Edge by The Lady Arianrod

a/n: Second HxH fic. Set during the current manga arc.

Disclaimer: Yoshihiro Togashi owns Hunter X Hunter.

Summary: Gon and Killua at the end of childhood.

I never made promises lightly

And there have been some that I've broken

But I swear in the days still left

We'll walk in the fields of gold

-"Fields of Gold", Sting.

They stand in an open field, much like the innumerable meadows they've walked through. One stands with his head bent, musing. The other stands with an upright confidence that can only truly exist before innocence is lost.

The white-haired one turns to the radiant-faced boy. The latter has no idea what is going on; the former doesn't want to believe that it's happening.

All that he's been taught comes back to him in a moment of searing pain and sadness. A gasp of bitter realization threatens to escape the ex-assassin's firmly-closed mouth as he sees the moment from a universal perspective.

He is taking part in the prelude to one most painful exchange of greetings known to mankind: saying good-bye.

Killua doesn't fully understand what he's doing as he steps towards Gon with a hollow, false reassurance. The brown-haired boy smiles wearily, catching the sun in his bottomless eyes as he turns towards his friend of many adventures.

"The thirty days are almost up," manages Killua in a near-raspy whisper. Gon nods with a hint of hope in the energetic lifting of his chin. Killua smiles faintly…. Gon would never change, but he sure could change people. Sighing, Killua shoves his hands into the pockets of his favorite khaki shorts.

"Gon, after this…" Killua begins. He wishes to release all of his troubles and qualms with simple, raw words, but Gon won't understand.

Gon doesn't know what being an assassin truly means.

For a while, Killua thought that he had finally left behind his old ways. The feral instincts that once lead him to tear out people's hearts was nearly gone from his young mind.

Killua smiles inwardly at the tragic irony of it all. Even after endless days of leading a normal -- even beautiful life, Killua is reverting to the cowardly need to run from enemies, to spare himself and leave his friends to die.

"Gon really is different than me," Killua thinks wistfully, cursing his family and his profession. He wishes that it can go on forever, this wonderful way of life…

But something was stopping him.

There was some fundamental curse that was simply a part of him that kept Killua from being able to lead a purely innocent life. The snow-haired child glances at his unknowing friend, and he finds his heart softening for the last time. How could anyone be as kind and pure as Gon? He barely deserves the respect of such a person.

Killua hangs his head in silence once more, turning away from Gon as the day ends. The sun burns out rather melodramatically across the measureless sky and Gon raises his voice earnestly:

"Killua, what's the matter?"

"Nothing," replies Killua. He is slowly becoming cold, distant. Killua's eyes shimmer with hot tears that sparkle as a reminder of his dying human heart.

The day fades as Gon grins at Killua, guileless. Killua is moved by his friend's exuberant joy despite the heavy tragedy of the moment. Gon runs ahead and Killua falls behind, his desire to live waning.

Killua is out of reach, pulled back by a force that even Gon cannot deflect. As the sun drops effortlessly behind the trees, Killua's face shines with crocodile tears that catch the last of the sunlight.

It's over.


End notes: Just my interpretation of what's going on in the current manga chapter. Did I misinterpret this part, or was it appropriate? Please tell me =)