Chapter 1- Realization
A hand met something metal that Saitama identified as his door handle. He was happy he was able to find it in the darkness since the lights on his street never came on anymore. Not to mention he felt surprisingly exhausted after today's battle. The monster he and Genos had been called in to fight had been located miles away. They had offered them a plane ride there but he just figured he'd run there instead since he knew he had the stamina and speed to do it. Man... what a stupid decision that was. He was already so lazy he didn't know why he even thought sprinting across various terrains was a good idea when he could've kicked back in the carrier with Genos. He still felt bad about pretty much ditching Genos and leaving him alone on the plane with the other heroes. He used to do it a lot, since he could handle every monster they came across on his own, but nowadays he'd rather have Genos fighting by his side. It would better if it was the two of them anyway. Genos would learn more about his strength and fighting techniques (hopefully), and they could show the Hero Association how strong the two of them were together in battle. At least when Saitama had finally arrived to where the monster was, Genos and the others had just gotten there too so they were able to defeat the monster together. Though, Genos had been beaten up pretty badly during the fight and they were actually now just getting home after visiting Genos's doctor for a quick fixer upper. After flipping on the switch in his apartment, he glanced back at Genos real quick before sitting down on the couch sloppily.
"You fought bravely today, Sensei. You deserve some rest, especially after how much you ran as well."
Ouch, it hurt even more to hear Genos say it.
"I don't need that much rest, Genos. If anything you deserve it. You fought really well today, I can see you improving."
Genos turned to him and he took notice of the sparks in his robotic eyes.
"Really, Sensei? You think I'm really getting stronger?"
The almost thrilled sounding tone of Genos's voice made the curves of his lips rise up in a small smile. He nodded and sat up on the couch, crossing his legs as he got comfortable.
"I think so. Perhaps we should go take a run like I did today to work on your speed as well. I know I definitely need some refreshing in that area."
He saw Genos smile but he regained a serious look and bowed.
"Yes, Sensei! I shall set my timer to wake up early for a run then."
With that, Genos headed into the kitchen to do the nightly dishes. Saitama watched him leave and found himself still smiling. He was now looking forward to spending casual time with Genos tomorrow. He always loved the times where the two of them were able to hang out without being in some battle. He enjoyed the conversations where they both could learn something new about each other. He even enjoyed it when they were out shopping for groceries and Genos would constantly try to buy him all the sweets he commented on liking a whole lot. Genos was always wanting to do a lot for him and it sometimes confused him. It had been quite awhile since anyone had cared about Saitama like Genos does. He'd almost forgotten what it felt like to actually receive human praise and affection. It felt...nice. Saitama sighed to himself and rubbed his hands. Then he proceeded to remove his gloves from his hands and unbuckled his cape off. He unzipped his suit and let it fall to the floor. Gathering up the tattered clothing he headed for the laundry room and threw them inside the washer. Walking back into the living room he went up to his clothing drawer and took out his striped pajamas. Once on he sat down by the coffee table and laid his upper half on top of it. He heard the sounds of silverware clanking against pans and pots and caught of wiff of the food Genos was making.
"Genos, what are you cooking in there?"
"Your favorite, Sensei. Udon noodles!"
Genos called from the kitchen with glee. Saitama suddenly felt hunger sweep over him and was thankful Genos had already started dinner.
"That guy just keeps on doing me favor after favor..."
He whispered to himself as he flicked on the tv. A broadcast was on replaying footage from the fight earlier. It started off with a recap of when the monster appeared and when the heroes arrived. He was able to see himself and Genos fighting the monster together and he watched them both intently. Then later they showed the interviews they had with some of the heroes after he had defeated the monster. First it was Silver Fang, then Atomic Samurai and last he and Genos.
"Hey, Genos! We're on tv!"
He called behind himself and focused back to the tv. Genos peaked around the corner from stove to try and get a look.
"Was it difficult to defeat the monster as the only B-Class hero here?"
The interviewer asked Saitama, holding the mic up to his face. Saitama watched as his tv self's face became noticeably annoyed but then Genos stepped close to him to talk into the mic instead.
"Actually, Saitama is just as strong as any S-Class hero who was out fighting today. I personally feel without him, we wouldn't have defeated the monster as quickly as we did."
Saitama watched as his tv self chuckled and threw an arm around Genos proudly.
"Well, you heard it here folks, straight from my disciple. He is an S-Class hero after all, you all could learn a thing or two from him."
He then began to laugh and the reporter awkwardly walked away from the two of them.
"We showed her, Sensei."
