Back From The Edge

Title: Back from the Edge

Disclaimer: We own nothing from the Fast and the Furious franchise and are making nothing from this story.

Summary: Written for the 'maintenance' square in Advent Holiday Bingo.

Warning(s): Spanking; suggestions of suicidal thoughts; D/s undertones

Authors: BlackFox12 and Hope1iz


Brian sat at the table, listlessly tearing the paper wrapper off the bottle of beer he was nursing. It wasn't a good morning. He'd woken up to rain. Dom and the others were already at the garage because he'd accidently overslept. And while straightening up the bookshelf, the photo-album had fallen to the floor and spilled all the photos. He'd had to pick them up and put them back into place; and, of course, at least half of them were of Letty. Familiar guilt slammed into him. He hadn't had to deal with the guilt for several months now, but it was back and with a vengeance. He could only hope Dom would come home for lunch, because he wasn't sure he wouldn't do something stupid if he was left alone for too long.

Dom let himself into the apartment, planning to get some food and also check on Brian. The other man hadn't showed up at the garage and he was worried that his friend might be ill.

Brian was so far into his melancholy that he didn't hear the door open, or when Dom came into the kitchen. He just stared at the empty beer bottle (the only thing he'd had for breakfast) and picked at the paper wrapper.

Normally, Brian would react to Dom's presence. The fact that he didn't was worrying and Dom stepped over to his friend, touching his shoulder. "Hey." He saw the beer bottle and his concern deepened. "Have you had anything other than beer?"

Brian blinked and looked up at Dom, his eyes sunken and bloodshot. He hadn't slept well the night before either, so he didn't look good. "Naw..." he muttered. "...Not really all that hungry."

Although fairly certain what was wrong with Brian was something only he could fix, Dom nevertheless needed to know for sure. "Doesn't matter if you're hungry or not. Beer shouldn't be the only thing you're having."

Brian winced, reaching up and rubbing at his left ear before tugging on it. "Probably not. Just have no appetite, so dunno what to eat..." He sighed.

At that signal, Dom knew he could force Brian to eat...but that he wouldn't really be getting any response out of his friend until after they'd dealt with this. He didn't waste time talking, instead tugging Brian to his feet and walking through to the living room without a word.

Brian swallowed hard, but didn't fight Dom, letting himself be led. He felt horrible and like he needed to cry; but he couldn't cry. It was all building up inside of him, the pressure making his head and heart hurt, but nothing was escaping. He knew he needed help.

Dom didn't speak as he led his friend towards the couch, taking a seat and tugging Brian over his knees. Settling the other man in place, he quickly tugged Brian's pants and underwear down.

Brian quickly reached down and grasped onto his friend's ankle before closing his eyes tightly. He didn't make any noise. By this point, he was lucky to even be aware of what was going on. Responding in any way was going to take a bit more work.

Not wasting any time, Dom lifted his hand and brought it down in a firm smack at the crest of Brian's backside. He repeated the swat and then delivered a couple more just below the first, not going too fast, but having done this enough times to know what kind of force his friend could take.

Brian felt himself begin to feel more at ease once he was over Dom's lap; not going limp, but it was obvious he felt relief that Dom was taking care of him. Each smack allowed a tiny bit of tension to drain from his body.

Dom continued the swats at the same force and speed down to Brian's thighs and then began again from the top, covering skin that had already received attention. "It wasn't your fault, Brian. What happened to Letty."

Brian winced at the words and took in a shuddering breath. He'd hoped to avoid speaking, to just feel the punishment he knew he deserved, but those words deserved a response. In a shaky voice, he replied, "It was... if I had done things differently... if I had been honest..." He choked and had to stop talking.

Dom remembered his reaction to knowing that Brian had been in contact with Letty, but he hadn't handled things right then. Now? He knew how guilty his friend felt. He began a third circuit of swats, going a fraction harder and just a little bit faster.

Finally, the pain from the swats allowed what words and talking hadn't enabled Brian to do. He let out a tiny moaning whine and then tears began to stream down his face. His body quivered with the need to release pent up anguish; he wasn't quite to the point he needed to be, but he was close. "Dom..." he gasped out, almost begging.

Dom tugged Brian tighter against his stomach, raising his knee just a fraction so he could push Brian forward enough to expose his sit spots better, beginning to focus swats there and to his friend's thighs.

Brian gurgled slightly as the swats targeted more sensitive areas and then the tears became vocal. Softly at first, but progressively louder the longer he cried, Brian began to sob out the pain, guilt and remorse he felt over Letty. He'd never be able to forgive himself. The only thing that kept him from doing something permanent was Dom watching over him and making certain he was okay. And taking care of him when things became too much to handle. He wriggled slightly; not in an attempt to get away, but to encourage more swats. The pain on his bottom was helping the pain inside of him to dull to an angry ache. He might actually be able to do something in the afternoon instead of stare into space; as long as he had a sore backside to help him remain focused.

