captain_ziggy: (origami cyclone)
[personal profile] captain_ziggy
Title: This is Halloween (Chapter 2)
Fandom Tiger & Bunny
Characters: Kotetsu, Barnaby, Kaede, character that is definitely not Death
Rating: K+
Summary: Barnaby's birthday (aka Halloween) rolls around again, and this time Kotetsu has the perfect idea for how to celebrate it: he's gonna take Barnaby trick-or-treating, whether he wants to or not.
Other Locations: Archive of Our Own
Notes: Kinkmeme fill; Takes place after the series and references several Big Spoilery Events.
Other Chapters: 1|2

“I am, once again, entirely unsure as to why I agreed to this.”

They had been out for two hours at least, and in that two hours Barnaby had learned that spandex was a terrible insulator. Also that Antonio should never consider a career in making shoes. God, his feet hurt.

“Oh, you're enjoying this and you know it.” Kotetsu didn't even turn his head back to address Barnaby's complaint. He and Kaede were a couple of yards ahead of him, scouting for lit houses in a suburb Barnaby was not in the least bit familiar with. Neither of them appeared to be even remotely aware of the cold that was currently inhibiting Barnaby's ability to feel his own fingers.

“I'm serious,” Barnaby countered. He eyed another group of costumed candy-seekers – some of them adults – making their way down the other side of the street. “I cannot fathom how anyone over thirteen can enjoy doing this every year.”

Kotetsu stopped and spun around, cape floating in the freezing breeze and making him look even more ridiculous than he already was. “You sure about that? You're not enjoying this at all?”

“Not in the least.”

Kotetsu's dopiness vanished in an instant. Barnaby recognized the sincere, concerned expression from back at the apartment in an instant. “So, do you want to go home now?”

“... No.”

The serious air disappeared, and the old man in the silly blue costume gave one of those “I told you so” grins before he turned on his heel and headed to the next lit house.

Barnaby scowled. The damned man was right. As much as he didn't want to admit, there was something he was enjoying from this whole thing, though heaven knows what it was. The only thing he knew was that he wouldn't trade it for one of his usual nights, even without the... things hanging over that experience.

How did that even work? He was walking around in an utterly stupid costume, presenting himself to every household head who cared to see in exchange for cheap sugary treats – which probably weren't worth even a tenth of how much the infernal suit he was wearing had to cost – all while freezing his fingers off and wearing his feet down to bloody stumps. Yet, despite the complaining, he wasn't hating it. It made absolutely no sense to him.

“Dad, why are we skipping that house?” Kaede asked, pointing to a small, blue and white residence that Kotetsu has already passed.

“Because they don't give out any candy.”

“How do you know that? They have pumpkins and everything.”

“We went there last year, sweetie. Remember?”

“Oh right... Wait, wasn't that the house where you-”

“That's something we said we weren't going to talk about, Kaede.”

Barnaby suppressed a snort. Okay, maybe it made some sense.

Okay, he admitted to himself (and only to himself), he was enjoying this on some level. It wasn't the amusement at Kotetsu's expense, though. Or the candy. Or the once in a blue-moon chance to act like a kid and get away with it. Or the costume. It certainly wasn't the stupid costume with it's terribly unprotective footwear and complete inability to ward off the cold.

As he saw Kotetsu glance back at him, grin broad and eyes gleaming with excitement, Barnaby danced with the idea that it was his and Kaede's presence that was making this birthday a bit warmer than the others. Barnaby never really saw himself as the sort that needed the company of others, but the more he followed the two around these unfamiliar suburbs – hearing them laugh, seeing them smile, and seeing Kotetsu try to make him smile – the closer he felt to those long-gone celebrations with his parents and the less he wanted to spend the next year alone.

“C'mon, Bunny!” Kotetsu called, maybe a bit louder than he needed to. “If you lag behind too much, we might lose you!”

Resisting the urge to smile, Barnaby quickened his pace. “I'm blaming you for every blister I get tonight, Kotetsu.”

The three of them approached the next house. It was large, well decorated, and had something of a Victioran air to it. It was also, bizarrely, painted black and purple. (They couldn't have done that just for Halloween, right?) Jack-o-lanterns of every size lined the brick pathway from the street. Instead of a doorbell, there was an ornate knocker in the shape of a gargoyle affixed to the door. Barnaby winced at the sharp, loud noise made when Kotetsu used it. His ears still stung when the door opened. Behind it was figure in a black, hooded robe holding a scythe, age and gender obscured by the full-body costume.

