Title: Five Ways to Propose to a Tiger
Chapter: 4
Rating: G
Word Count: 1542
Pairing: Antonio/Kotetsu
Topic: T&B Prompt, Proposals
Type: Post Series fic, Mini Series
Genre: Romance, Friendship, Family
Disclaimer: I don't own anything from Tiger and Bunny. Tiger and Bunny belong to Sunrise and their respective creators.
VTM: This is a mini series of five different stories of five different realities where five different people all propose to one man. Next one up is Antonio Lopez!

-o-o-

Antonio always hated getting his ass groped by Nathan; that was no secret. However, these days he could understand why the man would do it, it was fun. Antonio snuck into the kitchen as quietly as he could, sneaking up on Kotetsu, who had offered to cook breakfast that day. As he crept closer he reached out to give the man's rear a pinch.

"Don't even think about it." Kotetsu suddenly said in a flat tone as he held up a spatula in a mild threat. He was a little too used to Antonio's antics these days. Kotetsu gained a satisfied smirk when he heard his old friend mutter a quiet "damn it", he then returned his attention to cooking.

"It's getting harder to surprise you." Antonio said with a small laugh.

"You're just getting too predictable." Kotetsu said with a small smile. "Oh, by the way, who is going to be driving Ka-AH!" Kotetsu jumped when he felt a sudden pinch; he almost flipped the frying pan he had in hand on reflex. "Geeze! Not when I'm cooking, Bison!" Kotetsu snapped.

Antonio laughed and went to start making some coffee.

Kotetsu and Antonio started living together when Kotetsu came back from his short lived retirement from the hero business. With his old apartment rented out and other prospects a little too expensive at the time he opted to room with someone until he got on his feet. Barnaby offered to give Kotetsu a roof over his head, but the lack of furniture and the amount of rules and conditions Barnaby had attached to the deal served as a pretty good deterrent to that option. Luckily Antonio offered Kotetsu to stay at his apartment for a little while, and that's how it all began.

At first the two were expecting that they wouldn't be able to stand living together for long, while they were close friends they were still both stubborn and sometimes a bit competitive. And it was a bumpy start at first, both nitpicking at things the other did, for Antonio it was making sure Kotetsu cleaned up his messes and helped keep the place clean and for Kotetsu it was Antonio's nagging. It didn't seem like it was going to last that long, but the two held out, they both started to work on their own bad habits and eventually they eventually became more used to having to share a living space. This was a tough challenge to get over, especially since both were used to living alone for so long.

For Kotetsu, the passing of his wife made him keep people at a distance. He didn't want people to know how he felt or the troubles that were going on in his personal life. They were his problems, he issues that he had to get over; he didn't want people worrying about him, trying to pry, or help. It was ironic given his own habits of doing just that to others, whether it was out of his instincts as a parent or how he saw his duty as a hero.

For Antonio he had spent a lot of his life surrounded by people, family mostly, being one of the oldest of his siblings he had to help out around the house. Antonio had to help look after his siblings, helped with things such as sewing tears in clothing or damaged plush toys, and other chores around the house. Antonio also had to balance that out with the tough guy image he had outside his home and the leader of a gang of delinquents. When Antonio moved out to Sternbild he had the freedom of living on his own and having his own personal space. There were times that having such space and being so far from home wasn't so great though, especially when his awkwardness around women and his tough appearance would make things a little harder on him to meet someone special. It was lonely; Antonio did miss sharing a home with someone.

While there were problems there were also some benefits to their arrangement. One being that rent and utilities were more manageable when you were able split it to with a roommate. Another being that even though neither would admit it, they both actually found it nice to have someone to come home to.

Time continued to pass and while Kotetsu did at first look for another apartment the two were growing more comfortable with living with company. They were familiar with each other given their long history of knowing each other and often getting into trouble together. As they worked past their differences they had experiences, stories, or just some common ground that made it easier for them to connect and eventually work things out after an argument or a disagreement.

Just how or when things started to become deeper than that, neither of them really knew. It just slowly happened; they slowly got closer, and even got curious. Maybe they were playing up on old curiosities that they had pushed away and hid from their teenage years. As that was the time where these curiosities first surfaced, but both men were too afraid to ever act upon, and promptly tried to bury such urges. At that time they were afraid of judgment from people like their families, as such things were considered taboo. Today, especially as adults, no one really cared what people would do in the privacy of their own home. While there was still a little of that fear of judgment, they decided to do act upon their feelings anyway. Eventually they found themselves where they were now, in a place that was still best friends, but also something more than that.

"You get to fix dinner tonight..." Kotetsu mentioned as he started dishing out breakfast. He suddenly blushed and shivered when he felt Antonio playfully grope his ass again. Kotetsu then promptly turned around punched Antonio in the arm. "Knock it off you dumb cow!"

"Make me." Antonio playfully challenged him with a smirk.

Kotetsu reached out, grabbed a few hairs on the tuft of fur Antonio always seemed to show off on his chest, and plucked them.

"Ouch! Okay, okay! I'll stop!" Antonio said as he shrank away and backed off.

Kotetsu smiled and held up his hand in a peace sign. "Victory!" he said with a laugh.

"Dads!" yelled a voice from the hall, the owner of it heading for the kitchen.

Both Kotetsu and Antonio went a little red in the face as they looked back at the source of the voice as they arrived. Both men feeling a little foolish as they saw standing in the entrance of the kitchen a fourteen year old Kaede all dressed and ready for school, with her hands on her hips, and pouting disapprovingly.

"Dads, stop fighting! I don't want to be late for school!" Kaede said as she made her way to the table to have some breakfast. Normally, she'd call Antonio "Uncle Tonio", but there was the occasion now and then where Kaede would refer to both Kotetsu and Antonio as "Dad" when they were all together.

Kaede showed no sign of thinking of how close Uncle Tonio and her Dad was weird. She only was uneasy about it once when she stayed with them over a summer a couple years ago, as they started the process of having her move in with them in the city. It did upset her a little bit, but not for the fact that her father was very close to his best friend, but the idea that her dad might have been forgetting her mom. Kaede's fears were put at ease though; she learned that Uncle Tonio also knew her mother and that the three of them were close friends. Antonio was able to share some stories of Kaede's mother that she had never heard before. It comforted Kaede, knowing that her mom was a special person to the both of them and hearing that she was so much like her.

"Who's going to take Kaede to school today?" Kotetsu asked while he went to join Kaede at the table. "Bunny and me have a publicity thing pretty soon, I might not get there on time."

"I could, sure, but I'd be cutting it close too; Kronos Foods wants me to be there for an opening for their new "super store of the future" today." Antonio explained as he took he seat and started to eat.

Kaede then came up with her own solution. "I could ask Tommy Perkins to drive me..." she asked with the slightest bit of slyness.

"Tommy Perkins?" Kotetsu paused and thought it over. "Isn't that the kid that can sprout multiple arms?"

Antonio suddenly choked on his coffee. "What?! That kid?!"

"NO." Both men said firmly.

"I'll take her to school." Antonio said as he took another sip of his coffee.

"Dads! You both worry too much! I'm not a little kid!" Kaede said as she pouted again. Despite how disappointed she acted, part of her was actually happy. Maybe their family wasn't exactly what some would call typical, but Kaede Kaburagi had a pair of good dads that cared. What more could she ask for?

-End of Chapter-

Author's Notes: While there might not have been an outright proposal, I tried to hint that it was just something that happened over time. I had a hard time picturing Antonio as the type to propose. I hope that you liked this chapter though!