|Cut Short Beard Less
Author: nambnb PM
Answering a prompt on T&B-anon-meme again, this time Barnaby and Kotetsu run into an emergency without the suits, resulting in Barnaby having to cut his hair and Kotetsu sharing his fate by giving up on his own trademark sign, too.Rated: Fiction M - English - Humor/Romance - Barnaby Brooks Jr./Bunny & Kotetsu K./Wild Tiger - Chapters: 3 - Words: 7,626 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 15 - Follows: 8 - Updated: 05-13-12 - Published: 05-01-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8077245
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The interview concerning Barnaby's well-being seemed to be done in a flash - a flash involving cameras continuously taking pictures of him and a shower of questions pouring down his head, mostly repeating the same content again and again: Was he fine? Where was he hurt exactly? How long would his recovery take and how long would he not be in action? Who was his hairstylist? Would he let his hair regrow? And if not, would this become the new Barnaby-style?
Kotetsu yawned in a corner while he watched the whole scenario with no particular interest. He wasn't envious of Barnaby about this aspect of his popularity. His whole life seemed to have to be caught on camera or other media. These vultures would probably make a spectacle about him every time he even so much as got back with a single scratch from a mission, if one let them. Kotetsu looked at his watch boredly and noted that they literally tore Barnaby apart for a good half an hour already. Plus, his partner seemed to try making eye contact with him for a good minute by now. Time to end this then. A few steps with his long legs let him reach Barnaby's pedestal and he fished him out from beneath the sea of microphones hanging all around his head. Ignoring the scandalised protesting reporters, he guided Barnaby away from the landing and out of the room in a professional, bodyguard-like way.
Barnaby struggled for breath as Kotetsu shut the door behind them. "God, they were behaving like I had grown myself a second head!"
Kotetsu snorted and shrugged. "I doubt that would have made any less impact, indeed." He heard him sigh heavily. "Don't let all your energy run out, yet, we still have the fan panel to attend to and you know how fangirls can act."
"Don't remind me..." Somehow Barnaby's already fair skin seemed to gain two shades of pale.
Kotetsu patted his partner on the shoulder and leaned in to Barnaby's ear. "Don't forget that after we are done we have a nice break. No calls for us today after all."
Barnaby was quite sure Kotetsu would have prefered any kind of emergency situation over attending a discussion panel with their fans. To be honest, he almost wished for that as well, but a persistent voice in his head told him that things like these belonged to being a hero, too. So he pulled himself together, set his jacket straight and combed through his short hair with one swift motion. Giving his partner a look that had the meaning of 'cling together, swing together' they headed for their next destination.
The fans at the discussion panel first reacted as ever when their high pitched squeals greeted the two heroes as they entered the stage. Most fans were crying "Barnaby!", but some cheered "Tiger!" as well. That settled into some kind of awkward silence when they had taken their seets infront of the fans who now had the chance to properly look at their admired heroes. Kotetsu swallowed hard, feeling himself like some prey infront of a horde of hungry beasts, while Barnaby flashed his usual model-like smile at them. A murmur of 'It's SO short!' started to erupt between the fans as they began facing each other, some of them looked like they were about to cry any moment now. Barnaby still held his posture like nothing had happened and asked whether anyone had a question in particular that they wanted to be answered.
The fans didn't seem like they had recovered from the shock just yet, but then one shy hand rose slowly up into the air from the back rows.
"Yes, what is your question, please?", Barnaby asked with a reassuring smile.
A fangirl with long dark hair rose timidly from her seat. "It's about Tiger. Is he here today?"
The man in question looked taken aback for a second. He then took the microphone into one hand and answered in a completely baffled tone.
"I am right here! Can't you see me?" He waved at her.
"Are you really Tiger? I mean... your voice just sounds like him, but... where is your cat-beard?"
A newly fanned murmur spread among the fans, most of them looking at Tiger for real just about now.
Barnaby grinned like a fox, even chuckled slightly, as he answered the fan as well.
"I can assure you this is the real one sitting next to me. And as for why he lost his trademark sign, too, well... let's say he wanted to compete with me concerning getting a new look for himself."
"Please regrow it!" It was the same fan that had spoken already, she even seemed to bite back some tears as she stated her demand. "You may look then years younger now, but you are not looking cute anymore." She slumped back onto her seat, red up to her ears as some other fans stared at her open-mouthed.
"C-c-cute...", Kotetsu had to swallow hard - again - since this was the first time in years that anyone had called him something even close to 'cute'. Normally he would describe other people that way instead of vice versa. His cheeks gained a slight blush as he put a hand over his mouth and crumpled back into his seat. The red glow on his face wasn't too visible considering his tanned skin, but Barnaby could see it well. He took a mental note to call the old man cute as soon as the occasion would arise.
"What about Barnaby?" Another fan had risen from her seat, brows furrowed and hands balled into fists. "Will YOU regrow your hair?"
"Yeah, will you?" Yet another girl got up, her tone was sharper.
Behind her, one of the girls demanded: "Grow your hair back!"
"Yeah!" More and more fans joined in and chanted. "Yeah!" "Grow it back!" "Grow it back!"
"I think he is HOT with short hair!"
