"I probably need to warn you about my wife. She's going to be so pissed at the both of us if we really do die here..." A shrug, a small chuckle. "Maa, she's kinda cute when she gets mad, you know?"
"You are a sentimental and masochistic old man."
He would flail if he could, but his current position really didn't allow for it. "Ack – don't be like that, Bunny!"
A hideous screech of metal against metal, followed by a hiss of pain.
"Stop trying to turn around!!"
"Well how else am I supposed to see your face – oh. I see you kept those dogtags I got you."
"It – " he coughed. " – it was a terrible gift."
A weak laugh was his only reply. Despite the pain, he turned his head to meet his partner's wryly amused gaze.
"...Why did you insist that we wear each other's dogtags? You never gave an answer to that."
The other man's breathing was slowly becoming shallow. "No way I'd let you die alone. So either we survive, or we both go down." His shrug was sheepish, with a slight jerkiness to it as his injures took their toll. "Thought... we might as well swap."
There was a long pause.
"You had your life ahead of you," he spoke suddenly, voice tinged with regret. "You're still – young. Shouldn't have come with me." He struggled with the claw-like weapon which had pierced through them both, even though it was clearly useless.
"You have your own life as well," came the reply. "And your daughter."
"Yet here we are."
He gave up trying to move the claw, and leant back a little. "I'm just glad everyone else is safe. But you..."
"Shut up. We're the best team ever – you said it yourself. And you're an idiot if you think I'd let you die alone."
He forced his arm to move again, reaching up and behind to tug lightly on a few blond curls. "Cute, Bunny. Very cute," he murmured, brushing a few knuckles against the other's cheek.
"Ko – " He caught the hand with his own, and heard his voice crack horribly. " – Kotetsu."
(He wasn't crying. Really, he wasn't.)
"Your... your wife. Is there any way we could placate her?"
He could imagine the resulting bemused expression. "Well, to be honest... I really don't know. Wish we had more time to think about that."
Time. "We don't have much time left, do we? You should have warned me earlier."
"Oi! We were kind of busy just now, in case you've already forgotten!"
"That is not an excuse."
Their laughter was quiet and helpless, echoing off the awkward angles of destruction and victory as they leant against each other's backs, wishing for more time, while life slowly seeped out onto the cold stone floor.
"I still insist that you shouldn't have done this, Bunny. I – I don't want you to die."
"You couldn't have defeated him alone. Neither could I have done it by myself. But we succeeded." His eyes closed for a moment, but he forced them open. "It's probably selfish of me, but I didn't want to be alone – alive, or dead."
"Ah. I suppose I have to admit I felt the same, then."
He could see the sky through the broken roof. There was a particularly fluffy cloud which looked like...
"Thanks, Bunny. For everything." Their hands were still clasped, barely retaining some warmth, and he tightened his grasp for moment.
"Thank you, Kotetsu." He touched their hands to the side of his face, a shadow of a casual salute. "See you on the other side."
And when they died, both were smiling.