Author's Note: The following was written for the Livejournalhcchallenge. I was inspired to write this after reading other fanfics with the same---premise.

Disclaimer: I don't own House---but I would love to. (joke!)

Make it three

Dr. Allison Cameron has a new man in her life.

That was the cryptic message Wilson gave his friend, the latest news House has of his former duckling. Actually, it was the only piece of news he's had of his former duckling since she packed up and left PPTH--and him--over a year ago.

More than that, Allison---Dr. Cameron---was coming back to PPTH with her brand new boytoy in tow.

"How'd you ferret out the information? The old boy oncologists' network in league with the immunologists' grapevine?" House snarked.

Wilson shrugged. "We've kept touch with each other since she relocated in New York. Wonderful thing, the internet."

"Well, sorry to disappoint you, but I always prefer a more personal touch---like the telegraph," House said sarcastically. On the outside, he didn't seem to care; Wilson thought otherwise when he saw the knuckles of the hand grasping the giant tennis ball whiten. How much to tell him...

"When is she gracing the hospital with her presence?" House asked suddenly.

"Tomorrow afternoon, a little after lunch," Wilson replied, turning to leave. House sat down on his chair, releasing the breath he didn't know he held through his nose and the death grip on the ball before turning to his computer. He was about to return to his game of Sudoku when...

"Did I forget to mention that Christopher's coming too?"

Dr. Lisa Cuddy was pleasantly surprised when Dr. House checked in earlier than usual, which translates into 20 minutes before 8:00 AM. She was about to point this out to him when he suddenly barked, "I'll be leaving after lunch."

She raised an eyebrow at that. "Really? Are your parents flying in for a visit again?"

"Nope." House replied, jabbing the up button of the elevator with his cane. "Gonna set a new world record: fastest half-day on the job, coupled with breaking the land record for hobbling on a cane."

"Like that's ever going to happen," Cuddy snorted. "Since you're already here---Clinic. NOW!"

The last word was emphasized with a slap of folders on House's chest, causing the owner to wince.

House had planned to leave the hospital early. He didn't want to be here when Allison---Cameron---shows up with her new beau.

He felt betrayed, though he knew that no one knew, not even Jimmy Boy, about the week after he was discharged...she left the week after he returned to the job.

"I can't give you what you need," he told her. "You need someone whole---and I'm not that..."

Almost a year after he pushed her away, it seemed that she had followed his advice and was now coming back to show him what she'd found.


If he knows Allison---Cameron---he's willing to bet that this Christopher was another loser who managed to lure Allison---Cameron---into making her think he needs her. One can only hope...

Just his luck, House wasn't able to make his escape. The moment he left clinic room number 2, Cuddy was waiting for him on the other side with a case for him to handle.

"Twenty-three year old female, suffering massive abdominal pain. Blood work's been done already, along with a battery of other tests at Princeton General. All tests show nothing's wrong, but she's still in pain, so they sent her to you."

House made a bizarre look of disgust before taking the folder from Cuddy.

"Why can't you wait for another 24 hours before giving me an interesting case to work on, for once?" he muttered as he was heading for the elevators. He spotted Chase at a distance, also making a way to the elevators. "Yo, Kangaroo Jack! Hop your British ass over here---we got a case!" he yelled.

They got through the differential fairly quickly. The patient, Anne, didn't have any of the garden-variety illnesses that would've caused her gut-wrenching pain below the waist, so House sent Foreman to do an MRI and Chase was given the task of getting a detailed history from the patient and her family.

"Give her some Demerol for the pain while you're at it," he called out to Chase.

"Demerol?" Chase echoed.

"So I said, mate," House shot back with a mocking Aussie accent, causing the younger doctor to cringe. "I'd prescribe Vicodin, but I need it. Tell them I don't want the patient to suffer too much. I'm being generous today."

Chase just paused long enough to show House how he rolled his eyes at that before leaving to do his bidding. House turned around to view the whiteboard again, looking over at the list of symptoms as his mind started ticking off some possible illnesses that would've caused inexplicable abdominal pain.

He was so engrossed in his thoughts that he didn't notice the glass door to the conference room had swung open and shut behind him.

"Hello, Greg."

House stiffened, refusing to turn around and acknowledge her.

He felt the vibration of footsteps grow stronger as Allison---Cameron---came closer to him. As she got closer, he heard a soft sucking sound.

...the hell!

He turned to his right, and the first thing he saw was not the face that haunted him for many a lonely night, but a pair of round, shocking blue eyes set in a cherubic face, partially covered by a red plastic donut that was presently jammed in a pink mouth and gummed on; hence the sucking sounds.

He drowned into those blue eyes, which looked as familiar to him as though he was looking in the mirror, before raising his head to the woman who was holding the baby in her arms.

"Christopher," Allison cooed, "this is your Daddy."