With a little help of Chase, House finds out what Wilson needs. He's surprised but game. What about Wilson?
“Is Wilson still here? Again?” Chase asked.
House turned to follow Chase's pointing finger and saw his partner walking to his office. It was past midnight and House was still there only because his patient had taken a turn for the worse. Fortunately inspiration had hit House an hour ago and the right treatment was on its way now. House simply wanted to get his backpack and drive back home. He had expected Wilson to be at home and couldn't help a worried frown to flutter over his face at seeing the way Wilson held himself up. He looked exhausted, drained and dead on his feet.
“Well, he's not going to stay here longer.”
“Why? You getting cold in your bed?”
House raised an eyebrow in mock-glare and answered: “actually I'm much warmer without him in my bed. It's like allowing an oversized ice-ball to crawl into your bed to sleep with Wilson.”
“You have my deepest sympathies,” Chase deadpanned.
“Well, he melts pretty quickly if you know how to heat him up.”
“That's much more information than I ever needed from you.” Chase waved dismissively and went to get something he had forgotten in the conference room.
House waited outside his office until Wilson was near him, then said: “hey, do the bald people don't allow you to go home?”
Wilson jumped and House frowned again. Obviously Wilson had been lost in thought or maybe he had been almost asleep. Whatever it was, he didn't like the haggard face with the troubled eyes that greeted him. He felt as if he was punched hard in the gut – that wasn't the Wilson he wanted to see. His partner greeted him back tiredly, “oh, hey House. Saved your patient?”
“Of course I did, was that in question?”
Wilson rolled his eyes good naturedly and walked past House, saying: “see you tomorrow, okay? I have some paperwork to catch up on and will just crash in my office.”
House's left hand shot out and grabbed Wilson's left wrist. He pulled hard and the younger man yelped at the sudden turn of his direction. House stared at Wilson who blinked in surprise. In a growl House said: “you are not going to work on your paperwork now. We are going home.”
Wilson tried to twist his captured wrist free while he argued: “you can go home but I'll stay here. I'll never be able to get the work done if I don't tackle it and--”
“You! Cut the crap! You haven't slept more than three or four hours for the last two weeks, you're almost tripping over your own feet. We are going home. Go and get your briefcase and coat and be back in one minute,” House hollered.
Wilson startled and stared at his friend wide-eyed and gaping. He stayed silent but didn't move an inch. He flinched and hastily turned around to his office when House bellowed: “NOW!”
House shook his head and muttered something about a “stubborn idiot” when Chase approached him. The younger doctor said: “you have him on a pretty short leash, huh?”
“At least he doesn't bite and I don't need a muzzle for him.”
Chase smiled, then asked in a neutral tone: “does he always react that promptly when you act authoritarian?”
“What do you mean?” House really wanted to know what Chase meant but was distracted by Wilson who hurried over to him, briefcase and coat slung over one arm. He narrowed his eyes, then said to Wilson in an approving tone: “good boy.”
Wilson rolled his eyes and sighed. “Now I'm ready but you're not. Come on, let's get going.”
Gruffly House replied: “put your coat on, it's cold.” He didn't wait for Wilson's reaction; instead he went inside his office and grabbed his backpack. Outside again he saw Wilson talking to Chase, his coat still slung over his arm. Briskly he walked over to the other men, grabbed Wilson's coat and shoved it into his lover's face. In a clipped tone he repeated: “put. It. On.”
Wilson blinked again, then opened his mouth to protest. House forestalled any protest with a quietly uttered: “put it on or I'll do it. You don't want anything to happen to your precious coat, do you?”
Wilson slipped the coat on and after a pointed glare from House at the coat's buttons hastily closed the garment. House sighed in relief, then guided Wilson to the elevator after biding good night to Chase.
Chase heard him say: “I'll drive, you're in no condition to do anything.”
“My patience is nearly non-existent right now so don't provoke me if you want to cuddle later,” House growled.
“Okay,” Wilson replied softly.
Chase stood there for a while, after the two older doctors had entered the elevator, and contemplated what he had seen. Eventually he decided to go home too and bring House some information the next day.
Chase smiled the next day when House and Wilson walked out of the elevator. Wilson was obviously pissed off at House who seemed to have “forgotten” to set the alarm. It was almost noon and Wilson ranted about how many appointments he had missed and how that wouldn't do anything for his reputation. House suddenly did something very uncharacteristic for him; he slung an arm around Wilson's waist, pulled the younger man close and kissed him firmly on the mouth. Wilson stared at his friend shell-shocked and House grinned smugly: “I never thought it would be that easy to shut you up.”
“You … you … that … I and you …,” Wilson stammered helplessly.
“My, aren't we eloquent today. I guess it's a good thing that I let you sleep in. God knows what would happen to your patients if you can't even talk now. Oh, and by the way, I cleared your schedule for the morning.”
“Yes, I did. Now get to work or do you think it'll get done on its own?” House quipped before he added: “I'll pick you up at six and then we'll go home.”
Chase observed the exchange with interest. Wilson reacted, as expected, with an argument: “You can't be serious! It's almost noon and that would give me not even six hours to work! You go home and entertain yourself while I act like a responsible department head.”
“You would act responsible if you were going to take care of yourself. Since you don't, you can just cut out the martyr-shit right away.” House glared at Wilson while he still held the younger man.
“Look who's talking, huh?” Wilson hissed between gritted teeth.
“Yeah, take it from someone who knows what he's talking about. Six o'clock, not one minute later, understood?” House didn't wait for an answer but instead delivered a swat to Wilson's behind and turned around.
