Chapter 1: *Smoke noises* Ah Shit, Here We Go Again
All Ritsu wanted to do was heat up a plate of leftover chinese.
Grading chemistry homework with an empty stomach was difficult so he figured it would’ve been best if he ate something then go back to grading. Unfortunately, he thought it was a good idea to just mark a few more questions while he waited for the microwave the food to be done. So it wasn't a surprise when he started smelling smoke and a really loud and familiar alarm, which made him place his red pen down and sigh. Not again.
Shou didn't understand why he needed to evacuate the building. Again. He was pretty sure it was for the same reason for every other day-or should he say, night-, one of the residents caused a small fire and now everyone had to climb down the stairs and stand at the front of the building while the fire department did...whatever they needed to do.
Touichirou stood next to Shou with half-awake eyes, leaning against his dad as the two of them waited until it was okay for them to head back in. This was probably the 5th or 6th time already and Shou was about to have a 1v1 battle with this pyromaniac.
To be honest, Shou hadn't seen the guy before and he doubted they've encountered each other at all. If he had, he was pretty sure he would notice by now.
That was what he originally thought at least.
Before, Shou didn't bother poking his nose around and finding who exactly the guy was. Sure, he knew where the person lived but Shou never actually saw his face, even though he had the chance to see it almost every day. But unlike other days, today was different and that was because his kid had just started his new school year. Meaning Touichirou had a brand new set of teachers, Ritsu coincidentally being one of them.
So when the little boy had suddenly pointed at Ritsu and mumbled a tired: "Mr. Kageyama?", Shou automatically looked up from the ground groggily and met eyes with, what he assumed, was the culprit behind all those fire alarms. And, also, Touichi's teacher.
Ritsu was talking to one of the fireman when he heard his name being called by a child's voice, which had instantly made his face paled just slightly. He didn't dare turn around to meet eyes with a-probably-student but turned around anyway. At first, it took a while for him to register who the kid was since the only light source currently was the red and blue lights from the firetruck and a few of the street lamps.
He managed to remember who the kid was, Touichirou was it? The kid esper that made his presence known by breaking a few of the beakers in the lab was here? Why? Did he live here? Might explain the pajamas, actually. Then the man next to him should be...
That's his dad?
He found himself staring right into the other man's eyes, which were icy blue in contrast to his fiery orange hair. He looked around Ritsu's age, if not older and he was staring right back at him. Ritsu blinked, his mouth slightly ajar before being snapped back into the conversation with the fireman. He made a mental note to avoid this man at all costs, even though they've probably met beforehand.
Ritsu had seen this guy around before, like at the convenience store when Ritsu needed to have dinner or in the lift on his way to work or at 3 to 5 am in the morning when Ritsu set off the fire alarms again.
He just didn't pay too much mind to the other, since he was just another drop of water in the ocean. But now? Now this man was probably the most significant drop of water in his ocean, this man's now completely aware that his son's teacher was some lousy guy who didn't even know how to man the microwave right and Ritsu's definitely sure he's going to be pissed.
Shou would have been pissed if Touichi's teacher wasn't so...good looking? It was obvious the teacher had been very popular during his school days, he had the looks that screamed playboy. Actually, Shou wouldn't have been pissed at all...maybe.
Touichirou noticed his teacher acknowledged his presence, stared at his dad and went back to having some serious conversation with the fireman. It didn't bother him, it was too early and he was too tired. Maybe he'll make a few chairs float away from the kids who are about to sit on them.
He never particularly liked Kageyama that much, mostly because he was an esper like him too and had the power to interfere with his everyday mischief whenever he liked. During small talks at the dinner table, Touichi would bring up about his chemistry teacher, purposely leaving the psychic part out, just so eating wouldn't be so boring and quiet. So it made sense that Shou had reacted when his kid had called Kageyama's name.
The first thing Shou noticed was how dead inside Kageyama looked. Maybe if he smiled more, Kageyama would have looked ten times better.
Cross that out, if Kageyama smiled at all, Shou would have melted right then and there. He made a mental note to talk to this man later.
When everyone was finally allowed to head back in, Shou quickly jogged over to where Kageyama was. The other, however, must have noticed he was coming, because he immediately started speed walking away back inside. Shou raised an eyebrow and jogged faster.
Shou stopped and turned around, noticing Touichi wasn't making the effort to trail along behind him. The older one raised an eyebrow. "Yeah?"
"Don't bother interacting with Mr. Kageyama, you'll just make him run away faster." Touichi went ahead and entered the building before his dad. "I'll go back to sleep now."
Shou huffed, sticking his hands into his pockets, except there were no pockets because all he was wearing was a shirt and a pair of shorts he picked up from the ground in his bedroom. Dang it. Maybe he'll say hi when they see each other in the morning. If they see each other in the morning.
Ritsu fucking exhaled the largest breath of air ever. That was too close.
He had noticed Suzuki was making his way over, he didn't know what to do so Ritsu started walking off, hoping Suzuki wasn't after him. To his surprise, Suzuki was nowhere in sight when he finally got back into the building and Ritsu was glad that he was just being paranoid about stuff. It still doesn't change the fact that one of his students lives in the same bloody apartment as him.
It dawned upon him that since Touichi had psychic abilities, wouldn't his dad have them too? So with that being said, Suzuki would literally have no issues locating where Ritsu was in this building. Unless Suzuki was already aware that Ritsu lived in the same place but just didn't bother talking to him up until now since he had just became one of Touichi's teachers.
Ok so what if his student's parents knew Ritsu was an idiot that kept making the fire alarm blare loudly at night? It wouldn't matter too much would it? Maybe it'll bruise his ego, maybe the parents would start spreading the word to other parents, then he'll get fired because of that and he'll have to work with his brother at Spirts and Such.
Which also happened to be where his other student worked at and oh boy would it be humiliating when Reigen started attacking Ritsu with curious questions like "Why are you working here now?" "Is it true you kept setting your house on fire?" "Why are you good at Bunsen burners but absolutely terrible with a stove?"
The thoughts made Ritsu's head swam, he sat back down at his table, the red pen still left on top of the last few ungraded papers and he picked it up. He'll worry about it later. He just hoped he won't be seeing Suzuki in the morning.
Chapter 2: Ritsu Basically Runs But Only On Coffee
Basically, this is what Ritsu’s life has come to.
Ritsu couldn't believe it, Suzuki was right there at the elevator entrance with his little
shit kid and the teacher needed to leave the building right now. He didn't want to sound like the average adult, but he seriously needed coffee in his system before he got to work.
It is mandatory.
But with Suzuki waiting for the only lift in the building and time running short, it was either; 1. Ritsu takes the stairs, 2. He takes the lift with Suzuki or 3. He jumps out the window.
Ritsu rubbed his temples and exhaled a breath of air, realizing he was exaggerating the situation. He’ll just suck it up and take the lift, no biggy.
He took the first few steps over to the elevator. He felt beads of sweat trail down the side of his head. Why was he nervous? He shouldn't be nervous. This isn't a big deal at all.
Without knowing, Ritsu had already made it to the lift. Suzuki and Touichi glanced at him before returning back to staring at the digital number above the elevator.
If you had asked Shou whether he had purposely woken up early so that he could catch Kageyama in the morning, he would answer no. But in actual fact, he did.
True to his words, Shou did end up wanting to say hi to Kageyama and so he did. The moment the other had reached the lift, Shou glanced at him and opened his mouth, except nothing came out. He turned away, checking if his voice worked.
”Ahem.” He said a little too loudly and his face flushed. Touichi literally facepalmed at him.
Shou felt the gaze of Kageyama’s dead eyes on him and his heartbeat quickened. Say hello idiot, say hello!
”Hey.” Shou croaked while facing him. So much for a smooth delivery.
Kageyama stared for a minute before nodding a ”Hello” back with little expressions. Shou felt his insides die.
The elevator dinged open and Touichi entered first, followed by his dad then Kageyama.
Ritsu felt so awkward he could die. When Shou had cleared his throat, he thought that was the moment where he should start writing his will and testament down on his phone to send to Shigeo. Surprisingly, Shou had only wanted to say hello. A really awkward sounding hello.
To not be rude, Ritsu returned his greeting with a simple one. The same kind of greeting he’d give to his students whenever they bump into each other down the halls. He thought it was sufficient enough.
As the lift doors opened and they all walked in, that was when the tense moment begins.
Ritsu waited and waited and...waited. Nothing happened. No prying questions, no disgusted stares, no judgemental comments. Just complete utter silence. Enjoyable silence.
That was, of course, until the little shit had to open his mouth.
”I didn't realize Mr. Kageyama lived in the same building as me.”
This would be a good time for coffee.
”Well, Suzuki, not everything about me should be known by you.” Ritsu snapped back, which was probably the worst move made in his life ever. Instead, Touichi’s father raised an eyebrow at Ritsu, the side of his lips curling up.
”Man, it’s good to know some teachers aren't afraid of this little beast of mine.” He laughed. Ritsu was tempted to smile in relief but kept a monotonous face. Suzuki loosened up a bit, his hands falling out of his pockets, one raised up to shake Ritsu’s hand. ”I’m Touichi’s father by the way, if you haven't guessed. Call me Shou.”
Ritsu took his hand shakily and shook it. ”I’m--”
”Mr. Kageyama, Touichi’s chemistry teacher right?” Suzuki, or Shou, finished. He released Ritsu’s hand from the short handshake and stuffed them back into his pockets.
Ritsu arched an eyebrow, looking down at Touichi. So the kid has mentioned him before? Just peachy.
”Yes, I am.” Ritsu answered.
”What’s your first name?”
Shot grinned wider. ”Well, Ritsu, I hope we’ll be seeing each other more often!”
The lift doors open again and the two left, parting ways so Touichi could get to school and Shou to work. Ritsu bolted towards the cafe for his coffee because he seriously needed one right now.
”Mr. Kageyama can't cook. I just found out he was living in the same building as me and now I know who has been the one setting the place on fire.” Touichi whispered annoyingly loudly to his friend, Shimazaki, as they entered the lab. Ritsu was about to literally snap in half and he could tell.
Before, Touichi was dead set on maybe breaking a few more beakers and smash a few chairs. But now that he knew about the whole not being able to cook issue, Touichi was able to push Ritsu’s buttons a lot easier. He felt that proving that he had the upper hand was a way of showing how dominant he was in school, even among teachers. Because he thinks he’s a lot better than everyone and anyone.
No, he doesn't think, he knows.
He glanced around the room, spotting Serizawa chatting nervously away with a kid he didn't bother remembering. He narrowed his eyes at Serizawa, hoping he’d look his way and take the hint to come back to him. Serizawa doesn't though, he continues being engrossed in the conversation with the light brown hair kid.
That made Touichi annoyed, he flicked his hand upwards and suddenly Serizawa’s new friend was hanging upside down from his leg.
”Hey! What's going on?!” He yelled. Touchi’s now-probably-ex-friend suddenly tensed up in panic. Before Touichi could do anything else, the boy in the air was already safely back on the ground. Touichi’s brows furrowed as he stared at his teacher, who looked presumably innocent until you notice his middle finger flicking downwards while his hand was still placed on the table.
It was very subtle and Touichi was almost impressed.
”Touichirou Suzuki, please don't lift your classmates up into the air just because you're jealous your friend has found a better person to talk to.” Ritsu said bluntly, though Touichi swore he could see a smirk tucked away behind that emotionless mask. Everyone in class stared at Touichi, breaking into whispers. No doubt starting new rumors about him.
His fists balled.
”Reigen, are you ok?” Touichi heard Serizawa say in frantic concern.
”Didn’t think my first experience with flying would be like that.” Reigen joked in response, placing a hand on Serizawa’s shoulder to calm him down.
Touichi decided that everyone in his class was disposable and that he definitely hates his teacher, Mr. Kageyama.
Chapter 3: Shou But He's Actually Pretty Responsible
"What are you going to do now that you know my chemistry teacher has been setting this building on fire?" Touichi had asked the moment he came back from school. Shou paused what he was doing in the kitchen and turned around.
"What do you mean by that?"
Touichi tossed his bag aside, using his psychic abilities to gently float it down to the ground before it could crash down to the floor. He walked into the kitchen and stood by Shou's side with a deadpan look. "Are you not worried about the fact that Mr Kageyama could be an arsonist? "
Shou coughed and laughed, returning to his cooking. "He is not an arsonist."
"How are you so sure?"
"Touichi, are you asking this because you want the man fired from his job?" Shou didn't even glance up from his work when he asked that question, because he's pretty sure he already knew the answer to it.
"Yes." Touichi answered with ease. Of course.
Shou sighed, he lifted the plates and utensils from the cabinets using his powers and set them on the dinner table. Touichi continued to stare at his father, waiting for an answer to his first question.
What are you going to do now that you know his chemistry teacher has been causing the fire alarms to blare at night?
He gave the question more thought as he brought dinner to the table. Touichi took a seat and continued to wait for a response patiently. Shou opened his mouth, and his son looked up expectantly.
"I'll just talk to him, I guess." Shou shrugged. Touichi rolled his eyes and picked up his spoon, Shou's response probably not the answer he wanted to hear. That ended the discussion, and they went back to eating in silence.
In all honesty, Shou was mildly excited. Since he now had an excuse to knock on his neighbor's door, he can finally get to talk to Ritsu. Like really talk and not awkward small talks in the elevator.
Ritsu was casually dumping burnt food into the bin, another wasted meal all because he didn't have the patience to sit there and just wait. He was never all that patient when he was younger too.
He remembered waiting every day, trying to see if he had powers like his brother. Every day he would sit there and stare at a spoon, waiting for anything to happen. A bent, a flame, anything. Hell, he would have gone ecstatic if the spoon just went poof.
But nothing happened.
Nothing until he finally snapped from everything. From his stressful work as a student council to his small load of homework. These little things kept building inside him, and he didn't want to bother his brother about it because he knew Shigeo was more likely to cause a tornado from his own stress.
