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Eyes Always Watching

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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, who 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…

“Sir?”

Daniel snapped back to reality, eyes were 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 he 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 threatens 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 from 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 threat 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, no 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 ease. 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 likes 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…”

“Uh, huh…”

“Really far…”

“And…?”

“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 the bushlands. So, imagine Gon’s house, only surrounded by bushes and trees. My dad loves 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 too 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 who was bitchy without his coffee, not the torture, the pain, the 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 mountainsides and trees.

Even his little sister was filled with awe as they walked up to the doorsteps, 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 was just as elaborately designed as the door.

Daniel sighed as his finger hovered over the doorbell, 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 off 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.

“I’m coming…”

Daniel blew out a sigh of relief, at least Vastorie didn’t answer. Who knows how he would have responded. Along 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.

“H-”

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, pinning 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.

“I’m home!”

“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 he 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 your 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.

“I’ll pass-”

“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 days 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 doorway 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 staircase 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.”

“Huh?”

“Vastorie told me about your family. You own your own mountainside…”

“Wait, how does he know?”

Nathaniel wiggled his finger as he walked down the hallway “Sticking his nose in everyone’s business is what he does best. He's 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 he's 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 the 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 sounds 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 a 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 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 halfway 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?

“Hmm…?”

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, he has 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 are 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 eaten 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 redlining 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 chases 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 its 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 its 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 its 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 stops 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 the 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 of 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 thought he could, but the moment he looked at his boyfriend, a part of him wishes 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 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 different from 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 a 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…”

“But-”

“I don’t want to hear the juicy lovebirds’ 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…”

“Y- Yeah…”

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 who was adamant about stopping Daniel from pursuing him.

Still… that meant the worse was still to come.

Chapter Text

“Dig in!”

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 who 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 knew?!”

“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.

“Terrible…”

Killua shot Daniel a glare, which only Daniel roll his eyes at the boy “Oh, I’m sorry. It went wonderfully! 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 was piping up only further intrigued Vastorie, the man smiling as he leaned forward “Oh, do go on. Sounds like some wonderful juicy gossip.”

“Vastorie…”

The man leaned back, huffing in annoyance as he returned to his drink “Killjoy.”

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…”

“Elaborate?”

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, the 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 streetwalker 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 who 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 girl's 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.

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 turns 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 are 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 helped, well, one day you’ll run into them. You can hear all about their stories of my involvement with 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 a 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 to 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 eggs.”

“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 be able to pluck it out from its hiding hole. It was a 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 form 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 a 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 the 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 sequence 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 ground across each other.

The man took Alluka’s hand as he led her to her brother and Daniel who 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 passageway.

Once Daniel stood on the 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, 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 as 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 you're 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 thought 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 bookcases.

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 typically 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.

“About… two-forty.”

“TWO-HUNDRED AND FORTY 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…” 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 a 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…”

“THIRTY?!”

“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 means his son was a manipulator too, but unlike his father, who was also a manipulator, Daniel willed his shadow and not manipulate other people… “I take it you’re a Manipulator then.”

Daniel nodded.

“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 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 wondrous things. He could argue his learnt something new today, but whether or not coming here will be helpful to Alluka, hasn’t been decided yet.

Chapter Text

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, let 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 tend 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.”

“Exactly!”

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 you're 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.”

“Oh…”

“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 he's 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 to 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 own 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 from 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 about. 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 release, 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.

“Hey, Daniel…”

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 into 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 taste, 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 its 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?”

“Sure…”

“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?”

“No, why?”

“I’m close…”

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, ooh 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 its 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 number of sweets you consume.”

“You- You…” Killua flushed at the accusation “you're 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 Text

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.

“Freak!”

“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 to 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 to decipher the 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?!”

“No…”

“No, what?”

“Sir…”

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!”

“But-”

“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 in 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~”

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.”

“Seven!”

“Still too early.”

“We’re having pancakes…”

“Mmmm…”

“I think…”

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.”

“I heard…”

Daniel sighed into 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 travelling, 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 at the same time, he’s also going to need to complete his training motives. We wanted to see Killua and Daniel’s Hatsu in action, to not only defend but work on methods for 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 as soon as 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 yesterday 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 the 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, 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, he's 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 perform 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 performed an uppercut, pausing the moment the enemy when airborne “What for…?”

“Please…?”

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.

“That too…”

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 your 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, possibly three. Daniel was in a little black suit, possible at the 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 headrest. 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 forgot 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.

“Who’s that…?”

Daniel pulled out the photo, flipping it to see if there was a name on the back. Fenrir and Daniel. So, the Fox, possibly 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…?”

“Yes…?”

“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 nightgowns, 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 in frilly dresses? Cute patterns? Whatever you want… I’ll try to 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 here. 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 he was in his daze “I don’t know what size I am. There are 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 ones you like. I’ll pick out a couple of sizes in different ones, we’ll try to 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 for 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 the knowledge he 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 he 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 Text

 

It hasn’t even been two days yet, and he already has 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 of 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 misgendering 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…”

“You what…?”

“Jumped to conclusions…”

Nathaniel ruffled the boy’s hair as he stood up “Well, when you want to talk about it, you can come to 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?”

“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 definitelynever 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 he's 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 its 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.

“Killua…”

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…”

“Four…”

“Is it really…? Or is it, two items of two different categories?”

“Huh…?”

“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, revelling 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're 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…”

“High…”

“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 by 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 bloodthirsty 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 as 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 feelings 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 to control, not to be showered with love and 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, the 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 Chamomile 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 their “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.

“Killua!”

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 manhandling 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 notices the subtle changed, the blatant rip-off of 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. Handing 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 its contents. Vastorie was right, this place was a wet dream for 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 are 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 to fight him.

“Like always!”

“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 teamwork.” 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 volleyball, 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 chunk 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, whereas 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, overtaking 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 means 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 wish 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 that because of the amount of time I spend here. While I sleep, I can activate this ability. There are things in this world, that I’ve still yet to write in the counterparts 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 by 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.”

“Exactly…”

“How…?”

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 than 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, any more 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 strengthen your shadow as 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 dependent 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 dependent 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.”

“Different…?”

Vastorie wiggled a finger “Fewer questions, more studying. Chop, chop! Explore this world of knowledge, as in every instance, can serve you well in the future.”

“Yes!”

“Yes, dad!”

The man checked his watch. Ten minutes… meaning forty minutes have passed. Provided they don’t deal any more 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 Text

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 quite 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 to 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.

“Nathan…?”

“Yes…?”

“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 afterthoughts 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 with 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 a 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, then he 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 of 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.”

“REALLY?!”

The man nodded with a smile “Yes, but if you promise me one thing…”

“Yes?”

“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 pollinate 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 its 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 habitats.

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 differently next time?”

“Yeah…”

“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 a 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 the 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-eight 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 along 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 around the boy, only able to watch, to still 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 was 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 a phantom, gelatinous in texture and consistency, and moved like an 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 quite 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 a 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 the 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 than 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…” his 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 abusing 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 were 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 into 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 a 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 creampie. 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 of 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 the 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.”

“Pervert!”

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.

“What now…?”

“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.”

“R- Right…”

“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 read her mind, her thoughts, finding 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.”

“Daniel…”

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 Text

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 fit, 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 the 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 into 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 limp 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…

“~”

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 leads to wall stretching high above the platform, which then led to benches filled with many faces he couldn’t quite 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 the 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 who caused him grief, nightmares and even made him curl up in disgust.

Hisoka…

Hisoka licked his lips, Daniel showing clear signs of 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 forced 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, 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 in 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 as 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 a 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 with 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 scenes 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 test 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, engulfed 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 viewpoint. 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.

“My Ercole!”

“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 curdling 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 beside 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 a growl of disgust for the man’s lack of words, instead of 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.”

“But, Big-”

“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 save 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 well-being.

“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 the 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 to 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 outrun 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.

“TELL ME!”

Eyes shifted up, glowering at the boy. The boy had reacted long before could’ve raised 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.”

“But, how…?”

“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 any more 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 resides, 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 your 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 the-”

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 for 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.

Chapter Text

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 of 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

Eifion Mattocks

Ashton Nieves

Edward Marshell

Mikkel Clausen

Marwin Ratzenberger

Scarlet Sutton

Aunty Katherine

Rosalia Servedio

Victor Tempest

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 awakening.

“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 looks 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 into 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 laughs 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 hides 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.”

“Hey-”

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 the span of a 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 crushed 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 though 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.

“No, as-”

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 the 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, no 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 ones 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 he's reading too 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 a little informational guidebook. 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.”

“Thanks, dad!”

“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?”

“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… He's 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 too 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 kinds 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…”

“Yeah!”

“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 nudges 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 called 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.

“Hi…”

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…”

“Somethings like…?”

“Me…”

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…?”

“Everything…”

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 to get back early as soon as I can. I want to hit the library before we pack. Vastorie may be a perv, but he's 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 unwillingness 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.

If not…

Well, he dreaded having to let go of Daniel’s hand…

Just like he did with Gon’s…

Chapter Text

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 these 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, dress pants, khaki; the kind of clothes which would be uncomfortable to wear for 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 mountainsides 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 he 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 not have 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…

“Hey, Killua…”

“Hmm?”

“What do you think of dark red Khaki’s?”

“It’s ok, just try to match it with a darker shade shirt, like charcoal.”

“Thanks…”

Killua hides 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 from 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 byproduct 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 tousled 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 a single man’s existence. He just hoped that his husband was willing to at least listen to 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 the 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 on 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! He's 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! He's 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 of 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 he's 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 in the first place… 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 the 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, the 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 archway, 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 bear 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-”

“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!”

“But-”

“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 sworn he somehow hurt the boy. But the change between his demeanour was too quick, way too 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 your position, but I can relate.”

“How…?”

“My family expected great things from me, but I couldn’t give it to them. Nor did I want to…”

“And…”

“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 played out. He had warning signs going off in his head, demanding he push Killua away. But his body refused to listen, instead of 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 of 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 is 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 questioning without words. He once saw that fiery gaze in himself such a long time ago. He had 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 to 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…”

“Help me…?”

“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 is 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 to 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 a part 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 is 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 to 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 sworn 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 Text

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 keepsake, 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 doorknob, 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 safe. The password is Avlas’ birthday.”

“Who…?”

“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 ponytail, 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 as 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 its hold became, rules and regulations being put in place without his knowledge. 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 lose 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 paycheck 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.”

“Erased…?”

“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.”

“Well, 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 your 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 armrest, 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 we're 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 listening, 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 loss or a win. Your actions change the future, not those, who have passed. I only told you, because it will affect everything you hear about me. It will change you're perceptive 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 than 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 hold 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…?”

“Ask her…”

Killua shot the man a glare, which only made Vastorie return a blank one, uncaring for the hostility he was now receiving. In all honesty, 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? Downstairs 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 to 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 break down at how destroyed his son sounded at 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 he 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.”

“Then Killua…”

“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 grits 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…”

“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 in his life.

Chapter Text

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? He's 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 from how she was told he normally acts.

“Vastorie…?”

“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 fingertips 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 were 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 tiniest 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 ensue.

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!”

“No!”

“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? Am I 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 threatening 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 of 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…”

“Victor Tempest…”

There was a long pause before Vastorie spoke once more, voice now cold, calculative, “In one week, I’ll come to 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 fingertips 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 who 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 moonlight, 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.

Nothing more…

Nothing less…

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 to 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 were 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 joins 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 me? 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 travelling 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 you're 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 questioning 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…?”

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. It was eating away at what remained of his shattered heart. He buried his fingertips in Daniel’s hair with his faintest smile he could offer “I would never…” I just can’t…

“~”

Killua packed his clothes, making sure to fold each one to maximise the bag space. He felt his mind wander, thinking seriously about 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 were 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 he's letting on, is only going to force 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 about the past, especially when he had a chance to return to that moment, to relive through it every day. The cobalt continued to glint 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 the 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 Text

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 form of 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 from 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 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 he's 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 within 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 seconds 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.

“Hey, Killua?”

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 rules 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 intention 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…?”

“Guy…”

“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, let's change the topic, what do you like to do in your spare time, if you had any?”

“Gaming, you?”

“~”

“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 reasonably 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?”

“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 landmarks 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 takeout, any complaints?”

“No tomatoes…”

“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 them 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, as 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 Text

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 has 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 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 in 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!”

“Now, wai-”

“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 you're 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 think 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 on 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 if he was grasping at straws, anything to really help out his family.

“LEORIO!”

“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.”

“Sure, Sakura-Chan!”

“No need for the -Chan suffix, you… big goofball.”

“Ehh…”

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…”

“I-”

“He’s 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…”

“And Killua!”

“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 ease to 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 who 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?”

“Who…?”

“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 as to how he was felt?

“Fine, fine… I still want to know how Killua is. I’ll ask 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 he's 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 texted 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…”

“Yeah…”

“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,”

“Yeah…”

“Look after my idiot friend…”

“I promise!”

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 he 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…”

“Fine…”

He could see what Gon meant, he sounded so monotone, broken, yet Daniel couldn’t pick up on it, the pain, the anguish 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 than 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 he 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?”

“Can’t say…”

“Won’t or can’t?”

“The latter sounds about right…”

“Is there anything I can do for you?”

“Nope…”

“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 in 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…”

“Sure, shoot…”

“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 arouse 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 wishes she grants, another person will step in her path to make another. The more people that know, the more she brings to her doorstep. 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 middleman, 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, he 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 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 fine 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…?”

“Iason…”

“You should ask Iason what’s best in this circumstance. If he's 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 he's 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 or 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 plans 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…”

“Old man!”

“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, 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 or death situations, a lot… But even still; Gon, Daniel, Sakura… sometimes Killua, even when he's being a brat, can be caring at times… I wouldn’t bring you back home, to mom and dad, because they don't understand how to help you. I’ll take you to someone who I know you’ll get along 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 makeup, 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 a 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.”

Chapter Text

It’s been three days since they got Yorknew, the pitter-patter of rain hitting the glass, Killua mindlessly watching the news. Between the call, he had this morning with Leorio, and the unquenchable drive to find Daniel’s sister, he has landed himself in an aimless, unfulfilling rut.

Honestly, where can he go from here?

The muted TV, acted like a diversion for the boy to vent his frustrations; a mocking tone added to every voice, sentences that held no context altered for every character that popped up on the screen. It served as mild amusement, earning a quiet chuckle from his lame jokes and thoughts.

He did it so he could chase his thoughts away, really hoping that Leorio doesn’t really call tonight. He just wanted to wallow in his self-pity, trying to figure out how he could force Zaikaria out of her hiding hole.

When Killua saw his phone buzz, his stomach sunk at the ID. Leorio was true to his word, he did want to call him, to probe him for information he’d be unwilling to reveal. What if Leorio asks him, the hard-hitting questions, the ones he has no clue on how to answer?

Yes, he knows who burdened him with this mess, but he has no idea what the man looks like, or his abilities, including how to counter them. He can’t give Leorio what he wants, but failing the answer will only mean more unwanted calls, or worse…

Daniel found out, that Leorio has his direct number…

Killua sighed, raising the phone to his ear with an inflection plaguing his words, “Yes…”

“Killua, what happened?”

“I don’t know… How do I even answer this question? One minute, life was fine and dandy, the next I wake up…” Killua swallowed thickly, afraid to even admit this to himself, “I wake up next to a guy who doesn’t know me… almost two years of wasted friendship… feelings, down the toilet!”

“I’m…”

“Sorry? Please, don’t… I can’t handle another person’s pity! I wish everyone stopped saying how much they want to help me, knowing, that they have no idea how to do so. If… If we could find Zaikaria, we may have a chance to fix everything, but she hates my guts. She probably won’t do anything, heh… It’s probably why she refuses to answer Daniel’s calls…”

Leorio pinched the bridge of his nose, groaning out in frustration. Didn’t anyone else know a Nen exorcist, one who could free Daniel’s mind from the trapped thoughts? Leorio pulled his fingers to his chin, thinking thoughtfully on the matter. “If I approach the Zodiacs, do you-”

“No, I’m sick and tired of this… mess, I’m going to do this myself. Any outside interference will only push Daniel further away… I just want…” Killua swallowed his words, what does he want to say. Does he want to fix Daniel with his own powers, with a single kiss to drag whatever cesspool Daniel’s memories were drowning in, dragging them to the forefront of his mind? No, that was too embarrassing to even admit to himself, “I just want everything to return back to the way they were…”

“But, you can do that… Daniel WILL remember. I’m sure he will…”

Killua chuckled, especially how quickly Leorio went from faith to doubt in a matter of seconds. “I’m sure he will…” Killua mocked, waiting for Leorio to break, snapping at him like a child, but it never came, just a brooding silence between the two.

“Killua, are you sure you’re ok?”

“I’m just fucking peachy…”

“You’re-”

“Please, don’t… didn’t Gon tell you not to prod?! Why are you doing this to me… when Daniel is in the next room! Stop, just stop already… I don’t want to focus on this now… I just want to find Zaikaria, and fix this god damn mess…”

Leorio ran his fingers through his hair, Gon was right. Killua was right on the cusp, almost ready to break like a dam. He wants to keep pushing until he breaks, so Killua can finally release his frustrations, but as the boy said his right. Daniel mustn’t know… at least not yet…

Maybe when the boy finally gets his memories back, Killua will finally break… Killua will finally be able to take the breath his been holding in all this time.

“Make sure to seek us out if you can’t hold it in anymore…”

Killua covered his eyes, stifling his emotions. Why can’t everyone his honestly cared about, leave him alone? “Sure, I’m sure an old man like you who's been dumped multiple times will be able to help me.”

“Brat, I’m doing this because I care about you… Because Daniel, Gon, Sakura will all be mad at me if I didn’t help you.”

“You’re not in a position too… no one is, not while Daniel’s like this.” Killua immediately hung up, switching his phone off before laying down and covering his eyes. He won’t cry. Four days from now will be a dance. Killua will make that reveal, even if Daniel rejects him. He can’t hold it in any longer, he’ll snap like entwining elastic bands, lashing out on every rebound of emotion if he keeps in these feelings for any longer. Yes, Daniel will reject him, but he’d rather be rejected than be forced to hold these feelings for any longer than was needed.

The pitter-patter of rain hadn’t stopped, his tears began to fell. He felt like he couldn’t hold them back them any longer. Killua turned, burying his face within the pillow, letting his tears fall freely without noise, angry with himself for breaking so easily. Clutching at the pillow, the boy held back his voice, reminding himself for every tear that fell, that everything will be back to normal.

The Daniel that cared about will be back…

The one he fell in love with, will return…

“~”

Leorio shifted his fingertips to brush over the call button one last time, the call failing to connect once more. He really pushed Killua’s buttons, he should apologise, but sometimes, he just had to push for Killua’s sake. Out of all his friends, Killua besides Kurapika would hold everything in, letting it eat him alive until there was nothing left. At least Killua had Alluka, but Kurapika had nobody…

At least, he thinks he doesn’t…

Considering what Kurapika does now, it’s hard to gauge if he has someone on his side to ease his aching heart. To help soothe his emotions when times get rough.

Iason was asleep in the man’s arms, this time being able to sleep thanks to Leorio forcing himself to remain calm, relaxed, soft in tone. But Leorio couldn’t help himself from feeling so helpless in the matter. His only solution was to seek out someone stronger, someone whom may know people able to prove the impossible.

Four days to go when he makes his decision, and although he already made his decision, his official one was yet to be revealed. Iason was right, he should help Kurapika. Although, he has no idea where his little brother gets this idea about him talking way too much about Kurapika. He has only mentioned him a few times…

Alright, maybe a lot more than he likes to admit, now that he thinks about it.

Kurapika did have this nasty habit of throwing himself into danger, especially when it involved the Phantom Troupe. His hell-bent revenge on that group is going to get him killed, maybe even before he gathers the remaining Kurta’s eyes. That should be the man’s main focus, not his bloodlust…

Leorio shifted his fingertips along Iason’s hair, drawing out a soft shutter from the boy. The act made the boy turn away, burying his face slightly in the man’s chest.

The man really didn’t want to leave his brother with someone else, but taking him to the Dark Continent, deep into danger will only make him resent his actions. Gon will help Iason, he believes its possible with that ball of sunshine and rainbows.

A brilliant glow which could not only cut through Killua’s darkness, it could be used to save Iason. To remove him from his lack of trust towards others. It’s subtle, but Leorio notices it from time-to-time. His brother doesn’t have friends outside of Leorio’s, but with Gon, that would change.

A smile now inching across Leorio’s features, he could only begin to wonder what kind of adventure the three boys would have. However, he doesn’t know how Iason will feel about being around Sakura and Gon, whom feely acted lovey-dovey around each other.

“~”

Twigs crunched under the three’s footsteps, a handheld above Killua’s eyes, blocking the direct sunlight. He mapped out the area prior to their travel, a single landmark etched into his mind.

There was a tree out here, a long forgotten one, surrounded by Rainbow Lilies, a mirage of colours able to peak his interest, not for Daniel as the boy no longer remembers their valued friendship or love towards one another. It was for someone else, someone equally important in the boy’s life.

It was more for Alluka’s sake, to see the beauty of the world. Removing his hand, Killua looked down once more at the map “How is everyone?”

Alluka panted, brushing away some of the beads of sweat to wipe it on her dress, only for more to fall and join their lost companions. With a smile she drew the drink to her lips, feeling slightly thirsty. Daniel and Killua, on the other hand, weren’t reacting at all, as fit as a fiddle, the elements barely grazing their skin.

Killua looked concern, his little sister’s lack of words making him pause his search for the lone tree “Are you ok?”

“Yeah, just seeing you two barely react is unfair.”

“Well, I can’t vouch for Killua…” Daniel argued with a bounce in his voice, eager to distract the poor girl for her long, tiring walk. “But when I was on Greed Island, Bisky would make us run for hours, to and back from Masadora. And when I was in Neo-Green Life, NGL for short, we crossed a wasteland in half an hour.”

“Us…? We…?” Killua questioned with a sly smirk. Between the ‘I’, ‘we’, and ‘us’ when talking about NGL and Masadora, maybe now he’ll mention Gon and Kite. Or better yet, maybe he’ll mention the elusive shadow in his life his mind refuses to remember.

“Yeah, Gon, and… and…” Daniel paused, a hand pressed to his chin as he tries to recall even the faintest of features. It wasn’t that long ago he went to NGL, less than three months ago. And even before then, Greed Island was less than half a year ago. Had he truly forgotten the person whom once made him smile? The boy scrunched his face before turning to face Killua’s evil glint “I guess I don’t remember them that well. Anyways, we ran pretty far for long periods of time, so this situation is considered a cakewalk.”

The boy could see it, the seeds of doubt edging its way into Daniel’s life, he knew that there is someone who was a part of his life, just not who they were. Maybe the boy won’t reject him by the time that dance comes around.

“I rather eat the cake…” Alluka whined, wishing that she was eating cake rather than doing all this hiking. At least with the World Tree, there was a path 99% of the time. This was almost the polar opposite, barely any gravel pathways to cross. How her brother and his partner managed to achieve that kind of stamina, she didn’t know, but she hoped she’ll have a fraction of it by the time she reaches Killua’s destination.

Killua brought his eyes back to the map, a smile tugging at his lips. Well, they weren’t that far, less than ten minutes away. They just had to keep walking for a bit more, then the boy was going to spring the surprise on his little sister and Nanika.

The three continued to walk, Killua stopping once more after eight minutes “Alright, we should almost be there. Alluka, come here for a second and close your eyes.”

Alluka frowned but did as Killua asked, closing her eyes as he felt her body being picked up, held like her brother had done so during their escape from Kukuroo Mountain.

“No peeking,” Killua repeated, love, filling his voice as he turned her head so she was facing him.

Daniel felt almost warm at the unfolding scene. The way Killua carried Alluka, it was full of love. He truly cared for his sister, but the one thing he couldn’t escape from was the word written in his journal. Daniel shook the thoughts away before they could manifest, his mind wandering in the worst possible situation.

This was about Killua surprising his sister… yet, why did he feel some kind of yearning, a desire barely resonating in his heart? Was this some kind of cruel joke? Was Killua a Manipulator like him? No, there were no signs of Killua Manipulating his aura. Daniel swallowed the disgusting thoughts, putting on a fake smile as he chased after Killua and Alluka, an open meadow peeking out from behind the forest.

Killua felt his smile widening, stepping onto an open meadow as the grass beneath his feet flattened. Yeah, he might have made a mistake about the location, as it was advised to take those who wanted to have a romantic or sweet moment, like a picnic for example. And considering the optimal situation, the empty spot would have made it so.

But Daniel’s memories made it impossible.

A lone tree in the middle of the meadow, lilies of different assorted colours surround it, creating the mirage the site gracefully pointed out. This was truly a wonderful site, putting Gon’s date with Palm to the dead tree in the middle of the lake to shame.

It filled him with a sense of pride to have stumbled across the news about the location, making him only that much prouder for choosing this as one of the spots to visit. Killua placed his sister down, inches away to the flowers, a smile inching across as held his palms along Alluka’s face, “Open your eyes…” he said, sliding away for the grand reveal.

Alluka’s eyes widened as she took in the scenery. It was beautiful, like a rainbow dancing and swaying across the meadow. A mirage which could be touched, engraved in memory, refusing is taken away. She didn’t wait for long before running through the field, careful to not trample on too many flowers. She was really excited at the sight, way too happy to take in just the imagery.

Killua watched the sight unfold, so badly wanting to entwine his fingers with Daniel’s, but the situation wouldn’t allow for it. He’d treasure the moment, because this, was for his sister, and her smile would outweigh any negative emotions.

Daniel crossed his arms, allowing himself to smile alongside Killua, “You know what… you know how to impress. I can see why he likes you.”

Killua’s cheeks flushed red, a compliment he wasn’t expecting “Sh- Shut up! Don’t ruin the moment for Alluka…” He said it out of anger, but that warm fuzzy feeling deep within his heart would’ve given away his true feelings. But no matter how he felt, Daniel couldn’t see it, read those words contained within his heart. Three simple words could be the end of the moment, but if Daniel was himself, he was sure the boy would’ve uttered those words to him by now.

I love you…

Taken in by the moment, Killua ran after his sister, wanting to share the moment with her. Even if he couldn’t get what he wanted, a moment with Alluka, is still something he wants to cherish, “I’m going to tickle you Alluka~!”

“Nuu, stay away from me!”

Killua laughed, but that smile, that gleam in her eyes, his heart throbbed at the touching moment, taking Alluka into his arms. He didn’t want to tickle her just yet, hugging her tightly within his chest, allowing the reverberating giggles of laughter fight over each other before they burst into laughter, neither one wanting to let go of the other.

He may have lost Daniel, but Alluka was a part of his heart. Wicked in nature, Killua’s lips curved upwards. “Prepare to be tickled!”

“No~” Alluka’s laughter roared loudly, voice taken by the wind to carry it to those who listened to the love and affection.

Daniel took at the moment, never once breaking the smile, nor his gaze. Man, whoever this guy is… He is lucky to have Killua. Although, he should be here with Killua, not me…

Taking out his phone, the boy held it up for Killua “I’ll take a photo of you two!”

Killua smiled at the gesture, looking towards his sister with an equal smile “Alright, but we take one with the three of us, at least to show your parents the blast your having.”

“Alright, pose…”

A quick snap caught the moment, now engraved for all who found it. A photo of a boy and his sister, bright blue eyes surrounded by lilies, a sea of colours surrounding them with the no longer lone tree’s branches hovering just over them, a backdrop to remember.

The two were smiling, and just like the words in his journal, a single sentence resonated in his head and heart: A smile like a Cheshire cat, both wicked and happy, thinking he could hide his loveable, caring attitude, behind his mischievous nature.

It couldn’t be true, it couldn’t be…

Only time could tell, whether or not that page is talking about the same person before him.

“~”

Gon hummed, the sea air filling his lungs once more. He couldn’t believe he was leaving Whale Island once more, this time not to look for his father, but to meet someone Leorio wants him and Sakura to protect.

Leorio’s message was brief, wanting them to meet in the United States of Saherta. Yes, Killua and Daniel were there too, but Leorio wanted them to meet him further in, away from Yorknew. He wanted them to be in a more open environment… free to be themselves.

Iason was shy, and Gon being restrictive on himself wouldn’t help in the meeting. All Leorio wanted was him to be himself, and the man was sure that would resonate well with his brother.

Gon had a bounce in his step, giddy to meet a new friend he hoped to have a new addition to their group, one where Killua hopefully doesn’t distrust within the first five seconds of meeting them. That’s all Iason need, someone to distrust him, making him turn away once more from a chance at new friendships.

Sakura picked up on the mood, a smile forming as he addressed the boy’s eagerness to meet their new, soon-to-be-friend, “Please don’t scare him away…”

The words made Gon knot his eyebrows together, pouting, “I don’t scare people away.”

Laughter bubbled up to the boy’s throat. It was funny watching how easily Gon found himself being teased. At times the boy may come off as an airhead, but he was a loveable guy, maybe a little too loveable at times. He never wallowed in sadness for long, but on those off chances, Sakura did sometimes find his boyfriend alone, crying to himself.

Those were rare and far between, but, the reasoning made sense. He missed his two best friends in the entire world, ones his loved and adored for so long. He wanted to go on an adventure together, the five of them, Alluka included, but Killua had his own ideas, wanting to instead travel the world with Alluka and Daniel, the now painful reminder of the love he once cherished, lost thanks to his altered memories.

Yes, Gon wished he could help in some way, but without Nen, he was useless. Sakura, however, saw him as being less than useless. He was a powerhouse that could bend metal, that can dodge bullets, but alas, against someone who knew Nen, he was indeed powerless.

And Sakura was going to change that. If Iason knew Nen, maybe the two of them could join forces, work together to find a way to uncover what was once lost. It may take time, trial and error, but one day, Gon will get his Nen back… and when he does, the boy was sure Gon would no longer think of himself as being powerless.

Actually, now they thought about it, they don’t really know what to expect when they’ll meet Iason. Sure, Leorio hinted at that he’ll be shy, but that’s all they knew. “Gon, what do you think Iason looks like…?”

Gon stopped, rationalising the boy’s features, looks to himself. What exactly would Iason look like? If he went by Killua and Daniel’s standards, they would look nothing like their siblings’. That was for certain. “He might have softer features thanks to having learnt Nen at a younger age.”

“If Leorio is anything to go by, he might be taller than us…”

Now Gon thought about it, he hadn’t really paid a lot of attention about their height; Gon was way taller than Sakura, by at least 10 cm, but against Daniel and Killua, he was shorter. Killua was easily 4 cm taller than him, with Daniel being even taller than his boyfriend by at least by 3 cm.

Shifting his gaze, Gon smiled “He might be…” widening ever so slight, as he looked into Sakura’s eyes “he would be taller than you. You’re a cute, fun size…”

“G- Gon!” Sakura blushed as he forced himself to direct his attention away, changing the topic immediately, “Iason might have black, short hair, messy like Killua’s.”

“Well, Zaikaria, Daniel’s sister has red hair, and Alluka, Killua’s sister has black hair, which is way different than their sibling’s.”

“Didn’t you say Illumi had black hair like Alluka’s, so wouldn’t Killua be the odd one out?”

“Yeah, but Killua’s grandfather has the same colour hair, as well as his father, apparently…” Gon found himself smiling crookedly, “I think Iason would have pretty, creamy-brown hair like yours, and… light blue eyes, lighter than Daniel’s, Killua’s, and even Alluka’s!”

“I- I- I say Green, maybe a d- dark green.”

“That would be cool, the colour of something we both love…”

“Nature…?”

“Well, I was going to say me, but then you would get upset.”

“Gon! You’re the worst dork on the planet! Not even Daniel is as bad as you, and his really bad…”

The comment made the boy laugh, a little cheesy, with a slight hint of sass and annoyance. Gon loves Sakura a little more than he lets on, he reminds him of Killua, but the main difference between the two was Killua was more logical, really thinking hard about the situation. Unlike Killua thinking several steps in the future, thinking of every possible situation where everything could go wrong, Sakura lived in the moment and thinking only as far as his future.

The boy turned around, shifting his feet so he could continue walking towards their destination. They have been stopping way too much, for too long. They should at least, try to pick up the pace. “Come on Sakura, we need to run.”

Even after hearing those words, Sakura found himself stopping to hug Gon from behind, the boy forced to stop once more, accepting the gesture as a warm smile widened. He had a feeling he knew what Sakura wanted to say, how he wanted to compliment Gon in some way, but like Killua, the embarrassment would always stop him.

Gon turned in his partner’s arms, twisting so they came face-to-face. Bumping their noses together, the act made Gon crack a smile at Sakura’s flushed cheeks. He always was eager to claim Sakura’s affections, but this time, all he wanted to do was keep his eyes on Sakura, watching to see the moment his boyfriend’s fluttering heart would shine through his eyes.

He never got bored of doing so, and as his father said, every little detour mattered. And he would cherish each, and every one of them.

“G- Gon, we sh- should go…”

“No, not yet. I want to see that smile, Sakura.”

“You sap…” Sakura argued back, turning away to look at anything but Gon, but it was so hard to do so, that twinkle in his mischievous eyes, like a guilty dog caught in the act of raiding a fridge. He knows he is doing something wrong, but he wants to do, just because he can.

Each second felt longer until Sakura finally cracked, saying the words Gon clearly wanted to hear, “I…” Gulping, Sakura breathed the next few words, muttering it as low as he could “love you…”

Smiling wider, Gon pressed his lips into Sakura’s before pulling away, his smile further growing from the reaction he had just received, “Me too…”

“Damn you and your dog-like ears.”

“Ehh…”

“Iason and Leorio are waiting for us. Now, can you stop staring into my eyes!”

Gon brought his attention away, taking a step forward before stopping once more, eyes drawn to the sky “You’re pretty…”

“G- Gon!”

A chuckle escaped the boy's throat as he continued on his way, Sakura right behind him, yelling at him for being so forward.

No matter what, Gon would always say those words. He couldn’t care less who overheard him… Even if it was right, or wrong, he’d still utter them like a mantra, a chant which he hopes would empower his boyfriend one day without the embarrassment, the flushed cheeks soiling his skin.

Chapter Text

The evening was young, Leorio spinning his keys as he shifted through his shelf, grabbing any extra stuff Iason may need from his room. Sometime Iason leaves some stuff in his room, not because he’s a scatterbrain, but because he sometimes spends time in Leorio’s bedroom, well, office…

He had a bigger table in his room as opposed to Iason’s room, and he also had the benefit of the bookshelf which he allowed Iason to use.

Grabbing a handful of books, Leorio stopped as he felt his phone go off. Did Gon have a question for me…? He shifted his posture, checking his phone for the ID. It was an unknown number, possibly from one of the other Zodiacs, or Daniel’s father, but he highly doubted that man worked this fast.

With a flick of his wrist, the man answered as he went back to work, checking the room one final time “Hello, this is Leorio.”

“Hey, this is Nathaniel, Daniel’s father. He forwarded your details as well as your request over, wondering if-”

“You’ve ever heard of Insomnia being a consequence?”

“I was going to say Vows and Limitations, but yeah, that works too… do you have time?”

Iason stopped in the hallway, pressing his back against the wall to listen. He was going to call out to his older brother, but the mention of Insomnia peaked his interest. It was something Leorio often talked about when it came to him, hitting a snag when it came to Iason’s Nen ability.

In all honesty, he didn’t know when the exact moment the ability started to manifest, but it did roughly start around the same time as he meets his old friend, Ryker. He never really discussed the topic with Leorio, and now he might never get to, not that it was something he really wants to talk about. He kept the details of his past hidden, hoping to one day extinguish them, replacing them with the family he has learned to trust, love and cherish.

A part of him regretted not doing so, but he couldn’t deny there was this slight fear, their reaction of having learned they were holding onto a son of a labelled criminal from another country, or at least that’s how he remembered his past as it was so long ago.

There was also the fact he didn’t want that painful reminder to hold him back, destroying a foundation he just built, and honestly, couldn’t let go of. Leorio, his new mother and father, he didn’t know if he could handle another loss of a family he has grown to love. Taking a deep breath, Iason continued to listen, careful to not let his presence be known.

Leorio sighed a little, he may be delayed with meeting Gon and Sakura, but any news could help him. It may even help Iason with the transition when meeting his, hopefully, new friends.  “Not really, but I still want to hear it. Please tell me you have some good news…”

“Sorry,” there was a long pause, Nathaniel only sighing harder, having learned he’ll only be a bearer of bad news “My husband’s huge collection of knowledge hasn’t come across anything like that, I’ve searched every book just in case, and there was nothing as Daniel described. So, I was hoping by calling you, I could see if you have any more details that may help me in my research…”

“Did you ask Vastorie, maybe he may know something that he may not have written down?”

There was a long pause. Leorio could’ve sworn he heard a shuttered breath, but there was something wrong with how quickly the man changed his tune, it seemed a little ‘fake’ to him.

“He's not here, so I couldn’t ask. Anyways, can you detail… I believe it was it eyeson’s position?”

“Iason,” Leorio snickered, hearing someone mess up his brother’s name, was sure to make his blood boil, but the way Killua tease his name as well, calling him variations even though he knows how to pronounce Leorio’s name, isn’t something he would like to reinforce right now “with an ‘I’ not an ‘eye’.”

“Sorry, Daniel said it so quickly I barely had time to hear the proper pronunciation. So, what can you tell me about Iason’s Vow and Limitation.”

Leorio went on to explain, checking his watch every so often, including to see if he has any messages from Gon. He didn’t want to keep his friends waiting for too long, but in all honesty, he rather has some good news to pass onto them. He could hear a sigh, as well as the turning of pages in the background.

Once he was finally done explaining, there was a long pause “Well, I have some good news.”

“Really, what?”

“Your brother is a Genius!”

“Genius?! Like, how…? I heard Gon say it. But Insomnia is not exactly Genius material…”

“Genius is a term coined for those who can use Nen without training. Hence, Genius, but I understand your frustration. It’s not something you feel like you’re equipped to handle.”

“Exactly…” Leorio blew out a huff of annoyance.

“As a father going through a similar type of struggle, I suggest you keep calm and think outside the box.”

“Yeah, I heard from Gon. Is there anything I can do to help Daniel? I really wanna smash that person’s brain in for destroy Daniel and Killua’s life!”

Nathaniel closed his eyes, smiling slightly at the news. His son has some great friends, those who wish to help him in his time of need is truly a blessing. But he couldn’t let the man get away with that thought, especially with who else could be involved in the matter.

Even now, sometimes he gets troubling texts from Killua about Zaikaria’s current mood. He took a deep breath before calming his nerves, hoping to remove Leorio from the brewing disaster, “Leorio, this isn’t a matter you should involve yourself in. That… man isn’t someone you’d want to face off against. What worked against Ging, will not work against this man…”

“Who-?”

“Enough! We are talking about your brother here. How Iason’s ability has developed, it might be something relating to his past, but that’s the only news I can give which may be good or bad, depending on the circumstances behind it. I can vouch for that information from personal experience. Other than that, I can’t really say anymore because I have no clue… Is there anything else I can help with?”

“I…” Leorio thought hard on the matter, clearly, Nathaniel didn’t want to be pressed about details ascertaining to the monster who destroyed Killua and Daniel’s relationship, he must be someone close, or someone with a power the man truly fears more than anything else in the world.

Leorio felt his phone buzz once, the man checking to see the text.

From Gon

Where are you? We’re here…

1:36 PM

Leorio rubbed the bridge between his eyes, sighing in frustration “Thanks for the help, but I will repeat what I said earlier. If I ever meet the man that destroyed my friend’s lives, I will smash his face in!”

“I pray you do not, for that might be a nightmare you may never wake up from…”

Leorio’s eyes widened, the end dial tone ringing in his ears. The constant ringing left him stunned, unable to comprehend for a moment why the man seemed so distraught, unfocused. Who really was the man who hurt Daniel and Killua, was it someone close…?

No, it couldn’t be…

Leorio’s fingers tightened around his phone, shaking it in frustration. The man might be even closer to Daniel than he originally thought…

Is Vastorie Darkscryer the one who caused this mess? If so, why? The troubling news made Leorio refocus his thoughts, gathering his normal fortitude for the most part “Hey, Iason! Gon and Sakura are waiting for us! Move it!”

Iason had felt it in the man’s trembling words, the way his voice gave away a fraction of his fear. Who was his brother talking to? When he meets Gon and Sakura, maybe he’ll finally find out who Daniel and Killua were, and why his brother feared for their safety.

As much as he would like to get involved, he had no idea where to start, or who this Daniel and Killua were. Then again, who was he to get involved with his brother’s friends? Shifting his posture, Iason escaped through the hallways, keeping quiet so he wouldn’t rouse his brother’s suspicion. He didn’t exactly want to let him know he has been spying on Leorio’s affairs. “I’m ready to be shafted off to be someone else’s problems.”

“It’s not like that, brat!” Leorio roared loudly, possibly waking the neighbours up in the process, “I rather you be safe, and with someone, I trust to be able to help you. Plus, I can get into contact with Gon and Sakura, asking them if you’re sleeping alright, eating, yadda, yadda while also being free to mention Nen.”

“So… you want me to be Sakura and Gon’s all-powerful genius pillow.”

“Yeah, I want you to be their giant teddy bear! I’m gonna make sure they tuck you in every night, kiss you on the forehead,” Leorio made a kissy noise, the disgusted tone from the other side of the hallway causing the man to laugh hysterically at the reaction, “before hugging you the whole~ night!”

“You won’t be laughing when I’m sixteen and pregnant!”

That ain’t gonna happen, and you know that! Plus, if I find out Gon and Sakura have touched you, I’m gonna murder them!”

Iason flushed red at how quickly his brother’s mind jumped to conclusions, Leorio is already under the conclusion that the people his going to give him to are going to take away his innocence, his cherry… his virginity. What kind of monstrous brother does that?! “As if I would let them…” The boy feinted ignorance, pretending as though those words hadn’t affected him, “You’re already doing a terrible job of protecting your poor innocent brother…”

“You don’t get to talk about innocence when made fun of my legendary speech!”

“You keep telling yourself that, big brother masturbator-Sama…”

“Hey, with that speech, I got to first place during that round! Now move it!”

Iason huffed one last time, a crooked smile showing. He always enjoyed teasing Leorio, and this might be the last time he ever gets to, so he’ll enjoy every last second “Fine, I’m ready anyway. Let’s go, grandpa!”

“I’m only eight years older than you, brat!”

“~”

Daniel shifted his feet on the field, each step graceful, unpredictable to everyone but himself. He allowed his aura to flow freely, graceful like a wild breath of air, a light flickering in the darkness.

Curling his fingers out, he contorted his aura, making sure to let his Ren rage while he also kept it in check. It was a test of control. He wanted more finesse when it came to manipulating his shadows, wanting a more fluid action rather than a reaction.

Plus, it also helped with making sure he could fight for longer. What he lacked in strength and defence, he wanted to make up with endurance. But those watchful eyes made it hard, having drawn Killua’s gaze and curiosity for way longer than he had hoped.

It was weird, the more time he spends with Killua, the more he felt himself being drawn to the boy. Maybe it was a curiosity, having learned that there was another Zoldyck, one who wore his emotions on his sleeves, actually caring about his sibling more than his other family members seemed to want to.

Killua was nurturing like Nathaniel, but just as feisty as Vastorie, only he hadn’t once broken, lashing out and the first person he could blame things on. Although, he could tell Killua was agitated, and it would always show when Zaikaria was the man topic of discussion.

Usually, she would answer his calls if needed, but now she was refusing to do so, but every message was being read, it showed to be the case when he checked for replies. He just didn’t know why she didn’t want to reply, maybe she was busy with something important.

A sigh escaped the boy’s throat before he addressed the onlooker while making sure he wasn’t distracted from his main task, training, “Can you stop drooling over me…”

“I- I’m not drooling!” Killua snapped his head in the opposite direction, frustrated that even though Daniel clearly wasn’t paying attention to him, he still managed to pick up on his faked innocent gaze. He was pretending to mindlessly stare in Daniel’s direction, more curious to know what really changed with Daniel.

So far it had been memories, but with memories, also comes actions or more like reactions. Daniel had been training to fight with the sole intent to protect, the shadowy hands being main proof of that training. Now, he hasn’t really seen Daniel use his ability at all, and he was curious to know if his mental thoughts also impacted on the form of his ability.

How much really changed with Daniel, if he remembers dating someone, just not who? Would that also mean he would take him seriously, fighting him without a single care of whether or not he was harmed? Sure, he knows Daniel won’t kill him out of fear like he did during the other countless battles with other enemies whom even wanted Daniel dead.

Killua tapped his foot impatiently, wondering if he should broach the topic. Maybe a practice battle to test the waters before challenging him to a full-on Nen battle. There was no one else around, just the three of them. Alluka was strategically placed in his lap, humming to her own tune, with a single arm only holding her close.

Killua allowed his arm to come loose, Alluka’s attention now drawn to him as well, “Big brother…?”

“It’s fine,” Killua stretched his arms, a few bones cracking in the process, “I’m curious to know how strong you are. You have great control over your Ren, now I’m wondering how strong you really are…”

“Oh, what brought this on…?”

Killua jumped on the spot, loosening his body as well as his aura, allowing it to flow freely, unrestricted, “I’m just curious. I wanna know if I have to protect you as well.”

“Sure,” Daniel forced his aura back in, stopping to only bring his arms up “Hatsu or no?”

“Maybe later, just for now, I want to loosen up a little.”

“Sure,” Daniel loosened his hands, opening them so they were no longer fists, but rather open palm strikes. It also allowed him to easily switch it up if Killua ever switched to non-conventual strikes. The last thing he’d want is Killua to hit him with a surprise Hatsu.

Killua did the same, only he loosened his fingertips, hoping to gain the upper hand on Daniel considering he already knew the boy’s attacks were fluid, seamless, not because he was watching the boy controlling his aura, but all the training they had done over time. “Ryu only, no lasting damage, or alternating power on attacks, ok?”

“Sure… but that puts you at a disadvantage considering I trained for endurance.”

“And you don’t think I haven’t,” a sly smirk escaped the boy’s lips, a taunt brewing at the tips of his tongue “I’ve got other cards up my sleeves.” Killua kicked off the floor, surprising Daniel from his speed.

The boy shifted his body, sliding out of way before counter-attacking, using the momentum of his footwork to deliver a swift kick, however, he only grazed the boy’s blue and black-checkered shirt, the fabric rippling as Killua already moving to counter-attack.

Daniel allowed his aura to flicker, Killua’s eyes narrowing at the change, a frown shifting as Daniel took hold of his arm, using the momentum to flip him. There was no force, change a burst of speed by sacrificing his defence for the added boost.

Killua wrenched his arm free, forcing his body to land, skidding for only a few feet “I said no alternating power on attacks.”

“I didn’t, I just boosted my speed, because clearly, you’re faster than me.”

Killua let out a huff of annoyance before chuckling at the response, Daniel didn’t technically break his rules, but it just means he’ll have to be careful if Daniel’s going to be sacrificing his strength for speed.

Daniel’s smile curved upward, “getting cold feet?”

“Nope,” Killua cracked his arms once more “I’m just getting started!” The boy lunged, Daniel already matching his pace, moving alongside Killua’s own movements.

