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Reaching The Light

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Prologue - Light

 

 

Light.

What exactly is light?

 

Well...first of all,

light is actually a whole bunch of colors,

pressed together until this magnificent shade of white is created.

 

But what means light for us?

 

For many people, light is just a tool to be able to see something.

Something which is important but something which people grew too used at.

Something naturally.

 

Other people symbolizes light with riches and popularity.

You are only shining brightly if the world knows your name.

A very shallow thought in my opinion but hey.

Everyone is allowed to have their own opinion.

 

Then for others, light means care and comfort and not to forget warmth.

A place where you are feeling safe and sound.

 

You see.

Light has a whole bunch of meanings

and however, you are facing the world

you might have just an other thought of light than I have.

 

For me, light is hope.

Hope that there will be a better time when you are feeling low.

That there is going to be a good ending in all this misery.

The bright ending of a dark and deep tunnel.

And I know that for some beings light is the last hope for a

better place...

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 1 - A Good Day To Start With

 

 ~ Hiro's PoV ~

The wind was rushing through the leaves and the birds were singing their song, filling the air with beautiful music. Children were shouting after another, laughing when something funny had happened, meanwhile, the cars were finding their way through the traffic of the morning. Everything sounded peaceful...Wait. What time was it? Immediately I shot up when a realization hit me and I fell promptly from my chair I was sitting on, landing more uncomfortably on my behind than I have intended to. If I had been intending to fall off my chair at all...

»Ow...« I muttered underneath my breath, starting to rub over the sore part of my body, furrowing my brow in the meantime. When have I fallen asleep at my desk anyway? The sudden sound of air inflating startled me and I looked up to my right side only to see a giant white robot standing there, glaring at me. It made its way surely through the room until it had reached its destination. Me.

»Hello, I'm Baymax. Your personal healthcare companion. Good morning Hiro.« I clapped my forehead with my palm. Sure. I had to say 'ow' out loud...Of course, Baymax would inflate hearing this. I noticed a sheet of paper sticking to my cheek, which I pulled off immediately. »I noticed a sound of distress. Please rate your pain on a scale of one to ten.« Smileys appeared on his belly from a bright happy one to a really angry one. I sighed but smiled then slightly at my friend.

»Maybe a one? Even less than one, I suppose. I only fell off my chair, that's all. I'm fine Baymax.«

»I'll scan you now. Scan completed. I can't sense any kind of an injury but your neurotransmitter values show a high amount of adrenalin. This shows that you have experienced a stressful situation currently.« This brought me back to reality. What Baymax was saying was right. I had been in stress because...

»What time is it...?« My voice was shaking and I felt how this anxious feeling returned and as soon as I have reached my alarm clock – which was resting on my bedside table – with my sight I yelped. It was already way after eight-thirty! »I'm going to be late for my class!« I jumped up upon my feet and gathered my clothes, which were lying on the ground, together and ran towards the bathroom. Sure, I was still wearing my clothes from yesterday but I didn't feel like explaining to everybody why I was wearing them again, especially to Aunt Cass. With the toothbrush sticking in my mouth I was trying to pull a fresh shirt over my head while I was trying to get rid of the pair of jeans I was wearing at the moment. I actually considered to keep them on but they got dirty after I had been outside with my friends the day before and I was sure that my aunt wouldn't let me leave this building with these pair of pants. I managed it somehow to get through the first sleeve of my shirt as I felt how I was slowly losing my balance and...

Thud.

I was lying on the floor beside the toilet. It was tempting to shout another 'ow' after it hurt pretty well but I didn't want to alarm Baymax once again. So I was biting my tongue to keep this within myself, swallowing my cry of pain down. How lucky I was that I didn't hit my head against the pottery...I picked myself back up, changing my jeans real quick and rinsed my mouth with clear water out, to get rid of the foamy toothpaste. And at last, I put the fresh shirt completely on. I rushed out of the bathroom to check the time. Eight-forty-five...Dammit! I would be going to be late, that's for sure! Quickly I grabbed my backpack, shouldering it and walked quickly towards the door. I wouldn't be in that kind of a hurry if I wouldn't have an important test this morning. But I had, so I needed to hurry.

»I only can deactivate myself if you say "I'm satisfied with my care".« I heard Baymax say but I just nodded and waved off not really paying attention to what he said.

»Yeah, yeah. Sure, buddy. See you later!« And with those words, I left my room. Fast I was running the stairs down, always leaving one out so that I would be faster downstairs.

»Hiro?« That voice startled me and I missed the last stair and tumbled down until I reached the floor of the cafe. I opened my eyes just to see my aunts worried face.

»Good morning, Aunt Cass.«, I managed to say and grinned up at her, just like nothing had happened. But of course, she wouldn't let me fool her. Not if it was like that obvious.

»Good morning...Did you hurt yourself? Shall I get the first-aid-kit? Or shall I call the doctor? Or...-« She wanted to continue but I cut her off.

»No, no. It's just fine. Didn't hurt actually at all.« That...was a lie because it hurt pretty bad and I would probably have some black and blue marks later. »I'm sorry, I'd really like to talk further but I have to keep going! Otherwise, I'll be late!« I jumped back up upon my feet and was about to go when my aunt held me back.

»Okay. But one last hug.« She reached out, hugging me tightly before she let go from me. After this embrace, I rushed to the door and...bumped into someone, his plate with a fresh doughnut landing on my fresh shirt. Great...

»Hey! You are going to pay for this, young man!« This customer was obviously no regular, otherwise, he would have known who I was.

»It's no problem, Mister. Of course, you'll get a new one for free. Please excuse my nephew.« I heard the voice of my aunt and the man in front of me just nodded and left for the counter to get his replacement. I glared down at my shirt. Brilliant. Why on earth had it to be chocolate? Oh well...It was too late to change anyway, so I just zipped my jacket up and left the building. This day started really good, it couldn't get worse...couldn't it?


 

And it got worse. I had reached the college on time and I had still some time to catch my breath. But on the run to my school, I stomped right into a mud puddle, after it had rained the last night and my right foot was soaking wet, not to forget that my pants were dirty now as well. So, for what have I changed at all? And now I was sitting on my chair in the classroom waiting for my professor's arrival. Who was late! I felt a headache starting underneath my temples and started to rub circles on them with two of my fingers of each hand, meanwhile, I was shutting my eyes. This day seemed to become a very tough one...A sudden noise of shoes walking over the floor made that I looked back up, seeing that my professor has entered the room.

»I'm sorry, class but the traffic was really slow and there was such a stupid driver in front of me who just...-« She glared at us and blinked several times. Then she was clearing her throat, placing her bag upon her desk. »But to not waste any more time. Please open your books on page...-« Wait. Open the books? But what was with...My hand shot up, me almost jumping in this progress.

»But Professor! Aren't we going to write a test today?« Several heads turned around, looking with deadly eyes at me. This question seemed not to be wise, especially that every other student probably didn't feel like writing a test. I swallowed at their looks. First, my teacher glared at me confused but laughed then a high pitched laugh, smiling at me.

»No. You must be mistaken, Mr. Hamada. The test is due tomorrow. So we aren't going to write one today.« She kept her smile and turned then around to the smart-board behind her. I dropped my head upon my table. And this rapidly a few times. Stupid, stupid me! So all this stress and panic was for nothing. After a moment I looked up, opening my book at the page, which was requested to follow the lesson.


 

I didn't know how but I have managed it to write some notes to this lesson. Thanks to the headache, which had started to form within my skull, pounding against my forehead from the inside, I had some trouble to follow the lesson. I was glad that I was having a free period now until I would have to go to my robotic class after lunch. Maybe I could relax a bit in my lab until it was time to meet with my friends to eat. I made my way through the corridors, knowing the way by heart by now. And after crossing the campus I arrived at the destination of mine. My lab. After I shut the door behind me I made my way immediately to my desk to sit down onto my chair and... I noticed a yellow post-it sticking on my monitor. I removed it and read the quickly written words on it.

"Updating Baymax's chip with the 'Medical Confidentiality File'! Tuesday"

I groaned in frustration. Today was Tuesday! And I have left Baymax at home! Sure, now I remember! I had been working on this file for a while now. The idea had shot into my head after Baymax just blurted once again out what was wrong with me. And I really didn't feel like that he would say something embarrassing someday. At least I wanted to test today if this file needed some more tools and codes or if it is working like I was wanting it to do. But today I would not be able to test it. Alright then. Then tomorrow. I crushed the little piece of paper in my hand and threw it away into the bin nearby. At least I could use the time then to rest a bit and calm back down. This morning had been a really hard one. I made myself comfortable and placed my arms upon my desk, only to rest my head upon them. I closed my eyes and felt already how I slowly got tired when...my stomach grumbled. Loud. I opened my eyes. Oh! In the hurry earlier I had forgotten – or better I had not even got the chance to – to have some breakfast. I rose up from my chair and knelt down beside my backpack, opening it to find only my books. Where was my food? Didn't I...? Once again today I clapped my brow with my palm. I hadn't thought to grab my food today. I probably left it on the counter in the café. I moaned. And of course, I didn't think of taking any money with me. Maybe someone of my friends could lend me something so that I at least could have some lunch later. With a deep sigh, I got back up and sat down onto my chair, getting back into my former position. But my grumbling stomach wouldn't let me have some rest. Not until I would have pleased it. I took a deep breath and leaned back and opened the first drawer. But there was nothing inside except for a few pencils and a heap with blank papers. Hmm...I was sure that I had some packages of gummy bears in there. Maybe I have put them somewhere else? I started to look through my desk, taking everything out to have a better look. But I couldn't find any. No gummy bears. Maybe I have placed them in or on top of my bookshelf? I got up from my chair and walked straightly to it, beginning with cleaning it out as well. But after there were any I got really annoyed. I just wanted to have something to eat! Was it that difficult? With rage slowly filling the veins of my body I began to look everywhere in my office until I have checked every place while leaving a huge mess behind me. But still. No gummy bears. Then it hit me. I have eaten the last package yesterday and I actually wanted to buy some more. Which I haven't. I cried out in frustration. So I have put my office up-side-down for nothing? It seemed like that. Gritting my teeth I looked one time around myself. I couldn't let my lab be like that. I would only get upset when I was the next time here to work on my project. So I had to tidy it back up before it was time for lunch. Picking the first book up I started to clean up the room again.


 

I was on my way to meet up with my friends at the cafeteria for a lunch break. Maybe I had at least a little bit of luck and I could borrow some money to get something to eat for myself. Otherwise, I would have to sit beside them and watch how they were all eating their delicious food. My stomach grumbled once again and I covered it with my right hand. I really got mad with myself for forgetting my food at home. I just wished that this day would finally end. Nothing had been working right or went as it should have and now I was being on my way for lunch without having any lunch with me! I reached the building in which the cafeteria was being and opened the door, getting immediately hit of a wave of loud voices talking with each other and people laughing. And the unmistakable smell of food welcomed me as well. My stomach answered painfully to it.

»Hey, Hiro! Over here!« I looked up as I heard someone shouting my name and I just saw Fred waving at me, almost jumping up and down in his attempt to get my attention. Like someone could oversee Fred. Or overhear...I walked up to them, every one of them having a tray and their package of food in their hands. And again my tummy answered to this.

»We were waiting for you. Come, let's sit outside since the weather is nice today!« Honey got all excited at the thought of sitting outside in the sun. And she was right. The day was really nice. At least one good thing about this Tuesday...

»Hey, uhm...I'm sorry for asking but could someone of you lend me some money? I was kind of in a hurry this morning and left my food and my wallet at home. And without even having some breakfast I'm kind of hungry...« I looked up at them after they were all taller than me. Even GoGo. And she was already smaller than the rest. They all exchanged a glare before turning to me again. I was biting my lower lip. I hated to ask for money.

»Unfortunately no. I left my money at home today as well. I'm sorry, Hiro.« Honey looked really sorry for her answer and the others were having either the same or some other problem. But then Fred spoke up.

»But hey! I have more than one sandwich with me! You can have one of them if you want to!«

»Really?« I turned around to my friend who was walking beside me. My eyes must be as round as tennis balls and the thought of having something to eat lightened my mood immediately.

»Sure! Heathcliff always packs too much into my lunch box. Not that I wouldn't eat it but I can bear one for you.« Fred pulled his shoulders into a light shrug but didn't lose his grin all the time. I felt how a smile pulled on the corners of my lips. Something which felt very strange today.

»Sweet! Thanks!« We arrived one of the free tables outside and we had been lucky after it was quite full outside today. We all took our seats around the wood and everyone started to unpack their food as I turned around to Fred who was taking his sandwiches out.

»Let me see what we have. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich.« I made a grimace. I wasn't that desperate now that I would eat something containing peanuts. I think an allergic reaction would be much worse than just being hungry.

»Do you have something without peanuts? I really don't feel like scratching myself the whole time, you know.« Fred looked at me for just a moment but then realization hit him.

»Oh! Yeah! Sorry, dude. Totally forgot that you are allergic to that. Okay, then you will get the one with ham and cheese.« He handed me a wrapped sandwich over. I beamed brightly at the sight of having something to eat and I eagerly started to unwrap it, taking a bite from it. This felt so good to have finally something in my stomach and my belly was happy to have something in it as well.

»And? Did the file work on Baymax?« I looked up at Wasabi as I heard his voice and swallowed the remaining food in my mouth. »Where is he actually?«

»Yes, I was already wondering as well.« Honey Lemon corrected her glasses, which had gotten a bit out of place. I scratched my neck with my left hand, the one which wasn't holding the sandwich I was eating.

»Yeah...well. Remember I said I was in a hurry this morning?« Every one of them nodded to my question. »I have forgotten to take him with. So I couldn't try this file out.« I looked at them as they did the same with me. GoGo only rose one of her eyebrows up and popped her gum before she leaned a little bit more onto the table.

»And why had you been in a hurry this morning?«

»I have fallen asleep sometime last night and woke up this morning being completely spacy until I remembered that I had a test this morning. And that I was late. So I was rushing through my room and after some incidents like falling down several times and bumping into a doughnut« I pointed at my shirt where the chocolate stain was. It was too warm to keep my jacket on. »I managed to leave, hurrying so that I would make it to class on time.« I furrowed my brow at the thought of my morning.

»Wow. Sounds like a tough morning.« That was GoGos only answer to the shortcut of my horrible morning.

»Have you made it to your class on time?« Wasabi cocked his head slightly to his left side and took then a bite from his lunch, looking at me questioning. I nodded to this but sighed then, forming a ball with the bread wrap. I was already done with my food and felt a lot better now.

»I was even earlier than Professor James. But we didn't even write the test. It is due tomorrow...so all the hurry was for nothing...« I blew some strands of my bangs up but they just fell back where they have been before and placed.

»Ah, that's hard man.« Fred clapped my shoulder with his hands but I just shrugged.

»Oh well. Can't change the morning anymore. At least I have only my robotic class left and that was it with today's lessons.«

»Because you are saying it. We need to get going, our break is over.« Wasabi had checked his watch and was already raising up from his chair, picking his tray up. We did the same like him and waved at Fred who was considering to hang around the lab or to train some new stunts with his signs. We followed the way back to the buildings and at a point, I needed to part from them.

»See you guys later then!« I waved at them and walked then the way to where my next class would be. My afternoon could just get better. I just knew it.

I passed the door and entered the classroom, where already a few people were sitting on their chairs at the tables, chatting with each other. This shape of the classroom was different than the one of this morning. While this morning I was sitting in a usual classroom this one had stairs on which long tables were being and after the room was shaped as a circle – not like the other one, which had been a rectangle – everyone was having a good view to the professor. Who was standing in the middle downstairs, having his own desk and a smart-board behind him. I walked a few stairs down so that I could sit a little bit more in the front. After I was the shortest person here I had some trouble with seeing probably from the back.

»Hey, Hiro.« One of the others greeted me and I waved at him – I think Michael was his name – and entered the path which I had chosen to sit at. So I sat down onto the chair, somewhere in the middle of this room and got my books out, waiting for the professor's arrival. And short after not only the rest of the students entered but also our professor, who passed us to get to his own desk.

»Silence class! Now stop talking. I want to have the attention of all of you. And yes, I mean also you, Richard.« He glared passed me where a boy was sitting, with brown, long hair who had been just about to flick a paper ball into the face of a girl not that far away of him. Everyone got quiet as soon as Professor Raven had spoken up and a few chuckled at his statement about Richard. Richard was the one of the class who never could hold still or follow the lesson without making any nonsense. It was obvious that he actually didn't want to be here and only was visiting college because his father wanted him to do so. »I have an announcement to make before we start. We have someone new in our class. Please meet Hikari Sunō. Would you please get up?« The whole class turned around just to see a girl getting up of her chair looking back at us. I looked a little bit closer to her. Black, long, straight hair, which got held back with a black Alice band – though there were still parts of her long hair being in the front just like she was intending that it did so – was falling smoothly over her shoulders and her dark eyes were looking at each person. Something was sparkling in them, something which I couldn't place my finger on. She seemed to be smaller than me. At least I could tell from the distance I was sitting from her. And though she seemed nervous by the way she was playing with her fingers, she was having a strong and proud appearance. It was kind of confusing.

»Yes, I know its not usual that someone new is joining the class in the middle of the semester but Miss Sunō has already some experience in robotics and so we have decided that it would be better to let her join in, instead to start at the beginning. So, would you like to say something?« I looked back to the front as my professor had started to talk again but after he was looking directly at our new student I turned back to my left behind side, watching the girl. She bit her lower lip. So I was right. She was feeling nervous and uncomfortable to be in the spotlight.

»Well...there is actually not much to say.«, she began talking and her voice, which was still loud enough to be heard perfectly in this room was shaking a bit. Just a tiny bit. Her voice was smooth – if you ignored the shaking – and not that high pitched you would expect it from a girl of her size. »You already know my name. I'm Hikari Sunō and I'm thirteen years old. I had been working as a trainee at SnowElectronic Industries and now decided to visit the college. And yeah. That was it.« She offered us a small smile and looked one time around. I couldn't help but stare. She was thirteen? A full year younger than I was and when she says that she had been a trainee before...when had she managed to graduate high school? I was thirteen when I had and people were already talking about what for a genius I was! How could it be that she was beating me in that?! And then a trainee at SnowElectronic Industries! One of the leading companies – along with Krei Tech – when it came to robotic and stuff! I watched how she was taking her seat again and that Professor Raven had been starting with the lesson. But all I could concentrate on was that burning feeling, which started to form in the middle of my belly, spreading itself slowly out through the veins of my body until it had reached the top of my head, my toes and my fingertips every time I was lying my eyes upon her. I couldn't name that specific emotion but I knew that I didn't like it. And I knew that it was connected to her.

Chapter Text

Chapter 2 - The Big Day

 

~ Hikari's PoV ~

The alarm clock beside me started to ring and caused that I stirred a bit as its annoying sound started to drag me out of my sleep. I tried to hold on tight to the darkness, which surrounded me but this ringing was too strong and pulled me out of it. So I turned around to switch the alarm off and sighed deeply. What time was it anyway? I opened one of my eyes and glared and the clock. Nine o'clock in the morning. For a brief moment, I did nothing but stare. Then my eyes snapped wide open and I sat upright. I would be late for work! Somehow I managed to untangle me out of my blankets and stumbled out of my bed, just to hurry to the door of my walk-in closet. I wanted to open the door already when I hesitated. There was a calendar hanging on a needle and the today's date was marked with a red pen, in huge letters there was the word 'SFIT' written on it.

»I don't have to go to work...«, I mumbled to myself as I looked at the red letters.

»Good morning, Hikari.« I yelped as the sudden voice startled me and I turned around to meet the person who had spoken to me. I just earned a laugh as a response.

»You have scared me! Don't you ever do this again!« I pointed with my index finger at him, glaring daggers - not being really mad though. But that action caused only another laugh.

»This was not my intention, I'm sorry. I just figured that you might think you need to go to work and I wanted to correct you. Today is the big day.« I returned the smile which I got offered and nodded in agreement.

»Yes! I can't believe it! Finally, this day has come!« My smile grew even wider and I clapped my hands together in excitement. »I have waited so long and now the day has really arrived. It's so...unrealistic...«

»It will get real as soon as you are there. But get yourself ready now. I will wait for you downstairs.« And after these words and another smile, I was alone. I shook my head slightly and turned then back around to open finally my closet. I made a step into it and switched the light on. It revealed a little room with a few shelves at the walls, where my clothes were resting in and I walked over to one of them to pull the drawer. It wasn't big but I was fine with that. I didn't need a huge walk-in closet. I was only happy to have one after I really didn't like that someday my father could possibly burst in while I'm changing my clothes. I grabbed everything I needed for the day and exited the closet then, only to leave my dorm to get to the bathroom. I needed to take a shower before getting changed. As I entered the bathroom I locked the door behind me immediately and placed my fresh clothes upon the toilet while opening a door of a shelf to get two towels - a big one and a more smaller one - out to place them also onto the toilet, covering my clothes with them. The bathroom on this floor - the second floor, right beside my bedroom - was bigger than the one below, though this one was big as well. The room I was standing in at the moment was held in white and blue colors. The pottery was white while the floor tile was blue, just like the tiles at the wall. I quickly undressed and walked over to the shower, which was at the foot of the bathtub. Today was no time for taking a bath and a shower was clearly quicker. After I got into the small tub, I shut the door and turned the water on. I winced when first the cold water was hitting my skin and I got goosebumps at the contact with the clear liquid. Thinking of what would happen today made that I started to feel excited and anxious at the same time but as soon as the warm water was raining down upon my skull and hot streams were flowing along my body I could relax. A soft sigh left my lips as I felt how the unknown tension left my body and I started to wash myself.

After the refreshing shower, I got out of the small tub and grabbed at first the small towel to wrap my hair with it just to take the bigger one to dry my body. After every water drop was gone from my pale skin I started to get dressed and left the bathroom again, not without taking the blow-dryer with me to reach my bedroom. I shut the door behind me and placed the dryer upon my mattress and made a step away from my bed to bend over just to rub my hair as good as possible dry with my towel. After that, I brushed quickly through my hair so that I could blow-dry it.


I was standing in front of my mirror, placing the black Alice band into my long, black hair, leaving some strands in the front after I didn't like it when it was all held back. My black hair was a great contrast to my pale skin, which never seemed to get darker. I could lay for hours in the sun and I would still look the same. Except I would forget to put some sun lotion on. Then I would be red. And after my skin was so pale my dark brown eyes - which looked more like black - would get much darker and the color of my lips - which had a slight red color - seemed to be more intense. I remembered that people asked me if I wouldn't be too young to use something like lipstick and slowly I really got tired to explain that I wasn't wearing any make-up and that this was my regular lip color. I sighed, when I thought of this but shook then my head. It wasn't the time now to be annoyed. This was meant to be a great day. So I pulled my eyes away from my face and gazed at myself in general. Since this was a special day - I had wished to visit college since an eternity by now - I was wearing my favorite clothes. Which were a red long-sleeve shirt, my black skirt and a pair of black, thin tights. It was still kind of fresh outside after spring had just started. I nodded once after I was satisfied with my appearance and walked then over to my desk to grab my backpack. Luckily I had packed everything I needed already yesterday so I just needed to go downstairs to have some breakfast. Once again I left my room, shutting the door behind me and walked along the hallway until I have reached the stairs, which would lead me down to the lower floor. As I arrived the last step I could already hear some noise coming from the kitchen, so I just walked over to the dining room, taking my seat at the table.

»Good morning, Hikari. How have you slept?« A woman with light brown hair and friendly sparkling blue eyes came inside the room, carrying a tray with two teacups and a teapot. She smiled brightly at me and placed the tray upon the table, setting it. Most of the stuff was already being on the table like plates, silverware and the food. She only placed the pot in the middle and the cups to the two plates which were remaining already on the wood. I returned the smile to her.

»Good morning, Mary. I slept good, thank you.« I placed a pancake - my favorite food for breakfast - upon my plate and grabbed the butter to smear a bit upon it just to drown my food in syrup afterward.

»That's nice to hear. And are you already nervous about today? I can't believe it. My little Hikari is going to attend college. Finally!« Mary took her seat beside me around the corner of the table and placed a pancake upon her plate as well. She was at least as excited as I was. And this since the day I have told her my plans to visit SFIT. She wasn't my mother - obviously - nor my sister or aunt. Actually, I wasn't really related to her. Mary Stuart was my nanny since my father was very busy at work and didn't have much time to look after me. And after my mother died when I had been two years old there was no one who could have taken care of me. So I met Mary when I was three and she was my nanny since then. She was the closest what I had in comparison to a mother and she was very important to me.

»Yes, I'm quite nervous. But so excited! I really can't believe that I will attend college from now on! It's that what I was dreaming of for a long while now.« My smile grew wider and only the thought to wander the halls of the SFIT building instead of SnowElectronic Industries made me happy. Not that the time at SnowElectronic Industries was bad but it wasn't what I wanted to do in life. Not if I could have a choice. I looked around and remembered something. My face darkened a bit when I noticed the absence of a certain person. »Is my father already gone?« Mary stopped with eating and swallowed the piece of pancake, which had been remaining in her mouth. She looked at me in an apologizing way and nodded.

»Yes, he is. I'm sorry about that, sweety. I know you wanted to talk to him before you would head off but he said that there was an emergency in one of the labs and he needed to get there to solve things out. You know how your father is when it comes to his work...« We both sighed together. It wasn't rare that my father would be gone early in the morning and would come home late at night. But this was the duty of a businessman who was leading a big company. And my father was leading a quite big enterprise. After all, he was the founder of SnowElectronic Industries. He and my dead mother. »But don't you worry. I will drive you and drop you at SFIT. I have to do some shopping anyway so it won't bother me at all. Now. Eat your breakfast. I have made your favorite, plus your favorite tea.« And with those words, she filled our cups with the spicy brown liquid and continued with eating.


I closed the door to the car in which I had been sitting and turned around to face my nanny.

»Are you sure, I shouldn't wait with you? It seems that it is quite early...« Mary bit her lower lip while she was watching me but I just smiled and waved off.

»Yes, I'm sure. But thank you. You should go and do your shopping. And anyway, it's only a half an hour. So I'll just walk a bit around, looking at everything until it is time to go to the headteacher. Don't worry. I will be fine.« I kept my smile on my lips while I was looking at the woman in the car. After we had been done with breakfast we had decided that we should leave a bit earlier, because the traffic could be awful in the morning. But luckily we had no problem and so I was a bit early at the college but this didn't bother me at all. At least I could try and calm myself a bit.

»Well...when you say so. Then I'm wishing you good luck and much fun. I will see you later then.« And with that she waved and turned back to look straight on, driving away. I watched how the car disappeared and sighed then. I turned around and walked a few stairs up to one of the buildings and sat then down, gazing at my shoes. I indeed was feeling quite nervous of this day but it wasn't only because I was starting something new. I was also nervous because I was being afraid.

»Hey. Are you okay?« I looked up from my shoes as I heard a voice and as I looked to my side I saw a pair of concerned eyes. I had to smile.

»You made it. I didn't think that I would see you until this evening after you haven't been downstairs like you have said before.« I knew this wasn't answering the given question. Also my counterpart knew that this was none.

»I'm sorry that I wasn't but you haven't answered my question. Shouldn't you be overfilled with joy since you can finally visit college?«

»Well yes. Actually I am...but...« I bit my lower lip. I wasn't so sure if my fear was that kind of a big deal but thinking of it made me feel more than anxious. It took almost my breath away.

»But what? I can't help you if you aren't telling me what the matter is.« He was looking at me with a soft smile on his lips, trying to ensure me. Although the concern was still present in his eyes. I breathed deeply in, in intend to calm my nerves down. This was a difficult topic for me to talk about.

»Alright...I am afraid because I don't have any good experience with schools. Those six years I was visiting them were torture and I was glad when I had graduated. I can't imagine how it would have been like to walk those places for longer than the small amount of years I had. It all started when I turned four and was mentally ready to visit primary school...« I was gazing once again down at my shoes, the tips of my black ballerinas were touching each other. I went silent after I was trying to place and order my thoughts in my mind. And to gather the courage to say them out loud. I really didn't like to admit a weakness because I didn't want that people could think I am weak, but I knew I could trust my counterpart.

»Take a deep breath. Then it will be easier.« I looked back up as I heard the voice beside me talking and I met a pair of warm eyes looking at me. I did as I was told and took slowly a deep breath just to let it slowly out again. The smile, which I got offered, increased and I felt slightly better.

»At the beginning everything was okay. I had some difficulties with finding friends but it was nothing which I couldn't handle. I think after the first week it started...« My voice got a bit darker and a shadow covered my features. Thinking - and especially speaking - about this caused me to feel melancholy. »Of course they figured out quite early that I was about two years younger than them. And may it be any reason why they have chosen me but I know the fact that I was younger and smarter had to be one of them why I was their victim. That was the beginning of how I got bullied. Remembering, back at this point I have thought that it couldn't be worse. But it got worse.« I closed my eyes for a brief moment, seeing my former classmates, how they were pointing at me, not even caring to keep their voices low while talking about me in front of my inner eye.

»What could be possibly worse than to get called names after?« As I opened my eyes back up I saw that my opposite was quite upset about the content of my story. And I could see a hint of recognition in his eyes. Just like he knew this situation somehow, as it would be familiar.

»The names. The fact that the names, which I got called changed. At the beginning it were only names like "Nerd", "Poser", "Know-it-all" and "Teacher's-favorite". They have hurt back then but in compare to the names I got to hear for the rest of the time, they were quite nothing.« My mouth went dry while was talking and I totally blacked out where I was and why I was here. The only things I was aware of were, that I was sitting outside on a stair, talking. And that I wasn't alone.

»For example? - You don't have to tell me if you don't want to, though!« He hurried to say the last sentence, probably to make sure that he wasn't pushing me. I felt his eyes resting on my face and I could see it from the corner of my eye. But I was just looking at the ground in front of me, without actually seeing anything. I took another deep breath, like I got told earlier and gathered all my courage and strength together to give an honest answer.

»There were many. But the most ones were "Weirdo", "Little-Miss-Insane" and...« I inhaled once again, preparing myself for the most painful one. »"Freak"...« After that silence took over and no one dared to say something else. The word was just between us, like a shadow covering our bodies. It felt like an eternity until someone broke the stillness.

»I...-« A sigh interrupted the sentence which the male started to form and when I was rising my sight again I saw that there was a deep crease between his dark eyebrows. It seemed like he was trying to order the words in his minds. Or to gather them together. »I...can see why they have called you the first names, relating to your intelligence. Please no offense!« He rose his hands up, assuring me that he didn't mean it rudely. »But I can't follow the last ones. There is nothing which would lead them to...-« He didn't get further after I was looking him deeply into the eyes. I knew why I got called like that. And I knew that he would know it as well. I saw how his open mouth shut and the words, which he wanted to say just disappeared unsaid, when he was replying my gaze. I didn't break the eye-contact and then I saw it. I saw the sparkle of realization in his dark eyes. A flood of emotions followed after that until something like hurt remained in them. »You mean the fact that you...-«

»Hikari Sunō?« My head shot up when I heard someone calling my name and I turned around just to see a tall man, with dark brown, graying hair walking down the stairs. He probably just came out of the building behind me. Like I was taught when I had been younger I stood immediately up, turning around to face the man approaching me.

»Yes. That's me. It's nice to meet you, Mister...?« I noticed that I didn't have a clue who was standing in front of me.

»Oh, I'm sorry. My name is Drake Raven. I'm the professor of your future robotic class.« The man - obviously Professor Raven - offered me a kind smile, which I replied.

»Then it is nice to meet you, Professor Raven.« I leaned my torso a little bit to the front, bowing slightly in front of him to show the elder my respect. I was half Japanese so I also got taught some of the behavioral codes from my father. The smile on my professors lips grew.

»Come. Let me show you around. Our principal is in a meeting at the moment, so I got the honor to do his job. You are free from your schedule this morning so that you get to know where everything is and to actually receive your schedule. But after lunch you will have your first lesson, which will be my class. I hope you are prepared.« He grinned at me conspiratorially, just like he was having in his mind. I only pulled one of my brows up but shrugged then and followed him completely downstairs. I turned a little bit around and looked over my shoulder just to see the black haired male waving at me. I smiled thankfully for listening to me and waved back, following my new teacher. I was sure that he would want to know everything when I was at home again.


»And here is the classroom in which I am holding my lectures and classes.« Professor Raven and I stopped in front of a big door, which was leading to the last important classroom for my schedule. I looked down at the sheet of paper, which I was holding in my right hand. My professor had shown me the whole college including the cafeteria, in which we had something to eat before we came here. And the building in which our labs were. And I have got directly the key to my own one. It was so strange. I never had an own lab and I couldn't wait to get started to continue on my project I had already started with when I had still worked for my father. Another reason why I left SnowElectronic Industries. I wanted to decide by my own what would happen with my invention and not my father. I noticed how the brown-haired male in front of me was checking his watch. »And my lecture is starting in a few minutes. I need to get my stuff for the today's lesson. Why won't you enter already and look for a seat? I will be right there.« And with a smile he had left. I watched at the corner at which he had disappeared before I was turning slowly around, facing the door, gulping heavily. So this was it. The start of a new period of my life. One, at which I didn't have lots of good memories of. Okay, stop. I needed to focus! Only because the past school years were bad didn't mean that I would have a hard time here as well. Most of the people were already mature enough to not bully someone. Weren't they? I took a deep breath, closing my eyes just to release the breath and open them up again. A determined look was plastered on my face. I could do this. I grabbed the doorknob and pushed it down and entered the classroom. And was stunned. The room was huge! It was formed in a circle and in the middle, downstairs was the professors desk with his smart board behind it. And on each stair was a row of tables - or one table, after they were all connected - , which were formed like a semicircle. There were already few students sitting at the table, chatting with each other, which caused a loud volume within this room. I walked a few stairs down, considering where I should sit and decided that I didn't want to sit way in the back because of my height but also not totally in the front to not seem like a total nerd. I followed the path to one of the free seats and sat down on a chair, placing my backpack upon my lap to get my books and my notebook out. And my pencil case of course. And not very long after I have placed my bag back on the floor I heard how the door got opened and Professor Raven walked passed the tabled to reach his own one.

»Silence class! Now stop talking. I want to have the attention from all of you. And yes, I mean also you, Richard.« He started talking as soon as he had turned his attention towards his class, looking at us. But at the end of his sentence he was glaring at a boy with long, brown hair, who was sitting in the same row as I was, only a few seats away from me. Like it seemed he was just about to flick a paper ball into the girl next to his face. I pulled one of my eyebrows up at this. »I have an announcement to make before we start. We have someone new in our class. Please meet Hikari Sunō. Would you please get up?« As I heard him calling my name I looked to the front and noticed that he was glaring directly at me. And that all students in this room were following his sight, which lead to...well...me. I swallowed. I wasn't used to have so many people looking directly at me and all those eyes looking at me made me kind of anxious. But I wouldn't show any kind of fear in front of them. The first impression was very important and I didn't want that they all thought I was a scared little girl. Because I wasn't. So I rose up from my chair, putting my most relaxed face on and looked at each student who was gazing at me. I didn't notice that I was playing with my fingers. A habit which I did when I was kind of nervous.

»Yes, I know its not usual that someone new is joining the class in the middle of the semester but Miss Sunō has already some experience in robotics and so we have decided that it would be better to let her join in, instead to start at the beginning. So, would you like to say something?« My eyes widened a little bit at his question. Didn't he know that every new student didn't like it to say something in front of a group of people he or she didn't know? Hadn't he seen any movies about college life? I bit my lower lip. What should I say?

»Well...there is actually not much to say.«, I started, trying to gather some information which wouldn't seem boring or too odd to the audience. »You already know my name. I'm Hikari Sunō and I'm thirteen years old. I had been working as a trainee at SnowElectronic Industries and now decided to visit college. And yeah. That was it.« I offered my new classmates a kind smile, hoping that no one would be able to see through and notice that I was very nervous at the moment and looked once again one time around. Some of them looked bored, just like they wished they could finally go back home and do anything else that is not related to learning but others were returning the smile I offered, which assured me a lot. I felt how the anxious feeling slowly disappeared and I got more and more comfortable.

»Thank you, Hikari. Okay, class. I would say we have talked enough and we start with our today's topic.« Professor Raven had clapped into his hands and I took my seat again, being glad that I wouldn't need to talk about more stuff about myself. I opened my notebook and took the cap of my pen away, ready to take some notes of my first college class. The tall man turned around to his board behind him and started writing some words upon it. I copied the headline in an neat handwriting and was about to listen to the words of the elder when something caught my attention. I felt a pair of eyes resting on me and first I tried to ignore them, after I wanted to follow this class but the sensation got to a burning feeling, just if someone was burning a hole into my presence. So I turned my head to the direction and promptly my gaze met a pair of two brown eyes staring at me. They belonged to a boy with black, messy hair and a dark blue hoodie jacket. From his appearance I figured that he couldn't be much older than me, actually he must be around the same age like I was. And then I remembered. This must be Hiro Hamada. I have read an article about him in one of the SFIT magazines. He must be fourteen, when I was remembering correctly. So only one year older than me and also a genius, like older people kept calling children like us. I tried a small smile, after he didn't look away but something in his eyes made that it faded away immediately and my brow furrowed. A furious glare was in them but before I could make sure that I wasn't mistaken he was looking already to the front again, following the words of our teacher. I sighed. Was something off? I looked to the front, sighing slightly once again and tried to copy fast what Professor Raven has written beneath the headline.

»Is anyone able to name and describe the Methods of the Artificial Intelligence?« I looked up when the question of the professor was hanging in the room, he looking one time around, waiting for any hands signing that someone knew the answer. Only one or two were raising them, Hiro being one of them. Slowly I was lifting my hand as well, getting immediately the attention of the dark-haired male in the front. »Yes, Hikari?«

»The Methods of the Artificial Intelligence, short AI, can be sorted into two dimensions. The symbolic versus the neuronal AI and the simulation method versus the phenomenological method. You can imagine it easier if you are picturing it to yourself like that:

In the middle is the AI and from above downwards is the symbolic AI and the opposite the neuronal AI comes from below upwards.« I was gesturing with my hands how the both types are getting to the middle - the AI. »Now. From left to right is the simulation method and here the opposite the phenomenological method comes from right to left.« Also here I was gesturing how those two types were related to the AI. »The neuronal AI follows the bottom-up approach, which tries to rebuild in a precise way the human brain. The symbolic AI, on the other hand, follows the top-down approach, which comes closer to the intellectual activity, but from a conceptual level. The simulation method follows as close as possible the lead of the actually cognitive process of human beings. Instead for the phenomenological method it is only important what kind of a result you receive.« I smiled slightly at my professor, waiting for his respond to my answer. He smiled brightly back at me.

»Correct. Very well done, Hikari.«, he said to me and turned his attention now to the class, meanwhile I was taking my seat again. »What she said is right. There are different types and methods of AI and which way you are picking depends on what kind of information you want to get. And about this we are talking now.« He turned away from us and faced his smart board again, deleting the written words just to start with writing something new. I started to copy this as well and was concentrated to follow the words of my teacher. But I couldn't ignore the fact that I felt this burning feeling once again. I knew that a pair of eyes were glaring holes into my body and I knew to whom those eyes belonged to. Quickly I looked to my right front side just to see how Hiro was turning away from me, starting with writing down, what was written on the front. I frowned in confusion. What have I done that he was reacting like that? Or wasn't he looking at me but at someone in the row behind? I wasn't sure what I should think about this. But maybe I was worrying too much. I mean...I haven't even spoken a word with him, why should he be mad with me? Yes, that must be it. It was probably someone behind myself. With this thought I continued with following the lecture.


»Alright. Please don't forget to study what you have learned today. At our next lesson we are going to write a test about it. You can leave now.« Professor Raven turned around to his smart board in the background and deleted the written words. I was packing my stuff together, putting all the things upon my desk into my bag, closing the zipper after it. I rose then up from my chair, shouldering the backpack and followed then the other students out. But I didn't get very far. »Hikari? Do you have a minute?« I stopped in my tracks and looked over my shoulder at my professor and nodded.

»Sure.« I turned around and passed a few of my classmates, who are trying to reach the exit of this room, while I was walking the stairs down towards our teacher. Soon everyone was gone, except for us two. »What's the matter, professor?« I looked in a curious way at the elder, cocking my head slightly to my right side. I was wondering what he wanted from me.

»I wanted to ask you how your first day had been so far.« Professor Raven leaned himself back at the desk behind him, looking at me in a curious way.

»It was...great. Thank you very much! I can't wait for the next lesson.« I really hoped I wouldn't sound like a nerd. But I really was looking forward to the next lesson. It was finally that, what I wanted to do since a while now and it was much fun to just sit and learn something. My opposite had to laugh.

»Well, I'm glad you think so. And you are welcome. I have to say that you are quite good in this topic. I'm already curious how you will proceed in my classes.« I returned the smile I got offered. »Okay. This was it. I will see you at my next lecture. Have a nice afternoon.« He pushed himself away from the table and walked around to get his last things. After returning him his words I turned around and followed the stairs back up to reach the exit of this room. I closed the door behind me and walked towards the exit when I was thinking about something. I could leave some stuff, which I was carrying with me here. For example some of the books which I needed for tomorrow, then my bag wouldn't be so heavy. I left the building but instead of leaving the campus I was following the way to the building where the labs were being. Luckily the way wasn't that hard to remember - I had been already scared that I would find myself somewhere completely different at my first day - so I arrived real quick at my destination. The lab was quite busy. People were fussing around, trying their current inventions, preparing stuff for a new project. I couldn't wait until I would bring all my stuff for my own one here to finally work on it. Alone and without some guys from my fathers company in my neck. A tiny smile pulled one of the corners of my mouth up while I was watching all the students working, talking and laughing. Finally I got the feeling that I was belonging here. I walked deeper into the room to reach the other side where a door would lead to a hallway at which my own lab was being when something caught my attention.

»Come on, Hiro. It couldn't be that bad.« I heard a female voice say and when I turned my head to the direction I saw a tall blonde woman standing in front of a small boy. I took a closer look and noticed that it was Hiro from my robotics class. He was surrounded by some other people, like a small woman with short black hair, a guy with a green bonnet and long blond hair and an Afro-American with dreadlocks. And not to forget the blonde woman, who was speaking currently.

»You can't know, after you weren't there! It's like she is there for about...five minutes and all she can do is show off what she knows and can! I mean...who does that?« I heard the taller ones sigh in unison at the boys respond. I got a bad feeling, so I tried to block it out and reach the door as fast as possible before I would hear something I really didn't want to hear.

»Hiro...« That was again the voice of the tall girl and she seemed not to know what she should say further to that. »You don't even know her. What is...-« But she didn't got further.

»I don't need to know more about her. What I saw and heard is enough for me!« I quickened my pace a bit but without seeming to be in a desperate kind of a hurry after I didn't want to catch any attention. »And I know that she...« I wasn't far away anymore. I just needed to pass the group of friends to get out of this room. »...is a totally...« I was almost there.

»...Freak

I stopped immediately in my tracks as I heard that word and turned my head to the direction where it came from. My eyes widened and my lips were slightly separated as I was pulling sharply some air in, only to hold my breath. My dark eyes met the brown ones of the boy, who had said this word. A word which hit me with the strength of a bullet and had the same effect. After ripping this old wound up, pictures flooded into my mind, me seeing many children pointing at me, while laughing and pushing me around. And always I heard this one word. 'Freak', 'Freak', 'Freak', 'Freak'!

»Hey, Freak!« I heard one of my classmates say and as I looked up from my book I saw that Tyler wasn't that far away from me, glaring in my direction. But I only responded with ignoring him and reading my book further, which was resting on my lap. Although the name, with which he was calling me hurt. A lot. But I tried not to give him the satisfaction of hitting my sore point. I was currently sitting on the wall, which surrounded my high school, having lunch break. Normally students would sit with other students together but no one would have lunch together with me. No one wanted to be with me. But that was a fact which I had gotten used to. In fact, this wasn't really bothering me. Being alone wasn't the worst part.

»I think this boy wants something from you, Miss Hikari.« I rose my sight and saw that Tyler was slowly coming closer to me but I turned my attention to the person beside me. I didn't know what kind of age this boy was but he was surely not older than six. He was having short brown hair and his clothes were quite strange. Honestly...I didn't know anyone who would run around with clothes like that. But he had told me that these were his most favorite ones.

»I know. Just ignore him.« I muttered to him and looked back at my book. But before I only could try to concentrate on what was written in it, the book got ripped away, a shadow covering my body. I looked up and met the gray eyes of Tyler.

»Let me see, what a Freak like you is reading in their free time.«, he only said as he was looking through the pages. It wasn't actually a special book. Only one about robotics.

»Hey! Give it back to me! Otherwise...-« I jumped down from the stone wall, my friend staying behind.

»Otherwise...what? Are you and your friends going to take me and my friends down? Oh. Sorry. I totally forgot! A freak like you doesn't have normal friends! Your friends can't even harm a tiny flower! Because they aren't real!« He spat out the last sentence. It wasn't like I didn't know how to defend myself. To be honest I knew it very well, but since I had to use it to get one of them off of me, their bullies got even worse. »And that's the reason why you are a freak, Freak. Because no ones mind is that weird than yours! You should accept your fate. No one likes freaks like you.«

FreakThe word echoed in my mind, leaving a bad taste on my tongue. Bad memories were connected to this one word and hearing it confirmed only the thoughts I was having - though I had pushed them aside for the last three years. That I was indeed not normal and that in the end I was...a freak. I still felt Hiro's eyes glaring daggers at me, while I was still looking at him, though I didn't notice that several eyes were looking at me as well, connecting the given information and the glare which I was sharing with the one in their middle. I felt a burning sting in my eyes and knew that I was about to tear up. No. I wouldn't give him the satisfaction to have hurt me with his statement and tore my gaze from him, facing the door in front of me. With steady steps I was continuing my way, ignoring the looks following me and left the common lab to reach the hallway. There I walked directly to my own lab, shutting the door behind me, locking it afterwards. Then I dropped my backpack and fell to the ground, pulling my legs close to my body while hugging them tightly. I buried my face into the gab of my elbow, allowing my tears to spill over. Still...after all those years this one word still hurt. Very bad.


I didn't know for how long I was sitting at this point but after some time I felt this familiar numb feeling - which I had hoped to never feel again. I couldn't explain it. Mostly I was just sitting or standing somewhere glaring into nothing while thinking about nothing. Just like my mind wanted to protect me from those thoughts and memories, which would hurt me. I rose up, wiping with the backside of my hand over my wet cheeks, pulling myself together. I needed to get home. Mary would be worried if I wouldn't be there before eight. And if Mary is worried she would get angry quite fast. And I didn't like it to be fighting with her. I picked my bag back up and turned around to my door, unlocking it. That I actually wanted to leave some things here was already forgotten and so I just walked out and closed the door behind me, passing the corridors of this building. Only a few students were left and I got a little bit tensed up when I was scanning the room. But luckily there was no sight of Hiro. I couldn't bear another one of his comments. Quickly I passed the room without that anyone noticed that I had been there and left the building, following the path which would lead me away from the campus. The sun was already going down, being almost invisible behind the horizon which caused that the sky was in a dark shade of blue - except for those parts of the sky, which were close to the sun. This was a deep orange. Although I liked it to watch the sunset it didn't really change something on my mood, while I was following the street to reach my home.


A half an hour has passed until I have reached my home. It was already dark and I could see that some lights were burning. So Mary must be in the kitchen preparing everything for dinner. I walked the few stairs up to the front door but hesitated. I couldn't walk in there with an expression which would show that this day wasn't exactly that what I had hoped it would be. I took a deep breath and tried to relax my features. I knew that I wouldn't be very improving with being happy but I was sure that I could look like I was exhausted. I unlocked the door and entered, shutting it behind me again. I took my shoes off and walked along the hallway to reach the dining room.

»Hikari?« I heard a female voice say and steps followed quick and before I could realize what was actually happening I saw my nanny standing in front of me. Having a big grin on her lips.

»Hi, Mary.« I smiled slightly at her, knowing that it wasn't that genuine like I wanted it to be. I only hoped that I looked tired enough.

»How was your day, honey? You seem worked out.« She approached me quickly, having a little concern in her eyes, though she was still smiling. Even though her smile was only little. I tried another smile in return.

»Good. But exhausting. Actually, I really don't feel like doing much except for resting a bit.« I hoped that I would be allowed to leave to my bedroom without having the need to sit at the table, having dinner. But of course, my prays wouldn't be heard.

»But I want to know what happened today. And I have made your most favorite dish to celebrate that you are finally visiting the college. Please?« She glared at me with her puppy glare and I couldn't resist. I knew that she was really being happy for me and I didn't want to take that away from her. I sighed and nodded.

»Alright.« And with that, I followed her into the dining room to have something to eat.


»It seems that Dad isn't coming home very soon, isn't he?« I looked up at the clock above from the door, which would lead to the kitchen and glared then back at my nanny. We were just done with our meal and Mary started to clear the table. Well...actually I was more pushing my food around the plate. I didn't feel like eating at the moment...She smiled apologizing at me - just like she had done this morning.

»No. He had called earlier to say that it gets later and that he will talk to you tomorrow. He is very sorry about this, though« I nodded to this. It wasn't actually a surprise after my father was most of the time busy with his work. Even when I had worked at his company I barely saw him.

»It's alright. Actually, I wanted to go to my room anyway.« Mary looked at me for a little while, seeming not to be sure if she should say something or not. Although I could see the small concern in her eyes. But before she was even able to open her mouth to form a word I got up of my chair and headed out of the dining room to reach the stairs in the hallway. Fast I was following them up, picking up my backpack on the way and went straightly for my room. As soon as I entered I shut the door, locking it up and dropped my bag where I was standing and walked over to my closet so that I could get changed. When I arrived at the door I noticed that my reflection was glaring back at me - of course - and I hesitated to open the door so that I could look for some more comfortable clothes. But I didn't and just continued to stare at my own eyes, getting lost in the way they were staring back at me.

Freak.

This word echoed in my ears and it was like Hiro standing right beside me, calling it to me. In an attempt to keep his voice away from me, I was covering my ears with my palms, pressing them hard against my skull. But of course, it wouldn't help after the voice was within my head. I tore myself away from the mirror and ran towards my bed, throwing myself upon the mattress, pressing my pillow tightly against the back of my head, after I was resting on my stomach, covering my ears with my hands from the outside in hope it would double the effect. But of course, it wouldn't.

»It's only a voice, Hikari. It is not real. No one is calling you like that...«, I tried calming myself with talking out loud but I could say that it wasn't working. Instead of a calm and cool voice, my voice was a little bit higher than usual and I was talking faster.

»Who is calling you like what?« I winced when I heard that sudden voice and I pushed myself away from my mattress, the pillow falling down, dropping on the ground in this movement. I turned then around and sat normally on my bed now. I looked into a pair of familiar brown eyes. They were filled with worry. »Are you okay?«

»I...-« I noticed that my voice was shaky. So lying was no option because I knew that my opposite would identify it within a second. However, I didn't know how to start...

»Take deep breaths. They might help.« The male smiled softly and walked over to me, taking his seat beside me on my bed, not taking his eyes away from my appearance. I must look awful. I did like he said and took several deep breaths until I thought to feel at least a tiny little better.

»It's only an encounter I had today at school. One of my classmates tore an old wound - which actually never had healed completely - up with calling me a certain name...« I furrowed when I remembered the glare, which Hiro had looked at me with. I started trembling.

»You mean one of those you have told me earlier this day?«, he asked and I nodded to this. »I'm sorry, Hikari. I really hoped that those people were mature enough to not make fun of you because of your intelligence but...-« But he didn't get further.

»It was not one of those names. I'm attending a nerdy college. I would have bawled at him if he would have dared it to call me like that if he was actually the same. No...it was not one of those names. It was one of the names, which had hurt me the most. In fact, it was the worst name of all of them...« I lowered my gaze, looking at my hands being folded in my lap.

»Freak.« His voice was monotone and there was no emotion in it. It was no question. He knew that it must be this word after I told him this morning that this had hurt the most.

»Freak...«, I confirmed, my voice as dull as the person's beside me.

»But...what I don't get...why had he - it was him, right? - called you like this? Did he found out that you are able...?« My counterpart didn't finish his sentence after he knew that I would know what he was referring to. I pulled my shoulders into a slight shrug.

»Actually no...I mean...how could he? It wasn't like he was one of my former classmates, who would have remembered me. I just met him today for the first time!« I was confused. Why should someone call me a freak, if he didn't even know why I should be a freak. It confused me a lot, what had the effect that I pulled my eyebrows together, frowning at this. »And I am clearly not walking up to the next person I meet, placing my arm around his shoulder - if this would even possible because of my small height - and say casually "Hey you. You know what? I am able to see ghosts, cool isn't it?"« I mocked a strangers voice as I was saying the last sentence. But yes, it was the truth. I could see the ghosts of deceased persons, or like they would prefer it to be called: Lost souls. I didn't know why I was able to do so and I can't remember when it had started. I just...could. And earlier I haven't thought that it was strange to see people others normally don't see. Mary always said I was having an imaginary friend so I mused that others were seeing them too. Well...I noticed I was wrong when I started to visit a primary school. There I got to know that others couldn't and that I was clearly not normal. I sighed deeply and dropped myself back upon the mattress, glaring at my ceiling. I couldn't see everything properly after I hadn't turned the light on but the light, which came from my window was enough for me to at least see the outlines of everything which was further away from me. A face shoved itself into my sight, an assuring smile being on his lips.

»I know it sounds really stupid to hear it but maybe it was only a one-time event. I'm sure that this person can't know your secret after you are hiding it pretty well and only with looking at you he can't discover it. Probably he is just a random jerk who just can't bear it to meet someone who might be smarter than him and tries to make you feel bad? He probably didn't even know what he was saying when he was blurting this one out. Listen. There is no need to be afraid that he knows it. He can't. And anyways. Where is the strong Hikari I know? The one, who isn't afraid of facing unknown things?« I chuckled at the last two statements and smiled back at him. How was it possible that he always could get a smile out of me and make me feel better?

»I know...but the fear still remains. What is, if this is going to be every day like that? I can't handle another few years of bullying...« My smile faded as I was thinking of this option. I didn't want to go through this torture again. The person over me sighed and got out of my view, sitting now beside me. I propped myself up on one of my elbows to be able to look at him. He turned then around to meet my gaze and something serious was glancing in his eyes.

»Hikari. I know I can't promise you that this won't happen at all. But if you don't try it, you won't get to know it. And isn't it you, who says that you should get back up if you fall down? You are not that kind of a person, who runs away from problems. And I know that you know it as well.« The smile returned on his lips, showing me that he indeed believed that I was strong enough to endure this situation. Whatever kind of a situation this might develop itself in. I sighed - once again today - and looked shortly down at my blanket before I met the brown eyes again. He was right. I had never run away from my problems and I wouldn't start with it now. I gazed at him, my smile returning as well, though it wasn't as bright as his.

»How does it come that you are always right?«, I said to ease the situation a bit. I was done with this topic - at least for now. I gained a delighted laugh for this.

»Because I am older, I assume. Now, lay down and get some rest. You will need it tomorrow for your actual first college day.« I nodded to this and crawled backward my bed up, getting underneath my covers. I didn't bother myself in changing myself in some sleeping clothes after I was comfortable with those I was wearing. I snuggled into my pillow. The dark haired male knelt beside my bed to be at my height.

»Good night, Hikari. Sleep well.«, he whispered.

»Good night. See you tomorrow, then.« He nodded and rose up but before he could even turn around to leave I leaned myself up to look better at the tall person in front of me. »Oh. Before I forget. Thank you for your nice words. They helped me a lot.« He replied my offered smile and a soft expression was able to be seen on his face.

»No problem. But now you should go to sleep. Good night.« I dropped myself back onto my pillow, after hearing his words and closed my eyes in an attempt to go to sleep. A yawn escaped my lips and I felt how I got slowly tired.

»Good night, Tadashi.«

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 3 - Meeting Baymax

 

~ Authorial Narrator's PoV ~

The building was silent when no one was being inside. Quietly he followed the long hallway to reach the stairs, which would lead him to the second floor. His footsteps echoed on the hard floor. He was glad that no one was being with him here. As he reached the stairs he walked them quickly up, turning left following the way ahead until he came to a very familiar door. Carefully he opened it, entering the room only to find it empty. Of course, it was empty, who should have been here? He stepped deeper inside and went to the only desk within this chamber and took his seat on the chair. He bowed himself down, reaching out for his pants pocket and pulled a USB flash drive out just to plug it into the data processor. He pushed then the button to turn it on and as soon as the computer has booted up a window opened and showed that it was downloading a file. Only seconds passed until the download was completed and he pulled immediately the drive back out, turning the machine off. But instead of getting up of the chair he stared holes into the screen. He had small doubts if this what he was doing was right. But on the other hand, he didn't have a choice. So he stood up, placing the chair where it had stood before and left the room without looking back. Not even once. Fast he walked out of the building, getting into his car and drove away. Pushing all doubts way back in the deepest part of his consciousness.


~ Hiro's PoV ~

I slammed the door shut as soon as I have arrived in my room. Luckily Aunt Cass was being busy with her customers so she didn't even notice that I came home. I threw my backpack into the next corner and dropped myself upon my mattress, my face digging itself into the pillow.

»I detect that your neurotransmitter values are high and that your heartbeat is increasing steadily. My diagnosis: Anger. What is the matter of your distress?« The sudden voice startled me and I winced, turning around and glaring at my big, white robot friend.

»You are still activated?« I was confused. Haven't I turned him off?

»You haven't deactivated me this morning. See.« The white belly of my friend turned to a screen and a certain video got played.

[The camera turned and there was a boy with black messy hair, running towards a backpack on the floor picking it up in the same movement ere the person turned around to run back to the door. The camera was following him.

»I only can deactivate myself if you say "I'm satisfied with my care".« Obviously, this robotic voice belonged to Baymax who was facing now the boy standing at the door. But instead of deactivating he just nodded and waved off. Like he was not paying any attention.

»Yeah, yeah. Sure, buddy. See you later!« And after these words, he disappeared and closed the door. The cameras were facing for a few seconds the painted wood ere the sight got black.]

The video blanked out as soon as it was done and the screen on my friend's belly disappeared.

»Now. What is the matter of your distress, Hiro?« He placed his head a bit to his left side while watching me, the cameras blinking a few times. I sat upright on my mattress, looking at Baymax for a little while before I got to what he was referring to. A shadow darkened my features as I was thinking about it.

»I don't want to talk about it.« I looked away from Baymax, trying to avoid eye contact. Although I knew that he didn't need any eye contact to know what I was feeling.

»But talking about it might help to get rid of your distress. I can detect that your neurotransmitter value is increasing as well.« I rolled my eyes in annoyance. What of 'I don't want to talk about it' was so difficult to understand? I dropped myself back upon the mattress and turned my back on my friend, being fully aware that it was not Baymax's fault that I was that angry but I couldn't help my feelings. I would apologize later. I stared at my desk, my eyebrows pulled tightly together while I was digging myself in my anger, feeling how the blood in every vein of my body started to boil. I was so busy thinking about it that I didn't pay attention to Baymax anymore. I even forgot that he was in the room at all. All that mattered was the emotion, which I was experiencing at the moment. That's why I jumped and yelped when I felt a poke in my abdomen. I looked up at my friend, my eyes wide and my chest moving quickly because of my faster breath.

»Baymax! You scared me!«, I finally said, still glaring at the robot beside me.

»You still haven't told me why you are being so distressed and angry.« He blinked a few times, still waiting for an answer. I just pulled a brow up but groaned then in frustration, letting my body fall down. I haven't even noticed that I have pushed myself up.

»Okay. If you aren't going to let me be then I'm not having a choice.« I pulled a deep breath before I started talking. I didn't want to sound too angry. Not that Baymax got the glorious idea with trying and help me in this situation. I just didn't want it. »We have a new student at the college and she is visiting my classes. That's the reason. Are you satisfied now?« I was looking up at the ceiling while talking but turned my head a bit so that the white giant got into my sight. There was silence between us for a little moment and I already thought he wouldn't ask more about it. But of course, he would.

»But...I don't understand. How can this cause you to get angry? Isn't it...-« He didn't get any further...

»That is not the point! She is just making me angry! That's all!« My voice had gotten a little bit louder and I crossed my arms in front of my chest, taking my eyes away from my friend's appearance. I just have decided that talking to the ceiling was much more pleasant. No judging eyes. Though I wasn't sure if Baymax was even able to have a judging expression...

»But a person alone can't make someone angry. What is the reason why you are having those feelings towards her?« I sighed. This was the question I didn't know an answer to. It wasn't like I wouldn't ask it myself but I just didn't get it. This feeling was something completely new to me. How shall I explain this then to a robot nurse? »It might help to explain when you have started to feel this kind of emotion. Maybe you will find the answer then.« I sighed again but this time way deeper. He just couldn't let go from it. I concentrated on a spot at the ceiling, just if it would help me to find the right words.

»Fine. In the beginning, everything was...okay. A girl of my age. What was the deal? But when she started to tell something about herself it kind of started. First of all. She's thirteen. Still, nothing serious about that but when she told us that she had been a trainee at SnowElectronic Industries for a while before she came to SFIT I was kind of surprised. She must have graduated in a much younger age than I have and then she was working at SnowElectronic Industries? One of the leading companies? There I felt that burning feeling for the first time for real. And this all the time when I have laid my eyes upon her. And during the lesson, it didn't get any better! She knew every single answer to every single question. I mean...who is she that she can act like that?« After talking for a while I couldn't stop the words, which were forming themselves by their own and got spilled out of my mouth. I didn't have any control over them and ere I could notice it I just have told my counterpart the whole story. After I was done I was breathing a little heavier. An effect, which got caused because of the lack of breathing from my side of the conversation. Again silence was resting between us before someone dared to break it.

»I have found a conclusion. Envy.« His voice filled suddenly the air but this wasn't the reason why I turned my head abruptly towards him. The word he had picked was fault.

»Envy? Are you serious? I am not envious because of her!« My mind was strictly against this explanation. Me and envious? Never. I just couldn't stand it how she was pushing herself into the spotlight, showing off what she was capable of. But there was a little voice in the back of my head, asking me a question. A question which the rest of my being rejected immediately.

»It's the only explanation for it. All the evidence are leading to this only solution.«

»Then the evidence is wrong. I'm surely not envious because of her.« I pushed myself up from my bed, placing my feet upon the floor and got up. Then I walked towards the door. My stomach had started to grumble and I was sure that Aunt Cass was preparing our meal for this evening. I opened the door up and looked over my shoulder at Baymax being as serious as possible. »And this is my last word to this.« I turned around and shut the door behind me. It was just not possible. Envious. But the little voice in my head got slowly louder with each step, fighting the rest of the voices. And though it was weak against the rest I couldn't help than to hear it now and then. 'And what if I was?'


~ Hikari's PoV ~

»Hikari.« I heard a voice deep in my sleep. Silent and just like a whisper in my mind. »Hikari. Hey Hikari, you need to get up. Otherwise, you will be late.« A loud knock woke me immediately up, shrieking me out of my sleep. I sat upright, looking at the door in front of me before another knock filled the silence.

»Hikari! It's time to get up! Breakfast is almost ready!« Mary's voice came through the wood of the door and before I could even respond she walked away again, probably back to the kitchen to have an eye upon her stove. I calmed my breath and shut shortly my eyes, trying to get my heartbeat to a normal level again. I took a deep breath as I noticed that my body was being alright again.

»I told you that you would be late if you stay in bed for much longer.« The sudden voice surprised me and I yelped, falling off from my bed. I looked up, just to see a pair of guilty eyes in my sight. »I'm sorry...«

»Tadashi! What have I told you about scaring me?« I sat up, rubbing the back of my head. Luckily I knew how to fall correctly, so it didn't hurt that much.

»I know, I know. Never talk out of the sudden, when you are not aware of that I'm here. Sorry. I really didn't want to make you fall.« If he could have looked even more guilty, he was doing it now. I sighed but smiled then at him. I knew that he didn't do it with purpose.

»It's okay. At least I am fully awake now.« I chuckled at this, seeing that the male's features lightened up as well.

»How are you feeling?« His expression and voice softened and I knew what he was referring to. My last day and how bad I have felt. My face darkened a bit but I didn't want to ruin the mood. Maybe Tadashi was right and this had really been a one-time-encounter?

»I'm...okay. I suppose? Thinking about it still hurts but I realized that you were right. I mean...how shall someone know my secret if I haven't told someone? Or talked to a ghost in public? They can't. So this person is just some jerk who just picked the wrong word. Like you have said.« I stood up, noticing that I wasn't wearing my pajamas like I have thought I would and furrowed my brow because of that. Why was I...Oh right! After telling Tadashi the story about my day I just have gone to bed without changing. Now I remembered. I looked up from my body and met the gaze of the young man, sitting on my bed. »I'll be right back!« And with that, I disappeared into my walk-in-closet. Quickly I took my clothes off to put on a fresh pair of black jeans, a white top with some purple and blue in it and a light black jacket. Then I walked out again, grabbing my brush, starting with brushing my hair. When I was done I nodded being satisfied with myself ere I turned around.

»Wow. That was like...ten minutes. When I'm thinking about how long my aunt always took, this was amazingly fast.« Tadashi stated looking at me. I smiled at him. Not only because this was kind of a compliment but also because he said something about his family. I didn't know anything about him. I parted my lips to ask something referring his statement but he cut in between.

»Before you are going to ask. I remember you about the conversation we had a while ago. I don't want you to feel like doing something for me and in the end, you just get yelled at. Or worse. It is enough that you know my name, isn't it?« Though his words were serious he didn't lose his smile and his voice was still soft and smooth. I knew what he was talking about. Before I have decided that he could stay with me I have told him that I have gotten into some trouble earlier because of some ghosts. Not that they had done it with purpose but after hearing their stories I just couldn't ignore it and don't help. I wanted that they would find their peace. So I contacted their families and friends, trying to help both sides. But mostly I just got yelled at for mentioning their beloved deceased ones. I know...it was actually a very stupid idea but I couldn't help it. I remembered my first conversation with Tadashi. And in the end, he had asked me, if he could stay with me. Immediately after his question, he promised me to never get me in the position to feel the urge to help him. All he wanted was some company, which could actually see and talk to him. I agreed to this and since then he was with me. I was glad about his company after it could get quite lonely within this big house and something like 'friends' was something I didn't have. And though I would love to hear more about him I never asked. Because I didn't want to make it more difficult for him as it must already be. And I think it was the same with him. I sighed.

»I know, I know. Sorry.« I looked at my counterpart, having an apologizing expression on my face. The male just smiled and waved off.

»It's not a big deal. And I just wanted to remember you, that I only do this for you.« The corners of my lips got pulled up and I nodded.

»Yes, I know.« It was silent for a little while before a thought came into my mind. Mary had prepared breakfast and I needed to go to college. I walked then over to my door, unlocking it but ere I opened it I turned around again, looking at the black-haired young man. »Are you coming with me? I'm not sure if Mary has the time to have some breakfast now but either way, I would enjoy your company. Even if we can't talk directly.« The facial expression of him lightened up hearing my words.

»I'd love to!« I laughed and together we left my bedroom. I walked the stairs down, being followed by Tadashi but stopped when I reached the floor. I could hear voices and the noise of silverware scratching a plate. My brow furrowed. Could it be...?

»It seems we are not alone.« I heard the male beside me say to which I nodded, keeping my eyes at the hallway towards the dining room. I walked along the path until I arrived, looking inside. I saw a man with black-graying hair sitting at the table and as he looked up the same eye color as mine met my gaze. A little smile appeared on his face.

»Good morning, sweety. I hope you slept well?« He folded the newspaper he had currently been reading and placed it aside, waiting for me to come closer. Quickly I exchanged a glare with Tadashi, so quick that the older one didn't notice. But this was enough for my friend to understand:

Stay with me.

I approached the table, taking my seat at the man's right side, returning his smile.

»Good morning, Dad. I didn't expect you to be at home after there happened much in the lab...« I tried not to sound too disappointed and kept the smile on my lips. No need to make my father feel bad.

»Ah, yes. I'm sorry about that. I actually wanted to attend dinner last night but it got late. How was your first college day?« He pulled one of his eyebrows up, having an expectant expression on his face. I let the day rush through my mind and attempting to avoid the frown when I thought about my incident with a certain boy the day before.

»It was...great. And so much fun. I really can't wait to see what will come next.« I grinned but I felt that it wasn't that easy like usual. Though I was really excited about today. My father nodded to this, the smile on his lips faltered a bit. There was silence between us and I put my attention to my breakfast. A bowl with my most favorite cereal. The sound of my food crunching while chewing filled the air until the older one from us three dared to break it.

»Are you sure that you want to continue attending college? I remember very well how your school years were and how glad you have been to finally end it.« I looked up at him when I heard his voice and swallowed the remaining food in my mouth. Did he really need to come with this topic again? I knew that he was concerned about me, after all, I hadn't been very glad during my school years. But he never knew why I got bullied nor why I didn't want to attend occasions from school. I sighed.

»Dad...we had this discussion already. It's not the same as during elementary and high school. The students there are mature. So...no need to worry. I'll be fine.« I smiled at him. He didn't need to know that there was someone, who ripped open some old wounds already. Now it was on him to sigh and he rubbed his eyes with his index finger and thumb of one hand. »And anyways. I know how I can defend myself. I'm a big girl now.« That I was able to defend myself was no lie. Since I was five years old I was attending Kung Fu classes. Not that I had been in need of some fighting skills at that age but I had some major problems with concentrating. There were too many thoughts in my mind, which caused me some great headaches. And those have caused some great mood swings. I had been at many doctors but they couldn't find the result first but after a while, one noticed that I had a quite high intelligence and that my brain couldn't process all the information I gathered. So they were all running through my conscious, one after another and sometimes it felt like they would run at the same time. This doctor made the suggestion to my father that he should send me to a Kung Fu class after this would sort the things in my mind and help me to find my inner balance. And since I was attending this it had gotten better. My father looked at me with his dark eyes and a small smile appeared on his face.

»I know. I'm just...I really don't want that you have to go through this again. I'm sorry.« I smiled at him and waved off.

»It's alright, Dad. I know that you are worrying and it's normal. You are my father.« I rose up from my chair and planted a kiss upon his cheek. »But I need to get going. Otherwise, I will miss my class. See you later.« And with those words, I turned around from him and left the dining room. But not without looking at Tadashi, gesturing him to follow me.


~ Hiro's PoV ~

I was sitting recently in the car, watching how trees, buildings, and people were rushing by. Luckily this morning hadn't been that worse than the one yesterday. I got up on time, could even have some breakfast and made sure that I didn't forget my lunch today. I even took something for Fred with me, after he had helped me out in my misery yesterday. And I had a certain red box with me, which was resting on the seat beside me, my hand being on the top of it. After all, I still wanted to test that file on Baymax.

»Thanks a lot for giving me a lift, Aunt Cass.« I turned my gaze to look at the woman in the front. Immediately her eyes appeared in the driving mirror, indicating that she was smiling at me.

»It's no big deal, Hiro. I couldn't let you walk with Baymax's charger through the city. After all his charger is quite heavy. And anyways. I still need to do some shopping, so I don't mind really.« For a brief moment, she kept on looking at me before she looked back to the front to watch the traffic carefully and to guide us through it. I turned my vision back to the window to watch the people pass by as I noticed that we have already arrived. My aunt drove to a free parking space and turned the engine off, turning around to me.

»Do you need some help with carrying him? I wouldn't mind to lend you a hand, sweety.«, she offered but I shook my head and kept my smile on my lips.

»No, no, don't worry. I think I'll manage it to carry him over to my lab. And if he should get too heavy I'll just call him out and he will carry his charger by his own. Since he is able to carry five hundred pounds it shouldn't be a big deal for him.« Now it was on me to offer her a kind smile and unlocked the belt from my seat, turning to open the door of the car.

»Alright. See you later, I assume. Have much fun!« I heard her say, after I was already out of the car, pulling Baymax now out of the vehicle.

»Sure. Until later, Aunt Cass!« I placed the red box onto the ground and closed the door, waving my aunt as she started to drive out of the parking lot only to continue her way, probably towards the supermarket. I looked down at the charger, sighing a little. »Alright, buddy. Let's get you into my lab.« I bent down, getting hold of the red thing and lifted it up. Sure, I could have walked with Baymax the entire way to my college but I really didn't feel like talking to him now. I was sure that he would still keep up with the conversation we had the night before and after I was quite in a good mood – at least at the moment – I didn't want to bubble that anger up again. I turned around to start my walk towards the labs when I heard a voice.

»Hey, Hiro! Wait up a second!« I looked over my shoulder only to see a certain friend with a green shirt approaching me. I smiled brightly.

»Hey Wasabi! Didn't expect to see you already here.« I turned around to face him and as my friend arrived I offered him the grin I was already having on my lips. Which he returned.

»I got an idea last night on my project and after I'm having a free period now I thought I should try it right away.« His gaze dropped behind me to a certain red item. »Oh! You remembered taking Baymax with?« He looked back at me. I responded with a nod.

»Yeah, I had some time this morning to get everything ready without forgetting stuff. So I can finally try this file on him this afternoon.« I pulled my shoulders into a soft shrug.

»Shall I lend you a hand? His charging box looks heavy with him inside...« The brow of the taller man furrowed while his eyes were scanning the box once again. I turned around to look at it as well. I could indeed need some help and Wasabi was on his way to the labs anyways so...

»Sure! Not that I couldn't handle it on my own, though.« One corner of my lips got pulled up into a grin, while the end of one eyebrow rose a little. Both actions caused my opposite to shake his head while laughing silently to himself.

»Of course. Come. Let's get going.« And with those words, he grabbed one side of the charger, while I was getting a hold on the other one and together we made our way towards the labs.


I was on my way to the building in which Professor James would have her lecture. And I really tried not to be late after she told us yesterday that the test – which I thought was due the last lesson – would be written today. And I didn't want to appear completely stressed out only to waste some precious moments to calm myself down so that I could focus. I entered the edifice, stepping onto the hallway, which would lead me directly to my destination. The classroom. I entered and looked directly for a seat. After Professor James' wasn't shaped like Professor Raven's hall, which meant that the tables were standing on stairs, I had to sit quite in the front to see properly. I decided then to sit in the second row, pulling my chair back to take my seat and took afterward my pencil case out of my backpack. I didn't put some effort into getting my books after we would be writing a test anyways. More footsteps entered the classroom, most of them staying in the back, while I heard some voices chatting with each other. Even in college, it was the same. Everyone tried to stay in the back to not get the teacher's attention. I had to grin to myself at this thought. This lasted until I heard some footsteps coming closer to me and on cue, I was looking up from my notes – which I had carried in my jacket pocket and got out earlier to learn a little bit before this lecture would start – and regretted it. My eyes met the ones of a certain girl around my age. Her eyes were wide while she was looking at me and just right after our gazes met this disturbing burning feeling started to form itself inside of me. Though – if I was honest – I had to admit that she was pretty with her long, black lashes, which were framing her big dark orbs and the pale complexion of her skin was a great contrast, which intensified the color of her black hair and eyes and not to forget the red color of her...-

Wait. What was I thinking about? I couldn't stand this girl! I shouldn't be looking at her like that! Immediately, after this thought had rushed through my mind, I turned myself away, looking out of the window, concentrating on this burning sensation within myself. I pretended that she wasn't here until I heard her footsteps leaving me and as I looked straight again I saw that she was sitting now in the front at the end of the table so that she wasn't sitting right in front of me. I breathed out, not have been aware of the fact that I had kept it and I felt how my body relaxed. As long as I was not looking at her I could keep this annoying feeling of anger at bay so that I could focus right. I really didn't want that I failed this test only because of her presence and what it caused to me. Short after this incident, the noise of Professor James' high heels filled the air and she rushed to the front but not without placing a little heap of papers, face down on each table.

»Okay, class.«, she called out and turned around to us after she had faced the smart board at the wall. She was having a stern expression on her face, which indicated that something important would follow and that she wanted that everyone was listening. »Please pass the sheets on your table on. And keep the face down until I say you can look.« I got a paper handed over and placed it right in front of me, taking my pen out while we were all waiting to finally start the test. »Who is done ere the time is over can leave the classroom. But please. Stay quiet! Alright. Without any further hesitation. Start.« And with that, we all turned our sheet around starting working.

Some time has passed since we have started writing and it was silent except for the noise of pens scratching the papers and the ticking of the clock above the smart board. I was blocking everything out, while I was writing with a fast-moving pen the answers to the equations. This lasted until I heard a chair drawing back, leaving a terrible noise in the air and then some tiny steps. First I tried to ignore the urge to look up and check who it was and why this noise has disturbed my concentration. In the end, the curiosity won and as I looked up I saw Hikari standing at the desk of Professor James, while the older female was writing something on the smart board. As she was done, the woman was making her way back to her seat. But the black-haired girl didn't move at all. Her eyes seemed to be darted upon the board in front of her. I pulled my eyes from her and glared at the smart board by myself and read what was written on it.

