And it is Beautiful

[500 Themes: 41]

Barnaby wonders why he ever left.

He wonders this especially when Kotetsu's familiar weight falls into his arms, the man's familiar squawks and scowls and grumblings are tossed in his direction. He wonders how he could have ever put such distance between them, especially when after their suits are off and their plainclothes are on, Kotetsu's inviting him to his place for a drink like nothing has ever changed.

Except Barnaby can tell things have changed. He can see it in Kotetsu's eyes, see that the man is worried about him, has been worried about him, still is worried about him.

He doesn't want it to be that way.

He wants it the way it used to be, and the night is almost exactly that: a couple of beers shared between them, clinked together in the otherwise silent house. Kotetsu's moved – not that Barnaby ever had a chance to see the inside of his other place – but this one is a little smaller, a little more compact. It's fairly well-kept, though, save for scattered laundry, but Barnaby doesn't find his eyes drawn to that at all.

They're only on Kotetsu.

The older man is warm as they sit on the couch together, Kotetsu's occasional lean towards him when he laughs about something brushing their shoulders, their hips against one another. Barnaby scarcely remembers to breathe as he remembers other things – sleepless nights where he'd think about Kotetsu, how warm the man's hands were when they gripped his, how warm his smile was, how it might feel to have those hands other places – like tangled in his hair, cupping the back of his head, dragging him in close and –

He swallows hard, takes another swig of beer, and swallows again.

Barnaby's pleasantly warm – not drunk – but he knows if he keeps going, he'll get to that point. Kotetsu seems to be in the same place and for a moment, things fall silent between them.

And Barnaby keeps thinking too much.

"Kotetsu – "


"I missed you."

It's blurted out too fast and Barnaby flushes, glances away, grips the beer can tightly enough that he's afraid he might crush it. Kotetsu doesn't tease him, though – he smiles and relief rakes down Barnaby's spine, makes him shiver, makes him think maybe it's okay to want this so very, very much –

"Yeah. Yeah, I missed you, too, Bunny-chan."

Barnaby thinks he should probably ask more about how Kotetsu's doing – how Kaede is, how his family is, how he is. But instead what comes out is – "I didn't really want to leave, but I had to. If I didn't leave, I would have just been a burden on you all over again and I – "

"Hey, hey – "

Suddenly, Kotetsu's hands are on his hair, smoothing it, stroking it, and Barnaby realizes his eyes are wet. A rapid blink shoves back tears and he huffs, pulling back, attempting to jerk free of Kotetsu's touch but the man holds him fast, doesn't let him pull away.

"You've never been a burden, Bunny-chan."

"But – "

"Never," Kotetsu says firmly. "Not once."

A vehement shake of his head follows. "If it weren't for me, none of these things would have happened to you – you could have been home with your daughter and family and – "

"Bunny, stop it."

Barnaby has no intention of stopping – not a single one, but Kotetsu's hands are smoothing from his hair down his back, dragging him closer, and Kotetsu is so warm still that any retorts catch in his throat. He feels his breath hiccup, his fingers curl, and Barnaby, who thinks no one touches me, not like this, not ever, doesn't tense – but relaxes, sags forward, huffing out another, soft breath as his head comes to rest against Kotetsu's shoulder.

He's missed Kotetsu, and he's wanted this.

He's wanted the slow, heated puff of Kotetsu's breath against his neck and ear, rustling the curls of his hair. He's wanted those strong, broad hands, rubbing his back, soothing him, but oh, they're not entirely innocent, not with how they slink down to the bottom of his shirt, the pads of those calloused fingers plucking at it, rubbing against his skin.

It's too fast, but Barnaby doesn't care.

Suddenly, he's hungry, no matter how he flushes, no matter how hesitant he is. He's thought about this, after all. Thought about what it might feel like to have Kotetsu's hands on him, clothes a useless commodity – thought about what it might feel like for Kotetsu to kiss him. Barnaby thought he might have seen Kotetsu passing his lips a glance or two and he hopes, hopes he wasn't imagining it –


"Sorry, Bunny," Kotetsu mumbles, and Barnaby's breath hitches as that rough beard drags against his throat when the man nuzzles him, like he's some big, slinky cat, heavy and hot against him. "Sorry. I have to."

