Disclaimer: I own none of the characters from House M.D.

He leaned over and kissed the little girl on her head and told her he loved her. She didn't really respond to him. Instead, she just went over and sat on the third step of the staircase leading to the next level of their home. He watched as she propped her elbows up on her knees, her straight brown locks framing her face as she cupped it into her two little hands. He knew there was nothing else he could say to her. He wanted to stay, but he had a job offer at an out of state hospital. They couldn't come with him because their mother had to finish up her residency at a nearby hospital. He wanted to stay, but she had told him to go since the hospital was offering him a job as the head of his department. She planned to join him in a year after she had finished her residency. 'She'll be okay,' he thought to himself as he looked at the little girl, 'kids are resilient in situations like this.' He turned around to see the woman he had fallen in love with so many years ago. She was holding the youngest of their daughters. She gave him a forced smile and he leaned over to kiss the little girl on her cheek.

"Why can't we go with you daddy." she said softly, with tears starting to form in her eyes.

"Don't cry baby..."he pleaded with her..."I'll be back. It's just for a little while and I'll call everyday and we'll send pictures. I'll come down to visit every chance I get."

"But I don't want you to go," she replied, starting to cry.

"Aww... you're killing me blue eyes," he said running his fingers through her slightly curled hair that matched her sister's in color. "It'll all be okay, I promise."

The little girl stopped sobbing a little knowing that her father had never broken a promise to her before. He looked from the little girl to her mother. She wiped a few tears that had fallen away. He immediately embraced her and she held on for dear life, figuring if she never let go then he could never leave them.

"I love you so much," he whispered in her ear pulling her closer.

As they embraced a little while longer he looked over her shoulders at the little girl sitting on the stairs. She had her mother's eyes, bluish-grey ith a hint of green, and they pierced right through him like her mother's did when she was mad at him. But this was his five year old daughter, whose eyes would always light up at the sight of him. Her look was not one of conviction, like her mother's was. Instead she had a blank stare in her eyes, like she was looking at air only, like there was no one or nothing there. It was as if she was willing him to not exist to her anymore. He finally pulled away from her and looked into her eyes. He wiped a few more tears that had fallen and they engaged in a kiss. Unbeknown to them, a kiss that would be the last one they shared that had that much passion and love for a long time to come. He smiled at her, and afraid to stay any longer for fear of not being able to make himself leave, he turned to open the door. He stopped before he stepped out of the home. In his heart he knew nothing would ever be the same after he left, but he wanted so badly to be wrong this time. He let out a long sigh and stepped out of the door, refusing to turn around and look into the eyes of the three people he loved the most knowing he was having to leave them. He closed the door and he was gone.

She rubbed the little girl's back trying to soothe her as she wrapped her arms around her and buried her face into her neck soaking it with tears. He was gone. She wiped a few more tears away and gathered herself. She had to be strong for them. She forced as believable of a smile as she could and turned around to look at her oldest daughter. She sat there with her chin cupped in her hands looking blankly at the door.

"Wanna eat some ice cream," she said sniffing trying to hold back the tears. She wouldn't usually let them eat ice cream this close to bed time, but she didn't know what else to do to help them feel better. She didn't even know what to do to make herself feel better. The little girl just looked over at her blankly, without turning her looked back at the door showing the same lack of emotion. And without a word, she got up, turned her back and grabbed hold of the banister, disappearing into the upstairs portion of the house.