Title: Mo'i Wahine (1 of 4)
Author: Icka! M. Chif
Word Count: 2,860
Author's Note: Random plunnie decided that A: It is a 4-parter and B: Hey, let's do it out of order! Gah.
Summary: "Good morning, Grand Councilwoman."
"It's beauty that captures your attention; personality which captures your heart."
"Good morning, Grand Councilwoman." The young girl in her view-screen smiled cheerfully at her, despite the sleepy bags under her eyes. There was a slight thoughtful pause. "-Or is it evening there?"
The Grand Councilwoman smiled back, her own exhaustion shining through. "You know, I am not even sure." She admitted. Sometimes being the head of the United Galactic Federation was more work than anyone ever anticipated. "But regardless of the time of day, it is good to see you, Lilo. Stitch."
The small blue being that was currently face down in Lilo's lap lethargically raised a hand and let it drop with a grunt. Lilo giggled, her hands busy scratching along the spikes that poked out of his spine. "I hope you can forgive Stitch." She said apologetically. "It's been a long day."
"Oh?" She checked her incoming messages box. Nothing from Earth. But then news did tend to travel slowly from such a backwater section of the galaxy. "More Cousins?" The Grand Councilwoman was still not so sure about letting a being so young tackle a responsibility so large, but Lilo seemed to be handling it admirably.
"Worse." Lilo said, leaning forward in a soft whisper. "It was a festival day today. Stitch did Hula, then Fire Dancing, then he took on some guys hakoko, wrestling."
"I... trust he didn't injure anyone?" She ventured. A being that small but with that much strength... She didn't want to even think about what he could do to the fragile humans.
Stitch made a rude grumbling comment that she couldn't entirely make out.
"He beat -everyone-!" Lilo crowed proudly. She leaned forward to add confidentially. "He's just tired because some big fat guy sat on him and -farted-."
"Eeeow." Stitch moaned piteously. "Stupidhead." Lilo patted him sympathetically. There were times when a sensitive nose was more of a curse than a blessing.
Lilo grinned at her, continuing the tale. "And then the 'olohe-lua, instructor, took him aside and taught him how to do it -right-!"
The Grand Councilwoman wasn't sure what to say to that. Stitch made another muttered comment that ended in a pitiful whine.
"So in addition to Hula, me and Stitch are now getting enrolled in Lua!!!" Lilo continued happily. "Martial arts! It's like dancing the Hula, only with fighting!"
"Well now..." The Grand Councilwoman thought about it for a second. That could only be a good thing, considering how much of a trouble magnet both Lilo and Stitch seemed to be, even now that all of the 'cousins' were taken care of. "That seems like a wonderful thing to me."
"Isn't it?!" Lilo beamed. Stitch grunted, grabbing one of her hands and placing it at the base of his neck. Lilo obligingly started scratching there as well. Stitch let out a soft groan, drooling slightly as he practically melted in her lap. The Grand Councilwoman hid a bit of a smile behind a few long fingertips.
The most fearsome being the the Galaxy... helpless as a infant in Lilo's hands.
A call from off the screen drew Lilo's attention away. The Grand Councilwoman recognised the worried tones of Nani, Lilo's older sister. "Oops." Lilo said, not at all unrepentant. "Bed time. I gotta go."
"Then I shall talk to you later, my child." The Grand Councilwoman smiled, raising her hand in salute. Lilo waved back, the transmission wavering then fading away.
The Grand Councilwoman leaned back in her chair, the smile still on her lips. Somehow, Lilo always knew when she was having a bad day and needed some cheering up.
"Hello, Grand Councilwoman!" Lilo cheered, running past the view screen. Stitch climbed along the wall in the other direction, looking cheerfully frantic as well. There were weapons on the wall now, not just strange photographs. A club that appeared to be edged with shark-teeth caught her attention for a moment.
"Hello, Lilo. Stitch." She watched as Lilo ran back the other direction, mass of flowers draped over one arm, a hairbrush in one hand and a sandal in the other. "Is something going on today?"
