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Saiki didn’t mind his powers for the most part and he honestly didn’t know how normal humans could cope without any kind of helping hand. His powers had their many uses, and he was glad that he could control them better than he could before. They were convenient. He could use them to avoid many of the annoyances that disturbed his day-to-day life. He could burn away infections and viruses, so he was never ill. He could use his telepathy and x-ray to avoid obstacles in his way and he could easily teleport out of a sticky situation if he needed. It just made his life that much easier.

Though there was one drawback that he could blame on his powers explicitly. He had become used to relying on reading people’s thoughts, so he was never startled or surprised by what others would deem erratic behaviour. This was because he knew what everyone was planning to do before they did it. Even animals couldn’t surprise him as he could understand them and read their minds as well. The only things he couldn’t read were insects and small bugs and because of this, their behaviour was unpredictable and highly erratic. He has never been able to read small creatures and therefore has developed a deep-seated phobia of the little critters.

Not that anyone of his friends knew of such a trivial matter, nor did Saiki have any inclination to inform them of such an insignificant piece of information about himself. Though that decision was taken out of his hands one day when he was sitting in the classroom during a lunch break, all of his friends had decided to crowd around his desk again. Nendo wasn’t present for once which should have tipped Saiki off that something was about to go wrong with his day.

He is listening to Kaidou resight another tale of the great adventures of the Jet-Black Wings and how he defeated another troop of Dark Reunion soldiers. While Kuboyasu and Hairo argue about the best way to resolve a robbery situation. While Hairo thought it was best to subdue the robber and return the property back to its owner in the safest way possible. Kuboyasu was trying to argue that beating the perp to a pulp would be the fastest way to resolve the situation and claim the stolen goods back. Saiki merely rolled his eyes at them.

It wasn’t long before Nendo was walking back into the classroom, his hands cupped in front of his chest as he seems to talk down to whatever he is holding. If he is holding anything. Really, with Nendo, one could never tell. The taller teenager makes his way over to Saiki’s desk, his smile widening into a grin as he pushes his way past anyone standing in his way. By the time he reaches their group Nendo is laughing loudly to himself, hands spasming around whatever he had found outside.

Leaning forward to whisper, or talk as quietly as he is able to, Nendo opens his hands to introduce the brand-new friend he had found outside and wished to show them all. He lowers his hands, fingers unclenching to show off this friend, but before he can open his hands wide enough, Saiki jumps out of his seat. Moving faster than most of his friends can track as he hides behind the closest person to him which just so happens to be Kuboyasu. His muscles clenching so as to prevent anything from exploding at the sight before him.

 Scuttling around Nendo’s poised hands is a small six-legged critter with antennae twitching on its little head. It scurries around in circles, crawling around Nendo’s fingers which makes Saiki’s skin crawl, his fear getting the better of him for a moment as his hand shoots out to grip hold of Kuboyasu’s shoulder. Ducking his head below the other’s back to block to sight of the cockroach from his gaze as a small whimper escapes his throat.

“Oh my gosh, Saiki are you alright?”

“Saiki, you okay there?”

“Nendo, what the hell dude?”

“Why did you bring a cockroach into the classroom?”

“I told you, I made a new friend.”

Saiki can feel his muscles shivering as he listens to his friends questioning both himself and Nendo about their actions, but he cannot bring himself to pull away from the warmth and comfort he can feel radiating from Kuboyasu’s rigid form. He presses himself a little closer, almost subconsciously tuning in to everyone’s thoughts to gauge their honest reactions to Nendo’s new friend.

‘I can believe Nendo is able to carry something so creepy looking in his hand. Speaking of creepy looking, I didn’t know Saiki was scared of bugs.’

‘I hope Saiki is going to be okay, maybe I should tell Nendo to take the cockroach back outside, they shouldn’t be allowed in a classroom setting anyway.’

‘Saiki is holding my shoulder. Is it weird that I kinda want to pull him to a hug and protect him from the bugs? I mean I can’t believe Saiki is afraid of bugs of all things, but it is kinda cute. I wonder why he is so scared of them?’

That final thought gives him pause and Saiki slackens his grip on Kuboyasu’s shoulder, just enough to allow him to peek out from behind the ex-delinquent. His gaze raises to catch Kuboyasu’s expression and is surprised to find a faint blush dusting the other’s pale cheeks. The reaction to him seeking sanctuary away from the cockroach causes a tightening in his chest and he tightens his grip on Kuboyasu’s shoulder again.

