcolm laid Rachel down. Then both him and Ainsley looked back at the school, only to see Miss Windsor looking back at them from an upstairs window.

“What is she doing?” Ainsley asked.

“Nothing good,” Malcolm muttered, as the old woman lit a match. Soon the entire room was engulfed in flames along with Miss Windsor herself.

The windows exploded, and a few moments later, Malcolm heard the sound of sirens in the distance.

Two long hours later, both Malcolm and Ainsley had given their statements, endured a brief lecture from Gil, and been sent home for the night with the promise of more lecturing to come once Gil had calmed down.

They walked out of the building together, and Ainsley said, “That was crazy. And that’s coming from someone who knows a little something about crazy.”

“This city never fails to surprise me,” Malcolm said.


“And neither do you,” he added. “How were you not drugged like the other women?”

“Ah. New nail polish.” She wiggled her fingers in front of him. “It changes color when your drink’s been roofied. I figured Rachel would get a little suspicious if I didn’t at least act a little drowsy, so…” She smirked. “I guess this means I kind of won, huh?”

Malcolm stopped walking and gave Ainsley an incredulous look. Was she really still thinking of this as a competition?

“Like I solved the case first.” She turned back to face him with a grin, but it faltered once she saw his expression. “What? Why are you looking at me like I’m the Debutante Slayer?”

“It’s not that.”

“Exactly. I’m the kick-ass reporter who stopped the killer. With your help of course.”

He shook his head. “You didn’t win, Ainsley. You put yourself in danger.”

She pouted slightly “But I had to figure it out. Not who did it, but…”

“Why she did it.” Malcolm nodded knowingly.

Ainsley nodded in agreement.

“Yeah. I get that.” How could he not? It’s how he felt every time. The only difference was that he had Gil keeping tabs on him, and making sure he didn’t go overboard.

Ainsley stepped up to him and said softly, “My father was a serial killer also, Malcolm. I was young, but I have a right to be messed up, too.”

Frowning, Malcolm nodded. She did have the right to be messed up, too. But she also had the right to a decent authority figure. Someone who could keep her from going down a self-destructive path. Malcolm didn’t remember his sister being particularly self-destructive or reckless in the past. She’d always been determined and focused, but she didn’t put herself in danger. He wondered if she was subconsciously trying to punish herself for the night she couldn’t remember.

Making a snap decision he waved down a cab. He gestured for her to get in.

“Thanks,” she said, but then when he slid in beside her she said, “Aren’t you going the other direction?”

Malcolm gave the cab driver the address for his loft, and the man pulled into traffic.

“Why are we going to your loft?”

“We need to have a discussion.”

“Malcolm, I’m tired,” she complained. “I just want to go home and get some sleep. Can’t it wait until tomorrow? You have breakfast with us almost every day.”


Her eyebrows furrowed when he didn’t expand on his answer, and he looked out the window in the hopes of forestalling any further questions.

Luckily he didn’t live far from the precinct, and Ainsley had her phone to keep her busy for the rest of the drive. After paying the cab driver, he led his sister up to his loft, and let her in.

She immediately crossed her arms and said, “Okay, we’re here. So talk.”

Malcolm’s hand started to shake. Was he really going to do this? Gil was much better suited to being a disciplinarian than he was, but the older man had made it clear he couldn’t be that for Ainsley. And Malcolm could see the logic in that, even if he didn’t like it. So the responsibility fell to him, because much like both of their parents, Malcolm was willing to do whatever it took to keep his family safe, even if it meant things got messy.

He looked around the room, thinking logistics. He was one hundred percent sure that she wouldn’t be nearly as compliant as he was once he got her into position. But then Gil had given him a choice, and he wasn’t planning to give Ainsley that option. He already knew she’d say no, because he didn’t have a bargaining chip the way Gil had.

Deciding on the back of the couch, Malcolm grasped his sister’s upper arm and towed her towards it.

“What the hell, Malcolm?” she asked, lightly pulling back on her arm, and stumbling forward a bit when he didn’t automatically let go of her.

Moving quickly to keep the element of surprise on his side, he perched on the back of the couch, keeping his right foot on the floor while his left thigh rested along the top. He yanked Ainsley down across his thigh, and wrapped his left arm around her waist to keep her there.

“What the actual fuck, Malcolm!” she screeched, pushing to get upright.

In answer he started smacking her backside at a rapid fire pace.

“Malcolm! Have you lost your mind! Let me up this instant! Malcolm!” She shoved his side with both hands, but he held tight, and kept smacking. “You can’t do this to me!”

“You were reckless.” He said loudly to be heard over his smacking and her yelling. “You put yourself in serious danger, and on top of that you were completely disrespectful to Gil all day!”

“Are you kidding me! You put yourself in danger all the time, you hypocrite!”

“Yeah, and Gil does this to me every damn time.” He winced at his own admission. He hadn’t exactly planned on divulging that, but now that it was out there, there was no taking it back.

Her struggles stilled and she craned her neck around to look at him. “What?”

He paused for a moment to focus on her face instead of her butt. “I’m not a hypocrite, Ains. Gil spanks me every time I put my life in danger on the job, and it…” he shrugged, “well, it doesn’t always stop me from being reckless, but it sure as hell makes me think twice about it.”

“Gil spanks you, and instead of reporting him, you decide it’s a good thing to do to me, too?” Ainsley asked.

Malcolm could hear the disbelief and anger in her voice, and glared at her. “Yes! Solving murders is not a game to be won. It’s a dangerous job for people who’ve had extensive training on how to keep themselves safe while doing it. You’re a reporter, Ainsley, not a crime fighter. And I refuse to sit back and let you get away with pulling dangerous stunts. So, let’s go over this one more time.” He readjusted his grip and focused back on her ass.

