burningdarkfire: (tiger&bunny)
[personal profile] burningdarkfire
Title: Replacement 
Series: T&B
Pairings: Barnaby/Kotetsu 
Rating: PG
Length: 500 words; oneshot
Note: ignores episode 17


Some things that were never pleasant to wake up to were pain and the beeping of hospital machines.

"Bunny-chan," Kotetsu tried to mumble, the hazy outline of his partner the first thing he saw when he opened his eyes.

"You're awake." Barnaby looked at him and Kotetsu immediately felt nervous. Barnaby's face had an almost completely neutral expression on it, save for the tiniest frown. It was frightening to see it so blank.

"Hey," he chuckled, weakly waving an arm around. "So, uh, what happened?"

"You," Barnaby said slowly, and if Kotetsu could have, he would have backed up, "stupid old man!"

"Hey, there's no need for that!" He protested.

"How could you?" Barnaby shouted, clenching his fist. "Why didn't you tell me you were losing your powers? I thought you trusted me! I thought I could depend on you! And then – and then I turn around, and you're just fighting by yourself, no Hundred Power, no nothing, too proud to even call for help until you're bleeding and dying and how could you be so stupid?"

"Who told you I was losing my powers?" Kotetsu asked softly.

Barnaby turned away to stare at the wall. "Your old boss. He came to visit you two days ago."

"Two days?" Kotetsu sucked in a breath, then winced at the painful twinge. "How long -"

"Nearly a week," Barnaby said hollowly. "None of the doctors thought you would make it, but they don't know how much of a stubborn fool you are."

"You're being awfully mean for someone who's by my hospital bedside, you know."

"You -" Barnaby started, shaking his head in frustration. His voice caught as he turned to look at Kotetsu again. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"I didn't want you worrying," Kotetsu shrugged. He nudged Barnaby's fist with the back of his hand. "Hey, calm down, will you?"

"I am not going to calm down," Barnaby muttered back defiantly, though he unclenched his fist after a deep breath. Kotetsu covered his partner's hand with his own. "I thought you were going to die."

"Didn't you just say I was a stubborn fool?" Kotetsu tried to joke, but Barnaby didn't smile.

"All this time, when I thought you were letting me make the arrests and rack up points?"

"Mm …yeah."

Barnaby sighed and stood, slipping out of Kotetsu's reach. "I guess this means you can't be a hero anymore."

"I guess not," Kotetsu smiled sadly. "I really am an old man, huh? Time for my retirement now."

"I thought I lost you," Barnaby said, almost to himself. "But then you pulled through, and I thought we were going to be okay, but then – this – your powers -"

"It's up to you to protect the citizens now," Kotetsu tried to reach out to Barnaby again, but his partner was too far away. "My time's over. You'll get a new partner soon, probably, so it'll be back to normal soon -"

"You fool."

Barnaby walked out of the room without looking back.

As if anyone could ever replace you.

-

A/N - Hmmm, I think this would be my ideal ending for the anime .. but after episode 17, it doesn't seem possible =/ (this would all have to be followed up with a talk and a round of drinks and them being bros/more again, but basically this)

... does this pairing have a name?  or is it just referred to as Barnaby/Kotetsu?   /clueless
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burningdarkfire

December 2011

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