Kurapika, Hisoka, and a car ride.
by Mina Lightstar
"So?" Hisoka purred, running a hand along smooth, sleek scarlet. "What do you think?"
Kurapika raised a doubtful eyebrow, eyeing the expensive-looking rental. He assumed it was a rental, anyway. He didn't think Hisoka would have driven all the way to York Shin. "I believe I said, 'on neutral ground,' Hisoka."
A quick, certain nod. "Yes, that is what you said." Hisoka lifted his hand from the car and started examining his nails.
"...'Neutral' was not in reference to a car."
Hisoka looked terribly odd, leaning against that car and decked out in one of his usual outfits. A spade and a club decorated each pectoral. "Ah, but you never specified the precise location of this 'neutral ground.' So, we can't be waltzing around the city with linked arms, now can we?"
Well, there was that. "No, I suppose not." Kurapika frowned, both feeling and hearing the people mingling around them. He didn't pay them more mind than he had to; when not focusing on Hisoka, he focused on the car.
Their designated meeting point had been a public place. Specifically, they were outside of the airport grounds. Aside from the hotel he was staying at, the airport at which he had landed was the only other place in York Shin that Kurapika really knew -- and knew how to find. He'd arrived in the city only earlier that day, and hadn't had much time to explore. Hisoka had been more than all right with meeting there, but the magician had a point. They could hardly discuss what they wished in the middle of a sidewalk.
"So, then," Kurapika ventured, absently brushing the front of his tabard, "you propose...?"
"Oh, I don't propose on the first date." Hisoka waved a hand. "I'm very old-fashioned."
"Ah, I see." Clipped, wry.
"But if you mean to ask what I intend for us, then I suggest we take a tour of York Shin." Hisoka waggled his eyebrows twice for emphasis. "It would be a shame to waste this car, no? We can head someplace quieter -- and hopefully deserted -- after we've done a bit of sight-seeing."
Kurapika considered it despite himself. Generally, Kurapika trusted Hisoka about as far as he could throw him -- and considering that he had yet to get his hands on Hisoka to even consider throwing him, it could be argued that he didn't trust the mysterious magician a great deal. On the other hand, Hisoka did appear to follow his own unique code of honor. And besides, starting a fight in a car didn't strike Kurapika as very Hisoka-ish.
Still, past experience had taught Kurapika that offers for a ride were rarely just that. And somehow, he didn't think it would as easy to break Hisoka's arm.
So he asked, "Do you have any candy in that car?"
Hisoka knew what he meant. "No. I don't lure children with sweets. It's not really my style, you understand."
"I do want to see the city," Hisoka went on, eyes alight with glee. "It's been a while. We've an hour or more yet, to speak of what we must." He produced the keys to the vehicle, twirling the ring round his finger. "You can drive, if you want."
Kurapika didn't see any reason to mask the truth. "I
don't know how."
Mischievously, "It's a rental."
The impish humor was contagious. Kurapika felt the beginnings of a smile touch his lips and almost forgot he was dealing with Hisoka. He shook his head. "No, you drive."
"Settled, then." Hisoka took the keys to the passenger door and unlocked it. "Hop in." He moved to the other side, keeping his hand in contact with the red vehicle as much as he could. "I only just rented this for the night. I want to see what it can do."
Kurapika was still of two minds about letting Hisoka shuttle him around York Shin. Logic deemed that Hisoka had nothing to gain by, and no interest in doing him any harm. Other reasoning pointed out that Hisoka was rarely logical, and since when had he needed a reason to do someone harm?
And the winner: they had a similar goal in mind. That was, after all, the very reason for this secret meeting.
Before Kurapika knew it, he was in the passenger seat. Hisoka appeared on the driver's side moments later. The key slid into the ignition; the engine roared to life.
"Off we go, then," Hisoka said, in that ever-cheerful smooth voice.
It was thanks to a chance glance into the mirror on his side that Kurapika noticed it as they pulled away from the curb. He blinked, making sure he'd read the sign correctly as it steadily faded from sight.
Hisoka had been parked in a "No Parking" zone.
