(continued story) Ichiro Jikoku stood peering down at Riko, shaking his head. "Shoda, you said there was someone here who could take care of Juko, but I don't see anybody." Oto remarked, glancing around the courtyard. "They're right over there." Shoda replied simply, sinking down onto the stone floor. "I gotta sit, I'm tired." Soon, Ichiro noticed the couple and nudged Riko. The 16 year-olds strolled up. "You're here? By yourself? I thought you liked to come with the entire flock." Ichiro stated, looking down at him. "Not, this time. They couldn't come." Shoda replied. "Gah gah!" Juko babbled in Oto's arms. Ichiro and Riko gazed at Oto. "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't even realize you were new." Ichiro apologized. "It-It’s alright." Oto waved off. "I'm Oto Kurio, Shoda's girlfriend." "Girlfriend? You had a girlfriend? You didn't mention her before." Riko asked of Shoda, puzzled. "I met her when I was 13, we got separated and then didn't meet again until recently." he shrugged back. "Well, I'm Riko Jikoku, Shoda's brother Sakito's friend." Riko introduced, offering his hand. Oto shook it, smiling. Ichiro had his crystal blue eyes resting on baby Juko. "The silent one is Ichiro." Riko mentioned then his brown eyes flew over Juko. They widened in shock, and glanced from Shoda to Oto. "U--Um...that baby--is it..yours?" he managed to stammer. Shoda's face flattened. "No. That's a disgrace in my clan! She FOUND Juko in a destroyed home, his family was dead. She's adopted him." "Oh, okay." Riko seemed awed by the fact of Oto, being only 16, raising a baby. "Hey, you can one of you guys watch Jiko for a little while? Oto needs a break." Riko became wary and uncertain. "I guess we could, but I never really took care of a baby before." "I'll do it." Ichiro vowed. "I was around alot of babies when I was young, and my Mom taught me what they needed." Oto appeared hesitant and nervous as she handed Ichiro Juko. "Here's his diaper bag, if he keeps crying and you can't figure out why, tell me okay? And he hasn't eaten in awhile..."
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