Hiro knew exactly where his older brother wished to go, the same place the smaller Hamada had been breaking into periodically when he was able to slip past security. It was getting progressively harder to get into as the days went on, especially now that cleanup was beginning to occur. Both males wanted answers to questions that ate at them, both wanting some kind of explanation and closure.
The small hand continued to rub absently at the injury, chocolate eyes flickering over to the door as it creaked open a bit. Mochi made his way into the shared bedroom, something he had been doing quite often while Tadashi was away, and padded over to the older Hamada's bed. He smiled faintly as the fat cat jumped up on the neat bedspread, giving a soft meow of greeting to Tadashi, before curling up near the end of the bed and closing his eyes.
He wasn't expecting to hear the second location, his gaze shifting back to Tadashi after a moment and watching him quietly for a moment. It made sense, after all it was where the male's mentor was located. Hiro was just glad that his brother didn't join him, though it was a close call for a little while.
[+red "Can I....go with you?"] Hiro asked, his hand finally dropping from his shoulder. Even though he didn't know Callaghan like Tadashi did, he still looked up to him for his work in robotics. Paying respects was the right thing to do.
The elder Hamada didn’t understand why it was surprising him when Hiro continued to speak kindly, encouraging him to continue the process of testing. He couldn’t hold off the feeling of creeping guilt and, as much as he tried, he couldn’t fake being happy even for himself. He hoped his charade with Hiro hid it well.
[#424ef4 “Yeah,”] he said after a moment, [#424ef4 “GoGo can run it over.”] It would take her no time with that bike of hers. Tadashi watched his brother for a little longer, seeing the struggle over his bruised shoulder. Again, the guilt ate at him.
[i The first thing I would do..?] He would run. He would run the six blocks it took him to get to the San Fransokyo Institute and demand to know what happened and why.
A brush of embarrassment crossed his cheeks at the thought. That would be the wrong answer. That’s not what Hiro wanted to hear. The second place he knew he would go would probably be the cemetery. After those months in the hospital and here at home, Tadashi never got the chance to say goodbye to one of his most cherished mentors.
He shouldn’t lie again. It would start to get out of hand especially after that fight they had. He didn’t think he could handle another one so soon.
[#424ef4 “You... you know where I want to go,”] Tadashi replied quietly, feeling chest heavy, [#424ef4 “But then again, maybe the cemetery would be a better first choice...”] [i Please don’t judge me too harshly.]
Tadashi's schematics seemed flawless and Hiro was certain that GoGo's work was just the same. Having this at his disposal would help his brother move around a lot better, maybe even lift his spirits some. That was important to his healing process and Hiro wanted to support him in any way that he could.
[+red "I think it's a great idea,"] he responded, giving Tadashi a happy smile. After a month of sitting around and receiving help from everyone else, it would be soul-healing to finally do something for himself. Hiro didn't mind giving him the help he needed, it made him feel useful, but he could tell that Tadashi wasn't a fan of it. He had always been so independent that having the tables turned on him so quickly was certainly damaging. [+red "I think this is just the thing you need to help with your recovery. You should have her bring it over soon."]
The smaller Hamada shifted on the bed, momentarily putting some weight on his injured shoulder before moving his arm up just as quickly to relieve some of the discomfort. It was proving difficult not to over-do it, as Tadashi had stated, as he was realizing that he used it for more than he first imagined. He lifted his other hand, rubbing at the dark bruise under his shirt, and leaning back in the bed again.
[+red "What's the first thing you're going to do with it?"]
Tadashi exhaled deeply, trying to ground himself in the moment like he was taught in the hospital. Though, in the end, it seemed like all the anxiety was for nothing. Hiro was enthused with his work. He really shouldn't have been surprised. The project was made to be an improvement for himself since he was so impatient with the snail pace of the healing process. He supposed he only felt this way because he wasn’t sure that accelerating the ability to ‘get out of the house’ was something Hiro or Aunt Cass wanted for him.