"Nani and David are gettin' married!" Lilo bounced, pausing in front of the screen to brush her hair with her sandal. She paused, looking at the sandal and dropped it, sliding it on her foot. "The wedding's in an hour!"
"My goodness." The Grand Councilwoman murmured. "Do pass on my congratulations to them! Who all is in attendance?"
"Well, Captain Gantu is performing the ceremony." Lilo said, finally using her hairbrush on her hair. Stitch ran the other way along the wall, shoe in his mouth. "Since he's a captain with his own ship, he can do that. Uncle Cobra has taken care of the paperwork for that, Reuben's doing the catering, Uncle Jumba is giving Nani away, Stitch is the Ringbearer, and I'm the Maid of Honour."
Which explained the personal mission Gantu had requested away time for a few days ago. She smiled to herself, recalling Gantu's embarrassment while requesting said leave. The big softy. "And what of Pleakley?" She inquired, noticing a name missing from the list.
"We got him a WHOLE lot of tissues." Lilo said as a sandal matching the one she was wearing flew out of the air and bopped her in the head. "Thanks, Stitch!" Lilo shouted without missing a beat, putting on the matching sandal. "His job is to cry throughout the wedding. He said someone had to do it."
-While in matching hat and dress, no doubt. "I... see." She said carefully. Lilo shrugged in return, looking perplexed as well. It made sense, sort of.
"Lilo!" Stitch shouted, trying to run and pull on a pair of loud tropical swimtrunks on at the same time. He pulled a large pink hibiscus out of his mouth and stuck it behind her ear.
"Thanks, Stitch!" She said with a grin, throwing a lei over his neck. He preened, petting the flowers for a moment, before remembering to finish pulling up his swim trunks. "Ready?"
"Ih! Ready!" He grinned, showing sharp teeth from ear to ear. It was a strangely cheerful smile for what should have been menacing coming from the Galaxy's formerly most dangerous criminal.
"Okay! Gotta go, Grand Councilmother! Just wanted to let you know what was going on!" Both Lilo and Stitch waved, before responding to a faint summons from the level below. "See you later!" She waved back, her hand hovering in mid-air for moments after the picture faded.
They grew up so fast, didn't they?
The Grand Councilwoman rubbed the back of her neck, trying to ease her headache. There were days when she wished she could just set arguing parties over her knee, like they were little children. Or better yet, send them back to their corners for a time out. For goodness sake, some of them were older than she was.
Her communicator buzzed and she debated ignoring it. At least until she saw who it was. "Hello, Lilo."
"Heya, Grand Councilwoman!" Lilo's happy grin greeted her. Lilo paused, leaning forward. "You don't look so good. You look grey." She paused and ammended. "More grey than usual."
"Thank you child." She leaned back in her chair, her words tinged with not just a little bit of irony.
Lilo's concerned look didn't fade. "Anything I can do to help?"
"Other than find a new babysitter?" The Grand Councilwoman sighed. "No, child. But thank you for the offer."
Lilo frowned, tucking a long strand of hair behind her ear. While sitting down, it pooled in spirals on the ground behind her. She was getting taller, growing from the small girl she'd first met. "Well, what's going on? Nani says that sometimes talking things out helps make them better."
"I..." She paused, rules and regulations on her tongue. Theoretically, these were private matters, not to be discussed with outsiders. But Lilo was not a member of the Federation, therefore not bound by their laws. "If I were to say, theoretically, of course. And in the strictest confidences..."
"Of course." Lilo nodded, her face both grim and earnest.
The Grand Councilwoman nodded and outlined the problem. A sacred object had been stolen and both sides of the conflict were claiming that the other had stolen it and wanted it returned to their hands. The problem being, no one was sure who the sacred object actually belonged to.
Lilo rubbed her chin thoughtfully, Stitch coming up behind her and butting her shoulder with his head. She reached over and began scratching him under the chin. He crooned, eyelids drooping in pleasure. "There's a story here, told on Earth, of a wise king who was confronted by two women." Lilo said, her expression still serious. "One of the women stole the other woman's baby and claimed it was hers. Neither woman could prove whose baby it was, so the King came up with a solution. He proposed to cut the baby in half, so they could each have half."
