Christmas Eve rolls around, and Barnaby feels like he should be weeping.

Honestly, he contemplates it. He contemplates locking himself up within the solace of his room, huddling underneath a blanket only to rise and pace again, to scrub at his face with the back of his hand in order to shove away tears for another five minutes.

He drowns everything instead in a hot shower, and stands listlessly beneath the water, simply unable to cry.

When he emerges, Kotetsu is there – babbling something about how he wishes Barnaby had a fireplace so he could build them a hot fire to curl in front of, and Barnaby doesn't have the heart to tell him that he hates fire, especially on days like this. Not only that, but he doesn't get a chance to get a word in edgewise before Kotetsu is pulling him to the floor (even though he has that one chair, at least), shoving him into some stupid, childish pile of blankets and pillows that the man has fashioned, and telling him to sit there, stay there, he has dinner cooking and they're going to enjoy it together this time.

Barnaby guesses it'll be fried rice – but it isn't. Instead, it's one of his favorites – cabbage rolls, apparently made up from some of Kotetsu's mother's cabbages, a little messy in presentation but delicious all the same. Barnaby nibbles on them beneath the heavy drape of blankets in the dim light of his flat, trying not to stare outside of his enormous windows at the city and all of its sparkling Christmas lights beyond.

Kotetsu doesn't have to say a word. All he does is set himself down next to Barnaby, wriggle his way into those blankets, and Barnaby slowly finds himself listing to the side – the scent of Kotetsu's cologne heavy (although pleasantly so) in his nose, the warmth of a homecooked meal calming his nerves, and the man's presence enough to make him sigh, enough to make him forget what day it is and that he would much rather crawl into a hole and forget about living.

Kotetsu, if nothing else, is always a person that makes him live.

After a moment, Kotetsu's hands go for his hair – ruffling and stroking and generally frizzing the mess of it up. Barnaby huffs, finds himself inclined to complain and whine, but Kotetsu just laughs at him, tells him he looks cute with his curls sticking every which-way, like some kind of fluffy rabbit for a change. Barnaby's mouth opens to protest – he isn't a rabbit to begin with, definitely not a cute, fluffy one, but -

At the same time, he sort of likes it.

There are probably better ways to spend Christmas Eve, but Barnaby, at current, can't think of anything else better than this.