So when he threw his pen across his room and saw it bent more out of shape than normal, he literally fell down the stairs to tell Shigeo about his discovery. He expected things to get better from there, but all it pretty much did was worsen his impatience.
He went ballistic one time just because he couldn't catch a tiny bug with his powers.
Ritsu heard a knock on the door and froze. Who would be knocking on his door at this time? He prayed it wasn't Shou.
He set the plate he was dumping his microwaved food off from onto the kitchen counter and ran his tongue across the front of his teeth. He prayed it wasn't Shou at the door.
He walked towards the door slowly, reaching his hand out to grab the doorknob. He prayed it wasn't Shou at the door.
He grabbed the knob and slowly twisted it, sweat trickling down the side of his head. He prayed it wasn--
"Evening, Ritsu," Shigeo said softly as Ritsu pulled open the door. The younger Kageyama broke into a broad smile, in relief and happiness. His prayers were answered.
"Brother! What are you doing here?" He stepped aside to let his brother in, Shigeo walked into his apartment and stared at the plate on the counter briefly. There were black marks on them.
"Reigen told me what happened in your class today," Shigeo answered, his gaze returning onto Ritsu. The other closed the door and found himself fumbling with his fingers.
"Did he now?" Ritsu replied dryly.
"Ritsu, why didn't you tell me...," Shigeo said and Ritsu found himself sweating even more as his smile grew a little tighter, "...about this other esper in your class?"
Ritsu exhaled loudly, and his brother didn't even bat an eye at it. He clasped his hands together as he opened his mouth to answer Shigeo. "Which one?"
"His name was..." Shigeo paused for a minute as his eyes drifted around the room. "Suzuki?"
"Oh." Ritsu immediately frowned. "Why do you ask about him?"
"He lifted Reigen into the air with his psychic powers."
Shigeo frowned and Ritsu instinctively flinched. "He shouldn't be doing that." Shigeo added.
"Let me just...go make us some tea." Ritsu walked into the kitchen. Even though he was probably gonna starve again tonight, at least he'd get to spend some quality time with his brother.
Shou was glad that he wasn't woken up from the sound of a fire alarm. Instead, it was his alarm alarm. The good ol' alarm. The alarm that wakes him up at the right time.
He pressed snooze.
He woke up to the alarm screaming into his ears again and finally got up. He needed to make breakfast for Touichi, or they'd be late for work and school. His son woke up half an hour later, freshly dressed and brushed. He stared at Shou as they ate.
"Are you going to talk to him today in the lift?" Touichi questioned.
"After work." Shou bluntly replied.
Touichi nodded and they fall back into their usual silent eating. Neither of them had anything to say anyway.
When they waited at the lift, Shou noticed Ritsu had left early. He could tell because he couldn't find a trace of his psychic presence in the building.
At first, he felt hurt, maybe Ritsu had left early because he wanted to avoid Shou. He shook off the idea afterwards, it's fine, Ritsu could've left home early for any reason at all. It didn't have to be because he wanted to avoid the ginger.
When he got to work, he preoccupied his time by thinking of ways he could ask Ritsu about the whole fire alarm issue. 'Hey, are you an arsonist?' 'Why does your fire alarm go beep beep beep beep almost every night?' 'Why.'
Shou dug into his pockets more as he thought. None of those questions seemed appropriate or professional. Maybe he should just wing it.
It was pretty predictable when he ended up working at the pet store. Almost everyone back then knew his ultimate love for hamsters and would do anything just to be surrounded by the balls of fluff every day. Now he was and he is beyond happy.
Of course, there was the working part of being at the pet store. He could handle it; it wasn't too hard. Stocking shelves, talking to customers, watching children come in and out just to watch the animals lie inside their cages and on some days, he'd even witness a kid crying about wanting a pet. Then he'd have to let his co-workers handle it.
Someone snapped their fingers in front of his face and Shou blinked quickly, snapping out of his thoughts. He grinned sheepishly at one of his co-workers, Takane, she was looking kind of annoyed. "Don't daydream on the job, Suzuki." She sighed.
"I wasn't." Shou straightened his back and Takane rolled her eyes, but you could see a smile on her lips.
Takane was probably one of the prettiest girls Shou has ever met, but she was definitely not her type. Too nice. Too plain. People would probably think otherwise, but that was how Shou viewed her. He did like her as a friend, though. Someone he could talk to when no one was visiting the store.
"Thinking of someone?" She asked, not in a teasing way. It was a genuine curiosity.
Shou felt his ears heat up. "No."
Takane didn't say anything, only humming in reply. She was going to walk off and continue working.
"Yes." Shou blurted.
Takane turned around.
Shou let out a breath of air as he thought of where to begin. He had already told her about the fire alarms so he guessed he could start somewhere there.
"...so now I'm going to talk to him about it." Shou finished his story to her and folded his arms. "But I don't know how."
"Knocking on his door shouldn't be too hard," Takane replied. Shou snorted and laughed.
"I mean, how do I ask about the fire alarms?"
"Think of this rationally, there are only a few average reasons why a fire alarm would go off." She started. The male raised an eyebrow, intrigued. Takane then continued. "But it's most likely because of mess-ups in the kitchen."
Shou made a humming noise as he placed his hands behind his neck. That does make sense.
"So..." Takane slowly added. "You should...?" She waited for Shou to respond, but he stayed confused, and she shook her head, laughing softly at his ignorance. "You should ask if he needs any help."
"In...cooking?" Shou guessed. Takane nodded at his answer. He scratched his neck. "I guess...Yeah, that could work! Thanks!"
Takane shrugged and returned to work, since her job here was done. Shou placed his hand on his chin as he thought of his new plan. This could work.
To explain it shortly, Ritsu did not purposely try to avoid Shou.
Unlike him, Shigeo was a morning person and instantly woke up in the wee hours of the morning. The older brother had opt to stay over at his place for the night and once he had woken up, Ritsu instinctively woke up a few minutes after.
Since Ritsu's shit at cooking, which resulted in a sad empty fridge, they decided to head out early for breakfast.
But Ritsu was definitely charged guilty for feeling relieved when he realized he wouldn't have to see Shou at the elevator entrance like last time.
Shigeo had suggested a local bakery to eat breakfast at, which raised a few questions in Ritsu's head like: 'Since when did brother like bakeries?' and 'Why does the blonde guy at the counter looks like recognizes my brother?' and 'What even is a bagel?'
The bakery killed his eyes the moment he had walked in. So much pink, so much pastel blue and yellow and that blonde guy is so fucking bright. It hurts Ritsu's eyes immensely and he couldn't wait to get out and eat their breakfast on the sidewalk like hobos.
Though, his plan was immediately ruined the moment the blonde opened his mouth. "Kageyama! Good to see ya again."
Obviously, since both Ritsu and Shigeo shared the same last name, the two had turned to face him when their name had been called. At first, it had confused the blonde then he shut his eyes and exhaled, smiling a little wider.
"Your little brother I assume?" He said, reopening his eyes. Ritsu suddenly felt like a tag along again, a tag along who would follow his big brother around just because he was worried for him. Worried his brother would break again.
Shigeo hummed, nodding his head. The blonde looked over at Ritsu and grinned, pushing himself up over the counter just a little so he could outstretch his other arm to give Ritsu a handshake.
"I'm Hanazawa Teruki, but you can call me Teru." He said, still waiting for that handshake. Ritsu obliged and took his hand, his smiling practiced and forced.
"Kageyama Ritsu." Ritsu introduced, slowly letting go of Teru's palm. Teru settled back onto the ground and rested both his arms on the counter.
Teru nodded his head over the displays. "Knock yourself out, but you still do have to pay." Ritsu rolled his eyes and looked over at all the pastries, some questioning, others mouth watering.
"Can't believe that's your brother." Ritsu heard Teru mumble to Shigeo. Ritsu winced, of course he'd think that. Shigeo was far better than he was.
"Mmmm. I think Ritsu's great." Shigeo replied, with a slightly happier tone. Ritsu's heart clenched, he really didn't deserve a brother like him.
Shou stood outside Ritsu's door rehearsing his lines. It was a bit after dinner time and Shou figured the other hadn't eaten yet, so what a better time than now to ask if Ritsu needed help?
"Hey so, need help with food?" Shou said out loud to himself, then shook his head. He cleared his throat. "Your fire alarm is getting annoying, I can teach you how to make it stop."
Shou groaned and gently hit his head against the wall next to Ritsu's apartment door. Then he stood up straight again and took in a deep breath. "Hey, there can only be two reasons why your fire alarm keeps beeping. It's either you're bad at cooking--"
Ritsu's apartment door opened just as Shou finished his sentence. "or you're piping...hot." Shou stared at Ritsu as the other stared back. This was embarrassing. Were his ears on fire? When did it get so warm?
"So are you just gonna loudly talk outside my door and bang the walls all night or...?" Ritsu blurted, purposely ignoring the fact that Shou had most likely just called him hot. Bless the man, Shou wouldn't be able to explain himself if Ritsu had asked.
"I can cook." Was all Shou said, all his practice gone to waste. Ritsu raised an eyebrow and began to slowly close the door, Shou grabbed the edge of it, stopping Ritsu. Shou pursed his lips before speaking again. "And I can help with your...issue."
Shit shit shit shit shit SHIT.
He knew this day would come, he just didn't think it'd be so soon. But rather than Shou asking him to stop trying as a whole in the cooking department, like how Ritsu had expected, Shou had offered to help instead.
Ritsu shook that thought away, labelling it as rude. The man was just trying to help, but at the same time it felt like the ginger was belittling him. He didn't like being looked down upon that much.
Shou stared at him expectantly, waiting for Ritsu to say anything at all. Would it be mean if he declined?
"Thanks for the offer but..no thank you." Ritsu said through gritted teeth, he didn't really feel like being nice today. After the bakery incident, Ritsu was left with a bitter taste in his mouth.
He did enjoy spending time with his brother, just not when there's other people around. You could say he had a weird overprotectiveness for Shigeo despite being the younger one, but he just couldn't help it. So when Shigeo and Teru were all buddying buddying around, Ritsu sat in silence while he ate his bread.
Not to mention school was absolute shit too. Touichi was starting to really get on his nerves, repeating the fact that Ritsu couldn't cook. Funny how the little squirt had managed to figure that out on his own, even though it was really obvious. Nobody really laughed at it but it's only a matter of time before it becomes a rumor and spreads around, before turning into an actual news which would inevitably force him to leave his job.
Just the sheer thought of it made his hair stand.
Shou looked disappointed, almost making Ritsu regret his decision. Almost. Shou kept his smile on though, he began leaning against the door frame, letting go of the door and folding his arms. "Alrighty, but if you ever change your mind, my home is right over there." He said, pointing his thumb behind him at the door across the hall.
Ritsu smiled politely and gently nudged Shou off his doorframe. "Thanks, have a good night." SLAM!
Ok, maybe slamming the door was a little rude.
Ritsu just fucking slammed the door in his face. Did Shou do something wrong? Leaning on the door frame was kinda crossing a line, wasn't it?
But it was worth it too, Shou managed to get a glimpse of how Ritsu's home looked like and boy was it boring. He could see a table just right by the window, there were stacks of paper, a cup of red pens and...Shou scrunched up his nose, remembering seeing a spectacle case there too. Did Ritsu wear glasses? Touichi never mentioned it before.
Then again, why would his son even mention it in the first place?
The idea of Ritsu wearing glasses formed in Shou's mind, he smiled to himself. So fucking cute.
Shou entered his house, closing the door behind him and letting loose the longest sigh.
"You've failed." Touichi pointed out, he was reading a book on the couch and had placed it down to face his father. Shou looked up from the ground, shooting the little boy a half annoyed look.
"Maybe you should just let the other parents know about the dangers of Mr Kageyama." Touichi suggested, his face remained serious. Shou furrowed his brows.
"Your loss then." Touichi returned to reading his book, readjusting himself on the couch in a more comfortable position.
Shou shook his head and sat down on the couch, lying his head right next to Touichi and exhaled loudly and dramatically. "But I will offer my help again tomorrow."
"Father, you confuse and annoy me sometimes."
"I love you too, kid."
The idea of Teru working at a bakery comes from a TeruMob fic called 'I Guess We're The Same, So Don't Leave Me Behind' by heeyitsmk
Chapter 5: Kids Will Be Kids
We're starting with Ritsu's pov.
"So, about yesterd--" Shou started. They were waiting at the elevator's entrance like every other day, Touichi stood on the left of Shou while Ritsu kept a safe distance away from Shou's right.
"Not a word." Ritsu interrupted, then internally winced at his sudden rudeness. This is mainly why he needs coffee. And, or, enough sleep.
Shou zipped his mouth immediately and faced forward, Ritsu rubbed his face and deeply exhaled into his hands before removing them from his face. "I'm sorry, that was rude." He apologized.
Shou's expression lightened and smiled at Ritsu. "Totally fine, I guess I was kinda too forward yesterday huh?"
"It's not your fault, I was...," Ritsu rubbed the back of neck, swallowing down hard, "...having a bad day."
"You ok on telling me? Or is it a long story?" The ginger grinned wider, Ritsu coughed and moved further away.
"No. It's personal." Ritsu eyed Touichi, knowing fully well that if he explained his situation, the little shit was going to use it against him. Somehow.
Shou's smile stayed plastered on, shrugging. "And that's fine too."
The lift doors opened with a ding! and the three got into it. Touichi stayed silent as the numbers dropped from their floor number to the ground level. Shou stuffed his hands into his jacket pockets as he tapped his foot while waiting. Ritsu found himself staring at him. How could one person be so...energetic? Sure, he has met a few energetic adults, but usually they were more loud than hyper.
Shou? Shou was active, he moved. A lot . Even when he was leaning against his apartment doorframe. Ritsu had caught Shou glancing into his house, his turquoise eyes darting left and right, up and down. It was one of the reasons why Ritsu had basically shoved him out and slammed the door.
