Title: Hold On

Summary: There are all different kinds of love, and wherever you go, it will find you. A songfic, about finding love and friendship in the most unlikely places. A series of drabbles.

A/N: I thought of this while listening to the song Hold On, by Nicole Nordeman. Some drabbles are angsty, others aren't.

Disclaimer: So, I'm actually Tammy Pierce disguised at a sixteen year old fangirl who loves the Circle books. Any takers? Anyone? Thought not. NOT MINE! Some of these are things mentioned in the books and expanded on, others (well ok, most) I made up. The song Hold On belongs to Nicole Nordeman.

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It will find you at the bottom of a bottle…

Daja found herself sitting alone in a dark corner of a bar on the outskirts of Kuskigo. She took a deep drink of her wine and tossed the glass away. It had been one week since the execution of Ben Ladradun. Daja had taken his death hard, wondering if it was her that drove him to it, and if the only adults that took her seriously were mad ones. So she sat, drinking her fears away, not noticing when the metal in the room started to jump and shake. She tried to stand, but swayed, and decked anyone who tried to help her.

"I'm fine!" she snapped, shoving them aside. Disatantly she heard a sleigh pull up outside, but paid it no mind as she stumbled toward the door. Suddenly a huge man appeared in the doorway. "Out of my way!" she snarled.

"I don't think so, my dear. You are in no condition to be going anywhere alone."

Daja looked up at Frostpine, confused. "Frostpine, how did you find me?" she said, slurring a bit.

"I was driving up the canal when I felt your power leaking. You know alcohol interacts with your power, what were you thinking?" Then the tears came.

"It's my fault he's dead! I killed him! I could have saved him, I know it! WHY!? I liked him! He was my FRIEND! GO AWAY!"

She tried to shove past Frostpine, but he wrapped his arms around her and held her tight. She beat her fists against him, but he held fast. Eventually she sobbed into his coat. He picked her up and took her out, saying;

"Let's get you home, Daja. You'll feel better for some tea." As he gently placed her in the sleigh, a slightly more sober Daja thought how lucky she was to have someone to look after her like her father would have. To love her like he would have. Thank the gods for Frostpine.

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It will find you at the needle's end…

Briar snuck quietly into Sandry's room, shutting the door behind him. He had to do this fast, while she was at the Duke's for tea. He searched through her mage kit until he found what he was looking for; her silver sewing needles. He brought out some of his own vegetable dyes and got to work on himself, biting his lips against the sting of the needles. He was sick and tired of being followed or watched when he went into places because of his tattooed hands. So he decided to create some tattoos of his own. He had just finished a thorny vine on his right hand and a crocus on his left, when the door opened.

"Briar, what are you doing in my room? Are those my needles?"

She grabbed his hands, and looked at them. Before their eyes, the plants grew and spread and shaped themselves into new and different plants. Briar's jaw dropped. Sandry rolled her eyes.

"Oh you stupid boy! Now look what you've done! We'll have to get Rosethorn to fix you." Though her voice was scolding, her eyes were filled with amusement and affection for her only brother. He grinned sheepishly, and was led out the door. As he left, he realized that he didn't really need to hide his shame, not when he had sisters that defended him just as fast and well as his plants.

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It will find you when you beg and steal and borrow…

On he ran, stuffing the purse full of money in his belt. He leaped over the fence and ran towards the den, then remembered that under no circumstances was he to lead the Street Guard home. So he ducked around an outbuilding…straight into the arms of the guards. He was thrown into a cart where he was taken to jail. A tattoo was placed on his hand, and though a lad of seven is not supposed to cry, a tear or two might have leaked out and been quickly dashed away. Finally, he was shoved into a cell. He almost gave in to tears again when he noticed a patch of green in the corner. He went over and stroked it softly and laid down. Moss made a wonderful pillow. As he fell asleep, Roach began to think maybe it wasn't so bad. He was dry and comfy, and who knew? Maybe they would even feed him. And next time, he would not get caught.

