The receipt was crumpled after being wedged inside Barnaby's jacket pocket, he remembered cramming the small slip of paper away after purchasing the tiger lily bouquet. Now it crinkled in his hands as Barnaby opened it, remembering how he had felt when he bought the flowers, feelings that were miles away from his current state. Lowering his eyes, he watched the black ink of the receipt alter from clear and readable to blurred and hazy; Barnaby gruffly blinked away the stinging sensation of his tears.
Wanting to tear the receipt to shreds, destroy the evidence that he had ever bought the flowers, Barnaby set his fingers near the centermost crease of the tattered paper. He waited then.

It wasn't long before he carefully folded the receipt up again, placing on the table beside him, undamaged.

Everything seemed like it had been moving too quickly. The hours it had been since he had left Kotetsu's apartment felt like minutes. The horrible walk home down the streets of Sternbuild; a cold and bitter chill nipping at his skin, wind whipping his hair around. He hated such weather. He hated the city. He hated the people he had walked by. He simply hated.

Barnaby had known it was stupid to place his hopes in anyone but himself, he knew he was the only person he could truly count on. He had learned that lesson so many times before; but being with Kotetsu had made that lesson seem more like a mistake. It felt ok to let Kotetsu exert some control over him, to create that sense of happiness that Barnaby hadn't been sure he'd ever experienced prior to meeting the older man. But with that came a sense of shame. Barnaby had placed too much of his own feelings on Kotetsu, without realistically thinking about the obvious repercussions. Barnaby knew himself as selfish, mostly oriented to do things that would create gain for him, rather than other people.

Cursing, Barnaby slammed his fist against the arm of his chair.

I'm more stupid than I could have ever imagined.

Barnaby sneered at this cell phone, which was resting next to the receipt on the table. No one had tried to contact him at all, not that it mattered. The one person who he did want to talk to was the same person he didn't want to think about. The effect Kotetsu had over him shamed Barnaby. There was something in the other man's presence that rendered Barnaby entirely defenseless, his better judgement was nonexistent when Kotetsu would smile, or laugh. The boisterous, jolly attitude that Kotetsu exuded was capable of pulling Barnaby from the darkest depths of himself, and for that Barnaby was utterly horrified.

What the hell am I going to do?

Precise knocks, four of them, wracked through the apartment suddenly. Barnaby stirred in his chair, head turning in the direction of the front door. The sudden sound in the silent apartment made his heart beat faster, for some reason an inexplicable amount of panic rose in his chest. It was possible he could have imagined the sound, but it had been so sturdy and clear. Carefully, Barnaby got up from the chair, making his way across the room until he reached the door. His palm rested against the handle, hardly touching the surface.

Just then, three more taps of knuckles hit his door, this time in rapid succession, followed by a voice:

"Open up, Bunny, I'm freezin' out here!"

Without a second thought, Barnaby's fingers snapped into action, unlatching the lock on his door. His hand was then turning the doorknob before Barnaby could comprehend his actions.

When the blonde pulled open the door, a rain drenched Kotetsu stood pathetically in the hall, somehow managing to wear his patent grin despite being soaked to the bone.

"There's always a chance," Kotetsu said defiantly, as he brought up his hand. Clenched tightly in his fist was a plant, unidentifiable by Barnaby.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Barnaby growled, he grabbed Kotetsu by the upper arm, dragging him inside.

"Ow! Hey, take it easy!" Kotetsu yelped, prying Barnaby's vice-grip off of him.

"Stay here, you're dripping everywhere." Barnaby commanded, turning his back on the other man. Hastily, the blonde went to the restroom, gathering towels from the rack. "I can't believe you walked in this weather." Barnaby's voice was just below a shout as he made his way back to where Kotetsu obediently waited.

The older man had removed his hat, holding it in one hand, and the shrubbery in the other. Cocking his head to the side, he inquired: "Did y'hear what I said?"

"Shut up," Barnaby hissed, aggressively craning Kotetsu's head downward to rub a towel through the older man's hair. "Why did you come here at this time of night? And in the pouring rain. You really are an idiot."

"My hair's barely wet! Quit it!" Kotetsu grumbled, dropping his hat to swat the younger man's hands. "Look at this!" The brunette extended his hand between the two men, forcing the greenery he held at eye level for the both of them.