'Professor Raven's lecture will be advanced to start right after this lesson.'

I blinked. So I had a free afternoon then? Was probably better after I wanted to get some work done, including upgrading Baymax. I noticed a movement and looked back to the teacher's desk and saw how Hikari handed the woman her sheet over. Did that mean...The girl walked passed me, heading the door only to leave this room shortly after. I felt anger boiling up inside of me, while I was glaring at the now closed door. How was it possible that she...- No. Now was not the time for letting my emotions get the better of me. Focus Hiro! You need to finish this test! I pulled my glare away from the door and looked back at the almost full paper to finish my test.


Morning has passed fast due to the fact that we have written a test in Professor Raven's lesson as well. Luckily I could focus quite well on the questions, which had gotten asked. I didn't even notice Hikari leaving. Now I was on my way to reach the cafeteria to have some lunch before we would all head back to the lab or the next lecture. Unconsciously I scanned the area after arriving my destination before I walked up to the small group of people sitting at the round table near a large window.

»Hey, guys. What's up?«, I asked them as soon as I have taken my seat between Fred and Wasabi.

»Nothing in particular. How was your morning?« Honey took a sip from her tea, after questioning me.

»Way better than yesterday. That's for sure!«, I replied, having a grin on my lips. »Professor Raven has advanced his lecture today, so that means I'm having the complete afternoon to spend in my lab.« I unwrapped my lunch and took a bite from my sandwich. While chewing I placed a paper bag in front of Fred, who was looking puzzled at me, stopping with chewing.

»What is that for?«

»This is a 'Thank-you-for-helping-me-out-yesterday-doughnut'.« For a brief moment, he kept his confused expression ere a big grin spread over his entire face.

»Why thank you! You're the best, man!« He punched my shoulder, causing me to rub the place where his fist had met my arm.

»No big deal.« I took another bite of my food. There was silence while everyone was enjoying their lunch. The more surprised I was when I suddenly heard Fred speaking up.

»Was there some further incident with Snow White?« My eyes met his, after hearing his words, my brow furrowing at his question. I swallowed the remaining food before I dared to ask.

»What do you mean? And who is Snow White? Did I miss something?« I looked one time around at the others, hoping they knew what Fred was talking about. But they were clueless as I was.

»Yeah, what are you talking about?«, GoGo asked and her eyes met him as well, a deadly glare was in them. She clearly wasn't in the mood for our friend's riddle games.

»Oh come on, guys! Don't tell me you don't get the hint!« The blond male only exclaimed, looking frustrated at us as we didn't respond. He sighed deeply. »Okay, I'll explain.« He cleared his throat before speaking up, leaning closer to us all. »'Skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood and hair as black as ebony.'« He leaned back at the backrest of his chair, crossing his arms while he was looking at each one of us until he reached me while having a confident grin on his lips. As his blue eyes met my brown ones it hit me. Just today I had this sort of combination of words in my own mind. I groaned, looking pleadingly at him.

»Please don't tell me you nicknamed her...!«

»Who are you both talking about?«, Wasabi cut in but I didn't pay any attention to him, not breaking the eye contact with the comic fan.

»Well...you haven't told us her name yesterday and this was the first thought, which came into my mind when I saw her. You can't deny that she does look like Snow White in the fairy tale.«

»Does anyone even listen to me?« I heard the dark-skinned male beside me say but I didn't look at him. My eyes were still darted at Fred beside me.

»Yeah, kind of...but this is not the point! Giving someone a nickname means being friends with them. And we are no friends.«

»Could it be that you both are talking about the new girl in your class, Hiro?« I looked at GoGo, seeing that she had clearly enough about the little talk between Fred and me. I sighed then, nodding to her question.

»Yes, we are. And her name is Hikari and not Snow White.« At my last word I looked to my right, where the blond was sitting, telling him with my glare that I wasn't approving him calling the girl I didn't like Snow White. But he shrugged it only off.

»And if. I still think that Snow White is fitting very well.« I rolled my eyes hearing this. I knew that there was no arguing with Fred about this topic so I just dropped it.

»Oh! Look how late it already is! I have to get to my next lecture.« Honey, who had been quiet the entire talk, got up from her chair, grabbing her purse, looking down at us. The others agreed and also I picked my backpack up, shouldering it. Not that I was in a hurry, but I still wanted to get started. Especially since I was curious if the new file I have made was working on Baymax.

»I think I will head to the lab now. Will I see you guys later?« They all nodded in agreement and after we said our goodbyes we left in different directions. Since it was shorter for me to walk through the other door of the cafeteria I parted now from my friends. As I walked through the door I passed some other students while I was heading the way to reach the labs.


~ Hikari's PoV ~

The morning was quickly over. Professor James had crossed my way and after she noticed who I was she explained to me that she was my professor and that we would be going to write a test. She had let the decision to me, if I would want to join the test or if I would rather leave it. But therefore I would have to make a presentation at some point of the semester and honestly. I preferred it to write a test now than to speak in front of a class in which I didn't know a face. So the decision was easily made. The morning would have been a nice one if there hadn't been a small incident with Hiro. Okay, I have to admit...it was my own fault. I didn't know what brought me to it but I wanted to know if he was really angry for some reason at me or if he only had a bad day. Well...after the glare, he had shot me I knew that it had not only been a bad day, so I just walked to the front and tried to get as much space between him and me as possible. And since then time just flew passed me.

Now I was currently waiting for Mary to arrive with the rest of my stuff. I have written to her, that I had a free afternoon and that I wanted to get started to order my lab so that I could finally continue with my invention. It was almost lunchtime but I thought that I could eat later and since I wasn't hungry at the moment I wanted to get some stuff done. The sound of a klaxon dragged me out of my thoughts and when I looked up I saw Mary getting out of the car, turning around to get my things out of it as well. I quickly approached her.

»Hi, Mary. Thank you very much for bringing me my stuff.«, I said as soon as I was close enough. My nanny turned around and offered me a kind smile.

»It's no problem for me, honey. Shall I help you with carrying your stuff inside? Otherwise, you would have to walk a few times more...« I looked at the tower of boxes in front of me. There were three larger cartons piled up. I bit my lip. A little help wouldn't be bad. I gazed up at my nanny, smiling thankfully at her.

»Sure. Thanks!« I grabbed the first box, turning around towards the building. I looked at the older woman behind me. »Follow me.« And with that, I started walking, following the staircase entering the building. I kept the door open with my back so that Mary could enter as well. »Come, this way.«, I said to her when I saw her considering which way we needed to go and took the lead. Luckily the door to the big lab was open so that it was easy to walk in.

»Wow...«, I heard Mary say as we stepped a foot into the room. It wasn't that crowded like it had been yesterday but a few people were inside, working on their inventions. There were things flying around, rolling around or connecting other materials with each other. She turned around to me, having a big grin on her lips. »I knew that this place would be the right one for my Hikari. I am so glad that you are finally visiting this college.« I chuckled slightly, returning the wide grin she was offering me. Seeing her being so excited about me going to this place made me feel like it was the right decision. I knew that the brunette only wanted the best for me.

»Let me show you my own lab.«, I responded to her, still having the smile on my lips. We walked across the room to walk out of it only to reach the hallway in which my lab was being at. I walked directly to it, placing the box down to open the door. I have unlocked it earlier before Mary had arrived. I picked the box back up and walked inside only to place the box down again, pushing it against the next wall. I saw my nanny doing the same before she took a closer look at this room.

»You have a big lab for your own. I can't wait to see how it will look like when you are done with unpacking your stuff. Luckily you have the most important things like a shelf and a desk already. I'm going to get you an office chair later so that you can sit at your desk.« She turned around to me, still having this smile on her face. I returned it before I walked back to the door, leaving the room. This time I left the door open. Quickly we exited the building to reach the car and the last box. I turned around to my nanny.

»I can handle the last box. So you don't have to walk through the building only to search your way back out again. I will see you later for dinner. And thanks again, Mary.« The female approached me, pulling me into her arms to give me a tight hug.

»No problem, Hikari. I will see you later then.« And with that, she turned around and got into her car. But she didn't drive away without waving me goodbye. I watched how the car disappeared then in the distance. I looked down at the remaining box, sighing a little. I hoped that I didn't overestimate myself. Oh well...there was no backing away now. I picked the carton up, shifting my balance on both feet, trying not to lose it and turned then around, glaring at the stairs. Alright. My first challenge. If I would make it upstairs without tumbling down, then I would manage the whole way to my lab. How difficult could it be? Carefully I made the first step onto the first stair, pushing myself up. For a little moment I thought that I would fall backwards down but luckily I could steady myself and walked the following stairs quickly up to not get into the situation to fall down. When I arrived at the door I sighed in relief, placing the box for a moment on the ground, turning around to see how far I've got. It was not much but at least I wouldn't fall a staircase down and break my neck. I took a deep breath before I picked the item back up and entered then the building, hoping to not bump into someone. Luck was on my side this time and I could follow the hallway without further incidents and I even managed to get into the big lab, where a few more students were inside now. One of them even held the door open so that I could leave this room again. I grinned widely to myself. It really seemed that I would make it safely to my labor. I only needed to pass this door and I would be...-

»Sorry! Out of the way!« A guy on a skateboard rushed passed me, causing me to make a few little steps aside to not get hit by him. Unfortunately, I lost completely my balance and in an attempt to keep it I made a half turn. But there was no way to avoid falling and I yelp before crashing to the ground, the box landing upon me, all of the things, which had been inside of it tumbled out over me. After the moment of shock, I leaned up upon one of my elbows, opening my eyes, which I had pinched tightly together, rubbing the backside of my head with my free hand.

»Ow...that hurt. This idiot...«, I said more to myself and looked then at the mess around me, sighing deeply. »Great. And now I am allowed to pack everything up again. I do hope for this guy that nothing got damaged.« Some things of my stuff, rolled down from my body, when I was leaning a little bit more up, checking the area to see how far my belongings have gone. I sighed and was about to push myself up from the floor when I heard a squeaking noise. It sounded like...vinyl rubbing against itself...

»Hello, I'm Baymax. Your personal healthcare companion.« I looked up after hearing this voice and met the gaze of a giant white robot. A giant white robot. What? »I heard a sound of distress. On a scale from one to ten, how would you rate your pain?« I blinked several times as ten different colored smileys appeared on his big, white belly, every one of them having a different facial expression. I furrowed my brow in confusion and looked then up at the robot, still not sure what he really wanted from me.

»Uhm...one?«, I answered after I noticed that he – this robot sounded like a he to me – was waiting for an answer.

»I'll scan you now. Scan complete. You have scraped your right arm, probably caused due to a fall. And you are seeming to be quite confused after your transmitter values show a high amount of brain activity.« I glared up at him, while he explained what was wrong with me. And he was right, I was indeed confused and after mentioning I felt a slight burning on my right underarm, on which I was resting.

»Uhm...sure. Thanks, Baymax was it, corr...- Hey! What are you doing?« I saw how Baymax was bowing down, picking me up just to place me upon my feet, making sure that I wouldn't fall back down again.

»Starting with my treatment. Now. Please pull your right sleeve up so that I can put some antibacterial spray on your scraped arm.« I did like he said and pulled the sleeve of my black jacket up so that he could start with his treatment. He held one of his index fingers out and moved it directly over the spot, where I had my little injury, starting with spraying the potion on. While he was busy with doing so I took a closer look. I liked his design. It was nothing overrated and kept very simple. Actually, his whole appearance gave me the urge to just hug this giant robot. I had never seen anything as adorable as him before. »Would you want me to help you to pick your things up? Might this help your distress?« He tilted his little head a bit to the side, blinking as his cameras must adjusting themselves. I smiled thankfully.

»This would be great. Thanks a lot.« I pushed the sleeve back down after the robot was done with treating my wound and together we started to place everything back into the box. And though he wasn't quite fast in walking it went faster than if I had done it all by myself. I closed the box back up and turned then around to the robot, grinning widely at him.

»Your neurotransmitter values are showing a higher amount of endorphins. Seems the treatment is working.«

»Yes, it does. I know I already said it but thank you, Baymax. The one who has created you must be a very kind and smart person. Who else would get the idea of building a healthcare robot?« I showed him my most friendly smile.

»My treatment also includes that you are arriving your destination safely. So...« The robot bowed once again down to pick the box with my stuff up before he looked back at me. »...where do you want to have this box placed?«

»In my lab. But honestly, I can do it on my own. It isn't far away anymore. Actually, it is behind the next door.« I glared at the door, which belonged to my lab and before I could prevent it I heard this squeaking noise again, seeing how Baymax was heading my labor. At the sight how he walked I had to chuckle. I was about to follow him quickly when I heard a voice behind me.

»Baymax!« Not only the robot turned at the mention of his name, but also I did. And I looked straight into the face of the one person I actually didn't want to meet this afternoon.


~ Hiro's PoV ~

My walk to the labs didn't take long. And since most of the students were having a lecture at the moment the way was quite empty. I passed the door to get into the building and as I followed the hallway I got almost hit by a guy on his skateboard. Luckily I jumped aside just in time to not get rolled over.

»Sorry, Hiro!«, I heard him calling after he had already arrived on the other side of the hallways. I think his name was David. I just shrugged my shoulders and continued my way, walking through the door, which would lead to the big lab. Fast I crossed the room to reach the other door. One of the short cuts I knew of this building to reach the other labors. It didn't take long and I was on the right hallway to reach my destination. I hesitated when I heard someone chuckling, stopping in my tracks. Not far away I saw Baymax being inflated, talking with a girl. A certain girl. The feeling of betrayal hit me hard in my chest and I walked quickly the way up to them, not wanting to watch this further.

»Baymax!«, I called out loud for my robot, he turning around in his tracks to walk...somewhere. And why was he carrying a box?

»Hiro.« The voice of him was steady, not showing any kind of surprise or something like that. Of course, he wouldn't, he was a robot. I quickly continued with walking towards them, stopping when I was at my friend's side. »What are you doing here?«

»I am doing what I was programmed for. Helping people, who are in need of it.«

»But why...her!« I signed with both hands towards Hikari, who was looking at me with first confused eyes but then something in them sparkled.

»Oh! I understand. So Hiro is the person who had created you, Baymax?« She turned around to the white giant beside us, tilting her head slightly to her left side. »Then I take my words about your creator back. I didn't know that a jerk like him could possibly create such a great robot.« At her last sentence, she glanced back at me, deadly eyes resting upon my features. I haven't heard her voice that sharp yet. Honestly...I thought that she wouldn't be even capable of doing so. Her appearance seemed to be so...innocent.

»I haven't created Baymax. My brother did.« I said in return, defiance kicking in. I didn't like it how she was talking about me.

»Well...then your brother is a much more generous and kind person than you are, Hiro Hamada!« Both of her hands were tightly balled to fists, resting beside her body. All in all her complete body was tensed and an angry glare was being in her eyes. I snorted about that and rolled my eyes. Though her words did their job and sting in my chest. I knew very well that my brother had been a very kind and generous person. But I wouldn't show her that her words had hurt. I opened my mouth to reply something to this when I got interrupted.

»I sense a quite high amount of anger in both of you. Shall I try and arbitrate your argument?« Baymax looked from me to Hikari only to look back at me.

»No, it's fine. I wanted to leave now anyway.« The girl turned around to him, taking the box out of his grasp. It seemed to be quite heavy after she immediately adjusted her balance while trying not to fall down. »It isn't that far away anymore. So, thanks again for your help, Baymax.« She smiled at him, showing her perfect row of white teeth. I would lie if I said that this wouldn't affect me and for a short moment my anger was forgotten. I just glared at her for a break of a minute until she turned away and disappeared behind the next door.

»Your neurotransmitter values are changing. Your anger seemed to have disappeared immediately. Shall I check and see what this sudden change of emotion has caused to prevent a situation like this in the future?« Baymax's voice pulled me back into reality and my head snapped towards him, glaring at him. I needed a few seconds to get what he was referring to.

»What? No, you don't need to. I'm just glad that she is gone now.« I placed my right hand upon his back, starting to push him towards my lab. »And anyway, I want to finally test this new file I have written for your healthcare chip.« I shut the door as soon as we have entered the room. I left him in the middle of the lab, walking over to my desk and turned the computer on. While it booted up I was taking a sip out of my water bottle.

»Hiro? Is Hikari the girl you have told me yesterday about?« As I heard his question I turned around on my office chair, glaring at him.

»Uhm...yes. She is the new girl in my classes.«, I just answered, turning back around to check if my computer system was ready. As it was I started to open the file where I had placed the coding for the robot.

»But...all of your explanations don't fit to what I have experienced now. As I have seen today Hikari is everything else than...-« I didn't even let him speak further

»Well...then your scan is wrong.« I clearly didn't want to talk about this now and turned back around to my screen, seeing that the system was ready.

»I checked the information from yesterday and compared it to those from today. My diagnosis is still the same. Envy.« I sighed deeply before I turned around to face my friend.

»How many times shall I tell it to you? I am not envious, I was not envious and I will never be envious. And before you can just think to say something against it: I am satisfied with my care.« And before he could say something he turned around and walked towards his charger, deflating. I sighed in relief. I clearly didn't want to hear his explanation for why I was feeling so strange around Hikari. I rose up from my chair and walked over where Baymax was, taking his healthcare chip out of his base. Then I walked back to my desk, plugging the chip into my computer and started working.

Chapter Text

Chapter 4 - The New Project

 

~Hikari's PoV~

I was in my labor, sitting on my new office chair while I was working at my computer. The morning has passed quite fast today, just like the day before and now I was spending my lunch break in my lab, working on my own project. I know...normally I should be at the cafeteria, having some lunch with other people but...I didn't know any. Or better...I didn't know anyone closer to sit with them together while having some lunch. And just join a group of persons would seem odd to me. And the only person I knew a little bit closer was the one I really couldn't stand. I would rather be alone than talking to him again. Since my last encounter with Hiro yesterday I didn't want to have any contact with him, except for those situations in which I didn't have another choice. Like our lectures together. But still, there I would try to sit as far away as possible from him. I looked up from my PC, turning my head to glare out of the window. Though it didn't bother me to be alone, I'd rather like to have at least sometimes someone to talk with. Maybe I should tell Tadashi later that it wouldn't bother me if he would come with me. At least for the break times. I sighed deeply and pushed myself away from my desk, getting up from my chair. I still had a box with some things left after I needed more space to put my stuff in. I already wrote to Mary and my father that I needed at least a little cupboard. I knelt down and opened the carton, searching for the item I was looking for. Finally, I found it and walked then back to my desk. My project didn't seem to be something big after it was actually only a chip. At least for the moment. But what that chip should be capable to do in future was something completely different. My goal was that with the help of this little item I could produce an electromagnetic field wherever I wanted so that this place could draw magnetic materials. And everything only because this chip could transform the electromagnetic pulses from the brain into an electromagnetic field in the environment. For this process it was necessary to be highly concentrated, otherwise, it wouldn't work. I had been successful with a prototype but now it was about the details. At the early state, I couldn't regulate the strength of the gravity and the amount of concentration, which was inquired was very high. I wanted to try to keep it as easy as possible so that I wouldn't get a headache while testing the things out. The item, I had been searching for, was a connecting cable for my chip so that I could link it with my computer. I had been writing some codes the last hour and wanted to see if they were compatible together. The file started to download as a sudden knock pulled me out of my thoughts. I turned around and glared at the door, furrowing my brow. Had I just imagined that noise? But as the knock returned I cleared my throat ere speaking up.

»Uhm...it's open.« I was confused. Who wanted to talk with me? It wasn't like I had talked to many people since I was here. A female head showed up between the gab of the door and the frame, having a friendly smile on her lips.

»Hi. I'm sorry for interrupting you. But you are in Professor James' class as well, aren't you?« I nodded as an answer. I think I remembered that face. Her name must be Jessica or something like that. »I just wanted to inform you that the test results from yesterday are available now. She always hangs them up on the door of her lecture room, if she hadn't been able to correct the exams on time for the next lessons. I thought you wanted to know yours.« My eyebrows rose up, being surprised about this answer. I didn't think that Professor James would have been that fast with correcting them.

»Sure. Thank you very much.« I smiled at her, which she only returned.

»No problem.« And with that, she was gone. For a moment I kept on sitting on my chair, glaring at the door. I didn't want to seem to be that desperate to know, how good or bad I have passed the test. But after a minute or two I rose up, picking my backpack up and walked towards the door, leaving the room and locked the door afterward up. I followed the hallway, passing Hiro's lab only to reach the door to the common labor, passing this room as well. As soon as I have left the building I took the direct way to the building where Professor James was holding her lectures. It didn't take long until I arrived at my destination and by the group of students and the noise, which were surrounding them, I knew that I wasn't the only one being curious. I stepped closer to them and as one of the fellow classmates laid his eyes on me, he went silent and tapped his friend on his shoulder. He was glaring at me as well and this went on until the whole crowd went silent, glaring at me.

»Uhm...« This was everything that came in my mind, while I was looking into their shocked faces. My brow furrowed at this sight. Why were they looking at me like this? Did I wear my shirt the wrong way around, or what? Slowly they stepped all aside, making some space in their middle until a small path towards the door was built. It seemed like they wanted me to follow it...Slowly and with my eyes not leaving the others I walked to the front, still not sure what this was all about. But as I stopped, seeing the sheet of paper in front of me I kind of got an idea why they were so silent. As I checked where my name was I found myself being one of the best three. To be certain I was on the top of the list, one point ahead of Hiro. Not long after this thought passed my mind I heard a voice in the back.

»Well...seemed you got kicked off from your throne, Hamada.« I turned around, looking for the source of this voice and looked directly into the face of Hiro. He only looked unbelieving at a taller guy, before he jerked forwards, knocking me almost over.

»What?« He stared at the list hanging at the door, before he turned around to me, a furious glare in his eyes.

»You had to take that away from me as well, didn't you? Why do you always have to push yourself into the spotlight? I don't get it!« His voice was sharp and his whole body was tensed because of rage. But instead of being afraid it made me kind of angry. What he said was wrong! Me and pushing myself into the spotlight? Stealing from him? This was ridiculous!

»I don't know what you are talking about! Taking things away from you? Do you hear yourself even talk? And I am clearly not pushing myself into the spotlight! It isn't my fault that I was better in that test than you! So don't blame this on me, Hamada!« I didn't notice that the volume of my voice increased with every word I was saying and that the group of people was surrounding us, not wanting to miss one bit from this fight.

»Oh, is it like that? Then how does it come that every professor is fussing over you? Clearly not because you keep yourself in the background!« Also, his voice increased and he made a step closer to me, his eyes never leaving mine. »You should be lucky that you are a girl, otherwise...-« I didn't let him talk further.

»Or what? Do you want to take me down in a fight? You know what, Hiro?« I was also making a step closer to him so that we were only an inch apart from each other, our noses almost touching. I glanced dangerously into his eyes, making sure that he would get every single word what I was going to say next. »I'd really like to see you try.« I have lowered my voice, what didn't mean that it wasn't as sharp as before. But instead of doing anything we just kept standing in the middle of the hallway, being surrounded by students, who probably really want to see us fight. That was until someone approached us with strong steps.

»What is going on here? Please clear this corridor and get to that point where you have to be next. Lectures are starting in a few minutes!« An unknown professor to me stopped in front of us and immediately everyone left in their needed direction. »You two please as well. Thank you.« Hiro and I looked up at the man with white hair and nodded then, turning around. Unfortunately, we needed to get to the same hall for our next lecture so we needed to walk next to each other. But this didn't mean that I started talking with him. Silence, which wasn't very comfortable was resting between us and neither one of us dared it to look at the other one, while we were walking along the way we had to use. Sometimes I felt his eyes resting upon me but every time I turned my head he looked back straight one, a stern and annoyed expression on his face. And the other way around it was the same. Finally we arrived at the door we needed to pass to attend our next lesson but unfortunately, it was locked. I sighed in annoyance and leaned my body against the hard wood while looking up at the ceiling. That meant that I would have to wait in front of the door and Hiro being the only person around at the moment. I quickly glanced at him, seeing that he was feeling the same way.

»Don't think I would start talking with you, only because you are the only person here at the moment.«, he said as he saw my look.

»No need to worry. I wasn't. And anyway, you just started a conversation, not me.« I know it was childish but I showed him my tongue before turning my head around again, crossing my arms in front of my chest.

»Oh yes. Very mature. Sticking your tongue out at someone. I really have to say that you are behaving like someone in your age.«, he only quoted what caused me to look back at him. I pulled one of my eyebrows up.

»Says the one who's acting like a five-year-old and is offended because he is not the best in a test.« I watched how Hiro was pushing his lips tightly together so that a thin line was built and though he wasn't saying anything else anymore he kept his glare lying on me, while I kept my eyes on him as well. I didn't know why but somehow I couldn't escape this tension and it seemed that the boy in front of me had the same problem. This glaring would have lasted much longer if not Professor Raven would have shown up to unlock the door to his hall and let us and the students, which have arrived already without us noticing it inside.


~Hiro's PoV~

I was currently copying what was written on the smart board behind Professor Raven while he was explaining some more stuff about our current topic. But I couldn't help myself and look now and then to a certain person one row in the front, who was copying the smart board as well. I still couldn't believe that she beat me in that test. And then she had got the nerve to tell me she wouldn't push herself into the spotlight? I mentally snorted at that. She could fool someone else but clearly not me. But of course I wouldn't have hit her...but she just made me so mad, so those words just slipped over my lips. I couldn't have hurt her, especially since she was smaller and seemed to be so fragile. I mean...I could have if I really wanted to but it wouldn't have been fair, plus I am not the person to injure innocent people and even though she annoyed me this wasn't an excuse to just beat her up. I was about to close my notebook when our professor spoke up.

»Listen up, class! I have an announcement to make and I want you all to listen to me. Thank you.« He paused for a short moment and cleared then his throat ere he continued, the whole room being quiet now. »I'm not sure if you can remember but at the beginning of this semester, I have told you guys that we will make a little project, which you will present at the beginning of the next semester. It shouldn't be something big after I know that you are all working on something on your own already, but it is necessary to pass this class, so don't take it too easy alright? The topic is our current topic: The Artificial Intelligence. I want you to build a prototype, it doesn't have to be a robot. In fact, it can be everything, as long as you follow the rules of the AI and reach the information you need with the programming you used. At the end of this semester, I want to have all prototypes, written paperwork, and an owner's handbook so that I can test it while you are on vacation. I know, I know. I said that it isn't a big project but...« The last part of his speech he said because of a reaction of some students within this room. »...for one person it is indeed a big project. So...the answer to this problem is – of course – to team up. You will always be two in one group and work together on this project. And with together I mean together. I will know what you guys have done, after reading your paperwork. And before you guys get all fussy about deciding with whom you want to work with, I can say that I have taken this heavy and difficult responsibility from you and already decided with whom you are working with. This test I have returned to you was not only a test to see if you have listened to my lesson. Oh no. I have checked how far you are and compare with whom you people would fit the most to do such a project without getting into difficulties like different knowledge and stuff. I will begin to read the names out loud now and I want you to stay quiet until I am done, understood? After that, you are allowed to leave. Okay, let's start then...« He pushed himself away from his desk and walked around it only to pull out the drawer, picking a sheet of paper up. Then he returned to his former position, leaning against the wood behind him, clearing his throat.«

»The first team: Chen Lee and Lawrence Devon« He looked up from his sheet, eyeing a Chinese guy, with big glasses and braces and a male with light brown hair.

»Diego Javier and Miller Noemi« Javier and Noemi were sitting side by side, grinning widely at each other when their names got announced together. It was quite obvious that they were a couple but they never confirmed it officially. And they were a quite funny couple. Noemi was tall and had a short pixie hair cut while Javier was smaller and a typical Spanish guy.

»Hamada Hiro...« I looked up from my notebook in which I had been sketching currently while I was waiting for my name to be called out and looked straightly at Professor Raven, waiting for him to continue. »...and Sunō Hikari.« My pen dropped immediately out of my hand as soon as I heard with whom I should work with and my eyes widened. He couldn't be serious, could he? My eyes darted over where Hikari was sitting, her glare meeting mine. I saw that she was obviously thinking the same as I was. At least one thing in which we were having the same opinion. I leaned myself back at the backrest and blew some strands of my bangs up, what only caused that they fell back in place, crossing my arms in front of my chest. I watched the doodles on my notebook, while I didn't even notice that Professor Raven continued with naming the rest of the teams. He got my attention when he started with clapping his hands.

»Okay, class. These are the teams. Like earlier mentioned I want to have your paper works and your prototypes at the end of this semester. The presentations will be held at the beginning of the next one after the break. Now you are allowed to leave. Have a nice afternoon!« And right after this sentence everyone started packing their stuff together and met with the person they were working with. They were lucky. All in all, they got along with their project partner. I remained on my seat and waited until the room was empty. In the end, only the professor, Hikari and I were left. Professor Raven turned around and saw that we haven't moved and pulled one eyebrow up. »Can I help you both? Are some questions left?«

»Do we have to work together? I am sure that I can build a prototype on my own.« I started and I saw how Hikari was nodding in agreement. Again something we agreed in together. The dark haired male sighed deeply and closed the bag up he had been packing. He eyed then us both.

»Yes, you both have to. It is meant as a teamwork project and there is no teamwork if you are working all on your own.«

»But why her?«

»But why him?« We both asked in unison. I exchanged quickly a glare with the girl ere I looked back at the man in the front. Another sigh left the lips of our teacher.

»You both were the best in this test. Both of you were having hundred of hundred possible points. And I have to be honest, I am already very curious what you two will create in your project. Now. I wish you both a nice afternoon. I will see you in my next lecture.« And with that, he picked his bag up and left this room. I stayed for a while on my chair and sighed deeply. This would be a great semester when I was forced to work together with the person I couldn't stand. I looked up from my desk when I noticed that a shadow covered my body.

»Listen, Hiro. I am also not very fond of the thought about working with you together, which means to spend my afternoons with you. But I want to pass this project as good as possible. So, don't let your emotions get the better of you, otherwise, you will get into trouble with me. Understood?« I furrowed my brow at her words but actually, she was right. I wanted to pass this project as good as possible as well. So it meant that I didn't have another choice than to work together with her. I took a deep breath and nodded.

»Sure. I mean, I want to pass this project as well. So...when shall we start?« I tried really hard to not sound too annoyed what succeeded at least a little bit.

»Today is not good but we can meet tomorrow. If this is okay with you as well.« She pulled one of her eyebrows up, crossing her arms in front of her chest. I nodded.

»Sounds good to me, though working at my place is going to be difficult. My aunt owns a café and tomorrow there is a wedding party. I really don't know why but the bride is a regular so I guess she decided that a bakery would be the best place for celebrating it... So it will be quite full inside of there and the music could be so loud that you can hear it even in our apartment over the location.«

»Alright. Then we will work at my home. We have enough space and my father will be probably at work and Mary won't bother us if I tell her that we have to work on something for college.« I pulled an eyebrow up when she mentioned a person named Mary, not sure if she was referring to a sister or something like that but I didn't ask further and shrugged my shoulders.

»I'm fine with that. When shall we meet?«

»I'd say we meet around six so that everyone can go home and get some stuff done after the lectures. Wait...« She grabbed my notebook, which was still lying on my table and picked the pen up, which was also resting on the table, starting with writing something down. I tilted my head and watched how she formed her words. I had to admit that she had a very neat handwriting. Mine was terrible. She pushed the notebook in front of me so that I could read, what she had written. »Here is my address. Then guess I will see you tomorrow.« Hikari turned then around and followed the stairs back up to reach the door to leave this hall. I glared back at the address on my sheet of paper, looking at the nice written letters. This would become a tough time...


~Hikari's PoV~

»Hello! I'm home!«, I called out as I entered the house, closing the door behind me while taking my shoes off. I walked then deeper into the building and followed the hallway until I saw Mary popping her head through the door, a wide smile on her face.

»Hey, honey! Welcome home! Today it will be only the two of us at dinner I hope this is okay?« I rolled my eyes but smiled a little. She is asking me always if it was okay to have dinner alone when my father is busy at work and I always give her the same answer. I approached the kitchen and entered it, stopping in front of the kitchen island beside the stove. We had a big kitchen, which was great for my nanny since she had really fun in cooking and baking. Mostly she was making too much and then the people at my father's company were lucky. I leaned my body against the dark kitchen furniture, glaring at the woman in front of me.

»Sure it is okay. It's not like it would be different only because I say so.« I grinned at her, which she returned as soon as she laid her eyes on me.

»You're right. Okay. Food will be ready in a few. Go and bring your bag upstairs. I think until then supper will be done.« I nodded and walked then out of the kitchen, following the hallway and the staircase up only to reach my room shortly after. Quickly I entered my bedroom and took my backpack from my shoulders, heading my desk placing it beside the furniture. I turned around, eying my bed only to see that it wasn't that lonely as I thought it would be. Or actually, I had already anticipated it to be not alone. I smiled widely, which got returned by the person on my bed.

»Hey, Hikari. How was your day at college?« Tadashi got up from my bed, approaching me still having this grin upon his lips.

»It was...okay. Except for the fact that I got into a fight earlier...« I furrowed my brow when I thought about my argument with Hiro this afternoon. I also saw that my words didn't please my friend at all.

»A fight? You are not talking about this jerk you have told me about, do you?« I bit my lower lip. Maybe I shouldn't have told him about this...I knew how protective he could get.

»Well...I...-«, I began but I didn't get very far.

»Hikari? Supper is ready!« I turned my head towards the door, Mary was probably at the end of the staircase downstairs.

»Okay, I'm coming!«, I called back not sure if my voice could be heard. I looked then back at the dark haired male, smiling apologizing at him. »I'm sorry...I will tell you more about this later. Now come, Mary is waiting.« He gave me that 'we-are-not-done-with-this' glare ere he followed me out of my room walking along the hallway only to go the stairs down, heading the dining room. As soon as we arrived at our destination I pulled my usual chair back, taking my seat, while Tadashi sat down beside me. My nanny was already busy with putting some broccoli upon my plate.

»Uhm...Mary? Can I ask you something?« I watched her while she was placing some food upon our plates.

»Sure. What is it?« Shortly her blue eyes met my dark ones before she concentrated again on making our plates ready. It was strange to ask the following question, especially since I never had asked it before.

»Is it possible that someone from college comes over tomorrow? We have to work on a project together and I have offered that we could work here since his house would be quite full tomorrow...« I bit my lower lip, while I was glaring at the brunette woman's features. From the corner of my eye, I noticed how Tadashi was eying me, having a surprised face. Mary instead placed the spoon for the mashed potatoes slowly down into the pot, while she turned her head to look at me. Her blue orbs were as big as golf balls at the moment.

»You mean...like a school friend?« I noticed how the corners of her lips started with curling slowly, while she tried to suppress her feelings to not scare me. I furrowed my brow, thinking of Hiro.

»Well...you can't call it a school friend but a project partner...« I pulled a grimace while trying to smile and figure out if I could explain the relationship between the fourteen-year-old and me like that. I didn't want that Mary knew that I had actual problems with him, so she didn't need to know more. The grin, which she had tried to hide grew very wide and she beamed happily at me.

»Of course he is allowed to come! Oh, this is so exciting! I will take care that your afternoon will be as good as possible! You'll see!« She clapped into her hands, her glare seemed to be far away, probably already picturing what she could do for tomorrow.

»Mary...please, don't. It's really no big deal, you know? Actually, all we need is some peace.« I tried to assure her but she didn't even listen. I sighed deeply and turned my head, looking at my friend beside me. He only grinned, knowing what I was thinking. I in return chuckled silently, turning around to my plate to start eating, while Mary had started to count the things up, which she could prepare for our visitor tomorrow.


I dropped myself upon my mattress, sighing slightly. I was full. Since I hadn't eaten much for lunch today I had been quite hungry. I looked up when I heard someone clearing his throat, leaned myself up upon my elbows to have a better look. I saw Tadashi in front of me, crossing his arms. I groaned when I saw his face.

»Do we really have to talk about it?« I put my best pleading face on, not really feeling like complaining about people now.

»Yes, we have to. You shouldn't get into a fight. This could get you into trouble or worse...hurt!« I sighed deeply, sitting myself up crossing my legs and looked then at him, having one eyebrow risen. The dark haired male forgot quite often that I wasn't weak, only because I was looking like it.

»Tadashi...I didn't mean that kind of a fight. I only had an argument nothing else! And anyway, I know how to defend myself. So no need to worry about me here.« I tried a smile, hoping it would calm his nerves. And...it did. A sigh left my friends lips and he returned the smile of mine.

»Yes, I know. I was only concerned, that's all. An old habit I suppose.« He chuckled slightly, what caused that I felt already better and less annoyed. »But now...you haven't told me that you were having a project to do at college. I liked those kinds of stuff, especially if you could team up with your friends. It's always exciting to invent something with them.« He walked now up to me and took a seat beside me on my mattress, seeming very excited about my project. And he was right, it was exciting! If there wouldn't be one thing...

»Well...the thing with the partner...I didn't get the opportunity to decide on my own with whom I will work on this project. Instead Professor Raven had used the test we have written to check and build the teams. And how destiny plays he thought that I should team up with the only guy in my class, with whom I actually don't want to team up...« I looked at his facial features and watched how it snapped in his mind and he knew with whom I had to work on this project.

»You mean your professor put you together with that jerk, who called you 'Freak' earlier, in a team?« His brow furrowed and as I nodded as an answer he breathed deeply out. »Okay, that makes everything of course less exciting. But! Who knows? Maybe it won't be that bad like you think?« I looked at him with a glare, that showed him that I didn't really believe in that what he said. Hiro and I couldn't even share a room without bragging at each other. How should I survive a whole evening with him?

»Well...as long as he won't call me 'Freak' again I think I should be fine. Or better...he.« I chuckled at my last sentence, not actually meaning what I said. I knew that I wouldn't be able to harm anyone, hearing this word. But it was easier for me now to joke around about this than to fret about it.

»So...I assume it would be better if I stay upstairs then while you have your guest here?« The young man looked questioning at me, pulling one eyebrow up.

»I think so. I mean...you are allowed to stay with me if you want to but I don't want to force you to stay all silent the whole time.« I looked at him in an apologizing way. I'd really like to have his company but I was afraid that I forgot that I wasn't allowed to talk to him and if I would accidentally do it then Hiro would have a real reason to call me 'Freak'.

»No, no. It's fine. I think I will just walk around a bit, looking at everything. Keeping an eye on you from the distance. You could tell him that this house is haunted by a ghost and I could make some scary noises to scare him. Maybe he will treat you right then in the future?« A mischievous grin appeared on his lips, causing me to laugh.

»You know as much as I do that you can't make any noises. But thank you.« I chuckled again, grinning at him. I would have shoved him if I had been able to touch him.

»I know. I was just joking. I will behave, I promise.« The mischievous grin turned into a genuine one, which I returned thankfully.

»Okay. I have some studying to do now.« I pushed myself away from my mattress, jumping down in this attempt and landed on my feet before I headed my backpack beside my desk to do something for college.


~Hiro's PoV~

I was currently sitting at the table, having supper together with Aunt Cass and Mouchi, while Baymax was sitting beside the cat, petting it.

»Aunt Cass? I won't be at home tomorrow evening.« I looked up from my plate, glaring at the woman beside me, who was currently chewing on her Spaghetti. She looked up as well, swallowing before she started with talking.

»Okay. But I have told you that your friends can come over as long as you stay upstairs. Even though the wedding party won't have too many guests.«

»No, no. I am not making something with the others. In one of my classes, it is required to hand over a project at the end of the semester and it is meant to be a teamwork project so I am at my partner's house tomorrow. She offered that we could work there after the café is full tomorrow. And probably noisy.« I shrugged my shoulders, pushing some noodles to the other side of the chinaware. I really didn't feel like meeting up with Hikari tomorrow but I had to. Something in my explanation of why I wasn't at home caused that my aunt listened up, eying me.

»So, a girl? Do I know her?« She leaned a little bit closer towards me, resting her chin upon the backside of her hand, which was holding her fork at the moment. An interested glare was sparkling in her eyes. I blinked several times, not taking my sight off of her while I tried to figure out what she was referring to.

»Uhm...no. I guess not. She is new at SFIT and I haven't seen her before that. So I don't think that she had been a customer yet.«

»You have a new classmate? Why haven't you told me already? Who is she then? Maybe I know her family somehow.« Her meal was completely forgotten since she was almost leaning over the whole table to look at me, not letting me go with her gaze. I shrunk, pushing myself a little bit closer to the backrest of my chair.

»I...didn't know that it was important. And doesn't it matter who...-«, I started but wasn't allowed to end my sentence.

»Her name is Hikari and from the facts of my scan, she is thirteen years old. Her blood type is...-« I turned my head towards the robot at the wall beside me, glaring daggers at him.

»Okay, thank you very much for your input, Baymax but I think Aunt Cass doesn't want to know every detail about her.« I knew that I didn't want to know everything about her.

»Thirteen? Then she is around your age!« The sudden loud voice of my aunt startled me and I glared at her with wide eyes before my eyebrows knitted together. What was she trying to say with that now?

»Uhm...yes. That is the reason why Professor Raven wanted that we team up. Because we have about the same intelligence quotient and this at our quite similar age.« The brunette in front of me only arched one of her eyebrows up, looking at me with a certain kind of glare. One I couldn't explain and confused me a lot. »What?« I saw how she was biting her lower lip, not sure if she should say what she had in her mind. But then it seemed that she couldn't hold it back anymore.

»Is she pretty?« At this question, my face froze and I was just looking at her. I felt how slowly heat crept its way up to my cheeks. I couldn't even deny this fact after I had already admitted to myself that Hikari was indeed pretty. This thought caused that even more heat rushed up to my face, my cheeks probably being burning red already.

»Aunt Cass!«, I exclaimed, this being the only phrase I could think of at the moment, trying to get my face under control again. At the look of my aunt though it seemed that I wasn't very successful. She chuckled, looking at me with that knowing glare. Which only caused that my cheeks flushed even more.

»Your heart rate has increased, Hiro. Shall I find the source of your sudden change of condition?« At this the brunette woman had to laugh even louder, grinning cheekily at me.

»So she is pretty. Good to know.« She stated between her giggles, not letting me go with her green eyes.

»It doesn't matter if she is pretty or not. It wouldn't change the fact that I'm not very fond of her.« I leaned myself back at my chair, crossing my arms in front of my chest. The expression of my aunt fell and she looked with big eyes at me.

»Why is that?«

»Because he is envious.« I glared at my side, noticing that Baymax had gotten up from the floor and was standing now beside me.

»I am not envious! How often do I have to tell you this?«

»Why envious?« The female in front of me just ignored my statement, looking at the big robot.

»There are multiple reasons. Firstly he is ups-...-«

»You are not helping me with this, buddy!«, I cut in before he could blurt out some more stuff about me. It was really frustrating that the coding of this file hadn't been right for his update. It had been too good so that Baymax hadn't told me anything about his scan, so I had to remove it again.

»Oh, come on, Hiro. I'm sure she isn't that bad.«, Aunt Cass said, grinning at me. I had clearly enough of this talk.

»I think I'll head upstairs again. I'm having enough of this conversation.« I pushed my chair back, got up and turned around to head for the staircase. I stopped when I arrived, having one foot already on the first stair and looked over my left shoulder. »Baymax, are you coming?« Hearing his name he turned around, as fast as he could without knocking everything down and walked up to me.

»Oh and Hiro?« I heard my aunt call after me, causing me to turn around to look at her before disappearing into my room.

»Yes?« The grin on her face couldn't mean something good. Her chin rested on the backside of her folded hands, while her elbows were being on the table, propping her head.

»I saw your flushed face.« This comment caused my cooled down face heated up again, my body getting stiff because of the sudden tension. Quickly I turned around again, escaping upstairs into my bedroom. I didn't understand. What was so difficult about the fact that I couldn't stand that girl? And who wouldn't feel embarrassed getting confronted with that kind of conversation? Frustrated I kicked my backpack before walking over to my bed, taking a seat.

»You seem to be troubled...« I looked up from my hands at which I had been looking currently and met the gaze of my friend.

»Of course I seem to be troubled. Everyone starts to think stuff about me, which isn't true. You are thinking I am envious and I honestly don't want to know what my aunt is thinking...« I sighed deeply, dropping my body upon the mattress. I heard how Baymax walked up to my bed, his legs making this typical noise.

»Maybe considering admitting that you are lying to yourself would help to make you feel better...« I rolled my eyes at this, grabbing the pillow from behind my head and pressed it upon my face before I dropped my arms onto the mattress again.

»It would help me a lot if we could stop talking about that.«, I responded with the soft pillow still resting upon me. I knocked it then down, turning to my side, curling up. It was strange...Since this girl had appeared a few days ago everything started to get so...complicated... »I think I'll take a shower now...« Hopefully, this would clear my mind a bit and get me to other thoughts. I rose up from my bed, heading the bathroom.


It hadn't happened much last night after I was done with my shower. I had deactivated Baymax so that he could charge and had watched some TV before heading to bed. At the moment I was opening the door to enter the building to attend Professor James' lecture when someone stopped me in my tracks.

»Hey, Hiro! Professor James' class is canceled. She got ill and can't come.« I turned around to my classmate, blinking a few times. So that meant that I was having some free time until Professor Raven's lecture would start...

»Uhm...thanks. See you then!« I turned around to leave this building again. Now...what should I do? For going home it was too early, especially that I would need to come back for the class later anyways...Maybe I should just continue my work on my own project. After deciding this I was walking along the path to reach the building with the labors inside. It didn't take long until I have arrived at my destination. I followed the hallway, after entering the big building and walked into the main lab to reach my own one. After the lectures have started since a few minutes ago, the building was quite empty only a few students remaining in here. I walked across the room when I heard a certain voice.

»Hiro! You are having a free period as well?« I turned around and saw Honey Lemon coming closer to me. She was wearing her usual white lab coat and the oversized glasses to protect her eyes.

»Uhm...yes. Professor James got ill and can't hold her lecture today.«, I explained, shrugging slightly my shoulders.

»Oh! This would explain it.« I furrowed my brow.

»Explain...what?«

»The reason why – what was her name again? Fred called her Snow...-« I cut in before she got the chance to finish her sentence. I clearly didn't want to hear that nickname again.

»You mean Hikari?« I arched one eyebrow.

»Yes! Hikari! Actually...her name is quite easy to remember. It starts the same way as yours and she is your new classmate...« The blonde started to trail off, getting lost into her thoughts. I cleared my throat to get her attention again.

»And what's wrong with her?«

»Well...she is already here. She passed the lab quickly and disappeared, probably into her own one.« She pointed at the door, which would lead one to the other labs, including mine and like I knew Hikari's. I looked at the door for a while before I gazed back at the tall scientist. I wasn't so sure if I was happy that she was already here or if I would have preferred it that she wouldn't be here. At least I would not have to see her passing by any minute. »I wanted to talk with her, but she was gone before I had the chance to do so.« I furrowed my brow hearing this.

»Why would you want to talk with her...?«

»Because she seems to be lonely.« Her eyes darted over to the door at which she had pointed before, ere she looked back at me. I in return gave her a glare, which showed her that I didn't understand. Honey only sighed to this. »Look. She is about a week here and I haven't seen her in the cafeteria nor standing somewhere chatting with someone. She is always in her lab working. And after a week you should have at least one person to talk with...«

»I have talked with her already. And she talked with Baymax as well.«, I stated, crossing my arms in front of my chest. My female counterpart though pulled only an eyebrow up, a skeptical spark was seen in her eyes. It was rare that she was looking at someone like that.

»You don't count, Hiro. I'm sure that you both haven't talked in a friendly way with each other. And Baymax was only following his programming, rendering first aid.« She shifted her weight upon her left leg while crossing her arms in front of her body as well. I sighed slightly. I knew that she was somehow right but my pride was too strong. So I just pulled my shoulders into a shrug. »Anyways. I wanted to see how she really is. She doesn't seem to be...-«

»Don't. I just had this discussion with Baymax, and this not only once. To be exact, he always starts with it every time I activate him.« This sentence caused that Honey had to chuckle. »What is it now?«

»It's nothing, only...-« Another laugh shook her shoulders, which caused that she interrupted herself again. »I can picture it very well how Baymax is saying this.« Even though those lectures my big white robot friend annoyed me with quite a lot I had to laugh as well. If you ignored the fact that he was going on my nerves with his constant repeating about me being jealous it was indeed funny.

»Okay, okay. I admit. It is funny. But please...let us just drop this discussion and talk about something else.« I smiled at the blonde, feeling better after this emotion, which always got the better of me when Hikari was in discussion, was gone.

»Alright. I don't feel like arguing with you either. What are you up to?« The appearance of Honey relaxed and she had her usual cheery face on instead of this serious frown she had worn a few seconds ago. I tapped my chin, thinking about my further plans until Professor Raven's class would start.

»I was thinking of either working further on my project or trying to get this coding for Baymax's new file done. I would be so glad if it works the next time I'm testing it. It's horrible if he blurts everything out he had scanned about me earlier.« My answer caused a giggle from my counterpart, I already knew why. This was typical Baymax, always answering questions about other people's condition, even though he actually shouldn't.

»Hey, what about having some tea ere you go to work? I just have made some honey lemon tea in a can and have brought some bagels, after I didn't have some breakfast yet. You can join me if you want to.« Her smile was genuine, which caused me to return it thankfully.

»Sure, why not. Your honey lemon tea is the best, so how shall I say no to this offer?« The smile on her lips widened and she clapped excited into her hands before she led me over to the table not far away of her laboratory bench, where already a can, a cup, and a plate was waiting. Quickly she grabbed another collection of table wear, placing them in front of the second chair.


I was currently walking together with the others through the cafeteria to reach the door. Today was a sunny day and we wanted to enjoy the sun for a bit. For scientist nerds it was quite rare that we really could be outside, mostly working on our projects.

»Ah...this is nice! I was so looking forward to spring! I can't wait until it is finally summer!«, Honey said while stretching her arms as soon as we have reached the outside.

»In my opinion the summer is a little bit too hot but it could stay just like that.« GoGo looked up at her friend. I had to smile about this. I had some nice memories, mostly being connected to Tadashi. Thinking about it caused that a slight shadow covered my features. I was curious how this summer would turn out to be like...But I pushed these kinds of thoughts aside. Now it was not the time to get all depressed. We stopped to see if there was a free table nearby, looking around the area.

»There! I found one! Quick before it is gone again.« I turned my head and saw how Wasabi pointed at a table not very far away from us. We all started moving to reach it. Except for Honey. We all turned around, glaring at our blonde friend, who hadn't made a single step still remaining like a few moments ago.

»Uhm...Honey? Are you coming?«, GoGo asked, arching one of her dark eyebrows up. For a second it seemed like she hadn't heard and I saw how the short woman pulled some air in to repeat her question, when the tall scientist turned around, smiling at us.

»You know what? You guys can go ahead. I want to check something.« She turned herself around again, seeming to look at something in particular. I – being curious about what she wanted to do now – made a step to the side, trying to find the source why Honey wanted to be alone. And I found it. I groaned, clapping my palm into my face.

»Oh come on, Honey...do you really need to talk with her?« I looked up at her, with pleading eyes, which she just ignored.

»I have told you already that I want to talk with her. You don't have to come with me if you don't want to. That's the reason why I was about to go alone.« Now everyone got curious, though they seemed to already guess about who we were talking about and followed the glare of our friend. Not far away was Hikari sitting on a bench, all by her own and unwrapped her lunch.

»You can't go and talk with her, Honey! She is the enemy!«, Fred exclaimed, me being kind of relieved that at least one of my friends was standing on my side. Though I wouldn't explain Hikari as my enemy...

»Oh come on, Fred. She is just a girl and no supervillain.« GoGo punched the comic fan into his shoulder, he rubbing the sore part afterward. »I guess we will see you later then?« The dark haired female's attention was now at the taller ones, she nodding smiling.

»Sure. See you later, guys.« And with that Honey Lemon headed off, approaching the girl sitting on the bench. I just shook my head and followed then the others to the still available table.


~Tadashi's PoV~

I was leaning against the desk in Hikari's lab, my arms were crossed in front of my chest while watching her working on her project. It was interesting to watch her how she was working, typing codes into her computer after she had solved a difficult equation. I was happy when she had asked me this morning if I would want to join her at college, though I had this strange feeling to be here again. Especially since her lab was looking quite similar like mine. What was no wonder, if I was honest because it was right beside my former lab. Of course, I came with her, after I liked it to be in her near. At least with Hikari, I didn't feel so...lost. And Lonely. She was the only person who was able to see me and talk with me. It was just naturally that I liked it to spend my endless time with her. Even if it meant to stay silent while she was working on her project.

»Oh come on! What is it now? I have double checked the equation and there is no mistake!«, she suddenly exclaimed, pushing herself away from her desk while crossing her arms. A shadow was resting over her features. I had to grin. She sometimes reminded me on my little brother Hiro. He would always curse out loud as well if an invention didn't work like he wanted it to do. All in all, she was reminding me quite a lot on him. And I wasn't talking about the fact that she had graduated high school at a quite young age. It was the passion with what she was working on her projects what reminded me about him and sometimes she could be kind of hot-headed as well. But in the same way, she was completely different like Hiro. For example, she wasn't getting all cocky when she was successful and she listened at least to what I was saying. Not that she had to but she still did. I didn't know why but after weeks of spending my whole time with her I started to feel kind of responsible for her. Maybe because I grew very fond of her, maybe because she was reminding me a lot of my own brother. Probably it was because of both reasons. A groan pulled me out of my thoughts, making me turn my head towards the thirteen-year-old beside me. »I think I'm starting to get a headache...« She had closed her eyes and drew circles over her temples. I glared at the clock over the door and furrowed my brow.

»No wonder. You are being inside of this room for hours! We have already lunch time and like I remember you haven't had any breakfast, nor have you drank enough. You should make a break now before your lecture starts.« My eyes met her appearance again, she was moving her head slowly towards me, while opening her black eyes.

»But I have to get this done! Otherwise, it will bug me the rest of the day!« She looked at me, her voice had increased a little bit. I had to grin. That was just like Hiro. She furrowed her brow, seeing me grin.

»What?« She arched one of her eyebrows up, being probably confused why I was grinning out of the sudden. But of course, I couldn't tell her after I had decided to keep my mouth shut about everything about me and my past. I didn't want that she would get into trouble only because of me.

»Nothing. I just had to think about something.« I pulled my shoulders into a light shrug.

»Uhh...okay.« She kept her dark orbs for a while on my features ere she stretched herself sighing. »But. I think you are right. Maybe I will get the idea of what is wrong when I have eaten something.« Now she smiled again, what lightened up her complete face.

»That's the right attitude! Come. Let's sit outside since the weather is nice today.« Quickly she rose up from her chair and I pushed myself away from the desk. Together we made our way towards the door and out of the building.


It was crowded outside since the sun was shining and everywhere were loud noises of people chatting with each other. While we were looking for a good place to sit at memories about some lunch breaks together with my friends rushed through my mind. Thinking about it made that I felt kind of...less happy. It must be able to be seen after I heard a voice quiet beside me.

»What is it?« I turned my head to face Hikari, seeing the concern in her eyes. I just tried a smile and waved off.

»It's nothing. Only memories, that's all.« Her glare turned to a more understanding one before she smiled at me, probably in intend to make me feel better. What it really did.

»If it helps, you could tell me about it. Not about the people but the memories they are in. Like...activities.« She stopped at a bench, taking her seat. She looked up at me when I didn't move right away. A short moment passed before a small smile played on my lips, sitting down beside her.

»Well...there is actually not much to say. I have only often spent my lunch breaks with my friends here. We just had some lunch but had the craziest topics to talk about.« I thought about GoGo, who was glaring daggers at Fred, who had just made a stupid comment to one of the inventions and how cool it would be if someone would finally invent him a machine to turn him into a fire breathing lizard. »My friends...it was never boring with them. They always knew something to make everything exciting and if it was only bragging at each other.« I had to chuckle at this memory and when I looked up, meeting the eyes of my friends I saw her lips curling as well.

»They seem nice. You are lucky to have such people. It makes your life precious. Even though you can't be a part of theirs anymore.« I watched the young teenager beside me. She may be only thirteen but she knew a lot about life and how precious small moments could be. Probably because of the fact that she could see the passed away ones. I wasn't only so sure if this skill was a gift or a bane. I only knew that it was outstanding. It was my luck to have met her. I wouldn't have known what I should have done if she wasn't here to actually interact with me.

»But enough from me now. I already said enough and not that I say something important by accident. You have lunch, how about you actually eat now?« I grinned at her, willing to pick that light conversation, which I normally had with her. Hikari only rolled her eyes at that but got her paper bag out of her backpack. She started unwrapping it.

»You know. I can eat and listen at the same time.« While she was talking she kept her sight on her wrapped sandwich. I assumed she did that to not gain too much attention. I laughed at that, already opening my mouth to respond to that. But a shadow covering us made that I looked away from my black haired friend beside me to see what caused it. Only to look at a familiar face of a certain blonde woman. Honey Lemon. I noticed how my face froze, lying my glare upon her. Some time had passed since I had seen her the last time and mostly I saw her at my grave. From the corner of my eye, I noticed that Hikari also got aware of that we weren't alone anymore and lifted her gaze up. When she saw who was standing in front of her, her brow furrowed.

»You are Hikari, am I right?« The voice of the tall female was soft and friendly, just like it was in my memories. I was somehow glad to see her but also it hurt, especially since she wasn't able to see me. I had some difficulties to hide my surprised and pained face but I managed it. The girl beside me shouldn't get suspicious. I looked around, trying to find the others but couldn't find them. What was probably better.

»Uhm...yes. That's me. And you are...?« I saw how Hikari pulled one of her eyebrows up, glaring at the blonde. For a short moment, I thought something like perception to sparkle in her eyes but it was gone too fast so that I could have been sure.

»Oh, sorry! I'm Honey Lemon. Though mostly I get only called Honey.« She offered the girl a bright kind smile. Typically Honey. She was always open to new people. I tried to suppress a grin. The black haired girl wasn't allowed to know that I knew her opposite.

»Honey Lemon...I think this is not your real name, am I right?« The confused glare was still being able to be seen on her features. A laugh from the tall woman followed to this and she shook her head.

»No, no. My friends call me like this. Uhm...am I allowed to sit?« Now the casual face fell of my newest friend and her black orbs widened shortly, showing that she was surprised about this question.

»Uhm...sure.« Hikari scooted a bit closer to me, offering Honey some more space. I leaned closer to towards the smaller one before talking.

»I'll leave you both alone. I don't want to cause a strange situation.« And it was probably better for me as well since I had really to watch out to give no signs in knowing Honey. I saw how the girl beside me nodded slightly, barely able to be seen. »See you later then.« And with that I rose up, walking a few steps ere disappearing into nothing.


~Hikari's PoV~

From the corner of my eye I saw how Tadashi vanished, something which I didn't see often. Somehow I was quite disappointed that he had left. I really would have needed someone I felt safe with. But I understood him. He probably just wanted to make it easier for me. And not to forget...I was confused. Why was one of Hiro's friends – like I knew now her name was Honey Lemon...what for a strange name – wanting to spend her break with me. My sandwich was still resting unwrapped upon my lap and I looked down at it, taking the paper off. I noticed from the corner of my eye that Honey was getting her lunch out as well. There was silence between us. That was so long until I couldn't hold it back anymore.

»Why are you talking with me?« I turned my torso towards her, the sandwich remaining between my hands. »You are one of Hiro's friends and I know that he isn't very fond of me. So...why aren't you going alongside with his opinion about me?« The blonde, who was just about to bite into her lunch, when her glare met mine. For a short moment, she was just looking at me before she lowered her sandwich, closing her mouth meanwhile. Her brow furrowed while she was glaring at me and finally, she let out a sigh. Her eyes darted down before she eyed me again, A small smile appeared on her lips.

»Well...I wanted to get to know you. I know that Hiro says that you are well...a know-it-all but I wanted to see by myself who you are. You have to know Hiro is quite...hotheaded and he says often things he actually doesn't mean.« I rose an eyebrow up at that.

»For me, he sounded like he was very sure about what was saying.« I thought about the one time I have met them in the lab, Hiro explaining who I was and what for a...freak I was.

»I really don't want to say that that, what he had said was correct or even nice. But I can tell that he is normally not like this. Otherwise, I wouldn't be friends with him. I'm sure he is just overextended.«

»Overextended...?«

»Of course. I mean...you have to know. He was always the prodigy around with graduating high school with thirteen visiting now college with fourteen. He probably never have met someone who is as smart as him and I think meeting you, who is younger than him feels like he is challenged or even threatened. I mean...you are thirteen, if I remember correctly?« I nodded to this as confirmation. »See. And have actually been doing something different since you graduated high school, which means you have been a whole bunch younger than him. I really don't want to apologize for his behavior but I can somehow follow his actions.« I kept my eyes upon Honey, while she was explaining Hiro's behavior. My brow furrowed and I shook my head to this.

»Even if, but this is no explanation for why he is treating me like this. It is not like I have decided to beat him in those topics. I didn't know him before I met him a few days ago. I won't understand his behavior because it is ridiculous.« I looked away from the blonde and down to my feet, which were slightly dangling from the bench. I heard the person beside me sigh once again.

»I can see your point. But actually, I didn't come to talk about Hiro with you. I wanted to get to know you, besides this what my friend has already said to me. Let's forget him and just talk like two normal people, hmm?« I looked up to meet her gaze only to find her smiling. Something in her smile made that I had to return it, it wouldn't matter how bad I tried to do not so.

»Okay. But then I am allowed to ask you about yourself, deal?« Honey's face lighted up when she saw me smile and she got all excited, nodding a few times.

»Sure! That's how it should work to get to know each other.«

»Okay, what do you want to know?« I took a bite of from my sandwich while waiting for her first question.

Chapter Text

Chapter 5 - In Hostile Company

 

~Hikari's PoV~

»And now Kwai Ma.« Loud noises were being able to be heard as I entered the building. College was done for about half an hour and I had decided that I should visit the training today before I had to start the project with Hiro at six. As I walked deeper inside I could see my trainer Sifu Wang Yong giving advice to some of his students. It was his voice, which was the loudest of them all. He looked up and met my gaze, smiling as soon as he noticed me. »Ah, Hikari! It's nice to see you! I'm glad you have made it today.« Sifu Wang was my trainer since I had started Kung Fu several years ago and we got very close. I returned his smile with my own one.

»Hello, Sifu. Yes, finally I made it. It was a bit busy this week since I started college.« Usually, I had some private lessons on Saturdays but sometimes I came to train with the other students as well. Just to see how far I was and what I could do to get better in my art.

»Then...go and get changed real quick. Today we train the topic kicks and ending a fight with a throw over your shoulder.« The male nodded towards the doors, which lead someone to the changing cubicle, signing me to hurry up. Quickly I made my way towards the doors, slipping inside and got changed real soon just to come back out, joining the group of boys in the middle of the room. The floor was made out of mats so that it wouldn't hurt too much if you fall down harshly. I tied my blue belt around my black training suit when my trainer started to explain the next exercise. »Important is, that you don't lean yourself too far out. You have to stay straight and don't forget to have your hands in position. You can always get punched if you don't watch out. Alright. Now. Please pair up two-and-two.« My trainer stepped out of the middle and we were all looking for a training partner. A guy, who was quite taller than me approached me.

»Hey, Hikari. Think you can beat me today?« David, the tall guy, stopped in front of me, crossing his arms in front of his chest. His expression was a challenging one. I only arched one of my eyebrows.

»You mean, like the other few times?« I got into the usual fight position, not letting the boy out of my sight. »Then show me what you can.« A smirk appeared on the male's lips ere he got into his fight position. Not much time passed until he tried the first blow, trying to hit me with a round kick. But I already have seen what he was about to do and sidekick his other leg, blocking his attack.

»That was luck.«, he only said, to which I only rolled my eyes. He was always bragging that he was the best and honestly...it was more than annoying.

»Less talking more fighting, David.«, I replied, making a few steps back and waited for his next attack.

»Hey, I have an idea. Why aren't we continuing this in a normal fight without stopping with each kick? I mean...you are able to do this defense and I am able to do so.« I arched an eyebrow while looking at him. He had a point. And maybe he would finally stop with bragging.

»Okay. Then...bring it on.«, I only said, getting into my usual fight position not letting David out of my sight. I figured that he would start like before – because that was the actual exercise we should train – and he did like I thought. But instead of stopping him with a sidekick I pulled my leg back so that he wouldn't reach it and had to place his foot on the floor again and then I made a round kick towards his leg, hitting his thigh with the needed strength to cause that he made a grimace. But instead of waiting I continued with using my right fist to use a punch, aiming his face but he was fast enough to bypass my blow. But he didn't watch out of his cover and I hit him with my left fist into his stomach. I took the opportunity and used my right arm to place it around his waist while taking hold of his right arm with my left hand. I put some weight upon this side to pull him down to the side and placed my right foot behind his left one. And then I only needed to move my foot back and I already felt how he fell towards the ground. Quickly I knelt down, my right knee placed upon his ribs while keeping his upper arm down, holding my free left hand in a fist ready to punch as soon as he would try to make a movement. Kwai Ma. I looked up when I heard someone clapping.

»Okay, that was it with this exercise. Let's continue with the other one.« Sifu Wang stepped into the middle again, waiting for our attention. I looked down at my fighting partner, grinning mischievously at him.

»Looks like I have won this round.« He only snorted to this and I got up, walking towards our teacher.

»That was it for today. Keep in mind what I have told you and I will see you next week.« We all said our goodbye's with our usual movement with covering our right fist with the left hand and bowing slightly to the front, looking at each person in the circle. We all clapped in the end and I turned around, already heading for the woman dress room. But a loud voice stopped me in my tracks. »Uhm, Hikari? Do you have a minute?« I turned around and looked at my Sifu.

»Sure.« I pulled my shoulders into a light shrug and walked towards him, stopping when I arrived. I looked up at the tall man, being curious about what he wanted to tell me.

»Two things. First of all...I am looking forward to our training tomorrow. Be prepared to learn something new.« A kind smile was being on his lips, which I returned immediately.

»Alright. I'm already looking forward to it as well since we didn't have much time the last couple of weeks to keep up with our training.« I was already excited about what I was going to learn next. »And what is the second matter?« I cocked my head slightly to the side, being curious about what he wanted to tell me.

»Ah, yes! I just wanted to inform you that in about one or two weeks the spring festival returns to the place where I am living. And as always you are invited. Lien is already asking what kind of a gown you want to have this year.« Now it was on me to smile brightly. I remember since I was old enough Sifu Wang invited me and my family to the traditional Chinese spring festival in the corner of San Fransokyo, where he was living. And his wife, Lien, was always eager to sew me a special gown for this occasion. After all, she was a seamstress.

»Please tell your wife that I will visit her in the next couple of days and that I am of course glad that I can attend it once again.« I was still feeling happy about the fact, that this festival was being very soon after there was good food and just a nice atmosphere so that you only can enjoy your time there. A laugh followed by my teacher.

»Then I am glad. I will let her know. Alright, that was it. You can leave now.« I nodded to this and turned around to get into the changing cubicle.


~Hiro's PoV~

I sighed deeply and pushed myself away from my desk, looking at the work I have done. Since hours I was in my lab, working on my project, while I was trying to check what was wrong with the coding for Baymax's new file. I looked up at my clock and yelped inside. I was already after five o'clock!

»I sense that you are troubled. What is the cause of your distress?« I turned around to meet Baymax's gaze, who was currently standing in his charger. After this one incident a while ago, that he was on low battery in the middle of the police station, I was looking after that he would charge at any time, where it was possible. And me working on my project in silence was such a moment.

»I just noticed that the time had flown by and that I should leave now if I want to head home before making my way to Hikari...« At the mention of the girl's name, I furrowed my brow and I felt how my mood dropped as soon as I was thinking about spending my evening with her. This would become a long one. I saved the files I have been working on before I shut the computer down and rose then up, grabbing my jacket and backpack. Then I turned around to the white robot, hesitating a moment. Should I deactivate him and take him with or shall I leave him here? I really didn't feel like carrying his charger through the city until I would reach home but I didn't want to leave him here... »Do you think that you can carry your own charger back home while walking?«

»Of course. After all, I can carry around five-hundred pounds.« And with that he stepped out of the red box, turning around and picked the item up, looking at me to sign me that he was ready to leave. I cracked a smile at him.

»Great! Then let's go. After you aren't that fast by foot we should see that we get going when I want to leave you and some of those books at home.« We walked towards the door, me stepping aside so that Baymax could walk out first and walked then out by myself, locking the door behind me. Quickly – as fast as my friend could walk – we left the building to head towards home.

I arrived with Baymax at the garage, where I made my way upstairs to avoid walking right into the party within the café. Even though I was forced to visit Hikari I was glad that we didn't decide to start our project here. The music was quite loud so that I noticed the track as soon as I was being in the front of the building and I already anticipated that the music would be even louder as soon as I was in the building. And I was right, as soon as I arrived the first floor at which we had our kitchen, our living room and Aunt Cass' bedroom I heard the music even louder and I could feel the bass beneath my feet. Through my shoes. I signed the robot to follow me upstairs to which he nodded and walked with me the staircase up, only to enter my bedroom. There I shut the door and sighed in relief. At least here I could talk in a normal volume with him. I went to my desk and placed my backpack upon it, opening the zipper just to start with taking the heavy books out. I really didn't need them – except maybe of my robotic book – and if we should get in need of one of them, then I was sure that Hikari had her books at home with her. I walked then towards my bookshelf to see if there were one or two books, which could get handy. As soon as I was done with packing I turned around to Baymax, having a stern expression on my face.

»If you want to then I will keep you activated, but!« At this I rose my right index finger, being as serious as possible. Baymax only replied this with blinking. »You will stay upstairs and don't get into Aunt Cass' way. I will tell her that you are here if she is in need of some help. Understood?«

»Sure. If this is what you want, Hiro.«

»Good. Then I will see you later. Wish me luck.« And with those words I grabbed my bag off from my desk and headed towards the door, following quickly the stairs down, which I had walked up not much long ago. But I didn't leave the building without letting my aunt know, that Baymax would be upstairs if she would be in need of his help.


~Hikari's PoV~

I entered the house, after I had returned back home from my training lesson and shut the door, before taking my shoes off to walk deeper into the building. I could hear some noise in the kitchen and figured that Mary was already starting with preparing supper for later. As soon as I was close enough I already smelled a certain kind of scent, what caused that stopped in my tracks. This was a sweet one.

»Uhm...Mary? Have you been baking?« I came to a halt at the closest kitchen island, leaning my body against the wood while watching my nanny how she was placing a baking tray with hot muffins upon the counter. She took the gloves off and smiled at me.

»I think after I have placed some steaming muffins upon the counter to cool off, I think yes.« She chuckled about the fact that I have questioned the obvious. Though this made me grin a bit I was still confused. Why was she baking? I was just about to open my mouth to ask this question when she interrupted me, without noticing that she had done. Her eyes were fixed on the goods on the tray, taking them carefully out. »I want that you can offer your guest at least a muffin when he arrives. He should not think that you are a bad host, Hikari.« I groaned hearing this. And I have asked her to not do too much.

»Mary...I think he would be fine with a cup of tea. You didn't need to bake for him!« I rolled my eyes at this. Mary was so excited that I would have a guest that she tried everything to make this evening as good as possible, even though I didn't want Hiro to be here. But then she couldn't know that after I haven't told her this little detail. »And like I know his aunt owns a café, what means that he is being surrounded by sweets. I'm sure that he doesn't even want to have some muffins.« I crossed my arms in front of my chest and looked down at my shoes. I didn't notice that Mary was looking at me until I lifted my gaze, seeing that her eyes were as round as tennis balls.

»Oh...why haven't you told me this? Now I have made something he probably doesn't even like.« She sighed deeply and looked down at her muffins, which were still cooling off. I bit my lower lip. Maybe I shouldn't have said this. After all, she had been baking for the last hour, trying everything so that this evening wouldn't turn out to be horrible. Her intention was a good one. I sighed and I felt how my expression softened.

»Mary...I'm sorry. I have let my emotions get the better of me.« I walked around the furniture, hugging my nanny from the side while looking up at her, a small smile being on my lips. »I'm sure he will be glad to have some of your muffins. They are great and after he is just a year older than me I think he will never have enough of sweets.«

»Wait.« She turned suddenly around, causing me to take my arms away from her, making a step back. Her eyes were being tennis balls again, blinking several times at me. I was confused. What have I said now? »You are saying that your project partner is fourteen?« I pulled one eyebrow up. What was wrong with that?

»Yes. Didn't I mention this yesterday? He is fourteen. Like I know we are the two youngest students at our college.«

»Well...I thought he would be around sixteen, at youngest! I didn't know that he would be around your age!« I sighed. I already sensed where this discussion would lead us to and I clearly didn't want to talk with Mary about that now. I was sure to have no romantic feelings for Hiro after he thought that I was a freak.

»Well...he isn't sixteen and I would really love to talk with you further but I think he will come real soon and I want to take a shower before he arrives. Thanks a lot for the muffins, Mary.« I quickly turned around and left Mary behind, just before she could start with questioning me out about my project partner.


~Hiro's PoV~

I was following the sidewalk while the sun was slowly disappearing behind the horizon. I was glad that the winter period was finally over and that spring started. It would become warmer very soon, at which I was already looking forward to. My hands were being hidden deep into the pockets of my most favorite blue hoodie jacket, while I was carrying my backpack on my back, where my notebook and my pencil case were being inside. A stone was always being in front of one of my feet, me kicking it as soon as I was close enough to do it again. I sighed when I thought about this evening. I really didn't know what I should think about it. On the one hand, I was very annoyed that I was forced to spend my time with Hikari, that I can't use it to do something else. Something more important. But on the other hand...I didn't know. I was kind of feeling anxious. And once again I didn't know why. I couldn't explain why I was feeling a little bit nervous and trying to figure it out made that I got a headache and that this sensation got only bigger, my heart starting to pound just a little faster. So I thought that it would be best if I just ignored it and concentrated rather on that annoyed emotion within myself. At least I knew why I was feeling like that...I stopped with walking when I reached a crossing and I got the piece of paper with the address of my project partner out, looking at it. And as I looked back up I noticed that I have arrived my destination already. I gazed at the house in front of me. It was...big. Not as big as Fred's but still big enough. I noticed that I didn't know anything about her...okay...I had said by myself that I didn't want to know anything about her but seeing this house made that I got kind of curious. I walked the few steps up towards the front door, checking the doorbell twice if I was standing in front of the correct house before I slowly lifted my one hand up, pushing the button. I heard a loud bell ringing a short melody, signing that a visitor has arrived. And not very long after the bell was silent again the door got opened. I didn't know, what I have anticipated but I wasn't looking into Hikari's face. I lifted my gaze up and met some friendly blue eyes, looking down at me. First questioning but then a smile pulled the corners of her lips up, her eyes shining.

»Hi, you must be Hikari's project partner. I am Mary. Her nanny.« She held her hand out to me, awaiting that I take it to shake it one time. What I did and returned the friendly smile with one of my own one. So Mary was Hikari's nanny and not her sister or aunt.

»Hello Miss Mary, my name is Hiro Hamada.«

»Ah, you don't need to call me Miss. Just call me Mary. Well...then come inside, Hiro.« She stepped aside so that I could enter and as I was inside of the building I was just looking at it in the first moment. This house was indeed big. And pretty. I heard how the door got closed and not a moment later Mary was at my side again. »Follow me. I'll show you the dining room.« And with that she walked to the front, me following her. I was surprised. I didn't think that Hikari was living in such a house. To be honest...I hadn't thought of in what kind of a house she would be living in...

»Thank you. But...where is Hikari?« I noticed that I couldn't see the black haired girl and was wondering where she was.

»Oh...she is taking a shower at the moment but she won't be gone for much longer. She'll be there in just a second.« She stopped at a room and signed me to enter. »Here we are. I will let Hikari know that you are already waiting here. If you need anything then please, don't be afraid to ask me.« And with a last smile, she left me alone. For a moment I was just looking at the door, which was leading to the hallway before I turned myself around, looking around. This room was looking like the rest of the house. It was big with a big table in the middle and as I walked closer I could see a plate with muffins and a tray with a pot of tea and two cups. That caused a smile, which I hadn't noticed. I pulled one of the chairs back and took my seat, waiting for my project partner.


~Tadashi's PoV~

I was currently sitting on Hikari's bed, glaring at the ceiling. It was kind of boring when she wasn't at home after I couldn't talk to anyone. But I figured that I preferred it to be bored than to watch my family and friends how they were living their lives. Of course, I sometimes disappeared just to see what they were up to, but the thought that I couldn't be with them anymore pained a lot and the fact that they wouldn't see, nor hear me drove me crazy if I was spending too much time with them. It sounded weird but I liked it to spend my time with them when they would visit my grave, because there they were actually talking to me, telling me stuff what happened, asking me questions. Though they still couldn't hear my answer to them. At least there it didn't feel too strange for me to be around of them. That's why I always left the spot when I heard one of them, talking to me. I didn't know why but when someone was talking to me at my grave I just...heard it. Hikari mostly knew why I disappeared and I knew that she was fine with it, so she never questioned me about those times, where I left her alone and I didn't need to explain where I have been. I got pulled out of my thoughts when steps came closer to the door, the knob of it actually moving and it didn't take long until I saw a small girl with black hair entering it, shutting the door after being inside. As she turned around a smile appeared on her lips as soon as she laid her eyes upon me, which I returned naturally.

