Big Hero 6: Angel Rising

Chapter 1: Fresh Start

Four months after the events of Big Hero 6…

"Time to get up, Hiro!"

"Nnnnnggggghhhh…"

"Now, Hiro!"

The 15 year old boy rolled over and sat up, clearly not happy to be awake at… What time is it, anyways? "I'm up, Aunt Cass."

"Upright, or just sitting?"

A groan was the only response.

"That's it. You've left me no choice!"

Hiro's eyes snapped open. Oh, come on…

"OW!"

A few feet away, Baymax's storage tote popped open, and the puffy robot deployed. "Hello, I am Baymax, your personal healthcare companion." He looked at Hiro. "Good morning, Hiro."

"It's not a good morning until I've eaten breakfast."

"Indeed. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day."

Hiro groaned again and staggered to the shower.

Baymax watched his ward, optical shutters cycling with a slight whine. Symptoms: Fatigue, grumpiness, increased appetite. Previous diagnosis: Puberty. Reanalysis: Puberty, with growth spurt. Treatment: increased sleep, increased caloric and protein intake. The robot slightly deflated his torso and walked downstairs. "Good morning, Miss Hamada."

"Good morning, Baymax." Cass was munching on a muffin and reading a newspaper. "How's Hiro this morning?"

"He is in the middle of a growth spurt."

"No kidding. Kid's eating everything he can lay hands on right now, just like…" She trailed off, lost in thought.

"Just like Tadashi?"

"Yes." Cass smiled sadly. "God, I miss him."

Baymax looked around, shutters cycling again. Analysis: Depression. Treatment:… ? The robot spotted Mochi walking into the kitchen. Hairy baby! He picked up the calico and walked back to Cass. "Petting a cat is proven to have therapeutic benefits." He placed Mochi on the chair next to Hiro's aunt.

"Thank you, Baymax."

"You are most welcome."

There was a thunk as Hiro shut off the shower. Baymax looked up to the bathroom upstairs. "Why does the shower go thunk when it turns off?"

Cass laughed at Baymax's perfect recreation of the sound. "It's an old building, and the plumbing has… character. Ask Hiro. He'd probably know better than I do what causes that."

Baymax 'blinked' again for a few moments before tottering off to the kitchen to cook a healthy breakfast for his young charge.

-.-.-

Hiro looked at his face in the mirror, eyes wide. What is that? Need to ask Baymax to scan me later. He touched the red spot on his forehead, curious. Not painful, so that's good. Can't afford to have it hit my helmet faceplate and hurt. Hiro stood up straight, eyeing the newly defined muscles he'd built up over the last few months of his new career as a hero. Yet I'm the one who does the least work in a fight. I need to change that. I can't afford to be a drag on the rest of the team.

Hiro left the bathroom and grabbed a clean shirt, his long (but increasingly shorter) shorts, and his new shoes. Quickly dressing, he headed downstairs, "Okay, now it's a good morning, Baymax."

The robot looked up from where he was making scrambled eggs. "Good morning, Hiro. Are you ready for school today?"

Hiro blinked. "Oh, right! First day back from summer break." He rushed back upstairs to get his backpack. "Okay, got that, and that, and… what? Where'd that come from?" Hiro pulled a data card from the Nerd Lab out of a small side pouch in his backpack. "I'd been looking for that all week!" He shrugged and put it back into the pouch he'd found it in. "Oh, well, no time to worry about it." A quick tug of the zipper, and Hiro slung it over his shoulder and raced back downstairs. "Okay, now I'm…" He stopped as a mesmerizing smell reached his nose. "Wow. You been browsing the internet again, Baymax, or is that from Tadashi's stuff?"

"I decided that being able to cook healthy meals would make be a better health care companion." He held out a plate of eggs with bacon to Hiro. "This should help you remain focused and alert through morning classes."

"Thanks, big guy." Hiro promptly dug into the breakfast.

Baymax tottered over to Cass. "Feeling better?"

Cass smiled as she scratched Mochi behind his ears. "Yes, Baymax. Thank you."

The big robot nodded once and walked down to the café and began to help with morning preparations. Chairs like this. Tables like that. Donuts arranged like so. The robot stopped and looked at his hands, now lightly coated with frosting. WARNING: Foreign contaminant detected. Initiate cleansing. Baymax moved over to the sink and washed his hands before continuing back to the café's dining area. Coffee pots: Online.

