The clink and plunk of dishes being washed was the sound that was most prevalent as Genos scrubbed away at last night's dishes, however, his advanced cyborg hearing was quick to pick out the sound of coughing. Concern crossed the younger man's face and he turned off the water then stepped around the wall to peer into the living room.
"Master, are you alright?"
"Huh? Oh, I'm-" Saitama was cut off by a barrage of coughs that left him looking worse for wear. "Actually... I don't feel so great."
"I would say so, I am reading an abnormally high temperature, it would seem you have caught a virus," Genos said, concern still holding his voice as he watched sweat beading up on the bald man's head to run down past his face and ears.
"You say that like I'm a computer or something. I just need rest and some good soup."
"Are you sure you would not like to go to the doctor just to be sure-" Genos started but Saitama cut him off.
"Nah, don't need a doctor for this, probably just got too chilled fighting those water creatures in the cold yesterday."
"Alright, I shall go to the supermarket, please wait here and rest."
"That's the plan." Saitama agreed before coughing more and toppling over to lay on his bed.
Genos made a mildly concerned sound before hanging his pink apron aside and heading out the door. His mind was still on concerns over his sensei's health as he started down the street, only to have what he could only assume at a glance was a child. The boy dressed rather oddly but the cyborg supposed that wasn't terribly unusual, however, anyone in this section of the city was a bit out of place. The young lad pointed at Genos.
"Ah-hah! You are heading to the store, aren't you?" He stated, voice sounding a little older than he looked.
"Uh, yes, are you lost little boy?"
"Little..? How dare you! Ugh, never mind the point here is your little mission is useless. You're dear 'master' will be dead before sundown."
"What? How can you know that?"
"I, the great genius Cypher, have created a deadly poison. Admittedly it seems ineffective on those such as yourself but that doesn't save other heroes. I am betting that one hit blunder in there is already falling victim to high fever and coughing fits, correct?" The boy asked with a rather devious expression.
"He- yes, that is correct." Genos said, tensing as he took a more serious scan of the 'child' before him.
"Good, then poisoning this section of the city's water supply was adequate. I would wager that within a few moments he'll be feeling the first wave of the poison's destructive power and start vomiting blood."
"You monster... why do this? What do you want?" Genos demanded, fists clinched but holding back, as just smashing this opponent into the sidewalk would do noting for Saitama's condition.
"Simply put, a bit of revenge. I wasn't typically a particularly evil person but that hazard you call master has destroyed two apartments I happened to be living in at the time of whatever fight he was in the middle of as well as leveling my original lab! You heroes are insanely destructive and I'm sick of it! It is more than a nuisance. I am a fair man, however, so I will offer you a chance to save your friend."
"L-laser tag?" The cyborg asked, taken aback.
"You heard correctly. Win a game of laser tag without using any of your advanced abilities, play as if you were human and do not cheat, I will know if you do. Win without destroying everything or killing your opponent and I will grant you the antidote. Lose however and I will continue exercising my cleansing efforts to remove all organic, destructive heroes. I will find another way to deal with you unnatural freaks later. Of course, you could easily attack me now, but I do not have the antidote with me, so that won't do your friend any good, will it? Here, this is the location of the laser tag arena, everything is set up and waiting for you." The young man said, clearly not a child, not mentally at the very least. He held a folded paper out to Genos, cruel smile on his face, though his eyes held loathing he didn't actually seem truly evil.
Turmoil rose within the young man, knowing that he could stop this danger before it could potentially reach other heroes seemed like it should be his prime objective but that would, in turn, mean Saitama would die. He could not abide that, no matter how hard he reasoned with himself he found himself unable to turn his back on his master.
"Fine." He snarled, snatching the note before turning back to the apartment building, rushing up the stairs to check on Saitama. His mind raced in double time his feet did, unsure if he could actually restrain himself to the level required, and at that point, would he still be able to win the game or would he be too distracted?
Those thoughts were shoved away as he reached the door and headed in. He froze in his tracks at the sound that greeted him on the other side. Through the washroom door, he could hear someone heaving and retching. Unsettled Genos took the few steps it took to stand by the door, waiting patiently, expression grimly serious. He found himself more than a little antsy as he heard the toilet flush and water running. When the door finally opened an unpleasant metallic scent joined Saitama on his way out.