“~”

Zaikaria checked her phone, viewing her last message from her brother. She refused to give in to answer the boy’s pleas. Whatever reason her brother was calling her, it was unimportant. She was tracking someone, someone who had just surfaced after so long.

To think that the man who haunted her father’s dreams had somehow come back to life was roaming the world. So far, she has learned he had visited their home country, before proceeding to fly out to Yorknew. He was here on unknown business, but the moment he touched land, she felt as though she was pursuing a nameless ghost. He disappeared as quickly as he landed, and that wasn’t a good sign, now that Daniel was here as well.

The woman sighed as she slouched into the chair, Akshasamat’s scaly skin twitching at the sound “Zai, what troublesss you?”

“Akamut, that man… the one we are chasing. His dangerous! He is the one that destroyed my father’s life, the one who saved me. I don’t know why he went to my home country, but his here now, and I want answers… The only problem is Daniel is here as well. And I want to avoid bringing him into this mess…”

Akshasamat raised a three-finger fist to his chin, tongue slithering out every so often “Then why not just meet the boysss, clearly they are here for you. We have run into a sssnag, ssso, hisss not going to ssshow himssself anytime sssoon.”

Letting loose his fingers, the snake-Chimera Ant extended a miniature snake from one of his fingers, the creature now slithering around his shoulder “I could alwaysss ussse my ability to hunt him for you, we’ll find him, sssurely.”

“No, whatever my brother is asking for, it’s unimportant. Also, your ability sucks in this environment. The citizens would be freaking out about snakes roaming around on the streets. Plus, your snakes can’t clearly make him out.”

Snapping his fingers, the Ant remained quiet, the creature remerging with his body. Frowning at the news. No wonder she doesn’t let him go out during the day or use his ability more often. But wouldn’t it be OK considering he is a Magical Creature now, a protected class so to speak.

However, the way the woman’s lips trembled, clearly, she was not.

She was after a very dangerous man, one which she refuses to give any details other than what he looks like. A man with brown eyes, long white hair, and fiery-red tips.

Akshasamat’s tongue slither out of his mouth as he watched his companion, wondering where they go from here. If she’s scared of the man they’re chasing, how can he get her to divert her attention to her little brother?

No amount of cold attitude could hide the fact that she was always smiling when she received a text from her little brother. And to top things off, ever since she found out that Daniel was in Yorknew, she has gotten more agitated.

Does she believe this man could be a threat to her little brother, if so, why doesn’t she go to him instead? Why doesn’t she plead with him to go away? Does she think his going to get involved somehow?

Zaikaria offered a Chimera Ant a weak smile before turning back to the notes, Akshasamat frowning at the reaction. He placed a hand against his shoulder, rubbing it carefully. Yes, she had indeed activated her ability recently, his thoughts unable to be hidden from her.

Yet, she refused to address them…

Why…?

Zaikaria remained silent, the creature forced to wallow in silence alongside her.

“~”

Killua smiled, the boy breathing heavily alongside Daniel, neither one relenting. Daniel had managed to get in a few good hits, a busted lip, and bruised cheek. Damn, he was so happy right now, to see Daniel unrestrained, holding nothing back. If he remained like this, he could see it as a benefit in their relationship.

When they train, Daniel refusing to hold back a single ounce of his strength will allow each other to push themselves forward, become even stronger for any fights that come their way.

But that doesn’t mean Killua doesn’t feel a little guilty for the damage he inflicted on Daniel, the broke arm which his going to need to push back into place, black eye and a newly formed scar across his left cheek.

And just like Killua, he was smiling wickedly to, like his thinking of a joke “You know, I can’t count the number of times you held back with my fingers…”

“Is that because of your broken arm…?”

“No, surprisingly not. Thirty-two… Thirty-two times you held back.”

Killua cheeks flushed at the news, Daniel had been paying attention to every move he made, including the times he back away from a clean shot. Ah, a cruel joke… the boy thought as he hid his features, drawing a finger out as aura collecting at the tip. He allowed a cruel smile to show, revealing his Hatsu as he jumped high into the sky “Dodge this!”

A single spark jumped from his finger, the boy, flinging his arm down as he yelled at the top of his lungs, making sure that Daniel did indeed have time to not only examine but also counter his move, “Narukami!”

Daniel grinned before flinging his good arm up, fingers extending before the attack. Shadows curled around his body, flying up into the sky to absorb the attack, the act making him feel a trace of electricity running through his body before he was able to fling his fingers down, slamming the electrical-current into the floor before he could feel the full brunt of the attack.

Daniel panted, nerves alighted from the few seconds he could feel the electricity, but that didn’t stop him from redrawing his fingers, keeping his shadows rippling around him like a hunter waiting for their next unsuspecting prey.

Killua frowned, Daniel’s ability had clearly changed now that his memories were being altered. They no longer were hands, but tendrils of octopus. He didn’t like it one bit, the boy being the reason why Daniel had held that form for so long. But the way Daniel’s body twitched, the shadows were still apart of him, meaning that Daniel took some of the attacks before he was able to redirect it into the ground.

He made sure it was strong enough for Daniel to feel because he wanted to make sure Daniel knew what he was about to get himself into.

“That’s really not fair… Not only are you fast, but your aura is made from electricity, that’s really unfair. No wonder you were faster than me…”

“Nah, I’m just naturally fast. You’re lucky I didn’t use my ultimate, then you would have had no chance. I’d fry you like crispy chicken.”

“Thirty-three… You held back thirty-three times now.”

Killua bit his lips, hiding his true feeling from the boy in front of him. Daniel was truly cruel without his memories, having been told constantly by the boy whom once loved him, that he was still paying attention to his every move, including times when he held back. “Next time,” Killua brought his hands together, electricity sparking between his palms, “you won’t be lucky…”

Daniel returned the gesture with a wicked smile, aura curling around his hand. Quickly shifting his posture, Daniel clicked his finger at Killua, “Bring it!”

Yes! Killua took a step forward, excited about the prospect of pushing not only himself but Daniel as well. He wants this to remain the same once Daniel gets his memories back, for the boy to refuse to hold back as he pushes himself forward.

He may be rough around the ends, but his unpredictable fighting style gives Killua something to worry about. Yes, the boy did land more hit in on Daniel, even breaking a bone, but the fact that Killua had to step back a few times means that Daniel had improved during their time together, he just hadn’t shown it to Killua at all…

Daniel can improve, he just needs someone to help him do it.

Chapter Text

It was a wonderful sunny day, a bag slung over his shoulder, a smile being faked until he could make it. Even now he was reluctant, but if Leorio says it would be best for him, he’d accept that it was maybe best for him.

He felt his hand rattle at the thought of meeting someone new, which Leorio just happens knows isn’t the frightening bit, oh no, it was who his brother was introducing him to. He knows Gon as the friend whom almost died, who went head first into danger.

Yes, he has changed over the course of his near-death experience, but that still wasn’t frightening. It was what Leorio said. He has no sense of boundaries… He doesn’t know how to be comfortable around someone who has no sense of boundaries. Over time he might be comfortable, but right now… that was the scariest thing about his introduction to his brother’s friends.

Iason calmed his nerves, clenching his fist to stop the shaking. Hit or miss, Gon and Sakura will be his new protectors so-to-speak, they’ll be the ones he travels the world with from now on.

Leorio knew something was up, the slight shaking and façade Iason was putting up. “You know you can be yourself around him…”

“I- I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Oh, the slight shaking, the terror in your eyes. Clearly, you are pretending to be… relaxed.”

Iason flinched slightly, the doctor’s perception, something to fear in his older brother. But it’s all his fault for making out Gon to be some Angel with death looming behind him, death mixed with no boundaries. “Well, it’s your fault.”

“MY FAULT?!”

“You described him as some angel, with no boundaries, and a constant battle thirst for danger.”

Angel, huh?”

“That’s the only thing you took from that sentence?!”

Leorio burst into laughter, a wobble in his next step thanks to a rock that broke his sense-of-balance. He, however, paid no mind to it, instead of continuing even with the accidental shaky step, “No, I’m sorry for how you picture him from my description. But I promise you, he’d accept whatever you throw at him. Set the boundaries, and he’ll understand, as well as try to avoid stepping on your toes when he can…”

Leorio stopped, pointing across the park to where two lone children stood, one wearing all green attire and another wearing a checkered red and black skirt, and a nice frilly white shirt. From his angle, she kinda looked cute, but then he was also too far to tell. Neither had noticed them, which was a plus.

But the one in the green get up, that had to be Gon. He was wearing green jeans with possibly hunting boots, and sort of stylish dark and light green checkered shirt. Iason was still shaking, but now mostly because of Gon’s choice of clothing style. All green was a bit too much for him.

At least when compared to his own casual attire; a basic light-brown capri pants, white V-neck shirt and dark-blue open sleeveless hoody. He was completely, and utterly basic when compared to them.

He’d have to wait until he personally meets Gon and Sakura for the first time before he judges them.

Leorio didn’t bother waiting for Iason to prepare himself for what was about to happen. A wave and a scream was the only warning his brother was going to get. “Goooon!”

The moment Leorio yelled out the boy’s name, Iason’s heart rate spiked. There was a gentle breeze, Gon’s hair shifting as he turned around. A bright wide-eyed boy, caramel coloured eye looking directly at his brother. It felt like an eternity passed by what was once a confused expression melding into a huge smile, bright, and radiant like his eyes.

A warm blush spread across the boy’s cheeks, his thoughts even surprising him within the moment. But they didn’t stop there, the next second, his brain was delayed, Gon’s scream catching him off guard “Leorio!”

Gon bolted right past him, running into Leorio’s arms. The man forced to drop everything to catch the boy in his arms, hugging him tightly. It hadn’t been that long since they last saw each other, but Gon always gave 110% per cent, and with the possibility of this being the last time they see each other, for a while, maybe even never, Gon’s reaction made sense.

He clung onto Gon for at least a minute before he was forced to introduce his brother whose jaw dropped out of surprise. “Gon, I want you to meet my brother! Iason Paladiknight…”

Within a split second, Gon dis-latched his arms from Leorio, instead to jump into the younger boy’s arms.

Being lifting into the sky, Iason protested, his words and mind clearly not thinking everything through. He was a jumbling mess, one part of his mind saying the thing he was thinking, “Ahhh, WAIT! WAIT! My body is not ready to be hugged by a cute guy?!” The other part of his mind kicked in at his initial reaction, now freaking out for saying what he thought, rather than what he wanted to really say. DID I REALLY SAY THAT OUT LOUD?! I can’t believe I said that out loud! He was so fast I barely had time to react from his ungodly flashbang smile!

Gon giggled at the boy’s words, hugging him closely like he had done so with Leorio “Thanks, but you’re cute as well! It’s nice to finally meet you!”

Oh my god, the cute guy called me cute! Iason panicked at his second thought, now glaring at his brother who was now laughing hysterically. He can’t continue on this, he’ll die from either Gon crushing him to death, or the shock of the situation. Looking towards his brother, he sent him a silent plea. You can’t leave me like this! SAVE ME! MAKE HIM UNHAND!

Leorio never turned to look at him, too busy laughing his ass off. Fine, two can play this game! “Daddy, save me!”

Leorio stopped to now glare at his younger brother, “I’m not your dad, I’m only 9 years older than you!”

Gon broke out into laughter, the sounds reverberating in Iason chest before he could finally be placed down. It felt sweet, warm to the touch, like his radiating smile which was now in full view, as blinding as the morning glow. Leorio wasn’t wrong about the boy’s smile, it was like a flash bang went off in his face.

“Hi, I’m Gon!” The boy offered out his hand, Iason taking it to shake it. Why Gon didn’t lead like this, he had no clue, but at least it was better than his initial reaction. He was more mellow, relaxed now, “Iason…”

Gon’s smile didn’t let up, reaching out to bring Sakura closer which at some point during the boy’s man-handling session had joined them. And now that the two of them were side-by-side, he felt he could rectify some problems from his initial view.

The person by Gon’s side was not a girl, but rather a boy, a very androgynous looking boy, who was cross-dressing as a girl. Actually, now that he thought about it, is it really cross-dressing if the boy could pass off as a girl as well? Or maybe it was a girl disguised as a guy, disguising as a girl.

He’d just have to wait to rectify the confusion.

What was more important now that he focused on the two, was Gon’s shirt, clearly, this was his first attempt at trying to be stylish. Under that green jacket, was a white and green striped shirt. But then again, who was he to judge. He wasn’t the fashion police.

“I’m Sakura, Gon’s boyfriend, by the way, it’s nice to meet you…” Sakura offered his hand with a smile, Iason taking it within his own. At least he more on the normal side as opposed to Gon who just jumped into his arms to hug him. “Ignore the big dork, he acts without thinking sometimes…”

“SAKURA…” The boy whine, Iason forced to stop himself from giggling. He hadn’t expected Sakura to diss his boyfriend.

“So,” Iason felt a little relieved to hear Gon’s taken, as well as embarrassed also, considering his sudden outburst earlier, “Gon’s normally like that…”

“Sometimes worse…”

“Sakura!”

Iason looked at Leorio, pleading, NO mentally begging Leorio to change his mind. He couldn’t be with a guy worse than his initial reaction. The hugging, in particular, he can’t just randomly adjust to that within a day. It took him time to even consider the possibility of letting Leorio hug him to sleep.

Leorio smirked at the reaction, the boy now forced to look away in horror. My life has officially ended… He wanted to see this as being his new life, but staying with Gon was now looking like a terrible decision. He swallowed his pride to offer a fake smile “Really, I don’t know if I can be comfortable being hugged randomly like that.”

“Oh,” Sakura noticed the slight flinch, the way Gon hugged him certainly did a number on his posture “IF you’re uncomfortable-”

“Yeah,” Gon stepped closer to Iason, taking the boy’s hands within his own “just let me know if I do anything uncomfortable, Leorio told me you liked being hugged, specifically when you sleep.”

“He did, did he…” The boy’s eyes shifted slowly, now glaring at his older brother with a defiant, ‘what else do you tell him?’ look. Why would Leorio even say that to Gon, the most comfortable person on the planet, that he was comfortable being hugged?

Leorio, on the other hand, looked away, a slight cheeky expression, really trying to pretend that he didn’t know what Gon was talking about.

“Although…” Gon prodded his cheek, a warm smile gracing his lips, “hugging you did remind me of when my Aunty Mito used to hug me as a child; it was warm… welcoming… It felt like I was hugging a giant teddy bear.”

Iason’s cheeks flushed red from the compliment, now really forced to look away. If he wasn’t mortified before, he defiantly was now. The person he considered was cute had told him his hugs felt warm and nostalgic, welcoming even.

He definitely needed to set up some sort of boundaries “Well, Leorio was wrong…” Iason internally bit his lip, hoping that it didn’t come back to bite him in the butt later, “I don’t like being hugged… at all.”

Gon offers an apologetic smile, now looking at Sakura for guidance. The boy sighed, “Sorry about that. You don’t have to worry about him doing that again. He learns from his mistakes pretty fast. Is there anything else you would like to warn us about…?”

“No, not at all,” Iason muttered to quickly for his own liking. It wasn’t that he wanted to prove himself to Leorio, or even himself. He just didn’t feel right accepting some random person he just met for the first time, to hold him as he sleeps. No matter who he was friends with, or how cute he was.

Also, he felt like he would be pushing himself into Sakura and Gon’s relationship. Just by a brief reaction, the way they looked into each other’s eyes as they spoke, they really liked each other, more than friends. Sure, Sakura declared he was Gon’s boyfriend, but the way Gon smiled and how awkwardly Sakura had said it, told him that he wasn’t used to saying it… at least saying it first.

It wasn’t that they loved each other which ultimately deterred him to not butt into their life as much, but the motive of how much they truly cared. Where Gon seemed to act irrational, Sakura grounded Gon back to reality. He can’t break that…

Leorio frowned slightly, hoping that Iason wasn’t pushing himself to act a certain way. He just hoped that he breaks that shell for his own sake, and allow both Sakura and Gon to step into his life as friends, “Alright, boys. Iason,” The man knelt next to his brother, wrapping his arms around Iason, “You know the drill. Eat everything, call me at least once a night, be safe and…”

The man leaned forward, whispering into the boy’s ear. He knew that Gon would most likely hear everything, but he hoped the boy would listen without acting upon his words, “Don’t be afraid to ask for anything…”

Iason so badly wished he could clutch onto Leorio, pulling him in for that hug, but he just said he didn’t feel comfortable being hugged for any reason. Leorio was just doing this out of spite, to prove a point. But he won’t fall into this trap. Arms remaining at his side, the boy spoke, “Alright, I’ll just be here… with Huggy Mcgee over here…”

Leorio chuckled before removing his arms, a warm smile directed at his brother “He’s not that bad. You’ll eventually come around to it…”

Hopefully not, Iason mused to himself, kind of afraid to be comfortable enough to the point, Gon is able to sneak up on him, hugging him on every chance he can get. “Shouldn’t you go? You have a meeting to attend… and a friend to help…”

“Right, right,” Leorio sighed, running his fingers through Iason’s hair, ruffling a few strands in every direction “You be good. Also, remember what I taught you… be safe…” on that note, Leorio took away his hand, walking away, towards his new goal.

Iason was now on his own, feeling a little guilt building in the back of his mind. But he swallowed his true feelings, turning to Gon and Sakura, his new companions “Alright, so… where are we going.”

Gon tilted his head slightly, looking towards Sakura, then back to the boy “I know I have no…”

“Tact…” Sakura butted in for him, Gon smiling as he continued “tact when it comes to this. But, you should hug Leorio while you can.”

Iason panicked “I- I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Gon frowned slightly, running fingers through the back of his hair “You looked like you really wanted to hug him. I kind of understand now… you remind me of someone I know. Two people actually, and why you don’t want to be hugged by Sakura or myself, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be upset, so you should hug Leorio now while you have the chance…”

Iason bit his lip, hiding his features away from the boy, so Sakura stepped in, taking the boy’s hands within his own, “I’m sure it’ll mean a lot to Leorio, but I’m sure the same could be said for yourself… don’t come with us, until you feel like you’ve solved your last regret.”

Iason’s mouth hung open, emotions bubbling inside him. They saw through one of his lies, only because another friend of theirs had been through the same thing. Clenching his jaw, Iason dropped his bags, turning around to go after his older brother, “Leorio, wait!”

Leorio stopped turning around, only to see Iason running after him the man forced to pull his hands out his pocket before Iason was leaping into his arms. Leorio captured his brother in his arms, holding him close, one hand pressed against the boy’s head while the other braces his back.

The man cracked a warm smile, Iason quietly sobbing in his neck. There were no tears, just a noise which the boy showed that he would really miss his older big brother, the one he really wanted to be around. Taken back by the noise, the man held on for as long as Iason needed…

That was until Iason made a joke “Look after your boyfriend, Kurapika!”

“He's NOT my BOYFRIEND, BRAT!”

“~”

“Ow, ow, OW!”

“Stop it, you big baby…” Killua mused, fingers sliding along the joint he purposely broke earlier, a frown slowly forming. Yes, had hurt Daniel, but that was the least of his concerns. He wants Daniel to become stronger, strong enough to fulfil his old purpose. The boy wanted to be strong enough to protect Killua…

But if he continued to remain stronger than Daniel, well… there was no point Daniel becoming a martyr for him… not when he deeply cares about him. He just can’t show it now, except for these rare occurrences where it made sense “So clearly, I’ve broken your arm as well as your guard. Tsk, tsk, you didn’t control your aura properly…”

“Oh, I did… you just have insane physical strength.”

The retort made Killua guffaw, his smile warming as his touches slid upward, stopping only once Daniel tensed too much.

“Can you stop feeling me up?”

“I’m not feeling you up! I just want to know how badly I broke your arm, perv!”

“I’m not the one whom…” the boy made a walking gesture with his free hand, pretending as though his fingers were legs for his imaginary scenario, “is sensually running his fingers across my skin.”

“I could back more bones if you like!”

“I’m good…”

“Good…” Killua sighed, placing one wrist on the joint, the other, under the boy’s arms “Ok, clench your jaw, this is going to hurt…”

“How-”

“If touching it hurts lightly, imagine what popping it back into its joint will feel like.”

Daniel closed his mouth, looking away with a faint blush. Honestly, he had no clue why, but Killua caring this much for a broken arm gave him butterflies in his chest, even though the boy who originally broke his arm, was trying to fix it in the first place. He has experienced this before, realigning his joint with his father Nathaniel, during his training. But he didn’t remember his father touching him this much. Maybe Killua wasn’t as experienced with broken bones.

“Ready…?”

“Yes…”

“On the count of three. Three…”

There was a satisfying bone cracking noise, followed by a second one right after as Killua forced the joint back into place. Daniel let out a loud ‘fuck’, his arm now reaching over to rub the bruise that would soon be forming. “Thank you…” Daniel muttered as he continued to rub the spot, making Killua smile in the process.

That page in his journal forced him to look away, pouting a little from how a stupid page he apparently wrote would affect him. Or maybe it was just Killua’s charm. He huffed at the bad internal joke, instead offering a smile of his own “So… now that my arm’s not broken. What are we going to do now?”

“Well, we are not training for a week, but…” Killua looked away awkwardly, wondering how he was going to bring up the topic without triggering Daniel? The best option was to play with what he saw earlier, which is kind of… weird he must admit, “I wanted to say that it looks like you’ve improved a little. Between the training, I’ve witnessed, and how you fought with me, it’s more…” Killua rolled his wrist, wondering how he should put it, or whether Daniel will finish his statement for him?

“Fluid…?”

“I was going to say less robotic, but that works too…”

Daniel let out a short laugh, a smile widening at the gesture “Yeah, I really don’t know… but fighting you just felt… natural. As if…” Daniel closed his mouth for a moment, really thinking the situation over. He can’t recall a single moment, where the person he was with, matched the boy he was currently with. At least in his own opinion.

Yes, he wrote about ‘Killua’ in his journal, and there have been consistencies with the ‘Killua’ he has been travelling with now. But that was a reason to raise alarm, to not just accept his lost all these memories, and accept this new Killua without reason…

Even if they had a few similarities…

“Nah, that’s highly unlikely.”

“What is…?” Killua raised an eyebrow, wondering if this was a moment in time where Daniel was going to accept the possibility of Killua being his boyfriends. It’s not like he’s oblivious to the boy’s random blushing here and there. It made him smile inwardly.

“It was just a… stupid thought…” He looked at Killua, trying to find something to distract himself with. Something other than the boy’s eyes he was now finding himself getting lost in, “So… how did you become stronger? At least from my fighting experience, you’re way stronger than Gon.”

“Who?” Killua found himself having to turn away. Shit, an unconscious compliment! It’s ok… you can do this! Fake it, until you make it!

“He’s a… friend, I’ve made a mistake with. But that’s for another day. Gon managed to take on a Chimera Ant on his own. Sure, he nearly died in the process… but he wasn’t in the right mindset at the time. From what I assumed your sister has not told you, he had a near-death experience, gaining the ultimate power, at the cost of his own Nen…”

“Sounds like a dumb move…”

“It is… It was… But at the same time, the new-found power was able to trump a Chimera Ant even stronger than himself. I could stand against one, but only with help. Hell, I almost sacrificed my life to… save the one I deeply cared about…” The one for some reason, I can no longer remember…

“Huh…” Killua mused, turning away with a weak smile. Daniel might just accept what he has to say. Every day, he’s been questioning his lost thoughts, so, maybe, just maybe… he might accept, what he has to say to Daniel.

Actually, now he looks back on it. Daniel was no different than what he was when they first met. He had a strange pull back then towards Daniel, only now, Killua knew why. The boy snorted at the idea, that Daniel might be a star-crossed lover, fighting to become Killua’s heart’s desire… or Soulmate. It was evident now, even if it made his cheeks flush at the idea.

Shifting his attention Killua walked over to his sister, resting a hand against her head, they might have bored her to death, or she over excited herself to the point she collapsed from tiredness. Either way, now looking at his watch, they should be heading back. With a smile, Killua gently rocked his sister awake, her sleepy eyes fluttering as her brother came into view.

“Hey sleepy, we’re leaving now… want me to carry you?” Alluka yawned, followed by a quick nod as her head slowly bopped once more, struggling to stay awake.

Killua ruffled her hair before picking her up, making sure to keep her head resting against his back. It made it more comfortable for his sister to sleep. “Is it ok if you carry our stuff…?”

“Huh?!” Daniel looked up, a little confused now. It was only once he saw Alluka that he realised what was going on, “Oh yeah, sure.”

With a silent, nod Killua began to walk, Daniel just behind him, pondering his own thoughts and feelings.

“~”

Killua placed Alluka in bed, letting her sleep until it was time to eat. Moving around in the kitchen, Killua flipped through a couple of pages, trying to find a recipe he could work with.

He hummed quietly, making sure not to wake his sister with too much noise. With Daniel being the kind to accidentally poison his friends with his terrible cooking skills, it was up to Killua to actually pick up on some cooking habits so they didn’t spend all their money on eating out.

At least they got their Hunter’s License, as well as any contracts they could pick up. That could keep them going until they figure out where they really want to go, as well do. Killua worked on chopping the ingredients, his eyes looking up at Daniel every so often.

He saw the boy buried in his journal, his knee propping up the book as he rolled the shoulder Killua had broken earlier that day. The boy didn’t let his eyes linger for long, afraid that Daniel would find him staring. But at the same time, rather than being bored of the absolute silence, he made some small talk “So, you like studying, huh…?”

“I would say more trying to perfect… But you’re not exactly wrong either… I like to write, find faults with my talents where I can. Ironically, I get my ability ideas from horror stories…”

“You don’t say…” Killua hummed, Daniel’s Shadowy hand's idea came from Hades, maybe even brought upon from the name of the entrance to the Zoldyck mansion. The hands that dragged the dead down to Tartarus… but now they were replaced with tendrils, something that came from possibly an HP Lovecraft novel.

But he couldn’t bring that up, at least the part about the hands. So, his only option as of now was to talk about the tendrils “H. P. Lovecraft…?”

“Oh, so you’re a horror fan too?”

“No, I just play a lot of games. But, I can’t exactly deny I was forced to read more… technical material. H. P. Lovecraft just happened to be a part of that long list of books I’ve read. Though in my own opinion, it’s not really difficult, just unnerving with the amount of unusual language he uses. Like the word Gibbous.”

“Yeah… I managed to read The Call of Cthulhu when I was about eleven.”

“Eight for me…”

Daniel scoffed at the idea, having learned that Killua excelled at everything he has done. He’ll find something his better at with Killua… one day! Head tilting slightly in Killua’s direction, the boy made a joke “It seems you went through all kinds of torture as a child.”

Killua stopped, looking up in surprise at Daniel, the boy already returning to his book. Did his ears deceive him? He could’ve sworn Daniel let loose a piece of information he shouldn’t be privy too. “What do you mean by You went through all kinds of torture as a child…?”

“Huh?!”

“You just said I’ve must have been through all kinds of torture as a child…”

“I did…?” Daniel quirked an eyebrow, wondering why he said that out of nowhere. Wiping a stray tear from his eye, he found himself frowning for unknown reasons, “I don’t remember saying that. You must be imagining things! I’m going…” the boy stood up abruptly, wanting to change not only his location but the topic as well immediately. “I’m going to just go have a shower, get changed, and then help you out in the kitchen with whatever you need me to do.”

“But-”

The door closed behind Daniel before Killua could protest. His eyes narrowing slightly, biting a lip at the boy’s reaction. That wasn’t just unusual, it was out of character, but pushing Daniel might only make the situation worse. When the frying pan spat oil, Killua was forced to return back to the meal, now more worried than ever.

Was Tempest’s ability that affected Daniel cracking, weakening as the days go past, or did one of Daniel’s memories momentarily return. Shifting his wrist, Killua grit his teeth at the possibility of the situation worsening as the days went by. Hopefully, his confession will further crack the barrier in a good way, because if Daniel couldn’t remember on his own, would his old memories clash with the new once, leaving him a broken mess, or…

Would Daniel break free, returning to who he once was…?

Killua brought his gaze back to the food, forcing his mind to focus on that rather than burning all the ingredients. It’s just a few days until the dance, the moment he finally reveals his feelings. He just hopes Daniel won’t break until then.

“~”

Daniel hit his back against the door with a light thud, sliding down it as his eyes still shook at the revelation. What was going on with him? Why did he say whatever Killua had asked he said?

He felt so confused, broken at the news, and unless he sorted out his jumbling mess of feelings, he might not last long. He needed to delve into his journal, to find out if his ever reference Killua unconsciously like he had with the first page.

Whatever Killua is doing to him, this wasn’t like any Manipulator he has fought against. The boy could wield electricity, which meant he’s a Transmuter by default. The moment that dance came around, he needed to discover whatever Killua was doing to him…

Chapter Text

It was so weird being around new people, people you’ve just met who have ungodly levels of comfortability. Even so, he now understands why Leorio would drop him into the bogs located millions of kilometres out of his comfort zone.

Gon and Sakura were like nomads, roaming from one place to the next. While he hasn’t moved far from the United States of Saherta, they way they spoke, reinforced those ideas. He listened carefully, Sakura detailing his adventures from location to location, the wonders of nature having no stone unturned when it came to its hidden secrets.

Whereas Gon’s adventure detailed his stories of danger, wonder, and unimaginable treasures. But the way he spoke, two names kept popping up from time to time, Killua and Daniel. His heard Leorio utter them constantly as if they were a thorn in his backside, but it would always be filled with a fatherly or brotherly love and affection by the end.

He did want to find out more about them, but he had no idea how to ask for something he wasn’t comfortable with yet, so he would settle on the details he was given.

But one thing he struggled to understand was why was Gon always smiling, even when sadness echoed in his words, his smile would never falter in the slightest.

Gon finally had finished, brushing up on the missing details of his adventure with his friends, arm slung over Sakura with his unchanging smiling, “I’m sorry for boring you…”

“N- No,” Iason offered a weak smiling, the hours of information still sinking in his consciousness, “you’ve had some crazy adventures with your friends.”

“Yup, but they’re off on their own adventures now, even Leorio is starting one of his own now.”

“Yeah…” Iason’s voice faulted from his feelings, forced to tuck a stray hair behind his ear. He really wished he could still travel beside Leorio, but letting go was the right thing to do. “My brother talks an awful lot about Kurapika…” an evil glint glowed in his irises, a wicked smile soon growing “makes me wonder otherwise.”

“Hmm…?” Gon tilted his head a little, curious about that little piece of information. Leorio has always been upset about Kurapika being hard to reach, even going as far as to be upset for his lack of presence when he was in his coma. But now Leorio has a way to connect, and hopefully, he can reach out to the other man. Even so, when Iason spoke, he had this strange charm.

Not once has he heard about Iason’s earlier childhood. His life began around when he met Leorio, but before then, he avoided it like the plague. Maybe he had amnesia, or his just talking about Leorio because it’s something they can connect with, “Oh, Iason, we haven’t heard much about your childhood, before you met Leorio. What was it like?”

Iason bit his lip, trying to think of a way to get out of it. He wasn’t ready to discuss that part of life, maybe when he was older, more mature… or comfortable around the two of them, “I… grew up in an orphanage, had friends, the usual. What about you? You spoke so much about your adventures, I haven’t heard a thing about Sakura’s or your mum. What were they like?”

Gon’s smile brighten up, Iason wasn’t ready yet, but he won’t let that get to him. They just met, so it was ok for the boy to be a little dismissive of his past if he wanted to “I grew up with my aunt, but when my dad was about to talk about my mum on a cassette we found, I stopped it.”

“Why…?” Iason asked before bringing his curiosity back, the feeling of hypocrisy running through his mind, “no, forget I asked.”

Gon shook his head “No, it’s fine. I didn’t want to know about my biological mother, because to me… Aunt Mito is my mum! I love her so much, that I feel hearing about my birth mother wouldn’t do much for me… it wouldn’t feel right to just seek out and accept her into my life.”

“Oh…” Iason murmured, feeling a sense of dread for stepping into this unfamiliar territory of trust.

Sakura offered a weak smile to Iason, “I don’t know about my mum, and my dad did dance around the topic a lot. Maybe he was just uncomfortable around the topic of his wife. But he did show me a picture of her, and she was really pretty. My dad says I take after her looks… as well as uncaring nature towards gender. Sure, I may say I identify as male, but the way I dress, says otherwise in some people’s views.”

“Ah…” Iason murmured under his breath, now feeling really bad for his question.

“Although, my dad got flustered whenever I asked about who this guy was in some photos. My mum really didn’t care how others perceived her.”

Iason laughed at that, a sense of comfort slowly building within him. He’s learned a lot about his two new companions, yet they’ve learned so little about him, nor was he going to make up some fake stories about himself. He briefly looked up, noticing the time on the wall “What, it’s so late!”

Gon turned around, looking upon at the clock. 8:57 PM, no wonder his stomach was grumbling. Turning back around to his new friend, Gon offered an apologetic smile “Sorry, I got lost in the conversation. Well, I may not be the best chef, but I can make some basic meals. Nothing too amazing…”

“I can help…” Iason offered with a smile while standing up with Gon.

Gon shook his hands “No, it’s fine. It’s not fair to a make your cook after I talked your ears off for hours.”

“I… I like to cook.”

Gon features soften at the words, he stood close to the boy, giving a quick hug. He didn’t want to let it linger for too long, but he almost didn’t feel right with just shaking the boy’s hands. Resting both hands on Iason’s shoulder, he spoke, words filled with love, “Sakura and I are glad to have met you, so… welcome, and I hope we can be your friends.”

Iason felt uncomfortable when Gon hugged him, but because it was quick, he’d let the boy get away with it, at least only for now. But those words of comfort, to hear the joy in Gon’s voice as he told him how happy he was to meet him, made his cheeks flush. Gon came off as sweet and caring, reminding him so much of why he gravitated towards Leorio… and why the man gravitated towards him. “Y- You’re welcomed.”

When he turned away to look away, his eyes fell on Sakura who had remained unfazed towards Gon’s advances. The boy must be naturally that bad, but when Iason turned to look away, Sakura stood up, “Alright,” resting both hands on Gon’s shoulders, Sakura directed him into the kitchen, “Mr No-boundaries, we don’t want to let your new friend starve…”

Iason’s eyes widened. Friend…? How was he a friend, they just met. When he turned to look at the boys walking into the kitchen, their playful banter had made him bite his lip, wondering why he was already considered a friend.

Gon picked up Sakura, holding the boy closely as he peppered him with kisses, a brilliant smile remaining as his partner blushed and hurled words of disgust in the boy’s direction. Even as Sakura hurled words at Gon, the giggling of the boy as well as the lack of attempt to struggle out of Gon’s grip showed him that they did care for one another, even if in his mind he saw it as a weird relationship.

Offering a weak smile of his own, Iason join the others, helping them out with preparing meals. True to Gon’s words, he really did know mainly the basics. The boy tried to work with what Gon and Sakura had in the fridge, adding anything he could use to improve the meal.

With what they had wouldn’t be enough to improve the overall taste, but it would be a little better than what they originally have. Maybe, Iason could offer the others to buy a few different types of seasoning. Maybe some tofu also while he was at it, the texture works wonderfully in some dishes, maybe he could even work it into a sauce.

As Iason smiled at the idea, continuously working, Gon peering at the boy to see what he was doing. Seeing the sweet unconscious smile made him happy. If he could continue doing this, the boy would trust them eventually, and when that happens, he was sure he could help Leorio with his original goal…

To help Iason solve his sleeping problem…

“~”

Daniel hummed, chopping whatever ingredients Killua asked him to. He made sure to follow Killua’s rules and issues, keeping only to the boy’s commands. When it comes to cooking, it was never his forte.

Sure, the boy could bake, but he didn’t see himself doing so in the near future. Maybe for Alluka or Killua if they asked, but that’s about it. Shifting his weight, a question dawned on him.

Cooking wasn’t his only weakness, besides killing, there was another he wondered about. It was Killua’s movements, they were silent just like his steps. That could be a leftover from Killua’s assassination training if he was forced into it…

But if he did have some of that training still left over as a residue, could it also affect another skill he might have mastered? “Hey, Killua…?”

“Hmm…?”

“Have you learned Zetsu and In, by chance?”

“Zetsu, sure? As for In, I know the basics. But I haven’t really practised a lot in that area… why?”

“Oh, well… It’s the way you move. I can’t hear whenever you move around the kitchen. One second your chopping, the next second I hear the fridge opening.”

“Yeah…” Killua’s cheeks brightened for haven’t Daniel pay attention to him, but soon the colour faded as he was reminded that the boy was asking it unconsciously as if he no longer knew about him.

“I just… always struggled with Zetsu, you know…”

“Sure, and you think I could help you?” Killua tried so hard to hide his smile, but it cracked like a rising dawn, struggling to hide it as he kept his back turned to Daniel.

“Maybe… I don’t really know. I can use In, surprisingly, but I don’t think on a massive scale. The journals just happen to retain the same effect, or more like strength needed to keep it hidden. Although, I think someone with a skill Gyo would see right through it and read any notes I’ve hidden.”

Ahh… you’re trying to peek my interest, to see if you can get me to read your journal, right? “Why are you bringing this up?”

“I was just curious as to your silent steps, nothing more…”

Killua let out a long sigh, a little frustrated. Something is clearly on Daniel’s mind, and his refusing to break the true question on his mind. “This is about the first page in your journal…”

“No…”

“Daniel…?”

“Maybe…”

Daniel…”

“Alright, just a little. But I’m not saying jack, it’s my problem to deal with. Not really your concern…” Daniel whispered the next part under his breath, “at least for the moment…”

“Did you say something?”

“Nothing! So, I’ve chopped the broccoli, carrots, red and green capsicum for you. Need anything else?”

“Nah, the sauce should be about done. I’m just going let them sizzle a little in the mushroom cream sauce, then everything should be fine for dinner. If you don’t mind, can you wake Alluka for me?”

“Sure,” Daniel stepped over to the sink, washing his hands before drying them. He circled the corner, entering Alluka’s room. The girl was mumbling in her, small noises of snoring soothing the boy’s worried heart.

Killua may be good at hiding his steps, but not his concern. He could tell in one way or another, the boy was worried about him. To what degree, he wasn’t sure about it. Hopefully, it has nothing to do with the joke Killua was forced to play a part of by his parents.

Daniel soon shook those thoughts away, closing the distance between himself an Alluka. He pressed both hands into the girl, gently rocking her awake. The girl groaned mumbling in her sleep as she swatted at the boy’s hands.

Daniel only chuckled at the girl’s reaction, continuing to rock the girl “Wakey, wakey sleepy.”

“Five more minutes…”

The boy found himself cracking a smile, never stopping for Alluka’s sake. She should really eat something before sleeping, no matter how little. Plus, Killua cooked a lot considering their training, so there should be some incentive for the girl to try her brother’s cooking for the first time, “Alluka, your brother has finished cooking.”

Alluka stirred at the words, yawning a little, sleepy eyes slow waking to the living world “Brother cooked…?”

“Yup, and his going to eat it all without you.”

“Nuu~, I want to try big brother’s cooking!”

The way she slurred made the boy laugh, smiling as he swept the girl up into his arm. Alluka groaned slightly as she was forced to wake up, but she didn’t protest with the hug, instead of humming from the warmth.

Alluka so badly wanted to tell the boy he should be doing this with Killua, but she knows not to do so out of fear from ruining whatever grounding the two of them have built so far. But she can’t deny that Daniel’s hugs brought the same amount of warmth Nathaniel’s had, “You hug the same way as your father.”

“Oh…” Daniel allowed a crooked smile show from the words, aiming to press his lips against the girl’s forehead, however, the action made him step back in surprise, stopping only with mere inches to spare. His heart felt heavy, like his feelings constricted, begging him to remember something.

Sorrowed eyes looked at Alluka, the girl’s worried voice snapping him out of those thoughts, “Daniel, are you ok?”

“Y- Yeah, I’m fine. If you want to go back to sleep, you can, I’ll cover you before I go. I’ll make sure ask Killua to put some food aside for you just in case.”

“No…” the girl shook her head with a smile, “I want to taste Killua’s wonderful cooking.”

The comment made Daniel chuckle, fingers ruffling the girl’s hair. She really loves her brother… I can see it in her eyes, and hear it in her voice. Patting the girl’s back, he forced her to go after her brother, Daniel smiling until the girl left her room. As she had done so, he found his smile dropping for a moment, a question swirling in his mind…

Why do I feel jealous? Before he could ponder the thought, the boy was forced to leave the room when Killua calls out to him, heading out to enjoy a meal with Killua and Alluka.

“~”

Gon smiled as he stuffs his mouth full of food, a mild exotic flavour layering his taste buds. It was subtle, but it was there, noticeably from Iason’s tampering of the dish. Even Sakura by his side seemed to notice a little difference, a smiling tugging at his lips.

Iason kept to himself, eating in silence until he was forced into a conversation by Gon, his mouth full of food when Gon made the first audible gulp, “I love how you altered a dish, Iason!”

The boy’s cheeks reddened at the compliment, Iason almost choking on the food in surprise. He knew Gon was forward, he just hadn’t expected him to be forward 99.9% of the time. “Uh- Uh, thanks…”

Gon shook his head with a smile “No, thank you. The meal is delicious! Where did you learn to cook?”

Iason’s eyes dropped slightly, a white lie forming at the tip of his tongue, “I learn a few tricks when I was a child.”

Sakura nudges the boy to his side, quirking his head in Iason’s direction with a finger to his lips. The boy might have not noticed it, considering he had almost hidden it well, but Sakura has seen the expression once or twice in the mirror, his own gazed expression giving away the sadness.

Something about the boy’s body language made Sakura want to hug the boy close, but their friendship wasn’t at that point yet, and he wanted Gon to pick up on the subtle change in emotion.

Gon nodded, changing the topic slightly. He wanted Iason to be as comfortable around them as possible “Well, I want you to teach me some of your tricks sometimes.”

The words forced Iason to look up in shock, his mouth opening and closing like a fish, “Wh- What?”

Gon nodded, his beaming smile acting like a lighthouse, providing comfort to the boy. He found himself cracking a smile, until Gon’s reaction made his expression change to a more neutral one, “You look really cute when you smile.”

Iason huffed, looking away slightly, wondering why the hell Sakura doesn’t get annoyed. Though he didn’t have to wonder for long, because Sakura seemed to make the situation worse, “Aww, that smile was adorable…”

The words made Iason choke in surprise, but when he looked at Sakura, he was blushing slightly. Although, it might have been from Gon bouncing off Sakura’s comment “You both have wonderful smiles!”

“G- Gon!”

Sakura’s sputter made Gon giggle, Sakura’s constant nudging making Iason’s lips curve a little upwards, not enough to be noticed immediately, but he was happy slightly at the scene unfolding. Gon praised everyone in a friendly manner. It made him more likeable, approachable in sense.

The gentle prodding of Gon with Sakura made him open up a little, not so much about his past, but more so about his future, “I… really like cooking. Ever since hearing about Hunters from my brother, I had humoured the idea of being a Gourmet Hunter on a few occasions.”

Gon’s smile brightened at the words “Oh, one of the examiners was a Gourmet Hunter. She made us cook a Great Stamp for her, however…” Gon smiled awkwardly at the thought, “She failed us because none of us could please her taste, except for Zaikaria. She’s Daniel’s sister. She rejected passing for her brother’s sake. But then the chairmen interfered, and she redid the test, making us try a different kind of dish. We ate Spider Eagle eggs! They were very delicious! I wish I could take you to try one, but they’re only found on Mount Split-in-Half.”

Iason nodded, remembering how Leorio explained the process to obtain one. Gon’s keen sense of smell had been the key factor for obtaining them. “Leorio told me, which is why I wanted to be one… it would be cool finding all these amazing ingredients.”

The way the boy had spoken, Gon found his smile widening further, “You would be an amazing Gourmet Hunter.”

“N- Not really… I just like cooking.”

Gon shook his head at that, looking at Sakura for confirmation. He wasn’t expecting Sakura to compliment the boy, just a little agreement, “Well, I liked you cooking, you should help out.”

“I was thinking…” Iason paused a little, the look the two in the eyes before speaking. Seeing Gon’s curious gaze somehow reminded him of a curious puppy, “Well… I was thinking you should expand your ingredients, with a couple of seasonings… Like Turmeric… or Paprika… maybe even some garlic or lemongrass.”

The two boys nodded before turning to Iason, “we would love for you to help out.”

Iason forced himself to turn away in embarrassment, but his lips quirked upward a little, butterflies in his chest making him smile. “Sure… I’d be happy to help out a little.”

“~”

Daniel enjoyed his meal, the sauce having a slight sweetness to it. He didn’t remember Killua adding any kind of sugar to the sauce or something that would affect the meal in such a way.

He wanted to ask, but watching Alluka distracted him, the girl’s smile radiating like how his father or Gon’s would. Humming at the smile, Daniel forced himself into the placidity, “How did you make it sweet?”

Killua looked up slightly, wondering the same thing, he didn’t know how he did it, just that it had happened “I really don’t know…”

“Well, I really like it.”

Killua’s cheeks flushed at the compliment, but he forced his mind to pay no attention, that was until Daniel continued, “It’s like a part of you merged with the dish.”

“Gah, don’t be a weirdo!”

Daniel stuck his tongue out at Killua, but the boy refused to budge on the matter, his cheeks stained the same colour as a setting sun. Alluka didn’t help the matter either “Big brother should become a chef! He makes a delicious meal.”

“Alluka, you can’t say that… I’ve only cooked once.”

“Well, I believe you should.”

Killua chuckled slightly as a thought crossed his mind “Killua Zoldyck’s Hideaway,” the boy gestured with a hand motion, extenuating every word, “where I kill your taste buds with flavour… yeah, that could totally go well.”

“Heh,” Daniel nudged the boy’s side playfully, “More like, stay for the killer looks, the flavours are just a bonus.”

Killua pushed Daniel roughly, cheeks flushed at how comfortably Daniel was willing to compliment him on his looks “Why would you say that.”

“Hey, I’m willing to admit you’re attractive… in a sense. Don’t tell your boyfriend I said that.”

“Oh,” Killua got a wicked grin, feeling more playful than usual. Yeah, the words kind of hurt, but Daniel doesn’t know the truth, the painful truth, “I’ll make sure to tell him. I just can’t promise you won’t wake up in an unmarked grave.”

“I’ll like to see him try!” Daniel smacked his arm triumphantly, a crooked grin only showing for a second. He managed to slap the wrong side, whining a little once he realised he hit his broken side “Ow, ow…”

“Hey, doofus, the wrong side to smack!” Killua tried to not show his worried side, but he made have let it slip through his voice. Hopefully, Daniel hadn’t picked up on it, “Oh, shi- are you ok?”

“Yeah, slapped the wrong side… minus two to manliness points.”

Killua cracked a smile, “As long as you’re ok.”

“Yeah… Actually, I was wondering a little. Or thinking… you may have unconsciously used your Nen while cooking.”

“Oh…?”

Daniel nodded as he continued, “Wing, one of the first people to teach me about Nen pointed out that Transmuters alter the taste of water during a divination test. Since you’re a Transmuter, maybe you could alter the taste a little, maybe make it a fraction sweeter.”

