Barnaby is not exactly sure what has happened.
The only things he is absolutely sure about are that this ‘Arthur’ man is cross, Kotetsu is an insufferable old man who just can’t stop himself from tripping over his own feet, and there are times that Barnaby is perfectly fine with blending into the background a la Origami Cyclone.
Unfortunately, luck had decreed it so that when Kotetsu trips over his own feet, he is not in an open area, alone, with no other people or priceless heirlooms within a twenty-mile radius. No, he just had to fall in the most inopportune of locations; either beyond a glass roof, or on top of a car, or in front of an Englishman who definitely will not enjoy having an impromptu coffee-bath.
Luck had also decreed that on this particular winter afternoon, everyone in Sternbild was freezing to their bones and thus was holding some kind of hot beverage, and Kotetsu T. Kaburagi was one of them.
From the looks of it, Arthur is probably cursing his luck to the seven levels of hell right about now, Barnaby thinks. Barnaby has been through such a predicament before, when he and Kotetsu barely knew each other and were entangled in Tiger’s grappling wires. He knows how the other blond would feel – and so he knows that Kotetsu will be lashed out on in the process. This is probably why he chooses to stay with Kotetsu, other than the fact that they are partners and are not supposed to desert each other.
Kotetsu, bless his soul, tries his best to rectify the problem, but knowing him his actions only serve to make the problem bigger. This is evident when Arthur swats at his tainted scarf, eyebrows crossed and voice seething with anger. “Stop doing that, will you? That’s cashmere, real cashmere you’re defiling!”
“I’m sorry, sir!” Kotetsu steps away with an out-of-place grin – probably remembering a moment he can relate to this misfortune, to those exact words; the memory with Barnaby, a pin, and a leather jacket, to be precise. The blonds Kotetsu had the knack of bumping into and irritating tended to be meticulous about their accoutrements, indeed. “How was I supposed to do it?”
“You’re supposed to wipe it gently, in even strokes, like this – “ Arthur begins, mindlessly, and his hand freezes over the scarf in question as he realizes his threatening façade has faltered. “ – and why am I even telling you such a simple thing, it’s not as if your careless actions ever did help matters – “
Just when Barnaby is about to open his mouth and say that no, Kotetsu did help in certain matters, especially when he wasn’t being a bumbling old klutz, another voice is heard and the three men turn his direction. It is the pastry chef from his and Kotetsu’s favorite Italian restaurant, Barnaby remembers, and the former is waving one hand frantically as he bounds towards them, practically squealing “Ma sourcils~!”
Barnaby is also surprised as to why the pastry chef calls his…friend(?) “eyebrows”, as while Arthur’s eyebrows are blond and thick and rather defined, they seem perfectly normal to the former. But from the look on Arthur’s face, it seemed as if he would prefer a thousand Kotetsu-accidents to being called “eyebrows”.
“I am not eyebrows, you bloody imbecile, and I am surely not your eyebrows!”
“But you are, ma sourcils, so I am going to keep calling you that~” The pastry chef’s arms wrap around the other man’s shoulders; the latter tries to fight the former off, of course. Resting his head on Arthur’s shoulders, it is only then that the Frenchman recognizes the other two people on the scene. “Ah, bonjour, monsieurs! You two are the ones I keep seeing at the restaurant, aren’t you?”
Kotetsu smiles and nods, the blond pastry chef smiles back. “Oh, so you are. I am terribly sorry, my dear customers, for you have just had the bad luck of bumping into this cranky little bunny – “
“Blast it all, Bonnefoy, I’m not a bunny!”
“…as you may have seen, Monsieur Kaburagi, he is not only cranky, but also very prone to adamant denial – “
“You never do listen, don’t you? Damn.”
“Adamant denial, I’ve seen that.” Kotetsu grins that annoying cat-like grin of his, waggling his eyebrows at Barnaby for some reason. “It’s especially prevalent in a certain other bunny I know – “
Barnaby stayed to protect Kotetsu to potential English-word-whipping, but as it was Barnaby is tempted to give the old man a word-whipping of his own.
As the pastry chef – Francis, he introduces himself – brings them to the general direction of La Campagna (flailing Arthur Kirkland in tow), Kotetsu falls easily into step beside him, chatting up the other man and making the latter smile. On the other hand, Barnaby stays a few steps behind, and tries to figure out why Arthur Kirkland seems so very familiar.