Hiro slowly released Tadashi's hand, jumping down from the bed and picking up the cold mug that was still full. Carefully he carried it down the stairs and to the kitchen to set it in the sink for Cass to deal with later, then set his sights on the coffee maker. Making the morning beverage was easy, he had done it hundreds of times even though he never drank it, and knew it would be ready in minutes. He had quite a bit of experience preparing his brother's morning drink and knew exactly how he liked it from the strength of the flavor to how much to sweeten it.
He set the filter into the machine after adding more water and scooped some coffee into it. It was then turned on, the machine grumbling to life, and giving Hiro ample time to prepare Tadashi's cup. It would be nice to see his brother consume something today, especially if he wasn't going to eat breakfast. Speaking of, he could hear his aunt leaving her room and heading down the stairs to start her day by feeding her nephews before readying the cafe. As she turned the corner she greeted Hiro with a smile and pulled down a mug of her own to fill with coffee once he had what he needed.
[b "You're up early, hon,"] she observed softly, setting the mug beside the coffee maker in order to prepare breakfast in the meantime. [b "Is everything okay? How's Tadashi?"]
Hiro glanced over at her then grabbed the coffee pot once it was completely full and the machine had stopped dripping. If only she knew the emotional roller coaster the two had been on since last night. [+red "He's fine, just wanted some coffee."]
[b "Alright, well tell him I'm making his favorite this morning and I'll bring a plate up to him if he doesn't feel like coming down."]
[+red "I will, Aunt Cass."]
He filled her cup up for her before carefully picking up Tadashi's and beginning his journey upstairs. Hiro kept his steps small in order not to spill the hot liquid on himself. A bum shoulder was bad enough, he didn't need to sport second-degree burns to go with it. Carefully he pushed the door open and delivered the hot beverage to Tadashi's table, looking over at him quietly afterwards.
[+red "I was told to tell you that she's making your favorite breakfast and can bring you a plate up,"] he informed him as he lightly rubbed at his sore shoulder. It ached but wasn't bad enough that he couldn't ignore it. [+red "I'm just the messenger, so don't shoot me."]
Tadashi took Hiro’s hand gratefully, the reassurance of someone being there helping his body to calm down. Honestly, despite his brother’s efforts, he was still feeling shaky but his medical knowledge already knew exactly why. [i It was going to take a long while...]
Through his messy thoughts, he vaguely recognised Hiro’s discomfort. Tadashi hoped that he didn’t do anything to extraneous while they were fighting to make it worse. [#424ef4 “Sure,”] he replied. [#424ef4 “Coffee sounds great.”]
He put on a smile as best he could until Hiro left the room, letting his limbs finally loosen. He groaned, feeling every inch of himself burn. With a deep breath, he turned around to close the window but hesitated. While the rain was getting on his sill and bedding, he didn’t feel he was ready to shut it which he figured would be difficult to explain to his brother on exactly why.
[i You’re not trapped. It’s okay.] He took in another breath but let it out too quickly. [i Okay, not yet.]
The elder Hamada scooted back on the bed, just watching the weather bathe the street. It... seemed to make him feel better. The rain, that is.
A faint smile touched Hiro's lips as he watched his brother. It was reassuring to know that what he feared was happening wasn't and that he was just being a moron. The fear of losing his brother a second time hit him hard, that and he decided to partially blame his malnutrition. He thought it was the reason he was doing a lot of dumb things that he couldn't explain and knew he needed to fix it somehow. What that was, though, he still hadn't quite figured out.
The small hand released Tadashi's pants, instead reaching up and lightly taking one of his free hands and holding onto it lightly. He made sure not to use too much pressure in order to cause his brother discomfort but he wanted to be reassuring in some form. Tadashi seemed to need it. He could probably use an extra round of painkillers but he didn't want to push it. [+red "It's okay,"] he answered softly, keeping his light smile. [+red "I know it's going to take a while for you to get back to a semi-normal state. But I'm going to help you."]
He kept hold of his hand, scooting a bit closer in order to lessen some of the strain on his shoulder, and looked up at him again. [+red "Since you didn't drink the tea, do you want coffee instead? It might make you feel a bit better."]