“Maybe…” Killua hummed, noticing Alluka’s cheeky smile. The boy fumed at his little sister, disliking what may have been roaming around her mind. It was like she was secretly re-shipping them! Oh god, had his fat piggy of a brother corrupted her mind without his know-how, or was she smiling because she knew how much Daniel meant to him. Yes, he was dating Daniel before he lost his memories, but there was no need for the conniving ‘you two should go out’ look she was giving.

Either way, his sister shouldn’t be smiling like that!

“Although, I don’t know how I would feel having put my life energy into making the food taste better…”

“Honestly? I wouldn’t have an issue with that… Food tastes better when it’s made from the heart…” Daniel thumbed his chin, thinking that comment over as Killua blushed, “or would it taste better with seasoning?” With a shrug, Daniel returned to his food once more.

Killua’s gaze looked over to his sister who had an even bigger smile now. Rolling his eyes at her, he mentally asked if she was happy with the response? Alluka gave her brother a nod before returning to her food, Killua now left to look at food while in deep thought.  Daniel had made an unconscious compliment, but considering the circumstances, that’s all it was now… an unconscious compliment.

He felt his heartstrings being pulled by his thoughts, how much he wanted to have the old Daniel here, at the table right now. Soon… the boy thought before finally returning to his food, a sombre silence filling the room. Soon…

Chapter Text

“Kurapika!” The voice rang loudly, the man forced to cover his ears out of agony. Leorio hadn’t changed at all; the same, over caring, clean shaven, tall man, who screamed louder than a whisper in a microphone.

Kurapika barely had time to react before the older man swept him into his arms, hugging him tightly like a mother being reunited with her child. The man awkwardly patted Leorio on the back, hoping this would be over soon.

The glasses tipped slightly, bumping his forehead in the process, the act making himself laugh a little. It genuinely felt warm, unlike his heart.

Leorio pulled back before smiling at the younger man, a crooked grin showing only for a moment. All it took was a second for Leorio to launch into his anger, berating just like an overbearing parent would, “You have no idea the shit I’ve been through! Having been forced to let go of my brother’s hand after having been reunited with him. Then being told I'm forced into this life or death mission, and-”

He paused, looking slightly down at smile, Kurapika had changed. It was subtle, a cold demeanour contained within his eyes, and the unnatural growth spurt that suited him.

Leorio shut his mouth as Kurapika’s smile dissipated, “You haven’t changed in the slightest… the same loudmouth doctor who’d knock out a patient if he didn’t rest.”

Was that sadness he heard, or just a hint of nostalgia in the younger man’s tone. It felt natural, but Leorio wouldn’t let him get away with it for long, no matter if the man behind them interrupted the apparent touching reunion, “The same can’t be said for you. You look like hell. You haven’t been sleeping properly!”

“It felt like hell…” Kurapika chided, a hint of sass reverberating in his words. Crossing his arms, Kurapika looked the man over once, eyes taking in his form and features, “You’re not one to talk. You look like you’ve barely had a wink of sleep in the past week.”

“Ha!” Leorio nudged the man lightly in his ribs, smiling at the words, “You do care about me! You’re not as stone cold as you make yourself out to be.”

Kurapika shook his head, unable to stop himself from containing his smug expression. Leorio really hadn’t changed at all.

Mizaistom held up his hands, ushering the two further inside, “I’ll lead the way to Cheadle.”

The two hung back, following the older man’s footsteps, a silence now brooding between the both of them. Leorio couldn’t keep quiet any longer. He had to talk, no matter if Kurapika responded or not, “This mission seems like a way bigger deal than expected… Are we gonna be ok?”

Kurapika shook his head lightly, the quiet footsteps continuing to echo throughout the empty hallways, “What I’m worried about is that they haven’t given us much information. But it seems as though we’re going to that savage continent.”

“Savage is an understatement…”

Kurapika looked up at those words, the voice sounds familiar, yet different, like a ghost from his past has come back to haunt him. His eyes fell on the offender, a no longer giddy, smiling like he was doped up on coffee man. How long had it been since their encounter with the Phantom Troupe, the mission they were hired to complete?

Technically they failed, the Phantom Troupe still lived. The man must have known that, yet he said nothing to Kurapika, it was the deranged Clown, Hisoka, that had revealed the truth to him, not this man, “Vastorie…”

“Huh?” Leorio snapped wide awake, now forced to look at the man Kurapika seemed to have known, “Wait, you’re Vastorie Darkscryer…?” His eyes trained on the man, the one beside Cheadle. Now that he's focused, he remembers the man sitting towards the front during the election. He was wearing a rather peculiar uniform, white, with a mix of old Victorian and a Military style clothing. It fluttered lightly as he moved, his arms crossing after having been addressed.

Leorio’s mood soured as did the man’s, an eyebrow being raised in disgust, “Yes…”

“Your son-”

“Is NOT your concern! I will not have this discussion, not now… NOT EVER! I don’t care if Daniel is a friend to you, nor what you have to say on the matter. I am here, forced by Cheadle to do her bidding until I get what I want…” I never wanted to be an asshole to my son… but the more I push myself further away, making him in-turn hate me, the less danger he’ll be in. My father wants me… So, whatever Cheadle can offer to help me track that bastard down, I’m willing to have everyone despise me…

Even the ones I love…

Vastorie tightens his features, hoping that his heart kept still, and emotions in check. He honestly wished his father had remained dead, that he hadn’t touched his son at all. He’d give just as much to reverse time to a moment where he could smile without constraints. Even now he could look back on his outburst as being a child throwing a tantrum. He’ll fucking give anything, to be able to have the courage to apologise. But he didn’t know how to find that consistent lining, to be comforting like Nathaniel could.

To this day he didn’t know how or why Nathaniel still remained by his side all this time. Was he likeable in the man’s eyes, or was he a pet project, one where the man wanted to improve on?

Empty eyes held their gaze on Leorio, a rage being pulled at the man’s heartstring. This is what his life is now… He was born, to be hated…

Leorio grit his teeth at the words, reaching out to grab the man by the collar, what he hadn’t expected was the older man’s movements. It was quick, the sound of a snap being the only indicator of having been blocked. The action hadn’t deterred his anger, but rather intensify it “You’re willing to admit that, after everything that has happened. And I thought Ging was an asshole!”

“Sure, whatever makes you sleep at night…” The man twisted his feet, walking away from the trouble infringing on his personal dreams, “I know where to go. I can feel the other Zodiacs in the room already.”

“Get back here!” Cheadle demanded, only to have her voice fall on deaf ears. She shook a fist at the man, but nothing was going to bring him back. The only news about his father, which may shock him. Rubbing the bridge of her nose, Cheadle calmed herself before addressing the two men still beside her, one angry while the other had a neutral expression, eyes trained on where the man had left, “Sorry about that, I’ll explain everything soon, Rat… Boar…”

Leorio blinked at the code name as Kurapika side glanced the woman, a little concerned about having that man near him. He was leaking a strange aura, with ghostly inconsistency, unlike what he had last seen when first met him. For a split second, he could have sworn he saw a child-like figure run by him, features unable to be made out.

A chill ran up his spine at the thought, but he kept his figure still, no movements being able to be detected by his friend who was now stunned at having been called a boar.

Holding out a hand, Cheadle led their attention to Vastorie’s direction, the man long gone, “Please, right this way.”

“~”

There was a fumble of the boy’s hands, finger entwining with the bowtie around his neck. As he pulled the last piece through the loop, he pushed it behind the short end, tighten along the centre knot until it became both comfortable and presentable.

Daniel tapped his jacket, padding out any creases along the shirt he made during the process, a smile tugging at his lips as he grabbed his jacket, throwing it over his shoulder.

He could hear giggling coming from outside. The sounds were coming from the younger offender, Alluka, and mixed grumbles of her brother as the most likely fumbled with the girl’s dress, “Stop moving…”

“You’re tickling me, big brother…”

Daniel held his smile for longer than he needed, his journal resting on the table, open on the page of a confession he couldn’t remember. Sliding his fingers along the page, Daniel compelled himself to closed it before entering into the hallway, seeing a half-dressed boy, his bowtie still hanging loosely around his neck.

How it remained there without falling, Daniel didn’t know. But what he did know, was Killua looked stunning alongside his sister, the thoughts soon been pushed out as he addressed the two siblings, “Wow, someone looks pretty.”

Killua’s cheeks tinged at the words, Alluka’s knowing smiling, made the boy look away momentarily, “Well, my sister is off limits…” Shifting his attention to the table, he distracted himself with the white flower bracelet, remembering how Alluka had begged him to get it as well. It was a single jewelled white rose, something Killua didn’t mind buying as an extra.

He allowed his fingers to reach out, turning back around to his sister, sliding it on to her wrist with a smile, “Now, you’re going to make all the girls in the room jealous.”

“Thanks, big brother!” The girl pressed a kiss into her brother’s cheek, Killua’s rose cheeks returning as he stood up.

“Now all-” Killua hadn’t anticipated the movement, Daniel stepping close to him, fingers reaching out for the bowtie he failed to make all this time.

Without words, Daniel tied the offending article, fingers lingering on the object a little more than Killua had liked. The boy’s breath felt so close to him, a few inches away from a kiss. Actually, now that Daniel was leaning back, his lips were at a perfect height to his forehead, a little bit just above the eyebrows. Since when was Daniel taller than him?

Wait, wasn’t he shorter than him at one point? No, Daniel was taller than him always, although not as noticeably as he was now. Puberty was a hell of a drug. When Daniel finally pulled away, the boy looked down at his feet, a little embarrassed at having his bowtie fixed by someone he pretending to not have feelings for, “Thanks...”

“No problems,” Daniel checked his watch, a present from Killua that came with the suit, the same one Killua was also wearing, “So, we still have at least six hours before the main event. The winner, or should I say winners gets 100,00 Jenny. I’m sure Alluka would love to see the bedazzling dancers, as well as get to dance herself. There is also two hours before the sign-up closing period. I wanna try to join, see if I can score a win! Hopefully, my partner I get paired up with isn’t a terrible dancer…”

Killua hid his sadness, “Sure, I’ll be rooting for you from the sidelines…”

“~”

Cheadle spoke non-stop, highlighting the facts and news surrounding the information amounting to this task at hand. Even now, Vastorie could feel the piercing gaze of the others, some being quick, while others sometimes stared intensely for longer. He had this gut-wrenching feeling that he wasn’t going to get the information he required until way later on this mission, and he didn’t plan to interrupt either.

Causing a racket will not get him what he wants, and he knows that.

Pressing a button on the controller in her hand, Cheadle was reaching the main point, a map covering the screen, “These are the countries that represent the six main continents, known as the V6. They were originally the V5, but from recent turmoil, Kakin has had its status raised as the 6th. In the past, the V5 tried to challenge the Dark Continent but all of their efforts resulted in failure.”

Vastorie hid a smirk, eyes glancing now at Kurapika. His eyes were glued to the information, wondering what was going through his mind. Was he angry that he let the Phantom Troupe getaway, or was he thinking clearly on the task at hand, listening to Cheadle discussing the Dark Continent?

“And we’ve come to call the disease and dangerous beasts that caused those failures, the five calamities. From the details of the documents we have on hand, I’ll explain to you the first 7 pages on Hellbell.”

Cheadle detailed each beast, accentuating the information they should pay attention to the most. The more the man listened, the more Cheadle seemed to hint at a dark lining, something linking his father to this topic.

“-So, in other words, the danger ranks of all 5 have been raised to B+, all exceeding the B rank of the Chimera Ants. Capturing any of these and returning with them to benefit mankind is our mission. Additionally, we also have the issue of dealing with the currently restrained Master Beyond. It has been decided that we are to take him to the virtual New Continent. From there until the Dark Continent, the pros and cons of whether we bring him or not are outside of this discussion. It won’t be an easy decision, either way, Now are there any questions so far?”

Kurapika held up his hand, “I’ve got plenty, but… to start with, there’s one I would like answered.”

“Go ahead.”

“Beyond most definitely has allies within the organization…” The room stood still, silence looming over the other Zodiacs, all of them except for Mizaistom and Cheadle were unaware of the underlining issue. Vastorie had been an exception, his gazed expression held on the documents in his hands. He probably suspected as much, possibly because he trusted no one at the table right now, “have to been able to identify about how many?”

“What did you say…? Why do you know about that?” Kanzai flipped out, aggressive towards the man who seemed to react unfazed.

“Kanzai, if you think everyone here agrees with each other’s methods, you’ll be sorely mistaken. You’ll reach an impasse somewhere, which I can prove with my mere existence. Most of you don’t want me in this room… am I correct?”

From a few glares he got, none were more proving then Kanzai’s reaction “You were there when Netero said his goodbyes. You should have known that that mission was a huge risk, and even tempted the old man call upon the other Zodiacs for help…”

“Same could be said of Ex-Vice president Pariston, yet I don’t see you chasing the Ex-Rat any time soon… was he not just as close to Netero as I was? Actually, you would be wrong to think I didn’t say anything. He was like a father to me, to everyone in this room, except for Kurapika and Leorio. They’re new to the group. He…” The man bit his lip, turning away in disgust “it’s not important.” I just wish he was here so I could ask him for advice…

Cheadle hid her eyes for a moment, the book still in her possession. She needed to put it on the table soon, for not only Netero’s but Vastorie’s, as well as the group's sake. It was important information left out until now, “Unfortunately, it isn’t…”

Vastorie shot the woman a glare, but Kurapika instead brought the group back to the main question “From the previous President Netero’s will, I surmised that Beyond had always been waiting for his father’s demise. So, there’s no way that he hadn’t been preparing for this voyage all along, right? Coming to the organization himself and getting involved with the organization makes it clear that was his plan from the very start… Without a doubt, he had the utmost confidence that he would be able to control a project of this grand a scope and scale even after being restrained. That’s why he turned himself in.”

Kurapika set his eyes on Vastorie, “which brings me to Vastorie’s point. The existence of a capable right-hand man that he can rely on… And a great number of comrades to support him would also be necessary. The successor that took over after the previous President died must have made some kind of movements. I’m assuming…” Kurapika brought his gaze back to Cheadle, “this all rings a bell?”

“Yes…” Cheadle sighed, “Pariston and the Mediator Hunters. However, we have another issue which Pariston may be aware of already.” Reaching into her pocket, Cheadle pulled out a journal, sliding it over to Vastorie.

The man looked at the journal with a questioning gaze, Cheadle forced to bring the topic to the unknown issue, a secret which she herself wasn’t aware of until she took her position, “The secret member of the Pure Paladin Squad…”

Vastorie carefully flipped the journal open, a finger being used to scan the first journal entry. The person sounds like a caring father, one who wished to be reunited with his family.

When the man reached the signed off name, his eyes widened, dark aura leaking from him as the Chairwoman spoke, “Victor Tempest, the shape-shifting sixth calamity.”

Soulless eyes found Cheadle’s “He’s…?” That can’t be right, he acts the exact same way he always acted with me… “You can’t be serious… you’re fucking with me!”

Cheadle shook her head, “I’m not…” She flicked two photos to the middle of the table, a really old photo of the members from the Pure Paladin Squad, and a new one containing the current picture of Victor. Nothing had changed, he looked exactly the same as he did all these years ago, “This man hasn’t been the same since coming back from the trip to the Dark Continent.”

No, you’re wrong! You can’t be serious… you can’t get up and tell me that my father, was never my father! You can’t be the third person to deny my desire to kill that man! I won’t let you!

Cheadle pulled out some papers, laying them out on the table, “which brings me to a separate topic,” she nods at Mizaistom, the man leaned over to Kurapika, whispering something in his ear as she lulled everyone’s attention “Vastorie is in this room, because he is going to be collaborating along with this mission, including information about his father Victor Tempest…”

“Sure…” Vastorie slumped in his chair, thoughts left to wander in confusion. Could he have been wrong, this entire time, his perception being blinded by his rage for his father’s death? No, it can’t be right…

Lifting the journal to his eyes, the man began to read his father’s entries, intending on solving the mysteries of his father’s actions.

Cheadle, however, didn’t stop there, “However, I’m stating Vastorie as a 13th member of the Zodiacs, an official one.”

“What? No! Oh, hell no!” Kanzai objected to the rule, “He may be a three-star Hunter, but his ability’s and strengths don’t match our ideals. He hasn’t got a reason to join us!”

Botobai Gigante held up a hand to object, “I wish to hear her reasoning before objecting.”

Cheadle looked at the man, his eyes buried in the journal “He is the only living man who-”

“Is it wise to reveal that information, Cheadle?” Vastorie looked up, eyes narrowing into slits, “If someone is indeed a spy within the Hunter Association, or the Zodiacs, what if they told Beyond about this?”

Gritting her teeth, Cheadle stood up, crossing her arms at the man. He was right in a sense, the information could leak back to Beyond, or even Pariston and other Hunters that could perceive his ability as a threat.

But if she leaked it to only this group, the members in this room, she could narrow down who is a spy if there is a leak, “yes, but if there is a spy among us, this information is only going to be told to the Zodiac members, and under no circumstances should be told to anyone else…”

Vastorie returned to the journal in his hand, “It’s your funeral. Or should I say mine…”

“Netero has kept a secret from all of us, including why Vastorie wasn’t incited as a Zodiac. Vastorie is the only living person we know of, whom can speak with Netero.”

“What, Leorio objected… wait, that means he can talk to others, right?”

“You would be right to assume so…” Vastorie butted in, “however, you should wait for the next part.”

“His ability is to make deals with the dead… at the cost of their existence.”

Vastorie’s eyes found Cheadle’s, wondering if she feels like she made the best decision. An ability like his would be perceived as a threat, considering he could undo, or even create world disasters with a single deal.

But two things didn’t make sense right now, at the cost of this reveal, the reaction of the other’s shocked eyes now watching him… If Victor Tempest was dead, would she still make this decision, or would she leave him alone?

Something about this moment just didn’t add up! If his father did bring back one of the calamities, why wouldn’t have Netero hunted the man down? What is right…? What is wrong…? What is the thing wearing his father’s skin? And more importantly, how does this thing gather memories?

“~”

Killua slumped against the table, glassy eyes idly watching Daniel’s movements. Seeing his sister smile, made his widen. He was unable to stop it, using his arms he kept it hidden from the world, only wanting Daniel to bear witness to it… the old Daniel…

The one he wanted to bring back by tonight…  Hopefully…

He imagined boy trying to court him, a hand held out and a request for a dance. His cheeks tinged at the idea, but unless he wanted to get one, he needed to be the one to ask first.

Killua turned his head slightly, looking at the other surrounding participants. There were a few skilled dancers like him and Daniel, but at the same time there were a couple of them were barely learning, while others giggled and stumbled like two hammered fools with two left feet trying to stabilize their movements.

However, one member caught his eyes, a lone teen swirling a drink, their eyes focusing on one person on the dance floor… Daniel…

The boy’s eyes narrowed, fingers now tapping against the table. Who are you…? Why are you looking at Daniel?!

Daniel held Alluka by her shoulder, the other guiding her hand. He allowed her to dig her heels into the boy’s shoes, scuff marks now ruining the dress shoes. He didn’t mind much, only revelling in the girl’s laughter, making sure that she smiling in happiness her herself. Plus, it would also improve Killua’s mood after seeing his sister being happy.

This is something Killua after all, wanted his sister to experience, but it seems the boy was too shy to ask for her hand. Or maybe, he just couldn’t dance at all…

By now he was getting some onlookers, a few playing close attention to his every move. With Alluka. Although it wouldn’t be possible to call out his full protentional. The inexperienced girl would be unable to keep with his pace, and he really didn’t want to hurt Alluka in the process.

“Daniel…”

“Hmm…” The boy swirled the girl, leaning her back slightly so he could place his ear mere inches from her mouth. He wanted to see what she has to say.

“I wanted to thank you for tonight…”

Daniel, leaned back, offering a smile in return, fingers weaving between the girl’s own, “No problems. I know how much you wanted to dance after witnessing the others, but it seems Killua didn’t want too…”

“He did… this was his idea…”

“Oh,” the boy hummed, twirling the boy’s sister before pulling her back into his arms. With minimal effort, he raised the girl, one arm used to brace the girl’s chest as he used the other to guide her hand, swishing and weaving her between the other dancers while making sure to not bump into any of them. “The boy whose looking lousy at the table, was the one who wanted to go dancing?”

Alluka peaked through the crowd. She noticed that her brother was indeed ‘lousy’, but she knew better than to assume. Killua was in-fact sad, and she knew the best way to peak up his mood.

If she could get Daniel to ask for a dance, Killua would smile like when he first met her, when he first introduced Daniel and his best friend, Gon. It glowed like a sun of its own, a warmth that she felt when first meeting Nathaniel and the hug him and his son shared in common.

She just needed to push him a little, the question was, how…? “I think Killua is sad because I’m having so much fun, and his not…”

“He could ask anyone else for a dance, but his not…”

Alluka puffed her cheeks out, just in time for Daniel to notice it, which made the boy laugh in response, “What…? I’m serious. Just look at him! He could ask anyone in this room, and I believe they’ll accept.”

That didn’t make the situation any better, but a single slip was all it took for Alluka to notice it. Did her eyes deceive her? For a single second, did Daniel seem sad at the idea of someone else, or even Killua asking a complete stranger or a dance?

Maybe Killua was right, that this dance was the best way for the two to reconcile their broken bond, their relationship. But the two of them instead, were just finding ways to avoid the other, “Well, I think you should ask him for a dance!”

Alluka moved her feet, stamping the ground in protest.

Daniel could only hum, the gaze of others placed upon him now being his main concern. He had drawn the attention of at least six people. Two guys, and four girls. Ignoring the girls, and one guy, the person on the far left swirling their drink gave a sort of elegance, a weak wave of aura leaking from the person’s figure.

He just oozed attention, wanting eyes to meet their own. Daniel, however, didn’t give in yet, he had no reason to do so, at least not yet. So maybe he might listen to the younger girl, asking for her brother’s hand for a dance.

Killua was stronger, more flexible, something that could benefit him when lulling the attention of the more experienced dancers of the party. Even if Killua had two left feet, a single song could mean all the difference between winning and losing in this event.

No matter if Killua was bad at dancing, he just needed to draw the attention of the better, more experienced ones. With a nod, Daniel lifted Alluka up slightly, placing her down on the floor with a pat, “Alright, I’ll ask your brother for a dance.”

“Yey!” Alluka’s smile widened, which in turn brightened Daniel’s. He took the girl’s hand, guiding her through the other dancers, back towards her brother. 

Chapter Text

Killua’s back straightened once he noticed his sister coming towards him with Daniel, the boy offering a weak smile in hopes of deterring any regrets. He was complacent with what had transpired, the huge smile now spreading across Alluka’s face meant she had her fair share of fun, and not everything had gone wrong with his plans for the day.

He had yet to find a moment to address his feelings, to openly talk to Daniel about his past that remains forgotten, hidden…

He found it strange after all the crap he has been through, the most challenging thing he has ever done, was an appeal to the emotions of someone who acts as though they don’t know you. It was taxing, but not as hard to think about…

He had been in a similar position with Alluka, made to forget her, even when she meant so much to him. As much as he would like to let his thoughts wander, the two had already come too close, and a dazed absentminded expression would leave too many questions to be hurled in his direction, “Yo…? Did you have fun?”

Alluka nodded, practically beaming from ear-to-ear as she sat beside her brother, “Yes! Daniel made me fly and…” Daniel stood still, a mere few inches away from the two, obviously wanting the siblings to get their discussion out of their system.

He listened carefully as Alluka tried to explain what happened, her words overemphasizing what had exactly transpired, yet her brother didn’t stop to ground her back to reality, a creeping smiling edging across his lips, wanting to stay hidden, yet his unconscious mind pretended as though none of that was happening.

Minutes felt like hours, time unable to be gauged as Daniel watched Alluka’s brother listening. At first, he felt like he was staring like a predator watching its prey, but as time progressed, he noticed he was paying less to the boy’s features, watching his lips move. Each word pulled his attention as if demanding his ears to listen.

Then something in his mind snapped, the black figures in his mind slowly being replaced, morphing from inky shadows, into a face that stretched between the unknown, and a resemblance of Killua’s exact features.

It scared him seeing the subtle change occur in his mind, but what brought it on, was a single laugh from Killua; the slight backwards tilt, his shoulders bopping up and down to the chuckles, the innocence of happiness ringing throughout those sounds. He could have sworn he heard that exact laugh in his past, but this gut-wrenching feeling in his chest and mind combatted against each other, demanding dominance over his feelings and thoughts.

He hadn’t seen it or notice it, the wetness in his eyes as tears fell as his emotions had for the briefest of seconds, won an ongoing war.

Killua’s eyes widened in shock once he realised what had happened, his mind disengaging from Alluka’s voice to instead focus on the boy by their side. He should have said something, but he was unable to find the right words, and his mind demanded him to not say anything at all out of fear the mood would shift gears.

Alluka turned to face Daniel once she realised Killua no longer hung on every word, the same feelings of her somehow weaving through her mind like a subconscious command. Since neither of them was reacting to a perfect moment, she nudged her brother’s side, the boy seeming coming to life as if he were in another world a moment ago.

“Uh, oh… are you… ok?”

Daniel nodded, turning slightly away to wipe the noticeable tears. He took a moment to maintain his thoughts, bringing them back to a more stable mindset before addressing his original goal.

A single sigh, followed by a smile and outstretched hand followed, Daniel’s gaze meeting Killua’s, “may I have this dance…?”

Killua’s eyes widened, a broken quick ‘yes’ spilling from his mouth in an unconscious move to hopefully bring himself closer to the boy. But his mind disengaged quickly, rosy cheeks sputtering out a no right after.

Daniel’s smile dropped, his hand momentarily weakening, which in turn caused Killua’s mind to overthink, “I mean… I- I can’t leave Alluka alone! What if some creep-”

“Killua!” Alluka puffed up her cheeks at the reaction, arms crossing in disgust. He has the moment his been looking for in his grasp, yet he is trying to find a way to get out of it. If she didn’t say something now, Killua might lose his one and only chance to change his predicament. “You should go, I’ll be fine! I’ll even have your number on speed-dial.”

Killua grit his teeth, even though she had used different words, his mind was subconsciously trying to supersede their meaning, finding a way to agree with her when his mind wasn’t ready yet.

Daniel’s hand still hung in the air, lingering on a hopeful ‘yes’, which in turn made Killua mentally slap himself for not accepting at first. Puffing out his cheeks, the boy took the hand before him, acting as though he was doing it out of necessity rather than his own hidden desires. He didn’t want to scare Daniel off. Not yet at least…

 The moment Killua’s hand grabbed Daniel, the boy’s smile seemed to brighten, it felt unreal, yet his mind refused to address it, hoping that Daniel hadn’t noticed his own subtle change.

“Stay here Alluka, I’ll keep you brother away for only one song… maybe two if he doesn’t crush my feet.”

“Hey!”

Daniel seemly ignored the distress, guiding the boy’s hand further in the ballroom. But a tug of his hand made him reconsider, a silent plea from Killua. For a split second, he felt like his body knew the answer, but he still felt like he needed to ask it anyway, “What’s wrong?”

“Not too far from Alluka… I still want to be able to see her.”

“Alright…” Daniel held out his arms, in a reverse ‘L’ shape, his left hand at the nine o’clock mark while his other hand was at the twelvish mark, “I assume you know how to perform the Waltz…”

Killua nodded, taking Daniel’s right hand, as he awaited the next cue.

“Do you want to lead, or should I take lead?”

Killua laughed internally at the statement. Of course, he wanted to take lead, to control Daniel’s body as if it were his own, but alas, he didn’t believe he could maintain trust with his own internal actions fighting his will, “you lead.”

Killua’s cheeks warmed at the sensation of Daniel’s hand now resting on his hip, Killua, in turn, putting his hand on Daniel’s shoulder. What he hadn’t expected was the boy’s fingers entwine with his own.

Ignorance is a bliss… The boy thought as Daniel took the first step, Killua following right after. Depending on which one Daniel wished to perform, Killua was sure he could match the tempo, unlike his heart hammering within his ribcage.

The rhythm at the start is easy to follow; a one, two, three, pattern. As Daniel took one step forward, Killua mirrored the process, taking one step back. The same was done with the next step, only this time, they both slide to the right, and then backwards, or in Killua’s case forwards.

The actions repeated, Killua inciting talk, hoping that he could calm his nerves before he speaks about the topic on his mind, “Daniel… I wanted to ask you something…”

“Hmm…?”

“Well, more like say…”

“Sure,” Daniel offered a smile, adding the next movement to the sequence, the slight offside turn, also known as the step promenade which Killua followed without issues, “nice… doing good so far.”

Killua’s features reddened from the compliment, his voice failing to articulate his thoughts, “Y- you see… what I was wondering…” Killua felt his voice hitch when Daniel’s eyes fell on him, his voice lost in the endless void.

One thing he knew he had to do, was bring up Daniel’s memories without actually using his name. which was impossible at this point. Killua stilled his heart, features softening as he spoke once more, “You know I’m seeing someone…”

“Of course…”

“And the relationship is complicated…”

“Yeah…?”

Killua bit his lip, “We really didn’t have a fight that forced us to split… or go on break with each other.”

“Uh huh…”

“Sometimes I see him from time to time, not in a stalkerish way, we just happen to see each other. He… our reason to distance was neither one’s mistake. It’s just someone else stood in our part.”

“He has nothing to worry about… I plan to make no moves on you.”

Killua’s cheeks flared, possibly glowing from the words, “Not you…” the boy puffed his cheeks out, “Idiot. Someone else… He brought on a restriction that stops us from being with each other for long.”

“Oh, I… don’t know what to say…”

“Nothing, but listen. I really miss him, and those times when I get to see him, are far and few between. He has this…” Killua turned his head away, the embarrassment burning up his chest, “kindness, I… love I guess…” Fuck, this is so awkward and hard to admit… “He loves my sister, finds ways to make me happy… and he wants to be stronger than me, even though he's physically weaker… as in he is unable to dish out as much damage as I can do. But damn… he can outlast me, provided I don’t knock him out by then…”

Daniel’s watchful eyes took in the information, finding himself being lost in Killua’s eyes, the boy’s words barely registering. He could hear them, but his mind is dismissing them as easily as it hears them.

“What my question is… if the two of us want to be together, but can’t… how can I-?” Killua lost his voice once he realised where Daniel was looking, directly into his own, “Even with the barrier, how can we be together…” the boy reclarified out of fear, “Him and I…”

“How do you know he wants to be with you…?”

“I…” Killua pause, something seemed off with the question, like Daniel was somehow linking impossible possibilities. Was Daniel somehow linking himself with the boy Killua was talking about, he wasn’t sure… but just in case he was, “I don’t know… I want to remove the barrier so that we can decide together, whether we can continue to be… you know… together…”

“And if he chooses not to remain by your side…?”

Killua tilted his head slightly, Daniel’s hand on his hip, gripping it harder as if he was fighting an internal struggle of his own, “I guess… the only thing I can do… accept it and move on…”

At that confession, Daniel’s hand dropped slightly, now pulling Killua a little closer, his voice trained so only the two could hear what he was about to say, “Hair like the colour of snow, soft, like his features… his skin. Sometimes I wish I could feel it all the time, wondering how many expressions I could find to gaze at. Those eyes like a brewing storm, shining like the moonlight, an ocean vast, and endless…”

Killua’s eyes widened, unable to look the boy in the eyes as he was forced to listen.

“A smile like a Cheshire cat, both wicked and happy, thinking he could hide his loveable, caring attitude, behind his mischievous nature. All I need to do is just pick and prod at those fortified walls until he laughs.”

Daniel loosened his hand at Killua’s side, twirling the boy on the spot before pulling him back in, Killua’s back now resting on his chest, words being whispered into Killua’s ear, “That laughter would take my breath away, stealing my attention, a smile permanent, unending. Even his eyes seem to resonate at those times, making his whole figure glow.”

Sliding off to the side, Daniel swung his body back to the front, a twirl of his hips, hand back at Killua’s side. With a dip of Killua’s body, the two were now face-to-face, Daniel struggled to contain his tears, a few falling on Killua’s face, gravity claiming them.

As they slide down Killua’s cheeks, the boy was forced back upright, Daniel closing his eyes to contain the damage, “that’s you… isn’t it…?”

Killua bit his lip, unsure what to say. Does he agree, or disagree? Does Daniel want him to disagree, or did he want to pretend, to see if Daniel has any more to say?

His heart wanted to hear more, but he was unsure if he could, “I…”

“I’m sorry, it’s probably a mistaken thought… pretend you heard nothing…”

Killua grit his teeth, frustrated at his lack of conviction. He slipped his hand off the boy’s shoulder, to instead curl around Daniel’s side. Taking one step forward, he dipped Daniel’s body, the change of tempo forcing Daniel’s eyes to widen in surprise, “When I was on Greed Island,”

Letting go of his fingers entwining with Daniel’s, he swung his body around, using the momentum to pull Daniel’s body upright, he crashed the two together. The action had caused the two to accidentally stumble, but Killua was quick to recover, pulling Daniel close as he took the lead, Daniel’s back pressed against his chest, “He and I danced, not like this though. It was before the two of us got together but at that time… my mind wandered… It really wanted to continue to have those moments of togetherness, not like as a couple back then, but just the comfort of being by each other’s side…”

Daniel listened carefully to the revelation, Killua had been on Greed Island as well, but when exactly…?

It was as if Killua could read the boy’s mind, continuing onwards “It was during the end game, the loud music making him leave to overlook a balcony, I found him a little later during the night, alone, and the two of us danced under the stars… He was the one who incited the dance though…”

“I’m…” Daniel bit lip, forcing himself to stop the thought from coming out, instead, he uncurled his hand, letting it slip along the boy’s side, alighting his nerves as he adjusted his step, an of step count, making him step forward instead to the side as Killua had. He used his other foot to follow Killua’s original step, the foot being slid across the floor before being lifted to the sky like a ballerina pose.

He didn’t let it linger, using the momentum again to perform a turn, letting go of Killua’s hand with his right as turned to instead grab it with his left. He tugged Killua, not enough to make him stumble, but Killua immediately understood what the boy wanted.

The two took one step forward with their outer feet, now noticing the attention they had drawn.

Killua blushed as Daniel ignored the onlookers, using the middle feet to slid so they were now back to back. While this action had been uncomfortable, he didn’t allow the position to be held for long. Daniel let go of Killua’s right hand, instead opting to take hold of the boy’s left.

Daniel hoped that the boy understood what he wanted. Sliding his foot once more, the two were side-by-side once more, Daniel’s eyes meeting Killua’s. With a smile Daniel stepped forward once more, only this time his foot was turned at a ninety-degree angle, Killua now mimicking the action.

They didn’t crash together, Killua’s hand being guided to rest on the boy’s shoulder as Daniel’s found his hip. But unlike when they first started, Daniel’s was now below the waist, resting dangerously close to the boy’s left butt cheek.

With a smile, Daniel found his eyes meeting Killua’s, his mind unable to hold back his words, “Those feelings never ended, they only intensified the longer I stayed with him. Back then, I couldn’t word it as I could now, but one thing is for certain, I don’t wish to make it stop. I want them to rule my body, to see where they lead me.”

Killua closed his eyes, taking in the rest of the boy’s words with minimal reactions. He couldn’t stop the painstakingly apparent blush, or how the words seemly pulled at his heartstring.

 “No matter the mistakes…” Daniel muttered under his breath, his fingers gently circling along the boy’s waist, “No matter the mistakes, I wish to become stronger! I want to become stronger for him! His saved me so many times, yet every time I try to save him, I feel like I depend on others, the knowledge I’ve yet to obtain.”

Shifting his feet, the boy continued the waltz, guiding Killua along the floor, even when the boy’s eyes were closed, “All I can do is watch and learn, seeing if there is something I can do for him, but all I end up doing is getting lost in his perplexing image. Is it right to sometimes have these disturbing thoughts, sometimes I make myself wonder… Just how many shades could I discover, just what kind of smile would he give me every time I say ‘I love you’? Sure, he might kill me if I say it too much, but in all honesty, could I ever say it enough? Would I ever be able to stain that milky white skin pink?”

Killua’s eyebrows furrowed, a tinge dusting the boy’s cheeks, “I want to dance with him as we did under those stars… I want to see him blush, to memorise him, drawing his sight like an entranced beauty like I would imagine him as… Do I deserve these feelings? Sometimes I wish I didn’t! All I want is to hold him and tell him everything is going to be alright, but can it truly be alright? I can’t pretend that these feelings are set in stone, unable to be removed… forgotten…”

Killua’s eyes open, hearing the love and affection he learned to revel in, his name being the last word uttered through the boy’s lips. “I want them to be, to never forget a single thing about him, the teasing, the love, the warmth I receive when holding him close… But the thing I will always fear most is can I truly remain at his side always, even when threats come for him, him being forced to protect me all the time. I wish to be strong, but if protecting Killua means staying away, I will do it for him…”

Daniel tilted the boy slightly, Killua forced to rope his arms around the boy’s neck, his eyes now glued to the boy, to see if there were any gears turning in his head. He wanted to see if Daniel was trying to figure out where the truth met reality, “Because of no matter what… As long as you want it, I will remain at your side… Killua…”

He expected to see the tone matched with his eyes, but there was something wrong with the situation.

Daniel’s voice shows he remembers, but his eyes were still clouded. Had he failed…? Did the boy still no longer remember, even when he uttered his name? No, it wasn’t that he still didn’t remember…

Those words he spoke, it was as if he memorised them earlier…

Before losing his memories, Daniel wrote down his thoughts in that journal, on the page he had been asked to see what was on it.

Daniel wrote it just in case he forgot…

Tears welled up in Killua’s eyes, “You made sure you would never forget…”

Daniel shook his head, “I… I still don’t remember you… but I want to give you the benefit of the doubt… what now?”

Looking down at the floor, Killua sighed, a little frustrated that Daniel wasn’t able to overpower the power still blocking his memories, “Even if you don’t want the memories, I want to find Zaikaria… I want her to unlock the memories without altering the ones you have now…”

Daniel’s eyes found Killua’s, the boy not completely done yet. It was that last part of the sentence that made him recollect his thoughts. As long as you want it, I will remain at your side…, if Daniel was willing to continue with that line of thinking, he really hoped Daniel would choose him in the end, “I want you to make the decision… to choose me once more…”

Daniel closed his eyes, a smile creeping along his lips, widening once more, with a step back, Killua followed suit, the two bowing as a cheer erupted around them. Killua wanted to shrivel up and hide somewhere, but Daniel’s hold stopped him from doing so, “I know who I want to win this event with…”

Killua looked away, blushing as he awkwardly scratched a cheek, “O- Oh yeah, who?”

“You…”

The boy’s eyes widened, mouth opening and closing like a fish. He had no idea what to say, how to read the boy’s feelings. Even though Daniel still didn’t remember him, that want… that need and desire still wrung in his voice. It was a step, and that was mattered right now, “S- Sure, I guess…”

From the corner of his eyes, he caught it, the teen from earlier glaring at him. Their aura flared into a frenzy around him, yet Daniel remained ignorant of it. Was he choosing to ignore it, or was Killua the only one who could see and feel it.

If he was the only one who could see it, Killua grinned, feeling for once smug for dashing someone’s hopes and dreams. Although, hopefully, it didn’t come back to bite him later. He’ll need to make sure during the event, that his sister is safe at all times. Even still, he had something he needed to voice, “I help you, and you help me…”

Daniel offered a smile, “Ok, I might know a way to get my sister to come out of hiding…”

“How?”

Daniel held a finger to his lips, mouthing the words, ‘it’s a secret…’

Chapter Text

Whistling could be heard among the nocturnal creatures, the park’s lack of human company providing serenity, to the children walking the night. Killua kept Alluka on his shoulders, the boy holding his sister’s hands as her legs dangled from around his neck, feet tapping his chest offbeat to his feelings.

Tonight, was a good night. While he may have not been able to revive Daniel’s memories entirely, he still managed to get the semblance his heart had been craving for the past week.

Alluka’s whistled alongside Daniel, the boy’s tune sounded similar to the last song they were danced to. He tried not to pay too much attention to the song, fearful of his memories from tonight being dug up.

Hearing the tune is one thing, but what they did tonight, would make any couple jealous. The twists, the turns, the way Daniel’s hands dug into his hips, pulling him so close he could almost taste the boy’s breath on his lips…

The hand that seemed to betray his comfort zone, dangled through his hair like a spider’s web weaving its way through the madness. If he focused for a second, he was sure those thoughts would kill him.

But nonetheless, he couldn’t help but smile overall.

All it took was an innocent smile, and then he’d feel his heart hammering; warm, fuzzy, feelings relighting, to what he once had to pretend never existed. Shifting his gaze, Killua’s hand found the trophy, still being held in Daniel’s hand. Heh, who would’ve thought dancing, could cause so much damage…?

“So, how was tonight…” Daniel turns on his heel, Killua’s flush cheeks betraying his thoughts. He was glad the question wasn’t being directed at him, but rather the girl dangling around his shoulders.

“I’m happy because my brother is happy!”

Killua’s cheeks flushed red, but he refused to pay attention to them, instead of weaselling his way out of the situation he was being forced into, “It was fun…” Daniel’s knowing gaze, further humiliated the mood.

He won’t let the two of them tag-team him tonight, not while Daniel’s memories haven’t returned fully.

But Daniel didn’t seem to catch the hint, instead opting to continue the conversation, “So, I was wondering… what kind of couple we are?”

If Killua had been drinking anything, he would’ve had spat it out. The question dug up some memories from the dance, the way Daniel’s hand danced like little fairies circling a ring, fingertips fluttering along his chest. It had almost been to the rhythm of his heart beats, but his heart had a mind of its own at that time, hammering rapidly to a tune of its own.

Or was it from the way Daniel’s hand caressed his skin, providing balance during impossible feats. Killua was flexible, but Daniel, oh god did his flexibility cause a number to his loins.

It brought his mind to wander back to old thoughts, including, but not limited to dominating a certain person’s body. He was lucky that Daniel didn’t pull him close to his body. If his skin had remained flushed against Daniel, he was sure the boy would have felt something prodding and poking him.

But the amount of humiliation couldn’t possibly overshadow the fear and guilt he would have felt afterwards. Daniel didn’t have all his memories back, just a thought or idea planted in his head, sowing the seeds of doubt.

One fuck up is all he’ll need, and then Daniel might not even want to be around him anymore… that possibility, still felt very real.

He must have been pondering the question for too long, because the next thing he felt, was Daniel’s questioning gaze directed at him, the boy’s figure standing before him. What could he say without spilling his heart?

Shifting his feet, Killua kept his gaze to the floor, afraid of Daniel seeing the side of him his come too accustomed to seeing every day, “Well… we are a normal one.”

“Does a normal one, usually have their partner looking at the floor?” Daniel chide, sass reverberating through the tone.

“N- No…” The boy sighed, “It’s just weird…”

“Our relationship…?”

“No! This… Having to tell you something we’ve shared for months…”

“Oh…” Daniel hummed as he crossed his arms behind his back, smiling at the possibility that his mere existence, cause his supposed boyfriend to break down in some serious blushing action. “Oh, so it’s safe to assume we also slept at night together…”

Like a fish, Killua’s mouth gaped open and closed, unsure of what was the right thing to say on this part. Does he admit that they do sleep together and keep it at that, or does he openly admit that more was a better choice of wording? Although, it would’v be better to do so when they’re alone.

He thought he’d get to answer, but Alluka seemed to answer for him, “Yes! That’s why I was pushing the two of you to share a room… I was hoping that being together would reconcile your feelings for my big brother…”

If Killua hadn’t been blushing before, he was definitely doing so now.

Daniel, on the other hand, had ways of making the situation worse than needed, “Or you could have tried kissing me…”

“This isn’t some fairy tale SH- STORY! PLUS, there’s no way I’m gonna kiss you like this…”

“Well, that’s sad… I was thinking of asking to kiss you. Maybe that would jog some thoughts.”

“Hell no!”

“Big BROTHER!”

“OVER my DEAD body… I… I just can’t…”

As Alluka let out a huff, Daniel diverted the topic to something more mature, “Alright… so why do you want to talk to my sister then?”

“Nathaniel says she might be able to jog your memories…”

“But…?”

Killua rolled his eyes, but the question lingering in the air, still had a huge BUT waiting to be answered. There was uncertainty with the end goal, that Zaikaria might not answer to any of the boy’s pleas after so many missed calls. “The but is… she might not even want to do it.”

“Oh,” Daniel stopped to look at his supposed boyfriend, but the boy’s gaze didn’t want to meet his, “I’m guessing you two have bad blood between you…”

“More like, she doesn’t like me… for reasons unknown.”

“Huh…” Daniel scratched his chin, pondering the possibility of why she might not like Killua. He has shown compassion and love towards his sister, and now with the discovery of his feelings towards him, he couldn’t see a reason as to why his sister wouldn’t like him.

Killua genuinely cares for him, more worried about Daniel’s perception of him, rather than his own feelings. He’d probably have kept his feelings a secret until they ate him up, or worse, reveal them once they finally met his sister.

Considering Killua’s circumstance, he understood why the boy hid his feelings. It resonated with him, altering his perception. If they weren’t dating before his loss of memories, he most definitely, want to pursue a relationship with Killua. But as of now, Killua shows some distrust towards himself. A part of him believes that he could contaminate his thoughts on the boy, pushing him towards the end goal without the need to regain his old thoughts.

He found himself hopelessly falling in love with Killua, again, technically, but if he wanted to keep the relationship going, he’d need a catalyst for some kind of truth. And he knows exactly how to set that in motion, “Well, then you might not like my idea…”

Killua’s eyes widened. It had better not be bad! Not liking the idea is ok, but being put in a wild situation that could piss off his sister, is not on his to-do list. “How bad are we talking…?”

“Well, she is overprotective, so faking my abduction would get her attention.”

“Uh-uh! NO way in hell! I’m not pulling that stunt off… SHE’LL KILL ME!”

Alluka smiled, stepping in to help out her brother, “Why not take a picture of you two kissing? If she doesn’t like big brother abducting you, then that should be ok. You could even post it up around town…”

Mortified at the statement, Killua stilled his expression, “Back up, what was your plan again Daniel…?”

Alluka let out a huff of annoyance. But no matter what, Killua wouldn’t dare post a picture of him and Daniel kissing all over town. He could handle a kiss, but NO WAY IN HELL, is he going to distribute porn around town, even if his sister didn’t even see it that way. Her innocence being sheltered, locked away in the dungeon from the outside world, no thanks to their family being afraid of her power.

What even is that chances of her running by a single picture before they could be ripped down? Nope, Killua filtered those thoughts out, shifting his attention to Daniel instead. But he still couldn’t look the boy in his eyes. He can’t deny that he wants to kiss Daniel, but the fact that both of them brought it up, means that he isn’t the only one who has those thoughts.

Daniel laughed off Killua’s reaction, offering out a hand to Killua, “First, we need a new phone just in case, a full covering mask, some rope, and a way to distort our voice…”

Killua let out a long sigh from the request, he still couldn’t believe that the only way Daniel could come up with to get his sister’s attention, is to fake his own capture. Either way, if this is the only way, they still need to play it safe. It’ll take a week to get all the items and prepare for the situation, which meant Killua would have to suffer a little bit longer.

