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They say an idle mind is the devil's playground. For Hiro, that meant that it was time for him to go to another Bot Fight.

Laying on his bed to stare at the ceiling while he tossed a tennis ball into the air and back into his hand, he decided it to be best if he were to wait for his brother to leave before going to check online for the latest locations. Last time he checked while Tadashi was in the room he got a long scolding on how his parents wouldn't want him to be wasting his time going to Bot Fights and instead using that big brain of his to actually do something productive with his life. He ended up missing the fight.

It wasn't even that Hiro needed the money either -- though he did make a pretty penny -- it was just that he was bored. He's already done with high school and he didn't need to go to his brother's 'Nerd School' either. So Bot Fighting it was. Besides, he had to admit the adrenaline rush that he would get at a Fight was something he would never be able to get in school.

It made him actually feel something, when he was threatened by his losing opponents. It made him feel alive. Sure he came home with a few bruises, which caused for his brother to get involved in the first place. But when he went to a fight, he didn't feel like he was wasting away like he usually did. He knew that if he actually wanted to apply himself he could go do something like his brother was doing at his school, but it never really interested him enough to actually make an effort to do.

So as soon after Tadashi left to go back to work on his project he was doing for school, Hiro hopped off his bed and made his way to his computer. He quickly pulled up the link for his possible next Bot Fight, surprised and glad to see it wasn't that far. He picked up his bot from his desk and made his own way out the door.

o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o

Hiro mentally sighed as he watched his opponent to be's bot pulverize the other's bot. He was waiting for the day when it would actually be a challenge, though he doesn't mind making easy money. But until then, he could easily play the role of the confused little boy trying to make his way through the Bot Fighting world with his little, non-threatening bot that could actually beat the crap out of any bots out on the streets of San Fransokyo.

A shiver creeped up Hiro's spine and he could feel a pair of eyes on him. He turned to find the source only to peer into the crowd of spectators all focused on the fight in front of them. He's been feeling that a lot lately, at his past few fights. Like someone was watching him. But that couldn't be possible, who would pay attention to a little kid like him during a Bot Fight? He couldn't help but feel something was off and he didn't think he liked it. Maybe he should head home instead of playing.

As the battle ended, he shook those thoughts out of his head and stepped forward. He was already here, and this was his chance to actually feel something. 'Time to put this show on the road,' he thought as he raised his hand to volunteer his bot against the champion's.

o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o

Surprisingly enough, after MegaBot destroyed Bottageddon or whatever the other bot's name was, no one wanted to break his neck for hustling. He frowned, not expecting the shrug of defeat from the former champion and the surrender of the money. He wanted them to get mad, revolt against him. Do something.

As he walked away with his winnings in his pocket, he was completely pre-occupied with his thoughts to hear the footsteps of someone following him.

He didn't have any time to react when an arm was placed around his neck and a rag in front of his face. Hiro recognized the stereotypical procedure of using chloroform on victims before quickly maneuvering out of the vice grip around his neck by kicking the stranger's shins and making a mad dash towards the Lucky Cat Café.

Just as he approached the café, he realized that he was leading his potential kidnapper to his home, which was a terrible idea for so many reasons. Hiro quickly turned a corner, heading away from the café and towards the police station instead. Sure, he probably will get in trouble for that pesky illegal bot fighting, but right now his safety is more important than spending a night in jail. Actually, maybe he'd be safer spending the night in jail…

Hiro almost tripped on his footing, shaking his head and trying his best to focus. He seriously needs to stop doing that.

Arms wrapped around his torso, and Hiro decided to take the chance to look at his potential kidnapper. He was dressed in a black trench coat, wearing a Yokai mask to hide his identity.

Hiro couldn't help but let out a little smirk while he struggled for his freedom.

"What do you want? Money? It's in my pocket," Hiro said pathetically, looking for the man's eyes through the mask. Because this had to be a man with this frame.

"Your bot. You made it yourself?"

The voice was gruff; the man had to have been using a device to distort his voice. Why was he asking about his bot? Did he want to replicate it? Has he been watching his fights? Has he been the eyes that Hiro has been feeling the past fights? Now that he thought about it, he could feel the same feeling from the man that he usually felt when someone was watching him.

When the man shook Hiro by the shoulders, he realized he didn't answer. He nodded.

It stopped being fun when he felt something jab at him in the arm.

Everything faded to black.

Chapter Text

o-o-o-o-o-o-o
Chapter Two
o-o-o-o-o-o-o

Hiro blinked himself into awareness before letting out a yawn. However, it was still too bright so he decided to keep his eyes shut for a little bit longer. He felt really stiff, like he hadn't been moving his body for a long time. Which was odd, because he shouldn't have been in bed for that long. Usually Aunt Cass would wake him for breakfast from the racket she would make, singing and dancing and whatnot downstairs. Actually, he should be able to smell the fresh baked croissants from the oven; the extras she always made on Tuesdays for the café were always a great way to start the day. He started to stretch to get his bones moving. This bed felt softer than usual too –

The sound of metal clanging on the bedpost caused for Hiro to jolt. Looking to his left he saw that his wrist was handcuffed to the bedpost. Tugging on it proved to him that it was secure. Events of last night trickled back to him, of winning the fight without a fight, of that masked man almost following him back to his house. That man who may have been watching Hiro for a while, and only decided now to make his move.

Trying his best not to panic, Hiro pushed those thoughts aside for now and opened his eyes to look around, blinking to get them to focus. He was not in the joint room he shared with his older brother for years, but rather a much larger room tinted with a light beige color thanks to the curtains. He was underneath a white silky canopy under caramel sheets, in a room void of any pictures of people but instead littered with stuffed birds from all over the globe in certain corners of the room with clouds hanging from the ceiling around a small chandelier. Appeared to be a nice room weren't he chained to the bed. Looking at the curtains, Hiro snickered at the thought of the window having bars to prevent him from flying away. Regardless of whether or not they did, Hiro couldn't reach the window anyway.

