Chapter 3: Discovery
"Oh, uh, hey! Tadashi! I-I didn't realise you were here." Hiro tried putting on his casual face. “How was dinner? Hey, what did Fred look like when he tried the wings?” His face relaxed more at the hilarious mental image.
"Really?" The elder Hamada smirked. “Well, Honey got some pretty sweet pictures. Mostly consisting of Wasabi trying to drown Fred with the amount of water he needed, and GoGo laughing her butt off. I haven’t seen her laugh so hard in ages. Sometimes I forget she can laugh.” He smiled fondly.
Hiro chuckled. “So that’s what those pics were? I thought you guys were rehearsing for The Three Stooges.”
Tadashi rolled his eyes. “There were five of us, six if you count Aunt Cass.”
Hiro winced. “Oooh, that must’ve made role assignment awkward. Don’t worry though,” he winked. “I’d vouch for you as Moe.”
Tadashi huffed a laugh. “Whatever.” He narrowed his eyes at what Hiro was holding. "What-cha got there... is that one of your Microbots?"
"Uh... uh, yeah. Found it in my pocket. The one that Krei didn't get."
"Right. So... where were you all day? Aunt Cass told me you were at SFIT, but when I called the others... well let's just say they had a different story." Tadashi played with his cap, suddenly taking an interest in how it folded beneath his fingers. He glanced up at his brother.
Hiro looked conflicted. Logic, scenarios and choices all flashed behind his not-so-casual visage. Should I tell him?
The choice was made for him as Baymax spoke up. "We found where Hiro's tiny robot wanted to go."
"Baymax!" Hiro complained.
"Wait, I thought it only worked with the transmitter." Tadashi furrowed his brow and stood, approaching his brother.
"It does." Hiro gave in and began his confession. "We followed it to this old warehouse. Someone'd been making more - there were barrels full of them - and then... he attacked us." he finished quietly.
"What was that?" Tadashi questioned.
"He attacked us." Hiro stated. "The guy used the Microbots and chased us out of the warehouse."
"What?! Hiro what were you - Did you report him?"
"Yeah, b-but the cops wouldn't believe me. I-I didn't see his face. He was wearing a mask."
"Tadashi, your cortisol levels are rising. This indicates that you are: stressed." Baymax commented.
"No kidding. Some guy attacked my brother after stealing his Microbots!" Tadashi exclaimed bitterly. He ran a hand through his currently hatless hair.
Whirring and rapid blips could be heard from Baymax's location. Tadashi turned to the sound. "Uh, Baymax? What are you doing?"
"I am downloading a database on stress-induced illness. Database downloaded." The bot turned to Tadashi. "Treatments include: talking about your problems with: close friends, and loved ones. I will contact them now." His friends' faces bubbled up on Baymax's torso.
Tadashi widened his eyes in alarm. "No, don't call them!" He didn't want to get them involved in this.
"Your friends have been contacted."
He face-palmed. "Unbelievable."
Baymax embraced Tadashi.
"Now what are you doing?"
"Other treatments include: compassion, and physical reassurance."
"No, Baymax, it's fine. Really."
"There, there." The nursebot patted Tadashi's head.
He smiled and slipped away. "Thanks, Baymax."
Hiro watched with an approving grin. Tadashi's own project was comforting him.
Something continued to gnaw at Hiro's brain. It clicked. "Tadashi. The masked man... he must've stolen the Microbots and started the fire to cover his tracks! He's responsible for Callaghan! We’ve gotta stop him!”
Tadashi saw the glint in his brother's eyes; the spark of some dangerous, genius - did he mention dangerous? - idea formulating in that big brain of his. "Hiro, no." He said sternly. "Don't do whatever it is you're thinking of doing. I forbid it."
Hiro smirked. "Really? You forbid it? Give you a red wig and a skirt, you could pass for Aunt Cass."
"I'm serious Hiro. Whatever the masked man's up to, it's not worth the risk."
"He could be putting people in danger. I call Rules 13 and 3."
Tadashi shook his head. "No. Overridden with Rule 0." They hadn't argued using The Rules in a long time.
Hiro's eyes widened. Rule 0. He waved his arms frantically. "Come with me then, we can both-"
"Hiro, please." Tadashi was sincere. "I can't let you put yourself in danger like this."
The younger Hamada turned away. "Where was Rule 0 when you ran into the fire?" he whispered.