But at least now it won’t be indefinite, and Daniel would be willing to try other avenues to get his old memories back. The boy just hoped that Zaikaria would be a willing participant after this stunt…

“Alright,” Daniel offered a smile and a hand out to the boy, “Do you mind if I sleep with you tonight, I have a lot of questions for you, and I don’t really want to sleep on the couch right now.”

“Sure…” Killua blew a raspberry, flustered from the possibilities of what Daniel may ask him. He’s sure he could handle it, but that still doesn’t mean he can’t deny how hard his heart was beating at the worst possible outcome.

Taking Daniel’s hand, the two shook on it, Daniel allowed himself to sneak in some of his own aurae to flow around the boy, but before the boy could object, he set his own goal in motion, “Don’t reject it, I want to use that as a contract with myself, I promise that when I get my old memories of us being together, that I wouldn’t let my new memories of you contaminate the old…” Even if I fall hopelessly in love with you now, if my old memories perceive you as different, I’ll keep true to myself… and let you go, even if you and I don’t want to let go…

“Fine…” Killua found himself smiling, “I accept the condition…” Thanks for trusting me…

Killua stopped for a moment, head twisting towards the dense dark park forest.

“Big brother…?”

Killua could’ve sworn he saw something moving. But even with his trained eyes set to nature, he couldn’t see the presence of another’s Nen. Was someone using Zetsu, or was it just the light playing tricks on his eyes?

Daniel saw the boy’s concern, his mouth twisting into worry, “Is everything ok?”

“Y- Yeah, let's hurry up home. I’m tired! Don’t you dare…”

Daniel threw up his hands in self-defence, “I wouldn’t… you seemed… worried?”

“A little… someone might be following us from the party. But don’t show it, let’s just get home quickly…”

Daniel nodded at the concern, twisting on his heels to pick up the pace, “Alright, let’s hurry up. I want to sneak into a warm bed Killua~”

Warm cheeks looked once more at the forest, making sure if there was someone following after them, it wasn’t Daniel or Alluka they were after.

“Hurry up slow poke!”

Killua grinned before chasing after Daniel, Alluka giggling as she sailed through the air.

For the corner of the trees, someone peeked out from the corner, gritting their teeth in anger. How long has it been since they last saw Daniel? He couldn’t have changed that much in the past few years. Retreating further in, they continued to follow the three.

“~”

Lifting his head, the man looked up, eyes slightly closed, glowering at the number of eyes now peering at him. There was a question lingering in the air, and without words, he could probably guess what the group wants to know.

His answer will always be the same because the threat is something to fear. Unconsciously flipping a page of his father’s journal, he kept his attention on Kanzai because out of all the people in the room, he was the only one royally pissed off, not that there was never a moment in his time, where never was pissed.

Although true to his name, he was always growling like a tiger, even though right next to him was the legendary Dragon, Botobai. Botobai made him look like a kitten roaring, it was almost cute, although mostly amusing, “To answer your question, yes, AND THEN, NO…”

“Huh?”

“I guarantee everyone wants to know if he's in the room with us, which would be, a resounding yes.” Vastorie glanced over, Netero off to the side, snickering at Piyon who laid across the table, the old man uncaring of their perception of him now. Because at the end of the day, only one person could see him, and that person occasionally blocked the visions of the deceased, out.

“Piyon, you might want to sit up.”

“Huh, why?”

“Old man gazing downward…”

Sitting straight up, Netero glared at Vastorie. It was a playful one at that, because soon after, he shifted his posture, sitting in the air as he drifted along the table, unworried of the current issue of the table. He knew how the man’s ability works, including the issues of answering certain statements and questions. But at the same time, he felt free, his aching old bones unmarred from his old age and his last battle with Meruem.

Yes, he was concerned as of now about how Vastorie was being treated, as he was like a son to him. But the fact still stands, no matter what he says, either Vastorie could twist the words, or worse, no matter what he says, the other Zodiacs would choose not to listen.

On the plus side, at least Cheadle was doing a good job of leading the group through the facts, as for how she’s taking on the position; she is a little rough around the edges. Nothing long term experience couldn’t fix.

All he can do right now is listen, and watch the world go by, and refuse all of Vastorie’s demands and questions.

Vastorie waved his hand, his mind subconsciously removing Netero from his view. He’d rather not deal with the floating elephant in the room. “He is silently judging you for your actions, and will always refuse any questions or deal I make with him. Hell, he’d refuse all idle banter with me because he knows a single slip could change the course of this world. So, the answer is no, I cannot ask anything of him.”

When Kanzai opened his mouth, Vastorie immediately shut him down, “Yes, he is judging me… I don’t get free reign to do whatever I want.” Although, I should ask… Well, see Netero’s opinion on whether or not I’m doing the right thing by Daniel…  I probably already know his response… disgust and sadness…

Feinting ignorance, the man watched Kanzai blow a huff of annoyance, most of the questions disappearing. Although two people in the room still had questions, mainly Kurapika and Leorio.

He’d thought the most volatile man would ask his question, but he was surprised to see Kurapika holding up his hand. Crossing his arms, Vastorie leaned back into the chair, “Yes…?”

“You say you see the ghosts of the departed, correct?”

“Yeah…”

“How many are in this room?”

Vastorie’s eyes darted around the room, channelling his aura to bypass all his mental blocks. They started to pop up, some kids crying, black inky shadows wavering between the afterlife and the world of the living. They ignored him as much as he did them. They seemed to hover around those closest to them, one with Kurapika and another with Leorio.

If he had to guess, at some point, those two were going to ask about the smaller shadows sometime during the night. As for the other Zodiacs, they seemed concerned about the response, “Not counting Netero, twenty-three shadows.” He forced his aura to relax, two of the inky shadows remaining, a conviction from the two younger Zodiacs aura calling out to them now.

Waving his hand once more, the ghosts dissipated from his view, “Any other questions?”

“Yes,” tucking hair behind his ears, the younger man had another two questions in his mind. If he suspicions were correct, what he witnesses earlier that evening, that was a ghost from his past, and if had a gut-wrenching feeling, he knew who it was, “What do they look like to you?”

“Inky shadows… unless I know who they are, then they look like regular people.”

“Final question…” Kurapika’s gaze meeting his, his voice was slow, controlled, “Has anyone else been able to see them?”

The question made the older man raise a suspicious eyebrow, now that was a curious question. It has happened in the past, usually with Nen users rather than the general population. Although, it still is rare to see someone become attune to his Nen enough to recognise something is up. Or maybe it was something more, someone a part of his past childhood, “Yes, it is possible, although rarely…”

Kurapika nodded, returning to the papers before him. He wasn’t finished. He still had another question, maybe even more, he wished to divulge from the older man. But those were private. But from what he noticed, others possibly had the same question for him, loved ones, friends and family that wished to speak to.

Whether Vastorie wishes to constantly talk to the dead, that is up to his own discretion. Right now, his main priority was reading through his father’s journal. So far, his picked up on it, the moment his father started to descend into his current nature.

It has to do with a creature he fought to save a friend, a two-headed snake-like creature. He is starting to talk about power, having the strength to defeat others… things.

At the start he mentioned family, missing his wife Alexis and son Ercole. It’s been so long since he's heard or seen his mother’s name.

He hardly remembers her, what she looks like.

Even calling out her name made it impossible to envision her shadow. Maybe with details in the journal, he could find a link to their home… to find a way to trace his mother’s origin.

Yes, finding details about his father are important, but his mother… he just wished he could see his mother one last time, to hug her at least once. Her smile was nothing more, than a faint blur…

The man sighed, picking up the journal once more, choosing to ignore the questioning gazes.

“~”

There was a flip of a page, quite footsteps crossing a hallway. A door opened as the boy sighed in relief. His eyes felt puffy, teabags already formed under his eyes. He was so tired, but his ability refused to allow him to sleep unless he had physical contact with another, anyone at this point.

He refused to give in, to ask anyone for help, not out of stubbornness, but rather the unfortunate predicament he was in. He wasn’t about to ask Sakura or Gon to hug him to sleep. They had their own relationship, their own desire to cuddle up with one another.

Sometimes he’d hear Gon giggling, his voice like a hymn of angels singing a lullaby, or maybe that was just his drowsiness speaking. Either way, the golden sun boy was getting harder to deal with each passing day. Every lie becoming less creative as the days passed.

Gon knows something is wrong with him… that his not sleeping. It was only a matter of time before he finds out the truth, provided he hasn’t found out from Leorio already.

When the door opened a second time, Iason flinched. The steps were coming close to him. He braced himself, preparing for another excuse. But his mind fell on blanks, every excuse under the sun already been used.

Black hair peeked out from the corner, surveying the living room. The act made Iason shrink into the couch. He should’ve stayed in his room, but he wasn’t really thinking this scenario was going to happen. Or maybe the lack of thinking made him think the reverse, that he should be caught in the act of withholding the truth.

“Oh,” Gon frowned slightly, crossing the room to address the tired boy still on the couch, “You should get to bed. You’ve been really tired for the past few days. Are you ok?”

Iason nodded, a tired smile forming, expression barely holding on to the surrounding world. He shifted in his seat, opening his mouth to prepare for another excuse, but he couldn’t come up with anything, just a silence falling between them. “In a minute…”

Gon let out a huff in annoyance, “Is there anything we can do?”

The boy shook his head once more, Gon’s features dropping a little more. It seems Iason might not still trust him, but this has gone on far enough. Now is the time for action, even if he has to duct tape the poor boy to bed. Actually, now he thinks about it, he remembered Leorio mentioning coddling. If he could somehow find the moment to hug the boy, to let him know everything will be ok, would he fall asleep then?

He kind of did look stressed out right now, “Iason…”

Tired eyes found Gon, the boy stepping closer, which in turn made Iason scoot away further along the couch, “Wh- what are you doing…?”

“I’m putting you in bed! You need to sleep, Iason.”

“I said I will-” Had his reaction really slowed down that much, when did Gon get so close to him, “no! I said I’m fine…”

With a sweeping motion, Gon picked up Iason, the boy finding his own body giving in, relaxing at the touch. Damn his stupid ability for giving in so quickly, relaxing so soon after having been touched.

“Put…” bopping his head, the boy sighed in content, fingers relaxing against the boy’s skin. Wait, Gon’s naked… the boy though, barely able to struggle thanks to his weakened strength. All he could do was squeeze the skin before his mind wandered to dreamland.

"Oh," Gon hummed at the Iason’s reaction, his fingers sliding up and down the boy's back in a soothing manner as his other hand did the same with boy’s hair. It was playful in nature, but really all he was trying, was to make sure the boy stayed asleep.

He hoped this is what Leorio meant by coddling, providing comfort as the boy slept in his arms.

Gon beamed at the reaction, but then his mind processed the situation. There was a lock on each bedroom door, and he doesn’t know where Iason put his keys. Panic ensure, the boy slightly bouncing from foot-to-foot, wondering what to do with the sleeping boy in his arms.

“Um…” Gon called out, careful to not wake the sleeping boy in his arms. He crossed the hallway, skidding in front of his room, Iason still in his arms, “I was going to bring Iason to his room… but he fell asleep before I could ask for his keys…”

Sakura peaked out from under his cover, groaning slightly at the scene before him. He hadn’t expected Gon to go out there half naked. He flicked the covers back over, groaning once more before he shifted in the bed, patting it from under the cover, “Well there’s nothing we can do. We’ll sleep together, but you need to apologise to him in the morning…”

Gon’s smile brightened from the reaction. Sakura was so tired, he was willing to put up with his shenanigans, not that he would have let the boy think of an alternative. Walking over to the bed, he placed Iason under the cover next to Sakura, Sakura hummed, sliding an arm over warm body now next to him, only to find himself removing it once he realised who was next to him, “We can’t put Iason in the middle…”

“It’s fine. Plus, if he's stuck between us… he’ll be forced to sleep.”

There was a nod, followed by Sakura hugging Iason closer as the bed sheets shifted. However, before Gon could slide into bed, Sakura stopped him, “Put a shirt on. It’s bad enough we’re going to force him to sleep with us…”

“Oh,” Gon huffed, crossing the room to the wardrobe. He grabbed the first comfortable shirt to fit him. Once dressed, he slid under the sheets, snuggling close to Iason, his fingers sliding under the cushion to grab hold Sakura’s.

Sakura gently squeezed Gon’s, humming in delight as he shifted his position slightly. “You’re apologising to Iason in the morning.”

“Yeah…” Gon nodded, drawing small circles in his boyfriend’s palm, “Thanks for agreeing to this.”

“Sure…” Sakura dosed of, Gon smiling as he watched the two boys sleep in front of him. Bringing an arm over the two of them, Gon pulled Sakura a little closer, feeling just a tad bit worried about Iason being squished between them. He’d explain everything in the morning, but until then, he’d make sure along with Sakura, that Iason sleeps this time.

“I love you, Sakura…”

“Me too…” Sakura murmured in his sleep, the words goofball escaping the boy’s lips as Gon snickered.

Everything will be ok, he’ll make sure of it. After seeing Iason suffer for so many nights, it was better he acted on those desires to help out than continue to watch him suffer any longer. Leorio told him Iason needed to be coddled in order to sleep, and if it’s the only thing that will help the boy, he was willing to help out.

Just for tonight, Iason will be trapped between the both of them, then with a little discussing, he was sure the three of them could come to a compromise of some sort, like Iason being to the side of them, maybe even switching who gets to do the coddling

Chapter Text

Killua lay in bed, unable to sleep with Daniel right behind him. Clearly, the two had so much to talk about, but neither one of them was prepared to initiate first. All the boys could think about, was what had transpired that night.

Would he argue what happened that night was magical? One-hundred and ten percent, it was a definite, yes. Even if his brain would deny it, he was sure his expression and dusted cheeks throughout the night would have said: fuck yes!

His thoughts wandered back to the second dance, a moment where Daniel circled on his own, a twirl, with a spin. When the boy had rested against Killua, that's when the white-haired boy got a wonderful idea.

He knows Daniel can be submissive when the time comes. After all, Daniel had asked him earlier if he knew how to dance, if he wanted to lead, or be led...

Now looking back at the situation, he smirked at the old idea, how putting into the plan a single motion, caused it to lead to the trophy now sitting on the desk. He hadn’t expected it to work that well.

He could remember the words so well, like a chant memorised and repeated, over dozens of years, “Daniel, you wanna surprise the judges...?”

“Sure... What you have in mind?”

“Let me take lead! Trust me, and take two steps back, and one to the left...”

“Aww, you wanted me to be closer...”

“No,” Killua blushed at the accusation, twisting his body off centre, so Daniel didn't feel something else. He couldn't believe Daniel would be so forward, during that serious request.

He remembered Daniel giggling at the response, adjusting so he took the necessary measurements as Killua had requested. It was a crucial move, one that not only proved Daniel’s flexibility at the time but his own strength on the matter.

No, he didn’t lift Daniel into the sky like an aeroplane… that would be childish. What he instead opted for, was something more simplistic, a quick twirl, followed by a body adjustment.

That was when he needed Daniel’s trust the most. The adjustment, as followed, was to lean Daniel backwards, his left hand being used as a brace for the boy’s head, but the main reason was so he could hold the boy’s left hand. Whereas, his right hand, was used to help guide the boy with his original plan at the time. He used the hand to mainly raise Daniel’s right leg, mainly holding onto the foot. He wanted Daniel to perform a mid-air backflip.

He knew Daniel could do it, without hurting him in the slightest, but no one on the panel would see it coming. All he had to do was land on the floor perfectly. A feat, if he messed up would mean a huge scuff mark on his pants… or worse, the ripping of said pants.

Motioning the boy with his hands, Daniel understood what he wanted, just to what degree, he had no clue. Using his right arm and left foot, he grabbed hold of the boy’s arm behind his back, using the kick off the floor to provide the bounce needed to follow through with a kick off Killua’s hand.

At the time it provided enough of a boost, but he still needed the fling, the flair to land it correctly. He already performed the first half of a mid-air somersault, now all he needed was to use Killua’s arm to carry him the rest of the way.

Using the boy’s arm as trapeze, he flung himself the rest of the way, landing with a clap of his dress shoes. Sliding, one foot across, he held out his arm for applause. Unfortunately, at the time, he didn’t know what Killua’s next part of the plan was.

As he heard the room erupt in some whistles and cheering, he opted for some balance, stepping forward to grasp the boy’s left hand, as his right hand slid out of the boy’s hand gliding along Killua’s under-thigh, bodies’ mere inches away from each other.

Killua blushed as his thought remembered the next part of that night, using the blanket, he covered his face. He could remember every detail so vividly, how Daniel’s left hand guided him backwards, his right hand raising his leg at a perfect 90-degree angle, making sure to lean forward as he bent Killua backwards.

He remembered that trademark smile, the toothy grin being flashed mere inches from his face. How his heated cheeks felt the words being uttered to him. Nice job, Killua… He could feel the warmth of his breath, almost able to touch the boy’s lips from how close they were.

If Daniel had all his memories intact, would he have claimed his lips as his own during that second… kiss for what would feel like an eternity? What would have Killua done during that moment? Hopefully, his actions wouldn’t have been cliché, like in those terrible movies, the girl swinging her arms around her boyfriend’s neck, using it as a brace during their kiss.

Killua forced the thought away, filing that moment as spank bank material for later. He mainly wanted it for when he was alone in the shower. He has to have something to think about, as he beats his meat, he needs it like his life depended on the action.

Killua shuffled slightly, sighing at his lack of conviction to address the uncomfortable need to seek what he feared the most… awkward questions.

“Daniel, I-”

“Killua, I-”

The bed went silent before Killua found himself laughing, Daniel soon following suit. It was such a perfectly timed, cliché moment, the two somehow finding to courage to actually speak, at the same instance. Although, Killua was one second earlier, so it was more of an echoed delay from Daniel’s side, “You… you first…”

Daniel smiled slightly, turning in the bed so he can face Killua’s back. Whether the boy turned to face him would depend entirely on the boy. He did it so if the two can reach some kind of consensus, he could go ahead with his plan, “What I wanted to ask was some awkward questions… are you ok with that?”

“Shoot…”

“So, in terms of physicality… am I a... touchy person? Did I... you know... cuddle with you a lot?”

Killua shifted in the bed, coming face to face with Daniel. He wasn’t expecting that. He felt Daniel shift in the bed. But he hadn’t expected him to do a full one-eighty turn.

“I..” Killua fumbled, what exactly does he tell Daniel? Technically, it’s a yes. But the kind that Killua wants is a little touchier in private, and less in public. The occasional rope-around hug is nice, but Daniel is just terrible. Kissing, full on hugs like Gon, “I want to say… yes, but I have more um…”

“A request, I’m guessing…”

“Yeah! A request… Don’t get me wrong, I like it when you’re touchy. But I’d like you to be more involved in the… bedroom…”

“Uh…” Daniel’s eyes widened in shock, “We didn’t um… ah… go all the way… right?”

“No, your virginity is still intact.”

“Whew…”

“Can’t say the same for your mouth though…”

Daniel touched the side of his temples, rolling forwards and backwards, “Oh… my… GOD… I sucked a dick… and I don’t remember doing it…”

“It’s not the end of the world,” Killua chuckled at the reaction, bringing his hands up to touch the sides of Daniel’s hands. It was funny seeing the opposite reaction, the one flustered and caught off guard was Daniel in this case, “I enjoyed it… and so did you…”

“Oh, that makes it worse…”

“Worse…? How so…?”

“It was so… good; I forgot how good it was.”

Killua feint embarrassment, opting to turn away with crossed his arms. So much for thinking he’d get away without a compliment of some kind. Thinking that Daniel was going to ask another question, Killua thought of a cunning, wicket idea. Daniel doesn’t know the extent of their sexual relationship, and he hoped he could get away with his wonderful idea, “Oh, that’s not the only thing we did… You loved giving me full body massages. Actually, they felt so good… I kind of miss them.”

“Really, I thought you said you wanted me to be touchier…?”

“Well yeah, you give pretty good hand jobs. And you mouth techniques were well… desired to say in the lease.”

“Now you’re pulling my leg! You’re lying…”

“Not necessarily,” the boy faked innocence, smiling in a manner that would often steal Daniel’s breath away, “You also promised you’ll bottom for-”

“Ok, now that’s a lie! I would never…”

Losing his voice, Killua found himself smiling. Wait, you’re actually questioning your thoughts, thinking of a way, or a scenario in which you would bottom for me? Oh, this his gotta hear “Unless…?”

“…Over my dead body!”

Killua pouted, prodding Daniel’s cheek which only further annoyed the boy. Turning away, Killua felt his heart clench. Maybe he pushed a little too hard. “Sorry… It’s just…”

“Just…?” Daniel turned slightly, glancing in Killua’s direction, expecting an answer and reason as to why Killua wanted to so desperately, wants to top him.

“Well…” Killua blushed, unable to believe he was going to say this to someone who doesn’t even remember that night in the slightest, “You moan like a porn-star…”

“I DO NO such thing…”

“It was really erotic… I liked it…” Killua’s expression softened, only to falter once Daniel wasn’t responding at all. The boy wasn’t having any of that talk now, and he may have pushed him too far on the matter. “I’m sorry… but it’s how I feel…”

“I guess that means you want me to start kissing you…?”

“N- No… Not necessarily. It'll be weird. N- Not that I don't like kissing you. It'll seem, forced, without your memories...”

“So, getting a blow job is ok… just not a kiss?!”

“Huh?!” Killua cheeks reddened. Where the hell was Daniel getting these ideas from? He didn’t mean he wanted the boy to start now, just to think about it after he gets his memories back.

Only when he heard Daniel’s laughter once more, he finally realised that the boy had just pulled a fast one on him. So, for thinking, he’s gone too far. Daniel was thinking way ahead of him, planning his revenge while he thought Daniel was angry with him. “You’re cruel…”

“No- No… I just feel like… it’s not you. After all this time spent together, I feel like I understand you a little better. You’re playful in nature, but also kind… caring…”

Killua flipped over, turning away with flushed cheeks. Daniel was really terrible! He shouldn’t be allowed to say mushy things while his memories aren’t intact. But he can’t deny his feelings…

He was grateful that Daniel hasn’t changed at all in that compartment. Even when his memories are scattered, he still is the same person, the same kind, teasing, and gentle person. Although, he’s just a tad bit too laid back at the moment.

“You know… I still want to know if you’re the same kisser as you are in my memories. Well, the shadowy figure memories.”

“Huh?” Killua flipped over, unsurprised by Daniel’s lack of movement. While he may still be the same spot before he flipped over, his expression had changed. He looked conflicted… dejected by Killua’s lack of submission to the request, “why do you still want to test the theory out? It’s not like a kiss will job your thoughts of me back…”

“Maybe… acceptance…?” Daniel looked down for a moment, gathering his thoughts before looking up. Cupping the boy’s face, he scooted closer, lips brought closer to the boy’s, “I want to know if it would feel the same… even without the memories, my physical feelings are the same. My body feels like a puzzle piece is being slotted back into place… It’s starting to make sense…”

When Daniel attempted to lean forward, Killua looked away. From the corner of his eyes, he could see his actions had made Daniel feel like shit. But at the end of the day, he feels like any actions he does now, where he gives in to his wants and desires, is only going to corrupt Daniel’s true feelings later.

He feels like a small kiss now, followed by acceptance, might lead to Daniel feeling betrayed, when he gathers all his memories back. He didn’t want to use Daniel for his own selfish gains…

“I understand…” Daniel breathed in the boy’s neck, Killua shivering at the touch.

Even with that sound of rejection contained within the boy’s words, he didn’t want to have that feeling of betrayal, to feel his own ideas have been corrupted. “I’m sorry…”

Feeling an arm wrap around him, Killua bit his lips, fighting the want and desire to hold the boy’s hand. In the end, he gave up, entwining his fingers around Daniel’s. He could have sworn he felt the boy’s smile, but he was way too tired to objectively test that theory.

A tired sigh escaped the boy’s lips, “Night, Daniel…”

“Night, Killua…”

Feeling the boy snuggle closer, Killua could only smile at the response. As long as Daniel doesn’t do anything he’ll regret later, he’ll accept little changes. One, baby step, at a time…

“~”

I feel so cold, vulnerable… like darkness is seeping in my skin. I was sure I killed the creature, but now…

Now I’m not so sure…

I feel whispers underneath my skin, a calling for monstrous activities begging to be fulfilled. Once as I walked by Netero, I felt this overwhelming fear was over me, a cruel begging calling out to me, wishing for me to get as far away as possible from him.

But as quickly as it came, it disappeared. Not once have I ever feared that man. Sure, his unbelievably strong, but at the same time… he poses no threat to the other members of the Paladin Squad. He is not only our leader, but he is a damn fine one.

He wouldn’t put us in danger…

Would he…

Vastorie sighed at the journal entry, rubbing the bridge of his nose. The further he gets into it, it seems as though a dark entity is whispering in his ears, but the fact that none of the other members, including Netero hasn’t picked it up at this point, says that it isn’t an outward parasite, but something internal…

It’s strange to see his father being scared of anything, but at the same time, it could be a well thought out ruse, something his father could have constructed for him, to persuade him in the future.

But that was starting to seem like a stretch.

A knock at the door, made the man look up, marking the page before closing the journal. “Come in…” he addressed the voice cautiously, unsure of who would come to him this late in the night.

As the door opened, black hair peeks out from behind the door, eyes full of more questions than seething hatred like earlier.

Vastorie leaned back into the chair, an eyebrow raised and arms crossed, “What brings you here, Leorio? Come to get revenge for my son?”

Leorio ran one hand along the back of his neck, as the other probed his temples. While he so badly wanted to pummel the smug man into the ground, after thinking about it for so long, clearly he was no match for him. But the concerns Kurapika brought up earlier, brought him to this room, to seek out the older man. He wanted the truth, “You can speak to the dead, right?”

“If you want to make a request, I advise against it. Did you not hear Cheadle earlier…? I can speak to the dead… at the cost of their existence. How much does this person mean to you…? Your entire history with them…? Forget it!”

“Listen, I didn’t creep along these hallways to deal with your shit! I came here for two reasons, and one of them is to find out the truth. Can you… or can’t you?”

“If I prove it, will you leave me alone?”

“… Yes.”

Vastorie’s eyes closed slightly, glaring at the man before ripping a page out of his own journal, “Alright, give me a piece of your aura, and then describe how he looks like.”

“Huh, why my aura…?”

“Because ghosts latch onto the aura of whom they resonate with. I can see who they are, but unless I have something I can use to resonate with them, I might as well be screaming into a graveyard.”

“Do you accept them in knuckle sandwiches?”

“Do that, and I’ll give you jack shit!”

“Actually, you know what…” Leorio growled, his hands twitching with rage “you piss me off!” So for being a pacifist, “What the hell is wrong with you?! Killua is suffering… Daniel is pretending as though he never met Killua, and you’re here reading your father’s journal! Why don’t you help them?! Why-”

Standing up, Vastorie stood before Leorio, pushing him against the door, one hand mere inches from the side of the man’s head. He's lucky he could retain most of his rage. This was a damn touchy subject for him, something he wishes he could force far away into the back of his mind, “Listen here… for once! Don’t stick your nose in other people’s life. You may be a doctor, but what I’m going through… what my son is going through… Is nothing, you could imagine! You have no chance against him…”

“Then stop being secretive! Have you ever thought about… telling someone!”

“I’ll tell you what… tell me what you know about Daniel’s condition.”

“He has lost all his memories of Killua, why?”

“Alright, now think about it… how strong would one be, be able to force someone to forget about someone? Two years of friendship thrown down the drain in a matter of seconds.”

“You don’t know…? That your son loves Killua?”

“Exactly, my point… Two years of love and affection down the drain in a few seconds…”

“Huh?”

“You really are dense… aren’t you?!” Vastorie took his hand away, a tired sigh as he showed his back to Leorio, “Listen, the man who fucked up my son’s life, is none other than my father… the man Cheadle wants us to hunt.”

Leorio paused at the news, his eyes widening “What…”

“He was supposed to be dead, but my husband let him live a long time ago. Now he's back, ever since Netero died. And to top it all up, I royally fucked over my relationship with not only my husband but my son as well…” Clutching his face, he whispered barely audible to Leorio, “I told my husband, that I wished Daniel was never born… AND HE FUCKEN HEARD IT!”

“Then fucken apologise! You’re his father! Are you supposed to mediate the situation with your family!”

“Question,” Vastorie turned slightly in Leorio’s direction, “What’s more important… an apology, or your loved one’s lives… if you had to choose between apologising and risking your family’s life… would you rather they hate you for the rest of your life?”

Leorio clenched his fist. There must have been a better way. How the older man was dealing with his issues was wrong. There must be a different way, a better way to deal with the scenario.

Yet, Vastorie took his silence as an answer, “Please, leave me… I have better things to do. Like catching the man, whom would stop at nothing, to kill every member of my family…”

Fist shaking, Leorio opened the door, “You want my opinion, I would get on my knees and beg for forgiveness. And I would do my damn hardest to catch the man who fucked me over…”

“I envy your strength… But if you were in my position, you wouldn’t be saying that. Now, leave me be…”

Slamming the door behind him, Leorio left with a huff. No man could be that strong. But at least now, he has a better picture of the scenario. He knows what’s going on between Daniel and Killua, and he really hopes that boy can solve the predicament his in.

“~”

Bed sheets ruffled, a boy groaning, stirring at the noises surrounding him. He felt at peace, surprisingly well rested, even though he could vaguely remember from the night before he had been struggling to do so without the comforting warmth of another at his side.

Stirring slightly, he tried to get up, only to find the weight of something heavy resting over his side. Iason squinted slightly, blinking as he struggled to wake up. A dark shadow blocked his view, but considering he was still in the process of waking up, it might have been because the thing that’s stopping him from getting up was closer than he originally perceived.

Waking slowly, he started to make out the features. Slightly golden skin, a pointed nose with rounded chubby cheeks, moving slowly, up and down to a breathing tempo. His eyes widened slightly as he glanced up, the same spiky hair of the one he accidentally quoted as being cute out loud mere inches away.

Snapping wide, he freaked out. He was careful to not make any sudden moves, which may disturb Gon.

Reaching out from under the cover, he carefully moved the boy’s hand, sliding along his side which only caused him to have a tingly sensation, Goosebumps forming along the area where skin, met skin. Sakura is going to kill me! I’m going to kill me… I fucked up their relationship!

He carefully slid backwards, only to be met with another blockade, his hand touching and squeezing something both soft and hard, a twitch being returned from the gesture as he squeezed once more time. His blood went cold.

When he turned around, another boy was right behind him, and like Gon, he was snoring softly. Iason froze; his hand still curled around what he assumed was Sakura’s junk. He couldn’t move at all, more afraid of having Sakura wake with his hand fondling him.

Sakura’s hand curled unconsciously around Iason, touching the area in front, the space between himself and the other trap. It was searching for Gon, and when it found nothing but empty space, it pulled back a little, fingers instead curling around Iason’s own, snuggling a little closer after finding the warmth of another’s body from being so close. At that point, there was only one thing he could do; a scream of surprise was ripped right out of him, straight, from the pits of his stomach.

Chapter Text

Everyone moved to their own tune, Gon seeming apologetic, Sakura trying to tame his bed hair, including that one strand that had a mind of its own this morning. It just refused to go down.

Even though Iason would dare to call it cute, he can't... Not after where his hand had been this morning.

Prodding his now soggy cereal, the boy sighed once more. He couldn't help those thoughts from flowing freely. He felt guilty like he ruined Sakura and Gon's relationship. Not because he accidentally fondled the former in the morning, BY ACCIDENT… 

He felt guilty because he was in the middle of them. He was physically splitting the two apart. Although going by Gon's apologetic gaze, it probably was the boy’s fault.

Yet, amongst all the feelings roaming internally, Iason couldn't decipher why Gon had done it. What could the boy have to gain by placing Iason between them? 

“Aren't you going to eat…?”

Iason stilled his movements, looking up to meet the boy's gaze. Even when his sorry, his smile was always like a sun, burning bright… way too bright, “I… I want to understand why I was between you two…”

Sakura stopped his hair adjustments, looking up to Gon. He expected his boyfriend to give a proper explanation, just like he promised last night. 

“Iason… You weren't sleeping for days. I, no-” Gon shook his head, thinking less about his own feelings, and more on a whole, as he should be. Sakura and himself were both worried about Iason. Except, how Gon chose to deal with the situation, was pretty selfish. Sakura said he should just talk to the boy, to appeal to the boy’s reason, not walk out naked and hug him to sleep like Gon had done, “we were really worried for you. Leorio did mention about you being needed to be coddled.”

The spoon snapped in Iason's fingers, mouth twitching slightly. That… Conniving old man! “Well, I would have fallen asleep… eventually…”

Sakura curled his hands out, wrapping them around the boy's, the sudden touch shocked Iason, the boy dropping the broken spoon in the process, but it didn't stop Sakura from continuing, “You should open up a little… Let us help you where we can. Gon feels frustrated. We both do…”

The boy removed his hand, offering an apologetic gaze in return.

Gon stepped forward, pulling all three hands together, trapping Iason’s within Sakura's, and his boyfriend’s within his own,  “Please give us a chance, we can come to work out something. Sakura and I don't mind sharing you.”

“That's beside-” stopping his thoughts, the boy realised there was something wrong with Gon's last statement. Maybe he was just miss-hearing things. “Hold on... Back-up… What did you last say?”

“Please give us a chance, we can come to work out a deal?”

“After that...”

“Sakura and I don't mind sharing you?”

“I was under the impression, you two were... together.”

Gon nodded a firmly while squeezing Sakura's hands gently. There was no denying the boy did love him. When their eyes met, the softest smile makes Sakura turn away, blushing at the attention he was now receiving.

“I... I don't understand...”

Sakura squeezed Iason's hands, getting the boy's slightly confused attention, “Gon is… or should I say, he can be attracted to multiple people at the same time. Polyamorous, if you will…”

“Oh…” Iason froze, like reality came out of nowhere, and bitch-slapped him six ways to Sunday. 

“It's something I've learned to accept.” The boy’s features softened, “Gon spoke to me while you were in the bathroom, and we've both come to an agreement. We don't mind having you sleep with us, in a non-invasive manner. If you need the comfort of another by your side, we’re happy to allow you space.”

“Uhh…” Iason awkwardly looked away. What was going on? Did he enter some twilight zone? Was he still dreaming…? The hands surrounding his own said otherwise, they were warm and felt very real. He can’t deny he doesn’t feel awkward and caught off guard in this situation.

“In fact, it's one of the best nights we've ever had together.” Gon argued adamantly, “I woke up feeling like I could take on the world!”

For a split second, Iason could’ve sworn Gon’s aura roared to life, powerful in nature, before seemingly dissipating, disappearing as quickly as it came. It glowed like his smile, a bright orange hue like the sun. He thought Gon couldn’t use Nen anymore, but seeing as Gon hadn’t reacted to it, maybe it was a trick, an Illusion of some sort.

Sakura elbowed the boy, but that hadn’t stopped Gon from smiling playfully, “What, you admitted it too… you said you-”

“Shush, you… playful sweet hill giant! Not all of us like to admit our feelings! You would agree with me, right Iason…?”

Iason now really looked away, really hoping neither of them could see the faint blush. Between Gon’s admittance to wanting to spend more nights with him, and Sakura’s attempt at brushing his feelings under the blanket, he was struggling to remain sain.

Gon is sweet, kind and caring, and in a hundred years, Iason would NEVER admit that out loud. And to make matters worse, both Gon and Sakura were arguing, with opening up to bed to him. Maybe even the possibility of a shared relationship between the three of them. They wanted Iason to sleep with them, and while he's known about his ability for a long time, he feels slightly used… in a good way.

To make matters worse, he still remembers what touching Gon’s naked body felt like… as well as grabbing a certain member’s junk, still haunts him. His body betrayed his thoughts; Iason squirmed at the blood rushing to his lower region. Fuck… He still had to say something, but how can he, now that his brain was fantasying about the both of them thanks to their admittance of Gon being Polyamorous, and Sakura doesn’t mind sharing.

Taking a deep breath, the boy turned to face the other two, “Alright... I’ll agree to sleep with you two. But before doing so, first, I don’t want to sleep in the middle again. I don’t… or more like I feel like I’m overstepping your relationship. Second,” Iason stopped Gon from saying anything, clearly, the boy was about to object, possibly about to admit neither of them minded opening their relationship up for him to join. But his body was in a weird situation right now, “I might as well explain… my Nen ability. I don’t have a name… but it has healing properties. Leorio said the same thing… that he wakes up feeling refreshed like he hadn’t been tired the day before… sometimes even week…”

Gon smiled brightly at the news, “Oh, that reminds me of Bisky’s ability. Although, she summoned a Nen figure called Cookie-Chan. Cookie-Chan healed all our aches and pains after every training session so Killua, Daniel and myself can continue to train non-stop.”

Looking at Gon, Sakura turned to smile in the other’s direction, “If you don’t have a name… we could offer you one.”

“YEAH!” Gon’s smile brightened, turning to Iason to offer a name, “Hmm… how about the Dreaming Teddy Bear!”

“N- NO!” Iason ripped his hands out from Sakura’s grasp, shaking that option away as quickly as it came. It’s bad enough Leorio has said something similar, that Iason’s sleeping body reminds him of a snuggling teddy bear. He isn’t about to name his ability, just because someone wants to name it, “I rather not…”

Sakura held a finger to his cheek, Iason now forced to look away, from the now adorable looking boy who wanted to get involved, “How about… the Restless Sleeping Prince, not in a cutesy way. I mean the kind that’s strong… that wants to save the people of his kingdom. The ability kind of feels like you would want to be that type of person… to save the ones you care about…”

“Yeah,” Gon squeezed his boyfriend’s hands, the radiant smile catching Iason’s heart off guard, “risking your health, to stay awake until you know someone is safely in your arms is very thoughtful of you.”

Iason may have subconsciously fallen for Sakura and Gon, but he refuses to give in to those feelings. He barely knows them… and the same rule applies to him. How could he fall for them, when he's hiding so much from them.

Iason reached out, touching Gon’s hand, before feeling comfortable enough to grasp the two’s within his hands, “Thank you… Leorio said I should trust you because you are nice…” But it still doesn’t mean I’m not gonna kill him for flat out mentioning I like to be coddled.

Gon pulled out his hands to squeeze Iason’s, taking them within his hands, “And I promise not only your brother but you… that I will protect and help you in whatever way I can. If there’s anything you need, please… just ask us.”

Iason felt himself helpless falling for the boy’s charm, “I promise…”

“~”

Killua stirred, the bed sheets shifting slightly as his senses recognised the warmth of another in his bed. How long has it been since he woke with another’s arm around him? A week…? A month…?

It’s felt like years, and what happened last night, he felt like it was a dream. Even Daniel’s confession that night felt like a dream bending through reality.

He couldn’t believe his ears, the way Daniel articulated his feelings, without realising those were a part of his memories. The first step has been made, now it’s drawing out Zaikaria, to put Daniel’s fake capture in motion.

It’s currently the best, and the only plan they’ve got. And considering the circumstances, it’s better if they obtain Daniel’s memories as soon as possible. Victor was still out there, somewhere in this world, ready to make a move.

He followed them all the way to Daniel’s home. Now that he thinks about it, while they were at the café, Daniel seemed freaked out a little, perhaps due to the man. Did that mean they led him all the way home…?

He shook the thoughts and fears away, keeping grounded in reality and the issues they were currently dealing with. They couldn’t change the past, but if by digging up Daniel’s memories, they could bring to light Victor’s features, maybe they could find a way to avoid him, maybe even track him down at a later date.

Once the other nine names on the list were tracked down, Victor will be the last one… the one they’ll confront at the very end. He’ll be a tough opponent, but by the time they meet him, he was sure the both of them combined could beat him into submission.

Killua’s eyes widened slightly, Daniel moving to rest his head closer to Killua, his body flush against the boy. He felt unusually hot, his cheeks flushed as desires came to the forefront. He was lucky he was wearing clothes because he couldn’t handle what Daniel was doing, the boy’s hand moving slowly down his side, stopping just at the hip.

Then there was the fact that Daniel was pressing up against his backside, Daniel’s something poking him a little above the cheeks, barely prodding his buttocks. Too bad he couldn’t do anything about it. He’ll feel like he’s using Daniel, which isn’t something on his to-do list right now.

It didn’t help that his memories of last night were being drudged up. Killua moved Daniel’s hand, scooting away from the boy as he was careful to not wake him in the process.

Grabbing a towel and a change of clothes, he headed to the shower. No one was awake, this was the first time that he has ever woken before anyone else.

He turned the dials to the hottest he could handle, the heat fogging up the room as he entered the shower. It burned a little as he entered, but soon his skin adjusted, the skin flushing red as he sighed in content. The heat masked his feelings, as the boy’s mind shifting to his thoughts last night.

He felt himself harden from the thoughts, but rather than dealing with it now, his hands instead grabbed the shampoo, squirting some into his hands as he leaned his head back, the pitter patter of water cascading down his face.

He sighed in content, leaning back forward so he could work the shampoo in his hair without the water running it out. It wasn’t long before his mind got tainted, his thoughts running freely. He still remembers the first time he's done this.

Back then, it was originally Gon and Daniel fighting over him for his affections. He still remembers the disgust, the distress during his climax. Now all he feels is disgust because the only person he could focus on right now was the one whom barely remembers him.

Killua let out an irritated click of his tongue, letting one hand fall downward, hand curling and grazing along his skin. It felt nice, but god damn it, his mind wouldn’t stop thinking about how great it would be to have Daniel’s hands on him instead.

That’s gonna be a mental note for later, to have shower sex, minus the fucking. Actually, now that he thinks about it, his still remembers all the details, imagining all the nasty things he wanted to do with Daniel. Before the boy lost his thoughts, was Daniel the same?

Sure, he admitted he wanted to do sexual things with Killua when they were escaping the butlers, but apart from them, he hadn’t really brought it up. Then again… his memories were removed a few days right after their first time.

Killua grasped his member soon after, dragging it along the skin as he moaned at the sensation. It felt so good… yet so wrong at the same time, his memories of his first with Daniel being dug up during the sensation.

It didn’t help that the water running along his skin brought about those memories of Daniel’s lips around his, lips running along it just like his hand was doing right now.

Killua’s eyes widened, removing his hand as quickly as he touched himself. It was as if his own member had burned his hand at the hot sensual memories. He bit his lips in disgust, instead, opting to stare at the tiles. He was afraid to look down, scared of seeing his bloated member begging to be touched once more.

He worked the shampoo through his hair, uncaring that one of the hands was just tugging a certain something earlier. He was forced to bite his lip when he remembered he still needed to wash the rest of his body, including the tainted thought inducing member down below.

Turning off the water, Killua sighed in frustration as he squirted some soap into his hands. Biting his lips, he forced his hands to roam his body, letting the thoughts of his dance with Daniel last night being the material to get himself off.

I’m sorry for using you like this Daniel…

Closing his eyes one more, Killua let his thoughts overtake his mind, his hand once more, drawing himself to that sweet feeling of release.

“~”

Killua shifted along the streets, browsing for the things Daniel had asked of him. Both Alluka and Daniel were still out cold by the time he was done… entertaining his cognition, leaving the boy bored, as well as satisfied.

He couldn’t deny he felt guilty… a little, but at the same time, it was worth it at that moment.

Drawing his fingers to some rope, Killua bit his lips, a mild amusement spread across his features, highlighting the fact he may be having some disturbing thoughts.

Actually, he wondered if Daniel would let him tie him up, to see if it would be a turn on for the both of them. Maybe not so much himself, but for Daniel, it would be an interesting turn of events.

“What was it you needed again…?” A burner phone, a mask, some rope, and voice modifier… At least now he could strike the rope off his list. And as for the voice modifier, if he can’t find one in a novelty shop nearby, he can buy a phone and download an app that does it. Actually, he could probably get a mask as well from the novelty shop. Something he could use to terrify Daniel’s sister.

He’ll have to make it as real as possible, to really draw out the overprotective sister. So, some fake blood and a novelty knife would be needed as well. When Killua was about to reach for the rope, he stopped in his tracks.

There it was again, watchful eyes glued to him like a hawk. This had to be no coincidence. Had they followed him throughout the night? Why didn’t they follow them up to their room? Or had they…?

The boy shifted his attention, casually looking around, pretending as though he was trying to find something else. The streets were bustling with people, and no one was acting as though they were interested in him.

Was it a tracker, someone after him specifically out of revenge for his past actions?

The boy shook his head at the idea, that someone was out to kill him in broad daylight, but if they were, they were doing a sloppy job. He could be sensed, just not located.

Taking a deep breath, Killua picked up the rope, heading to the cashier to pay for the item. I have to act cool, draw them out. If he disappears, putting Daniel and Alluka in jeopardy is the last thing I want…

After paying for the item, Killua joined the crowd, searching for a novelty shop.

“~”

The boy yawned, arm reaching out to expect someone in bed with him. What he found was an empty bed, his hand slapping at the sheets as if he could magically conjure up a figure in the process.

Daniel’s smile was lost as he yawned once more, stretching his arms as he forced himself to get up. Killua had risen earlier, and when he looked over to the clock, he expected it to be early in the morning. What he found instead was the time said 10:09, he, was the one that had slept in pretty late.

The boy rubbed at the tiredness in his eyes, mind refreshing the discussion from last night. It was strange having heard that his mouth was on Killua’s… well… little Killua. Why were certain memories completely wiped, while other’s remained, without the full context?

Was it possible, that whatever the attacker that attempted to purge his memories failed somehow? Was it actually possible, that during the attack, he somehow was able to wake up just in time before he lost everything…?

Daniel’s head panned to the closed door, the quiet sounds of the TV outside were barely heard. Was that Killua or Alluka? Removing the blanked, he got out of bed, walking over to the door.

Cracking it, he peaked out of the corner, a black mop of hair being seen from his position. That’s definitely not Killua… With a smile, he opened the door, “Hey, Alluka!”

The girl looked startled for a moment, Daniel’s entrance surprising her, “Oh, is Big Brother not with you…?”

“Nope,” Daniel threw himself over the armrest, landing in the seat beside Alluka. With a smile, he roped his arm around Alluka’s shoulder, pulling her in a little closer, “what are you watching?”

“Cartoons…” Alluka smiled, snuggling close to Daniel.

The boy didn’t reject the girl’s comfortableness, revelling in the girl’s desire to be near him. He continued to watch the show, unsure when the girl would speak to him.

“How are you with big brother?”

“I can’t really say… Sometimes I do get these warm and fuzzy… I guess feelings around him, but I don’t remember a moment when I was with him. It’s weird…”

“Well…” Alluka paused, wondering if it was ok to even say this without Killua around. Would her brother stop her from voicing her concerns and opinions, or let her continue, “When I met you for the first time, I didn’t like you…”

“Oh…?” Daniel hummed, eyes glued to the cartoon. He had no idea what was going on, but one thing he did know, was he didn’t remember this instance either. He cannot remember Alluka getting upset with him.

“Yeah… I was… jealous at how close you two were. I even thought about splitting you two up.”

Daniel looked at Alluka, surprised to hear about this. Both from the fact he has no recollection of this moment, but from what had transpired these last few weeks, she was doing the complete opposite. She was trying to get them to spend more time together, “Huh…?”

“But the more time I got to spend with you, your family… I could see how, or more importantly, that you pulled him in… None of us had the family bond you two had together, besides Killua and myself… That was why I was jealous…”

“And now…?”

