Mito watched Gon waving from the deck of the departing ship until he was little more than a speck, probably still waving even though she could no longer see.
She was going to have to get used to not being able to see him from now on. The breeze tugged the skirt of her dress out towards the sea and she pushed it back down, sighing. Her fingers worried the folds of the fabric.
"He's going to be fine," her grandmother said. "No need to fuss. What's the worst that could happen?"
"You're right," Mito exhaled. "He's not Ging, after all. I can't see him turning up in eight year's time with a baby under his arm."
Abe hmm'd softly, then:
"No, he's not quite like his father, but.. Did you ever get to telling Gon about how babies are born? The right and wrong ways to do things?"
Mito froze. She turned her gaze back out to sea, where somewhere on that tiny, bobbing dot of a ship was an oblivious, unequipped, pathologically reckless twelve year old boy. Once Ging's boy, now her boy. Come to think of it, had anyone ever given Ging the talk before he ran away? Had he simply thrust himself headlong into the world to figure things out on his own?
"I've made a terrible mistake," Mito said softly.
Silently, understandingly, her grandmother reached up to pat her on the shoulder.
"Well, there's nothing to be done for it now."
The gulls swooped back and forth across the harbor and Mito tried to shake her vague feeling of dread.
Mito's fears were mostly unfounded. While Gon would only scratch his heads at words like "glans" and "vulva," he had worked out the bigger picture through trial, observation, and basic reasoning. For the most part, the blanks in his knowledge posed little problem. He couldn't explain why certain things felt good and where exactly sperm came from, but you didn't have to build a bicycle to know how to ride one. He didn't have a name for the experience of getting hard, touching himself, and relieving himself. He didn't particularly need one.
Ever since leaving Whale Island, he had been swept up in so much adventure that he'd scarcely had time or energy to dedicate to anything else. Unfortunately, the excitement came to a screeching halt shortly after entering Trick Tower. Sealed inside a single room with the rest of his team, Gon tried to remember the last time he had spent fifty hours in one place. It was probably when he was too young to walk or crawl and had no say in the matter. He couldn't help but sigh and sulk a bit when the door sealed behind them. Fifty hours was a long time, longer than he wanted to consider.
"What should we do, Killua?"
"Well first, we should check the room for any kind of entertainment," Killua said, grinning. Gon perked up.
Somehow when Killua said it, it seemed like there would definitely be something interesting waiting for them. Within moments they were laughing and going through the contents of drawers and bookshelves, tossing things around as if they were in their own bedrooms.
Two hours later, those contents weren't quite as interesting. They’d skimmed through all the books on the bookshelf and divided them into three categories: boring, less boring, and Kurapika’s pile. Tonpa was dozing, Kurapika was reading. Leorio was monopolizing the TV. The less boring book propped open in Gon’s lap was alright, but he found himself getting drowsy after the first five pages. He kept lifting his eyes to watch the way Killua occasionally rearranged his legs while he was reading. Gon snapped the book shut.
“Hey Killua, show me that trick on the skateboard again?”
Four hours later, he had more or less figured out how to skateboard. At the same time, Killua practically became a master at handling the fishing rod and got embarrassed when Gon told him so. In the short time they’d spent together since they met, Gon had figured out how to tell whether or not Killua was embarrassed. He'd tense up just a little bit, shrugging his shoulders like a puffed-up bird, then immediately change the subject. Sometimes his cheeks turned pink too.
Gon was getting the hang of a kick flip when the board slipped out from underneath him and shot in a broad arc directly over the couch, just barely whizzing past the tips of Leorio's hair and crashing off the wall behind Kurapika. Across the room, Tonpa whistled softly. Leorio visibly shook as he lifted his head from his book, gritting his teeth.
"Knock it off, you damn brats!" Leorio barked. Gon hurried to apologize, lifting his hands and smiling sheepishly, but Leorio cut him off with a firm stamp of his foot. "Skateboard stays on the floor!"
"Aww," Gon whined.
"Yeah, yeah," Killua said, retrieving it from the other side of the room. He apologized softly to Kurapika, who managed a smile. The other three members of the Majority Rules team settled back into their positions, making an effort to ignore their two youngest. Gon padded back over to their spot next to the bookshelf, flopping onto his stomach and flipping open the less boring book. Within moments his eyes were already glazing over.
