Handling Rivalry

Disclaimer: I don't own anything from the movie Geostorm and I'm not making any money from this fic

Summary: Jake and Max have a conversation after the events of the movie

Warning(s): Spanking; spoilers for the whole of the movie Geostorm; mentions of violence; hints of paddling being used as a form of hazing

How it fits the bingo: Implements line with JetFicWriter: Paddle or ruler

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Max sighed and sat back in his chair, rubbing at the bridge of his nose. Rebuilding the satellites was going to take time and money. He needed to know exactly what damage had been done. Or, more accurately, he needed to know what, if anything, could be salvaged. And to do that, he needed to talk to the people who had been working on Dutch Boy. He needed...well, he needed Jake.

Max wasn't sure Jake was going to want to see him. Yes, they had reconciled. He'd faced the possibility of losing his brother only a short while after they'd made up. And for the first time in years, they'd been able to hug. And it hadn't felt awkward. Or wrong.

But he was still reluctant to make that call. Just because he knew Jake didn't hate him, it didn't mean that his brother would be happy coming back to work with Max as his boss. And his emotions, no longer coloured by their past, felt so new and different, he didn't want anything to disrupt them; to ruin their newfound peace.

But all of the world leaders were expecting a response. They wanted Dutch Boy to be bigger. No. They wanted it to be better. With enough failsafes to ensure another Geostorm didn't happen.

And he didn't think that was possible.

About ready to give up and turn in for the night and see if Sarah could do anything about his frustrations, Max was pulled out of his thoughts by the buzzing of his phone. He picked it up and looked at the display.

He had a message. From Jake.

'Hey little brother. Heard you're back on Dutch Boy. Need help?'

Max smiled, a sense of relief stabbing through him. He forgot his hangups as he quickly keyed a response. 'How soon can you get here?'

'Look outside,' came back almost immediately.

Max blinked and stared at his phone, taken aback. Jake was here? Did his brother even know where he lived? Realising he was staring at the phone with his mouth agape, Max quickly closed it and stood up from his chair. He headed out of his office and across the hall to the front door, which he quickly pulled open.

Jake grinned at him. "Miss me?"

"Not as much as Hannah did, I'm sure." Max grinned back. "I'm surprised she's let you come here out of her sight."

"I've been with her long enough to reassure her," Jake answered. "I thought I'd come and do the same thing for you. Can I come in?"

Yes. Of course." Max stepped back from the door, allowing Jake to enter, even while his mind whirled with confusion. He didn't need reassurance. Did he? As Jake closed the door, he asked, "Do you want something to drink? Or just to go straight to work on Dutch Boy?"

"You got any whiskey?" Jake asked.

Max nodded. "Yeah. If you just want to wait through there." He gestured towards the door leading to the living room. "Make yourself at home." He waited just long enough for Jake to walk into the room and then moved into the kitchen. He opened the cabinet and took out a bottle of whiskey. Retrieving two decanters, he poured whiskey in each and then carried them through to the other room.

James as seated on the sofa, but his hands weren't empty. Max stuttered and came to a halt as he saw his old fraternity paddle in his brother's hands.

Raising his head, Jake looked at Max. "You ever get this used on you?"

Max swallowed past his dry throat and made himself smile, speaking in a relaxed tone. "It was a new form of hazing. We had to make our own paddles. I kept it because, honestly? It was the best thing I made."

Jake nodded and turned the paddle over in his hands. The wood was smooth and varnished, the surface as thin as Max had been able to make it. A few of his fellow pledges had had their paddles snap the moment the first blow was given. Max wasn't sure he should have felt as proud as he did that his had remained sturdy.

"You want to use this on me?" Jake's voice broke into Max's thoughts.

"I..." Max paused and stared at his brother. "You want me to paddle you? Why? Cause you feel like you missed out on being hazed?"

"No." Jake stood up. "Because I failed to look after you. I let you take on the role I never should have thrown away."

Max put the decanters down, shaking his head. "I'm not following your reasoning."

"Really? Because it seems pretty sound to me." Jake held the paddle out to him. "You punish me for failing as your big brother. And after that, I'll take on that role again for you."

"By punishing me if I screw up?" Max wondered why, instead of sounding defensive or angry, he actually sounded relieved.

