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I Didn't Need Your Help But Thanks

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Out of all the places Shou could’ve dropped Ritsu, it just had to be in the middle of the fight.

If Ritsu didn’t had his barrier up when he landed, god knows what could have happened to him. Maybe he would’ve been thrown back into the sky.

They came in just in time to catch a boy with a gas mask being shoved into the wall, using Ritsu’s telekinesis to grab him at the last minute before he hit the wall. Gas mask boy did not look all that pleased about being rescued by a grown up.

“Woah woah, what’s going on here?” Shou said, seconds after dropping next to Ritsu. “Touichi, I thought you said you were hanging out with friends!”

“I am.” The ginger boy shot back. “We’re just having a friendly battle with Black Vinegar’s students, ain’t that right Ishiguro?”

“Yeah, and who’s this guy? Your dad?” Ishiguro teased. “Couldn’t handle my powerful orbs anymore, Suzuki? Had to call papa for help? Who’s next? Mommy?

Ouch. Ritsu sent a dangerous glare at him, but he couldn’t really tell the boy’s reaction due to the goggles on his eyes. Ritsu could only hope it sent shivers down Ishiguro’s spine, much like how his glares would scare the skin off his students.

Touichi balled his fists in anger and a pinch of a shame, he was ready to send the kid to the moon but Shou had grabbed hold of his shoulders.

“You might wanna take that back, masky.” Shou smirked, hiding his pissed off expression. “Or Touichi’s gonna make you choke back every single word you’ve spoken.”

“Shou, that is literally the opposite of what we’re going for here.” Ritsu reminded in a sing-song voice. 

The man blinked once, then twice. “Oh, oh yeah we’re suppose to stop the- yeah. Y’all better stop fighting before I- Hang on.” He looked down at his son, Ritsu could see the gears turning in his head as the realization dawned upon the father’s face.

“Touichi,” Shou started carefully, staring intensely down at his son, “this was how you got all those bruises, right?”

The boy said nothing, he didn’t even look his dad in the eyes.

Meanwhile, the other boys had slowly started backing away. At first, Ritsu had wondered why, until he suddenly felt a really uncomfortable aura radiating off Shou.

It felt awfully sad and angry.

It almost made Ritsu want to leave too.

“Yeah, we’re heading home right now.” Shou released his grip from Touichi’s shoulder and made his way out, expecting the younger one to follow along. He didn’t. The artist turned around and stared at his son, the expression on his face unreadable yet deadly. “Suzuki Touichirou. Home. Now.”

Shou had just single handedly became better at glaring than Ritsu without even noticing. The black-haired man was almost jealous, but mostly impressed.

Reluctantly, Touichi tagged along, trailing behind his very pissed off dad. Ritsu didn’t know if he should follow along too, until Shou turned to check if he was following.

“Yeah, I’ll catch up in a minute.” Ritsu said, earning a nod from Shou. The teacher looked down at his students, every one of them were averting eye contact. “Guys, the Awakening Lab wasn’t meant for this, y’know.”

“We figured, but might as well put the training into good use right?” Shimazaki reasoned, he was one of the few people who were immune to Ritsu’s glares. Mainly because he couldn’t exactly see them.

“No! The training was to help you control your powers, not necessarily making you stronger in combat.” Ritsu pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration. By then, the Black Vinegar kids had started to make their escape, only to be stopped by Ritsu. “Don’t think I forgot about you guys too.”

“But you’re not our dad!” A rather muscly boy with a few ear piercings retorted.

“Nor ours.” Hatori added. “But we’re still being nagged at.”

“Quit the fighting, alright. Someone might actually get hurt if you keep up with this.” Ritsu warned, a few of the kids rolled their eyes, as if they’ve heard this a thousand times before already. “I’m fucking serious, I will come after you if I hear about one more fight.”

“You’re not gonna tell our parents?” Ishiguro tilted his head curiously and not worry.

“Ooooh, Mr. Kageyama cussed.” Shimazaki chimed and Minegishi nudged him in the ribs. “Ow!”

“‘Course not, don’t even know half of you. Still doesn’t change the fact that I will hunt you kids down though, if this happens again.” Ritsu answered, his aura spiking just a little to show that he was dead serious. 

