HUNTER X HUNTER (is Togashi's not mine)
Title: Ten Things
Pairing: Killua and Gon, in a totally Gen way.
30_kisses theme: 10 (#10)
Summary: Descisions descisions descisions, aka WAFF.
Gon and Killua sat at an outdoor café, discussing plans between forkfulls of the local specialty-some sort of spicy fish pie. It was just before noon, and all of the tables were filled with old men playing cards or young couples watching the street. The air was filled with salt, a smell Killua associated with preserved meat and Gon with home. Seagulls circled overhead.
"So where are we going next?" Killua asked. He picked out one of the decorative toothpicks, twirled it. Under his breath he muttered, "Somewhere less watery, I hope,"
Gon pretended not to hear him. "I've heard there's a nen user in the Ryuu Islands who can see emotional attachments as glowing red strings. Maybe he can give us Jinn's direction." He stabbed the last piece of pie, grinned triumphantly as he chewed.
Killua made a face, although whether at Gon's suggestion or his eating habits was debatable. "More islands, huh? But what if Jinn doesn't have an emotional attachment to you? I think we're better off headed South to look up that guy with no eyebrows. He knew about Greed Island, remember?"
"Ye-es," Gon said, frowning. "But 'that guy with no eyebrows' isn't much of a description. It's a long shot."
That was all it took. The two of them glared at each other across the table. Killua's toothpick headed for Gon's forhead, but was knocked aside at the last moment. Under the table, two pairs of feet were primed for the attack. The waiter came up to take their plates away, took one look, and quickly turned around. Standoff.
"...Rock paper scissors?" Killua said, eventually.
"No, you'd win. Arm wrestling?"
"No, you'd win."
Another stalemate. Somewhere in the distance, a ship's horn blew. Meanwhile the waiter, overcoming his momentary timidity, had successfully liberated the cutlery and had vowed to return with the check. Gon and Killua hardly noticed.
"No. Fishing contest?"
"No. What about a race?"
Killua thought he knew what was really going on here: Gon had seen through his attempts to spare the other boy's feelings. Opposition was his way of silently insisting that he didn't need to be coddled, and so what if Jinn turned out not to care about him? Finally knowing that for sure wasn't going to change the fact that he'd sworn to track the man to the ends of the earth. Really, it was no big deal. But it was a big deal, and Killua would do anything he could to spare Gon that burden.
Of course, it was equally probable that Gon just really hated losing.
"The problem is that we know each other too well," Gon was saying. "We need a contest we can't be sure of one of us winning."
"Dice?" Killua suggested. "Can't go wrong in games of chance." Especially when you've just learned how to cheat with nen. Heh.
"...I dunno, are you sure you don't mind gambling?"
"I'm a gambling man." Killua gave him his most generous and sincere smile. Gon looked extremely skeptical, but eventually he nodded.
"Okay. So, do you have a die?"
"Of course I...don't. Crap," Killa turned to young couple at the next table, who quickly occupied themselves with their food exactly as if they hadn't been eavesdropping for the last few minutes. They had the steely-eyed look of professional tourists. All tourists gambled; certainly Killua did whenever he came to a new town, and this one was famous for it.
"Does either of you have a die?" Killua asked. The couple shook their heads. "Anyone else? Die?" Killua said, louder. He looked around the resurant--tourists, mostly, by this point.
One old man had been shocked out of his seat. He rose unsteadily, pointing his cane at their table and nearly overbalancing. "I know that one!" he shouted. The cane wavered between Killua and Gon so that it was impossible to know exactly which one he meant. "That one killed my only daughter! I'll never forget, it was forty years ago last autumn…"
"Easy, grandpa," a man said, taking the cane in his hand and helping the old man back into his seat. "Do either of those kids look forty years old to you?"
The old man wasn't having any of it. He strained against the hands holding him down and succeeding in pointing a finger at Killua. "Age only affects men, not demons! Did you hear what he said? He told me to die, he's here to finish the job..."