Chase had to stifle his laughter at hearing Wilson's distressed yelp and watching him quickly dart his eyes around to gauge if anyone had looked their way. He blushed when he saw Chase looking and hurried over to his office where he slammed the door shut. House walked past Chase in exactly this moment and rolled his eyes in mock-exaggeration: “he sure is a drama queen.”
“I don't think so,” Chase replied and followed House into his office.
“Wombat, what are you doing in here? I can't recall having invited you in.” Chase shrugged nonchalantly, then busied himself with closing the blinds and locking the door. House raised an eyebrow questioningly, then said: “geez, Robert, I don't think we should do that in the hospital. Wilson might not look like the jealous type but he sure as hell is.”
Chase flopped down in the visitor's chair with an amused smile on his face. “No offense or anything but I'd rather take him than you.”
“Aww, but Robert, now you hurt my feelings!” House whined.
Chase's smile grew wider and he chuckled. House stopped faking to pout and sat down on the opposite side of his table. He looked at Chase curiously and asked: “so, what do you want?”
“I brought you some reading material, thought it might be interesting for you.” Chase handed House a folder.
House opened the folder, then froze when he realized the content of the articles. In a cold voice he said: “what the hell is this?”
Chase held his hands up in a placating manner before he replied, “Take it easy and read the articles before you judge the content. I saw you last night with Wilson, I saw how he reacted to you. He has always reacted strongly whenever you've been firm with him and--”
“Shut the hell up! These are articles about a disciplinary relationship. You might be into this BDSM stuff but I'm not and neither is Wilson. Here, take it back.” House threw the folder against Chase's chest.
Chase caught it deftly and remained seated, watching House calmly. Softly he said: “read those articles. I'm sure you'll find them interesting and you'll also find out that this isn't about domination or submission. Wilson is falling apart. He wants someone else to take control, set some ground rules and keep him sane.”
House snorted at that but Chase pressed on: “you like being in control and even though you'd never admit it to anyone it's still crystal-clear that you care about Wilson. You're possessive and protective and you do care about him.”
“You're repeating yourself.”
“Just wanted to get my point across. Anyway, a disciplinary relationship doesn't mean that you hurt him randomly. You set rules and discipline him when he doesn't follow them,” Chase explained.
House shifted uncomfortably in his chair. In a raspy voice he countered: “Wilson is an adult and even though that might sound ridiculous to you, we're in an adult relationship and therefore deal with problems in a mature way.” Chase laughed out loud and House grinned sheepishly. “Yeah, okay, but at least we try.”
“Yeah, and he's slipping away from you because he gets what he thinks he wants and not what he needs.”
House scowled at Chase and absent-mindedly rubbed his thigh. Of course he had registered Wilson's long nights at the hospital and that he seemed to withdraw himself from House. He didn't think that anyone beside him recognized this behavior. Chase pulled him out of his thoughts by declaring: “he's testing you. If he's worth the trouble, if you'll be able to put him back on track, no matter what it needs to get him there. Why do you think he hopped from one relationship to another? He never got what he needed so far.”
“Hmm, let me think? He couldn't keep it in his pants? How's that for a reason?”
Chase shook his head. “Nice try.”
“You can't honestly believe that … that he wants someone else to tell him what to do and discipline him in a physical way if he misbehaves! He's a goddamn department head and makes decisions all the time! I can't believe I'm even talking to you about this!” House exclaimed.
“He is falling apart and he is slipping away from you. I know that you don't want anything to happen to him so why don't you get a grip on yourself and for once try to find out what he needs?” Chase snapped and threw the folder back on the table.
He was already at the door when House stated: “wow, now that was dramatic. And by the way, playing the guilt card is a really low blow.”
Chase turned back and said: “you are worried about him and you're not opposed to such a relationship. You want him to get better, you better get reading.”
“Why are you so sure about this?”
“I just am, trust me on this. Oh, hey, in case he'll dump you because he doesn't get what he needs … I'm sure you won't have a problem with me taking your part?”
House gaped openly at Chase's retreating back, not sure if he should take the last comment serious or not. It could, however, not hurt to get some information. He settled back in his chair and started reading. He was completely unaware that Chase had left the office door open and gazed at him in satisfaction.
During the next two weeks House read a lot and also investigated a lot. Wilson did react strongly whenever House set a rule and forced Wilson to obey. Mostly he had coaxed Wilson in obedience with raising his voice and scowling at him darkly. The last few days Wilson was starting to push back though. He merely rolled his eyes at House's demands and deliberately interpreted House's words to his liking.
House was sitting in his office, brooding about the latest incident. Wilson had been downright cheeky half an hour ago and he still looked like death warmed over. House hadn't gotten through to him and had simply left Wilson's office to prevent himself from blowing up and bending Wilson over the table to spank the living hell out of him. Even though this had happened half an hour ago, House was still fuming. Wilson was wearing himself down and denied to need help, sleep or at least food. It was driving House crazy. A tentative knock at his office door had him snap: “get the fuck away!”
“Good morning to you too!” Chase chirped.
“How does 'get the fuck away' translate into 'come in'?”
“It doesn't, I just interpreted it freely,” Chase replied, completely unfazed. He sat down opposite to House and asked: “so, how are things going with Wilson?”
“Do I look as if I want to talk to you about my relationship with Wilson?”
“That bad, huh? What went wrong? Was he offended by the prospect of a disciplinary relationship?”
House kept his mouth shut and started twirling his cane. Chase sighed and pressed on: “you did talk about this with him, right?”
“No, I didn't,” House growled. “I read a lot of stuff and investigated a bit, if you get my drift. Don't you have work to do?”
