They're a simple gift, really, but when was the last time he bought something for someone – someone other than Kaede?

Kotetsu knows the answer to that question far too well.

It's Barnaby – Barnaby, the owner of the last few gifts he's bought in the past few months, the man that his eyes can scarcely move from since he was almost taken from his grasp. Kotetsu is afraid to look away, really, when he feels like he's always missing something, when he feels as if there is always something else to reach for and grasp onto to better understand.

Almost taken from him rings through his mind often, though – almost taken, just like Tomoe was taken, and that's a thought that sings sore and raw through his veins, leaving him shivering at inopportune times and absently reaching for the blond's hand when he is certain no one in a public setting will stare.

Almost taken.

Damned if he wasn't taking pains to make sure that 'almost' never happened again.

It's all in the little things, Kotetsu thinks; little things that keep Barnaby close, closer, little things that make him wonder if he's not as dependent if not more dependent than Barnaby is upon him. At least it's a codependency, he thinks; a mutual desire to be close, to stay close, to never leave each other's side – or at the very least, to never leave each other's thoughts.

Thus, it's a little gift that he offers, leaves in a tiny, black velvet box upon Barnaby's nightstand. Kotetsu doesn't try to make a show of presenting it. Neither of them need that – neither of them want that, and it's enough that the next day he sees pristine, white-gold studs glittering in his lover's earlobes, reminding him starkly of a time that Tomoe was the only one other than Kaede that he offered gifts like this to.

His lips twist into a smile, no matter how that thought makes his heart ache, and he kisses Barnaby without a word, finding himself all the more thankful that the kiss is returned in kind – no questions asked.

Gestures, not words, are all that they need.