The silver-haired boy raised an eyebrow, chewing on his chocobot thoughtfully. The question resonated through his head again, and he felt himself frowning.
Just a few hours ago, Gon, Leorio, Kurapika and himself had gone out into town. It had been a while since they had last met up, after Killua and Gon had departed. Leorio had finished medical school, and had come back to Yorkshin the following week after his graduation. On the other hand, Gon was expected to depart to the Dark Continent in just a few months. Kurapika was on a vacation, and somehow the former had managed to convince him to set some time aside to visit them. Killua had been exploring the Yorbian Continent with Alluka, but he had left her in the hotel they were staying in, not wanting to wake her from her nap.
All have them had changed over the past year—some fro the better, some for the worse. Gon had inherited a deep tan and muscular build, now catching up to Killua in height. It wasn't as if Killua hadn't grown, though. His pale complexion was a little fairer, and he was, unfortunately, a little lankier than before. It was probably because he hadn't been training as often, though. Now at 5'5, both boys were catching up to their older companions.
Leorio hadn't changed that much. But his attire had changed a bit—he no longer sported those ridiculously colorful ties, and it almost seemed like a part of him was missing when he had shown up without his briefcase. Kurapika had finally got a haircut—the last time they Facetimed it was nearly to his shoulders. Now it was only a bit shorter than it was the last time they were in Yorkshin. He was still in tribal wear, but he had upped a size in his white underclothes. Powerful muscles rippled underneath his clothes,and Killua could tell he had been working out. And... Was that... A grey hair?
That brought them back to their current situation. They had settled down in an ice cream shop, now in the process of ordering. Killua, of course, had gotten the hugest sundae possible. They were all noisily enjoying their ice cream, as to be expected, and then Kurapika had excused himself to take a phone call. Leorio sneered, muttering something about 'that workaholic bastard'. The group waited, and waited, until Killua couldn't stand the worried frown on Gon's face anymore. He pushed the chair out, sliding out of it and approaching the door.
"Killua! Where are you going?" Without a second thought, Gon had pushed his chair out, following after him. Leorio hesitated, before following.
"Looking for Kurapika. It doesn't take that long to take a phone call." He narrowed his eyes, before exiting the shop. People breezed past them, colorful faces disappearing without a second thought. Where could that guy have gone? His nen had completely disappeared, and Gon whimpered quietly next to him. But then he spotted the blonde crown, dressed in baggy tribal wear. What was he doing, kneeling in the middle of the street?
"Kurapika!" Gon's voice had rang out over the crowd, and Kurapika turned around. Killua stopped dead in his tracks. He wasn't kneeling. He was standing on two feet, just like the rest of them. Large brown eyes narrowed, lips twisting into a frown.
"Kurapika! Why are you so short?"
True to Gon's words, the blonde was short, even a few inches shorter than him. A frown made its way onto the child's features, as he crossed his arms over his tribal wear.
"Excuse me, but who are you?"
There was no doubt about it—that was definitely Kurapika. The slight upturned nose, large, cat-like eyes, and creamy complexion were all familiar. He was of a slight build, thin, but healthy. And upon further inspection, he was clumsy. When Killua had stopped Gon from asking any more questions and requested the boy to follow the, into the ice cream shop, he happily complied. He walked in step with Gon, a slight bounce in his step. He tripped over his feet when he entered the store, but caught himself.
"So, are you going to answer me or not?" The younger-looking Kurapika spoke with a strange accent, and that made Killua slightly suspicious. But then he remembered that This wasn't. Kurapika's first language, and he had learned by book. He remembered that the blonde had told them the sad story of how he departed from the Kurta clan, a few years ago when his eyes had been taken.
"I'm Killua, this is Gon, and that old man's Leorio." By now, the latter had gotten used to the nick name, so didn't do anything other than twitch an eyebrow. Gon tilted his head at Killua, but there seemed to be some mutual understanding, as he let the silver-haired kid continue. And by that time, Killua had figured it all out.
"Kurapika, how old are you?"
That made sense. Whatever that had happened, a younger version of Kurapika had popped up in the place of the older one. But didn't the Genei Ryodan attack when he was twelve? Then, he found himself thinking back to the story Kurapika had told him. Six weeks after he had departed, news of the massacre had become public. So he didn't know. That would explain the light air around him, unlike the stoic demeanor the older Kurapika usually had.
"And why do you know my name?" Ah, so his intelligence was genetic. The blonde cocked a head at him, tone slightly accusatory. Killua glanced at Gon and Leorio, wondering whether they should tell him. Leorio nodded, and gon decided to take the weight off of his back. He was best at this kind of thing, anyways.
"Kurapika, we're your friends." The spiky-haired boy answered, a concerned expression on his usually happy face. The boy in question raised an eyebrow, answering haughtily.
"Really? I don't recall knowing a Gon, Killua or Leorio." Killua liked the older Kurapika much better, he decided. This kid was too questioning for his own good. He did grow up to have superior intellect, but couldn't he lay off the questions for once? Christ.
"That's because something happened to you. You went out to take a call, and then you disappeared. When we went out to look for you, you were..." The boy began counting on his fingers, before glancing back up at him. "Six years younger!"
And so they began the ling and winded process of explaining Kurapika to Kurapika. Gon had enough sense to leave out the Kurta incident, and Killua was pretty certain that the blonde would turn back any day now. It was difficult fabricating a lie that made sense, but the boy ate it all up, eyes growing wide in excitement.
"Wow, I must have been really cool!" And like that, Gon and Kurapika were like peas in a pod. Maybe if Kurapika's tribe hadn't been massacred, they would all be best friends. In some ways, Kurapika was a lot like Gon. Once they had gotten back to Leorio's apartment, the two completely trashed the place, literally bouncing off the walls. Surprisingly enough, Kurapika had enough energy, maybe even more so than Gon. Killua had kept back to comfort the older man, rather uncharacteristically so. But he wanted to study the Kurta for a bit longer before he decided to jump in on the fun.
There must have been a reason why this happened, although it didn't make much sense anyways. He didn't need to ask to know that Kurapika didn't know anything—his best guess would be that he thought he had just left Lusko a few weeks ago. There was a strangled yelp, and Killua felt two bodies fall on top of his own, the bottom of a Killua-Kurapika-Gon sandwich.
"Killua! Sorry!" The black-haired boy grinned and rolled off of him, attempting to stand up, but not before Killua tackled him to the ground. Kurapika joined in the brawl, a tangle of limbs. And, of course, he came out with a large lump on the side of his head. The two hunters grinned apologetically—they had forgotten he couldn't use nen. Killua opened his mouth to speak, but then the blonde was wrestling him to the ground. He was surprisingly agile, and wriggled out of his vice-grip.
Hm. This would be an interesting week.