Chapter 1: A Chance Meeting
The cafeteria bustled with people, arguments about the heatwave being the centrepiece of arguments. It’s been so long since he heard someone complain about the weather, that the whole situation seemed nostalgic in his eyes.
Yet, at the same time, everything seemed so different now. He had aged, barely, and neither was it enough to considered to be ‘old’. How will his family react, to the battle scars of the Chimera Ant battles? To the achievements of Greed Island? His new-found strength? Hunter’s Licence…? Or… his partner and their sister?
Being gay was the least of Daniel’s problem, it was who he was bringing home.
Killua and Alluka Zoldyck, a pair his feel in love with. One as a sister, Daniel’s eyes drew to Alluka, giggling in her seat as she spoke with her brother…
And the other intimately, Daniel’s attention shifted to Killua, whom smiled like a clear sea, a long list full of wonder and terrifying things, yet to be discovered. By now Daniel was sure he knew Killua well, but there were still traits that were yet to be discovered…
New quirks he’d probably fall in love with. He hadn’t found a single thing he hated about the boy, and maybe when they grow up, he might find some bad habits annoying, but in all fairness, he couldn’t see himself as hating Killua.
Not now, not ever…
Daniel snapped back to reality, eyes drawn back to the barista “Oh, sorry.”
“So, a Quadruple Hot Chocolate… with… extra chocolate, two normal sized Hot Chocolates, chocolate brownie, and two toasted cheese sandwiches. That will be 3270 Jenny.”
Daniel giggled at the person’s reaction as he paid for the order, taking the drinks as well as the sandwiches before crossing to join Killua and Alluka. However, as he turned around Daniel bumped into someone by mistake.
The boy expertly angled the drinks stopping them from spilling all over the place “Sorry, I didn’t mean to do that. Uh…”
“No harm, no foul… Rushifā Tempest.”
Daniel quirked an eyebrow, confused as to why he recognised the voice, and that name… Tempest. It sounds more like a villain’s name. Huh? I felt like I’ve experienced this before… It felt like Déjà vu, foul, sickening to hear his name, like viper lashing out at its victims. He couldn’t place his finger on where he heard it, but his definitely met the man at some point “Have we… met?”
He had long white hair, almost touching the ground with red streaks along the bottom, like fire consuming a raging snow storm.
“Afraid not.” The way he spoke was formal, yet it had this nagging reverberation towards a sickening darkness which threaten him if he lingered too long in the man’s presence. Daniel’s hands tightened around the drink holder, taking a step backwards in the direction of Killua “Well, it’s nice to meet you but I-”
Daniel felt a hand rest on his shoulder, stopping him in place. He could feel an unnerving presence lurking behind him, sinister to the touch. He knew who the hand belonged to, but he hoped that Killua would stop talking to his sister just long enough to notice the struggle of the boy’s heart.
“You forgot your meal…”
Daniel’s eyes glance back at the man, feeling a little sick once he noticed his smile. All fibres of his body wanted him to run, yet he couldn’t stop himself at looking at the man’s hand. Sure enough, there was his bag, the sandwiches still hopefully inside. He didn’t realise he dropped it, so there must have been some foul play at some point, yet he didn’t want to raise suspicions, just in case the man was indeed a treat to Killua, Alluka and himself “Thanks…”
Daniel snatched it out of his hand, walking towards Killua to alert the boy of an incoming drama.
As Daniel sat down, Killua was the first to comment “You look like you’ve seen a ghost. What’s wrong…?”
“I-” The boy stopped, trying to recall everything that had transpired, but when he turned to look back, he couldn’t see it, let alone picture what had transpired. Was it all a dream, a figment of his imagination? The name… he couldn’t even remember the name! What’s going on?
It wasn’t that long ago it happened, yet his mind refused to recall the scenario, as if it refused to do so. His mind refused to recall every step of the scenario, forcing him to forget every detail, not matter how minuscule “Ah… it’s nothing.”
“If you say so…” Killua frowned a little, seeing Daniel so draught, unnerved him, yet it was as if the boy struggled to remember even the tiniest of details; it told him something was wrong. But to what degree, he wasn’t too sure. He’ll have to keep his eyes attentive, watching the boy’s every move from now on.
He should have paid attention! If something was going on, a threat curling their fingers into the boy, threatening Daniel’s life, Killua will stop them.
“Oh,” Daniel placed the drinks and food down, unwrapping the bag “Alright, we have…” the boy gave Alluka her food first, placing the food and drink before her eyes “One hot chocolate and toasted cheese sandwich.”
Alluka unwrapped the sandwich, munching on it as Daniel grabbed his food next “The same for me, and…” Daniel grabbed the brownie and Quadruple death sentence “Quadruple Hot Chocolate, with extra chocolate and a Chocolate brownie for the special man.”
“Yo-” Killua blushed as he snatched the food out of Daniel’s hand, placing it before his eyes “You’re as sickeningly sweet as ever.”
“Like your drink…” Daniel retorted back, smiling at the boy with easy. He still couldn’t have postulated, that he’ll fall, nor believe that he was able to date someone sweet like the drinks he usually ordered, so easily. He couldn’t gauge how much he really loved Killua, but on a scale of one to ten, madly would’ve been best suited to measure his feeling for said boy.
“As cheesy as your meal more like it.”
Daniel nodded without a retort, accepting Killua’s argument like it was normal description placed on him “Oh, Killua, by the way… you’ve met Vastorie, correct?”
“Yeah, during the Hunter’s Exam. It was a… chance encounter. Weird, but mostly… no it was just weird. You look so much alike.” Killua took a sip of his drink, wondering where Daniel was headed with the conversation. He was going to meeting him again, this time as partners and with his sister alongside him.
So, hopefully, he wouldn’t be as weird as Daniel. Seeing two people look alike, especially when your dating one, was bad enough, having the same personality would only intensify the awkwardness. Especially if Vastorie complimented him just like Daniel would.
He couldn’t handle seeing his future partner, acting like his father.
“Yeah, I know… I have so many complaints about that.” Daniel watched in intrigue as Alluka held out her hand, demanding to try Killua’s volatile concoction of sugar overdose. Her face scrunched up as she took a sip, the sugar hitting her like a truck “It’s really sweet…”
“Just the way I like it, thanks Daniel…” Killua smiled at the boy as he took another long sip, unwrapping the brownie with ease. It was a wonder how Daniel knew how he like Hot Chocolate so much, willing to make disaster concoction, after disaster concoction for his taste buds. It was the perks of dating someone who didn’t care so much about what he puts in his body.
Although eventually, that statement might not hold its ground. So, he’ll have to go through them as if he were popping pills like candy. Yet, as he drank, he waited for why Daniel brought up his father, but it never came “You were saying?”
“Oh, I was going to bring up we don’t live in a normal typical house…”
“Uh huh…” Killua blinked slowly, expecting for some elaborate tall tale “and you think it will be more abnormal than, what…? My place?”
“No, I’m just stating, unlike your place which we can catch tour guides to, mine is a little… non-existent. As in, we have to walk…”
“I’m talking like how far we had to travel to the world tree.”
“Doesn’t sound too bad.” Killua munched on the brownie, licking his lips to steal the crumb that tried to get away “I don’t see what this has to do with your father.”
“I’m getting to the point. We live in a mansion-size cottage, in the middle of bush lands. So, imagine Gon’s house, only surrounded by bushes and trees. My dad love security, over easiness.”
Killua placed the last piece of the brownie in his mouth before scrunching up the wrapper, before tossing it into the paper bag “Nothing to abnormal. Nothing my Godspeed can’t rip through. Still can’t see the point of how this relates to your father.”
“Don’t expect anything grand once you see my place, it’s nothing like your butler’s mansion.”
“I wasn’t. I’m just glad to meet some… normal family when it comes to my childhood, normal, is just… well… a pipe dream at that point.”
“Considering what we dealt with, normal is more like an abnormality.”
“Heh…” Killua chuckled at that, it was so true “You’re right about that. Still, if you’re scared to go back home, we can always take a detour.”
“No, I want to show you my home. I’m just hoping nothing too weird causes you to run away scared.”
“Me, scared…? You clearly haven’t been paying attention to my family much.”
“Your family is nothing, when it comes to my dad without a morning coffee.”
Killua smiled at that, now that is the normality Killua seeking, someone whom was bitchy without his coffee, not the torture, the pain, anguish of having a role forced upon him the moment he was born. Although, he knew he couldn’t bring any of this up. Alluka didn’t need to know what he experienced just to save her life, nor did Daniel need the constant reminder that he had experienced so much pain during his childhood “Right, I’ll believe it when I see it…”
Daniel nodded once before turning his eyes to the outside of the café, the city bustling with life. In less than one day, he’ll be reunited with his family. It’s been so long, so he could only wonder what has changed at home. It would suck if his father threw out his bed…
Or worst-case scenario, they’re all out on missions…
Killua’s mouth gaped open once he saw the size of Daniel’s house. It was massive, taking a chunk of the land it was built upon. While it was nothing compared to his house, Daniel was selling it short. He was expecting a small three-bedroom cottage, not a two-story house obscured by the mountain sides and trees.
Even his little sister was filled with awe as they walked up to the door steps, the oak flooring and elaborately designed double doors. It was filled with patterns, tracing the grains of the wood where it ended at the windows, stained glass that were just as elaborately designed as the door.
Daniel sighed as his finger hovered over the door bell, wishing he rang earlier just to see if they were home. Worst-case scenario, he could always grab the spare key. But he’d rather introduce Killua and Alluka before the awkwardness of having to explain why he suddenly appeared in the house without warning.
“Here goes…” Daniel pressed the button, the bell going of like a symphony dedicated to raising the dead, loud but not obnoxious. After a few moments, he could hear a voice over on the other side of the door.
Daniel blew out a sigh of relief, at least Vastorie didn’t answer. Who knows how he would have responded. A long accentuated, extension with the ‘o’, combined with a possible groan or moan of some sort.
But the fact he heard this voice, made him smile widely. Meeting Nathaniel first after so long, brightened his mood immensely. He couldn’t wait to say ‘hi’, to see his father’s reaction, the surprise, the smile, and possibly tears as well.
Swinging the door opened, he greeted them as he would usually greet anyone “Why, hell-?” Nathaniel froze to the spot, not expecting this visitor at all. He could feel the tears prickle at the tips, mouth shaking with glee.
Daniel was swept into the man’s arms, bringing him into a bone crushing grip “I missed you so much! Why haven’t you been calling?! Where have you been?!” Daniel could hear the questions, but the way his father tackled him, spinning him on the spot without warning, took the breath right out of him.
He was filled with delight as the air was pushed right out of him. A tap on his father’s back, made the man pull back apologetically, instead opting to press his forehead against his own child’s as he continuously smiled. It had been far too long since he last seen the boy.
“Welcome back son…” He pulled the boy back into a more comfortable hug once more, this time more tender, less ‘crushing’. Only once he noticed another two behind where Daniel was once standing, he pulled away. Shifting his weight, the man gave his son the rest he needed, cradling the boy in his arms as spoke “So, to who do I owe the pleasure?”
“This is Killua, and his sister Alluka?”
“Hi…” Killua awkwardly waved, unsure how he should be greeting one’s parents. He’d rather not be the one to say ‘hi, I’m you son’s boyfriend’, for obvious reasons.
“HI! Do me, do me!” Alluka jumped up and down, wanting the same sort of treatment Daniel had just received.
Nathaniel put his son down before sweeping the squealing girl into his arms, giving her the same treatment as he had just given his son. Killua smiled at the scene before him, happy to see his sister get the treatment she’s deserved for the longest time. She was smiling, happy to receive a hug from someone other than him. Yeah, he was a little jealous at how quickly another person was able to make her smile, but this person was Daniel’s father, and considering he looked nothing like Vastorie, this had to be Nathaniel.
The man held her in his arms a little longer as he looked back at the boy, noticing the sincere smile, the way he looked at his sister showed him that Daniel made some amazing friends over those last few years “And what about you, mister?” He asked as he put Alluka back down.
“Too bad!” Nathaniel swept Killua into his arms before the boy could react “so, sad…” The moment he was hugged, he realised why Daniel’s hugs felt so good. Warm, inviting. He picked it up from his father “I can see where you got your hugging technique from…”
Nathaniel chuckled at the boy’s reaction, pulling back the boy before he pressed a finger into the Killua’s nose “From the master. Oh, I’m so sorry. I haven’t formally introduced myself, yet. My name’s Nathaniel. I’m Daniel’s father. Well, at least one of them…”
Killua nodded, somewhat dreading the moment Daniel made the reveal. He could only imagine what kind of hell he’ll receive once the man realises who his holding.
“Well come on in,” Nathaniel motioned as he put the boy down “just ignore the mess. We’re in the middle of cleaning up. Vastorie and I got back a couple of day ago, the whole election came without warning. A little terrifying once I heard you hadn’t voted either.”
Daniel heard something else between the words, like a hidden message of sorts. Nathaniel was keeping a secret, he knows something that he wasn’t letting out. But Killua’s open gasp made the boy chuckle.
The inside was wonderfully designed, beating his home by a mile. It looked vibrant, inviting, unlike his dark marble cobblestone home. There were two rooms as he first entered, the room on his right lead to a small study, a TV obscured by the partly closed door and a shelf littered with books, as well as the desk which had some more books dispersed out over it.
The left side had no door. But it led to an open living room, another TV over-looking the inviting couch. He could see another door way off in the corner, leading to another room, this time with tiles.
The boy allowed himself to look towards the other end of the hallway, noticing a stair case leading upstairs near the back, a closed door off to the right side, as well as a four-way intersection nearby, one leading most likely to the room behind the living room and the other to an unknown destination.
“Well, this isn’t much… but it’s home.” Nathaniel pressed his hand into his sides.
“Much… is an understatement.” Killua crossed his arms, smirking as he allowed his eyes to focus on the living room. At least the couch looks comfortable, the only thing comfortable in his home, was wherever Alluka was, but his bed would have to be a close second.
The furniture in his home was designed for strength, endurance, and the need to ruin any hope of providing any form of comfort. Plus, he couldn’t move the couch without any other family member hearing it from the other side of the house.
“Well, considering who I’m talking with, much is more fitting.”
“Vastorie told me about your family. You own your own mountain side…”
“Wait, how does he know?”
Nathaniel wiggled his finger as he walked down the hallway “Sticking his noise in everyone’s business is what he does best. His not a Head Hunter for nothing.”
“As well as Three Star at that…”
Nathaniel shrugged “I’m married to the guy and even I didn’t know.”
“How could you not know?!”
Nathaniel snickered “Of course I knew. I’m the one who forced him to apply for it. He didn’t want to go, because people would have a negative reaction to it. Like: if some weak nobody like that, who doesn’t have his own Hatsu can apply, I can do it too. I’m a two star, and I’ve still yet to accomplish some of the things his done in the past.”
Daniel’s eyes lit up, instead of asking from out of the horse’s mouth, he had just found an avenue where gather all the information “What did he do exactly?”
“Oh, well he took down a giant organisation that-” Nathaniel paused “Worst one to bring up in front of an innocent child.” Nathaniel stopped as he looked towards Alluka “Well, he took down a giant organisation of shady people, which some of members could use Nen as well. Also, with gambling, he helped me with one of my side projects. Where I come from, I didn’t exactly have a family…”
The man’s tone shifted slightly, the first part sounding more like a joke “I became a Hunter, for the perks of the money…” then his tone shifted little lower, eyes drifting slightly away from the boys’ and girl’s gaze “to save the orphanage where I grew up in.”
He tapped his chin, thinking about how he met the man, and how much really changed when he got to really know him “Vastorie just made it possible. From there, he helped me save other homes from going bankrupt, as well as even building new ones in its place. I visit some of them from time to time, checking to see how they’re going, doing some odd repairs or getting in people in who can get the job done.”
The man crossed his arms as he smiled “It’s hard work, but seeing those kids’ smile, brings a tear to my eyes sometimes.” Nathaniel looked away, a frown forming “Losing the most important things in life, like family is hard, you feel like the world crumbling around you…”
The man shifted his weight once more walking towards the hallway leading to the left, stopping right at the corner “but having that hero or knight in shining armour pluck you off your feet, telling you everything is going to be alright as he shows you proof, is what drives me to do what I do. Vastorie and I get nothing from the funds we gather, we split it between the orphanages, trying to balance the funds as we gather the necessary amount to build a new home for others. We’ve built around 54 and stopped 148 from going bankrupt.”
Why was the boy finding out about this now, of all places? Sure, bringing up the fact they share ownership of over two hundred non-profitable orphanages isn’t really a conversation starter, but considering Vastorie’s track record, that was the last thing he pictured the man doing. He really was a strange case… full of unknown factors, morals and who knows what else he is hiding “What else?”
Nathaniel leaned forward, poking his son’s nose “It’s best to ask your father. I know you don’t like Vastorie as much as me, but you have to give him a chance.”
Daniel quirked an eyebrow, he gave Vastorie plenty of chances. The man was nothing but dirty innuendos and long list of well, just as dirty misconducts “Oh, if only you knew how many…”
Nathaniel frowned slightly “I’m well aware of his misconducts, but I’m sure I’ve convinced him to stop being a perv for once in his life.”
“And how has that been going…?”
The man sighed as he pressed a hand to his forehead “Brutal…”
With a roll of his eyes, Nathaniel took that as an opportunity to lead them back to the end destination. The closer they got, the louder the noise became. Daniel could hear it, someone chopping something in the kitchen, and when they entered, Daniel could see his father, back turned to them “So, who was at the door?”
“You’ll would be surprised!”
“Oh…? And if I turn around, I’ll be greeted by said surprise? You were talking so highly about my exploits, so I imagine…” There was a sliding action, followed by a loud ‘plop’ as something was dropped into water. The man grabbed the towel from his shoulder wiping his hands as he turned around “we have gues-”
Vastorie stopped once he saw who was standing behind him. His son, and two other guests “You could have called first!”
“That’s what you’re leading with?” Daniel frowned at his father’s first words “No, ‘hi, son’, you’ve brought guests…?”
Vastorie smirked at the response. His son has grown a lot, more differently than he expected “Who are you, and what have you done with my son! He was never this sassy!”
Now that, was the father he grew up with. Holding out his hand, Daniel walked towards his father, running into him as he crossed the half way point of the kitchen “Dad!”
Vastorie smiled at the action, welcoming his son into his arms “Well, whoever you are mister, feel free to steal my son’s life. I like the new him.”
“Dad…” the boy whine as he pulled back, only now noticing the apron he was wearing, black with a pink heart, the caption saying ‘I don’t like to kiss and tell, but my food taste almost as good as me’ “Really, dad…?”
“And… now his back.” Vastorie shifted his weight, drawing his eyes to Killua, and girl by his side. She was oblivious to the caption, but a certain blushing boy told him, he knew what the apron said “Well, look who’s back. Killua Zoldyck, and… well that’s definitely not Gon. Gon Freecss was a boy from what I last heard… not a pretty young, beautiful girl.”
Alluka blushed at the compliment, no one, except for Killua has called her a pretty girl “I’m Alluka, Killua’s little sister.”
The man opened his mouth slightly, before smiling “A certain old man has a lot of explaining to do. If I had a sweet little girl like you, I’ll be showing her off, not keeping her away hidden.”
Killua froze at the words, something didn’t sit right with him. The way he posed it, it almost sounded like he secretly knew about Alluka.
As Vastorie walked over to the fridge, he looked inside “Well, no rest for the wicked. I’m cooking for five I guess now.”
“How did you know…?” Killua’s voice was cold, dark and inquisitive. There was no way, Vastorie knew about his little sister Alluka. He’s never met the man before, and his father hated the man, so there was no way his father would ever talk about Alluka in front of him.
The words made even Nathaniel freeze. Why was Killua being defensive, possibly protective of Alluka.
Daniel raised an eyebrow at Killua, why was the boy being defensive all of a sudden “What did my dad say?”
“Daniel, he said: I’ll be showing her off, not keeping away hidden…”
“Knowing things is what I do best.” The man casually snapped back without a faint of care in the world “I’ve worked with your father on multiple occasions. As well as visit your home, a few times. I’ve never seen her, and considering how gloomy your home is…” Vastorie plucked out a vegetable from the fridge, showing it to the boys “Cabbage?”
When Killua’s eyes narrowed, Vastorie sighed “It was an educated guess. I’ve never seen a photo of her, so I would imagine, the dark is where she was kept. Now, stop looking at me like I… defecated in your cereal.”
“I’ve never seen you before!”
“Except that time at your second Hunter Exam.” The man finger snapped left and right in the boy’s direction, adding a flamboyant, sassy flair to the movement of quick accusation. He knew he was right, but if Killua wanted to argue all night, his played this game on multiple occasions. He can throw tantrums all night if he wanted, and that still wouldn’t stop him from arguing.
“Except then… I still don’t believe you.”
The man shrugged “take it as you will. Now, unless you want to starve tonight… would you like some cabbage?”
Killua reeled back in shock “What?”
Vastorie looked at the vegetable, then back to Killua “It’s… cabbage? A vegetable? I’m sure you know what a vegetable is…”
“No- Yes! I mean why you trying to divert the topic?”
“I’m not… I’m simply asking if you’re ok with cabbage. I gotta know if any of you don’t like anything, so I know not to cook wasted food in advanced.”
Killua sighed, the man wasn’t going to give up the information any time soon, so pressing it any more, will only further ruin the initial meeting “Yeah, sure that will be fine.”
“Grand!” The man looked pleased as he returned back to fridge “Let’s see what else I can find. Looks like I have a long discussion ahead, so I’m going to need a lot of food to sedate these hungry bunch of kids.”
When he heard the growl of someone’s stomach, it only made the man laugh even harder “REALLY, hungry kids…”
Killua only clutched his stomach, embarrassment flooding his cheeks. He couldn’t believe he was this hungry, maybe he should’ve ate a proper meal unlike the chocolates and deserts he devoured earlier.
Nathaniel only drew the children back, unable to believe for a second his husband willing suggested something he knew the others did not. He’s done it before, acting like what he said didn’t question the man’s motives.
And even now, sometimes he was happy with his ‘second’ memories. It pulled his thoughts away from the true reality he sometimes forgot he lived in “Now, you two boys, and girl. Would you like to have a tour of the house, go to Daniel’s room, or…?”
“Or…?” Daniel broached the topic, unsure where his father was headed.
“See the new dog?”
“Dog?!” Daniel beamed in delight. While he missed the old one, the fluffy blanket wrapping around him, having a new pet might mean he could create a few new memories, including introducing Alluka to a dog that doesn’t want to kill you if you go through the wrong door “Killua, let’s meet the dog, the tour can wait!”
Killua nodded, looking back at Daniel’s father, Vastorie. The man swaying his hips from side to side as hummed in the fridge, looking for more ingredients. What are you hiding…?
Daniel expected a normal size dog, possibly even twice the size of him. When he saw it, he wasn’t disappointed; the animal was laying down on the floor, huffing in annoyance as Killua prodded it “Looks like a hybrid of our dogs back at home… only lazier.”
The dog whined at the boy, twisting his hips as he pushed him away with his butt.
Nathaniel chuckled, slapping his thighs as he called out to the dog “Daemon, up!”
The dog groaned, standing up as it walked ever so slowly towards the man.
“You named the dog Daemon…?”
“No, Vastorie did. And you’ll see why in a moment. Daemon…” Nathaniel rummaged through his side packs, producing a dried piece of raw meat. The animal’s features lit up, coming to life, but something was very wrong with it. Its eyes were hallowed black, green irises and streaks of red lining running through its thick hide. It looked fluffy earlier, but now that it was alive, he could see why Killua made the remark of it looking like a hound.
It charged the man, snapping at the meat as he held it high, the creature barely nipping at the contents “It’s a sub-species of hell-hounds.”
“We have a pet from the depths of HELL?!”
Nathaniel could only laugh “No, not that kind of hell-hound. The sub-species this one comes from, is only called a hell-hound, because it looked deadly in nature.” As it continuously snapped at its food, Daniel could have only surmised that it was called a hell-hound for other reasons, mainly the way it acted during a treat “Are you sure…?”
“Yes, this is its favourite food. Dried, raw lean steak.” When he threw the treat away, the animal chase it down like a ball as if it were playing fetch. They could hear the crunching in the background as Daniel’s father continued “It doesn’t have a preference to what kind of steak. But… once it does…”
Having had its treat, Daemon walked back towards Killua, rubbing it’s face against the boy’s chest “It gets playful.”
Nathaniel reached into his other pocket, pulling out a ball before throwing it to Daniel. He looked at the ball, inspecting it. It felt soft to the touch, but it also tough. As Daemon saw the ball, he chased after Daniel, wagging its tail in excitement. It looked odd, seeing black puppy dog eyes staring into his soul as it silently begged for the ball. Rather than throwing the ball, he took the dogs head in his arms, hugging it.
For a dog that’s called a hell-hound, it’s oddly affectionate. It nuzzled it’s head in the boy’s arms, whining pleasantly in the boy’s arms, one paw wrapping around the boy, almost pulling him to the ground with its unsuspected strength.
It was strong, considering the boy knew Nen “His really…”
“Unnatural…” Killua accused the dog, but it didn’t care to mind the boy’s words. It simply continued to be affectionate.
Daniel pulled back, really feeling the animals skin. It was slightly fuzzy, possibly still growing out it’s fur. But it was none-of-the-less, it was still soft to the touch now that he was patting it.
Daniel stood up, throwing the ball as Daemon chased it down “looks are deceiving.”
Nathaniel nodded as he looked at the animal getting lost in the bushes, searching for the lost ball “He’s a rescue.”
“Vastorie…?” Killua pondered as the dog came back to him for some reason. Killua ruffled it flabby skin, holding it in place as he ushered Alluka over. Alluka held the dog in her arms, hugging it affectionately. She fell in love with it, the way it acted, somehow reminded her of both Killua and Daniel, it had the best traits of both, Daniel’s affectionate nature, and Killua’s warmth, it wanton need to hold anyone’s attention without praise or desires.
“No, this one was all me. Its nature is pleasant, but because of the abuse it got in the sanctuary it was being held at, by the other animals. It became distant…” Nathaniel smiled for a moment before looking back at the boys “It reminds me of a certain someone.”
“Certainly not me!” Daniel held up his hands defensively.
“Oh, definitely not you. I’m talking about someone else. Anyways, you can ride it as well. We don’t have a harness, but if one of you want to hop on, I could take you for a joy ride.”
Alluka stuck up her hand before anyone could consider the idea “I want to!”
Killua reeled back in disbelief “What, no… it could be dangerous… you could fall off or something.”
“Killua…” Daniel walked over to the boy, smiling at him “I trust Nathaniel. And I know, even though this is your first time meeting him… you can trust him too.”
Killua pouted from being ganged up on, Alluka’s expression of having a new favourite toy being ripped right out of her hand. Killua eventually gave up with a sigh “Fine…” He threw the ball at the hell-hound letting it chase it down as Nathaniel was forced to go after it “but promise me you’ll make… I guess, uncle Nathaniel stop if you don’t want to do it anymore.”
Alluka nodded in glee as the boy turned to Daniel “I’ll trust your judgement here.”
The boys watched as Nathaniel held it down, explaining to the girl where to hold onto, Killua watching the whole scene unfold with inspecting eyes, once the man was done, he picked the girl up from her arms, placing her carefully back down onto the dog, and then next taking a leash to wrap it around Daemon’s neck.
“You’re right to come here first.” Killua nonchalantly commented, never once looking away from the scene.
“I know…” Daniel returned back the boy’s kind words by entwining his fingers around Killua’s.
Killua returned the gesture, but, he was unable to look his boyfriend in the eyes. He was hesitating, unwilling to witness the expression; the love and affection that Daniel will show through his features.
Daniel however didn’t let Killua’s lack of attention deter him from continuing “I’m happy to see them. Mostly Nathaniel. Although, I’m still scared at how Vastorie is going to act around your sister. Hopefully there’ll be… no innuendos. Of any sexual kind…”
Killua unconsciously smiled at the scene unfold before him, attention now being drawn to Daniel once he realised how safe Nathaniel was being with Alluka. He could relax, or at least he through he could, but the moment he looked at his boyfriend, a part of him wish he hadn’t. He’d fallen in a deep trap, one he couldn’t crack a bone or two to help him slip out of.
A sweet, smitten look… the one once a upon a time, he wished Gon gave him that look. It was unconscious of course, because back then he honestly had no clue he wanted it. But now… he could feel his expression melting at the warmth of that smile.
All it would take is the boy to lean forward a couple of inches, and he could devour it like chocolate, sweet and innocent to the touch. Well, in Killua’s own opinion, Daniel was innocent. The way he broached the topic of sex is how he originally imagined both Gon and Daniel would do it: I don’t know what’s going on with my body, Killua… why do I feel tingly down here.
Although, what Daniel had said was differently to how he imagined them saying it. He said, quote I think I want you sexually unquote. Back then it took him off guard because his sister was in the same room as them. But now, if Alluka got her own room, he wouldn’t mind getting a bit frisky… provided Daniel still wanted to go ahead with the plan.
Killua leaned forward, aiming to kiss the boy as Daniel followed suit.
“Ahem…” The boys froze, both looking in the direction of the voice. There Vastorie stood meters away from them, on a patch of empty grass, a wooden spoon in one hand, still wearing the apron he was sporting in the kitchen earlier. How he snuck up on them, neither of them knew, but he had a wicked smile, one that just says ‘I caught my son red handed with boy in his arms’ “before you ‘two’ hit first base, do you mind going upstairs to have a shower. Dinner will be ready in 15 minutes…”
“I don’t want to hear the juicy love birds’ gossip, just yet. Save it for dinner.”
And like that, the man left without another word, Daniel and Killua left blushing in each other’s arms “I- I’ll show you to the shower. A- and then get you a change of clothes. Hopefully, I have some clothes that fit you…”
Awkwardly the two headed upstairs, the moment of tenderness destroyed by the one-man Daniel had hoped he wouldn’t. On the plus side, at least he didn’t care it was with Killua, unlike Zaikaria whom was adamant about stopping Daniel from pursuing him.
Still… that meant the worse was yet to come.
Chapter 2: Sage’s Archive of wonders
Coming back home after dealing with the ants, Daniel and Vastorie have a long talk.
Daniel’s, Killua’s and Alluka’s mouth watered at the food being placed before then. Vastorie had gone all out, placing at least seven different types of dishes out before them. From salad all the way to hamburgers. He didn’t make a lot of each dish so at this point, first come first serve, but none-of-the-less, it was still otherwise a massive serving in Daniel’s opinion.
Killua filled his plate quickly, aiming for the best food in his opinion from the offerings.
Each bite was more delicious than the last, a wide array of flavours and spices mixed in to enhance the flavours. Vastorie snickered at the twinkling in Killua’s eyes as he commented nonchalantly “You picked the wrong person to date my friend.”
As Killua choked on his food, his Daniel whined at the accusation. Sure, he was a terrible cook, but Killua has seen it in action, so there’s no need for the constant reminder “Just… why?”
“Oh…” Nathaniel piped up, a little surprised at the reveal. When Daniel first rang them, Vastorie never really ended up giving a proper explanation, other than he had a bet about a scenario he had no chance of predicting. Then again, it might have to do with the elusive painting, locked it away in the vault within his study.
Even to this day, he would often catch his husband looking at it sometimes. And every time, he would always look saddened by its contents. It the only thing he could never pry out of Vastorie, nor has he seen it with his own eyes.
Then again, his not one to talk. His kept a secret from his husband too, for Vastorie’s own sake…
Nathaniel leaned forward slightly “And when did you plan to tell us?”
“Probably after I caught Daniel with his tongue down Killua’s throat…”
“DAD, there was absolutely no tongue involved!”
“DANIEL, there’s a certain someone who doesn’t need to hear this argument.” Killua gestured with his head to Alluka whom was paying attention to the conversation as she ate. Although, her talent to conceal her motives was a little lacking.
Nathaniel sighed, Vastorie’s lack of decency is going to get him killed one day “Vastorie, apologise.”
“There’s nothing to apologise for.” He stuck his tongue out at his husband, acting like a child for the first time in ages “There’s nothing wrong about getting kissy-kissy in front of your parents. Also, it helps build a strong relationship. I would know…”
Daniel pretended to choke “I think I’m gonna gag.”
“I could elaborate if you like…”
“No thanks!” Killua muttered under his breath, trying to think of a way out of the argument “Now that everyone knows about us, I would like it if we stick to more… PG-rated topics.”
“PG-rated it is. Well when a-”
“NOPE! We’re not having this discussing again!” Daniel forced the topic to change, not entirely sounding convinced with his Nathaniel’s question. It sounds like he already knew about Killua and himself for the longest time. And there’s no way Zaikaria told him, but just in case she did… “You’re not telling me something. Did Zaikaria tell you, about us?”
“She can read minds. She probably found out how my confession went down…”
“And how did it go?” Vastorie sipped on some coffee, pretending as though he was only half interested in the answer.
Killua shot Daniel a glare, which only Daniel roll his eyes at the boy “Oh, I’m sorry. It went wonderful! As little cupids shot arrows, Unicorns rained down from the sky. Nothing but sweet noth-”
Killua held up his hands to end the conversation now, before he becomes a mess “Stop! No need joke about the whole ordeal.”
However, Killua piping up only further intrigued Vastorie, the man smiling as he leaned forward “Oh, do go on. Sounds like some wonderful juicy gossip.”
The man leaned back, huffing in annoyance as he returned to his drink “Kill joy.”
When Vastorie was out of the conversation, Nathaniel turned his attention back to his son “We are happy for you to, and you know we’ll never judge you for anything. I’m just curious to know why you didn’t introduce Killua as your partner at the door?”
When Daniel looked at Killua, the boy shook his head, letting him know he was uncomfortable with the question. It might have to do with a certain someone pretending to not be engaged with the conversation “I rather not say. I’ll let Killua be the one to say-”
When Killua shot him a glare, Daniel only held up his hand in defence “WHEN he feels comfortable to do so.”
Killua nodded, returning to stuff his face with more food. It made Daniel smile unconsciously. Nathaniel too smiled at his son before switching topics “Oh, earlier you wanted to ask a certain somebody, questions.”
“Oh, yeah… dreading the response.” Daniel looked at his other father, the man still holding a mug of coffee in his hand “I noticed something very wrong with the election.”
“So, did I…” The man returned with a casual response, acting like he really didn’t want to broach the topic at all, but even still, he couldn’t hide the faintest of interest hidden deep within his tone.
“Why did so many people vote for you?”
“Because I’m great a what I do…”
With a sigh, the man put down his drink “What did Nathaniel tell you?”
“He told me about how you single-handedly destroyed an organisation.”
“Ah, the prostitute den…”
“There’s an innocent kid!”
“Oh, excuse me a den dedicated to children streetwalkers.”
“What’s a prostitute?” Alluka piped up, he innocent mind waiting to be tampered with. Killua only glared at Vastorie, waiting for an apology, but it never came. Yes, he spoke truthfully, but Alluka didn’t need to know that kind of information right now.
And like Daniel always does, he stepped in to negate the sour mood “Alluka, it’s a specialised group of kids forced into something against their will.”
“Oh, does that mean Killua was a street walker too?”
Vastorie only burst into a laughter at Killua’s reaction, the boy a blushing mess. He couldn’t believe how easily his son’s explanation backfired, yet what Daniel said next only made him close his mouth in disbelief.
“No, it’s different. What those kids go through… is painful. They lose everything, whereas Killua had you to return to. He’s not a streetwalker. He had his little sister whom loved him to return to; so he wasn’t as much as forced into those situations, but rather did it so his sister didn’t have to suffer the same.” I hope… “Sure, he experienced painful things, but it wasn’t because he needed to survive… he did it so you, didn’t have to do it.”
Daniel could only watch tears prickle at the girl’s eyes “I’m sorry, big brother.”
“I- It’s ok. I would do it again, no matter what.” Cupping the girls hand, he comforted his little sister as best as he could, watchful eyes looking at his every move. Seeing Daniel’s intense gaze was hard, but the fact his kind words had drawn both of Daniel’s parents, made it harder to resist the urge to hide himself.
Vastorie clapped his hands together, leaning back as he smiled “My, my… how the times have changed.” His son has indeed changed, for what he believes is for the better. Sure, falling in love with someone tends to change people, but how Daniel has changed… well, he wasn’t too sure in what way.
He wanted to know something, but the way his son spoke, it meant his learned a great deal over these past two years. He wanted to test a theory out, but first thing is first “It looks like my son and his partner has caught my attention. It’s time I show you something… Something I have hidden. But first, you want to know what I did to gather so many votes, right? Yes, it’s turn that I achieved the goal of a one-man army to save multiple of children’s lives. But that isn’t what made me famous… not many people know about that.”
The man held out a hand, smiling ever so sweetly. It was unnatural in Daniel’s eyes, to see his father smile like this “I’ve helped hundreds of thousands of lives over my years, but most of their votes wouldn’t count, because most of them are not Hunters like ourselves, or old enough to vote either. I hide behind this joking façade to keep the attention off me, because it’s what I’m so used to. Ever since a child… but, the people I’ve help, well, one day you’ll run into them. You can hear all about their stories of my involvement from them…”
The man stood up “Finish eating up. It’s time I showed you something.” Vastorie checked the clock on the wall, six-past-seven. It’s a little late, but he doesn’t mind showing them now “It’s time I show you the library… and the secrets they hold.”
Nathaniel was left behind to do the dishes as Vastorie lead the three down the yet to be explored hallway, passing a large dojo on the way.
“This doesn’t feel… like it’s always been a home.”
“You would be semi-right, Killua.” The man opened his arms wide, a smile forming across his features. This wasn’t originally his home. He never, EVER wanted to go back to his birthplace, so this place, even though he was never a child, is what he considered as his childhood home.
“It was originally one of Netero’s Shingen- Ryū dojos but was disbanded prior to your birth. Two years before exactly.”
Daniel did the math in his head “So, when you were 38?”
“Yes, I was one of the many Masters Netero employed. Specifically, this place. I kept the dojo intact, but as for the sleeping quarters…” Vastorie stopped right before the library, hands holding the door handle. He swung it open as he filled his voice with wonder “I turned it into this.”
Unlike the study at the front, this room was room dedicated to studying. It was filled to the brim with shelves, after shelves full of books. It didn’t feel cluttered at all, except for some of the books lying around on the floor, waiting to be put back in their places.