God Shou reminded him of his son and, honestly, Ritsu fucking despised that kid. So it was only reasonable why Ritsu should feel skeptical about Shou, even though the man was strangely attractive with that fiery hairstyle and blue eyes--
Where did that last thought come from?
Ritsu's eyes blinked as the lift doors opened again with another ding!. They left the compact space and bid each other farewell, Shou giving a cheeky. "Catch ya later!" and Ritsu replying with an "Ok sure."
"Then he said 'Ok sure'!" Shou sat at the counter, ranting to Takane about his day. She looked like she couldn't be bothered but had nothing else to do so she decided to listen, which Shou respected.
"Sounds like progress to me." Takane hummed in response, twirling her hair in boredom. The pet store's entrance bell jingled, signaling that someone had entered. Shou peered over the counter, his facial expression only soured when he realized who it was.
"For the last time, kid, we don't sell spirits to serve as your pets." Shou sighed. The little boy had really untidy hair and pucky lips, his expression had an eery calmness, making Shou shiver slightly.
"But you're a psychic, you should at least know one or two ghosts." The kid whined dramatically.
"Matsuo, dear, we really don't know or have any ghosts." Takane smiled sweetly, giving off a happy aura that could easily melt your heart. The boy, Matsuo, softened and nodded. Kids from Black Vinegar were always a little self centered, especially their gang. Touichi had talked about it once to Shou, but when Shou had expressed disapproval for it, Touichi never uttered another word about it ever again.
He had a bad feeling that Touichi might be involved in gangs.
Maybe he could ask Ritsu sometime.
Ritsu sneezed, causing a few stationaries from his students' pencil cases to float for a minute before falling down. He sniffled before continuing his lesson.
Every so often he would shoot a glance at Touichi, his presence making his skin crawl, he had to make sure the kid wasn't going to explode more beakers or set some other children on fire.
But now a days, looking at Touichi only reminded him of Shou. They looked similar in a way, maybe if Touichi smiled more, Ritsu would be able to see the Shou in him. Or maybe if Touichi grew his hair out--
Ritsu shook his head, he shouldn't be thinking about this during lesson time. Seriously, what is wrong with him?
"Mr Kageyama, Touichi's doing it again!" Someone yelled. Ritsu heard a loud and audible "Tch" before hearing a thud.
"Ow, seriously, what is your problem?" Reigen snapped, Ritsu held a hand up right before Touichi could do anything else. For a kid, Touichi had the psychic abilities to match an average esper adult, vaguely reminding Ritsu of his brother back when they were younger. This concerned him though, mostly because Touichi wasn't as kind as Shigeo or as quiet. Touichi was rude and very egotistical, even though he barely raised his voice, action always did speak louder than words.
"Suzuki Touichirou, don't test me." Ritsu pointed, gripping the side of his desk hard. Touichi didn't say anything or showed any form of emotions, but Ritsu could tell that; Yes, Touichi was definitely going to test him.
He had to talk to his dad really soon, otherwise, who knows what else this chaotic child would do?
When his lesson ended, Ritsu had two choices. He could either knock on Shou's door or call his phone number, since every teacher had every parent's phone number. For emergencies of course.
Ritsu decided that both options were equally as awkward. If he knocked on Shou's door, Shou would think he's taking up the cooking offer. Which he will not be doing anytime soon. If he called Shou's phone, Shou would question why he couldn't just knock on his door, which would practically force Ritsu to explain it to him while also probably hurting Shou's feelings.
"See ya Mr Kageyama!" Reigen waved, walking off with Serizawa trailing behind him. Ritsu rarely smiled, but the sight of Serizawa, the quiet and shy kid, finding better friends was just plain nice. He waved goodbye to the two kids as they left his classroom, leaving with just a few more kids left in the room. One of those kids being Touichi, his right hand man Shimazaki, Minegishi and Hatori.
All espers. What are the chances of that happening?
He's pretty sure there's only six in this school anyway and his mildly sure the only reason his class had that many psychics because he was a psychic himself. But it was more of a pain to him than a convenience to the school, he has to constantly stop Touichi from terrorizing kids, Shimazaki from teleporting off, Minegishi from letting the trees outside the classroom come in, Hatori from setting kids' phones off and Serizawa from exploding from anxiety.
Ritsu was pretty sure this was the toughest batch of kids he ever had.
Then there was Reigen. Loud Reigen. Very loud. But oh so kind and sweet. Still loud though. Not a psychic but still a handful.
Shibata too, but he wasn't in class at the moment, maybe he had left already. The kid usually used his abilities to boost physical strength, more of bronze than brains.
The esper children left the classroom shortly, giving Ritsu no trouble. He sighed in relief. How many days till summer again?
Ritsu decided that a phone call would be more professional, after all, they weren't friends so he couldn't just knock on Shou's door. He took out his phone and dialed the number that was presented on the paper in front of him, a record of all the student's info. He noticed that under 'Mother's Phone Number' it was marked as 'N/A'. Did Touichi not have a mom?
That makes Shou single doesn't it?
Shou's phone rang during work.
He checked the number that was calling him, it was an unknown caller ID. Shou smiled, he always did find it exciting whenever someone mysterious called him. Maybe it'll be an elderly that didn't key in the numbers right, or a scammer that wants to con him or a kid playing a prank. The possibilities are endless! Takane payed no mind to him, so he took it that it was ok for him to take the call.
Except, Shou didn't think it'd be Ritsu on the other end when he picked up.
"Is this Suzuki Shou?" Ritsu asked, his voice on the phone was as clear as day and very professional. Shou could feel his heart stop beating and had the overwhelming urge to check his breath.
"No this is the bank. I am Robin DeBank." Shou replied shakily, he could hear an annoyed tongue click and held in a laugh.
"Ok, I'm cutting the bullcrap, your kid is troubling me. Let's talk this over in person later." Ritsu bluntly responded, still annoyed. Shou's cheeks hurt from grinning so much.
"Sure, your place or mine?" Shou noticed Takane nodding. Good, at least he now knew he was doing things right.
"How about neither and you can come to my office."
Shou hummed, spinning around and placing his elbow on the counter. "Isn't it more convenient for us to meet at our homes since we live in the same building?"
"Is this just because you want to see my house?" Ritsu retorted with another question.
Shou didn't reply.
He could hear Ritsu breathing out a breath of air loudly, even though Shou was pretty sure that Ritsu had pulled away from the phone at that moment. Ritsu then spoke again. "Fine, my house. I don't really want to discuss matters in front of your kid and before you ask, no. We are absolutely not going to talk about my issue with not being able to cook during our meeting."
"Relax, Ritsu, we won't." Shou spun around one more time, winking at Takane in victory, who rolled her eyes but kept a smile. "See ya later around dinner time, then?" He added.
"Sure." And the call was ended. Shou jumped up and punched the air.
"Hell yes!" He yelled, banging the counter once with his fists.
Takane jumped at the sudden noises, she clapped her hands together, smiling wider. "Tell me what happened."
Shou did and he was hella excited for his meeting with Ritsu.
Chapter 6: Two Bros Chilling In An Apartment
"Where are you going?" Touichi asked as Shou left through the front door after finishing his dinner faster than usual.
"Out." Shou poked his head back into the house. "Don't burn the house down while I'm gone."
"Out where?" Touichi stared. Shou coughed, puffing his cheeks out, thinking of an answer. The young boy waved his hand dismissively and picked up his schoolbag. "Y'know what, I don't care. See you later, Pops." And he went into his room.
Shou nodded slowly before closing the door and walking towards Ritsu's apartment. It wasn't all that hard to locate, since Ritsu radiated cold blue psychic energy that could be sensed from a mile away. Though, Shou had noticed the other's attempt in hiding his psychic presence, like in the mornings when they're heading off to work. But at night, it leaked from his house and all throughout the building.
He hadn't taken much notice of it before, but now, it just reminded Shou that there's a very hot guy living in the same building as he was and it was already bad enough that his ADHD kept him up at night.
Shou stood at the entrance, having the overwhelming need to run through some lines to say, he cracked his knuckles more than once already and he felt sweat trickle down his face. Shou was going to knock but Ritsu had opened the door before he could.
"Looks like someone's excited for our meeting." Shou grinned, crossing his arms and leaning forward. Ritsu clicked his tongue and leaned backwards.
"I had the feeling you were going to start talking to yourself again." Ritsu deadpanned, moving aside so Shou could walk in, he then added. "So I figured I'd save you the trouble and let you in first."
Shou blushed lightly in embarrassment, shuffling into the house. "Good to see you too, Ritsu."
"I'll go make us some tea." Ritsu closed the door and strolled into his kitchen. Shou didn't really mean to, but he had accidentally blurted it out.
"Wow, is tea the only thing you can make without burning your house down?"
Ritsu felt beyond offended and ashamed. He wanted to be mad at those words, but how could you be mad at the truth? He hated to admit Shou was right, so he didn't, and Shou would have went on living never knowing his words had struck a nerve on Ritsu. Except, Shou would know since the window glass shattered the moment Shou had finished his sentence.
The stack of half graded papers were littered with tiny shards of glass, the floor and table were now dirtied with them too. Shou stared at Ritsu, then at the glass.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to--" Ritsu started, running a hand through his hair nervously. He was a wreck and Shou was going to exploit that to his kid and the whole fucking school.
"No worries dude, it's my fault. My filter is non existent." Shou laughed dryly, waving his hand as the small pieces floated into the air and pieced itself back together onto the window frame. The glass had a red and orange aura around them that looked warm, it probably feels warm too. Ritsu watched in awe as the window glass became as good as new once the last few pieces fitted into place, the window still had really tiny cracks that were barely noticeable on it though.
"Wow." Was all Ritsu could say, he was almost breathless from shock. He had never seen other psychics around his age, that wasn't his brother, use their powers right in front of him like that.
Shou's face was dusted a deeper shade of pink, which revealed he had freckles that scattered across his cheeks and the bridge of his nose. Ritsu found that feature oddly cute. Shou coughed and a proud wide grin was now plastered on his face. "Yep, I can do that. Cool ain't it? What can you do?"
Even though it wasn't meant to sound like a challenge, Ritsu had taken it as one. He shrugged and leaned on his wall as the mugs flew out from the cabinet in lightning speed, a blue aura surrounding them, the kettle filled itself with water, the tea leaves dropped into the mugs and the mugs were settled down on the kitchen counter.
Ritsu's patience ran thin as the kettle took what seemed like forever to boil the water, Shou sat on Ritsu's table that had the worksheets on them and waited. He looked evidently impressed, but he definitely wasn't as surprised as Ritsu was when Shou's powers were displayed.
"So, about my son...?" Shou slowly spoke, Ritsu looked up from the floor and stared into the man's blue green eyes. He loved those eyes, they contrasted Shou's flame colored hair so well it made Shou look like a work of art. A made up character. How could someone's beauty feel so...unreal? Not to mention Shou's personality, laid back but also hyper active. What the fuck is this? Who the fuck is this?
Ritsu blinked, where should he start to answer Shou's question? 'Your son bullies kids.' 'Your son is evil.' 'Your son is bullying me.' 'Your son should be put down, not gonna lie.'
"Your son has taken a liking towards seeing his classmates in misery by abusing his powers to show his dominance. I believe his actions are cruel and I do hope the both of us can work up a solution to solve his mean behavior." Ritsu stated slowly. Shou blinked, trying to process all of that and Ritsu was tempted to laugh.
"Well, I did have the feeling he was using his powers in school, but I didn't think he'd go as far as to harm other children." Shou drummed his fingers on the table, his leg bouncing up and down.
Yeah he's a little shit. Was what Ritsu wanted to say, instead, he said. "Yeah, we should do something about that."
"We?" Shou raised an eyebrow. The raven haired man looked away, biting on his bottom lip nervously.
"I am his teacher, can't just leave all the work to you." Ritsu reasoned. Shou nodded in understanding, then he paused. There was a whistling noise, a long high pitched whistling noise.
"Ritsu, the kettle." Shou pointed, Ritsu stopped leaning on the wall and he flicked his finger upwards. The kettle got off the stove and the hot water was poured into the two mugs. The ceramic cups drifted towards Ritsu and Shou's hands and they both take a sip at the same time, careful not to burn their tongues.
"I'm starting to realize the issue here." Shou said after taking a sip.
"Touichi needs therapy?" Ritsu asked. "Because him not having therapy is definitely an issue."
Shou coughed and started laughing, setting the mug down onto the table and he covered his mouth as he took in a deep breath to calm himself. Color rose into Ritsu's cheeks, did he say something stupid?
"I'm talking about your issue, Riichan." Shou wiped a tear away.
"My issue?" Ritsu gripped his mug hard. "Wait, Riichan ?"
Shou ignored the acknowledgement to his nickname for Ritsu and replied. "You never pay attention to the stove."
Ritsu paled, so they were going to talk about this now. He vaguely remember saying that they weren't going to talk about it. "Can we not talk about th--"
Shou heard a growl, not a growl like a throat growl. It was more of a stomach growl. Shou smirked and hopped off the table. "Was that..?"
"Don't you fucking dare." Ritsu's face turned pink. Oh Shou definitely dares.
"Is our friend here...hungry?" Shou hummed, he realized that Ritsu's actually taller than him. Just by a few inches. He didn't really like this new information.
Shou bent forward and tilted his head upwards to look at the other, the gesture seemed mocking in a way. Ritsu verbally growled. "I'm not--"
"Spaghetti." Shou simply said.
Ritsu was gripping his mug so tightly that his knuckles had gone white, he suppressed the urge to shove Shou away, another stomach growl was heard.
“Shit, Riichan, when did you eat dinner?” Shou wheezed, standing straight as Ritsu angrily took a big gulp out of his tea.
“That is none of your--” Another stomach growl. “--concern.”
“Look, how about this? I make you some dinner and we can talk more while eating. I see it as an absolute win!” Shou was already making his way to the fridge, he grabbed the handle and pulled.