Still keeping a careful control of his strength, Dom continued swatting the reddened, heated skin. He wasn't only watching the effects of the spanking on Brian's backside, but keeping a careful watch over his friend's reactions. So he knew the right point to stop and take care of Brian. But it was worrying that his friend had slipped into that depression again. Dom was starting to think that they needed more than a one-off spanking to handle this.

Brian continued to cry and wriggle over Dom's lap, until finally he was sobbing brokenly. He continued to wriggle, feeling as if the spanking was all that was keeping him tethered to anything, but the wriggling was becoming weaker and feeble as the spanking went on. He was tiring himself.

Dom slowed the smacks down, bringing them to a complete stop and then letting his hand rest on his friend's lower back. "I don't blame you, Brian." He gently pulled Brian's underwear and pants back into place and then carefully moved him to be sitting on his lap instead of over it, hugging Brian close.

"How can you not?" Brian sobbed, turning so that he could grip the front of Dom's shirt tightly in his hands. "How can you forgive me...?"

Dom wrapped his arms tightly around Brian. "You're family. I won't blame you for a mistake. Or leave you alone to hurt."

"It's my fault, though..." Brian continued to cry; the sobbing had lessened the more tired he became. "It's my fault and I'm so sorry..."

Dom tightened his embrace. He didn't like this attitude of Brian's; that his friend was so torn up by guilt that spanking him was the only way to bring him out of the dark space. Talking to Brian wasn't doing any good, so he decided on a different approach. "You know what? Here's what we're gonna do. Every day, for the next week, I'm going to put you back over my knee."

Brian shivered at the words, but noticeably didn't argue against the decision. In fact, if the tiny huffs of breath he released as his sobbing finally calmed was anything to go by, he was relieved. "Okay..." he whispered, before nuzzling against Dom's chest like a child seeking comfort.

Stroking Brian's hair and back, Dom made a quick decision. "I'm not going back to the garage today. I'll stay here with you."

"What if they need you there?" Brian half-heartedly protested. Not only did he not have the energy to argue with Dom over the decision, he was relieved that he wouldn't be left alone. If things became bad again, maybe he could convince Dom to take him over his knee again, even if it was the same day.

"It doesn't matter," Dom stated firmly. "You need me more here. Like I said. You're my family."

Brian nodded, snuggling closer. "Do you think you could spank me some more?" he asked, in a tiny, almost embarrassed voice. "It helped a lot..." he whispered.

Dom didn't want Brian to think he couldn't voice something he needed. At the same time... "Are you sure?" he asked. "I didn't exactly go gentle on you. And you are going to be spanked for the next week."

Brian whimpered and nodded against Dom's chest even as he answered, "Please? It doesn't have to be hard if you don't think that's good for me..." he added, indicating that he trusted Dom to know what was best and would obey whatever he decided "...Even if I'm just over your knee and it's patting to keep… to keep it stingy..."

Dom held his friend for a few more moments and then carefully moved Brian back over his knee, tugging his pants and underwear down so he could check the condition of his backside.

"Thank you..." Brian whispered gratefully, reaching down and grasping Dom's ankle again, closing his eyes so he could just focus on what was about to occur.

Looking at Brian's backside, Dom could see it was pink and darkening to red in places. He definitely didn't want to start up another full-on spanking, but he let his hand rest gently on Brian's bottom, patting gently.

Brian whimpered slightly as he realized it was just going to be patting; but he didn't argue or beg for harsher. He'd said it was up to Dom what he was given, and he knew enough about his brother and about himself to know that it was better to leave it up to Dom. Besides...the gentle patting was already bringing the sting back. "Thank you..." he whispered again, squeezing Dom's ankle before slumping so that he could get the full effect of the patting.

Dom gently squeezed one thigh in response, continuing to gently pat. Even though he wasn't actually spanking, he still kept a careful eye on Brian's reactions. He wouldn't put it past his brother to keep pushing to an unhealthy level.

Brian just lay over his brother's lap, whimpering softly when a particularly sore spot was patted, but otherwise able to hold still. Eventually, though, even the gentle pats felt like full swats and the whimpers began to turn to groans and he couldn't help but tense up in anticipation of a pat, quivering in place. Part of him wanted to tell Dom to stop; tell him he'd had enough. The other part of him felt that he deserved so much worse for his part in what happened to Letty that he needed to keep quiet- let it begin to hurt badly.

Noticing the reactions, Dom stopped even the patting, moving his hand to Brian's back and beginning to gently rub. "That's enough, brother," he said seriously. "If you need to stay in this position for a bit, you can. But then you'll be eating something."

