House struggled against the impulse to protest as he listened to the sounds of Wilson moving around the living room, but never coming near him. He wanted to yell and curse and threaten – to use every intimidating weapon in his arsenal to express his frustration and make Wilson finish what he had started.

But he knew better. He was the one bound and blindfolded and on his knees, utterly helpless – not Wilson. No, Wilson was the one in control of this situation – and that meant that it was probably not a good idea to deliberately piss him off.

He shifted uneasily on his knees, swallowing hard, his mouth dry with apprehension. He wasn't allowed to ask questions, but his mind was filled with uncertain speculations as to Wilson's intentions. He had only been kneeling for a couple of minutes, but he had no idea how long Wilson planned to make him stay there.

He won't let me say anything, but… if he makes me stay like this too long… my leg's not going to like it… but… he promised he wouldn't do anything to… to hurt my leg… wouldn't use that against me… so this would count, right? This would fit under that category…

House opened his mouth slightly, on the verge of reminding Wilson of his promise, regardless of Wilson's command to silence – when he suddenly felt the heat of Wilson's body crouched behind him, and a strong arm wrapped around his waist, drawing him back against Wilson's chest.

House drew in a sharp breath of instinctive alarm at the feeling of suddenly being off balance, losing control as Wilson took it from him; but he did not pull away, did not say a word, struggling against his impulse to resist. Wilson's warm hand stroked slowly down the taut, trembling muscles of House's arm in a soothing gesture before rising to run through his hair, tugging his head gently backward to rest on Wilson's shoulder.

"Shhh," Wilson murmured, and House allowed himself to take reassurance from the gentleness of his tone. "It's all right… calm down." Wilson was quiet for a moment, allowing House to adjust, before asking softly, "How's your leg feel?"

House hesitated, remembering Wilson's earlier command to silence. He swallowed hard, his lips parted, but not making a sound.

"If I ask you a question, you're allowed – required, even – to answer. Okay?"

House nodded slowly, silently grateful for the clarification.

"How's your leg?"

"Fine," House whispered, barely trusting his voice to speak. "For the moment…"

House could feel the tense hesitation in Wilson's body behind him, heard it in his voice when he spoke in an even tone of quiet authority touched with affectionate concern.

"If your leg starts to bother you, you can speak up and tell me so. All right? You can speak for that reason. I… don't want you to be in pain. Okay?"

House nodded again, his shoulders sagging slightly with relief. Wilson seemed equally relieved by his reaction, and House felt a soft shudder pass through Wilson's body as he let out a deep, shaky breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding. Wilson's strong hands drew House closer, and House felt a shiver go down his spine at the sensation of warm breath against his ear.

"Not that I think it'll be an issue," Wilson whispered, and House felt his slow smirk. "I plan to keep you too distracted to even think about your leg for a while."

House gasped sharply as Wilson's hand trailed down from his waist to play teasing fingertips through the coarse hair surrounding his trapped cock and balls, then lowered to palm the straining organ. The leather strap with which Wilson had bound him prevented him from finding any release – but it certainly did not prevent him from being driven mad with desperation for that release.

Which is obviously the point. Bastard.

House bit back a groan, unwilling to show Wilson just how much he was getting to him, as Wilson's fingers began stroking in teasing circles, gradually deepening in intensity. Despite his best efforts, however, House couldn't prevent the instinctive forward motion of his hips, rocking slightly into Wilson's touch.

Wilson followed the motion of House's body, drawing his hand away just enough to prevent House from managing the increased stimulation he was trying for. House felt his face flush with mingled shame and arousal at the sound of Wilson's low chuckle of satisfaction in his ear. Frustrated, House swore softly under his breath, thrusting forward once more almost frantically as Wilson withdrew his hand completely.

"You're a freakin' cock tease, you know that?" he spat out in frustration before he could stop himself.

Wilson just laughed as he moved back, bracing House's back against the side of the sofa and moving around to kneel in front of him. A firm hand at the back of House's head drew him forward so that Wilson could whisper in a hushed, secretive voice next to his ear.

"That's… sort of the point."

A sharp pinch of finger and thumb on the sensitive skin beneath House's aching erection had him choking back a whimper of mingled pain and desperate desire, and Wilson's hand tightened in his hair, his voice hardening suddenly.

"And keep your mouth shut, House. Do you understand me?"

House nodded frantically, his teeth biting into his lower lip in an effort to obey, his head falling back and his breath quickening as Wilson began stroking him again, alternating light touches with deeper strokes designed to drive him to the brink of madness, but never allowing him to fall over the edge.

House's entire body was trembling, taut with tension and frustration, as Wilson continued toying with him, slowing his strokes, taking his time and drawing out the torment. Just when House was certain that he couldn't stand it another moment, and he wanted Wilson to just stop – Wilson did.

And House immediately realized that was not what he wanted at all.

"Wow," Wilson whispered as he rose to his feet in front of House, and House could hear the smirk in his voice. "This is really… frustrating, isn't it?" House heard his footsteps crossing the floor, headed toward the bathroom, and indignation began to rise within him as he understood what Wilson intended. "I'll be right back once I take care of this little problem of mine." He paused before adding with wicked amusement, "Don't you wish you could?"

House bit back a choked whimper of need and disappointment as he heard Wilson move away a few steps more, and then heard the swing of the bathroom door opening and closing.

Interminable minutes passed while House simply knelt there in helpless desperation, unable to do anything about his nearly frantic state of arousal – and unable to think about anything else. He considered turning toward the sofa, trying to rub himself against it to get some kind of relief – but the thought of Wilson returning to the room and catching him brought a hot rush of blood to his face.

Despite his need, he was fairly certain that the humiliation would not be worth it.

