Chapter 23--A Match
The very next day after school, you, Melanie, and Gisele headed to SFIT, the vial of poisoned wine safely sealed in a Ziploc bag and stowed away in your backpack. Hiro texted you earlier that morning to meet him at SFIT the moment classes at San Fransokyo High were over, and you agreed, seeing that today you had to confirm that the poison Gisele somehow had in her possession was used to poison your father.
"And then my teacher literally had to explain everything to me, all over again, since I missed out so much school!" you heard Gisele say to Melanie. "But I had to explain to them that Tadashi taught me a little bit, and I'm fine now. I mean, 4 years on the island! I did get a bit of schooling, but that's good enough for me, right?"
"Yes, Gisele," Melanie laughed. "You're a true genius, you really are."
Gisele beamed. "I can't wait to enter high school though. It won't be long."
"How fast time flies," Melanie agreed, and Gisele smiled widely before noticing you look down at your feet sadly.
"Hey (Y/N), you alright?" Gisele asked quietly.
You shrugged. "I don't know. I mean, I did look at the file yesterday—full of emails for my mom—and the Hamadas called me up yesterday. They looked through the folder consisting of my family's demise and then they told me that the feud between my family and Callaghan's had started way back, when my great-grandfather was still alive."
"Oh wow," Melanie remarked. "So getting rid of your family started...four generations back now, isn't it?"
"Three, I think," you corrected her. "Anyway, so my family died off in very wacky ways, and let me tell you, I don't feel very comfortable with what my family had to end up with. My great-grandfather was murdered by blade, my grandfather and grandmother by fire, my father by poison, and my mom by hate mail. So...to hear about what my family had to go through...I feel so small. I could have prevented all of this, and look at what happens instead."
Melanie and Gisele exchanged looks. Then Melanie took a deep breath.
"(Y/N), we can't do anything about the rest of your family, you know that," Melanie said, putting a hand on your shoulder reassuringly. "But we can do something for you before it's too late. We can stop this from happening to you. And we all promised it—Hiro especially. We'll find a way, right? It's not the end of the world."
You nodded. "I guess so. Well, you're right. It's too late for the rest of my family, because we didn't know what they were up to. But it's not too late for me. I can still avenge my family while I still can."
"That's the spirit, (Y/N)!"
You turned around in surprise as Hiro flew out of the robotics lab at SFIT to greet you and Melanie and Gisele with a wide smile.
"Oh wow," you murmured. "How fast did we get here."
Melanie smiled. "Hey, you were too engrossed in conversation to notice now, didn't you."
You pouted at Melanie before laughing it off.
"So how's it going?" Hiro asked you all.
"Not bad," you smiled. "At least Mr. Lacitier and I are on better terms now. He's told me a lot about my parents, which made me feel kind of happy and sad at the same time, but to be all honest I'm really glad we opened up to each other."
"And to be honest, I'm glad you made that decision," Hiro told you.
You raised your eyebrows. "What decision?"
"The decision to let him stay with you instead of going to us," he simply said, wrapping his arms around you. "I mean, that would honestly have been nice, but you have a point, Tadashi needs to get used to home again."
You looked behind Hiro to see Tadashi head down the stairs, and you waved.
"Hey Tadashi," you greeted him, letting go of Hiro.
"Hi (Y/N)," Tadashi greeted you back with a smile. "I see you've grown attached to my brother."
"Tadashi, PLEASE," Hiro pouted. "PLEASE stop making fun of us for once!"
"He's making fun of you guys?" Melanie asked, glaring at Tadashi. "How rude. I think they look good together."
"Hey hey hey, I was just joking around you know," Tadashi said, his hands up in surrender. "Oh yeah, by the way, I am accepted back as a student of SFIT, they all recognized me since the news of my revival came about so quickly." Then he turned to Gisele. "How's school treating you?"