The elder Hamada forced a smile, putting the iPad to the side and lacing his fingers. [#424ef4 “I’ve already started the building process... GoGo has access to a 3-D printer on the other side of town and was able to put the schematics into physical form. In fact, this morning, she said it was finished.”]
The thought of actually standing straight again was almost strange. After a little over a month of doing nothing but sitting and receiving aid, he wasn’t sure if he should give himself that freedom. But he did this for Hiro too... so he wouldn’t have to have a crippled brother forever. He just had to keep reminding himself that this whole stupid situation was more then just about him.
[#424ef4 “I’m sure she could bring it over if you approve of the idea.”]
Hiro couldn't stop the small smile from forming as Tadashi made eye contact with him, keeping curled up a bit on his bed as he did so. Seeing his brother feeling better lifted his own spirits and made him feel that things could return to some kind of semi-normal state. Even though they may be having problems adjusting to this new life now, things wouldn't always stay this tense and rocky. Both boys needed time to adjust.
He pulled himself to sit up as Tadashi spoke, informing the smaller Hamada that he had been quite busy on a couple of different projects. Hiro was curious to see how much further their research into the accident could go and if they could find out any more useful information. Now that they discovered the teen's stolen technology and that it was being used by some unknown force, it added a bit of danger and risk to their adventure. It wasn't something that caused Hiro to turn away from it but instead called to him more. Hopefully it did the same to Tadashi.
Chocolate eyes flickered over to his ipad as it chimed softly, alerting him that it had received a message. He reached over to his table to retrieve it, opening the files of the new technology and looking it over. It seemed there really wasn't anything that Tadashi couldn't do, especially when he set his mind to it. Helping others in need, even himself it seemed, was his calling and his talent shone strongly on those types of projects.
[+red "Wow, Tadashi,"] he murmured softly as he continued to examine the schematics. Nothing went unnoticed, Hiro looking over every detail imaginable. He finally smiled when he finished and set the ipad down in order to look over at his brother. [+red "This is amazing! How long until you start a prototype?"]
[#424ef4 “Yeah... yeah, I’m okay.”] Which was mostly true now. He felt safe again and that was the important thing. He took in a deep breath and scooted closer to the edge of the bed, leaning forward slightly to make eye contact with his brother and smiled softly. It was weird how much a rough patch seemed to weigh on him... like every argument was getting closer to a more fragile existence. Tadashi hoped that it wasn’t the same for Hiro. They both couldn’t be crumbling slowly away.
The eldest Hamada looked at his phone again, building up the courage to speak and gripping the device tightly. [#424ef4 “I did... do some work last night,”] he started, a feeling of awkwardness creeping over the minimal confidence. [#424ef4 “Mapped out more of the campus and the recorded the individuals attending the showcase... and worked on this.”]
Tadashi reached for his iPad, a little further then he preferred, and opened up the refined version of the ‘helper limbs’ schematics document. He felt painfully self conscious, hesitating for a moment longer before airdropping the blueprints to Hiro’s personal iPad. Then he waited, the seconds long and silent as his little brother looked over his anger fueled work polished by GoGo.
Hiro gave his brother another smile, watching as he limped off to the bathroom with Baymax close behind. It was incredibly hard watching Tadashi struggle like this, knowing that he wanted nothing more than to return to his own definition of normalcy. He knew that Tadashi felt quite useless, not able to do much on his own still, and would always need some form of aid. He didn't mind helping him, especially after all of the things that his brother had done for him, but watching this battle hurt deep inside.
He set the bowl down on top of Tadashi's mostly empty one, going to the dresser and picking out some clothes for him. A comfortable sweater and sweatpants were found and lain on the bed before a pair of fluffy socks followed suit. Once he was satisfied he grabbed the dishes and carried them downstairs. Hiro stopped before he got to the kitchen, quietly dumping some of his uneaten breakfast into a trashcan in order to give the appearance that he had eaten a bit more than he had. He knew it wasn't right but he couldn't risk a doctor's visit. It wasn't only the bill he was worried about but what a professional would say about his condition and all of the after treatments that were sure to follow. It was a problem he didn't want to deal with and would prolong until he couldn't anymore. Besides, Tadashi's recovery was more important.