He checked his arm for any pricks of that needle, frowning when he realized he wasn't wearing his blue hoodie. Or one of his red mecha shirts for that matter. Hiro pulled the covers away and frowned in confusion when he found himself in a plain light blue dress with long flowy white sleeves that he had mistaken for his usual white shirt. Eyes followed the white knee high socks and Hiro lifted the dress to find himself wearing silky lace blue panties to his mortification.

He understood chaining him to a bed; even stripping him Hiro could come up with a few reasons why it would benefit his kidnapper. But this? Why the hell would his kidnapper put him in a dress? What could he possibly obtain by putting him in a dress? Or even making him wear panties? Unless he has some kind of fetish for boys in dresses?

Hiro shuddered and decided to stop that line of thought before it was too late. The bed he was on was of very nice quality; he hasn't felt a bed this soft... ever. His bed at home was pretty soft don't get him wrong but this was on a whole new scale of softness. He really felt like he was on a cloud. Hiro just let himself take a deep breath and closed his eyes.

Deeming himself relaxed enough to actually assess the situation without having a full blown panic attack, Hiro opened his eyes to find himself still in this foreign room. Not that he expected to teleport back home but he supposed he could cross off the 'just dreaming' idea off the list. Honestly, although he was chained to the bed and in an unknown environment, Hiro was pretty comfortable all things considered. He always pictured kidnapping situations to have the victim locked in a cell deep underground with a flickering light bulb his only source for light. The window proved to him that he was at least above ground and that it was still day, if not morning.

The dress and panties were unexpected. He expected to be either naked, stripped to the point he was basically naked, or better yet just to have remained in the clothes he was brought in.

The lack of the captor making an appearance was to be expected as well. There must be some cameras around. Probably waiting for Hiro to start making some sort of fuss that demanded attention. Being incapacitated also makes sense, so Hiro would be unable to wander off and assess his surroundings fully to be able to plan an escape.

The man knows that Hiro made his bot, has seen his bot in action. Has seen him playing with everyone. He should know what Hiro is capable of.

Hiro took a deep breath and couldn't help but smirk. A minor setback, but it would make a great story to tell later on. Like the making out with Tadashi story, though Tadashi doesn't like to talk about that. Hopefully he'll be able to get away soon; he wouldn't want to worry Aunt Cass or Tadashi for his lack of appearance. With luck he'll be home by dinner time.

Regardless, this was going to be fun.

Hiro was pulled out of his thoughts when he heard a knock at the door.

Discarding any thought as to why his kidnapper would knock at his cell door, Hiro immediately lay back down, hiding under the covers like it would protect him, and tried to even his breathing by the time the door opened. Pretending to still be asleep was the best option at this point. Footsteps approached him, and Hiro had to restrain himself from fidgeting with all his might when there was a dip in the bed and a hand on his shoulder.

"I know you're awake, Hiro," said an older man with a soothing voice that made Hiro relax, oddly enough. "And I know you have lots of questions that I could answer for you."

Hiro perked up at the thought of answers. Curiosity got the better of him. "Could or world?" he asked as the man lifted the sheets from the boy on the bed.

The man laughed, and Hiro frowned. Was this his kidnapper? This old man who could probably pass as his grandfather? No way.

The man shrugged. "Depends on the questions."

Hiro had to know. "Why did you knock on the door just now? You know, instead of just walking in?"

The man seemed taken back by this question; of all the questions to start with he probably wasn't expecting Hiro to ask this one. He quickly recomposed himself. "I merely wished to give you a warning that I was coming in. A typical reason as to why anyone would knock on another's door really. I would knock at any closed door where I know someone else is on the other side. It would be rude otherwise."

Curiosity now satisfied, Hiro didn't hesitate. "Are you the masked man who kidnapped me?"

The man seemed to be unfazed by Hiro's bluntness and quick transition. He smiled at the boy. "Please, call me Robert."

Hiro pulled himself up to lean against the bedpost, giving himself more space to breathe and move. He eyed at Robert carefully; the man was still smiling at him. It was starting to creep him out. Hiro frowned. "You're not saying yes, but you're not saying no either. I'm going to take that creepy smile as a yes though."

Robert continued to smile, hand reaching outward for Hiro but Hiro recoiled away. Robert retracted his hand with a frown before quickly smiling again. "I wouldn't think of it as a kidnapping, Hiro. Think of it more as... assertive adopting."

Hiro blinked. "Adopting?" Oh no what kind of sick fuck had Hiro come into contact with? This wasn't a type of game Hiro wanted to play. He attempted to jump off the bed but the cursed handcuff just had him flailing about. "What? You can't just kidnap me and claim to adopt me! I already have a family!"

Robert just laughed as he pulled Hiro close to him. Hiro squirmed underneath his touch. "Glad to see you already have the correct mindset." He placed his head on Hiro's, ignoring the struggling.

"I don't mean you, you fucking creepy bastard!" Hiro continued to struggle for his freedom, using as much of his strength that he had. Of course, being as small and skinny as he was without any food it was met with minimal effort. Hiro quickly grew tired and his attempts at freedom grew weaker and weaker.

"I don't particularly care for your language, but in time we will fix that." Robert released Hiro when he stopped, slightly out of breath. "Hmm, more energy than I thought you would have, but that's good! Are you hungry, Hiro?" he asked.

The thought of food made his belly rumble, but Hiro glared at Robert. "What, so you could feed me more drugs?" he spat.

Robert sighed. "If by 'drugs', you mean vitamins, then yes."

"Bullshit! You did not knock me out with vitamins! With that needle in my arm last night --" Hiro reached for his arm when he paused and turned back to Robert. "Why am I in a dress?"