“Fine, fine.” The gas mask boy waved his hand in defeat, but by the way he strutted off, he didn’t look like he was planning to stop his violent actions.

The others, however, looked like they were considering giving up the fight. Ritsu guessed they’ve never met an adult esper before, so his very presence (and probably Shou’s) probably surprised them.

“You four better head home right now, unless you’ve got other plans that don’t involve fighting.” Ritsu turned back to his students, pointing at each of them and then pointing to the exit. “Jesus Christ why did I become a teacher.” 

“Because you absolutely love us.” Shimazaki smiled widely. “And since the day’s free now, Toshi and I can probably get a few bagels at the bakery!”

Ritsu scoffed at Shimazaki’s answer, rolling his eyes.

“Or we can go to that flower shop we saw yesterday.” Minegishi suggested, making their way to the exit with their probably-boyfriend.

“We get it, you’re the plant esper, don’t have to make it obvious!” Shibata chuckled from behind.

“And can you two get any more lovey dovey?” Hatori gagged, pushing his glasses up his nose. “God you’re both unbearable sometimes.”

“I will punch your teeth in.” Shimazaki threatened.

Ritsu shook his head, exiting along with them to meet up with Shou. Kids these days, quite the bunch.

 

The elevator stopped at his floor and Ritsu left the lift, making his way towards Shou’s apartment, he gave it a light knock before entering. He stopped midway through pushing the door open to glance inside, just a little, to see if Shou was busy.

The ginger was calmly drawing on the sofa, he was lying sideways on it, with his legs brought up so he could rest his sketchbook on his lap. The whole apartment felt hard to breathe in with tension from both the Suzuki’s moody auras, both as equally bad at each other.

Ritsu could feel it from a mile away, which meant they barely fought, since this was the first time he had witnessed such a feeling from this household. He was about to close the door when Shou turned his head towards him, quietly inviting him inside. Ritsu obliged.

Shou scooted upwards on his seat so he could give room for Ritsu to join him on the couch, the black-haired man took deep breaths before speaking.

“So, how’d it go between you two?”

“He’s grounded, for a month, he can’t contact his friends or go out. He has to come right back home after school or I’ll send a search party after him.” Shou answered bleakly. His tone didn’t suit him at all, Ritsu did not like that.

“You okay?”

“Wow, Ritsu, I don’t know. Maybe when you find out your son has been involved with gang fights and getting himself hurt, you’ll feel fan-fucking-tastic. I’m absolutely cheery.” Shou sarcastically replied, shutting his sketchbook. Ritsu noticed he wasn’t even drawing in the first place, his fingers were clean and it didn’t have any pencil smudges like they’ll usually do after he draws.

“Hey, you don’t really have to shout at me. I was just trying to help.” Ritsu frowned, leaning back and crossing his arms.

“Quite the hypocrite, aren’t you?” Shou snapped.

Ritsu couldn’t think of anything to counter that.

The father placed his sketchbook and pencil on the floor, then he proceeded to rub his face, letting his feet rest on Ritsu’s lap. The other didn’t mind all that much, as long as Shou felt better.

“Look, Riichan, I’m just- parental instincts am I right? Quite the bitch sometimes.” Shou laughed dryly, bringing his hands down to his chest.

“Can’t relate, I’m not a dad.”

“But you’re a teacher.” 

Ritsu raised an eyebrow. “How would that- they’re not the same thing.”

“They could be. You can be.” Shou grinned, his mood lighting up. Maybe he just needed to yell his problems out at someone. The other took a minute to digest what Shou had just said.

They could be. I can be?

Wait.

Oh.

Oh…

Ritsu’s face turned red within seconds, making Shou curl up into fits of laughter.

“Your face! The transition! Holy shit! It was like a gradient, oh my god.” 

“Shou!” Ritsu hissed, resisting the urge to smile along with the other. “Shou that- it wasn’t that funny, do you even know what the hell you’ve just said?”

“I’m not an idiot, Ritsu, it’s not like I’m gonna jump into commitment blindly. Obviously it didn’t work out the first time.” Shou wheezed, calming down and letting his feet rest on Ritsu’s lap again.

