Continued from Allie & Natalie in the FBI.
Allie & Natalie Out of the FBI
by Lenore and Breanna
“Did you girls behave today?” Peter asked when he arrived home later that night. The three were piled up on the couch watching a movie, which was his first clue that something peculiar was going on: Natalie rarely sat in common areas when Neal was around.
What Peter didn’t know was that Neal and Natalie had spent the last three hours figuring out a foolproof plan to sneak the stolen jewelry back to where it belonged. Actually, Natalie hadn’t really planned much… she’d mostly listened to Neal ramble on about potential disaster scenarios and logical ways to problem-solve. She’d also tried to make mental notes so she could remember it all for future references, but he was too quick for her. By the time she’d figured out what he had been talking about, he’d already moved onto another three or four ideas.
Allie woke up from her nap about an hour into their planning, and sat quietly in Neal’s lap, playing with the Rubik’s cube Mozzie had left over there. She turned the blocks up and down, back and forth, matching up the colors as best as she could, totally engrossed in the puzzle while idly listening to Natalie’s conversation with their dad. Her bum was still a little sore from her earlier spanking, but the pain was finally fading and she noticed for a moment how peaceful she felt. Usually she was hyper and fidgety, vying to be the center of everyone’s attention. But in this moment she knew she didn’t need any attention, that her daddy loved her and he was back and he was always going to be there. All her life she’d wanted a dad and now she had two! And two moms, too! It was the safest and most loved she’d ever felt.
“We always behave,” Natalie said, shifting in her seat as she felt the warmth radiating from her bottom. She hoped so badly that Peter didn’t figure out what they’d done… seeing him in person made her heart start racing and palms get sweaty. If Neal had been upset about them stealing, Peter would be furious. What if he decided that she and her little sister were too much for him to handle? What if he tossed them in jail, or sent them to separate homes? The anxiety was starting to get the best of her, so she stood suddenly and told everyone goodnight.
“Before you go,” Peter said, looking at each of them and feeling a bit suspicious, unsure about what. “Tomorrow we have a one o’clock appointment to tour the schools you’ll be going to. Elizabeth should be back from Chicago in time to meet us there, but you’ll have to come with me to the office in the morning.”
“What’s school?” Allie asked, looking up from the Rubik’s cube.
Peter glanced at Natalie and then Neal and said, “Really? She doesn’t know what school is?”
Neal shrugged but Natalie said defensively, “She’s too little for school.”
Peter didn’t feel like arguing or explaining, so he dropped it for the night, promising to discuss details with Allie another time. It had been a long day, and he still hadn’t figured out what happened with the stolen jewelry. He had a bad feeling in his stomach, though, that Neal and/or his daughters had something to do with it. But he desperately hoped they didn’t.
It was fairly easy for Neal to sneak the watches and bracelets back into the evidence room without being seen, and as soon as he had, he peeked into the conference room to signal to the girls that his plan had been successful.
Natalie breathed a sigh of relief and glanced down at Allie, who sat next to her still working on the Rubik’s cube, not a worry in her mind. Allie hadn’t seemed nervous at all that Peter could find out… she easily trusted Neal to handle the situation. Natalie wasn’t so lucky. She’d been on edge all morning, unable to even practice building a house of cards because she kept knocking everything over. Now that Neal had confirmed they were off the hook, she could finally focus on something other than what would happen if she got caught.
The problem is that they didn’t realize Peter and his colleagues had been taking turns reviewing video surveillance footage from the cameras near and in the evidence room. When Neal went to inform Peter that the missing jewelry had been a mistake, it was too late. Peter wasn’t in his office; he was sitting in front of a black & white screen that showed his foster daughters roaming through the FBI headquarters and causing all sorts of trouble. He couldn’t see directly from the cameras that they had taken anything, only that they dug through the boxes and tried on different items. But he was pretty sure that his gut had been right: they were the ones who’d stolen the jewelry.
Peter rushed to the conference room, tearing open the door and startling Agent Smith into dropping his phone with a CRASH onto the table.
"Do you two care to explain just what you were doing in the evidence room?" Peter demanded of the girls, and then looked over at the agent watching them. "And why was I not informed they had taken off?"
Agent Smith stammered unintelligible words, unable to explain himself. The young man cowered under his supervisor’s fury, apologizing repeatedly until he was dismissed and Peter looked back at the girls.
"Well? Care to explain yourselves?"
They looked up at him with wide eyes. How did he find out? Their dad had said he wouldn't tell! Was he a liar like their mom?
