Category: Movies » Avengers
Author: The Lord of Chaos
Language: English, Rating: Rated: T
Published: 01-19-15, Updated: 01-19-15
Chapters: 1, Words: 13,820
Chapter 1: Chapter 1
A/N: Hey all, thanks for tuning in. This story was inspired by Ikira's story Kintsugi on AO3, another BH6 and Avengers X-over.
Disclaimer: I do not own Big Hero 6 or the Avengers. I just do horrible things to their characters.
Today was the day. One way or another, today was the day. After months of tracking the organization that had killed his brother and stollen his microbots, today they were going to find answers. Today they were going to put a stop to Hydra's plans.
One way or another.
It had been close to a year since the fire; since 'Dashi had died running in after a man who hadn't needed saving. It had been months of tracking down his stollen microbots; months of cornering Hydra agents and collecting intelligence. Months of working as a team.
Having this purpose had helped. In times when he had felt the absence of his brother truly weighing on him, being able to lose himself in this quest with his friends had helped push it aside. After today, he didn't know what he would do when he felt that weight. When he felt empty. He was glad he had his friends with him. They had been through some incredible adventures together in the past several months, and he was thankful every moment that they had stood by him; so happy that Baymax, his brother's legacy, could be his guide and his companion.
He supposed when this was over he would still have something to do, assuming he was alive. Tadashi had created Baymax to help people. And he was. But this wasn't what Tadashi had envisioned. Stopping Hydra was important, but Baymax was meant to heal, he was meant to be one of many, changing the world. When this was over, Hiro would make sure that his brother's vision was realized. And if Hiro wasn't alive to see to it, he had left a backup and a video message for Aunt Cass to give the technology to SFIT for development. He thought it was important though, to have that goal for himself. He had learned a lot from Baymax about taking care of himself since he had first lost himself in grief.
"We are not equipped for this," Fred said, as they got suited up.
"Fred," Hiro said incredulously. "Really, out of everyone here I thought you'd be the most excited. We're storming an evil organization's compound. We're stopping a doomsday plot. This is what we've been moving towards from the beginning. It's what we've come all the way to Baltimore to do. This is going to be awesome. It's going to be amazing. Every battle, every ambush, we've been preparing for this for a long time now. We're as ready as we're ever going to be. And even if we weren't, we'd still have to do it, because we have to stop them, and we have to get justice for Tadashi."
And they weren't totally unequipped. They had come a long way since they had first donned their supersuits. Hiro would laugh to himself sometimes when he thought of those original designs; when he didn't cringe to remember one too many close calls with bullets and energy pulse weapons. They had had to become very creative while tracking down Hydra and staying more and more in the shadows as the evil organization had become more and more aware of their group.
"Of course," Fred said. "No one is more excited to have our first big boss battle than me. But taking on small groups of these agents here and there has been one thing. Merging our investigation with the SHIELD data dump was one thing. Fighting bad guys who have deadly guns and fighting robots of their own is one thing. But we're going into their home turf and that's something else entirely."
"So we should just give up?" Go Go asked. "Come on, woman up. They're going to hurt a lot of people. We have to stop them, and we need to do it now."
"We didn't come all this way for nothing," Honey Lemon said.
"We do need to stop them," Wasabi said. "But Fred's right. We aren't ready for this. At least, we need a better plan than 'storm the place and smash anything that looks like a super weapon.' We don't even know what we're looking for."
"That's right, we don't even know what this device is, much less what it looks like," Honey Lemon said. "And it would be nice to have a better plan, but right now this is the best we've got."
"Guys, I'm not saying we abandon the plan," Fred said. "Because it is an awesome plan. Am I right? Fredzilla's ready to smash evil science. But come on, what do Superheroes do when they're in over their head?"
"Wait for deus ex machina to save their butts?" Wasabi asked.
"No no no no no," Fred said waving his hands. "It's the best comic book trope there is."
He paused expectantly, waiting for one of them to fill in the blank.
"Come on... superhero mashup!" he said. "You've got one of the Avengers as a pen pal little man, this could be totally awesome! We could fight alongside Iron Man and Captain America, and what better way to smash every evil science thingy we find than to have the freaking Hulk just smash everything."
"Oh, that's a great idea," Honey Lemon said. "Freddie's right, we could use all the help we can get on this one."
"I don't know," Hiro said. "They probably wouldn't even take us seriously. We can't waste a bunch of time coordinating with people we've never worked with. Whatever Hydra's up to, it's happening soon and we need to stop it now."
"The wellbeing of many ride on this mission," Baymax said, as Hiro jammed a bright red rocket fist over his squishy vinyl. "The more people who help, the better chance we have of succeeding and leaving safely."
"I know you like to control all the details Hiro," Wasabi said. "You've been a great leader for us, but this is too important. If we fail, a lot of people are probably going to die. Hydra's whole thing is global domination. A few months ago they tried to kill millions of people with those helicarriers, whatever this plan B is that they think is going to turn their fortunes, it has to be stopped."
Hiro thought a moment. It took him a bit to realize why he was reluctant. He knew what he was going to do, what he was going to say when they found whoever was behind this. He wanted to make sure that the man on top knew that his evil plot had been foiled in Tadashi's name. He had had a long time to envision that vengeance. If they brought in a group of real superheroes, could he control how that played out? He was just a fifteen year old kid. They'd probably try to stop him participating at all. Though none of that really mattered, in the end. Tadashi wouldn't risk countless lives and the freedom of the world so that he could monologue at the bad guy, and he wouldn't want Hiro doing it in his name either.
"I'm not really his pen pal," Hiro said. "But I'll try to convince him. This is really short notice though. We've got to act soon whether they're on board or not."
Tony Stark wasn't really a pen pal; half the emails were from his HR department really. But the man had taken an interest in Hiro after he had seen a video of Hiro's presentation at SFIT. He had offered a chance for Hiro to work at Stark Industries after he got his degree, with the added bonus of being able to work on a doctorate at the same time. Tony Stark had sent a couple emails now and then, and Hiro had responded. It wasn't every day he got to write to the foremost expert on robotics. He pulled up one of those emails on his phone, scrolling down to the phone number below the signature.
After talking to an AI that seemed to have a bit of a better grasp on speech patterns than Baymax did, Hiro heard the phone ring a couple of times before he heard, "Go for Iron Man."
"Mr. Stark," Hiro said. "This is Hiro Hamada, we've written a couple of times before."
"Hiro," Mr. Stark said with a bit of excitement. "Are you calling about finally accepting my offer, or is this about Hydra?"
"What?!" Hiro asked, shocked. "Why would you think I'd call you about Hydra?"
"You mean: how do I know that you and a few other college students have been dressing up in tights and fighting evil? I've made it my business to know these things, Hiro."
"Hey, we stopped wearing tights a while ago," Hiro said. "It's all robotically assisted composite body armor now. But that's not the point. Hydra's up to something tonight. Something big. We know where they're operating out of, and whatever it is they're doing, they think it's going to bring the world to it's knees so for this we're going to need help. We're striking at six this evening, eastern time, with or without any help."
"We've been hearing some chatter, but we hadn't gotten a location," Mr. Stark said. "Send me the details and a rendezvous, I'll be there with some friends."
Today was the day.
If it worked.
If he hadn't messed it up.
Today was the day he would find out if he was a hero or a traitor. Either way, he would be dead; whether he would be reunited with his parents and his brother, he didn't know. It had been a long time since he had had that certainty. One way or another though, today was the day.
Tadashi walked through the door into the control room, his guard close behind. Beneath the door on the far side of the room he could see sunlight. He hadn't seen sunlight since he had been moved to this facility a few months back when something big had happened to upset all of Hydra. He knew he would never see sunlight again. He could see C-SPAN playing on one of the monitors. The President's State of the Union address was about to start. Tadashi was guided to a seat by the guard in front of a bank of monitors giving an array of technical readouts. It wasn't a control station, (they didn't trust him that far, not today) but if something went wrong during the operation he would be expected to diagnose and fix it, most likely with a gun to his head.