Killua walked up to one of the many shelves, running his fingers across every title. From what his witnessed so far, it’s dedicated to combat, fighting techniques, history, science and the occasional manga series tucked in between the information books. Some of them being wedged in the wrong spot. Killua stopped at one book in particular “The Hunter’s dream, volume four…?” There were no other books with that name in the nearby vicinity, so he decided to reach out to remove it from the shelf.
A click sounded off in the room, echoing across the corners of the room. No matter how hard he tried pull, the book still remained lodged into the shelf “What’s with this book?”
Vastorie smirked as he closed the distance “I see you found one of the Easter egg.”
“Wait, volume four? When did you get that one?” Daniel pursed his lips, frowning slightly. His seen volumes one to three, but never four.
“Always, Vastorie pushed the book back in. He allowed his aura to run along his fingertips, aura surrounding the book before he ripped it out from the shelf without a need to exert his strength.”
Killua glared at the man as he places it in his hand, fuming at how easily he able to pluck from out of its hiding hole. It was plain green book with golden-yellow outlines. When he opened the book, he could see why it couldn’t be removed without the need to exert aura.
The pages were empty, as in no text. It was instead replaced by multiple pages dedicated to the same from of strange writing they found on the inside of Gon’s cube back on Whale Island “Daniel, this is the same format of text…”
The boy showed the text to Daniel, Alluka peeking over to look at the funny symbols “What does it say big brother?”
Vastorie chuckled “Oh, so this is not the first time you’ve come across Inscription? It’s not meant to be read, but rather used to program reality, to suit ones’ own needs…” The man took the book back holding out his hand to put it back in the spot it once filled. There was the same form of inscription, the very reason why it couldn’t be removed without aura. It lined the back as well as a little bit of the bottom of the shelf.
Vastorie slid it back into place, this time holding out his hand to remaining shelves in the room “Pull number three, one, two, four and then five out in that order.”
“There’s a fifth?!”
Vastorie dismissed the question “I’m not going to tell you why that order, or where they are. Have fun finding them.”
The two boys ran to search the selves, Vastorie stopping Alluka before she could join the two “You have a much more important task.” He held out his hand to one of the candelabra on the wall, fingers running along the stick designed to look like a gargoyle holding a candle “Pull this, once the last book is pulled.”
The man curled his fingers around his mouth, yelling out to his son and Killua “GUYS, once you pulled them out, call out to the other so you know which ones you’ve pulled. If you make a mistake, you have to go back and press them all in again so it resets. Pulling them out of that order only breaks the coding needed to unlock the secret.”
Daniel and Killua called out every book they found, stating where they’re if it wasn’t the right one they needed in the sequence. Eventually Killua found the fifth, hidden beside a Manga of all places, pulling out the last of books. The fifth tune echoed among the books, followed by the sound of a key turning in a lock.
“Alright, meet us in the middle.” Vastorie patted Alluka’s shoulder, letting her know to pull the lever. Another sound echoed around the room, gears turning as concrete grinded across each other.
The man took Alluka’s hand as he led her to her brother and Daniel whom were already waiting for them. What was once a joined table split in half, revealing a secret passage “After you…”
Daniel took the first step forward, walking down a staircase with shimmer lights, the same inscription creating the mirage of lights lighting the passage way.
Once Daniel stood on even ground he stopped at another table, a bed hidden in the corner, as well as six bookcases lining two of the walls. They weren’t very big, but they were jam packed with books, very few places to line any more books. Most of them had no title, giving it an illusion of secrecy. There were another three waiting for them on the table, no name assigned to the books.
“Welcome, to my secret Library, the Sage’s Archive.”
For a place that looked rarely touched, containing no dust whatsoever. And to top it off, the place didn’t feel like they were suffocating from the lack of air, actually, it felt like the complete opposite. There was nothing but fresh air permeating the room. It felt peaceful, like the whole world couldn’t bother them here.
“Now I know you have lots of questions, but first, I wanted to give you a gift.” The man directed their attention to the three journals on the table. The situation made Killua feel uneasy, but the man was quick to notice it, explaining the reason as to why they were there “These journals, like the five in the library above us, have inscriptions hidden in the binding of the cover. But, unlike the ones above, these ones work differently. Those were designed to work like keys, unlike these ones which act like a catalyst, allowing you to alter the pages, even removing or adding more pages.”
Vastorie offered one to each person “It accepts any size, or type of paper, if you’re wondering. You just hold a piece of A4, or any other size, to the spot you want to place it, the book will swallow it and add more pages depending on the size of the paper your adding. Although, be careful when removing a page, because of how the journal works, removing a page, tends to shred it into Nen particles.”
“Why was there three here? How did you know there’ll be three of us?”
The man turned to Killua, a small smile showing “I didn’t exactly, I originally though it would be my son, Gon and you, Killua, who’d rock up at my doorsteps one day. Also, Alluka, don’t feel bad for taking Gon’s, I’ve got plenty of them to go around.” He ushered them to one of the book cases.
Daniel pulled out one labelled Emitter Volume A, flipping through the pages. It was empty, not a single line or space being filled “They’re empty…”
The man laughed at the accusation, a single finger being pressed against the page. It rippled, almost seeming alive with energy “Try using Gyo…”
Daniel and Killua did so at once, what was once being empty filled with words and descriptions. Daniel flipped through the pages, taking note of page number, as well as sometimes lame drawings or graphs used to explain a theory. From what he could gather, the book looked like a typical sized journal, one that was usually 160 pages at max. But this one, it held 358 pages, and was no bigger than a hundred-fifty-pages. He could only imagine how many pages the other volumes had.
And the amount he had, must have cost a fortune! “Dad, how much would one of these usually cost?”
“Usually… around a million Jenny per book.”
“How many do you have…?” Daniel raised an eyebrow in concern.
“TWO-HUNDRED AND FOURTY MILLION JENNY?!” the two screamed together. Their lack of response was muted by Alluka tugging on Killua’s shirt “Big brother… I can’t see any of the text.”
Killua leaned down, hugging his little sister in a comforting way “It’s ok. I’ll just have to train you the basics. You’ll be able to read it one day.”
“And write in in…” Vastorie calmly added “You have to use a pen, or pencil with Shu. Or else the journal won’t record anything. Or you can cheat, by writing it on piece of paper and just placing the page in the book, it’ll copy the text as well. Also, I only gave you ten pages each, so you need to add more as you write in them.”
Killua smiled at his sister before attempting to hand his back to Vastorie “I can’t accept this. It’s… too much.”
“Nonsense! This pales in comparison to how much it cost to make Daniel’s weapon. Speaking of which…”
Daniel felt hypersensitive about the topic, the question making him feel nothing but remorse for what he was about to say “It ah… broke… during my fight with the Chimera Ants.”
“It… broke…” The man let out a long guttural sigh “There goes thirty million Jenny…”
“Well yeah, do you know how intricately designed that weapon was? From the shaft to the flexible whip-like feature took months to design.”
“I…” Daniel was unable to look his father in the eyes “I’m sorry.”
Vastorie shook his head before dismissing the argument. To him, money doesn’t really matter. The only reason he spends money, is to get the things he wishes to make other people’s lives more comfortable, or easier “It’s ok. I’m not mad, all I ask is did you like it?”
Daniel nodded “It worked wonders, and I was able to even assimilate it into my ability.”
“Oh, do tell…”
Daniel went on to explain his ability, and how he used his shadow to manipulate the aura surrounding the blade. The man could only smile, never imagining that to work in this scenario, let alone his son being able to manipulate the shadow of an object. That mean his son was a manipulator too, but unlike his father, whom was also a manipulator, Daniel willed his shadow and not manipulate other people… “I take it you’re a Manipulator then.”
“Then tomorrow, I wish to test your Nen abilities, both of yours.” The man held out a finger to Killua “Considering Alluka barely knows about Nen, she’ll be out. But I won’t leave her alone. She’s free to read to books upstairs, play with Daemon, or she can play with Nathaniel.” The man held his fist to his chin, frowning slightly “Which reminds me, I have a new problem now…”
He held out a finger to Alluka, gesturing to her attire “I don’t know if Zaikaria has any spare clothes her size. I could try to look, but if she doesn’t have anything that suits her. I could always get Nathaniel to take your sister out shopping.”
Killua didn’t like that, but the fact Alluka’s eyes gleamed at the idea, meant he wasn’t in a position to argue. The man was so versatile when it came to controlling the mood, let alone the situation. Each piece he moves, Killua no longer could tell the man’s motives. Actually, now that he thinks about it, there was one thing Killua needed to know about the journal “Because we need Gyo to read and Shu to write in the journals, others can read and modify them too, correct?”
“Yes, it is possible to achieve secrecy if you use In. You can leave secret messages, but because the way journal works, it’s an amalgamation of aura, making it impossible for anyone, but yourself to read text shrouded in In. If you planned on leaving a secret message for others, forget about it. I’m trying to tinker with the inscription, but I’m unable to modify it, let alone copy it. I know how to do it… I just can’t do it, no matter how close to the script I can get.”
Killua ran his fingers of his chin, thinking seriously on the topic. His witnessed Inscriptions in play seven times now to date. Wing’s promise string, Ging’s gift to Gon, Wolfbane, The memory cards for Greed Island, the rings within Greed Island, the five books in the library, and now the journals.
The ability to wield or write Inscriptions is quite versatile, using one’s own Nen, to alter everyday objects to do wonderous things. He could argue his learnt something new today, but whether or not coming here will be helpful to Alluka, hasn’t be decided yet.
Chapter 3: A Promise, is a Promise
Killua keeps his promise
A/N: This chapter is just pure fluff with a mix of shameful, SHAMEFUL Smut (and barely, if any, plot). Anything I include here that I think is valuable plot points, will be covered in the next chapter.
Also, if you don’t want to read two boys getting it on, just skip this chapter, that’s why I’m releasing (pun not intended) two chapters this week. *throws confetti* Now excuse me while I go hide in a corner for this shameful chapter I just wrote without any shame whatsoever
Daniel covered his mouth as he yawned, his journal being placed on the bedside table alongside Killua’s. It’s been a long day, and as tired as he was, Killua seemed to be the polar opposite. He felt on edge, uneasy with leaving Alluka alone.
Sure, she was in the guest room, right across from them, but he had a gut wrenching feeling that leaving her alone will cause her to have nightmares about her time spent alone back at the Zoldyck estate.
He didn’t want her to go through that again.
Daniel brought his arms around Killua, the boy tensing at the touch. With a gentle kiss along the boy’s shoulder, Killua whine at the gesture. He shouldn’t be overly worried, considering Daemon is with her. He likes cuddling up with people, and Alluka loves the attention, the warmth, the hug; even when it coming from a dog.
He just felt like his body wouldn’t let his worries go away, keeping him bordering on the brink of insanity. Daniel was trying his best to comfort him, so maybe he should just give in, leaning into the touch as much as he can, to let all his worries drain away.
But there was another thing on his mind right now. He was alone, with Daniel. Sure, that pulled his thoughts towards an arising situation, but he was unsure if he was comfortable dealing with it now. He had after all fantasied about Daniel touching him while he was standing in this position.
The more he let his mind wander, the harder it was to think about his worries. He could use it as both a distraction, and a way to talk about a topic he promised to revisit back on the airship.
Killua accidentally moaned when he felt a hand slipping under his shirt, the sound making Daniel pull away. It was the longest awkward silence any of them felt, each ones’ skin tone matching the other.
Killua turned around, the boy experimentally pulling the other into a long kiss. To this very day, their kisses still felt a little awkward, mostly in an experimental way, with a rare few feeling just right, almost perfect…
His mind finally made the decision, to let go of his worries and flow with the mood. He wanted to bring up the topic on the airship right now, to just devoid themselves into a lustful tenor. But how does he start it off? He guessed it couldn’t hurt to try being a little forward, pulling back slightly, the boy spoke softly into his boyfriend’s lips “Daniel, the other day… I made a promise to teach you something…”
Daniel nodded, afraid to say anything just in case he sours the mood. What would he even say to that? Killua’s most likely talking about the promise to teach him how to masturbate. It’s not like he was going to say yes, teach me how to quote abuse my noodle unquote, as Killua put it.
Killua took Daniel’s lack of words as a way to let him know, that the boy was just as, if not more embarrassed about having to be taught how to jerk off. It was his time to shine, to show Daniel the wonders of self-pleasure.
He just hoped he couldn’t do anything to ruin it. Killua wouldn’t want to make Daniel uncomfortable, especially during a situation he would most likely want to revisit. Curling his fingers, the boy stroked Daniel’s cheek with the backside of his hand “Can you by chance, lock your door?”
Daniel nodded at the sensual touch, eager to return to their kiss.
With a warm smile, Killua then issued his first command “Then, can you lock it, then jump into your bed.” He was happy Daniel followed his commands without an argument, letting him live out his every desire. At this point, he wouldn’t mind if he can drive his boyfriend to the point of insanity where he’ll likely bottom for him.
Although, that would be really pushing it from his understanding of the boy. He watched Daniel moving back to the bed, licking his lips at the sight. Daniel had grown a little more, his old clothes looking tighter around the arms, but it also gave away some of the boy’s skin, showing a little of his belly button off.
Although, he wasn’t like he was fairing any better. Any taller and his clothes might have been considered a crop top. He was just lucky he didn’t have any sleeves on the pyjama top he was given. On the plus side, his pants were slightly loose thanks to the elasticity and string which he could use to loosen it further.
Killua felt himself blush once he realised where his attention was being drawn to. He had unconsciously been staring at Daniel’s ass for way too long, his subconscious giving away the fact that really wanted a piece of that.
Once Daniel jumped up onto the bed, Killua hovered over his boyfriend, leaning back into their earlier kiss, to hopefully live out a fantasy of his.
He tried to make each kiss eager, libidinous. His hand gently sliding under Daniel’s pyjama top as he made sure to keep the mood sensual for his own sake. He wanted it to be more about the touching and feelings rather than just explanation dumping on the poor boy.
Nothings a turn off, like having the intricacies of playing with ones’ self being explained point-by-point. An eager moan was ripped out of Daniel’s mouth, almost seeming to be swallowed by Killua’s lustful nature. He could feel himself harden at the response, his need being driven by the more lustful tendencies he never knew he had.
Killua pulled both hands under Daniel’s shirt, reaching under to pull them off. It forced Daniel to pull his arms up, the sexual drive being lost by the awkward pose. But once Killua managed to bundle the shirt under the boy’s armpits, he pulled them up, removing the pyjama top.
Daniel blushed at how eager Killua came back to return the kiss, another moan being ripped right out of him. His boyfriend was slowly driving him insane, and while he didn’t like this new side to himself, he didn’t exactly want the touching to stop.
Nor did he want to be experiencing these feelings alone. He reached out to take Killua’s pyjama top off. Killua however stopped him, pushing his arms back down with barely any force “No, just focus on what I’m doing to you, so can learn how to do it to yourself…”
“But, I…” Daniel bit his lip, seeing the innocent warm smile being directed at him made him feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. He could feel a part of himself wanting to let go, to be taken to a world of pleasure. But the tiniest parts of him still wanted to resist “I don’t want you to be the only one… you know, doing this.”
Killua chuckled as he ran one of his hands down the side of Daniel’s face, fingers tracing random inches of the boy’s features “I’m teaching you…”
“But you’ve only removed my top and kissed me for the last… two minutes give or take.”
Killua flushed at the idea that his only spent the few minutes kissing Daniel. Sure, his removed a top, but still his going as slow as possible, because rushing things tends to mean more mistakes “Daniel, I’m going slow, so your more comfortable with it… not freaking out.”
Daniel turned away, but Killua only brought his attention back to focus on him “don’t look away, please.”
“Alright, alright… slow and steady.”
As Killua was about to lean forward, Daniel stopped him one last time “Thanks, for doing it slow… It helps, a little.”
Killua hid his features behind his hair, a little overwhelmed by Daniel thanking him for ‘going slow’. Thanking him for saving their life is one thing… but getting thanked for going slow when teaching someone how to jack off, well that was just weird. The boy leaned forward, running a tongue over one of Daniel’s nubs.
The boy gasped in surprise, head reeling back, trying not to moan too loudly. He didn’t want to piss off Killua by waking Alluka up, let alone his parents with his constant moaning. The boy whispered “Killua, I don’t know why your licking my nipples… but it feels…”
“Good…? Weak points. Some of the… videos I watched, had guys who enjoy having their nipples being played with.”
“Now, please stop asking questions…” Or make me remind myself I’m using porn and desires to live out this fantasy.
Daniel nodded again, focusing on Killua’s actions. He raised his hand, gliding his fingertips through Killua’s hair, hoping the boy doesn’t stop him. Killua enjoyed the touches, making no moves to stop Daniel. As long as the boy doesn’t attempt to remove his clothes, his happy with this.
He might have to remove his own pants from the noises Daniel’s making, sure, he would like to muffle the boy so that he doesn’t wake his sister, or the boy’s parents up. But he’s really enjoying the sounds. He finds that it eggs him on, wanted to do more with him.
Killua moved over to the other one, licking it like the first one as he played with the other, pinching and flicking it lightly. When he felt Daniel tense up, this time it felt different. The boy had squeezed his eyes shut as he grits his teeth. Killua felt like there was something wrong “What’s wrong?”
“It hurt a little…”
Killua nodded as he returned back to the sensual play, now knowing the boundary of where pleasure meets pain, well, at least when it comes to playing with the boy’s nipples. He changed his methods, this time running his thumb along the nub, Daniel relaxed once more, moaning at the touch.
Hearing those moans once more made him really want to remove his pants, afraid that he’ll cum from just the erotic moaning. Or better yet, he needed to speed up the situation just a little. He took his thumb off as he wrestled with the boy’s pants, the awkwardness settling once more at his attempt to make things feel erotic.
Once the pants were off, Killua discarded them to the side, forgetting where they ended up. He took his free hand, letting it dance over Daniel’s underwear, fingers grazing over the boy’s dick through the fabric. It felt kind of weird, getting this close to another’s penis. But seeing the boy tensed, made it worth it. He knew he didn’t have to bother worrying about Daniel. After all he hadn’t told him to stop. From the reactions the boy was giving him, it told him that Daniel was enjoying it, so, he didn’t bother checking to see if his ok.
The boy moaning his name, and god damn, was it pleasing to his ears.
Oh, how much did he wanted to wrestle the boy out of his clothes, to take him right now. He wanted hear Daniel moan his name as he gives into pure pleasure, allowing his body to be taken by him. Killua panted, focusing on what he was doing than what was going on with his own body. It was turning him on, and this situation was supposed to be about teaching Daniel how to pleasure himself, not the other way around, receiving pleasure from a scenario where he wasn’t even touching himself.
Killua ran his fingers along the side of Daniel’s underwear, removing it. He stopped once Daniel was naked, enjoying the sight.
With flushed cheeks, Daniel checked to see what was going on, why the boy had suddenly stopped. What he saw made him shiver. Killua had licked his lips, and the act had kind of turned him on a little “Killua…”
When Killua turned to look at him, the sight made him tense up. Killua’s eyes were dark, filled with desire and endless wanton need for his body. He didn’t know if this was a good or bad thing, but the boy really needed to check to see if Killua was alright “Killua, are you ok?”
Killua snapped out of his thoughts, turning his head away in shame “Oh, shit… I’m sorry. It’s… no, never mind.”
Daniel pulled himself up, cupping Killua’s cheeks while he had hoped the boy will look at him. Killua took one hand within his own, roping his fingers in-betweens the boy’s. He was still unable to look the boy in the eyes, and that only scared Daniel a little, making him feel like he was the one causing Killua his internal grief.
Killua gave in after a long pause “Sorry, I was enjoying it a little too much.”
“It’s ok…” Daniel looked away with a guilty expression “Although, it was weird seeing you lick your lips from me being naked.”
“I- I d- did no such thing!”
Daniel broke out into laughter which caused Killua to break as well, laughing at the situation alongside Daniel. It eased his lower region, the almost accident no longer being an issue. He quickly kissed Daniel on the lips, smiling once more “I guess I should be thanking you now…”
“Maybe… although, I’m still a little worried for you.”
Killua shook his head “I’m ok, I was just… thinking dirty thoughts about you.”
Daniel smiled as he ran his fingers through Killua’s hair, egging the boy on to continue. While he wasn’t one for talking dirty, he’ll let Killua get away with it, voicing his on opinions on the situation. The more comfortable Killua was with testing the waters, the better, in Daniel’s opinion the sensual touching became.
He can’t deny he was loving this now, after all the moans and groans he had let out prior to the situation. To him, he felt nothing but love while Killua touched him “Oh, about what?”
Killua looked into the boy’s eyes, now guilty about his thoughts, sure it was his fantasy, but he was still afraid of how Daniel’s will react to the information. He couldn’t lie about it either, Daniel had an uncanny ability when it came to detecting his lies “I thought about… topping you. As in bending you over, hearing you cry out my name as I well… screw your brains out.”
“Oh…” Daniel pulled away his fingers, a little scared. Although, secretly it was because of the fear of being too much like his dad. But he didn’t want this to ruin what they have, so maybe for once in his life, he’ll put away his fears for his boyfriend “Maybe one day…”
Killua nodded as he felt defeated. He messed up by admitting those feelings, telling him how he fantasied about fucking Daniel. Maybe he should stop here, before he ruins the mood further. Daniel however, had a different idea. Reaching out, the boy clasp his boyfriend’s hands between his own, this time making sure Killua’s eyes, met his own “I don’t want this to end right now… please don’t stop.”
Killua cracked a smile pushing Daniel back down “Sure… but tell me to stop if you start to feel uncomfortable. I know I should have said that before we started, but now I’m really worried… I don’t want to sour your first.”
Daniel nodded as he closed his mouth, allowing his body, and control to be taken from him. He wanted to focus on what he was feeling, so what he learns here, he could apply on Killua. He wanted, no desired to touch Killua like he was doing to him, it was driving him mad with lust, and he was revelling in it, rather than fearing the outcome.
Killua ran his fingers lower, groping Daniel once more. Just like his first time a few seconds ago, only this time without the underwear, it still felt a little weird to touch a dick other than his own. But, it was quite addicting, for different reasons. If Sakura and Daniel didn’t exist, would it just as fun to do this with Gon… to drive him to the point of insanity like he was doing to Daniel?
Apart of him said no, because this is only the beginning. He was sure Daniel would be willing to try new things the more comfortable he got, and that, will be the perk to his relationship.
Seizing control of the situation, Killua started off slow, stroking his boyfriend off at a long steady pace, every inch being corrupted by his hands. It made the boy squirm, flicking his head side-to-side he tried to hold the noises in.
He didn’t like it, so he decided to voice his opinion on the matter “Daniel, just let them out, just not too loudly…” Killua blushed right after, now having seconds thoughts about telling Daniel to moan for him.
Daniel gasped at the touch, letting a moan escape his lips, and from the corner of his eyes, he could see Killua was slowly starting to descend into the madness once more. Only this time, he’d rather not bring it up. He rather let Killua have his way with him for now, because it was starting to get fun now in his own opinion. His chest bubbled with affection, as well as something unnatural, unfamiliar.
But Killua didn’t stop there, he returned back to the old routine, the one Daniel couldn’t complain with. The kisses started off slow, ramping up the moment they became more eager, wanton. He brought his hands up, one running along Killua’s side as the other through the boy’s hair, unusually soft.
Killua stopped a moment, pulling away to nip and kiss Daniel’s neck, making sure to apply as little pressure to boy’s skin. He heard the same moans, but this time, he could tell the difference between the two.
When Killua nibbled, he would hear a gasp, whereas licking and sucking tended to make the boy moan more hungrily, and it was making him hard once more, dripping with desire. Oh god, how much he wanted Daniel to touch him now, letting the boy’s hands find his crotch, to stroke him just like what he was doing to Daniel. But at the same time, he wanted this to only be about Daniel, his own selfish needs and desires would have to wait, provided he doesn’t accidentally release into the borrowed pyjama bottoms.
Killua could tell the boy was getting closer to released, and the longer it went on, the more a second thought crossed his mind. He wanted to try it, to taste Daniel. If he didn’t like it, or Daniel felt uncomfortable, he could always stop.
Daniel’s half lidden eyes, panting face looked at Killua, unable to process, let alone respond to the boy’s calls. It made Killua’s pants strain. He had done this… he had driven Daniel over the edge, and he savoured the moment “I want to try something, do you trust me?”
Daniel swallowed once before nodded his head, letting his actions make up for his lack of voice or control over his own body.
Killua let go of the boy’s member, swinging his legs over so that he just hovered over Daniel’s body. Licking his lips, he took Daniel within his mouth. He could feel Daniel tense, grabbing his thighs as if he were using them to stop himself from drowning in pleasure.
Daniel cried out, a guttural noise being forced out. Killua ran his tongue over the boy, tasting every inch. It wasn’t the best thing his tasted, but it wasn’t the worst either. It was salty and sticky, and the harder Killua teased the boy, the more that leaked out. Considering his driven him this mad for so long, shows that he has a natural talent for manipulating Daniel’s body.
Although, he felt like he has been doing this for hours, the whole situation wasn’t longer than ten minutes, most of which was probably devoted to him removing his boyfriend’s clothes.
Daniel couldn’t take it anymore… he no longer wanted to be a bystander in all this pleasure. Without warning, Daniel reached out, running his fingers over Killua’s member through the boy’s pants.
Killua’s head shot up at the action, unable to contain his own moan. He wanted to tell the boy to stop, but his body wouldn’t allow it. It wanted- NO, needed to be touched. He was burning with pleasure, and if Daniel didn’t stroke him off, Killua will eventually have to.
It’s bad enough his probably already ruined the underwear, so he couldn’t destroy the pants as well “Wait, wait-” Killua felt his weight flipped over, Daniel now on top, face-to-face, eye-to-eye.
He felt his face burning from Daniel’s intense gaze, that the boy’s eyes were screaming how much he wanted him without words. He won’t let Daniel get the upper hand, but the longer that gaze remains on him, the harder it’s going to resist it’s call.
Killua used his weight to throw himself back on top, Daniel uncaring about who was on top, as long as this dream-like state continues, he couldn’t care less how it ended. Killua felt Daniel tugging at his pants, failing to remove it from his angle. It was souring the mood, but at this point he probably wasn’t even noticing.
Daniel was so lost in his own needs, that he just wanted to take off the boy’s pants, even he has to struggle to do so.
Killua swung his body over so they were side-by-side, both of them resting against the bed. It would make it easier for Daniel to take off his pants, and when he had done so, he ran his fingers over Killua’s member through his underwear.
He moaned at the touch, but, at the same time in his head he was laughing at the situation. The way Daniel was touching him, showed he had no experience whatsoever, and probably hasn’t learnt a single thing from this ordeal. But, he can’t exactly deny he was enjoying it. So instead, he returned to using his hand, roping his finger’s around Daniel’s, stoking the boy once more.
Daniel tensed at the action now sobbing, he was close to something. His body felt like something needed to be released, like he needed to pee. But he didn’t want to stop, he didn’t even want to tell Killua he wanted to stop. So, he did his damnedest to push through those feelings, to just hold on a while longer.
He stopped what he was doing, running his hands through his boyfriend’s underwear to remove them quickly. He fumbled a little, but he managed to get them down lower, which only earned a chuckle from Killua. Taking hold of Killua, he tried to mimic the boy’s movements.
Even though he had laughed a few seconds ago, he loved this side to Daniel’s eagerness to jack him off, going as far as to try to mimic his movements. Sure, he was fumbling, sometimes even gripping a little too hard at times, but he kind of like that Daniel was trying.
“Ki- Killua, s-stop. I really need to pee…”
That was his cue, so Killua did what he originally wanted to do. Pushing Daniel away, he slid back down the bed, swallowing the boy once more.
The action made Daniel only cry out, hands reaching to pull Killua away, but the boy only bopped his head faster as Daniel tried to hold in that gut wrenching feeling “S- S- Stop, I’m gonna… It’s- It’s!”
Everything felt like a blur right after, Daniel seizing, body turning almost into stone. He felt something came out of him, but rather than moving his head away, Killua only seemed to continue on. He could have sworn he felt Killua’s throat was constricting around his member, swallowing whatever was coming out. It was worrying, scary even, because he had no idea what was going on with his body.
But god damn was it intense, it felt kind of good to let go of whatever it was that came out.
Killua swallowed one last time, gagging a little. Jeez, I thought I’d drown. You really have never jacked off. And I didn’t want to spoil the bed… but fuck, damn that was hot! I broke him… Killua looked down, memorised by Daniel’s orgasmic face “Well, how was it…?”
“Bloody scary… but also really, REALLY good…”
“I’m glad…” Killua laughed as he flopped back down on the bed, hugging Daniel close. He could feel the boy lazily wrap his arms around him, but the heavy breathing only kept Killua aroused. He’d have to jack off soon, probably once Daniel falls asleep. He looked tired.
Although he felt really good about driving Daniel insane, he did however feel a little guilty. He should have warned Daniel that when he gets the gut wrenching feeling, he just needs to let go, and not be afraid.
Taking a deep breath, Daniel turned to the side, easing his breathing before leaning forward, smooshing their noses together. He was a little too tired to kiss, but he still wanted to get Killua to experience the same as he just had.
Daniel ran his fingers over Killua’s member, although the action was lazy in movements, Killua rolled over slightly, moaning at the touch “Ooo… you don’t have to do it, if you’re tired.”
“It won’t be fair…”
Killua laughed at the response, a warm smile being directed at the boy by his side “Alright, alright… want some tips?”
“Ok, slid your hand up and down, from the base, to the tip.” Killua moaned once Daniel did so, next explaining tempo and speed “O- Ok, g- good. Now, the head is where you’d want to pay the most attention. L- like that…”
Killua bit his lips. Daniel was a really fast learner, when he wasn’t the one getting all the attention. It was scary. Now all the boy had to do, was not grip it so hard “Ease on the grip… not to tight, but a little pressure. And if you can go a little faster…”
Daniel worked up the speed, and while he still fumbled around, Killua still enjoyed it. Actually, he was dangerously close. On the plus side, at least he jacked off earlier in the shower, so it means he won’t have to worry about shooting too much.
Still… he didn’t want to mess up the sheets “Do you have tissues?”
Like Killua had done with Daniel, he did the same to his boyfriend too. Although, he didn’t exactly suck him off. He instead sped up his hand movements a little, jacking him off as quickly as his tired body could allow him.
“Oh, ooo that feels good.” Killua bit his lip, trying to hold on for as long as he could. But within a minute, he couldn’t hold back anymore “I’m gonna… I’m gonna cum, Daniel.”
Daniel ghosted his hand over the top of the boy’s member, feeling something catch in his hand as he rolled his fingers over the tip. It was sticky once Killua had finished, panting just like had done so a little earlier.
Daniel hovered his hand above his face, white fluid covering bits of his palm and fingers.
“I’ll get a towel or tissue… where are they?”
Rather than responding, Daniel took his fingers in his mouth, lapping at the fluids. His face scrunched up at how bitter it was, like it’s flavouring was sucked out, leaving nothing but a bland taste with a hint of salt to enhance the dry flavour “It tastes REALLY bitter.”
Killua frowned “Yours wasn’t so bad though.” I kinda like it… “But I won’t be doing that ever again. Jeez, felt like I just swallowed a jug of your creamy goodness…”
Danie lazily poked Killua’s cheek with his non-sticky hand “And I thought your cum will taste sweet, just like you… considering the amount of sweets you consume.”
“You- You…” Killua flushed at the accusation “your weird! You don’t casually admit that…”
“Says the guy who swallowed my creamy goodness.”
“That was a joke, and you know it!”
Daniel laughed at Killua’s expression “You know, couldn’t you just Transmute the taste like you did with the water?”
“I… hadn’t thought of that. Next time I’ll jizz chocolate, just for you.”
Daniel laughed at that, shoving Killua slightly in the shoulder “Yeah, next time. Just don’t make it super sweet like you or your drinks.”
Killua shoved Daniel for that remark “Don’t say things like that. It’s super embarrassing.”
“Oh, so Alluka gets to call you cute all the time, but I’m the one who doesn’t get to say it because it’s embarrassing…”
“She’s not the one, who just licked ‘my’ cum off his fingers.”
“Nor is she the one who just sucked me off, complaining I cum like a hose.”
Killua broke into laughter once more, alright, that was funny “Sure, Fireman Dan!”
Daniel rolled over on top of Killua kissing the boy as he did the same, when they pulled apart, Killua scrunched his face “Wow, you are right. I do taste bitter as hell.”
They could only smile at each other, this time returning to kiss their boyfriend before sleep could take either of them away.
Chapter 4: Hold my hand
Daniel show's Killua old photos as Nathaniel take's Alluka Shopping
A/N: It’s my birthday… and I still can’t believe I just posted that last chapter. Ironically, it’s also my character’s birthday.
The boy was tired, yawning as he walked into the kitchen. Vastorie was already up and making breakfast, with coffee in one of his hand. Daniel scratched his head as yawned once more time before addressing his father “Morning…”
“Morning, how was last night?”
Daniel blinked once, covering his mouth as he spoke through another yawn “Tiring… slept fine though.”
“Like a baby once you” the man clicked with his mouth, never once turning around “You’re probably stress free right now.”
“Huh?!” Daniel let out a long yawn, too tired to figure out what his father was talking about “I’m too tired to play this game.”
“Let me make it easier for you… ahem.” Clearing his throat, the man did his best impression of his son, faking a moan “Killua~”
Daniel snapped wide awake, terrified at the fake impression “You heard us?!”
“No, I watched you from the camera I installed in your bedroom last year. You put on quite a show.” He spoke in the driest of tones, joking about the whole ordeal. Of course, he did no such thing. It’s not only rude but sickening as well. But god damn it, that squeak from behind him was worth the joke.
“I’m kidding. I just happened to walk by your room, might want to tone down the noise.”
“You’re still a freak! You don’t go listening on other people’s conversation.”
“Oh, yes… conversation. Because moaning each other’s names is a deep meaningful conversation.”
“Why are you listening?! You shouldn’t be listening at all! It’s private!”
“Then might I suggest you…” The man held out his free hand, rotating his fingers as if he were adjusting an invisible dial “turn down the volume.”
Nathaniel walked into the kitchen next, black bags under his eyes. He dipped his finger in the pancake mix before sucking his finger “Morning. How-” The man adjusted his back, feeling an intense aura flaring from his son “What’s going on?”
“Just some morning banter per usual.”
“Dad was listening to Killua and I… having some nightly activities?”
“Nightly activities…?” Nathaniel scratched his head at the words, now heading to the sink to grab a glass of water. It was far too early to try decipher codes “Plain speak. I’m too tired!”
“Being… um, intimate.”
“Oh, none for a week.”
“Huh?” Daniel quirked an eyebrow. Was that directed at him, no it couldn’t have been. Because the next thing he saw, was Vastorie’s mortified expression “No, you wouldn’t dare…”
As the man fumbled around the kitchen, he flicked the coffee machine on, addressing the man’s concern with another threat “Wanna make it a month?!”
Nathaniel let out a long peaceful sigh, only to find Daniel now confused “It’s the only thing that works. No-”
“No, I think I got it. I’m gonna go upstairs, and I believe gag if you’re talking about what I think you’re talking about.”
“If you thought about-”
“That’s it! One month!”
“Two weeks if you shut your mouth…”
“Fine!” The man pouted, arms crossed without spilling his drink “Breakfast in ten minutes.” He whined “Unless you want to have it in bed with Killua, just no crumbs.”
Pouring himself some coffee, Nathaniel sipped at his drink, making a disgusted noise “What is this, super black coffee?”
“I was extra moody this morning, so prepare for one month of disgusting coffee.”
“Make that six weeks now…”
“I’ll prepare a funeral for your taste buds.” The man sniffed in disgust, walking by the man before placing a kiss on his cheek “Still love you.”
Daniel had no clue why, but that whole argument made him smile. Maybe it was the affectionate kiss at the end, or the petty revenge, or even the reminder, that no matter what goes wrong, they were still willing to work something out in the end.
He thought that the same rules apply to him and Killua, that no matter what fight they go through, they’ll still be able to say I love you by the end. No matter what they’re fighting about.
Vastorie poked his dazed son “Up, sleeping beauty. Go upstairs, wake Killua and get out of those PJs. Breakfast is soon.”
“What about breakfast in bed?”
“Shoo, no crumbs I the bed. I need to speak to the both of you. We’ve got training at ten.”
“Training…?” Daniel groaned at the news. And so early in the morning.
“This one will be worth it, I promise. Now, skedaddle!”
Daniel ran upstairs, jumping back into the bed, he won’t say what happened this morning about last night, just in case Killua regrets his decision. He enjoyed it, no matter how much his father twisted it in the morning.
Killua groaned at his name, turning away from Daniel “Wha~t…?” the groan was long, bordering between sleep and barely awake. He had tugged on the doona, cocooning himself within Daniel’s bed.
The boy couldn’t help but smile at the scene unfold, but the boy still needed to wake up “Killua, sleepy head… wake~ up.”
The boy waved his hand “Shoo… you shouldn’t be up at five.”
“Still too early.”
“We’re having pancakes…”
Killua grunted in annoyance, waving his hand once more to shoo his boyfriend away “I wanna sleep. Wake up Alluka… she’ll love some pancakes.”
Daniel gently ran his fingers along the boy’s side, finger dipping in the curve, dangerously close to the boy’s lower region. Killua whined once more, throwing himself around to look Daniel in the eyes, slightly peeved “I’m, too tired…”
Daniel chuckled as he removed his hands, laughing at the success at waking him up through unnatural means “Good, you’re up. Vastorie has some training planned later this morning.”
“You, and your father are evil… who tortures someone in the morning with training. Actually, don’t even answer that.” Killua rolled over, stealing both pillows as he used one to cover his face.
Daniel only stole it back, placing it behind the boy, resting his head against it as he held Killua close, hugging him from behind “I love you…”
Killua blushed at the words, affectionate words so early in the morning, another kryptonite apparently. Oh god, he still felt crusty from last night. He even smelled bad. With a reluctant sigh, Killua turned over to face Daniel, blushing once more once he realised how close the two were. Although, on the plus side, he was enjoying the warmth of the other’s affectionate hug “Morning…” Yawning in the boy’s face, Daniel swished his hand back and forth, removing the musky bitter smell from his face “stinky breath.”