Genos said proudly from behind and returned back to cooking. Saitama meanwhile continued to stare at the tv, replaying the scene in his head over and over again. For some reason he couldn't stop thinking about how Genos had defended him, how quick he was to protect his own feelings. He also couldn't get the image of his arm around Genos while he laughed. He could actually feel some heat in his cheeks after seeing his actions again.
It actually made him...really happy to see him and Genos together like that. Them working together, sassing people together, it was so much fun honestly. He brought a hand up to his chest, it felt funny. He didn't think much of it though as Genos arrived to the table with two bowls of udon noodles.
"It's great that we were shown on tv, Sensei. More people will definitely know of our heroic deeds now."
Genos exclaimed happily as he set his chopsticks into the food and pulled up strands of noodles that were soon placed into his mouth. Saitama repeated his actions, but instead blew on them to cool them down first before gorging himself. He was the first to finish so he decided to take the dishes to the sink. Returning to the table, Genos was watching the tv again as it showed more footage on the monster fight from earlier. He noticed Genos had his notebook out and had already been scribbling words into it. Guess he really took his comment about him improving today very seriously then.
"Hey, come on Genos. You don't need notes on what happened today."
Genos looked up at him with that familiar intent stare of his, which meant he was waiting for some sort of advice or order. Saitama quickly thought to himself as he sat back down again and nodded his head vigorously.
"You don't need notes because... it's something that notes just aren't going to help. You just do what you feel is necessary for winning a battle and try imagine yourself defeating your enemy before you already have. That's what will give you the confidence and determination to keep fighting and win."
Yeah...he just made all that up on the spot. But it seemed to have impressed Genos because now the cyborgs mouth was agape and he still decided to write down what Saitama had said. Saitama let out a sigh and rolled his eyes. What was he going to do with this guy... He noticed how late it was now and shut the tv off. He tapped on Genos's shoulder as he passed him by on the way to the bathroom.
"Come on now. You need to brush those teeth so they can stay pretty for future tv interviews."
Genos set his pencil inside the notebook and closed it. He followed Saitama close behind and stood next to him at the bathroom sink. Saitama and Genos both did their daily night routines before heading to their futons on the floor. Genos crawled in first while Saitama flipped the lights switch. Now everything was dark except for the faint gold glow of Genos's eyes and some parts of his body. Saitama let out a yawn as he crawled inside his futon and got comfortable.
Genos said softly before he drifted off into his sleep mode. Saitama waved a hand and let out a tired noise in response. He lay there awhile but the mechanical whirr of Genos's body was keeping him awake. He wasn't usually bothered by this noise but for some reason it was different tonight. His eyes peeked open and thanks to Genos's glow he could make out the outline of the cyborg's face. Saitama laid there and stared at him for a bit. Studying his hair, his skin, and the metal around his neck. He's never really noticed till now how... attractive Genos was? Saitama felt his face burn at the thought of it and turned away from the robot's face.
"What on earth are you thinking!?"
He thought to himself, his eyes shifting around the dark room as he tried to find something to focus on. But it was too late, the sleepy face of his disciple was etched into his mind now. What were these thoughts and feelings he was getting all of a sudden. Did he really like Genos in that way? Now that he really thought about it, it would make sense with how often he was praising him now. How he constantly was looking out for his safety and urging him to do his best. He recalled how he felt when he saw the two of them together on tv and he couldn't lie to himself. He had feelings for Genos... he liked Genos. Maybe even more than like. He didn't know why he hadn't realized the feelings he had been feeling recently were because of romantic attractions toward Genos sooner. Maybe it's cause no one has ever made him feel these things like Genos has. He was afraid to use the word love to describe his feelings because he was honestly afraid of being in love. He knew he definitely cared about Genos a whole lot and would hate for them to be apart. Could Genos possibly return these feelings? Saitama doubted it, he just felt like the most unattractive person out there. If anything, Genos probably only viewed him as his teacher. Saitama brought his hands up to cover his face. Damn it... why all of a sudden did this happen to him? It didn't seem fair now, keeping these feelings away from Genos's knowledge. He knew he wouldn't be able to hide them for too long since Genos was excellent on picking up on his emotions. Perhaps he'd just tell him tomorrow and brush it off like it was nothing. He just hoped it wouldn't make things weird between them, or upset Genos is some way... Saitama sighed and flipped back over to look at Genos again. Some of his blonde hair had dropped over his face. Saitama reached a hand out and gently brushed it out of the way. There it was again
...that small smile of his forming across his face. Even the blush was back too.
Yeah...he had it bad.