Leaving The Pack
Disclaimer: I don't own anything from the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I'm not making any money from this fic
Summary: Written as part of the Lonely Prompts challenge on Spanking World on Livejournal. For this prompt: All I want for the holidays/my birthday is someone to notice me.
Kyle and the rest of the pack might have bullied Lance, but at least they noticed him
Warning(s): Spanking; spoilers up to and including the season one episode The Pack; minor spoilers for the season one episode Out of Mind, Out of Sight; references to violence and cannibalism; sexual references; references to bullying
Pairing: Lance/Kyle – slash
Author's Note: Tag to the season one episode The Pack, where a group of students (including Xander) get possessed by the spirits of hyenas, causing them to turn violent. They were also bullies and the possession exacerbated that part of their personalities
Lance finished the sketch and then eyed it critically. He was fairly sure he didn't have any talent, but while he was drawing, he felt like he could amount to something; like he actually mattered. Even if it was only in his own mind.
Taking a quick shower and dressing, Lance gathered his backpack and slipped out of his bedroom, walking down the stairs to the front door. As he reached the bottom step, he paused and looked behind...at the closed door leading to his parents' room. And of course it was still closed. His birthday...and not even his parents had noticed him.
Sighing quietly, Lance walked out of the house, closing the front door quietly behind him. He considered slamming it closed, but he'd never done that before.
Lance's house wasn't that far from Sunnydale High, but as he walked along the street, he felt nothing but invisible. And walking through the school gates, the feeling only got worse as other students pushed past him, sending him stumbling every which way.
He was used to being ignored and disregarded. It was just harder to handle when it was his birthday.
As he headed inside to his first class of the day, Lance spotted the 'pack' out of the corner of his eye. It was what he'd started calling them after they'd turned on him in gym class playing dodgeball...at least in his mind. That's what they'd been like, after all. The memory of the way they'd giggled still spent shivers running down his spine.
As he passed them, Lance tensed up automatically. That sense of fear he'd experienced when they'd turned on him in the hyena house was still prevalent and he was expecting them to do the exact same thing now. But they didn't even look at him...treated him like he was invisible...and that was even worse than when they'd been bullying him.
The whole day passed the same way. Even Xander Harris avoided Lance...and they might not have exactly been friends before, but they'd at least said hi in the hallway to each other. He wondered what was wrong with him, that he'd take outright bullying over being ignored by everyone.
By the time they reached gym class, Lance was beginning to assume he'd gained the ability to turn himself invisible, without the power to turn himself back. They ended up playing dodgeball again, in the same teams as last time. And he was stuck behind the rest of them, staring at the backs of each member of the pack and wondering if they would turn on him at the start of the game...or at the end.
But the entire game went exactly the same way. Members of both teams were hit out, but Lance continued to just hang back and watch as people were hit out. It lacked the predatory aspects of the previous game, but he was still halfway expecting the four pack members to turn on him. Xander was on the opposite team, but even he hadn't attempted to take Lance out of the game.
Lance couldn't have said why he did it. He felt himself beginning to fade. Everyone was treating him like he was invisible. No one really saw him...but he wanted to make them see him. He looked down at the ball in his hands. He looked at the backs of the students in front of him. And then he threw the ball, hard, at Kyle's back.
It bounced off his fellow student and Kyle turned to him, eyes flashing. He took a step closer to Lance, who swallowed and stood his ground. He'd poked the hornet's nest. And now, whatever happened...at least he wouldn't be invisible anymore.
Kyle stared at him, but then the coach blew his whistle and he turned away...walked away...left with the pack.
Lance stared at the group as they left...as everyone pushed past him. Like he was invisible. He didn't matter. They all walked away, including the coach. Leaving him alone in the hall. He'd thought the bullying was bad enough. Compared to being ignored? To being treated like he was invisible? If he disappeared today, no one would care. No one would miss him.
Picking up one of the balls, Lance dribbled it over to one of the hoops. He took the shot and watched as ball slipped through the hoop.
Lance jumped and turned round, eyes widening as he saw Kyle standing there. He swallowed and then lifted his chin, preparing for a beating.
Kyle raised his hands. "I'm not going to hurt you."
"Where are the others?" Lance fought the urge to look around for the rest of them hiding out in the hall.
"I'm here on my own." Kyle took a hesitant step towards him. "I..." He took a deep breath. "Look. I don't know how to say this. Apologies aren't really my thing. But I'm sorry."
Kyle frowned, taking a step closer. "That's it?"
Lance couldn't help but take a step back. "What are you expecting? I believed in you once. You were going to feed me to the hyenas."
"Yeah...I'm sorry about that."
It wasn't an apology Lance was looking for. In fact, he wasn't sure what he was looking for. "That's a quick change of heart."
Kyle took a deep breath. "You make it sound so simple."
