It had been a long day for Genos. The teen was yawning; slim-fingered pale hands rubbing at his yellow-green eyes before shaking his arms out, hoping the extra blood flow would help him stay awake. It was now eleven pm and the guy had been on his feet for three hours already. He was new to the job; so, he was not yet use to being on his feet and awake so late, being a part-time college student and having not yet experienced his first year of collegiate-level midterms. He was hoping to get a degree in robotics and cybernetics; the boy having found his passion from his adoptive father, Doctor Kuseno.
The sound of the bell ringing broke the tired teen from his stupor; sleepy, dazed eyes snapping open and focusing as he felt his elbow slip out. He had been unaware of his body moving into the resting position. Genos felt his forearm hit the edge of the counter painfully; the worn wood biting through his clothes as the man cursed under his breath, rubbing the soon-to-be bruised flesh. He allowed himself a minute to complain before letting his eyes meet the customer. The teen could feel his breath hitch as he saw the man.
He seemed to be his mid-twenties, about average height. The man's eyes were brown and his skin slightly tanned. Though there didn't seem to be a wrinkle in sight; except perhaps a few worry lines near his mouth and on his forehead, the man was entirely bald. Genos bit the tip of his tongue to keep the question which was bubbling from his throat from coming out. He felt his face flush with heat when their eyes met; black, trimmed eyebrows raised in question as the man's lips quirked slightly.
"You alright?" The officer asked; voice filled with contained amusement, nimble and slim fingers clutching his police hat. Genos took a deep breath in; pushing down the butterflies he felt when he heard the man's deep voice. His head jerked in a nod before he tried to speak. His lips moved soundlessly at first; the skin a little chapped and dry as they framed the words. The teen internally groaned in frustration before clearing his throat; Adam's apple bobbing a little as he tried to wet his mouth.
All the while; the man's lips never wavered from their amused smirk, brown eyes becoming bright with mirth as he watched the flushed, struggling teen. "How can I help you?" Genos finally managed; heart pumping near-painfully inside of his ribcage as his fingers clenched the notepad he held. He desperately wanted to forget that his voice just cracked. "Can I get a medium black coffee and a blueberry muffin?" The officer asked; brown eyes pulling away from the teen and fingers reaching into his wallet to pull out money. The blonde couldn't help but feel grateful for the brief moment of mercy.
Genos mouthed the order as he wrote it down; normally meticulous hand writing appeared a little shaky on paper. After accepting the payment and putting the transaction through; Genos gratefully turned his back on the man. His mind whirling with the interaction. The teen felt none of the tiredness he had been plagued with before; not even a wisp. Even though he couldn't see the officer setting camp at an empty table; he could certainly hear it. The teen was almost lulled into a sense of comfort by the man's presence; the sound of fingers beating against the table soothing instead of annoying.
It had only been the fast-paced beating of his heart and the feeling of lingering eyes upon his neck that kept the teen's senses sharp. His shoulders were painfully stiff by the time the coffee had finished brewing, the liquid seeming to have dripped slower than usual into the fresh pot. The muffins were made at the end of the last hour; so, they were still a little warm, but not fresh-out-of-the-oven. Genos took a deep breath before stepping around the counter; internally relieved that his hands had steadied their nervous shaking as he set the order before the man. The teen's poor heart clenched as the man beamed up at him.
"Thanks." He said; hands wrapped around the hot cup. The officer didn't speak for a moment; fingers tinged pink slightly from the heat, yet they didn't move from the source, didn't twitch. Genos took the moment of silence to study the man more; now that he had a bit more control back, the teen could see the tired way the man held himself. His shoulders were slumped forward and there were darkening bags under the vibrant brown eyes. The dim, warm lighting reflected off of the man's bald head.
"Are you bald prematurely, or did you shave your hair?" Genos asked, unable to stop himself this time around. The teen desperately wished the floor would open and swallow him whole once his lethargic brain caught up with his words. The fact that the man was once more looking at him; eyebrow quirked upward in a curious manner, his lips turned down into a small frown did not help matters. Genos could feel his stomach churn nauseatingly as blood pooled in his cheeks; even creeping down his neck in his embarrassment. The college-age teen wanted to kick himself and his lack of filter.
