How You Suffered for Your Sanity
[500 Themes: 84]

I have no life but this,
To lead it here;
Nor any death, but lest
Dispelled from there;
Nor tie to earths to come,
Nor action new,
Except through this extent,
The realm of you.

Occasionally, because Barnaby is a person forever entrenched in the past (no matter if that past is good or bad), he recalls how he and Kotetsu found one another.

At one point, Barnaby had believed only that he had found Kotetsu and certainly not the other way around, because what good had he ever done for that man other than to keep him away from his daughter, to make his life difficult, to make him into something of a laughing stock? Kotetsu would never seek him out. Kotetsu would never cling to him with the force of something akin to magnetism.

At least, those are the things that Barnaby held as truth for quite some time.

Those are the things that Barnaby clung to in order to prove himself right.

He recalls the first birthday he spent at Kotetsu's side – unusually warm, that Halloween, and no matter how he attempted to lock himself up within his apartment, Kotetsu drew him out, forced him into some silly, ridiculously planned surprise skit, only for it to go horribly wrong.

Or was that 'horribly right.'

Kotetsu, at that point, understood nothing and everything about him, and Barnaby remembers how he had to smile in order to not cry. Good tears? Bad tears? He wasn't even sure. He wanted Kotetsu away and closer all at once – that had become increasingly clear over the weeks passing that night, the sight of Kotetsu so warm and open and gentle seated in his chair, shirtless and sipping wine, offering everything if Barnaby wanted it, nothing if Barnaby didn't.

The birthday following that had been perfect, only for everything to crash to into pieces a week later.

It seemed with Kotetsu, everything had to shatter, had to break into a million little pieces for it ever to get better. This fact is something that Barnaby still clings to in his darker moments, in moments wherein he wonders why Kotetsu stays with him, says that he loves him.

Then he remembers that Kotetsu had lost nearly everything, too, and now clings to him as that last little something in his life to drive him forward and give him peace.

So on this birthday, Barnaby is grateful that there are no lavish parties – no stupid little skits – no horrible injuries to be had a week later (at least, there was nothing he could think of to cause the latter in the immediate future). He is grateful for the chance to simply curl up in bed, a ring upon his finger and not just upon Kotetsu's, and remember everything that makes him love this man, that makes him cling to him with a force that rivals the strength of magnetism, that makes him want to stretch out against his side and press a kiss to his shoulder and think about how much he loves him but not need to tell him all the same.

He feels as though he has known this man a million times over, for a thousand years and then some – feels as if he will be bound to him for the rest of time and that is good, that is perfect,that is what he wants more than anything else in the world.

That is the only thing he could ever ask for.

"Happy birthday, Bunny."

The words are so warm, breathed soft and close against his neck, and Barnaby smiles, shutting his eyes against the slow, aching prick of tears.

"… Thank you."