TADASHI CLAPPED WITH THE REST of the small crowd as he watched his little brother, Hiro Hamada, walk shyly onto the stage to give his presentation. The younger boy's days of Bot-Fighting were finally paying off. Who would have thought that somebody as young as Hiro would be able to build thousands of nanobots capable of being programmed by brainwaves alone? And that's what Professor Callahan was about to find out.
Hiro waved in acknowledgment to the crowd and began his presentation. Tadashi smiled widely. His little brother looked so cute up there, with his hair constantly getting in the way, his fingers thrumming nervously on his legs, and the hesitant way he started his presentation. The elder brother was gushing with pride and affection for Hiro. He was so glad that his brother had already gotten this far in life. There was no doubt in Tadashi's mind that this would win Hiro a spot at SFIT, or the "Nerd School" as they called it.
Tadashi watched as Hiro walked the length of the stage, now articulating more strongly as he grew visually more confident. Tadashi beamed with admiration. His brother was just barely piquing the interest of the crowd, and Tadashi felt his own anticipation of the awe-inspiring moment of truth to come reflected in his brother's eyes. But at the same time he felt a twinge of something that was alien in this situation. Was it. . . arousal?
Tadashi shook himself. Now was not the time and this was not the place to be sidetracked by unnecessary thoughts. Hiro was giving what looked to be a damn good presentation, and Tadashi was there to support him.
Right on cue, just like they'd practiced, Hiro put the controller on his head, and microbots began to swarm through the crowd, causing gasps, yells, and a few spilled drinks.
Hiro explained how the microbots reacted to his thoughts, and the bots in question began morphing into various shapes and started to swing Hiro through the crowd, which was now staring awestruck at this 14 year-old boy's mind-bending invention.
The presentation was just about flawless! Even Tadashi, who had helped Hiro prepare for it and knew the ropes of the whole thing by heart, was left speechless. But then Tadashi spotted the one thing wrong with Hiro's presentation, and he grinned broadly. Now that he had seen it, Tadashi knew he had to tease Hiro. He would make sure the younger boy never heard the end of it!
Hiro took a deep bow, grinning from ear to ear as he ended his presentation. The crowd erupted with applause that was louder than one they had given any other presentation so far. Hiro beamed somehow even wider as he saw his brother, Tadashi, clapping and cheering hardest of them all.
Hiro had, after all, done this for Tadashi. Ever since their parents had died, Tadashi had been the one person Hiro was closest to, Aunt Cass included. Everything he did, he did to make Tadashi proud. There were added bonuses, like how friggin cool making robots could be, but Tadashi was truly at the heart of Hiro's motivation.
And how could Tadashi not be proud? This latest invention of the nanobots showed what a success Hiro was. For Hiro knew they had been successful. There was no way Callahan wouldn't let him into Tadashi's nerd school now!
the younger Hamada stepped down off the stage, then pushed through the crowd, making his way to Tadashi. He beamed up at his older brother, showing how the gap in his teeth, then threw his arms around him. Tadashi smiled and hugged Hiro back tightly.
"Hiro, you were incredible!!" Tadashi said, lifting his younger brother up off the ground. Hiro laughed as Tadashi spun him around in a circle through the air.
As Tadashi put Hiro down, he caught sight of their Aunt Cass, who was pushing through the crowd to get to them.
"Oohhhh, Hiro, that was absolutely amazing!!!" Cried Aunt Cass, throwing herself onto her youngest charge. "I'll be extremely surprised, not to mention baffled and angry, if you don't get into the Institute."
"So will I!" Said a hearty and kind voice from behind Hiro. He turned quickly and looked into the wizened face of Professor Callahan. A large grin was splayed across his features.
"Hiro Hamada, I'd like to welcome you to my Campus," Callahan said softly, handing Hiro an important-looking envelope. "I firmly believe that this is the place for you. You can easily broaden our horizons and break the boundaries of science here. You could also improve upon these nanobots, make more, or move on completely. Either way, you're ready to be here."
"I-I don't. . . Um, th-thank you, sir!" Hiro gasped in shocked wonder and glee, taking the letter from Callahan feverishly. "I won't let you down!"
"I know you won't. You're too damn good for that." The legendary professor gave another smile, turned, and walked away.
