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You've Got a Hold on Me (and That's Okay)

By Alon Garcia


Chapter 1

There were a couple of things that GoGo expected from this Christmas party. Like the fact that Honey would go all out with the decorations, Fred would order 10 boxes of pizza for five people, and Wasabi would reveal himself to be her Secret Santa because let’s face it, the guy couldn’t keep a secret and he’s been more awkward around her than usual. What she wasn’t counting on, however, was getting absolutely hammered after a wild game of Never Have I Ever.

She didn’t count on being brought home on Tadashi’s moped either. 

Burning with embarrassment, she buries her face into Tadashi’s back, too drunk to notice how his breath hitches for a second as her arms tighten around him.

“You can’t be serious.”

“I’m not letting you drive yourself home, GoGo. Not when you’re this trashed,” he says, smirking down at her.

“Remind me again how you managed to stay sober after all that?”

“I guess there’s just a lot of things I haven’t done yet.” She spares the shiny red moped another glance, frowning first at the vehicle then at its owner.

“Fine. But if we crash on that thing, it’s all on you, Hamada.”

“Just get on, Tanaka.” He throws her a spare helmet which she fails to catch, quick reflexes be damned. She just grumbles as she throws a leg over his sad excuse for a bike and holds on.

They’re still a couple of minutes away from her house but she swears she’d be home by now if only he’d let her take her own bike. She sighs against his shirt, burrowing deeper in the fabric, and mumbles incoherently.

“I-I’m sorry?!” Tadashi almost forgets to keep his eyes on the road, wanting nothing more than to look back at the drowsy girl behind him to make sure what he just heard was real. She mumbles again, practically half asleep, but he’s sure he can make out the words love and you somewhere between her slurred speech.

He feels his ears heat up as his grip tightens on the handlebars. I should just get her home. She’s not thinking straight. Unless she’s thinking about how much she loves the way I drive. Yeah, that’s probably it. Right?

Panicking while semi-tipsy and driving a drunk girl home is never a good idea. Which is why Tadashi takes his time while waiting for the traffic lights to change from red to green, breathing in and out deeply and trying to suppress the urge to wake GoGo up and ask her what she was talking about.

After ten more excruciating minutes, he finally makes it to her place. He gingerly unwraps her arms from his waist, immediately missing her warmth, and places one around his shoulders, hauling her up to her feet. She sways against him as he walks her to her front door and he never thought it would be this difficult to get GoGo to move.

Once they get to her front door, he realizes that she’s still kind of unconscious and he doesn’t have her keys. “GoGo, I need your keys.”

“Left pocket,” she mumbles, and he blushes as he tries to get them out of her form-fitting shorts. A few seconds of struggling later, he gets the door open and GoGo’s finally in a state where she can stand on her own.

“Wait!” Tadashi cries, remembering to keep his voice down so he wouldn’t wake her parents.

“What?” She replies, rubbing her bleary eyes and looking longingly at the living room couch.

“Y-you were saying something. While we were on our way here. And I, uh, I was wondering, I dunno—”

“Just spit it out, Hamada,” she says, cutting him off, her patience growing thin.

“I was wondering if you said you’re in love with me!” He wasn’t supposed to blurt it out that way. He was supposed to be cool about it. What else were those breathing exercises for? Tadashi manages to tear his eyes away from the ground just in time to see GoGo’s face go slack, like she couldn’t believe what he just said.

“Never mind! I probably heard it wrong! I mean, you’re drunk, and I’m kinda tipsy too, so nothing really makes sense right now and I’m just gonna go and get myself home now—”

“Oh, just shut up.” She cuts him off a second time by attempting to crash her lips onto his, pulling him closer to her by his scarf. But she miscalculates the distance between them and knocks their foreheads together in the process.

They both yelp at the impact and groan as they rub their throbbing foreheads. GoGo looks more embarrassed now than when she was riding on his moped and Tadashi’s pretty sure he’s stained a permanent shade of red. He stares at her while making sure he isn’t going to end up bruised and he feels a sudden surge of courage when he sees her nipping at the edge of her bottom lip.

He can’t help it.

He’s been wondering about what her bubblegum painted lips would taste like for far too long. So he pulls her closer, gently, by the corner of her jacket and presses his chapped lips against hers. He feels her sigh against his mouth and he thanks god that she didn’t punch him in the face.

Neither of them know how long they’ve been standing there, wrapped up in each other’s warmth. The alcohol is no longer numbing their systems but rather stoking a fire in them. They barely even register the cold until they hear a soft cough behind them, making GoGo leap out of his arms.

