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An Alternate Plan

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“Sensei?”

Saitama was a round ball perched on the edge of the wooden bridge at its apex, his knees pulled idly up to his chest, the curved top of his head the only part of him visible aside from his hoodie from behind – a red one, for a change; one Genos had got him for while the oppai one was in the wash, having bought it for a marked-down price his sensei had seemed reasonably pleased to accept. He hadn’t objected, anyway, and he wore it on and off, which Genos had come to understand was practically an endorsement where Saitama was concerned.

Genos couldn’t explain why it should cause his systems to feel as if they were generating excess power, but he’d recorded the reaction in his diary when it first happened just in case.

“You’re worrying the families, sensei,” Navigating past a couple of groups of people who had paused to glance at the man in mild curiosity or concern now, Genos held the cups he was carrying carefully in his hands until he was by his sensei’s side.

“Hm?” Saitama stirred slowly, as if summoned from deep contemplation of the changing leaves on both sides of the river – as red as his hoodie where they weren’t as yellow as the jumpsuit of his Hero uniform – although judging by his expression, he could have been staring into the middle distance. He did concede to move back from the edge though, to Genos’ private relief. The fall certainly wouldn’t harm the man, but it spurred the onlookers to merge back into the crowd slowly filtering across the bridge, making their way to one or other of the nearby shrines.

There were no signs of any monsters or villains, only a crisp chill to the air and the scent of the drinks Genos held, and it was these Saitama looked at as he turned to face him.

“What are those?” There wasn’t much expression on Saitama’s face, but Genos knew him well enough by now to sense his curiosity.

Swelling with pride at the fact his instincts had been correct, Genos handed one over.

“Chocolate marron latte,” He couldn’t help himself from watching closely as Saitama shrugged, not displeased, and took a sip.

“Ok,” Saitama’s response was as light as that shrug had been. He didn’t especially like it then – but he didn’t dislike it, either, and Genos had also learned that such a reaction, like with the hoodie, was akin to a win. But then –

“Thanks, Genos,” Saitama followed this up by actually smiling a little – he smiled a little! – and tilted his head.

All of Genos’ internal and external parts attempted to simultaneously go into overdrive as he near self-combusted, and he actually near choked on the last of his own drink.

“You’re welcome, sensei,” He managed to get out.

“Come on,” Saitama took another mouthful of his drink, brightening up a little as he began to actually look around, “We don’t go to other cities that often unless we’re fighting, do we? So let’s go look around. They might have some sales on!”

Trust him to be more excited about that rather than the Autumn specials or the leaves.

“I looked up some places in advance,” Disposing of his empty cup in a nearby bin and digging out his phone to review the pages he’d tagged, Genos couldn’t help but return the smile even if Saitama’s back was turned.

Expecting the other man to march ahead of him through the crowds while calling over his shoulder in demand for details, he was taken by surprise when Saitama instead caught Genos’ hand in his.

“Let’s go, then!”

Perhaps he had intended to take hold of Genos’ wrist instead.

Pressing his lips together to prevent himself from saying anything about the matter and lowering his head a little to cover for the intensity of the heat in his cheeks as well as the way his smile deepened helplessly, Genos let Saitama draw him along in his wake.