“Genos? What's going on?”
Saitama stood in front of his disciple, who had his large bag on his back, and wasn't meeting Saitama’s eyes.
“Sensei. I-" Genos toon a deep breathing and flicked his eyes up briefly. “I am going to live with Dr Kuseno again.”
Saitama cocked his head in confusion. “Dr Kuseno? Why?”
Genos felt the guilt sweep over him. He knew that leaving his beloved sensei would be hard. He knew that.
But there was knowing that, and then there was seeing Saitama looking almost...lost. But that couldn’t be right.
Genos sighed, and gazed downwards, avoiding eye contact with his master. “I have something to confess, Master….” Genos paused, unsure of how to continue. The cyborg knew how he felt. Had dreamed about confessing to the man he loved, more than once. But.
Genos always knew that his feelings would not be reciprocated. Knew without a doubt that his love would always be unrequited. Sensei had said himself that he had no interest in men. Or even feelings about, well, anything. And so, even knowing that, Genos could not stop the way he felt. His human brain and metal heart beat and yearned for someone he could never have.
Saitama spoke before Genos could continue his sentence.
“You’ve finally realized I have nothing to teach you, eh?”
Saitama rubbed the back of his neck “I knew you would figure it out, sooner or later.” he shrugged. “I guess I just figured you would stay anyways.”
“I-wait. Master. I think-” Genos took another breath in. “Master, you are the most amazing man I have ever met. You are strong, physically and mentally. You can defeat any monster and have saved countless lives in the process. You have taught me so much.”
Saitama didn’t say anything, seemingly more interested in what Genos was saying, more than the 20 word limit he had already broken.
Well. In for a penny, in for a pound.
“You have taught me strength of mind; how to observe a battle and enter accordingly or not. You have taught me how to relax and have fun. You have shown me how and when to properly use coupons and sales. You have shown me friendship, not just your own, but of other people as well. You have shown me how to tolerate annoyances I would have destroyed otherwise.” Genos paused and braced himself. “You have shown me that I am still capable of love.”
Saitama blinked up at Genos, his head tilted to the side, considering.
“Okay….but then why do you want to leave?”
Genos just blinked. Trust Saitama not to notice a love confession. Although, Genos reasoned, to be fair, it wasn’t the most obvious love confession he could have done. He had made plans of large, elaborate confessions, that started with food, had some soft and awkward confessions, maybe a long, intimate conversation about themselves, and the future. If all went well, in Genos’ mind, it would end in bed with-
“Genos? Are you okay?”
“Yes. I’m sorry Master. What did you ask again?” Genos was never more glad that he had rejected Dr. Kuseno’s offer to add the electrothermal enhancements to his cheeks, which would have allowed him to blush.
Saitama gave him a weird look, but said “You had all those things you said you learned, and it sounds pretty good. So, why do you want to leave?”
Apparently, Genos would have to be blunt. He knew his master was not always most...socially aware.
Genos straightened as much as the heavy pack, still on his shoulders, would allow, and faced Saitama. He kept his eyes averted, even as he faced Saitama. He knew how much it would break his heart to see his masters face full of shock. Or disgust. Or, worse, pity.
“Master, please understand. I do not want to leave you. I am...happy here, which is something I did not forsee. However.” He paused, sneaking a small glance at the man he loved more than anything. Saitama was giving Genos his attention-as best he could, at least. He looked away again.
Deep breath in.
“However, master. I am in love with you. I feel that my feelings may compromise our living situation, as I find my ability to refrain from acting on those feelings are being pushed to the limit.”
Genos could have continued. Could have told Sensei all the things that he loved, all the times when he had to refrain from wrapping Saitama in his arms, and kissing him senseless. How, during the last battle when he had been injured, he prayed for Saitama to come save him...while also praying that the love of his life wouldn’t have to see him so damaged again. Genos could have told Saitama all the things that he was feeling, the things he wanted them to do together, but, he knew Saitama. Genos knew that Saitama would reject him, and his emotions, and knew that keeping things simple would move this along faster.
So that Genos could feel his heart, like glass, shatter in privacy.
Saitama was silent. For far far longer than Genos would have expected.
He could feel the first jagged piece of his heart crumble, shards like glass cutting, choking him.
“Master?” Genos barely whispered the word, when the silence was too long, too much for Genos to deal with. Genos finally brought his gaze up to look at Saitama, and that second jagged piece of glass exploded, cutting and biting, taking his breath away.
