Hiro couldn't help but smile as he noticed Tadashi's mood finally lift. It was something he had been working for since the elder Hamada had returned home but things had gotten a little rocky. Maybe, once he started to heal more, things could go back to semi normal. Hiro returned GoGo's side hug, wincing faintly as he moved his shoulder, but did his best to hide it from both of them. The last thing he wanted to deal with were questions.
He took a seat beside Tadashi's chair, listening to them talk and looking over the schematics. It was easy to see why his brother was so excited about it, it meant that he could begin moving on his own. Sure, he would need to take baby steps at first but, if he kept working at it and improvements to bugs and flaws were made, he'd be running on his own in no time. Chocolate eyes examined the blueprints, looking over as many details as he could in a quick manner. It seemed well produced and thought out, surely Tadashi would have some success with it. His gaze lifted as his name was spoken, the pair hoping he would have some ideas on how to improve the battery. They certainly came to the right person for that as the boy's robotics lasted a lot longer than his competitors with less charges in between. He reached out a bit, zooming in on the battery pack to get a better look at it.
[+red "Looks like a lithium-ion,"] he mused softly as he examined it carefully. Luckily he already had an answer as to what they could improve and it was an easy fix. [+red "Switch it to a lithium-ion polymer and it'll give you at least six more hours to play with. It's also a lot thinner. Just make sure it's connected properly or it could explode; if you want me to do it for you, I can."]
Tadashi held his breath as Hiro wheeled him into the warm comforts of the cafe and instantly he recognised GoGo from across the room, chatting up Aunt Cass behind the counter. Though independent and snarky, she had a way of supporting others that respected everyone involved. She was definitely different from when he first met her years ago- before their parents died.
Aunt Cass waved as they entered and the dark haired girl looked up with a smile. She wasted no time, pushing herself off the glass display case, and crossing the space quick enough, he didn’t really have time to be embarrassed by her gentle hug. Tadashi cautiously wrapped his arms around her, careful not to put too much pressure in the rougher burn spots but enjoying it nonetheless.
She pulled away, giving Hiro a side hug immediately after. [#804BE5 “Nice to see you guys. Been a while.”]
[i Too long.] [#424ef4 “You look good,”] he smiled, leaning forward against the wooden table.
[#804BE5 “Not as good as those scars are gonna be when they heal up. You’re going to look so badass.”] She took a seat, setting up her tablet.
He didn’t think so but he knew she was just being nice about it. GoGo never cared about what anyone thought of her appearance though she never had to deal with permanent scars either. He remained quiet as she pulled up the schematics and turned it to face the pair of them. [#804BE5 “You kept me up last night with those ideas of yours but I managed to fix it up even after the print.”]
The blueprint depicted a leg with a thin flexible alloy running up the back and only extending out around the joints and heel. It was supposed to conform with the flow of the limb and skin but there were drawbacks to that kind of idea such as being able to take it off, being too stiff on first usage... but that's what experimenting and tests were for. You can’t make a perfect product the first time. [i That] lesson he surely learned with Baymax.
Tadashi narrowed his eyes, seeing the subtle differences she applied to the motor functions. She had integrated her own technical inventions to joints which, for moving, would definitely reduce the friction and static kickback. [#424ef4 “You decided to use my wire idea rather than the metal strips running up the back.”]
[#804BE5 “You don’t want to overload the nerves on your first walk with the electric pulser but Hiro can help you tweak that.”]
She was right of course. He wanted to do a more firm charge to release the muscle tension but it might just make the barely awakening dormant muscles rip too far. The first walk would definitely hurt.
[#804BE5 “I dropped off the prototype in the garage. Hope you don’t mind. Your aunt said it was fine.”]
[#424ef4 “That’s perfect. We can run the diagnostics and I’m sure Hiro can even improve the battery life.”] The hardware was already a challenge with how small it was. [#424ef4 “If that’s okay with you, Hiro?”]
