The night had been quite and typical, Tadashi had done his homework, had dinner, worked on his project, and then fell asleep. He’d had always been a sound sleeper, he couldn’t have pinpointed what woke him up if he’d tired. Either way though his eyes slowly opened as he was pulled from sleep’s comforting grip.
“Hiro?” He yawned before stretching out, seconds passed but he didn’t hear his brother’s response. “Hiro.” Tadashi said as he sat up in bed, glancing over to the other side of the room. The digits on the clock caught his eye, it was nearing midnight and Hiro shouldn’t have been asleep yet.
“Hiro?” Tadashi asked again as he tossed his blanket aside and threw his legs over the edge of his bed. Tadashi padded over to the divider, already knowing there was a good chance he wouldn’t find Hiro. Carefully he pushed it aside and flipped on his brother’s lamp.
"You always do this.” He growled as he stared at the still made bed. Hiro was gone and Tadashi had a feeling he knew just where his older brother was.
Tadashi grabbed his phone before dialing his brother’s number. It rung once before going straight to voice mail. ‘Hey you’ve reached Hiro Hamada I can’t pick up right now, try again later!’
He frowned before tossing the phone aside. After a moment of hesitation, Tadashi quickly changed into a pair of jeans and a hoodie.
"Why can’t you just stay home?” He grumbled, it had been directed at Hiro but of course he wasn’t there to hear it. He pulled on his socks and shoes heading down the stairs.
He looked around, making sure he wouldn’t get caught first, before slipping out the front door of the café. Cass should be asleep, she was the only one, and he figured as long as he was back soon it would be fine. Besides, it didn’t matter. He had to go and get Hiro, his older brother could be stupid at times despite how smart he actually was.
Tadashi huffed as he pulled his jacket closer, the city outside was wide awake. He couldn’t help but feel slightly resentful of that fact.
The trains in the city ran 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But it wasn’t exactly pleasant having to take a seat between a drunk man and a women who clearly had a severe cold. ‘I hope he’s happy.’ Tadashi thought bitterly as he sunk down into his slightly sticky seat. He knew the place well enough, it might have been an illegal bot fighting ring but because of Hiro he knew a lot more about it than he should.
Once the train stopped, it was only a short walk from the station to the not so great part of the city. Tadashi felt his stomach drop as he started to glance down the allies as he listened for the noise of metal against metal and the sound of the crowd that had undoubtedly gathered. That was the only problem when trying to find Hiro. He was always on the shady sides of the city and it was never in the same place twice.
Tadashi jumped as he heard the sound of applause close by. He stated to sprint towards the sound, as he got closer he could see the people all surrounding a pair of bots. “Where do you think you’re going kid?” A man asked just as Tadashi was just about to get closer. “Gotta be this tall to play.” He laughed while holding a hand mockingly above Tadashi’s head.
“Well uh…I don’t want to play.” He said a bit nervously as he tried to look past the man. “I’m just trying to get my brother…so if I could just-”The man frowned, all humor gone from his face. Tadashi tried to smile but he knew it wasn’t about to be returned.
“House rules, beat it.” If only it was that easy. Tadashi narrowed his eyes, the man was acting like he wanted to be there. After riding on a train next to the worst people in the world for twenty minutes, Tadashi was not going home without Hiro. “Did you hear me?”
“I don’t think you heard me. I. Just. Want. My. Brother.” Tadashi snapped, as he tried to appear more intimidating than he really was. “I’m not leaving without him.” Suddenly the man took his abnormally large hands and grabbed the front of Tadashi’s jacket.
“You’re asking for aren’t you, kid? If you think for a second you’re getting past me, think again.” He pulled him closer as Tadashi scrambled to get away. “Not so tough now.” He growled as he lowered his face so that he could stare coldly into terrified brown eyes.
“Okay, okay! I’m sorry, let’s not get violent!” Tadashi yelped, hoping that a bit of pleading might work. He felt his heart beat quicken as he attempted to get away from the burly man.
“Let him go.” A voice came from behind and Tadashi felt a wave of relief wash over him. “We were just about to leave.” Hiro said, his voice firm and, if Tadashi was honest, a bit scary. But even with Hiro making demands the man still didn’t let go.
“You might be leaving but he isn’t.” The man shook the smaller form slightly. Tadashi used his own hands to try and physically pry his hoodie from the man’s grasp. Out of the corner of his eye, Tadashi could see a fist come flying from behind. Then like that the man was on the floor, his hand covered his bleeding nose.
“Tadashi come on!” Hiro yelled, grabbing his younger brother’s wrist as he took off down the street. Tadashi stumbled as he struggled to keep up, at that point Hiro was practically dragging him. “Turn. Turn!” Hiro yelled as pulled the younger boy around a sharp corner. “Come on get on, we gotta get out here.”
The moped, Tadashi had completely forgotten about it. There wasn’t much time to contemplate though, Hiro was shoving a helmet on his head. “Not so fast!” Tadashi yelled over the scooters engine. Either his brother hadn’t heard him or he’d chosen to ignore him. He threw his hands around Hiro’s waist, clinging tightly in hopes that he wouldn’t fall. “Slow down!”
