Five minutes before five that evening, House sat at his desk, staring down at the glowing gray face of his cell phone. He watched as the minutes ticked interminably by, his breath quickening as the numbers flashed to read 4:59.

House pressed a hand firmly against the bulge in the front of his jeans in a useless attempt to ease the tormenting pressure there, closing his eyes and dropping his head onto his desk in premature relief as the numbers changed to 5:00.

House raised hazy eyes to stare at the frustratingly empty doorway to his office, waiting for Wilson to appear and announce that it was time to go. He thought about going to Wilson's office and hurrying him along a bit; but the risk of bringing further punishment upon himself by irritating Wilson prevented him. He waited, trembling, more anxious by the moment – but still, Wilson did not come.

House tried to distract himself by composing a mathematical formula in his head to explain how the rate of increase of his desperation and frustration somehow became greater with every minute after five o'clock – then gave up when he realized that he lacked the coherency and focus necessary for such an endeavor.

He let out a plaintive sound that was halfway between a groan and whimper as he dropped his head to the desk again with an audible thump – dully painful, but a welcome distraction from the worse torment he had been enduring all day.

Soft, warm fingers trailing along the back of his neck made House's shoulders tense – then slump downward in relief. He had been so lost in his own thoughts, his own useless mental fight against his own frustration, that he hadn't even noticed when Wilson had finally entered the room.

"Ready to go?" Wilson's voice was low, lilting, tinged with affection, sympathy, and mild amusement.

"God, yes."

House groaned, raising his head and pushing his chair back to rise. Noting how pronounced his limp was by now, Wilson graciously took House's backpack from the desk, shouldering it for him as he headed toward the door. House followed him, and quickly surpassed him in his hurry to get to the car, and home, and the sweet relief that would follow – had to follow.

House couldn't let himself believe that Wilson might possibly make him wait any longer than that.

Much to House's frustration, Wilson seemed to be taking his time, in no particular hurry at all. When he finally unlocked his car and got in, House had already been restlessly drumming his fingers on the top of the car for a full minute.

He knew. He had been watching the second hand on his watch the whole time.

"Are you trying to become the only person in the history of the universe to ever get a ticket for breaking the minimum speed limit?"

House knew better than to deliberately rile Wilson, but after five minutes of his friend's excessively cautious – and, he suspected, quite purposeful – driving, he could no longer help speaking up about it. Fortunately, Wilson seemed more amused than irritated, shaking his head slightly as he replied in a calm, patient voice.

"Only major highways have minimum speed limits."

"It was an exaggeration for the sake of pointing out how worthy of mockery you are," House muttered, glaring out the side window as he slumped in his seat, arms crossed sullenly over his chest. "Technicalities aren't important."

Finally, Wilson parked the car outside House's apartment.

However, House forcibly restrained the sense of relief welling up within him, reminding himself that it might very well be short-lived. Just because they were home did not mean Wilson was going to instantly release him from the torment of bondage he had endured all day. In fact, if he knew his friend, House was fairly certain Wilson would continue to drag out the torturous anticipation for as long as possible.

Unless I can do something to make sure he doesn't…

House's hands were trembling, almost too badly to open the door, but somehow he managed. Wilson followed him inside, but was barely through the door before House was upon him, grasping his arms and pushing him back against the wall beside it. House extended one blindly fumbling arm to shove the door closed before focusing his attention fully on Wilson, his lips covering the younger man's mouth and silently commanding his attention.

Wilson yielded to House's kiss, unresisting as House trailed rough, urgent hands down over his torso. When trembling hands reached to swiftly and unceremoniously unbutton his shirt, Wilson finally brought himself to offer a weak protest, laughing softly as he raised his own hands to cover House's.

"A bit impatient, are we?" He smirked, a single brow raised in patronizing mockery.

"Screw you."

House muttered his resentful words against Wilson's lips, before diving into another deep, breathtaking kiss. His hands pushed past Wilson's half-hearted attempt to stop him, pushing Wilson's shirt back over his shoulders before setting to work on his pants.