Tadashi reacted as if he’d just taken a step onto hot rocks, shoulders jerking back when the words truly hit home. He looked down. "That... that was different. People needed Callaghan more than me-"
"That’s not true. Don’t you ever say that. You don’t have the right.” Hiro hissed, still facing away from his brother.
“Hiro.” Tadashi began. The way he said it sounded tired, with a definite undertone of Please Listen. “Professor Callaghan is – was – one of the most important people in existence. He has helped more people than we could ever imagine meeting in our lifetime.”
He paused. Silence hung heavily in the air and for a moment Tadashi pondered what on earth he was doing. As the thick stillness stretched on, he could feel a lump forming in his throat. No matter how much he tried he just couldn’t fight it. Soft voices fought for attention in a fight for dominance.
This is what Hiro had to live through for a month? Why are we arguing about this? Why am I trying to justify myself?
If we let this go on, it’ll kill us. It’s for the best that we talk about it.
Apparently the blockage didn’t affect his voice. Tadashi spoke up. “The Professor would’ve helped so many more people if I’d just made it in time-“ His voice stopped abruptly. The pressure had increased threefold and was steadily growing behind his eyes. Tadashi took a few slow breaths before continuing. It helped some. “I couldn’t just stand there and watch while knowing that he was in there. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself knowing that I’d done nothing. Hiro please, understand me when I say-“
“I need you!" Hiro yelled, unable to take it anymore. His voice softened. "I need you, Tadashi. I-I ca-can't..." His vision blurred.
Tadashi understood. In that moment, he saw the Hiro that had pleaded with him to stay. His baby brother, who needed him more than anyone. And he needed Hiro. "I... Hiro, I-I need you too. I'm sorry."
He crushed his brother in the biggest bear-hug he could muster. He couldn’t believe that he’d – almost permanently – left Hiro and run into a burning building, and now he was trying to defend his actions. What kind of brother-turned-guardian does that? "I don't want to risk losing you to that scum of a man. There are better, less dangerous ways to do this."
Hiro nodded into his brother's shoulder, smudging tears into the grey fabric of his cardigan. "O-Okay." He breathed. "I won't." He sniffed and pulled away, trying to smile. "I swear if you tell anyone..." he left the fake threat hanging.
"Don't worry, I won't." He drew a cross over his heart with his finger. "Hamada's honour."
A moment passed while Hiro calmed down. Tadashi was relieved that they had been able to get past this so soon. Having been in many fights before, Tadashi knew his stubborn brother could hold one heck of a grudge. Tadashi smiled and ruffled Hiro’s hair.
Hiro grinned and half-heartedly swatted Tadashi’s hand away. "It's too bad." Hiro turned away mysteriously. "I'd already thought of something..."
"Well save that something for another time." Tadashi was glad that they were okay. They were cool.
Hiro turned towards the stairs, heading down.
"Hey, where're you going?"
"I'm just gonna save my idea on some files. I'll be down there for a while."
Tadashi watched him go suspiciously. "Okay, but you better be back before I fall asleep."
"For sure. Seeya." He was gone.
It was getting late, and Hiro couldn't stay awake much longer without something to do. He put his plan into action.
"Ow." he whispered from the base of the stairs. He heard the nursebot inflate and approach him, squeaking softly as it walked.
"I heard a sound of distress. What seems to be the trouble, Hiro?"
"Baymax, keep quiet and follow me."
"Where are we going, Hiro?"
"Just, c'mon." He waited patiently for the Baymax to descend the stairs. He led the bot out to the garage.
"Hiro, it is very late. I suggest you get some rest; abnormal sleeping patterns may cause a disruption in your Circadian rhythm."
"Uh-huh, sure. Get in here Baymax."
Tadashi’s phone buzzed in his pocket, waking him, and he shuffled around to take it out before holding it away from his face. As anticipated, the glare almost blinded him in the dim moonlit bedroom and he squinted while adjusting the brightness of the screen. He blinked a few times before squinting again, although this time he was grinning at who had sent the text.
1 New Message: Honey.
Honey: I’m seriously so glad you’re okay. J
Me: Me too. :P
Honey: You’re such a dork.
Me: I know you are but what am I?
Honey: A dork.
Honey: :P Really though. :’)
Me: Same. Thank you. J
Tadashi smiled wider. He was about to send a reply when his phone buzzed in his hand, and a thin banner appeared across the top of the display.
