Hi all, this is my first Moana fiction. I saw the movie once with my family and I was very much impressed! Thanks to theaterinspired for the beta :-) Moana belongs to Disney. And, this is my favourite Moana's scene, tell me what is yours?
Maui: [lying face-down on a canoe's outrigger] If the current's warm, you're going the right way.
Moana: [putting her hand in the water behind him] It's cold. Wait, it's getting warmer.
[seeing a relieved look on his face]
Moana: Ew! That is disgusting! What is wrong with you?
Living with the mortals could be a complex thing. At least that what Maui remembered in his endless existence. Their society was fickle and their attitude was capricious, which could make them hard to predict and understand.
For the longest time, Maui recalled how he strived to please a bunch of creatures called 'humankind.' Considering he was a half-god, impressing humans should be a stroll in the park. Alas, that wasn't the case, for this 'human' creatures always ask, demand, and request with no single word of acknowledgment.
This was Maui's account, credibility not guaranteed.
Perhaps that's why he preferred to be a recluse, confining himself to some deserted island. Wait… that wasn't what he wanted. He was cursed right after embezzling the heart of Te Fiti. Although admittedly solitude had its perks, Maui always longing the praise and word of flattery from the mortals. But his relationship with this weird creatures was full of tension and misunderstanding.
That's right, Maui and his boisterous, greater than life attitude, couldn't live without this crazy bunch of mortal kind. He knew he needed them, and them him.
After a millennium had whizzed by, the ageless demigod met Moana. She was a young teenager with boundless energy and filled with a zest for life, the daughter of Chief Tui of Motonui.
That wasn't his first impression. Before their mission returning the Heart of Te Fiti, Maui thought Moana was just like her other fellow humans; a lunatic, reckless and impetuous creature. First, she set sail to the sea without knowing how to sail ('self-taught' she said), and instead of taking an able man on board she had chosen a psychotic Roster as a companion (not a snack). When Maui tried to reason with her, she said her pig―who apparently had more intelligence than her chicken, became aquaphobic after their fatal incident in the sea a few weeks before their quest. Maui argued that he saw either the idiotic chicken or intelligent pig as snacks. Nothing more, nothing less. Despite his skepticism over Moana's plan to save her people, he was strangled by his own guilty conscience (thank you Mini Maui for always keeping Maui's ego in check), which then compelled the demigod to join the girl on the suicidal voyage that would risk him destroying his magical fish hook forever.
But then, through their tumultuous journey, he began to see the essence of her true character. Moana was undoubtedly the most grateful (and graceful!), courageous and admirable mortal he knew. Maui might be too proud to admit, but this little 'kid'―as he liked to address her, had taught him a valuable lesson―her heart had made her a great hero, and even a greater friend.
It had been three years since he last saw her. After his absence for a couple of generations, it's no wonder that Maui was buried under the pile of his demigod duties. Y'know, meetin' dignitaries, savin' people, pullin' the islands, beatin' monsters and all that...(Not to mention he had a reputation to fix).
Maui began to feel being himself again: important and wanted.
That's how he liked to spell it. But Mini Maui quickly chided him of his contemptuous bragging, making the hulking giant just moaned gruffly in response. Humility never came naturally to him, not for a demigod with the power to lasso the sun, harnessed the breeze, and hold the sky. But ever since he met Moana, he conceded there was something more valuable, far more rewarding and satisfying than being the splendid Hero of Men that he was. One word: Acceptance.
And with acceptance, came her friendship―true and sincere. Although he never said this verbally, deep down in his heart there was an empty void―a space that longing to be filled. Part of him always wanted to stay longer and Moana was always determined to give him a home; she even offered to build him a temple! But as a timeless being, Maui couldn't afford any kind of attachment, whether it was physical settlement or mental connection. This was when the other part of him advised him to go.
But this conflicting thought was interrupted when his skin began to itch. He stared down to find Mini Moana nudged him with a convulsive gesture which he counted as a call for help in his book. Sensing she needed him, the demigod abandoned his other business, morphed into an eagle, and glided through the sky to find his mortal best friend.
Employing his excellent navigating skill, Maui flapped his mighty wing expeditiously, maneuvering his way through the boundless Pacific sky.
His sharp eyes focused on a crescent shaped island with his undivided attention. His heart raced a little when his eyes were greeted with the sight of familiar blinding white shore, the lustful grove surrounding distinct shape rock formation, and a cluster of huts. He could taste the sweet welcoming cheer, resounding in his ears. The eagle landed gracefully before he shifted into his human form. Maui jutted his chest, while his hands clasped his massive fish hook and rested it on his shoulder. He flashed his white smile, anticipating a roar of jubilant cheers.
