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Everything Changes

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Introduction

The soft tap of House's cane against the marble tile echoed through the empty hall leading to his office. The team was off working on their latest case - a forty year old gym teacher with pharyngitis and hemorrhagic cystitis who, much to his surprise given her butch aesthetic and stereotypical occupation, was not in fact a lesbian. He had stuck Thirteen on her the other day to perform a biopsy, and the patient had barely batted an eyelash. Doesn't matter how sick you are - no one with even a slight attraction to women could help but have an elevated heart rate in the presence of that siren. And yet, nothing. He allowed his own mind to wander as he considered the many assets of younger doctor that always sent his blood rocketing below the belt... God he hoped this was an early night.

His fantasizing was interrupted by the ding of the elevator followed by a soft pounding sound of someone running. House breathed a relieved sigh that they were not the determined clicks of Cuddy's heels but yet another more pleasant, albeit unexpected, sound. Before he could turn around, he received his confirmation: "Daddy!"

Swinging around wth an exaggerated look of shock, he bent down and opened his arms to catch the toddling three year old. "Jitterbug! What are you doing here?" He up over the girl's light brown, wavy pigtails at her mother, who had an amused smirk on her face.

"Well, the daycare had called saying that she was sick, but judging by her energy level now, I'd say that someone just ate too many cookies," Thirteen - well, Remy - relayed. While House had long stopped calling his wife by her numerical nickname, he couldn't quite bring himself to abandon it entirely, at least at work. Not that she minded. It was a term of endearment only fitting coming from him.

"My tummy hurted and I threwed up," the girl said, looking up at House.

"Yuck!" House said with pretend disgust, tapping her bottom softly to give him space to stand up with the help of Remy and his cane. "Well Miss Ava Hadley-House, you have come to the right place. How about we get you the full work up?"

Ava grinned and nodded her head enthusiastically, bright blue eyes gleaming. House knew that his wife's assessment was correct, but he also knew how much the three year old enjoyed playing doctor. No surprise there given her parents. Heading into the diagnostics room, he tapped the top of the glass table. "Hop on up, Buttercup." The little girl scurried into position with the help of a chair. "Dr. Hadley, stethoscope please." Ava giggled and Remy rolled her eyes before passing it over. Fixing the device in his ears, he pressed the chestpiece against her jumper top. "Normal pulse." He limped over to the file cabinet, grabbing a stray otoscope which he then used to look in her ears. "Enough wax to start a lucrative candle business but all normal. Follow my finger with your eyes." Ava did as instructed, an adorable look of determination on her face. "Well, kid, you passed. Looks like you're going to make it."

"Ava!" an Australian accent called out. The family turned to find the rest of the team had finally returned from their various tasks - Chase, Foreman, and Taub.

"Dowctor Chase," Ava said excitedly as the blonde scooped her off the table.

"What are you doing here?" Chase asked, "Don't you have school today?"

"I sick"

"Sick?"

"She had a bad case of toomanycookies-itis" Remy explained with a smirk.

"Ah, I hear that has great prevalence among toddlers," Chase said with a look of mock seriousness.

"How is the patient?" House asked, turning things over to business.

"O2 stats dropped. Biopsy was negative for bacterial infection. Increased swelling in her throat required incubation," Taub relayed.

"Then it's probably viral. Adenovirus," Thirteen said, grabbing the test results from Foreman.

"Doesn't explain the urinary tract issues," Foreman contested.

"It can in rare cases, especially if her immune system is already compromised?"

"By what?"

"Thirteen and Taub, run a blood panel. Test for viral and for blood cell levels. Chase and Foreman, run a CT scan. See if there is other damage from an autoimmune disorder that we're missing. Ava, come with me. We're going to go find Uncle Wilson."