Chapter 1: Just An Introduction.
"I asked you not to summon me on such short notice." Mob had shifted his lollipop stick to the side of his mouth to speak, he was close to finishing it and made a mental reminder to buy a few more at the store later.
The two clients cowered in a mixture fear and shock on the floor, holding onto each other tightly as Reigen shoved his hands into his pockets. "Well, I needed you here to exorcise that spirit."
Mob's lips pulled into a smirk as he stared knowingly at his so called Master. "Is it because you don't actually ha--"
The older man shushed him quickly, a drop of sweat trickled down his temple as he glanced behind at the two on the ground. They had both calmed down and were watching in mild curiosity at the other two interact. Reigen decided to first settle the payment, then continue his conversation with Mob.
"Look, Mob, just because you're aware of the fact that I don't possess actual psychic abilities," Reigen spoke slowly as they both walked back to the office, the day seemed like it was going to end, "doesn't mean you can speak freely about it."
"What, scared you'll be found out?" Mob hummed back, his sentence was deprived from emotion.
Reigen paused and the younger one paused behind him, eyes boring right into the back of the grey suit. Reigen ran a hand through his butterscotch hair and lets out a breathy sigh. "No matter what, I'll always be in charge. You do know that..."
He turned around to glare at the stoic expression Mob held and finished. "...right?"
"I made you who you are today, you owe me a lot." Reigen added, continuing on his breezy walk, as if this conversation was normal, and it kinda was. Reigen always reminded Mob that the teenage boy needed him and without the older man, Mob would've been a weak nobody.
Because of Reigen, Mob managed to get with Tsubomi, became powerful and popular. Everything he had sorta always wanted to be.
"Yeah, sure." Mob spat the stick out of his mouth, the candy completely licked off. "But it still doesn't change the fact that you need me too."
"Hmmm, if that's what you wanna think." Reigen grinned, which got Mob questioning if Reigen really needed him. That's fine, even if Reigen didn't.
He still had a gang.
And his girlfriend.
Chapter 2: Blind Love
Handling a gang was easy for Mob, he didn't fight because he wanted to. He fought because Tsubomi wanted him to.
Ah, Tsubomi. Quite the girl, her attention oh so difficult to grab. When Mob made his presence known by showing off his powers like Reigen told him to, he had easily became the Shadow Leader of Salt Middle School's gang by defeating Onigawara in a fight. Which lasted barely a second.
This caught Tsubomi's attention.
She, herself, was part of her own kinda "gang". It was more of a clique per se, but they controlled the social hierarchy like how a puppeteer controlled his puppets. They were called The Poppies, it consisted of Tsubomi (the leader), Tome, Mezato and Emi. Each girl vital in the group. They mostly called the shots when it comes to in-school dramas, the student council dared not clash with their intentions whenever they held meetings.
But of course, one can never have too much power right? After Tsubomi realized Mob's little crush on her, she was now able to control the other schools too. With the help of the boy's gang, any girl, or even guy, who had beef with her outside of school could be punished.
And all she ever needed to do was cry.
"Mob, a girl from Miso Middle...she..." Tsubomi broke into sobs, crocodile tears trailed down her cheek as she watched Mob hesitantly try to comfort her with soft pats on the back. Mob was never really the one to harm defenceless girls, it was one of the things Master Reigen told him not to do, but for Tsubomi's case...
With such a bitter life now, Mob tried his best to be okay. To feel okay. Hence, he was often seen with a lollipop in his mouth, slowly shifting the stick from one side of his mouth to the other. It wasn't meant to look menacing, but people felt threatened anyways. His stoic expression mixed with the continuous movement of the stick in his mouth apparently made him look like he was feeling angry.
His parents had once told him to quit the habit, it wasn't healthy of him to have that many lollipops every single day.
"Why can't you be like Ritsu?" They'd complain and his brother would jokingly reply.
"At least I eat my broccoli."
"I don't even like broccoli." Mob clicked his tongue with frustration and his brother flinched ever so slightly. Mob wished he wouldn't do that, he would never harm Ritsu. Never.
Even though Ritsu was fully aware of Mob's involvement in the school's gang and his complicated relationship with Top Bitch Tsubomi, the little brother kept his mouth sealed shut. Appreciative, but sometimes Mob wished Ritsu didn't fear him like the others.
The Poppies usually went to Mob for help whenever something didn't go their way. Like the time Tome found out the book she wanted was sold out and the last person to buy it was a kid from Bean Sauce Middle, she had Mob use his gang to steal it for her from the guy.
"No one is a bigger fan than I am, I clearly deserved it." Tome hummed as she flipped to the first page, she was annoyed the cover was stained a little from blood but lets it slide. Mob only nodded, unwrapping another lollipop stick.
Or the time Mezato needed juicy info from Pasta Soup Middle for the school's newspaper and had Mob restrict the people onto chairs. Mezato squeezed every last drop of information from the poor teenagers with the help of a few metal bats. The number of teeth that were lost that day was uncountable.
Emi was the only one that never asked for Mob to get physical, she was Mezato's sidekick in the newspaper team and didn't need anything from him. The biggest thing Emi had actually asked was from him to scare a few girls in their school when she overheard them mocking her section in the papers.
These small favors usually end up causing him more trouble, the other gangs demanding to see him for harming innocent students, some even had the guts to hold one of Salt Middle's students as a hostage to bait him out.
Black Vinegar Middle never had any issues with Salt Middle for a while, the prestigious private academy couldn't be bothered to interact with the lowly public school. When news got out about how uncontrollable Salt Middle's gang was, they took it upon themselves to set them straight.
"The kid's not important, why would you go?" Tsubomi asked, innocently batting her eyelids as she clung onto Mob's arm.
"He's still one of our students and no one messes with us." Mob grumbled, affectionately cupping his hand on Tsubomi's cheek, she leaned into the touch and sighed.
"Well if you insist. I do hope nothing bad happened to him." She pulled away as Mob walked out the door, a few of his boys trailing after him.
Inukawa was bawling.
His arms were bound together and strapped to a chair with rope, he was beyond confused and scared shitless. When Mob had gotten there, a swarm of students in their purple uniform jackets and blue ties were surrounding the hostage.
"Keep em distracted, I'll get the kid." Mob whispered to the closest member next to him, he nodded in response and charged before Black Vinegar's leader could say anything. Fuck speeches, they're boring.
It was smooth sailing at first, Salt Middle was winning and Inukawa was free. Mob helped him get a running start before heading into battle with the other kids. Then a blonde boy walked in, his hair was messy and his tie hung loosely around his neck. Mob could sense it, this boy...
"Now I see why you're so powerful." The blonde said, dropping his school bag to the floor. "You're a psychic. Like me."
Everyone paused and faced the newcomer, Edano's wounded face was pulled into an evil grin. "Now you're in for it."
Mob responded with a deafening blow to Edano's face, his punch charged with psychic energy. A sickening crack could be heard and Mob's pale clean knuckles were now colored red.
The blonde's face scrunched up in disgust, but his eyes twinkled in amusement. "I'm going to enjoy our fight, I'm Hanazawa Teruki by the way." He began to bend his knees and a yellow aura started to surround him, he pushed his arms forward and a wave of energy blew towards the others, even his own people. Everyone got knocked out, everyone but Mob.
A barrier was held up to prevent the blow from hitting him, a calm expression was on his face as he walked forward. The blonde took a step back, his hand clenched into a fist as he flew back with lightning speed, running around Mob to throw him off.
With his speed, Mob couldn't possibly be able to catch him--
He was crushed into the ground with just a flick of Mob's hand, the ground broke and small pieces of dirt flew everywhere. If Teru's barrier had not been up, who knows what would've happened to his spine. Without a moment to lose, Teru immediately got up and sent the pieces of broken dirt flying towards Mob like bullets, every single one of them were deflected off Mob's circular barrier.
"You're a tough one aren't ya." Teru sneered, Mob spat his lollipop stick out and smiled.
Teru's eyes widened as the ground began to shake, cracks formed and huge chunks of the ground were starting to float off, each surrounded with a purple-blue hue. He was sent flying into the air as Mob hopped onto each flying debris towards Teru.
The blonde held his hand out and made a grabbing and flicking gesture, a huge rock smashed into Mob's body before he could even reach Teru. Mob crashed into the nearby school building, Teru flying in after him, the raven-haired boy was quick to defend himself by shoving a statue that stood nearby at Teru with telekinesis before getting up.
The other broke the statue into pieces before it even made contact with his body, grinning widely at the boy, who was starting to retreat backwards into a classroom. Dammit, destruction of property, this has never happened before. They need to head back out now, fixing this was going to be a hassle.
Mob's back hits a wall and he cursed under his breath, Teru was coming in fast and too close, he was loosening his tie. Why was he loosening his tie?
He found himself looking for a weapon he could make use of, he couldn't just keep chucking useless rocks at Teru forever, he opened a drawer. Knives.
Mob looked back and saw how abnormally straight Teru's tie was, it was now in his hand, held like...a sword. He raised it and Mob raised his hand up forcefully, the army of knives zoomed out of the drawer. They went flying straight towards Teru, who had deflected them skillfully with his handmade tie-sword. Mob, busy sending drawers after drawers of knives, didn't notice one had been deflected towards him.
He felt a sting on his cheek and his stoic expression turned into a surprised one, something warm trickled down his chin. Teru lowered his weapon and for that split second, he was actually concerned.
"I can't believe someone as simple as you managed to actually make me bleed." Mob murmured, touching his cheek to feel the warm wetness of his own blood.
"S-Simple?" Teru choked and laughed. "Then what the fuck are you? God?"
"We're the same, maybe this fight will never actually end if we keep on going like this." Mob wiped his bloody hand on his black pants. Teru furrowed his brows and dropped his tie, which was now back to normal.
"The same? Bitch, please, I made you bleed. It's clear that I'm better." Teru started towards the boy, fists clenched, his blonde hair stuck to his face from sweat.
"We both rely on psychic abilities, you just got lucky." Mob calmly retorted, he was stalling time. Part of what he said was true though, if they kept going, they'd either wear each other down or destroy the whole area. Whichever comes first. Mob was a violent person, yes, but a thing he picked up from Reigen sometimes aided him in situations that couldn't be fixed with fighting. That thing was called, talking.
"Lucky? Seriously? I could and will end you right now." Teru was taller than Mob, something Mob noticed now that the other was almost inches away from punching him in the eye.
"Go ahead." Mob smirked. "I dare you."
Teru paused, his lips pursed, he stared right into Mob's expressionless eyes. Was this guy for real?
Mob sighed and started to walk off. "Hm, pussy."
It was fast, Mob didn't actually see it coming. He thought talking to Teru would ease the mood out of fighting mode, after all, the blonde was still human. He could still feel things like empathy and concern. Sure, Mob's words could have been taken in a provoking manner, but Mob caught the worried glance Teru shot when his cheek was cut.
Sweaty yet cold hands wrapped around his neck and Mob found himself being pushed up against the wall. Teru's face was just inches away from Mob's. "You fucking prick, who the actual fuck are you calling a fucking pussy? I said I was better, I could even end you without using my fucking powers. WATCH ME."
The hands tightened around Mob's throat and he found himself in too much of a state in a panic to do anything. He weakly held onto Teru's wrists and tugged, then trailed them down, then up towards Teru's face. Black spots started to dance in Mob's vision as everything started to darken for him. His frail hands loosely fell off Teru's face.
"S-Sto-Stop." Mob wheezed. Teru's hands loosened and he realized what he was doing, he didn't want to kill the guy. Despite using his powers to harm others, it was never in the intention of killing them, it was used to teach others a lesson and help him score a few goals in soccer, maybe even do neat tricks for the cute girls in his school to get them to date him.
Mob crashed to the ground and took in a lungful of air before choking furiously, his eyes were watery and the blood from his cheek was starting to feel itchy. Teru stared his hands, his knuckles white from the grip and red from Mob's blood.
"Jesus Christ I- Are you--" Teru bent down to check on Mob, but the moment his hand was placed on the black gakuran, he was shot out of the building, crashing through many walls before going airborne and landing into the nearby waters.
Mob felt his neck and winced, that was definitely going to leave an ugly bruise.
Chapter 3: Fear
"Honestly, Shigeo, you could've died." Tsubomi scoffed, causing Mob to wince. Though he quickly pretended it was because Tome was cleaning the cut on his cheek to patch it up, he had hoped Tsubomi would do it but his girlfriend complained about not knowing how to deal with injuries since Mob rarely got wounded in fights.
"I didn't know they had an esper in their school too." He murmured as Tome placed a gauze over his wound, she flipped his collar up to try to hide the bruising handprints on his neck since it looked way too embarrassing.
"Well, I did say you didn't have to go. One useless nobody kid won't really matter if they ended up getting badly hurt, y'know?" Tsubomi folded her arms, expecting Mob to feel sorry for himself. He did.
Because Tsubomi's thoughts and opinions matter more than anyone else's, even his own. After all, she was the first ever kid who had treated Mob like a normal person. He respected that and slowly, he began to have feelings for her. Then when he asked for help from Reigen, the older man told him to go for it and he did.
At first, Mob's first confession didn't really work out, it wasn't until everyone heard rumors of Mob becoming the new leader of the gang that began to draw the girl's attention. It was surprising to see Tsubomi standing at the front of his desk, bending down to meet Mob at eye level and muttering those simple yet sweet words. "Wanna hang?"
Then everything went right from there, then it went...wrong.
She started demanding things, things that possibly costed people's lives, she told him to hurt certain people whenever she was upset with them and if he didn't agree...
Reigen always did say making a girl cry was one of the worst thing a boy could do.
But it didn't matter all too much, Mob still loved her and he was sure Tsubomi loved him. She held his hand happily, kissed his cheek goodbye after school and stuck onto him whenever she could. Mob sighed as Tsubomi unhooked her arm from Mob's and bid him goodnight with a gentle peck on the cheek, he reached home in no time and was greeted by Ritsu.
"Welcome home, brother." He waved, Mob replied with a nod and dropped his bag on the ground with a soft thud. The evening went by like a blur and Mob had already sucked clean two lollipops, the only eventful thing that happened was that the news had broadcasted about the unknown damages in Black Vinegar Middle's school building and that they found Teru dripping wet and mildly pissed at the sudden attention he was receiving.
The live broadcast was cut short when Teru waved his hand and the camera went flying.
Ritsu glanced at Mob, knowing fully well that his elder brother was the one that probably caused that destruction. Mob felt his brother's gaze but doesn't acknowledge it, he just kept on drinking his warm milk.
Word got out that Mob was now the most powerful gang leader in Seasoning City, causing almost every student to avoid his path in school and in public. It got uncomfortable really quick and he was actually starting to miss seeing kids his age roaming around him and he eventually learnt that the other schools were starting to call him--
"Sweet Venom." A familiar blonde boy stood in his way when Mob had exited the school for the day. "They're calling you that because you always have a lollipop in your mouth." He added, pointing at the white stick poking out from Mob's lips.
Mob turned the stick from one corner of his mouth to the other and suddenly a gang of boys were starting to gather behind the leader, an attempt to scare the blonde away. He didn't budge though. Mob smirked, a rare sight to see and it usually meant someone was about to die, he plucked his lollipop out from his mouth and waved it at the blonde. "Hanazawa, I must admit, you've got guts coming back to see me."
"I see you're still okay." Teru replied solely. "How's the neck by the way? I see your cheek is just fine."
Mob's grip on his lollipop tightened as his other hand touched his own neck unconsciously. "What the fuck do you want." He spat, dropping the hand back down.
"Well," Teru took a step closer and the boys behind Mob tensed, the boy in purple didn't even bat an eye and held his ground, "I'm just here to talk. About our fight--"
"If you want a rematch, I'd suggest you go back and take a good hard look at your school." Mob interrupted, plopping the candy back into his mouth.
"I don't want a rematch, trust me. It's just..." Teru ran a hand threw his hair, it was tied in a small ponytail today. Mob didn't realize the other's hair was that long. "You nearly died and I want to apologize, really." He managed out.
The black-haired boy raised an eyebrow and sucked on the sweet some more before waving a hand dismissively, his gang members immediately dispersed. "Are you shitting me?"
"I shit you not."
He folded his arms tightly and squinted his eyes at the boy who was nervously smiling back. "Apology accepted."
"You didn't really let me apologize properly--" Teru laughed but Mob held a hand up to shush him.
"Hanazawa, I don't give a single fuck about what you have to say and honestly I'd rather not deal with you today, tomorrow or ever."
Teru was taken aback, then he leaned forward and stared Mob dead in the eyes. "You've never met another esper before, I clearly haven't."
"Where are you going with this?"
"A compromise, a truce, an alliance. Call it whatever, don't you think we'd be more powerful if we joined forces? We're both espers so..." Teru hummed, a sly smile found his way onto his lips as he watched the gears in Mob's head turn.
"This is seriously the shittiest way to befriend someone."
Teru choked. "Friends? Who said anything about us being friends? This is clearly professional."
"Whatever you say, blondie." Mob walked around Teru and made his way towards his house.
"Wait so...are we?"
Mob didn't answer him, but he turned his head and gave Teru a gentle smile. A genuine one. It answered Teru's question perfectly.
An esper friend, why the fuck not? Mob's never had one, he could learn a thing or two from him, maybe he'll get Teru to teach him how to make tie-swords. This was surely going to make his days much more exciting.
Chapter 4: Friends
Oh, this became longer than expected. I don't proofread my stuff heehee.
It started off as sudden drop ins. Teru would catch him at random times of the day to say hello or bother Mob or just let the other know that 'Yes I exist!'. Mob didn't mind it all that much, truth be told, he did anticipate Teru's playful appearance almost everyday.
Mob could tell Teru was going to pop in just by feeling the blonde's neon yellow energy in the air, so the black-haired boy never really jumped in surprise whenever Teru tried to scare him. But, it was funny to see his other gang members scream like little girls every time Teru suddenly teleports in between Mob and them. Then, as quick as Teru appears, he'd disappear again.
As days pass by, Teru started appearing more and more and staying longer to talk to Mob. They had a full conversation about their fight one time, since it was the only thing they could talk about at the moment.
"How do you do the tie sword thing?" Mob asked, feet dangling off a tree. Teru was lying on a nearby branch, his leg crossed over his knee.
"You focus your energy all into the object." Teru replied like the answer was obvious, he finds it satisfying whenever he knew something more than Mob did. They'd talk even more after that, from stories about their first time using their powers to the most gruesome fight they've witness in person. Excluding their own of course.
It came to a point that Teru visited Mob after school every day, Mob's gang stopped trying to attack him whenever he came in a five feet radius of them and people at Salt Middle stopped looking at him like he was some sort of foreign bacteria. Mob even started greeting him.
Even though everyone in the school had pretty much accepted Teru's presence, there were only four (or three) people that didn't. They were, of course, The Poppies. Tsubomi's negative opinion of him immediately spilled over to the other members of her clique. Emi was still on the fence about it but decided to not get near Teru, just in case.
"Hanazawa's kind of suspicious, don't you think?" Tsubomi whispered to her boyfriend one morning, her small attempt at making him see things her way. Mob gave her a weird look.
"What do you mean by that?"
Tsubomi rolled her eyes at his ignorance, brushing her hand against Mob's. "I mean, don't you think it's odd that after you've flung him into a nearby river and demolished half his school, he still wants to be your friend?"
"I don't think it's odd, maybe he just really respects me." Mob hummed, much to her annoyance. If Tsubomi had brought this up earlier, before Mob had bonding moments with Teru, he could have believed her and chuck the blonde aside. But now that he has some form of emotional attachment for him, Mob couldn't bring himself to not like the guy.
After all, Teru was the first ever esper that Mob had met that was around his age. It was nice to have someone to relate to. Tsubomi sighed in defeat, casually gripping Mob's hand. She'll drop this. For now.
"Ah, Mob, I'd like to ask you a favor." Mezato said as everyone left through the front gates of the school, catching Mob before he could leave. The boy paused, glancing over at the girl. She definitely caught him at the wrong time, he was just about to meet up with Teru at the entrance of the blonde's school. He was going to shoot her down when she started to frown at his hesitance.
He started to sweat.
"Sure." Mezato grinned at Mob's answer, before he quickly added. "Ah, but, I was going to meet up with someone actually."
"Cancel it then."
Mob was taken aback, cancel it? He had never cancelled on Teru before. Granted, they never actually plan their meet-ups, it was more of Teru bothering Mob at the right times. He wanted to get to Teru before Teru got to him today, since their walk home would be a lot longer from Black Vinegar Middle, therefore they'd have more time to talk.
He flipped open his phone and scrolled through his contacts, he'll have to tell Teru he's busy today.
Before he could press the call button, he felt a familiar aura fill the room and he looked up from his phone. Mezato raised an eyebrow. "Something wrong?"
"No--" He was cut short by Teru's grand entrance from behind the girl, who promptly began to scream. The blonde broke into a fit of laughters, doubling over as he clutched his stomach. Mob remained unimpressed.
"Heya, Sweet Venom. Who's this again?" Teru pointed, wiping a stray tear away.
"Mezato Ichi." She growled, balling her fists. "Learn some manners, you bag of shit."
Teru ignored her, leaning onto Mob's shoulder. "Wanna head home now? Maybe kick down a few mailboxes? Shatter some windows? Vandalize public property?"
"Hanazawa, I actually have other plans." Mob explained, shifting Teru's weight off him. The other looked disappointed before brightening up again.
"Can I come?"
"Absolutely not." Mezato hissed, dragging Mob's arm out the gates quickly. Mob was visibly annoyed, why couldn't Teru come along? He decided to put his foot down and call the shots for once.
"Sure." He replied. The photographer gaped at him, quite pissed off that Mob acted against her. He was starting to regret his decision, but Teru had already showed signs of tagging along so there was no turning back now. Mezato narrowed her eyes at Teru suspiciously before sighing, letting Teru come with them.
As they walked, Mezato slowly began to explain the situation to Mob and Teru. "There's this organization that I've recently found out about. I dare say it could even be a cult, I've been trying to get a story out of it ever since I heard a rumor about it from a bunch of people."
"But of course, it's unsafe for me to just go alone, so I wanted you to come with me as back up." She added, smiling gently at Mob. "We should be nearing soon..."
Right on cue, a masked woman with a plain purple dress came up to them. "Pardon me, children, but it seems there's something bothering you...right?"
She immediately struck all three of them as weird, with her peculiar taste in fashion and the odd tone in her voice. She reminded Mob of those business women who would hand flyers down the street to promote their store. She proceeded to continue. "You three aren't smiling or laughing, there's something wrong. I can tell."
Teru was quick to object but Mezato held her hand up quickly, this was just what she needed! "Ah, yes, we had a troubling day."
"Not really..." Mob mumbled under his breath, causing Teru to snicker slightly, turning his face so the others wouldn't see.
"Worried about your studies? Family? Health? Or is it...love?" She tilted her head, placing her hand on the side of her mask. Mob coughed, that last point struck a chord with him and the woman definitely noticed. The others, however, didn't even bat an eyelid at it.
"If you want to resolve your troubles, come with me!" The woman raised her arms in a welcoming manor, Mezato's face was quick to light up in enthusiasm.
The three were quickly brought to a building, where they were taken into an elevator down to the basement floor. The woman began to explain about the " religious group " that only started a month ago, called 'LOL'. Teru was humored. She went to explain that it was founded by a guy named 'Dimple', saying he had the mysterious power to make anyone laugh almost immediately.
The doors of the elevator dinged open, revealing the massive space of the basement filled with countless of other masked people of all ages. She gestured her arms at them for the trio. "LOL is in no way a suspicious group!"
"My ass..." Mezato whispered under her breath. Teru looked evidently impressed by the amount of people the cult had pulled in and Mob had no comment. He wanted to get this done and over with. They all began to walk in, glancing at the other people, who payed to attention to the newcomers.
Mezato secretly took quick snapshots of the area around them, smiling about how newsworthy it all was. Unfortunately, they were quickly stopped by a group of people who began to gush about them being new to the organization. They started to crowd around them, causing Mob to feel a little claustrophobic. "You should get onto the stage!" They said, causing the teenagers to feel confused.
"Stages aren't so ba--" Teru was cut off by the people suddenly heaving them up, throwing the three towards the stage. "Hey hey! We can get there on our own thank you very much!" He crashed onto the stage head first, followed by Mob then Mezato, knocking the wind out of the blonde.
"Hanazawa, you ok?" Mob frantically rolled off Teru, who wheezed in reply.
Mezato rolled her eyes and dusted her skirt as she got up, looking over the sea of people. She had the overwhelming urge to take a picture, but she's pretty sure she'll get caught. They all stood still on the stage, noticing a man standing next to them. He looked...tired to say the least.
"It's Dimple!" Someone yelled from the crowd and they all looked over to see a man with a similar mask as the others walk onto the stage, the only difference was that his had rosy colored cheeks on it. He had his thumb and first two fingers stuck out, most likely their cult hand sign and he waved to the people, who returned the gesture with adoring screams and yells.
"Everyone..." He began to speak. "Are you laughing?!" And everyone started to laugh, making Mob feel oddly sick inside.
"Why don't we take our masks off?" The man hummed, pulling his off first to reveal a joyous face and extremely rosy cheeks. Everyone repeated the action, every single one of them had a creepy smile on their faces, looking all too pleased.
Dimple started to clap, letting out a hearty laugh, the crowd responded with a resounding laughter.
"What a creepy bunch..." The old man that stood next to the three kids muttered under his breath.
"Cannot agree more." Teru shivered, both Mezato and Mob looked extremely bothered by Dimple's ability to make everyone to laugh.
Everyone but them.
It only got weirder when Dimple suddenly commanded everyone to stop laughing and they did . He gestured to the people on the stage, introducing them as newcomers to his happy society. The crowd began to clap for them.
"Hang out, we're not joi--" Mezato was interrupted by a wave of Dimple's hand.
"In order to accept happiness, you must set your hearts free!" He smiled, sending chills down her spine. "But your hearts are locked up!"
"You aren't laughing, so you're clearly unhappy!" Dimple declared, he proceeded to preach about the word of his religion and the old man clicked his tongue and chuckled.
"How I wish people could be happy just by laughing."
That ruined Dimple's mood instantly. "Who is this."
"We found him on a park bench!" A fellow member replied happily. Teru snickered at the thought of that man wallowing in sadness on a park bench, Mob nudged him in the ribs. Dimple held a mask up, similar to the ones the crowd was wearing and the people on the stage were all promptly hauled off. The smiling man ensured that the mask would fix all of their unhappy problems in an instant.
Mob was too close to putting up a fight, but Mezato had shot him a warning look. They had to find answers as to why everyone was so...like this, so they had to let him continue.
One of the crowd members placed the mask over the old man's face and he began to struggle a little, then they placed the mask on Mob and Teru, who both pretty much obliged to it. Mostly because Teru was curious and Mob didn't care.
Dimple glanced at Mezato, still smiling ever so brightly. "It seams you have something to say."
She looked up at him with a doubtful look. "Religious order LOL, established last month? But you managed to attract this many followers?? I don't believe it!"
The man's mood was fouled again, he kept his smile on though. "Oh? And you are?"
"I work for Salt Middle School's newspaper! Mezato from class 2-1! I'm reporting on the bad rumor concerning you guys!" She quickly turned her camera on, facing it towards Dimple's direction. He looked unfazed by this.
"That you're using group hypnosis to brainwash and force people into joining." She smirked, as if she caught Dimple red handed. Mob was still very aware of what was going on, he felt kinda upset that Mezato did not inform him about the brainwashing part. Then again, why would she?
He was only here as her back up, he didn't have to be so nosy about it.
Mob began to zone out, ignoring all the surrounding noise. He wasn't sure if the mask was suppose to do anything, he could feel a weak energy coming through it but it wasn't strong enough to harm him in any shape or form. He blinked. Ah, what about Teruki though?
He began to shift his hand a little, trying to feel for Teru's arm. He swore the boy was just next to him, but it felt like Teru was miles away. As if he could sense Mob's search for him, Teru gently took hold of his hand, giving it a firm squeeze.
To say he was embarrassed was an understatement. The only hand Mob had ever held were his family members and Tsubomi, but here he was, letting the blonde kid, that use to be his rival, hold his hand. He should let go.
Teru isn't letting go.
The sound of laughter brought Mob back into reality, it sounded strangely familiar. Everyone was suddenly celebrating.
Hang on, wasn't that the old man from earlier? He's laughing?
It pretty much confirmed that the mask was indeed some brainwashing device, Mob was glad it didn't affect him nor Teru. Though, for Mezato...
"This story is a bit too much for me to handle, so if you'll excuse me..." She was trying to get out. If she could talk her way out of this, maybe he won't have to get physical today.
"That won't do. You infiltrated LOL and doubted our smiles for no reason." Dimple said lowly. Mezato suppressed a tongue click and began to put on a pleading look.
"I'm sorry, I won't write about you in the school paper." She offered, though, it seemed to anger the leader more.
"That is not enough! It won't ease our hard feelings!" The crowd began to gather around Mezato slowly with dangerous grins. "We won't let you leave until you laugh."
"Honestly, I don't feel up to it right now..." Mob could tell Mezato's patience was running thin, she also seemed a little scared. "And if I forced myself to right now, it wouldn't be sincere!"
"Start with a smile." Dimple's tone didn't sound like a suggestion, it was a threat. Mob could tell because he has heard such voices before.
"No! I don't want to lie to myself." Mezato gritted her teeth, pulling her hands into a tight fist. If it was one thing that Mezato isn't, it would be a liar. She strived for the truth and only the truth, one way or another.
Then her vision was suddenly covered by a mask. "Hey!"
A nagging thought in Mob's head told him to go save her. He would...but he would also rather let this moment to live a little longer, since this all felt like karma for her. For all those times she pressed people on for answers, asked Mob to hurt people for answers, ruined reputations and exposed secrets that were meant to be kept. Most of it was under Tsubomi's orders though, but Mezato could've said no.
Mob felt that this was her punishment, so he lets it happen.
Meanwhile, Mezato's feelings were all jumbled up. The need to smile was in her, but her strong will told her to stop. She couldn't stop, however, and it was painful. Why wasn't Mob helping her? Was he affected too? What about Teru?
The crowd began to cheer once more, happy to have a new member in their family. Mob started to count to ten in his head and when he was done, he raised a hand up. "Excuse me."
Teru's hand was suddenly gone from his, a sense of relief washed over him before he continued. "Can we please leave now?"
"Who's that?" Dimple turned, quite shocked that Mob sounded...normal.
The woman from earlier raised her hand up to answer. "He looked troubled on his way home with his friends, so I brought them here. Seems like he's having trouble with love."
"I do not!" Mob threw the mask off, how dare this woman doubt his relationship. Dimple had trouble smiling from the amount of shock he was receiving, Mob wasn't smiling.
Teru threw his off too and the shock doubled. The blonde fixed his hair, which was unkempt from the mask. He hadn't bothered to tie it up today so it was frustrating to refix. "This mask is so...bland, have you tried yellow colored ones?"
Everyone's expressions didn't change, but it was obvious they were all surprised. "Huh? He's not smiling?"
Mezato had never looked so relieved, even though her face was still pulled into a tight smile. Mob took her arm and began dragging her towards the exit. "We'll be leaving now." He could probably undo the hypnosis when they got back. Teru trailed along behind them.
Dimple ran off the stage, hopping off with a hand outstretched to stop them. "Wait! Do you plan to live the rest of your life with that face?"
Mob paused, turning around to glare at Dimple. "What's wrong with my face?"
The man looked like he wanted to frown, he seemed pissed. He doesn't let it bother him though. "I just want you to know how wonderful it is to smile."
"No thanks." Mob continued to walk and Dimple's expression was further strained in irritation. Teru was resisting the urge to laugh, all of this was too funny. This man really thought he could convince them to join this sick cult? Good luck with that.
"Then would you like to play a game before you leave?" Mob kept walking, unimpressed by Dimple's offer. He proceeded to add details. "A s-staring contest. You'll have a staring contest with three of my smile leaders."
Teru grinned, leaning close to Mob's ear. "Games are fun, let's stay a little longer."
"Are you sure you're not brainwashed, Hanazawa?" Mob raised an eyebrow at him and the other laughed nervously. Mob then continued. "Besides, Mezato needs help--"
"You'll all drink milk and the first to laugh loses." The black-haired boy stopped walking, causing Mezato to stumble a little. Mob turned, suddenly very intrigued. The girl that was being dragged by the arm looked like she wanted to give him a slap.
Teru hummed in amusement, this boy was all too interesting. Teru liked that.
A table was brought out and two bottles of milk were placed on them, Mob stood on one end of the table and the smile leader stood on the other. Mob was going in as Teru and Mezato's representative so their lives rested on his hands. No biggie.
The referee stood at the side of the table. "Are you ready? If you laugh, you lose."
"Yeah, I have ears." Mob deadpanned, causing the old referee to shoot him a glare. Mezato wanted to scream her head off, but her face was stuck in a smiling expression.
"Ready?...Go!" The two challengers proceeded to gulp down their milks, keeping it in their mouths. The smile leader began to make silly faces at Mob but the boy was not the least bit humored, causing the other to spew the milk out of his mouth instead.
Right on Mob's face.
"What the fuck!" Mob hissed, swallowing his milk before he had spoken. He wiped his face off with a napkin and was close to losing his shit at the man, he could've at least spat his milk somewhere else and not at Mob's face!
The second leader came in and they tried the same tactic with Mob, only to be met with failure and for Mob to meet a mixture of milk and spit in his face. The teenager swallowed his milk again and bit a retort back, he's not going to waste his energy on such lowly creatures. He'll play their game and leave. That's it.
"You okay, Sweet Venom?" Teru waved. Mob nodded in response, glad that someone cared. If Tsubomi was here, would she check on him too?
The last smile leader came in with a grim looking smile, he looked professional. One thing Mob had learnt from Master Reigen was that there were two types of people who wore suits; Smart people or people who wanted to look smart.
This man definitely was the latter.
"With my smiling powers, I'll throw that boy into a smiley maelstrom..."
Too bad he was all bark and no bite. Mob was, yet again, met with another round of milk and saliva to his face. He was ready to fucking snap. "Are we done here? I won." He wiped the last few droplets of milk off his face and made his way towards the exit again, Teru dragged Mezato along with him as he followed behind Mob.
They were quickly stopped by Dimple. Again.
"You'll have to face me now." He grinned sinisterly, Teru rolled his eyes. To be honest, this was started to feel boring and Teru couldn't wait to get out. He had faith in Mob though, so freedom shouldn't be too far.
The crowd gasped in shock, so Dimple offering to challenge Mob was probably a big deal. He looked like he had something up his sleeve, Teru didn't comment on it though. He wondered what Dimple had in store for the gang leader.
Ah, quite funny to see two leaders face off each other.
"Ready?...Go!" Mob drank his milk, keeping it in his mouth for the fourth time and bracing for another round of milk and spit to his face. Mob cringed, shivering all over as the urge to get rid of the foul taste in his mouth overcame him. That wasn't milk, there was something in it.
"He laughed!" Dimple yelled in glee as Mob choked on the liquids pouring out from his mouth and the crowd goes wild. Mob regretted not spewing that shit in Dimple's stupid face. Tears of pain streamed down his eyes as he struggled to get rid of every single droplet of that disgusting milk from his mouth.
Mezato was laughing along with the others. Everyone was laughing.
Mob felt a hand started patting his back gently and a napkin was brought to his face to wipe the milk and tears away. He breathed heavily, finally taking a lungful of air after choking on whatever that was.
He looked up to see who had came to comfort him and it was no surprise that Teru was the one, he looked genuinely concerned before looking over at Dimple with a raging expression.
"I didn't..." Mob heaved another breath of air. "...fucking laugh." A wave of energy began to spread across the room, causing everyone to stop laughing.
Teru stared at him in awe as confusion began to break out. In panic, Dimple reverted everyone back to their laughing state with a quick hand wave. He returned his gaze back at Mob and Teru, gesturing at the two. "Everyone! Let us save the laughter trapped within him!"
"You fucking pussy, do it yourself--" Teru shouted angrily but was promptly cut off by people grabbing onto Mob tightly, shoving the blonde aside. Teru reached out and firmly grasped his hand, not wanting to let go and pulled him in. "Hands off- I SAID HANDS OFF."
They stopped, clearly irritated and Dimple's main focus was on Mob now. He had made a fool out of him for the last time!
Teru was then dragged away from Mob, but he blasted them aside with a burst of psychic energy. Mob appreciated the fact that Teru was going almost all out for him, but he seriously didn't want to waste time messing with these people. The sooner they leave, the better.
Dimple groaned in frustration, quickly masking it with an odd sounding laugh. "No one here is your enemy, why are you fighting?"
"Get a clue." Dimple sneered.
Mob blinked, he stared straight at the man, his mouth slightly ajar. Get a clue.
"Mob, why do you always look so bored?" "If you're bored, go home." "You're the only one who's not laughing."
"Mob!" Tsubomi glared at him as he gripped his bag tightly, he felt nervous. Why was Tsubomi angry? What did he do wrong this time? What more could she want? She smiled, it only made Mob feel worse.
"Get a clue." She sneered.
Mob continued to stare, he felt...awful. The need to apologize surfaced up to his throat. I'm sorry, I won't do it again.
He doesn't say anything though, those words were not meant for Dimple.
"Now laugh!" Dimple thrusted his hand forward, exerting an overwhelming amount of power towards Mob's face. Mob was stronger though, he resisted it with ease, while the people holding him down were all laughing their heads off.
"Tch, try harder will you?" Mob retorted, Dimple took a step back. He couldn't believe this, why wasn't Mob laughing?
Teru laughed instead, but only to mock Dimple further. He watched as the man desperately rubbed Mob's to make him laugh, the boy remained stoic and the only expression he was showing was annoyance. He pulled his hands away in defeat and extreme disbelief.
"Your powers don't work on me, I'll laugh when I want to laugh." Mob growled, he folded his arms and glared at Dimple more. "Get a clue."
"Besides, it's hard enough for me to express my feelings on my own." He added, digging into his pockets for a lollipop. "It's even harder when you force me to."
Mob continued to dig around his pockets for the candy as the gears turned in Dimple's head, the cult leader smiled sinisterly as he leaned forward. "I see...then you must be an insensitive prick, brat."
The boy stopped his search as Dimple went more in depth for his accusation. "They mentioned you were having troubles with love. With a personality like that, the girl you like will be so annoyed with you. All because you can't laugh, cry or be moved. She'll think you won't care."
"Sooner or later, she'll hate you. After all, the feelings of people resonate with one another, you know?" He continued. "But you're unable to do that."
"I'll give you one last chance." Dimple grimaced. "Laugh."
Mob couldn't find a lollipop in his pockets, his mouth felt so bitter. Everything felt bitter, it felt like he had drank another bottle of that gross milk. Dimple was right, Tsubomi never liked it when he didn't show a proper reaction. He tried being more open, with the help of Master Reigen, but he's still learning how. They can't force him.
He patted his pockets once last time, he needed something sweet right now. He needed to get rid of this feeling now.
"Make me laugh with your psychic powers." Mob mumbled under his breath. Dimple faltered.
Teru watched from the sidelines, he was trying to figure out what was wrong with Mob. Why wasn't he attacking? What could possibly be wr--
His eyes widened in realization after seeing Mob frantically search through his black pockets. A lollipop.
Teru began feeling through his own pockets, any sweet would do right? So, knowing that...
As the conversation between Mob and Dimple continued, Teru had checked every single pocket on him but had nothing to spare. His eyes swept across the room and was briefly met with Mezato's still smiling face. She was Mob's friend right? She should have a piece of candy on her. He ran towards her, glad that the cult members paid no attention to him.
"A lollipop." Teru stated, hands stretched out to receive the candy. "He needs something in his mouth I think, something sweet."
She couldn't express any other emotion except for happiness and it seemed she couldn't move either, but they way she smiled up at Teru showed that she did have something sweet on her. Without missing a beat, Teru searched her pockets with her permission. At least, he thinks he got permission.
The blonde managed to pull out a lollipop from her skirt pocket, strawberry flavored. This would have to do.
Using telekinesis to shred the wrapper into pieces, he shot it towards Mob's mouth, who looked a bit surprised at first but quickly began to adjust to the sudden candy in his mouth. He gave Teru a silent thanks, shifted the stick to the other corner of his mouth.
"Y'know, I wanted to finish this little quest without having to get physical." Mob huffed, cracking his knuckles. Dimple looked quite bewildered, he didn't realize what he had gotten himself into. The aura around Mob intensified into a vibrant purple as he spoke. "But since you're just an evil spirit, I'll lift my finger just this once."
At that moment, Dimple began to twitch slightly as a cloud of smoke came out of his mouth. A booming voice filled the room, commanding every single one of his followers to get Mob.
The boy smirked for the first time while being down in that creepy basement.
As the people began to tackle Mob, Teru was quick to shoot them all aside with his powers to avoid getting smooshed by them. His intense yellow and Mob's glowing purple shone brightly as they began charging up for their next move.
Dimple's cloud thundered angrily, the body he was possessing fell to the ground with a thud. "Ah, so you're both powerful esper. No wonder the masks didn't work."
"Quit your yapping would you?" Teru scoffed in response.
"If your policy is to kill any outsider, then come at us with everything you got." Mob grumbled. "That might be easier than making me laugh."
"Give me four seconds and the both of you would be gone." Dimple's form shifted into a green muscly spirit, it barely intimated the two psychics. He began to expel black smoke from his body to make it harder for them to see him, then he charged at them with immense amount of energy.
He was immediately reflected off their barriers, flying off before regaining his composure to try again. Dimple zipped across the room, much like Teru had did before, and doubled his power, zooming straight towards the two.
His punch barely made a dent in their barriers and was sent flying off again, this time leaving with an injury. Teru smirked as he watched Dimple gaped at his wound but the ghost quickly recovered and exerted even more energy, his recovered hand turning into a claw.
"Is he even trying?" Teru whispered. "He reminds me of animals that try to make themself look scary by looking bigger."
Mob snickered, causing Dimple to yell in rage as he struck again. Mob sliced his hand clean off again and Teru finished it off with another sickening blow, making all four of Dimple's limbs popped off like it was nothing. The two flew towards him and promptly placed a foot on his face, crushing down hard.
"C'mon, Dimple, aren't you gonna do anything to stop us?" Teru teased, pressing down harder. Dimple rolled over, shoving the two of them. He was really mad now. As he turned over, he head cracked towards them and opened his mouth and a laser bream shot out.
It was a direct hit.
Teru took the hit, kicking Mob aside. The spirt formed a large blade with his hand and charged towards Teru, if he took them down one by one, it'll be a lot easier. Starting with the lackey!
He was quickly stopped by Mob, breaking his blade arm off and sending it slicing through Dimple's sign. He turned and was met with Mob's hand that was slowly reaching his forehead.
"I guess I am an insensitive prick." Mob smirked, the last face Dimple was going to see before he reached his doom. His fingers tapped on Dimple's forehead with a gentle tap and Dimple exploded.
Everyone slowly recovered once the spirit was exorcised, Teru was on the ground, seemingly fine but definitely injured. Mob ran towards him, expressing great concern. "You okay, Hanazawa?"
"Peachy." The boy grunted.
Mezato came skidding towards them. "Jesus Christ, I'm sorry I dragged you guys into this." She glanced down at Teru. "Even though I told you not to come."
He flipped her off in response. She crossed her arms with a short. "Hmph."
