Chapter 1: Innocence
It was one of those off nights. Well, least for Hiro it felt like an off night. He was looking forward to building stuff with Tadashi but had completely forgotten they were having guests over. Hiro wasn't shy in anyway, but he wasn't exactly social either. Tadashi was happy to talk with the adults and the other kids that were his age. Hiro… he'd rather just be building things. Making his own toys since the store toys never really pleased.
Though for a change he decided to be downstairs. He wouldn't talk to anyone but he wanted to be around Tadashi. Even if the boy was distracted by the two children he was talking to. Hiro didn't mind though. He was too focused on the toy he was modifying.
"Hm…" He hummed in thought as he looked at the robot he was holding. "Maybe rockets…?
"What you doing to the robot?"
He looked up to see a little girl crouching beside him, she had dark brown hair that was pulled back a bit and curious blue eyes.
"Is he broken?"
"No." Hiro shook his head quickly. "I'm making modi-" Hiro paused, trying to remember how it was pronounced. "Modifications!"
"Ooo… What are modifications?" The girl tilted her head. "I've heard the word before but don't know what it means."
"It means you add things to make something better or to fix it. This robot's not cool enough. So, I'm makin' it cooler." Hiro gave a little smirk. "Cause I'm an inventor!"
"Oh cool!" The girl squealed. "That's awesome!"
Hiro blushed a bit.
"T-Thanks. What's your name?" He tilted his head a bit.
"I'm Kathleen but you can call me Kat if you want. That's what my siblings call me most of the time."
"Kat… I like it. I'm Hiro!" Hiro pointed to where Tadashi was. "That's my big brother, Tadashi!"
"Oh so that's who Tadashi is. My brother Charlie and sister Alice talk with him all the time over the phone or are hanging out together. Never really talked to him myself though." Kathleen fumbled with her fingers. "He's older and stuff and I'm really shy."
"Really?" Hiro blinked. "Tadashi's nice though. He likes making friends with everyone… And can I tell ya a secret? I'm not shy but I don't really like talkin' to a lot of people."
"I get ya. I'm kind of the same way. I just never really know what to talk about." Kathleen giggled. "I don't know much yet but I can go on and on about cooking things… or books I've read. Even if they're little kids books as my siblings put it."
"I get ya. I like books too. I also like playing tricks on Dashi." He smirked. "Ever hear of a spider walk?"
"Sounds familiar." Kathleen tilted her head. "Is it fun?"
"Oh yeah! I like freaking out Tadashi with it. I can show ya." Hiro got a sneaky look in his eyes.
"Well… I'm bored… and if it can possibly freak out my siblings I'd like that." Kathleen smirked back.
Hiro grinned and put a finger to his lips before looking around to make sure Tadashi and Kathleen's siblings were faced away from them while they were talking. Hiro got on all fours, turning upright before moving quickly over to Tadashi, letting his head hang back, eyes looking wide.
Tadashi looked towards him, before jumping.
The girl, Alice, squealed, leaping onto her brother's back.
"GAH! CHARLIE SAVE ME!"
Hiro cracked up, falling over as he laughed.
"Haha… Very fun-"
Tadashi stopped short when Kathleen came up doing the same thing, though she was more focused on her siblings.
They both jumped, falling out of their chairs.
"KAAAAT! THAT'S CREEPY!"
Hiro laughed harder.
Kathleen sat down on the floor, laughing.
"I was bored!"
Charlie looked to Tadashi.
"Your chibi corrupted our chibi." He deadpanned.
"... I'll be honest, I did not see that coming."
"Aren't you supposed to expect the unexpected?"
"...Touche'." Tadashi shook his head. "Evil chibis."
Hiro just smiled innocently.
"I love you too Nii-san."
"... GET 'EM!"
Kathleen and Hiro tried to run but it was too late. Both their respective siblings grabbed them, pulling them into headlocks, messing up their hair.
"ACK! CHARLIE! ALICE! NOT THE HAIR!"
"Too darn bad little sis!"
Hiro wiggled, laughing.
All the noise drew the attention of the adults. When they came in… they couldn't help but break down laughing.
"Oh goodness!" Kathleen's mother, Irene, laughed. "What the heck happened here!?"
"Hiro corrupted our sister!" Charlie smirked as he ruffled up Kathleen's hair more.
"That explains it." Aunt Cass laughed. "Naughty chibi!"
"Save meee! I'm being chibi huggled!"
"... Quick!" Irene got her camera instead, taking a picture.
Aunt Cass whipped out her phone, recording the event.
"Ah, this is just lovely."
"Hiro, COUNTERMEASURES!" Kathleen hugged her siblings, knocking them over. "HUG ATTACK!"
"THIS IS THE MOST ADORABLE DEFEAT!"
Hiro grinned, doing the same to Tadashi as he fell over, the little boy cuddling close.
Tadashi smiled softly, hugging him close.
"Yes you do."
"So sweet." Aunt Cass smiled.
Almost like nothing is wrong in their world right now.
Kathleen huddled close to her siblings.
"And I got you two."
They hugged her close.
"Yep and we love you a lot."
"That's our baby sis."
Irene smiled softly.
"That's innocence right there."
"Something they should enjoy." Aunt Cass nodded. "After all, they're just kids."
"Yep… and I get the feeling they'll be close for a long time."
"You and me both Irene." Aunt Cass looked at the children, seeing them all laughing at each other. "You and me both."
Hiro and Kathleen looked to one another and smiled.
"Can we play more together?"
"Yeah! Auntie Cass, can Kat come over more?" Hiro gave a puppy eyed look.
Kathleen pouted as well.
"I don't think we can say no!" Irene put a hand over her chest. "Oh my goodness!"
"My heart can't take it!"
"Ooh I can operate on you guys!" Tadashi grinned.
"... Back off doctor chibi."
"So, yes?" Kathleen had a hopeful look. "I don't have a lot of friends after all."
"And neither do I!"
"...Yep. You two win."
"YAY!" Kathleen hugged Hiro. "You can show me all kinds of stuff!"
Hiro hugged Kathleen.
"Yeah! We can prank Tadashi and Charlie and Alice!"
The older siblings all groaned.
"We're doomed." Alice deadpanned.
"The most adorable beating ever."
"Deal with it." Hiro and Kathleen smirked.
Yep, Hiro's made himself a buddy.
He only has one childhood after all.
Chapter 2: Boom
Universe(s): Treatment Course/Canon Big Hero 6, From the Ashes/Digimon Hero 6, Immortal 7 and The Phoenix
The room was quiet, except for the snickering coming from one ten year old Hiro Hamada. Kathleen looked at him worriedly as she fiddled with the safety goggles he had practically thrown at her.
"Is this a good idea? … And where'd you even GET some of this stuff!?"
"You really don't wanna know what an amazon gift card can be capable of is all I will say." Hiro grinned as he measured out different brightly colored chemicals.
Kathleen grimaced, feeling more and more nervous by the moment. She still remembered what happened back in grade school for Hiro when he had gotten ahold of the chemistry room's chemicals.
"Hiro, what if Tadashi and the others catch us?"
"Even better!" Hiro grinned. "C'mon, I need an assistant. This'll be fun!"
"And we won't get hurt?" She asked quietly.
He gave an assuring look.
"Have I ever steered you wrong?"
…. Really bad question but… It's Hiro.
She took a deep breath.
"Okay, you win."
They worked for awhile before…
The two children fell back, covered in green powder, staring at the small fire that was now on the table in shock.
"That…. Was…" Kathleen started as Hiro gulped.
"... AWESOME!" She squealed, tackle hugging him. "Let's do it again!"
That was how Tadashi, Charlie and Alice found their younger siblings. Fiddling with chemicals and fire…and wearing similar grins.
"This is gonna end horribly." Charlie deadpanned.
Alice got out her phone, all set to record.
"If we die, we'll at least go viral."
"It's not gonna end that way." Tadashi headed over to them. "Hiro, Kat-"
They jumped… as Hiro spilled the chemical he was holding in the incorrect amount for the mixture.
They coughed as the smoke died down, hair swept back, covered in red dust but uninjured.
Tadashi had a stunned look on his face.
"...This is awesome and insane at the same time."
"And Cass is gonna murder you guys!" Charlie called as he and Alice collected their sister before bolting. "And I think we hear our mom calling!"
"HEY! TRAITORS-Hiro put DOWN the acid!"
Ugh… What's next?
…Then again, explosions can be fun…
JUST NOT IN THE HOUSE!
Chapter 3: Peanuts
Universe(s): Treatment Course/Canon Big Hero 6, From the Ashes/Digimon Hero 6, Immortal 7 and The Phoenix
"TADASHI! CHARLIE! ALICE!"
The three children perked up as they heard Kathleen's voice, the five year old running up to them, tears streaking her face.
"Kat, what happened?" Alice asked, kneeling down to her sister's level. "What's got you so upset?"
"I-It's Hiro! He doesn't look so good!"
Tadashi's eyes got wide as he stood up.
"Where is he?"
"I-In the living room." Kathleen wiped her eyes a little. "F-Follow me."
She lead them to the living room, where Hiro was on the floor, his skin red and the boy was barely breathing.
"Hiro!" Tadashi rushed over to him, kneeling beside him. "Oh no…"
"Nii-san…" Hiro wheezed. "Help…"
Tadashi brought him into his arms.
"I-I got ya." He turned to the others. "Get my aunt and call 911! Hiro, what'd you eat…!?"
Charlie and Alice nodded, running off to do as Tadashi asked.
"We-We were eating some leftover Halloween candy." Kathleen sniffled. "Snickers… and then this happened when he ate Reese's Cup."
"Shhh…" Tadashi gave her a gentle look, trying to hide how worried he was. "It's gonna be okay. Hiro's gonna be fine." He looked down at his brother, kissing his head. "You hear me Hiro? You're gonna be fine." Reese's cups…? … Is… Is he allergic to something in them?
Charlie came back in.
"An ambulance is on its way and so is your aunt. Just need to hang tight."
Tadashi gave him a grateful look.
"Thank you so much."
Alice went over to her sister, hugging her.
"C'mere you. It's okay."
Kathleen sobbed a bit, hiding her face, not saying anything.
They all tried their best to keep calm. Waiting patiently. Tadashi doing what he could to help Hiro breathe. Finally, the paramedics came in as did Aunt Cass, rushing Hiro off to the hospital. Tadashi wanted to stay by his brother's side the whole time but he was told to wait outside the exam room with the others.
"Hiro is gonna be okay… right?" Kathleen was still distraught over the whole thing, her face completely red from crying.
During this, Alice had passed her to Charlie so the eldest had her close.
"He's gonna be okay. He's tough." Charlie stroked her back, trying to calm her down. "This is the same kid who almost hotwired Cass's truck."
"R-Right." Kathleen looked to Tadashi.
I wonder why he's not mad at me. I let this happen.
The boy caught her gaze and tried to smile.
"It's okay. Really. He's gonna be fine." What kind of older brother am I?! A freaking piece of CANDY took down my baby brother.
"Okay…" She lowered her head. "Sorry…"
Tadashi frowned, tilting her chin up a bit.
"Now why are you sorry?"
"We found the candy together. I let him have what caused this. I'm the one who got him sick."
"Kathleen…" Tadashi gave her a serious look. "This is not in any way your fault. This could've happened on anyone's watch."
"But…" Kathleen sniffled.
"... Alright, c'mere." Tadashi brought the girl into his arms, sitting on the floor with her. "Hiro could've gotten this in any way shape or form. It was just bad luck. No one's fault."
Kathleen cuddled up to him.
Tadashi hugged her a bit tighter, stroking her hair.
"Atta girl… and you know what you can do to help?"
"Huh?" She looked up at him curious.
Tadashi gave her a gentle look.
"Give him a big hug when they let us in there with him."
"Okay… I can do that."
"That's the Kat we know and love." He ruffled her hair.
Kathleen giggled a little, nuzzling his hand.
He looked up, seeing Aunt Cass standing outside the door, the doctor right beside her.
He stood up, holding Kathleen in his arms.
"H-How is he?"
Aunt Cass sighed in relief.
"Stable now. He's okay."
Tadashi sighed in relief, lowering his gaze a little to hide the relieved tears that welled up.
"Oh, thank goodness. W-What made him sick?"
"Your brother has an allergy to peanuts." The doctor answered. "We ran a few tests and it was confirmed."
Kathleen gasped a little as Tadashi hugged her a bit tighter.
"But he's gonna be okay, right…?"
"Yes. Just need to be careful with what you have in the house and make sure he carries an epipen from now on."
Aunt Cass nodded.
"Thank you doctor. Seriously, thank you."
The doctor nodded to her before looking to Tadashi.
"You can see him now." He gestured to the door.
"Thank you." Tadashi hurried in, the others following after them.
Hiro was in a hospital bed and had an IV in his arm. He looked better now but looked exhausted. He looked to them, a little bit of joy in his eyes as he saw Tadashi.
"Yeah." Tadashi pulled up a chair, holding his brother's hand. "I'm here."
Hiro squeezed his hand, pouting a little.
"I don't like peanuts anymore. They're bad."
"Well good since you can't eat them."
"Yeah, I heard. Hmph. Stupid nuts." Hiro sat up a little. "Least I don't feel bad anymore. I'm sorry I scared you guys though."
"You're okay now. That's all that matters. Though…" Tadashi helped Kathleen up on to the bed. "Someone wanted to give you something."
Kathleen didn't waste a second before hugging Hiro.
"I'm so sorry, Hiro."
Hiro let out a surprised squeak before bringing his arms around her.
"Not your fault Kat." He nuzzled her a little. "You didn't make me eat 'em."
Kathleen nuzzled back a little.
"When I get home, I'm making you chocolate balls with gummy bears in them."
Hiro's eyes lit up as he smiled.
"Ya mean it!?"
"I'll even use that dark chocolate you really like."
Hiro cheered, hugging her tighter.
Kathleen hugged tighter, smiling.
"It's settled then."
"Hope she'll share." Charlie whispered to Tadashi. "For a five year old she can cook rather well."
"I think you'll have to claim dibs before Hiro gets out of the hospital. Because once they're in our house he'll just run upstairs to eat them."
He nodded, smiling at the two younger kids.
Hiro kept Kathleen close, kind of cuddling up to her a bit.
"I don't want her to go. Can I keep her?"
"Hey, we need our Kathleen hugs too." Alice pouted dramatically. "You wouldn't say no to this face right Hiro?"
Hiro looked at her.
"... You're old."
She gave a fake gasp.
Kathleen kept close to Hiro.
"He was sick! I'm staying till he feels better!"
Charlie threw his head back laughing.
"You can't separate best friends!"
"Nope. Especially not best friends like those two… or us. Thanks for staying with us."
"You're our best friend, Tadashi." Charlie squeezed his shoulder. "Someone's gotta stand by you and your family."
"And we're up for the job." Alice smiled as she looked to Kathleen and Hiro again, finding the two fast asleep. "... Anyone have a camera?"
Tadashi took out his phone, snapping a picture.
"Thank you Aunt Cass for deciding I needed one of these."
"Think it's okay for Kat to stay with him like that?"
"I don't think they'd say no. When I was Hiro's age and not feeling well they let me stay on my mom's lap. So, I think it's okay here too." Tadashi gave a bit of a determined look. "'Sides, no one's waking him up on my watch."
"We'll be sleep watch then." Charlie got himself a chair, pulling out his backpack. "I brought some handheld video games that'll help pass the time."
"... Megaman?" Tadashi asked hopefully.
"You know it."
"If you cheat again, Charlie, so help me, I'll make ya pay."
"With what? You say it then you never do."
Alice shook her head, finding a chair for herself.
"Just don't be noisy." She nodded to the younger children. "The babies are trying to sleep."
"We love them too, Aly."
"I know. Just saying."
They got their game boys ready, starting their little battle together while Alice kept her eyes on Hiro and Kathleen.
Both were peaceful now, cuddled close together, smiling in their sleep.
Just as it should be.
Chapter 4: Please?
Universe(s): Treatment Course/Canon Big Hero 6, From the Ashes/Digimon Hero 6, Immortal 7 and The Phoenix
"One… Two… Three… One… Two… Three."
She listened to the piano music playing quietly in the background, trying to focus on the rhythm and timing. It was hard but she was up for the challenge. Namely because she was still getting used to her pointe shoes. She loved her teacher but part of her thought she was evil for not warning them very well ahead of time how hard it would be to get used to it.
She tried a spin only to fall and let out a yelp.
The nine year old whimpered after she fell. It hadn't hurt that much but her frustration was showing through.
She had been at this for almost an hour.
"I'll never get this right."
"Don't say that."
The girl looked up, seeing Tadashi looking at her with a worried look.
"Alice are you okay? That looked like it hurt."
Alice sniffled, bringing her knees to her chest as he came over, sitting in front of her.
"I'm a bad dancer. That's what." She murmured.
"You're not a bad dancer. What makes you think that? You were doing great." Tadashi tilted his head. "But I don't know why you were doing that alone. You looked so lonely."
Alice lowered her gaze, muttering an answer Tadashi couldn't quite make out.
"No boys wanna dance with me anymore… Cause I made them stop goofin' around and be serious."
"... You hit them didn't you?"
"He dropped me!"
Tadashi put a hand to his face.
"Unbelievable… Alice, you can't pick on people you're supposed to be working with!"
"I-I wasn't pickin' on 'em! They're clumsy!"
"Alice… How many?"
Tadashi gave her an unimpressed look before he sighed.
"What are we gonna do with you?"
Alice fell quiet, lowering her gaze again. Tadashi heard a sniffle escape her.
"A-Alice, c'mon. I didn't-"
"I'LL NEVER BE A PRIMA DONNA OR EVEN MAKE COMPETITION OR RECITALS OR ANYTHING IF PEOPLE WON'T EVEN TRY!" She wailed, sobbing a bit.