The silence was heavy between the pair before the man finally sighed and shook his head. "Premature." He said simply; voice flat and eyes dull now. His smile had slipped from his lips, and his body was turned away from the teen. Genos could feel his stomach twist with guilt as he backed away from the officer. The teen was felt a small amount of relief when he glanced at the clock behind the counter; it was time for his break.
He hesitated momentarily; fingers twisting and pinching his own skin before he shook his head despairingly, head bowed and blonde bangs pushing into his eyes as he moved back to his station. Genos blocked out as much sound as he could as he pulled out his workbook; scarred fingers shaking a little as he opened it to the previous page he was at before. Time seemed sluggish as Genos tried not to focus on the man at the table feet away from him. The teen's eyes were dry and his head hurt a little by the time the faint sound of a bell pushed through his senses. Light seemed to pulse as the barista blinked; he had been stuck on the same paragraph for an indeterminate amount of time.
Genos looked up from his book when the door whooshed shut with a quiet, steady sound. The coffee shop was empty now. The teen couldn't keep a quiet sigh from rushing past his lips as he bent in on himself; his forehead meeting soundly with the wooden counter top.
The next day, the teen had been in the shop with his friend King; a scarred, tall, man who was very fond of video games. The coffee shop had reached a lull in between rushes; so, both were free to converse quietly behind the counter. "I asked if he had suffered premature hair loss or if he had shaved his head." The teen was groaning to his older friend; an embarrassed flush filled his cheeks as he angrily scrubbed the counter. His yellow-green eyes set on the stain he was currently working on. King had his back turned to the teen; washing the used cups as now was one of the best times to do so.
"Did you apologize?" The man's voice rumbled from his chest; low and steady, yet the steady thump thump gave way to the man's strangely audible heart. Genos groaned again and shook his head; forehead once more meeting hard wood, his bruise from the previous night pulsing as it was stimulated. "I didn't get the chance to." The frustrated teen groaned into the counter; words muffled yet audible. The guy could practically feel the otaku's disapproving shake of the head. "Do that next time." He said, causing Genos to nod in response.
"You need to get back on your route." The man said suddenly; making the teen's eyebrows furrow together. Genos could only listen as his friend started rambling about making the right choices and how each choice effected the direction you went in. "– if you want a chance to take him to bed, you need to…" The otaku tried to explain; blue eyes distant as the teen squawked in embarrassment. His face burned with the sudden rush of blood; heart thumping painfully in his chest before he yelled back. "No one mentioned anything like that!" Genos desperately wished he hadn't gotten out of bed for the day when he could hear the chuckle in response.
The officer didn't come in for three days. It was only seven at night this time around; so, the shop was crowded some. Genos had looked up at the sound of the bell; eyes widening and heart clenching as he saw the painfully familiar appearance of the man he had become smitten with. The teen had chalked it up to hormones; but he still couldn't overlook his attraction to the man. Something about him just seemed to pull the teen in.
It was only deep-seated training that had managed to get words of greeting out from his lips. The teen was disheartened to find that the man wouldn't meet his eyes this time around; but he wasn't surprised. The transaction had been painful but very quick, the order the same as the last. Genos was working through the next customer when he became near-painfully aware of lingering eyes. Trying to shake the feeling; the guy forced a smile onto his chapped lips.
The teen could feel eyes on him the whole way through the rest of his shift; which had been four hours long. But he couldn't react to this fact; he just hoped he had done as well as he thought he had. Genos let a sigh slip past his lips as he finally finished wiping down the last machine; sweat beaded his forehead in a mixture of the work he had put in and the nervousness he felt as he turned around. "My name's Saitama." The officer broke the awkward silence; making the teen look to him. Genos could feel his stomach twist at the sound of his voice; heart stuttering as his mind whirled around the piece of information.
