A/N: I know I probably shouldn't be starting another multi-chapter fic, especially since I haven't updated Please Don't Leave Me, but I can't resist and my muse has been bugging me to write this one since yesterday. It was a subconscious ploy yesterday, now it was a 'write-me-or-I'll-hurt-you'. Don't ask me how my muse can hurt me, just know that she uses low blows!!!!

A/N 2: Rachel is 15 in this story and it's extremely sad. Very sad. Like 'crying-and-can't-stop-unless-you-can-bring-him-back-to-me' sadness. And there's a character death…as if you couldn't have guessed that from my A/N's…

Dance With My Father

It seemed so surreal, like a nightmare that was plaguing her. She couldn't comprehend it. Death she understood, but his death seemed unfathomable. He wasn't supposed to die. Not like this. Not so soon.

They were happy. They were a family. How could life be so cruel as to bring happiness in one moment, only to have it ripped away in the next?

Her father was gone and she couldn't bring him back. How could she live without him around? Without hearing him make smart-ass comments to her when she woke up? Without seeing him hold her mother tightly and kissing her when he thought no one was looking? Without hugging him tightly before going to bed each night? How could she continue in this existence knowing she would never have her father there with her again?

Rachel looked out her bedroom window, up into the stars lighting the night sky. They illuminated her face, revealing the tears that had fallen from her eyes. "Daddy," she choked out. "You suck!" Rachel fiercely wiped the tears away. "You promised you wouldn't leave me and mom! You promised! And now…you're gone! And we can't…I can't…"

She stopped and closed her bright blue eyes tightly, trying to fight back the wave of emotions she was feeling. "Daddy, we can't function without you. Mom is a wreck."

There were noises coming from down the hall and Rachel silently crept out of bed, knowing what she would find once she came to the door at the end. It would be the same scene she had seen ever since he died. Her mother would be curled up in her bed, wearing one of his shirts, crying.

She sat outside her mother's door, listening to the heart-wrenching sobs that were coming from inside. Rachel closed her eyes and leaned her head against the wall. "She still needs you," she whispered out.

Slowly she got up and walked inside Cuddy's room. She made her way to the bed and hugged her mother tightly. Rachel didn't say anything. There were no words for this. Saying it would be okay was a lie and a cruel lie at that. It wouldn't be okay. Not until her mother's heart was unbroken again.

"I know," she finally settled on. "I know you hurt, Mommy." Rachel ran her fingers through her mother's dark hair.

She wanted to take away her mother's pain; to make everything right again. But nothing could. Not unless her father could come back.

"Shh, Dad wouldn't want you to cry." She took a breath. "He'd say you're too beautiful to cry over him." Her mother laughed. "And then he'd probably slap your ass and say something sexual…"

Her mother moved away from her daughter and smoothed her hair away from her face. "Thank you, Rach."

"Yeah."

Silence engulfed them for a few precious moments. "I'm sorry if I woke you up."

"You didn't. I know how much you miss Daddy. And he told me to look out for you. I'm just doing my job." Cuddy smiled at her.

"He was such a softie."

"Only around us." Rachel looked down. "He really loved you. Forever."

"I know," her mother whispered.

"When I was little and ran off from the hospital daycare, I'd always go to him and he would tell me a story about you guys. How you met, how you saved his life, how he knew he loved you from the moment he saw you…He wanted to spend forever with you and make up for all the hurt he caused you." Rachel took a breath. "I always thought he was telling me fairy tales because he used weird names and was so open with it, but one day I finally caught on that it was about you two. Why are love stories so tragic?"

"I don't know, sweetie. Maybe we're just not supposed to get our 'happily-ever-after's."

She pondered over the thought, wishing there could be a happy ending for her mother. "I love you, Mommy."

"I love you too, Rachel."

She watched as her mother closed her eyes and sighed deeply, knowing she was thinking of her dad. Rachel thought of what would be happening if her dad was still alive. He'd be in the den, playing the piano softly because he couldn't sleep. Or watching her mother sleep.

--

"Daddy," she whispered as she walked into her parent's room. House watched as the little girl walked to the bed and sat next to him. Sunlight streamed through the room, illuminating the sleeping figure. "What are you doing?" a five year old Rachel whispered.

"Watching your mom sleep," he replied while pulling her onto his lap.

The little girl stared at her sleeping mother. "Why?"

House smiled. "Because you're mom looks so beautiful when she sleeps."

"Like a princess?"

"Better than a princess."

Rachel thought for a moment. What was prettier than a princess? "An angel," she settled on.

House laughed quietly. "Yeah, like an angel."

"Is mommy your angel? Like Tilley is to Nester?"

"She's something like that. But yes, you're mother is my angel."

Rachel leaned up and kissed his cheek. "I like that mommy's your angel. That means she'll always make you better." House smiled at her.

"She'll always make me better."

--

Rachel lie awake, still stroking her mother's hair long after she fell into an exhausted sleep. She tried to blink back the tears she felt accumulating behind her blue eyes. She wasn't really religious, but after he died, she started to wonder. "I know I'm praying for much too much, but could you send back the only man she loved? I know you don't do that usually, but, dear Lord, she's dying, to dance with my father again," Rachel whispered out as the tears started to fall. She hugged her mother closer to her, wishing desperately to take the pain away from both of them. "Every night I fall asleep, and this is all I ever dream."

I know I'm praying for much too much,

But could you send back the only man she loved?

I know you don't do that usually,

But dear Lord, she's dying,

To dance with my father again.

Every night I fall asleep

And this is all I ever dream.

~ Dance With My Father by Tamyra Gray.

Well, I feel sad now. Damn you, muse! Now I need to watch a happy House episode!!!! Oddly enough, all I can think of is watching the House episode where Cuddy mimics Stacy and says, "Oh, I love Greg!" *falls over laughing* Haha, jealousy!!!! And that's why he told her to leave!!! Oh right, you'll get the whole theory in the next two chapters of Please Don't Leave Me, which will be up by tomorrow!