Summary: The days without Ukon were quiet.
Set in episode 8.
Written for hydrangea for parallelsfic.
By Dark Ice Dragon
Sakon's room was too quiet without Ukon's presence. It wasn't just his presence, but his voice, the little comments and observations he made about everything, and his movements, spanning from just the turn of his head or Ukon flailing because they'd missed his favourite show while they'd been out. The spot where Ukon's box normally sat was empty; yet another reminder that Ukon wasn't there.
Sakon had known that he would feel lonely –had felt his heart clench as soon as his grandfather had suggested that Ukon should be repaired- but he hadn't thought he would feel it so strongly. And…he couldn't remember the last time he had been separated from Ukon for so long.
Staring around his room, Sakon closed his eyes and shook his head, sighing. Ukon would have berated him for moping (Hmph. Come on, I haven't been gone for that long.) but one thing that was worrying Sakon was that it was getting harder for him to hear Ukon's voice, even in his head, or even predict what Ukon would have said about something.
But there was only a day left to wait, Sakon consoled himself. Then they would be together again; he just had to distract himself until then.
Distracting himself from the lack of someone that drew his attention to everything, Sakon found, was really difficult as he walked down the street. He kept expecting to hear Ukon and he compensated for the space that Ukon would usually fill when passing people without thinking.
There was always something that reminded Sakon of Ukon: someone's jacket was a similar shade as Ukon's hair; seeing two friends together; the song he heard from a radio was the one Ukon couldn't remember the title of.
It just wasn't the same, not having Ukon by his side.
He couldn't not think about Ukon either. If he could have maintained Ukon better. How Ukon was doing. That it wouldn't be that much longer until they saw each other again.
But…Ukon was in good hands, Sakon's grandfather had assured him of that.
With a sigh, Sakon drew his attention back to his surroundings – and stopped in his tracks when he didn't recognise where he was.
"Um…" He looked over his shoulder and then back in the direction he had been going in. They were equally unfamiliar to him.
"Hey, Ukon…" Sakon winced as soon as the words left his mouth. Ukon wouldn't be able to help him here.
Biting his lip, Sakon turned slowly around and started to walk down the street he had come from. This time, he would try to pay more attention to where he was going.
Sakon was still lost half-an-hour later. One good thing he found was that he was passing more people, at least; he hadn't been able to approach them though, not without Ukon at his side – the people he had tried to talk to walked past him, not hearing him as he stammered trying to get their attention. Another good sign was that he was getting an inkling of familiarity the further he walked. He wasn't entirely sure (Ukon would have known) but he did feel a little bit more confident he was going in the right direction.
Sakon paused at the sight of a ginger cat padding its way towards him, its eyes focused on him. It seemed familiar, especially the way it 'nyaa'd while it rubbed itself against his leg but – ah. He crouched down to gently rub between its ears.
"You're the one who tried to play with Ukon's hair," he murmured. Ukon had squawked in indignation when the cat had tried to swat at his hair and he had glared at the cat when he was safely out of reach. The cat didn't respond, save for purring when twisting around to headbutt Sakon's shin.
Sakon stayed with the cat for a few minutes, trying to remember anything else about their last encounter.
He mostly failed, but he recalled that Ukon had peered over his shoulder to look at the cat – but that was assuming he was in the same street as back then.
Maybe… Hm. There was a white pine tree in front of the house closest to him (that had been where the cat had been lying to keep out of the sun last time); on the wall opposite the tree, there was moss growing between the stones that Ukon had commented on, wondering why there was a patch that seemed untouched (the patch had gotten a little smaller, but the growth seemed slower than it should have been); they had turned left because they couldn't continue forward – the name outside the house had been Narita, and it apparently hadn't changed since the last time he and Ukon had been there.
Confident that he had found something he could remember and recognise, Sakon gave the cat one last scratch and started walking down the path he and Ukon had come from.
Sakon stopped when he heard the cat 'nyaa'ing behind him. When he turned around, he saw the cat had followed him a few steps – it then closed the gap, lightly headbutting him again, trying to get him to give it attention.
"I'm going now," he told the cat, wary about moving his feet, just in case he hurt it. "Shouldn't you go home now?" It had a collar, so it wasn't a stray – it probably lived at the house with the tree, but the cat still didn't leave.
Sakon tried a few more times to leave, but the cat continued to follow him. After the third time he turned around to see the cat there, Sakon didn't stop or try to tell the cat to go – he continued walking, hoping he wouldn't have to cross any roads any time soon.
Just before Sakon turned another corner (there had been an attempted murder there, made to look like a robbery gone awry), he glanced back to see the cat had stopped and had sat down, watching him. He breathed a sigh of relief and then continued on, finally sure he knew where he was.
Sakon made it home just in time for dinner, and when he finished he went straight to his room. His eyes instantly went to the empty spot in his room, before he deliberately looked away.
There were only a few more hours left before he would pick Ukon up. As soon as he had breakfast, he would leave the house; it shouldn't take him that long to find and he would be home before the sun went down.
With those thoughts comforting him, Sakon prepared his bed and tried to get to sleep – it still took him a few hours of restless worries (But what if Ukon wasn't all right? What if he was broken beyond repair? What if-?) before he eventually drifted off.