HUNTER X HUNTER does not belong to me.
Title: My Hero!
Pairing: I was supposed to be writing KilluaGon? I dunno guys IDK.
30 Kisses Theme: 13 (Excessive Chain)
Summary: Torture, rescue, and a plot twist. In under 1500 words.
The prison room was lit only by torches, baleful malignant ones that produced almost more smoke than light and flickered violently with the draft. The walls, floor, and presumably ceiling--who could tell through the smoke and atmospheric gloom?--were made of rough stone formed into large slabs. Slight irregularities made the room more like a cave than a civilized dungeon. In the far corner a young girl was huddled against the cold and the damp. Her hands were tied together in front of her and she was bent over them, sniffing piteously but otherwise making no move to free herself. Surrounded by pools of darkness, the torchlight illuminating her artfully disarrayed blond hair, she was a model of tragedy.
In the near corner a tall and villainous but otherwise unremarkable man was bent over a large desk, scribbling notes and giggling to himself. The desk was the only substantial piece of funiture in an otherwise bare room. It was covered in incomprehensible-yet-sinister diagrams; the man was dressed in embroidered black with glinting heavy boots, a typical petty evil overlord. Only the sounds of his pen across the paper, his mad soft cackling, the girl's quietly artistic misery and, somewhere, the regular drip of water disturbed the silence.
Killua, meanwhile, was shacked to the wall pretending to be in pain. This wasn't terribly difficult: during his short life he'd had almost as much practice faking pain as he'd had being shackled to walls. The handcuffs were low enough that he could actually stand in them, albeit on the tips of his toes. He was, at most, mildly uncomfortable.
Uncomfortable and BORED. Hadn't he seen a B movie like this once?
"At last, my master work is complete!" the man exclaimed. Killua rolled his eyes. Discretely, of course: when the man turned to face him, he saw nothing in Killua's face but blank horror. "With this, I can easily conquer the whole Western Seaboard! Would you like to see? Would you? You want to see, right?"
Killua shook his head. What was with this guy? He was not only unoriginal, overdramatic, and badly dressed, but (probably) the most pathetically attention-seeking evil villain in the history of evil villains. He sucked at torture, too, or he'd have known to fasten the shackles a bit higher.
"Oh, don't be such a spoilsport!" The man pouted like a little girl, then brightened. "I know! If you don't want to see, you can feel! My very first test subject, yay~!" He advanced with a fixed grin, his "master plan" crumpled in one hand and a wicked looking needle--where had that come from?--in the other. It glistened with what couldn't be good news.
What to do? Killua was immune to most poisons, but something about the set-up was bothering him. It was wrong, somehow…. the generic-ness of the dungeon, the way the man was smiling, the needle. The whole thing reeked of Nen. But what kind? And how was it being used?
Killua's dilemma and man's advance both ended with the abrupt explosion of the far wall. Killua could easily pick out Gon's silhouette through the smoke. He stood where stone had been only a few moments before, grinning amidst a shower of a rock dust and still-flaming debris. Killua ignored the shrieking girl (having picked the wrong wall to cry against, she was now scrambling frantically away from the wreckage) to focus on Gon. He almost smiled back.
"Killua! I found it!" Gon exclaimed. He waved a small gold box, inlaid with what might have been semiprecious stones. The thing was practically glowing with Nen; it was the real thing, no doubt about it.
Killua casually broke the restraints holding him to the wall. "Good," he said, stepping forward. He disposed of the would-be evil overlord in one easy motion, a quick jab to the neck before the man could overcome his stunned paralysis. He crumpled immediately, unconscious before he hit the ground. Killua massaged his wrists-damn, he'd been chained up for a while. "What took you so long?"
"This place has some really strange traps! Just wait til you hear, you probably won't believe…"
"My hero!" the girl interrupted. She flung herself at Gon, who looked started but obligingly shifted the box to his other hand so that he could catch her before she fell.
"Oh, are you a prisoner here? Here, let me untie you." He tried to get at the knots binding her wrists, but was thwarted by the way she kept trying to embrace him. He glanced over at Killua: help me, the look seemed to say. Killua, secretly amused, decided to take his time.
"You're so cool! And smart and brave! I bet the half-manticore guards didn't even slow you down~! Did you get to the triangle lasers? No one's ever gotten to those! Tell me! Tell me tell me tell me!"
"Eh," Gon said. "It's wasn't a big deal. Could you stop moving for a second?"
The girl wasn't having any of it. "Don't be such a spoilsport!" she exclaimed. "And now your reward - a kiss for the victor!" She leaned forward eagerly.
Time suddenly stopped for Killua. The generic dungeon. Needles that appeared out of nowhere to glint in nonexistent light. The excessively girly evil overlord. The way he'd momentarily frozen when the wall blew in...
Don't be such a spoilsport!
"Gon!" he said. "Don't! She's a manipula-"
"Don't what?" Gon asked. He'd punched the girl away from him and was now carefully examining the box for scratches. "Don't let her kiss me? I already figured that one out."
"How?" Killua asked. He'd noticed that the man had been holding an illusory needle that could only have been made by a strong emission user. He'd seen that the girl and man used similar expressions and modes of speech. Together with his unease, that had been enough to tip him off to the real mastermind behind this castle: not the man, but the girl. Manipulation and emission were closely-linked skills--she had only been pretending to be the victim.
But Gon didn't share his sensibilities and couldn't have known the rest. How had he figured it out?
"She asked about the triangle lasers." Gon said. "If no one else ever made it that far, how else could she have known about them?"
Ah. That made sense. Killua hit him in the back of the head. "Stupid! Maybe this guy," he pointed to the still-unconscious "evil overlord", who was now lying next to an equally unconscious little girl with brown hair, "told her about them!"
Gon rubbed his head and looked remorseful. "You didn't have to hit me! I didn't think of that!"
Killua snorted. "Obviously. You're just lucky you were right."
Gon just smiled. Killua was not going to smile back. He wasn't. He was not going… ah, damn it. "Come on, we have a reward to collect," he said, grumpily. He put his hands behind his head--he had an image to maintain, after all.
Gon just smiled and followed him out.
ONE SECOND LATER:
"Ne, Killua, is it really ok to leave them like that?"
"Why shouldn't we?"
"What if they wake up and cause more trouble?"
"We already have what we came for. Does it matter?"