"Let's get out of here, can you walk?" Mob rolled the lollipop to the other side of his mouth. "Oh and...thank you for the lollipop."
"It was mine, actually." Mezato piped up, Mob ignored her. Teru shot him a thumbs up and groaned. "I think I can walk, with help, and no problem."
Mob heaved Teru's arm over his shoulder and secured his other hand around Teru's hip. They stuck close so the blonde wouldn't fall. Mezato took a few last pictures before following after them.
"Ah, Sweet Venom, the bruise around your neck is almost gone." Teru limped. The color rose into Mob's face and nodded. The blonde sighed. "That's good."
"Actually, you guys go on ahead, I think I can interview some of these guys and take some more pictures." Mezato paused, Mob nodded again.
Mob didn't really know where else to go and he seriously didn't feel like half carrying Teru home or to his house, so he settled on the next best thing.
"Mob! You look like shit." Reigen opened his door, an unwrapped burger in one hand. Ugh, of course he'd say that.
"You too." Mob scoffed, pulling Teru into the small office. Reigen shot him a look.
"Who's the kid?"
He placed Teru down onto a chair and proceeded to look for the first aid kit. "Friend."
"You have friends?" Reigen gasped dramatically, Mob glared at him. The man waved his hand dismissively and laughed. "I'm kidding! Say, kid, any bruisings anywhere?"
Teru lazily looked up at Reigen, pressing his mouth into a thin line to think. "Yeah, I think my elbow." Reigen nodded, picking up his MobDonald's drink and handing it to the teenager.
He stared at it for a moment before receiving the drink, saying nothing as he placed the cold cup onto his elbow. Mob came back with a box of first aid and began to patch the boy up, from the cuts Teru got from falling onto the debris when he was shot across the room by the laser to the bruises across his limbs from crashing against the wall.
Teru returned the gesture by placing a few bandaids onto Mob here and there. Reigen watched it all with no questions, munching on his dinner. Though, the two did provide a bit of context for the guy. Like the brainwashing spirit parts and the cult. They quickly finished in no time.
"We'll be going now, Master." Mob placed the box back, Teru looked a little surprised by the way Mob had addressed the butterscotch-haired man.
Reigen dipped his head down, a bit longer than a normal nod, and raised it back up. "Get home safe you two."
Chapter 5: Crush
Featuring: Pining Teru and boys in skirts.
It was pretty unpleasant to see those rosy cheeks again.
Mob’s face paled from the moment his eyes layed down on the green ghost before him when he had woken up from his sleep. His first instinct was to beat the crap out of him, so it was exactly what he did.
Dimple screamed after being slammed into the floor countless of times by the tip of his ghostly snot figure, he immediately got Mob to stop after explaining his situation. “Look, you, you beat me fair and square, but you didn’t fully exorcise me since I was a really powerful spirit--”
“My bad then, I’ll finish the job.” Mob raised his glowing hand, causing Dimple to fly into a corner in fear.
“Wait wait wait! Don’t get rid of me yet! You already reduced me into this weak form so I can’t cause much trouble for you, so just...let me live.”
Mob lowered his hand, going into deep thought. Although exorcising Dimple was what Master Reigen would’ve wanted, it would be nice to have some ghostly company. Besides, Dimple did say he wouldn’t cause any trouble for Mob.
So, with that being said, if Dimple did anything wrong. He’s gonna shoot this green blob into hell.
“Alright, you’ve convinced me.” Mob shrugged, getting up to start his day. Dimple exhaled a sigh of relief before Mob suddenly whipped his head around to shoot a glare. “But cross the line and you’re fucking dead.”
“Shige! Are you awake yet?” He heard his mother call from downstairs, Mob turned his head back towards the door.
“Yeah, I’m coming down!”
The day goes on as usual, Mob ate breakfast with his family, Ritsu left first for his student council meeting, Mob sent a quick text to Tsubomi and his parents bid him goodbye as he left through the front door. The only difference was that Dimple had to make a comment for every single thing.
“You’re family’s real cozy.” “Does your brother have powers too?” “What’s up with your neck?”
The urge to make him disappear was immense, but he was in front of his family and he knew his mother never liked it when he used his powers at the table.
When he got to school, Tsubomi rushed forward to him at the school gates. “I heard what happened with Mezato! She’s gonna publish the school paper soon but she gave me a proof copy. Are you okay?”
She brushed her fingers across the bandaids across his hands and checked his face. Mob felt himself blush.
“That’s your girlfriend?” Dimple raised an eyebrow. Oh my god shut the fuck up, you shit.
Mob didn’t bother to answer Dimple as he walked into school with his girlfriend. Tsubomi began buzzing about her day as Mob listened intently.
“Oh, by the way, there were some girls from Saint Highso Girls’ Academy that got on my nerves. Annoying jerks, so full of themselves just because they come from a private academy. Ugh.” Tsubomi squeezed Mob’s arm, leaning in close. “Say, do you suppose you could teach them a lesson?”
This again. Mob hummed in acknowledgement, letting Tsubomi know to go on. So she does. “The girls and I wanted to get ice cream at this store, right? But those academy girls were clearly finished eating and hogging up the only free seats.”
“I don’t care who you hurt, just let the whole school know that being selfish is fucking rude.”
Mob stopped walking. This wasn’t the first time Tsubomi had asked him to harm people, but it was especially harder when they were innocent girls. Master Reigen always said to never hit a girl, it’d make him the biggest loser ever.
Tsubomi noticed his hesitation and pouted her lips, scrunching her face up. “Gosh, don’t you think the world would be a bit better without people like them?”
She started to sniff, burying her face into his arm, then added. “You know how upset we were that day? All we wanted was ice cream.”
“B-But because of t-them,” Tsubomi sniffled some more, Mob felt the familiar wetness soaked into his uniform sleeve, “w-we couldn’t even e-enjoy a s-simple snack.” She finished her sentence off with a choked sob.
A pang of guilt washed over the boy, causing his heart to ache, his breathing to quicken and his mind to fog. Tsubomi was crying. He resisted the urge to sigh and comforted her. “I-I’ll see what I can do.” He mumbled.
“You better.” She bit her lip, the sad look was still in her eyes. What was he gonna do with her? He loved her to bits but…
No, there’s no buts. He loved her and that was that.
The bell rings and she detached herself off Mob’s arm quicker than he had ever seen. “Later, Mobbu!”
“What was that?” Dimple suddenly spoke, reminding Mob that he still does exist.
“My girlfriend.” Mob said bluntly in a ‘Duh’ tone.
“No no, I mean. What the fuck was that?”
Mob raised an eyebrow, evidently unaware of what Dimple meant, which made the ghost sigh in response before elaborating.
“You let her walk all over you, just like that?”
“And that’s wrong because?”
Dimple’s eyes widened, not knowing what to say. Was...he serious? Was Mob actually not aware of what she was doing to him?
Dimple decided to question it any further, he could tell the Mob’s love for Tsubomi was quite serious and the esper would not hesitate to exorcise him if he said the wrong thing or made the wrong move.
“I get treated like a weirdo just for being in this club, I can’t do this anymore!” A boy Mob didn’t recognize ran past him and out of Tome’s little club. The esper didn’t bother to stop him, but did go into the room to check on his...friend. Was Tome his friend?
“What happened?” He asked, opening the door ever so slightly.
Tome groaned, running a hand through her black locks. “Takenaka just left our club, now we’re down to four members and we need five to keep this club alive.”
She smiled, shooting him a look of hopefulness. “Mob, do you wa--”
“Tome, I’ve got a gang to handle, I can’t possibly join your club.” Mob interrupted her mid-sentence, she lets out another disgruntled groan. He didn’t feel all that bad about it.
“Which is why I should forewarn you that this club will be abolished.” A voice behind Mob said, the boy turned and was met with the student council vice president; Tokugawa.
“So soon?!” A member in the club gasped. Mob stepped aside, letting Tokugawa speak to them properly.
“I have a new club requesting for a club room, so if you all would mind, please start cleaning out your…” His eyes swept across the room, a hint of disgust in his tone. “...things.”
“H-Hold on, do you know who I am? I could get you kicked off the student council in a day.” Tome threatened, the vice president, however, was unfazed by this.
“You’re Kurata Tome, Takane Tsubomi’s alleged right hand woman. Unfortunately, no matter how powerful Takane is in the social hierarchy, you do not have enough power to stop the student council from dispersing your club.” Tokugawa stated. Tome took a step back, then took a step forward.
“Don’t fucking test me, Tokugawa, I’m warning you.” Tome’s eyes shifted to Mob, who was just about to leave. Mob immediately knew what she wanted.
“Do not use that kind of foul language at me, do you want me to get angry?” The student council member frowned deeply, sending shivers down all the club members’ spines.
“You leave me no choice,” Tome sighed, then stared at Mob expectantly, “Mob?”
Dimple floated into Mob’s view, realizing what Tome wanted from him. “H-Hang on, you’re not gonna hurt a student council member are you? Isn’t your brother on the student council? What would he think? And worst yet, you might get yourself suspended!”
Mob glared daggers at the blob, who immediately piped down, still worried for the boy.
Tokugawa’s eyes shifted towards the gang leader, he recognized him instantly. “Ah, Kageyama’s older brother. Are you going to manipulate your younger brother into cancelling the abolishment?”
Mob’s aura spiked, his hair flowed despite the lack of wind and a lollipop from the club room’s table unwrapped itself, flying into his mouth. He shifted the stick from side to side and raised his hand. How dare this boy assume he’d use his brother? Ritsu was his pride and joy, he’d never do anything to him or force him to do anything for Mob.
A purple glow surrounded the vice president, making him fly off the ground a few feet, causing him to widen his eyes in immense shock.
“Here’s what’s gonna happen Mr. Goody Two-Shoes, you’re gonna let this club stay without another word. Got it?” Mob spoke with a dangerous tone, causing the other to start sweating bullets. “And if you tell anyone this happened, I will find you. Suspended or not.”
Mob clenched his fists, tightening Tokugawa’s collar to give him a firm warning before dropping him back onto the ground roughly. The male cleared his throat, sweat trickled off his chin.
“The club stays.”
“Have you done anything to Saint Highso yet?” Tsubomi chimed the next morning, it made Mob feel awfully uncomfortable.
“Huh?” Tsubomi’s face dropped into a low frown. “You haven’t? Why?”
Mob fiddled with his fingers, itching to grab a lollipop from his pocket, but he didn’t want to seem like he wanted to avoid the subject. Even though, he did want to.
Before he could come up with an excuse, Tome trotted over to thank him for yesterday. “The new club is forming anyways, apparently they just needed a room to store their equipment so the student council decided to lend them some storage room. It’s kinda dusty and gross but they’ll manage.”
Tsubomi’s face relit again, causing Mob to sigh in relief. She clapped her hands together in joy. “Oh, so you were just helping Tome? That’s really nice of you.”
I only did it because I knew she’d go crying to you about it.
“Yeah.” Mob muttered, he could hear Dimple facepalm in the corner.
His girlfriend didn’t bring up about the girl’s academy until school ended, right when Teru decided to drop by again.
“Ah, Mobbu, are you gonna do anything about those girls today?” Tsubomi asked innocently. Teru shot the boy a look, he was clearly missing something here.
“What’s happening?” Teru cuts in, saving Mob. What did Mob do to deserve such good karma?
“None of your business, blondie.” Tsubomi hissed, her innocent act dropping.
“Tell me anyways.”
Tsubomi eyed Mob, expecting him to do something about Teru. Like he was some sort of parasite. Mob didn’t do anything though.
“Mob’s only helping me teach some girls a lesson.” Tsubomi finally answered, annoyed that Mob didn’t bother to help.
“Are you?” Teru raised an eyebrow at him. Mob gulped, shifting the stick in his mouth to the other corner. Grape flavored this time.
“Well--” His phone rang before he could say anything. Thank fucking god. He held a hand up so he could take it.
“Mob, we got a job.” Master Reigen said on the other line. Holy shit, there was a god. “Get over here now.”
Usually, Mob would be beyond pissed about these last minute calls (even though, technically, he was supposed to head to work today), but he was glad Master Reigen had interrupted his conversation with his girlfriend and esper friend. He murmured a quiet “Mm” to let the older man know he was coming, before turning his phone off.
“I have to go.” He stated to the other two, Tsubomi looked irritated and Teru looked intrigued.
Without waiting for a reaction, Mob walked out the front gate as quickly as possible. He heard footsteps follow along behind him and he cursed under his breath, sensing who it was.
“You know you can’t stop me from coming along, so let’s pretend you invited me.” Teru grinned next to him, his eyes glanced upwards, finally aware of their ghostly friend. “Uh--”
“Save it, kid, long story short. We called a truce.” Dimple waved a hand dismissively, Teru furrowed his brows, nodding slowly.
As they walked, Teru decided to fill the silence about his day. Some stuff about his gang going less violent these days because everyone was too afraid of them, he also recently dumped his latest girlfriend. Their relationship only lasted a few days. Mob couldn’t understand the point of being a playboy, but decided to not preach about why Teru should value love.
“Oh, did your parents say anything about…” Mob pointed at the bandages that went around the blonde’s arm, it was covered by his uniform sleeves, though you could still see it poking out.
“Urm, well…” Teru went quiet, rubbing the back of his neck. “Not really.”
“Yeah they’re uh…” He pulled on his sleeves uncomfortably. “...they don’t live with me exactly. Or I don’t live with them.”
Mob raised a brow, curious. Wasn’t Teru 14 like he was? Is that okay?
The rest of the walk was filled with awkward silence.
Master Reigen was surprised to see Teru enter his office. As far as Mob could tell, he was pretty sure Reigen couldn’t see Dimple, but he mentioned about him anyways. “Ah, Master, remember the cult we were talking about the other day?”
“Mhm?” Reigen shifted, picking a bag up from under his desk and shutting his laptop.
“The spirit is here with me right now.”
“Is he now?” A hint of disinterest was in his voice, Mob was tempted to laugh. Reigen knew his disciple was doing this on purpose, mocking the fact that he didn’t have any powers himself and therefore couldn’t exactly see spirits at all. Quite ironic since he runs an exorcism job.
“So, anyways, where’s the job at?” Mob dropped the previous subject immediately since he didn’t want to embarrass the man in front of Teru. The blonde was busy taking a good look around the office, since the last time he was here, he was bleeding and bruised.
“At Saint Highso Girls’ Academy.” Reigen dropped the bag on his desk, zipping it open to two neatly folded uniforms in it.
Mob choked and Reigen looked up in confusion before picking one of the uniforms out.
“You got permission to enter?”
Reigen grunted, shrugging his shoulders and shooting his student an ‘Ehhh’ look. “Not exactly.” He threw Mob the red uniform. “Get changed.”
Teru looked up from whatever he was doing, he was just as surprised as Mob was when he heard those words.
In short, the two got dressed and Teru has never looked so red before. Dimple gave the blonde a knowing look, but Teru was too distracted to even notice.
Mob didn’t exactly look out of place, he was a convincing looking girl, but if you knew him personally or gaze hard enough, you’d easily tell that he was, in fact, a boy.
Teru knew fully well that Mob was a boy, but found it hard to know which part of Mob’s body was ok to look at.
Definitely not his legs, that was creepy. His face? Ah, no, he looked pissed off and he’d rather not right now. Arms? Yeah, arms are fine, but they’re too close to Mob’s torso area.
What the fuck is wrong with him, this is his best friend he’s thinking about. Was...Mob Teru’s best friend? Well, to be honest, he’s pretty much Teru’s only friend.
“So, do our disguises work?” Reigen asked, he was checking with Teru so it’d be a full proof plan.
“For him, yes, but for you…” Teru scrunched his nose up, Reigen’s features were to male already. It wouldn’t work, especially with those legs.
Dimple floated over to Teru’s side, whispering into his ear. “Want me to flip his skirt up?” The spirit didn’t need to mention who the ‘his’ was because Teru already knew.
Mob’s eyes flashed red for a minute, it seemed he had heard what the ghost said. Dimple, wanting to not die again, flew off into a corner instantly. Teru was left to look away, his face a tinge of red.
“Fuck, that means it won’t work for me then.” Reigen unclipped the fake ponytail from his head and took off his jacket. “Kid, you’re gonna have to fill in for me.”
“I have a name, it’s Hanazawa Teruki.”
But Reigen had already left to take his clothes off to hand it to Teru, which was probably a hygiene hazard but whatever.
In a few minutes, both Teru and Mob were dressed as convincing Saint Highso students, thanks to Teru’s messy shoulder length hair and his use of make-up, and were sent off to get the exorcism done.
“I didn’t know you used make-up.” Mob mumbled as they made their way to the school, uncomfortably tugging at his skirt.
“It brings out my already pretty features.” Teru leaned in to show the shorter boy, but he only leaned back in response. No offense taken though.
“There’s the school.” He pointed. The school building came into view and it only made Mob feel even queasier, this was so fucking pathetic. There’s no way this was gonna work.
Gripping their empty brown bags tightly, they walked through the front gates together, anticipating for the security guard to stop them.
Oh fuck you.
Teru stared up at the building, remembering the clients were on the roof waiting for them. They got in without any issues, changing their shoes into the white school ones and carefully picking up their brown ones without looking too suspicious. Teru wondered if Mob went on missions like these often, they were oddly fun.
Mob, on the other hand, was dreading for the moment they’d be caught. It doesn’t come and he’s kinda pissed about it, he felt so offended being in this uniform. Or was he embarrassed?
As they climbed up the staircase, a plan ran through Mob’s head. Obviously, he’d have to do all the talking but Master Reigen had forgotten to provide context for this job. Unless Reigen agreed to this without knowing what it actually was? Typical of the man really.
Teru turned the handle for the roof door and swung it open, letting Mob in first the kind gentleman he was. Mob didn’t say thank you, oh well. They spotted three girls sitting on the floor, chatting about and the black-haired boy assumed they were the clients.
“Hey, you three. I’m from the consultation office, are you guys the clients?” Mob waved, pitching his voice so he’d sound like a girl. He’s gonna need a lollipop, he finished the grape one back at Reigen’s office. He dug through his pockets, ah wait.
He didn’t have one on him, this is the girl’s uniform.
He clicked his tongue in annoyance and Teru took notice of it. He grinned, shaking his head as he pulled out a green apple flavored lollipop for Mob. “After the Dimple fiasco, I figured I should have one on me at all times. Here.”
“Oh...thanks.” Mob mumbled softly, unwrapping it with his powers and popping it in with his hand.
Meanwhile, the girls on the floor turned towards them, a mix of irritation and confusion written all over their faces. “Huh? Who the hell are you guys?”
“Unfamiliar faces. You transfer students?” Another said, sticking her finger out rudely.
One by one they stood up, Mob took a step back as they eyed him suspiciously. “Consultation office?” The redhead said, a hand on her chin.
“You trying to get through us thugs?” The girl with short light brown hair balled her fists in a threatening tone, her rather sad attempt at intimidating him.
“So annoying!” The girl with the white hairband exclaimed sourly, which reminded Mob of those lame tag-along kids that stuck to a big group of friends because they couldn’t survive on their own.
“Like we’re going to let some twerp like you lecture us!” The short-haired girl leaned in close, holding her fist up. Mob rolled his eyes at her, some people these days.
“Back off, the fuck did we ever do to you?” Teru stood between her and Mob angrily, not bothering to make his voice sound higher.
“Why don’t you mind your own business?!” She spat, turning to Teru. “If you don’t you’re going to regret it!”
“Your spit is getting on my face.” Teru wiped his cheek with the sleeve of his uniform. “And don’t threaten us like that.”
“What’re you going to do about, huh?” She poked him in the chest. “Cry?”
Teru threw a fist at her and she whirled back. “Don’t fucking touch me!”
The lollipop shifted in Mob’s mouth as she watched the girl tear up from the hit. As expected, her friends rushed over to her side and checked on her. The freckled girl wiped her eyes and got up, running off. “We’re telling on you, bitch!”
“C’mon, I barely put any effort into that punch!” Teru teased, watching them exit the roof. As he did, he glanced up, noticing the two girls standing on top of the doorway’s roof.
“Hey! We’re your clients!” One of them waved.
They promptly got down, walking towards the staircase so they could talk. “Wow, you really showed her who’s boss huh?”
“It was nothing really, her neck would’ve snapped if I really tried.” Teru boasted, making Mob’s eyes roll.
“Isn’t that Reigen guy coming?” The brown-haired girl, Chihiro, wondered.
“His disguise couldn’t work, so I’m filling in for him.” Teru explained and she proceeded to nod in understanding.
Mari gave them both a puzzled look, a hint of worry in her voice. “You both came in dressed as girls? Seriously?”
“Tell me about it,” Mob sighed, sucking on the lollipop in his mouth, “we couldn’t get permission to enter, so we didn’t have much of a choice.”
“We could’ve just broken in, but you guys have security guards.” Teru added. “Anyways, what’s wrong?”
Chihiro and Mari exchanged uncomfortable looks, taking a deep breath before explaining their situation. “The school wouldn’t listen to us, but things have been going missing and we’ve been hearing strange noises. There’s been some cases where people saw things floating through the air once or twice.”
“Yeah, one time, a bra was floating through the locker room all on it’s own!” Chihiro finished.
“A...bra?” Mob raised an eyebrow. Teru only snickered.
“Say, are you guys…?” Mari crossed her arms curiously.
“We’re not!” Mob held his hands up quickly, his face going pink. Mari shot him another look of confusion and concern.
“You...didn’t let me finish. I was going to ask if you guys were legit.”
“Ah- Uh--” Mob coughed, hiding his face behind Teru. God that was embarrassing, he thought she was going to ask if he was wearing a bra along with his disguise.
Teru sensed the smaller boy’s distress and realized why, letting out a laugh before answering. “‘Course we’re legit, why? Having doubts?”
“Well you were the cheapest agency we could afford and it was kinda shady.” Chihiro shrugged. That made sense, it was okay for her to assume that.
“Don’t worry about it, we can handle it.” Teru didn’t even work for Reigen, but anything for Mob really.
“I dunno, your other friend there looks like he’d break any moment.” Mari pointed at Mob, who was still recovering from earlier. The boy stopped hiding behind Teru and glared at her, grinding his teeth against the stick in his mouth.
“Are you calling me weak?”
“I stand corrected.” Mari shook, surprised from the sudden change in Mob’s mood. “Hmm, you really are a boy huh?”
“What do you mean really are ?!” He snapped, glancing at Teru to see his reaction. Unfortunately, the blonde was only chuckling.
“Right? His features aren’t all that masculine. Yet.” Teru wiped a stray tear away from laughing so much.
“Let’s start the exorcism already!” Mob grunted.
“If you feel anything, tell us!” Chihiro said as they walked along the hallways. So far, nothing. Mob knew they couldn’t be lying, since they seem so uneasy around the two espers.
They looked out the window to see the tennis court, still no--wait, no, there was something. It wasn’t really prominent, but it was definitely there.
“Feel anything yet?” The girls asked.
“A little--” Mob replied but paused, feeling a strong wave of a spirt’s energy wash over him.
“It’s close.” Teru murmured lowly, shifting his eyes around, trying to pinpoint the exact location of the ghost.
“Seriously? Where--” Mari scrunched her face up, but before she could finish, a blood curdling scream was heard from the bathroom. The girls turned, shock swallowed them whole.
They rushed into the bathroom, except both boys had the decency to stay outside, letting the girls investigate the cause of the scream. Apparently, the girl using the bathroom had seen someone peeking at her from above the stall’s door, but the windows were locked and there wasn’t anyone at the exit.
It was definitely a ghost.
“We’re going to follow it.” Mob turned to leave with a determined look in his eyes, Teru and the two girls trailing after him.
Teru admired Mob, the boy really was something else. Despite being a gang leader, the little dude had morals that made you realize he wasn’t all that bad.
Sure, Mob would sometimes beat people into a pulp, curse, insult and such. But, deep down, this guy was an absolute sweetheart.
It was a thing that Teru didn’t catch all the time and he wish he did.
If the blonde had to be truthful, his initial reason for befriending Mob was really to make their gang stronger. To make him stronger. But as they actually hung out and talked like friends normally did, unlike his gang members and ex girlfriends, Teru found himself liking the guy.
The way Mob stared at a dumb looking frog could’ve made Teru instantly die. Screw telekinesis and punches, Teru would’ve been easily defeated if Mob picked up a tiny frog with overwhelming care and love.
The sun was about to set when they finally found the spirit again. Mob could sense the anger coming from the ghost. If they kept on searching for it, it’ll surely lash out.
“What are we going to do?” Chihiro asked, sweat trickling down her temple.
“The basketball team is practicing inside!” Mari added, anxiety overflowing out of her.
Mob spat the lollipop stick out of his mouth onto the ground, he proceeded to crush it into pieces with his powers. “We’re going to end this.” He growled, raising his hand up.
The gymnasium was suddenly engulfed with a bright glow, trapping the spirit inside. Now it had nowhere to go.
The doors opened slowly, true to Mari’s words, the basketball team was playing inside. Just as they the ball was going to fall through the hoop, it stopped mid air.
Confusion was spread across all the players when the source of the ball stopping revealed itself. Slowly, a huge green spirit with round glasses and a blue uniform appeared in thin air, causing massive shock for everyone. They screamed and ran towards one side of the room, huddling together.
Everyone but the clients and the two psychics.
“Gosh, another dimple?” Teru gritted his teeth. “What a bummer.”
“Psychic brats, you dare trap me? Are you going to ruin my paradise?” The spirit’s voice boomed, it barely scared Mob or Teru. “This is why you get!”
Popping the basketball with just his thumb and finger, he rushed forward with a fist ready to punch.
“I got this.” Teru stood in front of Mob immediately, the two clients watched behind them and the blonde pulled up a barrier. The punch was reflected off the barrier and Teru flicked his fingers, making the spirit’s arm blow up into pieces.
The impact sent the girls flying backwards, but the espers held their ground, completely unfazed and their hair flying back.
“Aw, now I’ll have to retie.” Teru pouted, patting his hair.
“Glad mine are just clip ons then.” Mob scoffed. The spirit growled, gazing over the huddled basketball players, his other hand made a grab for one of them. No doubt to hold as hostage.
The spirit was fast, but Mob was faster. The boy zipped forward and stood in the ghosts path, slicing his arm off like he did with Dimple last time. The girl gaped at him in awe from behind.
Teru finished the spirit off with a few more slices, a move learnt from the black-haired boy himself. The spirit’s glasses shattered and he widened his eyes before exploding into bits, each piece flying everywhere. The blonde scrunched up his face in disgust.
Mob lowered the trap that surrounded the gym, now that the threat was gone. He turned, staring blankly at everyone. “It’s over.”
The highschoolers started to surround the two, gushing over them, compliments and comments flew here and there and it flustered the heck out of the two.
But one thing bugged Mob.
“What class is she in?” “How did she do that?” “Should we walk home with her ?”
“I’m a boy.” Mob stated loudly and the crowd goes silent.
Maybe he shouldn’t have said that.
“Are you single?”
Mob’s face went red, waving his hands dismissively. “I have a girlfriend!”
“Is she your girlfriend?” One of them pointed at Teru, who began to laugh hysterically. Teru wished that was true.
“No! He’s a boy too!” Mob covered his face in embarrassment, which shouldn’t have hurt Teru’s feelings, but it did and Mob wasn’t even aware of that. The girls all began murmuring to each other, something about how good Teru’s skin routine was and how it fooled them.
“Damn it…” A familiar voice said, the psychics turned around to find a blue cloud of smoke. It was the ghost. “To think I’d be defeated by a bunch of brats and I finally thought I’d be happy.”
“So being a ghostly pervert is your way of being happy?” Mob scoffed. The spirit didn’t react, it only sighed in defeat.
“If only I was more like you…”
“The two of you seem so confident, you even have a girlfriend. Unlike me, I was playing the loser role in youth.” As he talked, his voice became more human sounding and less echoey, its cloud form shaping into a boy’s face. “Things...things finally started getting fun for me after I died. I was content.”
“But I guess it’s all over now.” The ghost said, fading out of view. “At least I wasn’t an asshole like you two…”
“Who the fuck are you calling an asshole?” Teru growled. Before the ghost could disappear, Dimple zoomed in, gobbling it up like it was dessert. Fortunately, he was invisible for the non-espers, but it was an uncomfortable sight to see for Mob and Teru.
The girls only assumed the ghost was exorcised.
Mob felt a little light-headed, each girl had given a peck on his cheek as a thanks for saving them. They did the same to Teru, but he seemed unaffected by it. The only girl that had ever pecked Mob before was Tsubomi.
Was he cheating on her for letting those highschoolers give him sister kisses?
Teru even joked about giving Mob one, but was quick to shoot the idea down, laughing abnormally loud.
He sat at the table, thinking to himself, an empty glass of milk sat in front of him. Ritsu, out of concern, asked if he was okay. Mob said he was fine, he didn’t want to trouble his brother. He didn’t want to say he kinda felt...bad about being called an asshole. Was he an asshole? Well, duh, yeah but...it didn’t make him feel any better about it.
“Oh, by the way, Tokugawa’s been acting strange lately. He said he wasn’t going to take down the telepathy club, which is odd, because he seemed content in abolishing it.” Ritsu said casually, hinting at Mob that the younger brother knew he was behind it all.
Mob doesn’t reply him.
Tome was thanking him again for saving her club, Mob said it wasn’t a big deal. She thought otherwise.
“Y’know, it would’ve been a lot easier if you’d just join our club.” She waved her hand at him. “You didn’t exactly have to get physical on the guy.”
“I already said I have a gang to handle.” Mob responded, his voice monotone.
“Barely, after being fully established as ‘Strongest Gang Leader’, you hardly needed to do anything anymore!” Tome sighed. “You declining to join my club kinda made you an asshole, y’know? Since you don’t actually have an excuse to not join.”
There it was again. ‘Asshole.’
Had he always been like this? Just a jerk? Was he really a prick? Why?
Because of her .
Mob always did it for her , he didn’t realize it was changing him as a person. He couldn’t remember the days where he use to not hurt anyone, when was the last time he stopped someone from tripping over themselves with his powers? Elementary school?
These days, he was the reason behind people tripping over themselves.
“Tsubomi! Look!” Mob pointed his finger in the air, a frog levitated off the ground and began to “swim”. “When you make a frog float, it starts swimming!”
“Wow, how cute!” She clapped her hands together in glee, staring up at the frog. He grinned, dropping the frog gently and making the bar in the playground wiggle.
“I can make the bar all squishy!”
“You’re amazing, Mob!” Tsubomi giggled. It made him feel like he was the coolest guy on earth, everything he ever did was for her to please.
“Look, I’m only showing this to you!” Mob pointed at a dog, making it fly through the air gently.
“Eh, I’m bored of that.”
Overtime, Tsubomi found affection in other things. People who ran fast. People who were strong. People who were handsome. People who had…
And not just psychic power, it was power over people. It was something Master Reigen taught Mob how to achieve, something he had to harm others into achieving it and it was something that got him his dream girl.
Now she was his, but at what cost?
Did it matter though? She loved him and he loved her. It was all that really mattered.
Chapter 6: Powers
Mob and Ritsu's POV.
Mob couldn’t believe how big of a coincidence he had just experienced.
When Teru had sent that thug highschooler stumbling back, it turned out she was the same girl that had “bothered” Tsubomi. His girlfriend was pleasantly surprised when she saw the short-haired girl with a bruised nose the other day.
“I don’t know how you manage to find out who she was, but I’m shocked. Well done, Mobbu.” Tsubomi smiled softly, pecking him on the lips. Mob lied awake that night, grinning to himself.
However, word got around about the notorious gang leaders from Salt and Black Vinegar Middle managing to infiltrate Saint Highso. So, when Mob and Teru were having a nice walk home, they were casually ambushed by gang members from highschools .
They were no match for the espers though.
The highschool students were found floating in the river that night.
“Brother, how’re your wounds doing?” Ritsu blatantly asked one night as he passed by the bathroom, Mob turned his head towards his little brother, the fading hand marks were less obvious on his neck now. He won’t have to flip his collar up anymore.
“Fine.” Mob washed his hands and exited the bathroom, letting Ritsu in.
“You’re going to keep wearing that gauze on your cheek?”
“Tsubomi said it looked nice.”
Ritsu doesn’t comment on it, he wished he could roll his eyes at his brother. He wished his brother wasn’t a gang leader. He wished Salt Middle never had a gang in the first place.
He could do something about it, but would Mob notice?
Ritsu watched Mob take his evening glass of milk before heading to bed.
All he wanted was his older brother to stop getting hurt, he honestly hated it whenever Mob came back home slightly bruised. Even the slightest injury could send Ritsu into shock.
Sometimes, Ritsu just wished he had powers of his own to stop Mob from hurting himself.
“We should reprimand the delinquents in our school, so our environment would be a lot more peaceful.” Ritsu stated to Kamuro during a student council meeting, the president raised an eyebrow. He was intrigued.
“I see, a peaceful school...eh? Let’s try that.” And he wrote it down on the blackboard with chalk. There, if Mob doesn’t have a gang, he won’t have a reason to be gang leader anymore.
Ritsu’s memory edged back when they were children, when a bunch of highschoolers had robbed them of their New Year’s money.
When Mob had his first meltdown.
The boy never spoke again, until he met Reigen.
Ritsu couldn’t tell if Reigen had fixed his brother, or made him worse. Whatever the case was, Mob was up and running again and less shy than before. Yet, he was still not a people person. He still kept to himself about his feelings.
“Kageyama?” A man’s voice said behind Ritsu when he was walking back home from school. “Thank goodness. I guess there was a point in waiting after all.”
Ritsu turned and found himself face to face with a man that had poofy brown hair. He handed Ritsu a red card that had his credentials. Awakening Lab?
“What do you think, Kageyama?” Mitsuura smiled. “Why not try amplifying your psychic powers at my research facility?”
Ah, so he thought Ritsu was Mob.
The next day, after school, Ritsu still had the card in his hand. He hasn’t shown it to Mob yet, he didn’t know if he should. He contemplated going for Mob, in case it turned out to be something shady. At least, then, Ritsu could figure out if it’s okay for his brother.
“Oh, it’s you, Kageyama.” Tokugawa said, walking towards him at the traffic light. Ritsu looked up to greet him back. The vice president stood by him, sighing. “Loitering, huh? Guess people like you would do that sometimes.”
“People like me? I’m just a normal middle school student.” Ritsu arched his eyebrow, perplexed by Tokugawa assumption.
“You’d never find a normal school student on this planet.”
Ritsu was about to reply when he cuts in. “But for some reason, you want to be one and act the part.”
“I don’t seem to understa--”
“Despite having abilities to make you the center of attention, you keep letting others take the spotlight.”
Ritsu gritted his teeth, biting back a retort. The light turned green and the two began to cross the road when Ritsu suddenly stopped after hearing Tokugawa’s simple yet piercing words. “Stop trying to protect your brother.”
The card in Ritsu’s hand was promptly crushed.
He found himself at the front of an apartment complex, quite confused. It didn’t look like a research facility at all.
Just then, Mitsuura appeared from behind to greet him, making Ritsu jump. The boy was then proceeded to be physically shaken by the shoulders from Mitsuura’s excited hands. Ritsu slapped his hands away, clearly irritated.
“There’s no research facility here. You lied!”
“Now, now. Just come with me!”
Ritsu was introduced to the inside of the building that revealed it was actually a research facility. Mitsuura explained what he did to the building and who the scientists were but Ritsu could honestly not be bothered.
“The esper kids are above us.”
Other espers? Now this was getting interesting.
Ritsu was met with a budgeted telekinetic, a budgeted pyrokinetic, twin telepaths that only communicated with each other and a slightly accurate clairvoyant. Which led Ritsu to think the older man did something to them, but that thought was immediately shot down by Hoshino.
Mitsuura explained that, despite being rich, all he wanted to do was become a psychic himself. Ritsu thought that dream was pretty foolish, but if the man could actually do it…
“Shigeo, lollipop. Out. Now.” His mother said sternly. Mob reluctantly obliged, sending the half eaten candy into the trash can with his powers. His mother only sighed some more. “No powers at the table either! Be more like your brother, would you? And I want to see those broccolis chewed in your mouth, not reduced to atoms.”
Mob poked at his vegetables, exhaling through his mouth. “Yeah, Ritsu is far better than I am. He never does anything bad.” He smiled, it was genuine and happy.
It made Ritsu want to hurl.
The morning after, Ritsu was requested to be in school early by the student council president. He pushed open the door as Kamuro turned to meet him. “Ah, hello Kageyama.”
“Why’d you call me in so early?”
Kamuro walked over to the pigeon hole unit that kept the student’s belongings, he pulled out a recorder bag. “What do you think is inside?”
He nodded, opening the bag and taking the recorder out. He took off the top piece. “Let’s take this off, shall we?”
“What are you doing?”
“Spring cleaning of course! You said it yourself, there’s trash called delinquents in this school. The student council should get rid of them.” Kamuro dropped the bottom piece to the ground, making his way towards the desks.
“I never said that, I just said--”
“By the way, this desk belongs to Onigawara.” He tapped the table with the recorder piece. He pulled the drawer underneath the desk and dropped the piece in.
Ritsu took a step back, baffled. “Are you serious? An elite like you--”
“Elite? That’s just an imaginary persona someone labelled me as. You feel the same don’t you? The praises from others don’t really fit who you really are.” He took out another recorder from one of the bags, pointing it at Ritsu. “Now, help me. Won’t you?”
Ah. So it was just that all along huh? Ritsu was just jealous of his older brother. Yes, he still wanted to protect him from the dangers of the world but...there was always something more.
He thought wanting to protect Mob with psychic powers was a perfect excuse for wanting them, now though…?
The outraged bursts from the female students rang across the room, they demanded for the student council to do something about this incident. Kamuro assured them that the culprit will be found, Ritsu stood to the side. Silent. The red armband around his arm felt heavier than usual.
“Go to Onigawara’s table.” He whispered to Ritsu, before declaring loudly that everyone’s desks would be searched.
The door was suddenly slid open to reveal a heavily panting and sweaty gang member. Right on time.
And everything went right from there, from the moment Ritsu opened Onigawara’s drawer. Although the president hadn’t planned all that far ahead with the plan, Ritsu had spotted a loophole during their “work” and decided to cover it by putting some of the recorder pieces in Onigawara’s bag.
“You bastard! Don’t think you’re safe just because your my leader’s brother!” The gang member yelled, grabbing Ritsu by the uniform. He flinched, he wished the boy hadn’t mentioned that, he didn’t want to make Mob look even worse than he already is. A gang leader who has a brother in the student council? My my, how shitty his older brother must be then!
Tch, annoying. Leave him alone.
“You’re going to resort to violence?” Ritsu retorted calmly. The class went wild.
Ritsu stared at a spoon, hoping that it’ll bend. Mitsuura doesn’t make him feel any better. He threw it against the table as the day replayed in his head. Disgusting.
He walked home, feeling absolutely shitty. He hoped the quietness would calm him down.
“Oh hey, ain’t you Mob’s little brother?”
Oh dear god not him, literally anyone but him. He’d seriously rather it’d be Hanazawa. Ritsu doesn’t turn to meet Reigen’s face and keeps walking.
“Still being a little shit as usual.” Reigen sighed, shaking his head.
“The fuck are you doing here?”
“Got a ghost to exorcise, wanna help? Oh wait--”
“Don’t you fucking dare.”
“--you don’t have powers!”
Ritsu groaned loudly. “Piss off, bitch.”
Reigen laughed at him, walking the other direction. “Have a nice day, Little Kageyama!”
The black-haired boy got to the front of his house, spotting a green blob sitting on the fence. He raised a brow, that wasn’t a deflated balloon…
The blob turned to reveal a face.
“What the fuck do you mean Onigawara’s gone?” Mob spat, the gang member cowered back in fear.
“T-There was a rumor that went around saying he was a pervert. Apparently, h-he got so ashamed that he stopped showing up.” He replied, clasping his hands together so they’d stop shaking.
“It’s true, he was caught trying to lick the girl’s recorders. The mouth pieces were in his desks and bags.” Mezato hummed, scrolling through the images on her camera.
“That Kamuro is gonna ge--” Mob stood up but was then pulled back down.
“It wasn’t him, exactly.” She said, which made Mob raise both his eyebrows in confusion. Mezato hesitated before answering. “It was your brother, Ritsu.”
Mob hoped he’d get a chance to talk to his brother at dinner, but it seemed Ritsu didn’t have an appetite, bummer, there was broccoli today. He wanted to pass some to him. His mother said Ritsu was fine, but Mob wasn’t quite sure if he believed it. He worried what could’ve made Ritsu feel so oddly happy.
Mob hoped it wasn’t because Ritsu managed to get rid of Onigawara.
Slowly, each and every one of his gang members dropped out of school like flies, it made Mob feel insecure. He wondered when it would be his turn to be shamed into hiding.
Not that Mob really cared, but he also wondered where Dimple went. The ghost that flew by his side all the time went missing after consuming the Scent-Ghoul, maybe he finally decided to buzz off?
Mob wanted to vent his problems out, but he didn’t exactly know how to put it into words and Tsubomi seemed powerless to stop the student council.
“Bastards are using my technique in getting rid of people.” She huffed, Tome and Mezato only nodded. “But it’s definitely going to bite them back in the ass.”
He hoped not, he didn’t want his little brother getting hurt.
Ritsu knew he was going to get hurt, if he didn’t have his powers of course. Even though the gang was very much aware that Ritsu was their boss’s younger brother, ruining their dignity overrides their fear for Mob and they were hungry for vengeance
They attacked, punching and kicking.
All Ritsu really needed to do was call for Dimple’s help and they were all on the floor instantly. Was the human body always that weak?
“Ohhh, Little Brother!” Teru waved, the girls across the street swooned at his handsomeness. His hair was tied back in a small ponytail again, he seemed fond of that hairstyle nowadays. “Getting in your first gang fight already, what would dear older brother think?”
“Hello Hanazawa.” Ritsu spat, voice laced with venom. In his head, Dimple panicked. He warned Ritsu to not attack, one reason being because he wasn’t powerful enough yet and two being that Mob liked Hanazawa. His brother was definitely going to lose his shit when he hears Teru’s been hurt, he’d really exorcise Dimple this time.
Ritsu, never having to be able to know how powerful Hanazawa really was, thought the blonde was at the same level he was. If not, lower. After all, he was shot through the sky and into the waters by his brother one time.
He reached a hand out, ready to attack, but Hanazawa only grabbed it. Purposely pretending it was a handshake.
At that moment, Ritsu paled and his knees buckled. His breathing quickened to a hundred beats per second. Jesus...this guy was strong.
The blonde lets go, laughing a little before dropping into a frown. “Quit it, let the older kids handle the fighting. Your brother doesn’t want you getting hurt.”
Doesn’t want Ritsu getting hurt? Oh please, he could handle just fine on his own. Mob should protect himself, too, shouldn’t he?
Hanazawa lets him go afterwards and Ritsu walked home silently. He wanted to get stronger, Mob wouldn’t have to worry about his safety anymore. He’ll be forced to focus more on himself, with his gang gone and Ritsu newfound abilities.
Mob would never have a reason to be hurt again.
Mob was suppose to meet some of his ex-gang members, not because he wanted to be buddy buddy, but because lately his turf had been shrinking due to lack of manpower. These idiots thought they could quit the gang just because they’ve stopped attending school.
