Handprint 05 – Burn Baby Burn (Disco Inferno)

Human/Regular AU

(Baby!Hiro and College Student!Dashi)

"Tadashi! Wake up Knucklehead, it's already lunch; I made your favourite!" Aunt Cass called from the kitchen.

Tadashi grumbled and pulled the covers closer, arms instinctively reaching out and fumbling blindly to find the tiny body that gave off warmth like a miniature heater. The bed was oddly cold. Without Hiro's familiar heat pressed up against him, it was hard to find that comfortable lull that accompanied nap time with his baby brother.

A child's shrieking laughter rang out from downstairs and Tadashi groggily pried an eye open. If even Hiro was up, he had really over slept.

With a yawn and all the grace of a low-battery Baymax, (he would have to fix that drunken quirk later – it had seemed comical at the time, but now that he was awake, Tadashi realized that it would most likely set a really bad example for Hiro) the elder Hamada tumbled out of bed and dragged himself to the kitchen on sleep-dead feet.

Halfway down the stairs, the first thing to greet him was the smell of Aunt Cass' most infamous dish: chicken wings.

Grin slipping easily onto his face, he leveled the last few steps, only to pause as his eyes widened with incredulity.

Sitting on his high chair and happily digging into the mild version of Cass' super-spicy hot wings, was Hiro – hair tied up into little pony tails all over his head. The child looked up from the almost neon orange chicken wings and smiled bright and wild, gapped teeth flashing around a mouthful of food.

Puzzled and oddly stricken by the new hairstyle, Tadashi took a seat across from his brother. "What's with the hairdo?" he asked with a teasing chuckle.

Hiro grinned and opened his mouth to speak, but the elder interrupted him before he could. "Swallow first," he said, interlocking his fingers and resting his chin on top of them as he fought off another yawn. Tadashi's body was still aching.

The child's mouth closed and Hiro chewed furiously before giving an exaggerated gulp. Tadashi gently shook his head in fond exasperation, one side of his lips quirking higher than the other. "So, ready to talk now?"

"No more hair," Hiro said briefly, already shoving meat that was shredded off the bones into his mouth. Sauce smeared across his plump cheeks and over his chin. Tadashi grimaced at the mess but couldn't help the way one eyebrow rose in question.

"He means that there's no more hair getting into his food," Aunt Cass said with a good natured smile in her voice, coming up behind him and placing down a steaming plate of the original super-spicy-melt-your-face-off hot wings before taking a seat beside Hiro.

The college student laughed as he picked up a wing – careful to not to burn himself. "Yeah, I can see how that would be a problem."

Aunt Cass rolled her eyes upwards. "If only your brother would let me get his hair cut, I wouldn't have to resort to this!" She waved a hand to indicate the top of Hiro's head, the child ignoring her flailing gestures in favour of recapturing the food that slipped out of his sauce-soaked grip.

Tadashi eyed the multi-coloured hair ties and numerous bobby pins that adorned Hiro's head, disrupting the natural poof of his baby brother's hair. The accessories had managed to flatten certain parts, but they hadn't been able to capture all of the untameable locks; weird tufts of hair stuck up here or there, reminding Tadashi of one of those dolls he had seen girls play with when he was younger. What were they called again? Trolls?

With a hum of satisfaction, Hiro finished off the last of his wings. "More please," he said, making grabby hands at Aunt Cass. Sighing wearily, the lady began stripping off the meat from some of her own hot wings and fed a small piece to Hiro.

The college student's eyes widened. "Wait, Aunt Cass-!"

Too late, Hiro's mouth clamped over the chicken, the strip of meat already disappearing from between her fingers. Tadashi ran a hand through his hair in horror, a noise of worry leaving him as his palm slipped back down to cover his mouth – his eyes wide in disbelief. "Oh no," he groaned, watching carefully as Hiro's face scrunched up and his cheeks turned red.

"Ugh…" the child whined, mouth opening and meat falling out as a little wad onto the plastic tray of his high chair. Hiro's brows pulled low over his watering eyes, and he spat half-heartedly, the stringy spit getting on his shirt. "Hooot," he complained, snot dripping down his nose.

Aunt Cass seemed to realize what had happened a second too late, hands flailing wildly out in front of her in worry. "Oh, Hiro sweetie, I'm so sorry! I should have been paying better attention!" Cass shot up from her chair, bustling from the table into the open kitchen to get some milk from the fridge.

Tadashi stood up as well, nabbing some tissues from the stack that sat on their kitchen's counter. Walking over to the crying child, Tadashi pressed the first to Hiro's cheeks and eyes, drying the tears that welled up. He used the second to wipe his little brother's mouth from the spicy sauce and for the last tissue, the elder Hamada placed it to the toddler's dripping nose.

"Here, blow your nose," Tadashi said, holding the tissue in place. The younger Hamada scrunched up his nose and blew, a cute little 'pffftttt' sound coming out of him.

Tadashi withdrew the tissue with a cringe, watching as clear snot drooped from Hiro's nose into the tissue. With a final wipe, Aunt Cass was bustling back into the dining room, arms carrying two glasses and one sippy cup of milk.

"Here you go honey," Cass crooned, handing the purple and red sippy cup to the toddler.

Hiro took it from her graciously, his mouth immediately closing on the straw attachment and gulping down large mouthfuls to sooth the burn from the chicken wings. When all the tangy heat was gone, Hiro placed the cup down on his plastic tray with a contented sigh, unwittingly smooshing the little bit of meat he had spat out on the underside.