“The first time?” 

Shou squinted his eyes at Ritsu, his smile basically translated into; ‘you for real now?’. “Ritsu, it’s not like Touichi’s adopted. We look similar don’t we?”

“Well, yeah, I figured he had a mom at some point. I just thought she, y’know…” Ritsu fiddled with his fingers, staring down at Shou’s knees before back into his blue-green eyes. “Died.”

“She didn’t, trust me. Bitch up and left when she got shoved into a shelf, making it fall, and nearly had a concussion from it.” Shou dug his hands into his pockets, like his story wasn’t all that a big deal. “Touichi was just a kid though, didn’t think he’d become that strong when he awakened his powers.”

“Hang on, so you’re saying he--”

“Mhm.” 

Ritsu ran a hand through his black hair, exhaling through his nose. He didn’t mean to uncover all of that, he might’ve brought back some bad memories for him. But when Ritsu looked up at Shou again, he was still in his neutral facial position.

A cocky smile, a smile that looked like he was looking down at you.

Ritsu gripped his own hair before letting it go, it was hard to understand Shou sometimes. “So you can...fly.” He decided to change the subject before it got too awkward.

“Yep. Sorry about our date being ruined though.” Shou apologized, bringing his hands back out from his pockets. “I can make up for it.”

“Sure you can.” Ritsu meant it as a sort of compliment, but it came out like a taunt. Shou sat up a little, staring into Ritsu’s black eyes.

“Of course I can. Watch me.” 

“Cool, I’ll be watching.” Ritsu smirked, was this flirting now? He didn’t really know how flirting even worked, he never intentionally tried before. Or had he? 

Without knowing, Shou was already sitting upright, his legs were folded so he could lean a little closer to Ritsu’s face. He licked his lips, he was preparing to do something and Ritsu was a little aware of what it was.

But this could be a tease, no way was Shou going to dive right into a kiss just to prove a point. Though, this was Shou, he was kinda unpredictable.

Ritsu’s mind raced, debating whether any of this was really happening. He wasn’t sure if Shou was even joking with him right now, his heartbeat seemed to quicken each time Shou drew nearer to his face.

Whatever, tease or not, Ritsu wasn’t going to run away. He was going to see where this was going, nothing wrong with a little experiment. Right?

Slowly, Shou pressed his lips on his. It was gentle, as if Shou was giving Ritsu the option to back out. When the black-haired man made no attempt to return the kiss or leave, Shou pushed forward a bit more, prying a reaction out of him.

Ritsu did nothing, you couldn’t really blame him, it had been a while since he had actually kissed someone. He remembered those little pecks in middle school he’d get from girls, a few too straight-forward kisses from high school and that was pretty much it. He had reacted the same way he had with those girls, blank expressions and no advancement.

This time, he was more bewildered than disgusted. Shou was kissing him and he was doing nothing.

Bravo, Ritsu.

Sensing that he wasn’t going to return the kiss, Shou pulled back slowly, studying Ritsu’s face. Blank, emotionless, his lips slightly parted from shock.

“You’re kinda boring sometimes, nerd.” Shou finally commented, making Ritsu’s face scrunch up.

“Didn’t exactly expect that, shithead.” 

“Thought you always think ahead, asshat.”

“I do, but that was kinda fast, dick.”

“I was going rather slowly, mind you. Fuckface.”

“That wasn’t what I meant, dipshit.”

“Are you two ever going to shut up?” Touichi yelled from his room, causing both adults to turn and face the room door. “Disgusting!”

“Okay, here’s the plan. We go grocery shopping for your sad fridge tomorrow morning.” Shou faced Ritsu again, shifting a little so he was leaning on the other now. “Right after we drop Touichi off at the Awakening Lab, we’re going shopping.”

“Yeah but I’m paying.” Ritsu added.

“We split.” Shou suggested.

“Fine.” 

“Cool, wanna stay over for dinner?”

Ritsu huffed, throwing an arm around Shou to bring him a little closer so he could play with his jacket zipper. “Sure.”

 

As promised, they went right to the grocery store immediately after dropping Touichi off at the Awakening Lab. Shou had grabbed Teru’s shoulders, shook him gently, and warned that if he lets Touichi out of his sight, Shou will murder Teru and burn his house down.