He thought it’d be a great idea to lay out a sort of plan for them, if they were willing or free to do it. Mob just needs enough people to keep his area guarded.
“Little boy.” Oh what now? Mob turned around, a business lady was beckoning him to come over. He promptly ignored her and continued to walk, even so, she still tried to grab his attention. “Do you have a moment?”
“No. I’m kinda--”
“I’m sure that can wait, this would only take a second.” She interrupted, laughing the generic lady laugh. He gritted his teeth and clenched his fists but the lady barely budged, he sighed.
Mob reluctantly followed her.
“This is the Vase of Happiness.” Hooooly shit, I don’t care. Mob nodded silently as she gestured to the yellow vase with complex looking patterns. “A renowned potter put his heart and soul into making this, a very spiritual vase.”
“The owner would be blessed, just by having it in their house.” She added, hoping it would entice him. Mob scratched his gauze and closed his eyes, resisting the urge to roll them. “It’s actually about 2.5 million yen.” Mob choked at that last part. That much?!
She noticed his widened eyes and smiled, clapping a hand to her face. “But I can make it 800k for you.”
“Woman, I am a middle schooler child. Why and how would I have that money?” Mob said slowly. She only closed her eyes and laughed.
“How about 500k then?”
“I don’t even have anything that’s close to 50.” He deadpanned. “I’m 14.”
“But, if you did, you’d buy it right?” The lady leaned in, making Mob lean back. “Why don’t you call your mommy for me?”
Mob thought back to his mother’s bank account, which is currently crying in agony. “That’s gonna give her a heart attack.”
The lady paused, then smirked. “How about you touch it?”
“No tha--hey!” Mob’s hands were forcefully grabbed to touch the vase. He pulled them away, causing the vase to fall. Cheeky bitch, thought you could force me to buy this vase if I broke it?
I think not. Mob used his powers to catch the vase at the last minute before placing it back onto display. Before he could gently put it down, the woman pushed his elbow, ever so slightly, and there was a sound of a crack.
Fuck you too.
“Hey, you broke it.” Her voice depleted from her original cheery tone. Mob exhaled through his nose, don’t panic don’t panic don’t panic.
“I broke it? Re--”
“What? You’re going to say it was my fault?” She squinted her eyes at him. He panicked.
“Ah, this happened because you told me to--” Mob was cut off by Tsubomi’s harsh glare.
“Are you going to say it was my fault, Shigeo?” She scowled. Mob hung his head low, mumbling an apology.
“I...no…” He whispered, a little too softly.
The lady clicked her tongue, clutching her clipboard tightly and stared down at him. “Say, little boy, problems you can solve with money are better than those you can’t. Understand?”
“Oh dear, did you break that, sir?” A man with a husky voice entered the room, making Mob’s attention focus on him. The man bent down, looming over the boy. “Do you have a phone?”
Naturally, if you want to get out of trouble, you’d lie. Right? So that’s what Mob did.
And it would’ve worked.
If his phone hadn’t ring.
“Well that rang at the perfect time, why don’t you answer it?” The man sneered. Don’t patronize me, bitch.
“Hello?” Mob muttered into his phone.
“Master Reigen you are dead to me and the only way you can redeem yourself is if you get your ass right here, right now.”
“Scare them with your powers, won’t you?” Reigen replied, the threat ineffective.
Mob sucked in a breath of air, patience. “I--”
“Fine, I’ll be there in a moment.”
Mob watched Reigen enter the room and proceeded to gesture to him the situation. The older man, bless him, quickly got ahold of what was going on.
“What are you doing, Mob? Calling me out here when I’ve got a customer showing up any minute.”
“Are you this boy’s guardian?” The husky-voiced man asked. “It’s going to cost you five million yen to replace.”
Wasn’t it 500k earlier? Did Reigen have that much?
“You telling me that Mob here broke that cheap-looking vase?” Reigen pointed. Mob looked at the vase, cheap?
The businessman’s expression soured. “What’d you say? It seems you don’t know how the world works.” He proceeded to grab Reigen by the suit aggressively.
“Want me to make sure you never work again?”
“Ow, ow! You totally cracked my clavicle!” Reigen groaned, falling back a bit and flailing madly. “That’s gonna cost you!”
Mob’s eyes flashed red for a minute. No one hurts Reigen but him. But it only took a second for him to realize that Reigen was lying. Sneaky bitch.
“The hospital bill with the reparations is gonna be a million yen.” Reigen held his hand out bluntly.
“You can’t be serious, you dumbass!” The salesman growled. Mob was in awe as Reigen proceeded to spit out different damages that was done to himself that would sum up to five million yen, which was exactly what the vase costed.
The two now defeated, Reigen went on to gesture Mob out the door but was stopped by the lady. “Give it up! His misfortune was already decided when he broke the Vase of Happiness!”
“Perhaps some disaster will befall onto him?” The man added. Ah, really?
Was something bad really going to happen to Mob?
He couldn’t help but feel like...that could be true.
“Misfortune? Disaster?” Reigen said lowly, turning to face the duo. “I had a client that was haunted by an evil spirit. Apparently, the spirit now haunts me.”
The butterscotch-haired man flashed Mob a look and the boy immediately knew what he was supposed to do. Steadily, Reigen grasped his hands together, his voice shaky. “And when that happens, you keep hearing strange things at night and weird things keep popping up in pictures. The room shakes, the lights pop and things will break. Perhaps…”
The room did began to shake, however, it was only Mob’s powers that caused this. The pictures that hung on the wall swayed.
“...the spirit have transferred to you guys now.” The lady glanced around the room warily, very aware that things were now moving and the air felt heavy.
“Be careful at night.” Reigen smirked and all the lights popped, the paintings fell and the vase cracked. It broke into pieces within seconds.
Reigen and Mob left, hearing the loudest screams ever. “Good job back there, Mob, if I’m lucky, they might check in for an “exorcism” from me!”
“Actually, uh,” Mob scratched the back of his neck, “I think the spirit you were talking about really transferred to them.”
“I didn’t break the vase.”
Mob couldn’t find any of his ex-gang members that day, he felt even shittier now.
“I wouldn’t recommend going in there.” Ritsu said as Kamuro reached for the door to the Telepathy Club.
“Why?” The other smirked. “Just because Tokugawa managed to convince me to shut this place down before, doesn’t mean my decision would stay the same forever.”
“Have it your way then…” Ritsu grunted. Kamuro opened the door to reveal Tome lazing around with her gaming buds, Onigawara on a chair next to Mob and the leader for the Body Improvement Club.
“I see this place is as rotten as they say.” Kamuro scrunched his face up in disgust. “More importantly, why are you here Onigawara?”
“That’s none of your fucking business.” Mob spat, then his expression softened as his eyes met with Ritsu. “Hey brother.”
“...Brother.” Ritsu greeted, god this was awkward. Why aren’t you mad?
“My my, should I also have you dealt with for being his accomplice?” Kamuro sneered. “I’ve only avoided you for so long because you’re Kageyama’s older brother.”
Before Mob could probably slur out the longest swear word he could think of, a student council member came around the corner to report a suspicious person at the front gate. They were no student of Salt Middle.
“That would be for me.” Mob got up but was shut down by Kamuro.
“We’ll handle this.”
“Like fuck you can, bitch move asi--”
Ritsu gave Mob a pained look. “Brother, please.”
“You’re going to get yourself hurt.” Mob growled at Kamuro, but his words were more directed at Ritsu. “These kids, from other regions, they’ve only came face to face with my comrades. They pack a punch and we’re short on people because of someone . So I need to handle it so they won’t come back ever again!”
“Take one more step, Kageyama, and I’ll have you out of this school before you know it.” Kamuro threatened, Ritsu was almost tempted to shoot him out the window like a bullet.
“You don’t threaten my leader like that!” Onigawara shouted, Mob held a hand up and stared daggers at Kamuro.
“Fine. But if it comes biting back at your ass, I’m not helping you.”
“Who are you? I told you to bring me Sweet Venom!” The boy was from Bean Paste Middle, he came shirtless. Most likely to show off his muscles.
“Sweet Venom? That’s his name?” Kamuro mumbled under his breath before shooting the intruder an irritated look. “Look, he’s busy at the moment.”
“Bullshit! Bring him to me, his area has lacked defenses lately so all us thugs are taking this chance to seize his turf!” He yelled back. What?
Ritsu couldn’t believe it, getting rid of Mob’s gang only brought him more trouble?
That’s fine. I guess I’ll just eradicate every gang in Japan, if that’s the last thing I have to do to protect Shigeo.
Despite how ripped this guy was, all Ritsu had to do was charge his energy into his fist and connect it with the gang leader’s face with full force to blow that dude right down. Thanks to Dimple increasing his output energy, the job was done quick.
“That was self defense, besides, he’s a kid from a different school. It shouldn’t matter too much.”
“That’s enough! It’s time to stop!” Kamuro’s face was absolutely destroyed . Ritsu couldn’t help but laugh.
He can’t laugh.
“You look awful.” Ritsu deadpanned, he was organizing books on the shelf. He decided he couldn’t be bothered to look Kamuro in the face when they spoke.
“I became a victim because you taught that gang leader a lesson!” Kamuro shouted, his voice hard to understand from the bruises.
“President, may I remind you it was your fault for not letting my brother handle the situation? I was merely following your orders.” Ritsu hummed, placing the last book in.
“You didn’t have to go beat him up!”
“They deserved it and I think…” Ritsu turned to face Kamuro with an emotionless look. “...you do too.”
“So you’re just going to handle all these gang fights for your brother now?” Dimple asked, worry in his tone. “They think you’re Sweet Venom, y’know?”
“I know. But I’m doing this to protect my brother from further harm.” Ritsu walked towards an alleyway. “Haven’t you notice the number of candy wrappers in his bin? The nights where things would random float?”
“Afraid he’ll get a cavity?”
“It’s more than that.” Ritsu sighed, dropping his bag onto the floor as footsteps neared. “He thinks he’s a bad person. He’s not a bad person. I want him to do less bad things so he wouldn’t think so. I don’t want him getting hurt again.”
They start to surround him.
Mob was starting to wonder why there wasn’t any gang leaders demanding to see him at the school gates. That was fine though, that would mean he could spend more time with Tsubomi on a bench at the front of the shops. This was one of their favorite activities, making fun of random people to relieve some stress.
Tsubomi said it wouldn’t hurt to insult a few losers or two, and it’s not like they could hear them, so Mob joined in and it soon became a thing between them.
“That guy has a funny hairstyle.” “Fucking attention whore ha ha.” “What is wrong with their fashion taste?”
“Ah, look, it’s a boy with a ponytail and make up. What is he? A girl?” Tsubomi laughed, Mob chuckled and realized who she was pointing at.
“Hey, you on a date?” The blonde walked over, Tsubomi’s laughter died down immediately. In fact, her mood only died.
“Yes.” She shot.
“Sorry to cut the date short then, it’s an emergency.” Teru tugged on Mob’s arm, who allowed to be pulled up.
“What could be more important than our love?” Tsubomi hissed, hand grasping onto Mob’s other arm.
“His little brother.” Teru smirked. Mob instantly shot up and grabbed Teru’s shoulder, Tsubomi sat in defeat.
She knew nothing could beat Mob’s brotherly love for Ritsu.
“What happened?” Mob jogged, following after Teru.
“Your brother is fighting under your name.”
Mob’s eyes widened. “What?!” That explained...a lot. “He’ll be crushed!”
“I wouldn’t count on that, I thought you knew.”
“Oh jeez, I’ll leave that for you to figure out. Which will be soon.” Teru paused at an alley, gesturing down at it. “In there.”
The amount of unconscious body surrounding Ritsu was astounding, Mob was almost proud. If he wasn’t so fucking worried. “Ritsu?”
His little brother turned to meet him. When did his cheeks get so rosy?
Chapter 7: Claw
Mob being Mob and Teru and his gay thoughts
“Brother, what are you doing here?” Ritsu turned to meet his brother’s gaze. Mob walked a tad bit closer, glancing down at the bodies.
“I could seriously ask the same for you. What did you do?”
Ritsu patted his uniform, as if the kids on the ground were no biggie at all. “I did this all for you, now there won’t be a reason for you to be gang leader anymore!”
The younger brother stared at the ground, kicking at the unconscious people. His answer was blunt, like he had expected Mob to know already. “I got my psychic powers. Now you won’t have to worry so much about me anymore, you’ll be forced to look after yourself.”
To prove his point, Ritsu started showing off his psychic energy, the cold blue flaring up like a beacon. Before Mob could say anything, Dimple popped right out of Ritsu, the rosiness to his cheeks disappeared immediately.
“Dimple, you motherfucker.” Mob growled, he would have gone after the spirit if he didn’t have a bigger issue to deal with. That issue being his brother, who now has psychic abilities too.
“Forget him, I don’t need him anymore. I got the hang of this now.” Ritsu waved his hand dismissively.
“Ritsu, are you okay, do you need to ta--” Mob took another step forward, but the other had blasted a wave of energy towards him, pushing Mob backwards just by a little. “Holy shit, you weren’t kidding.”
He stared back at Mob, an empty look in his eyes. This was it, their first sibling dispute. Mob’s going to finally treat him like a brother and not some fancy fragile vase. Mob was going to yell at him for being reckless, scold him for nearly hurting him, shout that Ritsu should have let him know that he now had powers.
Instead, Mob just smiled, like he always did for Ritsu, and congratulated him. “No shit, congrats. You’ve always wanted them when you were a wee baby, use to cry a lot when you couldn’t bend spoons and shit.”
“Yeah, exactly, and I still do.” Ritsu snapped back.
“You still cry about not being able to bend spoons?” Mob tilted his head, squinting his eyes at Ritsu in confusion. “Is that why you’ve been holed up in your room for the past few dinners? Just crying ab--”
“No!” The color rose into Ritsu’s cheeks, he shook his head to stop blushing from embarrassment. “I mean, I use to admire you a lot for having powers. You used them to get people in line when words couldn’t and teach people lessons.”
“But then you started getting hurt.” Ritsu continued, clutching his fists tightly till his knuckles turned white. “Mentally and physically. You’ve been stressed out and bruised, it hurts to watch. Yet you’re still insisting you’re fine, even when I ask if you’re okay.”
“To make things worse, I’ve been so afraid that...if you got too stressed out. You’ll blow up like last time.” Ritsu finished, releasing his grip. “But now I’ve got powers, I can help protect you while also protecting myself. You won’t have to get hurt ever again!”
“That seriously won’t stop me though.” Mob deadpanned, folding his arms. After accidentally hurting his brother in an emotional explosion, Mob had taken extra care into not hurting Ritsu ever again. It came to a point where he wouldn’t curse at him, no matter how much Mob wanted to, he even made the effort to not say fuck in the same sentence as brother or Ritsu or anything related to him.
“It won’t stop me from being a gang leader and beating people up and getting hurt.” Mob repeated with more details, straightening up. “And it definitely won’t stop me from protecting you from harm.”
“Did you not hear me?! I have powers now! I can protect myself, look at all these bodies! I did this.” Ritsu yelled, he knew Mob had kept their relationship as brothers quite discreet so people would often not know they were brothers in the first place. It was mostly because Mob had wanted to protect Ritsu from the other school gangs, in case they targeted his younger brother instead of him if they couldn’t reach Mob. “I can prove it! Fight me!”
He ignored Ritsu’s declaration, walking around him so he could look over the sea of unconscious people. “Jeez, Ritsu, we’re still brothers. I can’t fight you.”
Ritsu turned, baffled, as he watched Mob placed his hands on his hips and leaned over the crowd, towering over them menacingly. “Listen up, you bag of dicks, if you come close to this boy ever again I will personally arrange a funeral for you and dig your grave.”
“Who the fuck are you calling a bag of dicks?” The gang leader from Pasta Soup Middle, Akagi, groaned and propped himself up with his elbow. “And are you suppose to be his older brother?”
“The fuck does that have to do with anything?” Mob gritted his teeth with a dangerous tone. “I’m warning you, if you come nea--”
“You little shit.” Mayo Middle’s gang leader, Gozu, rose from the ground, joining Akagi in growling at Mob. “Are you threatening us? Do you know what I can do?”
“I don’t fucking care, bitch.” Mob shot back, unwrapping a lollipop from his pocket and sticking it into his mouth. He flicked the wrapper right into Gozu’s face. “But you should get out of here, if you know what’s best for you.”
As the other gang leaders began to stir and get up, one of the gang members quickly pointed at the candy in Mob’s mouth. “Hang on, I think that’s Sweet Venom!”
“Took you long enough.” Mob rolled his eyes.
The whole time, Ritsu stared in shock as his brother, despite being smaller in size, browbeated the fuck out of the other gang leaders. Some of the gang members looked ready to actually shit themselves, his brother’s back was faced towards Ritsu, so he couldn’t see what expression Mob was holding.
But if it was anything compared to the energy he was radiating…
“Finally, the real Sweet Venom is here!” Akagi sneered, taking a brave step forward. “We’re here to take your turf--”
“Let me stop you right there, if my younger brother could beat you guys half to death without a scratch…” Mob’s eyes flashed red for a moment, his lips pulled into a tight frown. “Then reconsider your actions before you find out what I can do.”
Some ran off, the leaders, unfortunately, still had their pride and stood their ground. “We’re not going to be scared off by some small fry, only the strongest will get to rule and give orders.”
And that was when everything went terribly wrong.
It started with a man in a purple hoodie jacket, his hood pulled over his head to cover his face. He had dropped down from the sky and picked Ritsu up by the collar with a swift movement. “You’re exactly right!”
“Who are y--” Ritsu turned, his hand charged and ready to shove himself off him. The man was faster though, and was quick to slam the boy into the ground, breaking the concrete.
There was a sickening crunch in Mob’s mouth, the stick fell off his lips, yet the candy stayed in his mouth. His eyes widened.
The man continued to twist Ritsu’s face into the ground, making the concrete crack more. “The strongest will rule, it’s so obvious and you always forget, you all thought being great at fighting made you the strongest. So, you all felt entitled to ruling your schools and turfs, right? Adorable.”
He lifted Ritsu’s off the ground, gripping the back of his head tightly. “But this one, however, is on a whole other level. You’ll never beat him.” He squeezed his hand and Ritsu groaned in pain. “You guys keep squabbling in peace, I’ll be taking him.”
“Hold on, we still haven’t gotten revenge yet!” Gozu charged forward, throwing a blind punch at the man. The gang leader was quickly thrown backwards before he could land his fist into the man’s face.
More people ran at him, more people crashed into the walls, breaking a few bones in the process.
“That’s fucking enough.” Mob growled, gripping the man’s purple sleeve tightly, his hair flowing with energy as anger engulfed him. He was swiftly sent flying into the wall, his head crashing right through it and he went limp, just for a minute.
But also long enough for the man to pick Ritsu back up and made his move. “See ya brats!”
Mob didn’t let him walk for long. Where the fuck was Teru? Why wasn’t he here to help?
Fuck that, he needed to get his brother back.
Finally charging up to a 100%, he dashed across the alleyway, breaking the ground in the process and leaving a trail of dust for the gang leaders to cough on. The man barely had enough time to react when he was forcefully shoved into the ground by the collar, shattering the floor into chunks of concrete, his grip loosened on Ritsu and Mob looked over.
Now was his chance to grab him.
Distracted, the man recovered quickly and kicked Mob aside. The boy, however, landed perfectly and skidded across the ground, ready to attack again. The man caught Ritsu by the collar again, placing a hand on his chin, his hood had fallen off to reveal a large scar across his face and a lip piercing, along with three more on his ear.
“You too, brat? No one told me about a psychic brother.”
“Let my fucking brother go.” Mob snarled. Dang, he broke his number one rule to never use fuck in the same sentence as Ritsu. “Or else.”
The man dropped Ritsu to the ground, only to elbow Mob right in his chest. It barely did anything, since the boy had his barrier up. He sent a wave of energy towards the man, but it bounced right off his barrier. It shimmered red in the light.
He took off his jacket and charged up his fists, a ball of energy surrounded them and snaked up his arm all the way to his shoulders. He rushed forward, throwing a punch right into Mob’s face, breaking through the boy’s barrier like it was nothing.
It threw Mob off guard as his head was then brought down, the man’s shins were then connected to Mob’s chest and the boy flew into the sky, he felt blood trickle down his nose.
He couldn’t breathe in or out.
This wasn’t good, his brain quickly went through strategies he could use. C’mon, did Teru teach you anything useful?
He hits the ground before he could think of anything useful. A series of kicks and punches were thrown at him, left and right. Was this seriously how he was going to die?
If so, Mob felt like he had led such a pathetic life.
As quick as the pain came, it came to a halting stop as Ritsu cried and wrapped his arms around the man to prevent him from hurting Mob any further. “Stop hurting him, please, just take me! That’s what you wanted right?”
“A wise decision.” The man smirked, he strolled towards Ritsu as the boy balled his fists in fear and anger. “But I’m an asshole and I don’t like that hostile little look on your face.”
The man struck Ritsu across the face and he bled some more, falling onto the ground with a thud.
That was it. That was the pushing point for Mob. He was holding back before, but there was no way he could hold back now.
His eyes glowed red, his hair flailed widely, his aura doubled in power and he stared at the man with pure rage. He rarely showed genuine emotions and when he did...oh boy, someone was going to die.
He wasn’t seeking to hurt anymore.
He was seeking to kill.
Mob’s powers pushed on the man like gravity, pushing him harder and harder into the ground. The man, not willing to give up, rammed forward to send a deafening blow at Mob. His face was painfully grabbed onto before he could do anything, his arm was like steel, it didn’t budge or loosen as the man struggled for Mob to let go.
He was shoved into the wall and Mob tightened his grip on his face, staring down at him with a murderous glint in his eyes. “You fucking asked for this.”
Mob ran the man up the wall, shooting into the sky. The other made a weak attempt to make Mob let go, his punch was proven to be useless as it just bounced right off Mob.
The younger esper flies back down into a building, plunging the man through layers upon layers of concrete until they crashed into the ground level. The impact shattered most of the building’s windows.
Even after the man had seemingly passed out, Mob kept on shoving him around, throwing him against the wall, thrusting him into the ground again and finally just punching and kicking.
Just like the man did to him.
Mob wasn’t going to let him see another light of day again.
At first the crowd cheered, seeing that the villain was finally getting defeated, but as Mob kept on attacking, they realized what his true intentions were.
From cheers of “Go Sweet Venom!” “Kick his ass, Sweet Venom!” “Fuck him over!”, it quickly grew into mumbles of “You should stop now.” “That’s enough.” “I think he learnt his lesson.”, before finally reaching into the stage of concerned yells. “Stop!” “You’re going to kill him!” “Cut it out!”
Mob didn’t intend on cutting it out.
“Brother stop!” Ritsu shouted over the yells from other people and his brother paused his deadly blows. “Don’t kill him, it isn’t worth it.”
He looked at his target, he was currently bruised beyond belief yet still breathing. Mob wished he could finish the job, but if Ritsu willed it, he’ll obey.
“Look out! He’s got a knife!”
Ah, a good reason to keep on beating him.
The man rammed something into Mob, but was stopped inches away by his blue barrier. The man feigned defeat before promptly spraying something into Mob’s face.
The boy inhaled all of it, his eyes widening before falling onto the ground, unconscious.
When Dimple had told Teru that Mob was being beaten to death by some stranger, he quickly bolted back into the alleyway to find the boy standing there unconsciously. Apparently, the man had taken Ritsu and they were already too late to save them.
But at least Mob was...somewhat okay.
He told the rest of the gang leaders to go home, it seemed like they weren’t coming back anytime soon and weren’t much in a hurry to stay, and picked Mob up with his arms.
“Don’t you have powers? Why not use them?” Dimple raised an eyebrow, skeptical of Teru’s actions.
“It’ll be a weird sight to see for the public.” Teru quickly answered, trying to hide the real intentions behind this gesture. Dimple ate it up with no other questions.
Mob smelt like blood, his face was buried into Teru’s neck as he was carried carefully bridal style back into Teru’s apartment. Since it was the closest and Mob needed to get treated right now.
He lets Mob rest in his bed, all bandaged up, and continued to wait for him to get up. At first, Teru had waited by Mob’s side, watching him intently as if Mob was going to disappear. But Dimple was starting to get suspicious, so he made the excuse of redoing his hair in order to leave for a few minutes before rushing back to wait some more.
Mob began to stir after a while and relief washed over Teru like a tidal wave. The blonde leaned over, a little too close and asked if he was okay. Mob mumbled back a reply.
“Where the fuck are we?”
“My apartment, Dimple told me everything.”
Mob frowned deeply at the mention of Dimple’s name and the ghost floated in cautiously.
“Hey there, Shige--”
“I have half a mind to make you cease and desist.”
Dimple hid behind Teru immediately in fear as Mob continued, his eyes darkening dangerously. “Ritsu was kidnapped. Is this your doi--”
“Of course not! I don’t even know those guys!”
“I do.” Teru cuts in, sighing deeply as he sat down at the foot of his bed. “They’ve been following me around for years now.”
“Is that why you’re living alone when you’re in middle school?” Dimple questioned. Teru chose to ignore him.
“Stay away from them.” Teru warned.
“Stay away?” Mob echoed, puzzled.
Teru proceeded to go more in depth about the situation, explaining about Claw and the espers, saying that they aimed to rule the world. He went on to say they captured child espers to brainwash them into soldiers and he was nearly captured one time, but he got away and taught the kidnapper a lesson.
“They’re not as powerful as us naturals, but they pack a punch in numbers.” Teru finished. Dimple sighed and turned to Mob once again, now that the tension between them had cooled down.
“You could’ve been killed back there!”
“That doesn’t fucking matter. Ritsu was taken!” Mob spat before getting up abruptly, storming towards the door. “I’m going to save him.”
Teru grabbed onto his shoulder, a dangerous move for normal people, but Teru knew he was special to Mob so he didn’t have to worry. “Do you want to die?”
“Of course not.” Mob paused, his back facing Teru.
“Then calm down--”
“But I think I can win.” He turned, just a little, to show the look of determination and desperation in his eyes. Teru gulped back all of his attempts to try to convince Mob to not go and exhaled lightly.
“All right, but why are they after your brother?”
Dimple suddenly piped up from the background. “T-There was a research facility that gathered child espers, Ritsu was one of them! The info must have leaked from there!”
Teru grinned, Dimple probably said that in hopes of not getting exorcised in the end. It worked, because Mob told him to lead the way.
They found the man in charge quite fast, they had him tied up as Teru splashed water on his face. Mob had offered to beat him awake, but Teru decided against it.
The man woke up immediately, coughing out water as he stared at the two with fear in his eyes. “Who are you, where did the guy with the sword go?”
“Tut tut, answer us first.” Teru glared, silencing the man. “Did you sell Kageyama Ritsu’s info to Claw?”
“Claw? What’s that? Kageyama Ritsu? I don’t know who that is.” Real confusion was written all over his face, unless he was a good actor. “The one I invited was Kageyama Shigeo!”
Mob’s face was devoid of emotions, but the mere act of spitting his lollipop stick out of his mouth onto the ground and leaving it there sent shivers down not only the man’s spine, but also Teru’s. “That’s me.” No curses, no sarcasm. It was blunt.
It was scary.
“Seems like there was a misunderstanding, yet they still managed to awaken Ritsu’s powers.” Dimple murmured. Mob clicked his tongue in annoyance.
They quickly let the man go and moved to the couch. The espers opted to stand while the man sat. “Looks like he really doesn’t know what’s going on.” Teru whispered to Mob.
“Where are the other kids?” Teru wished Mob went back to cursing.
“They were kidnapped…” The man looked down at his feet in shame.
“What’s the level of the kids’ powers? I wanna know what we’re up against.” Teru pegged on. The man thought for a minute before looking up at Teru warily.
“H-Hang on, who are you guys anyways?”
Mob was promptly lifted off the ground by a swift flick of Teru’s wrist. The black-haired boy look unbothered by this as the man’s jaw dropped.
“Put me down.” Mob muttered.
“Mmm, that doesn’t sound like Sweet Venom to me.” Teru hummed, keeping Mob in the air.
“C’mon, SV, you can do it.”
Mob took a deep breath, staring into Teru’s eyes with distress. “Please put me down.”
Teru’s mouth fell ajar, he gaped at the look on Mob’s face. It was foreign, he shouldn’t look so weak.
Teru dropped him down gently anyways.
They had a Claw member’s head stuck into a bucket of water, he screamed in agony as Teru glared daggers into him. “Hurry up and spit it out.”
“I let my guard down!”
“Dunk him in again.” Mob ordered. Teru obeyed and Terada was promptly shoved back into the water. “Do we have everything?”
Teru looked over the list on his notepad, skimming through their checklist. “Yep.” Terada was pulled out of the water again.
“Did I say he could be pulled out?” Mob glowered.
There’s the Mob I know and love. Teru smiled, dropping Terada onto the floor. “That’s kinda cruel, y’know, let’s not waste anymore time and go.”
“Right.” Mob kicked Terada in the stomach, just for the fun of it. “You’re driving by the way.”
Terada cried some more.
Teru handed Mob four more lollipops, just in case he needed them. When they landed outside of Claw’s base and got re-ambushed by Terada before Mob instantaneously crushed the man with two trees, they reached the entrance and had beaten the shit out of the non-esper security guards with Teru’s new learnt skill; air whips.
Dimple went on to possess one of the security guards, so he could be more useful. The whole time, Mob barely had to lift a finger. Teru hoped he was impressing the boy, even though it wasn’t their first time doing little missions together.
Wait, this wasn’t a little mission. They were saving Mob’s brother. This was a big mission.
That meant Teru had to impress Mob twice as hard.
Crushing the security cameras, they ventured off deeper into the base in search for Ritsu. When a non-esper person had walked by, he was immediately slammed into the wall by Teru and Mob’s combined powers. This led to Teru telling Mob to let him handle all the grunts.
This way, he’ll know I’m reliable.
“A weird way to show off, but okay Hanazawa.” Mob replied bluntly. Ouch.
Another non-esper person happened to walk by and Teru held him captive on the ceiling. “You guys kidnapped a bunch of kids right? Where are they?”
“I-In the b-basement.” The lackey wheezed out, sweat pooling from his forehead.
“You heard him, let’s go.” Teru grinned, letting the man fall to the ground with a loud thud.
They soon reached a crossway, with three paths leading to somewhere that they didn’t know. Teru hated the idea of splitting up with Mob, but it would mean they’d find Ritsu faster.
Teru was about to settle which way each person should go when someone appeared around the corner from in front of them. The blonde couldn’t recognize him, but Mob sure did and so did Dimple. So that would mean…
“Sweet V, we should hit him at the same time with our full po--” Teru was cut short by Mob’s hand, which was held in front of his lips to shush him.
The stick in Mob’s mouth rolled to the other side.
“We don’t have the time.”
“Don’t have the time for what?” The opponent tilted his head to one side mockingly. “Trying to reserve your stamina? When you’re facing me?”
Now that was mean. Teru was very aware that Mob had once mentioned he had a bit of anemia and that probably struck a nerve with him. The man charged up one arm and dashed forward and Teru readied an attack, but Mob strutted ahead calmly, his aura spiking.
The scarred man was then proceeded to be slammed against every inch of the corridor, leaving dents everywhere before being impelled into the ceiling, his legs dangling.
“Let’s keep going.” Mob dropped his hand back to his side and Teru stared at it for a while longer, he wondered if it’s because he wanted to hold it or be wary of it.
Regardless, they kept on going, splitting up so they’d cover more ground.
Teru sighed out loud once he was alone. Mob was seriously going to be the death of him one day, he had never admired someone this much before. Mob was confident, yes, but underneath it all was a lot of compassion.
For fucks sake, they were only on this mission because Mob cared a lot about his brother. If that didn’t scream caring, Teru didn’t know what did.
Even so, Teru knew he’d never have a shot with Mob, no matter how hard he tried. Because Mob loved someone and it wasn’t him.
But that didn’t mean Teru wasn’t allowed to stand by the boy’s side.
After being shot through the sky and landing in the waters, his clothes drenched and his hair completely ruined, the guilt of nearly taking someone’s life hung onto him every minute of his life. It only got better when he finally confronted Mob with an apology and befriended him, then as they hung out more often, Teru learnt more and more about Mob each passing day.
From the fact that Mob liked frogs, to his favorite food being takoyaki. Teru now knew Mob’s favorite lollipop flavor was strawberry and grape, anything fruit related really, so he always made sure to have extras packed.
He’d really do anything for Mob, he wanted to be his knight in shining armor.
And he’d prove it by venturing forward down this corridor.
Chapter 8: Success
Longer than expected because I love Reigen and TeruMob
Mob was met with an army of mannequin dolls that towered over him like he was their prey. He made the attempt to communicate with them, but all they did was stand there idling around him.
So he did the only logical thing he could do.
Within an instant, each and every one of the dolls were broken into wooden scraps with just a flick of his fingers. He was starting to get impatient.
Why, if someone were to waste his time again, he might actually snap!
A lady’s voice was called out to him and he turned to meet her furious gaze. “Hey you! Are you the intruder?”
Finally, someone he could pry information out of.
“Are you going to waste my time too, old hag?” Mob clicked his tongue in reply, he realized he had licked clean his third lollipop stick already. He still had four more in his pocket, thanks to Teru. Well, he wasn’t wearing his own clothes, he had borrowed some from the blonde, so he wasn’t all that sure if it was okay to call it ‘his pockets’.
“Who are you calling old?!” The lady yelled, charging up her fists. Mob spat the stick out of his mouth and waved his hand forward, sending her flying into a pillar.
A little girl that was watching from the sidelines called to her in worry. “Tsucchi!” Ah, so that’s what that lady’s name is.
Despite being restraint, Tsucchi managed to pull through and shot forward like a bullet, hurling a punch right into Mob’s cheek. Blood oozed out of his nose and mouth as he flew back in pain, the broken dolls flying everywhere.
“God you’re all so fucking annoying!” Mob growled, wiping the blood off his nose. He raised his hand up to attack her again, but she appeared behind him almost instantly and kicked him in the side. He hissed from the kick as she ran around the room to throw him off.
He was getting real tired of people doing that.
Why did he have to beat up a lady too? Was it already bad enough that he had to harm girls?
Whatever, if Tsubomi was here, she’d tell him to kick Tsucchi’s ass too.
Mob repeated the thing he did with Koyama to Tsucchi and she was unconscious in three seconds. “Well, it was fun talking to you but I have other things to do now.” He unwrapped his fourth lollipop and took it into his mouth.
He continued to walk down the corridors in search for his brother when a man in a dress started walking towards him, his psychic energy surrounding his entire being in battle mode. Mob sighed and flicked his hand to the side and the man was promptly crashed into the wall, he didn’t bother to acknowledge his presence before resuming his search again.
He reached another crossway and took a right when he suddenly did a double take and turned to his left to meet a limp Ritsu on the ground.
“No fucking way.” Mob breathed, his heart clenched as he steadily walked to his brother’s side, picking him up by the shoulders gingerly and letting him rest on his forearm. He gripped Ritsu’s shoulder tightly. “Oh thank god you’re still breathing.”
He stayed there for a minute, not daring to leave his brother’s side. “Why would anyone do this to you, if anything, it really should be me. You’re such a good person, Ritsu, why are you the one getting hurt? Unforgivable.”
“Oh? What’s this situation?” Someone was making his way towards him from the back, Mob kept his eyes on Ritsu as the stranger approached. “Have you been defeated before I even use my powers, boy?”
“Fuck off, bitch ass motherfucker, I’m not in the mood.” Mob snapped. “Unless, you’re the one that did this.”
“Now that’s an interesting choice of insults, not hiding your hostility at all. Hmm?” The man cocked his head to one side and reached his hand out. “Then, I’ll show you even greater despair. Free of charge.”
Mob’s eyes widened as a series of events played through his mind. The New Year’s accident. Ritsu’s bleeding, he’s on the floor, he was just a kid-No, is that Ritsu from now? He’s bleeding, it’s everywhere. Stop bleeding. Please stop. Make the bleeding stop. It has to stop. Stop. Stopstopstopstopstop--
Ritsu’s body dissolved into red, Mob knew it wasn’t real.
But it still hurt.
He screamed, for the first time in a long time, his voice was raised and his surroundings started breaking into chunks of metal and concrete. He screwed his eyes shut as he raised his head to scream even louder, everything felt so cold and he didn’t remember crying.
Ritsu, please don’t leave me.
Mob blacked out.
He woke up leaning against the wall, a very concerned Teru was right in front of his face, his hair was untied so it fell onto shoulders messily.
Mob tried to get a good look around the room, but his head hurt like a bitch, so he slapped his palm onto his forehead in an attempt to subdue the pain.
Teru tilted his head in worry and amusement. “You alright, Venom? Do you remember how you lost?”
“No fucking clue.” Mob blinked slowly bringing his hand down his face.
“Brother! Does your head hurt?” Ritsu shakily asked, both his hand outstretched in a sort of gesture that looked like he wanted to hug him but couldn’t. “What could it be? Nothing serious, I hope. I hope you didn’t suffer any brain damage.”
Ritsu looked awful, all bruised up and shivering like mad from worry. Or was it fear?
“Ritsu.” Mob stared up at him and his brother flinched, like he always did at the dinner table back then. He wished he wouldn’t do that.
His brother gasped as Mob started getting up and walking over to him. The look of absolute terror was in the younger one’s eyes and Mob wanted to get rid of that, get rid of anything and everything that could cause Ritsu any form of harm.
So he did the only thing he could do as an older brother.
Slowly, Mob wrapped his arms around Ritsu, resting his chin on the taller boy’s shoulder. Mob didn’t even realize Ritsu was taller, lucky bastard.
“I’m so glad you’re okay.” Mob mumbled into Ritsu’s ear gently, hugging him tighter. “You’re okay, right?”
He didn’t want to let go, but he had to, they needed to get home safely now. His brother watched wide eyed as Mob turned to his blonde friend and declared softly that they were going home now.
“Sorry to burst your happy bubble, Sweet, but we can’t.” Teru sighed, he glanced around the white room. “I’m not sure why, but we can’t use our powers in this room. Trust me, I tried. Wanted to tear this wall down but couldn’t.” To prove his point, he slapped the wall lightly. Nothing happened.
Mob gazed down at his own hand and balled his fist, realizing that Teru wasn’t lying. “Fu-Frick. That’s okay though, Ritsu’s here with us.”
“The fuck can he do?” Teru asked, stuffing his hands into his pockets. Mob moved his tongue in his mouth, wanting to express his annoyance, and noticed his fourth lollipop was gone.
Must have dropped when he went unconscious.
Mob exhaled and unwrapped his fifth one. It was fine, he still had two more left.
“He’s really smart.” He finally answered, popping the candy into his mouth. Strawberry. “Meanwhile, I have dumb bitch energy and the ability to move things with my mind. Ritsu can figure anything out and solve any problem. Even without relying on powers.”
“You must be really proud of him then, huh?” Teru chuckled and Mob smiled sweetly back.
“Yeah. I admire him a whole lot.”
“That’s not fucking fair.” Ritsu sniffed and Mob panicked because he thought he had hurt Ritsu’s feelings for a minute. He was ready to go into cardiac arrest when he noticed Ritsu just cussed . The little brother had tears streaming from his eyes as he continued. “You won’t let me apologize. That’s not fair.”
Ritsu wiped his tears with his sleeve, yet they still kept dripping out of his eyes. “Even I...I…”
After comforting Ritsu and discussing their game plan, the door slid open and in came a pack of people, with one familiar figure leading the rest. Mob’s eyes squinted at Reigen as the older man paused to greet him.
“Hey, Mob.The fuck are you doing here?” He raised an eyebrow, then looked over at Ritsu and grinned. “And you brought your little brother along? Neat...neat. Ah! Hey there Hanazawa, why’s your hair a mess?”
“Master Reigen, what the actual frickity frack. I should be asking you the same thing.” Mob grind his teeth against the stick in his mouth. A chorus of surprised gasps resounded behind Reigen.
“Why do you sound so surprised, prick.” Ritsu spat, crossing his arms with irritation. A lackey pointed at him and yelled something about not talking to the boss like that. The boss? Reigen?
“Hi yes, thanks for asking. But here’s a more important question that isn’t actually a question.” Teru smiled sarcastically. “We’re being held here against our wills, please get us out.”
Reigen turned to the man that had shouted at Ritsu and arched his eyebrow up one more time. “And why is that exactly.”
The man replied to Reigen with a whisper to his ear that Mob couldn’t catch.
“Yeah, but that’s still a fucking crime though.” The butterscotch-haired man replied bluntly. The henchmen (and women) all bowed in apology.
Mob was surprised and baffled. “Holy shit you’re amazing.”
“I ain’t your master for no reason.” Reigen boasted, he made his way to the exit, the rest following after him. “Alright, let’s go.”
“Where exactly?” One of the lackeys asked.
“Out. We’re leaving, duh.”
“But, shouldn’t you at least wait for the Division Leader, Ishiguro?”
Teru stopped breathing for a minute and Mob looked over to see why, there were three people blocking their way. A rather short person with a gas mask, a man with a sword hung onto his belt, another man with a weird choice in fashion and the last one held a jar covered in stickers.
No doubt one of them was the Division Leader.
Reigen demanded the party to introduce themselves, the gas mask guy, Ishiguro, did so willingly. She proceeded to ask for Reigen’s name and Mob was ready to slink into a puddle of embarrassment.
“The greatest psychic in modern history, Reigen Arataka. Look me up, bitch.”
All three teenagers rolled their eyes, except Teru, who chuckled, realizing where Mob got his attitude from.
The lackeys all collectively gasped in surprise, registering that they’ve all been played. Ishiguro was not pleased.
“How dare you insult and disregard me and call yourself the boss, that is a severe offense.” She started radiating a wave of ugly red energy, preparing her attack. The child espers started gathering together for a defense.
“What the actual fuck are you going on about, you assbag, I’ll fucking end you with my greenbelt in Shorinji Kenpo with a snap--”
The energy was shot towards them and was thankfully stopped by Teru and Mob’s combined strength in forming a barrier, Ritsu had yet to learn how to make one himself. Reigen’s eyes turned into saucers, noticing the situation he was in.
“That’s right, Master , you’re a spirit specialist so you should stand the fuck back.” Mob sarcastically said, though, a part of it was actual concern.
“My my, you’ve got yourself some efficient pawns. Why, if you had enough, you could’ve opposed Claw very easily.” Ishiguro hummed, the lackeys went into a fit of panic, expressing that they’ll die. She clicked her tongue and barely moved an inch. “Like I care. That guy’s your boss, right?”
Before they could deny it, Reigen quickly interrupted them, demanding them to get to safety before it was too late. “This is your chance to get out of a shitty organization, do something else with your fucking lives. Just leave this all to my student!”
Mob wasn’t surprised when they all suddenly bolted down the exit in thanks. Right when Reigen was about to leave too, the ceiling came crashing down, blocking his path.
“You’re not escaping.” Ishiguro placed her foot down menacingly. Ritsu balled his fists up and held it close to his chest.
“I’m no match for that kind of power.”
“Shit, mood.” Teru mumbled back. “I’m not strong enough either. Which means…”
Mob spat his lollipop stick out and nodded, getting the memo. He took a few steps forward to end this once and for all.
Ishiguro activated her powers again, dragging him down into the ground. The floor broke from the immense weight, the masked person was surprised that Mob was still okay, so she raised her hand again to turn up powers up a notch.