It was a bit of a relief to see Tadashi give in to his brother's words, deciding to go down and see his good friend. He felt that he really needed this, to interact with other people, and to get himself going again. Hiro felt that he was failing at helping Tadashi with his rehabilitation, seeing as the older male kept loosing his temper on a rather frequent basis and seemed to be doubting whether he could keep going or not. But what results could Hiro expect when he couldn't even help himself? Here he was, malnourished and sporting a fractured shoulder, expecting to make his brother better.
Why did life have to be so complicated?
He stayed nearby as Baymax helped Tadashi get ready, watching from the doorway just in case he was needed, and stepped aside once they were ready to travel down the staircase. The robot had been programmed well, easily taking care of these tasks and effortlessly carrying his patient down the stairs and to the wheelchair. Hiro followed once his brother was settled, stopping at his side and looking over at him as he spoke.
A smile slowly crept on his face, those familiar words sorely missed. It was his go-to phrase when Hiro was facing problems that he couldn't figure out, usually picking him up after and holding him in some awkward and strange position until an idea popped into his mind. Then came the familiar fist bump, which Tadashi offered up. It was almost like old times. He gladly obliged, performing the long-missed action with Tadashi.
[+red "You're my brother,"] Hiro answered, moving behind the chair and taking hold of the handles. [+red "I'll always be here when you need me."] He then began to push the wheelchair over to the cafe and stopped Tadashi in a quiet corner where he wouldn't be disturbed by customers.
The elder Hamada looked up at his cautious little brother, suddenly aware of what he must have looked like to him. He bit his lip, frustrated that he couldn’t keep it together for even a few minutes. What happened to the cool headed man he used to be? Why did Hiro look like that?
He took in a deep breath, rubbing his eyes before passing the shoes to Baymax to help him put on. [#424ef4 “Alright. I’ll go.”] Even though he most certainly didn’t want to do it anymore, he needed to convince everyone around him that they didn’t have to worry. Tadashi was more than capable of handling himself- that it was entirely physical related setbacks. He wanted to be back to his normal habits, though he really couldn’t remember what normalcy felt like. It seemed like life started from the fire.
Slowly but surely, he got himself dressed and with the aid of Baymax, managed to get downstairs into the wheelchair at the bottom. [#424ef4 “Thanks for coming back,”] he started once Hiro was by his side again. [#424ef4 “Anxiety has just been my biggest enemy lately. I guess I just have to remember to look at the situation from a different perspective.”] This time he gave a genuine smile and held his closed fist up. It had been a while since they’ve done their personal fist bump.
Tadashi seemed to avoid his question, choosing to get down to business instead of answering it. Did that mean that everything wasn't okay? Had Hiro walked in on the aftermath of another meltdown? If that was the case, Hiro didn't mind helping him in any way that he needed. After all, Tadashi had always been there for him when he needed it most. Recently his brother didn't seem to be taking it too well, becoming frustrated with his predicament and losing his cool.
[+red "I heard her talking to someone in the cafe, but it wasn't too busy,"] Hiro responded, going to the closet to get what his brother had asked for. Tadashi's area was incredibly neat, obviously having inherited tidiness from their parents. The smaller Hamada wasn't anywhere near this level of cleanliness but he was still a teenager. Perhaps he would grow into it. Reaching down, he picked up the boots and began to take them back to the bed. It didn't take long for Tadashi to have another mini meltdown, becoming frustrated with his situation and wanting to call off the meeting. Hiro frowned faintly at this, gently setting the boots down and picking up the discarded sweater. He figured that maybe seeing his friends would help him out of his rut a bit seeing as Hiro wasn't making much progress with it by himself.
[+red "I'm sure she wouldn't mind seeing you,"] Hiro responded, turing the cardigan right side out and holding it in his arms. [+red "Maybe a visit with her will make you feel a little better. But, if you're that set on it, I'll tell her."]