“Yours isn’t much better…” Killua argued back with a sly smirk.
Daniel could only smile as he hugged the boy, Killua now running his hand through the boy’s hair. He casually placed a kiss on the side of boy’s head, his mind not registering the action at all.
“Killua, we’re having pancakes.”
“I can smell…”
“And training at ten.”
Daniel sighed in the boy’s chest, now wondering if he should actually keep the conversation downstairs as a secret. Against his better judgment, he brought it up “Vastorie heard us last night…”
“I…” Killua blew a raspberry once his mind snapped wide awake. Shit, they couldn’t have been that loud! How much did he know? He fucked up so bad! He shouldn’t have done it now… he should have waited… waited until they were travelling.
“Even knowing that, I don’t regret it…”
“I shouldn’t have- wait, what? This whole situation is wrong! Won’t he tease you… isn’t it weird?”
“The thing is… I semi told Nathaniel as well…”
“YOU DID WHAT?!”
Daniel brought up his hands, using them to calm the boy down “He gave Vastorie a painful reminder. So, now I won’t be teased about it.”
“But…” Killua bit his lip. Wait, even if Nathaniel knew, as long as he keeps Vastorie’s mouth shut, he won’t bring up the conversation with Alluka… as long as she didn’t hear them as well. Then again… Killua let out a long groan. He didn’t like people knowing about that “I messed up… should have waited…”
“I’m glad you didn’t…”
When Killua looked down, he saw the boy’s guilty smile. Fuck, between Daniel’s cute moans and that smile, maybe it won’t be so bad… on the plus side, at least Daniel was more willing to try new things. The next time they do it while they’re traveling, he’ll make sure every place they go too has some thick ass walls!
Nobody, not even Alluka was allowed to hear that boy.
“Sure, sure…” Killua cracked a smile “I- I guess it’s good I didn’t wait.”
Breakfast went without a hitch, Daemon making his rounds, placing his head on everyone’s legs until he got something. It was still weird to see a dog with its hallowed black eyes and green iris looking up at him expectantly, wanting a treat of some sort.
He didn’t know how to handle something so cute, from something that looks like it came from hell. But if the dog got bored of waiting after a few minutes of nothing, he’d move onto the next person.
Vastorie didn’t seem the mind the childish chewing and loud gulps of air from the shovelling of food down their throat. He definitely needed to do shopping run. But if he’s also going to need to complete that training motives. We wanted to see Killua and Daniel’s Hatsu in action, to not only defend, but work on methods to improving it.
That’s what he’s always done… and what he’ll forever do…
He spoke clearly from behind his paper, food remaining untouched “Alright, the time is roughly eight. Change of plans. I’ll give you four hours instead, so you got until twelve to do whatever. I need to do a shopping run, because two certain boys are going to eat me out of the house.”
Killua swallowed his food, feeling just a tad bit guilty. Sure, the man overheard them last night, and if it weren’t for a certain event last night, he wouldn’t be this hungry. But that wasn’t all, if Nathaniel wasn’t here, or made that deal, he’ll probably try to insinuate their nightly activities were the cause of this hunger. And to make matters worse, his crappy diet yesterday didn’t help either.
“Dad, let it go. I promise we’ll be out of here the sooner we get our information.”
“And what information might that be?” He flipped a page, refusing to let go of the pages which hid his widening smile.
“You’re a well-versed traveller…”
The man quirked an eyebrow “What you mean? You want me to tell you what’s going on in the world? Looking to pick up a job or two?”
“Yes, well… no. Killua, and I want to take Alluka to places. We want to travel the world… together. And we’re wondering where you would recommend?”
“You’re going to have to narrow that list down. I could list millions of things you could do. What exactly do you want to do? Hot spots? Festivals? Tours? School? What, exactly?”
Daniel looked at Killua, expecting an answer from him “You’ve travelled the world?”
“Twice, over my age. And it’s still mostly… unexplored.”
“My sister… you were right last night by the way. Alluka hasn’t gotten out much, so I want to take her to mostly festivals, try new foods, maybe even school.”
“Then I suggest Xavier’s school of the gifted at Yorknew.”
“Did you just… make a marvel joke.”
“Actually, no. Xavier, the man I’m talking about is, or more like was a real man. His name was Xavier Griffith. He excelled in philosophy and genetics, mostly on cures that were otherwise uncurable. While he didn’t manage to find a cure for everything, some people, mind you… still use some of his findings to this day, hoping to eventually cure, well… everything.”
“His research on the genetic disease Laka-tama as well as Banshee’s Eye, were two of the cures he left behind for us.”
“Oh, I heard of Banshee’s Eye.” Killua broached the topic “That’s the one that affected one’s eyes. Noises tended to flicker one’s vision, often distorting what they perceive as being something else.”
“You would be correct. But it wasn’t just noises, to make it simpler, anything the brain could register, which could be heard with one’s own hearing capabilities, would scramble their line of sight. Even releasing a breath, could harm their sight. The older one got, the harder it was to see. Sometimes, they would even go mad, screaming mad, which is where the Banshee part came in. Now, for Laka-tama, it worked in mysterious ways. But most case, it always ends in something-”
“This isn’t the place for that discussion, Vastorie…” Nathaniel added quietly, a stern look being directed at his husband “No one wants to hear what Laka-tama does, while eating food…”
“Oh, right… food. Anyways, the Xavier’s motto was: Anything that can be caused, without need, isn’t something Humanity should shoulder on through to the future generations. Some powerful words in my opinion. His nephew, Eifion Mattocks is currently the deacon there. I can put in a good word if you like…”
Killua shifted in his seat, there must be a catch to that deal. He still couldn’t believe, that a man who is reviled by his family, was willing to offer a helping hand of that kind, to their son “I’ll… have to think about it.”
“Then I’ll just forward your name. Just, the first name… Now, what- or where would you like to start?”
Killua and Daniel looked at each other. Where do they even begin their journey? Start here, in this country, or move to another and work their way around.
Daniel tapped his finger on the table before speaking up “I want to find a path that makes me understand you better…”
Vastorie pulled the paper away, perplexed from his son’s own words. What does he mean by understanding him better? “Why me? Are you sure you want to go down that road…?”
“Yes, if the election taught me anything, it’s that I know nothing about what you’re hiding.”
The man nodded before returning to his paper “Fine, I’ll write a list of at least ten people who you should visit. They’ll most likely talk about different aspects of me… Although, you’ll probably never understand me. No one ever does…”
Daniel and Killua looked, puzzled by the last statement. He kept it open, as if he was expecting to be challenged. But it could also be a trap, one they may never walk away from.
When Daniel turned to look at his other father for guidance, he had already gotten up, walking away to do his own dishes. Was that statement just a figment of their imagination? No, it couldn’t be right… Killua looked at him as well. They had both heard it…
Maybe even Alluka as well. She also seemed a little perplexed when Killua drew his attention to her. Something was going on behind the scenes, and Killua didn’t like the situation one bit.
Vastorie had left to do shopping while Nathaniel took Alluka to do some shopping. It left the boys and Daemon to keep themselves busy. Daniel shifted his attention to his boyfriend, the two lounging around in the living room as Killua played with the latest console Vastorie must have gotten while he was away.
The boy relaxed his head, laying comfortably against Daemon. This scene seemed to remind him of his last pet, the need to surf through the old photos settling in the pit of his stomach. He wanted to do it, but at the same time, he was writing in his journal. He felt like leaving an old message for himself to read, something he would like to re-read whenever he felt lonely.
Sure, his going to be travelling alongside Killua and Alluka now, but that still doesn’t mean they’ll be doing everything together. Nathaniel was doing one thing, and Vastorie was doing another. So, the rules applied to Killua and himself as well…
Daniel looked at the clock, they still had three and a half hours to kill. He wanted to practice one of the fundamentals of Advanced Nen, In. If what Vastorie said was true, no matter how crappy his In is, no one, other than himself should be allowed to read it.
He wrote, willing his aura to remain hidden, although, without the need to remove it.
“If you’re trying to hide your aura, you’re failing…”
“I’m trying to test a theory…” Daniel wrote line after line, testing if he could preform it on multiple levels. He wanted to find the perfect amount of discretion, when In works in his journal.
He wrote the same line over and over, marking each one with a number beside it. Once he had fit as many lines as he could, he turned the book to show his work “Killua, can you tell me which out of the thirty lines you can’t see?”
Killua had preformed an uppercut, pausing the moment the enemy when airborne “What for…?”
Killua turned his head, taking the journal from Daniel’s grasp. He wrote the line can you read this over and over, some of which were hidden to his eyes. What the man said was true, if someone attempted to write every line with In, it would be unreadable to those whose Nen did not match the owners.
It was weird, but he couldn’t lie about being able to read them all. Killua shifted his gaze back to the boy, weary about the reasoning to this test of theory “Number six to eight, twelve, thirteen, nineteen, twenty-two to twenty-six, and twenty-nine, why?”
Daniel accepted the numbers, finding line twenty-two and twenty-six to be the best constant war between waning strength and consistency “Thanks, I’m trying to practice so if I ever need to write anything for myself, I know that I can keep it hidden…”
Killua huffed “You’re gonna write a secret love letter…” the boy turned back to his game, unpausing it before he continued playing.
Killua’s cheeks flared at the non-existent denial, not expecting Daniel to accept the joke as a real possibility. He feared to turn around, after feeling the aura frailing behind him. He was hoping that what the boy was writing, was only a joke, and not the real deal.
Now that he thought about it, he was kind of uncomfortable right now, him and Daniel together, if they didn’t count the dog, alone in the house. They should be doing something together, non-sexually of course.
Daniel continued to write in his journals, scribbles at this point, but he hoped to write down his mood, his feelings, even if it sounded like a jumbled mess. Thankfully, it wasn’t too bad, and it made some sense to him, not that it was designed for anyone else to read it.
Killua finally piped up “We should do something now, you know, together?”
Daniel stopped scribbling from Killua’s words, looking up to take in his boyfriend’s features. His back was turned to him, so he could only imagine what the boy’s expression was “Like…?”
“I don’t know, it’s your house… what you got?”
“Dojo, forest, library, gaming consoles… you take your pick.”
Killua let out a reluctant sigh. My choice, huh…?
Raiden Wins… Fatality…
Killua placed the controller down, thinking about what he wanted to really do. Daniel didn’t seem to be the exploring type like Gon, so he probably doesn’t know what to find where in his backyard, but considering he offered that choice, he must know something about the place…
Forget about training, Daniel couldn’t even practice sparring with him, out of fear from laying even the tiniest of mark on his skin. Not only that, Vastorie had plans for them after.
So that left the library and the gaming console, considering he has been playing this game alone for the last half an hour, maybe either the library, or… he could try his luck with forest…
Killua hummed… he didn’t really feel like studying right now, not while the possibility of studying in the future existed. Tapping the controller, Killua decided to make his choice “what are you thinking of doing in the library?”
“Not so much in the library…” Daniel got up, leaving his journal behind. Daemon raised his head, planning to get up to chase down the boy, but Daniel stopped him before he could move an inch “stay, I’ll be right back.”
It wasn’t too long before Daniel came back, five books held close to his chest “Sorry it took so long, but I’ll probably never get the chance to do this with yours, so I wanted to do it with mine instead.”
Taking one in his fingertips, Killua flipped through its pages to see what it was inside. It held photos of different ages, mostly of Daniel “You want to look at family photos…? That was you plan?”
“Not necessarily. You probably don’t like your childhood…”
“What childhood? I’ve been training to be an assassin since… well, forever…”
Daniel went quiet, accepting that Killua past childhood was lost forever, but that doesn’t mean he still can’t experience some aspects of it, even if it’s through images. Daniel Looked at the remaining books in his hand, selecting the one labelled three to six. He turned a couple of pages before stopping at one in particular, turning it to show Killua before tapping the photo “Here…”
Killua scrutinised the photo. It was a photo of Daniel and Vastorie, the boy being cradled by his father, both smiling together. He had to be around four, possible three. Daniel was in a little black suit, possible at ball or exotic party. Vastorie on the other hand was wearing a pure white one, the lining tipped with red velvet sparkling linen, maybe silk.
He had no context, other than what they were wearing “So, what’s this?”
Daniel smiled as he flipped it back towards himself, fingers gliding across one of the four corners “It was back when I was four. It was a ballroom party, maybe… I remember smiling that day, not because the event was fun, because it wasn’t... at least what I could remember about the day. I was smiling that day, because I got the spend the time with my fathers, but… it was because Vastorie held me close… making the night lights dance by as he spun me around, dancing to the sounds of the endless night.”
“Huh…” Killua hummed as he looked at the reversed image, understanding what Daniel was trying to show. He wanted to show an aspect of his life, one that will make him understand not what he missed out, but what he could give Alluka.
She may have missed a chunk of her childhood, but he still had the opportunity to leave behind memories which Alluka could cherish, much like Daniel was reminiscing on from the old photos.
The boy held out his hand, taking Daniel’s into his own, thumbing the top as he shifts his butt closer, now both using the poor dog’s body as a head rest. Daemon didn’t seem to mind being used, he actually enjoyed the comfort of another close by “Show me another…”
Daniel turned another few pages, Killua’s hand never once leaving his own. He stopped at another photo, This time of him and a dog. He already forgotten the looks a long time ago, but seeing the animal now, made tears fall. He roped his fingers around Killua’s, the boy returned the gesture, interlocking his fingers around his own.
Daniel pulled out the photo, flipping it to see if there was a name on the back. Fenrir and Daniel. So, the Fox, possible a wolf, was named Fenrir. His dad seemed to be lazy when it can to names, often picking mythological names for things. Daniel, is the most normal sounding name out of all of them so far. And he highly doubts Vastorie thought it up…
“Fenrir, apparently… it was the dog I was talking about. Although, I guess I mistook it. Looks more like a fox, maybe even a wolf.” Daniel found himself smiling once more “I remember the dog as being this massive thing, but now that I look at it, it’s probably no bigger than I am now. Anyways, Fenrir used to curl his tail around me, he’ll always sleep in a circle. His tail always touching his nose. I loved him…”
Killua felt Daniel’s smile was contagious, and soon he felt himself smiling alongside his boyfriend. Looks like this won’t be a waste of time “Let’s keep going!”
Daniel nodded in Killua direction before flipping over the pages, pointing out bits and pieces of his past.
Nathaniel hummed of himself as he walked through the shopping centre, Alluka’s legs dangling around his neck. He had both arms up, the girl holding onto his hand so she wouldn’t fall. It’s been a long time since he done this, having someone atop his shoulders, squealing in delight.
Alluka was very happy where she was, almost forgetting that her brother wasn’t here with her. A part of her missed him, missed his soft touches, the way he cradles her in his arms.
But on the other hand, she could see over the crowd of people, and she loved it “Mister Na-”
“No need for formalities, little Alluka. You can call me Nathan for short.”
Alluka found herself smiling “Nathan…?”
“Where are we going?”
The man puckered his lips, wondering about that too. He has only known Alluka for one day now, so finding her style will be difficult. Apart from the Shrine Maiden dress she was wearing yesterday, she was now forced into a t-shirt and pants, because Daniel’s old clothes were the only size that fit her, and she didn’t like it one bit. She felt uncomfortable, unnatural in those clothes.
Zaikaria’s smallest sized clothes were back when she was sixteen, so that was a no go. Ok for night gowns, but not for walking in public. It was too big and would drag across the floor. After hearing Alluka complaining about wearing his son’s clothes for the outing, he promised to buy her lots of clothes, ones that she may take with her later.
Like his husband, money means nothing to him. So, he didn’t mind if she wanted the more expensive clothes, he was happy as long as she was happy “Wherever you want. There’s a couple of places nearby. So, are you into frilly dresses? Cute patterns? Whatever you want… I’ll try find it.”
Alluka hummed, legs swinging up and down. She liked dresses because her brother often said they looked cute on her. But she wouldn’t mind a few skirts, something frilly with a matching throw over jumper “I want… some cute dresses… maybe some nice frilly shirts with skirts.”
The man hummed, thinking of the layout of the shopping centre “We could try out… Colourful Shawl, Humble Owl Outfitters… and Cuddlees Growth. You’ll probably like Cuddlees and Colourful Shawl.”
“Ok!” Alluka felt giddy, wondering what she’ll be able to pick out first. Nathaniel took her to Cuddlees Growth first, seeing as it was the closest to them. He took her inside, placing her down so she could look around for herself. Yet, not even two steps in, and they were already bombarded by an employee “Welcome to Cuddlees Growth, where love fits all.”
Oh god… The man cringed inside, thank god Vastorie wasn’t hear. He’ll go to town on this poor girl “Yes, my…”
The woman clapped her hands together, for a moment, ignoring his words as she bent down towards the child “What a cute boy!”
“Girl… she’s my Son’s boyfriend’s sister… let’s make that niece, just to make things easier.”
The employee stood up at the mistake “Sorry, she just had-”
“Yes, well aware of the issue. I’m looking for something a little cuter than ‘I’m borrowing my brother’s boyfriend’s old clothes’. So, can you point us in the direction of the girl’s clothes?”
Nodding the person held out their finger “In the back towards the right. Please don’t hesitate to call one of us for help, sir.”
The man bowed before following her directions, leading Alluka into the back. He sat down on one of the many seats, letting her decide on what she would like, rather than picking and choosing himself.
He was terrible when it came to clothes, the disaster of the wardrobe. While he preferred Vastorie went instead, not only was he lucky that the man didn’t go, he felt like Killua would worry even more. It was a little strange to see Vastorie pick up on that, especially when he would’ve loved to play dress up with little Alluka.
Alluka came back up to him while h was in his daze “I don’t know what size I am. There’s all these numbers and I don’t know what to do.”
Now, this I can help with… “Alright, I want you to show me which one’s you like. I’ll pick out a couple of sizes in different ones, we’ll try narrow down your size.”
Smiling at the information, she took the man’s hand within her, guiding, or dragging in Nathaniel’s eyes to what she wanted to show him. She showed which ones she liked as the man spread the clothes, finding ones of sizes he thinks will fit her. He managed to make eight sets before being dragged once more, this time to the change rooms.
He allowed Alluka to go in by herself, standing outside as he waits her call “Nathan, I think I’m a size thirteen.”
“Hold on, let me come in to check.” When the latch unlocked, he walked in, greeted by a pant-less girl. He chuckled before leaning down, noticing something a little abnormal. He paid no attention to the obvious tent, scrutinising the plaid shirt. It looked like the right fit, but it seemed a little tight around her waist.
“Did I give you a fourteen?”
Alluka went through the shirts before picking up the frilly pink one, a plain throw on style shirt.
“Try that on for me…”
Alluka switched shirts, Nathaniel helping her roll it over her body. It looked a little too loose now. With that information, he picked up the plaid shirt she tried on last. It was a slim fit. That might explain the trouble with her size. So, she was a fourteen ‘slim fit’ and normally thirteen. The other problem was she needed better underwear, it looked worn out, and a boy’s style one. Not because it was Daniel’s old underwear, no he threw those out long ago. These looked like it was intended for her…
“Alright, I’m gonna find replacements for those…” the man gestured to her lower regions, Alluka flushing in embarrassment. It was obvious something was sticking out, something she felt as though it was unnatural to her body. Killua already explained it to her, but that doesn’t mean she liked her circumstance “Am I disgusting to you…”
Hearing the question, the man felt his gaze return to the girl, disgusted at her question “What makes you think that?” The man whispered, hoping to draw no attention to their conversation.
“Because I have that…” the girl croaked, sobbing silently from her own thoughts. Nathaniel wiped away the tears, smiling ever so softly at the young girl “No, not at all…” he shook his head, planting a small kiss on her forehead. He needed to have a discussion with Killua, an embarrassing one at that. Not out of judgment, but one with knowledge his learnt over the years.
Not every girl in Alluka’s position have had the same experiences, but his heard differentiating opinions, and maybe one will fit with her values. He’ll have to sit Killua down and explain some terms like tucking, hoping that it will help Alluka out in the future. If she feels disgusted with what she has, then making her comfortable with what she has is the best approach “I’ve met many girls in your position, and while I’m not the best one for advice, I can point you in a couple of directions. I know a few girls in a similar position to you, and maybe they can help you. Would you like that?”
Alluka smiled a little, nodding her head at the words.
With a small smile, Nathaniel ruffled her hair “Alright, good girl. Now let’s get your size. I’ll just have to ask one of the ladies for help with underwear. I’m not the best when it comes to that, and we can’t really try them on.”
“Ok…” When the man got up to leave, Alluka stopped him “Thanks, Nathan… I think Daniel grew up to be like you. He’s really understanding, just like you…”
The words made his lip quiver, hearing Daniel has taken after him. His son has always had a fear of being compared to Vastorie, so hearing someone say his more like him, made it harder to contain the tears of joy “He would love to hear that from you.”
With that, the man walked out closing the door behind him, leaving only once he heard the door lock once more. Daniel has grown up a lot, and Killua may be the reason as to why his like this. He’ll have to thank the boy, and give him advice for his sister, as well as float a few names of people who may be able to help Alluka.
Chapter 5: Sage’s Archive of horrors
It hasn’t even been two days yet, and his already felt more comfortable with the situation than he has ever felt in his entire life. Sure, he experienced the same things with Gon’s aunt, Mito, but this…
This was just the right move. From the moment he reminisced alongside Daniel over his boyfriend’s past, to the moment Alluka ran into his arm, giggling and laughing over how much fun she had, and all the cute things Nathaniel brought at her request. This all proved that this was the right move. He couldn’t thank Daniel’s family enough, smiling the whole way through when Alluka showed him item after item.
He hugged her close once she was finished, crying internally about how lucky they were. Now that he pushed her away, sure, he noticed the wardrobe malfunction with Alluka, but she seemed to be happy sporting her sky-blue plaid shirt with the strawberry-pink frilly skirt, and a creamy brown short-sleeve jacket or vest going by the design. And to top it off, she also had a little pink and red glitter butterfly pinned between her fringe and right ear, meshing well with the emotional cartoon faces hair bands.
She was his cute little sister, and seeing her this happy, could only make him happier. It took him a while to notice it, too drawn in by his sister’s charm. Nathaniel behind her was waving a finger at him. He was calling him for a private talk.
He continued to smile before looking back at Alluka, never once letting his worries show “Alluka, go play with Daniel. He’s got some wonderful photos to show you.”
She ran after the boy, eager to see the photos Daniel was showing. Once she disappeared out of his sight, he turned to Nathaniel “You wanted to talk?”
“Yes, but first follow me.” The boy was lead into the study, the man closing the door behind him.
“So, what did you want to talk about?”
“Alluka wasn’t born a girl, was she…”
Killua bit his lip, he swears to god, Daniel’s dad better not be biased like his family, the whole lot of them always calling her a he when Alluka was in fact a she. He was about to abuse the man, but Nathaniel stopped him “I’m worried about her, because she broke down in the change room when I noticed a… tent. This is awkward…”
Killua ignored the second half the sentence about a ‘tent’, more worried about his sister’s health and safety “Wait, what you mean she broke down in the change room?”
Nathan leaned down to Killua, looking the boy in the eyes “She thought, and I quote Am I disgusting to you… Because I have that… unquote, which is why I’m speaking to you in quiet. Does she have acceptance issues? Is there anything I can help with? Anything at all…? Doctors, people I can point you towards that can help you, help her?”
“I…” Killua hid his face, he couldn’t believe that his mind originally thought Nathaniel was the judgmental type. If anything, the way the man carried himself, he was more like Daniel… open and willing to talk things over. He’s been on edge for so long about Alluka’s mis-gendering that as soon as they find out that she has male genitals, they’ll automatically start referring to as a ‘he’.
Nathaniel raised an eyebrow, resting his hands on both of Killua’s shoulders “Something you don’t like to talk about?”
Killua’s eyes snapped wide open “No, it’s just…”
“Jumped to conclusions…”
Nathaniel ruffled the boy’s hair as he stood up “Well, when you want to talk about it, you can come approach me. Not Vastorie, just me…”
“I wouldn’t even approach that man if he was the last information broker on the planet.”
“Right…” Nathaniel awkwardly scratched the back of his head, worried about souring the boy’s mood.
“There is something…”
“Anything you want, just ask…”
“Thanks, for taking her out. She’s really happy about the things you did for her. Sure, it hurts to know that she still has that resentment towards her body… but little things really do help her.”
“Then, would you like to know about tucking?”
Nathaniel nodded once “Yes, I… hold on.” The man got up, flipping through a series of cards, grunting in annoyance before pulling a drawer open next, picking through pages “I know it’s here some- found it.” He flicked the card out, showing it to Killua.
“Ashton Nieves? Whose-”
“She, is someone who may be able to help Alluka. She lives in Yorknew, as a… drag producer. But ignore that for now. Ashton lived in a similar position to Alluka, feeling not right with the body she was born with. So, I thought, maybe-”
He didn’t have time to think before arms were wrapped around him, surprising him for the second time that day “Thank you…”
A crooked smile, inched across the man’s lips, a single hand resting on the boy’s shoulder “Anything, for the boy who helped my son.”
“I- I didn’t do anything like that.” Killua huffed in annoyance, which only made Nathaniel burst out in laughter. To see him rubber band from affectionate in a caring way, to absolutely denying something he believes he hasn’t done was funny. But he still wanted to thank Killua, even if the boy believed didn’t he deserved it.
“I had my suspicions, as would any parent after being told about their son’s partner was an Ex-Assassin.”
Killua looked up annoyed, find that offensive to be lumped in with the rest of his family of aggressive killers. He’s not like them, able to show his feelings, just like Alluka.
“HOWEVER,” The man objected with a lob-sided grin “you were a positive influence on my son, which is why I’m thanking you in the first place. I don’t know what exactly you’ve done to Daniel, but when Alluka mentioned he reminded her of me, I felt like you had a part to play in that…”
“But… I didn’t really do anything. He… was always like that. From the moment I met him, to now…”
The man shook his head. He never remembered Daniel being this loving, this caring towards anyone, so maybe Killua couldn’t see it just yet. Although, he wasn’t going to give up yet “Killua, thank you for being a part of my son’s life. You have my blessings.”
Killua flushed from those words “Everyone I know has weird families.”
The man broke out into laughter “Well, I can’t vouch for anyone else, but I can tell you one thing for certain. Daniel, was definitely… never like this.” Ruffling Killua’s already messy hair, he walked off, leaving Killua alone to his own thoughts. Daniel was never like this… what makes me so different? I’ve done nothing to Daniel… Only…
Killua closed his thoughts off before looking back at the closed door. I only wanted to protect him… that’s all…
It was a while before Vastorie got back after Killua had his discussion with Nathaniel. He held the card in his hand, looking it over once more. It was just a name and a number, no details, other than what Nathaniel told him she does for a living.
He still can’t believe it, how helpful his boyfriend’s parents are being, even with the threat of who his family is, lingering in the background. What do they hope to achieve through him? He can’t offer them free kills…
And his not about to offer them a discount voucher either. He left that life behind, wanting to instead take care of his little sister. Yet, what Nathaniel has done for him over the past few days, is more than what his family have done for him.
Sure, they trained him into this emotionless killing machine, which in it’s hindsight, helped him become strong enough to fight. However, what he learnt from Bisky and Wing helped him push through the barriers placed upon him, and his fight with the Knuckle, Shoot and the Chimera Ants helped him grow even further.
What his family asked for, was for him to take over the family business…
What Nathaniel has asked for so far, was for him to continue loving Daniel. Cheesy as it may be, it was a weird request. And he has yet to hear what Vastorie asks of him…
And Zaikaria, well… he doesn’t know how she’ll react to the news. She was hostile at the start, and hostile when they met once more. How will she be now if Vastorie and Nathaniel both agree that he is a positive influence?
He couldn’t figure it out, and frankly, he didn’t want to see her right now.
The boy snapped out of his thoughts, drawn to the man in the middle of the room, aura wavering like a river between his fingertips. He briefly forgot he was in the middle of a special training regime, a basic test to see what he and Daniel could do so far.
Yet, amongst all the requests, not once, did the man ask to see their specialised Hatsu.
“I understand that card between your fingertips is important but focus on reality.”
“Right, old man…” Killua flashed the man a smirk, which did nothing to Vastorie, not even irritate him in the slightest. If anything, he only doubled down on the joke, carrying it further than it needed to be “That’s Ancient to you, lost child. I’m merely imparting wisdom, but your eyes stare off into the distance, like your trying to decipher what two plus two is…”
“Is it really…? Or is it, two items of two different categories?”
“Exactly! You heard… but didn’t think about what I was really asking. What was I saying exactly?”
Killua thumbed his chin at the question “You were talking about Nen exercises. But never once asked about what our Hatsu is.”
“Why do you think that is, Killua…?” Vastorie showed off a toothy grin, reviling in the boy’s confusion. He wanted to see what conclusions he jumped to, to see if he could trip the boy through his own confusion on the matter.
“No clue! All I know, what you’re doing now, is wasting our time.”
Daniel remained in the dark, not wanting to step on either one’s foot. He could see his father’s childish games coming from a mile away, but he knows failing to play the game, only makes the man step up his game, seeing how far he could push them before they snap, and are forced to play by his rules.
“Not even a guess… a protégé, and not even he with his so-called genius levels of intellect couldn’t figure out such a simplistic goal.”
Killua’s eye twitched, now he was annoyed. What exactly was this man hiding up his sleeves?
“You’re wondering what I’m hiding?” When Killua’s face widened in confusion for a moment, Vastorie could only laugh “It’s plastered all across your face. I’m playing a game, now it up to you to decide where it leads…”
“Fine, I demand to know why you’re wasting our time. You were intrigued when Daniel mentioned how you wished to test our Nen abilities, both of ours. You also gathered that Daniel was a Manipulator, from his explanation on how he willed Wolfbane to move around using nothing but his shadow. And you have no clue on what category I belong to as of yet… So, no I will not dance in this game with you!”
Shifting his posture, the man smiled, such a calm, angry response from the young boy. The polar opposite of his son whom yet to join in their argument “Fair response, but… I could narrow down your category with a simple game of expressions. But that wouldn’t be fun… SO, instead, I’m going to ask you a thought provoking question.”
Twisting his wrist, the man pulled out his phone, typing something on the phone “If my son is a Manipulator, what’s the chances of him meeting a Manipulator like himself? Doesn’t matter what aspect, just that he meets someone, whom shares something in common with him…”
“Go ahead, explain your reasoning…” Vastorie egged him on, never once looking up from his phone.
“People share similarities with everyone, so the chances of someone running into Daniel with something in common, is very likely.”
Snapping his phone closed, Vastorie looked up “You have much to learn. Everyone is different in one way or another, but the similarities, is what could scare you. Take Zaikaria for example. Like me, she’s a Specialist. Yet our goals contradict each other. We share the same roof, I helped her discover and cultivate her ability, and to this day, she still dislikes you… why do you think that is?”
Daniel focused on the conversation, now intrigued with the conversation. Sure, he knew Zaikaria didn’t like Killua, but he was hinting at something, something hidden at the tip of his tongue.
“Because I’m an Ex-Assassin, because in her deluded world, once a killer, always a blood thirsty killer.”
“Are you sure…? Would it have to do with something on the boy’s back? A certain mark long forgotten…?”
Daniel unconsciously ran his fingers across his back, feeling the mark left behind by Pitou. It was because of his lack of speed, slower than the cat-like reflexes. Sure, he saved Killua and Gon during the act, but he wasn’t strong enough to walk out unscathed at the time.
Killua grit his teeth “She told you… didn’t she.”
“She told me many things, many, which I could use to contradict you with right now.”
“If I had the strength, would I do things differently… yes, I would make sure Daniel didn’t get hurt back then, and that Gon wouldn’t have time to mess things up.”
“And what if things get worse…?”
Killua bit his lip, unable to come up with an answer, would he do things differently once more, or go back until everything fell back into place like it was now.
“No response, good… This is a lesson for the both of you. Every step you take from now on, changes the future. You don’t know if the results are good or bad, so just know, that once ahem… shit hits the fan once more, choosing to run forward is much as an option… as is running away from danger. Knowledge, is what sets up the differences between the two.”
“I’m well aware of that…” Killua jerked his finger out, pointing it at Vastorie “Now, why are you wasting time?”
“Not wasting… but setting up.”
Nathaniel came into the room holding a cup, thinking this will be a divination test, Killua quirked an eyebrow from the lack of water filling the cup. The man took it from the man’s hand, thanking him before twirling it in his fingertips “Daniel has shared his aura with you, so I’m wondering how much of a connection the two really share?”
He turned back to Nathaniel, smiling once more “Two hours…”
Daniel and Killua looked at each other confused, wondering what’s with the time limit, possibly request.
Nathaniel adjusted the clock on his wrist, preparing it as Vastorie tossed the cup to his son and boyfriend “Sit, clasp your hands together, with the cup between you two as you let your Ren fight for dominance. Feel each other’s aura, try to let your feeling reach out, to understand every ounce of each other.”
“What’s with the cup…?” Daniel asked with a suspicious expression.
“Meld your aura together in the middle, where the cup rests. I want control, not to be showered in love an affection.”
Killua sat across from Daniel, the cup between them, blushing from what he was about to do. Vastorie expected them to share their aura, to press each other’s emotions and feeling into one another. He didn’t know what for, but the request alone left him a blushing mess.
He pushed and pulled Daniel’s aura between himself, letting it linger somewhere in the middle, collecting within the cup. He had been focused on his desires, wondering if Daniel could hear the thumping of his heart through his aura, whether or not Daniel could hear him better than he could hear Daniel.
He managed to shut out everything else, but by the time he realised what was really going on, it was too late. The voice was loud, ringing in his ears by the time he realised how close Vastorie had gotten, a third wave of aura mingling with their shared aura “Let the game begin…”
Nathaniel slid in with a second to spare, the clock on his watch counting down as he laid each person’s head against the floor. What Vastorie just did, was nothing more than play a game of teasing, and his real goal, started the moment his aura, mingled with theirs.
Killua pulled away from Vastorie, while making sure to drag Daniel along with him, holding him close to his chest. Daniel could practically smell the boy’s scent, the Camomile lingering with a hint of Jasmin and Cinnamon.
His cheeks warmed at how close he was to Killua, but the boy who was holding him, could only worry about how close Daniel’s father had gotten, along with the ill omen he had breathed down their ears.
He felt a thud against his back, Killua forced to look behind him. There was a bookcase, he couldn’t remember a bookcase behind them in the dojo, but now that he was looking carefully, they weren’t in the dojo anymore, now they were in the library.
Did he fall asleep, no… it couldn’t be such a simple explanation. Vastorie had done something the moment his aura mingled with theirs “What did you do?”
“I’m training your Hatsu…” The man chimed with a smile, a bounce in his steps as he scoured the library “Welcome, to the true version of the Sages Archives.” Killua could feel there was something wrong with the scenario, ghostly figures roaming the place, touching different books which seemed to glow with different auras.
Vastorie touched a book, pulling it out as he crossed the room once more, closing the distance between himself and the boys. He flicked open the journal, handing it over to Killua “Every book in here, belongs to someone else. It’s their knowledge, mingling with my own. Think of this place as…”
The moment Killua felt his shoulder touched by the older man, he felt hostility, although his reaction was a second too late. The man had picked him up with little to no warning throwing him into a bookcase which promptly exploded into a series of books, each drifting into the air without rhyme or reason.
Apart from hearing his name called out by Daniel, he felt no pain, not even a force pressed up against his back when he hit the bookcase. This world felt wrong, just like his body. He felt a surge of aura unlike his own, mingling between his, shifting and changing. He felt more powerful, like he could destroy the world over with a click of his fingers, yet the moment he activated his Gyo, checking to see how powerful the man was, he could only make out a mirage of colours floating around him, each more different than the other. The consistency, the strength… the volume was being compressed into one tiny body, and neither one wanted to escape.
Vastorie did the same to Daniel, throwing him in the opposite direction before promptly bringing his hands up, typing away at an imaginary keyboard “Welcome to my world now, where I’m the training dummy who cannot die. I wanted to surprise you, so sorry, for the man handling and treatment.”
Once he stopped, he drifted his hand out, each bookcase seeming to explode, every volume, every book drifting high above the ground, floating until they waited for their call. And the scenery changed right after.
Daniel notice the subtle changed, the blatant rip-off to a game he loved to play when he was younger. The screaming trees with faces, the hanging bodies obscured from their view. This wasn’t the real world, not by a mile…
Yet, even with the dangers of the unknown lingering in the area, he was still worried about Killua’s safety “Killua, are you ok?”
“Never better…” Killua mumbled as he stood up, looking over the stage “So, explain how throwing us into this imaginary game world is going to help train us…?”
“Well, first of all, both of you can’t get hurt here. Second, anything you learn here, with practice, could also be applied in the real world. The same can’t be said for me. All the books here, are splitting images of the real ones, only this time they’re split by creators, not contained within a single Nen Category under their respective letter. If you want extra tips or hints, feel free to use the command console on your watch.”
Killua looked down at his wrist, now noticing the watch. He flicked it open, a menu popping up like the rings back on Greed Island whenever Book was called. He hit the search command about to type something before he stopped “Can you see our search history?”
“No, that’s for your eyes to see.” He smirked at the question, not giving away a very crucial detail. He had already activated an ability the moment he touched both his son and Killua, so he didn’t need a reason to ‘see’ what Killua was typing, when he could probe the boy’s mind in secret. Having Killua and Daniel that book before throwing them was a disguise so he could get close.
Killua quickly typed ‘electricity’, many books drifting from the sky, lining up before him. He grabbed a random one, browsing through it’s contents. Vastorie was right, this place was a wet dream to those who wanted to train. The books went into great detail on how an ability was designed, it’s methods and circumstances of use including how it could be implemented, all written down precisely. It even had a scientific method, applying something that existed in one’s aura to be used on everyday objects.
The one he just happened to randomly grab went into detail on how to charcoal grill meat using electricity. Random, but humorous to know. He quickly called off the search, the books disappearing back into the waves of other books “So you’re telling me, every book here, is of someone you trained.”