Sighing, Barnaby tossed the towel over his shoulder and adjusted his glasses: "You brought shrubs?"

"Tch. For a smart guy, you're not so smart, y'know," Kotetsu said disparagingly, shaking the leaves lightly. "They're not shrubs, they're called Rabbit Tracks."

"And?"

"And? Whaddaya mean and!?" Kotetsu seemed in disbelief, again rustling the leaves between them. "You got me tiger lilies so I got you rabbit tracks...get it?"

Barnaby raised his eyebrows before his face fell into a frown. "What do you expect me to do with these? They're leaves."

Both men stared at the plant clutched in Kotetsu's grip, neither knowing exactly what to say. It was clear to Barnaby that Kotetsu had made an earnest effort to achieve romance, and to perhaps negate what had happened between them earlier, however it wasn't exactly convincing.

"Why did you come here?" Barnaby repeated.

"To fix my mistake," the older man said, leaves lowered at his side.

"It's too la—"

"There ya go again! It's not too late!" Kotetsu fiercely interrupted, stepping closer to the younger man. "You can't go around makin' every decision on your own, especially not this one."

Stunned, all Barnaby could do was listen.

"You can't tell me I decided somethin' when I didn't," Kotetsu eyes were direct and certain. "You trust me, right? I can make my own choices, even if they're crappy sometimes."

"What was I supposed to think? We weren't even speaking," Barnaby defended himself, keeping his tone level. "I merely assumed it was the best solution."

"We weren't not speaking!" Kotetsu shouted, his face looked confused at his own use of a double-negative, but he continued. "I was panicked, is all."

"So, ignoring me was a display of affection?" Barnaby mocked, shrugging in an exaggerated motion. "I don't know how I didn't pick up on that."

"You were ignoring me," the older man's voice faltered by the end of the sentence.

And that was a good point, surprisingly unexpected from Kotetsu's distraught state.

Barnaby scoffed, unable to retort.

Gently shaking his head, Kotetsu went on: "I think, even if it's rocky right now, we've got somethin' here."

Jaw tight, teeth grinding together, Barnaby irked at that. Something was perfect about the sincerity in Kotetsu's voice.

"Maybe you see it, maybe you don't," Kotetsu continued. "But I know this feeling, and I know it's stupid to not make the most of it while we can."

Barnaby averted his eyes, running through all the arguments he had been making with himself lately. How stupid it was to put faith in someone besides himself, how thoughtless Kotetsu could be, why both of them were one million times better off without each other. Those voices in his mind that had been deafeningly loud always seemed to become stifled when Kotetsu was at his side, speaking kindly as he always did.

"Damn it," Barnaby uttered, turning away from Kotetsu.

Kotetsu then closed the gap between them, wrapping his arms low around Barnaby's waist in a loose embrace. "I'm glad you didn't forget me in the mornin'… even if you hate me right now."

With Kotetsu's rain dampened body against his back, Barnaby indulged in the aroma of the other man. He lifted Kotetsu's left hand until his warm breaths caressed the older man's fingers.

"I could never hate you." Barnaby murmured against the frigid skin of Kotetsu's hand.

"That's good news," Kotetsu's body shuddered as he released a hushed laugh, weakly squeezing the blonde around his waist.

"Do you forgive me?" Barnaby intertwined their fingers. Kotetsu's ice cold wedding band touched against Barnaby's slender fingers, sending shivers along his bones.

Pulling free from the younger man's grip, Kotetsu planted his hands on Barnaby's hips, turning him around. Once they were face to face, both of their expressions looking guilty, Kotetsu spoke:

"I don't, since you didn't do anything that needs forgiving," he smiled, poking his index finger in the center of Barnaby's chest.

"I was irrational, and—"

"We both messed up. Bad." Kotetsu prodded a second finger against Barnaby's chest. "But it's nothin' we can't handle, bein' a dynamic duo and all."

"Don't call us a dynamic duo, that's sounds so uncool."While masking a quiet laugh, Barnaby noticed Kotetsu's body was lightly quivering. The two fingers the older man had placed on his chest were unsteady. With a sudden sober look in his eyes, Barnaby said: "You're shivering."

"It took me awhile to find those stupid leaves in the rain," Kotetsu responded, removing his fingers from Barnaby's chest. "I'm ok, though."

