Disclaimer – I do not own Ayatsuri Sakon. How did Sakon get the idea that Ukon could talk before he met Oi-chan and Nanashi and why did he run in to tell his father that he made Ukon talk in the Anime?
Sakon sat in the room where his father and grandfather were practicing with the puppets. His face was filled with happiness as he watched the fluid motions of the red haired puppet as they moved with the flow of the music and told the story. He could feel the emotion coming from the movement of the puppet, as if the puppet itself was alive.
Saemon and Nagare remained emotionless as they preformed. Typically, the moving of a puppet for this was a three man job, but for some reason his father was able to do it with only himself and the red haired puppet. It was as if they were matched together in a way that made good sense, at least it did to the young child.
Also watching the performance was Sakon's uncle Niemon. He was glaring at Sakon's father, unbeknownst to Sakon. He was also glaring at the puppet. To him, the puppet was something that should never have come into the house. Why his brother Saemon had decided to add the puppet to the collection was beyond him. But he had a feeling why Nagare was attracted to the puppet and wasn't happy about it.
Niemon had tried to confront the young man about it, but he wouldn't speak up. It had finally led to a confrontation a couple of months ago where there had been an accident. That was what Saemon had called it, but Niemon felt it was an attack, because his face had been scared. But it could also be argued that Niemon had attacked Nagare in anger. This was why Saemon had it held as an accident.
Niemon suddenly felt a tug on the leg of his pant that he wore for performance and glanced down. The little boy that was his grand nephew was smiling up at him. There was no way that he could have known the animosity that Niemon had against Nagare. Sakon was filled with happiness and joy; Niemon had never seen the child cry, even when he was an infant.
"I want to learn to do that too!" Sakon stated in his child like way. The boy was at the point that imitating everything he saw others do was a big deal, or so Niemon had thought. He had soon learned that the boy had interest in puppetry and little else. While his older son had been playing with balls outside at Sakon's age, the little green haired boy was always watching the performances or running behind someone to see if he could help carry something.
Niemon had always found he could only smile at Sakon, who harnessed no harm towards anyone. Nagare on the other hand was someone that Niemon wondered about. He was quite sure that he had entered the household intent on doing harm. It could be said that intent was boiling down, but Niemon had the feeling it was in no way gone.
"I also want to learn to do that other thing that papa does." Sakon chirped, not realizing that he had startled his uncle. Sakon began to speak funny, in an odd way that Niemon wasn't happy with. "I want to be able to talk back and forth with my friends like papa does."
Niemon frowned, as the four year old didn't have any friends. The boy had only one, a small girl the same age who lived down the road and liked to watch the puppets move. "What friends, Sakon?"
"The puppets of course," Sakon looked at his uncle funny. He couldn't figure out why his uncle didn't know about his friends. Weren't the puppets friends with everyone in the house? Didn't everyone want to talk with the puppets like his father did?
Niemon frowned because what Sakon was talking about was the exact thing that he had hated about that cursed family. Nagare was being a bad influence on the boy obviously. Fact was there was something odd about the way that Sakon talked about the puppet. The boy seemed to think that the puppets were living creatures. Niemon glared again at Nagare.
Sakon followed his father after the recital and followed him to the room that he shared with Sakon's mother. His father sat down at the table with Ukon and watched as Sakon sat down across from him. A smile was on the boys face, but he couldn't read the sadness in his father's eyes. He jus looked at Ukon. "Papa, please make Ukon speak. I want to hear him. He's my friend."
"He is, is he Sakon?" Nagare said, smile at his small child.
"Of course he is," Ukon piped up, with his cocky attitude. "We've been friends for a long time. Sakon is a special boy, no Nagare?"
Sakon beamed and closed his eyes in pleasure. "Ukon is nice."
"Mmm, yes, I guess he is," Nagare said, glaring at the red headed puppet as he did so.
"I want to make Ukon talk too!" Sakon stated suddenly, startling Nagare. Nagare winced, but kept the fact that he was upset from his little one.
"I don't see why he can't have a try." Ukon spoke up. He thumbed his nose and made that weird grin of his. Nagare looked away, pretending to be aloof to what was going on.
"I don't see why not. Ukon is willing to give it a try. You've hauled him around before, so I know you will be careful with him." Nagare stated, handing the puppet to Sakon.
The little boy took the puppet carefully. "I will be careful. You should always treat your friends nice."
Sakon smiled at his father, who nodded his head. "Yes, that is a good thing to live by."
Nagare watched as Sakon hurried off to try to get Ukon to speak to someone.
Niemon watched as Sakon suddenly went by him with the red haired puppet. Nagare was letting the boy play with Ukon again. Niemon had to admit that, while he would never have allowed his son that much freedom with the puppets, Sakon was a different child all together and could be trusted. He decided to follow Sakon to see what the boy was up too. It tended to bring him great joy to see the little one playing, if one could call it that.
He followed the boy outside and down the street a small ways where he saw a small girl crying. It looked like the Mitsukai girl had fallen again. Aenka would hopefully grow out of that, but at this time it meant that she would have many scraped knees. Of course, Sakon was much worse and was known for scraping both knees in one day, twice in fact. And with the rate things were going, Sakon seemed to be more likely to grow into it then out of it.
