"I know this isn't going to be easy for you," Wilson said in a calm, patient voice as he parked his car in the parking lot outside PPTH. "But trust me, if you try to take it off, or find another way to get around it, to get… relief – things could be a lot less easy. Clear?"

House let out a quiet scoffing sound, rolling his eyes as he reached for the door handle. "Please," he sneered. "Relief from what? This is nothing, Wilson. You've really over-estimated yourself and your abilities this time, because this is going to be a walk in the park." Reconsidering his choice of words as he glanced down at his cane, House amended, "A walk in the park for you."

"Really?"

Wilson quirked an eyebrow upward as he turned in his seat to face House, a sly smile on his face. The dangerously soft tone of his voice was a clear warning, but there was little he could do to prevent it as Wilson rested a firm hand on House's thigh, trailing it slowly upward toward the cage concealed by House's jeans.

House tensed, reaching out a hand to grasp Wilson's wrist and still his hand, swallowing hard as he struggled to control his physical reaction to the simple touch – just one more in a series of such seemingly innocent touches. Yet, just knowing that the device was there, concealed beneath his clothes, secretly restricting his reactions and declaring Wilson's mastery, seemed to make every touch more effective.

Wilson seemed to be taking particular pleasure in doling out such touches this morning.

Wilson leaned closer, his voice dropping to a near-whisper of command and warning.

"Take your hand off mine."

"Wilson…" House's voice was uncharacteristically hesitant, barely disguising a slight tremor, as he nevertheless withdrew his hand, with an effort forcing it down against the seat.

"I thought it was no big deal," Wilson softly taunted him. "Nothing you can't handle… right?"

House swallowed hard, closing his eyes for a moment, trying to find the words to maintain his assertion – and failing.

Wilson raised his hand to brush gently across the front of House's jeans in a light, teasing caress – then let out a low, dark chuckle when House bit back a groan of pained arousal at the provocative contact.

"Yeah." Wilson smirked as he removed his hand, straightening in his seat again and reaching for the door handle. "I can see that this is going to be a breeze for you, House. What was I thinking? Guess I've got a lot to learn about this punishment stuff, haven't I?"

Without waiting for a response, he opened his door and got out, walking swiftly toward the entrance. He was whistling idly as he went, clearly in a particularly pleasant mood, as he left House to make his own way into the hospital – after taking a few moments to recover his composure.

Easy, he told himself firmly as he headed toward his office. This is going to be easy. All I have to do is stay too busy to think about it for the rest of the day.

*********************************

Of course, that was an idea that worked much better in theory than in practice.

It also might have worked much better had Cuddy, upon his entrance, handed him a case that would have taken him more than a couple of hours to solve. A few minutes into the differential, House was fairly certain he knew what was wrong with the patient; but as the diagnosis was not immediately life threatening, he allowed the discussion to continue a while longer.

It provided him with at least some minimal amusement to listen to the theories his team came up with – all creative and rare and intriguing… but all wrong. He paced the room idly, trying to appear as if he was simply lost in thought. In reality, House thought that the mere activity of walking might be better than just idly sitting at the table, trying not to focus on the slow burn of persistent sensation Wilson had awakened in his body.

Anything for a distraction – even a weak one like their inane…

"House… are you okay?"

Cameron's hesitant, concerned question drew House out of his thoughts – but it was perhaps the only distraction he wouldn't have welcomed at the moment.

"Fine. Our patient, on the other hand, might be dying…"

"Are you in pain?" Cameron persisted, frowning as House stilled his pacing beside his chair, and sat down in it again. "Is it your leg?"

"No, it's my ass," House snapped sarcastically. "The cane's just a cover to throw you off the trail. Too bad your keen deductive skills figured it out…"

"Can we please get back to the patient?" Foreman sighed, clearly impatient. "His leg always hurts. It's not news. If our patient dies while we're sitting here screwing around – that might be."

"Well, we know very well that if it's worse than usual for some reason, that could end up affecting our patient…"

As Cameron tried to make an argument for her interest, House immediately lost focus on the conversation when the conference room door opened, and Wilson walked in. House's team looked up at him curiously as he stopped in front of House, reaching down to idly shuffle through the files and test results laid out on the table. His tone was deceptively mild, casual, when at last he spoke.

"You said you needed a consult?"

"You think she has cancer?" Foreman asked, casting an incredulous look in House's direction. "But there's nothing to indicate…"

"There rarely is – until it's too late," House cut him off, not taking his eyes off Wilson. "And strangely enough, I prefer to get to the diagnosis part of the process before things get that far."

