Chapter 32--Forever and Always
The very next day, you were discharged from the hospital, and returned home with Mr. Lacitier in the early afternoon.
"Man!" you exclaimed upon arrival, running all the way into the living room and collapsing on the sofa. "It feels so good to be back."
Mr. Lacitier followed you with a chuckle, removing his hat. "I never knew you had so much energy in you now, (Y/N)."
"I suppose it just all came from finally getting out of that hospital!" you sighed in relief. "Man, to be honest, I never felt more cooped up! Well, admittedly I was asleep for the most part."
Mr. Lacitier chuckled as he got you a glass of water and an apple, and helped himself to some tea. You both sat on the sofa now, quietly enjoying each other's company. Everything seemed to be so peaceful, yet in your mind something was bugging you.
"Mr. Lacitier," you began quietly. "Did the judge question you about the poisons you brewed? You know, the things you made at home?"
Surprisingly, Mr. Lacitier shook his head. "They knew I majored in natural sciences and biotech, so they didn't really ask much about that side of me."
"For a moment I thought YOU were the one who poisoned my father," you laughed, setting your glass of water down on the table in front of you. "When I first heard the vials and smelled something foul, I thought you wanted to get rid of me."
"Not a chance! (Y/N), you're important to me. You're important to a lot of us."
"So why do it?"
"Well..." Mr. Lacitier set his cup down as well and stared into the distance. "I suppose it's because I wanted to do something with what I've learned but...I don't know. Your parents' death took a toll on me too, you know. I was in your shoes for a while too. But eventually I learned that you kind of remind me of both of them-in a nice way."
"My father and mother were proud of you," you said to him. "I kind of...well, I kind of had a conversation with them in my head before I woke up."
"As in, before you were out of your coma?" he asked you.
You nodded. "I did mention to them you took good care of me. And my dad told me all this and yeah. And then he said you taught him about the most important organs in the skull, right?"
"Yeah," Mr. Lacitier smiled. "I'm glad he remembered some of that."
You nodded, picking up your glass again and sipping from it, tiny amounts of water entering your mouth and going down your throat. "Have you wondered what would happen if my mom and dad never died? If I knew about Callaghan's plans before any of this?"
To this, Mr. Lacitier thought deeply, wiping his monocle as he did so. "Well, now that you mention it, I haven't. But I was glad your mother decided to have me be your guardian."
"I'm sorry again for being rude to you before," you apologized. "I didn't know whether I could trust you or not."
Mr. Lacitier smiled gently. "Your mother was just like that, you know," he murmured, gently tucking a strand of hair behind your ear with care. "She's a fierce one, she is."
"So I suppose you saw some bit of my mom in me?" you asked, offering a small smile in return.
"Mhmm." Mr. Lacitier then chuckled and sipped from his tea. "Oh, and I definitely saw something you inherited from your father-sharp brains." He gently poked your head and you giggled.
"Seriously, Mr. Lacitier, you haven't forgotten, have you? Hiro's the prodigy, not me!" you protested, laughing.
"Of course not! But you're smart in a special way," Mr. Lacitier grinned. "Speaking of which, have you finished your homework that Melanie gave you?"
You nodded. "Finished it all in a night-with Hiro's help."
Mr. Lacitier chuckled at the mention of Hiro's name. "You really like him, don't you?"
You nodded again, grinning. "He's honestly the kindest person I have ever met. Or at least the first person who ever cared. Honestly...he is the best definition of a helping hand, at least."
This made Mr. Lacitier turn round. "Helping hand?"
"You know how typically we use the term for people who help others desperately in need?"
"Well, Hiro was just like that. The first day of work at the Lucky Cat Cafe, he accompanied me before my very first shift. He heard everything about my father's death, and instead of pushing me away he...comforted me. He just stuck by me, always gave me advice whenever I was stuck, and in return I helped him through his situations. He was there when my mom died. He was there with me when we fought Callaghan-well, you were there too. He was literally there with me every step of the way, even at the hospital. I always found that admirable. He has helped me in desperate times of need. And that was how we got so close, that was how...we kind of got together. And Mr. Lacitier, I'm glad that you've approved of the relationship," you concluded, smiling. "My parents also made mention of my relationship with Hiro too. They approved of it too, funny enough. They said they've been watching me from above."
"Be glad they are," Mr. Lacitier told you, sipping the last of the tea from his cup. Then he perked up. "Is that your phone?"
Suspicious, you immediately ran to the kitchen, where you left your cell phone. To your surprise, Hiro texted you.
Hiro: Hey (Y/N)! Heard you got out of the hospital. Mr. Lacitier was definitely a fast messenger! :P Anyway, I hope things are okay. I suppose you got home safe and sound?
You smiled as you replied.
(Y/N): Hey Hiro! :) Yeah, I got home alright. Thank god my head doesn't hurt anymore. The bandage is even removed. At least I don't have to look like some kind of warrior who just survived a battle and is just another object of humiliation.
Hiro: Oh you know it won't matter whether or not the bandage remains on your head, right? I've seen you with it. You still look beautiful, you know.
(Y/N): Oh please Hiro. You know I can tell if you're just flattering me.
Hiro: Ouch. That hurt. You know I was being serious. :P
(Y/N): Uh huh.
Hiro: Anyway, I was going to ask...if you're feeling up to it...do you want to hang out with me tonight? I'll drop by your place at 7:30 tonight. We can head back to the beach again if you'd like, or we can go somewhere you like to go. It's up to you. I just need to tell you a few things.
Almost instantly you felt your heart race. Wherever you'd like? Well.