Robert's smile transformed into a wide grin. "Because as my daughter I require that you wear a dress when you are in my home." He gathered Hiro's face into his hands. "My beautiful baby girl, I let you free to spread your wings and someone throws you in a cage and clips your wings." He hugged Hiro tightly. "I shan't do that again."

Hiro removed himself from Robert with tremendous effort. "What? I'm a boy, you sick freak! Look, I'm through playing around --"

Robert snickered. “Are you, Hiro?”

That caused for Hiro to pause and frown. “What?”

Robert raised an eyebrow with a knowing smirk. “Are you sure you don’t want to play?”

“Wha – Yeah, I’m pretty goddamn sure!”

“Right.” Robert proceeded to rise from the bed. “Look, you’re hungry. Why don’t I fetch you some food, and afterwards we can continue to talk, hmm?”

Before Hiro could protest, his stomach let out a loud growl. Robert took that as a sign. He turned to leave, Hiro rising after him only to be stopped by his handcuff.

“You can’t do this to me!” he yelled after the man walking away. “You can’t just keep me here as some sort of doll!”

With his hand on the knob, Robert laughed. He turned back to look at the distressed boy on the bed. “Oh, Hiro,” he said as he turned and pushed the door open. “We both know you’re so much more than just a doll.”

Ignoring the screams on the other side of his daughter’s door, Robert quickly took out his phone to email his students that his class was canceled for today.

After it sent, in his inbox he found an email from Tadashi Hamada.

 

Good day Professor Callaghan,

Thank you again for the extensions on my assignments and lab reports. I understand that you do not allow for these extensions under extreme circumstances, for it disrupts the workload immensely. I'm terribly sorry to bother you and request for another extension, but my family emergency has taken a turn for the worst and I know that I could not for the safety of others be in the lab with the amount of rest I've had the past week.

I have completed the class work assignments according to the syllabus, the week of work I've missed and next month's worth of work as I have been doing extra research for my final project, and will gladly send them to be delivered to you by one of my classmates. However, I request that you give me another week for the reports on my final project.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Tadashi Hamada

 

 

Chapter Text

o-o-o
Chapter Three
o-o-o

Dear Mr. Hamada,

I understand that you are having a family emergency but with the amount of school you have been missing it would be very difficult for you to be able to keep up. If the situation is really that dire I would suggest that you halt your studies and continue where you left off next semester. With the semester halfway finished this may seem a bit harsh but as you understand my course is a very rigorous one and work must be done in order to remain in it.

However, as you are one of the brightest pupils in my classes, I will accept your school work. If I find it to be with little errors I will allow another extension, this one lasting the extra month your work has provided. However, please be aware that this extension would be your last.

I wish you all the best with your family.

Sincerely,

Professor Robert Callaghan

Head of Robotics Department
San Fransokyo Institute of Technology

Tadashi stopped scrolling and exited out of his email.

Well, he wasn't expecting to get an extra month but he wasn't about to punch a gift horse in the mouth. He knew his work was fine, like Professor Callaghan said he was one of the brightest. It was actually some stuff that he had went over with Hiro when his little brother was starting to show interest in robotics.

Hiro...

Tadashi wanted to hit something, but he knew that wouldn't solve anything. A part of him can't help but blame himself, but he knew that blaming himself wouldn't help his situation either.

Tadashi should have known by that spaced out, bored look in his eyes that his little brother wasn't paying attention to him that night. Tadashi knew that it would take for Hiro to get in serious trouble to actually take the danger seriously. But what did Hiro define to be "serious trouble"? Tadashi would have thought that those fractured/broken bones and losing his front teeth would make Hiro really consider the danger he was in. While his brother may be a genius he was still a single fourteen-year-old boy in an alley filled with thugs and gang members -- people desperate enough to hurt others because they have nothing to lose.

According to Hiro, those alleyways are just filled with people who just need something extra that their life can't already provide them.

More often than not, Tadashi wonders just what is it Hiro needs from there that he can't get from Tadashi or Aunt Cass.

Tadashi sighed. Hiro's been doing bot fights since he finished high school all those years ago. While Hiro is young, he is still brilliant enough to get past the extremely busy Aunt Cass when she's preoccupied with the Café. Though they didn't really need money enough to do something as drastic as Bot Fighting. Tadashi frowned. He doesn't know what Hiro does with the money. It would help with the school bills, because even with his full ride scholarship Aunt Cass can't pay for everything. But Hiro couldn’t possibly know about that.

Tadashi himself hasn't ever been to a bot fight, with or without his brother. He didn't ever have the time. He was always at school, either in class or working on his end of year project at the lab with everyone else. Sometimes even spending days at a time there. Tadashi has been meaning to bring Hiro in, but only after he was sure that Baymax was perfect so that Hiro would be so impressed that he'd take interest in school.

The times he does come home, he doesn't have much energy to really do much except rest. When he does talk to Hiro, it's usually to dissuade him from leaving more than anything else. He knows he’s been pretty secretive about what he does in school, but Tadashi doesn’t remember Hiro ever actually pushing the subject on what he does that he needs to spend days there. Which meant he wasn’t interested enough to know.

Tadashi realized now that he should have pushed himself and just gone with Hiro to the fights. Bot Fighting was more of an addiction than anything else and Hiro was too stubborn to change something he claimed he needed.

Still, what's done is done and even though science has progressed to such an advanced level, time travel was not possible. Yet. Tadashi had to stop blaming himself; it wasn’t going to change anything.

The only thing he could do now is try and find where his brother could have gone. Tadashi knew there could only be one reason why Hiro never came back from his fight. But he refused to think such of grim endings and would only believe it when he actually saw and touched his little brother’s body with a still heart and lungs without a breath in front of him.