He sat down at his station, sighing as he felt the bruises that littered his body flare up.
It had been a while since his captors had really felt the need to force him to do anything. Order comes from pain, they had said, and that had been a lesson he had been taught many times since he had been taken. It had been a difficult lesson to learn in the beginning, when he was mourning for his brother, when he had felt the need to punish himself for running into the burning building his brother had followed him into. Once he had figured out how to stop their plan though, he had known that he would have to show them more than obedience if he was going to have the latitude he needed to stop them. Yet still, whatever dogma they spouted, a lot of the people here just liked being violent. They liked hurting whoever was at their mercy. Felt the need to show their dominance over those around them.
Of all the things to get him captured by Hydra, he wouldn't have expected it to be an essay he had written at the last minute for his physics class. He had always found physics easy; it clicked in a way that nothing else really did, but it had never been his passion. Robotics had been his hobby since he had been young, and fixing the medical industry had become his obsession since he had been sixteen and Hiro had had to spend four hours in an ER waiting room with a broken arm, when Tadashi had had the first vague concept for Baymax. He was going to change the world, he had thought. Just not like this.
He had had a concussion when he had woken up for the first time in Hydra's control, but he clearly remembered as it was spelled out to him that he had been fooled. Hydra took what it needed. Professor Raj had shown that blighted essay to most of the faculty at SFIT. Tadashi couldn't have guessed that one of them had been on the lookout for recruits for Hydra and technology that they could use. He couldn't have known that the theorem he had turned in for his homework could be used for anything more than a thought experiment. He would have probably punched someone if they had told him that his mentor had given a long thought disbanded Nazi organization his bio, and told them exactly how to take him and fake his death at the same time.
Professor Callaghan had known that Tadashi would never join Hydra willingly, and he had known Tadashi well enough to have a Hydra agent run from a burning building straight for him to tell him that Callaghan himself was still in there. Stealing his brother's microbots had been an added bonus; and as far as they were concerned, the fact that his otouto had run in after him and been killed by the fire had been icing on the cake. Grief and guilt was very useful when breaking someone, they had said.
But he wasn't broken. At this point the biggest parts of his plan were out of his hands. Either his plan would work and he would have stopped Hydra, or it would fail, and Tadashi would have helped Hydra take over the world. Either way, he had no intention of serving them ever again.
Today was the day, and he would either get to see the look on their faces as their plot failed, or he would settle for taking out as many of the Hydra commanders gathered in this room as he could. Either way, he had no illusions of surviving to see tomorrow, it certainly wasn't his intention either.
Herr Globocnik walked into the room, dressed in his uniform and what looked like a new eyepatch.
"We are ready to bring order to the world, yes?" he asked the room of technicians and assembled Hydra commanders. Out of all of them, if it could be only one of them, Tadashi needed it to be Globocnik that he killed today. He was the mastermind behind this plot. He had given the go ahead to have Tadashi taken, and Hiro's death was on his shoulders. However much he knew that it had been him that Hiro had run in after, it was Globocnik who was behind it, and Globocnik who had told Tadashi of Hiro's death as he had outlined Tadashi's new life after he had been taken. If only Callaghan was there as well.
"Hail Hydra," one of the guards roared in response, his arm outstretched.
"Hail Hydra," the room responded.
Globocnik turned to Tadashi. "Do we have alignment?"
Tadashi consulted the monitor.
"We do," he said grimly.
Globocnik turned to one of the technicians.
"Begin operation Silent Panther," he told the woman, who started flipping switches and talking into her comm to other technicians in other parts of the facility.
"Capacitors are full," she said, turning to Globocnik. "We are ready to engage.
"And the microbots?" Globocnik asked the technician who was wearing a neurocranial transmitter.
"Microbots are active and ready,'" the man said.
"Is the broadcast ready?" Globocnik asked a man who reminded Tadashi of Wasabi from how he kept his station neat and organized.
"We have all satellite, cable, and fiber optic channels ready for broadcast," the man said.
"Engage the portal." Globocnik commanded.
"Portal is engaged," the woman said. One of the screens showed the device as a blue portal opened up over it. From within that room, Hydra could open a portal that would take them to anywhere in the world they wanted to go. It was a relatively short trip today.
"Send through the microbots and the equipment," Globocnik commanded.
A moment later the man with the neurocranial transmitter said, "Microbots are through and engaging. Equipment is through and set-up."
Tadashi waited, eyeing his monitor. At that moment, if his plan had worked, the programming he had added would have activated; he would have to wait to let it do it's work. He waited for the change he would see on his monitor.
"Bring up the feed." Globocnik commanded.
The screens in front of the room lit up as multiple cameras that had been sent through the portal were set up by microbots. There was chaos. What Tadashi had seen before, all of Congress, as well as the Supreme Court justices, greeting the President of the United States, almost the entirety of the federal government, was now under siege by microbots. Exits were blocked off, people were trapped in their seats or against walls by the horde of tiny machines all working together. In the center of the room a projector had been set up. It would soon be projecting the same images that Hydra would be projecting to the world against the wall behind where the president had previously stood to address congress. Tadashi could see that the President had been wrapped up in microbots and turned to face the projection which right now was just the Hydra emblem.
"Begin transmission," Globocnik said "Show the world the American Capitol Building. Switch to my camera on my mark."
Globocnik waited for the people around the world who were watching to take in what was happening before he turned to the camera that was in the middle of the bank of monitors showing the Capital building. He signaled the man controlling the broadcast to switch to his camera. Globocnik's face replaced the hydra emblem in the Capital building and on televisions around the globe.
"Hello," he said with the air of a wolf greeting a rabbit. "Today is an historic day. Today, is the day the world will submit to the rule of Hydra. Just now many of you saw the US capitol building, every order of your government, all of them together to welcome our dominion. Let us return there now. It is perhaps impressive that we have incapacitated the hundreds of people in this room. That we have bloodlessly neutralized your security personnel. Yet this is not what I want you to see. The view will pan now."
A signal was given to the technician controlling the camera equipment.
"That shimmering silver circle you see in the back of the room is a portal," Globocnik continued. "We have opened this portal from within our facility. Today we have invaded your capitol, as we could have taken over any location on earth."
Tadashi had tuned out Globocnik, his sole focus centered entirely on the monitor in front of him, waiting for the confirmation that his program had activated. Suddenly, the signal Tadashi had been waiting for on his monitor activated. It was nothing flashy; he wasn't ready for that attention. It was just a fluctuation in power levels, up .5 ohms, down .2. He started a mental clock in his head.
All of the code he had written for the device had been checked over by Hydra technicians. He couldn't just write in the code to sabotage everything and expect it to get through them. But where the Hydra technicians were good, Tadashi was better. There were hundreds of lines of fragmented code, throughout the programing. All of it looked innocuous, all of it with a seeming legitimate purpose, but when the final program had been compiled, all of that fragmented coding would have come together, and it would have infected the device, and as many computers as were connected. With luck, not only would the device be inoperable soon, but all of the research would be wiped with it. He doubted he would get all of it though. But he would set them back, far far back.
He had originally thought to have the malicious code activate as soon as the device was ever turned on. But there was more to the plan than that, and he needed the world to know what Hydra was up to. He needed Hydra to show their hand first. He had known that they would test the device before using it for this day. The portal registered mass going through. Once he had known that a veritable sea of microbots would be going through the portal on this day, he had set the code to activate once a threshold of mass had been bypassed.
It was time; the code was doing what it was supposed to be doing, and he was about to make his move. His guard was watching Globocnik, who was once again on camera.