But there was nothing. The only sounds his ears registered were the rustling leaves and crushing waves hitting the shore. He sighed disappointedly. Right, no howls of admiration to welcome the all-important demigod. Perhaps his superhero instincts betrayed him; no one needed his help here.
"Maui!" He heard a shrill with a pair of delicate arms following right after."You came!" The girl's limbs encased his sculpted figure in a passion infused hug. Her voice and enthusiasm were still as electric as ever.
A broad grin split his face, his instinct was right―she had been waiting for him. Maui embraced her back, carefully not crushing her in the process.
Moana was reluctant to let him go, worrying he might need to leave again soon after. She hugged him tight, tracing the digits of her fingers on his tattoo covered skin, inhaling the scent of the sea from his hair, and listening to his deep baritone voice.
After a minute or two, Maui put her down and studied her features. It was another thing he found fascinating since he was living among the mortals. Their features evolved with time, and he felt every time he saw them, they looked different. And the change wasn't just physical.
With the oar he signed embedded in her delicate hands, Moana stood slightly taller than she was the last time they met. Her raven locks cascaded down like tropical waterfalls, framing her beautiful face, accentuating her wonderful cheekbones. Her sun-kissed skin glinted under the scrutiny of the golden sun like oiled bronze, and her lips that curled into an easy smile. And her curve? Maui didn't even notice when she had it―a clear sign of someone who had graduated from her childhood years. She was the same but different at the same time. There was a certain aura of supremacy and maturity, which was expected after she had grown more into her role as the leader of her people.
He wondered how long he could appropriately using the appellative 'kid' on her. Even now it sounded wrong. She should be called…. A princess? Nah… 'Curly' maybe.
Maui's dazed pleasure and wonderment were disrupted when he heard a familiar snort from behind the shrub before it shook violently. It was Pua, carrying a bunch of flowers on her snout. Wait, it was a he! So hard to tell the difference. But he was pretty sure Heihei was a 'he.'
"Oh yes, don't forget this," Moana grabbed the garland she from Pua and ceremoniously placed it around his neck.
"Ahhh….." He drawled, letting his mind drifted while allowing the scent washed across his senses and surfaced from his face.
I can get used to this.
With the excitement of meeting his best friend finally wanning off, Maui went straight to the point, the reason why he was here."So, I presume… I am needed?"
"Ugh…." She glowered by way of agreement."How do you know?"
The demigod looked pointedly towards Mini Moana and Mini Maui who just gave each other a high-five.
"But this isn't the same kind of danger as the last time." Moana tried to explain."I'll show you later." He heard an uncharacteristic uptight tune in her voice, which very unlike the brave and impulsive girl that he knew.
He ran close behind her, feeling the thicket and the dense of tropical coppice brushing his burly figure. He felt half of the jungle stuck with him as he ran, yet Maui had no idea why he didn't just morph into something smaller and nimbler. Perhaps it was because his mind was busy speculating where Moana wished to take him.
She marched in purposely, heading south of the village where the hill was. But before the chief's daughter managed to take him to their destination, she was halted by a man. He was perhaps in his sixties, wearing a traditional costume with a distinct headdress that signified his position in their society. Moana immediately lurched backward, appearing to be surprised with his unexpected presence. She was cornered since Maui was standing behind her.
Maui sensed the uneasiness that crept on her posture, as her taut muscle felt stiff and awkward against his chest as she fell backward―a sharp contrast to the usual smoothness she usually carried. He riveted his eyes suspiciously, studying the old man that seemed to inflict fear into Waialiki's most fearsome warrior. He recognized the object embedded inside the old man's hand. It was Kakau―a hand tapping device made from dense wood and animal tusk.
Deducing what may have cause her apprehension, Maui nearly burst out laughing. But since a lot of people began assembling around them, he quickly muffled the sound of strained laughter with his large hands.
"I finally found the right design for you." The old man smiled resplendently, unraveling the aged parchment in front of Moana before he hastily folded it up again."What do you think?" Moana, still lost for words, grinned sheepishly and nodded.
Next to her, Maui crossed his arms and tapped his foot on the ground, before subtly leaning closer to her ear. "Moana of Motunui, the princess… ugh.. I mean hero...that returned the heart of Te Fiti and best friend of demigod Maui…. Is afraid to get a…. tattoo?" His theatrical whisper may have sounded hushed, but it wasn't quiet at all.