“No time!” Hiro yelled back. Thank God it couldn’t go any faster than 45. Tadashi looked behind him, that’s when he’d realized they were being followed. Apparently Hiro wasn’t the only guy who owned a scooter. “Hold on tight, I’m going to try and lose him!”
“Hiro!” Tadashi nearly screamed as his brother swerved into traffic. He pressed his face into Hiro’s back. He couldn’t look, there was only impending doom. Cars honked around him and he didn’t need to see his brother’s driving to know how erratic, unsafe, and probably unlawful it was. “I love my life, please don’t get us killed!” Tadashi wailed, not daring to peek up.
All around him he could hear other drivers yelling obscenities at them. “Well then how about next time you stay at home?!” Hiro yelled. It was not the time, Tadashi did not want the last thing he heard to be Hiro’s complaining.
It seemed like the drive lasted for ages but Tadashi could feel the scooter losing speed. The honking stopped and then finally the scooter did as well. When Tadashi finally worked up the nerve to look up he couldn’t have been more thankful that they were back home. He sighed in relief before shakily unwrapping himself from Hiro. He pressed a hand over his chest, checking to see if his heart was still beating.
“That was really stupid, Tadashi!” Hiro barked as he pulled the key out and practically threw his helmet off. “Do you have any idea how dangerous those places are?” Tadashi stared at him, mouth hanging open in disbelief. “That guy was seriously about to kick your ass! Aunt Cass would have had to come and pick you up from the hospital, then do you know what she would have done?! She would have put me in one!” Tadashi closed his mouth before hardening his stare as he climbed off.
“If they’re so dangerous than why are you there at least twice a week?!” Tadashi demanded as Hiro slide easily off the bike. The older Hamada shook his head before huffing.
“It’s different Tadashi, you’re just a kid. I can handle myself, unlike you. If I ever catch you back there again I’ll-” Hiro didn’t have time to finish his sentence. Tadashi was already running to the front door and away from him. Instantly he felt a sense of guilt. “Damn it.” He swore before making his way inside the house. Tadashi had only went to keep Hiro out of trouble, he hadn’t meant to defeat the cause.
After climbing back up the stairs to their room, Hiro found Tadashi engulfed in his blanket with his back to the door. Hiro sighed again, trying to work out the best way to apologize. He hadn’t meant to come off so harshly, he’d only said it because Tadashi being there had scared him senseless. He refused to let himself imagine what would have happened if he hadn’t looked over at the bouncer.
“Dashi?” He spoke softly as he sat on the edge of his little brother’s bed. “I’m sorry.” He placed his hand on the lump that was Tadashi. The lump moved away from his hand, shuffling over to the other side of the bed. “Come on, don’t be like that. You know I’m sorry.” Hiro tried again as he poked at the lump.
“No you’re not.” Came the muffled reply. Hiro couldn’t decide if he was making progress or not. Hiro flopped down next to the pile of blankets before rolling closer to it. “Go away.” Tadashi mumbled, trying to move even further away. Hiro started to poke once more, knowing that if he just kept working at it, Tadashi would forgive him.
“You’re a jerk.” Tadashi grunted as he scooted back on the bed more. Sadly though there was no more bed left. Tadashi found himself landing roughly on the floor, blankets still covering him.
“Tadashi are you alright?” Hiro asked, leaning over so that he could peer down at his brother. Tadashi struggled to escape from his blanket. “Here let me…uh…” Hiro reached down and pulled the blanket off the younger Hamada. Hiro nearly laughed at the sight, instead he forced himself to keep a straight face. Tadashi’s hair was standing up at odd angles and his face was red from embarrassment and frustration.
“It’s not funny, Hiro.” Tadashi snapped as hauled himself off the floor. Hiro finally broke down and allowed himself a small laugh, he’d never been good at hiding his amusement anyway. “First I take a train all the way down there just to make sure you’re alright, then I nearly get beat up, then you start yelling at me for caring about you, and now you push me off the bed!”
“Dashi, c’mere.” Hiro stood up and held his arms out for his younger brother. Tadashi crossed his arms and quickly turned around. “Nope, I’m not taking no for an answer.” He walked up behind him and wrapped his arms around the younger teen. “I’m sorry.” He mumbled gently as he rested his chin on top of Tadashi’s head. “I know you were only looking out for me, I shouldn’t have yelled.” He could feel Tadashi relax some, obviously coming around to Hiro’s words.
“I’m lucky to have someone who cares enough to try and drag my sorry ass home.” Tadashi turned around so that he could face his brother, he gave Hiro a look that clearly meant ‘keep going.’ “I got scared, I saw that guy shaking you and my heart stopped I swear.”
“I wouldn’t have been there if you hadn’t.” Tadashi argued, finally allowing himself to lean into Hiro’s embrace. “And I don’t get scared when I wake up and you aren’t there?”
“Fair enough.” Hiro laughed, running his fingers through dark brown hair. “How about this, I stay home more often and you stay away from that side of town.” Tadashi knew that was probably the best he was going to get. Without hesitation, he nodded, agreeing to the other’s deal. “I love you Dashi, let’s get some sleep alright?”
“I love you too Nii-San.” Hiro pulled away and smiled brightly down at his younger brother. Spending time with Tadashi was much better betting on Bot fights anyway.