“I want everything to go back to the way it was. Killua smiled a lot with you around.”

“Really…?”

“He’ll never admit it though…”

“Strange, because during our dance, he admitted some things…”

“He DID?”

“He has this kindness, I… love I guess…” Daniel tried his best to replicate Killua’s voice, but he felt like he failed. But the specific sentence he used was when Killua was talking about his complicated relationship, his supposed partner, which ultimate was about him.

Alluka didn’t seem to think so, she giggled at the boy’s words, smiling at the situation, “I love when big brother speaks about his feelings. He really misses you… He… he has felt so frustrated at himself for being unable to help return your memories. Looking back on it, even with Gon, I feel like he felt the same.”

“What I don’t get…” Daniel looked at Alluka, “why doesn’t he make a wish with you, to get my memories back…”

“He…” Alluka paused, looking down at her feet. Killua had admitted why to her “Because… he doesn’t want to use her for his own selfish needs, again. He wants to help you in my own way…

“I thought so… Last night, I feel like he was holding back for his own sake. I tried to kiss him…”

Alluka mouthed a big ‘o’, surprised by Daniel’s forwardness for something that Killua would have probably wanted to remain a secret, “but he rejected it. I was hurt, but at the same time, I feel like Killua did it for my sake…”

The words made Alluka squeal in delight, Daniel taking his arms off the younger girl’s shoulders, “Although, if you want my opinion, JUST don’t tell Killua. Even without my memories… I could see why I would like him…”

The words made Alluka smile. Daniel admitted, even without the memories of the almost two years spent together, he could see why he was attracted to her brother. He could see a reason as to why he would love him. She pointed a finger behind her at the fridge, “Oh, I think Killua made breakfast before going out. There are pancakes in the fridge. I took some, but there’s still some more left.”

With a smile, Daniel got up, “Yey, I’m gonna try some of Killua’s pancakes!”

“~”

The boy stopped, his hand inches away from a voice modifier. He felt it, the same pair of eyes watching him once more. Whoever this person was that was following him, was not only really bad at tracking from the shadows, but he was also really damn lucky.

He was lucky there were so many people around.

If they won’t come out, it was time for plan B. His going knock that fucker out, then find out what he knows.

Grabbing the voice modifier, he looked around the mask section, grabbing the first one he could lay his hands on. Walking between the aisles, the boy made sure to grab some fake blood and a flimsy knife. It looked fake as fuck, but hopefully combined with the fake blood, it would be more than enough to convince the boy’s sister that the threat was real.

Making the purchase, he left, joining the large traffic of people. He could feel the eyes still watching him, the presence always at the same distance; never too close, and never that far away…

Turning a corner, the boy entered a side-alleyway, moving ever so slowly through the empty cobblestone pathway. As he turned another corner, he barely caught the feeling of a pair of eyes watching his latest move.

Taking another step forward, he leaned against the wall. Now all that was left was the person forced to catch up.

Killua offered a smile, to the first person to walk around the corner, “Hi!” It was so strange, seeing a startled teen older than him beginning to freak out after having his stalking been discovered.

He had gold eyes and blond hair, features that looked so similar, yet at the same time, so different. He could’ve sworn his seen this person before, this teen, possible even an adult.

“Shit…”

Not even waiting for a second, Killua slammed his fist into the person’s face knocking them out cold. A single thud was the only noise from this scuffle, and it might be the last sound the older boy will ever make.

Letting out a long exaggerated sigh, Killua picked up the guy, slinging him over his shoulder, “Sorry, but I’m not letting you go until I know why you were following us…”

Chapter Text

Killua may have gotten some looks when he entered his room, but that was nothing when compared to what he had received on the way up to his room. After all, he did have the stalker slung over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes.

Upon entering the room, there was a brief pause, the boy pulling out a chair to sit the older teen down.

“So, I guess this is your way of saying I’ve replaced you…”

Killua rolled his eyes before addressing his boyfriend, arms crossed as he spoke, “No. I caught him trying to follow me… he may be the same one who was following us last night. Are you good with typing knots?”

“Sure…”

“Can you tie him up? But make sure you reinforce the rope with Shu, while you’re at it. I know you’re better at reinforcing objects with aura, especially when it comes to distance. This guy can use Nen.”

Daniel nodded, grabbing the rope his partner handed to him. As he went to work, Killua’s gaze now met his confused sister. With a smile he leaned down, a hand resting against his little sister’s shoulder. He didn’t feel comfortable having her in the room, just in case, the stalker tries to use her during a hostage situation. That’s the last thing he needed right now, “Can you wait in your room, we’re just going to… talk to this guy.”

With a nod, the girl left, leaving Killua, Daniel, and the unnamed stalker in the living room. Looking towards his boyfriend without memories, the two nodded, “I’m going to wake him up.”

Killua took a step forward, filling his hand with electricity, sparks flinging off his fingertips. With a smile, the boy poked the older teen, the sudden shock jolting the teen wide awake.

“Ah, fuck! What the fu-” frozen in his tracks, he looked up, noticing two boys hovering over him, fear now settling in the pits of his stomach. It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. He wasn’t supposed to be captured by the younger teen, much less be brought in front of Daniel.

But now that he’s looking up, it seems none of them has recognised him after so long. He still had a chance to escape before either of them would recognise him, “what are you going to do with me?” he struggled against the rope, hoping to break his binds before his discovery.

“I want some answers; I know you’re the same one that was stalking us last night. What do you want with us…?”

He bit his lip at the request, Daniel now stepping in to take over the interrogation, “You can stop struggling with your binds. I’ve reinforced them with Shu, but… I’m sure I’ve seen you before…” the boy’s gaze pierced the older teen, trying to figure out where he saw him from.

There was a visible flinch, Killua taking note of how the man seemed more on edge now.

“Ah, now I recognise you. You’re from the ballroom dance last night…”

“Sure, I am… I…” think of something reasonable, something they’ll accept… “I noticed how good of a dancer you were. I was going to ask you out because you hadn’t signed up with an original dance partner. But then Mr Snowball over here danced with you, and the two of you dominated the show. I was pissed… because I wanted to win… but at the same time, after seeing you two dancing, I still wanted to approach you even more. You two didn’t look like you know each other, which I’m hoping…”

Killua’s eyes narrowed, there’s something weird going on here. He can’t quite place it. Even Daniel seemed to notice something was going on. Not only that, it still doesn’t explain why as a normal person, he couldn’t ‘A’ approach them, and ‘B’ why did he stalk only him then…?

There was a pause before Daniel decided to speak, “I’m flattered, and all… but Killua and I are together.”

“You could’ve fooled me…”

Killua’s eye twitched, the words somehow affecting him more than they should have. There was something really wrong with the guy, and he couldn’t quite place it. The boy rubbed his chin, thinking over the night. He remembered Daniel signing a form, but names weren’t announced throughout the night. There were only numbers, and Daniel was one-hundred and twelve last night.

Since he couldn’t place the number on this guy, was it possible, that this guy was one swirling his drink last night? If so, was he really there for the dance, or was he there for them?

“Killua…?” The boy paused, looking behind him. Why did Alluka just enter the room, “Ah, what’s going on?” The boy crossed the room, Daniel never taking his eyes off Killua’s stalker just in case he made a move on his partner’s sister.

Just as Alluka was about to answer her brother, the hostage spoke, “who's the boy?”

Killua froze, his blood boiling at the words. His voice was cold, dark, brooding, “What did you say…?”

As he turned, he let out his hostile intent, Daniel immediately holding out a hand to stop Killua, “Wait!” Killua paused, not expecting his partner to yell at him to stop. His gaze never met him, eyes focused only on the guy in the seat, “Now I know who this asshole is!” slamming both hands on the older teens, the boy leaned forward, making sure to crush the hand he knew was a prosthetic arm, “It’s been a long time… except for last time, I remember someone threatening you… a boy-”

Daniel paused, looking up towards Killua, “you were there at Heavens Arena with Gon and I, correct?”

“Huh? Yeah, why…?”

“Good,” Daniel looked back at the hostage, “a young kid by the name of Killua threatened you, Yanick…”

Both Killua and Yanick’s eyes widened in surprise; they weren’t expecting Daniel to say that at all. Daniel paused, allowing both boys to soak in the information before continuing. Between Yanick’s treatment of Alluka, and the fact Killua now knows this teen has gone against his demands to never seek out Daniel, he needed to deter the boy’s bubbling rage, “I thought I recognised you. As soon as you spoke about Alluka, Killua’s little sister I finally pieced everything together.”

“Little sister…? Clearly, that’s a boy cross-dressing. Those are the chubby cheeks of a young boy.”

Alluka’s eyes watered, Killua now forced to confront his sister, “Alluka, listen to me. Don’t listen to that guy! He is a deluded-”

“Asshole!” Daniel finished the statement for his partner, pressing his hand down with enough force to snap the wires contained within Yanick’s prosthetic arm.

“Daniel-”

“No, listen here you piece of worthless shit! There is a reason I don’t like you at all, why I never wanted to date you! You see, you’re so stuck in your ways, you’ll never think about how others feel. Daniel wants this… Daniel wants that…”

The boy stood up, turning his back on the teen, “Did you ever think to ask me what I really wanted? No… you didn’t. Do you know why I refer to Alluka as Killua’s sister, because Killua addressed her as his sister, and she has never once corrected him!”

Killua looked downward at his sister, noticing the small visible smile. It was weak, but, the way his boyfriend spoke about her was through Daniel’s own perception, accepting her not just because he said it so, but because Alluka feels that way. The boy took his sister in his arms, feeling his sister’s grip his shirt, tugging at the fabric.

She was happy to have not only an accepting brother, but his partner was alsooo accepting as well, willing to defend her tooth and nail.

“So, saying it doesn’t make it true!”

Killua stood up, preparing to kill the man, but the moment he had done so, Yanick had broken out of his bindings thanks to Daniel’s last move. He was expecting to save his partner, but the boy had already turned, grabbing the older teen’s arms, twisting them so his back was turned to them.

Placing one hand on the guy’s back, Daniel pushed him against the floor, holding the teen down as though it was a normal feat. It’s been a year and a half since the two fought since Daniel lost…

But now the tables have turned. The boy had improved over time, amassing more strength over the last year. The act made Killua smile briefly, his arms now wrapping around Alluka, pulling her in once more. He could still hear her quiet sobs, the sounds tugging at his heartstrings.

If he were in Daniel’s place, he would’ve snapped the older guy’s neck within a heartbeat.

Daniel, however, had different ideas, wishing to inform Yanick of their differences in personality, “There, exactly, is your problem! I grew up with two dads, both of whom were accepting.” The boy’s eyes watered as he remembered what had transpired, how Vastorie had argued with Nathaniel, saying how much he was unwanted. Closing his eyes, the boy took a deep breath, calming his nerves.

He has been through so much, these past few weeks, reaching a conclusion he wasn’t expecting to do, at all. He never thought he’d defend someone he has no memories of, but here he is, his heart beating at an unusual rhythm as if expecting him to understand why it was doing so, “Your problem is you only think about how you perceive the situation. I despise you because you’re not willing to accept others. You’re just trying to please yourself. You say you’re attracted to me, even though, Vastorie told me all your past partners were girls!”

Eyes narrowed, wondering what he should say… what he should ask. The boy follows his own set of rules, much to other’s happiness, like asking him out without any regard to his own desires, “which begs the question. Are you attracted to me because I look like a girl, which makes you a hypocrite… or are you attracted to me, because how I act…?”

“How you act…” Yanick spoke softly, hoping the boy above him accepted those words; instead, he felt guilty at Daniel’s words, the words cutting into him like a blunt razor, “I don’t believe you! I don’t believe for a second, that you really like me for who I am! Even though I’ve lost my memories of Killua, I’d rather date him, than you… how he treats his sister, shows his compassionate enough to except people. He’s…”

Killua turned to face Daniel, even though the boy had lost his memories, his willingness to put both Alluka and himself on a pedestal. For the briefest of moments, he had fallen a little more for Daniel.

The older teen grits his teeth, hating every word being uttered by Daniel, his aura flaring up as he directed it to Killua, “You’re the bastard who changed him! It’s entirely your fault his like this!”

Killua flinched at the words, because true to a sense, if he had woken up during Victor’s attack, he could have stopped Daniel from losing all his memories, but he’d like to see Yanick do better, to chase the man down and beat him up. Killua stood a chance and he didn’t…

Yet, at the same time, Yanick was also wrong. Daniel is only caring about him, because of how he acts with his sister. They both have a sort of maternal instinct, to care about the ones closest to them. Daniel is starting to redevelop it, because of his attraction to him and his kindness.

“He’s kinder than you’ll ever be, Yanick…” Daniel brought his fist up, intending to slam it back down on the teen beneath his feet; instead, he gave him an opportunity to escape.

Yanick slipped out of the binding, uncaring of the broken prosthetic thanks to Daniel’s vice-like grip. He fuelled aura into his fist, Killua pulling himself as well as Alluka from the immediate danger.

Daniel shifted his spot, his speed able to outmatch Yanick’s, coming between both parties. He slid his hand out, redirecting the punch before following it with a kick, kneeing the boy in the ribs. Caught off guard by the attack, Daniel followed the attack, slamming his palm into the boy’s jaw and then proceeded to punch him once more in the face.

Yanick slid across the floor, his eyes shaking. This is the first time he has ever been beaten by Daniel. When did he get this strong…? What has he been doing this past year and a half?

The teen grit his teeth, “This is wrong… I care about you, therefore you should too…”

“It doesn’t work like that! Killua cares about me, because of his own selfish desires, but unlike you, he doesn’t want me to like him back just because he likes me. He’d rather wait on me to get my memories back before I make a decision on whether or not, I continue to want to be with him…”

“So what, it’s not like you liked him from the start…It was him that called you his boyfriend!”

Killua’s cheeks flushed red. He remembered that Freudian slip, the accident which is now a reality. Well, hopefully soon to be a reality once more…

“Yeah, well, people’s feelings change over time. We’re on a mutual ground, which you seem to be pissing on and calling it your territory like a dog!”

“I…” Yanick flipped out, clenching his fists in a rage, “I want you because it’s you…”

As he took a step forward, Killua grit his teeth, preparing to get up and defend not only himself but Daniel as well on the matter. But Daniel stopped him, already making a move for the both of them.

He lunged forward, swinging with enough force to knock anyone out, “I’ll love who I want to love!”

Killua let go of Alluka, stepping between both boys, grabbing Yanick by both hands to pull him backwards, right out of Daniel’s attacking range. There was a rip of wind, Yanick shaking at the possibility he could have been killed on the spot, and that Killua had saved him.

Daniel was about to argue, but Killua’s voice was stern, “Daniel, stop… You’re going to make a mistake you’ll regret.”

“I was only going to knock him out…”

“Well, you failed to notice he no longer had his defence up… He could’ve died.” Daniel froze at the news, Killua now turning to deal with the older teen in his grasp, “If Daniel killed you; you would’ve triggered his biggest fear… Killing someone…”

“I… I didn’t know…”

“Of course you wouldn’t.” Killua turned his gaze back to Daniel, seeing the boy still shivering at the confession, “Well I do… And I do… care about him,” the boy shifted his posture, cheeks burning at his own confession, but if he didn’t say something now, both were going to make a mistake, and he didn’t want Alluka to be mixed up in this mess any longer. She had her own feelings which needed to be comforted with, “Yanick, give… up! Daniel has made his decision, so accept it and move on!”

“I…”

Killua leaned forward, whispering the next part into the teen’s ears, “IF you ever come near Daniel again, I’ll make sure your body is never found… I want him to remain as the same person his always been, so if his memories return and he doesn’t want to be around me anymore, then I’ll leave him alone, unlike you… NOW, LEAVE…”

Killua shoved him forward, the teen stopping once more when near Daniel, “When Killua gets tired of you, don’t come running to me…”

He left the room, slamming the door on the way out. Daniel dropped in a slump, Killua now forced to deal with another issue. While he wanted to go to help out Alluka first, he knew his sister was stronger than Daniel when it came to dealing with feelings.

Dropping to the boy’s side, Killua held his hand, letting him know there was someone here for him if he ever needed it.

Daniel’s heart hammered in his chest, unknown feelings reverberant from somewhere deep within. Even if he were to deny it now, deep down, he felt like he had just confessed to Killua, his body wanting- NO, needing him to remember who Killua was to him.

One hand clasped over his chest, Daniel found himself smiling before looking over his shoulder to Alluka, his lips slowly widening as the seconds passed, “I know, I sort of promised-”

“Thank you…” Killua interrupted the boy, his grip tightening around Daniel’s, “thank you so much for defending Alluka… this means a lot to her.” And to me… even hearing your confession to Yanick about me, made me happy, Killua thought. He really hoped that Daniel doesn’t suddenly redevelop the ability to read his mind, to know what his feeling within that exact moment.

Letting go of the boy’s hands, Killua stepped away. He didn’t want to damage Daniel’s feelings, to affect him any longer than needed. Daniel needed to make the judgment with a sound mind, even when he hated the possibility of Daniel letting him go.

Killua managed a few steps forward before Daniel spoke, “I know I said I won’t be biased, but…”

The boy stopped, really hoping that he hadn’t really altered Daniel too much, but what he felt was Daniel’s hand touch his shoulder, being forced to look in the boy’s direction.

“Well,” Daniel crossed the distance, standing before Killua. The boy leaning forward. Lips locked together, the act surprising both Daniel and Killua. To Daniel, his body felt like there was absolutely nothing wrong with the act, his hands reaching forward to wrap around Killua, smiling from just a simple kiss. Even if his mind denied it, his body, really belonged to Killua.

Killua, on the other hand, felt a sense of fear wash over him. He felt like he had made the biggest mistake of his life. This could come back to bite him in the future. The boy could see it as him taking advantage of him…

What if he does see it that way? Even though it was a quick kiss…

“I wouldn’t mind doing that again…” Daniel hummed out loud, smiling to himself at how wonderful it felt, internally.

Killua felt himself blush, the apparent desire showing a little too easily. It seemed like both of them desired more, even if deep down, Killua hated himself not pulling away just as their lips touched. On the other hand, a small aspect of him craved, even more, almost demanding him to pull Daniel in for a second time after the boy’s confession.

Cheeks flushed at the idea, the boy watching Daniel stand, equally embarrassed for his thoughts of wanting more.

The two were quiet, looking into each other’s eyes as they let themselves soak in each of their own feelings, waiting for the other to speak.

It felt like an eternity before Daniel spoke, “You know how I promised to not be biased. I don’t think I can… Killua, if I listened to my own words with Yanick, I’d realise something… You see, you’re so stuck in your ways, you’ll never think about how others feel… or…”

Daniel shifted his gaze, looking into the boy’s eyes for any doubt about the situation, he saw some, but for some reason, his body felt as though that doubt wasn’t because of the words, but his earlier lack of action, “Killua cares about me, because of his own selfish desires, but unlike you, he doesn’t want me to like him back just because he likes me. He’d rather wait on me to get my memories back before I make a decision on whether or not, I continue to want to be with him… I’ve been thinking about myself the whole time, whereas you’ve been thinking about how to not step on my feet. I’ve should have seen it sooner. The signs were there… I just wasn’t addressing or even thinking about them; that all changes now!”

Daniel held out a hand, touching Killua’s cheek. Killua, in turn, raised his own hand, touching Daniel’s, but he didn’t remove it, which meant to Daniel, that the boy still wants to be with him, “I don’t want you to wait for a second longer… We’re hunting down my sister, and getting back my memories! There’s no doubt in my mind- Err body, that you mean more to me. I want to understand why my body reacts to those feelings, but my mind is unable to fill in the blanks…”

Killua felt his mouth gape at the confession, floundering at the words.

Daniel, without his memories, had kissed him…

Daniel, without his memories, who kissed him, wanted to know everything his lost…

When Killua looked away, he had hoped to close his eyes, to tell himself that this was all a dream that’s progressing too fast for his mind to comprehend. But he wasn’t the only one who reacted to the confession, Alluka had as well.

While there still may be tears, the joy contained in her voice brought about Killua’s next smile, “See that, big brother… his back.”

Killua hid his face behind his bangs, watching Alluka come close to him, hugging him from behind. What he felt made him bite back the sobs of happiness. He was only one step away. Now it’s time to hunt down the woman ignoring her brother’s text. She won’t be able to avoid the situation any longer. If her brother was in danger, she’d come running.

Taking a deep breath, Killlua brought his attention back to Daniel. He wiped away a stray tear before speaking, “Lets smoke out Zaikaria!”

“~”

Eyes were drawn to the phone, an unknown caller requesting her attention. “That’s strange…” Zaikaria looked at the number, unable to recall ever seeing it. Then again, it could be Killua calling this time around, and she had no desire to pick it up.

Placing down the phone, she turned to her snake companion, the Chimera Ant opening the window as his tongue slither outward, tasting the gentle breeze.

She held a smile for a moment, losing it only when her phone went off one more time. The older woman expected to see the last caller’s same number; instead, what she got was a message from them.

Eyes narrowed for a moment, weighing her options on whether or not this was a hacker. Considering both the text and the call came from the same number, it was only plausible.

The intrigue ended up getting the better of her. Without a second thought, she opened the message. What she saw contained in the text, made her stomach drop, eyes now full of animosity.

“What’sss wrong?”

There was a picture, a tied up boy, her brother, in an unknown hotel. None of the furniture gave away his location, but the phone ringing combined with the photo now forced her to pick it up.

“Do I now have your attention…?”

The voice was muffled, distorted by two foreign objects. One most likely a mask to obscure the person’s features, while the other seemed to distort their voice, masking any unique features that would have enabled her into tracking him down.

He or she must be a pro, or maybe more likely an idiot looking to get themselves killed.

“What do you want…?”

“You…”

“Me…?”

“You see,” the voice flicked a button, enabling the camera for the remainder of the call. It was a person with a temporary mask, one usually found in a novelty shop. A devil usually found at festivals, but this one was altered, a mane covering the whole head.

What Zaikaria saw was strands of white poking from the bottom of the mask, something that disturbed her considering who she was tracking at the moment. It didn’t help that the mane fooled her into believing it added fiery-red tips.

“A certain little… the creature, told me you have the ability to read minds… alter them.”

“And…?” Zaikaria’s eyes narrowed, not expecting that at all; to what purpose would this man ever want to do with someone whom can alter memories. He had a similar power, one able to do it through nightmare inducing dreams.

Unless was he about to request her to do it to her father, to somehow make him loyal? That just wasn’t possible! She wouldn’t be strong enough to break through that kind of mentality, it’ll kill him. But she can’t let him know that. She needs to play along, to fool himself into giving up his location.

“Well, I want your ability for a special case…”

What you’re asking for, it’s just not possible… not without killing him…

“Oh, silent are we…?” The person paused, pulling a knife to wedge it Daniel’s jugular, aura now surrounding the blade. Daniel’s eyes widened, voice muffled by the binding in his mouth as he tried pulling back on the chair, struggling to break his binding.

The masked man placed one hand on her brother’s head, holding his head in place as dragged it along the skin. Daniel’s muffled cries got louder. The cut was precise, barely nipping at the skin, blood barely trickling down along her brother’s neck.

The act filled her with enough fear to consider the possibility that if she didn’t do what the man asked, he’ll slit her little brother’s neck like it was nothing, “I’ll do whatever! Just don’t hurt him…”

“Good…” He paused, pulling the knife away, “Where is your location?” It was that moment Daniel relaxed but his head was still shaking from left to right, pleading her to not give that information away.

For the briefest of moments, Zaikaria wondered if it was ok for her to give her actual address. If shit hits the fan, she’ll put multiple lives in danger. She needed somewhere obscure, away from civilisation. Plus, as long as Victor doesn’t know about Akshasamat, she could pull a fast one on him. Not only making possible to rip Daniel out of danger, but also give her a chance to kill him.

She just hopes Daniel hasn’t told him everything, “There’s a cottage east of the city. I’ll send the coordinates to your number… be there in two hours, with Daniel barely harmed.”

“Wonderful, I’ll see you there…”

When the call ended, Zaikaria smiled, “Akshasamat, it looks like we are about to kill the man haunting my father. The quicker we get there, the more time we have to plan our attack.”

“Yesss, my missstressss…”

“~”

The moment Killua hung up; he smiled widely, barely needing to tug at the boy’s bind before it dropped in a heap.

Daniel smiled as he stood up, making sure to remove the bind covering his mouth. With a high-five, the two cheered loudly, “Whoo,” Daniel continued, proud that they were able to pull off a seriously dangerous stunt without breaking character, “told you it would work!”

“Although, she’s probably going to want to kill me, after finding out it was me that was pretending, to slit your throat…”

“Well,” Daniel rested both hands on his hips, “I’ll protect you from her. Don’t want her to kill my future boyfriend…”

When Killua’s cheeks flushed at the confession, Daniel rested a hand across his chin, wondering out loud, “Or would it be current boyfriend… I’m a little confused at how my lack of memories alters my thoughts.”

“Y… You’re a terrible sappy… boyfriend…” The boy shifted his posture, his body now burning in delight. Jeez, even admitting it to Daniel without memories, I feel my heart hammering out of embarrassment…

“Or would that be out of love?”

Killua froze, unable to believe his ears. Did Daniel just read his mind? No, it was a trick of the imagination, “Did… you just read my mind?”

“No, I just… feel… like I can tell you’re embarrassed. It’s hard to explain, but if I don’t think, and just let my body react, I find it easier to read you. Even when I kissed you, it felt like I belonged, even though my mind was screaming: what the hell is going on?

“Oh…” Killua found himself at a loss of words. This made no sense now that he thinks about it. Daniel is letting his actions rule his thoughts, and when he does so, everything seems to click, as if it felt right. But as soon as the boy tries to logically think about his actions, his confused.

Victor must have fucked up somewhere… or is it possible that-

Killua’s mind snapped to Daniel’s body, eyeing it carefully. Is it possible that Daniel’s aura that used to linger around him had something to do about this? Theoretically, it’s possible. Daniel’s aura may have gotten so used to lingering around him, that it became accustomed to his feelings… touches… possibly even his emotions…

The question was how though? How was Daniel able to link his thoughts, to what his aura felt? Maybe he was just questioning the situation too much, and it was all being done unconsciously… “Daniel, do you remember ever letting you aura linger around someone?”

“Well, yeah… It was you I believe… why?”

“I have a theory, a possible explanation for your confusion?”

“Ok…”

“The aura you used to have lingering around me is gone, correct?”

“Well, if neither of us sees it, then yeah… I guess you’re correct.”

“What if it never disappeared, but it’s in a Zetsu-like-state, just like your memories?”

“So… if I get my memories back, the aura trail with return?”

“Not necessarily. It might be there; just our mind or even Gyo isn’t registering the trail.”

Daniel crossed his arms, really thinking about that possibility. If that’s the case, Killua might be onto something. If it’s still there, it would explain the sense of familiarity he always gets when getting close to Killua, why his body feels just right when he hugs the boy. “Killua, can I hug you for a second?”

“Ah…”

“I want to test the theory. If what you say is true, then just hugging you will cause a conflict in thoughts.”

Killua nodded, allowing Daniel to wrap his arms around the boy. The moment Daniel relaxed his head in the crook of Killua’s neck, the boy felt at ease, a sense of belonging wash over him; although, his mind questioned his actions and thoughts. Killua was onto something… It might even be possible to regain his memories without the need to see Zaikaria. He just didn’t know how to access something his subconscious was shutting out.

Killua shivered at the breath, unsure what to be doing within the moment. However, the look of serenity crossing the boy’s features as he relaxed showed him, that he may be onto something with his theory.

Removing his arms, Daniel rested a hand on Killua’s shoulders, offering the boy a genuine smile, “You’re right. You’re not only kind but smart as well…”

Killua hid his face, unable to argue, let alone offer a retort back. Deep down, he was happy with the final outcome…

But something felt off…

Like the worst was yet to come…

Chapter Text

The night was tranquil, the moon providing the illumination needed to guide their path. Not a single creature was out at night, it was peaceful in nature. Killua held out his phone using it as a navigator to their destination. The location provided by Zaikaria, were coordinates, to what would hopefully be a cottage with either electricity or a fireplace.

He could tell his sister was cold. She wasn’t used to the different types of weathers around the year, unlike Daniel and Killua, who could withstand the heatwaves and arctic cold tundras. He squeezed her hand, comforting her to the best of his ability, letting her know that everything was going to be ok soon.

A gentle breeze caused Alluka to shiver at the touch, Killua now forced to hold her closer, providing some kind of warmth even if it was barely effective. The act made Daniel look at Killua briefly with a knowing glance, a smile being offered at the gesture of kindness.

Even though Killua’s cheeks tainted at the smile, his unsettling thoughts hadn’t calmed down in the slightest. He still felt as though this was a trap, like coming here to the middle of nowhere was a mistake.

Wait, it couldn’t be possible… Now that the boy thought about it, Zaikaria might also think this was a trap as well? He did, after all, pretend that he captured and tortured Daniel. But on a more serious note, if she was going to meet them in a blind fit of rage, seeing Daniel walking calmly without any bindings attached is a good indicator that the boy was ok?

A crunch of a twig caused Killua to panic, his head snapping in the direction of the noise. He was hoping that Daniel was the one to trigger the noise; instead, he saw the boy’s head twisted in a different direction, eyes trained on the darkness.

Both waited for the offender to make their next move, Killua instinctually tightening his grip around Alluka. If something or someone comes for them, he’d want to be as close as possible to save Alluka.

The bushes moved, a snake slivering out from underneath it. Killua relaxed as the creature moved to another bush. However, Daniel didn’t, his eyes remained focused to the spot the snake left.

“What’s wrong…?”

“This is a trap. That snake had a glow of Nen.”

Shit… I didn’t think the snake would be made from Nen. Is it an attacker, or a distraction? Zaikaria can’t conjure up snakes, so it must be either her ally or an unforeseen enemy… “What’s your opinion?”

Daniel shifted his feet slightly, taking one step back towards Killua. The Nen creature didn’t look like it was made for attacking, which meant it could be used as either a tool for tracking or scouting… “Killua, Zaikaria might be closer than we think…”

“Then call out to her…”

“That’s the problem… she may think you’re the enemy. We did kind of fake my capture…”

“Then explain the situation…”

“Umm… Sis, Zai,” the boy turned his head in every direction, hoping that his voice could reach every corner, including the one she was currently hiding in, “I know we pretended to fake my hostage situation, but we had no other choice! You failed to answer my calls,” which is rude… “But, now that you’re giving us a chance… we need help! Well, more like I need your help…”

There was a pause, silence filling the air.

The grass started to shift once more, Killua and Daniel expecting to be met with Zaikaria. Instead, it was the same snake as earlier, or possibly another, now staring at them. Its tongue slithered out of its mouth before it jerked its head, motioning them to follow it as if it had a mind of its own.

Slithering away, Killua weighed his options as Daniel expected him to make the right call. The worst-case scenario was the trap was to lure them to the boy’s demise…

But on the other hand, if the snake does plan to lead them to Zaikaria, she might just agree to return Daniel’s memories.

Killua swallowed thickly, hoping that Zaikaria will agree to return her brother’s memories, or this trip to lure her out was not only a waste of time but one of his biggest regrets. Taking a step forward, Killua stilled his mind and thoughts, really hoping that Zaikaria doesn’t take whatever is left of Daniel’s memories of him away.

He doesn’t want to lose Daniel, again…

“~”

The snake stopped near a small cottage, smoke billowing from the chimney. Daniel leaned down, running his fingers along the back of the snakes head “Thanks…”

The snake's tongue slithered out of its mouth a few times before left, slithering away into the bushes like a trained animal. With a smile, the boy stood up, smiling at Killua, “I guess she’s in here. Are you ready?”

The boy nodded, running his fingers along Alluka’s hair as he spoke “Alluka, now you’re going to meet Daniel’s sister. Whatever you do, do not let her shake your hand or touch your shoulder.”

“Why…?”

“She has the ability to read minds, and the last thing I need is for her to read your, or Nanika’s mind directly. Even if she learns about your secret from Daniel or me, by reading either of your minds, she may learn a lot more… or find a way to bypass your conditions as Nanika does for me.”

“Ok, big brother… I’ll be careful.”

Killua leaned down, kissing his sister’s forehead, “That’s a good girl.” Turning to Daniel, he gestured to the boy to continue.

Daniel knocked on the door, the area falling into silence once more. It took a while, but eventually, he heard his sister’s voice, anger radiating through her tone, “Come in…” She knew she had been cheated, but the fact she stayed even after Daniel had told the snake which then had somehow told her, that it was all a ruse to lure her out, said, that she was still willing to listen.

Whether or not she helps them out, was now up to her. If she refuses to help, then they’ll be back to square one. After that, they can either ask Nathaniel for further help or make a conditional wish, to return the memories.

Daniel opened the door, allowing Killua and Alluka to go in first. The girl beamed at the surprising warmth, the fireplace helping her remove the chill. A crackle snap of the fire showed where Zaikaria was, prodding the fireplace with her back turned to them.

What was surprising about the situation was there was another snake curled around her shoulders, looking directly at them. This one had a similar flow to the one they encountered in the forest, but it looked a little different. When did Zaikaria learn to conjure up snakes of different varieties?

That thought was crushed at the sound of another voice, the sound of a snake speaking from the same direction as Zaikaria, “Hello again, Daniel… Killua… and…”

Killua and Daniel blinked at each other in surprise, the tone similar to the one they heard back during their war which the Chimera Ants, “Wait, Akshasamat?”

“Akamut if you don’t want to butcher his name…” Zaikaria’s voice was stern, her head turned slightly to glance in their direction, “So, how can I help my not-so-captured little brother?”

“May we sit down to discuss it first…?”

Zaikaria sighed from the response, “Akamut, do you mind curling up on the couch or table?”

“Sssure…” Akshasamat left the woman’s shoulder, slither over to the table to rest on the cool glass.

Daniel held up a finger, “What happened to you… why, are you so small…?”

The snake raised his head from his spot, sort of smiling, it was hard to tell thanks to his skin “My ability, I was the one who led you here. Well, a part of me led you three here. So, who’s the girl?”

“Alluka…” Killua spoke softly as he took his sister over to the couch, Daniel and Zaikaria left standing at a distance, his sister clearly reading the situation, “Well, you know I can’t read your mind unless I activate my ability, right?”

“Yes, I also know that you’re avoiding the topic…”

“About your lost memories…?”

“Exactly…”

Zaikaria hung up the poker, now giving her brother her absolute attention “Well, have a seat and explain.”

Daniel sat on the couch, sitting beside Killua, without words, she could tell something strange was going on between them, but she hoped it wasn’t something she couldn’t handle.

She took the single armchair, waiting for either Daniel or Killua to speak, but there was something strange about the situation, who exactly was the girl in Killua’s arms, “So are you planning on telling me about Killua’s girlfriend, or do I have to read your mind?”

Alluka blushed, Killua’s arms tightening around his sister, “Actually, it’s my sister. She isn’t my girlfriend.”

“Oh…” Zaikaria’s lips quirked upward, not expecting something so innocent; not even the faintest smell of blood corrupted her nature, and she so willing to cuddle up with an assassin, a murderer in Zaikaria’s eyes, “who is she really…?”

“She is Killua’s sister, the one Killua saved from pursuing the family line of work.”

Zaikaria blankly stared at her brother, trying not to act surprised. She didn’t believe that lie for a second. In her eyes, Killua wasn’t the kind to save anyone; once an assassin, always an assassin. So, she dismissed the topic entirely, going back to the original one at hand, “Fine then… Why did you hunt me down again?”

Killua spoke in Daniel’s favour, hoping that the older woman would actually listen, and help them out. If she didn’t, then… they’ll just leave “Daniel’s lost some memories, and we’re hoping that you can return them.”

“It depends. What memories are you hoping to return? Trauma…? Hatred…? Skills…?”

“Of Killua…”

Zaikaria’s eyes widened slightly before she was forced to control her reaction. She wasn’t expecting Daniel to ask her to return the boy’s memories of him. Actually, this could work in her favour as well. She could completely remove them, as long as they weren’t too attached “It depends on the situation. If you have no memories of Killua, I can’t do it without somehow creating those memories. But it would take too much time and effort, which, I’m not willing to sit through and conjure every memory to replace the ones lost…”

“No, I want you to unlock them, as long as they are there. I want to understand some… confusing thoughts.”

“Confusing…? In what way…?”

Daniel paused, wondering if it was ok to tell her. It’s not like she can’t read his thoughts during the process. Not only that, she distrusted Killua, acting as though whatever the boy said went in one ear and out through the other. All he wants is his memories back, so he can finally understand his feelings of doubt, to make the right call “I just want to know if you can do it?”

“Theoretically, I can… but because this based off what I would assume, is a Nen ability, I might not be able to do anything at all. And unless I read your thoughts, I don't know if it’s even possible…”

“But there is a possibility…”

“Sure…” Zaikaria squinted at her brother. Something was really wrong with the scene, the way Killua and Daniel acted; the two seemed a little possessive of each other. Killua might have Alluka in his arms, but he keeps cutting out Daniel before he can say anything about his situation.

Why does Daniel let him…? Why is he only giving her minimal data? He knows she can read his mind, is it possible that her brother is still in a hostage situation, only this time Killua isn’t wearing a mask. Or is Daniel is being really genuine, and it’s her that he distrusts?

The woman stood, stepping off to the side of the couch she once sat in, offering a hand out to the armchair, “Have a seat…”

“Can’t you just come here?” Killua snuck one hand between his and Daniel’s legs, squeezing the boy’s hand, pleading him not to leave his side just in case. She clearly distrusts him, which meant by the time he realises Zaikaria has done the opposite of what they originally asked; it might be too late for him to act.

Zaikaria smirked at the idea of using fear to break whatever was going on between those two. She wanted Daniel as far away from Killua as possible to freely read whatever damage he has done to her brother.

If he still has him in a hostage situation, having Daniel by her side meant she had a better chance of ending Killua’s life. The young girl didn’t look like she’d pose any trouble, but protecting Daniel was her most desired outcome, which meant the boy needed to be seated right next to her. “I could do it… But if you attempt to remove him from my grasp while my ability is active… in the worst case scenario, I’ll turn my brother into a vegetable…”

Shifting her posture, the woman pointed at the chair, “Which I don’t want to do. Now Daniel, take a seat…”

Daniel squeezed Killua’s hand, comforting the boy. Offering a sincere smile, the boy got up to take a seat at Zaikaria’s side, Killua’s anxiety shooting up at the prospect of Zaikaria viewing a memory of something she shouldn’t be seeing.

His sister started to feel the anguish of her brother, acting as physical support in replacement of Daniel’s lost touch. She held Killua’s hands, letting the boy know she’ll be here for him.

Zaikaria placed her hands on either side of Daniel’s head, resting her fingers across his temple as she closed her eyes. She took a deep breath, speaking softly to her own brother, a little fearful of making a mistake. She doesn’t want to hurt Daniel, but if at any point he resists, she won’t hesitate to knock him out, especially if the task is too big to perform.

“Do not resist, all I’m going to do is view your memories. I want to know what I’m working with, seeing as you won’t tell me. The moment I find chunks of your memories missing, I’ll see if they are just hidden… If they’re hidden, I’ll be able to pull them out, after, I’ve knocked you out. Otherwise, your mind will try to instinctually fight me off during the process… got it?”

“I understand…”

Those words didn’t help Killua at all, but with Alluka at his side, comforting him, he should be ok no matter the outcome.

Zaikaria allowed her aura to flow through the boy’s mind, viewing the past as if it were on a projector right before her. She started off with earlier this evening, a deal made between Daniel and Killua. It seemed the hostage situation was Daniel’s idea, but Killua brought other objects to flesh out the plan. Fake blood and a plastic knife… she should’ve seen through the whole situation, but Daniel’s safety was her number one priority. Satisfied with the information, she dug a little deeper.

There was a fight between Yanick, Killua and Daniel, her brother showing genuine care for not only Alluka but Killua as well. He fought to defend the boy, arguing on his behalf on him being kind and caring in nature, but she didn’t believe that for a second.

She grits her teeth, hating how Daniel so easily trusted Killua. She knows what he is capable of, so why can’t he? She dug even deeper, viewing the two boy’s memories on a camera reel in reverse, skipping all dialogue.

A smile crept along her lips as she got deeper, Killua’s image slowly morphing into a black shadow, a visage of something that shouldn’t be there. Even situations where she was in the room, Killua wasn’t in Daniel’s past memories.

Removing Killua and Alluka from the boy’s thoughts would be easy; she just needed to knock him out beforehand. There was a concern considering there were times where memories were nothing but black splotches blocking the aspects of his memories.

She allowed more aura to flow from her fingertips, this time activating her ability momentarily; the part of Daniel’s mind she created to purposely hide parts of his life she didn’t want him to view. What she found shocked her to the core.

She froze to the spot, almost releasing her ability. The memories she thought Daniel lost were being contained here. Whoever attempted to remove Daniel’s memories of Killua failed to realise that he already had someone do that to him.

It created some kind of amalgamation, a monster of thoughts merged into a tight, little hiding spot. Whoever had done so, failed at his original goal. But, at the same time, it saves her some of the hassles. At least she didn’t need to go through a year of information and data with feelings attached.

He must be a powerful manipulator… Her skin ran ice cold, finding a memory which stopped her dead in her tracks, the face of the man she was hunting. Victor Tempest…

She let her ability go, Daniel’s eyes opening upon release. There was only one way to give the boy’s memories back, and that was to release the latch on her ability. But no matter what, she can’t do that… She can’t release those memories.

Not while the one who originally gave Daniel his first scar was in the room with her. If Daniel were to see the face of his first attacker before him, with his contradicting feelings and thoughts, he might panic.

“Zai…?”

The woman paused, morphing her features into a fake smile, directed at her brother, “Yes?”

“Can you return them…?”

She took a long breath, wondering if it was possible to force all her memories of Alluka and Killua into that tiny box, or would it be better to hide Alluka and then force Yanick’s image to replace Killua’s spot.

He didn’t like that kid anyways, nor did she… Daniel would break up with Yanick anyways, so it shouldn’t cause that much of a debacle. It would be the best chance she’s got of getting the best outcome. She just needed to knock Daniel out in order to achieve the goal, without throwing suspicion on her.

“I can, I just need you to go into a deep coma. It would take all my energy to replace all those lost memories. They’re there, it’s just your mind has hidden them for some reason…”

Daniel leaned over, smiling at Killua, “See, it’s possible! Let’s do it! I can’t wait to get back my memories…”

Killua felt a little relieved. Daniel can finally get his memories of them, back. However, just because he’s getting them back, doesn’t mean how Zaikaria plans to restore them, could ultimately lead to their break up.

He was worried that she may have seen the two’s first sexual experience, which could dampen their chances of restoring said memories. He’d just have to trust that Daniel was strong enough to stop her from removing his memories of him if she secretly planned to do that.

Killua offered the boy a smile in return, his cheeks flushed at the thought of Daniel finally being able to say he loves him, without the need to question his memories. He’d finally be able to hug him, to feel that overpowering raw emotion that Daniel would show him on a daily basis.

Even, if his anxiety, hadn’t relaxed for the past few minutes…

Daniel then turned to his sister, offering her a smile, “Thank you, for helping me return those lost memories. It means a lot to me…”

Zaikaria stopped in her tracks, feeling pity for her brother. She was about to remove his memories, and here he was thanking her for the opposite. She held her breath, offering a smile at the gesture, “You’re welcome… anything for my little brother…”

She held a hand to her brother’s head, applying enough pressure to the boy’s skull to force him into a deep sleep. When she was finally able to let her aura dig into her brother’s skull, did she tell her true intentions to the boy behind him, “I lied…”

Killua’s eyes widened, mind blanking at the words. She couldn’t be serious. Even the snakes head perked up, now looking at his owner, worried for her sanity, “What do you plan on doing…?”

Killua moved Alluka over, stepping over to grasp Zaikaria’s arms. He knew he can’t do anything, not while her ability was in full effect, throttling the boy’s mind. He assumed she was removing Daniel’s last memories of him, and by breaking her ability, he could kill Daniel in the process, “PLEASE, DON’T DO IT! I’ll do ANYTHING, just don’t remove his memories of me!”

“Mistrissssss, lisssten to-”

“Don’t you dare… back up this kid!” Zaikaria fought back, never once removing her hands from her brother. She’ll only let go once the task was done, and nothing would stop her from trapping those memories within her ability. If her ability sent a backlash to Victor, he might come back for the boy, to finish him off. He was cruel in nature, and any excuse to get back at her father, Victor’s son was any reason to finish what he started.

No… Killua squeezed the woman’s arm, silently pleading her not to do it. He knew he shouldn’t have trusted her. He should’ve asked someone else, but seeing Daniel smile at the idea of obtaining his memories back made him mentally relapse, giving into now what was false hope, “WHY would you do this to your brother?!”

“Because he's seen someone he shouldn’t have seen… You are like a plague to him. Weakening him until eventually, he’ll die at your hands…”

Killua grit his teeth at the accusation. Everyone is wrong! No matter what, he would never purposely endanger his friends… the ones he cared about the most. This guy came after them… Fuck Victor… Fuck Yanick… AND FUCK Zaikaria! Everyone is wrong for assuming Killua will dispose of Daniel the first chance he got.

He knows Daniel is stronger than he once was, even if he can’t stop her now, deep down, Daniel will somehow find a way to resist. Even with the hope deep down, he couldn’t stop his thoughts from bubbling out, lashing out at the boy’s sister, even when his own was in the room to see how much Daniel meant to him, to see what had truly become of her brother’s attitude towards those who take away who he cares about, “You know what! I pegged you as a BITCH the moment I met you! You’re exactly like Illumi, willing to take away everything! You won’t listen to reason, or fucken get out of your head, and ask your brother what he wants!”

Zaikaria eye twitched, “What my brother wants is a death wish! Illumi would use that to his advantage. You’re just a spoiled brat who wants everything for himself! The whole lot of your family is, so no, I don’t care about what any of you want. Daniel has seen someone he shouldn’t have, and as much as it pains me to remove… any memories that may have provided him with happiness, that man… that MONSTER will stop at nothing, to kill Daniel once he realises his failure.”

“Wh-” Killua took a step back, coming to terms with what she just said. He knows he grew up as a spoiled child, but what they took away from him counteracted, against everything he was given… he can never get back any of it. But, at least… at least he can obtain what he lost through Alluka’s happiness. He can make sure she never has to go through what he suffered through.

What she said after that confused him. What does she mean by that man… that MONSTER? Actually, scrap that. What does she mean by Victor, had failed…? Did she mean he failed to remove Daniel’s memories? Then why doesn’t he remember any of those moments they shared? Why would he care about Daniel anyways, he already achieved his goal. He already made Daniel and Vastorie suffer enough as it is…

WHAT MORE, could he possibly want to take away? Daniel’s life…? He’s a pimple on Victor’s radar! He means NOTHING to him… at least he hoped so. His mind couldn’t stop shaking at the thought, so much so that he hadn’t realised that Alluka had come to his side, pulling him into a tight hug.