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It will follow you into a stranger's bed…

Evvy wasn't quite sure why Nahim invited her home for dinner the night after that the eknub boy visited the stall. Usually he just dumped coppers in her lap and waved her away. That night was different. As she held her hand out for coppers, he held them back and said, "Come sup with me. My wife's out tonight, so she won't squawk about the likes of you in the house. You done good work lately. Come along." He started off down the street and hesitantly, Evvy followed. She didn't trust Nahim, not at all. Later she would wonder where she misplaced her common sense, but the thought of a good meal overpowered her. She trotted along behind him until they came to his house. They went inside, but instead of the kitchen, he directed her towards his bedroom. Now she was really wary. She had heard stories about things happening to girls with no one to protect them and was not going to be anyone's bedwarmer.

"There's a small eating table in the back," he explained. She went in and he quickly shut the door and locked it. "There we are," he said with a smirk. "A little mage, eh?" he said, stroking Evvy's cheek. She jerked away, all her internal alarms blazing. "I'm sure we can arrange a way to make sure you work for no one else." He pinned her arms to her side and bent his head towards her mouth…

CRACK! Nahim screamed and jerked up, a thorny vine wrapping around him. Evvy scrambled away, looking at the door.

"How dare you touch her! She's a child!" It was that eknub boy, from the shop. His eyes blazed with anger and he flicked the whip with force. He looked at her and jerked his head out the door. "Go on. I'll find you later." She obeyed and ran out the door. As she left she heard him say, "And as for you Master Nahim…"

She had no idea how the eknub boy found her, but she knew what he had saved her from, and she would thank him for his kindness all the days of her life.

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It will find you when they serve you with the papers…

Demakos Nomasdina's jaw was on the floor. Fired. He had been fired. After everything he had done, catch the ghost, find out Keth's gift to predict crimes, he was still fired. What was he going to do now? He couldn't go home. His family's dishonor was too much to bear. Without much thought, he wandered out the door, his discharge papers clutched in his hand. He found himself in front of Touchstone glass, and entered to find Keth pouring glass into a mold. He sat down and waited. Keth turned and started.

"Dema! I didn't see you. What's the matter?" He said, noticing Dema's glum look. Silently Dema handed Keth the papers. Keth's jaw mirrored Dema's as it was back at the arurim.

"Fired!?" Keth said incredulously. "But why?" Dema shook his head. "I don't know," he shrugged. "Perhaps it's because they think I tipped off the prathmuni, or I got too wrapped up in the case that I almost polluted the city. Either way, I'm out of a job. What am I to do now?"

Keth looked thoughtful for a moment, then went over to the fire and started to meditate. He blew a lightning globe and tossed it from hand to hand, looking at Dema.

"How would you like a job as an investigator mage-for-hire? I'm looking for a partner." Keth said with a grin. Dema slowly smiled. To be able to work for who he wanted, without the priests breathing down his neck?

"Kethlun, my good fellow, you've found your man." As they shook, Dema wondered how he ever survived without good friends.

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It will find you when the locks have changed again…

Tris stood outside her house, trying yet again to open the back door, her tears mixing with the rain that fell from overhead. They couldn't have ment it. She was sure they would change their mind about wanting her. She tried and tried, but when she banged on the door, her mother looked out the window and looked away. She was ignored. Someone ran toward her.

"Trisana?" questioned a chubby dedicate in Water blue. "Goodness, child, we've been looking everywhere for you-oh." She noticed Tris looking at the house with longing.

"Oh dear. Come along now, child. It's time to start anew." The dedicated guided Tris away from the house, and next thing she knew she was sitting in a room overlooking the water below. She opened her window and leaned out as far as she could. She was away from home, everything was rotten…but the weather was beautifully stormy, and the dedicate was kind. Maybe she could start again after all.

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It will find you when you've called in all your favors…

"Is there anyone else beside this girl who will vouch for you?" the other arurim dhaskoi asked Keth while Dema went to conference with others. The glass ball Keth had blown earlier had shown a murder when it was clear, and Keth was in trouble. "M-My c-c-cousin," he said, gulping and continuing slowly to control the stutter. "Antonou Warder."

"Is he of the First or Second Class?" the dhaskoi questioned.

"No."

The dhaskoi shook his head. "Then I'm sorry," he said, walking toward a door, "we must resort to other means."

"I don't thinks so." growled Tris, throwing up a protection around Keth. "No one will torture my student. Now order a truthsayer!"

Keth stood openmouthed. He was still afraid of her, but he thanked the gods for this girl-child who could protect him without prompting.