“How long have you guys been standing there?!” If there was any way GoGo and Tadashi could get any redder they would have, but the late night winter cold has already rubbed their skin raw. Her parents just chuckle and shake their heads.

“You two should probably get inside or you’ll get sick,” her mom says, ushering them both into the living room without bothering to answer her daughter’s question.

“Tadashi, you can take the couch, if you don’t mind. It’s way too late to be driving home now,” her dad says, already bringing out spare pillows and blankets from the coat closet.

The two are left in the living room after what felt like a whirlwind, with her parents fussing over them without letting them say a single word.

“Well…” he says, rubbing the back of his neck, all signs of that liquid courage flushed down the drain.

She just rolls her eyes, but she smiles at him. One of her rare smiles that she usually lets out when she thinks that no one is watching. But he always manages to catch it. It’s only now though, that he feels the full force of it being directed right at him and no words can seem to crawl their way out of his mouth.

“Good night… Tadashi.” She doesn’t usually call him by his first name, but it sounds so natural, the way she says it. He tries to find his voice, lost somewhere between her arms around his waist and soft kisses, but she climbs up the stairs and disappears from his sight before he can say anything.

Things were definitely going to be different from now on.

They didn’t spend their first Christmas as a couple together. After that night, with just a few moments spared between them the next morning, GoGo was whisked away for their family trip to Japan, leaving Tadashi a little disoriented but also very pleased with how the night went.

This year, however, her parents actually allowed her to stay behind with the Hamada family and now GoGo was stuck with an overly cheery Tadashi and a long list of holiday activities. At the top of that very list was something GoGo could definitely get behind on.

Snowball fights.

She may be lacking in the height department, but she was quick, sneaky, and had a mean throwing arm. She’s pelted Tadashi with snowballs more than anybody else and she could tell it was starting to get under his skin — figuratively and literally. When Wasabi actually crashes into his own team’s fort — bless his lack of coordination in the cold — GoGo and Honey leap at the chance to bombard the boys with handfuls of snow.

It’s an all-out war, with Honey and her perfect aim throwing snowball after snowball at Wasabi and Hiro while GoGo tackles Tadashi to the ground, shoving snow into his jacket with a wicked glint in her eyes.

“GoGo — ah! Stop that! It’s freezing!” Tadashi cries, while struggling to grab at GoGo’s hands. She’s got him pinned down, with her thighs squeezing his sides, leaving her hands free to do whatever she wants. But he finally gets her to stop when she loses focus from laughing at the desperate look on her boyfriend’s face.

He grabs her face between his hands and she lets out an accidental shriek thanks to his freezing fingers. As he’s laughing at her grumpy expression, he zeroes in on the slight pout of her lips and he feels his voice die in his throat. Suddenly it’s silent all around them, like a scene in a movie, as they simply stare at each other, still as the first snow.

Their small bubble of peace in the middle of a warzone is disrupted when Honey lets out a squeal. 

“Aww, you two are just so sweet!” The trance breaks and they both flush, though the cold masks their reddening faces. They hide their faces against the other’s shoulder, trying to stifle their embarrassment.

Honey continues to swoon at them, Wasabi smiles then promptly averts his eyes as the couple stays in their position for longer than he anticipated, Fred remains oblivious while throwing snowballs at everyone and missing. 

And Hiro, too young to appreciate the scene in front of him, and too mortified at the fact that it’s his brother they’re all looking out, yells “Oh for Pete’s sake, get a room!”

Their third year had been going great. Both of them were making progress with their projects, Tadashi with Baymax and GoGo with her mag-lev wheels respectively. But their world came to a standstill after the fire.

She sees the building explode as she runs through the crowd, searching for Hiro and Tadashi who they just realized were left behind. She screams their names over the cries around her and the roar of the fire. People push at her, wondering why she’s heading in the opposite direction of safety. Her small stature makes it hard for her to see anything above the crowd and she can feel the sudden panic clawing its way up her throat. The smoke makes it so hard to breathe but she needs to find them, she needs to know that they got out alive, she needs to know that they’re safe—

And then she sees them.

Hiro is holding onto his older brother’s limp body, tears spilling and sobs wracking his body. GoGo freezes in place, even though she wants to do nothing more than rush to the two boys. She can’t seem to will her feet to walk forward, or even run back to call for help.


The younger Hamada’s voice carries above all the noise and chaos and it wakes GoGo up from her stupor. She runs towards them, legs screaming from how fast she’s going, but she makes it in seconds because they need her. Her boys. 