Even as he spoke the words to back up Wilson's false excuse for being there, House could barely suppress the admiring grin that rose to his lips at his lover's nerve. Wilson shifted almost imperceptibly closer to House, his leg sliding slightly – and apparently accidentally – between House's parted knees as he gathered up the tests and the patient file from the table.

However, the effect of that slight contact on House's restrained arousal was tremendous; with an effort, House suppressed the groan that rose in his throat, momentarily closing his eyes before forcing himself to focus on Wilson again.

"I'll take a look at these and get them back to you within the hour," Wilson promised, turning and heading toward the door.

"Are you… sure you're all right?" Chase asked hesitantly, a single dubious brow raised as he took in House's strange reactions. "You do seem to be a bit more… uncomfortable, than usual."

House noticed out of the corner of his eye that Wilson paused in the doorway, waiting to hear what his response would be – and suddenly, a wicked gleam formed in his eyes as he let out a weary, put-upon sigh.

"Fine. Okay. You caught me," he confessed in a conspiratorial tone. "I wasn't supposed to say anything, but you dragged it out of me. If I can't walk straight today, it's only because Wilson got a little rough with me last night."

Wilson turned in the doorway, eyes widened slightly in surprise, and a hint of alarm.

As House had expected, his team responded with rolled eyes and groans of disgust and embarrassment, assuming, naturally, that he was making a joke at the expense of his easily embarrassed best friend.

In a tone of chagrin and reproof which in no way betrayed his legitimate concerns, Wilson sighed, "House…"

"What?" House blinked, all innocence as he met Wilson's eyes. "Oh, that's right." His voice lowered to a confiding tone as he addressed his team. "He's a little touchy about anyone finding out about how he likes to tie me down and make me his bitch…"

Giving up, Wilson waved a dismissive hand and turned to leave. "I'll get these back to you right away."

The conversation turned back to the patient, effectively diverted by House's inappropriate comments, and House silently congratulated himself, marking down a point on his side of the scoreboard in his mind.

Take that, Wilson. You wanna play rough? I'll beat you at your own game.

However, ten minutes later, smug satisfaction faded into uncertainty, and House's stomach lurched when his cell phone began to vibrate, and he flipped it open to read a simple text message from Wilson's phone.

My office. Now.

"Gotta go," House muttered as he rose to his feet and headed toward the door.

"Go where?" Cameron demanded, incredulous. "What about the patient?"

"Oh, her. She's been huffing the chemicals under her kitchen sink," House stated flatly.

"She's forty-three!" Chase pointed out unnecessarily.

"With a fourteen-year-old son who's also beginning to exhibit the same symptoms," House concluded. "Mom apparently got curious. Inform her that while she was an idiot to begin with, now she's an even bigger idiot because of her illegal use of not-drugs. Her physical symptoms should clear up when she stops using. In the mean time, get her checked into a decent rehab."

Without waiting for their reactions, House stepped out into the hall and made his way to Wilson's office.

He didn't bother knocking on the door before entering and closing it quietly behind him. Wilson did not look up as House started hesitantly toward the desk where he sat; but before House could take a step, Wilson spoke in a quietly authoritative voice.

"Lock it."

House froze, swallowing hard as he stared for a long moment at Wilson, who just kept writing on the paper in front of him. Slowly, House turned and obeyed the command, before facing Wilson again and moving hesitantly toward the desk again.

"What? Can't take a joke?" he teased, though he couldn't keep a slight nervous tremor from his voice. "They didn't suspect a thing."

"Sit down." Wilson looked up to meet House's eyes before issuing another quiet, calm command. "And shut up."

House hesitated a moment, briefly considering just turning around and walking out, but in the end – he sat. Wilson continued writing a moment longer, unhurried, before laying down his pen and rising to his feet. He did not speak or look at House as he walked around the desk to stand behind House's chair.

A soft hand slid along House's shoulder to close gently but firmly around his throat, drawing his head back slightly. House did not resist, his head tilting backward in response to Wilson's guiding hand, his eyes falling closed as he drew in a sharp, shaky breath.

"I'm not hurting you," Wilson observed. He considered a moment before laughing softly. He tightened his grip slightly as he added, "So that must mean… you're feeling… something else entirely." His voice dropped to a husky whisper as he crouched behind House, his breath warm and enticing in House's ear as his free hand slid possessively around House's waist. "I always knew you'd love this sort of thing, House. I just had no idea how much."