The dishes were set on the counter and he hurried back up to their shared room before Cass could comment on his breakfast. Seeing what she thought was improvement and being excited about it might actually break his soul. Once he entered the room and closed the door, he moved behind the screen in order to dress for the day. A glance at his shoulder was stolen in the full-length mirror, something that caused the boy to frown a bit, and rubbed at the sore area before slipping his shirt on. That was something else he was dealing with and hiding from his aunt, all of these secrets making him feel quite guilty. No doubt her head would explode if she found out about all of these things. Hiro dropped onto his bed with a quiet groan and closed his eyes, listening to the silence until he heard Tadashi and Baymax return.
Chocolate eyes opened as he heard his brother speak, moving his head a little in order to peek at the other side of the room. He couldn't see much of Tadashi's bed due to the screen but could still see his feet.
[+red "Yeah, my shoulder just hurts a bit,"] he responded, watching as Tadashi's legs moved a bit on the bed. [+red "Are you still okay?"]
Tadashi forced a smile, putting his nearly empty breakfast bowl the side, pushing it against the coffee cup. [#424ef4 “Thanks Hiro,”] he said softly, [#424ef4 “Thanks for sticking around for me.”] They both knew how hard it was to function in a household like this. It seemed their lives were just destined for tragedy no matter what.
With a bit of adjustment, the elder Hamada activated the robot, Baymax inflating quickly. [b “Tadashi, it seems to be time- “]
[#424ef4 “For overdue for a shower,”] he finished quickly, [#424ef4 “I know.”] Despite the shocks in his muscles, Tadashi pushed himself unto his feet with the aid of Baymax. [#424ef4 “I won’t be long,”] he assured his brother, limping his way out the door and into the bathroom.
Once the door was closed, he let out a sigh of relief, slumping against the wall and down to the floor again. [b “Tadashi, your scan has come out negative. Below the average state you should be after an accident.”]
[#424ef4 “I know, Baymax.”] He sucked in a deep breath.
[b “Then I can advise a reintroduction to-”]
[#424ef4 “I don’t want to right now. Just help me shower.”]
[b “I firmly advice as your healthcare companion that you take the missing-”]
[#424ef4 “Baymax, I know. I built you. I know what I’m doing.”] [i Calm down.]
The robot remained silent for a moment before running the water, letting it come to a desirable temperature before helping Tadashi remove his clothes. He felt terrible for treating Baymax like that but he choose to ignore an apology and instead focus on getting clean. He let himself feel in the privacy of the shower, the hot water masking tears that might have escaped. It soon relaxed his tense muscles and aided in the headache.
By the time they returned to the bedroom, Hiro had laid out the clothes, all comfort clothing to his relief. The room had since warmed up and he was truly feeling a bit better, especially since he’d been rebandaged. He nuzzled into his sweater and checked the cellphone displaying a message from GoGo. [i It’s done.]
Tadashi waited till Hiro had returned before attempting normalcy. He should probably let his brother know what he was doing last night. [#424ef4 “You still okay?”] he asked, testing the waters of the relationship once more just in case his brother had changed his mind.
Hiro held the remaining bowl in his lap as Tadashi began to eat his own breakfast, fixing the chopsticks in his hand as he looked down at it. Normally a portion this size would have disappeared in less than a minute and the teenager would be asking for more. Ever since the accident he found himself eating less and less, now his typical meal was about what a very small child would eat. Smells still made his stomach churn and he was still unable to finish even half of something this small without feeling full. What he couldn't understand was why. Tadashi's accident had been over a month ago and he had been responsive nearly the whole time. It wasn't as if his brother didn't have a future. So why was he still having such a hard time with this?
