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Tax Benefits

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The continuous beeping started to graze Saitama's nerves. This was the fourth time this familiar tune had gone off this week. He already began his day off badly, his broken toothbrush putting a damper on his mood so this dreaded phone call wasn't making his day any better. He knew who was calling since he recognized this vibrating tone. His parents have grown increasingly worried about his personal life, pestering him nonstop this past year to get him to settle down with a partner and to bring them some grandchildren. Saitama understood that his parents wanted the best for him but they were also very headstrong people. Stubborn in what they believed would be best for a man his age. But Saitama didn't exactly hold those values himself. He was the type of person to go with the flow on certain things, not restricting himself to a set life timeline.

The hero sighed and picked up his phone. He flipped the device on and held it close to his ear but not quite on it since he knew the person on the other end often didn't control her volume.

"Saitama dear, I thought you would never pick up!"

"Hey mom," The man fidgeted with the ends of his cape. "What do you need?"

"Don't be so rude to me, you know I'm just looking out for you," Some shifting was heard on the other end.

Saitama mentally groaned, knowing what his mother was calling about.

"Have you found a lovely girl that is wife material yet?" Saitama could practically hear the grin in her voice.

This has been the subject repeated over numerous phone calls and Saitama was getting sick of it. No matter what the grown man said, it ultimately fell on deaf ears. Redirecting the subject didn't help, and ending calls early only resulted in more calls throughout the day. He just wanted to be left alone on this topic. With his emotions frosted over the years, he couldn't see himself having enough motivation to start a new relationship with a stranger.

"Mom, I said I'm not looking for one."

"Is it because you've already found somebody?" she inquired, missing the point completely.

"What— No, I'm just focused on being a hero!" Annoyance was building up in his bones. Without a beat, the interrogator continued hounding him with invasive questions.

"How else are you going to take care of yourself?"

"I'm not a child," the hero yelled, offense ricocheting through his muscles. "I can take care of myself!"

"I've seen your room before you moved out and I know you can't take care of yourself well, kiddo."

That retort might have had some flame to it a year ago when he was living alone but ever since a certain cyborg started living alongside him, he was doing fairly well nowadays. He scanned his surroundings, noticing everything in order and spotless. Even the dishes were done and not piled up like they used to be, thanks to the younger man for always getting to them right away after a meal.

"I'm fine right now! I've been eating well and getting off my ass!" It was true. With the other young adult around, he did feel more motivated to eat better rather than making quick and instant meals like he used to. Having someone around to eat and cook with really was a soothing feeling. He honestly hit the jackpot with the kind of roommate he got. Saitama couldn't have asked for better.

Many aspects of his life improved after Genos unexpectedly showed up. It would have taken him a lot longer to find out about the Hero Association if it wasn't for his current roommate. Saitama now has a decent job that pays for his groceries, even if he isn't getting much recognition for his efforts.

"But how will I know you'll be fine in the future?" He knew his parents were genuinely worried about him but he wished they had more faith in him.

"I'll let future me deal with it when I get there!"

"Your father has something to say," The lone man heard shuffling and muffled whispers before the line went silent. Then a deep voice he knew all too well showed up.

"Hey Saitama, I met this real nice girl the other day—"

Saitama ended the call. He knew his dad was going to segue the conversation towards the insistence of a blind date. He knew cutting them off mid-call was a bad idea but his patience was running thin.

If he could block their calls, he would have done so long ago but the last time he tried, they invaded his apartment out of worry and God knew he didn't want to deal with that incident again. He wished that his parents could understand that he was focused on his current career of being a hero, not on finding a soulmate to settle down with! Besides, he already had a good disciple living with him so what more could he want?

At that moment, Saitama heard the front door unlock and he instinctively turned his head towards the disciple who he was just thinking about. Upon seeing the telltale artificial dirty blond hair, his frustration lowered a few notches.

"Sensei, I'm home!" the cyborg said, taking a few breaths of relief.

"Oh Genos, welcome home."

The cyborg slipped off his shoes, setting down the plastic bags temporarily onto the floorboards. Saitama could see the various groceries Genos managed to snatch. Some of the packages showed big red stickers on them, indicating a markdown and at that, Saitama could not help but feel proud that the younger hero was learning from him. As the perishables were taken out of the bags and stored in their proper compartments, Genos rambled on passionately about the purchases he made today. The older hero half paid attention, mostly using his eyes to see what the shopper got. After everything got put away, Genos turned his head to face Saitama.

"What's wrong, Sensei? You seem to be spacing out."

"I just," Saitama remembered the heated conversation just before the young man came back and sighed, dragging a hand across his face. " a bit frustrated."

"Who has you frustrated? Do I need to hunt someone down?"

