GoGo was leaning against the railing of the pier, staring at the city lights. She hated herself for how stupidly she acted. Moreover, she hated that she let herself think for a second that Hiro would prefer Emily just because she was nicer. GoGo knew better but she couldn't help it. She was actually scared at the idea of losing Hiro but mad at herself at thinking that was even a possibility.
"Wow, you usually look at me like that when I make an obvious calculation mistake."
GoGo looked to see Hiro approach. He walked next to her then rested his arms on the railing, as well.
"How'd you know I was here?" GoGo asked.
"You're my girlfriend, GoGo," Hiro replied. "If I don't know where you go to clear your head, I'm doing something wrong. Besides, part of our first date was here."
"That wasn't a date."
He looked at her, smiling. "Yeah, it was."
She couldn't help but smile. "Yeah, okay."
They stared at the city lights in silence for a while. Hiro knew that GoGo would talk, eventually, but only when she was ready. He didn't mind waiting.
"I just love looking at the city," GoGo said.
"Yeah, me, too," Hiro said.
"Let's me think. Clear my head."
"So does anything that involves moving at high speed."
"True," she shrugged. "But I didn't trust myself to pay attention going 80 miles per hour, right now."
"That's fair," he replied. "And thanks for that. I would've worried about you."
They were quiet for a while longer before Hiro broke the silence, "We can talk whenever you want, by the way. In case you were waiting for an invitation."
"What about?" GoGo asked.
"Anything you want, really. But, I gotta admit, I'm interested in you and your family. What's going on?"
She sighed. "You just saw it."
"I heard you yell. Which was scary, by the way. I didn't know that you could be so loud."
"I didn't like Emily being all over you," she said.
"Is that what set you off?" he asked.
She looked at him then looked away, "It was… the main thing."
"Okay, I get that. But you do know that I don't want to be with your sister. At all, right? I'm with you."
"Yeah, yeah, I know!" She groaned and took a breath. "But… she's actually a sweet person, when she's not being a jerk."
"Yeah," Hiro said. "And?"
"She's just… not like me at all. If I'm being honest, her personality is way closer to yours than mine is or ever will be."
"What's that got to do with anything?"
GoGo looked around, "Look…" She sighed. "I'm not… the most touchy-feely person. What if that gets to be a problem for you?"
"It's not now. It won't be later. You're acting like I expect you to be different, GoGo, or that I wish you were. And I don't. I got to know you are before we ever attempted this relationship. Who you are is the person who's always been there for me. And that's the person I want to be with."
"But why? We're so different!"
"You're saying that over and over again like that's bad. It's not." He smiled. "Besides, you're plenty touchy with me when we're alone. And I like it."
"But that's not all the time, either," she said. "I barely do it in public."
"Again, I don't care. I'm pretty sure I said all this at dinner."
GoGo exhaled, ruefully.
"But, tell me why you blew up like that," Hiro said. "I mean, yeah, your folks seem… rigid but they're not that bad. So, what's up?"
GoGo stared at him for a while. "It's not like I think they hate me or anything. I know they don't. I know they love me. As far as I can tell. But… they don't get me. And, because they don't get me, they don't talk to me. They don't talk to me, so I don't talk to them. I… know they're not proud of me. I let them down. Most of the people in my family became doctor or scientists."
"You're a scientist."
"Yeah. Of engines and wheels. They're scientists of biology of all kinds. Doctors, ya know. I even have a couple of cousins who are psychiatrists."
"Okay, so, what's that got to do with you?" Hiro asked.
"It makes me the weirdo," GoGo said. "Me and my parents could never find any common ground. So, we grew apart. Even if we want to apologize for how we act, we can't because we don't know how. It's not like you and Aunt Cass. We can't just sit down, talk it out, then hug. Or hug then talk it out. That's not us. We just… don't talk. There's a problem… we ignore it. The more we ignored, the more we didn't talk. So… I just left. The chance to enroll in the Institute showed up and I jumped on it. Anything to leave home." She let her mind drift a bit, "But… being here, being around Aunt Cass… when she hugs me… it's something… I can't even explain. How awesome that feels. It just sucks that I can't even get that from my own family."
It was the first time how clearly Hiro could see it. This amount of distress that GoGo carried around. And his heart was breaking for her.
"GoGo, why didn't you ever tell me any of this?" Hiro asked.
"Because I don't need your sympathy!" GoGo shouted.
Hiro stared at her.
GoGo realized her anger, how misplaced it was, and shied back. "I'm… sorry."
She sighed, "No, it's not. You don't… give me a reason to yell at you."
"All the time," he smiled.
She scoffed. "All the time." She threw her head back then stared at the city again. "I didn't tell you because… what I've been through doesn't hold a candle to what you've been through."
"Me having some tragedy in my life doesn't mean that your life doesn't matter," Hiro pointed out.