“Trick-or-treat!” Kaede and Kotetsu shouted in unison. Barnaby stuck to simply holding his bag up and gave the... person dressed as Death a reserved smile. He may have been willing to embarrass himself tonight, but he could only go so far.

“Who dares enter Death's domain?” The voice could rattle bones (and did exactly that to Barnaby's).

Kaede shrunk back a little. Kotetsu, on the other hand, just proceeded with being Kotetsu.

“Halt, evildoer! We are Wild Tiger and and Hopping Bunny, here to thwart your nefarious crimes!" He then put his hands on the shoulders of a shivering Kaede. "Also, Rainbow Dash.” Barnaby resisted the urge to groan at the speech Kotetsu enthusiastically gave for what had to have been the fiftieth time that night. He didn't even want to get started on the “superhero” name he'd decided upon.

Death tilted his head as he (Barnaby had decided from the voice that he was male.) started handing out candy. “I'm aware of who Wild Tiger is since I watch HeroTV, but I can't say I'm familiar with this 'Hopping Bunny' character.” He turned to look at Barnaby, or at least in his general direction. “Is he an original creation of yours?”

Oh god, no. “Er, I-”

Kotetsu didn't even let him start his sentence. “He's the one and only partner of Wild Tiger!”

“Wouldn't that be Barnaby Brooks Jr.?”

“Exactly!” Kotetsu puffed out his chest. “It took me quite a while to figure out a costume to match my old one!”

Death's face was completely obscured, but Barnaby got the distinct impression of sudden clarity from him. “I see. That's rather impressive.” He drew in closer to examine Kotetsu, hand resting on a shadowed chin. “Actually, that costume appears to be quite authentic,” he said before turning to Kaede. “And I believe I saw you and your father on HeroTV before...”

Uh oh.

“Sir, you wouldn't happen to be Kotetsu T. Kaburagi, would you? As in the real Wild Tiger?”

Barnaby swallowed. Oh, he wasn't worried about Kotetsu's secret identity – he didn't have one anymore after that whole thing two years ago. Nope, that wasn't the problem.

“Yeah, you got me.”

“Oh, that's- I must say, I'm rather surprised to find a real Hero on my doorstep... You know, actually, my daughter's something of a fan. You wouldn't mind giving an autograph, would you?”

“Oh, sure! I'd never turn down the request of a loyal fan!”

“Thank you. Hold on, I've got a pen somewhere around here...”

It was an entirely different problem Barnaby was worried about. The issue here was that he was dressed in a stupid, rabbit-themed superhero costume while standing next to what their friend Death here had successfully identified as the real Wild Tiger. And if Death cared enough to identify Kaede and Kotetsu...

“Ah, here it is! Can you make it out to Ysabel?”

“No problem! Let's see...'A hero's work is never done...signed Wild Tiger.' There you go!”

“Once again, thank you. It's quite a shock though, finding Heroes going trick-or-treating – especially as themselves.”

“Well, normally I go as Mr. Legend, but I learned Bunny here's never been trick-or-treating before, so I needed to take him.”

If Kotetsu told this guy who he was, Barnaby was going to kill him. His eyes darted to Kaede, who simple shrugged at him.

“Yes, but I'm not sure why that made you decide to dress as yourself this year.”

“Oh, that's easy! We needed to be a matching pair. After all, I know it's hard to tell right now, but Bunny's the real Ba-”

Kaede ducked to avoid the red-clad arm that connected with Kotetsu's face before he could finish the sentence. As fast as he could, Barnaby whipped behind him and put the stunned Kotetsu into a firm headlock, clamping his other hand over the struggling man's mouth.

“Look, Mr... ern, Death. We really ought to get going now – right guys?”

“Mmmph mmphh!

“Right, Kaede?” Barnaby could feel Kotetsu attempting to chew off his middle finger. He ignored it.

“Um, I guess...”

“See? Anyways, it's been really great meeting you, sir. Maybe we'll come around next year.” With Kotetsu head secured in his arm, Barnaby pulled back like a man with a hostage. “Thank you for the candy. We'll be sure to come next year. Goodbye!”

Somehow, Barnaby did not snap Kotetsu's neck when he spun around and bolted for the sidewalk (although he heard quite a few stifled screams). Once he was off the walkway of Death's house, he turned his head to see Kaede following him at a far more natural pace. Only when he saw the light from the house's open door disappear completely did Barnaby release his captive. Kotetsu doubled over, too busy gasping for breath to say anything.

Barnaby glared down at him. “Do that again, old man, and I'll get Agnes to broadcast your most embarrassing on-air moments for a straight week.”


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December 2011

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