"Okay..." Brian's voice was small and tiny, but he didn't argue. He didn't attempt to get up, either; being in the position was helping, too, even if it wasn't providing the pain he thought he needed.

Brian lost track of how long he lay over Dom's lap, his brother gently rubbing his back. It was long enough for the heated skin of his bottom to begin feeling a bit chilly, though. He shivered. "What do you want me to eat?"

Dom carefully eased Brian's underwear and pants back into place and then helped his brother to stand, wrapping an arm around his shoulders. "Let's go see what there is," he decided.

"Okay, Dom..." Brian leaned into Dom's embrace, letting his head rest against the bigger man's shoulder as they walked into the kitchen.

Guiding Brian into the kitchen, Dom wasted no time in finding some food in the cupboards, beginning to cook something more filling and substantial for his brother.

Brian stayed near to Dom, only shifting out of the way when Dom needed to occupy where he was standing. He helped when he could, but mostly he just quietly watched his brother. "I love you, man...I'm sorry I do this to you..." he finally whispered, giving Dom a sad smile.

Dom gently squeezed Brian's upper arm, looking at him affectionately. "It's not about what it does to me, but what I see it doing to you," he said softly. "I can't help but worry, knowing the only thing that pulls you back is if I put you over my knee and spank you. But I love you, brother, and you know I'll do anything for you."

"I know you do...and I know you will..." Brian smiled crookedly. "I... I don't want you to worry..." he said hesitantly, but not sure what he could do to alleviate that worry; since Dom was right. Sometimes the only thing that pulled him back was being over Dom's knee and getting his butt smacked till he couldn't sit right. Literally. It had to hurt after the spanking stopped. He supposed he could understand why that would worry Dom.

"I know it's not your fault." Dom's voice was gentle as he plated up the food and encouraged Brian to sit and eat. "You can't help how you feel. But maybe it's also time to consider talking to someone outside. A therapist."

"The guys would have a field day with that one..." Brian snorted softly, pointedly not outright refusing. He trusted Dom and if Dom thought it was a good idea, maybe...

"They don't have to know," Dom replied. "If it helps you, it's worth doing. For now, I want you to eat, brother."

Brian nodded and walked to the kitchen table, gingerly sitting down. Only the tiniest of whimpers escaped.

Dom sat down as close to Brian as possible, watching his brother carefully to make sure he ate.

Brian ate carefully, but quickly; his appetite much better now that at least some of his guilt had been taken care of. The knowledge that he would be going over his brother's knee again the next morning also helped. Dom was a lifeline that he wasn't afraid or ashamed to grab hold to. "Thanks, man..." he said quietly.

Dom smiled, seeing Brian was in fact eating. "You're welcome, brother," he replied, reaching over and squeezing his brother's arm.

Brian had managed to stay focused and mostly serene the rest of the day. Of course, Dom staying home with him helped. And every time he sat down, he was able to remember his brother was willing and able to take care of him, which gave a level of comfort. When it was time for bed, though? He was reluctant to sleep. He knew as soon as his eyes closed, and the house was quiet that he'd do nothing but think of Letty.

It hadn't taken much for Dom to decide that he wasn't going to leave Brian alone at night time either. As soon as he was ready for bed and knew his brother was too, he stood in the doorway of Brian's room. "You're staying with me tonight, brother."

Brian looked up and stared into his brother's face, considering, then nodded. "Okay..." He sounded relieved, though, and gave Dom a quick hug as he passed by him on the way to Dom's room.

Dom followed his brother into the room, settling on the bed and then simply holding an arm out to Brian.

Brian quickly crawled up next to his brother and snuggled as close as possible, putting his head on Dom's chest and tangling his legs around the older man's. "Night, Dom. Love you..."

Dom wrapped his arms tightly around Brian, pulling his brother in close and tight. "Love you too," he murmured, stroking his hair.

Brian relaxed considerably, snuggling and nuzzling into his brother before asking softly, in an impish voice, "Rub my bottom?"

Dom raised his eyebrows, but decided there was no harm in rubbing, even if he didn't intend to smack again. He gently tugged Brian's pajamas down, baring enough of his bottom to gently rub.

Brian blinked, then smiled crookedly. He hadn't really expected Dom to go along with the request, but the fact he had made him feel good inside. It always made him feel good when his brother proved his words with action; Dom had promised to be there for him, no matter what he needed, and he was. He snuggled down again, sighing softly in contentment. The gentle rubbing helped put him to sleep.

Dom held his brother close to himself, letting his hand rest on Brian's backside even as he let himself drift into sleep.

