"Genos, this is just, like, a check-up meeting or whatever, you don't need to take notes."
"I understand sensei, but someone might say something important!"
Saitama, still in his uniform after a run in with a minor monster earlier in the day, rolled his eyes. It had been a six months since City A had been repaired and Genos hadn't changed much, if at all. While Saitama himself changed from a depressed 'hero for fun' to a begrudgingly respected and only slightly hated figure, Genos' main difference was that he stared at Saitama for more than just information and far more frequently than he used to. Saitama didn't mind the attention, however. He was just waiting for the poor kid to finally make a move. The thought sparked amusement through Saitama and the strongest man alive hid his blooming smirk behind his teacup. Genos might have thought he was sneaky, but Saitama saw everything even if he said nothing about it.
Then again, he might have to change his ways if Genos got beaten up because he was eavesdropping again.
The only reason Saitama was still allowed within the S Heroes meetings was probably because the others saw him as Genos' handler. That didn't mean he doesn't find them boring and useless, but some days were more entertaining than others—blessedly, this was one of those days.
The actual meeting had long since ended and Saitama had been lazing around while he watched his fellow heroes. Occasionally he would tell Genos to stop eavesdropping on the others, but it was to no avail; not that he tried too hard to get his disciple to stop anyways. However, rather than just listening in on the conversations like usual, Saitama found himself with the urge to join in - and that was peculiar enough to get him moving, Genos behind him as his ever-present shadow.
Saitama quietly approached a group with Metal Bat, Tanktop Master, King, and a few of the other stronger heroes. The two joined just in time to hear Metal Bat croon, "Yeah man, this is my third piercing! My lil' sis talked me into it. Pretty cool, huh?"
Superalloy Darkshine happily nodded while King merely grunted. As Metal Bat's face fell slightly at the less than stellar reaction, Saitama silently snorted, still hidden in the background.
Tanktop Master kept the conversation going. "It is good to hear of your new addition. In fact, I had gotten a new tattoo just two weeks ago."
Metal Bat perked up once more and asked, "Oh, really? What'd'cha get?"
"I got the symbol for justice," Tanktop Master said. He pulled one of his straps out of the way, the inky black tattoo small but glaringly obvious against his lightly tanned skin. The two shapes rested atop one another in a simple but elegant tattoo.
The other men murmured appreciatively but before another word was said, Saitama finally joined in with a simple, "Wow, nice."
The others turned to Saitama with raised eyebrows, not too sure what to expect from the lackluster man. Tanktop Master, unlike his more rash siblings, politely thanked the bald hero but Saitama just waved him off. "No problem - it actually looks a lot like the one I got when I was younger."
Immediately it felt as if all the air had been sucked out of the room. Even those who weren't close to the group turned to Saitama questioningly. Genos was the first to break the silence and, almost painfully, grated out, "I apologize, sensei, but did you imply that you had a tattoo?"
Saitama rubbed the back of his neck thoughtfully and murmured, "Yeah, I got a lot when I was in high school. When I started training I couldn't get any more because my skin was too tough for the needle, so I'm glad I got as many as I could at the time."
"Are you saying you have multiple and extensive tattoos, Saitama-sensei?"
"Jeez Genos, haven't you seen them before?" Saitama asked, his voice unmistakably bemused.
Without missing a beat Genos knelt before his master, hands folded beneath his head, and asked for Saitama's forgiveness. Already floundering for help, as was the usual case with Genos and his irrational bouts of shame, the bald man helplessly turned to his amused comrades. (Even after all this time the cyborg still thought he could disappoint Saitama - who, ironically, thought if anyone should be disappointed it should be Genos for having such a crappy teacher.)
While none offered any help to stop Genos' stream of apologies, Metal Bat did the next best thing: he called Saitama's bluff.
The delinquent sneered, "Nah man, you've gotta be lying! If you really have any tats, then let's see 'em!"
Genos' head immediately popped back up and he stood, a millisecond away from defending Saitama's honor. Thankfully, Saitama managed to beat his erratic roommate by shrugging and simply saying, "Sure."
The younger of the duo hissed in Saitama's ear, "Sensei, you do not have to do this! He is not worth the time nor energy in proving your honest words!"
"Oh, come on Genos! It's not like I'm going to die doing it," Saitama said flippantly. Before Genos could get out another word Saitama unzipped the top of his uniform and shucked off the bright yellow sleeves.
At the sight of a full sleeve tattoo up Saitama's right arm with another circling his left bicep, the little corner the heroes were in filled with gasps. Almost immediately Superalloy Darkshine and Metal Bat were inspecting the dragon, demon, and tiger that filled the skin of his right arm. On his other side Tanktop Master, King, Genos, and even Bang were asking about the symbols that wrapped around his bicep.
Saitama patiently told them about each one, amused to no end and secretly preening under the positive attention. His sleeve was dedicated to the monsters he swore to defeat when he was younger and just starting on his training, much to the shock of the others. Metal Bat and Tanktop Master swapped glances as the normally monotone man lit up before their very eyes. They were astounded that it was deadpan and nonchalant Saitama who felt so strongly about being a good hero - not even a great one or one with recognition; he just wanted to be a hero.
While the two men were drowning under their realization, Saitama continued to fondly explain his other tattoos. "Yeah, the one on top is actually a snowflake."
"Is there a story behind that one as well?" asked Bang.
Had it been anyone else, the curl of Saitama's mouth would be described as a smile. He said, "I guess. When I was younger, and I mean middle school young, there was this kid who was always sticking up for the little kids. Always got beat up for it, of course, but he refused to stop. Anyway, this is just to kind of honor him; he's the first person I saw be a hero."