"House… House, wait a minute… what are you… ? H-House…"

Wilson's whispered protest was swallowed up in a breathless groan as House roughly, possessively stroked him through the thin fabric of his underwear. He tried to pull away, but House simply used his attempt to maneuver him backward toward the sofa, pushing forward until the backs of Wilson's knees hit the sofa, and he collapsed backward onto it, House swiftly following.

"What… what are you… trying to prove?" Wilson gasped out in a breathless whisper, his hands resting on House's in a parody of control.

He was no longer making any real effort to stop him.

"Nothing," House responded, his voice a low growl as he trailed sloppy, hurried kisses down Wilson's throat. "Nothing… just… want you…"

Wilson bit back a groan in response to House's efforts, unable to conceal his arousal at the older man's rough, impatient attentions. It was unbelievably exciting, enticing, to think how desperately House wanted him by this point, how open was his need and desire as he sought to bring Wilson closer to the same state of arousal in which he had come to be… had been all day…

Wait…

"No…"

Wilson ground out the word, his voice thick and hoarse with his own rapidly rising need. With an effort, he closed his hands around House's wrists, stilling his hands and pushing them slowly back away from him, meeting House's innocent, questioning gaze.

Yeah… too innocent…

"No, House," Wilson sighed, dragging himself back up to a sitting position on the sofa, still holding House's wrists firmly. "You just want to play me."

"What? No…"

But there was nothing even remotely believable in House's voice or eyes, filled with false sincerity.

"You're planning to get me aroused and then deny me… turnabout's fair play and all that. You think you'll get what you want by making me desperate for you. Or, you just think you can get me so worked up that I'll lose control and let you out of your punishment on your terms." Wilson shook his head, his lips forming a taut, grim line. "Either way – it's not going to work."

"I wasn't…"

Ignoring House's useless attempts to argue, Wilson continued with a soft, ironic smile. "But I'm not going to let a little thing like sex distract me, and I'm a little better at impulse control than you are – especially now, when you've already been waiting all day."

Giving up, realizing that he had been caught, House lowered his forehead to rest on Wilson's chest with a defeated groan. His voice was teetering on the edge of a whine as he mumbled plaintively against Wilson's skin.

"Wilson…"

"Shhh." Wilson soothed him in a gentle voice barely over a whisper, running an idle hand affectionately through House's hair. "I think you've been punished… almost enough. And I'm going to give you what you need." He paused, his voice lowering and taking on a harder edge as he rested a possessive hand at the back of House's neck and added, "But on my terms, House. You're not in control here. Do you understand that?"

House hesitated, biting his lower lip as he engaged in a brief mental struggle with his pride. Finally, he nodded silently against Wilson's chest, lying still and waiting for Wilson to give him some indication as to what was going to happen next.

"Good. Now get up… go in the bedroom… and get undressed. I'll be there in a few minutes."

Sullen and reluctant, House rose awkwardly to his feet, picking up his cane from where he had leaned it against the end table and heading toward the bedroom without a word of protest. Wilson watched him go, calm and silent, until the bedroom door closed behind him. Once he was sure his reaction would not be observed, Wilson let out a slow, shuddering breath, leaning his head back against the sofa and closing his eyes as he fought to regain control. His hand rested over the raging erection House had managed to give him in the space of just a few moments, as he rose and made his way swiftly toward the bathroom.

When he entered the bedroom ten minutes later, House was lying on the bed on his back, naked save the leather and metal trap that caged his own burgeoning arousal. His arms were folded casually behind his head, and he glanced up at Wilson with a smirk and a knowingly raised brow as he entered the room.

"Have a little problem of your own to take care of?"

"Shut up," Wilson muttered, ducking his head self-consciously as he began to shed his own clothing. "I wasn't planning to tie you up this time, but I could change my mind. And a gag might be in order, too."

The threat was light-hearted, but Wilson's face was flushed with embarrassment as he sat down on the edge of the bed.

