Author's Note: A few people requested a follow up to my Once Upon a Time story 'Jump Ship' that would focus on Hook's comment about his brother. I started writing this story back in 2013, and finally finished it in August 2018 because of a work in progress (WIP) challenge on my yahoo group.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters, and I'm not making any money from this story.
Warning: Judicial type punishment of an adult. I would call it non-consensual because the person being punished has no choice in the matter, but the character doesn't disagree with the punishment.
Hook stood at the helm of the Jolly Roger looking out at the sea, thinking about the fact that Emma was currently in his bed, and how disappointing it was that he wasn't in bed with her. But honestly he was just happy to have her safe after watching her almost kill herself by jumping off the ship in the middle of a storm. He smirked again when he remembered her expression after David had swatted her. The poor girl clearly wasn't used to having a family member who cared enough to correct her when she pulled dangerous stunts. The smirk left his face when that thought brought up memories of his older brother, Liam. One memory in particular wouldn't leave Hook alone. He stared out at the miles of glistening water while his mind went back in time to the years before he was a pirate. Back to the years when he'd been a Naval officer under his brother's command, and the Jolly Roger had been The Jewel of the Realm.
# # #
They'd been dispatched to explore a couple of recently discovered islands, and the voyage had been going well. They'd met and traded with some of the local inhabitants, and were ready to head for home, when they ran into trouble. They rounded the edge of the bay they'd been in, and practically collided with a pirate ship that had been hiding behind some of the island's rocky cliffs. The pirate ship was slightly smaller than the Jewel, but they heard the pirate captain shout, "Attack!"
Liam shouted, "Ready the cannons!"
Killian repeated the order and walked down the starboard side checking on the men's progress. Before they could get off a shot, the pirate ship had fired, and blown a small hole in the ship's hull.
The two ships slowly drew closer together, and Liam gave the order to fire.
The next few moments were filled with the chaos of cannons firing, ropes with grappling hooks being tossed onto their ship, and pirates swinging onto the Jewel to fight Liam's men. Liam shouted the order to hold their ground.
Killian rushed along the railing of the ship slicing the ropes that were keeping the ships attached until a pirate landed directly in front of him. The huge man, who looked old enough to be Killian's father, walked towards him with determination in the one eye that wasn't covered with a patch. Killian grinned and changed the hold he had on his sward so that he was ready to fight.
"What are you smiling about kid?" the pirate asked in a patronizing tone. "You find your own death funny?"
Killian spread his arms and said, "I've been itching for a fight since we left port. You're providing me my first opportunity."
A smile slowly spread across the old pirate's face. "Well pup, let's see what you're made of." He put his sword up, and attacked.
The swords clashed as they pushed each other across the ship. Within minutes their swords were locked, and they were chest to chest. Killian was starting to shake in his efforts to hold the big man off. Before he could ask the old man if he'd had enough, they heard the pirate captain shout "Retreat!"
The one eyed man said, "Sorry pup, I can't stay to play." He reached down, snatched the spyglass from Killian's waist, and shoved the boy back. Killian landed on his ass, while the pirate ran for the ship's edge.
"Hey!" Killian shouted, and ran after him. The pirate grabbed one of the lead ropes that went to his ship, and cut it off. He held on, and jumped. He landed with a hard thud against the side of the pirate ship, and after catching his breath, started to climb up.
Killian's only thought was that the little telescope was the only thing he had left of his father, and without thinking it through, he grabbed one of the last ropes keeping the ships together, and made the same leap as the pirate had.
He landed with a bone crushing thunk about five feet away from the older man on the side of the pirate ship.
"You got a death wish pup?" The old pirate used his feet against the side to push himself closer and aimed a punch at Killian's gut.
"You have something that belongs to me," Killian said and tried to punch the older man in the face while avoiding the fist to his stomach.
Over on the Jewel, Liam caught sight of his little brother dangling from the pirate ship, and shouted, "Killian! What in the blazes do you think you're doing?"
"He took father's spyglass!" he shouted back as he swung himself closer to the big man.
"Let go of the rope this instant, and get back to the ship!"
Killian frowned, and swung towards the pirate again, landing a punch on the man's shoulder. As he swung back, he felt his rope being pulled up. He knew if they got him onboard the pirate ship that he'd be dead. He made one last desperate swing, let go of his rope, and collided with the older pirate. He grabbed hold of the other man's legs long enough to snatch the spyglass out of his waistband, and then let go. The pirate kicked him as he fell, but luckily the man's boot connected with Killian's upper back instead of his head.
