Stop Playing The Hero

First thing in the morning: The boy who is woken, and the brother who is annoying

Hamada brothers' bedroom, 7:53 PM

"Hey, Tadashi! Hey…" – Hiro touched his sleeping older brother's shoulder and shook it. He couldn't help but smirk when his brother, besides breathing, showed no other sign of life. Hiro only shook harder, this time nearly jumping on Tadashi's bed.

"Wha-What? Hiro, what are you doing?" – Tadashi said in a yawning voice. Obviously, Hiro's objective had been served.

"Saving your attendance record." – Hiro had to stifle a laugh. – "You might want to wake up, big bro. You have 17 minutes before the tram leaves."

Tadashi processed Hiro's words slowly at first, his sleep-foggy mind not quite cleared up yet. But then, it hit him in the hardest way possible - like a wall of cascading peanuts.


The college boy shot out of bed with the speed of a bullet train and immediately looked for a way to dress up. Hiro only sat on his brother's bed, pouring laughter - he couldn't help it anymore!

"You could have woken me up earlier!" – Tadashi cried in disdain, throwing a jacket over himself and began shoving notes into his bag.

"Hey, that's your alarm clock's job." – Hiro cracked a toothy grin. – "Though I think it malfunctioned this morning…"

"The professor is going to murder me." – Tadashi groaned before vanishing behind the door. Hiro was still sprawled out on his bed with barely contained amusement.


Argh, that cocky little brother! He doesn't have school since he already graduated...


"Morning Tadashi. Cutting it close today, don't cha think?" – congratualated his friends.

"I... made it on time…did I?" – Tadashi panted. He felt himself sweltering inside his jacket after running himself desperately to the lab.

"Yup, 'made it buddy." – Wasabi put one (heavy) arm around Tadashi's shoulders and gave him a powerful squeeze. Tadashi smiled and sighed in relief.

"Been burning the midnight oil again, Tadashi?" – Go Go Tomago teased.

"You got me." – Tadashi confessed with a white flag.

The fierce girl snorted. "Just try not to get up late next time. I'm holding a bet on whether you'll ever be late before the end of the year and don't you dare make me lose!"

After that, she nonchalantly strode away to hassle Wasabi's 'neat-picking habit', as she put it while Tadashi sweat-dropped. Secretly he thanked his lucky star that his record of never being late was still intact (and so were his limbs).

As the students resumed their posts and the excitement over the prospect of a late Tadashi died down, the teen himself went to his own lab and dropped his bag absentmindedly. His mind already switched to professional mode, he was whirling through projects and calculating through numbers. His excitement took over. He didn't stayed unusually late last night for nothing, after all. He had came up with the most brilliant solution to a problem in the robot he'd been working on, and was dying to try it today.

But one thing was bothering him. No matter where he looked, he couldn't find one particular specially built carbon-fibre circuit he needed. After searching through his lab for a while, Tadashi decided to just borrow it from Wasabi.

"Thanks man." – Tadashi gave his friend a quick pat on the back.

"Hey, no prob." – replied Wasabi. – "Oh, by the way, do you see that box over there? It just came in. I think it's yours."

That halted Tadashi from bolting back to his lab.

"A parcel?" – Tadashi went to examine it.

"Yeah, I brought it in for you." – his friend confirmed.

Tadashi had to appreciate his best friend for that, since the parcel was neatly tucked away in the corner. It was nearly as big as Wasabi himself, who must have laboured for hours to bring Tadashi his mail.

"Wow, thanks again buddy. It's probably the special materials I ordered in." – Tadashi spun the box and took it into his arms.

"Hey, careful! That box is colossal." – Wasabi exclaimed.

"Nah, I got this." – Tadashi hoisted the box up and carried it steadily. Wasabi was right, though, he had to be careful. Though the box wasn't too heavy, it was bulky enough to block half of his view.

Now, the hard part was to carry this thing back to his lab in one piece. With Go Go whisking around and Fred not looking where he was going in his Godzilla costume, one did not have to be a genius at Robotics to calculate the frightfully small probability.