"Oh... you got back fast... why so serious? Was the store out of something? You could have just gone to another one." Saitama rambled, though his usual canter seemed forced, trying to cover his discomfort.
"I did not make it to the supermarket, master, was there blood?"
"What?.. you look serious, what's going on?"
"Master, I do not want you to panic but... you have been poisoned." Genos explained carefully.
"Oh..." He said, pailing a bit before stumbling back to his bed, sliding down the wall to sit. "So, how screwed am I?"
"Hopefully not. I was approached by the one responsible, apparently, you were responsible for the destruction of his home. He challenged me to a game of laser tag, I must operate at human limitation levels. On my victory, he will hand over the antidote. I will not fail you, just rest here, save your strength."
"Is it even possible for you to operate on that level?" He asked before he was struck with another coughing fit, this one far more violent than the last, shaking the man roughly with each a cough and the last one splattering his hand with blood. "Oh... that's not good..."
"Do not worry, I will return soon, please do not die while I am away." Genos stated, turning for the door.
"Yeah... I'll see what I can do." Saitama muttered.
Genos all but flew, charging down the streets at full speed, zipping through in a blur leaving a torrent of wind in his wake, only slowing once he stood before the abandoned warehouse across town that was the location listed in the note from Cypher. Stepping inside he frond a small room set up with black curtains. Before he sat a cheap looking desk with a black suit, a plastic rifle and a page of rules. With a grunt, he put the suit on, making sure it's somewhat bulky sensor gear was in place before picking up the fake weapon and reading over the rules. He tossed the page over his shoulder as he turned and walked into the arena, accepting to follow the guidelines set in place to a fault.
The maze of large rooms and narrow corridors was all set up with the black curtains, ramps, and platforms built from plywood was painted a similar matte black, very little light illuminating the area but all of it visible from above, where walkways had been set up so that the madman behind all this could keep an eye on the match.
Genos stalked close to one of the walls of the corridor, staying low to the ground and listening to the area closely, though he forced himself to ignore anything he caught outside of a natural human's range. He kept the rifle at the ready, treating it with the same respect as a real weapon, in this case, it was to serve him just the same. He reached the first opening in the corridor and he let the muzzle of the gun lead the way out, sweeping the small room and looking warily to the four other exits. He took the first to his right, remaining low to the ground but moving quickly but the moment he stepped through the doorway to the next corridor he realized there was a small cubby of space where another player lay in wait, crouched with the gun aimed level for Genos' head. The cyborg darted forward in a roll as a 'pew' sound came from the other's rifle. However, his body gear did not make a sound in reply so it was not a hit, bringing a grin to the cyborg's face as he came back to his feet and rounded to fire on the other player only to find him gone.
A frustrated huff escaping his lips he headed back towards the room, using the wall as cover he scanned the space, looking for any sign of the missing player but not seeing any. Leary, he continued down the corridor as he had originally planned, attention focused on his closest surroundings, he reached a turn and followed it, followed by a T intersection. He again took the rightmost option and moving quietly as he was spotted another player crouched and watching the other way. This one was female, so definitely not the same one as before. He lined up his shot carefully but not with the advanced speed or precision his enhancements would allow. Pulling the trigger resulted in the 'pew' sound from his own plastic rifle but this time the lights on the woman's suit lit and flickered red.
"No!" The woman screamed in protest, spinning to fire but the gun did not respond, leaving her to drop to her knees and sob. "No..."
Genos frowned, finding her behavior a bit much for someone paid to be doing this, which meant the stakes must be high for the others in this arena.
"Who was it you were fighting for?" He asked softly.
"My daughter." She snarled at him, tears in her eyes, the woman was barely older than he, so her child was likely very young.
"I am very sorry... this madman will pay." He promised before crouching again and heading for the doorway she kneeled next to.
"Behind you." She whispered.
Eyes widening he dropped to the ground, hearing one of the laser guns go off behind him but it missed its mark. He was quick to twist on sitting up, bringing the gun around and barely taking time to aim before firing, landing a kill shot on the other attacker who cursed under their breath and slammed the plastic rifle into the ground.