»Welcome home, Hikari. How was your day?« It had become somewhat like a ritual to ask her that question.

»It was...okay. Training was fun and I am curious how this evening will occur to turn out.« She placed her bag next to her desk and walked then over to her closet, disappearing inside but left her door open. Probably so that she was still able to hear me.

»Ah yes! This jerk is coming over because of your project. Don't worry. I won't be too far away if you need any help, even though I probably can't do much.« I saw how she walked back out, having some fresh clothes in her arms and a grin was being on her lips.

»Thank you very much, Tadashi, but I think you are right. You won't be able to do much.«

»I am sure you will somehow make it and if you struggle at some point. Just look out for me. I will try to help you find the words.« This caused her to laugh a lighthearted one.

»I will keep this in my mind. But now I have to take a shower before my guest will arrive.« She rolled her eyes but kept the smile on her lips before she left her bedroom again to disappear into her bathroom. I rose up from the bed and stayed for a moment where I was. Should I wait here? But I wanted to take a look at the visitor before I would have to disappear into the next room. Luckily the dining room was beside the living room, which got parted by an archway and not a door. I walked out of the bedroom and headed the staircase, just to follow it downstairs, arriving on the first floor. It was not the first time that I was walking through this building on my own. But never happened something, except Hikari's nanny, Mary, running around, taking care that everything was neat. I had to say that I liked Mary. Especially since Hikari had told me her story about how she had got to know her. Like I remembered she had been three years old, when her father had introduced the woman to his daughter, telling her that she would be her nanny from now on. Mary treated her right and even if the beginning had been difficult – like the black-haired girl had told me – they were having a close relationship. I found myself in the living room and took my seat upon the couch. This was the perfect place to stay. Hikari would not be bothered with seeing me and I still could check if she was doing alright. I would not have to be that worried if she would not have to work together with this guy in her class, who was bullying her. I heard someone coming closer, passing the living room only to enter the dining room and as I leaned my body a little bit to the front I could see through the archway that Mary was placing a plate upon the table. I had to grin. She had been excited all day long, singing while baking and cleaning. It was obvious that it was the first time that someone was coming for her protégé. For a short moment, she stayed where she was standing before she walked out, probably heading the kitchen again. I took the opportunity to walk into the dining room. I know...it wouldn't have mattered if I had entered earlier but I still felt strange when I was with someone in a room, who was not able to see me. As I entered the dining room I walked up to the table and saw the tray with a pot of tea and two cups. And of course the plate with the muffins, which smelled delicious. It was a pity that I couldn't eat anything anymore. What would I give to be able to eat at least one of Aunt Cass' cupcakes or one of her doughnuts! While I was looking at the table in front of me I was hoping that this evening won't turn out to be too bad for Hikari. I knew how hard it must be for her to spend her time with someone she couldn't stand, especially since this guy wasn't treating her very nice. A loud noise caught my attention and as fast footsteps walked passed the place I was being in I assumed that the guest was being here already. My sight went up to the ceiling where my black haired friend was taking a shower. Either she was late or her partner was too early. Oh well...at least I had some time then to get to know who this mysterious guy was. I noticed that I haven't asked something in particular about him – for example, his name. I was probably too busy with being upset about this person's behavior. I decided that I stayed where I was after the guest would have to enter the dining room anyways and so I waited, while I was following the lines of the wooden furniture with one of my index fingers. Luckily it was not that loud in this house so that I could hear everything that got talked at the front door, waiting for any sign that Hikari's project partner would come closer.

»Hi, you must be Hikari's project partner. I am Mary. Her nanny.« Mary was as friendly as always when she was greeting the guest.

»Hello Miss Mary, my name is Hiro Hamada.« My head snapped up as I heard this voice. And also his name made that I froze where I was standing at. My eyes widened...it could not be...Quickly – and just out of the sudden – I ran around the table towards the door to reach the hallway to get a glimpse of the person who just has entered. I stopped when I saw two people standing talking. And one of them was a certain fourteen years old boy, with messy black hair and a blue hoodie jacket. I would have recognized him from miles away.

»Hiro...«, I whispered – what was completely unnecessary, since both of them weren't able to hear me. Seeing him did both...it pained and filled me with joy at the same time. He had grown a little, since the last time I have seen him, though he was still small. He would probably grow tall suddenly at once. They walked passed me – actually through me – heading the dining room, chatting. I didn't pay attention to what they were talking about but when I heard Hikari's name I turned fast around, following them. I arrived at the dining room just when Mary was leaving, heading the staircase. If Hiro was here today, that would mean that... »So it is you, who is Hikari's project partner.« I entered the room, walking up to my brother, who had just taken his seat upon one of the many chairs, waiting for the girl upstairs. I stopped when I was standing in front of him, crossing my arms. Suddenly, a piece of earlier given information popped up in my mind, hearing the girl's voice clearly in my head. Hikari's project partner was the guy who had called her a freak before. I looked at the form, who was sitting right in front of me, connecting everything. »Don't tell me it is you, who was calling names at Hikari...! Didn't I tell you better? And...don't you know it better than to bully other people? What were you thinking Hiro?« I glared at him with wide eyes, waiting for a reaction of my counterpart. But of course my brother wasn't making any move, nor did he respond. Why should he? He was not able to see or hear me. I sighed deeply. »Of course...You can't hear me...« I ran my fingers through my short, black hair while looking frustrated at Hiro. Why was he behaving like this? I wanted to open my mouth to question him something but hesitated when I heard steps coming closer. They were smaller and faster than Mary's so this must be Hikari. I started to panic. She was not allowed to see me here and I was not allowed to be in the near of my brother. I didn't know what I could possibly do when I was here – even in the living room. Hikari's safety was more important, so I did what I had to do. I vanished into nothing while I still couldn't believe that it had been Hiro, of whom the girl had been talking about.


~Hiro's PoV~

I didn't exactly know for how long I was sitting here – I could have looked at the clock, which was behind me, but I was too lazy – but at some time I heard some steps from behind me. I stopped to teeter my feet and turned a bit around just to see how Hikari entered the room, some books in her arms and a pencil case in her hand. This strange anxious feeling returned together with the burning feeling of dislike and I didn't know which emotion I should listen to. I decided to ignore both of them as good as possible.

»I'm sorry that I am a little late. I was taking a shower and somehow forgot the time.« She placed her books upon the table after she was done with explaining. Now she was close enough for me to see that some strands of her hair were still wet. It seemed that she had hurried herself to get ready than to blow dry her hair properly. She turned her head so that her sight was meeting mine. As I looked into her black eyes I felt how my heart missed a beat ere it started to work again. But this time a little faster. After some time I noticed that I was staring and cleared my throat to get control of my body again. What was wrong with me? Maybe I should concentrate upon this burning dislike feeling again...I recognized that I was owing her a reply and shook my head quickly to get a clear mind again.

»It's okay. I was not waiting for that long now.« I shrugged my shoulders and turned towards the table before I bent down to my left side – Hikari was standing at my right – to get my notebook and my pencil case out of my bag. Meanwhile, I was busy with that the black haired girl was taking her seat next to me, spreading the books out so that we could have a better look at them. So my intention had been right. She was indeed having some books about this topic. Her gaze met a plate with muffins and a tray with some tea, she turned around to me.

»Mary has made some muffins for us so that we have something to eat while we are working. Do you want one and some tea?« I took my gaze away from the books and turned around to look at Hikari beside me. It was rare to see her looking friendly at me – actually I always saw her looking annoyed or angered at me. So I blinked several times when I met her questioning expression.

»Uhm...sure. I would love to have one. And some tea.« The last part I hurried to say and I watched how she rose from her chair and walked over to the other end, placing on two plates one muffin and filled two cups with some steaming tea. I noticed from the expression on her face that she was considering in walking twice or carrying everything at once. The decision was made quickly and when she started to place one plate upon her forearm, taking the other one into her hand and started to move her free hand towards the cups I jumped up of my chair, walking fast – actually stumbling – to her side, taking both cups in each hand, causing her to wince. The plate upon her arm was moving dangerously but it stayed where it was. I looked at my right side only to see her startled face, her eyes were as wide as possible. For a moment we just remained like this, looking at each other. But then I noticed the confused spark in her black orbs. She was probably wondering why I had moved so fast and out of the sudden to help her. I was even wondering by myself! After some time this silence and staring grew quite uncomfortable. »Uhm...I think it is better when I help you. Not that you drop something...« This hadn't even been a lie. Hikari in return only blinked several times.

»Does this mean you have been concerned about me?« Unbelief was written all over her face and she was truly surprised about this possibility. But...strangely she was right. Right after hearing her question I felt that this was indeed the reason and this feeling of relief had filled my body when I was sure that she wouldn't pour the hot tea over her hands. But like I was I was denying this immediately, furrowing my brow.

»Not exactly. I just didn't want you to drop our stuff, making a mess.« I couldn't tell why I was lying but only the thought of committing that I could have been concerned caused me to cringe. She rolled her eyes after hearing my answer and took the plate on her arm into her free hand, walking back to our seats. There she dropped the plates more like placing them down and sat back upon her chair. I sighed inside. I knew my words had been rude but...I followed her, heading my chair and placed her cup in front of her before taking my own seat, placing my tea down as well. Hikari pulled her notebook closer to herself, opening it and took a pen out of her pencil case, turning towards me. Her expression was neither angry nor friendly.

»I had been thinking already and I think that we should build a robot, no matter what Professor Raven has said. I mean...I'm quite sure that most of the teams will create an advanced search engine. And in my opinion, this is boring. And I know that we could manage it to program a fully functioning robot.« While she had been explaining her idea the neutral expression had disappeared and excitement was bow being there instead. I was thinking. What she said was good and I was having the same opinion as her. Creating a search engine would be way too boring. I nodded then, signing that I was approving.

»I think this is a great idea. I was considering the same.« Hearing my words caused a smile pulled the corners of her lips up, she beaming brightly at me. I remembered how her smile had affected me when she had been smiling Baymax but smiling directly at me was something I could not handle. Her complete face was lighted up. For a brief moment, I spaced out, actually forgetting that it was Hikari, who was sitting beside me and that I actually didn't like her. I could hear my pulse in my ears, how it quickened its pace. If I would not get myself under control again then my face would be as red as a tomato.

»You really think that?« Her voice helped me to get back to reality and slowly my mind cleared up again. That was the point where I noticed what had happened and immediately I could feel my blood boiling but this time not because of anger but of embarrassment. I could almost picture myself how my cheeks got redder. Quickly I gave Hikari an answer before this situation could become even more awkward.

»Yes, really.« Recognizing that nothing changed I added: »But it's nothing special since I had got the same idea.« I pulled my shoulders into a shrug, showing her that it wasn't a big deal. On cue, her facial expression changed, first into a hurt one but then she pulled one of her eyebrows up. This face was more familiar to me. It kind of pained me to see how the happy expression disappeared but I concentrated on the thought that I couldn't stand this girl. She pursed her red lips ere she turned back around to her notebook.

»Well then...we should look that we find something that our robot should be able to do at the end.« Hikari opened her pen and started writing the headline.


~Hikari's PoV~

I had to say that this evening with Hiro was being different like I thought that it would be. I had thought that we would be fighting and this non-stop. But...we weren't. Yes, of course, in the end, he was still rude to me but he wasn't calling me a freak. At least something. And sometimes...I didn't know why...but he was...almost...friendly. If not one of his further comments destroyed the ones he said before. But after a while, we just concentrated on our project though even there some stupid comments were being heard from him. As I caught the sound of steps coming closer I looked up, seeing that Mary was standing in the doorway. She was holding some dishes in her hands.

»Alright, children. Please clear the table. Supper is ready. Hiro, you are invited to eat with us.« I turned quickly around on my seat to face my nanny better and my eyes grew big. Luckily she was not paying attention to me and was looking at the boy beside me. I glared at him, seeing from his face that he must be thinking the same. That we didn't want to spend more time with each other.

»Thank you very much, Mary. But I don't want to bother you more than I already have.« His voice was polite when he was talking to her.

»Don't worry about it. You aren't bothering us. A friend of Hikari's is always welcome.« Well...that was the problem. Hiro was no friend of mine! I withstood the urge to clap my palm into my face. This would only cause that Mary would ask what was wrong with me.

»You have heard Hiro, Mary. If he doesn't want to then he doesn't have to.«, I said, hoping that she would drop this stupid idea.

»I really don't want to interrupt you.«, he added.

»Oh shush, you two! Of course, Hiro is going to stay. I insist.« And with that she placed the plates onto the table, heading the exit. I sighed deeply and dropped my head upon the table, my forehead meeting the hard wood. I rose my head back up, looking at the boy with messy black hair.

»I'm sorry about Mary. She is always all excited when it's about people.« Especially since they came for me. I rolled my eyes at my own comment but Hiro only waved off.

»It's okay. I understand. My aunt was the same with my friends.« Once again silence was resting between us and I was watching the table. After no one said anything I got up of my chair and started with collecting my books together, placing everything on a nearby shelf. Then I walked back, starting to set the table.


Setting the table hadn't taken long and soon Mary, Hiro and I were sitting at it. My nanny was busy at the moment with putting some of the food – Spaghetti – on our plates when I heard how the front door got opened, steps coming closer. I looked up from my plate, gazing at the open door, Hiro beside me doing the same. Heavy steps...that meant...My father walked into the dining room and with him a man behind him. He was skinny and the suit he was wearing seemed to be a little bit too big. His hair was short and brown and he was wearing big nerd-glasses. This was Gabriel Mittens. The business partner of my father. The male with the short black hair – my father – looked one time around until his eyes met me. Just to wander over to the person beside me. There he pulled one brow up.

»Gabriel? You will find the disc in my office. Please feel free to enter it.« He talked with Mittens but didn't take his eyes from Hiro and me. From the corner of my eye, I noticed how the boy was slowly getting uncomfortable. Mittens nodded and turned then around, following the hallway to reach my father's office. It was not the first time that he was here that's why he knew where to go.

»Mr. Sunō. If I had known that you would take Mr. Mittens with you I would have cooked more.« Mary seemed troubled but my father only waved off.

»Don't worry, Mary. We will have to discuss a few things in my office. We don't need something to eat.« He stepped deeper into the room and Mary grabbed the pot with the Spaghetti and left, probably to get two extra dishes ready. What she didn't like was it to have a guest who would not be able to eat something. One last time the dark orbs of my father wandered from me to Hiro, where he then finally remained. Hiro shrunk even more.

»Dad. I didn't know that you would come home on time today...« I tried to get the attention of him to make it easier for the black haired boy. Even though I wasn't very fond of him I didn't want that he had to endure...that. Because I was sure that my father was very curious who he was after I had never ever brought someone home from school yet. But the older person didn't take his sight from him while answering me.

»Well...today there were no problems. So I thought being at home on time would be nice.« He paused and stepped closer to the table. »But I didn't know that we have a guest.« The voice of my father was polite, though there was still something in it, which showed the authority he was having. Probably a side-effect of being the leader of a company. I looked between him and Hiro a few times ere I decided to help him out.

»This is Hiro Hamada. He is my project partner in our robotic class.« Now he turned to me before his gaze met the one of the boy beside me again, a curious glare being in his eyes.

»Hiro Hamada. Ah yes, I have heard from you. You are the other genius at SFIT, am I right?« Now he sounded more interested and even his expression relaxed a bit.

»Uhm...yes. I guess so.« Also, Hiro relaxed a bit and wasn't pushing his form against the backrest of the chair, just like he had wanted to disappear into it.

»Where are my manners? I haven't introduced myself yet.« My father held his hand out towards him. Hiro glared at the hand and grabbed it then, shaking it once. »My name is Kuro Sunō.«

»Kuro Sunō. You mean Kuro Sunō, the founder and leader of SnowElectronic Industries?« The boys opposite had to laugh when he exclaimed that. Hiro seemed to be truly surprised about this.

»Yes, that's me.« My father was smiling at him now before he looked up, seeing something in the doorway. I followed his gaze and saw Mary standing there with two plates, filled with Spaghetti in her hands. »Please excuse me. Gabriel and I have to discuss something. It was nice to meet you, Hiro.« And with that he turned around, following my nanny. I sighed in relief when he was gone and I moved my body already towards Hiro to apologize to him when he was faster.

»Your father is Kuro Sunō?« His brown eyes were as big as they could be and his expression was a mix of surprise and shock. And not to forget disbelief. I only rose one of my eyebrows at this.

»What gave it away? The fact that I have the same surname as him or the fact that I called him 'dad'? Man...for a genius you are quite slow.« I rolled my eyes and I already thought that he would shoot back and say something against me. But all he did was laughing awkwardly, scratching the backside of his head. I only sighed and picked my fork up, starting finally to eat my dinner.


Mary had joined us as soon as she had returned from my father's office. He and Mittens haven't appeared yet. So it had to be something important when they had to discuss it after work. As soon as we were done with eating and clearing the table I walked Hiro to the front door.

»When shall we continue with our project?« He turned around on the highest stair, facing me while he had been asking his question. I was leaning myself against the door frame, crossing my arms in front of my chest. I pursed my lips thinking.

»How about tomorrow? Maybe in the morning? Mary will be busy with doing the shopping and we would be alone.« The thought of no questions from Mary was great. She had asked enough of them during our dinner and I clearly didn't want to repeat that. All I wanted was to do this project with Hiro and don't get to know him better...At my words, he made a grimace.

»What means 'morning'?«

»Don't worry. I don't mean at eight o'clock in the morning. Around ten maybe?« He still didn't look very pleased but it was better than eight. I could tell that he normally slept longer on the weekends.

»Okay. I'll be here around ten then.«, he confirmed.

»Great.« Against my will, I had to smile and pushed my body away from the frame. »Then...see you tomorrow then.« He blinked a few times, looking at me before he was nodding to this.

»Then until tomorrow.« We were standing awkwardly in front of each other, my smile long gone. We cleared then our throats at the same time and before this situation could have become more strange I shut the door, turning around.

»This was a strange evening...«, I whispered to myself, walking then along the hallway to reach the staircase, heading my bedroom.

I was sitting on my bed, reading a book when I noticed something moving from above my book. I looked up and saw a familiar face, causing me to smile.

»Tadashi! Where have you been? I haven't seen you all evening long.« The male approached my bed, taking his seat on the edge of my mattress.

»I told you that I won't bother you when you have your guest. And? How was your evening with your partner?« He was having a questioning expression on his face. I sighed, placing my bookmark between the pages of my book and put it away upon my bedside table. I sat upright, leaning my form against the backrest.

»It was...strange...I can't tell if it was better than I thought though...I only know that it was completely different like I have thought it would be...« My forehead wrinkled while thinking about this evening with Hiro. »At least he didn't call me a freak again.« I shrugged my shoulders and my smile returned then on my lips, Tadashi seeming to be relieved about this.

»At least something. When are you going to meet him again?«

»Tomorrow morning. He comes over at ten. The faster we get done with this project, the better it is.« I grabbed my book again from the table, opening it. »Will you be here or will you disappear again?« I cocked my head slightly to the side while glaring at my friend. It looked like he was thinking about it.

»I don't know. I think I will decide it spontaneously.« I nodded at this.

»Okay. Either way, I will be fine with it.« And with that and a smile, I was looking back at my book, continuing with reading.


~Authorial Narrator's PoV~

It was way past midnight when he was sneaking out of the door. He had to be discreet, otherwise, he would get noticed. Silently he shut the door and locked it back up before he headed the parking lot, where his black car was waiting. Quickly he approached the vehicle without gaining too much suspicion and got into it, sticking his key into the slot. As soon as he had turned the machine on the sound of the engine was able to be heard. Luckily the engine of his car wasn't too loud. He drove away from the building and made his way through the silent streets of San Fransokyo. His eyes were focused on the street, following it with a stern expression. It didn't take long until he arrived a more isolated area of this city. It was quite dark at this part and wouldn't the lights of the car shine and lead the way, he would have not been possible to see anything. He stopped the vehicle, when he drove upon a parking area, getting out of it. Without any hesitation, he approached the big building, which was resting here. After entering he followed determined the hallway and a staircase down until he reached the lowest floor. The basement. He walked up to a computer, pushing the power button and while he was waiting until the PC has booted up he was wondering what he would find out today. All day long he had not been able to check after there were too many people around. The more excited he was when he opened up the file and...nothing. He balled his right hand tightly to a fist and slammed it upon the white desk. This could not be true! Another day has passed and still...no further information. He sighed and leaned himself back at the backrest of his chair, on which he was sitting on. Maybe he should...no. This would be wrong. But...he didn't have another choice. Quickly he moved closer to the screen and started to get working.

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 6 - Torn

 

~Hiro's PoV~

I was currently sitting in Professor Raven's class, watching him how he was explaining us something. It was quite boring so I was scribbling something in my notebook, without actually paying attention to what I was drawing. I blew some air out, causing that my bangs flew up before falling back in place. It was like every other day at college. I took my gaze from my professor to look down at the paper in front of me. And furrowed my brow. I had been writing the letter 'K' several times, all over the sheet. After a moment passed I just shrugged my shoulders, not thinking that this would be important and looked back up. Professor Raven just ended his lecture, everyone getting up packing their stuff together. Also, I was putting my things into my backpack, following my classmates out of this hall. The door closed as soon as I had reached the hallway, making me turn around. Probably a draft...I turned back around, seeing that the group of people had walked ahead already. I started to follow them to get to the exit so that I could head the cafeteria, only my steps were being able to be heard. The sound of my shoes meeting the floor got louder until it reached a volume, which caused that it echoed in my ears. The other students were long gone and the hallway seemed to become longer and longer. My surrounding area darkened, the shadows getting sharp-edged. An oppressive feeling started to form itself in my stomach and though everything was strange I didn't stop with walking. The air got thick and warm, heating more and more up with every step I took. Soon I could feel beads of sweat on my brow and a thin film was being above my lip. Finally, I could see the door, which would lead me out of this building. I couldn't wait until I was finally outside. A red gleaming was able to be seen through the slit between the door and the ground. I should have questioned this but I just held my hand out to grab the handle, pushing it down, opening the door. After walking out I suddenly found myself in complete darkness, not being able to see anything. Only this heat was present. I turned myself around, trying to focus on something when this place got lighted up. And what I saw caused my heart to stop a beat. Enormous flames were lightening the room I was captured in, licking on the walls. Tables, chairs and other stuff, which had been standing here were burning ablaze, disappearing into the red of the flames. I could hear shouts and callings from the distance, me looking for the source of this voice. But of course, I could not see anyone.

Crash.

I jumped backward, just in time before a piece of the ceiling landed on the spot I had been standing before, the flames feeding itself on the material. Fire. Why had it to be a fire? Memories related to a burning building filled my mind, me trying to avoid them as good as possible. But of course I couldn't ban them completely and pictures of my brother running into this certain building passed my inner eye. Fast I was turning around, trying to find a door or a window through which I could escape but of course, everything was blocked by flames. The feeling of despair filled me and I was about to open my mouth to cry for help when I heard something. My problem – being trapped in a burning room – was forgotten for a blink of a moment.

»Hello? Is there someone?«, I called out in hope to hear this noise again. At first, nothing answered, not even the shouts I had heard before were present anymore. But then there was this noise again. It was a chuckle, clear and light. Quickly I followed it, ignoring the blazes, which wanted to pine over my limbs. And then I saw it. A shadow was passing the fire, heading an open door, at which only darkness rested behind. Without thinking twice about it I just followed the mysterious shadow, running right through the flames, not getting harmed by them. »Wait!« I stumbled over to the open door, hoping that it would not close as soon as I reached it and trap me once again into this room. But...luck was on my side and I could pass it without meeting the wood with my face. As soon as I had stepped out of this room the door slammed closed behind me, darkness surrounding me again. But this time I could at least see a few things. Gleaming debris was resting on the side of this way, showing me that this nightmare was not over yet. Everywhere I laid my eyes on I could see destruction and I really didn't want to take a closer look, being afraid of seeing something I really didn't want to see. I started to follow this way since this was the only direction I could head, if I didn't want to return to that room behind me and after making the first step I could already feel great pain in my leg, wandering up. So I had not been uninjured like I thought I was. I tried to check on my leg if the wound was very bad but I couldn't see it. So I just had to bite my teeth together and endure it until I would finally reach the outside. I tried another step but this one was at least as painful like the other one and I felt tears sting in my eyes. I was just about to give up and stay where I was when I heard that laugh again. But this time it didn't only cause me to look for the source but also made that my heart made a jump in my chest. I looked straight on again, seeing a glowing, bright light at the end and in front of it was the shadow I had seen before.

Hiro.

I heard it calling after me, my heart reacting to this like to the chuckle before and like earlier I didn't think twice and just moved forward, the pain in my legs forgotten. It was a long way but when I reached the light I could see a hand in my sight. I closed my own one around it and got immediately pulled deep into the light. As soon as I was consumed by it I felt...safer. This light had something comforting in it. Too late I noticed that I was still holding the hand and that I was standing quite close to a person. I pulled my eyes away from my surroundings and looked right into a pair of familiar black eyes, which got surrounded by long, black lashes. And against every anticipation, my heartbeat rate was increasing immediately after I had met her gaze. A spark appeared in her orbs, probably because of the warm smile, which appeared on her red lips. And then relief was not the only thing, what I was feeling...This one emotion, which I had felt before joining, but in a far more intense way like I had experienced it before. The reason might be the lack of anger I was normally feeling. So my body reacted to this now in a completely different way. First of all...my heart had decided to take up some more pace, causing that my blood rushed up to my face, reddening my cheeks. This must be visible because I heard her chuckling – the same one which led me out of the darkness – what only worsened my state. It was fluttering within my chest again...Then she let go from my hand, which I still was holding on to and turned then around, taking her sight at last from me. And then Hikari disappeared into the light, leaving me dumbfounded behind.

I opened my eyes, looking straightly at the ceiling above me. I was lying comfortably on the mattress of my bed, the covers resting upon my body. I didn't know what time it was but I knew that it was earlier than usual. Normally I wasn't going to leave my bed until eleven. At earliest. But thanks to the light, which came through the slits of the blind it had to be around nine. Or even eight. The strange thing was not the time – okay...this was strange enough for me – but the fact that I was fully awake. And though I was fully awake I didn't felt like getting up, nor even move a finger. I remained in the position I was being in, not having the intention to place myself differently. Or better...my body didn't feel like it. My mind was wide awake but my body wasn't. And then...This strange feeling, which I had during my dream was still remaining inside of me. Not the scary part about the fire – I had those multiple times after my brother has passed away – but only those short moments I had while looking into those deep, black eyes. It was not like my usual dreams, where you dream some weird stuff, feeling all weird and as soon as you wake up nothing matters anymore. This dream left a taste on my tongue especially this feeling, which just didn't want to disappear. And even worse, every time I thought about it, Hikari came into my mind and every time I was thinking about Hikari this feeling got worse. I sighed deeply. Everything was so strange since yesterday evening. Before that I couldn't even stand her, being completely fine with this. But ever since I had to spend my afternoon with her it was kind of different. First of all...I couldn't be mad at her anymore because of the fact that she had been working at SnowElectronic Industries. This was the company of her father and I would have done the same if I was in her place. And she had to do something after she had graduated at an early age. And I had been so stupid! It was kind of obvious that Kuro Sunō was her father. After all, they shared the same surname! I had been blinded. Blinded by...what? My jealousy? No. I was not jealous and I had not been jealous...or? I pulled myself up and rested my back at the backrest, looking at the clock on my bedside table. Eight-thirty. So I had been right...Another sigh left my lips and I swung my feet over the edge of my mattress getting out of my bed. I still had plenty of time. Though I was now standing on the floor, ready to do anything I was still glaring into nothing. I had been thinking a lot currently – since yesterday night to be correct – and I slipped back into my thoughts of earlier. It was not like I had decided to do so it just...happened. At some time my mind just drifted off, me finding myself staring into nothing while thinking. And it didn't matter with what it started, it always ended the same, leading to one point. Hikari. Hikari's smile, Hikari's laugh. Hikari in general. I groaned in frustration, slapping my palm against my forehead several times. I just didn't get it. Why on earth was she being in my mind that often lately?

»Stop. Thinking. About. Her!«, I exhorted myself while hitting myself with my open hand against my brow. But my mind didn't listen to me and as soon as I was thinking about her my dream meant to show up in my mind as well. This caused that I turned around towards my wall and...

Bang.

My forehead met the hard material, causing me, of course, to cry out in pain. I rubbed the hurting spot after the impact, thinking that this had not been my best idea. And of course, this blinking sound and the noise of air inflating didn't take long to appear, signing that Baymax was coming to render first aid.

»Hello, I'm Baymax. Your personal healthcare companion. Good morning Hiro. What is the cause of your distress?«

»I'm fine, Baymax. I just...hit my head...against the wall...« I noticed by myself how stupid that sounded, my robot friend only blinked to that. I pulled my eyebrows up, wondering what he was up to.

»Scan complete. Your brow is swelling a little bit. I suggest using an icepack. Furthermore, I sense that your neurotransmitter values are high, indicating a high amount of different emotions at once. Was that the reason to hit your head against a wall?« I scratched the backside of my head, grinning awkwardly. He had nailed it.

»Yes. After my hand wasn't enough I needed something stronger...« Also, this sounded very stupid. Again Baymax was only blinking as a response, probably going through his database.

»Can you name the reason for your mental confusion? Or shall we talk about it to find out what the cause might be?« I pulled one eyebrow up at his words. Luckily I already knew why I was confused.

»Don't worry. It was just a weird dream I had last night...« Speaking of it made of course that I was thinking about it again. My body reacted immediately to this.

»Your heartbeat is increasing rapidly and the number of hormones within your circulation is getting higher as well. And after those symptoms have shown up after talking about your dream it had to do something with it. What was your dream about, Hiro?« I felt how my heart was beating heavily against my rib cage, of out of the dream itself or the fear that Baymax could find out was not clear. But the thought that the white robot could know and maybe get the wrong conclusion was terrifying.

»You know what? I think I'll have some breakfast.« And with that I passed him fast, escaping through the door, running almost the stairs down into the kitchen. But even there I was not alone.

»Good morning, sweety. I didn't think to see you that early in the morning.« Aunt Cass was sitting at the table, a cup of steaming coffee was being in front of her. She was completely oblivious to my state and I really hoped that she was not able to hear my beating heart.

»Uhm...yes. I couldn't sleep anymore and I'm meeting up with Hikari again to continue our project.« At the mention of Hikari's name, my aunt was listening up.

»By the way. How was it? I haven't seen you yesterday anymore.« She lifted her cup up, moving it towards her lips to take a sip. While she was doing this she didn't let me go with her eyes. I recalled the last evening, trying not to think about the strange things to find a fitting answer.

»It was...okay. We got a great idea and the evening was decent. And Mary's food was very good.« She smiled hearing this.

»That's good! I was glad that she had planned you in already. I just could have offered you a sandwich.« Aunt Cass was still smiling at me ere she took a sip from her coffee again. »When are you leaving?« At her question I was raising my sight, checking the kitchen clock. I felt Mochi walking passed my chair, rubbing himself against my legs. It was almost nine o'clock.

»We are meeting up at ten.«

»You know, if you like she could come over. I will keep the café closed today after I have to do some major cleaning. The wedding party lasted quite long and I have to say that I had been quite tired and hadn't felt like cleaning until six in the morning.« And just on cue she was yawning, covering her mouth with the backside of her right hand.

»Thanks. But she is already waiting for me at her house. No one is going to be there so we will have our peace.« I pulled my shoulders into a shrug.

»Oh. Okay. But then let me at least drive you.«


 

I was sitting beside my aunt in her car, while she was guiding us through the streets of San Fransokyo. After she had finished her coffee she had made herself ready, me doing the same. Except that I was much faster than her. Baymax had tried again to help me with my current dream but I managed it to deactivate him before he could start to ask too many questions at once. Then I had grabbed my backpack and left my room, heading for the kitchen to wait for Aunt Cass. After about fifteen minutes she had appeared. She left for the café, while I should wait in the car, me wondering meanwhile what she was intending to do. But now I was sitting on the seat, having a box with some doughnuts and muffins on my lap. Luckily she knew the way to Hikari's place after I had told her the address and she could avoid some traffic while heading our destination. A few minutes passed until we finally arrived. Aunt Cass gazed at the house in awe when she had stopped the car at the opposite sidewalk.

»She is living in there?«, she asked me without taking her sight of the building. I nodded unlocking the belt and opened the door while grabbing my stuff.

»Yup. I'll see you later, Aunt Cass.« I slipped out of the car, closing the door behind me. But before it was closed I heard how she responded the same to me. After that, she drove away. I checked the street and passed it then, walking up to the front door, ringing the doorbell. While I was waiting that someone opened the door I felt my heart beating a little faster within my chest again and I took a few deep breaths to calm it. I'd really like to know why it was doing this so often lately. The door opened and I looked into the face of Hikari.

»Hi, Hiro. I was already waiting. Come inside.« She stepped aside, letting me in and as soon as I passed her she shut the door. She started then to walk ahead. »I thought we could sit today in the living room. We are alone after all, so no one is going to disturb us.« The black haired girl gazed quickly over her shoulder at me before she turned her sight away. The last picture of my dream blinked up in my mind after seeing this and I shook my head to clear my thoughts. I needed to focus now. We entered the living room, Hikari signing me to sit on the couch. I placed my backpack beside the couch table and the box upon it. I saw the girl's questioning expression.

»My aunt wanted to say thank you for letting me eat here yesterday and had insisted to give us something for breakfast.«

»Oh.« Her expression turned into a surprised one and a smile appeared on her lips. »That's nice. Wait here, I will grab two plates.« And with that, she turned around. She hadn't even noticed that I had stared at her, after seeing her smile. I followed her with my sight until she disappeared out of the room. 


 

~Tadashi's PoV~

I wasn't sure if this was a good idea. Honestly...I had the feeling that I shouldn't even be here. But as Hikari had asked me if I would stay here now or if I would leave again I had decided to stay. After all, I had promised her earlier that I would keep an eye on her when she was working with her project partner, who hadn't been that nice to her. Well...this was before I had got to know that her project partner was my little brother. But still...I had made a promise and a promise was a promise. So I had decided that I stayed in the dining room while the two of them were being in the living room. She was not able to see me and I could hear everything. The only problem would be that I needed to keep my mouth shut if Hiro meant to get mean. But then...after what Hikari had told me yesterday he wasn't mean to her. Maybe a bit rude but nothing that she could not have handled. I would see what this morning would show.

»That's nice. Wait here, I will grab two plates.« I heard those words, not knowing what exactly the context of the conversation was about after I had been deep in my thoughts. The sound of footsteps filled my ears and I walked towards the archway to look through only to see how Hikari disappeared, Hiro following her with his sight. Then I saw a familiar box resting on the table and I got it. He had brought something to eat with. After I knew my brother I was already considering that this idea had been our aunt's one. A smile curled the corners of my lips. That was typically Aunt Cass. A sigh dragged me out of my thoughts and I lifted my gaze just in time to see how my brother dropped his head upon the table, his forehead meeting the furniture.

»What's wrong with me...?« I heard him muttering and I furrowed my brow. What was that now? I straightened my back after I had been leaning at the door frame with crossed arms and made a step closer towards him. I started to get concerned. My sight remained on the mess, which he called hair and I was really wondering what was up with my little brother. He was actually never behaving so weird. I was watching him while he was not moving a bit, his forehead still remaining upon the table. Then I heard the same footsteps coming closer and we both looked up to see that Hikari was returning. With two plates in one hand and two steaming cups in the other. I was immediately alarmed and was just about to run forwards when I remembered that I was not able to help her. But then I saw how my brother jumped quickly up, walking fast around the table and was in shorter than nothing at the girl's side, placing his hands carefully around both cups. »Why haven't you called after me?«, he asked her, raising his sight from the items in both of their hands to look into her face. I didn't know why but at this I had to grin.

»Because I would have made it to the table without spilling.« And though I saw that she wasn't really liking the idea of getting some help she let Hiro take the cups out of her grasp so that he could carry them to the couch table.

»Hot chocolate?«, he asked as he was placing the mugs down. I was seeing that I returned back to the dining room before Hikari could lay her eyes on me. But instead of sitting down upon a chair I leaned my left shoulder at the wall where the archway was so that I had the couch in my sight. The girl was not able to see me and I could watch out that everything was fine. And I had to admit that I was very curious about how this situation would turn out to be like.

»Uhm...yes. I hope this is okay? I thought this would fit quite good to doughnuts and stuff. But if you...-«

»No, no. Hot chocolate is just fine. Thanks.« Hiro assured her – having cut in into her sentence – gazing at the still standing girl, while he was sitting already.

»Okay. Then I'm relieved.«, she replied and walked towards the couch, grabbing a pillow. Then she approached the table and dropped the soft item in front of it, being now at the head of the furniture. Then she put the plates on it, where she and her project partner would be sitting and took her own seat. Hiro grabbed a pillow as well and placed himself upon the floor. Now Hikari was sitting with her back to me and I saw my brother's left side. Actually perfect for me. Hiro pulled the box with the goods closer to himself, opening it.

»Let's see...What do you prefer?« He looked up to meet the gaze of his counterpart, waiting for her response. I already knew what she would like to have. Hikari leaned a little bit closer to him, trying to look at what was inside the box.

»Do you have something with chocolate?« The box got pushed closer to her so that it was resting between both of them. And I had been thinking right. She would want to have something with chocolate.

»I guess so. At least those two doughnuts are filled with chocolate.«

»Great!«, the girl exclaimed and quickly everyone got that piece of sweets, what they wanted to have.

»I was thinking.« Hiro took a bite of his muffin, chewing on it while he was probably ordering his thoughts in his mind. »If we create a waiter-bot then we should try and see that the appearance is not too...metallic.« After ending his sentence he was taking another bite of his breakfast, glaring at his opposite. Hikari was chewing as well, but she swallowed her remaining food quickly before speaking.

»Yeah, this sounds logical. I was considering the same since in a restaurant the atmosphere is more...comfortable. And I think a robot in a typically robotic style would disturb this...« Hiro nodded to this, biting from his muffin while thinking. I was very excited to see what the product of this project would be. In my opinion, both students were great in the topic of robotics and made a perfect team, even if they didn't see it like that.

»But I think we should not go with the design of Baymax.«

»Why is that? I think he is a really adorable robot. The people would love him.« I blinked in surprise, hearing her respond. Hikari knew Baymax?

»This might be. But you haven't seen him walking around in places where is not enough space. He always ends up throwing something down. And I'm sure that the guests of a restaurant rather want to eat their food than seeing it on the ground.« The boy leaned back at the front of the couch, crossing his arms in front of his chest.

»That's a point...« I watched how the girl was reaching out for her notebook, grabbing a pencil on the way as well and opened it, starting to scribble something inside. 


 

~Hikari's PoV~

I was leaning myself with my back against the couch. I had to say that it was not that bad to spend some time with Hiro than I thought it would be. But probably this was only temporary since we were both concentrated on our project. And we both had the same goal. To pass this as good as possible. So probably this truce would end as soon as we would find ourselves in class again. This thought placed a shadow over my features. I looked up of my notebook, on which I was sketching at the moment, as I heard the front door open and close, steps coming closer. Those steps were too heavy for Mary so this would mean...My father entered the living room, eying us.

»Dad. You are at home?« I pulled one of my eyebrows up, wondering what he was doing here. My words caused that also Hiro was looking up, who was sitting beside me currently, seeing Dad standing in the doorway.

»Hello, Mr. Sunō.« The boy with the black hair sounded polite and...kind of awestruck. I giggled silently about this, covering my lips with the backside of my right hand, with which I was holding my pencil.

»Hello, Hiro. It's nice to see you again.« The man came deeper inside and stopped directly at the couch table, looking at the mess of books and papers. »And yes. At the moment everything is fine at work and Gabriel told me that he could handle this shift alone. So I returned back home. Oh. And before I forget. Mr. Wang called. He can't make it today since Lien isn't feeling well.«

»Oh. Alright. I will call her later to send my best wishes.« I was a bit sad that my training would be canceled today but the health of my Sifu's wife was more important.

»How is your project doing? Any news?« He took a closer look at our papers on the table to see if there was something interesting.

»At the moment we are trying to find a design to see if the coding we have thought about could work.«, Hiro answered looking at my father.

»Well then. I will let you two alone then. If you need something, I'm in my office catching up with some paperwork.« He turned around and walked out of the room, heading his office. I relaxed again, not having noticed that I had straightened my back and placed it at the couch again. 


 

I don't know how much time passed but after a long while of silently working there was a buzzing noise filling the air. I looked up from my notebook to find the source when I saw how Hiro was grabbing into the pocket of his pants. As he pulled out a mobile the frown, which he was wearing disappeared and he looked at me.

»Sorry. I'll make it quick.« I blinked several times at him, watching how he took the call. »Hey, Fred, what's up?« A voice was being able to be heard from the mobile but no clear words. The boy beside me nodded a few times, answering in short words. And like he said it didn't take long and his phone disappeared into his pocket again. »This was Fred. A friend of mine.«

»Which one of the two?« I recalled that there were two males from the group of friends. Hiro not counting in.

»The one with the blond hair.«

»You mean the guy with the green monster hat?« I pulled one of my eyebrows up, remembering the blond friend of my counterpart.

»Yes! That's Fred.« He cleared his throat, probably to get rid of his excited voice. »Anyways. The team would like to meet up and he asked me if I was joining.«

»The team?« Did he know how weird this sounded? Who called his friends a team, unless you are playing in a football team. Or a soccer team. Or a basketball team.

»Well. The group of my friends.« Group sounded better but I didn't say something further and shrugged it off.

»Okay. I think we have done enough for today. It's already...« I looked up at the grandfather clock, which was standing in the corner of the room. »Oh. It's two o'clock in the afternoon? How did that happen?« I saw how Hiro rose up from his pillow, starting to collect everything together. I did the same, forming a pile upon the table. It didn't take long and the living room was neat again. My sight fell upon the box, which my project partner had taken with, seeing that one doughnut was left.

»This one is for Mary. As 'Thank You' for yesterday.« I nodded and knelt down, closing the box so that the sweet won't dry out.

»I'll let her know.« I got back up, holding the item in my hands. I would bring it into the kitchen. »I will tell my father that you have left. He is probably busy with some business stuff.« Now it was on him to nod and together we walked out of this room, heading for the front door. I placed the doughnut box on the little side table near the exit and opened the door for my guest. Hiro walked out and turned around looking at me. For a moment we just glared at each other, I started to teeter slightly on my feet.

»Well then...-«, the boy began but I cut in.

»Look. I know that you are behaving like that because of the project. And I'm glad about this because otherwise, we wouldn't make any process. But I know that this is only temporary and only for the time we are working on it. I'm fully aware that this won't last forever, especially not during our lectures. So you don't have to think that I would anticipate another behavior from you in front of me. You made it quite clear earlier that you are not fond of me, what I got by now. I'd say we think of a new appointment on Monday.« I was leaning against the door frame – a habit of mine – and crossed my arms in front of my chest. I didn't know why I had started with that but I had felt the urge to make those things clear. Maybe also to convince me that this truce was only for the times working on this project. Hiro was looking at me blinking before he nodded slightly, his face being blank. I could not read out of it what was going on inside his head.

»Sure. See you on Monday then.« He turned around and followed the stairs down, meanwhile, I was closing the door. But before it was completely shut I saw how the boy's gaze rested upon the building before walking away. 


 

~Hiro's PoV~

The others and I were walking along the street after being the last two hours at the movies, watching a movie. Before that we had eaten something so it must be around eight then, it's being dark already. Fred's voice was the loudest from us all and filled the air so that everyone outside could hear what he was talking about.

»This movie was just awesome! I mean...it was like bam-bang-bang! And then a big boom!« All eyes were darted at our blond friend when he was done with explaining his favorite part of the movie. What was actually the whole movie in general.

»I don't know...in my opinion there were too many explosions...« Honey added looking passed Wasabi at Fred. »And too many guns.«

»I liked the cars. What would I give for having once the chance to drive such a masterpiece!« GoGo was not easy to impress but with fast vehicles, she was all for it.

»I still can't believe that we managed to get Hiro inside. I mean...this movie is not for people younger than sixteen!«

»Calm down Wasabi. I already told you that my cousin was having the evening shift. Since when does a plan of mine doesn't work?« Fred was walking backward while talking to us.

»Well...there was that one time...-«, Honey began but wasn't allowed to end her sentence.

»And don't forget...-« Also Wasabi got interrupted.

»And then once...-«

»Okay, okay. I understand. Normally my masterplans work, with exceptions.« GoGo had still her mouth open when Fred had cut in but then she just shut her lips, rolling her eyes. »What do you think about the movie, Hiro?«

»Huh?« I looked up at my friend when I heard him mention my name, not really have gotten what he and the others have talked about. I had heard their words but I couldn't place them into a context.

»I was asking you what you are thinking about the movie.«, Fred repeated his question. I scratched my neck thinking.

»Well...I think I agree with all of you, guys.« Honestly...I really didn't know much about this movie. Everything had been fine until the first explosion had occurred. Then I was reminded about my dream and that was it with actually seeing the movie. I was too busy wondering what's wrong and trying to ignore it. Without any success.

»Okay. What's wrong with you?« GoGo stopped and turned around towards me, causing that everyone else stopped as well, eying us. Also, I stopped in my tracks and glared at my black-haired friend, pulling one brow up. I knew what she was referring to but I really didn't feel like talking about it. They wouldn't understand it either...would they?

»What do you mean? I'm doing completely fine. I...-«

»Oh come on, Hiro. Don't think we haven't noticed. You are acting this strange all day long already. While we were eating you were quiet, not paying attention to what we have talked about. And when we asked you for your opinion or any other question you didn't even know to answer. And don't get me started with the glare you were looking at your plate. It was like you were seeing right through it, seeing actually something completely different.« She crossed her arms in front of her chest, shifting her weight upon her right leg.

»Yeah, that was scary. You were all spaced out, just like some creepy alien had taken control over your body.«, Fred added, what caused me to look at him in confusion. I had not been that bad...had I?

»And while we were being in the movie you haven't even touched your popcorn...« Honey's concerned voice reached my ear and as I glared at her I saw that her facial expression matched her voice.

»And you haven't even said one word since we have left the building, while you normally can't be stopped.« My gaze met Wasabi, who had added his statement, now all eyes darted at me, trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Slowly I started to feel uncomfortable with all those glares and I felt how I shrunk with each moment they didn't look away from me. How shall I explain what was wrong with me when not even I understood what was wrong? All their glares caused that I immediately got the urge to deny everything they said to and about me.

»I was not acting weird. I was only...thinking...« I furrowed my brow. Though this was the truth it still sounded very lame as an excuse. Even for me. My friends all kept on gazing at me not being the slightest impressed. GoGo started to tap with one of her feet – a sign that she slowly got impatient. I sighed deeply looking down at my shoes. I knew we would keep on standing right on this spot when I didn't say anything. Maybe they would be satisfied if I told them at least a little bit. »Okay, okay. I just had a weird dream. That's all.« I pulled my shoulders into a slight shrug, just like it wouldn't matter although it did kind of matter. A lot.

»A weird dream?« The glare from GoGo changed from a skeptical to a confused and curious one. »What was the dream about?« I bit my lower lip. Like this morning only the thought that my friends could know and think the wrong things was terrifying and everything within me yelled that I should keep my mouth shut. But different like with Baymax I could not just deactivate them. They would keep asking until I would surrender. So I had to say them at least something. I furrowed my brow when I tried to find bits of the dream I could tell them.

»Actually...it started like my usual nightmare. A building on fire, high flames destroying everything.« I saw how Honey clapping her hand over her mouth, I already knowing what she was thinking. It was visible in her eyes. Before she – or anyone else – could refer to former happenings like my brother disappearing into a burning building I continued. »No. It's not related to my brother. It was me being captured within this burning room. But...this was not the weird thing about it...« And just in the second, I said my last sentence I could have punched myself. I was so busy with making sure that my friends didn't think that I got plagued by those nightmares again that I forgot to hide this one special thing...The actual weird thing about this dream. Their worried faces changed to a surprised one after hearing my words and I could read in all of them that they were trying to think of something that could cause me a weird dream. Honey was the first one who found her voice again.

»If it's not the fire...what is it then?« And that was the question I couldn't answer right by myself. Yeah...what was so weird about this dream? Was it the fact that Hikari was in it? Or was it the fact that I hadn't felt this burning feeling, which I normally felt when I laid my eyes upon her? Or was it in the end not this in particular missing feeling but the one I had felt, when looking at her during this dream, which caused my heart rate to increase instantly? And that this emotion was haunting me since this night? Thinking about this caused of course the just mentioned symptom to occur, feeling my heart pounding heavily against my rib cage. My blood in my veins started boiling up, creeping its way up to my face.

»Hiro?« GoGo's voice dragged me out of my mind, me being a little bit confused about what my friends wanted from me again. »Okay. If you think I would believe one word from you that nothing is off then you are dead wrong. Now. Speak.« Her voice was serious and I could clearly see that her patience had run out. I had to think about something quick.

»It's what happened after this burning room. I was hearing a chuckle and for some reason I was following it, leading me into a dark room, where only some gleaming debris was spending some light. This and the light at the end of this room...pathway...whatever...« I furrowed my brow. I wasn't even sure if this dark area had been a room. After all, I hadn't seen anything.

»And what's weird about this?« Fred was obviously confused, just like the others. Of course, they were because this was not the fact why the dream was so weird. But what should I tell them? I couldn't tell them everything about this dream...especially not the part with Hikari, because that would definitely be more than embarrassing. But then...why was the thought of telling them so embarrassing? And why did my heart just take up some speed when I was thinking about telling them? My cheeks were burning hot and my face must be as red as a tomato by now. There was only one thing I could do now...

»Well...the weird thing happened after reaching the light. Okay, I have to leave now, bye!« I had said this in such a fast pace so that I almost tripped over my own words and turned quickly around, starting to walk away. Or better running. Yes, I think running was the right word to describe my movement.

»Hiro!«, they all called after me in unison but I didn't listen and just followed the street to whatever place it would lead me to. I would bother myself with finding my way home after I had got enough space between the others and me so that I could calm down again. I knew very well that I didn't make their suspicion better with running away but I just couldn't do something else. They wouldn't have let me until I had told them every detail of that damn dream and I clearly didn't want them to know every detail. My shoes made some loud noise upon the asphalt while I was escaping this situation. Sure. I was able to withstand some evil forces but telling my friends about my dream was something I really couldn't do. I was breathing heavily while running and soon my heart was not only beating that fast because of the thought of explaining my friends my current state. After I couldn't see or hear them anymore I stopped, leaning myself against the wall, trying to catch my breath. I closed my eyes and put my full concentration on this one task. After some moments, which felt like an eternity I was breathing normally again and my pulse wasn't racing anymore. I sighed deeply and dropped myself upon the sidewalk not caring that my pants could get dirty.

»I really need some answers to my own questions...« I looked up at the sky, seeing the full moon and the stars, deciding that this could wait until tomorrow. Now I just wanted to get home and lock me up inside of my room, where no one would ask me some stupid questions, which I couldn't answer. I rose back up from my sitting position, looking around to check where I was and headed then towards my house, writing to my friends that I was fine and just wanted to lay down. I knew that they would be scolding me tomorrow for running away. 


 

~Hikari's PoV~

I was in the living room, currently reading my book while I was resting on the couch. Some hours had passed and Mary had come home in the meantime while being glad about the doughnut, which Hiro had brought with and was now busy cooking our dinner. My father had excused himself and headed off to the lab after a call from Mittens had reached him that he needed his help with something. So it would only be Mary and me this evening. I looked up from my book when I noticed a movement, seeing that Tadashi was standing in front of me. I smiled and signed him then upwards that he should follow me upstairs. I rose up from my sitting position, putting my index finger in between the pages I was reading in and walked then out of the room, my friend was being right behind me. Quickly I stepped the staircase up and heading my bedroom and as soon as I was inside I locked the door behind me, reaching my bed afterward. I sat down on the edge of the mattress and Tadashi took his seat beside me.

»Haven't heard from you for a little while.«, I started, still the smile on my lips.

»Yes, I thought that I should look after my family again. I haven't done that for a while now.« The male shrugged his shoulders like it was nothing but I could see that he felt guilty for not visiting them more often. I tried to make him feel better again.

»And? Are they doing fine?« I cocked my head slightly to the side, being curious about what he would say next. I really hoped that his family was okay since they had lost a member of it.

»I guess so. My...-«, he started but stopped abruptly as soon as he noticed what he was about to say. A little cheeky grin appeared on his lips. »No way. I know what you are trying to do here. I won't give any further information about this.« I laughed at his words, having known that he would figure out what I was intending to do. Though tricking him to get some more information about his family from him was not the actual intention. He laughed along with me, me being happy that he got rid of his dark thoughts.

»Well. I'm only glad that you are smiling again.« The grin on my lips widened, which he replied.

»Thanks. But why I wanted to talk with you...I wanted to ask you some questions about your morning today...« He got serious again and I pulled my eyebrow up. So he had really stayed like promised. I was wondering what he actually wanted to know from me.

»You mean during my project work with Hiro?« He nodded to this.

»Yeah, I was surprised that it went so well. Not that I hoped that it would be bad!« He added the last sentence fast after he noticed that his first statement alone sounded weird. »I was just wondering because your former mentions described him a bit different.« That had a point. It was indeed different, especially since Hiro and I actually couldn't talk with each other without fighting. I scratched the side of my neck while thinking of a good explanation for that.

»I think this is because we both want to pass this project as good as possible. I was surprised by myself that we could work together without fighting – and I'm really glad about this. I have to admit the last two days were kind of...strange. I feared that it would be a complete disaster to have him here and that I would count the minutes until he would finally leave again. But actually...his company didn't bother me at all and I forgot the time while we were working. Not that I enjoyed his company to say that I would want to meet up more often with him.« I shrugged my shoulders hoping that this would be enough of an explanation. And though it was no lie I still wasn't sure if my last statement was completely true. I had to say if my project partner would always be like today then I could imagine spending some more time with him because I somehow had enjoyed his company...strangely to say. But I knew that this would not happen because this was only a temporary truce so I didn't want to admit something out loud. Not that I was disappointed in the end. Tadashi glared at me in a thoughtful way and nodded, looking then to the front probably seeing something completely different than the door to my closet.

»I'm glad that you both get along so far. Even if it is only for the project. At least you won't have to fear that you won't pass this presentation.« A small smile graced his lips to which I nodded in agreement.

»Yes, that's right. Let's just hope that this truce will last.« 


 

~Tadashi's PoV~

I heard the church bells ring three in the morning and I turned my head towards the window just to see the moon shining, throwing its light into the room. For about three hours Hikari had gone to bed, falling asleep really quickly. This was the most boring period of time which I had to spend during my endless being here on earth. Night time. All people I knew were mostly asleep and if not then they were busy doing something else. Not that it would change a thing because they could not see me. But Hikari was able to do so and when she went to bed then I had nothing to do anymore. So I was mostly hanging around in her room, looking at everything and checking if she was doing okay, while I was trying to get rid of this feeling to be a creepy guy, who was stalking her. Of course, she had explained to me that it didn't bother her that I was here and as long as she wouldn't start talking during her sleep everything was fine. I had to be honest...a few times she had started with talking and once or twice I couldn't resist the temptation in replying to her or asking her some questions only to see what she was going to answer me. I didn't tell her because then I wouldn't be allowed to stay here at night so I just kept my mouth shut. Anyways, mostly her topics were some boring ones, like events of the day or things she actually wanted. And I actually knew everything that she wanted. I turned my head when I noticed that my friend was stirring in her sleep, tossing to her other side so that she was facing me now. Her expression was a peaceful one. I recalled the events of this day, remembering about everything that happened. I had to say that I was a bit confused about the fact of how my brother was acting around her lately since I heard some different stuff from her. He had been that mean towards her in college and here he was...almost like he normally was. I didn't get rid of the thought that I was missing something. Something in particular what would help me to explain this and clear my mind. I could imagine that he was envious of her, especially since she beat him with graduating high school in a much earlier age than him. And like I knew Hiro this was bugging him a lot. But when I was thinking about how they both had worked together...they would make a great team. I wasn't so sure if they knew that though...And then an idea hit me. What if...no. This was not possible. Could it be that my little brother had a crush on her? But then he had been that mean towards her. No. So this could not be possible...or? I got pulled out of my thoughts when I heard the girl in the bed mumbling some words, which weren't that audible to understand right. I approached her, stopping at the edge of her mattress looking at her.

»What shall I just do with the two of you? I know I can't actually do anything but you both would be such a great team. Why can't you both just forget what happened and restart?« I sighed after saying what was on my mind, watching the features of Hikari.

»I know...I wish for the same...« Her voice was not more than a mumble, me being surprised that she had answered to me. But then...I wasn't so sure if she had heard what I had said or if she had answered someone in her dream, whatever her dream was about. I smiled down at her. I didn't know why but somehow I had a good feeling about the relation of the two teens. Maybe, if both of them forgot their pride they could get finally along. I walked back to the window, leaning myself against the wall and looked out, wondering what the future might show.

Chapter Text

Chapter 7 - Battle

 

~Hiro's PoV~

Darkness was surrounding me. Pure, black darkness. I was looking around, trying to see anything but I could not even see my own hand in front of my eyes. I furrowed my brow. Where was I? I made a few steps, something was crushing beneath my shoes and I immediately hoped that I wouldn't bump into something. This sound...it was familiar to my ears. I didn't get the answer until I stepped upon something, hearing a crack. That was...a twig...so the crushing noise must come from...I knelt down, grabbing after something I couldn't see and even though I knew that this could be quite dangerous I had to check if I was right. My fingertips found the source of the noise and I grasped a handful from it, raising back up. I looked down, where I thought my hand would be and crushed the something in my hand, letting the small pieces gliding towards the ground. Leaves. Dry leaves. Either I was within a forest, a park or on a meadow. But after it was pitch black here I assumed that it was my first choice. I continued my way, this time even more careful after the chance of walking into a tree or tripping over a big root was quite high but it didn't take long until I paused once again. Though it was not only a noise which had stopped me in my tracks. Together with a crackling noise was a smell in the air, which reminded me of some summer nights with my family. Summer nights we had spent outside sitting together around a campfire, holding some mars-...Oh no. On cue I turned myself around and saw a red gleaming light from behind, getting larger and larger while the fire was making its way towards me. I could already see the first flames licking on the tree trunks, creeping their way over the cover of dry leaves. My eyes grew wide seeing the inferno in front of me and before I could think about anything else I turned around again and started running. The darkness has disappeared, instead the forest – so I had been right – was flooded with this red light, showing me where I had to run and where a tree was waiting to get fed to the blaze. A loud groaning sound caught my attention and I took a quick look over my left shoulder just to see how a tall tree was giving in to the fire, collapsing to the ground. The fire was quick...I tried to take up some more speed when...

Crack!

I gazed up to the tree canopy only to see that a thick, burning branch was making its way towards the ground. Or better...towards me. I shrieked being alarmed and managed to jerk forwards, landing on my front in the dirt, looking behind me just to see that the burning item was resting now where I had been a few seconds ago. But there was no time to take rest, even though my whole body was screaming after it. My throat was dry because of the fast breathing out of my mouth and the heated air didn't help this. My body called for water but unfortunately there was no water around. I looked that I got back on my feet, the fire already making its way over the ground to me, and I stumbled forwards, trying to get that pace from before back. Breathing heavily I was making my way through this damn forest while my heart was pounding heavily in my chest and only one thought remained in my head. I need to find the end of this forest. I need to find the end of this forest. I need to find the end of this forest and that quickly! Sweat was running down my brow, because of the heat or the fact that I was running for my dear life I could not tell. Probably because of both. I felt how the energy within me was slowly dying down, taking more and more concentration from me to keep myself moving forwards. I dared once again a look over my shoulder to check if I had made any process when I saw that the flames had almost reached me. I begged my legs to be a little bit faster when I felt something wet splashing up my legs, soaking my pants immediately. I tore my gaze from the fire behind me to see what was in front of me. A big dark lake was resting there, showing nothing than the small, waves which I had caused with entering it. Without any further thought, I took a deep breath and dived deep into the water, forcing my eyes to be open, though having them closed wouldn't have changed a thing after it was as dark as in the forest earlier. My body calmed as soon as I had gotten my head beneath the surface and I swam forwards without diving back up. I was too afraid that the fire could still reach me. Short after this thought, there were some burning pieces entering the water not burning for very much longer as soon as they had met the fresh liquid. But it was long enough for me to see something. Everything was calm in this lake. Actually, the only thing I saw was seaweed swaying slightly with the little movements of the water. There were no fish or other living beings. I swam further without paying attention to where I was heading to and slowly the amount of burning pieces got less, which meant that my sight got slowly darker again. And suddenly – when everything was black around me – I saw it. A shining white light was above me, breaking itself on the water surface just like it would shine upon a mirror. Being curious what this was I dived back up, not thinking at the fire anymore which was destroying the forest behind me. As soon as I reached the top I took a deep breath, inhaling the fresh air. I hadn't noticed that I had slowly run out of oxygen...There was a peaceful silence surrounding me and not this dangerous crackling noise, which the fire had caused while feeding itself on the wood. There was a pedestrian overpass made out of balks, reaching out over the lake. It wasn't far anymore until I would have reached it. Maybe two or three meters. But this wasn't the reason why I was glaring at it in awe. The bright light was being at the front of it, flooding a large part of the water. If I moved just a little bit more then I would be within it. A soft giggle pulled me out of my thoughts and when I took a closer look I saw someone standing in the middle of this light. It was a girl, wearing a white gleaming dress standing at the edge of the pedestrian overpass, her black hair being a great contrast to all that white what surrounded her. I approached her a little bit more, recognizing her smile on her red lips and she chuckled again, while her black eyes were resting upon me. Seeing her smiling and hearing her laugh caused my heartbeat to increase and immediately an own smile tugged on my lips, pulling them upwards to return this gesture to the girl in front of me. I had known as soon as I had laid my eyes upon her who she was. Hikari leaned a little bit more to the front, the friendly expression never leaving her face and reached out a hand in my direction, signing me that she would help me out. Thankfully for this, I made my way towards her and with each inch, which I was getting behind me, this strange feeling – which had followed me through my last dream – within me got heavier and my heart beat faster. It was weird...somehow my body was telling me that I should escape this situation, too embarrassing the thought that she could see right through me what was going on inside of me but at the same time I could not wait until I had finally reached her in the light. I was not very far away anymore when I noticed a change, looking up at the sky. Where before a clear sky with stars had been was only darkness causing my hackles to raise. I noticed that Hikari was noticing the same and had straightened her back looking up before her sight met me again. Also I was looking back at the girl in the front and blinked when I saw a change in her appearance as well. She was no longer a happy smiling being, though the smile was still remaining on her lips. Her eyes were the matter of it, what sent chills down my spine. They were almost looking...sad. And suddenly everything altered...A long and bright lightning bolt was lightening the dark sky up, followed by a sudden and very loud thunder roar so that I had almost covered my ears because of this. I could feel the roar in every piece of my body, feeling how it was vibrating. The warm bright light, which had covered the lake disappeared and before I could have even wondered about the change of actions I saw how the girl collapsed, falling into the water.

»Hikari!«, I exclaimed loudly and made my way fast towards the body resting in the water. I gathered her form into my arms, as soon as I had arrived her and looked at her face, her eyes being closed. I felt how the environment turned into a bizarre area, although it was still looking the same. Everything felt so...askew... »Hikari...?« I slightly shook her in my arms, sensing how lifeless she was feeling. I was hoping that she was just opening her eyes back up, telling me that everything was fine and she only hit her head or something like that. I would even be happy if she was scolding me for getting so close. But all she did was remaining silent while I was trying to get her attention. All out of a sudden a strange light was allowing me to see the details of this place again and what I saw shocked me deeply. And it was not the dim light itself which caused my eyes to open up wide. It was the water, which hadn't the color of black anymore. The water which surrounded me was blood red.

I rose abruptly up, sitting straightly in my bed while gasping heavily, seeing nothing but darkness surrounding me, only the sun rays, which got through the blinds spending some light. My heart was pounding hard against my rib cage, me covering the left side of my chest with my hand, feeling the beat of it. My eyes were wide open, darted down at the blanket, which was still covering me while I tried to calm myself. It was just a dream, I said to myself. Only a damn dream. As my breathing got a little bit calmer and even my heart wasn't that fast anymore I shut my eyes rubbing my face with my left hand, sighing out loud. I hadn't had such a bad nightmare since the time short after Tadashi's death, where I always had dreamed of seeing him running inside that stupid burning building. Only that this time there was no Tadashi and no burning building, though there was a burning forest. I ran my fingers through my hair, which probably was much messier than it usually was and leaned myself against the backrest of my bed opening my eyes. Why on earth was I dreaming something like this? And what was this dreaming meaning in the first place? And again Hikari was playing the main part of it. Remembering about my project partner in my dream, caused that an icy chill ran down my spine, seeing how she was falling into that lake again. The red water...did it mean that she died in my dream? Panic rose within me, causing that my heart was taking up some pace again. With both hands, I grabbed parts of my hair, just like I was about to tear them out of my skull. My eyes were pinched tightly together.

»Stop thinking about this! It was just a damn dream! She didn't die in reality!«

»Who didn't die in reality?« I looked up as soon as I heard a voice and I saw my aunt standing in the doorway, holding a basket with clothes in her arms. Her expression was a concerned one, she placing the basket down to come closer to me. »Do you want to talk about it, honey?« I just glared at her, not quite sure what to answer. Did I want to tell her about my dream? Somehow yes but somehow no. She took a seat on the edge of my mattress, placing her hand upon my right knee. »Come. I'll make us some breakfast and then you can whether tell me what is troubling you or not.« She smiled at me, trying to encourage me.

»Breakfast sounds good. I will get myself ready and come downstairs then.« Her smile increased a bit and she rose from my bed, turning around to leave my room. After the door was shut I looked at it, staying for a few moments where I was. Should I tell her what was the matter? But then I would have to explain a whole lot more, like the dream I had the night before. I sighed deeply and pulled my legs out of beneath the warm blanket, placing my feet on the floor getting up. I walked over to my closet to gather some fresh clothes together and started then to change, looking afterward into the mirror considering if I should comb my hair or not. I decided that I wouldn't need to, after my hair would always look that way, no matter how much I tried to tame it. I looked at my face. Though I had slept through – if you don't count to wake up early at eight o'clock in as a troubled sleep – there were some dark shadows beneath my eyes, signing that I had indeed some trouble during my sleep. I didn't understand why this affected me so much. It wasn't like she died and I was dreaming about it. Or that she was about to die. Why was it bothering me so much? Of course, seeing someone dying is never great – and I speak out of experience – but I woke up out of this nightmare, so why couldn't I just drop it? Those thoughts didn't help my already confused mind to clear everything, especially since I had the other dream, which had confused me as well. Maybe it was really no bad idea to tell my aunt everything. Maybe she could give me some advice? I turned then towards my door, leaving my room heading for the staircase to reach the lower floor. Already in the hallway, I could smell the delicious scent of some fresh pancakes and my stomach grumbled immediately at this. Breakfast sounded very good. Slowly I walked the stairs down, arriving the kitchen short after. I bit my lower lip. I didn't know where to start and the thought of telling her made me kind of anxious. Aunt Cass turned around towards the table, seeing that I was already being here and smiled at me.

»I thought pancakes would make a good Sunday breakfast. I hope you are fine with this?« She placed a plate with a pile of pancakes in the middle of the table, which was already set for two persons. I nodded and approached the chair where I was always sitting on, getting hold of the backrest.

»Sure. Pancakes are always a good choice.« I pursed my lips, watching how she turned towards the kitchen island again, picking two steaming mugs up while I was teetering on my feet, trying to find the beginning of what I was about to tell her. »Uhm...Aunt Cass?«

»Yes, honey?« She turned back around and placed a cup with hot chocolate in front of my plate and a cup of coffee in front of hers, taking her seat. She looked then up at me, raising one eyebrow.

»Can I ask you something?«

»Of course. Does it have to do with your nightmare?« She picked up her cup, blowing slightly before she took carefully a sip from it, waiting for my respond.

»Kind of.« I watched her how she placed her coffee back down before she was eying me. Something in my face made that she got all serious and nodded then.

»What's the matter?« I breathed deeply in, sorting the words in my head as good as possible and breathed then out again, taking my seat on the chair. This might get a longer conversation. I opened my mouth to say something...when nothing came out. How shall I explain this to her? »Hiro?«

»I'm...slightly confused about what is going on...inside of me.«, I started, noticing how stupid this sounded. »Everything is so strange lately. It's like I can't trust my own feelings and instincts anymore. I know what I should feel, my mind knows this pretty well...but I just don't...do it. It's like my emotions got an own way of thinking and decided not to listen to me anymore. Is this normal?« I looked at the woman to my right, hoping that my words didn't sound too confusing, though they did it already to me. How shall someone else understand what I was saying? Wrinkles formed itself on the forehead of her, her lips being a thin line. She was probably trying to understand what I was telling her. She breathed in before she replied me.

»Since when are you feeling like this?« She leaned a little bit closer towards me, the food on the table being untouched. Now it was on me to think but this time it didn't take long to find the suiting answer.

»After yesterday night. There I was having another weird dream, though this didn't contain a death...«

»Another dream? Maybe it would help to tell me about it.« I blinked several times. I knew I had to tell her if I wanted to have some help but it didn't change that everything within me writhed at the thought of telling this someone.

»Well...actually it started quite normal. Me being in class, leaving after the lesson was over. It all got bizarre when I left the room...« My brows pulled together when I thought about the long hallway and the burning room at the end. »After passing an endless hallway and entering a burning room I thought that I would never get out again. But then I heard a noise and followed it, getting out of this place only to arrive one which was flooded in darkness, debris lying here and there. And again I thought I was lost when I saw a gleaming light in front of me, the noise I heard coming right from it...« My eyes were cast at the empty plate in front of me, while I recalled the first dream, seeing this welcoming light in front of my inner eye.

»Noise? What noise?«

»It was a laugh, more a slight chuckle. I followed it and suddenly a hand appeared out of the light, helping me to enter it. And as soon as my sight got clear I saw...-« Thinking about this caused my heart to beat faster, heat rushing up to my face. Couldn't I explain anything anymore without a flushed face as result? That's why I stopped mid-sentence, noticing that this was the cause of my difficulties of telling this dream. It was very annoying...I heard a quiet giggle and as I looked up I saw that Aunt Cass was grinning widely.

»I can already think what you saw. Or better who. Your flushed face is telling me enough. I think that you are having a crush on that girl without even knowing it.« My eyes snapped open, me jumping up from my chair knocking it down with this.

»What?! No! I clearly have no crush on Hikari! I mean...I can't even stand her! How shall it be possible then to have a crush on her?« My heart raced terribly in my chest, making me to breath heavier than before. But I just earned another chuckle from her, this time a little louder.

»I haven't said her name, but that only confirmed my thoughts.« She laughed again. If my face had been red than it was redder by now, feeling how more heat rushed to my cheeks. I assumed that even my ears must be red.

»Why does no one believe me when I'm saying something? Since when are my words not reliable?« I crossed my arms in front of my chest, grumbling loudly. Always people were thinking the wrong stuff.

»Okay, okay. If it's that what you think but you wanted to know my opinion. So...tell me. What is it with your nightmare now?« She had suppressed another laugh but got then all serious again. She always had taken my nightmares seriously. But I just turned my head away from her, facing a wall instead.

»I don't even know if I shall tell it to you anymore since you get the wrong conclusions...«

»Oh come on, Hiro. I promise I will stay serious, okay?« I placed my gaze back upon her, seeing her honest eyes resting on me. I sighed to this.

»Okay.« I turned around and picked the chair back up so that I could take my seat again. I placed myself upon the wood, being ready to continue. »Well...in fact, it isn't really different. Only that I was this time running through a burning forest trying to escape the flames and ended up in a black lake getting as far away as possible. Even the light returned – and yes Hikari as well. But then everything changed...« I drew a deep breath in, bracing myself for what I was going to say next. It still left a bad taste on my tongue to talk about it. »Again she wanted to help me out but before I could reach her a loud thunder roar startled me. And right after that she just collapsed into the water not moving one bit. After arriving her in the water I tried to get her attention but still nothing. And then I noticed that the water was not longer black but blood red...That was the moment where I had woken up and you walked in...« My aunt was watching me, pursing her lips. She sighed then, leaning against the backrest of her chair, crossing her arms in front of her chest.

»Like I see it you are worried about her. Might there be a reason for your concern?« I shook my head to this.

»No, there is nothing. She doesn't live in a dangerous part of the city, nor does she have some suspicious contacts. That is the strange thing about it. Why shall I be worried? And especially...why can't I just drop it?« I was getting a headache while I was trying to find a logic explanation for this.

»Honey...you don't want to hear my opinion to this.« Now she reached out for a pancake, which was probably already cold. I just rolled annoyed with my eyes.

»Correct. Because it is not true.« I did the same, feeling that my stomach yearned for something to eat. So talking with Aunt Cass hadn't helped me with anything...


~Hikari's PoV~

I was sitting at the table of the dining room, scribbling something onto a sheet of paper not sure what I should do with this Sunday. My Sifu was still at his ill wife's side, taking care of her. So there would be no training today. Mary was busy with cleaning upstairs and would probably start to prepare our food for the evening and I had ended the book I had been reading lately. There was nothing to do...

»What is this going to be when you are done?« I looked up from my drawing, facing Tadashi after I heard his question.

»This? Nothing in particular. Sometimes, when I want to draw but I don't know what I start with random things until an idea hits me.« I saw how he was nodding to this while he was glaring at my drawing. I was scribbling some letters, putting much effort into making them look very elegant with many twirling lines. »Actually I'm only bored not really have an idea what to do with my free time...« I placed the pencil beside the sheet turning then around towards my friend looking at him. »Do you have an idea?« He blinked at my question, pursing his lips.

»Unfortunately no...it's nice weather outside. Maybe a walk would be nice?« I sighed.

»I had walked already one time around the block, being done in less than ten minutes. Walking alone is boring...« I blew some air out, causing my bangs to fly up.

»Maybe you could...-« But he didn't get any further when suddenly someone entered the room, approaching me directly. I was surprised as I saw who it was.

»Dad...what are you doing here? Shouldn't you be at the lab?« I knew it was strange but seeing my dad at home at this time of the day was very rare and it surprised me every time.

»Am I not allowed to take a day off to spend it with my family?«, he asked as soon as he had stopped beside me, looking down at me. I pulled my eyebrows together.

»Uhm...sure. But we hadn't spent a day together for a longer while. So I'm just a little bit surprised.« I shrugged at my comment, showing him that it didn't bother me that he was not at the lab today. »So...have you planned anything already? Because I have no clue what to do with this Sunday.« Dad pulled the chair beside me – luckily not the one on which Tadashi was sitting on – back and sat himself down upon it, turning to me.

»I was thinking maybe we could make a walk, eat some ice cream since the weather is great and see what else we could do.« I smiled at that. I was very glad that he finally found some time to spend it with me.

»Sounds great! When are we leaving?«


We were currently walking through the main park of San Fransokyo having a cone with ice in our hands. It had been a nice afternoon so far and I really enjoyed it to spend some time with my father. Those moments were way too rare.

»So...how is college being? Does it still make fun?« I felt his eyes lying on me and I lifted my gaze to meet his nodding once.

»Of course. It is very interesting and the professors really know how to teach us the needed information. And we can do a lot on our own, what really is much fun since I can finally continue with my project.« I smiled widely at him seeing that it didn't affect him like it should have. Right...he was still concerned that this could turn out to be the most horrifying decision I had made in my life.

»And this project with the boy? Hiro was his name?« I nodded as an answer to the name, licking one time over my ice before it would turn into water.

»Is actually working quite good. I would have expected that there would be some difficulties but at the moment everything is fine.« Especially my team work with Hiro.

»And with him? You are getting along?« I stopped hearing his question, looking puzzled at him. What was he wanting this conversation to turn out like?

»At the moment everything is okay. I won't say we are close but for the project, it is enough...What are you implying to?« He sighed hearing my question, turning fully around to me.

»I'm only worried. I remember that it had been like that before as well and then your school years had been horrifying. I had been thinking the last few days and came to a conclusion.« His expression turned all serious and I thought that a shadow was covering his features. I knew that I wouldn't like the words he was going to say next. »I have decided that you will not visit this college anymore. It's not like you are needing it for your future since you will take the lead of my company. You don't have to show how good you are. I know you are.« I looked at him, my eyes being as wide as possible and wouldn't have my grip around the coin tightened it would have fallen out of my grasp. He wanted me to leave SFIT? After I had been working so hard to get into it? I felt anger rise inside of me and now I was crushing the cone of my ice cream fully, smashing it down onto the ground. I didn't care at the moment that this was not very eco-friendly.

