HUNTER X HUNTER (isn't mine)
Title: Just Another Day with Gon
Genre: Fluff, pure and simple
Characters: Gon and Killua, Mito
Summary: The title says it all, I think. Killua POV.
The sun was setting, not that it was easy to tell in this dense forest. The light slanting through the trees was a little less vertical, a little more orange, that was all. Gon was the first to note the hour out loud; Killua had been quietly noting the time ever since, well, ever. He had an assassin's sense for time, internal clock perpetually counting off seconds/minutes/hours. So he'd known for the last two hours thirty-seven minutes that they'd be
"LATE!" Gon shouted, surging to his feet and swinging onto the nearest tree branch one-handed. "We're late for dinner! Mito will kill us!"
Killua opened one eye from his position stretched out on the lowest branch of one of Whale Island's enormous Junjab trees, hands behind head, and had to open the other before he could focus on Gon's hand proffered to him impatiently. "What're you worried about?" he asked as he allowed himself to be hauled to his feet, compensating automatically for the way the branch swayed with their motion. He made a show of checking his clothing. "It's not as if she'll actually kill-"
"Come ON, Killua," Gon said. He hopped to the ground and turned to race for the cabin without checking to see whether he was followed. Unprotected back. Killua grinned and followed.
It was three miles - eight minutes hard run - to Mito's house. Gon and Killua were both barefoot still, shoes in one hand or the other; they crushed last winter's pine needles with every springing step. It was summer and Whale Island was in the western half of the Eastern Ocean time zone- almost nine o'clock and the sun was still shining. The lateness of the day was more noticeable in this part of the forest, sunlight angling visibly through the trees, across the ground, across Gon's back in front of him.
They were breathing heavily when Mito opened the door for them. "Welcome back," she said. "Your food's cold."
They tossed their shoes to the side as they stepped through the door. Mito stopped Gon before he could put on the house slippers. "Your feet are dirty," she explained. "Wash." Killua made a face when her back was turned. The water from pump behind the house was cold. Afterwards, they followed Mito into the kitchen, feet still smelling like pine. There were three places at the table.
"Your food must be cold too!" Gon looked slightly distressed.
"That's what I get for having such a tardy boy," Mito said. She gestured towards the table, indicating that they should sit. "If you'd come on time it wouldn't have happened."
Killua rolled his eyes. "You didn't have to wait for us," he pointed out. He took the seat furthest from the door.
"Don't be silly," Mito said. She turned to rummage for utensils. "Who do you think I cooked for?"
Killua shrugged and dug in. The food was good, even cold. For just under two minutes they ate in comfortable silence. "So," Mito said, after a while. "What did you two do today?"
"Ernmingpgh," Gon said. He swallowed his food and tried again. "First we went fishing. On the south side of the island so we'd be out of the fishermen's way."
"You mean so that the fishermen wouldn't scare away all the fish by the shore," Killua said. He took another bite - pork, well done, and some kind of green casserole.
Gon nodded. "Tha' phoo." He swallowed. "Killua didn't have a rod so I made him one out of a branch and some string."
"But I'd never been fishing before so I asked Gon if I could borrow his."
"That's not what you said! You said you wouldn't be caught dead with such a lame-looking piece of junk!"
"But it's what I meant," Killua said. He did his best to look imperturbable; he was good at it. Under the table he kicked Gon in the shins.
Gon kicked back. The next time he kicked Killua caught Gon's leg between his own and twisted. "And after that?" Mito asked, when it became clear that the conversation had stalled.
"And then I caught a fish. But Killua's was bigger."
"It was a monster," Killua said, and shuddered. "Fish are so gross, all slimy and dripping and they wriggle. They stink, too, even when they're still alive."
Mito shook her head and tried for a stern look. "You caught two fish and you didn't bring them back for dinner?" she asked. "What were you thinking?" Her eyes were twinkling and she was smiling but trying not to.
"Couldn't bring them back after we ate them," Killua said.
"Sorry, Mito," Gon said. "It was lunch." He had just about finished his dinner. Killua, despite never appearing to hurry, had already finished his.
"What about the lunches I made you?"
"Ah, well, those. We fed them to the dancing bears."
"Start at the beginning, Gon," Killua advised, stretching in his seat.
Well, you see, after Killua caught his fish…"
Killua watched Gon as he talked, Mito as she stood to gather the plates. It was unfamiliar, this dinnertime-talking thing, but at the same time he felt as if he'd done it forever. Like he belonged here, eating Mito's food and elaborating on Gon's story wherever he thought it could use a little panache.
"So let me get this straight," Mito said. The plates were piled to soak in the sink behind her and she'd returned to her place at the table, hands gripping elbows and weight shifted forward. "You went to town to for some spices, ran into purse-snatchers who used materialization nen to drop pianos on people, beat them up, returned all the purses…"
"All while carrying our fish around, don't forget" Killua said. "Mine was huge. Pretty gross."
"Right, and then you found out that the circus was in town but that all of its animals had escaped so you offered to track them down." She shook her head, disbelieving.
"Not for nothing," Gon pointed out. "It was paid work. I'm a licensed hunter."
"Oh, I know, but if this really was the Ratcher Circus then those were some of the most dangerous animals in the world."
"I can think of plenty of more dangerous ones right now," Killua said. "And that's not even including…" he held up his hand, significantly. His nails were a little longer than they'd been a second ago, and a little sharper. He let the transformation go and dropped his hand back to the table.
"Hmm, I suppose," Mito said. "And somehow during all this you fed my lunches to the dancing bears."
"Only thing we could do," Gon said, reasonably. "They weren't coming out of that cave halfway up the Southern cliffs. They were the last of the escaped circus animals, so after we'd brought them back and collected the reward, we grilled our fish and ate them."
"About time, too," Killua put in. "They were starting to smell. Worse than usual, I mean."
"Oh. And was that everything you did today?"
"No, 'course not. That was just before lunch."
Mito looked as if she was going to say something, but a soft chiming noise behind her interrupted. "That'll be the oven timer," she said, standing. "Excuse me a moment."
She left the table to disappear under the kitchen counter, re-emerged wearing a pair of oversized oven mitts clumsily embroidered "World's Best Mom", which she used to open the oven. Killua couldn't see what was inside - Mito was standing in the way - but he wondered about the timing. How could she have just finished baking when they'd been two and a half hours late? It was as if she'd expected them to lose track of the time.
When Mito returned Killua saw she was holding a cake. "Happy Birthday, Gon." she said.