Over the summer, Hiro had done some… renovations to the café. One of them had been overhauling the coffee pots to be semi-automated, allowing his aunt to run the shop more effectively with just herself. It hadn't been hard to set up… but the city's health inspectors had been demanding in their requirements. Thankfully, Hiro had been up to the challenge, and Baymax watched the system boot up and begin making the first batches of coffee for the morning rush. Café status: Nominal. He headed back upstairs to find Hiro rinsing his plate off. "Good timing, buddy. Wasabi should be here soon." He hugged his aunt. "Right, see ya!"

Cass hugged her nephew. "Good luck, Hiro. And have fun."

A huge smile lit up the teen's face. "Will do. Come on, Baymax."

The duo headed down the stairs to the café just as a new van pulled up, a familiar face behind the wheel. "Morning, Hiro. Baymax."

Hiro piled into the back seat and put on his seat belt. "Hey, Wasabi. Looking forward to school?"

The driver watched as Baymax deflated his body and climbed into the seat next to Hiro. "Yep. Got all the stuff I need. Breath mints, notebooks, spare change of underwear…"

Hiro smiled. "And the, ah, special package?"

Wasabi grinned and pulled out into traffic. "Tucked away in the bottom of my backpack. Should we need it, that is."

Baymax blinked twice. "Criminals do not take days off, Wasabi."

"Sadly, no. Nor do they keep decent hours like us sane people."

Hiro chuckled. "We're just as crazy as they are, but in a good way."

"No argument on that point with regards to Fred."

"Yeah. How'd it go with meeting his dad, by the way?"

"Ask him yourself later. He's joining us in the labs later today."

"Shut. Up."

"Yup. His dad finally talked some sense into him. He's going to be an actual student, God help us."

"Wow."

They arrived at the campus early, and Wasabi found a good parking spot. "Thanks for the lift, Wasabi!"

"Anytime, Hiro." He winked at the teen. "Come on, Baymax. I need some help reorganizing my stuff. I'm sure that Gogo and Fred scattered it to hell and back."

"Very well, Wasabi."

-.-.-

Hiro groaned inwardly as he arrived at his English class. Stupid general ed courses… I'd rather be tinkering in the lab or in the workshop. He looked around as he settled into a chair. Thought so. Wasabi got me here way early. He got out his notebook and began to watch his classmates as they filtered in. Boring, boring, boring, bor… Hello, who's this? Hiro sat up in his chair as the red-headed girl walked in. Whoa...

The girl looked around, apparently seeking an open seat… and spotted the one next to Hiro. Her eyebrows went up as she spied her soon-to-be neighbor, and she hustled to the seat. She took a moment to get situated before turning to Hiro. "Hey… Haven't I seen you somewhere before?"

Now that she was closer, Hiro was able to get a good look at her face. For some reason, her face was oddly familiar. "You know, I was wondering the same thing." He held out a hand. "Hiro Hamada."

"Tessa Stevens." Tessa took the offered hand and shook it. "Nice to meet you, Hiro. I take it you're stuck in here for gen ed?"

"Yeah. I'd rather be tinkering with my robot than be stuck here."

"Ah. I'd rather be working on that UAV idea I've got."

Hiro turned to Tessa in surprise, but the teacher entered before he could respond. Hiro returned his attention to his notebook and began to take notes.

-.-.-

"God, that was horrible. I am NOT looking forward to this class." Hiro packed up his backpack and slung it over his shoulder. He wound up looking at Tessa. "You?"

"Agreed. 'Tis a necessary evil, though." She shrugged and picked up her bookbag. "What's your schedule like?"

Hiro smiled and began to walk down the hall. "Got a physics class next. You?"

Tessa gaped. "Ohmigod. Same! Sorenson?"

"Yeah... How weird. And after that?"

"Lunch, then today only is an orientation with Dr. Mitchell."

Hiro stopped abruptly. "Wait. Professor Mitchell over at…"

"The robotics lab, yes."

"Shut. Up. You're the newcomer?"

Tessa scowled. "Newcomer?"

