It was Valentine’s.
Shou needed a new sketchbook.
And some flowers.
It was a Friday and Shou was doodling on the last few empty spaces in his sketchbook and Takane was decorating her Valentine’s Day card. Even though Shou had commented many times that making cards was such a middle school thing, she insisted on making one for Tome.
“Besides, I found this cute one with a UFO on it. I think she’d like it.” Takane proudly said, holding the card up.
They closed shop early after the last few rounds of customers, some were buying Valentine’s Day pets, something Shou never knew existed and were on their merry way once the door was locked. Takane wished Shou good luck with Ritsu, who scoffed in reply that he didn’t need luck, but he said thanks anyway.
First things first, a sketchbook. The art store was closer, so he didn’t have to make an extra round for it later. He pushed the door open and was pleasantly greeted by Mukai, an old friend of his that use to let him decorate her dolls in school.
Till this day, she was still fond of those dolls, so she had them hung around the store, and if she was too lazy to grab something herself, she’d make em do it for her.
“Suzuki! Need a new one already? When was the last time you got one? 3 weeks ago? 4?” Mukai started rambling about how much Shou loved drawing and he chose to let the words fly past him as he searched for a new one.
When he finally picked a rather thick sketchbook with a red cover, he handed it to Mukai for him to pay. She paused before giving it back to Shou so he could it home with him and smirked.
“Ah ah ah, remember our agreement? I get to look through your old one.”
Shou grunted, his ears growing a little hot. He didn’t feel like showing Mukai that half his old sketchbook was filled with inked drawings of just Ritsu, the last few pages had small sketches of him too and a good deal of them were also colored.
He knew she wasn’t going to let it go until he showed her, so he begrudgingly brought it out to let her see.
Mukai tossed Shou his new one and scanned through each page with excitement. “Man, it’s nice to see you’ve improved over the years. Remember when you got frustrated over not being able to draw the other eye? Hilarious, now you draw like it’s a...chore.” She flipped through the pages some more and looked up at Shou.
He pretended to be interested in his shoes.
“That’s...who? Why are there so many? What video game character is this?” Mukai continued to flip until she reached the end. “This is a whole new level of obsession, this totally beats your old record. You use to draw your wife a lot- Hang on.”
“Mukai, y’know, as much as I love to stay and chat, I’ve got places to be.” Shou reached over for the sketchbook in her hand, she lets him take it without trouble.
“You’re in love again, aren’t you?” Mukai purred, leaning over the counter.
“Of course not.”
“Suzuki, you can’t deny it! You don’t just draw one person over and over for no reason! You’re infatuated.”
Shou made his way to the door before she could continue to tease him about his new crush, just before he shuts the door, Mukai yelled one last thing.
“Better confess before it’s too late!”
Friends, they were annoying sometimes.
Shou had never been to the flower shop before, he never really needed to honestly, so he was a little lost when he entered. “Hi.”
“Valentine’s?” The store’s clerk said, he sounded bored and extremely tired. Not the ideal customer service attitude. Shou nodded in reply. The store’s clerk ran a hand through his hair and nodded too, gesturing to the roses. “Pick your favorite, but-- STOP.”
Shou stopped, though it was mostly out of confusion, he frowned. “What? Did I violate some weird flowers law?” He was only a few feet away from the store’s clerk now, but he sensed a familiar aura coming from the other.
“Can you stop thinking so loud and fast for a minute?” The clerk gasped, rubbing circles onto his temples. “I get you’re ADHD, but that’s seriously way too fast.”
“A telepath.” Shou’s eyes widened and a mind barrier was immediately pulled up, something Touichi taught him a while back. It was mostly because his son didn’t want Shou to get hypnotized ever, whatever that meant.
“Oh thank god you know how to do that.” He sighed, grabbing his head tightly. “As I was saying, but if you wanna be special you can--”
“Are you a natural born?” Shou jumped towards the clerk in excitement, who reeled back on instinct. The ginger propped his arms onto the counter and leaned over closer.
“Oh my god can you stop interrupting me?” The clerk hissed back, Shou squinted at his nametag and the clerk only lowered down behind the counter even more.
“T-Takenaka?” Shou read out loud.
“God it’s great to meet a telepath that can actually communicate with other people with their mind, I know these twins that are telepaths but they can only communicate with each other. Say, how many people’s minds can ya read? Is it only limited to just people?” Shou babbled out and Takenaka growled in annoyance.
“Look, Suzuki, just take your flowers, pay and leave me alone.”
“Right.” Shou fell back onto his feet and pointed at the red roses. “These ones please. It was nice to meet you!”