Deep down, Tadashi knew it wouldn’t be much of a surprise. His brother was brilliant and could easily swindle everyone out of their money with his technologically advanced harmless-looking bot beyond their understanding. Those thugs on the street wouldn’t appreciate losing their “hard-earned” money to a kid who basically just hustled them.

He shook his head.

Tadashi knows his brother, or at least likes to think he does. He knows that Hiro wasn’t an idiot -- far from it -- and knew how to keep himself safe. Most of the time.

Thoughts of Hiro making it home limping, holding onto his dislocated shoulder, and covered in blood with a silly grin on his face like he didn’t even care came into mind without Tadashi’s consent and he quickly shook his head again to push it away.

The most optimal window to find a missing person is within three days. Within 72 hours, or the case becomes impossible to solve and stone cold.

It’s been over a week. Over 168 hours.

Tadashi rubbed his face, closed his eyes, and tried to focus. The police had all but given up, so they claim. Tadashi hadn’t seen any effort coming from them, but he understood why. Aunt Cass hasn’t stopped crying since they told her they had to close the case because there weren’t enough clues to follow through and too much time has passed. To accept the fact that her nephew was gone and would most likely never return.

According to the intel, no one had seen Hiro since Tadashi had that night around 8:30pm.

However, Tadashi knew that was wrong because Hiro definitely went to a fight. He only takes Megabot when he’s going to a fight. Otherwise Hiro’s homemade bot would be at home on Hiro’s desk. Then again, Tadashi knew that anyone present at the fight wouldn’t say anything anyway. Bot Fighting was illegal after all. It was probably for the best; even if Hiro was a minor they really didn’t need to add something like that to his record.

She’s still a mess, but the Lucky Cat Café was still open for business. It just closes earlier than before, when Aunt Cass was able to actually walk a few steps without falling apart. Tadashi let a small smile grace his face. He was so grateful for his friends with the assist, being able to take on some shifts at the Café when they weren’t working on their own final projects and schoolwork. But while they were optimistic at first, after the fifth day he knew that they were just waiting for Tadashi to give up like they have. Like the police have. Not that they said anything, but Tadashi could see the pitiful looks in their eyes when they thought he wasn’t looking.

If anyone thought that Tadashi Hamada was going to give up on his little brother, then they clearly did not know him. They didn’t know Hiro, and that he was someone you didn’t just give up on. Tadashi knew that more than anyone else, maybe even more so than Hiro himself. That worried Tadashi more than anything, that Hiro didn’t know his own value and worth. His brilliant, lovable younger brother who was worth so much more than he gave himself credit for.

He sighed. As much as Tadashi hated to admit it, Hiro was more brilliant than him concerning tech. It wouldn’t even surprise Tadashi if Hiro was the one who would make time travel possible in the future.

If only Hiro didn’t sextuple encrypt all of his bot fighting information, Tadashi would probably be able to investigate more than the cops could with their limited information. Couldn’t let the cops know that his little brother did illegal bot fights after all.

Why did he ever go back to school that night?

Again, Tadashi wanted to bash his head in for doing that. He should have stayed with Hiro; he should have went with him to the fight; he should have…

But what’s done is done.

The Dealer of Life dealt Tadashi his cards and he needs to decide what to do with them. He couldn’t discard; he couldn’t exchange. He could only make do with what he had.

He just needed a new angle. An angle that everyone missed.

Absentmindedly, Tadashi picked up and firmly squeezed the vinyl material he had left over from the production for Baymax. It wasn’t much, but it gave his hands something to do. He wrung the vinyl as tightly as he could, trying to take out all his frustration on something that wouldn’t hurt himself or anything else… Tadashi froze and looked at his hands.

Baymax. That night, Tadashi left Hiro to his own devices to work on Baymax at school late into the morning. That afternoon, when Hiro had yet to come home or leave any indication of where he was, Tadashi knew that something was wrong the moment he saw Aunt Cass’s caller ID picture of the three of them on his phone. So he brought all of his work home as he left with his aunt to help with the search for his brother.

Tadashi dropped the vinyl and made a mad dash to the garage.

While Hiro may no longer be in school, that doesn’t mean that he should no longer have access to tech to mold and create. Megabot was a homemade bot after all. The garage was Hiro’s workstation. The workstation that Tadashi never really spent time in. Tadashi swore that after Hiro was found he would put his brother first before everything else, like he used to.

It might not be the labs of the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, but Tadashi was impressed. The tech that Hiro had to work with was the most advanced equipment on the market. Maybe this is where the Bot Fighting money went? It was more than enough for what Tadashi had in mind.

Tadashi inserted the blue chip he found on the table into the external slot and found it to be without any data. He grinned as he took a seat in Hiro’s swivel chair. Excellent. He could work with this.

Baymax was still in production. Basically finished, but could still be modified. Tadashi had already programmed the medical aspect of him, with over thousands of medical procedures all in that green chip that made Baymax Baymax. 

But that doesn’t mean that he couldn’t still get upgraded.

Tadashi looked up as much forensic techniques he could possibly find and thought to be useful to place into the chip. Not only limiting it to just missing persons, but also methods to deal with trafficking, murder, arson, and any other crime he could find relating to the welfare of people. It was better to be safe than sorry.

Baymax would not be a weapon, would never be if Tadashi had anything to do about it. But the robot could be the detective as well as the medic to help make the world a better place.

Tadashi watched the files download onto the chip, thousands of techniques and methods and kept adding more. He decided to add some mystery novels in there as well, to help Baymax’s deductive reasoning. Of course, Baymax’s main purpose would always be to help people.

And if Baymax only helped him find his brother, then that was enough for him.

Chapter Text

 

o-o-o

Hiro hasn't worn an outfit like this since he was trying to pass as a girl to get free drinks at a bar. His first and only time. Now that was an interesting way to pass the time. Finding the dress was more challenging than he thought it would be, and might as well commit entirely and get the undergarments while he was at it. What a shame that he couldn't even keep the damn thing. Was completely shocked to see Tadashi there, and probably could have kept the charade even longer than their little make out session shouldn't he have slipped.