»You can't do this! I want to visit this college and nothing had appeared to be as horrible as my school years at elementary, middle and high school!« My voice was louder than I actually wanted it to be and both of my hands were balled to tight fists, my knuckles turning white already.

»Of course I can! And I won't argue with you about this, Hikari. You may be visiting college but this doesn't mean you are an adult yet. You are thirteen years old and as long as you haven't reached the age of eighteen you will have to listen to what I am telling you. Is this understood?« It didn't happen often that my father was scolding me or was pulling the parent card after he wasn't much at home. So I was a little bit shocked when I heard his sharp and dead serious voice, causing me to make a step back. But this didn't mean that my anger was gone, oh no. This only added fuel to the fire what was burning inside of me. Still...I knew arguing wouldn't take me any further and before he got some more great ideas – like locking my beloved things away – I turned around on my heels and headed the direction, we were walking earlier, getting faster with each step I was taking. »Hikari! Where are you thinking you are going?« I didn't answer after my words wouldn't have reached his ears, no matter how close or far I would have been.


I arrived at my home, entering it, slamming the door behind me. I was still angry, feeling how some tears were welling up in my eyes. I always started to cry when I was very angry and I hated it because everyone thought I was hurt, although I wasn't. Of course, the loud noise of throwing the door closed caused that Mary was walking fast to the hallway to check what was wrong. When she saw my face a worried expression appeared on her face.

»Hikari, what's wrong? What happened?« She was holding a towel for the dishes in her hands, probably been washing the dishes or putting them away when I returned. But I was not in the mood for talking with her, especially not about the things, which had happened in the park. Only the thought about this conversation boiled my blood within my veins. I stomped right passed her but not without answering with clenched teeth.

»Why don't you ask my great father, who really does know what his daughter wants or not.« I felt the eyes of my nanny resting upon me when I have arrived the staircase, which would lead me up to my bedroom. I know this wasn't very nice to Mary, especially since she didn't do anything but she would not understand. Maybe she would ask my father when he would return back home and talk some sense into his mind. Though I wasn't so sure if he would see his mistake. All I wanted was to be in my room and get rid of this anger and get an idea of how I could convince him to just let me go. Maybe Tadashi would know something. But when I arrived my room, having closed my door I noticed that my friend wasn't sitting at his usual place on my bed waiting for me. My room was totally empty. I felt how my lower lip was starting to tremble and I bit tightly upon it until I tasted my own blood so that it would stop. My eyes stung more than earlier and I couldn't hold the tears back for any longer, which had been waiting to roll down already. I sniffled and wiped angrily over my cheeks, trying to get rid of them but more and more followed and I just gave up. »I know I said that I don't mind if you are not here but...« I took a deep breath before I continued, wanting to steady my voice. With less success. »...I really need a friend now.« I waited for a few moments, which seemed to me to be an eternity. But when nothing happened and I still was alone in my room I just walked over to my bed, dropped myself upon the mattress and let the tears go, wetting my pillow.


~Hiro's PoV~

Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.

I was lying on my bed, my arms and legs spread out so that my hands and feet were dangling off of my mattress, me glaring at the ceiling above of me. Many hours have passed since this morning and I didn't know what to do. After I had read some serious messages of my friends – I knew that I wouldn't get away that easy with running away from them – I had called Wasabi and Fred asking them for help, after this dream had still – and was – bothered me and the talk with Aunt Cass hadn't helped me one bit. Maybe it was not the wisest decision to call Fred because he couldn't help me either making some weird conclusions that Hikari could have infected my brain so that I was haunted by her in my dreams. Stupid. Talking with Wasabi was easier but also he couldn't help me after he almost stated the same things like my aunt and I was really tired about talking about this. Especially since it was very difficult in general to talk about this topic. At least he couldn't see my face through the phone because I might or might not have turned red while explaining. I would have called the girls as well – they actually deserved an explanation to my current behavior – but only the thought about talking to them caused my heart to miss a beat. Honey would totally get this whole stuff wrong and I could already picture her taking sides with Aunt Cass and Honey Lemon was much worse when it came to...such things. I was sure that GoGo would be serious enough to talk about this in a normal way...but after we kind of had an argument yesterday and I just ran off I was too afraid to talk to her at the moment. So she was no option as well. I already had considered talking with Baymax about this but in the end, he was a robot and like some earlier situations have shown he would only get the wrong solutions with scanning me. And Baymax could be very annoying when he wanted to render first-aid. I shivered when I thought that he could try to make some things right and call Hikari...And these were my options of people to talk with. I sighed and my head dropped to the side, me facing now my left, glaring at the place of the room where Tadashi had his bed earlier and a shadow covered my features. He might have known what was wrong with me and could have helped me with this situation. But my brother wasn't here anymore and he could not help me in any kind of way. The first time since a longer while I felt this heavy feeling when I thought about my big brother and the shadow, which had covered my expression seemed to eat me up. Maybe it was time again to visit my him. Talking with him – even if he wouldn't respond – was lightening my mood and sometimes caused that I got an answer to my question. And maybe it would give me some answers to the many questions I was having.


~Tadashi's PoV~

I didn't know why but after Hikari had left with her father I had left as well. That was something I usually never did, after walking around in public wouldn't be different as like being in her bedroom waiting for her. But something was different lately and I just felt the urge to get around, seeing the people live their lives. A smile was being on my lips when I saw them enjoying it, even if they were stressed out and tired. And maybe annoyed and angry. But at least this was a sign that they were alive. They didn't know how lucky they were to have the possibility to walk around and use every minute they had. That somehow filled me with a melancholic emotion. I was just watching a group of children heading home – it was almost completely dark after it was after six o'clock in the evening – when I noticed that someone was visiting me. It was not rare that people would visit my grave but it always filled me with excitement when someone came because then they were actually talking with me. Like a person and not just about me. I followed this feeling of excitement after it would lead me right away to the place I was wanting to be at, only to see my brother sitting in front of my tombstone, pursing his lips. He didn't look very happy and I immediately got concerned. What was wrong with him? I remembered that he was acting strange lately and was very curious what he was about to tell me. I took my seat on the stone, watching his features. A sigh left his lips and his eyes wandered downwards.

»I don't know why I'm doing this...I know you won't answer but...« Now his gaze lifted up and was looking at the tombstone and even though he was looking not directly at me I still had the feeling that he was. He drew in a deep breath ere he started. »There is this new girl at college. Her name is Hikari. And at first, I really didn't like her. Not only that she is a year younger than me but she graduated high school at a much younger age and was working at SnowElectronic Industries. The professors are fussing all over her and she beat me in every test we have written so far. It was awful!« At first, he was avoiding my sight but while he was talking his eyes wandered over to my tombstone, speaking with it just like he was seeing me. I wished that he actually could... »And this burning emotion of dislike was weird for me but I got used to it, although I quite couldn't explain to myself why I was feeling so strong like this. Baymax declared it as jealousy and even if I didn't agree with that earlier I have to admit now that he might had been right. - Don't tell him this!« The last sentence he added quickly, a dead serious expression being on his face. I laughed at this. Like I could tell Baymax anything. But I decided to play along and answer anyways.

»Don't worry, little bro. Your secret is safe with me.« The grin was still on my lips and it widened as I saw how Hiro noticed what he had said and grinned by himself. But it didn't last very long before he sighed and a shadow covered his face. Also, my expression got serious. I knew that the matter of his visit would come now.

»Everything somehow changed when Professor Raven put us together into a project team...« And then he started to explain what happened since. About his visits at Hikari's house and most important. His dreams. I was shocked about the fact that he was still dreaming about the fire – even though it was different this time – and felt guilty that this was haunting him. But while he continued I noticed that the fire was not the important part of them. I had to smile when he was describing how he had been feeling around Hikari in his first dream, even though he seemed to be so frustrated about this. My smile faded, though, when he explained me his second dream, which actually contained the same main things. Fire, darkness, light and Hikari. Only that this time the ending wasn't such a nice one like the one before. »I know that it was only a dream but I just can't...let it go. I'm sure that every other person would have been feeling the same but during the day probably forgotten about it. So why can't I? And the worst thing...ever since my first dream I can't look at her like I had done before. Not even think about her! And I don't want to start with when I see her smile or hear her laugh. My body always reacts the same, without me wanting it! Increased heartbeat, I feel anxious and I catch me staring at her. I just...« Another sigh left his lips and he dropped his face into his palms, not looking up again. »I don't understand myself anymore...« This sight in front of me reminded me of the situation yesterday, where my brother had his head on the couch table asking himself the same question. My eyebrows rose in surprise when I finally got what his problem was.

»You do have a crush on her! And you don't even know it! Or at least not considering it.« I laughed one time about this, a smile appearing on my lips. I knew that they would make the perfect team if they could get over their pride. I watched him how he was lifting his sight again, looking at my stone and the glare in his eyes caused that my grin disappeared.

»But why am I even telling you this? It's not like you can hear or speak to me and help me with this. I tried to speak with the others and have asked Aunt Cass was well and they were all no help! Not at all! And I don't need to talk with Baymax about this topic since he would not understand. The only person who really could help me is you! But you had to run into a burning building and leave me behind. And now, when I'm in need of a big brother you are not here!« I saw that my brother got angrier with every word he was saying and the last one he yelled at me so that it echoed over the graveyard, me ducking my head and shutting my eyes at this volume. Of course, a wave of guilt hit me once again but this time even worse than before. He was right. I had left him behind. As I opened my eyes I saw Hiro standing on his feet, his hands balled into tight fists and his whole body was trembling. He looked then away from me. »I think I need to find another solution to my problem...« And with that he walked off, leaving me now behind.

»I'm sorry...«, I whispered knowing that he was not able to hear me.


~Hikari's PoV~

I don't know how much time has passed but the next time I was glaring out of the window it was dark outside and a look at my clock told me that it was already ten. After I had been done with crying I had rested on my bed waiting for...well...nothing. Nothing was being in my mind and I didn't feel like doing anything. I placed my head back upon my pillow in the same position like earlier and gazed at the side of my dresser, seeing a backpack leaning at it in the gap between the furniture and my bed. As I remembered what was inside my eyes widened and I lifted myself up while I didn't let go of the bag with my sight. I knew pretty well what was in it and I haven't touched this backpack since a longer while now. Quickly I got up and stumbled over to the item, opening the zipper and looked into it. And there I found a plastic bag containing a few items. I got them out and looked at them. There were two gloves, a pair of shoes and a cube made out of metal. If you were looking closer you would find a little button and if you would push it a robot in my height would transform out of it. The gloves were having electrodes sewn into the fabric and the shoes were having electrodes in the soles. And those electrodes could allow me to guide and lead the robot. And thanks to a headset I could give some commands to some extra features. Before I had met Tadashi – who had helped me with finally get my way in visiting college – I had used this robot to compete against others in some darker parts of San Fransokyo. But different than in regular bot-fights, where you were sitting in front of your counterpart while using a remoter, I was being in a big hall, standing in a separate room – from where I could have a good look at the battling area – using my whole body as a remoter. For this kind of a competition you needed some fighting skills, otherwise, you would be lost. Here were my skills in Kung Fu quite handy and I rarely lost a battle. I often had gone when I was mad at my father – mostly because our endless discussions about me visiting SFIT – and I had to get to other thoughts. Thinking about him caused of course that new anger was boiling up inside of me and I gripped the gloves in my hand tighter. Why shouldn't I go and join a battle again? It wasn't like someone could stop me now. Tadashi was still gone and my father and Mary weren't even aware of my little hobby. I stuffed the gloves and the shoes back into the backpack, closing it afterward. I placed the bag on my back and slipped into my shoes, getting onto my bed to open the window. Then I carefully climbed out, reaching out for the fire ladder and started with making my way down, being fast and swift. It didn't take long until my feet touched the ground. I looked up at my still open window and a satisfied grin appeared on my lips. Even though I hadn't done this for a longer while I still was able to climb this ladder down quite quickly. Then I turned around, facing the street and walked then along the road not caring if I had promised earlier to stop doing this kind of an activity.


~Hiro's PoV~

I actually didn't know what exactly made that I was doing this but I was being so mad that I just couldn't resist the urge. Maybe I wanted to do something my brother loathed, just to annoy him. Or maybe I just wanted to forget everything for a while. Anyways I have taken Megabot from my shelf, hiding him in the pocket of my jacket and left the house without my aunt even noticing it. Now I was walking along the street, being at the part of the city no one was being. If you met someone then you knew that this person wasn't up to something good. But though I was determined in joining a competition little doubts followed me. Actually, I had stopped with going bot-fighting after I had started to visit the college and this time I had no back-up if I should get into trouble. Naaah...I was sure that I would be fine this time. I walked around the next corner when I heard some voices. The battle place was not far anymore.

»Look who is there. The little imp who had stolen my money and got me into jail.« I quickly turned around, seeing a familiar face in my sight and I gulped. Yama wasn't alone. Two of his grunts were walking at each of his sides, coming closer to me. I made a step back. Maybe I should have at least brought Baymax with me...

»Hey, Yama! Haven't seen you for a while! I'm glad that we don't fret about the past and look forward to a sunny future.« I put a fake grin upon my lips, hoping he would just leave me alone and forget what happened a few months ago. I hadn't thought that my journey to the past end so fast and painful. Because I could read in my counterpart's face that he clearly hasn't forgotten what happened. The other both cracked their knuckles as they were coming closer and I cursed inside when I felt that behind me was a wall. A quick look over my shoulder showed me that my back met the backside of a garage. And to my left was a pathway but a wire-mash fence blocked my way so there was no escape. I was trapped. A dirty laugh dragged my attention back to the front. Yama was standing with crossed arms in front of me, a devilish smirk being plastered on his lips. He looked then to his right and to his left, giving his henchmen a sign.

»Finish him off.« His voice sounded definite and I pushed my form harder against the wall, wishing that I could disappear into it. I pinched my eyes tightly together after I saw the two men coming closer.

»Hey!« A new voice tore me out of my thoughts, causing me to open my eyes quickly. This voice was familiar to me and so out of place that I wanted to check if my considerations were right. That a bag had landed right beside me was not important to this point. I was just about to look up over my shoulder when a small figure landed in front of me, her back facing me. Hikari stood in my sight, her hands balled tightly into fists. My eyes grew wide. What was she doing here? And more important...what was she intending to do? Those guys would beat her up!


~Hikari's PoV~

It was not far anymore until I would arrive the abandoned warehouse in which the battle would take place in. I just needed to walk around this corner and head the parallel road when I heard some noises. A voice was clearly audible, which didn't sound very friendly and I took a step closer to a wall and leaned my body against it so that I could listen better.

»Hey, Yama! Haven't seen you for a while! I'm glad that we don't fret about the past and look forward to a sunny future.« I winced when I heard this voice and I recognized it immediately. I dared it to look around the corner and saw Hiro standing at the wall I was hiding behind. I noticed that this was a garage, which wasn't that high. The two men, which seemed to be pretty stupid, though the bulky man with the ponytail looked much stupider approached him, me realizing that my project partner was in some major trouble. I wanted to help but the pathway I was looking through was blocked with a wire-mesh fence and the top being spiky. So I could not climb quickly over the fence...My sight landed then on the wall I was standing at. And then it hit me. This was a garage...that meant that...Fast I was walking around to the front, grinning widely when I saw that the knob of the gate was big enough to use it as a small stair. I placed my right foot upon it, getting hold of the brick wall and used an outstanding brick as a second step. I looked that I moved quickly since I was daring to fall down. I got a hold on the top and pulled myself up, crawling upon the roof. I almost cried out in joy when I was standing on my feet but I didn't want to lose my surprise effect. I took the backpack from my back, after jumping down from this height would be easier without some extra weight. I dropped it so that it would drop beside Hiro and took a deep breath.

»Hey!« My voice was loud and echoed between the houses, causing the men to look up. I just came in time after they had almost reached the boy already. Luckily Hiro was pushing himself tightly against the wall so that I could jump easily down, landing right in front of him and between them. I was looking at those people with dead serious eyes.

»Hikari! What are you doing? They will beat you up if you keep on standing there!« I heard my project partner say but I just ignored him and kept on looking at the men in the front.

»We don't have to fight. Just leave and don't ever bother him again and nothing will happen to you. To you all.« At last, I was glaring at the bulky man in the middle. But he laughed out loud.

»You? Harming us? A little girl? No one is able to harm Yama. Especially not a filthy, little, smart girl like you.« I pulled one of my eyebrows up when I heard the man's – his name obviously Yama...what for a stupid name – words and got mad. What was he thinking who he was to judge about me? »Finish her off as well.« I looked back to the two grunts, seeing that they were smirking widely in an evil way and turned then towards me.

»What?!«, Hiro's voice behind me exclaimed, the concern in it audible. I wondered that he was even worried but shrugged it off, making a step back with my left foot, raising my fists and getting into my usual fighting position. The three adults just laughed.

»You still can back off if you want to. I would not want to fight against me today. I had a bad day so it could really end up bad for you.«, I assured them but this only caused another laughter. And then the first one attacked. Like I already expected he used the swinging blow, which I blocked easily with lifting my right arm, forcing his left fist to miss its destination – my head. I got then hold of his arm and grabbed his shoulder with my free left hand, placing my right foot behind his, getting close to his body. And before he could have prevented this I used an easy foot sweep while pulling his shoulder backward, causing him to fall down. The henchman was too shocked to move and I didn't wait any longer and used my opportunity jumping into Kwai Ma. Different than in my training lessons I used my full force so that the man's breathing stopped for a moment, my knee even making an impact with his ribs. He cried out in pain. While the grunt was busy with gaining some fresh air I just looked at the other guy, who was watching me with big eyes. Then I got into my fighting position again, staring right into his gray eyes. I saw how he shrieked and seemed to be not sure what he should do next. But his decision was quickly taken away when the one on the ground had breathed a few deep breaths and got back up, having his hand on his right side. He stumbled over to him, pulling at his shoulder, gesturing to follow him.

»This girl is crazy! Come let's see that we get away!«, his panicked voice reached my ears and soon they ran off, trying to get enough space between them and me. My eyes fell upon Yama, who wasn't looking very happy at the moment.

»I will leave you alone if you promise me to never hunt this boy down and that your misunderstandings have been solved. Is this understood? Otherwise, you will get into some major trouble with me.« My voice was much sharper now so that my counterpart understood that I was not joking and the bulky man just nodded quickly. »Now leave!« Those two words I smashed at him and he yelped while turning around, running off. I watched him leave and my body relaxed again, me giving my fighting position up. I turned then around, glaring at the boy behind me, who's eyes were as big as the ones of the guys'. »Are you okay?« Concern was being heard in my voice though I felt something else bubbling up in my body. Something which caused me to get slowly angry.

»How...how did you...« To more he was not able while he obviously tried to order some words, nodding as a respond to my question. Meanwhile, I found a broken broomstick on the ground and picked it up.

»Good, because I can do this now.« And with that I smacked the stick across his head, him causing to cry out. »What were you thinking?«

»Hey! What was that for?« Hiro asked but I had already turned around after picking my backpack up and was already walking away. »Hikari! Wait a second!« I heard his footsteps following me.


~Hiro's PoV~

I didn't believe what I saw. Hikari just finished this guy off like it was nothing and though I have seen it with my own eyes I couldn't believe it. I heard how she was asking me if I was alright and I tried to answer her properly but my mind just didn't want to form a clear sentence and the only thing I could think of was how she had been able to do this. I noticed that she still was waiting for a reply and I nodded as my respond. To more, I was not capable of.

»Good, because I can do this now.« Suddenly I felt something hard hitting my head, causing me to cry out in pain. I hadn't even noticed how she had picked up a stick. »What were you thinking?« I rubbed the backside of my head, where I still felt a slight pain, seeing how she threw the broken broomstick away and picked her backpack up, turning around leaving me.

»Hey! What was that for?«, I called after her but she didn't bother and just continued walking. For a brief moment, I just watched her leave being dumbstruck before I caught myself. »Hikari! Wait a second!« Of course, she didn't and I ran after her, catching up. I breathed a little heavier, when I arrived her, she – although – didn't look at me at all and just continued with walking in her fast pace. »Could you please hold on so that I can thank you?«, I managed to say and – against my expectations after she hadn't listened before – she really stopped walking, turning towards me, her eyes as big as tennis balls.

»You want to do what...?« Unbelief was written all over her face, blinking several times at me. I took a deep breath before talking.

»Thank you. For saving me. I'm sure I would have looked awful after they would have been finished with beating me up. So...thanks.« I offered her a warm smile to show her that I meant it honestly. She still seemed to be irritated.

»Uhm...you're welcome. Of course, I would have helped, no matter what happened earlier between us.« Hikari pulled her shoulders into a light shrug returning my smile. She continued then with walking but this time in a much slower pace. I followed her, walking by her side.

»But you have to explain me one thing...How have you managed it to get this guy down to the ground? And this so fast? I have to admit that I was kind of worried and thought you are crazy!« A shy smile graced her lips and her cheeks got a hint of red, while she was avoiding my glare. This sight caused an own smile on my lips, my heart fluttering.

»Well...I'm having a blue belt in Kung Fu, which I'm doing already for almost ten years.« She scratched the backside of her head. I just made a face in surprise. She had what...?

»Really? But...you don't look like that! I mean...you are small and seem to be so fragile. I would never have thought that you were able to do...this! You look so innocent.« I remembered her words a few days ago, where we were staring eye-to-eye at each other, both of us had threatened the other one. At this day I had told her that she could have been lucky to be a girl, otherwise, I would have done something to her. Her only respond had been that she really would like to see me try. Now I realized that I was the lucky one. I would have been on the floor in less than a second! The thought of this discussion seemed so odd now...She chuckled, me feeling suddenly much lighter hearing this.

»Most of the people are thinking this. I take this as an advantage. No one would expect me to beat them in a fight and so I have the surprise effect on my side.« Her smile was still visible and I caught me staring at her. I cleared my throat.

»I can be lucky that you were here. What leads me to my next question.« My face got more serious before I continued. »What are you doing here in this part of the city? It's quite dangerous here.« Her lips formed a thin line hearing my words and I noticed that I hurt her pride. »Sorry.« She shrugged it off and her face got friendly again.

»You have seen that I can defend myself. But I can return this question. What were you doing here? Especially since you actually know that it's dangerous and can't defend yourself?« She pulled one of her eyebrows up and stopped, facing me now completely. Her arms were folded in front of her chest. I laughed a nervous laugh, scratching my head ashamed. She had a point.

»You know...earlier I used to go bot-fighting. Actually, I had stopped but I was so mad today that I didn't care and just wanted to attend to one again.« I saw her eyes growing big. Something in them sparkled but I couldn't name what it was. She caught herself again, the spark in her eyes had disappeared.

»So you are a bot-fighter...I understand.« I noticed that she hadn't answered my question yet.

»Now it's my turn. Why are you here? It's not really close to where you are living at.« I folded my arms in front of my chest, being very curious. Hikari just didn't fit into this part of the city. She pursed her lips.

»Honestly? Because of the same reason like you.« That...surprised me. Hikari and bot-fighting? That suited as good as this place and her. But she seemed to be honest about this and I started to look through my memory to check if I had seen her before. But I would have remembered about her if I had seen her and after I didn't I was confused.

»But I have never seen you at any fights...Did you go somewhere else?«

»You're a common bot-fighter, aren't you?« I nodded not understanding what she was referring to.

»The street parallel to this one has an abandoned warehouse in which bot-fights are held. But these fights are different than the ones you are used to. We don't use a remoter.« She shrugged her shoulders after she was done with explaining. But...if she didn't use a remoter...how was she guiding the robot? The question must have been visible in my eyes because she laughed before continuing. »In fact, we are the remoter.« Oh. This made more sense. Though I still couldn't imagine how this would look like.

»This sounds interesting. And today is such a battle?« She nodded as my answer. »Do you think you could take me with? Only to look of course. If there are more people like you then I think I would lose.« I grinned, knowing that she would feel embarrassed and just on cue the red color returned to her cheeks. My grin widened. I had to admit it was fun to tease her.

»I thought you wanted to go to a fight by yourself?« She cocked her head slightly to her side but I just waved off.

»I don't need to go anymore and I think that this battle is done anyways.« A smile graced her lips.

»If you really want to then we can visit the battle. But the term of application should be over as well, so I won't be attending either.« This was a pity. I would have liked to see her battling.

»It's okay. I want to see how your type of battling is working after you know how I battled.«

»Alright. Then follow me.« And with that she took the lead, me walking beside her following her.


~Hikari's PoV~

It was somehow strange to walk with Hiro to the warehouse to watch the battle but I had to say that I didn't mind it at all, his company was pleasant. It was astonishingly easy to talk with him and not one time he was rude. He seemed to get cocky now and then, especially when he was talking about his inventions but this was more funny than annoying. It didn't take long until we arrived our destination. I looked at the boy beside me, seeing that his brows were knitted together. I was sure that he imagined it different. A chuckle left my lips.

»Wait until you are inside.« And with that I guided him to the entrance where a big, muscular man was standing, wearing a black suit and some sunglasses. He looked down at us and his eyebrow rose above the lens. »We would like to enter.«, I said but the guy didn't move a muscle in his face and bowed a bit down so that he could talk to us.

»No entrance for little children! Now leave and see that you get home!« I sensed that Hiro beside me froze but I won't be intimidated by anyone. I rose my chin and glared into the man's eyes, and started then talking with a serious voice.

»Listen. I have won this battle a few times already and if you won't believe my words, then maybe you will believe in that.« I reached out into my pocket, showing him a card. It was not a very high-quality card – it was just a piece of paper being shrink-wrapped – but it was enough to cause that my opposite took his glasses down, looking at the item dumbfounded.

»I-I'm...I'm sorry, Miss. Please proceed.« He stepped aside and opened the door for us, waiting until we would have entered. I walked ahead but stopped when Hiro didn't follow and looked at him over my shoulder.

»Hiro?« My voice must have pulled him out of the trance he was being in and he hurried to follow me inside. Only to stop and look in awe at the things inside. The room was quite crowded and at the moment there was a fight being held in the middle of this room. There was a boxing ring, only that there were no humans fighting but robots throwing each other around. I grinned when I saw the expression Hiro was wearing. He was looking at the whole location with big eyes, being totally stunned. The crowd cheered when the one robot smashed the other one to the ground. From the corner of my eye, I noticed him looking around.

»Where are the persons who are guiding those robots? I can't see anyone moving differently than the rest...« I moved my head towards him before I pointed then at each side at a separate room with shaded glass windows while glaring at them as well.

»They are behind there. So that no one sees you and you have the perfect overlook at the ring. This is important so that you know how to lead your robot.« His gaze turned to me, confusion written on his face.

»But...why would they want to hide from the crowd? Don't they want to gain all the cheering and stuff?«

»Well...you can step out of this room after the fight if you want to. But I never did this before. I always disappeared in the crowd afterward.« I saw the next question in the males eyes and I laughed. He was wondering why I want to do something like this. »Because of some envious combatants who want to have revenge, if they lost against me. I mean...this guy – Yama was his name, right? - was probably out for some revenge when he ordered his grunts to finish you off. Correct?« He nodded listening to my words. »If they don't know who you are, they can't beat you up. So easy.«

»That's a point but this is difficult for us because you are sitting eye-to-eye in front of each other. You don't have any other choice. Except for wearing a mask of course.« He shrugged his shoulders, just like he didn't care.

»This is another difference. This type of bot-fight is quite organized. To get inside you must be either a competitive or someone who bets. To join as a competitive you have to bring a functional robot with and if you just want to watch...then money. There is no other chance to get inside. When you are joining a battle you'll get a card – like the one I have – on which your victories are noted. Then you can proceed easier in future.«

»You guys are more organized than us! In compare to you, I feel like we have been a bunch of some people, doing some illegal stuff.« He scratched the backside of his head, grinning awkwardly at me. I returned the grin, though mine was more amused. We followed the battle until something hit his mind. »Wait...if you say either join or bet...does it mean I have to bet as well?« Big eyes were glaring at me and I shook my head, chuckling silently.

»No, don't worry. You are with me here. That means that you don't have to. But...I'm carrying the responsibility for you. So don't make any stupid things.« I looked into his brown eyes with a dead serious glare – of course played – but he just waved off, grinning. He had seen through my mask.

»I won't. It's interesting to be here, so I won't harm the person to whom I'm thankful at.« I noticed that this sentence was as strange for him than for me because a few days earlier he would have never dared to say something like this out loud. And a few days earlier I wouldn't have believed him if he had said something like this but now...I didn't see a problem with it.

»Good. You know what happens otherwise.« He yelped, facing me quickly with big eyes before he saw me grinning, laughing at his face.

»Haha, yeah you got me. Now let us watch this battle, okay?« I pulled my shoulders into a light shrug and looked then ahead again, seeing how the one robot destroyed the other one, the warehouse echoing the cheers of the other people.


~Hiro's PoV~

We have watched a few more battles until it was almost one o'clock and we decided that it would be better if we leave. We still had to attend to college tomorrow. We were currently walking along the empty and quiet street, talking about the last battle, which had been quite hilarious.

»And then his robot exploded in a million of pieces. Just like that.«, I said, finally getting some words out between my laughs. She agreed with nodding.

»I know! This was one of the worst misconstruction I have ever seen! I think even Mary would have done better and she is not very fit in electronics.« She giggled, grinning widely at me. I smiled. I was surprised how easy it was to laugh and actually have fun with her. She was so different like I thought she would be and I really enjoyed her company. We turned silent no one saying a word. But this was no uncomfortable silence. A while no one was speaking, when a thought hit me. Hikari hadn't answered one of my questions earlier.

»You didn't tell me, though, why you wanted to attend a bot-fight. You sounded like you stopped with it. So...why now again?« After hearing my question she stopped with walking, me noticing too late and looked over my shoulder at her, turning around. She was gazing down at the ground, her hands balled into fists. The cheerful smile was gone and she bit her lower lip instead. My brow furrowed and I approached her, being worried to have said something wrong. »Hikari?« I heard how she drew in some air, breathing shakily out before answering.

»I...had an argument with my father, which had made me so mad. And I didn't have anyone to talk with, so I just thought that it would be no bad idea to go to a fight to get rid of this anger inside. In the end, I beat this guy and I think this was enough action to calm down again. Especially spending some time with you brought me to other thoughts.« I smiled at her last words but it disappeared when I remembered her first ones.

»What were you arguing about?« I knew that this was personal and that it could be that she wouldn't want to tell me. But maybe she would feel better afterward and she mentioned that she wanted to have someone to talk with. Even though she didn't say it directly. Believe it or not, I knew how this felt like.

»It's an old and long story and the reason why I attended SFIT so late.« Her eyes met mine, I seeing in them that she didn't want to bother me.

»Don't worry. I have plenty of time. It's only...« I looked at my mobile, checking the time. »...short after one. No need to hurry.« I grinned because we both knew that we actually had no time. She chuckled but got serious again.

»It wasn't easy for me during my school time. I had no friends and I got called names after, being the strange one, since I was jumping classes, being much younger than the rest. It was that bad that in my years in high school I was extra learning, even pre-learning so that I could leave as soon as possible. What I managed with the age of ten. My father – even though he wasn't at home much – was worried about me and understood my intentions. I started working for him after I was afraid to attend any kind of college since most of the people who had bullied me were visiting them now.« She made a short break. »It was fun to work for my father at the beginning. It was stuff, which interested me a lot. But I didn't get paid and he often took things I thought of for his ideas. And after some time I thought that it was time now to finally attend a college. I think I must have been almost twelve when I had made my decision. My father wasn't very pleased about this. I remember to have seen worry in his eyes. I was sure that he was afraid of the fact that I could get bullied again. So he declined my wish to go to school again and meant that I didn't need to study to work for him. He said that I would take the lead someday and that a graduation of a college was not necessary. But I wanted to choose by myself what I wanted to do. It took me long to get him to the point so that I could finally go to SFIT. I knew that he wasn't happy but at least he accepted it. Or...so I thought...« I noticed how her voice changed and she was looking down again. I had been already waiting for the explanation of her anger but until now she just told me what had happened before. And suddenly her time at SnowElectronic Industries didn't sound like that much fun anymore. Especially since she hadn't earned any money. I turned slightly my head and saw a small wall, low enough for us to sit on and I reached out for her wrist to guide her to it. I tried to ignore that my heart in my chest skipped and my skin tingled where I met hers and stopped walking as soon as we arrived. She glared puzzled at me but I just jumped up to take a seat. She understood and did the same. Then I looked expectant at her.

»What happened?« She breathed deeply in and looked at her folded hands.

»This day started quite good. It didn't happen often that my father had some time for me but today he had. We went for a walk, eating some ice cream. I didn't know what he was intending to, I only was happy to spend some time with him.« She paused, which seemed to take an eternity. »But then he told me that he doesn't want that I attend college for any longer and that he will take me down from it. That I told him that I didn't want to leave didn't bother him and explained that I was still a child with no rights to make my own decisions. I got so mad because...he was right. I'm only thirteen and if he really wants to take me down he will do it. I could not believe that he didn't listen to my words and just made that it sounded final.« During her speech, her voice had tightened and not one time she had looked away from her hands. But then she sniffed and I sat suddenly upright, turning my body towards her. Was she...was she crying? She rose her head then, meeting my gaze, me seeing her watery eyes. She was obviously fighting the tears back but it seemed that she couldn't hold them back for longer anymore and her lower lip was quivering. Before I could even think twice about this I had moved closer, bridging the gap between us and took her into my arms. I noticed how her body stiffened at the sudden embrace. She clearly was surprised about this – how could she not be if I was it by myself? But then she relaxed and I felt her slender form trembling against me. Hikari gripped some fabric of my favorite t-shirt while she was crying. I was kind of unable to cope with this situation. I could handle her being angry, yelling at and fighting with me. I even could handle her when she was happy when her smile was enough to rattle me. But crying? I didn't know how to react to this. All I could do now was holding her in my arms, hoping that this would be enough to die down her tears. »I don't want to leave...not when I finally have found a place where I feel that I belong there. He...he can't take this away from me...« The girl's voice was nothing more than a whisper and it was tearing my heart to hear her being so desperate. At some time I had started to rub over her back, something I remembered my brother doing when I was crying and it mostly helped. So I kept on doing this, hoping that it would help her as well.


I didn't know how much time had passed but I found myself with my chin resting on top of her head, she being totally quiet. She had stopped with crying but after she was still clinging to me I knew that she was still not ready. Being so close to her caused a lot to my own state, which I tried to ignore, like my quickened heartbeat for example. I also tried to ignore the scent of her shampoo, which had something flowery in it. She felt so fragile, while I was holding her and the thought that she was able to beat someone up was impossible to think of – even though I had seen it. Slowly, trying not to startle her, I leaned myself a bit back to take a look at her. Her temple was resting against my chest, while she was probably staring to the side, seeing nothing. I dared it to speak to her.

»Are you feeling better?« I tried not to sound too loud and keep my voice as smooth as possible. I didn't remember that I had comforted someone yet and after this was my very first time I was quite unsure. I heard her clearing her throat – it being probably totally dry because of her crying – and took her head away from me, straightening her back a bit to look at me. She nodded.

»Yes. Thank you.« And then she realized that she was still holding on me and that she was quite close and immediately her cheeks reddened and she let go of my shirt. I had to grin at this sight. »Sorry! I didn't want...I mean...I didn't notice that...« Her stammering caused a laugh to escape my lips.

»Don't worry. It's not like you had thrown your arms around me. It was me embracing you.« Now I felt how my blood shot up towards my head, my cheeks burning hot. Saying it out loud made me feel more than embarrassed and I hoped that it was dark enough that it was not visible for my opposite. But after I could see her red face I probably didn't look any better. I saw her smile and I felt truly better when I saw this sight, proving that my methods to comfort her were not that wrong. I jumped down and offered her my hand to help her down. »Come. Let's get you back home. We need to attend our lectures, after all, tomorrow.«


~Hikari's PoV~

We walked along the street, not being very far away from my house while talking again. After my emotional outburst – and man I was feeling embarrassed because of this – it was good again to have a light conversation. I was mad at myself that I had allowed myself to show my weak side and I really hoped that Hiro wasn't thinking that I was a crybaby now. But...it was just feeling so good to finally let it all out, being able to talk about this with someone and I truly could say that I was feeling much better than before. Even before I had rescued him. It was hard to believe that tomorrow should be the same again, this evening not mattering anymore. And it was sad thinking about that he would ignore me again. I didn't want to admit it but Hiro Hamada wasn't that bad of a person and I had to say that it was fun to spend some time with him. I would miss it. But I had to accept this and try to not let it get too close to me. It didn't take long until we arrived my home, me looking up at it. Of course, the lights were off, after all, it was after two o'clock in the morning.

»So...here we are...«, I said and turned around to look at him. He stopped with walking as well and smiled at me. »Thanks again. I really hope I didn't ruin your shirt, though. If I had...then send me the cleaning bill.« I grinned as he chuckled about the little joke.

»Don't worry. I'm sure my aunt will manage this.« We held the glare with the smile we were sharing but then we remembered that we still had to go to bed and get some rest.

»Until tomorrow then.« My voice sounded careful after I was quite afraid that the Hiro I actually knew would show again, answering with a rude comment. He just kept on smiling and nodded.

»See you tomorrow.« We both spun around and I walked the few stairs up to the front door, which I opened. Before I entered I looked behind me again, waving as I saw that my project partner was still standing on the same spot while watching me go inside. He waved back and I got into the building, shutting the door. I looked at the hallway, which was filled with darkness and I slipped out of my shoes, picking them up and started to sneak my way to the staircase. This was easy after no one was sleeping at this floor. The difficulty would be to get upstairs and walk then to my bedroom. But also this I managed, after I had done this a few times already and entered relieved my room, turning the light on. I still was quite good in sneaking in and out without anyone noticing. I turned around to get to my closet, when I made a jump backward, biting on my lower lip to suppress a shriek. In front of me was an upset Tadashi, fixing me with his brown eyes, his arms being folded in the front. I breathed out when I have calmed my nerves and took my backpack from my back, dropping it beside of my desk.

»Gosh, Tadashi! You know you should not scare me like this.« I walked passed him, heading my closet to get changed. Luckily I could talk in an almost normal volume after the walls weren't that thin. I already reached the door when his voice stopped me in my tracks.

»Where have you been? It's almost two-thirty and you have college tomorrow! Can you imagine how worried I was when I returned and you were not here?« He was so loud that I ducked my head automatically, my hand already touching the knob. But I didn't go inside and turned around instead.

»I...was out. Problem?« I opened the door then and walked inside. I was sure that he had the urge to follow me but he knew that I would get dressed. I had to say that I was still kind of mad at him for not being here when I had needed him. He was somewhere doing somewhat and like it sounded he came quite late so I would have been sulking all night long until I would have fallen asleep if I hadn't got the idea to attend to a bot-fight. Which...I actually hadn't. I had been only watching.

»You...were...out? What caused that you stay away for this long? You haven't done this since I have started to hang around with you. Except in the beginning where you...« I heard him say but he stopped mid-sentence. When I stepped out of my closet I saw that his eyes rested on my backpack. He groaned. »Please don't tell me you have been bot-fighting again...!« Guilt washed through my body. I had promised him earlier that I would quit it but when I remembered that this had been the only solution for me after I couldn't talk with him this feeling disappeared very quick.

»Tell me what else I should have done? I was in the need of someone to talk with and after you weren't here, nor appeared hours later I decided to get rid of this anger.« I knew that my words would slap him in the face after he promised me to help me whenever he could. And to hear from me that he did fail here would make him feel bad. Normally I would prevent it to cause him to feel bad but I still was disgruntled that he had let me down this evening. I could see from his expression that my words hit him and that he felt guilty for being absent.

»Something happened? What was it?« Tadashi's angry mood was forgotten and worry was written over his face. I walked over to my bed and sat down looking at him.

»It's only my father acting stupid. I will figure out something.« I didn't feel like explaining again after I had talked with Hiro about this already and even though it had felt good to speak about it, it still had been exhausting. Especially that crying. Thinking about it, I still felt embarrassed, showing my weak side was something I usually tried to avoid. The male looked at me for a few moments, blinking at me when it hit him.

»Again about the college? I thought he was over it?« I pressed my lips together to a thin line and I nodded.

»I thought the same. He even talks about taking me down from it...« I sighed and looked at my hands before I continued. »I don't want to leave, though. I like it there.« I was playing with my fingers, avoiding my emotions from earlier so that I would not start with crying.

»I'm sorry to hear this and I'm sorry that I hadn't been here to help you. But I promise that I will help you with figuring something out.« I glared back up when I heard his voice, meeting his gaze, a smile was playing on his lips. Automatically I returned it – I couldn't help it. I was just not able to stay mad at him for very long.


~Hiro's PoV~

Like many times in the past, I managed it to get back home without my aunt noticing it and I had sneaked into my room successfully. I headed the shelves above my desk and placed Megabot back where he belonged to before I got changed, getting underneath my covers. I glared up at the ceiling, seeing actually nothing except some black and gray spots, marking the wall. My thoughts drifted off to the events of this night – which were very different compared to each other. I had never thought to meet Hikari Sunō at such a place. She was just so out of place that it was strange and made this whole situation so...unrealistic. And she fighting against this grunt – and succeeding – didn't help. I had to honestly say that she was very different than I thought she would be. I thought she was some rich girl – okay, I got to know later that she wasn't poor – who was too proud for her own good. That all that she wanted was attention. Being a show-off. But actually...she was none of that. Well...she was rich but she hadn't blurted it out. And yes she had been working for a huge company but only because it was her father's and that she didn't know what to do with ten. Honestly? I clearly would have done the same. She didn't even get paid! So I was sure that this was not the best time of her life. At least it didn't sound like it to me. Hikari was actually strong – I mean...who could possibly beat a guy up, who was much taller than herself? I really didn't have seen this coming and it made her so much more...likable, especially since she was bot-fighting as well. And not to forget her emotional outburst, where she ended up crying in my arms. At this thought, my heart did both...pain and flutter. I closed my eyes seeing her face then behind my shut lids. Dark eyes were looking at me and her red lips were formed to a warm smile. Something, which I didn't expect to see from her. At least not towards me. I had to admit that I grew very fond of her smile, and it always caused many things to me, like returning it with an own one for example. I turned to my right side, curling up beneath my blankets. Hikari...a warm feeling formed itself within me and spread itself out through my body until it reached every part of me, every toe and fingertip. Maybe I could like her. Maybe it was not impossible to have her as a friend.

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 8 - Teamwork And Other Surprises

 

~Hikari's PoV~

Buzz. Buzz. Buzz.

I felt how I got dragged out of my sleep, I actually not feeling like getting up. I turned around to my other side, ignoring the noise until it stopped. I sighed in satisfaction, drifting slowly away deeper into my slumber when...

Buzz. Buzz. Buzz.

Anger boiled up inside of me. What on earth dared it to disturb my sleep?

Buzz. Buzz.

I shot up, looking immediately to my side where this noise was coming from, shooting a deadly glare in this direction. But my expression relaxed when I saw that it was only my alarm clock. It was a few minutes after seven. Time to get up and get ready for college. With a groan, I dropped myself backward upon my mattress – not without turning the alarm off – and covered my eyes with my right arm.

»I am so tired! I don't want to get up now!« I heard a chuckle, what caused that I took my arm from my face and lifted myself a little bit up to glare to the source of this noise. I saw Tadashi sitting in my favorite armchair, grinning widely at me.

»Well, you have to. Otherwise, you will be late for college. It's your own fault, when you stay away for too long, going bot-fighting.« His grin widened after he knew that I knew that he was right. But all that I did was rolling my eyes and pushed myself completely up to get out of my bed. Not that I would fall back asleep and get too late to school. But actually...my father would take me down anyways and this could be my last day at college. So technically it didn't matter. A shadow covered my face when I remembered my discussion with my father and my good mood was gone immediately. Also, Tadashi noticed the change of my mood and his expression changed as well. »Hey, we will find a solution for this problem. I promise.« I sighed. How could he be so optimistic? We barely had some time!

»Thanks. But...I'm sure my father will drive today to SFIT and take me down from it. We would have to be quick and I have lectures to attend. It's nearly impossible!« I looked at him, my dark eyes meeting his brown ones. He jumped out of the chair, approaching me.

»Don't worry. You might have to attend your lectures but I'm having plenty of time to think of something. I won't stop finding a solution until I have found one.« His expression was a determined one, causing a small smile to appear on my lips.

»You are a great friend, Tadashi. I hope you are aware of that.« My words plastered a grin on my opposites face.

»No problem. But now you should see that you get ready so that you be on time.« I nodded as a reply and got into my closet to get the clothes for the day out.


After a shower – I was really in need of it after fighting and climbing and stuff – and getting quickly ready I was on my way downstairs to have some breakfast before I would head off to college. My bag was already dangling from my shoulders and my shoes were in my free hand so that I would not have to go upstairs to get those items before leaving. I left them in the hallway and entered the dining room when I halted and gazed at the table. Or better, the person who was sitting at the table. My father was currently busy with buttering his bread, while Mary was setting the table, looking up when she saw me.

»Oh, good morning, Hikari. I hope you slept well last night.« A knowing expression was in her eyes, so she probably knew what my problem was. I walked to my usual chair – at the right side of my father – and took my seat, pulling the cup with steaming hot chocolate closer to me, to take a sip. I didn't look at my dad after I was still angry that he had just decided what I should do and not do. I noticed how Mary was looking from me to him, then back to me before her gaze rested on the male beside me. »Hikari. I think your father wants to tell you something.« I looked up when I saw that serious eyes were darted at my father, telling him clearly a warning. It was a rare sight to see my nanny so upset or serious about something, so it had to be something important. Begrudgingly I was turning my sight towards the male adult, raising one of my eyebrows. I had to admit that I was kind of curious what would happen next. My father was looking first in a serious way at Mary, but he lost this eye-to-eye battle and sighed, turning his attention now towards me.

»I talked with Mary yesterday after you have returned home and I have realized that I was wrong. I can not take you down from college if visiting it is that what you want to do. I was just worried and didn't want that you have to endure the same things again like earlier. I hope you can forgive me, Hikari.« For a while I said nothing and just gazed into his eyes, trying to find out if he was honest or if he was lying. But even after I heard his words I could not believe them right.

»So...you are saying that I won't have to leave SFIT? I can stay there?« I was careful. I already felt how hope was growing inside of me and I didn't want to be even more disappointed when my father decided differently again. He took a deep breath before he nodded once.

»Yes. That's what I'm trying to say.« A bright grin pulled the corners of my lips up, noticing that my problem was gone and I would not have to leave SFIT.

»Oh, thank you, thank you, thaaaaaaank you!« I jumped up of my chair and hugged my father in a stormy way, while I couldn't stop to thank him for changing his mind. That I would see this ever in my life. My father changing his mind. I heard Mary chuckling and I turned my head towards her, knowing that she had talked some sense into his stubborn mind and mouthed a 'Thank You' to her as well, which she answered with a simple smile.


~Hiro's PoV~

It had taken some time until I had finally fallen asleep. Though I had been quite tired, my mind was wide awake, thinking of the past events. Of course, her words about she leaving SFIT troubled me quite a bit and I had to say that I didn't like the idea of she being gone. I knew that for about a week nothing would have been greater than Hikari Sunō leaving this college. But now – after I had spent some time with her – I had to say that I grew fond of her and I really started liking her. So she being gone would honestly sadden me. I only hoped that her father would change his mind and rethink his decision.

»Eat your breakfast up, otherwise you are going to be late.« I looked up when I saw Aunt Cass walking by, passing the table I was sitting at. I was currently sitting in the café, having a doughnut as breakfast before I would head off to get to my college. Baymax was already being ready, waiting beside me until I would be done.

»A good breakfast is the best way to start a day.«, he exclaimed, his right forefinger raised up towards the ceiling. I glared at him but shook only my head. It wasn't rare that Baymax was giving a comment to a statement of someone else. I finished up my doughnut and drank the cup of hot chocolate up and got then up, heading the bathroom in the first floor to brush my teeth.

»You seem troubled.«, Baymax stated while we were walking along the street to reach SFIT. He was carrying his charging box again, while I was carrying my backpack. I really should create a second one, which I could leave in my lab. I looked up at him after his cameras were fixed on me. »Is it because of Hikari again? Shall I scan you?«

»What? No! I don't need to be scanned!« Especially not after him mentioning her name caused my heart to jump one time. »But yes, you are right. It is because of Hikari.«

»Is it still because of your jealousy?« I shook my head at this.

»No. It is not because of my jealousy. It's...different now. I don't feel like this anymore.« After those words, it was silent for a while, which caused me to glare at my friend, who was still eying me. I got a bad feeling...

»Scan complete. You show no kind of envious emotions but therefor your amount of different hormones have increased. Can you name me the reason of why your emotions towards Hikari have changed?« I groaned. I knew that he was going to scan me.

»Why do I even tell you not to scan me, when you are doing it anyways?!« I clapped my face with my open palm and sighed deeply. But to his question, I didn't know an answer. »I'm not sure. Maybe because of talking with her? I only know they did, isn't this enough?« I rolled my eyes at this and looked then straight on again so that I wouldn't hit a street lamp. Finally, we arrived the college and I cried out in joy – not loud but in my head – to be able to escape this situation. »Come, let's get you into the lab so that I can attend to my first lecture today.« And with that, I quickened my pace.


~Hikari's PoV~

»Thanks for driving me!« I waved at my nanny, who was driving off again to do some shopping before returning back home. I was standing in front of the campus of my college and turned then around to walk quickly over it and to get to the building in which Professor James would have her lecture this morning. But as soon as I reached the classroom I saw a note hanging at the door. I took a closer look to see what was written on it.

Professor James is still ill. Everyone, who has the robotic lectures with Professor Raven, please attend to his classroom.

Thank you.

So my professor was still ill? Seemed to be a tough cold...With shrugging my shoulders I turned then around to leave for the other direction so that I would reach Professor Raven's classroom. I would have thought that we would be able to work on our own projects – especially since we had been allowed to do this last week as well – so I was quite curious what my professor in robotics had in mind. I hurried a bit to reach the class in time after his room was in a different building than Professor James' and I didn't want to be late. But luckily I was not the only one who had to hurry and so I was not the last one entering the wished destination. I stopped at the top of the hall, pursing my lips after I saw that my usual seat was already taken and I didn't want to sit way in the front. I sighed and decided to take my seat in the middle of the room and dropped my bag on the ground and placed my behind on the chair, looking around. Professor Raven was sitting at his own desk, going through some papers, while behind him were some prototypes of some robots, waiting to be used. My eyes widened in surprise. So today would be an experiment day? This thought graced a smile on my lips. This could turn out to be some fun! I counted the robots in the front and figured out that there were only the half of the amount of them than students in this class. My mood dropped. So this was meant to be a team-work experiment? Great...I didn't know anyone good enough to be sure that he or she would join a group with me and I was not sure if Hiro would be the old Hiro again, being rude towards me. So it would be better if I would not make any hopes here. Nevertheless, I couldn't suppress a sigh and I bowed down to my backpack to get my stuff out. Even though it was quite obvious that we wouldn't have a regular lecture day, I wanted to be prepared. Like it seemed Professor Raven was already anticipating that some students may come later because he didn't announce that he would start now and just kept on reading his files. I slowly got bored while waiting and at some time I opened my notebook and got a pencil out, starting with scribbling random things. Mostly things, which came into my mind like a flower or letters. I was busy with shading a lily when I saw a shadow covering me, causing me to look up. I was slightly surprised when I saw what produced this shadow. Hiro was standing beside me, scratching the backside of his head.

»Uhm...Would you mind it if I sit here?« I blinked at his words, not quite getting what he was intending to. But then it hit me. He was really wanting to sit beside me. I must have looked dumbfounded because he hurried to say. »But if you don't want to then...-« Before he could end his sentence I cut in.

»No, no! Sure you can sit beside me. I was only...surprised.« I pulled my shoulders into a soft shrug, grabbing my backpack to place it to my left so that Hiro could sit at my right. A smile pulled the corners of his lips up as he pulled the chair back and took his seat beside me, looking at the front. I followed his gaze and looked to the front as well, though I was watching him from the corner of my eye. Bits of the happenings from yesterday night appeared in my mind and I felt my cheeks slightly flushing. It was still embarrassing...

»Okay, class. After everyone has arrived I think it is time to start with the lecture.« Professor Raven had gotten up from his chair and walked around his desk, leaning himself against it as soon as he had arrived the front. He crossed his arms in front of his chest, eying us all. »After Professor James is still ill I thought I take the opportunity to make a little experiment day. Just to check how far you all are in the topic robotics. Of course, this is only to check how far you are, that's why you won't get graded, but you will have the chance to win a little price if you are the best. So it would be good if you guys are giving your best.« He grinned at us, me already being curious what this price might be. The male in the front pushed himself away from the table and walked one or two steps to the front before he continued with talking. »You will team up, two-in-two, and will receive a robot, which you find behind me. And then I want that you will install a software into the memory chip of this robot. I want that in the end, you are able to block a hacking attack from me. Successfully. The one with the best software will win. Alright. Please build the team you are wishing to be in and then we can start. You have the whole lecture time and after the break, we will test the robots.« Professor Raven walked around his desk again and took his seat, waiting for the first teams to show and pick their robot up. So I had been right. This would be a teamwork experiment. I turned around to Hiro, who did the same, we looking at each other.

»Shall we team up?«, we both asked in unison and we both had to laugh about this. So he wanted to team up with me as well and it planted a smile on my lips. So my fear of being forced to work with someone, who didn't want to work with me had not come true and we both got up to walk to the front. We weren't the first ones – Javier and Noemi were already carrying their robot together to their seats. Luckily it was enough space for every team so that no one would bother the other one. Professor Raven was about to write something down when he looked up and saw us standing at his desk. A surprised expression appeared on his face but then he smiled.

»So, we decided to build a team?« He looked from me to Hiro and back to me. We both exchanged a glare ere we nodded.

»Yeah, we noticed that working with each other is very easy.«, the black haired boy answered and our professor grinned widely at this.

»This is good to hear. Well then. Take your robot, I will note you down as a team on my sheet.« He looked back down at the paper in front of him, writing our names into a list. Hiro and I walked over to the next robot, which was slightly taller than both of us. But luckily we both figured quite quick, from where it was easier to carry it and walked then back to our place, watching out to not trip over the stairs. After everyone received their robot our teacher walked around and handed each team a working kit over, which contained a laptop and some tools, which could be quite handy to work with. He walked then back to his desk and turned around, clapping his hands. »Okay, you are allowed to start.« And with this everyone started working. I pulled my notebook closer to me, deciding that noting down the first ideas and figuring afterward what was better than to randomly start and in the end, we would have to change everything. This would cost much more time than checking everything out first.

»Okay...we need to create something, which will prevent a hacking attack. Most of the computer systems have a firewall to block them. Maybe we could create a program as well?« I felt Hiro's gaze resting on me as he was telling me his suggestion. But I was just glaring straight on, looking at Professor Raven. I knew that a simple firewall would be too easy to get through and for a man like our professor it was probably much easier.

»I don't think that this is a good idea. It is too easy and I'm sure that most of the others will think of the same. But we wouldn't be in a college specialized on robotics if our professor wouldn't want something more creative...« I looked away from the man in the front and turned my gaze to the boy beside me, glaring at him.

»That's a point...And what do you think of?«

»A firewall is too weak...It can be as good as possible but every wall has a weak spot...« I thought out loud, tapping my chin with my index finger while thinking. There must be something clever but not too complicated...I was thinking about my project and the electromagnetic field when it hit me. If we could create a magnetic field within the memory chip of the robot then...I moved so fast around towards Hiro so that he got startled and even jumped slightly on his seat, looking with wide eyes at me.

»What? What is it?«

»An electromagnetic field!«, I exclaimed but this wasn't enough as an explanation for my opposite. »We should create an electromagnetic field within the memory chip. The magnet is resting while nothing happens and stays off when no one tries to get in. But when someone tries to hack the memory chip then it will get activated and the attack will be thrown back. Just like with two magnets, when you try that plus and plus and minus and minus should touch each other. And the side effect is that you destroy the hacker's program or even his computer with his own attack. When I think about it, it reminds me a lot on Kung Fu. Use the energy you are getting from your counterpart against himself.« I was satisfied with my idea and leaned myself back at my backrest, crossing my arms in front of my chest. My project partner was blinking several times while he was glaring at me, but then a huge grin appeared on his lips, he seeming to be totally excited.

»That's...a great idea! Sorry, when I have to say it but your father knows how smart you are when he wants your mind for his company.« I chuckled at his words, feeling my cheeks flushing at his compliment, though his words of my father left a bitter taste upon my tongue. But I didn't think further about it and just kept smiling. I wasn't used to getting compliments and I always felt embarrassed when someone was giving me one – except of my family of course.

»Thank you. Well then...we should see that we get started.« I reached out for the laptop, opening it before I pushed the power button. Meanwhile, Hiro was getting onto the table to open the backside of the robots head to get the memory chip out so that we could start with working. The computer booted up and I was looking at the screen while my fingernails were making some noise on the table. I winced when the black haired boy jumped down his soles of his shoes making a loud bang on the ground. I quickly glared at him before my gaze fell back onto the monitor, me hearing how he pulled his chair closer to mine so that he could have a better look. »Let's see what kind of programs are on here...« My voice was not louder than a mumble but my project partner could hear me perfectly.

»Like I know they are working with the common programs companies are working with as well.« His voice was quite near to my ear and I carefully looked to my right side, seeing that he was indeed quite close to me. My face started to flush.

»Uhm...this is great, though I think my father's company was working with an own system so that no one could hack him easily.« His eyes darted towards me and for a brief moment, we were just looking at each other before we both broke the eye contact so that we could work further.

»I almost thought that. I think big companies like SnowElectronic Industries and Krei Tech do need their own ones. Oh well. Luckily you have me as your partner because I have worked with those programs already.« A smug grin appeared on Hiro's lips and he tugged on his blue jacket. I only chuckled to this, shaking my head. There it was again. His cocky attitude. I leaned myself back at the backrest, crossing my arms in front of my chest and put a grin on my lips, only one corner of my mouth was pulled up.

»Only because my father has his own system doesn't mean that I didn't use the common ones. I did work on own projects at home and there I didn't work with the program of my father.« Hearing my words he lost his smug grin and a kind of awkward one appeared instead, he was scratching the backside of his head.

»Yeah...I think this sounds logic. Sorry.« I giggled at this sight waving off.

»Don't worry about it. So. Let's get started.« We both turned towards the screen, opening the needed file.


Some time has passed and I was currently busy with typing some codes into the computer, Hiro installing meanwhile the needed tool around the chip so that we could create an electromagnetic field around it.

»How far are you?« The boy's voice was very close to me again and I figured that he took a look on the screen to check how long I would take.

»I'm almost done. I just need to write this code finished and test it to check if there is a mistake somewhere. Then we can load it on the memory chip to install the field. How far are you?« I took my eyes away from the screen and turned towards him, pulling one eyebrow up to look in a questioning manner at him. He only grinned and shrugged.

»I'm done. So we can install the program as soon as it works.« He shifted his body in the chair, probably to get a more comfortable position. I moved back to the screen and wrote the code done, opening the file to test the program we had created. It loaded and while I was watching the bar to grow I was biting the tip of my thumb, hoping that it would work. It wasn't much time left. Even Hiro leaned closer to the laptop obviously thinking the same. The file was done with checking and made a noise, which indicated a success. Then a green check mark appeared, below the word ' s'. I felt a wide smile curling the corners of my lips.

»It worked...« I whispered and then I laughed, glaring at Hiro while the grin widened. Also, he started to grin widely at me and reached quickly out for the tool box to get the connecting cable out so that we could download the file. He handed me the USB plug-in over and I put it into the belonging slot, waiting until he would connect the memory chip with the driver. Immediately the window opened and asked if I wanted to download the program to the added driver and I clicked on 'Yes', leaning myself back and let the laptop do the rest.

»I'm really curious if it will work on the robot as well...«, the boy beside me stated and I turned my gaze towards him, pulling one eyebrow up.

»Are you doubting my skills, Mr. Hamada?« I kept a stern face and his eyes widened.

»What? No! I didn't mean it like that! Also, I would doubt my own skills if I would doubt this program. I know that...-« He stopped with talking when he saw the grin on my lips increase again. »What...Did you just fool me?« A laugh escaped me and my grin grew mischievous.

»Sorry. But your face was just too good.« My giggle got stronger and I had to watch out that I wouldn't start with laughing out loud.

»Yeah, yeah. Just laugh at me.« He folded his arms in front of his chest and pressed his lips to a thin line. But I could see that he only tried to suppress a grin by himself. My smile got warmer, causing that he couldn't hold it back and returned it.

»Attention class! Please be aware of that you finish your work in about ten minutes. Then we will test your robots after the lunch break.« I looked up when Professor Raven spoke and checked then the screen. This could run short. The file still needed about five minutes to finish the download and we still had to place the chip back into the robot. I turned myself around to Hiro glaring at him.

»Don't worry. It doesn't take long to put the chip back into the robot's head. We will be done before the bell rings.« An assured smile graced his lips and I sighed in relief. I was already worried. We both watched in silence until the bar was full and hoped that there were no further problems and I started to bite my lower lip. I always got nervous when there was not much time left. I almost cheered out loud, when the download was finally done and I had to keep myself back from just pulling the plug out of the laptop. After closing the program properly I removed the cable from the computer and also Hiro got rid of the cable from the memory chip, climbing up upon the table to place the item back where it belonged to. He was sitting on his chair again before Professor Raven clapped his hands.

»Okay, class. Please stop the work on your robot and dismiss this lesson. We will start to check them after the break. See you later.« He walked around his desk and took his seat at it, waiting for us to leave the classroom. I collected my stuff together and packed them back into my backpack, getting up from my chair waiting until my partner was done and made some space so that I could leave the building. I considered in returning to my lab and work further on my project so that I would make some progress. I followed Hiro out of the hall to get to the hallway and as soon as I stepped out I looked for a good direction to get as fast as possible to my lab. I wanted to use as much time of my break as possible before I had to return.

»Hikari? Did you hear what I say?« I snapped out of my thoughts, turning fast around to the source of this noise.

»Huh?« A smile broke on the black haired male's lips. What was he still doing here?

»I asked you if you would like to have lunch with me and my friends.« A chuckle shook his shoulders. Did I just hear right? Did he just ask me to share my break time with him and his friends? I blinked several times before I was able to give a proper answer.

»Uhm...sure. If you don't mind.« I still couldn't believe it.

»Why should I mind?« He looked honestly confused. Had he forgotten already what happened last week?

»Well...I remember that we didn't even talk with each other last week and only exchanged words to say some mean things...« At my words, he pursed his lips.

»That's right. But I really don't feel like saying mean things to you anymore. Listen. I know I wasn't very friendly to you a few days ago and I'm really sorry about this. I think I judged you before I even got to know you. But since we are working on our project together – and our talk from yesterday – I noticed that you are different than I thought. I think I was just jealous.« I looked surprised at him, hearing him talk. He just apologized for his behavior. Slowly I realized that he said those words and a smile graced my lips.

»Your apology is accepted. I have to say that I am glad that we get along now because I like talking to you.« I just hoped that this didn't sound too weird. Hiro only laughed.

»Thanks for this. So. Are you coming with me now to have some lunch?« He smiled at me, causing my smile to widen and I nodded.

»Sure. I would love to come with.« And together we walked off to reach the cafeteria. This meant that I would not continue with my project this lunch. Just as yesterday it was incredibly easy to talk with him and I really enjoyed it. We quickly found a topic to talk about and we often shared the same opinion. He just made a joke and I had to laugh when we arrived the cafeteria, reaching the tables outside. I didn't even know that we have found his friends already. I just ended with chuckling when we stopped at the table. I looked one time around, the grin still visible and saw for the first time his friends closely. There were the boys, Fred with the hat and the other guy, whose name I didn't know and the girls, the small one with the short hair cut and the blonde one, Honey Lemon with whom I already had shared a lunch break before. Everyone gazed quite irritated at us – except for Honey. She just wore a huge smile.

»Hey guys, sorry for the delay. But we got caught up.«, Hiro said, stepping over the bench to take his seat. He scooted then a little bit more to the side, looking over his shoulder at me, nodding to the empty space. He obviously signed me to take my seat beside him. I did like he said and placed myself on the bench. The others just gazed from Hiro to me, then back to Hiro just to look at me again. And this for several times. I slowly felt uncomfortable. »What?« The body beside me asked, getting his lunch out. I reached out for my own bag to do the same.

»Uhm...when did that happen?« The girl, whose name I didn't know, asked, the confusion being able to be seen in her eyes.

»Doesn't it matter? They just get along. Isn't this what counts?« Honey Lemon turned to the other female, glaring at her.

»Of course it is. I'm only curious. Am I not allowed to ask?«

»You got allies with the enemy? That's not what superheroes do, Hiro.« I pressed my lips to a thin line. Well, this wasn't very nice. From the corner of my eye, I saw that the boy beside me thought the same.

»She is not my enemy, Fred. I know I didn't like her in the past...-«

»You mean last week.«, the Asian girl interrupted.

»...but this doesn't mean that she was my enemy. In fact, we have cleared our differences and get quite along.« He turned around towards me and smiled, which I returned. I could literally feel how excited Honey was about this.

»I knew that you both would make some peace!«, she squealed, causing me to roll my eyes in a playful manner.

»It's nice to see you again, Honey.«, I said, my eyes darted at the blonde.

»Let me introduce my friends to you. The blonde woman is Honey Lemon like you know and beside her is GoGo.« GoGo placed two fingers at her temple before she made a waving move, looking at me. »The guy here...«, Hiro continued and pointed with his thumb beside him, aiming a guy with dreadlocks. »...is Wasabi. And the blond with the beanie is...-«

»My name is Fred. Nice to meet you, Snow.« Snow? Did I just hear right? Why on earth was he calling me Snow? Maybe a reference to my surname – Sunō, well actually suno-, was Snow in Japanese – and to the company of my father? I heard my project partner groan out loud.

»How many times shall I tell it to you? Her name is Hikari. Hi-ka-ri. Understood?« His eyes were resting on Fred. He just rolled his eyes and pulled his shoulders into a shrug.

»But that's boring. You can call her like you want, I stick with this.« And with that said he bit into his sandwich, ending the conversation. Hiro just dropped his face into his palm before turning to me.

»I guess you have a nickname now.« I blinked several times, deciding if Snow was a good or bad nickname. I just decided that I would not bother.

»But I'm still curious. How did that happen?« GoGo took the opportunity of this silence, glaring at Hiro and me. In the end, her gaze rested on the boy.

»We got forced to talk with each other. You can't avoid a person, with whom you are working on a project. So we started talking. No big deal.« He took a bite of his lunch as well. I noticed that he left out the incidence from yesterday, beginning with the battle against those grunts, ending to my emotional outburst on that wall. Probably it was no bad idea to keep this as a secret.

»I'm just glad that this rivalry is over. It was exhausting to listen to you, Hiro.« Her eyes cast over to the boy, a serious glare was in them. He shrunk under her glare.

»Yeah, yeah. I'm glad as well. All this being annoyed and angry was very exhausting for me, too.« I didn't know why but I had to chuckle at this, catching immediately Hiro's attention. I just grinned at him to show him that I didn't mean it bad.


~Hiro's PoV~

The lunch break was quite exciting first. I was a little bit afraid that my friends would doubt that Hikari and I made our peace but they got fast along with her, me realizing that they have always doubted my former words about her. And honestly...how couldn't they? My present me was doubting my past me as well. Fred was fooling around, having found a new victim in Hikari for one of his glorious ideas.

»Imagine. You have a gun, which makes you invisible. You could do everything with that! I mean. No one would be able to see you!« We all watched how Fred was speaking to my project partner, her eyes resting on him. One of her eyebrows got pulled up.

»You mean like going inside the girls' wardrobe?« I pressed my lips together, feeling how a laugh bubbled up. Her voice was just so dry that you could think she wouldn't relate to the cliché. But I knew that she was way too clever to miss this detail, so she was playing a joke on the comic fan. And he didn't even notice it.

»What...no! I didn't mean it like this!«, the blond quickly said and now I saw how Hikari was not able to keep her laugh back and started with chuckling that kind of one I was very fond of. I had to watch my face. Instead of staring I decided to laugh along.

»I'm sorry, Fred. But I couldn't resist.«, she managed to say between her laughs, grinning at him. He just blinked several times before he noticed that she had fooled him. He started laughing as well.

»Alright, you got me.« He grinned one last time at her before he turned towards me. »Why haven't you brought her earlier?« I didn't answer to this and looked down at my mobile, checking the time. I noticed that our break was over.

»I think we should leave, Hikari. Professor Raven gets furious if we don't appear on time.« She nodded and rose up, picking her bag up and looked one time around.

»Thank you that I was allowed to join your break. It was fun.« She smiled at everyone one time, me once again thinking that a smile suited her better than that stern look she had been wearing when looking at me earlier.

»Don't worry about it, Hikari. You can join more often if you like to.« It was clear that Honey counted her in as a friend already. She had been the first to talk with her in the first place. The others agreed to her words, which caused an increased smile on the black haired girl's lips and an increased heartbeat for me. I got up as well, shouldering my backpack and stepped over the bench waiting for Hikari to do the same.

»See you, guys!«, I said and my project partner waved at them before we turned around to head the building where we had our lecture.

»Your friends are nice. I like them.«, she stated after a short while, glaring at me.

»They are my friends. Have you thought differently?«, I replied, a smug grin appearing on my lips. The girl beside me just rolled her eyes at that, but her smile returned real quick.

»Do you want an honest answer to this?« I knew to what she was referring to. To our former relation.

»No, no. There is no need for this. I already get what you are applying to.« She chuckled and I opened the door for her to enter. I hadn't noticed how fast we have been. I walked after her into the building and we continued our way. »If you like you can join us every day. I wouldn't mind.« She stopped with walking, her big black eyes getting bigger while looking at me. I was confused. Was that so surprising?

»I thought today would have been a one-time-event. If you get what I'm meaning.« Her facial expression relaxed again and we continued our walk.

»If you don't want to join us it's okay as well. I just wanted to let you know. And the others have mentioned this idea earlier, too.« I pulled my shoulders into a shrug, hiding my hands in my jacket pockets. Hikari was watching me for a while until the smile returned.

»I would love to join every day. Having lunch break in my lab gets boring after a while.« She giggled and my grin grew wide.

»Great! But we should see that we get inside the classroom now.« After that we entered the just mentioned place, heading our seats from this morning. I looked at our prototype of a robot and was satisfied with our work. The girl had been right. Every wall had a weak spot and someone skilled in hacking would find such a spot within a firewall, no matter how strong this wall might be. Slowly the hall filled again and after the volume was loud enough our professor looked up from his papers, getting up from his chair and walked to the front of his desk, leaning his form against it.

»Welcome back class. It depends on how long we need to take but after we are done with testing your robots you can leave. With that being said, let's start.« Professor Raven looked one time around, gazing at each team before he decided who shall start. »Javier and Noemi. Please take your robot to the front and we will see how long it takes me to hack myself into your system.« I glared to the side, seeing how the Spanish guy and his girlfriend got up, he taking the robot to the front, while she was already heading downstairs. Noemi had a special walking style. It always seemed like she would dance. Our teacher, meanwhile, reached behind his desk and got a little machine, which seemed to be a tablet, in his hands. But like I knew him it was better as some ordinary tablet. »I will try and give some comments to your robot, which they should do. The robot, which can withstand my attack longer has won. But be warned. I'm quite good in hacking systems. Not that I had done this illegally.« I chuckled. I was sure that Drake Raven had hacked computer systems when he had been younger. He turned around, pushing a button and the smart board behind him got lit up and a stopwatch started to count the seconds. Immediately our professor moved towards the robot, starting to push some buttons on the touch screen. I could see from here that Noemi was quite nervous after she was frazzling her lower lip. One final button got pushed and suddenly the robot started to dance, wobbling around. Professor Raven pushed another button and the watch stopped. Thirty seconds. Bloody hell...he was very good! The female with the pixie haircut sighed and looked down and Javier was not looking good either. The eldest wrote something into his list, signing the two students to go back to their seats. They left and our teacher scanning the class again to find the next victims. I glared around as well, seeing that many were unsure about their created program.

»The next pair on this list...Charlie and Heather.« All heads turned to the pair of people, who got called at next and they rose up from their chairs walking to the front. And that continued. Every time our professor didn't need long to hack the robots, forcing them to do the craziest things. And with every pair, who was in the front I got more nervous. I didn't even realize that I was playing with my fingers like a maniac until I felt a hand covering mine. I looked down at them and followed the arm upwards only to meet Hikari's gaze, her eyes glowing of intensity. For a short moment, I was dumbfounded.

»Don't worry. We will manage this. You shouldn't forget that we are the smartest in our class and our skills combined are much stronger.« I felt pressure on my hands and where her skin met mine it prickled. Then she smiled at me, which I returned automatically. I sighed.

»I know. Professor Raven only seems to be so good. I mean...the best time is two minutes!«

»And? He needs to be good. Where is the challenge, if not?« Her smile increased and I felt a little bit better.

»Next pair: Hiro and Hikari.« We glared up when we heard our names. So it was the time to show them our prototype. We both got up and got hold on the robot, walking carefully to the front. Our teacher seemed to be much taller since we knew what he was capable of. We placed the bot on the spot the others had been standing before – they were standing behind the desk – and moved to the side. The anxious feeling returned when the man in front of us pushed the button for the stopwatch to start. But I tried not to show it and watched like my partner our teacher pushing the first buttons. From the corner of my eye I saw Hikari suppressing a grin, she was quite confident that our program would work. And then it happened. I saw how Professor Raven pushed something on his tablet before he made a surprised face. »What...?« We could see how the tablet was blinking faster and faster, sparks emitting from the slim machine. I winced, my eyes being as big as possible. Did this really happen? Our professor glared in full awe at his ruined tabled before he eyed the robot, only to look back at the item in his hand. Slowly he placed it on the desk behind him, his sight moving back to the prototype, which was standing still, not moving one bit. Then he fixed us with his orbs.

»Sorry, Professor. It was not our intention to damage your tablet. Of course, we will replace it.« I looked at Hikari, her expression a guilty one. She clearly hadn't seen that coming. I was not able to say anything and just gazed at our teacher. Our system had caused that damage?

»How...how have you managed that?« Instead of scolding us for destroying his tool he was more interested in how we have managed this...destruction. The girl beside me blinked in surprise before she spoke up.

»Well...we haven't installed a firewall, after a firewall can have weak spots, allowing hackers to get through it anyways. Instead, we have used an electromagnetic field, which throws back the attack, destroying the system which had attacked. But I didn't think it would cause such a great damage...« Once again the male looked to our robot, scanning it.

»Astounding. No one has ever tried it like that...«, he muttered, giving us then his full attention again, a bright smile on his lips. He didn't seem to be angry because of the destroyed tablet. »Congratulations. After you both could withstand my attack the longest – in fact not even allow me to enter your system – you have won this competition.« The class clapped and I felt a wide grin appear on my lips and I exchanged a glare with Hikari, she grinning brightly back at me. »Okay class. You are allowed to leave. See you tomorrow. Hiro and Hikari, please stay a moment longer.« Noise started to fill the room when everyone started with packing their stuff together and left chatting the room. It didn't take long until we were the last people in here. The professor walked to the front of his desk, leaning himself against the furniture, watching us for a little while before he spoke again. »I knew that you both combined could create great things. I'm glad that I forced you both to team up and I can't wait to see what you both have thought of a project, where you have more time.« A grin graced his lips and he clapped then into his hands, pushing himself away from his desk, walking around it to open one of the drawers from it. »But now to your price. I have said that the winners will get something. Here you are.« He held out two envelopes in front of us, we both taking one exchanging a sight. »These are coupons for the electronic shop down the street. Much fun with this.«

»Thank you.«, I said gazing down at my envelope in my hand, smiling then back at the man.

»You both can leave now. I'm expecting great things in future from you.« And with that he sat down in his chair, getting out some papers, starting to read them through. I felt Hikari tugging on my jacket, animating me to move and together we left the building.

»We should celebrate this.« I stopped with walking, turning to the girl. She did the same, a confused expression on her face.

»Celebrate? And how?« She tilted her head a little bit to the side, having a questioning expression on her face.

»You could come with me. My aunt makes the best milkshakes. And? What do you say?« I didn't know why but for some reason my heart started to pound faster, me getting slightly nervous while awaiting her answer. She pursed her lips, obviously thinking about my offer. But then she smiled, nodding one time. I felt relief washing over me.

»Sure. I don't say no to milkshakes.« She grinned and we started to head off, me leading the way. But not without picking Baymax up at my lab.


~Hikari's PoV~

This day couldn't be better. The experiment with Hiro was a full success and now I was about to spend an afternoon with a friend. And this for the very first time in my life. This was if Hiro really counted me as a friend. It was probably better to see this as a one-time-event. Not that I was disappointed in the end.