“Actually, no, I don't. My boss is picky about the cases he takes. So, what did you find out during your investigation? Did he like you taking control or not?”
“What exactly didn't you understand about me not wanting to discuss my relationship with you?”
“House, come on. I'm trying to help you. I saw you coming out of Wilson's office and you were positively livid. I guess Wilson is pushing back, testing you. I hope you remember that you're setting the rules and that you have to make sure that he follows them,” Chase said.
“I don't know how to make him follow the rules. He's acting totally irresponsible and like a brat sometimes.”
“Oh, you do know how to get him to follow the rules. You're letting him down if you don't discipline him for misbehavior. House, he's counting on you and you're failing him right now.”
At hearing Chase's accusation House felt a vein in his temple throb violently. He pressed his lips together tightly, took in some calming deep breaths and eventually gritted out: “I'm not going to hurt him physically. That's insane!”
“Why? Because this doesn't fit the bill for a healthy and mature relationship? Since when do you care about what society believes? He wants this and he'll run away if he doesn't get it.”
“Damn it, Chase! What if you're wrong? What if this is not what he wants? What if I … spank him or whatever and he'll accuse me of abuse? He would be right about that and there would be nothing I could do to make it right again!” House shouted.
“He will accuse you and he will rant and bitch about you disciplining him. It'll take some time for him to get around and to be able to admit openly that such a relationship is what he needs. Believe me, I'm right about him. Maybe I was wrong about you, maybe you don't have the balls to do what's necessary.”
“Baiting me with my pride won't work, wombat,” House sighed. Softly he added: “I don't want to screw this up. I didn't go through detox and Mayfield and all that stuff to finally get what I want and then screw it up by misinterpreting Wilson's signs.”
Chase's face softened upon hearing House's admission. “I know that. I'm sure you're not misinterpreting his signs. Take control and get him back on track. You should probably get him checked out too, he looks horrible. He looked a little bit better last week which was probably due to your investigation.”
“You've said what you wanted to say, now go and pretend to work.”
“I can do that. I have years of experience in this.” Chase winked and got up from the chair. At the office door he turned around and spoke earnestly: “if you have questions or want to talk about it, you know where to find me.”
House nodded in acknowledgment, then slumped back in his chair. He swiveled the chair around so he was looking out the window. Mulling everything over he had learned so far about disciplinary relationships and Wilson in particular he decided on what to do next.
At six o'clock in the evening House walked over to Wilson's office. He stood in front of the closed door for almost a minute, plucking up his courage and hoping that his trust in Chase's opinion wouldn't cost him the most important person in the world to him. Maybe Wilson would comply with his demand and House wouldn't have to discipline him.
House barged into Wilson's office in his usual brash manner and found the man sitting behind his desk, working on a file. Wilson didn't look up, just said: “hi House. Are you going home?”
House closed the door and locked it. The click of the lock caused Wilson to look up from his paperwork and frown at his partner. House crossed through the room, dropped his backpack on a chair and cheerfully said: “Nope. We are going home now. Remember that we agreed on you leaving work at more decent hours?”
Wilson rolled his eyes, then put his attention back to the paperwork in front of him. He waved dismissively and said: “I'll be home in two, maybe three hours. See you there.”
House slammed his hands on the surface of the table, startling Wilson with this action. “No, you're not staying here. We already had this discussion earlier today. We are going home now.”
Wilson was too surprised by House's outburst to prevent him from shutting down the computer. When he finally caught on he jumped up and spluttered indignantly: “House! Get away from my computer! What is wrong with you? Go home, watch some of your soaps and let me do my work. I'm sure you don't need my company to watch TV!”
“What if I do?”
“You don't!” Wilson huffed in exasperation. “Now go home and let me finish my work.”
“I said 'no'. I'm not going home alone. Either you pack up your stuff now and leave voluntarily or you'll have to take the consequences of your behavior.”
Wilson snorted and shook his head. “Wow! I'm so scared now. What are you going to do when I decide to stay here? I think I know most of your pranks and I'm way beyond getting embarrassed by anything you tell our co-workers.”
House watched Wilson sit down again, his whole body language speaking of utter exasperation. He couldn't detect anything else and worried about his next step. He rounded Wilson's desk and almost threw his plan out of the window when Wilson smiled at him sweetly and said: “taking control isn't one of your biggest talents, you know. You might be a control freak but that doesn't mean I have to follow your orders. Thanks for your concern about my well-being though.”
House stood next to Wilson, processing his friend's last words. “Your resistance is either very brave or very dumb. I'm not sure what it is right now.”
House leaned his cane against Wilson's desk while the younger man looked at him in confusion. Slowly he said: “I'm not sure that I understand what you're saying.”
“Remember last week? We had a long and detailed chat about your health and that you have to cut down on work? We agreed that you'd leave work at six o'clock each day and that you're only allowed to stay longer if there's an emergency and you have told me about it. Paperwork isn't an emergency. Get your stuff – now!”
Wilson narrowed his eyes, then replied: “geez, House, I don't have time for stuff like that now. I don't give a damn about what we agreed on last week!”
House acted swiftly. He pulled Wilson up from the chair, pressed his upper body on the table and brought down his hand on Wilson's ass several times. The slapping sounds and Wilson's grunts of surprise and pain were the only sounds audible. After the fifth slap Wilson found out that he could still speak: “House! What the hell are you doing? Let go of me!”
“If I were you, I'd be quiet. I'm sure you don't want everyone to know what's going on inside your office right now,” House squeezed out. He delivered another series of hard swats to Wilson's bottom. His hand stung from the force of the swats and he wondered how Wilson felt. The younger man started to wiggle and squirm to get away from House's hand. “Don't you dare try to get out of your punishment. Ten more and we're done.”