A squeak of alarm soon escapes his throat when a burst of booming laughter reaches his ears, and the twitching little critter is shoved right under his nose. Taking a deep breath and clenching his muscles as tight as he is able to halt his powers going haywire, Saiki once again ducks behind Kuboyasu, his arms wrapping tightly around the other's shoulders this time as he buries his face in the other’s neck. His shoulder quiver as petrified tears escapes his eyes, no matter how hard he tries to keep them at bay. He hadn’t cried in years and he really didn’t want to show such a weakness in front of this group of idiots, despite them being his friends.

“Hey, pal. Hey, Pal. I didn’t know you were scared of bugs. What’s so scary about these little things, they are kind of cute when you look at them. Look, Pal. Look at the little bug.”

Saiki shakes his head, burying his face deeper in the junction of Kuboyasu’s shoulder and neck in hopes of blocking out Nendo’s nattering about how he is going to bring the cockroach to class with him more often. He hates how amusing the moron is finding his predicament and if he knew that Nendo wouldn’t chase him down the corridor with the darn thing, then he would make a break for it, but past occurrences suggest that option is not in his favour.

“For goodness’ sake, Nendo would you get that thing out of here. What is your problem man?”

Kuboyasu snaps twists himself around so he can manoeuvre Saiki around, so the smaller teenager is cuddled into his chest and not his back. He wraps a secure arm around his trembling friend's frame as he attempts to protect Saiki from the bumbling idiot who is still trying to shove the bug in his face. Sometimes he wonders how Nendo could be such an idiot.

‘This moron made Saiki cry. I don’t know why but that fact is making me so mad, I feel like I could just sock Nendo in the face for even thinking of making Saiki cry again. I really hope that Saiki is okay.’

“Yea, Nendo go take that thing outside. You shouldn’t be walking around with it inside anyway, it is covered in germs.”

“I agree, Nendo, you have plenty of friends here and you are upsetting Saiki. I think it would be better for everyone if you let the little guy go.”

Muttered agreements reach Saiki’s ears and after a moment of grumbling, Nendo sighs, curls his hands around the scuttling bug once more and exits the classroom. Not even Nendo was stupid enough to continue to bother Saiki when all of their friends were against him. Despite the fact that the cockroach was now being taken further and further away from him, Saiki did not remove himself from Kuboyasu’s embrace. Nor did the taller teenager make any move to withdraw his protective arms from around Saiki. Not that Saiki minded at all.

“Hey, is Saiki okay?”

Kaidou’s voice is quiet. It was almost as if he thought Saiki would break into tears if he spoke in anything louder than a whisper and though Saiki didn’t appreciate being thought of as a damsel in distress, he appreciated the gesture. Kuboyasu’s arm tightens around his waist momentarily.

“I didn’t know he was this scared of bugs. I wonder if something happened.”

A hand curls around his shoulder and Saiki has to try his hardest not to flinch away from the contact. He didn’t want anyone else touching him, not when he could still feel his powers fighting to break free of his control. He may not like his friends all the time, but he didn’t want to hurt any of them either.

“I have no idea, but he will be alright. Once he calms down a little.”

‘I really hope Nendo is taking that thing away. If he comes back to the classroom with it, I am going to knock him out.’

“Saiki? Hey Saiki, it is okay now. That thing is gone, I promise.”

Saiki doesn’t respond, just tucks himself closer to Kuboyasu’s protective embrace. He takes a deep breath attempting to calm down his quivering limbs. The hand on his shoulder tightens slightly, pressure trying to pull him away from his safe haven. He resists.

‘Saiki shouldn’t be clinging to this delinquent; I should be the one to comfort him. I mean it is what I should do as the perfect pretty girl, and I am sure it would make Saiki’s day if he got the chance to hug me.’

“Here Kuboyasu, I am sure you have things to be doing. I can look after Saiki for a while.”

Teruhashi tightens her grip, even more, placing her other hand on the small of Saiki’s back, just below Kuboyasu’s arm. She smiles sweetly up at the purple-haired teenager, eyes sparkling with glee as she thinks that Kuboyasu is going to immediately hand Saiki over to her. Kuboyasu glances down at the girl for a second, thoughts overturning in his mind as he contemplates doing as Teruhashi says when the decision is taken out of his hands.