"Nothing quite tops the sight of a large city lit up at nightfall," Hisoka was saying, spending more time glancing out his side window than the actual windshield. "Much of the city is quiet, sleeping, but outside the action just continues. Oh!" He rubbernecked, trying to keep the comical skirted fellows in his sight. "Would you look at that! And here I thought that sort of thing could only be seen downtown. Well, at least we've been spared the necking lovebirds. And, my, but the bridge looks utterly fantastic at this hour of the evening, doesn't it?" Something else caught his attention, and Hisoka turned his head without skipping a beat. "I remember this market! It certainly wasn't the kind that stayed open this late back then. And I can hear you praying, by the way."
Kurapika quieted immediately, folding his hands in his lap and doing his best to adopt the air of a passenger who most certainly hadn't been begging his gods to spare him.
"You had your chance; I offered you the keys." Hisoka chuckled, whizzing by a car going too slow (that is, the speed limit) and nearly hitting a parked one.
"Hmm." Kurapika was proud that he'd managed such an even, noncommittal response. In hindsight, maybe his taking the wheel wouldn't have been such a bad idea. Driving couldn't be that difficult, if so many people could do it, and at least the red rental would be going slower -- considerably slower.
"Careful!" he cried suddenly, seeing a driver door begin to open just ahead. His warning was only anticipatory, as it had been the last six times. Hisoka maneuvered the car so it just grazed by the other one, and by that point the driver of the parked vehicle had already shut his door and drawn back in alarm.
The red comet speeding down the main streets of York Shin had definitely not gone unnoticed.
"This lovely contraption can move," Hisoka commented, complimenting the rental.
"You do plan on returning it in one piece, don't you?" Kurapika didn't bother adding that he would also very much appreciate being returned in one piece.
"I haven't hit anything yet." Hisoka was frank, certain. Of course, that "yet" had been pitched with a little impish sneer.
"I didn't say you were going to hit anything on purpose," Kurapika clarified. "Because you wouldn't. That would just be foolish; you'd kill us both -- and the person you hit."
"I'm being very careful. Really."
Five minutes and thirty-two streets later, Hisoka had slowed down a fraction in response to various things: narrower streets, more pedestrians, double-parked cars, and Kurapika's strangled claims that they were all going to die.
"Aren't there any law-enforcers in this city?" Hisoka cracked, drumming his fingers on the wheel as they waited for the red light to change.
Kurapika was using the pause to recover some of his lost senses. He'd been in some dangerously fast vehicles before, but never in a crowded city. He became a heavier weight against the back of his seat, willing the light to stay red just a little longer. He rubbed his shoulder and winced. Hisoka had braked like it was nobody's business, and Kurapika's seatbelt had dug painfully into his torso.
"Maybe they're too afraid to pull you over," Kurapika offered at last.
Hisoka looked pleased. "Maybe they are. Maybe they are."
The light still hadn't changed. Kurapika was beginning to wonder. "So where are we going to have this... meeting of ours?"
"We're almost there. It's a -- was a -- construction site just down that way." Hisoka gestured with a nod. "Completely deserted. We won't be interrupted there." He glanced at the car's clock. "We took the long way getting there, though. And it'll be longer if this light doesn't change soon," he added with just a hint of impatience.
Kurapika's gaze drifted out his window, and widened when he found the reason why it was taking so long. He hastily turned away from the lovers and their busy hands, and cleared his throat. "Hmm."
Hisoka looked, and Kurapika heard him click his tongue. "If they keep that up, they won't make it into the love hotel."
"Well, of course. They're in the middle of the walkway."
"That light isn't going to change anytime soon," Kurapika
said, wanting to change the subject.
"No," Hisoka agreed, starting a slow crawl. "I didn't know we were in this part of town."
The speed picked up, but not like before. Hisoka nodded to the clock. "We still have plenty of time."
"Perfect." Kurapika relaxed some more, grateful for the slow ride.
The grin Hisoka gave him was manic. "Want me to drive you back after?"
Kurapika winced. "I'll take the bus."