Hiro carefully moved his hand from Tadashi's as the other's dropped to the bed, not wanting to hurt him more than he already was. He couldn't be sure what his brother's pain levels really were, he knew Tadashi would never tell him anyway. From what he heard from their aunt, he was given a pretty good cocktail of painkillers and antibiotics that could probably knock out a horse. Hiro imagined that his brother was given this mix a bit ago as he still seemed somewhat lethargic but still uncomfortable. The small Hamada would give anything to ease that, to have his brother whole again. Unfortunately, he didn't know what any of that was.
Chocolate eyes examined the bed again before Hiro pulled himself up onto the edge of it, being careful not to jostle Tadashi's healing form, and sitting at his side. Seeing the older male quite tired gave him hope that, if Tadashi was still angry at him, that he wouldn't be able to reach out and fully throttle him. Flying objects were still a possibility but he was confident in his dodging skills.
[+red "It's finished, but I haven't sent it in yet,"] Hiro admitted quietly after a while, bringing his gaze up to Tadashi again. He didn't really feel like sending it in at this point as he wanted to focus on his brother's recuperation. He was only fourteen, college could wait a while. It was the least he could do after almost getting him killed. He began to wonder if he would always feel guilty and if Tadashi would hold this over his head for the rest of their lives. It wasn't like Hiro didn't deserve it.
Hiro straightened up a bit in order to remove his jacket, setting it at the foot of the bed afterwards while Tadashi spoke. Even under horse tranquilizers he was still observant. His appetite had been one of the first things to go when he went home with Aunt Cass after the accident and it still hadn't returned. Many meals went barely touched, a couple of bites taken before Hiro was full and didn't want to look at it anymore. His body was beginning to show signs of his negligence as his shorts needed to be secured with a belt to keep them from sliding off and his shirts seemed a size too big for him. This attitude, though, was just like his brother: always worrying about everyone but himself.
[+red "You sound like Aunt Cass,"] Hiro murmured quietly, leaning back a bit as he brought his gaze back to Tadashi. [+red "And you don't want to hear about me, nothing's changed. Except that Mochi has stolen your bed and I don't think you're getting it back without a fight."]
Hiro paused a bit as he observed Tadashi carefully. Everything seemed good, no signs of high blood pressure due to anger at the smaller Hamada. Perhaps he may just get out of here alive. [+red "Any word on when they're letting you out of here?"]
This time it was pure relief when Hiro didn’t turn away. It was the one thing he needed but never knew. Not the gifts from his friends, not the drugs, not Aunt Cass- but the presence of someone he felt most important to him. He hadn’t seen him since the accident. The touch was soft, and for that he was grateful.
[i It hurts so much sometimes I wished it ended...]
Tadashi’s forced smile softened slightly. [#424ef4 “Yeah but like she said... it’s good ‘stuff’.”] He let his hand drop, already feeling tired. [#424ef4 “Tell me about you, Hiro.”] He shut his eyes, trying to ease the strain. [#424ef4 “Have you finished that registration?”]
Tadashi already knew the answers. Aunt Cass made sure to keep him updated due to his brother’s visiting absence. He just wanted Hiro to stay. Stay long enough before he was forced to be alone again. He couldn’t wait to get out of the white room. [#424ef4 “Have you been eating?”] he asked noticing how thin he was.
Even though he was expecting it, his brother's consciousness still caught him off guard. He still wished Tadashi was asleep or so doped up on morphine that the smaller male's presence didn't register and he could sneak back out. It wasn't the case, the chocolate eyes that matched his own turning towards him, the deeper voice filling the room. It sounded better than what he was expecting, the first couple of days that Aunt Cass had been to see Tadashi she mentioned that his voice had suffered as much as his body did. The ash and smoke had seemed to clear from it, sounding just as normal as it used to. His appearance, though, had certainly undergone some major changes. It was difficult to tell what all of those changes were as there was still a considerable amount of gauze covering his brother's skin, but he could see some burns stretching over his neck and down into the collar of the hospital gown he wore. Tadashi's face was no longer one solid peach color but several, seeming to reach all ends of the color spectrum.
The guilt was overwhelming, especially after seeing his brother like this. A hard lump had formed in his throat, making it difficult to swallow and to breathe. He hated seeing Tadashi like this, if anyone deserved this the least, it was him. He was always so kind and strong, willing to help anyone that needed it, no matter what. He always knew the right things to say to make others feel better, especially Hiro, and always seemed to be happy. Seeing Tadashi reduced to a burned mass in a hospital bed nearly broke everything inside Hiro which made his guilt a bit worse.
If it weren't for him, Tadashi wouldn't be in this position.
Quietly he shut the door and moved further into the room, glancing at his surroundings before stopping next to the bed. Flowers and stuffed animals of all kinds filled the room, get well gifts from friends and Aunt Cass. Next to the bed on the small table sat a bear holding a vase of beautiful lilies, Hiro able to make out Honey Lemon's handwriting on the card. At least it seemed that his nerd friends visited frequently. Maybe it helped Tadashi deal with the fact that he had an awful brother.
A small hand reached out, lightly taking Tadashi's bandaged one in his own. He didn't use too much pressure or grip too hard as he didn't want to hurt him more than he already was. [+red "Does....does it hurt?"] he asked quietly, moving his eyes from their hands up to his face. [+red "Aunt Cass says they have you on the good stuff."]