Contemplating, Barnaby shrugged: "Use this for now." He tossed the towel from his shoulder at Kotetsu, smacking the older man in the face. "If you have a hot shower to warm yourself up, I can drive you back to your place afterwards."

Barnaby bent down, gathering the discarded towels and the leaves from the floor. The abrupt feeling Kotetsu's hand combing through his hair caused Barnaby to look up at the brunette over the rim of his glasses.

"Y'know, I'd go home but, I'm soaked." The words came out of Kotetsu's mouth smoothly, rolling off his tongue in a seductive tone.

Clearing his throat, Barnaby spoke: "That's exactly why you should get in the shower, or perhaps borrow something dry to change into…" he returned his gaze to the ground, trying to hide the arousal he was feeling.

"Bunny, you're not that dumb, are you?" The older man jabbed, carefully curling his fingers in Barnaby's hair to gently tug the younger man to his feet. When their eyes met again, it was clear to Barnaby what Kotetsu had been implicating, the alternative way to warm up.

"You're not serious," Barnaby meant to make it a question, but it was more of a statement.

Disgruntled look on his face, Kotetsu pulled Barnaby's face close to his own. "Are you sayin' no?"

"I'm sayi—" The blonde began before the momentary, warm tickle of Kotetsu's tongue ran along his upper lip.

Everything Barnaby had tortured himself over meant nothing as he grabbed Kotetsu by the back of the neck. The first kiss was short, and Barnaby needed to speak:

"Maybe I do hate you," he grumbled heatedly, forcing frustrated breaths against Kotetsu's mouth. "Words can't express how irritating you are."

There was no desire within Barnaby to control himself anymore. Having Kotetsu with him made him realize just how pathetic it was to fight against his urges. All he could feel were his hands traveling down Kotetsu's body, failing to undo all the buttons on the shirt that was containing the older man's muscled chest.

"Words won't do it, huh?" Kotetsu closed his mouth for a moment, smirking against Barnaby's lips. "Then why don't you show me, Bunny?"

Smirking back, Barnaby grabbed Kotetsu by the chin, nipping the older man's lip roughly.
"Think you can get hard after being out in the rain, old man?"

"Use that mouth of yours for somethin' besides talkin', and we'll find out."

A smile still plastered across his face, Barnaby licked his lips before releasing Kotetsu's jaw. Taking Kotetsu by the hand, Barnaby quickly guided the two of them to his bedroom.

Once in the room, Barnaby immediately began to undress. There was thrill and arousal brewing along every cell in his body. Any inkling of doubt he had was out the window, so far gone from his head that Barnaby wasn't sure he ever truly believed he wouldn't end up with Kotetsu again. As he tossed his jacket over a chair, he caught a glimpse of Kotetsu also disrobing.

"Stop."

"Huh?" Kotetsu was perplexed when Barnaby walked over to him.

Once standing in front of Kotetsu, Barnaby didn't speak as he peeled off Kotetsu's rain soaked shirt. The wetness caused the garment to hit the ground with a heavy plop, and Kotetsu cringed at the squelching sound. Barnaby, however, didn't seem to notice.

Wordlessly, Barnaby hit the ground in front of Kotetsu. On his knees, he started to unbuckle Kotetsu's belt.

Just as fast as it had arrived, his initial shock dissipated. Kotetsu encouragingly combed his fingers through Barnaby's thick hair, watching the young man carefully unzip his pants.

Unsurprisingly, Kotetsu wasn't hard beneath his boxers. Hindered slightly by the wet fabric, Barnaby eased Kotetsu's pants and boxers down to his ankles. Eyes focusing on the older man's dick, Barnaby leaned forward to breathe hot breaths against cold skin.

With the hand he had placed in Barnaby's hair, Kotetsu nudged the blonde forward, eager to begin the process.

"I thought old people were supposed to be patient," Barnaby cooed, taking Kotetsu's cock in his hand. He slid his hand down in a loose jerk as he grazed his lips over the head.

"M'sorry but," Kotetsu's voice didn't sound as jokey as usual. "Quit talkin'."

Despite wanting to be a tease, Barnaby obeyed, and took Kotetsu's steadily hardening member into his mouth.

