Disclaimer: I don't own House. DS, et al do… And I so loved Help Me! Though I do feel the dread of what I know will come. *sigh* As LE said (paraphrasing)– it's David Shore – we can count on him to make certain it's torturous and doesn't work in the long run. *sigh*

And yes, I think Stacy would be happy for him. This is set after Help Me.

It had been impossible to stay away any longer. Ever since he'd came to her of all people. How bad had it have to be for him to come to her.

It hadn't been easy to slip away from Mark. He had seemed to sense almost that something had happened while he'd been gone. So he'd kept her busy – never having forgotten her confessed affair with Greg.

So she was supposed to be in New York today, supposed to be shopping – an apology from him when she'd finally had enough of his hovering. Funny how the apology turned into a way for her to see the very man he was worried about her seeing. Of course, she might have felt guilty if there had been anything on her mind except checking on a friend.

Still, she wasn't quite up to facing the idea of finding Greg at his apartment, in a pool of his own vomit if things had gone as badly as she'd feared. Instead she parked in the parkade at PPTH and wondered exactly how to do this. After moments of indecision, she opened her car door and headed for the nearest elevator bank – deciding to use one of the upper parkade skywalk entrances – since it would avoid her having to skulk across the main lobby to avoid Lisa's office.

The fourth floor seemed abandoned. It seemed that Greg's team wasn't in yet this morning either. Just various nurses and cleaning staff making their rounds, barely looking at her – no one remembering or recognizing her at all. She shook her head and sipped her coffee as she made her way around the office, picking up his ball and rolling it in one perfectly manicured hand as she looked at the books on the shelves. The surface never changed. It was heartbreaking when what was below the surface changed – and it seemed like it didn't matter at all.

Stacy set the ball back in it's place, with a sad smile and slipped from his sanctum here at the hospital, intending on finding him or finding out at the least what was going on. James's office was empty as well and she scowled, once again feeling her ire rise. He was lucky he wasn't there. The idiot didn't deserve Greg.

Deciding the best course of action was to try to catch him as he came in – yet still not wanting to see Lisa, she took an elevator to the second floor. Moving to the most out of the way spot along the balcony rail and looking down towards the glass door entrance of PPTH – hoping that she'd see Greg before anyone else would see her.

She settled on one of the benches and sipped her coffee, relaxing and trying not to concoct a worse worst case scenario in her mind.

"What in the hell are you doing here?" An accented voice said from behind her. "He just got things… Well… He doesn't need you." She turned to see a steely faced Robert Chase glaring at her.

"It's not what you think…" Stacy held up her hands, a bit shocked at how protective the Australian doctor was being of Greg. "I'm just here to make sure… He came to see me…" Her own accent was more pronounced from being a bit flustered by the man's attitude.

"Jesus…" She could see by his expression, Chase was still jumping at the wrong conclusion. "When?"

"Before the crane disaster in Trenton…" Stacy answered, a little confused as to why the Australian suddenly relaxed at that. "Why?"

"You're really not here to try to start something?" Chase was still suspicious.

"No… I… I was worried about him." She paused. "Really worried about him."

The blonde man nodded, then a slight smile came to his lips. "That's why…" He nodded towards the doors. Stacy's mouth dropped open just slightly at the sight of Greg and Lisa walking in the front door together wordlessly. The few staff that were there, seemed to be studiously ignoring the scene as it played out in front of them.

Greg loomed over the much shorter woman in a way that would seem menacing – except Stacy could see the adoration in his eyes, as Lisa gazed up at him warmly. "You have until ten am… Then if you're not in the clinic or on a case, I'm hunting you down." Lisa's voice held a mock sternness.

"But Mistress rode me hard last night…" Greg moaned in a playfully pitiful voice. "Slave needs rest… It's hard to sleep chained to Mistress's bed."

A snort escaped Lisa. "Fine, eleven … no later. And you're lucky I'm in a good mood."

"Hard not to be with my tongue in your…" Greg was cut short by Lisa's hand over his mouth.

"If you intend to kiss me with that mouth, shut up." Lisa said warningly – still mostly playful but with an undercurrent of steel.

"Yes, Mistress." Greg said as he leaned down and claimed her lips. Lisa pulling away regretfully before it could become too passionate. "If you want a quickee – I'm gonna snooze up in the obstetrics lounge."

"Good to know…" Lisa chuckled. "At least I'll know where to hunt you down at…"

Stacy couldn't believe what she'd seen, but couldn't stop the smile that crossed her face and the hope that bubbled up in her chest. "Are they always…"

"Ever since she dumped that rat, Lucas…" Chase confirmed. "Knew she loved House." He paused. "Gives you hope you know… If he can pull it off… I mean … not happiness… at least not full time but…"

"Yeah…" Stacy nodded and squeezed his shoulder. Seeing the hurt in his gaze and feeling for him, for whatever had happened to him. "Well… That pretty much answered all my questions." She pulled out a piece of paper from her purse along with a pen, and jotted down a note. She folded it three times and wrote Greg across the back. "Can you put this on his desk for me?"

"Do you care if I read it?" Chase asked – she knew it would be the acid test on whether he'd leave it or not – even if she seemed sincerely happy for House to the other man.

"No, I don't… But I promise I didn't ask him to run away with me…" Stacy said with a smile as she headed towards the skywalk.

Chase nodded and looked at the note for a moment, then decided it couldn't hurt.

House got to his office a little after eleven, having made Cuddy hunt him down. Where would the fun be if he didn't make her work a little for it after all he was still an ass - he wasn't going to change that much and he didn't think Cuddy would like it if he had. As he moved towards his desk, he saw the paper sitting there and his brow furrowed at the familiar handwriting on it's surface.

The night he'd spent in Short Hills swam to the surface of his memory, the kindness of his ex and his stomach twisted a little. Wondering what might be in the note and if it wouldn't just be best to trash it without reading it. She couldn't have changed her mind. He didn't want to have screwed up her life like that. Especially since even Stacy wouldn't pull him away from Cuddy now.

Curiousity got the better of him as he unfolded the paper.

"Good luck.

Don't screw it up.

Don't let Lisa screw it up…

Smack James for me.

I'm always here for you if you need me…

Love always,


PS Feels good not to have to pretend any more doesn't it?"