House was surprised that Wilson stopped fighting and delivered the next swats low on Wilson's bottom, causing the younger man to yelp: “ow! Ouch! House, stop it!”
“I'll stop when I'm done.” House placed the last swat right in the middle of Wilson's ass and put as much strength as he could muster in it. Wilson cried out in pain.
House shook the hand he had used to deliver the swats in an attempt to release some of the stinging sensation. Wilson was still bent over the table with his eyes closed and breathing harshly. Soothingly House rubbed with both hands over Wilson's trembling back for a while. When Wilson didn't react House moved to stand behind him and pulled him into an upright position. Wilson gave a distressed moan but didn't resist the manhandling. House wasn't sure how he should interpret Wilson's behavior and encircled his lover from behind. He rested his chin on top of Wilson's left shoulder and kissed him on a cheek. To House's utmost surprise and relief Wilson's head lolled back and he rubbed his cheek against House's.
They stayed in this embrace until Wilson licked his lips, then mumbled: “that hurt.”
“It's a punishment hence you're hurting.” House had to bite back the question that lay on the tip of this tongue. He really wanted to know if Wilson was okay but since he was in the role of the loving disciplinarian he had to at least pretend to be sure that Wilson had deserved the punishment. “Are you ready to go home now?”
Wilson shifted from one foot to another before he answered in a subdued voice: “yes. I'll be ready in a few minutes.”
House released Wilson and told him sternly: “you have five minutes to be ready. When we're home I want us to talk.”
Wilson turned to face House and eyed him warily. As he turned he rubbed a hand over his sore butt and grimaced at the burning sensation. “You want us to talk? Are you sure you haven't been replaced by a pod-person during your time in Mayfield?”
House smirked, grabbed his cane and tapped Wilson lightly on his cheek. “You have four minutes left.”
Wilson hastily stuffed papers in his briefcase and was ready before the time was up. House came up next to him and kissed him firmly on the mouth. “Good boy.”
The younger man rolled his eyes but for a brief moment House saw something flicker in Wilson's eyes. He wasn't sure what it was exactly but all of Wilson's reactions so far showed that he wasn't angry or shocked. On the contrary, Wilson seemed to be calmer and more at ease suddenly. Some of the worry lines on his forehead had smoothed out, giving him a much more relaxed and younger appearance.
House gave Wilson's back a light push out of the door and both men strolled over to the elevator. Wilson grimaced from time to time but kept up a light banter with House. The older man caught a glance of Chase looking their way. A small, knowing smile was on Chase's face and House nodded almost imperceptibly.
They drove home in companionable silence. The only sign that something out of the ordinary had just happened was Wilson's consistent shifting in the seat. House refused to apologize but he rested his left hand on Wilson's knee and rubbed small circles with his thumb. Wilson glanced at him quickly, then he watched the road again, a small smile on his face.
As soon as they entered the loft the situation became awkward. Wilson was fidgety, avoided eye-contact and all but fled from House, claiming that he needed a shower. House wondered again how they were supposed to proceed from here. Taking in a deep breath he went into the kitchen and prepared some sandwiches. Briefly he considered taking the plates to the living room but he refrained. Wilson would only throw a fit if there were crumbs on the sofa and the carpet. Since they needed to write a list with rules and there were paper and pens in the kitchen drawer, it was for the best to eat dinner there. It had also the advantage that Wilson could stand while eating.
Wilson took some time to emerge from the bathroom. When he walked to the kitchen counter he was wearing sweatpants and a loose long-sleeved shirt. House sighed inwardly as soon as he recognized that Wilson avoided eye-contact and only picked at his sandwich. Wilson started when House asked: “don't you like the sandwich? You need to eat from time to time, that's what helps you keep up your strength.”
Wilson looked at him for the first time in minutes, a genuine smile on his lips. Embarrassment was obvious in Wilson's voice when he said: “I'm just not that hungry and, um, the prospect of that talk isn't helping my appetite.”
“Do you want to have that talk before you eat?”
“I don't want to have that talk at all. Look, let's just forget about it, okay?”
“Nope, we won't forget about it. Your only choice in this matter is whether you want to talk now or after dinner.”
Wilson pushed his plate away in a sudden, angry movement. He glared at House and accusingly pointed a finger at him: “you aren't setting the rules here! If I don't want to talk I won't do it, simple as that.”
House rounded the kitchen counter which had Wilson swallowing convulsively. Still, House had to give him credit for keeping his ground and even putting his hands on his hips in his usual exasperated stance. Only Wilson's lightly flushed face and his nervously flickering eyes showed how uncomfortable he felt. House stopped in front of Wilson and cupped his lover's face in his hands before he kissed him tenderly on the forehead. Light tremors fluttered through Wilson's body as he leaned into the comforting touch.
House pulled back and said sternly: “that's where you're wrong. I'm setting the rules here because you're not capable of taking care of yourself.”
“Wow!” Wilson exclaimed, then replied dryly: “and that is coming from an ex-addict who never follows any rules. Are you out of your mind?”
“I do follow rules when they make sense.”
“Right. You're still not setting the rules here. If that's what you wanted to talk about – I think we're finished.” Wilson turned around but found himself spun back by House.
“You're wrong again. I'm going to set rules and you will follow them. They are going to be simple and--”
“Shut up! Are you crazy? You are the one who needs to learn how to follow rules, not me!”