House bit back a moan of anguished arousal as his body responded to Wilson's seductive words and touches. "Wilson…" he whispered, his breath ragged and uneven. "Wilson…"

He bit his lip, just before he would have uttered a breathless please.

Not gonna beg, Wilson… no matter how good you think you are.

Wilson, apparently, had other ideas.

"Shhh. 'Secret' means secret, House," Wilson reminded him softly. "Not 'secret until you decide to have some fun with it'. This… arrangement of ours has to be just between the two of us. I thought you understood that…"

Wilson released House's throat and moved smoothly around in front of him, bracing one hand on House's shoulder as he leaned down to lightly palm the front of House's jeans with his other hand. House's hands jerked slightly upward in response, but Wilson swiftly stopped him with soft, commanding words.

"Don't. Hold onto the bottom of your chair with both hands, and don't let go until I tell you to."

The very idea of the restraint Wilson was enforcing only served to heighten House's desire, and he obeyed, eyes focused on Wilson's every move as he waited to see what he would do next. Wilson smiled down at House as he pressed his hand harder against House's groin, moving in a slow, torturous circle, creating an agonizingly pleasurable friction against the cage beneath his clothes.

"Don't," House whispered with a sharp gasp. "Wilson… God… I can't… can't wait…"

Wilson's smile became a smirk as he countered, "You haven't got a choice. You'll wait until I decide you're done waiting." His voice lowered and he leaned closer as he added with a wicked sparkle of mirth in his eyes, "And that's going to be just a little bit longer now than it was going to be."

"No," House groaned quietly. "Wilson…"

"That's enough, House." Wilson's tone took on a sharp note as he cut off House's plea. "I'm not going to change my mind. Any more argument will just make you have to wait longer."

House bit back the protest on the tip of his tongue, aware at this point that voicing it would only make his situation more difficult.

"Good," Wilson remarked with an approving nod. "That's good. You just keep your mouth shut about all this for the rest of the day. Just do your job… hang out in your office, whatever. But don't mention this again – and don't try to touch yourself in any way – because if you do…" He lowered his voice again, concluding in a tone of dark warning that left no doubt as to his sincerity, "… I'll make you wait a week."

***************************

The rest of the day passed with interminable slowness, with House's patient already cured. Wilson took every opportunity to cross House's path during that time – and created opportunities where they didn't already exist. House was rarely alone during that time. If he was in his office or the conference room, one of his staff always seemed to be nearby. Other times, Wilson found him in the cafeteria, or the halls, where someone else was inevitably close enough to see should he attempt anything… provocative.

That fact only seemed to make Wilson enjoy his little game all the more.

He made a point of accidentally-on-purpose brushing against House as he passed him in the hall… running a casual hand along the back of House's shoulders as he walked behind his desk… deliberately rubbing his leg against House's under the table as they ate lunch together.

The contact alone was enough to drive House to distraction, and the very secrecy of the whole thing added a whole new element of torment. House tried his best not to let Wilson see his reaction to the torturous little game he was playing – but he was fairly certain that Wilson was well aware of the effect his attempts were having.

A couple of hours before the end of the day, House pocketed a pair of scissors and headed down the hall, glancing surreptitiously around to be sure Wilson was nowhere in sight. Satisfied that his escape was unobserved, he slipped into the restroom and headed toward the large, handicapped stall, turning swiftly to lock himself in, already pulling the scissors from his pocket with his other hand.

He no longer cared what Wilson did to him. Relief was within his grasp, mere seconds away.

Before he could lock it, however, the door was shoved open again, and Wilson pushed his way inside, closing the door and locking it quickly before grabbing House by the collar and pushing him forcefully against the wall of the stall with a loud, metallic thud. With a calm, knowing smile, he grasped House's wrist, drawing the hand that held the scissors up between them and raising an eyebrow as he met House's gaze in a silent demand for explanation.

Knowing he was caught, House just closed his eyes, resting his head against the wall behind him and swallowing hard, his breath quick and shallow in response to Wilson's nearness, and the violent, possessive nature of his actions.

"Stupid, House," Wilson murmured, shaking his head in reproving amusement, his hand sliding down between them to deftly work the fastenings of House's jeans. "Very stupid."

Caught in some vague, indescribable place between desire and alarm, House reached down to lock a hand around Wilson's wrist, stilling his hand. He was still very much aware of the presence of the scissors in his own hand, and uncertain as to Wilson's intentions at the moment. House's voice was hoarse and thick with confusion and arousal, his body shaking with anticipation and apprehension.

"Wait… what… what are you…?"