Saiki, listening in to Teruhashi’s thoughts, shudders. He didn’t want to be left alone with Teruhashi, not in the state he is in any way. One more wrong action or thought from the girl could end up in catastrophe. He didn’t want to injure her, or worse, kill her because his powers were still a little shaky. His arms slide upwards, winding themselves around Kuboyasu’s neck instead of his broad shoulders allowing him to curl closer to the other boy.

‘Oh my gosh, Saiki chose me over Teruhashi. Does he want me to calm him down? I wonder if I should take him somewhere away from the others. He might feel embarrassed once he has calmed down enough and would probably want some time away from these morons. I think the door to the roof is still unlocked… If it isn’t, I can just break it.’

“That’s okay Teruhashi. I think Saiki just needs some space. He will be back to normal shortly. I think I am just going to find a quiet place for him to sit down for a little while.”

“I can go with you.”

“No, it's alright. I wouldn’t want any of you to miss class.”

“But wouldn’t you be missing class, Kuboyasu?”

Hairo joins in, sweat trickling down his forehead as he stares intently at his classmate, eyes gleaming as he sends a quick wink to Kuboyasu. The action quickly brought a slight blush to his cheeks. He glances down at Saiki, lifting a hand up to card through the pink locks.

“The teachers are used to me skipping class and besides if they ask can you tell them that Saiki wasn’t feeling well, and I am looking after him?”

“I’ll tell then Kuboyasu, you go look after Saiki.” Kaidou cuts in, patting his friend on the back, gesturing towards the door of the classroom with his head. Kuboyasu smiles down at Kaidou and without a second thought slips an arm under Saiki’s knees. Without strain, Kuboyasu manages to lift Saiki into his arms as he makes his way out of the classroom. He needed to make it look as if Saiki really was ill so when the teacher asks, they had multiple witnesses from the other students.

With some manoeuvring Kuboyasu manages to navigate the halls of the school, slipping past students, many of which stop to stare at him and Saiki as he walks past. His arms tighten around Saiki for a moment before allowing the smaller teenager to slip from his grip when they make it to the bottom of the stairs leading up to the roof.

‘Man, I really didn’t want to let go of Saiki just yet, but I know I won’t be able to make it up the stairs carrying him.’

Saiki feels a blush rising on his cheeks at Kuboyasu’s thoughts and slips his hand into his friends just as he takes the first step up the stairs. He feels the other pause for a split second before his fingers slip around his own and his grip tightens.

‘Saiki is holding my hand. I guess he didn’t want to let go either. No, that can’t be right. Saiki doesn’t like physical contact… but he did hug me earlier… even if it was because he was scared of the cockroach… but it was still more physical contact than I would have expected from Saiki… I wonder if he would ever let me hug him again… it felt really nice, and he was so warm…’

They pair ascend the stairs in silence, each lost in their own thoughts. Kuboyasu guides Saiki up to the roof, hand secure around the others. He sighs with relief when the lock on the door is still unlocked and quickly opens it to reveal the peace and quiet of the school roof. Pulling Saiki along behind him, Kuboyasu slides down against the metal fence surrounding them, tugging Saiki to sit down next to him.

Saiki follows without a word, settling himself down on the floor. His gaze fixates on his lap as his embarrassment begins to win out over his previous fears. A quick glance up shows Kuboyasu with his head tilted back, eyes closed as he waits patiently for Saiki to speak first.

‘I wonder if Saiki would want to talk to me about his fear. I don’t want to force him, but maybe he would feel better if someone else knows.’

Kuboyasu?

“What’s up, Saiki?”

Thank you.

“You don’t have to thank me, Saiki. We are friends, it's what we do for each other.”

I’m sorry for clinging to you like that.

Kuboyasu, opens his eyes glancing down at Saiki who hadn’t moved. His mouth falls into a frown, hands twitching to reach out and pull his friend into a tight embrace again.

“Don’t apologise, Saiki. Never apologise for being afraid of something. Besides, I didn’t mind.”

‘Damn, I didn’t mean to say that out loud.’

“Do you want to talk about it?”

Saiki thinks about it for a moment, he would like to tell Kuboyasu about his fear, but he didn’t think he could without revealing his powers. Pulling his gaze up from his lap, Saiki glances up at one of his most tolerable friends. Considering his options, he smiles. He was going to do it. He nods.

Before I tell you about my phobia, there is something I need to explain before I can. It won’t really make sense otherwise…

‘Saiki seems really serious about this. He knows that I am not going to tell anyone, right. I really hope so.’

“You don’t have to worry about me telling anyone, Saiki. I know you better than you probably think, and I know that you are a really private person. I mean come on, none of us even knew you had an older brother until he spirited Kaidou and Nendo off to London for a day. I won’t tell anyone unless you say it okay.”