Have to what? is what his mind asks, but there's no chance to vocalize it, not when Kotetsu's lips are dragging along his jaw, rough and chapped but nice all the same. Barnaby's breath hitches when they press to the corner of his mouth, when a calloused thumb lifts to brush over his lower lip as if marveling at how soft his lips were, all before brushing up his cheek, hooking into his glasses and gently tugging them off before Kotetsu kisses him properly.

And it's definitely a proper kiss. Definitely, with how fully and firmly Kotetsu's lips close over his own, how his teeth gently nip against Barnaby's lower lip and tug. Barnaby sinks forward with a low groan, his fingers curling, uncurling, curling again before he dares to reach out, dares to finally splay them along the hard muscle of Kotetsu's back, dragging along his shirt, fisting into it as if it's a lifeline as Kotetsu's tongue wriggles its way into his mouth and tastes him.

Barnaby's so hot he thinks he might die.

His eyes squeeze shut and he fumbles, gripping at Kotetsu's back probably too tightly, but Kotetsu doesn't seem to mind. If anything, he drags Barnaby closer, hands and arm strong and secure and sure around him as they kiss – or more like, as Barnaby tries not to just mewl, tries not to flush too hard when Kotetsu pulls away, kisses and nuzzles at his neck, wraps his hands up in Barnaby's hair and tugs a little, all to ease his head back and properly kiss down his throat as his adam's apple bobs hard with a breathless swallow.

Dizzying – yes, that's the best way to describe it.

Dizzying – because not only is Kotetsu touching him, but Kotetsu wants him, wants him like he's wanted Kotetsu for so long -

Dizzying all the more when his back hits the arm of the couch, when Kotetsu's thigh slides between his legs and there's nothing he can do but grab at him, drag him closer. Kotetsu is this hard, welcoming weight above him, lines of sinew dragging against sinew, and Barnaby wishes desperately to know what that feels like without a barrier of clothing. His jeans are too tight and he sucks in a ragged breath as Kotetsu's weight presses down upon him all the more, as his lips part and his mouth fastens into the crook of his shoulder, sucking, marking.

"…Not out here," Barnaby somehow manages to gasp out – his voice breathy, strange to his own ears, and Kotetsu grumbles something that's half a growl, half assent.

Barnaby almost regrets it when they hit the bed, when the door swings shut behind them with a squeak, when Kotetsu's hands are really and truly on him, because it means this is real and he has to somehow cope as much as savor. His breath is coming too hot, too fast, and even though they're sinking into the sheets together, side by side, he's still anxious.

Kotetsu has to know that, has to notice. He's careful, no matter how rough his hands, with how he pries off Barnaby's shirt, shucks his own to the floor and wriggles closer, their legs tangling and bodies sliding against one another. His hand slides to the small of Barnaby's back, fingers kneading into pale flesh, dragging him closer, and Barnaby hears Kotetsu groan as much as he when their groins collide, when their hips slide and drag against one another, friction sweet and hot and tense no matter the barrier of clothing still between them.

"Damn, Bunny," Kotetsu breathes, his voice hot and throaty and just faintly tinged with alcohol. "You feel good like this."

Barnaby mumbles some sort of agreement – not that he feels good, but that Kotetsu feels good, although he certainly feels quite nice himself what with how they're tangled up in the sheets of Kotetsu's too-small bed, how nervewracking and good it is simultaneously that Kotetsu is reaching for his belt, sucking on the side of his neck and –

"Nnh – Ko – " Cut short, all as Kotetsu's fingers drag down the flat plane of his stomach, wriggle underneath denim and Barnaby sucks in a sharp breath, tongue flicking out to wet his own lips before he bites them at the sensation of Kotetsu's hand, calloused and hot and firm, palming over his erection. It's embarrassing how hard he is, now eagerly he jerks forward into that touch, how his hands clutch at Kotetsu's sides and his nails claw into the other man's skin. Kotetsu doesn't seem to mind – he's sucking on Barnaby's shoulder, stroking him for a moment longer until they're both fumbling at one another's pants, underwear, needing everything gone.