This was something else he wasn't sure if he should ask Tadashi, not wanting to put any more pressure on him but knowing continuing on this road was doing more damage mentally and physically to both of them. Hiro ate a little bit of what was in his bowl before returning to his usual technique of pushing it around. His gaze lifted as Tadashi spoke, watching him perform a similar maneuver with his own breakfast. Was Tadashi really okay or simply saying that in order not to worry his brother?
[+red "A shower will probably make you feel a lot better,"] he agreed softly, looking back down at the bowl in his lap. [+red "And yeah, I can do that. Not a problem."]
[#424ef4 “Yes I am,”] he lied, [#424ef4 “Thanks for bringing up the food.”] Tadashi took the chopsticks and fit it between his fingers which took a moment or two longer then it should have. He should really apologize to Aunt Cass for last night... but it would have to wait for another time. She did know how to make his favorite comfort food though and that did make him smile.
The elder Hamada ate slowly, taking his time with each bite. The focus it actually took to eat distracted him for a few minutes wondering vaguely what he would do after the meal. He glanced up at Hiro, his portion about half the size of his and still barely picking at it. He moved his gaze back to his own bowl, not wanting to watch as his brother chose to make little progress on his decreasing hunger habit. It must have been all a state of mind. A lot like the process he was going through.
[#424ef4 “I think I’ll take a shower after this,”] he said, fiddling with an egg in the bowl. [#424ef4 “I would appreciate it if you pulled out some clothes for me and Baymax can do the rest.”] It would give them a little more privacy- not that Tadashi wanted more of that but he had to calm the shakes somehow. Plus, he felt sticky from the sweat.
When he answered, Hiro let his hand drop to his side and gave him a light nod. Getting breakfast, he could do that. That was within his realm of capabilities. Quietly he left, leaving the door open a crack so he could get back in easily, and headed down the stairs. He was greeted with the smell of eggs and onions which was normally something he would love. Aunt Cass made the best breakfast in SanFransokyo and if his stomach weren't so messed up, he would have dove right in.
Hiro made his way to the kitchen and was greeted by their aunt with a happy smile, piling some food onto a few bowls for them to eat. [b "Is he going to eat upstairs, Hiro?"]
[+red "Yeah, I'm not sure he's up to tackling the staircase again right now,"] he answered back as he pulled open the fridge door. Bright eyes darted over every item in the machine before they landed on what he wanted: a bottle of tea. It was nestled in between a few covered plates, some as old as a week, and carefully pulled it out from the graveyard. When he turned around he saw Cass leaning against the counter, holding two bowls in her hand. One had significantly more food in it than the other, obviously meant for the malnourished Hamada. He took them from her carefully after nestling the bottle into his arm, and began to make his way towards the stairs.
[b "Please eat something, Hiro. I don't want to have to take you to a doctor."]
He glanced back at her before continuing his journey back to their room where he quietly pushed the door open further. He hoped it was an empty threat, another bill added to this wasn't something the family needed. They weren't exactly destitute but it wasn't like the cafe made them millions of dollars, either. It was something Hiro would fight for as long as he could but it was beginning to seem like he was losing.
The door was closed behind him, Hiro glancing up at Tadashi as he patted the bed in front of him before going over and handing his brother his breakfast. Besides the eggs and onion it looked like there were quite a bit of other vegetables in it, too, which would be good for his brother's recovery. He pulled himself up onto the soft surface with his remaining arm, sitting the bowl in his lap and handing Tadashi a pair of chopsticks.
[+red "So are you feeling any better?"] he asked softly, looking over at him.
The eldest Hamada let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding, a wave of relief washing over him. Why was that so hard? He’d have to ponder that another time when he wasn’t feeling so god-damn crappy. [i It’s okay. It’s okay. Hiro is going no where.]
[#424ef4 “Yeah, okay, sure,”] he replied, nodding his head slightly. Tadashi needed that minute to gather himself anyhow and [i maybe] he’d feel inclined to eat. And... the idea of using his logical brain again was definitely the most appealing.