Mob would’ve been done for if Reigen hadn’t kicked the esper square in the head. Ishiguro slid to the ground, completely knocked out. The man dusted his hands and turned to his student to check if he was okay.
“You okay, Mob? These guys are way more powerful than you are, there isn’t any use fighting them.”
“H-He had no choice! It was to save me!” Ritsu countered, causing Mob to jump. Mob remembered when Reigen said it was fine to use his powers here and there, he even encouraged it. But only for self defense, like the New Year’s incident.
Mob wasn’t ready to tell Reigen that he was using it for other reasons that wasn’t self defense.
Reigen sighed, turning to Mob in sympathy. “You felt that cornered? Must have been rough.”
The boy doesn’t answer, he simply unwrapped his second last lollipop. He was oddly surprised that he was burning through these really fast, he stuck it into his mouth and gave it a few sucks before letting it rest on one side of his cheek.
Reigen looked up at the offenders with a look of determination and anger in his eyes, Mob could tell this man was going to get serious. He decided to let his master have a go in the show first before returning back into battle, maybe Reigen’s ability to talk could get them out of here without having to destroy the place down.
Reigen was always the better talker than him.
Unfortunately, after Reigen threw that hypnosis punch, things immediately went south from there. Mob was tempted to just let the lollipop drop out his mouth in complete utter bafflement. He didn’t though, he only had one left. He was hoping to save that for the road back home.
So they resorted to plan B, which was getting the fuck out of there. However, Ishiguro’s black orb did not allow that and began sucking Reigen in like a black hole, it took all three of the child espers to prevent that from happening.
The room collapsed from the gravitational pull of the black hole, causing an explosion. It broke a hole in the roof, which showed the full moon and the starry sky. Shit, night already? Mom was gonna be pissed.
The battle started with Muraki, the cloning man, attacking Mob from behind. The clones were all blown away with a swift movement of Mob’s fingers, apparently you could’ve just gotten rid of them with psychic powers. The room was further sliced apart by Sakurai, the swordmaster, which took all of Teru’s power to avoid the death inducing cuts. The blonde proceeded to send the debris and metal rods towards Sakurai to get him distracted or immobilized.
Meanwhile, Mob came face to face with Matsuo’s pet evil spirits. At first, Reigen was debating whether they could be exorcised like normal spirits, which was followed by Matsuo’s cocky laugh. It was unfortunately cut short when Mob raised his hand, sending all the spirits away like he normally does.
Matsuo only retaliated by sending out a bigger and more powerful spirit. Reigen’s face instantly paled.
“We have to get out of here! Don’t bother with them, Mob”
Teru yelled from the distance, still in battle with Sakurai. “Sweet, please use all of your powers! Fuck em all up!”
“Stop! Don’t fight back! Don’t stoop to their fucking level!”
Ritsu finally learnt the ability to hold up a barrier, but still didn’t know how to get rid of Muraki’s clones. He was struggling against the man’s attack. “Brother’s literally the only one that can stand a chance anymore!”
“No, don’t fight back Mob. There isn’t any use to this.” Reigen reasoned. Teru grunted, using a metal rod to deflected Sakurai’s deadly sword.
“We have to fight power with fucking power, dumb bitch, we’re gonna fucking die.”
“Then fucking run!”
“Are you blind?!” Teru threw himself to one side, dodging another blow. “We’re literally in the middle of a fucking battle. Sweet Venom, just get rid of them!”
“Don’t just attack someone who wants to kill, Mob, don’t you fucking do it!” Reigen shouted. At the moment, Ritsu was thrown to the ground. There was too many things going on, too many voices, too loud and it pained him like a headache.
The responsibility weighed hard on him, everyone was counting on him. Yet they wanted different things, how was he supposed to give them what they want?
God, Tsubomi would’ve called him a weakling if she was here.
“All four of you are going to hell.” Ishiguro threatened with malice.
“You’re all going to hell.” Tsubomi laughed down at the students that Mob had recently beaten up, they begged for mercy. Tsubomi begged the complete opposite. Of course her opinion and words would weigh heavier than them.
It got hard for Mob to breathe. He didn’t want to hurt anyone anymore, he never liked seeing blood, he wanted to live a life free of violence and tears. Especially tears. His friend, his brother, his master. They were all going to get hurt. He couldn’t run. He couldn’t fight. He couldn’t do anything.
Ah, he was useless after all.
Guess he’ll have to just prove himself worthy. One. More. Time.
He raised his hand and…
Mob felt a pair of hands on his cheek right before he could send his opponents into the ozone.
“Listen, Mob, if you really want to fight. To protect your loved ones, to protect us. Then, don’t do it alone.” Reigen whispered carefully to him. “When you feel alone, weighed by the expectations of others, it’s okay to ask for help. I’ll help.”
For the first time ever, since he was a child, Mob felt...not alone. He remembered when he first entered Reigen’s office, feeling lost and scared. Lately, he had been avoiding people, afraid of what he might do if he snapped. He was walking home from school when he saw Reigen’s sign and decided to check it out.
Reigen was suspicious when Mob told him that he was an esper at first, the little boy had told the adult he got scared about the times he couldn’t control his powers all that well. The advice the man had given him was that, even though he had psychic powers, it didn’t make him any more or any less than an average person. It was, however, okay to use them and be proud of them.
But not too proud of course.
All those months of being scared of what he could do suddenly felt like a bad dream, because now he knew he wasn’t alone in this anymore. He had someone he could lean on for support.
Mob smiled, but it faltered when he saw a sword being raised behind his master. It was too late to warn him when it was suddenly brought down with a sickening slice.
The white plastic stick in his mouth dropped to the ground, the same time Reigen went limp. Mob’s eyes glowed red, his fists clenched, his face darkened.
Someone was surely going to die tonight.
“Y’know, I really considered breaking your bones and grinding them into bits and feeding them to the fishes at my grandma’s place.” Mob breathed slowly, reaching into his pocket for his last lollipop. Grape. He unwrapped it manually this time, picking at the plastic as he kept talking. “But my master chose to take the pacifist way out, where no one would get harmed. If we ran, we wouldn’t have to deal with you and you wouldn’t have to deal with us. Unfortunately though, Master Reigen tried and he failed...so…”
Reigen rose up from the ground the same time Mob placed the candy into his own mouth, letting it rest on one side. Everyone gaped at the man that was surprisingly still alive and well, especially Sakurai.
“Don’t fucking do that, bitch.” Reigen strutted up to him and grabbed him by the suit collar, the man too shocked to comprehend the situation. “You nearly cut me up there for a moment. I guess it really was just trash plastic.”
“Unhand me, fool! How about I behead you next?” Sakurai yelled, pulling back and sending a strike to Reigen’s neck.
It did nothing except make Reigen jolt from the small amount of pain. “Ow! Listen, you immature fucking shitbag, adults don’t have time to play with toys. How would you feel if I struck you down with my Nerf gun? Grow the fuck up.” He ended that statement by snapping the sword in half, sweat started collecting from Sakurai’s forehead.
Matsuo growled, sending Candy-chan after him. Reigen yelped in panic, leaning over to Mob. “Mind helping out?”
“No.” Mob switched the stick to the other corner of his mouth.
“Yeah, okay kid. Fuck you too.” Reigen braced for the punch, which came in shockingly light. Confused, he decided to try something out. Balling his fist, he hurled a punch at the spirit and it was quickly exorcised within seconds, while also sending Matsuo a few feet away.
Muraki came in with his many clones, ready to end this battle. Sadly, his attempt was weak because the only thing Reigen had to do was swat his hand at them and the clones all disappeared. Teru skidded to a stop when he was just about to help, it looked like Reigen needed none.
Muraki started sweating pools of sweat.
Ishiguro announced that Reigen was starting to become a major threat to their plans to overtake the world, in response, Reigen challenged the Division Leader to send her black orbs again. She happily obliged, bringing out several more than before.
Mob waited for Reigen’s signal, but it seemed like he didn’t have to do anything anymore. His master was popping all her black orbs as if they were just soap bubbles, maybe he could come out of this without actually having to kill anyone.
Reigen was body slammed by the leader, sending him hurtling into the walls, then she delivered a punch right into his gut and he was suddenly in the air. He could even feel the cool night air in the sky.
He came crashing down seconds later and much to her and everyone else’s surprise, he was still conscious, well and alive. For the second time today. He proceeded to grab onto her mask with exasperation, and flung her to one said, muttering about how it was rude to talk to someone with a mask on without a valid reason.
The gas mask easily came off and Ishiguro’s head was crashed into a wall, leaving her stuck.
“Ah, Master, Sakurai’s--” Mob pointed, Reigen nodded and turned to the man who still had the nerve to keep attacking.
Once again, Reigen grabbed hold of Sakurai’s suit and shoved him into the ground. “Look, start acting your fucking age would you?”
Sakurai went on a full on rant about his edgy lonely backstory, boring Reigen out of his mind. Reigen slammed him into the ground again, just to shut him up. “Holy fucking shit, would you please? I don’t understand how any of that fucking validates your actions. Just shut the fuck up. Grow the fuck up.”
“Get off or I’ll-I’ll--” Sakurai frantically searched his pockets, making Reigen raise his eyebrow in curiosity.
“Look, you do know I just survived a fuck tone of mini black holes right, whatever weapon you have won’t fucking wo--” Reigen was rudely interrupted by Sakurai’s red spray, which did close to nothing but make the butterscotch-haired man sneeze. Reigen snatched the bottle right out of his hands to inspect it. “What in god’s name is this?”
He sighed as he felt another attack try to penetrate his dense barrier, he glanced over at Teru and gestured him over. “Watch this man-baby for me.” Reigen pointed.
Teru obeyed, his hand spread out to keep Sakurai at bay. The man with glasses, feeling too defeated, stayed there in place without any signs of struggle.
One thing Mob learnt from Reigen was that; nothing feels worse than being intensively cussed at by someone you thought was lower than you.
“Hold on, clone man, let me look through my section of insults before getting back to you.” Reigen dug through his pockets, Muraki left his fist in place as Reigen dramatically searched his suit pockets before bringing out the middle finger at the man. “Ah, here it is. Fuck this bullshit you’re pulling and fuck you.”
“What?” Muraki dropped his fist and brought them back to his side, Reigen placed away his middle finger and rubbed his face with infuriation.
“Oh boy, prepare your fucking ass because you’re about to be destroyed by yours truly.” Reigen rubbed his hands together and chuckled.
“Please never say that again or I’ll strangle you in your sleep.” Ritsu pleaded. Reigen ignored him.
“First off, the fuck is that and the fuck are these.” Reigen pointed at the dot in Muraki’s head then at his shoulder pads. “Don’t answer me, you lost your right to talk when you got that fucking cape. These are all accessories, end of story. No excuse you can think up can change that. Fucking asshat.”
“Listen, it’s not like I’m cursing at you guys for no fucking reason at all.” Reigen shrugged his arms and crossed them. “Don’t fucking care about your powers either. Like, the fuck am I suppose to do? Give you a gold medal? Fuck that, good on you for being 0.1% different and all but don’t expect any more or less than that. It’s fucking bizarre how you haven’t figured out that having psychic powers don’t make you a god.
“Grow the fuck up, both of you. And for the love of god, please get rid of that outfit. I’d kill myself before I see you on the throne if your cheap idea of world domination miraculously works out, which it won’t .”
“Wait...so, you’re telling us to go back to being commoners?” Muraki asked innocently. Reigen groaned, rolling his head to one side.
“Are you fucking deaf? I literally just said you weren’t jack shit, you’re already a fucking commoner. We’re all commoners, I don’t care about anything you’ve got to fucking say. I’m a commoner and I broke your ass in half.”
Teru had long released Sakurai from his telepathetic grasp, but it seemed like the man wasn’t in a hurry to get up anytime soon. He seemed content to stay on the ground. Muraki fell to his knees in defeat, staring down at the floor in shame.
“That’s not true!” They all turned to find a toothless old man that turned out to be Ishiguro standing in the distance.
Everyone was collectively bamboozled as it finally hit them that; a. Ishiguro was fucking old and b. She turned out to be a he .
“I don’t care what you say! We’re special, we’re superior lifeforms to the rest of humanity!” Ishiguro argued back.
“I’m sure saying that helps you get to sleep at night.” Reigen rolled his eyes. “But you’re fucking wrong. Survey time kids! Out of us commoners , how many of us know about Claw? Bonus points if you knew Ishiguro!”
Teru was the only one that raised his hand, when asked if he knew the Division Leader before today, his hand was lowered.
“And that’s that.” Reigen smirked. Alas, this only sent the man into a fit of rage and he formed the biggest black orb yet. Reigen realized he was out of power and turned to his student for help. “Hey Mob can y--”
“No can do, fucker, we’re gonna die together. You took every last bit of mine, gotta wait till they come back.” Mob said, calmly sucking on his lollipop as they both got dragged into the orb.
“Have I mentioned how much I absolutely love you as my student?” Reigen sighed, Mob couldn’t tell if it was sarcasm.
“Don’t get sappy.”
However, the moment of panic was quickly put to an end when Ishiguro got a punch to his face.
“Ah, that’s--” Ritsu pointed. Mob looked up to see a ginger boy, definitely not from around here. The old man was quickly dealt with, the ginger defeating him with a deafening blow into the concrete. He stood back up and turned to Mob, then briefly at Ritsu before back at Mob again.
“And as for you, as much as I enjoyed seeing you insult these men to no end. You still didn’t hurt anyone. You’re a coward.”
Mob resisted the urge to bite at this boy.
“The Seventh Division will be dissolved, I was suppose to take back anyone that could’ve been useful to HQ.” The ginger placed both his hands behind his neck and bounced on the heels of his feet then onto his toes.
“What? Weren’t you a trainee?” One of the Claw members replied in confusion.
“Sadly,” the boy interrupted loudly, “all of you guys suck balls. At least on the inside.” He looked over at Ritsu.
Mob was ready to tear this boy in half.
“Call me!” The ginger did a phoning gesture before going invisible, or maybe he teleported away, and Ritsu choked on air.
This boy, was seriously on his hit list now. Not that he had one, but Mob was making one for sure and that boy was the first in the list.
After Matsuo’s poor attempt at trying to defeat that only to realize that Dimple had eaten all of his powerful spirits, they all got home safely by car that Mitsuura had ever so kindly provided. Reigen opted to see at the front with the chauffeur while Teru, Mob and Ritsu crammed at the back, with Mob sitting in the middle and the other two at the windows.
“Do you actually have his number, Little Brother?” Teru leaned over, Mob turned as well to hear an answer.
“Of course not! I--I don’t think so? I’ll check…” Ritsu patted his pockets and realized he had left his phone in his bag, which was somewhere at that alleyway still, if it wasn’t stolen or destroyed yet. “No.”
“Well, now that you have powers. You’re welcomed to join the gang.” Mob spoke up, his grape lollipop was almost licked clean so he was letting it rest in his mouth. “We can...watch each other’s backs so you won’t have to worry about me and I for you.”
“Actually, I don’t think...I don’t think I will.” Ritsu smiled softly at his brother, who looked taken aback. “I’ll just have to put more faith into you, we all got into this mess because I stupidly tried to protect you. From now on, I’ll let you do your thing. Just...promise me to tell me if anything’s bothering you...okay?”
“Oh, uhm, yeah.” Mob smiled back.
“As for you, Hanazawa, please watch my brother for me.” Ritsu pleaded, staring up at Teru with utmost sincerity.
“Oh, why, of course!” Teru bowed dramatically, which was hard since he had seatbelts on (something Reigen had insisted he put on), and he boldly took Mob’s hand. “I won’t let him run off into danger! He’ll have to take me with him!”
“Good, because I’ll crack your skull open if you don’t.”
“Jesus Christ.” Teru didn’t let go of Mob’s hand.
The boy strangely found it comforting, today was a shit day afterall, he’ll let this gesture slide.
“Wait, before we head home, can I stop by some place first?” Mob said, making Ritsu pause as they got out of the car.
“Do you need me to come with you?”
“No, I’ll be taking Hanazawa with me though.” Mob’s hand was still clasped with Teru’s, they had to let go when they got off the car though, making the blonde disappointed.
Ritsu nodded, letting his older brother walk off with his friend.
Mob and Teru both turned up at Kamuro’s house, Mob politely ringing his bell. Much to Mob’s amazement, Kamuro himself was the one that answered the door and he looked like absolute shit. Well, the normal looking shitty. He looked...better, actually.
Except his face paled when he first saw Mob and tried to close the door.
“Hang on, listen. I’m pissed at you, most of the shit my brother went through was your fault. If you hadn’t destroyed half my gang, things would be exactly the way it was.” Mob started, grabbing onto the door and using a bit of his powers to keep it open. “But, I’ll forgive you, because the shit we went through today taught us something. What I’m saying is, I’m trying to find many reasons why I shouldn’t kick your ass to the curb, those reasons proved to be convincing so you get to live. Good night to you.” He lets Kamuro close the door on his face and started walking back home.
“Okay, why’d you need me then? To watch you be authoritative?” Teru joked lightly, Mob didn’t laugh.
“You live alone. Why?”
“Oh...Well…” Teru felt like curling up and hiding. “To escape Claw, so they won’t harm my parents.”
“Bullshit. But I guess that means you won’t be telling me the real reason tonight, that’s okay though.” Mob stared up at the stars and breathed out a breath of air. “Tell me why whenever you want.”
Teru’s heart skipped a beat, he rarely saw this side of Mob when he’s talking to him. A kind, softer and nicer side. It was like a warm blanket being wrapped around him. “Yeah. Sure!”
“Alright, good night, Teruki.” Mob waved, taking the clean stick from his mouth.
“Goodnight...Shi-Shigeo.” Teru replied. Mob smiled, walking into his house and closing the door behind him, Teru was left with an overwhelming sense of success and pride.
Chapter 9: Mistakes
In which there is TeruMob angst
After a job at the farm and getting paid with broccoli seeds, he carried a potted cherry tomato plant home, apparently it tasted like shit when Mob tried to use his abilities to make it grow faster.
He wondered if it was because his powers had a shit tasting aura.
Whatever that meant.
He got home and placed the pot down, surprising both his mother and his brother.
“What’s that?” Ritsu pointed at the plant, his mother nodding at the question. She was curious too.
“Cherry tomatoes, but don’t eat them. They don’t taste nice.” Mob dropped a lollipop stick into the bin, heading into the bathroom to wash up.
“How come?” Ritsu poked at it, plucking one off and tossing it into his mouth to give it a taste. His face scrunched up in distaste, it wasn’t disgusting but it wasn’t juicy and sweet either. It was...bland and it felt like it was biting back at you, sorta. It was hard to describe.
“I think it’s because I used my powers to grow them.”
Ritsu turned to the bathroom door, raising an eyebrow. “You can...do that?”
There was a pause.
“Yeah, just learnt how. At work.”
Their mother decided to use the cherry tomatoes as fertilizer for her other plants. Ritsu didn’t have the heart to tell Mob they tasted like his attitude, bland but snarky.
There was an assembly that day, Kamuro was resigning as Student Council President. At least he was looking a lot healthier now, but it did struck Tokugawa and Ritsu a surprise to hear the ex-president resigning.
Tsubomi clicked her tongue, smirking. “Looks like they’ll be looking for a new president soon, say Mob, maybe you could run for president?”
Mob gulped, suddenly itching for a lollipop. “I don’t see why anyone would vote for me, besides, I’ve got a gang to run.”
“Then I can help you, it’s what girlfriends do right?” Tsubomi suggested, laughing lightly. It seemed all to practice though, her laugh sounded quite...fake.
Mob didn’t care, he loved her laugh anyways. “If that’s so, why can’t you run for president yourself.”
Ouch, bad move. She’s mad. Take it back, take it back, take it back.
“The workload would be too much for me! I can make do with just helping, but I can’t do it myself!” Tsubomi rolled her eyes, her smile straining, she gripped Mob’s arm gently and leaned. “C’mon, Mob, do it for me?”
He couldn’t say no, even if he tried.
They got Mezato to help. She trained Mob to have more charisma and filled in details about what the students would love to hear from him and although the charisma training didn’t really work, Emi’s script had all the right words for him to say.
Tome tried to get Mob to be more expressive and less monotone with his words, the only time he did have a tone was when he was mad, and that wasn’t what they were really going for. The success rating for that was a sad 60%.
When the day for the speech campaign came, everyone gasped when they saw Kamuro walk onto stage to present his speech, they were a bit puzzled to see him running for president again and it did tick Tsubomi off a little.
He was probably looking for redemption.
As quick as Kamuro had entered the stage, he was off and it finally became Mob’s turn to present. If the gang leader was honest, it was scary to be on stage. He didn’t think he had stage fright, it was probably because of the anxiety.
What if he failed?
What would Tsubomi do to him? Break up? He hoped not.
Kamuro was president before, he could be president again. He had a better shot than Mob did, even after the blackmailing situation.
No, he can do this, he had practiced over and over with The Poppies. They helped him as much as they could, he can’t let their hard work go to waste.
Mob’s hands shook, he desperately needed something in his mouth now. He ran his tongue across his teeth, taking in a deep breath, he eyed the people in the audience.
Maybe if he settled on one person to look at, he won’t be as afraid.
Tsubomi? Ah no, she looked like she was on the verge of shouting at him.
Mezato? No, no, she looked like she was going to either publish his failure or his lucky success.
Tome? Shit, she didn’t even look like she cared.
Emi? As much as Mob enjoys her company during his training, her moral support wasn’t going to help.
Mob’s eyes fell on Ritsu, his younger brother gave him a soft smile, which could be easily read as; Good luck, big brother!
And not too far away, Onigawara shot him a thumbs up.
With his eyes resting on his younger brother, Mob began his practiced speech without skipping a beat.
“Mobbu, look!” Tsubomi dragged Mob’s arm, giggling uncontrollably. Her laugh was real this time.
She brought him to the billboard, where the results for the election was placed. Upon instinct, Mob had searched his name at the bottom, expecting to come in last or third. His eyes kept trailing up, until he hit first.
Mob gaped at it, catching the lollipop that had dropped out of his opened jaw at the last minute, sticking it back into his mouth.
“Isn’t this wonderful?” Tsubomi smiled, pecking him on the cheek. “You could make this place so much better!”
“I...can?” Mob turned to his girlfriend, his ears a tint of pink from the kiss.
“With my help, of course, just listen to me and you’ll be fine.” Tsubomi hummed, a glint of mischief in her eyes. Mob dismissed it, whatever Tsubomi had in mind was going to be fine. Right?
He wondered how many people The Poppies had to threaten to get them to vote for him.
He wondered how many secrets Mezato had threatened to spill, or how many people Tome had to hurt mentally, or how many people Emi had to frame.
Mob shook his head, with the combined amount of his gang members, some people who seemed to have liked his speech and The Poppies, surely that was enough to get himself voted into first place.
Perhaps The Poppies didn’t have to hurt anyone in the first place.
“Mob, over here!” Mezato waved him over while he was still glossing over the fact that he had won.
He strutted over, untangling his arm from Tsubomi’s grasp, who didn’t seem to mind him leaving. “What, need another cult to infiltrate?”
“Funny you should say that, remember the LOL cult?” Mezato folded her arms, one hand holding onto her pink camera.
“How could I not?”
“The people within that cult formed a new one, it’s called Psycho Helmet Cult. It’s a religion that worships you for saving them.” Mezato further explained, Mob’s eyebrows raised at that, which only encouraged her to keep going. “But they don’t really know who the founder actually is, but I’m sure you and I both know who.”
“What? No! It’s you, dummy, you’re the one that finished Dimple off remember?”
Mob fiddled with the stick in his mouth uneasily, knowing where this was going. “I can’t lead the cult, Mezato.”
Her face scrunched up angrily, displeased with his answer. “Why not?”
“Gang leader, Student Council President, school life, my job, my relationship.” Mob held up five fingers. “I can’t balance all of that easily, maybe another time.”
“Alright, I’ll give you time. But if it becomes too late, it’ll be your fault!”
Mob didn’t answer her, he was already making his way out. Mezato didn’t mind all that much, she had planned to read Emi’s latest addition to her novel anyways.
“Student Council President. Wow.” Teru sighed, walking with Mob in the park. The blonde had offered to take Mob out for a peaceful stroll by the lake at the park, since the black-haired boy had looked a little pale. “How’s that working out for you?”
“Is there a heavier word than stressful?” Mob sucked in a breath of air, his mouth was empty and he found himself not needing a lollipop at the moment. It was a first.
“Exhausting, draining, difficult, tough, fraught, taxing, pressuring, wearing, tiring--” Teru named down every synonym he could think off, earning a playful shove and a soft chuckle.
“Asshole, I didn’t ask for a dictionary.”
“So, you have less time to spend now?” Teru tilted his head, twirling a loose strand of blonde hair.
“I was supposed to go over something with the gang today, but Onigawara said he’d cover for me. Again.” Mob mumbled, picking at the new red armband around his arm. “He said I needed this.”
“I guess, you seem really sick. Where’s your girlfriend?”
Mob averted eye contact, his hand falling back to his side. “Busy with her friends, they’re hanging out somewhere.”
“How often do you go on dates?”
“Uhm, not so often. We spend our time together a lot in school, so she didn’t think we needed to go on dates a lot.”
“What about now? How often do you actually get to see her?” Teru eyed him curiously, he had stopped twirling the strand of hair and was leaning in close to hear Mob’s answer.
“With the new responsibilities, not so mu- why are you so interested?” Mob frowned, turning to Teru skeptically. The blonde leaned away and stared at the sky for a moment before glancing back at him.
They kept walking in silence, it was peaceful and very comfortable. Then Teru spoke again.
“Shigeo, you matter a lot to me. So, if it ever gets too much and you need a break. I’ll be here. You have my number too, call whenever.”
Mob stared at the blonde, wondering when he had gotten so sentimental and sincere. He brushed it off and nodded. “I will.”
Like that, what use to be just frequent drop ins, became everyday vistations. After school, council meetings, gang meetings or whatever, Teru always waited patiently for Mob outside to walk him home.
The bond they had grew stronger each minute, Mob had never felt so stress free before and the number of lollipops he had initially needed dropped tremendously.
He was only ever seen with the stick in his mouth during the last half of the school day and gang meetings.
Tsubomi had commented on his livelier look, she liked it and it made him feel happy.
Sometimes, Mob would pretend he had nothing going on after school, just so he could spend time talking to Teru before heading back to school for the meetings. It made him feel better during those boring after school hours.
Dimple found it weird, but he was too afraid of offending Mob to say anything about it.
Even Reigen had said he looked less dead inside, which was a mighty compliment from someone so cynical, apparently Mob’s cheery mood had reflected onto his work really well. It made his happiness look a lot more obvious.
“Girlfriend did something nice to you today?” Reigen teased, poking at his student’s face. Mob chuckled in response.
“Fuck off, Master.”
Mob wondered if he tried to grow cherry tomatoes again, would they taste happy?
Back at home, he had managed to consume his broccoli without complaining one bit, none of it was destroyed either.
His mother was proud, watching him swallow his vegetables. “Wow, this is rare. Our Shige eating his broccoli at last.”
“What’s up, Shigeo? Did you suddenly need that extra nutrients to impress your girlfriend?” His father asked, still chewing on his food.
“N-No, it’s not- it’s not like that.” Mob stammered, looking away. Ritsu didn’t bother to say anything about it.
Truth be told, Ritsu thought the extra workload was going to crush his brother, he was glad Mob was holding up pretty okay. Whether it was because of his girlfriend or someone else, Ritsu was proud.
Seeing as how his brother was barely surviving on his own, Ritsu was relieved to have not joined his gang. Ritsu was the kind of person that wouldn’t ask for help unless help asked first, so turning down Mob’s offer was a good call.
It was only after a week when the workload truly started becoming unmanageable. There was a gang that had a new leader in charge and was stupid enough to try to evade Mob’s area first, something about going from the hardest gang leaders to the easiest, which was a stupid idea if you asked Mob.
Due to other responsibilities, he couldn’t go out himself to beat some sense into the gang members attacking his turf, so even though it would’ve been faster and easier to go himself, he sent Onigawara instead.
Hopefully, he’d hold up long enough for Mob to finish his president duties. Which happened to be about the Telepathy Club, there were complaints filed for that club for being useless and a waste of space. The other clubs would benefit better if it was abolished and used for other things, like storing equipment.
Of course, Tome got mad when she heard of this news and cried about it to Tsubomi, who pressured Mob into keeping the club, no matter what the others said.
It led to Mob not wanting to force Ritsu into siding with him, and tried to ignore the topic as a whole during meetings, but the issue only grew larger and larger and became very noticable and top priority.
Onigawara then came back to explain that Tome could share the club with Musashi, the Body Improvement Club President, which would solve the complaining issue. However, Tome wasn’t keen on sharing so it might take a while to convince her. But if Musashi and Tome do end up sharing, the male club leader would owe him one and solve the gang issues.
All of this gave Mob a headache, and to make matters worse, he didn’t have a single lollipop on him to gnaw on. He had expected to not need that many anymore.
So, at the end of the day, Mob was already on the verge of having a serious mental breakdown. Tsubomi was too busy to help, his gang members were off at home or fighting, Ritsu had gone home ahead of him since Mob had to hang back to talk to Onigawara.
It only got better when he saw a familiar mess of blonde bright hair, tied in a messy bun and held up with cute clips with little decorations on them. Mob swore he saw a froggy one somewhere on his head.
“Shigeo! How are y-OOF!” Teru was thrown back a little, engulfed in a very warm hug. It was a first time thing, they’ve never hug before. Teru found his face heating up. “W-What’s wrong? Hey, are you okay? Do you want to go ho- no? Uhm, I won’t ask why, so how about the par- not that either? Then, where--”
“If you don’t mind, it’s been a while since I’ve been to your place.” Mob said, his voice muffled in Teru’s shoulder.
“Wh-What? Oh! Yeah, yeah, sure!”
The red armband was thrown to one side and Mob had to unbutton a few of his uniform buttons to breathe easier, he closed his eyes, leading back on the couch. The apartment was small, probably meant for one or two people.
Mob remembered it was because Teru lived alone, he won’t have to worry about the Hanazawa’s then.
“Here, milk.” Teru came back in a fresh new set of clothes, a sweater with strawberry printings on it and comfortable sweatpants, his hair was braided this time and he was holding out a glass of milk for Mob.
The boy took the glass and downed the thing slowly, letting out a sigh of satisfaction. “Holy shit, thanks.”
“I remember you saying you loved milk, so…” Teru folded the rim of his sweater anxiously, the last time Mob was here, it was because Teru had to carry him somewhere safe because of his injuries.
“Oh, that was a long time ago. Surprised you still remember.” Mob muttered, gripping the glass. The couch dipped a little, Teru was barely a few inches away from him. Not that it mattered, Teru was always invading Mob’s personal space and he had grown used to it.
“Yeah...So, what’s wrong?”
“In a nutshell? A lot, but I can handle it. I just needed a breather.”
Teru nodded slowly, pursing his lips. He trusted Mob, if he said he could handle it, he could. Mob set the glass down on the coffee table and stared up at the ceiling, he closed his eyes again and soaked in the silence. Peace and quiet.
“You must love living alone.” Mob suddenly spoke, his eyes still closed.
“Ha ha, not really. It gets rather lonely.” Teru mumbled, running a hand up and down his arm.
“I thought you were popular with the girls at your school.”
“Yeah, but I still feel lonely. When you’re the only one in this single empty house, despite how small it is, it feels so fucking big.”
Mob opened one eye, looking at the blonde, he debated whether he should reach a hand out to comfort him. Slowly, he dropped his palm on Teru’s shoulder, gently squeezing it. “How long has it been like this?”
“It’s been...so long. Just a couple years after awakening my powers, Claw attacked me. Parents thought it’d be safer if I lived on my own, they’re paying the rent and all and giving me money, but...,” Teru breathed in deeply and exhaled, “when they said ‘safer’, sometimes, I wonder if it meant safer for me or them.”
Mob had straighten up his posture and opened both his eyes, his hand had dropped from Teru’s shoulder down onto his arm, then he took Teru’s hand into his own. The gesture was meant to be caring, it was something he remembered his mother doing when he was younger, and sometimes Ritsu would do it too.
However, Teru’s beating heart said otherwise. He stared at his hand and at Mob’s face, watching as those serious black pupils soften into something kinder.
Mob remembered back at Dimple’s LOL cult, when Teru had grabbed his hand to comfort him. To remind Mob that he was still here with him. He wanted Teru to know the same thing too, he gripped Teru’s hand tightly. “You don’t have to be lonely anymore. I’m here for you.”
He was so close, Teru could see his reflection in Mob’s eyes, he could feel the warm breath coming from Mob’s slightly parted lips and he gently squeezed Mob’s hand back.
In the heat of the moment, with Teru’s mind fogged with just one thing, which was the fact that Mob was right here and easy to grab, he leaned in and those five, six inches gap became an alarming zero.
Mob’s lips were soft, like Teru had expected, they were really tensed too. Too tense.
This was a mistake. Teru realized.
The blonde was quickly thrown into the kitchen, a series of pots, pans and glass things breaking into pieces were heard. Mob brushed his fingers against his lips before wiping it with his thumb roughly.
“Hanazawa, what the fuck!”
Teru limped out of the kitchen, his fingers were bleeding and he looked dazed from the impact. “Wait, I can explain--”
“Don’t bother.” Mob hissed, picking up the red armband on the floor and buttoning up his uniform. “You clearly planned this.”
“Don’t play dumb with me, dipshit, I knew you were a playboy and I respect that.” Mob picked up the glass cup from the coffee table and pointed it at Teru like a weapon. “But I didn’t think I’d end up on your radar. Tsubomi was right when she said something felt off.”
“Oh, c’mon Shi- Kageyama, I wasn’t planning on hooking up with you only to dump you later.” Teru took a step forward, but Mob’s grip on the glass cup only tightened, so he took a step back.
“That’s not the fucking issue here, you know I have a girlfriend. You know I love her a lot.”
“Then what the fuck was that?!” Mob growled.
Teru stared at the floor, his fingers were stinging. “I thought-I thought we were having a moment.”
“A moment?” Mob laughed dryly, his hand dropping back to his side. “Everything I did there was blatantly platonic.”
The blonde screwed his eyes shut, god that hurt and he wasn’t thinking about his hands. “Do you want me to be honest?”
“Humor me. Go on.” Mob huffed, dropping the glass cup to the floor with his powers so it wouldn’t break.
“I’m being very serious here, okay?” Teru gulped, opening his eyes to meet Mob’s. “I like you. Actually really like you. I date girls for fun, sometimes very rarely boys, but you...I really do like you.”
Mob clenched his jaws, staring into Teru’s eyes intensely.
“I’m sorry,” Teru added, “I hope we can still be friends. That was honestly a very shitty thing for me to do.”
“I’ll think about it, good night, Hanazawa.” Mob finally said, already making his way to the exit.
Teru expected the door to slam shut, instead it was just a pleasant click. He stared at his hands, then at the kitchen, then at the empty glass cup on the floor.
Mob went home, feeling...empty. Like he was back to square one with his feelings again, before he met Reigen and after he hurt Ritsu.
Teru had confessed to him.
How should he feel about this?
For one thing, Mob was definitely not grossed out. But he wasn’t flattered either, neither did his heart skip a beat like it did with Tsubomi nor sink deep into quicksand.
Dimple had asked what was up, and with close to no one to talk to, he opened up. “Hanazawa confessed to me.”
Mob was sitting against the wall in his pajamas, his hand opening and closing every so often, he still remembered the warmth from Teru’s hand and lips.
“Took him long enough, what’d you say?” Dimple folded his ghost arms and glided to one side of the room.
“You obviously know the answer.”
“Yeah, but how did you reject him?”
“I didn’t really say much, but he asked if we could still be friends. I told him I’d think about it.” Mob murmured. “Anyways, I’m fucking beat. Let me sleep will you?”
Dimple didn’t need to be told twice.
He was distracted on the job and a whole lot quieter. He found himself absent-mindedly watching things happening, even when he was on the train ride with Reigen and when Shinra had confronted them on the streets.
He didn’t even have a lollipop in his mouth, but he did eat a handful of fries from that plate with the client.
Mob was especially quiet with the dog.
Reigen looked happy cleaning the dog, how often was Master Reigen genuinely happy? How often was the reason not money related?
Even when Mob was faced with certain death, when the Dragger was about to drown him in her pool of murky pond water. All he did was hold his hand out and she was gone, like every ghost he had ever exorcised.
But it only became concerning for Reigen when Mob had tried to exorcise Dash Granny and promptly failed, yet made no attempt to run. Luckily, she was just a regular old lady going for a run and Mob wasn’t hurt.
“What the fuck is up, Mob?” Reigen poked the top of Mob’s head, pressing down a little harder than he was supposed to.
“Nothing.” Mob replied, dusting his blue sweater from the dust the granny had left when she ran past him.
“Holy shit, no ‘fuck off’ ‘piss off’ ‘mind your own fucking business’ ‘the fuck is up with you ?’? Just...nothing?” Reigen’s hand retracted from Mob’s head, bamboozled.
“Yes.” Mob answered bluntly.
Reigen pressed his lips into a thin line and started walking. Mood swings. Please let it be mood swings.
Dimple, on the other hand, was enjoying all of this. Mob was a land mine for him, but now that all the bombs were seemingly deactivated, he could freely do what he wants. Well, almost all of what he wants, he still had a line he could potentially cross, but it’s not as near anymore.
Heck, he got to possess someone, so the line must be pretty far.
Mob had a late job the night before, something about graduating people wanting to make memories at a haunted area but refused to pay Reigen for his “services”. The butterscotch-haired man proceeded to call them fucktards as they drove off, leaving him and Mob behind.
They hailed a truck at the side of the road, and got home pretty late, in fact, the sun was already rising when they were reaching home. At least he got to catch some sleep on the ride back, Ritsu was worried sick.
Good thing there weren’t any Student Council duties in the morning.
But he was in a pretty shitty sleep deprived mood when he left home first without Ritsu, he wanted some peace and quiet to calm his grumpy head.
Ugh, so much for peace and quiet. He stopped when he sensed the people behind him were getting impatient.
“Look at you, stumbling around. You’re in our way.” A highschooler with soft brown hair sneered, he was carrying his bag over his shoulder like the fucking punk he was.
“But since you’re here, can you lend us some cash?” The other asked, he had a blue cap and his hand shoved into his pocket.
“Why are people constantly after middle schooler’s money?” Mob sighed, remembering the con artists and the vase incident. “I don’t have any.”
Oh, the Vase of Happiness. Breaking it was supposed to cause some sort of tragedy, right? It was probably a coincidence, but it did cause Ritsu to get kidnapped.
Damn, a mind blower in the morning? Not in the mood. And Mob was certainly not in the mood for being daylight robbed by lanky highschoolers either.
“Could you bring us some tomorrow?”
Mob blinked really slowly. The highschoolers started laughing, but the Punk Bag boy was starting to laugh too much.
“Uh, Sugimoto?” Cap Guy turned in concern as Sugimoto started jiggling like mad, he froze, just for a second, before stumbling over to one side to undress.
Sugimoto ran off into the distance, jumping into the sky, screaming he was an angel. Mob blinked rapidly before frowning. “Fuck off, Dimple.”
The green blob obeyed, zapping out of the boy. Cap Guy ran over, checking up on his friend. Sugimoto shook his head to clear his thoughts, he redressed and picked Mob by the collar. “Hey, you little shit! You were laughing, weren’t you?”
Usually, whoever did that would find themselves flung into the air and soaring like a bird, but Mob was too sleep deprived and annoyed to do anything about it. Instead, Sugimoto’s tie was proceeded to be tightened and twisted, choking the air out of him.
“Ritsu.” Mob said calmly with a hint of warning.
“Brother.” Ritsu smiled, dropping his hand down. Sugimoto was immediately released.
It was the final straw, Sugimoto stared down at Mob like he was a pesky bee. His face darkened, his fists clenched--
“What the fuck are you doing with our leader?” Countless of gang members surrounded the male, tugging on his sleeves, pulling at his hair, grabbing his arms. They were about to rip the highschooler apart.
“Guys, I’m fine.” Mob rubbed his face angrily, all he wanted was peace and quiet. He needed some alone time with his thoughts. “Listen, if I was really in danger, I would handle it myself.”
The gang broke apart, dropping Sugimoto to the ground.
“Besides, he would’ve been dead right now if I wasn’t so fucking tired.” Mob glared, the red in his eyes gleamed dangerously.
The highschoolers took off, Cap Guy piggybacking Sugimoto away.
“Glad you’ve still got that charm.” Dimple popped up next to him. “We were worried, you got so quiet ever since you’ve stopped talking to Teru.”
“I’m just tired, buzz off or I’ll end you existence.” Mob scowled. Dimple disappeared within an instant.
Ritsu placed a hand on his brother’s shoulder, his face pulled up in worry. “Brother, are you worried about being a bad person?”
“Wh--” Mob arched a brow, how did Ritsu know?
“You’re not a bad person, brother.”
The walk to school was quiet, but definitely not lonely.
Mob was in the car, squeezed in between two clients. It wasn’t comfortable, but Mob didn’t feel like complaining. He didn’t feel like doing much.
Not a bad person.
He felt bad, that’s what he felt when Teru confessed to him. Bad.
He felt bad that Teru had a crush on him and was promptly rejected, then he threw the blonde into the kitchen and hurt him. That’s what bad people do, they do things for bad reasons. Selfish reasons.
He could’ve had a nice long talk with Teru about his feelings, but here Mob was, sitting in a car at a job that Teru would’ve surely tagged along in.
They reached the haunted area and three spirits appeared, they weren’t evil and as it turned out, they were a family.
“We can’t exorcise them, they haven’t done anything bad. They’re a family.” Mob lowered his hand, turning to Reigen.
“Hold on! We called you here because we needed them exorcised!” The lady client said exasperatedly.
“Who cares if they’re bad or not, we payed you guys to get rid of em!” Another client added.
“Hurry up and exorcise them already!” The lady finished.
“The fuck is wrong, this ain’t any different from exorcising evil spirits.” Reigen pocketed his hands. Mob gulped, closing his eyes.
“But they’re just living in fucking peace. I don’t want to ruin it.”
“Nobody cares how you feel, just do it already!” The client argued. Mob flinched.
“I don’t care how you feel, Mobu, just do it already.” Tsubomi inspected her nails, she wanted him to hurt someone again. When will she stop asking?
“Besides, we asked for you help because we really needed it.” The other continued.
Reigen exhaled through his nose deeply, giving Mob the ‘You heard em’ look.
Mob hesitated, it was starting to get awfully hard to breathe, he patted his pockets for a lollipop.
By then, Dimple had floated over to the father spirit, whispering into his ear that if he killed the clients, they wouldn’t have to be exorcised. For a moment, the father seemed to have been convinced, yet at the last minute, he backed down and got onto his knees, begging for mercy.
“I beg you, please let us be, I can’t do something so horrific. Not in front of my child. If you must go through with it, we’ll accept it. But please let us all go together, wherever it may be.”
Reigen was starting to get worried and tilted his head to one side, leaning forward to check if Mob was okay.
Mob was not okay, he was trembling.
“Mob, are you- hey, you okay?”
Dimple floated over, resting by Reigen’s side. “He really doesn’t want to do this.”
“Seriously? Alright, fuck this. Exorcism over. You don’t have to do it anymore.”