Gon jolted upright when he felt a sudden poke in his side, right in the fleshy area under his ribs. Whipping his head towards the source of the attack, he saw Killua lying on his side with his nose in a book, one hand propping up his chin and the other holding the book. His innocence was almost convincing if not for the smug grin plastered on his face.
"Kil-lu-aaaaa!" Gon pounced clear over the book. Killua was ready in a flash and smacked his hands away, laughing at Gon's feeble attempt to return the finger jab.
"What's the matter, Gon, you're pretty slow." He fended off a pincer attack directed at his armpits, ducking under Gon's fingers and poking him once more in the sternum. But Gon just grinned, swatting Killua's arm away and diving for a new angle of attack. Across the room, Tonpa, Leorio, and Kurapika watched the boys wrestle, unable to shake the image of a still-beating heart hanging from between Killua's clawed fingers. Killua caught Leorio staring and narrowed his eyes.
"Got something to say, old man?" he asked. At that moment, Gon found his opening and thrust his right finger forward.
"Got you!" he crowed. His finger smushed into Killua's belly, just above his pelvic bone. Killua’s awkward yelp and widened eyes were better than any trophy. Gon did his best imitation of Killua’s smug face when Killua turned back to him, which just made Killua shoot his own smirk back.
"I'd like to see you do it again!" Killua challenged, forgetting all about Leorio and flipping Gon on his back. Gon laughed just as the wind was knocked out of him, making it sound like he was choking, which made them both laugh even more. Their faces reddened and their breaths became shorter from the exertion, fending off each other's jabs and flipping each other over on the floor again and again.
Out of the blue, Killua stopped. He had pinned Gon beneath him and was about to poke him square in the forehead when his hand froze midway to its target. In the sudden pause in their tussle, Gon realized how much heat was radiating between him and Killua. His body was much hotter than it should be for just horsing around. Without thinking about it, he’d already gotten hard. He shifted his legs beneath Killua’s and watched Killua's face flush bright red from scalp to chin. Could he feel that Gon was hard? Was Killua not? Was that weird?
"Killua..?" Gon asked. He reached his hand up past Killua's finger, still frozen in place, and poked him gently in the cheek. "Got you."
"W-Whatever!" Killua pulled himself off Gon in a flash, settling down cross-legged about an arm's length away. Gon sat up, peering questioningly at Killua's hunched back. He was getting better at reading Killua's face, but the back didn't give him much to work with.
"..Does that mean I win?"
"The hell it does!" Killua turned back to him, his face still slightly pink. He puffed his cheeks and folded his arms exaggeratedly, enough to reveal his anger as only pretend. Gon breathed a sigh of relief. Killua leveled a finger at him, gloating. "You only got me twice. I don't even know how many times I got you."
"But mine was the last!"
Leorio inched over to the edge of the couch and leaned over towards Kurapika's chair. Close enough for a conspiratorial whisper.
"Did they just--"
"Don't say anything." Kurapika turned the page of his book without lifting his eyes.
Several hours later, everyone had settled down and found places to sleep. Gon's arm was still sore from an hour's worth of arm wrestling with Killua, who didn't seem much worse for wear. Killua was really strong. Fast too, and he was even the same age as him.. It seemed like too good of a coincidence that he'd find the perfect companion and friend on the very first day of the exam. He smiled up at the ceiling, rubbing his hands across his belly under his shirt.
"You hungry or something?" Killua whispered beside him. Gon turned his head to see Killua's bright blue eyes peering sideways through the dark.
"Hm? No, just happy." Gon smiled.
"About being trapped in this room?" Killua snorted. "Who rubs their stomach when they're happy, anyways?"
"It feels good. And being here isn't so bad. Once we get out and finish, we won't have to spend as much time waiting for everyone else at the bottom. Besides, it's not boring when you're here."
Killua looked away suddenly and hunched his shoulders up a bit. Gon grinned in the dark and rolled over.
"Good night, Killua."
"Ah, good night, Gon."
