Disclaimer – I do not own Ayatsuri Sakon. I also do not own the rights to the books and Manga that they mention here within, though I do own some hard copies of some.
Kaoruko was extremely bored on her day off. She had been thinking of going to look at clothes or some nice food place, but she didn't know of any place in particular that she wanted to go. Plus, she had no one to go with, as she had always been seen as a tomboy growing up and had not made many girlfriends, and those who did become her friends had just as busy lives.
Asking someone from the police department was also out of the question as the other females that were there were ones that were receptionists and that type and seriously looked at her funny the last time she had asked them about going and looking for clothes. The words out of their mouth were, "Do you need us to help you find a nice outfit so that you can finally catch a man, Tachibana-san?"
And yes, the girls at work, and even back in school had called her with the suffix san instead of the suffix chan, which to Kaoruko was rather insulting. The males in her department just called her officer Tachibana as a great deal were irritated that she had gotten as far as she had, or so it seemed to her. She fiddled her fingers behind the couch in her small apartment.
That left only one person, or more of persons that she would be able to hang out with, which didn't bring her any comfort. This was due to the fact that her nephew, who was not much younger then her, was defiantly not interested in fashion and the delectables of food. Ukon, the boy's puppet was also likely to mock and chide her. However, there was one thing that she and Sakon had in common.
Kaoruko then made up her mind and stretched our her hands, making an over exertion of her movements. She then stood up and went down to her car and turned on the ignition to go over to her father's house. She was going to pick up the boy and his odd friend and take them somewhere.
Sakon had been quite surprised that his aunt had come to pick him up. He had just finished the practice with his grandfather when she had come. He had wanted to go somewhere else, as had Ukon, but when Kaoruko insisted on things, she tended to nag until she got her way, or the two of them were able to get away from her.
"Where exactly are we going Auntie?" Ukon asked, only to have her hit him on the head.
"I am not an old lady!" she said, not pleased with the puppets comment. If it had come from Sakon, it probably would have been different but even the boy had a good deal of respect for her and preferred to use the word aunt when it cam to her, But then, if Ukon was part of Sakon…
"But where are we going Aunt Kaoruko?" Sakon asked. "You haven't been very clear about it, exactly, was that it was a common interest."
"And Auntie doesn't have an interest in puppets," chimed in Ukon. "Look at the way she treats this puppet."
"Ukon!" the woman said, a frown upon her face. "Why don't the two of you just wait and see… ahh, there it is?"
Kaoruko drove up to a store that had what she would call quite charming. Ukon's face said that he wasn't impressed with all of this. Sakon though was emotionless.
"A bookstore…" Ukon said, tilting his head in boredom.
A mischievous smile appeared on the boys face, and he spoke up, his tone teasing. "Auntie Kaoruko, I didn't know you liked books."
"Sakon…" she said, her eyes narrowing, disturbed that Sakon had spoken the way he had. "Don't act so weird… that personality really doesn't suit you."
"But he does have a point… I'd expect you to be interested in a fashion mag," Ukon said, shaking his head in disbelief.
"Detective novel!" she said, excitement in her voice. Before either could respond, she continued. "I love a good detective novel… I am a police officer, no? Doesn't Sakon like a good detective novel? He's solved a few mysteries himself."
"I didn't solve them because I wanted to be a detective or police officer," Sakon said, not looking at his aunt.
"Ehh…" Kaoruko said, her face drooping with disappointment and shock.
"We do it because we are there and want to make sure the truth is found out," Ukon stated, shaking his head at her. "You understand that, don't you Auntie?"
"I guess I do…" she said, still disappointed. "I thought you liked those detective novels of your fathers Sakon…"
"You mean all the books you took and horded once you left the house? I did like reading them, but reading a book is always fun," the boy stated. "Why are we here exactly?"
"To get you some books of course. I have nothing else to do and …" she said, only to be interrupted by the puppet.
"With how much you spend on all those clothes, can you afford this,"
"Aunt Kaoruko… I have my own money. Grandfather gives me an allowance. You really don't have too," Sakon said, worry on his face.
"The old man gives you an allowance… he never gave me one," Kaoruko said, quite shocked.
"You spent your money on fashion things," Ukon stated, folding his arms. "Sakon spends it on… practical things…"
"I see that the puppet doesn't think your purchases are practical," Kaoruko said, humor in her eyes.
"It's only a small allowance, it pays for bus fare, some books… not much," Sakon said.
"So that's how you've been able to make your way around places without me having to drive you…" Kaoruko said, frowning at the fact that she was rather disappointed as she had wanted to go to more of those places that Sakon had gone to. "Anyways… let's go look at the books."
Kaoruko found her self followed by the two into the store. She glanced over to the magazine rack, but looked away. This didn't go unnoticed by Sakon and his wooded friend. She then led them over to the mystery section and pulled out a book.
"Conan Doyle…" Sakon commented, seeing the book that she had picked up.
