Barnaby tries not to think about how much he's slaved over this.

He tries not to think about the times he thought this through, the times he imagined the scenario and definitely, desperately tries to push out of his mind the times he practiced the scenario with that stupid stuffed rabbit he had been gifted for his birthday.

It's difficult, when he finally sits a plate in front of the other man, thankful his hands don't shake. He's thankful, too, that he hasn't cut his fingers too badly in the kitchen (knives are not his specialty, having not spent any large portion of his life learning to cook or otherwise). Barnaby just hopes Kotetsu doesn't see the trepidation in his muscles, doesn't feel it in his gaze, because this is all sorts of nervewracking enough – and well, all sorts of embarrassing.

Really, wailing about fried rice is not what one should say when another person is possibly dying – especially because it sort of stamps a need for it to be goodfried rice.

Kotetsu lifts up a spoonful of it, and Barnaby tries not to pace. He takes a bite, and Barnaby tries not to throw himself across the room and hide.

He wants to ask how it is, but before he can even open his mouth, Kotetsu's grinning at him, and something unravels in his chest, untwists and untangles.

"It's good, Bunny!"

Yes, that would be relief making him sag and breathe again, too fast, too heavy. "Is it?"

"Well – " Kotetsu tilts his head thoughtfully, chews and swallows. "Actually – uh, well, it needs some tweaking. But it's a great first try!"

Barnaby sort of wants to kick him. "It's not my first try though – "

"I mean first try giving it to me. I'm picky!" Kotetsu quickly explains as Barnaby sets his jaw and purses his lips. "Aww, Bunny – don't make a face like that – ah, come here – " he amends, reaching out an arm to catch the blond and drag him closer. "Next time, we'll make it together, and it'll be perfect, okay? I'll show you exactly how I like it."

"… So it's not good already," Barnaby settles upon, frowning, and Kotetsu rolls his eyes to the ceiling before simply dragging the younger man bodily into his lap.

"Because you made it," Kotetsu says, slowly and bluntly, "it's the best thing I've ever tasted."

"But – "

"Even if it's a little burnt."

"… Well, I did warn you I was still learning – "


Kotetsu eats the whole plate regardless, and Barnaby supposes there's something cliche to be said about true love in all of that.