GoGo nodded, "I know. But… that really was the reason I never told you. You had to deal with your parents and Tadashi…" She couldn't even complete that sentence. She shook her head, "What was I gonna say? 'Hey, Hiro, I don't like talking to my family because we don't like to talk. They're all fine but lousy at communicating. I left home because I don't like to talk, either. Isn't that horrible?'"
"Yes. Exactly that. Word for word."
She looked at him, curiously.
"You tell me what's up. I don't mind you not being affectionate all the time. But I'm worried if something's going on with you and you don't tell me about it." He put his hand on hers. "I just… want you to know that I've got your back the way you've always had mine."
She nodded, "I know. I've always known that. And… I'm really sorry if I made it seem like I didn't."
"It's not." She looked at his hand. "That's just one more way we're different, I guess. You're always ready to help out."
"Took me a long time to get there," he said. "Don't forget: I was a really selfish kid when we first met."
"You haven't been that way in a very long time. And that's just it. Who you are… it's this really caring person."
"So are you."
"Not everyone knows that."
"Yeah, they do," he argued.
"It's not always obvious," she said. "That's why… I sometimes worry about us."
He chuckled, "Good one."
She gazed into his eyes, not saying a word.
His smile faded as he was taken aback. "Wait. Wait, seriously? You do?"
"Yeah. I know how we look on the surface, how everyone sees us. I know all anyone ever talks about is how different we are from each other. Even the team knows it. You're way more expressive than I am. I'm always closed off and giving two-word answers to every question."
He shrugged, "So? Who cares if people talk about it? Let 'em talk. What do you care?"
"I don't," she said. "All the time." She sighed, "Just… I know what a jerk I am."
"We've had this conversation before."
"My point is that, I sometimes think that maybe…" she stared at him, "you… should have someone more like you. Who can be more… a better girlfriend. Someone always shows what you mean to her. No matter who's around. No matter what she's dealing with. Someone… better than me."
He stared at her for a long while. He took a deep breath. "GoGo. I'm going to say something to you I never, ever thought I'd say."
She readied herself for the worst, fully expecting to confirm she was right. "Okay."
"That was the absolute, dumbest thing I have ever heard in my life. That's the dumbest thing I've heard you say in the entire time I've known you. Honestly, I had no idea you were capable of thinking of anything that stupid then saying it, out loud."
She had to process the full weight of what he just said. Then resist the urge to punch him. She, instead, narrowed her eyes at him, "Romantic."
"And you being this dumb is supposed to be endearing?" he asked.
She looked away, embarrassed.
"GoGo, your family or your relationship with your family doesn't change how I feel about you. Once again, you're plenty affectionate with me and I really enjoy it. And whoever is talking about us being different, obviously, doesn't know anything about you and me, and what you've done for me and what you do for me. You make me better. Remember that whole mess with Professor Callaghan?"
"How could I forget?"
"You kept me from making one of the biggest mistakes of my life and cared about me when you had every right to be mad at me." He took hold of her hand. "And, for your family not to be huggers, the hug you gave me that day meant the world to me."
"I mean, did it ever occur to you that the only reason I'm not as crazy as Callaghan was is because of you?"
GoGo wouldn't look him in the eyes. She just shrugged.
Hiro cupped her chin and brought her face up, so she had to look him in the eyes. "I may be smart but it's useless if I don't have motivation. Even if that's a punch in the gut."
"Happy to provide those," she smirked. "I almost gave you one just a second ago."
She sighed, "Alright, alright. Look, I'm sorry about acting like a girl."
"You are a girl," he replied, "but go on."
"I just… that's just what happens when I get around my family. My thoughts get all jumbled up and I act like a moron. I have this image of myself in my head, but it changes when I'm around them. I'm not the perfect little girl that my parents want. I'm the weird little sister that my brother was stuck with, and I'm the weird older sister Emily doesn't tell her friends about. I just… never learned how to really deal with that."
"I'm sorry you have to go through that."
"Don't be. It's why I came to the Institute. I could be alone here, by myself. Do what I loved and not worry about what other people thought about me. I was able to focus and really to got be myself, even if I was alone." She paused for a moment. "Then a weird thing happened."
"What?" he asked.
"I ended up not being alone anymore. I made friends. Tadashi. Wasabi. Honey Lemon. Fred." She stared at him. "And you. Then… all this with us happened."
He put his arm around her waist and pulled her close, "I'm glad it did."
"Same here," she moved closer to him. "I needed it."
They leaned in and kissed one another. After the kiss, GoGo kept her face close to Hiro's and, absentmindedly, whispered, "I love you."
Hiro's eyes widened as he stared at her.
GoGo gasped. "Oh, my God," she whispered. She backed away from him, out of his grip, and her mind scrambled to come up with some way of covering up her admission. "Hiro, I… I-I'm sorry. I didn't… I mean, I did but I didn't mean to just… j-j-j-just blurt that out! I…" She ran her hands through her hair. "Oh, man! What did I just do? What did I do?"
"GoGo," Hiro said, causing her to stop. He walked up to her and smiled. "I love you, too."
