"Keep the Faith", by Bon Jovi. My apologies. To both Bon Jovi, and to mangling this all up ^^;

===



Mother mother tell your children
That their time has just begun
I have suffered for my anger
There are wars that can't be won


"Princess Yuki? I have a gift from someone you knew, once. He hoped that it would make up for the promise he broke." The girl handed her a package wrapped in brown paper and course yarn. Yuki took the package with a surprised look on her face, and examined at the package curiously. The promise he broke...? She looked up.

The woman bowed."May you have a long and prosperous life, your highness." she said, and disappeared.

"Wait-!" Yuki cried, but too late. She sighed, and looked down at the package again. I wonder what it could possibly be...? she thought as she unwrapped the paper. It was a crudely bound book. She opened it up and gasped. Page upon page was filled with sketches and drawings, with notes on how they had been drawn and what to look out for.
Piro-sensei... A small tear welled in her eye. She brushed it away and smiled. You didn't forget. You remembered our lesson...

Father father please believe me
I am laying down my guns
I am broken like an arrow
Forgive me
Forgive your wayward son


However much his disguise might be an illusion, Kit-chan's illusions were complete, and it actually felt like he had breasts. He regained his balance, and started walking. He was almost used to the extra weight. Wouldn't want to try and fight in this, though... But he was here to see Kimiko, not fight. Now where was she...? He looked around, and his eye caught Kit-chan talking animatedly to some men. He smiled slightly. Only Kit-chan would come to a banquet

"-without a stitch of clothing on!" Will exclaimed. Lights shook his head and squinted again.

"Will, I don't see any of that. All I see are the three young ladies you pointed out, one dressed like an adventurer, one in a fairly modest dress, and one with a rather alluring cut. Are you certain you haven't had too much wine?"

"I haven't started yet, Lights, but I just might... are you certain?"

"Well..." Lightsider said doubtfully. He cast Sight, and looked again. "Huh. They're sorta shimmering now, as if they aren't really there... but I don't sense any illusion going on."

"Huh... I dunno, Lights. I see what I see. It's them, though, and it looks like Piro's searching for Kimiko.'


Everybody needs somebody to love
(mother, mother)
Everybody needs somebody to hate
(please believe me)
Everybody's bitching
'cause they can't get enough
And it's hard to hold on
When there's no one to lean on

Faith: you know you're gonna live through the rain
Lord you got to keep the faith
Faith: don't let your love turn to hate
Right now we got to
Keep the faith
Keep the faith
Keep the faith
Lord we got to keep the faith


Piro had faith - faith that he had acted justly, acted to protect his lady, his love. Where did that faith get him? Exile. Exiled out with a mischief-making fox-spirit and a young girl; he couldn't even count on Largo, his old partner Largo was against him -

Memories, images, surfaced in his delirium, and he shivered, trying to hold on.

He had to hold on...

Tell me baby when I hurt you
Do you keep it all inside
Do you tell me all's forgiven
And just hide behind your pride


Kit settled down on her knees, watching over the man that was unmoving there on the floor. But this man wasn't her Piro-sama - she recognized him, knew of him. He had been with Largo, and now the Church had caught him. They were in this together.

You were the first person to see. I know this because of the way you looked at me before that horrible woman stepped up and arrested Piro. I don't know how she saw either, or how she broke my illusion, only that I forgot everything in the pain of my shattered reality. Toko- Hanatoko, says that Largo and his friends got involved in the fight, and then escaped because of you. He says you even mocked that woman. I wonder, could you do it again? For some reason, she almost felt... not quite pity. Caring? She didn't know. She was a kitsune, she didn't understand all the different shades of emotion unless Piro drew them in that sketchbook of his.

Piro wanted to go at things himself. He didn't want to rely on her, or on WoK-chan... but she was there! It was an insult to her talent, her training, her nature-

But this was the least she could do. She could watch, and wait, and hope.


Walking in the footsteps
Of society's lies
I don't like what I see no more
Sometimes I wish that I was blind
Sometimes I wait forever
To stand out in the rain
So no one sees me cryin'
Trying to wash away the pain
Mother father


Lightsider and McFinnigan didn't quite know what to do. That was plain in their faces - as unobservant as people commonly thought Largo was, unobservant he was not. Being too observant, sometimes - that was up for question.

They were discussing on how to find Piro once more.

Largo leaned back in his chair, eyes half-closed. The Church seemed to be after them all - perhaps now he could earn back the trust of his old partner. Piro could've made a great knight, if he had only been focused enough...

There were laws, but there were things that transcended law. Friendship -

Friendship and Right and Justice were certainly among them. He had cast his lot in with Piro.

Problem was, the d4rkn355 had taken him already...

There's things I've done I can't erase
Every night we fall from grace
It's hard with the world in your face
Trying to hold on, trying to hold on

Faith: you know you're gonna live through the rain
Lord you got to keep the faith
Faith: don't let your love turn to hate
Right now we got to keep the faith
Faith: now it's not too late
Try to hold on, trying to hold on
Keep the faith...


...and they were all trying to hold on.

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