Niemon shook his head, sighing as he did so, because just at that point Sakon tripped and fell. While Sakon cold be trusted with the puppets, not to play to hard with them, the harshness on his body wasn't that good for the puppet either. But Sakon really liked the red head puppet. Considering that one puppet was the one that Niemon didn't care if anything happened to it. Expesully considering where it came from.
Sakon was helped up by Aenka. He then dusted himself off and carefully checked the puppet for damage with the help of the other child. Aenka leaned in close, looking carefully at the puppet. "Is Ukon is alright?"
"Ukon is alright…" Niemon's jaw dropped as the puppet suddenly came to life, grinning rambunctiously. The same thing that bothered him about Nagare was bothering him now.
"Not Sakon… he doesn't understand." Niemon shook his head, not happy about the fact that the puppet was also coming alive in the child's hands. He turned back towards the house. "I'll have to speak to Saemon about this."
Aenka wasn't shocked like Niemon though, she was instead ecstatic about the fact that Ukon was moving and that Nagare wasn't there. "Sakon is making Ukon speak…"
"Nah, I am speaking myself!" Ukon stated, putting a thumb to his chest. A smile was on Sakon's face and he was able to move with the puppet.
Niemon walked past where Nagare was sitting, still in the room. He glanced in and saw that the young man was depressed. Niemon didn't care if he was depressed; he had something to say about what Nagare was teaching Sakon. He stepped into the room and Nagare looked up. "Is there something that you want?"
"You are doing exactly what your father did before you…" Niemon snapped. Nagare looked at him blankly. "You know what I am talking about. You are of that family… the family that made a mess of the whole art that our… my family holds sacred."
"We have spoken about this before. I neither deny nor affirm your accusations." Nagare just looked at the man, annoying Niemon even more.
"This time it has nothing to do with you, but everything to do with your son," Niemon snapped.
"If you have a problem with my son and his bloodlines," Nagare became angry, a fire flaring into his eyes that hadn't been there.
"Let me rephrase that, this has nothing to do with you, but everything to do with my grand-nephew," Niemon gave him a decisive look.
"Are you trying to disassociate my son from me as you disassociate me from the family?" Nagare was beginning to calm down.
"What I have issue with is that you are teaching Sakon those despicable things…" Niemon glared at the younger man.
"I have a feeling you are referring to Ukon… and his past…" Nagare stated calmly, closing his eyes.
"You have been making that cursed puppet speak Nagare." Niemon growled. "And Sakon made it speak a few minutes ago."
"Sakon made Ukon…" Nagare glanced away. "He shouldn't have… I didn't think…"
"That is just it Nagare, you don't think. If you had, you would never have come into this household to try to get your revenge." Nagare shook his head. "No… Sakon, the little one, he is a blessing to my brother and Chizuru. Saemon loves that child very much. That you would manipulate him the way you did… and are manipulating the child now… it would be best if you did not continue to show Sakon that Ukon can speak. But I don't know if that is the best solution… the influence is already there."
Niemon then turned from Nagare and left, not being polite enough to bid farewell. Nagare glanced down at the table. He thought for a few seconds and brought out some paper and began to write.
Sakon finally left Aenka because her mother had called her in for dinner. Ukon went silent in Sakon's hands as his excitement grew. He wanted to surprise his father that he could make Ukon speak. He walked up the path, not tripping once. He walked through the wooden gate and up to where he had last seen his father. He walked in, a smile on his face. "I made Ukon's talk."
Sakon suddenly frowned, his father wasn't responding to him like he was. Instead he was sleeping on the table, a piece of paper near him. Pills were spilled across the table. Sakon walked over to the table and set Ukon down. "Papa… wake up now."
Sakon shook Nagare with his small hand, but his father wouldn't wake up. Sakon wondered if his father had a fever and touched his forehead. It was cold to the touch. "Ukon, I am going to go get help. Papa isn't feeling well."
Sakon hurried off to find someone. The first person he found was Kaoruko, who was reading one of her detective books. She enjoyed reading them and was advanced for her age for reading. "Kaoruko, Papa isn't feeling well. Please make him feel better."
Kaoruko glanced up, not taking at first what Sakon was saying. "Sakon, if he isn't feeling good, take him something for his fever."
"But he's already had pills. They're spilled on the table." Sakon said, causing Kaoruko's head to snap up.
"Sakon, please tell me you didn't tell me what you just did…" Kaoruko became somewhat pale.
"I said what I said. The pills are all over the table." Sakon said, looking like he was about to cry. "Kaoruko, please help! Ukon's keeping him company."
Kaoruko bit her lip and took Sakon's hand. She hurried after the child as he led her to where Nagare was. Sakon pointed his little finger at the lifeless body, and Kaoruko turned very pale. She let go of his hand and went over to her brother-in-law and felt for a pulse. She shook her head sadly. "Sakon, run and get grandfather. Run as fast as you can. Tell him to come here now."