Tadashi decided that the downside to having a robotic health practitioner was that it was always honest but that also meant that it was also at the discretion of the patient it served. Baymax remained silent when Hiro finally entered the room about ten minutes later after the text, giving the eldest enough time to get frustrated with the mere fact that he couldn’t dress himself anymore. To Baymax’s credit, it did try to help but his agitation just seemed to cap at shaky movements, frustrated enough that he just wanted to give up on the situation entirely.
[i Calm down. It’s not the end of the world. Hiro’s finally here.] [#424ef4 “Hiro, can you pass me those boots in the closet with the black laces- and did you see GoGo downstairs? She must be in the cafe with Aunt Cass.”] He worked on pushing his arm through the green cardigan but his bandages were giving it resistance. Damn and what about his face? Was this even worth it? Maybe she should just drop it off and he could conduct the tests himself.
Tadashi groaned, feeling too warm again. [#424ef4 “Maybe we should just do this another time,”] he said, pulling the cardigan back off and tossing to the floor. [#424ef4 “Could you go down there and ask her to drop the prototype off in the garage?”] This was too embarrassing.
Expertly Hiro made his way through the city, he had made treks like this daily and was used to the bustle of the people around him. He regularly ran errands for his aunt, especially while Tadashi was gone in order to keep his mind occupied, and knew every nook and cranny of the area. Getting to the Institute was no challenge, Hiro taking every shortcut he could think of and after a fifteen minute walk he arrived at the back of the building.
The area still smelled of burning debris and rubble, a scent that was able to be picked up a block away. It made Hiro's nose wrinkle a little bit but he was quickly able to get used to it. This was a place he visited a few times a week to check on progress and, more importantly, security. If he learned anything from his nightly escapades, it was how important it was to study the area and have a plan, a backup plan, and an escape plan. Besides, if he got arrested again he figured Aunt Cass would probably have a heart attack. Chocolate eyes scanned the area from his hiding place, noting the chain and padlock on the fence in order to keep students and other nosy people away from the explosion site. Safety reasons, they said. Hiro knew it was much more than that, the police may still be investigating. Security seemed to be a regular thing in this area now, shift changes at the exact same times of day and at least two guards to the area. Sneaking in was still going to be challenging.
But not impossible.
When the guard began making his rounds, Hiro crept up to the gate to investigate the chain and lock, a faint frown touching his face. It was an industrial lock, that was for certain, the smaller Hamada figuring it to be a four pin lock. Another thing worth noting was the thickness of the bolt, it would be difficult to cut. The chain was similar thickness, meaning the fence would have to be climbed over in order to access what was behind it. But what about Tadashi? Maybe Hiro could come up with something in the garage to cut the lock but it would take some time.
His train of thought was disrupted as he heard his phone vibrate in his pocket, pulling it out to see a text from Tadashi. [i "Need you home."] Hopefully now that he had a chance to rest a bit, he was feeling better. Quickly Hiro left the site before being seen and walked the few blocks back home and made his way up to the room. Baymax had been activated, standing near the bed, while Tadashi sat up and looked a bit....frustrated.
[+red "Everything okay?"] he asked, shoving his hands into his hoodie pockets as he stood in the doorway.
Tadashi forced a smile as he watched his brother leave, a sigh escaping his lips once the door was closed. Carefully rubbing the back of his neck, his eyes landed on the red case where Baymax charged, reminding him of the interaction from earlier. He was punishing himself for reasons the bot didn’t understand and he knew the next time Baymax was activated, it’d mention the pills again.
The elder Hamada glanced at his bedside table, little orange bottles lining the left side. He had to take them before trying out the prototype otherwise GoGo would definitely notice. Thinking about her brought a sort of warmth in him. He hadn’t seen her since he was back at the hospital and even then those visits were far between.
There was a buzz from the phone beside him, the text reading [i Cool. See you this afternoon.] The warmth in his chest was extinguished, bringing that familiar sense of anxiety.
[i It’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay.] He scooted up the bed, laying his head against the pillow. [i Just please don’t dream...]
When Tadashi awoke, his body was clammy, shivering again. He supposed it was ignorant to think everything would be okay if he missed a dose- obviously he wasn’t as smart in the medical department as he assumed he was. [#424ef4 “Ow,”] he groaned.