1 New Message: Nerd Herd.
Tadashi tapped onto the message as a barrage of messages assaulted his inbox.
Fredley: Sup dude? You good? Why did Baymax text?
Me: He just thinks I’m stressed, but I’m fine. I’m more worried about you atm.
Fredley: Nah, I’m fine. Just needed a couple dozen antacids.
Fredley: Didn’t die or anything, which is always a plus.
Tomagogo: Don’t be so sure.
Me: Yeah, rookie mistake. You’ll be feeling those things tomorrow.
Honey: So are you guys free tomorrow? We should do something!
Tomagogo: This isn’t enough?
Honey: No! Dinner was great and all, tell Aunt Cass for me.
Me: Sure thing.
Honey: I want to have something bigger! You know, more…
Fredley: Bodacious is my middle name!
Me: Fred Bodacious Lee?
Honey: Fred bodaciously…
Fredley: …invites you guys over tomorrow?
Wan-tiem: Is that a question or a statement?
Fredley: You tell me.
Me: Is it up for debate?
Honey: No. :c
Tomagogo: Why is this a thing?
Honey: Because it is!
Honey: We ALL happily accept Freddie.
Tomagogo: Fine. Don’t complain when he’s dumping our corpses in a ditch.
Me: One: that’s technically impossible. Two: I would just haunt his sorry butt.
Fredley: That would be awesome.
Me: And Honey would trap you in an eternal chick-flick marathon.
Fredley: NOOOOOO! Wait… are there snacks?
Tomagogo: I’m down.
Wan-tiem: I’ll be there.
Honey: For the marathon???
Wan-tiem: No, for Fred’s place.
Honey: Oh, right! Duh me. Me too!
Me: I’m up for it. I’ll go ask Hiro if he wants to come.
Honey: You should! He missed you, Dashi.
Tadashi switched off his phone and blinked a few times, waiting for his eyes to adjust. He got up to check on Hiro’s abnormally quiet side of the room. As he didn’t hear any tell-tale snoring, he assumed his brother was just lying in bed, half-asleep. That wasn’t the case.
A sudden light from Hiro’s desk caught Tadashi’s attention, faintly illuminating a small portion of the ceiling. It was Hiro’s phone, silently receiving the group’s text. Tadashi glimpsed the message before turning on his phone to reply.
Wan-tiem: Where is the little man?
Me: Garage. Being a nerd. I better get him to bed.
Tadashi noiselessly slew down the stairs, deliberately skipping the third step from the landing because he knew it would creak. It was getting really late and Hiro had been… out… all day. He should’ve crashed by now. If Aunt Cass caught him they would get an earful, and Tadashi had some pretty big ears. Hopefully he would get to Hiro before she did.
He jogged around to the garage, making a note to scold Hiro for leaving the rolling door wide open.
The only problem with that was, Hiro wasn’t there to scold.
Oh, for crying out loud.
Twenty Minutes Earlier:
Hiro stood back, admiring his work. He bowed to the upgraded nursebot. "Yeah!" he celebrated. "Fistbump!"
Baymax looked down at the boy's hand. "Fistbump: is not in my fighting database."
"No, this-this isn't a fighting thing. It's what people do sometimes when they're... excited or pumped up!" He grabbed the bot's large hand and slapped the palm gently. He made the gesture again, and Baymax mimicked it, slapping Hiro's palm back. He repeated the high-five with the back of their hands, then made a fist. They bumped fists, Hiro ending with a vocal imitation of an explosion.
Baymax observed how the boy's hand moved, and copied the gesture. "Bah-a-la-la-la."
"Hey, now you're getting it!" Hiro nodded his approval.
"I will add: fistbump to my care-giving matrix." Baymax confirmed.
"Alright. Let's go get that guy." Hiro nudged the now-armoured stomach and made his way out of the garage. "Come on." He led the way through the empty streets to find the warehouse, Baymax jogging awkwardly behind but managing to keep up. They did not notice their stalkers.
"Get him Baymax!" Hiro commanded from the relative safety of behind the bot. The warehouse was empty. "We're too late."
Dink dink dinkdink. Hiro extracted the imprisoned Microbot from his pocket.
"Your tiny robot is trying to go somewhere." Baymax stated.
"Come on." Hiro held out the petri dish and followed the Microbot's directions. He was so absorbed that he was only stopped in time by the tug of his hood. He’d almost walked straight into the bay.