Genos let out a heavy sigh, troubled at the tactics of the one behind this mess. He got back to his feet and snuck out of the corridor, scanning another room in a sweeping motion before taking the next one back out. As he neared a turn ahead another player rounded that turn, coming into view and Genos waisted no time in firing on them before they could do the same. The other man stumbled back a step in surprise, frowning at the red lights on his suit. He dropped to his knees, silently subdued. Genos hurried past, four more.
He rounded the corner and continued down the corridor before it took another turn left then turned into another room. He carefully scanned the room before sneaking in, pausing behind one of the ramps as he heard someone else running towards his position, two sets of running feet. He watched the entryway warily, poised and ready to fire. The first ran through and he opened fire causing them to stumble to a stop. The next stopped short of the entry, out of his range. Cautiously Genos left his cover and headed for that doorway. The woman who'd been running away sat silently, face covered with her hands.
As before Genos led his way in with the business end of the laser rifle, though on stepping into the corridor he again found himself facing an empty path. Frowning he continued down, moving quickly but quietly. Left bend, right bend, empty room, the corridor on the left, right bend, right bend, left bend, intersection. Genos approached cautiously, glancing down the two side paths before deciding to go left. He continued quickly, hurrying down the corridor and turning to find two more combatants, one watching the way he was coming from and one watching the other way. On seeing him one fired, Genos striving to his right and firing in return, moving his aim over just so much as the other person turned and firing on them before they could fire at him. Both their suits were lit with red but Genos had not avoided a hit, his suit taking an orange light. One more hit to a limb and he'd be down.
"You bastard!" The man in the corridor snapped at Genos, tossing the now ineffective laser gun at his face. Genos let it bounce off.
"I am sorry for this." He said, passing by the man and the woman now knelt on the floor sobbing.
He continued down the corridor, ignoring the man's insults, 'child killer' among them. Rounding the corner into the next room he found himself staring down Speed o'Sound Sonic. More than a little shocked Genos was fast to fire but the ninja easily dodged, darting to the side.
"You know, this seems like a really cheap way to take down my nemesis." The ninja noted, darting another of Genos' attacks.
"Then why are you helping?"
"Mostly because I wanted you to lose. The more I've thought about it though, the less I like the idea of just letting Saitama die a quiet death of sickness." He stated before darting to stand right before Genos and opening his arms wide with a smirk. "You tell your master my mercy today does not mean I will go any easier on him in our coming fight."
"Very well." Genos nodded, firing. As Sonic's suit flashed red a loud sound resounded overhead and the full lights came on to shadow the playing field with the network of pathways above, Genos shadowed by the short genius from before.
"Well done and congratulations."
"What about the others here, what of their loved ones?"
"Five children, their parents fighting to save them, they lost and there is only enough antidote for either five children or one adult hero. So I suppose if you want to be a true hero you will hand this system over to the parents, won't you?"
"You sick bastard."
"Aww, you insult me, not. The only one sick here is the one that would choose an overly destructive hero over a bunch of innocent children." That said the cruel figure tossed a small bottle over the rail in Genos' general direction, the cyborg moving fast to snatch it out of the air carefully but the look he gave the bottle was mournful.
"Seriously?" Sonic snapped at the man above them. "You realize he's going to pick the children right?"
"Counting on it. I want that so-called hero dead." The man said indifferently.
"You are the one that spread the poison, the monster here is you, I won this fair and square, if you do not administer the antidote to the children then you are just as much to blame. You cannot seriously convince me you do not have more."
"Well, I did, before a few days ago when that bastard leveled the building my lab was in!" The man shouted down at them.
With a snarl Genos stormed off, Sonic watched him go but the parents were gathered at the entrance, looking scared.
"Please... give that over, our kids didn't do anything to deserve this."
"I understand and agree. Gather your children and meet me at-" He gave the location of his friend, Dr. Kuseno's lab, assuring them that he would be able to help before pushing past and hurrying that way. It was late afternoon now and Genos was beginning to really feel the press of time. He, of course, reached the lab first, hurrying over to Kuseno.
"What has you so stressed?" The Dr asked.
"Master Saitama has been poisoned, I have the antidote but five children were also poisoned, there is only enough here for either him or them." He explained, holding up the little bottle. "Please, analyze the serum and see if you can replicate it. The families will be bringing their children here as time is running out."