"So as you can see," Globocnik continued his monologue. "Hydra can strike anywhere, at any time with no warning. There is nowhere to run, and there is nowhere to hide. Today we have sent through an army of microbots. It could as easily have been an army of men, or weapons biological or chemical. It could be nuclear missiles we send through to the capital of every nation on this planet. Every nuclear facility in the world is vulnerable to Hydra now. Every missile, every bomb, is ours. Every stockpile of chemical weapons is ours. We can take whatever we want, whenever we want, and all are powerless to stop us. This facility is shielded, you will never be able to detect where the portal comes from. You can not stop us. All you can do is submit yourselves to the order that Hydra will bring. Every nation will submit itself to Hydra's rule. Those that do not will learn that order comes from pain."
It was time. Tadashi leapt up onto his feet, his fist moving to strike his guard in the gut as he rose. The guard doubled over as Tadashi pulled the man's gun from its holster. Three steps and he had Globocnik's neck in a choke hold and a gun to the man's temple as he turned their backs to the camera so that they would face the control room at large.
"Nobody move," he yelled. "Hands away from your consoles, don't touch your guns."
Globocnik started laughing. "Do you think this will stop us boy? Cut off one head and two more will take it's place. No one here will let you sabotage the device for my life."
"The device is already sabotaged," Tadashi said. "Getting me to do the math was one thing, but letting me code for you was just stupid. The device is shutting down in five, four, three, two, one."
The woman controlling the portal gave a cry of alarm and the live feeds from the capital building shut off, even as the control room continued to broadcast.
Hiro had to admit, the Iron Man suit far outstripped anything he had ever built. He could tell that the others were feeling a bit outclassed standing next to Iron Man, Captain America, the Black Widow, Hawkeye, the Incredible Hulk, the Falcon, and the mysterious man with the metal arm they had crossed paths with a couple times as they had stalked Hydra. Fred had giggled maniacally to himself when the group of legends had made their entrance on the hill that overlooked the compound. Hiro had just spent the past twenty minutes briefing them on what they knew of Hydra's plans and of the Microbots they might face, and he had just started outlining a plan of action when...
"Wait, Hiro," Captain America said. "How old are you? Thirteen?"
"I'm fifteen," Hiro said defensively.
"Look man," the Falcon said. "You've done great getting us this information and all, I respect what you've done and what you've been through, but I don't fight with child soldiers."
"I'm not a soldier, and I'm not a little kid," Hiro said. "But none of that matters. You don't have to fight with me, but I'm going in. You can't stop me and we don't have time to argue about it. We should be spending this time planning, not arguing."
"This isn't your fight kid," Captain America said.
"The hell it's not," said Hiro. "Hydra took my brother from me, and they sure as hell intend to enslave me or kill me the same as everyone else. My name was on the Insight list too."
"It's his choice," the man with the metal arm said, speaking up for the first time since they had met up. "If he's made it freely."
"James," Captain America started.
"We don't have time for this," Mr. Stark said. "The kid's coming whether we want him to or not, but he's right about us not having time. Jarvis just updated me. Some manner of portal's opened up in the Capitol Building and an army of your microbots just came out. If your intel's good, I'm betting the other end of that portal's in that compound right there."
"Right," Hiro said. "If we shut down that portal, we shut down the microbots, assuming the command signal's coming from here."
"I don't know how they're creating this portal," Bruce Banner said. "But I'd bet it's using a lot of energy. Those are the power inverters for the compound right there, and it looks like the've got the backup generator already running right there. What say we cut their power before we go in?"
"All right," Captain America said. "Tony, drop Bruce by the inverters then head straight for the east entrance there. You'll meet up with Hawkeye, Go Go, Fredzilla and Honey Lemon. Hawkeye, you're leading that team, you'll need to take out the perimeter guards on that side first. Natasha and I will take Hiro, Baymax, and Wasabi in through the east entrance; I'll be leading that team. Sam, you'll be our eyes in the sky. You, James, and Bruce will keep any soldiers from the out buildings from going inside and surprising us from behind. Casualty pickup site is behind the HVAC on the north side. Sam, you're primary aid and litter, Baymax is secondary. The signal to enter is Bruce destroying the inverters."
"Wait a minute," Honey Lemon said. "You're splitting us up?"
"If you kids are going in," the Falcon said. "You're going in with an honest to goodness assassin and someone who's got super strength and knows how to use it. Make sure you stick with your team. No going off on your own. You wait for a room to be cleared before you go on to the next one. Pay attention to your conns and communicate."
"Our primary mission is to destroy this portal device," the Black Widow said. "Secondary is the microbots, intelligence comes last. Destroy whatever you need to destroy, but this isn't the only Hydra facility and we'd like to use whatever clues are here to track down the rest."
"I see a lot of cameras," the Falcon said. "They're going to see us coming."
"Wasabi's got the camera's," Hiro said. "Show them what you've got."
"Right," Wasabi said. He pulled a handful of small puck shaped devices out of his bag. "These little guys here fly on over to to each camera and attach themselves over the lens. They've got a camera on one side and a screen on the other. The screen shows what the camera sees before going into a loop. The program makes sure that any movement in the loop doesn't get cut off suddenly. They'll alert us when they've all got enough footage to maintain the loop."
"Good, send them out. Now how do we take on these microbots?" Hawkeye asked.
"We're ready for the microbots, we've all got EM pulse gauntlets on us. They'll slow the microbots down long enough for us to get the controller." Hiro said. "You worry about the human threats. Though if you see someone with a neurocranial transmitter on their head you should definitely take them down."
"All right, everyone get in position," Captain America said. "We need to go now."
"Hold on," Mr. Stark said. "The portal's been shut off, we've got a friendly in there. Asian male, early twenties, five eleven wearing a blue t-shirt. He's got their control room at gunpoint."
"Alright, we'll try to get him out as well," Captain America said. "Move out."
"You fool," Globocnik cried.
"Shut up," Tadashi yelled, applying more pressure to the man's neck.
"There is a buildup in the device," the woman alerted the room.
"You were right when you said that this facility was shielded," Tadashi said. "It's shielded enough that no one would be able to pick up the EM given off by the device. But right now all of the energy that had been going into the portal is being directed through the field generators creating a massive EM signal. It's too powerful for your shielding. Anyone can track that, and anyone who's listening to this broadcast, which is the whole world, should know that that signal contains information I put in. Basic information you'll need to know to set up devices that will block a portal from opening in an area. You should get to work before Hydra rebuilds. And they're going to have to rebuild because in another ten seconds the signal's going to stop, as all the energy in the capacitors overload the field generators. The device is going to tear itself apart. My virus is already overwriting your computer banks."
Any second now the monitor that showed the portal device was going to show it as it tore itself apart. Tadashi had let himself get distracted. He was watching the monitor, waiting to see the device tear itself apart. Globocnik suddenly pitched himself forward with an enraged howl and Tadashi found himself falling with him. He heard the gun clattering to the ground as he himself was wrestled down. There was a lot of yelling. He was kicked several times. Off in the distance, he could hear the shriek of metal being shorn apart as his virus destroyed the device that had haunted him this past year.
Tadashi was grabbed roughly and brought up to his knees, and hands were placed on his shoulders holding him down. It was his turn to have a pistol placed at his temple. Globocnik was apoplectic and he was yelling in German. The pistol was taken away from his temple only to be brought back in a furious blow, over and over again.
He didn't realize that Globocnik had switched back to English until the man had yelled "Answer me!" with another blow from the pistol. He had no idea what Globocnik was waiting for, but he knew what he was going to say.
"I did this for my brother, Hiro," Tadashi said. "You killed my otouto! I wouldn't build you a toaster oven, much less a weapon."
"Wrong," Globocnik said, and the cold calm that had suffused him belied the fury behind his words. "Your brother did not die the night we took you. But you have just signed his death warrant as well as your own. You shall both be receiving a lesson in order before you beg to be killed."
