A/N: Hello everyone…or would it be better if I were to say, "I'm back"? Haha… Anyway, it has been a very long time...very long, indeed. Quite a hiatus I've had from the Hunter X Hunter section, and I do know I have such an enormous debt to pay. Well, that's why I'm back, isn't it? :) To all of the avid Simple Bet readers (particularly those that had already been at their wits end for waiting for so long and are still patiently waiting up to now), thank you so much! I owe you guys so much because obviously, if you haven't been so persistent on encouraging me to finish it, this update would never be possible. And yes…my apologies to you all, as well. Don't ask about details. Just don't. :)
WARNINGS: This was, and still is, my very first Kurapika X Kuroro fanfic. Now, the very important warning here is that KURAPIKA IS A GIRL, so those readers that are in disagreeing terms with this matter, kindly click the back button now to spare your selves from further infuriation. This is a warning, you know. I, myself, am a fangirl of Kurapika, so I know how you feel (ironic much?). I'm open to criticism and/or flames, but please do not argue with me regarding this matter since I did warn you.
Second: OOC. I just cannot live without it. :) This is a REVISED version, after all, so probably the…er...level of OOCness wouldn't be that…um…embarrassing anymore. Or so I think it is. You're the reader, so decide for yourself, all right? I've added some minor scenes that should have been there in the first place, corrected some major grammatical errors, and in general, "smoothened" the flow of the story. I know it's a pain to reread nine whole chapters from the beginning, but I hope you'll bear with me. Things are still generally the same for those who have read this fanfiction already; those of you that are reading it only for the first time… well… no problem about that, right? Just make sure that you read these warnings and that the time and space I spent on these rants did not amount to nothing. :) Other than that, just take your time and enjoy (if you will enjoy it, that is).
This story belongs to the AU or Alternate Universe category. Same characters, but an entirely different setting.
Disclaimer: Hunter X Hunter and its characters belong to Yoshihiro Togashi. But this story and its plot are rightfully mine.
It was a simple and frighteningly easy task.
But just when things were turning out the way he wanted them to be, he literally gets 'stuck' in their so called bet.
What will Kuroro do when he realizes that his actions are merely not for the sake of winning a bet anymore…
…but is already for the fulfillment of the desires of his own heart?
Chapter One: Introduction to Insults
We're terribly sorry, Kurapika—
But we have no other options regarding this matter. I'm afraid that we will have to leave you again on your own for a couple of months—
You know how important these engagements are, dear…we hope you will understand—
"Why do I have the feeling that seeing you here does not come as a surprise anymore?" A very familiar voice came up from behind the studious blonde, therefore interrupting her recent reminiscing. "It's no wonder now that you are the outstanding prefect of the junior class… With all the time you spend on burying your nose inside these books, I wouldn't be surprised if surgeons literally found numerals and speeches, rather than the physical brain, when they crack your skull open." The voice continued: the ridicule in it as obvious as that of a single dot on a plain, white sheet of paper. And in this case, we have here a big, black dot.
Already "immune" from such insults, Kurapika merely continued her research and paid no attention to the senior beside her. To her annoyance though, mentioned senior deliberately closed the book that she had been using, hindering her research's progress. "I'm talking to you, Kurapika Kuruta. Don't be rude; the least that you can do is to face me." At these words, Kurapika was surprised to feel the corners of her mouth move and form slowly into a smirk. Perhaps, it did not bother her if she annoyed the senior as well; revenge even at its minimal still felt satisfying.
But the smirk was gone as fast as it had appeared when she turned to face the lad beside her.
A perfect set of ebony hair and eyes, coupled with his ivory complexion, Kuroro Ruciful was simply the most handsome male that Kurapika had ever met. Despite this fact though, to openly admit such perception would be the most humiliating act she would ever do. More often than not, people would regard her as absurd for despising the senior. She would not have despised him at all, if only he had not chosen her as the very subject of his rudeness.
"Kuroro-senpai…" said Kurapika, her temper barely contained. "If you have nothing better to do, I suggest you leave me be. If you can't seem to notice, I'm very busy. So get."
Kuroro only stared at Kurapika, the realization that the blonde was "once again" starting to get annoyed of him having dawned upon him already. And guess what, he's actually having fun about it. "But I do have an important reason as to why I'm here, Kurapika, and I do believe that I do not have to remind you of it." Kuroro said, his eyes flashing with amusement. "You're a growing girl, and books are not the only things that can help you. You should go out once in a while and—"
Kurapika suddenly stood up from her seat, slamming her fists onto the table. "Kuroro…how many times do I have to tell you — do not tell me what to do! Don't you ever get tired of bugging me? Now don't you start laughing at me!" She hissed at Kuroro who was already sniggering uncontrollably. Kurapika glowered at him; she could never seem to understand exactly why and how she became the target of Kuroro's insults. It was only her first year here in this town and at their school, but hell…why was she the one to be annoyed by this oppressive senior. She could not even remember having done anything wrong against Kuroro for him to constantly pester her. Almost every day, he gave the same speech: for her to stop her persistence with her studies and just "go out". Unfortunately for Kuroro, Kurapika solely hated anyone who bossed her around with no acceptable reason, especially those who are not even connected to her in any way. Thus, this was the very reason why she had come to hate Kuroro so much.