“Suzuki.” Ritsu started, but the other man ignored him.
Shou was met with an empty fridge, which stung his heart. “Ritsu your fridge is so sad .”
“Suzuki.” Ritsu placed his cup down next to Shou’s on the table and stomped towards him. Shou ignored him again.
“We should go shopping together sometime for groceries, today we eat at my place.” Shou closed the fridge and picked up one of the cups on the table to sip more tea.
“ Shou .” His inky hair was flowing despite the absence of wind, a blue tinge surrounded him and his face was scrunched up into a glare that made Shou’s smile immediately drop. Shit.
“I’m sorry, I’m crossing the line again.” Shou downed the rest of the tea anxiously, placing it back onto the table.
“I’ll just take my leave then, we can talk again some other time?” Shou made his way to the door, he felt like Ritsu was going to explode if Shou stayed any longer in his house and it was best if he let the other cool off before trying again.
The blue started to fade as Ritsu relaxed a little, his face still held a dangerous glare. “That would be appreciated yes.”
Shou nodded and gripped the doorknob, but before he could leave, Ritsu suddenly stopped him. “Wait, Shou.”
A sly smile spread across Shou’s face as he continued to stare at the door, refusing to turn around. He didn’t answer Ritsu, he only paused to hear what he had to say.
“Did you drink from my cup of tea?” Ritsu sounded more curious than annoyed. Shou finally did a 180 and placed a hand on his chin.
“ Shou. ”
Shou held three fingers up and made a grabbing gesture. "Well, see ya!" He bended the light around him and he went completely invisible. Ritsu's eyes widened into saucers and his jaw dropped. Shou contained a laughter as he watched him pace around his house, looking for Shou, and when the timing was right, Shou slipped out of the house through the front door quietly.
Oh he was going to enjoy this.
Chapter 7: Ritsu Has A Gay Crisis (feat. Touichi&Mob)
How in the world did that man do that?
Ritsu was beyond shocked. Did Shou teleport? Shimazaki could teleport, so it wasn't like it was impossible. It took Ritsu 10 minutes to give up and go back to grading papers, drinking the remaining tea from Shou's cup. At least, he thinks it's Shou's cup. The other never did answer his question so Ritsu was never 100% sure with his assumption. Besides, drinking tea helped with the grumbling from his stomach.
Damn him, because of what Shou did, Ritsu was now very much aware that he was indeed hungry. He could go out and buy some, but alas, he was too lazy.
Then, as if Lady Luck finally decided to give him some form of leverage in this sick joke called Life, a knock on the door was heard. A soft and polite knock. Ritsu's mood immediately brightened when he recognized the knock.
There was no way Shou could knock that politely so it could only mean one thing.
"Brother! It's so good to see you again!" Ritsu grinned widely as he opened the door, expecting to see a familiar face. Instead, he saw two.
"Hey Little Brother!" Teru waved behind Shigeo's tall figure. Days like these made Ritsu cherish his younger years, when he was the taller sibling. Guess all that milk had to go somewhere.
"Oh. You." Ritsu's smile became more strained. He made way for the two to enter his home, purposely giving Teru the stink eye. Teru was too dense to notice, or maybe he did but didn't want to cause a scene, Ritsu wouldn't care if he did anyway.
When Ritsu had closed the door and strolled back into the living room, Shigeo held out a small paper bag for him. "Donut?"
God he could cry.
Ritsu nodded and took the bag, giving a quiet thanks before taking a bite out of it. It tasted oddly familiar.
"Do you like it? I made it myself." Teru proudly asked. Ah, so that explains the taste. Ritsu swallowed and thought for a minute, how should he word this?
"It's nice, I guess." He shrugged, taking another bite. Teru beamed and leaned back on the couch, satisfied with the answer. Shigeo tugged on his black turtleneck sweater before humming something then opening his mouth.
"How have you been?"
Oh jeez, where should he start? Ritsu eyed Teru a bit, wondering how much he could reveal. Shigeo took notice of this and quickly added: "Hanazawa's an esper too."
Ok, that made things a lot easier. Ritsu folded his arms, chewing slowly. He gulped. "Kids. They're a handful."
"I'm sure it's nothing that you can't handle, considering that you're...y'know..." Teru cuts in, Ritsu frowned. He wasn't use to this, Shigeo was always quiet and just listening, only adding his opinion in when Ritsu was done. He hoped that Teru wasn't going to make this a thing, Ritsu can't handle any more energetic people in his life.
You're only saying that because talking to Shou was proven to be more difficult than what you first thought. Ritsu's inner voice whispered and he bit his lip on accident.
"A handful of my students are espers too." Ritsu bluntly replied, licking his lips to check for blood. Teru raised an eyebrow and nodded. He then continued. "And one of them is literally a demon spawn, I swear, the only nice esper in my class is Serizawa."
Shigeo's face lights up at the mention of that name. It made sense, Reigen probably talked about Serizawa a lot. The two instantly became friends when Reigen saw Touichi and Serizawa messing around in school and wanted to stop them from getting into trouble. Ritsu didn't know the full story, but apparently Reigen managed to convince Serizawa to hang out with him instead of Touichi, while being levitated into the air and hooked onto a tree branch.
Which took a lot of admirable guts considering he could've been badly injured.
Ritsu never saw the little boy gripping his umbrella tightly ever again, instead he clung onto Reigen's shirt sleeve or his school bag. It was a work in progress.
"Hardly any child espers are nice." Teru scoffed. "Some kid from Soy Sauce Middle School came over to the bakery and thought it'd be funny to steal a few cupcakes."
"Did you have a guest?" Shigeo abruptly asked, Ritsu choked on his donut and swallowed dryly.
His brother pointed at the table with the marked papers and two mugs. Ah shit. Teru smiled widely and leaned forward a little. "A guest? Didn't take you as a sociable person."
Then why the fuck are you here?
"Oh that...uhm," Ritsu cleared his throat and stared at the ground, "had a kid's parent over."
"Lemme guess, it's the demon spawn kid's mom." Teru chimed, placing both his hands on his cheeks with his elbows resting on his knees.
"Dad actually." He corrected, Teru gasped exaggeratedly.
"Shit got serious!"
"I don't think the child even has a mom."
The room went silent. Ritsu munched the last few bits of his donut and wished he had more. Shigeo hummed a soft tune that didn't sound like it came from any songs he heard and Teru leaned back on the couch.
"So he's kinda single then?" Teru broke the silence. Ritsu's ears reddened as he continued to pretend to chew on his donut. The blonde took notice of the redness and smirked. "Oh, I see what's going on."
"You see nothing." Ritsu spat. Shigeo looked between the two, evidently amused.
"Don't you fuckin--"
Ritsu crushed the paper bag and a blue aura surrounded him. As if to challenge him, Teru's neon yellow aura shown twice as bright as his. Ritsu could tell Teru was far stronger than he was. Shigeo placed a hand on Teru's shoulder and the yellow disappeared, his brother then proceeded to shoot Ritsu a calming look and he, too, stopped flaring his blue hues.
"I think we'll take our leave now, I'm sorry to bother you." Shigeo stood up and gave Ritsu a comforting hug. Could Shigeo sense his bad mood?
Teru looked like he was about to give Ritsu a hug too, but the black haired man glared at him, which made Teru back down and make his way towards the door immediately. "Later, Little Brother."
"Do not call me that." Ritsu growled, earning a short laugh from Teru as the blonde walked out the door. Shigeo waved goodbye one last time and the door shuts behind them. Ritsu was left lonely with a crushed paper bag and a half filled stomach.
Touichi could definitely tell his father was in a moody mood. It wasn't exactly a mad one, or a sad one, or even a happy one. It was just...a mood. Dad had woken up earlier than his alarm and was already drinking a cup of coffee with breakfast on the table. Touichi expressed confusion as he pulled up his chair and sat down, picking up his fork. Bacon and eggs were on his plate today.
He dug in, chewing in silence. Dad stared at the doorway, his coffee mug now empty. Touichi coughed loudly and stared up at him and his father quickly snapped his head towards him.
"Yeah, little dude?" He grinned. Touichi rolled his eyes at the nickname, it wasn't the worst Dad has ever came up but it still bugged him.
Touichi waved his fork at Dad and paused before thinking of the right words. "Stop acting like the aftermath from talking about mom."
Dad visibly tensed and gripped his cup tightly. "Touichirou--"
"It's uncomfortable, you go stupidly silent and I'm not use to that." Touichirou stabbed the last bacon and shoved it into his mouth, munching on it quietly, and shoved the plate forward.
The older man sighed and relaxed his posture, taking his empty cup and Touichi's now empty plate to the sink. Whatever Mr. Kageyama did to him, Touichi was not happy about it at all.
Assuming Mr. Kageyama was the one that Dad had visited of course.
Nowadays, waiting for the lift in the morning for school was probably his most hated moments. Mr. Kageyama and Dad exchanged more and more words every passing day and it was getting on Touichi's nerves. At first, he had tried indirectly forcing them to not speak to each other by commenting in their conversations, pushing Mr. Kageyama's buttons so he'd snap in front of Dad.
But when that didn't work, Touichi admitted defeat and resorted to messing with his chemistry teacher during class time more than usual. Which worked a little, it always left Mr. Kageyama in a sour mood after dismissal.
When Touichi got to class, he noticed two things. One, Serizawa had his umbrella out again. He never brought out his umbrella anymore after hanging out with Reigen, so it was surprising to see Serizawa's umbrella held out like a shield. He was hiding behind it, obviously with Reigen as seen from the two pairs of feet under it.
Two, Shimazaki and Minegishi were getting too friendly with each other. Their chairs were pulled closed, bumping legs as Shimazaki talked softly to the other and the lavender haired boy broke into short lived giggles. Minegishi never laughed.
Touichi placed his bag down at his seat and walked up to his two friends. They stopped and shifted away from each other, staring up at Touichi. Well, it was mostly Minegishi that stared, Shimazaki's face was still facing forward.
"What were you talking about to him, Shimazaki?" Touichi's face remained monotoned. Ever since Serizawa left, Shimazaki had climbed on top and became Touichi's new right hand man. It was certainly different, Touichi was more used to someone who could see.
"Them." Shimazaki corrected.
"Excuse me?" Touichi raised an eyebrow, Shimazaki finally looked up and gave his boss a gentle smile.
"Minegishi's a 'them'. They're non-binary."
Minegishi looked unfazed by this, but he...they...whatever was starting to shift closer and closer to the blind boy. Touichi clenched his fists.
Things could have went wrong from there, Touichi could have punched Shimazaki like how he had punched all those other kids from those other schools. He could have thrown him and Minegishi towards that stupid umbrella that Serizawa was hiding behind. He could have tore this whole room down.
He could have.
If Mr. Kageyama had not walked in.
"Some of you still owe me yesterday's homework, so if you wanna save your butts from potential death, I'd appreciate if you get it done and hand it in when Chem starts." Mr. Kageyama eyed Hanako and the umbrella. "Serizawa, your umbrella?"
"Sorry." The umbrella closed and Reigen waved nervously and laughed. Touichi unclenched his fists and glared at Mr. Kageyama. The teacher made brief eye contact with him before shutting the door and leaving.
That adds to the list. The third thing that Touichi noticed. Mr. Kageyama started acting differently around him, even before Touichi had decided to bug him more. His teacher would sometimes stare too long at Touichi, lost in thought before snapping back to teaching mode.
Sometimes, Mr. Kageyama would call him 'Shou' on rare days. No one would say anything about the mess up so he assumed it wasn't worth the mention. People mess up names all the time anyways, you can't really bug a person with that info if it includes yourself right?
Touichi's mind wandered to the events of that morning with Dad then connected the dots. It all clicked into place like a puzzle and Touichi couldn't help but smile sinisterly.
Chapter 8: Shou Has A Crisis In General (feat. Tsubomi&Reigen)
"...and then I disappeared, went invisible and yeeted the fuck outta there." Shou finished his tale to an uninterested but also probably interested Takane.
"That was a poor decision on your end." Takane deadpanned in response and Shou groaned, slamming his face onto the counter, she sighed and patted him in small attempts to comfort. "Look...Ritsu, or whatever his name is, will eventually open up more. In the meantime..."
She grabbed a broom and started dusting the pet store's floor. "Get your mind off it with work."
"If you say no I will end you."
"--nnnnnsure." Shou sat up and was about to leave the counter when he heard the store bell jingle. For a minute, Shou thought Ritsu was actually here, but a lot of things contradicted that thought. One being why would Ritsu even go to a pet store to begin with, certainly not to see Shou, the black-haired man didn't even know Shou worked in a pet store. But the aura seemed so familiar, yet so different? It was more...stronger and it kinda terrified him.
"Serizawa said one of the gang members hung around here in hopes of bumping into a spirit to keep as a pet." A young boy said, possibly around Shou's son's age, and a taller male walked in after.
Wait, did the teenager say Serizawa? Wasn't that one of Touichi's old friends?
"You know Serizawa?" Shou blurted, the boy turned and visibly paled. His mouth hung open as Shou tilted his head in confusion, was there something on his face?
"S-Suzuki?" The boy stuttered out. Ah, so he does know Touichi.
"That is me, yes." Shou nodded. "You are...?"
The other didn't reply, he only remained staring before closing his mouth after the man beside him told him to, then his ran a hand through his light butterscotch colored hair and gulped. "I'm Reigen. Reigen Arataka."
"I'm Suzuki Shou, you probably know Suzuki Touichirou. He's my son." Shou replied, he turned towards the man with the bowl cut. How did he even pull that hair cut off and look decent? "You?"
"I'm...Kageyama Shigeo--" He answered but was swiftly cut off by Reigen.
"But you can call him Mob! I call him Master Mob, sometimes Mobster. See, because it's a mash up of..." He went on babbling about the nickname, Kageyama's face grew slightly red from embarrassment. Reigen reminded Shou of himself when he was younger, full of energy and consistently embarrassing friends and family, yet still remaining lovable. Not to brag or anything.