Next morning dawned bright and clear. Brian blinked the sleep from his eyes and focused on the sounds in the room and the feeling of warmth coming from his brother. He'd stayed asleep in Dom's arms all night; and, as a result, had managed some fairly decent sleep. His brother's hand was still possessively resting on his bare bottom, almost cupping it. Brian was reluctant to move and cause the older man to shift. He felt safe in his brother's arms; felt safe having him 'hold' him. He wasn't nearly as despondent or guilty as he'd felt the day before. Just having Dom nearby had helped immensely. Still... he was grateful that Dom had said he'd be receiving spankings for the rest of the week. He was afraid that the badness would return if his brother didn't continue to control and 'correct' him.

Dom woke up only a few moments after his brother did, but he didn't move, apart from letting his hand rub gently over Brian's backside, pushing the pajamas down a little bit lower for better access.

Brian hummed softly, almost purring, and snuggled closer, pushing his bottom up so Dom could reach better. "Morning..." he muttered into his brother's chest.

"Morning." Dom continued gently rubbing, pushing the pajamas down low enough to squeeze and rub Brian's thighs.

Brian snuggled some more before asking quietly, "We going in to work today?"

"Not today." Dom tugged him in closer. "We're spending the day together, brother."

"That makes me happy," Brian said quietly and smiled as he continued to snuggle.

"Good." Dom stroked over his hair. "You ready for some breakfast?"

"Mmmmm...I guess..." Brian mumbled, not really wanting to get up from his very comfortable and warm position, but knowing Dom would insist he eat.

Dom gently patted his backside. "You don't have to get dressed, but breakfast is non-negotiable."

Brian smiled and snuggled a bit more. "Yeah. This feels like a pajama day..." he admitted. "Want me to make waffles?" He was doing his best to keep his guilt down and at bay. It wasn't as bad as the day before, but he was still feeling it; the knowledge that Dom was staying with him for the day and had already all but promised a sore bottom at some point helped him not let himself wallow, though.

"Sounds good, brother." Dom tugged Brian's pajamas back into place, helping his brother to stand.

Grinning, Brian headed to the kitchen and began gathering ingredients to make waffles. "You think anyone else will come by, or are they giving me space?" he asked sheepishly, beginning to mix batter while the waffle iron heated.

Dom joined his brother, watching to see what he needed help with. "I think they figure you're safe enough with me."

"Always..." Brian grinned over his shoulder as he began to pour batter onto the iron and then waited for the waffle to cook. "Safer with you than anyone..." he added softly, his tone grateful. He knew if Dom hadn't come home to check on him, he would have been in a very bad way the day before.

Dom was aware of the exact same thing and he moved over to Brian, gently squeezing one arm. "We need a way for you to let me know when you need me, other than me hoping I'll come back in time to stop you doing something dangerous."

"Yeah...tugging on my ear only works if you're around to see it...I don't know if I can just call you and say 'Dom, I need you to come home and spank me', though..." Brian blushed. Even if that's what he needed to do, he couldn't see himself doing it.

"So, don't say that," Dom said. "Call me and say, 'Dom, I need you.' You don't have to say anything else. And I'll come straight home."

Brian glanced at Dom, then nodded. "Okay..." He paused. "...I do, you know. Need you. And not just to bust my ass when I'm about to fall into my own personal hell, either..." He bumped shoulders with his brother, gently, before plating up the waffles.

"I need you, too, Brian," Dom said. "To stick around. With me. And if that means I've gotta spank you more times than I'd choose to? Yeah. I'll do that. To keep you living."

Brian blinked a couple of times, his eyes suspiciously moist, and nodded. "Yeah. I know you'll do whatever I need. I'll do what I need to do too; I don't really want to leave you. When I'm thinking clear, like now... it's the last thing I want..."

"I know." Dom squeezed his arm. "But when you fall like that, you're not thinking clearly. I don't want to lose you. I can't lose you, brother."

"So... when I feel myself slipping... I need to let you know immediately..." Brian said softly. "Even if it's just to text you 'SOS' or something."

"Exactly. So I'm not too late to take care of you," Dom said simply.

Brian nodded. "I can do that...I'll do my best to remember to do that..." He carried the plates of waffles to the table, before quickly getting syrup and cutlery. He motioned toward the table for Dom to sit and eat.

Dom sat, once again angling his chair so he was as close to his brother as possible.

Brian sat down as well, letting one leg stretch out and to the side so that it was brushing against Dom's leg.

Dom gently squeezed his arm and then began eating, watching his brother carefully to make sure Brian ate as well.

Brian smiled and ate his own food. There wasn't a lot of chit-chat, but the near-silence was comfortable. When they'd both finished, Brian picked up the plates to clean up. He bumped shoulders with his brother, again, in a show of affection and neediness.