But damn how hot Tadashi looked in those skin tight, black leather jeans.

Hiro shook his head. He really needed to do something about his thoughts going off-track like that. It was because of him being too preoccupied with his thoughts that gave opportunity and allowed for the masked man to catch him, and how he found himself in this unfortunate predicament.

There was a pause in the clanging of silverware. "What's wrong? I know you must be hungry. You haven't eaten solid food in a while and I'm sure your body will appreciate the change instead of an IV or soup."

Hiro looked at the man who had him chained to a bed while wearing a dress. "Define 'a while'."

Robert just smiled and continued to eat his own food. He had brought two trays, both being able to stand to allow for meals in bed. So lunch in bed it would seem. Assuming it was late morning/early afternoon. Hiro's perception of time was all out of sync, but he was pretty sure from the window it was about noon.

Only one plate was filled with food: meatloaf, mashed potatoes and assorted veggies. How boring. What he wouldn't give for one of Aunt Cass' cinnamon rolls right now. Hell, he'd lock himself up in his room for x amount of time while wearing a dress if that's what it took... Oh wait.

He really wanted to get up and walk around. Be it to look for another escape route that he couldn't see from the bed, or to stretch his legs which was desperately craved after being bedridden for only Robert knows long – but he supposed that was ultimately Robert's decision. Robert's choice, as well as any action Hiro would be allowed to do, with him being chained to the bed and all that.

Robert wouldn't specify for how long he's been here and that bothered Hiro a lot. Has he been here for more than a day?

Robert placed some potatoes on the other plate before handing it to Hiro. Afterwards, he set himself up to eat beside him, freeing one of Hiro's hands to eat with a spoon, the least threatening piece of cutlery. As he placed it in front of the boy in the bed, he said, "Eat, Hiro. You need to adjust to regular meals."

Hiro stared at his plate. Just mashed potatoes for his captive. Nothing too strenuous if he's been stuck on a soup/IV diet for several days, since it's looking to be more than twelve hours unfortunately.

What would Aunt Cass and Tadashi do if he didn't ever come home after being gone for at least twelve hours?

That was a thought he did not want to divulge in just yet. Perhaps not ever, until he got out of here. Which will be soon if he could make sure of it. It was a hindrance, but as soon as he was alone he could look for something to pick the lock and figure out how to get the hell away from this weirdo kidnapper.

Hiro pushed away his plate of mashed potatoes. It was tempting to eat, since he was starving, but children are always told to never take candy from strangers. Or mashed potatoes for that matter. "Why would I willingly eat something served by my kidnapper, who could possibly drug my food?" he simply asked, poking the potatoes with his spoon. He even scooped some up, just to drop them back onto the plate. "At least give me a croissant or something I'm used to."

Robert placed a hand on Hiro's own holding the spoon. "Stop playing with your food, Hiro. It's beneath you." Hiro had to raise an eyebrow to that, but did what he was told. Content, Robert removed his hand and continued, "Eating pastries isn't what a growing young woman needs. Look at yourself, Hiro. You're so lanky, your body structure so fragile…"

Hiro did not like where this conversation was heading. "I don't like mashed potatoes," he curtly replied, mind on other matters.

How long has he been missing? If it's been more than 12 hours without him checking back with her, or Tadashi, then he's in deep trouble. Not only in trouble, but would confirm Aunt Cass's worst fear that something bad happened to him.

Robert said, "Now I know that's not true. French fries were your favorite food for at least six months. Unfortunately, French fries aren't too healthy." The clanging of silverware was back, as Robert continued with his food where he left off.

"And mashed potatoes covered in butter is?" Hiro replied absentmindedly. Not that all his Bot Fights ended up successful for the most part. Even if he came home bruised and worse for wear, Aunt Cass never said anything. Since he was pretty good at hiding his injuries from her, as long as he was home when she looked for him. Aunt Cass didn't mind.

Robert paused in eating, then chuckled. "I suppose not, but it would be some fat that your body does need."

Hiro mentally sighed, looking at his full plate. To be completely honest, Aunt Cass probably does mind. She probably knows all about the injuries. However, she didn't believe she had the authority to stop him. She was only his aunt after all, and super busy with the café. With this, this could be the catalyst. He was going to be in so much trouble.

Hiro took a bite of the potatoes. But he couldn't stop Bot Fighting. How else would they have the money to keep the café open, or pay for Tadashi's schooling, or all his tech in the garage converted workshop?

But most importantly, how else would he relieve his boredom?

Robert placed his hand on Hiro's shoulder, causing for him to jump out of his thoughts. "What's wrong?"

Hiro sighed, this time out loud. He looked at the man who currently controlled basically all of his actions. "What are you playing at here?" he asked, genuinely wanting an answer and figuring that being blunt was his best option. "What, am I supposed to replace your dead daughter or something?"

Robert shrugged, putting aside his empty plate and Hiro's barely touched one beside them on the other side of the bed. He then sat beside Hiro and wrapped an arm around him, making Hiro as stiff as a board. He pulled up his legs and cradled them close to his body in response.

"You're pretty close." He smiled that grandfatherly smile of his, which didn't comfort Hiro at all. "I'm actually surprised at how calm you're currently acting. I know it's not because of the food, because you – wisely if I may say so myself – refuse to eat."

Hiro couldn't help it. He smirked. "So the food is poisoned. I knew it."

Robert shook his head with a small smile. "There's nothing but nutrients and good health in that food for you, Hiro." He narrowed his eyes and smirked. There we go, there's that sinister look that lets Hiro know he's in trouble. "But I suppose I haven't explained the rules properly."

Rules. Right. This was all a game. Hiro narrowed his eyes. "I'm listening."