“Yeah, it’s fine. It’s not a big deal anyways.” Dimple finished.
“I-I’m not a bad person, am I?” Mob stared at his hand, his eyes focusing and refocusing on it. He couldn’t remember how Teru’s hand felt anymore.
“What?” Reigen asked, genuinely agitated by the sudden change of tone.
“I don’t want to hurt the family, but if I don’t exorcise them, it’ll hurt the clients.” Mob huffed uneasily. “I-I don’t want to hurt anyone for bad reasons. It-It’ll make me a bad person.” Correction, I am a bad person.
Reigen was taken aback by the sheer empathy Mob was expressing, had he ever witness his student act like this before? Perhaps he had and never really caught on, regardless, if this was bothering him so much…
“Hey, what’s the hold u--” Before the client could finish, all three of them were swiftly splashed by salt. The three clients hacked and coughed, dusting it all off.
“We’re done here.” Reigen said firmly.
“I said we’re fucking done, if you say otherwise I’ll bring it back to haunt you.”
They had sobba afterwards and a long talk about Mob’s feelings, they decided it’d be best if Mob were to apologize soon and reconnect with Teru. Mob doesn’t mention his troubling relationship with Tsubomi, that was personal.
He went home to soak in the bathtub, running over some apologies in his head. Next week for sure, he’ll apologize to Teru.
But for this week, Mob was gonna need to readjust to his school life to better handle the workload. Maybe he should ask Ritsu for help.
Chapter 10: Mogami
In which Reigen is fucking mean and Mob gets his heart stomped on.
“I told you Hanazawa was bad news, Jesus Christ.” Tsubomi scoffed, clicking her phone off and letting it rest on her lap. “Grow a brain sometime, will you?”
Mob didn’t bother to answer her or even nod, he only stared. She got awfully uncomfortable and began to smile softly, a hint of uneasiness under it.
“If you’re not busy this weekend, maybe we can hang out?” She suggested.
Mob’s face immediately lit up from the thought of having a date with Tsubomi, he smiled back and nodded. “I’ll check with my Master.”
“And don’t worry if you’re busy, I can help settle some disputes and issues from your Student Council duties in the meantime.”
He could’ve been spending time with Tsubomi. Instead, here he was, staring at a big glass one way mirror with a lavender-haired girl chained to the bed on the other side. He sighed, honestly not the weirdest thing he saw but this definitely made the list.
“What do ya think Mob, a real spirit or a real lunatic?” Reigen leaned down and whispered into Mob’s ear.
“Don’t know, don’t care.”
“Don’t give me that, I said I was sorry for ruining your date.”
Mob scoffed, unwrapping a lollipop from his pocket and sticking it into his mouth. “Whatever. I don’t sense anything...yet.”
“I will have a special reward for whoever saves my daughter!” Asagiri declared, desperate for his child to be saved. Reigen smirked, his eyes forming money shaped symbols.
“Very well, we’ll be done with this within seconds flat. Again!” Reigen boasted, immediately walking forward. “Whatdaya say, Mob? You can treat cho girl with a bonus!~”
The perfect apology gift!
“Fuck yeah, bitch, let’s go!” Despite being excited, Mob’s facial expression said otherwise. It always confused Dimple, but he had long learnt to accept it.
Shinra held a hand out exasperatedly. “Hold it, you’re not gonna steal the march on us!” The crowd all shouted in agreement.
Reigen flipped them off while Mob pulled at the bottom of his eye, sticking his tongue out childishly while waving his lollipop. “Bite us, bitches.” They said in unison, which earned them a louder rage fit from the other psychics.
If Reigen were to say that Mob was his biological son, almost anyone would believe it at this point.
Asagiri nervously waved his hands to calm everyone down. “How about we decide with rock-paper-scissors?”
That immediately made everyone stop yelling, after all, it did seem fair. Reigen, on the other hand, had a few tricks up his sleeves to easily beat everyone. “Okay, then. Guess I’ll use paper, like always.”
He said it loud enough for most people to hear, whom all turned in confusion. Then Reigen proceeded to place a hand on his chin, staring at the ceiling with a scrunched up look. “Ah no no no, scissors is better ain’t it?”
“You’re not suppose to tell anyone…” A person mumbled, but accepted it anyways.
The game started.
Reigen emerged victorious with scissors.
“You’re a dick.” Mob stated.
“Yeah, but I’m a smart one.” Reigen tapped his temple and smirked, he walked off towards Asagiri, flipping everyone off once again. “Fucking losers should have let me go in the first place, maybe then your pride would’ve been spared.”
Truth be told, Asagiri’s daughter almost had Mob in the first half. Asagiri kept defending himself as his little girl talked about his seemingly bad deeds, making everyone question who was the one really possessed here.
Or was anyone possessed in the first place?
The daughter definitely had everyone wrapped around her finger, with her tear stained cheeks and pleading eyes. Mob could tell they were fake, he was a victim of such actions, after all.
The only difference was that Tsubomi wasn’t a possessed person and she had a good side to her, surely.
A particularly old psychic was proven to have been played by the girl, stating that Asagiri’s daughter was perfectly normal and a handful of people agreed. Asagiri was rendered defenseless as everyone shot him down with skeptical looks and comments, until Reigen stepped in to help.
“Y’all seriously gonna talk to a client like that?” Reigen grunted, his face pulled into a resting frown. “That’s definitely a nasty one, something wrong for sure. Didn’t feel like I was talking to a kid.”
“You just want the money.”
Mob coughed, that random psychic wasn’t wrong there. But Reigen was also all in for helping too, whether it came with a pay or not.
“Bitch, if you fell for her tricks. Get. The. Fuck. Out.” Reigen pointed, his face still remained stoic in a warning sort of way. “She’s only gonna make a fool outta you.”
“The way she talked ain’t consistent and she fucking switched from ‘Papa’ to ‘Dad’.” Reigen further explained, a hand resting in his pocket. “And I didn’t even introduce myself, yet she knew I was a psychic. So this means, she heard us from insi--
Before he could finish, the glass behind him shattered, giving him a few cuts. Apparently, when he had exited, another psychic had entered right after.
Now, that psychic was on the floor all bruised up.
“That was fast.” Reigen muttered, rubbing off the blood on his cheek.
“I guess there’s no point keeping up this charade.” The daughter said, rising from the bed. Her face was darkened, a sinister smile underneath. Slowly, a red aura surrounded her and her voice transitioned into something more masculine. “Go ahead and try to force me out of this girl.”
Asagiri said he’d pay millions to the person who gets rid of the spirit.
Many psychics tried with their unusual and rather disturbing ways of exorcising the spirit. Each and everyone of them failed.
Meanwhile, Dimple was quivering like mad, causing Reigen to feel concern for him. “What’s up, green?”
“There’s still time, drop the job.” Dimple replied quickly.
Dimple grabbed his ghostly head and gave Reigen and Mob a desperate look. “I’m sure you’ve at least heard his name...Mogami Kenji.”
“No fucking clue.” Mob said.
“I know that dude, I referenced him when I started this biz.” Reigen answered, looking back into his memories. “But ain’t that fucker dead?”
“No no no, I mean, forty years ago!” Dimple held his hand up, holding out four fingers.
“That’s four, not forty.”
“Master please.” Mob sighed.
Reigen was being choked by Mogami Kenji and the first thing he did was joke about the spirit being into little girls.
Mob couldn’t believe he was working for the guy.
He tried to pull Mogami off with his powers, but it wasn’t working. Fortunately, Asagiri had grabbed hold of his possessed daughter, in hopes of saving her with comfort.
He was then proceeded to be impaled by Mogami’s hand, so the sweet moment didn’t last very long.
Upon realizing that someone was going to die, the psychic all ran for the door and found the door locked shut. Mogami had two immobilized psychic in their hands, trailing behind the panicked crowd. Knowing that shit was getting real, Mob powered up his energy and stared off at Mogami.
He wasn’t ready, but he had to do something.
Some of the less afraid ones made their attempt at attacking, but were all swiftly shoved into the ground and thrown about. Shinra threw his psychic bead necklace to bound Mogami’s arm together, but the spirit broke free within seconds flat and tried to poke Shinra’s eyes out. He was stopped just in time by Mob’s telekinesis.
In his mad attempt to break free, Mogami began twisting the girl’s joints, making Mob release him in fear of hurting the girl further.
“Don’t you guys get it? Nothing will happen if you affect this body!” Mogami laughed, mocking the psychics. “There is no solution.”
Mob tensed, pissed at how the spirit had underestimated his powers. There was always a solution.
The wind picked up, forming a weaker and smaller version of a tornado around Mob’s small figure. It made his hair flap around and his eyes flashed white for second. Without lifting a finger, he exerted his power towards Mogami, casting the spirit out of the girl.
It all backfired, the spirit refused to come out, it merely fused back into Asagiri’s daughter and it became more than just possession. It was as if he had pressed himself even further into Minori’s mind, body and soul, fully taking control like the body was his own.
The girl’s skin turned into a sickening color, her hair changed into a dull green. The psychics took this as an opening to attack again, but Mogami simply twisted their bodies left and right and they were all thrown onto the floor.
“The bastard actually did it, he became a powerful spirit.” Dimple mumbled under his breath, he proceeded to reassure the teenage boy next to him that if he were to die, his spirit could chill with the green blob as long as he liked.
Mob scrunched his face up, rolling the stick from one corner of his mouth to the other. “Gross.”
“Your loss, kid.”
“Actually, wait…” Mob tapped the bottom of his chin, staring at the ground as the puzzle pieces clicked in place. “That’s it, I could go inside of Minori and get Mogami from inside.”
“Remember to use protection.” Reigen chuckled.
The two proceeded to ignore him.
“Mob, not to be offensive or anything, but are you fucking insane?” Dimple gestured wildly at Mob. “How are you gonna do that?”
“Out of body experience.” Mob explained. “But that would mean--”
“Holy shit for real? You’re letting me?”
Reigen choked, leaning over to see if his student was joking. “You really gonna trust him?”
“Yes.” Mob replied.
Dimple looked like he was in shock and on the verge of tears at the same time.
Mob lost consciousness, focusing his energy out of his body. Slowly, a white spirit resembling an axolotl drifted right out of Mob’s body. Mogami took notice of this and proceeded to rush forward to grab the body for himself.
Reigen kicked him square in the head to prevent him from getting any closer, but his leg was immediately taken hold of and was tossed across the room with brute force. He covered the back of his head to protect himself as he crashed into the ground, breaking it.
He couldn’t move anymore.
Unfortunately for the evil spirit, Dimple had already taken residence of Mob’s body and punched Mogami’s face, sending the spirit hurling backwards. Dimple kicked Mogami away, hopping backwards to get into a fighting stance.
Mogami was up onto his feet quick and connected his foot to the side of Dimple’s head, but was blocked by his hands. He swung his fist at Mogami again, he missed and dodged Mogami’s foot at the last minute that was being kicked into his face.
Dimple did a front flip, landing on the ground. The lollipop was gone from his mouth. He wondered why Mob always insisted on having something in his mouth.
Mogami was losing his patience, quite annoyed that Dimple was in his way. Mob took this chance to zoom right into the back of Mogami’s head.
At first, it didn’t work, the barrier Mogami had was too strong. But the harder Mob pushed, the weaker the barrier got until…
Minori dropped to the ground, the right colors returning back onto her face and hair. Her nose bled before she was on the ground.
It was blank and white, very empty. Mogami greeted him, he looked nice.
Sadly for the spirit, Mob wasn’t.
“Get the fuck out.”
Mogami chuckled. “A rude one, aren’t you?”
“Don’t feel like being nice to evil spirits.” Mob retorted. “Even if you don’t look like one.”
“We’re in the mental world, it mirrors the way we see ourselves.” Mogami explained, he smirked, tilting his head to one side. “Let’s have a little contest shall we?” He raised his index and middle finger, an angry red energy surrounding it. He sliced it down, sending the energy forward like a knife.
Mob pulled his barrier up, blocking it with ease. Mogami was evidently impressed by this, he decided to push a little more, shoving a hand forward to press it around Mob’s neck.
It felt awfully familiar.
Mogami’s nice appearance had melted away, the evil look from before replacing it. Mob clicked his tongue, throwing his hands up and using his powers to bring Mogami into the air.
He formed a ball of energy, firing it all at the spirit, slicing Mogami’s arms and legs clean off. The man fell to the ground, a pool of blood surrounding him. Mob hadn’t meant to be so gruesome and he didn’t expect Mogami to bleed, but as long as the man was defeated, it was all fine.
“You’ve truly been blessed with incredible power.” Mogami coughed. “Fun fact; spiritual powers and ESP deprive from emotions.”
“I should know that because-?” Mob was cut short when Mogami suddenly appeared behind him, pushing him onto the ground.
“The biggest distinguishing between humans are their emotions.” Mogami said, digging his foot into Mob’s cheek. “I was gauging how you picture your powers as. You’re kinda fucked up inside.”
Mob couldn’t move, he couldn’t even express his face to glare up at the man. “Get out--”
“Listen, this was a trap. I let you in on purpose.” Mogami crushed his face harder and Mob felt himself slowly stiffen, his skin turning grey like stone. The harder Mogami pushed his foot down, the more he crumbled. “You hide behind this all powerful mask thinking you’re the master of your own life when really you’re just the plaything of someone else. Tell me, kid, who do you think has more powerful feelings? A happy person with a good life or someone who suffers all the time?”
“The answer is the latter, negative feelings are always the strongest. The more stressed someone is, the more powerful they are.” Mogami continued, staring down at the crumbled body of Mob’s. “Y’know, I could show you. You’ve already got what you need, all that’s left is one small push. I could help you out.”
Mob woke up like every other day, he remembered Mogami telling him that his world was going to be altered to help him out. He didn’t need help, but he really didn’t have a choice either, so he played along to see what would happen. To see what point the spirit wanted to get across.
“We have a transfer student today, go ahead and introduce yourself.”
A girl with soft lavender hair glanced lazily across the room, sizing up everyone. “I’m Asagiri Minori. Nice to meet you.”
So that was how it was gonna be huh? Mob definitely expected something worse.
Tsubomi clapped her hands in amazement, smiling down at Minori. “Your dad runs a company? That’s amazing!” The rest of the students that were crowding around the new girl all nodded in agreement.
Minori flicked her hair as if it was nothing, chuckling to herself. “Do you guys wanna come over?”
“Let’s have a welcoming party.” Mezato suggested. Minori happily agreed, pulling out a piece of paper.
“Alright, everyone who’s coming should write their name down!”
Mezato looked over at Mob sitting at his spot, idling gazing at his girlfriend. He blinked when the girl called for him. “Oi, aren’t you gonna write?”
Before he could actually answer her, Tsubomi cuts in with a giggle. “Ah, he shouldn’t. He’s gonna be busy with his school duties. Gang and Student Council.”
“Oh?” Minori raised an eyebrow, whistling. “Aren’t you an interesting person.”
“Whatever you say.” Mob mumbled under his breath.
The world felt different, colder somehow, and bigger. Before, the world didn’t hit back when Mob did. Now, it dared to challenge him, it pushed all the right buttons to corner him and made him feel powerless.
Tsubomi didn’t look all pleased about this.
A hard slap was struck across his face, it still stung after the teacher had walked off. All Mob did was roll his eyes and answered the teacher’s question with an ‘I don’t know’, apparently his bad attitude only earned him a slap.
It was the first time he was hit by a teacher, people laughed. He wanted to choke the life out of the teacher, he wanted to paint the walls red with his blood. But no matter how hard Mob tried, he just couldn’t. It was like his powers had vanished.
In the corner of his eye, he could see Tsubomi shooting him a look of disappointment, which was much more painful than the slap.
He heard Minori whisper into Tsubomi’s ear. “That’s your boyfriend? Really?”
Later, Mob thought he had seen someone familiar, like he was supposed to know the boy who had striking similar eyes to his and ruffled inky black hair. He didn’t stare long enough to piece together who the stranger was to him when he was suddenly shoved aside into the little river next to him.
Unfortunate how his gang was busy in other places, if only Mob could defeat those highschool bullies himself. Pull their intestines out and stuff them up their ass.
How would he though? He didn’t remember.
The next day, Mob found himself drenched in milk. Tsubomi laughed along with Minori, the only thing his girlfriend did was help him wipe his face with her napkin, she lets him keep the piece of cloth.
She told him she loves him, Mob fully believed it.
She told him to hurt someone, Mob did. He knocked the teacher’s tooth loose with his bare fist once everyone had left the school because Tsubomi still owed him homework and needed more time.
Mob needed a lollipop badly, the bleak emptiness of his room and the suffocating thoughts in his head were getting too much. He felt trapped and alone, no matter how many times Tsubomi gave him playful pecks on the cheek to earn his trust and utmost loyalty, it didn’t feel like love at all.
There was a memory in the back of his head, a memory of someone who always seemed to have extra candy in his pockets whenever Mob ran out himself. It began to feel like it was just his imagination because the harder he tried to remember, the foggier the memory got.
He squeezed his arms tighter around himself, it didn’t make him feel any safer.
Six months, it had been a slow six months of absolute torture. A painful cycle of Minori ridiculing him, Tsubomi doing nothing much to help and harsh treatment from others.
Was this karma for all those times he had hurt others?
He walked in on something he shouldn’t have. He wished he hadn’t, it would’ve been better to live in pure ignorant bliss.
Minori saw him, but she only smirked, pulling Tsubomi in closer. The girl joyfully obliged, littering Minori’s face with kisses, gripping the other’s hands tight.
There was something inside of him, like a balloon being blown bigger and bigger from all those times that lavender-haired bitch had caused him trouble, from all those times Tsubomi had seemed awfully distant from him and pegged him on to harm others.
Usually, she’d tell him to hurt a specific person. Now a days, she’d tell Mob to hurt anyone he liked. It didn’t feel like Tsubomi at all, but there she was, kissing the girl that Mob absolutely hated.
Mob tried to move forward, but he found himself being grabbed from behind. He turned to see it was his own gang members stopping him from advancing forward.
At first, he thought they were restraining him out of concern, but when Mob looked at them closer, they seemed to be doing it under--
“My control.” Minori said, folding her arms. Tsubomi turned around to meet Mob’s eyes, yet her blue ones were devoid of any form of remorse, they twinkled with mischief. “Everything you have is pretty much mine now, it took a while to take you down from your high horse. It was sorta easy though.”
Mob was kicked to the ground and he bit his tongue on accident, he felt someone press onto his back with a foot, twisting it to cause him more pain.
“How does it feel, Kageyama, to be powerless to stop me. Hmm?” Minori bent down, a giggle escaping her lips. “It’s a wonder how you got so powerful in the first place.”
“You should have seen this coming, Mobbu.” Tsubomi sneered, placing a hand on her hip. “Why don’t you fight back, Mobbu? You’ve done it so many times before, do it again.”
The foot pressed down harder and Mob yelped. He tried to push himself up, but the person on him was too strong. He had to prove to Tsubomi he was still worth it.
What was he without her love?
Beads of sweat trickled down his temple, he heard Tsubomi’s words but they all go into his head in bits and pieces.
“Do something.” “Fight back.” “Aren’t you gonna try?” “Pathetic.” “Quitter.” “You’re useless.”
The resounding laughter coming from Minori made it hard for him to concentrate, to hold back, the foot on his back suddenly felt like it wasn’t there. Everything was going numb, he couldn’t feel his hands, his legs, his face.
Tsubomi’s voice started to blur out, it felt more like a male’s voice all of a sudden, no one else seemed to notice but him. “See what I mean? You were so close to achieving ultimate power, but you keep letting this one person keep you down. You don’t need her anymore, you can do so much more than hurting innocent people with minor sinful acts. You can punish the wicked, the ones who truly deserve it. Starting...with her.” She lifted a finger at Minori, who was still laughing her head off at how pathetic Mob looked.
The balloon in him popped.
Mob felt his powers return, the energy surged through him like electricity had powered his veins, the ground cracked and the gang member on him was thrown off, including the other three.
He loomed over Minori, who had stopped laughing and was cowering on the ground, looking back up at him. “W-What’s with you?”
Minori feigned confidence, stuttering out a threat. “I-I can have Papa’s bodyguards beat the crap out of you anytime I want!”
“So?” Mob stared, his face darkening. There was a look of absolute terror in Minori’s eyes, his expression didn’t change, remaining stoic. “Apologize.”
“I’m sorry.” Minori managed out. He turned, looking at Tsubomi, who seemed surprisingly unbothered by this.
“Don’t think I forgot about you.” Mob said, glaring at Tsubomi with unforgiving eyes. “If you ever bother me again--”
“Die, you freak!”. There was a sharp sting at the back of Mob’s head, he fell, feeling something warm and wet trickling down his neck. Minori’s expression was blank for a minute before her lips quivered into a smirk.
“You should just die.”
Tsubomi sighed, covering her face. “I knew you couldn’t do it, even with your dumb powers.”
Suddenly, Mob’s hand was on the boy’s throat, squeezing hard. The ground shook harder and he heard Tsubomi yelped from behind him, tripping over herself.
Saliva dripped out of the boy’s throat as he struggled to breathe against Mob’s hard grip, his hands clawed on the esper’s hands and his feet kicked weakly. Mob pressed harder and harder until...
The snot from the boy’s nostril came out, it had a face and rosy cheeks and greeted Mob. Mob stared back at it, his grip loosening in confusion. The ground stopped shaking and Tsubomi gritted her teeth in frustration.
The snot floated right out and hovered above Mob’s bloody face. “Man, you’re pretty far gone now. Do you know who I am?”
“Wh-What?” Mob’s eyes widened into saucers.
“Wait, before I do anything.” Dimple turned his head around, trying to locate something. His eyes landed on Tsubomi, who gaped back at him, realizing what he was going to do.
He balled his fists, rushing straight towards the girl, knocking her square in the face. She was sent flying out the area and out of view.
Dimple turned towards Mob again, a blue aura surrounding his fist and gave the esper a punch too. Mob dropped the boy he was choking and landed on the ground, the punch sorta stung, but it didn’t hurt as much as it should have.
“Jesus Christ, Mob, Reigen and I have been waiting for half an hour already!” Dimple complained, expecting Mob to feel bad.
He tilted his head in response. “Reigen? Who?”
Right on cue, Mob’s phone rang. He never knew he even had one in the first place.
Mob answered him and an adult man yelled at him from the other line. “Oi, Mob! Get over here, you little fucking shit. We got a big ass job on our hands, you’ll fucking love it. Don’t keep your master waiting!”
“And I know that was self defense and all, but you shouldn’t have killing intentions! You’re gonna give your brother a fucking heart attack if he hears you’ve become a fucking murderer!” Dimple added.
A brother? Mob has a brother?
He glanced down at the ground and noticed his shoes, they weren’t the right pair. They were Ritsu’s.
“And seriously, do you think your gang members would betray you that easily? Onigawara would take that as an insult!” Dimple sighed, face palming.
Onigawara, that name rung a bell. Mob’s mouth hung ajar, the snot was right. It wasn’t realistic, none of this was realistic.
“You don’t want to be a bad person do you? C’mon, you were supposed to apologize to Hanazawa tomorrow right?”
It felt like a dam had been broken and his sea of memories came flooding in, faces of people who had been by his side flashed across his mind and the blood on his face evaporated off.
“Holy shit I remember.”
Dimple swooped around and grinned madly, zooming towards Mob’s face. “Hey hey! Do you remember me then? Your loyal partner?”
“I wish I didn’t.”
“You really are the apple of Reigen’s eye.”
Tsubomi appeared behind Mob, her figure morphing into someone else. Her voice switching into a male’s. “So what if your memories are back? The six months you’ve spent here will forever be etched into your heart.”
She fully transformed into the evil spirit, his face darkened as he continued. “You’ve been listening to her words as if they were law, when it was really me who have been influencing you.”
“Y’know what? You’re right, the world is shitty. Thanks for showing me that.” Mob mumbled lowly. “But that just proves the world I live in is far greater than the one you’ve made for me, I should be more thankful for it instead of continuously spitting on it. I’m gonna do that when I get back.”
“Tch,” Mogami grunted, “so that’s how it’s gonna be huh? And I thought I was pushing you the right way. I’m disappointed.”
“Yeah and one last thing.” Mob said. “People can still change through interactions with others. I may be too far gone to do so, and I might be one nudge away from cracking, but other people still can become stronger and better. There might even be a slim chance I could probably be better too, so no one is really worthless.”
“Not another word or I swear you’ll have hell to pay.” Mogami warned, his eyes a voidless black, Minori and the gang members stood by his side like lifeless dolls.
“Too bad I take after my Master as a talker then.” Mob retorted. “I have a rich bitch to save.”
Teru was in morbid pain. It was bitter and he wished for it to all go away, so he took it out on the others whenever the chance was given.
His hands had never looked so bloody.
A week and a half ago he kissed his only best friend.
A week and a half ago he lost his only best friend.
Teru groaned, rubbing his eyes, staining his face red. God he was stupid, how could he have read the atmosphere wrong? Of course it was all platonic.
He wondered how Shigeo was doing, he hoped he was okay without him.
He hoped Shigeo would come back to him.
Mob woke up looking right at Reigen’s worried face, his first instinct was to ask how long he had been gone. After all, those six months couldn’t have meant six months in real life too. Instead, he asked if Minori was okay.
“Well if you’re awake, then--” Reigen paused when Mogami’s spirit floated straight out of the girl’s body.
He drifted through Mob’s figure and turned, looming over him. “If you prefer to stay grounded like this forever, I won’t stop you. But I will watch from afar to see if that was the right choice.”
Before he could leave, he was sucked right into a tiny capsule held by Matsuo himself. “You’re not going anywhere, my pet. I’ll make sure to take good care of him. Farewell, perhaps we’ll see each other again.”
He left without another word.
Minori stirred right away, she rubbed the grogginess out of her eyes and stood up, gazing at Mob. “Kageyama?”
“Holy shit you know her? Why didn’t you tell me, shit could’ve been easi--” Reigen was cut off by Dimple, who had rolled his eyes in exasperation.
“No, you moron, she probably remembered him from over there.”
Mob itched for a lollipop, six fake months without something sugary in his mouth was doing a toll on him. “So, you’re a lesbian jerk.”
She laughed nervously, patting Mob on the shoulder, making him flinch. He had expected something else, something worse.
For a moment, he forgot he wasn't there anymore.
“Yeah...I guess I am. I’m sorry.” Minori tried to smile, to pretend everything was fine. She padded away barefooted, ignoring the debris on the floor, before stopping in her tracks. She sniffled. “I...really am sorry. I’m really...really sorry.”
Minori kept apologizing as tears welled up in her eyes, trickling down her cheek like shiny pearls, her voice cracked and she wiped the tears away, but they were quickly replaced with fresh new ones.
Mob turned in panic, he never liked it when girls cried, it made him feel sick. He really needed a lollipop. “It’s fine, I get it. Please don’t- Please don’t cry.”
“You get what though?” Dimple piped up in curiosity.
“Even the shittiest people can change.” Mob answered.
Perhaps, I can too?
Mob scratched the back of his head uneasily as he continued. “And I wouldn’t have learnt that if I hadn’t met you, so I’m glad I did.”
Upon hearing these words, Minori gasped, her eyes widening in shock. She smiled gratefully “Thank you.”
“I can’t believe it, you actually took the prize money.” Mob deadpanned.
Reigen took a big bite out of his burger and a large gulp from his drink. “Well, I did promise you a bonus for your girlfriend.”
“Still.” Mob sighed, sipping his drink empty.
“See, this is why you should stick with me.” Reigen boasted, pointing at Mob with his greasy finger. “Because without me, you wouldn’t be having any of this!”
“What are you going to do with the money?”
“Save it of course! What if something bad happens and I’m too broke to fix it?”
Mob got up from his seat leaving the cup on the table. “Sure, I’ll be off now. I have something to do…”
“Apologizing to Hanazawa?” Reigen smirked. The door was slammed shut before Mob could answer.
When Mob got home from yesterday’s job, the first thing he did was engulf his family with a big warm hug. At first, they thought someone had hurt him, Ritsu was ready to go into a rampage mode, but after Mob had reassured them that nothing bad happened, they immediately calmed down.
The second thing he did was ask if Tsubomi loved him. The girl smiled as if the question was completely stupid before she laughed and answered. “Of course I do, Mobbu!” Then she planted a kiss right onto Mob’s lips. It was quite affection and it answered Mob’s question really well.
The third thing he did was spend time with his gang, they all collectively asked if Mob had fallen ill and wondered why he was being so nice all of a sudden. Mob answered by threatening to punch a hole into them. They all sighed in relief.
The fourth thing he did was listen to Reigen brag about how he had faith in Mob the whole time and how stupid the other psychics were, the boy refrained from spitting out nasty comments.
Then came the final thing on his list, an apology to Teru. Despite having only been to Teru’s house twice, the first being the Claw incident and the second being the latest incident, he managed to reach the apartment building with a little help from Dimple.
“I’ll be off then?” The green ghost said, checking if Mob needed him. The esper nodded and the blob disappeared off immediately.
He pressed the doorbell and heard a faint ‘ding dong!~’ coming from inside the house, he waited patiently outside.
A minute passed.
Mob pressed again, this time expanding his power out to locate if Teru was inside. He could feel Teru’s neon yellow aura buzz from within his apartment, so the blonde was definitely inside.
Half a minute passed and Mob pressed the bell twice, then not even a second later, he was spamming the button.
“What?!” Teru yelled, pulling the door open, his hair was a complete rat’s nest and he didn’t have any make up like he usually would. When his blue eyes fell onto Mob’s stiff frame, his eyes softened. “Oh. Hi.”
“Hi.” Mob breathed. “Can I--”
“Yes!” Teru replied a little too loudly, his face flushed in embarrassment as he stepped aside to let the boy in.
They settled on Teru’s couch, his house was still the same as how Mob had remembered. Bright and flashy but not too eye straining, it actually seemed duller and dustier.
“So.” They both started, then Teru chuckled, letting Mob go first.
“I’m sorry I reacted badly the other day.” Mob fiddled with his fingers, staring down at the floor. “That was-That was a dick move.”
“Are you serious? It was totally valid.” Teru exclaimed. He was surprised, Mob never apologized, in fact, those words sounded odd coming from Mob’s mouth. “I should be the one apologizing, kissing you when I shouldn’t have--”
“I threw you into the kitchen! Look at your fucking hands, they’re still hurt from those glass shards!”
Teru hid his hands behind his back, smiling sheepishly at Mob. “But it was my fault, I started it.”
“Let me apologize or I shove my foot up your ass.”
Teru’s jaw snapped shut, he was all ears now. Mob sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Gosh I need a--”
“Way ahead of you.” The hands that were hiding behind Teru came back out, holding out an unwrapped lollipop. “You’re forgiven, by the way.”
“You didn’t even let me properly apologize.” Mob complained, leaning over to grab the lollipop with his mouth, he tasted it. Watermelon.
“Now we’re even then.” Teru grinned. Mob tilted his head, not understanding what Teru had meant, then he remembered;
He folded his arms tightly and squinted his eyes at the boy who was nervously smiling back. "Apology accepted."
"You didn't really let me apologize properly--" Teru laughed but Mob held a hand up to shush him.
"Hanazawa, I don't give a single fuck about what you have to say and honestly I'd rather not deal with you today, tomorrow or ever."
Mob laughed, actually laughed, he was doubling over and clutching his stomach. Teru grinned too and was chuckling along with him, he didn’t think it was that funny. Though, hearing Mob laugh wasn’t all that bad.
Not long after, Mob started crying, mostly because he was relieved that things were normal again. Six months in a fake world still felt all too real for him.
Teru, upon noticing this, wrapped an arm around Mob and gently rubbed his back, mumbling comforting words. He wasn’t sure what had triggered Mob to start crying, considering it was hard to make Mob feel sad, but he decided to just focus on making his friend feel better.
Mob went back home feeling like a giant weight had finally jumped off him, his eyes were still bloodshot though and his brother was just about to run outside to stab a bitch.
In the end, the two decided to just sit down and watch TV together.
Chapter 11: Break
In which Mob takes a break and Reigen breaks
Mob was having the time of his life.
Ever since his experience with Mogami, he had become more grateful to the people around him. It wasn’t easy to get everyone to hang out at the same time, but he had done it.
The list of people with him were; The Poppies (obviously), the telepathy club, Teru, his gang, and Onigawara had brought along his friends from the body improvement club.
Even Ritsu was here.
The event was starting to resemble like a party-- Scratch that, it was probably a party, there were so many people present.
“Brother, are you sure you can afford--” Ritsu started, but Teru had cut in swiftly, flicking out his wallet.
“I can chip in, don’t worry.”
“So can I.” Onigawara opened his wallet too.
The rest of the gang followed lead, pulling out loose change and wallets.
If Mob wasn’t in public, he would’ve cried right that second. “Thanks, I was going to suggest that.”
“If any of you guys are still free, we can go karaoke.” Tsubomi said, smiling sweetly while waving a french fry, she popped it into her mouth afterwards.
“I’m down.” Tome said, the rest of The Poppies agreed.
Teru huffed, folding his arms. “Same.”
“I’ve got homework to do, you guys go on without me.” Ritsu said, wiping his hands with a napkin.
Before Mob could answer, his phone rang, he held a hand up to pause the current conversation and answered it without looking at the caller ID, because he already knew who it was.
Mob sighed as Reigen continued. “How’re you doin’, kid?”
“I’m kinda busy--”
“So anyways, there’s a spirit. It’s real. Realer than my love and respect for you.”
“Which means you gotta get over here.”
Reigen paused, seemingly about to hang up before he did a double take. “‘Scuse me?”
“I told you to stop calling me on such short notices.” Mob hissed into the phone.
“What is it this time? A gang issue?”
“A date with Tsubomi.”
“Well either way, just excuse yourself. This client needs you!~” Reigen chimed back.
Knowing that there was no use arguing with his master, he hung up without saying goodbye. Everyone at the table had gone silent, staring at him with a worried look.
“You good, Mobbu?” Tsubomi asked, tilting her head to one side.
“I have a job, so I can’t come…” Mob mumbled, standing up to leave.
Teru straightened his posture and offered to do the work for him, but Mob declined, saying it wasn’t Teru’s job. “I’m sorry I couldn’t stay, even though I was the one that hosted this.”
Now everyone had sat up properly, shaken by Mob’s apology. He rarely apologized.
“It’s fine!” “Don’t worry about it, boss.” “Perfectly okay!”
Mob stuck a green apple flavored lollipop into his mouth before he left, grinding his teeth against the stick.
A sense of deja vu washed over Mob as the Tofu spirit was exorcised. A young couple cowered on the floor and Reigen looked over his shoulder to thank the boy for his services.
As they walked down the stairs to exit the abandoned building, Reigen had sensed a dark mood hanging over Mob and stopped to ask if he was okay.
“Okay? Okay?! I told you I was busy! I have a life!” Mob’s shouting voice was just a few volumes higher than his normal voice, which sounded more like a normal voice considering his regular volume often came out like a whisper. “So stop calling me out of the blue!”
“A life? There’s more to life than just battling for turf and having a relationship .” Reigen made air quote gestures when he stated the two examples. “Seriously, grow up already.”
The words struck through Mob like arrows from a bow, he could almost taste blood in his mouth.
“I don’t know what you were doing with your pals, but do they really understand you?” Reigen scoffed, a hand in his pocket and the other waving at Mob. “C’mon, your work saves lives! This is far more important than your childish games. Plus, I’m your master, aka the dude that helped with your powers and got you your girl. You owe me one.”
“How many?” Mob said, laced with venom.
“How many is one . When will we finally be even?” Mob demanded.
Reigen hummed, placing a hand on his chin. “Considering both your powers and your girlfriend is your life, we’ll probably never be ev--”
“That’s not true! They’re not the only thing that matters in my life!” Mob snarled. Reigen flinched, instantly regretting his choice of words.
“Look, Mob, let’s talk about this some other time--”
“There are far more things that matter to me.” Mob said, calming down. “I’m not a careless freak.”
“Y’know, I’m starting to realize you’re actually just a fucking jerk.” Mob added. “Maybe that’s why I’m like this. ”
The look of absolute terror flashed across Reigen’s face and he took a second to recompose himself. “H-Hey, you must be tired! Hungry too, I bet. Let’s go eat some ramen!”
“You insult people on a daily basis. You don’t care about my personal life. You’re extremely petty.” Mob stated. “And you lie. All the damn time.”
Reigen had no words left, his mouth hung open as Mob slowly walked passed him, leaving the building without him.
“Brother, you’re home early.” Ritsu had noticed his brother’s shoes when he had entered the house and made his way up to Mob’s room just to double check.
“Oh, welcome home, Ritsu.” Mob looked up from his manga. “I’ve decided not to go to work for a while.”
“Holy shit I’m dreaming.” Ritsu breathed. “Why?”
“They had a fight. The dude cut ties with the rat man.” Dimple floated over.
“That’s not really it. I thought about it a lot and made my decision.” Mob shrugged. “I’ve always thought Reigen was pretty badass so I wanted to be more like him, after all, he did teach me a few life changing tips. But I realized that Reigen wasn’t badass, he was a dick. So, y’know…”
Ritsu smiled, he was going to write this down as the happiest day of his life in his journal. He dropped his bag in his room and ran back into Mob’s, asking if they could play video games for once.
The older brother happily agreed.
“Do you wanna go karaoke?” Teru pointed as he dragged Mob along.
The black-haired boy had sworn he had just seen his sonofabitch Master walking this way, now he was nowhere to be seen. Pretending it was just his imagination, Mob looked up at Teru and thought for a minute.
“It’s no fun if it’s just the two of us, and I can’t exactly sing.”
“You won’t know until you try it!”
“No, really. You should see my music grades.” Mob reasoned. Teru ignored him, shoving him inside.
Reigen entered the Happy Trails bar, both his hands digging into his pocket boredly.
The bartender greets him, so do the other people in the bar. It was a surprise that they still remembered him, it had been so long since he had visited the bar and he thought they’d long forgotten about him by now.
It only took Mob a few days to forget about him.
He ordered a lemon sour with extra sour and began tending to the people in the bar, listening to their problems and giving them advice.
It was the only place left that made him feel...wanted.
“It’s...my birthday today.” Reigen said softly, staring into his drink.
“Oh? Happy birthday!” “Happy birthday, sensei.” “Happy birthday!~”
“Thanks.” Reigen said, not really feeling all that thankful at all. He took a sip out of his drink as a woman began to advertise a pillow or whatever to him for his birthday.
He really didn’t care what she had to say, but pretended to be interested. If listening and nodding aimlessly counted as being interested.
Reigen left the bar after everyone else had, he only had one drink but he already felt wasted.
He had gone to the bar wanting to feel better, but it had awfully backfired. Now he felt even worse.
The dread in his stomach was starting overfill and he felt nauseous, his head was spinning as he stumbled over to a lamp post, hunching over so he could puke.
He breathed heavily, his hands pressing against the wall. Reigen couldn’t believe it, him of all people to experience this.
He stared at the wall, his eyes widening, his breathing still laboured. What was he exactly? He was a nobody. Of course he deserved this.
Reigen wiped his mouth with his hand and took a deep breath. “I guess I’ll just be a somebody then.”
That’ll show Mob, Reigen didn’t need him to become worthy.
“You really have no rhythm, Mob.” Teru sighed, swinging the mic’s wire at the other.
“I told you.” Mob sighed, dropping the tambourine to the ground.
“Isn’t this your master?” Mezato held up a magazine to Mob’s face. Sure enough, it was Reigen on the cover.
The gang leader grunted and rolled his eyes. “Yeah?”
“What’s he doing here?”
“Probably threatened to kick the interviewer’s ass or some shit. I don’t care.” Mob dismissed it quickly. Reigen was old news, he didn’t want to hear about the man ever again.
But that was really hard, since the man was literally everywhere. The news, blogs, magazines...even 80% of the conversations he heard on the street were about him.
I bet his ego is as big as his fucking bills.
“You could’ve been that.” Tsubomi said, rather annoyed. “If you stayed with him, you could’ve been famous too.”
“Why does that matter?” Mob raised an eyebrow. The girl turned her head, drumming her fingers on the table.
“Just saying, got a problem with that?”
Mob suppressed the urge to sigh. He only shook his head in response.
Reigen had done it, he had managed to get on TV. Fucking TV! Who would’ve thought?
As he sat on the stool with cameras facing towards him, the host babbled on with his exaggerated tone about a possessed boy.
Reigen never had stage fright before, nor was he camera shy, but all of this was pretty new to him and only an idiot would say it wasn’t nerve-wracking.
Seeing a familiar face on the set only surprised him more.
Ain’t that the old fella that got possessed at Asagiri’s? Reigen thought to himself, zoning out a little.
“Now, tell us Reigen, what are some of your accomplishments up till now?” The host inquired curiously.
“Damn, there’s so many. What to choose, what to choose…” Reigen tapped his chin with his finger, leaning back a little. “Oh, defeated the Dragger one time.” No big deal, but also a big deal.
Satake gasped in amazement from above him. A pretty young lady she was, too bad Reigen wasn’t interested.
They rolled the possessed boy that was strapped to his wheelchair out, everyone on stage made their own comment about it.
Reigen decided to be a smartass and deduced what kind of spirit it was, earning himself a few amazed looks. It only fed onto his ego more, what a great sensation it was.
When they went offline, the stage crew told them that Jodo was going to attempt the exorcism first.
The old man, instead, suggested that Reigen should go first, explaining that people would rather see a young man than an old man.
Reigen choked on his water, he was starting to relate to people with stage fright. “Hang on, wasn’t I supposed to sit and comment?” And look handsome.
“I’m giving you a spotlight here, but if you’re not up to it...” Jodo reasoned, he turned back towards the stage crew member. “I’ll just go by the script.”
Reigen smirked, smart TV show. “Wait, I’ll do it.”
The stage crew member nodded, waving to the other members to inform them about the change of plans.
Reigen inwardly laughed, if this was all going by a script, the kid wasn’t really possessed after all. All Reigen had to really do was to put up a show that the audience would want, and once the kid got the clue, he’ll become “exorcised”.
Everyone would win!
Now this was Reigen’s kind of show, definitely something he would do.
Something he didn’t need Mob to help with.
The show went back on air.
“What am I supposed to exorcise here? The boy isn’t even possessed.” Jodo said calmly. “He’s just acting.”
You fucking idiot old ma--
“You’re absolutely correct!” The host exclaimed, waving his hand around madly. “I’m impressed you were able to see the truth.”
Reigen’s jaw fell open, he couldn’t believe this was happening.
The con man just got played.
His eyes blinked when the sci-fi researcher gestured over to him, asking what that exorcism crap was.
The host turned to him, his stage smile dropping into a neutral frown. “Reigen, I’m sure our viewers are wondering as well.”
“Could it be that you don’t have spiritual powers afterall?”
Jodo intervened and said. “Come on now. Perhaps that is how he works? It should’ve been completely obvious the boy wasn’t possessed. To a true psychic of course.”
“Oh, I beg your pardon, I wasn’t referring to Reigen.” Jodo excused himself. “I’m sure he was trying to liven things up for the program.”
“But I can guarantee that we didn’t ask him to do that.” The host protested.
Holy shit is everyone on this stage out to get me?
“What? Reall? Poor Fukada!” Satake gasped in pity.
“It was basically torture…” Mogi added.