"Kageyama you say? Y'know, I know a Kageyama myself." Shou hummed, Reigen paused and looked up in curiosity. He then continued. "You should know em, Reigen, Kageyama Ritsu."
Kageyama was about to reply when Reigen interrupted him again with another bubble of energy. "Oh no! Mr. Kageyama and Master Mob aren't related or anything, that's what they both said. Just a coincidence!"
That's strange, what are the chances of that happening? And Kageyama's powers seem so alike to Ritsu's...
Shou grinned and shrugged. "Ah, I see. My bad then. So, how can I help you?"
"Oh, nothing at all really! But you sound like you know my teacher well enough to get his first name, did Suzuki get in trouble or something and Mr. Kageyama had to call you in?" Reigen spoke way too fast and Shou almost couldn't catch on.
"Well," Shou leaned against the counter, resting on his forearms, "let's say dear Ritsu's my neighbor in the apartment I live in."
Reigen's face lit and and leaned forward with awe. "No way! Suzuki wasn't kidding then!"
"Huh? Uh yeah, Ritsu's my neighbor." Did Touichi spread that info around already? What a blabbermouth. Still, Shou loved his little boy.
"Then is it true he keeps setting fire to your building?"
Kageyama's eyes widened, the only expression Shou ever saw from him today. Besides the regular stone faced look of course. "Your teacher did what?"
Shou clasped his hands together in front of his mouth, then stuck both his index fingers out and pointed it at Reigen. "Not really."
The man continued to look a little unsettled, was he that concerned for his student's well-being? Should Shou have been like that for Touichi when he first found out about Ritsu being Touichi's teacher and the terrible cook next door?
"What's going on over there? You're not allowed to have friends and chatter about your day during work hours, not even your boyfriend--"
"Takane wait." Shou turned his head towards the shelves where the girl was sweeping in.
"--Ritsu." She walked over, broom in her arm and stared right at Kageyama, who stared right back and his face grew an overwhelming shade of red. Reigen stared at her too, then at Shou.
Shou pursed his lips and braced for impact.
"Mr. Kageyama's your boyfriend?!" Reigen yelled in excitement.
"Tsubomi?" Kageyama softly gasped in shock.
"Mob?" Takane raised and eyebrow, her lips curling up. "My goodness! Mob! How have ya been, it's been so long since we've talked."
Shou's face dusted pink as Reigen showered him with questions about Ritsu. "Now hold on, I'm not- Tsubomi, tell him you were joking."
Takane turned to Shou, her face dropped into a frown. "Yeah, I'm kidding. But it still doesn't change the fact that you're clearly head over heals for the man."
The ginger covered his face and groaned, Reigen bounced up and down in glee and Mob found himself gaping at Takane, not being able to find the right response. The black-haired woman rolled her eyes and smiled again. "Hey, give Shou here a break will you? He's having a crisis because Ritsu's too stone cold to tolerate him for even a second. Which, granted, is already difficult to do as a normal person since Shou is an absolute little sh--"
"Ok, Takane, he gets it!" Shou chimed, his ears tinted red as he dragged his hands off his face. Takane giggled and looked up at the clock. Reigen laughed and watched as she placed away her broom.
"Looks like we'll be closing soon, I have a date with Tome in a bit so uhm," she looked back down at Reigen, "wanna wrap up quickly?"
"Woah, you have a date after this?" Reigen wanted to know more about these people, they seemed nice. Even Kageyama looked like he was having fun, based on how Reigen thought he looked.
Kageyama looked like his world just shattered into pieces, which made Shou winced. He caught onto the fact that the man was probably crushing on Takane, she had mentioned that she had a few admirers during middle school, even after she moved away and joined a different school, and it seemed like the two use to know each other. Possibly during school years. Which meant Kageyama probably crushed on her since middle school and probably didn't get the chance to confess.
So it was probably heartbreaking for Kageyama to realize that the only reason Takane hadn't really accepted any last confessions in her old school before she moved away was because she was actually a lesbian.
"Ha ha, yeah..." Takane blushed, not knowing the fact that Kageyama was going through different stages of grief at the moment, it was almost laughable for Shou to watch.
"Pops, I think Mr. Kageyama has a crush on you." Touichi mumbled during dinner, causing the man to choke on his food and down a glass of water.
"Do not...," Shou wheezed, grabbing his chest, "joke with me like that."
"But I am not joking." Touichi raised an eyebrow, picking at his food with his chopsticks. Shou stared and laughed, which sounded like a dying cat since he was still calming down from his choking fit. Touichi did not laugh along.
Ok, maybe Touichi actually joking was a harder thing to believe.
"A-Are you sure?" Shou started slowly. His son hummed and munched on his food slowly, making Shou's heart burst from suspense.
"He keeps mistaking me as you and keeps staring at me." Touichi swallowed. Then he added. "And I know Mr. Kageyama is not a pedophile, since he keeps calling me your name and his face goes red when someone points it out. Which is rare but golden to watch."
Shou pressed his lips into a thin line and smirked. With the knowing fact that Ritsu possibly has the hots for him, what could go wrong if he just beats around the bush a little? Test the waters. Check if Ritsu does like him the same way Shou liked him too.
"...Do you happen to like Mr. Kageyama too?" Touichi calmly asked, not looking up from his food. Shou couldn't answer this, because as much as he wants to be honest with Touichi, the little boy was not use to sudden changes in environment. It took the kid so long to get use to the fact that his mother left because she was too afraid of raising Touichi, after the child had attacked half his kindergarten class with just a flick of a wrist.
Now that Ritsu could potentially become his next parent, would Touichi even handle it well? Shou could easily tell his son didn't particularly like his teacher so it was probably best not to tell him. Yet.
"No, just...shock is all." Shou whispered.
Chapter 9: Ritsu Gets Annoyed (Not A Big Deal Honestly)
Ritsu was hungry, but didn't want to go downstairs to get himself dinner to eat. So he stayed in his apartment and bore with the pain in his stomach until he couldn't handle it anymore.
Usually, he'd actually be fine in this situation, skipping dinner wasn't all that uncommon for him, but he hadn't eaten lunch that day either so he was beyond starving at that point.
Just as he was about to reach the lift lobby, he heard a voice that he seriously did not want to hear behind him. "Ritsu? Whatcha doing?" Shou was carrying a black trash bag and Ritsu paused, not wanting to turn around to meet those blue-green eyes that have been haunting him for the past few days.
"Getting dinner." Ritsu replied, back still facing Shou as the other jogged over towards him.
"At this hour? A bit late don'tcha think?" Shou grinned, Ritsu looked at him from the corner of his eye and sighed. "Y'know, I have some leftovers I could heat up for yo--" Shou added but was quickly interrupted by Ritsu holding a hand up.
"Appreciated, but seriously, no thank you." Ritsu hissed, being hungry had him in a bad mood. Shou didn't flinch though, he kept a bright smile on as the lift dinged open for them. They both got in, Ritsu didn't mind that Shou had trash with him, it didn't really smell all that bad to be honest.
"You are just so...stubborn, y'know that?" Shou laughed, waiting for the lift to reach the ground floor. Ritsu rolled his eyes and folded his arms, leaning against the wall of the elevator.
"I don't need your help, Suzuki." He grumbled, saying the other's name like it was taboo.
The elevator door opened again and they exited, Shou dumped his trash at the dumpster and watched Ritsu walk off to get food. "Just you wait, Ritsu, one of these days you will eat one of my cooking!" Shou yelled, waving his arms to get the raven-haired man's attention.
Ritsu only scoffed and kept walking.
The next morning, Ritsu was getting ready to head to school when he nearly stepped on something as he left his house. He bent down to pick it up, it was a brown baggie with his name on it and he opened it out of curiosity.
Ritsu's face scrunched up in frustration and embarrassment. Packed lunch. There was even a post-it note with Shou's name signed on it and a little heart. 'Stop eating convenience store food, it's unhealthy you nerd.' He felt his face heat up just by the simple drawing of that heart. Stupid fucking Shou.
He groaned, rubbing his face as he did so, should he get rid of it? No way was he eating this, he didn't want to give Shou the satisfaction of doing so. He thought for a minute, he could always hand it to his brother, but he'd either have to wait after work or make his way over right now and probably cause him to be late for school. Both options were pretty shitty and there was no way he was trashing perfectly good food, that'd just make him a shitty person.
So that leaves with his co-workers or his students.
Actually he'll probably hand his food to a co-worker, Touichirou is going to somehow find out no matter how discreet Ritsu is with his other students.
Ritsu entered his classroom and closed the door behind him gently, he was looking at the floor when he walked towards his desk and when he glanced up, everyone looked so...suspicious. They all had their backs turned to him and were whispering quietly among each other, the whispering only grew softer when Ritsu cleared his throat. Softer, but not completely gone.
He looked over at Serizawa, who still had his umbrella hung on the side of his desk like it was a weapon for emergencies, and gave him a questioning look. Serizawa stared blankly back at him, then turned around, then turned to Reigen.
Reigen was spinning his pencil in boredom and looked up at Serizawa, his eyes shifted towards his teacher. Ritsu raised an eyebrow and Reigen dropped the pencil back onto the table, straightening his posture.
"Boy do I got news for you, Mr Kageyama."
Ritsu held a finger up. "Tell me after class." He proceeded to bang the table to get everyone's attention. "Class is starting if you hadn't noticed already."
The period went on as per normal, including the occasional 'Shimazaki, quit hiding people's things in different classes by teleporting in and out of class.' 'Minegishi, would you mind not growing that flower in the middle of class?' 'Suzuki Touichirou.'
As class ended and everyone piled outside to head for lunch, Reigen hung back with Serizawa to inform him about the news. Touichi stared at Ritsu for a questionably long time before exiting, which made Ritsu think the kid probably knew about the packed lunch.
"They know." Reigen started. Ritsu stared at the boy for a minute, waiting for him to elaborate. Reigen noticed that the teacher didn't understand what he meant and began to further explain. "They know you're gay."
Ritsu choked on literal air and began having a coughing fit. Reigen got concerned and awkwardly patted the teacher's back. "It's ok, I think I'm the only one who knows who you're gay for."
"I'm not gay for anyone." Ritsu wheezed out. Reigen arched an brow and glanced at Serizawa, who shrugged in response. Ritsu noticed the skeptical look Reigen was giving him, then added. "Who even started this rumor?"
"Suzuki." The two said at the same time and Ritsu groaned, he wanted to smash his skull into the wall.
"Of course it'd be him, but his rumors are never true. You do know that right?"
"But he was right about you burning your house down." Reigen pointed. "And that you live near him."
"I found his dad working at the pet store while looking for spirits with Mobster."
Ritsu took a moment to process the information he was receiving. Not only did Touichi reveal that Ritsu was, in fact, not straight, he even told everyone about Ritsu living near the bastard child. He was so fucking done with this kid.
"Thanks, kids. You can head for lunch now." Ritsu gestured to the door, this was gonna need serious planning.
"Wait but, do you actually have a crush on Suzuki's dad?" Reigen asked, but Ritsu flicked his finger forward, gently sending Reigen out the door with Serizawa trailing after him with his own two feet. He shuts the door with another flick of a finger.
Motherfucker. Of course everyone would believe the Gay Rumor, they've seen him turn down boxes of chocolates during Valentine's last year from all his female co-workers and he even admitted not ever having a girlfriend one time in his current class.
Now he's just hoping the don't believe the Fire Rumor.
Chapter 10: Giving In
I'm sorry for hurting Mobbu :(
(Extremely subtle implied self harm)
It has been a total of seven days since Shou declared that Ritsu was going to eat his cooking.
Six days since Shou's first attempt by leaving a packed lunch outside the other's door.
Four days since Shou started leaving dinner outside Ritsu's door too.
Three days since people started questioning why Ritsu always had "extra" food to spare.
One day since Ritsu finally puts a stop to it.
He had beaten Shou to his own door, opening it the moment the ginger had bent down to leave the packed dinner. The culprit looked up as the victim looked down. Ritsu grunted.
"Stop what?" Shou grinned innocently, making Ritsu scowl. The raven-haired man pointed at the food Shou was about to leave outside the door to answer his question. Shou glanced down at the food.
"The next time you call me that my foot will connect to your head."
"--I'm only using my parental instincts."
Ritsu raised a brow. "Parental instincts?"
Shou stood up, bringing the food up with him and holding it towards Ritsu, expecting him to take it. He didn't. "When I see a hungry baby, I commit feed."
The color rose into Ritsu, he wasn't sure if it was because he was flustered or embarrassed. "I don't need your pity."
He shoved the food into Ritsu's arm upon hearing the answer and turned to leave. "Who said anything about pity?" And he was gone.
The teacher gripped the packed food tightly, anger searing through his skin. This man was so fucking insufferable, why is he doing this? What did Ritsu ever do to deserve his...care?
It was definitely care, Shou didn't seem like he was looking down at Ritsu. Then again, the ginger had a certain superior aura around him that made Ritsu want to hurl. If Shou wasn't so good-looking, Ritsu would have started to pack his bags and shift to a different apartment.
He didn't know how to feel about Shou.
Ritsu was extremely surprised to see Shigeo at the front of his door the next morning, his older brother looked tired. Even more than usual. It made Ritsu feel worried, he knew how his brother would get when he was too stressed out. He shuddered, remembering the days when he thought he didn't have to cower in fear from the explosions Shigeo had anymore.
It only dawned upon him that, with psychic powers or not, Shigeo would never hurt him and even if he did, Ritsu still wouldn't be able to protect himself. His brother was far stronger than he was and he learnt it the hard way...
Ah, no. He can't have bad thoughts when his brother is here, Shigeo needs more smiles than worries. So Ritsu smiled.
"Something wrong, brother? You rarely visit me in the mornings." He was going to be late for work, but it didn't matter. Shigeo comes first before everything else.