She reaches over to hold Tadashi, pressing two fingers against his pulse point. She doesn’t realize that she’s been holding her breath until she lets out a sigh when she feels his vein pumping under fingertips. It’s faint but he’s still alive and GoGo almost cries, relief washing all over her.

But she can’t be complacent yet. She can see the burn marks marring Tadashi’s skin and she grimaces despite herself. She knows he must be in so much pain but they have to move. Instructing Hiro to take Tadashi’s other arm, they haul themselves up to their feet and carefully drag him away from the burning building.

It’s Christmas Eve and Tadashi still hasn’t woken up.

GoGo has gone way past the state of panicking. She’s still worried, of course, so worried. But she can’t do anything but wait. She isn’t really a woman of faith but she prays to whatever might be up there to let him wake up. It feels like everything good that has happened to her in the past few years had been ripped out of her hands and there’s nothing she can do about it.

There’s nothing she can do but she also can’t stay idle.

Just a few hours after texting Honey, she arrives with a box full of Christmas decorations as per GoGo’s request. “I’m really sorry I can’t stay to help,” Honey always feels bad about things like this but GoGo just waves it off.

“You’ve already helped enough, Honey. Thanks, I mean it.” Honey smiles down at her and wraps her up in a tight hug which GoGo reluctantly returns. As soon as the other girl leaves, GoGo starts putting up the decorations, wondering what time Hiro and Aunt Cass were arriving. 

Honey managed to find a small Christmas tree which fit perfectly on top of Tadashi’s bedside table. She leaves enough space underneath it for the gifts that were sure to arrive later on, placing just the right amount of ornaments, tinsel, and lights. She hangs pine garlands wherever she can and hangs a few ornaments onto them as well. GoGo doesn’t consider herself an expert on Christmas decorating, but she has to say it doesn’t look that bad.

She’s standing on top of a chair, arranging lights along the top of the windows, when she hears a rustling of sheets behind her. She almost falls off from the chair from surprise as she scrambles down and rushes to Tadashi’s side. His face is pinched, wincing from the pain while his medication wears off, but he’s awake and GoGo almost cries out again. She lets a few tears fall before calling out to him.

It takes him a while to hear her but when he does, he tries his best to smile at her and it causes GoGo’s heart to clench because even when Tadashi’s in this much pain, he still tries to make her happy. That idiot. Her idiot. She slips her hand into his and he squeezes it weakly. There aren’t enough words she can say to express how happy she is that he’s awake. The silence that surrounds them is filled with her awe at seeing Tadashi finally open his eyes, and he’s just smiling at her, basking in the scent of hot chocolate and apple cinnamon cookies that Honey also managed to bring.

“What were you thinking, Tadashi?” She whispers. She’s not really angry. She knows he has some sort of hero complex that she sometimes can’t understand. But she doesn’t want to have to worry about him every single time he goes and does something stupid and dangerous. It must be exactly how he feels, having a little brother like Hiro to take care of.

“I’m sorry—” he starts to say, but a coughing fit wracks his body and she hurries to pour him a glass of water.

“Shh. I’m still pretty annoyed with you but you look kinda terrible so I’m gonna shut up about it for now.” He sends her another grateful smile and settles back against the pillows. She drags the chair she was standing on beside his bed and slips her hand back into his. He interlocks their fingers then raises their hands closer to his face, pressing his lips against the back of her hand.

GoGo lets her tired eyes fall close. For the past few days she hasn’t managed to get enough sleep, always worrying that he would wake up while she was gone. But he’s okay now. He’s back and he’ll get better and she can finally rest for a while. She falls asleep with her hand still held tight in Tadashi’s while he strokes her hair with his other hand.

Tadashi lets his eyes adjust to the dim light, amazed at how she managed to make the bare hospital room look homey with all the Christmas decorations. His whole body is still sore from his injuries but he can’t help but smile fondly at the girl napping beside him. It didn’t even occur to him for a second that she would leave him. The thought just never crossed his mind. 

But seeing her here, lacking sleep and probably worried sick, he’s never loved her more.

The year after Tadashi was let out of the hospital was… difficult. It took time for him to get used to seeing himself in the mirror with all his scars. His hearing and his eyesight weren’t what they used to be either. But every morning he wakes up to this girl who drives him up the wall, whose sarcasm infuriates him, but whose constant companionship never fails to make him feel like he’s home.


He’s been thinking about it for a while now. How to ask her to marry him. It’s been four years of constant bickering and quiet snuggling on the couch with the TV on. Four years of her making fun of his moped and him taking advantage of their height difference. Four years since that first winter. It seemed like as good a time as any to finally ask.