"What a vile solution." She murmured. Lilo nodded in agreement before continuing her tale, although she seemed more pleased than grim at the gore.
"Yeah. One of the women agreed to it, but the other women begged the King not to do it. She'd rather see the baby raised by the other woman than cut in half. So the King gave the baby to the woman who didn't want the baby killed, because it was her child, and punished the other one."
"I... see." What a strange and barbaric story. But it made a certain amount of sense. "Thank you my child. I think you have been a great help this evening."
Lilo beamed at her. "Welcome!"
It belatedly dawned on her that she had been uncountably rude. "My apologies. You've helped me, but was there anything I could do for you tonight?"
"Nah." Lilo grinned and waved it off. "I just wanted to check in and say hello. We've got to get to bed anyway." She stopped scratching and Stitch nearly fell over sideways, blinking his large dark eyes in confusion.
"Bedtime." Lilo giggled, catching him and giving him a playful shove off screen.
"Bah." Stitch wandered off, limbs drooping as he yawned, wide enough to fit his whole body in his mouth. Lilo gave him a fond look as he wandered off and the Grand Councilwoman felt a smile creep on her face. There were times when it was nice to know that she had made the right decision.
"G'night, Grand Councilwoman." Lilo smiled. "Talk to you later!"
"Pleasant dreams, my child." She waved as the image faded. Her smile slipped off her face as she contemplated the story Lilo had just told her. After a few moments of deliberation, she rang up her assistant.
"Ring up our two squabblers." She commanded. "I don't care how late it is. Inform them that if they cannot play with their toys nicely, they will be taken away from them."
It would be interesting to see the reactions this caused, yes it would.
She was surprised to not find Lilo on the other end of the view-screen when she called. At least once or twice an Earth week, at this time of day, they contacted each other to talk. Mostly about work these days, Lilo providing an excellent sounding board for problems that arose.
Instead, she found Stitch. Even after over half a decade, she did not know how to handle the former Experiment 626. "Hi." Stitch greeted her, large dark eyes nearly impossible for her to read.
"Greetings, Stitch." She paused, uncertain as to how to continue the conversation.
"Lilo at school." Stitch finally offered, his own voice as hesitant as her own. "Dance. Stitch stay home. Meega give Lilo message?"
"No, that will not be necessary." She shook her head. "I was merely calling to check in." She was disappointed, of course. But nothing she could not handle.
"Ih." Stitch nodded, taking her word for it. "Okee."
The Grand Councilwoman paused, studying the small furry creature in front of her. Stitch had not noticeably aged in the time that she had known him. "And you, Stitch? How are you doing?"
Stitch paused, blinking at her as if in surprise. "Stitch happy." He said simply.
"And what of the rest of your family?"
"Nani..." Stitch puffed himself out as if he were a large ball... or some type of earth whale. "Give birth soon or kill David." He nodded wisely, patting his stomach.
That was right, Lilo had previously mentioned Nani was pregnant and was expecting soon. "Her first child?"
Stitch nodded. "Ih. Lilo happy. Be auntie. Jumba, Pleakley, Meega happy. David naga happy."
"Oh?" She raised an eyebrow. "And why is David not happy?"
"Nani kill David, if David touch Nani. David fault Nani like that." Stitch's ears drooped. "Nani scary."
The Grand Councilwoman laughed. "I don't doubt that." First time mothers often were. "Are you adapting well to the idea of a new one in the house?"
"Ih." Stitch nodded.
"Good." She smiled. The two of them sat in silence, not comfortable, but not uncomfortable either. Not really friends, but not enemies either. "Lilo... Lilo is growing up into a fine young woman." The Grand Councilwoman ventured.
"Lilo is thirteen." Stitch agreed with weary confirmation. "Middle school. Next year... High School."
"So fast." It seemed like mere days ago that Lilo had been a small girl, defending the then dangerous Experiment 626 from them.