Genos nodded and, too engrossed in the story to take notes, asked, "Yes, I understand. However, that does not answer the question: why a snowflake?"
Saitama hummed as he recalled the boy from his childhood. "He always wore a shirt with a snowman on it, no matter the time of year. Even in uniform he'd wear that shirt beneath it." Saitama scratched his neck and muttered, "Damn, if only I could remember his name..."
King, who had been silent up until that point, gathered his courage and asked, "Do you have any others, Saitama?"
This caught the attention of Metal Bat, Tanktop Master, and Superalloy Darkshine, as well as a few others who had migrated from their respective corners, such as Atomic Samurai, Zombieman, and Puri Puri Prisoner.
Saitama shrugged, "Yeah, I also have one on my leg." The man grabbed the edges of his suit and asked King, "You wanna see that one too?"
(The chorus of shouted 'no's, Genos pleading for his teacher to have more modesty, and King nearly fainting on top of Bang gathered the attention of everyone else in the room. However, what kept them at bay was Puri Puri Prisoner's near-silent, "Oh my~."
No one dared to comment on it.)
Once more Saitama just shrugged and allowed his jumpsuit to hang off the edges of his hips, the sun tattoo that folded across his ribs left ignored. Instead of continuing on or going back to his seat, Saitama turned to Metal Bat and asked, "You ever thought about getting a tattoo?"
Metal Bat blinked, surprised by the question, before answering, "Yeah, occasionally. Why?"
"You should get a pink bow on your left forearm."
"What?!" spluttered Metal Bat.
Saitama quirked his head to the side before nodding. "It'd be a good way to show your love for your sister. Zenko, right?"
Metal Bat's eyes widened and he looked to his arm before looking back at Saitama. He nodded silently, his eyes narrowed in thought. As Metal Bat reached for his phone, a gentle hand turned Saitama's attention toward Bang. The old man had a twinkle in his eyes and simply asked, "What about me? I've never gotten a tattoo myself, but one never knows."
As the younger hero discussed tattoos with Bang, more and more heroes came to Saitama's side, asking for tattoo advice should they ever get one.
Crashing waves for Bang, a lion with a kitten's shadow for King, a heart in chains for Puri Puri Prisoner, even Tatsumaki could not escape her curiosity and Saitama ended up surprising her. He had turned to her and, with his hand cupping his jaw in thought, smirked and told her, "A tornado."
Tatsumaki could feel her cheeks flush hotly and had an insult on the tip of her tongue. Yet Saitama spoke before her, effectively killing her temper.
"You're a natural disaster, Tatsumaki. Don't let anyone forget your power."
Saitama went on to Flashy Flash, leaving Tatsumaki frozen to the ground she stood on. She still wasn't impressed by the other, but she could concede that perhaps he was more than an idiot. As her eyes followed his movements, Tatsumaki narrowed her eyes before turning back around and leaving the meeting room.
Following the girl's example, more and more heroes began to leave after speaking with Saitama. Soon it was just Saitama and Genos.
The older of the two put his uniform back on before stretching. Saitama sighed and murmured, "It's time to go, Genos."
Genos, who had returned to the table when the others vied for Saitama's attention, straightened. There was a beat of hesitation before, "Yes, sensei."
The walk home was long and filled with a comfortable silence that often plagued the two. By the time they got home the sun had set and dinnertime had already started. Genos instantly set off to make dinner while Saitama slowly made his way toward their futons. The day had been draining in a way he hadn't felt in years; Saitama wasn't sure if he was happy about it or not.
As Saitama changed into a pair of sweatpants, the quiet that followed them home settled over the two like a child's blanket. It was soft and neither really wanted to speak and get rid of it. That didn't stop them, though.
Genos gently cleared his throat and, without turning around, nearly whispered, "What about me, sensei? If I were able to, what tattoo do you think would suit me?"
The air was still in the wake of his question, his body immovable from where he stood in front of the stove. His sensitive hearing picked up on the muted padding of Saitama's feet until he could feel the heat of the older man at his back. Slowly two tanned hands rested on his biceps - and a shiver wracked Genos' spine. It was a thrill to know the strongest man in the world held him so gently and with all the care and control one could. For just a second Genos pictured the strength lurking underneath the skin of Saitama's hands and, though he did not have one, felt what could only be his heart swell at the knowledge that he was cherished by this man.
And then Saitama spoke.
"Sunspots," he whispered.
"Sunspots?" Genos parroted back.
A little louder, Saitama said, "Yeah. Right here." And he squeezed Genos' biceps before moving his hands down to the cyborg's hips and squeezing there too. "Here, too."
Genos allowed himself to be turned around, not quite believing that his sensei could feel the same as he did. His thoughts stopped and his breath hitched as Saitama ran his hands up to Genos' waist.
"Oh, and maybe something else," Saitama said, his words a puff of warm air on Genos' cheeks. "Ah, that's right. One right here."
Before Genos could process his words, Saitama erased the distance between them and softly laid a kiss on the corner of his mouth. Genos' hands came up to rest against Saitama's chest, his fingers shaking, but he did not push the other man away. Saitama took that as permission and pressed another kiss onto his Genos' lips, surprised at how soft his lips were. Saitama pulled back one more time and smiled at the dumbstruck look on his disciple's face.
When Saitama stepped away, Genos rushed, red faced, to the balcony and encased the landing with embarrassed steam. Saitama quietly chuckled and went back to his manga to wait out Genos' cooling down period. Yet, even though he had given the younger man plenty to be embarrassed about, he couldn't help but call out, "Hey Genos, when you're done out there, you wanna see the tattoos on my thighs?"
Genos immediately spouted more steam before yelling, "Sensei, that is inappropriate!"
All he could hear was Saitama's laughter.