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Hero Atsume

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It starts with Genos; the cyborg moves into Saitama’s tiny apartment and makes himself quickly at home. There are two toothbrushes by the sink, two pairs of slippers by the door, two futons in the corner. It’s nice, having a roommate, even one so obsessive as Genos.

It starts with Genos, but it certainly doesn’t end with him. 


 

After having dinner with him, Mumen Rider becomes something of a fixture in Saitama’s life as well. It takes about three months for him to realize they’re dating, but by then they’re having dinner together almost every night and Mumen has a spare change of clothes at Saitama’s place and it’s far too nice to stop. There’s no way they could possibly fit three people in the apartment, but the complex is pretty much abandoned anyway, so Saitama decides to renovate. One destroyed wall later, a bit of sweeping, and a fresh coat of paint and Saitama’s apartment is doubled in size.

He and Mumen take one half, Genos the other, and life settles into a new pattern. Saitama does the laundry, Genos the dishes, and Mumen the dusting. They sit down most nights for a nice dinner, after which Genos studies his notes, Saitama reads comics, and Mumen works on Justice out on the balcony. Every so often, Saitama will kick Genos out and he and Mumen will spend time together in a much more carnal way. 

Saitama feels different now, happier and more satisfied than he used to. He’s yet to come across a challenging opponent, but he’s got a great home life, and that seems to make up for it.

Then A-City is demolished, and dozens of heroes are left homeless. 


 

Saitama hadn’t intended to host Lightning Max and Stinger for long, especially since as C-class heroes they’re far more mobile, but the two of them are immensely grateful to him for killing the Sea King, and they’re not bad kids, really. They end up moving in across the hall, but come for dinner almost every night. They’re loud and boisterous, especially compared to Mumen and Genos, but their antics are amusing, and they both come home with hilarious stories about their workdays. It doesn’t hurt them that Stinger is almost as skilled at bargain-hunting as Saitama. 

Dinner has a pattern now; whoever gets home first starts cooking. Rice is made, then vegetables are cooked, then whatever meat Saitama brings home from the market. Lightning Max makes miso soup for everyone, Stinger (who will never again be let near a stove) sets the table, Saitama and Mumen do most of the cooking, and Genos cleans up afterwards. 

At least once a week, they all curl up in front of the television with blankets and junk food and beer and play video games or watch movies. As it turns out, Genos is a sucker for romance movies, Stinger loves nature documentaries, and Mumen Rider is better than all of them at Mario Kart. It’s an odd mix, sure, but the more people around him, the happier Saitama feels. These other heroes really care about him, even if they have odd ways of expressing it. 


 

After the failed recruiting attempt from the Blizzard Group, Glasses moves in next to Stinger and Max. This of course catches Fubuki’s attention, who brings it up to Tatsumaki in passing, who latches on like a dog with a bone and harps on Genos at an S-class meeting, who quickly loses his temper and in the resulting fight demolishes an entire floor of the new hero association headquarters. 

Genos sends Tatsumaki the bill. 

Glasses is a great roommate; he manages their finances impeccably well, ensuring that everyone’s rent and utilities are paid on time and that no one is being unfairly charged. He also helps Saitama set up an account for Genos’ outrageous contributions to their rent, ensuring that the obscene amounts of money are portioned out to reconstruction efforts and charities across the continent. 

However, his new residency and Tatsumaki’s subsequent remarks don’t go unnoticed; Zombieman drops in three months after Glasses moves in, holding his left arm awkwardly and grimacing in embarrassment.

He sits patiently as Genos reattaches the arm, his own all-too-frequent experience with dismemberment coming in handy for once. Mumen makes them all tea, and then Stinger brings home dumplings from the best street cart in all of B-City and it would be rude not to share them, and then of course it’s late enough to start dinner so it only makes sense for Zombieman to stay and eat. 

Zombieman doesn’t move in, thankfully- Saitama would never get his deposit back with the way that man bleeds. Still, they start keeping a bigger first aid kit in the apartment and Genos consults with Dr. Stench on how to administer care to a human as opposed to a cyborg. Zombieman does end up joining them for dinner a few times a month, and they do get use out of the first aid kit. 

With Zombieman comes Metal Bat, and just like that Saitama is hosting dinner for at least eight a few times a week. He sighs heavily at how strange his life has become since joining the hero association, but starts leaving a key under the potted cactus on his balcony anyway.


 

It’s odd, really, what’s become of him these days. The civilians are as irritating as ever, but Saitama has somehow become a fixture in the lives of so many heroes. It’s not unusual for him to come home to see multiple heroes lounging in his apartment, all with a greeting or story or sale item ready. 

Today is a busier day than most. Genos and Drive Knight are comparing blueprints for a set of tactical arm enhancements at the computer; King, Stinger, and Max are playing video games; and through the open door across the hall Saitama can see Glasses and Mumen listening to Metal Bat’s little sister recount her day while the A-Class hero looks on in pride. 

As he listens to them oooh and ahhh appropriately over her mastery of addition and subtraction, Saitama is suddenly hit with the realization that he hasn’t been really depressed for months. Every time there’s a chance he could sink into that awful gray place, there’s someone drawing him out with a kind word or a pat on the shoulder. 

He’s acknowledged now; there are people who look to him as a colleague or mentor or even a friend. Every day starts and ends with Mumen breathing softly next to him, a warm and comfortable presence. He trains sometimes with Genos and Bang and Zombieman; the three of them are close to making him sweat, which is better than anyone since that weirdo pastel space pirate. Every evening he sits down to dinner at a table full of heroes eager to share a meal and spend their time with him. 

It might not be the life Saitama planned to live, but it’s far beyond anything he envisioned and better than he’d dreamed, and that’s more than enough for him.