A/N: Well, this is my first House-fic. I like it, I think, but please let me know what you think. I could maybe continue this with different persepectives every time, if there's interest…
Disclaimer: I don't own House, MD, or the characters, or the actors…although I'd be very interested in Hugh Laurie or Jesse Spencer…
Stacy Warner double-checked her appearance in the mirror before exiting her car. She had butterflies in her stomach as she slowly approached the doors to the benefit.
Princeton's three local hospitals-Sacred Heart Hospital, Lincoln Hospital, and of course, Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital-were hosting a formal benefit for oncology research at a ballroom, and Stacy had managed to get an invitation for her legal help at Sacred Heart.
The butterflies weren't caused by the thought of rubbing shoulders with some of the most prestigious oncology specialists in the country, or by the thought of seeing the rumored celebrities. No, the butterflies were caused by the fact that she was going to see Gregory House for the first time in the four years since he sent her away.
When she had attained her invitation, she had called James Wilson, one of her old friends, to insure that he was attending, and she had slyly enquired about House as well. When James had confirmed he would attend, she had hung up the phone in excitement and immediately went out shopping for the right dress.
Her separation from her husband, Mark, had been painful, but now Stacy was optimistic about her chances of starting her relationship with House over. So, she was dressed in a dress that showed off her ample cleavage, in his favorite color, red, with her hair perfectly coiffed, her makeup flawless and four-inch heels that were already killing her.
She made her way around the room, greeting people she knew and introducing herself to the Dean of Medicine from Lincoln Hospital. All the while, she was surreptitiously looking for House, surprised that he was not located at the bar.
Stacy took a moment to sit at one of the empty tables, still on the look-out for House. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught sight of a group of familiar faces. Eric Foreman, Robert Chase and Allison Cameron were standing in a circle, all of them laughing. Stacy's heart leapt. If his lackeys were here, surely he would be near.
Then she noticed, again out of the corner of her eye, that Allison Cameron was pregnant. Very pregnant. Stacy made a mental note to congratulate her later, if she ran into her. Vaguely, she wondered who the father was, before deciding that it must be Robert Chase.
She was in the middle of a thought when she saw him. Dressed in a classic tux, but with more comfortable black shoes, he limped toward the group, still using his old cane. The circle parted to include him, and he stepped in next to Allison. She smiled up at him, in a manner, Stacy decided, that was not entirely appropriate. Especially if she was having another man's child.
Stacy observed the group for a while longer, smiling when James Wilson and Lisa Cuddy joined them. By now, she had noticed the obnoxiously huge ring on Allison's left ring finger, and she had been trying to spot the matching ring on Robert's finger, to no avail.
That's when she finally caught the ring, but on the wrong person's hand. The ring was on House's finger. Stacy desperately checked for rings on the other people's hands, but found nothing but a decorative ring on Lisa's right middle finger. She swore to herself, and then observed House and Allison more.
Allison was dressed in a strapless black dress that flowed gently over her swollen stomach. She had small diamond drop earrings on, and had bravely chosen to wear strappy-sandal high heels. Her hair was done in a loose French-twist, her makeup minimal. She glowed with happiness as one of her hands rested on her stomach, the other holding a wine glass filled with orange juice.
Stacy noted next the way House looked at her. With admiration, happiness and…love, she realized. He bent down to whisper something in her ear, and Allison threw her head back laughing. Stacy watched as his left hand grazed her belly as she looked up at him, smiling. Stacy's eyes filled with tears.
"Stacy! How are you?" James Wilson's voice interrupted her. She looked up at him and he immediately noticed her glassy eyes. "What's wrong?"
Stacy looked back to where House and Allison stood, now alone and engaged in a private conversation. House smiled down at her again, and she stood up on tip-toe to kiss him quickly. James followed her eyes to the sight.
"How long have they been together?" she asked quietly. James sighed and sat next to her.
"They started seeing each other about a year and a half after you left. They got married a year later." He said. "Their baby is due in a month or so." Stacy swallowed. She felt a tear fall down her cheek.
"You know, after Mark and I split up, all I could think about was Greg. I thought maybe I could come here tonight and re-ignite the flame, so to speak." She whispered. "I didn't think that he would move on."
James didn't speak, but offered her his handkerchief. Truth be told, he was quite happy for his best friend. Finally clear of the painkillers, House had a good thing with Allison, and James found it hard to summon up any pity for this woman.
"…and I guess he lost every game over at the poker tables, because he was sulking." Cameron finished happily. She had been relating her conversation to her husband, who wasn't actually paying attention. She was used to it.
House was watching the other guests, diagnosing them in his mind, when he caught sight of Wilson sitting at a table in the corner with Stacy Warner. His eyes narrowed. Cameron's expression changed quickly to confusion as she followed House's eyes. She frowned.
While they had talked about her briefly, Stacy was strictly taboo in conversation, as was Cameron's husband and tryst with Chase. House looked down at Cameron, noting that her eyes had cooled from warm green to steely hazel. He frowned as well, and then decided to take the chance to gloat.
"Cam, are you ready to go home?" he asked. She nodded, surprised when he led her towards Stacy and Wilson instead of the door.
"What are you doing?" she hissed.
"Just play along, dear." He said, his voice commanding, but gentle. She sighed, but complied, letting his hand on the small of her back guide her to Wilson and Stacy's table.
"Wilson, we're calling it a night. Pregnant wife and all." He added in a conspiratorial voice, twitching his head towards Cameron. She smiled. He was addressing Wilson only. Then he looked at Stacy as if surprised to see her there at all. "Why, Stacy! Long time no see. I'm assuming you met Allison during your stay at PPTH, but let me re-introduce you. Stacy Warner, this is my wife, Allison Cameron-House."
Cameron grimaced before forcing a friendly smile, only to be met with Stacy's cold stare.
"Hi, Stacy, how are you?" she asked, keeping her tone light. "Please let me apologize for my husband. Greg hasn't been behaving all that well. I think he's jealous of the baby." She added in her own conspiratorial whisper, winking at Stacy. Stacy's eyes narrowed.
"Why, Allison, I'm doing just great. How about you? I do hope the pregnancy has gone well, you seem to have gained enough weight." She said, also keeping her tone light. Cameron's mouth opened in shock briefly before closing in a tight smile.
"Yes, well, that does normally happen when you're expecting a child. You know, Greg and I are just so happy to be bringing a little part of each of us into the world that the pregnancy has gone by almost too fast. I guess that happens when two people who love each other so much are so excited. Right, honey?" Cameron asked House, smirking at Stacy. House nodded, and then wrapped his free arm around her.
"Well, we'd best be going. Goodnight, Wilson. Good to see you, Stacy." House said, leading Cameron away and smirking down at her. "Well done, Allie." He whispered, and Cameron smiled. They returned home quickly, and soon, all thoughts of Stacy were gone as they lay together at home, Cameron reading a book while House fiddled on his game-boy.
"Just a few more weeks." Cameron said, setting her book down and turning out the light. House turned off his game-boy and nodded.
"A few more weeks." He repeated. "I love you." He said as Cameron snuggled against his chest.
"I love you, too." She replied before falling asleep.