Tadashi didn't really hear the explosion off in the distance; he didn't notice the lights go out and he didn't really see as the door to the outside world was blown off its hinges. He didn't see the sunlight that flooded the room or notice as the hands that held him down reached for guns. All he saw was red as he leapt up and lunged at Globocnik tackling him to the ground.
"Don't you fucking touch my brother!" he roared, each word was punctuated with a strike from his fist.
He did notice, as he reared back to hit Globocnik again, as a bullet tore through his shoulder.
"Nii-San," he heard screamed out over the chaos, he knew that voice, he looked up.
Silent arrows took down the guards on one side of the compound while the Black Widow quickly made her way through the guards on the other side. The way she moved from shadow to shadow, Hiro would have had a hard time keeping track of her without the infrared overlay on his visor. The way she silently took down her targets, Hiro couldn't even keep track of what she had done to half of them; one minute she was approaching them, the next they were down on the ground. She made her way now to the main building while Hiro and the rest of their team made their way to meet her. They were passing one of the smaller buildings when a door opened and a man dressed like a Strike operative walked out. Hiro didn't even have time to do anything before Captain America's shield struck the man in the chest. The man barely made a gasp of surprise as he was lifted off of his feet by the force of the blow. Captain America quickly retrieved his shield and rejoined them. The man on the ground did not move.
The perimeter guards were all down, and a roar, and a lot of smashing, signaled the start of the operation. As soon as they heard the transformers blow, Captain America bashed through the door, his shield forward. The rest of them were stacked up behind him, ready to rush in. Hiro had been placed in the back.
"Tadashi is here," Hiro heard Baymax say over the conn as he ran in behind the others, and so he was. Hiro couldn't believe it. His brother was there, straddling a man while punching him over and over in the face. Tadashi's face was battered and bleeding, and he had never seen him look so furious, but it was Tadashi. He saw his brother pull back to hit the man again and then saw as a bullet tore through his shoulder in an eruption of red. Tadashi fell backwards and lay on the ground.
"Nii-San!" Hiro screamed. Tadashi looked up and the two brothers laid eyes on each other for the first time in a year. "Baymax," he commanded. "Get him out of here."
Baymax was much faster now than he had been when Hiro had first made him armor, and he danced around the human monsters he was forbidden from harming before leaping over Tadashi to give him cover with his bullet proof body. One of his massive arms scooped him up under his back and a massive hand came up to apply pressure to the hemorrhaging shoulder. Baymax leapt up and he very quickly made his way out the door.
Hiro didn't have time to worry about Tadashi though. From another door, an army of microbots flooded the room. He fired off several EM pulses from the gauntlets on his wrists. He couldn't disable them, but he could temporarily disrupt their ability to communicate with each other. An EM pulse strong enough to completely fry the microbots would also fry their suits. Hundreds of microbots fell to the floor in waves, only to get back up to join the swarm. His eyes swept the room as a few bullets pinged off of his armor. He saw the Black Widow darting about, never standing still as she shot, and kicked, and jabbed; it almost looked like she was dancing. Most all of the Hydra goons were down, but there, in the corner, surrounded by an army of microbots was a man with a neurocranial transmitter on his head. Hiro ran forward, bursts of energy disrupting the microbots protecting the man as a swarm of them rose up to attack Hiro.
"Wasabi," Hiro said over the conn. "I need cover."
"I've got you," Wasabi said.
As Hiro approached the controller, Wasabi leapt into action, his own gauntlets disrupting the waves of microbots. Hiro leapt on the man, his augmented strength tearing the man's arms away from covering his head and Hiro ripped the neurocranial transmitter off and crushed it in his fist. He forced the man to the ground and looked up. The floor was littered with microbots and bodies. Everything had happened so quickly, but Hiro was breathing like he had been fighting for an hour. He had never seen so many dead before. There was blood everywhere. The Black Widow was soon besides him. She used thick zip ties to restrain the man Hiro had taken down. Most of the people lying on the ground did not need to be zip tied.
This wasn't how he had envisioned this moment would go. There was nothing to say. No one to say it to. There was just blood.
"Come on," she said. "We need to clear the building."
Hiro followed as they stacked up outside the door to the rest of the facility. He had to keep his head on the mission he reminded himself, even as all he could think of was going to be with his brother. Tadashi was alive.
"Aunt Cass?" Hiro asked as his aunt picked up the phone.
"Hiro," Aunt Cass said; she sounded very upset. "My god Hiro, I've been trying to reach you for hours. Something's happened; have you been watching television?"
"I know Aunt Cass, my phone's been on silent, but I know what happened," Hiro said.
"That was Tadashi," Aunt Cass said. "I can't believe it. I just can't believe it. I'm so worried."
"Tadashi's going to be fine Aunt Cass," Hiro said firmly. Tadashi was alive; he was alive.
"I hope so too," Aunt Cass said, she sounded like she had been crying. "It…it didn't look good when the camera shut off."
Hiro supposed that it hadn't. He had watched the video online. It had cut off right before they had stormed the building when the power went out, with Tadashi at gunpoint.
"No, really," Hiro said. "I'm with him at the hospital. That facility was in Baltimore. Lucky I was here for the conference. When I saw the video I called around and let them know I was his brother. He's going to be alright. And guess what? He was saved by the Avengers."
He really hoped he was telling the truth. No one had come out to talk to them yet, and Tadashi had been in surgery for a long while now.
"Oh thank god," Aunt Cass said. "Oh Hiro, he looked so horrible in that video. He must have been through so much."
"We'll take care of him," Hiro said. Tadashi was alive. "Aunt Cass, do you remember what that man said before the video cut off."
"I do," Aunt Cass said. "Hiro, I'm so worried. Are you safe where you are."
"I'd be hard pressed to be anywhere safer," Hiro said. "But listen. I wanted to make sure you were alright. I have a friend on his way to the cafe right now. He's going to take you somewhere safe. Don't tell anyone you're leaving. Alright? We'll figure this all out later. This guy's name is Heathcliff, think British butler and you'll know him right off."
"Where is he going to take me?" Aunt Cass asked.
"An island," Hiro said. "Pack a swimsuit. It's best if I don't say where it is over the phone. Oh and leave your phone behind. Heathcliff is going to have a new phone for you with a new number for me."
"What sort of friend is this?" Aunt Cass asked suspiciously.
"I'll explain later," Hiro said evasively.
"There's a lot you aren't telling me isn't there?" Aunt Cass asked. "A lot you've been keeping from me since the fire."
"I'll tell you everything," Hiro said. "I promise. But right now you need to pack and be ready to go. Call me when you're in the car. Tadashi's going to be alright and we're both safe right now. I'll arrange for us to be together as soon as I can. Good bye Aunt Cass, I love you."
"I love you too," Aunt Cass said. "Stay safe."
"I will," Hiro said. He hung up. His eyes drifted back to the room his brother had been taken to. They certainly didn't look like they were in a hospital, but Avengers tower had a full medical suite and the best doctors money could buy on call, according to Mr. Stark.
"Thanks again," Hiro said to Fred.
"No problemo," Fred said dismissively. "Chances are your aunt's a lot less likely to kill us all if you break the whole superhero news after she has a vacay in the Carribean."
"I just don't know what we're going to do," Hiro said. "Does Hydra carry a grudge? Is Tadashi ever going to be safe with them out there?"
"Is anyone?" Go Go asked.
"We don't even know how big they are," Wasabi said. "Were those the remnants left over after the SHIELD debacle, or was this just another arm of an organization that's branched out over the globe?"
"We should ask Mr. Stark what he knows," Hiro said.
"I told you to call me Tony," Mr. Stark said walking up to the group of homegrown super heroes. "Storming a Hydra base together should put us on a first name basis."
"Tony, my man!" Fred said excitedly. "Any news about Tadashi?"
"Tadashi's pulling through," Mr. Stark said. "He's lost a lot of blood, but they've got him pumped full. They're still patching up some damage though."