Kotetsu's reaction was immediate. His breathing became more rapid, the hand that had been resting gently in Barnaby's hair twisted desperately, his legs quivered. Husky groans, centralizing deep in Kotetsu's throat took place of any words the older man was incapable of saying aloud. Fingers knitted in blonde strands of hair, Kotetsu tugged Barnaby's mouth along him.

"Your mouth's so warm," Kotetsu grumbled lowly, beginning to non-hurriedly thrust his hips. "And it's been forever."

With those words, Barnaby knew that Kotetsu was referring to the last time he'd had a blow job. There was a desire to make it good, make it better than anything Kotetsu had ever had before. To show the brunette that men are capable, if not more efficient, at getting the job done better than a woman; but there was also the selfish desires that Barnaby had of his own, desires that he was certain he wouldn't be able to supress.

Eager, and becoming painfully aroused himself, Barnaby hurried the process along. Taking in the entire length of Kotetsu's dick was difficult, but it was the swiftest way to an erection. Cautious not to swallow his own saliva, Barnaby dragged his mouth along Kotetsu's cock, spit dripping from his lips. When Kotetsu's hips were no longer thrusting, rather allowing Barnaby to slide his own mouth along him, Barnaby noticed that the tactics worked, and Kotetsu had gradually become hard. With satisfaction, he removed his lips from Kotetsu.

Getting to his feet, Barnaby pulled Kotetsu close to him, forcing his tongue and lips on him. Kotetsu responded with a moan into Barnaby's mouth, seemingly unnerved by the excessive saliva still present on the young man's lips.

Breaking their contact, Barnaby busied his hands on removing his pants: "Get on the bed."

"Hey, that's a cold attitude," Kotetsu leaned forward teasingly. "First freezing rain, now a frigid Bunny?"

"Get on the bed so I can fuck you," Barnaby said, stern and final. "I hate you, remember?"

"So, the blowjob's not the only thing that's gonna be wet, hot and sloppy?"

"Wet, hot, and hard," the younger man corrected, dropping his pants and pulling Kotetsu towards the bed. "Bend over," he demanded, placing his hand on Kotetsu's shoulder, forcing the brunette down to rest on the bed.

A bottle of lube stood on the nightstand next to Barnaby's bed, and he was thankful it was easy to access. Snatching it, and whipping the cap off in an instant, Barnaby set his cock against Kotetsu's ass. Pouring the lubricant over them both, paying no heed to the copious amounts that splattered on the floor, Barnaby took his moistened dick and began stroking.

"Bunny, can we not do it like this?"

Brow furrowed, Barnaby continued stroking himself as he inserted his index finger inside of the older man. "I don't think I'm capable of stopping at this point."

"No, no," Kotetsu's laugh was unusual in such a situation. "I meant… I wanna be on my back again."

"Why?" The blonde kept his fingers working inside of Kotetsu, perhaps more rushed than he should have been. But there was nothing besides anticipation in Barnaby's body, pumping with immense strength beneath his skin.

"I wanna see your face," Kotetsu murmured, embarrassed.

Scoffing, Barnaby shoved Kotetsu forward, causing him the fall onto the bed abruptly. Hastily, Barnaby was on the bed beside him, massaging his fingers back inside of Kotetsu.

Relishing in the sensations with his eyes closed, Kotetsu held his mouth partially open, his breathing became more like panting, and Barnaby decided that this was as much as he could tolerate. "Are you ready?"

Pushing Kotetsu onto his back, Barnaby leaned down to place a soft kiss to the other man's lips.
Kotetsu squirmed with the feeling of Barnaby's fingers inside of him, never protesting, but the look of discomfort was plain on his face.

"Is it bad?" Barnaby asked, his voice low and soothing as he slowly retracted his fingers.

A small chuckle, strained but genuine, erupted from Kotetsu. "It's not…" He raised his hand, aiming for Barnaby's face, but landing open palmed on the blonde's neck. He stroked his thumb along Barnaby's jawline. "It's not like I haven't done this before, y'know." The older man grinned, winking.

Leaning down once again, Barnaby wiped the smile from Kotetsu's face by imposing an aggressive kiss. As he pulled away, he nipped at Kotetsu's lip: "Don't smirk like that, old man."

Kotetsu gave Barnaby a confused look.

"It makes me want to do filthy things to you." Barnaby reached down, adjusting himself to be at the entrance of Kotetsu's ass. Taking his hand under the back of Kotetsu's knee, Barnaby spread his legs.