“Sure. Is that the reason why you allowed me to spank you after you disobeyed?” House asked calmly. Wilson opened his mouth, shut it and opened it again. House watched Wilson struggle to find the right words and eventually said: “if you really had wanted to get free you would have gotten free. I'm still a cripple. But you didn't try. Now tell me again that you don't want me to set the rules for you and make sure that you obey.”
Wilson's face was colored with a deep scarlet red as he stared at his friend for a long time. Defiantly he squeezed out: “I'm not telling you anything. I was just surprised at your action, that's all.”
“No, you think you deserved it.”
“I did not think that!” Wilson shouted. Changing tactics he yelled: “are you getting off on hurting me? Or other people? You probably do because that's what you do best! You know what? Getting into a relationship with you must have been the biggest mistake I ever made.”
A punch in the gut couldn't have hurt more than those words. House was speechless and stared at Wilson baffled. Damn, he shouldn't have listened to Chase, he shouldn't have! On the other hand – Wilson was still standing right in front of him. He made no move to leave, just scrutinized House thoroughly. House managed to calm down enough to speak calmly as well: “you're good. I almost believed you. I almost thought that I had screwed up what we have going here. Emphasis lying on “almost”, James.”
Wilson moved no muscle, his whole body was tense and he could have been a wax figure. House reached out and gently brushed some strands of hair away from Wilson's forehead. The gentle touch caused Wilson to gulp in air and shift from one foot to the other. Softly House said: “this is the one and only time I'm putting up with this kind of behavior from you without you having to fear any consequences. It'll be the only time. We are going to talk about a set of rules for you and you will write them down. Every time you break one of those rules I'll discipline you. Got it?”
“Why are you so sure that I want to be in a disciplinary relationship with you? Especially with you being the disciplinarian?” Wilson asked.
“Disciplinary relationship? How come you even know this term?”
Wilson blushed profusely and dashed out of the kitchen.
“Wilson!” House bellowed, “get the hell back here!”
His only answer was the bedroom door slamming shut. House sighed, then thought that it might be for the best to give Wilson some space. It also allowed House to think a bit more about the puzzle named James Evan Wilson. He was sure he hadn't used the term disciplinary relationship but somehow Wilson had recognized at what House was aiming for immediately.
Deciding that ten minutes were enough time for Wilson to calm down, he limped over to the bedroom. The door was closed and locked, causing a sudden onset of anger to flood through House's veins. “You have one minute to get out of there!”
“And if I don't, what are you going to do then? Call the police?”
“45 seconds left and no, I'll break the door open. Be assured that your ass won't only sting afterwards.” Silence was his answer. When House announced: “15 seconds and counting!” he heard movement inside the room.
The door opened and House was face to face with a blushing Wilson. The younger man's eyes were narrowed to slits and his hands balled to fists. House recognized him being in full flee-mood and cautiously reached out to cup his lover's face in his hands. Wilson's eyes widened and he flinched visibly but he didn't recoil. All anger left House and was replaced by a mixture of guilt, longing and protectiveness. Softly he said: “you've got nothing to be afraid of.”
“A few seconds ago you threatened to beat me up,” Wilson replied in a slightly shaky voice.
“I threatened to spank your ass, not to beat you up.”
“What's the difference?”
Patiently House explained: “the spanking would be a disciplinary action while beating you up would be domestic abuse.”
“I don't think I can follow this logic.”
“Oh, you can and you do,” House stated. He pecked Wilson on his forehead, then released his face. “You're going to come out of there now and we'll walk over to the sofa and have a nice and long talk.”
“Since when do we talk? That's not us! We just pretend everything is fine and life goes on as usual,” Wilson groused.
“Yeah, and that led us to all kind of fantastic things, like almost terminating our friendship.”
“We're over that. I mean we're living together, share a bed and hell, we sleep together. We don't need to talk. Can't we just have make up sex and forget about talking?” Wilson asked. He tugged at House's shirt and wore his best pleading expression, the one with the huge eyes and slight tilt of his head.
House blinked several times to clear his mind from all kinds of interesting scenarios and rasped out: “nope. We're going to talk. Now. We can do the sex-thing later.”
“Alright, alright! I still don't think that we need to talk.” House stayed silent and together they sat down on the sofa. Wilson squirmed uncomfortably for a while, but eventually settled. “You wanted to talk, now spill.”
House raised an eyebrow questioningly. “Daring, aren't we?”
An eye-roll was Wilson's answer to that. Deliberately unfazed he arranged himself into a slouching position on the sofa and replied: “I won't sit here all evening, House.”
“Oh, it's back to House, huh? Guess that little incident in your office cut to the core.”
Anger flared up inside Wilson, causing him to jump up in irritation. He hissed: “see, I told you that you're enjoying what happened too much. Are you getting off on the feeling of power?”
Something akin to a growl escaped House's mouth before he gritted out: “stop insulting me and sit down.”
“Or what? You'll attempt to spank me again? You said it yourself – I can free myself and there's nothing you can do because you're a cripple,” Wilson spat out tauntingly.
“James, sit down and stop acting like a brat.”
“A brat? God, you're totally nuts and--” Wilson's rant was cut off by a yelp when House lunged at him. House pushed him face down on the sofa, secured Wilson's kicking legs with his own and delivered a volley of hard swats on Wilson's ass. Wilson struggled heavily but anger gave House enough strength to hold him down. House stopped soon enough and pulled down Wilson's sweatpants, revealing brightly red ass cheeks. Wilson let out a sob at that and begged: “no! Greg! Please, I'll be good, I'll be good.”
House rubbed soothingly over Wilson's flesh while he berated himself for losing control like that. He shouldn't have acted on impulse, he knew that much. With growing self-loathing he listened to Wilson's jerky breaths, sometimes interrupted by sobs. In a choked voice Wilson said: “I'm sorry for insulting you. I just … I needed to see if you'd be able to discipline me when I put up a fight against it.”