Bare skin against bare skin is so much better. Barnaby's mind clouds, focusing on little but want and need, and it's with that mindset that he's dragging Kotetsu on top of him, shuddering at the weight of him pressing down against him, the way Kotetsu's fingers thread through his hair and drag him up into hot, slow kisses, sweet but no less insistent. Kotetsu's cock slides against his own, just slick enough with precum, and Barnaby jerks and arches, nails scoring hard lines down the other man's back and oh, how Kotetsu growls at that. It's a sound that makes Barnaby shiver and twitch, his toes digging into the mattress, his head falling back and his world blurring all the more when Kotetsu wraps a hand around both of them, clumsy but hot and slick with his own spit, stroking them and making Barnaby cry out, lurch up.

There's a moment where Barnaby is twitching, writhing, biting at Kotetsu's shoulder and swearing underneath his breath because every stroke of Kotetsu's hand is maddening. It's too much, really. He wants to let go, but not yet, not like this, and it's with a frantic, desperate little sound that he wriggles a hand between them, stilling Kotetsu by a grip upon his wrist and staring up at him, the image of the man blurred around the edges.

"Not like this."

Kotetsu blinks at him, leans in to brush his mouth over Barnaby's again, as if he can't get enough of the softness of now kiss-bruised lips. Barnaby can smell him, all musk and sex and Kotetsu, and his breath hitches. "Then what?"

A pause, in which Barnaby settles upon staring flatly at him, and Kotetsu finally gets the idea, flushing a bit and drawing back, his hand sticky and slick.

"O-oh. Well. If that's what you want – "

"It is."

Barnaby is sure he sounds more confident than he feels, especially when Kotetsu lurches reluctantly from the bed, disappearing into the bath. He certainly should feel more confident, shouldn't he? After all, Kotetsu wants him, Kotetsu keeps eyeing him like some hungry, desperate thing, someone as desperate and needy as he and so the man's mutterings about how he doesn't have much, they'll have to make do with some lotion because he really didn't expect this to happen –

Well – it all falls on deaf ears when Barnaby's reaching for him again, grabbing him by the arm and dragging him back down.

Everything is fumbling and hot – mindless kisses, too rough for Barnaby to entirely keep up with. Kotetsu's hands are smoothing over his thighs, making him jump and lurch, especially when they knead so very tenderly over the deep scar marring one pale thigh and he groans, dropping his head back to the bed, fingers fisting into the sheets.

"I was wondering about this." And Kotetsu's fingers knead harder into that scar again, thumb dragging over the flesh as if that'll make it go away, as if Barnaby won't remember the pain of it and worse still, the pain of thinking he had lost Kotetsu for good. "I was thinking – whenever it was aching before, because I know it has been, you should have been here for me to help make it better. I give great massages."

"Later," Barnaby rasps out, shutting his eyes with a sharp, ragged breath inhaled through his nose. Good massages – an understatement from how Kotetsu makes his toes curl with that much, with how he makes tears prick into his eyes at the very insinuation that Kotetsu's been thinking about something like this. "Later. I'm not going anywhere again."

Kotetsu nods firmly at that, as if sealing a deal between them, and his hands are different, then – slick and careful and probing, making Barnaby flush and turn his head aside, an arm half thrown over his face to avoid looking at Kotetsu. It's not painful when that first finger slides in – merely uncomfortable, strange at best. But they're so slick and insistent within him by the time the second one is in there, and Barnaby's biting his lip, eyes flitting down, watching Kotetsu's brow furrow and his breath hitch, watching how his cock is dripping because he's so damned eager to bury himself inside and god if that isn't enough to make Barnaby throw any last, lingering embarrassment to the wind.

"Just…" His voice cracks a little and he swallows around a suddenly too-dry throat. "Just do it already."

Kotetsu laughs at him, the bastard. "That eager, Bunny?" he murmurs, twisting his fingers a little, wringing out a moan from Barnaby's throat just because he can. "Let me take my time. It's been awhile, right?"

"I've never done this, so you could say that." Though Barnaby's secretly glad it isn't terribly obvious, no matter how Kotetsu jerks in surprise.

