Chapter 1--Meeting the Hamadas
(Y/N): Your Name
(H/C): Hair Colour
(H/L): Hair Length
(E/C): Eye Colour
(Y/L/N): Your last Name
Your father is dead.
Your mother has shut herself away from the world.
You were completely left alone. Not only did you lose your father, you were on the verge of losing your mother. An unstable feeling kept lingering in your chest ever since your father's funeral. Without either of your parents there, how would you be able to live?
No one even liked you at school. You had no friends. You sat alone, every day at lunch, every day in the library, every day in classes, feeling the whole world crumble down on you. Freshman year for you at San Fransokyo High had been a depressing one for you so far.
Eventually one day, when you returned home and your mom refused to come out of her room even to make you any dinner, you decided. You have made up your mind to take care of yourself, and never accept the fact that your mom would still be there. The loss of your father was too much for both of you, and what with your mother never acknowledging your presence, it felt like you also lost her too. Thinking ahead to the future, you knew you would have to go to college and pay for your own tuition, but if your parents didn't care, who would?
That was when it hit you. Your mom once knew Aunt Cass, the owner of the Lucky Cat Cafe. You have never really been there often, but you eventually went through an interview, like any client would, and you were accepted to work there.
And that was exactly where you were going one day after school, on a very blustery and rainy autumn day, for your first day on the job. You had no umbrella with you, because you were unaware that it would be raining in the afternoon. By the time you reached the cafe, your skin was soaked completely, and you felt chilled to the bone. Nonetheless, you went in, your dripping clothes making puddles behind you.
The sound of tinkling bells alerted Aunt Cass, and she turned to your shivering form at the door.
"Aww, (Y/N)!" she cried, rushing to you. "Are you okay?"
You nodded, teeth chattering. "F-f-fine. Thanks, Aunt Cass."
But she clucked her tongue in disapproval. "Nope. You are not okay. Thank goodness you showed up early before your shift. Normally I wouldn't tend to clients or workers in this condition, but let's just make this an exception for you."
You smiled gratefully. "Thank you, Aunt Cass."
"I'll go grab some hot chocolate and dry clothes for you," Aunt Cass said. "In the meanwhile, my nephew, Hiro, would take care of you. He's just got out of SFIT for the day a while ago, so he should be able to help you out."
"Thank you so much, Aunt Cass. How can I repay you?"
Aunt Cass just smiled at you. "Just do your best work here, and don't make me fire you."
You laughed, promising yourself not to let anyone down. As Aunt Cass left, you heard footsteps descending from a set of stairs, and you turned to see...a young teenager about your age, with a small bot in his hand. He wore a dark blue hoodie, a red t-shirt, dark beige shorts, and black converse. And you couldn't help but notice just how messy his black hair was—it looked like a bird's nest. But at first glance, you really couldn't help but notice just how...cute he is.
"Hi," Hiro greeted you, and you immediately snapped out of your daydream. "You're (Y/N), right? Aunt Cass's new employee?"
"You don't mind me sitting with you, don't you?" Hiro asked.
You shook your head. "Not at all," you replied, gesturing to the empty chair across from you.
Hiro quickly went over to that chair and sat in it, taking a good look at you. You were freezing and he could tell by the way you were trying to keep yourself together, keep yourself warm...but apart from that, he thought you looked perfect. Probably on a normal day he would see you better, but at the moment, the way your (H/L) wet (H/C) hair framed your face made him stare at you...and your (E/C) eyes just captivated him.
"And you are Hiro, right?" you asked him back. Hiro nodded, giving you a small smile.
Just then, Aunt Cass came back with a warm blanket and a cup of hot cocoa, and also slipped in a couple small cakes. She also set some of her dry clothes off to one side so that you could change before you could work.
You gratefully snuggled into the blanket, unaware of Hiro's blush of jealousy. "Thank you, Aunt Cass," you told her, and she beamed.
"No problem, (Y/N)," she said, before disappearing in the kitchen.
You first took the clothes and went to the bathroom to change. You eventually emerged wearing a fitted grey t-shirt with calf-length black yoga pants and a pair of light blue Vans, your hair brushed out and dried to the best of your ability. You even washed your face up before heading back to the main cafe, to where Hiro was still sitting, and you wrapped the blanket back around you since you still felt a bit chilly from the rain.
You slowly raised the cup of hot chocolate to your lips and took a small sip out of it. The warmth of the hot drink seeped through you and you felt better, almost instantly.
"Mm," you remarked, setting the cup down and beaming at Hiro. "Hiro, your aunt makes amazing hot chocolate!"
Hiro smiled. "Wait till you take a bite out of her spicy chicken wings! She makes amazing wings, really, and—oh, there are her doughnuts, especially the ones with chocolate icing on the top, and, oh yeah, these cakes over here are good too, and—um..." He stopped, realizing that he was babbling.
"That sounds amazing," you simply said, which made Hiro's doubts go away immediately. "At least she could cook something! My mom used to be able to cook that well, but then something happened and her cooking skills have gone down the drain."