Aunt Cass burst into a fit of silent cheering and screaming, followed by some not-so-silent whoops. While she celebrated, Tadashi's friends- no, Hiro's new classmates!- Wasabi, Honey, GoGo, and Fred squeezed over to greet Hiro.
Hiro was immediately showered with "congratulations", and "you did it!". His hand was high-fived so many times it began to ache. Honey wrapped him in yet another bone-crushing hug, and Fred slapped Hiro hard on the back. As much as Hiro enjoyed the positive attention, he was starting to feel slightly suffocated.
Tadashi seemed to notice this. He muttered "C'mon, let's find somewhere private. We can miss the next presentation. Nothing is going to blow my mind after what you just did! Plus, you could use the space." Hiro nodded, and Tadashi waved the others off as Hiro handed Aunt Cass his acceptance letter .
"We've got to get him washed up." Called Tadashi, leading Hiro away from the others. "No, really. I'll take him. You all stay here. We'll be back soon. You good, Hiro?"
Hiro nodded again, and Tadashi grabbed his hand and led Hiro through the audience and out a door leading to a long hallway. They hurried into the first unlocked room they could find, and shut the door behind them.
They had entered a classroom full of desks and lab equipment. It was dark, but Hiro could easily see Tadashi when they moved to the center of the room, as there was light from the city filtering through the window at the far side of the room. Tadashi and Hiro sat down on top of one of the desks, and the eldest brother turned, beaming, to the younger.
"Hiro, I'm so proud of you! I know you must be tired of hearing it already, but I really am. You and I are going to be classmates now! How awesome is that, ya big geek?!"
Hiro grinned sheepishly down at the floor. He didn't want to admit it, but he would never get tired of hearing Tadashi say he was proud. In fact, just those few words by Tadashi had Hiro burning with emotion. He loved his brother more than anything. It was a dream come true that Hiro was about to start working with him while also developing new technologies.
"I can't wait to get started!" The boy said. "But I'm going to have to come up with some good ideas to research and develop at the nerd school. . . It'll be hard to beat this presentation, though. That is, if it really was as perfect as you say it was!"
"Weeeeellllll, there was one, small problem with the presentation. Nothing that discredits you. . . It's just kinda embarrassing." Tadashi was trying and failing to hold back giggles.
"What?!" Hiro gasped, sitting up suddenly as his hands gripped the bottom of the desk. "What problem?!"
Tadashi laughed and slid off the desk, then moved so that he was standing in front of Hiro. "Well, you kinda had your pants unzipped the whole time. . . "
Hiro leaped up and let out a horrified gasp, then looked down and let out a louder gasp. He made to quickly zip himself up, but Tadashi stopped him by grabbing his wrists. Hiro felt himself go beet red with embarrassment.
"Now, while it was completely unprofessional and made you look like a bit of a dork," Tadashi smiled and Hiro's breathing quickened, "I actually found it kind of cute. And I mean, nobody is going to say 'that Hiro kid had the best invention, but since his pants were unzipped I'm going to toss him out."
Hiro laughed nervously. "Alright, you've made your point. I looked like a doof, but with no harm done. Now, will you let me zip up?"
"Oh, allow me! The king of tonight's performances should not be burdened with the zipping up of his own pants" Tadashi said, laughing lightly as he adopted a slightly snooty English accent. Hiro snorted with laughter as Tadashi squatted down in front of him, face inches away from his crotch. Then Hiro looked down again, and nearly choked.
Somehow, his penis had begun to poke out slightly, so that the head of it was pushed out of Hiro's fly. Tadashi's face was now less than a foot away from Hiro's penis head, which was perfectly outlined by his green underwear, and protruding from his fly.
Tadashi noticed and frowned slightly. He felt that same arousal he'd felt during Hiro's presentation come back, only this time it was stronger. Tadashi blushed as he realized that the arousal wasn't brought on at random by hormones, but by Hiro! With great difficulty, Tadashi pushed the treacherous feeling down.
Hiro saw a look come over his brother's face and knew he must have noticed Hiro's penis. Then, to the younger teen's bewilderment, he found he felt both embarrassed by this and strangely motivated by it. His penis went slightly hard.
Tadashi reached forward and began to tuck Hiro's penis back into his pants with his thumb. Shit! Hiro thought. Please don't notice I'm hard! Please, please, please don't notice!
Luckily, Tadashi didn't seem to notice. He quickly zipped Hiro up, and stood shakily.