Tadashi felt totally powerless as he pulled her into a hug.
"S-Shh…. Alice, that's not true. You just gotta keep working at it. Please don't cry, it's okay."
She sniffled again, whimpering.
"C'mon…" He hugged her closer, resting his head atop hers. After awhile the girl calmed down holding onto her friend tightly.
"What can I do to make you smile again?"
Her head snapped up and Tadashi felt a chill go down his spine at the smile on her face. It was far too sneaky looking to be good news.
"... You're pretty graceful for a boy y'know."
"... Oh no."
Tadashi got up but Alice was hanging onto his right leg tightly.
"Alice I am NOT doing ballet, nuh uh, no way!"
"Please? Please? Please? Please?"
"No. I draw the line at dancing!"
"Just til I get it right in class please?"
"... But you'll have to show me what you know so far okay?"
Tadashi sighed. He really wished the puppy dog tactic didn't work on him some days.
But… he smiled as Alice wrapped her arms around him.
At least his friend was happy.
Besides, it wasn't like he was going to have to do this forever right?
Chapter 5: The Last Dance
Tadashi sighed as he adjusted his shirt collar. He was wondering how he got roped into this yet again… Then he glanced to his friend and remembered that exact day.
Just until she got it right in class. Riiiiight… Been doing this since we were kids.
Tadashi had still been asked many times to help Alice with her dancing. Unlike the other boys she wound up dancing with usually, she was more relaxed and comfortable with her childhood friend. It just lead to a better performance if she was with someone she readily trusted.
"I am." Alice made her way over to him, hiking up part of her skirt a bit so she didn't trip over the hem. She took a shaky breath but flashed him a smile. "Thanks again for this."
"You better be glad Charlie's willing to stand in for me the night of the showcase. I can't be here that day." He whispered to her as he took her hand.
"I know. I'm still glad you're getting me through round one at least."
Alice was still dancing even at eighteen only now switching from ballet to Irish step dancing to even competitive dancing. Competition was what they were currently doing.
Tadashi squeezed her hand, noting she was shaking a bit.
"A… A, look at me."
She looked to him, frowning a bit.
"Sorry… Just… I'm really gonna miss this during the school year. I feel like I never see you unless it's for stuff like this."
"Between getting Hiro ready for the showcase…"
"And just us being college students in general… It's so busy."
Tadashi nodded. He knew that all too well.
"Hey." He chuckled. "Remember when I asked you and Charlie to come hang out while I was working on Baymax?"
"How can I forget?" She looked to where the stage was, seeing another couple. She couldn't help but roll her eyes. "Can you believe they let them in the door wearing that?"
"Snark isn't a good look for you, A." He took a glance and shook his head. Silently though, he agreed. "Besides, Baymax liked you."
"He tried to kill us."
"Once. He only accidentally hit Charlie, he didn't even lay a hand on you."
"No, he chased me trying!"
Tadashi opened his mouth to argue his robot's innocence when their names were called.
He took the lead, moving with her as they immediately went into their routine, trying to focus on the rhythm and the music.
At this point, they had no words to say to one another. Just the music.
They came close, looking each other in the eyes, circling each other before looking away.
Alice and Tadashi made as if they were about to walk away from each other before their heads snapped back to one another as the music continued.
He grasped her hand, spinning her as he let her fall back against one of his arms, supporting her.
Alice grasped onto his shoulders, coming onto her toes as he brought an arm around her, spinning as her dress flared out behind them before he set her down, spinning her away from him, holding onto her hand as she "fell back", keeping balanced as best as she could, a grin on both their faces.
They kept like this for the duration of the song, the dance a mix of aggressiveness and closeness. Off the floor they were old friends, always having each others backs if they could. Here, they were still those friends, just using their bodies versus words to communicate.
Tadashi cringed as Alice stumbled a bit because she tripped but he quickly moved to support her, trying to hide the fumble.
They knew the judges saw and marked them for it though.
Ugh, great. She's going to have a heart attack if she sees that!
Alice gulped, looking into his eyes, a panicked look in hers. He gave her a reassuring look, bringing his arms around her.
She nodded, narrowing her eyes as he lifted her before he set her down again as she twirled.
Finally, they came together again, Tadashi crouching as Alice knelt, both panting as the music ended.
Next time, I'm picking the song. No more Fall Out Boy for competitions.
Alice panted, looking up at Tadashi with a smile.
Next time, more Fall Out Boy. This was fun.
They got up, bowing before heading off to rest, waiting to hear on how they did.
"So, what did Hiro make for the showcase…?"
"I'll tell you about it when it's over, A." Tadashi smirked, drinking some water. "A magician never reveals his secrets."
"A few tears would fix you easily." She shot back. "Like how we got here in the first place.
"You're way too comfortable using that, y'know? Anyways, you never told me but… I thought you said your boyfriend was going to do this."
"He… dumped me last week."
Tadashi's eyes widened.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"I didn't wanna stress you out. So…"
"This was your way of dealing with it. No wonder you picked Thanks for the Memories."
"Yep. He was a loser."
"Tadashi, I can't do this. He's gonna drop me!"
Alice gulped as she paced on the phone with Tadashi, checking her watch. She had ten minutes. Ten minutes to find out if she was going to actually win the competition with her brother instead of her friend but right now she was having doubts.
"Charlie dropped you ONCE and that was when the game came on and he dropped you on the COUCH, not on the floor."
"So!? What if someone says something like "Chicago kicked our butts'-"
"THEY DID WHAT NOW?!"
"Calm down. Breathe. You got this. I can't be there in person but I will be there in spirit. And tomorrow, we'll hang out, go to that hole in the wall diner we like and I can bug you about that ungodly amount of salt you put on your food."
She giggled. She could already picture it.
"Alright… Thanks, Tadashi."
"Anytime, Alice. Oh, gotta head out. We're going to the showcase right now. Good luck… And one more thing?"
Tadashi didn't know why he was saying these words but he felt like he had to.
"Save the last dance for me."
Chapter 6: What We Lost in the Fire
Kathleen was fast asleep in her room. It was still early in the morning but something had stirred her from her sleep… someone was crying. No… two.
Alice… and… Charlie…?
She quickly got out of bed, heading to where they were. She found them in Alice's room, Charlie holding Alice in his arms, both sobbing.
"Aly? Charlie…?" Kathleen rubbed her eyes, yawning, concern crossing her features. "What's the matter? Why are you crying?"
Alice and Charlie's heads snapped up. Alice opened her mouth to talk but lowered her head again.
"Kat…" Charlie took a shaky breath. "You know how Hiro had his… his presentation last night? And Tadashi was, of course, going to be there…?"
"Yeah." Kathleen nodded. "I was thinking to call him this morning and see how he did… Did he not make it?"
"... Someone didn't." Charlie moved Alice as he made his way to his youngest sister. "Kathleen… There was a fire… Tadashi he's… he's gone."
A gasp escaped from Kathleen's mouth, a hand being brought of it.
"N-No… It… No!"
He brought her into his arms.
"I'm so sorry. It stunned us too. We don't know everything but I guess Hiro and Tadashi stuck around after the showcase and… somehow Tadashi got swept up in all of that chaos. He never came out."
Kathleen was quiet before bringing her arms around her brother, sniffling.
"Not Tadashi… Oh gosh… He… He meant everything to Hiro… He… He can't be…" She broke into a sob. "TADASHI!"
Charlie sat with her, tears running down his own face.
"It feels like some bad dream… Heck, I talked to him just yesterday."
Alice went to her siblings, falling to her knees beside them.
"He was here just last week… Just… it's not fair."
"Imagine how Hiro feels right now."
"He was so excited to be going to school with Tadashi." Kathleen wiped one of her eyes. "Last time I talked with him he couldn't stop talking about it. I was happy for him to be able to go to a place that would challenge him. Now… Oh my gosh. He must be broken hearted."
"And they were so close. They always were." Alice rubbed her eyes quickly. "We need to go there. See them now-"
"Alice, calm. Before you go speeding over there in your car, let's remember, they need a moment to process this too. The last thing they need to worry about is jumping up to deal with guests."
Kathleen nodded, sighing.
I'll wait too.
I'll think of something.
Though I'm not sure what will cheer Hiro up after something like this.
The next couple of weeks passed by all too slowly. Tadashi's funeral, school starting up again.
Charlie and Alice had to get back to their colleges. Though both still lived at home, it was still hard to get back into things.
And Hiro… He hadn't left the house since the funeral.
He didn't want to.
It bugged everyone but they knew bothering him to come out wouldn't do any good. They had all seen the dead look in his eyes. The hope he had before all gone. His energy not what it used to be. Eventually, they all gave up… save Aunt Cass… and Kathleen.
She wanted to try at least once. She had seen him but… she had to try. After getting out of school she had made some chocolate chip cookies and wrote a small message in a card. It wasn't much but she wanted to let Hiro know she was thinking about him and was hoping he was okay.
Kathleen took a deep breath as she entered the Lucky Cat.
"Cass…?" she asked.
Cass looked up from cleaning off a table, giving her a small smile.
"Hey, sweetie. Haven't seen you in awhile. How are ya?"
"I'm good. I just wanted to give something to Hiro." She showed the plate of cookies she had. "If it's not too much of a bother."
"It's not a bother at all." Cass dusted herself off. "He's upstairs in the bo-In his room. He hasn't been eating much so I think he'd probably touch those. At this rate I'd be happy if he ate a giant gummy bear."
"Okay. Is it alright if I…?" Kathleen gestured to the entrance to their part of the structure.
"Please do. I think he could use a friend right now." Cass got out of her way. "And take as much time as you , sweetie."
Kathleen nodded, heading up to Hiro's room. She kept quiet on her tiptoes, peering into the boy's room. She felt her heart break as she saw Hiro sitting on his bed, clenching Tadashi's hat to his chest.
"Tada-nii…" Hiro murmured, lowering his head, holding the garment closer. "Why'd it have to be you…?"
Kathleen wasn't sure if she should speak. She never knew what to say.
I have no idea what he's going through. I don't know what it would be like if I lost Charlie or Alice… and with someone like Tadashi…
Kathleen decided to keep quiet, making her way over to Hiro's desk, setting down the plate.
Hiro sighed heavily.
"I'm not up for going out today, Aunt Cass."
Probably trying to get me to try to go to school. I don't wanna do anything like that right now. It's not the same,
"I know. I'd say I understand but I don't… Sorry." Kathleen answered, making her way back for the door.
Hiro looked to her, tears in his eyes.
"K-Kat…? Oh gosh I'm sorry…" He jumped up. "I-I thought…"
Kathleen stopped in her tracks, going back towards him.
"It's okay, you didn't see me so… it's fine."
Hiro rubbed the back of his neck.
"You… don't have to run off…"
"You sure?" Kathleen had a worried look. "I would think you'd want to be alone."
"I… Yeah I probably should be…" Hiro lowered his head. "You probably don't wanna hang around… I'm not…" He looked to where Tadashi's hat was. "... I'm not the same…"
"I know." She hesitated before hugging him a little. "And I wish I could fix things… but I'm just me… and… I miss him too."
Hiro was still for a moment before bringing his arms around her, burying his face in her hair a bit.
"I keep looking for him. I keep waking up and going to his side of the room to see if he's up yet… then I just see that stupid hat. He was always wearing that stupid hat…" His shoulders shook.
Don't cry. Do NOT cry. Not in front of her.
"And Charlie and Alice keep trying to call him and never get an answer." Kathleen hugged him tighter. "I miss hearing his laugh."
"I miss it too. Every time he laughed he made you wanna laugh too… And hearing him working on stuff or him and Charlie arguing over whether or not football was better than baseball." Hiro chuckled a little. "Remember that one time it got to the screaming levels?"
"Oh yeah. I thought they were gonna murder each other." Kathleen giggled a little. "Took you, me and Alice to pull them apart."
"'You dare insult the mighty Ninjas? YOU WILL DIE!" Gosh he was so red!"
"So was Charlie!" Kathleen smiled. "It was fun by the end though."
"Yeah, they kept throwing cheesy movie lines at each other." Hiro smiled. "Including the Iron Man ones."
"Those were your favorites after all."
"Yup… And heh… Remember when Alice kept scaring off her dance partners for that competition and she practically begged Tadashi to do it? I thought he was gonna lose it but nope. Kept his patience with her."
"Just how he was. That's why he was always the leader."
"Yup. The best." Hiro wiped at his eyes. "Thanks, Kat."
"Anytime." Kathleen gave a gentle look. "Don't be afraid to call me if you need something."
"I will. Thanks again." He hugged her quickly. "Don't be a stranger either. I'm messed up now but I'll be okay one day."
"You'll get there." Kathleen hugged him close. "Just know I'm here if you need to talk…."
He kept close, relaxing a bit.
"I know. You've always had my back." He pulled back a bit, giving a small smile. "Just like how I'll have yours. If you need one of my "evil" schemes, you know who to call."
"That I do." Kathleen chuckled.
Hiro nodded before looking to where the cookies were.
"...Think you'd wanna split those with me?"
"I'd like nothing more."
Tadashi's gone… But at least I still got her.
Things aren't ever gonna be the same… but I'll figure it out.
Chapter 7: Recipe for Fun
Kathleen was looking forward to heading to the Lucky Cat Cafe after school got out. She was eager to see Hiro there and hopefully have their little get together today. She had been wanting to try out a new cooking recipe with him for awhile now and they just never found the time to do it. Hopefully, today would be that day. Just a matter of things working out. Mainly homework from SFIT not getting in the way.
She had a bit of a skip in her step as she walked into the Cafe, a brown bag full of ingredients clenched to her chest.
Aunt Cass waved to her.
"Over here, sweetie."
Kathleen hurried over to her.
"Is Hiro home this time?"
"He's up in his room." Aunt Cass looked at the bag. "What ya got planned?"
"Cheesecake. I got a new recipe for it I wanna try. Figure something Hiro would like and see how it turns out." She smiled. "I'm really excited for it."
"I'm sure he'll love that. I think he's finishing up homework, so you can go check for yourself."
Kathleen hurried up to Hiro's room, knocking on the side of the door.
"Come in!" Hiro looked up from his book with a grin. "Kat!" He jumped up, going over to her. "Hey!"
"Hey yourself." She giggled, showing the bag. "You up for cooking today or too busy again?"
"I'm up for it today. I got everything done already." Hiro smiled. "So, I'm up for whatever you wanna make!"
"Let's get to it then, nerd." Kathleen yanked on his jacket a little, leading him down to the kitchen. "Cause I have cheesecake in mind."
"Ooo nice. Haven't had that in awhile." Hiro got out some of the equipment, getting a mixer set up. "Just lead the way my friend. I'll help however I can. Including taste tests."
"And you're my best tester." Kathleen giggled. "And~" She slipped off her backpack, pulling out a pair of speakers and her I-pod. "Music makes everything better."
"I sense a Fall Out Boy rock out session."
"Banging on pots and pans included."
"YES!" He cheered a bit.
Before long, music filled the air as they cooked and joked around a bit. Hiro waited until she went to grab another ingredient before trying to swipe a taste of the batter.
Kathleen smirked, smacking his hand lightly with a wooden spoon.
Hiro gave a puppy eyed look.
"B-But I thought I was supposed to taste test."
"Not yet you big puppy."
"Okay…" He chuckled before going to the I-pod and turning up the music. "Yes! Centuries!"
Kathleen cheered, bobbing her head to the beat before starting to sing to the lyrics.
"Some legends are told! Some turn to dust or to gold but you will remember me!"
"Remember me, for centuries! And just one mistake! Is all it will take, to go down in history! Remember me for centuries!" Hiro sang along, swaying a bit to the music, grabbing a spare wooden spoon and beating it against a pot.
Kathleen joined, the two playing together, laughing a bit as they found themselves banging pans insync with one another, getting tangled in each other's arms at some points.
Hiro smiled at her as she was singing.
She's cute when she's happy like this -Gah what am I thinking!?
Kathleen looked to him, giggling a bit.
I love it when he sings… When he's happy. Never did like it when he was down. It's so good to see him as himself again. Not sure what happened, but I don't care. I'm just glad he is himself again.
Hiro chuckled, reaching up and striking across the rack of pots hanging above the sink.
"Weee've been here forever! And here's the frozen proof! I could scream forever! We are the poisoned youth!"
Kathleen cheered before joining in on the chorus.
"Some legends are told! Some turn to dust or to gold but you will remember me! Remember me for centuries."
Hiro joined in, both singing in complete unison.
"And just one mistake! Is all it will take, to go down in history! Remember me for centuries!"
"Will go down in history!"
"Remember me!" They high fived. "For centuries!"
They leaned against the counter a bit to catch their breath as the next song started.
"...Yep. That was awesome." Hiro laughed running a hand through his hair.
"Agreed." Kathleen sighed happily. "I missed this. We used to do this a lot back in the day."
"Yeah, we did. I've missed it too. Just hanging out and doing whatever seemed good. Sorry I haven't been around as much."
"It's okay, Hiro." Kathleen smiled. "You're a college student after all, not a high school student like me. Got more homework and stuff. Already being an adult before I am."
Hiro smiled sheepishly.
"Not an adult by a long shot, Kat. I got the adult homework but I'm still a kid too."
"I guess so… You sure have been carrying yourself a lot more mature lately." Kathleen had a proud look in her eyes. "You're you again… yet grown up a bit."
Hiro had a warm look in his eyes.
"It's been a heck of a road and I had some help too… but one thing's for sure: I'm never going back to being like that again. Not the bot fighter kid anymore, or the kid who kept himself inside."
"Good. I always worried when you started that whole bot fighting thing. I've heard stories… was hoping you didn't get hurt whenever you went out."
"Kat…" He frowned a bit. "I was real stupid when I got into that. I just was so bored, so I thought "Hey this could be fun." Had a whole schedule plan and everything for ALMOST every situation… and of course, got me into trouble."