House was not inclined to let go of that embarrassment so easily.

"What if I want you to tie me down and gag me, Wilson?" he mused in a low, dark voice of dangerous suggestion. "Would that turn you on? Does it make you hot… thinking of me all tied down and powerless and at your mercy… not even able to beg for it? Utterly and completely within your power… and helplessly loving every moment?"

The honeyed whiskey of House's voice, the quiet seduction in his all-too-descriptive words, began to have a visible effect on Wilson's body, despite his efforts in the bathroom to keep his own arousal at bay. He had to keep control, at least for the next hour or so – had to make this entirely about House, and his punishment, and the eventual alleviation of it.

House, however, seemed determined to wrest some measure of that control out of his hands, regardless of Wilson's plans.

Wilson's jaw set with determination, and he squared his shoulders, trying to regain an air of authority despite the obvious effect House was having on him. His hand shot out abruptly to grasp the cage around House's genitals, and House drew in a sharp gasp, his hands jerking behind his head before he lowered one tentatively toward Wilson's.

"Do you want me to tie you down?" Wilson demanded, his voice low and leading, loaded with the weight of subtle warning. "Gag you? Because that can be arranged."

House hesitated a moment, his hand resting on Wilson's, not quite daring to try to pull it away. His eyes were closed, a convulsive swallow visible in his throat as he drew in a deep, shaky breath, then finally shook his head to indicate his answer. He was already as helpless, as much at Wilson's mercy, as he cared to be at the moment.

"Then put your hand back behind your head, and don't move it again," Wilson snapped, tightening his hold slightly. "And don't speak unless I ask you a question. Is that clear?"

House nodded, biting his lip, his breath rapid and irregular as he raised his hand in a jerky, shaking motion and placed it behind his head again.

Wilson felt a pang of guilt and uncertainty mingled with affection and warmth as he watched House obey his command. He didn't want to be hard with him, not after the day he knew House had endured; but House seemed determined to challenge him at every turn, to push the limits and attempt everything within his power to subvert the authority he had willingly surrendered.

It was what House always did – but he could not allow it to continue.

In this case, he could not allow it to begin.

Still, Wilson's voice softened as he amended his former order. "Scratch that. If I'm hurting you… if what I'm doing is more than you can take… if you really need me to stop… you can say so. You can speak." He paused. "But if you try to play me again, House… and don't think I won't know if you do… I will gag you. Do you understand?"

House nodded again, his shoulders slumping slightly with guarded relief at Wilson's words.

Wilson's hand gentled on House's bound body, light, teasing fingertips trailing slowly over every inch of exposed and over-sensitized flesh. House bit back a groan, hands clenching into fists beside his head as he fought against his own impulse to resist. The explosion of sensation was almost more than he could bear, as Wilson stroked him harder through the cage, deliberately intensifying his torment.

"I really shouldn't let you off the hook this easily, House," Wilson mused, his tone thoughtful but light and amused. "And I really don't have to – do I? I could just leave you like this a little while longer, couldn't I?"

"No, no, I'll freakin' kill you, Wilson…"

House's voice was slurred, hoarse with need, as he shook his head, hips bucking upward slightly despite his best efforts to keep still under Wilson's touch.

"I could…" Wilson repeated with a warning edge. "… couldn't I?"

"Yes," House ground out reluctantly, a defeated grimace twisting his trembling lips. "Yes, Wilson, you could… but…"

"Could just let you suffer for another couple of days," Wilson continued, still stroking in slow, rhythmic motions. "Give you time to really get it through your head who's in control, here. Might not be a bad idea…"

"It's a very bad idea," House moaned desperately. "It's a freakin' terrible idea. God, no, Wilson… please…"

Wilson couldn't suppress a smirk at the pleading words, as he continued his quiet diatribe, detailing the reasons why House deserved such continued punishment.