“Oh, god no! Some of them are theories from Mangas, Games, as well as videos… even Ancient texts. It’s not just limited to Hatsus, there’s other categories as well. Want to learn Judo, perfect, just search for the books. Want to know how to dual wield a knife and a pickaxe, look it up. It will explain the pros and cons, including how you can maximise each weapon so there are no flaws in your fighting style. There’s even a function that can summon said weapons.”
Daniel pulled up the search, immediately searching for Wolfbane. A single book floated to his spot. He grabbed it with haste, flipping through the pages until he found the function.
And like his father predicted, the weapon dropped into his fingertips, and once again, he could hold the blade “Now that’s… awesome!” The boy gave it a few test swipes, the weapon functioning just like he remembered “Killua, look, I got wolfbane back…”
Killua frowned slightly. There was still something very wrong with the place, and he couldn’t shake the feeling off. He felt like he was being watched from every corner, judged without reason. But if this place really functioned like a training, or practice mode as they’re usually called, that meant… Vastorie could not only do the same, but if he was indeed immortal, and is the practice dummy they could fight against… every book here, was at his disposal as well, although he didn’t know to what extent “So, if we wanted to… we could spar with you, correct?”
“You would be wise to think so… but unwise to do it alone.”
Killua allowed a crooked grin to show as he turned to Daniel “Wanna beat your dad’s ass?”
Daniel nodded in glee, turning to face his father “Two against one, I like those odds.”
Vastorie couldn’t help but smile as he brought his guard up, shifting one of his hands to egg both boys to come fight him.
“Like always!” Daniel mimicked, lashing out his blade as Killua went in first. The man stepped to the side, avoiding the attack at the last second, fingers brought up, dangling over the boy’s arms as he adjusted his posture “Arm up, adjust your wrist, never step forward when lunging a great distance.” He kicked the boy away, grasping Wolfbane before pulling it forward, throwing the unsuspecting boy into his grasp.
He brought his fist forward, slamming into the side of the boy’s face, disorientating his son as he made him bounce off the floor, ricocheting him up into the air like he was a ball. The boy had no time to react before he was grabbed mid-flight, slammed into Killua like a baseball bat, using the momentum to send them both flying further away from him.
“Two, for creativity. And five for team work.” Vastorie argued as he leaned against the air, smiling ever so softly.
Killua grunted in annoyance as he stood up, feeling no pain, neither from the kick nor from being hit like a piñata with Daniel. It seemed like Daniel was the same, dusting off the damage like it was nothing. So, it was true, they were immortal while they were here, but a consequence like that has to have some serious ramifications on the one whose power it originated from.
And he was smirking right at them. It was like he knew what they were thinking.
Killua cracked his knuckles, allowing his Assassin Mode to take over for a moment. While here, he won’t have to worry about killing the man. Let’s see how you do against this… Shifting his arms, he shifted his aura, activating another assassin move along the way. The snake awakens…
He let his instinct take over, whipping his arms with speed and fluidity, intending to rip through the man’s defences. He flailed his arms around, but no matter how many times he swung at him, his arms failed to connect, not even grazing the man’s skin.
Daniel joined the fight, drawing his aura out. He aimed for his father’s back, hands reaching out from the darkness. But what happened next, he wasn’t expecting. A flash of light, decimated his attack. It was like a flash bang went off, lighting the room in a blinding light.
He hadn’t expected it, and neither was Killua. Although he was shocked briefly, it was more than enough for his opponent to use to his advantage. He felt an open palm connect with his face, stunning him for a moment before using his body like a volley ball, throwing it at Daniel.
Daniel caught Killua with ease, but his father immediately closed the distance, a hand being brought up to take them both out.
Killua grit his teeth. Now or never… God’s speed! He forced his ability to activate, electricity swallowing his body whole. Taking the boy into his arms as he escaped, clutching Daniel like he had done to Alluka when they made their escape from Tsubone and the others.
Vastorie barely raised an eyebrow, only looking towards their direction.
His reaction hit Daniel like a brick wall, the attacks, why neither one could land a hit, even when they are attacking from his blind spots. He was cheating, through the same method his sister could perform.
And the moment he thought it, Vastorie’s smile grew, a click of his fingers snapping in the boy’s direction “Bingo!”
Killua could only raise an eyebrow at the reaction, Daniel being forced to explain “Zaikaria’s ability is to read minds the moment she touches someone. Although his cheating by using it on more than one person.”
Clapping his hands, Vastorie nodded “Exactly! You know those bosses which AIs are ramped up to impossible levels, often cheating by taking a chuck of your life out before you even start the match? Think of me as that, on steroids…” the man held out his hands, one hand being swallowed by black fire, and another with glowing light “Every ability recorded here, I can use it to its maximum output, at the cost of my own fatigue. So, the longer I’m forced to fight in here, the more time I have to spend in what I like to call recovery mode…”
“Which also explains why some morning you were really…”
“Irritated? Angry? Pissed? Yup, that’s why… I spent so much time sleeping, I often wake up annoyed, and really hungry… If you want to know what’s happening to your bodies, Nathaniel should be taking the both of you, as well as myself to bed. From the damage I inflicted on you as of now… I’ll be out cold for at least six hours, where as you… will only be out for the remainder of this ability is activated. I can keep going if you like… or I can end it now. By the way, because time is slower here, the watch on your wrist will tell you how long we’ve been in here.”
Killua checked his watch, two and a half minutes had gone by.
“Two and a half minutes, which only one-quarter of that time, has actually passed in the real world.” That was a lie and he knew it, but the end goal will be worth it in the end. The surprise, over taking the reason “Care to continue?”
Killua nodded before looking back at Daniel “I’m game if you are?”
“Well, we can’t beat Vastorie through normal means… but…” Daniel’s eyes looked towards his father. If he could use other’s abilities here, that mean he can also use mine and Killua’s also…
“That would be correct, I can as of now, use… God Speed. Of course, if I wanted to. I can also use Shadow Puppet, as well as the both of them of them together like a combined attack.” The man let his fingers drift, electricity swallowing his body whole as he used his other hand to weave his shadow, combining the two into an electrical darkness wavering in the air. Although, unlike Daniel which altered them into hands, Vastorie was melding them into tendrils “Want me to give you advice, or do you wish to attempt to take me on once more…?”
How do they take out a boss that effectively considered cheap, using everything in his own world, his arsenal of weapons he has worked on and with to build, to destroy their enemies? Killing him isn’t an option, as doing so will end this world and ultimately kick them back into reality. And taking him on will only increase the amount of time he spends sleeping…
Actually, now that he thinks about it what was the two-hours Vastorie mentioned to Nathaniel. Was that the time Vastorie intended to spend here, or the time spent on the outside?
Vastorie looked towards his son “Good catch!”
“Can you please turn that off! It’s weird having you go through my brain and-” The boy stopped, completely forgetting about his original question, to instead ask something he remembered Zaikaria mentioning about her ability. When she probes someone’s mind, she can read everything including… that “I swear on the rest of my life, if YOU probed through what Killua and I did last night, I’ll tell dad! And then you can kiss your ass goodbye!”
Vastorie could only smile at the treatment “Ah, she told you about the limits of her mind reading ability, huh… well in that case, she failed to mention something. The reason I have a better understanding of her ability here than she does, is because the amount of time I spend here. While I sleep, I can activate this ability. There’s things in this world, that I’ve still yet to write in the counter parts of the real world. I study here, because understanding an ability here, will help me give pointers later…”
“Also…” The man swirled his finger in the air, letting his words linger for longer than it should “I only sleep when this ability knocks me out. So, the time I spend here now, will be the last amount of time before I can reuse it. I can only use it infinitely, as long as I do not hurt myself, or others. SO, don’t expect me to come up with pointers after I wake up. Which brings me to my point. Zaikaria can shut out thoughts, she just needs to practice a lot… on others.”
Holding out a finger, Vastorie pointed towards his son, making sure he understands this next point clearly “That’s why I let her kill me over and over again in this world, so she can understand how to manipulate people’s memories, where she can alter and where she can’t, without damaging someone’s mentality…”
Daniel’s eyes grew dark. Did Zaikaria do something to him when he was younger? Is that why he can’t remember about those old scars which were healed back on Greed Island? Or was that comment directed at his more recent ones which covered the old wounds? “The scar… did Zaikaria do that?”
“Ahh, you want to know about that scar…” Vastorie shook his head “No, but I do know who did it. However, I’m not going to tell you. I know why she made you forget about the wound, she was scared of your original response…”
“My original response…?”
“You should ask her… force it out of her if you must.”
Daniel looked at Killua, perplexed about the idea. What did she know…? Why was she so scared about him remembering? Did she fear a specific outcome? “Can you give me a hint?”
“Nope! I’m here to train your ability… Nothing more… Nothing less…”
The boy grits his teeth, frustrated from having a secret being revealed without substance. He had no sort of clue to latch his hands onto, other than Vastorie’s words about Zaikaria knowing about the old wound.
Killua stepped in, one hand resting against Daniel’s shoulder with a knowing smile. He knew how frustrated the boy was, having a question dance on the tip of one’s tongue without an actual response or reason for no answer, is frustrating “Fine, you’re here to train us… right.”
The man raised a finger, letting it dangle in the air “So, first things first. After probing your mind for the extent of your knowledge on your ability. The quirks, the boundaries, what you figured you can and can’t do… I theorised on how you could improve your ability based on other books I’ve read here. Studying is what I, do best…”
Stopping his finger, he held it out to Killua “You first. God Speed, or should I say Whirlwind and Speed of Lightning are a grand concept, working so wonderfully in sync with each other. It does have its flaws, as does every ability when first designed.”
“Like…” Killua fumed at having a flaw pointed out, let alone his memory on his abilities being read without his knowledge.
“I can’t vouch for God Speed as a whole, you haven’t tested it out to its full capabilities. You held Alluka and Daniel when you ran it dry, and saving Gon… well, you weren’t paying attention to your body.”
“Stop that…” Killua grit his teeth, hating how the man was going through his past like it meant nothing to him.
“If you think I’m gonna judge you… STOP IT! YOUR PAST ACTIONS ARE YOUR OWN CHOICE! I’m here to help improve your abilities, nothing more… nothing less. NOW, as I was saying… the core function of your ability, depends on how much electricity you can hold within your body, yes?”
“Why are you even asking… can’t you read my mind for the answers?”
Vastorie blinked slowly, a little frustrated “It’s like I’m dealing with my old self all over again.”
The words peaked Killua and Daniel’s curiosity, one which made Vastorie even more frustrated at having that little secret being revealed by his own admission “No, I’m not going to talk about that. Killua, while you electrocute your body to hold electricity now, over time, it will become easier, to mimic the aura to do it without the need to hold it. Think of your body less of a dead car battery, and more like a… power station. Eventually, you won’t need to jolt your aura anymore, and then you can effectively, train it to reserve the aura and mass produce its own static electricity, rather needing a jolt every time you run out.”
“Right, so how do I do that…?”
“Use the search core functions, you’ll be surprised what you can find here…”
“Thanks for the help…”
“No problems. I’m not going to throw all the answers in your face, as everyone responds differently. Also, sometimes it makes you too independent, which is something you don’t want…”
Killua let out a huff of annoyance. Him becoming dependant on someone would be annoying, but for some reason, he felt like that comment wasn’t being directed at him, but rather Daniel. He didn’t feel like he was depending on the boy, anymore than he needed to in the scenario being provided.
“Now, as for Daniel… you have a lot of pushing to do mister. First of all, having the shadow rely on your physical body, is just a terrible move in my opinion. But, I can also understand why you did it that way. You wanted to train it for endurance, rather than strength. Although, in your current predicament, you’ve amassed more losses than wins.”
Daniel’s head dropped in shame. He was right, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying, having his father read through his victory and losses like it was written down on a piece of paper before him.
The man held a fist to his chin, which route does he take with his son “Those who are stronger than you, can break out of your hold. Which means, no matter how many times you grip them, it’s only going to cause you more fatigue than practicality… What I suggest is you do is build up your physical endurance, practice Ten as well as Ren. Force your body over the limits as many times over. And rather than using the strength of your body, use your aura to strength your shadow like you would with Shu. Now for fluidity-”
“Hey wait why are you picking on me-”
“Why does he get all these pointers-”
Vastorie burst into laughter from the teens’ response. He didn’t expect both Daniel and Killua to get upset at the same time. Sometimes they were in sync with each other’s feelings more than they were letting on at times “Never expected that outcome. As for a response, he’s my son… I know how dependant he can be at times, which shows through his ability…”
Something clicked in Killua’s mind, and Vastorie’s lack of reaction, meant that the man ended Zaikaria’s ability some time ago, although he doesn’t know how when that was. But that last statement: I know how dependant he can be at times… it reminded him of last night, how Daniel relied only on what Killua had told or shown him. Daniel might find it hard to explore on his own, which is why he not only came to his father, but why Killua might have to push him as well.
He should have realised it earlier…
Daniel on the other hand fumed at his father’s reasoning “I don’t depend on others…” looking up, he questioned his own thought. Or do I… “Wait, through my ability?”
“Yes, hands, as in you want to help others through a helping hand.”
“Did you just…”
“Nope!” The man smiled “I did no such thing…”
“Then… explain why you merged your shadows into tendrils?”
“Darkness… stretching out to touch the object from where it originated from, hence the reason for the tendrils. No other reason why… As I was saying earlier, for fluidity, Killua’s concept based on Whirlwind might help you. To act without reason… You might want to change up your style, letting your mind wander about attacks rather than hand gestures. It’ll make your attacks quicker, and less… robotic. And one final tip…”
The boys groaned out loud, which only amused the man further “You two, should come up with a combined ability. Not now! Explore your bodies, including each other’s.” He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively, uncaring wither the two would tell Nathaniel later. This needed to be said to the boys, because he found it would help them later on “Darkness reflects in the light, so electricity combined with shadows, would make for great combination attacks. Although, don’t worry if you can never let your auras combine together one day, not everyone can do it… it takes some serious trust, as well as teamwork.”
That peaked Daniel’s interest “Can you and dad do that?”
“Training sure… as I can just about do it with anyone. The only thing I can combine with Nathaniel, is my senses. I can feel his attacks, much like I can read yours with Zaikaria’s ability. But my methods with his… are well, different.”
Vastorie wiggled a finger “Less questions, more studying. Chop, chop! Explore this world of knowledge, as every instance, can serve you well in the future.”
The man checked his watch. Ten minutes… meaning forty minutes have passed. Provided they don’t deal anymore damage to him or themselves, he’ll only be out for eight hours now. Another hour and fifteen minutes remained, so he’ll have to make a better estimate during its final stage. But judging by their course, he’ll probably be out for at least twelve hours. Twelve hours of boring sleep… lucky.
On the plus side, at least he can get to work figuring out a list of people now, and judging by the card Killua had earlier, that means he only has to come up with a list of eight people now.
Chapter 6: Rivalry at its Finest
As Alluka continues to bond with Nathaniel, Gon and Sakura visit Whale Island, while Daniel and Killua continue to take on Daniel’s cheating father, Vastorie.
Alluka pressed both of her palms into Daemon, massaging the hell-hound’s thick hide. The pet whined in glee, pressing itself constantly into Alluka’s hands. It’s been a while since Nathaniel laid Daniel, Killua and Vastorie in bed.
She was intrigued watching him clean from out of the corner of her eye, the man checking his watch every so often. She had him all to herself, and while she wanted to ask him so many questions, mainly about Daniel, there was one which she couldn’t quiet shake off.
If there was one thing she’s learnt, is that her brother protected both her, and Daniel during their escape from the Zoldyck estate. She had come to an understanding, that as much as she wanted to protect her older brother, the only way she could do so was with Nanika’s help.
And while she couldn’t exactly bring up Nanika with Nathaniel, she wanted to at least put on some muscles, to be strong like her brother. There will come a time where she’ll need to be the one to protect herself, to save her brother the hassle of having to come save her every-time.
Sure, she could always ask Killua for help, but her best bet was to start now, and surprise Killua later. That way, she can leave Killua to help her train herself into perfecting a way to use Nanika, without the need to use bloodshed. If Nanika was no longer a Wish-Granting entity, maybe with time, she could be trained to use contracts, or something less destructive. Then her family will have no reason to come after her and Killua anymore.
“Can you help me get stronger?”
The question lured the man’s attention, his eyes casually looking over his shoulder to the young girl. What had sparked this curiosity? And in what way, did she want to become stronger? “It depends… you are strong as the way you are. You ran away from home, going on an adventure, travelling the world with your brother and Daniel. It takes a… strength to do what you’re doing…”
Alluka shook her head “No, I want to be able to protect myself, and… be strong enough to protect my big brother.”
“What about Daniel…?”
“Well, him too…”
Nathaniel snickered at Alluka’s after thoughts of Daniel; he had a little bit of a sneaking suspicion that she was still coming to terms with accepting Daniel, much like she still struggled to accept herself. Although, her struggles of self-acceptance might have originated from the way she was brought up. Killua, always referred to Alluka as his sister. Their family however, might have constantly referred to her always as son or a brother. It kinda explained Killua’s reaction, why he looked so displeased when he was about to bring it up.
Then again, he could also be reading to much into it. He wanted to understand, and asking was the only way he’ll find out “Alluka, what does your family think about you being a girl?”
He was met with a silent awkwardness, forced to at least change the situation a little “You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to. I’m just… concerned.”
“It’s ok…” Killua wants her to be more open, expressive, to revel in the world’s wonders. So, taking a step out of her comfort zone was going to be one of them at times “They think of me as their son or little brother.”
Nathaniel turned off the tap, sighing as he dried his hands before walking over to Alluka. Pulling her into a hug, the ran his fingers over the top of her head, comforting her in his own way “What they did, was terrible. You’re lucky to have a brother like Killua…”
Alluka nodded at the touch, Daemon getting jealous. He rested one paw against her, hoping that she’ll instead hug him, massaging his body. But it never came, the girl instead focusing on what she wanted to say. She was lucky to have Killua, much like her brother was lucky to have Daniel. The two just clicked, and she found that it made her jealous at times.
Daniel was her rival when it came to Killua’s attention at times, but none of that really mattered if she couldn’t protect Killua “Nathan, please help me become strong like my brother?”
“Like Killua…? Impossible.”
Alluka pouted, whining out loud from being denied so quickly without reason “That’s not fair!”
“No, he’s strong because of what he did for you, just like you’re strong for what you do for him. That’s not going to change. I can’t push your body to become like Killua’s, but I can help you start to build your strength. A little at a time. And I’ll even throw some weights you can hide under your clothes if you don’t want Killua to find out.”
The man nodded with a smile “Yes, but if you promise me one thing…”
“If it gets too tough for you, tell me that you’ll be willing to pull back a little. No forcing yourself to be” the man deepened his voice, adding a joking emphasis to his words “some mean, muscle freak like me.”
Alluka laughed a little at the joke thrown on the end, but at the same time, she’ll also agree to those terms. She’ll trust that Nathaniel knows what is best for her at the moment “Ok.”
“Good! Now let’s find some weighted vest, the ones that go under clothes. I’m, sure you don’t want Killua finding out.” This is probably going to come back and bite me, but I do want to help her, even if it’s a little at a time…
The gentle breeze blew the boy’s clothes, ruffling it ever so gently. He could smell everything, the rough textures of nature, the scent of the flowers being drifted along the gentle breeze, waiting to pollenate another field.
He found himself pressing his nose against a purple leafed flower, picking up on the fauna’s fragrance. He could smell something else lingering in the area, meaning what he was tracking, was still here, waiting to be found. It wasn’t dangerous to him, going by the animal’s marking, and it also showed no signs of it being feral either.
But he wanted to make sure that this wasn’t going to be a mistake. Tracking a foxbear in it’s natural habitat, had its risks, but at the same time he wanted to show Sakura what his old friend looked like. Gon looked towards his boyfriend, smiling as the boy fumbled around, more entranced with the plantation, than what they were tracking.
Gon let his hand linger, fingertips ghosting over Sakura’s, guiding him along the field. His father made it clear, that a single mistake can cost you everything, but at the same time, every little detour counts towards the end goal. While he deeply missed Killua, Daniel, and even Alluka, being out here, with Sakura, this was the detour he needed.
What he learns here alongside Sakura, will help in the long run, because the moment the five of them reunite, they’ll each have their own stories to tell. And he, along with Sakura, didn’t want to be the only one left out.
Against Sakura’s better judgement, his fingers encircled around Gon’s, taking the boy’s hand within his own. Gon briefly froze in surprise from the action, only to then turn, smiling at the boy. His hand returned the gesture in kind, giving it a quick squeeze before he continued along his path, tracking the foxbear.
It was dangerous to do so with Sakura, but he really wanted to show him the majestic animal. The need to show the other side of nature, is what he strived to do for Sakura. Sakura knew about fauna and flora, but if there was one thing Gon was good at, it was exploring the uniqueness of its habitants.
Gon took Sakura into his arms, the boy left in a blushing mess “What-?”
Gon curled a finger out, motioning the boy to remain quiet. He sailed through the trees, stopping to hide, a finger drawn to an animal far off in the distance. Sakura drew his attention to the animal, mouth left drawn open “There he is… Kon.”
Kon had looked up, ears drifting in the air. The animal then looked down, prodding the cub between his feet with his nose, making it whine in the process.
“We can take a closer look if you like?”
“No, I like it here, far from the supposed aggressive animal.”
Gon chuckled, eyes focusing on the animal in question. His smile was weak, wondering if Kon remembers him at all. It’s been years since they last seen each other, so it was possible he had already forgotten him.
“Kite killed his parents when he was young, thanks to a mistake I made at the time.”
Sakura nodded “You told me. You didn’t understand the territorial markings at the time.”
“Yeah… but even when Kon scratched and ripped at my skin, I refused to let Kite kill him as well. He is here because of me, and his here without his parents… because of me…”
Sakura tugged at the boy’s shirt, Gon forced to look his boyfriend in his eyes once more “You’re thinking about your mistake with Killua and Daniel still.”
He smiled apologetically, scratching the back of his head as he looked away “I guess I am…”
“Didn’t your dad also say to promise to make things different next time?”
“And isn’t this new adventure going to help you learn and understand, so that when you do meet, you’ll have a real reason to stay?”
Gon cracked a smile “You remind me of someone…”
“Well definitely not Killua! I’m nowhere near good looking as he is. What does he even use for his skin?! Not a single blemish, or even acne…”
Gon fizzled at the ears, the embarrassment of checking out Killua on numerous occasions settling in the pit of his stomach once more. Back then he saw it as curiosity, but with a little help from the others, he came to understand the real reason to why he was doing it. The pass action still made him feel guilty at times, even when he knew someone else had already fallen for him “I don’t know… I don’t even think Daniel’s had any of those…”
“Or you either…” Sakura poked the boy’s ribs “What’s your secret?”
“I guess… Ten…” Gon ran his fingers through his hair, really thinking about the scenario. Ten would best describe Sakura’s grief, the main reason they held onto their youthful vigour. And probably the main reason they never suffered the so-called puberty issues as Mito describe. Although back on Whale Island once again, this time with Sakura instead of Killua and Daniel, she had a more different talk with him.
He had told Mito, that he was dating Sakura, and the reason why Killua and Daniel were no longer with him, was because he messed up. He had made the worst mistake of his life, and his next trip was going to be about self-reflection, understanding himself better so he could no longer make the same mistake. He also added that even after departing from his friends, he still has a chance to reunite with them in the future.
Mito had a long lengthy discussion; this time talking about protection, consent, feelings and even to an extent, the awkwardness of hammering down the root of Gon’s multiple attracts. Although, Gon originally thought it would go sideways with Mito. But she had surprised him but not only accepting it, but really bearing down on the whole consent discussion. She even had Sakura join in, the boy constantly diverting his attention during the whole ordeal.
While Gon was curious, Sakura was the polar opposite, seeing it more as long, lengthy awkward sex talk. Not even the one he had with his father was as bad as this one.
Once the embers of the discussion died out, Sakura could finally relax, Mito bringing up something she found more important than ‘the talk’ “You met your father, Ging…”
Gon rubbed the back of his palm, a frown forming across his features. Mito never liked Ging for abandoning him, but judging by her warm expression, she was willing to listen without argument. So, he decided to tell her the real reason as to why he now wants to travel the world, what Ging told him “Mito-San, what Ging said to me, I still carry it with me. It’s the main reason why I want to travel the world, even when I’m like this…”
The boy gestured to his whole body, as if she could see aura. Even when she looked confused at him, the boy only ignored the confusion for the moment “He said: We should enjoy the little detours. To the fullest. Because that’s where we’ll find the things more important than what we want…”
She was pissed, angry at the words, because in her eyes, that meant Gon wasn’t important. He wasn’t even considered one of the little detours to that man. He didn’t want Gon, and the boy couldn’t even see it.
But, even still, there was something wrong with the way the boy said Ging, it seemed… detached. It was as if the man wasn’t seen as his father in Gon’s eyes. Looking determined in his mother’s eyes, he repeated his thoughts out-loud “I want to find those little detours with Sakura, I want to be able to look my best-friends in their eyes once more, not to apologise, but to prove that I have changed… and to say Thank you for everything…”
Mito got teary-eyed at the words, mouth twitching slightly. She was just holding back, almost ready to cry. But she had one more question to ask “Gon, when will I get to see you again?”
The boy was surprised by his mother’s words, offering a warm smile “I guess… when I become an adult.”
A single tear spills from Mito’s right eye as she takes Gon’s hand within her own “Only if you promise to write to me at least once a month.”
“I promise…” Gon squeezed his mother’s hand, smiling ever so softly. It was the least he could do. He wanted to keep her updated, to explain the world of wonders, making sure to leave out all the things that will worry her.
Daniel curled his finger out, directing his shadows towards his father, the man comfortably avoiding the onslaught of hands, making sure to watch for any faults along the way. While he wasn’t tapped out just yet, he knew he was going to be out for a while now. As he avoided the last hand, shifting his movement to slid across the floor, he checked his watch once more. One hour and fifty-three minutes. Twenty-eighty minutes to go…
From the corner of his eyes he saw a spark a bolt of electricity sailing just past his sink, almost touching him. He only caught the entrails of the attack, a tingling sensation running alonjg his skin. He had half a mind to watch out, considering this was Killua that almost landed the first hit.
He was a genius, and considering the blue blur, he was making a move as well. The man clenched his fist, electricity spreading throughout his body, letting Killua’s ability be used against him. Defence only, no attacks… He reminded himself, not that he needed to. The ability had no faults, acting without thought, muscles knowing what to do without thinking.
When Killua landed the first strike, so did the man defend.
Daniel saw sparks of electricity fly about the boy left to watch, stilling his body. The last time he tried to help Killua out, his father stunned him, electricity locking up all his nerves. He won’t make the same mistake twice, only watching to see where Killua and Vastorie were within the moment.
It was hard to tell when and where they were, what they were doing, and who was winning. The vestiges of their fight were sparks of electricity, and if he scanned the area quick enough, the only way to tell them apart were the traces of aura left behind.
His father’s aura looked like a prism exploding of colours, probably because of the fact that he had multiple abilities swirling around him at all times. But there was one consistent colour always swirling around him. It was pale like phantom, gelatinous in texture and consistency, and moved like apparition, ethereal and impossible to spot at times.
It must have been the origins of his power. But because his father’s a Specialist, he wondered what would happen if he did a divination test. How would the water react? Wing told them that anything else that happens to the water, is considered a specialist. Actually, now that he thought about it, the same would probably happen with Alluka. While Wish Granting was close enough to be considered Conjuration, it wasn’t exactly conjured, nor did it fall under Transmutation, Enhancement, Emission or Manipulation.
Even with that information, there was something about Vastorie’s ability he couldn’t quiet put a finger on it. The ghostly aura felt… unnatural, or maybe it was the other way around. This ability, was unnatural… whatever ever was causing his gut wrenching feeling, he felt like he’ll receive an answer soon enough, when his father was ready to tell the truth, provided he wasn’t reading too much into it.
Vastorie cracked his fingers, drawing his hand into a claw like shape. While Killua was successful in blocking the attack from the man, he hadn’t expected the outcome. His arm felt numb, dropping by his side as he was forced to back away. He had done something to him, he just wasn’t sure what exactly.
“Nifty ability… huh?”
Killua tried to crack his arm back into place, but it did nothing. He was left bewildered, wondering what kind of ability would leave his arm num? It had the same effects of anaesthetic. The affected area seemed to where he was touched, numbing the nerves underneath his skin. It felt so close to when his bother would crack every joint in his arms, forcing him to realign them until he could do it on command “Yeah… you completely numbed my arm.”
“An ability designed and perfected by Avlas…”
“Who? What was he a doctor…?”
“No, an Assassin, like you. Although, he no longer of this world…”
Daniel could only look puzzled at his father. He was full of sorrow the moment he mentioned his name. was he a past lover in Vastorie’s younger years? Daniel pulled up the search menu, looking the man’s name, it was returned with a denied access screen, the action causing even Vastorie to frown “That’s private information…”
“I can see that…” the boy whispered under his breath, now more intrigued that before. It the first thing in this world, that has been denied access.
“Past crush…?” Killua smirked at the assumption, but Vastorie only looked him in the eyes, his words coming off as darker than usual, monotoned and broken away from the reality he stood upon “I wish…” he voice was detached, hiding what he was truly feeling “But he was as interested in dating me, as I was with women. He was A-Sexual, or even Non-Sexual… probably because of how he was brought up, or…”
The man opened his mouth, only to close it once more. No, I’m lying to myself… he just didn’t want to drag someone into his world. He didn’t want to have anyone close to him… to go through what you, Killua went through…
Opening both arms, the man checked his watch once more “Four minutes? Alright, this is where we call it quits.”
“Huh? That’s it…?” Killua wined as he rubbed his arms “We’ve only been here for two hours, if a quarter of that time has passed in the real world, that means it’s only been thirty minutes out there.”
“About that…” The man let out a huge smile, catlike in appearance “I lied. It’s actually the reverse. The time on your watch has passed in the real world…”
“What that means…” Daniel did the mental maths before both him and Killua came to the same screaming conclusion “We’ve been here for eight hours?!”
“Yup, I lied, because it’s always fun to hear the people’s reaction when they realise how much time has really passed.”
“But… how…? That means we’ve been fighting for almost six hours without fatigue.” Killua argued back in disbelief, unable to believe for a second, he was able to fight that long, even in this weird altered world.
“For us in here, but out there… it’s only been an hour and a half.”
“Then that fight at the start was actually ten minutes long?!”
“Yeah, I know. Time flies when you’re having fun. Right?” Vastorie beamed in delight, having fun shocking Killua with the news.
“Fun?! You used Daniel like a baseball bat, to hit me like I was some piñata, or like you were trying to score a home run!”
Daniel groaned out loud “Thanks for reminding me… I was used to abuse my boyfriend.”
Killua blushed at the words. There was no doubt in his mind, that with a little twisting the sentence could’ve come off as more sexual than intended. Killua checked his watch once more three minutes to go, or in their case, thirty. It will be a while before the man can talk to them next. There was a few questions Killua wanted to ask first “So this ability, you said you go into a deep rest? Can you force yourself to wake up mid nap?”
“Yes, but it’s not recommended. Nor would it be ok for me to do this in enemy territory. You probably have run across this at some point, but once my ability finishes, I go into a Zetsu-like state, unable to tap any of my aura. I need to rest until my time limit is up, which I can’t gauge because it varies every time I leave this world. Also, my strength is as strong as getting belted by handful of custard cakes.”
Killua broken down into laughter, getting belted by a handful of custard cakes reminds him of Yorknew, when Gon spat his food into his face and how he snuck up behind the boy to give him a face full of cream pie. Ah, the good old times, when the world wasn’t full of danger, after danger. Damn, I really miss Gon… Killua immediately froze the thought, looking at Vastorie for confirmation.
The man was not amused at him for laughing “Sorry, just reminded me of an old memory… anyways, one more question. What’s with that ghostly aura swarming around you?”
The man raised an eyebrow “Ghostly aura? Oh, that… everyone’s aura looks different, mine just happens to be ghostly in nature. Daniel’s is thick, Navy and gloopy in nature. And Killua’s, yours is blue… Cerulean blue to be exact. It’s calm in nature, HOWEVER, it rages like a storm whenever you give away your emotions… or attack. Might I suggest you practice on relaxing your aura.”
“Noted…” Killua frowned. He thought he was the calmest when it came to controlling his aura, but it seems more experienced fighters can see through his façade.
“Rules apply to yours too Daniel. It’s a little harder to notice with yours, only because you tense when you attack, which is why I suggest you move away from the hand gestures. Learn to control your attacks with your mind, and you too will solve that problem. Other than that… less than a minute. Any more questions?”
The boys shook their head, Vastorie smiling widely with a single clap of his hands “First, I recommend you don’t get up once you get kicked out. It’s your first time here, so you’ll feel groggy, a little out of body when you wake up. Lay in bed, think about what you learned here. And if you want, you go to the underground library, study a little more. Mostly jot down notes from the books you read in here. Look up by the ability names if you remembered them. And on the final note, I end my ability.”
With a snap of his fingers, Killua and Daniel found themselves being jolted awake, panting with beads of sweat dripping down their body. They were covered by a blanket, resting comfortably in Daniel’s bed. The man was right, they do feel like they just had an out of body experience.
Killua moved his body, the action aching his nerves. Either the man lied about not feeling pain once the ability ended, or the moment he activated his ability, the boy’s stiffness remained the same the entire time. It should pass after a few minutes once he relaxes, so instead he’ll just talk to Daniel “So, that just happened…”
“Yeah… feel a little sore though, like I was a cement block the entire time.”
“Same… Although, I wouldn’t mind doing that again. It was kinda fun, minus all the damage he inflicted, and how he goofed around while dodging our attacks. Annoying…”
“It felt more… normal? Fun, that way. Nathaniel is so stiff, making sure you can defend yourself… whereas Vastorie looked so… free spirited?”
“Yeah…” Killua knit his eyebrows together “Except during the end. He didn’t want to talk about Avalos, or his aura… He lied.”
“How do you know?” Daniel turned to look at his boyfriend.
“Ohh… So you can tell when I lie, just not your father?”
“You’re easy though. I’ve gotten used to seeing the signs.”
Daniel curled one-side of his lip upwards, Killua forced to repeat his last statement “Pervert…” Daniel chuckled before he turned his attention back to the roof “Sorry… I just…”
“I know…” Killua’s cheeks flushed red. He didn’t know the exact wording Daniel was going to use, be he knew what he was about to state, and his mind didn’t feel ready to hear mushy feelings “I feel kinda the same…”
“Killua, I highly doubt you were going to say you feel like a corrupted pervert.”
“I definitely didn’t see that coming!” Killua’s cheek’s colour deepened at the words. Yeah, he definitely didn’t feel corrupted like Daniel. He was used to the allure of that world, so it was normal. But to hear Daniel was still getting used to it… even calling it corrupted perverted thoughts, meant he had a long way to go.
“Context Daniel… CONTEXT… I’m going to assume you meant how to spend the rest of the time, and not dealing with your perverted thoughts.”
“Raid his library… jot down a few notes, relax and then if Vastorie is up for it later, how about a second round? We could keep pushing ourselves in that world, mastering our abilities even quicker. Maybe we can even include Alluka in this. Her ability would work differently in that world, so maybe we can find a way to help her control it… lessen the damage?”
“Yeah, but then Vastorie could mind read her thoughts, find out about Nanika…”
“Oh, shit… yeah… Don’t want him to find out about that ability. He might abuse it?”
“What is he going to Wish for a giant-” Daniel stopped his thoughts “Nope, NOPE, not going to say that out loud. It’s bad enough I thought perverted thoughts about you. I’m not mixing my father into that equation.”
The boy turned his head, looking at Killua with a questioning gaze “What…?”
“You truly are a pervert… Sorry for corrupting you…”
Daniel rolled his eyes at Killua before turning his back to the roof “Eh, I’ll do it all over again for you…”
“Sure…” Killua’s lip curled upwards, a smirk soon forming “Sure…”
Chapter 7: Nightmarish Revenant
Forgive me, for I have sinned.
In the darkness he waits, guiding his hand to those who do not wish to suffer.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Forgive me, for I have sinned.
In the darkness he waits, guiding his hand to those who do not wish to suffer.
Daniel curled his arm over, roping it around the boy in bed with him. It’s been a long two days, the exhaustion between training and the recommendations of both of his fathers’ Vastorie and Nathaniel. Each had provided their own thoughts on what they should do for the next few days ahead.
Vastorie will be out for at least more than half a day, and his going to be grouchy when he wakes up next. So, Nathaniel offered the idea of going shopping, just the four of them, to buy clothes that fits, while the Vastorie rests. It wasn’t so much of a bad idea. They could even buy proper bags for their trip, considering they’ll be spending months at a time in certain places.
It won’t be like their trip to find Ging, barely any need to keep spare clothes, with Greed Island being the exception thanks to certain situation as well as cards. This time they had a reason to stop and explore places, to make sure they’re well stocked while travelling.
Killua wasn’t against the idea. He felt like it would do good to prepare for what’s to come. He also needed to get Alluka a phone as well; not only did she not have one, she also needed it just in case she ever needed to call them.
Killua moved around, getting comfortable in Daniel’s bed, head turned away from the boy. While he was still mostly awake, he found himself settling in the situation which months ago he would fight against. But now, the comfort of another didn’t bother him. He actually enjoyed having Daniel’s arms roped around him, holding him close.
Sometimes he would even feel Daniel pressing a kiss to the back of his head or shoulder, the spot warming much like his features. He appreciated it, the comfort, the help he had been receiving. The normalized values of having a family actually spending time with their kids and their company, to keep giving without asking for a single thing back in return.
His childhood needed this, and while he missed out, Alluka still had a chance to bathe in the comfort of having a real family coddle her, protecting her as though she was one of their own. Seeing her smile every second, to this very moment, meant that Nathaniel, as well as their pet Daemon had already made a positive effect on her life.
She was happy, and so was he. Killua pressed himself back against Daniel, letting his mind wander in to the land of sleep as he felt another kiss pressed into the nape of his neck, a small smile spreading across the boy’s lips.
He didn’t want this to end, so when his mind finally drifted to sleep, he failed to pick it up, something lingering in the darkest corner of the room, a pair of eyes watching them sleep.
Quiet steps paced themselves to the base of the bed, a hand hovering over the boys. A wicked grin showed as aura enveloped the two. The moment Killua felt the presence, his eyes snapped wide awake as he found himself struggling to keep them open.