"Crisis averted, huh?" Tadashi chuckled, already moving to clean up his little brother's mess. Another yawn slipped out of him. He reached for Hiro's empty sippy cup, but Aunt Cass shooed his hands away, nudging him with her hip as her nimble fingers undid Hiro's high chair buckle.

"Tadashi, why don't you take Hiro up and change him? He needs to clean up a bit," she said, indicating the toddler's clothes and lightly smeared face with a disapproving glance. "I'll cover up your wings for you so you can eat them later."

"I couldn't make you do that Aunt Cass; don't worry about it, I'll clean up everything. You just go rest," Tadashi insisted.

Aunt Cass' mouth suddenly turned down at the corners and her eyebrows met in the middle of her forehead. (Guilt at making her take on that expression filled a shallow pit in Tadashi's stomach.) Cassandra Hamada was having none of her nephew's overly-helpfulness today. Not after he had come home at three a.m. in the morning, worn out and exhausted from working on his midterm college robotics project only to help calm a fussy Hiro to sleep at little past 4:30 a.m.

"What I meant to say, Tadashi-" the addressed Hamada shrunk in on himself when he heard the tone of voice she was using- "was take Hiro upstairs with you and get a few more hours of shut eye," she huffed. "I don't want to see you down here until you've gotten at least three more hours' worth of it!" Her hands landed on her hips. When her hands were positioned on her hips like that, Cass meant business.

"But you made us food-" Tadashi tried to protest.

" 'Dashi…" Hiro whined from his highchair, catching both Tadashi's and Aunt Cass' attention. His thumb was stuck in his mouth. He removed the appendage for a moment to raise his arms in the air and make needy gestures towards his brother. "I want up… Pretty please?" The puppy-dog eyes made an appearance.

Tadashi paused in his debate with Aunt Cass, the woman shooting him a knowing look out of his peripherals. How could he say no to both of those faces? With a half-sigh, half-chuckle, the elder Hamada brother shot his aunt a grateful smile before a good natured, "Coming," heaved out of him in the form of a laugh. He had lost this round, two-against-one.

Picking his brother up by his underarms, Tadashi propped the toddler on his hip, making his way towards his and Hiro's attic loft. He paused at the base of the the stairs that led up to their room, glancing back at the dining table. Aunt Cass was already wiping down Hiro's high chair, whistling a tune from one of her soap operas.

"Hey, Aunt Cass?" Tadashi called out experimentally, bouncing a bit to shift Hiro higher up on his waist. The toddler huffed impatiently and wrapped his arms around the elder's neck, sticky fingers idly tugging on the back of Tadashi's shirt.

"Yeah?" came their aunt's instant reply. A warm silence followed her voice, and Tadashi's face eased into a small smile.

"Thanks for everything," he said softly, turning on his heel and walking up the stairs with red ears and flushed cheeks.

A few baby wipes later and a change of clothes for them both, and Tadashi was struggling to take out all the pins and hair ties from Hiro's floof without hurting him.

"Ow, ow, ow! 'Dashi, itai," (that hurts) Hiro whined, tiny starfish hand gripping Tadashi's pinky. The elder Hamada withdrew his fingers from his sibling's hair.

"Sorry Hiro, but I gotta get this bobby pin out of your hair. I don't even know how Aunt Cass got this in in the first place," Tadashi murmured, "and in that position too."

A sharp twist, and the bobby pin came free – a few strands of Hiro's dark hair coming out with it. The toddler whined, loud and displeased. Tadashi leaned over to murmur an apology into his sibling's cheek, a quick peck making everything mostly better.

"There, see? I'm done," Tadashi declared, triumphantly holding up the relinquished bobby pin for his brother to observe in his desk lamp's meager light. A loud sigh of relief, and Hiro slumped against Tadashi's chest. The older Hamada brother ran his hands over the younger's scalp, soothing the throbbing sting of hair being pulled. Finally done prepping Hiro for bed, Tadashi picked them both up from the floor and tucked Hiro into his crib, moving over to his side of the room to begin straightening out his own blankets.

Just as he was about to slip under the covers and lay down, a sad whine caught his attention. "Nii-san!" Hiro stage whispered. "Nii-saaaan!"

Tadashi rolled his eyes at the exaggerated noises of urgency his little sibling made. "What's wrong? I just tucked you in – weren't you comfy?" he asked, bed momentarily forgotten as he got up and padded over to the crib on the other side of the room.

" 'Dashi-nii! I wanna sleep with you!" Hiro grinned, hands gripping the bars of his baby-bed. The toddler bounced on the spot, his poofy cheeks jiggling with each hop. "Please, please, please?"

The elder Hamada's lips turn up at the sight and a huff of amusement left through his nose. "Alright, alright - I'll let you sleep with me," he acquiesced; that was fine with him. It wasn't like he could get any real rest without his little brother by his side anyway. Lifting Hiro once more, Tadashi slipped into his side of the room and slid into his futon, laying Hiro across his chest and pulling the blankets up around them.

"That better?" Tadashi asked, brushing a crooked finger against the younger's cheek and eyes turning soft.

Face pressed to Tadashi's collarbone and bangs tickling the elder's neck, Hiro's eyes drooped and he yawned. "Mm," he hummed in agreement, rubbing his contented expression into his brother's shirt.

Tadashi struggled not to coo at the sight, but ended up doing so anyway. "Night, Hiro," he whispered, wrapping a loose arm around his sibling before planting a kiss in the toddler's unruly hair.

"G'nigh 'Dashi," Hiro echoed, out like a light in the next minute.

The college student bit his lip to hold in a chuckle. Seriously, his baby brother was just too cute.