'Why are these things happening to me?' Kurapika thought, sighing in a way that you would think that she had a huge problem. Well, she actually did…
Much to the blonde's frustration, Kuroro just stared at her with that annoying smirk. There was no need to guess the reason behind the blonde's spontaneous sigh for all that he needed to do was look at a mirror to find the answer. 'Come to think of it, I really did not seem to stop bothering her recently…' And to no particular reason, Kuroro burst out laughing, his voice echoing loudly inside the supposedly quiet Library.
Kurapika almost screamed in frustration as she glowered at Kuroro. A second later, she was checking out the necessary books at the counter and was literally stomping her way towards the exit. To her amusement though, she caught a glimpse of the head librarian marching towards Kuroro, her nostrils flaring in utmost rage. 'Serves him right.' She just made it out onto the front steps before all hell broke loose.
"Oi, Kurapika! Over here!"
A very familiar voice called out to her as she made her way down the stone steps. She found her friends sitting under the shade of a tree at the park in front of the Library. "You three…I thought you all went home already."
"We did! But then I remembered that we made a promise to walk you home every time you had something to do after school, so here we are!" Gon grinned widely at her, his chocolate ice cream melting in the afternoon heat.
"Right. Even though I hate to admit it, it's kind of dangerous for you to be walking home alone," said Killua having just finished his own ice cream and already eyeing Gon's hungrily. His pearl white complexion and hair color was of great contrast to Gon's tanned skin and spiky black hair, but their similarly over enthusiastic (and, not to mention, stubborn) attitudes made them the very best of friends. Their friendship was, as a matter of fact, the strongest that Kurapika has ever known. "Wouldn't want the same thing that happened to that pizza girl also happening to you, would we?"
"And since you always pass by that construction site on your way home, and because you're easily one of the prettiest girls here, you're most likely to become a target for those jerks." Leorio grunted as he stared at Kurapika behind his round, shaded spectacles.
The horrible news of a delivery girl that was brutally raped and murdered at an abandoned construction site was still the topic of most conversations during the past week. Their neighborhood's crime rate was not really on the positive side, but a murder certainly dealt a disastrous blow to it. These days, you could rarely see anyone walking alone on the streets, especially during the evenings.
Kurapika, however, knew that she need not worry about anything at all, so long as she had her friends. Her friendship with them was built so instantaneously, but it steadily grew stronger during the few months she had spent with them, even though they were guys. And speaking of guys, one had certainly been annoying her only recently…
"Ne, Kurapika…you haven't finished your library work yet?" said Gon, pointing at the books that the blonde was carrying.
"Oh…well, these are Kuroro's fault. I had to check these books out so I could get away from him."
"Him again?!" Killua grimaced, now trying to grab hold of Gon's ice cream despite the other's protests. "Doesn't he ever get tired of bothering you?"
"No," said Kurapika, sarcastically. "I really don't understand why he loves to annoy me. And he even knows exactly how!"
"Well…it's easy to provoke you when it's about your being studious. And almost everyone knows you hate being bossed around." Leorio thought out loudly.
"Thanks for reminding me, Leorio." Kurapika glared at him. "But even so, I'm the only one he's been insulting, and—"
"I think Kuroro likes you, Kurapika."
It seemed as if time had stopped at Gon's remark before the other three bellowed at him. "WHAT?!"
"Never, Gon! Never! I hate that Kuroro and that will never happen! You hear me, Gon? NEVER!" Kurapika was trembling from embarrassment and fury. Of all the possible reasons, why that?
"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" Gon whimpered under Kurapika's rage. "I won't say anything about that again! I'm sorry, Kurapika!"
Kurapika sighed and steadied herself. Fortunately, her voice was back to normal when she spoke again. "It's all right, Gon. I was just…shocked. That was truly an…unexpected…reason." She grinned, even though a vein was visibly throbbing on her temple.
"Well…it's just that…" Gon stuttered. "Aunt Mito once told me that if you liked someone, you do your best to get that person's attention…"
Killua narrowed his eyes at him. "Oi, Gon…you really don't know what you're saying, don't you? That saying's way too old."
"Even so! It's still true, isn't it? Kurapika's really pretty, so why won't Kuroro like her?"
"Maa ne…" Kurapika chuckled nervously. "Gon, I thought you won't say anything about that again?" As always, Gon's bluntness about his thoughts was overwhelming, even to a point that it was sometimes annoying.
A sweat drop appeared on the side of Gon's head. "Ehehehe… right; I did say that. Anyway!" He stood up suddenly. "It's getting dark and we still have to walk Kurapika home! Ikuso!" And he started to walk away while nervously laughing.
The other three laughed and followed him out of the park. Passing by the Library's front steps, Kurapika caught sight of Kuroro standing outside the doors, staring down at her with those unfathomable eyes. Kuroro liking her was entirely possible, she thought. Feeling very tired and annoyed, Kurapika decided to ignore him and to head straight home.
…To be continued…
A/N: Finally! I thought I'd never be able to finish revising this chapter. And this is only Chapter One! (faints) Anyway…I know it is very different from before. Apparently, my writing style… well… uh… am I safe in saying that it "improved"? But that's all thanks to you, readers. Anyway, because of that you might have assumed that the story changed as well. IT DID NOT. If you have not noticed, the sequences of this chapter are still the same; I have only added and replaced some minor parts. But I do hope this proved more satisfying than the previous one. That's what revisions are for, right? (sweat drops)
I really hope you liked it. This is a start, anyway. If you did, then you'd like the rest; if not, then you won't. It's that simple.
Reviews, please? Or maybe you'd rather read the whole revision first? :) Ja ne.