Killian fell into the water without much fear. He was an excellent swimmer. But he hadn't counted on the wake of the two ships combined pulling him under. Try as he might, he couldn't quite reach the surface to gulp in some much needed air. Just as he thought his lungs would give out, he felt a hand grab his shirt and pull.
Seconds later his head broke the surface of the water, and he filled his lungs several times before looking at his savior. The quartermaster was eyeing him with concern and holding a flotation device. "Are you alright sir?"
"Right as rain," Killian replied in between gulps of air. He saw the small pirate ship moving away from them at a fast clip.
Once they were both safely back on board the Jewel, Killian tried to stand on his own two feet, but found himself too weak. He sunk to his knees and concentrated on breathing for a few moments. His brother arrived and knelt down beside him. Killian looked up with a smile, held out the spyglass and said, "I got it back."
Liam's concerned expression was immediately replaced by fury. He took a few calming deep breaths, and then stood up. He straightened his jacket and said stiffly, "Report to my cabin for punishment with two witnesses."
Killian's eyes opened wide, and his voice faltered, "Punishment?"
"Yes, punishment. I can't very well expect the crew to follow my orders, when my own First Lieutenant won't. Report within the next half an hour, or things will be worse for you." Liam turned on his heel, and walked away.
"But…" Killian tried to come up with some kind of excuse that would get him out of it, but nothing came to mind, and the longer he sat on his knees thinking it over, the more guilty he felt. His older brother was an excellent captain. The men both respected and genuinely liked him. Liam tended to use extra privileges and small bonuses to keep his men happy, but if they stepped out of line, punishment was swift, painful, and humbling. Killian had been witness to enough punishments to know what to expect, and a faint blush stained his cheeks, even as his teeth started to chatter from the cold.
He felt a hand on his shoulder, and looked up to see the quartermaster, Michael Quinn, watching him with concern. The older man was generally liked by most of the crew, and had given Killian good advice on several occasions.
"Let's get out of these wet clothes."
Sighing, Killian nodded, and forced himself to his feet with the older man's help. He went to the small cabin that he shared with the Second Lieutenant, and got into dry clothes. As he was changing, he started to wonder if he would have pulled the same stunt if his captain weren't his brother. He didn't know which answer was worse, if he would have disobeyed orders no matter who was giving them, or if he disobeyed orders because his brother was the one giving them. Either way he was slightly ashamed of himself, but also glad he had his spyglass back in his possession.
When he stepped out of his cabin, Michael was waiting for him.
"Would you like me to bear witness, sir?"
His stomach twisted with anxiety and shame, but he nodded. The older man had probably been witness to most of the punishments onboard, because he had a naturally calming nature, and the men tended to trust him.
"Who else?" Michael asked.
"Keets." Killian figured having his roommate and Second Lieutenant, Brian Keets, would be the least humiliating choice.
Michael nodded, and said, "Let's go find him and report to the captain's quarters." Killian grimaced, so Michael added, "The sooner you show up, the sooner it will be over and done with. You know the captain doesn't hold a grudge. He'll probably let you off duty for the rest of the afternoon."
With a curt nod, Killian followed Michael out to find Brian. They found the Second Lieutenant supervising repairs to the ship.
"How much damage?" Killian asked as he noted the small cannonball-sized hole in the hull.
"Four hits, but none of them below the water line. We'll have it fixed up by tomorrow morning," Brian said.
"That's good." Killian nervously rubbed the back of his neck with his hand, and said, "I don't know if you heard about my…"
"Little adventure?" Brian supplied while Killian was trying to decide what to call his misconduct. "Everyone's heard."
"Right," Killian muttered, while a new wave of shame coursed through him. He took a deep breath to bolster himself, and said, "Will you be witness to my punishment?"
"Of course." Brian put a hand on Killian's shoulder and added, "If the need ever arises, I'd hope you'd do the same for me."
Killian nodded, feeling sincerely grateful for his friend's understanding.
"Do you have time now, sir?" Michael asked. "The captain will appreciate getting this over and done as quickly as possible."
Brian nodded, and waved to get their lead carpenter's attention. The older man came over, and Brian said, "You're in charge of repairs until I get back. I shouldn't be long."
Killian knew he should appreciate the sympathetic expression the carpenter gave him before heading back to the repairs, because it meant the crew liked him well enough that they didn't want to see him punished, but it was humiliating to think that everyone knew what was about to happen.