Gon closed his eyes but stayed awake for a while longer. A few moments later, when he opened one eye just a crack, he could see Killua staring up at the ceiling and absently running his hand over his belly.
Their rooms at Heaven’s Arena were much bigger than their holding pen in Trick Tower, but they spent their time inside in much the same way. After spending an afternoon training with Wing, they naturally gravitated towards Gon or Killua's room upon return, usually whichever one had more snacks in the refrigerator at the time. Because Killua was an incorrigible snacker, that room was usually Gon's.
Killua entered Gon's room first and dove onto the bed, flipping himself midair so that he landed on his back. Gon laughed and landed on the bed beside him, sprawling on his stomach and bouncing Killua on the mattress.
"Oi, did anyone say that you could do that? You're still all sweaty from training." Killua shoved at him lightly, prompting a sputter of laughter from Gon.
"You're just as sweaty as I am and you're the one on my bed." Gon shoved him back, only managing a half-effort from his position. Dissatisfied by that display, he propped himself up and went for a proper shove.
"Whoa there," Killua laughed, falling out of the way of Gon's hand. But rather than letting him dodge easily, Gon twisted his body around and brought his arm across Killua's chest, pinning him down to the mattress.
"Hah," he said.
"This isn't making me less sweaty or this bed less mine," Killua pointed out. Before Gon could respond, he wormed out of Gon's hold and grabbed his arms, trying to bend the other boy beneath him. Gon grabbed Killua's forearms and grappled with him, too quick to be caught completely off guard. The joy of the challenge shone bright in his eyes and Killua marveled quietly at how much stronger Gon had gotten in such a short time.
That marveling was enough for Gon to get the leverage of his legs out from under him, pushing Killua down towards the foot of the bed. Killua thought about planting a foot on Gon's abdomen and launching him clear across the room, but instead relaxed his arms against Gon's pushing and used Gon's momentary loss of balance to flip him sideways on the mattress again.
Or at least, that would have been the plan if Gon had lost his balance the way that Killua thought he would. Instead of being surprised and falling off, Gon fell face-first and bashed his teeth into Killua’s shoulder. Undeterred, he used that momentum to push himself down on Killua with full strength and hooked his feet around Killua's ankles to secure his legs. Although Gon was shorter by a small margin, his full body weight pressed flush against Killua's and made it difficult to worm out again.
“Oww..” Gon whined. Killua guessed that the fall hurt Gon’s teeth more than his shoulder.
"Gon, your hair's in my face."
"Not gonna fall for that one, Killua."
"No, I'm serious, it's going right up my nose. I’m going to get snot all over it."
Gon just laughed and Killua could feel the vibration hum through his whole body. All at once he was conscious of the sweat that caused their skin to stick together at points of contact, the puffs of Gon's breathing against his neck. His body felt hot and just like last time, it wasn't just from ordinary exertion. He jerked his lower body sharply and pushed against Gon, cursing how much harder it was to run away now that the roles were reversed. Of course if he were serious, it wouldn't be any problem to get out, but not without seriously hurting his friend.
"Gon, get off," he said again, more insistent. Something in Killua's tone made Gon lift his head, eyebrows raised in concern.
"What's up? I didn't hurt you, right?"
"Who would get hurt from something like that?" Killua demanded.
Gon hmm'd, then propped himself up on his arms.
"Killua, you're pretty red."
Killua slithered out from beneath him and instinctively shielded his face from view, bringing his forearm up and propping it on his knee.
"I told you I was sweaty," he grumbled.
"Mm, I don't think that's it." Gon leaned forward. "You acted weird the last time we wrestled too. Did I do something wrong?"
"It's not a big deal, just drop it." Killua said, rolling his eyes in his best imitation of noncaring.
"No." And that was that. "Is it because I got hard? Is that weird?"
A full body shudder wracked Killua's frame and he was fairly certain that his face was burning clean off.
"What-- Are you-- How can you even--" Killua stammered. Gon pulled himself into a cross-legged position and waited until Killua could make a full sentence. "Is it *not* weird to talk about that kind of stuff?"