Hiro was quiet and Tadashi hoped that what he said was just enough. The conversation was incredibly heavy and he was already feeling emotionally and physically exhausted just from doing absolutely nothing... but it didn’t keep his new defense mentality from working.
It seemed strange for his brother to be so calm, if anything suddenly compassionate. To him it felt quick, like this should have lasted longer even though, logically, he was aware that everything was going to be okay. But logic and feelings never really lined up right for him anymore.
There was a small tug on his cotton pants and he looked down to meet his brother’s gaze, already feeling a little safer. [#424ef4 “I know and I should be the one saying it to you,”] Tadashi responded quietly back. [#424ef4 “I’m sorry for yelling at you and letting this,”] he gestured to his head, indicating his imbalance, [#424ef4 “Get out of hand.”] If only the heat would leave sooner that would be helpful.
He didn’t want to tell Hiro the things he was really thinking and the things he didn’t do during those nearly ten hours they weren’t talking to each other. Those self destructive habits were not something he wanted to teach his brother.
Those reassuring words almost caused tears of his own to well in his eyes, Hiro blinking them back before they fully formed. It was difficult to admit out loud but he still needed Tadashi, not because he pulled him out of difficult situations but because he was an anchor in Hiro's life. He was the safe space that he could come to when he was upset or hurt and Tadashi would always listen and find a way to make it better. The thought of losing all of that brought the boy's world crashing down and it was something he didn't know if he could recover from.
Hiro slowly walked over to Tadashi's bed, pulling himself up to sit at the foot of it, and watched him quietly for a moment. His brother was so broken, emotionally and physically, and it frustrated Hiro because he had no idea how to fix it. While it would be great to have his brother as fit as he was before the accident he knew it wasn't plausible. He just wanted to help Tadashi deal with this and maybe make him not as miserable in the process.
A small hand reached out, lightly touching his brother's pj pants before his fingers wrapped around it tightly. Hiro wasn't sure when the last time Tadashi took his medication and didn't want to hurt him, finding it safest to grab his clothes instead of putting pressure on his skin. He caused enough damage already this morning and didn't want to add to it. [+red "I'm sorry for overreacting"] he apologized quietly, bringing his gaze up to his curled form. [+red "You know that I love you, right?"]
Hiro looked scared and worried, the anxiety showing across his smaller face and his stature more feeble and awkward. He didn’t feel like he was attacking him but his yelling didn’t at all help. What was he doing?
[#FF0000 "You'll never stop being my hero, Tadashi.”]
No, that’s not what he wanted to hear.
[#FF0000 "I just...I don't want to be without you again...and that's what it sounded like....like you were giving up on me..."]
Tadashi shook his head, dismissing the idea entirely and wiping away the moisture that betrayed him. [i Damn emotional mess.] [#424ef4 “Hiro,”] he choked, [#424ef4 “I will never give up on you... It just...”] [i Feels like too much pressure. I don’t think I can handle it anymore.]
He couldn’t say it. If he said it, he’d be giving up on himself and Hiro didn’t need that from him. Not now. Not when his brother obviously still valued their relationship even after the words they said. He was just too much of a coward.
Tadashi pulled his knees to his chest despite the agonizing sensation that ran up his legs. He needed his space a little smaller, just to feel a little safer. He felt if he would shrink back anymore he might as well just fall out the window. [#424ef4 “I am not giving up on you,”] he repeated, [#424ef4 "I promise."]
It almost felt as if Hiro had been punched in the gut. Hearing Tadashi's voice raise like that made his stomach hurt unbearably and mildly threatened to eject the tea that he had consumed earlier. His eyes had changed, not holding the typical content look they usually did, but instead holding anger and frustration. Fighting with Tadashi almost felt like the world was ending.
The smaller Hamada folded his arms tightly over his chest as he kept his eyes focused on his brother, his grip tightening as he thought about his words. How could Tadashi think those things? No matter what, he would always be a hero to his kid brother. Even now, in his burned up state, he was no less a hero than before he went into that building. It may have been impulsive and stupid but it wasn't something that Hiro ever held against him.