Michael led the way to the captain's quarters, and knocked.
"Enter," Liam called out.
Killian went in and found his brother speaking quietly to the master at arms, Neal Fallon.
Liam nodded brusquely when he saw the men Killian had chosen, and said, "Mr. Keets, stand watch by the door, and make sure we're not disturbed. Mr. Quinn, please stand to the left of the desk to witness. Mr. Jones, remove your jacket, and stand in front of the desk."
Killian took off his jacket, set it on one of the chairs beside the desk, and stood at attention waiting.
Once everyone was in place, Liam walked over to the wall where a couple of canes were hanging next to a cat o' nine tails that had never been used. He took one of the canes off the wall, bent it a couple of times to test it, and then went to stand on the other side of his desk facing his younger brother. Turning his head to the master at arms, he said, "Mr. Fallon, please read the charges and the designated punishment."
Neal cleared his throat, picked up the book where all punishments on the ship were recorded. "First Lieutenant Killian Jones disobeyed a direct order from the Captain during routine operations. Punishment is six to twenty-four strokes of the cane at the captain's discretion for a first time offence." Neal gave Killian a stern glance and added, "If Captain Jones hadn't declared the battle over just moments before you jumped off the ship, the punishment would have been six to twenty-four with the cat in front of the whole crew."
Killian's eyes darted over to the nasty looking implement and paled. The knotted leather could do serious damage to a man's back. He swallowed hard, and nodded in understanding.
"Everyone onboard is well aware that we're brothers," Liam said. "I don't want to be overly harsh, or overly lenient with you because of that relationship, so I've consulted with Mr. Fallon to determine the number of strokes. You'll be getting twelve." He sighed and looked down at the cane in his hands. "I probably should let Mr. Fallon deliver the punishment since that's one of his duties as master of arms, but…" He met Killian's eyes and shrugged helplessly, "…I can't stand by and watch someone else hurt my little brother."
"I'm sorry I've put you in this situation," Killian said with sincerity. "And I agree, twelve is fair."
Liam nodded in appreciation. "Thank you. Mr. Fallon will be watching to ensure the punishment is delivered with adequate force." He tapped the desk with one finger and said, "Trousers down and over the desk."
Killian undid the thick woolen trousers that were made to withstand the elements while working at sea, and shoved them down to his knees before bending over the desk. The position made him feel exposed and vulnerable, even though none of his skin was showing thanks to his long johns. He gripped the other side of the desk tight to keep himself in place. He hadn't been in this position since his days in the Naval academy, but he'd been prone to pulling pranks during his first couple of years, so he knew how to take a caning without embarrassing himself by standing up or reaching back.
Liam walked around to stand beside his brother, and rested the cane against the younger man's backside, gauging his target for a couple of seconds before commencing. For the next few minutes, the only sounds in the cabin were the swish and crack of the cane as it sailed through the air and landed on Killian's behind, and his sharp intake of breath with each strike. Liam paused for a good ten seconds between each blow to give his brother a chance to absorb the pain without it becoming overwhelming, and the muted sound of the crew making repairs filtered through the walls during the ensuing silence.
Killian's grip on the desk grew tighter and tighter as he struggled to stay still near the end of the punishment, and he couldn't stifle the small grunts of pain when the last two strikes landed.
Once all twelve had been given, Liam looked at his master of arms and said, "Was that sufficient, Mr. Fallon?"
"Make note of the completed punishment in the book," Liam said as he walked around to hang the cane back up.
Killian let go of the edge of the desk, took a deep breath, and slowly pushed himself up to standing. He reached for his trousers, but his brother's voice stopped him.
"I didn't give you leave to stand, Mr. Jones."
When he saw the stern expression on his brother's face, Killian's stomach sank. His ass was throbbing, and his knees were shaky, but he knew better than to question Liam at this point. He forced his eyes back to the desk, and leaned back down.
"Captain?" Mr. Fallon asked.
"I will have words with my brother alone." Liam waved a hand towards the door to his cabin. "The rest of you get back to your duties."
The other three men put up no protest as they quietly left the cabin. Once the brothers were alone, Killian looked up at Liam with a mixture of confusion and trepidation.
