Chapter 3--The Shock
The next moment you opened your eyes, sunlight was streaming through Hiro's window onto the bed. You looked down and freaked out—you were still wearing the same clothes from the day before! How could you have dozed off for so long without realizing? You looked over to Hiro, who was also wearing the same clothes from the day before. You blinked and shook your head. That was weird!
Suddenly, you felt Hiro stir, and his hand slipped in yours. Oh great. You two even held hands in your sleep! That was awkward.
"Urngghhhh..." Hiro groaned, and yawned widely. You couldn't help but notice...a tooth gap? That was new. But you assumed that was what made him so likable.
"Morning, Hiro," you smiled at him. The sound of your voice made him turn to you, and he smiled in return.
"Morning, (Y/N)," Hiro greeted you, getting up and stretching. "Had a good sleep?"
You nodded. "It must be embarrassing though, one of Aunt Cass's new employees sleeping with her nephew..."
"And for a good reason too." Hiro ran a hand through his messy hair and looked at you again with an awestruck look in his eyes. "Dang, (Y/N), you still look normal even after you sleep. I wonder how you do it."
"Consider me lucky," you laughed. "It always ends up on point after a good sleep. I don't know how, either."
You slipped out of the bed, and the moment your feet made contact with the floor you also stretched and yawned.
"Aw man," you muttered. "That felt good."
Hiro then looked at you uncertainly. "Wait, did we actually...oh man...did we hold hands in our sleep?"
As much as you didn't want to admit it, you had to. You nodded. "Yeah. But thanks for that, I guess. At least I didn't get any more nightmares."
"Nightmares?" That word got Hiro's attention, and he sat back on the bed, alert. "Tell me about it."
So you perched on your side of the bed as well, looking at Hiro. "Most of my nightmares were about my mom, to be honest. I was so scared of her abandonment; I always worry about what happens on her end. Sometimes I fear that she would die on me, and leave me completely alone, with the pressure of the whole world on my shoulders. Other times I feared that she would still be alive, but changed. You know, her personality would no longer be that of a mother, and something happened to her that made her so...empty. I can't bear to think about it." You shook as the last words came out in a whisper, and you looked down. "The last thing I want to do is see my mother's grave, and feel that everything was my fault."
Something finally clicked in Hiro's young genius mind. That was what was bothering you!
"We'll make it work out in the end," Hiro promised you, though he wasn't sure how to help. "It won't be your fault. I know it won't be." He took your hand again, and you were used to it by now, just how much you needed it, how much you needed someone who actually cared to be by your side. "If your mom dies, well...it won't be because of you. Her death or her life would eventually be her choice."
You looked up to him with a wistful look. "I hope that's true."
"If it helps though, do you want me to drop by your place after you're done with school? We can both try to see your mom together."
You were startled at the request. You have only known Hiro for so little of a time, and already, he cares for you a great deal. What more could you want from a friend? Maybe with him, you could try to bring your mom back to reality.
"Of course," you smiled.
Just then, Aunt Cass showed up to see you and Hiro in conversation again.
"Morning, (Y/N)! Morning, Hiro," Aunt Cass called cheerily, waving.
"Morning Aunt Cass," you and Hiro waved at her in return.
"(Y/N), are you feeling okay?" Aunt Cass asked.
"I'm feeling quite refreshed now," you told her. "Thank you for everything, Aunt Cass."
"Any time dear," she smiled. "Anyway, (Y/N), your clothes are dried now, so you could wear those for today. And...I have something to tell you. It's about your mom."
You quickly took the clothes from Aunt Cass, your eyes wide in alert. "Tell me when I'm done dressing," you told her, and she nods, leaving her with Hiro as you departed for the bathroom to get changed.
After a bit, you and Hiro and Aunt Cass all sat at the breakfast table, where Aunt Cass brought out the cakes again from the night before, plus some doughnuts and buns and cookies and glasses of milk. Again, you just dug in, being very careful with your food choices.