I know. I just…

“You are worried that I won’t believe you?”

Saiki nods, it was pretty unbelievable if he did say so himself. He didn’t want Kuboyasu to think he is lying just to get out of telling him about his fear.

“Nothing you tell me now is going to change what I think of you Saiki, I promise. I know you never lie to any of us, even to spare our feelings.”

Okay. I am psychic.

‘Did Saiki just say he was Psychic? An actual Psychic. That… isn’t actually as surprising as I thought…’

“Psychic? Like Toritsuka and Aiura?”

Sort of, but not quite. Toritsuka is a spirit medium, he can communicate and manipulate ghosts and spirits. Aiura is like a fortune teller, she can see the future and predict things that are going to be.

“So what can you do?”

I have telepathic abilities. I can use Pyrokinesis, Cryokinesis, Hydrokinesis. I have telekinetic abilities. Can Teleport, aport items, x-ray vision, time travel but that is complicated. Super speed, super strength and restoration abilities.

“Wow, that is really amazing.”

‘Wait… did he say telepathy… as in he can read minds… oh my gosh… has he heard everything I have thought about him today? Saiki…?’

I’m sorry… it is an ability I can’t turn off…

“Is that why it feels like I can always hear your voice in my head when you talk?”

I don’t like to talk out loud. It is easier for me to project my thoughts directly into someone’s head instead of talking. It is more comfortable for me.

Saiki responds, glad that Kuboyasu is taking this better than he could have hoped. He watches as Kuboyasu nods his head in understanding.

“What does this have to do with you being afraid of bugs?”

Saiki sighs, he should have known this question would come up sooner or later. Kuboyasu wasn’t one to forget about anything which could affect or hurt his friends. It was one of the things he liked about the older teenager. He was loyal to a fault and looked out for all of his friends, even him.

I can hear everyone and everything within a 200-metre radius with these things in my head. They are power limiters; they suppress some of my powers otherwise I would constantly be putting people in danger and I don’t like hearing every single thought of everyone in the world. I can even hear and to a degree understand animals…

Saiki shudders, his hands shaking at the reminder of the little critters, he really hated bugs. Kuboyasu sees this and is quick to wrap his arm around Saiki’s shoulder pulling the other into his side. Though surprised by the action, Kuboyasu didn’t even think about it beforehand, Saiki smiles a little and allows himself to cuddle into Kuboyasu’s side. He leans his head on the other’s shoulder.

I can read the thoughts of everyone and everything that has a conscious all except for insects and small bugs. They are much too small for my telepathy to read which means that they are completely unpredictable in their movements.

‘That makes a lot of sense. It would be pretty daunting to be able to hear the thoughts and therefore predict the movements and whereabouts of everyone else and then to come across something which goes completely against that would throw anyone off. Even for someone as amazing as Saiki aaaannndd he can hear this…’

Saiki smiles at Kuboyasu’s thoughts, it would take some getting used to now that one of his friends knows about his powers, but maybe it wouldn’t be all that bad. He relaxes fully against Kuboyasu, letting some of the tension he had been carrying since he had seen the brown critter in Nendo’s hands as he cuddles up to his friend.

‘I have never seen Saiki this relaxed. He looks so cute like this… I wonder… I wonder what it would be like…?’

Saiki tilts his head at the other’s thoughts, raising an eyebrow when the other quickly looks away, his ears burning with embarrassment at having his thoughts read. He would have to be extra careful what he thought of around Saiki now. Saiki rolls his eyes, his own cheeks lighting up when he catches the whispering tail-end of Kuboyasu’s thoughts. His smile widens a fraction. Waiting for a moment longer, Saiki pulls away from the other’s side, drawing Kuboyasu’s attention back down to him as a frown down-turns his lips.

Shaking his head as Kuboyasu’s thoughts turn to a jumbled mess when he reaches up to stroke along his cheek, eyes meeting the others in silent question. It doesn’t take long, just a bracket of a second for Kuboyasu’s eyes to widen in understanding. He tilts his head down, hand coming up to cup Saiki’s cheek in return as he uses the grip to pull Saiki closer. Their lips meet, a chaste brush of skin, lasting no more than a second before Kuboyasu pulls back, just enough to rest his forehead against Saiki’s a large grin stretching across his face as a whispered chuckle dances through the air.

“I have been wanting to do that for a while.”

So have I.