"I'm just glad you had protection of sorts." Kathleen placed a hand on his shoulder. "And now you're here. Being something much more than that. Something so much better."
"Yeah." Hiro smiled softly. "I'm gonna help a lot of people."
"I know you will." Kathleen smiled.
"Thanks Kat. Just you wait. One day, everyone will know what I can make and they'll know you too." Hiro smiled. "Cause I fully expect you to one day have a bakery or something like that."
"We'll see." She smirked a little, going over to a bowl, scooping out some of the contents, offering it to him. "If anything, least I know I have my faithful taste tester."
Hiro's eyes lit up as he took it, sighing happily at the taste.
"That you do Kat. That you do."
She giggled a bit.
"Good. Now just a matter of making the final piece a reality." She smiled, her eyes seeming to light up a little. "Shall we?"
Hiro smirked giving a nod.
"Darn right we shall. Let's do it! … And as long as I get first dibs on the first slice!"
"Nerd." Kathleen smirked. "But I keep ya around anyway."
"I'm YOUR nerd."
"True, true." Kathleen held up her spoon, thrusting a bit in a command like pose. "Onward!"
"To the dessert battlestations!"
With that, they got back to work, laughing and joking around as they did. Before very long the final product sat before them.
"So…" Hiro asked as Kathleen tried to get a picture with her phone. "... Can I eat it yet?"
"Almost… done." Kathleen smiled, showing the photo. "We may feast now."
"YES!" Hiro cheered. "And what a feast it shall be!"
Missed this. Just hanging out with her. Things are different now but… it's all okay. I'm okay.
Kathleen smiled, offering him a slice.
"My nerd." She bowed.
Hiro smiled, taking it and eating a bit.
"Wow… Kat, this is really really good!" He sighed happily. "It's awesome!"
"Well, I had help." She chuckled, taking a bite of her own piece. "Takes two sets of hands to make something like this."
"Very true." Hiro smiled. "And I'd like to do more stuff like this… Can we?"
"Just pick a day and I'll come over." Kathleen winked. "Long as we're not busy of course."
"Of course. How about Saturday?" Hiro grinned. "I only have homework that day."
"It's a deal."
Chapter 8: Marshmallow
Kathleen sighed happily as she watched Hiro work from the couch in the garage. He had been really throwing himself into his latest project. Albeit it seemed to be giving him trouble. But it didn't seem to deter him… Yet.
"So… what's this thing supposed to do?"
"... I don't know!" Hiro shrugged. "I… kind of had a problem with it back at school and it kind of well… tried to knock me out of a window."
She gasped, bringing a hand to her mouth.
"Yeah and I'm pretty sure I blocked out half of what the original programming was supposed to be… It'll come back to me! I'm sure." Hiro assured her, giving a confident look. "It'll work. I just know it!"
Kathleen shook her head, getting up.
"Well, I'm gonna get a drink and maybe fix us up a snack. Want anything in particular?"
"Something that's high in caffeine and your choice on the snack."
She saluted before heading upstairs, humming a bit, taking note of an odd looking case near the stairs. Mochi was sleeping on top of it.
Guess Cass and Mom went garage saling again.
Kathleen fell quiet as she got to work, cutting up some fruit. She got a bit lost in her thoughts and didn't realize she was running out of room when…
"OUCH!" She yelped a bit as she cut herself a bit. Dropping the knife, she ran her hand under the faucet. "Well that was a rookie mistake…" She muttered.
Beep beep beep.
Mochi ran off as Baymax came out of his luggage, waddling over to Kathleen, doing his signature greeting motion.
"Hello, I am Baymax, your personal healthcare companion."
Kathleen looked at the nursebot, surprise in her eyes.
"Oh my gosh…" She murmured… before squealing and throwing her arms around him, her finger momentarily forgotten. "YOU'RE ADORABLE!"
Baymax brought his arms around her.
"I heard a sound of distress. What seems to be the trouble?"
"I just cut my finger a little. I'm alright really." Kathleen smiled, pulling back a bit. "No need to worry."
Baymax held up her injured hand, looking at the cut. He held up his free hand, producing a bandaid.
"Allow me to assist at least."
"Alright. Go for it."
Gentle too. Wonder why Hiro's working with something so violent when he's got this.
Baymax applied a spray before wrapping the cut in the band aid.
"Treatment complete. I can not deactivate till you are satisfied with your care."
"Aww…. I have to say goodbye already? But you're so cute!"
I wouldn't wanna take home Hiro's little fighter bot but this… I WANT ONE.
"I can stay longer if you request and if you need assistance with anything else."
"Please?" She gave a puppy eyed look. "Plus… with what Hiro's working on I think he'll need someone who actually knows what they're doing."
Hiro could be heard yelling from the garage.
"OH YOU'RE GONNA SHOCK ME HUH!? YOU THINK YOU'RE REAL CUTE!? WELL SHOCK THIS!"
Kathleen cringed and if Baymax could, he would have as well.
"I will stay then." Baymax narrowed his optics. "Hiro has a bit of a record when it comes to his robotics projects."
"... What kind of record?" Kathleen asked as she got the drinks, deciding the snack was a lost cause. Especially since she knew Hiro. When he was good and mad the last thing he wanted was food. "I-I mean I heard something about trying to push him out of a window but… how bad past that!?"
"... I am not sure you want me to inform you. All I will say is he has almost gotten a severe concussion a few times because of Kokoro."
"... There's some cruel irony in that name choice of his." Kathleen sighed, shaking her head. "Hiro has a hard head at least… Just… please don't let that thing kill him in his sleep or something. I know Hiro likes horror movies but he doesn't wanna die like one."
"... I will do my very best to protect him."
She headed back to the garage, Baymax waddling behind her… as they both came upon a sight that would become familiar.
Hiro was glaring at Kokoro as the robot seemed to mock him with the stare it was giving him.
"One day, you are gonna-"
Hiro grabbed his head, grimacing.
"Stupid, little-" He grabbed a wrench. "THAT'S IT!"
Kathleen cringed, keeping close to Baymax.
"This is just gonna end lovely."
Hiro ran past them, chasing Kokoro as the robot tried to evade its creator.
"OH NOW YOU'RE SCARED OF ME EH!? WELL YOU SHOULD BE! YAAAAAAAAAAH!"
He swung… as Kokoro caught the wrench, narrowing its optics.
Hiro gave his best "I did nothing wrong" smile.
"Um… No hard feelings buddy?"
The robot would have sneered if it could as it swung the wrench, sending Hiro flying into the opposite wall before returning to its charging stand and deactivating.
Kathleen had her hands covering her eyes.
"Is it over…?"
"Yes." Baymax waddled over to Hiro, picking him up. "You should rest."
Hiro rubbed his head.
"By rest you mean a ten minute break before I go to town on that stupid hunk of metal right?"
Kathleen shook her head.
"Hiro, you have issues with that robot."
"HE WILL WORK FOR ME! THIS I SWEAR!"
Baymax deflated a bit as he stroked the boy's hair.
"Hiro, you are becoming more stressed out. It is not worth it. It is deactivated."
Hiro grumbled, relaxing a little.
"It's… a matter… OF PRIDE now."
And there it is. The famous last words of doom.
"Well… if you die…" Kathleen hugged Baymax's arm. "Can I have this guy? He's so cute!"
"Only if you promise to give him lots of hugs."
"I can do that easily!"
"Then in the unfortunate event of my untimely demise by robotics project… he's all yours."
"Yay!" Kathleen gave a sheepish look. "Though not that I WANT you to die or anything."
"I know Kat. Just us joking around right?"
"Then it's all good." He patted Baymax's arm. "My marshmallow is your marshmallow."
"... I am not a marshmallow. I am a robot."
"Tomato, tomato, Baymax." Hiro and Kathleen laughed.
Baymax deflated a bit but just nodded.
The boy grinned.
"And expect Kat around a lot more. She's a good friend."
"Yes!" Kathleen squealed a little, hugging onto Baymax. "I want my hug fix!"
Baymax patted the girl's head, hugging her close.
"I can provide then."
I can get used to this!
Chapter 9: Alive and Healing
Universe(s): From the Ashes/Digimon Hero 6
They couldn't believe it at first.
They just couldn't.
Tadashi had been thought to be dead.
Now… there he was, just beyond the door before them.
"You guys gonna be able to handle it?" Kathleen asked, looking up at her siblings.
Charlie ruffled her hair.
"I know I will but I don't know about Alice. She's practically choking those flowers to death."
"I will be perfectly composed and calm, Charlie!" Alice elbowed him. "I just… I'll get my "You're an idiot out" right there after the hellos. We all know he has them coming."
"Just don't kill Hiro's brother." Kathleen gave a puppy eyed look.
Alice rolled her eyes before knocking.
"Come in!" A familiar voice called. They all felt a little chill go through them. They never thought they would get to hear that voice again.
Alice opened the door as the three siblings stepped through. Tadashi looked to them, eyes widening a bit.
"Hey, you." Charlie went up first, offering a fist bump that Tadashi met. "How you holding, up?"
"Holding up alright. Just sore from recovery and therapy. All that good stuff."
"But you're making progress, right?" Kathleen asked, worry in her tone.
Tadashi smiled, giving a nod.
"Yep. I'm gonna be just fine. I won't be stuck here forever, Kat. Goodness, I've missed you guys." He looked to Alice, noticing she was shaking a bit. "Um… A?"
"I am going to KILL you if you ever do something so reckless like that again!" She threw her arms around him. "Come here you big idiot!"
"A-Alice…" Tadashi hugged her tightly. "I'm so… so sorry."
"It's okay." She wiped at her eyes quickly. "Just… we missed you a lot. Please, just… don't do things like that anymore. You are WAY too important to us and to Hiro to do that. Okay?"
Kathleen whimpered, giving her best puppy dog eye look.
"Hug for me too?"
Tadashi smiled, holding out an arm as she joined in the embrace.
"Darn right there is." He hugged them both tightly. "I've missed you guys. I swear, I will never do something that stupid again."
"Good cause then we'd have to get you a dunce hat." Charlie smirked. "And you'd have to wear it for the rest of your life."
"If that included threats to sell me to a city college then bring it."
"Oh gosh the dorky lines have started again." Alice giggled.
"Run away!" Kathleen laughed.
"Beware… BEWARE!" Charlie laughed.
"We shall convert you!" Tadashi snickered, messing up the girls' hair as they squealed, pulling back quickly.
"Just how he is. Getting right back into the game." Charlie chuckled. "After all, had to get back in the game as soon as he saw Hiro again."
"Gosh, I need to remember to call him." Kathleen ran a hand through her hair. "I haven't checked in with him in a while because of school and such."
"It's okay, Kat. He's been busy with some sort of project he won't tell me about." Tadashi shook his head. "Can't hold still even after getting out of the hospital himself. Love him so much though. 'Sides, he owes ya."
"Just leave a cookie on a fishing line and wait. He'll fall for it."
"Yup." Charlie ruffled her hair. "Then he's all yours, Little Sis."
Kathleen blushed a little.
"Oh come on, Kat. Even I know the signs." Tadashi smirked, crossing his arms.
"Aww my baby sis is growing up!" Alice squealed, hugging her. "Crush and all!"
Kathleen turned bright red.
"I-I'm just trying to be a good friend!"
"Mm-hm… Friend. Suuuuuure."
"We've seen the way you look at him."
Kathleen was quiet as she fumbled with her fingers.
"... Is it that obvious…?"
"Not too obvious but…" Alice ruffled her hair. "We've all-Well except for Tadashi, been on dates before and we've known you for pretty much forever. We know you."
"And the only one who doesn't notice is Hiro because," Charlie rolled his eyes. "He's a guy. Like the rest of us. Doesn't get subtlety too well."
"Shh… Don't let the girls know."
"I didn't hear anything. Did you Alice?"
"Nope. Just the whispers of dorks we care for deeply." Alice smirked. "... But seriously, you two would be adorable."
"M-Maybe…" Kathleen blushed again. "He's just so amazing… and I'm just me."
"Hey." Tadashi tilted her chin up. "You're you. That's what he likes about you. You're a sweet, smart young girl who always tries her best and puts up with his crap too. You just have to be yourself."
"Atta girl and remember, for all the things he does he's still Hiro. Still the dork we know, love and get annoyed with."
"And to think most siblings threaten possible suitors of their younger siblings." Charlie remarked. "Class Act Tadashi. Never changes."
"What? I couldn't be mad at her. Look at her! She's cute!"
Kathleen gave an innocent smile.
Tadashi pulled her into a hug, giving a mock protective look.
"Sorry Alice, Charlie, I'm going to keep your chibi."
"The idea!" Charlie gasped.
Alice put a hand over her heart.
"MY HEART! It can't take it Tadashi!"
"Meep." Kathleen giggled.
Tadashi chuckled, hugging her closer.
"Missed you Kitty Kat."
Kathleen hugged him tightly.
"I missed you too Dashi. A lot!"
"I know." Tadashi nuzzled her a little. "I missed everyone."
"You'll get outta here soon and I'll bring ya some cookies too."
"Anything at this point sounds better than hospital food, liddo."
"Then I'll bring cookies and some lunch stuff too. You deserve it." She smiled.
"Thanks." Tadashi hugged her closer. "Love you Kat. Sorry I hurt you and your siblings too."
"I love you too Tadashi and it's okay. You didn't know going in what would happen." She nuzzled him. "I'm just happy you're gonna be okay."
"Yeah. It's gonna get better from here. I promise."
"I know it will."
"And when you get outta here everyone will be waiting. Like we always have."
The three hugged the young man, just glad he was safe. That things were going to be alright.
That's all that matters.
Chapter 10: Never Changes
Universe(s): Treatment Course/Canon Big Hero 6, From the Ashes/Digimon Hero 6 and The Phoenix
Alice sighed as she watched her brother and friend out of the corner of her eye. They were just hanging out, relaxing after a long week of doing their respective college courses and activities. She had tried to vote they watch a movie or go somewhere but Charlie and Tadashi were firm - They wanted nothing more than to just sit for a few hours and watch sports.
But she knew what this would possibly lead to. After all... even if Tadashi was out of the hospital and healthy now… he was still a Ninjas fan and Charlie was still a huge supporter of the Padres. Even if he claimed football was a hundred times better and often did - Much to Tadashi's chagrin.
"So, Tadashi…" Charlie started, taking a large drink of his water. "How'd it feel when the Padres made your Ninjas go home crying to their mommies?"
Here we go. Alice moved to the opposite side of the room to watch as now all interest in the television before them was gone.
Tadashi had the smile of a serial killer on his face.
"I was gonna ask if we even saw the same game!" He proclaimed all too cheerfully. "Because I'm pretty sure the Padres got their behinds handed to them by the Mighty Ninjas!"
Charlie slammed his drink down.
"Are you freakin' kidding me, Dashi-boy!?"
"Nope." Tadashi smirked. "The Ninjas are a far better team, regardless."
"You're kidding me right? You've seen the way their pitcher throws right? Like a freaking sissy!"
"And yet you expect me to root for some other team? It's like you don't even know me."
Charlie was quiet for a moment, contemplating his next move. He smirked and crossed his arms, leaning back.
"Well… baseball isn't the greatest sport anyway. If anything, I only watch it since obviously you have crappy taste in teams. Now, football, THAT'S a sport."
Tadashi gave a mock bored look.
"You mean that same sport that caused you to totally dislocate your shoulder last month and then you called me BEGGING to help because you didn't wanna be out for awhile?"
Charlie fell quiet, giving him a look of murder.
"What'd you say about my football?"
"I was just gonna be honest and say if it looks like a wimp…"
"Oh THAT is it!"
Alice shook her head, picking up a magazine about dance garb, deciding she didn't need to pay anymore attention to this.
Tadashi and Charlie were just getting back into their routine, just like they always were.
"Girls, girls, you're both gorgeous but we all know your sports suck."
Tadashi turned a bit red while Charlie scoffed loudly.
"Need I remind you two gentlemen, excuse me, I mean little boys, about the last time you two got into a fight over this?"
They both turned red.
"... Shut up." They both muttered, sitting back down.
The more things change the more they stay the same.
"You know…if you ever have kids, I'm gonna be obligated to stick them in stuff from football right?"
"And you know I'm obligated to tell yours their dad has crappy taste in teams right?"
"... Shut up."
Chapter 11: Of Violinists and Dancers
Kathleen lost her balance again, now finding herself on her back on the floor. She pouted as she sat up, looking at her sister.
"I really don't know if this dance thing is working."
"You'll get it. It just… takes time."
Alice helped her up, giving a reassuring look.
"Just need to work on your rhythm and balance is all."
"More like I need to work on EVERYTHING." Kathleen sighed. "Can I take a break and just play violin? I kind of don't want to walk away with a concussion."
"So dramatic… but of course. 'Sides, probably best you take a break." Alice hugged her quickly before nudging her to where her violin was kept. "Cause hey, dancers CAN hurt themselves. You know how many times I've sprained or busted something."
"Yeah and had Tadashi patch you up." Kathleen chuckled, picking up her violin, tuning the instrument. "Any particular music you want?"
Alice hummed in thought as she stretched a bit.
"Hmm… How about Moon Trance? I need to work on my pacing."
"Sure thing. Let me just get my background music on." Kathleen got a set of speakers set up, starting up the music, waiting for her cue before she started playing the violin parts of the song. She moved to the beat of the song, feeling herself relax as she focused on moving the bow over the strings, her fingers moving into the correct positions to get the notes she wanted.
Alice smiled, watching her before starting to dance to the beat, just letting herself go to the music. She kept an eye on her sister to make sure she didn't bump into her but she couldn't help but notice the way she was moving.
So she just needs the right music.
Kathleen was swaying a bit… and soon found herself moving her legs too. She couldn't help it. She always loved watching the music video for this particular song and she loved watching the way the composer would move as she played her violin.