"No, I don't think so. But I wasn't asking about talking about it, I mean the thing itself. Was me getting hard weird, Killua?"
Killua's head was awash with memories of Illumi telling him that sexual arousal was a vulnerability, that it indicated a lack of self-restraint. His father showing him how he could take advantage of his targets' sexual activity to create the perfect opening. His mother scolding Milluki in front of the whole family for his indecent habits, for conducting himself like an animal instead of a proud member of the Zoldyck family. Back home, "is getting hard weird" would be too absurd to think, let alone ask out loud.
But he wasn't home. He was here with Gon, who was still waiting for an answer.
"I mean, I guess. Not. But-- I don't know, that what people do with their girlfriends and boyfriends so…" Killua trailed off, realizing he was venturing into territory that he knew even less about.
Gon laughed abruptly, making Killua's ears turn pink again. Seeing he'd further embarrassed his friend, Gon waved his hands apologetically.
"I'm not laughing at you, Killua, it's just." Another bubble of laughter, quickly squelched. "I don't know much about boyfriends, but I get hard all the time. For no reason sometimes. Animals do too, when they get a little excited. I think it's just going to happen if we play around like this, but I don't want it to bother you."
The use of the words 'play around' made Killua choke on his tongue for a moment. But Gon did say that sometimes it happened for no reason, so maybe it had nothing to do with wrestling and sweaty bodies. Maybe it was just normal for him.
"You don't… think it's weird?" Killua asked, despite knowing how Gon would answer.
"Nope. It feels pretty good actually." Gon glanced down at his shorts and rearranged himself, as if that wasn't the most awkward thing to do in the middle of this conversation. "I like wrestling with you. It's fun. But I don't think I'll be able to keep myself from getting excited. So if that's alright with you and you're having fun, we can keep going. But if it's not, then we can do something else."
Somehow when Gon described it, it seemed so clear and obvious and not a complete violation of all societal norms regarding boners. His world seemed to operate on a sliding scale of fun-or-not fun with nothing else taken into account. When dealing with a guy who was one step up from feral animal, maybe the best thing to do was just to think like he did. Killua sighed and pretended he was Gon, pushing aside all the background noise, ignoring everything except what was in front of him right now. Was this weird? Did he want to keep going?
Maybe it was a little weird. He wasn’t able to say it like Gon could and maybe it didn’t even mean the same thing, but it felt good for him too. Gon’s body was warm and responsive, full of reckless energy. A part of him knew that Gon couldn’t let loose with him unless he trusted Killua, not only to handle his strength but also not to kill him. When they were that close, Killua could feel it. Between the places where their bodies pressed against each other, there was a relaxed acceptance. He would be lying if he said he didn’t want that feeling.
"Well, I guess it's not that weird since it's you," Killua said, rubbing the back of his neck. "Still, I didn't think you'd be so eager to keep losing to me."
That was all the affirmation that Gon needed. He tackled Killua down again and it was all Killua could do to secure the freedom of one arm to grapple him. Almost as if the conversation had never happened, they went on grunting and shoving at one another on the too-big bedspread. But unlike before, Killua made an effort to loosen his body. He was taut when he needed to be, but made himself smooth and pliable when he needed to twist or slide away from Gon's grip. He rolled his body against Gon's if he needed to, utilizing their shifting balance of weight to gain an advantage.
Killua had pinned Gon again when he felt a familiar pressure against his thigh. A shiver ran down his back and he knew that Gon noticed. Gon glanced down between them, then back up to Killua's face. Gauging his reaction, making no sudden movements. Gon's blithe words echoed in his head: it wasn't weird, it actually felt good. An insistent tightness in Killua's belly responded and before Killua had the time to think it through, he lowered his weight and pressed his body flush against Gon's.
He watched Gon's face for a reaction and wasn't disappointed. Gon's eyes fluttered shut briefly, his mouth falling slack and producing a quiet "ah." Just that sound alone made Killua's head swim. Then Gon started to squirm beneath him and Killua's body moved automatically to accomplish two objectives. One, to prevent Gon from escaping. Two, to make him make that noise again. Killua tightened his grip on Gon's upper arms and pushed down with his hips, trapping Gon underneath him. This time Gon made a noise closer to a growl and Killua's adrenaline-addled brain decided that it was just as good.