He darted his attention to the bottom of the bed, finding a figure standing at the base, a finger covering their mouth. Killua tried to open his mouth to call out, but it achieved nothing, his body going lip against his will.
Daniel hadn’t reacted at all in his arms, meaning the person was targeting the brunt of his attack at Daniel first, and all the boy could do was feel guilt overcome his body, hoping that whatever the person was going to do to them, wasn’t to end them.
Killua just got this wonderful life, and to have it taken away in a single night, isn’t something on his to-do list. No, I can’t fall asleep…The boy raised one finger, hoping to discharge enough electricity to distract the person’s ability, but by the time he had raised it, his mind collapsed in on itself, falling asleep with one lasting thought.
I have to save…
Daniel blinked slowly, cheering ringing loudly around him. A feeling of confusion settled in the pit of his stomach. This was an unusually vivid dream, hearing his name being called amongst a crowd as well another.
At the moment, his mind couldn’t register the name, his eyes were left to gather pieces of the surrounding area as clues. It was a large square stone platform, surrounded by empty space which lead to wall stretching high above the platform, which then led to benches filled with many faces he couldn’t quiet place.
They were blank. No distinguishing features could be found, not even eyes or mouths to set them apart. This was definitely a dream, because he would never become detached, to completely stop caring to the point he removes a person’s face from his memory.
He could hear an announcer in the background, his eyes forced to drift back to the stone platform. He saw a figure across him, high heel platforms, leading to baggy pants. He followed his line of sight slowly, as if he was stuck in cinematic mode, forced to watch a reveal play out.
White pants led to pink top, followed by another layer of clothing resting over the top, a back shirt with gold rim, a red heart and diamond etched into the top. It was then his mind forced him to snap his attention to the man’s face, a man whom caused him grief, nightmares and even made him curl up in disgust.
Hisoka licked his lips, Daniel showing clear signs disgust as he put the man as well as the surround area pieces together. He was back in Heaven’s Arena. It was then he heard the announcer, Cocco’s voice loud and clear over the speaker “We have a special EVENT! Hisoka Vs Daniel Darkscryer! This fight you've all been waiting for. As you can see, the stands are packed. The tension in the air before the start of this match is almost unreal!”
Wait a second…
“His lethal battle with Kastro is still fresh in everyone's minds. His record is 9-3. If he wins, he can challenge a Floor Master. If he loses, he falls all the way down. However, he has yet to lose when he steps into the ring! Will his undefeated record continue?”
It didn’t go like this last time…
The boy force himself to gather his thoughts, eyes drifting towards the crowds, trying to make out the people in the seats. He eventually found them, although, he expected to find himself in the seats, much to the contradiction of having his name being called beforehand. Nonetheless, he found Gon and Killua sitting, cheering out his name, possibly screaming to kick Hisoka’s ass.
But this scenario was so wrong. Gon was supposed to be here, not him! Was this some repressed memory, like a fantasy taking over? He can’t say he honestly dreamed of fighting Hisoka one-on-one, but this was his dreams… what could possibly go wrong? Besides his dreams taking him to a scenario that makes as much sense as the fight to come.
Hisoka’s lips curved upwards after Daniel’s thoughts, the boy left to surmise that the man somehow knew what he was thinking. But it just wasn’t possible. Hisoka couldn’t read minds, so maybe it was something else, something related to the scene before him.
None of this made sense as his eyes wandered back to Hisoka, phasing out Cocco’s voice. He was trying to figure out the scene before him, eyes piercing the man. He was met with a usual action, Hisoka’s expression heavy-lidded, an almost orgasmic reaction.
Yep, nothing unusual here. He found himself turning slightly away in revulsion.
"This is the match you've been waiting for. The die has been cast! Who will make the first move?"
Daniel pulled himself back slightly, Hisoka only drawing his fingers up, only to flick them back towards himself. The boy didn’t know if he should react… or wait until he wakes up from this usually weird dream.
Cocco’s voice soon beamed loudly in the arena, drawing Daniel’s attention to his surrounding “Huh, neither one has moved? Are both suspicious of each other?”
Daniel quickly drifted his hands to his hips, finding Wolfbane at his side. Yup, everything was still the same as he remembered, although this fight was out of order, but considering Cocco’s reaction, this wasn’t a dream, at least for this moment.
The boy shifted his gaze back to Hisoka, activating Gyo. He knew the man’s tricks, but the strangest things about this moment, is he remembers everything after this event. His training with Vastorie, which gave him an edge over this battle.
Daniel took off, shifting gears the moment he was a meter away from Hisoka. He hadn’t reacted, even when Daniel started running around him, fingers drawn. The man was acting like his fight with Gon, only his eyes following his every movement.
The boy shifted his hands upwards, fingers splitting, curling his shadowy hands out upwards towards his enemy. At this point of the fight, he tuned Cocco’s voice out of his mind, instead focusing on the hardest battle ahead of him. Hisoka drifted his body from side-to-side, feet never once moving from the spot, even when he had attacks coming from multiple directions.
It was then Daniel grabbed his weapon, throwing the blade out, Hisoka dodging the attack with ease, his fingers curling backwards. Rather than letting himself get hit, the boy released the mechanism on the blade, swinging it like a whip.
He expected the man to dodge it, but the attack connected, confusing not only Hisoka, but Daniel as well.
Hisoka would’ve never let the weapon connect, dodging it with ease, but he was shocked from the connection, and his reaction caused even Daniel alarm. But he played his part, pretending that nothing had gone wrong, even when the crowd cheered loudly at the connection.
The point had been called in his favour, but the boy paid no mind, watching Hisoka draw a wrist to lip, wiping away the blood on the split lip. How did he cause damage? Daniel didn’t know, but it didn’t put his mind at ease any less.
Hisoka’s wicked features grew, and the uncertainty vanished within an instant, the man’s finger being drawn up. Daniel immediately checked with Gyo, purple aura stretching out from the man’s fingertips. Daniel stepped off to the side, Hisoka frowning at the action. Daniel instead curled his arms up, letting shadows curl up in front of him, using them as a blockade for Hisoka’s next incoming bungee gum attacks.
But they never came…
Hisoka seemed more concerned about what his attacks could do, then test his strength. It was unusual, unlike Hisoka… Or better yet, he was acting out of character. The man wasn’t chatty like usual, manipulating the scenario placed before him. He seemed more reserved, quiet, like he was holding a secret which wished to keep on the tip of his tongue. On top of that, this man seemed more… inquisitive without the need to ask questions.
This… didn’t feel like Hisoka at all, but rather nightmare fuel being powered by his dreams. Shifting his fingertips, Daniel hurled the shadow out, Hisoka dodging before lunging at him, no longer scared of the shadowy image before him.
He seen that morphed image of terror, widened eyes, lustful stare, a welcoming hand being offered to him. Even when those hands curled around his shirt, latching onto the material, Daniel fought back.
Hisoka grabbed at the leg, gliding the impact along his arm as he licked his lips in anticipation.
Daniel instead, curled both of his arms downward Hisoka grabbing one of them, but it wasn’t enough to stop Daniel’s attack. The shadows rippled back like a bolt of thunder, striking the spot where Hisoka once stood, and while the man was airborne, the boy flicked his hands up once more, this time a shadow managed to latch on, and while the boy was shocked at the outcome, he wasn’t acting surprised for long.
He instead flicked his hand down, slamming the man against the floor.
This wasn’t Hisoka… it couldn’t have been. Hisoka could have gotten out of this attack in several ways. Bungee Gum could’ve been used to make him rubber band off the floor, or better yet, get pulled away from danger.
This imposter had to be addressed, much like the false memory “Who, or what are you…?”
The fake Hisoka remained face planted against the floor, one hand being brought up to slam against the tiles, cracking it in his grip. The boy shifted his weight, jumping out of the field, going out of bounds. He didn’t care if the referee called him out.
None of the scene mattered.
The voice came, and why Hisoka never spoke, now made sense. The voice was older, hallow yet thick, unnatural, like a dream. He heard this voice before, like a viper lashing out at its victims. Wait, at that restaurant. That’s where he heard it… but why here… in his dreams. Was this his subconscious trying to scare him to death?
Once the man raised his other hand, he twisted his wrist, everything in the arena stilling “Where, oh where did I mess up on your little fantasy?”
“Hisoka loves to play cruel… disgusting jokes which tests someone’s mental state.”
“Ah… He loves the sound of his own voice.” This false Hisoka, new enemy spoke in a calm demeanour, sounding sophisticated at times “Quite hard to do, a downfall on my part. Should have chosen something less… conspicuous.”
The man flicked out his hand, morphing the surrounding field. He had forced Daniel into a new set of surrounds, a forest, with a beating pulsating tree. It served as a beacon to a disaster set to come “Remember this…?”
“No…” Daniel hummed, but the tree did draw his attention. It made him feel at home, no matter how disgusting it looked. Resting his hand against it, the tree beat like something else, like how his heart would when near Killua, and that must mean something of great importance to him resided in that tree.
Yet… it also troubled him. If this tree, was supposed to mean something of great importance to him, what was he going to find inside… and will it frighten him?
A hand curled from behind the tree, fingers resting on the bark of the unusual tree. It made the boy’s heart race in his chest, but not out of excitement… but out of fear. And when the man revealed himself, Daniel didn’t know whether that was from the person or because he had touched the tree.
Long white hair, ingulfed by flecks of fiery red tips, a firestorm brewing in a snowstorm. His presence… Daniel has felt it on more than one occasion, but he couldn’t quite place his hand on the moment, or why his heart had increased in speed. When he aimed to reach for Wolfbane, it was no longer there. So, he reached for his cards, which were also nowhere to be found.
In fact, he was in his pyjamas for some weird ass reason.
“You should know what this is… it holds everything, including what you love and fear most.”
“My…” Daniel gulped, taking a step forward, which only made the man on reflex place his hand on the tree.
“Your heart…” the man’s voice was dark, lifeless like Illumi. In fact, everything about the man reminded him of Illumi. The lifeless eyes, although, different in colour. The long hair, again, different in colour. And he also wore different clothing… ok, everything was different when compared to Illumi, but that didn’t stop him from arguing about the man’s presence.
He, made Daniel feel sick to the stomach, much like Illumi did when in his presence. But he hated Illumi. This guy his known for maybe a couple of minutes, and all he conjured up in the boy’s inner thoughts, was fear and terror, and he still didn’t know who he was!
“Who are you…?”
“No point, you’ll forget after this encounter, like the last two times.”
“Two…?” Daniel looked distraught after finding out his met the guy twice before this, and he still couldn’t remember who he was.
The man impatiently tapped a finger against the tree, drawing Daniel’s attention once more “It’s sad no one else told you about me… especially your father!”
“I have two…”
The man’s face twisted into a snarl, growling in disgust “That man is nothing but sick in the head, feelings conjured from a distorted view point. HE TOOK my SON away from ME…”
That held no sort of clue to who he was talking about. Was he referring to Vastorie or Nathaniel at this point? Either one was a guess.
“Who?” Daniel twisted his face in confusion. Who the fuck is Ercole? “Who on earth are you talking about…?”
“It doesn’t matter!” The man’s fingers sharpened like Killua’s digging into the tree. Daniel clutched at his chest from the action, a long howl of pain, being ripped right out of his throat. He ripped his hands away from his chest long enough to fling his fingers out, forcing shadows hurtling towards the man, but the action was too slow.
The moment he had attacked, the man already completed what he wanted, ripping through the tree to throw whatever he pulled out from within tree “So I’ll make him suffer like I have!”
The man’s figure dispersed as he threw the object at Daniel, the boy forced to catch it in his arms. It wasn’t big, roughly the size of a bowling ball. But what he caught, made his stomach drop, tears filling his eyes as let out a loud scream.
Dripping blood, Killua’s decapitated head was resting in his hands, and all he could do, was scream himself awake from this cruel nightmare.
Killua was forced wide awake by a blood curling scream from beside him, he could hear Daemon growling from Alluka’s room, but none of that really mattered, except for the boy screaming beside him. He pulled Daniel into his grip, eyes scanning the room.
He expected to find nothing, except there was something, or more specifically, someone else in the room besides them.
His first thought was Vastorie or Nathaniel, but hearing their door getting kicked open let a blast of light illuminate the figure, a wicked grin showing.
“YOU!” Vastorie addressed the person first, eyes first widened before twisting into slits, now glaring at the figure before him.
The man dashed for the window, Vastorie chasing right after. Broken glass was sent to the floor as well as outside, Daniel’s father stopping right at the window, growling in disgust.
Killua had no time to chase after him, instead focusing on the boy in his arms. He forced the boy to look at him, but his eyes were unfocused, hallow like Illumi’s “Who is he… what did he do to Daniel?!”
Nathaniel kneeled before Daniel’s side, bracing his son’s face between his fingertip. He could hear a whisper now coming out of Daniel’s mouth, a name specifically being repeated like a mantra. Killua, help me…
Nathaniel’s eyes shook in terror. He had no idea what had transpired exactly, but Daniel was curling in on himself, avoiding his surroundings at all cost.
“That man… is supposed to be DEAD, KILLED by none other than YOU, NATHANIEL! YOU LIED TO ME!”
“I-” Before Nathaniel could even respond, the man had already leapt out of the window. It left a hallowed feeling in the man’s chest. He made a mistake by letting that man live so many years ago. He let him, as long as he promised to never come after his son, but he did… although, not for his son… but rather his grandson instead.
“Nathaniel, WHO WAS THAT MAN! WHAT DID HE DO TO DANIEL…”
“He…” the man’s hands tightened around Daniel’s head, Alluka now entering the room with Daemon, terrified “Big Brother… what’s going on?”
Killua let out growl of disgust for the man’s lack of words, instead hugging Daniel closer to his body, effectively pulling Daniel out of his father’s grip. He brought one hand to the back of Daniel’s head, pressing his face in-between his shoulder “If you won’t tell me…”
Killua laid Daniel back down gently, resting the boy’s head against the pillow “I’ll get answers for myself. Alluka, stay here and look after Daniel, I’m going after him.”
“No, it’s too dangerous…”
Killua stopped at the window, blood covering some shards of glass from where Vastorie and the stranger both jumped out of. He didn’t know whose blood it was, but he didn’t really care. He wanted answers, and he wasn’t going to get them by standing around.
Even with Nathaniel’s warning, he didn’t care. He wanted to know what happened to Daniel and staying here wasn’t going to help him in the slightest. The boy jumped out of the window to chase after the shadowy figure, electricity engulfing his body as he hit the floor.
Nathaniel turned his attention back to the boy shivering in bed, eyes wavering in fear. He needed to be put back to sleep, one way or another, but he couldn’t do it here, not when the window was shattered. Lifting the boy in his arms, he cradled his terrified son closer “Alluka, come with me. We can’t stay here in this room. I’ll move him to the guest room, and you need to go back to sleep.”
“Alluka, please… this isn’t a matter Killua should be getting involved in. His life is in danger if he catches up to that man. His Nen is something else… it drives people to sleep, and then he enters it and makes them forget something in a disastrous way. If Killua is caught, he might never wake from a nightmare. We’re lucky Daniel screamed, or else we wouldn’t have known what just happened until it was too late…”
Alluka stamped her foot down on the matter, standing her ground, “Killua told me to watch Daniel. I’ll stay with him… I might not be able to protect him like you could, but I also know you will be out there to saving my brother. Don’t let him get hurt… Daniel will be upset and-”
Both Alluka and Nathaniel turned to look at Daniel, the boy suddenly changing what he was whispering seconds ago. Rather than whispering Killua name, it was now just a hallowed voice… calling out ‘somebody, save me!’. If the change was because of what he thinks it was, both Killua and Vastorie were a threat to Daniel’s wellbeing.
“Alluka, we need to get him in bed now. If your brother or my husband kill that man, Daniel, will be lost in his own nightmare for all eternity. I have to stop them… NOW!”
Killua drifted through the woods, relying on nothing but his instinct to find the man. He didn’t have time to look at his features, but there was no way there would be anyone else but the enemy, Vastorie and himself out at this time of night.
He craned his ears, focusing on the sounds of the night, searching for everything but the intense bloodlust coming from Vastorie. Then he felt it, like a sirens song, luring him in. It may have been a trap, but he saw a third wave of aura trying to escape.
The boy changed his direction, aiming for the third person.
His eyes shifted, focusing on the aura. Yes, the man was straying further away from the house, but it didn’t seem like he had noticed Killua’s watchful gaze. Either way, Killua pounced.
Outstretching his hand, Killua sharpened his nails, lunging towards the man.
While he was quick, he avoided Killua’s brunt of the attack, but the electricity flowing off the boy’s aura stunned him. The man was forced onto the ground, panting heavily. To think someone not only had the gall to stop him, but also hurt him as well as block off his escape route. Judging by how fast he was able to out run his own son, this wasn’t just a normal Hatsu, it was an A-Grade one, one he should get far away from.
“You shouldn’t have done that…”
“The same could be said to you, boy.” Looking up the man directed his gaze to the white-haired boy “Mr. Zoldyck.”
“You should know what I’m capable of then. TELL ME… WHAT DID YOU DO TO DANIEL?”
“Nothing that concerns you, boy.” As he attempted to raise his hand, Killua struck him once more with a bolt of lightning, the man gritting his teeth as he breathed in and out slowly.
Eyes shifted up, glowering at the boy. The boy had reacted long before could’ve raise a hand. He’ll have to rely on his dirty tactics, letting his En deal with the boy. It might take longer, but no matter, he always gets his way in the end. Blood trickled down from the man’s cheeks from where the young Zoldyck struck him “Heh… this is abnormal, wouldn’t you say?”
“The only thing abnormal about you, is your refusal to answer a question in a life or death situation.”
“Agreed, you’re right about one thing. But I don’t see why I should answer someone who IS going to die soon.”
Killua flicked out his aura once more at the man, his body seizing up, this time collapsing to the floor. The boy stepped forward, slamming his barefoot on the man’s hand. While he heard no sound, Killua didn’t take that as a warning sign. If he was supposed to be dead, he would make that dream a reality “I ask you again wh-”
Killua clutched his face between his fingertips, eyes struggling to stay open. He took a few steps back, electricity fizzling out from his lack of focus. It couldn’t have been a poison, his immune to them. Was it Nen? No, it couldn’t have been. He would have sensed the slightest force of hostility…
Killua fell to his knee as the enemy stood up, dusting his charred clothes off “Took you long enough. You shouldn’t have come closer… it’s more potent.”
“Hush dear child.” The man leaned forward, hand inches away from Killua “You’ll no longer need to remember me… soon enough.”
Killua’s eyes felt heavy, unable to keep his eyes open for longer than a flutter. He was so tired… his body refused to listen to him, screaming for him to get up. He needed to fight it before he collapsed, before he loses anymore time. He wanted to know what happened to Daniel.
Yet even as he struggled with his remaining strength, all he could do was fall asleep.
“You won’t need to ever worry about any-” His head snapped in the direction of another attacker, this time losing more than a trickle of blood. He hadn’t sensed it, thanks to the lack of aura. But that bloodlust, it made him smile to see it, even when it was being directed at himself “My son… Ercole. You’ve grown into a fine monster.”
Shifting his gaze from his severed hand to the man before him, his smile could only widen at the sight of his son before him, now calling himself Vastorie.
Vastorie shot his father a dirty look, eyes glancing for a second to Killua. The boy seemed unharmed, but who knew what his father did to him before he could reach him, with his distorted lies of love and so-called affection.
Drawing his eyes back to his father, Vastorie hated the man with every fibre of his body, even the thought of letting the man’s name escape his lips disgusted him “Victor! If that even was your real name, father…”
Victor bit his lip, hating how easily his own flesh and blood made his name sound so vile and disgusting “I prefer to go by Rushifā, now…”
“Another way of saying Lucifer. So, original… at least the two of you have something in common your both egotistical. But at least he wasn’t sucking his own dick.”
“I taught you better than that, you foul mouth brat!”
“I’m sorry, what was that? I couldn’t hear you over the autofellatio you were performing, you self-sucking cum guzzling whore! I? You taught me NOTHING! You took everything away from me!” Vastorie threw out his hand in exasperation, the desire to kill the man intensifying with each passing second.
“Only the things you don’t need…”
“YOU TOOK EVERYTHING! My friends, the ones I love… YOU TOOK MY MOTHER’S LIFE BEFORE MY EYES!”
“She tried to stop me from making you into what you’ve become today!” Victor responded back calmly, the sincerity being expressed through his words. He saw himself acting like a true father, one who cared deeply for his son. He was only removing the aspects of what his son didn’t need out of his life.
“A WHAT? A self-hating vengeful brat?! I LOVED that man, and to find out your alive, is the biggest backhand I ever received from him! You’re fucken alive… NOT DEAD like I was told. He lied to me, just like you did for all those years… Well, I’m killing you right here, right now!”
“You couldn’t kill me now, not while you’re a shrivelled husk of your own glory.” With a sly smirk, Victor held a single finger out to his son “It was because of your weakness, that I took your son from you. Soon he’ll forget about you, and you’ll have no reason to look after that freak of nature.”
Vastorie glared at the man “WHAT DID YOU DO?”
“I made him forget about the one he loves most, you!”
The words made Vastorie breakdown from laughter “Are you kidding me! He loves Nathaniel way more than me! YOU FAILED!” It hadn’t occurred to him then, but in the far reaches of the back of his mind, where reason still reside, his mind knew that original thought was wrong. But he didn’t allow his mind to go there, he only allowed his nails to extend slightly, sharpening like how his father had taught him. Even if he didn’t have his Nen right now, he was going to use the same technique his so-called flesh and blood father, taught him “I took you hand, so taking your heart will be just as easy.”
Victor adjusted his stance, aura curling around his fingertips, nails sharpening “We’ll see about th-”
It came out of nowhere, a large radiance of aura knocking him aside, propelling Victor into a tree. Three times now he has been denied escape. But that strength, the raw power of aura could belong to only one fighter, the one whom originally took his son away from him.
The man growled at his third enemy, none other than Nathaniel, holding Vastorie tightly against his chest. He could smell a trace of blood, coming from Nathaniel. Although, it was coming from his son’s direction.
"NO!" Screamed Vastorie, as he dug his claws into Nathaniel. Harder and harder he dug into his back and arms, in attempts to set himself free. He had one goal in mind, an intense desire to finish his father off. Nathaniel was strong, holding him tightly, almost to the point at which it felt like an anaconda vice tight grip, around his chest. At that moment, Vastorie found himself seeing Nathaniel, as his future ex-husband.
“ONE AFTER ANOTHER!” Victor forced himself up, smiling this time at the outcome. Nathaniel was here, and judging by his distressed look, his plan had worked. It was a win-win situation to him. If he dies, so does Ercole’s abomination. His so called, useless child. But if Victor continued to live, Vastorie will have no other choice, but to come with him. He had no reason to stay with Nathaniel anymore “You-”
“LEAVE NOW! I won’t give you a third chance…”
“No! Let me kill him!”
Nathaniel growled once more at Vastorie’s father, this time throwing the man’s own severed hand back at him “NOW…”
Smirking at the situation, Victor smiled “You were always a good loyal soldier…”
“The only one I’m loyal to, is Vastorie. Everything I did, I did it for his sake. Keeping you alive originally, was my biggest mistake… I see that now. You should’ve left your son alone… I gave him what he needed… what I believed he needed! And I hold true to those ideals today. Letting Vastorie take your life, will only ruin him in the long run. I can’t let him raise a hand to his parent, even if he is a monster in my eyes…”
“No, the only monster is your child. He, is the true abomination… one whom shouldn’t have been born. My Ercole isn’t supposed to give birth, let alone look after that thing! He’ll soon see the error of his ways, and realise he should be at my side one way or another…” With a cackle, Victor disappeared into the night.
Nathaniel relaxed his guard once the presence was gone, breathing out a retort for the wind to carry “He is compassionate, no matter who he came out of. And unlike you, he can show pure affection…”
Vastorie’s arms slowed their movement, now sobbing into Nathaniel’s shoulder “You lied…”
Turning slightly, Nathaniel brought a hand up, expression shifting into an apologetic smile “I’m sorry…” snapping his wrist, he knocked out Vastorie cold, hoping he’d stay out long enough to recover his Nen. Hopefully by then, the man’s thoughts would be collected, enough to actually think about the scenario to come.
Slinging the man over his shoulder, Nathaniel picked up Killua next “I’m sorry for what you’re about to experience…” He turned after his words, walking back home. Once he’s taken the both of them to bed, he can dress Vastorie’s wounds, and then his own. After everything his done, the new scars will be the smallest price to pay.
I apologise for what I put Killua and Daniel through, but Victor, is what makes Vastorie snap… and once Vastorie snaps, it’s then, Daniel is forced to find out new sides of Vastorie.
Chapter 8: This is Hell
Prepare for a roller-coaster, because this is about to get real emotional from here onward.
Nathaniel winces as he runs his fingers along the new scars, some deeper than others. He bites his tongue as he pours alcohol along the wounds, disinfecting it. Next taking a needle he proceeds to stitch every mark before dressing the wounds. They are a painful reminder to his mistakes, which still needed to be addressed. It hasn’t even been an hour, and the guilt was already welcoming themselves into his heart, crushing whatever happiness he cultivated over the last few days.
Victor, had stepped back into his son’s life, trying to drive a wrench into their family. He couldn’t picture how that scenario would work, how the situation would work in the man’s favour. How would destroying his son’s life, would want Vastorie to drop everything and be by the man’s side?
What exactly was he achieving? How would this unknown attempt, usurp Nathaniel from his husband’s life…? Or better yet… manipulate an unwilling enemy?
It was impossible! No amount of seductive, slick moves, could convince Vastorie otherwise. Hell, not even an endless night of pleasure, could make that man give up the need and desire to pursue knowledge the following morning. So how the fuck was hurting his son going to make him want to return to his old lifestyle. It made no bloody sense…
But one thing was for certain, this mistake will destroy their trust in each other. Nonetheless, he was sure Vastorie would listen to reason, listen to why he hid the fact, that his father was still alive the entire time he thought he was dead. Of course, once he was at a sound state of mind.
However, that thought didn’t help ease Nathaniel’s heavy heart. He’ll pay for his mistake, but not before helping others first.
Nathaniel finished dressing his wounds, throwing a shirt back on before heading over to the study “Just in case…” Pulling out a notepad, the man proceeded to write down ten names.
Zaikaria "Vyner” Darkscryer
He didn’t write the name in any specific order or take the time to write details down on each specific person. A superb Hunter would be able to track these people down with minimal information, Zaikaria and Victor both being the worst to track, and Eifion and Ashton being the easiest, due to the fact they already had information on them.
He also didn’t want to write any more than the name, just in case Vastorie didn’t fly off the deep-end, refusing to write down any names because his father was back on the radar.
Tucking the paper into his pants, the man walked back over to the couch in the living room, faceplanting into the seat. He couldn’t take it upon himself to sleep in the same bed as Vastorie, holding the man close to his chest from out of fear. While he feared his husband disappearing without a trace, he couldn’t bring himself to caress the man, let alone touch him.
But considering the circumstances, that fear was nothing more, than a plausible nightmare in his current mindset. Regardless of what he feared now, he still needed to at least sleep somewhat, resting before the arguments to ensure today.
Killua woke first, for some abnormal reason feeling refreshed. He vaguely remembered an issue earlier that morning, pursuing someone dangerous… but his mind couldn’t place a finger on it. Was it a dream, or reality? If it really did happen, who were they…?
Killua scrunched up his features, failing to draw a conclusion. In a worst-case scenario, he could always pursue Vastorie or Nathaniel for the information, hounding them until they revealed the truth.
Killua’s mind snapped back to the originator of the issue, Daniel. He smiled once he realised the boy was safe, sleeping soundly. Although, he wasn’t holding him in the slightest, instead turned away, and that worried him for some reason.
Killua stretched out a hand, lightly touching Daniel, the boy scrunching his face slightly, out of annoyance. That’s weird…
Daniel would usually lean into every touch, welcoming the warmth of another’s skin against his own. Killua then altered the touch running his fingers through the boy’s hair, hoping to lull the boy into a woken state. He did want to know how the boy was. Whether or not he was ok… or should be worried.
Daniel’s features twitched, slowly drifting between sleep and a state of wakening.
“How are you? Are you ok?”
It took a second for Daniel to realise that someone was speaking to him, and the moment he did, the boy flinched “H- Hi?”
Killua raised an eyebrow at the reaction, a little bit of fear sinking in the pit of his gut “Daniel, are you ok?”
Daniel sat up, looking around “Uhh, this isn’t my room. It looks like the… guestroom?”
Oh, maybe it was the shock from his surroundings… Killua thought as he found himself relaxing a little at the reaction “Last night… I believe… someone came crashing through your window.”
“You don’t say…” Daniel look back over, smiling slightly at the information. He was more puzzled by the response. He could only imagine by someone, that the boy in question meant himself and not someone else.
“Are you ok?”
“I don’t know. You tell me, Mr. I like to casually admit I crashed through your window.”
“Not me, doofus! It was- wait…” Killua turned his head slightly to the side, now leaning forward towards Daniel, which only made the boy lean back in response “YOU do know WHO I am… don’t you?”
“Nope, not a clue…”
“This isn’t a joke… you can’t be serious!”
“DAD…?” Daniel called out, now worried for his safety. He found himself backing away, the boy in front of him, the boy barely reacted to his own movements. Was this boy really a threat to him? Or was this some massive conspiracy, built behind a ruse.
Killua pulled back slightly, something heavy now weighing his heart. This had to be some cruel joke of some kind, one which Daniel shouldn’t be playing at all during a time like this. He believed they were attacked last night by someone else, and now thanks to the elusive attacker, Daniel was acting like Killua never existed or worse… was the attacker from last night.
There were loud steps coming up the staircase before the door was opened, a concerned father stepping in the room. He didn’t slam it open like Daniel originally thought he would, but once Nathaniel had stepped into the room, he could see that his father knew there was something wrong with the situation “What’s going on…?”
“This kid is in bed with me… why? Is this one of Vastorie’s jokes?”
“Wait, what? You know this boy… it’s your boyfriend, Killua.”
“Ha… Ha…” Daniel laugh at the serious joke, something he would’ve never expected to come out of Nathaniel’s mouth. Although, after his own reaction, he had realised that it was a biased one, considering if Vastorie was the one to walk in and say the exact same thing, he would’ve snapped at the man in disgust “No, seriously…”
Killua hide his features within his bangs. What Daniel said, was genuine, at least to his ears. There was not a single doubt in the boy’s word. His boyfriend really believed that he didn’t know him at all, and that slaughtered him. The white-haired boy was afraid to show those feeling of powerlessness, especially to his sister and Nathaniel. So, he did what he believed was best, to joke it all off like nothing had phased him “Yeah, it was totally a joke.”
Killua already heading towards the door, dismissing Daniel’s father’s words mid-sentence “Your parents set it up. Thought it would be funny, but I guess it wasn’t. See ya…” He made sure to quietly whisper the next part, his voice breaking already breaking from the utterance “maybe…”
“Hey-” Killua slammed the door in Nathaniel’s face, the man more furious than before. He had made the worst decision of his life to let Vastorie’s father escape unharmed, but hurting him, wouldn’t have saved Daniel, but rather worsen the situation. He had to make everything right again, to reverse the damage of his major mistake. He clenched his fist, back turned against Daniel.
“Dad, that was a lame joke for even you and-”
“Enough…” The man let out a long, guttural growl. Stilling his emotions to at least think calmly about what to say and do with Killua “I’m taking care of breakfast this morning. Have a shower, get dressed and we’re all going to have a talk downstairs.”
Slamming the door in his son’s own face, Daniel twisted his face in disgust. He hadn’t said anything wrong. If anything, this was all Nathaniel and Vastorie’s fault, not his! They were the ones to set up this cruel joke, convincing that boy to pretend he was his boyfriend.
They should’ve realised how he’d react! That having someone pretending to know everything about him, when he knows nothing about them, only makes him bare his fangs, growling in hostility towards the pretender “What did I do…?”
Nathaniel heard steps going down the staircase as he left his son’s room, calling out to Killua to stop. He shouldn’t go far, not like this! Not when his emotions were through the roof. The man would be anyone’s shoulder to cry on, even to a stranger he just met. He’ll comfort anyone, especially those he is close to. He saw Killua like a son to him, one he loves and adores “Hey, wait! Killua…”
“Leave me alone…”
The man continued to chase after the boy, even with the boy’s hallowed voice was begging him to stay away. As Killua managed to reach the bottom floor, Daniel’s father caught him by the hem of the boy’s pyjama’s pulling him into his grip “I said hold it!”
“No, let me go… Let me-”
Killua had no time to react once he was dragged into the man’s waiting arms, nor could he hold the pain in any longer. He wanted to get far away, to at least be by himself for a while. But the moment Nathaniel held him within his chest, that feeling of warmth, the same he’d experienced with Daniel, was nothing more than a painful reminder of what he had just lost. And it was all done, within span of single night.
He sobbed quietly, voice breaking as he cried his heart out into Nathaniel’s chest. He hated this part of himself even more so now, especially after letting Nathaniel see this side of him. He could handle Alluka and Daniel seeing this, but not his now lost boyfriend’s father.
All Killua could do was ask the man between every sobbing breath “why him…?”
And although faintly, every so often between tears, Killua could hear the words “I’m sorry” being uttered back to him. Those words couldn’t help him… nothing in this world could save him from the pain, of having his heart crush by the one he loved. Maybe one day he’ll get over it… But first he needed to escape with Alluka, to run far away from this place.
But something in the deepest, hopeful part of his mind told him that was impossible.
The boy felt Daniel’s father hold him closer, mouth inches away from his ears. Even through the cries of agony, he could hear the boy’s father as clear of day. It was a warning, but also request for him to remain hopeful “Don’t give up… I’ll help you fix everything! Just don’t let go… Please, stay by Daniel’s side.”
He couldn’t stay if Daniel started to hate him…
It’ll be worse than torture, worse than being electrocuted every single day for twenty-four seven. At least after all that torture he can go back to his everyday tasks. He couldn’t survive having his heart ripped out and tossed aside, over and over again.
So, as much as Killua wanted to run away, if Nathaniel can indeed help him, he’ll try his best to stay and help. It took him so long to fall in love. He is after all, secretly madly in-love with Daniel, and the thought of having to run away made him sick to the stomach.
He is strong, he’ll survive…
He always survived…
And with the faintest glimmer of hope, he’ll have to be strong… He has to!
The room was painfully quiet, Daniel stealing glances in Killua’s direction every so often. Killua felt it hard to eat, not only because of what he went through, but with Daniel’s scrutinizing gaze only made the situation harder to digest, let alone touch his food.
Daniel truly had no idea who he was, and with this situation, Alluka could only swallow thickly. She could see what Daniel was doing to Killua, and not only was it hurting him, it was hurting her as well, at least indirectly “Daniel, you should-”
“You want more pancakes?” Nathaniel asked, cutting her off before she could question the boy. If there was one thing about Daniel he knew, it was that his son hated someone who knew more about him, than he knew about them.
Killua coughed loudly, stopping his sister from what she was about to say. He hadn’t had any time to warn her about the change in situation, and why she should pretend that she’s introducing Killua for the first time to Daniel.
Daniel frowned slightly at the thick tension “That’s rude. You shouldn’t cut off Alluka like that.”
Killua’s eyes widen slightly at the news, it seems that Daniel’s memories of Alluka remained untouched. It was a fact, that Killua was the one to tell Daniel about Alluka, so he shouldn’t remember a single thing about her. This was an inconsistency he could build a bridge through, where he hoped to at least repair some of the damage done so far. He needed to at least get on Daniel good side, until he figures out a way to bring back the old Daniel, the one he loves.
Killua’s cheeks flushed at the memory, but forcing his feelings aside, he spoke up “This is a little weird…”
“I agree…” Daniel leaned back, sneering at Killua in disgust “Both you and Nathaniel just cut her off before she could say what she wanted to me. Which reminds me-”
“No, I mean…” Killua stopped to think, accusing Daniel of not knowing who he was wouldn’t be good, so he went the roundabout way “hasn’t Alluka told you about me?”
“Huh, what you mean…?”
Killua sent a glance towards Alluka, pretending to frown “Alluka, I’m surprised you haven’t told Daniel about me.”
“But, big brother… Daniel already knows you. You his boy-”
Killua cleared his throat, but he was a little too slow. Daniel already picked up on what she was about to say, and he was already whining about it “NOT YOU TOO! Next, I expect Daemon to suddenly say it as well. We~ aren’t boyfriends!”
Killua reeled back in pain, hiding his features quickly before Alluka or Daniel could see how much those words hurt him “Agreed.” Killua dismissed the topic entirely “As Alluka says, I’m her brother, Killua Zoldyck.”
Daniel pursed his lips, thinking hard about what had transpired. Maybe he has been a little too hard on the guy. He should at least apologise for snapping at him, but the moment Killua brings up something else about his life, he’ll know Killua wasn’t playing games, and really is pretending to pay the ‘boyfriend’ role.
Even if Alluka is pretending to roll with the disgusting joke, he should at least apologise somewhat to the boy. After all, they only just met “Alright, I guess I should apologise to you. It was mean for you to pretend to know me, but it was just as cruel for everyone to tell you to do it, especially how I act to those who tell me things about myself when I know nothing about them.”
This is going to be hard… Killua faked a smile “Noted.” The boy returned to eating, at least putting something in his stomach, not matter how much it hurt to do anything “Oh, that reminds me. Seeing as Alluka didn’t tell you about me. I was going to pick her up and travel the world together. Your father, Nathaniel was helping me… and he suggested I take you along too.”
Nathaniel spat out his coffee, not expecting Killua to act so casually, throwing him under the bus without a second thought.
“Did he now…” Daniel turned slightly over the chair, now glaring at his father. First, he asks Killua to pretend he’s his boyfriend, and now he failed to mention not only Alluka has another brother, but he was coming over as well to take him along without question.
“Yeah, thought you’d like to travel the world with someone your age.”
“But didn’t Vastorie plan to help me train my Hatsu?”
“Didn’t he…?” Killua questioned, which looked like a mistake on his part. Because as soon as those words left his mouth, Daniel was turning to glare at him “How would you know?!”