[i Someone has to help.]
He felt hot. Uncomfortable.
[i Someone has to help.]
His heartbeat quickened. He could feel the sweat rolling down the back of his neck. He was in the fire again, looking around but he could see no signs of Callaghan. No signs of anyone. The heat was intense and eyes were dry. He was frantic, turning in circles, calling his name. Time seemed so slow as he turned till everything lit up in a white light.
Tadashi Hamada gripped at the sheets as his eyes flew open. He tried his hardest to catch his breath, grinding his teeth, his heartbeat loud in his ears. [i It’s okay, It’s okay,] he repeated in his head but he knew it was never that easy.
He always felt so scared and the machines always beeped annoyingly in his room, increasing his anxiety. The nurses already knew what was happening. Tadashi knew. He’d studied the medical attributes of people who experience traumatic circumstances but that didn’t make anything easier.
Pain shot up through his body, weakening the man almost immediately. The burns, still sensitive after a couple weeks, weighed on him and made tears roll down his cheeks. It was pathetic, illogical, correct, annoying, obvious, frustrating and so god-damn predictable that he hated being in this bed, in this room, in this hospital, in this miserable body...
The morphine did it’s part as time ticked painfully by and Tadashi could almost feel calm and bearable again. His eyes moved to focus on something to keep him grounded to reality. The picture on the wall of a cherry blossom tree. He focused so hard on it, thinking about how nice the pink on the pedals were, how lovely the weather was, how they were in bloom this time of year, how they had those trees scattered all across the University estate... where the fire was- where the Science Fair got out of hand, where his brother was having his first presentation, where Callaghan died, where everything burned.
The voice took him by surprise that he almost pulled out the I.V.. His eyes landed on the small figure of his brother, peering in from the doorway. Tadashi’s logical mind raced, trying to manage the emotions that filled him. Relief, surprise, frustration, embarrassment, sadness. He felt hurt but he understood why it took Hiro so long to visit him. Two weeks felt like a lifetime in this white corner and he felt solely responsible for keeping Hiro from experiencing his dreams as an innovator of science.
If Tadashi hadn’t encouraged him, maybe this wouldn’t have happened. Maybe Hiro wouldn’t feel the guilt that he didn’t deserve. It was entirely Tadashi’s fault he was here.
There were no heroes in real life.
[#424ef4 “Hiro,”] he started, pretending to keep his composure, forcing a smile despite the pain, [#424ef4 “It’s nice to see you, buddy.”] He quickly wiped his face clean of tears and sweat, holding out his hand to Hiro. Only then did he remember how bad he must have looked to his younger brother. Wrapped in gauze and tape, his hands looked like they were wearing gloves. He imagined his hair a singed mess and his face blotched with red and purples. The doctors advised not looking at himself in the mirror. His trauma already impactful enough. Aunt Cass really tried to keep her despair to herself, but she was never good at hiding her emotions.
[#424ef4 “Don’t be afraid. Come here,”] he choked, hoping Hiro wouldn’t turn away from him.
Hiro sat on his bed, deep chocolate eyes staring blankly at his desk. Even though two full weeks had passed and his brother pulled through the accident, he still felt himself rather lost without him around. He missed his sense of humor, his unique outlook on life...his energy. It was easier to be himself when Tadashi was around. Now, the room that they shared just seemed so...
This was a very easily solved problem, Tadashi was alive and the hospital was within walking distance for Hiro. Aunt Cass had even been prodding him all of this time to make a visit to see the elder Hamada brother. Then why didn't he? In all honesty, Hiro felt guilty; if he didn't apply for the college and visit his brother's nerd lab, maybe Tadashi would be in school right now working on his robot. Maybe he would be saving Hiro from some trouble he usually got himself into. Besides, he was rather convinced that Tadashi was upset with him over this whole incident.
If the roles were reversed, he couldn't promise he wouldn't be holding a grudge.
After a few long hours, Hiro slowly pushed himself to his feet and moved to his desk to pick up his jacket from the back of the chair. After pulling it on, a pen found its way into his hand to write the room number of his brother on his hand. Against his better judgement, he decided to make at least a small visit. If Tadashi was, in fact, angry then perhaps he would get lucky and his brother would be unconscious...or highly medicated.
Highly medicated was much better.
Before he could talk himself out of it, he darted out of his room and downstairs, running out before Cass could stop him and headed down to the hospital. It was such a large building, Hiro's walking slowed a little as the chocolate eyes looked up at it. The automatic doors then opened, blasting the teenager with a heavy sanitized smell. It made his nose wrinkle, Hiro rather displeased with the smell. How anyone worked in such an environment was beyond his understanding. But that meant that his brother was in good hands then, right?
Quietly he made his way up to Tadashi's room, glancing at the number scrawled on his hand before looking up at the bold number beside the door he now stood in front of. The hall around him was quiet as was the room in front of him, but the door was rather intimidating. His heart began to race, threatening to burst from the petite chest and a dangerously large lump formed in his throat. Why was he so nervous? Tadashi couldn't hate him, right?
But what if he did?
Swallowing hard, Hiro pushed the door open slowly and quietly stepped in, looking around the brightly illuminated room. [+red "...Tadashi?"] he announced himself quietly. Perhaps if he was quiet enough, no one would know he was here. [+red "I...um...wanted to come see you."]
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