Hiro wanted to yell back at him, to tell him that he was being an idiot and making things worse by acting this way, but he couldn't. Not after he caught the glimmer of tears as he leaned near the window. It did the opposite really, the sight of his brother's tears nearly breaking his heart...because he was the one who caused them.
[+red "You'll never stop being my hero, Tadashi,"] he responded quietly, his arms remaining tight over his chest for a while. They only loosened a bit when the strain in his shoulder caused too much discomfort. [+red "I just...I don't want to be without you again...and that's what it sounded like....like you were giving up on me..."]
But before the elder Hamada could make a quick recovery apology, Hiro retaliated. The words somehow fueling him. Of course Hiro didn’t understand. He took his words yesterday way out of context and just so he could throw his admission back in his face by saying he was [i helping him for once]?
Tadashi finally moved his eyes away from the now cold cup and divider, setting his dark rimmed eyes on his little brother near the door. He hadn’t remembered the last time he felt this upset and it sort of scared him. In the back of his mind he knew he was letting things get out of hand. He should have been the responsible adult. The one to conduct breathing exercises when they did get into arguments back when Hiro was younger- but Tadashi didn’t want to be the parent. Not right now.
He lifted himself to a sitting position, biting back the pain that surged across his skin, clenching his jaw. [#424ef4 “I never said you were on your own,”] he said, trying but slightly failing to keep his voice even. [#424ef4 “I never [i implied] anything like that.”] [i Breathe. You can’t hold it in.]
[#424ef4 “I can definitely try to stop you but then what the hell would all this be about then? It would contradict everything everyone is trying to do. Tadashi has to stay in bed. Tadashi has to be watched. Tadashi can’t be alone by himself.”] He took in a deep breath, feeling warm again in his cheeks. [#424ef4 “I just can’t physically be there to get you out of trouble, Hiro. That’s all I was saying! I can’t be the hero you want me to be anymore!”]
The eldest found himself clenching the sheets, failing to keep his temper down. No this wasn’t what he wanted. He didn’t want to be angry. He didn’t want to be yelling at Hiro. [#424ef4 “I’m sorry I ran into that fire and you have to deal with me like this. I’m sorry you feel you need to help Aunt Cass pay for my mistake that I just make worse.”]
His brain was consumed with guilt again and the heat was getting to that overwhelming cusp like the nightmares or those triggers. Tadashi moved back a bit to be closer to the window and even then, it barely seemed to be helping... and the tears, he couldn’t hold back this time.
Hiro turned to look at his brother, the male's expression having changed. It was rather sorrowful before, now it seemed to have turned rather sour. His brother's emotions seemed to change at the drop of a dime, especially if Hiro had something to do with it, and he wasn't quite sure how to handle that. It was a downfall of being so smart at his age; he could pass a college course with no problem but dealing with people's emotions in such a manner proved to be quite challenging.
Why was Tadashi so upset now? He was the one who informed Hiro that he was basically on his own now and he'd have to learn to deal with it. The miserable feeling of all of this made his stomach churn again, if he had any hope of eating breakfast it had just disappeared. The sound of his voice caused the boy's stomach to become more upset, he hadn't heard his brother use that tone for quite some time. Honestly it made him want to go over and hug him, apologize for all of this, but he couldn't. His body refused to move and his brain refused to cooperate. Either the emotions he was feeling were becoming too much for him to handle or the effects of his depressive eating were coming back to bite him.
Maybe it was both.
[+red "Can't or won't?"] Hiro asked, his voice gaining a bit more volume but was still a bit on the quieter side. His face became a mirror of his emotions, reflecting both agitation and sadness at the situation they had found themselves in. He hated fighting with Tadashi, he always had. [+red "You didn't come right out and say it, but I know what you meant: I'm on my own. I get it. And I probably deserve it. But I was trying to take care of you for once."]
His words caused him to lift his hands to run them through his hair but a sharp pain in his injured shoulder made him instantly drop it back to his side as a faint wince appeared on his features. Damn it, not now. He can't show weakness, not when he's arguing. It's how you lose.
