Prompt: #31 Mix-up
Word count: 300
Summary: Ian is sure he knows what Charlie wants and needs.
Notes: Written for numb3rs100, part of A Silk Pillow ‘verse.
Whipping Boys (#31 Mix-up)
Ian surveyed the terrified students lined up outside Charlie’s door. From inside he could hear rage.
“Math tantrum.” A student supplied.
“I’ll handle it.” Ian let himself in and locked the door behind him. The office was a mess. Charlie was throwing things at a chalk board.
Charlie looked at Ian. “What?” He snapped.
Ian took a breath. ‘I can do this.’ He told himself.
He spied a yardstick. It was metal and not ideal, it could tear skin but it would do. He handed the yardstick to Charlie then quickly dropped to his knees leaning forward to expose his back.
‘I can do this.’ Ian told himself again and tried to drop into his mind. If he could take it for Him he could do it for Charlie. And Charlie loved him.
“What?” He heard Charlie say on the edges of his awareness. “Oh like hell.” He heard the yardstick drop and felt his head yanked up. “No.” Charlie said. Ian opened his mouth but Charlie silenced him with a hand. “I don’t want to hear it. I’m too mad right now. Listen. You are not, and never will be, a whipping boy for my foul moods. Do you understand?”
Ian didn’t but nodded anyway.
“Yes, I have a temper. I will never take it out on you. If I try the words are stop and no the same as if you ever smell alcohol. You save yourself first. Understand?”
Ian was confused. He nodded.
“When I am slightly less homicidal towards a certain set theory professor and after we solve this case we can have a long talk about why you would ever consider this a good idea.” Then Charlie kissed him. “Go tell my students five minutes and Don two hours.”
Ian nodded and left still feeling confused.