title: ordinary time
fandom: Hunter x Hunter
characters/pairings: Kuroro
rating: G
warnings: Kuroro
summary: Kuroro adjusts.
notes: for trail hunter

He found a seat on the train just before the whistle blew. There was an old man sleeping in front of him, an old lady across the aisle from him, and a family of six in the front of the car. The baby was fussing, and the oldest boy was complaining about sharing his games with his siblings.

He watched them, sitting back to get comfortable. The old man in front of him started to snore, jerked in his sleep, shifted position, and then went back to snoring. The father made a testy comment to the mother about keeping the children in line, which got him snapped at; it was true, though, he could do more to help out. The train started to move slowly, stumbling out of the station.

"Do you like children?"

He turned to face the old woman across the aisle. She had a bag next to her which had to be full of yarn because she had knitting needles in her hands, a wobbling trail of patterned knitting spilling down. It didn't look like she was very skilled with the needles, but perhaps it was too early in the project to tell. "I don't know."

She chuckled, and edged closer to the aisle. "I hear so many young people these days talking about how much they don't want children. It seems so sad to me... but of course, it's different when it's your own child, you know."

He tilted his head to the side, considering. "I've never really spent any time with children before," he replied.

"Think back to your own childhood," she urged him. "Wasn't it a magical time of your life? Even as old as I am, I remember the fun of being young."

He frowned. "I don't think I ever was a child, then," he answered her honestly.

She roared out laughing, causing the old man in front of him to jerk, grumble, shake his cheeks, and then curl back up. Two small faces peeked out from behind their seats. Kuroro just watched them dispassionately. "My, my, for someone so young, you sound older than me!"

He didn't really have anything to say about that, one way or the other. He wasn't entirely sure that time worked the same way for people who weren't part of his Spider.

Now, though... was he outside the body of the Spider? Then... maybe time would slow down for him, too.

Like in hell.

"You must have a girlfriend," she continued, her eyes taking on a mercenary look.

Ah, so that was it. He shrugged, a tiny bit intrigued by what she had in mind, but. If she only wanted to set him up, that wouldn't be possible. There wasn't going to be anything for him to gain, unless he could regain his nen through whoever she was.

"Oh ho, a young, handsome man like you? Unless you're gay?" she asked in a whisper louder than her speaking voice.

The old man in front of him opened an eye to glare at her, and then he turned onto his other side.

"My granddaughter is about your age," she told him as if he might be surprised. She went digging into her yarn until she pulled out a small photo wallet. She flipped through, and then held it out for him to look.

She was pretty, in an ordinary way. She had straight, blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and a wide smile. She sort of resembled that Kuruta with the chains. If he looked at her just right.

He might enjoy killing her, just for the enjoyment of the proxy gesture, but it would probably be too much effort, after all.

"She's quite smart, too! She's going to go to medical school in the fall. She used to dream of being a Hunter..." the old woman laughed again. Kuroro raised an eyebrow. A Hunter, huh? She probably would have died during the exam. If she even made it through the first stage. "Fortunately, she's given up on childish things. She's really quite a catch." The old lady wiggled a whitened eyebrow at him.

He stared, fascinated. What a strange and somewhat disgusting motion...

"I should give you her phone number. She works a lot, but I know she must be lonely without a boyfriend. Even strong-willed girls like her need a man sometimes. Hee, you know what I mean!" She did that thing with her eyebrows again.

Fascinating. Also, Kuroro knew in theory what she was talking about, but he didn't think grandmothers usually pimped out their granddaughters. Of course, he didn't know many grandmothers.

"Crystal!" the mother from the front cried out. There was a small girl in the aisle, heaving and trying to catch her breath, but to no apparent avail. She was even getting a little blue. The mother kept shrieking, and the other children started to panic as well. A boy thumped her on the back of her head, and that seemed to make things worse, as her arms started to flail and her eyes watered like faucets.

The old man in front of him sat up and covered his mouth, and the old woman shrieked louder than the mother had and cried out, "What shall we do?!"

Calmly, Kuroro got up and went to the child, coming behind her. With expert precision, he put his hands together right at the base of her abdomen, and he prepared to thrust.

If he used too much pressure, he could crush her rib cage. If used too little, he could let her choke.

He thrust, and a small race car went flying across toward the door to the train car. The girl started to cough and gasp, and her tears fell down rapidly. Her mother leapt forward and pulled her into an embrace, looking up at him as she chanted, "Thank you!" over and over. All the children started to crowd the girl, and the father, holding the baby, reach across to shake Kuroro's hand.

He looked at the man's hand briefly before taking it. The man wasn't armed.

He went back to his seat, but he didn't sit down, not right away. The old man was gaping at him, his mouth open like a fish. "Young man... good job!" The old lady burbled her agreement as she half-cried and half-laughed. It was an odd sound. "It's amazing... holding a life in your hands...!"

Kuroro tilted his head to the side. He'd done that a thousand times, if not more, and it never felt amazing. This time, of course, was different in some aspects, but it was largely the same.

He slipped his hand inside his jacket, and quickly stroked the leather-bound book there.

The old lady was about to reach out to touch him for some reason, but he sidestepped her hands. "Excuse me," he said flatly, and then the turned to exit the car. He was a bit hungry. He hoped the dining car had something good.

He was tired of dissatisfaction.