"Right." The Dr said, taking the antidote and heading for one of his machines. Genos went to wait near the entrance, letting parents in as they brought their sick children. Once all had arrived he returned to the Dr.
"They are here..."
"The computer hasn't finished analyzing..." Kuseno warned softly as he handed the bottle over. "I do not know yet if I can recreate it."
"The children do not have time to wait..." Genos said grimly, taking the bottle and administering the antidote among them. All five showed improvement quickly but it looked like it would likely still take days for them to fully recover. The parents thanked him before departing and Genos headed back to his friend. He remained silent though, watching the older man work. Silently Genos tried to ignore the passage of time as he paced around the lab but minutes ticked past, turning to hours, the sun nearing the horizon before the good doctor finally brought him the small bottle refilled.
"I hope this will do, it is not exactly the same but the ingredients I substituted should have the same effect." He explained.
"Thank you," Genos said, accepting the bottle and taking off. He made his way back across the city as fast as possible, flying through the air near recklessly, mind set firmly on the apartment. Agitation shook him, landing outside the apartment the sky had plunged into darkness at this point, the sun gone from its endless blue. Genos did not scan the building for lifeforms, not daring to. He headed inside, nearly knocking the door off its hinges on the way through.
Hesitation held his limbs in place a beat before he continued inside cautiously, the scene waiting for him stomping his hope out. Saitama lay motionless on his bed, a towel and the pillow soaked with blood, it was in the process of drying already. Genos' pace was slowed further as he approached, reading the other hero's life signs then dropping to his knees, shoulders slumped.
He looked at the bottle in his hand, denial rather than hope taking hold as he opened it, hesitating a moment as logic argued what he was doing but that aside he carefully tilted Saitama's head. Parting the other man's lips he poured the contents of the bottle down, holding his head at an angle to assure the antidote actually went down his throat before setting the bottle aside. He moved to sit against the wall and pulled the still motionless Saitama into his arms, resting his forehead against the other hero's silently. He sat in the dark, denial holding him there, unable to quite accept the truth before him. Had it been possible the cyborg's face would be soaked with tears, as it was, the only thing that could express the heartache tearing him apart.
"Why is it everything I love is destroyed? Is there no solace in this world? Why did you have to die too..." Genos said heavily, voice reflecting the deep pain that threatened to rip him apart. He continued to hold the other man close, forehead rested against his but even denial was losing its hold. Thus, when a hand gently caressed his cheek the young cyborg flinched slightly, looking up to search the room but seeing no one else there.
"Who... said I was dead, huh?" Saitama asked, his voice weak and scratchy.
"Master! You're alive?" Genos cried out a little louder than intended.
"Seems like it."
"I am so relieved, I thought I had not made it in time," Genos admitted, hugging Saitama gently. When the stronger hero didn't pull away but rather leaned into it and wrapped one arm around him it surprised Genos but he was happy.
"For a guy made up of so much metal you make a surprisingly comfortable chair," Saitama noted offhandedly. "I think this elevation would help stop the caught if you don't mind."
"Not at all," Genos said, cheering considerably, perfectly content to keep holding the other man.
"I don't know what all you went through, laser tag doesn't sound all that hard but you were gone a long time... just know that I appreciate it, okay? That came really close but, in the end, we both made it through alive so, just... not everything gets destroyed, got it?"
"Yes." He said, hugging Saitama a little tighter but still very gingerly. "I will see to it your recovery goes smoothly, I will be right here."
"Heh, cyborg nurse."
Genos chuckled, glad Saitama was in good spirits.
The cyborg contentedly held the battered hero through the whole night and doted on him through the next day, continuing the pattern until Saitama was recovered enough to be back to himself, though, even then he would still make himself comfortable in the cyborg's lap.
A/N: Well, it's been a while eh? I know, new fandom, nothing RWBY this time but this is a oneshot I whipped out for no reason other than the itch to write. I am trying to get back into the swing of things now that I have a computer but being an adult sucks and I'm constantly busy anymore.
That aside I do intend to get back on the ball, I have also started uploading to my YouTube again, Werewaffle, so you can check that out too, just, updates there will likely be kinda slow and sperratic as my internet really sucks now.
I mean really sucks.
Anyway, let me know what you all think of this little, 2am oneshot I wrote and edited myself.