Jodo raised an eyebrow at Reigen in feigned curiosity. “Then what in the world were you doing, Reigen?
“Some new kind of dance?”
The audience broke into laughter.
Reigen was shaking from a mixture of fear and anger. “W-Well, it looked like the boy was possessed. So I exorcised it. I mean, even if there wasn’t spirit in him, there were still spirits...around us.”
“Oh? Really? I didn’t notice! When did it appear?” Jodo’s tone was more sarcastic than curious at this point.
“Obviously, 30 minutes ago.” Reigen glanced away from the man.
“Didn’t think spirits could be so punctual!”
The crowd broke into laughter again.
Reigen gulped, his adam’s apple bobbing as he did. He was in deep shit now.
“So, what kind of spirit was it?” Jodo pegged on.
Fuck fuck fuck fuck, why did he have to do that? He could’ve just said he was mistaken and be done and over with. People made mistakes, why can’t he?
But as everyone’s eyes bore into him and the time ticking, he found himself mumbling out words that just flew into his head.
“It was a man...he was German…” Reigen scanned the audience, hoping for some inspiration. He bullshitted all the time, why was it so hard now?
Oh, maybe because the whole fucking country is watching you.
Yeah, way to go me, great at optimism. Want a fucking prize, pissybaby?
Stop stop stop, think! Think--
His eyes landed on a picture of Beethoven, printed onto someone’s sweater.
“It was Beethoven.” He said.
And that was when his life ended.
“Ain’t your master Reigen Arataka?” Inukawa asked while he was walking with Mob down the hall.
“If I had a yen every time someone asked that.” Mob groaned, rubbing his face. “It would be more than the total salary number I get per month.”
“What?” Inukawa’s eyes widened, he stopped, jumping in front of Mob. “Your master’s getting bashed like crazy on TV and the internet!”
“If I become famous, I might be able to break through to other media platforms!” Reigen said, looking at his newly furnished website.
“I’m pretty sure that’s what he wanted.” Mob huffed, walking around Inukawa.
Reigen walked home defeated from the bar, only to find that the media was literally at his home staking out. He growled, rolling his head back, he wanted to scream.
“There he is, Reigen Arataka!” A man yelled.
Once upon a time, if a younger version of Reigen heard that, he would be over the moon. Wow, a complete stranger knew me! I’m famous!
Reigen turned and bolted, but as he ran, he realized there was no way he could ever escape these mother fuckers. No matter how hard he tried to convince them that he was innocent undercover, they’d always bite him back in the ass.
He stopped, his chest heaving, the people behind him shooting questions left and right. If he wanted this to stop, he shouldn’t undercover.
He was going to have to…
“A press conference.” Reigen turned, his face pulled into a tight frown. “If you want answers so fucking bad, if you’re so fucking willing to sit outside my house; waiting to be swept in because this was trending or whatever, I’ll hold a fucking press conference.”
“At least then you can leave me the fuck alone.” Reigen grumbled.
Reigen walked onto the stage, making his way towards the table filled with mics. The camera started flashing at him, taking one too many pictures of his solemn face, they were bright.
Yet he couldn’t bring the effort to even scowl at it. He was too too tired of this.
He thought all he had to do was argue his way out, he was a champion at arguing, but there were too many people present and his mind had drew a blank.
Reigen had memorized the apology letter his mother wrote for him, he knew she did it from the good of her heart but it felt...humiliating.
Whatever, good impressions, good impressions, good impressions.
“F-First, I’d like to thank you all for gathering…” Too polite, not his style. Reigen took another deep breath. Everything went into slow motion as his last fuck was given and gone. Without stopping, he spoke into the mic. “Why did you all gather here today, anyway?”
“What’s with that attitude?!” “What?!” “Are you mocking us?!” “You’re the one who said you’d hold a press conference!”
The reporters were enraged by Reigen’s words, but honestly, who could blame him? If they were him, wouldn’t they have felt tired too?
“What else was I supposed to do? Y’all were stalking my house. You basically forced me to do this.” And at the last moment, Reigen mumbled under his breath. “Creeps.”
“I have a few questions regarding the fraudulent acts you’ve committed.” A lady reporter raised her pen in the air.
“Hang on a sec, lady, you referring to my business?” Reigen asked. “Because, can any of y’all actually prove I don’t have spiritual powers? Or any witness that can prove they’ve been scammed?”
A male reporter raised his hand to answer. “There are lots of people who have been reported to be scammed--”
“Right. Self proclaimed victims. ” Reigen rolled his eyes.
“Why are you saying it like that?!” Another reporter yelled.
“Because, ugh, they haven’t been proven?” It was obvious, you dimwit. “Unless and until they are, I can still call myself a psychic. I’m not a criminal. I’d be careful phrasing things if I were you.”
“Do you have spiritual powers?”
Reigen sighed. Seriously? They want to prove it now? Who are they even playing? “No comment.”
“Why won’t you answer?”
“Because you guys are just gonna wait until I say no, duh.” Reigen gritted his teeth. “You’re gonna break it down with your detective hats and celebrate victoriously when you’ve forced me to say no. But you can’t do that, because you don’t have psychic powers to even prove I don’t have any.”
“So you’re just gonna talk your way out of this?”
Fuck, they’ve found me out. Reigen held his breath, not responding.”
“Judging from the broadcast the other day, you do seem to be excellent at ad-libbing.”
The reporters all laughed and Reigen clicked his tongue. “Tch.”
“Oh? Did you just click your tongue?”
What the fuck, of course you’re gonna hold that against me. “No I was just testing the mic.”
“When did you start this psychic business.”
“Four years ago.” Reigen answered swiftly. Man, can’t believe Mob had grew four years old since then. Four, what a big number.
Yet so small and short.
“What were you doing prior to that?”
“Worked at some company.” Reigen answered again. Do they have a time limit? Perhaps he could stall.
“Did they have anything to do with psychics.”
And that was how it went, Reigen answered every question that was shot at him that didn’t particularly gave him trouble. They were normal despite pretending to be a psychic, maybe this wasn’t all that bad--
“According to your graduation essay, you wrote ‘I want to be somebody.’” A reporter held a paper up and Reigen squinted, that was his handwriting all right. “What made you want to start this psychic business?”
I want to be somebody.
Why did I do this?
Reigen paled, searching for a reason behind why he had started Spirits And Such. Why he decided to pretend to be a psychic. Why was he doing so much to make sure he doesn’t get found out?
Come to think of it...he wanted to quit exactly three years ago…
Reigen huffed out a cloud of smoke from his cigarette, he always preferred to use match sticks over lighters to light them. He wondered what he should do next, this psychic business was starting to become rather boring.
Perhaps a Private Investigator? They usually investigate on cheating spouses though.
The door clicked open and a young boy’s voice was heard. “Excuse me. I came here because I saw your sign.”
“‘Ight.” Reigen budded his cigarette and plastered on a welcoming smile. “How may I help you?”
One last client and he’s done. One last client--
“Oh, it’s just a fucking kid.” Reigen mumbled under his breath, his smile dropping. So much for The Final Client hype. He got up, walking over to the child. “The heckddya want?”
“Um, I-I’m an esper.” The boy stuttered out.
“Sometimes I can’t control my powers very well and it gets scary…”
Motherfucking brat really thinks he’s fucking cool huh? Hilarious prank, ten out of ten. Bet he’s gonna have loads of laughs with his friends at school later ‘I just pranked this useless sonofabitch lmaaaaaoooooooo.’
“This ain’t cool chump, pranking is wack.” Reigen sighed grimly.
“I figured. But I haven’t been able to talk about it to anyone.” The boy said softly, barely offended. “I thought you might be the same as me...If I tried, I could see spirits too.”
Ugh fine, I’ll humor you.
“Well, c’mon in I guess.” Reigen exhaled through his nose in defeat.
They sat across each other on the couches, Reigen had made tea for the both of them and started talking as if he had troubles with his “powers” when he was younger. The boy started shaking, a bright hopeful look in his eyes.
It made Reigen want to keep going, this kid really had some imagination. Maybe if they little dude made it a book or a movie or something, he would add Reigen in the acknowledgements. The man that kept me going. He’d write.
Reigen resisted the urge to laugh at his own joke, as if that would happen.
“Listen. Even though you have powers, it ain’t shit to be honest. Pretty much exactly like having regular ol’ talents. Like running or something.” Reigen scratched the back of his head, at his point he was just going with the flow. “But like, people show off their talents all the time right? So it ain’t bad to show off yours. Doesn’t make you any more or less a human if ya ask me. But don’t go asshole proud, fucking wack if you do that. No one would like you.”
He was, in short, babbling. And he cussed on pure accident, he prayed the kid won’t go running telling his parents he learnt a new cool word. Instead, the kid smiled even brighter and asked if he could come by again.
Reigen gave him a pat on the shoulder and stood up. “Head to burst your bubble, kid, you ca--” He took a sip from his boiling hot tea, scalding his tongue, and upon instinct, he jolted and the cup slipped out of his hand. “Watch out!”
The boy raised a finger and retrieved the cup and its contents back into his hand. Reigen’s eyes widened, realizing that the boy wasn’t kidding.about having powers. Reigen’s jaw fell open. “Hey, you can see ghosts too, right?”
The boy nodded in response.
The boy nodded again.
“Then come on in again tomorrow, same timing and shit.” Reigen smirked. “I’ll show you how to use ya fucking powers.”
“Please don’t say that in front of your parents or any of your family members.”
Maybe this business could afford to last a little longer…
Ah, so that’s why he didn’t stop.
This kid...Mob...he had something special and Reigen wanted to be part of that too, except…
He wasn’t part of Mob’s life anymore, no matter how much Reigen had influenced it, he wasn’t part of it.
And if he were to be honest, if Reigen had compared himself from then to now, he’d find that nothing’s changed. He’s still the same lying jerk. While Mob was somewhere, being something.
Saying Mob had owed him one was Reigen’s pathetic effort in trying to keep the boy with him for Reigen to use.
In the end, he really wasn’t worth a single shit.
Perhaps he really was the reason why Mob was so insensitive, the boy was starting to show his more caring side and Reigen just had to bash him for it. He really did say some awful shit, huh?
I wonder if you’re watching Mob, because…
“You’ve grown up so much. You know that?” Reigen genuinely smiled into the TV camera. Not a snarky snarl or an egotistical smirk. It was a happy, proud and soft smile.
The crowd blinked. Then went absolutely bat shit crazy.
Reigen took it all in, but he started to notice the table shaking, the ground moving, things tipping over and tumbling around. Everyone assumed it was an earthquake, since it was very common in Japan, and started running around in panic.
What corrected them later on was that their equipment started floating into the air, their cameras, notepads and pens drifting up aimlessly.
“Are you doing this?!” “Please do something!” “Is this due to your spiritual powers?”
“Pfft, I don’t fucking know.” Reigen shrugged, grinning like mad. “You done asking if I’m a fraud now?...I’ll take that as a yes. Welp, I’m hungry. See y’all fuckers in the flipside I guess.”
“Wait-What’s gonna happen to us?!”
“Don’t fucking know lol, you should probably find the next big story if I were you.” Reigen lifted a mic from the table and spoke into it. He placed it back down as he made his exit.
As he walked, he noticed Mob sitting on the railing at the bridge, Dimple idling floating by his side. He spat his lollipop stick into the river, but it disintegrated before it could land in the water.
Reigen stopped walking and stood there, he couldn’t bring up enough courage to look at Mob. “The fuck you doin’ here, squirt?”
“You really have to work on your greetings.” Mob shot back, turning his head.
“Let’s get the fuck outta here, they’re all gonna be running around in a while.” Dimple advised.
“Hey...do you know?” Reigen lifted his face to the sky, watching it turn a beautiful orange-yellow.
“Know what?” Mob tilted his head, slyly smirking.
“What I’ve been really doing?” Reigen muttered. “I’m sure you’ve been seeing the news float around.”
“I blocked every tag about you online and walked away from stores that sold newspapers and magazines. I read manga while Ritsu watched TV.” Mob answered, like it was normal. “But it still got shoved into my face anyway.”
“You’re pretty fucking stubborn.” Reigen laughed dryly. This was it, Mob’s final words to him before he fully disappears. It was fun while it lasted, really. Mob was gonna call him a money faced dickbag filled with shit beyond imagination, that everything he did was so fucking stupid it was a wonder how Reigen could still look at himself in the mirror--
“But you know, after all of this, I realized…” Mob said, watching the water and swinging his legs. “You’re really a good guy.”
“Wh--” Reigen started. His heart clenched and he held his breath, he couldn't believe what this kid was saying. There was no way any of the things he did was good, he lied like always. I mean, even the reporters called him out on this.
Mob sighed and grabbed the railings, leaning back. “You just have some odd way of showing you care, really really odd way. You’re blunt and you break down everything to its very core, which just ends up with you being rather rude. But it’s all in good spirits.”
“I literally cannot comprehend how you’re viewing this.” Reigen said in exasperation. “I’m fucking terrible.”
“Yeah, no.” Mob hopped off and jabbed a finger into Reigen’s chest. “You helped people, it’s what made you popular right? You tried making that TV show better but it backfired because it made you look stupid. Honestly, their show would’ve still had 2 stars if you didn’t come around.”
“Ha...So, I guess we’re even then?”
Mob smiled brightly, showing his teeth. “It seems so.”
They ate ramen after that, no longer was Mob obligated to head to the office on short notices and no longer did Mob question Reigen’s way with people.
Reigen was just glad that he was back in Mob’s life--
No, he was glad they were back in each other's lives.
Chapter 12: Run
A quick note: I am, I repeat, I am NOT a reimob shipper. However, if you're into that, I won't start preaching about why it's bad and yada yada. Like what cha like, if it ain't hurting anybody of course.
BUT, it is completely normal to have crushes on adults as a kid. I checked. You'll see why I mentioned this when you read on later.
“Just a reminder that Psycho Helmet Religion grows bigger each day~” Mezato poked Mob in the face when he had switched his shoes at the entrance of the school.
“Just a reminder that I don’t care~” Mob chimed back, walking into class.
Mezato clicked her tongue, clearly annoyed. “Y’know, they found out which school you’re from because of that stunt you pulled at the press conference. They caught a footage of you and saw our school logo on your uniform.”
“It won’t be long before they find out who you are!” Mezato added as Mob walked further and further away.
To be frank, Mob didn’t want to take over the religion anytime soon. He figured the weight would seriously get too much and somehow Tsubomi would get mad?
Lately he’s been more cautious around her, after she found out Reigen went famous without Mob, she had been a little cranky about it. She was still cranky about it.
Which led Mob to realize...did she actually love him for who he was? Or did she love him because he had...power.
After all, she only started dating him because he started leading a gang. Then she went on to push him into becoming Student Council president. He wondered what would happen if he started leading the religion Mezato has been talking about.
Mob shook his head, no way was that true though. He figured she started liking him because leading a gang proved he was sorta athletic, which was Tsubomi’s type, and the Student Council thing was probably because he had leadership skills.
“The annual marathon is here.” The teacher informed the class, which earned him resounding groans from everyone. Ah, perfect, just the right thing to prove his assumption.
If he came in top ten and Tsubomi starts showing extra love, he won’t have to worry about their relationship anymore.
Mob inwardly smirked. It was the perfect plan.
“No way, that’s the last thing I thought I’d hear you say!” Inukawa chuckled, waving his hand.
“Don’t you remember you have anemia?” Tome leaned forward a little. “You sure you wanna do this without your powers? You placed Top three last year because of it.”
“Yeah, but I want to do it with my physical strength.” Mob protested. “And lying to Tsubomi that I didn’t use my powers this year would be dishonest.”
“And how good are you at running without them?” Tome raised an eyebrow.
Mob coughed, trying to remember the last time he ran without his powers. During a gang fight, he had forgotten to activate his powers to run faster and nearly got trampled if it had not been his gang members picking him up midrun.
“Not so good?”
“How are you gonna remedy that in ten days?!” Tome shouted. The rest of the telepathy club tried to give him some advice, but they weren’t much of good use for last minute preparation.
Mob sighed and ran a hand through his hair, he had the urge to suck on a lollipop right now. “I just really want to give it my all.”
“That’s exactly right, boss!” Onigawara exclaimed, shoving the door open. “That’s why you’re our leader! Here, take these.”
He held out brand new running shoes that looked too big for him but just perfect for Mob.
“What.” Mob stared. “Why--”
“You better do this thing!” Onigawara exited the room, flicking his first two fingers in goodbye.
“So cool.” Inukawa breathed.
Mob stared at the shoes, then squinted at them, before he heard voices from outside.
“Oh, so you ended up with them! Onigawara bought those shoes in the wrong size!” Musashi said, he was doing squats outside with his club members. “Thanks again for sharing the club room, Kurata!”
“No problem.” Tome crossed her arms and rolled her eyes.
“Mob, if you have to go to the bathroom, you can just go.” Reigen deadpanned, watching Mob fidget in his seat.
“Oh, I don’t need the bathroom.” Mob answered, still fidgeting.
Reigen paused, before he leaned back into his seat. “Mob, as a kid with hormones I understand that sometimes your--”
“It’s not that either!” Mob yelled, immediately stopping his constant movement. “I’m exercising, you fucking piece of shit.”
“He’s got a marathon coming up.” Dimple floated in.
“A marathon?” Reigen’s lips quirked up and he placed his hands behind his head. “I use to pretend I was sick so I didn’t have to run.”
“He’s gonna place in top ten without his powers to prove Tsubomi’s into him as a person.”
Reigen spluttered, sitting up properly. “Without his powers? Don’t you have anemia?”
“Yes. I do.” Mob blankly replied. Reigen stared at his laptop, a planner was opened in it and it was chock filled with appointments for exorcism.
He took a minute to debate with himself before he got up, taking off his jacket. “Get changed, kiddo, we’re going out.”
“No thank you, Master Reigen, I have long passed the teacher-crush I had on you when I was ten.” Mob held his hand up dismissively.
Reigen choked, like actually choked. “Of all people to have a teacher-crush on, did it really have to be me? What about your kindergartener teacher? Your first grade teacher? Your sec--”
“I was fucking kidding, you gross rat man. Who would have a crush on you? Jesus Christ, I’ll get changed.” Mob grumbled, standing up to shrug off his uniform, thank god he wore his gym clothes under. He picked up his bag and walked into the backroom to change his pants too.
“Well, at least we now know Mob can be into boys.” Dimple said, hovering over Reigen. The butterscotch-haired man nodded, but wondered why it sounded like good news to the green ghost.
“Come on! Lift those feet up, Reigen!” Dimple shouted behind them. Mob had wanted to grab a lollipop for their run but his master had insisted he shouldn’t, he was pretty sure those weren’t helpful when running.
Nor was it allowed for the marathon.
“Why are you telling me that?!” Reigen screamed, he probably sounded like a madman to anyone else that heard him. “Besides...I haven’t...been..exercising that much...myself!” He panted.
“I can’t hear you!” Dimple yelled louder.
“Hey, Mob, want to stop for some tea?” Reigen asked instead. Please say yes please say yes please say yes--
“No. We’ve got four more kilometers to go.”
This kid really gonna make Reigen grow twice as old.
“Shige! Wash your own dishes, will you?” His mother yelled from the kitchen. “Shige!”
“Mom, I can do it.” Ritsu pushed his sleeves up and walked over to the sink. His mother stepped aside, looking rather worried.
“You shouldn’t spoil your older brother like that, it’s bad enough that he’s got an attitude at school. I don’t want him acting like that here, too.”
“It’s fine, mom, he’s been working really hard on something good lately.” Ritsu picked up the sponge and turned on the tap. “I don’t mind helping him in the meantime.”
“Fancy seeing you here.” Ritsu said. Teru had a few hair ties clenched between his teeth, so all he could do was nod his head and tilt his head to one side in questioning. Ritsu sighed and stared at the office door. “Helping out for brother. I’m guessing you too?”
Teru nodded again and took another hair tie from his mouth, he seemed to be braiding a few strands of his hair from each side of his head, then he connected the two into one ponytail, leaving a few strands out under.
“It’s the least I could do really.”
“Yeah, bet that fall out was painful.” Ritsu deadpanned, opening the door. “You’re taking this as some sort of redemption thing, right?”
Teru snorted, Ritsu never liked him all that much, so it was understandable why he gave him the cold shoulder. When they entered the office, he shot Reigen an angry sort of look.
So Teru wasn’t the only one Ritsu hated.
“Still can’t believe I can’t make fun of you for not having powers anymore.” Reigen exhaled through his mouth in a sad exaggerated sigh. “I will miss those days.”
“I legitamately will never stop hating you with every inch of my fucking being.” Ritsu answered.
“Okay! Nice hair, as always, Teru.”
“I vaguely remember a time you called my hair shit.” The blonde answered.
Reigen threw his hands up in exasperation. “Why do children hate me?”
The sound of the door clicking open brought the attention of the three towards it and in came a girl with brown hair pulled into a ponytail and…
“Takane.” Ritsu whispered to himself, his face paling. He quickly ducked behind Reigen’s desk in hopes of not being seen, even though his brother was her boyfriend, it won’t stop the rumors of him being buddy buddy with Reigen from circulating.
“Hanazawa.” Tsubomi’s jaw tightened, staring at the blonde. “Ah, hey Reigen. I heard you gave relationship advice from Shigeo, so I brought my friend to see you.”
“Of course, y’know, it was me that managed to get Mob to--” Reigen was quickly interrupted by Teru bringing in tea.
“Tea?” The blonde laughed nervously, then leaned towards Reigen and whispered. “Shut up.”
Ritsu mentally reminded himself to bring down the grudge meter for Teru to about 60%, before it was 90%.
0% being “I absolutely love you.” and 100% being “If I had a hitman, I would hire them to kill you.” and 50% being “ok.”
“Can I have relationship advice as well?” Tsubomi asked, sending a panicked look to Ritsu and Reigen and a mildly intrigued one to Teru.
“Um, sure.” Reigen shifted uncomfortably in his seat.
“How do you tell if you actually love someone?” Tsubomi asked. “What if, what we think is love is actually something else?”
“Having troubles with Mob?” Reigen wheezed out. He was trying his best not to scream and so was Ritsu.
“No, asking for a friend. I’m just worried for her, she feels her feelings are true love.”
“Well, Takane, if I had to be honest.” Reigen took a deep breath. “I wouldn’t exactly know. I’ve never been in love.”
“Well, I think being in love just means you want to be part of that someone’s life all day and everyday.” Teru answered, staring fondly at the window then back at the girls. “You just want to be the sun to their earth, y’know? You want to help them grow and keep them warm an--”
“That’s enough, Hanazawa, thank you.” Tsubomi interrupted in a calm voice.
The girls left after thanking for their services, Reigen waved goodbye before shutting the door and exhaling a lungful of air.
“Hooooly shit. Do you think Mob’s fucked?”
“I sure hope not.” Ritsu and Teru both answered at the same time. But secretly, they really hope he is.
The day of the marathon came and Mob was absolutely sure he got this, being in a gang required him to be somewhat athletic so it wasn’t like his training had started from scratch.
He just improved himself, that’s all, and he hoped he had improved enough.
“Good luck, Kageyama.” Emi waved, she was holding onto a notepad, no doubt writing about the marathon.
“They’re watching.” Mezato hummed. To everyone else, this may have sounded like she was talking about the students, but to Mob, it meant that the people from the religion group were watching.
Which also meant that if at any point he needed some sort of boost or heal, he couldn’t, or he’d be caught by them and who knows what would happen after that.
So no wild card, no backing out, no cheating.
“Good luck, leader!” “You can do this, boss!” “We’ll be right behind you! Literally!”
“No! You guys play fair too, I want to win on my own terms!” Mob snapped, the gang members nodded back sheepishly, but they were still skeptical about it.
“If you’re so sure, boss.” Onigawara muttered.
One of the teachers announced the race was going to start, so they all got ready to run. Once the starting gun was fired, everyone bolted.
It was going swell at first, until someone shoved him in the shoulder and made him trip. For a moment, his eyes gleamed red and he had his hand out engulfed in a purple glow, but a quick turn of Ritsu’s head and a “Brother!” returned the boy back into his senses.
He quickly got up, dismissing his bloody knee and pressed on.
“You’re not gonna make it to the top ten with a bloody knee! Let me possess you!” Dimple suggested. Mob bit back a remark and kept running, he needed to focus on his breathing and couldn’t waste his breath on a measly ghost. The ghost sighed and folded his tiny arms. “Figures.”
He passed his parents halfway through the race, which wasn’t a surprise really, they knew he didn’t have good stamina. They did the same thing last year too and were blown away by how fast Mob was, but they probably figured he was using his powers.
They probably knew he was planning to do the exact opposite this year. Perhaps his mother might make takoyaki as a reward?
He passed Tsubomi, who cheered him on as he ran, giving him a boost of energy. Inukawa watched from beside him as Mob took another deep breath and pushed on, but his knee was really getting onto him and his lungs burnt.
He stopped wiping the sweat on his forehead a long time ago, he was literally drenched and dripping from it, so what’s the point of wiping it.
“Hey you only got a kilometer left!” Reigen suddenly ran up to him, wearing a blue-green tank top and grey shorts. “Move them legs!”
“What in the world are you wearing.” Dimple snorted.
“Don’t look.” Reigen growled, then held a stopwatch up. “I figured I’d help him keep his pace towards the end, but the guys at the front are way too fast. I’ve been counting runners, he’s in 70th place, which is surprising but he has to pass 60 people to make it to the top ten.”
“Want to take a taxi?” Dimple joked.
“Pfft, no way. Look at him, he can totally do this. Right, Mob?” Reigen looked over at the sweaty panting boy, who looked close to levelling the entire city with his suppressed sass. Reigen turned back to face the front. “Yep, he’s totally got this.”
He heard a loud thud afterwards.
Mob looked up to see a worried Tsubomi by his side, she had her hand clasped onto his. It seemed like they were in the nurse’s office.
“Shigeo! You’re awake!” Tsubomi peered over at him, he slowly sat up and blinked the grogginess out of his eyes. “Jeez, you had me worried there. Why didn’t you use your powers to run like last year?”
“Well, I--” He was quickly cut off by a hug.
“Y’know what? Save it, at least you’re okay now.” Tsubomi mumbled, her face resting against his neck. “You didn’t have to push yourself so hard for me.”
“So you knew?”
“Yeah, heard Tome talking about it in her clubroom.”
Mob groaned, squeezing his eyes shut. So much for a surprise.
“Hey, at least you made it to top hundred.” Tsubomi giggled softly, pulling away from the hug. She dug through her pocket and brought out a lollipop. “Here.”
Mob took it and stared at it for a moment, before gazing back up at her. “Thank you.”
“By the way, Ritsu got into top ten. He was placed 9th. Beaten a bunch of third years” Tsubomi added as Mob got out of the bed. “The marathon’s over though, so he’s probably at home now.”
“Ritsu…” Welp, that was his brother. Perfect in almost everything. Mob smiled softly at the thought of Ritsu, he couldn’t wait to congratulate his younger brother.
“Do you...wanna walk home together?” Tsubomi tilted her head to one side. Mob thought for a minute.
His mother brought out the takoyaki pan, humming delightfully, she was making takoyaki to celebrate Ritsu playing 9th and Mob for improving so much without his powers.
The doorbell rang and Ritsu closed his book, standing up, his mother had said the teacher called saying his brother had left school not too long ago, so he must’ve been home by now.
He made his way to the front door, unlocking it and pulling it open.
A mess of red hair was the first thing Ritsu saw, that definitely wasn’t his brother. The boy grabbed the door before Ritsu could shut it. “Heya, Pretty Boy.”
Ritsu paled, staring into the boy’s blue-green eyes. “You’re..the one from...how did you--”
“I thought I told you to call me, you had to force me to come all the way here myself.” The ginger smirked, a dangerous look on his face.
“Is that a friend, Ritsu?” His mother entered the hallway, making Ritsu pale even further.
“Mom, don’t come over here!”
“Oh, now I see. Your parents are here too, not a surprise.” The ginger stared at the ground and nodded, he brought a hand to his face and sighed. “This complicates things.”
“Hey, what do you mean by--” Ritsu was cut short by the absolute terror he felt by glancing into the ginger’s deadly eyes. He gulped, he was in trouble for sure.
“I saw Hanazawa at your workplace the other day.” Tsubomi said, swinging her bag gently. “I suppose your relationship with him is all better now?”
“Yeah, we just had a small fight. That’s all.” Mob thumbed the strap of his bag.
“Hmm, sure.” Tsubomi hummed. “Would you say he’s your best friend?”
“I guess so, yeah.”
Tsubomi paused, her face momentarily unreadable before she smiled softly. “That’s great. Just...try not to get yourself hurt again, alright?”
Mob blinked, wondering how much Tsubomi knew about the fight he had with Teru. “Of course.”
Tsubomi continued to smile before she faltered, squinting at the houses behind Mob. “Hey, isn’t that…where you live?”
Mob turned, and so did Dimple (who was observing in a corner), and stared at the smoke in the distance. His eyes widened before he turned and took off, activating his powers.
“Shigeo! Wait!” Tsubomi yelled, attempting to run after him, but he was already gone.
Mob stared in shock as the flames flickered around his house, the heat poking at his face.
“Apparently, there was a sudden explosion of fire.” A neighbour gossiped. “They said it might’ve been an arsonist.”
The house fell apart further as another neighbour added. “No one knows if the family got out safely.”
The voices drowned out of Mob’s head, they all sounded like a blur to him, all he wanted to hear was his parents calling his name, his brother greeting him when he reached home, anything from his family.
He made sure to put on a skin barrier as he walked into the house, the fire barely hurting him, he thought of every possibility that his family might be safe.
For fucks sake, he wasn’t related to idiots, his dad was reliable, his mother was strict with flammable things, and his brother was a big calm smartass. There’s no way they could’ve easily been killed by a lousy fire--
As Mob reached the last step to the second floor and opened the door, every single sensible voice left his head.
His mind drew a complete blank.
He couldn’t even here Dimple yelling at him to avert his eyes.
Right before him was his family, melted, their skin peeling off their broken bones, a hand held out in a short cry for help.
An invisible wind picked up and blew on his hair, his teeth clenching in rage, his eyes flashing an angry red and his hand open and closed, grabbing at nothing.
“H-Hey, Shigeo, there’s no way these are real!” Dimple yelled, floating in front of him. “They’re dummies made by espers!”
“Don’t fuck with me.” Mob replied in a hoarse pissed off tone.
“I’m not! Think of the shit you’ve seen so far, it’s definitely possible!”
Mob decided to humor the green blob and gave it a shot, sending out a strong telepathic sort of wave to locate the espers and to his pleasant surprise, there were two espers out there that were aiming to destroy his home and kill his family.
“Well fuck me gently with a chainsaw, I found them.” Mob mumbled out, he made a start towards the exit. “Whoever did this is gonna fucking die tonight, I’ll see to it.”
“Ha ha, let’s not go that far shall we?” Dimple laughed dryly. Mob didn't answer him and kept walking. “Ri-Right?”
Teru picked his clothes off from the clothing pole and walked back inside, he paused, hearing a low chuckle and turned.
“You’re Hanazawa Teruki...aren’t you?”
“Hanazawa? You mean the guy downsta--” It was a weak attempt, but Teru had to hope this guy was stupid.
Unfortunately, he was not, and was quick to blow his apartment apart.
“Oh, c’mon! I don’t even have my hair done! This is gonna take forever to fix!” Teru growled, dropping his now tattered laundry. “And I just finished drying these!”
After flinging the electricity guy across the town, Mob glanced at the man with the mustache and glasses. “Maybe you’re the guy then. Show me your fucking powers!”
“You’ve got a lousy attitude, kid.” The man smirked, a red glow surrounding him as the muscles in his body expanded. “If you wanna see my powers so badly, I’ll show it to you!” He pulled his fist back and ran towards Mob, punching him.
Mob flew back a few feet, but stayed grounded, nothing hurt. His barrier was clearly too strong.
“I’ve got an impenetrable body made of energy,” the man boasted, his fists out and ready to attack, “and I beat the fuck out of my enemies. That’s my style!”
“Holy shit another monologue, quit wasting my time.” Mob dusted his chest where the man had landed his hit.
Before the man could finish his statement about Mob’s impressive barrier, the boy had rushed forward and struck a blow against the man’s face. His glasses flew off his face as Mob brought another punch up the man’s jaw, spots of blood flying out of his mouth.
Mob then connected both his hands together and brought it down to the man’s face once again, knocking him to the ground.
The floor broke into shambles, the man’s face was purple and bruised, swollen beyond imagination. Yet Mob still pulled the man up by his collar and demanded to see his power, specifically the one where he could replicate humans into real looking dummies. “Why did you attack my house?!”
“You’ve got the wrong idea.” The man mumbled out between his swollen and split lips. “We were on our way to attack your house.”
Before Mob could get anymore out of him, the man had passed out. The electric guy had came back to inform Mob that he had requested backup, sending alarm bells towards Dimple.
“We should get out of here before his friends get here.”
“I didn’t get an ounce of info out of these two, I’ll have to take them from their friends.” Mob said, still extremely pissed off. Dimple jumped in surprise, this wasn’t good, the boy might actually level the city if--
The sound of tires screeching against the road interrupted Dimple’s thoughts and the person he least expected to see came out of the car.
“Hey you little shit. You in trouble?” Koyama asked. Regardless if Mob was in trouble or not, he was still getting into the car, so he might as well hop in.
When they started moving again, Mob asked if they were taking him to his family, in which then they answered no.
Mob stopped the car forcefully with his powers, activating the airbags in front of Sakurai and Koyama. Sakurai quickly reassured that his friends and master were at the destination instead, so Mob needn’t worry about the trip being useless.
Upon the mention of Reigen, Mob changed his mind about getting out and picked up the car with his powers, zooming off.
Teru whistled, heaving the man over his shoulders and sending a quick text to Kurosaki, telling her that he was peachy. It wasn’t easy, but he had managed to knock the guy unconscious, it basically costed his whole apartment but that was fine. At least the building itself was okay, they took the fighting outside pretty quickly.
All Teru had to do was strangle him with his energy formed whip and he was out.
He reached the hideout fast after Kurosaki had sent him the location, luckily it was dark that night so flying in the skies wouldn’t bring any attention towards him.
Now they were dunking the Claw agent into a bucket of water to make him spill the beans.
He was rather harsh too, since the moment he laid his eyes on the sleeping Mob, every fibre of his body yelled no mercy. Besides, Mob really wasn’t here to play bad cop so Teru had to do it himself.
Shou crumbled in front of the TV, covering his flushed face, he was absolutely embarrassed by his shitty dad.
Granted, Ritsu would’ve crumbled too if his dad declared war on humanity.
He raised his head from the table and screamed loudly. “I’m the one who’s gonna defeat him! You got that, Pretty Boy?”
“Yeeaaaah, don’t call me that.”
“Alright, let’s go!” Shou hopped out of his seat.
“Hang on a sec.”
Shou groaned and held his hands out. “Still not on board?”
Ritsu rolled his eyes. “What about my family’s safety?”
“Oh, we have set eyes on your parents from afar.” Shou answered, turning his laptop to show a footage of the Kageyama parents entering the Hot Springs. He had made up a plan to get them to safety by pretending that Ritsu had entered a hot springs hotel lottery and won.
They easily fell for it, but Ritsu had ab-libbed a tad bit too much.
“My brother still hasn’t answered his phone.” Ritsu grumbled, placing a hand to his head. He could feel a headache coming.
“Don’t worry about your brother, Pretty Boy--”
“Do not call me that.”
“--your brother ain’t the one to fight. I can tell.” Shou smirked, shoving his hands into his bomber jacket pockets. “But I think I gave him a pretty good reason to.”
“The fuck did you do after we left the house?!” Ritsu asked exasperatedly. “My brother isn’t pretty when he’s mad.”
“Unlike you.” Shou snorted.
“Stop calling me pretty, I will fucking smack you!” Ritsu slammed the table. Shou was definitely a 99% on his grudge meter.
Teru sat by Mob, who was still very much asleep, he was tempted to at least sweep the black bangs off to the side. He glanced behind him, looking left and right.
Claw members were chatting about game plan, Reigen was talking to Dimple, Awakening Lab kids and their adult friend were talking about the Claw members.
Everyone was busy, so they wouldn’t mind if he just…
Teru pushed Mob’s hair to one side and tucked them behind his ear, his hand lingering for a moment. He mentally laughed, thinking about the situation in Sleeping Beauty. Maybe Teru was the prince and Mob was the princess, if he just gave the beauty a kiss, he’d wake up. Right?
Lost in thought, Teru didn’t notice he was leaning forward when Mukai hopped to his side. “Hey hey, are you reenacting Sleeping Beauty?”
Immediately, the blonde pulled back and fell over, earning a few questionable looks from everyone before they all went back to talking.
“Ah, hey there. Kid.” Teru coughed. “No, I’m not.”
“Hmm, sure, but you look like you want to.” Mukai hummed back.
Dimple had floated over by then and crossed his ghostly arms. “You don’t want to remake the same mistakes do you?”
Teru’s silence was an easy interpretation of no.
After exploding the area, Teru brought out his telekinetic whips and flicked them at the opponent, but as the smoke cleared, he had already disappeared.
Teru raised an eyebrow in confusion before suddenly being pulled into a chokehold and solved this by engulfing his surroundings in flames, which quickly shook the man off.
However, Teru had lost sight of him again.
With his surroundings still in flames, he looked around to find the man with closed eyes and felt a tap on his shoulder.
“Over here.” The man smiled, then disappeared and reappeared behind Teru when the blonde had turned. He quickly kicked Teru in the back, sending Teru flying through the fence and landing next to the prime minister in a roll.
Teru heaved, his hair now sticking everywhere, he knew he should’ve worn hairclips. He stood back up, realizing the man most likely had super speed movements, and barricaded himself and the prime minister in a multi-layered barrier.
He hoped for backup as he scanned the area around him, trying to catch a glimpse of the perpetrator.
“Aren’t you multi-talented?” The man said from below him before he swung his fist right up into Teru’s stomach.
The barrier shattered as tears formed in the corners of Teru’s eyes, spots of blood gushing out his mouth. He crashed to the ground, watching weakly as the man teleported out of his sight, along with the prime minister.
He could feel a fever coming on.
Chapter 13: Fight
In which everyone gets pumped up.
(I didn't add in some scenes because I was worried it'd get boring since everyone already knows what's gonna happen.)
Teru plastered the fever patch on his forehead after being defeated by Shimazaki, his head felt fuzzy and his limbs were numb, but the first thing he did after patching up was walking up to Mob’s bedside to check up on him.
“Still asleep?” Teru croaked, sniffling as his eyes grew heavy.
Tsuchiya nodded, her arms folded. “Like a log. What’s the deal between you two? You stick onto him like glue.”
Teru thanked god that the redness in his face could be blamed on the fever as he turned to look up at the woman. “We’re just really good friends and I’m worried for him.”
“He wanted to kiss Kageyama before we ate last time!” Mukai clinged onto Tsuchiya’s arm playfully.
Teru spluttered, backing away from the bed as Tsuchiya shot him a look of surprise.
“I did not!” The blonde said, his voice slightly cracking.
“Did too!” Mukai hummed back. Teru groaned and decided to rest on the couch until his fever subsided.
The last body dropped to the ground unconscious and Ritsu wiped his sweat off his forehead with the sleeve of his yellow hoodie.
He looked over at Shou, who was standing on debris, looking off at the tower his dad was supposedly in. “You’re pretty strong. You probably didn’t even need my help.”
“And you’re pretty in general. Your latent abilities far surpass your brother’s.” Shou protested, turning around to face the other.
Ritsu rolled his eyes, he was getting used to Shou calling him ‘pretty’ now, so he wasn’t all that bothered by it anymore. It still ticks him off just a tiny bit though. “My abilities? There’s no way that’s true.”
Shou frowned at Ritsu’s answer. “Life won’t be fun if you keep telling yourself that. The same goes for me. I’m more powerful than my dad…”
Just as Shou finished speaking, the cracks in the ground started sprouting plants abnormally fast. The two turned to look up at a lavender haired person that sat upon a giant leaf, as if it was their throne. The newcomer held a book about plants and had a neutral expression on as they spoke.
“As I figured. You really are leading the uprising, Shou.” Minegishi spoke monotonously. “Talk about a textbook rebellious phase.”
Ritsu kept his guard up, an invisible psychic barrier layered onto him, and he felt sweat trickle down the side of his head from nervousness. “His aura is really peculiar. Who is that?”
“ They are one of the Ultimate 5, the highest of the echelon of Claw.” Shou stared at them with wary blue eyes. “Minegishi the plant user. Get caught in his plants and you’re plant food.”
All three of Shou’s adult friends went into a battle stance, reassuring that they could handle Minegishi, the ginger boy himself was impressed and awe-struck while Ritsu stared at the paper fan weapon one of them were carrying.
The raven was skeptical and concerned, but said nothing as Shou dragged him along to advance forward.
Mitsuura bolted into the base, exclaiming that the Claw members had found them. Reigen cursed under his breath, which took a minute because his cuss word vocabulary was larger than his ego.
Mitsuura suggested that they’d try to escape by the rear exit, but Reigen said that leaving without a plan was risky. They might get caught too if they head out into the open.
So they decided on hiding, Reigen took the unplugged fridge while Mitsuura took the bottom cupboards in the kitchen.
The only reason Reigen was doing this was because the ex Claw members and Awakening Lab kids were all pumped up on fighting Claw, calling Reigen their leader and boosting his ego by a tenfold.
Besides, the prize money from Asagiri’s could cover the expenses of restoring Reigen’s currently burnt down office, so he really had nothing else to lose at this point. Aside from his life.
The Claw members kicked on the fridge door, demanding for Reigen to get out. Dimple suggested that he’d possess the man but Reigen had yet to trust the green spirit.
Before they knew it, the door was forced open and Reigen feigned defeat, keeping a calm expression on as he adjusted Mob on his back- who was currently still sleeping.
“You fuckin’ got me! I give up!” Reigen sighed, stepping out. “I ain’t an esper but the little shit on my back is, hasn’t been awake since last night. Lemme take him to the hospital, ‘ight?”
“No, check for weapons.” A Claw member replied, turning to his friend so he’d get a clue and start searching.
“Wow, ha ha, fuck you!” Reigen muttered under his breath as hands started patting on his suit.
“There’s something in his inside pocket.” The member answered.
Reigen blinked for a moment, trying to recall what was in that pocket.
“Look, you do know I just survived a fuck tone of mini black holes right, whatever weapon you have won’t fucking wo--” Reigen was rudely interrupted by Sakurai’s red spray, which did close to nothing but make the butterscotch-haired man sneeze. Reigen snatched the bottle right out of his hands to inspect it. “What in god’s name is this?”
Reigen pursed his lips as an idea crept onto him. He dug into his suit to grab the spray from the inside pocket. “Oh it’s just some cheap cologne that didn’t make it into the market, wanna test it?” And without waiting for an answer, Reigen sprayed it.
All the Claw members dropped unconscious onto the floor like dead flies.
Dimple hovered over, intrigued, and before he could ask, Reigen answered the question in the spirit’s head. “It’s filled with a curse that induces drowsiness or some shit, got it from four eyes a while ago. Didn’t think this shit would come in handy.”
“I thought you were trash, but you’re not so bad. But you’ll have to deal with me next.” A rather large man walked in, his muscles bulged and his lips were thick and all Reigen could really say was;
“Fuck me, you’re huge.”