House's mouth fell open at hearing Wilson's mumbled words. Shaking his head he murmured: “you almost had me on a real bad guilt trip.”
Wilson had his face pressed against a sofa cushion and his eyes were closed. House took in the sight of his flushed face and neck, wondering if this was due to embarrassment or something else. House rested his hands on the warm flesh and waited until Wilson's breathing was becoming more regular. He got up and said: “you stay put here, I'll get you some ointment and then we'll talk and set some rules for you. First one will be: don't cause Greg any guilt trips.”
Wilson chuckled, then asked: “is this rule up for discussion?”
House hurried to the bathroom, retrieved a jar with an ointment that should help Wilson's skin to cool off and take the worst sting out of it. When he came back to the sofa Wilson was lying exactly as he had when House had walked away. He sat down with a smile and unscrewed the jar. Tenderly he applied the ointment on the bruised parts. Wilson hissed uncomfortably at first but soon sighed in appreciation of House's hands carefully rubbing the ointment into the skin.
“I like that much better,” Wilson confessed.
A companionable silence stretched out between them while House stroked Wilson's ass. He waited until Wilson had visibly relaxed, then bent down and dropped feather light kisses on Wilson's ass. He pushed up Wilson's shirt and started trailing a path of kisses along his lover's spine. A smug grin was plastered on House's face when the first goose bumps arose and Wilson began to grind his pelvis down into the sofa. House nipped, once, at a tender spot right under Wilson's left shoulder blade which led to a startled yelp. “We're going to have that talk but I think I want to take you up on your earlier offer.”
“My earlier offer?” Wilson gasped. “I didn't want to have that talk at all and I still don't want to have it.”
“How about we postpone our talk to tomorrow morning?”
“How about we postpone it to an indefinite point of time?” Wilson counter-asked.
“James, I know it has to be hard to admit it but you want this type of relationship. Shh, don't let us argue now. Come on, let me make you feel good,” House suggested.
“Tease,” House grumbled.
Wilson merely chuckled, then spread his legs as much as he could do on the small sofa. House felt his own erection pressing heavily against the front of his jeans and allowed lust to sweep him up. He tugged Wilson's sweatpants down before he dropped kisses on Wilson's inner thighs. As expected Wilson's moans became louder and more urgent. House stuffed a pillow under Wilson's pelvis before he began to mouth Wilson's balls. He encompassed Wilson's shaft and stroked up and down while he nipped at the sensitive flesh of Wilson's inner thighs. When the first long thread of pre-come oozed out of Wilson's cock House looped an arm around Wilson's waist and pulled him down from the sofa.
Wilson didn't start at this action, not at all, instead he went with House's movement eagerly. Wilson's knelt in front of the sofa, his upper body resting on it and House had to close his eyes briefly at that enticing sight in front of him. He shredded his own clothes in record time and groaned in relief when his cock sprang free. Swiftly he helped Wilson get rid of his remaining clothes and knelt in between his lover's parted legs.
“What about your leg?” Wilson asked.
House wasn't sure if he should be exasperated or flattered that his friend worried about his well-being even now. “Stop worrying and enjoy the ride.”
Wilson laughed out loud. “Okay, now come and ride me, cowboy!”
House didn't bother with an answer. He squirted some of the ointment from earlier on his fingers, hoping that this would be enough to prepare Wilson. He rubbed over Wilson's back and watched as his muscles rippled while he pushed his fingers in and out of Wilson's ass. A low moan of Wilson had House's cock leak pre-come.
“I hope you're ready because I don't think I can wait another second.” With those words House spread Wilson's ass cheeks and pressed the tip of his dick against Wilson's hole. “James?”
“Stop asking and talking so much! I'm dying here!”
“We can't have that,” House replied. Simultaneously he pushed his cock into the welcoming heat of Wilson's body. A loud groan escaped him as he kept on pushing and felt the younger man's muscles quiver around him. When he was sheathed until the hilt in his friend he groaned: “this will sound cheesy but this is the most amazing feeling ever.”
Wilson chuckled and said: “likewise. This feeling can only be topped when you start moving.”
“Is that supposed to be a hint?”
“In case you don't get subtle hints I could also tell you to finally fuck me.”
House swore and began moving his hips. He steadied himself with holding onto Wilson's hips, almost unconsciously registering how slim his lover had become during the last weeks, while he impaled Wilson on his cock over and over again. The slapping sounds of flesh against flesh, only interrupted by moans and whispered pleas, were audible for a long time. House's movements became more and more erratic and forceful until his release hit him hard and unexpected. The sudden onslaught on Wilson's prostate had him follow suit.
Both men took their time to catch their breath, then Wilson gazed back over his shoulder. An impish smile was on his face when he said: “you have to admit that this use of my ass was much better than what you did before.”
“I'll admit that it was very different and very enjoyable.”
“That's good to hear.”
“Now if only I could get up from the floor again.”
“Shall I lend the old man a hand?” Wilson quipped. A light swat on his tender flesh had him exclaim: “ow! Alright. I'll behave. I've had my share of swats for tonight.”
“Greg, we're late as it is. Why can't we talk in the evening?” Wilson was throwing his hands up in the air in sheer exasperation.
“Because I want the rules on paper before we leave for work.”
“I never agreed on writing down some abstruse rules and we are late! I have an appointment in an hour!”
“In case you want to be on time for your appointment we better start talking about those rules now.”