»So. Here we are.« We stopped in front of a building, people entering and leaving it through a glass door. Above was a statue of a cat, waving at the people on the street obviously inviting them to enter. »That's the Lucky Cat café, the owner is my aunt.« I laid my gaze upon the boy beside me. Seeing how proud he was caused that I smiled. As his glare dropped on me he cleared his throat, walking the stairs up. »After you.« The smile on my lips got to a cheeky one and I followed him the staircase up, turning to him and made a curtsey, lowering my head. Meanwhile, I pretended to lift the skirt of my dress a bit – a dress I was not wearing.

»Thank you very much. That's too friendly.« I entered the building, the scent of sweet goodies immediately hitting me. I looked around the place, seeing many people sitting at some round tables, chatting with each other. The café gave me a warm and welcoming feeling. This place was awesome! I was so caught up in my thoughts that I didn't notice Hiro stepping beside me, watching me. But before this I saw how he deactivated his robot, Baymax making his way through the café to reach probably the bedroom of my project partner.

»It's a neat place, isn't it?« I moved my body towards him, smiling brightly.

»Very neat! Such a pity that I hadn't found this place earlier.« Maybe then we would have met under other circumstances. But this I didn't say out loud. He replied my grin with an own one when we heard a female voice.

»Hiro, you are at home already! I didn't think you would come that early to-...-« A woman with brown hair was heading us, coming to a stop in front of us, eying Hiro but stopped mid sentence when her sight fell on me. A questioning expression appeared on her face, obviously wondering who I was. »...who are you?«

»Aunt Cass, this is Hikari. Hikari, this is my aunt Cass.« He introduced us, gesturing from me to his aunt and then the other way around. I looked from him to the owner of the café. When Hiro had mentioned my name I saw something sparkling in her eyes. But it disappeared too fast as that I could discover what it was. My lips formed a warm smile.

»It's a pleasure to meet you. Your doughnuts are great!« She replied the smile I was offering.

»It's nice to meet you too, Hikari. I had been already wondering who this mysterious girl is my nephew keeps talking about.« She chuckled and my eyebrows wandered upwards in surprise. I didn't know that my project partner had been talking about me. He was clearly not happy about the fact his aunt said it because his eyes widened.

»Aunt Cass!«

»What? There is nothing about it. Calm down.« Nevertheless, she laughed and the boy beside me gritted his teeth, easy to see because his jawline tensed. Me, in this case, just giggled slightly, showing my project partner that I didn't take the word of Cass too serious. He calmed immediately.

»You children should go and sit down. I will bring you something to eat. Any wishes?« Her gaze switched from me to him.

»We came for a milkshake and maybe a doughnut? Hikari enjoyed the chocolate one very much.«, Hiro answered, ordering for me as well. I was not offended after I would have ordered the same. At this, a smile graced the woman's and she nodded one time.

»Alright. Two milkshakes, a chocolate doughnut and for you the usual?« She eyed her nephew, he gave a nod as respond. »Okay. Just a second then.« Cass walked off, probably heading the counter to get the wished things. In the meantime, Hiro was guiding me through the crowd to an available table, we taking our seats. I was sitting in front of him, leaning on cue closer to him.

»This place is awesome! I hadn't been to such a café before.« I grinned widely, which he replied.

»I almost thought you would like it here.« The woman with the brown hair returned, placing the plates and the glasses with milkshakes on the table.

»Have fun.« And with that, she headed another table to get their orders. But she didn't leave without grinning conspiratorially. Hiro dropped his head, his face being hidden behind his palms.

»Why can't she just act normal?«, he muttered into his hands, I was having some problems with understanding him properly.

»What?«, I asked, being fully confused. He noticed that he had said his thoughts out loud and looked quickly up at me.

»Ah...nothing. My aunt is just being embarrassing again.«

»I think she is nice. She kind of reminds me on my nanny.« His expression softened and I took the glass in my hand, drinking my shake. It was very good.

»You were right. Your aunt's milkshakes are great!«

»Told you.« We grinned at each other, starting to eat our doughnuts, talking about random stuff.

Some time has passed and we were still sitting at the table in the café, sometimes Hiro's aunt Cass sat with us until she had to return to a customer to take his order or to take the payment.

»Like to come upstairs?« I had been looking over the room, being in my own thoughts when he had raised his voice.

»Huh? Oh. Sure. If you don't mind.« My opposite got up from his chair and also I was getting up, reaching for my purse so that I could pay, when I heard a voice behind me.

»Keep your wallet in your bag. This is on me.« I turned around, seeing Cass standing right behind me, a serious glare was in her eyes though she had a friendly smile on her lips. I returned it thankfully.

»Thank you very much.«

»No big deal. Friends of Hiro are always welcome.« And with that, she left for a new customer. At the word 'friend', I had just watched her dumbfounded.

»Are you coming?« I laid my gaze on the boy, who was waiting patiently for me to come with him.

»Yes.« I shouldered my backpack, walking around the table to follow him upstairs when I felt my mobile phone vibrate in my jacket pocket. »Hold on a second.« Hiro stopped in his tracks, looking puzzled at me but understood real fast that my phone rang and approached me. I took the call as soon as I had got the item out, already knowing who was calling. »Hi, Mary. What is it?«

»Hikari, where are you? It is almost seven o'clock and you aren't at home yet, nor have you called or written.« Oops...My sight fell on my project partner, seeing the question in his eyes. He wondered what was up.

»I'm sorry, Mary. I totally forgot to tell you that I have gone with Hiro to his place. You remember him, don't you? My project partner.« Hearing his name and the fact that I was at someone's house affected my nanny's mood immediately.

»Oh. Okay. Well, that's good! But please, tell me the next time when you are going with a friend to his or her home. I'd really like to know where you are.« Her voice has softened.

»Of course. I'm sorry. Alright, see you then.« And after her goodbyes, I hung up.

»You got scolded?« Hiro pulled one of his eyebrows up, looking questioning at me. I nodded.

»Yes. I think it is better if I leave now. It's better to not worry her more.« I pulled my shoulders in a shrug, he agreeing to this.

»You might be right. Uhm...« I saw that something bothered his mind, his forehead wrinkled – as far as I could see it with the messy hair of his. »...Will we see us tomorrow again?« I blinked at his question, first not being sure to what he was referring to. But then I got it. I hadn't told him about the fact that my father had changed his mind. So he still thought that I might leave SFIT. A warm smile appeared on my lips.

»Yes, we are seeing us tomorrow. And the day after tomorrow and the day after that. In fact, you will at least see me the rest of this year.« Now his eyes widened slowly, getting what I was implying to.

»You mean...?«

»Yes, my father had changed his mind and decided to not take me down of our college.« A laugh escaped his lips, grinning at me afterward. It was such an honest smile that I just couldn't doubt it, returning it immediately.

»These are good news! How did that happen? I mean...Yesterday you sounded so desperate.« I pulled my shoulders into a shrug.

»I think Mary had talked with him. She must have been furious.« We both chuckled and remained then smiling at each other, neither one of us looking away. Until I remembered that I had to go home. »I think I should leave now. See you tomorrow then.«

»See you tomorrow.« And with that I turned around, walking out of the building. I waved Cass, who was being busy with a customer before I walked through the exit.

Chapter Text

Chapter 9 - The New Case

 

~Hiro's PoV~

I watched Hikari leaving, being relieved that she really was going to stay. The possibility that I wouldn't be seeing her every day was not a very pleasing one. I totally forgot that I was standing in the middle of the café, staring at the door through which she had disappeared until a certain voice dragged me out of my trance.

»I saw that look, Hiro. And don't you dare to deny it.« I quickly turned around, seeing my aunt standing behind me, a cheeky grin being on her lips. Panic bubbled up inside of me.

»What look? I was just looking outside. Is this a crime?« She chuckled at my comment.

»Of course not. But you are standing here for a little while now and even I am standing here already for some time.« The grin widened on her lips and I felt heat creeping up to my cheeks. I should see to get away as fast as possible.

»You know what? I just remembered that I haven't seen Baymax all afternoon long. I think I should go upstairs and check on him.« Aunt Cass just laughed, me turning around and headed upstairs. I was not sure if I should wake Baymax but it was better than talking with my aunt. At least I could deactivate him if he got too annoying. I arrived my bedroom, dropping my backpack on the floor as soon as I had entered and placed myself on my bed, looking at the red charging box in which my robot friend was resting. »Ouch.«, I said to activate him, the sound of air inflating filled the room and it didn't take long until Baymax was standing in front of me. He made a one-wave-move.

»Hello, I'm Baymax your...-«

»Yeah, yeah. Hi buddy.«, I interrupted him. His speech at the beginning was always so long.

»How can I help you?« He walked slowly towards me, stopping when he stood beside my bed, lying his head a bit to the side.

»Nothing. Can't I just talk with my friend?« But before I could say something further I heard the vibrating noise of my phone. I jumped up, stepping to my bag and got the mobile out. GoGo was calling. I took the call, holding the item at my ear.

»Yes?« I was slightly confused.

»Hiro, something is up. We meet us at the usual place.« And then she hung up. I lowered my phone, a serious expression covered my face. I turned then around to Baymax, looking up at him, he blinking at me.

»Seems we have to deal with some criminals once again.« While I was talking a determined glare appeared in my eyes and my lips curled up into a grin. It had been a while since something was important enough for us to reach out and deal with the situation. We both turned towards the door, leaving my room to reach the garage. I was lucky that I had charged my friend today. We got faster with putting our superhero outfit on – Fred liked it to call it like that – and quickly we flew off meeting the others at our usual place. Fred's house. We landed in the backyard, the others already waiting for us. I jumped down of Baymax and walked with fast steps to them. »What's up?«, I said as soon as I was close enough to be heard.

»A robbery. At one of the leading companies in San Fransokyo.«, GoGo answered, me pulling one eyebrow up.

»Let me guess, Krei Tech?« Somehow Alistair Krei was always involved in something but the others only shook their heads.

»No, it's SnowElectronic Industries. The central building. The cameras have caught a stranger lurking around.« SnowElectronic Industries? For some reason, this worried me, probably because Hikari's father owned this company. I hoped that he was okay.

»Well...for what are we waiting then? Let's go!« And with that I climbed back upon Baymax, we all leaving the spot.


It hadn't taken long until we arrived the crime scene and like always we were faster than the police. From the outside everything seemed normal, I would even call it peaceful. But then we noticed that the front door was broken in shards. I was sure that the glass of the front door was boosted with some special kind of technology. So someone had used something to get inside. We all approached the broken front door, glaring inside of the building. You couldn't see very much since it was covered in darkness. I turned then around, facing Baymax.

»Baymax, scan.« The robot had lowered his sight to me but after hearing my words he looked back to the front, seeming to do nothing else. A few moments passed until he gazed back at me, we all awaiting his conclusion.

»Scan complete. I could detect one person. The person in question is male.« Okay, either the person was a possible victim or the offender. Then something else came into my mind.

»Is he wounded?« He shook his head.

»No. He is moving around, though.« This...sounded more like an offender than a victim.

»Alright, we go inside.«, I declared and moved towards the hole in the door, stepping over the frame, looking around. Inside it was even darker than it looked like from the outside and the only light, which got inside was the light of the lanterns at the street.

»And what now?« I sighed hearing this. Even though we had already some missions – which we succeeded without bigger problems – Wasabi still tended to get nervous if we didn't have a clear plan.

»I'd say we split up. Two-and-two. So we are able to cut his way off. Baymax and I will move directly to him, forcing him to a certain direction. GoGo and Wasabi, you go left and Honey and Fred right. We all stay connected over the radio. Understood?« My glare met theirs, one after another and all of them agreed. But GoGo seemed to want to say something to this.

»Okay. But no solo-moves, Hiro. We don't need you to make a dangerous stunt and then we have to see how we get you out of such a situation, is this clear?« I rolled my eyes. I might have done a few times something reckless, what didn't mean though that I always pulled such a move. I agreed quickly so that we could finally leave and we all went then to different directions, Baymax and me following some stairs up.

»Do you know where he is heading?« I didn't need to look at my robotic friend. He would know that I was talking with him. He lifted his gaze.

»He is moving around, probably in a certain kind of room. It seems like he is looking for something.« So it must be the thief. We quickened our pace as quiet as possible, I didn't want that he heard us and escaped through a different corridor. My plan was it to see who this guy was and lock him up until the police would be here. No dangerous stunt here, like GoGo had called it. It felt like an eternity until we reached the floor in which the person in question was being. Silently – more or less thanks to Baymax – we walked along the hallway when we heard some noise. I stopped in my tracks, listening carefully. At first, there was nothing but then it repeated. It sounded like...items getting thrown around. I signed Baymax to follow me and I headed the next door. But before I got even the chance to open it the door swung open and I saw a tall man in front of me, dressed in black. My eyes wandered upwards, noticing that his mouth was also covered with some black cloth and it seemed like he wore some kind of a suit because his head was also covered. But before I could take a closer look the man pushed me away, me stumbling backward against Baymax turning right only to see that he was running off. I quickly looked at my friend being alarmed.

»Quick! We need to follow him!« And then I run off, hearing clearly how Baymax was right behind me. »Guys, listen! I have found the thief. He is escaping but I'm right behind him. We are moving to the right of the building.«

»Understood. Fred and I will be there!« Honey's voice was heard on the radio before the only noise was the footsteps of us. I saw a shadow disappearing around the corner. I picked up some more pace walking around the same corner. And stopped just in the right moment. A little faster and I would have fallen down some stairs. The thief was already at the foot of the staircase in front of me and was heading off. I decided quickly. With a swift move, I jumped upon the guardrail and slid down, being surprised about the fact that I could keep my balance. At the end I landed on my feet, turning around only to see that my friend was only in the middle. I rolled my eyes in annoyance.

»Come on! A little bit faster, please! He is escaping!« Luckily he listened to my words because he threw on his thrusters and flew down, flying right passed me. For a moment I was dumbfounded but I caught myself again and looked that I followed him. Baymax placed his feet back on the floor and together we ran along the corridor. We stopped at a dead end, the thief in black standing at a window. »Game over. Why don't you just give up and come with us in peace? Then we won't have to use any force.« My voice was hard and it was clear to hear that I wouldn't allow him to escape. For a moment we all froze but what then happened was something that I couldn't foresee. With a smooth movement, the tall man turned around, opening the window and jumped out. I jerked forwards, getting hold of the window sill, looking out into the darkness, leaning myself almost too far out. Baymax got a hold on me. It was too dark outside to see where and how he had fled. »Damn it!« My friend pulled me back inside, placing me on my feet. There I saw Honey and Fred coming around the corner, stopping as soon as they have arrived us.

»Hiro, what happened?«, The tall blonde emitted between her breaths, she breathing heavier due to that running. I looked at the open window before my gaze met her again.

»He managed it to escape. I lost him...« I crossed my arms in front of my chest, being disappointed with myself. I should have managed this different. And now the thief was gone.

»Hiro, Honey, Fred. The police are here. Is this guy with you?« GoGo's voice was clear to be heard and I sighed deeply before answering her.

»No, unfortunately not. He escaped through a window. We will meet us at the entrance, I'm sure the policemen want to talk with us...« And with that, the four of us left this building.


~Hikari's PoV~

I was sitting at home on the couch in front of the TV, zapping through the channels. Luckily Mary wasn't mad at me for not informing her that I was at Hiro's place, spending my afternoon with him. So she listened to my story of today. She seemed to be very excited about this. I was taking a bite of an apple – dinner was already over but I still felt a bit hungry – and was about to switch the program when the picture on the screen changed and a live video from a spot of San Fransokyo was able to be seen. I almost dropped the apple in my hand. I knew this place and I knew it very well. It was the main building of SnowElectronic Industries only with the difference that normally there were not many police cars standing in front of it. Actually...there were never police cars standing in front of it. I got down off the couch and walked closer to the TV, sitting now with the back at the coffee table. My eyes were pinned on the screen. The lady of the news channel was currently explaining what happened. A robbery and a masked thief, who could escape. A robbery? But...my father wasn't at home yet! Panic rose within me but I calmed myself when the blonde lady pulled a man in front of the lens of the camera, who was obviously my father. I breathed out in relief.

»Mr. Sunō. What can you say about this situation?«

»Well...I was on my way home when I got the information from the alarm. Of course, I hurried back as fast as I could but I found you being here already.«

»What do you think what could have been the target of the thief?« She held her microphone in front of him, signing him to talk.

»That's difficult to say. This is the main building of my company. Here are resting reports and some older versions of the inventions my employees have created. Not to forget all the information of the people, who are working for me. The thief could have taken everything.«

»Thank you very much for answering the questions honestly.« Then there was a movement in the background, a small group of people exiting the building. Their suits shining in all different colors in the light of the lanterns. I knew immediately who they were. Everyone in San Fransokyo knew them. Big Hero 6. Some time had passed since they had been the last time in the news. And where they were meant that something big was happening. Especially when the thief has managed it to escape. This frustrated me and if I was already frustrated about the fact that this criminal had fled, then how frustrated must they be? »It seems the heroes of our city have been here as well, let's take a closer look.« The news lady turned towards the building, looking at the group of the people, who were talking to the police. The camera zoomed closer to the smallest group member, who seemed to be the leader of them. I had found it always funny that the smallest was the leader. I always thought that the one with the plasma swords looked more intimidating. But on the other hand...the smallest had a robot, who was listening to his commands. There was something about how he was moving while explaining the police what had happened what caused my eyebrows to pull themselves together and I crawled closer to the screen to take a closer look. Something on him seemed to be quite familiar. I cocked my head slightly to the side, hoping a new angle would reveal why but then the boy in blue got back upon the red robot, the whole team taking off. I dropped myself back again, looking at the picture in front of me, showing the building with all those police lights. The apple was resting in my hand forgotten.

»Hikari? Is everything okay?« I looked up, seeing Mary entering the living room, having a slightly concerned expression on her face.

»Uh...yes. I'm fine. SnowElectronic Industries was in the news. There was a thief in the building.« I saw panic rose in my nanny's eyes as soon as I had explained but I calmed her real quick. »There was no one in the building. They even interviewed Dad, so no one got hurt.« A sigh of relief escaped her lips and she leaned herself against the door frame.

»Thank god. Did they catch the thief?« I shook my head to this.

»No, unfortunately not. But Big Hero 6 was there as well. I'm sure they will look for him.« At the mention of the group, she seemed to be both. Relieved and worried at the same time.

»Let's just hope they catch him fast enough before something big happens.« She probably remembered the incident at the new building at Krei Tech. The former professor – and a scientist I had looked up to until this day – Robert Callaghan had destroyed this building and got the whole city into danger. That was the first time we heard of the hero group. I rose up from the floor and walked then over to the couch to turn off the TV with the remoter, where some boring program about plants just had started.

»I'll head upstairs. Good night Mary.« She smiled at me, wishing me the same and before I was walking towards the staircase I passed the kitchen, throwing the apple away. I was not hungry anymore. Then I headed my bedroom, maybe to read or to just talk with Tadashi for a while before I would go to bed.


In the morning I made myself quickly ready. I wanted to catch my father before he would leave for work today. I was interested in to hear what happened and how he was doing. But when I came downstairs I only found Mary in the dining room, setting the table for breakfast.

»Good morning, sweety. How have you slept?« She wore a warm smile, placing two cups of tea in front of two plates. I took my seat upon my usual chair and looked around. But no sign of my dad.

»It was okay. Where is my father?« My gaze dropped on Mary, while she was taking her seat as well, taking a bun from the small basket.

»He has left already. He needs to manage this whole robbery thing and has to check if something got stolen.« She started to cut open her bun, having her eyes on the knife to watch that she won't cut herself. I did then the same.

»Oh, before I forget. I wanted to visit Mr. Wang today and see how his wife is doing. He mentioned earlier that Lien wanted to take my measure to sew me a new outfit for the spring festival. It might get later.« She nodded to this and together we started our breakfast.

 

We drove to the parking area of the college. The breakfast had passed by silently but peacefully and Mary had decided to give me a lift to school, so I was having plenty of time. I said my goodbyes and headed towards the building I needed to be for my first lecture when I heard a clear and high voice calling my name.

»Hikari!« I turned around and saw Noemi standing in my sight, breathing a little heavier. She must have hurried. I pulled one of my eyebrows up. »I just wanted to tell you that Professor James is still not feeling well. She thinks she'll return tomorrow but for today she will stay at home. So we are having a free period. See you later in Professor Raven's class then.« And with a smile on her lips, she disappeared. I sighed. Now I was having a free period and I was bored as hell. Of course, I could – and I would – continue my project. But today I told Tadashi that he could do whatever he liked since I would be busy during the break. Oh well...I took another route, which would lead me to the building with the labs when I heard for the second time this morning someone calling my name. But this time I could tell by the voice that it was someone I knew. I turned around, my hand resting on the doorknob, smiling at the boy who was walking the stairs up, being followed by a white cuddly robot. For short I thought to somehow know this picture but it disappeared too quickly for me to think further about this.

»Good morning Hiro.« I looked then from him to his friend, smiling at him as well. »And good morning Baymax.« The robot in question made a waving move.

»Hello, Hikari.«

»Free period, hmm? Professor James seems to have a strong cold.« I placed my gaze back to Hiro when he started to talk with me.

»Yes, I was thinking the same. I considered working on my project in the meantime.«

»Yeah, I was thinking the same. Hey, I have an idea. I'll show you my project if you are going to show me yours.« Hearing his words caused that curiosity grew within me. I had already been wondering what he was working on...I nodded to this, my smile returning.

»Alright, deal.« I opened the door, letting my project partner and Baymax enter. I walked then behind them until I have caught up with the boy, moving along the hallway. I noticed that his eyes were looking at me from time to time, wanting to say something but he always decided against it. I sighed. »Hiro, what's on your mind?« His gaze slipped back to me, biting his lower lip being caught.

»I...just wanted to ask how your dad is doing. You know...because of the robbery...« I stopped in my tracks, being surprised to hear this question. But of course, he was knowing about this. The news were talking non-stop about it since yesterday evening.

»He seems to be okay, at least Mary said so. He came home late last night, I was already sleeping. And this morning he was gone when I came downstairs. My nanny meant that he had left for work to check how big the damage is.« We had started to continue our way. Crossing the big lab to reach the hallway behind it.

»Tell him all the best from me. I'm only glad that he is okay and not injured.« I was touched by this. Hiro was honestly worried.

»Of course. I will tell him as soon as I see him.« We headed a door and my companion unlocked it so that we could enter. As soon as I was inside – along with Baymax – he closed the door and stepped next to me. I looked around. All in all, it looked just like my lab. Only that here were more things and it was more chaotic. I figured that he was not the cleanest person. But as long as it were only items for working and no trash I didn't mind.

»I have to admit that I haven't worked quite often on my own project at the moment. I'm currently working on an update for Baymax, which just doesn't want to work like I want it to do. It is frustrating.« Something in his words confused me.

»Haven't you said that Baymax is the invention of your brother?« I cocked my head to the side, glaring at him. But at the expression he wore on his face I knew I should have kept my mouth shut. Hurt was visible in his eyes.

»Uh...yes. That's right. Baymax is his invention but...« He drew in some air. But he didn't need to say something to let me know what he was wanting to say. I already knew. And I felt bad that I had ranted about him last week that his brother was better than him.

»I'm sorry for your loss, Hiro. I know how you are feeling, maybe not exactly but still.« I tried an assuring smile and his brown eyes met mine.

»Really?« I nodded to this.

»My mother died when I was two. I don't even remember her, though I have her voice of singing a lullaby to me in my head. That's the reason why I'm having a nanny.«

»I'm sorry to hear this. In fact, I'm having the same fate. I don't even know my parents. They died in a car accident when I had been three.« For a while, there was nothing heard but silence. I felt really bad for him. He had lost his parents and years after that his brother. This must have been very hard. The silence kept on being between us until the boy clapped his hands. »But! I wanted to show you my invention.« I was glad about the change of topic. I wouldn't have known what to say further about this. I watched how he walked to a shelf, picking something up what looked like an Alice band and headed then a bin. But before I could question him, what he was doing he pushed it, throwing it off from the ground and with a loud noise it crashed onto the floor. Many little black things were lying now on the ground. I approached the pile, kneeling down to pick one of these things up. I knew this item. I had seen them in the news before. I looked up at Hiro.

»Microbots. Robert Callaghan had used them to take revenge on Alistair Krei. This had been your invention?« He looked dumbfounded at me before life returned to him. My statement had really confused him, like it seemed.

»Uhm...yes. How do you know?« I pulled my shoulders into a soft shrug.

»They talked about it in the news. And they mentioned these things called 'microbots'. So I just counted one and one together. But I didn't know that they are your invention.«

»Yes, I did invent them. In fact, that was my ticket to get into this college.« I got back up on my feet, still holding the microbot in my hand.

»And how do they work?« Now a grin was slowly forming itself on his lips and he lifted the item, which looked like an Alice band up.

»They only work with this masterpiece. That's a neurotransmitter, with that you can control the small robots.« I couldn't deny that I was quite curious, especially since my invention worked with the same sources. We only had other solutions. Hiro placed the neurotransmitter over his forehead. »Oh, before I forget. Hold on tight on the one you are having in your hand.« I did as said and closed my hand to a fist. Then the ones on the floor started with moving and transforming, what caused my eyes to grow big. In the end, there was a big 'H' standing in front of us. Why an 'H' was not clear, maybe because of his name or maybe because of mine. I didn't ask. I felt in my hand that the remaining microbot was trying to escape my grip, always hitting against my fingers. I let go from it and it flew towards the 'H', completing it.

»Neat.«, I said while I was glaring at the sight in front of me.

»Of course, when I take the transmitter down again, the structure will break apart. I'm still working on the details. You have to be able to concentrate enough to do many things at once and it's still quite exhausting after a while. I want to make the use easier.« I nodded to this.

»I know what you mean. I'm trying to do the same with my own invention.« I saw how Hiro directed the little robots back into the bin – of course after he had placed it back upright.

»But like I said I'm currently working more on him. This one update...it's freaking me out.« He had nodded at Baymax, who was watching us talking.

»And what is this update?«

»Like you have figured he is a healthcare robot, there to render first aid.« I remembered quite well where the white robot had helped me when I had lost my balance with the heavy box in my arms. »But he doesn't keep his mouth shut to others about the problem. And honestly? That's very annoying.« I chuckled. It seemed like he had some experience with this.

»This sounds like he had embarrassed you once already.« I grinned.

»Not only once! And you can't keep any secrets, so in fact, everyone will know as soon as he knows.« Again I had to chuckle. It was very easy to imagine this. But this didn't change the fact that Baymax was just more than adorable.

»I imagine. So you want to write a file where he won't blurt everything out?«

»Exactly. But either it is not good enough or it is way too good. Both ways are not very helpful.« He sighed.

»I'm sure you will manage this.« His orbs were looking at me and instead of wearing the frown for longer he smiled.

»Thanks. But now...I am curious what you have invented.« A prying glare was in his eyes and I felt how I got nervous. Only Tadashi knew what exactly my invention was about. But I had promised to show him.

»Okay, then follow me.« And together we left his lab.


~Hiro's PoV~

It wasn't very far to Hikari's lab after it was being right beside mine. She quickly unlocked it and followed her inside. The news that she knew about the microbot incident had surprised me, though it was obvious why she knew. The former robotic professor – I had never got the chance to call him as my professor – was sitting in jail now. For many reasons, like robbery, vandalism, arson, pretending to be dead and of course manslaughter, even if it was involuntary. He was going to find himself sitting in jail for some time. But the great professor of San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, this great Robert Callaghan, doing something that cruel...it had been clear that the news would talk about this for ages. My project partner closed the door behind me and I walked deeper into this room, looking around. It was the same shape as mine – what was clear – but she didn't have many things in her lab yet.

»So...what is your project about?« I glared one time around while asking before my sight rested on her.

»I'll show you. Just a second.« I watched how she was going towards her desk, opening one drawer before she returned back to me. A black band was on her one hand and a ball in the other one. But what was her project at these items? When Hikari arrived my side she handed me the band over, letting me inspect it. From the outside, it wasn't something special, only a black ribbon. But then I saw a very small chip sewed on into the fabric. I still didn't get it. I glared at her, the question visible in my eyes because she just chuckled and gave me the ball. It seemed to be made out of iron. Then she took the ribbon out of my grasp, my sight landing back upon her. She placed the band on her forehead, her bangs covering the chip in the front. Then the black haired girl signed me to make a few steps back. I did like she said and waited for what was going to happen next. »Now, I want that you hold the ball towards me, palm upright and open please.« Again I was doing what she was ordering me and waited expectantly. I saw how she was closing her eyes, her arms, which had been resting relaxed beside her body tensed. Then she opened her eyes, they being darted at the ball in my hand and moved her right open hand to the front. And suddenly the iron ball moved upwards, floating for a moment above my open palm before it flew away and right into the hand of Hikari. I looked at her in surprise.

»What was that?« That was all I was able to say. My opposite grinned.

»That was my project, genius.« I rolled my eyes, knowing that this was her project.

»I know that. But how have you done it?«

»I created an electromagnetic field. At first between your hand and the ball and then one in my hand. And now.« She turned around towards her chair, opening her hand, her palm facing the ceiling and just like she would have thrown the item it flew against the backrest of her office chair. But instead of falling down it stuck on the spot it had met first. »There is an electromagnetic field over my chair. The chip here allows me to create them.« She signed now at her forehead, where her hair was covering the chip. This idea was...great! I thought that this was very creative.

»This is awesome! It's magnetism but on a whole new level.« She smiled, her cheeks tinted in a soft pink. I didn't know why but I liked how she was looking like with flushed cheeks.

»Ah...thank you. But your project is awesome by itself. I remember how impressed I had been when I saw it on TV for the first time.« Now it was on me to grin at her. The thought that for exactly one week I had been looking at her, feeling anger boiling up within me was strange. When I looked at her now, nothing like this appeared, though I still felt kind of nervous but at the same time very good...

»When shall we continue with our project? We haven't worked on it for a few days now.«, I asked then, telling that she was thinking about it, pursing her red lips.

»We can continue today but before this, I have to go to a friend. His wife is or was sick and I wanted to check on her.« She pulled her shoulders into a slight shrug. »You can come with if you like to. I'm sure Mr. Wang has nothing against it and Lien loves to have guests.«

»Sounds good to me. As long as I can take Baymax with me.« The idea of Baymax meeting Mr. Wang and his wife seemed to amuse her. »And if she is still ill then he can take a look on her. He always checks on me and Aunt Cass when we're not feeling well.« Her face brightened, a wide smile appearing on her lips. A pleasant warmth started to spread through my body.

»I haven't thought about this. That would be great! Thanks a lot!« And just out of the sudden she threw her arms around me, embracing me tightly. For a brief moment, I was startled and my heart started to pound faster against my rib cage. But then I relaxed and wrapped my own arms around her middle, holding her close. I felt my face flush when I realized how close she was standing to me. And though it made me kind of anxious I refused to let go. Slowly she was backing away, her hands resting on my shoulders while she kept on smiling at me. I could tell that the wife of Mr. Wang was quite important to her. »Alright. Then you will just come with me after college. It's not that far away.« I nodded to this as an answer.


The school day was fast over, Hikari had joined us for lunch break again and I had this feeling that she would always hang around with us from now on. It just seemed like she would fit to us, already laughing along with the others and she didn't even flinch when Fred kept on calling her 'Snow'. Probably 'Snow White' was too long. She didn't question it and the fact that she didn't bother made the comic fan very happy. I was only glad that he didn't think of a nickname for me. I was quite happy with my own name. Hikari even handed us her mobile number, me adding her immediately to our chat group. At the moment we both were walking away from the campus.

»I told Mary that you will return with me this evening. She has invited you for dinner and will drive you home after it would get probably later today.« She looked for a short moment at me before she looked straight on again, watching out where she was walking. Baymax was currently walking behind us.

»That's very nice from her. I have to say that I really like your nanny. She is very kind-hearted.« And this was no lie.

»Yeah, I know. I know her since I can remember. Like I know she came to us when I had been three. My father told me once that I was quite afraid at the beginning but I got real quickly warm with her. She actually didn't want to stay for this long, she only needed money to study. But what was thought to be three years turned out to be ten. And she never mentioned that she would leave at all. Either my father pays very well or she just loves us too much.« A warm smile pulled the corners of my own lips up when I heard this. This was a very nice story, though the circumstances weren't very nice.

»It's the same with me. Well...not exactly but since I can remember I'm living at my aunt's and there I had been three as well. And even if she sometimes thinks she doesn't do the job to raise children very well I think she's just making it fine. I mean...she did a very good job on my brother. I'm sure you both would have got along.« We both smiled at each other before we went silent. But this was no awkward silence. We both were just being stuck in memories. We turned around the next corner and I noticed that we have arrived our destination after Hikari was quickening her steps, following some stairs up to a front door, ringing the doorbell. While we were waiting until someone would open up I glared around. It was a nice house with a front yard full of different flowers, some of them already blooming others were still sleeping. I imagined this place during spring and summer as a beautiful place. The door opened and I looked up, meeting the face of an older man, his black hair already turning gray and he wore a friendly smile on his lips when he was looking at my project partner.

»Hikari. What for a nice surprise.«


~Hikari's PoV~

I was teetering slightly on my feet while I was waiting for my sifu to open the door. I smiled immediately when he appeared, seeing his smile as well.

»Hikari. What for a nice surprise.«

»Hello, Sifu Wang. I hope we aren't interrupting.« I placed my right fist in my left palm, bowing slightly to the front. We did this always at the beginning of a lesson and at the end. He returned this, before he stepped aside.

»No, no. You know how glad we are when you are visiting us.« His eyes fell on Hiro and Baymax behind me and he pulled one eyebrow up, gazing at them. »Who is this?« My smile didn't fade and I introduced them to each other.

»Mr. Wang, this is Hiro and his robot Baymax. Hiro and Baymax, this is Mr. Wang. He is my sifu.« Hiro was eager to show his respect towards the elder and held his hand out towards him.

»It's nice to meet you, Mr. Wang. I'm glad to know the person who had taught Hikari to fight so well.« I looked at him, knowing that he was thinking about last Sunday night, where I had saved him from those criminals. Sifu Wang took his hand and shook it once.

»It's nice to meet you too, Hiro. Hikari never brought a friend with her.« His eyes cast over to me, remaining for a moment before he looked at the boy with the messy hair again. »I actually feared that she never will.« I rolled my eyes, though he had a point. »And your robot is welcome as well.«

»Hello.«, Baymax said, waving one time.

»But now come inside. I don't think we want to stay on the porch.« And with that we all entered, my sifu shutting the door behind us. He walked then to the front, heading the living room.

»Lien, look. We are having guests.« We walked into the room, seeing the wife of him sitting on the couch, a blanket covering her legs and she was about to sew something. A kind smile graced her lips when she spotted me.

»Hikari. It's nice to see you again. How is college doing?« I returned her smile and stepped closer to her, Hiro and Baymax following me. Her eyes immediately landed on them. »Oh! You have brought a friend with you? Like it seems it was a very good idea to stop with working at your father's company and start with studying. Hello, I'm Lien, it's very nice to meet you.« At her last sentence, she had turned towards Hiro, not giving me even the chance to introduce them. That was typically her. My project partner was startled at first but remembered that he had to introduce himself as well.

»Hi, I'm Hiro and this robot is Baymax. It's nice to meet you too.« He smiled at her, a warm smile gracing her lips as well. She turned then towards me, the same expression on her face, which she had worn while gazing at Hiro.

»A very nice friend you have, Hikari. And good looking as well. Keep him warm.« She winked and I felt heat immediately rush towards my face, my cheeks burning hot. A look at the boy showed me that he was feeling the same.

»What? No, it's not like that!«, I hurried to say but she only laughed.

»Oh, Hikari darling. Don't take everything so serious. Though I have an eye for such things.« Another wave of heat rushed through my body and I tried to calm myself again and find a different topic to talk about.

»Mr. Wang told me you had been ill. How are you feeling?« I walked now over to the woman, taking my seat beside her while she kept her smile. I was glad that she didn't keep on talking about Hiro and me.

»I'm doing okay. It is a bad cold, what just doesn't want to let go of me. But don't worry. I'll be fine.« Hiro, who had been silent for the whole talk, made a few steps closer to us.

»If you want to Baymax can scan you. You have to know that he is a healthcare robot and specialized in rendering first aid.« Now I saw Lien's eyes grow big, aiming now the white robot behind the boy. He didn't wait for an answer and looked at his best friend. »Baymax, scan.« Baymax approached the couch with his adorable walking style, his camera eyes darted at the elder woman. For a second it was quiet.

»Scan complete. You have caught a cold, though the most is over already. The virus is still being in your throat and lungs, causing the coughing and the nasal mucous membrane is still swollen, being responsible for a runny nose and the difficulties to breath properly. I would suggest wearing a scarf, drinking lots of tea, preferred chamomile and staying wrapped up until the cold is gone. Otherwise, you will suffer to catch it again and may get some major trouble with serious aftermaths.« Lien laid her head a bit to the side while watching Baymax before she turned to face Hiro.

»A fine robot you have, darling.« I rose up from the couch.

»I will look for a scarf.« With that I left the living room, finding Mr. Wang in the kitchen boiling some water. »Mr. Wang, Lien requires having some chamomile tea. And do you know where her scarf is?« The man glared at me, nodding to the door.

»I think there is one in her working room.«

»Thank you.« I exited the kitchen again and headed the atelier of Lien, seeing the scarf resting upon a chair. I approached the furniture, picking the item up and saw then a beautiful gown hanging on one of those dolls you use for sewing a dress. It was for the spring festival this weekend. I turned then around and headed the living room. I saw Hiro sitting beside Lien now, they talking about something very exciting. Only Baymax noticed my return.

»Hello Hikari.« The both persons on the couch turned.

»Ah, Hikari. I was just about to tell Hiro about our first meeting.« Now she faced the boy again, continuing where she had stopped. I took my seat in an armchair in front of them, listening to her further words. But before this, I handed her her scarf over, which she wrapped around her neck to keep her throat warm. »You have to know that her father brought her with him to us to ask my husband for some private lessons for his daughter. She seemed to have some problems with concentrating. I think he said she knew too much for her age, her head having difficulties with proceeding the information. And one doctor suggested him to use Kung Fu to solve this problem. I remember how shy this girl had been. So small and thin. At this day I couldn't imagine she fighting against others and I immediately had gotten the feeling to protect that poor child. I could see that she was having a hard time. I have to admit that I hoped my husband would send them away, saying that Mr. Sunō's daughter would be too fragile and too young. I mean, the girl was four. But he took a closer look at her and told her father that he would teach her. I was worried about this decision but I trusted the judgment of Yong and didn't say anything. I couldn't believe that this little girl would turn out to be one of his best students and honestly?« Her eyes cast over to me, glaring at me very intensively. »I still can't picture my little Hikari fighting against all those people. She still seemed to be so fragile. But my husband says often enough that she can be very dangerous.« She placed her gaze back at Hiro, who was looking at me now and at the way he was looking at me made that I got kind of anxious.

»I know what you mean. She seems to be so innocent.« I could hear from his voice that he was indeed thinking like this but he knew that I could fight. He had seen it by himself. For a moment our sight met, no one breaking the contact until my sifu entered with a tray in his hands. We both glared at him, this intense moment passing by.

»Tea is ready. Who wants some?«


Hiro and I were ready to leave and got up from the couch we were sitting on. We had stayed longer than I had intended to so it was already getting dark outside.

»Thank you very much for your hospitality.«, I said looking from Mr. Wang to Lien.

»Yes, thank you that we were allowed to stay. It was nice to meet you.« The two adults just smiled. But then something came into Lien's mind.

»Oh, Hikari! Before I forget. Your gown for the festival should be done until Friday. Please come by and try it on so that I can see if I have to change something so that it is ready for Sunday. I have called Mary and she told me your clothing size. But I want to make sure that it is fitting you.« I smiled thankfully at her bowing my head a little.

»Thank you very much, Lien.«

»No problem. I love it to make some dresses for you, you know this. And to you Hiro.« She laid her gaze upon the boy with the messy hair beside me. »You are invited as well. Hikari will tell you the details about the festival. Your outfit will be done until Friday as well. Luckily boy outfits don't take long. You should have introduced him to us earlier, Hikari! Then I would have more time to prepare everything.« The last two sentences were aimed at me, she was having for a short moment a stern expression in her face before the friendly glare returned. »Baymax was so friendly to tell me the measures. And those friends you have told us about are allowed to come as well. The more the merrier.« She giggled and we told our last goodbyes. Mr. Wang brought us to the door, waving while we were heading down the street to reach my home. For a while silence was resting between us but it didn't last long.

»What's that festival about I will attend and Lien wants to sew an outfit for me?« I chuckled at his face. It was strange for someone who didn't know Lien Wang to deal with her character.

»This Sunday there is the Chinese Spring Festival in the part of the town they are living in. I'm attending every year. It's fun, very colorful and there is good food. If you don't want to you don't have to come with.« I pulled my shoulders into a light shrug, though I had to admit that it would be kind of sad if he wouldn't come.

»I'd love to come. And I'm sure the others will be glad as well. Especially Honey.« We both laughed at the thought of our blonde friend and I had to agree with that. »Do we need to dress in traditional clothes or is it okay if we appear in our usual stuff?«

»No, you don't have to but I'm sure that Lien will insist on giving them one of the gowns she had sewn before and she has planned now to prepare one for you as well. I think she expects all of us to come over this Friday.« I shook my head. The wife of my sifu already liked the group of friends before she even knew them. Hiro started to laugh, what irritated me. What was it now?

»I just tried to imagine GoGo to wear such a gown. I can't picture her in one of them.« I grinned at this, knowing what he was implying to.

»Yeah, I know what you mean. But worse...I can't see Fred in one of them either.« Now we both laughed while Baymax was following us quietly. I checked the time on my mobile. It was almost seven. »I think we can work further on the project after supper. I'm sure that it will be ready as soon as we are at home.«

»That's alright. I'm getting hungry.« We continued our way and luckily it didn't take long until we reached my house, lights were already burning. We entered the building, me shutting the door behind myself.

»We are at home!«, I called loudly and I heard steps coming closer, soon my nanny was coming in our sight.

»Hikari, Hiro. Good, you are at home. Supper will be ready in a few minutes. You can go to the living room and wait there.« She didn't seem to notice the white robot with us but then she saw, looking at him. »Uhm...hello?«

»Hello, I'm Baymax. Your personal healthcare companion.« He waved at her – something that he used to do all the time when he was introducing himself.

»He belongs to Hiro.«, I explained. Now her facial expression relaxed and she looked at the white robot smiling.

»Hello Baymax. You are welcome as well.« Then she turned around to Hiro and me. »Okay, I'll be in the kitchen. If you need something then please call.« And then she left. Together with the others, I was heading the staircase to reach my bedroom. I turned then around and walked a few steps backward.

»After we still have some time I would suggest we wait in my room.« I turned then back around, just in time to place my foot upon the first stair and walked then with quick steps the stairs up. On the top, I remembered that Baymax wasn't that fast and waited for my guests. As they have arrived me we followed the hallway to reach my room. I was just about to open the door, when it got opened out of the sudden, causing me to stumble a few steps back, bumping into Hiro, who just managed to hold his balance holding me in his grip so that I wouldn't fall. With big eyes, I was looking at the person exiting out of my bedroom. Emphasizing my bedroom. Mittens was just as surprised as I was, blinking a few times behind his nerdy glasses. I was the first to find my voice again and I was slightly angry. What was he doing in my bedroom in the first place? »Mr. Mittens. You are aware of that this is my room? The office of my father is downstairs.« I stood steady enough for my project partner to let go of me, he taking slowly his hands of my form. Also, the man in question had calmed from his shock and he held something up in front of my eyes. It was a screwdriver.

»I had been looking for this tool after we need to check the security system. And the doors are with a special screw closed. And this is the only screwdriver fitting. Your father told me you had it at last.« He lowered his hand holding the tool and I glared into his eyes, while he was looking into mine. His expression was blank and I could not read out of it if he was lying or not. I only knew that I didn't have a good feeling with this. But I just nodded and made some space for the partner of my father so that he could leave.

»Alright.« I didn't let him go with my sight when he walked passed me, heading the staircase to get to the lower floor. I opened then the door and entered it, scanning the room if it was like Mittens had said.

»Do you believe him?« I turned towards the boy, who was standing behind me inside of my bedroom, facing him. I could see in his eyes that he also had this suspicious feeling.

»I don't know...My room still looks like I have left it this morning. And what should he want to have in my room? It's not like I'm hiding important stuff...« Hiro nodded to this, seeming to think about my words. It looked like he dropped this topic and looked around, me realizing that he was the first one seeing it. I pursed my lips. I didn't know what he would say to it. I was only glad that I had got rid of all soft toys last year and that I changed the color of the walls to a more decent color. Most of the walls were beige, except one. This wall was on the top beige and from the middle downwards it was purple, a band with a pretty pattern was being the line between it.

»Comfy room. You are having a lot of space.« He faced me again, the frown disappeared and a friendly expression took place. I smiled at this.

»Thanks. I have spent most of the time in here. It should better be comfortable.« We both chuckled and I headed my bed to take a seat upon the mattress and clapped then on the empty space beside me, signing him to sit down. He did like I signed and walked over to me, dropping himself upon my bed. But before one of us could say something we heard a vibrating noise. The black haired boy reached then out into his pocket, taking the call.

»Yeah?« I heard a voice emitting from the phone and Hiro listened carefully, sometimes making an 'uh-huh' in between. He hung up real quickly and turned to me. »Do you have a TV in here? The news is on at the moment.« I shook my head but got up anyways, approaching my desk.

»Not a TV but a radio. The news should be running there as well.« I turned the radio on, at first this disturbing noise came out from it but I found the right program real fast. The people on the radio seemed to talk about the robbery last night.

»Like we know now only a few very important documents got robbed. If there are more things missing is not clear. Owner and founder of SnowElectronic Industries, Kuro Sunō, had mentioned that they are still checking everything and hopes that nothing more got stolen. Unfortunately, there are no news about this thief, the mysterious Mr. Burakku. If you notice something suspicious please call the police department, telling them your thoughts. Everything can help them to find this criminal. Thank you very much.« And then the advertisement set in. I turned the radio off, walking back to my bed and sat myself down, letting my body fall backward on the mattress sighing loudly. My eyes were darted at the ceiling but soon a pair of brown eyes came into my sight, me blinking in surprise. For a short moment, this was kind of familiar.

»Are you alright?«, Hiro asked, sounding concerned. I heard the noise of vinyl rubbing against each other, signing that Baymax was coming closer. I nodded, propping myself upon one elbow, forcing him to back off a little.

»Yes, I'm okay. I'm only worried what will happen now to my father and the company. Not that those papers were very important. That could ruin him...« Now it was him who nodded, his expression being serious.

»I know. I'm feeling sorry for your dad. This shouldn't have happened.« There was something in his eyes, what I couldn't name but it almost looked like he was taking the blame on him. But on the other hand...why should he blame himself? Silence rested between us before someone dared it to break it. »This guy, who was in your room, Mittens I think, is he more often here?« I, who had looked at my blanket below me, laid my gaze back on him, agreeing silently.

»Yes. He is the partner of my father. It happens quite often that he is here with him. When my father comes home, of course.« Hiro seemed to think about my words.

»You don't like him.« This was no question, it was a statement. I pulled my shoulder into a shrug.

»I wouldn't say that I don't like him. I just don't get warm with him. I don't know what I should think about him. You have to know that he works for or with my dad since about a year or two. Not that long. Dad says that he is very skilled. In the end, it is not important what I am thinking, my dad has to work with him.« I sat back up after my arm got tired under my weight. I watched how the boy beside me started to look through my room again, me following his sight, and stopped then at my bedside table, resting on the picture which was standing there. I turned a bit to have a better look and crawled then over my mattress to reach it, only to return to his side. I handed it over to him, not taking my eyes from it. This was one of my favorite pictures. This one showed me with six years, wearing a swimming suit and being totally wet, while my father was carrying me, we both holding a cone with ice cream in our hands. This had been the last family vacation we had attended to. It really had been a lot of fun.

»I like this picture. You look happy.«, he said while glaring at the item in his hands. A smile graced my lips.

»We had gone to the beach for a longer weekend. This had been the last vacation we had went to. Ever since my father is too busy with the company.« Hiro handed me the picture back over, me taking it but instead of letting go he kept hold on it. I lifted my gaze to check why he still was holding the frame when our eyes met, no one of us looking away. I felt my heart beating a little bit faster against my rib cage. Words, which I wanted to say were gone. For the very first time, I had a closer look at him and I had to admit that he had a nice eye color, a warm chocolate brown. He seemed to be stuck in my sight like I was with his after he didn't take his eyes away from me as well. Suddenly I got dragged out by a certain voice.

»I sense a change of emotions within this room.« We backed off immediately, the picture dropping down onto the mattress, we both glaring at Baymax who was standing there, probably scanning us.

»No scanning, Baymax!«, the boy commanded, his voice being dead serious. I felt my cheeks heating up. Luckily a voice from downstairs allowed us to escape this awkward situation.

»Supper is ready!« Mary's voice was loud enough to reach the upper floor, getting through the closed door. I turned back around towards my project partner, smiling at him. I pushed the thoughts of a few moments ago aside.

»Seems food is ready.« Sighing in relief he got up of my bed, returning my smile. Together we walked out and down the stairs.


~Hiro's PoV~

Dinner was great, just as the last time and now we were on our way back upstairs to Hikari's room. The situation earlier – in her bedroom, glaring at each other while the picture of her and her father remained in our grasp – was kind of embarrassing but luckily she seemed not to bother so we didn't need to talk about it. I only hoped that Baymax would keep his mouth shut. Deactivating him was not possible after I didn't have his charger with me. We stepped into the bedroom of the girl, my robot waiting patiently for us.

»Hello.«, he greeted us as soon as we entered and Hikari offered him a kind smile. She turned then towards me.

»We should continue with our project.« Ah yes, the project! I totally forgot about that.

»Sure. We hadn't worked on it for days!« I was about to grab my backpack so that we could work further when I felt my phone ringing. My partner heard it as well and looked at me questioning. I took my mobile out of my pocket, taking a look on the screen. Honey was calling. I picked up the call.

»Hi Honey.«, I said after placing the item to my ear to hear her. But instead of her cheery voice, it was way more serious, causing me to change my mood on cue.

»Hiro. We have a new clue. We think Mr. Burakku will appear tonight again. We have to meet up. Now.« I looked at Hikari, who was seeming to be confused. I knew that I had to go but I couldn't help but feel sorry for her. »Alright, I'm on my way.« I didn't take my eyes of the girl and hung up, without looking at my cell.

»You have to go?«, she asked me and I nodded, approaching my bag to pick it up. I glared at Baymax then.

»Come buddy. We have to go. The team needs us.«The white robot understood, said his goodbyes to the black haired girl and walked then towards the door. I turned then around to Hikari, gazing in an apologizing manner at her. »I'm sorry. It's important. We can continue tomorrow if you like.«

»Of course. You can come with me after college if you want to. Tomorrow I don't need to go somewhere, so there will be plenty of time.« She smiled and pulled her shoulders into a soft shrug. »I'll take you to the door.« Together we headed back downstairs, Mary's head poking out from the kitchen when she heard us.

»You are leaving already?«

»Yes, I have to. Thank you very much for inviting me for dinner and for the offer to drive me home.« The nanny smiled brightly at me, waving off.

»Don't worry about it. See you soon, Hiro.« And with that she disappeared into the kitchen again, continuing with cleaning the dishes. We arrived the front door, where Baymax was waiting already and Hikari opened it up so that we could leave. I turned around as soon as I had arrived the outside.

»Until tomorrow.«, I said, glaring at her.

»Until tomorrow.«, she confirmed, a smile gracing her lips. I went then the stairs down, heading the road which would lead us home. But before we left I took a last glance at the front door.


We were hiding in a niche at the building of SnowElectronic Industries but this time it was not the main building but one of the many laboratories in this city. Honey had told me – as soon as I had arrived at Fred's house, being completely in my hero outfit – that the police had found out what those papers were about. They were old test results of some projects the company had tested and this led us to the conclusion that he might look for the belonging prototypes and software. And this project had been tested in this lab, so Mr. Burakku had to come to this place. No one has entered this building yet, so we assumed that the thief hadn't arrived yet. So this meant waiting for something to happen. Meanwhile, my thoughts wandered to the events of this afternoon. It had been a nice one together with Hikari and I was honestly sad about the fact that I had to leave already, although catching this thief was more important. And since he was threatening Hikari's family it was even more important. Not that he got the idea to harm them. And though I knew that the girl could defend herself it didn't soothe the worry.

»Hiro, are you okay?« I looked up, seeing that Honey's eyes were glaring at me. I gave a nod, resting my backhead against the wall, at which I was sitting.

»Yeah, I'm fine. I only hope that we stop this thief before he can harm someone.«

»Today we have the upper hand, don't forget this.« She smiled at me assuring, probably trying to make me feel better.

»Pssch! I think I heard something.« GoGo cut in before I even had the chance to say something. We all got up upon our feet, looking carefully around the corner. I laid my sight then on Baymax, nodding one time at him. He would know what to do. He turned then towards the building, his cameras darted at it for a while before he told us his results.

»I found the person in question. He is...« He raised his hand, pointing at one of the windows a few floors upstairs. I groaned. »...up there.«

»How did he manage this? We have waited for about an hour!«, I exclaimed, being totally excited about this. But clearly not in a positive way.

»And now?« Honey looked at us, not being sure what we should do.

»I'd say we go inside and find this guy!« Fred was already eager to do something but I had some doubts.

»That's not that easy. The last time he escaped through the window.«

»I would say we call the police now so that they can take him with as soon as he leaves this building. He can't escape all of us.«, Wasabi suggested. He had a point.

»SFPD is contacted.« We faced all our robotic friend.

»Good job, buddy. But we don't have any choice. We have to go inside.« My words were final and with that, we walked to the front to see how we could enter this building. We had reached the entrance when Baymax mentioned the following words.

»Oh no.« I glared up at him, following his sight. There was a black figure escaping over the fire ladder.

»Come, hurry!«, I told to the others and ran off, turning around the corner at which we had hidden. My shoes were making some loud noise on the asphalt and the lonely path caused a loud echo. Of course, the thief had to hear this. »Stop!«, I called out, seeing how he jumped from the ladder to one of the big trash cans. Dead end. This road led to a wall, which parted this area with the city of San Fransokyo. He couldn't escape. The others stopped beside me, I could hear the sirens from afar. The police were on their way. I couldn't hold the grin back, being sure that we caught him this time. The man turned towards us and just like the night before he was just wearing his black ninja suit. The nickname, which the press had given to him suited very much to his appearance. Something in his eyes sparkled – as far as I could see it from my spot – and without wasting some more time he turned back around and jumped, getting a hold on the wall. We all reacted the same, jerking forwards. But we were too slow and Mr. Burakku over it. I considered on getting on Baymax and search for him but he would be invisible among the crowd of people. Angrily I kicked my foot against a bin, it was making a satisfying clunk sound. But still, I was angry. »So close! We had been so close!« The sirens of the police cars got louder and it was now able to hear them coming closer, the blue lights getting reflected by the windows of the building.

»I assume we have to explain this to the police now...«, Wasabi said and I agreed.


~Hikari's PoV~

I was sitting at the couch table on the floor, drawing random stuff on a piece of paper while Mary was busy with crocheting a scarf – as far as I knew it was a scarf. And not to forget Tadashi, who was sitting on the couch table watching me scribbling. When Mary was with me I had to be careful to not talk with him but I felt bad for being away the whole time and he had assured me that to be in my company was enough. It was quiet until the telephone rang. I looked up of my sheet of paper, glaring first at Tadashi before I turned a bit around to look at Mary. She met my sight.

»Stay where you are, I will go.« She placed the hook and the wool beside her on the couch and got then up to reach the hallway where the telephone was being. »Stuart.« I could hear my nanny's voice from the hallway and I was looking at the open door waiting for some further information. »What? Again? Wait.« I heard fast steps, approaching me and Mary picked the remoter up as soon as she had reached the table. She almost moved through Tadashi but he could make some place before she had crossed his way. She turned then the TV on. Immediately the news was to see and I widened my eyes. This time it was one of the labs of my father's company, which was topic number one. Again SnowElectronic Industries? But...why? My eyes were darted at the screen, hoping to see this time that the thief had gotten caught. »I understand, Mr. Sunō. Alright, I will tell her.« She hung up and I gazed at her, being alarmed. »Your father had gotten a call that one of his laboratories got robbed. So he is on his way to it to check some things there. Your poor father. He is barely at home because of all this.« I turned towards the screen again to listen to the lady.

»Unfortunately the mysterious Mr. Burakku could escape once again. This angers not only us but especially the members of Big Hero 6. What can you tell us about this?« The blonde woman turned towards a group of people beside her, holding the microphone out towards the smallest one. I dropped my pencil when I realized something. Team. Hiro had said it again today and when I counted them, they had the amount of people in their team, including a robot. And honestly. They didn't wear any masks. I had been so stupid! This was this familiar feeling when I had seen Hiro with Baymax this morning. Because of the sight on this screen!

»We are afraid to say that we don't know what this thief is intending to do. But we won't give up until we have caught him.« Even his voice sounded normal. I jumped up upon my feet, Tadashi following me with his eyes.

»Hikari?« That was not my friend's voice but the one of my nanny. I turned around to her, forcing a smile.

»I forgot that I have to prepare something for tomorrow. I'll head upstairs and stay in my room. You don't have to check on me, I'll be busy and go to bed afterward.« That was a lie but I couldn't tell her the truth. She cocked her head a bit and glared at me for a little while. I almost thought she had caught my lie but then she gave me a nod.

»Okay. Sleep good and don't work too long.« She smiled, which I returned and left then the room. I felt bad for lying to her but I didn't have any choice. Quickly I ran the stairs up, reaching my room only to shut the door and lock it. Better be prepared. I walked then determined to my window and opened it.

»What are you intending to do?« I was almost startled hearing this voice but only almost, after it happened quite often that I got surprised by him. It had been clear that Tadashi would follow me. I looked over my shoulder at him, having a serious glare on my face.

»I have to check something. Don't worry, I am not going to a bot-fight. My backpack is resting in the corner over there.« I nodded towards my desk where my bag was lying at.

»But...can't this wait until tomorrow? It's already dark outside and we have almost nine.« I smiled about the fact that he worried about me. But yes, I had to go.

»There is no need to worry. I'll be safe.« I quickly climbed out of my window, using the fire ladder to reach the sidewalk outside. It didn't take long until my feet felt the hard ground below them – luckily I thought of putting some shoes on – and hurried then along the street to reach my destination. With the fast pace, it didn't take long until I arrived. The café was dark but I could see light burning above it. If I really had seen Hiro on the TV then his aunt was probably not aware of the fact that he was running around, chasing criminals. I decided that I shouldn't ring the doorbell and ask if he was at home. I didn't want to get him into trouble and I was about to place my behind on one of the steps to the front door of the café when I remembered that Hiro told me about his working place in the garage behind the building. I was almost sure that he would get back into the house through the garage and so I looked for the right way to reach it. I only hoped that no one thought that I would linger here around, being up to no good...Luckily it wasn't too difficult to find it and I didn't even test if the garage gate was open – I didn't want to go that far – and leaned myself against the wall, being well hidden behind some bins and waited. They shouldn't take that long, especially that they had been giving an interview about the current robbery before I left.


~Hiro's PoV~

After taking my friends home – Wasabi slowly got used to the height, though he still screamed like a girl – I headed home as well, landing one or two blocks earlier since Baymax thrusters were too loud with landing and I didn't want to disturb Aunt Cass. This interview had been tough. How shall you explain something if you didn't know anything? I was only looking forward to my bed, being slightly tired since I hadn't slept very much the last night. The more startled I was when Baymax stopped, looking towards the house we were living in. I turned around to face him, pulling one eyebrow up.

»What's up?«

»I detect a human being at the garage. The gender is female.« I was alarmed. Did Aunt Cass know that I wasn't at home? Carefully I sneaked closer to the gate to our garage, already seeing it when I noticed a slim figure leaning against the wall. She probably heard our steps because she looked up, glaring directly at me. »I found a match in my database. It is...-«

»Hikari?!«, I exclaimed, being surprised to see her here. She pushed herself away from the wall, her arms being crossed in front of her chest and approached us, her eyes never leaving me. I felt my heart pound against my chest. I couldn't read out of her face what she was thinking. She stopped when she was standing right in front of me. For a moment we didn't do anything than just looking into each other's eyes. Then she suddenly reached out, placing her hands on the sides of my helmet and took it off. There I realized that I was still wearing my hero outfit. I checked myself to confirm my thoughts – though this was not necessary – and glared then back up, her sight hitting me like a lightning bolt.

»I am not stupid, Hiro.« This was the first thing she said and I heard the message behind it: Don't lie to me!

»I never thought that you were stupid.«, I replied not moving one bit. I wasn't sure to what this conversation would lead me to, so I'd be better careful. I knew what this girl was capable of.

»So...you, Honey, GoGo, Fred, Wasabi and Baymax are Big Hero 6? Can you even defend yourself?« Now her eyes widened, probably thinking of all the possibilities I – and the others – could get hurt.

»I'm having Baymax with me and he is able to do Karate. He watches out that nothing happens to me.« I pulled my shoulders into a shrug, never thinking of the possibility of getting hurt.

»And what is if he is not able to help you? What are you thinking?« She released the helmet with one hand and punched me a few times into my shoulder. Though she didn't use that much of strength it still hurt a bit. With big eyes, she was looking at me and I could see the worry in them. I sighed.

»Hikari...« I reached out for her but she backed off.

»No. Don't Hikari me! This is serious, Hiro! You could get dangerously hurt if you don't know how to defend yourself!« I ignored the fact that she had moved back earlier and got hold on her shoulders. Her body relaxed on cue, her head dropped down, looking at her shoes.

»Listen. I'm having Baymax with me and if he is not available then there are the others. I'm not alone, so nothing is going to happen to me.« Now she lifted her gaze back up, looking into my eyes. I smiled, hoping it would help her. She didn't say anything and kept on with glaring. I could already tell about what she was thinking at the moment: At the incident, last Sunday, where I would have got terribly beaten up of she wouldn't have cut in. But there I had been alone with no back-up. In fact, she had been my backing. Once again she sighed and she closed her eyes, her head falling forwards our foreheads meeting. Though this was kind of an intimate position it still felt natural and not weird at all. The only strange feeling was the heat, which crept up to my cheeks.

»I think I just have faith in this. After all, you guys are doing this for a while.« I saw how she opened her eyes, looking into mine. Her black orbs seemed even darker because of the night and I caught myself with just staring at them. This didn't help my flushed face at all. She realized as well what she was doing and moved quickly back and I could have sworn to see a red blush coloring her cheeks. After a while, she chuckled then, which caused me a puzzled expression.

»What?« She chuckled again before she grinned at me.

»I understand now why you always seem to be the leader of your team. I always thought this was weird and assumed that Wasabi would be a better choice.« She laughed and I had to grin.

»Well thank you. After all, it had been my idea to team up to catch Robert Callaghan.« A last time she was giggling, that ended in a wide grin. I got an idea. »Hey, would you like to see something awesome?« Hikari cocked her head slightly to the side, blinking a few times.

»Sure. Awesome things are always good.«

»But you shouldn't be afraid of heights.« Now the girl with the black hair rolled her eyes, crossing her arms in front of her chest.

»If I would be afraid of heights I wouldn't have climbed upon a garage to save you.« Oh...right. This was, of course, true.

»Okay, then there is nothing to worry about.« I held my hands out for my helmet, my project partner getting the hint with handling it over and did it, I was putting the item on. I turned then around towards Baymax, who had watched this situation without interrupting once. »Ready for another flight, buddy?« For a moment nothing happened but then he answered.

»My jets are ready to get used.« I looked then back at Hikari, signing her to follow me.

»Come. I promise I won't let you fall.« I walked then around my robot, climbing upon his back and held then my hand out for her to help her up. She slowly placed her slim hand into my palm, hers seeming to be so small in compare to mine wearing the gloves.

»I hope this for you, Mr. Hamada.« I laughed only to this. I pulled her up, holding her close to me to steady her so that I could keep my promise in not letting her fall.

»Don't worry. Alright, Baymax. Head to our favorite place. You know, where we always hang around if we need some peace.« Immediately after my words, Baymax turned his thrusters on. »Hold on tight!«, I managed to say before the white robot shot up into the air. I noticed that Hikari suppressed a scream to not cause too much attention and she clung onto me for a better hold. A grin pulled the corners of my lips up. »Scared?« She turned her head immediately to me, a challenging spark was in her eyes.

»Of course not. I was only surprised.« This only caused laugh to escape my lips, me grinning widely at her.

»Sure. And that's the reason why you are clinging to me for dear life.« She showed me her tongue but didn't loosen her grip around me. I only shook my head, being amused by this.

»It's not like I have magnets attached to my gloves and jeans. Yes, I saw them.« I could hear out of her voice that she tried to sound serious but the grin was still able to be heard in it. After a little while, Baymax slowed down, what led to that Hikari relaxed, even leaning a bit to the side to look at the view below us. »Wow. Though it's after nine the city is still busy. The people are looking like ants!« She chuckled and I smiled, being happy and relieved she enjoyed the flight.

»Haven't you flown already?« She turned her head back around to gaze at me.

»Of course I have. But it is something different to sit on a plane or to feel the wind in your face. This way of traveling is astounding!« The girl beamed at me, causing me to reply it. I glared then to the front before my cheeks would even have the chance to blush and checked where we were at the moment. I noticed that Baymax was raising up again, aiming one of those flying fishes we were always sitting on and this not only because he changed the angle of flying. Also, Hikari was holding herself tighter on me to prevent from falling down. I had to smile about this after it always seemed she being so fearless but I also caught myself with the thought to actually enjoy having her that close. Though I got good along with her now it was still confusing to feel like this...oh well...for now I decided to just let it be.


~Hikari's PoV~

I had to admit that I had been first scared to fall of this robot while we had been flying but after a while, it was just awesome and such a great feeling of freedom that I more than just enjoyed it. But still...I still felt safer holding myself on Hiro, who was saved with his magnets. San Fransokyo looked funny from this point of view and I found myself laughing a few times at some sights I have made. But then I got confused. Why were we heading those fishes in the air? I turned around to the boy beside me, pulling one eyebrow up as a sign for him that I didn't understand. He only grinned after seeing my face.

»Relax. You will see it when we are there.« I sighed only to this and looked around. The city was much smaller now than before and the thought of that one could get easily lost within this place was strange from this point of view. I noticed that we had gotten slower and Hiro turned to me once again. »Hold on tight. Not that you fall down.« I did as he said and clung on tightly to him and just a second after I had done so the robot moved upright, placing one of his feet upon one of these fish, kneeling down so that we could get down as well. I gazed at the metal balloon thing, considering how I should get down without slipping off. »Hold yourself around his neck while I get down. I will help you then.« I tried to climb a little bit higher wrapping my arms around the neck of the robot and watched how my project partner got down, jumping off like he wouldn't fall deep if he should lose his balance. I looked at him with wide eyes while he was turning around to me and he rose his hand so that I could grab it. I took a deep breath to calm my nerves – though I would never admit fearing of falling down – and reached carefully out to take his offered hand and with his help, I got down, almost falling into his arms landing in them. He steadied me until I was safe enough to stand alone and took then slowly his arms from me, making sure I would not fall. I turned myself around, gazing at the sight, which was placed around me. We were standing on one of the highest fishes, the lights of the city seeming to be far away but therefore the stars seemed to be much closer. Not to mention that they were visible now. I laid my head back, glaring into the night sky and I couldn't help it and grin at how pretty the sight was. I was lucky that this night was without any clouds so that I could see this. I walked then carefully a bit further to the front, gazing how the moon was reflecting itself in the water of the ocean. I turned then back around towards Hiro, who had watched me the whole time.

»This place is just...amazing! I would never have thought to find a place like this in San Fransokyo!« The grin was still plastered on my lips, which caused a smile on the lips of my opposite.

»I didn't either. I found it when I had been testing Baymax's suit and jets. The sight was just stunning.« He sat down upon the fish, I was walking closer to him taking my seat beside him, my eyes not leaving his face. His brown orbs cast over to me, we being for a moment silent. But then he tore his view from me and glared at the front again. »Since then I come here if I need some peace or want to be alone. Just to escape the noise and the stress of the city.« Though he had been looking away from me I was still looking at him and I could read out of his face hat he often came here to think. Probably to deal with some major problems. He reached then out for his helmet and took it off, placing it beside his body. Before I could rethink my following actions. I placed my hand upon his shoulder and rested my chin upon it, this causing that he turned abruptly around towards me, our noses almost touching. For a second I was too startled to say something but I caught myself and the smile graced my lips again.

»I am glad you are sharing this place with me. It may not be something special for you but it means a lot to me.« Especially since no one has ever done something for me. He didn't say something right away but then he returned the smile with his own one.

»I'm glad you are being here. In fact, you are the first one to see it. And to correct it. This place is something special to me.« I could see the honesty in his eyes so I couldn't do something else than believe him. After another moment had passed I leaned myself back from him but only to get into a more comfortable position to watch the moon and stars reflecting themselves in the ocean, creating this magnificent sight.


Time had passed and we were still sitting upon that fish. We talked a lot and we totally forgot for how long we actually been sitting upon here. The fear that I could fall down had disappeared completely and I just enjoyed it to be this high over the city, where the noises of it couldn't reach my ears. I wished that I knew such a place as well.

»Have you planned something for Saturday already?«, I asked out of the sudden and Hiro turned his head to me, pulling one eyebrow questioning up. He was probably confused about that question. His forehead wrinkled then while he was trying to think but he shook then his head.

»Not in particular. Why?« I pursed my lips.

»If I'd tell you an address and ask you to watch something, would you come?« My answer – or better my counter question – confused him even more. I sighed. »On Saturday is a tournament of different fighting types. And I'm taking place in there. My father wanted to come but I'm sure he will be too busy with the company and Mary won't be here this weekend, visiting her mother. So even if my dad should come you still would have a ticket to see it. You don't have to come if you don't want to. I just thought that...-« At the end of my explanation, I got faster and faster until the boy covered my lips with his palm to shut me up. He took his hand then back as soon as I was quiet, listening to him.

»You already had me with 'I'm taking place in'. I'd love to come.« I grinned brightly at him hearing his words and I just managed it to hold the urge back to embrace him tightly, though this was difficult.

»Thank you! That's great! I already have thought that I needed to go alone.«

»I have to thank. After all, it is me, who is getting a free ticket.« We chuckled before I looked at the horizon. How late was it actually? Hiro must have wondered about the same because he got slowly up. »I think I will take you home now. It must be after eleven o'clock. The earliest.« I nodded and got up as well, being ready for another flight on Baymax. He climbed quickly up upon his robot and helped me up again and before I could even say something we shot up in the air, heading the house of mine which was hidden somewhere in this forest of concrete.


~Hiro's PoV~

It didn't take long to find the way to Hikari's home but instead of landing like usually I directed Baymax to her open window so that she didn't need to sneak her way into the house. Carefully I flew closer to the window, hovering at the same place so that Hikari could get off. From my sight it seemed so easy, how she got down of Baymax, getting hold by the fire ladder and climbing then inside. But I was almost sure that it wasn't. Nevertheless, she was fast in her room again, turning around to me smiling.

»Thank you. This had been a nice evening.« I lowered my head a bit to her words, returning the smile.

»No problem. I enjoyed it as well.« We kept on looking at each other for a moment until I signed the robot to take off, leaving Hikari behind. »Come, let's fly back home and rest for at least a bit.« Baymax took off, heading the Lucky Cat Café and we arrived faster than I have thought. But instead of landing a few blocks away he just landed right at the garage, me jumping down as soon as he touched the ground. I opened the gate of the garage up, entering while I started with peeling the suit off of me to get into more comfortable clothes. After this, I did the same with my robotic friend. Silently we sneaked our way up into the apartment before heading the staircase to reach my bedroom. And again I started to get changed so that I could go finally to bed. A look at my clock showed that it was already after midnight.

»I have found a conclusion to various scenes of you in the last few days, including this night and afternoon.« I heard Baymax following me to the bathroom, where I started to brush my teeth, my eyes casting over to him.

»And this conclusion is?« I continued with brushing my teeth while heading back to my room, gathering some things together for the next day, meanwhile, I got followed by him. As soon as I had everything I needed I pushed myself passed the cuddly robot to reach the bathroom again so that I could get rid of the foam in my mouth rinsing everything out. I returned to my lodgings before the robot had even the chance to follow me again. He turned around to me, raising one hand while his index finger was pointed towards the ceiling.

»Affection.« I had been busy with pushing my blanket back to get into my bed but hearing his answer made that my head snapped up, glaring with wide eyes at him.

»What?«

»Affection: It is a certain kind of emotion you feel when...-«, he started to explain but I cut in.

»I know what this means! But how do you get this idea?« The thought of going to bed was forgotten. All I was able to, was glaring at him completely dumbfounded. How did he get this idea? And the other question...Why did my heart pick up some pace hearing this?

»Various moments have proved that you have shown typical symptoms of affection. Mostly regarding when Hikari is in the near. A quickened heartbeat and an increased amount of endorphins in your circulation.«

»I do not have a crush on Hikari!« But my input got ignored. Instead, a chart appeared on the belly of my friend, showing lines which were raising and falling. I furrowed my brow at this.

»Here you can see that at some certain situations the earlier mentioned symptoms increased. These were mostly the times when Hikari was around or at least talking about her. The evidence is clear.« I rolled my eyes at this getting into my bed, not having the intention of hearing much more about this. »But this is nothing to worry about. It's just a new step of your puberty to become a man. I have mentioned once that you will feel some new and unknown urges.«

»You know what? I don't feel like discussing this further. I'm satisfied with my care.« And without any hesitation Baymax turned around, heading his charger only to deflate. I sighed in relief and laid myself down, reaching out for the switch to turn off the lights. Then I closed my eyes to fall asleep.


~Hikari's PoV~

I watched Hiro and Baymax leave and turned around when I couldn't spot them anymore. I switched on the light and jumped backward when I saw Tadashi leaning against my desk at the other side of the room, his arms being crossed in front of his chest. I sighed deeply when my body has calmed from this shock and walked then to my closet to get my sleeping clothes out.

»Tadashi. How many times do I have to tell you that you shouldn't scare me like that.« I disappeared into the walk-in closet, getting quickly changed into some comfortable clothes. I got out, he still looking at me with this stern and kind of angry glare. What was now? My question must have been visible since he started talking without that I needed to ask.

»Can you imagine how worried I had been? You just disappeared without explaining and are then gone for about three hours! I thought somewhat happened to you! And not to forget, the second night in a row!« I opened my mouth to reply something but nothing came into my mind. I didn't know that he would worry that much.

»I thought that it would be enough to tell you that I needed to clear something. Especially that I didn't expect to be gone for that long in the first place. I had considered that I would need an hour – the longest! I didn't expect that Hiro would take me somewhere.« I folded my arms in front of my chest now. When I had left I thought that my little trip wouldn't take so long. That it got extended was something that just happened. And the fact of getting scolded by something I really hadn't intended to do upset me. It wasn't like I could have called him to let him know. He was a ghost! After hearing my explanation of why I was that late something changed the male's mood, his eyes growing bigger. At least this sight was better than him having slits as eyes. A questioning expression appeared on his face and he seemed to be a bit confused.

»Wait. Did you just say that Hiro has taken you somewhere?« After he had given up his tensed appearance I relaxed as well, sighing slightly. I moved to my bed to sit down on the edge.

»Yes. After I had gone to him to ask him about this 'Big Hero 6' thing – and I was kind of mad at him – he had asked me if I would like to see his favorite place in the city. I was curious and didn't think it would harm someone if I would go with him. As soon as we had arrived we started talking and we both lost the sense of time. Especially since no one of us had a watch.« I pulled my shoulders into a light shrug. »I was in no second in any kind of danger. Except maybe during this flying time, where I first thought that I would fall off this robot.« I thought back at this situation and how tight I had clung myself on my project partner to prevent of falling down. He in return had steadied me with his grip around me. Thinking about this caused my cheeks to blush and I quickly looked down at my hands, which were folded in my lap to avoid Tadashi's glare. It was silent for a while and I got curious why he didn't respond to this and I lifted my sight carefully up, looking at him. A wide grin was gracing his lips now and I could see the mischief sparkling in his eyes.

»You like him, am I right?« His words startled me.

»What? No! I mean...of course I like him but not in the way you are implying it!« I felt my face heat up while my heart in my rib cage started to pound faster. A laugh left his lips and he threw his head back during it. I could sense that he didn't believe me. He kept on grinning at me.

»Oh come on. He shows you his most favorite place, alone without others – no Baymax doesn't count – and let me guess? You guys had been outside looking at the stars while talking.« I looked away from him after he nailed it. This seemed to be confirmation enough for him. »I knew it! Sorry Hikari, but this sounds definitely like a date for me.« Another laugh was able to be heard and I looked up at him now, a serious glare in my eyes. I would have known if I had gone to a date – especially when it would have been my first one at all. Wouldn't I?