She scoffed and swung her oar, nearly caught Maui by his abdomen,"I am no princess," she hissed."And I am not afraid to get a tattoo!"
A few hour later, Maui saw his friend approached with a prideful grin decorated her beautiful face.
"So… what do you think? You like the design?" She flashed a white smile, moving sideways to show her bare arms. It was the depiction of his fish hook and a heart next to it, imprinted in jet black ink that contrasting nicely with her brown sun-kissed skin. The tattoo was nothing big nor intricate as what Maui had, but enough to make Moana grinning contentedly while flexing her tiny biceps.
Maui rolled his eyes. Just a tiny tattoo and she was already gleaming cockily. "But that exactly the same design on the― " He was about to make the point, but the girl beat him to it.
"It wasn't exactly the same! Yours is a little crooked."She put the oar and her arm which now bearing black markings."See?"
Maui snorted before proceeding."What did you expect? I was drawing with a chicken!" He said in defense, catching the rooster by the neck and waving him violently, punctuating his disagreement.
"I can lose my oar…. But I would never lose my skin," Moana replied him with a sly smirk. She had a point, but of course, Maui was too proud to admit defeat and changed the subject completely. "Anyway, you have not told me why you need me here?"
"Ah yes, I will tell you..." she paused while conferring with herself.
And he waited. A long time.
"Are you gonna wait until your next birthday to tell me?" His patience grew short, and she didn't even have a millennium to waste.
Moana looked around before concluding,"No...no, but I will tell you tonight, when no one is listening to us."
It was a beautiful clear night when the two best friends were floating on a solitary canoe beyond the reef. Moana was adamant she needed to take her two pets, arguing that there was no hero without her psychic friends, right? So Maui found himself in the middle of the lapping ocean with a pig that held its quaking breaths and a roaster that was constantly lounging itself to the water.
Just when Maui thought no one could eavesdrop on them―at least those that understood them- a strange blue effulgence traveled underneath.
"What the...―" Instinctively, Maui got into his ready stance, wielding his fish hook and putting on a menacing face. He looked over his shoulder to find the girl was completely unfazed, in contrast, she was grinning with feverish anticipation. Oh yes, he forgot that Moana was weird. This was hardly surprising.
Her pig was still shivering in nervous tremors by the tip of the raft, but this time he made a repetitive squeaking sound, and her clueless chicken began to hit the trapdoor of the storage compartment with its head. Maui couldn't decide whether this was an excited cheer or blind panic scream.
But he dropped his weapon as soon as he heard Moana call the mysterious being,
"Gramma!" The elusive manta ray transformed into its human form, opening her arms and welcoming Moana in her tender embrace. Maui's feature eased witnessing the heartfelt exchange between the mortal and immortal being.
Of course, Moana had told him about Gramma Tala before. She was an important person that guided her to find her calling, her destiny, and her duty to her people. She was the one that shared Moana's love of the sea, encouraging her to set sail across the reef, imploring her to embark on this quest to find him, and eventually pleading for his help to save her people.
"Ah… so this is Maui, shapeshifter, demigod of the wind and sea. The legend is true!" She chuckled with her raspy voice. Maui felt the urge to protest and correct her the way he did with Moana.
The hero of men… aaaand women. But he decided just to do so in his head.
"Maui, this is Gramma Tala." It was weird for him to call the old lady 'gramma' considering he was a lot older than she was. But that's hardly relevant and Maui didn't want to complicate the situation. He was just glad to meet the woman that Moana admired all her life. The demigod placed his hand on his chest to bow as the way of greeting and respect.
"Thank you for taking a good care of my granddaughter."
"Your wel― ," Again Maui was just about to blurt out in his usual singing tune, but his Mini self already crossed his arm disapprovingly. "It's my honor to aid Motonui greatest hero." He found himself saying. Part of him wanted to apologize for his mistake stealing the Heart of Te Fiti, but the rest of him was too proud to admit his wrongdoing.
"So," Gramma Tala turned her attention back to Moana,"Have you met the young man yet?"
Young man? Maui repeated, he thought a coconut was lobbed at his head, causing him unable to think straight.
YOUNG MAN? This time he bounced his confused gaze between the two women, the first one squirmed uneasily, the other one was grinning smugly. Maui swore even after clocking his age past a millennium that te would never understand women.