Eyes pinched shut, Kotetsu held his breath.

The amount of lube aided in creating a less painful experience, as evident when Kotetsu didn't cringe as Barnaby eased himself inside.

"If I'm hurting you, say something," Barnaby spoke in an almost whisper, kissing Kotetsu's lips as he began to move.

For the first few motions, Barnaby was lethargic, ensuring the tightness wouldn't be too much for Kotetsu to handle. Once he was satisfied with the sensations being tolerable, Barnaby began to move with more intensity. But before long, despite wanting to pace himself, and make this experience less rushed than their last time together, Barnaby couldn't slow his hips and was thrusting feverishly. Their bodies felt right together, and Barnaby needed to be close to Kotetsu, every part of him.

An audible whimper, loud enough to be heard over his own heavy breathing and the sounds of their bodies smacking together, didn't slow Barnaby down.

"Rough…" Kotetsu finally said, teeth grit, eyes slitted open and set on Barnaby.

"Too hard?" Barnaby asked, but kept his rhythm, not easing as he inquired.

"Y-yeah," the older man's voice was muffled by the hand he placed over his own mouth. "Keep goin'."

I wouldn't have stopped anyway.Internally Barnaby responded, but didn't speak. With an idea in mind, Barnaby clenched his fingernails into Kotetsu's skin, slightly tilting the older man's body to a new angle. It took only a few more seconds before a sudden and explosive reaction began.

With a sudden shout of pleasure, Kotetsu's body went stiff, his head thrown against the pillow and his back arched, his scarred body trembled. Precise in his motions, Barnaby brought his hand around the back of Kotetsu's head, clutching a clump of Kotetsu's hair. Hungrily, Barnaby slammed their lips together as he hastened his thrusting into Kotetsu. Pounding himself into Kotetsu, he thirstily sucked the older man's tongue, until Kotetsu pulled away from their kiss.

Barnaby quickly occupied his mouth, biting Kotetsu's neck.

"Damn it," Kotetsu breathed, voice strained. "I-I'm gonna die." The older man's body twisted in the bed against Barnaby.

"Yeah?" Barnaby removed his lips from the brunette's neck, but didn't ease his thrusts.

"Yeah," Kotetsu whined, clenching his fingers in the sheets on the bed.

The sound of their bodies was weighted and tired, both men were sweating. Slickly, their skin stuck together for moments when Barnaby had himself entirely inside of Kotetsu, always holding himself there, trying to reinforce the experience within the older man. Their skin slapped together, wet with lube, sweat, and come, the sound was invigorating to Barnaby. Exaggerated and resonating in his mind, like some sort of cheap porno, but he had Kotetsu beneath him, groaning with pleasure, wanting all of him.

"Kotetsu," Barnaby tightened his hands on Kotetsu's thighs, knowing his grasp was too tight. "I love you."

Eyes flooded with tears, face flushed with bright red exhaustion, Kotetsu spoke: "Barnaby."

Despite his best efforts of restraint, Barnaby came. Kotetsu's voice uttering his name with raw pleasure was more than enough to push Barnaby over the edge.

Although exhausted, and having just came, Barnaby maintained his thrusting in and out. He knew he would be hard again, after all this was truly what he had always desired their sex to be like. Everything had went exactly according to Barnaby's whims, and he found himself lamenting over the fact this was their second time together. Those feelings of regret were easily squashed when Barnaby realized how many more opportunities he would have to make up for the first time.

Looking down to Kotetsu's chest, come was splattered against the muscles there, painting Kotetsu's cinnamon coloured skin with milky white droplets. Traveling up the older man's body with his eyes, Barnaby drank in the sight before him.

"You're mine," Barnaby asserted, his hips weren't moving with the same vigor, due to his fatigue. "T-tell me that."

Kotetsu's hand was on his own dick, stroking himself.

"Bunny, more," the words dragged out of Kotetsu lungs breathlessly.

Abruptly, Barnaby pulled out of Kotetsu, striking his arm under Kotetsu's back to pull the brunette into a sitting position. Wrapping Kotetsu's legs around him, Barnaby lifted the older man's body before lowering him back down onto his cock.

"Kotetsu," Barnaby grunted, holding the tops of Kotetsu's thighs down, thrusting up into him. "Stay with me."