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It will meet you at the bridge's highest ledge…

Zhegorz was walking in the market of the village of Pofkim, just past the bridge that had recently been made whole by the land's new Cleham, Ambros fer Landreg. It had been a few months since Daja and her siblings left Namorn, and Zhegorz had learned to control his visions and hearing quite well. He could now walk free of ear beads and glasses. While he was examining some of the furs for the oncoming winter, a vision flashed across his eyes; a young woman was standing on top of the Pofkim bridge, looking ready to jump. He quickly put down the furs and ran toward the bridge. He saw the woman, tears streaming down her cheeks, poised to jump…

"Wait!" he cried, running up to grab her arm. "What are you doing?"

"The voices!" she cried, eyes wild. "The voices and the visions! It's better to be dead than plagued like madness like I am!"

"Voices? Visions? My dear, you're not mad. Come down from there and we'll sort you out." soothed Zhegorz. A vision flashed; two shopkeepers speaking. The woman yelled. "I am mad! I see things right in front of my eyes! Master Zahmid-"

"-Was talking to Master Harmack. I saw."

"Wh-what? You saw too?"

"Yes. You are a seer, young lady, not mad. Now come down, and I'll teach you." He helped the woman down from the bridge, and led her toward Landreg house, chattering about ear beads and glasses, thinking to himself, Perhaps I can pass along the knowledge and friendship my teachers gave to me.

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So baby don't look down, it's a long way…The sun will come around to a new day…

It was night. Sandry nervously stepped up to the cliff. Her friends splashed in the water below.

"Come on, Duchess!" yelled Briar. "Jump in!"

"But it's so high," she called, biting her lip.

"Don't look, just jump!" Daja advised.

"The water's great," Tris added.

"We'll catch you!" cried all three.

Sandry thought, then backed up and ran towards the edge. As she jumped she screamed in fear and exhilaration. She landed with a splash into the arms of her friends, and laughed. When their teachers came searching, they found them sound asleep next to the lake, as the sun rose.

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So hold on, love will find you, hold on, he's right behind you now, just turn around, and love will find you…

Sandry stood facing the window, back straight, hands clasped behind her back, eyes brimming with tears as she gazed upon the pillar of flame that was the Amphitheater of Heroes in Hatar. The smallpox victims, her parents among them, burned there. Suddenly her composure collapsed, and instead of a stiff young woman, a sobbing little girl was left in her place.

"Why?" she sobbed aloud. "Why, Gods? You've left me no home, no family, no one who loves me. What am I to do?"

She heard the door creak and whirled to find a tall man, wearing a dark cloak; mourning colors. The man closed the door. "Sandriline." he said, his voice husky.

"Great-Uncle Vedris," she replied, curtseying. "Good evening."

Duke Vedris swiftly crossed the room and gathered Sandry into his arms. "Oh, my poor little niece," he said softly. "I heard your prayers. Never believe no one loves you. You have endured great hardship for someone of so few years, but do not fear for I have come to take you home, where I can assure you, you are greatly loved."

"By whom?" said a voice muffled by a cloak.

"By me, dearest niece. Come." Sandry threw her arms around the Duke and hugged him tightly. As they walked away, she glanced again at the fire outside. It would take a great deal of time for her grief to subside, she decided. But there was hope…she was loved.

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It will find you when the doctor's head is shaking…

The healer examined Rosethorn thoroughly, but finally straightened, shaking her head. "Keep giving her the willow bark," the healer said. "That's all I can tell you. Either she makes it or she doesn't."

"But you're a healer!" Sandry protested. "Heal!"

"I'm all used up, my lady," explained the healer sadly. "I would help if I could." She left the room. Briar sat where he had for three days, holding Rosethorn's hand. It had been two weeks since a cure to the bluepox epidemic had been found, and still Rosethorn was not well. Sandry placed her hand over Briar's and Tris and Daja found his shoulders.

"She will not die." Briar stated firmly.

"No," Daja agreed. "She won't." Briar looked up at his sisters, giving him strength. He looked at Rosethorn, his teacher, mentor, friend. He loved her. By all the gods, she would live. So help him.