"WHAT YOUNG MAN?" He shouted abruptly. His voice resounded like a thunderclap against the stillness of the sea.
"He hasn't changed," Gramma Tala displayed her toothy grin, leaning towards Moana to whisper loudly."I think he gets a little insecure knowing his best mortal friend will be hitched real soon."
What Gramma Tala meant by 'he hasn't changed' contradicting the fact that they never met. Maui was positive he didn't know this strange woman. Had this old woman been spying him? Or did she possess some supernatural power to be able to read his mind? Perhaps Maui should be proud a human took such an interest in him to even bothered to pass this gossip down through generations, even when the gossip wasn't really about his wonderful exploits.
….and the old woman was right about him being a little jealous. He secretly hoped Gramma Tala's knowledge of him stopped right here.
"Hitch? Wait...is she?" Maui pointed his finger towards Moana.
Moana wasn't sure whether Maui was awestruck or aghast. But those big eyeballs were close to jumping out of their sockets.
"She….S-she is getting married?" The smooth talker found himself stuttering for better words, staring and pointing at both women with an incredulous look."The guy may not know who he is dealing with." Maui's voice laced with skepticism. Yeah seriously, even a demigod couldn't handle her. He spoke to himself.
"Wait until you meet him," The old woman commented vaguely with her withering eyes twinkling in mischief. By the look of it, Gramma Tala didn't just come here to stop. She knew something that Maui didn't. "But please, whatever you do…. Don't try anything stupid, or I am going to steal your fish hook and glue it permanently on the shell of that demented bottom-feeder." She chuckled teasingly while her deceptively frail hands poking his granite-hard chest with the tip of Moana's oar, the demigod winced.
Maui might be imagining things, but behind that humorous smile, there was a subtle warning tone in her dry voice. He flinched and smiled nervously as an answer. Maui knew he deserved a verbal admonition after his reckless action of stealing the Heart of Te Fiti. The demigod nodded obediently, feeling a strange fear coursing down his spine.
Man! Humans do have a long memory.
On the background, Moana laughed openly watching as the hulking demigod cowered in the hand of a dead woman.
Gramma Tala stayed for a little while, talking and hugging Moana like there was no tomorrow, while Maui listened to them patiently, not keen on interrupting. It was very late when the two of them finally done, and the quirky spirit yelled an enthusiastic "Bye!" before turned into a mystical manta ray and disappeared in the depth of the sea.
Moana's dark eyes followed the spirit towards the ocean until the glimmer of her grandmother's existence dissolved into the horizon. "She was the village crazy lady," Moana was still addressing the sea, but Maui was sure she was talking to him,"It was her job."
He plopped himself next to her, watching her young face colored with nostalgia. As the night drifted on, both of them gazing at the constellation that decided to throw them a party, while Moana told him about her grandmother.
It was no surprise the sage lady left a profound effect on her granddaughter. Tala was the one who told her that ocean had chosen her. The old lady was also the one who showed her the secret of their ancestor by leading her to the cave full of canoes. It was funny to hear a nineteen years old narrating a story of a generation as if this was happening a long...long time ago.
"On her deathbed, she implored me to go…. To save my people." It was the quivering of Moana's voice that really caught him. "She said she would always be by my side." Maui turned rigid, not knowing what to say or what to do.
That old woman may have left, but after successfully guiding Moana and helping the Motonui people return to their roots, her legacy would live on.
"And she is right…." Maui said offhandedly, surprising himself with his own statement,"She had become a manta ray so she could be with you…. exploring the sea." Mini Maui seemed to agree to as he made of gesture of wiping his sentimental tears.
Moana looked him with her eyes filled with emotion, "I hope I will do her proud and do the right thing for my people."
The ageless creature was standing debonairly, flicking his head and running his stocky finger through his curly hairs, but her admittance stunned him. "Wait. Are you tellin' me you do this marriage business for your people?"
"I am nineteen, Maui. All of my friends are already married by now, some even already working on their second kids!" Her logic still didn't make any sense to Maui, but he had known that human married for procreation and not just companionship.
"I am thousands of years old, and no one ever bothered about...―"
And suddenly a harsh reality struck him. He had lived this long, witnessing dream fulfilled, love formed, people born and die, and friendship bloomed and….. By the time his mind filled the blank, his heart had sunk to the floor. Truthfully, he didn't really want to know the answer.
After a prolonged silence, Moana found her friend sat quietly with his back facing her, hugging his knee like a frightened child, very unlike boisterous Maui she knew.
The demigod remained quiet.