Kotetsu was loud, not bothering to mask his delighted cries. His body bobbed up and down on Barnaby's dick, guiding the younger man's length to hit his prostate. "Bunny, I'm gonna come."

"Do it." Taking the older man's erection in his hand, Barnaby vigorously pumped. "Come."

Kotetsu let out a sputtering cough when he came, and that wouldn't have been satisfying under normal circumstances, Barnaby thought idly, but at the moment there was nothing more he needed. With the other man's body limp from being spent resting on him, Barnaby pulled his cock out of Kotetsu. Keeping his eyes glued to Kotetsu, watching the beads of sweat trickle from the other man's hairline, down his cheek and hang on his chin. Barnaby stroked himself until he came.

Admittedly, it wasn't as good as releasing inside of Kotetsu, but that hardly bothered Barnaby at this point. Not with the perfection of a human that was before him. Maybe it was only the afterglow of sex, but perhaps Kotetsu really was perfect, maybe not to everyone else, but he was the ideal match Barnaby hadn't realized he had wanted, or needed.

Barnaby leaned forward, nudging Kotetsu's face towards his, stealing a delicate kiss from his exhausted lover. Setting his hand on Kotetsu's scarred shoulder, the blonde lightly pushed him back, forcing Kotetsu to fall back onto the ruffled sheets. Careful to not impose all of his weight, Barnaby bent forward to rest on top of Kotetsu. He stared at the rising and falling of the other man's chest.

As they caught their breath, Kotetsu snickered.

"Y'know," he began, the forearm of his left hand was resting over his eyes so he couldn't see the other man. "You weren't hard to convince at all."

Scrunching his face in confusion, Barnaby responded: "What did you convince me of?"

Sliding his arm from his face, Kotetsu smiled wickedly. He moved his finger to Barnaby's forehead, where sweat soaked bangs rested in disarray, and flicked him. "That I'm worth givin' a shot."

Feigning annoyance, the younger man swatted Kotetsu's hand away. "You weren't convincing, this is me pitying you."

Incredulous look on his face, Kotetsu laughed: "Well, thanks for the pity, Barnaby."

There was immediate excitement when Kotetsu used his name, excitement Barnaby had trouble containing. "And you're not shivering anymore either."

Playfully, Kotetsu walked his fingers down his own chest, until they reached Barnaby. He tapped his fingers against the younger man's face as he spoke: "So, do I owe you a heating bill or something?"

"Someone making your kind of money couldn't afford it," Barnaby taunted. Sitting up, he crawled closer to Kotetsu until he could rest in the crook of the older man's arm.

"Yeah, yeah, I guess I'll have to pay you back some other way, huh?" Kotetsu took the blonde man gently by the chin.

They kissed softly, considerably more delicate than the way they had been only minutes before.

It was heavenly, or rather, what Barnaby imagined heaven would feel like. Sharing their heat, with their bodies fitted together so closely, lips on lips, it was nothing short of a miracle.

It wasn't long after that when Barnaby heard Kotetsu's breathing alter. It became more relaxed, heavier, more breathy, three major signs that the older man had fallen asleep. Barnaby was tired, exhausted really; but thoughts danced in his mind. Idle thoughts like how many times could he expect Kotetsu to show up at his door late at night? How many more clumps of rabbit track leaves would wind up in his apartment?

There was no denying there would be trouble between the two of them, that was inevitable. Maybe they wouldn't stay together forever, or maybe they wouldn't even become a couple at all. However, the way Barnaby saw it, if he could live his life parallel to Kotetsu, there was no doubt he could find happiness.

Kotetsu grumbled then, in his sleep, tilting his head downward. Stirring, Barnaby raised his eyes to the other man's face, admiring the curves and lines that were set into Kotetsu's skin. Delicately, Barnaby raised his hand to stroke his fingers along the scratchy surface of Kotetsu's cheek, letting his fingers linger on the patch of facial hair.

In that moment, and for any moment Barnaby could possibly ever conceive, he never wanted a day to pass when he wouldn't see Kotetsu.


AN: so i guess thats done.. time to start a new one I think~ sorry for all the errors and spelling and blah in this story guys. If you like I appreciate it, if not, well dang what do you want from me. thanks for reading and reviewing you guys are champions!