"I'm Genos." The teen managed finally; mentally berating himself as soon as the words left his tongue. He wanted to smack himself; but had barely withheld the urge. Like he wasn't wearing a name tag. The frustrated boy blushed as he saw the man's lips quirk up once more; his fingers circling the empty cup of coffee. His stomach clenched at the sight of the small gesture.
The silence that settled between them was less nerve-wracking than the last but no less noticeable. Genos began to fidget nervously with his apron; fingers playing with a frayed part before he shakily removed the material from his body. The teen silently cursed his hormones and nerves as he picked up his workbook from under the counter. If he stayed crouched behind the separating frame of wood for a moment longer than necessary; that was his business. "You don't mince your words, do you?" Saitama asked, making the teen jump; the curse becoming strangled in his throat as the back of his head connected with the wood.
Genos took a moment to assess the point of pain; also allowing himself to get his breath back under control before continuing. Only when his heart had stopped skipping a beat did he allow himself to stand from the floor; his knees aching a little from the prolonged position. "Not really, no." Genos said; somehow not stammering. There was only a hint of color to his cheeks; the teen having long-ago gotten use to the fact. Genos could feel his fingers clench around his workbook as the officer nodded to the response.
Saitama took one last drink of his coffee; the dregs cold before standing. "I have to get going." He said as he put something on the counter. "Good night." The officer called over his shoulder as he left the shop; a cold gust of wind coming through the open door as Genos approached the previously occupied table. He could breathe a little easier now that he wasn't in the presence of the man; the tension from his shoulders bleeding away as he looked down at the tabletop. Genos could feel more blood rush to his cheeks into a noticeable blush as his mind registered the contents left behind.
Aside from a five-dollar tip and the cup he had used; there was also a note, hastily scribbled onto a napkin sitting atop the money. See you later. Saitama had written in messy, slanted script. Genos was relieved he was the only one in the shop as he couldn't stop the happy laughter from bubbling up in his stomach; a pleased smile resting on his lips as his face tinged pink. After locking up the shop and returning back to his dorm; the teen had slept peacefully that night, fingers clenched around the handwritten note and hand resting close to his chest.
The rest of the week had been rather cheerful for the besotted man. Completely unaware of how obvious he had been. It had been nearly painful. The teen was cheerful and constantly smiling; it almost seemed fixed and ingenuine. Saitama hadn't come in for days after the last visit and confrontation; but Genos didn't let this effect his mood.
Though it was a little disappointing.
On the fourth day from the last visit; his strange, new behavior had garnered attention once more from his fellows. More than once, his coworkers; Tatsumaki and Fubuki would share confused glances with each other. Though the girls were five years apart; at certain times like such, they appeared to be closer, agreeing to shelf their differences to the point they could be written off as fraternal twins. Genos had found himself cornered during his lunch break when they were in such a mood. He could feel his stomach twist nervously; rather unpleasant compared to the way it did when he was in Saitama's presence.
"What happened?" Fubuki asked first; her painted lips set into a soft, almost-alluring smile. Genos was sure that if he wasn't smitten; and if he had batted for that team, he would be putty in the woman's devious hands if it meant he got one look like that from her. But Genos was head over heels for the officer; and he didn't go for women, so he wasn't affected in such a way. Instead of being ready to spill his guts to the rather-persuasive woman, he could feel his guard coming up; nerves rankling in the same moment. "What do you mean?" Genos spat out; tone perhaps a tad harsher than he intended it to be.
Tatsumaki let out a huff; green eyes rolling as the lady shifted. "Why do you look lovestruck?" The impatient woman asked. Her nature was rather blunt and she didn't get along well with others; but Genos had gotten use to it, somewhat at least. Despite this, he could feel his face heat in embarrassment as his heart skip a beat with nerves. "W-what do you mean?" The nineteen-year-old stuttered; yellow-green eyes shifting everywhere and anywhere in an effort to not meet her scrutiny.