"Yeah, We heard…" Hiro trailed off, stunned. "Come on, I've got some people to introduce you to. You'll meet them later with Dr. Mitchell, but we were going to meet up between classes anyways." He took off down the hall and out the door, Tessa close behind.

"Meet who?"

"The rest of the gang! Come on, you'll love them."

Hiro raced across the quad, three uninterrupted months of superhero action and his smaller size allowing him to nimbly slip between the older students with ease. To his surprise (and delight), Tessa was actually gaining on him. Now, where was that table… Aha! Hiro dashed between two last clusters of students and arrived at the prearranged meeting point. "Hey, guys!"

Gogo was the first to see the two arrive. "Hey, Hiro. Who's the new girl?"

"Guys, this is Tessa. She's the new arrival to the program."

Honey Lemon and Fred turned around to see the new face. Fred grinned. "Hey, Tessa! I'm Fred Lee. Student by day, school mascot by night."

"Pleasure to meet you, Fred."

Hiro smiled and pointed to Gogo. "This is Ethel Tomago, but everyone calls her Gogo."

Gogo nodded and snapped a bubble of gum. "Hi."

Hiro then pointed to Honey Lemon. "And this is Aiko Miyazaki."

Honey Lemon pulled out her earbuds. "Nice to meet you, Tessa. Call me Honey Lemon."

"Honey Lemon? Where'd that nickname come from?"

Fred shrugged. "Her favorite T.V. show."

Tessa frowned. "Never heard of it."

Hiro turned to Fred. "Any sign of Wasabi?"

"No, but he sent me a message about getting Baymax to help him organize his stuff. Something about them causing him physical pain..."

Gogo chuckled. "Yeah, that sounds like him. So, what's your next class?"

"Physics. Tessa and I both have Professor Sorenson."

Honey and Gogo looked at each other, then back to the teens. "How long until class?"

"Uhh... Twenty minutes or so? Why?"

Honey hugged Hiro quickly. "You'll have to run now if you want to make a good impression. Never be late for his class. Go!"

Gogo nodded. "Honey's right. We'll see you at lunch."

Hiro nodded and slung his backpack over his shoulder. "Got it. Come on, Tessa. Let's go!"

-.-.-

Hiro and Tessa sat down in neighboring seats and watched the people filter into the lecture hall. After a few moments, Hiro decided to break the ice. "So, Tessa, what was your project?"

"Huh?"

"How'd you impress Dr. Callaghan?"

"I made a drone swarm capable of navigating an urban environment." She looked at Hiro. "What'd you do?"

"Microbots, controlled by a neurocranial transmitter."

Tessa smiled. "THAT's where I'd seen you before! That was, what, seven months ago? I remember that demo! You still have some of them?"

Hiro gave a goofy grin. "Maybe."

At that point Professor Sorenson arrived, and Hiro and Tessa paid total attention to him. After all, it wasn't every day that your teacher came into class on a homemade hovercraft.

-.-.-

Hiro raced through the crowds in the quad near the dining hall, headed towards the Robotics Lab. "Come on, we'll have lunch there!"

Tessa watched Hiro pull ahead as they cleared the crowds. Dang, he's fast! I can barely keep up with him!

They reached the doors of the lab, and Hiro produced an I.D. badge. "After what happened last year, they've upped security. I'm sure you'll get a badge later today." He tapped the badge against the reader next to the door, and the door unlocked with a beep. Hiro tugged the door open and waved a hand in. 'After you."

Tessa walked into the main corridor that ran down the length of the Hall and took in the rather Spartan decor. "I expected more… I dunno, people?"

Hiro grinned excitedly. "We're here a little earlier than most of the students. Just the folks on scholarships right now." He led the way to the main laboratory. "This, Tessa, is the Nerd Lab." He pushed the door open and looked to the girl.

Tessa's jaw hung open. "Whoa… We can use all these?"

"Yup."

Tessa walked around, gawking at all the machines and supplies. "This is incredible! 3D printers, CNC 7-axis cutters, vacuum formers… Oh, this is heaven!" She poked her head into a stall with several bike parts hanging off the walls. "Bikes?"