Dom squeezed Brian's shoulder gently, easing the material of the pajamas just enough to allow him to touch bare skin.

Skin on skin contact always soothed Brian and he found himself leaning into Dom's grip. "Maybe we can just hang out on the couch tv..." His tone was curious; more of a question than a statement, as if asking if Dom agreed to the idea.

Dom smiled and gently stroked Brian's shoulder. "That sounds good to me," he agreed.

"I'll just finish up the dishes, you in the living room?" he said quietly. Since he planned to stay in his pajamas, he didn't have to do anything else.

"I'll help you. That way, we'll get done quicker," Dom said.

Brian smiled and ran the water to wash and rinse, handing Dom a towel to dry. It didn't take them long at all to finish, just like Dom had soon, they were heading in to the living room.

Dom sat down on the couch and held his arm out to his brother. "If you settle across my knee now, then once I judge it's time, I can start spanking."

Brian blinked, then nodded. "Yeah...that'd be good..." he said quietly. He trusted Dom to know the best time. Plus...he liked being over his brother's knee, even if it was just to lay there quietly and get his back rubbed.

Once his brother was within arms reach, Dom reached out and gently drew Brian across his lap, securing him tightly and then pushing his pajama top up so he could rub.

Brian hummed softly, squirming until he was comfortable before remarking, "I'm going to make your legs fall asleep..." He didn't move, though, his brother rubbing his back derailing that line of thought. Dom was in charge. If he needed Brian to move, he'd move him. It wasn't like he wasn't strong enough to physically adjust him, after all.

"I can handle it," Dom replied. "You don't worry." He continued stroking and rubbing his brother's back, beginning to do the same to his bottom as well, sliding the pajama trousers down enough to bare Brian from his back down to his knees.

Brian whined slightly as he was bared, but didn't fight what Dom was doing. It wasn't like Dom hadn't seen his bare bottom enough times that he probably knew what it looked liked better than Brian himself. And the rubbing felt good. Most of the sting from the day before had eased and while there were still a few tender spots, over-all, the sensitivity wasn't all that bad. Brian crossed his arms in front of him and put his head on them. "Thanks, bro..." he whispered, as he settled in to being taken care of.

"I've got you, brother," Dom said, continuing to gently rub and stroke. "I love you. And if you need me to do this more often...I can't say I'll spank you as much as you want me to, but I can do this."

"You wouldn't get tired of me asking?" Brian sounded skeptically amused. "I understand that you don't always spank when I know better than me when I've had enough...I don't seem to have a warning switch in me that tells me when it is time to stop. I know that worries you..." he added, in an embarrassed whisper.

"Asking that is the same as asking if I would get tired of you," Dom said. "I do worry about you, brother. Not because I would get tired of you...tired of taking care of you like this...but because you can't communicate when it's enough." He gently squeezed one thigh. "I don't want to step over the line and have you get hurt and scared of what I could do to you."

"I trust you not to hurt me..." Brian's voice was full of that trust in and love for his brother. "Even when I don't know when enough is enough, you always seem to..."

Dom continued the gentle stroking and rubbing, moving Brian's pajamas to make it easier to get to bare skin. "I'd die before I ever hurt you, brother." He thought about mentioning again about the therapist, but decided that could wait until the week was over and he had a chance to find someone he could check into and trust.

"I know..." Brian said softly. "That just makes it easier to trust you. I just wish I didn't worry you so much. If I controlled myself better, or was able to...I dunno. Know when to put the brakes on myself..." He almost shrugged, but didn't want to dislodge his brother's hand off his back.

"Right now, I can put the brakes on for you. I can read you and make the decision of what you deserve. What you need." Dom's hand stroked over his legs, down to the backs of his knees.

"And I can trust you and not push when you say I've had enough..." Brian said, in all but a promise. He didn't want to make any actual promises. Promises were important and if he broke one to his brother, he'd feel even worse than he already did about himself.

"Yeah. You can do that," Dom agreed, still rubbing and stroking.

Brian smiled over his shoulder at Dom. "Thank you for staying home with me today..." he said quietly.

"I told you. You're more important," Dom replied gently.

"I know...I feels good. Knowing that I am to you..." Brian admitted shyly.

"You're my brother. And I love you." Dom let his hand rub over Brian's back and bottom, putting a little bit more pressure behind the touch. "I would never leave you alone like this."

"Even though I'm really messed up and worry you..." Brian sighed softly, wriggling a little and pushing his bottom up against Dom's hand.

"You're suffering. I wish I could stop that." Dom gently began patting Brian's backside.

Brian bit his lip and clenched his hands as Dom began to pat. "You're helping a lot..." he tried to console. "...And...and I'll go see a therapist..." he agreed in a whisper. "I know it isn't fair to you to expect you to put me back together. I need you so much, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't seek professional help..." It was hard to admit, but he could see how worried Dom was and that was beginning to make him feel guilty too. He pushed his bottom into Dom's hand again.