Lindsey Stirling is just so graceful as she moves. Still keeping the right posture to play her violin… It just… looks like so much fun.
She was on the dance floor now, not even really noticing she was moving due to having her eyes shut. She was just lost in the notes and the beat.
Alice moved so she was beside her sister, mimicking her movements, smiling warmly at the content look on Kathleen's face. She knew that while she enjoyed cooking one of her real passions was violin. She just didn't like showing it off which she understood.
Plus, doesn't help that she gets asked to play every family holiday anyway. We just barely convinced Mom to drop Thanksgiving as a violin day.
The song soon came to a close, Kathleen relaxing completely, her violin being brought to her side, her eyes opening. She got a puzzled look, seeing she wasn't in the same spot she had started.
Alice had a proud look in her eyes as she clapped slowly.
"Kathleen, that was awesome!"
"What… exactly did I do? I don't remember standing here when I started."
"Sis, you were dancing! Like actual dancing!"
"I… was…?" Kathleen looked at herself in the mirror. "But I generally just wind up falling over."
"Well, before you also were dancing to just the stuff I usually listen to… besides Lindsey Stirling, you know when I'm practicing I tend to listen to a lot of old pop songs and stuff. Just how I get my rhythm going but it's never worked for ya, right?"
"Not really. Sometimes but usually no."
"But this time it felt different, right?"
"Yeah. I wanted to move like Lindsey does. Just playing my heart out while gliding across the floor."
Alice ruffled her hair a bit.
"And you did just that Kat! Just needs a little polishing but the big thing was you felt good, right?"
"Yes." Kathleen smiled. "You… think you could help me?"
"I would be honored. I got your back, Little Sis."
"Alright let's begin!"
Chapter 12: Gentle Touch
"Ow! That's it! You're done!"
"Aw come on, give me a chance!"
Kathleen snatched her hairbrush back from her brother, tying her hair back.
"I am going to a PROFESSIONAL! You tug too hard!"
"Hmph. Just trying to be a good big brother." Charlie crossed his arms. "And who is this "professional"? Last I checked you didn't know any super popular hair stylers."
She gave a little smirk.
"Just our local robotics nerd who knows a thing or two about patience - Not trying to do this while the big game is on!"
"Fiiiine. Have it your way." Charlie ruffled her hair before grabbing his football. "Try not to get mauled by his demon bot."
"I love you too. Try not to slip in front of all the girls." She giggled, hugging him quickly before heading out.
If there's one boy I know can fix this, it's him. Besides, I haven't seen him in a few days.
… I hope his robot hasn't figured out how to hide bodies yet.
Kathleen hurried down the streets, keeping her backpack close as she made her way to the Lucky Cat. Though instead of going through the cafe, she went to the door that lead into the house, ringing the doorbell.
Just hope he's home. He always seems to be busy with college work.
There was a brief crash heard from inside.
"Oof! COMING-No, no, STAY! Bad robot!" Hiro soon swung the door open, a bit out of breath, surprise coming to his eyes. "Kat! Hey!"
"H-Hey Hiro… You okay?"
"Yeah, just robots being robots." He rolled his eyes. "You?"
"Yeah… I…" She fiddled with her fingers. "Can I come in? Or is this a bad time?"
"It's fine, come on in." Hiro stepped aside, ushering her in. "I need some peace and quiet and HUMAN interaction."
"Got ya." Kathleen stepped inside. "Sorry for not calling first."
"Don't be sorry. I'm happy to see ya."
He lead, her to the living room.
"So, what can I do for ya?"
She blushed a little before pulling her brush out of her bag.
"This is gonna sound silly but… you think you could help me with my hair? Charlie was trying earlier but… he was in a rush."
Hiro gave her a smile before sitting down on the floor, gesturing for her to join him.
"Of course. I'd be happy to."
Kathleen smiled before sitting down in front of him, getting comfortable. "Thanks."
"Hey, anything for one of my friends." Hiro picked up the brush before getting to work, being careful as he did so. He fell quiet, just focusing on the task at hand.
Kathleen relaxed, keeping still for him.
That's more like it.
He smiled, watching her for a moment as he got out a few knots.
"I swear you have magic hands."
"Heh, I just try to be gentle and do my best."
"And you deliver. Every time."
Hiro smiled, running the brush through her hair, finding no more tangles and instead worked to smooth it out a bit.
"The best nerd in all of San Fransokyo."
"Your nerd." He joked before he finished. "There. Judge me harshly oh Kathleen of San Fransokyo."
Kathleen ran her hands through her hair, sighing happily.
Hiro smiled, glad to see her happy.
"Can always count on you." She got her hair band, pulling her hair back into a simple ponytail. "And done."
"Perfect. Just like you."
Kathleen blushed a little, rubbing the back of her neck.
"Nah… I got plenty of faults."
Hiro chuckled a bit.
"And I don't?"
"... Got a point. Still, though…"
"Hey, you help keep things sane in this crazy town."
"Well, someone has to talk to your robots into not killing you."
"Which I appreciate." He hugged her quickly.
Kathleen hugged him back, smiling a bit.
"Hey, you up for watching Detective Conan?"
"Always… And maybe a few eps of Parasyte?"
"You better cover my eyes when the gross parts hit."
"When did I ever not-Okay ONCE but that was an accident!"
"Still not letting that go." Kathleen smirked.
"You win. I'll get the DVDs and you can get the snacks."
"You go it." Kathleen hurried to the kitchen, getting all the snacks out before rejoining Hiro. "Got all the chocolate and gummy bears I could carry."
Hiro set up the first set of Detective Conan DVDs.
"And I got the DVD ready."
Soon, they were on the couch, engrossed in their shows, Hiro's arm winding up around Kathleen.
This is nice. He took a glance at her out of the corner of his eye.
Kathleen was smiling, joy sparkling in her blue eyes as she watched in excitement at the events going on in the show.
Hiro smiled softly, hugging her a bit before turning back to the show.
"IT WAS YOU!" The main character announced, pointing to the murderer. "You did it!"
"Ha! Knew it!" Kathleen laughed.
"He was so obvious!"
"Yup!" Kathleen sighed happily, keeping close to Hiro. "Ah this is fun."
"Very fun." Hiro hugged her quickly. "This is just what I needed after a long day."
"Glad I could provide."
He nodded smiling warmly.
"You're welcomed here anytime, Kat."
Mochi hopped up from where he had been lying in wait onto her lap.
"Plus, I think my cat just decided you are his."
"Aww, silly kitty." Kathleen petted him behind the ears. "So spoiled."
Mochi purred, curling up to her.
"He really is. It hasn't stopped. He got bacon this morning because we were too full."
"He just knows the system."
Hiro threw his head back, laughing.
"The system called "Make the face at the humans who feed me!" and it always works!"
Mochi seemed to get a smug look as Kathleen hugged him close.
"But he's so cute he's worth it."
"That's how cats are." Hiro chuckled. "Even Kit Kats."
Kathleen giggled, nuzzling Mochi.
"Yup-Hey!" She laughed.
"Admit it, it's funny!"
She laughed, nudging him a bit.
"Yes but that's also dorky!"
"True!" He nudged her back. "But you put up with it anyway!"
"Because you're my dork."
"Yup… and you're my Kit Kat."
She sighed happily, leaning against his side a bit.
"Yup… and I'm so happy I am."
"As am I." Hiro kept her close. "Just… calm."
"Calm and quiet. Just how we like it."
"Yup. After, long days… this is just what the doctor ordered."
"Or Baymax." She giggled.
Hiro chuckled hugging her.
"Yep. He'd agree."
Just a good day.
Chapter 13: Gentle Flames
Universe(s): The Phoenix
Tadashi was nervous.
He was excited but he was nervous.
More than anything he wanted to see his old friends again but… he wasn't sure how they were going to react to what had become of him. He and Hiro had agreed it was best not to keep his new powers a secret from the Colemans but… he didn't want to scare them either. These powers weren't exactly what would be considered friendly for all.
Tadashi looked down at his hands, playing with a small flame in them.
"Any minute now…" He said to himself.
Just… be straight with them. Hopefully it won't be too shocking. I've really missed them though. Charlie, Alice, Kathleen… I just hope this doesn't push them away.
The front door was heard opening as he heard the voices of his brother and their friends.
"Yeah, he's been doing fine, eating like a horse - or a Charlie."
"Very funny, Kid."
Hiro broke into a run up the stairs, giving Tadashi a grin as he stepped aside, as the Colemans followed suit. Their eyes went wide, Charlie's jaw dropping open as Alice bought a hand to her mouth. Kathleen had a look of relief in her eyes.
Tadashi gave a small smile.
"Hey, guys. Long time no see."
They stared for another minute before Kathleen ran up to him, throwing her arms around his neck.
"You big dork!" She hugged him tightly, burying her face in his chest. "That all you got to say after a whole year!?"
Tadashi chuckled, hugging the young teen close.
"A lot more than that just… Heh, trying to make conversation I guess." He looked to the other two siblings. "I promise the scars don't hurt. It's not as bad as it looks."
Charlie gave him a knowing look.
"If it did, you'd still be bandaged up." He went over, giving him a playful punch to the shoulder. "You big idiot."
"Yeah!" Alice stormed over, trying to hide the way her eyes looked, filled with tears of relief. "What part of you forgot that fire burns!?"
"I tried to tell them not to tell you you're an idiot but they insisted!" Hiro called from where he was.
Tadashi shook his head, offering an arm to Alice.
"Alice, do you want a hug?"
She threw her arms around him, burying her face as well.
"Yes." She mumbled. "I've missed you like crazy."
Tadashi brought his arm around her, stroking her back.
"Missed you all too. So freaking much. I'm sorry I scared you guys."
"I'm signing you up for every dance competition for the next year and you're not allowed to skip."
"Of course you finally fire me huh!? I'm not good enough." Charlie laughed.
"I'll take the punishment but em… can't guarantee I'll always make it. There's… something I need to tell you guys."
Kathleen tilted her head.
"What is it?" She frowned, seeing Tadashi get a nervous look in his eyes. "Tadashi?"
Tadashi sighed, pulling back from Kathleen and Alice.
"Have you guys by any chance heard of or seen videos on a hero known as The Phoenix?"
Alice raised an eyebrow.
"You kidding me? Of course. In the circuit I'm in, that color scheme has become very popular thanks to him."
"And he's a local legend. He does a lot of good work." Charlie agreed.
"Y-Yeah. Hiro told me he saved him."
"Well…" Tadashi took a deep breath, rolling up his sleeves, rubbing his hands together. "The truth is." He gave a hard clap, his hands becoming a lit with fire. "I am him."
Their eyes went wide, fixating on the flames. Alice kept looking up from the flames to Tadashi and back again. Kathleen gave a small squeal.
Charlie shook his head, an impressed look in his eyes as he crossed his arms.
"Wow… Okay. You win the cool award."
Tadashi put the flames out, looking at them with surprise.
"It's… not too weird to you guys?"
"Are you kidding?" Kathleen ran up to him, hugging him again. "This is amazing, Dashi! You have super powers! How is that not cool!?"
Tadashi chuckled, hugging the girl.
"I was a little worried it would scare you guys."
"Are you kidding me!?" Alice hugged him again as well. "You scared us by disappearing. This is different but you're here. That's all we care about!"
Kathleen grinned, looking over to Charlie.
"Hey Charlie, this means you can tell Dashi your plans too!"
Tadashi blinked, looking to Charlie.
Charlie rubbed the back of his neck.
"Well… after everything happened I didn't want to do football anymore as a future profession. After college, I'm going to become a firefighter. Football right now is just bulking up so I can do my best in the field." He gave a sheepish look. "I was determined to become like The Phoenix… Like you."
Tadashi smiled, feeling touched at Charlie's words.
"Heh, who would've thought? I wanted to be like my best friend."
Tadashi parted from the girls, giving Charlie a nice strong hug.
Charlie hugged him tightly, messing up his hair as he did so.
"Been a long time, man."
"It really has. I'm so glad to see you. All of you." Tadashi sighed happily, feeling his body heat up from the joy he was feeling.
Charlie blinked a bit pulling back a little.
"You feeling okay?"
"You feel really warm. Like you have a fever."
Tadashi rubbed the back of his neck, a small bit of steam rolling off his head.
"R-Reflex. When I'm happy I tend to warm up and I do run warmer now due to my powers. I'm never cold unless I'm soaked in water."
"So, you can also get steaming mad."
"It's a power. It's a pun. It's super freaky."
Kathleen giggled, hugging Tadashi's side.
"I like it. He's like a warm marshmallow. Like Baymax!"
Tadashi laughed, hugging her.
"Are you satisfied with your care?" He asked, making his voice sound similar to Baymax's usual tone.
"Hm… No." She giggled.
Alice smirked, leaning on him a bit.
"Nah. Definitely still an 8."
"Yeah it's 8 day, Dashi-boy."
"Guess it is, isn't it?"
He ruffled Kathleen's hair, eliciting a squeal from the girl.
"Hiro halp me!"
Hiro moved to do so, only for Charlie to do the same to him.
"ACK! I'm under attack!"
"Ha! Good try there kid!"
Tadashi grinned, giving an evil look… or trying to.
"I've learned quite a bit about mischief since I've been gone as well!"
"What are you now, Loki?" Alice asked, laughing at the sight.
"Tadashi, you might wanna tell them about… ya know."
Tadashi hummed in thought.
"Maybe… but then Alice will go into fangirl shriek mode."
Alice pouted, giving a kicked look.
"I'll be good!"
"So will I!" Kathleen promised.
"Alright… I'm friends with the Avengers and they are my teachers… and I know Loki. I've babysat his triplets."
Alice and Kathleen both gasped loudly. Tadashi grinned.
"And I also know Star Lord."
Alice and Kathleen squealed, shrieking a bit.
"AHH! THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER!"
"See?" Tadashi chuckled.
"Dude, I wanna meet Captain America if you can get me a meeting with those guys." Charlie threw his head back laughing. "And Star Lord? Oh man! That's awesome! But… how?"
"It's a long story."
"Well, we got all day."
Hiro grabbed his phone.
"I'll get us a pizza. It's a looong story and I know Dashi."
"Ehehe? Yeah, I'm pretty hungry."
"Dude, me too."
Tadashi chuckled as he sat with their friends, starting to tell them, the story of the previous year.
"It started the night of the fire, when I met a determined but kind doctor named Shaylin Sky…"
Chapter 14: Festival Lights
Universe(s): Treatment Course/Canon Big Hero 6, From the Ashes/Digimon Hero 6 and The Phoenix
Hiro was coming inside from messing with a hoverboard he was fixing up when he noticed the flyer stuck to the inside of the door. He picked it up, raising an eyebrow.
"Cherry Blossom Festival in the park?" He read aloud, seeing an illustration of booths and fireworks lighting up a sky. "That could be fun." He hurried upstairs.
Heh, last time I went to one of those was a while ago. I was so tired!
And Dashi'll be here for this one.
"Hey, Nii-san? You around?" He called up the stairs.
"On my side of the room, Hiro!"
Hiro hurried upstairs, trying really hard not to laugh as he saw the state his brother was in. He was currently pinned to the bed with Mochi on top of him, the cat getting all the pets he wanted.
"You laugh, you die." Tadashi threatened, though hardly keeping a serious look.
"I see you got re-acquainted with your cat."
Mochi sat up when Tadashi had halted for a moment, batting his hand. Tadashi threw his head back, petting Mochi again with a sigh, though, he was grinning.
"He refuses to let me stop."
"I know my hairy baby, I know." Tadashi scratched him behind the ears. "Just the way you like it."
"So, what's up? Need something, Bro?"
"We got a flier in." He held it up. "Cherry Blossom Festival. You wanna go?"
"Oh! That would be loads of fun! We haven't been in a while. I wonder if we still got the old kimonos lying around." He smiled a bit to himself. "I wonder if Honey would like to come too."
Hiro grinned, giving him a sneaky look.
"I bet you'd love to see her in a kimono. One with lots of flowers on it."
Tadashi blushed a bit.
"Well I… Em…. Okay, guilty as charged." Tadashi got a sneaky grin himself. "Maybe Kathleen could come too. I bet she'd look gorgeous in a pink kimono with cherry blossom designs."
Heat rushed to Hiro's face as he took in those words. He could picture it. Her hair tied back, flowers decorating it.
"Yeah… She'd look super cute-I-I mean!"
"How about you and I call up the girls and it'll be a nice outing for both of us at the festival, hm?"
"Y-Yeah, that'd be great, actually and keep me from embarrassing myself."
"Naaaah. That's called collecting wedding speech blackmail."
Hiro picked up Mochi and dropped him right over Tadashi's face.
"Alright, almost done. Just hold still."
Kathleen giggled as Honey Lemon helped her with her kimono.
"I'm so excited. I've only been to two festivals in my life but I've never gotten the chance to wear a kimono before. Thank you again for helping with this. I know nothing about this kind of thing."
Honey Lemon smiled, adjusting the fold for her as she tied the sash.
"Anytime. I love this kind of thing. It's nice and comfy but not too much that it's hot. Just remember; right over left, you're dead, left over right, you're alive."
"Right." She laughed. "I don't think Hiro would like it if I became a zombie."
"Neither would Dashi."
Honey Lemon nodded, gathering the girl's hair up into a bun, slipping two hairpins into it that resembled cherry blossoms.
"There. Now it's perfect."
Kathleen looked in the mirror, eyes wide before she giggled, twirling a bit.
"Oh it's perfect! Thank you so much, Honey Lemon! You're the best!"
Honey Lemon smiled warmly, taking a quick picture with her phone.
"Anytime. I don't get to do this much with friends since Gogo even with these prefers to stick to her casuals. It's nice to dress up with another girl."
Kathleen nodded, sighing happily, tugging a bit at one of her sleeves.
"Do you think Hiro will like it?"
"Kathleen, I think he's going to love it."
"You really think so?"