"Her name was Abigail. Abi for short. She was brilliant, not too different from you, Hiro." He paused and looked at Hiro expectantly.

Hiro didn't know what to do with that information. So he shrugged.

Robert chuckled before continuing, "She was always bored, always looking for something to do. Games were very important to her, almost as important as they are to you."

Damn, not even Tadashi knew that aspect of him. At least, he hoped not.

"Her bots always had a theme of aviation. I was able to help push her to focus on the idea of flight, hence the décor of the room." He picked up a duck plush from the night stand and placed it next to Hiro for comfort. "Through that dedication, she was able to become a world-class pilot second to none."

The rush of a Bot Fight, the feeling of adrenaline when his opponent realized he's been swindled. Hiro picked up the duck and squeezed tight, as if it was the source of all his troubles. The beatings he could probably do less of those, but every now and again it felt good. It felt like he was alive, feeling something.

Robert placed his hand on Hiro's shoulder, jolting him from his thoughts. The elderly man chuckled. "Really need to fix that habit of yours. Abi used to be the same."

"We're playing House," Hiro interrupted. He put down the duck, unfolded his legs and looked at Robert. "She died out in the field, flying or whatever, and now you need someone to fill that void she left behind."

Robert smiled sadly as he placed an arm around Hiro with the pretense of a one-armed hug. He rubbed it, attempting comfort. "You were always brilliant, Hiro."

Hiro tried to free himself from the man's grasp to no avail. "Dude, that's fucked up." He shook his head. "You can't just expect me to become your dead daughter. That's – what kind of sick game is that?"

Robert raised an eyebrow. "Don't think you can do it?"

"I didn't say that." Shit! He's trying to corner him into playing. Hiro might be willing to do a lot of stuff for any sense of relief, be it Bot Fights, sneaking into bars dressed as a girl to get free drinks, or even leaking out a cracked, better freeware software costing the developers millions because no one reasonable would shell out that amount of money on just one program, but this is one of those things that he knows he should steer clear away from. "This is crossing some serious boundaries for me."

Robert smirked. "That sounds like you can't do it."

He's trying to play the pride card, which unfortunately Hiro has the matching set of. "I could totally be a girl if I wanted to," he argued, burying his own grave. "I've done it several times already and only stopped because - "

Eyes wide at what he just revealed, information that no one but himself knew, Hiro clapped his hands over his mouth and shut up after that. Robert raised an eyebrow, but said nothing. He stood up and pat Hiro on the head, rubbing it in a certain way that made Hiro sleepy. Hiro unconsciously leaned towards the hand, causing for Robert to smile. "Glad to see you're on board, Hiro," he murmured.

Hiro was struggling to keep his eyes open and stay awake. How did the drugs enter his system…?

He ate some potatoes. "They were drugged that fucking liar."

In the distance someone laughed. Probably that fucking liar.

Robert started, "Few ground rules. One, you get to keep your first name. I know you're not mine, and I'm not going to change everything. Your first name is one of them. On paper though, your name will be different. But we're not up to that stage just yet."

Hiro just struggled to keep awake, unable to process anything with the rubbing. "M'kay," he replied, slowly nodding off.

"Second, you're always going to be in a dress. Maybe later we will move towards skirts and skorts, but for now it's always going to be dresses."

"Wha?" Hiro slurred. "M' shorts were comfy," he was able to say somewhat coherently. Robert just shook his head.

"They're too masculine for you at the moment. I need you to embrace your feminine side and dresses are the easiest way to do so, apparel wise. I see you're tired so I'll just explain one more rule.

"Third, and this is where the game gets fun. If you manage to get past everything and escape this home, you're allowed to choose whether or not to come back inside and continue playing, or quit. If you decide to quit, I won't go after you and you're free to pretend this game never happened. Understand?"

The boy nodded. "Tha's important," Hiro said, struggling to remember everything with all this haze that comes with being half asleep.

Robert smirked. "I think you'll find, Hiro, by that time you wouldn't even dream of leaving me."

At this point, Hiro fell asleep. Gently, Robert tucked his daughter in under the covers. He grabbed the dishes, shaking his head when he came across Hiro's potatoes. He didn't eat enough, but with the rubbing he was able to fall asleep and was able to gloss through all the rules. He probably won't remember much of the meal, which is okay because the conversation over it was the most important thing.

He needed was for Hiro's confirmation and consent to play. Some people would think that drugging your captive while getting answers makes the answers false, but Robert liked to think he made Hiro more honest by feeding him the potatoes. He stepped out of the room, turning off the lights behind him to let his daughter rest. Contrary to what Hiro thought, it was already past four in the afternoon. After this though, no more naps. He didn't intend to baby Hiro to that age. Hiro is fourteen, so that's how old his daughter was.

He needs to send another email to his classes for delay until further notice. Family emergency and all that. His absences allowed more time for both himself to bond with Hiro, and his students' final assignments. Luckily, everyone was working on their thesis projects. Even Tadashi Hamada would be able to continue to the next term at this rate, even after missing a week of school.

Should he be able to handle the idea of abandoning his missing brother, that is.

o-o-o

Chapter Text

o-o-o-o-o
Chapter Five
o-o-o-o-o

He didn't know where this obsession with games came from. Maybe it was after they had to live with Aunt Cass and adopted Moshi because Hiro always wanted a pet and Aunt Cass decided they were cat people. Maybe it was before, when Hiro was showing brilliance at school to the point where nothing was ever a challenge for him.

Maybe it was when he realized his feelings for Tadashi.

In any case, this love of games was always more dangerous than expected, but Hiro couldn't deny it was entertaining. He lives for the adrenaline that games provide for him, danger just one of the many perks of trying to feel alive in a boring world. Like Bot Fighting. Sure it's illegal and dangerous because most people don't take kindly to being hustled, but the thrill of the risks involved is too good to pass up.