"Seeing a therapist is as well as leaning on me, brother. Not instead of." Dom lifted his hand and brought it down in a swat that had a bit more force behind it, then resumed patting a bit more before he repeated the stinging smack.

Brian let out a tiny yelp at the harder smack, quickly answering, "Yes, sir, I'll always lean on you first!"

"Good." Dom continued to gently pat, pausing every so often to rub his brother's bottom.

"I'd never leave you out of decisions about me, Dom... you have to know that..." Brian's voice was softly hesitant, as if he weren't sure Dom did know. "Without you, I'm like one of our racing cars without steering..."

"I know," Dom replied reassuringly. "I'd never let you slip away from me, or suffer through this alone. Suggesting you see a therapist is about helping you heal. Not about not wanting to be responsible for you."

"That's good...I wouldn't trust anyone else with...this..." Brian nodded toward his bare bottom that Dom was still rubbing. "...And I really need it sometimes." He blushed.

"I know, brother." Dom continued the gentle rubbing and patting. "I love you. I would always help you."

"I love you too, Dom..." Brian relaxed again.

Dom began to pat just a little harder, delivering a slightly firmer swat every third or fourth time he brought his hand down.

Brian responded to the firmness with tiny huffs and moans, but otherwise didn't attempt to get away. In fact, he shifted his bottom up slightly to make an easier target and better expose his sit spots.

Dom began directed the pats and firm swats to Brian's sit spots, wrapping his other arm around his brother's waist to draw him in close and tight against his stomach.

Brian whimpered at being held so firmly. It felt he thought he'd be happy to be held that tight forever, even if he wasn't being spanked. "Feels good." He whimpered again as he attempted to snuggle.

Dom responded by tightening his hold on his brother, so that Brian couldn't move and squirm away from his hold. "I won't let you go," he promised.

"Not ever?" Brian pressed, needing to hear it once more, even though he believed Dom.

"Never," Dom promised, squeezing Brian's waist. "I won't let you go. I promise."

Brian slumped at that, relaxing in Dom's grip. "Good. I never want to be let go..." he said softly. "Love you..."

"I love you, brother," Dom replied, beginning to smack just a bit harder; not at the same level as the previous day, but harder than he had been.

Brian managed to hold still for about half a circuit after Dom increased the force before he couldn't help but squirm. He also began to whimper, though they were soft and not yet distressed.

Dom was giving him what he needed. Physical proof that he had control and Brian was safe to let go. Physical help to release his tightly held grief. He didn't know what it said that he couldn't seem to cry except when being spanked, even if he desperately needed to. That was proof he needed the therapist, he supposed.

Dom carefully watched his brother's reactions, continuing the swats at the same force and speed. His other arm still held Brian tightly against him.

Brian continued to squirm and whimper quietly, his focus slowly but surely turning fully onto what his brother was doing until the only thing he could focus on was the swats and how badly his backside was stinging; and how tightly and securely he was being held. He was safe. He didn't have to be in control of anything, even himself. Dom would look out for him and make certain nothing happened or went wrong and it was enough for him to relax. The tension he always seemed to carry around with him eased and his body visibly relaxed as he slumped over his brother's knee and became pliant. And like the morning before, as soon as he let go of the tension, the tears began to stream from his eyes. It was only moments after that the first sob escaped and soon he was crying over his brother's knee like a baby.

Dom brought the spanking to a stop, seeing that his brother had reached his release, and wasted no time in gathering Brian into his arms. He held his brother just as close and tight, but this time hugging him on his lap instead of over it.

Brian just gripped onto Dom as tightly as he could. Now that he was able to cry, he found he couldn't stop; but he wasn't really trying either. He felt safe letting himself be vulnerable with Dom- and he truly needed to get the pent up emotions out. He regretted that the only way he was able to do so was if his brother spanked him; he knew Dom didn't really like doing that and only did so because he needed it. He didn't regret crying in front of his brother, though; or the fact he wanted and needed to snuggle close. Eventually, the tears slowed enough that he could form words, even if he was still crying. "I'm sorry, Dom... sorry I need to... need you to... I know you don't..." He sniffled and wiped at his eyes before gripping onto his brother more tightly.

"Hey, don't apologise." Dom tightened his arms around his brother. "I don't like hurting you, even if it's just through a spanking, but I would never regret giving you what you need to let go and feel better." Even if the feeling better didn't last as long as Dom hoped it would.

