Chapter 9: Longing
So 018 was leading 020 through the halls...
"So this is your room here?" 020 pointed up at a door marked '017 and 018'.
"Yes, you want to meet zero-one-seven?" 'He' could already see that she was just sitting in there.
"Sure, gotta be a friendly neighbor!" 020 smiled as cheerfully as ever as the door opened.
"well I've got a voice and I love to- huh?" 017 noticed the door open. "So you're back." 017 flicked off the CD player.
"Hello there, nice to meet you!" 020 came in, followed by 018.
"Well, I didn't expect you... who are you?" She asked. "Experiment zero-two-zero... say you got a nice selection of hats around here, what would it take of me to get you to part with just one?" 020 admired the hats.
"You can just take one, but only one." 017 replied.
020 studied a few until he found the prefect little straw hat, "Rustic." he said. "Now you sure I can just take this?"
"Yes, I like my friends wearing hats, but zero-one-eight there is the only one who's taken the offer." She assured him.
"Well then, let this be a symbol for our friendship!" He put on the hat.
"Ok..." She was a little embarrassed.
"I see you also have a taste to sing and read." 020 pointed at the magazines.
"Yeah, a few habits I got from listening to so much music, it's pop culture stuff. You haven't been alive long so I know you're not into it but your welcome to visit and listen if you want." She said, finally happy that someone might be interested.
"No, sorry but I got places to be and I don't want to intrude too long." 020 walked up, shook 017's hand, tipped his hat, and left.
018 resumed his lead to 020's room, it wasn't long until they got there.
"Well see you around... at dinner." 018 turned back down the hall. "Bye pal!" 020 entered his room to meet 019.
...back at 018's room.
"So that was the new experiment Jumba made, did you see how it was made?" 017 asked eager for someone to talk to again, but 018 was 'his' usual self... "Yes."
"Well... aren't you going to tell me about it?" She persisted.
"Because I'm curious about how he was made, I've been wondering... I don't remember how it happened, just that I suddenly 'woke up'. What really happens?"
"Jumba had some liquid and genetic martial in a tube, then he activated the computer and electricity reformed and bonded the molecules into a body... I didn't understand most of it, you should ask Jumba."
"Oh... Hey, I got a new CD want to listen?"
She was discouraged again, plopped on her bed, and flicked the CD player back on. "...it makes no difference..."
A few hours later. "Well it's dinner time." 017 stood up, 018 followed.
"Don't you get bored?" 017 asked out of the blue as they walked to the cafeteria. "What do you mean?" 018 didn't even understand the question.
"When you sit around all day. Don't you feel like you need to do something to pass the time?"
"No." 018 was a little confused, and 017 dropped the subject as they had arrived.
The cafeteria was as usual; no 003, no 013, no 014, and everyone else eating and chatting away. 017 and 018 joined in as usual, getting their food tray and sitting in the same places as always, although for 018 it was a little different this time 015 and 016 were sitting by and talking with 019 and 020, 'he' was pretty much unnoticed by them all. It didn't seem to bother 'him' though, 'he' sat and ate as quietly as ever.
It was all perfectly normal to them until the doors opened and something most had never seen happened, 013 and 014 entered the cafeteria, stranger still they were followed by 003. He seemed upset, he was looking down at his feet and his fists were clenched.
Murmurs could be heard; "What are they doing here?", "What's wrong with zero-zero-three?", "Did something happen?" 003 looked up to the crowd, he tried to speak but his voice left him.
He closed his eyes and sighed, gathering himself he spoke, "Jumba wants me to announce this to everyone... As most of you know zero-two-zero was made to sell us experiments, Jumba just arranged some meetings and he's going to start tomorrow..." 003 looked down again tears welling up.
"What does he mean, is Jumba getting rid of us?", "Who will be sold?", "Are we not gonna live in the lab anymore?" The experiments wondered aloud about all this. 003 spoke up again, his voice cracking, "You... some of you don't have anything to worry about..." he couldn't finish, but that only left more questions.
"What's got you so upset?", "Will we really be sold off?", "Is this the last time we'll see each other?" 003 had to tell them. "You're not being sold off, just your services... zero-one-one, your life will be the same, but it won't be the same for anyone else... Jumba has... he's, he said that he can't afford to keep so many experiments around..." 003 was crying freely now. "He's going to dehydrate the ones who aren't making money!"