Their bodies ground against one another frantically, the struggle for dominance and the heat building up in their groins melding together and becoming indistinguishable. Gon grabbed hold of Killua's shoulders and Killua found himself leaning down beside Gon’s head, Gon’s mouth brushing his ear. Killua could hear every hitch in every labored breath and it made him want to bite into Gon's skin, to make him breathe harder and faster.
"Does that feel good, Killua?" Gon's voice was strained, but Killua could feel him smiling. "It sounds like it does."
Killua clamped his lips shut but let out a small whimper despite himself.
Their legs thrashed out uselessly behind them, only serving to drive their hips together, separated by nothing but flimsy layers of fabric. Gon was hot, Killua could feel it through both of their shorts. Just imagining when Gon looked like beneath that layer, what his face looked like when he panted, was almost enough to bring Killua over the edge.
"Killua.." Gon gasped. Gon’s breath was wet against his ear and Killua lost it. His body spasmed and he dug his fingers deep into Gon's arms, anchoring himself to his friend as he rode out the pulses of his orgasm. His vision went hazy, his mind swept completely blank. It wasn't until several moments into the afterglow that he realized that his eyes were watering. Killua squeezed his eyes shut to blink away that moisture, so that Gon wouldn’t think he was some kind of weirdo who cried when he came.
But Gon didn't move either. Killua could feel Gon's breathing even out under his chest but couldn't bring himself to lift his head and look his friend in the face. Did Gon do it too? Killua thought he felt Gon's hips bucking underneath him towards the end, but he was being so quiet that it was hard to tell. For a few moments longer they remained frozen in that position, wetness seeping through their shorts, both bodies plastered with sweat. Gon's pulse gradually relaxed while Killua's kept beating strong, his mind racing.
"Y-yeah?" Killua tensed.
"Your fingers are really digging in."
"Oh," Killua said, releasing his death grip on Gon's arms. He lifted his head at the same time to see Gon smiling at him, a little sheepish but mostly pleased.
"Just now... you finished, right?" Gon asked, turning a little pink. Killua thought he'd never see the day.
"A-ah, yeah…" Gon's smile exploded into a toothy grin. Way too self-satisfied. Killua coughed. "Did you?"
"Oh, no. But that's ok, it’s no big deal. Want to take a shower?" he asked. Killua exhaled his nervousness and rolled off his friend.
"Yeah, let's do that."
Luckily, the shower was big enough for both of them. While neither of them had been thinking much about it, they were both pretty gross from training and really needed it. Gon tossed his clothes onto the marble bathroom floor while Killua turned away to peel off his shorts and underwear. Semen stuck to his pubic hair and the insides of his thighs and he turned pink again. Man, his mom would flip if she saw. When the house staff found Milluki's stained clothes in the laundry and told her, she'd threatened to make him eat dinner in the hallway. "Because if you're going to act like a dog, you might as well eat like one," she said.
He glanced over his shoulder to see if Gon was watching, but Gon was already in the shower, testing the water for the perfect temperature. He'd gotten soft again, Killua noted. But he'd seen Gon naked before, so this was nothing new. He relaxed. He thought about the unbridled delight on Gon's face when he told him that he'd finished, even though Gon hadn't.
Whatever his mom thought, it wasn't important.
Gon stuck his head under the water and Killua chuckled at the 180 degree flip in Gon's hair. It was hard to think too much with a sight like that. Taking a breath, he relaxed his shoulders and released built-up tension he didn’t even know he’d had. He knocked on the glass door of the shower and pushed it open.
"Oi, scoot over."
The shower was heavenly. In contrast to the luxurious surroundings, Gon looked like a drenched peacock. With a snicker, Killua snatched the gold shower head and started blasting it in Gon's face, making his hair shoot back like a lion in a wind tunnel. Gon's shouted protests came out as a garbled mess and Killua dropped the shower head from laughing so hard. They splashed around and damn near slipped on the tiles, narrowly avoiding mutual concussions. Oblivious to the rest of the world, they rinsed clean and laughed and it wasn't weird at all.