A collective turning of heads waved through the masses of people, trying to make out the one who dared not to follow the consensus. She wasn't hard to spot, a blonde girl with a hairstyle close to Barnaby's had mounted her chair and grinned with crossed arms down to the people looking up to her. "What? Don't you think so? Look at him!" She gave an upwards-nod with her chin pointing in Barnaby's direction. "He looks younger, cheekier, hell I want to run my fingers over his scalp and ruffle his short short hair just to get scolded!" She really seemed inflamed to do that.
The crowd whispered again as they thoroughly scanned Barnaby Brooks Jr. for the second time today. Said hero slid back in his seat until he met its backrest and wished he could back down even further. His nails began to dig into the armrests and his smile seemed to resemble gritted teeth more and more. Kotetsu knew his partner wouldn't react like that under normal circumstances, but looking back from him to the fans, he was sure he could feel the piercing looks that shot right through Barnaby, too. Poor guy. Being super popular definitely had its flaws.
"I want to run my fingers through his hair!"
One girl had lost it and like setting off an avalanche dozens of other girls started to yell things like "I want to touch Barnaby!"
Soon the collective screams of fangirls poured together in a tumultuous uproar filling the room.
Barnaby gripped the microphone like a professional in an attempt to calm them down, but it seemed too late already.
One after another, the girls left their seats and the masses rushed forward and threatened to mount the barricades between themselves and the heroes at the stage. The bodyguards in the passageway between stage and fangirls had diffictulty keeping them down. Getting Barnaby in their glittery nailed fingers seemed all too desireable to the fans at the moment. So the crowd kept pushing and giving the bodyguards a hard time, while Kotetsu and Barnaby got up from their seats to evacuate the stage.
Some of the girls had climbed the stage already and ran screaming towards Barnaby. They even outrun him as he was not fast enough to flee due to his ankle still hurting from being twisted yesterday. Some of them came close enough to grab Barnaby's short curls, ripping some of his hair out.
Kotetsu, who had held up the door for Barnaby, stormed back to elbow the fans away, bent down and flung his partner over his shoulder as he activated his hundred power. Carrying him to safety in a flash, he was about to shut the door separating stage and backstage area, when he looked back. Seeing as their bodyguards were about to be trampled to death beneath an armee of high heeled girls, he ran back to lift the two bodybuards up by their collars and pulled them away from the crushing fans. Carrying one man under each arm he ran for it again while the crowd followed. Slamming the thick hard metallic door in their faces, Kotetsu sighed heavily as he slumped down at the door, the blue glow leaving him as he had outrun his powers' time limit.
"Fangirls... giving me the creeps... for real now."
Barnaby, who had narrowly escaped being groped by hundreds of fans, wiped some cold sweat from his chin.
"Yeah... they... sure are hard to control once fired up."
Kotetsu sighed in annoyance as he pulled down his hat. "Hah! And I forgot to tell them not to watch Hero TV, too!"
"Well, I am just happy I got away without getting bald by them ripping all the hair out I have left."
Kotetsu pointed at him. "A bald Bunny?" He broke out in laughter. "If you ever pull a thing like that I am sure the crime rate would hit a new record!" He held his stomach from laughing too hard. "They would kill you for sure then! All of them! At the same time!"
"That's not funny." Barnaby grimaced at the thought of thousands of people trying to kill him for good. He winced as he touched the spots on his head were he had lost some hair.
"Yeah, you are right." Seing Barnaby suffer had sobered him up immediately and he gave him a reassuring look now. "Don't worry about it. I wouldn't let them do anything like that to you anyway."
Barnaby scoffed at him. "You have your overprotecting-urges-day again today, right? It's getting annoying." He blushed though, as he remembered the way he had been saved just a moment ago.
"Awww, come on, Bunny-chan!" Kotetsu swung one forearm on Barnaby's shoulder and tilted his head as he looked at him. "Let the old man guard you for a while, huh?"
Barnaby adjusted his glasses and looked back languidly. "You mean the CUTE old man right infront of me? How could I ever request such a thing of him?"
"Please excuse our interruption, but we are really sorry we couldn't protect you from getting harmed!"
The voices of both their bodyguards in addition to a nearly 90-degree-bow infront of them stopped the heroes' bickering and they looked at them in surprise. "It is our task as security guards to protect you, yet we were the ones who had to be saved. Please accept our apologies!"
"Mah, mah.", Kotetsu held up his hands in a soothing gesture, "No harm done, right, Bunny?" He turned his head to his partner, seeing his torn hairstyle and looked back at them with an anguished smile. "At least nobody got hurt badly."
Barnaby pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose again - a sign of him getting angrier by the minute. "Let's just say all of us underestimated the tension this whole discussion would bring up. So I advice that we forget about it this once."
The body guards visibly shrunk infront of him, bowing again and again while backing away from them until they reached the nearest corner and vanished out of sight.
"Geez, did you really have to do that?" Kotetsu was about to reach out and ruffle Barnaby's hair as his hand stopped in midair, remembering that Barnaby's head must still hurt. Barnaby leaned into his opened palm though, looking up at his partner from below.
"Yes I had to, I want to have my break now - badly."
Kotetsu would not object to this.