“I didn’t… I vaguely remembered Alluka mentioning about how Vastorie had a unique way of training people.” How Daniel is swallowing up this information, I don’t know… But one’s for certain, it doesn’t look like he can read through my lies like he normally would. On the plus side, it doesn’t look like his reading to deeply into the scenario, but rather going along with it…
“Oh, well you would be correct then. He… I guess he weaves his aura along with yours, dragging you into this alternate world where he had all these books on topics, which could be read as little informational guide book. They also have a feature that lets you summon weapons. I kinda broke mine by accident…”
“Neat! Although, sorry to hear you lost your weapon.”
“Not as sorry as when I heard the value. It was insanely expensive.”
“Right…” Killua dismissed the topic, afraid that he’ll accidentally bring up the name. He’ll have to do it baby steps, considering how Daniel reacted to just a minor detail. He can only lie so much before he breaks under pressure “So, anyways, will you be coming along?”
“I did promise…” Daniel quirked an eyebrow, sounding though he was a little confused on the matter. Who exactly did he promise about that? “I sort of promised ‘her?’ that I’ll help show her the world. Actually, that reminds me, I need to ask Vastorie about-”
“That wouldn’t be wise… He’ll be grumpy when he wakes up.” Nathaniel interrupted his son’s thoughts, wondering if it even would be ok for Daniel to talk to his father about anything, considering what happened last night.
“Oh right… he mentioned that yesterday. Will he wake up today?”
“Maybe later… You should go to the market with Killua and Alluka, take them around as you pick out bags. You’re going to need one if you’re going be travelling the world, as well as clothes. Oh, and I washed your clothes, they should be dry.”
“Yours should be washed as well, Killua.”
“Thanks…” Killua quietly whispered, thankful for Nathaniel making that comment as an afterthought. Who knew how Daniel would’ve reacted to hear that their clothes were washed at the exact same time.
Alluka fumed from being left out of the conversation, how Killua was so comfortable with pretending that he didn’t know Daniel. She could see that it hurt her brother, that it was killing him slowly. She wanted to know what was going on, but both Nathaniel and Killua had stopped her from interrogating, even yelling at Daniel to apologise.
She wanted to ask Killua, but every time she opened her mouth, Killua would always look at her with a troubled expression.
Daniel soon smiled, and when Killua looked into the boy’s eyes, he clutched his own pants sleeve under the table, hoping that he wouldn’t crack. He just had to survive long enough to fix Daniel, and then everything will go back to the way it once was. He willed his trembling lip to still, even when Daniel’s smile was being directed at him “Alright, we’ll get changed, and then head out. Alright?”
Killua could see her expression long before he turned around, the anger radiating off his sister’s aura. She had every right to be pissed, but not now… not when his own heart was already so fragile “Yes…?”
“What’s going on! Why are you playing this game that’s hurting you so much? Did you hurt Daniel did you-” When her brother looked over, all her anger seemed to dissipate at her brother’s expression. Tears fell down her brother’s face, running so freely, just like when she first chastised him for hurting Nanika.
From her current imagine of Killua, she could now tell that he wasn’t hurting Daniel. In fact, something unpredictable happened, and that’s what was hurting Killua right now. Did she read the original scenario wrong? “Big brother… what happened?”
Killua wrapped his arms around his little sister, burying his face between the crane of her neck. He already cried once, letting all his frustrations out within the span of a couple of minutes. He still needed time to recover, to get to a comfortable state of mind, but at the same time… he had to tell her.
She needed to play the game as well, at least until Nathaniel helped Killua figure out a plan of attack “Daniel… As you know, we were attacked last night. Something… or someone cursed Daniel… His forgotten about me, pretending as though we never existed. But, he remembers you, so that means… maybe… just maybe… somewhere in the back of his mind, he still remembers me. So, please go along with it, even when it hurts me so much… pretend that his meeting me for the first time today… can you do that? Please…?”
Alluka nodded, tears streaming down her face. As much as she wanted to walk over to Daniel, to hit him until he remembers and apologises to her brother for forgetting everything, but seeing her brother like this, she felt as though it would achieve nothing. That it will only hurt Killua more in the long run. As much as it pains her, she’ll listen to her brother’s request “Ok… but if it gets to painful, at least talk to us… even Gon or Sakura.”
“Right…” Killua sniffed once before pulling back, wiping the tears away from her eyes while actively ignoring his own “I have to tell Gon to keep quiet, at least until I can get Nathaniel to help me deal with the scenario.”
Alluka broke out into a smile, the act causing even Killua to smile somewhat, even if it was out of sadness. He was glad to have so many kind and understanding people around him. He’ll have to make that call soon, just in case Daniel calls Gon first “Alluka, can you go get changed? I’m just gonna call Gon now…”
“Good girl…” Killua ruffled her hair before leaving to escape through the back door, Daemon already hot on his heels before he could realise. The hell-hound nudge Killua’s hand, the boy forced to run his fingers over Daemon’s head.
He pulled out his phone, thumb hovering over the call button. He couldn’t believe he was already calling Gon, and a week hasn’t even passed yet. Hitting call, Killua brought the phone up to his ears. Please don’t ask too many questions…
Gon’s features lit up when he saw the name. He was so excited to see a call from someone he cared so much about. But it’s also too soon for Killua to call. He hasn’t had enough time to get over how they parted, but an aspect of him, recognized that he needed to pick up.
Killua wouldn’t have call so soon, without reason “Killua!” The boy belted out loudly, only to be met with a long, silent pause, he felt his throat constrict, that maybe this was a prank call from someone who has stolen the boy’s phone.
Gon let out a long sigh of relief, happy to hear it was just Killua being cautious. But there was something unsettling with the boy’s voice. Could he detect a hint of sadness “What’s wrong?”
There was another long pause before he heard Killua’s voice “Nothing is wrong… per say. It’s just, there was an… incident. I need to ask a really big favour of you.”
“Uh, huh…?” Gon got more worried, hearing a request from Killua out of the blue, did not bode well.
“I need Sakura on board with this as well. Daniel…” Killua bit his lip, having to repeat it so many times in a single day was so taxing on his mentality “Daniel has been infected by some kind of Nen ability. His forgotten some things…”
Gon paused, biting his tongue at the question he was about to ask. He felt fearful for a moment, as if he already knew the answer to the question “You? How much of you…?”
Gon heard a sniff on the other side of the call, Killua must be holding in everything, all his emotions, the pain. It wasn’t good to do and he should let it out “Kil-”
“Don’t! I know what you’re going to say… I can’t let my emotions rule me all day long! In any case, I need you to remain quiet while Nathaniel, Daniel’s father and I deal with the-”
“Killua?” Gon heard Daniel’s voice through the receiver, the boy biting his lip.
“I have to go! Not a peep! His on edge right now, and thinks of me as nothing but a creep, a perv… Please, don’t ruin my chances of fixing everything!”
“Alright… Just… I’m here for you.”
“As is everyone else…” Killua muttered under his breath, Gon barely catching it. But he fired no remarks, instead offering what Killua needed to hear “Alright, I’ll tell Sakura.”
“Thank you…” Killua hung up before Gon could say anything more, the boy now looking at his phone in distress. This was troubling news, more so for Killua than himself. He cared about Killua, and finding out Daniel no longer knew Killua, no longer cared deeply about the boy like he once had… Well, Gon could only imagine how much it killed his best-friend.
There must be something he can do, but that warning at the end left him troubled. The way Daniel looked at Killua now, well, he felt as though he saw it before. With someone else… back in Heaven’s arena. The scene being described, reminded him of how Daniel spoke to Yanick.
Gon could only imagine the pain Killua was going through if Daniel was treating him the same as Yanick, but if there were people helping Killua, people closer to Daniel… well, he hoped that they could truly help Killua and Daniel.
“Sakura…? I just spoke to Killua, and I have some bad news…”
Killua slipped the phone back into his pocket before Daniel could notice. The boy wiping away the tears quickly, before turning to smile at the boy “Yeah, sorry, I’ll get changed. I just had to make an important call.”
“Sure, just don’t take too long. Alluka is already ready. And I want to try get back early as soon as I can. I want to hit the library before we pack. Vastorie may be a perv, but his got…” Daniel pulled a finger to his chin “secrets I wish to divulge in.”
Killua nodded before clenching his fist behind his back, hiding the aggrievance he was experiencing. Daniel doesn’t trust him at all. His unwilling to let go of his motives or tell him anything he wants to do. This, was no longer the boy he fell in love with, but rather a mock image with a twisted personality “Right…”
Killua left the scene, tears threatening to spill once more. Soon everything will be back to normal, hopefully before he breaks like a fragile glass jar. He just had to survive until they have a solution to fix Daniel’s memories.
Well, he dreaded having to let go of Daniel’s hand…
Just like he did with Gon’s…
Chapter 9: Revealing the Truth
Killua, Alluka and Daniel go shopping, only to comeback to witness an argument between Nathaniel and Vastorie, which reveals a secret Daniel wasn’t prepared for.
The shopping centre bustled with people, the same white noise of topics being discussed in the background. It seems the weather hasn’t lightened up, but at least it was more bearable, unlike when they first landed.
Killua, Daniel and Alluka scoured the market, both Daniel and Alluka taking the lead. Thanks to her trip with Nathaniel yesterday, she still had some locations fresh in her mind. Daniel however had an understanding of the place and where things were, but in those past few years, a few shops have been replaced.
It was sad to see them gone, especially the toy shop in the corner, that places carried some great memories. It held games and toys you wouldn’t normally find on the market, little treasures which were hard to come by. But now it was just an everyday giftshop, humorous cards being displayed at the front.
Considering what the group needed to buy, it was better they got the travel gear out of the way. The baggage would be easier to pick, also allowing themselves the peace of mind in case they spend too much time looking for clothes. They went for simple gear, a couple of duffle backpacks and a sleeping bag for each of them, just in case. If need be, they’ll get an extra blanket, but considering they argued that they’ll mostly be staying in hotels, the sleeping bag was for just in case. It was also compact, taking as little room to store as possible, so that was a bonus.
Each had their own design as well, Killua sporting one with blue lining, Daniel with a venom colour and Alluka got the luck of the draw, a nice velvet reddish-pink rose colour. It mixed well with the pink lining. Killua liked it as it suited Alluka’s personality, and those words seemed to brighten his sister’s mood.
Although, Killua could often catch Daniel looking at him with mild intrigue, possibly studying his personality. He would often flush at Daniel’s gaze, but at the same time, he tried to hide the fact that Daniel’s innocent, unconscious smiles would make the boy’s stomach flip in delight.
He can’t say he hated it, but at the same time, those gazes right now, screwed with his mentality. He had to remind himself constantly, that Daniel no longer loved him… no longer knew who he was, and just how much he meant to him. He was just a random kid, stepping into his life…
As painful as it is to remind himself that all the time, nothing hurt more, than having to pretend he was an outsider just introducing himself. Even more so, now that he was shopping with the disaster of a dresser.
Killua could tell that Daniel liked more formal wear, not only from past experience, but from his current selection of clothes. Button up shirts, jeans, dressy pants, khaki; the kind of clothes which would be uncomfortable to wear on long periods of time. And as much as Killua would love to see Daniel put himself through all that torture, it wasn’t an option “No…”
“No, what?” Daniel asked, barely glancing at Killua “You don’t like the styles here? We could go somewhere else. There’s a couple of places…”
“I mean no, clothes wise. Khakis, I’ll let you get away with. Some of them can be very comfortable… but all the hiking we’re going to be doing. Just… no…”
“I thought we’ll be visiting towns and what not?”
“Well, yeah… But I want to show Alluka, everything! That means, nature and mountain sides as well. We’re not making the same mistake-” The boy stopped, changing what he was about to say “I’m not letting Alluka make the same mistake when she went to the world tree. She wasn’t exactly dressed for the occasion…”
“Yeah, that shrine maiden dress… Although, at least she had the right kind of boots.”
“Exactly! Which remind me, you should get more shorts. Maybe a pair of jeans or dressy pants.”
“Eww, shorts are… weird? They show off-”
“Too much of your legs? Yeah, I’ve heard that complaint from others. But the ones I’m talking about are the ones I wear like…” Killua surfed through the aisles, stopping at a particular pair “like these, but less ugly.”
The shorts Killua picked out were long, stopping just past the knees. They were designed for comfort and practicality. Yes, it looked ugly, but Daniel didn’t see himself not wearing them, although, at the same time he couldn’t help himself from arguing “What are you… a fashionista now?”
“No, I just know how to dress better.” Killua poked his tongue out at the boy, Daniel only laughed in response. It made the boy smile briefly. Hearing that laughter of joy, meant so much to him, even if it did hurt “Honestly though, who taught you how to dress…?”
Daniel pulled back in surprise “No one… really.”
Killua was surprised, a little shocked that he hadn’t asked the question earlier. Now that he thinks about it, he failed to ask Daniel about somethings in the past, and this would be as good as any time to ask, even if he becomes a little too secretive “What about Vastorie…? Nathaniel…?”
“Nah, I used to… nah that’s not important.”
“Oh…” Killua’s lips curled into a smirk “Do tell.”
“There was someone… but… I no longer remember who they were. They… possibly, he, taught me… but then he well, left me… So, there’s no point dressing like he asked me to. Plus, I kinda like formal wear.”
“Wait, back up… He? Who’s he?” How come I never knew about this guy? Why didn’t you bring him up?
“WHY DO YOU CARE?! It’s not like…” Daniel turned away, glaring at the aisle of clothing “Forget it… He or she left me…”
Killua could see pieces forming together to repair a broken puzzle piece, the way he spoke, something seemed… off. Daniel said Killua was his first, that his never dated anyone else. But what he said now… It sounds like Daniel did date someone in his past, someone who left him.
And he had a sneaking suspicion, that he knows who that person was. If Daniel’s memories had been affected like he thinks they have, he might have not lost them entirely. They were instead twisted, removing the mental image of ‘Killua’, only to then replace them with a black shadow, no features for Daniel to recall “I’m sorry…”
“No, it’s ok. I shouldn’t have blown up like that. I’m sure you’re not like him.”
Killua smiled slightly, thinking he understands the situation a little better “It’s ok…” If he had to make an educated guess, the reason Daniel’s past is so different, isn’t because he no longer knew who the person was… but rather, for some reason, had a residue of someone Daniel dated, being left behind for him to remember. It’s just his brain was desperately trying to get rid of the person.
The Nen used on him wasn’t strong, but rather covered up the situation. Or maybe Daniel’s will, was just strong enough to resist its full effects, even if it was just a little. Killua believes, that somewhere in Daniel’s mind, the boy still remembers him… and if this fact is true, Nathaniel will need to hear about it. Maybe this was the lead they needed to help overcome Daniel’s change…
Or maybe it was just a pipe dream he was latching onto…
“What do you think of dark red Khaki’s?”
“It’s ok, just try to match it with a darker shade shirt, like charcoal.”
Killua hide his features, burying his face between clothing. It was then he spotted some cool shorts, black with a streak of lightning running on either side. It was cool in design, and he was taking it. Also, the navy-blue shorts with two chains dangling off the side looked nice.
Taking the articles of clothing, Killua continued to look around.
Nathaniel looked through the shelves, scouring the manipulator shelf for Vastorie’s father’s ability. He needed some information, anything to help explain how it works, but the more books he went through, the less still left to be searched.
Once he reached the last one, he lost all hope, sliding it back into the shelf with the others. His features dropped, eyes shaking as he sat at the only table, theorising why Vastorie never once wrote the information down.
He couldn’t recall the man’s name, not without looking at the paper he wrote. For some reason his name was wiped from his memory once he fell asleep, possibly a biproduct of the man’s ability. Nor could he recall the man’s features, but one thing was for certain, if he ever ran into him again, he’ll punish him. But first, he needed to save Daniel, to somehow revive the boy’s feelings. He just has to hope there is something else on the other books.
His fingers curled around the first book when he first felt it, a rage so intense it was full of bloodlust. He swallowed thickly, eyes directed to the top of the staircase. Vastorie was up, and he wasn’t in the mood to talk at all.
Whether that be because of him just waking up, or the fact that he hasn’t had his coffee yet, he really didn’t know. He just hoped it was for the latter, rather than the former.
Nathaniel clenched his fist, hoping that his husband was willing to listen to reason. He climbed the stairs, taking a breath before walking into the kitchen. There he was, the man with tussled hair, back turned against him.
He fell in love with this man many years ago, and because of a secret, the bridge they had built together threatened to blow because of single man’s existence. He just hoped that his husband was willing to at least listen some of what he was about to say. He cleared his throat, Vastorie not even reacting in the slightest to his presence “Hun-”
“DO NOT TALK TO ME RIGHT NOW!” the man turned around, eyes glaring like a predator waiting to strike. His eyes were red, black bags sagging under his eyes from lack of energy, let alone the will to even listen to someone right now. But that wasn’t the only thing that told him not to bother the man, it was the cup of coffee still half-full in his hands.
Crossing his arms, he waited as Vastorie turned back around, guzzling his coffee like a dehydrated plant searching for sustenance of any kind. But that wasn’t enough of a reason for the man to continue to talk, he had to wait just a little bit longer.
Once he heard the slow sip, followed by the calm demeanour of aura flowing around his husband, that’s when he spoke “Alright, now you may continue…”
“Vastorie, you need to understand why I hid this fact. Why I kept the man’s living status as-”
“No! You’re going to listen to me right now! No amount of arguing could convince me to keep that man alive! He is a danger to society, as well as my-”
“LISTEN! This is no longer about just you! He-”
“NO, you will listen! His ability is built of the foundation of putting people to sleep. Erasing the memories of those who once spoke to him. His ability makes him an enigma, the perfect form of Zetsu. It even trumps In. You’re lucky I stopped him before he could touch Killua. If that man sunk his claws into that boy, Daniel would be the least of your problems!”
“THAT’S THE MAIN ISSUE! His already sunk his hands into someone… Our son, Daniel! He made him forget about-”
“Me? Well the jokes on him! Daniel’s always preferred YOU over me! His never loved me in the slightest!”
“YOU’RE WRONG! He did… and he still does! Your father attacked Daniel last night! And he didn’t forget about you… he forgot about Killua!”
Vastorie clutched his face between his fingertips, throwing the mug against the floor as shattered into fragments. Whatever was left of remaining coffee, now drenched the floor. The news made him snap, breaking down into tears of laughter. The situation wasn’t funny in the slightest, it was just a painful reminder to what his father did whenever given the chance. He’d take everything away from him, given any chance.
First Nathaniel, and now Daniel. The longer he stays alive, the longer that man remains a threat to everyone his ever cared for “You should have let me deal with the man right then and there, or AT LEAST BACK ME UP WITH TAKING HIM DOWN! It’s the least you COULD’VE done to make up for your MISTAKES…”
“You knew as well as I did, what would have happened I did let you or Killua kill him!”
“Oh, I do… But I wasn’t the one who made the mistake to let him live… you were!” Vastorie could see he struck a nerve, but he didn’t care, not right now… not when he was so angry for having been lied to for so long. It’s been thirty years since that incident, where he fought that man. And sure, in his version it went down differently to how really happen, but he trusted Nathaniel to be the one to take that man’s life… he trusted him to be the one to deliver last blow, even when it robbed him of his desire to strangle the life out of his father, Victor.
The only reason he knew the man’s name all these years, was because his father made sure, he would forever suffer. He’d forever know the name of his father, the man who’d would take away everything, his most cherished aspects of his life away from him “You shouldn’t have kept it secret for so long… thirty years! God damn thirty years! DANIEL MAY HAVE BEEN BORN FROM A CURSE, BUT THAT WOULDN’T HAVE STOPPED ME FROM REMOVING MY SON FROM MY LIFE BECAUSE MY FATHER STILL LIVES! IF I KNEW, I WOULD’VE NEVER GIVEN BIRTH TO DANIEL!”
“YOU DON’T MEAN THAT!”
“OH, I BUT DO… Even if I lost my son after having killed my father, he wouldn’t have to suffer any longer! He would have been put in a deep sleep where nothing could save him. NOT EVEN A DEUS EX MACHINA, someone who could grant wishes, could make me save him! I-” The man stopped dead in his tracks once he saw who was standing behind Nathaniel, tears already formed, spilling along his son’s face.
Daniel heard it as soon as he unlocked the door, as clear as day. His fathers were fighting, for the first time ever, in his life. He may have caught the tail end of the argument, but those words cut deeply into his heart, making the boy clutch his chest in return. He dropped whatever shopping he was holding, ignoring both Alluka’s and Killua’s words.
He just had to see his father’s expression, to see if Vastorie really meant it. And what he saw when he stood at the arch way, was Vastorie’s seething expression. The hatred boiling over, proving that everything he just heard, was what his father believed. Tears fell. Vastorie really meant every word, wishing he never had him. Why now…? Why was he so angry with him? Sure, he did find out that Vastorie gave birth to him, through some unnatural means, a curse the forces him to bare children. But his mind couldn’t comprehend a single lingering question…
Why did Vastorie no longer loved him?
Vastorie remained quiet once he saw him standing there, long enough for Nathaniel to pick up on his husband’s quietness to turn around. Once his father had, the boy knew both his parents could finally see his broken expression.
“He did! Look at him… his seething with rage! I shouldn’t have come back. Fuck, I should’ve just died back during that war if you didn’t care about me that much… It’s not like I was looking forward to anything!”
“No, just leave me alone…” Daniel ran, escaping the scene to go upstairs, even pushing Killua aside along the way. He couldn’t stop him… no one could “You too… just leave me alone!” He just wanted to cease existing, fade away, alone just like he should have.
Killua bit his lips, hating how calmly Daniel wished he died at the war. Did Daniel only live for him, or was it just from the tensions running high? As much as he felt he should demand answers from both of Daniel’s parents, his friend was a bigger concern. Even if he couldn’t show it, he still cared about Daniel.
So, he climbed the stairs, going after Daniel. He’ll deal with Vastorie later! He’s the one who should really be apologising. Killua found Daniel’s door ajar, the boy opening the creaking door “Daniel, I-”
“Leave me alone! I’m fine…”
You’re not fine… I know when you’re not fine, and it’s when you’ve just cried your heart out. You act irrationally, all the god damn time. If only he could say those words, but it would worsen the situation, destroying any chance of having Daniel by his side once more. So, like his manipulative brother, he hid his feelings “We can talk…”
“No! Ever since you’ve shown up, my life has turned to shit!”
Killua felt his hands shake at the accusation, but he knew Daniel would never say those things to him, he’ll blame no one but himself, even if it was truly someone else’s fault. Even knowing that, those words still hurt him, like a rusty, blunt, jagged knife cutting through his feelings, the pain forever inching through him “I’m sorry… I know what you’re feeling…”
“DO YOU?!” Daniel turned to glare at Killua, which only made the boy reel back, and for a split second, Daniel could’ve swore he somehow hurt the boy. But the change between his demeanour was too quick, way to quick for the boy’s liking “How would you know what I’m experiencing?”
Killua kept his pace slow, crossing the room in a way to not startle Daniel “Well, I don’t know you position, but I can relate.”
“My family expected great things from me, but I couldn’t give it to them. Nor did I want to…”
“I ran away, which was a great idea at the time. And…” it was the best time of my life. I got to meet Gon, you… I even got Alluka back with your help, even when you did nothing. Well, not exactly nothing… You kinda proved to my family that you wanted to help me. I think, no- feel you even won the butlers over… Not so much my family. They’re stubborn assholes.
Daniel was getting impatient from the silence “And…?”
“I got to experience new wonders, travel the world… learn things. But when I returned home to get back my sister… I found that she was already gone. Someone, had busted her out…”
“Sorry, I… I? Asked her to help heal Gon. As repentance for my mistakes.”
“Oh…?” Killua faked the mild amusement, trying so desperately to not point out the glaring inconsistency with the boy’s reasoning, let alone his memories “Yes, you did. Although you used her abilities for yourself, I still couldn’t thank you enough for removing her from my toxic family’s grip. Which is why I’m here… I owe you one.”
“But… I used her…”
“That’s funny…” Killua sat down on the bed, Daniel pulling himself into a ball “She told me a completely different story.”
“And what’s that…” Killua could hear the growl, a warning that told him he was stepping into dangerous territory right now “She told me, she cares about you.”
“And why are you here…” Daniel pulled himself even closer, like a tiny ball trying so desperately to fade out of existence “and not her?”
If Killua was hurt, he didn’t show it, he brought his arms around Daniel, pulling the boy into his grip. But Daniel didn’t fight, he just laid there as if he accepted Killua’s attention. Killua allowed himself to smile, not giving away the fact that his heart was hammering in his chest, that he was so damn happy to have Daniel in his arms again “It’s because you brought her here… it was because I got to see her so happy, experiencing what it was like to be a part of a loving family… even if it was brief.”
Daniel tried to stop his tears, but this hug… mixed with those words, for some reason made him break down in tears. His body felt at home right now, like nothing was going wrong with the scene being play out. He had warning signs going off in his head, demanding he push Killua away. But his body refused to listen, instead relaxing at the touch.
Killua ran fingers through Daniel’s hair, but the boy didn’t fight back, he sobbed into his pillow, crying out whatever tears he had been holding back. It disgusted him so much having someone else touch his hair, but at the same time, he was just too broken to care.
Daniel hadn’t told him to remove his hand from his hair, so a part of Killua, no matter how minuscule, told him that Daniel does remember him.
Daniel hated anyone touching his hair, so maybe this touching situation doesn’t have to end. That he still has a chance to bring back the boy he loves. Killua waited, holding Daniel close while he tried to comfort him to the best of the situation. Once Daniel falls asleep, Killua can go interrogate Vastorie for information, demanding answers over a fucked-up situation.
Nathaniel tightened his fist once he saw his son run away with tears in his eyes. He could hear Daniel push Killua away, demanding the boy to stay away, but his main beef was with Vastorie right now. He can’t exactly blame the situation on Vastorie, as this rising situation was because of his mistakes as well.
But he’ll be damned if he didn’t get his husband to right the wrongs “Apologise to him!”
“For what?! For telling the truth… you know as well as I do, that if Daniel was never born, he’d never have to suffer through this!”
“Even if that is partially true, that doesn’t mean what you said was right. Yes, letting your father live was MY MISTAKE, that doesn’t mean that you can say those words, and not look your son in the eyes and apologise!”
Vastorie felt his mood sour, glaring at the man who he knew was right. But he was also stubborn, and knew he was partially in right as well. Daniel shouldn’t be suffering, not now… not when he just had his memories taken away from him by his grandfather. The man’s expression softens, guilt showing so easily, betraying his inner feelings “I can’t… I don’t think I could ever can…”
The man looked up, a solemn gaze, turning into an intense glare. He’ll do the only thing he could do, deal with the reason for why he was in this mess “So, instead, I’ll deal with the issue how I see fit! I’ll kill my father… and then, I’ll use my other ability!”
“You can’t be serious! You’ll change way too many lives… end so many…”
“I wasn’t meant to live this fantasy world! I’m not built for happiness…”
“YOU’RE FATHER WAS WRONG!”
“Even if he is…” Vastorie turned away “we both can’t change the fact that I’m still a monster.” He left in a hurry, leaving Nathaniel alone for the first time in his life stunned.
Nathaniel felt so broken-hearted. He was unable to believe Vastorie held in those feelings for so long, and that meant that he failed in a way. So long ago, it was Vastorie who purposed first…
He remembered meeting him on the Hunter’s Exam, and then again while under Netero’s tutelage. Both times, he was a loner, giving away this presence that he didn’t want to be around someone at all.
Every time he approached Vastorie, he pushed him away, leaving with a sorrowed expression. He never wanted to be left alone, for a second. It wasn’t until he approached Netero for details, pushing until he got answers, was when he understood why the man wanted to be left alone.
Vastorie doesn’t know it, and never will until he is able to hear his father’s name without leaking maliciousness intent. There was never a time, never a right moment. He should have told him the truth about his father being alive… but he also should’ve told him the truth, that his real father, was dead… and current Victor Tempest, was really somebody else.
He should’ve told him so long ago, demanded Netero to tell him the truth, to show him the same truth he saw. The last thing remaining of Victor Tempest, his true feelings and memories, was a journal that slowly descends into madness.
He can still remember those final last words, the same line being repeated three times in a row, each being written differently. I’m not me… Netero wouldn’t explain what that line meant, but one thing was for certain, Vastorie needed to see that journal. Now more than ever.
He left the room, almost knocking Alluka down in the process “Oh, sorry, I-”
Alluka’s gaze pierced his own. The man felt himself being question without words. He once saw that fiery gaze in himself such a long time ago. He forgotten the feeling, the wanton need to protect those around him. This girl, this little one who wanted to save her brother and his lover expected an answer from him, one even himself didn’t know how to answer “Alluka…”
The man bent down, pulling the girl in close, bracing a hand over the back of her head “Everything just seems to be getting worse… doesn’t it.”
“Yeah…” Alluka clutched the man closer, expecting more from him. She wanted the truth, an answer for why Nathaniel himself was on the verge of tears. Everyone was breaking around her, and she couldn’t help a single one. She didn’t have the strength like Nathaniel, the knowledge like Vastorie, the cunning and tenancy like her brother, or desire like Daniel once had…
She had none of them, yet she still wanted to help all of them so much, one way or another. But she didn’t know what to say or do “Can I help? Can I really help one of you?”
Nathaniel felt his features warm up, a smile breaking through the sadness “Maybe… be strong for Killua. Just remain by his side. I know how to fix this… I think…” It will take a long time to heal everything, eventually, but only one person could save his relationship now. And it wasn’t him…
It was a Cheadle, the current Chairman…
“I need to speak with your brother, now more than ever. I have so many bridges to repair now. Vastorie won’t help Daniel, not now… not when his so… broken.” He pulled out the piece of paper, holding it out to Alluka “This is the list Daniel asked for. I’m hoping that these are the right people to help him understand Vastorie, and on that list, is also someone who can help you…”
“Yes, she transitioned. So, I thought she might be able to guide you, as well as give pointers.”
It took her a second to realise what Nathaniel had been insinuating. While she was uncomfortable with the idea of visiting someone to help her with her issues of self-acceptance, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to try and ask a few questions “Thank you… I don’t know what to say.”
“I’m not the best when it comes to information like this, but with her, you’ll be able to ask her whatever you want. I trust she’ll be discreet, and only offer help when it comes to your questions.”
Alluka nodded, smiling slightly which forced Nathaniel to hug her one more time “I’m sorry for the hell I put you through. I should have been more careful. I should’ve kept my En up just for all of you. But I didn’t… and now you’re the ones paying for my negligence. Go get ready, pack your bags… I’m sorry you couldn’t say here longer.”
Alluka hugged the man from his kind words. No matter the situation… No matter what had ruined their trip, she could never, EVER regret these past few days. She’ll cherish every second, all the memories for the rest of her life “Thank you for all you’ve done, this is the closest I’ve ever come to having a family. Killua is thankful too, and I know neither of us are going to regret the short time spent here.”
The kind words made the older man’s smile waver, crossed between sadness and an overwhelming happiness swirling around him. Even though he made mistakes, Alluka was still happy for her short time spent here “I’m thankful too…”
Although reluctantly, Nathaniel pushed the girl away, ‘booping’ her nose before issuing an order “Alright missy, you get your caboose upstairs and start packing. I’ll go see Killua and Daniel, check to see if both of them are ok.”
Killua heard the door creak, the boy blushing from the scene that was about to unfold. He had wrapped his arms around Daniel like a blanket, comforting the boy who a while ago, had cried himself to sleep.
During the time Daniel had been asleep, Killua had kept both arms around the boy at all times, one hand still unconsciously running through the boy’s hair, soothing him as he snored softly, sometimes the boy even pressing his head back, expecting Killua’s touches to become more sensual, warm and comforting.
It was hard to remain sain during this time, Daniel still acting as though the boy never met him. Yet at the same time, his sleeping form was betraying him, as if Killua had always been by his side. Killua surmised that this was the work of the attacker’s ability, somehow warping the two worlds. Daniel’s body memorising Killua to have always been apart of his life, even when they’ve only just met.
Actually, now that he processes all they’ve gone through, Daniel had remained consistent even when he just met Killua for the first time. Allowing parts of his body to be touched, even when he normally wouldn’t have allowed others to do the same.
Killua felt his heart hammer in his chest as he felt someone step into the room, walking up behind him. He soon felt a gentle hand press into his back, his first thought being that this was Alluka. But as soon as he focused on the hand, it felt more muscular, stronger the harder they pressed “Killua…”
Killua looked over slightly, hoping that his ears weren’t playing tricks on him “Nathan…?”
“Yeah… I need a moment of your time. There’s something I wish to talk about.”
Killua pulled his arms out from underneath Daniel, hoping to not wake him in the process. The boy shifted once the arms were removed, Daniel swinging his arm over to trap Killua back in the bed.
The boy blushed at the act, finding it strange to witness it unfold, when just this morning, Daniel had initially been pushing himself away from Killua. He quietly pulled the boy’s arms up, sliding himself away as Daniel devoured the bed, pulling everything towards himself like he was quicksand.
He looked so alone, saddened from the lack of warmth, but Killua had to remind himself, painfully he might add, that the boy who loved him, was no longer there, and how he subconsciously acts during the night, is the only vestige of what Daniel used be.
Killua followed Nathaniel, stopping only once he was at the door, this time to look back once more at Daniel. He felt his eyes waver, his expression warming slightly. He said the words he was always too embarrassed to utter “I love you…”
But as he closed the door, whether that was a figment of his imagination, or Daniel really responding back in his sleep, he could’ve swore he heard him, those words making his heart flutter, like a wish that hoped that was fulfilled “I love you too…”
He shut the door, this time turning to face Nathaniel, his emotions being stilled “What you need?”
“I’m afraid you have to go now, and you’ll be bringing Daniel along.” Holding out a piece of paper to Killua, the boy took it, checking the paper to find a list of names “It’s time you found out the truth about Vastorie’s personality, including…”
Nathaniel dragged his fingers down the list, tapping a single name “the one who made him like this.”
There it was, the name soon to be a bane in Killua’s backside. The person who started it all, ruining the life of the one he fell in love with. Victor Tempest…
Chapter 10: Truth is a Question
Killua finds out a shocking reveal, a truth that makes black and white impossible to discern, as Nathaniel helps his son, pushing him to find something to latch onto.
Killua curled his fingers inwards, one hand gently holding his sister. The boy really needed to talk to the man, who single handily destroyed Daniel’s happiness. Even at the door, Vastorie’s presence could be felt, his desire to be left alone radiating through the door.
Yes, the man didn’t want to be bothered, for now. But if Killua wanted to get the upper hand on Victor, he needed something from him, a keep sake, a picture of the man. Vastorie was the only one to act like he knew the man, and neither Nathaniel or himself could remember a distinguishing feature.
The only way Nathaniel could even remember his name, was because he wrote it down before he fell asleep. The man’s Nen seemed to be activated through the process of sleep. Dealing with such an ability would be no easy feat, especially when it comes to guarding against future attacks. If they ran into the man once more, running would be the best situation.
However, unless Killua knew what he was looking out for, they couldn’t escape.
The boy found his hand gravitating towards the door knob, opening without a second thought. There he found the man, the back of the chair faced towards them. He hadn’t moved in the slightest, retracting his aura with a long-tired sigh “What…?”
The boy took his sister’s hand, guiding her into the room. As the boy closed the door behind them, his eyes were directed to where the man sat, whom still remained unmoved in his seat. Killua would soon change that, making demands which he hoped Vastorie would be more than willing to accept “We want to know about Vict-”
“He is none of your concern… I’ll deal with him.”
Killua grit his teeth, hating the fact that a single name, could cause the man who once showed compassion and love for his family, was being reduced to seething hatred; a cold, unapproachable atmosphere.
Not even Killua could make his father react like that. He would always have to act calm, calculative around his father. If not, the discussion was over and he would never be able to convince his father otherwise. Vastorie acted like the complete opposite, vengeful and broken. What this man went through wasn’t anything like Killua experience, yet at the same time… he could gather from how Vastorie reacted to his father’s name, killing, wasn’t out of the question. The thought was calm, unable to deny the possibility to think that Daniel’s father, might be an Ex-Assassin as well “Your previous job was an Assassin, wasn’t it?”
“What’s it to you?”
Bingo! “I want to know what your father looks like…”
“AS I SAID… He is none of your concern… I’ll deal with him.”
“When’s that? Today? Tomorrow? Next week?”
Vastorie finally turned from his spot, glaring at the boy “You’re testing my patience, boy…”
Killua slammed both hands onto the table, leaning forward into Vastorie’s intense gaze. No matter how much his boyfriend’s father wanted to kill him, he wouldn’t do it. He already hurt his son once. If Daniel had his memories returned to him, he’ll only make his son either give up on life or seek out his father’s life “I’m demanding because I want to protect Daniel, unlike you who can’t even apologise!”
“He always hated me, so this wouldn’t be much of a difference.”
“No, he seemed so happy to see you when you two met.”
Vastorie let out a long sigh, leaning back into the chair. No, Killua was wrong about that. Yes, he was happy, but that was to see him. The moment he opened his mouth, Daniel could see why he didn’t like him anymore. No one ever liked his personality… the only one to ever gravitate towards him, was Nathaniel… and Avlas.
In all honesty, he hates his life… his ability given to him at birth. Yet those two, made it worth living. Then he lost Avlas and now Nathaniel… He was never meant to be happy, and those everlasting moments of happiness, always ended, made to be forgotten like a lone tombstone.
The man’s lack of words made Killua lift both hands off the table “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? Don’t you want Daniel to remain safe…?”
“Behind the family portrait is a safe. The password is Avlas’ birthday.”
“You’ll understand once you open the safe. 1-8-0-6, that’s the password.”
Killua approached the photo, removing the picture to find a safe there. Once he opened it, he found a dusty framed photo. Once he removed it, he blew the dust off, revealing a painting. What he saw made his jaw drop.
It wasn’t any painting his ever seen before, but it was well drawn, the colours working elegantly together, creating a mirage from a family photo. And this wasn’t any regular family photo, it was one of two combined families. The Darkscryers… and the Zoldycks “What’s the meaning of this!”
“I painted that. It was an oil canvas based off a photo that no longer exists.”