"Too bad it's in English… Sakon… you read English very well, here," she said, handing him the book. "It's called 'The Dancing Men', I think."
"It's the one about the secret code with these pictures of men dancing about," Sakon stated.
"Ehh… you know it?" Kaoruko asked, surprised.
"Sakon's read nearly every mystery book in the mystery section of the library," Ukon commented.
"I see… so, you know Ellery Queen and Agatha Christie?" Kaoruko asked, rather disappointed.
"I know Edogawa Rampo," Sakon said, naming a Japanese mystery novelist.
"Hmm… well, I guess you would," Kaoruko said, finding this not as interesting as she thought it would be.
"You know… if you want to look at the magazines, go right ahead Aunt Kaoruko," Sakon stated.
"Well… oh, the Manga section!" Kaoruko said, slamming her fist into her hand.
"Manga?" Sakon asked, giving her a confused look.
"Oi, Sakon, remember, Zenkichi told us about Manga. He says practically everyone our age, I mean your age… there are very few my age… are reading these books. They are these pictures arranged in a grid format with these… uhh, bubbles for where the speech goes," Ukon said, causing Kaoruko to give him a very odd look.
"Sakon… everyone your age has read at least a few. There are some nice titles out there. I've picked up a few myself to read… Fruit Basket being one of the series… but that's for girls. Why don't the two of you take a look? I mean, it isn't as if you'd find something like Love Hina here…"
This caused both Ukon and Sakon to raise their eyebrows at her as they hadn't a clue what she was referring to. Kaoruko suddenly waved her hands, realizing what she had said. "Forget that I even mentioned it. Not only is it not in either of your taste, but… the old man would skin me alive and disown me… forever. I'll leave you two to look and go over to the magazines."
"Sakon, Zenkichi mentioned a title called U-oni Senchin, I think that was what it was called," Ukon said. "It was about a Samurai who swore to never kill again. He said that for some reason that guy reminded him of me. I wonder why?"
Sakon glanced at the rack of Manga and noticed the title Ruroni Kenchin. "I think you mean this one," he said, pulling it out of the rack.
Sakon's eyes went wide while Ukon just shook his head. "I don't see still why it reminds Zenkichi of me."
Sakon just stared at the book, not sure about it at all. Kaoruko came up behind him with a magazine.
"Sakon… that's more in Ukon's taste… yours would be more of this one," She said picking up one called Case Closed. Sakon frowned, his lips pushed hard against each other. "Sakon… you really need to open up more to the other things out there."
"Yes, but cartoons don't seem challenging…" Sakon commented, only to have his ear grabbed by his Aunt.
"Not cartoons, Anime… even adults like this… of course, my co worker is into that Manga…" she stated with a not to pleased tone. "Come on, let's go and get these and that book."
Sakon and Ukon were sitting on the step to the house when his grandfather and Zenkichi came up. Sakon was reading the book while Ukon was apparently reading the Samurai novel. His grandfather raised an eyebrow at the two. "When did you get new books Sakon?"
"Aunt Kaoruko bought them for us…" Sakon said, fully immersed in reading the mystery novel.
"It would be rude not to read them," Ukon then added in. Saemon just nodded his head and wandered in.
"Your grandfather gave me permission to photograph one of his lessons with other students," Zenkichi said. He then glanced at the book Ukon was reading. "Did you get why he reminded me of you Ukon?"
"No, I don't get why Senchin is like me," Ukon said, also immersed in his reading, or so it looked to be.
"That's Kenchin," Zenkichi muttered.
"He knows that," Sakon stated.
"Ukon, I have more of the series if you want to borrow it… and Sakon, you might like Case Closed," Zenkichi said.
"Auntie got him one of those, but he's refused to open it," Ukon said. The puppet then got an inquisitive look on his face. "What exactly is Love Hina?"
Zenkichi turned pale when this was mentioned. "Where did you hear about that one?"
"It's evident from your tone and the look on your face that it is … not one most adults would approve us reading?" Sakon said. "And since she referred to the man at the station who is downgrading to women…"
"Yeah, you get the point… "said Zenkichi, shaking his head.
"And by the way… it's only Ukon who has the interest in … I don't get it," Sakon stated putting his book aside.
"You won't get it unless you try to read it Sakon. No, it isn't like your novels, but really… it is a good for a quick read sometime."
"I get the feeling that it is another one of my Aunt's tries to push me to acting more my age… and I am not sure that grandfather will approve," Sakon stated, his face not changing.
"From the way he acted, he didn't care," Zenkichi said, sitting down and removing his baseball cap. "But if you're not ready to try it, then that is fine too. But do try it once before you decide you like it or don't like it. Can I read this one?"
Sakon nodded his head at the Case Closed one and went back to reading.
Author's note – This was inspired by the fact that Rurouni Kenchin and Ukon look alike. Originally it was only going to be the bookstore, but it extended to having before and after parts. Sakon isn't against Manga, it is just a foreign concept to him. However, Ukon really enjoys it, if he really can read that is.