For those of you concerned with the Hidashi (pls read lol):

I may be a Hidashi shipper, but this story is supposed to stay true to the Big Hero 6 vibe. It will have plenty of undercurrents of Hidashi - oh trust me - but it will not go past anything platonic (pats on the head, hugs when needed, protective behaviour, etc).

The main focus, I guess, would be how Hiro is forced to relive his grief in a different light - the light of Tadashi's eyes. It'll give insight on the brothers' relationship and how dependent they were on each other and how Hiro can grow out of it and become a hero for the person who was always his idol.

If the original movie was centered around dealing with grief, then I suppose this fic would be about how Hiro deals with regrets...

I dunno.

Just keep in mind there will be angst. Lots of it.

*Long distance yodelling* Brace yourselves

Hiro stared vacantly as cars slipped past the windows of the café, his mind drawing a blank.

Tadashi had just left. He had just let Tadashi slip through his fingers and back to the place where he had died.

A wave of nausea hit the teen, and Hiro lurched forward, making as if to run out the door and after his brother. The younger Hamada's hand touched the handle when his body froze, his rational mind finally kicking in.

"Wasn't I..." Hiro breathed to himself, shoulders tensing. Supposed to feign ill?

The teen grit his teeth. He was so caught up in the panic of not going back to that school that he had sent Tadashi out there without him – the only person who knew about the things to come.

Hiro's eyes squeezed shut and his head fell forward to bang on the glass door repeatedly. For all that he was a genius, he was a real idiot sometimes!

Why did he have to go and say he was making adjustments to the microbots!? He should have just said he wasn't feeling well and they would have stayed home.

Hiro's brain took another turn and the teen froze, the sudden thought of, Maybe it's safer this way. If I was never there in the first place, Callaghan wouldn't have gotten my microbots, flashing into existence.

Yeah, that made sense.

Just as quickly, it was replaced with, Wait, Tadashi's still coming back for me at ten-thirty!

Hiro slapped a hand over his eyes. Great. The science fair at SFIT technically started at 11am, and with a quick glance at the cat clock from between his fingers, Hiro confirmed it was presently 7:58am.

Now he had two and a half – almost three – hours to kill, and he still had to go to the showcase! He really, really hadn't been thinking on this one!

"What's going on big guy?" Aunt Cass asked from beside him.

"Whoa-!" Hiro jumped and twisted to look at his aunt. "Wha-what...?" He managed to croak out around his heart beating in his throat.

Aunt Cass settled her hands on her hips. "You seem to be having some sort of crisis there," she said as she shifted her weight onto her right leg.

"Your face is all..." Cass lifted her hands so they were poised beside her head in "claws" and pulled a face, her eyes crossing. "Conflicted," she concluded, that familiar goofy smile slipping back in place.

Hiro looked at his aunt incredulously as she turned on a heel and slipped back to her place behind the café's counter, hands already working at fulfilling people's orders. Hiro followed in after her.

"What...? Conflicted? I'm not-" The teen shook his head and sighed heavily, shoulders slumping.

"M'not conflicted, okay Aunt Cass? I just-... I have a lot of things on my mind," Hiro ended with a half-hearted shrug.

Cass didn't look at him directly, instead turning her face to him and keeping her eyes on the customer in front of her while working the cash register simultaneously.

"I know sweetie," she said with a quick, wistful glance at his pout. She bumped him using her hip and chirped, "But don't think too hard about it. Sometimes the answer is right in front of you, but you can't see it 'cause you're looking in all the wrong places. The answer will come to you eventually."

The teen looked at his feet. The answer will come to me, he mouthed. Hiro looked back up at his aunt – ever supportive and warm.

The edges around the younger Hamada's eyes softened with love. Sometimes his Aunt Cass could say some really neat things...

"Thanks Aunt Cass," he mumbled, looking up at her shyly through his bangs. This sappy thing was sooo not-

Cass pulled him into a quick hug. "You're welcome. Now don't go hurting that big brain of yours." She shooed at him and nudged the teen in the direction of the garage. "You'll need it if you want to get that acceptance letter!" she called.

Hiro rolled his eyes as he walked away, squeals of "My little college men!" echoing after him.

The teen returned to his thoughts the moment he set foot into the impromptu workshop. Okay, now was the time to focus. Hiro closed his eyes and took in a breath, holding it for a few seconds to center himself before he let it slip out of him. The teen blinked open his eyes.

Right – Answers... He needed answers. And fast.

Hiro had almost three hours to kill – not a lot of time until his brother's supposed end. The younger Hamada grimaced. He would have to use his time wisely to find some clues as to what the hell was going on around him.

