A/N:

This takes place between IWABWY and Six of Hearts.

Enjoy!

I.

"That's strange."

Hiro rolled over in his chair to investigate a blip on his computer screen.

There was a creak as pressure on one step in the garage sounded.

"Hiro?"

"Heh," he grinned, pushing some candy wrappers with the heel of his shoe under his bench.

"What's going on?" Baymax asked as he waddled over and wrapped his arms around Hiro.

The teen gave an amused chuckle but turned serious eyes to the screen again.

"Tectonic shift," he sighed, "where the portal opened up."

"This has been been happening at multiple points where the last portal was," Baymax reminded him.

Hiro nodded his way, typing around his buddy's arms.

"It's not just that, the electromagnetic blips seem to be pattens..."

"Hiro," His phone went off.

"Hey Gogo," he grinned up at Baymax, who snuggled his head.

"We're getting ready to go...ready to go?"

"Just about set," Hiro told her while Baymax made a check of the recordings.

There was a pause.

"Hiro, you've already been told-"

"That you can't be late," he elbowed Baymax's tummy, "You bet! Let's get going."

"Hiro," Baymax took him gently by the upper arms, "remember our agreement to compromise?"

The teen grinned and nodded.

His best friend blinked.

"And listen to each other," he concluded.

"Yeah," Hiro's grin widened, "we made a compromisable agreement that if I could find a real reason to argue with what our friends said, we would tell them why it was in my best interests for them to reconsider. But, since we weren't specific on what that actual reconsideration entailed, I propose you and I go upstairs so I can tell all of you the specifics of what this new and logistical reason is."

Baymax was left blinking again as Hiro pulled him upstairs.

...

"Sweetie, you were going to stay home tonight?" Aunt Cass said in concern.

"I know, but with the city open and free, I thought-out-"

"Dude, why are you dressed like that?"

His friends were looking at his buttoned-up dress shirt, expensive-looking jeans...

Even his hair was parted neatly!

"What? I'm sixteen. It's time I looked..."

"Dude, you were going to stay home tonight with Aunt Cass," Bi reminded him.

She had excused herself into the back kitchen.

"It's almost New Years," Honey brought up, "and you know how..."

"I know," he said, and felt Baymax squeeze him close to his access port.

"I will stay home," the marshmallow man committed.

"No, you've been invited by my cousin Ji-Min and tomorrow the four of us are helping around here."

"No, Gogo, we're taking 'Hiro and Baymax to San Ben tomorrow while Fred and Bi help Aunt Cass, then you and I are taking the next day to-" she noted the blips on her phone, as did the others now.

"You're right, we're going to need to take turns watching this and helping Aunt Cass," Hiro sent a concerned look over in Aunt Cass's direction as she had recently twisted her ankle, "That's why I need an...hour, to clean up the kitchen. Baymax tucks her and Mochi in and then the six of set out-"

"Hiro, you know what the answer is." Gogo told him.

"Yeah, but..."

"Granville's word was final." Honey added.

"Oh, come on... Don't you remember who's side-"

"Hiro, we're all on the same side," Wasabi reasoned, "but you've got to start accepting life's like this."

"Like what?!"

"Bro, we know you feel completely trapped here..."

Hiro sighed audibly and sunk his face in his arms.

"But we're going incognito to San Ben first thing in the morning," Honey promised.

"Okay? We love you," Gogo said, surprisingly softly, "but we really need to get going."

"This isn't over," Hiro glared at her from under his dark brows.

"WHAT?"

"Fight the power," Fred urged with a quiet grin.

"Freddie!"

"Honey!" He opened his arms and they hugged.

Wasabi smiled.

They were together!

Now they-

"Hiro, for the last time, you are not. going." Gogo tapped the table for emphasis.

"Wanna bet?" He challenged.

She blinked.

"Baymax!" Hiro sidled up to him.

"Hiro?" His best friend patted his shoulder. "I will be home in a couple of hours."

"I know..." He smiled down the table.

"Hiro," Gogo reprimanded, edging on authoritative.

These days had been hard on all of them...but still-

"Baymax," Hiro looked up at him with wide eyes, then squeezed under so as to be nearer, "who's your best friend?" He blinked up at him. 'Hiro' Baymax said haplessly, Hiro started to trace his arm, "So I was thinking since we were like besties or something, you could just *tell* me what happens there."

"Hiro Hamada, you are acting like a child!"

Hiro almost bolted up but Baymax held him close.

"Hiro," he patted his head and went to his eye level, "Hiro, I am sorry. There is a restrictive age limit to this event." Hiro bit his lower lip, and Baymax held him close. "I will stay. Please apologize for my absence-" but Hiro had hugged him back and went directly for the back kitchen. Baymax stood up.

"Maxie...you're GOING." Gogo caught his arm. "Please?" She added.

He blinked.

Honey got up quickly.

"I'll go check on-"

There was a crash.

Clank.

Dishes were thrown into the automatic rinser had installed a month ago...with help. Robotics, yes. Home installation...there was a slashing spray, a hissing yowl and then Honey and Gogo both just missed Hiro as he took the second floor into the hall, Bi and Fred restraining Baymax, before they saw him quietly pass, stop to look at them, and take a deep breath. He didn't quite meet their eyes.

"You're right, I'm sixteen," he met Gogo's eyes, "it's time I started acting like it."

They heard him go upstairs.

"All right, let's get going, get this over with and-"

"Sixteen years old, leader of Big Hero 6, almost a Junior a SFIT...and-"

There was stomping, banging, crashing...

The alarm Hiro had installed in case Aunt Cass needed something buzzed.

"Coming!"

He ran down the hall.

"Quick," Gogo said, wheeling a very reluctant Baymax out.

...

Hiro sighed softly as he placed a cup of Expresso on the self-heater.

"Anything else?" He smiled helpfully... hopefully.

"Naw, I'm good," his aunt told him, a little knowing.

He nodded and prepared to go.

"Honey..."

Her words stopped him.

"I know I don't always... understand. But, I love you and-"

He saw her arms out for him and Hiro went into her comforting grasp.

There was a cold desolation that dissolved.

Aunt Cass looked into his eyes.

"We are always a family," she told him, green eyes burning.

Hiro nodded, hugged her again and went back to his room.

The days that had led up to his feelings of not being a leader, of not being in charge, were days when the city has been under siege of extreme reform; his inability to adapt to a city that was no longer his drove Hiro into hiding. Events had led to Baymax discovering his free will and Hiro, trying but unable to comprehend this or Gogo's unexpected but deep involvement in this group of reform invaders, caused strife. But, through the courage and persistence of love, even though most of what had happened was still very recent, family and friendship had succeeded. But Hiro would not tell his team of his feelings; open to their love bit keeping his true feelings away all but from Baymax and yet somehow he still knew they knew. He zipped up his hoodie, he pocketed his phone, he slid open the window and put one leg out the door. Hiro looked back at room and took a deep, steady breath.

Not an adult, not a kid...

But he was not taking orders anymore.

Hiro climbed onto the fire escape, easily slid down the drainage pipe, then headed down the alley.

To be continued...