"Uh – " There's definite surprise still, but Kotetsu almost looks relieved. Barnaby can't help but be mildly amused – the old man is happy to be his first, no matter his hesitation. Good. "Then shouldn't we…"

"No. Just do it."

It's already obvious how tightly wound Kotetsu is, but it's that much more to feel it – the bunching and tensing of his muscles, the way his hand shakes when he drags it along his own cock, slicking it up as he kisses the side of Barnaby's neck and exhales a shuddering sigh. He's careful, almost too careful at this point when Barnaby's aching to the point that he trembles when Kotetsu's hands spread his thighs, when the head of his cock presses against him and he reaches back to the headboard, nails scraping against the cheap wood as Kotetsu slides into him, hot and hard and long and fuck

He might have exhaled that curse out loud, because if Kotetsu looks big, he feels even bigger – stretching him, filling him, making his back arch and a wordless, strangled sound flee his throat. Kotetsu's hands slide up to his hips, gripping so tight that Barnaby wagers he'll bruise, and he likes it, wants proof that Kotetsu did this, proof that he fucked him into his cramped little bed in the dim light of his bedroom.

Because it hurts, but it's good all the same.

Barnaby scrabbles for purchase as Kotetsu moves, leaning over him, groaning against his throat and scraping his teeth over the hard bob of his adam's apple. He's so full that he hurts and he pants raggedly, twists his head to the side, shuddering as that slick cock slides in and out of him, as Kotetsu's hands rub their way down his legs to better spread them as he shoves himself in deeper, calloused fingers biting underneath Barnaby's knees. "Good?" is the desperate exhale against his skin, and Barnaby nods, because what are words, especially when he reaches a shaking hand down and drags it up Kotetsu's spine in lieu of making marks into his cheap furniture, earning a growl for his trouble.

Somewhere in the middle of it, when Kotetsu shoves himself in as deep as he can go, snaps their hips together hard enough to make Barnaby cry out and arch and cling to his back, bite at his shoulders, throw his head back and moan because Kotetsu's mouth is on his neck again, biting and marking for real now, like Barnaby is his and only his, it doesn't hurt and feels good, only good.

A surge of effort brings him to shove Kotetsu onto his back, brings Barnaby to suck in a deep, ragged breath as he straddles the man from above, feeling him that much deeper inside of him at this angle. Kotetsu's looking at him like he's something perfect, something gorgeous, something his, and Barnaby feels the hard grip on his hips as he rocks down against him, shudders at how it feels being so damnably, intimately connected to this man that he wants and needs and loves so very much –

His hands claw at Kotetsu's chest, his head tipped back as he pants raggedly to the ceiling, grinds his hips in little circles and finds himself lost, too quickly, too suddenly, but uncaring as he unravels at the seams and comes over Kotetsu's stomach, gasping and choking on a hard breath. Barnaby feels himself shake, feels himself tremble hard as Kotetsu keeps hold of him, steadies him, drags him down and holds their hips flush as he jerks up inside of him, obviously savoring how taut, how tense Barnaby is until he comes inside of him, muffling his groan with his teeth sunk into the blond's shoulder, eyes tightly shut, hands a vice grip that Barnaby hopes never lets go.

There's a long silence as they settle, as Barnaby gingerly, carefully pulls away, grimacing as he rolls to the side. Kotetsu's hands are still on him – looser now, stroking his sides, his back, his mouth on his throat, kissing him as if he wants to make up for lost time and Barnaby believes that is certainly the case. It makes something twist in his chest, makes him curl that much closer and bury his face into Kotetsu's neck and breathe him in, something long-missed but far from forgotten.

"If you're serious about not going anywhere again," Kotetsu mumbles, face nuzzled into mussed curls and only mussing them further, "then I'll give you massages every day."

Barnaby cracks a smile, weary and sated and content, pressed to the sweat-slick crook of the other man's shoulder. "I was serious."

"Good." And there's relief there – plain and simple. "Good. Because I – " Exhale. Inhale. Kotetsu stills for a moment before dragging him closer still. "Just… yeah. Good. Stay the night, too."

And he does – because it's the first of many.