(Y/N): Sure, the beach is fine, actually. Oh shoot, now that I realize it...I can't believe I missed out Halloween last night! DAMMIT! :(
Hiro: Oh, we didn't do much. We all just hung out and watched scary movies. We didn't go trick or treating. Melanie wasn't too fond of it, and Gisele had enough scares for a while.
(Y/N): That's alright. :P I'm not that fond of Halloween either. Anyway, so...tonight at my place, and then we'll head to the beach?
Hiro: You got it! See you then!! :) <3
Another heart? You almost swooned.
(Y/N): Yup, see you then!
After a hearty dinner with vegetable soup and bread sticks cooked by Mr. Lacitier himself, you got upstairs to change, and ended up wearing a (F/C) hoodie with black jeans and a pair of grey Converse high tops to finish off the outfit. You were just securing a sparkling hair clip into your (H/C) hair when the doorbell rang.
Immediately, you jumped and ran down the stairs. "COMING!"
You quickly raced through the halls and opened the door in a hurry to see Hiro in his normal clothes-dark blue hoodie, red t-shirt, dark beige long shorts, and black Converse shoes, his hair in the usual mop.
"Hello Hiro," you giggled.
"Hey (Y/N)," he smiled. You smiled back in return and gave him a quick hug.
Neither of you noticed Mr. Lacitier approach you until you heard him say, "Aww, you two."
You jumped. "Mr. Lacitier! Oh my god...you gave us a scare there!"
"You're almost like my brother!" Hiro laughed. "He's constantly making fun of us!"
Mr. Lacitier chuckled. "Alright, I'm not going to ruin your moment! Though now you mention it, get together for a picture! Come on!"
He held up a typical digital camera, which you and Hiro immediately posed for. One of Hiro's arms were around you, and both of you did a peace sign.
"Aaaand...there!" Mr. Lacitier snapped a shot of the both of you, and then smiled. "Alright. Have fun, you two!"
You smiled back at Mr. Lacitier and waved goodbye, Hiro taking your hand and dragging you away to the beach.
"H...Hiro...Ha...mada," you panted, the moment your feet reached the sand and you stopped.
Hiro smirked back at you. "Now you understand how I felt the night you insisted that Baymax should show up at your house to check on your mom?"
"You got me." You held your hands up in surrender. "Geez. What's wrong with complaining?"
"Nothing!" Hiro protested.
"Oh that's it!" You pinned Hiro down to the ground and started tickling him, not even knowing that he was completely ticklish.
"HEY!" he cried between fits of giggles. "Hey...heh...(Y/N) come...oh come on!" he panted.
"Geez, I was just playing around!" you laughed, but this only made Hiro tickle you in return, and you squealed in laughter. Too soon the both of you tired out, and you laid side by side together in the sand, laughing it all out.
"Man, I haven't felt this good in so long," you admitted, sitting up now and getting the sand out of your hair, off of your hoodie.
"Me neither," Hiro smiled, sitting up and shaking the sand out of his hair. Then he reached for your hand, intertwining your fingers with his again, and in that moment he was all you cared about. This was the same boy who first comforted you after your father's death. This was the same boy who stuck with you after your mother's death, and never left your side. This was the boy who, according to you, was your helping hand-the one who would always be there to relieve your troubles and aid you with this situation. And in that moment, you were grateful to be with him.
It seemed that Hiro was at peace too, for quite a bit, until he slipped his hand into his pocket. A cold object met his hand, and he frowned.
"What is it, Hiro?" you whispered.
Hiro said nothing as he brought out from his pocket a simple pendant on a long chain. You squinted as you looked at the pendant, then your eyes widened. Yes. You were looking at a bullet of a gun-absolutely shiny, and with a slight reek of blood.
"Was that...was that the same bullet that Callaghan used to try and kill me?" you whispered, gingerly raising your fingers to feel the bullet against your skin, almost unable to believe that this same bullet was embedded in your head a week ago.
Hiro nodded solemnly. "The nurses looked they were going to object when I first brought this idea to them. I mean, I wanted a relic of that moment. That was the moment when I thought I lost you."
At first, you were confused. But then you nodded. "Trust me when I tell you that even a single bullet won't pull us apart."
"Cheesy, huh. Our love is bulletproof," Hiro smirked, but he nodded in mere approval as he put the bullet pendant around your neck. "And to think I never kept my promise...what was I thinking? I was over-thinking. I admit it."
"Don't go too hard on yourself, Hiro," you said, now fingering the bullet as you gazed at him. "I'll remember our assassin. I just need to be more careful."
Hiro smiled. "Thank god. I thought you would be mad at me for bringing this to you."
"Not at all," you replied. "Remember what I said back in the hospital? Any stupid mistake you make, I'll never get mad over."
Hiro smiled sheepishly and leaned forward, his forehead touching yours lightly. "I just have one more thing to ask then, (Y/N)," he whispered.
Your breath immediately hitched. "What would that be?"
"I know we've emphasized this so many times, but will you promise to be mine forever and always? Even as time and duties drift us apart, will you promise to love and cherish me for now and for always until death do us part?" he whispered so softly now, leaning even more into you, your lips just inches apart.
You gave him a small smile. "You know I always will, Hiro. I loved you before, I love you now, and I'll love you always, till death do us part," you whispered back, leaning in and closing the gap, feeling his lips touch yours again for the millionth time, feeling nothing but complete peace, happiness, and security surround you. Hiro's arms wrapped themselves around your waist, and yours went around his neck as you deepened the kiss, feeling your tongue touch his again. Nothing else mattered. Just him.
In that moment, you were thankful to be with him.
Forever and always.
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