»I can spend my time with Hiro alone and still be friends! This doesn't have to do something with dating, Tadashi. We are friends.« At least this was what I believed.

»Believe it or not but I say that it was a date.« I dropped myself upon my mattress, groaning in frustration. I jumped then back up, being done with this topic.

»You know what? I won't talk with you further about this. You won't believe me anyway.« I walked around my bed – luckily I had brushed my teeth already – and got underneath my covers. Tadashi stepped only closer to my bed, this mischievous grin still on his lips.

»There you are right. I'm not believing it in the slightest.« I groaned once again, rolling my eyes and pulled my blanket as high as possible to cover myself. »Good night, Hikari.«

»Yeah, yeah. Good night, Tadashi.« And with that I turned off the lights, closing my eyes trying to fall asleep.


~Tadashi's PoV~

Some time had passed until Hikari had finally fallen asleep. Who had known this? She started to like the boy she couldn't stand before and the same the other way around. I had to admit that I was kind of sad to not be able to give my brother some advice, helping him in this state. Especially since he had asked for it before. But alone the knowledge that Hikari was also feeling this way – she may not have said it but it was just clear – was in Hiro's case a jackpot. Now, this knucklehead just needed to make it right. And like I knew my brother he would totally fail. He was good in the art of robotic and maths but when it was about feelings and people, in particularly girls, then he had no clue. But all I could do was watch. Maybe one of my friends noticed too and would help him. But then...there were some other things to worry about. More important things. The happenings at SnowElectronic Industries worried me. Something was off but I couldn't tell what. All I knew was that it could turn out to be dangerous and I was concerned that Hikari could get involved into this. I didn't know what this thief was searching for but I could tell – only because it was the logical conclusion – that when he got frustrated he would pull some other tricks to get what he wanted. Mostly threatening the owner and what would be more threatening for a father than to have his daughter? I knew that I would have freaked out if someone would have used Hiro against me, only to get his or her way. And Hiro was not my son. It was terrifying enough for me that he and the others were running around, saving San Fransokyo! Though I had to admit that I was proud of him helping the people I was still concerned that he could get hurt. I would have asked him what he was thinking if I would be able. Oh well...I just needed to have some faith in him and the others that they would stay safe. At least Baymax was with them, being able to render first aid if it was required. I stepped closer to the bed, watching the features of my friend. She looked peaceful while sleeping and I wondered about what she was dreaming. And now I could understand why she had to go right away after seeing Hiro and the others on the screen, solving this out with my brother. I would have done the same. I took my gaze from her to glare out of the window, seeing nothing but the night.


~Authorial Narrator's PoV~

The clock hit midnight, making that loud noise which it always did when it reached a full hour until it would count to twelve only to get silent. This until the next full hour would arrive. He was sitting at his desk in his hideout, a little bit further out of the city. Here he had his peace and didn't need to fear that someone would find him. Especially not this superhero team, which was looking for him now. He had been too light headed. He thought after it had gotten quiet around them, that they had decided to stop with their actions. But it seemed like that he was wrong. He sighed deeply, running his fingers through his hair. He had been lucky that he could escape the last two times. No good things would have happened if they'd had managed to catch him. He just needed to be a little bit more careful now. He took a look at the papers in front of him, which he had stolen from the central building of the SnowElectronic Industries. They were test results and notes from a project, which wouldn't go on. But it was important to him to know what exactly this project was about. After he still didn't get any information about it from the file he had installed he had been forced to take other steps. But therefore he had witnessed other interesting things. Things, which worried him enough that he had to take care of them as well. But...how should he take care about this without getting caught by Big Hero 6? This was a question he still had to solve but he knew that he wouldn't have another choice. He just had to do it.

Chapter Text

Chapter 10 - A Night With Friends

 

~Hikari's PoV~

The sound of the alarm clock was something what I really loathed. In particular, since I hadn't slept very much. Still half asleep I reached out to shut it off only to turn around. I really didn't feel like getting up.

»Good morning, Hikari! Get up, otherwise, you'll be late!« A loud voice startled me and I jumped up, sitting upright in less than a second in my bed. I turned my head a bit only to see Tadashi standing beside me, having a wide grin on his lips. I groaned annoyed.

»Yes, a very good morning to you, too. Couldn't you have woken me up a little bit friendlier?« He shook his head.

»No. You wouldn't have gotten up. And anyway it's your own fault. You have stayed away until midnight being on a date.« At his last words, blood rushed up to my face, my cheeks were burning hot. My surprised glare – which this statement had caused – turned fast to an annoyed one, though.

»How many times do I have to tell you this? This wasn't a date and it isn't going to be one only because you are declaring it as one.« I pushed my blanket back and got then out of my bed, walking over to my closet to get dressed for the day. I disappeared into it but left the door open so that I could hear my friend.

»Sure. If this was no date then I am no ghost.« I rolled my eyes on this as his words had reached me and I just pulled a black pair of tights, a black skirt, and a dark blue shirt out, getting quickly changed. As soon as I walked back out, I shut the door and picked my brush up, which was resting in one of the shelves beside the door, starting with brushing my hair.

»To be exact: You are a lonely soul, trying to find the cause of your being in this world. And not to forget to find the reason why you haven't reached the light yet.« I glared at him through the mirror, being dead serious. Instead of him being offended or defeated he just snorted, placing his hands upon his hips while he shifted his weight to his right foot.

»And that's the long expression for a ghost. Decline it as much as you want. I know how a date looks like. I'm older.« I had placed my brush back into the shelf and grabbed after my Alice Band, putting it like usual into my hair. I turned around towards my friend when I was done with styling myself.

»You might be older but you can't know what exactly happened upon that fish. It was a normal meeting. Nothing else.« I walked passed him and picked my backpack up on the way, heading the door.

»Wait. Fish? You mean those balloon-like-fish up in the air?« I glared at him over my shoulders, pulling one eyebrow up.

»Of course those fish. What other fish should I mean?« My hand was already resting upon the knob, being ready to get some breakfast. That grin, what formed itself on my opposite's lips couldn't mean something good...

»Despite the fact that it was dangerous for you two being that high in the air, don't you think that this is kind of roma-...« Before he got even the chance to end this sentence I cut in, already being aware of what he would say. I felt my cheeks heating up again.

»I'll fetch some breakfast before leaving for college. If you want to come with you can come but don't you dare to embarrass me!« With a swift move, I turned back around towards the door, wanting to open it already when I noticed that I had locked it the previous day. Cursing I unlocked it – what caused Tadashi to laugh out loud – and left then the room to get downstairs to the dining room. I sighed in relief when I saw Mary being already done with setting the table because this meant that she wouldn't leave again. And this meant that Tadashi wouldn't dare to tease me further. Because she would only wonder what would be wrong with me if I would react to him.

»Good morning sweety. How have you slept?« My nanny smiled at me when she was taking her seat and I pulled the chair in front of her back so that I could sit down by myself. I grabbed then a bun starting with cutting it open. From the corner of my eye, I could see Tadashi sitting down beside me. Even from this angle, I could see his grin and I tried my best not to react to this.

»Good. I can't complain.« Except for the fact that I had slept not long enough but this she wasn't allowed to know.

»That's nice to hear.« She started with cutting a bun as well.

»Uhm...Mary? I will probably...-« I got interrupted by a vibrating noise, noticing that the mobile beside my plate was ringing. The vibrating stopped and I assumed that it was no call. I reached out to pick it up, seeing that I had a new message:

 

"Good morning Hikari!

After we had gone to you yesterday I'd say that you come to me after college is done.

My aunt knows already and says you are of course allowed to come.

 

See you later,

Hiro"

 

I smiled while reading the message, closing it and locked the screen then, putting my phone away. »...I'm after school at Hiro's place to work further on our project.« I looked up and saw Mary smiling at me, nodding one time.

»Alright. Let me know when you think you are going to be at home.« Together we started with our breakfast.

I had finished my breakfast and had brushed my teeth and was now on my way upstairs to pack the stuff for the project into the backpack as well. I reached my desk after entering my room when I noticed a movement me not taking my eyes of my belongings, gathering everything together. As I looked up I saw Tadashi leaning against my desk still that stupid, bright, cheeky grin on his lips. Oh, dear...what would come next?

»You have his phone number?« I sighed, placing my bag on the office chair and stuffed the needed documents and papers into it.

»Of course, I have his phone number. Just like I'm having the phone numbers of the rest of his friends. Where is the deal?« I zipped the backpack up, closing it before I shouldered it to leave my room. Today I would need to walk after Mary was busy this morning.

»The difference is that you haven't gone with the others on a date. So I'd say that this is something special then.« I walked out and hurried the staircase down, heading straightly the front door.

»I'm leaving!«, I called out loud, taking my jacket off the wardrobe and slipped into it, after I had dropped my bag. I picked it then back up, placing it properly on my back. My shoes I was already wearing.

»Okay! Have a nice day!« Mary's voice was clear to hear and I turned around and left this building, Tadashi following me. I put my earphones – which always were in my jacket pocket – into my ears so that it wouldn't be too weird if I would talk with my friend outside. Most of the people thought then that I would be talking on the phone. I headed the way I needed to take, which would lead me to SFIT, hiding my hands in my pockets.

»And no. There is no difference. And would you please stop with this whole date thing? It was no date and in the end, I would only feel awkward around Hiro. Thank you.« Tadashi laughed but rose his hands in a defensive manner.

»Okay, okay. I will stop then. Calm down, Hikari. I was only teasing.« I rolled my eyes at this but was glad that he wouldn't talk about this any further. »How is your project doing?« I gazed quickly at him before glaring straight on again.

»It's doing great. The code I have attached to the file allows me now to use less concentration for better use. The handling is quite easy now. At least for people with a high enough IQ.« He laughed at my last sentence, walking for a while in silence. It didn't take long until we have reached the campus of the college, me turning around to my friend. »See you later then.«

»Sure. You know where you can find me.« And with this, he disappeared and I took my earphones out entering the building.


The morning had passed real quick. Professor James was finally able to hold her lectures and apologized for being gone for so long. And after we had missed that much we had been working a lot during this time. Just like in my robotic class Hiro had taken his seat beside me like it would have been natural to sit at my side. Currently, we both were heading to the cafeteria to meet the others.

»You have received my message this morning, haven't you?«, Hiro asked and I placed my gaze upon him, nodding once.

»Yes, I have. And I have taken the notes with me. I only left the books at home. I hope you are having some at home, as well...?« I knew this decision had been risky but after I had to walk I didn't feel like carrying all those books with me. My poor back...

»Yeah sure. I'm having plenty of stuff and we still can use the Internet.« I sighed in relief, being glad that he indeed had some resources.

»That's good. I would have taken them with me but I had to walk.«

»Don't worry about it. Look! The others are already having a table!« After the weather was nice we had been looking for them at the table behind the building and we have guessed right. At one of the round wooden tables Honey Lemon, GoGo, Wasabi and Fred were sitting. We made our way through the crowd, Honey already seeing and waved at us.

»Hiro, Hikari! Over here!«, she called to get our attention. I leaned closer to my project partner.

»Is she always like that?«

»Uh-huh. You'll get used to it.« I leaned back grinning and we arrived then finally, everyone scooting a bit to make us some space. We stepped over the bench, sitting down and I placed my paper bag on the table while he was looking for his lunch in his backpack.

»Professor James is doing well again?«, Wasabi asked, glaring at us.

»Yes. And we were working like crazy because we missed that much.« I sighed, only the thought of the passed lecture caused me some headaches.

»Oh come on. You were one of the first who was done with the exercise before the others.«, Hiro beside me exclaimed, taking a bite from his sandwich. I only shook my head to this.

»Sure. But don't forget who was the other one who was at the same time done as I was, after working together on them. Yes, I'm talking about you, genius.« I fixated him with my glare. I tried to stay serious but after his amused expression, it seemed like I didn't hide my amusement well enough.

»What were you guys talking about before we arrived?«, the black haired boy asked the others after he had swallowed the remaining piece of sandwich in his mouth. I was taking a bite of my own.

»Oh yes! Totally forgot! I had been telling the other about this cool new Bowling Center here in San Fransokyo. Blacklight included.«, Fred explained, an exciting spark was in his eyes. »I was just about to ask if we should meet up and try it this evening.« All eyes were resting now on him.

»Freddie...I don't know. It is middle in the week...«, Honey started, though it was clear in her face that she was really curious how this bowling area was looking like.

»And not to forget we still have to do some things. You know...important stuff.«, GoGo added.

»Oh, come on guys! I know it is in the middle of the week but like I know tomorrow are no lectures, what means you guys would be working on your projects anyways. So where is the deal? And we still can deal with the other stuff when it is necessary.« The blond male was looking at everyone, his eyes being big and round, using clearly the doggy-eyes-glare. His gaze rested then on the boy beside me and when I looked at Hiro I could see that he was considering. He sighed then.

»Alright. I think this could get a nice evening and anyways we still can work further on our projects an hour later.« He smiled at his friend, the hat wearer being totally thrilled now.

»Awesome!« And slowly one after the other gave in, agreeing to meet up for bowling this evening. Fred's eyes cast then over to me, having a questioning expression in them. I noticed that the rest was looking at me in the same way. »Snow?«

»Huh? What?« I didn't understand? What was he expecting from me now?

»Are you coming as well?«, he asked more detailed. This surprised me.

»Oh! I'm invited as well?«

»Of course you are! You are one of us now and if the whole gang meets up means that the whole gang meets up and that's also including you.« He grinned at me and I didn't know what to say first. But then an own grin appeared on my lips. It may don't mean a lot to them but it meant a lot to me. I nodded then eagerly.

»Sure! Then I really would love to come as well!«

»Great! So the whole team is going to meet. This evening will be just awesome!« We all laughed at his behavior, some of us shaking our heads to this.

»And when shall we meet up?«, Wasabi asked then the important question. We all looked at each other.

»I would suggest we meet up around six at the café. Hikari and I have to work further on our project and we can leave together when we are done.« Oh, the project. Now I almost forgot about this and wouldn't have Hiro said something I wouldn't have thought about this anymore.

»Sounds good to me. Then at six.«, GoGo confirmed, popping her gum.


~Hiro's PoV~

The robotic lecture passed by as fast as the lecture this morning with the same amount of exercises as in Professor James' class. But luckily Professor Raven didn't rush us through them, leaving us time to figure them out. And just like this morning, Hikari managed to solve the equations quite fast, her pen moving fast across her sheet of paper. We mostly managed it to solve them in the same amount of time, often discussing them either before, while or after the task. At the moment we were heading my home so that we could finally work further on our project. I opened the door to the café letting Hikari enter first and followed then quickly. I could already spot my aunt coming closer to us, a bright smile was plastered on her lips.

»Hi kids. Welcome home. I have prepared a table for you both so that you can work. That is if you haven't planned to go upstairs of course.« Her green eyes were darted at us.

»No, no. We are going to stay downstairs. We are meeting up with the others later anyway, so we can see them when they will arrive.«, I answered, pulling my shoulders into a light shrug.

»Alright. Then follow me.« And together with my project partner, I was following Aunt Cass. We headed a larger table in the corner of the café, me signing the girl to take her seat as soon as we were there. I didn't notice how my aunt left us alone.

»Sit down. I will only run quickly upstairs to grab some things for the project. I'll be right back.« I smiled at her and she took her seat upon one of the chairs, returning it with her own one.

»Okay.« I turned around and headed then the staircase in the back of this floor to reach the apartment, running the second staircase up as well to reach my room. I picked then my laptop up and the files we had been working on already only to rush down, trying meanwhile not to trip so that I wouldn't fall down with the expensive item in my arms. I arrived at the table we were sitting at in less than five minutes. Hikari was meanwhile busy with getting her stuff out of her bag, looking up at me when I placed the laptop in the middle of the table so that we both could look at it. »Wow. Well, that was fast.« I took my seat upon the chair beside her, opening the laptop up and turned it on. I shifted my body a little bit into her direction to be able to look at her better. From the corner of my eye, I noticed that Aunt Cass was returning, having a tray with a plate and two cups in her hands.

»Here. You both can munch on them while working.« She smiled at us.

»Thank you very much, Cass.« Hikari's voice reached my ear from the side and also I thanked her. She left then, leaving us alone.

»So. Where have we stopped?«, I asked her, typing the password into my laptop to log in. I opened then the Internet.

»Uhm...« She started to look through some of her papers, trying to find the sheet she was searching for. She placed it then in front of me before speaking up. »We have stopped with this design, thinking if this suits for a waiter-bot or not.« I took a closer glare at the scribble, picking it up to have it easier. It was a slim robot, the color was white and it looked like it was wearing a suit. It was standing on two legs but it should have some wheels below the feet. We just feared that its walking style could disturb the guest or even drop the food. All in all a nice looking robot, though I had some doubts about this white...

»I'm not sure if it is wise to have him in white. He would get dirty. And some stuff doesn't get washed out anymore, for example, tomato sauce or red wine.« I gazed up of the sheet, lying my sight then back on Hikari. She didn't seem to be troubled.

»That's why we need to use a material, which is having the effect of a lotus flower. As soon as some liquids get on him he won't be soaked and the drops can easily get cleaned.«, the girl explained and I had to admit that she had a point.

»True. But we still have to think of what kind of a material we should build him with.« She tore her glare away from me, grabbing after a chocolate doughnut and took a bite while obviously thinking about my statement.

»I'd say we won't blow him up like Baymax. I am concerned that he could get damaged as soon as someone pokes his or her knife into his body. I think the best option would be if he is built out of metal, preferred aluminum since it is light and cover him then with something so that we don't have this metallic surface.« She took another bite of her doughnut and glared at me.

»This is an idea. Or we could use carbon. We can print it since I'm having a special printer in my garage and the white color could already be in the material.« She looked at me with this certain kind of glare she had used when I didn't think about the obvious. On Monday it had been because of the file on the laptop in college but I didn't know what now the matter was. »What?«

»Or we could also print it at my place since my father owns a company, specialized on such stuff and he often uses his small lab in our basement for own prototypes. Though he isn't much in there anymore since the company had gotten bigger. So, actually, I have used it, mostly to work on my robot for those bot-fights.« I clapped my palm on my face. Of course...it should have been clear that she would have a lab in her house. It was not like it wasn't big and they weren't rich.

»Why haven't we gone there earlier?«

»Because it was not necessary yet. And anyway, the living is much more comfortable than the lab and we wouldn't have to fear to get interrupted by my father or Mittens, only to get thrown out. Because even though it's not used that much anymore they still go down for small experiments. But to your suggestion. I think the idea is good, especially since we wouldn't need to cover the body to get rid of the metallic look.«

»We could check how your sketch is looking like in 3D, together with the material. Wait...« I leaned closer to my laptop opening the needed file where you could work out some blueprints, creating an actual figure. If this laptop would have been connected to my printer then we could print the figure out right away. Hikari handed me her sheet of paper over and I placed it in front of me to start with working. She moved a little bit closer to me to have a better look and I would lie if I would say that this wasn't distracting me. Like it was naturally she placed her hand upon my left arm – since she was sitting on my left side – and leaned closer to me, watching me work. Once again I got totally aware of how close she was and the usual things happened. I had to concentrate to keep working correctly, ignoring the symptoms, like Baymax had called it.

»Make him a little bit slimmer. Around...here.« She reached out to the screen and signed me to the robots middle, drawing circles with her forefinger. I did like she said and she backed off, also releasing my arm with her hand. This spot felt suddenly so cold. »Much better. Now we have to think of a skeleton. Any ideas?« I saved the file, creating a new folder for our project. We both turned around to face each other to discuss further ideas.


After a while – about two hours – the plate with the pastries was empty and the hot chocolate had gotten replaced with a milkshake, which was empty at the time as well. We just called it a day when the door to the café got opened and some loud chatter filled the air. As I looked up I saw the others entering laughing. Luckily we had gathered everything together already. I rose up and gazed at Hikari.

»I will put the things real quick into my room. If you like we can work here further tomorrow. Then you won't have to carry this stuff with you.« Her eyes cast over to me and a thankful smile graced her lips.

»This would be great. I was already worried that I would need to carry all my stuff around.« She chuckled and I placed her notes and documents on my laptop, picking everything up. »Are you sure you can carry all this at once? Shall I help you?«

»No, no. I got this. I'll be back in a second.« And with that, I turned around to head my bedroom.


~Hikari's PoV~

I watched Hiro carrying everything upstairs and I shook my head. I turned then around when I heard a loud voice.

»Hey, Snow. Where is Hiro?« I gazed up at Fred, smiling at him.

»He is just taking our stuff upstairs to work further on it tomorrow. He'll be back in a minute.« I pulled my shoulders into a soft shrug.

»Have you been bowling before?« Honey took her seat on the chair across from me while asking.

»No, I haven't. And I assume that I won't be very good in this. So please, don't expect too much from me.« I chuckled, though I was serious with my answer.

»Don't worry about this, Hikari. We are going for fun! And I'm not good at it as well, so you are not alone.« Her smile encouraged me and I returned it immediately. Steps were able to be heard and we all turned our heads only to see Hiro approaching the table.

»Are we ready to go?« He looked at us, waiting for our answer. I got up from my chair and picked my bag up, shouldering it.

»I'm ready.«, I confirmed and together we left, calling to Cass that we were leaving. We headed a small car, Wasabi got his keys out and unlocked the doors, walking already around it so that he could get to the driver side, entering the vehicle. I counted the available seats and pulled one eyebrow up.

»Uhm...we are one person too many.«, I said and all eyes were looking at me, including Wasabi and GoGo, who had taken her seat beside the male, stopping in her tracks to close the door.

»Huh. Didn't think about this.«, she replied to my words, turning around to gaze at Wasabi.

»Hmm...seems we will have to walk then.«, he stated looking at us.

»What? No! I don't want to walk! It's a long way to the Bowling Center! It will take ages!« Fred sounded devastated, letting his shoulders drop.

»Guys...-«, Hiro started but got interrupted by Wasabi.

»But how do you think we should manage this? I can't just let one seat appear out of the sudden!«

»Guys...-«

»There must be a way! Why haven't you got yourself a bigger car in the first place?« Neither Fred nor Wasabi was paying attention to Hiro, who still tried to say something.

»Because my old car was just fine. And I really liked it! That's why I got the same one again. I didn't think that we would have one person more in our group in future.«

»Alright! That's enough now! Honey, please get into the car and make as much as space you can do for Fred.« The blonde nodded and walked around the car after GoGo had cut in this discussion.

»But...-«, Wasabi tried but the girl with the short haircut didn't pay any attention to him.

»Fred, you get inside now and see that you are making yourself as slim as possible. Hiro, you get into the car after him and share your seat with Hikari. You both are still small enough that this will work.« Fred climbed into the vehicle but I didn't pay any attention and glared at Hiro, just like he was looking at me. Somehow the thought to share a seat with him was kind of embarrassing. I mean...I would almost be sitting on his lap. But I shook those thoughts off. After all, we needed to get to the Bowling Center.

»Hiro?«, I asked since he didn't make any attempt to get inside.

»Huh? Oh. Yes, sorry.« He turned quickly around and got inside, making as much as space as possible. I climbed inside after him.

»I don't care how you do it but I won't drive unless you have used your belts.« Wasabi glared at us using the back mirror. And Honey and Fred immediately got into action, taking more or less time to put the belt into the belonging slot. I turned a little bit to my right, grabbing after the belt and pulled it as long as possible since it had to hold two people now. I handed the belt over to my project partner, though keeping one hand upon it to prevent of getting strangled. As soon as he had managed it to push the belt into its slot I was forced by it to scoot even closer to the boy. Now I was almost lying on him. I really hoped the ride wouldn't take too long. »Hikari, if we pass a police car...shrink.« I rolled my eyes at this. I already had figured that Wasabi was always following strictly the rules.


The ride took longer than we thought after we got stuck in some traffic. At least, no one would pay any attention to us and Wasabi was saved from jail. We were chatting a lot while waiting at a red traffic light, actually enjoying our time. After I had enough of sitting in an awkward position beside Hiro – our arms were squished together, my back made an uncomfortable twist – I just have taken his arm and slipped underneath it so that it was resting behind me now. This sitting position was even more embarrassing since my head was resting against his shoulder, lying almost on his chest. But my back thanked me and this was much more comfortable, especially since I had a pillow now. In Hiro's case...he had stiffened as soon as I had placed his arm around me and I could feel how tensed he had been after I had gotten that close. But after a while he had relaxed as well, he actually holding me in his arms. And if I was honest...I snuggled even closer since it was quite comfortable.

»Did I ever mention that I hate traffic?« GoGo's voice was able to be heard and she sounded rather annoyed. I had to grin about this after this had not been the first time she saying this.

»A few times already.« Honey answered looking at her.

»How far is it until we reach the Bowling Center?«, Fred whined, throwing his head back against the backrest of the seat.

»Why are you asking me? You know where the center is.« Wasabi glared at us from his seat, only his eyes were visible in the mirror from my place. I had to chuckle after he had a point.

»I know...but still!«, the comic fan responded and Hiro was laughing silently now, his shoulders trembling. This caused my head to bounce, slipping downwards and I automatically got hold on him to not fall down. I really didn't feel like landing face down in his lap. He stopped immediately with laughing, glaring at me and noticed what happened.

»Oh, sorry.« I shifted my body a bit to move back up before placing my head back on the spot it had rested before, looking up at him smiling.

»Everything is fine. Don't worry.« For a moment we held the glare but I looked back to the front as I noticed that Wasabi continued with driving, finally passing that darn traffic light.

»Finally!«, the female in the front exclaimed what graced an amused grin on my lips. The rest of the ride didn't take long and we arrived at the Bowling Center in about ten minutes. As soon as Wasabi had parked his car in a lot, turning the engine off GoGo jumped outside, stretching her muscles. Honey and Fred left the car as well and Hiro handed me the belt over so that the heavy part wouldn't hit my head. After removing the belt from us I slowly backed off, reaching out for the door. I stepped out and bent my knees through, they had started to hurt a little. Also, my project partner was stretching himself, his limbs probably hurting as well. »I'm so glad we are here now, It had gotten quite uncomfortable in this car.«

»I'm already looking forward to the ride back...«, Hiro mumbled and I had to chuckle to this. Though I had been comfortable I still knew some more comfy places.

»Oh, why is that? You both were so cute.« Immediately we both were glaring at Honey, who had squealed the last word. I felt heat rushing to my cheeks.

»Uhh...«, we both started but lucky for us Fred interrupted that awkward situation.

»Can we go inside now? I'm so excited!« And with that he ran off, we all following him while shaking our heads. We stepped into the building, music and loud voices were reaching our ears. I looked around, taking this sight in. A whole bunch of colors was painting the walls and the LEDs of the bowling alleys were spending some bright light. The noise of the pins falling down was everywhere to be heard and now and then there were people cheering. I followed the others to the counter.

»I have called earlier to reserve an alley.«, Wasabi told the lady behind the counter and she looked into her system asking for his name. After telling her his name she logged something into the computer.

»I need the size of your shoes.«, she said then, one after the other answering her, including me. Short after we have received our shoes we were allowed to pass. One of the empty alleys was lighted, signing us that it was ready to get used. I dropped my backpack I was carrying with me beside one of the six chairs which were connected to a computer terminal. GoGo sat herself down on one, pushing some buttons on the flat screen.

»Hey! I wanted to type our names into the system!« Fred exclaimed and jerked forwards but the woman just held her flat hand out towards him to stop him in his tracks.

»No. You will just type some stupid names into it. Look that you are getting your shoes on instead.« Her voice was dry and there was such a seriousness in it that he didn't dare it to say something against it. I sat myself down on a seat and got out of my ballerina shoes and put the bowling shoes on. Would I have known that I would bowl today, then I would have taken an extra pair of socks with me. I sat back up as soon as I was done. »Okay, I'm sorting the teams. First of all. Hikari? How good are you in bowling?« GoGo looked up of the terminal to meet my eyes. I scratched the backside of my head.

»Uhm...I don't know...I have never bowled before like I have told you already. So I assume I'm not very good...«, I answered honestly and she nodded. She began to type in our names. I lifted my gaze, having the screens above the bowling alley in my sight. Team A contained Fred, Hiro and me while in Team B were Wasabi, Honey and GoGo. She glared then at us.

»I placed Fred in Team A since he isn't that bad of a bowler and the kiddo is a genius at it. This should balance the skills out.« I turned to Hiro, who was sitting beside me, not having known that he was that good. He rolled only his eyes.

»I'm no genius.« No one said something to this and I had to grin in amusement. So the others were obviously agreeing with GoGo. Well...at least we wouldn't fail terribly because I was not used to bowling. The black haired boy and I stayed where we were sitting while GoGo moved over a seat to Wasabi and Honey and Fred joined us. The girl with the dark hair pushed the start button and the game was on. Fred's name was the first one which blinked, signing that he was the first one to try his luck. He got up and walked over where the bowling balls in all different colors and sizes were resting and he picked one up, making his way to the alley. Hiro leaned closer to me, talking in a low voice. »When you are looking for a ball, test if you are able to carry it. But it shouldn't be too light because the lighter balls don't have as much as a force than the heavy ones. Take your time and test them.« I turned my head to look at him.

»Understood. Thanks.« I smiled, which he returned and moved then back, we both glaring at Fred who was just about to throw his ball. The hard item met the floor with a loud thud and made its way quickly over to the pins, knocking three off. The blond sighed and walked then back to the place where the balls were returning and waited for his one. He picked it up as soon as it was there again and walked then back to the alley preparing himself for his second throw. He threw the ball again and it met the rest of the pins with a force that all of them got knocked down. He started to jump on the spot he was standing on, throwing his hand into the air.

»Yeah!«, he cheered and returned to us with a bright grin, high-fiving Hiro when he passed him. He sat himself down and gazed then at the other team in order to encourage them to make their throw. »Hey, I'll order some drinks. The usual stuff?« All of them nodded while Wasabi rose up, already having a bowling ball in his hands. I looked then at Fred to tell him what I wanted after he couldn't know my 'usual' stuff.

»I'll take a coke. Thanks.« A thankful expression appeared on my face and he left then to reach the bar while I glared back to the front where Wasabi made his first throw. And knocked all pins down. He, GoGo and Honey were cheering while Hiro beside me groaned, rolling his eyes.

»Wasabi is quite good in this.«, he told me then before raising up from his chair.

»I noticed! How are we going to beat them?« I had followed him with my sight and he turned around to me, making a few steps backward to the bowling balls and answered me.

»Don't worry. We still have a chance.« He turned then around just in time before hitting his back against the ball machine. He looked through the round items before he decided for a suiting one and went then to the front, holding the ball in front of him like Fred and Wasabi earlier. The way he was looking at the ally and the pins seemed like he was scanning the area, weighing the ball in his hands. And then he threw the blue bowl, it's making its way towards the pins. Strike. Hiro jumped and cheered before he returned to me, having this bright and goofy grin on his lips, which I had seen a few times already.

»Very well done, genius.«, I said, raising my hand for him to give me a high-five.

»I told you that boy is a genius.« GoGo leaned herself to the front so that she could look passed Honey glaring at us and I chuckled. Fred returned, first walking by Hiro, then me to reach his seat telling us that the waitress will come to us to bring our drinks.

»What did I miss?«, he asked us when he was sitting down, we all watching Honey stepping to the front after grabbing a ball. Why didn't it wonder me that her choice was pink?

»Wasabi and I threw a strike. And now it's Honey's turn.«, my project partner answered, not taking his eyes from our blonde friend. She threw the bowling ball, it was making its way to the front, it hitting one pin down before she returned to the machine to wait for the pink one to return. After she got it again she made her second attempt and knocked three off, returning to her seat. She pulled her shoulders into a soft shrug.

»Oh well. Better than the times before.« She kept on smiling and all eyes wandered to me. I gulped. Now it was my turn...I rose slowly up of my seat and turned right to get me a ball. I really hoped that I wouldn't embarrass myself...I was about to leave the row of chairs when I felt a tug on my arm and I glared over my shoulder only to see that Hiro had got a hold on my wrist to stop me in my tracks. A bright smile was gracing his lips.

»Don't worry about failing. This is only for fun.« He winked at me and let then go of my hand so that I could walk further to the bowling balls to pick one out. I was standing in front of all the different bowls, considering of which one was the right one for me. I shouldn't pick one of the big and heavy ones. I knew that I wouldn't be able to carry these. My sight fell on a red one, being smaller than some other but it was not the smallest of them all. I put my thumb, index- and middle finger into the holes and lifted the ball up, feeling the actual weight of it. Wouldn't I have known that they would be heavy then I would have fallen forwards down? Carrying the heavy item with both hands I made my way over to the alley and stopped, glaring at the pins in front of me. Not really sure how to throw the ball properly I just tried to mock the movements of the others, releasing the ball out of my grip. It moved to the front and at first, it seemed to stay in the middle but then it drifted off to the right before it fell into the groove, disappearing behind the pins without knocking one single one down. I glared at the front pursing my lips. This was much more difficult than I thought.

»Come on Snow! You'll manage it!«, Fred called. I walked back to the ball machine and picked mine immediately up after it had returned and headed then back to the alley.

»Take a deep breath before throwing. This helps.« Hiro's voice reached my ears and I did as he said, breathing deeply in and threw the all more or less steadily. It was shaking a lot while rolling but in the end, it knocked five pins down. A smile graced my lips. I returned to my seat, dropping myself on it, sighing. »Not bad for the first try.« My eyes cast over to the boy beside me, my head following. I pulled one brow up.

»Not bad? I missed the pins on my first throw.«, I replied to Hiro, not sure where he saw a good try.

»Shall I tell you something? At my first try, I missed the pins twice because I didn't know how this works. Believe me. You'll figure it out as well.« Hearing this my smile returned on my lips.

»Okay, it is my turn.« GoGo rose up from her seat walking to the ball machine.


We were playing for a while already, the waitress had brought us our drinks. From time to time I had gotten better and after the other team had won with a huge amount of points ahead – not even Hiro could have played that good with me in our and Wasabi and GoGo in the other team – we had decided to make a rematch and the losers would have to pay the dinner in the restaurant above of this center. This time we weren't that far behind, only thirty-nine points, but after this was the last round and Fred had already thrown and I still had to along with Hiro this didn't look very good.

»Good luck.«, I said to my project partner and he turned towards me and rose his thumb.

»I got this.« With this, he got himself a ball and walked towards the bowling alley making himself ready. The last few times I had watched him and the others closely, analyzing how they were throwing to receive the best result. I got a little bit better as Honey but it was still possible that I missed. Hiro aimed and threw his ball, it was rolling towards the pins, knocking all of them off. I jumped up, cheering along with him. And this happened two times again! Now we were only nine points behind! He returned, clapping into both of my hands, grinning brightly at me. He looked then at the other team, having a challenging glare in his eyes. »It's your turn.« Honey, who was the last person of the other group rose up and it was clear that she was slightly worried. She grabbed the pink ball she was playing with currently and walked then to the front. She didn't think long and let go of the round item, it was making its way towards the pins. But it didn't stay very long in the middle and slipped into the groove.

»Come on Honey! We can't allow them to win!«, GoGo called from her seat and the blonde went back to get her bowling ball again. She returned to the alley and glared for a while at the pins, making her second throw. This time the ball didn't disappear in the back without touching the pins but knocked two of them down. We could all see how her shoulders dropped and she quickly picked her bowling ball up so that she could do her last throw. She looked closely at the pins and threw the pink item, we all were keeping our breath. Four pins fell. Now they were fifteen points ahead. I would never be able to beat that. I would need to throw at least one strike and I was happy when I managed it to throw four pins at once down. But the fighter inside got the better of me and I rose up walking confidently to the bowling balls picking the red one of the earlier game up before heading the front. I drew in some air, letting it slowly go while fixating my glare on the pins, focusing totally on them. I hesitated for a moment before making the throw. I knocked four pins down. Like I earlier thought. Okay...I could manage this. I only needed to knock at least twelve in general off, then we would win. I returned to the ball machine to get my red bowl back before I returned to the alley. Without wasting a further thought I made my second throw and with a force, I didn't know I could use the ball knocked the remaining six pins down. Spare. I felt how adrenaline was rushing through my veins. We still had a chance...though it seemed impossible for me. After I had picked my ball up again I was standing in front of the ten pins, glaring at them with a stern expression. I had the feeling like they were mocking me like they knew that I would never be able to make them fall. I shut my eyes and took a deep breath before I opened them back up and made my final throw. The ball made a strange curve while turning around itself in the other direction. I already could tell that I missed this throw. Oh well. I turned around in an attempt to walk back after I knew that we have already lost. When I noticed the expressions on my friends' faces. Their eyes were as big as tennis balls and I wanted to ask them what was wrong. Hiro jumped up signing to the front.

»Kari! Turn around!« First of all...had he just called me 'Kari'? I was so startled about this – he hadn't even noticed – that I froze in my state until I heard the noise of pins falling down. I turned quickly around only to see how the whole amount of pins were lying on the ground. Strike. I had made a strike.

»No way!« GoGo's voice was clearly heard from the back but I didn't pay any attention. A bright grin spread itself across my face, throwing my fist in the air before turning around.

»Strike!«, I called out loud, walking quickly back while laughing in joy about my victory, doing the first thing what came into my mind: I embraced Hiro who was still standing, what he accepted without any hesitation, cheering along with me. Even Fred joined and squished us in a deadly bear hug.

»This means free dinner for us!«, he kept on saying and I chuckled about this. The comic fan really loved food. He let then go from us and also Hiro backed off but placed his hands on my shoulders.

»Very well done, Kari! This had been your best throw.«, he said but instead of rolling my eyes, what I always did when he stated the obvious, I was surprised about the name he had called me with again. I blinked several times.

»Since when are you calling me 'Kari'?«, I questioned not being used to be called by a nickname – except of Snow of course. He just scratched the backside of his head when he realized what he had said and I was not sure if I saw it right but I thought that there was a red blush covering his cheeks.

»Since now, I guess? Only if this is okay with you. Not that you don't...-« But he didn't get further with his sentence.

»No, no. Kari is just fine.« I smiled brightly at him, what he returned automatically. The others joined us and clapped their hands smiling.

»That's a deserved victory. So, I guess the dinner goes on us, huh?« Wasabi looked at his team members, they nodded in agreement.

»Let's go! I'm hungry!« Just like he had been eager to get inside this center to start with bowling Fred was eager to get something to eat. I sat down on my chair to change my shoes and picked the bowling shoes and my backpack up to walk to the counter, following Fred to give back the lent items. Then we headed the elevator to go upstairs to fetch some food. Luckily we didn't need to wait very long and also the ride was short and before someone could complain about being hungry we had already arrived. The restaurant was a normal diner with red comfy looking seats and black tables. On some wall were flat screens showing a music channel where the current hits got played. And to our left was the counter where we could order our food. We all stopped in front of it, glaring at the menu list above the employee's head. Of course, Fred was the first one who knew what he wanted to eat. »Hi, I'm getting the hot dog, a coke and some french fries, thanks.« The man behind the counter typed his order in the system of his computer and looked then at us. Everyone ordered what they wanted to have until it was my turn.

»I'm getting a cheeseburger, some french fries and a coke, please. Thank you.« For the sixth time, he was pushing some buttons before he looked at us. His expression was a bored one and it was easy to see that he didn't want to be here, being rather at home.

»Alright. Take your seat. Your food will be brought to you in a few minutes.« We left him to search for a free table. We didn't have to look long and found a big enough one. We all sat down: Honey, Wasabi and Fred on the chairs and GoGo, Hiro and I on the bench. Luckily I was sitting on the outside – not like Hiro – and could place my bag on the side of the table. We didn't have to wait too long until the waiter came with the food and placed a plate in front of each person, after asking us who had ordered what.

»I have to say that this Bowling Center is nice. Better than the other one.«, Honey mentioned before a fry ended up in her mouth.

»I agree with that. The whole atmosphere is a whole lot different. It was really fun.«, GoGo replied to this and took a sip out of her drink.

»I have to say that especially our last match was a very exciting one. We had been quite close with the points.« We all agreed to Wasabi. It really had been a nerve-racking game.

»Without Snow's last throw it wouldn't have been that exciting.« Hearing Fred's comment caused my cheeks to blush and I lowered on cue my sight, glaring at my food. I still wasn't used to compliments. I looked then back up to face my friends.

»Sure. After I had failed miserably at the ones before.«, I just responded to this, trying to get rid of this embarrassment. I turned then around to Hiro, fixating him with my eyes. He looked up from his food, swallowing the remaining in his mouth and returned my glare, not sure what I was wanting from him. »And you say you are no genius in this game. You almost threw a strike every time!« My outburst amused him and he chuckled, pulling his shoulders into a shrug a smug grin gracing his lips. I rolled my eyes in a playful manner at this sight.

»You just said it by yourself. Almost every throw.« I couldn't suppress a laugh, what didn't work out right like I wanted it to do.

»Oh come on. I can already read in your face that you know what you are able to.« I picked my cheeseburger up to take a bite. For a short time, it was silent while everyone was eating their food until someone dared it to break the silence.

»Is something already planned for the weekend? We could come here again if not.«, Fred asked us and this reminded me of something. I still had to invite them to the spring festival.

»Actually...yes. There is a festival on Sunday and friends of my family have invited you to join as well.« Everyone – except Hiro – was glaring at me and I could see in every eye a question mark.

»A festival?«, Honey asked me at first and I noticed that the others had been thinking about the same question. I started to explain.

»Yes, a spring festival. At the part of the city where my family friends are living is it usual to make a festival at the day where in China spring is starting. It's on Sunday and it's a lot of fun with food, shops and some other stuff. At the end, there is even a firework.«

»But...you said they invited us. They don't know who we are...«, GoGo questioned, still being confused. I was about to open my mouth to answer this one as well when Hiro cut in.

»Kari and I have visited them – a nice couple – yesterday before we met to work further on our project. And we talked and told them a few things about you. In the end, they invited me and you guys all along.«

»Exactly. And on Friday we all should come to them because she is a tailor and wants us to wear the right clothes. You have to know that it's usual that you appear in some traditional gowns.«, I continued then.

»That's very nice of her! Lending us some clothes, that's very generous.« Honey was obviously touched by this and it was clear that she was already excited.

»Do we have to wear such gowns? Can't we just come in our own clothes?« GoGo really didn't seem to be very fond of the idea to wear traditional clothes. I had already expected something like this from her.

»Oh, come on, GoGo. Don't be so rude. She has prepared gowns for us all, probably all handmade and you just don't appreciate it. That's not nice.« The blonde female answered before I had even the chance to open my mouth. GoGo sighed.

»Fine. I will try one on. But if it is uncomfortable or it is looking stupid I won't wear it.« She crossed her arms in front of her chest.

»So...this means you guys are coming as well?« I gazed at each one all nodding in agreement. I beamed brightly at them. »Great! This is going to be so much fun!« We all continued with eating our meal until we all were done.


~Hiro's PoV~

We all stayed for a little while after everyone was done with eating and left the building then. This had been a very funny evening. But then we decided that it was time to go and left the Center, arriving at Wasabi's small yellow car and I remembered that we still had a ride in front of us. Great...I had been so nervous earlier this evening and I had hoped that Kari hadn't noticed my quickened heartbeat. But if she did she had never said a word to this, what had helped me a lot in this state.

»I think I will drive Hiro first before taking you guys home. Get inside the car.«, Wasabi said then and my project partner turned around to me.

»I will sit in the middle then. Then it is easier for you to get out.« She smiled at me and I nodded, opening the door for her. Fred and Honey were already sitting in the back and she got inside, sitting beside the blonde female who was sharing her fate to sit in the middle as well. I got then in the car, closing the door and handed my project partner the belt so that she could place it into the slot. Instead like during our first ride, where I had been sitting beside her in an uncomfortable position before she had changed it, I dragged her immediately into my arms so that we could prevent the previous problem. She didn't say something to this and just like if she had done it several times already she rested her head on my chest, my heart quickened a bit. Hikari yawned and shut her eyes while smiling, of because of the sound of my beating heart or because of something different I couldn't tell. I only knew that it caused a pleasant warmth to spread through my body. She shifted a bit, getting even closer to me with this before she remained in a position.

»You're a great pillow, did someone say this to you already?«, she asked me, her voice nothing more than a mumble and though this situation still made me kind of nervous I had to chuckle.

»I'm glad that I can serve you with this. But don't let it become a habit.« My grin on my lips must be audible after hers increased, still having her eyes closed.

»We'll talk about this the next time we will have to drive altogether in this car.« I only rolled my eyes to this, though I knew she was right. I noticed that she slowly drifted off into a soft slumber. I could feel her breathing against my form and this caused me to relax, my heart not beating that crazy anymore. I turned my head to look out of the window. The sky was pitch black but the city was still shining brightly. At least a big part of the city. There were still corners, which remained dark and people really should avoid those places. I didn't know how but I started to wonder what this mysterious thief was doing at the moment. It was still not clear what he was intending to do with those documents and test results of an invention which didn't continue. A chuckle dragged me out of my thoughts and I turned my gaze only to see Honey holding her phone in her hand. I considered nothing good...

»Did you... - Did you just take a picture?« I didn't speak loud since I didn't want to wake Hikari up and glared at her with dead serious eyes. But she was only unimpressed and pulled her shoulders into a shrug.

»I couldn't resist. You two are just too cute.« She smiled innocently at me. I only sighed deeply to this.

»Delete it. You know that I don't like it if you are taking pictures of me without my knowledge.«

»Aww, come on, Hiro. It's such a nice picture.«, she just replied and her mobile disappeared into her pocket. I shook my head about this and turned to the window again. I was only glad that Honey was no person who used such pictures as blackmail.


After there was not much traffic we were much faster than earlier and I noticed that it wasn't far anymore.

»Kari? Hey, Kari. Wake up.« I shook her body carefully after I didn't want to startle her and I noticed how she was shifting, slowly waking up. She took her one hand away from me, which had rested at some time on me and rubbed her left eye with her first, yawning. She moved a bit up with her body and glared up at me, her brow furrowing.

»Are we there already?«, she asked, slowly getting fully awake.

»Almost. I would have let you sleep further but I need to get out then.«

»Oh. Sure. Uhm...when are we meeting up tomorrow? I have training after college but we can meet after I'm done.«

»Sounds good to me. You can leave your stuff at my place. Just come after your training to me. I'll be there.« I smiled at her which she replied and I noticed how we stopped. I looked out of the window only to see the café of my aunt, meanwhile, everything was dark but on the first floor, there was still light burning. So, Aunt Cass was still awake. Hikari opened the belt and handed it over to me so that I could get rid of it as well and I opened the door to get out. She scooted over to the empty place in the meantime. »Alright, guys. See you tom-...« But I didn't get further.

»Hold on a sec.«, GoGo interrupted me and turned the volume of the radio louder. Where earlier music had been playing a female voice was being heard:

»The police just mentioned that there was a robbery in the fifth street. A shop with some certain kind of chemicals was the target. The police can tell that there are no dangerous substances, which are missing but there is still the question if this robbery was done by the mysterious Mr. Burakku, though the evidence is not clear to this time. The police officers are working hard on this case to solve it. Please stay cautious if you notice something suspicious and inform the police department.«

I exchanged a glare with the others, we all knowing what this meant. We needed to get to this shop. Urgently.

»Uhm...Hikari? Would it be a problem if I leave you here and you walk home? I just remembered that we three have to go to Fred, preparing something very important.« The girl in question turned towards Wasabi after hearing his words and I could see that she was connecting the dots. I laughed.

»Guys. You don't have to be all mysterious. She knows it.« Now all eyes shot to me before they glared at Kari, all being confused.

»What...?«, Wasabi just managed to say, clearly not able to understand what I just said. Our new friend just chuckled.

»Of course, it is no problem to walk home. I'll manage this. I'm wishing you guys good luck.« She exited the car, leaving four dumbfounded people behind. I poked my head into the vehicle before closing the door.

»I will get myself and Baymax ready. You guys should go in advance. We will meet up at the crime scene.« They nodded and I shut the door, turning around towards the thirteen-year-old while the others drove off. »I will fly you home.« She pulled her brows together, looking puzzled at me.

»But...shouldn't you look that you get as fast as possible to the crime scene? I really can walk, this is no problem for me.« I only waved off to her words.

»Don't worry. I'm faster as the others since I'm flying. And GoGo always says I should not do any solo stunts so I would just arrive at the same time as them. Now come before the neighbors get suspicious.« I turned to head the garage, she following me after sighing in defeat. I opened the gate and ordered her to take her seat on a chair while I was intending to get Baymax down. He was still in my bedroom. I walked the stairs up to our apartment, my aunt sitting on the couch watching TV. Unfortunately, she wasn't that focused and heard me coming. She turned around, glaring at me.

»Oh, you are back? And? How was your evening? Is Hikari with you? Does she need a ride home?« I sighed in the inside. Why couldn't she be just focused on the TV show?

»The evening was great. It was a lot of fun. She got a ride home already. I'm...really sorry but I really have to look something up, regarding Baymax after I won't have much time tomorrow since I have to work further on my project. We talk tomorrow, okay?« I hoped she wouldn't ask further and just let me be and really! She just smiled at me.

»Alright. Don't work too long.« And with that, she turned back around to continue with watching TV. I quickly walked the stairs up, activating Baymax. Before he could say his long sentence I cut in.

»Hold it. We need to get prepared. There was a new robbery.« The white robot just blinked and followed me downstairs – finally, Aunt Cass being distracted enough to not notice us –, heading the garage. Hikari was still sitting on the chair, glaring at some of my tools. I remembered that she hadn't been here before. She looked up seeing us.

»Hello, Hikari.«, Baymax greeted her with a wave of his hand and she offered him one of her heart melting smiles.

»Hello Baymax, it's nice to see you.« She rose up and walked towards us. »Shall I help you? I think you are quite in a hurry.«

»Indeed, you could. Please help Baymax to get his armor on while I'm getting mine on. This would be a great help.« She nodded and looked then around before facing me again.

»I would if you tell me where his armor is.« I signed over to a closet where I was always hiding the hero stuff inside. Baymax stuff was so big that it required an own one.

»It's in there. You need to type a password to unlock it. Not that Aunt Cass would find our things by accident. The password is two-six-eight-four.«

»Okay. Come Baymax.« She walked then over to the locker, the white robot following her and she typed the password into the lock. In the meantime, I was walking to my closet, opening the doors with the same password and got my stuff out, disappearing behind a folding screen to get changed. I could hear the girl talk. »Is it possible for you to only deflate your arms? It would be much easier to get those pieces on you with less air in your body.«

»Sure. Just a moment.« And this annoying sound of air leaving his body filled the room. But luckily not for long. I was done with getting my things on and when I stepped back to them I saw that she was almost done.

»Hey, that was quick. I had taken ages to get him ready the first time.« I helped her with putting the middle part on but instead of getting the ladder – like usual – I folded my hands, holding them out towards her. She was already holding the robot's helmet. »Step with one foot on my hands. I'll lift you up so that you can place the helmet on Baymax's head.« Kari did like I said and I lifted her up – she was lighter than I thought she would be – and she steadied herself with one hand on Baymax before taking her hand carefully away to place the helmet over his head.

»If you dare to glare beneath my skirt I will hit you.«, she said then while taking her hands slowly away from the helmet, always trying to keep her balance. I lowered her then again, she placed her free foot on the ground before taking the other one back, standing properly on the floor again. I had to grin because of her comment.

»I would never dare it to take a glimpse under your skirt! What are you thinking of me?« I mocked to be shocked.

»I am thinking that you are a fourteen-year-old teenager in the middle of puberty. Everything can happen in this state!« She grinned at me as well, obviously joking along with me.

»There she is right. I already mentioned a few times earlier that you will experience a few new urges while becoming a fully grown man. A few of them had already been visible, especially while Hi-...« I noticed what he was about to say and quickly interrupted, blood rushing up to my face.

»I think we have talked enough for now. We still need to get to this crime scene. Are we ready?« I looked from Baymax to Hikari then back to Baymax.

»My thrusters are ready.«, he stated then, me sighing in relief that he wasn't going on with his explanation. In exchange, my project partner chuckled.

»Now I understand this urge and frustration about this file for him. This must be awful.« I turned towards her.

»You have no idea how awful. But come. Let's get you home before I head off.« She nodded and left the garage then. I picked my helmet up and left together with Baymax the building as well.


~Hikari's PoV~

The flight didn't take long and I wasn't that afraid anymore of falling down so I could fully enjoy it. I had said to Hiro that he should land a little bit further away from my house so that Mary wouldn't see Baymax and that I could use the front door to get in. Like the last time, Hiro was getting first down and helped me to get down as well.

»Thank you. For taking me home.«, I said then, scratching my right arm. Now, parting from him caused that I got worried that something could happen to him and the others.

»No problem.«, he replied, we both not sure what to do next. »Well then...« I didn't let him talk further and embraced him instead, holding him close.

»Be careful, hear you? I want to continue with our project tomorrow and I don't want to do it alone. Okay?« I noticed that he replied my hug and his torso trembled, indicating that he was laughing silently.

»Are you afraid to do all the work by yourself?«, he asked me then and I hit his back, not really hurting him thanks to the armor he was wearing.

»I'm serious, Hiro.« Though I meant what I was saying I had to grin, what must have been audible because another rumble went through his body.

»I know, I know. I'll be careful.« I let then go from him, knowing that he was in a hurry. I glared then at Baymax, looking seriously at him.

»Please watch out that he stays safe, alright?«

»I will make sure that no harm happens to Hiro.« I smiled thankfully to his respond before lying my sight the last time on my partner.

»I'll head then off. See you tomorrow.« His expression was an optimistic one and though I really didn't feel like staying behind while hoping that he'd be okay I nodded.

»Better for you. If not, then you are in some major trouble.« He chuckled and waved off, turning around to climb on his friend, waving a last time at me before ordering the robot to fly off. I watched how they disappeared and sighed then, walking along the road to reach my home. With quick steps I followed the stairs up, unlocking the door with my key and got inside. »I'm at home!«, I called loudly while closing the door and got out of my shoes, walking over to the living room, seeing Mary sitting on the couch, crocheting on whatever she is doing at the moment. When she saw me she smiled.

»Hi, sweety. How was the bowling? Was it fun?« I had written to her that I was staying away for longer since she had freaked out the last time and she had been totally excited about my plans. She didn't even notice how nervous I was.

»Bowling was great. I'm not the best but in the end, I managed a strike what brought Hiro, Fred and me a free dinner.« I smiled at the memory and though it had been an honest one it still didn't touch my eyes.

»Sounds nice.«

»Before I forget. Tomorrow after training I will be at Hiro's place again to continue with the project.«

»Okay. Good to know. Let me know if you are coming for supper then.« She looked down at her hook and wool and continued with her work.

»I will. I'm heading upstairs if you need me.« I turned around to exit the living room and headed then the staircase to reach the upper floor, entering my room as soon as I reached it. I walked immediately to my radio after shutting the door and dropping my backpack and searched for a channel, where I knew that brought the current news when they were available.

»Hey, Hikari. What's up?« I heard Tadashi say but I was too concentrated on finding that channel to answer him. That alarmed him of course. »Is something off?« Finally, I found it but there was just a lady talking about some stuff which didn't interest me. I walked towards my bed and placed myself on it, glaring at the radio. »Hikari?«

»There was a robbery in the fifth street in a chemical shop. And Big Hero 6 went there to check the place.« I looked to my right where Tadashi was standing, seeming to be worried.

»With other words...«

»Hiro and the others are there. Yes.« Something was sparkling in his eyes but it was gone too fast for me to notice it really.

»And you are worried?« He took his seat beside me and didn't take his sight of my features. Nor did I.

»Of course I am! That boy can't even defend himself! And I don't know much about the others but they don't seem to have any skills as well!« I was thinking about Honey and Fred. And even Wasabi. With GoGo, I wasn't so sure because she had a tough appearance. But Hiro clearly didn't and without Baymax he was being in a bad position in a fight. »They said that the person was gone already but this doesn't mean that he wouldn't linger around there, probably having a weapon with him. I don't even want to think further!«

»Hikari, calm down. I'm sure they know what they are doing. They don't do this for the first time, you know?« I looked back at him after I had lowered my gaze, relaxing a bit. He was right. And after all...Baymax was there as well, ready to render first aid.

»I know...it's just. They are my friends and I worry. I mean...you know that I can defend myself and are still worried about me.« To this, he didn't answer right away.

»Well, yes. Because I still see a small girl in front of me and no fighting machine. I can't even imagine you being at a bot-fight.« I smiled a little at this, before I gave my attention to the radio again, the smile on my lips fading immediately. I pulled my legs up to my body, wrapping my arms around them to hold them close and placed my chin on my knees. I was just hoping that they would be safe.


~Tadashi's PoV~

I watched Hikari sitting upon her bed not moving one bit while she was having her eyes fixated on the radio. At some time she had bitten on her thumb, a habit I have noticed she did when she was worried or nervous. She was probably both at the moment. I had to say that I understood her. Though she didn't know of course. I was worried as well after all not only my friends but also my little brother were on the hunt after a guy about whom nothing was known. Even his intentions weren't clear. It was only clear that he was after something related to SnowElectronic Industries. And this fact endangered also Hikari and her family. I really hope that this mysterious Mr. Burakku was found really soon. I was currently leaning against her desk my eyes on the radio where some music was playing. Since almost two hours we were being like this and still, there weren't any news. I checked the clock and noticed that it was quite late. I placed my eyes upon my friend, who was at the end with her nerves.

»Maybe you should go to bed. You seem like you could need some rest and tomorrow you have to get up early.«, I suggested and immediately her eyes shot towards me.

»What? No! I can't go to bed now! Not as long as I don't know what is with them!« I sighed at her answer, not being very happy with this.

»It could be that there is nothing special to talk about. I'm sure that the radio would have said something if something had happened. In fact, this is a good sign.« I tried an assuring smile but she didn't seem to be very convinced. But then she sighed and released her legs, getting up. She had to stretch her limbs, they were probably all sore because of sitting in the same position for hours.

»That's a point...I only hope I can fall asleep. I'm totally exhilarated...« Hikari walked then to her closet to get changed and left afterward to reach her bathroom, brushing her teeth.

»Just lay down and close your eyes. I'm sure you'll fall asleep soon enough.«, I called loudly after no one would hear me. She finished with brushing her teeth and returned then, getting into her bed. But before this, she had turned the radio off. She shut then the light down, complete darkness was surrounding us. I noticed that she was lying in bed, not moving one bit. »You have to close your eyes to fall asleep, Hikari...«

»I know. But I'm wide awake. It's difficult to fall asleep if you are wide awake.« The girl sighed and curled then up into a ball, trying to get as comfortable as possible. I decided to get her on other thoughts.

»I heard you went bowling? How was it?« Her body shifted and she sat herself up, leaning her back against the backrest of her bed. I stepped closer.

»It was great. I'm not very good in this but Hiro was awesome! Almost every throw he had done had been a strike. And I don't want to start with Wasabi. It was difficult but we managed to beat Wasabi, GoGo and Honey.« The smile was audible in her voice and she chuckled. »You should have seen their faces when I had thrown that last strike.« I knew very well how my friends would be looking like when they were more than surprised that's why I laughed along with her.

»I imagine. Well, I'm glad you had a nice evening.«

»Yeah, me too. It's nice to have some friends. Not that you aren't enough but it is still kind of different.« I wasn't offended by her comment after it was true. I was not able to do things with her like living persons could do, though I tried my best to be a good friend. She laid back down and I stayed then silent in order to allow her to fall asleep. She might feel wide awake but that was only because of the adrenaline in her circulation. As soon as this would be gone then she would feel more than exhausted. And I was right since she didn't move anymore, her breathing becoming steadier and slower.


~Hiro's PoV~

»Nothing. Not one hint if Mr. Burakku is for this robbery responsible...«, GoGo stated when we met up at the beginning of the shop where the counter was. I sighed deeply. This whole case started to annoy me. Not only that we hadn't one idea who this Mr. Burakku was, we still didn't know what his intentions were. Especially, why SnowElectronic Industries? The only things we knew was what kind of chemicals the thief had stolen but what his or her plans with these were we didn't know.

»I will analyze what you can do with the missing substances. But for this, I'm in need of my lab.« Honey looked at us and I nodded to this. I was only glad that the press wasn't here. I didn't know what I should tell them if they were.

»I'd say we go home and consider further if this robbery is related to our case when Honey knows more.«, I suggested and everyone agreed to this. We all left the building and walked up to the police chief. »We are leaving now. We didn't find anything either.« The man turned around to us.

»Okay. Thank you for taking a look.« His gray mustache was wiggling while he was talking to us.

»No need to.« I climbed on Baymax and the others ran off as well, we following them. At some point, we stopped only to get everyone on our robotic friend. Wasabi had said earlier since he had parked his car at Fred's house he would drive Honey and GoGo home. So we would be heading Fred's home and it was quite a way to it. While Baymax had his grasp on the males, the girls were sitting together with me on him.

»You still haven't told us what Hikari said to you before leaving and not to forget how she had found out.« GoGo's glare turned to me. For a short moment, I was looking at her before I placed my sight ahead again. Earlier this night, when I had met them at the crime scene and we entered the shop she had asked me this as well. But there I could fob her off with searching for clues so that I could avoid to answer it. But like it seemed she hadn't forgotten yet.

»She found out through the TV, I think. She didn't tell me how but I'm sure we had been on the news and after she is not stupid she probably counted one and one together.«

»And what did she say after we dropped you guys off?« I sighed. Why did she need to ask me about every detail? At least she wouldn't start with teasing me.

»She said that we should be careful. And that I'd better return to college again because then I would be in some major trouble.« My last comment caused the small woman to laugh shaking her head.

»I like this girl, have I ever said it?« I smiled at this. I was glad that they all approved my – or better our – new friend. They would have liked her probably earlier than me if they would have gotten the chance to talk with her before I had the chance to. Or better got over my pride. During our talk, I hadn't noticed that we have arrived our destination and Baymax landed like usual, GoGo and Honey jumped down while Wasabi was letting carefully go from the robot's arm, probably still being afraid of falling down. Also, Fred had let go of our friend's arm.

»Are we leaving again, Hiro?« Baymax turned his head so that he could look at me who was still on his back.

»Yes, we are heading off. See you guys tomorrow at the lab.« They all said their goodbyes to me and after this, we flew off into the night sky heading my home.


It didn't take long until we arrived at our home and after I didn't feel like walking I just ordered Baymax to land right in front of the garage. Aunt Cass should be sleeping anyway. I quickly opened the gate and entered, the robot following me. Meanwhile, I was walking inside I was taking my helmet off, placing it upon one of the desks of mine. I turned then around to Baymax to get rid of his armor. It was silent while I was working on him and I was glad about this little peace after he was talking way too much about things lately, which I didn't want to talk about. One piece after the other disappeared into the closet, locking it as soon as everything was inside and Baymax was his cuddly self again. But instead of getting rid of my own armor I took my mobile out of one of my pockets, scrolling through my contacts.

»You should look that you get into bed and sleep. A night of healthy sleep is the key to a healthy life.«, he stated out of the sudden, walking up to me.

»I want to call Kari to let her know that I'm alright.«, I responded without taking my eyes off the screen.

»Hikari is probably asleep already, disturbing her sleep might cause some aftermaths on her mood and health. I'd suggest waiting until tomorrow to call her or to text her to check if she is still awake. Then you can call her without any trouble.« I glared up at him only to see that he had his finger risen, something he always did while explaining. I sighed.

»Alright. I'll write her a message then. Not that she has some mood swings tomorrow. I'm sure this won't be healthy for me.« I decided that I would write to her as soon as I was changed and lying in my bed. Not that she was indeed awake and I got distracted. I went quickly to my closet behind the folding screen and got my clothes from earlier out, starting to peel off my armor from my body and hid it then in the closet, locking it. I stepped then out of my hiding place, signing Baymax to follow me and silently – well...as silent as this robot could be – we went up to the apartment. And I had been right. Aunt Cass was asleep already. As quiet as possible we were following the second staircase up to reach my bedroom. It didn't take long until we arrived and I walked fast to my real closet to get my pajamas out, changing for the second time within a few minutes. After I was done – including brushing my teeth – I went to my bed to get underneath my covers, having my cell in my hand and was already ready to write my friend when my gaze landed on Baymax. I decided that it might be better without his comments about me and puberty and he needed to charge anyway. »I'm satisfied with my care.« And immediately he walked towards the other side of the room, deflating when he had stepped into the red charging box. I sighed in relief and looked at my phone. Maybe it was better if I would call her. Not that she was still worrying and would be upset with me tomorrow morning. Without thinking further I looked through my contacts, finding her number and clicked it, holding the phone to my ear, waiting for her to pick the call up.


~Hikari's PoV~

Buzz. Buzz. Buzz.

I stirred, hearing the vibrating noise of my mobile and I wondered if it was already time to get up. But then I remembered that I didn't have my regular classes today and I didn't even think about to get up now. I turned around to my other side. But something was different. The buzzing noise didn't stop and I noticed that someone was calling me. I turned then back around, opening my eyes and saw the time on my alarm clock. Three o'clock in the morning...who called at this time? I grabbed my phone, not paying attention to the screen to see who was calling and just picked the call, holding the item to my ear.

»Hello?« My voice was still sleepy after I had been actually sleeping already. But I woke immediately completely up when I heard the voice at the other end.

»Hey, Kari. Did I wake you up?« Hiro's voice reached my ear and I sat upright in my bed, Tadashi looking at me in a questioning manner from across the room, sitting in my armchair.

»Hiro!«, I exclaimed, feeling how relief washed through me. Hearing his voice confirmed that he was alright. »No, I'm awake. At least now.« I noticed how my friend relaxed in his chair, probably getting now that I was talking on the phone and not suffering on a nightmare.

»I hope you are not mad. I was not sure if you are going to be offended because I woke you up. But I thought you might want to know that I'm okay and gained no injuries. So you'll still have to work with me.« The grin in his voice was audible just like I would see him in front of me. I chuckled.

»That was very wise. I would have been upset if you wouldn't let me know.« Another laugh shook my shoulders. But then I got all serious, looking at my blanket which was covering me. »Have you found what you were searching for?« A sigh reached my eardrums what indicated me that they didn't.

»No, unfortunately not. We wanted to find out if this Mr. Burakku is behind of this robbery. It's getting slowly frustrating that we don't know what he is planning. All we know for sure is that it has something to do with SnowElectronic Industries.« I paused. He didn't have any good nor bad news. But it wasn't what he said, what made me silent. It was this undertone he had while speaking.

»This seems to bother you a lot.«

»Of course it does. First of all, I don't like it if anyone plays with us like this. But more important...he can become a threat to you and your father if he doesn't find what he is looking for. And after we don't know anything about him it is difficult to say if he is dangerous or not. I don't want that you get harmed...« That was...sweet. I felt how my expression softened and a little smile graced my lips.

»I'll be fine, Hiro. Please don't forget that I'm able to defend myself and my father has practiced Karate in his youth. We will be okay. But thanks for worrying, though.«

»No big deal. I'm worried about my friends, especially after the death of my brother...« Again silence fell between us. Right. I totally forgot that he had lost his brother...

»I understand. If something suspicious happens I will let you know.« I hoped this calmed him what it indeed did.

»Thanks. But anyway. When will you head to the lab tomorrow?« He sounded much more cheerful while asking me this and I had to say that I was glad about this topic change. I looked at my alarm clock to check the time again.

»Uhm...I think around ten maybe. I think I will get up at nine.« I leaned back to get into my former position, shifting a bit to get comfortable again. »When have you planned to appear there?«

»I think around ten as well. I still have a lot of things to get done. And I want to make some progress in this file of Baymax.«

»Shall I take a look at your file? Maybe I can see where the problem is in the coding?«, I suggested, offering my help. For a brief moment, he was quiet.

»If you want to. But you don't have to if you have enough to do by yourself, though.«

»Don't worry. I'll just check what is wrong. This is no big deal, really.« I smiled, hoping to assure him with this.

»Thank you, Kari.« I could hear him smile now. Again silence fell for a moment but it wasn't that kind of an awkward silence, it was a pleasant one.

»Thanks again for calling me. I'm feeling a lot better since I know you guys are safe and sound. But I think we should sleep now.« I yawned, covering my lips with the backside of my hand.

»Oh, yes. It's already after three o'clock in the morning. See you tomorrow at the lab then.«

»Sure, until tomorrow.« Hiro hung up and I took my cell off of my ear, glaring for a short while at it. I placed it then on my bedside table, lying down again.

»So, they are alright?« Tadashi's voice reached me and another yawn left my lips.

»Yeah, luckily. At least I will sleep well now.« A soft chuckle from him reached me, hearing my sleepy answer.

»Good night, Hikari.« Another yawn interrupted me before I had even the chance to answer.

»Good night, Tadashi.«

Chapter Text

Chapter 11 - Revelation

 

~Hiro's PoV~

I was stepping the stairs down, being quite tired since I hadn't slept that much while Baymax was following me to reach the lowest floor. I still needed to inform Aunt Cass that Hikari would be coming with me today. After arriving the café I headed the counter, my aunt just turning around to me.

»Oh, Hiro. I didn't think to see you that early downstairs. Heading for the lab?« She picked a paper bag up and handed it over to me, me packing my lunch quickly into my bag.

»Uhm, yes. I promised Kari to come around ten to the lab. She wanted to help me with something so I should see that I'm on time.« She pulled one eyebrow up, having that strange expression. I was confused.

»So, you are having nicknames already?« She chuckled but I only rolled my eyes.

»Yes. But I'm not the first one since Fred started to call her 'Snow White' since actually...ever. So this means nothing.« Instead of being defeated she only chuckled and nodded towards the door.

»Then you should see that you don't keep her waiting and go. Go to your princess.« Her last comment caused that my face flushed immediately and my body stiffened.

»Aunt Cass!« She just laughed waving off.

»I'm just joking. But you should really see that you are going.« I just sighed and was about to turn around when I remembered why I actually wanted to speak with her.

»Before I forget. She is coming over this evening so that we can continue with our project. We'll be in my room, though. I know how busy Thursdays can get.« Her features softened and also the smile on her lips lost its mischief.

»Alright, thanks for telling. I will prepare some more dinner then. And this time I'll drive her home.« I replied the smile she offered me.

»Thanks! Okay, I'm heading off! See you later, Aunt Cass.« I turned around and walked to the front door, leaving the building. I went the stairs down, hearing this typical noise of vinyl rubbing against each other, indicating that Baymax had followed me. I was surprised that he didn't say anything during my talk with Aunt Cass but I didn't ask further and just pretended that nothing happened. I checked the time on my cell phone before it disappeared in my pocket. »We should see that we hurry. I really don't feel like upsetting Hikari.«

»Then we should see that we take the fastest way, which would be in this direction since the shortest way is troubled with some traffic, also for passengers.« The white robot turned left pointing in the direction where I had to cross a park. Normally, this way would take longer since the way was a little bit longer, avoiding the center of the city but the traffic made it difficult to cross the road. So, I decided to trust the robot, walking off.

»Thanks, bud!« We quickly followed the road, crossing the street to reach the park to walk through it. After a while, we finally arrived the college and I entered quickly the building while Baymax was still wobbling behind me.

»Good morning, Hiro!« I turned to the voice which had called after me and saw Honey waving at me. I stepped closer to her, stopping when I was close enough.

»Good morning, Honey. You are here already?«, I asked and she nodded.

»Yes, I have to get a few things done. Fred will come later, GoGo is still asleep as well and I think Wasabi should be here soon.« She adjusted her pink glasses, which she was wearing.

»Have you seen Kari already?«

»Oh yes! She came to the same time like me. We talked for a little while before she headed off to her lab. She said I should tell you that her door is open, you can come inside as soon as you are here.« I smiled thankfully at her.

»Thanks, Honey. Come Baymax.« I turned around, signing my robot to come with me, heading off to the door.

»Until later for lunch!« I heard the blonde female call after me and I turned a bit around, showing her my raised thumb indicating her that I had understood. I left then the main lab, approaching the door of mine to leave Baymax there. I unlocked the door just to open it, stepping aside so that he could enter.

»Stay here. I will be right back.« And with this I made my way out, closing the door after my friend had entered and walked to the next door, knocking before entering. I opened the door then a bit to look inside only to see Hikari working at her computer, typing some codes into it. When she heard me she gazed at me, a smile brightening her face. My heartbeat increased.

»Hey, Hiro. Honey told you that I'm here?« I got entirely inside and shut the door behind me and walked up to her, returning her smile.

»Yeah, she did. Since when are you here?« I hid my hands in the pockets of my blue hoodie. She leaned a little bit back to have a better look at her clock which was hanging above the exit, counting backward.

»About an hour. I managed to get up earlier and Mary drove me. So, I'm quite early. I'll just write the code done, then we can go to your lab and I take a look at your file, okay?« She cocked her head a bit to the side while her black eyes were resting on me. I pulled my shoulders into a soft shrug.

»Sure, I'm fine with this. After all, you don't have to take a look at my file.« She waved off at this, her smile not leaving her lips.

»I said I would and I keep my word. I'll be done in a second.« She turned then around to her screen and I stepped closer to have a better look as well, trying to read out of the codes what she was wanting that her chip would do. »I'm trying to make the use easier. It's not planned that you are getting a headache if you are using this chip for too long. That's why it is important to make it as easy as possible.«

»And do you make any progress?« I tore my eyes away from the screen and laid my sight on the girl beside me, she did the same so that our eyes met. I still thought that it was astounding how dark her eyes were and I needed to concentrate on not getting distracted by her black orbs with the long black lashes... - focus Hiro! She nodded one time.

»Yes, surprisingly I do. I didn't think that it would go that fast, especially since the beginning had taken quite a time.«

»I wished I could say the same about the file for Baymax. I'm stuck.« She chuckled, what caused a grin on my face.

»We will see if we find the problem today. I'll try my best.« She put her attention back to the code she had been writing, continuing with ending it. It didn't take long until she saved the file, leaning back against the backrest of her office chair. She moved then the direction of the chair completely to me. »I'm done. I will test it later if it is working. Otherwise, I would need another hour to check and compare the results with the ones before.« She pushed herself off of her seat and looked expecting at me. »I'm ready now. Let's go.« I straightened my back as well and together we left her lab only to walk to mine next to hers. I quickly entered, seeing that Baymax was patiently waiting. I stepped aside so that Hikari could enter too and shut the door behind her.

»Hello Hikari.«, the robot greeted my friend and I turned around, heading my desk to turn the computer on, taking my seat on my office chair.

»Hi, Baymax. It's nice to see you.«, she greeted back and while the PC was booting up I laid my gaze on them.

»It's good to see that you are all fine.« I rolled my eyes at his respond but knew that he couldn't express that he was glad to see her.

»Oh, and thank you, by the way. For having an eye on him last night.« I saw how a kind smile graced the girl's lips. The honesty of her smile surprised me. Of course, I knew that she had been worried but that she had been that worried was unexpected.

»Of course. Hiro is my patient and I will always look after him to make sure his health isn't endangered.« The simper on her lips increased. I – on the other hand – placed my eyes quickly back on the screen of my computer, avoiding my body to react in its usual way. I clearly didn't want that Baymax got the glorious idea to scan me once again. While I was busy with typing my password into the machine and to open the file I noticed that Hikari had joined me, standing quite close to me in order to see something as well. As soon as the file was open I rolled a little bit to the side, my eyes meeting her features while she moved a little bit closer to have the monitor better in her sight, her black orbs flying over the codes I had been writing currently.

»Do you want to take a seat? I can stand after I'm not doing anything at the moment.« I noticed that she was bowing a bit down while reading through the document but she only shook her head without glaring at me.

»No, no. I'm fine.«, she just answered and I sighed shaking my head. She was always so stubborn. I rolled a little bit closer to her – and I didn't know from where I had this courage – and got hold on her hips, pulling her down on my lap, she making a surprised yelp.

»I think this is much more comfortable, don't you think?« Kari turned her torso around to me, slapping my shoulder.

»Don't startle me like this!« Her expression was serious and her eyes were digging into mine. I just laughed at her face, raising my hands in an apologizing manner.

»Sorry! It wasn't my intention to scare you. I just wanted that you were having it a little bit more comfortable. That's all.« She turned back around after shooting me an amused glare and got a hold on my mouse. I moved closer to my desk so that she wouldn't have to lean too much forward to work further on my file. Or better...trying to find out what the problem was...

»From what I can see this file is quite good. You don't have any mistakes in your equations and it's written pretty well...«, she stated while keeping looking through the file.

»At the moment I have the problem that it is working too good. Maybe there must be a bigger tolerance area for the information to slip through. Baymax should be allowed to name the treatment to me and those who are with me. Now, this file won't allow him to say anything.« I got a little bit closer to have a better look at my screen as well. She noticed my movement and looked at me, my brown eyes meeting her dark ones. For a brief moment, we kept the eye contact but we broke it again to continue with our work. We remained silent for a longer while, while she was calculating and checking the codes and equations. In the end, she sighed and dropped herself back, lying now completely on me. She noticed real fast what she had done and sat upright turning around towards me. Her cheeks were covered with a soft blush.

