title: miles to go
fandom: Hunter x Hunter
characters/pairings: Kurapika/Leorio, Senritsu
rating: G/Teen
warnings: near death, Kurapika being stubborn
summary: Kurapika drifts.
notes: for Mina, for her birthday, cuz she ROCKS! ^_^
...ok, we all know that i write people angst for their birthdays, right? >_> *slinks away*

He remembered falling. Darkness surrounded him. He remembered feeling relieved. He had failed, of course. He shouldn't have allowed himself to die before he fulfilled his quest. He had promises to keep. But he closed his eyes, and enjoyed the wind whipping around his body.

He remembered feeling free.

The problem was, if he remembered falling, then that was something that happened before the moment he was in, and that meant...

It wasn't over yet.

He thought that if he did nothing, if he just let it happen, it would end. Wherever he had fallen, whatever had happened. It would come to an end. The dying he was forced to witness. The killing he was forced to do. It had to come to an end... before he grew to like it. He was already good at it. Better at it than he should have been. But it was always so necessary.

He wanted it to stop, but there were voices, and there was pain. So much pain. It was even easier to let go. He kept thinking it would end. It had to end. His body... no matter how much nen he used, a body could only take so much.

Blessedly, it had to end.

There was a smell. And memory. Too many memories, and nothing to stop them from flitting through his head. The smell of blood was stifling. He felt like he was choking.

And there was still pain. He could sometimes see swirling clouds of red and orange light, sometimes blue, sometimes purple. It hurt his head, and it made him sleepy.

When he dreamed, he saw fields of grass soaked in blood. Far away, Kuroro was standing on a hill, smiling. He was eating the eyes. Eating them. Kurapika kept running, so he could stop him, kill him. The dead around him kept grabbing at him, trying to pull him down. He was soaked in blood, too.

He woke up to the peals of Kuroro's laughter.

He opened his eyes, and he could see, but nothing that he saw made sense, so he closed them again. He had the horrible feeling that he was still alive, and it made him want to cry, which was shameful beyond words. He knew he could not die yet. He had a promise to keep.


He heard voices, and movement. He could hear the sound of a meal being prepared. He could smell things. He wondered how much longer he had to be alive. If only he could complete his task.

If only he could give up.

Someone was at his side, talking to him. He wanted the voice to go away, so he didn't open his eyes. If he kept listening, he'd want to open his eyes, and maybe even get well again. He might want to live.

He fell asleep again.

The pain was powerful. He couldn't sleep through it. He turned and thrashed on the bed, and warm arms came to hold him down. He felt something prick him, and then relief seeped through his body. Before he slept again, he heard distinct words.

You're always causing me trouble, aren't you?

He opened his eyes, and he knew he was alive, and out of danger. He stared at the ceiling, and tried to assess how he felt.

He couldn't stop himself from thinking that he was disappointed.

"Are you finally awake?"

He wasn't sure if he should respond or not. He turned his head, realizing that he was weak, and exhausted. Leorio was at his side, smiling softly.

He blinked.

"Well, you never were much of a conversationalist." Leorio winked, and then he pulled out his stethoscope. At first, Kurapika could only frown, but then he remembered that Leorio was a doctor.

That seemed... odd.

"I think your condition is stable. I'll check your bandages in a minute. Do you remember anything?"

Kurapika opened his mouth. His throat was dry. It hurt, it was so dry. "I died."

"Not quite," Leorio corrected him quickly, looking... "Senritsu saved you. She called me... I brought you here. Your boss thinks you're dead. It's enough, though, right? Since you have this?" He lifted a small disk.

Right. The list. He closed his eyes, and sighed. "The road is long. Isn't it?" There might never come a day when he could rest.

"You're not alone, Kurapika," Leorio said, his voice gentle, and he touched Kurapika's face, brushing his hair out of the way.

It was a comforting gesture, but Kurapika didn't want it. "I am."

Leorio got up, sighing, and a moment later, there was something cool and wet at Kurapika's lips. "Run, then. Push yourself. Throw yourself off as many cliffs as you like. Kill. As many people as you like. It doesn't matter.

"You won't be alone." He leaned down, and pressed his lips to Kurapika's, just once, just. Just a kiss.

He opened his eyes, and sighed. "It's. It's so hard."

"I know," Leorio nodded. He touched Kurapika's forehead. "Let me help you, Kurapika. Just. Just let me be with you. Just for a little longer."

Kurapika had no choice. He wasn't dead yet, after all.

He heard them speaking. At first, their voices blended to produce an irritating hum, and then, as he woke up more and more, he was able to distinguish their words.

"...so the fever is gone, now. I think he's out of the woods."

"Incredible... When I found him, I really didn't think he'd survive. His collarbone was smashed, and his ribs were cracked. I think his spine was broken."

"Not to mention his internal injuries. It was good that you called me so quickly. And damned lucky that I wasn't too far away." Leorio sighed heavily.

"Stop being so dramatic," Kurapika mumbled. He turned in bed, and put his feet on the ground. His head swam a bit, so he stayed seated, just clutching the edge of the bed. Senritsu and Leorio jumped up and were at his side, but he brushed their help away, and stood up. "'S not like I died."

"No, of course not," Leorio sighed, speaking sharply. "Too bad, huh?"

Kurapika stepped decidedly away from him. Just where were they, anyway? It seemed like... a cheap hotel room? "I'd like to use the washroom. Do you mind?"