Allie moved to hide behind her sister, popping her thumb in her mouth out of nervous habit. She didn’t dare peek at Peter when he was this infuriated… all she could do is fight back the tears of betrayal.
Natalie also felt betrayed, and it took her off guard, but she quickly hardened and denied everything. "Agent Smith was looking at his phone and Allie got lost going out of the bathroom so I went to find her and we ended up in the evidence room," Natalie said coolly, looking Peter in the eyes the entire time.
Peter had an eerie feeling as the oldest girl looked at him -- she was so similar to her father with her ease in telling stories. "I saw you two running off and Agent Smith chasing you. I saw Allie teasing the dogs. It didn’t look like either of you was lost,” Peter said, staring them down, not one bit impressed.
Natalie struggled to find words. "It was because he was being mean," she said, looking pathetically towards her little sister for help.
Allie peeked her head out and nodded. "He wouldn't let us play with the doggies."
"So you two just decided to take off and do what you pleased?" Peter exclaimed. "The dogs are not here to play, they are here to work!"
Allie shrunk back behind Natalie, tears filling her eyes. How was she supposed to know not all dogs were meant to be played with?
Peter was really angry, much angrier than Neal had been, and that made Natalie's stomach twist into knots. She and Allie gripped each other's hands in fear. "We're sorry, Peter... w-we won't do it again..." Natalie said, now putting on her puppy face and letting tears stream down her face. She really didn't want another spanking…
"Some items have gone missing from the evidence room," Peter added. "You two wouldn't know anything about that would you?"
Natalie faked surprise. "What? Do you really think we'd stoop that low?"
“You’re dodging the question,” Peter said, noting another of Neal’s habits that Natalie had picked up on.
Allie was crying and had her face buried into Natalie’s back. "I want Neal..." she whimpered where only Natalie could hear. She really missed the calm feeling she’d had the day before when he’d held her in his lap. She refused to believe that her dad would tell mean ol’ Peter on them. But she couldn’t figure out any other way that Peter could’ve found out. She didn’t understand the concept of surveillance cameras.
As if his ears had been ringing, Neal popped into the room, oblivious to the tense situation he was entering. Allie immediately went running to him in tears, seeking safety. "Hey Kid, what’s wrong?” he asked, then looked back at Peter to quickly tell him, “They recounted the evidence, and looks like there was a mistake -- everything is there."
Peter eyed Neal suspiciously and glanced behind him to see Jones confirm that Neal’s statement was true. But he was sure Neal and the girls knew more than they were letting on, he just didn’t have any proof yet. "That's good to know." He turned back to Natalie. "Still, you two shouldn't have run off like that. And you shouldn’t have lied when I questioned you about it. I don’t appreciate being lied to."
"Peter," Neal began, giving him a look to help him calm down and hoping he could get the girls out of trouble. “C’mon, I’m sure the girls learned their…” Peter shot him a glare before he could finish, and Neal took the hint to detach from Allie and duck out of the room.
Allie began to cry more. She didn’t want to be left with Peter! She could tell that they were in big trouble, and it wasn’t fair. She’d already been spanked for this!
Peter took a deep breath and said, "Both of you, get your noses in a corner, NOW.”
They flew to opposite corners, Allie’s sobs racking her small frame. All the trust she’d had in her father was being stripped away. How could he have just left her there like that without fighting harder to save her?
Peter paced a bit, trying to find an ounce of empathy within himself. How could they do something like this? Natalie is going to end up just like Neal if she doesn’t get a reality check. He glanced at the oldest child who stood there obediently, staring at the wall in boredom. He could hear her nervous breathing and noticed her wobbly knees -- at least she feels a little guilty, which is more than we can say about Neal. And there’s no evidence they’ve stolen anything, so that’s also good... though I’m guessing Neal has something to do with that…
He looked over towards Allie to see if her tears had subsided. She was still sniffling a bit and her cheeks were flushed, but she seemed okay. Peter felt himself soften. They’re just kids. They’re really only guilty of boredom and impatience. At least that’s age appropriate… at least they didn’t pickpocket this time...
Feeling calm enough to carry on a sensible conversation, he called the girls over.
Allie hesitated, unsure and a little scared. She still had a bitter feeling inside her and was starting to think Natty had been right in saying Neal wasn’t their dad. A real dad would’ve saved her from scary Peter. A real dad wouldn’t abandon her like this.