“Not the reaction I was expecting.” The huge man replied, filled with a mix of disgust and concern.
“Here’s a better one then.” Reigen sprayed the curse bottle at him and he, too, dropped to the ground. “Thank god he’s fucking stupid.”
“What’s with this crazy ass luck you have? You’re gonna die a horrible death one day.” Dimple mumbled, glancing cautiously at Reigen.
They walked over to the rear exit, since the people that were after them were pretty much unavailable at the moment. Reigen figured this would give him enough time to grab a taxi and get as far away as possible.
That was the plan, until Shibata woke up again, tearing his brown sweater off as his muscles expanded more.
And Reigen thought he couldn’t get any less confident.
“The fuck, go back to sleep.” Reigen spat.
“I feel wide awake because of you, dumbass!” Shibata growled back, his lips pulled into a large grin.
“Gross.” Reigen’s face paled. This only made Shibata angrier.
Dimple mentally facepalmed at this man’s idiocy and quickly yelled. “You idiot! Run, Reigen!”
That was exactly what Reigen did, except when he took a step back, he stumbled over one of the unconscious Claw members and barely dodged a fatal punch from the large man. It only made a hole in the wall. Perhaps he really did have some crazy ass luck.
He accidentally dropped Mob onto the ground and Shibata turned to attack again. Reigen then proceeded to spray the curse again.
Unfortunately, this only made Shibata stronger and weirdly redder.
“Fuck this, I’ll just lure him out--” Reigen ran and did a one-eighty when he realized Mob wasn’t following. “Mob! You’re still asleep? Get the fuck up!”
Luckily, right before Shibata could punch a hole through Mob’s skull, Dimple possessed the boy and flipped over to one side.
It seemed like Dimple loved doing acrobats when possessing rather fit humans.
Using his hands to lift himself up, Dimple twirled Mob’s body around to kick Shibata in the head, then hooked his foot onto Shibata’s neck to pull himself up and threw a fist into the man’s cheek.
He gripped Shibata’s hair and pulled himself closer to connect his knee to Shibata’s chin. Dimple landed back onto the ground and punched Shibata’s chest a few times and to finish it off, he tried to kick him again.
Before he could, Shibata grabbed his ankle and hurled Mob’s body towards Reigen. Dimple yelled for Reigen to catch him.
Reigen did not catch him.
In fact, Mob’s shoe had accidentally popped off and it sent Mob hurtling around the room. He was okay though, minus the fact that his nose was bleeding.
Knowing now that Dimple could not win this fight, he made a run for it through the hole Shibata had created earlier and jumped out.
He ran around and found a crowd buzzing about and decided to blend in for the time being, but as he started to walk in deeper into the sea of people, he noticed what they were all staring at.
Shibata plowed through the crowd slowly and towards him, but that wasn’t the thing that terrified him.
The thing that made his rosy cheeks pale was the fact that Tsubomi was taking a video of Shibata with Emi, and if anything were to happen to the two...
Dimple imagined an angry Kageyama “Mob” Shigeo staring down at him with those deathly hollow eyes, his knuckles white from fisting too hard, his teeth grinding against a clean white stick.
“You’re fucking dead.” Dimple imagined Mob saying.
And that would be the end of Dimple’s ghostly life.
So Dimple did the one thing that would save himself, he ran over to Tsubomi and Emi and stood in front of them with his hands spread out in defense.
“Mob! What are you doing here?” Emi gasped in confusion.
“Most importantly, where have you been and--” Before Tsubomi could finish, Dimple’s attempt at a full body barrier was broken by Shibata’s punch, which sent Mob’s body flying across town.
Tsubomi and Emi screamed.
The punch was so strong, it made Dimple’s possession come undone and it unfortunately meant that Mob would fall to his death, since he was still asleep. Dimple shouted for the boy to get up, but it was to no avail.
Dimple floated over to find Musashi yelling about how much Mob didn’t deserve to be crushed in the skull by Shibata’s head. The green ghost wondered how the muscular middle schooler even came to like Mob when he noticed Onigawara lying around nearby.
Dimple vaguely remembered Mob offering the Body Improvement Club to share a club room with the Telepathy club, which led to them hanging out more often with him.
Was Musashi doing this out of appreciation?
Nevertheless, Musashi was in morbid agony, using his body to defend Mob’s. Which gave Dimple a chance to possess the muscular boy.
Dimple used Musashi’s body to push Shibata off, then continued to grip onto Shibata’s hands and push him into a wall, cracking it, and hurtled the red man into the sky.
Shibata finally fell unconscious onto the ground and Dimple dropped out of Musashi’s body.
The Body Improvement Club began to celebrate Musashi’s victory when, sadly, Shibata got right back up again.
Onigawara pointed at him in fear and the rest of the club members turned to Musashi for help.
He couldn’t raise his arms.
Shibata ran over, filled with rage from defeat, and proceeded to be crushed into the ground.
Everyone turned to see Mob standing behind them, his finger pointed out towards the ground. He looked absolutely tired.
He yawned and rubbed his eyes. “Holy shit I need a lollipop, how long was I out? Jesus FUCK my body aches.”
“Boss! You’re okay!” Onigawara ran over to his side, relieved.
“Yeah no shit, Joe, anyways I need candy. See y’all.” Mob waved and walked off. Dimple hovered over to the boy’s side, rather afraid than concerned. Mob shifted his eyes towards him and raised an eyebrow. “Fill me in, would you?”
Shou stood in front of the tower that was harbouring his father, Ritsu standing right by his side.
“We’re finally here, Pretty Boy.” Shou sighed, his face pulled into a serious frown. “I’m coming for you, Dad.”
“Let’s go.” Ritsu started forward, but Shou grabbed his arm to pull him back.
“Hey, why are you so cooperative anyways?”
Ritsu looked at the ground for a moment before lifting his eyes back up into those blue-green eyes. “Because your situation wasn’t completely unrelatable. There are times where I worry Mob would just...lose his shit I guess. Your dad is losing his shit, you’re the only one that can stop him.”
“Aw, how sweet. I think I’m in love.” Shou faked a sniffle and wiped an invisible tear away, his grip loosened on Ritsu’s arm. “I’ll prove that I can finish my dad off.”
The ginger paused when he noticed Shimazaki idling in the corner of his eyes. The blind man stood from a distance, carefully observing them with his psychic powers. “He’s a teleporter that can read his enemies movements. First I’ll--” Shou was cut short by Ritsu.
“You go on ahead.” Ritsu balled his fists, causing Shou to turn in bafflement. “I’ll keep him occupied.”
“You can’t do this alone! He’s one of the strongest!”
It was Ritsu’s turn to grip Shou’s arm, his face darkening. “Promise me you’ll stop your father.”
“I-I promise.” Shou held Ritsu’s hand instead, squeezing it. “I’m glad to have you around, really.”
Ritsu’s lip quirked up in amusement, shouldn’t Shou be saying something more sappy than that? Whatever, he could do it himself.
“Come back alive and I’ll give you a kiss in reward.”
Shou’s face tinted pink, then smirked and nodded. “See you!”
He ran forward as Ritsu raised the water in the open canal in front of them, covering Shou and sending a few fire extinguishers forward to create an explosive makeshift smokescreen.
Ritsu ran in to attack Shimazaki but was proceeded to be thrown to one side. When the smoke cleared, the man was nowhere to be seen.
That was until Shimazaki appeared behind him to grab his shoulder and sent him flying towards an abandoned building.
Ritsu quickly recovered, thanks to his barrier, and hid behind a car. He heard Shimazaki’s shoes clacking closer and closer towards him as Ritsu raced to think of a plan.
He looked over from behind the car to get a look at Shimazaki, confused as to why the man wasn’t after Shou.
Shimazaki wasn’t there, instead, he was behind Ritsu again. Shimazaki connected his foot to Ritsu’s chest, making the boy crash into the car behind him and creating a dent.
Ritsu closed his hands together, bringing two cars in to smash into Shimazaki, the man had teleported away and grabbed onto the back of Ritsu’s hoodie, lifting him into the air and throwing him.
Shimazaki then teleported to Ritsu midair and brought his elbows down into Ritsu’s ribs, causing Ritsu to crash into the ground.
He needed help, desperately, otherwise…
Ritsu might actually die.
Mob found a few Claw members raiding the convenience store both he and Ritsu regularly went to. This gravely upsetted him, that store was where he usually got his supply of lollipops.
“Oi, the fuck are you doing? Put it back!” Mob barked. The Claw member with the dyed blonde hair strolled over, looming over Mob’s small figure.
“Who the hell are you?”
Mob was then proceeded to be lifted a few centimeters off the ground by a weak red energy coming from another Claw member. “Don’t use that language on us, we own this place now!”
Mob’s face darkened in anger.
“Yo, stop it. You’re gonna traumatize him.” Another laughed.
All Mob wanted was a lollipop or two, not this shit. He had one in his pocket, but that one was special, he was only going to eat it when Tsubomi was around.
Because his beloved had gifted it to him.
“Stop messing around with your powers for stupid reasons like robbing, it’s fucking weak.” Mob dropped back down onto the ground and floated all the stolen goods right out of the bag the Claw member was carrying. “You can’t do much shit with your powers, so stop acting like you’re good shit.”
“The fuck’s that suppose to mean?!” The Claw member snarled.
“I mean, you’re fucking weak.” Mob retorted. “I bet you only got like this because you depended on other people. You can’t do shit without other people helping out.”
“You fool! You can make anyone submit to you if you have power!”
“Weird flex but okay.” Mob nearly winced from the Claw member’s answer, because deep down, he knew that guy was right. Because that was exactly what he did, and that was exactly what made him a bad person.
He’s willing to change, really, but Mob felt that it was too late for that. The only thing he could truly do now was help others change.
If he could help change Minori, Teru, Dimple and Reigen. He could help others too.
Mob stepped forward, his energy spiking, causing the ground to crack beneath his feet from every step he took.
Minegishi entered the scene, their plants popping up from the ground to attack. It surrounded Mob, but he easily broke free and sent a telekinetic beam towards the offender. Minegishi only made a plant barrier to stop it, it’s thorns as sharp as knives.
Abnormally huge venus flytraps went soaring towards Mob to gulp him up and the boy turned to tear them apart with his powers.
He dropped into the ground, gathering the roots from beneath the soil as his backup. Minegishi lacked eyebrows to raise in surprise, but their tone of voice did hint at their shock. “You can do it too?”
Not so special now, are you? Mob smirked, turning towards them. “You don’t like plants do you?”
Minegishi remained monotonous, agreeing with Mob’s assumption. “Yes, they’re merely tools to me.” They proceeded to send more plants to attack the boy.
Mob hopped from one green enemy to another and created a round barrier around him as the weak Claw members shot red telekinetic beams at him.
He hopped around everywhere, hiding behind billboard signs to hide for a minute to catch his breath before hopping off again. Mob paused when he realized a pink cloud of smoke surrounding them, an army of evil spirits emerged from it and started attacking the Claw members.
Matsuo appeared from behind Mob, offering his help. Sadly, his moment of glory was cut short by Minegishi’s plants and the evil spirit user accidentally dropped a small bottle with many ugly stickers decorating it.
The dyed blonde Claw member picked it up to inspect it and Matsuo crawled towards him in fear. “Don’t open it! Even I can’t control that spirit!”
The Claw member scoffed. “We can Minegishi, though.” And smashed the bottle into the ground.
It cracked open and everyone around it started dropping dead, their skin turning a pasty white and their spirits floated right out the body.
Minegishi paled. “What is that?”
Mogami’s hollow face sucked the life out of the Claw members and the only people left standing were Mob, Minegishi and Matsuo. The evil spirit took a humanoid form and walked over, an ugly red aura surrounding him.
“So you put me in a poison jar and now you want me to devour these humans. Pathetic.”
Shivers were sent down Minegishi’s back as they jumped back and flicked their wrist up, their brown plants moved towards Mogami to capture him.
Mogami took control over the plants and formed a larger and more solid body, taking Minegishi along with him. He crushed them with his plant hand and Minegishi groaned in pain, they couldn’t inhale nor exhale.
“Stop!” Mob yelled from below.
“Why? They don’t deserve to live.” Mogami voiced back. “People never change.”
“They can! You, promise you won’t do anything bad ever again!”
Mogami hummed, a mixture of intrigued and frustration bubbled inside him as Minegishi coughed out a promise. Blood was dripping from their nose and mouth and they were starting to feel lightheaded.
“There we go!” Mob turned back to Mogami’s large figure.
“What if he’s lying so he can survive?” Mogami answered. Minegishi didn’t have the courage nor the energy to correct the evil spirit crushing him. “Are you going to watch over them until they’ve reformed?”
Ah, maybe evil spirits do have manners.
“‘Course not! But we gotta put faith in them right?” Mob wasn’t there to watch over Reigen when he changed, and his Master was still getting better. Mob could only hope Minori was doing the same. “I mean, if we don’t, we’ll never get anywhere!”
“Hmm, you seem awfully kinder than I had first perceived. Very well.” Mogami released Minegishi from his grip. “I do hope you’re going to use your fiercer side more, you’ll become invincible!”
All of Minegishi’s recent victims appeared from the dead plants as Mogami disappeared. Dimple was rather confused at first, wondering if he was gone for good.
“Use my fiercer side more…” Mob wanted to do the exact opposite of that, but in this case… “One last time. I promise.” He mumbled under his breath.
“Ain’t that Teru in the distance?” Dimple pointed. Mob squinted and true enough, he could see a blonde boy with a godly amount of cutely decorated clips littered all over his hair, some were broken and some were hanging out on the strands of Teru’s loose hair.
“Yeah, it is. Who’s the other guy?” Mob mumbled, he had a few lollipops in his pocket and left money on the broken cashier counter to pay for them. He was eating a lemon flavored one.
Dimple shrugged, then blinked when he saw a familiar man with yellow-orange hair advancing towards Shimazaki.
“Fuck you.” Reigen said and punched the shit out of Shimazaki. The man fell to the ground, his face now badly bruised.
“The great master is here!!” Muraki exclaimed in glee. Shimazaki paled. Master? There’s an esper that can hide his psychic presence?
Those ex Claw guys were, he wouldn’t admit out loud, really strong combined and if this Master joined in…
“Master, that dude’s actually tough.” Mob finally reached them. “You might wanna run away unlike last time.”
Shimazaki thought he had paled, but now he was completely white. Mob was strong, like seriously very strong. His aura was a hundred times larger than his.
He couldn’t beat them. There’s no way he could.
“I give up! You got me!” Shimazaki surrendered. “I can’t, I give.”
Reigen raised both his brows. “Oh, that was easy? Don’t wanna take over the world anymore?”
“The only one serious about it is the boss.” Shimazaki smiled softly, hoping to throw them off. “Don’t really care, just here to have fun.”
“What the fuck.” Mob said and Shimazaki’s smile immediately dropped. “You disrupted so many lives to have fun? You can’t be serious.” He grinded his teeth against the stick menacingly. Was that fierce enough?
Shimazaki gasped in fear and disappeared.
“He might come back to attack again.” Sakurai said, placing an arm over Muraki for support. He couldn’t exactly stand properly due to Shimazaki’s attack.
“No, I think Mob really shook him good.” Teru reassured. “He might turn over a new leaf.” Hopefully.
“Brother!” Ritsu called out and Mob’s pissed off mood immediately dispersed into concern and relief.
“Ritsu! Are you okay?”
“Yeah. Mom and Dad too.” Ritsu nodded. Mob sighed, grabbing his chest, thank god.
Reigen and Dimple choked in relief, they weren’t going to die tonight.
“Great! Now that we’re all here, we can defeat the last boss.” Teru pumped his fist into his hand. “The rest of the guys are heading into safety, so we’ll be good.”
“N-No?” Teru coughed.
Mob glanced at everyone, who looked just about ready to collapse onto a bed or onto the floor. They held a sturdy illusion that they’re fine, but they were badly injured.
Shimazaki had struck them where it hurt most, there’s no way they could last a second against the ultimate boss.
“I’ll go alone, you’re all hurt.” Mob shifted the stick in his mouth.
“What the fuck do you mean?” Teru growled, mainly out of worry.
Ritsu held his hand out in exasperation. “I’ll go too. My...friend is in there!” God dammit, Shou, you better be alive or I swear to god.
“No offense but you guys are going to get in my way.” Mob deadpanned, swallowing a little. Everyone wavered, understanding what Mob meant. However, Dimple followed the boy anyways, he was least likely to make trouble for Mob.
After Serizawa had finished his story, Mob nodded in understanding. But what came out of his mouth probably sounded like he didn’t.
“Aren’t you just being used though?”
Dimple shrieked, floating away.
“What are horrible thing to say…” Serizawa mumbled, shifting his umbrella and tilting his head up.
“Yeah well, you’re being horrible so we can’t all be nice snowflakes can we?” Mob shrugged, shifting the stick in his mouth again. “You should’ve stayed at home, otherwise, none of this havoc would’ve happened.”
Serizawa clicked his umbrella shut. “The president said world domination required sacrifice.”
“What about you?”
Mob lifted a finger at Serizawa, an invisible wind made his hair lift and flow. “Serizawa, you chose the wrong person to follow.”
The umbrella in Serizawa’s hand came swinging towards him, connecting to Mob’s neck and sending the boy crashing onto the window.
The window cracked and Mob dropped back onto the ground, perfectly fine due to his skin barrier. It seemed like Serizawa’ umbrella had a lot of power in it, so all Mob had to do was get rid of it and Serizawa would immediately become weaker.
Which sounded easy on paper but in real life?...
Mob picked up rocks with his powers and threw them at Serizawa, who deflected them easily with his umbrella. Dimple floated over with a rock and dropped it gently onto Serizawa’s head, Mob swiftly pushed the rock down on Serizawa’s head to immobilize him.
It didn’t work and Serizawa rushed forward immediately, striking his umbrella into Mob’s chest.
Mob’s face dropped, a pained expression formed. “Ow.” He choked.
Serizawa began to grow concerned, dropping his guard. “Ah, sorry, are you okay?”
Mob lifted his head and held a hand out, using his powers to throw the umbrella away, he didn’t know his acting was that great.
Dimple soared through the room to get the umbrella, but was stopped when Serizawa started having a meltdown. Purple sparks appeared around the room and Serizawa held his head and screamed. The ghost retreated in fear, there was no way he could get the umbrella under these conditions.
Serizawa retrieved his umbrella in a second, gripping it like his life depended on it. Mob realized that fighting wouldn’t work, so he was going to have to go with Plan B.
“Your president isn’t helping you. He’s making it seem like you can’t live on your own.” Mob said calmly. “You won’t ever be able to come back to society this way.”
“As if you’d understand! You’re still a kid, you have a future you can still make ahead of you!” Serizawa argued. “Then tell me, what do I do?!”
Mob jumped at Serizawa’s raised volume as the older man continued. “Everyone thought I was creepy, so I’d lose control and cause people trouble! Then I get scorned for that and lose control again! I accidentally sent my mother flying one time! I couldn’t even talk about it...I...just...just wanted...friends. But I have friends here who are like me, you’ll never understand!”
And with that, he swiped his umbrella at Mob again. Mob pulled a barrier up and held his arms in front of his face, he shifted the stick in his mouth one more time. Serizawa’s words hit close to home, he remembered when he was ten years old and had accidentally hurt Ritsu.
He remembered when people were creeped out by his powers because he was able to lift erasers and pencils in class with his mind.
He remembered when Tsubomi called him boring because of his powers.
He remembered not being able to speak to anyone in days.
But the only difference between him and Serizawa were…
“Bitch, I’m an esper too! I understand! But those guys aren’t your friends.” Mob retorted. “I actually have friends, that’s how I know.”
“Don’t say that!” Serizawa created a ball of beam on the tip of his umbrella, causing the wind around them to go haywire. “The president said you can’t pass, so you won’t! He trusted me with this job!”
“It’s not about trust, you shithead.” Mob yelled. “You’re being used!”
“He gave me a reason to live!”
“You’re not a person to him!”
“A person?” Serizawa wavered, the beam on his umbrella still shining brightly as ever.
“Listen, I’ll be your friend. I know a few people- I know a person that can treat you better!” Mob offered, his throat was starting to hurt and he was pretty sure the lollipop stick had dropped out of his mouth.
“Shut up!” And the ball was fired at him.
Teru stared at the tower, he had just seen an explosion earlier and was starting to get worried. He hoped Mob was doing okay.
A spark of purple energy light flashed in the same room the explosion occurred and it went deadly silent. Teru stopped trying to retie his hair ages ago, but he needed something to distract him.
He trusts Mob, Teru knows the boy will be fine.
Mob walked into the room just as Suzuki was about to set a ball of deadly energy towards his son. Shou stared at the boy in amazement, despite his bruised up face and sighed. “I guess my detonator worked.”
“Are you the one that set fire to my house?” Mob asked, his eyes glued onto Suzuki. He had a new lollipop in his mouth and even handed one to Serizawa earlier. The flavor this time was cotton candy and the one Serizawa had was blueberry.
Mob likes the fruit lollipops better and he hoped Serizawa would like them too.
“You’re probably pissed off at that, but you should run.” Shou scoffed, looking away. “There’s no one in this world that can defeat him.”
“You were already on my hit list since the day you hitted on my brother.” Mob replied, shifting the stick in his mouth. “But I forgive you about the house, don’t really have time to go apeshit on you.”
The energy ball in Suzuki’s hand disappeared. “Who are you?”
“My brother’s admirer has--” Shou coughed really loudly and covered his face at Mob’s statement, “--been worried about you losing control. I can tell, because my brother was like that once.”
“You make it sound like you know what’s going on in our family.” Suzuki said, his voice was devoid from all emotions.
So it had really come down to emotionless man VS emotionless child.
“Serizawa told me all about it; you’re abusive. It scared him.”
“What’s your deal with my brother?” Ritsu folded his arms in front of Teru, who was now sitting on broken debris to rest.
“My deal? Why is everyone asking me that?” Teru raised a brow, he was counting all his hair clips and was very sure he had lost ten of them.
“Everyone knows you’ve got a crush on Mob at this point.” Reigen added. “Mukai caught you trying to kiss him.”
“Argh! No! It may have looked like that, but I didn’t want to!” Teru covered his face and flushed. “Ginger girl, stop spreading rumors!”
“But you were doing that thing in Sleeping Beauty!” Mukai protested.
Reigen laughed. “Sleeping Beauty? Non consensual!”
“Shut up!” Teru groaned. “At least I didn’t run off to be with Shigeo like loverboy here.”
Ritsu choked, pounding his chest. “I didn’t run off to be with Shou!”
Fukuda healed one more person and looked up at Ritsu. “Leader has taken a liking to you though.”
“Yeah? No shit, but he’s just messing around.” Ritsu tilted his head to one side.
Ritsu’s face grew red.
“Ain’t Mob got a grudge on Shou though?” Reigen added. “Little shit is going to kill ginger boy.”
Ritsu’s face paled.
The first thing Mob thought when Suzuki landed a blow into his face that caused his nose to break was; Fuck.
Mob skipped across the room like a pebble being skipped across a pond, each time he landed left a trail of dust. Shou tried to protect him by charging towards his father, his fists balled, but was instantly pushed back by Suzuki’s powers.
Suzuki picked Mob up by the hair, the lollipop in his mouth now missing, and brought him up to show it to Shou. “This is what happens to weaklings.”
Mob’s face was all battered up, his cheek was swollen and he was mildly sure that he had chipped a tooth, he couldn’t even bring himself to open his eyes fully. Just as Suzuki was about to land one final blow into Mob’s skull, the sound of a gun being pointed was heard.
“Don’t move.” Reigen said, a gun pointing at Suzuki. “It’s loaded by the way.”
“Sakurai’s Jugan.” Suzuki stated, observing the other man. “You can’t threaten me with that.”
Mob made an attempt to turn his head towards Reigen, fear written all over his face. He can’t protect the man, he was immobilized and gravely injured. “Master…”
“Ayo what’s shakin’ Mob?” Reigen fired the gun, but Suzuki’s barrier stopped the bullet from penetrating him.
“You should leave if you know what’s best for you.” Suzuki said. “You don’t have any power.”
Instead, Reigen dropped his gun to the floor. The ginger man clicked his tongue in annoyance and threw Mob onto the floor with a thud.
“You alive, Mob?” Reigen asked, Mob was ready to smite this man. “I was being stupid, letting you go on your own. I think my ability to think was impacted by the unnatural things going on. I failed as a master. But you did good, we’ll get you some takoyaki later, your favorite. Right?”
“Master?” Suzuki smiled in amusement. “Even though you can’t see how powerful I am? You must trick people and use them too.”
“Ain’t this ironic then,” Reigen sighed, “if you ask me, you can only see powers that can’t be seen. I feel sorry for you.”
Reigen resisted the urge to bite at this man. “I’m saying ESP ain’t the only epic powers people can have. Off the top of my head, I can think of four ways to beat cho ass.”
“Try them then.” Suzuki challenge.
Reigen waved his hands and chuckled. “Hell no, but can I ask something? Can...I join you?”
Suzuki scoffed and narrowed his eyes at the man. “Why?”
“Oh, because I can easily persuade my student and the dudes outside.” Reigen shrugged, as if it was no big deal. It really wasn’t though.
“Then let’s hear those methods of defeating me.”
“I’ll tell you all about ESP powers that you surely don’t know about.” Reigen stepped closer and closer to Suzuki calmly. “The first power is…”
Reigen was right in front of Suzuki now and continued. “The power that all espers should be cautious about, that’s…” He hurled a fist towards Suzuki’s face. “...brute strength, you--”
A colorful string of insults flowed right out of Reigen’s mouth that could surely make Mob’s mom faint. However, the man Reigen had punched was merely a phony and the real Suzuki stood behind him.
“Wait wait, I give!” Reigen stepped back towards the big windows. “I’ll do anything!”
“Then perish.” Suzuki answered.
“No! Wait, sto--”
Mob’s face turned white, his eyes widened and his mouth hung open. He couldn’t-He can’t-His master was--
The smoke cleared to reveal Serizawa’s umbrella, which started to disintegrate from the blast. “I made it in time! I tried being courageous for once, president.”
“Holy shit I love you.” Reigen whispered. He only said that out of relief from surviving though, his luck really was crazy.
“Sorry?” Serizawa stammered.
“I see you’ve betrayed me, Serizawa.” Suzuki said sternly. “In that case--”
Mob stood up, the dust around them started to swarm around them from the wind he was making from his powers. He was truly angry now, this ginger man had just tried to murder his master.
That wasn’t allowed in his book.
“Aaaaaand he’s pissed.” Reigen winced.
“Is there anything I can do?” Serizawa asked Mob, who looked ready to level the town.
Suzuki shot forward, his hand charged with a ball of energy. “Punishment first!”
Shigeo blocked the attack with his barrier, but this didn’t stop the people behind him from blasting out of the tower.
It seemed Shou himself had also volunteeringly hopped out too.
They were all thankfully caught by Minegishi’s plants, who came just in time to save the three from falling to their deaths. After all, they did owe Mob one.
Suzuki smirked, it seemed everyone had betrayed him. So it was back to square one.
And obviously, when you’ve done something wrong with the pencil, you should use an eraser to erase your mistakes. Which was exactly what Suzuki did as he raised his fingers and shot laser beams at the people down below.
Mob body slammed him to the top of the tower, yelling as he grounded the man through the walls. Suzuki brought a fist down Mob’s back and he went many stories down through the tower’s ground.
When Mob recovered, Suzuki noticed what the boy was planning.
The people down below looked up at the tower that floated in the sky, Mob had isolated their fight away from the others in order to have them not get hurt. It was considerate to say the least, and smart to Suzuki.
Mob used his powers to push Suzuki down, but the man had formed a stable landing from the debris around him and as Mob soared down towards him, Suzuki clapped his hands together to surround the boy with debris.
The trap came undone by Mob and Suzuki bellowed out a laughter, he had never met a worthy opponent before, this was going to be fun.
He formed a larger ball of energy and fired beams of energy from it at Mob, who was flying through the sky to avoid them all.
Mob couldn’t help but laugh too, he had never gone all out before, it felt...dangerously refreshing to lose all this extra power that was stored in him.
He knew he always had extra stored inside of him, he just didn’t know how to pull them out. But now? He was really using his full 100%.
Mob crashed into the ground from one of Suzuki’s blows, yet his smile was still brighter than the sun. He recovered quite fast and was ready to be on the move again when he heard his brother call out to him.
His smile dropped as he looked over at Ritsu.
Ritsu was terrified by what Mob had become in the heat of the moment. The fear in his eyes...it reminded Mob of the time Ritsu was…
Suzuki attacked again and Mob went flying through a building, but this time, he stayed curled up on a piece of debris that had broken off from said building. He told himself one last time, this was the last time.
He’s not going to hurt Suzuki.
He wanted to change, he needed to change. He can’t--
But first, he had to help Suzuki change.
Mob floated down to Suzuki and mumbled. “How did your life become so fucking hollow? You’re so unlucky.”
“What are you talking about?” Suzuki’s aura spiked. “I’m the luckiest in the world. Heaven blessed me with this power so I could shine among all of you extras.”
“Really? Then it wasn’t luck...it was...bonds.”
“You’re the only one that lived in your world.”
Suzuki stared, his face was veiny from the amount of power he was exerting. “Are you...crying?”
“Because I don’t want to hurt you.” So instead, Mob was going to trap this man. He brought stray buildings from the ground to trap Suzuki in between two buildings, but the man proved to be fast as he weaseled his way out of everyone of those attempts.
Then he was surrounded by more than fifty buildings and was captured.
Feeling Suzuki’s aura disappear, Mob sent the ball of buildings back down to get Suzuki arrested. It was a short victory as Suzuki started shooting out of the trap and right towards Mob, grabbing his leg to hurl him down to the surface.
The ball of buildings that was once used to trap Suzuki landed right on top of him and all Mob could do was stare in daze.
Suzuki landed down to the surface and watched as Mob floated right off the ground with his powers. He demanded for Mob to get up and fight.
Mob exhaled and stared right at him. “No.”
“I don’t like saying this. But I’m too weak.”
Suzuki went batshit crazy, throwing Mob towards the ground, then used telekinetic whips to strike the boy over and over.
Mob formed a barrier to try and protect himself but Suzuki only broke it down. Mob was done, he couldn’t fight any longer. He needed to end things right now.
The sound of bone cracking was heard from Suzuki’s hand, then his arms, his neck and his whole body was twisting and turning as if he was a wet towel that needed to be dried.
Suzuki began to implode, then exploded and Mob was sure that he was at death’s doorstep. Reigen called out to him in concern and he paused, realizing that his fear of losing everyone was the only thing that was going to keep him alive.
He pressed his feet into the ground to withstand the blast and was pushed down through and ground and into the sewers. He plunged into the water and he used his powers to part the waters so he could breathe.
Suzuki climbed down the he had made with his blast and attacked Mob again, the man looked inhuman. He barely looked like the man he was before and as they fought on, Suzuki started to deflate and become a blackened stick figure, his cheeks oh so hollow.
Mob would’ve thought he was a zombie.
Suzuki then yelled out a deafening scream, light beaming out from his body, he had overexerted himself and was ready to explode. This time, it was the final and biggest explosion he’d ever make.
Mob was very aware of that.
He needed to warn the others.
He ran out of the hole and towards his master, yelling for everyone to get out and explained the situation. Everyone started to run.
Ritsu had long given the kiss he had promised Shou, even though it was just on his cheek, and they were pretty much glued together. So it wasn’t a surprise that they trotted off hand in hand, but if you had asked Ritsu, it was mainly because he was worried about losing Shou again.
It’s platonic, he’d say.
Mob grabbed Teru and thumbed his palm, thinking of something to say. He couldn’t think of a perfect goodbye. Instead, he did the next best thing and pecked Teru’s forehead, he had to tiptoe for that. “Don’t tell Tsubomi or I crush your bones.” And released Teru’s hand.
“Right, Sweet Venom.” Teru breathed and ran off, feeling his forehead. One might think he had another fever coming on.
Mob returned back down into the sewers and sat down in front of Suzuki, the man had expected the boy to kill him, yet Mob decided to contain the explosion. Sacrificing himself.
Since Mob was most likely going to die afterwards, he decided to unwrap Tsubomi’s lollipop and eat it, talking to Suzuki as if they weren’t fighting moments ago.
Suzuki was moved, he couldn’t think of anything else to say. He remembered the days when he was...nicer, better.
A good husband, a loving father.
When-Why did he have to throw it all away? He had everything already and despite that, he still wanted more.
He wondered where his wife was now.
Mob gripped harder onto Suzuki’s hand to try and contain the explosion. “You want to apologize, don’t you? You have to apologize. Loud and clear! I-I, too, have someone to go back to!”
And everything went black.
Chapter 14: Change
In which Teru is protective, Tsubomi is calculative, Shou is gay, Serizawa is anxious and Shou's mom has existence rights.
Mob blinked his eyes open and found himself buried under god knows what, his brother, Teru and Reigen were calling out to him and were relieved to find him awake.
They dug him out and he walked behind them, taking notice of how squishy the ground was. He looked up and wondered what was blocking his view of the night sky and his surroundings smelt awfully sweet. He was too tired to further investigate, his mind was so blank too.
Apparently the explosion had healed everyone from their wounds, even the scar members no longer had scars on their faces.
“I thought you were a goner, you little shit.” Reigen shined the light on his own face creepily. “Thought ground zero was gonna eviscerate. But instead there was...hey Mob, you okay?”
Mob stumbled and nearly fell over, Ritsu luckily caught him just in time. “Brother! Are you okay? Are you hurt anywhere?”
“I’m good, just tired. Too much power used.” Mob breathed, he was then hovered off the ground by Teru.
“I’ll carry you partway so you can rest.”
“Carry him where? Our house is…” Ritsu asked, trailing off at the memory of Shou offering to fix their house.
“You guys wanna chill at my place? It’s small and cramped but we’ll be fine.” Reigen suggested. Ritsu frowned in discomfort, expressing his full hatred for that idea. Reigen frowned too. “Jeez, at least try to hide your displeasure.”
“You guys don’t worry about me.” Teru waved from behind. He had an apartment to go back to, even though the idea of sleeping under the same roof as Mob was tempting.
Mob slowly drifted into sleep as Teru carried him with his powers, the boy looked peaceful and Teru honestly thought he deserved it after the very long and stressful fight. Sure their wounds might’ve been healed, but it didn’t exactly mean they felt any less tired from before.
“Where do you suppose we can find extra clothes for him?” Teru asked as they walked. Ritsu scratched his chin, thinking.
“Where did brother get those extra clothes from when I got...kidnapped?”
Teru coughed, looking away. “Ah, they were mine.”
The younger brother raised an eyebrow, he was fairly sure the clothes were never returned. He didn’t know they came from Teru.
“You don’t suppose he has extras at school?” Reigen asked. Ritsu blinked trying to think back, but Teru had answered first.
“No, his clothes rarely got dirty. But when they do, he never changes in school.”
“So I’m assuming he changes when he gets ho--”
Ritsu interrupted Reigen mid sentence to correct him. “He doesn’t do that either, when he’s home, his clothes are always in perfect condition. Mom would’ve complained if Brother came home in a ruined uniform.”
Reigen ran a hand through his hair. “Well, Mob might just have to deal with ruined clo--”
“There’s one solution we can go for, but I doubt it’ll work.” Ritsu interrupted again. And I don’t exactly like that solution either but… “We could try Takane’s place.”
Teru spluttered, wringing his hands. “How in the world is she going to help?”
“Trust me on this one.” Ritsu sighed. “And for your information, I don’t like the idea either.”
“Ritsu. Hanazawa. Hi.” Tsubomi said. She looked tired, her hair was a mess and she was wearing bunny slippers. She held the door open weakly as she continued. “What’s up?”
“Emergency, has Brother left any clothes here before?” Ritsu asked. His brother was still floating in the air, sound asleep and despite the fact that Teru didn’t want to come, he came anyways.
“Sure he has. Parents are never home enough to catch him taking a shower or two here. Nothing scandalous I promise.” Tsubomi eyed Reigen, who looked just about ready to shout another string of insults and a lecture about them being too young.
“Perfect, we’re gonna need them.” Ritsu said.
Reigen clapped his hands together, causing the three kids to jump and Mob to stir a little. “Does that mean they can chill out at your place?”
Tsubomi didn’t take long to answer. “I don’t care, but I don’t want you ruining my carpet with your ugliness, ginger blonde bitch.”
“It’s orange guys, my hair color is a nice bright orange. Like the sun.” Reigen ran a hand down his face.
“The sun is yellow.” Teru raised a brow, as if that fact was obvious. Reigen wanted to collapse at that moment.
“We don’t have time for this, I’m going in.” Ritsu used his powers to drag Mob down so he could carry him with his own arms. Reigen took this as his cue to leave and waved goodbye to the kids, Ritsu flipped him off but the older man took it as a goodbye too.
“You coming in too, Hanazawa?” Tsubomi asked, suppressing a yawn.
“I thought you hated me.” Teru answered, skeptical about the girl’s sudden change of heart.
Tsubomi hummed, blinking slowly. “Here’s a deal, you can sleep in the same futon as Mob and I get to paint your nails.”
Teru walked in.
Tsubomi left the dirty tattered clothes in the trash can, she was now wide awake and her hair was in a bun. Perhaps she was too tired to feel mean that night or her nicer side decided to take a stroll in her brain, whatever the case was, she was having a sleepover with her boyfriend, her boyfriend’s best friend and her boyfriend’s brother.
She had them sleep in the living room, pushing the coffee table to one side and the couches further apart so she could lay the futon down. Her deal with Teru was rigged from the beginning, she only had one spare futon and was planning to have all three boys sleep together anyways.
She just wanted to paint Teru’s nails for fun.
Well, mainly for fun, the other part was so that she could trap him into having a conversation with her. She could almost praise herself for being so smart and strategic.
“Thanks for lending us your shower too.” Ritsu wiped his hair with a towel, his older brother’s clothes were a little small on him, so Tsubomi had lent him one of her school windbreakers too. She had gotten a size larger than herself, so it should fit the boy perfectly.
“No problem.” Tsubomi replied, bringing out the hot pink nail polish and setting them down on the floor. She sat down and beckoned for Teru to join her.
Teru had just finished blow drying his hair, since it was a little longer than the rest of the boys, and tied it into a lazy ponytail. His clothes were the only ones that were still in wearable condition, but Tsubomi had insisted on lending him one of her bigger shirts.
He sat down in front of her as she unscrewed the cap off the bottle, where the brush was, and took his hand into hers.
“You’re not going to ask what happened?” Teru asked, slightly bemused.
“Why should I?” Tsubomi started painting his thumb first, extremely slowly. “My turn; is Shigeo okay?”
“And you care because…?”
“I’m his girlfriend, now answer the damn question.”
Teru huffed, propping his leg up so he could lean on his knee. “He’s just tired, probably stressed. He’ll be fine.”
Mob was the last to enter the shower, which was exactly the same time Tsubomi started chatting with Teru. Ritsu was most likely going to wait outside the bathroom and probably talk to him through the door. So it meant the blonde and her were completely alone.
“My turn again,” Teru said, “do you actually love him?”
“Is this about the time I went over to Spirits and Such?”
“Possibly. Answer the question.”
Tsubomi rolled her eyes, moving on to the next finger. “Of course I do. Why are you so curious?”
“Your relationship with him isn’t all that healthy. Why are you like this to him?”
“It’s healthy, just ask him yourself if he’s happy with us. I give him all my love and he gives me all his attention.” Tsubomi answered simply, painting Teru’s middle finger nail. “It’s pretty fair, don’t you think?”
“When you put it like that, it sounds fine, but you act as if you don’t love him at all.” Teru argued, his voice wasn’t raised. Yet.
“I’m not affectionate in public, I’m quite shy about it.”
“And you’re always too busy to go on dates with him.”
“Oh please, having school lunch together could easily be counted as dates. We eat, we talk, we flirt. All the same.” Tsubomi rolled her eyes again. Teru was starting to sound rather dramatic to her. “And it’s not like I never go on dates with him, you’ve caught us on a date once.”
Teru stuttered, eying around the room, thinking of a counterargument. “You keep asking him to hurt people you don’t like.”
That made Tsubomi pause. Teru smirked, it seemed like he had hit the right nail, so he continued. “You can’t believe how stressed he gets whenever you cry about a certain person and make him do your bidding. You practically forced him into becoming Student President!”
She moved on to the pinky finger after finishing the ring one. “Tell me, Hanazawa, when a person does something wrong, they are required to have punishment to change. Yes?”
“It doesn’t matter what kind, it could really be anything. But violence to inflict fear is always the most efficient, it teaches the person that if they were to commit the wrong act again, they’ll feel that fear again.”
Teru swallowed, he wasn’t sure when she was going with this, but nodded. Tsubomi took his other hand and started on his pinky finger first and added. “You can’t prove that all those people who made me upset weren't doing anything wrong in general, I was a mere victim of their actions and I took the role to correct them by having Shigeo punish them.”
“But you don’t take his feelings into consideration when you do that!” Teru protested.
“Hanazawa, I will be honest with you.” Tsubomi finished three fingers and was down to the last two, she could hear the shower being turned off from distance and Ritsu’s chattering had stopped. She hoped their whispering was soft enough for the Kageyama brothers to not hear. “I never knew Shigeo was uncomfortable with it, with expressions like his, it’s hard to tell and I admit it is my fault. He never brought it up either so I assumed it was fine.”
Teru swore he had bit his tongue at that moment, he couldn’t tell if he was trembling from worry or rage. He couldn’t tell if Tsubomi was lying to him. “Then do you intend on changing?”
Mob walked out with his brother at exactly the same time Tsubomi finished painting Teru’s nails, she hopped to her feet and planted a quick kiss on his nose. “Rest well, okay?”
Mob flushed, nodding. He gave her one last hug and bid her goodnight. Ritsu watched as she went back upstairs to go back to sleep.
Teru sat there, his nails still wet from the polish and still suspicious with Tsubomi. He wondered if he was going to sleep well tonight.
On the other hand, Tsubomi had collected just about enough info she needed on Teru. Now she was very sure the boy was disapproving of her relationship with Mob and even called her out on her wrong deeds.
But the look in his eyes did say something more.
“Oh Hanazawa, you truly did fall in love with the wrong person.” Tsubomi sighed, turning her bedside lamp off.
“So it was just a short circuit and you ended up calling the fire insurance?” Dimple raised a ghostly brow. “What about ‘I have money, it’s fine’?”
“Gave it to Hanazawa, apparently his apartment got fucked up and he needed it more than I do.” Reigen replied. “Still got some extra cash though, so it ain’t all that bad.”
He set a pot of soil down after planting some seeds in and asked for Mob to grow it instantly with his powers, the boy obeyed and a small plant grew out. Reigen thanked him and picked it up to place it by the door.
That was when it hit Mob.
“The hole in my pocket!” Mob snapped his fingers. “The broccoli seeds.”
“Seriously, you kept those? What happened to not liking broccoli?” Reigen snorted, then he paled. “Hang on--” He rushed over to the blinds and pulled it up, revealing the giant broccoli in the distance.
Mob equally paled too.
Not only was the broccoli huge , it had a weird color palette too. Green with stripes of brown, it reminded Mob awfully of…
“Candy Apple lollipop.” He whispered. “The flavor Tsubomi gave to me. It...fused?”