"You." She snarled; her small amount of patience seemingly snapping. "You've been walking around here for nearly a whole week." She took a breath before continuing. "Dazed and unfocused; with that dopey smile on your face." Tatsumaki growled; green eyes burning with fire as she poked Genos' chest. "Who is it?" The rather short female was practically on top of the cornered teen; her small chest heaving with exertion as she got in his face. Genos could feel his heart thumping; sweat beading his forhead as he became nervous.
It was only Fubuki's steady hand on her older sister's shoulder that kept the girl from physically attacking the teen. Unlike her near feral sibling; the woman's smile was sweet, green eyes filled with kindness and understanding. "Genos," Her voice was almost like honey; low and sweet. "We just want to help you." She continued; the teen was almost falling into her trap. He probably would've if it hadn't been for the ring of a bell.
Genos could feel his eyes snap to the source; the muscles straining from the effort. The teen could feel his face flush with heat and his eyes widened at the familiar appearance of Saitama. Somehow, the teen had gotten around from his cramped position; practically running to the counter to greet the man. Every ounce of subtlety and proper decorum forgotten in his relief. Before he could take two steps; Genos found himself on his back, his breath quite literally knocked out of him as he smacked into the tiled floor.
The teen blinked dazedly; his head throbbing from where it connected to the floor. Before he could move, Genos felt weight settle over him; bright green curly hair filling his vision as Tatsumaki kept him from getting up. The barista couldn't see Saitama's confused expression; eyebrows furrowed as he looked over the counter at the pair of workers. The only thing visible was the woman's shark-like grin. Genos felt his body deflate once Fubuki got up to the counter; her voice washing over them.
"Hello, how can I help you?" Her voice seemed sweet; like before, it made Genos feel sick. His mood soured further as he saw Tatsumaki's grin widen, her eyebrows wriggling suggestively as her sister spoke above them. The only comfort; however, brief as it was, was the sound of the officer's voice. "Is Genos alright?" He asked; tone filled with concern, it made the teen's chest warm as he grinned. After that question; Genos was able to ignore the way the elder woman mimed gagging into his chest, her lips set into a teasing smirk.
Before Fubuki could respond; the bell chimed again, followed by a familiar voice. "Hey, Fubuki, where's Genos and Tatsumaki?" Their manager, Eiyuu; otherwise known as Mumen Rider asked. Genos could feel Tatsumaki freeze above him, then the clearing throat of Fubuki; before she could respond, Saitama spoke up. "Hey Eiyuu; I didn't know you worked here." Saitama's tone was friendly yet casual, almost like he knew their boss. The sound of scuffling feet stopped before Mumen Rider spoke up.
"Oh, Hi Saitama." He greeted his friend; the sight of Tatsumaki's grin, which was back in full-force, made the teen groan quietly and lie his head back helplessly on the floor. "I own it. Opened it almost two months ago actually." Genos could practically hear the pride in his manager's voice as Saitama hummed. "Well congrats man, it's what you've been wanting right?" He asked as Mumen started walking again. The man must've nodded in response; for no words followed until, in an exasperated tone. "Tatsumaki, get off of Genos." Mumen's voice didn't hold a touch of anger; only acceptance.
Genos, in a bout of immaturity; stuck his tongue out at his disgruntled coworker. He regretted his decision moments later as her knee dug into his stomach as she stood up; small hands brushing at any dirt on her apron or dress underneath. Before Genos could do more than twitch; a tanned, scarred and calloused hand came into his vision. The teen took it gratefully; eyes blurred enough he couldn't see who had offered. Before the man could roll over and push himself up; he found himself on his feet.
He had been pulled effortlessly from the floor; more like a doll than a one-sixty-five-pound teen. Genos opened his mouth to thank the person; head bowed in thanks before a voice spoke. "Hey." Saitama said; causing the teen to whip his head up. Genos winced in response to his own actions; muscles twinging under his skin from his sudden movements. "Hi." He said breathlessly; the ever-familiar blush appearing on his face.
