"So, Brother, am I to be incarcerated or executed?" Sherlock didn't bother turning from the window. The view from Mycroft's office was incredible. You could know everything going on in London from that window.
"Neither, I'm afraid. We've an undercover assignment for you in Eastern Europe."
"You'll be placed somewhere else", Sherlock slumped forward almost unnoticeably and Mycroft knew he was thinking of John. He let out a sigh. "Why did you do it Sherlock?"
"He had information on Mary"
"You could have handled it some other way."
"He was too smart. He would have gotten away"
"You could have been executed!"
"I had to!"
"Sit down!" Mycroft thundered, pointing his cane into Sherlock's chest. Reluctantly, the younger brother took a seat, "Now, I am not a man who is drawn to sentiment. Displays of affection are for the weak and the dull of mind. So know when I say this that it is the absolute truth. Your death, Little Brother, would be my undoing. If you have no care for your own life, as you have so recklessly shown in your recent behavior, have care for mine and our parent's and for John's."
Sherlock opened his mouth to speak and closed it again at a loss for words. He hadn't been trying to kill himself, but it was true that he could have been more careful. He had taken drugs again and he hadn't given a thought to the guns trained on him when he shot Magnussen. He could have found another way.
"I am sorry", he said shyly, looking down at his hands.
"You will be, Brother Mine", Mycroft said, his voice deadly quiet. Sherlock's stomach flipped as he saw his brother's grip tighten on the cane in his hands, "I'm sure you thought yourself very clever, assaulting me the other day when my cane was out of reach. Tell me, did you tremble when John handed it over to me?"
"Mycroft. I- I was out of sorts"
"You were high. Another issue which we will address. Come now, over the desk and be quick about it"
Sherlock hesitated, going over the possibilities in his mind. Mycroft was a master swordsman and he could wield the cane like a blade. In every scenario Sherlock could think of, he would be bested. He had been so many times before. As far as running went, he wouldn't make it far. But maybe…
"Stop your stalling, Sherlock. You and I both know how this will end. If you please, I would prefer to skip the beating before the caning. Wouldn't you?" grimacing, Sherlock rose from his seat and walked over to the desk. He took off his scarf and coat, folding them neatly on a chair nearby. Turning back, he looked at Mycroft pleadingly. The older brother rolled his eyes and scoffed.
"Stop wasting my time Sherlock. The cane will be applied to your bare bottom as it has every time you've been disciplined. Do I need to give you incentive?"
"No", he said quickly, pulling off his pants and underwear and placing them next to the rest of his clothes. Embarrassed, he bent over the desk and grabbed each end.
"These first six are for physically mishandling me. You will count them aloud", Mycroft spared no time bringing the cane down on Sherlock's bottom.
The younger man's body flinched under the assault and he took a moment to breathe before counting.
"No, I'm sorry. You seem to have forgotten your manners. We'll redo that stroke and see if your memory serves you", he laid down another stripe.
"…One sir", Sherlock counted through gritted teeth.
Whap "Two sir"
Whap "Three sir"
Whap "Four sir"
Whap "…Five sir"
Whap "Six sir. Ssss"
"Well taken, Brother. I'm sure you will remember to keep your hands to yourself from now on, no?"
"Yes sir", Sherlock spat sarcastically, clenching the ends of the desk to keep from reaching behind and rubbing the sting out of his bottom. He knew it would only earn him more of the cane.
"Mmm. I see your disposition needs work. Luckily for you, we have a long way to go in this punishment. So, bottom up. These next six are for returning to that disgusting habit of yours"
"Wait! Wait. That was for the case", the younger man stammered, staying bowed over the table.
"You could have leaked your drug secret with a fake drug bust. You practically own the police force"
"No, that would be you, Brother"
"The point being that you had no need to enter into a temptation of that kind, the proof being that you actually ingested the drug"
"Injected, actually and yes, I needed it to look real"
"You take me for a fool, Sherlock Holmes?" Sherlock flinched from his brother's growl, "You faked your own death and you want me to believe you couldn't play a heroin addict? You have a problem, Sherlock. And you walked right into it with pleasure."
Again, Sherlock couldn't think of a response. He had intended to fake his addiction when he went undercover, but the temptation had proven too much. He'd thought that just a hit would assuage him, but he'd ended up there for days.
"Count", Mycroft's voice broke through Sherlock's thoughts a moment before the cane came down again. He stifled a yell.
Whap "Mmmmph. One sir"
Whap "… Two. Sir."
Whap "Mmm three sir"
Whap "F-four sir"
Whap "Ahha five sir"
Whap "Ohh… s-six sir"
A tear slid down Sherlock's cheek. He knew the beating wasn't over yet, but his bottom felt like it was on fire. Mycroft was never tender, but it felt like he was hitting even harder than usual. Sherlock shifted his legs subtly, trying to ease the burn a bit.
"You know better than that, Little Brother. You will hold your position until I say we are through. Is that clear?"
"Yes, Brother", Sherlock sniffled. He shook his head, trying to gather himself. Sherlock Holmes did not sniffle.
"You have six more before we conclude, and I will be putting extra effort into these. You risked your name, your country, and your life by putting a bullet into Magnussen. Had you only used your mind, you could have conquered him. But you instead chose to drug your entire family, steal confidential data, and commit murder"
"He deserved to die, Mycroft"
"And you do not, Sherlock."
"… you're right"
"I am aware"
"I'm sorry, Mycroft, please."
"Count them, Sherlock"
Whap "Mmmmowwwww. Agh. One sir"
Whap "Two, god please, two sir"
Whap "Arrgggh, three sir"
Whap "Ahow. Please, Mycroft. Four. Please. Four sir."
Whap "FIIIIVE sir"
Whap "Six, sir. Agh"
Mycroft let his younger brother cry over the desk for a few moments before he brought him his clothes. The detective dressed in silence with his back turned, wiping his eyes and trying not to rub his bottom. A man had to have some dignity. Especially after being spanked to tears by one's older brother. Finally gathering himself, he turned back to Mycroft. The older man held out his hand firmly, and Sherlock returned it with a weak shake. He hated the handshake even more than the beatings sometimes. It was like congratulating Mycroft on an arse well whipped. Suddenly, Mycroft pulled him into an unexpected hug. He stiffened for a moment, then wrapped his arms around the man, feeling the tears come to his eyes again. They stayed that way for a few seconds then pulled away from each other, standing awkwardly.
"So- umm. Eastern Europe, then?"
"Hmm. Yes, quite"
"I'll- I just need to stop by the toilet"
"Fine", Mycroft said, watching him go, "And Sherlock"
"What, umm, yes?"
"Let's not have this conversation again"
Sherlock nodded, walking away. Stiff and sore, practically excommunicated, for some reason he felt more content than he had in a long while.