She snapped out of her thoughts when her big sister wrapped icy fingers around her hand, helping Allie move forward. Natalie herself was trying to remain stoic while silently panicking on the inside, worried about the looming retribution. And what if Allie blurted out the truth about stealing? That would surely make this situation much worse.
They sat in front of Peter, who did his best to avoid making this into an interrogation. "Listen, you girls can't just go roaming around this office and sneaking into places you aren't supposed to go.” Eyeing Allie he added, “And playing with the dogs -- that's why we have Sachmo." He shot each of them a look that made their stomachs churn.
"I love Sachmo, " Allie commented softly.
Peter was unaffected by her attempt to change the subject. "There are dangerous things here that children should not be playing with or seeing. While this is basically a safe place, parts of it aren't.”
Natalie just nodded, silently praying that he wouldn't spank them. "We won't do it again. It was the only time we snuck away, right Allie? We'll be good..."
"Super good," Allie promised.
"Regardless, you already lied to me once today. How do I know you're not lying now?” He paused for effect. “I'm afraid I can't just take your word for it."
Allie felt her heart pounding against her rib cage. It was getting harder and harder to breathe. She inched forward on her seat, prepared to run.
"I think you both know what's coming," Peter continued, straightening his tie. "You're getting a spanking."
With those words Allie leapt off the chair and ran out the door. She refused to get another spanking! She just had one yesterday and didn't want one today too!
Peter groaned and stood to follow her, but Natalie stopped him. "Neal will bring her back," she said. He saw that she was right: Neal had caught the little imp and was holding her now, speaking in a calming voice. Looking back at Natalie, he noticed tears forming in her eyes, regretting that she’d have to submit to the consequences of her misbehavior. And worse, she’d be punished right there in the FBI office, where everyone would be able to hear them. How embarrassing.
But Natalie surprised him by saying, "If you want... you can go ahead and get mine over with... and then hers after she calms down some..." She shifted in her seat, feeling only a little brave, but really just tired of being in trouble.
Peter nodded and closed the door, admiring Natalie’s valor. He sat down in front of her and patted his lap. "Come here, then. Let's get this over with."
Natalie inched towards him as slowly as possible -- even though she wanted this to be over, her legs didn't want to allow her to move forward. But finally, with enough self-coaxing, she stood in front of him, brown hair fallen in front of her face, teary blue eyes looking at him. "I'm sorry for lying to you," she said. "I was scared to get in trouble..."
"Lying just gets you in more trouble," Peter told her honestly. "It's always best to tell me the truth." He eased her pants down and laid her over his lap. "I'm leaving your panties up this time but if I catch you lying to me again they will come down, understood?" he asked, landing the first swat.
“Owwww, yes, sir,” Natalie squealed, having forgotten how hard Peter spanks.
"Why are you being spanked, Young Lady?"
"For sneaking away and lying to you," she said, looking at the floor and covering her mouth so she wouldn't cry too loudly.
"That’s correct," Peter replied as he began to really spank her. He made sure to cover every inch of her bottom to ensure this lesson stuck more than the last one. "I will not have you or your sister lying to me. Especially since you know better."
"Yes, Peter, I knowwww," Natalie groaned, kicking her feet slightly. "Owww, that hurtsss!"
"It's supposed to," Peter replied as he kept spanking. He began to focus mostly on her sit spots and a little on her upper thighs, wanting her to remember this every time she sat the rest of the day.
With each swat that landed on her bottom, Natalie squealed. But then when he started smacking her sit spots and thighs, all hopes of keeping her dignity dissolved and she started crying out in pain. After only a few swats on her bare skin she felt the tears spilling from her eyes. "Peter... I-I'm s-sorryyy!"
"As you should be," Peter said as he landed a few harder smacks.
Natalie kicked and squirmed and within no time, she was full-out crying. She couldn't hold it in anymore -- all of the emotions came rushing over her at once... her mom getting arrested, her dad suddenly being in her life, and this stranger who seemed to care more about her than both of them put together.
"Owwww, Peter pleaseee," she cried.
"We're almost done," Peter assured her. He gave about ten more hearty smacks then stopped spanking, rubbing her back to help comfort her.
Natalie cried and cried, nose stuffy and head starting to ache as much as her bottom. She hated crying. She also hated being over his lap like that, so pushed herself up and hugged onto him tightly. Pressing her face against his chest, she realized why Allie liked latching onto their dad so much. Maybe she could have a relationship with Peter like Allie did with Neal.