But how? How? Better yet, who could give him answers? The only person who he knew and could rely on to give him straight out facts was-

A figurative light bulb went off over Hiro's head. Baymax! I can ask Baymax!

In a flurry of motion, Hiro was already pulling on a stray hoodie that was lying on his computer chair, mounting his bike and completely ready to leave behind the preparation of his microbots when he stopped abruptly and frowned.

Ugh, why was he so stupid today? If no one in this second reality had remembered, then how could Baymax?

Baymax was a machine. He only had memories of those in his chip. He wasn't operating on anything complicated like the human brain. He couldn't mysteriously pull up memories like a human mind could. He was a robot.

Hiro grit his teeth in frustration for a second before a melancholic smile pulled into existence on his lips. A forlorn sigh left him.

Baymax may have been a robot, but he was still Hiro's friend - One of his best friends at that. And if it turned out this Baymax wasn't the one he remembered, then he'd just have to teach the healthcare companion what it meant to be a little bit "human" again.

Besides, a little visit wouldn't hurt, right?

Hiro glanced down at his watch. He still had time.

Sneaking into his lab-

Tadashi's lab, if he thought about it.

Our lab, his brain whispered in the silence. The thought of it was sudden and real, the image so colourful and vivid, it blindsided the genius for a good few seconds.

Hiro's hand hovered hesitantly above the keypad. This was Tadashi's lab right now. And if Hiro could change whatever might happen tonight, it would be their lab from then on.

The younger Hamada's heart pounded in his ears.

Could- could he do it...? Make that reality come true?

The sudden re-realization of his long-buried dream was brought to the surface. Back then – was it really so long ago? – Hiro's only dream had been to get into SFIT and then work on projects with Tadashi that could change the world – no, the universe.

The teen's gut twisted and his stomach flip-flopped when he thought of the reason why that dream had been taken away from him; he could feel that hollow, angry pain ache in his chest – in a place that had never quite healed completely – and wondered absently if this time around he could finally fill it in.

Fill it in with his brother's presence and his unconditional love and new memories of them together. Memories that this time would have him, Tadashi and Baymax and Aunt Cass and Mochi and the gang; it took his breath away and made his lungs burn.

Maybe- maybe he could do it. Unless Callaghan... No no no, he wouldn't.

Hiro felt his legs start to tremble, going weak like flimsy pieces of ramen noodles and his arms turn to jelly. His lungs felt like they were full of water-

It took a lot of mental slapping for Hiro to get his body back under control – to force it to breathe. A wheezing gust of air rattled out of him, a shiver running down his back.

Now wasn't the time. He was running on a tight schedule at the moment. He could break down later, but at the moment there was too much at stake.

The teen quickly punched four numbers into the lock. Thankfully, the passcode was predictable and had not changed since Hiro had first guessed it from the "dream" reality: it was his and Tadashi's birthdays.

A small green light blinked and a tinny, affirmative beep rang out in the silence. The doors slid open with a mechanical hiss.

Welp, this was it.

Making a tentative move forward, the teen thanked whatever gods were up there that no one was around in the main tech lab or personal offices. All of the students were either busy with the convention in the SFIT showcase building (Hiro shivered at the memory) or in class at the moment - Tadashi and the gang included.

Stepping into the center of his brother's personalized workroom, Hiro waited for the doors to close on their own before he muttered into the darkened room a quiet, but audible, "Ow...?"

Directly in front of him, a white circle flickered to life, the soft light helping Hiro locate the little suitcase Baymax charged in. In the pitch black, there was the sound of something rapidly inflating, and then the squeak of two balloons rubbing against each other. The sound came closer.

There was a slight whir – Baymax turning on his night vision and focusing on him. "Hello, I am Baymax. Your personal healthcare companion."

Even without the lights on, the younger Hamada could envision the way the robot would raise his hand and wave it in a small, circular motion just as he always did. Hiro smiled despite himself.

The teen took two steps back and reached his right hand out behind him, fumbling for the switch that opened the electronic blinds. He knew it was around here somewhere...

A small click resounded within the room and light flooded the office, making Hiro squint when the sun from outside glared off of Baymax's white vinyl covering.

The nurse bot tilted his head to observe Hiro and switched back to normal vision, blinking slowly. "I heard a sound of distress. What seems to be the trouble, Hiro?"

One of the boy's eyebrows raised. Huh. Baymax knew his name. Hiro swallowed thickly. That could mean two things. One, Baymax still had his previous memories, or two, the dream proved true and Tadashi had brought him here after that one bot fight incident to guide him to a better future.