Nonetheless, one can not became a member of the SFIT's Robotics team without getting used to the certain quirkiness. And for the time he'd been here, Tadashi had grown quite fond of it.

In fact, he dodged them pretty well (or so he thought). He almost made it back to his lab when…


Tadashi found his leg sliding away beneath him and he slid across the floor in a most non-acrobatic manner – Honey Lemon had accidentally spilled one of her glassy chemicals on the floor, effectively transforming it to an ice slippery sate.

He collided with an innocent someone, who let out a sharp cry; and crashed into a beautiful stop, sprawled out on the floor.




Tadashi struggled onto his feet; his unfortunate victim was also trying to shift into a more comfortable posture.

"Are you okay?" – he rubbed the back of his head with one hand. He was sure he'd bumped his head somewhere considering how it throbbed.

“Yes, for some reason." – she murmured.

"I am so, so sorry." – Tadashi hastily offered a hand to other party. "Are you hurt anywhere?"

"I'm fine. Thank you." – she waved him off and got onto her feet. – "And you?"

Tadashi didn't have time to answer, as his friends were now besieging them with questions.

"Oh My God, are you guys okay?!"



It took many "We're alright"s and "It's okay"s, but the gang's concern was finally assuaged. Once they were, their curiosity on the victimised student began to get the better of them.

"I see you've had a most unexpected welcome, Miss Takagi." – Prof. Callaghan's voice interrupted them all.

"Hello, professor." – they all saluted the man.

"And to you." – he nodded in exchange and tapped the girl's shoulder. – "I'm sorry you had such a...riveting experience on your first day. But I must say, even I'm surprised. Tadashi, you're usually more careful than that."

Tadashi looked a little embarrassed, but his friends quickly leapt to his defence. ("It's not his fault. Tadashi only tripped because the chemicals were spilt onto the floor!")

The new student also thought that it was only a small accident. She begged them not dwell on whose mistake it was and put a damp everyone's spirit.

With that, the accident was concluded and Callaghan beamed. He thought it was about time for a formal introduction.

"Attention, everyone." – the professor called. – "I would like you to welcome the latest member of our Robotics research team. Her name is Sanae Takagi. I hope we all get along well."

The team murmured in excitement.

"Ooh, cool! But how do you spell your name?" – someone no other than Fred asked. Upon not being able to decide on what her name is spelt like ("In Hiragana, Katakana or Romaji?"), Fred promptly declared. "Wow. You need a nickname. Oh oh. I got the perfect one! How about...Tumblina? You know, 'cause of how you went all tumbling when Tadashi knocked into you."

The girl's eyes rounded up like saucers.

"No." - she replied flatly.

"What? But it's such an awesome name!” Fred looked heartbroken at her outright refusal.

"NO!" - she exclaimed. - “It sounds silly."

"Tumblina. It sounds like Thumbelina. SEE! It suits you, you're so short looking too."

"I will not want to be called by that nickname, and I am not short!" - she said heatedly.

All in the room (save Fred of course) thought that the nickname he just came up with was lame even for him. But you had to give him one thing, he had a point in her being short, compared to the other girls in the lab. If Honey was wearing her high heels, Sanae would have stood just reaching her shoulders.

"Well okay, how about 'Fell'?" - Fred persisted stubbornly. - "...Dontcha think that sounds all dark and mysterious?"

The new student looked scandalised, Tadashi had to swallow his laughter. He almost felt sorry that she had endure this 'naming ceremony' right on her first day.

"San," – she suddenly said.


“Call me San if you want a nickname so much." - she looked tired.

"San? What does that even mean?" - it was Fred's turn to frown.

"It means three, in Japanese." - she explained.

"What does that have to do with-"

"My birthday's in March." - she swiftly added.

Fred seemed to take that as an explanation, and the argument was ended peacefully.

"San it is then! Welcome to the club."

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