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Sing Me to Sleep

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It was a warm summer night, one of those that follow very hot summer days. When you can almost feel the heath released from the concrete, and the fireflies flutter silently in the tall grass. There was a lot of tall grass growing along the abandoned streets of City-Z, and a lot of fireflies too. One of them apparently turned into a monster, a giant luminescent bug that Saitama mindlessly destroyed on his way home. Except for that, the hero thought that he could really be the only living creature in the whole world that night, walking through some sort of post-apocalyptic scenario. But that couldn’t be, right? He just spent the whole evening at King’s apartment, playing games and drinking cold tea in front of his television. Everything was fine. Or nice, even. Yeah, a nice, warm summer night with fireflies and a few stars shining up in the sky.

No lights on could be seen from the windows of his apartment. That was, somehow, less nice. No lights on meant Genos still not back from repair. No lights on meant a dark, empty apartment. He should have probably spent the night at King’s. He opened the front door with a deep sigh.

«I’m home» he murmured, even if there was no one that could actually hear him. Or answer him. Even his own words felt meaningless, like his home wasn’t really a home after all, but just a house. Another deep sigh.

But that’s when he heard it. A soft hum, almost inaudible. Was that Genos’ voice from the living room? He couldn’t really see anything in the darkness of the hall, but when he strolled in the other room to greet his roommate he almost regretted doing it so carelessly.

The cyborg was leaning on the tea table, his head between his arms, in a pretty floppy seiza. Like he had fallen asleep like that. The thought that he was maybe waiting for him made Saitama shake his head in disapproval. Seriously, was that guy for real? He could have gone to sleep properly in his futon, instead of just passing out on the table. And still there was that hum coming from the kid, who clearly didn’t notice his teacher’s presence. Saitama stood on the door, unsure of what to do not to wake him up, and listened. It sounded like a lullaby, and even if he couldn’t catch all of the words it seemed so… sweet. Was it even possible? Genos’ voice sounding sweet. He always acted so stoic, and still in that very moment he really just looked like some sleepy child softly humming a lullaby.

Saitama smiled to himself, finally approaching him. He sat beside him, tapping him on the shoulder.

«Ehi buddy, wake up. You can’t sleep here, you’ll be all stiff in the morning.» He didn’t really think cyborgs could get stiff but the kid literally passed out on the tea table just to wait for him to come home, so it was his duty to at least say hi.

Genos grumbled, turning his head away so that his face was completely hiding between his own bionic arms. That brat. It wouldn’t surprise him if he asked for the infamous ‘five more minutes’ like a teenage boy who doesn’t wanna go to school. Was that making Saitama his annoying mom?

«Come on, Genos…» he called him, louder this time, while his hand was sliding from the kid’s shoulder to his broad back, that was still rising and falling slowly to the rhythm of his breath.
A soft breeze was coming in from the open window, altogether with the pale light of the moon. Everything smelled and felt like summer, and Saitama thought that maybe that night was still very nice after all. He was about to fall asleep as well, right there on Genos’ shoulder, when the cyborg snapped awake, abruptly raising his head and scaring the hell out of Saitama.

«Sensei!», he almost screamed, looking at him with his ridiculously wide eyes that were now gleaming in the dark of the room. «Sensei, you’re back! I’m so sorry, it seems like the repair really overexerted me and I ended up falling asleep before you came home. Please, forgive me.»

«No problem dude. You really didn’t have to wait for me, though.»

«Of course I had to» the kid murmured, passing his palm on his still very sleepy face. Even his hair were all ruffled by the side his head was leaning against the table, and Saitama really tried his hardest not to laugh of how adorable he looked. Or not to run his hand between those blond locks to fix them.

«You were singing in your sleep, you know?» he asked, tapping his fingers on the surface of the table to mimic the tune.

Genos couldn’t blush, but Saitama knew that if he could, he would have blushed a lot in that moment.

«Was- was I?», he stuttered. And a stuttering Genos was really something to be seen.

«Yeah. A lullaby, I think.»

«Oh.»

And in that moment, the strongest hero alive knew he just fucked up. Genos’ face fell, a spark of sadness flashed through his golden eyes.

«Is… something wrong?», he asked, scratching his head in a gesture of pure nervousness.

The boy quickly went back to his usual self. He silently stood, and Saitama thought to have fucked up bad until he saw him getting out their futons.

«Nothing, sensei. That was the lullaby my mom used to sing to me when I was little», shit, «and that sometimes still gets stuck in my head. However, I thought that I got rid of that habit by now. But…», oh shit, «Apparently I didn’t. I’m sorry you heard me, that’s very embarrassing. It’s such a childish song.»

«What are you sorry for?» he stood up as well, maybe too abruptly, just to move the table aside and almost taking the comforter from the cyborg’s hands. He needed to do something, anything, just not to look him straight in the eyes, «I think it’s nice, you know? To remember that kind of things. They’re part of who you are. And you’re still a kid, so you have no right to define it childish.» He looked at the futons, laying messily in front of him, and thought that he’s been good at setting them up as much as he’s been good with words. Which was not very good, since they came out like a total mess as well.

«…and I think it was very sweet», he added reluctantly, lowering his gaze. That sounded embarrassing for some reasons. He was talking about the song, right? It wasn’t his disciple he found sweet.

Genos remained silent for a few moments and oh, the irony. He could go on rumbling for hours, and now that Saitama needed him to say something to break that uncomfortable silence, now he shut up?

«Saitama-sensei is right. As always.» Was there a smile in his voice? «I think it’s very sweet as well.»

«Yeah, I guess. Now we should really go to sleep before some kid passes out again.»

«Does Sensei want me to sing him to sleep?» What. «As I stated before my auditory system is very efficient, so if you’re fond of lullabies I could-»

«Go to sleep already, Genos.»

Yeah, that night has been very nice after all.