Neither spoke for a moment; grinning stupidly at each other. The awkward yet comforting moment was broken between them when Fubuki spoke up. "So, Saitama, do you like Genos or something?" Her question was spoken innocently enough; but Genos felt a rush of anger in the pit of his stomach when he saw the man's response. The man's face closed off; eyes dimming as his face shifted into a blank expression. The silence after was painful before Saitama pulled away suddenly; he didn't even stop to say goodbye to Mumen Rider, ignoring the offered cup of coffee and walking out the door.
The door shut with more force than thought possible. The glass shuddering in its frame as an awkward, stifling type of silence filled the whole shop. Most palpable behind the counter. Genos felt a numb feeling settle in the pit of his stomach; his vision tunneling as his shaking hands moved up to his chest. Mumen Rider's voice was filled with anger; words discernible as he spoke to Fubuki.
Genos shook his head; shakily pulling off the apron he wore before he stepped around the counter with an apologetic murmur to the manager. The teen walked stiffly out the door; mind whirring helplessly as he walked away from the shop. His throat felt pinched and dry yet wet at the same time. His eyes stung painfully as he walked; it wasn't long before the teen had begun to cry. Salty tears falling from his eyes and down his cheeks; leaving clear tear tracks if one were to look close enough.
When Genos had gone back into work; he felt numb but no longer like he was going to cry. He couldn't really; having emptied the reserves over the past few days. Fubuki had tried to approach the teen; green eyes filled with sadness but she couldn't. Genos ignored his coworkers, ignored the customers and even Mumen Rider. He had been more than content to stay in the back and work on the dishes and supplies needed for the front.
Nearly two weeks had passed since the last moment between officer and college student. After the first week; the teen no longer felt numb. But he still seemed to be only half-there; just going through the motions. King tried to be encouraging; offering words of comfort, even if it seemed stilted and brief. Fubuki had managed to corner him so she could apologize; but the relationship between them seemed awkward, more like acquaintances than friends.
Even Tatsumaki had backed off with her teasing. Their relationship was a little warmer than what he held with her sister; but still distant. Mumen Rider didn't say much; he understood words of comfort wouldn't work, knowing both men. Instead; he simply allowed the teen frequent breaks and a warm hand on the shoulder for the briefest of moments. The subtle approach the man took worked wonders for Genos.
The man worried for the worker, the teen knew. But he didn't push; which Genos really appreciated. It was refreshing; being allowed the moment to himself, instead of the shifty, pity-filled look he often received. He didn't want to be comforted or pitied. He just wanted to wallow.
The teen was wallowing in his self-imposed pity party when a bell chimed; the sound only getting the smallest response from him. "How can I help you?" Genos' voice was flat; eyes blank and dull as he stared listlessly ahead of him. The silence that followed would've been awkward; if Genos could've found it in himself to care. But he could not; so, it had gone by unnoticed to him. The teen was about to ask again when the sound of a throat cleared from behind him.
"Why don't you go talk to him, you can have a bit of a break." Mumen offered; hand resting on his shoulder and squeezing gently before pushing the confused teen from behind the counter. Genos stumbled a little from the lip in the floor; his hands flying out in front of him to catch his fall. The shift in gravity had been so sudden; the guy didn't see which direction he was falling to. Body and wooden floor never connected however; his hands met cloth instead, sense of smell filling with the scent of coffee, sweat and something else entirely. The teen let his fingers clench a little; relishing in the feeling of firm muscle under his palms.
Genos stayed in the position for a moment; dazed from the scare and the scent which made him feel light-headed. An amused yet sad chuckle broke the teen from his stupor; his eyes opening and focusing on the dark-blue covered chest inches from his face. The warmth of a large; calloused hand resting on his shoulder seeped through the teen's sweater. "Hello." Saitama's voice sounded above the man's head; mirth evident in his tone. Genos could feel the blood rush to his face in a dark, noticeable blush.