"(Y/N)," Aunt Cass started to say, clearing her throat.
You looked up at her, your half-eaten strawberry-icing glazed doughnut still in hand. "What is it about my mom, Aunt Cass?"
Aunt Cass took a deep breath and spilled it. "She says...when I visited her last night, she said she really couldn't cope with your father's loss anymore. She confided in me, really. But then she said something that you should probably pay attention to."
That caught your attention, and Hiro also perked up. "What did she say?"
Aunt Cass took a shaky breath. "She was...she was thinking about suicide, (Y/N). She said she missed her husband, and she knew that leaving the real world would mean leaving you too, but she really couldn't cope with the situation anymore. She was ready to give up."
You just sat still, letting the words echo, ring, in your ears. Your mom, gone from the world...that would be your nightmare come true. You didn't want your mom to give in.
"No," you whispered, setting the doughnut down on your plate, tears streaming from your eyes. You knew she has disappeared from your life for so long, but that didn't mean you completely forgot her, completely forgot her love for you. It made you freeze again as you felt the evil chill settle in again.
Hiro sensed it, and he turned to you with a worried look in his eyes. "Now we really have to see her."
You nodded, and turned to him, crying as he put his arms around you again. With no one but Hiro to help, would you be able to cope with your situation at all if your mom disappears from the world? Or would you let suicide thoughts prevail you the same way it did your mom? It ruined her. Would it ruin you too?
"It won't be your fault if she dies," Hiro repeated in a whisper. "It would be her choice."
You nodded. "But if she's gone with my father, where can I go?"
Hiro thought about it for a bit. "You could always stay here."
"Are you sure?" you asked, feeling your mouth go completely dry as you swallowed.
Hiro nodded. "We always have room for one more. And we'll help you pay for college, when you get there."
You understood why he said this. Tadashi's death had left him alone, maybe with the exception of Baymax, whoever he was. The house itself just felt so empty without another person around, and you would gladly move in if you had the choice. But...you had to hope your mom makes it.
"(Y/N), I know you're broken by the news..." Aunt Cass said, but faltered when she noticed your tear-stained face, turned to face her as you and Hiro let go.
You shook your head. "I have to see my mom after school," you told her firmly. "I might not show up on time for work then if that's the case."
"I'll keep that in mind," Aunt Cass smiled gently. "Thank you for letting me know."
Eventually, you finished your food and grabbed your backpack. "I need to get to San Fransokyo High soon," you told her.
"I got a lunch packed for you," Aunt Cass told you, grabbing a paper bag filled with what smelled like last night's dinner.
You grinned and took it from her, carefully putting it in your backpack. Hiro did the same with his lunch.
"Thank you for everything, Aunt Cass!" you called out, exiting the cafe now as you headed for school. "Bye!"
"Any time!" she called.
You and Hiro waved as you two left, walking together for a bit.
"I can walk with you to your school, if you don't mind," Hiro offered, and you nodded.
"Sure. What else can a friend do?"
You and Hiro walked to San Fransokyo High together, talking about science and robotics and once in a while the happiest memories of your family before fate had to take a toll on your families. And for the first time, you felt that you could do anything, without a single weight on your shoulders, as long as Hiro was with you. He had become more than just your employer's nephew. He had become your best friend now, your confidant, your close-to-be brother. And you really appreciated it.
Soon, you reached the front door, and you looked back reluctantly at Hiro.
"Don't worry," he said with a smile, his tooth gap showing. "I'll meet you in front of SFIT then? After school?"
You nodded as you brought out your phone. "What's your number?"
The two of you then exchanged numbers and you eventually smiled back at him.
"I'll see you after school then," Hiro promised you. "I'll text you where I'll be."
"Okay," you grinned, giving Hiro a last hug before you entered the school, unsure of what to expect for the day, as Hiro left for SFIT.