The younger Hamada frowned slightly. Was it just him or had his life suddenly turned into a multiple choice test where one wrong answer could make his nightmares come true?

"Hiro?" The nursebot inquired gently when he received no immediate response. The teen looked up into that familiar expressionless face and chuckled low under his breath.

"It's nothing. I just wanted to see you buddy... Fist bump?" he asked, holding up an outstretched hand, almost as if to go for a handshake.

Here came the real test. If this really was his Baymax...

The marshmallow robot swivelled his head to observe Hiro's right arm almost uncomprehendingly. Something in the boy sank and bubbled in anxiety.

As if spurred on by the change in his emotional state, Baymax lifted his own pudgy appendage to level it with the teen's.

Hiro's heart pounded in his ears.

What happened next seemed to go by in a blur. They slapped hands. A bit faster now, they did a back hand. Hiro formed a fist and held it out eagerly. Baymax blinked once and closed his fingers into the same position and rotated his wrist so it was oriented the right way.

They softly touched their knuckles together and...

"Balalalalalala," they said in sync, wiggling their fingers as they drew back.

Time paused and a wide grin spread across Hiro's face. His heart soared. "Y-YES!" he screamed in triumph.

The teen fist pumped the air and jumped in excitement as he threw himself at Baymax, squeezing a loud, squeaky hug out of the healthcare robot.

"Your neuro-transmitter levels have increased, Hiro. This indicates you are happy."

Hiro couldn't help the Cheshire's grin that threatened to split his face in half. "I am; I really am, Baymax! Oh, this is amazing! You really remember me, right?"

"Of course. You are my patient Hiro. I was programmed to protect-"

Hiro cut off the monotone lilt of that all-too familiar line with another squeaky hug and honest, delighted laughter.

This was Baymax. This was the Baymax who remembered. His Baymax – not an empty husk of the bot he had shared his deepest feelings and emotions with. This was the same robot who represented Tadashi's legacy and Hiro's best friend.

There was no way a Baymax who had only just met him would know the primary moves to a fistbump; it hadn't even been in his data base before the fire!

Having the solidified proof standing right there in front of him made the teen's head spin dizzyingly.

The feeling of regaining a loss shot at Hiro's heart, crushing it with a bittersweet tang that made his throat close and eyes water. His body felt light, and indescribable happiness vibrated to the tips of his fingers and toes, making it feel like static was running through his veins.

Baymax didn't even bother to try and finish his abandoned sentence. Instead, he wrapped plump arms around the ecstatic teen. "There, there."

The younger Hamada pushed playfully at the robot's arm that was patting him and chuckled a little. "I'm not sad, Baymax. You don't have to reassure me."

"You are crying. Crying is a natural response to pain; it is alright to cry," Baymax reached out to him again, set on getting the teen back in his huggable arms for some physical reassurance.

Hiro smiled and allowed the bot to cuddle him with an amused roll of his eyes. Nevertheless, he wiped at his face with a sleeve. "These are tears of happiness, big guy. Learn the difference."

"I shall input 'Tears of Happiness' into my care giving database."

The teen scoffed benignly. "You do that."

" 'Tears of Happiness' has been saved." Baymax drew back, once again standing straight. "Your hormonal imbalance seems to have been stabilized. I can deactivate if you say you are satisfied with your care."

Something sour lingered in the back of Hiro's throat at the words. "What? No, don't deactivate; I have a few things I need you to do for me," he said, taking a few steps to the side to look up into the robotic nurse's eyes and point at him with a 'warning' finger.

Baymax blinked and tilted his head; the only signal Hiro would get that indicated he had the nurse bot's full attention. The younger Hamada straightened. "Show me your memories, Baymax. The most recent ones will do."

The bot looked down at his stomach, a rectangular patch of light flickering and lighting into existence on the stretched vinyl. On the screen, a still picture of Hiro walking to school with the gang crossing over an oriental bridge displayed.

"The date this picture was taken?" the teen prompted, eyes wide.

"This was taken at 8:06 am on Thursday, June 16th, 2054 - yesterday." Baymax looked to him and lifted a finger before continuing. "However, according to my connection to the internet, my internal date is wrong. I seem to be inoperable; please update my circuitry."

Hiro shook his head, lifting his hands up to gesture at Baymax to slow down. "Wait, back up. You said your date is wrong? Then what day is it?"

Of course he knew the answer to that, but the teen's mind whirred. Maybe visiting Baymax would give him the answers he was looking for after all.

"The date I am receiving by wifi indicates that it is currently June 16th, 2053 – exactly one year and one day in the past. My internal date says that it is currently-"

The teen clutched at his hair, once more interrupting the poor healthcare robot. "We went back in time?" he screeched breathlessly, puzzle pieces rapidly clicking into place.