Gogo walked up behind Tessa and loudly popped her bubblegum, causing the younger girl to jump. "Maglev suspension, solid tires, streamlined wheels… All to make for a faster bike." She hung her bike up on a set of hooks and removed the rear wheel, eyeing the damaged rubber tread. "But the tires are the problem now." She slung it with uncanny accuracy off two walls and into a mini dumpster. "They keep failing at speed."

Hiro smiled. "Still fighting with those wheels, Gogo? You've been chasing issues with them for months."

"Easy for you to say, Genius."

"Hey, just ask and I'll lend a hand."

"Remember the last time you 'lent a hand'?"

Hiro squirmed at the memory. "Yeah. But that was me just trying to help. I-"

"Thanks, but I've got this. Besides, I'm sure you've got a few others to introduce Tessa to."

Tessa watched the dynamic interaction between the two friends with wonder. They're so at ease with each other. I wonder if I could ever have friends like that.

Hiro shrugged and waved a hand towards a pristine work area. "I see Wasabi's been in already."

Gogo looked over at the workbench. "Perfect, as usual." She snapped her gum again, walked over, and gently nudged a torque wrench out of alignment with Wasabi's carefully drawn outlines. "Heh. I really shouldn't do that, but it's too much fun to pass up on."

Tessa eyed the workspace. "OCD much?"

Hiro rolled his eyes. "That's a bit of an understatement."

Gogo nodded. "Look up OCD in the photo dictionary, and Wasabi's face is the entry."

Tessa's eyebrows went up slightly as she studied the workbench, then gently nudged a screwdriver ever so slightly out of alignment. "How bad is his wrath?"

Hiro and Gogo shared a look, then turned to Tessa. Gogo gave a sly grin. "He's a teddy bear at heart."

Hiro's smug look told Tessa all she needed to know. She returned the screwdriver to its former place. Best not do that until I know the consequences.

Hiro reached out to nudge the screwdriver back out of place, but stopped when the door to the lab opened and Fred appeared, boxes of pizza in hand. "Food's here, guys."

Gogo popped her gum one last time before tossing it the general direction of a trashcan… which then moved to intercept the garbage.

Tessa's eyes widened, and she turned to Hiro. "Is that one of your designs?"

"Nope. Gogo, you know whose that was?"

"No idea. It's been here my entire time here, which is all of a year." Gogo scowled at the mysterious robotic trashcan, which returned to its normal home against the wall.

Hiro shrugged and headed to the door. "Where do you guys want to eat?"

Tessa looked to Gogo. "I could care less."

Gogo waved Fred down the hall. "Let's use Hiro's study."

The teen grinned and ducked under Fred's arms, eager to introduce Tessa to Baymax.

-.-.-

Gogo watched Hiro as he rushed to his study, the young redheaded girl close behind. He's clearly smitten with her. He's acting just like Tadashi was when he and I first met. She carefully kept her face neutral, despite the pain in her heart. I miss him so much… Watching over his kid brother is the least I can do for him.

Hiro swiped his ID badge across the scanner, and the door popped open. "One sec, guys, lemme get some stuff set up." He ducked into the room and tapped on the smartglass wall, turning it transparent. Gogo watched as the teen slipped on a San Fransokyo Ninjas ball cap and squeezed a particular spot on the brim. Suddenly, a box near Hiro's desk sprang open and a small swarm of microbots emerged, forming a table and some chairs for the group. Another squeeze in a different spot, and the microbots locked in place, allowing Hiro to remove the hat.

Gogo had seen this demonstration before, so she watched Tessa's reaction instead. It took all her willpower, but Gogo managed to suppress a laugh as Tessa's jaw fell open. "Come on, I'm hungry." The speedster stepped past the still-awestruck girl and took a seat on a chair.

Tessa shook her head and walked in, taking a seat next to Hiro.

Gogo's eyebrow twitched momentarily as she realised that Hiro wasn't the only one who was smitten… Oh, great. What would Tadashi do? Probably give Hiro a talk about this kind of stuff… But Honey's a girl, Fred's, well, Fred, and Wasabi's told me that he's not interested in a relationship with anyone. And I really don't want to have to turn to Baymax for this. As much as he's grown and evolved over the last few months since Hiro rebuilt him… I don't think he's ready for that kind of a talk. So it's up to me. Great…

Gogo's musings were interrupted by the arrival of Wasabi and Honey Lemon. "Hey, good timing."