Not getting the answer she expected, Moana raised her voice a pitch louder."Maui?" Her hand was reaching his shoulder pleading for a response. He tensed up and twitched a little from her touch."Are you okay?"
"I am." He murmured. She decided it was better to let him be, so she turned around and sat on her original position. But he was awfully silent for a long time, and it's getting late.
"Are you sad because I am getting married?" Moana prodded carefully.
"No. It's not that." He said weakly while still slouching at the tip of their canoe.
"You are worried I will leave you too?" She said carefully, "... like my Gramma?"
They had talked about this subject before, but back then it was right before their mission against the lava monster, and the subject was more like a satirical joke than a statement (he even sang it in the tune 'You're welcome' but replacing the word with 'We're dead soon'). Moana was lucky her temporary existence did not end at the tender age of sixteen, but after both of them became friends, Maui would willingly lose his fish hook all over again if he had to relive the moment.
"No," He said firmly, completely averting his eyes to the sea to avoid her seeing his face. Maui knew he could lie with his lips but could never do it with his eyes (and he wasn't willing to lose his dignity too). He wasn't even sure when he grew soft and mushy.
But even when Moana didn't see the rimming tears blurring his vision, she could feel it in his voice.
"You know that I would never leave you, don't you?"
It was hardly a question, more like a comforting statement. Maui cleared his throat to compose himself before finally turning towards her."What do you mean?" Moana chuckled observing him as a confused crease began to form on his broad forehead.
She reached for his hand and placed it over his heart where the tattoo of Sailing Moana was "I am always here… with you. See?" The tapestry on his skin moved without him flexing his muscle.
"On my….tattoo?" His expression was as blank as Heihei.
"You can be quite an idiot sometimes. You know that?" She crossed her arms and pursed her lips, but a peal of laughter erupted soon when Moana caught the sight of demigod gaping at the word she used to describe his level of intellect.
"In your heart, Maui… right there!" She slapped her hand on his mighty chest, taking intense satisfaction in witnessing his face contorted in pain.
"Ouch!" He cried, rubbing the sore spot that bore a red palm mark. It seemed like she had grown stronger in this past three years."But I can't talk to my own heart! People will think I am nuts!" He scoffed, attempting to break free from the twisting emotion that strangled tightly around his heart.
"Which you are." She winked playfully.
"Hey!" He scowled. The tone was harsh and disapproving, but his expression wasn't.
"Ok fine… I may wish to return back as this..." She dipped her hand in the water, "As the ocean, so that I can join you on your epic adventure. And better still you still can call me with my name! Moana." She smirked,"...aaand you can always play with me in the water… shark head!"
Maui was deeply touched by her pledge of allegiance, and he nearly turned all sappy again, but he was rudely interrupted by collective laughter from his tattoos, followed by Moana and Pua. Oh yes, he remembered his epic failure morphing into a shark which unfortunately only done halfway, earning him a new nickname 'shark head'. He just glared vindictively while the other kept on laughing at his expense.
As for Moana, she was definitely getting wittier from the last time he saw her. What had she done this past three years?
"Ok, you win." He said with childish pout across his face, but he was secretly relieved. He stayed quiet for a few moment letting her words filtered through his soul like a calming breeze of the Pacific Ocean. A smile was his word.
Moana was glad to see the ray of happiness had returned to his face. Mini Maui immediately pulled his scoreboard again to give Moana one mark, evoking an annoyed groan from the demigod.
"Now, back to the topic. Who actually the guy you are about to marry?"
She shrugged indifferently,"That's why I called you here."
"What?" He raised his bushy brows.
"It's an arranged marriage, Maui. I had never met the guy."
Review? Maybe Fave and Follow? (Thanks guy for keeping me motivated XD)
When I was doing my research, I found out that in Polynesian culture, the artist would be the one who decided the tattoo's design, and this would reflect his client's family lineage, achievements and became one's spiritual power. No wonder Maui had plenty!
Name 'Moana' means: Ocean! How fitting.
As till date 02/03/2017, I am encouraged to say this story was close to hit 15,000 view. Thank you everyone! I know the plot is kind of slow, but I promise you the adventure and romance will intensify as we go along. So far, I've outlined 26 chapter on this story (again depends on where I decided to end a chapter for the cliffhanger). I am in tumblr with the same user name, feel free to drop me a message to share what you think or giving me suggestion. A few cut scene of the upcoming chapter will be posted there too. And if you are Ao3 user, I've posted this story there. Thank you!