If they went back in time, then that meant that Hiro's first theory had been correct. All the evidence was there – Baymax had even shown him visual verification that the whole fiasco was real; he was with the gang, walking to nerd school, and the date only solidified that proof.

Hiro paced in a circle, hand to his chin and feet scuffing at the concrete below him. "That- that explains why Tadashi... Why Tadashi is alive!" he exclaimed, head popping up.

Baymax shuffled over to him. "I do not understand. I was informed that once someone has died, they do not come back physically," the bot intoned, his head tilting to the side.

"They don't," Hiro answered brusquely, eyebrows drawing together.

There was a small pause in which the teen stalled his pacing to think about something and Baymax waited for him to speak up.

"Hey..." Hiro's voice died off. He wasn't sure how to phrase this question so that Baymax would understand.

Over the year that he had gotten to know Baymax after everything happened, he had learned the hard way that the personal healthcare companion wasn't the most knowledgeable on human expressions.

Sure Hiro had tried to download a chip that had contained a language software he had programmed himself, but that had only gotten him so far until Baymax had started addressing people as his "homies".

"What do you..." the teen started, trying to phrase his question carefully. He shook his head. "What do you suppose is the reason for our memories? D-did we really go into the past?"

Baymax didn't respond, instead roving his cameras over Hiro's form in a familiar action that the teen had come to expect from the nurse bot.

"Scan complete. My sensors have picked up a cellular rift in the time flow within your body, Hiro."

The younger Hamada blinked. He was smart, yes, but what Baymax had just said went right over his head. He turned his full attention to the robot.

"Meaning...?" he drifted off, indicating the nurse bot to continue with a roll of his wrist.

"There seems to be an external factor affecting the way your cells have aged. They appear to be degenerating to a previous state of being."

"So I'm basically de-aging?" Hiro asked incredulously once the words came together.

Baymax's head moved in a small nod and a balloon finger came up. "Precisely. You are presently one year younger."

A spike of alarm went up Hiro's spine.

The teen squinted suspiciously and asked hurriedly, "Am I still getting younger? Physically? What about my mental state?"

He wouldn't be able to change things if he was getting younger. He was confident he wouldn't lose too much intellect, but having a physically younger body would be frustrating to say the least.

"Negative. Your cells have resumed their proper cycle of life. Only your physical state seems to have been affected," Baymax affirmed.

Hiro heaved a sigh of relief and nodded along. That explained why he still had his memories.

"And... this external factor you were talking about?"

Baymax tilted his head and spoke up. "I believe that the time flow is currently only going one way. Your body's aging process is not conflicted."

"Not conflicted?" Hiro questioned.

The nurse bot ignored him and went on with his analysis. "Based on this information, I theorize that the malfunctioning of the portal Alistair Krei made during the first timeline has connected to the one of this time, therefore bringing us back in time."

Like a flash of lighting, connections were made, synapses firing off in the genius' brain. Hiro gasped. "A worm hole! That's it! The last portal that we entered was the one that Callaghan fixed, a-and the Krei from this reality probably activated it, therefore inadvertently connecting them across planes!"

Hiro ran a hand through his hair, charged with nervous energy. "That's why it's just you and me...! We went into that portal - and for some reason, it's sending us backwards!"

Another thought struck him like lightning. "So what would happen if we go back into that repaired-by-Callaghan portal in this timeline?" he asked himself, not really expecting a response.

"By my calculations, we may end up in the first future," Baymax deadpanned.

A dry grimace pulled on the teen's lips. "So we have a chance to go back, huh?"

The younger Hamada was hit with a sudden vision of his older brother as soon as the words were out of his mouth.


It wasn't that Hiro wanted to go back to a world without his brother per se, but the repercussions if he didn't...

Hiro sighed tiredly – this was too complicated. He needed time to stew this entire situation over in his head and think of solutions; look at it from another angle.

For now, he would stick to worrying about the present and near future. And when he meant near, he meant near. As in, tonight, an event that had traumatized Hiro for life was confirmed to repeat itself.

The teen spun on his heel and walked to the doors, opening them before clicking the off switch for the electronic blinds and looking over his shoulder.

Hiro jerked his head towards the corridor, the LED lights allowing him to see Baymax's marshmallow figure in the dark of his brother's office. "C'mon big guy, we're going home – we have some stuff to do."

Once the healthcare companion was out of the room, Hiro poked Baymax in the stomach, a weary grin on his face. "But first, you're gonna need some upgrades."

A/N: I'm baaaack! Miss me? :3