"What's our next move on Hydra?" Hiro asked.
"Hiro," Mr. Stark said. "You said earlier that this was Hydra's Plan B; but it was more like their Hail Mary. Don't get me wrong. Hydra came pretty close to turning me into a big red smear a few months ago. We're not going to make the mistake of thinking we've got Hydra handled, but you are well within your rights to let us clean up the stragglers. I know you're worried about Hydra coming after your brother now, but we're going to make sure your brother's safe. Though that's another thing we need to talk about."
"I already figured Tadashi's going to be a target for anyone who wants to get the secrets to instantaneous teleportation," Hiro said.
"My offer to you still stands," Mr. Stark said. "And from what I've seen of your brother's handiwork, he's welcome to join Stark Enterprises as well. You would both be a lot safer here."
"He won't give you the portal technology," Hiro said firmly.
"Hey, you saw me tossing what was left of that portal generator to the Hulk," Tony said. "I understand more than most how dangerous technology can be. I don't want to be able to open a portal to Fiji any time I feel like as much as I don't want someone opening up a portal into my lab. Your brother did a good job destroying their drives, and we collected all of their documents. But we don't know if that information's out there somewhere in another Hydra facility. I would like to talk to your brother about his thoughts on this blocking technology he mentioned. That transmission was genius by the way."
"We'll see," Hiro said. "I'll have to talk to Tadashi when he wakes up."
"Looks like we've got a lot of good minds here, actually," Mr. Stark said. "Jarvis can direct you all to HR if you're interested."
"Not really," Fred said. "But I would like to tell you my idea for an invisible sandwich."
There was a pause.
"Go on," Mr. Stark said.
Tadashi woke up slowly. His eyes didn't really want to open, but that was alright; the lights hadn't been turned on yet so he could rest for now before he had to get to work. Something felt wrong though. It took him a moment to figure out what it was. He was in a bed. He wasn't on his cot, he was in a bed; a really really nice bed. He opened his eyes and saw a different ceiling. It wasn't some pre-fabricated building. Where was he? Somehow, when he opened his eyes, the lights in the room slowly turned on and brightened. There was something else too. Something else was wrong. He was missing something.
"Hiro," he suddenly gasped, memory flooding him.
"Hiro is here," Baymax's voice said from his side.
"B-Baymax," Tadashi said, surprised to find the robot he had built a lifetime ago besides him. He tried to push himself up, but couldn't. His left arm didn't want to work right. Had he been shot? He seemed to remember being shot. He saw now that he was connected to a few machines humming off to the side.
"I'm not dead," Tadashi said. He was pretty sure he was supposed to be dead.
"No. You had a: sub-cranial hematoma; and you suffered from: severe blood loss; and: a punctured lung" Baymax said. "All of which would have been fatal without medical intervention. However, you have been properly treated and are no longer considered a critical care patient."
"How long have I been out?" Tadashi asked.
"You have been unconscious for three days," Baymax told Tadashi.
"No… Hiro. Hiro's in danger, I have to get to him. Hydra's going to kill him," Tadashi said urgently. Three days; Hydra could have gotten Hiro already. He was too late. His brother had been alive and he was too late.
"Hiro is here," Baymax said. "He is sleeping in the next room. You are both safe here. Your Aunt Cass has also been moved to a safe location."
Tadashi let out a breath he hadn't realized he had been holding. Hiro was safe. Hiro was alive. It occurred to him that if Baymax was here, somehow, then Hiro probably was as well. Tadashi and Hiro were Baymax's first, and right now only, official patients, and Tadashi hadn't left him open to new patients while he was still in beta, so Baymax shouldn't have strayed far from Hiro unless he was deactivated.
Tadashi tried again to sit up in bed, and failed once more.
"I need to see Hiro, what time is it?" Tadashi asked as he took in the room for the first time. It was a bedroom. He wasn't in a hospital, he was actually in a really nice bedroom. Where the hell was he? He rolled over and swung his legs over the side of the king sized bed, managing finally to sit up on the bed. Something still seemed really off.
"It is currently three in the morning, I will scan you first," Baymax said. "You are currently: anemic. You are still weak from loosing blood. You should stay in bed. I will wake Hiro."
The medical robot turned and started walking towards the door.
"Wait, Baymax," Tadashi said. "Where are we?"
"We are in Avengers Tower in New York," Baymax said, turning back to the door, leaving Tadashi slightly gobsmacked.
He waited there for a moment before he got restless. What was taking so long? He started removing the wires and shutting off machines as they beeped urgently at him. It was a bit difficult with one arm, but his left arm didn't seem to want to move and he supposed that having been shot in the shoulder, it wouldn't be a good idea to move it anyway. He got up on unsteady legs and walked out the door, looking up and down the hallway cautiously.
"Where did Baymax go?" he asked himself.
"Baymax went to find your brother who is currently in the workshop," a cultured British voice said, seeming to come from nowhere.
"Who's there?" Tadashi asked, gripping the wall and looking around in alarm.
"Jarvis, at your service," the voice said. "I am the AI that watches over this facility."
"Right," Tadashi said, catching his breath. He had heard of Jarvis. He had always wanted to get a look at that code. "Which way's the workshop?"
"If you would prefer, Sir, I could alert your brother that you are looking for him while you wait in your room," Jarvis said.
"I need to see my brother now," Tadashi said.
"Very well sir. Turn right here and walk down the hall. At the end of the hall turn left and go down the stairs on the left. Please stay to the right of all hallways and stairs," Jarvis supplied.
Tadashi followed the directions, even the odd one about staying to the right. It took him longer than he would have liked, but he eventually found himself walking into a workroom that certainly put anything he had seen at SFIT to shame. His breath caught when he saw his brother talking to Baymax while sitting next to none other than Tony Stark.
"Hiro," Tadashi exclaimed. "Oh my god, Hiro!"
"Tadashi?" Hiro said excitedly, and soon his brother was at his side giving him a hug. He hugged him back, though it felt awkward.
"They told me you were dead," Tadashi said.
"You ran into a fire!" Hiro exclaimed.
"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm never doing anything like that again," Tadashi said.
"What do you call what you pulled back on that Hydra base?" Hiro asked, only a bit of irritation breaking through his excitement. "Never mind. Come on, you should be in bed."
"I could say the same to you," Tadashi said.
"I- well I wanted to finish your arm first," Hiro said nervously. "It's almost done, come take a look?"
"My…my arm?" Tadashi asked. "What are you…"
There on the work table was a robotic arm, which certainly looked like it was supposed to replace it's human analogue. He looked at his left shoulder, and realization hit him like a ton of bricks. He felt his knees go out, but both Hiro and Baymax were there to catch him.
"It's… It's alright," Hiro said uncertainly. "You're going to be OK. It'll be like new, you'll see, only better… 'Dashi? Are you alright?"
He was missing an arm.
"I got shot," he said.
"It was a frangible round," Hiro said. "It did a lot of damage. Your lung was punctured in a couple of places too, but they fixed you up really well. Just wait Tadashi, you're going to be fine. Don't worry about any of it. Mr. Stark got you to some great doctors."
Tadashi looked up at the man who had been silent during their reunion. A year ago he would have been tripping over himself to talk to the technology legend in front of him.
"Thank you," he got out. He took several calming breaths. He was vaguely aware of being guided to a chair. He kept the metal arm out of his line of sight.
"I don't understand how I'm alive," Tadashi said.
"The Avengers saved you," Hiro said. "They attacked the Hydra base right after you destroyed the portal."
Something was off. Tadashi could always tell when his brother was hiding something.
"That was some nice work you did there," Mr. Stark said, speaking for the first time. "I watched the video. I wish I could have seen the code work you put into that."
"I wish I could have seen the portal generator tear itself apart," Tadashi said wistfully.