Wilson gaped at House for at least thirty seconds, then clicked his mouth shut. In bewilderment he asked: “you're serious, aren't you?”
“Yes, James, I am. Oh, and I have a question. You used the term disciplinary relationship yesterday, what do you know about it?”
Wilson froze momentarily, then shook himself. He grabbed their plates and put them in the dishwasher. House pressed on: “stalling while pretending to be busy won't help you.”
Wilson hung his head, then slowly lifted it up and looked at House. The open vulnerability House saw in those brown eyes almost took his breath away. Quietly he beckoned his friend over to him: “come here, Jimmy.”
Wilson wrinkled his nose but did as he was told. “Whenever you call me by that name I feel all but five years old.”
House was sitting on one of the high chairs and looped an arm around Wilson's waist as soon as he was within his reach. Taking a chance he asked: “you have been in a disciplinary relationship before, right?” House felt Wilson stiffen in his arms and quickly tightened his hold on him. Softly he asked: “did it work?”
“No, no it didn't.”
Wilson's response was too dull for House's liking. “What happened? And why the hell didn't I know about this?”
Wilson snorted and rolled his eyes in an exaggerated manner. “Because I didn't want you to mock me more than you do anyway? Because I didn't want you to know how fucked up I am? I could list you a million reasons why I never told you about having been in a disciplinary relationship with a man during college.”
“I can see your point. Now spill, what happened?”
Wilson squirmed in the embrace and his eyes darted around the room aimlessly. He licked his lips nervously and needed several attempts to speak in a toneless voice: “it was great at first. He only disciplined me when I had done something that was against our rules but then I started pushing more and more. I … I wanted to see if he'd stick by my side even if I was trouble.”
Wilson paused for a long time. House prompted: “and then what?”
“He started disciplining me with paddles and sometimes he'd hurt me when he was angry about something else. But the worst part was when he started to tell our friends that he disciplined me. It was the most mortifying experience in my entire life. I gave up on finding someone who'd be okay with such a kind of relationship.”
“You even gave up on relationships with other men, huh? I don't blame you. I also have to admit that I'm kind of glad that you didn't try to find another man.”
“That's because you're a caveman.”
“I'd have liked it best if you had still been inexperienced with gay sex,” House mumbled.
A broad smile spread out on Wilson's face when he heard House's mumbled admission.
“Sorry, you were too late. On the other hand, you've never complained about my skills.”
“Ah well, they come in handy.”
A smug smile settled on Wilson's face but his triumph didn't last long. House grabbed a sheet of paper from the counter and stuffed it into Wilson's hands, saying: “now, let's get those rules written down.”
Sourly Wilson replied: “I don't think that's a good idea. Actually, to be honest, I think starting a disciplinary relationship with you sounds like the dumbest idea ever. I'm not suicidal!”
A heavy swat on his ass caused him to jerk in House's embrace and yelp: “ow! God damn it! Discipline doesn't have to translate into spanking all the time.”
“Well, we don't have time to get the rules on paper and you doing some corner time,” House said. His grip around Wilson's waist had tightened and again he wondered if he'd be able to handle Wilson and his needs.
“Corner time?” Wilson blurted out. “I have never done corner time and I sure as hell won't start with it now!”
“We also don't have time for you to write down copies of the rules a dozen times. Especially because those rules still don't exist on paper.”
“Greg, I really appreciate that you're willing to this but I don't think we're capable of being in a relationship like that. Let's just forget about it and pretend that everything is okay.”
“You appreciate my attempt? How very generous of you. Now listen carefully. Take that pen and start writing down the first rule which is that you won't jeopardize your health anymore.”
House stared at Wilson expectantly and tried to look as self-confident as possible. He felt Wilson's muscles move underneath his hands and watched his friend swallow heavily. He wasn't prepared for Wilson snuggling closer to him and resting his forehead on House's clavicle. Wilson whispered: “this is no game for me, Greg. If we start this and fail we'll be destroyed. Believe me, I know what I'm talking about.”
House took in a deep breath, then pulled Wilson's face away from his collarbone so that they were facing each other. “I don't treat this as a game either, James. I know what I'm getting into. I did some research and Chase told me --”
All color left Wilson's face when he cut off his partner. “Chase? What do you mean? You talked about us to Chase? You're fucking unbelievable! And here I was and thought I could trust you!”
Surprised at the sudden outburst of anger House let go of Wilson when the younger man started to struggle against his hold. Aghast he took in the defeated posture of Wilson, the red cheeks and the convulsively clenching and unclenching of his fists. House got up from the chair and cautiously limped over to the sink where Wilson was standing.
He didn't want to startle Wilson with touching him from behind so he said: “Chase came to me a few weeks ago and quite frankly told me that I wasn't giving you what you need. He was very sure about what you need and brought me some stuff to read. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him.”
Wilson swirled around, his face contorted into a grimace. “Do you really think I'll fall for this? How would he know what I need?”
“I don't know how he figured this out but you really do need this, don't you?”
Wilson tried to take a step backwards but the only thing he could do was to press his back firmly against the sink. His eyes darkened when he spat: “I don't need any of this and I especially don't need you.”
House winced at the venom in Wilson's voice. Again he asked himself if he was doing the right thing. Yet, Wilson was still here and hadn't run off. House calmed himself down and planted his hands on either side of Wilson. He straightened up to full height, knowing very well that he was taller than the younger man. Wilson craned his head to look up at him, his face radiating hurt and betrayal but also some defiance.