That made Hiro turn round. "What happened?"
"My mom has been pretty depressed lately," you mentioned. "My dad passed away not too long ago, due to some guy sneaking in some poison in his wine that he took at a business party. As weird as it seems, and as cliché it sounds, it actually happened. By the time my dad got home, he got ill, and the next day...well..."
Tears streamed out of your eyes as you recalled that day—the day you saw your father's lifeless form on his bed in the early morning sunshine. Your mom was downstairs at the time, making breakfast, when you ran down the stairs to her to check on your dad, and then when she saw him she wept so hard. The funeral was held 3 days later, and after that, she shut herself in her room and never came out. She forgot you were there. You have always convinced yourself, you have told yourself many times, that someday she would come back to her senses. But as time passed, you started to doubt yourself.
Who knew how long this would keep up?
Suddenly, the chill returned—not just from the blustery autumn day now, but now from the memory. You felt an empty feeling settle in, cold and evil...and you hated it.
"Hey..." Hiro spoke softly to you. You almost forgot he was there. He got up from his chair, walked over to you, helped you up, and wrapped his arms around you. The blanket around your shoulders fell to the ground, but you completely ignored it. Even though you barely know Hiro, you had to admit that this gesture was...welcoming. Comforting. You wrapped your arms around him in return, silently crying it out.
"Don't worry, (Y/N)," he reassured you softly. His voice by your ear made you relax. "I have been through the same ordeal. Trust me."
You had no freedom to wipe your eyes, but you were shocked to hear him say that. "Really?" you whispered.
"Yeah," Hiro replied.
You let go of the embrace briefly to face him. "Who was it?"
"My older brother, Tadashi," Hiro said, squeezing on your forearms. "I got into SFIT thanks to him. He never gave up on me. He took really good care of me after our parents died. But then after my presentation of my invention to the head of Robotics, Professor Callaghan, I got in...and on that same night there was a fire...and then...my brother ran in upon realizing that he was still in the building." He sniffled, blinking out tears and turning away from you. "For weeks, I couldn't eat. But then there was his nurse bot, Baymax, who helped me out a great deal. And for that, I was grateful. Together, and with the help of Tadashi's friends, we caught Callaghan since he was the one who started the fire that got Tadashi killed...and I'm not saying necessarily that life has gotten so much better here, but you know I still miss him. Aunt Cass does too. But he lives on in our hearts."
"My dad was a good man," you recalled. "He had a knack for software engineering, and landed as one of the CEOs of a big company he founded, (Y/L/N) Tech. And he wanted to help so many people."
"So did Tadashi," Hiro whispered quietly, and you were quick to notice that he was about to cry.
You brought your arms around him this time, and he didn't let go as he cried it out on your sweater.
"I'm sorry for your brother," you said after a moment, and it made Hiro's heart lift.
"I say the same for your father," Hiro said to you, and it made you smile. Hey, at least someone cares, right?
After a while, Aunt Cass returned to find you and Hiro hugging each other.
"Is everything alright?" she asked you.
You forced a bright smile, your arms still around Hiro. "Yeah! Everything's great. I'm just trying to get to know Hiro, you know. He sounds like a great guy so far."
"That's great!" Aunt Cass beamed. "Well, your shift starts in 5 minutes, so I thought I'd drop your uniform off. Just wear this apron whenever you work, and everyone'll know you're an employee," she added.
You nodded. "I'll keep that in mind. Thank you!"
Aunt Cass smiled and left you two alone.
"If you're right..." you murmured to Hiro, the moment Aunt Cass's footsteps disappeared, releasing your arms from him. "If you're right, then my father would forever live on in my heart. He would never stop caring for me."
"Your mom probably 'disappeared' because she kept trying to get rid of every memory of your father. If she keeps acknowledging the absence, then how can she move on?" Hiro smiled at you gently and tucked a strand of hair behind your ear. "You have to believe, (Y/N). Believe that your father is here. That worked for me when Tadashi was gone."
You gave a weak chuckle, and nodded. "I'll try to."
"No. Say you will."
"Okay. I will."
The two of you exchanged shifty looks before you looked at the clock.
"Whoopee. Guess my shift starts soon," you said, putting on the apron Aunt Cass gave you and gulping down the rest of the hot chocolate. Hiro smiled as he grabbed a cardboard box from the counter and packed up your cakes.
"You can take these home after work," Hiro told you, bringing your jacket to the back of the counter. "Do you want me to help you with your first day on the job? I promise not to screw up."
You immediately felt your heart melt at the request. How could you not turn down this amazing young boy, who just trusted you with a dark secret the same way you did him? Besides, you didn't want to think of him as a bad friend already from the start.
"Of course," you smiled. "I don't mind having some company."
Hiro then grabbed an apron for himself, and then went to wash his hands. "Great. Let's get started." He headed out to the counter, and you followed suit, grateful for Hiro's company on your very first day.