She glanced at Zaikaria, glaring at Daniel’s older sister, “You’ve hurt big brother and Daniel. You won’t listen to my brother… but you’ll at least listen to me. Daniel loves Killua! He always has… even after losing his memories of big brother… I know he’s your brother, but he won’t accept what you’ve done to him after he learns the truth from big brother…”

“Which is why, I plan to erase your memories next…”

Killua held Alluka closer, stepping back with her tightly pressed into him. He won’t let Zaikaria take her away from him too. He’d defend her right to the end, “If you can read his mind, you would have seen what he argued about with Yanick… you would’ve seen how frustrated he was with that teenager!”

“I did…”

“THEN WHY ARE YOU REMOVING THOSE MEMORIES FROM HIM?!”

“I’VE SEEN WHAT VICTOR DOES! If I brought back his memories, he’ll remember what Victor looks like; including others, I want to remain a secret. I’ve seen what that man has done through Vastorie’s memories… He won’t stop at anything, to hurt his son. So, if making sure Daniel’s memories of you stays hidden forever, at the cost of his happiness, I rather he loses his fake happiness! This family was all I had! You wouldn’t understand considering you got everything handed down to you anyways…”

“Understand… UNDERSTAND!” Killua grit his teeth, growling at the older woman, “I was forced to kill everything I ever loved! The number of pets my hand was forced to dig into, will never be understood by you! But with Daniel and Gon… they didn’t care! Hell, even knowing half the shit I’ve been through, Daniel still pursued me! He wanted me to love him back and-”

“He’s confused!” Zaikaria growled back, her nails gripping tightly into her brother’s flesh. She’s seen all the memories, known what the boy felt… but Killua was only using him for his own gain, that’s it. No matter what Alluka or Killua might say, she won’t believe any of them. Killua will eventually kill Daniel…

“He’s not!” Alluka argued back in defence of her brother, seeing that what Zaikaria had said not only hurt him, it continues to rip him asunder, from the inside out, damaging everything in its path, “Killua wants Daniel to be happy! He's trying his hardest to make him happy…”

“Enough!” Zaikaria pulled her hands away, the action already performed. Daniel will eventually wake up, unable to remember Killua or Alluka. With a hand held out to them, she took one step forward, “Who wants to go first…?”

Killua took a step backward; his aura flowing around him, prepared to activate his ability the moment Zaikaria takes another step forward.

Just as she was about to take another step, Daniel’s voice stopped the three of them, his tone drowsy, and full of confusion, “Zai… who’s the girl and boy?” Zaikaria stopped in her tracks; he wasn’t supposed to recover this quickly. Usually, when removing memories on this scale, it takes hours for someone to recover.

Killua’s heart sank, crushed at the words; he felt like he had as a child, weak, powerless… Even if he had the willpower of all the gods combined, he couldn’t stop his tears…

He felt the same as he had in front of Nathaniel when it first happened, as well as possibly his family at his request to have Nanika stay hidden. He was hyper aware of every tear that dropped… and unlike his control, his voice broke, saying the words he was sure he’d regret in the future “Don’t you remember me…”

Chapter Text

There was a long excoriating pause, Daniel’s eyebrows furrowing at the question. His eyebrows wavered at the question, struggling to put any of the pieces of the jigsaw back together. Just by one glance, he could tell that his sister, as well as the two teens roughly his age or younger, were about to get into a fight. But in all honestly, he had no idea who they were, or why they would want to fight his sister.

The boy looked strong, even though his aura was wavering slightly. He was exerting his strength, but at the same time, he seemed weak as if Daniel’s words would ultimately break him in two. Zaikaria didn’t look so good either, her strength was barely showing, and when she took a step towards the younger boy, only those who weren’t paying attention wouldn’t have noticed the slight wobbling.

Somehow, he needed to disarm the situation or his sister might get hurt if the boy acts erratically, “No…”

Killua sucked in a breath, eyes wavering. He was barely holding onto his sanity, wanting so badly to break down, but he refuses to do so until he gets back the one his lost once again. Without missing a beat, he turned to Zaikaria, doing the one thing he didn’t care if Daniel judged him for. He threatened her life, “RETURN. HIM. BACK!”

“Huh…?” Daniel raised an eyebrow at the words. Grant the boy did just threaten his sister’s life, but the fact that the boy said it so boldly, raised red flags. Why is he acting as though he knows something he doesn’t “Who is he Zai?”

“No one, you need to worry about…”

Shifting her attention to Killua, she showed a threatening smile. What remained of her strength flowed around her hand. It wasn’t enough to outlast Killua, but she had more than enough strength to momentarily stun Killua while he was in this mindset. Enough, to get a finishing blow, “Just a delusional boy…”

“You take that back bitch!” Killua threatened her once more, a finger being held out to Daniel, even if the boy looked angry at him now for threatening his sister, he must somehow fight the memory loss.

“What right do you have to barge in here, threaten my sister and act as though you know me…?”

You made a promise to never forget… YOU PROMISED! “Daniel, it’s me, Killua! You must remember something… anything!”

“I…” Daniel paused at the name, eyes shaking slightly. It was strange hearing that name, especially now that he’s thinking about it. This rude boy’s name is making his body shake, memories being drudged out from nowhere. He knows of a ‘Killua’, just not who this Killua is… “I- I- I don’t know you…”

When Daniel clutched at his head, he tried to fight off the thoughts tugging from within. It hurt so much; he could no longer tell what reality was. He just wanted the throbbing to stop, to understand why his mind, heart, memories and aura were fighting one another.

Zaikaria saw it long before Killua could realise what was about to happen. If Daniel continues to barge on the newly formed box of memories, his mind was going to collapse in on itself. She needed him to stop banging on that box, “Don’t listen to him! You’ve never met Killua before in your life, his just some nobody trying to control you… He's trying to manipulate you, forcing you to like him…”

“NO I’M NOT!” Killua glared at the smug woman, “I would never force you to do something you can’t understand…” Except for that the first time, we experimented… how I made you climax without telling you beforehand, SHIT! “Correction, I would never force you to do something against you will-”

“Wait, what? What did you do to my little brother… tell me!”

Killua’s words along with Zaikaria’s reaction made him remember something, a few days ago, his arms curled around a boy his age, his lips moving but he can’t remember exactly what he said to the boy. But whatever he was saying, he was crying with a smile… he felt happy within that moment. The slight memory made Daniel release an inhuman howl of pain, one which terrified Zaikaria.

“What the FUCK did you do to him!” Twisting her figure, she held both hands out in an open gesture, taking a slow step towards Daniel. She was trying not to startle the boy any more than he needed to be, “Listen to me… FIGHT Killua’s control. He's trying to control you, like Yanick would!”

“Killua would never do that!”

Zaikaria froze at the words, no, it wasn’t possible. He couldn’t have broken out of her prized ability so quickly. It was built to last forever, able to contain any memory as long as she supplied enough aura to reinforce it.

Killua clenched his fist with a smile, his smugness showing so easily at the twist of the situation. He just needs to keep banging on Daniel’s door, and he’ll break through, “Keep fighting it! You must rem-”

“Don’t listen to him! He's just trying to control you… to make you do something you don’t want!”

“Killua would never do that! He…” Daniel dug his fingers into his skin, wanting so badly to remove his brain. It was fighting so hard with his body; he just wanted to put it in timeout or something, just so he can relax for a moment, to really think without needing to struggle.

It happened so quickly a memory being enlightened, only for a moment, his fight with Yanick, a contradiction within his own thoughts. He would never date Yanick in his whole life, and yet, he was a part of his history, him smiling at Yanick, “He would’ve never wanted me to suffer like this! I love… I love Killua, not Yanick!”

“Yes! Remember-”

“NO!”

“I- I- I think…”

“NO!”

“YES! Fight against Killua’s control!”

“I’m not controlling anybody-” Killua at that exact moment, felt something flow around him; he trained his eyes to use Gyo, a trail of aura fluctuating between them. Daniel was beginning to remember, but it wasn’t strong enough to hold, it was going to snap, and if it did, what would happen to Daniel? He needed to get the boy to remember some more details, enough to keep him grounded.

“Remember when we danced under the stars?!”

“I… I remember…”

“Then-”

“Keep your mouth shut! Daniel, please don’t fight it. Let me help-”

“You shut up!” Can’t you see you’re making it worse! You’re the one who’s going to get him killed! “You’re the one making him worse!”

“No!” Daniel screamed once more, really begging whatever was fighting him would just stop for a moment. He wanted to remember these things. It made his heart fill with something, something he understood so well. Affection… He wanted more of it, to understand why just replacing the name ‘Yanick’ with ‘Killua’ would make him feel at peace, like everything made sense.

Zaikaria didn’t want to lose Daniel, she’ll just use the remaining of her strength to rebuild the wall and force those memories back inside. “Enough!” She lunged forward, hoping to stop Daniel from further damaging himself.

Killua was however quicker. The moment Zaikaria swung her arm out at Daniel; Killua had already activated his ability, electricity swirled around the boy, forcing his body to react at abnormal speeds.

Killua reached out like he had done so with Gon during his fight with Neferpitou, but unlike back then, he was closer now, fast enough to grab Daniel. He barely felt Zaikaria’s hand touch his shirt, the whoosh of air creating a dual gust of wind.

Zaikaria’s hand swung out at empty air, furious at having lost her brother at the hands of Killua, the boy now back at Alluka’s side, holding Daniel close to his body.

Daniel was crying in tears, whether or not it was because Killua was holding him, didn’t matter. As long as Daniel was in his arms, he could protect him from his sister. He can stop her from doing whatever she was about to do. Killua held a hand out, letting it stroke the boy’s hair, but Daniel ended up fighting him too, throwing his hands out to slap away the boy’s hands.

He didn’t want to be touched; he just wanted to understand what was going on with his body… his memories… not to have this wanton desire of being touched by the boy who held him, as if he cared about him. Even Killua’s slight touches made too much sense to him.

“Let him go… you don’t know what you’re doing, Killua… you’re going to get him killed.”

“It’s you who doesn’t understand! I make sense to Daniel… I-”

Another inhuman scream ripped out of Daniel, Killua’s arms being forced to hold the boy tighter. He hummed quietly, trying to hush the boy, to make him relax and stop fighting with himself. He just needed Daniel to let the memories fall into place.

Zaikaria, however, had different plans of her own. Allowing Killua to continue along this path will result in dire consequences, “Listen to me Killua… you need to knock him out, now!”

“NO! Why should I listen to you now? After everything you’ve done…”

“Please…” Daniel began to sob, now clutching at Killua’s shirt. He wanted his mind to stop, to stop hammering away at his heart, “make it stop hurting…”

Killua clenched his jaw, seeing the pained expression, the tone pulled at his heartstrings. It would stop… eventually… hopefully soon. Daniel just needed to stop fighting the memories, “Hush, don’t fight the memories… just let them come back slowly…” the boy stroking Daniel’s hair, comforting to the best of his ability.

This time the boy accepted the gesture, but he hadn’t relaxed at all, the pain still showing along Daniel’s features.

“Killua do not let Daniel force those memories open! My ability is going to cause a huge backlash…”

“Seriously, why should I believe you after everything you’ve done?!”

“Because if they get forced opened, my ability will try to force the memories back into hiding. THAT’S WHY HE'S IN PAIN, THERE’S A CONFLICT OF INTERESTS! He's going to turn into a vegetable! I don’t want him to be brain dead for the rest of his life…”

Killua looked at Daniel, wondering if he should listen to her. Clearly, his boyfriend is in pain, and Zaikaria’s tiny piece of information no matter how minuscule could be truthful to a degree. However, if he listens to her, she could be luring him into another trap, to relinquish Daniel over to her once more so that she may alter his thoughts once again… or this time, change his.

He took a deep breath, calming down his nerves. He needed to make the right decision, for Daniel’s sake. Who does he trust? Himself, or the one who put them in this mess…?

Killua’s gaze met Zaikaria’s carefully watching her movements. Now that his calm and rational, he can see that she is in a weakened state. Her aura flow was weak, almost as if she were hiding it purposely. No, that thought wouldn’t be right. He couldn’t be judgmental right now… “How can I help Daniel?”

“Give him over to me…”

“NO! HOW do I help him…?”

Zaikaria grit her teeth. She can’t outmatch him in speed or wits right now. He was being too overprotective, something that shouldn’t be happening. Had she been wrong the entire time? Does Killua actually care for someone other than himself…?

No, it couldn’t be possible… she couldn’t be wrong in this situation. No one should change that much in a few years. If she was going to help Daniel, she needed to make sure that Killua doesn’t do anything irrational. She needed him to give her Daniel. Then she can rebuild the walls, and everything can go back to normal… hopefully… “Knock him out.”

“Huh?!”

“Knock him out cold, to stop him from overthinking. The more he fights, the less we have a chance of saving him…”

Killua looked down at Daniel, only to flick his eyes back up when he saw Zaikaria had taken a step towards him. “Stand right there, another step, and I’ll leave with both Daniel and Alluka. I’ll call Nathaniel and ask for his assistance, seeing as his sister wants to ruin her brother’s life…”

The words had struck a nerve, making the woman freeze. She had a mixture of anger and disgust fill her eyes, but the moment they came, she forced them aside, stand still for the moment. Daniel needed them both to cooperate if he’s going to survive.

The longer they were at each other’s throat, the fewer chances Daniel will have to survive. “If you knock him out, I promise to take a step back. If I take a step forward, you can leave with Daniel, but without me, he is going, TO DIE…”

“Alright, I’ll trust you for his sake. But if you take-”

“I promise, I won’t… now, please… knock him out.”

Killua brought his hand up, feeling sorry for what he was about to do. He wanted Daniel to come to terms with the decision, to understand what was about to happen. However, the pain he was going through, his eyes were screwed shut, unable to see what was going on around him.

Killua bit his lip, bringing down his hand with enough force to knock the boy out.

Daniel remained motionless, somewhat peaceful now. At least he wasn’t in absolute pain now. But that doesn’t mean Killua will suddenly trust her.

True to her word, Zaikaria took a step back, but this time she was pacing around, avoiding Killua as if he had the plague, “Shit! Shit! Shit! This wasn’t supposed to happen this way…”

“Yeah,” Killua taunted back, “He was supposed to get his memories back, then he’ll make a decision on whether or not he wants to stay with Alluka and myself.”

“Wait…” Zaikaria stopped, now looking at Killua, “What do you mean stay with you?”

“I…” Killua held onto Daniel, calmly running his fingers through the boy’s hair. He knows he shouldn’t be doing this in front of Zaikaria, but in all honesty, he didn’t know what exactly he should be doing in this situation. He can only trust himself and Alluka now, but if by some miracle, Zaikaria can help them, he’d rather take that chance… even if she has given them no reason to trust her. “When Daniel lost his memories, I was hoping they’d come back on their own… they were but at the most inconvenient of times…”

 “Whoever did this, the reaction was unnatural. It for some reason combined with my ability, and the two conflicted with each other. But this… this shouldn’t have happened at all. It’s like…” Stopping at her thoughts, her tone was slow, deliberate, icy cold to the touch, “Did you make Daniel promise you anything…?”

“Why, are you accusing me of EVERYTHING?! What is seriously your-” Killua stopped for a moment, really thinking about the question. Considering his not only going to get no answer but biting at each other’s throats isn’t going to help him save Daniel.

Killua took the time to think about the question, wondering if there was ever a moment he made such a demand, but if she had already read Daniel’s mind, she should’ve realised if anyone is going to make such a request, it’s going to be…

The boy stopped at a sudden realisation. He knew exactly when Daniel would’ve done what Zaikaria is accusing him of, “The dance…”

“Dance…?” Zaikaria let the statement linger, wondering if she had uncovered such a moment. Usually, her ability is automatic, targeting only certain memories she wants to be targeted. Other than that, she doesn’t remember coming across a dance of any kind, then again… she hadn’t gone that far back in Daniel’s memories.

Killua sighed in frustration, “A few days ago, Daniel and I danced together. After that night, he said: I promise that when I get my old memories of us being together, that I wouldn’t let my new memories of you contaminate the old…” Tapping his head, he wondered if that was the mainly the cause of Zaikaria’s problem. Wouldn’t it work in the reverse, being forced to forget would’ve triggered the promise to activate, causing both his promise and Zaikaria’s ability to conflict with each other “Daniel’s promise would conflict with your ability, correct…?”

“It would…” The woman covered her face for a moment, trying to figure out what to do next. If Killua is to be believed, then her ability would cause a conflict of interests. However, now knowing that, she can’t return his memories. As soon as she does, Daniel would re-experience a traumatic moment of his life…

Him going through that moment again, watching Killua’s cold lifeless eyes looking down on him, fingers matted with Daniel’s blood. No, he can’t relive that moment. “I can’t return Daniel’s memories…”

“Why, the fuck… NOT?! You put him in this position, you fix him!”

“I SAID I CAN’T!”

“Then FIND SOMEONE WHO CAN!”

“I said… I can’t…”

“Fine, I’ll just call Nathaniel… he’ll find someone who can.”

“Don’t… Don’t call him!” Nathaniel’s too easy going, he’ll do it for Killua, but he doesn’t know the truth… only Vastorie and I know who gave Daniel that scar so long ago… “Only I can help Daniel…”

“THEN help him!”

“I can’t help him because of you!”

“Because I don’t trust you, or because you don’t trust me?”

“It’s because of you!” She finally broke, giving away the secret she managed to contain alongside Vastorie all this time, “YOU GAVE HIM THAT SCAR!”

“Neferpitou gave him that scar, not me!”

“NO, the other one…. The original scar along his back…”

“I’ve… what?! I’ve come to Alair taus… but until the Hunter’s Exam, I’ve never met Daniel before in my life…” Killua held Daniel even tighter, worried that this was a ploy to get him to let go of Daniel. He can’t, no matter the cost, he can’t trust Zaikaria until she proves herself.

“You came here when you were eight, to kill Daniel…”

“No, my target was someone else back then… someone…” Killua paused for a moment to really think about that moment in time, it was an older man, a businessman. He killed his target, but then someone accidentally stumbled upon him.

Killua tried to focus, to figure out who that person was. It was a young boy, but that’s all he remembers about the situation. He doesn’t remember what happened after that… “I may have met Daniel, but that doesn’t prove I’m the one who gave him the scar. We don’t kill non-targets. That was the motto of our family… at least, that’s what it should be…”

Killua eye’s flicked down to Daniel, gliding his hand through the boy’s hair as he thought out loud, “I wouldn’t purposely hurt Daniel… or anyone for that matter. Maybe…” Killua now looked up, glaring at Zaikaria, “No, if anyone is capable of hurting Daniel, it’s Illumi… If Daniel stumbled across me while I was on a mission, Illumi would have been the one to try to get rid of him… not me!”

That actually made sense to her, way too much sense. Illumi would try to get rid of an innocent bystander. Yes Illumi was in the area, coming to take away his little brother, but it Killua must have told Illumi. How else would he have found out…? “True, but you would’ve told him that Daniel stumbled across you. When I found Daniel, he was clinging onto you, with his blood on your fingers…”

“Of course there would have been blood on my fingers! It just wasn’t Daniel’s… it was someone else’s; I was eight… I wasn’t exactly the cleanliest of assassins… AND, I would never tell Illumi about Daniel, he would’ve been watching me like a hawk the entire time, telling me to get rid of Daniel… And I wouldn’t have… I’M NOT THAT KIND OF PERSON… I would never be…”

Alluka brought her hands to her brother’s side, smiling at him. He does care about people, it just that Zaikaria isn’t giving him a chance to prove himself to her. Maybe if she can see it for herself, then, she’ll be able to trust that her big brother does care for others, including her little brother Daniel “Zaikaria, how can Killua prove that he cares about Daniel?”

“If he lets me take Daniel away from him, and walk away…”

“NOT. POSSIBLE…” Killua glared at her, hating the fact she would even suggest it. He couldn’t leave Daniel, unless the boy said so himself, that he didn’t want to be around Killua anymore…

“Then if you and I won’t give up… let’s make a deal. If I release Daniel memories, which at this point of time, is the only way to save him, then you… will have to leave him once he realises you gave him that scar.”

“You and I don’t even know if I did give him that scar! But on the off chance, I did, as long as Daniel doesn’t want to be around me… then, and only then, will I give up being by his side.”

“FINE, agreed!” Zaikaria held out her hand to shake on the deal, but Killua didn’t trust her one bit.

He kept his hands on Daniel’s side, holding onto him. He hopes that by holding onto Daniel, she’ll be unable to alter his memories again, but considering how weak she is, she should only have enough to remove her ability.

Zaikaria frowned at the situation being present, her fingers inching towards her brother, hoping that Killua doesn’t go back on his word. She needed Killua to give up; to make Daniel finally realise that it was Killua who hurt him so long ago, who gave him that scar, which now has been replaced by her brother’s lack of ability to protect his friends.

All she needed to do was touch Daniel, to release the ability, and then Killua will finally give up pursuing Daniel…

As she was about to touch Daniel, Killua pulled him away, “PROMISE ME, that you won’t mess up Daniel anymore.”

Akshasamat finally spoke up after so long, his tongue slithering out of his mouth as he addressed the boy’s concern, “Ssshe won’t back on her word a sssecond time after what ssshe’s witnessed. Even I can tell, you do deeply care for the boy, Zai-Sssan just deeply caresss about Daniel too… Ssshe just wants him to be sssafe.” While it’s true to him, he felt like he hadn’t told the whole truth. She doesn’t look like she’s given up yet… She needs to see what he sees, that Killua does deeply care about Daniel.

He may have been a heartless Chimera Ant before, but even still, he’s seen those longing eyes from Killua before… and that was when he looked in the mirror.

Zaikaria’s bangs hid her face, her intention being put on the spot. Somehow, she doesn’t believe Akshasamat, but after travelling with him these past few months, she’s been able to see that people do change.

Not everyone can… But Akshasamat sees something she doesn’t, so maybe, just maybe… she’s wrong. Zaikaria’s hand made contact with Daniel, teeth grounding together, hoping she isn’t about to make the worst decision of his life, “Don’t make me regret this, and I promise I won’t attempt this again… BUT, if I’m right, you better be prepared, for me to hunt you down to the ends of the world… I will kill you for mentally screwing Daniel up…”

“Likewise…”

For a second her hand wavered, aura stopping from being trickled into Daniel. That didn’t sound like a threat, more so he seemed worried… Funnelling what was left of her Nen she targeted the box of memories, intending to disable it once and for all. Don’t make me regret this…

“~”

Killua laid Daniel down in one the guest room, his fingers tenderly touching the boy’s forehead. He could see the boy’s eyelids fluttering, possibly having a nightmare from all his memories finally returned to him. He wanted to hold the boy close, to coddle him like Daniel usually did with him, but that wasn’t possible.

Zaikaria was watching his every move like a hawk. She still didn’t trust him after seeing how much effort he put into every action; the light touches, the feathered movements. He didn’t plan to hurt Daniel at all… he wanted to care for the boy even further, to hug him tightly like he used to do with Alluka.

He wanted to be able to see the moment Daniel wakes up, to hear the first words out of his mouth to be… Welcome back. He knows that’s a damn cliché, but God damn it, after travelling with Daniel for so long, seeing him lose memories of him twice, he's gonna be as cliché as he wants to be!

Killua made sure that Daniel was comfortable before leaving the room, stopping at the door to look back once more at the boy. The need to stay by his side still urges him on, deep down in his heart. But instead, he twisted the knob, closing the door behind him.

Zaikaria was in the same room as his sister, and if he wanted to be able to protect both, he needed to be watching her like a hawk. Taking a deep breath, Killua decided to question her other actions, the refusal to pick up Daniel’s calls, “So why did you ignore Daniel for so long…?”

The woman crossed her arms, hating herself for what she was about to say, but Killua will need to know if she wants him to back off entirely, “Because the man who first removed Daniel’s memories, is my current target…”

Killua’s eyes widened at the news, clenching his fists at the temptation of probing for more information. But maybe now, he might have a chance to avoid him too, if he is going to continue being by Daniel and Alluka’s sides, “Then tell me what he looks like, please…”

Zaikaria flicked her eyes over to Alluka, watching her run her fingers across the snake on the table, Akshasamat flinching at every touch. But he wasn’t planning on leaving the girl any time soon. He seemed to have this strange form of trust with Alluka, acting like a puppy craving attention.

It made her smile inwardly; maybe she was being too harsh on Alluka. With Killua… it makes sense to her. What she saw back then, she realised that the boy not only tried to hurt Daniel but running into and begging for her help, was the last thing he should’ve done. Granted, now it was possible that she could’ve been wrong this entire time…

Looking back at Killua, it was almost like life was repeating itself, Killua before her once more, begging for her help, “So, what are you going to do with that information?”

“If I’m going to continue being by Daniel’s side, I want to avoid him as much as we can… I could stun him, but eventually, his ability caused me to fall asleep. If it weren’t for Vastorie and Nathaniel-”

“WAIT, back up… Vastorie knows his back?”

“Yeah, he was furious… Actually, a lot has happened, but I’m not telling you anything… until you give me what I want.”

“If Vastorie knows, this changes everything. I can only return Daniel’s memories, not the lingering effects of the man’s aura. You need to find someone else who can perform a Nen exorcism.”

“You can’t-”

“Wait,” Zaikaria bit her thumb, Daniel broke through her ability without the need of an exorcist or mental manipulation, just a promise to never forget about Killua. If Daniel reinforces that talent, maybe he could build a big enough defence to bypass the lingering effect, “Did Vastorie or Nathaniel give you contacts to anyone else besides me?”

“Why, what lingering effects?! What will happen if Victor dies?”

“Victor?! I’ve never said his name…”

“His name is on a list of people to visit, written down Nathaniel… Wait, you’re talking about the deep sleep. If Victor dies, Daniel will fall into a deep sleep, an endless, vicious nightmare…”

“Vastorie told you… didn’t he…?”

“Not everything… just the consequences of his ability after death.”

“I need the list of names, hopefully, Nathaniel wrote down her name…”

“Whose name…?”

“Scarlet Sutton…”

A loud slam caused the four to jumped, head twisted towards the guest bedroom door. It had taken Zaikaria too long to realise what that sound was, her eyes widening at the possibility. No, it was way too early for Daniel to have woken up. She ran to the door, flinging it open without any regard to who or what may have been on the other side.

What she saw made her blood turn cold, twisting back to look at Akshasamat, “Send out your snakes! FAN THE AREA! Find him now before he HURTS HIMSELF.”

Killua’s eyes widened at the possibility that Daniel may try to hurt himself. He always acted erratically after his mistakes, but he would consider this the biggest mistake of them all. Forgetting someone who he said he was in love with…

Shifting his feet, Killua ran up to Alluka, “Whatever you do, DO NOT leave this place!” Not even waiting for a second longer, Killua left through the front door, Zaikaria screaming at him to come back. But he couldn’t, not when Daniel was alone and feeling helpless. The moment cool air touched his skin; electricity engulfed his body, chasing after the one way he knew how to find Daniel…

The weak trail of aura, beckoning him to not come any closer…

“~”

Daniel shifted, an unwelcoming sight of loneliness filling the sheets beside him. He bit his lip when he felt a jolt of pain wash through him, his head filled with so many voices, memories ringing out all at once.

He didn’t know what was happening, or how to fix it, even when he felt his dry hoarse voice call out, all he could hear was a slight whimper of pain, too quiet for anyone to hear. He could hear muffled voices come from outside his door, but the pain was too unbearable, impossible to focus on who they were.

Daniel curled in on himself, desperately trying to eliminate the constant barrage of thoughts. He didn’t think it would happen or believe the case to be true, the calm before the storm.

The moment he thought he could relax, he could finally focus his attention on the people outside, the very first thing he could remember, was a conflicting promise he made. He promised to never forget Killua, yet from what he could remember about that night, he could barely remember Killua, his words and feelings didn’t match.

Then one-by-one, another memory came right after, each showing the same conflicting memories and feelings. In each one, he remembered differently to what he should have felt.

He felt as though those events shouldn’t have transpired, he shouldn’t have acted like that, said things he would’ve never dreamed of saying to Killua. Hell, he could see the look of distraught, the sadness, as if those events were happening right before his eyes.

But he hadn’t stopped himself…

He hadn’t apologised to Killua at all for pretending as though they never dated. As the thoughts sank in, so did his hearing come back, Killua and Zaikaria, arguing, about him, about events he couldn’t remember until now.

Throwing the sheets aside, Daniel walked up to the window, still clutching his head.

Why, what lingering effects?! What will happen if Victor dies?

Daniel paused at the name, Victor… who was Victor…? Daniel clutched at his head, begging for the memories to stop coming.

Victor?! I’ve never said his name…

His name is on a list of people to visit, written down Nathaniel…

List…? What list? The names Nathaniel gave us…? Daniel briefly recounted the names, stopping as he counted the last, eyes widening in fear. Victor Tempest… HIS THE ONE THAT MADE ME FORGET ABOUT KILLUA…

He bit his lip at the thought, reaching at the window to open the latch, to let the gentle breeze hopefully ease his mind.

Wait, you’re talking about the deep sleep.

As he touched the handle, a flashback hit him, the pulsating tree; the man’s whose hair looked like a wildfire in a snowstorm, his smile as he was pulling something from the tree and the pain intensifying the longer he waited. The moment he felt the pain alleviated, that was when an object was thrown to him, pulled from the very tree causing him pain as the man disappeared.

If Victor dies, Daniel will fall into a deep sleep, an endless, vicious nightmare…

Daniel’s eyes shook at the information, hand pressed against the handlebar. All voices were cut out, the sinking feeling of despair washing over him. The last thing he could remember before he threw open the window, was Victor’s eyes on him, the smile he gave him before tossing Killua’s head.

He ran, silently begging for him to not come any closer. He felt the breeze go by, running in a single direction, unable to grasp where he was going, just far enough to get out of the reach of Victor’s grasp.

He eventually found a small clove, trees cutting off the view. Hitting the tree, Daniel curled in on himself, begging the memories to stop, to find peace during the chaos of his thoughts.

But they never did, the boy could only continue to beg for the voices to stop, head buried in his legs. It almost felt as though Victor was there beside him, his hand reaching out, the same gleeful smile he last witnessed, before having lost his memories of Killua.

Please, make them stop… make them stop… Killua…

I’m sorry, Killua…

Please, help me… somebody… Killua!

“~”

There was a shift in demeanour, Killua’s eyes gaze landed on a small alcove, the aura trail stopping amongst a small patch of trees, hiding the individual, the boy he was hoping to find.

He hadn’t reacted to Killua’s presence at all, the boy’s shaking figure hunched over, face buried between his legs. No matter how much Zaikaria begged, he was glad he didn’t listen to her pleas to stay back. After witnessing the boy in this mind state, he could tell that leaving Daniel alone for too long would’ve been a mistake.

Daniel needed to be found immediately, and Zaikaria’s method would’ve taken even longer. He took a few steps forward, calling out to the boy on the fourth step “Daniel…?” There was no response, the boy still in the same position, not even a reaction to his name being called.

Now he really needed to make sure Daniel was ok. He crossed the distance, kneeling before the boy, calling out to the boy once more. Only when his hand made contact, did Daniel react, his head flicking up, visible pain shown strewn across his features.

Killua almost broke at the boy’s obvious distress, his lack of reaction to Killua’s presence. He looked fearful, scared, five seconds felt like an eternity to him. When Daniel finally realised who he was looking at, his eyes watered, digging his fingers into the boy as he buried his face in the crane of Killua’s neck.

Every trickle of tears could be felt, and while he was smiling, the before sequence made his breath stutter. He reached around Daniel, pulling in the boy as close as space would allow him to. But those pleas… the plea being uttered by the boy, made his heart falter, gripping Daniel even tighter.

“It won’t stop…”

“It’s ok…” Killua hummed to the boy, his fingers running along the boy’s back, hoping that the slight touch would be enough to sooth his partner's pain. But, it didn’t do as much; only slightly ease the tension, the pleas still coming.

He didn’t know how to help, unsure what Daniel meant by: it won’t stop. He was in distress, but it wasn’t anything physical, making it something more on the mental side. Were all of the boy’s memories hitting him at once, making it impossible to focus on reality?

He curled his hands around Daniel’s hips, pushing him away slightly so he could get a better grasp of the situation “What’s wrong…?”

No reaction, eyes glazed slightly over, unfocused.

Killua touched the boy’s cheeks, his eyes coming to life, now focused on him. He asked the question again, still no reaction to the words. So he asked a third time, this time mouthing the words, and this time he got a response.

“The voices… they won’t stop…”

Killua’s eyes closed, listening for anything abnormal nearby; there was nothing but him, the quietness of the night providing zero background noise for them. It has to be something mental, abnormally screwing with his mind…

He changed the question, mouthing them on the first attempt, “What voices…?”

“Yours… Alluka’s… they all keep talking to me, but I don’t sound normal… I’m acting like you no longer exist…”

Killua ran a finger through the boy’s hair, tucking a few stray hairs behind his ears, “They’re not real… I am. Try to listen to my voice, forget about the others.”

“I… I can’t, there are too many of them…”

“Try…” Killua mouthed, making sure to keep Daniel’s eyes on him only. If Daniel closes his eyes, he’ll start focusing on the same voices hurting him. Killua continued to coax Daniel; his hand caressing the boy’s back, offering a gentle squeeze as his other softly ran along the boy’s cheeks, the same level of pressure being applied to his back.

It took a while, but eventually, the voices dimmed down, still calling out in the back of the boy’s mind, but at least now he could hear Killua, his soothing voice bringing the boy to tears.

Daniel pulled in Killua once he was able to hear the boy, crying out one sorry after another, Killua’s touches never relenting. Just hearing Daniel addressing him was more than he could handle, desperately trying, to not cry in front of his boyfriend.

Daniel wasn’t afraid of him…

Daniel wasn’t pushing him away…

Whatever fears and doubts Zaikaria has of him, she was utterly wrong. Daniel was refusing to let him go. He couldn’t have been happier, even if Zaikaria had stumbled across them, wrenching him out of Daniel’s grasp to kill him, he’ll still be happy.

He got what he wanted, for Daniel to have his memories intact…

Although, he still wants to live, so he’ll fight an obviously weak Zaikaria to the bitter end.

Killua coaxed Daniel to look at him once more, met with a tear stricken face. His lip curled upward in a soft smile, running his thumb under the boy’s eyes to wipe away some of the tears, only to have them replaced by new ones.

It killed him to see this side of Daniel after finally having his memories returned. He felt like he should be stronger, but no matter how much he struggled to contain it, he couldn’t hold back any longer. He was reunited with Daniel, and nothing could change how happy he could be. Leaning forward, Killua pulled the boy in for a kiss.

Daniel’s arms dug into his back, holding him in place. Not only could he remember who Killua was to him, the kiss made the reunion way more special to him. The boy’s body heat against his own, the warmth of one another. The way his heart hammered against his chest, the last of the puzzle pieces locking into place…

It was special to Daniel…

He was afraid to let Killua go, scared that their lack of touch will cause him to forget about the boy once more. When Killua was able to pull back, he was met with Daniel’s dopey smile, a smile like none other. His cheeks flushed at the idea of him being the cause of this, but the need to kiss was returning once more, and he didn’t exactly want to resist it any longer.

His cheeks reddened further at the thought, but Killua leaned forward, pressing his lips into the boy’s forehead, the gesture feeling right before he spoke, “Welcome back…”

Daniel offered a weaken smile, his grip loosening enough so he could lightly hug Killua. He felt so relieved, at peace, even when those voices were still playing in the back of his mind, he was just happy to finally remember who Killua was to him…

A best friend…

A lover…

His lips trembled at the memory, now remembering something hadn’t been able to recall at all.

Who Killua originally was to him…

The boy he failed to save long ago…

Killua was the original person he called his Angel… And the reason for doing so was because of the moonlight, the soft white glow accentuated by the colour of his hair.

Daniel brought his lips to Killua, each other flushed with excitement and an unending yearning for happiness. He pulled back for the briefest of seconds, consumed with the undying need for love and attention. Even if he wanted to, he couldn’t stop the tremble in his voice, “I’m back, Killua…”

On the break of his trembling lips, Daniel leaned forward; unable to stop himself any longer, the tears returning as he clung onto Killua, sharing a kiss he didn’t want to end. I’m back…

“~”

Under the cover of night, two watched the scene, the older woman unable to deny it any longer. She bit her lip, using the shadows as a way to slink back into the darkness. Nothing made sense to her anymore, but there were two people that it made sense to, Daniel and Killua…

They were so relieved to see each other, Killua comforting the boy when Zaikaria so badly wanted to shove him away to help her little brother out.

But a Nen snake had stopped her, its body curled around her foot, head shaking at her mental decision. There were only two people she can talk to now, her companion and Alluka…

And as much as it pains her to admit her mistake, she needed to apologise to Daniel, Alluka and Killua now…

Vastorie… You were right… they were destined to meet each other. But even you couldn’t predict this outcome… You said they’ll be the best of friends…

But witnessing it with my eyes, they aren’t… they’re more than that…

They remind me how you once were with Nathaniel, smiling…

I hope you still are…

Please, do not cast him aside…

Chapter Text

It felt like an eternity had gone by, the tears and cries lost in the wind, neither one willing to talk about the past as if it ever happened. Daniel so badly wanted to ask a single question gnawing at his heart, the sounds of his own voice chastising him… threatening him for making a mistake he couldn’t see coming a mile away.

Everything was alright now, right…? Sadly the false sense of relief was wrong. Nothing was ok, as long as the enemy was still out there, the one who forced him to forget about Killua.

The boy took a deep breath, “Killua-”

“I get it… we’re not going to talk about it. At least, not for now…” Killua hummed, sending chilling breaths along Daniel’s spine. “I just want everything to return to how it was… Before Zaikaria… before Yanick… before the shit hit the fan…”

“My father…?”

“Definitely, he has some issues he needs to work out of his system.”

“And we don’t?”

“Oh, we do… just not right now. Please, you understand why…”

“Jumbled memories aren’t helping here…”

Killua chuckled at the false sense of bravado, pulling back slightly, his fingers running through Daniel’s hair, sensing for anything broken he needs to mend right now. Daniel was still in pain, although it’s not as painful to watch as it was before. He just needed a little time for the memories to soak in, then and only then, could they finally talk about it.

Just not right now…

Not when they needed to talk to Zaikaria…

Not when both of them were ready to break, the moment the bell rings its toll. Killua shifted his posture, hoping that Alluka was ok, unharmed by the time he gets back. He hopes that the woman was not irrational, but there’s a question he really wants to ask first, before they leave, “Daniel, who were you hoping would come save you…?”

Daniel closed his eyes at the question, cheeks slightly tinted at his thoughts. Killua was going to kill him… if he says it, “You…” the boy spoke softly, his eyes opening to look Killua in the eyes.

They say the eyes are the windows to one’s soul, making it impossible to lie, even if they say they believe you. It felt like hours had gone by once more, but if Daniel had to rate the redness in Killua’s cheeks; it would definitely be on the reddest side, although, he’s not really sure if it was the worst he has ever seen, “Deep down I felt like you would reach me first…”

“OK, no need to explain any further…” Killua buried his face, hoping that his cheeks weren’t acting like mini heaters. He was happy, there was not a single lie in Daniel’s eyes, and the boy really believed he would be first. Nothing could break the happiness he was feeling right now, “I’m glad… Also, I may have warned everyone not to talk about me, so… now I have to tell them that it’s ok.”

“I’m really sorry…”

“I know…”

As Daniel raised a finger, Killua was forced to grab it, pushing it back down to stop the boy from arguing. All he wanted was a couple more minutes of silence and a simple hug. That’s all he was asking for right now. Nothing more…

Nothing less…

Killua brought his arms about around Daniel, pulling him in close, one hand cupping the back of the boy’s head; a drip of water hitting him on the head. Oh no… Killua mused to himself, really hoping that it doesn’t rain. It would be awfully cliché, something that he doesn’t need right now.

When another drop hit him, Killua brought his arms around Daniel, picking him up by the back and legs.

“I can walk… you know…”

“But in terms of speed…” rain began to fall, each drip becoming more frequent than the last, breaking the mood slightly, “I can run.” And on that note, Killua ran, back towards Alluka… and the woman who attempted to destroy their relationship once more.

Now she’ll be too weak to do any more damage, but tonight… they can have a civilised talk, to find out what Victor looks like, and make plans to avoid him, including… stopping Daniel from falling into a deep sleep. He had Daniel now, and his not going to lose him again…

Scarlet Sutton was their next target, although it was weird Nathaniel wouldn’t mention the fact that Daniel’s loss of memories can be returned, but not the other aspect… that he can die if the lingering aura remained, cloaked amongst Daniel’s endless questions.

Maybe the man just wanted Killua to get back Daniel before he did anything else. Or maybe… he didn’t realise Zaikaria would attempt to break them up, that’s why he never sent them to Scarlet first.

Whatever he was thinking, at least now, Killua has some good news to bring to the table.

“~”

Zaikaria sat across from Alluka, the snake acting like a protective shield, lying atop of Alluka’s pink frilly skirt. It was so awkward having to be the one to apologise, but was more awkward, was that Akshasamat not only chose the right side at the start but was the one acting the most human in the situation.

He saw something that her seething rage from a single situation refused to acknowledge. It’s the same thing Vastorie would be going through right now. She should’ve stopped to think about all outcomes, not just get rid of Alluka and Killua.

“Alluka, I’m sorry for the way I treated you… I was blinded by my anger.”

Alluka smiled a little, just for the apology, but there was someone more she needed to apologise to; Killua and her little brother, Daniel. They were the ones, she should be apologising to the most.

There was an awkward pause, Akshasamat now moving away from Alluka, the snake intending to curl up on Zaikaria.

The moment he curled up on Zaikaria, her hand curled along the scaled back, his tongue slivering out between his lips.

The young girl thought she may have seen something more, but Zaikaria continuing stopped her from addressing the situation, “So, I overheard Killua telling you to avoid me, because of my ability to read minds, correct?”

Alluka nodded, expecting her to say more, but instead, the woman diverted the topic slightly, “Alright, well, you have nothing to worry about then. I’ve already met someone in your position before, on multiple occasions. You have nothing to worry about there… Just don’t ask for girly tips, I’m terrible at being girly. Makeup advice is ok though… it’s the only girly thing I can do…”

The light laugh didn’t help the mood, but at least Alluka wasn’t on edge now, hopefully enough to talk about what she really wants to know… “Alluka, you’d be the most unbiased in this situation… tell me about Daniel and Killua.”

“What do you want to know…?”

“Before and after, how did Daniel act around Killua…?”

Alluka paused, fingers digging into the skirt. Should she really be telling her anything? She was acting judgmental towards them, but now she wants details. She found Daniel and Killua, hadn’t she…? “Did you find them…?”

“Yes, I want to understand… from an outsider’s perspective…”

Alluka smiled slightly, her lips widening at the news. It would be better to ask her brother, but Zaikaria might still be on edge, not able to trust Killua just yet. She can put him in a positive light; hopefully before the two get back, “Well, when I met Daniel… I can’t really say I liked him at the beginning.”

Zaikaria snorted, the sounds of pitter patter rain starting to fall. It was amusing to hear she wasn’t the only one who wanted to break the relationship up, but Alluka has come accustomed to having Daniel in her life, whereas Zaikaria was trying to find a reason to like the boy, “Please, continue…”

“~”

Killua paused at the door, quiet chatter coming from within. It seems Alluka and Zaikaria were talking about something, something he may not like. Just as Killua was about to reach for the handle, Daniel’s hand stopped him.

Killua features softening as he looked down at Daniel, the boy still being held in his arms.

“I don’t think you should walk in, with me still in your arms…”

“Oh,” Killua’s lips curled into a sly smirk, so badly wanting to walk in the room with Daniel in his arms, “don’t you want to be my little prince?”

“Sure…” Daniel hummed, crossing his arms at the accusation. Something tells him Killua’s not willing to let go yet, but the same applies to him as well; he didn’t want to be let go of either. Daniel shifted his posture, positioning himself better Killua’s arm, forcing Killua to support the boy’s head on his shoulder.

Killua pressed the side of his head against Daniel’s, wanting a little more than to just simply hold the boy. Daniel roped one arm over the boy’s shoulder while the other curled around Killua’s back, hugging the boy.

He didn’t want to be let go, nor did he want to go into the cottage just yet. He had something he wanted to ask before they went inside, uncaring if his sister might overhear them. “I know you don’t want to talk about it, but there’s one question I need to ask before we go in…”

Killua looked away for a moment, trying to figure out if answering a question while it’s raining is ok? Daniel did look as though he wanted to ask it, no matter what, like he refuses to give up.

The boy took a breath, sighing out in reluctance “Alright, one question…”

“Was there any moment, where I made you feel like you wanted to let go…?”

There was a long pause, Killua closing his eyes as he thought about it. Several times would be the correct answer… but every time he came close to giving up, not only was everyone else telling him: not to give up, but he refused to do so as well.

Daniel was there for him with Gon; seeing his destroyed, bloody figure, only left Killua feeling in distraught, agony…

Daniel was there for him… for Gon…  

Even when the butlers were holding him down, Daniel refused to give up.

Killua was the same, even after seeing Daniel’s empty gazing eyes directed at him, he wanted to see those eyes full of the love and admiration he was so used to seeing…

He wanted it with every fibre of his being…

He craved it…

“Yes…”

Daniel’s head dropped in shame. Killua placed Daniel down on the ground, their foreheads resting against each other once more. As much as he wanted to kiss Daniel, now was not the right time, he needed to do something more important, how he should’ve answered the question, “but, I want you to know, I never gave up on you…”

When Daniel’s gaze met his, Killua offered a genuine smile, “You didn’t give up with me…”

“But I treated you like shit…”

“Well, true…” Killua awkwardly turned away, fingers now running awkwardly through his hair, “but I’m not exactly innocent either…”

“Like that time-”

“Exactly!” Killua stopped him before he could mention the time he moaned Gon’s name. That was way too awkward to bring up, especially when Zaikaria was inside the cottage. The boy moved to run his fingers along Daniel’s cheeks, feeling the heat which possibly matched his own. They were probably burning right now, but Daniel was too focused to notice the difference.

He could see it. The want and desire in Daniel’s eyes; the need to be closer. But either the boy was too afraid or ashamed to ask, the act of forgetting about Killua had dampened the boy’s need and desires.

Looks like they’ll have a lot to talk about during the night, but for now, Killua should focus on looking forward. He has Daniel, and that’s all matters right now, “The past is the past… you taught me that, well, you and Gon… I…” Killua’s cheeks reddened as his thoughts turned to a more, cheesy, loving tone, now feeling unable to voice his own opinions.

Daniel needed to hear it, no matter how rosy his cheeks got in the process, “I’m just happy to have you here, so there’s no need to look back… just forward. But we’re not exactly out of the water yet. Zaikaria can’t remove the remainder of the ability inflicted on you, which is why we need to move forward, ok…?”

Daniel nodded, the act causing Killua to smile, his hands coming down to the boy’s side to rub them in a comforting manner, “Good…” Giving Daniel a quick pat, the boy gestured his partner to the door, “head in and we’ll hopefully get out of these wet clothes.”

“~”

There was a long awkward silence, Killua and Daniel forced to share a single blanket, and thankfully neither of them were naked. Although, they were really close, wearing only a bathrobe gown; one pink, the other white.

Zaikaria wasn't pleased, due to the fact both boys came inside soaking wet. Regardless of whether or not Nen was stopping them from getting a cold, the fact Daniel was soaking wet made her momentarily furious, but the only sane person in the room had calmed her enough to think about the matter.