The blonde took the threat lightly and wished them a happy shopping trip.

They got the essentials, like milk and eggs, and proceeded to buy whatever Ritsu could cook and enjoyed eating. Which included things like; marshmallows and chocolate and some meat.

“We could make hot chocolate sometime.” Shou hummed, grabbing their third pack of marshmallows.

“Yeah but this is getting too much.” Ritsu stared at the shopping cart, then at Shou.

“You can never have too much marshmallows, nerd.” Shou threw another pack at Ritsu’s face, which resulted in the ginger being chased around the grocery store with a shopping cart.

They were almost thrown out, if Shou hadn’t turned them invisible at the last minute.

“Stop acting like a kid.” Ritsu scolded, putting back the third bag of marshmallows onto the shelf.

“Stop acting like a boomer.” Shou argued back, throwing the marshmallows back into the cart.

As planned, they split the money and paid for the items, dropping them off at Ritsu’s before heading back to the Awakening Lab to pick Touichi up. 

“Well, preparing to have a kid of your own now, Little Brother?” Teru smirked, watching Touichi exit the facility to join his dad.

“What makes you think so?” Ritsu asked, slightly annoyed and didn’t do the slightest bit to hide that.

“Buying groceries, picking up the kid, and from what I’ve heard, disciplining children. Sounds like a really parent thing to do.” Teru tapped his chin, smiling a little wider. “Y’know, when Shigeo heard, he was kinda proud and happy. Not that he wasn’t proud of you in the first place, he’s glad you’re okay.”

“Yeah? Where is he by the way?” Ritsu’s heart ached, realizing that Shigeo might’ve been worried about him. He’d prefer if Shigeo wouldn’t do that, Ritsu would much rather have his brother focus on himself more.

“Left with Reigen and Serizawa already, and a couple of kids who takes the train.” Teru answered automatically, like he had expected this question. “It’s been a while since the both of you hung out, right? You should do that again sometime.”

“Sure.” Ritsu resisted the urge to roll his eyes, what does this fashion disaster blondie know?

“Anyways, later, Little Brother.” Teru waved. Ritsu didn’t bother to wave back or answer him, he only started walking off with Shou.
When he finally caught up with Shou, the ginger turned to him to acknowledge his presence. The three of them walked in silence, it was a little chilly and Ritsu wondered how good it’ll feel to have his hand around Shou’s.

The good news was, his question was quickly answered by a soft brush of Shou’s hand against his before he fully intertwined his fingers with Ritsu’s. The grip was weak at first, but every so often one of them would squeeze the other, for no reason other than to just be playful. Touichi pretended to not notice any of it.

When they finally got back and Touichi was safely inside, Ritsu took the chance to tug on Shou’s hand, right before the ginger could let go, and brought him really close to his face. Their noses brushed and Ritsu could feel Shou’s breath hitched in surprise, his lips curled into a grin. “Getting personal there, Ritsu.”

“I’m just finishing something that you had started.” Ritsu breathed softly against Shou’s lips before closing the gap.

Now that Ritsu was more confident, the kiss actually felt ten times better than last night, but it was very obvious that Shou knew how to kiss better than Ritsu did, it didn’t really stop the little bumping of their noses and the clumsy clacking of their teeth though. Shou’s experience basically cancelled out Ritsu’s inexperience, bringing the kiss to the middle tier.

To Ritsu, however, it felt really amazing.

Before they could really go any further, the sound of a door opening made them pull apart like repelling magnets. Touichi had came out to check up on them.

“Dad, you coming in or what?”

“Right back at you, little dude.” Shou laughed awkwardly, his face dusted pink. He turned back towards Ritsu, gently grabbing his hands. “Can you handle dinner on your own? I’m sure all those weeks of practice can’t be wasted, or I get to mess with you for the next few...forever.”

“I’ll be fine.” Ritsu squeezed Shou’s hands, then he proceeded to make his way back to his apartment. “Goodnight.”

“Night.” Shou replied, waving wildly despite Ritsu only being a few feet away. He was already missing the other’s touch.