"Sorry, is this a bad time?" The other said nervously, preparing to make his leave. "I can come back later."
"No!" Ritsu grabbed his wrist, causing Shigeo to flinch ever so slightly. The younger brother's breath hitched in realization. "Shigeo..."
"It's okay." He gently released Ritsu's grip.
Ritsu fiddled with his fingers, staring up at his brother. "Let's walk together."
Shigeo smiled softly, nodding. Before the two could leave, Shou was walking towards Ritsu, causing the Kageyama to click his tongue in annoyance. "Lets go." He urged Shigeo, who obliged with confusion. He didn't get to see who Ritsu had saw.
Shou noticed Ritsu's attempt at trying to escape, picking up his pace. Ritsu spammed the lift down button, hoping that Shou doesn't catch up.
"Ritsu!" Shou waved, reaching them in no time. Ritsu cursed under his breath.
Shigeo shifted his gaze towards Shou's fiery presence, his eyebrows raising. "Oh."
"You!" Shou pointed, gasping a little. "Aha! So you do know Ritsu! You really are hi--"
"Shut up." Ritsu hissed, covering the man's mouth as he noticed Touichi coming into view. The little boy shot the three a look but says nothing. Ritsu pulled Shou's ear close, whispering into it. "You say anything about Shigeo and I being related and I'll sew your mouth shut next."
Shou nodded and the black-haired man released him, standing idle by Shigeo's side. Ritsu had requested Shigeo to keep their family relation a secret, not because Ritsu was embarrassed about Shigeo being an exorcist but because it'll be easier for the both of them.
When Reigen had openly pointed that Ritsu had the same last name as his master, Ritsu realized this would be a major issue for the both of them. Ritsu knew his class consisted of a few bad espers and if word got out that his brother was a powerful psychic too, they'd definitely go on a witch hunt for Shigeo.
Shou and Touichi went a different way, giving Ritsu a breather. He was going to get his daily dose of coffee to start his day off. When Ritsu ordered himself a cup and Shigeo a hot chocolate, they sat down to talk.
"What's wrong." Ritsu started.
"Suzuki mentioned liking you." Shigeo started at the same time.
They stared at each other with the same baffled look. Shigeo didn't really want to talk about himself today, so he pressed on. Just a little. "Reigen wanted to go spirit hunting. We found Suzuki in a pet store."
"Ah." Ritsu covered his face by taking a sip from his coffee. Fucking Shou, what the hell did he do?
"Do you...?" He tilted his head, his drink still untouched. This caused Ritsu to choke, he made sure nothing spilt as he swallowed.
"Of course not! Why would I?!" Ritsu said, a tad bit too loud. He pretended the reason his face was red was because of the hot coffee.
His brother hummed, finally taking a sip from his hot chocolate. "Ritsu, I care about you a lot."
"I do too."
"But you're not taking care of yourself well enough." Shigeo said. Although his voice was devoid of emotions, it was clear that he was concerned for his little brother. Ritsu frowned, he didn't have an excuse for himself. Besides, Shigeo was bound to find out sooner or later.
"Ritsu, it's not like you're bad at cooking...right?" Shigeo added, holding onto his brother's hand affectionately like they were kids again. "You never failed home economics, so what's wrong?"
No fair, Ritsu was suppose to ask that. He was the one that's suppose to ask if Shigeo is okay. He knows he isn't though.
"I...don't know." Ritsu huffed, staring into his cup and at his groggy dark reflection. His eyes travel to the hand Shigeo was holding and then to his watch. He immediately stands, realizing that he was going to be late for work. "Ah, brother, I have to go."
"Oh." Shigeo looked disappointed but doesn't object. "Look after Reigen for me, I heard a kid's been bothering him."
"Sure." Ritsu threw his coffee cup and waved goodbye, Shigeo waved back.
Class went on as per normal, thanks to Ritsu using his powers to boost his speed. He managed to reach class in time and it seemed everyone was less buzzy unlike last week. Finally. Serizawa still had his umbrella with him though and he puts it away when Ritsu cleared his throat.
He found himself wondering back to that morning, the way Shigeo intertwined their fingers with a concerned look. He rarely expressed anything, so the look struck a chord with Ritsu. He was worrying Shigeo, his brother had enough on his plate already. God he was pathetic, who the fuck would do this to their own brother?
Ritsu had to fix this, he didn't want to worry his brother any further or...
He shivered, daring not to think about the consequences.
Tonight. Tonight was the day he was going to cook a proper meal for himself. Maybe he'll start simple, something small like...rice and salmon? It was a start and he knew how to make it.
So when school ended and he packed his bag, saying goodbye to his friendlier students, he made his way to the local store to buy the ingredients. He reached home just in time to make dinner.
He had everything prepared, the fish, the rice, the oil. Ritsu smiled to himself, he couldn't wait to tell Shigeo to not worry anymore.
"Niisan!" Ritsu yelled, hand outstretched to grab his brother's hand. The arm around his tiny body tightened and moved further away and he felt hot tears trickle down his cheek. His surrounding was suddenly engulfed in shimmering purple energy and the ground shook, he felt the arm around him loosened and move aside. Niisan was saving him with his cool powers!
Before Ritsu could pick himself up to run towards his brother, he was slammed into the wall, a prickling feeling shot through his skull and he fell to the ground, the world was going dizzy. Black spots danced in front of his eyes as he felt a pool of warm red spill around him. "Niisan...it...hurts..." Why would his brother do this? Did he do something wrong?
What if he does something wrong again?
The fire alarm was ringing again. Shou sighed, when would Ritsu stop being so damn stubborn? He was just trying to help.
Granted, Shou was also going to tease Ritsu to death if Ritsu did end up eating his cooking. It was in his nature after all. He did like it when Ritsu scrunched his cute little nose up and furrow his eyebrows.
And when he threatened Shou? Ooooh boy, it was like a tiny duckling threatening to bite him.
God he wish he could squeeze Ritsu's hands and...
Shou's face went red at his next thought. Was it normal? It's been so long since he's been in love but...
Was it normal to want to kiss Ritsu's face?
He shook the thought out of his head and made his way to the door, luckily it wasn't dead in the night so he wasn't all too grumpy about it. His son, however, looked absolutely pissed off.
"And I thought he finally gave up cooking." The teenager grumbled, storming out the door to make his way towards the emergency staircase. Shou snickered, it was fascinating to see someone who barely had any facial expressions express annoyance.
When Shou was sure that Touichi had safely reached the emergency staircase, he sneaked into Ritsu's apartment. Curious as to what the male was making this time. He used his psychic powers to unlock the door, gently pushing it open.
What he saw completely threw him off.
Ritsu was sitting in a corner, curled up into a ball and ignoring the smoke coming from...was that a pan? Shou was surprised, so he does know how to cook. The ginger slowly walked towards Ritsu. The other didn't bother to look up when he suddenly spoke. "Get out."
"Oh, you're...awake." Shou paused, hand slightly outstretched.
"Did you not hear me?" Ritsu answered, forehead pressed against his forearms. "I said, get out."
"What, here to mock me? Go ahead, go right ahead." He finally lifted his face, Shou withdrew his hand when he saw Ritsu on the verge of tears. "Go on, tell me I can't cook. Tell me I'm incapable."
Shou took another step forward but he found himself being shoved back by a telekinetic force. He cancelled it out with his own, he always knew he was stronger than Ritsu was. "Ritsu, are you okay?"
"You're curled up in a sad emo ball though."
"I'm not emo." Ritsu snapped. Shou chuckled, despite the situation. He sat down in front of Ritsu, just a few inches away.
"Tried to prove you could cook?"
Ritsu rested half his face in his elbow, muffling out a "Mhm."
"I could...teach you." Shou suggested and Ritsu grunted. The father glanced back at the pan, realizing something. "Oh, wait, you could cook all along huh?"
A sigh answered him.
"...I could help. If anything goes wrong I'll tell you. I won't do anything else, I promise." Shou offered, shifting a little closer to Ritsu. His leg was bouncing in anticipation for the other's answer.
Ritsu lifted his head again, small droplets of tears finally dripped out of his eyes. "I guess I seriously have nothing else to lose now."
Shou grinned brightly, using his telekinesis to put the pan into the sink to wash. "But you'll owe me one!"
The black-haired man clicked his tongue, punching Shou's shoulder tightly to show his irritation. It only earned him a hearty laughed.
Shou waited for the weekends to roll in patiently.
As patient as an impatient man could get of course.
Touichi had plans with his friends that day, so Shou was sure Ritsu was going to be fine with their...cooking session? It couldn't be a date, obviously. Unless...?
Either way, Shou made sure everything was perfect for Ritsu so the man wouldn't have a reason to retreat back into his shell.
When the doorbell rang, Shou immediately dropped his sketching pencil and closed his sketchbook, placing it away, and made his way towards the door. Should he rehearse lines? It was too late for that though. Whatever, screw this.
"Riiiichaaaaaan!" Shou chimed as he opened the door. Ritsu frowned so deeply to a point it made Shou want to turn away and laugh his head off. God that expression was priceless.
"I told you to not call me that."
Shou hummed, not answering him as he gestured Ritsu inside. The slightly taller man walked in, despite his clearly ruined mood, and stood in the middle of his living room, soaking in his surroundings.
It was homey, perfect for a family of just two. Shou smiled, watching Ritsu close his eyes to get use to everything. "Wanna get started?"
"I- Yeah, sure." Ritsu mumbled. "But let's run over our rules first." Shou groaned but Ritsu completely ignored him.
"1. Let me do all the cooking unless I ask for help." Ritsu stated. "2. Don't fucking distract me. And lastly, 3. You must eat it."
Shou nodded for the first two before spluttering at the last one. "Even if it becomes burnt or some shit?"
"Especially when it's burnt." Ritsu smirked.
"Is this revenge for the nickname?"
Ritsu ignored him again and makes his way to Shou's kitchen, using his powers to fly the equipment towards him. Shou would've asked what he was making but something about the fact that Ritsu looked so calm and cool-headed while knowing he could potentially burn Shou's house down or fail made Shou just stare right at him
He started to reach over for his sketchbook, picking his pencil up and flipping to a new page. He needed to capture this moment and a photo sure as hell wasn't gonna cut it. He comfortably sat on the couch sideways, facing the kitchen. He stuck his thumb up to this view before starting.
As Ritsu worked, Shou sketched, starting with the background first before the main subject. Ritsu. The sound of metal clanging and pencil scraping against paper filled the quiet house, it felt so peaceful.
"Ritsu, fire." Shou pointed and the sound of Ritsu yelping and rushing over to the stove made Shou chuckle, almost tempted to draw that pose instead of the current one. He'd do this every time Ritsu got distracted or went idle in thought, poor man probably had a hundred thoughts going through that big brain per minute.
It was around 2PM when Ritsu was done, just in time for lunch. Touichi texted that he was getting lunch with his friends, so it was perfect. Just the two of them, at a table. Eating lunch.
Shou felt like slamming his face into the couch cushions and the mere thought of this being a date. Hell no was this a date. Don't dates need consent or something?
"Suzuki, rule three remember?" Ritsu hummed, smirking at Shou's paling face.
"Of course!" Shou hopped off the couch, using a bit of his psychic powers to jump a little further so he could land near the table. "So what did chef Ritsu make today?" He smiled teasingly as he placed his sketchbook on the table at the side.
Ritsu rolled his eyes, dropping the plate on the table gently. Shou stared down at it.
"Is this Mac and cheese?"
"Did you figure that all on your own?" Ritsu retorted, sticking his tongue out, he sat down with his own plate and took the first bite. Shou did the same.
"This is...actually good."
"Actually good? You make it sound like you were anticipating the worst." Ritsu waved his spoon at Shou, who was eating his food greedily.
"I will slam your face into the plate."
Shou laughed, then choked before taking in a sip of water. "It's been so long since I've eaten someone else's cooking."
"You don't say..." Ritsu poked his food before taking another bite. He glanced down at Shou's sketchbook. "Were you writing?"
Shou protectively placed a hand on his sketchbook like it was his child. "Drawing, actually."
"Can I see?"
Shou thought for a minute, he wasn't done with the drawing yet. Technically, he was, but he had yet to add details. Like the blue wisps of energy that surrounded the kitchen. But he doubted Ritsu minded.
He hands the book gingerly.
Ritsu flipped through the pages, careful to not dirty it with his lunch. Shou appreciated the gesture. He watched as the boy's expressions change from amazement, to intrigued, to deep thinking then...
"Is this me?" Ah, Shou was waiting for Ritsu to mention that. He scraped the sides of his plate before answering.
"It's...really good." Ritsu's eyes were glued to the drawing, making the ginger turn as red as his hair.
"Wait till you see it's finished." Shou rubbed the back of his, laughing a bit too loudly.
"I'll be waiting then." He closed the sketchbook, handing it back to Shou.
They ate their lunch in comfortable silence afterwards, Shou feeling a bit hot in his jacket.
When they were done and Ritsu had finished helping with the dishes, Shou was tempted to ask Ritsu to stay a little longer but he kept quiet as he watched Ritsu make a move towards the exit. Ritsu paused before exiting, turning to give Shou a soft smile. "Um, is it okay if we make this a thing?"
"Sure!" Shou shouted, then covered his mouth in embarrassment. Ritsu rolled his eyes, closing the door behind him. The ginger sighed and flipped his sketchbook back to the page where he had left off on, running his hand against the drawing of the raven-haired man. The smile Ritsu had left him was definitely going to haunt his dreams tonight.
Shou decided he liked Ritsu's smile anyways.
Touichi came home a little bruised.
Shou wasn’t happy.
His son rarely got grounded, but when he is, it usually lasts over a few weeks. Though, this never really affected the boy all that much.
Even though Shou’s aware that Ritsu’s fully capable of reporting Touichi and getting him suspended for school property damage and harm of other students, the teacher doesn’t . Which confuses Shou a lot but he appreciated the gesture.