"What's the last thing you remember?" Hiro asked nervously.
"Globocnik said you were alive," Tadashi said. "He was threatening you. I… wait. I remember. I heard your voice there."
"Hiro was there," Baymax supplied helpfully.
"Baymax!" Hiro cried.
"What were you doing there?" Tadashi asked angrily.
"Stopping Hydra," Hiro said timidly.
Tadashi was speechless.
"Your brother's the one who figured out the Hydra plot," Mr. Stark said.
"How?" Tadashi asked incredulously.
"We became super heroes," Hiro said, trying to make it sound as awesome as it was, though he knew his brother would not see it so. "We've been tracking them since the fire."
"Why the hell would you do that?" Tadashi asked angrily. "Do you have any idea how dangerous that was? What were you thinking? And who the hell is we?"
"Wasabi, Go Go, Honey Lemon, Fred, Baymax and me," Hiro said. "And we were trying to find out who had killed you and stolen my microbots. The police wouldn't listen to me when I tried to tell them, so it was up to us to stop them."
"God, Hiro," Tadashi said angrily. "This isn't an episode of Scooby Doo, Hydra's beyond dangerous."
"I know that," Hiro said heatedly. "But they took you away from me and someone had to stop them. And what about you? What was your plan there? It's one thing to sabotage their code, but what was your exit strategy when you pulled that gun?"
"I didn't have one," Tadashi said coldly. "I was going to do as much damage as I could before…"
"How is that alright?! How could you just plan to die in the end?!" Hiro asked angrily.
Tadashi found himself flinching at Hiro's angry tone, but he was too upset to care.
"Because I had killed you!" Tadashi yelled. "They told me you had run after me into that damned fire and died. I had killed you Hiro; I was never getting out of there with my life. I thought you were dead and I didn't want to see what the next project Hydra had for me would be. I thought you were dead."
Hiro was hugging him, and Tadashi had his arm around him. Hiro was crying, Tadashi notice, and a moment later he realized that he was crying too. He had never cried when he was in Hydra's control.
"You ran into that fire nii-san, and then you were gone," Hiro said, miserably. "You said we would always have each other, and then you were gone. I didn't know what to do. Avenging you was all I could think of for so long, and then when I realized how big this thing was… I knew you would have stopped them if you could, so I had to do everything I could too. I couldn't do any less than you would have done."
"I'm just so glad you're alive," Tadashi said, running his hand through his brother's hair.
"Well not as glad as I am that you are, 'Dashi," Hiro said. "Come on, we should get you to bed. You really shouldn't have gotten up."
"I'm supposed to be taking care of you, Hiro," Tadashi said, though truth be told, he did feel dead on his feet.
"Yeah, well, you're going to have to wait till you get better," Hiro said.
"I can't believe you became a super hero," Tadashi said. He was half convinced he was dreaming. If he was, he didn't want to wake up. Not ever. Hiro was alive.
"It's been really awesome actually," Hiro said. "But just wait until you see our super suits, which are super safe by the way. And Baymax's armor is just awesome. We fly."
"Yeah, well you're grounded," Tadashi said. "No being a super hero till you're eighteen."
"Hey," Hiro said. "That's not fair. I saved your butt."
"Whoever said big brothers were fair?" Tadashi asked, not liking how much he had to lean on his little brother to stay on his own two feet. He risked one last look at the arm sitting on the work table behind him as they exited the room.
"So, we knew these two operatives were going to be meeting in a crowded bar right? So Wasabi uses this cool laser thing that picked up vibrations off of the guys glasses. We were able to listen to the whole conversation." Fred was regaling Tadashi, Steve Rogers, and Tony Stark with tales of their adventures with Hydra as they all sat around the breakfast table. "That's how we found the office suite they were using in Vegas."
It had felt like a big reunion, when Tadashi had gotten up that morning. Hiro would have preferred Tadashi to stay in bed, but it was good to see him walk into the room like it was just another lazy Sunday morning. He'd been instantly swarmed by all of his friends the moment they saw him.
"We heard about that," Steve said. "A bunch of Hydra agents found bound up in foam, all the computers had been copied and witnesses said they saw a giant robot fly out the window."
"That was an easy one," Go Go said dismissively. "We had the drop on them from the beginning, and I don't think any of them had more than basic fighting training. The office was being used for data mining, and only one of them even had a gun."
"He almost injured himself with it," Baymax said.
"Baymax practically scolded him after it was over," Honey Lemon said fondly.
"All weapon owners should maintain high proficiency in order to avoid accidental injury," Baymax pointed out.
"Here, here," Steve said.
"Now that strike team in Los Angeles," Wasabi said intently. "That was dangerous."
"So Tadashi," Hiro said suddenly, quick to change the subject. "Wait till you see all the upgrades I've given Baymax. He'd be really useful in disaster response now."
"What's this about a strike team?" Tadashi asked, shooting Hiro a dirty look.
"We had uncovered a strike order on this Special Agent Fazruul, he was heading up the FBI's hunt for Hydra," Honey Lemon said a little warily, seeming to sense the tension between the two brothers. "They were going to capture him to find where the FBI was in their investigation.
"We had to go in practically blind," Go Go said. "It was very short notice. But by this point the whole SHIELD data dump had happened and we had personnel files on two of the guys doing the strike with enough biometric information for Baymax's scanner to narrow down their location."
"My health care capabilities have been upgraded several times," Baymax said. "Though it is not often used within the parameters of my original programing."
"One way or another you've been saving lives buddy," Hiro said. "But yeah, Baymax can scan biometrics over a really large area now."
"They'd brought a couple barrels full of microbots with them, and a hover drone with a plasma cannon," Wasabi said.
"The drone wasn't using my repulsor technology, was it?" Tony asked.
"Looked like," Hiro said. "I was disappointed when it blew up, I'd wanted a closer look at the tech in there.
"Well I can give you a look at them later," Tony said. "But I am never sharing with SHIELD again."
"Are you still working with them?" Fred asked.
Steve made a noncommittal noise that neither seemed to confirm nor deny this allegation.
"Oh, I got you," Fred said excitedly. "No worries, say no more. That's so cool man."
"So how did it go?" Tadashi asked warily.
"Well we didn't have the EM gauntlets yet so there was a lot of dodging and bashing through the microbots," Hiro said. "You should really take a look at those, by the way. Go Go figured that bit out. Still though, take out the guy with the neurocranial transmitter, and you can knock out all the bots."
"We've basically been bullet proof for the past several months," Wasabi said. "Even against high caliber stuff. Honey mixed us up some of the hardest composite materials you can make. So the Strike team wasn't really that difficult. But that drone with the cannon packed a real punch and it was automated, so we couldn't just get the guy controlling it. Baymax's rocket fist took it out though."
"Rocket fist?" Tadashi asked with a raised eyebrow.
"You'll see," Hiro said smugly.
"And then that agent tried to detain us afterwards for questioning," Honey said ruefully. "After we had saved his butt."
"So how plasma proof was this armor?" Tadashi asked.
"Well it's great now," said Hiro with a nervous smile.
"And back then?" Tadashi asked.
"Not as much," Wasabi said. "Hiro and Honey both got some pretty big second degree burns. We had to tell your Aunt it was a lab accident."
Tadashi gave Hiro a very distressed looking frown.
"Where is Aunt Cass?" Tadashi asked. "Baymax said she was in a safe place somewhere."
"We sent her to Fred's private island," Go Go said nonchalantly.
"What?" Tadashi asked.
"It's the family's private island," Fred said. "Don't worry, she's in super good hands."
"My question still remains," Tadashi said.
"Fred's loaded," Hiro said. "He's bankrolled us for the most part."
"Oh…" said Tadashi, and it almost seems as though this was the strangest revelation of all to him. He recovered though. "We should call her after breakfast. Let her know I'm alright."