Hiro was right about one thing. He was over-all generally unhappy but it seemed his brother was on a different spectrum of the situation then he was, which moved his mood from gloomy and depressed to upset and offended. That frustrated feeling harbored itself in his chest again, his annoyance he was sure showed on his face but this time he couldn’t control it.
[#424ef4 “I don’t actually recall ever saying I didn’t want you here,”] Tadashi replied, a bite in his tone. [i Calm down.] [#424ef4 “You’re the one who walked out, Hiro, so go ahead. Do it again.”] All he did was share with him a piece of reality. An admission of his own personal weakness. That’s all he had anymore. A long list of new weaknesses. [#424ef4 “Obviously, we both know I can’t do anything to stop you.”]
The pause that followed almost had Tadashi on that bipolar streak again, instantly regretting the words he was saying and wishing he could eat them out of existence. [i Apologize before he leaves. You don’t want to be alone, you idiot.]
He kept his eyes focused on Tadashi as he remained still, his voice dry and stiff as he responded to Hiro's statement. Maybe 'mad' wasn't the correct emotion to use but, if he had to put it in a general sense then 'not pleased' would be better. Sharing a space with his little brother was probably the last thing he wanted right now but, unfortunately, it was reality. The apartment was rather small and there weren't a lot of other places to go. This meant he'd be stuck seeing the little brother he wasn't happy with for a while longer yet.
Hiro pushed himself up from the chair after a while, setting the empty cup down on the desk, and moved to his side of the screen to change his clothes. The cold air made him shiver, even though it didn't seem to bother Tadashi a bit, and quickly dressed in order to warm up again. The familiar hoodie was put on and zipped up, then he put his shoes on and stepped out again.
[+red "Unhappy, displeased, upset...take your pick,"] he responded softly. [+red "Either way, you probably don't want me around. So I'll go. But please eat something tonight."]
The silence was stale, crawling under his skin and making the room seem intimidating. He was thankful the window was still open. It gave the illusion to him that he had the option to escape if necessary. Damn psychology knowledge rising from the ashes again.
Then Hiro spoke, quietly from his corner, reminding him of things he already knew but informing him of ideas that his brother had wrong. [#424ef4 “I’m not mad at you,”] he replied dryly, getting that out of the way. [#424ef4 “I just don’t want to eat right now.”] He wasn’t hungry so he didn’t think it’d be worth the time to move from his stiff sleeping position.
He watched the steam rise out of the cup, slowly getting thinner as the drink started to cool. It was interesting how science worked. If it weren’t for science, he’d surely have died that day and then Hiro would be free to do as he pleased without having the pressures of a useless brother hounding him about the dangers of stupid things like bot fighting. That’s what all this was about right?
Hiro looked over at his brother's form that still remained curled up on his bed, the chocolate eyes that matched his own open and looking at....who knew what. It certainly wasn't at his brother. He leaned further back into the chair, turning it a bit in order to pick up his own cup that he had filled, and took a small drink. The rift seemed to be growing larger and, each time it did, took a piece of Hiro with it. He wanted to go over there and hug Tadashi, to reassure him that things would get better, but he couldn't. His brother probably didn't want to see him anyway.
He allowed his head to rest back a bit, Hiro staring at the ceiling as he struggled with what to do next. He wanted to talk it all out with him and see if things could be fixed but he needed the other party to be willing to participate. He wasn't sure if he would and being pushed away again wasn't something Hiro felt he could handle. He loved and looked up to Tadashi, he never would have gotten as far as he did in life if it weren't for him. This unbearable silence, though, made him want to take a vacation away from his troubles for a few days.
Unfortunately he didn't have anywhere else to go.
The bright eyes gazed back at Tadashi once more, Hiro wondering why he was refusing to eat. He could hear Cass while he was in the garage last night and she was mumbling about his lack of eating habit. Did this start for a specific reason or was his big brother being stubborn? Hiro was fully aware of the damage not eating could cause on one's system as he was currently experiencing it on his own. Tadashi couldn't afford not to take care of himself right now, especially if he wanted to recover.
