Diagnosis: Puberty

"Ouch!" Hiro cried.

A spike of pain shot through his shin the moment his fighting bot plummeted onto his toe. That little robot carried much more weight than he had thought. He learned that the hard way. Hiro hobbled on one foot, clutching the other that throbbed and made him want to utter four-letter expletives. He grit his teeth and thought better. He sat down on his bed and kept his hands tight around his foot, waiting for the pain to die down.

Then he heard a ringing sound. It came from the bedroom of his late older brother. The red case came into life as it unfolded and released the large inflatable robot.

Hiro stared. Baymax stared back.

Baymax took his sweet time toddling inch by inch out of Tadashi's bedroom. The robot's wide girth nudged against a nearby shelf and knocked over three or four of Tadashi's engineering manuals. He was in no rush. Baymax narrowly avoided bumping into the stand, which held the charm Honey had given to Tadashi years ago. Baymax faced Hiro and waved his hand in greeting.

"Hello, I am Baymax: your personal healthcare companion."

Hiro blinked several times and stuttered, "Uh...h-hello, Baymax...I didn't know you were still active."

"I heard a sound of distress. What seems to be the trouble?"

"Oh, I just stubbed my toe a little." Even as he said it, Hiro barely felt the pain anymore. It was quick and fleeting, unlike the pang of grief that still ached in his heart. "I'm fine now," the boy assured Baymax.

A pain chart flashed on the robot's big belly. "On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your pain?"

"Uh...zero? I-I'm okay, really." Hiro hopped out of his bed as if to prove his point. To his shock, Baymax approached him bending down with an outstretched finger.

"Does it hurt when I touch it?"

Hiro gently pushed away the robot. "Noooo touching...Aah!" He backed up and tripped, falling right into the cramped niche between his desk and bed. He struggled to get up, but his feet high in the air and arms awkwardly stretched over his chest made it impossible.

Baymax looked down and stated the obvious: "You have fallen."

"You think?" Hiro cursed his clumsiness. With his free hand he fumbled for something to grab. His hand found the lower shelf above his desk, and just when he pulled himself up, he dismantled the shelf into a jarring slant. Robotic models perched on the shelf slid and fell right onto poor Hiro trapped below.

"On a scale of-"

"Ow!"

"On a scale of-"

"Ouch!"

"On a scale of-"

"Gah!"

"On a scale of-"

'Oh God, no.' "UNNGH!"

Finally, with the last, largest, and heaviest model knocking the breath out of Hiro, Baymax could complete his programmed sentence: "On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your pain?"

"...Zero," the boy insisted. Apparently the number zero did not compute in Baymax's pain-calculating algorithm.

"It is all right to cry." Baymax stooped down to scoop up Hiro into his soft, bouncy arms. "Crying is a natural response to pain."

Hiro scrambled to get down. "I'm not crying."

"I will scan you for injuries."

"Don't scan me."

"Scan complete," Baymax declared.

"Unbelievable."

"You have sustained no injuries. However, your hormone and neurotransmitter levels indicate that you are experiencing mood swings." Baymax lifted a finger and stated with matter-of-fact finality, "Diagnosis: puberty."

Hiro gawked. "Whoa, what!?"

"Additional data I have gained from my scan include a detection of GPR54, high levels of GnRH, increased activity of the pituitary gland, high testosterone, vocal fluctuation, and emotional instability."

Frankly, half of what the robot said went over Hiro's head. He may be a genius in robotics, but he was not a biologist. Let alone an expert on endocrinology.

Of course, Baymax seemed more than willing to elaborate as he went on: "These particular hormones are triggered upon the onset of puberty. Male puberty in particular is triggered by a spike of testosterone from the pituitary gland in the brain and down to your gonads. Your adolescent body is undergoing a process of physical changes to mature into adulthood."

"Okay, Baymax, I get it. I know what that means. You can stop now."

"Physiological signs of male puberty include a deepened voice, exponential growth spurt, and more production of sweat." Baymax blinked and tilted his head. "In fact, I sense that you are sweating in copious amounts right now."

Embarrassed and flustered, Hiro began to usher Baymax back into Tadashi's room. "Yeah, and whose fault do you think that is?"

Just like last time, Baymax failed to process rhetorical sarcasm. "It is no one's fault. Puberty is perfectly common and natural for a boy of your age." Once more, Baymax lifted his finger. "I forgot to mention that another important sign of male puberty is development of the testes."

Hiro felt like a middle schooler all over again as he blushed at the term. "Come on, Baymax, not now," he groaned.

"For you to be undergoing puberty means that your testes can develop sperm. Have you been experiencing any 'wet dreams?'"

"No, I haven't! Okay, I lied a little when I said my pain was zero. But seriously, I'm telling the truth this time. Don't run a scan on me me or my room."

"It is okay to have wet dreams. It is only a natural and involuntary response for developing male adolescents and mature adults. Ejaculation of semen without sexual stimuli-"

Hiro clapped his hands over his ears. "I don't want to hear it, Baymax!"

Shouting made his voice crack, which made his hands move from his ears to his mouth with embarrassment. The prodigious yet hapless preteen felt his cheeks grow hot. "I had sex ed in fifth grade, thank you very much. Tadashi even made sure I understood it the second time around. I don't need to hear it a third time."

Baymax's face remained ever blank and expressionless despite Hiro's outburst. "It is my job to ensure that my patient is both healthy and properly informed. Are you satisfied with my care?"

"Yes! Yes, I am. I am very satisfied with your care." Hiro added a strong "very" for good measure. To his relief, Baymax stopped talking and promptly returned to the case that housed him. Hiro heaved a sigh. He went back to his bed to fix his shelf and reorganize his robot models. He felt an uncomfortable wetness clinging to the pits of his shirt. Why did Baymax have to be so candidly embarrassing? Hiro raised one arm and took a sniff. He quickly pulled his face back and grimaced.

He wondered if Tadashi kept any unopened deodorant in the bathroom.


Thanks for reading! If you liked this, feel free to check out my other BH6 oneshots:
-In the Hospital
-No More Cold Doctors
-Incense
-Crazy Asian Driver
-Hero Speech