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Observational Needs

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He had gotten used to the not-so-subtle glances and even blatant staring from his new and uninvited roommate but this was getting ridiculous. The cyborg had been unmoving for at least two whole minutes, gaze fixed firmly on Saitama’s face. All he wanted to do was read his manga in peace. And finish his banana.

 

Saitama moved a finger to let the page flip, trying to read and ignore the eyes gazing at him unwaveringly. This was seriously interfering with his down-time. He couldn’t even concentrate on reading because he was so distracted, and don’t even get him started on how it was affecting his ability to eat. He’d opened his mouth at least five times in the past minute and only managed one small bite of the banana he held because every time he went to take a bite it felt like his mouth was too dry and his throat too closed up to swallow. Nerves were really an amazing thing. He had gotten used to being watched while he was fighting but this, being watched while eating, this was very Not Cool.

 

Enough was enough. “Genos!” Saitama said, voice firm as he slapped the manga volume down on the floor. He was a tiny bit sorry when the teen gave a startled flinch at the noise but not sorry enough to say anything about it.

 

“Yes Teacher?” Genos responded seriously, sitting up straighter (were that possible).

 

Saitama wondered for a moment if maybe the teen had actually been zoned out and not really staring at him… but even were that so, he should have zoned out with his face pointed in another direction. It was common decency. “You need to stop staring at me,” he finally said, pointing a finger at the cyborg. “It’s weirding me out.”

 

Genos looked… surprised? Or was that embarrassment… Saitama still had trouble deciphering the teen’s face. There was a fleeting something before his face hardened back to the usual serious expression it took when he addressed Saitama. “I’m sorry, Teacher. You mentioned before that you often ate bananas  while going through your hero training so I wanted to observe your method of eating them to see if there was anything special about it.”

 

With the way the cyborg normally was Saitama had to admit that his statement and actions weren’t really surprising, but still. It was weird, right? To watch someone who’s trying to eat so closely. It wouldn’t have been so bad if he hadn’t known he was being watched but honestly, subtlety was not one of Genos’ strong suits. “I’m... sure there’s nothing special about it,” Saitama said, eyebrow curling apprehensively.

 

“I’m uncertain as of yet, Teacher. So far all I can tell is that you eat very slowly and seem to often change your mind about the timing of your bites. I was certain you were going to take another bite at least four times due to how you opened your mouth and brought the food to your lips, but then you stopped and swallowed without actually eating.”

 

Saitama didn’t know how to tell him that was because he was too nervous to eat while being stared at. “Ah… well… I’m… I’m sure that uh… I eat normally. Just an average, normal way of eating. I probably was just distracted by my reading.” Yes, that was a good excuse. Saitama almost wanted to pat himself on the back for that one.

 

“Please, Teacher,” Genos said, scooting a bit closer and Saitama had to fight not to lean away. He wasn’t even that close, really. “Let me see.”

 

What... “Dude.” Saitama grimaced. “Weird. It’s too weird.”

 

“I apologize, Teacher,” Genos said and finally, to Saitama’s relief, lowered his eyes. Relief was short lived however, as in a matter of seconds the teen’s gaze was back up and now. Now he looked determined. “It may be weird but it is very important to me. I promise I will stop staring once I have learned what I need to.”

 

Really now. He didn’t want to deal with this. He didn’t have to deal with it either. It would be really easy to just stand up and turn his back and scarf down his snack quickly away from prying eyes and this awkward situation would be over. But. If he did that then he’d probably just end up in the same situation the next time he decided to eat a banana with the teen anywhere in the same vicinity. Dammit.

 

“Fine,” Saitama half-muttered, half-sighed, letting all the dismay and annoyance he felt cover the word with their sharp tones. “This is still super weird but fine; if it will get you to leave me alone.” That maybe came out harsher than it needed to, judging by the way Genos’ eyes dropped momentarily… But dammit he still meant it, regardless of the tiny pinch of guilt nagging at him.

 

Saitama knew he’d probably been clenching his hands so when he raised his arm he was relieved to see that the half-forgotten, only-one-bite-taken banana hadn’t suffered any damage. The peel was hanging loosely from its middle in three even strips, no nasty stringy bits clinging to the meat. All in all it was a nice banana, perfectly ripe and firm from what he remembered of the single bite he had managed. The slightly curved flesh pointed towards him innocently but Saitama still couldn’t help but feel betrayed by his once faithful breakfast companion. If not for the banana he wouldn’t be in this situation.  

 

For his part Genos was watching attentively and Saitama swallowed the lump forming in his throat. All he needed to do was close his eyes, pretend he was alone, and take a bite. No problem. No problem at all. But wait… what if he closed his eyes and managed to miss his mouth? That would make the situation even more awkward. Shit.

 

Damn it all what did he ever do to deserve this. He huffed and squared up with the banana like it was an enemy. He couldn’t hesitate, couldn’t flinch. He’d just, slowly bring it to his mouth… And take a bite. He stared at the banana as it drew closer to his face then picked a spot on the wall beyond to let his eyes focus on, not wanting to go cross-eyed as his hand got nearer. His peripheral vision told him that his aim was good. Just a bit closer and… Finally. He bit and chewed, dropping his hand away from his mouth and swallowing in triumph. It was over. Surely Genos would be satisfied now. He tried not to look overly smug as he locked eyes with the cyborg, maybe a little bit embarrassed at himself for how accomplished he felt for eating a bite of banana.