Daniel had been paying close attention to the Chimera Ant which is now a tiny snake, noticing the subtle actions, including his mannerisms. He’d have to bring that up some time during the night.

“So…” Killua mused, eyes glancing between Alluka and Zaikaria, “are we going to talk, or are you going to spend the rest of the night, hoping that if you glare hard enough, you’ll melt my face off…”

“Zai…”

The woman sighed, “ALRIGHT, I’ll back off… for now…”

“ZAI…”

“I said for now, jeez…”

The Chimera ant bent forward, groaning in annoyance. His tongue slithered out of his mouth, accentuating the noise by a few seconds longer than necessary, “Don’t you want to make up for your mistakes?”

“Of course… just… Every time I close my eyes, I see Killua holding your bloody corpse, Daniel. You must understand by now what I’m talking about… understand why you shouldn’t be around Killua.”

“We had this discussion… You lost. I win. End of discussion.”

“Killua…” Daniel squeezed his partner’s hand, hoping that he can calm the boy, even if he pisses his sister off in the process, “Listen, Zai, I know why you did it… even if I hate you for removing my memories.”

“I-”

“You got everything wrong. I remember exactly how it went down like it was only yesterday. Killua didn’t hurt me… he was trying to save me…”

The gentle breeze, a boy as young as eight, fingers grazing the sky, drawing little images of animals amongst the flies; he looked up, smiling at his older sister, one hand reaching out to rope his fingers between his sister’s.

He was giddy, happy to have a single night out, the starry night sky supplying all the light needed to the evening. It had been a while since it was just the two of them, his sister’s over caring nature rivalling Nathaniel’s.

Daniel’s fingers let go of his sister’s, running a little further in, careful to not lose sight of her. He wanted to play a game of ‘hide and seek’, the trees able to provide enough spots to hide, even if she would catch him in the end, it was the game that was fun, not the never being fun.

There was a nod, Zaikaria beginning to count as Daniel went further in, finding a small cliff that housed a tiny cave, big enough to hide him. He smiled to himself from grand find, hoping that it would take a little longer to find.

There was a slight shift in posture, Zaikaria listening to the boy discussing his memories of the night, the genuine care and admiration he had back then for her. So, Daniel back then had found a cave to hide in, just in reach of her ability, no wonder Daniel was all giddy back then… he was thinking about a cave, hiding just perfectly in range of her.

The boy continued, describing the rest of that night.

It was a wonderful find, yet… also dangerous.

Daniel slugged deeper into the cave, slipping on a rock in the process. There was a thud, followed by moving gravel, the boy slipping further into the cave, just dropping short of another entrance leading out.

Shaken and scared, the boy exited, hoping that he’d be easier to find out in the open. Instead, he stumbled across something else, a smell so foul, putrid, coppery wafting in the wind.

Like a marionette on strings, he was being played, drawn to the location, unaware of the possible outcomes. He was a child back then, too innocent to know the difference of right and wrong, to know if danger was right around the corner.

He stopped, a boy standing there, his back turned to him, wispy white hair flowing in the draft, red liquid dripping down his finger, joining the larger puddle on the floor seeping into the grass.

The boy was shaking, possibly as scared as he was right now, stumbling onto the scene just like Daniel had. Or maybe, the person lying on the floor was their father or mother… it was hard to tell at his angle.

When Daniel took one step forward, the crunch of the stick made the boy flinched. He twisted around to see who was behind him, a look of terror contorting his features.

Daniel froze from the image, the cute little boy, with ghostly white skin, and blue eyes like a deep ocean beach in summer. The moonlight glow accentuated the boy’s figure, giving him a slight radiant glow… He was an angel in Daniel’s eyes.

Killua’s skin flushed red, “What are you, a photographer now?! I did not have ghostly white skin… or deep ocean blue eyes… or look like an angel with a slight radiant glow! Definitely not, if you did stumble across me during a… mission…”

“I’m only going by my memories of that night… what I was thinking… feeling within that moment…” Daniel paused for a moment, looking back on the scene, wondering if back then he would have started to develop feelings for Killua. He sensed none, just a fascination, mixed with feelings of worry and concern, “back then, I wanted to help you. You seemed to be scared, although back then, I thought it was because you thought I was the one who attacked the person…”

Daniel looked up, now directing his attention to Killua, “But with what I’ve experienced over the years, my thoughts at the time… were wrong!”

Daniel took another step forward, the boy retaliating by taking another step back. He was scared, but the boy gave no reason to make him scared, “Its ok… I’m not here to hurt you. I just want to help…”

“You need to leave, now!”

Daniel was surprised, caught off guard by the boy’s demands, “I want to help you.”

“You- You can’t!” There was a pause, a silent whisper coming from the boy, “No one can…”

Daniel took a few steps forward, only stopping once the boy had looked up, realising his even closer, “stay away! I don’t want to hurt you too…”

“Hurt me…?” Daniel tilted his head in surprise, now looking at the figure on the ground. Had he hurt this boy, if so, what the white-haired boy did was in self-defence and not his fault “everything is ok, he won’t hurt you anymore… I think… I can protect you…”

Killua chuckled, rosy cheeks still prominent, “You were so innocent… unlike me… I murdered the guy, and you were thinking I did it to protect myself.”

“Yeah, totally…” Daniel sarcastically responded, dryly continuing for added comedy, “My first thought totally should’ve been this boy’s a killer. Your beauty overtook the man’s senses, blood spraying from his nose like those scenes in animes.”

Killua choked on air, eyes widening in terror. He thought Zaikaria would be glaring daggers at him; instead, she had a mild amusement grace her face, holding back the need to laugh. At least she thought that was a joke and not an actual backhanded compliment.

“Al- Alright, continue…”

Daniel offered a smile.

Daniel took another step forward, reaching out for the boy with moonlight hair, his figure seizing up. He was scared, and only when the boy’s hand took hold of his, his actions came more erratically.

His fingers sharpened something Daniel hadn’t expected at all. When he took a swipe, Daniel’s aura flared to life, Ten being the only thing he could do at the time; he has been practising it for a few months since then, the ability providing enough benefits to deter any serious damage.

But Nathaniel’s training was the one to kick in the most, fingers grasping the boy’s wrist, even though the boy’s fingers could still dig into his skin. But from the moment Daniel took hold of the boy’s wrist, he had remained frozen.

Daniel took the opportune time to pull him into a hug, “Everything is ok… you’re safe with me…”

Fingers dug into the boy’s back, needy in feeling. There wasn’t a sob or a sound, just hands digging into his back.

“And that would have been when Killua gave you that scar.”

Killua gave Daniel’s sister the finger, although he has no memory of that night, he could see why he would hug Daniel. It was a need back then… something he craved. Hell, he would hug Alluka all the time because he enjoyed the feeling, but Daniel quoting it as needy didn’t help in the slightest, “It couldn’t have been me…”

“What do you mean?”

“Even if Daniel was barely trained in Ten, it would’ve provided enough defence to stop any of my attacks. It probably would’ve explained why I was scared during the moment. It was something I couldn’t understand… Anyways, when we were at Heavens Arena, Zushi could use Ten, and any hits I landed on him, did absolutely no damage to him… he just… got back up… every time…”

“Exactly,” Daniel clapped his hands together under the blanket, “back then, you couldn’t use Nen, making it impossible for Killua to hurt me back then.”

Zaikaria shifted in her seat, uncomfortable by the news. If Killua hadn’t, then Illumi was the one to blame… or someone else who was watching Killua at the time. OR, like her original thought, Killua’s scared nature would’ve begged the person looking after him to kill Daniel instead, “Or, he asked for help…”

Daniel sighed, Akshasamat interjecting, “May I be bold, missstressss…?”

“Yesss…” there was a pause, almost smug in appreciation, “sssss”

The Chimera Ant rolled his eyes, “Lisssten to the ressst of what your brother hasss to sssay…”

Daniel nodded at the ant, his eyes now glancing back at his sister, “Akamut is right…”

Daniel held on for what felt like forever, a smile now etched along his face, “What’s your-” it felt like something dug into his back, inching it’s way along his skin, drawing a thin line between his upper right shoulder and left lower back.

He cried out, the boy in his arms visibly shaken. Moments after, felt like he was bouncing between conscious and unconscious thoughts, a conversation happening without any of his output.

“Why, you could’ve knocked him out…”

“Kil, I taught you better than that…” the voice was sick and twisted, words without emotion, taking hold of the conversation, sinking nothing but darkness into a tight grip that not even the brightest of moons could penetrate through.

He couldn’t remember the words being spoken after, consciousness fading in and out right after. What he, however, could remember were two hands holding him, small in stature. ‘Kil?’ had picked him up, a draft whistling in his ears,

Daniel’s weak voice barely registering through the noise, “I can stop him…”

“You're-” there was a pause, verbal curses being spit out left and right like a mantra, rivalling any sailor’s dictionary, “SHIT! FUCK! You’re bleeding too much… You aren’t doing shit! Hospital… the nearest hospital… I don’t know! I need to stop the bleeding! Hold on…”

There was a quiet thud, followed by the sounds of something ripping. Daniel remembered opening his eyes, but his vision was too blurred to see what was happening.

The last thing he could remember was more swearing, followed by the words, “It’s too much. I need to find help!”

Daniel blinked, trying to figure out if he could remember anymore, but in all honesty, he couldn’t. It was too fuzzy, but Killua at that time was acting frantic.

The boy couldn’t deny it. The teen with a cold sickening voice… had to have been Illumi back then; Killua had begged Illumi to let him go. Killua was probably searching for anyone else other than his brother. Also, besides Killua’s mother, Illumi was the only one who called him Kil.

Daniel’s eyes found Killua’s, “I don’t feel like Killua was the one intending to kill me, well, because I’m still here. Also, I was kinda remembered screaming for you to save the angel…”

Killua’s cheeks flushed at the words, Daniel has called him ‘My angel’ once or twice in the past. Now with all his memories unlocked, that nickname makes sense.

Even now as Daniel looks back on it, to have that part of his memory taken away was cruel. But, a smile soon found itself being brought back, the flashback made a little more sense now.

So long ago, he cried out for his sister to save a certain boy, the one he originally called: his angel.

And here he was again once more, reunited, his arms roped now roped around the boy he failed to save long ago. Would he ever imagine a situation where the two met, reunite and dating each other, back then, he highly doubted it…

Zaikaria’s eyes met Killua’s, “Only Killua can vouch for your story now, the missing parts at least. At least stay here for the rest of the night, by morning, you can go… the only way I’ll believe Killua is if Illumi’s mental block is unlocked… and that’s out of my hands right now.”

“Wait, you were able to free Daniel’s-”

“Only because they were wrapped up in a nice bundle of my design; also, remember, he is still under the effects of Victor’s ability…”

“Victor Rushifā Tempest?”

Zaikaria closed her eyes, afraid of hearing his full name. Daniel remembers everything, including, the possibility of what he looks like. “So, you remember his details…?”

Killua’s eyes widened, “Y- You remember, including what he looks like?!”

“Yes… but I don’t know why I remember two other instances of meeting him. Once in my dreams, while we were on Whale Island-”

“Whale Island…?” Zaikaria raised an eyebrow; that memory must be very far back, sometime after the Hunter’s Exam.

“Yes, Gon’s birth… more like childhood hometown…”

“Right…”

“The other was when we landed in Alair taus, at the café… we lead him right to my father. I guess Vastorie was right to blame me…”

“Wait, what?!” Zaikaria held out her hand to Daniel, “What do you mean he blamed you for Victor’s actions…?”

“Nathaniel… let Victor go a long time ago; dad believed he was dead all this time. His rage… anger… it didn’t help at the time of his obvious rejection of never having me. Nathaniel created a list of people we should visit, so I can understand my father better. You, were on that list…”

Zaikaria closed her eyes, a seething hatred brewing. Killua stayed by Daniel’s side, even though his father had rejected his son. Killua had unconsciously earned some points from her, “you have my thanks, Killua…”

“I- I’m sorry…” Killua leaned a little forward; unable to hide the smugness in his voice “I couldn’t quite hear that…”

Biting her lip, she frowned, “You’re pushing your luck now. Just, thank you… for helping Daniel through his memory loss, even though he probably hated your guts…”

Killua awkwardly rubbed his hands together, looking away from everyone. Talk about rubbing salt in wounds. She certainly knew how to hurt him during a compliment, but it’s honestly the best his going to get out of her right now, “You’re welcome…”

“I know about Victor’s alternate memories, but I also know the side of him you never met. Vastorie does love you; it’s just hard for him to convey it. He doesn’t exactly have a father figure in his life.”

Daniel nodded before Zaikaria continued, “So, his memories are attached to another world… but, Avalos, isn’t just Vastorie’s first crush, it’s his ideals…”

“Huh, explain…?”

“I probed his mind once when he wasn’t looking… Avlas shares similarities with Nathaniel.”

“And…?”

“His free-spirited… something Vastorie doesn’t see yet. He just desires to kill Victor, but… Nathaniel didn’t tell Vastorie he was still alive, why?”

“He couldn’t find him…?”

“Sure, but it’s a little simpler than that… Victor is hiding something. I tried searching for his name, but nothing popped up on the Hunter’s website. His details are locked.”

“Could he be a Hunter?”

“It’s possible… maybe even a three-star Hunter. I lost his presence the moment he landed here.”

“HE’S HERE?!” Killua and Daniel yelled almost in sync. Why didn’t Zaikaria lead with this?

“Yes, and he doesn’t want to be found… he keeps hiding. I don’t know why, but I’m hoping to find, and interrogate him. I want the truth!”

“~”

There was a pause, a journal falling on the table, a man groaning as he clenched his face between his fingers. There was nothing more to read, the last journal page written by a man who seemed scared…

I’m not me…

I’m nOt mE…

I’M NOT ME…

“Victor… what happened to you on the Dark Continent…?”

Chapter Text

There was a shift in the mood. It hadn’t stopped raining at all, adding ambience to the sour, quiet mood. The revelation of Victor knowing more than he's letting on, wouldn’t be an uncommon fact, it’s just one Daniel wouldn’t dare to stop and think about it.

Looking back on it, what did Victor hope to gain from him losing his memories of Killua…? Neither one knew about each other until now, so there was no reason to do so…

Unless…

Shifting from his own thoughts, Daniel’s attention was focused on Zaikaria, “My memories of Killua were taken away by Victor… Is it possible he intended to take something else?” Daniel grits his teeth, a ringing in his ears. A memory forced to relieve itself within the current moment.

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 viewpoint. 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.

“My Ercole!

“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 pain soon dulled after the thought, shifting his attention back to his sister, “Ercole…?”

“Ercole? Ah, Vastorie’s original name…”

“Victor wasn’t planning on getting rid of my memories of Killua… he wanted to get rid of Vastorie’s! I’ll make him suffer like I have!

“Then his ability is flawed…” Killua hummed, dreading what was about to come next. He can always predict these moments, Daniel’s unfiltered thoughts being spewed forth like a tidal wave of raw emotions.

“No, it’s not flawed… that’s how he thinks. He thought that I loved Vastorie more than anyone else in the world. He thinks I put him on a pedestal… he wanted dad to suffer, not you…”

“Then…” Killua paused, mulling over the already known facts:
Victor is unbelievably strong for his age, able to blend with the shadows the moment he enters a new country.
His older than Vastorie, and could possibly be a three-star Hunter Licence owner and may have worked alongside Netero during their younger years.
He may be a Manipulator, given the fact he was able to hide his appearance from not only him, but everyone around the man.
His ability is unknown by everyone, except for Vastorie… Zaikaria might also know, thanks to her mind-reading ability. Wait, Daniel must know too, thanks to Zaikaria’s need to control Daniel’s memories. Depending on how Victor’s ability works, because Daniel has been remembering other details about his past encounters with the man, he may remember how the man’s ability works as well.

For now, from the pieces his gathered, Victor can erase memories. The boy doesn’t know how he does it though. He’ll have to question Daniel later, to find out what he remembers if he doesn’t say anything soon.

One thing, however, was still gnawing at the back of his mind, a conclusion he suspects Daniel may have come to as well. Killua shifted his gaze to Daniel, both thinking the exact same thought.

“His Illumi…”

It makes sense, why his views are distorted. He sees the outside as unneeded, unnecessary… he wants Vastorie, or in his case, Ercole, to only see him…

The question is ‘why?’ what made the man like that?

Killua could figure out why Illumi was like that. Illumi wants everything that belongs to Killua, to be controlled it as he sees fit. Alluka, Nanika, maybe even Daniel later down the track… he wants to make sure that everyone who has come too close to him, will, and can be used by Illumi.

He's been conditioned to believe not only does family come first, but Killua, is the prodigy of the family… the one who will lead next. If he has left, no one will lead, so Illumi will try to make him. The question is when, when will Illumi make his next move?

Hopefully, Illumi will make it after Victor has been dealt with, or before they have to deal with Daniel’s grandpa. For now, Victor is their main priority.

Zaikaria had been mulling over the conclusion to herself, ignoring all the voices outside her head. Only when Akshasamat spoke, did she finally acknowledge the fact there were others inside the cottage, “Missstrissss, what ssshould our next move be?”

The woman drew fingers away from her temple, focusing on her companion, “Reconsider the situation and find another way to corner the man. If Daniel is still under the effects of Victor, the last thing we should do is to torture… let alone kill him.”

“I don’t think torturing him will work…” Daniel hummed, eyes now drawn to him. “When he attacked me in my dreams, he was immune to all damage. While that might be because of his ability, I was in pain and agony; YET, when I had slammed him against the floor, he got back up like it was nothing…” No need to tell them he was posing as Hisoka, so there was a lot of tongue licking as well.

Daniel accidentally shivered at the thought, Killua raising an eyebrow at the action.

“One of his conditions may be like Vastorie’s, all pain experienced is after effect.” Zaikaria argued, only to be rebutted by Killua, “If that’s the case, then Daniel should be in an eternal coma and Vastorie wouldn’t be having a hissy fit over arguing that…”

The boy lost his words, after seeing the dejected look on Daniel’s face. It caused him to regret his words “I’m sorry for bringing that up…”

“No… it’s ok…”

Zaikaria worried about her brother now. Maybe she should instead hunt down her father; ask him to apologise to his son. Daniel looked really upset over his father’s words.

Daniel, however, changed the topic before it could become the main concern, hoping to at least divert some of his sadness. “Listen, Zai, until I can understand my father by the end of the day, no apology is going to help the situation. He is clearly upset and agitated at his father’s return. It didn’t help that our relationship was on so to speak, rocky ground. I didn’t… really harmonize with his personality, so his outburst could’ve been because of his lack of anyone being at his side when he really needed it. He may even think no one understands him…”

“That can’t be right…” Zaikaria crossed her arms at the accusation, “Nathan has always been there for him, even when he, was apparently being distant.”

“Who originally killed Victor?”

Killua interjected, “Vastorie explained part of that to me. Originally, it was Avlas, but in this world… it might have been Nathaniel…”

“That might explain why Nathan let him live. He may have learned something we’ve yet to figure out… that Vastorie might have never learned due to his tunnel vision. It may even explain why he wrote his name on the list…”

“Wait,” Zaikaria interrupted, “the list?! Please, tell me he wrote down Scarlet Sutton!”

“She is on the list. Do you know where she is?”

“Sort of… She was last living in Yorknew, she moved only a couple of months ago.”

“Where…?”

“Somewhere on the Azia continent… most likely near, the Kakin Kingdom.”

“City or small town…?”

“Small town…”

Daniel turned to Killua, “Looks like she’s next on our list. If the backfire of Victor’s ability is dangerous, I rather have that dealt with. Besides, if Victor’s here, I rather get away from him for the time being… I can’t…”

“I know…” Killua hushed Daniel before he could admit those feelings of loss. He wants Daniel to be rid of the lingering curse as well, considering Zaikaria had just removed her little trap in Daniel’s memories; an encounter with the man could spell for a permanent loss of memory the next time Victor attacks.

That is something neither of them could handle right now…

Plus, Daniel admitting those feelings out loud right now, could spell for a terrible burning sensation along his neck; one, full of mostly embarrassment.

In any case, they’ll have a few things they need to discuss before sleeping, which means, they might not even get any sleep at all tonight. Daniel’s mental safety is a priority. Killua can afford to lose a few nights of sleep. He’s used to it…

Daniel, on the other hand, isn’t…

He’ll make too many mistakes; his mental stability decreasing drastically over time. None of his anger will be directed at Killua, Vastorie or Zaikaria… it will all be bottled up until he breaks down, provided he even shows it.

Daniel took a step back in thought and process, the realisation that Killua’s scrutinising gaze was being directed at him. He’ll have no get out of Jail For Free card tonight…

But there is one more thing that still isn’t out in the open, if he's going to lose sleep tonight, his taking everyone down with him, “Akamut, my sister may be dense AF, but I’m not… I’ve seen those eyes before. You’re in love~ with my sister!” He made sure to add a kissy face for added effect, his sister mortified, while the Chimera Ant had no reaction at all.

It pays to have no appendages that can fly up or facial structure which could give any emotion. They only ones, to who had noticed it, were Alluka and Daniel, as they, were the only one that was paying close attention.

His eyes gave away the terror, the shock of his so-called secret being blown right out to the water, bare for everyone to notice.

Yet, even amongst the most shocked of the situation, none were more terrifying than Zaikaria’s. She was taking it the worst “No, that can’t be true… tell him, he’s wrong!”

It was a blow to the Chimera Ant’s feelings, but he kinda anticipated it. She never spoke about her relationships, nor addressed his feelings, considering she had on more than one occasion been in the position of reading all his thoughts.

Maybe his feelings for her had been glossed over, or she was never in a position where she could read them. If that’s the case, why can’t she? She can read thoughts and memories as if they were written down on a book before her, but not feelings?

Daniel held his gaze with the Ant, ignoring all outside interference. He was hurting, but not in a way except those who’ve been in the position could tell. His heart was being squeezed tightly in his frame, and Daniel wanted to comfort him for blowing his cover, now that he can see, the Ant clearly didn’t want to be blown, “Please, come here…”

The Ant slithered forward, out of reach before Zaikaria could even comprehend the idea to pull him back. Her brain was fried, struggling to comprehend what had just happened.

When the ant was close enough, rather than grabbing the poor man, Daniel offered out his hand, hoping that Akshasamat would come closer. He did, curling his body around Daniel’s hand.

Neither of them spoke, until Daniel couldn’t hold it in any longer, he had to address how the Ant was feeling, “how long…?”

When the creature turned to bring his head to look in Zaikaria’s eyes, Daniel snapped his fingers, drawing its attention back. He wanted the truth, not some wishy-washy excuse. Holding in something so delicate isn’t something great to do. He’d rather all thoughts be placed out in the open, to be addressed rather than eat and gnaw at someone until nothing more is left.

Zaikaria is no exception, if she found out later down the track while it was just the two of them, it might not end well for the Chimera Ant. Now, is better, rather than later. The siblings can understand each other; Daniel knows all her excuses as to why she wanted Killua out of the picture. The same applies to him and her, he knows why… Zaikaria is scared of having a relationship.

“A couple of monthsss…” The ant looked down in defeat, too scared to now view Zaikaria’s expression. Was she angry, or upset?

Daniel glanced in Zaikaria’s direction, her expression unreadable at the moment. Although he knows that’s not the case, she’s trying to do mental gymnastics, understand where or what she did would cause such a humanistic response of affection towards her.

“A couple of months, huh… How would such information be hidden from a person who can read minds?” It came off as snarky, but in actuality, he was just as confused on the matter. What made this Chimera Ant so special? It can’t be his ability… it’s not like every snake conjuration has an independent thought; they all must think and feel the same thing. Akshasamat’s main body must be the overlord in this situation.

Or after discovering how his sister’s ability works, he’s put up a force field of some kind, blocking off all intrusions on his feelings.

Daniel curled his hands along the creature’s forehead, talking out loud about an old memory, one Killua and he had already discussed. Having so many new memories at once roaming around in his skull is making it harder to judge what he has, and hasn’t talked about “When I met Meruem, he was in a similar position. He couldn’t explain his feelings… I could. He was in love with someone, and even though he thought that if he remained by her side, she’ll die… he still wanted to be with her, even if it was for a fleeting moment.”

Daniel cleared his throat before anyone could object, “I’m not some love guru, but I notice things as long as I’ve experienced them. Fear of rejection… Am I right?”

There was a long pause, but Akshasamat finally relenting, “yesss…”

“Would you be a happy little snake if she accepted them?”

“Don’t talk to me asss if I’m sssome little… what do you call them…? Danger Noodle…”

“Heh,” Daniel curled his finger alongside the Chimera Ant’s neck, “no, you are not. But, my question hasn’t changed… you would be happy, even if somewhere in the back of her mind, she does care about you. Whether that be based on feelings of love… of friendship.”

Surprisingly, the ant wasn’t scared of the friendship part; he must be scared of something else… losing her. Now it makes sense, why he was so adamant about telling Zaikaria to go after her brother, instead of Victor. He was afraid of losing her.

Her mind needed to calm down for a moment, to come to terms with the change of relationship. Akamut was in love with her… and her ability was unable to pick up on those feelings, to shut them down before they could arise. Now they were there, bare for everyone to see, she had no legitimate arguments against the poor Chimera Ant.

All her main excuses stemmed from a fear she held onto for so long.

Daniel had simply ignored everyone around him, their reactions, just to speak his mind on the matter. Even if he were to come off as dick-ish, “Well, I’m not going to defend her in the slightest. I’m not going to tell you should go after her. I’ll leave that to your discretion. What I will say however is this, what she did to me… to Killua… Alluka… is really fucked up. She shouldn’t have altered my memories again. I was in a situation where I didn’t understand what was going on, and she made it worse…”

“…In saying that!” Daniel raised his voice, stopping anyone from arguing with or against him, “I don’t hate my sister! I don’t even hate my dad… I just want to understand, why… I want to understand why life is being so cruel… why dad is saying he didn’t want me… or Zaikaria hating Killua…”

Picking up his hand, he held it against Killua’s shoulder, rubbing it gently, “I want to prove that Zaikaria is wrong… that Vastorie still loves me… to understand why he's like this.”

Zaikaria held out her hand, “then, we have much to discuss… and figure out…” The woman offered a small smile to her companion, hoping that they can find equal ground. She likes having the Chimera Ant as a companion, plus, together, they’re an unstoppable force. Zaikaria can read minds, and Akshasamat’s ability gives him the power to act like an autonomous, roaming surveillance En field.

Daniel took his hand away from Killua, finally able to break some ground on the topic to come ahead. What, do they do now…?

“~”

Daniel rested his head against Killua’s chest, feeling the rise and fall of the boy’s chest, his heartbeat reverberating in his ears. It was constant, like, his feelings. They had remained unchanged, even with the memories from three different realities colliding into one.

He still is infatuated or in-love with Killua, after everything that transpired.

Killua ignored the building heat; his hand curling up and down the boy’s side, unable to hide his affection any longer. Daniel still wants to be by his side, and his damn happy at the outcome, even if everything didn’t go his way. He still wanted to drop kick Zaikaria, at least once…

But they have a new starting point, and a location to head to now; the Azia continent, to find Scarlet Sutton. She will be their next target. However, they don’t know if she’s still is in the Azia Continent. She could’ve moved again… to who knows where.

There was a dip in the bed, Killua’s eyes forced to meet Daniel, the boy still had some concerns, but nothing he was sure he could handle.

“Killua, I hope you can forgive me…”

“Idiot! It’s not your fault… for the billionth time! We’re moving forward now. We’re going to find Scarlet Sutton next, remove the last bit of the infringing aura, then, and only then… we’ll take another look at the list, find where to head next.”

“Sure…” Daniel slid closer, moving his head back to Killua’s chest. “Can I make another request…?”

“Sure…”

“Can we um… do the thing?”

“The thing…?”

“Umm…” Daniel made an up and down gesture with his hand, Killua’s eyes widening at the motion.

“You can’t be serious!” Killua got up; reaching over to touch Daniel’s sides “You can’t be serious… right now?”

“What, no! I meant later… when things settle.”

Killua lay back down, pulling Daniel back onto his chest “You gave me a heart attack…”

“Heh…” Daniel swirled his finger along Killua’s skin, the boy shivering at the touch. “Once we get this aura settled, were finally going to travel the world… and I’m gonna get to know more about my father…”

“About that… What if with everything you learn, there’s nothing you can do to save Vastorie…”

“Don’t know… If I can’t understand him by the end of this trip, well, I just hope he can find some peace by the end of his journey. Whether that is killing Victor or not…”

Killua hummed at the words, fear settling in the back of his mind. What happens, if Victor finds them first…? What do they do then? Running is the best option… even when he's on the list, Killua can’t help but want to avoid that man like his brother.

He just wants to enjoy a normal teenage life with Daniel and Alluka for now…

Killua felt Daniel move once more, their eyes meeting for a moment. Daniel kissed him before resting his head on Killua once more “At least I’ll have you by my side…”

Killua chuckled, but his feelings never changed on the made. He was glad too. Yeah, I want a normal teenage life… Maybe Xavier’s School would be the best option next…?

“Daniel, do you remember what Victor looks like including his ability?”

“Yes… kinda. He has white hair with red tips, slender build, and brown eyes. I’ll try to draw a portrait of him. It won’t be the best, but at least you’ll know what he looks like. As for his ability, I guess dreams? Going by my memories, his presence is dream-like in nature. You don’t remember the in-between, but one second is all it takes for you to forget the encounter… I don’t remember meeting, or seeing him on Whale Island, but his Nightmare was still able to affect me, not to the point of memory loss, but scaring me to point it caused me to wake up… The second, well, I guess he just wanted to scare me. And… you know what happened the third time…”

Killua’s fingers tightened around Daniel “Yeah…”

“I don’t know how to combat his ability though. I don’t even think we can. The moment I walked away from him the second time, he disappeared from my memory. Hench, dream-like…”

Killua hummed at the information, unable to grasp an idea how to defend themselves against that. For now, they needed to just figure out what to do after removing the lingering Nen. Yes, going to school is a great way to kick back and relax, but they have no plan for after that.

Killua shifted his attention back to Daniel, “I have another question.”

“Sure…”

“You and I don’t probably want to talk about it, but we’re going to need to. What exactly do you remember?”

“Everything…”

“Everything…?”

“I remember everything as if it just happened seconds ago. Getting down to business is just one of those many things…”

“Ah…” Killua hummed, forced to now look away, “that explains your earlier comment.”

“Originally, I didn’t want to experiment anymore…”

“What?!”

“Just until my memories relax, and I can think more clearly. But, I feel like I need it…”

“Need…?” Killua made the gesture with his hand.

“When you put it like that… no! I mean the experience of being together. The connection if you will…”

Killua hummed at the news, wondering if he should bring up his shower scene. He decided against it, focusing on the emotions instead, “I want that too… I missed it…” The boy quickly redacted his statement, “I meant the connection, not your dirty-minded desires.”

“Not once, was I thinking… of my mouth on you. That was all you, my angel…”

“Sh…” Killua covered his face, “shut up! You were talking about a hand job not even a few minutes ago. You get no say on the matter! I just want normality… well, as normal as we can get.”

The two were silent for a few moments, Killua soaking in the guilt. “Damn it… I can’t deny it, I wanted a hand job too… I even jacked off to you while I was in the shower since we are admitting things.”

“I know…”

“Huh?”

“I’m looking right at Lil’ Killua… I think he wants to give me a kiss.”

“You’re terrible!”

“Not as terrible as jacking off in the shower without me. That was rude! I would’ve joined…”

The words made Killua panic, sputtering out the truth like trying to rhyme without any rhythm “I’m not going to do that while you have no memories of me. Well, technically you had confessed what you wrote in your journal…”

“I also know what I was thinking at that moment… I would 100%, have joined you in that shower…”

“Even if I could go back, now knowing that I still wouldn’t have asked you… I don’t want to use you for my own selfish desire.”

“Shame… I totally would’ve bottomed for you back then.”

“What?!” Killua freaked out, forced to sit upright in the bed; hearing Daniel admit that was the worst thing that too, could’ve happened to him right now. They were still at Zaikaria’s place… Daniel admitted he wouldn’t have minded getting screwed by Killua wasn’t looking to good him.

He felt his lions hum with desire, Daniel jokingly pointing out the change in the situation, “Somebody got hard…”

“Well, it’s your fault!” Killua flipped over, contorting his body away from Daniel. He was hoping his lower body would relax after a while, but Daniel wrapping his arms around him didn’t help the situation. Instead, he felt his mind wrap around his desire, almost wanting him to admit to those feelings.

“I’m sowwy…”

Killua sighed at the apology, the cuteness making it all most impossible to be mad at him for too long. There was one thing was he was sure about; he’s definitely, going to ask for a hand job later…

Chapter Text

With time to spare, Iason was left to his own devices, Gon and Sakura enjoying a day out. He really wanted to be left alone to his own devices; the last couple of days have been doing a number on his mentality.

Even as he reads, the words came off as gibberish, his mind unable to focus, instead, entering La-La land with the fairies. Even then, nothing still made sense…

He was getting close to the two of them, but something felt a little off with the situation. He felt comfortable, even wanting to stay with them, but with everything his hiding it still didn’t feel right to reveal his past. He felt like it would take years before he could say anything he has held onto for so long…

But at the same time, being around those two, just made him want to trust them; he just didn’t know to what extent he should trust them with his past. It was like an unending conundrum.

A door closing signalled that the two were back, Iason shifting in his seat to look behind him, bringing in shopping. The two stumbled around, sorting through the bags as the boy turned to look behind him, dropping the book he had so adequately forgot he was reading, instead opting to help sort out the bags.

Iason’s expression warmed once took notice of a small glass container with the label ‘Paprika’ they didn’t have to do it, but they got it anyway. He was more floating the idea. It not like he was expecting them to go ahead with, but they did it anyway. He continued to help them unpack the bags, feeling a slight skip of a heartbeat.

He didn’t know if they got anything else, but seeing that, whether intentional or not meant something to him. He just buried the feeling within himself, hoping none of them caught onto his descent into madness, falling for a ‘goofball’ and Botanist.

He doesn’t mean that in a bad way though, it’s just who they are, what makes them special and not a cut and paste, carbon copy of everyone else.

Every little thing started to matter to him. The way Gon would rub his nose if he accidentally walked into a door while he was spaced out, a flashbang smile, following suit.

He should really patent that idea, and then sell it to companies. Who needs electricity, when you got someone whose smile could light the world? As cheesy as the idea is, he feels like it would be wrong…

Sakura had been receiving it for months before he even met Gon…

A cheeky smile graced the boy’s lips. Sakura should get a cut too… Oh, wait, that wouldn’t work… there’s also Killua, Daniel… Mito-San… by the time his narrowed down whom else has been memorised by that smile, he’ll be lucky if he got a few measly Jenny, like less than ten…

Iason scrunched his hair, diverting his mind from the smile. His heart fluttered whenever he saw it, and thinking too much about tended to leave him in a daze.

Shifting his attention, the boy focused his mind on Sakura. The best way to summarise the boy was that he enjoyed nature to the fullest. But that wouldn’t be the whole of it. How he treated Gon, was how one would treat a frail flower. Yes, he chastised him, but that was when he was being teased… or when Gon tended to show his affections so easily.

It was always a soft touch, followed by kind words. His smile wasn’t like Gon’s, but it tended to leave one speechless in a different kind of way. Each word was like a step in a field, placed perfectly to avoid hurting anything in its path. Maybe it was developed while he was with Gon, but the genuine care he showed while avoiding delicate topics, showed in his kindness.

Gon wasn’t chipping away he his defences, it was Sakura…

Gon just tended to come in like a bulldozer, which usually made Iason want to protect himself, to rebuild his walls from Gon’s disaster. Over time, he knew if the three of them were to continue like this, sooner or later… they were going to find out about his past.

The question is… would they still want to stay with him after having learned his secret?

It wasn’t like he wanted to hide his past. It’s not like he’s some A-Class criminal; he’s just an escapee, someone who was liberated from the rules of East Gorteau. He did it with someone else, but it just hurt so much to relive it, and so he locked away the memories… hidden deep within his heart.

“Shoot…” Sakura groaned as he emptied the last bag. They remembered everything, but the milk, “we forgot something… the milk.”

Gun hummed, apologetic gaze looking over his partner “I guess we did… I’m just surprised we didn’t notice until now.”

“How about I go get it…” Iason offered; considering they got him Paprika and at least another four other seasons by the looks of it. It’s the least he could do. Plus, he is in dire need of some fresh air.

Sakura, on the other hand, had a different idea. Now was an opportune time to have some alone time with Iason. There was something he needs to know if it’s possible to help Gon regain his Nen. Iason knows about Nen, so he might know of a way to help him get Gon’s back.

“How about I help Iason, and Gon helps start marinating the pork?”

Gon frowned, wouldn’t it have been better if Iason marinated the pork, and it was them who went back out?

Iason seemed to read the boy’s thoughts “I should be the one to do the marinating… I have a little experience with it.”

Nu, you’ve been cooped up. Plus, we don’t want you to do all the work…”

“Ok…” Iason held a finger up to the kitchen “There’s a little bag filled with some seasoning already. Just add a tablespoon of soy sauce, teaspoon of mustard, half a teaspoon, of thyme and onion powder, as well as a bit of parsley, to a bowl along with the ingredients in the bag, and then bath the pork in the mixture. If you don’t have any of the ingredients I mentioned above, don’t worry too much about it.”

“Ok…” Gon whine at the request, grumbling as he went to work on Iason’s request.

The two then left the hotel, joining the crowd of late workers shuffling back home. Both were quiet, neither one wanting to speak first. Once they reached the nearest convince store, Sakura grasped Iason’s hand, pulling him further in, towards the milk “I really wanted to ask you for something I need help with…”

“Uhh…” Iason was caught off, unsure why now Sakura was making a request of him. It seems like the boy might have been pondering it for a while, and was the reason as to why Sakura wanted to join him, without Gon’s presence.

The boy pulled the other to the side, waiting until the coast was clear, “Can you tell me how you learned to use Nen.”

“Huh, why…? Couldn’t you ask Gon? I’m sure he’ll know more than me…”

Sakura shook his head, drawing the boy further into the store once he noticed the random straggler idly walking by. Once clear, the boy spoke again “Gon is the reason why I’m asking you… Anything would help… anything at all… I…” The boy paused, eyes closing as he sighed, “You know Gon lost his Nen, right?”

“Yeah, Leorio mentioned it… before he left to… to help Gon.”

The boy nodded, carefully checking to see if there was anyone else nearby. Gon might not care, but he was worried that someone else might overhear something that should be kept a secret, “I want to help him get it back; so, anything that you say to help me learn to wield Nen, will benefit me in the future. I know roughly how abilities work, so I want to somehow develop one, which makes it possible for me to unlock Gon’s.”

“I…” Iason remembered the brilliant glow, the vibrant orange hue swirling around the boy. Looking back on it, it kinda scares him. That something so strong, massive can be hidden in the blink of an eye. Well, not so much hidden, more like inaccessible.

Just from seeing it alone, he could tell it had been amassing ever since the boy was unable to access it. By the time they unlock it, it could be a giant storm of aura barely brewing. If Gon were to release that kind of power, it could end up hurting him physically, if not prepared properly.

He didn’t want to hurt Gon; it was his brother’s friend… Sakura’s boyfriend… His… “I can’t…” Wouldn’t it be better if it remains hidden? Gon surely hasn’t talked about wanting to access it again anyways.

“Please…? Anything will do…” Sakura gripped the boy’s shoulder, pleading for the boy to say anything related to the topic.

Iason bit his lip, he didn’t feel comfortable. He felt like he was being pressed too hard. Sakura was demanding him to tell pieces of his past relating to how he learned how to use Nen.

“Pl-” Sakura stopped, ceasing all pleading.

When Iason looked back at Sakura, he noticed the boy was trembling. Had he done something by accident? Just as he was about to say something, Sakura relaxed his figure, hands dropping to the boy’s sides “I’m sorry…” His fingers came up to his eyes rubbing them. Everything hurt, he made a mistake. He was acting unlike himself, becoming too selfish in his desire to help Gon.

No, he knew why… he felt with Iason’s help, he could somehow cure Gon, revive the boy’s aura. He was scared, that Iason would somehow do it… and he’ll be left behind again, forced to be in the same stance as he was when Killua helped save Gon.

Nothing he did… Killua was the one that helped Gon in the end…

And if it happened again, he wasn’t sure how he’ll feel this time…

Maybe, shattered…?

“I… I’m sorry for not thinking about you. I’m pushing you to help me. I just feel…” Not waiting for a second longer, Sakura twisted his head in the opposite direction, “Gon’s waiting… we should find the milk.”

Not even thinking, Iason grabbed Sakura’s hand. The boy turned back towards him, Iason frozen from his own action. Huh? He just grabbed Sakura’s hand without even thinking about his own thoughts, or what he wanted to say. Leorio taught him: if you have the power to do so, you should help, especially those closest to you…

He wasn’t close to Sakura; at least, he didn’t think so. But a part of him must have wanted to help in some way…

Would telling Sakura what he witnessed less than a week ago, be the right thing to do in this situation? No… he was sure it wouldn’t be right… It would probably hurt Sakura in the end. Yet, he couldn’t stop his mouth from blabbering it out “I saw Gon’s aura… it… it came back for a few seconds…”

Sakura’s lips twitched upward, full of sadness and joy “I’m… I’m happy…” He wanted to cry so badly, but he held it in, sedating his own emotions. It was happening again… he’ll be in a position where he’ll be of no help to Gon, while he watches someone else fix him.

Something was wrong with Iason. Why could he see through it? Why could he tell, that Sakura was lying to save himself from the pain?

I kind of understand now… you remind me of someone I know. Two people actually, and why you don’t want to be hugged by Sakura or myself, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be upset, so you should hug Leorio now while you have the chance…

Yes, the context was different back then, but those words, they meant something right now. He could sort of understand Sakura’s feelings. Sakura felt useless… powerless to save the one he cares about…

“I’ll help you…”

“Wh- WHAT…?” Sakura gasped at the words, unsure of what Iason meant within the moment. Was he trying to comfort him, or was this about his request…?

If they were going to do this, it needed to be done slowly, in a controlled environment. Iason’s ability might be able to bring back the boy’s aura, but he still needed help…

Specifically, an ability to stunt the growth of someone’s aura; it needed to be controlled, stopped from getting out of hand. Sakura might not have that means now, but over time, he could have it.

But that also means, if his ability is able to revive Gon’s Nen, it means he’ll have to cuddle up with Sakura instead, which is something he doesn’t want to put himself in the position of… Hmm…

The boy continued to think about it, wondering what would be the best course of action. Gon might get jealous or upset at Iason for taking Sakura away from him. This needed to be done in secret… “But you have to promise me something in return…”

“Anything!”

“If it becomes too risky, we have to give up…”

Sakura nodded adamantly, pulling the boy into a tight hug as he repeatedly kissed the boy’s cheeks “Thank you! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!” After a few seconds he ceased all actions, pulling back to apologise “Oh, I’m SO sorry…” AH, I’m becoming as bad as Gon now! He's going to tease me for days as soon as he finds out!

Iason’s cheeks were burning where Sakura had kissed him, heart fluttering in confusion. He wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of kisses, but even still, he had no idea what to say right now. His mind was drawing blanks, so it drew back to the original reason as to why they were at the convenience store “Th- The milk…”

“Oh, right…” Taking Iason by the wrist, he led the boy to the aisle. The hand would be too comfortable, wrong to do after what had happened. But he was happy. He now has a chance to save Gon, and Iason is going to be the one to help him do it…

Iason, on the other hand, felt a sense of dread. This is going to be a long adventure, one full of a rollercoaster of emotions for him.

“~”

There was a knock, followed by the door unlocking “Vastorie…” It was eerily quiet, only the sounds of writing heard from within. The man never once looked up. He knows who he is about to talk to, but what really matters, is to not only find his dad but to convince Cheadle that going after him IS a suicidal mission.

After going through the journal and putting all the pieces together, that man isn’t normal. He’s become something else…

At this very moment, he is the only one hyper-aware of all the man’s Nen weaknesses, only him…

No one else…

Kurapika looked over the man, noticing the stray papers, notes he won’t be able to divulge in, unless he is able to get closer to Vastorie, “I have some questions for you…” the young man spoke as he tucked a stray hair behind his ears, his words coming off as dry, hiding his very intent from the man.

Just from how much Leorio was yelling, he got several clues on how to deal with the man: Pique his interest, avoid all topics related to family, avoid all emotions around him, stroke his ego, and most of all… keep him in place as the sole leader of the conversation.

Vastorie sighed, flicking the pencil back onto the table as he leaned back into his chair “What can I do for you? If it’s the same as Leorio’s request, forget about it…”

“Actually…” Kurapika shifted his weight, crossing his arms at the accusation, “It’s something different. It’s about Cheadle’s request.”

“Oh…?” Vastorie leaned forward, lips curled upward into a smirk, “do tell…”

“She’s making a mistake…”

“In what way exactly…?”

“I took it upon myself to delve a little deeper into your past, you have quite the background.” There was an uncomfortable shift of weight, which was good in a way. Let’s see how much it takes to chip away at his defences… “You’re a Three-Star-Hunter, with an extensive background. Wars, murder, infiltration, Nen cultivation… just to name a few.”

“Public knowledge I’m afraid; you’re going to need to dig a little deeper…”

“Baron Hinrick Von Delkofer…”

“I’m impressed, let’s see how much you really know.”

“Hinrick, was a high ranking official, with an… undesired background. He contributed billions of Jennys towards multiple companies as well as politicians. He had his hands in everyone’s pockets, including the Hunter’s Association.”

“One golden star for you…”

“I’m… NOT… done… He had multiple orgies performed, with the guest star of the shows, being kids whose families had been killed. The honoured guests, the politicians. Anyone who defied him was taken down… everyone, except you. You killed him, freed the kids, including one by the name of Scarlet Sutton, firmly known as Scarlet Von Delkofer…”

A slow continuous clap followed voice dark and full of malicious intent “Good job, Kurapika, the current head of the Nostrade family…” Kurapika’s eyes narrowed, the man continuing without a second thought, stopping the clapping for now, “A chain user with a vengeance for the ones who killed the last members of his tribe, the Phantom Troupe. I had to dig a little deeper for that information, Kurapika Kurta. You’re not the only one with contacts all over the world… I’ve just been in this game longer than you.”

“I would advise-”

“You’re looking for the Scarlet eyes, correct? Not only do I know where they can be found… I know who, exactly is holding onto them.”

“Who…?”

“Tsk, tsk…” The man wiggled his finger, acting eerily close to Hisoka. “A story for a story…” The man’s eyes narrowed, “choose your words wisely. What is it about Cheadle’s request do you not like?”

His defences are up now… Plan B, “I know that you consider family first-”

“CHOOSE… your words wisely…”

“I have no intention of telling you are wrong with how you acted. However, I have some troubling news. I have a man by the name of Nicola-”

“Theismann, a scout with the ability to blend in the shadows; his Zetsu on a scale out of ten, would be a nine. Ex-Marine; worked for the navy seal, later dismissed for revealing private documentation to a certain individual. Cast aside from the public sector for blowing the whistle, he now works for the Mafia, away from prying eyes along with his wife and two kids. He’s a part of the Nostrade family… which is now under your control. Yes, I am well aware of him. He was the one who stole the information about Baron Hinrick Von Delkofer …”

“Well, he's dead now…” Kurapika saw it, the visible pain along his features, highlighting the fact that under his hard exterior, he is still human.

