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So Many Ways to Say I Love You (and this is probably the weirdest)

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"What exactly about mutual murder is considered romantic?", demanded a loud angry voice as its owner barged into the lab where Gen had quietly been slacking off work.


Oh, looks like their beloved chief was in a bad mood. Turning around from where she'd been breaking in the cards that Senku had made her last week (so sweet!), Gen could see Senku frowning impressively at an innocent sheath of ship diagrams she'd picked up from the glass-countertop. Senku wasn't the type to yell or get violent, no matter how pissed, so the the grip on the papers was steady and gentle. Her expression, however, was so disdainful you'd think she was considering scrapping the entire Perseus, instead of revamping it for a journey across the world.


Gen couldn't let their fearless leader and the love of her life wallow in that type of bad mood, so it seemed it was time to investigate. "I'm guessing this isn't an invitation for an etymological discussion of the phrase 'la petite mort'"? 


Senku snorts disdainfully, "No, it's a legitimate question for our resident psychology expert on why Ginro thinks I'm planning on asking Tsukasa out now that he'd been defrosted."


"Well the primary reason is Ginro is stupid.."


"I already knew that." Senku interrupts. Gen holds up her hand to be allowed to continue. 


"But you do have to admit it has a certain romance to it, right? A lovely young maiden returning successful from a perilous quest with a magical artifact to save a dashing young man injured in their showdown with a treacherous villain." Gen makes her voice take on a sappy, melodramatic tone and is rewarded with Senku's anger morphing into a face a of disgust.


"I hate every single word in that last sentence. Also we didn't bust our asses for the Medusa to save Tsukasa, it was to investigate the whole petrification of humanity event. Reviving our resident human popsicle was just a bonus."


More like Senku was, at heart, far too soft to let anyone die without a fight, past attempted serial murder non-withstanding. That was, however, a thought better not voiced if she wanted Senku's mood to improve. So instead, Gen flicked a flower from her sleeve and said in her smariest voice, "But that's not a good story Senku-chan. So of course if a single woman does something nice for a single man people will talk."


Senku gave up on glaring at the papers she was holding and let her head drop onto the cool glass countertop with a moan. "I hate gossip and romance-obsessed teenagers. Do one half-way decent thing for a guy and people insist you're in love with him. Deny it and people just think you're being shy or some shit." She sat up with a thousand-yard stare, some of her hair had fallen out of it's ever present bun and was now gently framing her face (God, Gen wished phone cameras were still a thing). "Taiju and Chrome are the only valid teenage boys in existence. I'm banishing every guy under 50 from the Kingdom. Maybe then I can work on reviving all of humanity without people starting stupid rumors that I'm in love with every guy I so much as talk to."


Gen quirks her eyebrows and plays along, "I think we still need Ryuusui to captain the Perseus." 


Senku now smiling slightly, scoffs, "He can stay, I guess, since he'll stop flirting if you tell him it's annoying, also he's too wrapped up in his own escapades to gossip about other people's."


They each take a moment to contemplate the enigma that is Ryuusui somehow being both their Kingdom's most disreputable lech and most steadfast gentleman. Truly, Ryuusui was a riddle for the ages.


Venting seems to have cheered Senku up though. This time when she picks up the ship diagrams, she starts actually reading them instead of just glaring at the paper. Gen however, does not go back to getting to know her new card deck. Instead she thinks.


You see, the thing is Gen is, to borrow a phrase, 10 billion percent in love with Senku. Now Senku being also definitely asexual and probably aromantic wasn't really what presented a problem; Gen wanted to be Senku's favorite and most trusted person, which didn't really require romance, and craved Senku's affection and respect, which certainly didn't require sex. Any relationship, after all, required a compromise on intimacy between the involved parties. The key word, however, was relationship.


If Senku wouldn't admit that she loved the idiot who has been her best friend since they were five, the villagers whose lives she constantly strove to improve, or even the father who had single-handedly raised her and devoted his life to the belief that she would succeed in saving humanity, then Gen certainly wasn't going to convince Senku to admit she cared about Gen.


The current situation, however, gave Gen an idea. Half of mentalism was just giving people excuses to do things they already wanted to do. After all, it wasn't that Senku didn't care, it was simply that she didn't want to admit she cared. She stuck close to her friends with excuses like useful or logical, but that didn't mean she didn't cherish that friendship. So it stood to reason that if Senku where to, let's say, gain a convenient excuse to have a partner, then if she wasn't opposed to the person in question she'd probably go for it.


Gen started shuffling her card deck again while she plotted and let a wide grin sneak its way across her face, before schooling her obvious glee into something more smirk-like. "Senku-chan, I think I might have a solution to your gossip problems."