Ping was being very quiet on the way to school. Miho finally looked over at her, she couldn't believe that she missed her normal chatter.

<Something on your mind. Ping? >

<Yes. >

They walked in silence for another block; Miho could bear it no more.

<Well, do you want to tell me about it? >

Ping sniffled, <I found out that Piro-kun and Hayasaka-san were alone together when we went to the hospital. No one had told me that Nanasawa-san was going to be out of town. >

Miho's mind was racing; things were even more complex than she had thought. <What else, Ping? >

Ping stopped and looked at Miho, <They kissed. >

Miho looked Ping in the eyes, <How did you find this out? >

Ping looked down; <Piro-kun told me when we went to bed. >

<Was that all that they did, just kiss? >

Ping nodded, <I was holding his hand, and I can feel his pulse and blood pressure and other things when I do that. I'm pretty sure that he was telling me the truth. > She looked away; <He's not a good liar. >

<Well, what did you think that he and Hayasaka-san might do if you left him for her to take care of? >

Ping blinked; she suddenly looked very much like little girl. <I don't know, I told Hayasaka-san last night that it is part of my core to have to accept a flesh and blood woman if she should come into his life. > Her face became a mask of sorrow; <I just didn't know how much it would hurt when it happened. >

Miho was stunned, she wanted to give Ping a hug, to tell her that it would be all right but she couldn't seem to move. She felt rage building toward Hayasaka for hurting her friend; she fought back the bloodlust. Hayasaka was an Idol and she knew that she couldn't raise her hand against one such as her.

<What was Piro like when he told you? >

< He was very sad; he told me he was sorry. >

Miho nodded, things were becoming clearer now, <Ping, it isn't Hayasaka or Piro's fault that this occurred. Things could be much worse for you. Piro is torn by the loss of his old friend Largo and it is an Idols nature to comfort and protect. >

Ping looked at Miho and scowled, <How is it that you would know such a thing? >

Miho shrugged; <It was part of my training from when I was very small. Idols are very important to social order and my kind was created to protect society. >

Ping shook her head, <I don't really understand that, but that's okay I suppose. >

Miho looked at her watch, <We'd better hurry along or we'll be late. You need to encourage Piro to find the two of you a place of your own. Then I can come over to see you for a sleepover. >

Ping smiled for the first time since Miho had met her to walk to school, <That would really be fun! I hope Junk o is back today, it was really strange for her seat to be empty. >

Miho smiled to see that her friend was happy again, things were much more complex than either she of Ping had imagined. She really needed to talk to Piro soon though.

Ping felt the slightest twinge of guilt, she hadn't told Miho about her talk with Nanasawa-san on the balcony after Piro had fallen asleep. But then the things that Nanasawa had told her hadn't made her sad, they had triggered her protective mode.

Nanasawa-san had shown Ping some pictures that had been taken of her when she had been desperate and living on the streets. Largo had found them online and sent copies to her along with a letter, Ping had to quarantine the images of those pictures then purge them from her memory. She had then made a different sort of alliance with Nanasawa-san.

She knew that Miho had liked Largo so there was no point in upsetting her with it. When Ping found Largo again she was going to kill him. <b r />

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