Ritsu, surprisingly, could not wait for Friday. He found it easier to cook with other people around to remind him to pay attention to the stove, even if that person was Suzuki Shou.
When Friday did roll in, his students all noticed his particularly cheery mood, which was a rare sight to see, and bombarded him with questions about why he was so happy today.
He only smiled and told them to go back to work.
But of course, regardless whether Ritsu shot down their questions or not, rumors would still circulate in the classroom. At first, they assumed it was because the teacher had a difficult piece of homework prepared for them, but they soon realized Ritsu would never get this happy about homework.
So, their next assumption was that maybe Ritsu had a cool experiment to show them. He showed nothing though, much to their disappointment, and went back to square one.
Ritsu’s mood was so good to a point it made the class feel oddly uneasy, they were too use to an emo teacher.
Then, Hanako clapped her hands together, smiling widely as she turned around to whisper to her friend. “Do you think he has...a date?”
That got the class talking, it was possible and most logical. It took a few minutes for them to grow enough courage to ask Ritsu if he had a girlfriend, despite knowing the rumor that he could be gay.
Ritsu frowned at the question. “Is that related to chemistry?”
“Love is a chemical reaction, y’know.” Reigen shot back, the teacher rolled his eyes, huffing in defeat.
Everyone sank into their seats with a chorus of ohs and aws. Hatori grinned, leaning forward onto his desk. “How about a boyfriend?”
The class perked up again in curiosity. Ritsu doesn’t answer them, he only turned away and continued on with the class. There’s no use lying to his class anyways.
Even though, Shou wasn’t his boyfriend, Ritsu couldn’t help but feel that going over to his house to cook dinner then eating them alone together felt like a date.
Was it a date?
The bell rang and everyone dropped the subject, a few deciding to talk about it some more in their own little groups. Ritsu probably packed up the fastest, but he hung back a little to make sure everyone left the classroom before actually bolting out.
Touichi stared at him the whole time.
The door was already opened before Ritsu could even knock.
“Hi.” Shou breathed.
“Hey.” Ritsu replied.
The taller boy walked in.
Shou had his pencil and sketchbook on the dining table, it seemed like he was in the middle of a drawing. Shou sat down and Ritsu sat next to him.
“You done with that drawing yet?”
Shou raised an eyebrow, staring at Ritsu, then he realized what he meant and quickly flipped back a few pages. “Mhm, yep. Here.”
Ritsu’s mouth fell ajar, it was...he didn’t expect it to be fully colored. He was almost too scared to actually touch it, what if it tore from his touch?
It was a back view of Ritsu’s figure in the drawing, his hand held up and surrounded with blue as the items around the kitchen flew around, colored in the same navy blue, and the other hand holding onto the handle of a pot as the fire cackled under it.
It almost felt like the page was moving.
“I didn’t really think you’d go all out for this.” Ritsu finally said after staring for god knows how long. Shou’s ears grow red from being flattered.
“Yeah, it really was no biggie.” He boasted, making Ritsu roll his eyes. Shou caught the smirk on the other’s lips before it disappeared.
Ritsu started flipping to the newer pages, the ones after the drawing of him, and Shou practically snatched the book back. “Ah, those...no.”
“What’s wrong?” Ritsu tilted his head, confused. Shou found the gesture quite adorable.
“They’re...weird? Embarrassing?” He babbled on about how Ritsu would find him creepy and such if the black-haired man saw those pages.
Ritsu didn’t care, but he respected Shou’s privacy anyways. He got off the chair and made his way into the kitchen, opening the fridge and using his powers to pick out the tools he needed behind him.
The last time he was here, he made sure to memorize where the bowls, pots and pans were and during his search, he had spotted a takoyaki grill pan. Ritsu remembered the days his mother would make takoyaki on special occasions, he missed his mother’s home made cooking and the only way he could eat anything that tasted anything like her cooking was to cook them himself.
Thank goodness his mother taught him a few recipes before he moved out.
“You...know how to make takoyaki?” Shou asked, lifting his head from the sketchbook. “I never got around to learning how, even though I got the grill pan.”
“Yeah, my mom taught me.” Ritsu hummed back, taking out the ingredients he needed. “Jesus Christ, is your fridge always stocked with everything? I didn’t expect to find octopus in here.”
“Hey, I make octopus related things too y’know.” Shou shot back, evidently offended. They fall back into their comfortable silence, pencil scraping on paper, clinking of glass and metal and the sizzling from the pan.
“Keep an eye on those.” Shou reminded, he didn’t lift his head up though. Ritsu made a noise of acknowledgement as he poked at them with his chopsticks.
It was around six-thirty or seven when Touichi came back home unannounced, he walked pass the kitchen as if Ritsu being in there was a norm to him. The boy came back out of his room to do a double take.