Peter wrapped his arms around the preteen, also feeling the sudden strong connection. He was new to this dad stuff and had never thought he’d have to start out with such a troubled adolescent. But he did have a soft spot for her and saw her potential. She still had a chance to not end up like Neal. Somewhere inside of that over-dramatic exterior was just a frightened little girl who just needed for someone to care.
As Peter and Natalie were having their moment, Allie sat with Neal at his desk, learning new magic tricks and chatting. Neal had managed to explain to the little girl how Peter found out about their adventure, which helped her feel a little better, but she was still really scared to get spanked again. Neal knew this and hadn’t brought up the subject, but when he saw Natalie emerge from the conference room, he knew it was time to persuade Allie into having her chat with Peter, and he knew it wasn't going to be easy.
"I'm not talking to him. He's scary,” Allie spat with defiance, pressing herself into Neal so he wouldn’t make her go.
Neal gently pulled Allie away to look into her eyes. "Hey, you have to talk to him. I know it's scary, but you're brave, right? You've had to do scarier things before, like running away with Natalie."
"I'm not that brave," Allie insisted. "I ran 'cause I was scared. I don't like scary things or people."
"I know it's hard Allie. But you can do it -- you have to find your courage. You have to stop being afraid of Peter because, after all, you live with him now. He and Elizabeth are taking care of you, and they even bought that My Little Pony blanket you wanted, right? You can trust Peter." Neal knew all too well what it was like to feel like you couldn't trust anyone, but was glad that at least his kids were young enough to reverse that bad habit before it was too late.
"But I don't want to," Allie told him tearfully. "You spanked me yesterday. I don't want another one..."
"Peter doesn't know you were spanked yesterday, and besides, you're in trouble for something different. Yesterday it was for stealing and lying to me... what's the punishment for today?"
Allie chewed her lower lip as she thought about it. "For exploring and playing with the doggies?"
"And Peter has the right to discipline you for that, Allie. C'mon, be a big girl and go to him yourself... you'll see it'll be much easier on you." Neal nudged her slightly, giving her a kiss on the forehead as he stood.
Allie put a death grip on him. "But I'm scared," she insisted. "I don't wanna be a big girl..."
"You can do it, Allie. And maybe afterwards I'll teach you a new magic trick?"
Allie looked up at him, pausing for a moment. "Two tricks… and ice cream."
"One trick and chocolate ice cream?"
"With sprinkles?" Allie wanted to know.
Allie clung to him a couple moments longer, but finally let go and tiptoed toward the door where Peter stood waiting. Her eyes were filled with tears once more as she shuffled towards him feeling extremely nervous.
Peter smiled. "I see you've come back."
Allie inched inside and nodded. She glanced back at Neal for reassurance, then returned her attention to Peter.
"Have a seat, let's talk about what happened the other day."
Allie crept towards the chair, casting the odd glance back at the door as Peter closed it.
"I'm proud of you for coming in here, Allie.”
"You are?" Allie asked softly, looking at him warily. She knew cops were fast and that Peter could grab her at anytime, so she was watching for any sudden movement.
"Of course I am. I know it took a lot of courage for you to come in here on your own. But we really need to talk about your sneaking out and playing with the dogs."
Allie slowly made it to the chair and climbed up to sit. "So long as you only talk...."
"We will start off talking. I have a couple of questions to ask you." Peter sat in front of her, trying to loosen up a little. If he was too stiff and grumpy-sounding, he knew she'd try to run off again. And he really, really wanted to get through this without too much drama. "Why did you and Natalie distract that guard?" he asked.
"Which one? " Allie asked. "Agent Smith was on his phone and I knew Natty wanted to explore... and I wanted to see the doggies."
"And what about the guard by the room you went to? The room with all of the… boxes?"
"The store?" Allie replied. "Natty said he wouldn't let us go in and I wanted to see the store so I tricked him."
Peter nodded. "Did you take anything from the ‘store’?"
Allie hesitated. If she said no she would be lying to him again. If she said yes he would be angry and scary again. She gave a noncommittal shrug.
He repeated this question, but choosing different words to see if it would help prompt a response. "Do you have anything that was at the ‘store’?"
"No," Allie answered. She felt more confident in this answer since it was the truth -- Neal had already returned the items.
Peter was satisfied and said, "Good. Do you understand what you did that was wrong?"
"I think so..." Allie said softly as she shrunk in her seat. Peter beckoned her to continue. "Playing tricks… but I'm not sorry for playing with the doggies. It made them happy."
"Maybe one day you can play with them, but you have to get permission first.”