"Not just that. But, yeah, if necessary."

Max slowly took the paddle from Jake's hands, feeling strange and hazy. "Okay," he whispered. "I do this. Then you punish me."

Jake scowled. "What?"

"I sent you up there. I was nearly responsible for you dying." Max breathed in deep. "You want to step up? Be my big brother? Then you punish me now for screwing up."

Jake watched him for a moment before nodding. "Fine." Glancing at the sofa, he picked up a pillow and placed it over one of the arms. Then, walking round, he bent forward over the arm, shuffling forward until his stomach was resting on the cushion, his bottom the highest point of his body.

Half-expecting Jake to stand up and tell him this was all a joke...maybe even to punch him...Max walked up to stand behind his brother, the paddle's handle gripped tight in both hands. Feeling surreal, he lined the paddle against Jake's backside, noting that the paddle covered roughly half of his bottom, and then brought it back, snapping from the wrist so he didn't need to hit too hard to get the force.

Jake expelled his breath in a harsh gasp and gripped the cushions tightly in both hands.

Max landed the paddle a second time, overlapping the first strike, and Jake gave a quiet grunt, stamping one foot. The third strike, that was delivered against his thighs, caused him to jerk, as if he was about to stand upright. He didn't put a stop to the paddling, though, and Max repeated the three strikes.

After the sixth, Jake stood up, gingerly putting his hands back to cover his backside. "That's enough."

Max couldn't help but concur. Wordlessly, he held the paddle out to Jake.

"I'm not going to paddle you."

"You promised," Max protested.

"No. I promised I'd punish you. And I'm going to do that. As your big brother." Jake moved the cushion onto the sofa and sat down with a wince, then patted his thigh. "Bend over."

Max wondered if he could protest. Tell Jake to get out of his house. But he'd all but demanded this and if he hadn't pushed, if he hadn't felt so damned guilty, Jake probably would have let it go. Silently, he placed the paddle on the arm of the sofa and then moved forward, laying over Jake's knees and letting his breath out slowly.

Instead of spanking straight away, Jake slipped his fingers in the waistband of Max's pants, pulling them and his boxers down to just below his thighs. Opening his mouth to protest - after all, Jake had left his pants in place - Max was cut off by the slap of Jake's hand on his right buttock.

The sting blossomed almost immediately; but worse than that was the crack of bare skin against bare skin. The paddle had made a dull thwap against Jake's pants - but if Sarah was awake, there'd be no dulling the sound of what was happening.

Jake repeated the swat on Max's left cheek and then repeated the smacks slightly lower. He continued the smacks down to his thighs and Max couldn't stop the low whine in his throat as the more sensitive spots received attention.

When Jake began swatting from the crest of his backside again, Max hissed and jerked his legs. As much as he tried to hold still, his brother had a hard palm and it landed on target each and every time. By the third circuit, Max's bottom and thighs were beginning to feel warm and stinging. Tears were beginning to blur his vision and after another circuit and a few harder smacks directed to his sit spots, he threw his hand back. "That's enough."

"No, little brother." Jake caught his hand and held it against his back, going harder and faster with the smacks. "I know how guilty you feel. I know things have been hard on you and that I didn't help by adding to that. I'm here now, Max. To work with you. Not against you."

Max swallowed and used his free hand to wipe futilely at the tears falling out of his eyes. "What about...if you have to take orders from me?" He meant his question to be light-hearted, but all he sounded was hurt by the memories of the tension between them before.

"Here's the deal, Max. I'll listen to you when it comes to dealing with other people. You listen to me when it comes to my expertise about Dutch Boy."

"Okay." Max's throat felt tight and he slumped over Jake's lap. Tears were streaming out of his eyes, but the terrible weight of guilt was finally lifting. His bottom hurt, but it was nothing compared to how much his heart had hurt.

Jake delivered a final few smacks to Max's sit spots and then stopped. Max sobbed softly, but relaxed as his brother began to gently stroke and rub his back. "I'm sorry," he managed to get out.

"You don't have anything to be sorry for, Max." Jake pulled his underwear and pants back into place, then helped him up and wrapped his arms around him in a tight hug.

Max leaned into his brother and swallowed back the rest of his tears.

Rebuilding Dutch Boy could wait. Rebuilding things with his brother took precedence.

The End