“Welp, time to bleach my eyes.” Reigen turned. “It kinda explains the sweet smell though. You don’t suppose it’ll attract ants, right?”
Mob shrugged and turned towards the door when he heard it open. A client? So soon?
Serizawa walked in with a suit, causing the boy’s jaw to drop.
“You’re working here?!”
“Uhm, yeah. Reigen offered me after...y’know.” Serizawa fiddled with his fingers nervously. “He said even I could help around here. It’s the least I could do after giving everyone so much trouble.”
Reigen placed a hand on Serizawa’s shoulder, leaning onto him and gestured to himself. “We’re here to make a better tomorrow, so this is fucking brilliant for you.”
“Y-Yes sir! I’ll do my best!” Serizawa stammered back, rather uncomfortable from the physical contact. “Uh, must we...cuss in this job?”
“Then it’s okay if I don’t?”
Reigen snorted, pulling away from Serizawa and doubled over laughing. “Holy shit, that’s so precious. Oh my god.”
“Feel free to have a clean mouth.” Mob translated for the man, who looked confused as to why Reigen had started laughing at him.
“Okay, okay, I have a client soon so…” Reigen wiped a tear away and squatted down to reach for a razor in a box. “We’re gonna have to take care of that. ”
“Huh?” Serizawa blinked.
After cutting Serizawa’s hair, Mob made the attempt to clean the hair out when the client finally dropped by. He taught the older man how to make tea before leaving to tend to some business.
He sat on the park bench while the rest of his gang members sat on the grass. Mob crossed his arms and sighed.
“I’ll be resigning as your leader.”
A resounding “huh?!” resonated through the park, causing some people to turn their heads in annoyance and confusion.
“Why?” Onigawara demanded. “Who hurt you?”
“No one, I just…” Mob squeezed his eyes shut and exhaled another breath of air. “I just figured I needed to stop, so Onigawara will be your new leader. I’ll remain in the background, perhaps a shadow leader, but that’s it. Okay?”
“It was a long time coming anyways.” Mob continued, waving his hand. “You guys should have expected this. It was nice leading all of you, but I’m going to focus on my duties as Student Council President for now.”
“Does this mean you’re going nice?” Someone shouted within the crowd.
“Oi, you and I both know I’m never nice.” Mob retorted, making some of them chuckle. “Really though, this is it. It was nice while it lasted. Keep the Salt Middle School gang proud for me!”
Everyone roared in agreement.
Strangely, Tsubomi had started hanging out with Mob more. They went out for ice cream, watched a few movies at each other’s places, ate lunch together and walked together in the park. It was pleasant, Mob wondered where all this good karma had came from.
Teru ran a hand through his hair and stared at his bag, a trip to the hot springs with Mob, his boss, his co-worker and his brother. It was nerve-wracking, he hadn’t been on a holiday in a long time and he was pretty sure he got invited because Reigen felt bad that his parents were rarely around.
“So your house is a wreck and I’m the only adult you can contact for help?” Reigen asked through the phone as Teru continued to kick the stray debris around.
“Where are your parents?”
Teru bit his teeth and closed his eyes. “Unreachable.”
Reigen offered to pay for his apartment’s damages, Teru didn’t expect the man to do anymore. Now here he was, packing for a trip to the hot springs.
“Did you pack enough clothes?” Shou’s mom asked, looming over her son’s bag.
“One night, mom, just one night. I’ll be fine.” Shou waved his mother away, she stumbled back. But she shot him a smile, a knowing sort of smile.
“With, what’s his name again? Ritsu was it? A bit too young to spend a night with your lover, don’t you think?”
“Mom!” Shou’s face flushed red.
“Pretty Boy, you call him Pretty Boy. Right?”
“ Mom! ”
She laughed, hugging her son. “I’m kidding. I’m so glad you grew up to become such a gentle boy, remember to wear a scarf because the both of us know a hat won’t fit.”
“Yeah, Mom, take care of my hamsters please?” Shou heaved the bag on top of his bed and glanced at the hamster cage on his desk. His mother nodded, checking through her son’s bag one last time. Shou jumped onto his bed, leaning against the frame. “And tell dad he’s an asshole when you visit him.”
“Oh, I intend on doing that.” She grinned.
The first thing Shou did when he made it to the meeting point was slap Ritsu’s hat off to take it for himself.
“Shou! It’s cold!” Ritsu screamed, grabbing for the hat. Shou snickered and floated off the ground, raising the hat higher until he was shoved back down forcefully by a rather angry older brother.
Shou reluctantly handed the hat back.
“You’re only invited because we felt bad for you, don’t think this is some opportunity for you to disturb Ritsu.” Mob growled, pointing a finger at the ginger.
“Yeah yeah, I get you.” Shou rolled his eyes, then winked at Ritsu, who turned and blushed, his eyebrows furrowed.
Mob was later seen running after a laughing Shou.
After missing a train, Reigen offered to pay for their food at a local souvenir shop, it seemed nice until he started recommending strange food.
“I’m a sweets person, not a spicy food person.” Mob turned down the extremely spicy habanero oyaki and a wasabi manjuu and so did Ritsu. Serizawa was close to saying yes when Dimple came in and said Reigen would get sued for abusing his authority.
Shou stared at it, grinning at Reigen. “I can take it.”
“Is it because you’re a natural born arsonist?” Mob asked, though it was hard to tell if he was joking.
“I thought I was forgiven…” Shou pouted. Mob’s darkened expression said otherwise.
Reigen waved his hand dismissively and pointed at the grasshopper mushipan, hornet larva sushi. “What about this?”
“Dude gross!” Shou laughed, poking at the bento box. “Ritsu, how much would you pay me to eat this?”
“1000 yen.” Ritsu smirked, Shou grinned back. Mob wanted to step between them, but Ritsu seemed so happy. Maybe another day.
“Well, pick one, we don’t got all day.” Reigen huffed, standing aside awkwardly.
“What’s with the ru--” Dimple glanced at the sign at the front of the counter and his face drooped. “You’re fucking with me.”
“What?” Reigen coughed, shifting away from the counter. “Oh! That!”
The sign read; If you buy 3 goods at our store, you’ll receive a special key holder featuring the mascot character of Zebra Prefecture, ‘two-tone-kun’.
“I didn’t- I didn’t know about that, nope. No fucking wa--” Reigen was cut off by a chorus of “Lame” from three kids. Serizawa panicked, wondering if he should defend his boss or not.
“I’ll get the insect one, but you gotta give me some of that juice.” Shou picked the bento up, grinning madly.
“You’re so gonna puke.” Ritsu snorted.
“Bet I won’t!”
In the end, Reigen had forgotten to take the receipt, so he never got his keyholder.
When they boarded the train, they immediately dug in. Shou puked after eating three-quarters of his bento and downed the rest of Ritsu’s apple juice, handing the boy 1000 yen.
“This sorta feels like a school trip, doesn’t it?” Ritsu said, pocketing the money.
“A school trip huh? That takes me back!” Reigen exhaled, leaning back into his seat. “Playing cards, pillow fights, test of courage.”
“I don’t mind setting a test of courage for you.” Dimple floated in creepily.
“I don’t mind if you fucked right off.”
Dimple fucked right off, deciding to chill on the roof of the train.
“What about you, Shou?” Mob asked, purely out of curiosity.
“Never had a school trip before, I was homeschooled.” Shou munched on Ritsu’s onigiri, he was sitting on the edge of the seat, squeezing as much as he could since the seat only had space for two people.
Ritsu didn’t mind though, Shou had the tendency to burst his personal space bubble while others could not, so he might as well let him.
“That sounds boring.” Mob mumbled, genuinely sad for Shou.
“It’s fine.” Shou waved, laughing a little too loudly.
Ritsu nudged Shou a little so he could stand up, dusting his lap. “I need to run to the bathroom.”
“I’ll come with.” Mob got up too and so did Shou.
“Me too! Let’s go!”
“You make it sound like we’re going on an adventure.” Mob deadpanned.
They walked towards the bathroom in a straight line since there wasn’t much space to go in twos, Ritsu had offered Mob to use it first and the older brother’s brother instincts kicked in. Can’t leave Ritsu and Shou alone.
Nevertheless, he took a deep breath and went to the toilet first anyways. Because he trusts Ritsu wouldn’t do anything bad behind his back. Hopefully.
The moment Mob closed the bathroom door behind him, Shou placed a hand against the wall and cornered Ritsu, placing his other hand on Ritsu’s shoulder.
Ritsu had thought of kneeing Shou in the balls, but decided to humor the ginger a little longer. He tipped his head forward and looked up at Shou with the most charming look he could conjure up. “Hey.”
It took every single cell in his body to prevent Shou from combusting and instead, he grinned wider. “Has anyone told you that you looked pretty?”
“Countless times, yeah.”
“Hm, I wonder who else would say that.”
Ritsu hummed, tilting his face up. “Why don’t you guess?”
“Is he handsome?” Shou’s lips curled.
“I guess you could say that.”
Shou leaned in closer daringly, bumping his forehead against Ritsu’s. “If he asked for a kiss, would you give it to him?”
Ritsu pressed his forehead harder against Shou’s. “Probabl--”
Shou was sent flying into the next train coach and the boy landed perfectly onto the ground, his sneakers squeaking against the polished floors. A bead of sweat dripped off the side of his head, that was definitely a close one.
So close too.
Teru greeted the five (or six if you counted Dimple) at the train stop, he didn’t question why Serizawa and Reigen were being lifted into the air in soundless sleep. Though, he wished he could’ve thanked Reigen.
They explored the hot springs when they got there, gazing at the decorations and the shrine for the god at the mountain. Ibogami.
Teru tried to impress Mob with facts about the place and it seemed to have work, the boy looked oh so fascinated. Meanwhile, Shou tried to grab the ball to play catch with, in which then Ritsu had to drag him away.
They dropped their things in their room, tucking Serizawa and Reigen into bed, before hopping into the bath. It was warm and relaxing.
Although, it did take Teru forever to unclip all his hair clips and Ritsu questioned why he even wore so many in the first place. Teru’s only answer was that it just made him look fashionable, then turned to Mob for agreement.
Mob was too busy relaxing to even notice the conversation.
Soon after that, they went to the outdoor bath. It was only then did Shou stop bursting Ritsu’s personal space, because if he did, Mob would actually have to start choking the boy.
Teru, on the other hand, tried to stay close to the group, he had his hair bun up since he didn’t feel like getting it wet. It was hard to let it dry afterwards.
Mob opened his eyes and stared at the pinetree, lifting a brow, the bush was rustling. “Ah, do you guys see that?”
“See what?” Ritsu squinted at the direction Mob was looking. The bush rustled again and Ritsu’s eyes widened in surprise. “Oh, I think it’s a monkey. According to the speed of its movement and--”
“Yeah yeah, we get it Pretty Boy, you’re a nerd.” Shou interrupted, staring at the bush to see the mess of brown fur. “We need a picture of it!”
“Let’s try to attract it over!” Teru suggested, and proceeded to make funny noises.
Dimple snorted. “That’s the sound you make to attract foxes, dumbass.”
Teru’s face grew red and he sank into the water in shame.
“Can you grab my phone, Dimple?” Ritsu asked, nodding his head towards the bathhouse. Dimple shot him a thumbs up and zoomed off to collect it.
They all stared at the bush, waiting for the monkey to come out. They all started huddling together in case the animal suddenly went berserk and attacked them, but they made sure they weren’t touching.
Because it’d be sorta weird if they were.
When the animal finally revealed itself, it turned out to be a deer. Dimple came back with the phone and grew disappointed that it wasn’t a monkey.
The only one still excited was Shou.
“Oh! It’s adorable! Take a picture, take a picture!”
“Stop yelling, or it’ll--” Ritsu scolded in a hush tone, but the deer had already ran off. Shou groaned and sunk into the water.
“Welp, my hands are getting wrinkly. Anyone up for UNO?” Teru straightened up.
“I’m down.” Mob stretched and climbed out. It took every ounce of Teru’s will to not stare, he gazed into the waters instead.
When Ritsu climbed out, Shou tried to comment but was immediately drowned into the waters by Mob.
So perhaps it was a good idea that Teru stayed silent.
“Do you get any love confessions often, Little Brother?” Teru asked, leaning in at the table. Ritsu choked on his water and covered his mouth, reaching his hands out for a tissue.
Mob passed him one, shooting Teru an angry stare. Ritsu patted Mob’s shoulder to let him know that he was fine.
“Yeah, I did. But…” Ritsu hummed, tilting his head back. “...never really went out with any of them.”
“Oh! Are you gay?” Shou bounced on his seat, his face beaming.
“Wouldn’t you like to know, ginger boy.” Ritsu scoffed. “What about you, Hanazawa?”
“Yeah, back then, I’d get so many.” Teru sighed closing his eyes and grinning. “Such an ego boost, really. I still do, but I don’t act upon them anymore.”
“Oop, ex-playboy I see? What changed?” Shou wiggled his eyebrows.
Teru’s face reddened, waving his hands around defensively. “Nothing!”
Mob gripped his shins, avoiding eye contact. He looked over at Serizawa instead. “How about you, Serizawa?”
“The only woman I’ve talked to all these years is my mom.” Serizawa murmured back. Everyone’s mood instantly drooped into pity.
“Holy shit you look like a rat, ha ha!” Shou pointed at Reigen’s frail and pale body. Ritsu glanced down at the floor, where the travel guide had words scrawled on it and...Reigen’s name?
Before Ritsu could take a second look, Reigen shifted his foot over to kick the guide away and hide the carved in name.
“Sorry for leaving you behind, Master.” Mob apologized, though his tone made him sound not so apologetic. “We’ll get to the bottom of this and you can head over to the hot spring to chill out.”
“Have I mentioned how much I love you as a student?” Reigen sniffed. Mob clicked his tongue and rolled his eyes, though he couldn't tell if he did it out of annoyance or in a sort of 'I know' way, he looked at the mountain in the distance and pointed at it.
The rest of the espers nodded knowingly, Reigen instinctively nodded along too, despite not knowing what that meant.
Without getting an answer, the espers lifted the train and drove it towards the mountain. Shou stared at the big ball that resembled the god Ibogami from the shrine in the hot spring and bounced with excitement.
“Holy shit that’s a big boy.”
“What’s that sticky stuff? It’s weakening it.” Serizawa added, tilting his head in worry
“Then get rid of it, dumbasses!” Reigen yelled, face palming. He was tired and hungry and frustrated, so everyone gave him a pass on yelling at them and obeyed.
Unfortunately, the sticky stuff appeared to be sentient, as it began attacking the train, engulfing the insides and drowning Reigen. The espers got to work, destroying every last bit of the spirit.
“Let’s have a pillow fight!” Reigen exclaimed, rolling up his sleeves.
“No, I’m tired.” Ritsu leaned over from outside.
“It’s getting late, we should sleep anyways.” Teru combed the last knot from out of his hair.
“I’m down!” Shou waved his arms and immediately got a face full of pillows. Mob snickered and dropped his hand back down to his lap.
“I agree, let’s sleep.”
Serizawa stammered. “If that’s an order, I will!”
Reigen groaned and flicked his hand. “Fine, go to sleep or whatever. I don’t fucking care.”
Reigen rambled on about everyone’s unhealthy food diet to a point Mob up and slammed the table, demanding him to shut up or he’ll choke the man.
Needless to say, breakfast was great.
Shou thanked Ritsu for inviting him and blew him a kiss before going home. Mob has yet to murder the boy.
Chapter 15: Comfort
In which there are moms, Ritshou and a very insecure Mob
“Three takoyaki stands.” Mob mumbled, looking through the papers. “The people delivering it should need a certificate, tell that to all classes.”
Student Council meetings were a pain, but at least Mob would be free after this, stepping down as the gang’s leader did free up some space in his schedule and he could finally breathe properly.
Tsubomi wasn’t all onboard with the idea at first, but now she seemed fine. Perhaps a more passive-aggressive sort of fine, though she never directly expressed her displeasure about it. So it should be good.
“Brot-President, I was looking through the past events list and this year’s seems too extreme.” Ritsu said, flipping through the list in his hands. “It violates some etiquette. If the school overdoes it, we might not be able to keep it up long.”
He went on to point out the flaws in having a concert in the classroom, a tunnel of horror and the cross-dressing cafe.
Mob thought about the tunnel of horror, it was his job to create a costume after dismissing the idea of just using a plain white bedsheet to pretend to be a ghost. He was really close to biting the head off the two who suggested it, Inukawa was smart enough not to be involved in it.
“It’s fine, Ritsu. We just gotta be more careful.” Mob waved the papers in his hand.
“I agree.” Tokugawa added. “Just in case, let’s revise the safety measures.”
Mob suppressed the urge to roll his eyes and groan, this was going to be a long meeting.
Moving in with his mother was probably one of Shou’s greatest decisions ever. Despite the fact that she was the one that had left him first, he could understand why she had done that and was quick to forgive her.
Besides, he always loved his mom more than his dad.
“Then what did dad say?” Shou asked, drawing as his mother ranted about her visit to see Touichirou.
“Nothing, I guess that kid really kicked him good in the head.” She answered. “I think that’s the first time I’ve ever seen him look so sorry for himself.”
“Good, he should feel that way.” Shou scoffed.
Teru stared at his phone, so far there was nothing. No missed calls, no text messages.
Maybe the apartment got fixed up so fast the landlord didn’t even notice.
Maybe Reigen paid the landlord to shut the fuck up about it.
Either way, the idea of his parents finding out, his mom finding out, had been giving him a sense of discomfort for a few months now.
Deep down, he hoped they did find out, because then he could prove to himself that they really do care.
The blank screen stared back at him and all Teru could see was a reflection that oddly never reminded him of his parents.
The tunnel glowed purple, illuminating the figure before them, it stared down at the daring students with dead eyes and…
“Hello.” It whispered in a very fake raspy voice.
You could hear screaming coming from inside the classroom that was used for the tunnel of horror, drawing more attention from visitors and classmates alike. It was starting to get popular and Inukawa was glad Mob had suggested his idea.
The costume was really creepy and thanks to Mob’s powers, the tunnel wasn’t too dark either.
The look of horror on Reigen’s face was priceless too, Mob was pretty glad his master had turned up for his cultural festival.
Even Teru had turned up and although he wasn’t as scared as the others were, it was still fun to see the blonde jolt in surprise then smile softly when he saw the familiar purple glow.
Ritsu was ready to slam the tray of drinks on top of his customers, he was ready to slip into a pair of jeans and burn the dress he was wearing, he was ready to poison the drink he was going to serve Shou.
But he was getting ready for nothing because doing any of those things would’ve made his mother very disappointed.
“So, nice dress.” Shou complimented, leaning against the table.
“I will stuff your body into the gym locker and leave you to rot inside with termites.” Ritsu answered.
Shou didn’t have the balls to tell Ritsu he would’ve easily survived that.
Reigen dropped by to make fun of Ritsu in a maid outfit and Ritsu swore he saw red the moment the man fucking breathed in his classroom.
Unfortunately, Ritsu was very sure Teru had come by too, but he was mostly likely being gushed over by all the customers by his very good looks.
“How was the cultural festival for you?” Mob asked, pouring himself a cup of milk.
“I’m starting to realize why you like lollipops so much.” Ritsu replied, staring at the ceiling. In the end, he decided to keep the maid outfit in the very back of his closet. He felt it was fair to his brother, who had kept his girls’ school uniform from one of his jobs.
“Look out, it’s Tsubomi’s boyfriend. Let’s go…” The girls scurried off with their sweeps and trashbags. If Mob wasn’t so used to this, he would’ve been offended, he sucked the lollipop in his mouth nonchalantly.
Tsubomi watched as her classmates ran off before looking back at Mob. “You don’t suppose you got a tissue?”
“Yeah, here you go.” Mob handed his packet to her and she gave a hearty blow into a piece of tissue.
“Thanks. You’re a lifesaver.” Tsubomi crumpled the used tissue into her hand. “Say, those girls were really afraid of you, huh?”
“It’s nothing new.” Mob shrugged, shifting the lollipop in his mouth. Tsubomi nodded slowly before walking off.
“Well, see you later, Shigeo!” Tsubomi waved.
When did Tsubomi stop calling him ‘Mobbu’?
“Seriously, now that you’ve quit the gang, why don’t you--” Mezato jumped in front of him, the camera around her neck swung gently and it almost intimidated him.
“No.” Mob rejected and she sulked, her shoulders hunching.
Just then, Tome jogged over, pointing her finger at Mob. “You quit the gang? Seriously? Then, why don’t you help me search for telepaths?”
Mob rubbed his temples, did quitting the gang somehow became a beacon that screamed “Please bother me!” or what? These people were seriously--
“God can you all just shut the fuck up?” Mob growled, pushing past Mezato and Tome. “I can’t hear my own thoughts over all your demands, Jesus Christ.”
“Jeez, if you weren’t free you could’ve just told us.” Tome grumbled, a hand on her hip. I’m going to tell Tsubomi. She almost said and if she had, Mob would’ve reconsidered. But she didn’t, so he kept on walking.
“Fine, I’ll just text you…” Mezato huffed.
Emi caught Mob angrily storming out the school gates and ran up to him as friendly as possible. “Mob, what’s up?”
“Is that rhetorical?” Mob spat back.
“No, it’s just...you don’t usually part a sea of students this easily.” Emi answered, then she pointed behind them, where the school was.
If you squinted, you could really see a divide between some students, as if they had made a path for someone to walk through.
Mob blinked, realizing what was happening. He was getting worse, everyone was more afraid of him than ever.
“Well, I’ll leave you be to cool off, alright?” Emi pecked his cheek and rounded a corner. The gesture meant nothing to Mob, because he knew it was most likely her friendly way of saying goodbye. It was more of a sister-like kiss to Mob, even though he lacked a sister.
God, even the friendliest Poppy was avoiding him now.
“Brother! Let’s walk home toge--” Ritsu was interrupted by Mob, who had his face darkened and he was grinding against the stick of his lollipop.
You could see significant teeth marks on them, if you looked close enough.
“Ritsu, I think everyone’s more afraid of me now.” Mob whispered, then he ran off ahead, clearly embarrassed. Perhaps he was overthinking, people were always like this around him.
But as he walked down the street where students lingered to walk home together in their own little groups, Mob could see they were looking at him with paled faces, some were deliberating avoiding eye contact.
A group of girls were giggling, they stopped once Mob passed by in a rush.
“He’s scary…” “Have you heard…?” “He was terrifying…”
There was no mistake, he really had worsened.
Ritsu frowned from behind, visibly pissed off by everyone. If he had to fight the whole school to make his brother stop looking so sad, he would.
Maybe if he started leading that cult Mezato had suggested, people would see him as a better person? If he led the cult in a good way, everyone would think he wasn’t as bad as they thought he was.
Mob texted Mezato, letting her know he’s considering the leadership position.
“So you finally decided to become the cult’s leader?” Dimple leaned over him, causing Mob to jump.
The boy turned to come face to face with an even firey look Dimple and he lifted a brow in confusion. “What the fuck happened to you?”
“What the fuck happened to you ?” Dimple asked back. “You look like you’ve been scolded by every single adult figure in your life minus Reigen.”
“I think I’ve degraded.” Mob answered, curling up. “So I’m planning to prove I’m getting better by being the cult’s leader.”
“Which is why I’m here too!” Dimple exclaimed proudly. “Since the Psycho Helmet cult is choosing a leader, it’s time we act up! Show that we exist! Let’s do it together!”
Dimple choked and spluttered, gawking at Mob. “Excuse me?”
“This is my journey of self-improvement. You have no business being part of it.” Mob answered flatly.
“But this was my cult!” Dimple protested.
“Now it isn’t, they’re more interested in me than you.” Mob argued back.
“But with my help, we can make this the greatest religion of all time! Which would be like the birth of a new god!”
Mob slammed his fists onto the floor, then pointed an angry finger at Dimple. “Take a hint, bitch, I’m not looking to be powerful and shit. I just want to be a better fucking person, unlike you. You’re only suggesting this for your own benefit, what the fuck would you even fucking do when you’re god? Lounge around lazily like a fucking bitch ass pig? You’re only powerful now because you’re absorbing the fucking power from the candy apple broccoli, aren’t you? Just as I fucking thought...no look at me when I’m talking to you! Why can’t you be a fucking good person for once ?”
Dimple left, feeling like shit. Not even Reigen could make him feel this bad.
“So you think you’re becoming a shitty person.” Reigen chewed on his takoyaki slowly, it was hot and he had forgotten to blow. Serizawa nervously exited the office, saying his goodbyes. Reigen waved bye too, but he was more focused on his younger student. “What makes you think that?”
“Everyone is avoiding me. Even Dimple kind of left, but I can’t blame him. I shouted at him last night.” Mob wrung his fingers, sighing softly.
“Dimple needs to be shouted at once in a while, why’d you get mad though?”
“I’m becoming a cult leader.”
Reigen choked on his cup of water.
“It’s called the Psycho Helmet cult.” Mob added as Reigen rushed to his laptop to type out the cult name. It was the first search result.
Money symbols appeared in Reigen’s pupils. Mob didn’t even need to look into his eyes to know that. Reigen opened his mouth to let out a long speech but Mob shushed him but shoving a takoyaki into his mouth.
“I’ll mention you. You’re a nice guy, afterall.”
Reigen was tearing up, whether it was because of the hot takoyaki or the fact that he was touched by Mob’s gesture, Mob doesn’t know.
The older man took out a five thousand yen bonus, handing it to Mob. “Look, kid, your fashion sense consists of green puppy hoodies and unbuttoned uniforms. Please look better when you’re on stage.”
It didn’t dawn upon Mob that he had to go on stage and once again, his master was right. Too bad Mob wasn’t really good at public speaking.
Having both your girlfriend and your best friend in the same room should be the most stressful situation ever.
Mob could back this theory up.
“Shigeo!” Tsubomi and Teru said in unison, they proceeded to glance at each other warily before returning back to smiling at Mob.
“What are you doing here?” Teru asked, his hair seemed to be lacking a few hair clips. Did he lose them?
“Buying clothes, Master said I needed to up my closet.” Shigeo answered.
“Oh, I can help!” Tsubomi clapped her hands together. “I go shopping all the time!”
“Well, I do too! So you can count on me too!” Teru pressed in, grinning awkwardly.
Tsubomi stood next to Mob’s right side while Teru stood at the other side, both seemingly trying to avoid each other.
It was comforting for Mob to know that he could still count on these two to never be afraid of him. He glanced down the road to see a group of people staring at him, once he had made eye contact, they immediately looked away.
He frowned, now very upset.
“What’s wrong, Shigeo?” Tsubomi asked, gazing over where Mob was staring at.
“It’s just...everyone keeps avoiding me. Everyone but you guys of course.”
Teru folded his arms, annoyed. “Well, I don’t see why they’re so scared. You’ve been getting better.”
Mob wished it was true.
“If I were you, I’d probably just ignore it. Being feared kinda means they respect you to an extent?” Tsubomi made an attempt to comfort her boyfriend, but her point seemed...off.
Even Teru could sense it, it was almost as if Tsubomi was glad that people were afraid of Mob. He balled his fists in secret.
With a budget of just five thousand yen, the two got to work to find a good fitting shirt for Mob to wear. Teru suggested a funny looking shirt with a bald monkey on it and Tsubomi physically paled and wanted to vomit.
Tsubomi suggested a shirt that might’ve been meant for closeted gay people who wanted to express their homosexuality without actually outright saying they were gay. Teru quickly threw the shirt aside and laughed loudly.
Mob watched the two buzz around in the store, arguing which shirt looked best on Mob. In the end, they settled on a colorful shirt that deeply resembled how Mob’s powers look like when he’s in the dark.
The three were satisfied and even had some change afterwards, so they got ice cream later. Though, Mob was pretty sure the two was just battling for his attention the whole time.
Ritsu wasn’t sure if Mob was happy with his shirt or not, if he complimented it, would it offend him? What if he insulted it, would it offend him too? So to avoid this conflict, all Ritsu simply did when he saw the shirt was nod and smile and bid Mob goodbye as the boy left to meet Mezato.
Once Mob had reached the meeting point, he waited and waited, till the sky had darkened and when he was very sure the girl wasn’t going to turn up, he went home.
The park was awfully empty that day, was everyone really that afraid of him now? Was Mezato now afraid?
Reigen called him on the phone that night, telling him about “the new cult leader” and “how Mob was too late”. He was too tired to tell if his master was pissed or worried.
Mezato sounded off when Mob confronted her. He wasn’t sure how to make of her suddenly polite attitude. Tome too, she seemed...changed. She was starting to worship the Psycho Helmet cult too.
Now they’re resorting to faking their personality to avoid him? How low...how sad…
“Who the fuck is this?” Mob pointed at the screen displaying a figure that looked exactly like the psycho helmet poster drawing, except it had the same colors as the big broccoli. Green with brown stripes.
More reasons to hate broccoli.
“The dude who took your spotlight.” Reigen explained. They watched as the fraud created a broccoli on stage, which won over everyone. “Everyone’s being converted into Psycho Helmet Cult.”
“Jesus Christ.” Mob dragged his hands down his face, his one shot of proving he was truly a great guy just...down the drain because of this...fucking broccoli. “What’s the other issue you wanted to tell me about?”
Reigen blinked, then dropped a few pictures onto the table, showing cracks in the city. “In short, the broccoli’s hurting the city. The roots keep outstretching to absorb nutrients, but it’s just breaking Seasoning City down. It’s our job to save everyone from the broccoli’s doom.”
Another chance? How lucky!
“Shige, aren’t you going to eat?” His mother asked, poking at the broccoli on Mob’s plate. The little boy stared at it, then glanced at the empty seat next to him.
Ritsu would use to eat Mob’s broccoli when his parents weren’t looking, he’d lift the vegetables from his own plate and drop it into his little brother’s. Ritsu wouldn’t even mind.
But Ritsu wasn’t here today, he was in the big building with white ribbons around his head.
Ritsu came back, but he’s been avoiding Mob. It only made Mob grow quieter and upset. His own little brother, afraid of him. How...unpleasant.
How many sorries does it take to make Ritsu stop smiling awkwardly at him?
Chapter 16: Selfish
In which Mob feels selfish and Dimple isn't
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Tsubomi was alone in her own home for the first time in ages.
All her friends had bailed her to go see the Psycho Helmet Cult’s meeting or whatever it was, she knew it wasn’t a good idea to go, so her stubborn self declined the offer.
Now she was lying on the couch, staring at the ceiling.
Many times she had been offered a piece of the gigantic broccoli, but she had deemed it almost a freak of nature the moment her eyes had laid upon it. Even though she knew Mob had most likely been the cause of it.
Broccoli that smelled like Candy Apples? How ridiculous!
The Poppies had even ditched her for that weird looking god, that really reminded her of her boyfriend.
Boyfriend, a funny word, it left a weird taste in her mouth and a funny feeling in her brain. It wasn’t that she hasn’t come to terms with the fact that she was actually dating, it was just...she didn’t know how to feel about it.
Mob was sweet and all, she really liked him, truely, but she wasn’t all that sure about the rest of the stuff that came with dating. Like kissing. Perhaps she should’ve stuck with being single like she wanted to during first year.
Oh, but the idea of power, the idea of everyone bowing to her , the idea of people needing her. How could she pass it up? So tempting! Mob provided that, and she loved him for that.
“When you put it like that, it sounds fine, but you act as if you don’t love him at all.” Teru argued, his voice wasn’t raised. Yet.
Tsubomi hunched forward on the couch, her feet touching the floor and her arms resting on her lap. She stared at the spot on the floor where she had painted Teru’s nails last time.
“You keep asking him to hurt people you don’t like.”
She raised her hands to her ears and pressed, squeezing her eyes shut.
“But you don’t take his feelings into consideration when you do that!”
“God, just shut the fuck up!” Tsubomi kicked the coffee table in front of her, it nearly toppled and she reached over to grab it before it was too late. She sighed, rubbing her eyes. This is fine, I’ll get over it.
“Ritsu!” Mob waved outside the school gates with Reigen by his side.
“Brother, covering for you wasn’t easy. What are you doing here?” Ritsu rushed forward, purposely shoving Reigen to one side.
“Ow, you little shit.” Reigen hissed. Ritsu promptly ignored him.
As they walked, they proceeded to talk about Reigen’s plan to get rid of the giant broccoli. Ritsu pointed out that it was rather fishy that the group got so popular within days, it wasn’t even a religious group in the first place, it was more like a fan club.
“Is that candy?” Mob pointed at Ritsu’s palm after the brother had pulled his hand from out of his pocket.
“Yeah, Tokugawa’s still in contact with Kamuro, so Kamuro still hangs about after Student Council meetings. Just happened to pass by when he offered me this candy his dad got.” Ritsu held up the candy that was classically wrapped with both ends twisted like normal candies. “Got more since I know you like em.”
“Oh, thanks.” Mob took one and immediately popped it into his pocket, making Ritsu raise a brow. He awkwardly smiled, feeling insecure. “Just...cutting down…”
“I see…” Ritsu tossed the candy into his mouth and he blinked, smiling softly at Reigen. “Want one too?”
“Holy shit you’re never nice to me, what the fuck, what the fuck--” Reigen backed away, cautiously staring at the offered piece in Ritsu’s hand.
“What’s wrong? Are you not going to take advantage of this rare moment?” Ritsu continued smiling, unnerving Mob too.
“You’re not...Spit it out!” Reigen grabbed Ritsu’s face, causing the boy to drop his piece of candy. “I said, sp--” He was flung across the floor.
“Master! Hands off!” Mob growled, his two fingers lifted threateningly. Then stopped as he saw the look of fear in his master’s eyes. Not him, him of all people. Mob cannot, will not, hurt his own master .
“You don’t understand, Mob!” Reigen scurried back up, reaching for Ritsu again. “I think the candy did something to him! I think he’s brain washed!”
“Oh, how silly of you to think that.” Ritsu kept his small smile on, a crowd of people started forming towards the, all carefully making their way towards the three. “I just thought it would be nice to join the trend, y’know?”
“See! There’s no way Ritsu talks like that!” Reigen waved his hands around madly at the boy.
He...did have a point.
Before they knew it, Reigen had his hands on Ritsu again, but the other did nothing as Reigen screamed at him to spit the candy out and the man couldn’t force him to puke it out. That would be assault.
A hand landed on Reigen and it wasn’t Ritsu’s or Mob’s.
“Now now, I doubt Lord Psycho Helmet appreciates his children fighting over silly issues.” A stranger from the incoming crowd said. “Do you, perhaps, want a drink of water to cool off--”
A fist was thrown at the man.
“You can’t hold me down, bitch, I’m an eternal flame bab--” Reigen was then tackled by several more people.
Mob stood in shock as he watched Reigen emerged from the crowd, smiling as soft as the others were. He had his hands tightly wrung together, which seemed odd since they were almost always moving.
“Mob, I’ve come to realize that the unity between everyone because of this religion is actually pretty health--”
“Fuck off.” Mob bolted.
It was empty.
There wasn’t anyone guarding the broccoli, which Mob found a little strange, but mostly it was painful. Everyone was probably afraid of getting hurt... by him.
He was capable of it, he was capable of inflicting fear and harm and--
Everyone acknowledged that you’re the first leader, so they’re giving you space. They figured they’re not worthy of being in your presence.
“Psycho Helmet bitch?” Mob whispered, walking towards the broccoli.
Everyone fears you, feels great doesn’t it?
“No…” Mob’s voice could barely be heard now. “Not at all…We have to talk. In person.”
Mob was going to teach his bitch of a ghost friend a lesson.
Even after Dimple’s efforts in trying to bring Mob to the other side, the esper still refused to assume the position as Psycho Helmet’s cult leader. So with no choice left, Teru was released to fight Mob.
The blonde charged forward, pushing Mob back, but Mob held his ground and gripped onto Teru’s shoulders. “If you’re not gonna help, then sit this one out.”
Using his powers, he restrained Teru to the ground, hopefully not hurting him in the process. Unfortunately, Dimple lent some of the broccoli’s power to the blonde and Teru broke free from Mob’s restraints.
Teru held both his hands up, pushing Mob to the ground with telekinesis, the floor broke and Mob flew several layers down into the broccoli’s body. The scent of Candy Apple filling his nose, the roots of the broccoli began burying him underground.
Oh this is enough!
The roots blew into pieces as Mob released a huge wave of energy, the explosion causing Teru to fly right out of the broccoli.
Even being brainwashed, Teru still admired the amount of power Mob had in him. He safely landed meters away from the broccoli, which was odd, he wasn’t using his powers to land, so that could mean…
Shigeo, I hope you’re okay. Teru ran a hand through his hair, realizing it barely had any clips in them. He didn’t remember taking any off and he couldn’t even remember what happened inside the broccoli, strange.
Meanwhile, Mob sliced through the broccoli cult leaders each time one formed from the ground, he kept repeating to himself that they weren’t real people and it was perfectly fine to be hurting them, but it was still awfully difficult.
“Dimple, please, come out. Are you afraid?” Mob continued attacking, pushing the broccoli men away. “Why are you hiding behind these...things?”
Mob paused, taking a breather, when he realized his power was being absorbed by the broccoli, which explained why the broccoli people were growing stronger and stronger each time he broke them down. He was too late to realize that when he was suddenly rendered powerless as broccoli pieces held him down.
“Tch, looks like the tables have turned huh?” Dimple’s voice said, still invisible to Mob’s eye. “If you’re not gonna listen to me, maybe you’ll listen to your shitty girlfriend .”
“Do not call her that.” Mob growled, tempted to bite the broccoli off him.
“I wonder what she’d say?” Dimple hummed. “Perhaps…”
“God, Mobbu, you’re quite the idiot huh? Get a clue, leave Psycho Helmet cult people alone!” Tsubomi clicked her tongue, her posture tilted and her arms folded. Her eyes screaming with irritation that directly attacked Mob as a glare.
Everything within ten foot radius was exploded into oblivion around Mob, his hair flowing mad and he was grinding his teeth together. He didn’t have a lollipop with him, but to hell with needing to be sweet .
“Jesus, you’re protective huh?” Dimple said, his voice booming from around him, yet still not visible. “Don’t you get it? Tsubomi doesn’t love you; she never had to begin with. When I first started out, she didn’t give two shits about my missionary people, but she pretended to be interested so they’d go away and as they grew more persistent, she grew more aggressive and even smacked the candy right out of their hands. Then when Emi, Mezato and Kurata got into it, she was still stubborn enough to decline the broccoli stuff. But she was polite when declining, making an empty promise that she would check it out later.
“So what I’m saying is, she’s selfish. Fortunately, I have her converted now, but that bitch took forever. Tsubomi likes to take the advantages of things but will immediately drop it if it doesn’t please her.” Dimple explained. “And recently you’ve been lacking things that really makes her happy, so if you don’t become Psycho Helmet’s cult leader, why, I guess she’d have to up and drop you too!”
“That’s enough!” Mob clenched his fists, the ground cracking into pieces as he maneuvered the roots to his will and made a shield around him.
“You fucking bastard, how dare you use my broccoli tree as your fucking shield!” Dimple roared from around him. Mob had yet to pinpoint the spirit’s exact location, but for now, he was going to play as defense and hopefully Dimple would slip up and reveal his identity soon.
A fist formed from the ground and tore through the root shield, grabbing Mob’s face as he got shoved into the ground once again. Roots that didn’t belong to him came tangled to his limbs to hold him up as several more punches were delivered to him.
Mob couldn’t tell if the taste of blood in his mouth was due to too much grinding of his teeth or the attacks he was receiving from Dimple.
“Where the fuck are you?” Mob screamed into the emptiness, rubbing the wounds that were covering his face. “If you’re really Dimple, you wouldn’t be hiding like a fucking coward!”
“Who are you calling a coward ?” His voice came from behind Mob, making the boy swiftly turn around. He knew Dimple would slip up sooner or later!
But instead of meeting Dimple’s rosy cheeked face, a large laser beam came into view, and this time, there was no one there to defend him.
If Dimple truly saw him as a monster, Mob guessed he’d have no choice but to become one. The new surge of energy that was coursing through his skin felt awfully alike to the time Ritsu was first kidnapped.
The immense amount of power, more focused on the intention to kill , was once again brought out.
“I’m so tired, Dimple.” Mob whispered. “I’m so tired of people running away from me, because they were afraid, so filled with fear. I have no one left now, I’ve practically lost everyone because of you. So tell me, Dimple, what are you going to do about it?”
“Uhm, that’s a nice shirt?” Dimple wheezed out, the smoke cleared to reveal his true muscly form, more smoother than his old one for sure and weirdly shinier.
Mob blinked, then stared down at his uniform, well, what was left of it of course. He didn’t even realize he was wearing the shirt his best friend and girlfriend got for him together with the money Reigen gave that Ritsu politely ignored.
He guessed it was a pretty nice shirt.
“Reminds me of your powers when you’re in the dark.” Dimple carefully added.
“I like your true form. Shinier.” Mob complimented back, he was calming down. This was pleasant, someone just spoke to him like a normal person, as if he didn’t have powers to begin with.
He wondered if it was just his imagination, because Dimple actually...shrunk a little in size. He was still abnormally taller than Mob was, but he didn’t seem so intimidating anymore.
“Why are you being so nice all of a sudden?” Dimple tilted his head, his guard still up. “Was everyone really ignoring you to the point that no one complimented your shirt? Aren’t you popular or something, wouldn’t someone have done that already?”
“I...don’t know.” Mob finally said after a long period of silence. “Maybe someone did say something nice about my shirt before, or maybe someone has looked my way in awe before, but I think I’ve just been...ignoring them. With the idea of being feared by countless people edged into my mind, I think...even when I don’t want to be bad, I still think people are afraid.”
“I’ve been so caught up with the idea of wanting to be better that I just...couldn’t handle being better with you . Because I felt more deserving of it, which was selfish and I’m sorry.” This was the fourth time Mob had apologized for something that he truly felt sorry for and it definitely shook Dimple.
Because it was extremely rare to receive an apology from Kageyama fucking Shigeo.
“It’s fine, being god wasn’t much fun anyways.” Dimple sighed, deflating just a little. “Being with you made me realize how much more fun it is to hang out with people. Being one singular being with several mindless followers will get boring eventually, who will argue with me then?”
“Glad we could talk this out, I guess.” Mob sat on the floor, his legs going numb and his arms falling asleep.
“Man, you weren’t kidding when you said you were tired.” Dimple laughed. “Tell you what, people change better with the help of other people, so I’ll quit this whole god biz and help you out with your self improvement thingy. Deal?”
“Then we can move on to becoming cult leaders when we’re done with that.”
Mob fell asleep on Dimple’s back, not knowing that, A. The broccoli had gained sentience, B. Dimple was fighting said broccoli and C. All while carrying Mob on his back.
But what he did remember was…
What did he remember?
Not even Ritsu remembered what happened, but deep down, he felt like he had lost someone dear to him. Coming home alone had never felt so lonely before.
At least the broccoli is gone now.
Mob couldn’t exactly stop the tears that flowed out that night.
I'm not really satisfied with this, but basically this is what I wanted to convey in this arc; perhaps one day I might rewrite but this is what I have for now.
Basically, in the OG, Mob's goal was to become popular, but in this AU, Mob's goal is to become a better person.
In this arc, the OG Mob thought he had already achieved this goal while D!Mob thought he had strayed extremely far from it.
Generally just wanted to have Dimple show that Mob isn't a monster.