Amongst the wild chirps of birds and the barking chatter of students, Killua walked. His feet carried him excitedly towards the exit of the school. He likes learning, but school drains his energy.
Once he got closer to the plain black striped gates, colorful trees aligned his vision with its swaying and falling foliage that crunched like a biscuit under his sneakers. "Killua! You bitch!" The sudden call alerted him, startled his being, so every pore in his skin prickled. He almost made a full turn until a strong arm jolted the image of nature and distorted its whole existence. The man's muscles were tough, squeezing his neck like a lime.
"Ouch!" He squeaked, but the man only laughed.
"Caught you before you run away! HAHA!" All Killua could see was his dirty black sneakers and the black leather shoes nearby. Those squeaky clean shoes with no design or fashion taste that only ONE senior would wear.
"Leorio, leave the boy alone." New pair of shoes crunched their way to them. In a few seconds, he witnessed the blue pair of sneakers. It was that oceanic blue that you'd never wear to a school— at least, not to Killua's school. Only one person would wear it occasionally; Kurapika. He knew it was him before his feet reached his sight. His voice is the smoothest out of any male's voice he'd ever heard. And Kurapika considers that an insult.
"Jeez, I was joking! But you saw how he tip-toed away from us?!" His arm tugged Killua's neck further down then back up again. "You little sneak—"
"I didn't!" Killua objected and struggled to free his sabotaged neck from the abuser. His long pale fingers crawled on Leorio's tan and hairy arm and tugged it off his squeezed neck. Leorio tightened his grip, however, his neck wasn't as squeezable as before. "I was gonna wait for you guys next to the gates!"
"Liar!" Leorio seethed and threateningly tightened his grip on Killua. So, he decided to tug his arm off by the hair. "Motherfu—"
Killua breathed. He stumbled a few paces away, and his handbag slipped to the now empty front area-ground. "You're a fucking idiot!" He whimpered and rubbed his neck. He's almost sure it has finger marks on it.
"Whatever, McJerry's?" Killua glowered, but Leorio paid him no attention. With his disheveled short spikes, uncleansed glasses, and the usual office look, he asked his feminine boyfriend.
"No, Poppies." Kurapika shot him a look, combed his blond straight hair, and walked in front of Killua. "We have a triple study date, you forgot?" He didn't turn when he said, full of sarcasm like usual. Killua took Kurapika's traditional blue clothes as a guide to follow. Poppies has always been their study spot. It's in a much quieter place than McJerry's. However, Killua thinks it's a little riskier to go to Poppies at times like these because in autumn, once they leave the school grounds, it'll get a bit foggy.
Living on a mountain is never easy. You get lots of snow, hard winters, so a lot of blizzards. Not to mention the snow piles that could roll off a hill. It could kill someone. Fog is a natural thing in this village, where a lot of people from different races gather to live together.
It's normal to see weird things.
"It's normal to see what's abnormal," a teacher once said in a class Killua attended. "We hear about deer attacking a store, a bear invading a house, a wolf howling at midnight. We hear a lot about people living wildly in the woods."
Killua's never paid attention to a class like that one before. The teacher made it seem interesting, brought the topic to life as if she experienced it — as if she lived it. "Today's homework is how to deal with our most common problems. Choose one, either a natural disaster or a Wild accident to talk about, stating its points, its risks, and how to avoid it."
Until now, Killua didn't know what topic he wanted to select. He twirled his pen between his index and middle fingers, using his thumb. He twirled it, twirled it, and twirled it, but nothing came to mind.
"Still struggling?" Kurapika's grey eyes criticized him. Killua sulked and looked to the right. A huge slope full of grass faced him, beautiful. "Killua, you could always ask for help. Best friends are meant to help each other."
He turned to him and witnessed a beautiful blooming smile on his cheeks. That one's rare since it's coming from Kurapika. "Well, I think the concept's interesting. But I need to choose the topic wisely before I start. I don't want to find a better topic and regret everything I did for the previous one, you know?"
"Right." Kurapika drifted in his paper, but Killua waited in case he had another reply. "Guess, we'd need to go and see action before we choose."
"What?!" Leorio jumped, a chicken wing flew back to his plate. "You serious?!"
Killua's lips froze in a tiny o. He liked the idea, "but how?"
"You serious too?!" Leorio quaked, huffed when no one answered, then continued his meal. "You crazy motherfuckers."
"Your boyfriend must be there, right?" Suddenly, Kurapika inquired. Killua tensed, and he could feel his forehead scrunch to knot because of his knitted eyebrows.
"There, where?" Careful not to spill anything useless, he asked.
"He wants to camp in the woods tonight. I heard him tell you at lunch break."
"Yeah…" Killua looked at his unfinished muffin, heart's swelling and heaving, "Told him it's dangerous when the fog is thick. He doesn't listen."
"That's what I'm talking about. Let's go camping with him and his buddies." Killua looked at his friend. He wasn't joking, not with that glassy "I am serious," look. When his brow scrunched down by an inch, Killua let out a sigh.
"I think it's a bad idea. What if something bad happened? You know my family is very protective, and—"
"We're here, right?" He turned to his horrified boyfriend to claim his reassurance although it won't be enough for Killua. "And we have the weekend to rest after the experiment."
"Pikachu…" he whimpered, "You can't be serious." He mumbled, "How could you endanger your best friend's cute life and squeeze that idea in his brain?"
"What?! What if something BAD happened. BAD!" He emphasized the word, glowering back at his short boyfriend. "I don't want a bear to step on me while sleeping!"
"That won't happen!" Killua interfered. "Ray and his buddies had been working on that amazing tree house for months. We'll be safe, Oreo."
"Yes, Oreo," Kurapika repeated. "We'll be safe, and all we need to experience is how to avoid the fog. Nothing's dangerous."
Nothing's dangerous. How could someone say that while living on a mountain where wild animals break into their houses.
They're just used to it.
But, then, what's considered dangerous?
Digging their fingers in the grease of their meal? Not dangerous.
Running towards the woods after a junk meal at Poppies? Check, not dangerous.
Scrunching the wet grass and going into the woods? Well, that's a little risky when the fog got up to their knees.
Climbing a thick tree and spending a foggy night in a treehouse amongst a fog that is not confirmed when to be cleared? Yes. It is dangerous.
"I'm so happy you guys convinced him to come!" A redheaded man, a hundred and eighty-five centimeters tall, cheered. His long arms squeezed Killua's body, facial full of glee. "I did my complete best to convince him to come over, but he refused!"
"He can't refuse it when it comes out of my mouth," Kurapika stated. Even though Ray grimaced, and his facials illustrated the "I am his boyfriend, not you," marks, he didn't utter a single word against it.
"Well, have fun, then. Let me introduce you to my friends, my mate ." He pecked Killua's temple then his cheek, but Killua's eyes only stared at the yellowish glow in the bushes down the tree. He stood before the doorless entrance of the treehouse, and his gaze spotted that golden glowing gleam and its movement in the fog.
When it looked at him, Killua's heart leaped hard and almost stopped...