In one swift motion, Wilson twisted his wrist out of House's grasp, catching both of House's wrists in his and slamming them back against the wall on either side of his head. As House's cane dropped to the tile with an echoing clatter, Wilson shifted in closer, edging his thigh between House's legs and pressing slightly, eliciting a helpless groan from his captive lover.

His voice was a low, warning whisper, his lips brushing against House's ear.

"Don't fight me."

Breathless, House shook his head, indicating his submission, tensing as Wilson snatched the scissors from his hand and hurled them angrily against the far wall. He closed his eyes with a gasp as both of Wilson's hands roughly jerked him forward by the waist of his jeans, hurriedly unfastening his jeans and yanking them down around his knees.

"I thought this thing wasn't going to be any trouble," Wilson taunted him softly, dark eyes widening with wonder and desire as he took his time, enjoying the sight of House's bound body before him. "Thought you could take it, House."

House bit back a choked whimper, his entire body tensing in an attempt to control his reaction as Wilson trailed an idle fingertip along the underside of House's restrained cock. The younger man let out a low, smug laugh as House's hands clenched into fists against the wall and he uttered a quiet, frustrated curse under his breath.

"Wilson… please…"

Wilson did not acknowledge his desperate words, as he placed his thumb and forefinger on the exposed skin on either side of the metal cage, rubbing slow, firmly, back and forth as he studied the expression on House's face. His smile widened with satisfaction as House bit down on his lower lip, forcing back a moan of frustration and need.

"Wilson…"

Wilson raised his free hand and took hold of House's hair, drawing his head back with surprising gentleness, to place a slow, leisurely kiss along the column of his throat. He closed his teeth over House's skin in a softly possessive gesture, before drawing back and murmuring a quiet warning.

"Try to take this off again… and the next one will be solid steel." He paused, pulling back enough to meet House's eyes. "Trust me… you won't enjoy it nearly as much."

Both their attention was drawn toward the door with wide-eyed alarm when they heard the restroom door open and a set of footsteps enter. Wilson silently shifted his hand to rest his fingertips over House's lips in a silent warning… and then, a malicious smile crossed his face, and he clamped his hand tightly over House's mouth, shifting cautiously closer to House and pressing his body back against the wall.

House barely had time to wonder why he thought it was necessary, when an overwhelming burst of sensation assailed him, as Wilson fingers tightened on his cock, rubbing slow, insistent circles along the sides. A convulsive swallow was visible in House's throat, as he struggled to suppress the cry that rose there. Wilson just smiled as he continued his teasing touches, listening all the while for the sounds that would indicate their audience had left.

Just as the footsteps started again, House's eyes widened, and he glanced pointedly down at his cane at his feet. Wilson followed his gaze, biting his lip with the first trace of anxious uncertainty in his dark eyes as he met House's eyes again. Both men froze, breathless, waiting, as the slow footsteps faded toward the doorway, then ended with the creaking sound of the door opening and closing again.

House slumped against the wall, gasping with the relief of no longer having to maintain his silence. Wilson fell forward against him, a silent laugh vibrating in his throat as a trail of lazy, affectionate kisses led him from House's neck up to his mouth.

He finally pulled back, giving House a wicked wink as he pulled his jeans up again, zipping and buttoning them closed. House's jaw dropped in confused surprise as he stared down at Wilson's hands, then questioningly up into his eyes.

"You're… you're not… gonna…?"

Wilson smirked, shaking his head. "Not yet."

Despite the vulnerability he knew it revealed, House couldn't hold back his trembling protest.

"But… but it's been…"

"House." Wilson's tone was warning, though his smile was warm and affectionate. "The more you whine about it… the longer you'll wait."

Without another word, Wilson unlocked the stall and stepped out, dutifully washing his hands before exiting the bathroom and heading back toward his office. House watched him through incredulous eyes, barely believing that Wilson was simply going to leave him there, more frantic than ever, forced to wait even longer for the relief he so desperately craved.

Relief that was still within his grasp, should he choose to claim it.

House turned his head, his eyes falling once more upon the pair of scissors on the floor across the room. He swallowed hard, considering his options for a long moment, wondering if Wilson had forgotten them.

No… no, he knows they're there… He didn't forget so quickly… He just… wants to know what I'll do… And he will know, either way… later on, tonight…

House slowly made his way to the scissors, picking them up and staring at them for a few moments, debating. Finally, he placed them back into his pocket and made his way out of the bathroom stall and back toward his office, to wait out the long, remaining hours until he and Wilson could go home.