Title: Moving Forward to an Uncertain Future
Rating: PG
Word Count: 874
Pairing: (mentions of) Kotetsu/Tomoe
Topic: Making/facing hard Choices
Type: Canon Setting
Genre: General
Disclaimer: I don't own anything from Tiger & Bunny.
VTM: New to the whole Tiger & Bunny thing. I really enjoyed the series and decided to write this.

-o-o-

"Going home already?" Antonio asked with a blink. It was odd, normally he and Kotetsu would stay out way longer than this and get plastered.

"Yeah, I don't want to leave Kaede alone for too long." Kotetsu said as he looked at the contents of his glass before taking a sip.

Antonio nodded. "Oh yeah, that's right, you said she was staying with you for a bit, huh?"

"Yeah, for summer break. She's getting older and so is mom, you know? I think that I should work on having her move back with me." Kotetsu explained. "I'm not as needed today as I was when I ran with you guys. So, I guess it's time to prioritize a bit better."

"It's good to see you taking some responsibilities." Antonio said with a laugh. " With Kaede staying at your place, I guess you're making it a point to try to cut down on the drinking, eh?"

"Caught me red handed..." Kotetsu scratched the back of his head and gave a small chuckle. Truth was that he had thought about it for a while remembering his conversation with Ben on Mr. Legend. He was faced with a lot of disappointment that day. Kotetsu slowly realized that he was teetering on that path himself where alcohol was concerned. He didn't want Kaede to deal with that kind of disappointment coming from her own father.

Antonio had to admit, it seemed like a good sign. He was pretty sure that Kotetsu's often silly behavior and drinking were because he was still suffering depression from Tomoe's death. It was good seeing him try to finally move forward out of the rut he's been in for so long. But it didn't mean that Antonio wouldn't worry about his old friend from time to time. Sometimes he would try to ask him about it, but even if Kotetsu was pissed out of his mind, he'd suddenly gain some sort of coherency and shoot Antonio's questions down in a burning blaze of glory. Even if Antonio tried to word it innocently or cleverly, Kotetsu could sniff out such questions in a heartbeat. The veteran hero wasn't as much of a fool as he'd let people believe.

"So..." Antonio started. But he stopped when he noticed Kotetsu staring off somewhere. Following his gaze Antonio noticed that he was watching a young couple as they laughed and carried on, enjoying the show on the big plasma screen in the bar.

"Maybe I'll have just one more." Tiger mused as he tried to turned his attentions elsewhere. He must have remembered something that he wanted to suppress.

Antonio sighed and shook his head. "Oi, remember you said that you were cutting down?" he reminded his friend.

Kotetsu suddenly put up his more silly persona and laughed. "Oh, yeah, I guess I forgot. Ha, ha..."

"Kotetsu..." Antonio said in a blunt tone.

"Yeah, yeah, I know..." Kotetsu said as he unconsciously played with the wedding band on his finger.

Without really thinking Antonio found himself asking something that immediately made him want to shove his own foot in his mouth. "Have you ever thought about dating again?"

Kotetsu tensed slightly when he heard that. He then gave Antonio a look that basically said: "Don't even go there..."

But Kotetsu couldn't completely blame Antonio for the question. It was something that had popped up in the back of his mind on rare occasions. Each time he thought about it though, part of it wanted to drown out the thought in more alcohol. Maybe part of it was to help him forget how lonely he was or how lousy of a father he had been to his own daughter.

Antonio was getting uncomfortable, he knew he started some kind of domino effect in Kotetsu's mind.

Kotetsu had a distant, depressed look on his face as he stared at his glass. As if waiting for it to give him some kind of answer as to why life had to be so complicated.

"Hey..." Antonio said suddenly. "It's still pretty early, want to head to your house and watch some movies or something?"

"Huh?" Kotetsu quirked an eye brow. "Did you just invite yourself to my apartment?"

"You do it to me all the time." Antonio pointed out in a blunt tone.

"Y-yeah, but that's different..." Kotetsu bit his lip slightly, he knew Antonio had him there. He also knew that there was an underlying reason why Antonio even made the suggestion. But maybe it wasn't a bad thing, last thing he wanted was coming home to Kaede in such a mood. "Sure, why not?" In the end he was glad to have a friend like Antonio. Sure he didn't always say the right thing, but he was a good friend.

"Great! I get to tell Kaede how much of a dork you were in high school!" Antonio said while he gave a thumbs up.

Kotetsu frowned. "... Vaca estúpida."

Antonio paused for a moment, then he suddenly realized what his friend had said. "Hey!"

"It's your own fault..." Kotetsu said with a smirk. "You're the one that taught me Spanish." He set the money down on the counter and he and Antonio then headed out of the bar.

-The End-

VTM: Hopefully this is just going to just stay a one shot. It's not my best, but I'm trying to get a feel for the characters.