She gasped and started to blush. She opened her mouth to speak but it took a while for words to form. For as much she wanted to hear that and loved it, she was worried about the conditions of which it was said. "You don't have to say that because I said it first."
"I'm not. I mean it, GoGo. I love you. Seriously. I just didn't wanna say it and make you nervous."
"It does," she admitted. "Only because I know you mean it. And I mean it, too."
"What's wrong with that?" he asked.
"That I really wanted to hear it." She threw her arms around his neck and pulled him as tight as possible, tears streaming from her eyes. He hugged her right back, a couple of tears of his own escaping.
"Promise me one thing," GoGo whispered.
"I won't tell anyone you cried," Hiro whispered back.
"Well, that, too. But…" She kissed his cheek. "…if I'm ever this stupid again and forget this happened… just tell me you love me again."
He looked at her, "And if I want to tell you 'I love you' just because?"
She wasn't used to having tears falling this frequently. "I can live with that."
"Good. Because I love you."
"I love you, too."
Hiro and GoGo walked back into the café and were shocked to see GoGo's family sitting with the team and Cass.
"Mom?" GoGo asked. "Dad? Em?"
"Hey, E," Emily greeted with a sad smile.
"What are all of you doing here?"
"We… wanted to talk to you," Leslie said.
"A talk that's…" Jeong took a deep breath, "…long overdue."
GoGo squeezed Hiro's hand a little tighter. "O-okay."
Jeong walked up to her and stared into his daughter's eyes. "I am… extremely proud of you, Ethel. I always have been."
GoGo's eyes widened. Hiro smiled and he let GoGo's hand go. He knew that she didn't need him in this moment.
"We all are," Leslie said, standing next to her husband, tears already running down her cheek.
"We just…" Emily spoke up, "…never knew that you wanted to hear it."
"After so long, I understand why a wall has been built between us," Jeong said. "Why wouldn't there be? I helped build it. All of your accomplishments, all of your feats of brilliance, you took my silence as disapproval. That was my fault. I am so sorry that I ever made you think that I wasn't proud of you, that I wasn't proud of all you've done. When the opposite is true."
GoGo fought back a cry that was threatening to come up.
"You've always been so brilliant," Leslie said. She cupped GoGo's cheek. "So strong. We just forgot that our little girl was behind that tough exterior."
"Really easy to forget that," Fred mused.
Wasabi, Honey Lemon, and Cass all hit him, immediately.
"OW!" Fred shouted.
"E," Emily walked up to GoGo, "I can't believe that we've gotten to the point that you think I'd… try to steal your boyfriend. I would never do that to you. But you're right. I've never said anything to make you think that I wouldn't try something like that. But, to be clear, I would never do that to you. Not ever. I love you, big sis. I look up to you. And, complete honesty: I wish I was half as smart as you are."
"You're…" GoGo swallowed the tears still threatening to emerge, "you're kidding, right?"
"Remember the bike project I asked you about? You sent me the specs. It took me two weeks to make sense of all of it. You probably figured it out in two days."
"Knowing her, three days," Hiro joked. "It had to be perfect."
GoGo rolled her eyes and shook her head.
"But no matter what, Ethel," Jeong spoke up, "know that we are proud of you. Always. You're not the daughter we didn't want. You're the phenomenal daughter we never deserved."
Unable to hold herself back anymore, GoGo rushed forward and hugged her parents, tears coming from all of their eyes.
Hiro smiled at the sight. He was hoping something like this would happen and was relieved to see it. He didn't know it would happen so soon, if at all, but he sure wasn't complaining.
It provided Hiro with a little bit pride. He smirked. "Told ya so," he sang, quietly.
"No, you didn't," GoGo said.
"Yeah, I did."
GoGo scoffed and let go of her family. She looked at Hiro, "Why do I love you again?"
"Because I'm smart, irritate you, and love you too," Hiro answered.
GoGo shook her head but couldn't help but smile, "Yeah, okay."
Wasabi, Honey Lemon, Fred, and Cass all stared at the couple in shock.
"Did…" Wasabi said.
"Did they just…" Honey Lemon said. A huge smile began to form on her face.
"Hiro," Cass whispered, tears coming from her eyes.
"Oh," Hiro blushed. "Right. None of you… were there for that."
GoGo walked up to Hiro and took hold of his hand, "Can you blame me? I mean…" She looked up at him, "He's… really lovable."
He smiled back at her, "Ditto."
Jeong cleared his throat, "Well! I think there's only one thing to say." He walked up to Hiro and offered his hand. "Welcome to the family."
Hiro shook his hand, smiling, "Very glad to be here, sir."
"So… could we try this again?" Leslie asked. "Properly this time?"
"I'd love that," GoGo replied.
They all sat down and talked long into the night.
A/N: And we have arrived at the end of our tale. I hope you all enjoyed it. I really had fun writing this and I love the way it came out. What did you all think? Leave me some love and some feedback!
Everyone, see you next time!