Sakon took off running, tripping as he went. He was becoming more and more upset. Ukon lay forgotten on the table. He found Saemon and his uncle and ran up, tripping on the wooden floor as he did. "Papa isn't feeling good. Come help. Kaoruko says so."
Tears were running down Sakon's face, both because he was worried about his father and his leg hurt where it had made contact. Saemon scooped the little one into his arms while Niemon watched. "Where is your father, little one?"
"Papa and Mama's room," Sakon sobbed, burying his head into the traditional clothing that the Tachibana's used for puppeteering. Saemon and Niemon walked over at a hurried pace. When they arrived here, they found Kaoruko by Nagare's side, looking dejectedly at the ground. Saemon handed Sakon over to Niemon, who held the little one close. He was pale and shook his head. As much as he hated Nagare, he wouldn't have wished his death, if only for the sake of his niece and grandnephew.
Saemon went over to Kaoruko. She looked up at him with tears in her eyes. She whispered to him so that Sakon couldn't hear. "He's dead. Sakon found him."
"Go and call the police child." Saemon stated. Kaoruko hurried off, trying not to cry. Saemon then turned to his brother. "Take Sakon away, he shouldn't have been the one to find his father like this."
Niemon shook his head and walked away. Sakon was sobbing hard, not knowing what was going on. He could hear the child mumbling something about Nagare not waking up and that somebody needed to fix it.
Niemon left Sakon with his son, who wasn't happy about being left to watch the child. Expesully since Sakon kept asking for him to make Nagare wake up. Finally, he spoke up, not being kind as he did so. "He isn't going to ever wake up again Sakon."
"How can somebody never wake up again?" Sakon stared away from the man.
"Because they are dead." The man didn't want to talk to Sakon about this.
"What does that mean?" Sakon was confused and wanted to know.
"It means they can never come back, that they will never be seen again."
"Papa isn't going to come home from the hospital?"
"No, Nagare didn't even go to the hospital, at least a hospital room. He went to the morgue. He was dead when you found him."
"How? He was asleep when I found him."
"That's what death looks like, most of the time. It looks like one is asleep."
"How do you know," Sakon asked.
Niemon's son raised an eyebrow. He then shook his head. "You've never met your grandmother, have you?"
"No. I haven't. Who was she?"
"She would have been your grandfather's wife. Just like your mother was your father's wife. She died before you were born. I saw her then… it seemed like she was asleep. It was the same for my mother."
"So, your mother's gone, my father's gone." Sakon said, thinking about it.
"It isn't the same Sakon." The man said flatly.
"Why not?" Sakon said with childlike curiosity.
"My mother died in her old age, your father didn't." Venom was in his voice.
"Enough questions child. You are being annoying.
It didn't hit Sakon that his father was gone until after the funeral. He had kept asking where his father was. As a child, he had problems understanding that his father wasn't coming back. When it finally hit him that in fact Nagare wasn't coming back, no one could stop his crying for four days.
He also had problems making Ukon speak again and kept asking the red head puppet to speak to him. He was very much in a need of a friend as he hadn't been allowed to leave the sight of his mother, her concern high because she had lost her husband. She had allowed Sakon free roam before, but she suddenly became concerned with every bump and fall he had.
Finally he decided to sneak out away from everyone, to get away from his mother. He saw his grandfather and uncle speaking in a room. "How long are you going to let him keep that puppet? That puppet has bad vibes about it and has only brought misfortune to this family."
"That is only what you think Niemon. Also, I won't take away from Sakon the one thing that he has left of his father." Saemon said bluntly.
"That man, and his father… there has only been misfortune and disgrace to the puppeteering name. I can not believe that you would allow the possibility that Sakon would become like them." Sakon's uncle snapped.
"Is your concern here Sakon or the family, discluding the boy like you did Nagare? Don't think I was blind to the fact that you did not like my son-in-law."
"My concern is the boy Saemon. I don't want to see him broken."
"I personally believe that he would be broken if Ukon was taken from him. You are only looking at what you can see, not all that you know."
"You do not know what I know… or what I've seen."
"Nor have you seen or know what I do. This is closed." Saemon yelled these words. This caused Sakon to yelp. Both men turned to where Sakon had been standing, but he was already running down the path and then down the street. He sat down on a curb and began to cry all over again.
"Sakon?" The voice caused Sakon to look up. Aenka was looking at him. "Can Ukon talk again today? I've missed the two of you."
"I can't … I can't make Ukon speak anymore…" Sakon sobbed.
Aenka glared at him, upset. "You made him speak the other day. Why can't you?"
"Ukon's gone away, just like Papa's gone away," Sakon sobbed. He rubbed his left hand across his eyes. "Aenka, promise me you won't leave me… please."
"Why? I don't understand? Where did your Papa go?" Aenka was interrupted by Sakon's mother frantically looking for him. Her cries for him were frantic and she hurried over when she saw her little one. She scooped him into her arms. "Sakon, don't scare me like that again. If you leave the household, please tell me where you are going."
Aenka watched as Chizuru carried Sakon back to the house. Confusion was on her face.
Author's note – The reason that Aenka did not know that Sakon's father was dead was that they had a closed funeral. They did not want it known that Sakon's father had committed suicide. It was best to keep it hush-hush.