»Oh...Sorry! I totally forgot that you are actually my chair!« Hikari scratched the backside of her head, the embarrassment visible in her face. I only laughed.

»It's okay. After all, you had been sleeping in my arms already, so don't fret. It's cool.« A warm simper was playing on her lips but she sighed then again.

»Well...I didn't find the mistake. Everything is correct. Maybe you could change the tolerance area a bit, though I don't know if this wouldn't affect Baymax's quality with the scanning...« I nodded and sighed then too. I had to think of something else. The black haired girl remained on my lap and I had to say that I actually didn't want her to leave now, even though her lab was just next door.

»Do you need some help with something? I'd be glad to help you after you had helped me.« She shifted her body a bit, placing her legs to the side so that her feet were dangling down from the side of my chair. So she could have a better look at me. Luckily Honey was busy with her own project to come to check on me. I was sure that she wouldn't hesitate to take a picture now.

»Actually, everything is working fine. Like I said when you came to pick me up, I need to test the file, which I have written. So there is nothing at the moment you could do.« She shrugged.

»In fact, he is only looking for an excuse to spend some time with you.«, Baymax exclaimed from the corner of the room and I turned the office chair fast around, causing Kari to get a hold on me to prevent from falling down. I glared at him with deadly eyes but of course, he didn't know what this meant.

»Is it like this?« The female's voice reached my ear and when I looked at her I noticed that she was placing her gaze from the robot on me, a questioning expression on her face. Now it was me to get red out of embarrassment. »If you want to spend some time with me then you can come with me to my lab, watching how I am testing everything. Who knows? Maybe you are a help.« Her kind expression relaxed me and I realized that she didn't understand it the wrong way. For which I was very thankful.

»If I'm not bothering you. Then sure.« She beamed at me and got down off my lap, me in order getting up as well. I turned towards Baymax. »I will let you here but leave the door open. If something should be then we are not far away.« He only adjusted his cameras. I turned then around after locking my computer and followed Hikari out of my lab.


~Hikari's PoV~

We arrived my lab in less than a minute and after Hiro had entered I was closing the door. I walked up to my computer, taking the chip out of the slot to put it back into the ribbon so that I could test it.

»Oh. I totally forgot. My aunt invited you for dinner this evening and she'll drive you home.« I turned around when I heard his voice, meeting his gate. A ride back home? Sounded great. »If you stay longer I'll fly you home of course.« This was even more tempting. But there was only one problem.

»What do you want to tell your aunt when she wants to take me home? I'm sure the words 'Don't worry, I'll take her. Baymax is ready in just a second' won't please her.« I crossed my arms in front of my chest, pulling one eyebrow up. But the boy just shrugged.

»I will think of something. I only know that it might get later after you are having training today.« Oh, yes! He was right! I totally forgot about this. I clapped my face with my palm.

»Right...I guess I will have to go home before going to my training. I completely forgot to take my sports stuff with...« I dropped myself on my office chair. This meant I couldn't stay for too long in my lab today.

»When are you done?« Hiro stepped closer to me, leaning himself against my desk.

»At five-thirty. I'll be at your home probably after six. I hope this is not too late.« I bit my lower lip. We needed to get some work done.

»It'll be fine. I'm only thinking of what I should do while you are gone.« His brown orbs were darted at my face and I pursed my lips while thinking.

»How about tidying up your room? If your bedroom looks like your lab, then it really needs to get cleaned. Or...-«

»I understand. I'll see that my room is clean.« He rolled his eyes but his smile returned. »I'll pick you up, though. In which street is your school?«

»Sixth Avenue. You don't have to if you don't want to, though.«, I told him, being totally serious.

»No, no. I'll do it. Don't think that this would bother me. It doesn't. « I smiled at his offer. If someone would have told me that Hiro Hamada could be that sweet a week ago... I would have slapped some sense into him or her. But today he was and it wasn't that weird anymore.

»That's very sweet, thanks.« For a moment we kept the glare we were sharing but then I remembered that I needed to do some tests on my project. I turned towards a drawer of my desk, opening it and took the ribbon out to put the chip finally in place. I pulled the band over my head, adjusting it so that the chip was in the middle of my forehead, pulling my bangs out from between the cloth and my skin so that the connection wasn't disturbed. I got then the iron ball out, turning quickly around towards my project partner, throwing it at him. »Hiro, catch!«

»What?« He reacted to slow and the ball would have hit his face if I wouldn't have held in place a few inches apart of his nose. Of course, I knew that I would have caught this iron ball before it could have met him but I was glad that it had been that easy. The boy blinked at the ball before he looked right passed it to glare at me. »Hikari! This ball could have hit me! In the face!« I only chuckled about his face and kept the ball in place.

»I wouldn't have allowed it that you got hurt. I knew that I would be able to hold it.« I chuckled again at his face, he was only rolling his eyes to this. »Could you catch the ball, please? I'm trying to keep it in the air while putting my focus also on something different.« I watched him how he cupped his hands underneath the ball, being ready to catch it if it should drop.

»Alright. But, please warn me the next time. I really don't fancy a broken nose. Or hand. Or leg. Or anything else.« I grinned at him, raising my left hand while placing my right one over my heart.

»I promise I won't scare you with one of my inventions for research.«

»Hey! I was not scared. Only startled.«, he responded but I only rolled my eyes and turned around, grabbing a sheet of paper to note down my test results. After writing the date and the time down I started with listing everything. I spoke everything I wrote out loud, a habit of mine.

»The use of the chip was incredibly easy, could hold the ball back from crashing into the target in a blink of an eye. The target is unharmed.«

»Hey!« The boy exclaimed but I just ignored it.

»Has the ball moved since I'm doing my notes?« I didn't turn around while asking him this. I didn't want to spoil the result.

»No, it's still hovering above my hands.« I wrote his exact words down before asking him for a favor.

»Could you please try to take the ball out of the air?« I concentrated on the field I had created to not lose the contact to it, waiting for Hiro's conclusion.

»It's not moving one bit.«

»Thank you. Could you please do the same while I'm writing?« I had to admit that it was so much easier to make such tests with someone helping you. I wouldn't have been able to do those which required an assistant if Hiro wouldn't have been here. I concentrated then upon the sheet of paper, noting his former words down. »...not moving one bit while focusing on the electromagnetic field.« I was done with writing, still not facing my partner.

»It's still not moving.« I nodded and wrote also this result down, getting up from my chair, heading him and the ball.

»I want to try something different but this requires your approval. I'd like that you keep a good hold on the ball while I'm directing it to fly a little bit higher. Not much, only a bit. Is this okay?« I cocked my head a bit to the side, looking in a questioning manner at him.

»I'm in. I mean...I'm flying on Baymax, so I can handle a little bit hovering, don't I?« I beamed at him, glad that he approved.

»Sure! Okay. Hold on tight but try not to get your fingers on the top. Not that they get squished.« He did like I told him and as soon as he gave me the green light I navigated the ball upwards so that his feet left the ground. Of course, I just placed a new magnetic field above him but it would seem like guiding the ball. I kept the ball in the air before I lowered it again, Hiro taking his hands away from it. It stayed in the air.

»I have to say that the strength of the magnetism is quite impressing. Though I'm not that heavy.« A challenging spark shone in his eyes and I crossed my arms in front of my chest, glaring at him with the same expression.

»Are you implying that my invention won't manage to carry more than your weight?« I shifted some weight on my right foot, my eyebrows were raising. He only pulled his shoulders into a shrug.

»I didn't say anything. I just said that you have no proof that it is able to do so.« A smug grin appeared on his lips and I made a step closer to him, my black eyes glaring right into his brown ones.

»Alright, the bet is on. If I win, then you are owing me chocolate cupcakes. But you'll have to bake them by yourself and they have to taste good.«

»Okay. But if I win I can have one wish whatever I want, understood?« I groaned hearing his words.

»Really? You know that this is so cliché?«

»Are you afraid to lose?« He made a step closer to me, his grin widening. I felt my pride being threatened.

»Of course not! Okay, you'll get your wish, though this isn't going to happen.« Also, I made a step closer. Wouldn't the ball still be hovering between us, we would have stood even closer to each other.

»Then it is set. Your invention has to at least carry a thousand pounds. That's what Baymax can carry.« He held his hand out towards me and without thinking about it I grasped his hand, shaking it one time.

»But we'll have to do this at my place in the lab. We have different kind of weights, which won't break if something should fall down.« He nodded in agreement.

»The next time we are heading to your place for working on our project will be the deadline.« And after he had said this I released the ball of the magnetic field, catching it with one hand, while my eyes were still fixated on the boy in front of me.

»Now. Do you want to try it? I could use some test results of someone else using the chip.« I took the ribbon off of my head, holding it out towards him. The challenging glare had disappeared out of our faces, instead, a smile was playing on my lips and disbelief written on his features.

»Are you sure?« He slowly reached out to take the band out of my grasp and looked from it to me only to look back at the item. I laughed slightly.

»Sure, otherwise I wouldn't have made the offer.« He shrugged then softly and took the ribbon now in both hands, putting it over his head. I watched that it was being in the right position. »You have to place the chip in the middle. Yeah, like this.« I made a step back, my gaze still resting on him while he was adjusting everything so that it was fitting. When he was done he glared at me, blinking a few times.

»And what now?«

»Now...« I stretched my arm out towards him, opening my palm where the iron ball was resting in so that it was facing the ceiling. »...you will try to hover the ball for a while over my hand.«

»And how am I doing this?« I sighed. For a genius, he had sometimes difficulties with understanding.

»You have to create an electromagnetic field. All in all, it's not very different in comparison to your microbots, really.« His eyes wandered from my face to the ball in my hand, taking a deep breath. I slightly felt the ball moving in my hand and a smile graced my lips. »Yeah, just a little bit more power...« My voice was almost a whisper, being afraid to disturb his concentration. And then the ball started to fly above my palm, me taking my hand slowly back and walked closer to my friend. He turned his attention to me, still being able to keep the ball in the air.

»And what shall I do now?« His expression was more relaxed than the one before. I stepped now completely to his side, trying to find a good target which he could aim.

»Uhm...use the office chair as a target. And aim for the backrest. The ball should stick to it.« I pointed at my chair in which I had been sitting.

»It's the same target you have used while introducing your invention to me.«, he stated but I just rolled my eyes.

»We can use the window if you want to but then please the one in your lab. I really don't fancy a broken window.«

»Okay, okay. I understood. No shards. We can't risk being doomed for seven years!« He grinned cheekily at me and I shoved him slightly.

»Just glue the iron ball to the backrest of my chair already.« I chuckled though and Hiro glared back at the hovering item, seeming to concentrate. I leaned closer to him, my hand lying on his shoulder, whispering into his ear. »If you put your concentration more on the electromagnetic field, which should form itself on the chair it might be easier.« I watched him take a deep breath, doing as I said and instead of backing off I stayed that close, being way too curious if he would manage this. And just out of the sudden the ball moved straightly to the chair, sticking on the backrest of it. A bright grin was spreading itself over my face. »You did it! Congratulations!« I tore my sight away from the iron ball and laid it on the features of the male beside me. He was doing the same, looking at me. And just like this one time in my room, where we both were holding my picture in our hands we didn't look away, his brown eyes making it difficult for me to escape them. I noticed the words, which he wanted to say disappear out of his mind and he shut his mouth after the thought was gone. A clunk noise was able to be heard but no one of us moved to check from where it came from. But before we had the chance to do anything a knocking noise pulled me out of this trance and I looked quickly at the door, wondering who had knocked. »It's open!« The door opened and a blonde head was able to be seen in the gap, the female having her usually cheery expression on her face.

»Hey, you two. I hope I'm not disturbing.«, Honey asked and we both shook our heads.

»No, you aren't. What's the matter?«, I questioned in return seeing the iron ball lying not too far away from the door. So this must have been this clunk noise. Hiro had lost the concentration about it. I walked up to it to pick it up.

»I just wanted to ask you two if you want to get some lunch.« I checked the clock above my door and noticed that it indeed was time for lunch.

»Sure. We'll be ready in a second.«, I responded and laid my sight then on Hiro, who was taking the ribbon off of his head agreeing with me.

»Alright! We will wait in the main lab then.« And with that, she left again. I had to admit that I was glad that she hadn't asked anything about this situation. I really wouldn't have known how to explain this. I walked then towards Hiro, taking the band with the chip in my hand after he was handing it over to me and walked then over to my desk, putting both items away into the drawer. I reached then out for my backpack to get the paper bag with my lunch out.

»Could we quickly go into my lab to get my lunch out as well? It won't take long.« I approached him, stopping when I was at his side, rolling my eyes in a playful manner.

»Of course. Except, you are not hungry.« A cheeky grin appeared on my lips after his question had been totally unnecessary. Like I would say no. My grin had the effect that a grin appeared on his lips too, making a step closer.

»If you don't want to then I will have to take yours.« And with that he snitched my paper bag out of my grasp, looking that he got as much as space between us in a short amount of time.

»Hey! This is my food! Go and get your own!« I ran after him, locking the door quickly behind me and followed him the hallway down. By passing his door I noticed that he hadn't entered and a laughter at the end of the corridor confirmed my thought. I took up some speed and headed for the door, which would lead me into the main lab, seeing that he just opened it. Luckily, I got through it before the door closed itself and I jumped – after the boy was not far away anymore – reaching his back, throwing him down. He yelped before he met the ground and when he did he started laughing, me laughing along. Several eyes were fixated at us – I bet we looked hilarious, me sitting on his back laughing. I reached out for my paper bag after he had dropped it and straightened my back, not getting up from Hiro. »I think this is mine.«, I said to him, having calmed a bit, though I still kept on giggling.

»Are you two alright?«, GoGo asked when she had come closer to us, popping her gum. We both glared at her before I started explaining.

»This genius down here thought he could run off with my food for lunch. And I actually wanted to eat it by myself.« My eyes cast down together with the ones of my friends, glaring all at Hiro.

»She didn't want to come with me to my lab to grab mine. So, I just took the best opportunity. I'm hungry as well.« He tried his best to look at everyone but this wasn't that easy since I refused to get up. This sight caused a new wave of chuckles to escape my lips. It was just too good. Such a pity that I have left my mobile in my lab. »Can I get up now?« He shifted a bit – as good as possible – and looked at me, the cheeky grin returning on my lips.

»Actually, I think it is quite comfortable on here. I think I could stay like this for a while.« I moved my body a bit, pretending to find a more comfortable position, Fred was suppressing a chuckle – not very successfully. A sigh left the boy's lips before a grin appeared across his face and I saw how the mischief was sparkling in his brown orbs. This didn't mean anything good. He started to place his and my weight on his legs and arms, being on all four. Then, I noticed what he was intending to do. I quickly reached out to hold myself around his neck, trying to not strangle him.

»If you are going to make me fall, you'll be in some major trouble, Mr. Hamada!«, I warned him while he placed his feet on the floor, getting carefully up. I yelped and tightened my grip, holding myself tightly on him, my paper bag was clutched in my right hand. A rumble went through his body, indicating that he was silently laughing.

»It would be your own fault. I asked you to go down.« Now he was standing properly on both feet, which caused me to wrap my legs around his waist to have a better hold. Hiro turned his head and looked puzzled at me. »Not wanting to get down?« I shook my head.

»Nope. I just noticed what for an advantage this position is. I won't have to walk.« A mischievous smile was plastered on my lips. He was just shaking his head but seemed not to be bothered. Instead, he got hold on my legs to hold me on his back.

»Okay. But I will need to go back to my lab to get my lunch.«

»Don't worry. I will share with you and then we share yours later.« I offered him a warm simper which he returned.

»Are you then done?« We both glared at our friends. GoGo, who had been talking, was having an impatient expression on her face, while Honey seemed to try to hold back a giggle. Fred and Wasabi were just staring.

»Seems like it.«, Hiro answered, making a little jump so that I moved a little bit more up on his back. We started walking.


~Hiro's PoV~

We were heading the cafeteria, just leaving the building. Hikari was heavier than I have first thought but still light enough so that I could handle it. Though her weight wasn't the worst part. It seemed like my body had made it to his duty to react in a special way to her near with an increased heartbeat – I should have gotten used to this by now – and this awful anxious feeling, what somehow was good as well. I tried my best to ignore it what wasn't easy when her chin was resting on my shoulder while her thighs were clenched tightly to my form. And I really didn't want to start of how her scent was affecting me.

»You know...you could steal my food more often if this is the result.«, she stated, turning her face towards me while I did the same, her black eyes were staring right into my brown ones. I tried to focus on my answer.

»I think that I won't steal it then again. If a piggyback ride is the result then I think it will better if I leave it.« I was happy that my voice was strong and nothing of my nervousness was lying in it.

»Why is that?" She sounded devastated though I knew that it wasn't serious. She was only playing.

»Because it is me, who is carrying you. You don't have to carry some extra weight.« She just snorted.

»Oh come on. I'm not that heavy. And I think it is fun.« From the corner of my eye, I could see how she was watching me. I rolled my eyes.

»Of course. You aren't doing anything.« Hikari chuckled. »And nevertheless you should feel honored that I'm giving you a piggyback ride. I'm not doing this for everyone, you know?« I glanced quickly over at her and I felt her grip tightening, my heart making a jump.

»And you can bet that I am. At least, I am thankful, otherwise, I wouldn't share my lunch with you.« That was a point. After I had been slower than the others with Hikari on my back they had been walking in the front, already looking for a free table for us. It was difficult for a big group like us to find a suiting table, especially since we had grown. I entered the cafeteria, several eyes glaring at me and the girl and I hoped that we would find the others fast. I felt slightly uncomfortable at all their looks. »They are over there!« Her arm passed my face and I followed it to see Honey Lemon, Fred, GoGo, and Wasabi taking their seats at a table. Quickly – well, as quick as possible – I was approaching them.

»Hey! You guys made it!«, Fred exclaimed when we arrived and I turned myself so that Kari could get down upon a chair, which Wasabi had pulled back. Carefully she got down, me losing some weight but also the warmth of her body.

»I wouldn't have thought he would make it the whole way.« GoGo popped her gum, glaring at me. I pulled one of my eyebrows up.

»What are you implying? That I'm weak?« Hikari got down and took her seat, placing her paper bag on the table while I pulled the remaining chair beside her back, sitting down as well.

»A little bit maybe. But hey, you made it.« I shrugged it off and a half of a sandwich appeared in my sight, me being first confused. But then I checked from where it came from and saw Kari's face.

»I promised you the half of my lunch, remember?« Oh yeah! That was right.

»Thank you!« I took the sandwich out of her grasp, taking a bite.

»You're welcome. You have carried me to the cafeteria, so it's fine.« A smile graced her lips, which I had to return automatically.


Some time had passed and I was sitting in my lab, working on the file, thinking of a better solution. Kari was right. If I would change the tolerance area then it could affect the quality of Baymax's scan and I didn't want to risk this. But it was necessary for him to keep silent as long until he was allowed to say his result to third persons. Though in other situations it could be quite important that he was able to say them out loud without the patient's permission. It could be that the person would not be able to give it and this scan result could be important for hospitals to react faster to save his or her life. This was tougher than I first thought that it would be...I sighed and rubbed my temples with both of my index and middle fingers. This file was frustrating.

»I detect a sound of distress. Can I help in any kind of way?« I turned myself around to face Baymax who was standing behind me. I just smiled tiredly at him.

»No. Everything is fine. This file is just annoying me. I don't know how to solve it.« And not to forget this headache which started to form itself.

»Maybe a break will do just fine on you.« He made a few steps closer, adjusting his cameras. Another sigh left my lips. A break sounded wonderful. I checked the clock.

»A break sounds great and it's anyways time to leave now. We promised Kari to pick her up at her training and we need to walk.« It was almost five and until we finally left the campus it might be after it. And we needed about thirty minutes to reach the place at which she was training. Hikari had left the lab already at three after she had needed to get her stuff from at home. I turned the computer off, picked my backpack up and walked out of my lab waiting for Baymax to leave as well and locked the door then. I was just about to cross the main lab when I heard a voice speaking up.

»Hey, Hiro! Where are you heading?« I glared up and saw Fred standing at my side, being dressed in his mascot uniform.

»I'm meeting up with Kari to continue our project.«, I answered heading the door to leave this room.

»Oh, alright. Tell Snow hi from me. But...what is with...you know. Our task to find Mr. Burakku.« He had lowered his voice so that other students wouldn't understand. He had a point but we didn't know where to look for this guy. He was just like a shadow.

»I'd say you guys contact me if you should hear something. I'm at home anyways, so I could leave if necessary.« The comic fan nodded to this.

»Okay, I'll tell the others. I wish you both much fun while working. See you then, Hiro!« And with this, he left, probably going to one of our friends to talk to them. I continued then my way to leave this building.


~Hikari's PoV~

»Okay. You are all allowed to leave.« Sifu Wang placed his right fist into his left palm, bowing slightly in front of us while we all did the same to say our goodbyes. The people left then and I walked up to my trainer and friend.

»Sifu Wang? I just wanted to let you know that my friends will join on Sunday and that they are coming with tomorrow to check out some older outfits.« The elder man turned around to me and a smile appeared on his lips.

»Alright. I'll let Lien know. I'm sure she will be excited about the guests who might come. Thank you for telling me.« The smile was still visible on his lips which I returned and I made the same move like before where we had said our goodbyes, heading then the girl's dressing room. I quickly got changed since I needed to hurry so that Hiro and I could continue with our project. Luckily today hadn't been a tiring lesson otherwise, I would have to take a shower. But there was someone new today and I was the one to train with him. And since he needed to learn the movements first I was doing everything at a very slow pace. I picked my backpack up and headed the exit, leaving the building when I already saw a certain boy with a mop of messy black hair. When he spotted me a bright, toothy grin appeared on his lips, me returning it on cue.

»Hey, Kari!«, he greeted me as soon as I have arrived him after walking the stairs down.

»Hello.« Also, Baymax made a waving motion, which caused my lips to curl even more.

»Hi, thanks for picking me up. You didn't need to, though.« We started heading the street to reach the Lucky Cat Café where we would continue with our project. Hiro just waved off.

»No problem. It really was no bother.« I rose one eyebrow.

»My training is in a completely different direction. You just could have gone home, waiting for me there. It's not like it was on your way home.« My words didn't impress him and he pulled his shoulders into a soft shrug.

»It's really okay. I wouldn't have done it if it would have bothered me. Relax.« I sighed, accepting his words and relaxed. The smile returned to my face.

»Okay but therefore I will somehow pay it back. Whenever you need something from me or want something you'll get it.« A surprised expression marked his features and it took a moment until he answered to this.

»Are you serious? Like any wish?« Now a wide grin was able to be seen and I rolled my eyes. It seemed like I needed to clarify my offer.

»Of course only things I can do. And nothing stupid.«

»Of course.«, he confirmed my words but this cheeky grin was still visible.

»Good. If not, Baymax behind us had witnessed everything and I'm sure it is saved on his chip, isn't it like that?« At my last few words, I turned around, walking backward to glare at the white robot.

»Sure. I will help to clarify everything if my help is required.« I grinned brightly.

»Awesome! Thanks!« I turned back around since I didn't feel like bumping into people or poles. »And? Any progress with the file?« I remembered that he had still been working on it after I left for training. He shook his head.

»No. Nothing. You were right. If I change something in the tolerance section then it could affect the quality of the scanning. And I don't want to mess with this. It is very difficult.« I pursed my lips. This was indeed difficult.

»I will try and think of something. Maybe something will get into my mind.« I offered a warm smile, which got returned.

»Thank you. If two geniuses don't get an idea then I think no one will.« I chuckled, which increased his smile.

»As we are the only smart people around, Hiro.«

»Well...I just know you and me who have graduated at a young age.« That was a point. We arrived at the café which seemed to be very full today. »Poetry Night. Thursdays are always Poetry Night at the café. That's the reason why we are going upstairs to work further. But I have to warn you. I didn't make it home so it might not be that clean but it should do.« I just rolled my eyes at this but didn't lose my grin.

»I think it won't be that bad. I'm sure we will be able to work.« Together we walked the few stairs up, Hiro opening the door. Immediately some music was greeting us and of course the loud chatter we had heard from the outside. We all entered and I looked around, noticing how the customers were enjoying their time. »This looks like actual fun.« From the corner of my eye, I saw him turning his attention to me.

»It is. Well...when you are not alone of course. We could visit it someday if you want to.« Now I placed my gaze on him, excitement must be visible in my eyes.

»I'd love to! Maybe we could ask the others to join, too!« Together we made our way through the crowd, waving to Cass who was smiling at us from her counter before we disappeared into the back of the building. My project partner guided us the way upstairs, Baymax following me. I had to say that I was quite curious about how his house was looking like. I had never been to a friend's house before since I didn't have any so I was quite excited. We crossed the first floor.

»Here you will actually find the living room, the kitchen, and Aunt Cass' bedroom. If we call it a day early then we could sit a bit in the living room, watching some TV.« I allowed myself to look over this area, admitting that it was looking quite cozy. I glared then back at him.

»And where is your bedroom?«

»It is on the second floor. Come, I'll show you.« And with that the boy took the lead again, the robot and I were following him to the staircase. As soon as we arrived on the second floor we headed the open door, which would lead us to his room. As I walked inside I looked at everything closely. I didn't know what I had expected but I hadn't thought that it would look like this. In the back I saw a desk with a computer on it, above were shelves with robot figures resting on the wood. Beside his desk was his bed and the room seemed to go a little bit further around the edge of the wall. From the corner of my eye, I watched how Hiro was pushing some stuff to the side so that I wouldn't stumble over things lying on the floor.

»I have to say...I am surprised. I didn't have thought that your room would look like...this.« I let my eyes look one time around again before I met the gaze of him again, he just scratching the backside of his head.

»As long as it isn't in a negative way I'm fine with it.« We both grinned at each other before he turned around to Baymax. »You should charge, buddy. I am satisfied with my care.« And shortly after he had said the last sentence the robot took off, heading the red box, standing at the wall. He stepped inside and deflated. I hadn't seen before how he deactivated.

»So the phrase 'I am satisfied with my care' deactivates him?« I remembered that he had used it before to send his robot upstairs. Hiro turned around to me, nodding once.

»Yes. It is important to make sure that he is fully charged. I had once the problem that he was running out of battery...and it is no fun to get him home to charge while he is in that stage. You could compare it to someone who is drunk.« I tried to imagine myself a Baymax who is drunk and had to chuckle. This must be hilarious. »And not to forget it wouldn't be good during a mission. I really don't want to think what would happen when he runs out of battery while we are flying...« We both wrinkled our forehead at this. No. I really didn't want to know how this would be like. The black haired boy would fall deep.

»That's a good point. Not that you get injured.«

»The stuff from yesterday is resting on my desk. You could take it and spread it across the floor. I think there we are having the most space to work further. I'll get something to eat in the meantime. I think we both are hungry.« At the mention of food, my stomach started to growl what caused a laugh from my opposite. »I'll be right back.« And with that, he was heading the stairs to follow them down to the kitchen. At first, I was standing right at the spot I had been standing before. It was strange to be alone in his bedroom although he would be returning real soon. I stepped then deeper into the room, heading his desk to gather our project stuff together so that we could working further on it. I was standing right at the furniture, picking the papers up when I looked to my right, noticing that I was right with my thought that the room was bigger. I placed the papers back down on the wood and turned around looking at it. In fact, there wasn't much. A closet, shelves, a few boxes, and a seat cushion. There was one shelf standing at the wall which caught my attention. But not because it was pretty but because there was something resting on it. I turned then around to round Hiro's bed to not stumble over it and stepped slowly closer to the furniture in my vision. I stopped walking when I was standing right in front of it. It was actually nothing special. A vase with flowers, some candles were standing on top. And a picture. All in all a normal sight. But it was the picture itself what caused that I couldn't tear my sight from it. Slowly I was reaching out for it, my hands shaking while moving and my eyes grew wide. Unbelief was written in them. I picked the picture up bringing it closer to me. Familiar brown eyes were looking at me, a warm smile gracing his lips. A smile I just have seen this morning. This could not be true...it just couldn't...

»This is my brother Tadashi.« I was so caught up in my thoughts that I didn't notice Hiro returning to me but at the volume of his voice, he must be standing right behind me. »I told you about him. It was him who had created Baymax. I'm...trying to live up to him. He wanted to make the world a better place with helping the people. This is what I am trying to do as well.« I heard his words and I understood the context of the sentences. I wanted to part my lips to reply something to it but all I was thinking of was that Tadashi was Hiro's brother. Tadashi was Hiro's brother. Tadashi was Hiro's brother! It felt like an eternity passed until something like life was moving inside of me. I turned around towards my project partner meeting his gaze. Something in my face caused his relaxed expression to alter and his brow wrinkled. I knew I should try and watch my face but...I just couldn't. This information hit me like a lightning bolt and I really had no idea how to cope with it. I felt how my chest got tight, breathing was slowly getting more difficult. Before my opposite could even question what was wrong with me I handed him the picture over. I needed to escape this situation as fast as possible. Not that I was about to do something very stupid what could ruin what I finally received. A friendship.

»Uhm...I just remembered that I have forgotten something at my training place. I will leave quickly and get it. You can start with the project in the meantime. I won't be gone for too long.«, I hurried to say. My words only caused confusion in the brown eyes of Hiro, clearly not understanding my words. But before he could even question my statement I had already walked around him and headed for the staircase. In my hurry, I left the bag with my training stuff, including my mobile upstairs. I felt how he was watching how I walked fast the stairs down, heading for the exit. I wouldn't dare to go through the café. Even though it was busy today I was almost sure if Cass should lay her eyes on me she would catch me in a discussion. And I was at the moment not able to talk to someone properly. Especially no one related to Tadashi. As soon as I was outside of the building I took a deep breath, feeling how moist the air was. It felt like it would rain real soon but honestly? I didn't care very much. I walked across the street, heading a random direction, not sure where I was actually going. I passed people, vehicles and other things but without actually seeing them. My mind tried to proceed with what I just found out. Tadashi was Hiro's brother. I was able to see the ghost of his deceased brother. I saw the ghost of my friend's brother. When those thoughts struck my mind my feet started to hurry without me giving them the order to do so. The environment passed by as a whirl of lights, me stumbling almost a few times over my own feet since I lost the sense of feeling the ground. Running. I figured that I was running in the meantime and I stopped to catch my breath, my hand resting on my chest while my black orbs were cast down on the ground. Grass. I was standing on grass. I looked then up, seeing that I was standing in the middle of a playground. I must have walked to the nearby park. I was completely alone since most kids were at home by now. I glared around, making a few steps back while turning around, trying to ignore the fact that I was starting to feel dizzy. The former mantra was still making its turns in my head.

»Tadashi Hamada! I know that you can hear me!«, I called then out, my eyes searching for his presence. And there. It didn't take long for him to appear. I was just turning to my right when I saw how his body materialized – as far as a ghost could materialize – in front of me. There was something like repentance in his eyes. Now when I was looking into them I noticed how similar they were to Hiro's. How could I have been that stupid?

»So you know it.« His calm voice reached my ears but it didn't calm me. Not in the slightest. I felt how I got angry but because of what I was not sure. Not yet.

»What have you thought would happen when I'm at his place? Your place? You knew that I was spending my time with him and didn't think it might be important to let me know who he is?« I was staring directly at him, his face getting even guiltier.

»I...thought it would be better for you. I didn't want that you will have to feel like helping me. I...just did what I thought was the best for you.« I felt how I was slowly tearing up, it was slowly dawning on me why I was feeling so angry.

»But it should have been clear that I would discover it as soon as I am at his...yours! What do you think how I should cope now with this situation? I can't look into Hiro's face with the knowledge that I know his big brother...and telling him would only destroy the little friendship we just started to develop...« At this I dropped down to my knees, my sight now resting on the moist grass below me. The first time in my life I had something like a friend. Someone I thought was sharing the same thoughts. Someone I thought who could be my friend. But I knew that telling him the truth about my ability and that I was seeing his beloved brother would only cause to turn him against me again. And this time with a good reason. The tight feeling in my chest increased and I had to take deep and slow breaths to prevent a panic attack. I didn't want to lose my friendship with Hiro. But I couldn't keep silent. Not when it was his brother I was seeing.

»You don't know if it destroys your friendship.« I only shook my head at his words. Of course, I was sure.

»There can only be two scenarios. The first one, I won't tell him and he will eventually find out. Even if he is going to believe me, he would be mad why I haven't told him earlier. That I haven't told him that I was seeing his brother. And this was it with our friendship. The second one, I will tell him that I am able to see and talk to you and he doesn't believe me. He would be so mad and angry to mock him with his loss of his beloved brother that he won't want to talk with me anymore. And worse...he would be seeing nothing else in me as a freak...a stupid, insensitive little brat of a girl who dares to mess with his feelings...« I shifted my weight and pulled my knees up to my chest, resting my chin on them. My eyes were aimed at nothing in particular. I just...glared. For a moment silence was resting between us.

»You have forgotten one scenario. The third one. You will tell him and he believes you.« His voice was close to me. He must be sitting beside me now.

»This won't happen. I know this.«

»You can't know. Maybe he will. He...-« But I didn't allow him to end his sentence and my head snapped over to him, my dark orbs piercing his features.

»He is a scientist! Of course, he will doubt it!« My voice had risen but I let out a deep breath, turning my head back straight on, lowering it while my eyes closed. »I would doubt this as well if it wasn't me who is being able to see the souls of the deceased people. I wouldn't believe myself so why should he?«

»You just have to need some faith. I know him and it is clear that he likes you. He won't give up a friendship.« A bitter smile formed itself on my lips when I heard his words.

»This is not the same as telling him my darkest secret of having done illegal things in my past. This would be easier to believe than the fact that I have a supernatural ability which can't be proven by science! I remember very well how the people back in school had treated me because of this! I...I don't want to lose him as a friend when our friendship just has begun. I don't want that he turns his back on me...« I buried my face in the gap of my elbow, feeling how the tears which had welled up were spilling over and my shoulders started to tremble. That the air got colder I didn't notice.

»Hikari...« Tadashi's voice was nothing more than a whisper. I knew that he wanted to help me but...there was no helping me. He couldn't do anything...

»I would like to be alone now. I...have to figure out what to do...« Also, my voice was only a whisper but I knew that he would understand me pretty well.

»If you need me. Call me.« After those words it was silent. I looked up and glared at my right. But where before my friend had been sitting was only air. I still felt the hot streams of my tears trailing down my cheek so it didn't bother me when the first raindrop fell, landing on the top of my head.


~Hiro's PoV~

I was currently sitting on the ground, spreading the papers we had been writing our notes on out while the laptop was resting a little bit further away from me. I had been preparing everything so that we could continue with our project. The food I had gotten was already cold and was waiting on my desk to be finally eaten. I would probably need to warm it up again. I turned my head a bit to take a look at my clock noticing that it was already seven-thirty. Some time had passed since Hikari had left for getting whatever she had forgotten in her training place. But somehow...I didn't get rid of the feeling that something was off. She had been acting strange since I had returned to my room, having her found with Tadashi's picture in her hands. First I have thought that she was feeling sorry and sad after seeing my brother but this didn't explain why she fled. I had tried to reach her already but I figured that she had left her mobile here, the sports bag beside the door had started to vibrate. I sighed. What was wrong? A dropping noise pulled me out of my thoughts and I turned to look at the window. Water drops were gracing the pain and more joined them. Rain...it started to rain. I shut the laptop, shoving the papers aside and picked the item up only to place it on my desk before I stepped closer to the window opening it up. I held my hand out, water now dropping on my fingers. It seemed like it would get stronger. I pulled my arm back and looked out, trying to see something in the distance. But there was no sign of Hikari. I pursed my lips. She was probably outside without an umbrella. I wasn't having one either but at least I had my hoodie. The decision was quickly made. I would go and look for her. It couldn't be that she was taking so long to return. I quickly made my way downstairs and headed the front door to exit this house. As soon as I had left I pulled the hood deeply over my head. I had been right. The rain got worse. I started to head the direction which would lead me to the building in which my friend was having her training.

Splish. Splash.

Since the rain had gotten worse the people of San Fransokyo had decided to stay within their buildings. Only a few cars passing by.

Splish. Splash.

My feet were making that splashing noise while I was walking at a fast pace along the sidewalk in order to meet Hikari halfway. More water came from the sky and I felt how I got soaked in it. And the darkness compared with all that rain didn't make it easy for me to see something properly. I arrived at the park at which I had to turn right to reach my destination but something caught my attention. Instead of following the way I had been heading to I entered the park, walking directly to the playground which was on sunny days filled with little children. The soft ground beneath my shoes was even softer and I had to be careful to not slip and break me something. In such cases, it was always good to have Baymax with you. I turned around and placed my attention on the swings when I saw what I had seen before. A slim figure was sitting with the back to me on one of two swings, slightly moving back and forth. I sighed in relief.

»Hikari...«, I breathed out but either she didn't hear me or didn't react with purpose. I quickly walked up to her, stepping around the empty swing and took my seat on it, my eyes never leaving her form. She was totally soaked, water was dripping from her bangs and she was clearly freezing. But all she did was staring at something or nothing, not even flinching when I was reaching out to touch her shoulder. »Kari?« This time my voice was louder so that she was able to hear me. But again she didn't respond in any kind of way. She was just...zoomed out. I needed to get her back to my room so that she could get warmed up again. Not that she would catch the flu or worse. Pneumonia. »Come. Let's get back. I will make you a hot chocolate.« I got up out of the seat of the swing and walked in front of her, taking her hands away from the chains, pulling her up. Her hands were as cold as ice. She must have been in the rain since it had begun. I quickly opened the zipper of my hoodie and got out of it, draping it over her shoulders, covering her head with the hood. It was not dry anymore but at least then she would be a little bit more protected from the rain. I wrapped one arm around her middle and drew her close to me in hope that the little bit of warmth that I was still carrying with me would affect her.

Luckily it hadn't taken long until we arrived at my home and I brought her immediately upstairs to my room, planting her on my bed. The whole way back she hadn't said one word and had even avoided my glare, although she had allowed me to hold her close to my body. I quickly went to the bathroom next door and grabbed a towel with which she could dry her hair and returned then back to her to hand it over. She had just managed to peel herself out of my hoodie and got the Alice band out of the hair.

»Here. Use this. I don't want that you are getting sick.« For the first time, she looked up at me, big black eyes meeting mine before her gaze dropped down on the cozy item I was carrying. She took it out of my grasp, starting to dry her hair which was dripping with water. I turned around and headed my closet. She had to get out of those wet clothes. I opened the doors to the furniture and was quickly looking through my t-shirts, pulling a dark blue one out which I thought would fit her and a black pair of jogging pants followed. I walked then over to a commode and pulled the drawer open to get out some fleecy socks, which I liked to wear when it was cold outside. I walked then back over to the girl. She lifted her gaze when my shadow covered her. »You can get changed into those clothes. I will head down to the kitchen and make us some hot chocolate.« I placed the clothes beside her on the mattress and headed then the door. But not without stopping at Baymax's charging station. »Ow.« The familiar beeping noise and the following noise of air inflating reached my ears and in less than a second the white robot was standing in front of me.

»Hello. I am Baymax, your personal healthcare companion. How can I help you, Hiro?« He cocked his head a bit to the side while his cameras were fixating me. I nodded towards Hikari.

»Hikari is freezing. Please take care that she is warmed up, alright?« I didn't have to ask him twice. He was turning around already, wobbling directly to our friend. Meanwhile, I was walking out of my room to reach the lower floor. But instead of stopping in the kitchen I decided to head the café. Chatter was filling the air as soon as I arrived at my destination and I looked over the crowd in order to find my aunt.

»Hiro, what's wrong? Needs Hikari a lift home, I could...-« I turned towards Aunt Cass and interrupted her before she could talk further.

»No, no. In fact, Hikari and I just returned from outside and she is totally soaked and her clothes need to get washed. Would it be okay if she spends the night here?« A surprised glare was seen in my opposite's face and she blinked several times. We never had someone spent the night at our place since I never really had friends – the others excluded – and the house was too small for someone spending the night at ours so Tadashi didn't have someone over for the night either. But now we at least had some space.

»Uhm...sure. I don't want the poor child is getting sick. Make sure that she stays cuddled up and warm. I will prepare the guest bed then later.« And with the guest bed, she was speaking of an air mattress. A while ago we have moved Tadashi's bed to the basement. At first I had been against it but in the end, Aunt Cass had been right. This bed wasn't used anymore and I had then more space in the room. Now it would have been quite handy. »Oh, and leave her wet clothes in the hallway. I will take care of it.«

»Okay, thanks. I will go up and prepare some hot chocolate then.« I turned back around and headed this time for the kitchen to make two cups with the delicious brown liquid. I arrived and didn't hesitate to get to work, the drinks being fast ready since it was only pouring milk into two cups, putting them into the microwave and adding the cocoa powder. I even found some marshmallows in the drawer, which I dropped a few of them on the top of the hot chocolate. It was a while ago where I had been drinking some of this. Carefully and making sure to not spill anything by accident I was making my way upstairs again. As soon as I entered my room I saw that Kari wasn't longer sitting on my bed but standing in front of it, being all cuddled up in Baymax's arms, who had activated his heating device. I almost got jealous. I stopped in front of them, a grin was playing on my lips. »Like I see you are enjoying Baymax's heating device.« She opened one of her eyes to glare at me and I could see that at least a small smile was pulling one corner of her lips up. Finally, one real reaction since I found her. She pulled back from the robot who made a few steps backward and I handed her one cup of hot chocolate over, now a thankful smile being visible in her face.

»Thanks. Yes, it was very nice. I hadn't known how cold I was.« She moved the cup towards her red lips – luckily they were red again, before they had a strange purple shade – and drank a sip out of it. I took a closer look at her. My clothes were a little bit too big for her but everything was still nicely covered and her hair wasn't that wet like before. I had to admit that she was pretty in my clothes and that I liked it that she was wearing them. At this, I wouldn't have needed the hot beverage anymore. I felt hot from alone, my face was probably red. I quickly looked away from her, noticing the little heap of wet clothes beside my bed.

»It's okay. I don't want that you are catching a cold.«, I replied to her still avoiding her eyes.

»Hikari's body temperature is at average again, though I would recommend in staying warm and cuddled up. Just to prevent catching a cold.« I placed my attention on Baymax when he had started talking.

»Thanks a lot for your help, buddy.« I felt how my heart rate had calmed again and dared it to look at the girl in front of me. And now my questions from earlier returned, causing me to change my expression to a more serious one. »Hey...what was actually wrong? You just disappeared and then I find you sitting on a swing in a pouring rainfall. I was worried.« Also, her expression changed and I couldn't name it but several emotions were visible in her dark eyes. What remained in the end, surprised me, though. Fear was it that kept on sparkling in them. Now I started to really worry. I noticed that her hands began to shake while she was glaring at me, her lips were pressed tightly together. I was already concerned that she might drop the cup but before anything like this could happen she just took her seat on my bed again, the hot chocolate now resting in her lap. She was looking down at it. Without saying anything I approached her and sat down on my mattress right beside her, my brown orbs resting on her facial features. I watched how her shoulders got pulled up when she drew in some air before releasing it again. She lifted then her gaze back up, replying my glare. And still, this fear was visible in her eyes. About what was she afraid of?

»Before I say anything. Can you promise me something?« Her voice was very quiet but this didn't change the fact that a pleading tone was in it. I hadn't heard her talking like this before and it surprised me. It seemed to be so...desperate. And I noticed that I really didn't like it when she was sounding like this.

»Of course! No matter what.«, I hurried to say in hope that this fear would disappear but it didn't. I felt how the fear from her was creeping over to me, filling my body. She took another deep breath.

»Please. Whatever you are going to hear now. Let me end my story first and don't interrupt me. And...« She paused for a moment, her eyes looking at the marshmallows in her cup. But when she continued I could see my reflection in her orbs again. »...please don't judge. It is...not easy to tell this to anyone and I haven't except when I had been little and it turned out to be my greatest mistake. So...whatever happens. Please don't judge me in a wrong way. Okay?« I furrowed my brow. What was she going to tell me that she wanted to have such a promise? But after it seemed very important to her I nodded.

»Alright. I promise you that I will wait for any questions and interruptions until you are done with explaining. And I won't judge you for the words you are saying.« I hoped that I could give her a little bit of reassurance and that she didn't need to fear to tell me anything. She bit her lower lip, probably trying to figure out how to start. It was odd watching her like this. Without thinking about it I reached out and placed my hand on her thigh, causing her to look up at me. I tried a little smile to encourage her. »Hey...you know that I trust you, don't you?« Now it was on her to give me a nod. I was already very curious about what she was about to tell me.

»Okay. But I have to start with the beginning...«, she started, her eyes casting directly to me.


~Hikari's PoV~

I hadn't known how long I had been sitting on that swing after I had gotten up from the ground. I only knew that at some time Hiro came and took me back to his place. Firstly, I was not sure if I should but as soon as he had dragged me close to his body in order to warm me a little bit I couldn't say something against it. And after he took care of me at his place I didn't want to go. But I knew that I would need to tell him. I couldn't spend my time with him with the knowledge I had achieved today. I knew it was a lame try to let him promise something that he wouldn't be able to keep in the end but I just...had to. Probably to reassure me. I had handed the cup of hot chocolate over to him and he placed his and mine on the floor next to his bed. I knew that I might drop it and I didn't want to make anything dirty. I was glaring at my hands, playing with my fingers while I tried to find a good start for what I was about to say.

»I...-« I sighed. No words wanted to leave my lips to start to explain to Hiro what was wrong.

»Breathe. Then it'll be easier.« I looked up at him when he had given me this advice and I would have groaned out loud. Even his advice was the same as the ones Tadashi always gave to me. I did like he said before I tried to start again.

»I...might not be as ordinary as I seem I am...« I kept my eyes on his face in order to see if something was changing in his mood and expression. But there was only confusion written on it before it disappeared again.

»I already figured that one out. I mean...I know no one in your age who can fight off men who are much taller than you.«, he started but I just shook my head.

»No, it isn't because of my Kung Fu skills. It's because of something different.« Now he grew curious and his mouth shut, looking at me. I could already feel how eager he was to know more. »I...have a strange ability since I was small. I really don't know when it started, it's just...there since I can remember. And it is not strange because it seems fascinating and odd at the same time. It is strange because it is an ability which normal people can't grasp. It...also can't be proven by science...« I paused so that he could proceed with what I have just told him. He seemed to be confused.

»How...what?« I signed him that I would explain further and he kept silent.

»What I am trying to say is...that I see things...others can't. In fact, I see...people.« This sounded odd even to me but I didn't know how to say it clearly. I couldn't get the word 'ghost' over my lips. For an endless second, nothing happened. But then the boy beside me jumped up and stepped in front of me, a serious glare was on his face. He rose both of his hands, palms showing to me.

»Wait, wait. Hold on a second. I know I promised I wouldn't interrupt but...are you trying to tell me that you are able to see...ghosts?« I knew he would be smart enough to understand my poorly chosen words. I pressed my lips tightly to a thin line while my eyes didn't leave his features. They didn't even blink. I nodded, more panic rising inside of me. Hiro ran his hand through his messy black hair, a habit I noticed he had.

»Yes. This is what I am trying to say...« My voice wasn't very loud and I expected that the moment I feared would already come before I had even the chance to tell him the actual worst part.

»Do you know how rid-...«, he started but didn't get very far.

»I can't find any evidence in my scan result that she is lying.« Baymax's voice was able to be heard and Hiro's head snapped over to him, his expression getting even more confused. I had totally forgotten that he still was activated.

»What?«

»That's not everything.«, I picked up again and my project partner placed his attention back on me instead of the robot. My heartbeat quickened and I felt again that breathing was getting more and more difficult. »I wouldn't have said anything if the circumstances wouldn't have forced me to. For about one or two months I met a ghost. He...promised me that he wouldn't tell me anything about his past in order to not tempt me to solve his problem to help him in reaching the light. In return, he was allowed to stay with me so that he was having someone to talk with. He was the only friend I had back then and it was nice to have his company. He helped me on many occasions. Without him, I wouldn't have made it to convince my father in finally letting me visit SFIT. I had no clue who he was until...until...I saw the picture on the shelf. Hiro I...« I couldn't. The sentence which I had prepared in my mind didn't want to be said. I couldn't say that I was able to see his brother. Tears were welling up in my eyes and I felt how difficult it got to hold them back. In the end, I couldn't and I noticed how the first one was making its way down my cheek while I couldn't look away from the person in front of me. Only from the corner of my eye, I noticed a movement on my right and that someone was sitting beside me. I knew Tadashi had come to help me out but I clearly didn't know how he should help me this time. Meanwhile, Hiro was putting the pieces together and I could read out of his face that all different kind of emotions were mixed up inside of him.

»You are saying that you can see my brother. My brother who had died a few months ago in a fire.« I noticed that he tried to control his voice, probably to not shout at me. I knew that he wouldn't believe. This would have been too easy. I lowered my gaze in fear to see something I didn't want to see and nodded.

»Yes. He is even here right at the moment.« I watched how I fiddled with my fingers.

»Do you know how...I mean...I can't even...« I lifted my gaze back up to meet his and only saw that he tried to proceed with what I had been telling him but it was not easy. And that his eyes were shimmering with tears.

»Believe it or not, knucklehead but I am here.« I turned to my right where Tadashi was sitting, looking at his brother while having a small grin on his lips. He looked then at me and nodded to Hiro's direction. I took a deep breath and placed my attention to the younger Hamada again.

»He just said that he is here.« But of course, nothing changed in the expression of him. I wished I could travel back in time and make this whole thing undone.

»No, no. Tell it to him with the same words I had used.« I looked at Tadashi again who's brown eyes were looking directly at me. Now it was on me to wrinkle my forehead in confusion.

»I don't understand...how shall this change anything?«

»Just do it. Believe me.« He sounded very calming and confident. Well...I couldn't make it any worse so I tried it again. I glared back at Hiro who seemed more than only confused.

»His exact words had been: Believe it or not, knucklehead but I am here.« Something in my words caused that it snapped in his mind and his eyes grew big moving them from me to the for him empty spot at my right before he gazed back at me.

»Wait. Did you just say 'knucklehead'?«, he asked me then, still this surprised expression on his face. I thought back before confirming it.

»Yes. That was what Tadashi had said before. Does it matter?« Instead of answering me right away he kept on looking at me, his eyes then shifting over to the spot at my right before he was placing them back on me.

»He...he always called me like that. How...I mean you couldn't know it.« The volume of his voice had lowered but I still could hear him perfectly. So that's why I should have repeated the exact words. Because of the nickname. Tadashi got up from the bed and walked over to Hiro standing now beside him. He didn't take his attention from his little brother.

»Now tell him the following thing.« And he began to explain what happened right before they discovered the burning showcase building. Hearing about it made that I felt very sorry for both of them. It should have been a day to remember as a victory. Now it was the death day of a beloved person. I was looking at the taller of them while he explained and as soon as he had ended I looked back at Hiro, bracing myself. My project partner was still having me in his vision.

»He just told me what had happened after you left the building after the showcase and parted from your aunt and the others. He wanted to talk with you in private. You were joking around with mocking his voice and saying that you should have been proud of yourself. But he only said that your zipper was open.« The boy seemed to remember about this, breathing deeply out just like he would indicate a laughing. »He welcomed you to 'nerd school' and you thanked him for not giving up on him. It was then when you heard the fire alarm and you both ran to the building. There you discovered that Robert Callaghan was still inside and...he left to run inside. His last words to you were: 'Callaghan is still in there. Someone has to help.' Hiro, I'm so sorry...« I got up from his bed and made a step towards him but halted then. I was not sure if he would allow me to get any closer to him since I just revealed my secret to him. He kept for a while the glare on me before he turned to his left where Tadashi was standing, looking up where his face was.

»I'm so sorry, Hiro. I...didn't want to leave you. I wanted to come back, I really did. But I ended up being stuck in this world between being doomed to watch you living your life without being able to be a part of it.« I heard the pain in Tadashi's voice while he was talking to his little brother and he rose his hand placing it on the messy hair of his. But of course, the smaller one couldn't feel it.

»He just said that he is very sorry and that he wanted to return to you. He didn't want to leave you behind.« My voice had calmed from before. Or at least it wasn't shaking anymore because of fear, though it was tight because of the tears I tried to hold back. I hadn't known how tragic the death of my friend had been, although deaths were in general tragic. Hiro kept his glare at his brother, he was seeming to try in seeing him. I brought up the courage to approach him now entirely and when I was taking his wrist in my hand he didn't flinch or fight it and allowed me to move it up towards Tadashi, resting it on his left upper arm. While I had been doing that I had moved my hand up to cover his, my fingertips crossing with his fingers to hold his hand in place. Of course, none of us could feel the other's presence. »He is right here.« The boy's gaze dropped down to our hands, looking a while at them ere he followed our arms, turning around in this process to look into my face. Meanwhile, he crossed our fingers entirely, holding my hand in a firm grip. Tadashi stepped aside so that his brother wouldn't stand right inside him. For a felt eternity we just remained like that, looking into each other's eyes. But then he pulled me close to him, releasing my hand only to wrap his arms around my waist to bring me even closer. I was quite surprised about this move and for a short moment, I just froze. But then I placed my arms around his neck to return the embrace. I noticed how he hid his face in my hair.

»Thank you.«, he whispered and I could only hear it because his lips were quite close to my ear.

»Does...does this mean you are believing me?« At the start of my sentence, I talked with normal audibility but I got quieter with each word until I was only whispering as well. I just felt him nodding. Now it was on me who couldn't believe it. Hiro Hamada was actually believing me that I was able to see his dead brother. I leaned a little bit back to look into his face to get a confirmation that he had really meant it. When I saw his face I noticed that tears had been streaming down his cheeks but he was wearing an honest smile. And this was confirmation enough for me. The tears I had been trying to hold back were brimming over and I drew him close to me again, laughing silently.

»I will let you two alone then. We still can talk another time but I see that you need some time alone.« I opened one eye just to see how Tadashi disappeared before I closed it again to enjoy this very moment. The first time in my life I found someone who was believing and trusting me with my greatest secret.


~Hiro's PoV~

Darkness was resting like a cover over my bedroom and only the moon from the outside was spending some light to at least see a bit from it. It must be around one o'clock already. My eyes were glaring up at the ceiling while I tried to fall asleep. But although the events of this evening had been tiring I was wide awake. After Hikari and I were done with embracing us tightly she told me that Tadashi had left so that we could talk. And we did. First, we had taken our plates and the cups with the hot chocolate down to the kitchen, warming our supper back up and while we had been eating I asked her a few questions. I had been very curious – and still was – and she tried to explain to me everything so that I would understand. I still couldn't grasp it really, though. Hikari Sunō was able to see ghosts. I always thought that something like this would only be in fairy tales. Stories that crazy people were telling. Tales you were telling to another at a campfire. I never assumed them to be true. So at first, I had really doubted her, although I had tried to believe her. Why should she lie? But...I just couldn't. And when she mentioned Tadashi I had felt something snap inside of me and I had tried to not get angry. How could she dare to say that she was able to see him? To talk with him? All the things I couldn't and for a joke this would have been a really bad one. However...then she called me by the nickname my brother used to call me when he was teasing me and that had been the first moment where I really considered that she was saying the truth. But then...someone of the others could have told her. I believed her entirely when she was recalling the last few moments I had spent together with Tadashi. And no one else could have known that since I hadn't said one word about what we had been talking about and what his last words had been to me. And after I knew that I hadn't told her she must have spoken to him. So this could only mean that she was indeed telling the truth. After we had finished our dinner I told Hikari that she would be spending the night here and she quickly called Mary to inform her and we went back upstairs. Our project stayed untouched. We had started talking and she explained to me how Tadashi had helped her to get into SFIT and how they had met. Light conversation since it seemed easier for her now to talk about it. Though I still had some questions, which I hadn't dared to ask and it had been those which kept me awake. Around eleven Aunt Cass had come upstairs to prepare the guest bed – like she called it – and took my friend's damp clothes downstairs to get them dry. Now I was lying in my bed while Hikari was lying on the air mattress and I tried to sleep. But to no avail. I sighed deeply before I pushed myself up, crawling to the edge of the mattress only to look at the form below me. I saw that her back was turned to me and she didn't move very much except her torso raising and sinking due to breathing.

»Kari?« My whispering seemed like shouting in the room of silence. »Kari are you still awake?« I waited if she would move but she remained still. For a moment I thought that she was already sleeping when she turned on her back, moving her head so that her eyes were meeting mine. The black color of them seemed to be much more intense.

»Yes, I can't sleep. And like it seems you can't either.«, she whispered back and I was relieved that I hadn't woken her up. I smiled and shook my head.

»No, I can't. My mind is still occupied with today's evening events.« She returned my smile as far as I could see.

»The same with me.« For a brief moment, we both just stayed silent while looking at each other.

»Hey, uhm...can I ask you a few more questions? I know I asked a lot but...my mind just won't shut up.« She chuckled at my pick of words and she pushed herself up, her body moving uncontrollably due to the air in the mattress.

»I noticed. But sure. It is nice to be able to talk about this.« My grin widened at her answer and I was relieved that she didn't mind. But then my brow furrowed. Sitting on that mattress didn't seem to be very comfortable.

»Then come up to me. Your bed doesn't look like a good place to be sitting on for very long. Grab your blanket and join me. I have plenty of space.« She nodded and did like I said, getting up from the air mattress, picking her blanket and her pillow up. She made then her way to my left, me crawling back to the other end of my bed, scooting a little bit closer towards my desk so that she would have some space to sit. She placed her pillow beside mine and sat then down on my bed, covering her body with her blanket and leaned her form against the wall behind us. I did the same.

»Alright. What do you want to know?« She turned her head towards me, her attention now totally resting on my features. I pressed my lips together, thinking of what of the many questions should be the first one to ask. I figured that it might be better to choose the one which was less difficult.

»So, you haven't told anyone about this ability, yet? How have you managed to not...explode?« I knew that it would have been hard for me to keep silent. I kept my eyes on her features and I watched how she opened her mouth to answer but shut it again. Seemed it was a little bit more difficult than I first have thought.

»Well...I decided real quickly that it was wise to keep silent. I know that Mary only get worried and my father...he wouldn't understand at all. He is a complete scientist and believes only in the things he can prove. And how I've managed it to not explode? This was easy since I had told some of my classmates about my 'imaginary friend' as Mary called it. I was four at this point.« I noticed that she was coming close to the other questions I had in my mind. I remembered pretty well how she had said 'her greatest mistake'. I was curious about what happened.

»And I assume after you said that this was a great mistake that they didn't take it very well?« I watched how her eyes got a sad expression before she gave me a nod. I could clearly see that it wasn't easy for her to talk about. »I...I'm sorry. Maybe I shouldn't have...-« But she cut in.

»No, no. It's okay. Actually, it feels good to talk with you about it. It makes that I don't feel so...alone anymore.« She offered me a little but honest smile, although it didn't touch her eyes. She took a deep breath. »My school years have been the toughest in my entire life. Well...the life I had experienced, yet. Before visiting it I didn't see a problem in seeing people others couldn't. Mary always said I was having a great imagination and would even greet my 'imaginary friends'. I started early with visiting the primary school and at the beginning, everything seemed normal. Let's just say things changed as soon as they got aware of my invisible friends. Some of them had already started bullying me because of my young age and the high IQ level I was having. But then everyone started avoiding me. This I could have bought but the bullies got even worse and people who hadn't cared about me and my age before joined it until basically the whole school was pointing their fingers at me. I started to skip classes, learning in advance, in hope that if I might get into some higher classes that those bullies stopped. But there was no avail. Talk spread quite quickly among children and some were having older siblings and so on and on. I think you know where this is headed to.« Now I was the one to give a nod. Every school she was visiting was already aware of her skill. There had been no escaping.

»Hikari, I...really don't know what to say...what...what did they do to you?« I was not sure if this question was maybe too much and that she would snap. But she didn't look angry at me, more tortured by the memories which she was probably experiencing at the moment. I felt bad for bringing this up. She drew in some air before answering.

»The usual stuff, I'd say. Pushing me around, throwing stuff at me, for example, food or mud. But I could have coped with the physical harm. It still wouldn't have been nice but in comparison to other things it didn't hurt that much. The worst thing had been the names.« She glared down at her hands, her fingers being interwoven with each other.

»Names? You mean like nicknames?« She gulped at my question. Her fingers were free again but now they were gripping the blanket tightly.

»Yeah, all different kind of names. But there was one which was actually the worst. And at some time they just called me like that since they have noticed that it was working on me.« I felt the urge to ask her which name and I was very curious about it. But then when I saw the look on her face I wasn't that sure anymore. Hurt was visible in her eyes and I could see that she had to endure a lot when she had been small. And I knew how she must have felt since I got bullied as well during my school time. I dared to ask.

»And...the one was...? You don't have to tell me if you don't want to, though.« The last sentence I hurried to say since I didn't want that she felt like she had to. She just offered me a sad smile.

»It's okay. I...« She drew in a deep breath, her chest rising and lowering slowly then again when she was breathing out. For a moment she watched her hands before she met my gaze. »The name I kept during my school time was 'Freak'. In their eyes, I was one. Seeing and talking to things they couldn't see...of course they thought I was one. I couldn't blame them for this thought...there were times I thought it by myself as well...« My eyes widened. Freak. I remembered how I said this word just last week. And I remembered the pain I saw in her eyes and how superior I had been feeling to have hit her. Now I was feeling more than horrible.

»I...Hikari...I...« Words, which were formed as a sentence in my mind didn't want to leave my tongue. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't disgusted by my previous behavior. I had judged her without knowing her and hurt her a lot as it seemed. She must have read out of my brown orbs what I was thinking and the sad smile got kinder. She reached out and placed one hand on mine.

»It's okay. I know you didn't know what you were actually saying. I don't blame you for any distress.« Her words didn't help.

»How can you say this? I was so mean to you! I behaved like a jerk in front of you and this without knowing you! And why? Only because I was jealous!« I pulled my hand away from underneath hers, looking at her. »It is clear to see that I had opened some old wounds. I...I was so stupid and I am sorry...« My head dropped and I closed my eyes. I had to watch out to not raise my voice too much. I wouldn't be very fond of the idea of Aunt Cass coming into my bedroom only to check what was wrong with me. For a while it was silent and no one of us was moving. But then I felt a hand on my cheek, lifting my face back up and turning around so that I had to face the girl again, her second hand was quickly placed on my other cheek. I opened my eyes again only to meet the pitch black ones of hers and though it seemed to be nothing in there than darkness I somehow felt something moving inside of them. I couldn't escape her glare.

»Listen. I know your words have been mean and rude. And yes, they have hurt a lot when you have said them. But I forgave you on the day when we became friends. And I know now for sure that you don't think that I am just a freak. You are believing me and this is more than I can ask for. I would have never thought to meet someone who would do so. And that you are is just...more than overwhelming. And...it makes me happy to share this with someone.« She smiled at me and it was that kind of smile what always caused my body to react in so many different ways. My heartbeat got faster, this strange warm feeling spreading itself through my body and I couldn't take my sight from her. And the fact that I had to reply to this gesture with my own smile. Things I should be used to by now but were still weird to me. She placed her arms then around my neck in order to embrace me, something I welcomed with returning the hug and like earlier I hid my face in her hair. It was a nice feeling to hold her in my arms and it slowly dawned me that I was learning step by step who Hikari Sunō really was.

Chapter Text

Chapter 12 - Upgrades In Style

 

~Hiro's PoV~

It was quiet. This was the first thing I noticed. It was quiet and peaceful. My breathing was calm and my mind wasn't racing. The first time in days, I was finally able to rest without anything that bothered me. No nightmare. No thoughts about catching an evil person as fast as possible. There were only me, the silence and the peaceful atmosphere I was experiencing. I felt how I was slowly leaving sleep and how my senses were all coming back to life. And then I felt it.

There was some more weight than usual on my left shoulder and not to forget weight leaving and returning on my left side. As I slowly got to the surface of my consciousness I noticed that there was a lot more weight on me like I first thought. I opened my eyes and turned my head to the left only to see ahead with long black hair resting on my shoulder. At first... I was confused. I was only glad that I didn't jump at this sight because I wasn't used to sharing my bed with someone. I tried to recall what had happened the previous night and remembered that Hikari had joined me on my bed so that we could continue with talking. And like it seemed we both fell asleep during it. I couldn't even tell what had been the last thing we had been talking about...

I watched her face, taking a closer look. I remembered the first time I had taken a closer look at her, back when we still had our differences. I had been so shocked by my own thoughts that I had looked fast away again to distract me. I hadn't wanted to picture Hikari Sunō like this. But there was no doubting it. She was pretty. The long black lashes were throwing shadows on her pale skin while they were caressing her cheeks. It was a pity that I was not able to see her black eyes since they always seem to catch me. But then...it was probably better that she wasn't awake. No idea what she would be thinking about me when she saw me watching her like this. Her red lips were slightly agape die to breathing and while looking at them I felt my how my cheeks started to burn and how nervous I was getting.

I looked away, wondering about and trying to ignore this feeling. The sound of plates taken out of a cupboard and placed on a table pulled me out of my thoughts and I glared at the door. It was shut. A quick check on the clock told me that there was still plenty of time before college would start. Luckily. Carefully and without making a noise I was trying to get my body out from underneath Hikari, hoping that I wouldn't wake her with this. She stirred and moved before she got a hold on my pillow, falling back to sleep without noticing that I had even moved. Silently, I swung my legs over the edge of my bed and placed my feet on the floor, getting up. I sneaked silently to my door to leave my room.

In the hallway, the previous noise was even louder. I stepped the stairs down stopping at the end and watched my aunt how she was preparing breakfast. She turned around and saw me, a smile gracing her lips.

»Good morning, honey.« I needed a second to collect my thoughts before I proceeded with walking to the table.

»Morning.«, I replied and took my seat on the chair I was always sitting on and I saw how a cup of hot chocolate got placed in front of me.

»Hikari's still asleep?« I lifted my gaze to look at her, nodding. Something about her smile caused that I got suspicious.

»Yeah... She is still sleeping. I thought that I would let her sleep for a little longer before waking her up. She seemed to be exhausted yesterday.« That grin didn't leave her lips and I started to get anxious. Why was she grinning at me like that?

»That's good. I have placed a basket with fresh clothes into your room, her clothes are dry now and lying on top.« I picked my cup with the hot beverage up and nodded about her statement. It wasn't rare that Aunt Cass would place a basket full of clothes into my room while I was sleeping. I was just about to drink a sip when I connected the dots. She was in my room while I was sleeping...

I almost dropped the cup in my hands and spilled a bit from the chocolate milk when I finally understood the meaning of her grin and I jumped up when the hot drink met my skin. I almost spilled more. Of course, she started laughing.

»You were in my room?«, I exclaimed, stating the obvious. She chuckled even more.

»Of course. How else should I place a basket in your bedroom? So, the guest bed was completely unnecessary.« I felt how my cheeks were starting to burn, my hands were clenched together into tight fists. Could this situation get even more uncomfortable?

»What was completely unnecessary?« I turned when I heard a familiar voice and I saw how Hikari came down the stairs, wearing her usual smile. And the idiot I was I had to return this gesture. Aunt Cass was chuckling again.

»Nothing you need to worry about, sweety. Good morning. You just came in time.« It was clear that she was meaning in time for breakfast but she was also on time to save me from this conversation. That was if my beloved aunt wouldn't start with it again... »How have you slept?« And there it was. The tiny side blow about the fact that she had been sleeping beside me.

Hikari joined me at the table and pulled her chair back to sit down and the older woman placed a cup of hot chocolate in front of her, too.

»Very good. Thank you again for allowing me to stay the night.« I didn't know if my friend was sensing the hidden message behind the words of the brunette but if she did she was very good at it to hide her surprised face. Or she simply had no clue.

»Don't worry about this. I couldn't send you back home in wet clothes. And you are always welcome.«, my aunt answered and we both turned around to watch her how she was placing a plate with scrambled eggs and some toast in front of us before she took her own seat joining us. A quick glance at my friend confirmed that she was already dressed. »And? Do you two have plans for the day?« I placed my attention back on my aunt who was lifting her cup with coffee to drink a sip. I nodded as an answer before replying to her with words.

»Yes. We are going to visit a friend of Kari's to try some gowns on. The others as well.«

»Oh, this sounds interesting. Gowns for what?« Now she was totally caught up with this, probably already forgotten what had occurred a few moments ago. At least I hoped so.

»There is a Chinese spring festival on Sunday and a friend of my family has made some gowns for this event since it is nicer to attend in traditional clothes.«, Kari answered before putting a fork with some scrambled eggs into her mouth.

»So, I assume that it might get later?« The green eyes of the older woman met my brown ones and I swallowed the remaining food I had put in my mouth earlier.

»Probably. I don't know what the others might have planned.« Now it was on Aunt Cass to nod after she was chewing on some food as well.


~Hikari's PoV~

»Oh no...!«, I called out loud, looking with terrified eyes at my bag. I was currently in Hiro's bedroom crouching in front of the mentioned bag while he was in the bathroom getting changed. I was already done – also with brushing my teeth – and was actually only waiting for my project partner to get ready so that we could leave for college. I was just about to pack my notes from the project into my bag when I noticed that this was my sports bag. And not my school bag...

»What is it?« I heard Hiro call with a full mouth, then water running was audible. He was probably rinsing his mouth out since he had been brushing his teeth. Only a few moments later he entered the room, stopping right next to me. I glared up at him to meet his eyes.

»I just remembered that this is my sports bag. And that my school bag is at home...« Shortly, there was a surprising spark in the brown eyes of his, blinking at my words. But then he just grinned making a throwing-away-hand move.

»If it's only that. You can look into my books and borrow a pen from me. Don't worry, you won't have to suffer.« He chuckled while I only rolled my eyes on this. But he had a point so, eventually, I joined him giggling.

»Alright. Thanks. I already thought I would need to skip the first lecture to get my stuff.« I rose then up from the ground and shouldered my bag to take it with me. »Ready to go?«

»Ready to go.«, he confirmed and together we left his room, heading for the exit of the apartment. We told our goodbyes to Cass and stepped out to the street, taking the direction we needed to take. »Hey, can I ask you something?«

I turned my head a bit to look at him, wondering why he was asking.

»Sure. What's the matter?«, I asked since he was obviously waiting for my loud approval.

»Uhm...it's about this ghost thing. Again.« I had to chuckle. He just looked so insecure while saying this, running his hand through the mess of hair. And this was somehow...cute.

»Go ahead.«

»My brother...can you...are you able to feel the presence of a ghost? I mean...can you actually touch them?« I blinked at this question. I didn't know what I had expected but this hadn't been it. I shook my head.

»No. I don't feel them. I could walk through them and the only thing what would happen is an icy chill. They aren't making any noises – except for talking. It happens a lot that your brother is scaring the living hell out of me because of this.« I remembered the past few nights – last one not included – where he was just standing at my desk waiting for my return. I had been so startled! The last statement caused my friend to laugh.

»This is something he is really good at. Sneaking up on people.« I noticed that he wasn't talking in the past tense about him. That showed me that he was indeed believing me. I just grinned at him.

»Yeah. And the last couple of times he was holding some lectures about not leaving for several hours without his knowledge.« Again Hiro was laughing, nodding to my words.

»Yes, yes. This is Tadashi. I had dozens of those earlier. 'It's late, you should go to bed', 'Hiro, bot fighting is illegal', 'When are you going to use that big brain of yours?' and so on.« I laughed hearing this. So this was something that hadn't changed. Though the black-haired boy was smiling, a sad shadow was covering his eyes. I smiled warmly at him. »I know, I complained a lot. But now... I wished that he would be here. I would rather deal with his complaining and lectures than...well...missing him.«

His sad face caused that the amused expression disappeared out of my face and I immediately reached out for his hand, squeezing it. I really felt sorry for him.

»I wished that you would be able to see him. I feel bad that I get to talk to him and actually see him and you can't...«

»It'd not your fault. So, there is no need to feel bad about this. And really...thanks to you, I am finally able to actually talk to him. Even though I don't see him I know that he is responding. And that is already a lot. Although, it's still difficult to understand.« His brow furrowed and at this, I had to laugh.

»I understand. Really. We are scientists and would someone tell me this, I would have some difficulties in believing this person. In fact, I'm still surprised you do. I still can't believe it...« His brown eyes cast back over to me and a warm smile graced his lips. I was glad that the shadow had left his features.

»Well...you have proven pretty well that you aren't lying. How else should you know of specific events only I could have told you?« I pulled my shoulders into a soft shrug, indicating to him that I didn't know. »See? And now, stop with doubting this. I believe you and don't think you are crazy. I still like hanging around with and this fact won't change because of a special skill of yours.«

He was glaring right into my black eyes and I could read determination in his. There would be no arguing. A sigh escaped me and I nodded, looking down at the ground for a short moment. But then, I lifted my gaze back up to look at him again, a smile brightening my features.

»Okay.«, I confirmed out loud, the atmosphere changing from a serious to a much lighter one. It didn't take long until we arrived at the campus.


The day passed by quickly. Professor James was still holding her lectures in speed run to catch up with the things we missed and Professor Raven just deepened our current topic. All in all, a busy day and I was glad when it was over. Weekend!

Hiro and I stepped out of the building heading the exit of the campus where everyone was waiting already. They were all ready to meet up with Lien to look through the attire of hers for the festival. I could already tell that she was excited to meet everyone. Hopefully, she wouldn't embarrass me...

»Do we need to drive or is it in the near?« I turned towards Wasabi who had asked the question. I blinked.

»A bit. Though it isn't necessary to drive.« I remembered how stressed he was when we had been sitting all together in the back.

»Walking? Seriously? Why don't we just do it like the last time? It worked pretty well.«, Fred exclaimed looking at us wide-eyed.

»Because it's against the law...«, Wasabi started but got interrupted by GoGo.

»Because Wasabi is a scaredy cat.« She simply popped her gum at that, chewing further. This caused the dark-skinned male to look at the short Asian girl.

»What...I am no scaredy cat! I just don't like messing with the law, okay? A scaredy cat...« The last two words were more spoken to himself.

I turned around towards Fred, offering him my dearest smile to soothe his nerves.

»Don't worry, Fred. It's not that far. I always walk to them and I haven't died yet. And Hiro came the last time along and didn't complain either. Or is the way too long, Hiro?« Now, I placed my attention back at the black-haired boy beside me, blinking a few times. For a moment, he just didn't do anything but stare.

»Uhm...yes. Kari is right. I'm still here. So, walking is fine.«, he confirmed my words to our comic friend who just sighed in defeat.

»Alright...if everyone wants to walk then I'm fine with it...« And with this, he followed my lead.


~Hiro's PoV~

As Hikari said, it hadn't taken very long to reach our destination. Even Fred stopped complaining and walked while chatting.

»Here we are.«, the thirteen-year-old explained and signed towards her sifu's house. She turned around to us. »Just wait a second.«

With quick steps, she walked the few stairs up and rang the doorbell, waiting until the door got opened.

»Hikari, my dear. I'm glad to see you.«, Lien said as soon as she appeared in the door frame, a smile gracing her lips. She noticed then that the rest of us were standing behind her. »And your friends are here, too! I'm excited to meet them. But you all should come inside.«

The elder woman stepped aside in order to let us enter. Immediately, the cozy sensation engulfed me. After we all were inside the building we followed our friend to the living room where already a pot and several cups were waiting for us. This caused a smile tugging on my lips.

»Where is your cute robot, Hiro? Haven't you taken him with?« I turned around to our host when I heard her question, shaking my head.

»No, I left him at home today. I figured that it would be quite full enough with the six of us. Baymax would only be in the way.«, I explained. And it was true. The living room was already stuffed with our group.

»Oh well. Tell him hello from me when you are at home. Thanks to him, I'm feeling much better already. But take your seat! I have prepared some tea. We can drink while discussing everything for Sunday.«

We followed suit, sitting down on the soft cushions of the couch and armchairs, getting quite cuddly since we all had some little space to call ours. Meanwhile, Lien was filling the cups with some steaming tea, handing each person one. In the end, she took her seat as well, drinking a sip.

»I have collected some pieces from my wardrobe already for you to try on. But there is still more if there isn't anything that applies to you. Hikari and Hiro, your outfits are finished. I hope they are fitting. The boys change in my bedroom while the girls have some space in my atelier. If you have any questions, I'll assist you. Just call for me.«


I found myself together with Wasabi and Fred in the bedroom, trying to figure out how to get those gowns on. There were various layers and until I knew which one would go first, some time had passed. But eventually, everything was fitting and I found myself in front of the mirror looking at myself. I couldn't decide whether to consider to look good or ridiculous. At least, I was wearing red – a color I tend to wear a lot.

»How does that even work?« I turned when I heard Fred call in frustration and I had to stifle a laugh when I caught sight of him. He was clearly struggling with getting the right pieces on.

A blue piece of clothing was covering his head and he desperately searched for the holes for his head and arms.

»Come here, let me help you.« Though I was much smaller than him, I tried my best to reach out to help him guide his limbs into the right direction and with a little bit of pulling and navigating his head finally popped through, his arms were following suit.

