Kotetsu lay flat on his back, looking up at a circle of five young faces and Bunny all staring down at him. Well, the kids were staring in awe. Bunny was giving him the same flat look of exasperation he usually did when Kotetsu was doing something silly.
After this long as partners, Kotetsu was pretty sure Bunny wasn’t nearly as exasperated with him as he pretended to be.
He grinned up at Bunny, which served to make the corners of Bunny’s mouth twitch before he pressed them back into a thin line.
Nope. Definitely not exasperated, in that case.
“What are you doing?” Bunny demanded.
“We were playing!” Kotetsu said. “I was wounded in battle.”
“Grievously wounded,” one of the kids piped up.
“Grievously wounded,” Kotetsu corrected. “I’m not supposed to move.”
Bunny closed his eyes and sighed. “You fell off the top of the da—off the swing set.”
Aw, Bunny watched his language around the kids. That was adorable, and Kotetsu made a mental note to tease him about it later.
He sat up and winced; he’d hit the ground a little harder than he’d meant to. “Because they shot me. I had to fall.”
“That was awesome,” another one of the kids said, her eyes shining.
Kotetsu gave her a thumbs up. “It was, wasn’t it?”
Bunny huffed and crouched on the ground beside him. “Did you break anything?”
Kotetsu started to stand, but Bunny put a hand on his shoulder and fixed him with a glare, the one that said stay put until I tell you to move.
Normally he’d have scoffed and stood up anyway, but Bunny was already moving to check him over, so Kotetsu stayed where he was and let him do it.
But that didn’t mean he had to stay quiet about it. “I know how to take a fall, Bunny.”
“Typically, you have a metal suit on when you do,” Bunny said.
“I didn’t always have a metal suit,” Kotetsu reminded him.
Bunny scowled. “I know. I saw what Saito’s tests did to your old one.”
“Hey! Those were extenuating circumstances!”
Bunny stood back up and dusted his hands. “Well, it looks like nothing is wrong with you. Physically, anyway.”
Kotetsu made a face at him and stood much more slowly. That fall had knocked the wind out of him, but he didn’t want Bunny to worry. “I told you I was fine.”
Bunny rolled his eyes. “Lloyds called. We need to get back to the office.”
A chorus of noooooo echoed from the kids around them, and all five turned huge wobbly eyes on Bunny.
Normally, Bunny was unmoved by any kind of pleading, but Kotetsu could tell even he was wavering on this. To be fair, the kids were really cute, and he knew damn well that Bunny had a soft spot for all of them several miles wide.
Kotetsu clapped his hands. “Okay! We’ve got to get back to protecting the city. But we can probably come back this weekend?”
He turned to Bunny at the last sentence. He didn’t think they had anything they needed to do this weekend, but Bunny was the one with their calendar practically memorized.
Bunny nodded. “We don’t have anything on Saturday. We can come back that afternoon.”
“There, see?” Kotetsu grinned at the kids. “We’ll be back on Saturday. Come on, Bunny, we don’t want to be late.”
The kids still looked sad to see them go, but at least they stopped giving Bunny the puppy-dog eyes long enough for them to actually get back to the car.
Kotetsu stretched and cringed at the way his back popped.
Bunny shot him a sidelong glance. “Maybe next time you should stay off the swing set.”
“I was defending it from oncoming attackers,” Kotetsu said. “It was important. Or at least that’s what the short kid said. Thomas? Tommy?”
“Tony.” Bunny shook his head and looked away. “Thank you.”
Kotetsu frowned. “For what?”
“For coming with me. I know the kids really loved it.”
Kotetsu smiled and threw his arm around Bunny’s shoulder. “Hey, I had fun with them. They’re good kids.”
Bunny smiled back at him, just enough that Kotetsu knew he had loved it, too, no matter how exasperated he’d acted. “You don’t have to come back this weekend if you don’t want to.”
Kotetsu drew back slightly. “What? If I’m not here, then who’s going to help them defend the swing set fort from invaders?”
Bunny arched an eyebrow at him. “What, do you think I couldn’t do that?”
Kotetsu really shouldn’t be as attracted to that haughty look as he was. Spending so much time with Bunny had done something to his brain. “I didn’t say that! But you have to admit, it’s a little easier with me there, isn’t it?”
“A little,” Bunny said, with the soft smile back on his face.
This close, it was easy to get distracted by how green Bunny’s eyes were. Kotetsu cleared his throat and stepped away. “Then I’ll come with you this weekend.”
“All right.” Bunny shot him another look. “But don’t fall off the swing set again. I’m not explaining it to Ben and Lloyds if you break your neck.”
What Kotetsu heard was don’t scare me like that again. And, well, he could handle that.
He grinned. “Okay, Bunny.”