House tensed with impatient anticipation when he heard the bathroom door opening again, followed by slow, even footsteps as Wilson headed toward him again. He could barely make out the sound of a soft, smug chuckle past the sound of creaking leather as Wilson sat down on the sofa – way too far away from him. He wanted to demand that Wilson come back, to at least ask what the hell he thought he was doing… but he didn't dare.

Frustration mingled with irritation of a different kind when House heard the television come on, and realized with a sense of outrage that Wilson actually meant to leave him like this for some undetermined period of time. Anger battled self-preservation, House's mind waging war with his mouth, as he kept silently reminding himself that disobeying Wilson's orders would only result in further punishment.

In the end, as usual – House's mouth won the battle.

"Okay, now, this is just ridiculous. You can't possibly mean to convince me that the company of your own hand is a suitable substitute for the tight, hot friction of sticking your aching cock up my…"

"Prescription: Passion. You've seen all these episodes, right? Don't need them cluttering up your Tivo anymore?"

House's voice was low, his words slow and menacing. "Don't you freakin' dare…"

"Oops. Buh-bye. What about the Miss America Pageant from last night? I'm sure you've already watched it – at least the good parts…"

"No fair!" House whined. "I'll let you tie me up and tease me senseless and make me kneel at your feet and all that, but don't touch my tv shows…!"

"I'll touch whatever I want to touch, House." There was a dangerous note to Wilson's quiet, calm voice as he turned the television off with a dismissive, "So much for the swimsuit competition. You'd only have watched twenty minutes out of the whole show, anyway, right?"

House felt an apprehensive shiver run through him as he heard Wilson rise from the couch and move toward him again. Wilson's hand came to rest in his hair, stroking gently in a possessive gesture of affection. House waited in tense silence for Wilson's reaction to his disobedience, well aware that it was coming.

He didn't have long to wait.

Wilson jerked his head back, leaning in close and speaking in a frighteningly calm voice.

"If you don't learn to control that mouth of yours, House… you're going to be spending an awful lot of time on your knees."

House's stomach lurched and his mouth went dry as Wilson crouched in front of him, pulling him close with one hand in his hair and the other tightly gripping his arm. House tensed but did not pull away as Wilson continued in a softly warning tone.

"Have you enjoyed the last thirty minutes or so, House?" He paused, though it was clear that he was not actually waiting for an answer. "Would you enjoy another few hours? Maybe I should make you wait all night. Would you like that, House?"

A faint tremor shook through House's shoulders, and he shook his head slowly, his blinded eyes carefully turned toward the floor. A convulsive swallow was visible in his throat, but he did not speak. Wilson was silent for a long moment, and when he finally spoke again, his tone was softer, almost regretful, and House knew that he had realized the unintentional implications of his threat.

"How's your leg?" he asked gently.

"Still… still fine," House replied, his voice quiet and subdued. "For now."

The mere question was a comfort, reminding him that at any point he needed to, he could let Wilson know if he was in pain, and be permitted relief. Truthfully, his thigh was beginning to feel the strain of maintaining the same position for so long, but it wasn't actually painful yet; and simply knowing that he could say something if he needed to was enough for House – for the moment.

"I wouldn't make you kneel here all night," Wilson reassured him, amending his earlier words. "I wasn't talking about that. I was talking about… your other problem." A faint note of humor was audible in his voice with those words. "And I don't think that idea's any more pleasant for you, is it?"

House's trembling had ceased, as he was somewhat comforted by Wilson's explanation. He shook his head again in response, calmer now that the worst of his fears had been abated.

However, the hard note to Wilson's voice when he continued made House's heart sink.

"However… punishment isn't supposed to be pleasant. You're not supposed to like it. I think that was my problem the last time; I made you enjoy it too much. Hopefully, this won't be an experience you'll be eager to repeat."

House heard him move away again, and then the faint rustling sound that told him Wilson was once again searching through the assortment of supplies he had brought from the bedroom. He returned and knelt behind House, grasping one wrist and holding his hand up slightly.

"Make a fist."

House frowned, puzzled and wary, but obedient. He felt the brush of soft but unyielding leather against his clenched fist, enclosing it, and felt the wrist cinched firmly but not so tightly as to cut off his circulation. Wilson repeated the curious procedure with his other hand before unlocking the handcuffs and allowing House to bring his hands around in front of him. He then removed the blindfold so that House could see what he had done.

House stared down with wide, stunned eyes at the black leather bondage gloves, fingerless and buckled at his wrists so as to hold his hands in fists until they were removed – and therefore preventing him from using them.

Wilson smiled when House looked up at him with questioning eyes.

"I don't want to have to worry about making sure you're not trying to take off that cock ring all night. I needed to make sure you can't unfasten it, and I don't want to be up all night, but I don't want to have to tie you down all night, either. I figured this way would be easiest for both of us."

House clearly had his doubts – not that he could do anything about it at that point.

Wilson placed a gentle hand under House's elbow, carefully helping him to his feet and leading him toward the bedroom as he continued explaining the punishment on which he had decided.

"You're going to go all night without relief – and in the morning, I'm not going to touch you. You can get yourself off in the bathroom like I had to," Wilson informed him matter-of-factly. "Before you start thinking that I'm completely uncaring… I did consider the fact that you probably won't rest well tonight. But then – you've functioned at work while impaired by a lot worse than a few hours short on sleep."

He left House at his side of the bed after pulling back the blankets for him, and then moved to the dresser to change for the night. House wasn't sure if he was allowed to speak at this point, and Wilson had not made it clear, so he remained silent while Wilson got ready to go to sleep and crossed the room to get into the bed beside him.

As Wilson drew the blankets over them, settling down with a casual arm across House's chest, and House resigned himself to the rather unrestful night he had ahead of him, he found himself thinking that perhaps Wilson was finally getting the hang of this punishment thing.