Gratuities

by Talya Firedancer


Blue eyes rounding with surprise, Kurapika folded his arms taut across his body in a clearly defensive posture.

Leorio's expression fell. "Oh. I guess you don't do that, huh?" He lowered the offered bottle, scratching sheepishly at one sideburn.

"I...I just don't know," Kurapika said doubtfully, but his expression was not one hundred percent opposed.

Encouraged by this, Leorio wiggled the bottle, then stopped, as if calling attention to it would cut off his chances of coaxing Kurapika to follow his lead. "Everybody does it, Kurapika. Well, you know, everybody who knows anything about it."

"I've never used it before," Kurapika hedged, arms still clasped across his narrow chest. He had discarded his gold and blue tabard, leaving him clad solely in a pair of pants and the black tank top that Leorio had seen on few occasions. His favorite ones involved those situations where Kurapika ended up stripping completely; he was hoping now would be one of those times. Of course, from the frown that had settled on Kurapika's mouth, he was guessing they still had some dialogue to go before that could happen.

"Really?" Leorio said, voice rising in surprise. He looked at the plain label on the bottle. Somehow he'd expected something fancier from a York Shin hotel.

"Yes, well, the Kuruta don't use stuff like that," Kurapika informed him, somewhat testy.

Leorio blinked. "Not...not at all?" He was baffled. "But..."

"Well, we bathe frequently of course," Kurapika said, taking a few cautious steps in his direction, still frowning. "But...bubbles?"

Leorio held up the bottle with a grin. "I promise, you've never really lived until you've had a bubble bath."

"I think I would continue to exist," Kurapika said dryly, but he was already shedding his top. He half-turned as if to protect what little modesty he had left.

Encouraged, Leorio shucked off his shoes and tie and ran a finger down his shirt front, unbuttoning it. "C'mon, it's supplied free with the suite, we're practically obligated to use up all the resources they have on tap."

"Hardly a convincing argument."

"...It's fun?"

"That sounds like something Gon would say," Kurapika murmured. Even so, he was heading for the bathroom.

Leorio gave the mirror a V-sign in passing as he went to run the water.

Several long naked moments later, Leorio sighed happily and settled back into the tub, pleased that Kurapika had joined him, settling against the opposite rim with no prompting whatsoever. "So," Leorio said, trailing a hand through soapy water. "What other free stuff have we got around here?"

One bright blue eye opened, and Kurapika made a long arm over the edge of the rim, coming up with another bottle. "Lotion...?"

Leorio grinned at him.

Kurapika flushed and ducked behind a wall of thickly-mounded bubbles.

"What, don't tell me the Kuruta never useľ"

"Don't start," Kurapika warned him.

"ľall of the free stuff in hotels?" Leorio continued irrepressibly. He waggled his eyebrows.

Kurapika's brows drew together as he crimsoned from cheekbones to hairline, then seemed to come to a decision. The bottle hurtled through the air and Leorio caught it reflexively, then got hit in the face with the wave of bubble-laced water that followed.

By the time they climbed out of the depleted tub, the lotion was indeed all gone. As well as the shampoo, the conditioner, and somehow most surprisingly the mini-loofah that had previously rested on the inside faucet-end rim of the tub.

Somewhere in the middle of it all, Leorio had dropped the soap. It was never seen again.



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