Lance picked up the ball he'd thrown through the hoop, wrapping his arms around it like it was a security blanket. "Simple? I have no idea what happened. I don't know what you're doing here without the rest of your pack..."
"Pack?" Kyle echoed the word and laughed bitterly. "Sounds about right. I could make a whole load of excuses, but that's all they would be. Maybe we wouldn't have gone that far, but..." His voice trailed off and he shook his head. "At least you're someone I can say sorry to."
"What if I don't accept it?"
"You want to beat on me?" Kyle spread his hands. "I won't fight back."
"You really don't know me at all." But why was he surprised by that? No one knew him. The fact that Kyle was now talking to him on his own was something he'd never have expected to happen...and he couldn't quite shake the idea that this was some kind of trick.
Kyle slowly lowered his hands. "No. You're right. I don't know you." He took several steps closer to Lance. "But I want to. I want to make up for what I did to you. I can't tell you what's happened. You won't believe me. But maybe this is something you'll believe." He took the last few steps, closing the distance between them, and pressed his lips against Lance's.
The ball dropped slowly from Lance's hands. Kyle's lips were soft. Warm. The kiss was surprisingly gentle, considering Kyle's behaviour to date. Lance closed his eyes and returned the kiss, feeling Kyle's hand shift to the back of his neck. He tensed up.
Kyle pulled back. "I'm sorry. I guess I misread you."
"No. That's not it." Lance took a deep breath. He could taste Kyle on his lips and heat rose to his cheeks. "I don't know...I mean..." He paused and then rushed out, "You're expecting me to believe you...what? Want to date me? When you've alternated between picking on me and acting like I don't even exist? I'm supposed to believe your friends aren't waiting in the shadows to pounce on me the moment I let my guard down? No thanks. I learned that lesson already."
"Okay." Kyle pulled his belt free and doubled it over. Held it out to Lance.
Lance stared at the belt, but didn't move to take it. "What are you asking me to do?"
"You don't believe that I'm serious. I can't apologise enough for what I did to you...what we all did to you. I can't just expect you to forgive me. So you take my belt. Use it on me until you think I've learned my lesson. Until you can forgive me." Kyle's voice faltered a fraction. "I never really cared about what anyone thought of me. Not until you came along. I've done some horrible things. Terrible, awful actions that I can't describe to anyone else. If I could wake up from the nightmare, I would. But then I wouldn't have been forced to see what I've become. And, worse, to see myself through your eyes."
Still half-expecting this to be a trick, Lance slowly reached out and took the belt from Kyle. The other released it and Lance ran his fingers over the supple leather. It was a strange feeling, to have this control given to him. To be the one making the decision over how much Kyle deserved to be punished. Would he be able to forgive Kyle after this? Lance honestly couldn't say. He didn't want vengeance. He didn't want to hurt Kyle.
Wordlessly, Kyle walked over to a stack of mats that came to about chest height. His hands went to his pants and he undid them, pushing them down to reveal his boxers, before he leaned forward over the stack of mats, pushing onto the stack until he was standing on tiptoe and his back was stretched taut.
Lance stepped slowly over to Kyle's side. He reached out and let his hand rest on Kyle's back, feeling the tension bunched there. He looked down at the belt in his hand. Swallowed. Lifted it and brought it down on the centre of Kyle's bottom.
Hissing, Kyle clenched his fists on the mats and then relaxed.
The second stripe landed just below the first and Kyle exhaled a sharp breath. The third and fourth strikes brought a sharp gasp each to his lips and after the sixth, a short cry escaped his lips.
Lance paused, glancing towards the door of the gym. Class was over for the day, but that didn't mean no one was around to hear it. Looking down at Kyle's backside once more, he could see red stripes glowing through the fabric of his boxers.
Another six stripes and Lance could hear the quiet tears Kyle was beginning to shed. His whole body trembled, but he didn't shift out of position or attempt to reach back and block.
Lance ran a hand over Kyle's bottom, feeling the warmth through his boxers. After a brief hesitation, he hooked his fingers in the waistband of the boxers and tugged them down to fully bare Kyle's backside, before lifting the belt yet again.
Eighteen stripes and Kyle's shoulders were shaking as his sobs reached Lance's ears. Wincing – he hadn't expected the tears to affect him quite that much – he stopped the strapping and slowly shifted closer to Kyle. Leaning forward, he wrapped his arms around the other's waist.
Kyle's body relaxed and he reached down to grasp Lance's hand. "Will you forgive me?" he whispered.
"How can I not?" Lance asked quietly in return. "You see me."
Kyle slowly pushed himself up and turned round, wrapping his arms tightly around Lance and kissing his neck. "I know I'm a monster...but if you can find it in your heart to forgive me, I know I can do better," he whispered.
Lance pressed closer to Kyle. He was fairly sure that there was a lot that had happened he didn't know about, but as Kyle cupped his chin in his hand and pressed their lips together once more, he found he didn't care.
"Happy birthday," Kyle whispered against his lips.