Title: Little Girls

Summary: Jack is torn apart when Maria files for full custody of their daughters. How do the girls react though? (AU)

Disclaimer: I do not own Jack, Hannah, Kate, or Maria Malone, nor do I own Danny Taylor, Martin Fitzgerald, Vivian Johnson, or Samantha Spade. I do, however, own Nicole Malone, and I'm probably going to end up just making up the name of the girls' schools, and of Jack and Maria's lawyers.

A/N: I'm making a lot of this up. Please forgive me.

A/N: Thanks Hotchner and Pealee for your awesome reviews! I know that a lot of us hate Maria, but this chapter isn't going to be full of Maria-bashing.

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"Nicole, wake up sweetie."

I turn my head, adjusting my body from the position it had occupied on the chair. About an hour after Hannah and Kate fell asleep, I had also fallen asleep in the chair behind dad's desk. Dad had told me once that your dreams sometimes help you figure out problems that you are having in real life. I tested that theory, but soon found my answer, feeling mom shake me awake. I still had no idea of what was going to happen with our family living situation.

"What time is it?"

"About a quarter till five."

"Is the deposition over?"

I ask, looking around. The girls are still asleep, and I see dad standing in another room talking to his lawyer.

"That's what I need to talk to you about. Can you come with me for a minute?"

"Sure."

Something has mom questioning herself, and it's driving me crazy trying to figure out what. I stand up and follow mom down the hallway into the conference room.

"What's going on mom?"

"Look, I know I kind of messed things up for you girls."

"Mom,"

"Just let me finish, okay Nicole? For awhile, I thought moving us all to Chicago was a good idea and it would make everything okay again. I thought that we all needed to be away from your father, that he was the one that was causing all of the problems, but I was wrong. Moving to Chicago just made everything worse."

As I see mom on the brink of an emotional breakdown, I feel the need to step in and be, not only her daughter, but be her rock, too.

"Mom, you tried. I'll agree that moving away from dad was a fairly bad idea, but you did what you thought was best."

"I don't want to make any more decisions without consulting you girls first. Do you all want to stay in New York?"

"Yeah, of course we do, but what are you going to do?"

"Don't worry about me. I'm an adult, I can take care of myself. I just want you to understand that I love you very much, and when Hannah and Kate get older, I want you to let them know all of this."

I look at mom like she's crazy. I know exactly what she's planning on doing, and for some reason, I feel no remorse as to leaving mom behind.

"Can you send your dad and his lawyer in here, please?"

I nod my head, standing up from the table, and walking into the hallway. I motion to dad and his lawyer that mom is waiting, then go back into the office, and sit with Hannah and Kate.

"Alright does anyone have anything to say off the record before we begin again?"

"I do. Look, Jack, while I do think that I would be spending more time with Nicole, and Hannah, and Kate, it doesn't feel right. It doesn't feel right to take you away from those girls, not when you've never left them before."

"Maria, what are you saying?"

Dad is sitting in a state of shock, while the lawyers are looking back and forth at each other, not quite believing what mom is doing.

"I want you to take care of the girls. I'm a partner in a huge law firm now. You know I've been wanting that opportunity my entire life. I just won't have time to give the girls the attention they deserve."

"Let's get this straight. You took the three girls to Chicago, become a partner in a huge law firm, and decide that you no longer have time to care for the girls?"

"Yes."

"Well, I have to say that this is definitely a first for me. Luckily, I made papers in case either of you decided to make this decision."

Dad's lawyer reaches down and pulls out a stack of papers, and slides them towards mom.

"I'll need you to sign all of these. Jack, you'll need to sign them too, but if it's too late, I can get them to you in the morning."

"Yeah, I'll sign them in the morning. Right now, all I can think about is spending some serious time with my daughters, excuse me."

Dad stands up and practically runs out of the office. He walks into his office loudly, successfully waking Hannah, Kate, and myself up.

"Daddy?"

"Dad, what's going on?"

"You girls are coming back to New York, and you're going to be living with me."

Hannah and Kate seemed to be just as excited as dad was. Dad wrapped all three of us in a big hug, holding us all close to him, never wanting to lose us again. From this moment on, I don't care how childish dad treats us, because we are his little girls, and he will never let us go again.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------A/N: This is the end of the story. This is not really a good chapter at all, but I wanted to wrap it up, in my effort to move on to a Nicole Malone/Michael Fitzgerald storyline. So, review, and I'll try to write more ASAP.