Killua looked back at the image, scanning through the faces. Illumi was there, glaring at Zaikaria as she did the same. Milluki was stuffing his face as per usual. Alluka was here as well, hugging her brother along with Daniel, both of them as beyond happy, radiant a love which would be impossible to reproduce right now. Kalluto to their side, glaring at them. Next, he found Vastorie and Nathaniel together, both smiling as well. Zeno was in the photo as well, calm, relaxed with a crooked smile alongside Killua’s parents who both didn’t want to be there… and someone else.
The man was tall, one arm leaning against his father, a cheerful smile etched into his features. Like Illumi, he had deep black eyes and black hair, which was tied up into a pony tail, resting against his shoulder. He had a slender build, wearing a similar outfit to his father.
Killua had no idea who he was, but the fact he was so casual with his father, meant that he knew him… possibly since a child. Killua brought the photo over to Vastorie “What is the meaning of this? Who is he?!”
“That man, is… or should I say was, your uncle.”
“I don’t have an uncle…”
“You’re right, at least not in this alternate timeline… He was erased through my ability… my original ability…”
Vastorie since young, could always remember having this innate ability, a way to communicate with the dead. He always feared it at a young age though, dead people coming to him, begging him for things he could never do.
The older he got, the weaker it’s hold became, rules and regulations being put in place without his knowing. Little by little, the ghosts could speak less to him, and he became less scared of them. The first time he ever opened up to any ghost, he was eight at the time.
It was a boy close to his age, scared like he was. The ghost although, might have been younger than him, calling out to their ‘papa’. He remembered trying to comfort the boy, but his father deemed it unfit, striking him every time he showed signs of emotion.
Unintentionally, that was the same moment he gave away his ability to his father. Although the man couldn’t see it, now that he looked back on it, his father could definitely sense something different about him.
Losing his mother was enough to make him loose his humanity, and every friend he lost, dampened his emotion a little at a time. By the time he reached twelve, he had nothing, but the next pay check to live for.
Killua found his mouth opening slightly, still a little confused at the words. His original ability? Yes, his witnessed different sides to Specialists, Neferpitou being able to heal as well as control and contort their body, even after death. So, the fact that Vastorie has two different abilities shouldn’t be a stretch by any standard “What do you mean?”
“My true ability, is to converse with ghosts… I can talk to, as well as summon the ghosts of the dead, as long as I: One, know who they are… The person who wants to summon them knows who they are… And lastly, if they want to be erased forever.”
“Imagine it this way, how much of your life would change if you never met Daniel?”
“I… I would still travel alongside Gon… maybe even fall in love with him, eventually… possibly after it was too late.”
“We’ll, Vic- that man, in this specific timeline… used his ability on you, and Avlas was the one who managed to take the man’s life before dying. But we hadn’t anticipated what would happen when… when Victor died. His ability intensified, instead of erasing your memories, it erased your personality, throwing you into a deep slumber.”
Killua’s jaw dropped further, trying to understand the situation “Wa- wait a minute! Why did he attack me?” NO, that’s not important! I don’t even remember any of this happening, at all. If that’s the case, then… the form of ‘erase’ his speaking about, is one where the person was never born…
“He wasn’t aiming for you… he was aiming for Daniel. You just got in his way. Both Daniel and Alluka were pleading all of us, to save you, which brings me to a little news which may unsettle you…”
Eyes gazing to Alluka “None of us could make a Wish. None of us could request Nanika to save you.”
Killua grit his teeth, baring his fangs at Vastorie. In alternate memories, the man still retains his memories of Nanika’s wish-granting ability. How much did this man know? Does he know every detail… every rule? “How do you remember?! What do you know?!”
“Only as much as Avlas told me. He only told me, because he trusted me… there was nothing I could wish for. Regardless, Mitsuba ran into him first, and rather than alerting his sister-in-law like a good brother-in-law, he ran to you. Because out of everyone in the family, you were the closest to her. You told him the basics, and he kept everything a secret. She was never caged… locked underground because of what she could do. The next time she made a wish, it was with Avlas… and the wish he made, was to never make a wish again…”
Vastorie cracked a smile, remembering the words he would carry to the grave with him “because no one wants anymore, then for you, Alluka and Nanika, to be happy. It kept her safe, as well as keeping Nanika alive. Sure, Nanika had no reason to come out as often anymore, but that didn’t stop Alluka from talking to her… for you and Daniel to reach out to her. Because of that wish, we couldn’t save you… So instead, I had to make the worst decision of my life…”
Vastorie dropped his gaze, looking at the image of Avlas, the only remaining image of the man he once cared deeply about “using my body as a host, I requested Avlas to take you position instead. It worked… but it fucked up the entire world. Everything I remembered, was completely different to Zaikaria’s… to Nathaniel’s…”
Drawing a finger out to Killua, the man’s gaze met him “You, were the inconsistency. You ran into Daniel again, out on a mission and… No, that’s not important. What is however, is the world is connected through a series of strings. We do things differently if someone is erased. However, erasing Avlas destroyed so many lives… and for that, I’m sorry. Alluka had to suffer because of my decision.”
Killua clenched his fist. He hated this information. But, it wasn’t enough to get him to hate the man. Yes, his sister had a better life in that alternate universe, but if he remained in an eternal slumber, Daniel and Alluka would forever remain destroyed… and from the sounds of things, he also never met Gon “Was… Was I trained to be an Assassin?”
“No… Avlas took up the mantle. He wanted you to make the decision, instead of being thrust into that life. Your Brother, father, as well as your mother objected. But not only Avlas, but Zeno as well painfully reminded them, that he could have easily taken them on.”
The chair squeaked as the man leaned against the arm rest, a finger being used as his head rest “The butlers wouldn’t have been able to stop him… not, that he planned on attacking them. He just reminded them,” Vastorie’s eyes narrowed slightly, as if were using the statement to enforce his own ideals “that his ability surpasses theirs, including his training. He was after all,” with a wicked smirk, the man paused. He wanted Killua to make sure he was listen, now more than ever “More experienced than them…”
Killua knew that story had a bit of realism added to it. But no matter how much the man wanted to scare him away into believing he was powerless in this situation, he won’t buckle. “My father wouldn’t agree to that…”
“He wouldn’t… but ultimately he did, only because of one thing… he couldn’t beat Avlas. True to the man’s word,” Vastorie sat up straight “he always beat him using conventual methods. During one round, the both of them destroyed three rooms.”
“I… still don’t believe you,” Killua struggled to figure out what part was real, and what was made up. It was all made up in a sense, a part of a world which no longer exists. People tend to alter someone’s personality in one way or another, but this… this sounded off. His father, wouldn’t even let other members of the family, get in the way of what he believes is right for Killua. Hell, there was a war based on the internal conflicts of what was the right thing to do with Alluka. “My father wouldn’t agree, not even then.”
“What if I told you he lost forty-eight fights out of fifty.”
“FORTY-EIGHT?!” Killua grit his teeth. “Don’t lie…” Wait, if his father couldn’t beat Avlas, why did he win two out of fifty fights? That was inconsistent with being unable to win. “How can Avlas always win, if he lost two out of fifty?”
“Then don’t believe me,” Vastorie swivelled in his chair, facing his back to them. He no longer wanted to talk about his past, this act being an indicator that he wanted to be left alone. “My story has no impact on what you do now. A draw, is neither a lost or a win. Your actions change the future, not those, whom have passed. I only told you, because it will affect everything you hear about me. It will change your preceptive of me… that’s why I told you. I’m a monster, who took so many lives… for what? A moment of happiness? Sure, because that’s all I deserved. Nothing more… nothing less…” He paused, voice sounding further way, as though he were no longer in the room, even if it had come from his own throat, “That’s why I envy you.”
Killua flinched in surprise. He hadn’t expected anyone to envy him, let alone Daniel’s father “What could you, possible envy from me?! You weren’t forced to kill animals you loved… you didn’t endure torture every GOD DAMN DAY!”
“Torture, yes… Kill, no. But I’m not talking about that.” Vastorie twisted the chair back around, frustrated that he had to once more deal with his son’s boyfriend. Nothing is more frustrating that having to relive his past over and over again, a broken record which now matched his broken mentality. “I was seventeen when I joined the Hunter’s Exam… you were twelve. You got out early, I didn’t…”
The man’s lips twitched in anger, a presence of bloodlust slowly leaking out, entwining with Killua’s aura, battling to see who would buckle first. His son’s partner, or himself. “I only joined the hunter’s exam, because of my father’s request. I needed one… but then I met Avlas and Nathaniel. Everything became history. But I still held that fear of loss, avoiding them like the plague. I had to check to see what changes occurred. I found out Nathaniel pursued me, because I seemed so lonely. Netero took me in because of my father, he was surprised once he learned who he was. Sure, I had this wonderful life…” He opened his hands, resting them both on the table in front of him, an open gesture which dared the boy to fight him on his position. “But every second, that could have been taken away from me. I held that fear until now…”
Killua looked down, that, he could understand. Illumi can take away his memories at any given moment and had done so on numerous occasions. He even took his memories of Alluka away from him.
Alluka had sucked in the information, remaining quiet until now. Walking up to the desk, she reached out to Vastorie taking his hands within her own. Maybe she could reach out to him, even though his body language, gave away how much he wanted to be left alone, to suffer, “Then don’t make Daniel suffer the same. Help my big brother protect him. Isn’t there anyone who can save him…?”
Vastorie took his hands away, leaning back into the chair as he crossed his arms “No one I know of. Zaikaria might be able to return his memories, but she won’t do it. She hates your guts Killua.”
“WHY?! What did I do to get her to hate me so much…?”
Killua shot the man a glare, which only made Vastorie return a blank one, uncaring for the hostility he was now receiving. In all honestly, he looked more broken, like he had stopped caring about how much he was suffering, like his own actions from earlier. Was it true? Was he luckier than Vastorie right now?
Killua shifted his gaze from Vastorie to the photo, wondering where everything went wrong. If what Vastorie told was the truth, that his memories were from a different timeline than what he was experiencing now… Then those last few days, were they a lie living in the truth, or he was just playing along, because that was all he had left from his past life.
Killua leaned across the table. “Tell me the truth. Did you mean everything you said back then? Down stairs to Nathaniel. Would you wish you could erase your father’s life, even if it costs Daniel’s…?”
An empty gaze met Killua’s, leaving the two siblings in an eerie silence. All that was left, was the truth to be discovered from the father’s story.
Nathaniel woke his son up, fingers gently calling his son back to life. Daniel’s puffy eyes looked up at him, the sight making him struggle to remain sain, when tears threaten to fall. He loved his son, and he was certain Vastorie loved him too.
He was sure that his actions and words, were only because of his fear of loss, hopelessness in a situation where he personally couldn’t do anything. He had nothing to latch on, nothing to move or call upon, to bring back the son, he was sure his husband loved.
Yes, he had a weird way of showing that love at times, but those were all from the way he was brought up. Incidentally, Nathaniel also enforced those ideals on the Vastorie. He accidentally proved that strength is the way to protect those who needed it. His distorted form of love, came from sex, and now that he looks on it… he only added fuel to the fire, enforcing this self-abuse.
In Vastorie’s case, being fucked senseless.
Nathaniel brought his hands up, intending to rope his fingers through his son’s hair, but like every other time, his hand was knocked aside. A painful silence, looming between the both of them.
“Daniel… I know you are hurting inside, but you have to let me talk to you. Please, open up to me.”
“Is it true… Nathan, does he regret having me?”
“NO, NOT AT ALL! He’s just… in a bad place right now. He’s not upset at you, but rather at me.”
“Why don’t I believe you…” Daniel crawled out from underneath his father, resting his head against the pillow, back turned against his own father. It was strange considering he was the one who he has always loved getting attention from. But now, from that lie, he couldn’t discern whether or not he deserves to seek out happiness.
Nathaniel didn’t let his son sulk for long, sweeping him back into his arms, embracing him. The warmth of the man’s chest made Daniel feel protected, like nothing could go wrong. But the boy’s mind refused to accept it, making him struggle against his father’s unbreakable vice-like grip.
“No, just listen. Daniel, I want you to know that what your father said, it’s not true. He doesn’t hate you at all. HE LOVES YOU! He wants the best for you… So, as payment for his crimes, he gave me this.” Nathaniel brought out the piece of paper, showing it to Daniel.
Daniel’s hollow gaze looked at the names before speaking “You’re lying. You wrote this…”
“He told me to write these names…”
“I don’t believe you…”
Nathaniel could only breakdown at how destroyed his son sounded within that moment. His tears hit the boy’s back, making even his son freeze on the spot. Was there really no hope with bringing his son’s happiness back from the brink of destruction? Will the boy forever wallow in this idea of being unwanted? No, he had to hold on a little while longer.
If his son got back his memories, he’ll find that his wanted by someone, even if in his mind, he sees himself as being unwanted by his family. Nathaniel brought the paper closer to his son, making sure that the boy did grasp onto it, like it was his last piece of hope in the world. “I know you feel unwanted now, but other than myself, there are others who still need you more than anyone else in the world.”
“Who…? Who could want me…?”
“Zaikaria, Alluka, Gon, I think you mentioned someone by the name of Sakura?”
“It’s not them… It’s that… I feel like a piece of myself has been ripped out of my chest. I feel so… lonely right now.”
“His some nobody, who just happens to be Alluka’s brother.”
“Give him a chance, please… for me. I know one day you can come to care about him.”
“I won’t… I just don’t see it.”
Nathaniel let out a small huff “Stop being stubborn like Vastorie!”
“I’M NOTHING LIKE HIM!”
“Then don’t act like him. Give him a chance!”
Daniel grit his teeth at the accusation, only to relent at the words. Fine, he’ll trust Killua. But if Killua kept pushing this distort form of affection on him like Yanick did, he’s leaving before the boy could even raise a finger in objection. He might join Gon and Sakura as a third wheel or something. Or maybe he’d just travel the world on his own until he finds someone else who wants him as much as he does “Fine, but one mistake… and I’m leaving.”
Nathaniel ran his fingers along Daniel’s side, the boy feeling uncomfortable at the action. It wasn’t that the touch felt unwanted, it’s like his brain was trying to associate it with something that never happened at all. It felt tingly, too… disgusting. “Please, don’t touch me like that…”
Nathaniel let his son go, even though he didn’t feel like he should’ve done so in the first place “Ok. So, you’ll go with Killua.”
“Yes… But like I said-”
“I know. But, you’ll let him speak his mind one day. You will let him tell you about his life in a way that may contradict your feelings?”
“Maybe is better than no. Come here, give me a hug.”
Daniel reached out, arms hugging his father. Nathaniel did the same, but he left it open, so as soon as Daniel felt ready, his arms will leave Nathaniel’s. But they never did, always remaining by his side.
It made Nathaniel smile, even when it was only slightly quirked upwards. A hug can mean a thousand words in the right context, and for Daniel it was no different. Even when he had begged to be left alone an hour ago, his grip was now pleading for him to remain at his side, even when his next words threaten to destroy that world “Can you pack your bags. You’ll leave by tomorrow at the latest.”
Daniel nodded, fingertips loosening from his father “Sure, as long as I get to write a few things down. I want to get stronger… although, I don’t have a reason as to why yet.”
“Then find that reason… you have the whole world, waiting to give you a reason.”
“Thanks, dad…” His smile was soft and sincere, perplexing ideas curling only around his heart. Was that really the right choice? Was leaving his parents to travel the world with Alluka and Killua the right decision to make right now?
His heart screamed out no, that he should try to stay, to find out more, including how to fix it. Even so, he didn’t know how to face his father Vastorie. What does he say to the man who wished he never had him? Even when Nathaniel says he doesn’t believe his husband meant it, Vastorie may still hold true to those convictions in one way or another…
I guess the only answer, is to seek out those who’ve met him at different times of his life.
Chapter 11: Chasing Dreams
Vastorie gets an unexpected call, his rage towards himself intensifying. However, a clue leaves Killua heartbroken as he receives a gift that could bring comfort, on the long adventure he was about to embark on.
Vastorie hadn’t moved from his spot, what Killua last asked, had driven him insane. He knows he was making that decision out of anger, but that’s still not going to stop Victor from going after the boys again. Like Victor, they both can be relentless, never giving up.
The growling of his stomach hasn’t even stopped him from thinking. How long has it been? His been awake for longer than twenty-four hours, meaning that he has only had two coffees between this time. The man clenched his fist, unable to force himself to go outside, to eat something. He feared running into his son, Daniel, Killua or even Nathaniel. He won’t apologise…
Actually, that thought was wrong. It was more like can’t…
How could he after everything he’s said?
Just when he thought his day couldn’t get any worse, his phone buzzing in his pocket, made him shift his posture pulling out the phone with a flick of the wrist. He couldn’t care less who he was about to answer with a cold tone “What?!”
Cheadle pulled back the phone slightly, unsure if she had called the right person. The ID said it was Vastorie, but that cold, brooding voice was nothing like she’s experienced while with him. She was aware of his old personality, but when she first met him, he was completely different to how she was told he normally acts.
“No, it’s God speaking… WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU FUCKEN CALLED?”
Shifting the phone from one hand to the next, a tired expression overcame the woman. She drew her finger tips to her eyes, pinching the spot between them with a tired sigh, “I’m not playing this game.”
“WHY did you CALL…?”
Cheadle glanced at the document placed before her, documents strewn across the table. To think a secret this big had been under her nose the entire time, a threat bubbling over from only the tinniest of wishes, isn’t something she yearned to deal with the moment she sat in this chair.
She may be the Chairman now, but to think Netero kept this a secret for so long, is a disaster waiting to happen. She had to deal with it now, before anything catastrophic happens, especially now with a photo thrown on top. Victor Rushifā Tempest… Vastorie’s supposed father.
At first, she glanced over the image, uncaring about the man. But now she read more into the blacklisted documents, it became more painfully obvious, that wasn’t something she couldn’t just gloss over. Especially with the hostility she had just received.
Between the announcement of Beyond Netero, a son which none of the other Zodiacs knew about, and the Blacklisted documents she uncovered, she was in for hell. It’s one thing for Beyond Netero to announce his going to Dark Continent.
This man wasn’t any normal Nen user, he was Netero’s son. He looked almost identical to his father. And he had explored the Dark Continent, retrieving a plant, only to lose it, and bring back something more devastating. The Zobae Disease…
But this man, is one of the three issues she was dealing with right now.
He wasn’t the only one to go to the Dark Continent, Isaac Netero had as well, with the Pure Paladin Squad, a group consisting of the most powerful, versatile Hunters. And Victor, was a part of that group. Listed in Victor’s file, he brought back something else, something neither of the group had realised. The journal left behind, was the only proof of whatever was now invading the man.
Hell, he hadn’t aged in the slightest, the worn photo of the Pure Paladin Squad showed him looking exactly like the current photo they had of the man. It had been more than 50 years, and he still looks the same. He is a B-Class, possible even an A-Class level threat.
Not because of who he was once affiliated with, but because of his son. Vastorie harboured hatred for his old man, and if word of his true ability got out, panic would ensure.
She hadn’t realised she stopped talking until Vastorie spoke, “Unless you have something important to say, I rather NOT listen to static silence for the rest of my life. I have more pressing matters to deal with right now!”
“N- NO,” Cheadle called out, stilling her thoughts for the moment, “I need you to come in immediately!”
“Right now, you are considered a Class-A Threat to the Hunter’s Association!”
“YOU GOT TO BE FUCKEN KIDDING ME…” there was a growl, followed by a thud being heard from the other end of the phone call. He might have just fallen backwards from her threat. Vastorie returned, this time calmly speaking, “What… did I do…?”
“I know about your ability, Banshee’s Call…”
“And…?” Vastorie leaned back, the chair squeaking as he raised an eyebrow. What does Cheadle hope to obtain from him, by threatening to call him a Class-A threat? “What, do you think? I’m going to use it willy-nilly after Netero died? What you take me for… a child? A MONSTER?! Spit it out…”
“Your father is alive.”
“And the award of the century for the last person to find out goes to, you! WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH ME BEING A CLASS-A THREAT?!”
“He…” Cheadle stopped, thinking about the situation further. Was she really making the right choice by threating the man whom could doom this world. If he makes a request to Netero, everything could be messed up. She can’t trigger him right now, at least not until he was within her grasp “Listen, I just need you to come in. We need to have a proper talk.”
“Considering what you just said, I rather not. A-Class or not, you think because of Victor, he and I are one of the same? IS THAT IT?! What you’re thinking…? You think because his blood roams in my veins I’m just going to use this ability and destroy the world now that Netero is gone?”
“NO, listen! I’m the chairman and-”
“TITLES, mean nothing to me!”
“DOESN’T MATTER!” Cheadle slammed the table in frustration, growling like the Zodiac she’s replicating “I’m forcing you to go to the Dark Continent, because Beyond-”
“Beyond Netero? Oh, so his son has crawled out of whatever pit he was buried in. Nice to know.”
“Y- You knew?”
“I met him… Once or twice. He looks like Netero in his younger years. So, I assumed it was his son. He didn’t correct me, and I don’t see what that guy now has to do with me…”
One problem after another. Cheadle can’t just catch a break anymore. If she knew taking this seat would land her with so many issues, she wouldn’t have done the damn job in the first place. She took a long breath, calming her nerves once more, “I want you to come in, because I have something to show you. It’s a journal that belongs to your father, and it has some unnerving news I want to discuss with you…”
“Journal…?” Vastorie grasped his chin between his fingertips, thinking seriously for the moment. This journal, may have something he could use to track down Victor. It could be the key to killing that man. But, Cheadle just called him a Class-A threat, she must be using this as a way to lure him in. He won’t fall for that trick “I want proof! Tell me his full name…”
There was a long pause before Vastorie spoke once more, voice now cold, calculative, “In one week, I’ll come see you. Force me, and I’ll disappear like Ging. I’ll make sure you never find me…”
With a tired sigh, Cheadle relented “Fine, one week. I expect to see you in my office by then. If not…”
“You’ll hunt me down like an A-Class criminal. Well done, you’ve made even Netero proud. Threating your allies like the self-conscious loyal dog you are…”
With a click, Cheadle was left speechless. Even when the man wasn’t thinking rationally, he still knew where to strike. Clenching her fist, the woman slammed the phone back on the receiver, clutching her face. She was making the right choice, wasn’t she…? Netero kept it a secret because he didn’t deem it as a threat, yet even still…
For so long, the old man buried that information deep within the archives. Why? Why would he keep such a disastrous threat so close by? Out of sympathy?
No, it was something much more…
Looking back at Vastorie’s case file, she saw the last note left behind by the chairman. Wedged tightly into the back.
Don’t hurt him… Do what I could not…
What exactly did Chairman Netero want? What possibly couldn’t he have done for Vastorie? Cheadle leaned back into the chair, too tired to argue with her thoughts.
She had to threaten him. She just had to get Vastorie to come in somehow, because that man’s ability has become a threat after Chairman Netero’s death. She can’t risk it. The old Chairman should understand…
She had made the right choice, right…?
Daniel remained glued to his book, re-reading the first page over, and over again. It made no sense. Why did he write this? Why would he write a confession he had no memory of writing? As he drew his finger tips to the page, intending to rip it from his journal, instead, he found his hand stopping right as it touched the journal, his heart weighing heavily on being against removing the page.
He needed to test a theory out, but first thing was first. The boy needed to write down, what he first came to the library for. He needed information on how to improve his ability, using mostly journals from the Emitter and Manipulator volumes. He mainly added ideas from those he saw as being useful to him. By the time he was done, he had lost track of time, the boy yawning as he stood up, stretching his arms out.
Checking the watch on his wrist, Daniel covering his mouth with his other hand, eyes widening at the time. It was close to four. Although there was a bed in the corner of the room, he instead found himself climbing the stairs, heading to the backyard. He expected to be alone, especially so early in the morning.
Who he was a boy sitting in the grass, Daemon’s figure close by, head resting against the boy’s leg. That hell-hound certainly lived up to his description, the need to seek out attention from those whom roamed around him.
Once he realised who was looking at him, the animal stood up, Daniel kneeling to massage his family pet. Daemon growled in bliss at the touch, head pushing further against his hands.
Daniel noticed that Killua hadn’t moved at the noise, his fluffy-white hair glowing under the moon light, wavering slightly from the gentle breeze. Daniel removed his hand from the sight, left speechless. Daemon whined from the loss of touch. Even as the eager dog begged for more attention, Daniel just couldn’t help himself.
Like a siren’s lullaby, he was tempted to the boy’s side. Sitting beside the boy, Daniel peeked over.
It wasn’t that Killua hadn’t noticed the figure sitting beside him, it was just that he was at a loss for words. He can’t talk to the boy like he was once able to, topics flowing to the forefront of each other’s mind, talking until they either fell asleep or found themselves out of breath.
This boy who looked at him, expected him to lead the conversation. What was once full of love an excitement, was now reduced to a ‘who the hell are you’ gaze. It was so different from the norm, the silent trust they had between one another.
He couldn’t pick up where he left off. He couldn’t even giggle like he once had, rolling around the grass like two love-struck birds singing songs to one another, eager to hear even the littlest of praises, reduced to nothing but a flushing field of red roses.
That was all in the past, a dream which may never become reality.
Yet even still, the promises of those around him said that everything will turn out alright. He clung to that dream, even if it hurt… even if it were to burn him like a thousand suns, reducing him to nothing more than ash, broken, and forced to drift through the sky like a thousand aimless fireflies…
Daniel wondered what was going through the boy’s mind. The moonlight just seemed to accentuate the boy’s features, mixing beauty with a gaze which desired answers. To what answers he seeks, Daniel didn’t know. But one thing was for certain, a part of him desired to figure out what he wanted.
It disgusted him, slightly. However, considering how tired he was, his lack of sleep was probably the reason as to why his mind was going through the process of romanticizing his features. A lustful stare, born out of curiosity.
Daniel shook those thoughts away, bringing his hand up to touch Daemon which had taken an opportune time to lay between them. Lazy stokes made the animal purr in delight, both boys gaze seemly lost in the starry night sky. After god knows hold long the two had been in silence, Daniel finally broke the silence “Can’t sleep?”
“I guess…” Killua spoke, eyes now glancing towards Daniel, wondering what kind of look he was receiving. Just what expression crossed Daniel’s face right now? How was he staring at him now, was the lazy night lulling the boy to sleep?
Daniel hadn’t been looking at him, eyes instead drawn to the starry night sky, like thousands of jewels glinting. Shifting his attention back, Killua felt himself memorised by the night. He remembered a situation like this, back on Whale Island with Gon and Daniel. He was asked about his dream, what he wanted to do. Back then, he had no idea. He couldn’t remember about Alluka, how much he wanted to save her, so Gon offer, or more demanded he join him on his adventure to find Ging. Now he knows what he wants, part of that dream has been destroyed, forcing him to re-evaluate what he should do.
Shifting his weight to one side, Killua broached the topic, a part of him was afraid to ask “I know it’s too late to ask… but are you ok, coming with Alluka and I? Your dad kind of roped you into it…”
“Honestly, I don’t know… He believes that by going with you,” Daniel shifted his gaze to Killua, a smile forming, “I might find something I’m looking for.”
“Something… or someone?”
Daniel’s mouth gaped open, Killua now forced to retract his statement “I’m kidding.”
“No… honestly, it’s ok. I will admit a part of me misses traveling with another. I… used to travel with Gon, I kind of messed up and now he’s travelling the world with Sakura, his partner. I wish I could do that… travel the world with someone I care about…”
Killua clenched his fist, hiding the pain deep within himself. That’s right, you no longer know who I am… I wish you would just remember me… “Is that so…”
“Wouldn’t you, Killua?”
“Well, I do have my sister… I love her, but not like the kind your talking about.”
Daniel looked at peace, sleep clawing its way through him. He was so tired, the cool wind of the night removing whatever was left in his will to remain awake. But there was a question, or more like a statement he still wishes to make “By the way, thank you for earlier…”
Killua turned in confusion, looking at the boy with a question gaze. Daniel’s features slowly fell, his head bopping as he struggled to remain awake. It was like Zevil Island all over again, only back then, Daniel was sorry for falling asleep on him, and not because he was tired. “What do you mean?”
“You comforted me, after what happened with the fight… even after I demanded you go away. So, thank you…”
Killua felt his hand reaching out to the boy, only to be stopped by his other, forcing it back to his side as he offered a meek smile “I- It’s ok… friends should help each other out.”
Daniel sniffed, a low murmur building in his throat, chuckling at the returned comment “You’re kind. I wouldn’t mind having a friend like you…”
Killua’s lips twitched, a weak smile barely being contained as tears fell. They weren’t out of pain however, but the feeling of joy, a gesture he welcomed with open arms. He felt a weight being pressed against his shoulder, Killua pulling Daniel in, resting the boy’s head against his legs. He drew a hand through Daniel’s hair, careful to not wake the boy up out of fear of being chastised.
Killua’s attention was drawn to Daniel’s sleeping form, the boy’s body moving up and down, snoring ever so softly. He could’ve sworn the boy was about to ask him a question, but he instead fell asleep.
Shifting his gaze back to the night sky, an orange hue slowly building across the horizon, melding with the blue nightly sky.
“Don’t leave me…”
Killua closed his hand, fingers digging into his fist as he bit his lip. Hearing Daniel whisper that while he slept was just cruel, eating away at what was left of his shattered heart. He buried his fingertips in Daniel’s hair, offering the best, weakest, smile he could build “I would never…” I just can’t…
Killua packed his clothes, making sure to fold each one to maximus the bag space. He felt his mind wander, thinking seriously on how he was going to survive. In all honesty, right now his only hope was with Zaikaria right now, considering he didn’t really know any Nen Exorcists.
Asking Nanika for help was out of the question as well. He promised not to abuse her power, respecting her for who she was… his second-sister. It didn’t matter that Nanika shared the same body as Alluka, it was still a second entity, separate from Alluka.
On the other hand, Zaikaria, which Nathaniel has made him aware of has gone underground for the moment. She was tracking someone, someone which she’s failed to give details about. Whoever they were, it has caught the woman’s undivided attention. So, if they are going to find her, first they would need to draw her out.
Her last location was somewhere in Yorknew, so that’s going to be their first trip.
Currently, there was two problems as of now. Provided they do find Zaikaria, he still runs the risk of her refusing to help them. He couldn’t believe the only one he could ask, was the one who currently hates his guts. And he still hasn’t the faintest of ideas as to why she despised him.
It can’t be just because he was an Assassin before meeting Daniel. There had to be another reason…
Killua grabbed his hair, ruffling it in frustration. Why was everything messing with him now?! Couldn’t he just keep what he craved, to have that intimacy he always secretly wanted, the one Daniel first introduced him to…
He’ll do anything to be able to hug that boy again, to kiss him… to hear him say everything will be alright. But it won’t… Not now… possibly never, as soon as Zaikaria finds out the reason as to why he is hunting her down. All he wanted to do, was help Daniel. The sooner, the better…
The only other problem is, he’ll first need to get the boy on board with the idea.
Telling Daniel, he knows more about him than his letting on, is only going to force the him to run away. I’ll have to play my cards right, Killua mused, hand unconsciously reaching out for the next item. The object was small, contorted into a three-point ridged shape. When the boy opened his hand, he saw what was in it.
It was the cobalt lightning bolt, with a white crystal outer layer. He found himself smiling at the object before he was forced to place it back down on the bench, moving it away. As it glittered off to his side, he forced himself to focus his mind elsewhere and not on its meaning, the reason why Daniel got it in the first place.
He didn’t want to reminisce on the past, especially when he had a chance to return to that moment, to relive through it every day. The cobalt continued to glinting off to his side, making the boy frown at its meaning. Just, fucking great… everything wants to remind me what I’ve lost.
Stuffing the last piece of clothing into the duffle bag, Killua zipped it up before grabbing the necklace once more. His fingers tightened around the object, making the boy’s already fragile heart break a little. He’ll help out Alluka if she hasn’t packed, yet…
Then, begins a new adventure, to return what was once lost.
Daniel had woken covered with blankets, feeling refreshed. He couldn’t recall ever going to bed. The last he remembered was talking to Killua outside during the early morning. The boy must have taken him inside at some point during the morning.
He didn’t stay long in bed, getting up to pack his bag. Today was the day they leave, going on an adventure to not only find himself, but to also take Alluka sightseeing. He was unsure what Killua hoped to gain out of this, other than seeing his sister smile.
Once Daniel had packed the last of his clothes, he reached out for both of his necklaces, only to find one. The situation made him scratch his head in confusion, wondering where he had placed the other. The emerald sun was here, a reminder to Gon, a best friend which he hurt out of anger. Yes, they departed as still being best-friends, but the amulet will forever remind him of Gon, and how the boy decided to leave with Sakura to find himself…
Daniel pressed a hand to his chin, wondering where he last placed the other one, although his mind was wandering elsewhere.
While he took Alluka’s hand to show her off to his family. He wanted her to experience the kind of love he grew up with, but it seems he failed in that attempt. His parents were fighting. Vastorie hasn’t left the study, and Nathaniel is heartbroken… all because of his existence.
Nathaniel tried to reinforce the idea that it’s not his existence that is making Vastorie angry, but a mistake that Nathaniel himself, had made in the past, that is what’s fuelling his other father’s rage. Even knowing that, it still doesn’t make him hate himself less.
As those thoughts roamed in his mind, he couldn’t recall what he was originally trying to think of, where he misplaced the cobalt lightning bolt. Daniel relented with a sigh, leaving to help out Alluka if need be.
Killua smiled at his little sister, helping her fold the last dress. He’s lucky he came when he did. She hadn’t even gone through half of her clothes, and the bag was already beginning to look like a disaster.
Taking each article of clothing, he showed her how to properly fold them, maximising the space. After a few tries she managed to get a hang of it.
“Good job,” Killua leaned forward, placing a kiss on his sister’s forehead. Ahh… damn, I’m picking up on Daniel’s bad habits… with a blush, the boy pulled back, awkwardly running fingers through his hair “W- We should probably hurry up. Daniel’s probably waiting.”
“Or already here,” the boy smirked once he drew Alluka and Killua’s attention, mouth shifting slightly before he stepped closer “I came to help, but Killua beat me to the punch. So, are you two, ready?”
Killua nodded, slinging his pack over his should before moving over to his sister next, helping her put her backpack on “We are now…”
With a nod of understanding, Daniel leaned his weight onto one side, a hand casually being offered, “Hey Killua, have you happened to see a Cobalt necklace, shaped like a lightning bolt by any chance?”
“Yeah…” Killua raised an eyebrow, unsure why Daniel would ask him first. Sure, he did have it… but to have the boy ask him first was kinda weird in a sense. Daniel got it because it reminded him of Killua, and now he was asking him where it was. “I have it. For some reason you left it in my room.”
“Huh…” Daniel paused for a moment, now scratching his chin in confusion. He had no reason why he left it there, or when he did that. And Killua didn’t seem like the kind of guy to steal things. He admitted to having it, rather than saying he hadn’t seen it.
With a smile, Daniel turned around “Actually, you can keep it. It kind of reminds me of you. Don’t know why though… and honestly, I don’t remember why I brought it in the first place. See you outside…”
Killua clenched the necklace in his fist, Alluka reaching out to hold her brother’s hand “He doesn’t really mean it big brother… I’m sure he’ll ask for it once he gets his memory back.”
“It’s not that…” Killua mused, reaching in his pocket to pull it out, showing it off to his little sister. He felt his cheeks warm up from the words, a small smile forming along his lips, whispering the next part out of fear that he may cause Daniel alarm, “He said it reminds him of me. I… I don’t know how much longer I can survive like this…”
Alluka’s hands tighten around her brother’s fist, hoping that she could comfort the boy. Yes, she didn’t like the situation. Watching her brother crack every time Daniel’s soft words reached into her brother’s heart, offering it comfort for the slightest of moments before leaving her brother a little weak, often broken at the scene unfolding right after. Like Nathaniel said, she’ll be strong for her brother, no matter what “I’m here for you, big brother… Nanika and I both.”
Killua’s features soften, ruffling his sister’s hair from the comforting words he just received. As long as he has Alluka, he can be happy. He’s sure of it. It’s just… he wished this situation with Daniel didn’t happen. He wished he didn’t have these memories while Daniel acted like he never existed.
Removing his other hand from Alluka’s grasp, Killua let the necklace dangle around his neck, his smile widening at the sight, a memento of Daniel’s now around his neck, glinting in the light. Whenever he feels sad, at least now he has something to remember their relationship by. It will leave him feeling warm and fuzzy on the inside, hopefully comforting his wounds every time he touches it.
Chapter 12: Hidden Details
A new adventure, secrets and a plan ready to be set in motion.
A single step outside, a new adventure lingering on the horizon, one where they didn’t need to fear war, about being dragged into a fight they’ll be forced to train harder for. This was an adventure where finding oneself, will be mixed up between love, the need to protect and discover something to either fill a void or recall fragmented memories.
Daniel hopes to gain something he’ll cherish…
Killua hopes to regain the one he cherishes…
Alluka wishes to see the two smiles once more, to have an adventure of endless smiles.
Each dream was depended on whether or not something goes their way, but just because the door to the Darkscryer’s home was now closed, doesn’t mean it would forever remain like that. They had so many adventures to explore, a list of ten names of people whom could shed light on Vastorie’s past, making even the darkest of hearts shine brightly in an empty room.
It’s something Daniel must learn, even if it contradicts what he already knows, he must for the sake of himself as well as his sanity.
Nathaniel was already there to greet them at the door, a soft smile shining brightly on them. He couldn’t wait to ask, pulling the three into a welcoming hug, one which radiated a goodbye with a ‘please come back soon’ vibe.
He didn’t want this to be the end, but rather the beginning to where the future will lead them back into his arms, a family once more, where Vastorie no longer feels alone like he thinks he is.
He has gotten to know the two siblings over these last few days, cherishing them like his own. While he couldn’t outright declare he loved Killua like a son, he should at least let him know through other methods. “I’ll miss you,” Nathaniel hummed into the nape of his son’s neck, “please come back soon.”
“Alright, dad, you’re crushing us.”
With a smile he pulled back, looking at Alluka “You too missy, you’re now like a daughter to me, so I expect to see you return with so many stories, no matter if they’re embarrassing or not.”
Alluka slipped her arms around Nathaniel, smiling brightly, “I will…” Yes, this man wasn’t related to her by blood, but like him, she saw him as an irreplaceable father figure, a dad she wished to keep.