The teen kept his head bowed as he swallowed back saliva; throat suddenly closing and dry. His hands had begun to shake, but still the student did not move from the position he found himself in. It was a double-edged sword he found; the feel of firm muscles under his fingertips made the teen strangely giddy, yet it was soothing at the same time, it kept him grounded. "Hi." The embarrassed barista finally managed; voice soft and meek. The teen took a deep breath before forcing his head up; yellow-green eyes meeting brown for a brief moment before the pair broke apart.
Genos would forever be grateful that the coffee shop had reached a momentary standstill in between rushes. It was fairly empty except for a few, regular, lingering customers and his fellow coworkers and manager. The teen made the mistake of looking at them. Mumen Rider had an amused, understanding smile on his lips. His female coworkers; Fubuki and Tatsumaki both wore coy, amused grins.
The sisters seemed to move in sync as they waved to him when their green eyes met his. King; his shy, scarred coworker was blushing. The prominent scars noticeable more than ever with the sudden pool of blood. Despite his embarrassed appearance; he too wore a knowing smirk, a certain glint in his blue eyes. Genos was only half-aware of the frustrated; embarrassed groan coming from his throat as he let his forehead rest on the chest of his crush.
"Let's go for a walk." Saitama said from above the flustered teen; his hand squeezing his shoulder comfortingly. Genos could only nod in response; fingers a little stiff as he finally managed to pry them from the wrinkling dark-blue material. "I'll bring him back in a bit, Eiyuu." Saitama called making the teen look up. The officer was holding a pair of to-go cups. His manager was waving to Saitama before they stepped out the door.
The pair walked for five minutes in comfortable silence; both content just to sip at their respective drinks. Genos could feel his heart pick up in pace; the warmth of the bald man's body being leeched by his own in their close proximity. "I like you." Saitama said suddenly; making the teen choke on his drink. He could feel the blood rush over his face, heat settling in his cheeks and down to his neck as the surprised male sputtered. The pair had stopped walking now; visibility equal to a park and the shop.
Genos rubbed at his sore chest; heart thumping painfully behind his ribcage as spittle slid down from his lips. The teen could feel sweat beading at the back of his neck; the collar of his sweater suddenly constricting as he fidgeted. "You what?" He finally managed to ask; voice low and rough from the sudden expelling of air, there was a hint of sadness to it. Saitama had a faint blush on his cheeks; muscles flexing underneath his uniform as he rubbed the back of his smooth head. "I. Like. You." He said after a moment; voice clear and slow, he seemed to pause between each word, putting emphasis on the confession.
The college student couldn't keep a smile from pushing onto his lips as the words settled within his mind. His stomach twisted as he looked up to the officer. "I like you too." He admitted after clearing his throat; face still flushed red. A beat of silence passed between the pair; both reeling from their confessions and the fact that their feelings had been returned. Genos jolted a little as Saitama moved suddenly; whatever distance was between them closed as the shorter male tilted his head up.
Warm, plump lips met his own chapped ones as calloused hands enclosed around his biceps. The kiss had been sudden yet brief; despite the brevity, Genos was still sent reeling from the sensation. Saitama was smiling at the teen; foreheads connected even as their lips parted. No words were said between them; breaths mingling as they let the silence settle over them. Genos could feel his Adam's apple move as he gulped; the teen seemed to take a breath before pushing his lips once more to the other man's.
This kiss was longer than the last; softer. Genos could feel their chests moving together before Saitama's hands slipped away from his biceps; warm fingers trailing down to wrap around his waist. The teen let his arms snake around the man's neck; head tilting as he deepened the kiss. Time which seemed to have stopped for the pair; suddenly sped up as happy shouting shattered the silence between the men. Both pulled away with a jerk and matching flushed faces.
"Damn them." Saitama murmured under his breath; the warm air rushing over the teen's face, stimulating his senses. Genos could only nod in agreement before his arms squeezed the man's shoulders briefly. Yellow-green eyes glanced away from dark-blue material of the uniform; the glare from the coffee shop window bright yet still leaving the grouped bodies of his friends and coworkers visible.
Damn them, indeed.