"I know so."
"Remember to keep warm." Baymax said as he walked along with Hiro and Tadashi. "While your kimonos have layers, temperatures can still drop to a very low degree at this time of day, especially near the bay."
"We will." Tadashi assured, smoothing his hair down a little. "We've done these before and if you see our temps are dropping too much, feel free to call us out on it."
"And we'll take a break and you can warm us up." Hiro added. "And Dashi, stop fiddling with your hair. It's literally the same as it's always been."
"I haven't cut it so it's more like the same as it's been since the hospital. I just wanna look nice."
"Honey's not gonna care."
Tadashi shook his head, looking around the area till he spotted the girls.
"There they are!" he hurried over to them, Hiro right behind him, Baymax very behind them.
"I am not fast."
Hiro grabbed his hand.
The girls were seated on a bench, both chatting up a storm.
They looked, grinning as they saw the boys running up.
They got up from the bench, giggling as the boys stopped in front of them, their eyes wide at the girls' appearances.
Honey Lemon was dressed in a yellow kimono with pink flower patterns on it that had a bit of explosion like look to them and her hair was done up in a bun that had a nice flower clip in it. To top it off, she didn't have her glasses on, allowing Tadashi to see her bright green eyes perfectly.
Kathleen was dressed in a dark pink kimono with pale pink cherry blossoms on it, that looked like they were blowing in the wind. Her hair had been tied up with the cherry blossom pins in clear view. She waved, giving a bright smile.
Tadashi stared for another moment before walking up to Honey Lemon, grinning, taking her hand in his, giving it a kiss.
"You look beautiful."
She blushed a little, kissing his cheek.
"And you look handsome."
Kathleen fiddled with her sleeves, looking to Hiro.
"You look amazing" He breathed, taking it in for a second time.
She's so cute!
"T-Thank you." She giggled. "And you look handsome in that purple kimono. That's always been your color."
"What can I say? I'm a man of habit."
Kathleen blushed, giggling again.
"Well, care to show me around the festival?"
Hiro nodded, offering her his arm as she walked off, looping hers with his.
"There's all sorts of stuff this year. Cotton candy, goldfish scooping - me and Dashi had to do that ALL the time when we were little. It was a lot of fun, some shooting games..." He trailed off as an idea came to him. "Say… you want me to win you something?"
"Well…" Kathleen looked to one of the booths, seeing a booth for a small game that had stuffed animals for prizes. She smiled at the sight of a particular Pokemon that was one of the prizes. "That sylveon does look pretty cute."
Hiro lead her over as he laid his money down.
"I'll get it for you." He promised, taking note it was a game where you knocked down glass bottles. He rolled his sleeve up, grabbing one of the balls set down. "Alright, here we go!" He reared back and…
Knocked down in one shot.
"The sylveon for the lovely lady please!"
The booth owner nodded, handing the sylveon to Kathleen.
"Here you go, miss."
Kathleen squealed, hugging the sylveon close.
"Oh, thank you, Hiro, you're the best!" She nuzzled the sylveon's head. "I think I'll call her… Sakura."
Hiro smiled, thanking the booth owner as they started to walk again.
"That's perfect for her. I'm glad you like her, Kat."
"Oh, this is the best! I don't have a sylveon at home so this is perfect!"
The two continued on, chatting as they made their way around the festival. Honey Lemon giggled at the sight, laying her head on Tadashi's shoulder.
"Look at him, charming himself a little lady by appealing to her heart. Your brother has turned into quite the gentleman, Tada."
Tadashi chuckled, bringing his arm around Honey Lemon, keeping her close.
"He really has grown up a lot. I'm so proud of him. Oh, and thanks for helping Kathleen get all dressed up."
"It was my pleasure." Honey Lemon nuzzled him. "Can't leave a girl hanging."
He nuzzled her, content to be where he was.
"You're so amazing, Akio. Seriously amazing."
"I mean it."
He kissed her head as she rested her head under his.
"My Sweet Honey."
Tadashi found a place to sit with her as they huddled close to one another. Just as warned, the temperature had dropped. He took off the light jacket he had been wearing with his kimono, draping it over her.
"You're so sweet."
He chuckled, keeping her close, looking up, seeing Kathleen and Hiro were finding a place to sit, huddled up to Baymax for warmth. Kathleen was hugging her plushie and Hiro was letting her lay her head on his shoulder.
Way to go little bro. I'm so proud of you.
This really has been a great night.
Chapter 15: Jam Session
Kathleen was practically bouncing as she made her way to the Hamada residence, her violin case swinging a bit in her hands. She had been looking forward to today since she had heard Hiro had picked up guitar as his instrument of choice. It was something she never expected of the young man but it was a pleasant surprise.
Especially since it means we have something besides cooking in common now.
Since hearing of his new hobby, she had always wanted to do a jam session with him but unfortunately, time was never on their side till today. Hiro had gotten all his assignments done and made sure the day was completely clear.
She grinned as she gave a knock on the door, stepping back onto the porch, bouncing on her heels. The door soon opened, revealing Hiro on the other side. He smiled as his eyes met with Kathleen's eyes.
"Hey, Kat. Ready for our little session?"
Kathleen nodded quickly.
"Yes! I could hardly keep still in class at school today."
"Well, you shall wait no more." He move to the side, making a gesture for her to come in.
She giggled, stepping inside, sitting on the couch in the living room.
"You sure Aunt Cass won't mind us playing music up here?"
"Long as we don't get too crazy we'll be fine."
Hiro noted Kathleen was looking around the living room, seeming to be searching for something. He grinned, getting a knowing look.
"The marshmallow has been taken captive by Aunt Cass for work in the cafe."
"Aww… I wanted my hug fix."
Hiro patted her head.
"You can get one later." He gave a sneaky look. "Maybe if we make a GOOD kind of racket she'll let him take a break for hugs."
Kathleen's eyes lit up as she jumped to her feet, getting her violin out of its case.
"Well, let's get to it then!"
Hiro laughed, getting his guitar out, Kathleen unable to help but stare at it a bit. He raised an eyebrow.
"What's with that look?"
"Didn't expect you to go for a green one."
"Star Lord insisted."
"Ah… Still, usually purple is your color."
"Well, this one is a bit special." He smiled as he looked at a kanji that had been stickered onto the guitar. "Very special."
Kathleen looked at the kanji, tilting her head.
"What does that mean?"
"It's Tadashi's name in Japanese."
Kathleen's eyes got wide.
"Aww… Hiro… That's so sweet."
Hiro smiled softly giving a nod.
"I thought he'd get a kick out of it if he was here. I wanted to share it in some way. So, here we are."
"I see… That explains why it's green. That was Tadashi's favorite color."
"Yup and to top off the decorations." He grinned, showing a sticker he had put on the bottom of the guitar. "This little beauty."
Kathleen looked, trying her best to hold back a laugh as she saw what it was. It was a sticker of Baymax's face.
"Pfffft! You dork!"
Hiro gave a proud grin, sticking his nose in the air a little.
"I am a big dork and I am gosh darned PROUD of it!"
"Well, dork! Shall we?"
Hiro chuckled, giving a strong strum to his guitar.
Kathleen and Hiro soon fell quiet, their fingers flying across the strings of their instruments. Gazing at each other, the melody filling the air. Hiro couldn't help but take note of the way Kathleen moved with her violin as if she was being maneuvered by the very music itself.
Kathleen paid no mind to Hiro, her eyes closed as she swayed the rhythm of the music. Hiro grinned, finding himself starting to move in sync with her, the two dancing around each other as the song carried on. Before Hiro could help himself, he started singing the lyrics to the song.
"I am the sand in the bottom half of the hour glass!"
Kathleen grinned, joining in.
"I try to picture me without you but I can't!"
"Cause we could be immortals! Immortals! Just not for long, for loooooong!"
"And live with me forever now!" Their eyes met. "Pull the blackout currents down! Just not for long, for looooong!"
"We could be immortals! Immortals!"
They sung on, moving close to one another.
"I'm still comparing your past to my future."
Kathleen gazed into his eyes.
"It might be your wound but they're my sutures."
He grinned, giving a strong strum of his guitar closing his eyes as he felt the vibrations go through the instrument.
Something about music just always seemed to put a spell over them.
Both stopped, giving an off key on their instruments. They looked to the side, seeing a rather unamused Aunt Cass.
"Oh um… Hi, Ms. Hamada." Kathleen gulped, hiding her violin behind her back. "How's the cafe?"
"Noisy." She told them crossing her arms. "I said don't make a racket and now I got Mrs. Matsuda complaining about it."
"Aw come on Aunt Cass, it's a lot better than me banging on the pots and pans."
She just stared at the two.
"... If you give us Baymax we'll stop playing." Kathleen offered.
"Deal." Aunt Cass shook hands with her before looking down the stairs. "BAYMAX! Get up here so I can think in peace!"
"Yes, Ms. Hamada."
Baymax soon appeared, Aunt Cass heading straight back to the cafe.
"You two be quiet now!"
"Yes, Ms. Hamada!" Kathleen grinned before running over to Baymax, giving him a big hug. "Baymax!"
Baymax brought his arms around her resting his head atop hers.
"Hello, Kathleen. Are you well?"
"Very well! I missed you!"
"Sometimes, I think she likes you more than me."
"Ah nonsense!" Kathleen looked to Hiro. "I love you both equally-" Kathleen turned red at her word choice. "Uh I mean…!"
Hiro felt his own face heat up at what she said.
"Uh… I… I love you too?"
Kathleen stuttered, her face turning cherry red as she tried to hide her face in Baymax's chest.
Baymax blinked tilting his head.
"I see no sign of a problem."
BAYMAX YOU'RE NOT HELPING!
Hiro rubbed the back of his neck before walking over to the two, hugging them both.
"I like you too Kathleen. You're one of my best friends in the whole world."
Kathleen nodded, her face losing the blush quickly.
"Yeah, you too."
Phew… That was close.
Hiro smiled bringing her closer.
"I'm really glad you came by today."
"You two are indeed happy judging by your neurotransmitter levels. Kathleen should come by more often, Hiro. It would be good for your mental health from all the stress of assignments."
Hiro stuttered. Baymax closed his optics, seeing a chance to prove a point.
"Especially given your recent… incident, involving your one project. In particular-"
"Kokoro didn't MEAN to shove me off that thing!"
"Hiro, you were held over his head. I believe Fred called it a "pile driver."
Kathleen busted up laughing at the look Hiro was giving Baymax.
Kathleen shook her head, bringing her arms entirely around Hiro.
"You big goof. You really should take a break from Kokoro for awhile and let him think about what he's done."
Hiro smiled nuzzling her.
"Yeah you're right. Hm… Maybe I could tinker with Megabot. Did I tell you what I did recently?"
Baymax shook his head.
"No, I do not believe she needs to know."
Kathleen looked between the two confused.
"... I kind of made him an AI too?"
"Oh come on! I didn't want him being a mindless slave for the rest of his days!"
"But he's a demon spawn!"
"He's- Okay he is but he's not that bad!"
Baymax showed Kathleen a part of his arm that had tape.
"He stuck me with a pin."
Kathleen crossed her arms.
"Oh, I am so giving that little monster a lecture. Where is he?"
Hiro couldn't help but chuckle as he followed her down to his workstation in the garage.
How did I get so lucky?
Plays music, she can be a spitfire when she wants to, calm most of the time…
She's the best.
Chapter 16: Game On
There were very few things that could successfully distract Hiro Hamada from a big project. Baymax was one of those things. Kathleen was another.
"Has he even slept?"
"I ensured that. Though he does deserve a break."
Hiro was hunched over a table, tinkering at Kokoro, a fresh bruise on his face that he got before the robot finally powered down.
Kathleen had come over to return a book she had borrowed and Baymax had directed her to the garage. She had her arms crossed, giving Hiro a look of concern.
"Why don't you take a break?" She asked going, over to him. He looked up, hissing a little.
"It's a matter of pride."
She gave him an unimpressed look before getting behind him, grabbing the back of his rolling chair, yanking it backwards and out of the garage with him still on it.
"YOU ARE TAKING A BREAK WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT!"
And I have just the plan!
Hiro was soon yanked out of the chair and plopped right on the living room couch.
"Don't move or no sugar cookies for a week!" Kathleen threatened as she hurried upstairs.
Hiro crossed his arms.
"I don't need a break. Kokoro is just being temperamental. That's all."
Baymax was now present in the room.
"You say that every time someone intervenes."
Hiro gave him a pout.
"No I don't."
"Are you relapsing to the denial stage?"
"I am NOT!"
"Is he still there!?"
Kathleen soon returned, Hiro's laptop in her arms.
"You, are going to play a game and relax, mister."
She smiled, sitting next to him, watching as he fired up the steam app on his laptop.
"Let's see… What game sounds good, though?" He murmured, going through the list. "... I really need to stop buying games during sales."
"You say that but then you buy six more and ask me if it's too much." Kathleen giggled.
Hiro playfully nudged her, grinning as he selected one.
"Alright. How about this one?" He asked with a sneaky look.
"... What game is that?"
"Oh… just a little game called Bendy and the Ink Machine. It's a mystery game mixed with some horror."
"... Hiro I swear if there are guts-"
"Nah, just ink. Trust me."
"Okay then… but if something gross happens I get to bonk you on the head."
Hiro booted up the game, plugging his game pad in that Kathleen had brought down as well. The two sat together, Kathleen watching intently as Hiro played. The game involved a character moving through what was assumably an abandoned studio. As he carried on, Kathleen gripped tighter and tighter at Hiro's jacket at all the weird things going on in the studio until…
Both jumped, Kathleen gasping as she hugged Hiro tightly at the sight of the monster of the game that was the ink demon of the studio.
"I'm running, I'm running!" Hiro gasped as he tried to desperately get the character away as they heard footsteps from behind him. If they didn't know any better they would've thought it came behind him until…
"AH!" Both yelled as the character fell through a hole in the floor.
"Hiro!" Kathleen shook his arm a little. "Get up, get up, getup!"
"No backseat gaming!"
"I am so backseat gaming! I'm scared!"
Baymax wasn't sure if he should say something or intervene in this gaming session but… he also knew this was harmless and they weren't in any real danger. Only real danger was Kathleen hugging Hiro too tightly and cutting circulation off to his arms.
Though, thankfully, after a few minutes they calmed down. Still on edge with the game but not as terrified. Kathleen kept her arms around Hiro, the two lying back on the couch a little as he played.
"This game scares the daylights out of me… yet I can't look away." Kathleen said, huddling closer. "I wanna know what happens."
"We can play until the latest chapter." Hiro grinned.
Kathleen smiled, laying her head on his shoulder.
All was quiet as Hiro went through the game, collecting clues until…
something touched Kathleen on her back as she let out a shriek.
"WAH! What's wrong?"
Both looked behind them, seeing Mochi was on the back of the couch.
"... Oh. It's just Mochi."
Hiro rolled his eyes, looking around before picking up a plastic fish off the ground.
"Heeey, Mochi!" He waved it in front of the cat's face as he batted at it. "Go long!" He gave a throw as Mochi ran as fast as he could with his little legs after it.
"Sometimes it amazes me what that cat will do for a squeaky toy."
"I think he's having an identity crisis since sometimes I think he acts more like a dog than cat."
"I think every cat goes through that." Kathleen rested her head on his shoulder, giggling a little. "Feeling better despite having the daylights scared out of us?"
"Oh, much." He rested his head against hers. "I really needed this. Thanks Kit Kat."
"Hey, anything to make sure you don't lose your head."
Hiro smiled, sighing in content. He looked at the way she was eying the screen and offered her the laptop.
"You want a turn?"
She took it with an eager squeal.
He chuckled making himself comfortable.
This was not a bad way to spend the day at all.
Much, MUCH better than getting a robot induced concussion.
Even if the rest of the time including some screaming but hey…
No harm in a little fun and games.
Chapter 17: Tourist
Universe(s): The Phoenix
"Remember, they're people just like the rest of us. So, if you promise not to freak out I'll show you."
"I promise. Gosh, Tadashi, you've known me for how long?"
"That's exactly why. Remember how you got me into dancing?"
That conversation was going through Tadashi's head as he lead them through the gateway to the Avengers Compound, watching as The Colemans looked around, stunned at it all.
They had believed him of course, when he said he had studied under the Avengers but they didn't expect the size of it all.
"What is this? A training hall for giants?"
"Eh, if Scott visits, yeah." Tadashi rubbed the back of his neck. "Bit busy with Cassie of course." He grinned.
"You were so holding out on us." Alice shoved him playfully.
"Oh, gets better. Just remember your promise. I had to ask Tony permission to even show you guys the outside."
"Again I say - how long have we known each other?"
"Exactly." He replied before leading them inside.
Hiro snickered, knowing how well that was likely to go once they actually came across someone they recognized.
"So, who's supposed to be here again today, Bro?"
"Let's see… Peter, probably with his mischief maker kid too. Tony and Audra and… Oh yeah, Cap."
Kathleen and Alice tried their hardest not to squeal.
"You two got something to say?"
"Captain America is so freaking cute!"
"Let's see… Training room's this way. Should be good."
Sure enough, in the training room was none other than Steve Rogers himself, training in combat with Natasha, Tony sitting off to the side, holding Audra in his lap.
"Go for the eyes, Nat!" Tony cheered, his daughter doing the same.
Natasha smirked, dodging a hit, kicking at the hand that was holding the iconic shield, knocking it to the side.
"You wanna call it quits now, Old Timer?"
"I'm not that old!"
"I dunno. Aud?"
"He's looking good, for a 90 year old."
Steve shook his head.
"Best to let it go, Captain Rogers."
Steve and Natasha stopped their battle, looking to Tadashi's direction, grinning.
"Ah, good to see you, Soldier. Didn't know you were coming on the complex today." He took note of the Colemans and Hiro. "And you've brought guests."