"No Genos, it's not like that," Saitama broke eye contact. "My parents keep pestering me about something."

"Your parents?" he asked curiously, pulling a small booklet out of his pocket and situated himself across from his teacher on the opposite end of the table.

Now that Saitama thought about it, he hasn't brought up his parents in a conversation before. It's not like he had the opportunity since the boy never asked but at the same time, his parents were too overwhelming of a topic to casually talk about. Nevertheless, the subject has been brought up and the bald man felt comfortable enough to tell Genos about it now that his irritation was at the forefront of his mind again.

"My parents are traditional people who think happiness begins with a wife and a family," He knew his family meant well, but they could be really overbearing. This is why he moved out despite barely having the means to survive himself. "Now that I'm 26, they're becoming more worried about my love life."

"Why don't you try dating someone so your parents will stop nagging you?"

"I don't want to and I don't have time for that! I just want to focus on being a hero for fun!" Saitama shouted suddenly, frustration bubbling at the feeling of people not understanding that he just wanted to live peacefully. "Besides, I have you so I'm content with where I am in life."

The sound of a kettle went off as Saitama blinked but it was no kettle, just the cyborg in front of him. Slight steam poured out of the cyborg's metallic shoulders. Genos seemed to have stopped working right when he stopped talking, causing the other man to bat an eye. What he said was true so he couldn't understand why Genos was making those noises.

"W-well, why don't you fake a date to satisfy your parents?" Genos coughed, covering up his embarrassment.

"That won't do Genos, they're going to want me to marry whoever I introduce to them. And I don't think anyone wants to date me."

Genos looked mildly offended, scrunching up his brows. The young man attempted to open his mouth but then decided against it.

"I don't want to marry—"

Saitama started but then an idea intruded his bald head. He had an idea that would likely shut up his parents. It was a wild idea but it just might work. His parents might back off for good, either with disapproval or reassurance, he couldn't be bothered with how they reacted as long as it resulted in less nagging phone calls. With a confident smirk, Saitama turned his head to face Genos directly.

"Hey Genos, wanna get married to me?"

Once Saitama dropped his bomb of an idea, the room became instantly clouded with hot vapour from the bot. The boy sitting across from him sounded like an overheating computer, struggling to reboot itself. Maybe this idea was too offensive to be considered by his disciple. Saitama's face dropped a bit, knowing his idea was disapproved of.

"I'm kidding—"

"It w-would be an honour to be married to Sensei!" the cyborg replied and lifted himself up enthusiastically, knocking down the table in between them in the process. "I want to help out in any way I can!"

Saitama didn't expect this response but he wasn't about to turn down his eager disciple. It was already amazing that Genos was agreeing to this. What would he do without such a devoted student? He should also make sure that Genos is alright with the whole idea, fully on board, not being dragged along by him because he knew the boy had a tendency to agree with everything Saitama said.

"Are you sure, Genos? This will change documents that you own. Plus a lot of legal stuff and that will a pain in the ass."

He wasn't too on board with all the documents he would have to gather but that sure sounded better than answering the phone to the same question every few days.

"Yes, Sensei! I have all my documents at Kuseno's currently but I can retrieve them now!" The cyborg was still steaming and Saitama couldn't understand why he wanted to help out to this degree, especially since this also involved him as a person, legally speaking.

"Hold on Genos, no need to rush. Just gather the documents up when you have the time. Thanks for helping me out," he commented, internally grateful for having a mechanical angel as a disciple. Then Saitama noticed that the bot himself was still shaking a bit, the noises from within his torso still making unusual buffering sounds. "You okay, Genos? You don't have to go out of your way to help me if this is stressing you out."

"I'm fine, Sensei! Want me to get the documents tomorrow? We can go register the day after!"

"Slow down, I still don't know how this whole marriage thing works but I know that will get my folks off my back."

"I will go do research right away!" The disciple placed the table back upright between them, opened his laptop and tapped away at the keyboard at record speed. The room was a few degrees warmer than before so Saitama hoped that his student wasn't overworking himself. This wasn't as urgent as he made it out to be but it would be nice to stop the subject of his disappointing personal life from being breached every phone call.

Sweet, his plan was working and he will soon no longer need to deal with constant nagging. He felt a light pang in his chest, a fond weightlessness and fluttery feeling. He revelled in the feeling for a bit, knowing this was the relief he needed from his parents. He hoped that this whole ordeal was going to be a smooth ride.

"Oh Genos, what are we having for dinner?" Saitama inquired, eyes staring at the focused man in front of him.

"Sukiyaki," the cyborg replied without skipping a beat, still immersed in his studies. "I'll be making it shortly."

"Alright, I'm going to prepare the vegetables."