Francesca stood on the dock lost in thought. This all seemed so surreal. “Spill the blood of the lamb, save the whole mystic race.” she heard days ago. Usually, the assassin would snuff away all rumors. But this one grew more and more intriguing. Then, the mission came. She was assigned to do the unthinkable. Francesca’s latest mission? Kill Sakura Tenshi. Normally, Fran would jump at the chance to take a mission to prove herself again. But something was holding her back this time…

Francesca paused and became annoyed. “What the hell do you want Kuroito?” she asked aloud. With that, the dark lechous demon surfaced from the air. “Aw, come on baby,” he replied sounding hurt. He then walked over to her with his hand held out to innocently touch her shoulder. “Place a finger on me and you’ll draw back a stump!” Fran snapped. The lechous demon paused and dropped his hand. He smiled nervously. “Come on now, sweetie.” the leech went on. “I’m not out to seduce you now.” Francesca didn’t answer. Kuroito stood beside her anyway.

Both stood silent. There was strong unease in the air. Something was clearly wrong. Neither demon wanted to speak. But it had to get out. “So,” Kuroito started. “You got the mission.” Fran turned to him but said nothing. Kur shuffled a bit. “So, are you going to take it?” he asked. “Dunno,” Fran said. Both went silent again.

Now, Kuroito spoke again. “I’ve had dreams.” he said. The wolf turned to him again. The dog hesitated for a moment. Then said, “My old clan wants me to kill Bambi.” Fran kept silent. Kur had no choice but to keep on. “They said it would save us all.” This time, Fran spoke. “Are you going to do it?” she asked. Kuroito shook his head uneasily. “Don’t know.” he replied. Both went silent again.

A few minutes later, they heard footsteps. Francesca and Kuroito turned behind them. Foxtrot stood near the Bebop. She seemed to have heard the whole conversation. They kept staring at her and she the same to them. “What say you?” the other two demons seemed to ask. Foxy shuffled a bit. “I was warned of some judgment day coming.” said she at last. Fran and Kur stared at her in interest. Foxy then explained the conversation she had with Sage days before.

“Wow.” Kuroito said when Foxtrot had finished. The fox joined her fellow demons. All stood silent. Fran cleared her throat. The other two looked up. “So,” the assassin spoke up. “What do we do?” All three just stood in silence. Then, they heard a shuffle behind them. Francesca, Kuroito, and Foxtrot all turned behind them. Cherry was standing near the entry of the Bebop. She looked as if she was ready to cry. All three demons felt pity for her. IT was clear to them that they had to explain the truth.

Meanwhile in the Iitaka Manor, Kawa was out cold on his bed. Katsuko sat back his side in worry. She found him out cold and near death on the floor. She quickly helped him onto the bed and put cold cloths on his forehead. The child only hoped she wasn’t too late.

At long last, Kawa came about. Katsuko lit up in joy. “Oh good,” she breathed out. “You’re still alive.” Kawa sat up and looked around. “What… happened to me?” he asked in confusion. Katsuko sat still and pale. “I heard a thud from upstairs,” she explained. “Worried, I rushed upstairs and found you passed out on the floor. Once I got you onto your bed, I checked how bad your damage was.” She found herself trembling but forced herself to go on. “A third of your soul was completely destroyed!” Katsuko blurted out. Kawa felt cold at that statement. “That means, part of my personally is… gone…” he forced himself to say. Tears formed in his ward’s eyes as she nodded. “I’ll never be able to replace it!” she exclaimed.

Kawa held Katsuko close to his recovering body. “I am so sorry for being reckless.” he said in a low voice. “I was trying to hack into Hell’s database for you to get information on Sakura and well, it almost killed me. I am so sorry.” His ward looked up at him with tearful eyes. “No,” she argued. “It’s my fault.” Kawa stared at her in confusion. “What do you mean?” he asked. Katsuko dried her eyes and drew in a deep breath. This was going to be painful. But the truth had to come out!

“When my parents were divorcing five years ago,” Katsuko began bravely. “My older brother, Hideki, took me in legally to keep me out of their battles. He was like a father to me. I was devastated when he died three years ago. I was so heartbroken that I made you out of his image. After almost losing you tonight, I realized something.” The young girl moved closer. “Hideki is dead! I’ve already lost him! I… I… I don’t want to lose you too!” Katsuko cried out. “Just be you!!!” She broke down into heavy tears again.

Kawa just held his ward again. He smiled softly. “Don’t worry Katsu-chan,” the recovering ghost-chan murmured. “I promise to be myself from now on. And I’ll be more careful with myself from now on as well.” Katsuko just cried against his chest even more in mixed sorrow and happiness. This was the start of a new life.

I’ll Stand by You