She tensed. “Don’t you dare hit me again!”

“You were reckless.” He gave her ten solid whacks while she kicked, yelped, whined, and pushed to get away.

“Malcolm, stop!”

“No.” He made his next point. “You put yourself in danger.”

“Ow! Malcolm! Stop! I’m telling Mom!”

He wasn’t deterred, and finished off that round of ten before pausing. “Go ahead. I’m sure she’d love to hear all about it. Just don’t be surprised when she thinks it’s a fabulous idea and decides to employ the same methods of correction.” He scowled at his own words. “On second thought, maybe let’s not tell Mom.”

“I hate you!” she whined.

He probably would have been hurt if he hadn’t heard her voice hitch with tears. Using the same soothing tone that Gil always used for him once he’d dissolved into tears, he said. “That’s fine. Hate me all you like. Don’t speak to me for a month. Just keep yourself safe. Because I’m watching you, and if you put yourself in danger again, I’ll be doing this again.”

“No! You’re never doing this to me again!”

He shook his head. “Yes, Ains, I will. And if you want to get up anytime soon, you’d better apologize.”

“Screw you!” she yelled, and put a bit more effort into struggling to get away.

He gave her twelve more solid smacks, before she yelled out, “Okay, okay! I’m sorry!”

Malcolm knew she didn’t mean it, but he didn’t have the heart to continue when he could hear the tears in her voice. Sighing, he let go of her waist.

She immediately stood upright, and took a couple of steps back while wiping the tears off her face.

He opened his arms, thinking about how Gil always finished things up. “Want a hug?”

She stepped up to him, and to his shock, instead of accepting his hug, she shoved him hard. He toppled over the back of the couch, did an awkward summersault, hit his left shin on the coffee table, and landed on the floor.

“I’m telling!” Ainsley shouted before running out.

“Shit,” Malcolm muttered, holding his shin and glaring towards the door. With a sigh, he pushed himself up, and muttered, “That went well.”

He hobbled over to the kitchen and poured himself a drink. His only consolation was that his mother probably would think corporal punishment was a great idea now that they were adults. He groaned, and poured himself a double.

# # #

The next morning when Malcolm’s alarm went off he muttered, “Thank God,” before getting out of bed.

He’d dozed off a few times over the past six hours, but for most of the night he’d tossed and turned thinking about what his sister was going to do, who she was going to tell, and how his mother, his father, and Gil all might react when they found out what he’d done. None of it was pretty. And when he wasn’t thinking about that, he was wondering if Gil was going to do more than just lecture him about his part in last night’s escapade.

He made some coffee, and was just about to check his phone when there was a knock on his door. He winced, assuming it was Gil since his mother usually just barged in. Straightening his shoulders, he went to face the music. But instead of an annoyed father figure, Malcolm found his little sister on the other side of the door.


She pushed past him with a glare and said, “I just wanted you to know that…” her eyes darted away and she crossed her arms. “I didn’t tell Mom, and I…”

He closed the door, and went to stand in front of her. “And what?” he prompted

She glared even harder at him. “And I get it, okay? I don’t like it, and I think you’re an overbearing asshole, but I get that your heart was in the right place even if I don’t agree with your methods.”

Relieved, he said, “I just want to keep you safe.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“Want that hug now?” He offered, opening his arms again. When she simply continued glaring he added. “Gil always gives me a hug after.”

“Fine.” she muttered before stepping into his embrace. “But I don’t forgive you.”

“I’m okay with that. As long as you stay out of danger, I’ll consider it a win.”

“Yeah, well every time Gil gives you one of his looks I’ll consider it a win,” she responded, moving out of his hug.

“Great,” Malcolm muttered. He was about to offer her some coffee when someone else knocked on his door.

He found Gil on the other side of the door, and sighed. “Hi, Gil.”

“Hey, kid. We need to have a little talk before work.” He stepped into the loft and saw Ainsley. “Oh, I didn’t realize you had company.” He nodded at her. “Ainsley.”

“Morning, Gil. I was just leaving.”

“Actually, I’m glad you’re here. I wanted to talk to you as well.”

Ainsley nodded and said, “Of course, but first let me apologize for yesterday. I was rude, and I went into a dangerous situation when I shouldn’t have. I let thoughts of fame get to me. It won’t happen again.”

Gil’s eyebrows went up in surprise, and he gave her a smile. “Apology accepted. I appreciate the honesty.” He gestured to the door. “I don’t need to hold you up with a lecture, when you’ve already figured it out for yourself.”

Ainsley grinned at Malcolm and said, “You two have a great day.” Then as she walked to the door she mouthed the words, “I win.”

Malcolm rolled his eyes, before shutting the door, and facing his mentor. Maybe his sister had the right idea. “Now let me apologize for yesterday. I went into a dangerous situation without waiting for back up, and I’m sorry…” but the words ‘I won’t do it again’ just wouldn’t come out of his mouth. “…but I had to save Ainsley.”

Gil raised an eyebrow. “Yeah, it sucks to watch someone you love putting themselves in danger, doesn’t it?”

Malcolm gave him a sheepish smile. “It really does. Sorry.”

Gil smiled as well, and put his arm around Malcolm’s shoulders. “All right, apology accepted. I wasn’t planning to punish you anyway, because I know there’s nothing I could say or do to you that would keep you from trying to save your sister.”

“Thanks for understanding, Gil,” Malcolm said, finally feeling like maybe he’d done the right thing last night.


The End

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