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It will find you in a boardroom, mostly dead…

Sandry was desperately trying not to fall asleep. Her uncle had asked her to attend a meeting of his council so she could see how it was held, but it was so boring. Just then, a touch in her mind caught her attention. Look outside, Duchess, said Briar's voice in her mind. She looked toward the window, and barely managed to contain her gasp. Beautiful flowers crawled along the window, blooming and flourishing in brilliant colors. A smile graced Sandry's lips, and she said to Briar, Wait for me outside. I'm coming. She simply could not spend one more minute in that council room. Not with the world so beautiful outside, which Briar's thoughtfulness had so easily reminded her of.

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It will crawl into the foxhole where you're praying…

Tris looked out from her notch in the wall. The pirates just kept coming. There was no end in sight.

"Please, Gods, make them stop coming," she whispered as she methodically destroyed the ships that attacked the cove. "Please," she said, covering her eyes for a moment and giving a shuddering sigh.

"Tris?" Tris looked up to find Sandry looking at her worriedly. "Are you alright?"

"So many dead," Tris whispered, scrubbing her eyes. Sandry hugged her tightly.

"Tris, you're doing the right thing. They must be stopped. It will end soon." Sandry went back to her own meathod of ending the carnage. Tris's heart eased a little. After all, it was easier to do anything when you knew no matter what you did, someone would always love you, as she knew Sandry would.

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It will curl up in your halfway empty bed…

Jorality Bancanor, now sixteen, rolled over in her bed with a huff. Though she would never admit it, she didn't sleep as well when her twin, Nia, wasn't where she should be, on the other half of the bed. When they were little their parents had tried to separate them at night, but that only resulted in loud screaming. Ever since, they had shared. Now, everything was different. Nia had been married today, and Jory was to follow next week. What was she going to do without her steadfast sister? Quietly her door opened, and to Jory's surprise, Niamara Bancanor tiptoed in. She squeaked when her sister sat up in bed.

"Nia, what are you doing here? Where's your husband?" Jory asked.

"Sleeping." Nia replied, sitting on the bed. "I couldn't…not without you. Old habits die hard, I suppose."

Jory smiled. "Come on then," she said patting the space beside her. Nia removed her cloak and climbed into bed.

"How are we going to do this?" she asked Jory. "I can't just come over every night."

"I think we need just one more night to adjust. We can do it. We're grown women now. We just…need some time." Jory said.

'You're right." Nia hugged Jory. "Night sis."

"Night." Drifting off to sleep, they both knew that come tomorrow they would be ready for the changes in their lives. After all, sisters last forever, and nothing changes that.

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So baby don't believe that it's over... Maybe you can't see round the corner…

Sandry walked her horse slowly along the trail towards Emelan, and home. Though the nightmare that was Namorn was behind her, she wondered what was ahead. She had changed so much, as had her family. What awaited them now? Were their adventures over?

Hey now, don't tell me you're worried about nothing again, Briar said.

Whatever happens, we'll take it as it comes, said Tris.

Come on, satti. Life's an adventure. Daja kicked her horse into a gallop. You never know what's around the bend! she called back as she galloped around a turn in the road.

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So hold on, love will find you, hold on, he's right behind you now, just turn around, love will find you…

He ran and ran and ran some more. All he could do was run. But there, a wall blocking his way. He cowered against the wall as the boys converged on him, kicking and pushing. He yelped loudly, then an angry cry tore the air. Suddenly he was free. Lots of people pushed and shoved, scaring him. Then a wall of water came towards him, but stopped. He didn't know what to do, where to run now. The water blocked his way. Suddenly a pair of small, gentle hands picked him up and cuddled him. She took him away, and suddenly the dog now christened Little Bear was happy. He had warmth, food, and most of all, love.

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To hang between two thieves in the darkness, love must believe you are worth it…

As soon as she was able to speak, Rosethorn gave Briar the verbal whipping of his life for coming after her when she died. It was too dangerous, she said, and he disobeyed her by coming after her! Briar just shrugged and smiled. Finally Rosethorn grabbed his shirt and said, exasperated, "Don't you understand! You could have died!"

Briar hugged her. "You're worth it," he said simply, and walked off, leaving a speechless Rosethorn with a tiny smile on her lips.

You're worth it…So hold on, love will find you, hold on, it's right behind you now, just turn around, love will find you…

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A/N: Hope you liked it. Reviews make my day, so please do so. Flames will be used to burn my summer reading, so don't bother. Constructive critisim and spelling/grammar corrections always welcome. Thanks!