Or maybe Ritsu just doesn’t care.
Or maybe Ritsu knew it wouldn’t work on Touichi.
“What’d you do to get like this anyways?” Shou asked, wrapping his son’s arm in bandages.
Touichi went silent, then spoke again. “How was your date?”
It caused Shou to splutter and choke. “What date?”
“You had a date with Mr. Kageyama, he made lunch didn’t he?”
“How did you--”
“His aura. It’s all over the kitchen. Cold, intense blue.” Touichi answered quickly. Ah, he was right. It almost felt like Ritsu was still here, in the house. He could get use to this.
Shou nervously thumbed the bandages before tying it onto Touichi. “It wasn’t a date, he just needed help with cooking.”
“We had a date. I think.” Shou told Takane when he came in for work. She looked up lazily from her phone, placing it down before answering him.
“Congrats. What do you mean I think ?”
Shou ran a hand through his fiery hair. “We didn’t say it was a date, but we ate alone together and that’s kinda like a date right?”
“Bitch, that’s basically dating with no consent.”
“Huh.” Shou walked over to the cashier’s counter. “Yeah, you’re right.”
Takane rolled her eyes, a smile tugging her lips. The day would start with no customers and gradually people would roll in when the nearby schools end, kids were always attracted to the tiny animals in their cages, like the hamsters and bunnies.
Like Shou was when he was a kid.
During Shou’s free time, he’d finish up the drawing of Ritsu and Takane would check in to watch. She didn’t mind him drawing on the job, she found it a little relaxing to hear the pencil sketches and the paper flipping.
She especially found it satisfying when Shou inked his work.
“Is that...Ritsu?” Takane pointed at the drawing, she stared at it with such a nostalgic look. It’s almost as if…
“Do you know him?” Shou looked up from his sketchbook.
“Shit, I kept trying to convince myself you were talking about a different Kageyama Ritsu.” Takane rubbed her face with her hands and groaned. “Now I just feel stupid.”
“I knew him when I was younger, he was Mo-Shigeo’s brother.” Takane pointed. “I seriously should’ve known. The dude was so freaking popular back then.”
She started to go on about how Ritsu use to get love confessions behind the school, much like she did. One time, they both got a love confession at the same and the same place, it was pretty hilarious. They thought the confessor was each other until the real confessors showed up.
“I think he’s not into girls at all. Or maybe dating as a whole.” Takane finished, placing a hand on her chin and her elbow on the counter, leaning forward to stare at Shou’s artwork.
Gee, thanks for the encouragement.
Someone with a psychic presence entered the pet store, causing Shou’s attention to snap towards the door. A boy with lavender colored hair with a dead inside look walked in with his friend who had black spikey hair and closed eyes.
Or just really small eyes?
Nah, definitely closed.
They looked familiar…
“Mr. Suzuki?” The lavender boy asked, how did they know him? Wait--
“M...Minegishi was it?” Shou squinted his eyes a little, trying to remember the name correctly. The boy nodded. Shou sighed, relieved that he got the kid’s name right. “What’s up, boys?”
Minegishi flinched, causing his friend to grunt angrily.
“Minegishi isn’t a boy.” He said firmly. Takane looked up at them after staring at Shou’s sketchbook for too long, intrigued with their conversation.
“But that’s a boy’s uniform...are you trans?” Shou winced a little, realizing he said the wrong thing again when Minegishi shook his...her...their? Shook their head.
“Non-binary.” Minegishi said finally. “But that’s not important, Suzuki got himself into trouble. With an adult esper.”
Shou’s eyes widened a little in shock. Adult esper? “Kagey--”
“It’s not him this time.” Shimazaki interrupted him quickly. “It’s someone else.”
The ginger made quick eye contact with Takane for a split second, but she flashed him a ‘Go’ expression. So, without skipping a beat, he left without his sketchbook and pens.
Ritsu was in a situation that probably needed more than one psychic hand.
First off, he was trapped in a strange room with the shittiest kid in the world by some...other psychics.
Ritsu was just about to leave when he caught sight of two males standing in Touichi’s way. At first, the Kageyama thought those adults were good as dead since Shimazaki and Minegishi were by his side too and Touichi was in a shitty mood since Serizawa’s umbrella kept preventing him from bothering Reigen.
It was such a sweetheart move from Serizawa, honestly.
Just as Ritsu was about to turn the other way to head home, or grab a coffee, or stop by Shigeo’s office, or anything that wasn’t going to include Touichi in it, Ritsu heard yells and whipped his head back to see Touichi being kidnapped.
Luckily, Minegishi and Shimazaki looked decently unharmed and made attempts to stop the two adult espers. One was using pyrokinesis to completely obliterate Minegishi’s plants and Shimazaki’s teleportation and movement prediction wasn’t working against them.
Now, knowing his students was in deep shit, Ritsu ran towards them to help. He flicked his hand to the side, sending the pyrokinetic flying to one side and the telekinetic to the other. However, the teacher underestimated the dedication of the adult espers in kidnapping Touichi and the two were immediately up and running in a second.
Ritsu gritted his teeth, dropping his bag to use both his hands this time. Before he could actually do any harm, something was raised towards his face and sprayed . Like some sort of cologne.
Then the world blackened.
That was how Ritsu found himself in a room that prevented him from using his powers with Suzuki Touichirou.
“What did you do?” Ritsu hissed the moment he was fully conscious.
“Nothing.” Touichi growled back. “And I’m serious.”
“So what, they just attacked you?”
“I thought I already implied that.”
Ritsu threw his hands in the air, rather fed up with the bullshit he was going through. He wanted a normal fucking day.
Not that his normal days were even normal in the first place.
Besides using his powers, Ritsu’s second instinct was to call for help. He hoped to dear god that the kidnappers forgot that cellphones existed and that this places had service.
He patted his jeans pocket. Empty.
Fuck, was his phone in his bag?
“Touichi, do you--”
“Yes. But I’m fairly certain Minegishi and Shimazaki already called my dad for help, so I didn’t think I’d need to call--” Ritsu cuts him short by demanding his phone, after a few moments, the boy obliged.
Ritsu was glad he had Shigeo’s phone number memorized, for some reason. He keys them in and lets it ring for a second.
“Brother, I need help.”
Bumping into Suzuki’s dad again was a pleasant surprise.
It was more of a bigger surprise when he heard the reason for the father’s rush was to save his son from kidnappers.
Reigen pointed out that they were going to save their teacher from kidnappers too, what a coincidence. Shou’s expression only paled further.
It was odd how Mr. Kageyama had Mob’s personal phone number, but doesn’t comment on it when he saw the look on his master’s face. Absolute rage. It made Reigen want to curl on Serizawa’s lap and hide behind his umbrella like in class during lunch.
Not saying Reigen did curl on the boy’s lap, but he did hide behind the umbrella often.
Mob had the ability to locate where the kidnappers, a power Reigen had never seen before. Suzuki looked glad that he didn’t have to run around as much in search of his son and decided to tag along.
So, a team that consisted of himself, Serizawa, Mob, Minegishi (Ugh), Shimazaki (UGH) and Suzuki was formed and they all went to kick some kidnapper’s ass.
They stopped outside a seemingly innocent looking apartment complex, but after they broke the door down, they realized it was a research facility.
The others didn’t had to do much, Mob lifted two fingers and every single scientist in the room was suddenly held captive in the air by psychic energy. “Where is Kageyama Ritsu and…”
“Suzuki Touichirou.” Suzuki answered quickly, quite afraid of Mob’s strong powers.
“Suzuki Touichirou?” Mob echoed the name, the scientists all pointed to one door and they were all collectively dropped to the ground with a harsh thud.
“Well well, if it isn’t the famous exorcist in Seasoning City?” A figure of a woman said, standing at the other end of the door. “How are you?”
“Where are you keeping them?” Mob dismissed her greeting, her cheery mood didn’t waver.
“Gee, Kageyama, slow down. Won’t you let me explain what’s going on at least?”
“No.” She was then promptly sent flying backwards. Suzuki’s eyes widened at this, the rest were more unfazed.
As they ventured forward, Reigen found himself slowly grasping Serizawa’s hand, he wouldn’t admit it, but holding Serizawa’s hand made him feel safer. Mostly because, in case anyone were to attack them, the boy could protect him in a split second with his umbrella.
After busting open every single door, they finally reached the one where Mr. Kageyama and Touichi were held captive in.
Mob proceeded to hug the life out of his teacher, which seemed odd but okay.
Suzuki did the same thing with Touichi, except with extra steps. He first hugged the boy, then picked him up, then swung him around and squeezed him some more like Touichi was a doll.
Minegishi and his probably-boyfriend averted their eyes to save their leader the embarrassment. Reigen wished he could take a video, but he was sure his phone would be telekinetically destroyed.
“Holy shit you guys are insanely dumb.” Reigen turned to find the owner of that oddly familiar voice, but was proceeded to be blinded by the most hideous mixture of clothing colors.
“Hanazawa?” Mob breathed.
Teru was then proceeded to be slammed against the walls by Shou, Shimazaki, Shigeo, Ritsu and Touichi.
“Wai--” BANG “--t st--” BANG “--op!” Teru wheezed. Hell no was Ritsu gonna fucking stop.
The blonde was dropped to the ground after 10 seconds of being tortured, yet this man was still alive and conscious. “W-Will you l-let me speak now?”
They all found themselves in a different but cozier room, the adults sat around a table while the children played in a corner. It oddly felt like Ritsu was having PTM and he never liked those.
He chose a seat next to his brother, obviously, and Shou. So he was squeezed in between his two favorite people.
Yes, Ritsu liked Shou’s presence. His personality? Not all that much.
“First off, sorry for kidnapping your son, from what I heard, he was getting violent and they had to do a plan B. Then Little Brother here had to get involved so it got more physical.” Teru explained. Yeah ok blondie, fuck you too.
Teru went on to explain that he planned on recruiting young espers to hone their skills so their potentials won’t be wasted or be badly abused. Ritsu coughed loudly on the second one, eyeing the children behind him.
Touichi pretended he wasn’t eavesdropping. He also pretended he wasn’t purposely making Reigen float around the room.
“And for the spray thing, that was actually gonna be used on kids who have like...tantrums. Or outbursts.” Teru explained further. Ritsu glanced at Shigeo, who looked rather...well he didn’t look like anything. His expressions were as plain as an empty sheet of paper.
Shou looked like he just discovered how to enhance his parental skills to a hundred, making him bounce like mad.
“Who’s idea was this?” Shigeo mumbled softly. Teru blushed, embarrassed to admit it.
“This kid, that visited the bakery often. He said he had classmates who had psychic abilities that weren’t fully developed or just badly used.”
Ritsu wondered if it was one of his students that anonymous kid was talking about.
After more explaining and random chit chats, Ritsu decided he should probably drop out of the conversation. He’s 100% sure his cover as Not-Shigeo’s-Brother had been blown by this fashion disaster man, so might as well just be more open now.
“Thanks for saving me, brother.” Ritsu grinned happily, earning a nice small smile from Shigeo.
“What about me, Riichan?” Shou hummed, pointing at himself. Ritsu grunted, rolling his eyes.
“The fuck do you want me to do? Give you a fucking kiss?”
“A thanks would suffice, but a kiss would be fine too.” Shou laughed, it made Ritsu’s stomach flip. Was this man serious? Can he?
Alright then, I’ll humor you.
Ritsu actually leaned over in his chair, spotting Shou’s eyes widen in shock. Bet the ginger didn’t actually see that coming. The black-haired man only paused, an inch away from the side of Shou’s face. “Friday evening, dinner. Your place.”
And like that, Ritsu got up, bidded Teru and the others goodbye before leaving with Shigeo to probably grab a coffee.
Shou’s face had never looked that red before.
The kids, on the other hand, all collectively shield their eyes from it. Except Serizawa, who thought that gesture was cute.
Ritsu noticed how Reigen was still gripping Serizawa’s hand before closing the door behind him.
I don't proof read my things, I'm sorry :(
Chapter 12: Ritsu Does A Good Job
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.
Chapter 13: Shou Draws (Attention)
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.”
Chapter 14: Ritsu, A Dad In Making
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.
“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?
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--”
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.
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.
“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.
Chapter 15: A Great Deal Of Trust
In which Touichi shows weakness and is displeased
Ritsu visited Shigeo right after work.
He made his way to the office, walking along with Reigen and Serizawa, who both happened to be going to Spirits and Such, they didn’t question why he was going and merely guessed Ritsu was just visiting Shigeo.
Ever since Shigeo was revealed to be Ritsu’s brother, the news didn’t spread as fast as Ritsu had expected and much to his amazement too. He realized that he might’ve been overthinking the whole time.
“Oh, hello Reigen, Serizawa and…” Shigeo’s eyes wandered up to the tallest male, who smiled politely back. “Ritsu!”
“Hey, brother.” Ritsu walked in right after the two boys. Reigen and Serizawa immediately walked to the tiny desk next to the door to get ready for work, apparently someone had called in for an exorcism. “Is this a bad time?”
“You could join us.” Reigen answered for his master. Shigeo seemed to have expected that and didn’t made the effort to even reply.
“I’ve never really exorcised a spirit before.”
“Pfft, it’s easy. Right, Serizawa?” Reigen nudged the boy next to him, who jumped and glanced at him, then at Ritsu.
“Uhm, sure. Simple.” He mumbled nervously, he was trying to smile. Ritsu had the overwhelming urge to tell him to get a glass of water, he didn’t though.
Shigeo closed his laptop and checked the time, before gesturing to the door. “You don’t have to come if you don’t want to, Ritsu, I won’t mind. This exorcism should be quick, so you could wait he--”
“No no, I’ll come!” Ritsu interrupted pushing the door a little wider so the rest could exit, he watched as Reigen reached for a bag of table salt from under his small desk and shoved it into his pocket. He walked right out the door as if that was normal.