Tadashi rubbed the back of his neck.
"I really wanted you to meet these guys. It's one thing to meet Big Hero 6 but there's also my other set of dearest friends. This is Alice, Charlie and Kathleen Coleman. Friends of the family since childhood."
Steve smiled, giving a bow before offering a hand to shake.
"Pleasure to meet you all."
Charlie smiled, shaking his head.
"Pleasure is all ours, Captain Rogers." He stepped aside as the girls looked at him, totally star struck.
"It's so cool to meet you!" Alice gushed, shaking his hand. "I've seen all the movies -em it's okay to talk about 'em right? I mean, they were amazing and this is amazing and-"
"Yes, they are fine to talk about."
Kathleen squealed a bit herself.
"Ah, fanfare." Tony walked over, holding Audra on his shoulders. "I know it well."
The girls squealed again.
"Tony Stark!" They both chorused.
Tony bowed his head a bit.
"Nice to meet you both."
"Hi!" Audra waved.
"Told you guys they were big fans."
"Dashi, Dashi! Daddy, can I?"
Tony set her down as the young girl ran right up to him, hugging the young man's right leg.
Tadashi chuckled, picking the girl up.
"Hey there, Aud. Man, you're getting so big."
Audra giggled, hugging him tightly.
"Not too big though. I'm still small enough for rides!"
"Indeed. Been a good girl?"
"Yup! It's been two weeks since the last lab accident!" She chirped.
"And no science in the microwave?"
"We've been good." Tony gave an innocent look. "We're not always up to trouble."
"But isn't that best part of doing science?" Hiro smirked.
Tony offered him a fist bump.
"You know it, Kiddo."
Hiro bumped his fist.
Kathleen smiled. "Aww..."
"Hehe." Hiro grinned. "Tony's been showing me all kinds of cool stuff. Like his fire extinguisher stuff since y'know… accidents STILL happen."
"Yeah, the time you scienced in the microwave is still stuck to the ceiling!"
"Aw come on, Kit Kat! It wasn't that bad!"
Tadashi shook his head.
"Nothing unusual here, that's for sure." He looked back to Audra. "So, how are the others?"
"Good. I think the triplets are going to be stopping by today-"
"Hello there, Fire Boy."
Tadashi jumped, looking up to see Loki floating right above him with a huge grin on his face.
"And hello to you, oh mighty King of Asgard."
Loki gave a sweeping bow.
"Indeed." He smirked, snapping his fingers, teleporting to right behind him. "Thought I'd drop in and say my greetings… and the triplets have oh so missed playtime around here."
Tadashi gave a smirk.
"Playtime as defined by kids or playtime as defined by you?"
"Well, I brought my own "army" this time, oh King."
A loud squeal was heard from Kathleen and Alice as they hurried over to get a better look at Loki.
Loki gave his best smirk, taking Alice's hand.
"Ah, two lovely young maidens. The pleasure is all mine, I assure you."
Alice stammered like crazy.
"H-He's touching my hand. He's touching my hand… Kat, get a picture!"
Hiro had to cover his mouth to keep from laughing.
"He doesn't know what he's unleashed, has he?" He whispered to Tony.
"Nooope, he darn well knows."
Loki kept his cool look, charming the two young ladies with a kiss on the hand.
"So, dear friends of yours, Fire Boy?"
"Yup." Tadashi smiled gently. "Hiro and I have been close with these guys since we were kids."
"I see." He eyed Kathleen. "You seem around Hiro's age. You're quite lovely and I bet he feels honored to be in your presence."
Kathleen blushed furiously.
"A-Ah thank you, Sir. I-I hope so. I try to be nice and polite just like my mother raised me to be."
"I'm sure you do just fine my dear. Infact, I wouldn't be surprised if one day he asked you to be his."
Kathleen gave a very quiet squeak, turning bright red.
Hiro was bright red himself, covering his face with his hands.
"Tadashi… Make him stop. PLEASE."
"I wish I could, Bro. I mean…" He looked over to Loki. "Hey, Loki, if you don't quit embarrassing my brother and his friend I won't babysit for ya for awhile."
"We both know you wouldn't dare stop."
"I dunno, I might. I mean, it wouldn't be me you'd be upsetting, it'd just be the kids. Especially Ana and Via… Oh and Thanon. yes, yes he'd be quite disappointed but it can't be helped."
Right on cue a portal opened up and three children came tumbling out, all eying Tadashi.
"... Oh no." Tadashi quickly set Audra down as he was tackled by the triplets. "UWAH!"
The three children laughed, hugging him, or tugging at his jacket.
"Phoenix Man, we've come to play!" They chorused. "You didn't forget us, right?"
"Oh, I would never forget my favorite triplets." Tadashi grinned, doing his best to hug them all, sitting up.
The triplets sighed happily, hugging him. The two girls cuddled up on either side, Thanon, the lone boy, climbing up onto his shoulders.
"I claim this Phoenix Man as a knight of the Asgardian Court!"
"Dear me, I've been drafted."
Kathleen and Alice did their best to hold back any other squeals.
"Loki… has kids… Loki. Has. KIDS."
"OH MY GOSH! THEY'RE SO ADORABLE!"
"Say hello to Ana and Via, my daughters and their brother, Thanon. The heirs to the throne."
The triplets looked over, giving mischievous looks.
"And we love playing with Tadashi."
"That they do… So, what'll it be kids?" Tadashi asked.
They hummed in thought, looking to one another.
"We want to… play hide and seek!"
"No! Magic tag!"
"Both! And we want everyone to play too!"
"I'll be dropping in on my brother while you all have a lovely time. Do be warned." He opened up a portal. "I let them partake in something called "Mountain Dew" before we departed."
Off he went as the three hyperactive children tapped Audra on the shoulder as she joined them.
"Oh, great. They're hyperactive."
Steve, Tony and Natasha brought hand to their faces.
"Tadashi, you better start running."
Tadashi nodded, getting up and chasing after the kids.
"Ring in the reinforcements too!"
"So, Alice, Charlie, you familiar with wrangling hyper kids?" Natasha asked. The two eldests pointed to Hiro and Kathleen.
"Way too familiar." Alice tossed her jacket to the side. "Come on! LEEEROOOOY JENKINS!"
"Oi ya, rascals!"
"Wait of us!"
The more things change… The more they stay the same.
Chapter 18: Girl Time
Universe(s): Treatment Course/Canon Big Hero 6, From the Ashes/Digimon Hero 6 and The Phoenix
"Ah… the school day is finally over." Kathleen sighed happily as she flopped over on her bed. "Felt like it was going to go on forever."
Her two friends, Tomino and Acacia, flopped over on bean bags, sighing happily.
"How much longer till the school year is over?" Acacia asked, her voice rather muffled by the bean bag.
"4 months." Tomino answered. "Then we have the other years to survive."
"Don't remind me." Acacia groaned a bit. "I just can't wait for summer. I wanna get back to parkour in the city without a care in the world."
"All in due time." Kathleen said, getting up, going over to a small cage in the room. She smiled, opening it and taking out a small chestnut rabbit with white socks. It sighed happily, cuddling up to her. "Missed you too, Johanna."
Tomino looked up, giggling at the little rabbit.
"Ah, Johanna-san. She's so cute."
"Si." Acacia grinned, giving a puppy eyed look. "Can I hold her for a minute?"
"After I get my cuddles in." Kathleen grinned, sitting down on her bed, petting Johanna. The rabbit squeaked, nuzzling her hand. "So, besides spoiling my baby and homework any idea what we should do today?"
"Hm…" Tomino sat up straighter, crossing her legs. "We probably won't be able to do parkour since by the time we get homework done it'll probably be too dark."
Acacia groaned loudly at this in dismay, folding her arms behind her head.
"S'not fair. That hero team gets to do stuff like that but when we do it at night it's "past curfew" hmph."
"Just how the law works, Acacia."
She gave her best hiss in response.
"Maybe we could go see Hiro?" Tomino suggested. "I'm sure he's up to something in his lab and he wouldn't mind a visit."
"You just wanna see SFIT's cool technology."
Tomino blushed, rubbing the back of her neck.
"Well… it's awesome."
"And if we have a destination…"
"Just a little!?"
Kathleen and Tomino shook their heads.
"I mean… If we do our homework later.."
"... Fine. Though I guess you don't want rabbit cuddles-"
"NO!" Acacia sprung up, snatching Johanna into her arms. "Gimme!"
"Okay, okay, calm down there, Acacia." Kathleen giggled, Tomino trying her hardest not to laugh at her friend.
Acacia pet Johanna, the rabbit giving a little sigh of content. Acacia got a sneaky look as she slowly stopped as Johanna lifted her head up, before giving a dismayed squeak and a small "thump". The girls giggled before she resumed.
"She loves her pets." Kathleen shook her head. "Stopping in the middle of them is a sin in her book."
"I can imagine. Sombrita is the same way." Acacia giggled.
"We sure she's a pet or a minion?"
"Now, now, my Tia's the goat woman but Sombrita's too pure for her evil goaty grasp."
"Sombrita is pure." Tomino squished her cheeks. "So, are we going to SFIT or what?"
"Homework first." Kathleen raised a finger. "Then SFIT."
Hiro looked up from his work, a bit of a tired look in his brown eyes to where Baymax was standing, which was at the entrance of his lab.
"You apparently have visitors."
"... I don't recall inviting anyone today."
"A surprise visit is what they have claimed. It is Kathleen and her friends."
Hiro rubbed his left eye, getting up.
"Well, I'm game. I need to stop looking at this stuff anyways. Least for a bit." He stretched. "Send 'em in!"
Baymax waddled to the door, sliding it open as the three girls ran right in.
"Hello!" They all chorused before laughing a bit.
"Hey, you guys." He grinned.
Kathleen was the first to run up to him, hugging the boy.
"How ya doing, Nerd?"
"Well, hanging in there like usual." Hiro shrugged, hugging her back. "Making sure my project doesn't kill me. The usual."
"You seriously need to give Kokoro a time out."
"I did. For a week." Hiro retorted. Kathleen shook her head, running her hand through his hair, mainly checking for bumps and bruises.
"Just making sure you don't have any injuries."
"You're as bad as Baymax and Tadashi combined."
"I do this because I lo- I'm your friend."
Tomino and Acacia snickered, causing Kathleen to blush before she gave the two a glare.
"Whaaaaat?" Tomino gave an innocent look. "We just remembered something funny."
Acacia smirked before clearing her throat.
"YOUR TIA GLORIA'S COMING AND YOU KNOW SHE LOVES TO TALK CRAP!"
Kathleen busted up laughing immediately.
"Did that happen last week!?"
"Yes! Because she just HAS to drop in when she thinks she'll get a free meal!"
"So, what brings you to my humble lab?"
The girls all looked to each other before answering in unison.
"School kind of melted our brains."
"Yeah, we had to put them in jars."
"That can not be right." Baymax said, holding up a finger. "My scans say your brains are completely intact. However, your neurotransmitter levels are low."
"So, their brains are fried." Hiro concluded. "I say we need to treat them with fun."
"Yesss." Acacia looked around the lab. "So much shiny…"
"No fire." The other two warned.
"Well…" Kathleen batted her eyes. "Maybe we could do some baking for my friends here. They could use some chocolate and sweets and maybe you do too."
"Ooo I would love that. Maybe something with gummy bears too?" Hiro gave a puppy eyed look.
"Of course! Ladies, care to help?"
"Oh yeah! Just wait til you guys have my hot pepper chocolate truffles. Sweet and then pack a punch!"
"Oooo sounds like a fun time." Hiro smirked. "Aaaaand that means going back to the cafe. Which means… Wanna see my new rocket powered bike?"
Their eyes grew wide. "YES!"
Hiro grinned, looking to Baymax.
"Go get packed up, I'll get the bike."
"Please, wear helmets." was all the robot said before deactivating into his case.
Hiro grinned, quickly grabbing his helmet, grabbing spares for the girls.
"We're gonna fly I tell ya!"
They ran through the lab, Hiro's fellow classmates taking notice.
'Awww look at our little man." Fred pretended to wipe away a fake tear. "He's got a whole group of girls following after him.
"And they look pretty darn happy to be hanging out with him." Wasabi noted.
"And one." Gogo pointed to Kathleen, who was keeping right next to Hiro. "We know has a little crush on him."
"M-hm." Honey Lemon sighed a little. "It's so sweet."
"Guys, heading out!" Hiro called over his shoulder. "I'll be back later tonight!"
"Be safe Hiro!"
"He's growing up too fast."
They all went back to work, chuckling as they heard the whooping and hollering of Hiro and the girls as they sped off towards the cafe on his rocket bike.
Chapter 19: Trio
Young six year old Kathleen Coleman was bummed when she found out Hiro and her weren't going to be in the same class this year for Elementary School. They would see each other around at lunch hour, sure, but she knew the boy would be too coupled up with inventing rather than being outside with the other kids. Plus, she had heard some of the other kids had been mean to him and no matter how hard anyone tried he didn't dare step out of the building till it was time to go home.
Kathleen sighed as she sat by herself at a lunch table, munching on a sandwich. She looked around, having a small hope she might see her friend but sadly not.
… No. I'm not gonna feel lonely. I'm going to make a new friend! Hiro's still my friend but I can have more than one!
She scanned the area, trying to see if anyone was by themselves then something caught her eye. A girl who looked a year older than her with long deep red hair and teal eyes was sitting by herself, eating what Kathleen recognized as a traditional bento lunch. (From what Hiro and his family had explained when Aunt Cass had made them one time.) The girl had a frown on her face, poking at her food with her chopsticks.
She looks lonely too… Well, can't have that!
Kathleen packed up her lunch and hurried over to the girl.
"Um… Excuse me?"
The girl looked up.
"Um… Hello. Can I sit with you?"
The girl's eyes teal eyes seemed to light up at Kathleen's offer.
"Um… I guess you mean yes?"
The girl blushed, bringing her hands to her mouth before sighing.
"Sorry… I… I have a habit of sticking to my main language. Hai means yes in Japanese."
Kathleen's eyes widened.
"You speak Japanese!?"
The girl nodded.
"Hai- Yes. My English still need much work. I sound weird sometimes."
"Well, I don't think it's that weird. I think it's cool!" Kathleen sat across from her. "I mean I have a friend who speaks it too but I didn't think I'd meet someone else. Oh! My name's Kathleen by the way, Kathleen Coleman."
The girl smiled.
"Well, nice to meet you Tomino." Kathleen grinned, getting her lunch out. "Do you like chocolate? My mother packed some cookies that I made with her."
Tomino's eyes widened.
"You can cook?"
"Ahuh! I mean, I need mom to help a lot since I'm so short but she says I'm a… a… pro… prodi… prodigay? I don't know how to say it. It means I'm really good for someone my age."
"Yeah!" Kathleen offered her one as Tomino took a bite, her eyes lighting up.
"So good!" She ate the rest of it quickly, sighing happily. "These are super good!"
"Thanks, Tomino. Do… you wanna share the rest of them with me? My mom packs too many sometimes."
"If you don't mind."
"I insist!" Kathleen smiled. "What do you like to do?"
"W-Well…"Tomino fiddled with the cookie in her hand. "I like singing.."
"That's so cool! I'm not the best singer but I can play violin. Well, learning. Music is fun though!"
"Ahuh and I like science. Tou-san is a professor at SFIT, so, Oka-san says I get it from him."
"What kind of science?"
"Anything to do with sound."
Tomino smiled giggling a bit.
"You think you could teach me Japanese? I would love to learn it from a pro… pro… someone who's really good at it."
Tomino's eyes lit up.
"Then it's a deal!"
A few weeks later, Tomino and Kathleen were playing during recess when they noticed a girl their age sitting by herself, looking through a book of some sort.
"You think she's new?" Kathleen whispered to Tomino.
"I think she sits behind me, but she hasn't talked much."
"Well… should we talk to her? I have chocolate I can share."
Both nodded before walking over to her.
"Excuse me?" Kathleen asked.
The girl, looked up, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.
"H-Hola." She murmured.
"Hi! I'm Kathleen and this is Tomino."
The girl looked to them smiling shyly.
"N-Ni-Nice to meet you."
"Nice to meet you too." Kathleen gave a smile. "What's your name?"
"Oooo! That's a pretty name!" Kathleen looked at her closer. "And I love the color of your eyes. They're bright green like tree leaves!"
Acacia perked up, a little grin coming to her face.
"I like yours too. They're as blue as the sky!"
"Hee, thanks!" Kathleen pointed to her book. "What're you reading?"
"Oh! Those are the scary books right?"
"They're smart AND scary." Acacia grinned. "And they can take you on one heck of a ride."
"Well, if you're not too busy, you wanna play with me and Tomino?" Kathleen pulled out a bag full of chocolates. "I made caramel chocolates with my mommy yesterday and I was hoping I could share them since this is more than two little girls can handle."
Acacia squealed, jumping up, putting her book in her backpack.
"YEAH! I love candy! I like cooking with my mommy too!" She pulled out of her backpack a bag full of cookies. "We made chocolate cookies with some chili peppers in them!"
"Ooo… Is it super spicy?"
"Only if you're a wuss!"
"I'm no wuss! Bring it on!"
"Let's play first then we'll nom!"
The three nodded, Kathleen getting a sneaky look, touching Acacia on the shoulder.
Kathleen took off at top speed, Tomino staring at Acacia for a minute before taking off herself.
Acacia grinned before taking off running at top speed after them.
"I'M GONNA GETCHA BOTH!"
"No! You'll never catch me!"
"Or me either!"
"We'll see about that!"
The girls laughed as they ran, Acacia tagging Tomino before bolting away from her.
I think we're gonna be friends for a long time.
Maybe even best friends!
Chapter 20: Grief
Kathleen sighed, looking out the window of her room. The funeral for Tadashi Hamada had passed but… the emotions still lingered. The weather certainly wasn't helping either. Ever since his passing it seemed to rain every other day and it was rare that sun could be seen. It almost seemed like the city itself was weeping over what happened.