But how?

“You should just do it, plain and simple,” says Hiro. It’s been four years but the kid still didn’t really have a sense for the romantic.

“Fireworks. Definitely go with fireworks.” But Tadashi was both uncomfortable with fire and the thought of Fred handling pyrotechnics gave him shivers. And not the good kind.

“Oh, make it romantic! Flowers and candles and dinner under the stars! All of it!” Honey suggests, but Tadashi didn’t think that GoGo was that kind of woman.

“Well… you guys do like to tease each other a lot,” Wasabi muses, thinking that no one was paying attention to him.

“Oooh yes! Do something that’ll infuriate her at first and then bam! You pull out the most beautiful ring she’s ever seen!” Suddenly Honey’s right behind that idea.

“I guess that suits you two…” says Hiro, who goes back to finishing his newest robot, deciding that the conversation was over.

Hmm… that might just work.

Christmas morning saw Tadashi and GoGo waking up later than usual. Living away from his family, Tadashi still has to get used to not having to wake up at the crack of dawn because of Hiro. Christmas day was the only time Hiro voluntary wakes up early and Tadashi kind of misses that but he looks at the girl beside him and it’s all worth it. Besides, they were spending the whole day with his family. A few moments of quiet in the morning was worth the separation.

The morning is peaceful. They exchange whispered Merry Christmases with each other and Tadashi goes down to the kitchen to cook breakfast while GoGo makes them coffee, wearing only one of Tadashi’s shirts. She’s so small that the shirt barely skims her knees but she’s adorable and sexy and everything he needs. Tadashi can’t wait for later.

All their presents were packed under the tree in the Hamada household, even GoGo’s, and they all gather around while sipping on hot chocolate and trying on Cass’ homemade sweaters. Mochi even agreed to be a good cat this holiday, allowing Hiro to dress him in kitten mittens while Baymax waddles around in his own knitted scarf.

GoGo looks around and thinks she could get used to this. She doesn’t have any siblings so her holidays were usually a lot quieter. She feels like she hasn’t laughed this much until she met Tadashi, his family, and their friends. Looking back, the past four years had been… life-changing. 

She’s still the same person. Still snarky, sarcastic, and sometimes too blunt for her own good. She still likes moving fast and coasting on her bike. But lately she’s been realizing how much love she has to give. How easy it is to actually make her laugh. How going slow, especially with a certain healthcare inclined engineer, isn’t so bad after all.

She’s so absorbed in her own revelations that she doesn’t realize that Hiro and Aunt Cass had already cleared up, leaving her and Tadashi in the living room.

“Time to go home?” She asks, raising her eyebrow and tilting her head towards the door.

“Uh, in a second. I have one more present for you,” he says, holding the box behind his back while he rubs the back of his neck, unsure of how she’ll react.

“Really? And what might that be?” Of course she’s curious. Who wouldn’t be? She and Tadashi didn’t usually go all out on presents, preferring to spend birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays doing something they could both enjoy. But when she sees the large box he hands over to her, her eyes widen, having no clue what it could be.

“You have to open it, silly,” he says, encouraging her by pushing the box into her hands.

“Okay, okay, calm down,” she takes the box and slowly unwraps it. Surprise is written all over her face when she opens the present and finds another box inside it.

“Tadashi, what the hell—”

“Just keep going!”

“Um… okay then.” She’s used to him being really excited about this kind of thing, so she gives in to satisfy him. 

She unwraps box after box, confused as to what Tadashi was trying to get at and frustrated because it’s been a long day and all she wants to do is crawl into bed and maybe cuddle even though she’d never admit it.

Finally she gets to what she assumes is the last box. It’s smaller. Obviously better wrapped than the previous boxes. She suddenly gets nervous — and excited — already thinking about what might be inside.

“Tadashi… what’s this all about?”

“Open it,” he says, grinning so wide she’s afraid of how much his cheeks will hurt in the morning. She gingerly opens the box and gasps when she sees the ring cushioned inside it. She was already suspecting it a few boxes in but that doesn’t make a difference on how she’s feeling right at that moment. She’s quiet, marvelling at the ring. It’s simple, because he knows she wouldn’t wear anything else.

“Y-you like it, right? I’m sorry it’s just sometimes I can’t tell, I mean, are you happy with it because I can still get it changed or—” 

She cuts him off again, much like that first winter night. She flings herself towards him, quite uncharacteristic of her, but Tadashi welcomes it all the same.

“Of course I love it, you nerd. I’m happy. I’m so happy.”

They both are.

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