"Always wait one hour after eating before swimming." Baymax informed, firmly but gently pulling Hiro back onto the dock.
Dink, dinkdink schweu!
"Hey!" Hiro reached out but couldn't catch it in time. The Microbot escaped and flew away. He squinted, trying to follow its destination, and found it.
The masked man approached from the fog, riding a wave of Microbots. Before he got too close, Hiro turned and ran behind a crate. "Come on!" he whispered, and Baymax squeaked behind him.
He watched as the figure slid onto the dock, bringing a large chunk of tech behind him. It had the same bird symbol he'd seen earlier that day.
"Your heart rate has increased dramatically-"
"Sshh. Okay Baymax, time to use those upgrades."
The upgraded healthcare companion got into a fighting stance, and was about to attack when they were blinded by a single, strong headlight. It switched off and Hiro's eyes adjusted.
"Hiro, what are you doing?" Tadashi hissed. "Did that conversation before mean nothing?"
"Tadashi! I'm, uh, just out for a walk. It helps with my pubescent… mood swings." he finished uncertainly. A second pair of headlights disturbed the trio. "What now?" Hiro groaned.
"Hiro? Tadashi?" The brothers' college friends exited Wasabi's small van. Wasabi narrowed his eyes. "Is that Baymax?"
GoGo strode up to the nursebot. "Why is he wearing carbon-fibre underpants?"
"I also know: karate." Baymax added helpfully.
Hiro was exhausted. "What are you guys doing here? How did you find me?"
Honey bent down to him. "We followed Tadashi after he contacted us."
"And how did he find me?” Hiro groaned.
Tadashi smiled sheepishly. "Jacket tracker. We'll talk about that later though."
"Dude!" Hiro complained. "Major breach of Rule 3!"
"It was necessary." Tadashi frowned back. "What have you done to my project?"
Baymax waddled forward. "Tadashi has been: stressed and requires: support from: friends, and loved ones."
Hiro was starting to panic. "Okay, but we need-"
"Who would like to share their feelings first?" Baymax offered.
Fred jumped in. "Ooh! I'll go! My name is Fred, and it has been thirty days since my last- Holy Mother of Megazon!"
The others started and watched helplessly as a metal storage container was lifted effortlessly by a black swarm of bots. Behind it stood the masked man.
Fred just had to ask. "Am I the only one seeing this?"
A flash emanated from Honey's phone, obviously irritating the figure. He let the Microbots drop the crate.
Tadashi reached out to grab for Wasabi but Hiro had caught Tadashi’s arm first and was swiftly pulling the elder Hamada away. He’s not going to make it! Shrugging off Hiro’s grip, Tadashi’s eyes never left Wasabi, waiting until the last second to look away.
"AAAAH! Oh my gosh, ohhh no!" Wasabi cringed in terror. He didn't feel the pressure and looked up to find what had stopped the container.
Tadashi stood a few feet in front of him, arms outstretched and breathing heavily through his nose. The crate was frozen mid-air. His eyes were as wide as saucers with the combined shock and effort of what he was doing. "Move!" he yelled.
The others gaped, dumbfounded, before Wasabi ran out from under the crate's shadow. It hit solid ground behind him and the group ran for the van but Hiro lagged behind.
"Baymax, get him!" he pointed to their attacker. GoGo grabbed his arm and dragged him with her.
"No, no no no no no, what are you doing?" Hiro yelled.
"I'm saving your life!" GoGo retorted. Wasabi started the vehicle.
"Baymax can handle that guy!" Hiro gestured. He was pushed into the back between his brother and Fred.
They watched in disbelief as Baymax soared through the air and collectively winced as his behind broke through the van's ceiling.
"Oh, no." came the bot's voice. The rear view mirror fell away.
Masked Man was coming at them on his mass of Microbots.
"Wasabi!" GoGo warned.
"Oh, goodbye!" Wasabi reversed the van, swerving around obstacles dangerously.
GoGo was infuriated. "Hamada. Explanation. Now."
The brothers shared a look of confusion before Tadashi spoke. "He stole Hiro's Microbots, he started the fire. We don't know who he is!"
A pillar of black rushed towards the windshield. "Baymax!" Hiro yelled. "Palm-heel strike!"
Baymax complied, the force of the impact spinning the car around so that they were moving forward. The shadowy figure chased them through the street.
"Hard left!" GoGo cried. Wasabi swerved but was able to complete the turn, hitting some trash cans on the way.
