"Hiro, I'm home," Tadashi called when he got home, closing the door behind him and throwing his keys on the table alongside Hiro's bot. Almost immediately, Mochi appeared on the kitchen and began rubbing himself against Tadashi's legs.
"Hey there, kitty," He said in a baby voice as leaned down to pet the cat. As he did so, Mochi's nose picked up the scent coming from the brown bag Tadashi carried on his other hand and the cat attempted to bite it, but Tadashi moved it away just before he could.
Mochi let out a loud meow that Tadashi got as a complaint.
"Sorry Mochi, not for you. You have your own food there," Tadashi pointed to where Mochi's bowls were, but the cat didn't look satisfied with that answer as he turned around and walked away from Tadashi.
"Tadashi?" Hiro's voice called from upstairs and the sound of quick steps approaching the kitchen could be heard.
The sound got louder and louder and it wasn't long before Hiro appeared on the top of the stairs from where he looked down at Tadashi. His chest went up and down quickly and he seemed to be too winded for the short distance he had run.
Hiro's face lit up with a smile when he saw his older brother and he quickly went downstairs, jumping down the flight of stairs two steps at once – something aunt Cass had told him not to do numerous times – and then he ran up to his brother.
Tadashi smiled in surprise when he saw that, but something seemed to go off as soon as Hiro got close to him. He stopped in his tracks and shook his head, cleaning his throat and shrugging as if his burst of happiness hadn't happened at all.
"Hey, you're home now," Hiro stated matter-of-factly, showing disinterest as opposed to the excitement he'd showed just a few seconds before.
"Yeah, I am," Tadashi chuckled and ruffled Hiro's hair, "And you seemed pretty excited about that just now."
Tadashi felt his chest warming up after saying that.
"Me? Pft, no," Hiro shrugged again and waved his hand, looking down to hide his reddening face, "I'm just- Did you bring me food? Because that's what I was excited about."
"Sure," Tadashi rolled his eyes and smiled, "Yeah, I did. Here, hope you're in the mood for tacos!" He held out the brown bag he was holding.
Hiro pumped his forearm, "I'm always in the mood for tacos!" He said as he grabbed the bag and walked to the table, holding the bag over his head as if he were holding a precious object, "Thank you!"
"Hey, we're supposed to share that, you know," Tadashi said as he walked up to the sink, "I'll get us some plates. Hey, do you want something to drink?"
He waited for an answer that didn't come. Tadashi turned around, thinking that Hiro hadn't heard his question, and saw his brother holding his bot that Tadashi had left on the table. Hiro seemed to be concerned, or at the very least distracted by the object.
"Hiro?" Tadashi re-approached his brother, laying a hand over Hiro's shoulder as he stood behind the younger boy, "Is everything alright?"
"My bot," Hiro muttered, his eyes glued on the bot he held.
"What?" Tadashi asked.
"My bot," Hiro spoke loudly this time, turning around and looking up at Tadashi with pleading eyes, "Where did you find it?"
"Oh, right, I was meant to ask you about that," Tadashi spoke carefully, startled at Hiro's sudden sad tone, "When I went to pick up my motorbike, they said they found that at the scene. How did it get there?"
Hiro looked down at his bot and up at Tadashi several times, in silence. He retracted his lower lip and looked aside, shrugging, before he muttered something inaudible.
"What?" Tadashi inquired.
"I, I don't know." Hiro scoffed as he tried to come up with something else to say to dismiss the topic, but failed, and remained in silence.
"Uh, what?" Tadashi raised an eyebrow, "How can you not know how your bot ended up there? You took it with you when you ran, and-"
"Pft, ah, I mean, I let it fall there when it began raining and I came back home to seek shelter. Yeah." Hiro spoke without ever looking Tadashi in the eye.
"Uh," Tadashi folded his arms over his chest and raised an eyebrow, "You let your bot fall and didn't grab it back? You just left it there?" That did not compute with Tadashi at all. Hiro had spent nights working on that thing, it was his most precious belonging – much to Tadashi's dismay – and he'd never leave it behind like that.
"It was raining, I didn't see it fall, I, I didn't even notice I wasn't holding it when I got home, alright?" Hiro rushed words out, seemingly struggling to answer Tadashi's question; still looking anywhere but at his brother.
"And I mean, come on," Hiro interrupted before Tadashi could ask anything else, "It wasn't that big of a deal. This bot is rad, yeah, but I could build one even better with a hand tied up on my back." He said as he threw the bot over his shoulder to illustrate his words and the bot fell on the table behind him with a thud.
Tadashi blinked in silence as Hiro forced a smile. His brother was being… Off.
"Alright then," Tadashi sighed as he gave a step back. He knew very well that trying to get an answer from Hiro when he didn't want to talk was useless, and it usually didn't end up well anyway. "I'll go get us some plates them. You should open the tacos!"
"Got it!" Hiro snapped his fingers and turned back to the table where he'd left the bag, seeing Mochi attempting to open the bag himself. "Mochi!" He yelled as he snatched the bag away from the cat, "Bad, bad kitty!"
Tadashi laughed as Mochi jumped down the table with a hiss and then ran away from the kitchen, disappearing upstairs, "I think you made him mad. Be careful, last time I did something like that to him he peed on me."
"Hey, he shouldn't have tried to eat my food in the first place," Hiro nodded proudly, "I'm the one who has the right to be mad here."
"Tell that to the cat," Tadashi giggled as he set the plates on the table and sat down, Hiro following suit.
They didn't say anything else as they ate their meals; a comfortable yet unsettling silence surrounding them.
Things had been awkward between the two of them, unanswered questions bringing up a tension that them both acknowledged but refused to talk about, and that allowed them to pretend things were ok.
Maybe if they pretended hard enough, things would actually become ok.
Yes, yes, I know, this is super short and mostly filler. I'm sorry for that.
I read this fic again last night and I really wanted to update it… But I felt so disconnected from it that it was hard. It's almost like I'm not the one who wrote it. I guess so much happened since I started this that I now see myself as a completely different person (and author) and I kind of need to 'become the author of this story again', if that makes sense.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm now much different than I was when I wrote the first chapter, all the way back in 2015. And after having this story on hiatus for so long, I don't feel connected to it anymore. But I want to be, because I want to finish this, I really do.
This fanfic has a special place in my heart. I'm trying to come back to it and hopefully it will be finished before it can get to its third anniversary – I'm on break now, so that should be easy (or at least I hope). Besides, there isn't much left; I think 2 or 3 more chapters should be enough to get this done.
I'm sorry for this chapter, I wish I could make it longer, I just really wanted to publish something again in hopes of getting myself to write more. I haven't been in a writing mood and nothing seems to change that, so I had to work with what I got and this was the result.
Wow, this note seems really depressing, I'm sorry, that's how my mood's been. Anyway, thank you so much for reading this, thank you all so much for your support, I'm sorry if this was disappointing but I'll do my best to make up for that next chapter. See you!