Wasabi looked at the new arrival. "Why hello. You must be Tessa."

The girl smiled back. "I am. And you must be the mysterious Wasabi."

"I am indeed." The applied physics student nodded and took a seat at the table. "My real name is Wyatt, but I spill wasabi on my shirt one time, and I get stuck with that as a nickname." He elbowed Fred. "Thanks for that, by the way."

"Hey, I'm still trying to come up with one for Hiro."

Honey cleared her throat as she took a seat, and Fred began to pass out slices of pizza. "Right. Eat up, dudes."

-.-.-

As the rest of the students finished their lunch, they returned to the main lab, eager to return to their own projects. Gogo returned to her bike's solid tires, inspecting the damage from her last test run. Mmhmm. Thought that's what was happening. Radial AND circumferential cracking. Gonna be a pain in the ass to fix that issue…

"Looks like the matrix needs some sort of reinforcement… perhaps nylon fibers?"

Gogo blinked and restrained the urged to yell in surprise as someone poked their head in next to her own. Instead, she used her usual brusque approach to strangers."Who are you?"

The woman next to Gogo turned to face her. "What, you don't recognize your new professor?"

Gogo's face flushed in embarrassment. "Sorry, Professor. Didn't know you were in yet."

"No worries." She gestured to the lab behind them. "Anyone else in yet?"

"Yeah… Wyatt and Aiko were in here just a few minutes ago. And I know Hiro's in his study working on something…"

-.-.-

Hiro grinned and walked backwards towards the window. "Wanna see something even cooler than the microbots?"

Tessa smiled back. "I find it hard to imagine something even more amazing than that."

Hiro grabbed a roll of duct tape from the workbench. "Look, I know this is just duct tape…"

"Hardly innovative."

"That was my response at first, too." Hiro peeled off a strip and stuck it to Tessa's arm before she could protest.

"Uhm… What are you doi-OW!"

Hiro yanked the tape off and promptly stepped aside, allowing her to watch Baymax power up.

The big puffy robot inflated and walked over to Tessa before giving his pre-programmed greeting. "Hello. I am Baymax, your personal healthcare companion." Blink. "I was alerted to the need for medical assistance when you said, 'Ow.'"

Hiro watched as Tessa's face went slack in awe.

Baymax continued with the preprogrammed routine. "On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your pain?"

Tessa watched the ten emoji appear on Baymax's stomach. "Uhm… 2, I'd say."

"I will scan you now." Baymax's head nodded once.

"Wait, wha-"

"Scan complete. You have suffered a… slight epidermal abrasion… to your… right forearm."

"Yeah, because genius over here ripped a piece of duct tape off my arm there." Tessa hooked a thumb at Hiro.

"I recommend an antibacterial spray." Baymax toddled forward and extended his right index finger.

"Whoa there, Baymax. What about allergies?"

"You are not allergic to any of the ingredients in the spray. You do, however, suffer mild seasonal allergies."

Tessa let Baymax apply the spray and turned to Hiro. "This guy's brilliant! How long have you been working on him?"

Hiro's face fell, and he looked at the floor. "He's… not my design. My brother Tadashi did all the hard work. I'm just making some final refinements."

Tessa remembered seeing the news articles a few months back about the death of a student in the fire at the Expo. "I… I didn't know."

"S'okay... " Hiro rubbed his neck. "I don't exactly go around advertising that."

Baymax looked up at the door. "Hello. I am-"

Professor Mitchell smiled and cut the robot's speech short. "Hello, Baymax. I'm Professor Mitchell. Don't mind me, I'm just watching."

Baymax cycled his shutters in a manner that Hiro had come to interpret as surprise, then turned back to Tessa. "I have completed treating your injury. However, I cannot deactivate until you say you are satisfied with your care."

Hiro stepped forward. "Actually, big guy, I've got some test to run first."

Tessa looked to the professor. "I take it that you wanted to see me?"

"Correct. I have some last bits of paperwork to have you go over first, then we'll get you set up in a study."

"Cool!" The redhead followed the teacher out of the study, and the door clicked shut.

Hiro scrambled over to the wall and knocked on it again to turn the smartglass opaque. "Okay, Baymax. Time for a checkup."

"But you have been in good health lately. Why the sudden interest in a scan?"