"I can do that," Allie told him with an affirmative nod
"Good." He paused, bracing himself for Allie to try and run as he said, "You're going to get a spanking, but the more you comply, the easier it'll be on you."
Allie sat there fidgeting and chewing on her lower lip, silent for a moment before saying, “Kay...”
Peter was shocked that she took it so well, and said, "Okay... come here."
Allie slid off the chair but hesitated a moment. "Peter? Can I sit with you first?" she asked, glancing up at him.
"Of course," Peter said, a little relieved that all she wanted was to be held. He opened his arms wide, inviting her to settle onto his lap.
Allie went over quietly, seeking his comfort. She was used to Neal and was curious if Peter knew how to cuddle too. So she climbed onto him like he was the rock wall at her favorite playground. When she reached top, he enveloped her with his arms. It was hard to relax at first, but after a moment she felt comfortable enough to rest her head on his chest, and then she snuggled in, sighing softly. Maybe he wasn't quite as scary as she thought…
"Can we snuggle after too?"
"Definitely," Peter said, squeezing her even tighter.
Allie pressed into him a little more. She sat there for a few minutes before taking a deep breath and speaking again. "I'm ready… I think."
"I'm proud of you for being such a big girl, Allie."
"I'm not always a big girl," Allie told him. "Sometimes I just wanna be a little girl."
"It's okay, a mixture of the two is good."
He helped Allie off his lap then in one quick motion tugged down her shorts and carefully eased her over his knee. Unsure of what to do with her hands, Allie clung to his leg, hoping that it wouldn’t be a bad spanking. Neal had spanked her pretty hard the day before and her sister claimed Peter spanked harder, so she was a little worried.
"Allie, I don't like to punish you, but I need you girls to follow the rules. You can't run off from your babysitter or distract the dogs while they're working, got it?" he asked, raining down a few mild swats to her panty-clad bottom.
"Okay!" Allie whimpered as she squirmed over his lap.
"I can't have you two sneaking into forbidden areas... you could get lost or hurt or in bigger trouble," he scolded, increasing the speed and intensity of the smacks.
Allie yelped with each swat, crying her only response. She held onto his leg a little tighter.
Peter moved to her sit spots, peppering them lightly so that she could feel what would happen if she continued this streak of tricking people. "I also don't appreciate you lying to me, Allie. While you're staying with me, I expect you to be honest, do you understand?"
"Yesssss!" Allie wailed. "I'll be good!"
Peter focused on her sit spots, ensuring they turned a bright pink before he moved back to her bottom, spanking a little harder now.
Allie began kicking and tossed a hand back. "I'm sorryyy!" She cried out as she sobbed.
"I know you are," Peter said, continuing to warm her bottom. "And this is only a fraction of what will happen if you continue to break the rules."
Allie sobbed harder. "No mooooore! I'll be gooder! "
He moved back to her sit spots to drive the point home, then alternated between the cheeks and sit spots. "Almost finished," he promised, then ended with ten hard-ish swats.
Allie lay there sobbing hard. He definitely spanked harder and more than Neal! She hiccupped and sniffled.
As promised, Peter lifted Allie up onto his lap for hugs, wrapping his arms around her and letting her cry into his chest while he rubbed her back.
She latched onto him tightly and nuzzled her face into his shirt as she tried to calm down. "You spank too hard!" She cried.
He tucked her hair behind her ears. "I just want to make sure you learn your lesson."
"I learned too much," Allie told him.
Peter kissed the little girl on the top of the head, snuggling with her until she was ready to get up. Then she replaced her shorts and ran for the door to find Natalie. Thankfully it was almost time for them to go!
Natalie and Allie stood by the exit rubbing their sore backsides while Peter approached Neal. Allie was chattering away about magic, but Natalie shushed her to hear what her foster dad was going to say. She was still kind of worried he’d want to give them away.
"I know they stole the jewelry," he told Neal.
“How did you…?”
Peter cut him off. "I'm assuming you took care of it?"
Neal nodded, glancing over at the girls and locking eyes with Natalie for a split second.
"It was just a feeling," Peter said, clapping Neal on the shoulder and looking him deep in the eyes. “Don’t let it happen again.”
And with that, he stalked towards the girls, taking a hand in each of his.
“Look! I finished!” Allie said, holding up the Rubik’s cube for all to see.
But Natalie was too busy studying Peter to pay attention to the child’s toy. Peter knew they stole the jewelry, but he was still there holding their hands, taking them on a school tour, and even smiling at Allie. Maybe we won’t have to run away -- It wasn’t a thought, just a feeling she had.