~Kurokage Shuriken Jr. with Lydia, nearing home~
Junior looked up at Lydia and listened intently as she told him how she believed there could be other worlds out there much like their own. He looked up at the sky once more as Lydia pointed towards the stars, turning the thought over in his mind. "Other worlds like ours...maybe there are other worlds out there--with people in them just like us. Maybe they have their own Amber Falls in one of those worlds, and maybe they wonder or worry about the same things we do...." he thought to himself. He nodded in agreement as Lydia commented about how beautiful the stars were. "Yeah, they sure are..." he replied softly.
He looked down from the sky and It was then that he realized that the two had arrived at their destination. He blinked a little, having been so drawn in by their conversation that he hadn't noticed that they we're already close to his home. Had he not looked at his surroundings as he did right then, the two most certainly would have walked on past an onto the other side of the village. He paused before the porch steps of his house and glanced up at Lydia meekly. "Well, um, I guess we're here already. Thank you for walking me home, Lydia," he said appreciatively as he walked up the steps and stood in front of the door.
It was right about then that the door swung open before him, and a man who looked much like Junior appeared at the entrance. He was a rather tall man, and, like Junior, his skin was very pale, rather grey-ish in color, with spiky dark grey hair that was a tad on the long side, the back of his hair swooping downwards towards his shoulder blades. Unlike Junior, however, he had pale grey eyes, in contrast to Junior's baby blues. He wore a black long sleeve shirt, dark grey pants that were rolled up a bit at the bottom, black fingerless gloves, grey shoes, and a long grayish-white scarf wrapped loosely around his neck and tied from behind.
He suddenly knelt before Junior and pulled the young boy into a tight embrace, eliciting a startled yelp from the boy. "Oh thank Emball, you've returned!" he exclaimed in relief.
Junior blinked and looked up at his father, his namesake. "D-Dad, were you just standing there waiting for me this entire time?" he asked him incredulously.
"No, I was just about to go searching for you, actually. It was getting late and I thought perhaps to check up on--WHY ARE YOUR EYES RED?!" he questioned suddenly as he took a closer look at Junior's face, just then noticing how puffy and red his eyes looked, signs of recent tears being shed. He placed his hands on Junior's shoulders and looked him directly in the eyes. "What happened, who made you cry? Someone was picking on you, weren't they?! Tell me who did it, tell me what happened!" he interrogated him.
"What's all the ruckus about?" a soft voice called out from inside the house. Soon a woman appeared behind Kurokage and Junior, wiping flour from her hands on her apron. She was of average height, if not perhaps leaning a bit on the short side. She had fair skin and medium length hair that reached her mid back and that was, curiously, tri-colored, the ends of her hair black which faded into grey and then pure white at the top of her head. Her eyes were baby blue, the same color as Junior's. Along with the white apron tied around her waist, she wore a light violet sweater, a white dress skirt that extended a few inches past her knees, and a pair of grey moccasins.
"Junior was crying when he was over at the party, Whispers. See, I told you it was a bad idea to let him go there alone! I should have gone with him, I could have prevented it, set it straight in their minds that they shouldn't mess around with my son!" Kurokage told her. "In fact, I should probably head over there right now and find the brat who upset him, give them a piece of my mind!"
"D-Dad, that's not necessary, really!" Junior piped up nervously. "It wasn't like that at all, no one was picking on me. I-I was just crying earlier 'cause I got nervous, a-about the cake," he lied, not wanting Zephrin to get in trouble over a statement that wasn't technically directed at him in the first place, even if it did strike a little too close to home and hurt him personally. "I-In fact, I had a good time, and I even made a new friend, and she gave me these gifts, see?" he said, holding up the leather journal and hourglass up for his mother and father to see.
"My, those are some lovely gifts you got, Junior. Well, you see there, Kuro? I told you there was nothing to worry about," Whispers said in response.
Kurokage frowned a bit and stood up in silence, not completely convinced.
Whispers then looked behind Junior, noticing the bespectacled blue haired girl standing there. "Oh, is that your friend, Junior?" she asked him.
Kurokage blinked and looked over in Lydia's direction, now noticing the girl himself. Truth be told, he had been so distracted about worrying over Junior that he had not even noticed her presence, despite being only a few feet away.
Junior nodded his head. "Uh-huh! Her name's Lydia, and she's the one who gave me these gifts, and she walked me home," he replied.
"Oh, is that so? Well, in that case, it's nice to meet you, Lydia," Whispers said with smile and a wave. "We appreciate you walking our son home."
"Yes, thank you for taking him home," Kurokage murmured in response.