“Is Mr. Kageyama cooking?”
Shou nodded, still drawing. Touichi scrunched up his face, a mix of worry and irritation on his face. “You’re okay with this?” He added.
Shou nodded again.
Touichi resided back into his room and Ritsu couldn’t tell if it was because he trusted him or was too tired to argue.
Dinner was done shortly after and the teenager was called back out to eat with them, the child looked like he seriously didn’t want to eat with Ritsu but Shou had shot him a scary looking glare, forcing Touichi to sigh and sit down to eat.
Ritsu was glad it somewhat tasted like his mother’s takoyaki, he felt proud that he didn’t make the fire alarm go off.
The Suzukis looked like they enjoyed their meal, Touichi begrudgingly admitted it was okay and Shou said it had been a while since he had takoyaki and loved Ritsu’s cooking.
It almost made Ritsu blush.
Ritsu wished he could stay longer, he even offered to wash the dishes just to hang back a little while. When his time to leave had come, he only waved goodbye and closed the door behind him.
He overheard Touichi asking why Shou had drawn pages upon pages of just Ritsu.
Now this made him blush.
Saturday came and Ritsu wondered why he was standing in front of the Awakening Lab, Kurosaki greeted him with a smile and he returned a polite smile back. Teru waved him over to the children that was already gathered in front of him.
“Don’t you have work?” Ritsu asked, staring at the kids then shifting his gaze towards the blonde.
“I work on weekdays.” Teru answered back, he gestured to the children in front of him. There were only six, but it still felt...a lot.
Handling five in his class was stressful enough.
“This is Fukuda, Higashio, Ootsuki, Joseph, Udo and Miguel.” Teru introduced, each kid said a hello in response. Ritsu awkwardly waved back. “They’re the only kids that were willing to actually come, I think Shimazaki wanted to turn up but he was busy today.”
Ritsu vaguely remembered overhearing him arranging a date with Minegishi on Saturday during class yesterday. “What about Serizawa?”
“He should be here soon, along with Shigeo.” Ritsu raised an eyebrow at Teru calling his brother by his first name, the blonde simply ignored him.
Right on cue, the sound of an umbrella clicking close and Reigen’s rather loud comments were heard at the doorway. Ritsu felt his brother’s aura wash over him, it felt at home already.
“Hello, Teru.” Shigeo greeted, Teru waved back, smiling widely. Reigen buzzed around the other kids, poking around at them and it seemed to get on their nerves.
Serizawa was panicking over Joseph’s mere presence, the boy only glared back. Ritsu sighed, he could tell they’ve probably met before and it was already hard enough for Serizawa to make new friends.
Once Teru was sure everyone was here, he got to work, explaining about today’s lesson.
Ritsu was only invited here to help teach these kids how to gain control of their powers, while also letting him practice his own since he barely got around to using them properly. The most he did was move stuff around but that was it.
He never had anything to do on the weekends anyway, so why the heck not?
Ritsu soon got the gist of how the kids work, each of them had a different sort of personality to them and a noticeable difference in power.
If Ritsu was honest, he’d say Serizawa was currently the strongest among the group, and he wasn’t being bias. Halfway through training Higashio, who was practicing reassembling things Ritsu broke, the teacher received a text.
U free tmr? Shou texted, sending Ritsu into hysterics from feelings of ‘How did you get this number?’ to ‘What are you implying?’
Shou sent another text. Btw, if ur panicking abt me texting u, did u forget u called my phone 1 time? I saved ur number.
Ah, that explained a lot. How could he forget?
At this point, Higashio was wondering why Ritsu wasn’t doing anything anymore and was starting to get impatient, so Ritsu broke a bigger object to get the kid busy for a while longer.
Busy with Awakening Lab, sorry. Ritsu typed back, he watched as the typing bubble appeared at the bottom of the screen before another message popped up.
Ritsu exhaled through his mouth and resisted the urge to groan.
Awakening Lab. The place that teaches esper children how to use their powers right?
Ritsu waited a while longer for Shou to send something more.
O, the place where u got kidnapped?
Dat place kinda sucks tho.
You say that because little Suzuki was kidnapped by them before, which was mostly his fault anyway.
U got kidnapped by them 2.
Was...Shou concerned for him? It wasn’t anything new, but the fact that his kid wasn’t his only priority when it came to these sort of things made Ritsu feel important in Shou’s life. That made the heat rise into Ritsu’s face.
Stupid fucking Shou, Ritsu was a grown ass adult. He didn’t need Shou worrying over him about this.
His phone buzzed again, indicating that Shou had sent another message.
If ur not free 2 go out w/me tmr, i’ll just go 2 u
Ah, so Shou really was asking him out on a date. Ritsu’s face only grew hotter.
“Kageyama, I’m done.” Higashio pointed at the fixed object, which was the size of his torso.