Someone in the back of the café started to snicker, then stopped when his neighbor elbowed him. Senility was no laughing matter. Killua almost felt sorry for the old guy -- he was pretty sure he knew exactly who he'd just been mistaken for. The man was lead away, still raving.
"Anyone else have some dice?" Killua asked. He had the attention of the entire restaurant now, but apparently dice games were going out of style because no one volunteered a pair. So much for a gambling town; he'd offer to play Gon at cards except that he didn't know any games he could consistently cheat at. Besides Gon had the luck of three normal people. He sat back down, fuming and bitter.
"Your father?" Gon asked. "Someone mentioned you look like him."
"Probably," Killua said, clenching and unclenching his fingers. He noticed what he was doing and forced himself to stop. "Cooking contest?"
"I don't think so."
Back to their stalemate. By this point more than half the café seemed to have taken an interest in them. Killua saw a few of the island's oddly-shaped green coins exchange hands. All very surreptitiously, of course; he doubted Gon had noticed. There seemed to be quite a bit of whispering going on too. Killua snorted. Oh, sure, now these people wanted to gamble. It figured. As long as they didn't start putting heavier odds on Gon (why did that always happen?!), he didn't particularly care.
"And I'll give you five to one odds that the black-haired kid gets what he wants…"
Bah. Killua noticed that Gon was grinning wildly. "I know! We'll flip a coin!" he said. There was a collective groan of disappointment, which Killua ignored. But...
"That isn't going to work on me," he said, rolling his eyes. "I remember the last time you tried that trick. It's all about the timing of the flip, right? And anyway, it's easy to see which way the coin is going to land while it's still in the air."
"Darn, I was hoping you'd forgotten about that." Killua rolled his eyes again, as much at the collective sigh of relief as at Gon. What were they, the afternoon's entertainment?
Killua thought. Gon thought. The crowd was still. Even the seagulls seemed to be holding their breath.
"We could always fight for it."
"...no, you'd win. Probably"
Someone coughed. The clock struck twelve. The waiter finally returned with the check, which was promptly pushed to the side of the table and forgotten. Another ship came in.
"How about this," Gon said, eventually. "I'll close my eyes and point to the map. Whichever place is nearest is the one we'll go to."
"We've already established that you aren't above cheating," Killua pointed out. "I don't see why this should be any different. But how about this: you close your eyes, I'll move the map around, and then you can point. Deal?"
"Good. Don't cheat and open your eyes, I can tell."
"Same for you: don't cheat and move the map at the last second. I can tell."
"I just can. Wind currents."
Gon closed his eyes; Killua turned the map three times around and then, just for good measure, moved it off to the left side of the table with Gon's destination pointing away into the crowd. Gon's finger came down...right on his destination. Which was off the edge of the table.
"How did you do that?" Killua demanded, incredulous. He hadn't opened his eyes, that was for sure. Killua hadn't been lying when he'd said that he could tell.
"It's a secret," Gon said, happily rolling away the map. Killua narrowed his eyes but there was nothing he could do; he'd just have to take good care of Gon when they got to the Ryuu islands. In the background there was some cheering, a few groans, and quite a bit of money changing hands. A few people waved; Gon smiled and waved back. "It was nothing, really," he was saying.
On the other hand, there was a bright side to every situation. "Come on," he told Gon, grabbing him by the shoulders and steering him around the table. "There's something we need to do."
"Oh? What's that?"
"Ask for your share of the cut, of course."
Omake (that's Japanese for "fluffy crackheaded nonsense")
"So," Killua said later, as they were settling into their hotel room. He kept his voice totally and completely casual. "What was that secret, again?"
"Do you really want to know?" Gon asked. He shrugged out of this shirt and started to undo the laces on his boots.
Gon smiled. "It's just like I told you before," he said, happily. "We know each other too well."