"Th-there you are, m-my king!" He said in the same snooty accent, as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened, although this time his voice shook slightly.
Hiro had turned red again. Luckily, he was back to being flaccid now. "We should, erm, head back to the presentations, now."
Tadashi nodded, but before the two red-faced teens could take a single step towards the classroom door, an earsplitting mechanical wail slashed through the room. Hiro and Tadashi clapped their hands over their ears, jumping with surprise.
"WHAT'S GOING ON?! WHAT IS THAT?" Hiro shouted at Tadashi over the wail of the siren.
"THAT'S THE FIRE ALARM!" Tadashi yelled back with fear and urgency in his voice. His eyes were wide and beads of sweat appeared on his brow. "FOLLOW ME! I'LL GET YOU OUT OF HERE!"
Tadashi removed a hand from his ear, and grabbed Hiro's wrist firmly, and began dragging him towards the door. But yet again, they had only gone a few steps before stopping.
"WHAT'S WRONG?" Hiro shouted over the din.
"I SMELL SMOKE!" Tadashi reached out a hand and placed the back of it against the wood of the door. He withdrew it quickly and started dragging Hiro across the room to the other side.
"THE DOOR WAS HOT! FIRE IS ON THE OTHER SIDE. WE'RE GONNA HAVE TO CLIMB THROUGH THE WINDOW!"
Hiro could smell the smoke now. It was getting stronger and stronger, filling up the room, stinging his eyes and making it harder to see already. It reminded him of a time several months back when he had been building a bot to fight and had accidentally used a bad wire connected to the battery pack. The whole thing had caught on fire and to this day Hiro's workstation smelled of smoke. But this was much, much stronger than that had been.
Tadashi began fumbling with the locks on the windows. Hiro noticed the room growing increasingly hotter. There was an unsettling red glow coming from under the door, and the room itself was growing dark with smoke. Hiro coughed heavily into his sleeve, eyes watering.
Tadashi snapped the locks open and pushed the window outwards. "CLIMB THROUGH!" He ordered, covering his face with his sleeve as the smoke rushed towards the open window.
Hiro obeyed, hoisting himself up onto the window frame and scrambling through. Tadashi put his hands on Hiro's waist and helped him climb, then pushed against the boy's butt to get him out the window. Hiro gasped for air, and his feet found earthy ground. A split second later Tadashi had squeezed through the window and landed next to him.
"Come on, we've gotta move!"
The two brothers started running fast away from the building. The sounds of the fire alarms died away, although Hiro's ears were ringing badly, and they made their way around to the front of the building from a safe distance.
"HIRO! TADASHI!! THANK GOD!" Cried a voice from up ahead. The boys skidded to a stop, turning their heads to see who had called. They first heard sirens that told them the fire department was there. Then, suddenly they were being bowled over by a group of people.
"H-Honey! Aunt Cass! Wasabi!" Tadashi groaned as all his friends and he and Hiro's aunt hugged them tightly.
"Are you OK?! Are you hurt!!? Oh, I was so worried!"
"Don't worry, Aunt Cass. We're Fine. Tadashi got me out safe. I'm just a bit jaded and soot-covered." Hiro said.
Aunt Cass collapsed into a heap of relieved tears. Honey, however, turned urgently to Tadashi.
"Professor Callahan is still in there! So are Hiro's nanobots!" She pointed behind them at the building. Hiro turned, and let out a gasp of shock. It was an orange inferno. Flames were leaping out of the windows forty feet into the air, and a thick, black cloud was billowing away into the night.
"Jesus!" Tadashi swore. His eyes widened again and his hands started to shake. "Callahan is in there?! I have to save him!" Tadashi cried, making to move towards the hellish building. At once, Hiro, Cass, Wasabi, Fred, GoGo, and Honey all grabbed onto him and pulled him back.
"It's too dangerous!" Said Aunt Cass. "I won't allow it!"
"Tadashi, it's too late, man. There's nothing anyone can do." Said Wasabi, soberingly.
"But, Hiro's bots. . . And his place in school!" Tadashi said desperately.
"I can rebuild the bots if I need to." Hiro said reassuringly.
"And Hiro was accepted to the school. Everyone knows it. Tadashi, there's nothing to be done!" Wasabi gasped, clearly devastated by the fire.
Tadashi took a deep breath, then nodded mournfully. He pulled Hiro close to his chest, hugging him tightly, and turned to watch the building burn