Liam walked around the desk, put a hand on the middle of Killian's back to hold him in place and said, "The caning was from your captain. This is from your brother." He landed a solid slap on Killian's right upper thigh where the cane hadn't struck. "I cannot believe you put your life in jeopardy for father's spyglass." Another solid slap to Killian's left upper thigh elicited a high pitched whine from his younger brother. "When I saw you dangling from that rope against the pirate ship I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest. And then when you continued to fight instead of getting back to the ship…"
A flurry of harsh slaps to his thighs made Killian gasp, squirm, and shout, "Ow! Liam! I'm sorry!"
The smacks stopped as suddenly as they had started, and Liam said, "Good, you should be sorry. If you ever do something so reckless again, I'll take a belt to you once the cane stripes have healed."
"I won't! I won't do it again." Killian assured him, willing his brother to believe him and let him up before the tears that had gathered in his eyes spilled down his face. The pain caused by his brother's hand was unpleasant, but compared to the cane it was perfectly tolerable. The disappointment in his brother's tone however was torment.
"You'd better not." Liam landed two last smacks, one on each side of his brother's backside, right on top of the area he'd caned.
Killian's body writhed for a few seconds, involuntarily trying to escape the pain, and the tears ran down his face, but he didn't actively try to push himself up off the desk, mostly because Liam's hand was still in the center of his back pressing down. After the initial shock of fierce pain subsided, Killian felt his brother's hand move from his back to his shoulder. There was a gentle squeeze, and then a slight pull, urging him upright.
"Alright," Liam said, as he helped the younger man up. "Now you can stand."
Killian tried to keep his head down to hide the tears and the sorrowful expression on his face, but Liam said sternly, "Look at me."
Once they had eye contact, the hard lines around Liam's eyes softened a bit, but his voice still remained stern. "I will not lose you over some trinket that is easily replaced, Killian. Do you understand me?"
"Aye," Killian said, wiping some of the tears off his face.
Liam put a hand on the back of Killian's neck, and gently pulled him forward into an embrace. Killian held his brother tight, and put all of his focus into keeping his emotions in check, so that he didn't start bawling like a five-year-old now that the punishment was over.
After a long quiet spell, once Killian's breathing was back to some semblance of normal, Liam said, "I ought to make you hand over the spyglass and keep it in my desk until we're back at port."
Killian tensed, frowned, and shook his head against his brother's shoulder.
"But I won't." Liam patted his back once, and let him go. Once they had eye contact again, Liam raised his eyebrows and added, "This time."
Nodding in understanding, Killian said softly, "There won't be a next time."
Liam gestured towards Killian's knees and said, "Fix your trousers, and then you're off duty for the rest of the day."
Killian opened his mouth to protest as he was buttoning up his pants, but Liam held a finger up in front of him to stop the words before they started.
"If you're going to argue with my orders while your backside is still burning, I can confine you to your cabin until tomorrow morning instead of simply taking you off duty. I would imagine you'd appreciate a hearty meal in the galley tonight after your unsanctioned swim, but if you haven't been sufficiently punished, I'll take a page from our mother's book and send you to bed without supper."
Scowling with irritation, Killian shook his head and forced himself to say. "No, sir, I won't argue. I'm off duty until tomorrow morning."
"Good decision," Liam said, and gestured towards the door. "Go on. I've got to check on the repairs."
Killian grabbed his jacket, and put it on before he left. He quickly made his way to his cabin, where he could feel sorry for himself and recuperate in private.
# # #
Hook smiled ruefully at the memories of his younger self. At the time he certainly didn't appreciate his brother's censure. In fact he'd spent the next three days pouting and silently ranting in his head about how unfair it was of Liam to punish him twice for the same thing. Now that he had no living family left, and he knew what it felt like to have no one care when he did something dangerous, he longed for the days when his brother was around to punish him twice for the same thing.
David's voice startled Hook out of his thoughts.
"I just checked on Emma. I thought she'd be asleep, but she wasn't. She wanted to talk." David stuffed his hands in his pockets and scowled out at the water, as if what he said next was distasteful. "It's hard for me to think about the way she grew up, and it's even harder for me to grasp the concept of her never knowing the love of a parent until now. She told me that you helped her understand that the swat I gave her came from a place of love and protection, not anger or annoyance." He turned his eyes back to Hook and said, "So thank you."
Surprised at the sincerity he heard in David's voice, Hook nodded and said softly, "I like seeing her happy, and having a relationship with you and Mary Margaret makes her happy, so I wasn't being entirely selfless when we had our little talk." He turned to the sea and said, "You and your wife should rest up while you can. Neverland isn't for the faint of heart."
David nodded and went to find Snow, while Hook stared out at the gentle waves and thought about his brother.