“Can we get a donut after this?” Serizawa piped up, gripping his umbrella tightly.
Shigeo nodded at Ritsu’s answer, then he gazed over at the boy and smiled softly. “Yeah, since Ritsu’s coming.”
Ugh, not Teru again.
The spirit was indeed not a big issue, in fact, it didn’t take much effort from the espers to get rid of him and could’ve been easily exterminated by just Shigeo himself. Ritsu had a small feeling that since the spirit wasn’t all that strong, he decided to let the younger ones do the work.
Reigen had fun spraying salt everywhere, Serizawa was the one who did the actual exorcism.
Ritsu stood by his brother’s side, watching the kids play. They were in an abandoned apartment, which seemed to be where most of the ghosts were, he wondered if Shigeo was actually making any money out of this.
As planned, they quickly went over to the bakery to grab themselves donuts and such. Teru looked especially pleased to see Shigeo again, his mood changing from a bored strained smile to a genuine delighted one.
“Shigeo! Little Brother! Reigen, Serizawa. Glad to see you guys again.” The blonde waved happily, making Shigeo grin back in response. The exchange was quite odd to Ritsu and he wondered if there was more meaning to it.
Reigen ran towards the display, smashing his face against the cold glass. “Cool new cakes, do you guys come up with new ones every month or something?”
“As often as I feel like it really.” Teru leaned against the counter, watching Reigen’s eyes gloss over the nicely decorated cakes.
“Is that...a Minecraft cake?” Serizawa whispered and Ritsu swore he saw those eyes light up brighter than the stars in the night sky.
“Suzuki suggested that one, brings back some nostalgia doesn’t it? It’s a popular one too, so I might make it official.” Teru chuckled. Serizawa’s face reddened upon realizing that he had shown a side of him that he wanted to hide, the grip on his umbrella tightened.
Ritsu rolled his eyes, a grin creeping onto his lips. “Of course Shou would suggest that.”
“And of course you’d know that, seems like you’re getting along great.” Teru hummed knowingly, making it Ritsu’s turn to blush.
“Oh, am I missing something?” Shigeo glanced between the two, a little confused.
“Suzuki and Little Brother are dating.” Teru blurted. Ritsu resisted the urge to smack him across the face, he was planning to tell his brother by himself, thank you very much.
“Oh, congratulations.” Shigeo turned to his brother and smiled brightly, making Ritsu’s heart clench. It felt a little unfair that Ritsu had found love first before his brilliant brother did, Ritsu had honestly wanted to wait till Shigeo was dating to bring it up. Which might’ve been impossible, but Ritsu was bold enough to try.
“Thanks.” Ritsu managed out, smiling weakly back.
“And,” Teru folded his arms, possibly leaning too far forward already, “he’s becoming an actual adult now! He’s doing stuff like cooking on his own.”
“What the hell do you mean ‘actual adult’, I’ve been an actual adult for 13 years!” Ritsu growled.
“Master, can we get a donut now?” Reigen interrupted, getting increasingly impatient with the bickering. Serizawa was still ogling over the Minecraft cake before quickly looking up at the mention of donuts.
“Here you two go, these are on the house.” Teru winked at Shigeo, handing the two simple sugar frosted donuts.
The other noticeably blushed.
Ritsu was not happy with this, but at least he wouldn’t have to worry about Shigeo staying single forever.
“I literally thought you went missing or got kidnapped or ran away or died.” Shou rambled, following Ritsu out of the elevator lobby and towards his apartment.
“You’re being too dramatic, how’s the kid?” Ritsu unlocked his door and pushed it open, dropping his work bag inside.
Shou leaned against the wall, drumming his fingers against it. “Still grounded, still angry, still...a kid.”
“They’ll grow up eventually.”
“I liked him better as a smelly diaper baby.”
Ritsu raised his eyebrow, Shou didn’t bother to elaborate. Instead, the ginger proceeded to continue. “How are your kids?”
“I don’t have any children.” Ritsu replied coldly.
“I’m sure they’ll be disappointed to hear that.” Shou snorted. “But really though, how’re the squirts?”
Ritsu tapped his chin tightly, pulling the door closed to lean on it. “Minegishi decided to work at a flower shop since Touichi can’t lead the gang anymore. Shibata joined the body improvement club. Serizawa still has that umbrella. Hanako started dating recently.”
“You sure seem to know a lot for someone who doesn’t care.”
Ritsu furrowed his brows, frowning. “What makes you think I don’t care?”
“You always have that…” Shou gestured to his face vaguely. “...’I don’t give a fuck’ look. Still pretty though.”
“Well, you look like you’re always looking down at me.”
“How, I’m literally shorter than you. I have to tilt my head a tiny bit to meet you at eye level or kiss you.”
Ritsu pinched the bridge of his nose. “I mean, you always look so fucking smug. It hurts.”
Shou didn’t answer him, his face was pulled into a look of confusion, tilting to one side to comprehend what the raven had meant. “I’m sorry?”
“You don’t sound like it, but it’s fine.”
The ginger got off the wall, nervously rubbing his hands together. He felt like he had just uncovered a sensitive topic and didn’t feel like dealing with a pissy Ritsu. “You wanna come in? We could make dinner, I could draw you again and maybe you could finally warm up to Touichi. Or vice versa.”
“You really love drawing, huh?”
“Is that a yes?”
Touichi was overall displeased to see his teacher in his house once again. How long had it been since they’ve interacted? Months probably. It was definitely subtle at first, then as they talked, their bond grew.
He honestly didn’t expect his father’s stupid charm to work on his teacher, but if it managed to work on Mom, it would’ve definitely worked on someone else. He just didn’t expect that someone else to be his teacher.
He had peaked out of his room, he heard the sound of cooking and wondered why Dad had started to cook early. He was met with a blur of blue and red energy hovering from the kitchen and the grip on his door tightened.
“Touichi, you can come out if you want.” Dad had called from the kitchen, followed by the sound of metal clanging onto the floor. “My bad!”
“Idiot.” Kageyama laughed, the tease coming off as a flirt. Fucking gross.
Touichirou’s answer to Dad’s invitation was a loud slam of his door, his energy spiking angrily to express his displeasure. Dad didn’t seem to care.
When dinner came, it took a huge amount of effort for Touichi to leave his room and sit at the table to eat, he stayed particularly far from Kageyama, shooting icy glares at him.
Kageyama surprisingly didn’t shoot back, he only rolled his eyes and ate.
“Feels like a nuclear family, huh?” Kageyama swallowed, poking at his food before taking another bite.
“We’re not that explosive.” Dad huffed, taking full offense from the comment.
“Pops, he means a family that has two present parents.” Touichi interjected, suppressing an eye roll. “Something we aren’t and never will be.”
“Don’t be so harsh.” Dad scrunched his face up, waving his chopsticks at Touichi. “Ritsu could be your new mom.”
“I liked my old mom.” Touichi mumbled, he still hadn’t touched his food.
Kageyama hesitantly swallowed again, staring at Touichi. “Well, I doubt she’s coming back.”
“What do you know, I don’t think you’ve lost either of your parents.” Touichi scoffed, folding his arms. “And I know Mom’s gone for good. But I was hoping once I’ve become really powerful, she’ll probably come back and realize what she’s missing out on.”
Dad placed his chopsticks down, worry written all over his face. “Is that why you’ve been--”
“And it’s probably not gonna work.” Kageyama added, which came out rather rude. “Look, I’m sorry about your shitty mom--”
“Mom was not shitty, she just...realized how...weak I was with my powers. Couldn’t control it well and stuff.” Touichi explained meekly, finally noticing how dumb his reasons were. It had been a while since he had actually sat down and thought about the reason behind his mom leaving, all this time he was convincing himself that it was because he was just weak.
Maybe he was wrong.
“Little dude, what made you think that.” Dad laughed, coming out as a strangled cough. “Shit, I knew I should’ve sat you down to explain it all. I just assumed you understood.”
“How old was he when she left?” Kageyama leaned over, asking quietly, but it was still loud enough to be heard.
Kageyama leaned away to palm his own face, letting out a long sigh. “Shou.”
“What does it matter anyway, even if you were planning to get me a new mom, it really could be anyone else but him! What about his brother?” Touichi argued, glaring at Kageyama, who finally decided to glare back.
“Touichi, you don’t get to decide who your dad gets to love.” Kageyama replied sternly.
Touichi wrung his hands in the air in defeat, pushing his chair back so he could excuse himself. “Don’t you get it? I really really hate you.”
Kageyama’s expression didn’t change one bit. “I noticed.”
“And I forever will.” Touichi hopped off the chair and stormed into his room, his plate still untouched.
The weeks go by normally after that, Ritsu had pretended the little argument never happened in the first place and neither did Touichi. The esper students in his class had evidently stopped messing around after spending more time at the Awakening Lab and due to the newspaper girl and her assistant providing a small bit of publicity for them, they got even more funding.
Which meant Ritsu wasn’t just being a volunteer anymore, he was getting paid and it also meant Shigeo was getting paid too.
Slowly, more and more espers rolled into the Awakening Lab, some Ritsu had recognized before and others looking entirely new. There were even kids from the next town over visiting them.
And for the nice cherry on top, Kurosaki’s prediction turned out to be true. Shou and him had really hit it off, spending more time with each other after work and on holidays and on some days, Shou would carry him into the sky at night and just fly.
The view was really breathtaking, Ritsu couldn’t get enough of it.
Unfortunately, good moments really do not last forever. When summer rolled in, Touichi’s immense hatred for Ritsu’s mere existence became very obvious.
From blunt insults to deliberate attempts to ruin his dates, Touichi had single handedly surpassed being annoying into a whole new level of jerk within a few weeks.
So one fine day, when Shou had excused himself to scrub clean his paint palettes and brushes after painting an especially hard drawing of Ritsu, the teacher knocked on the teenager’s door and without waiting for an answer, entered right in.
“What is your problem?” Ritsu hissed, watching as Touichi turned ninety degrees to face him from his desk. Touichi raised an eyebrow, feigning innocence. Impatiently, Ritsu continued. “You knocked over the painting canvas, the paint got everywhere. You’ve been bothering us for, what, 14 days?”
“I want you to leave Dad.” Touichi said, not a hint of hesitation.
Ritsu sighed exasperatedly, folding his arms and leaning on the doorway. “You’re just stubborn, you can’t accept this big change in your life. It’s almost like you’re scared the incident with your mom would happen again.”
Touichi’s eyes widened at the mention of his problem with his mother, he faced away from Ritsu and went back to doing his homework. Ritsu noticed this, squinting his eyes at the boy and smirked.
“Wait, you’re...really scared aren’t you?”
“Shut up. Just disappear.”
“You’re scared that if you got a replacement for your mom, they’ll leave just like she did.”
The pencil in Touichi’s hand snapped and Ritsu’s barrier immediately appeared, ready to defend himself.
“I’m not scared. Being afraid makes you weak.”
“Bullshit, fun fact, my brother’s afraid of losing things too. He’s afraid of losing control, losing people he loves. Do you think he’s weak?”
Touichi thought for a minute, tilting his head, his jaw tightening. “He always seemed so stoic though.”
“That’s his coping mechanism, he’s been trying to express more though.” Ritsu quickly answered. “Look, all I’m saying is, it’s totally fine to be afraid. But trust me when I say this, I’m not gonna go anywhere. Give me a chance won’t you, little shit?”
“One chance only.”
“Harsh, but alright.”
“Make Dad cry and your bones will fertilize the plants in our school.”
Ritsu scrunched his face up, slightly amused. “Is that a Minecraft reference?”
“Please leave my room.”
“Touichi’s suddenly liking you. What did you do?” Shou nudged Ritsu at the dinner table, the black-haired male shrugged.
Touichi, truthfully, did not like Ritsu. He was simply pretending.
Touichi would not dare to admit it, but he has taken a liking to Ritsu. After he stopped trying to bother the man, he eventually got used to him and realized they both liked reading the same kind of books.
Ritsu even lets Touichi read his journal from time to time, something his dad didn’t get to experience first.
They celebrate Ritsu’s one year not-triggering-the-smoke-alarm anniversary along with his relationship anniversary with Shou.
Ritsu moved in with Shou, but it barely made a difference, the teacher didn’t have much furniture and stuff to begin with and was practically already living with the Suzuki’s before. Though, this meant Ritsu had to actually hide the exam answers so Touichi wouldn’t take them.
They flipped a coin to decide which family name to use, Touichi argued that Suzuki would be better. Ritsu complied, it didn’t bother him that much anyways.
Ritsu did not expect the cake to be so well decorated, even though he was fully aware that Teru was the one that baked it.
His parents are there and very proud of him, they were getting rather worried since Ritsu had entered his thirties last year and was still very much single. They were quite pleased to meet Shou during that year’s Mother’s Day and was quick to bless their marriage.
Ritsu’s whole class was here, kids from the Awakening Lab were here, even the Awakening Lab’s staff had bothered to come.
Takenaka had provided the flowers, Minegishi was the one that organized them while managing to have fun with Shimazaki.
Tsubomi gave Ritsu a hard slap on the back, as expected from a tennis player, and laughed about how much he had grown.
“You use to be so emo as a kid.”
Even Kamuro and Tokugawa had appeared and all they were to Ritsu were co-workers in school.
And with a gentle peck on the lips, Ritsu was offically a Suzuki.
Shou woke up to the sound of a fire alarm blaring from his own kitchen at 2AM in the morning, he rolled out of his unusually empty bed to investigate the noise.
There he found was a tall black-haired male and a very smoky microwave, the ginger laughed and quickly turned off the fire alarm before it got too serious while Ritsu kept fanning the smoke away.
Shou cleaned up the mess, teasing Ritsu. “Goodbye one year streak of good unharmed food.”
Ritsu scoffed in reply, draping an arm around Shou lazily. “I didn’t need your help, but thanks.”
They went back to bed together after grabbing a quick snack, with arms wrapped tightly around each other.