"You tried to take the cage off – in spite of my explicit orders not to touch it. Tried to humiliate me, in front of your team…"

"I knew they wouldn't buy it…" House protested breathlessly. "And I never… actually touched…"

"You've spent the last few days… lying to me… disobeying me… disrespecting me at every turn," Wilson persisted softly. He studied House's face for a long moment, his voice dropping to a cool, speculative whisper. "Why in the world should I let you off now?"

"Because if you don't," House ground out, writhing helplessly against the bed, struggling to intensify the contact between his body and Wilson's fingers, to achieve some measure of relief, "I'm going to die. And I swear I'll take you with me, Wilson. Murder suicide. Anything. Anything's better than this…"

Wilson's eyes narrowed as he tilted his head thoughtfully, a teasing lilt to his voice when he replied slowly. "Don't really think threats are the way to go right now, House."

"Please… Wilson, please…" House groaned. "I can't… take… anymore…"

"That's better." Wilson smiled with satisfaction, as he removed his hand from House's groin to take the tiny key from the nightstand where he'd left it. "Much better, House."

House looked up at the loss of contact, eyes widening as he let out a shaky sigh of relief at the sight of the key.

"Yes," he whispered gratefully. "Finally… thank you… thank you…"

The near-reverence of House's tone left Wilson wondering whether House was speaking to him, or to the Deity whose existence he denied. Wilson laughed softly as he turned the key in the tiny lock on the cage, and it opened in his hand. House drew in a sharp hiss of breath through his teeth as the strap fell away as well, and Wilson set it aside – only to abruptly replace it with a strong, restraining hand around the base of House's instantly hard cock.

Leaning over House to meet his eyes with a crafty smile, Wilson spoke softly, his words a statement and a question at the same time.

"You won't ever lie to me again."

Desperate, frantic with need, House shook his head, eyes closed against the overwhelming sensations, both physical and emotional, that Wilson was awakening within him.

"No… no, never… please…"

"Or disobey me. Or disrespect me. You're not going to try to trick me again… are you, House?"

"I won't, I swear I won't," House gasped, fists clenching beside his head as Wilson's grip tightened. "Please, Wilson… please…"

Wilson stroked his thumb hard along the underside of House's swollen, aching cock, eliciting a despairing sound, somewhere between a moan and a sob, from the lips of the older man.

"This isn't because you deserve it," Wilson informed him softly. "This is because I choose it. And… look at me…"

With a supreme effort, House looked up, meeting Wilson's gaze through hazy, unfocused eyes. Wilson smiled down at him, though his dark eyes were solemn and intent. His words were slow, even, and certain when he spoke again.

"Next time… you'll go two days, House. At least. Clear?"

"Clear," House echoed in a breathless whisper. "Please… Wilson, please, just… just…"

"Oh, shut up already."

Wilson muttered the words in good-natured annoyance, as he loosened his grip on House's erection and slid his hand lightly up and down its length a few times, carefully climbing to kneel on the bed, straddling House's hips. Hours of unfulfilled arousal left House's every nerve impossibly sensitive, and he bucked against Wilson's grip, though Wilson's weight across his hips kept him from moving much, and he dared not lower his hands, lest Wilson might still change his mind.

It only took Wilson moments to bring House to the completion he had sought all day.

House's vision faded into blackness, tinged with bright splotches of darkened color. He was floating, surging on a wave of overwhelming pleasure and fulfillment, as Wilson continued stroking him until his orgasm began to fade away into oblivion.

The interminable day of tormenting denial ended in the most mind-blowing, amazing orgasm House had ever experienced.

Wilson smiled with smug satisfaction as he rolled off House, onto his side on the bed beside him, reaching up a tender hand to stroke through his hair. Neither man spoke, each lost in their own vastly differing thoughts. Wilson felt a sense of contentment and achievement, silently congratulating himself on what seemed to be a lesson well learned.

Unbeknownst to him, House was silently wondering at the fact that the reward almost seemed worth the day's punishment – and slowly concocting various ways in which he might earn such punishment again.