Never has it been this extreme, however.

So yes, he can humor Robert if he wanted to, but he knew that he was in serious danger with this deranged man who expected him to play his daughter in this game of Life.

But at this point, it would seem his only action would be to play. He just had to be very careful, with the amount of potential hazards that could end in a permanent Game Over for him. That he was definitely not ready for. Robert might be pretending otherwise, but Hiro knew he was basically the man's hostage and subjected to his every whim. He would like to be subjected to drugs as little as possible.

Hiro could – and would – make the most of a bad situation, and he will find a way to win. He just doesn't know how yet.

As the door swung open with their breakfast, Hiro allowed for a small smile to grace his face for a moment.

Because in the end, he always does.

"Good morning, Hiro. You look happy," Robert said as he set up their breakfast of fruit. He offered an apple to Hiro, who shook his head.

Still smiling, the boy replied sweetly, "I rather not be drugged again, but thank you for the food." He pushed aside the offered water as well.

Robert smiled himself as he bit into the apple. "I see that you're ready to play. That's great. And about time." Hiro just watched him, trying not to show just how hungry he really was. Robert laughed as he offered the various fruits to Hiro. The offered fruit were apples, strawberries, bananas, grapes, and a lone persimmon.

"None of them are tainted. Even the water is clean." He took the glass and poured some over to his own before drinking it. "Everything is clean."

Hiro was still suspicious, but acting suspicious is not how a daughter would be when her father offers her food. Even though he's been drugged quite a number of times he wasn't comfortable with, Hiro decided that Robert was telling the truth. He finally decided to play, after all.

Hiro grabbed a strawberry and twisted the leaves on top to pull them off before popping it in his mouth. Mmm. He was hungrier than he realized as he grabbed a handful.

Robert laughed again. "Had a feeling you would go for the strawberries. They were always Abi's favorite." He picked one up, inspecting it before taking a bite. "Knew I was right in choosing you."

Hiro didn't comment, using his consumption of fruit as a reason not to answer. Wouldn't want to speak with a full mouth, it's rude. With the strawberries finished he decided to take a banana since he wasn't ready to talk yet.

He remembered the last time he was able to eat a banana at home. After that, they were officially banned from the house. Sure Aunt Cass still got some, but they were strictly for the banana bread and muffins for the café, not for the Hamada household. Tadashi was really adamant about keeping Hiro away from the bananas.

Hiro grinned at the memory as he quietly and slowly ate his banana, reveling in the taste and the memory of Tadashi's blushing face.

"Something you'd like to share, Hiro?"

"Just thinking about my brother, and how much he hates when I eat bananas," Hiro replied pleasantly, but was widening his eyes as words left his mouth without consent. It happened earlier too, truths that were better left hidden being revealed by Hiro's own accord, when it simply wasn't the case. Banana forgotten, his mind was frantic. Why was he speaking the truth to this crazy man who held him against his will? Was he still on drugs? But Robert promised -

A hand on his shoulder jolted him from his thoughts. A finger wiping tears had Hiro confused. He was crying? "It's alright to let it out," Robert said as he rubbed his shoulders gently and pulled him in for a hug.

"What did you do to me?" Hiro half-demanded, half-sobbed, as he started to tremble. He curled himself up into a ball to hide away. He wanted to be alone, yet really craved for Robert's presence. Something was definitely wrong.

"Shhh. it's alright. I'm here for you, sweetheart." Robert pulled him in for a sudden hug, which had Hiro internally cringing as his body welcomed the comfort.

"Get offa me – I can't breathe." Hiro's muffled protests went to deaf ears as Robert cradled him close and tight.

"It's okay, baby, I'm right here for you." Soon it became a struggle for Hiro to breathe. He started coughing, gasping for air, but Robert was lost in his own world. There were tears streaming down the old man's face. "I won't let them take you away from me again," he whispered before loosening his hold on his captive. Hiro coughed, gasping for air as he rubbed his neck.

Robert blinked, back to reality. He then looked away, as if he was ashamed. "I'm sorry for hurting you, Hiro."

Without thinking, Hiro replied, "If you were really sorry, you wouldn't have done it."

There was a tense silence, and for a second Hiro couldn't breathe, couldn't think, and he was afraid when Robert sighed as if he resigned something to fate.

"I'm glad you're comfortable enough to be honest with me, Hiro, but you might want to be careful. I wouldn't want to punish you," the man said, and Hiro really should have stopped making snarky comebacks if he valued his life.

But he couldn't control his big stupid mouth and found himself snorting. "Punish me how? Going to spank me or something?"

That evil glint in Robert's eye was all the warning he got when Hiro suddenly found his wrists pinned down, tray of leftover fruit forgotten and on the floor. He gasped as Robert easily maneuvered around the chains to lay Hiro's stomach on his lap.

Hiro wasn't stupid. "No way you're serious," he said out of disbelief of what apparently was about to happen. He hasn't been spanked in years. Not since Tadashi –

The first smack was loud, and Hiro hissed in pain at the blunt force of it. The loose, light material of the dress and panties did little to buffer the hand to his butt. The second one was with just as much force, and Hiro had to bite back the tears that threatened to fall.

"You suggested it," Robert said simply as he went for another whack. He hushed the boy trying his best to hold in his sobs in his lap. "How many strawberries did you eat times five divided by two?"

It was an easy calculation that Hiro could have done in his sleep in less than a second. "Ten," he replied with a yelp as another smack had him cowering in pain and squirming. Why was he acting so off? This is now how he usually plays the game. Was it the –

"Count them out loud. That's how much you'll get."

"Five!" Hiro yelled, biting his lip. He twisted his legs and stabbed his palm with his nails. He was not getting turned on by this. He was not getting turned on by this. He was not –

"Six," he coughed out, closing his eyes and thinking of anything that would stop his dick from becoming fully hard. Those big fat gangster guys who he always defeated in Bot Fights dressed in thongs. Eww.