Their attacker didn't slow, using the swarm to jump over a bridge and continue his pursuit.
Fred looked out the back in excitement. "That mask... black suit... We're under attack from a super-villain people! I mean, how cool is that?! I mean it's scary, obviously, but still cool!"
Wasabi turned to assess the situation. He didn't see the yellow light.
Hiro groaned inwardly. No! We're the only traffic, and you're changing now?
The light clicked back to green. Nobody noticed. How? Hiro thought. The lights were automated, on a cycle, they couldn't just change like that!
They sped through the intersection.
"Why's he tryna kill us?" Wasabi leaned out the window and asked the suspect. "Uh, why're you tryna kill us?"
"It's classic villain, we've seen too much!" Fred exclaimed.
Honey interjected. "Let's not jump to conclusions, we don't know he's trying to kill us."
Fred watched in excited terror as a vehicle soared over the hill via Microbot launch. He cut in. "CAR!"
"He's trying to kill us!" Honey screamed.
They continued down the road after narrowly avoiding the projectile. Orange and green flashed simultaneously.
"Did you just turn your blinker on?" GoGo shouted incredulously at Wasabi.
"You have to indicate your turn. It's the law!" the large student proclaimed.
"That's. It." she slammed her gum on the dashboard and pushed Wasabi's seat back, smoothly taking over the controls.
The next few minutes were spent in a heart-attack inducing flurry of Microbots and bright lights. GoGo handled the van coolly amongst the other's screams.
Hiro scrambled to the empty passenger's seat, making room in the claustrophobic back. "Stop the car! Baymax and I can take this guy-ahhh!" He slipped through a missing door and prepared for his face to meet asphalt. Wind rushed past his cheeks.
He was gently pulled back into the seat and the belt brought across his body. "Seat belts save lives." Baymax pointed out. "Buckle up every time."
"What'reyoudoing, what'reyoudoing, what'reyoudoing!"
GoGo maneuvered over the tracks, not hesitating when she sighted the oncoming train.
"Did we lose him?" Honey hoped.
Wasabi started. "Look out!"
A ramp of Microbots formed around them, quickly encasing the van in a tunnel.
"Baymax, hold on!" Tadashi warned.
Optimism and pessimism screamed at the top of their lungs, in the form of Honey and Wasabi.
"We're not gonna make it!"
"We're gonna make it!"
"We're not gonna make it!"
Hiro feared their rapidly closing exit. Don't.
The formation of the tunnel stopped abruptly, and the van flew out.
"We made it!" Honey's celebration was short-lived.
The vehicle swerved uncontrollably as it skidded along the San Fransokyo Dock. Albeit GoGo's immense driving skills the van plummeted into the bay. The windshield cracked at its impact with water. They slowly sunk, gasping for a large breath of air. They hit the bottom of the bay.
Hiro struggled with his seat belt while the others fumbled with their doors. He watched as segments of Baymax's new armour where discarded in the billowing sand. He kept trying to unbuckle himself.
Tadashi came to his side, and Hiro gestured to his trap. The elder Hamada made attempts to release him, pulling forcefully at the buckle. Then he stopped. Hiro gave a questioning glance but froze when he saw his brother's expression. It was deathly focused.
Tadashi moved his hand slowly away from the buckle, clenching it into a fist. He uncurled his fingers with a twitch. The buckle exploded.
The strap retracted slowly while Hiro stared in disbelief. Tadashi pulled him out, clearing the way for the others to escape through Hiro's lack of a passenger door. Baymax grabbed them all and they floated swiftly upwards.
The group broke the surface, Honey being the first to speak as the rest were still spluttering like fish out of water. "I told you we'd make it!" she shivered.
Hiro twisted his body to face his brother. "Tadashi, what the he-"
"Your injuries require my attention and your body temperatures are: low." Baymax declared.
"We should get out of here." Tadashi needed the distraction.
Fred grinned in victory. "I know a place."
The Rules I mention come from this adorable fanfic I read on someone's tumblr, so please go and read it. I owe them this chapter.
/108271793050/rules- of- being- a-hamada- brother (take out spaces, you'll find it eventually. It's the one with beautiful illustrations and an emotional ending, even more so for such a short fic.)
You won't regret it!
Rule 0: Hamada Brothers always stay together.
Rule 3: Hamada Brothers always trust each other.
Rule 13: Hamada Brothers help those who need help.