Brian sniffled again, then gave Dom a tiny smile. "You always take good care of me..." he whispered. "...Wish I made it easier for you, but until I get my head together..." He sighed and let his head fall against Dom's chest. "Like cuddling with you...I know it isn't terribly 'macho' to admit,'s nice. Feels good." He snuggled closer.

"You think I care about 'macho' or not?" Dom asked softly, tightening his embrace. "I care about you. I care about your needs."

"Naw...I know you don't care bout that. You wouldn't hold me so tight for as long as I wanted if you cared 'bout that..." Brian smiled and snuggled some more. "...And I do like to be held tight by you. One of the few times I feel safe..." he admitted hesitantly. "...Rest of the time, I feel so out of control..." He sighed softly and shifted a little, wincing as the sting flared up again, but not complaining about it. It had achieved the purpose he needed; he'd been able to let go. He wasn't going to complain about a little pain when he felt so much lighter and freer emotionally.

"I'd rather hold onto you and make sure you feel safe than run the risk of you doing something because you feel out of control," Dom said. "Even with spanking you, I'd rather do that than have you do something stupid or dangerous because I'm not with you. Or because I'm not giving you what you need."

"Next time, I'll call immediately when I start falling..." Brian nuzzled against Dom's chest. "...So you don't have to come home and find me like you did yesterday. That wasn't fair to you and I know it scared you. I didn't want that to happen. Then again, I don't like when I become that guilt filled, either- it just happens."

"I know." Dom stroked his back and hair, sliding his hand under the pajama top for the skin-on-skin contact. "But I'd appreciate a heads-up. So that I know to come straight home."

"Yessir..." Brian nuzzled a bit more, pressing close and just enjoying the feeling of being held and rubbed.

Dom shifted his brother enough to make it easier to hold and stroke, though he was careful not to dislodge Brian nestled against him.

Brian sighed happily. "We can watch a movie if you want, bro... I can lay beside you. Maybe order a pizza later."

Dom smiled and gently squeezed Brian's shoulder. "Sounds good to me, brother. You get comfortable however you like."

Brian handed Dom his phone before lying on his stomach with his head on his brother's lap.

Dom gently stroked his fingers through Brian's hair as he turned the television on and set it up for a movie.

"You forgave me... For could you? I was awful..." Brian didn't sound upset, more curious.

"I forgave you because you're my brother and I love you," Dom replied. "If I couldn't do that, I would have lost you as well. And I couldn't handle that."

"I love you, Dom... thank you for not letting me be lost..." Brian whispered.

Dom gently stroked his back and shoulders. "I would never want to lose you," he whispered.

Brian snuggled. "I don't want to lose you either." He settled down, content to just be with Dom.

For the rest of the day, Dom barely strayed from Brian's side, sticking close to his brother and making sure he ate and rested when needed. When it was the evening, he didn't waste any time guiding Brian into his own room once more.

Brian didn't take long to clean up, since he was already in pajamas. Soon, he was crawling into the bed and waiting for Dom so he could snuggle up to him.

Dom didn't waste any time getting into bed next to his brother, wrapping his arms tightly around Brian and drawing him in close.

Brian put his head on Dom's chest and was soon fast asleep.

Dom didn't let go of Brian as he too fell asleep, holding his brother tightly to himself.

The rest of the week followed the same pattern. Brian and Dom would wake up, intertwined. One or both of them would make breakfast. They'd go into the living room to watch tv, movies, or chat. And Dom would be affectionate with his brother.

At some point, Brian would feel guilt stab him and indicate such to Dom, who would then spank the younger man until he was sobbing...never beyond that. And then they'd go on with the day, Brian relaxed and mostly guilt free. Eventually, it was taking longer and longer before Brian would feel guilt and it took less time for the tears to fall, so the spankings weren't as long.

The last day of the week Dom had promised dawned bright and clear. Brian snuggled close to him, reluctant to get up yet. "I'm gonna miss spending this time with you..." he whispered. "But I guess we both need to go back to work."

"There's no hard, fast rule that says we can't continue to spend time together, even when we're at work," Dom pointed out gently, tightening his arms around Brian. "I'm not gonna want to stop spending time with you."

Brian nodded. "I need a job, so...helping you would be good..."

"And we can stay close like this when we come back home," Dom pointed out.

"I'd like that..." Brian admitted. "I don't feel so hopeless with you near."

"Good." Dom smiled and softly stroked Brian's back. "Any time I can help you, brother. It's worth it."

"You help me a lot..." Brian reiterated. "I... I thought about what we talked about. I found a therapist I'm willing to talk to... if you like them."

Dom nodded. "If you think you've found the right person, I'll check into them so I can be certain you're safe."