"Stitch stay." Stitch surprised her by saying firmly, ears up and jaw squared. "Stitch not go anywhere. Stay with Lilo."
"She may not need you forever." The Grand Councilwoman said, a touch sadly. "Children grow up." A few more years, nothing really, and Lilo might be the one threatening to kill her husband over their unborn prodigy.
Stitch shrugged. "Meega stay." He said simply. "O'hana."
The Grand Councilwoman nodded. "I know." She said softly. If anyone was to make that promise a reality, it was Stitch.
Stitch gave her a crooked smile. "Taka." He said, thanking her for her concern.
"You are quite welcome." She smiled back. "Keep me informed of how Nani is doing, will you Stitch?"
"Ih." He nodded, bowing his his head slightly.
"Thank you, Stitch. Good Night."
"Ni-night." He waved, then turned off the view screen.
The Grand Councilwoman stroked her chin, a habit she'd picked up from Lilo. How very interesting.
A few nights later, there was a message from Stitch, with an enthusiastic Lilo bellowing in the background. Nani had given birth to a girl. Both mother and daughter were doing well.
And David had survived the process.
"All I'm saying." Gantu said, his rough voice thick concern and thinly veiled ire. "Is that there is talk that it is time for you to step down. Rumours. You need to be careful."
"I know, Captain Gantu." She said, not bothering to hide her own exhaustion or irritation on the subject. She had known at the time that there would be repercussions for offering Stitch a Captain's chair, but she had not expected them to take quite so long to catch up.
"You've held the title longer than anyone else has." Gantu said, softening his booming voice.
"Which has given me longer to earn enemies." The Grand Councilwoman agreed. Powerful enemies. Ones who eyed her every action for signs of weakness. Weakness that still was not there, regardless of her years.
"Yes." He agreed. "At the very least, they are suggesting that you begin training a replacement."
"An Heir." She chuckled tiredly. Gantu nodded. The Grand Councilwoman had a reputation for being fair and not playing favourites. It was all about rules, really. The head of the United Galactic Federation couldn't be seen showing favour to one party over another. And to name an Heir would be doing exactly just that. Various factions had been dropping hints, suggestions, applications for cycles now.
Perhaps it was time. The long hours were starting to wear down on her. It would be nice to relax for a change.
An idea hit, just a stray niggling wisp of an idea. She held her hand up, silencing Gantu. The large captain fell silent, giving her a moment to think, as the idea grew from a faint thread into a glimmering rope of thought. "Rumours, you said."
"Yes, Grand Councilwoman." He nodded.
"Then perhaps we can use these rumours for our own purposes." She said, steepling her fingers together. "Let it leak out that I am already in the process of arranging to train an heir. Casually, if you would."
"You are?!" The outburst was obviously out of Gantu's mouth before he could censor it. "I... I mean... You are?"
She smirked. "Yes, Captain. I am. I have been for some time. But don't let that part be let known for a while longer." Casual and subtle may not have been in Gantu's vocabulary, but he was a trustworthy officer.
"I... Yes. Yes, of course." He gave her a quick salute.
"Dismissed." She nodded in return and he left the room, blue eyes in an apparent glaze as he tried to figure out who she could be training. She smiled to herself and turned back to her desk, letting him wonder.
The view-screen flickered, an incoming transmission coming in. She saw who it was and accepted it. "Greetings, Lilo." The Grand Councilwoman smiled at the girl... no, the young woman on the screen.
"Heya, Grand Councilwoman!" Lilo waved, Stitch draped over one shoulder as he tugged at some pieces of paper in her hands. Photographs. Lilo had probably filled up another roll of people at the beach. It was an odd hobby, but an amusing one. Stitch snickered loudly at one picture, rolling over her shoulder and into her lap.
They were from different parts of the Galaxy, different species, different shapes, different sizes, different abilities. And yet they fit together, like two pieces of a very strange puzzle.
Like O'hana. Family.
Yes, this could work.
The Grand Councilwoman's smile grew deeper. "I was hoping you wouldn't mind discussing a few things to help me out tonight, Lilo..."