Kathleen held Johanna close to her, the animal curling up in her arms. Her eyes were red from crying. Today was one of her off days. She missed Tadashi, there was no question about that but some days… it hurt more than others.
She sniffled, wiping her eyes again, trying to hold back any other tears that were trying to get out.
He just had to run into the fire and leave his brother behind the idiot. He left us all behind… Tadashi, I swear, when I die, I'm smacking you so hard your head will spin after Hiro and Alice get their digs in.
The door to her room creaked open as two figures peered in.
She looked up, seeing her mother and father present.
Irene frowned, going over to her, Aiden following suite, sitting on both sides of their daughter on her bed.
"Are you feeling okay?"
Kathleen lowered her head, holding Johanna closer.
Aiden and Irene exchanged concerned looks before both brought an arm around their daughter.
Kathleen closed her eyes, leaning against her father's side, sniffling a little.
"Do you wanna talk about it sweetie?" Aiden asked.
"Tadashi being gone. I think I'm over it but then… something reminds me of him and… and then I think about Hiro and how I haven't seen him be like himself in a while and… I … I would think I could do better and try to move forward and help him but then I realize I'm just as sad and… and I don't want to make it worse for him." She sniffled, burying her face into her father's chest. "Why did he have to die!?"
Aiden brought both arms around her, stroking her back as she sobbed quietly.
"I wish I could tell you. Tadashi was a good young man. He was practically family… and it's natural to miss him, darling. You've known him since you were very little." He kissed her head.
"And it's okay to worry about yourself too, Lass." Irene stroked her hair. "It's okay to be sad. We're all sad. We all miss him too."
"I just wish it hadn't happened. It was supposed to be Hiro's big night and… now it's just one of pain."
Kathleen quieted, her parents both holding her in their arms, saying nothing as they helped their daughter relax. It was silent for a long while before Kathleen spoke up again.
"I really wish I could do more to help him. I really do but… I have no idea what it's like to lose a sibling. I wish I could make Hiro smile again."
"If you want, Kat, we could bake some chocolate chip cookies for him. You could go take them to him, just hear him out. If he wants to smile, he'll show it but it might be awhile before he feels like he can." Irene told her, gently kissing her head. "But supporting him will help. And if it helps you feel better too then all the more."
"Besides, your mum also wanted to make some food for Cass and Hiro to have for the next few nights too."
"What can I say? I love with food… and Cass is my friend too. I want to do anything I can to help her through this too. Like you, Kat, I can't imagine how she feels. She lost a child… and pardon me for this but I might be a bit overprotective."
"No, I get it, Mum." Kathleen sighed, hugging Johanna close to her again. "I wouldn't mind baking for him. I'll just need some help."
"Of course, my favorite little lass." Aiden kissed her head. "We'd be more than happy to help."
"What kind of parents would we be if we didn't?" Irene smiled softly, kissing her daughter's head as well. "Let's make a care package for the Hamadas."
Kathleen nodded, a smile coming to her face.
Even if Hiro doesn't smile entirely it's better than not trying.
Chapter 21: Our Own Fun
It was a normal day at Sacred Flame High School. Kathleen and her friends were sitting at their favorite spot by the window in the cafeteria at lunch, talking and laughing a little.
"Then, Hiro got grabbed and Baymax wouldn't let go! He was on such low battery he was like totally drunk!" Kathleen laughed as she recalled the events of the day before. "Hiro couldn't get him to let go for a whole twenty minutes!"
"Bahahaha!" Acacia and Tomino cracked up.
"Those robots love givin' him trouble don't they?" Acacia snickered, taking a bite out of her lunch. "He's gonna start the robot takeover one day, I'm sure."
"I'm sure once he gets the hang of it, it'll be fine." Tomino giggled.
"Oh, I'm sure." Kathleen sighed happily. "Then when we finally got him loose, we went upstairs and watched movies. I finally got him to watch Your Name."
"GOOD!" The two other girls nodded to themselves.
"Did he cry?"
"I'm not at liberty to say for his sake." She shrugged.
"Heh, too bad he doesn't go to our school, he could go to our dances and stuff."
Kathleen lowered her head a little. She had forgotten that was coming up.
"Oh… probably shouldn't have said that." Tomino cringed. "Come on, Kat. we know getting a date for the dance isn't the most important thing in the world. It's a high school thing after all and is just a one night thing. Not like you have to find someone or you'll be lonely for the rest of your life."
"I know but… I just kind of wish someone would ask me just so I can get experience…" Kathleen sighed, resting her cheek on her hand. "I admit, I envy the girls who get asked out."
"Well, not everyone dates in high school." Acacia shrugged, but her look got serious. "But I think that's not what this is about." She smirked a little. "You wish Hiro would ask you."
Kathleen turned bright red.
"I KNEW IT!" Acacia poked Tomino in the shoulder. "You owe me a mochi!"
"HEY!" Kathleen fiddled with her hair. "Is it that obvious?"
"Just a little."
"Yeah but you know the rules about outsiders."
"Well… why not have your own fun then?" Tomino suggested.
"Let's be honest, our dances kind of suck. Heck, I'm not even planning on going. I'm planning on hosting my own little thing for us awkward people." Tomino had a glint in her teal eyes. "Gonna be mixing some sweet REAL music and not that crap they play at the dances."
"And some real food?" Acacia asked. "Cause I'm tired of eating cafeteria food twice in one day with that stuff."
"I mean… unless the gal I'm hoping would also cater for us doesn't want to."
Both looked to Kathleen.
"C'mon, you make amazing food Kathleen. Why not share it with more than us and the Hamadas?"
"I dunno… Maybe." She hummed in thought. "I mean, I could make a variety of stuff and get Mom and Alice to help out."
"Aaaand." Tomino grinned. "You could ask Hiro to come. We don't require fancy attire, just proper grooming."
Kathleen went bright red.
"A-Are you saying… I… I should ask him on a DATE!?"
"Yes." They grinned.
"Just ask him, you bring him and have a good time."
"And you can decide what food to subject us to."
"... Deal." She was still bright red though as she thought it over.
A date with Hiro Hamada. Would he even want to?
Guh… It's weird to think like that. I've been quiet about it forever.
"And hey, if you want to make it easier on yourself, just say Tomino and Acacia are having a sick party and you would love him to be there." Acacia grinned. "That'll make it less awkward. Think you can do that?"
Kathleen hummed in thought about it for a minute before nodding.
"Yeah, I think I can do that."
"Then before next week, ask him."
If I don't die of a heart attack first.
Kathleen was nervous. So far, her plan was going alright. She was over at the Hamadas, making lunch with Hiro. She had been waiting for a moment to drop the question but she wasn't sure how to bring it up. Right now, there was just silence between the two as they worked.
Just do it!
Kathleen nodded to herself.
"U-Um, Hiro?" she asked, looking up from her chopped cucumbers. "C-Can I ask you something?"
"Hm? Sure thing." Hiro looked up from the pot of curry he was stirring. "What is it?"
Kathleen gulped, trying not to forget to breathe.
"Well… um… next Saturday, Tomino and Acacia are having a party and I'm providing for it. I-It's basically a cool hang out for us awkward people who aren't a big fan of the school dances and I… I was wondering if… if you… if you would… like to um… go… accompany…" She took a deep breath before blurting it out. "Go with me to it as my accompaniment!"
GAH! I DIDN'T EVEN SAY IT RIGHT!
Hiro hummed in thought as Kathleen tried not to freak out internally. He didn't have any plans on that day and it had been awhile since he had hung out with a bunch of kids his own age.
"Sure thing." He told her as her eyes widened. "Just tell me what time to come pick you up and if you need any help with carrying food or whatever."
"O-Okay!" She grinned. "U-Um it's not formal but Tomino did say come properly groomed. Don't know what means but I guess kind of a hybrid between fancy and casual?"
"I'll make sure to wear a nice outfit then. I think I got some dressier clothes. Nothing super fancy but enough… I could also put on a tie."
"If you can tie it."
"I'll harass Tadashi." He grinned. "I'll be glad to come. Though I do have one request."
"Make that stew you like to make when it's cold. Haven't had that in awhile."
"Then we have ourselves an outing." Hiro grinned.
"Y-Yeah." Kathleen smiled, getting back to work on the cucumbers.
I have a date with Hiro Hamada.
I have a DATE with Hiro Hamada!
The night of the event came fast. Kathleen was in her room, adjusting the outfit she had chosen for the evening. She decided on a pink and purple plaid shirt, having it open to show her white t shirt underneath and nice light blue jeans. She had her hair down in pigtails, having them hang on her shoulders.
"Okay… I think I'm ready."
There was a knock on her doorway as she looked to see Irene leaning on it, a proud look on her face.
"You look beautiful dear."
"Hehe, thanks, Mom." She smiled. "Think I need anything else?"
Irene looked her over, before taking off the necklace she herself had been wearing, a silver celtic knot, placing it around her daughter's neck.
Kathleen's eyes were wide as a grin came across her face.
"Yes. My daughter should look her absolute best on her first date."
Kathleen giggled, blushing a bit.
"Hard to believe it, even though Hiro probably doesn't see it that way."
"Oh, boys can be a bit dense. Your father was the same way when it came to these matters." She chuckled. "He finally wised up when your grandfather warned him if he made me cry he was going to get thrown into the sea."
"Luckily for your father, he got the hint and promised to never do that to any potential suitors."
"Phew. Besides, he's known Hiro for years. He knows he's good."
The doorbell rang as Kathleen jumped a little. Irene grinned.
"And I think you need to get goin' dear!"
"Right. I love you. I'll be good and call when I'm coming home."
"Atta girl. Be safe."
With that, she hurried to meet Hiro at the door… trying not to laugh at the scene before her. Charlie was standing right beside him, giving him a glare that just read 'doom'.
"What's going on here?"
"Makin' sure he knows to treat my sister good."
"Charlie Coleman, you better not!"
Kathleen giggled, looking to Hiro, surprised at his choice of attire. He was wearing khakis and had a white shirt on with a vest over that was red with pinstripes. Only thing that wasn't different was his messy hair though she noted it was brushed to the side a little.
"Wow… You look good. I mean, not that you don't normally but you look handsome Hiro-" Kathleen brought a hand over her mouth. "I-I mean..."
Hiro blushed, rubbing the back of his neck, giving a sheepish grin.
"T-Thanks. I didn't wanna stand out too much but I thought you can't go wrong with red."
"You look great."
Hiro took a second look at her, blushing more.
She's so cute.
"Y-You look amazing."
Kathleen twirled her hair a little.
"T-Thank you… I think I recognize that vest. Wasn't that from the cosplay we did not too long ago for Halloween?"
He gave a sheepish grin.
"Yeah, I thought it was nice enough to bring out again."
Hiro nodded, offering his arm.
Kathleen blushed but nodded, looping her arm around his.
"Be sure to bring her home by 10:30, alright?" Irene said, giving her daughter a kiss on the head. "Oh! Before you go, can I get a picture of you two?"
"Well, would you be okay with that Hiro?"
"Yeah, of course."
They stood up straight, Hiro resting his head against Kathleen's as Irene snapped a few pictures.
"Be sure to text Aunt Cass those." Hiro grinned. "Thanks and I'll take care of her."
"Will do. Have fun!"
Both nodded before heading off.
Soon, they were at the party. Just as promised, it was a nice little gig. There weren't a ton of teens but enough to call it a party. Nice music was playing at just the right volume so people could socialize and not have to scream at each other. Teens were either dancing together or hanging around the snack table, partaking of the various treats that Kathleen and her mother had prepared and the place was lit beautifully with nice circular lights that gave the event a nice warm yellow glow.
"This is quite the shindig." Hiro noted as he and Kathleen walked through, looking around. "What do you wanna do first?"
"Well…" She fiddled with her fingers. "Maybe we could dance a little if you wanna."
"Sure." He smiled. "I mean, I'm not graceful like Tadashi but I know a few things."
Kathleen nodded as they headed for the dance floor.
They turned to each other, getting into position. Kathleen's cheeks warm up as her eyes locked with Hiro's. Before she knew it, they started to dance, moving across the dance floor with ease. She couldn't tear her eyes away from Hiro's.
Have… they always been that warm soft shade of brown?
Have her eyes always looked like this? Just… shining in the light?
Hiro and Kathleen continued on, quiet, just enjoying the music and each other's company.
Gradually, Kathleen became more and more calm. She was happy right where she was.
Tomino and Acacia looked at the sight, grinning at how happy the two looked.
"Cute." Tomino grinned. "Yep, definitely not changing the music till they're done."
"Good idea." Acacia nodded. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to be sure Sombrita isn't trying to eat something off the snack table."
They looked over and Acacia gulped, running over, seeing her goat had her little legs perched on a crate, trying to get at it.
Tominio shook her head as her friend ran off to go detain her goat.
Should've left the goat at home.
She turned her attention back to Hiro and Kathleen, smirking a bit as she saw Kathleen rest her head on Hiro's shoulder, blushing up a storm.
"I-Is this okay?" she asked.
Hiro smiled warmly, resting his head against hers.
"This is perfect, Kathleen." He told her quietly. "I'm really glad you invited me."
"Yeah… I never liked school dances. I skipped them when I was in high school. Helped that I graduated early but… I never thought something like this could actually be fun."
"Well… truth be told, the dances the school hosts are rather lame and too noisy. I prefer… slow. Take a moment to just enjoy the moment. Can't really get that at the school ones since they're basically a rave for young teens."
"Yeah, that's a pretty big complaint I remember Dashi had too about it and girls were rude sometimes to him." Hiro brought both arms around her. "I like living in the moment. Being right here."
Kathleen blushed, huddling closer to him.
"I agree… Plus, I hear sometimes they sneak stuff in that shouldn't be there."
"I heard stories. Some people spike the punch. Tadashi told me the one dance he went to had that happen and he basically dragged your siblings out."
"Yeah I remember that. So… I'm glad Tomino did this." Kathleen sighed happily. "I like this a lot."
"I like it too, Kit-Kat." He sighed in content, nuzzling her a little. "I'm having such a great time. This is just what I needed after a long week."
"She should do this more often."
Both nodded, going quiet, only the music and chatter in the background being heard. Soon, they stopped, Kathleen pulling back a little.
"So… wanna get some food? My feet are getting tired."
"Sure thing." Hiro lead her off the dance floor, over to the snack table… finding Acacia had tied Sombrita's lead to the table leg. "... What's with the goat?" He asked, confusion in his voice.
"Oh, that's Sombrita." Kathleen brought a hand to her face. "Acacia's loyal pigme goat. I thought Tomino and I made it clear bringing her was a bad idea but I guess the goat didn't want her going to party without her."
"I guess not." Hiro offered a hand to her, Sombrita sniffing it before allowing him to pet her. "Sure is friendly though."
"Just don't give her any food. Acacia already had to put her on a diet after Christmas last year."
"Yep." Kathleen grinned. "So…" She picked up a ball of chocolate that had gummy bears in it. "Chocolate with gummy bears anyone?"
"Yes please!" Hiro grinned taking one for himself, tossing it in the air catching it in his mouth. "Mm!"
"You are such a showoff." She giggled.
"What? It's just my nature."
The event carried on for the rest of the night. It was getting close to the end. The music was very quiet now, teens starting to head home. Tomino scanned the area, finding herself puzzled that she couldn't see Hiro and Kathleen anywhere.
I don't think I saw them leave.
Then she saw them and had to keep herself from squealing. Hiro and Kathleen had to decided to huddle in a corner where a tree was, the two teens resting against each other, content where they were.
Oh… My… Gosh.
She quickly whipped out her phone, snapping a photo.
So sharing this later.
Kathleen's head was bobbing as she kept close to Hiro, her eyes barely open. It had been a long night but full of fun. She looked up at him, huddling closer.
"Did you have fun Hiro?" She asked quietly.
"Loads of fun." He smiled. "Did you?"
"The best." She smiled, resting her head under his. "You really showed me a good time."
"I'm glad, Kat." He rested his head atop hers, sighing happily.
I really wanna do things like this with her more often… I wonder…
"Kat?" He asked.
"... Wanna do something like this again?"
"If you want to."
"Then we can… Probably not something exactly like this but… we can do something just as fun that the school could never do."
"It's our own kind of fun. That's what makes it's special."
"And I'm with a pretty special guy."
Hiro chuckled, hugging her, his face heating up.
"How about we go for a walk and some ice cream sometime?"
"Then it's da-deal."
Then it's a date.
Chapter 22: Fell Hard
Hiro didn't really find himself to be the sappy romantic type. He really didn't. It was something that never really interested him during his younger teen years… least, not till he turned sixteen. That's when… well, as he would put, something started to happen.
He couldn't understand why but recently, he found himself gazing at his friend Kathleen from time to time. She had always looked nice to him but now… he was getting flashbacks to the dance from a while ago. How he couldn't help but stare into her blue eyes. It was more than that though. He loved the way she laughed, her smile, the way she played with her hair… it was all just… distracting in a sense but he didn't mind it.
He wasn't sure if it was okay though.
"Baymax." He said, sprawled out on his bed, staring up at the ceiling. "I think something might be wrong with me."
Baymax blinked looking down at the teen.
"What symptoms are you experiencing?"
"I keep feeling my face heat up, my stomach gets in knots, my heart just won't stop beating, like it's going a thousand miles a minute… every time I think about um.. something."
Hiro's face heated up at the small thought, the young man rolling over and burying his face into a pillow.
"J-Just scan me! I swear I'm sick or something!"
Baymax did so.
"Scan complete. Your hormone levels are high and as your dopamine and neurotransmitter levels. These symptoms are often associated with: attraction."
"N-No! No attraction. You gotta be missing something."
"I am not."
"C'mon. Just… Just give it to me straight."