Raising a single hand so that he wasn’t forced to let go of Alluka, he poked Killua’s nose with a smile “Rules apply to you too! A caring sibling, is as much as a son as my own. Protect your little sister…”
Killua could see it across the man’s face, how much he wanted to really say more, but that fear of Daniel’s rejection kept his mouth shut, words only able to be voiced telepathically. But if he had to guess, Nathaniel so badly wanted to say he loves him like a son, that he wishes him the best, to find a way to bring Daniel’s memory back. He wants him to be as happy as his own son, to continue protecting Daniel.
Killua turned away, cheeks flushed from what he imagined Nathaniel wanting to say. But he can’t deny these past few days means a lot to him. His father would never act like this, accept him without rules and regulations. He sees him as his blood son, a prodigy Zoldyck in name only. Yes, while the love was portrayed in a sick and twisted way, he cannot deny his father loves him. He just wished that, that love wasn’t attached to being an assassin.
Killua gave the man a quick hug, not wanting to alert Daniel of his true feelings. He knows that a part of his mind will miss Nathaniel, no matter if it leaves him flustered or not. He only wished that they left on a higher note, as he was sure, Alluka wished to stay longer.
Nathaniel turned to his son. He knew Killua would struggle at this time to get his son to go after his sister, so rather than getting his son to bounce around the issue, he could at least instil the idea that his son should go after her himself, “Now, I know you don’t want to find out a little more about Vastorie right now, but at least understand where he’s coming from… he is not malicious, evil, or a monster…”
Daniel frowned, he didn’t think anything differently of Vastorie. Yes, he hates him for thinking so little of him, but before that moment he snapped, honestly, he didn’t regret coming home. Whether Killua was the cause of the breakdown or not, it’s up to him to find out. Nathaniel wants him to travel with Killua, and he highly doubts that he wants him to travel with the man whom single-handily destroyed, not only his family, but ended Alluka’s happiness as well.
That kiss he walked in on, showed him he cared for Alluka, the way his warm expression would smile at Alluka, even if he isn’t physically smiling.
It will be up to him to decide whether or not he wants to stay with Killua, but right now, he does want to help Alluka, even though now he feels like his forgotten why he made that promise to her in the first place. With a sigh, Daniel disagreed with his father “I don’t despise him… And yes, I want to understand what or who made him snap like this.”
“Good,” Nathaniel smiled, letting go of Alluka as he paid close attention to his son instead. He wanted to choose his words wisely, and make Killua’s situation a lot easier “Then, it’s best to start with Zaikaria. Her… skillset, has made it easier to understand Vassie,”
“Wow, I haven’t heard you call him that in ages.”
Nathaniel laughed “It has… but, Zaikaria is one of the few people have gotten into his brain. She’ll understand him the most.”
“Right, so where is she…?”
“Yorknew on unknown business. Give her a call when you get there. Hopefully she’ll be willing, or at least able to meet.”
With a nod, Daniel held his father close, smiling in his neck. Nathaniel planted a small kiss on his son’s forehead as he rubbed his back. As much as he didn’t want his son to let go, he pats his son’s back, alerting him that it was time to go.
Daniel finally let go after a few second more, a wavering smile betraying his feelings “I’ll make sure when I come back, you’ll be proud to have me.”
Nathaniel snickered at that poor man’s joke, the was no need to do that at all, “I’m already proud of you,” Nathaniel pressed his son’s nose, making him stumble back a little “You, should go. The next flight out is in four hours. And it’s a six-hour walk.”
“Right,” Daniel adjusted the bag over his shoulder, smiling as he turned to walk away. This, is where my journey begins…
Nathaniel turned to look at Killua.
The boy understood the look he just received. It was a solemn, stern expression, a silent ‘save him’ being uttered without words. He nodded, taking Alluka’s hand within his grasp. He smiled at how easy Nathaniel has made his life, convincing his son to chase down the woman Killua hoped to use to save their fallen friendship, their relationship he wants to cherish once more.
If Zakaria won’t do it, he’ll find someone who can. He has friends he can talk to, ones whom may know a person or two who can remove the Nen now afflicting Daniel.
To Killua, this was first of many steps he had to take to save Daniel.
Killua relaxed his palm, resting it against Alluka’s hair, flecks danced in his fingertips, flicking in all directions as he tried to contain the smile. It’s been almost a week since he pulled her out of the mansion, a week where they could act like siblings, not children of assassins.
It was all thanks to Gon, and Daniel helping him achieve his goal.
Shifting his glance to Daniel, he saw the boy buried in his journal. It was the same one given to him, as well as Alluka by Vastorie. He cherished the gift, even though it served as a painful reminder.
I didn’t imagine to think of you as a bookworm, Killua mused, a crooked slime now forming unconsciously. Although, it kinda suits Daniel, playing well with his drive to learn, even when it came to Killua, he showed that trait. Not so much the writing, but the learning aspect.
Alluka murmured in her sleep, moving to get in a more comfortable position as he allowed her, shifting his legs slightly so his knees don’t rub against her chest. Once she stopped moving, his hand returned to her hair, curling some strands.
Killua hushed the boy before responding, playing well on his overprotective nature of his sister, even though in a heartbeat, he’d never do that just to hear Daniel speak to him, allowing his affection for the boy rule his words. “Keep your voice low, I don’t want to wake my sister.”
“I have a question…” flick a few pages back, the boy flipped his journal, showing a single blank page, “what you think of this idea?”
Killua raised an eyebrow, huh, still the joker I see… “Sounds like a great idea, blank…”
Daniel turned the book back, frowning slightly “Oh, didn’t expect you to be a non-Nen user…”
“No, I knew to use Gyo, I did so, but you wrote nothing down. Did you use In on that page?”
Daniel flicked a few pages back, continuing to write “Yeah, I must have…” If Killua couldn’t read the page, it’s possible he wrote it with the intension of using In, which seemed ridiculous, why would he commit to writing these feelings of love, for a guy he can’t even remember? It was so strange…
Unless Killua was lying…
No, not possible. He would have a reaction because what was written down was by its definition, cheesy, embarrassing.
Killua’s eyebrows furrowed, what exactly was on that page? What exactly did he say to make him slightly angry? “If you’re upset at what I said, Alluka got one, no, two, one for me as well. Don’t know what I’m going to write in my journal though…”
Daniel flicked a few pages forward, stopping at a particular page, a piece of information revolving around an Emitter technique he wished to substitute in his attacks. It detailed a process of extending one’s aura to reach out like anacondas, increasing range without the need to detach the aura upon use. It would work well with his technique, the only problem is he’ll need to refine it, to work with his Shadows.
“I was thinking…” Daniel hummed, flipped the journal once more, “as one Nen user to another, what you think of this?”
Killua rubbed at his chin, looking over the notes. It was mixed and matched, some spots blanked out, being cut from the final documentation. It might have been able to be read only by Daniel at this point. But this could be a test as well, checking to see how much Killua actually knows about him “Is it wise to show me something like that? Going by the details, I say you prefer long ranged Emitter attacks? Are you an Enhancer hoping to increase range, or an Emitter hoping to improve?”
“Neither…” Daniel remarked, twisting the book around, hiding his features behind the book with a frown “I guess Alluka keeps secrets from you.”
“A girls gotta have her secrets,” Killua mused with light laughter.
Daniel found himself smiling, cheeks tinting lightly, that laugh was sweet, sincere. Doesn’t sound like Killua is the judgemental type, which is a nice edition. It kinda sucks he was treated like shit though, but he got out early, so that’s a plus.
Thinking about the situation now, Killua went with the joke about dating, but considering his personality, he wondered about something “So, I was wondering… are you seeing someone?”
Killua frowned slightly, why bring that up? Was he trying to make small talk? This isn’t a topic he wants to touch right now. Allowing a lip to curl upward, the boy joked, “Why, falling for my charm?”
“No, just curious thanks to the joke you set up with Nathan…”
“It’s…” Killua dropped his head, bangs hiding his expression, “complicated…”
Looking over the book, Daniel found himself dropping the journal, curious as to why those words were full of sorrow. Why would Killua remain with someone who’s hurting him? “Guy or girl…?”
“He’s a dick…” Daniel hummed, returning to his journal to continue working. “You should dump him…”
Killua felt his heart shatter at those words. If only Daniel could see through the veil, the lies contorting his memories. It wasn’t that easy, to dump him… especially when he had a chance. But at the same time, he couldn’t say shit, not when Daniel was so close to him. He didn’t want to spark the boy’s questioning gaze so he kept quiet, ignoring the remark entirely.
Daniel closed his eyes at the lack of words, Killua must be in a difficult situation, so there was no point continuing at all with this topic. “Alright, lets change the topic, what do you like to do in your spare time, if you had any?”
“Alright,” Killua dropped his bag next to the wall, a small thud echoing around the room as he glossed over the surroundings. Soft deep blue carpet, diamonds-shapes patterned through the floor, leading up to the four main rooms. It was reasonably sized. There was an open kitchen, next to the smaller room, a single bed contained within, with a semi-walk in wardrobe.
Killua navigated the rooms, checking to see what they had. The living room was the main entrance, connecting to the four separate areas. It contained a medium sized TV with a comfy couch across it, a dining room prepared to at least sit four people. Next to it was the toilet with a large shower for at least two people to fit, a nice addition for those who wanted to have a little space in the shower.
And the room next to that, was the second bedroom, a queen-size bed filled the room with a reasonable sized walk-in-wardrobe, more space to navigate unlike the one with the single bed.
Taking a walk into the kitchen, Killua scoured it to see what they had. A large bench to work on and nicely spaced fridge. Cupboards contained all the utensils, glasses, plates, pots, pans as well as cooking gear needed to work with. He knows Daniel can’t cook, but it’s better to ask than to act like he knows.
Killua shifted his feet, standing up straight, “so besides there being only two rooms, can you cook Daniel?”
“Does food poisoning count?”
“I take that as a no…” Killua shifted his weight, holding a finger out to Alluka “Alright, you get the queen bed, and…” Killua flicked his finger out to Daniel “You and I flip on the single bed.”
Alluka fumed, wanting to at least push her brother and Daniel to at least get to know each other, rebuilding the foundation of what was once was lost. Daniel and Killua sounded like they were starting to get along, becoming more comfortable with each other. “Why don’t I get the single bed, and you two share the queen bed?”
The statement made Killua cross his arms, giving his sister a knowing glance. Without words, he wanted to alert her that was a bad suggestion. But she stood her ground, taking his lack of words on.
Neither of siblings relented. Daniel just had to address the situation. No matter who it was, he doesn’t want to be hooked up with anyone right now, no matter how sweet and kind they are. It was wrong, unjustified to have his partnerships planned out by those he cares about, especially when the one whose being hooked with him, already has a partner of his own, “Alluka, I don’t think your brother’s partner would like that…”
Alluka’s eyes widened slightly, now staring at her brother. He gave a hand gesture to roll with it, to not question the situation further. She frowned, turning her head away in annoyance.
Daniel sighed, flicking a hand out “If you want neither of us to sleep on the couch, Alluka… Why don’t you and Killua take the queen, and I’ll take the single?”
Killua ran his fingers through his hair, a little annoyed now. He can’t deny that he wouldn’t mind the company, but it just feels wrong in his heart, wishing he could instead share the bed with Daniel. The boy sighed “we’ll stick to the original room layout. Heads or tails?”
Killua flicked a coin, catching it to place it on his palm, once removed, Killua flicked the coin up once more “Tails, you win.” It was a lie, wanting to instead take the couch. It’s not like Daniel could read through Killua’s lies anymore, as much as it pained him. He just wanted to be alone tonight, eyes glued the TV until he fell asleep.
Something about the mindless droning of characters and news seemed comforting right now, getting the edge off Daniel and his own talk out of his head. They spoke to one another if it’s the first time they met, Killua having forced to repeat himself like a broken record as Daniel told him stuff he already knew.
Hopefully he doesn’t mix up what Daniel has told him on the flight here, with what he has learned during their relationship.
“Alright, so after tonight, we’ll spend a little bit of time tomorrow to find a place that has three rooms?”
“Nah, I like it here. We’re close to the shops, a nice-size kitchen and bathroom. Can’t complain.”
“Alright, so we’ll ask tomorrow if there are any vacancies with three beds here, I guess then…”
“Sure, or we can ask them to switch out the queen for two singles. Either way, I like it here. Also, we need to at least gather some information on resorts and land marks to show Alluka, as well as make a call to your sister tomorrow.”
“Great, I’ll deal with my sister… as you deal with, locations to visit… for your sister.” The boy smiled, fingers swiping at his bag, dragging it into his room for the night. Honestly, he didn’t understand why they couldn’t look around a bit to see if they could find a place that did have three rooms.
Sure, it was pretty late into the night, but it couldn’t hurt to look around.
Killua looked at the fridge, swiping the order-in-menu. It was too late to go out gallivanting with Alluka, but he rather not let her suffer from starvation either “I’m getting take out, any complaints?”
“Alright…” Killua hummed, looking over the menu as he walked to help his sister out “let’s get you to your room.”
Helping her carry her stuff into the room, Alluka locked the door to release some frustrations onto her brother “Why didn’t you disagree with Daniel.”
Killua broke down, kneeling before his sister, she can’t keep pushing this! It’s not only hard on him, but one wrong move with Daniel, could mean the end of their chance, “Listen, Alluka, there’s no band-aid to slap onto this wound. Please, stop fighting with Daniel, just in case the situation worsens. I’ll look into other avenues just in case Zaikaria doesn’t go through. It might be rocky at the start once Daniel gets his memories back, but once things settle down, we’ll be ok, ok?”
Alluka held her brother close, hugging him tightly into her chest. She just wanted thing to go back to the way they were. She no longer wanted to see Killua’s pained expressions. Maybe a couple of nights in bed with Killua could have jolted the boy’s memories, making him remember about Killua, but it seems like that would be nothing more than wishful thinking. Why couldn’t her brother just make the wish? Why couldn’t he just ask Nanika to end all his suffering right now? “Big brother, why can’t you just ask Nanika to help you…”
“Because… I don’t want to use her for my own selfish needs, again. I… I want to help him in my own way…” Killua brought his hand to Alluka’s cheek, smiling before resting his forehead against his sister. Honestly, he’d rather make that wish right now, but somehow, he’d feel cheated. Or worse… he may make a mistake.
What if Daniel learned he made a wish to revert his memories?
Will he hate him…? He wanted to believe he won’t, but there was still that possibility. He was fickle right now, and the only way Daniel could ever accept those memories, was if he somehow, made the boy want to bring back those memories.
Hell, even making Zaikaria bring back those memories was a risk. She could instead remove all traces of Killua from his thoughts.
There was only one possibility he could get Daniel to accept those memories, if he brought them back while retaining his new ones. The two will clash until Daniel eventually will choose to accept his new situation.
Killua knew deep down, that Daniel would choose Killua in the end during that situation. Because he has blank spots right now, unexplainable events. Hell, he wouldn’t be able to come up with a situation where Alluka is even mentioned without Killua to fill in those gaps.
The only question now, was how…? How does make Daniel realise he has lost memories, unexplainable thoughts…? Is there no possible way?
Unless… there something he and Daniel did together, that nobody else knows about…? The dance on Greed Island! But bringing it up would be hard, maybe when they are alone, together just the two of them, he could do it. Perfect!
Killua removed his hand from his sister’s cheek, pulling back so he could instead rest it on top of Alluka’s head. “I think I know how to do it… I just need the right moment, so trust me, Alluka…”
Alluka’s expression widened, glad to hear Killua thought of something. If her brother knew how to fix the predicament he was in, then she’ll trust him. Hopefully everything goes through well, because to her, her brother’s happiness means everything to her.
“Alluka, how do you feel like going dancing?”
Chapter 13: Leorio’s Obligation
A new character, and a diverted path.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
A cold breeze swayed through Leorio’s form, features tightening. Getting a call from the association is one thing, but a direct line from the chairwoman is another. He couldn’t believe his ears, what he had just been asked. “You want me… to join the ZODIACS?!”
Why? To what purpose would they invite him of all people? Sure, it means he now have more targets on his back, but it comes with prestigious as well, one that he knows will benefit someone else more. How can he even take on such an ordeal?
He promised his family, that he’d look after his brother, which in his own opinion has failed on numerous occasions to mention to his friends. But in all fairness, they never asked him.
Drawing fingers through his hair, the man sighed in frustrations. I can’t take this, for Iason’s sake!
“Yes, as of now you have the greatest image out of everyone inside the organisation.”
I highly doubt talking about jacking off, and spending money on hookers is a great for my image…
“In order for our current mission to succeed and gain influence over the fate of the organisation, your inclusion is essential. We would like for you to lend us your strength.”
“Now, wait just a damn minute, I have obligations-”
“Ah, right, medical school?”
“No! WAIT, yes and-”
“At the risk of sounding too forward, I’ve already contacted the school about your enrolment.”
“WHAT?!” Leorio stood still, frozen to the spot in the middle of the park. He’s pretty sure his loud voice and jaw dropping reaction, has drawn the attention of several people, but at this point of time, it wasn’t his concern. Cheadle, the Chairwoman has taken his life into her own hands, possibly removing him from his course without his consent. His life doesn’t revolve around the Chairwoman, her life and the association’s wellbeing!
“They have made a special exception for you to study abroad indefinitely. On the condition that you join us on the organization’s medical team and go to the Dark Continent!”
“In which case. I shall be the head Medical Professor. Over the course of our voyage, you will receive practical, hands-on Medical experience which will be of immense educational value.”
Jesus, does she love the sound of her voice that much? Every time I open my mouth to rebut or deny her, she just goes on and on! Iason, is my main priority right now, more than this…
Just when Leorio thought he could speak freely, Cheadle opens her mouth once more, the man’s eyes rolling as he was forced to listen. “We are of course, asking a favour from you but it is not without considering the value. Depending on your abilities, what would normally be accomplished in years could be accomplished in mere months!”
Pausing for added effect, she gave the man only seconds to swallow the information before continuing on. “I said this earlier but it’s worth repeating this mission is an extremely harsh and dangerous mission. Apart from the potential value I just spoke of, there’s absolutely no compensation for this journey! If your trying to become a doctor so that you can safely make money in some quiet corner of the world somewhere, then by all means, turn down this offer…”
“I see…” Is she really done? Am I dreaming?! “then if that were the case, I suppose I’d gladly turn down your offer…” Shifting his feet, Leorio continued walking back to his apartment “I have others to worry out, not just some Medical Degree and experience on a life-threatening journey to hell and back. I’m trying to help someone important to me! HOWEVER, I have a counter offer. May I instead, offer a suggestion. There is a friend of mine I see benefitting you more, he, would most likely want to join more than me…”
“Only if you join as well…”
Leorio ground his teeth together, aura flickering between his fingertips. There was no getting out of this, but he can’t accept it… not now at least. “Let me thing about it first. At least a week… I trust I can call you back on this number?”
“Yes, but I’ll only give you five days, there’s someone I wish you meet…”
Leorio hung up without a second thought, fingers now dangling through his hair. What am I going to tell Iason…?
Leorio grumbled as stepped into his apartment, Iason sitting in a chair, wide awake when he should be sleeping. Yes, he understood the circumstances of his little brother’s predicament, but he has failed to make any breaks in understanding why Iason suffers from some rare form of Insomnia. Unless Iason is holding someone, he can’t sleep. But at the same time, like Daniel with his hair, he has a no touching policy.
Granted his comfortable with him, only because they grew up together, family means everything to Iason. Maybe it’s time he branched out to other avenues, see if someone knows anyone or anything, about Insomnia-like-effects being brought about by Nen?
“Iason, you should be sleeping!”
“I can’t sleep… And you know why…”
Leorio grumbled, treading a finger through his tie and shirt, loosening it before removing it completely. Unbuttoning his jacket, Leorio threw it onto the couch “Alright, you-big-baby,” Leorio picked up Iason without a care in the world, holding him like a princess in his arms.
“I’m not a baby!” the boy rolled his eyes, crossing his arms as he feinted his annoyance. Although, he could do without Leorio holding him like some dainty princess.
“You keep telling yourself that,” the man argued back, now annoyed. Leorio brought Iason back to his bed, Iason already being culled to sleep. Before the boy even reached the bed, he was already fast asleep.
He placed the boy onto the bed, covering him before pulling out his keys to throw it on the table and grabbing one of his Medical Journals to at least study some bit as Iason sleeps. Thanks to his own crappy sleeping pattern, his little brother has been suffering too.
Leorio slid into the bed, pulling Iason closer, one hand curling through the boy’s hair as other held the journal, studying once more. He could feel the lingering effects of Iason’s aura, not as potent as if the two had a full night of rest, but it was there.
He wanted to find some cure, a way to alleviate his brother’s stress when it comes to sleeping. What if he wants to travel the world one day like Gon, Sakura, Killua and Daniel? He can’t do it alone… he needs that contact. And if he tried to, someone could take advantage of him if he fails to sleep for too long, it’s unhealthy.
Using a thumb, Leorio flicked the page, a tired sigh being ripped from his throat. Jeez, here he was worried about Iason, and his ignoring his own body’s tiredness. Putting the book down, he pinched the bridge of his nose, glassed being pushed up from the act. “What am I going to do…”
Accepting Cheadle’s request could help Kurapika, but at the same time, he needs to help his brother. He can’t just shaft him off to Daniel and Killua, or Sakura and Gon. This was something he needed to help Iason with. Could he possibly be going about this the wrong way?
Taking a second to look at Iason, sound asleep, he found himself smiling. Picking his phone up, Leorio called Gon. Maybe he knows something, anything would be helpful at this point. Or maybe it he was grasping at straws, anything to really help out his family.
“Shush!” Leorio shushed a little too loud, Iason groaning in his sleep. He waited a few seconds before sighing in relief, Iason didn’t wake up, good. “Inside voice. I wanted to ask you something, maybe you or Sakura would know something.”
“No need for the -Chan suffice, you… big goofball.”
Leorio found himself chuckling, laughing sincerely at the situation being presented before him. Honestly, he could see Iason getting along with those two, but how can he really introduce those three, so late into the friendship. Hi this is my brother; he’s your age and we’ve been brothers for six years. Yup, totally going to go well… “You see… my brother…”
“YOU HAVE A BROTHER?!”
“SHUSH! INSIDE voice… and yes, I do…”
“Why didn’t you tell us?!”
“You never asked…”
“His got you there Gon.”
“But…” Gon whined in the background, Leorio finding himself smiling a little wider at the bickering going on between his friend and Sakura, they’ll definitely be friends. “But… Daniel said he had a sister!”
“Yeah, but none of you asked Kurapika if he has some long-lost siblings…”
“Give up Gon, you should have asked.” Gon fumed, puffing out his cheeks in a feeble attempt to win the argument, but he can’t honestly admit his right. He should have just asked “Fine…”
“Alright, back to the topic.” Leorio couldn’t stop his beaming smile at this point, he was truly rich with loveable friends, friends he should introduce to Iason sooner rather than later. “Iason, my brother suffers from some rare genetic trait brought about by Nen. I’m wondering if you’ve come across a situation where… Insomnia is a repercussion of his Nen ability.”
“Insomnia… I can’t say I have. Sakura?”
“I haven’t even learned Nen, doofus. How can I even answer that…?”
“Right…” Gon smiled sheepishly at Sakura, awkwardly palming his hand through his hair.
“Have you tried herbs, fragrances to help him sleep?” Sakura asked next, curious to know if that would’ve helped the boy easy into sleep. Sometimes it helps people who are unable to sleep, so it should work in theory for Leorio’s brother, Iason as well.
“Yes, nothing works. The only way to get him to be able to sleep is through touch, specifically, coddling…”
Gon shook his head, he can’t think of anything, but judging by how Leorio is speaking this has been going on for a while. Years, which means, Iason may have known about Nen for a lot longer than Daniel “Iason sounds like a Genius!”
“Thanks for the low-blow, Gon!” Leorio mused, frowning slightly at his little brother being considered a Genius. “What kind of Genius, would set up his vows and limitations to have a consequence that causes Insomnia. An idiot,” Leorio belted out triumphantly, before quickly sighing, musing about the situation. Maybe Iason didn’t know, he just acted upon his own desires, creating the ability on an unconscious level “either way, I’m hoping someone knows something, I… want to help him at least a little.”
Iason opened one eye, looking at his big brother for a second, a smile curving upward before he forced himself to act like he was asleep. Leorio had woken him up since he shushed whomever he was talking to, rather loudly.
“Also…” Leorio groaned, annoyed that he had to bring this up “Kurapika refuses to answer calls, so there’s no point asking him. He was the one after all whom explained vows and restrictions to us… What about Killua, you think he knows something?”
There was an excruciatingly long pause, the man pulling his phone back to check and see if he had been disconnected. It was still connected, so maybe something happened “Gon, what happened with Killua…?”
“He… I would avoid calling Killua.”
“Why, what’s going on?”
“Daniel… was made to forget everything about Killua, he has no memories of ever meeting Killua…”
“Who, WHO DID this to Daniel?! Who is making Killua suffer like this?!”
“I don’t know, Daniel was already approaching him before he could say anything. He said not to mention anything about us being friends with Killua for the time being. By the sounds of things, it’s like what happened with Yanick when we went to Heavens Arena?”
“Just don’t call Killua personally, or mention him to Daniel. If you are going to call Daniel, pretend you don’t know Killua, Alluka’s fine though, he hasn’t lost his memories of her.”
“Right,” Leorio pinched his nose, wondering how he is going to broach Daniel on the topic of wanting to speak to Killua, to know how that boy was feeling in this situation. Will Killua even speak to him, give any clues to how he was felt?
“Fine, fine… I still want to know how Killua is. I’ll asks if there’s anyone else he thinks may know. He may ask Killua for his input. Then I can ask Killua…”
“I wouldn’t, not while Daniel is in the room. He doesn’t sound like his ok, he sounds… dejected? You might make him break. I know his stronger than that, I know he said his fine… but he doesn’t sound… fine. He sounds far from it! Please, Leorio…”
“OK! I won’t press the hornet’s nest. I’ll text Killua late at night. Where is he right now?”
“Killua text me recently. He’s in Yorknew right now. He won’t say why though…”
“Yorknew…” Leorio hummed, focusing on the time zone differences. He should have probably asked this before ringing up Gon, given Whale Island’s location, there shouldn’t be much of a difference with Gon “What time is it over there by the way?”
“About six… forty… in the morning.” Gon admitted sheepishly.
“WHAT?!” Leorio roared loudly, freaking out as he looked down to see if Iason was ok. The boy hadn’t moved, actually he had buried his face in the pillow. He may be really tired, but he can’t make excuses, he needs to keep quiet from now on. “Sorry… for ringing you so early. Hopefully, it’s not too early in the morning for Daniel, considering the location difference. I’ll try calling him. Gon…”
“Look after yourself and Sakura, no more… What, I…”
“It’s ok, Killua and Daniel told me… I understand. And I wouldn’t put Sakura-Chan in danger!”
“Baka!” Leorio heard some pummelling in the background, light smacking out of annoyance. Sakura kinda acts like Killua sometimes, but it doesn’t look like Sakura is opposed to smacking Gon, “Baka! Baka! Baka! Baka! Stop embarrassing me around your friends… it’s nice to know you care about me, but can you not admit it EVERYONE!”
Leorio caught himself smiling once more, “Sakura,”
“Look after my idiot friend…”
Ending the call, Leorio looked down on Iason, drawing his finger through the boy’s hair once more. “Sorry, I know you’re not awake, but can you put up with me for one more call?”
Taking a deep breath, the man stilled his nerves, wondering how to go about this. “Is it even right for me to call Daniel while his like this…? Well, you won’t answer me…”
Iason moved his head, pressing his lips into a tight line. He wanted to help, but he felt shy, talking to these strangers his never met. Sure, they are Leorio’s friends, but like Leorio, he wants to help somehow. He just didn’t feel comfortable doing so… he’ll wait until after the call.
Leorio dial Daniel’s number next, waiting for the boy to pick-up.
“Yo, long time no talk Leorio.”
“Hey, I’ve got a question for you. Is it a bad time…?”
“No, we’re just done having breakfast. Alluka, and you wouldn’t believe if I told you. Alluka has another brother, the same age as Gon and I…”
Leorio’s eyes widened, that didn’t sound like a joke. Those words were genuine, he really had no clue who Killua was to him, how much he meant to Daniel. If he could, he would reach into the phone and slap Daniel around until he remembers, but the way Gon briefly spoke about Yanick, somehow, he could only see those actions only enraging Daniel. He needed to play it off, to act like none of what Daniel just said to him, had affected his mood, “Is that so…”
“Yeah, and he cooks delicious food. Maybe even better than my dad…”
Leorio grits his teeth, Killua’s voice in the background being heard “Hey, weirdo! You’re helping me with cleaning. Get your ass over here!”
“One second, an old friend needs help…”
He could see what Gon meant, he sounded so monotone, broken, yet Daniel couldn’t pick up on it, the pain, the aguish in the boy’s voice. He needs to talk to Killua alone, later… he can’t leave him like that, not without a few words. Killua may be a brat at times, but it won’t stop him from caring for the boy in one way or another.
“So, what you need Leorio…?”
“Oh, I… um… I’m wondering if you’ve ever heard of Nen causing insomnia?”
“No… can’t say I have. I can ask my dad if you like. We have a bookcase filled with information involving Nen.”
“Ah, sure…” Please mention Killua, PLEASE!
“I call him later then for you. Oh, I might as well ask Killua, he said he travelled the world, so he might have run by it. Hey, Killua. Have you heard of Insomnia-like-effects when using Nen?”
“Can’t say I have… why?”
“A friend of mine, Leorio wants to know, he’s asking me…”
GOD DAMN IT Daniel, just put him on the phone!
Killua’s eyes widened slightly. What is that idiot Leorio doing calling them now? Oh, fuck, did Gon tell Leorio about his situation? He can’t afford Leorio making the situation worse. “Maybe if I get more details, I might know something… can I speak to him as you take over the dishes?”
“Sure, it’s the least I could do for such a delicious meal…”
“You sap!” Killua’s cheeks flushed red, wiping his hands before taking the phone out of Daniel’s grasp. Taking a deep break, Killua calmed his nerves, talking to Leorio might not be the best idea his had on the planet right now, so he must know how much the man knows “Yo, so what’s the issue?”
“You! What’s wrong with you? Are you okay?”
“Wow, that’s a lot to take it. I don’t know…”
“How did Daniel lose his memories?”
“Won’t or can’t?”
“The latter sounds about right…”
“Is there anything I can do for you?”
“Can I call you later at night?”
“Sure, that’s ok. You wouldn’t want to leave it too late…”
“Understood.” Leorio sighed in relief, happy to hear Killua is willing to talk it over. Just not right now, while Daniel was in the background. “Please, promise you’ll look after yourself… At least for Daniel’s sake…”
Killua’s lip trembled, forcing himself to hold it in. Why must everyone remind him, that everything is going to be ok. He wants it to be ok now, not later! Daniel can’t even get into contact with Zaikaria, she just refuses to pick up. Hell, she hasn’t even responded to the boy’s texts. It was getting harder by the second. He wanted to run away so badly, but he refused to give up!
HE NEEDS TO LAST… but another day, only means more torture at this point.
“Oh, before I go, I want to ask your opinion on something. Something tells me you are the better person to ask right now…”
“I… I got asked by the Zodiacs to join them, but I told them to hire Kurapika instead. They only said yes if I join… but… I can’t choose between them and Iason. This can help Kurapika, I believe they can help him… but it also risks the chance of losing Iason. Where they want me to go… It’s too dangerous for Iason…”
“Have you tried asking? If… Let’s just say asking made me realise something…” He spoke in a calm neutral tone, careful to rouse any suspicion in Daniel. In all honesty, those words had come from when he made the mistake of demanding Nanika to leave Alluka alone, to make sure she never suffered from the family’s grasp, but Alluka had made him reconsider…
Daniel even came to his defence, speaking truthful, neither against Killua’s thoughts or for his actions. He told Alluka that Killua didn’t intend to hurt Nanika, but rather asked her to cease her actions. Every wish she grants, another person will step in her path to make another. The more people that know, the more she brings to her door step. She’ll never be safe as long as Nanika keeps granting the wishes of strangers.
However, like that time, as those words dug into his soul, he realised where the happy-medium was. Nanika made requests, because just like his sister, she wanted his attention. Why not be the middle man, no wishes needed to be granted, just fulfilling the desires of his sister as long as she asks for them. If she wants a hug, he’ll do it without asking for anything in return.
Just like Daniel would do for him. Every action Daniel has made for him, his never asked for anything in return. He can’t recall a time Daniel has ever asked for Killua to love him back, to compliment him in return… All he wanted, was Killua to be himself.
And like Daniel, all Killua wanted, was Alluka and Nanika to be themselves without demands.
At those words, Leorio’s lip trembled. Was that’s Killua’s way of coping, of telling him that Daniel means the world to him. He could only imagine the boy’s flushed cheeks. He has had grown into a find young man. He’ll root for Killua in the background, hoping that he’ll get back Daniel’s love and attention once more.
“Want me to give the phone back to Daniel?”
“Sure, I’ll ask him for his opinion as well, to draw suspicion away from you.”
“Glad to hear…” Killua paused, holding out the phone as he called for the owner, “Leorio has a question for you.”
“Sure,” Daniel wiped his hands before running to grab the phone “What you need?”
“If you had a choice between helping your younger brother, and the ones you cherished, who would you choose?”
“I would choose the one I cherish, but… It’s better to ask your brother. Which I now assume you failed to mention because we didn’t ask.”
“You took that better than Gon…”
“Well, in all fairness, we didn’t ask…”
Leorio chuckled at that “Yeah, Sakura said the same thing to Gon.”
“What’s his name…?”
“You should ask Iason what’s best in this circumstance. If his anything like my sister, he’ll rather you be happy, than making himself happy. If you need any more help, I’ll be happy to do so. Also, I’ll call my dad later and give him your number, he might be able to help. If so, he’ll give you a call directly. If not, he might just give you a courtesy call.”
Killua grit his teeth, Iason would never be able to be compared to Zaikaria. She was in all sense, a bitch, a cow right now. NOT A SINGLE FUCKEN TEXT, it doesn’t even sound like she wants to meet Daniel. She’s only making herself happy by torturing Killua and Daniel like this.
As soon as he meets her, he’s gonna knock the shit out of her until she apologizes, and then his going to force her to bring back Daniel’s memories, and if she can’t, he’ll find someone who can…
“Thanks, Daniel… I wish you luck on this adventure. Just no life of death situations! I’ve already warned Gon…”
“I don’t plan on joining any gang wars, or world wars for that matter. I just want to pursue the truth about my family… my life… that’s it.”
“Good!” Leorio let a relieved sigh, resting his head against the headboard, he was relieved to hear none of his friends plan to get themselves murdered anytime soon, “Bye…” With a yawn, the man hung up, relaxing against the bed frame. What is he going to do next? Will he help Kurapika or continue with Iason, pursuing a way to relieve Iason’s Insomnia “I’ll ask Iason once he gets up, on what I should do…”
“Ask me what…?” Iason got up, faking a yawn in the process. Between his curiosity and Leorio’s yelling, it didn’t look like he was going to get to sleep anytime soon, unless Leorio talked. And what better time to do it, than after the calls.
“Sorry to wake you, do you feel better?”
Not in the slightest, I barely got a wink thank to all your screaming. “You know… I’m pretty sure mom and dad could hear you screaming.” Making an L on his chin, a sly smile escaped the boy’s lips “I wouldn’t be surprised if they call you, to say to keep it down.”
Leorio let out a huff of annoyance, he wasn’t that loud, but in all fairness, an apology was still needed “Sorry,” the man covered Iason’s head, before proceeding to ruffle his hair “brat…”
“I’m only 21!”
Iason’s features dropped, smiling softly, sincere about how he really felt with the words he was about to say. In all fairness, he missed this, and as much as he wanted to continue to be by his brother’s side, he can’t take away those he has come to adore, those he desires to help. They are as much as Leorio’s family as Iason’s, “Honestly, I missed you when you went off to take the Hunter Exam, but I can tell you made great friends.”
Swallowing his desires, he looked up into his older brother’s eyes, “You should help your friends out. Especially Kurapika considering how much you bring him up." Even though he wanted to let go of Leorio, he couldn’t help himself, “Although…” twirling a finger, Iason proceeded to make a backhanded remark, an evil glint contained within his eyes “You’ll be leaving your poor, poor little to brother to suffer, I really don't know what I'm going to do about sleep... what if I was to fall asleep in the arms of some deviant. Just think of all the things they could do to me…”
Leorio felt like he had been stabbed in the heart, talk about having a cunning little brother. Although, he knew Iason has been like this for a while, but even then, he still could sense the sadness in his brother’s words.
“I wish I could just stay with you…”
Leorio took Iason into his arms “You won’t be alone! I promise… My friends are some of the best people you’ll ever meet. Sure, we get dragged into crazy situations, like I’m talking life of death situations, a lot… But even still; Gon, Daniel, Sakura… sometimes Killua, even when his being brat, can be caring at times… I wouldn’t bring you back home, to mom and dad, because they won’t understand how to help you. I’ll take you to someone who I know you’ll get alone with…”
Leorio looked away with a cheeky grin, “Although, in all honesty, he won’t give you a chance to argue back. He can make friends with some crazy people… even introverted ones like you…” the man poked Iason on the nose.
Crossing his arms, Iason looked at Leorio, expecting him to say just kidding. He can’t leave him with a guy who makes friends with crazy people. Just exactly how crazy is his brother talking? To what level of crazy…? Is he talking like the evil, cunning, murderous, clowns in full make up, kind of crazy?
If so… he can’t believe it could be that bad… could it? He took a deep breath, looking his brother in the eyes “Alright, I’ll meet him, or them…”
“Are you sure you’re ok with this? I could take you back home, and try to explain the situation with mum as dad, as well help out when I can. I can’t leave you like this… struggling to sleep unless there is someone here to help you out. Or I could just stay here and help you out to the best of my ability.”
“It’s…” Iason offered a smile, even when it felt fake to him. Even if he was lying to his brother with these words, he wanted Leorio to pursue his own goals, no matter how much it pained him to let go of his brother’s hand in the process, “Ok, really. I would love to meet these friends of yours.”
Iason belongs to Isutus. They are happy for me to include him in this story.