»Thanks, man... Slowly I was running out of air to breathe.« I turned towards Wasabi who was just finishing to dress, a green gown covering his body.

»Well, I think we are ready for Sunday. Though I won't be wearing traditional shoes. My sneakers will have to do. I don't even know if I'd get those in time.«, I said. And even if... I didn't want to make myself a fool, trying to walk properly in such sandals...

»I think I have a pair at home.«, Wasabi said casually, causing me to raise one eyebrow in question. He caught my silence question. »What? When Hikari explained what we would be doing this Sunday, I prepared myself!«

I just nodded to this, wearing an amused expression. Typically Wasabi.

»I have to agree with Hiro. I'll just wear my sneakers. As long as I am comfortable.«, Fred added and I watched him how he was tying the waistband around his middle. »And I think I'll need a little help on Sunday. I will never get ready on my own.«

»Then, let's just meet up on Sunday. I'm sure you have enough space at home, or not?« I glared at him in a questioning manner, the comic fan getting totally excited.

»Of course! Maybe, the girls can come too, then we won't have to drive through the entire city to pick them up.« Wasabi's face cringed at this but I could tell that he was agreeing to the fact that this was much more convenient. Sooner or later he would adapt to this.

A knock at the door caused us to turn around, meeting the friendly gaze of Lien who was standing in the door frame.

»I just wanted to check on you. But like I see you are properly dressed.«

»Yes, thank you very much for letting us borrow your clothes, even though we don't know each other.«, Wasabi said but our host just waved off.

»Don't worry about it. Hikari's friends are always welcome. I only wished she would have introduced you earlier. Then I would have made ones especially for you. I hope everything is fitting.«, she said while stepping into the room. I could tell – just like the last time – that she cared a lot about her husband's student.

»Hey guys, how does it look like?« Behind Lien, I could spot Hikari who was already wearing her normal clothes again. Like it seemed she was done already with trying her gown on. GoGo beside her whistled when she spotted us, a cheeky grin gracing her lips. Just like our friend, she was wearing her normal clothes and Honey Lemon as well.

»I hope you children are going to stay for dinner.« Lien's voice caught our attention.

»We really don't want to bother you.«, Honey Lemon started but got interrupted by the tailor.

»You aren't bothering. And anyway, I already have started to prepare the meal, so, I won't accept a no.«


~Hikari's PoV~

»Thanks a lot, Lien. I'll see you on Sunday.«, I said my goodbyes to Lien who was standing on the porch while the others and I were making our departure.

The sun was already going down and soon it would be dark. And not to mention that we still had to return back to SFIT to pick up Wasabi's car. I had already decided to walk home, though I would walk my friends to the vehicle. I really didn't want to cause Wasabi more trouble. He always seemed to get quite nervous if he was doing something illegal. Though, I was certain that he wouldn't get into too many problems should the police catch us.

We headed then the sidewalk, following the road to reach our college.

»I have to say that I'm really excited about Sunday. I'm curious how this festival is going to look like!« Honey's voice reached my ear and I had to grin. She was always so excited.

»Hiro, Wasabi and I have considered to get ready together at my place and head then the festival.«, Fred said and turned around in order to look at us while walking backward.

»Sounds like an idea. That is if Wasabi isn't afraid to drive with six people in his car.« GoGo popped her gum.

»Hey, I'm not afraid. It's only...-« He wasn't allowed to end his sentence.

»Yeah, yeah. We got it.« The Asian girl just rolled her eyes.

»Don't worry. I won't be able to drive with you. I promised Lien to help her before heading to the festival. We will see us there.« I noticed how our law-loving friend sighed in relief when he heard my statement. I thought that Wasabi's concern about doing the right things was amusing.

I felt Hiro's eyes resting on me. I shifted my gaze to meet his, pulling one eyebrow up.

»Then you need to tell us the location of the festival. Otherwise, it will be difficult to find it.«

»Of course. I will send you a message in our chat group.« It didn't take long until we arrived at the campus and the parking lot in which Wasabi had parked his car. I stopped and turned around towards the others. »Alright. I can walk from here. I guess we will see us on Saturday then?«

»Aren't you going to meet us tomorrow?«, Fred asked, his eyes growing wide.

»We haven't planned to meet up tomorrow in the first place.« GoGo turned to our friend, her brow wrinkled in confusion.

»That's true. But I am sure that we are going to meet up tomorrow. I mean... it's Saturday!« I had to bite back a grin. It seemed like the thought that we all wouldn't see us tomorrow was shocking, if not even terrifying him.

»I'm sorry but I can't tomorrow. But I'm sure you'll have fun without me. I mean, I'm not that long a part of your group and you managed it to enjoy your time without me before.« I offered him my brightest smile in the hope that this terrified look disappeared from his face. A deep sigh left his lips and he nodded.

»Until Sunday then, Hikari.«, Honey Lemon chirped before she and the others got into the car. Hiro hesitated right in front of the open door.

»I'll walk Kari home. See you, guys.« And with that, he pushed the door closed and stepped to me. We both waved our friends as they drove away from the campus.

I turned then around towards my friend, wearing a confused expression.

»You could have driven with them. It doesn't bother me to walk home alone. Now, you will have to go a long way around to get home by yourself.« But he just shrugged to my words and shoved his hands into his pockets.

»It's fine, don't worry. And besides, I would feel much better if I know that you aren't alone when it's dark outside. There is still that criminal on the loose.« At this, I only rolled my eyes, being annoyed that he still underestimated me. At my words, he just sighed and closed his eyes for a moment. But even after he opened them back up, he would look at the tip of his shoes.

»It's not like that. But... I don't know. I know that you are capable to protect yourself. Darn, you even saved me a week ago. But this criminal is something different. He is dangerous – we don't know if he is armed or not but one thing is sure. He is willing to find something in your father's company. I'm just concerned that if he gets frustrated, that he will do something to you. I don't want that you are hurt... You're my friend and you are important to me...«

I watched him while he was explaining himself and not once he was looking up, being probably embarrassed to admit that. I still didn't like to be pampered like a small child or like a maiden in distress. But listening to him and hearing that he truly worried touched me and I couldn't help myself.

I reached out to wrap my arms around his neck, closing him in a tight embrace. He hadn't seen that coming because he stiffened under my touch before he relaxed to return my hug.

»It's okay, I understand your worries but I'll be fine. But if it makes you feel better then you can walk me home.« Through the embrace I could feel how a relieved sigh escaped his lips, his chest – which had been risen before – sank due to that.

»Thank you, Kari.«

»But this won't become a habit, alright? I won't start with writing you messages or call you when I have arrived at my destination. Nor will I accept that you will always walk me home.« He nodded without letting me go and now it was on me to sigh. »Good. Now come. I'm sure, Mary will invite you to stay for a little and maybe we can work further on our project.«


Of course, Mary had invited Hiro to stay and like always when he came to visit, she was totally excited. So, currently we were sitting at the table while my nanny was starting to collect our empty plates – since we had already eaten at Lien's, she had served us some dessert. I rose up from my chair.

»Hiro and I will be in my room, working further on our project.«, I informed her and Mary nodded.

»Sure. If Hiro needs a ride home, he only needs to ask.« And with that, we both have left the dining room.

»And? Are you already excited about the tournament tomorrow?«, he asked and I turned my head a bit only to take a look at him while he was climbing the stairs up.

»At the moment... no. I haven't realized that it is already tomorrow. Though, I'm sure that I will be tomorrow when I'm there. It's the championship after all.«

»You'll do great. I'm sure.« I opened the door to my room and entered so that my project partner could enter as well, when I looked into a familiar face, smiling at me.

I returned Tadashi's smile, though his expression changed when he saw that Hiro was here, as well, the greeting that he wanted to say disappeared from his mind.

»My brother is here too?« I rolled my eyes when he stated the obvious.

»Yes, he is here. And hello to you too, Tadashi.« This, of course, triggered that the boy in question turned abruptly towards me, wearing a surprised expression.

»My brother is here?« I sighed. How could I have not noticed that they are related? Though, Hiro's excuse was that he couldn't see nor hear Tadashi.

»Yes, he mostly waits here for my return. He is currently sitting in my armchair over there.« I pointed at the corner where my cozy seat was resting before I headed over to my desk, placing my bag down while turning my computer on before taking a seat on my chair. From the corner of my eye, I noticed how the black-haired teen approached the ghost, stopping a few steps in front of it while shifting from one foot to the other.

»Uh... hi Tadashi.«, I heard him say and a smile appeared on my lips.

»Hey, Knucklehead. How are you doing?«, his brother responded, which I automatically repeated so that my friend knew that he was responding.

»That's still so weird...« His whispered words reached my ears and I took a quick glance at him only to see how he ran his hand through his dark locks. »Uhm... I'm fine. A lot to do. College and stuff...«

My grin grew at his attempts to make conversation and I logged into my computer as soon as it booted up. I remembered that I had made a copy of my project on a USB drive to copy it on here – for the case that I wanted to continue at home – and decided that I could copy it right now. Quickly, I got the drive out of my bag and plugged it in only to start the download. While it did, I turned my chair towards my friends to help Hiro out. But he was still stammering some words together.

»...and now I am trying to write a file to prevent that Baymax gives away sensitive information.«

Tadashi was wearing a curious expression while Hiro was glaring at the armchair – in my sight at his brother's chest since he couldn't fixate the ghost with his eyes.

»Sounds like a good idea. I haven't thought about such a file. I figure he scanned and informed you about the results out loud?«, the older Hamada said then, tilting his head slightly to the side.

»He asked if Baymax scanned and informed you out loud about the scan results.«, I repeated, looking at Hiro who met my eyes. But he turned quickly back to the chair, throwing his arms into the air.

»After every scan? You mean more every time the occasion seemed fit for him! How many times did I have to stop him when Hi-...« He stopped mid-sentence, almost choking in the word he intended to say. I rose a brow and wanted to question him when he caught himself and continued. »I mean... when he was about to say something embarrassing.«

Tadashi laughed at his words, a strange spark glittering in his eye.

»Sounds like a tough time.« I just wanted to open my mouth to tell my project partner about the response, when a ring noise from the computer caught my attention, signing me that the download was complete.

I turned around to check on the file when a window opened itself on the screen and disappeared so quickly that I first thought I have been imagining things.

»What was that?«, I wondered and rolled closer to my desk in order to inspect my screen a little closer.

»What was what?«, the Hamada brothers asked and I heard how the younger one approached me to have a look at my desktop as well.

»I don't know. But I'll figure it out.« And I started with my search.

»Uhm...Kari?« Hiro's voice reached me and when I gazed at him I saw that his eyes were darted at the top of my screen. I followed his sight and almost cursed out loud. The light of my webcam was on. Lucky me that the lens was covered but since it didn't need the computer to work it could be that someone heard everything that I said since I entered the room. I turned back to my friend and placed my right forefinger on my lips, signing him to be quiet.

I got then up from my chair and got a hold on his wrist to pull him outside with me. I shut then the door behind me and stepped closer to him.

»I think the microphone is still working. Someone has hacked into my system.«, I whispered. I was afraid that one could still hear my voice through the mic if I had spoken in a normal tone. And that maybe Mary noticed something.

»And what are you planning to do?« Questioning brown eyes were glaring back at me. I pressed my lips to a thin line.

»I think turning the mic off would cause suspicion... and I want to know who this was.« Then a thought hit me. »Wait here. I'll get quickly something.«

And before Hiro could question my words, I have turned around already heading for the staircase. Silently, I sneaked the stairs down, tiptoeing to the door I was looking for. My dad's office.


Of course, it was locked and of course, it was secured with a number pad. I didn't take long to figure out what the password was. With quick fingers, I was dialing the code into the system and pushed the green button. A click and blue light showed me that was successful.

»Of course, it was my birthday.«, I mumbled to myself, entering the room. I headed his desk looking for the item I needed when I already have found it. My father's working tablet. I picked it up before I left the office and hurried back upstairs. My friend only quirked an eyebrow. I signed him then to follow me back inside, Tadashi still being in my room looking at the camera.

»The light is still on.« I heard him say and I gave him a nod so that he knew that I have understood. I pulled the younger Hamada towards my walk-in closet, opening the door only to disappear into it.

»What are we...-«, he began but I covered fast his mouth with my free hand, looking directly into his eyes. Only after a while when I was sure that he wouldn't speak again, I took my hand away and closed the door. Darkness engulfed us.

»We can't talk so loud. Not that we get heard.«, I explained then, my voice nothing more than a whisper. He didn't respond, so I figured that he had nodded which I couldn't see.

I turned the tablet on, the illuminated screen spent a little bit of light so that I could see my partner's features and I took my seat on the floor, crossing my legs. He did the same.

»And what now?«, he asked his voice as silent as mine.

»I'm going to track back the signal with using an external wifi-connection. If I used my own computer, the person would know that I'm tracking him down and would escape.« I was tapping some code onto the touchscreen. How lucky I was that my father possessed such an advanced tablet.

I noticed how Hiro moved closer to me in order to have a look at the screen as well. His hand on the floor was touching mine for a brief second before he pulled it back again.

»Ah... I'm sorry.«

»It's no problem.«, I answered, looking quickly at him. We both watched then in silence how various codes and numbers were running the screen, the system searching through my computer database. The sudden blinking told us that my search had been successful, showing me some coordinates. I closed the window, opening the map feature on the device and typed the coordinates into the searching slot. The map zoomed immediately in and my face darkened.

»Huh...the signal seems to come from outside the city. I wonder what there is...« Hiro's musing reached my ear. But I didn't need to check to know what was residing there.

»I know it. It's one of my father's labs. This one is specialized in some more dangerous experiments. That's the reason why it is outside the city. But it wasn't used in years.« I saw a questioning expression on his face. »Well... ever since that incident at Krei Tech, where there had been this accident in the Silent Sparrow experiment... you know, where Robert Callaghan's daughter went missing. Anyhow, my father wanted to use this to his advantage and thought SnowElectronic Industries would look better If they focus on more harmless experiments.« I ended my explanation and watched as his brown eyes shifted back to the screen, eying it thoughtfully.

»It can't be that this is a coincidence. I'm sure that this has to do with this Mr. Burakku.« He paused and his gaze met mine again. »You have to be more careful now, Kari.«

Though he could be right, there was something that bothered me.

»Are you sure? I mean... how had he managed it to hack himself into my computer? And why me and not my father?« But the black-haired boy just shook his head.

»I don't know how he did it. But this just has to be his doing. Don't worry, the team and I will take care of this. We will go and investigate this place, you won't...-« I didn't let him end his speech.

»Hold on a second. Do you really think that I will sit at home and wait while you guys are looking who is responsible for hacking into my computer?« I had to remind myself not to raise my voice at this. This kind of threw me off.

»Uhm... of course. I don't want that you get hurt. The thought...-« But again, I interrupted him.

»Well, then you have thought wrong. I won't sit and wait. It is my computer, so, I want to see it by myself.« I wouldn't back down on this.

»Kari. You don't understand. He is dangerous. And he is already after you. He can harm you.«

»And that's exactly the reason why I'm going. None of you guys have actually learned how to defend yourself. I have learned it since I was a small kid. I'm sorry, Hiro but you can't convince me. Either, you take me with you or I'll have to go alone.« My words were final and we both just glared into each others' eyes, waiting until one of us would give in.

After what seemed like an eternity, my project partner sighed deeply, his sight casting downwards.

»Why do you have to be so stubborn? But alright. You can come with us.« A wide grin spread itself across my face. »Although you can't go just like that.«


~Hiro's PoV~

Currently, I was standing outside of Hikari's house bobbing up and down on my feet. I wasn't happy about Kari's decision. I wasn't happy at all. Not that this Mr. Burakku had been observing her. No. I was sure that she was the target – in some ways – to get from her father what he wanted to have. And I was afraid that he would harm her.

But obviously, she didn't care and demanded that she'll be coming with us. And though I didn't like the idea, I thought it would be better to take her with us before she'll head on her own. Who knew what would happen – no matter if she was able to do King Fu or not.

That was the very reason why I was waiting outside her home. I have said my goodbyes to Mary and Kari was just about to tell her that she'll head to bed. But she would be coming out of her window to join me, so, that we could leave for my place. And just when I had started to wonder when she might appear, I heard footsteps nearing me. I turned only to see my project partner approaching me.

»Did she buy it?«, I asked whispering. I wasn't sure but I thought to see how she was rolling her eyes. It was too dark, though, to be sure.

»Of course. She always buys it. And why haven't you waited for me a few meters away from here? I would have found you and Mary wouldn't have spotted you if she had looked out of the window, you know?« I pulled my shoulders into a shrug.

»Didn't think about it.« I made a step closer to her. »Are you having the drive with you?« At my question, she just raised one hand, holding a slim item in it.

»Sure. What did you think?« Now it was on me to roll my eyes, though an amused grin was gracing my lips.

»Alright. Then come, let's go.« I started to walk off, following the road.

»What are you actually intending to do? With the drive, I mean.« I took a glance at her while she was walking at my side. My smile widened.

»You'll see. Just trust me.«

»I do trust you.« I knew that she did but hearing it with the intensity I just couldn't help it and grin even more.


It didn't take that long until we arrived at my home and I headed straightly the garage so that we could start working. I approached my desk to turn the computer on, Kari leaning her body against the edge of the furniture. I logged myself into the system and picked up my scanner.

»Come. I need to take your size.«, I instructed her and I saw how a curious spark was glittering in her black eyes. She was obviously wondering what I was up to. Together we headed the backside of the garage and I signed her that she should turn towards me. »Now, spread your arms.«

»What is this going to be when it's done, Hiro?«, she asked me again, though she obeyed my words and spread her arms. I scanned her body.

»I'm taking your measures. What do you think I am doing?« An eye roll was the answer to my question.

»I can see the obvious. But what are you going to do with my measures?« I chuckled.

»Well... since you demand to come with us and this mission might get dangerous, I want that you are protected. Who knows what this Mr. Burakku has up his sleeves? And I don't want that you get hurt.« I watched how her eyes grew big.

»You mean, I get my own super suit with my own gadgets and stuff?« I heard the excitement in her voice. It was clear that this thought pleased her very much. I nodded and an even brighter smile graced her features. "Let's get started then.«


~Authorial Narrator's PoV~

He was sitting in a darkened room, going through some files in his hands, the screen of his computer spending him some light while a test tube was bubbling softly. It couldn't be that he didn't find anything useful. He had read through those papers many of times but he just couldn't find the answer he needed.

He was just about to toss those papers away in frustration when a sound caught his attention and he quickly checked the screen only to see something downloading.

A smirk was marking his features when he clicked on it, reading through the data. Finally, all his work was paying off and like it seemed he could accomplish his two goals.

Placing the files in his hands aside, he put his attention to the test tube to finish his little project. And after that, work was waiting for him.

Whatever for doubts he once had been possessing... they were gone in an instant. He was doing the right thing.

Chapter Text

Chapter 13 - The Tournament

 

~Hikari's PoV~

I was tired.

But I couldn't blame anyone since it had been my own fault. I had agreed to the suggestion to go with Hiro in order to get my measures so that he could create a super suit. I still couldn't believe it, though. I would get my own suit with own gadgets! This was so exciting!

Tadashi had laughed when he saw my tired face, telling me that it was my own fault and that he had told me to delay this to another day. But this was important to me. I just needed to know who was responsible for all of this. And I wanted to know why. Why me?

I sighed. I only hoped that staying up all night and the questions about this hack-attack wouldn't affect the quality of my fighting today since I really wanted to win the tournament.

So, I had gotten myself ready, putting on a pair of plain black jeans and a blue shirt, picking my backpack up in order to head downstairs for some breakfast. I would change into my tournament stuff as soon as I had arrived at the center in which the competition was held.

»Good morning, sweety. I hope you slept well?« The soft voice of my nanny reached my ears after I had set a foot into the dining room. I simply shrugged to this. I was clearly not ready for the day but I had already experienced worse.

I pulled the chair I was usually sitting on back to take a seat and watched how a plate with pancakes got placed in front of me. Seeing my most favorite breakfast-dish caused a wide grin tugged at the corners of my lips. My mood increased drastically.

»Pancakes!«, I exclaimed. I couldn't help myself but stating the obvious. Hiro would have snickered.

»Yes. I think that after you have a big day today that it could be a boost to have some of them. You might be more optimistic to win the tournament.« She took her seat on the chair at the opposite of me, pouring a bit from the syrup over her pancakes, handing me the bottle over so that I could drown my dish with it. I just had a sweet tooth.

Heavy footsteps caught my attention and when I glared to the entrance, I saw my father entering the dining room. Wait... my father?

»Dad! You are here! Does this mean that you are going to come to the tournament as well?« I felt how excitement got the better of me and I couldn't believe that this was really true. But unfortunately, my father just shook his head.

»I'm sorry, Hikari. But I won't be able to watch it. I still have a lot to do about this robbery. I'm just here so that I can drive you to the center and after that Mary to the airport.« I felt how my good mood disappeared. I should have known it better. »But, I'm wishing you a lot of luck, though, I'm sure that you won't need it.«

He planted a kiss on the top of my head and picked a pancake up in order to have a small breakfast and left then, probably to get some things out of his office. My nanny reached out to place a hand on mine, squeezing it.

»You have to write to me how well you have fought. Right after the tournament, okay?« A gentle smile was gracing her lips and I sighed, returning that gesture eventually.

»Of course, Mary. I'll write to you as soon as I get to my phone.«


I just entered the tournament center after Mary and my father had dropped me off, my nanny wishing me a lot of luck while squishing me in a bear hug. I had to say that I was sad that my family wouldn't be here to support me, though I wasn't entirely alone and thinking about that Hiro would be here was boosting my mood a lot.

»Ah, Hikari. You just came in time. Get quickly dressed and come back out. The photographer wants to take the pictures for the ranking on the screen.« I walked up to Sifu Wang who had waited for me not far away from the entrance.

»Yes, Sifu.« And with a smile, I turned to the direction which he was showing to me to get to the changing room to change my clothes.


~Hiro's PoV~

I was making my way downstairs to reach the café in which my aunt was currently working to get something to eat. Since it had gotten quite late last night – after taking Hikari's measures, saving them into the computer, I had walked her home so that she wouldn't have to walk the whole way alone.

She had given me that certain look again but I insisted, being careful to not mention that I was worried and meant that I still wanted to spend some time with her. And this hadn't been a lie since I really wanted to spend some more time with her. And though, saying this out loud caused my cheeks to redden, I would choose this option always again. A smiling Hikari was always better than a frowning one.

And after I had returned back home, hurrying up since I still had some work to do, I wanted to copy the files on her flash drive on my computer so that I could start with working on her gadget. How convenient it had been that she had carried the files of her project with her. So, all in all, I got to bed quite late at night.

I arrived at my destination and when Aunt Cass spotted me, she immediately rushed over to me only to give me one of her hugs.

»Bring Hikari here after the tournament. No matter how it went, I have a little surprise for her. And her family is allowed to come as well.« She leaned her body a bit back to smile at me.

»Sure. I'm sure that she'll be glad to hear this.« I returned her offered smile, stepping out of her embrace.

»I wish you a lot of fun! And tell her good luck!« I waved my aunt goodbye and left then. I remembered our discussion the other day when I told her about my plans for this Saturday and she couldn't believe what kind of activity my friend was doing. And I couldn't blame her since I still couldn't quite picture it myself. Despite the fact, that I have already seen her fighting, I was really excited to see how she would be doing in this tournament.


Luckily, I knew this city quite well, so that I had no problems with finding the center. I sighed when I saw the line but then my sight fell on a person who was waving at me. A smile graced my lips.

»Hello, Lien. It's nice to see you again.«, I greeted her. The elder lady just responded my smile.

»Hiro, I'm glad you made it. Hikari gave me your ticket so that you won't have to stand in line. And you are allowed to pass through the security gate to reach the contestants.« She held a lanyard in her hand on which a ticket was attached to and handed it over to me so that I could put it around my neck. That was very convenient. »Come. You'll be sitting with me, though, I'm sure you want to talk to Hikari first.«

I nodded since I really wanted to see my friend first. Together we passed the queue and entered the building but instead of heading for the stand, we turned right passing the security guard only to walk some stairs down, reaching the cabins. Like it seemed here was the place where they all got changed. We walked towards the woman cabin and Lien got a hold on my shoulder, turning around to me.

»Wait here. I will see if she is inside.« And with these words she disappeared behind the door, leaving me alone. I looked around, watching all the people here. I saw participants and their trainers, female and male and I started to wonder if the tournament was with mixed genders or if they were separated.

»Hiro?« I heard a voice saying my name and I turned to the direction from which it was coming from.

Of course, I had already known that it was Hikari – I would have recognized her voice everywhere – but I still found myself staring when I laid my eyes on her. It wasn't like she was wearing something extra elegant, nor something that would catch someone's eye immediately. In fact, she was just wearing some typical Kung Fu uniform, a blue belt tied around her waist and her long black hair tied back into a high ponytail, her bangs and some loose strands gracing her face.

But I couldn't deny the fact that she was as pretty as always and my heart jumped a beat.

»I wanted to wish you good luck before heading to my seat.« At my words, her facial expression brightened and a wide grin played on her lips. I tried to ignore the reaction of my stupid heart.

»Thank you. I have to admit that I'm quite nervous. This is my first attendance to such a huge tournament.« I noticed how she was fiddling with her fingers – a habit of hers when she was nervous.

»I'm sure you won't have to worry. You'll do great.« I tried to reassure her but I only earned an anxious smile.

»I don't know. They are all great in martial arts. It's not like fighting some thugs in a dark alley.« I had to grin. She had understood why I had said my previous words.

»Don't worry. I'll be on the stand, cheering the loudest if you win.« Hikari just rolled her eyes, though the more cheerful grin had returned to her lips.

»Hiro? We have to get to our seats. The tournament starts in a few.« We both looked at Lien who had appeared together with her husband. I turned back around toward my friend and embraced her, hugging her tightly.

»You'll be awesome. See you later, Kari.« And with that, I let go from her slim form and stepped to the older woman who was embracing the girl as well.

»Good luck, my dear. Although, I'm sure that you won't need it.«

»Thank you, Lien.« They both parted and with a last wave, Kari turned around to her sifu and left with him, Lien and I doing the same heading for the stand.

I noticed how full this place actually was when we found our seats. Luckily, we were quite in the front so that I wouldn't be hindered by tall people and could watch the tournament properly.

I took my seat on one of the chairs, looking around. There was quite some noise with all that chatting of many people. The more surprised I was when I saw a hand, holding out a cupcake toward me. I shifted my gaze only to meet Lien's friendly smile.

»I thought you might be hungry. I always bring some food with me since Hikari quite often doesn't have someone to look after her during tournaments. And this time, I brought a little bit more since I knew that you were coming.« I blinked at the cupcake in confusion, although she just had explained it without me asking. I accepted the offered treat, looking back at her to return the smile.

»Thank you. That's very nice of you.« I unwrapped the cupcake only to take a bite from it. It was very good.

A tapping noise on a microphone caused that the chatter stopped and we all looked to the front in order to see what was going to happen.

»Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the World Tournament of Martial Arts. All of our participants have won the tournament in their region. There will be battles in different categories – male and female which get dived by their weight class. Let me introduce you to our participants.«

I noticed that the tournament center was divided into different parts – probably so that the battles could take place at the same time. How lucky that I had met Lien, not that I would have ended up in a different sector.

I noticed how the participants got introduced to us while my eyes were searching for the slim and fragile form of my friend. And I found her just at the moment when her name got announced.

»Hikari Sunō!« I looked up only to see how her face was shown on a large screen, a smile gracing her lips. Though, I could see the soft blush covering her cheeks. I knew that she didn't like it to have all eyes on her – though she was good at hiding it.

I watched how the group of people parted, everyone returning back to their trainer and to reach the sector to which they belong. I saw Kari walking across the fighting place to reach the side where the stand was – probably there were some seats for them.

The first names appeared on the screen and the referee called out the first names and I watched how two girls approached the mat, bowing in front of each other.

»I don't know if Hikari explained you the rules but I'll explain them to you if you want to.« My eyes shifted over to Lien who has leaned closer to me in order to lower her voice. I shook my head.

»No, she didn't.«

»Alright. Do you see the mat lying on the ground?« I nodded. »They aren't allowed to leave it. If you do so or the other one manages to drag or push you out, the other one gets a point. If you remain on the ground for longer than three seconds, the other one gets a point. The first who has three points wins the match.«

Okay. These rules seemed easy. Though, I could already tell that these were necessary and that the fight would be interesting enough.

»And, of course, if someone isn't playing nice she is going to be disqualified for the whole tournament.«, she added.

»Does that happen often?« Only the thought that someone could hurt anyone else on purpose was bad.

»Unfortunately, yes. I haven't witnessed one tournament without someone getting disqualified by hurting someone else. It's really sad.« A slight unpleasant emotion was spreading in my stomach and pictures of Hikari being injured appeared in my mind. It must have been visible on my face since Lien continued with talking. »Don't worry about Hikari. Just watch and see.«

I placed my eyes to the front only to witness how one of the two girls was thrown out of the mat, landing rather uncomfortably on her back. I cringed. I knew that Hikari was a very skilled fighter but in that alley she had been fighting some criminals who had underestimated her, catching them totally off guard.

But here, she was fighting well-skilled people. People who knew that she was a good fighter as well. They would be cautious and try their best to defeat her. And that girl who had just defeated her combatant seemed to be quite ruthless. Spiky blonde hair was standing from her head and through the screen, I could see that she was determined to win this tournament.

»And the winner of the first round: Ria Jules!« The man who had welcomed us before was now holding the hand of the girl with the spiky hair up – her name was obviously Ria – before she walked down from the mat to reach her seat. »The next pair: Caitlyn Barry and Hikari Sunō!"

I straightened my back when I watched two girls walking onto the mat, one having a black ponytail – obviously Hikari – and one with a ginger-colored bob. They were bowing in front of each other before raising back up only to get into a fighting position.

I recognized the one Kari was using. Left foot slightly behind while her hands were up, right hand in the front always ready to either land the first blow or to deflect the first attack. I felt how tension was rising between them, seeping over to me.

»Fight!«, the referee said and for a while nothing happened, both girls just looking at each other, waiting for the other one to start the battle.

In a blink of an eye, the ginger girl – I thought her name was Caitlyn – made a quick step to the front, aiming her fist for the raven-haired's right temple.

But Kari already guessed that move and had already gotten into action. With her right arm, she deflected that blow easily but instead of backing away, she moved in closer getting a hold on her shoulder. And before Caitlyn could even prevent it, she already moved her foot, sweeping it away, bringing the girl to fall.

And without any hesitation, she fixated her on the floor without any possibility to get out. I noticed that move immediately. It was the very same one she used when she had saved me from Yama. The referee ended the first round. It had only taken a few minutes.

I watched how my friend helped the other girl up, standing in front of each other getting into their fighting positions.

The second round was much tougher, The ginger-haired girl was more cautious now, being more careful with her movements. It was clear that she had underestimated Hikari.

But in the end, Kari won this and the next round, winning the first round by having three points. I jumped up from my seat, cheering loudly when the referee raised her hand in victory. She was indeed very good.

»I told you that you don't have to worry about her. She may seem fragile but she clearly isn't.« I sat back down, looking at Lien who was smiling at me. And I could only agree.


~Hikari's PoV~

The tournament was going very well. After my first round, my counterparts got more cautious, thinking their attacks over. But even then, they weren't a match for me – though some fights were tougher than other ones.

Round after round I have fought myself to the top until I was competing in the finale.

I had a short break while the staff was changing the decoration so that the 'stage' was for everyone to see.

»How are you feeling?« I looked up to meet the eyes of my sifu. I smiled at him.

»I'm feeling fine. A bit nervous, maybe. But I'm always like this.« He handed me my bottle of water over. I drank a huge sip.

»Just keep focus and stay concentrated. Don't underestimate your counterpart. I am sure that you'll be able to defeat her.« I looked from him to the girl which I would be fighting against in the finale.

She had been the girl who had been fighting in the very first round. And she was a very tough fighter, possessing a very rough fighting style. Sifu Wang noticed my glare and followed it before I felt how his eyes were resting on me again.

»Don't worry. You got this.« I tore my gaze away from that girl and looked back at him. I knew that I was capable to defeat her but this didn't mean that I wasn't respecting her strength and skill. After all, she had also a good chance to defeat me.

»Thank you. I'll give my best.« A smile was gracing my lips and determination was glittering in my eyes. Of course, I would do my best to win this tournament. After all, I was being so close to winning that title – I wouldn't make it easy for my counterpart.

»Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome back to the World Tournament of Martial Arts – the finale of the fighting class 'female – lightweight'. Finally, we have reached the top. It's the finale between two participants. Let's greet Ria Jules and Hikari Sunō!« I looked up when I heard the people cheer at the announcement of our names and I met the gaze of my sifu.

»It's time. I know that you'll do great. I know I told you this several times but fight hard but fair. And stick to the basics.« I nodded to his words.

»I know. Stay focused and concentrated. And don't give into taunts – this would only be negative for me. Study her movements and find out the weakness of my opponent. I learned from the best.« He smiled at my words.

»That's correct. Now, get out there and do your best!« I drank one last sip from my water before handing it over and got then up to step up to the mat, to attend my final battle.

Since it was the finale, they have built a platform on which the mat was resting on and while I was climbing the stairs up, I was collecting my thoughts in order to clear my mind. Sifu Wang was right. To succeed, I needed to focus.

As soon as I stepped to the referee, I glanced beside him only to meet the grey eyes of Ria Jules and he raised both of our hands up while the crowd cheered. And although I saw all those people yelling and showing their excitement, I didn't hear their noise, nor did I pay attention to it. Important now, was the battle at hand and my counterpart.

I noticed how the referee stepped back, signing us to get into our fighting positions. I was familiar with this, so it was nothing new and both of us turned towards each other showing out respect with making a bow. The best fighter shall win.

I heard the bell that indicated that the first round has started and I took a deep breath before my left foot slid back while I raised my hands. Open and not formed into fists. And while I was moving, I had exhaled the breath that I had taken before.

I could sense tension building itself within this building and the crowd that had been loud before was now quiet, eyes probably glued on us while waiting for something to happen. And while I was sensing all of this, my eyes were locked with Ria's, neither one of us adverted their sight. And there was not only tension among the crowd. I could also sense the tension building up between us.

We both waited and watched for the other one to make the first move. I know that she had studied me as I had studied her. We both knew what the other was capable of. It was a shift – only a slight one – in her posture and in a blink of a second she attacked, her left fist aiming with a straight punch at my face. She was fast. But I was faster.

Quickly, I raised my left hand, the outside of my arm cutting her blow with running along with hers. But instead of remaining where I was, I got quickly to her back, keeping her left arm in place. Not that she got the idea to hit me with her elbow into my face.

I needed to end this round and for that, I would need to get her on the mat. But she was slightly taller than me and I was not in the position to use an easy throw to get her down. So, there was only one possibility left.

I reached up to wrap my right arm in a fake intention to choke her. My plan was to place my foot in the hollow of her knee to disturb her balance so that she would need to bend her back through and then I would be able to take her down.

But just as soon as I wanted to do as I planned, she must have noticed my intentions since she did something unexpected. Ria bent her knees a little bit and before I could have prevented it, she had placed me already on her back. I tried it with struggling but I couldn't help it. With a swift move, she threw me over her shoulder and I met the ground with a thud. For a moment, all air got knocked out of my lungs and before I could even think of raising my feet to keep her at bay – I was still struggling with gaining back my ability to breathe – she was hovering above me, her fists in my sight.

I heard the bell ring, indicating that the first round was over. I blew some air out in frustration that I have lost this round after I was finally able to breathe again. I needed to be more careful.

I got up from the mat, taking a few breaths and wiped with the backside of my hand the sweat away of my brow. The referee came to us again, waiting until we both were standing in front of each other again.

As soon as we both were at his side, he looked at us – a silent question if we were alright. We both confirmed this with a nod and he left again. Just like before the first round, I got into my usual fighting position. I needed to stay focused and don't do something reckless like this. I should have known better – this move might work with inexperienced people but with a fighter like Ria, I should do better.

The next round started and the same tension was building itself up again. But this time I could see a confident sparkle in the eyes of my opponent. I simply raised one of my brows up. Determination was spreading itself through my veins. If she really thought that I was easily beaten then she was wrong.

But this time it didn't take long until we got into action. Instead of attacking me with a punch, Ria was using a round kick, aiming for my right leg which was standing the closest to her. I had only three choices on how to deflect her blow. And two of them would lead me to the inner angle – one which I tried to avoid. I chose the remaining one.

I pulled my right leg back so that she was forced to miss and place her foot on the floor. But instead of remaining in this position, I attacked her with the same attack. Something she hadn't seen coming. I felt how her thigh twitched at the impact with my foot and I set it immediately down to put pressure on her leg – I wanted to stay in control.

This time, I didn't do the same mistake like in the first round. I grabbed her left wrist and dived underneath her arm to get behind her before I pulled her arm straight and I placed my right underarm beside her elbow only to put pressure on that spot. My counterpart couldn't do anything but bending to the front, yielding since every wrong move could mean some great joint damage on her elbow. This round was a victory for me.

Breathing heavily, we were standing in front of each other again while the referee was standing beside us, announcing the third and last round. This was it. Now it meant winning or losing. And the desire of winning was burning like a raging fire inside of me.

For a split of a moment, we were glaring into each other's eyes, black eyes into grey ones. We both knew that the other one would be capable of taking this victory and that caused that we both were cautious but at the same time, we both were determined. She attacked, aiming with a low punch at my abdomen which I easily deflected though, twirling around her arm with my right one only to get behind her. And just like the earlier round, I intended to grasp her arm in order to bend her over but she noticed this trick immediately and before I could even place my arm on the right spot, she already stepped out of the danger zone, grasping my arm instead. With a swift move she threw me to the ground but this time I had braced myself for such an attack.

Pulling my feet up, I immediately started with kicking her legs in order to get some distance between us, my fists raised just in case she found a free spot to get through my defense. But my kicking worked as it should and she backed away, circling me while trying to get back to me. But since I wasn't lying flat on the floor but had a round back, I just followed her, always making sure that my feet made an impact with her shins so that she had to get back again. Deciding that this was the possibility to get back up, I placed one hand on the mat, just like the foot across from that hand and pushed my body up while I used the force to kick her further away with the free foot. In the same movement, I pulled it back, placing it on the ground beside my hand and rose then up, my fists being protectively in front of me, me standing in the fighting position in front of her.

I saw how she blew some air out, a frustrated glare gracing her facial expression. We both were breathing heavily again – heavier than before – while we watched our opponent. I heard the crowd cheer, a loud mess of voices screaming all kinds of words or non-words in our direction. But at the same time, I could hear my heart beat in my chest and the blood rushing through my ears, while my heavy breathing was audible for me as well. All these noises were a distraction and I did my best to blend them out. Nothing mattered at the moment. Only us in the middle of all that noise was important now and I knew that I had to focus. I drew in a deep breath. All of this had taken less than a minute.

I attacked suddenly, pretending to punch her in her face and just like anticipated she rose her fists up to protect it but I withdrew my right fist only to punch her in the abdomen with the left one. I used full force which caused her to stumble back, while I made a step back to in order to get out of her hitting range. That blow had just the effect that I had been looking for.

I saw how fury was burning in her eyes and she leaped forward, aiming for my legs in order to throw me down. I acted more than I planned my defense. Blocking her attack with my right arm, my hand resting on her neck while my underarm was resting against her collarbone, she tried reaching my legs but with her attempts, she only managed to push me back without succeeding. I knew that this wouldn't keep her long at bay so I did what I seemed fit in this situation.

I brought one foot behind hers, sweeping it while I put pressure on her shoulder to throw her down. And like with that one henchman in the ally where I had protected Hiro from getting beaten up, her own weight caused her downfall. I didn't hesitate and jumped into Kwai Ma to fixate her on the ground – though I didn't use that much of a force. I didn't want to break any ribs of hers. My knee met her solar plexus, pushing all air out of her lungs and she wheezed beneath me. I didn't release the pressure on it until she yielded, clapping the ground rapidly. The bell rang, releasing us from the final round and I took my knee off from her torso, offering Ria a hand to help her up.

Like a good sportsperson, she accepted the help and I pulled her up, looking at her while she looked at me. We both smiled. It had been a good fight.

»Congratulations. You earned that victory.«, she said and the smile grew on both our lips.

»Thank you. You have put up a good fight.« We breathed heavily, sweat running down our brows but I couldn't be more happy about how this final battle had taken place in. Ria had been a great opponent.

The referee came to us and we both stood beside him, one of us at each side of him, and he grasped my hand.

»Let me announce you the final winner of the tournament in this class. Hikari Sunō!« The crowd cheered once again but this time I could put my full attention on them, wandering with my dark eyes over the mass of people. A bright grin was pulling the corners of my lips up and I had to laugh in delight. I had won.


~Hiro's PoV~

She won. Watching Hikari fight in that one final battle had been a nerve-racking experience and while I actually wasn't that much into sports, I had to admit that I hadn't watched something more exciting than this final fight.

The referee held her hand high and I jumped up from my seat, shouting out loud while throwing my fist up in the air. I shouted as loud as I could but I guessed that my voice got drowned by the other people shouting. Seemed like my friend had a large group of fans – at least for this tournament in particular.

I watched how her Sifu approached her, standing behind her while a hand was resting on her shoulder when the trophy got handed over to the girl and even from up here I could see the proud smile of Mister Wang. He was probably just as proud as I was.

»That was it with the this year's World Tournament of Martial Arts. Thank you very much for coming and have a nice day!« I noticed how people around me started moving, getting up from their seats in order to get out of the hall. Also, Lien, who had been sitting beside me rose up and I turned towards her.

»Come. By the time we are outside, I'm sure Hikari has managed to take a quick shower and be ready to leave.« I nodded to the elder's suggestion and together we got out of the rows of seats in order to get to the exit.

It had been no lie of Lien that it would take some time to reach the exit of the building. Everyone, guests or contestants, was heading for the exit in order to leave this place after the event was over and we could only place one foot after the other to get forward. But finally, we had reached the outside, the sun shining brightly was just too great after the hours of being in this building. I had totally forgotten the time while watching the tournament. The more surprised I was when I noticed that the sun was had already passed the highest spot on the sky only to crawl its way towards the west to disappear behind the horizon.

I closed my eyes while I let the sunshine upon my face, enjoying the fresh air of this spring afternoon. I hadn't noticed how thick the air had become in the building, the happier I was now when I was able to get some fresh air. I didn't know for how long I had been standing on that spot but eventually, I heard steps approaching us where Lien and I were waiting and I turned around only to see Hikari and Sifu Wang standing at us.

I noticed that the black-haired girl had changed her clothes and was now wearing casual black jeans and a dark blue shirt, and instead of a pair of sneakers, she wore flat pumps. She looked freshened up, her hair no longer in a high ponytail but like usual, an Alice band gracing her hair-do. And I saw that she was holding the trophy in her hand.

A bright grin appeared then on my lips and I approached her immediately, hugging her tightly, which she replied just as soon as she found herself in my arms.

»Congratulations! I told you that you would do great in this tournament!", I said while holding her close to my body and I heard – and felt – her chuckle.

»Thank you very much! I know you did but with all those fine fighters the possibility had been high that I could have lost. The happier I am that I actually really won.« Another chuckle was heard from her.

Eventually, I let go from her so that Lien could hug her as well, telling her congratulations to her while squishing her form in a fond way. It was then that Mister Wang raised his voice.

»Do you need a lift home? I'm not sure if you were going to get picked up or not. It wouldn't be a bother, you know?« I looked up at him, the question was clearly directed at me and I smiled thankfully at him. A lift would be great.

»Thank you, that is very kind. In fact...« I turned towards my friend who was out of the grasp of the tailor and I saw that curiosity was glittering in her dark eyes. »My aunt has invited you over to celebrate. I'm sure she has prepared something.« I rolled my eyes in a playful manner since I knew that my aunt could overdo it but Kari just smiled, nodding to this.

»That's nice of her! It would be great to spend the afternoon at your house. My father is currently busy with work and Mary is out of town. So no living soul is currently there. I will leave a message on the answering machine – just in case.« I heard in her voice that she was intentionally phrasing that answer for the married couple. But I knew what she was saying with this. Her family wasn't at home but I knew for a fact that my brother probably was. And the message was probably for him.

I nodded at this.

»Of course. You can call from my house if you want to. But let's get going. I'm sure Aunt Cass is dying to know how the tournament went.« She nodded and together with her trainer and his wife we left the spot, heading for the parking lot.


The ride hadn't taken long and in faster than nothing we found ourselves in front of the Lucky Cat Café. Kari and I got out of the car and I turned around to family Wang.

»Sure you don't want to come with us? I'm sure my aunt won't mind.«, I told them, but my friend's sifu just shook his head while a smile was gracing his lips.

»Thanks a lot, Hiro. But unfortunately, we still have to get some things done for tomorrow's event. See you tomorrow then!« I nodded and closed the door and shortly after they drove off, disappearing around the next corner. I turned around towards Hikari, pulling my shoulders into a slight shrug. »Seems it's only you and me then.«

She rolled her eyes at that, signing me that this really didn't matter to her and grasped my wrist while pulling me towards the entrance. Together we walked the stairs up to the café and I opened the door to let her enter first. That earned me one of her remarkable smiles which always caused my heart to skip a beat.

Just as soon as we were inside the building, I already saw Aunt Cass looking at us and she was making her way through the room in order to reach us. A bright grin was plastered on her lips.

»Hey, you too! How was the tournament?« She glared from me to our guest and as an answer, Hikari only showed her the trophy. This, of course, caused a loud squeal from my aunt, causing that some customers nearby turned their heads toward us. But she really didn't seem to care.

»Congratulations, sweety! I'm so proud!« And before I could have warned the girl beside me, she already got engulfed by one of Cass Hamada's infamous bear hugs. After what seemed like an eternity, she eventually let go from her, though her hands were still resting on the girl's shoulder. »Where is your family? I told Hiro that they were invited as well.«

At that, Hikari shrugged, though I saw in her eyes that she was quite sad about the fact that Mary and her father weren't able to support her today.

»My family is busy today. Mary is currently at her mother's house across the country and my father is busy with his company. This robbery and the thief himself are causing havoc in his company and he has to deal with a lot of things.« After hearing this, the facial expression of my aunt changed. I saw that she had heard of that incident as well.

»Oh yes, this Mr. Burakku thing. I hope they catch him quickly. I start to get worried about your safety, hun.« Something to which I could agree but I didn't say anything. I knew that this would only earn me a side glance of my friend and I didn't want to upset her today.

»Thanks. I hope so, too.« I noticed that the atmosphere was thick because of that certain topic and I tried to change the topic to a more pleasant one.

»Hey, Aunt Cass. You mentioned this morning something about a surprise for Kari?« That caught not only the person in question's attention but also the girl beside me.

»Oh yes! I have prepared a table extra for you kids – there is probably too much food now since I had been counting with more people, but you can take the leftovers with you.« Hikari's eyes lit up at this.

»Thank you so much! I would just like to make a quick call. Just in case my father returns home earlier than me.« The brunette just nodded.

»Sure. Behind the counter is a telephone. Feel free to use it.« And with that, I watched how my friend left to reach the phone so that she could leave a message at her house before she eventually joined my aunt and me at the table to celebrate her victory today.


~Tadashi's PoV~

For hours I was roaming the rooms of Hikari's home, looking at every picture twice, reading the titles of the books in the shelves at least three times. I wished that I was able to pick one out. Yes, I was able to materialize enough in order to sit down on an object but picking something willingly up and keep it in my grasp was just too difficult.

I was glad that Hikari called, leaving a message on the answering machine earlier – I knew that she did it because of me since she was sure that no one else would be at home. And I had to admit that I felt much better knowing that she was at the Lucky Cat Café, spending some time with my brother than without knowing where she was. Old habits die old. Though it didn't change the fact that I was bored and since my friend was spending her time at my family's place, I couldn't just go there. Sure, Hiro knew but this didn't mean that Aunt Cass knew. Better not provoke any awkward situation.

The happier I was when I heard the front door of the house getting shut and I stepped out onto the hallway since I had been in Hikari's bedroom.

»I'm home!« I heard a familiar female voice calling and a bright grin appeared on my lips. Quickly, I was stepping the stairs down only to reach the first floor, seeing how Hikari approached me, a smile gracing her lips as well when she saw me. »Hey, Tadashi!«

»Hi, Hikari. I hope you had a nice day.« It was then that I saw the trophy in her hand and my grin widened. Did that mean... »That trophy...does it mean you won the tournament?« Her facial expression brightened even more and she nodded eagerly.

»Indeed, I have! I still can't believe it that I actually won the world's championship in my weight class! You should have seen Hiro after we met outside of the building. And I don't want to start with your aunt. She squished me almost to death when she saw that I actually have won.« I laughed at her explanation. I could picture Aunt Cass embracing Hikari in a tight hug pretty well.

I had to smile about the fact that my aunt had taken Hikari already to her heart. Though this didn't surprise me, not in the slightest. After all, she was a very caring person and even I could already tell that she was doing my brother good. And everyone who was a good friend to Hiro was someone my aunt just had to like. Besides, Hikari Sunō was just a person one had to like after you got to know her.

»I imagine. Aunt Cass was always like that. She likes you, I can tell that by her behavior.« Now the smile on her lips grew fonder after hearing my last words.

»I like your aunt, too. She reminds me sometimes on Mary, you know? Maybe a little quirkier than her but this just makes her even more likable.« She chuckled which I had to return. She wasn't wrong about her musings.

»Come, let's get to your room. I want to know everything from this tournament and don't you dare to leave any details out.« We both shared a laugh and she nodded to my suggestion.

»Don't worry. Even if you wanted to have a short version of how the tournament had been, I would have given you the detailed version.« Another laugh shook my shoulders and together we climbed the stairs back up in order to reach her bedroom.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 14 - The Spring Festival

 

~Hiro's PoV~

I just got back out of the garage after I have spent hours in there in order to get some work done. After Aunt Cass and I have brought Hikari back home, I had gone into the garage in order to start with creating my friend's gadgets, creating the first blueprint of her super suit. I knew that her invention had something to do with an electromagnetic field, pulling and pushing magnetic materials around. But how should I cooperate this into something she could use in order to defend herself while attacking the opponent?

I had stared quite a long time until I got an idea and I immediately got to work. I had to say that I was quite proud of my idea and I was grinning at the thought of how Hikari would react to it. Duplicating the chip with which she could actually control the electromagnetic fields wasn't the problem. I had only some difficulties with finding a design. I didn't want to use a ribbon as she did with her prototype and perhaps with a different material the usage might even have higher efficiency.

That had been the moment when Fred had called to ask me if Hikari had told me the address of the Spring Festival so that Heathcliff could take us there after we got ourselves ready. Although, he hadn't called our friend by her actual name. And this had given me an idea.

So, I was basically the whole morning busy until I heard Aunt Cass calling me. Thus the reason why I was on my way into the café where I knew she was currently being in.

»You called me?«, I asked her as soon as I reached her at the counter and she turned towards me, smiling brightly.

»Yes, I have. You have a visitor.« She pointed behind me and when I turned around I saw Hikari at the entrance, waving at me. My grin widened. I turned towards my aunt.

»Thanks, Aunt Cass.« And with that I approached my friend, the smile still being plastered on my lips.

»Hey, Hiro.«, Hikari greeted me as soon as I had arrived her and I noticed that she was carrying several clothing covers over her arms. I figured that she was holding our outfits for today's event.

»Hey, Kari. Why haven't you called that you would come?« I cocked my head slightly to the side, a questioning expression marking my features.

»Because I only dropped by in order to give you your outfits for later. And to tell you where we are going to meet.« She handed me the gowns over – so, I had been right with my assumption.

»Alright, thanks. So, would you like to stay for a bit? The festival will start in a few hours. We could watch a movie or something like that.«, I offered her but she shook only her head, though a soft smile was gracing her lips.

»I'm sorry but I can't. Lien is waiting outside. I have promised her that I would help her out with a few things. This year, she is going to sell some Chinese desserts in a booth and I promised her to help her with preparing some dishes.« She held then her hand out. »Give me your phone. I'll leave a note when and where we are going to meet.«

With one hand, I reached out to grab into the pocket where my phone was resting and handed it over to her. But not without unlocking the screen of course. She smiled thankfully at me and I watched her how she opened the required app only to type in some words.

»We are going to meet at five o'clock at this address. I'll be waiting at the entrance to the festival. The weather is going to be nice today – so, we are lucky since we are celebrating in a park.« She handed me my phone back. Gratefully, I took the item back only to put it where it was before. I looked back at her only to meet her black eyes again.

»Alright. We are going to be there. Thanks for dropping by, and tell Lien hi from me.« She nodded, already making a few steps backward in order to get back to the door.

»I will. And see you later, Hiro.« I saw excitement sparkling in her eyes. Seeing her that thrilled about the festivities later caused that I was getting excited as well and something like anticipation was forming itself in my stomach. I couldn't wait until later – though, I pushed the question if this anticipation was because of the festival itself or only because I wouldn't see Kari until then aside. I really didn't need to provoke unanswerable questions that would only lead to burning cheeks.

»Yeah, see you later.« And with one last wave, my project partner turned around before she disappeared out of the door, waving my aunt goodbye as well. I remained for a moment right on that spot where I was, looking at the spot where she had disappeared. I heard someone clearing the throat behind me and I turned around only to meet Aunt Cass' gaze.

»Honey... I fear that this behavior is becoming a habit of yours. How long are you intending to stand here before moving? Or admitting the obvious?« I rolled my eyes at that, though she only grinned.

»Until now. I still have some things to do and I need to make some calls.« I turned around since I clearly didn't feel like discussing that matter again – I knew that this was a topic I had to avoid while I was around the brunette. She just chuckled.

»Of course. Oh, and I want to see some pictures when you and your friends are wearing those gowns. I'm sure that you all will look so adorable in them.« I wasn't so sure about that like she was but I was most certain that Honey Lemon would take loads of pictures. And I knew that my aunt knew too.

I just shook my head and turned around in order to get into my room so that I could inform my friends when we were going to meet at Fred's place in order to get ourselves ready.


The hours just have flown by after I had informed everyone what Hikari had told me. I had found myself in the garage again, working further on my friend's suit, and was done with the blueprints for her armor and worked further in connecting the induced chip on the transmitter I had created so that Hikari would even be able to use her invention as her superpower when I checked the time only to see that I had to take a quick shower before heading off to Fred's.

For a moment, I had been contemplating if I should take Baymax along. I was sure that he would have some fun – as far as robots could have fun but then I thought about a crowded place and about all the possible ways that I could lose him in there or how he could get damaged. Or worse... how he could embarrass me! So, I had left him at home, and together with the suits in my arm, I had met the others downstairs who had come to pick me up.

We just arrived Fred's large mansion – it was still shocking that he was living in such a place – and while chattering about the upcoming event, we climbed the stairs up, ringing the doorbell. Of course, Heathcliff welcomed us.

»Welcome, Miss... Honey Lemon and Miss... GoGo and Mister Hamada and Mister...Wasabi. Master Fredrick is already awaiting you« I noticed how weird it still was for him to call the others by their nicknames and it caused me to wonder if he knew about their names. Come to think of it, I had never asked them about their names either...

Heathcliff took the clothes which I was carrying and took us then inside, leading us to Fred's room. The comic fan jumped immediately up when the doors opened and approached us, a wide grin gracing his lips.

»Hey, guys! Welcome!« He approached us and eyed then his butler. »Heathcliff? Would you please lead Honey and GoGo to the other room so that they can get changed? Thank you.« And before Heathcliff could leave, Fred already managed it to take three of the five clothing covers out of the man's grasp. I only hoped that he picked the right ones.

»Of course, Master Fredrick.« And we watched how the elder bowed in front of our friend – we should actually be used to it by now but it was still so weird – and together with the girls he left, leaving Fred, Wasabi and me alone.

»We have forty-five minutes until we have to meet Hikari...« I turned towards Wasabi who had just checked his watch. »If we want to look decent, I think we better get started.« Agreeing to him, I approached our blond friend who was still carrying three of five clothing covers and picked one up, only to peek inside.

»I think this one is yours, Wasabi.« The person in question had been looking at a different one and turned around, holding out the cover to me.

»I'm having yours. Here, let us switch.« We quickly exchanged the items we were currently carrying and approached then a chair in order to lay it over the backrest. From the corner of my eye, I could already see how Fred was peeling his blue gown out of his cover. I unzipped mine only to reveal the red one Lien had sown especially for me.

A few minutes later, we were done. I had to admit that it was much easier to put on than it had been the first time and the soft fabric of the jacket and pants were gracing my form. But just like I had announced it before, I was wearing my sneakers – unlike Wasabi who really wore one of these traditional shoes. It did look good but I wanted to stay rather comfortable.

Even Fred had managed to put on his blue gown with the white linings and while my jacket had black linings, Wasabi's had a dark-green which complemented the green of his outfit pretty much. At least, in my eyes. A knock at our door caused that we turned around and the blond clapped into his hands to let the doors slide open only to reveal Honey Lemon and GoGo who were done with preparing themselves as well. And though both of them were looking stunning in their outfits, it was rather strange to see the small Asian wearing a dress. It was a plain dark-purple gown and a yellow ribbon was tied around her middle.

Her hair was styled like usual – since her hair was too short to actually make something with it. Unlike Honey Lemon's. Her blond hair was tied up in a bun and I saw that a small hair piece – I remember that this was something like a comb which only got stuck in the hair-do – gracing her hair. It was silver and pink flowers were gracing the piece. It matched pretty well to the gown she was wearing. It was colored in all different shades of pink, on the bottom it was a darker tone and the more you looked up the color brightened until the color gradient ended in white. A violet ribbon was tied around her waist.

All in all, we were ready to leave.

»Okay, I think we should leave now. I'm pretty sure the traffic will be horrific.« We all looked to Wasabi and I noticed how Fred pressed a button on his watch before speaking into it.

»Heathcliff? We are ready to leave. Please prepare the family limousine.« He turned then towards us, nodding to the exit of his room. »Come. We'll meet him in the garage.«

And together we left Fred's room in order to reach the huge garage in which several vehicles were resting.


Like already anticipated, the traffic was murderous and it took us almost thirty minutes until we reached our destination. But we eventually arrived and Heathcliff stopped the vehicle right at the sidewalk.

»Thanks for the ride, Heathcliff. You are the best!«, Fred exclaimed to which the elder only nodded.

»Of course. Give me a call if you and your friends need a ride back.« The blond showed him a thumbs-up before he opened the car in order to get out, we all were following suit. And just as soon as we have closed the car door, the long black limousine took off, driving back.

I looked around while we were standing on the spot where we had exited the car. There were many people heading a staircase made out of stone and all were wearing those traditional Chinese gowns we were wearing as well. At least, we wouldn't make fools out of ourselves by wearing those. This calmed my nervous heart at least a little bit. And since everyone was heading that staircase, climbing them up, I figured that the park about which Hikari had told us was up there. Actually, a nice spot.

»Come. I think since everyone else is walking those stairs up, we should do the same. Kari meant that she would be meeting us at the entrance of the park.« I turned around to face my friends before I was telling them my observations and they all seemed to agree to my words.

So, without any further ado, we headed for the staircase to reach the plateau. While I was walking upstairs – luckily, there weren't too many of those – I kept scanning my surroundings in order to look for our friend. I really didn't want to miss her. And though, I was a little bit concerned that I would oversee her with the mass of people, I spotted her immediately.

As soon as I had stepped onto the plateau, my eyes had caught her. I could tell that she was waiting for us, her sight watching everything else but still nothing in particular, like she was being in deep thought, her hands were hidden in the wide sleeves of her gown. She didn't seem troubled so we were still on time. But this wasn't the reason why I hesitated for a second before continuing with walking.

If I had called Honey and GoGo stunning before then I had to call Hikari as simply gorgeous. Of course, she was wearing a gown like my other female friends but hers was a different color. The white fabric of her outfit had beautiful black flowers with dark-red blossoms on them, gracing the lower part of the dress and a dark-red ribbon – the same color like the blossoms – was tied around her waist, while the outlining of the torso part was black, as well. Like Honey Lemon's hair, hers was tied up, though in a little more complicated hair-do which got graced by several white flowers – a great contrast to her black hair.

She must have felt how I was looking at her because she turned around only to meet my gaze. For a brief moment, I could still see the questioning expression in her black eyes but it disappeared as soon as she had noticed that it was me. And a smile lighted up her face. An elbow in my ribs tore me out of my trance and I could hear GoGo's faint voice mumbling something like woman up in my direction. I ignored her and approached then finally the girl who was waiting for us.

»Hey, guys! You have found it.« Now, Hikari was looking at all of us, giving me the chance to collect my thoughts in order to give a proper answer.

»Yeah, Heathcliff knows the city by heart.«, Fred answered her question which caused a nod from her. Then she was taking a closer look at us.

»I have to say that you all look great in Lien's gowns. I'm glad you decided to wear them – you'll see in just a second why it makes such a difference!« I rolled my eyes in a playful manner at her words since I still thought that I was quite looking hilarious. That didn't remain unnoticed. »I have seen that glare, Hiro.«

I couldn't help but grin since I knew that she wasn't really offended by my actions and pulled my shoulders into a soft shrug.

»It's definitely something I wouldn't wear every day but I think for this event it'll do.« She chuckled causing my grin to widen before she looked at me with a grin of her own. I collected my courage. »Though, you look beautiful.«

She parted her lips just like she intended to say something before she shut them again, her smile growing softer while she averted her gaze for a moment and a rosy blush covered her cheeks. I thought this only made her prettier and this thought caused my face to blush.

»Thank you.« Kari's eyes met mine again and I could see how honestly glad she was hearing this.

»I have to agree with Hiro, Hikari. You look so pretty!« Honey Lemon's chirpy voice reminded me that we weren't alone and for a brief moment, I wanted to run and hide. But maybe, they hadn't noticed what had been going on with me just seconds ago. Although, I highly doubted that. I only hoped that they would forget it during the evening.

»Thanks, a lot Honey. Like just mentioned, you all look good, as well. And even GoGo is wearing her gown!« She turned around towards the short-haired female, who popped her gum at that.

»Don't make me regret my decision, Hikari.« Now it was my project partner who was rolling her eyes in a playful manner.

»Okay, do we want to keep talking outside of the festival or are we actually going inside of it?« We all looked up at Wasabi who had followed this short conversation and it was clear that he didn't want to stay outside, missing out on what was inside. Hikari laughed.

»Of course. Follow me!« And with that, we all followed her past the entrance.


~Hikari's PoV~

It was always a nice sight to see so many people attending the festival, especially since many of them were wearing traditional Chinese gowns which only intensified the experience. Currently, I was leading my friends deeper into the Spring Festival and I could see on their faces how they were looking at everything in awe.

But then, I couldn't blame them for doing so. Everything was glowing thanks to the lanterns which were dangling above us and I was sure that once the sun had disappeared behind the horizon and night has fallen, that they would illuminate the park in the most beautiful way.

»I can see now why you were so adamant that we are wearing those clothes, Hikari. Normal clothes would destroy the picture.« I turned around to look at Honey Lemon who's glare was wandering over the place and a smile was tugging on my lips.

»Exactly. Of course, you guys would still have some fun without wearing them. But I thought it would be a nice experience.« I pulled my shoulders into a soft shrug before I placed my attention back on the way ahead. I really didn't feel like bumping into people.

We passed some booths which were offering all kind of things. Some of them offered food – we would definitely check those out. I was sure that Fred wouldn't forgive me if we wouldn't – and others had little games where one could win little prices, like stuffed animals or nice decoration. But we didn't stop since I promised Lien that we would see her first before we would head off and do something.

It didn't take long for us to arrive the booth in question – since I had helped Lien with her desserts, I knew where she was – and I could see her already serving some of the delicious treats to some customers. They were just leaving when we arrived at her.

»Ah, Hikari! And your friends have finally arrived! I am so glad you could make it.« She smiled at my friends, showing them how truly glad she was that they were really here. »You all look marvelous in those gowns! They had been a good choice.«

They all thanked her, some mumbled the words being embarrassed while others dipped their head politely to her comment. I just smiled at their reaction.

»So, Lien. Kari said that you are selling Chinese desserts?« Hiro stepped to my side in order to have a better look at what the wife of my sifu was offering and I saw how she nodded, signing in front of her where all different kinds of desserts were being displaced. They really looked delicious.

»Indeed. Thanks to Hikari, I could finish everything I wanted to offer today. And since you all are my guests, you all can pick one dessert for free.« That didn't remain unheard by a certain comic fan.

»Like seriously? Free food at a festival? How cool is that! Thanks!« I just watched how Fred pushed himself to get through Wasabi and Honey in order to have a better look at all the different types of treats. But then he hesitated. »Okay... I think I will need help with what these actually are.« Lien had to chuckle about his antics.

»Okay, over here we have Jian Dui, also known as Sesame Balls. They are filled with a red bean paste. Really delicious. Then we have Sticky Rice Cake with a Black Sesame Filling. This is one of the most popular desserts at this festival. Oh, and not to forget, we have Yue Bing – this is a mooncake. And the white squares with desiccated coconut over here, are Coconut Milk Pudding squares, the brownish squares are Water Chestnut Cakes and the small white squares are Almond Tofu. Take your pick.« She had signed to every type of dessert she had addressed and introduced to us and smiled while waiting for our decisions.

I could see the issue Fred was currently having and before we kept all of the other customers waiting, I decided to order for him.

»Fred will take the Sesame Balls. I'm sure he'll enjoy that one.« I looked from Lien to my friend who offered me a thankful smile. I returned the gesture. We watched then how the elderly woman took three balls out of the display only to hand them over to the blond.

»Alright. Here you go. Enjoy.« A soft simper was playing on her lips and one after another told her the required dessert. Not too long and we all found ourselves standing beside the booth, enjoying the pastries we ordered.

»That was really nice from Lien to give us all free food. She wouldn't have needed to do that. Especially, since she allowed us to borrow her handmade gowns.« I pulled my shoulders at Honey's words. That was just how I knew Lien. She always had been like that.

»You'll get used to that. I'm sure that she'll invite you guys every year from now on. And I'm almost certain that she'll take your measures once the festival is over. She'll be probably making gowns especially for you now too.« I saw the excitement in Honey Lemon's eyes. The others didn't look different. I was sure that they thought this gesture to be nice, though it was probably not necessary.

We munched on our treat, watching people passing by and looking at everything the festival had to offer. I smiled. It was the first time that I came here with friends. It was nice to share something like that with others.

»So...what are we going to do next? Are there any special things we can watch and do?« I turned around in order to look at Hiro who was looking at me in a questioning manner and the others did the same. They were probably wondering what we could do.

»There indeed are. We will have the chance to watch a group of people walking and dancing on high stilts. This is always fun. Or in one part of the festival, there will be the lion dance. Lien told me that this is an old tradition. But what we will have to watch is the dragon dance. It will be performed when it's dark and right after the dance the fireworks will be fired.«

»Okay, then let's just head off and see what kind of things the booths have to offer.« This time it was Honey Lemon who took the lead, her excitement causing a wide grin on my lips. Yes, it had been a good idea to take them with me to this festival.


~Hiro's PoV~

The hours had passed like seconds while we were walking over the Spring Festival, looking at everything, watching some of the shows and playing some games at a few booths. Wasabi had managed to knock down several cans and won a big teddy bear. His facial expression was the best since he had no idea what he should do with such a huge stuffed animal.

The food had been very delicious as well. We had some traditional dumplings which got offered during the Spring Festival in China and I had to admit that they were really good. Though, I had already forgotten the names of them. The most important thing was that they tasted really good. At least, the others were sharing this opinion with me.

Currently, we were on our way to get to the main place, where the dragon dance would start soon. Kari had been so adamant that we should watch this performance that no one argued with her. And honestly, I was quite curious why she was making a big fuss about this dance anyway, so we were all rather curious about this act.

Finally, we arrived at the place where we wanted to be and stopped, looking for a good spot. It was already quite crowded.

»I think we are right here. Though, we won't need to fight our way through to the middle. The dragon will cross our way anyway.« Hikari turned to us, a smile gracing her lips. Night has fallen already and the park was illuminated by many lanterns which were dangling between trees and other street lanterns and their light was reflecting in my friend's dark eyes, sparkling in them.

»Then we should stay here. I really don't feel like pushing my way through people who don't want to move an inch.« A gum popped after those words and we all turned towards GoGo, who was standing beside Wasabi and Fred. We all nodded to this.

»How long do you think we will have to wait until...-« Loud music interrupted my question, though the music actually answered it. Every head on this place turned in order to see what was happening next and from afar. A big Chinese dragon head appeared from a pathway and behind it a long tail of fabric which seemed to flow like a fish in water and while the dragon was moving, the music played the music suiting to whatever the 'creature' was doing. All people clapped in awe, children who were sitting on their fathers' shoulders begged to get closer so that they had a choice to perhaps touching the head of the dragon. It was amusing to witness such innocence. They were honestly believing that a mystical creature was among us.

We watched the people underneath the dragon's head and the tail performed some interesting movements, causing the illusion that the dragon would be flying up and down. It was a magnificent sight.

In the end, the dancers stopped in the middle of the place, all attention was drawn to them when the sound of fireworks flying up to the night sky filled the air and we all looked up only to witness the explosion in all different kind of colors. Another rocket was lit and another one until the whole sky was filled with colorful lights which glittered down to the ground until the sparks had burned out. Kari was right, it was indeed beautiful.

I tore my gaze from the sight above only to place my attention to the person beside me and I could see her fascinated expression, a smile gracing her red lips while she was watching the show. And though the firework show was really pretty, I couldn't take my eyes off Hikari, seeing the excitement and the colorful sparkles in the sky in her eyes.

For a moment, I could forget that we had a dangerous task ahead of us. That there was someone endangering her because of something we didn't know yet. And that I allowed it that Kari joined us in checking out what was going on at that place outside of the city. For a moment, I believed what everyone else saw in us. That we were a bunch of young people, a group of friends, who enjoyed their time without the burden to catch a potential threat to the city.

Hikari turned then her head to look at me – she probably felt my eyes resting on her. All I could do was smile at her which only caused that she smiled back at me, we both sharing this peaceful moment. My fingers twitched with anticipation, just like they wanted to reach out to close themselves around the hand of hers and though the thought of it filled me with anticipation and joy, I refrained from doing so. No idea what she would be thinking about that.

After another shared moment, we looked back up to watch the fireworks.


We were sitting in the family limousine of Fred's parents after Heathcliff had picked us up to take us back to the mansion. Only this time, Hikari was sitting with us in the vehicle. The evening had been a blast and we were all chatting about it currently, exchanging what had been the best part of it. Of course, we all had our own opinion, though we all agreed that the firework, in the end, was awesome.

»So, guys. What is next? Where else shall we go?« We all turned to Fred and I pulled one eyebrow up. He was always so energetic.

»It's Sunday and we have lectures tomorrow. We should head home since it is already quite late.« Wasabi looked at us and all but Fred agreed to this. It was indeed late, already ten o'clock. The earliest.

»Heathcliff, you can drop me off at my house. I know how Wasabi is with driving with all of us.« I turned my head to Hikari who had spoken up and I could hear our dark-skinned friend sigh beside me. She was right, though. Then something hit me.

»I'll come with you. I still need something. You know, for the project.« That caused that she quirked one eyebrow but left it uncommented. She probably already knew that it had nothing to do with our project in Professor Raven's class.

»Of course. I'll just need the address of Miss Hikari's home.« Heathcliff looked at us through the rear-view mirror and the girl in question quickly mentioned the address before leaning back into her seat. I quickly texted my aunt that I would be at Hikari's house so that she didn't worry about my whereabouts.

Luckily, the streets weren't that filled anymore which meant that we arrived our destination quite quickly and we said our goodbyes to our friends. I was just glad that I had thought of placing my bag with my normal clothes into the limousine before we had gone to the festival so that I had those with me.

Hikari and I got out of the car and waved before the vehicle took off again and I watched it disappeared behind the next corner. I turned then around towards her.

»So, you need something for the project? I assume you are not talking about our waiter-bot, don't you?« We walked the few steps up to the front door, while she was looking for her keys so that she could unlock it. I shook my head.

»You're right. Especially, since we work on that project together. No, I'm talking about your gear. I'll need some pieces of clothing which I can turn into your suit.« Her head turned towards me and a spark lit up her black eyes. Then a smile pulled the corners of her lips up.

»So, you're almost done?« We entered her house and she shut the door behind her before we followed the hallway and the staircase up to her bedroom. She entered first and I closed the door behind me.

»You really need to stop asking me this. It's obvious, isn't it?« I heard her voice say and I furrowed my brow. What was she meaning with this? I turned around with this question on my tongue when I saw that she hadn't looked at me but at the empty armchair. And then it hit me. She wasn't talking to me but with Tadashi. I always kept on forgetting this little gift of hers.

I placed my eyes on the furniture, knowing that my brother was sitting in it. I tried my best to imagine it in my inner eye but it was difficult. It would have been easier if I had seen him being in this house. Though this was impossible.

»Hey, Tadashi.« I waited a second before I turned to my friend waiting for the ghost's response.

»He said hi back. And made a comment about your choice of clothes.« She chuckled and it was then that I looked down at me only to find myself still wearing the traditional gown that Lien had sown for me. I rolled my eyes at that. It had been clear that Tadashi would say something about that. He never let out a situation to tease me.

I was just about to say something in return when I saw how Hikari averted her gaze from the armchair and I could have sworn that a soft blush was covering her cheeks. What was that now? But just when I wanted to ask what my brother had said to her, she placed her gaze on me and she seemed to remember about something.

»You hadn't answered my question, yet. So, are you almost done?« Oh yes. Her suit. I had really forgotten about her question.

»Yes, almost. I just need a few pieces of clothing to finish your outfit and put the armor parts with the gear together. If I work tomorrow on it, we could go to that place in the evening.« That statement seemed to please her and she nodded.

»It may go faster if I help you. Mind if I join?« She looked at me while she was taking a few steps closer to her closet, probably to look through her clothes in order to find something suiting. She signed me to follow her.

»Actually, it is important that you are there tomorrow. You have to try everything on and have to test if your gadgets are working as they should.« The light switched on as soon as we were inside of her walk-in-closet and I was quite impressed by the loads of clothes she possessed. I asked myself if she was really wearing everything or if there were some pieces that were just resting here without getting worn once. »I need a black shirt and a black pair of pants. Preferably no jeans. You should move properly in them.«

She nodded and walked to a different part of her closet, looking through it. She pulled then a black pair of leggings and a black long-sleeve-shirt out, showing me her choices.

»How about these? They are quite comfortable and I can assure you that they are perfect for running and stuff.« I took the offered items and felt the fabric. Yes, they would work well with what I have prepared at home.

»They are perfect. I hope you won't be sad to not be able to wear them outside of missions.« I kept the black clothes in my hands since I would be taking them home with me.

»Missions? So, you are considering that I'll tag along in the future as well?« I noticed only then what I had actually said. But it was clearly too late to say something against it since I actually was thinking like that. Especially, since there was no way that I could ever tell her off, not that she was having her own super suit now.

»I guess so? Though, I have to be honest. I would prefer it if you wouldn't but the way I know you, I'm pretty sure that you won't accept a now, anyway.« She chuckled nodding to this.

»That's right. I would just tag along anyway.« She chuckled again. I looked then around through the room and my attention got caught by a piece of clothing. It would work with the design I was going for and the color of it wasn't already taken by someone else. Plus, it fits just perfectly. I approached it and took it from the clothes rail and turned then around to show it to my friend.

»How much are you attached to this? Can I use it?« I turned around to look at Kari again and I saw how her eyes moved to the piece of clothing in my grasp. She cocked her head.

»For what do you need it? I thought you had everything you need with the black clothing.« Her arms got crossed in front of her chest. I pulled my shoulders into a soft shrug.

»You still need something colorful and this color isn't taken yet so it would be perfect.« I saw how she understood what I was meaning and she looked a last time at it before shrugging.

»It's fine. I haven't worn it that often so I don't think that I'll miss it too much. You can do with it what you want.« A smile spread across my lips. Perfect. It wouldn't take long to make the changes with this piece of clothing so that it would fit perfectly with her suit and the other two would be quickly adjusted as well.

»Great. So, that means that you can try the result tomorrow already.« I would probably need to do a night shift so that the clothes were actually done but I had already considered to not go to class tomorrow. We were repeating stuff anyway so I wouldn't miss anything. And honestly... catching this mysterious Mr. Burakku was far more important. »What are you thinking about skipping college tomorrow?«


~Authorial Narrator's PoV~

Everything was prepared. Everything was ready. And like it seemed it wouldn't take long until one part of his plan would finally take action. He only hoped that the device he had constructed would work like he considered it would. There was no possibility of testing it. It had to work. Now, that everything seemed to roll without him putting much effort in everything he had too much time to think about the last events. Events he witnessed and he wasn't so sure what to think of it. There was no need to deny it. He didn't like it. He even feared it. No idea what would happen. And it was this emotion that kept him awake at night, urging to work further on his plan. He wasn't allowed to lose. It could cost him everything.