[+red "I know you're mad at me but this isn't going to help you with recovery,"] Hiro responded quietly. [+red "Apparently you didn't eat last night either, you're gong to start feeling pretty crappy soon."]
The eldest Hamada let his heart fall in his chest as he heard Hiro get up and leave the room again without saying a word. His frown deepened, caving into himself. It was unbearable to wait. Wait for things to change, to get better, to heal... Laying still made everything feel like an eternity and soon the cloudy weather became a light rain drizzle. This felt worse than being surrounded by white walls and beeping machines.
What didn’t he take last night? Pain reliever, muscle relaxer, mood stabilizer? He was sure he was forgetting two but didn’t think missing a day would be such a big deal. He deserved this. It only made sense that way.
The door opened and closed again, unsure how much time had actually passed. Hiro walked back in, looking thin and smaller than usual, and approached his side of the room. Tadashi instantly felt his heartbeat increase, over-preparing for the unknown action that made him pull back slightly when his brother put down the cup on the cluttered bedside table. He filled it and then left him alone again.
Tadashi wanted vaguely to respond but his tongue felt heavy, as if it was the wrong thing to do. What should he say? How should he say it? Should he drink the liquid steaming of warmth and comfort? No. [i No.]
[#424ef4 “I don’t want it,”] he muttered, realizing how dry his mouth felt. [#424ef4 “Don’t bother.”] [i Don’t say anything else. He doesn’t want to hear it. He’s still angry with you.]
The boy's small frame dropped onto the bed, pulling the blankets over him as the room had gotten a little chilly. Apparently Tadashi had opened his window, more than likely experiencing the fever again from stress, and needed a way to cool down. The spring air was great in the day time but still rather cold during the night; Hiro was surprised he didn't see icicles forming on the ceiling. It felt as if he were sleeping in the fridge. He chose not to say anything for multiple reasons, instead pulling the blankets higher to his chin and curling up a bit underneath them.
As expected, he found it difficult to sleep. Tadashi's words refused to leave his brain and seemed to echo more loudly in the silence. The feeling of abandonment wouldn't go away and sat heavily on his chest the more he thought about it. Earlier he had promised his brother that, no matter what, he'd always be there to help or listen, whatever Tadashi needed. He still wanted to uphold that promise but, with the way his brother spoke to him earlier, didn't know if that was what Tadashi wanted. Maybe this really was their lives now and they'd only speak during small talk and go about their days separately.
That thought caused an uncomfortable groan to fall from his chest and his heart to actually ache.
Hiro had tried on and off during the night to get some actual sleep, only succeeding in gaining a few hours. It was another uncomfortable night for him which meant he would most likely crash again in the late morning and need to take another nap. Thankfully he didn't have anything else to do and had the time to spare. Quietly he pushed himself up and let the blankets fall, a shiver running over him in the process followed by a soft sniffle. Damn, it was cold in here. Was Tadashi trying to give himself hypothermia, too? Hiro crawled out of bed and, instead of closing the window, headed downstairs to the empty kitchen. Cass was awake but hadn't made her way down yet, he could hear her as she moved in her room above him. No doubt she'd be making breakfast soon and they would go through their usual song and dance: Hiro would take a couple of bites and be done with it then Cass would frown and state how worried she was. It was their new norm.
He heated up some water which made its way into a large thermos, Hiro dropping some tea bags, milk, and sugar into it after. Two cups were removed from the cabinet, Hiro taking them and the tea back up to their shared room and closed the door quietly after. A glance over to his brother's side told him he was wake, he had caught the slight movement of his eyes. Silently he moved over to Tadashi's night stand and set a cup down, filling it with tea before going back to his side of the room and setting the remaining items down on the desk.
[+red "Aunt Cass is up and will probably have breakfast done in an hour,"] he informed his brother quietly. Hiro didn't know why he was telling Tadashi this, he fully expected to be ignored. Carefully he poured some of the tea into his cup and dropped down into the desk chair as he capped the thermos and set it down on the sturdy surface. [+red "I'll bring you up a plate."]
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