He waited till Hiro had left once more before letting out a shaky breath. [i Stop feeling so stiff. Nothing is wrong now. Hiro isn’t angry. You’re not going to fall apart. Not right now. You should probably take those medicines you missed.]
[i But I don’t want them.]
[i What would Hiro think?]
Why was his brother so heavy on his mind lately? Because he was the only best friend he had that knew what was going on in his messed up head? Because Hiro promised he’d be there even Tadashi said things he didn’t mean? Because it was too scary to be alone?
The eldest put the cup aside and used the sleeve of his shirt to wipe the sweat off his forehead. He’d have to confide in Baymax if he wanted to keep this struggle to a minimum concern. Eating while alleviate ones Hiro might have, he was sure.
Tadashi had finally turned his back to the window when his brother returned, patting the spot in front of him on the bed with a slight smile.
[i [b "This isn't going to be easy, Hiro. Tadashi's taken a lot of damage and, if he does come home, he won't be the same. But that doesn't mean that he won't love you any less."]]
Part of the speech that Aunt Cass had given him had always remained in his brain but it really seemed to take hold now. She was right, he was different. His emotions were off the charts, Hiro swearing he developed a bit of bipolar, his physical form was almost destroyed, and his mind was his biggest enemy. But that genius part of him, the one that made Baymax and yearned to keep discovering and learning, that was still there. It hadn't changed at all. Perhaps he was going about this all wrong, maybe he needed to focus on the things that Tadashi could still do instead of the opposite.
Maybe instead of going off in search of some crazy person they could focus on this case at home.
The small hand still rubbed at his shoulder as he began to approach the bed. His brother wasn't paying the least bit of attention, his focus on the rain outside and how it connected with the window. Hiro stopped once he made it to Tadashi's side, lowering his hand from his shoulder and letting it rest gently over his arm and giving him a faint smile.
[+red "That's okay,"] he responded softly. Tadashi's skin still felt a bit on the warmer side despite the ice box he had tried to turn their room into earlier. Still, it wasn't something to be alarmed about just yet. [+red "We can stay here, maybe work on a couple of things. I still have all of that stuff on my desk and now we know a little bit more."] He paused, hearing their aunt call for them and give a few muffled words after. [+red "Breakfast is done. You still want a plate?" I'll bring it up."]
Was it strange that Tadashi almost took that as an insult? Part of him knew it was true. The other part didn’t want to believe him. Broken or not? He firmly wanted to embrace the chance of being strong enough for just about anything- but his logical voice knew everything was all wrong. All of it was wrong...
And it pained him to say no. It went against the gut retching urge to go see the University, to see everything. To feel everything... but he knew it was someone else speaking. Someone else using his voice to tell him that things were going to turn out okay. That he wasn’t sitting here arguing with himself on whether or not tearing himself apart was morally right just to know the truth.
[#424ef4 “No,”] the eldest Hamada replied, keeping his voice from cracking. [#424ef4 “I guess... not right now...”] He didn’t make eye contact with Hiro, afraid of what the other might see in them. Weakness, vulnerability, sickness...
He kept his gaze on the rainy window pane, gripping the coffee cup tighter absentmindedly. He honestly hoped Hiro wouldn’t go. Not without him.
The chocolate gaze observed Tadashi, noting the light shaking in his arm as he reached for the coffee mug. Even thought his brother tried to hide it Hiro knew better: he wanted nothing more than to go to the university. Hiro couldn't blame him, he had the mind of a scientist and explorer so it was natural to want to visit the place where his life changed forever. He couldn't help but wonder, though, if Tadashi was able to actually go. His mental state could still use some love, especially after the spat the two of them had. His brother even admitted that he wasn't properly balanced up there yet. Who knew what effect this could have on him? His body was still healing as well but it wasn't as big an obstacle as his rampant and loose emotions. He just didn't want to do any more damage.
[+red "Do you...think you can handle it?"] he asked softly. His hand raised to absently rub at the damaged shoulder again. [+red "We can go together but I don't want this to hurt you more. You're still really sensitive."]
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