Title: Crossing That Line
Rating: PG 13
Word Count: 1556
Pairing: Antonio/Tetsuko
Topic: None
Type: Genderbend AU
Genre: Romance, general
Disclaimer: I don't own anything from Tiger and Bunny. Tiger and Bunny belong to Sunrise and their respective creators.
VTM: A nice little fic of TigerBison~! (TigressBison, in this case.)

-o-o-

"Don't stare at me like that, ya stupid slab of beef."

Antonio blinked when he was brought back to reality. He looked up at his friend who was straddling his hips. Tetsuko still wore her grey shirt, though most of it was unbuttoned and sliding off her shoulders by that point. Antonio could spy the lingerie she was wearing underneath it. It was very rare that Tetsuko would wear something like that. It confirmed Antonio's suspicions. The events that led to their little hook up were not as coincidental as Tetsuko wanted him to believe.

She was always strange like that. Tetsuko had a habit of being secretive and making things more complicated than they needed to be. It was a matter of pride that often led to more harm than good. However, for now that didn't matter. They were at Tetsuko's place sharing something intimate with each other. It had been a while since they were last together in such a way. Antonio could safely say that he missed it and he missed her during her short lived retirement.

"Take off your shirt." Tetsuko commanded, a smirk flashed across her lips. "It's weird not seeing that dumb chest carpet of yours. You used to always wear those dumb low-cut V-neck T-shirts to show it off. Now you're some rhinestone cowboy or something..."

"Shut up already, I could ask you the same thing, Tiger." Antonio said as he sat up and started to pull his shirt off.

He could feel Tetsuko's hand start to explore his uncovered skin before he got the shirt completely off. She obviously liked what she saw, her golden brown eyes lit up as she smiled at him. She threaded her fingers into Antonio's thick patch of chest hair and scratched. Antonio couldn't help but smile, enjoying how it felt. Tetsuko always knew what buttons to push and just how he liked it.

"Say what you want about my outfit, I know I look good. But you went full cowboy, it's tacky!" Tetsuko said impishly as she reached over to the nightstand grabbed Antonio's black cowboy hat. She looked it over for a brief moment before putting it on her own head. She playfully winked at Antonio. "How do I look?"

"Like a damned fool!" Antonio scoffed, not daring to tell her that it looked a little sexy on her. He probably didn't have to, her smile showed that she could see that he liked it.

"I know I still look better than you, Bachelor Beef Roast."

Antonio shook his head at his old friend as he gave a laugh. "Yeah well, you still come up with the lamest insults."

It was hard to describe what exactly the two of them had. Of course they were best friends but they weren't afraid of exploring sexual their needs. With the schedules that came with their jobs it wasn't easy meeting people for relationships. Originally both Antonio and Tetsuko agreed it was only going to be about sex. At some point over the years that changed, though neither of them would admit it. More often they would find themselves teetering on the line between friendship and romance. Always pulling back just before they crossed that line into romantic love.

There was a lot of uncertainty and it scared them both. Their jobs were dangerous and anything could happen. One day they both could be there alive and well and next one of them could be dead. Antonio lost count of how many times he would quietly pray that Tetsuko wouldn't get herself killed. Whether it was that she was doing something reckless or if they were faced with a very powerful criminal. It was even more worrisome now that Tetsuko only had one minute of power. Even if she was in the second league she showed that she still had a knack for getting into trouble. On the debut of her return to HeroTV she managed to fall through the glass roof of a building. She could have really gotten hurt or worse if Barnaby hadn't caught her in time.

Tabloids and gossip rags often claimed that Barnaby Brooks Jr. and Wild Tigress were secretly an item. There were plenty of stories with pictures (that often were just shown out of context) or 'witnesses' reporting scandalous gossip. It was easy to believe, or perhaps it was wishful thinking, that Tetsuko found something better for herself.

Antonio was well aware he wasn't anywhere near the same league as Barnaby. He wasn't young, rich, or handsome. He was large, a bit clumsy and awkward, and as much as he didn't like to admit it, had a face that wasn't much to look at (according to Nathan). Yet here Tetsuko was, there with him and wearing something she knew he'd like. Antonio would be lying if he said he wasn't happy about that.

Tetsuko noticed that Antonio was spacing out, she smirked and rocked her hips a little. Antonio jolted a little when he felt the bulge in his pants grinded against. He then felt his chin being grabbed, Tetsuko forced him to look her in the eye. Her golden brown eyes always gave her a sort of exotic look that he secretly appreciated. They were so expressive, when she was calm or happy they were beautiful. When excited or angry they were wild, much like her feline namesake.

"You're spacing out like an idiot, space cow." she said with a half laugh. It was more to make herself feel more at ease, if anything. "I didn't wear this for nothing, you know?"

"Oh, so you were planning this along then, huh?" Antonio said, trying to keep his cool. He reached and rubbed one of Tetsuko's outer thighs. He moved his hand along and was about to slip his hand under her shirt. "You gonna take this off or you do you want me to do it?"

Tetsuko liked that Antonio was eager to get started. Yet, there was a little embarrassment that came with it. After going through the trouble of finding lingerie that he would like and that she felt pretty in, it was always a struggle to show them off.

While Antonio had seen her body before, Tetsuko still struggled with her own self image. She wasn't petite, she had muscle and meat to her that made her a little too thick for the media's liking. She also presented herself in a more masculine manner. From the way she dressed to the way she would talk. (Much to the annoyance of Apollon Media, since they were hoping to sell Wild Tigress with sex appeal.) Then of course, there was the fact that she was also in her late thirties. Being called 'Old Woman' or 'Aunty' all the time always reminded her that she was aging. Things like beauty and strength were leaving her with time and there was nothing she could do about it.

Tetsuko knew full well that she was more petty than she acted. She felt like a hypocrite because she did worry about such things and words could hurt her. Like a headline she saw the other day on a magazine about her return to HeroTV.

'Wild Tigress: Nothing More Than A Paper Tiger?'

Tetsuko was startled from her thoughts when she felt Antonio lightly tug at her shirt. Her eyes met with his and she could see a mix of want and concern. Tetsuko looked away from Antonio, she felt her face heat up as she blushed from embarrassment.

At first she hesitated, then she started removing her shirt. As more of her body was revealed so were various scars. Many were old, like gunshot wounds from before her time with Apollon media and having real armor. Others were newer like the burn mark on her right shoulder from taking an attack for Barnaby. Or the large burn mark on her torso from taking a blast from a laser cannon to stop Maverick's android. Each scar had their own story. Each was a reminder of the harsher side of being a hero that was often not seen on HeroTV.

Tetsuko was a little startled when she felt Antonio's fingers gently traced along a large, new scar. It stretched from her chest down to her belly. The feeling of his eyes on her brought a blush to her cheeks. She couldn't tell what he was thinking. Was he turned off by them?

Soon she jumped and starting to laugh as Antonio tickled her playfully.

"N-Noooo! Stop it! Stupid Marbling Beef Shoulder Roast!" Tetsuko cried as she swatted his hands away while still laughing. A small snort escaped her as she laughed which only got them both laughing harder.

"Stop worrying so much!" Antonio said. When his laughter died down, he smiled at her fondly. He then continued with complete honesty in his voice. "You're beautiful."

Tetsuko blushed a deep shade of red as she resisted the urge to smile. It was stupid but she felt her heart flutter a little when she heard that. Antonio was such an idiot, such a dumb, bullheaded man. Her stubbornness failed her as a bashful smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. They were both idiots. Tetsuko shook her head as a small laugh escaped her, she then leaned in and kissed Antonio lovingly.

-The End-