"They think I'm still a baby," Gisele said. "I mean, really, I skip out 4 years of school, but being educated somewhat on that island, and even you teaching me a bit, didn't go through as a proper explanation. They're making me go through this extensive homework package!" She pulled out of her backpack a very thick package, shaking her head in disbelief. But Tadashi laughed.
"Hey, if you have any problems you can always talk to me," he offered.
Gisele smiled. "I'll keep that in mind."
Suddenly you saw the rest of the gang come out, running towards you.
You caught a glimpse of blonde hair flashing past, and next moment you felt strong arms squeeze you hard, lifting you up and spinning you around like a doll.
"Honey Lemon!" you cried. "Can't...breathe..."
"Sorry," she squealed, putting you down gently. "How've you been?"
"Alright," you smiled.
"School treating you okay without Trudy?" Fred asked you and Melanie, clapping you both on the back, which made you giggle.
"Yeah," you answered confidently. "Things are definitely looking up now."
"No more whips," Melanie added, laughing.
"Hey Gisele!" you heard Gogo greet Melanie's little sister, smiling ruefully at her.
"Hi Gogo!" Gisele cried.
"Glad to see you back safe and sound," Wasabi added.
"Yeah, it's great to be home!" Gisele smiled.
"Anyway, we heard from Hiro about the poison thing," Honey Lemon said, getting down to business almost immediately, and you smiled at her activeness, her integrity, for getting to the job.
"Yeah," you smiled, reaching for the vial with the poisoned wine. "We've found the full bottle yesterday while we were on that island, the same one that Gisele showed us."
"We figured they consisted of the same chemicals," Melanie added. "They had a distiller with them in this huge lab, and I managed to break the poison down in separate elements. The funny thing was that they used lots of weird chemicals to cause an explosion in (Y/N)'s father's stomach. I can't be too sure, but it seems very complicated."
Honey Lemon suddenly looked intrigued. "Hiro, do you still have the vials of raw poison?"
Hiro nodded as he took them out—both the full one and the now empty one, and Melanie took out her observations from her backpack as well.
"I can test this out in the lab," she said. "If I can find some similar elements apart from the ones used in wine, we can probably conclude that there is a match in the poisons Callaghan used. Wait here, all of you...unless..." She turned to Melanie. "You want to come?"
Melanie nodded. "Sure. I'll see you all in a bit."
The two of them walked into the robotics building now, and you and the rest of the group decided to chat about other things.
You immediately went to Hiro and sat beside him on the steps of the building, smiling contently. This was one of the first times you could truly relax with him, without having to overly worry about your own situation at hand. You felt at peace for the first time in forever. You didn't even feel any guilt course through as Hiro took your hand now, also sighing contently as he looked at you.
"Peaceful, isn't it," Hiro murmured to you.
"Yeah," you smiled. "It's been a while since I felt anything like this. The past few days have been pretty hectic—especially with the trial and everything. But I'll be honest when I say that I can't wait for all of this to end." You giggled just a bit and looked out again into the beautiful blue sky, but suddenly you turned wistful. "I just want a normal life, Hiro. That's all I have ever needed since my parents died, and...I don't know if I will ever get there. I mean, sure, I still have friends, I still have school, I still have you and the gang...but looming behind all this is the trial, and what Callaghan has done to me and my family. Sometimes I wonder...sometimes I wonder..."
"If you'll ever be happy again?" Hiro finished for you.
You nodded. "I just don't want to keep plastering a smile on my face when danger is still ahead."
"Hey, I can totally relate," Hiro said as he brought an arm around you now, and you leaned on his shoulder. "It took me so long after Tadashi's death to fully recover. When I lost Baymax—"
"Wait." You turned your head to him in concern. "You lost Baymax?"
"While we were saving Abigail from the portal, Baymax got hit by Krei debris floating in there, and the portal was unstable and soon closing," Hiro recalled. "So the only way out for me and Abigail was for Baymax to use his rocket fist and propel us out of there, but that meant...he would remain in the portal," he finished quietly. "I didn't dare tell Tadashi anything...but that's not important. I managed to rebuild Baymax because he left his healthcare chip in his fist."