"Just… do it, please."

Baymax scanned the teen. "Your vitals are healthy, and most of your neurotransmitters are within normal range."

"Most?"

Data: elevated hormones and neurotransmitters associated with love/desire; patient is nervous about neurotransmitter levels rising abnormally. Action: incomplete truth may be beneficial at this time. Reevaluate if levels continue to rise. "It is nothing to be worried about, Hiro. The neurotransmitters in question are related to excitement. It is likely due to you being back at school with your friends."

"Huh. Okay, that's probably right. Anything else?"

"One other item. You appear to have a zit on your forehead."

Hiro clapped a hand to his forehead and found the red spot. "A zit? Dude, why didn't you tell me? Oh, man, I must have looked like an idiot…"

Baymax stepped over to his charger and stood on it. "It is a normal occurrence in puberty, Hiro. Wash your face frequently to reduce outbreaks. I will help you with that tonight."

Hiro grabbed a nearby bottle of water and sat down at his computer. "Well, then, I am satisfied with my care, Baymax, But do keep an eye on the news feeds, yeah?"

The robot packed himself away, cycling his right shutters first as he did so.

Hiro grinned and pulled up the coding for the microbots. "Now, let's see what I can refine some more this time…"

-.-.-

"Aaaand that completes the paperwork, Tessa. Let's get you a study."

"Cool." Tessa grinned as she followed Professor Mitchell out of the small office and onto the main hallway…

"HEADS UP!" Gogo tore past on her bike, weaving around the two pedestrians.

Perhaps 'racetrack' is a better term for this hallway… Tessa watched the cyclist skid to a stop and duck into a study. "I take it that this kind of stuff is normal?"

"From what I heard, Callaghan ran a pretty loose shop, unless safety was involved." The professor's face flickered to a frown for a few moments.

"Did you know him?"

"Professionally?"

Tessa nodded.

"Yeah. He and I were actually roommates back in college." She scowled. "I still can't believe what he did. Going outside the law like that… It puts us all in a bad light."

"Hey, at least the Big Hero 6 stopped him."

The two stopped at an empty study. "Here we are. Go ahead and swipe your card, Tessa."

The teen ran her card across the pad, and Professor Mitchell followed suit. The door clicked open. "All yours."

"Thank you much." Tessa stepped into the room and turned around, sizing it up. Hmm… wonder who my neighbors are… and if they're the quiet type. "Profess…" Tessa looked out into the hall to find that the teacher had apparently gone somewhere.

Pop.

Tessa jumped and spun around, searching for Gogo. "Gah! Don't you say hi like normal people?"

Gogo raised an eyebrow. "This is the Nerd Lab. I'm about as normal as you'll find around here." She walked around the teen, pulled out her own card, and opened the door to her study. "Might want to go stake out some space in the main lab, by the way. And whatever you do, don't let Wasabi into your stuff."

"Why?"

"Whatever organizing system you use, he'll undo and set it up his way." Pop. "Just a bit of advice."

Tessa nodded slightly. "Good to know. Any other tips?"

Gogo snapped her fingers. "Not a tip, but… Hiro was asking if you were done yet. something about English class."

"H-he was?"

Gogo smirked. Oh, this is going to be fun. "Yeah. You know where his study is, right?"

"Yeeeaaaaahnope."

"Start walking."

"Huh?"

Gogo shooed the teen towards the exit. "Go on, I'll let you know when you're close."

Tessa rolled her eyes and started walking. She got to the next door before Gogo yelled "RIGHT TURN!"

Tessa immediately turned right. Whang! "Ow! Gogo, not funny!"

The door opened a moment later to reveal Baymax standing there. "Hello. I am Baymax, your personal healthcare-"

"Skip it, Baymax. I just ran into the door is all." She looked back down the hall to see that Gogo was doubled over laughing.

Hiro poked his head around Baymax. "Oh, hey. Come on in." He tapped the window to clear it and flopped in a chair. "I was wondering what made that noise."

"My new neighbor. Apparently Gogo has a prankster streak."

Hiro's eyebrows shot up. "Really? Already? She usually waits a few weeks before tormenting people. She must really like you."

"Joy. So, you had a question about the English class?"

Hiro waved a hand at a second chair. "Yeah, about that first assignment…"