Hiro looked at what was left of Tadashi's shoulder, he wouldn't really classify Tadashi as alright. He wouldn't be ready for the upgrade until everything had healed over and the bones had set. Then they'd need to put in the mounting hardware. It would be a long while until Tadashi was alright. Physically.
"We should talk about the alphabet soup of three letter agencies that want to talk to you right now," Steve said to Tadashi.
"We've kept them at bay, telling them you're recovering," Tony said. "Well they had to hear that from the doctors, but we've arranged for them to interview you tomorrow afternoon."
"Do they know about Hiro and the rest?" Tadashi asked.
"We told them an anonymous group of vigilantes alerted us to the attack and disappeared after we took the compound," Steve said.
"Actually they think that it was remnants of SHIELD, and we're covering for them." Tony said. "They're also going to try to bully you into telling them how to build a portal generator of their own, but you have the right to keep silent on that. Imminent domain doesn't cover what's in your head."
"What about Hiro's microbots?" Tadashi asked.
"We grabbed a couple of Neurocranial transmitters from the compound and took all the bots from there," Hiro said. "But the government's got a whole sea of them in the capital building. Honestly, the nurocranial transmitter was the real genius behind the microbots but I'm pretty bummed that they have the microbots."
"You can put in a patent for them, but the government might claim national security to keep their hands on them," Tony said. "Though they'll have to pay you to use them."
"Before you go in, we'd like you to make a list of all the people who know how the portal technology works," Steve said. "We didn't take many prisoners, and there was a roomful of missing scientists that the Hydra guards got to before we did. We've been hoping that you're the only one who really understands how the machine worked."
"They killed the others?" Tadashi asked, clearly upset. Hiro wished that this conversation could have been saved for later.
"The Hydra fanatics will kill themselves before they can be taken prisoner," Steve said grimly. "And they'll kill anyone who could be an asset to their enemies.
We only captured a couple of the scientists, and we already had files on them, so we're pretty sure that they killed all of their… less than voluntary staff. We also got a few foot soldiers. They're going to ask you to identify everyone whether they're still alive or not."
"What about Globocnik?" Tadashi asked.
"Well you did a number on him," Steve said. "But you didn't manage to punch him to death. He cracked a hollow tooth filled with cyanide though." He didn't say, really, if the man had done it himself or if a blow from Tadashi's fist had done it, but Hiro supposed it didn't really matter. They had run into their fair share of cyanide capsules over the past year. Hiro hadn't been too upset the first time it had happened. If the people who had killed his brother had wanted to kill themselves when they were captured, that was their business. But it had started to wear at him the longer and longer he had the memory of that man convulsing on the floor. After that, Hiro made sure Baymax scanned everyone they captured for the pills. They weren't always fast enough though.
"Were they your friends?" Honey Lemon asked. "The other scientists?"
Tadashi looked at a loss for a moment.
"I suppose they were," he said quietly. "Sort of. I knew I could never trust them. They were all too scarred of Hydra to do anything but capitulate, but we worked together for so many months. There were so many times when we could just loose ourselves in the science of it all, and forget we weren't just a science team working on a new discovery. I think a lot of them just refused to acknowledge what it was all for. They just focused on the work; on the theory and engineering. They could pretend that they weren't helping fascists take over the world. And I suppose that I was able to pretend for a time, now and then, that they wouldn't have tried to stop me if they knew what I was doing. But we were all in a bad situation together and we got along well enough."
The room fell silent.
"You'll be happy to know we've been going to school," Hiro finally said to change the subject. "It gives us good cover."
"Oh yeah?" Tadashi asked. "Well you can forget about needing covers now. How are you liking nerd school?"
"It's kept me busy whenever our investigation's run into a wall," Hiro said. "Honestly though, Professor Callaghan was a bit of a lifeline now and then, what with..."
"Callaghan," Tadashi spat venomously. Everyone looked at him in surprise. "That bastard's Hydra."
Honey Lemon shook her head. "He can't be," she said aghast.
"He's their talent scout," Tadashi said angrily. "He's the one who told Hydra to grab me. Honestly, I had really hoped he would be there that day. He'd come to visit now and then to see how the project was going and I really wanted him to see it destroyed."
"Well he's probably gone to ground now," Steve said. "But we'll add him to the list."
"He spoke at your funeral," Hiro said, very upset. He knew that Tadashi had once looked up to the man as a mentor, and to be betrayed like that was beyond horrendous. For him to destroy Tadashi's life and then come to visit Hiro and act all concerned and… paternal. Tadashi wasn't the only one who really really wished that Callaghan had been at the Hydra compound.
"Hydra's very good at hiding in plain sight," Steve said gravely.
"Well you showed him, Tadashi," Honey Lemon said. "Hydra thought they had you under their thumb and you were playing them like a fiddle."
"Yeah Tadashi," Go Go said. "They messed with the wrong guy."
"One way or another it brought them a world of hurt," Steve said.
"I still want to hear about the code you used," Tony said. "That was pretty brilliant."
"I'll show you later," Tadashi said, he had a bit of a far away look that he shook off a moment later. "The code wasn't really all that hard, I mean what's a bit of malware next to an AI. Disguising the code so it would get past review was tricky, but keeping track of all it's different parts was the hard part. I couldn't exactly write all of it down together. I wound up keeping it all in my head with a few songs I made up to the tune of a few old Disney songs I could remember. I also had to convince them to use a quantum computer. I mean it made sense, that was the best way to keep up with the more unpredictable variables the portal threw at us, but I needed the quantum state to bring all the separate bits of code together in the matrices after it compiled."
"You code in quantum?" Tony asked.
"Baymax has a quantum computer at his core," Tadashi said. "I just couldn't build the AI properly without it. It gave me a lot of road blocks in the beginning, but I got pretty good in the end."
"I should have figured," Tony said. "Jarvis exists in a quantum state as well. It looks like you did a great job programing their device too."
"That was a pretty thorough plan you came up with, by the way," Wasabi said. "You trashed their shiny new toy, told people how to neutralize it, gave away their location, and humiliated Hydra live on television."
"Well originally my plan was just to find a chance to sabotage the thing," Tadashi said. "Well no, I guess my original plan had been to just refuse to do anything they asked. That didn't last too long though. But, I mean, even before we had a real working concept of how the thing was going to work, I knew that the forces involved in creating the portal were going to be huge and I figured I could destroy it pretty thoroughly if I put enough thought into it."
"But one night, I was lying in bed, and I was exhausted but I couldn't sleep and I started thinking about Hiro going out to those bot fights. You got into most of that trouble because you were hustling the other players. Pretend you were just a little kid in over your head with more money than sense, get them to bet it all and then sweep the pot out from under them. That's when I realized it wasn't enough to just sabotage the portal, that I had to take down the entire operation or else anything I did would just be a setback they could recover from. So I gave them that illusion. I made them think they had broken me. Made them think that all I wanted was to make them happy, to improve my situation. Meanwhile I got ready to take the pot.
"I'd already convinced them that I'd never be a believer, but I was able to convince them that I wanted to be on their good side for better protection from the guards, and more food and stuff. I started working hard to come up with better ideas. I busted through roadblocks. I really got into the project, and then when we started coding the device I did my best to upstage the programmer they'd brought in. They never trusted me completely mind; everything I did was checked over, but I became the primary programer. If they'd had an employee of the month program I'd probably have won a few times over."
"Badass," Go Go said. "And you didn't have to wear spandex to do it."
"Spandex?" Tadashi asked. "Hiro's made it sound like you've been running around in nothing but armor."
"Well yeah," Fred said. "But in the beginning it was mostly spandex with bits of awesome science here and there. We had some pretty awesome mishaps before we got those upgrades."
"Unbelievable," Tadashi said. "Hiro I might expect that sort of recklessness from, but I thought you guys had some sense."
"We didn't really know what we were getting into at first," Wasabi said.
