A 'Need to Know' Basis


Nine times out of ten, before he went to bed, Gon had one of two things on his mind. The first possibility was 'nothing much' - a scattering of the day before, a couple of expectations for the day ahead, and he usually fell asleep fairly quickly. The second was 'training', which generally only happened when he and Killua were in the middle of something important and immediate.

That night was one of the rare one times in ten when it was something else entirely.

"We got enough out of that bar, right?" Killua's voice drifted over somewhere from the other bed. It was dark - not that dark, of course, but they weren't looking at each other, so there was no eye contact. Gon idly wondered if his friend was staring at the ceiling the way he was. "He's not here, moved onward, end of story. So we can get out of here first thing tomorrow."

"Mm…" That wasn't exactly what had been on Gon's mind, but it brought up something he should've been thinking about anyway. "I think we should stay around for a couple of hours just in case. I have a feeling."

Something like a long-suffering sigh ghosted back to him. "You and your 'feelings'. All right, whatever. Where do you want to go?"

Back to the bar, Gon thought to himself - it made sense somehow, despite the lack of information they'd picked up. Killua wouldn't like it, though. Legal drinking age in this country was sixteen - their age - so getting in wasn't a problem, but there wasn't anything exciting enough going on inside to make it worth a repeat trip.

Well, there was, but not for them. Which was kind of by choice and not lack of opportunity.

"I'll figure it out tomorrow," Gon answered. More like he'd figure out how to tell Killua, and how to talk him into going along with it, but it was better to leave that part out for the moment.

"Yeah, I'll bet." There was a mild exasperation in the other boy's voice. He let out a strong breath, and went on. "You want to go back to that bar, don't you?"

"Eh… I don't know…" And the problem with hiding things was that Killua was better at it and knew how to tell when he was doing it most of the time. "You'd go with me, though, right?"

"Probably. I don't have to like it, though."

Gon smiled to himself.

In a way, it was the bar that was the problem - well, not exactly a problem, and not exactly the bar. It was just that he kept thinking about it, which bothered him a little because he wasn't sure why. Normally Gon was pretty good at figuring out his thoughts and feelings, but for some reason, it was harder this time. Maybe because it had to do with Killua. Sometimes - more often over the past year or so, but there were a few instances before then - he had trouble sorting out all the things he felt for Killua.

Not that they were bad feelings, just - different.

Something like noticing - not randomly noticing, but Noticing, and then constantly thinking about - the girl at the bar who kept touching Killua's hand and arm. Gon shifted a bit on the mattress, still not too sure what made that image so important that it kept coming back to him. It wasn't as if Killua had been interested - he'd been annoyed if anything, and had probably not said or done anything just because it would've drawn too much attention to them. But why was whether or not Killua was interested such a big deal?

"Hey, Gon." Killua was shifting around too - not much, but Gon could feel his friend's gaze settle on him through the space between their beds. "We're just sticking around for a couple of hours, right? Then we're out of here."

"Right." If it ended up taking longer, Killua would forgive him - eventually. Gon shrugged, still distracted. "Just a couple of hours."

"Good." Killua's gaze lifted off of him then as he settled back down, seeming satisfied by that response. "I can't wait to get away from this place."

"I'll find something for sure tomorrow." And the girl at the bar probably had something to do with that - at least a part of it. "Then we can leave." Just one of many things that seemed to annoy Killua during the time they were there.

But that was just one girl. And just because she was annoying didn't mean they all were. What if there was one who wasn't so annoying, and did the touching thing? What kind of reaction would that get?

Come to think of it… They were more than old enough to be thinking about things like touching and meaningful looks and all the rest, weren't they? Gon had hardly given it much thought, but that didn't mean Killua didn't. He was the one who watched the dirty movies, so he knew all about it. Did that mean he wanted to actually do it? Did he ever think about doing it with someone like the girl at the bar?

He's never said anything…

Still, the thought that he maybe would've liked some girl's attention was disturbing. Because Killua was sort of… sort of… well, Gon's. In a way. They depended on each other; spent inordinate amounts of time together - balanced each other out. Gon was always going to be there for Killua, and Killua was always going to be there for Gon - it would wreck things if they threw a side romance into that, wouldn't it?

Of course, he hadn't thought that way back when he'd had to deal with Palm - but that was different.

He still might think about it, even if he's never said anything. Gon took in a long breath. Not knowing was killing him - he was just going to have to find out for sure. "Killua?"


Except how was he going to ask? Gon made a quick decision and went with the method that rarely failed him - the first thing that came into his head. "Do you ever think about sex?"

There was a marked silence from the other bed.


A sharp, in-drawn breath. Then, "What brought this on, all of a sudden?"

"Ah." Right. He'd want to know that, wouldn't he? Gon raised a hand to rub at his hair, feeling a bit awkward now that the question was out. "It's… that girl today - "

"What girl?"

Oh yeah, and Killua probably wouldn't remember it, either. Oddly, that thought was comforting. "The one at the bar who kept touching your arm and giving you looks."

"Oh, her." Killua's voice was dismissive; he waved a hand like he could brush the thought away with it. "I wouldn't think about sex with her; she was annoying."

That wasn't really an answer, which probably wasn't an accident, knowing him. Gon pressed on anyway. "But you do think about it?"

There was another pause, shorter than the first. "Sometimes," Killua said, very cautiously. "Why?"