"Seven." Wait, the panty he had on that time at the bar was a thong. Tadashi looked really good and probably went commando that night.

"Eight!" Stop thinking about Tadashi! It's not helping! Hiro just hoped to whatever deity out there that Robert didn't notice.

Just as the ninth smack was about to land on his sore bottom, Robert paused.

Of course he noticed; there wasn't a god.

He snickered. He fucking snickered. "Oh, Hiro, no wonder you suggested this." He started to laugh, and Hiro could feel his face turn hot and red. Of course this was going to happen. This was not going according to plan.

"If you need any help, baby, you only need to tell me. Ask and ye shall receive," Robert whispered in his ear, creating a shiver down Hiro's spine as Robert lifted the dress and pulled down the panties. Frozen in place, Hiro couldn't react as the panties went to his ankles and onto the floor. Robert glided his fingers along Hiro's ass and the boy tensed up.

This cannot be happening. "I think I'll pass!" The pitch of Hiro's voice was way too high. He closed his eyes as his ass was fondled, feeling warm. The loud slap sent another jolt straight to Hiro's cock and he fidgeted. "Nine." Hiro was breathless, rubbing his legs uncomfortably. Why was he so hot and bothered about this? What happened?

What threw him for a loop was the soft gentle tap of… "Ten?"

He looked up at Robert, who smiled fondly. "That'll be all," he said as he slid Hiro off of his lap and stood up to pick up all the fruit on the floor. He ignored the panties, which Hiro quickly picked up, but didn't put back on.

He needed to know. "That's it?" Hiro asked, confused and left hanging. It was not a feeling he enjoyed. "You're not going to…"

After placing all the fallen fruit back on the tray on the side table, Robert sat back down on the bed. "You said you wanted a pass," Robert replied simply. He raised an eyebrow, smoothing the bed sheets. Grinning, he pulled Hiro back next to him, rubbing his shoulders.

He whispered in Hiro's ear, "Or did you?"

"I…" Hiro was confused. A part of him wanted Robert to do something, and yet another knew it would be wrong. But another part of him needed something. It was hot; he was burning up. Everything was messed up and Hiro's mind was hazy. The shoulder rubbing felt like cool relief. Hiro sighed happily, easing into the man's touch.

"Give in, Hiro," Robert murmured softly, hands moving down Hiro's lithe frame and laying him down on the bed. He kissed his cheek, wiping away the tears down the boy's face.

"Let me take care of you."

Hiro didn't even realize he was crying until Robert lifted his chin for a kiss. The soft lips of the man were like ice against Hiro's burning skin, and he was suddenly craving for more when Robert pulled away. Without intention, Hiro let out a soft groan of protest and heard Robert laugh in the distance. "I…" Hiro started, grabbing onto his dress and twisting the fabric around, ripping parts of it in the process. He needed something – anything – to stop this heat from consuming him.

Robert shook his head. "Perhaps another time," he said, trailing his hand from Hiro's lips down his chest to his crotch. He laughed again when Hiro let out a soft whine. The boy was so uncomfortable in his own skin. "Look at you, you ruined your blue dress." Robert sighed and shook his head, as if disappointed. Hiro didn't want that.

Hiro was panting. Something was wrong. His own body was betraying him and he fumbled his first move.

"Really wasn't expecting you to take the banana," Robert said, to himself than Hiro. He shrugged and chuckled. "But I should have known better. You're at that age after all." He walked over to the closet and pulled out another dress with matching undergarments. This one was a soft yellow, had slightly puffy sleeves, and laid it next to Hiro. "Here's your outfit for today."

"Why?" Hiro begged, reaching out but Robert was just out of his grasp with the damn chains.

Robert sat back beside him. "Shh, baby, it's okay," he comforted. "Let me take care of you," he said as he placed his hand up Hiro's dress and had his fingers barely glide over Hiro's half hard cock.

Hiro let out a whine as Robert kissed him again, lowering the pair down on the bed. The man pinned Hiro's arms over his head, not wanting to risk the tiny, yet still possible, threat of being strangled with the chains.

Hiro was too gone to realize he could have done something to aid in his escape. Right now escaping was the last thing on his mind. He needed touch. The pinned wrists prevented him from pulling Robert closer as he deepened the kiss, opening his mouth to taste a mixture of bitter coffee and a slight sweet aftertaste of strawberry.

Robert laughed as Hiro moaned into the kiss. He trailed his fingers down and under the ripped fabric, unbuttoning it from the front. It was a smooth relief from the heat and Hiro arched into the touch, needing the cool comfort Robert's fingers provided.

A part of him was screaming, telling him that this was all wrong and that he had have been drugged again. That Robert was a liar and did something to the fruit. But Hiro didn't care at the moment; his mind too jumbled from the drugged fruit to really take into consideration his current actions that would probably screw him over later on in this what was a severely rigged game.

"Robert," Hiro breathed as the man broke the kiss for the two to breathe.

"Tell me what you want, sweetheart," Robert murmured as he closed his fingers around Hiro's hard cock.

Panting, Hiro shook his head. "I…" Hiro breathed, biting his lip. He was better than this. He needs to think this through. He pushed himself off Robert and took deep breaths, trying to reclaim his composure.

He managed to get out, "What did you do to the fruit?"

Robert sighed, slowly getting up. "Just added some few things to help my daughter grow right." He narrowed his eyes at the boy in front of him, grinning wickedly.

"You say no now, but soon it wouldn't matter."

And without another word the man left the room, leaving Hiro trembling at the realization of what could have been.

And what might happen soon, if what Robert parting words had any merit.

Soon it'll be Game Over for him.

And that absolutely cannot happen.

o-o-o-o-o