"Wow," you murmured in awe. "Well, at least you don't owe your brother an explanation."
"Haha, yeah," Hiro laughed. "But anyway, until then, my friends helped me move on from both Tadashi and Baymax. We just hung out like friends should, you know, and to be honest I have never been happier. Point is, (Y/N), this isn't going to last forever. Things will be back to 'normal' before you realize it—things would just be different without your parents, that's all."
"I wish I could convince my mom this," you sighed. "But you're right. Happiness is out there. And yeah, maybe my life would go back to normal after all of this."
Hiro nodded. "Maybe then we can properly date."
"You, my friend, are really firm on this," you joked. "But yes, when this is over, we can actually, properly, go on a first date without all of this."
Hiro smiled as he brought your forehead to his, and that was how you two stayed—that was, until you heard a camera go SNAP!
"TADASHI!" Hiro screamed, turning behind him, and you turned back as well with a glare on your face.
"That wasn't me!" Tadashi protested, shocked.
You turned to Gisele, and she shook her head.
"Sorry," you heard Honey Lemon apologize, her phone in hand. "You two just looked so cute!"
"A perfect match," Melanie added, nodding.
"Alright then," you said, holding your hands up in surrender. "Well, what have you observed about the poison and the wine?"
"It has been confirmed," Honey Lemon said, holding up her papers full of her handwriting in ink and bunch of highlighted things. "Callaghan has used this poison in the wine."
Everyone fell silent.
"That's good, I guess," you smiled. "I mean, we confirmed it. Now, all we have to do is pull out the necessary evidence from the folders consisting our demises—I mean my family's, Tadashi's, and Gisele's—and then we'll be set."
"Great!" Honey Lemon clapped her hands.
"How about some celebration?" Fred asked. "You guys all down for a small thing at my mansion?"
"You...have a mansion?"
You, Tadashi, Gisele, and Melanie all stared at Fred with open mouths.
"Yeah," Fred shrugged. "I mean, we could all use some de-stressing. Though, I don't know if (Y/N) and Melanie and Gisele would be okay with it."
You nodded. "I'll let Mr. Lacitier know."
"I'll call my parents," Melanie said, pulling her phone out. The two of you made respective phone calls back home.
"(Y/N)!" Mr. Lacitier cried in joy.
"Hi Mr. Lacitier," you smiled. "How have you been?"
"I've been coping," he answered, shrugging. "I mean, heck, what with the trial coming up, I've been preparing some things for you. It's in a few days, you know."
"Yeah, it's coming fast," you noted. "But we're doing well in collecting evidence, and we're doing well in preparation. Anyway, I thought I'd call you since we're heading off to Fred's house for a short hang-out. Just a short de-stress."
"I don't object," Mr. Lacitier said. "You need a break from all this—even for a bit."
You nodded. "So I'll see you tonight?"
"Yeah. Stay safe, okay?"
"Alright, later Mr. Lacitier!"
The two of you hung up and you turned to the group. "Mr. Lacitier said yeah."
"My parents did too!" Melanie smiled.
"Great!" Fred jumped up and down now and you giggled. "Let's go!"
"Wait!" Wasabi cried. "How are we going to get there?"
Fred pulled his cell out and made a call, and a few moments later a limo pulled up.
"Master Frederick," Heathcliffe greeted him.
"Hi Heathcliffe!" Fred beamed as he opened the door of the limo.
"Fred, I didn't know how rich you were," Tadashi marveled.
"Well now you know!" Fred smiled broadly as everyone entered the limo, you squished between Hiro and Melanie as usual.
"Wait, what about Baymax?" you asked.
"Relax, (Y/N)," Gogo spoke up. "We'll be fine. Baymax just needs to charge up."
You nodded. "Alright then. Let's go."
Heathcliffe nodded as he started the engine up, and the limo rolled away from SFIT.