"I don't think we really thought about it like that at first," Honey Lemon said. "We didn't realize how…deadly they were back then. We didn't realize who they actually were really, not until the SHIELD data dump."
"Oh," Tadashi looked angry now. "Well, I guess at that point all you knew about them was that they had set fire to a crowded building so that they could steal Hiro's microbots. Of course, I couldn't imagine how you could possibly treat them like violent criminals."
"Alright," Go Go said, trying to be placating but clearly annoyed. "We get it. Were we in over our heads in the beginning? Yes. But we learned our lessons fast enough and we got good at it."
"Good?" Tadashi said. "You shouldn't have gotten good at it. You should have stayed out of it. You should have stayed safe. Instead you've got Hiro fighting Hydra at fourteen."
"Hey, it was more a matter of fighting with Hiro or sending him off to fight on his own," Wasabi said at the same time Go Go said, "I suppose running into burning buildings is your idea of staying safe then."
"Yeah," Tadashi said angrily. "And I spent the past year thinking Hiro had run in after me. I thought he was dead. So how do you think I feel knowing how close he's been to dying time and again while I was gone. While I was…" he cut off abruptly with a flinch and a panicked look as Hiro's chair clattered to the floor. Hiro had stood up abruptly.
Hiro was furious and he opened his mouth to give his brother a piece of his mind, but seeing the frightened look that was quickly vanishing from his brother's face he just walked out of the room. He walked to the bedroom he had been given by Tony and closed the door before throwing himself on his bed, breathing heavily. He didn't have long to himself before Tadashi walked in.
"Hiro?" Tadashi asked before he sighed. "Look, I'm sorry I was yelling back there, but god Hiro, how many times did you all come close to death before you took the danger seriously? Did you ever take it seriously?"
"I took it seriously," Hiro said, trying very hard not to yell at his brother, he didn't want to see Tadashi flinch like that again. "You know how seriously I took it? I always planned to go home afterwards. I always had a plan that involved all of us surviving. I didn't go in planning to die. That wasn't my goal. I never gave up!"
"Hiro," Tadashi said, seeming a bit at a loss. "We talked about this last night."
"Oh," Hiro said. "Well I guess if we talked about it that means everything's alright. I guess I can just pretend my brother didn't try to kill himself. That your plan didn't include you getting your brains blown out on global television. You don't get to lecture me on being reckless. You might have thought I was dead, but did you want Aunt Cass to see that? Was that your plan? Did you think that maybe you could have waited a little longer? That maybe that signal you broadcast could have gotten you rescued. You're twenty one Tadashi. Do you think that's a better age to die at than fifteen? Damnit Tadashi, I may have taken risks but I always planned to survive. I had things I wanted to do when this was all over."
"I didn't think of any of those things," Tadashi said. "I couldn't. I couldn't think of Aunt Cass; it hurt to think about her being all alone. It hurt to think about the life I had lost. I couldn't think about surviving because Hydra made sure I'd given up on a life out from under their boots."
"Well what were you thinking then?" Hiro asked. As much as he wanted to demand answers from Tadashi, Hiro was scared to hear the answer. Scarred to hear that his brother hadn't just given up on living, but had wanted to die.
"I wanted to make them pay," Tadashi said. "I wanted to cripple their organization."
"You did that," Hiro said. "You ruined their plan and gave their location to everyone. You just had to wait."
"No," Tadashi said. "They would have fled. There were so many top Hydra commanders in that room Hiro. I'd spent a year truly learning how evil they were.
What Hydra's vision of a new world order was. I wasn't planning to die. I was…"
Tadashi paused here and looked at Hiro warily.
"I was planning to take as many of them out with me as I could," Tadashi said. "That was how they were going to pay for your death. That was how I was going to stop them. When I had said what I wanted to say I was going to… I was going to start shooting, and I wasn't going to stop till I was dead."
"I wouldn't have wanted to be avenged," Hiro said sadly. "I learned that the hard way. Do you think I did this just to stop Hydra's plan? I started this for you. I wanted to stop Hydra for you. But there were times in the beginning when I wanted more than to just stop them. I wanted to hurt them, so much! But Baymax helped me realize that I was just hurting myself. I didn't think you would have wanted me to hurt people in your name, so I decided to save the world in your name instead."
"You're right," Tadashi said with a sigh. "I wouldn't have wanted you to avenge me."
"But you thought I would want you to avenge me?" Hiro asked.
"No," Tadashi said. "But love makes hypocrites of us all."
"Huh?" Hiro asked.
"It's easy to lose a part of yourself for someone you care about," Tadashi said.
"Oh," Hiro said. "I wasn't worth that though."
"Don't say that," Tadashi said. "It's been a long time since you weren't the most important person in my life."
"What?" Hiro asked.
"Hiro," Tadashi said. "Look, after Mom and Dad died, I was pretty messed up for a while. But dad had taught me that family was the most important thing there was. You were only three, so you didn't really understand what you had lost, but I knew. I decided a long time ago that I was going to make sure you never felt that loss, what you were missing. I decided to… the thing is… I decided I needed to be more of a father than a brother. But you know what? As hard as that was at times, I think that was the best thing I could have done. Not just for you, but for myself. I focused on being strong for you and it got me through some tough times when I was younger. I have been so unbelievably proud of you over the years, and more often than not, incredibly worried about you, but I always had you, just as I made sure you would always have me. And I'm so sorry about the fire Hiro. I'm sorry I took that chance and I'm sorry I left you like that. But after the fire, when I thought you were gone…. I don't remember losing Mom and Dad hurting like that. I don't remember feeling like I had nothing. Like I was nothing. You asked me how I could not plan to survive? I had no idea who I was without you in my life. I had no purpose after I had failed you. And now I am so unbelievably happy that you are alive, and that I have you back."
Hiro flung his arms around his brother, and tried to pretend that he hadn't noticed the flinch, before Tadashi put his arm around him.
"You didn't fail me," Hiro said emphatically. "You've always been the best big brother I could have asked for. You're not the only one who felt lost after the fire."
"Well we've found each other again," Tadashi said.
"Yeah," Hiro said. "Let's make sure we don't loose ourselves again. Actually, you know what? It's decided, we're staying here."
"What?" Tadashi asked.
"Tony's offered us both jobs. We can live in the tower. We'll be safe here," Hiro said. "At least we can stay until we have a better idea how much of a threat Hydra still is. Oh, and new rule OK? No thinking the other's dead unless there's a body."
"How bout the rule is we don't do anything that might get us killed?" Tadashi asked.
"That could be a rule too," Hiro said.
Tadashi ruffled his hair.
"Nii-san!" Hiro said as he flattened his hair down.
Tadashi chuckled and Hiro found himself getting another one armed hug.
"You know," Hiro said. "If being a parent was what you were going for… You did a pretty good job. You and Aunt Cass were the best… But I'm not calling you dad or anything. That would be weird."
"I've always been partial to nii-san," Tadashi said.
"Well come on nii-san," Hiro said. "You're skin and bones and your breakfast is getting cold. You may be the parent but don't think I won't sick Baymax on you if you don't take care of yourself."
A/N: That line about love making hipocrytes of us all was mostly stolen from Celebony's work Flawed Perfection. To those of you who are following my story Blood, have no fear. I have not abandoned it. I will never start a WIP in the middle of another WIP, but I do on occasion take time to mash out a one-shot. I'm sorry for the wait though. This just hit me and I had to write it.
Nii-san is often used to refer to one's older brother, while otouto refers to one's younger brother. My head cannon is that Tadashi was raised by their parents to speak Japanese, but Hiro never really got that after they died, so there's only a few words that he still uses. Nii-san is what he had called his older brother when he was a toddler before he was removed from that environment, so now it's more of a nickname for his brother than anything else. Tadashi though, is still fluent, and if Hiro calls him nii-san now and then, then he'll refer to him as his otouto.