"I shall perform a test then." Baymax's screen turned on, showing a picture of Aunt Cass. "You feel happy when you see Aunt Cass but not in the same you are feeling now, yes?"
"Yeah, she's my aunt. I love her like a mom. She raised me." Hiro raised an eyebrow. "So?"
"I am just explaining something in regards to feelings that I will reveal in a moment." His screen changed to show Tadashi. "And you feel a close bond and happiness with your brother right?"
"Of course. He's my best friend and he's always had my back. Tada-nii is the best brother ever." Hiro sat up, sitting cross legged on his bed.
"That is what is called familial love which is something usually all experience in life with people who are blood or not blood related to them. However…" Baymax had his screen show Kathleen. "What do you feel for Kathleen?"
Hiro's heart started to race as he thought about her. The way she smiled, how her eyes lit up when she was happy. The way she was always humming or when she was focused the look she got.
Even the cute look she gets when she's squealing over something. His face heated up.
"... Everything I just described." He mumbled.
"Then there is your answer. Hiro, I believe you are experiencing romantic attraction towards Kathleen Coleman."
He was quiet, staring at the picture on the screen. It was of a recent day out they had where he had gotten a snapshot of her laughing at something.
"... I'm in love with Kathleen." He murmured, his brown eyes growing wide. "Baymax… I'M IN LOVE WITH MY BEST FRIEND SINCE CHILDHOOD!"
"That is correct."
Hiro fell back on the bed.
"No no no no no! I do NOT want to make this awkward! Nuh uh! I can't… We… UGH!"
"Hiro, if I may provide facts that may comfort you."
Baymax kept his calm composure, showing pictures of the two together on outings.
"You and Kathleen have been on many outings that would be considered dates and have always had fun. A few may not have ended well but for the most part you two were very happy. What I want to tell you is that the symptoms you have, Kathleen has been having those symptoms since you two were 14 and still does now."
Hiro took a moment to process that, his jaw dropping open a little.
She's in love with me..? He ran a hand through his hair… She's in love with me.
"... Kathleen loves me?" He asked softly.
"Her symptoms indicate yes. Also… Hiro, look at her in these photos."
Hiro did as told, noticing how Kathleen was looking at him in some of them. She was… gazing at him. Just like he had found himself gazing at her.
"She's looking at me like… like I look at her."
"That is correct. She has also done things one would do for a suitor or a spouse. Remember that day you were tense because of finals?"
"Yeah, I couldn't calm down. She made me sit in front of her and rubbed my shoulders. She never does that for anyone else."
"She has also prepared food specifically for you, that she herself might not enjoy as much but enjoys that you partake in it."
"That's true…" Hiro flopped back on the bed again. "... Baymax, is this normal? I mean… we're teenagers. What if it's too early for stuff like this?"
"Hiro, attraction is normal at this age. I am not saying you have to be married right this instant. I am saying that feeling this way is perfectly normal. You care for her do you not?"
"I do. More than any other girl - and I've been on a few dates aside from going out with Kat. Some of those were just BAAAD."
"And you wish to see her happy? And to experience the same happiness by being with her?"
"Then my final diagnosis is: Love."
Hiro took a deep breath, running a hand down his face.
"So, what do I do? Do I run over there on my rocket bike, blast music and confess?"
"Sounds a bit dramatic does it not?"
"Well, I'm asking… Should I tell her?"
"I recommend doing what you feel is right for both you and for her. You do not need to confess your love and devote yourself for the rest of your life right now. What you can do is explore."
Hiro nodded, sitting up and picking up his phone, pulling her up in his contacts.
"Well, I know one thing. I wanna see her soon. How about we go see a movie me you and her?"
"Do you wish to have me along?"
"If she's gonna be my girlfriend, she's gonna have to. She loves you too." Hiro told him as he texted Kathleen.
"You wanna go see The Force Awakens on Saturday?"
It was a few minutes before a reply was sent.
"Totally! I've been wanting to see that movie so badly!"
"Let's go and we'll get lunch after. Me and Baymax will get you at 12 just in time for the 1: 25 show?"
"Yeah! It's a date."
Hiro froze up a bit, rereading that message over and over.
"... She said it's a date."
Baymax looked at the message.
"That she did."
"It's a date!"
Baymax patted the boy's head.
I got a date with a girl I like.
And it's an actual date.
It's a literal date!
"Are you feeling better, Hiro?"
"Yeah… in fact." Hiro laid back in his bed, texting more messages to Kathleen, starting up a conversation. "I feel great."
Chapter 23: Hanging up the Mantle
Everything was sore. He couldn't quite place where he was. All he could remember was...
"HIRO LOOK OUT!"
All he could remember after the gunshot was pain and feeling like he was floating. Like he wasn't even really there. Hearing voices, machines…
His brother telling him he would save him no matter what.
"Mgh…" Opening his eyes took some effort as he looked around him, squinting due to the lack of his glasses.
Where am I…?
He looked to his side, seeing the blurry figure of someone but he knew the voice anywhere.
"Kit-Kat…?" He wheezed.
Kathleen nodded, sniffling, grabbing his glasses for him, slipping them on over his eyes.
"Oh thank goodness, you're awake."
Hiro's eyes widened as he took in her image. How tired Kathleen looked, her eyes red from crying.
"Don't you ever scare me like that again."
'Kat… I… I didn't mean to…"
Kathleen nodded, leaning in, kissing his head.
"You scared me… and you scared them." Kathleen looked down, frowning.
Hiro followed her gaze, eyes widening as his saw his three children cuddled up to him. Makoto on his left, Hisashi on his right and little Autumn in the middle, huddled up to his chest.
Hiro frowned guilt washing over him, his hand shaking as he brought his arm - the one that didn't seem to be covered in IV tubes, around Makoto, stroking his hair.
"Oh kids.." He whispered, lowering his head a little. "I… I almost did that to them."
"You were in really bad shape for a few hours.. Tadashi said you had lost a lot of blood and it did some damage he had to go in and fix."
"How long was I under?"
"About six hours… I really don't remember." Kathleen rubbed at her eyes. "It felt more like years though to be honest… Hiro, you got shot in the back and it almost broke your spine. You… You could've…"
He looked to her, tears coming to his own eyes.
"Kat… I am so sorry… So, so sorry."
"You really need to stop scaring me like this. I thought I was used to it… A-And I know I shouldn't ask but…" She leaned in a little as Hiro nuzzled her, trying to calm her down. "Please, don't go out so late anymore. I can't ask you to stop but… I can at least ask for this."
Hiro thought about it for a moment before kissing her cheek.
"No more night patrols. I promise."
"Good… and… just…. promise not to leave me and the kids. I don't know what we would do without you. You mean so much to us."
"I know, Kit-Kat." Hiro kissed her forehead. "I know. You guys are my world. Last thing I would ever want to do is break it."
Kathleen kissed his cheek, bringing her hands up, cupping his face, gazing into his eyes, relief in hers.
"And I don't want to have Makoto, Hisashi and Autumn to have to feel that kind of pain… and I don't want to imagine a world where you're not here."
Hiro gave her a gentle look.
"You won't have to."
"Good." Kathleen leaned in, keeping close. "Love you so much, Hiro."
"And I love you too, Kit-Kat."
Hiro closed his eyes.
He knew what he had to do.
"Fred… I know I said we would keep doing this till we couldn't anymore but…" Hiro sighed, leaning back in his wheelchair. "Last time was too risky and I scared my family half to death. I just don't think I can do this anymore. Not without putting my family's happiness on the line. I want to be there for my kids. I don't want them having to go through the same thing I did."
Fred gave him a gentle look, laying a hand on his shoulder.
"Hiro, I understand. You've had a really long run doing this since you were fourteen. It's fine to hang up the armor and duck out. I don't want to say goodbye to you either because you decided to keep doing it. Your luck's starting to mirror your big bro's - and you know he hasn't lived that down still."
"Nope… Though, you sure you're not upset?"
"Nah. Be there for your kids and focus on your nerd company. I got the hero thing handled. 'Sides, I think Gogo would kill me if anything happened to ya."
"Yeah… I just know Big Hero 6 hasn't been the same since some of us started settling down. First with Tadashi and Honey Lemon retiring when Honey got pregnant with Akemi, then Gogo when she had Jordan and well… I haven't been on as much since Kathleen and I had Makoto. We're really down to the last three since you, Gogo and Wasabi have still been doing what you can between life and family."
"Hey, things change and while I might've been stubborn a few years ago it isn't like that anymore." Fred grinned. "Besides, I can handle myself pretty well now and Wasabi is still pretty fierce, whether he wants to admit it or not. We'll be okay without you, Hiro. Your family comes first."
Hiro smiled, sighing in relief.
"Thanks, Fred. And hey, if you ever need to borrow Baymax for medic purposes-"
"No, thanks. I'd rather risk Tadashi's temper. Our marshmallow friend's stubbornness and patience has only increased since your kids came into existence."
This time, he did laugh, agreeing wholeheartedly.
Well, sometimes life doesn't go the way you planned. I've done a lot but now, It's time to just focus on being Hiro Hamada, head of Tadashi Industries and dad of three.
Chapter 24: The Lives We Lead
It had been a long day at work. Hiro loved his job, he did but some days, it was a drag when it came to business matters like paperwork… or just trying to get one of his fellow business partners to settle down.
Tony's a great man but man he's getting to the cranky old man stage of his life. He really needs to loosen up.
Hiro opened the front door to his home, sighing in relief.
Home sweet home.
"Honey! Kids! I'm home!" He called.
Hiro's back met the floor instantly as his three kids tackled him down, snuggling up to him from all sides.
"You're home!" Autumn squealed. "You're finally home!"
"Yeah, you were gone forever!" Hisashi pouted. "You promised we could work on Megabot today."
"And you would help me with my homework." Makoto gave an innocent look.
"And play!" Autumn added.
"And I intend to keep all those promises AND unload the dishwasher if your mother hasn't noticed-"
"She did." They chirped.
Hiro threw his head back.
"Rats. I did not mean to be gone so long. Mr. Stark loooves complaining about stupid interns or his wife denying him another mid-life crisis project."
"He should just let his daughter take over already." Hisashi scoffed. "'Sides, he's old."
"Try telling that to his face. He'll deny it for years on end."
"Well, I don't appreciate him stealing my husband all day."
All looked to the entryway to the kitchen to see Kathleen leaning against it, a smirk on her face.
"Next time he starts rambling just tell him to be on the lookout for flying frying pans."
"Will do. He's already carrying an umbrella for chanclas after the last meeting for new medical devices and Honey Lemon lost it on him via a nasty text."
"Serves him right." Kathleen chuckled before walking over to him, the kids getting off Hiro, allowing him to stand up. Kathleen got a sneaky look before grabbing him by the tie and kissing him. "Welcome home."
Hiro grinned, kissing her, bringing her into his arms.
"Good to be home. I missed you guys so much."
"And we missed you." She smiled nuzzling him. "Forgetfulness with the dishes and all."
"I swear I'm gonna just make a chip for Kokoro or Megabot one of these days just for that."
"If you must, the one with hands please and no vendettas."
"Okaaaaaa-saaaaan." Autumn hugged Kathleen's leg, burying part of her face in her pant leg a little, giving a sad look in her eyes. "I'm hungry."
Kathleen gasped before scooping her child up.
"Well, I certainly can't have that!"
"Yeah, I'm hungry too." Makoto joined in, Hisashi nodding.
"Yeah, I'm starved!" He gave Hiro a smirk that reminded the man a bit too much of himself at that age. "Someone was late."
"Make me the villain why don'tcha?" He ruffled his kids hair before rolling his sleeves up. "Alright, since Dad was late that means Dad cooks!"
The kids cheered at this.
"What shall we have then, Chef Hiro?"
He hummed in thought.
"We had stir fry yesterday and the day before that we had a roast… How about a hot pot?"
The kids cheered.
"Just like Grandma Cass makes!"
"Then we have ourselves a meal." Kathleen smiled. "Kids, how about you and I go have some fun with Baymax while Daddy cooks, hm? I mean, we'll set the table first but then we'll play, okay?"
Autumn squealed loudly, hugging her mother around her neck.
"Yes please, please, please, Okaa-san!"
"Yeah!" Makoto cheered.
"Maybe he'll forgive me for the thumbtack Megabot put down."
Kathleen shook her head.
They hurried off to the dining room to get the table set while Hiro made his way into the kitchen, rolling his sleeves up entirely and putting on an apron.
Kathleen looked around until she found Baymax's case.
Baymax inflated immediately.
"Hello, I am Baymax, your personal healthcare companion. Hello, Kathleen."
"Baymax!" Makoto ran up to him, hugging him.
Baymax would have smiled if he could, bringing his arms around the boy.
"I missed ya buddy. You get enough rest?"
"Yes, I did. My battery is fully re-charged. Are you all well?"
Makoto nodded, Autumn reaching out as Kathleen let her climb up onto Baymax's shoulder, the youngest child hugging the robot's head.
"Kya! We love you Baymax!"
"And I love you all as well." Baymax patted Autumn's head.
Kathleen chuckled, crossing her arms.
"Think you can help us set the table real quick Baymax and then maybe play some games while Hiro is cooking dinner?"
He nodded, careful not to jostle Autumn.
"Yes. I would like that, actually."
"Yay!" The kids cheered.
Hisashi waited until Makoto had moved away before getting a hug in himself.
"I swear me and Dad are gonna fix Megabot so he's not suddenly acting vengeful and crazy anymore."
Baymax patted his head.
"I believe you, Hisashi."
He sighed happily, hugging him a bit tighter before pulling back.
"Thanks, big guy. Awright let's get goin'!"
"Please do not trip over your shoelaces again."
"That was what, twice?"
"And three times as of this morning."
So, I'm as clumsy as Dad can be. He chuckled.
He was careful, however, when he bolted from the room, Baymax waddling after him.
Soon enough, the table was set and the kids set about to playing with their favorite companion. Kathleen peered into the kitchen, seeing Hiro was hard at work.
"Doing alright in there?"
"Yep. Just working away." Hiro grinned, focusing on the food in front of him.
Kathleen smiled, walking over to him, bringing her arms around his neck, kissing his cheek.
"Always working so hard."
"Never taking shortcuts." He nuzzled her. "'Sides, I like helping out, Kathleen. You know that."
"And I do miss your cooking." She nuzzled him, sighing happily. "Just so glad you're home."
"Happy to be home." Hiro sighed happily. "Everything go okay at the cafe today?"
"Yep. Tomino and Acacia worked themselves into the ground a little but we managed."
"Busy as usual then. Least it wasn't like the time when Acacia hadn't slept in two days."
"Silly girl and her song recording."
Kathleen kept close to Hiro.
"Sorry, just glad you're home."
Hiro nuzzled her, bringing a free arm around her.
"All good. I'm really glad to be home too. I love my work and I love my company - but I don't love either one like I love you guys."
She smiled, hugging him tightly.
"And we love you a lot."
They looked to the entryway, seeing the kids, peering in, giggling a bit.
"See?" Kathleen smiled.
Hiro chuckled, giving a wave to them.
"Tou-san should come play." Autumn grinned.
Hiro looked to Kathleen.
"Only if Okaa-san says it's okay."
They all gave her the Hamada puppy eyes.
Kathleen brought a hand over her heart.
"Hrrrk! I'll handle monitoring the food! I can't handle this cuteness!"
The kids cheered, Hiro kissing his wife's cheek before hurrying over, scooping Autumn up.
"C'mere you! We got games to play!"
"Yeah!" Autumn cheered. "We could play heroes or something!"
Hisashi grinned before he got a stunned look on his face, gasping.
"Aliens are trying to take over the city!" He yelled, pointing at Baymax. "They disguise themselves as health care companions!"
"Alright, team." Hiro grinned. "Let's get to work!"
"Yeah! Team Hamada, assemble!"
Kathleen peered in the doorway from the kitchen at the sight of her children and husband playing in the living room, roughhousing a little bit but overall just laughing and having a good time.
Hiro had Autumn on his shoulders, the little girl making "laser noises".
Hisashi and Makoto were rough housing a bit, the younger boy pulling his brother's hood over his head.
"Oh no, Nii-san's been possessed!"
"Oh nooo! Not Mako-nii!" Autumn gasped.
"I am not Mako-nii." Makoto did his best robotic voice. "I am Bay-oto now. I serve the Bay Empire."
"Noo!" Hiro gave his best "serious" face. "I must stop this Bay Empire. Quickly team! Glomp the emperor!"
All turned their attention on Baymax.
"... Oh no."
Hiro knelt down as Autumn ran over, jumping right onto Baymax, her hair flying out behind her.
Hisashi joined in from the side.
"RAWR! Release Mako-nii, Lord Baymax!"
Baymax looked to Makoto.
"You are no longer Bay-oto."
Makoto took off his hoodie.
"I'm free! Now… REVENGE!" Makoto tackled Baymax on his other side. "RAH!"
"Oh no. I have been defeated by Team Hamada." Baymax patted the children's heads.
"Good job team!"
"Yeah! Team Hamada wins again and saves the day!"
Kathleen smiled, giving a small clap before heading back to the kitchen, seeing how the meal was coming along.
Hiro sighed happily, watching his kids play… that is until Autumn looked to him, giving a kicked puppy look.
"But now I'm extra, extra hungry, Tou-san."
"Well, I'm sure dinner will be ready soon." Hiro picked her up before heading into the kitchen. "Kit Kat?"
"Caught me at the right moment. Just finished."
"Yay! Food's done guys!"
"Thanks for finishing up for me." He kissed her cheek.
"Anything for my husband. And I know you wanted time with them too."
Hiro smiled, hugging Autumn a bit tighter, the little girl giggling.
"Yeah. You know… I'm really lucky to have you guys."
"I'm lucky too. An extraordinary guy married an ordinary girl."
This is the life we lead now, just us and our kids.
I can't imagine a better life.