Saitama just looked...
Genos would not cry. He willed the oily tears to stay in his stupid eye holes at least until he left the building. He could fall apart later, in the privacy of his new/old room with the doctor.
He gathered what little pride he could,adjusting the bag on his back before turning.
He reached his hand forward, the black metal so polished compared to the old wood of the door.
Genos knew he didn’t actually have a heart, or a proper, full endocrine system, but he could feel himself trembling, his core sputtering, inconsistent and frantic, like a real heart, as he left the apartment that he had called home. The first place to be home since his was destroyed.
The first oily tear escaped just as Genos crossed the doorway, the door closing behind him. At least he had held it together that long. At least Saitama hadn’t had to see how weak he still was. How much he lo-
A firm hand gripped Genos bicep, forcing him to stop. Genos didn’t turn around though. He didn’t know what Saitama stopped him for, but he didn’t need to see the black oil that streaked Genos’ face.
“I….didn’t know. I’m sorry, Genos.” Saitama was quiet, hand still grasping Genos’s arm.
The core within Genos stopped, for just a few moments, and then started again. The shards that didn’t, couldn’t exist worming their way through Genos.
“But...I don’t want you to go.” That hand tried to pull Genos back towards the apartment, towards home. Genos resisted, his face still turned away. He couldn’t look at Saitama. Couldn’t do this. Not yet.
“Okay, but, just…” Saitama sighed. “At least listen, okay?”
Genos nodded, although he was sure that Saitama would have spoken anyways.
“I told you this before, but when I got all my power, I lost the ability to feel...anything. I thought that the price of my power was the emotional part of being human.” Saitama’s voice was quiet, thoughtful. “Then you come along, with this cool body, and all these emotions. And, it took a while, but somehow they rubbed off on me?”
Genos could feel Saitama’s confusion, his frustration in not being able to express himself.
“What I’m trying to say is that...when you’re around, I feel things again. And...I’m scared. If...if you leave will these feelings go away? I don’t want that.”
Saitama was silent a few moments, and Genos just listened, as he promised. His tears had stopped as he had listened, but could feel the oil marks on his synthetic skin.
“But, if you stay...will these feelings increase? I...Genos. I want to find out.” The hand on Genos arm squeezed, almost painfully.
“I honestly have no idea if I am even capable of the kind of love you deserve, but, god, Genos, i want to try.”
Genos’ core had sped up, the painful hollow still painful, but, in a different way.
“Will you please come back in? This isn’t home without you.” Saitama’s voice was quiet, but Genos could hear the emotion in it.
Saitama. Expressing emotion. Over Genos.
The oily tears were back, flowing over synthetic skin, as he allowed Saitama’s strong hand to move them back into the apartment together.
When the door shut behind them, Saitama moved his hand from Genos bicep, leaned his head on Genoss’ shoulder, who still hadn’t turned around.
“No. None of that crap anymore. Just call me Saitama.”
“Very well. Saitama...are you sure this is what you want?” In all his wildest dreams, Genos had not foreseen any of this happening. He had expected to be rejected, not to be told he was the reason his master, the strongest man in the universe, now had emotions again.
“Yes. Without a doubt.” Saitama pulled Genos into the room a little farther, and pulled the giant back from his back, letting it fall to the floor. “We can unpack this all again later.”
Saitama grabbed Genos’ arm again “Let me go make some tea and-Genos, are you crying?”
Genos had finally turned around, to face his master, to go back into his home.
“I’m sorry, Sen-tama.”
“Don’t be. It’s fine.” Saitama moved in towards Genos, gently wrapped his arms around the tall cyborg. “I like that you feel so many things.”
Genos couldn’t help but smile, and moved his arms around Saitama, finally holding the man that he loved more than anything.
He let out a deep, contented sigh. This was all Genos had ever wanted and, overcome, he lowered his head towards Saitama’s, his lips just grazing the soft smooth skin with a light kiss.
“Shall I make some tea?” Genos asked, his lips just touching Saitama as he spoke.
Saitama shook his head. “Let me….just stay like this. Just a bit longer.” Saitama buried his face in the cyborgs neck, curling them closer together.
Genos could see the skin on the back of his master's neck turn a soft pink, and smiled.
“Of course, Saitama.”