“Yes, you do. Because I'm willing to stick by your side, no matter how hard you try to push me away just like you've always stuck by my side. You didn't let yourself get chased away by Tritter or my hallucinations because you saw something in me that you desperately need. Stop fighting it and stop denying it.” House spoke in a gentle yet firm voice. He wasn't really in his element, soothing was usually Wilson's area of expertise. He meant his words with all his heart though. He'd do anything to keep Wilson and make him happy.
Wilson shook his head slowly, then hid his face behind his hands. In a strained voice he mumbled: “you're going to hate it and I already hate the fact that somebody knows about us. It's … it's humiliating.”
“I won't hate it.”
Wilson's hands flew up in the air as he shouted angrily: “you will hate it! You think you know me so well but you don't. I'm not easy to put up with. I'll push you and challenge you over and over again. You'll grow tired of me in no time.”
“I haven't gotten tired of you until now so why should this change?”
“Oh, you wanted me out of your life when I annoyed you with questions or suggestions. Greg, come on, let us try to rescue what's left of our friendship instead of throwing it all away,” Wilson pleaded.
House frowned, then swept his gaze over Wilson. Slowly he declared: “you're sweating and you're trembling. Since you just told me that I don't know you very well I'll have to take a guess – I think you're terrified and close to a panic attack.”
“I'm not … I'm not having a panic attack and why should I be terrified?”
“James, you're squeaking and the trembles are turning into shakes. What are you so afraid of? I'm no monster! We will set up rules for you and we will also agree on the punishments if you don't follow the rules. I know that I've reacted like a bastard to you in the past but I won't leave you. I can't imagine my life without you,” House concluded softly.
Wilson's eyes were brimming with unshed tears upon hearing House's confession. It took him several attempts to coax his vocal cords into cooperation, then he said: “you're right.”
“Well, of course I'm right. I hope you never doubted that I'm 'Mr. Perfect'!” House grinned.
Wilson chuckled and smiled at House, his dimples showing off in an enticing way. House didn't even try to fight against the urge to place deep kisses into those dimples. Wilson couldn't suppress a giggle and squirmed to get away from House's mouth. A growled: “stop!” caused him to surrender.
Eventually House kissed his way from Wilson's left cheek to his mouth. He nibbled gently at Wilson's lower lip before he demanded entrance into Wilson's mouth with his tongue. His demand was met with no resistance. On the contrary, Wilson's arms came up to clutch at House's shoulders while he yielded against House's body.
House broke the kiss with saying: “we really should hurry with that list or you'll be late for your appointment.”
Wilson groaned loudly and slapped a hand against House's chest. In mock-indignation House whined: “hey, that's not right! You're not allowed to discipline me!”
“Maybe we should think about a role reversal? I'd like it better that way around.”
“No, we shouldn't and no, you wouldn't like it better that way around. Come on, let us at least get started on that list,” House cajoled.
Insecurity rolled off Wilson in waves as he pondered about the next step. House sighed: “James, you want this and I'm willing to give it to you. I won't ever paddle you. The main punishments for you will be to go to bed early or that I won't allow you to cuddle up to me. Spankings are reserved for times when you deliberately jeopardize your health.”
“But yesterday you spanked me for insulting you,” Wilson pouted.
“Do you want to tell me that this wasn't what you wanted me to do yesterday? Because I remember you telling me something like that.”
Wilson blushed slightly and bit his lip. An impish look crossed his face as he shrugged and said: “you got a point there.” More seriously he added: “do you really believe that this will work?”
House dropped a kiss on Wilson's nose and answered: “yes, I believe that. And now you've evaded the task of writing down the rules long enough.” Sternly he glared at Wilson and pulled him away from the sink towards the counter, giving him paper and pen. He underlined his next statement with a swat on Wilson's ass: “let's get this done and over with.”
A month later Wilson had a bounce in his steps and some of the worry lines had smoothed out. He looked much better, smiled more often and generally radiated contentment.
House was in the hallway, on his way to his office when Wilson stepped out of the elevator. Wilson hadn't seen him and House slowed his steps, taking in the relaxed sight of his lover. Chase was walking next to him and threw a knowing glance to Wilson. In a low voice he said: “he seems to get what he needs.”
“He does,” House confirmed.
“Don't give in when he tests his boundaries.”
“I don't but I'm not sure I got the message across so far,” House replied gruffly.
Chase tried to hide a smile at the gruff fondness he detected in House's voice. “Is he still upset about me knowing about your relationship?”
“He talks to you without blushing and squirming again so I guess he's over it.”
“House? For all it's worth: I think you're doing great with him and I know that it can't be easy.”
House stopped on his way and turned to Chase. He scrutinized Chase for a while, then said: “sometimes it isn't but most of the time it's pretty awesome. I'm discovering new layers of him.”
House waggled his eyebrows in a suggestive manner which only caused Chase to groan in exasperation. Wilson sidled up next to House right at that moment and curiously eyed the two other men. “I hope you didn't talk about me?”
“You might not be aware of it but you're not the center of the universe,” House replied.
“I know - that would be you, right?” Wilson quipped.
House looked at Wilson appreciatively. “Wow, Dr. Wilson, I'm impressed! It only took you … I don't know … over fifteen years to come to this conclusion.”
Wilson merely rolled his eyes. As he walked past House he squeezed his lover's shoulders and said: “I'm doing some paperwork, then we can go home.”
House glanced at his watch and called over his shoulder: “you have one hour left! Don't be late!”
Wilson waved his hand dismissively. Thoughtfully Chase said: “damn! I wish I had made a move before you finally plucked up your courage.”
“No chance now. He has got written 'property of Greg House' written all over him.”
“Too bad,” Chase replied. With a twinkle in his eyes he asked: “what about Foreman? Do you think he'd like me to be his disciplinarian?”