 

“Thank you, Teacher,” Genos said seriously, even going so far as to bow his head before pinning Saitama with a tenacious look. “But please, one more time.”

 

Wait, what?  “Again? Dude…” Saitama groaned, not caring he was beginning to sound almost whiny. This was insane. Ridiculous. So stupid. Maybe he was also mad that he was so upset about it but he wasn’t gonna think on that theory for too long. “I told you, it was just a normal bite. Like.. Seriously I don’t do anything weird when I eat, come on.”

 

“Please, I need to see it at least twice to take note of any differences.”

 

At least twice… “Wait… You’ve been watching me this whole time! You’ve already seen me take two bites!” Saitama’s accusatory tone seemed to make the cyborg deflate for a moment before his features were schooled back into a determined look.

 

“I wasn’t able to make a recording of the first bite because I did not know when to expect it. I need to see it once more.”

 

“YOU’RE RECORDING THIS?!” Saitama all but spluttered, free hand smacking down on the floor while his legs unfolded from their sitting position to aid him with his sudden need to scoot away. He had been so, so wrong about there not being any way this situation could get any more awkward. That brat had taken this from mildly disconcerting to really fucking weird, in twenty words no less. And he didn’t even look sorry.

 

“Yes Teacher, of course,” He said, like it was a simple thing. “If I have it recorded then I will not need to watch you again as I will be able to re-analyze what I have already seen.”

 

Saitama was kind of furious that the excuse actually made sense. Damn it all to hell. “When this is over, you are going to get up and walk away. You will go somewhere where I cannot see you, and I will finish my snack, and my manga, in peace.” Saitama hoped his gaze was as serious and piercing as it felt, he wasn’t joking around. If the cyborg didn’t give him a few minutes of peace after this then dammit HE was going to get up and go out. He’d take his banana and manga with him if he had to; there had to be a bench somewhere within a quarter-mile of his apartment.

 

He stared right back at Genos this time. This was the last time. He was angry and tired and he didn’t even care anymore how weird this was or how embarrassed he had been, he just wanted it over. He raised the banana, used his other hand to peel it a bit more, and took another bite, glaring the whole time. He chewed, swallowed, and practically growled out a low “There,” intending for that to be the end of it. He thought he saw a flash of something in Genos expression but couldn’t decipher it and with his current mood he didn’t really care to try.

 

“So…” Genos said softly, and while there was no doubt that Saitama was both stronger and faster than his self-proclaimed disciple, he wasn’t quick enough to avoid the mechanical hand that darted out and grasped his own that was still curled around the last half of his banana, nor quick enough to realize what was happening as he felt his arm being pulled at the same time as the teen leaned forward. “Like this?” Genos asked, seemingly innocently as his mouth fell open and drew nearer to the half-eaten fruit. He let his tongue slide forward over his bottom lip just the tiniest bit, caressing the bottom of the revealed length before closing his lips around it and dammit that was on purpose what the hell . He looked up at Saitama through lashes thicker than they had any right or need to be and to Saitama’s dismay he felt a hot jolt and he just prayed that the heat rushing down his neck wasn’t accompanied by the usual color change it warned of. He wanted to jerk his hand away but the metal hand was warm and firm around his own and yet again what on earth did he ever do to deserve this. If this was bad karma from a past life he wished his power would let him travel through time so he could go back and kill his former self before they were able to do anything so bad as to be deserving of this hell.

 

He could almost feel the fruit give way when Genos finally bit into it and he was NOT imagining what that bite might feel like on his own skin. The cyborg finally, finally pulled away, letting go of Saitama’s hand as he chewed and swallowed, brushing his fingers over his lips and having the nerve to lick at one as though the banana had actually left residue behind. Saitama was rigid, nothing less than frozen in place as a streaming, endless droning of “what the hell what the hell what the hell” buzzed through his brain.

 

Genos said something, he must have because his mouth had moved, but the words couldn’t register past the white noise Saitama was hearing. He just nodded numbly in response to whatever it had been, which must have been okay because Genos smiled, almost slyly if Saitama could have thought to consider it, and finally stood, probably saying something else before he walked out of Saitama’s view. It honestly felt like an eternity before Saitama could do anything besides focusing on the screaming his brain was doing and something like a feeling sinking deep into his stomach. This was oh so very bad and he was absolutely not going to think about it right now. His stomach clenched and he looked down at the remainder of his banana, making a face because he hated to waste it but he also thought he might die of embarrassment if he finished it and then thought too long about how Genos mouth had been on it as well.

 

He carefully folded the peel back up and laid the remainder of the fruit on the table, intent on telling Genos he should finish eating it once he returned. As of yet Saitama wasn’t sure if Genos had left the apartment or was just in the bathroom or kitchen, being very quiet. It didn’t matter at this point. Saitama was intent on keeping his back to the rest of the apartment and drowning out his thoughts with terrible daytime television, and he reached for the remote to do just that. He hunched his back, curling his arms around his legs as he turned the television on and raised the volume enough to be annoying so it would keep him out of his own head.


A few feet away and crouched in the kitchen floor a young brat of a disciple was gleefully replaying the recording he had taken of his teacher’s reaction to the first in a series of planned experiments.