As expected, Baymax inflated from his charging station, stepping around to get to his bedside. [b “Tadashi,”] it said after a moment, [b “Your scan has come back negative-”]
[#424ef4 “Yeah, I know. What time is it?”]
[b “It is a quarter past 3 pm. Do you want to take your gabapentin now?”]
Tadashi shook his head, pushing himself up with the strength recovered from sleep. [#424ef4 “That stuff takes me out. I’ll wait till tonight,”] he mumbled, finding the defeat within his decision.
[b “Going over 24 hrs without gabapentin could have side effects and a withdraw would be unhealthy for your trauma recovery.”]
[#424ef4 “Yes Baymax. I get it. Keep your voice down.”] With the robot’s aid, he was able to come to an upright sit, taking in a deep breath as his bandages were inspected. He did feel a little less fatigued after the nap but the aftereffects were still making his movements shaky.
He reached over for the cell and noticed a few missed messages and his heartbeat quickened. [i GoGo was already here? Where was Hiro? Did he know? How long was she waiting? I’m not ready yet!]
[b “Tadashi, your body levels have risen. Are you having another panic-”]
[#424ef4 “No, no,”] he interrupted, already feeling guilty for the lie, [#424ef4 “This is mild anxiety.”] He sent a quick text to Hiro before brushing his fingers through his hair to perk it up. Aunt Cass always did say he had the flattest hair that was impossible to work with. He hoped maybe his brother could help with that as well as getting downstairs...
Hiro watched as Mochi drifted off into sleep, quiet purrs sounding from the chunky beast. He seemed to have taken a liking to this room in the past few weeks, if he wasn't in here than he was sprawled out on the couch downstairs. He seemed to just enjoy the company of people which was something the smaller Hamada was having a hard time dealing with lately. He was normally a bubbly, friendly person but, since the accident, he felt himself becoming more shut-off and reserved. He found it hard to do the things he once loved and spent much of his time lounging around his room. Now that Tadashi was back, some of that old Hiro was beginning to resurface. Unfortunately it was still a constant battle with himself to not shut down completely.
Tadashi's words didn't surprise him, he was beginning to see his brother lose energy in the last half hour. He was certain the injuries and the medications took a lot out of him. Hiro gave his brother a smile and a light shrug to go with it. [+red "We can go after you've rested. I'll head downstairs, give you some peace and quiet. When you need me, text me."] He grabbed his hoodie from the back of his chair, glancing down at the sleeping Mochi, before quietly slipping out of the room and closing the door most of the way. Carefully he pulled the jacket on as not to pull on his shoulder, zipping it up halfway, then quietly left the apartment.
At first Hiro imagined that finding something to do while his brother rested would be challenging, but then an idea hit him. He hadn't been to the college in a good week, perhaps it was a good idea to check and see how progress was going. It would give him a better idea on security, construction, and, more importantly, what to tell Tadashi about it when he asked again.
A wave of relief washed over him when only a few words were uttered from his brother. Grateful that nothing turned into a bigger debate of interests, Tadashi managed to smile, watching Mochi waddle over to Hiro’s side, something becoming more common. Maybe the cat didn’t like the way the elder Hamada smelled...
[#424ef4 “I would love that actually.”] Tadashi knew it would be tough and honestly something he wouldn’t want to do alone anyhow. He had a feeling that he would inaveratiley blame himself for the death of his treasured mentor, the stand in Father Hiro didn’t really know. He wanted to tell his brother but... it felt so private. [#424ef4 “I’ll text GoGo,”] he started, leaning back to pull his cellphone over, [#424ef4 “I... will probably have it done very soon. I’m feeling... impatient, you know.”] And tired and sore, etc. [i No need to complain.]
[#424ef4 “I think, Hiro, that I may need to close my eyes. Didn’t sleep much.”] He shrugged his shoulders, hoping it wouldn’t be an inconvenience.
[i Don’t feel bad about saying that. He understands.]
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?"]
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