Takenaka made a face and said nothing as he picked the flowers out, wrapping it and handing it to him. Shou had been stalling the inevitable so far, he felt nervous about asking Ritsu out.
He wouldn’t admit it out loud, but he was pretty sure he was head over heels for Ritsu. The man was...interesting, something Shou couldn’t tear his eyes off of. Ritsu really had a knack for drawing attention to himself, despite seemingly wanting to be in the background. And, bonus, Ritsu had some natural handsomeness on him and he was pretty capable of himself.
Made a perfect house-husband.
Shou mentally slapped that last thought out of his head.
“Touichi, you home?” Shou yelled into the empty apartment, no one answered and he entered the room quietly. He dropped his new sketchbook on the table and the flowers on his chair, he checked Ritsu’s apartment earlier and was also met with silence.
Shou checked the time, school should have ended 15 minutes ago and it takes around 5 to reach school. Even if you walked really slowly, it’ll only take you 10 minutes.
The ginger groaned, he was going to get bored really soon and it was too early to make dinner, so he did the only logical thing he could do.
He made himself invisible and went down Salt Middle’s halls like he owned the place, avoiding anyone coming his way. He tried to remember which classroom was Touichi’s and found it without much issues and he slipped open the door quietly, entering through the small gap before shutting it close.
Ritsu was hidden behind piles of flowers, gifts and cards. There wasn’t any students in the class with him so Touichi must have went out with a friend.
Or maybe Touichi had a Valentine?
It was a good thing Shou brought the flowers with him then.
He made the flowers go visible, right in front of Ritsu’s face, the black-haired man blinked up at it before yelling in surprise. Shou made himself visible and doubled over laughing. “Riichan, you sho-you should have seen your face!”
“Shou, what the hell are you doing here?” Ritsu shrilled, gripping his red pen hard.
“To see you of course! Brought you flowers too, but it looks like you won’t need em. Damn, you must be a favorite in this school.” Shou whistled, picking up one of the cards.
Dear Mr. Kageyama,
Happy Valentine’s Day to you! I really enjoy your class, I know I should’ve saved this for Teacher’s Day but I still want to express my gratitude. Have some chocolate too!
The rest of the cards were pretty similar, a handful were from other teachers and most of the flowers were from students too.
“Eh, don’t mind the ones from the other teachers. They never had a chance to begin with.” Ritsu waved his hand dismissively. “Pretty sure I turned them down last year already, and the year before that.”
“Playing hard to get?” Shou wiggled his eyebrows playfully, Ritsu rolled his eyes at the comment.
“I’m not into any of them.”
“Oh? Aren’t you a picky one then.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Ritsu scoffed, spinning the red pen between his fingers. “It was the same in middle school and high school and college. I just didn’t want a girlfriend.”
Shou drummed his fingers on the table, glancing at the sea of gifts on Ritsu’s table. “Then, what about a boyfriend?”
Ritsu halted his actions, staring at Shou, who was absent-mindedly staring at the Valentine’s Day gifts.
“I mean, I’ve never really tried.” He finally answered, his heart pacing.
“So, if I said, ‘Ritsu, want to go out together sometime?’, what would you answer?” Shou met Ritsu’s eyes, his fingers sliding forward on the table to grip Ritsu’s hand that had the red pen in it.
The teacher’s grip on his pen tightened before dropping it out of his hand so he could intertwine his fingers with Shou’s. He tilted his head curiously. “Depends on the time and date, really.”
“Tomorrow after Awakening Lab training, let’s grab dinner somewhere not very fancy and eat a god ton of ice cream afterwards. Then, I’ll show you something really cool.”
“That’s a date?” Ritsu’s eyes twinkled in hope, his lips curling up in eagerness.
“Jesus fuck, Ritsu, and you call yourself a teacher. ‘Course it’s a date, you nerd.” Shou laughed obnoxiously, making Ritsu let go of his hand and flick his forehead cheekily.
“Ow.” Shou placed a hand over his forehead and pouted. “Asshole.”
“Alright, help me carry these flowers and we can keep insulting each other.” Ritsu stood up, quick to pack his bag so he could get home early.
“This is why you’re my favorite person.” Shou grinned, obeying Ritsu’s request and taking up an armful of roses.
“Don’t flatter me.” Ritsu sighed, taking a few chocolates and cards into his bags and opting to carry the rest. “Shorty.”
Shou gasped dramatically, then he proceeded to wheeze and cough due to the scent of the roses. “You’re j-just a fe--” cough “--a few inches taller!”