"I was just curious." Sometimes - that meant he did. Killua thought about sex. Sometimes. It was hard to figure out what that felt like to hear - Gon couldn't even organize it properly in his own head. But he felt compelled to go on, just the same. "With girls?"

A third pause, and the longest yet. "Not… with guys," Killua answered, in the kind of tone that suggested - well, suggested to Gon - that it was almost a lie but he wasn't sure about telling it. "Geez, Gon, you ask the weirdest questions! What was with that one, anyway?"

Gon chose to ignore that. "Do you ever think about specific people like that? I mean," he added hastily, not sure if that sounded quite right, "have you ever seen a person and thought about doing it with them?"

"You're not going to stop asking, are you?" Killua gave a long, almost frustrated sigh. "What are you trying to get at with this, anyway?"

"I just want to know!" Gon turned to fix his friend with an indignant look, propping himself up on one elbow. "What's wrong with just answering me, instead of making comments? It's not a hard question, is it?"

"It's a weird question. Who goes around asking people what kind of sex fantasies they have?"

"I didn't ask about fantasies - I asked if you ever thought about sex with other people!" He has sex fantasies? What kind of fantasies would Killua have about sex? The thought was oddly exciting, with a twinge of guilty forbidden wonder to it. Gon pushed it aside for the moment. "And I'm not going around asking people - I'm asking you. Aren't we best friends?"

There was another long silence between them.

Killua broke it after a moment, letting out an irritated breath. "Fine, whatever." He stared pointedly at the ceiling, arms behind his head and a slight frown on his face. "Do you mean just random people on the street, that sort of thing?" His voice was curiously flat, as if he was deliberately acting casual about this until he could figure out what the conversation was leading to. "Not really. I never saw anyone who interested me enough."

That was a satisfying answer. Gon relaxed a bit, feeling like something important had just been settled. He really hadn't wanted to hear that Killua was interested in other people. "So you never thought about doing it?"

"Well, I have. Of course - who wouldn't?" Not so reassuring, but somehow, it did strange things to Gon's stomach. "Just not with any of them." Killua waved a hand vaguely as if to indicate 'them' somehow.

The next question was out of Gon's mouth before he could consider the implications of it; somehow, he just instinctively felt that it had to come up. "What about with me?"

Killua's head turned sharply on the pillow to face him; there was a certain interest in the expression on it - a kind of intensity that stopped his breath, just for that one second. It was a look Gon had never seen before - he'd seen variations of it, of course, but never that exact look. There was something like want and longing and expectation mixed in with the usual probing stare, that made his stomach quiver and a strange shivery sensation spread up from somewhere around that region.

And all of it directed at him. Completely.

"You want to?" the other boy asked, arms uncurling from behind his head. There were all kinds of undercurrents in the question - hope not the least.

"Er…" What a loaded question. Gon felt oddly warm, and his skin tingled - the aftereffects of that rush of feeling from before. There was a very clear implied 'yes' in Killua's response, and he definitely didn't dislike that idea, but… "I hadn't thought about it," he admitted honestly.

"Oh." And that syllable had obvious disappointment in it. Killua turned again, tucking his hands back behind his head and frowning at the ceiling again. "Why'd you ask then?"

That was a good question. Gon turned onto his back as well, staring upwards again and feeling a bit bereft after being so hastily deprived of that searching gaze. There was a crack in the mortar just beyond where his head rested on the pillow. "I guess I wanted you to say you did."

That hung in the air between them for a moment.

Killua sighed, sounding overly rueful - and then chuckled. "I'll bet I can guess the rest," he said, in that know-it-all tone he used when he thought Gon was being obvious.


"You want me to say I didn't want to sleep with girls - and didn't want to sleep with guys either, in fact. And, actually, that I didn't want to sleep with anything," Killua went on, voice matter-of-fact. "Except you."

Gon squirmed guiltily. That was pretty close to hitting the mark. "Well…"

"I'm right, aren't I?" Now he sounded amused - and a little bit smug, and a little bit exasperated, but the last part was mostly covered up by the others. "You want me to want just you, but never even thought about whether or not you want me."

It sounded bad when he put it like that… Gon turned his head again to gauge Killua's expression, feeling like he'd just been caught doing something he shouldn't have. "Are you mad?"

"Hm." Killua didn't look mad - more like a mix of thoughtful, resigned, and content. "At you? Wouldn't that be sort of like getting mad at a cat for shedding?" He shrugged and returned Gon's gaze mildly. "I'm used to it by now."

The smile to answer that was spreading on Gon's face before he even felt it building up in response to the feelings that were tightening his stomach. It was okay - this was okay. Killua understood, at least - maybe it was unreasonable, but as long as he knew Gon well enough, then he wouldn't mind. And meeting his gaze now, Gon was pretty sure Killua did know - maybe just as well as his best friend knew him.

Really, that was all that was important.

"Well…" Killua shut his eyes, smiling a bit with a certain satisfaction, and lazily turned over onto his other side. "If you ever decide you want to, just crawl into bed with me or something. I'll figure that hint out pretty quick. Night, Gon."

"Night…" And that could've been the end of it, but now that the thought was planted, it didn't seem like it was going to go away. Even just staring at Killua's back, Gon's skin was tingling again, and his stomach was still strangely tight, and it wasn't so much confusing as it was… well, exciting. Knowing Killua wanted to do it made all the difference.

He was starting to think that maybe having thoughts about whether or not he wanted to was overdue. Sometimes you just missed these things. Too obvious, maybe.

Gon pushed back the covers and moved to climb out of his bed.


The End