“Good job, let’s try something bigger now.”
“What are we doing here again?” Touichi asked, his four buddies were tagging along behind him and Shou was right by his side.
“I think it’s a good place for you to control that power of yours.” Shou replied, pulling out his phone to send a quick text to Ritsu, letting the other know he was here. He should have figured Ritsu used proper grammar and spelling in text messages.
“This is not because Mr. Kageyama is here, right?”
Shou choked on air, but managed to cough out an answer. “Of course not, besides, don’t you think it’ll be nice to see how other children espers work?”
“I have friends that are espers, pops.”
Shou felt the children behind him radiate offended energy. He pretended to not notice it. The door swung open for them invitingly and they all strolled in, Touichi’s nose scrunched up in distaste as he glanced over the kids in the room already.
He exchanged a dangerous look with Joseph.
“Ah, Shou, glad you could make it.” Ritsu waved Shou over, who happily jogged over to him to be filled in with info about the Awakening Lab.
Shou took note of the current adult espers in the room, a clairvoyant, telekinetic, pyrokinetic, twin telepaths that can only communicate with each other and three special cases.
Those special cases being the overwhelming power that was spilling out of Ritsu’s brother, a vibrant yellow energy from Teru and Ritsu himself.
As soon as everyone was here, children were immediately broke into groups and assigned to their respective teachers, regardless of whether their powers were similar or not. Shou was assigned with Serizawa, the kid was suppose to practice his defense by using his umbrella as a shield. Serizawa had requested they work on it, since he felt like he was going to need it.
Shou obliged, blasting light attacks at Serizawa’s umbrella, which was radiating with the teenager’s energy. The ginger made sure not to hit Serizawa on accident during the process and they took a break after the curly-haired boy started getting tired.
During their break, Shou’s eyes scanned across the large room that was probably meant for sparring as the walls were all white tiled and the room itself was extremely empty. Shou had the urge to paint the walls a mix of blue and red.
His eyes fixated on Ritsu, who was on the other side of the room. The man was letting Ootsuki slash his paper fan on Joseph’s steel wall that was made with a cloud of smoke till it shattered, in which then Higashio would attempt in fixing it together again.
The whole time, Ritsu had surrounded Joseph with a barrier, just in case Ootsuki’s shockwaves got too strong. Shou continued to admire the man from a distance, pulling out his sketchbook from under his jacket and started a sketch.
He took notice of how Ritsu liked to use both his hands to admit more power.
“Oh, Mr. Suzuki, you draw?” Serizawa leaned over Shou’s arm. The ginger grinned sheepishly, nodding slowly. The child stared at it longer, then looked up to see who Shou was drawing. “Are you drawing Mr. Kageyama?”
Serizawa looked at the last page on Shou’s sketchbook, spotting countless drawings of just Ritsu’s face and smiles. “Mr. Kageyama doesn’t smile a lot.”
“Do you like his smile?”
“I...yeah, yeah I do.” Shou didn’t mind Serizawa asking him questions, he always found him endearing in a childlike way.
“Do you like him?”
Shou stopped himself before he could answer. Yes, I like Ritsu. Especially when he furrows his eyebrows in annoyance or concentration. “He’s a nice friend, yeah.”
“Oh.” Serizawa stopped bothering Shou from there.
In the distance, Ritsu had paused to take a break too and looked over at Shou’s direction. The artist had already finished his sketch and was about to keep his sketchbook away, but he waited a while to see if Ritsu was going to ask if he could see.
Shou was disappointed.
When the day ended, everyone was sorta tired. It was mostly just the other kids that looked beat, Shou’s son looked like he barely used enough effort, but the boy seemed like he had fun anyways.
Shigeo made sure the children who had to take the train got there safely, his non-esper student jumping around behind him. Teru walked with the kids who went the same way as he did and the rest of the adult espers did the same.
Shou walked with Ritsu and his son, along with Shimazaki and Minegishi. Shibata and Hatori went the same way as Kurosaki did, so they bid the rest goodbye before leaving.
“Today was...nice, there were so many colors. Wish I brought my watercolors.” Shou sighed, placing his hands behind his neck.
“Were you drawing me again?” Ritsu asked, not looking Shou’s way.
“Quite full of yourself if you think so.”
“I saw you staring at me with your pencil and sketchbook.” Ritsu retorted, crossing his arms. “I’m not an idiot.”
“So are we going to do this every weekend now?”
Shimazaki piped up behind them enthusiastically. “I hope so, I got to do so much!”
“I’ve never cross-bred my plants before…” Minegishi added.
“Battling Udo was quite...interesting.” Touichi whispered softly, it made Shou grin cockily in an ‘I told you so’ way.
“Of course.” Ritsu finally answered. Which meant Shou was going to see Ritsu more often now.
He didn’t mind that.