"I'll give you their name when we get up for breakfast," Brian agreed. He squirmed a little bit, looked up into his brother's face, then put his head back on Dom's chest. This was the last day of other things as well. And for the first time, Brian didn't want it. He suspected he might need it a little, just because Dom had promised, and he needed Dom to keep his promises, but he didn't want it. He didn't know if was better to get it out of the way quickly or not, though. He squirmed again.

Dom gently patted his brother's backside, trying to figure out Brian's thought processes and the right move now. "You hungry?"

"A little..." Brian said hesitantly and then blushed when he caught himself pushing his butt up for better access. "Um..."

"Breakfast first?" Dom asked, responding to the pushing up by patting a little bit more firmly.

"Yessir..." Brian quickly agreed and smiled impishly at his brother.

Dom helped his brother up and wrapped an arm around Brian's waist, almost possessively, steering him towards the kitchen.

Brian leaned into Dom and followed quietly. He glanced at his brother and finally asked, "Are...? Do you have to...?" He sighed, not able to voice his own question. It was frustrating. After a week of wanting his brother to take control and physically handle him, he couldn't ask for him not to? He couldn't help but feel it wasn't his place, though.

Dom could hear the question his brother was really asking and he looked seriously at Brian. "If I don't spank you today, after promising I would, do you think that will make you feel better?"

Brian sighed softly. "No, sir. It won't," he responded quietly. While he didn't need to be spanked like he had, he did need his brother to keep his promises, even the unpleasant ones.

Dom squeezed his waist, even as he guided his brother into the kitchen and began preparing them breakfast.

Brian hung around, helping where he could, and soon they were at the table eating.

Dom sat close to his brother and, after finishing the food, he began to clean up after them, before wrapping an arm around Brian's shoulders to guide him through to the living room.

Brian leaned against his brother, relaxed and happy despite everything. He followed Dom easily.

Dom sat down and gently guided Brian down onto his lap, settling his brother enough so he could stroke and rub easily.

"I love you..." Brian said quietly, smiling at his brother.

Dom smiled and gently squeezed his shoulder. "I love you too," he said.

Brian snuggled as much as he was able before sighing. "Can we get it out of the way? So I can just cuddle without thinking about it?" He sounded sheepish.

"Of course." Dom squeezed Brian gently before he moved his brother across his lap.

Brian didn't fight at all, relaxing as soon as he was in place and gripping Dom's ankle. "Thank you," he whispered.

Dom gently stroked Brian's back before pushing his pants down to his knees and beginning to gently pat his brother's bottom.

Brian let out tiny huffs of air, but showed no signs of discontent. He trusted his brother.

Dom continued the gentle patting, completing a circuit down to Brian's thighs. Starting a second circuit, he started to pat a bit more firmly.

The gentle huffs turned to quiet whimpers as the strength of the pats increased, but Brian was still calm and not distressed. He just held to his brother's ankle more firmly.

"I've got you, brother." Dom completed the second circuit and began a third, delivering harder pats every so often that were closer to light swats.

"Always..." Brian agreed. "You always have me."

"No matter what happens," Dom reassured him. "No matter how many times we have to do this, it won't change anything." He began concentrating more of the light swats to Brian's sit spots and thighs.

Brian relaxed at the words. The swats didn't hurt; but they were a reminder that his brother would do whatever was necessary to protect him and would keep all his promises. That was enough to cause him to tear up. "I'm counting on that..." he said with a quiver.

"Good. You can count on me," Dom promised. While he swatted with one hand, his other rubbed and stroked over Brian's back under his pajama top.

"Dom..." Brian couldn't help but squirm, the light swats having built up to the point that they now stung. "I do...I do count on and trust you..."

Dom increased the force behind the swats just a fraction, wrapping his arm tightly around Brian's waist. "No matter how you feel, no matter what happens, you won't be able to change how I feel about you, brother."

"I know...I know!" Brian let out a tiny sob and began squirming more frantically at the harder swats. His eyes teared up quickly as well...not because of pain, but because his brother's words were getting through to him.

"Even if you make a mistake," Dom continued, holding his brother tight against him as he continued swatting; still not anything like real punishment swats, but harder than they had been. "Even if you think you've done the worst thing won't change anything. I'll still forgive you. I'll still love you."

"I love you, Dom! I love you...!" Brian just went limp and started crying, the words of forgiveness and the promise never to leave breaking his defenses quicker than anything.

Dom brought the spanking to a stop and wasted no time in bringing his brother into his arms, hugging him close and tight.

Brian pressed as close as possible and held onto his brother as if afraid he'd lose him, in spite of everything. "Love you...need you..." he repeated, once his tears calmed enough that he could be understood.

"I need you too, brother," Dom said seriously, tightening his embrace. "I need you with me."

"You'll never let me leave?" Brian asked in a whisper, cuddling close.

"Never," Dom promised. "You're mine. I'm not going to let you go."

The End