"It can't be!", "Who!?", "When?" 003 sobbed. "Zero-zero-one, zero-zero-five, zero-zero-eight, zero-one-zero, zero-one-one, zero-one-two, zero-one-four and zero-two-zero you'll be given jobs, the rest of you will be dehydrated... tomorrow." He squeaked out the last word.
"Tomorrow!", "Our last day here...", "Whoa, least I'm safe.", "Wh... it can't be..." 003 couldn't stand it, the little bit of unsaid info was killing him. "I'm sorry!" He ran off leaving everyone in a depressed state, all but one that is, 018 got up and ran after him.
The general design of the lab, and being able to see through walls, made it easy for 018 to catch up... 003 was crying on his bed, 018 entered and walked right over to him, then sat down on his bed placing a hand on his friend's back. 003 buried his face further into his pillow, "You don't need to hide, remember 'it's ok to cry'?" 003 pulled up a bit. "I didn't even... I couldn't tell them the worst part."
"What's so bad?"
"I-I'm not being dehydrated!" He nearly yelled.
"That's a good thing."
"No, it's terrible!" 003 flipped over to face 'him', "I'm not being dehydrated, but I'm also not getting a job! Jumba wants to keep me around just too help him, so I get off the hook while the rest of you suffer!"
018 did something 003 would have never expected, 'he' hugged him. "Don't worry, it won't be so bad."
003 embraced 'him' quivering, "How? How can it be good when you are gone?"
"I haven't been here too long, you lived fine before I was made and you can live that way again." 018 started to break the hug, but 003 clung tighter. "Don't you get it? You've been my only real friend, I-I love you..."
018 began stroking 003's back. "I know. I feel that way too."
"Then how can you be so clam about it, and... what about our promise?" 003 sobbed into 018's chest. "It won't be the end, I know it won't."
The last day.
The experiments were all gathered in the lab, this was it the time of their departure. Everyone was silent and no one wanted to go through with it, not even Jumba, but the clients would be there in a few hours and the 'merchandise' had to get ready soon. Jumba reluctantly called out. "It is time, must be getting over with soon."
018 stepped forward, towards the dehydrator, 003 tried to hold on to 'his' arm but it slipped from his grasp... he didn't say anything as he watched. 018 nodded to Jumba and he threw the switch, everyone saw a flash and suddenly a small white ball with three green numbers '018' fell to the floor.
Each experiment made a similar, silent, exit...
Author's note: Whoo, I actually finished a fan fiction! Hope some people enjoyed it, I know I'm not that good an author but I didn't set out to write the best Lilo and Stitch fan fiction, in my opinion that has already been written, I'm just trying to make something half decent. Anyway, on to the credits.
Chris Sanders: Obviously none of this would be here without his work.
The Great Red Dragon: My story wouldn't be here if it weren't for his stories. Suffice to say, much of this story was inspired by his work.
Ovni: Syler's dryer lint obsession was what inspired 017's hats.
Mimic12355 (and Torcher): Melty's CD player in Stitch's Wartime Chronicles inspired 017's CD player.
Speaking of CDs; Smash Mouth - Astro Lounge and The Band - Greatest Hits, are the CDs I used.
Spiritofdawolf: Dizzy's color scheme inspired 019's.
Wikipedia and Dictionary: Those website were of great help to me in making this story. (Although I probably made errors all over the place anyway.)
630Kila or Alohilani: I started watching this show by random accident, but I would not have gotten into the fandom if not for her videos.
Data Seeker and 123qaz: I probably would not have written or posted anything if not for them.
Stitch8000: For being the only one to review as this was posted.
WatsonSword: I did not intend, at all, to rip off your character Sapphire with my 005, those characters I 'made' were based off of the official names from the Leroy and Stitch list on wikipedia and not intended to copy any author's characters.
RaVen-reBorN: I did not intend to copy from your character 426, from Breathe, with the idea of 018 having "Sparky's ears in a permanently downward angle", I hadn't even read that story when I made 018.
This story took me six weeks to write!