“His family has my condolences…”

Whether that was on purpose or not, only time could tell him, as long as he continues to probe for more details, he’ll get through that man’s impervious defence, “I will be the one to tell his family that my actions, cost him his life. His family will continue to be under my protection. However…” Kurapika flicked a photo onto the desk, a picture highlighting Victor “He’s in The United States of Saherta, along with your daughter…”

Vastorie’s eyes widened, noticing his daughter looking in the other direction, unaware of the eyes of his father on her, observing from a distance, “That idiot! What is she thinking…”

“She’s not the only one…” Kurapika threw the second photo onto the table.

The photo showed Killua and Daniel dancing, his son contorting his boy to pull off overemphasized movements. He was smiling, looking as though he was enjoying the moment alongside Killua. He was proud of his son, and if it weren’t for his father’s existence, let alone his own mistakes, he’d crack a smile at just the imagery alone…

Daniel might have even called him or Nathanial to tell them how much fun he was having. He could’ve still been a part of their life, his family's lives…

“Look at the top right…”

If it weren’t for the fact that he had been controlling his features, his reaction would have said a hundred words. There was his father, watching his son from the crowd. This was a message, not just to him… but others as well. Fuck… He could feel all his worries boiling to the surface, threatening to spill over. He has to be careful, to watch his every move from now on…

At any moment, he could kill his children, and there nothing he can do about it. Not while Cheadle is watching him… He hid his features from the photos, hiding what he was truly feeling… fear.

If it weren’t for the graveness of the situation, Kurapika would’ve left it at that, however, he couldn’t exactly leave just yet, “If Cheadle continues to go after that man, he will go after your family. He believes you are making these moves right now. My actions may have not only cost Nicola’s life, but may have even put your daughter, and son, my friend in danger…”

“And what do you propose, hmm?”

“We get Leorio’s help…”

“He doesn’t exactly like me…”

“But, he sees Daniel and Killua like a son to him. Once he sees that they are in danger, Cheadle won’t have a chance to keep this charade going. She has to pull back because Leorio is her Trump card: In order for Dark Continent mission to succeed and gain influence over the fate of the organisation, his inclusion is needed. She will not lose that for anything…”

The man nodded, looking over the photos once more, “Thank you, for your input…”

Kurapika nodded, heading back to the door to find Leorio, as he was about to open the door, Vastorie stopped him briefly, “Tserriednich, that’s the name of the man you're looking for. Mizaistom has information to back up my claim…”

“My advice is simple, take it or leave it. Apologise to your son, for his sake… when he regains his memories of Killua, as it’s inevitable, he’ll try to reach out to you. Even if I haven’t got any claims to back up my words, friends and family means a lot to him… Victor will try to use that against you once he realises Daniel’s gotten his memories back…”

“Noted…”

As soon as Kurapiak left, he scrambled for his phone, scrolling through all his contacts. He stopped at Zaikaria, hands shaking as he sent her a warning message only his family would understand. It needed to be sent to her because she’ll understand the graveness of the situation the most.

The shadows are watching the descendants, don’t… HIDE!

The moment he hit send, he slammed the table in desperation. GOD FUCKEN DAMN IT… He's trying to prove a point! As long as I don’t make a move, and keeps pretending like I don’t care about my family, he won’t attack…

Even if I have to do this for years, I rather they hate me, than risk their lives…

Fake it… The man’s eyes narrowed slightly, glaring at his father in the picture, til I can make it…

“~”

There was a small chime, followed by Zaikaria stumbling for her phone, pulling the screen up to her face. Tired eyes tried to read the context, unable to grasp anything at the moment. After the discussion they had, she wasn’t too sure if anything could get worse.

But it had, her face morphing into absolute terror.

The shadows are watching the descendants, don’t… HIDE!

NO! NO! NO! NO! How did he find us…? Wait, descendants …? Oh, no… He can’t be…

It was a warning, she along with her brother were being followed. And she knew who exactly, was following them without the need for his name to be uttered.

“Zaikaria…?” The snake slurred beside her, face buried in the pillow, “What’sss wrong…?”

“Nothing…” The woman quickly deleted the message. Killua needed to know, now more than ever, that Victor might be after Daniel too… He could even be watching them right now. He would be the only one able to keep it a secret; at least, until both of them are out of danger… she’s sure of it…

If not… time for Plan B. Hopefully, her parents could forgive her because nothing is more important than making sure her brother escapes the danger his in.

Zaikaria shifted her attention to Akshasamat, the snake now worried for her. She bit her lip at the thought. No, she can’t go self-sacrificing…

She has to think about the Chimera Ant, her companion…

His feelings for her…

The woman drew her hand to the Chimera Ant, fingers barely touching the creatures head, his eyes closed at the touch, her fingers now being drawn away, now being placed on her shoulder.

He had shuttered at the touch, unable to blush, let alone cry due to the creature’s formation. Yet, she cannot pinpoint why she can’t read his thoughts, what’s so special about him, that makes it impossible to understand his affections?

It couldn’t be because he’s a Chimera Ant; if one was to remove the tail and scales, he is deep down, in all senses of the word, a human…

She should be able to read his mind…

Yet, she can’t…

“Go to sleep, I can’t say anything right now… But I promise to tell you in the morning, alongside Killua.”

The creature’s tongue slithered out of his mouth, a frown forming, slightly from his lack of understanding. He had no clue why she touched him prior to her words, nor why she bit her lip, face scrunched up in evident fear.

She’s not telling him something important, something, which is affecting their lives in a rather disastrous way. As long as she doesn’t go back on her word, and nothing happens to them tonight, he’ll find out in a couple of hours.

Shifting his body, he allowed himself to sleep, barely noticing the cracking smile forming along Zaikaria’s lips.

“~”

Killua placed his hands along Alluka’s side, helping her put on his own jumper he was wearing last night. It was a little chilly in the morning, bound to warm up by the time they hit the city.

His act now may not help them in the long run, but at least now, Alluka won’t be as cold. Killua can handle the chill. They needed to get a move on, to head to the Kakin Kingdom to find Scarlet Sutton. As he zipped up her jacket, he helps her flick her hair out, a smile gracing his lips.

Alluka’s smile will always light a path for him. Her happiness transcended even his own at times, and now, he has Daniel back too he’ll have two sets of lights guiding his path. He just needs to make sure the second doesn’t relapse; Daniel wasn’t exactly out of the waters yet.

Zaikaria watched Killua look after his sister, arms crossed without a single expression to give away her growing fear. Victor was onto them…

Killua stood up, patting his sister’s head, flicking strands of hair in every direction “Alright, let’s get a move on. Zai…” Killua bid the woman a farewell, happy that he no longer needs to deal with her. True to her word, she let them go without a complaint.

Although, some free breakfast would’ve have been nice.

Daniel nodded, walking up to his sister to give her a goodbye hug “Goodbye, sis…” Even though she removed his memories, he still loved her… he can’t exactly fault her as she didn’t have the full picture at the time. She assumed the worst, his bloody figure that night possibly giving her nightmares for days…

She accepted the gesture, running her fingers along the boy’s back, careful to avoid any strands of hair. She knows he never liked it, allowing no one to touch him there.

But as soon as her brother walked up to Killua, the boy’s hand found their way into her brother’s hair, the boy uncaring about the fingers being drawn through his hair.

As the two were about to walk off, Zaikaria stopped them, “Wait, Killua…”

Killua stopped, both boys turning around from the boy’s name being called. She had something she needed to say, to Killua along with her companion. But first, she needed to somehow get Daniel and Alluka to leave.

“I need a moment to speak to you…”

Killua raised an eyebrow, only to look at his partner for guidance. Daniel shrugged, the boy only becoming more concerned about her lack of words. It wasn’t like she could remove his memories right now. She was still weak from the night before. It might take a couple of days for her to recuperate.

It was something else… her lack of reaction. She wanted to say something. Hopefully, it’s not something to piss him off.

“Alone, Daniel…”

Killua eyes narrowed, only to turn to his sister and partner “You to go ahead, I’ll follow your string of aura once I’m done.”

Daniel nodded before holding Alluka’s hand, walking with her off into the forest.

Killua turned to Zaikaria, arms crossed “So what do you want to say?”

Zaikaria dropped before the boy, looking him dead in the face, an arm holding his shoulder, “Listen to me very carefully… do not, react. Victor is following us…”

Killua’s eyes widened slightly before he controlled his tone and expression “And you let me send Daniel and Alluka into the forest without telling me.”

Akshasamat’s eyes barely reacted to the news, but he felt his body shaking on the inside. The man had followed them, without either of them noticing him, while he had his snakes out. He was a freak of nature, and he was right to tell Zaikaria to stop following him. The only problem is what does she plan to do with that news now?

Hopefully nothing dangerous…

He didn’t want to lose her…

“Yes, I don’t know if his following us right now, but we need to be careful. Do not tell Daniel or Alluka… whatever the cost. Wait until you’re out of the United States of Saherta. Don’t run, don’t hide… just act normally. Can you do that?”

Killua nodded through gritted teeth.

Taking her hand off the boy’s shoulder, the woman frowned. She caught an accidental memory, a thought swirling around the boy’s head. Voice controlled, she spoke slowly “Don’t even think about trying that…”

Killua’s cheeks warmed up slightly, turning around to run away from that freak of nature “Sh-Shut up idiot! You shouldn’t even be reading my memories, freak!”

The woman crossed her arms at the words, happy to see him use that as a reason to get away from her. At least it was a legitimate reason to get away from her. Although, knowing that Killua wanted to plough her brother wasn’t something she wanted to remember…

So she let it fade away as Killua got out of distance from her ability, attention now was drawn to Akshasamat, “We’re leaving. Turns out that Victor is in the Kukan’yu Kingdom…” She said it loud enough for her partner to hear, hoping that if Victor is nearby, he’ll take that as a message they’re leaving him alone.

Daniel’s life is more important than some information…

Hopefully, his just dumb enough to take that as bait, to either remain here or go to Kukan’yu, they were going somewhere else. Maybe back to Alair taus to help Nathaniel out, to tell him what Vastorie just messaged her.

Even, if he can’t say it, or refuses to say it…

He still cares about his family’s lives…

Chapter Text

Killua felted stuffed, slinking onto the couch. Between what happened this morning, and his Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch? He couldn’t move an inch… He and the TV are going to get into an intimate relationship, regardless of his current one with Daniel.

The plan is already set in motion, they heading out the following morning, thank god for cancelled bookings. He couldn’t stand waiting a week for another flight, not while Victor was on the prowl. When could the man have stalked them? They didn’t notice any strange movements, besides Yanick.

Was it possible that Victor knows about Daniel regaining his memories? Is he hyperaware of the fact that Daniel now deeply cares for Killua’s wellbeing?

No, he would have made a move by now…?

Wait, no he might attack like last time, while they are asleep…

Or will he make a move against Zaikaria tonight?

Don’t run, don’t hide… just act normally.

That was the condition set on him… How does he act normally, while also knowing this ravenous beast was hunting them down from the dark, waiting for them to make a single mistake?

He’ll have to stay awake tonight just in case, and if Daniel asks, he’s just too excited for their trip…

Their…

Killua cheeks flushed red at his thought, his desire to save Daniel from the unending torment, of eternal nightmares… He didn’t want Daniel to never know who he is ever again, to continue to experience his hugs, and the boy’s touch…

Damn… Why the hell did Zaikaria have to ruin my mood! I didn’t want her to know about that…

He just has to give it a little time, and then, he can finally lay his hands on that boy again. It’s gonna be so fun watching him squirm at his touches. It also didn’t help that last night; Daniel mentioned during his memory loss, he would’ve: bottomed for him, to quote the words from the evil, unfiltered, embarrassing, little bookworm, Daniel.

Whether that was a joke or not, he still wouldn’t mind driving himself into that boy, to see if his voice cracks, squeaking and moaning, as Killua pounds as deep as he can into that warm…

Shit…

Killua ran his fingers along his thighs, using subterfuge to hide his now forming erection. Hopefully, his sister or Daniel didn’t notice his tent, or his intent to hide the evidence. He might be able to get away with it if he ignores it for long enough. It might be a pipe dream, but be damn if he doesn’t hide it from Daniel entirely.

Daniel ran his fingers along Killua’s thigh, wanting to touch the boy he lost his memories of. With every touch, maybe he might be able to burn Killua’s image into his mind, therefore making it impossible to lose those memories of him. He couldn’t stand having to go through that scenario again…

Forced to relive the moment he falls for Killua…

Their dance…

Confession…

First time…

That was arguably the worst thing he could be forced to remember yesterday, their first time together. How he enjoyed every second, Killua’s confession to wanting more…

And he had it swirling in his head the whole time his sister was several damn feet away from him. He was surprised none of them noticed his damn erection, he sure as hell did. He just couldn’t worry about it at that time because his mind felt as though it was splitting in two, crowded by other information and memories.

Now, even when those memories lingered… he still wanted to touch Killua right now…

To drag his fingers across the boy, but he was scared to do so. He lost his memories of him; so surely, he didn’t deserve it until his mind fully sedated itself.

Fuck it…

Daniel got up, heading toward their room. He needed to deal with his feelings… his lustful side begging to be released.

Killua’s eyes followed the boy as he left, worried for him. Hopefully, his ok…

Minutes flew by before he heard the boy speak, shuffling coming from their room, “Killua, can I ask for some assistance?”

Killua sighed, running his fingers along Alluka’s head, “stay here and watch some TV, I’ll help Daniel with whatever he needs.”

Alluka gleamed with delight, “Is big brother happy now that Daniel’s back to normal…?”

Killua nodded, running his lips along the girl’s hair, making sure to plant a small kiss on her forehead. It was a bad habit which dug its claws into him, thanks to Daniel rubbing off him in more than one way. He was slowly growing accustomed to showing off his affection to those he cares about, mostly Alluka. She believed that no matter what, Daniel will come back to him; he loved her for that…

He got up after ruffling her hair once more, letting his fingers dangle in the air before falling to his side, “Coming…”

Killua opened the door to their bedroom, making sure to close it as he stepped in the room, “What-”

He couldn’t get more than a word in before he felt Daniel’s lips on his, his mind short-circuiting. Huh…? Daniel was kissing him, with no warning whatsoever. Out of everything Killua thought Daniel would do, this was not even last thing to cross his mind. Hell, he wasn’t even expecting this anytime soon.

Killua let his body take over as if he were using Whirlwind, his body performing all the actions he would’ve been doing; fingers digging into the boy’s hair, pulling him as close as humanly possible, one hand digging into the boy’s side, caressing every inch.

He was in bloody heaven right now, and it may have been possible, because one time he asked Daniel to be more assertive during, ahem, being more involved in the… bedroom

He wanted this, his body needed this… and when he felt Daniel’s slightly-experienced hands run along his inner thigh, the boy’s lips left his, instead, opting to attack the juncture between his neck and shoulders. The action had completely caught him off guard.

He even squealed Daniel’s name… squealed! He never squeals!

Daniel was kissing, biting and marking the area at alternate degrees.

After hearing boy’s chuckle, Killua was barely able to contain his next few groans and moans. He had no time to respond, let alone voice his concerns between each stutter of breath, “Please… Alluka… next… room…”

“Shush…” Daniel’s fingers slid up and around, squeezing the boy’s ass in a needy way. Who, the fuck, are you, and what have you done to Daniel? The boy so badly wanted to say, but between each controlled groan, he couldn’t physically get the words out. He wanted to at least move to somewhere away from the door. So, in a desperate attempt to get him to stop, much to the boy’s dismay, he begged, calling out the boy’s name, “Daniel…?”

It’s as if the boy’s name had undone all his desire, his fingers left the boy’s side as he managed to rip himself free from his predatory nature, “I-I-I’m sorry…”

Killua’s flushed cheeks radiated, a hand curling around the spot Daniel had been marking earlier. It stung a little, but at the same time… it felt really good. He should definitely be more assertive…

Yet, the boy’s dismissive nature made him more concerned, “Damn it…” Killua breathed out heavily, stumbling over to his boyfriend. Originally he wanted to stop it, now here he was, stumbling over to Daniel to get him to return to his earlier actions. Not even missing a beat, his hand found Daniel’s, pulling the boy’s towards his crotch, making sure the boy really felt how hard he was right now, “You made it… You fix it…”

Sure, he was flushed from his own actions and words, but he’ll be damned if Daniel leaves him with blue balls, thanks to being scared out of his own forcefulness. Even still, he still couldn’t believe what he said. Alluka was in the next room, and he just told Daniel to finish him off, by any means necessary.

Killua grit his teeth when Daniel made no move. He locked the door before grabbing his boyfriend’s hand, dragging him to the bed. He wasn’t going to deal with the boy’s sudden cold feet. He wastes no time, forcing Daniel onto the bed before climbing atop of him, eyes gleaming with lust, a sly smile giving away his intentions.

A shiver ran up Daniel’s spine, lips being drawn to Killua’s once more.

Even though his body begged him to stop, he couldn’t, not while Killua was overpowering him. Fingers dragged along the boy’s side, shifting and grabbing every inch Killua allowed him to.

They stopped at Killua’s butt cheeks once more, caressing them as Killua’s mewled and groaned into his lips, the need evident in his voice. The boy wanted this, so he should give it to him.

He gave a few gentle squeezed, Killua shifting his position to bite and nip at the boy’s neck, just like Daniel had done so earlier, but he intended to leave marks, making sure to leave a bruise which would mark him as his property. No one can have Daniel, but him…

No one can take Daniel away from him ever again… he won’t allow it.

Daniel slid his hands around, groping Killua’s groin, fingers, attentively dancing over the top of the boy’s pants, the nerves alighting on every touch.

He needed to keep quiet so that his sister didn’t overhear, but at the same time, he wanted to let Daniel know his doing a good job… to not stop. He pulled his mouth away from the boy’s neck, whispering into Daniel’s ear, “I want you, your lips on my cock…” Oh god, that sounds so bloody weird saying that… Although, it kinda feels… sort of… hot, I guess? Don’t know how I feel about dirty talking…

Daniel nodded with flushed cheeks, drawing Killua to his side, only to then slide on top of him, fingers now working the boy’s belt. He slid off the boy’s pants down easily, eyes now looking up at Killua. The boy expected him to continue without out words, so he did so, removing Killua’s underwear.

Killua closed his eyes as he felt Daniel’s hand enclose around his member, jerking him off like he first taught him. Thank god not only he was a quick learner, he still remembered all the techniques he taught him last time.

The boy found his fingers curling through Daniel’s hair once his member was enveloped in boy’s mouth, making sure to drag the boy’s head down on every upward thrust. When he heard Daniel gag, he put less power into his every move, opting on working himself in as deep as he could get, hoping that by the end of his session, he’ll get Daniel to deep throat him.

It is sort of payback for getting him riled up without further action. And if Daniel told him to stop or complained he’d do so, working with what he can, rather than what he wants.

Daniel never did complain though, even while Killua’s hairs brushed against the boy’s nose, he accepted the boy’s actions like a champ, allowing his mouth to accept more every time he could. He did gag here and there, but most of the time it was because of Killua’s greedy nature, wanting more within the split second.

Killua held back his moans, already feeling that building sensation within his gut. He kept going for as long as he thought he could handle before removing the boy face from his pelvis, pulling the boy up instead for a kiss.

He wanted to keep going for as long as he and Daniel could handle. When Killua pulled back from the kiss, he offered Daniel a smirk.

“My jaw hurts a little…”

“You think you can keep going…?”

“Sure, as long as it makes you happy…” Daniel offered his boyfriend a smile, fingers caressing his partner’s inner thigh.

Killua feinted ignorance, pretending as though those words weren’t making him happy. Daniel was going along with it, without complaint, because he wanted it, not because they both agreed to it. “Baka, you can tell me to stop if you don’t want to do it…”

“Oh…” Daniel’s hand slid up the boy’s thigh, whispering into the boy’s ear out of fear he may alert Alluka to their actions, even though Killua’s noises probably did that for them anyway, “does the prince not want to do it anymore? To feel my warm… moist, um… mouth sliding along his… cock?”

“Wow… that was almost as bad as Gon’s attempt at naming his ability. I’ll give you two for effort. You don’t have to dirty talk if you don’t want you. I’m not even sure if I like it either. I’m just trying new things… see where they lead, you know…”

Daniel shrugged before sliding his mouth back on Killua, working his throat to the best of his ability, from what his experienced so far. He made sure to use his hands whenever he could, letting them caress the boy’s thighs or balls, whichever the space allowed for. It feels weird, in both a good and bad way. Yes, Killua likes it, but he gets a tingly sensation he doesn’t like, from being used like this.

Killua mewled at the sensation, “Mmm, yes…” the boy sat upright, spreading his legs as he helped Daniel bop his head up and down, trying to get Daniel’s throat to completely accept him to the base. If he hadn’t guessed it earlier, he would dare say Daniel was secretly more submissive than him. It was nice to know that; although, somehow he felt like that was a bad thing…

He felt as though Daniel wouldn’t accept it, outright denying it.

Killua continued the pattern for a while, every time he came close, he pulled Daniel off for a kiss, letting his body calm down from the heightened senses. It took a few more tries after that, at least half an hour had gone by before he felt Daniel able to take his whole length without gagging once. It felt so good, He never wanted it to stop, but at the same time, he was at wit's end.

Killua entwined his fingers through Daniel’s hair, letting the boy control his own pace. He was so damn close, but he didn’t want to do this without letting the boy know what exactly, he wanted to do.

He dragged Daniel off his length hopefully for the last time, pulling the boy in for a quick kiss. As he pulled back, he let the boy know his concerns, “I want to know if you feel comfortable with this.”

“As long as you’re happy…”

“No, I mean…” Killua blushed from his own thoughts, Daniel’s hand barely keeping him on the edge. Shit, he needs to say something now before he climaxes, “Listen, I want to unload while you’re all the way down on the base. You might gag because I’m pretty sure…”

“You’re gonna shoot like a fire hose?” Daniel said with a smug expression, ceasing all actions just in case Killua does cum.

“Well…” Killua acted all innocent and cutesy “maybe not that bad.” Daniel chuckled as Killua continued, “If it gets too much for you just tap my leg and I’ll just let you go, ok? I don’t want to have to explain to the police why you drowned to death.”

“Yeah… drowned to death from his boyfriend’s cum, doesn’t sound like something I’d want. Nor would you…” Daniel pulled Killua in for another kiss, one last time. He then moved on, peppering kisses down along the boy’s chest before stopping at Killua member.

“Ready…?”

“No time like the present…” On that, Daniel swallowed Killua, working his throat to once more accept his boyfriend. Killua’s hand found the side and back of Daniel’s head, help him dragging it up and down, forcing it in at his own pace.

While Killua kept Daniel’s head busy, the boy used one of his hands to massage Killua’s balls, while the other ran along the boy’s thighs, alternating the routine between his hands.

He felt like it was doing something bad to him, his body reacting in a negative way, at least in his head. He felt it several times already, being used like this was turning him on. And if he didn’t know any better, if Killua was to climax, it might be too much for his body to handle.

Maybe this is a bad idea… Daniel, however, didn’t get long to ponder the situation.

Killua barely whispering loud enough for him to hear “I’m gonna cum… baby…” Yeah, I’m never saying that again, it sounds weird… Killua quickened the pace, Daniel now freaking out. He was enjoying it too much; the ‘baby’ part the way it was being said, the ripple of his voice, the moan just escaping at the perfect time, brought him uncomfortably close to the edge.

He wanted to tap out now, but at the same time, he didn’t want to disappoint Killua.

“Damn it…” Killua growl as he forced Daniel down, holding him in position; his dick throbbing from the first contraction, the first volley shooting down his partner’s throat. Daniel didn’t gag which was good, but the boy was squirming, fingers digging into his butt, applying the right amount of pressure to somehow managing to get him just a tad bit deeper.

Killua grunted as he curled forward on the second shot, between Daniel’s reaction and action, this one felt like a rapid-fire shotgun fired off somewhere deep within his gut, the third and fourth shot coming off in quick succession.

He heard Daniel gag that time, but his throat constricted around him, the swallowing movement adding an extra pressure to all his senses. Killua sobbed as he continued his climax, as Daniel continued to swallow everything he was being given.

It took a minute, but after Killua was finally done, his hands left his partner’s head, the boy slowly pulling himself off.

Daniel was squirmed, shaking a little as he breathed on Killua’s member, not exactly removing his head just yet. Probably thanks to Killua’s own actions of driving himself in and out too quickly, Daniel felt restless, taking a breather before he completely finished.

Killua panted as he fell backwards, breathing heavily as Daniel worked the last of his cum out. On one last lick, he finally joined Killua, panting, cheeks burning red like Killua’s during a complementing session as his fingers hugged the boy close. But his body was turned off at a weird angle, something the boy didn’t exactly like.

He wanted to hug him close, to kiss him deeply, his fingers dragging goosebumps along the boy’s skin as he thanked him for going along with his plan. Plus, it’s only fair if Daniel does the same to him. It might be fun…

Killua worked his way downward, only to be forced back, held tightly in Daniel’s arms, “N-No need to do that. You should relax a little, get your energy back…”

Killua’s hand swept downward, feeling every inch of the boy’s body on the way down, “I’m fine, plus, it’s only fair if I-”

SQUISH.

Their eyes met, the boy ceasing all actions after feeling Daniel’s groin; the fabric was unusually soft… wet… sticky… No way, everything now made sense to Killua, why Daniel’s cheeks were warm, blushing. There was an actual reason. Killua caught him red-handed in an act that Daniel was hoping he wouldn’t have…

Killua felt a smile extend; after having been used as a tool to pleasure himself with, his boyfriend had gotten off, without the need to be touched. The tables had turned, and Killua found a weakness he could tease his boyfriend with for days.

That was until he saw how destroyed Daniel was, the tears being barely contained… He was scared.

Killua curled his fingers along Daniel's face, pulling the boy close to his chest. As he felt Daniel’s arms wrap around him, the boy spoke in a soothing manner, one which he would usually use with his sister, “You aren’t your father…” Daniel tensed at the words, “You, are still you…”

Killua had perfectly pinpoint Daniel’s biggest fear. He scared of something he has feared for most of his life. He was afraid, of being like his father… “Everything is ok…” The boy played close attention to Daniel’s reaction, allowing his fingers to caress the boy’s back. Killua’s fingers found Daniel’s hair, weaving them through the boy’s hair in a kinda gentle manner, even though Daniel probably felt it as a more affectionate gesture, “I still l-love you. I don’t want you to change, so who cares if you… really enjoyed what happened.”

“I feel humiliated, scared…”

“Sure, it can seem humiliating in your eyes… but I find it sensuous, seductiveflirtatious…”

“I don’t want to be like my dad, Vastorie… at least the mental image of how I see him as.”

“You’re not… he ran away from everything. The moment you regained your memories, sure, your initial reaction was to run, but looking back on it, it was though you were scared of something else. The moment you saw me… you clung to me.”

“I didn’t cling to you…”

“Moot point; the fact is Vastorie couldn’t even apologize to you when you were right there… he still hasn’t even apologized to you now. But you, you and I still want to be with each other after everything that’s happened. You are different…”

“You and Gon, I guess taught me that… I don’t have to be like my father. I can find my own ideal goal. Maybe I’ll just use all my assassination techniques and training, to just capture criminals; it’ll be a hocking a giant loogie in my family’s face.” Daniel chuckled at the mental image, Killua’s smile spreading at the sound, “You won’t have to kill anyone… I won’t have to kill anyone… It’ll be our own thing.”

Daniel buried himself deeper in Killua’s chest, still afraid, but mostly calm from Killua’s kindness. Even though for the last few weeks he treated Killua like shit, not only did he still want to remain by his side, he was only thinking about their future, not how he was wronged…

Or what just happened…

He wasn’t asking him to change in the slightest, to just be him…

Even though his body’s reaction did make him feel slightly disgusted with himself, Killua enjoyed it, and now his ruining the afterglow. Daniel sucked in a breath, forcing himself to look his boyfriend in his eyes, “Did you enjoy it…?”

“It was…” Killua awkwardly scratched his chin, diverting his eyes slightly. He was feeling a little guilty now “erotic.”

“Then I guess…” Daniel pulled Killua in for a kiss, letting it linger for a few moments before he finally pulled away, both left blushing, “I should be happy.”

“Huh?! We both should be happy… this is a two-way street, not, a one-lane-” Killua stopped, thinking logically about the situation. Daniel wasn’t ready to accept that part of himself, yet. So he’ll let the boy come to terms with it on his own, “Well, I wouldn’t mind doing it to you…”

“Maybe later tonight, after I shower… and we pack.”

“Deal… Oh, and Daniel…”

“Yeah…?”

“I still taste disgusting…”

Daniel broke out into laughter, warmth now filling his chest. He was honestly happy, and nothing could change that now.

They still had a goal…

They still wanted to be with each other…

No one could change that…

Not even himself…

First, comes Scarlet…

Then a whole adventure awaiting them ahead…

The goal was to understand his father… and to finally, break free from the looming shadow, swirling deep within the pits of his heart; coming to terms that there are some things he shares in common with his father…

Chapter Text

The sounds of pots and pans resonated in the kitchen, Killua humming as he moved along the room, trying to place everything back in their location. They leave tomorrow in the afternoon, leaving the area where Daniel’s original tormentor lies in wait.

He hadn’t really mentioned anything to Daniel or Alluka, just like Zaikaria had asked, the guilt barely lying in wait, not that he had an actual moment to ever say anything. They were quiet literary tangled up, limb-for-limb that evening, barely having enough time to pack their bags.

He couldn’t complain, enjoying the moment in its entirety, although, he did learn something valuable from the lesson. Besides Daniel is more on the submissive side, he harbours a real fear, his trying to understand…

Vastorie…

He shares too many similarities he wished weren’t true. If he had to point to a single culprit, it would be the fear of becoming like his father. Much was still unknown about Vastorie’s past to Daniel, so this adventure would be to understand the man.

Yet, even still, if Daniel learns something he doesn’t like, Killua had no idea how his boyfriend would take it. He barely says anything, probably because he believes Killua understands everything that’s going on in his head, but he doesn’t…

He only knows what’s going on from the breakdowns, which isn’t much in his opinion. He isn’t used to reading minds in this sort of department, those mushy feelings he gets in the pits of his stomach from time-to-time, but for Daniel, and even Gon, it’s like second nature to them.

So far he has learned:

Daniel feels disgusted with himself, whenever he enjoys something, specifically bedroom activities, he would see his father enjoying.

He is scared of breaking like his father, lashing out at whoever is a part of his life.

Killing anyone…

Those are the man issues he feels he could see being Daniel’s main breaking points. It’s not something he really wants to see happen, but if he does, like with his sister, he’ll comfort the boy.

Packing the last of the cooking ware away, Killua proceeded to grab two cups, filling them with water before heading over to the couch to join his sister in front of the TV. She was already packed, along with himself and Daniel.

The only reason Daniel wasn’t on the couch with them, was because he was in the shower, cleaning off their afternoon mess. The boy placed his sister’s drink on the table before taking a drink of his own, mindless watching whatever his sister was watching. He jumped in the middle of the cartoon, so he had no idea why there was a pink, blue and green little girl with no hands, beating up a monkey.

And he wasn’t about to ask what she was watching either, it was mindless fun to her, so it’s good enough for him.

“Big brother…?”

“Yeah,” Killua ran his free hand over his sister’s back, massaging it gently as he took a drink. It had to be the worst decision of his life, his sister has completely caught him off guard, interrogating him on one of his more intimate, tender moments.

“Are you ok? You were making a lot of noise in the bedroom…”

The boy spat his drink out, “Wh- WHAT?” coughing and choking on the remainder of the water clinging to his throat, the boy tried to recollect himself, preparing for a way to get out of the bird’s and bee’s talk. He wasn’t going to have this discussion with his sister; she was too pure for the topic, “What you mean I was making n-noise…?” Shit, she may have heard me moaning like a symphony… Damn it! I should have used a pillow to cover my mouth!

“I heard you groaning, did you hurt yourself?”

“Not per se… ” Where’s Daniel the white liar when you need him…? “I…”

“Was knee deep in trouble,” Daniel made a comment as stepped out of the bathroom; covering for what he assumed was his blushing boyfriend. He only caught the tail end of the conversation, hoping that he hadn’t missed too much of it to make any point at all.

“Big brother was groaning a while ago, what did you do to him?”

“I gave him a deep massage, as a thank you for sticking by me…” Daniel’s cheeks warmed as he looked down, continuing to rub the towel over his head, drying out his hair, “Your brother forgave me… even after how I treated him. It wasn’t really fair considering I called him a perv. He was just trying to look after me…”

Alluka beamed slightly, smiling at both Daniel and Killua; the boy was being sincere, telling her how he was trying to redeem what he said and did to Killua while he was unaware of how much he cared for her brother.

Killua remained quiet, face buried behind his hair. He was just valuing Daniel’s sincerity, even with the outright lie to her face. The boy did give him a massage, but not of the kind Alluka was thinking about.

It’s times like these, he values his ability to make up lies that sound reasonable, “There you go sis. Daniel was giving me a massage… Ignore the mess I just made, your question just caught me off…”

“It’s ok big brother… I’m just happy for you and Daniel. What will we do, once we get rid of Daniel’s curse?”

“Daniel, what you think…?”

“Something calm and relaxing… how about school?”

“Ah, yes… because when I think of relaxing, my immediate thought is tests, love letters, homework, and smelly judgmental kids talking about girls…”

“Considering what we’ve been through, smelly judgmental kids talking about girls are the least of our worries… We’ve been through hell and back, no test on the planet could ever come close to Chimera Ant war…”

“Touché…” Killua hummed, idly turning his attention back to the TV, “It’s gonna be so hard not killing kids our age…” Especially those who give you or Alluka love letters… The boy immediately shut those thoughts out right after the thought. He’s only thinking like this, because of what he knows, and is keeping a secret from two of the people he cherishes.

Daniel nodded before heading to their room, preparing for bed. He could see something weighing on Killua’s mind, but he trusted the boy enough to know when the time is right, he’ll tell him. After what he’s done, it’s the least he can do for Killua.

Tonight is the last night before they make a trip to the Kakin. Although just to be safe, Killua brought a ticket that stops in another country, which they then have to then board another flight, before their flight to Kakin.

He couldn’t be too careful. He doesn’t even know if Victor is going to come and follow them, so the extra two flights is a fool-proof way to get out of trouble. The first stop is the last flight of the day, and they managed to score the last three seats of that specific flight.

Victor will be a complete idiot to attempt to board that plane.

Now all there’s left to do is wait, and hope that nothing happens tonight.

“~”

Iason and Sakura laid cross-legged, Gon off doing something they hoped would keep the boy busy for hours. Iason needed to be careful, not infringing too much on the two’s relationship. He only chose to sleep at Sakura’s side the night before, because something crossed his mind during their conversation.

If his ability does have the power to recover Gon’s Nen, he should try to manage the amount of time he spends sleeping with the boy. He is afraid that unlocking all that built up potential is going to crush the boy.

He is aware of a large chunk of the information, about the way aura, Nen and Hatsus intermingle with one another, altering the driving people’s aura potential forward; but his not exactly sure to the true reason why Gon lost his Nen. He’ll feel bad if he doesn’t ask Gon directly, but he’d rather wait for the boy to tell him, just in case it throws up any red flags.

How Gon lost his Nen, could change the method they need in order to revive it. If it was on purpose, maybe just constantly holding Gon as they slept would bring it back, but the dire consequences could mean hell for the boy.

It could resurface and then crush him, before mellowing out once more. It’s been building up all this time, which means unconsciously, Gon is tapping into it somehow, building up his aura reserves without his know how.

That was the point of this conversation; he needs an idea of what Gon’s aura was like in the past, without delving too deep into the reason for the loss.

“So, how much do you know about Nen?”

“What I know is with Nen, people can be superhuman, like crushing boulders with a pinkie.”

Iason chuckled at the example being presented, but it’s an oversimplified explanation. It’s more like a supernatural talent that can’t be explained naturally, without bringing up willpower, “Kind of… Nen is more like a supernatural power. Depending from person to person, each and every one of us falls into six different categories. Five of those are self-explanatory; while the six is more like I don’t know, so let’s put you here, type of category. I won’t say any more other than that, because it’ll be way too much information that needs to be covered first before the categories. Let’s take it step-by-step, ok?”

“Alright… you’re the teacher.”

“Ok, so let’s start with the basics. Ten, Zetsu, Ren and then, Hatsu; Hatsu will be when we find out your category. Ten is where we’ll begin, for now, focusing mainly on that.”

Iason takes a breath, preparing his thought process of how best to explain the way Ten works with Sakura.

“So, Ten, simplified is a kind of defensive category of Nen. It allows for one to protect oneself from Emotional attacks that could crush a human spirit. Naturally, all of us have access to Ten, it leaks through our body as we grow older, but maintained, it can provoke our metabolism from deteriorating and growing old. It is the main reason why some people in their 60s can look like they’re barely touching their 30s. That’s probably why Gon doesn’t have blemished skin, and that ‘cute’ baby-faced, chubby cheeks. Oh, but its main potential isn’t to make you look pretty, or young it’s to provide a balance for your body to maintain the life energy, known as ‘aura’ for you to control and maintain without… you know, dying.”

Sakura blinked a few times, Iason already continuing before he could ask any questions, “Think of it as force field covering a planet, it stops the bad things coming in while providing life on the inside for every little aspect of yourself to mature.”

Sakura opens his mouth, but Iason hadn’t exactly finished yet, “The people inside the planet are the little flecks of life that provide the power needed for the force field to manage the necessary strength to keep the planet alive, and if too many people die, then the force field breaks down, making it susceptible to outside damage. But if the people don’t regularly look after the planet also, the whole thing will collapse in on itself. Ten is kind of like evolution, making sure to provide constantly, while also testing a few new features for the planet to try out. Constantly providing without worrying about what it has lost... until it’s lost everything, and then boom, no need to worry about- ahhh… I’m rambling a little, aren’t I?”

“A little…” Sakura pinched his fingers together, Iason blushing out of embarrassment for flooding the poor boy with way too much information. His eagerness got the better of him, that time, unable to stop the tide of information he knew about the topic. He felt like he just drove a boatload of information into the poor boy’s brain.

Sakura instead grasped the boy’s hand, pulling his attention back to the topic, “its ok… Iason, I… I think I understand. Tell me if I make a mistake. So, if Ten is the life force energy, the equivalence to how I understand the topic would be… If we were like a flower, we draw in the sunlight, water and carbon, using that as a process to funnel through our body, and I guess the by-product, oxygen would be our aura, but rather than releasing it like we normally do, we keep it flowing around our body, keeping it protected at all times. Photosynthesis would be the process of learning the aspects, or forms of Nen… I believe…”

Iason hummed the situation in his head, thinking the scenario over; he guesses it could be put like that. He really ham-fisted him with information from a Botanist point of view. It could work for this scenario, as long as he understands using his own terminology “Sounds about right. Ten is the entry level of learning how to wield your aura, so yes, I guess you would be correct there.”

“Yay!” The boy cheered, earning a small unconscious upward smile from Iason, “So, how do we learn Ten is it similar, do we draw it from nature…?”

“No…” the boy chuckled, holding out his hands to shake that thought away, unable to stop his smile from widening at his friend’s eagerness. Friend… Iason found himself stopping for a moment, considering the thought.

However, he was unable to ponder it for long, Sakura’s voice drawing his attention back, “Iason, are you ok?”

“Oh, yeah… sorry… If you want to learn Ten, meditating is the safest route; there is another, but it’s considered taboo… nor do I wish to perform it. But simplified, I force open your micropyles, also known as aura nodes. You can learn Ten quicker… but you can die in the process if you fail.”

“Right, bad… So is there a specific way to meditate, one where it doesn’t draw Gon’s attention? I’m sure his meditated before…”

Iason hummed the situation over, trying to think of a way to get out of the situation. For a few days, he can help sneak in a few study sessions with Sakura, while working his way up to distract Gon for Sakura…

So far from what he can tell, if he can get Gon to go out at least an hour a day, even to spar, maybe like today, it could benefit Sakura in the long run…

Gon likes a challenge, he knows that much, but he is unsure to what degree. Maybe he could get more information out of Sakura, “Leorio says Gon likes to challenge people, right?”

“Yeah, he does… he likes to push himself further. It’s probably why Killua and Daniel were both so close to him.”

Iason nodded, questioning the news. He keeps hearing Daniel and Killua being brought up, but he is unsure how to ask about them, “Maybe if we can get him to go out more frequently like he did today with the Gym, we could sneak in some time with you.”

It would be their best bet, to drag Gon far away from Sakura, whether that be via exercise, the gym, sparing, it didn’t matter, as long as Sakura had the time, he could practice without worrying about being caught.

The boy nodded, his fingers tentatively running along Iason’s dorsal, while the other cupped the boy’s palm, he couldn’t be more thankful for the help. “Thank you… this means so much for me…”

“Right…” Iason turned away, feeling the combined heat and warmth of Sakura’s touch, feelings bubbling from within. Ever since that night, that mistake… touching both Gon and Sakura, he felt a connection between the three of them. He was unable to shake that feeling, but at the same time, he didn’t understand the full context of the situation, at least not yet “I promised I would help…”

Right now he learning a little be more about Sakura, and honestly, he is as every bit as the boy was described. He was a giant, nerdy, bookworm when it came to Botany. He was able to take his long-winded explanation of Ten, and twist it to the point he could understand.

He feels like the boy could connect with him on an emotional level, and that right now scared him. Not in a fearful manner, but in a sense of the unknown. He didn’t know how he should feel, with someone would able to read his worries with just one look.

The boy chuckled as he took his hands away, “You’re right about that…”

“Since we have some time left, how about I give you a couple of pointers, to see if I can help you to learn a bit about Ten.”

Sakura eagerly agreed, Iason’s hand now guiding the boy though some simple touches, “I want you to close your eyes and focus, imagine you have all these tiny holes in your body where I touch, to picture them as little miniature gates you want to open.” Every time he felt his hand touch Sakura, his skin suddenly felt hot. Was it his cheeks, or from somewhere deep within.

It was so hard to pinpoint what he was feeling at these times. It wasn’t one of those reach forward and kiss kind of moments… THANK GOD, it was a sense of joy, something flip-flopping from within.

It was unable to be denied, ‘I want to be hugged’ kind of feeling. Especially with Gon, maybe it was the way Leorio hyped the boy up, but even in his really tired state, if he were to think about it logically… he’d felt like within that moment, he was being protected.

Either way, he was worried about Sakura… Gon… even, himself…

Once Sakura has at least been able to open and control the flow of aura around him, then Iason job to completely distract Gon will be the next step. He needs to make sure Sakura is able to control his flow before they move to the next step.

It will be a crucial step, as Zetsu, will stop Sakura from being a target, while also giving him the advantage from hiding from Gon if the boy is ever in a pinch. The last thing they needed, was the moment Gon becomes hyperaware for what they are doing, his ability to pick up on Sakura’s aura flow.

When the time is right, he was sure Sakura will tell Gon of his desire to help, and how much his trained. Maybe by then, Sakura will no longer need him, and those feelings that have collected so far will dissipate…

If they do… what would he feel within the moment?

Will he be happy…?

Will he be sad…?

Until then, there was a long road ahead of them, the end goal to revive Gon’s aura…

“~”

Vastorie held his gaze at the window, making hopefully the last call. He made a mistake with his family, and while he can’t directly call them to apologize, he can at least alter the course of the situation.

It’s time he completes his promise, he is sure Nathaniel marked down this name, and hopefully, it’s not too late. He doesn’t exactly know what Daniel’s state of mind is right now, unable to keep tabs on his son, just in case his father is watching his every move.

Kurapika has already made the mistake of attempting to follow the man; he won’t make the same… but he can adjust his son’s fate slightly, even without getting into contact with the boy… “Piiick up Eif-”

“Hel-”

“Eifion Mattocks!”

“Wait, Vastorie…? This is a pleasant surprise to hear you call. It’s been so long…”

“I know…” the man let out a sigh of relief. It gave him a taste of nostalgia. To hear the younger man’s voice was great, it reminded him so much of his younger years, and how he would have to drag the poor guy out of school shenanigans. But the reason for his call had to be quick in a sense. He can’t let his father catch wind of this “Unfortunately, this won’t be much of a pleasant call…”

“Oh…” there was a brief pause, fingers now tapping at a computer “What exactly did you call for? Hopefully not any documents you want me to dig up out of my Uncle’s archives… Most of its public news anyways…”

“Actually, it’s a more, calm request. I would like to enrol three students.”

“Right now…? It’s a little late in the year… We don’t even have dorm space-”

“They can take my bunker off campus; you still have the keys… right?”

“I do…” A pause followed suit, some more typing before the man spoke, “who do you want me to enrol?”

“Daniel, Alluka and Killua…”

“Daniel, Alluka and Killua, what…?”

“No surname, under the radar enrolment.”

“Right…” the man quickly typed, leaving the surname field blank for the moment, once he finds out the relations, he can make up a surname on the spot “So do you know roughly when they plan to start?”

“I’m unsure… so file it away on your system for now. You’ll know who they are, once you meet Daniel.”

“Ok… I can’t wait to meet them. Let me guess, you want me to put them through the special course?”

“Alluka, leave that up to Killua, as for the other two, I’m sure they won’t disappoint you.”

“Vastorie, I know it’s been ages since you last taught me… but I want you to know, the kids missed having you as a teacher, myself included…”

There was a quiet chuckle through the receiver, “Well, those kids I guarantee, will receive a sense of nostalgia once they meet Daniel. He won’t disappoint them…”

“I’m glad to hear that. Say hello to your husband to me, the kids miss him as well.”

Vastorie closed his eyes, the face of the man he betrayed and hurt, lost due to his own anger, was unable to dissipate from his mind. He committed himself to this hell, so there was no turning back until Victor was gone; he was willing to walk this sad and lonely life “I will…”

He hung up before the door could be opened, already well aware of the presence of two outside. Judging by one of their wavering aura, they hadn’t been there for long, maybe the last three sentences at most. Kurapika and Leorio were standing at the doorway. He held his features still, Leorio grumbling under his breath, “I’m doing this for Kurapika, Daniel, Killua and Alluka… not you!”

The man allowed a smirk to follow, “fine by me…”

Kurapika drew his fingers along the older man’s back, drawing his attention to him, “Remember Leorio, if you can’t convince Cheadle, our friends’ lives are in danger… He already knows what they look like; it’s just a matter of time before he strikes. If we can’t get her, to back off…”

“I know… I still won’t forgive him! Not until he apologizes to them.”

“And you know why he can’t…”

“I know…” Leorio grumbled. Drawing his fingers under his glasses, he rubbed the tiredness away. What the man was doing was still wrong, but he could understand why Vastorie is choosing to cut ties with his family. Kurapika made it very clear, that under all, that stiff, joking exterior was a broken man barely willing to walk a lonely path, just to make sure his family remained safe.

It was selfish but understandable…