“Yeah yeah, keep talking.”
Kurosaki presented Ritsu a box of chocolates and asked for a date the next day.
For the first time ever, Ritsu didn’t roll his eyes or grunt at a confession. Instead, he smiled softly and bowed slightly in apology. “Sorry, I have a date with Suzuki later.”
Was he flexing? Definitely yes.
The girl pouted in response, but accepted his rejection with a light expression. “It’s fine. I can see that relationship working out though, good luck!”
“Wait, were you using clairvoyance or were you just assuming?”
She kept her lips sealed shut and ran off giggling, leaving Ritsu in the dark. He wished she didn’t do that to him.
The training room had sparked up in colors the last few weeks, Shou had offered to paint the room after bearing with the blandness for a long time. Teru helped with the color palette, which mostly consisted of bright neon colors and Shou said he’d try to work it went.
Apparently, it worked really well, the bright yellow and green managed to not blind Ritsu’s eyes. The same could not be said for Teru’s windbreaker though. Of course, there were other colors clashed with the first two, but Ritsu was pretty sure he’d insult the artist if he made the attempt to guess what color was what.
Ritsu had never seen a deeper frown when he commented on a shade of green with the wrong name. Apparently it was moss green and not just pukey looking green .
Shigeo said Reigen wasn’t here today because he was out with Serizawa, how cute. Ritsu enjoyed the training without Reigen having to pop in every few seconds with a quirky remark.
There was a newspaper journalist with her assistant that visited, so training was fortunately cut short. Shou looked over at Ritsu and grinned when Teru announced that they could leave now and almost immediately bolted out the door before remembering Touichi was still here.
“Ah, Touichi, I--” Shou started but the boy held up his hand to stop his father.
“I’m going to hang out with the guys later, you do whatever.”
Shou beamed down at him before rubbing the boy on his head, muttering how much he loved his son.
Touichi’s face was tinted red in embarrassment. Shou appeared to not care.
Ritsu was then proceeded to grabbed by the arm and dragged out the doors to have lunch at a MobDonald’s, like Shou had promised; a not so fancy place, Ritsu didn’t mind though.
Shou kept starting weird conversations with Ritsu, who couldn’t be bothered to shoot them down with logic. As they talked, the conversations got weirder and weirder, to a point Ritsu couldn’t help but react.
“Do you think dinosaurs had ears? Ears don’t leave fossils so…” Shou rambled on about absolute nonsense and Ritsu mindlessly listened, every so often he’d laugh or frown or slap Shou with a fact to counter his statement for fun.
When they were done, Shou got them ice cream at the park and continued to talk some more as they found a bench to sit on. Not once did Ritsu get tired of listening to his voice.
“So, what was that special thing you wanted to show me?” The black-haired man asked, finishing his ice cream, the other paused his eating and tilted his head. His eyes widened in realization.
“Oh! Oh! Yeah, gimme a minute.” Shou shoved down the last few bites into his mouth, miraculously not leaving any stains or spills behind. Ritsu blinked slowly in bewilderment. The ginger stood up, rubbing his hands together and smirking widely. “Now, Kageyama Ritsu, are you ready to--wait.”
Ritsu watched as Shou narrowed his eyes at something in the distance and the taller male turned around to see what he was staring at.
There was a fight going on between a few kids. Usually, this would be a bigger issue if they were all in their school uniforms, however, they were all in casual clothing, so Ritsu didn’t really want to intervene with them, but it seemed Shou wanted to.
Ritsu was quick to learn why.
It wasn’t at all a normal fight, he could sense it too, there was psychic energy radiating from it and within the blur and clash of several different powers being used at once, Ritsu could recognize a few.
Touichi, Minegishi, Shimazaki, Hatori and Shibata.
His boys from his class.
Ritsu’s face paled, were they fighting other kid espers? Even though he was too far to differentiate the figures fighting, Ritsu was very sure that none of the others seem to belong to the Awakening Lab.
“Alright Ritsu, looks like I have to save you the long speech and anticipation because it seems I have to show you the surprise now.” Shou said quickly, making it hard for Ritsu to catch. Good thing Reigen talked fast too, so the teacher managed to understand the other.
“Shou, you can’t be serious. Your kid is top priority right no- What are you doing?!” Shou had pulled Ritsu onto his feet mid sentence and turned him around, grabbing Ritsu by the upper arms.
In a few seconds, they were in the air. Ritsu was too shocked to scream.
“We’re going on a rescue mission now.” Shou sighed, flying over to the gang fight. “In the middle of our date.”