"A little bit," Leorio said decisively. "I knit your bones back together, and healed your wounds, so I'm a little invested in your body now."

Kurapika just glared at him. Knit... what the hell was he talking about?

"I was impressed with Leorio-san's work. I've never seen a nen doctor at work. I thought he was going to pass out before he was done, but he kept going until you were healed." Senritsu was trying to censure him, he was sure.

Nen, huh? Kurapika looked down at his body. Leorio... was able to use nen to put him back together again? "I can make it to the bathroom on my own."

"I'll just make sure of that," Leorio said, and he clearly wasn't going to change his mind, so Kurapika just walked over to the bathroom, and tried not to be annoyed with him as he followed.

He pulled down his sleep pants, and he could see all the scars on his body. They didn't look surgical at all; there was something organic about the way he was put back together... "You use your gifts to preserve and support life. And I..."

Leorio's arm snaked around him, and Leorio interjected, right into his ear, "Use yours to preserve the memory of those you lost. It's... it's going to be all right, Kurapika. You aren't alone." He brushed his lips over Kurapika's neck.

He was getting too familiar. Too intimate.

And Kurapika was ashamed to admit to himself... he really longed for that intimacy.

He slipped the data disk into the computer, and opened up the files. This had come at a high price, but there it was - every recorded transaction of body parts that had occurred in the last twenty years. All he had to do was sort it, and he'd have a complete list of owners of Kurata eyes.

He tapped his finger on the table.

Leorio set a mug of hot tea with honey next to him. "Drink it. It's medicinal." He sat down next to Kurapika, and leaned over dramatically to look at the screen. "Are you ready for this?"

"No," Kurapika answered with frankness that surprised himself, even. "But. It's been so long already."

"Try to be a little less rash, Kurapika," Leorio warned. "Your people won't be pleased with you if you throw your life away on this."

"Mm," Kurapika stretched his neck out. Leorio had been giving him massages, showering his muscles with nen to help them heal. He could use some of that healing now, but he wouldn't ask for it. Leorio had already wasted enough of his power on him. "My people can no longer be pleased or displeased."

"So, you admit this is all for you, then," Leorio said challengingly, reaching out to touch Kurapika's neck.

Kurapika ducked away. "I'm tired, Leorio."

He was quiet for a moment, and Kurapika allowed himself to get distracted, staring blankly at the list of names. There were so many... but then, so many of his people died together. Even if he collected all of these... would it ever be enough? It would be so much easier if he were...

"I keep telling you," Leorio sighed. "You're not alone." He reached over, and shut Kurapika's laptop. Kurapika turned to glare at him, but he just smiled, and leaned in and kissed Kurapika.

Kissed him!

"I've already emailed the list to Gon and Killua. They've enlisted their teacher's help... Biscuit or something like that. They're making initial enquiries. We're working on a plan now, organizing the list by the security each owner has on the eyes. Some, we might be able to steal. Some, we might be able to buy. If we break it down, we can minimize the amount of conflict."

"Le-Leorio!" Kurapika scowled, angry. "What right did you have to do that? This is my..."

Leorio pounded his fist on the table, shaking everything. "Shut the fuck up! Your? Your quest!? You were nearly dead by the time I got to you, I really thought I'd be sitting at your side while you died! How do you think that would have made me feel? Do you really think I'm going to stand aside and let you keep doing this on your own?" He grabbed Kurapika's collar, and shook him. "Don't think I don't know. I do. I was pouring my heart and soul into saving you, fighting with everything that I had, and you... you weren't..." He squeezed his eyes shut, and bit his lip. "I don't care if you're tired or you want to die. I don't want to watch you die. If you're going to throw it all away, then it doesn't matter if you don't do this all on your own. Please, just... just don't give up yet."

Kurapika felt his heart thump, and he felt his skin get hot. Leorio practically had their noses pressed together. He closed his eyes, and turned his face away. He took a deep breath, and exhaled slowly. "I'm sorry, Leorio. I. I don't mean to..."

Suddenly, he was in Leorio's arms. He knew he should squirm away, but... it was warm, and...

"Just stop struggling so much, ok?" Leorio smiled sheepishly. "I keep telling you. You're not alone, ok?"

Kurapika smiled, feeling shaky. "Yeah. I've heard you say that before. Just. Just... keep saying it. All right?" He looked away, feeling vulnerable.

Leorio kissed his cheek. He was going to have to talk to Leorio about how familiar he was getting. Later. "Yeah, don't worry. It's a promise. I'll always remind you you're not alone, as long as I'm alive. Got it?"

"Got it," Kurapika smiled. "Now. Let go of me."



Leorio pouted, and Kurapika rolled his eyes, and pushed Leorio's face away.

Leorio chuckled, and moved back to sit down in his own seat. "You're no fun. We're going to have to work on it."

"Why don't you work on being less fun... and maybe. We can compromise." His cheeks burned. Why did he just say that?! Now Leorio was going to think...

Not that it would be the worst thing...

"You're getting softer and softer in your old age," Leorio whistled. "Won't be long before I get in your..."

Kurapika calmly smacked Leorio across the face with the nearest book, conveniently, a phone book. He stood up, and walked away.

He'd really have to have that talk with Leorio. Soon. Maybe. Next week, perhaps.

Soft, indeed.