Title: Mo'i Wahine (4 of 4)
Author: Icka! M. Chif
Word Count: 2,401
Author's Note: Wow. Many thanks to theodosia21 and waywren, without whose encouragement this wouldn't have gotten written as fast as it did. This one took a twist off to left turn about halfway. Anyway, finally done. Now... for some sock puppet fic! Hmm... plot or kink?
Summary: "I see you've met my apprentice."
Space was cold.
Having lived on Kauaʻi all her life, Lilo was used to a warm climate with lots of sunlight and rain. Space was anything but warm, the cold dry vacuum seeming to press down on her from all angles.
Stitch stuck close to her, his warm furry body a familiar comforting presence on her shoulder, staring at the aliens they passed by in the headquarters for the United Galactic Federation. Lilo was used to aliens, but this was the first time that -she- was the alien.
A large tiger headed alien, about Captain Gantu's size, snorted as they walked by. "Abomination."
Lilo had her Ihe up in his nostril before Captain Gantu or the Grand Councilwoman could protest. "What did you say?" She hissed. Stitch made an almost confused whimpering noise in her ear that almost anyone else would mistake for a growl, but she could feel the presence of his extra limbs on her back that said he was ready for a fight if need be.
"Ah, Taigaa Masuku." The Grand Councilwoman said grandly. "I see you've met my apprentice."
Silence filled the corridor, the Grand Councilwoman's last word echoing through the air. And then the sound rushed back in, as if filling a vacuum, the word 'Apprentice' echoing throughout the air.
"Eh?" Stitch said, echoing her own confusion.
"Your... Apprentice?" Taigaa Masuku echoed, stepping back. Lilo allowed him, watching him warily.
"Yes. My apprentice, Lilo, and her partner, Stitch." The Grand Councilwoman motioned to her and Stitch on her shoulder. "I would dearly hate for you to get off on the wrong foot, especially since you have that upcoming hearing in the next few days."
"I... yes." The large alien took another step backwards. "My apologies, I mistook you for someone else."
Lilo watched with some confusion as Taigaa Masuku turned on his heel and disappeared down the hall, his tiger-striped cloak flaring out behind him.
She turned and stared at the Grand Councilwoman. "Apprentice?!" She squeaked.
"Yes." The Grand Councilwoman stared at her, completely unruffled. "Why else did you think I invited you here?"
Lilo stared at her, open mouth for a moment. She was preferably aware of Stitch doing the same thing. Then Stitch reached over and shut her jaw for her before closing his own jaw with a snap.
"Come." The Grand Councilwoman said, motioning with a long fingered hand down the corridor. "I'll show you to your rooms. It would probably be better if you did not go wandering around with such... weaponry."
Lilo fingered her Ihe, fighting a blush. Compared to a plasma pistol, a small wood spear did seem rather... lacklustre.
"Right." She agreed, slinking down the hall after the Grand Councilwoman.
That didn't mean she wasn't going to keep the Lei-o-mano on her though.
Everyone had given her gifts when she had left Earth.
David, Nani and the twerps had given her a carved tiki necklace for luck, as well as a completely collection of Elvis Presley songs on a player. Cobra had given her a wickedly cool knife that hid under her sarong. Pleakley had given her a Viewmaster with data of all the alien races that she would probably run across while in space.
Jumba's was a bright pink hibiscus bloom that she wore tucked behind her right ear. He'd grown it especially for her, and it never faded or lost its bloom as long as she gave it light during the day and a little bit of water at night. Knowing Jumba, there was probably a tracking device or something inside of it as well.
Stitch chewed on the flower for a few seconds before spitting it out and agreeing. The flower popped back into shape without any damage done it.
Paranoia was Jumba's way of caring.
"A race?" Lilo echoed as she followed Stitch down one of the many busy corridors. It was easy to get lost in the big headquarters, but she was starting to learn her way around. Stitch was better at it however, following signals she couldn't sense, either via scent or sight.
"Ih." Stitch agreed, fairly cheerfully. His dread reputation had not diminished in the 13 years since he'd originally escaped Federation custody for Earth.
For one thing, whenever they were assigned a spaceship for transport, they usually somehow managed to get the -red- one, much to Stitch's cackling glee.
"Is this another one of those challenge things?" Lilo asked with a long suffering sigh. Stitch's reputation also had the occasional challenger coming out of the woodwork, trying to defeat the unstoppable Experiment 626. Stitch usually either laughed them off, but sometimes he'd disappear, to reappear later, the latest challenger usually either slinking away, or visiting the Medical Bay.
Stitch considered it. "... Ih."
She sighed. "Stitch..."
"Lilo participate." Stitch protested. "Lilo race too."
He nodded. "Ih. People curious."
There were also the weird stares she was getting for being the Grand Councilwoman's apprentice. She was the first human most of them had seen.
"I don't know..." She hesitated. She was supposed to be being diplomatic, and she'd already goofed up once in that regard. He pulled her into a room, and she nearly stumbled over the size of the racetrack and the amount of people waiting. "Stitch..." She ignored the nervous whine in her voice.
He laughed, pulling her to the starting line, then taking place next to her. "Lilo no hold back." He advised her.
She stared at him. "Stitch."
Stitch smiled at him. "Trust meega. Lilo trust Stitch." He assured her.
Lilo swallowed and nodded. She usually held herself back, kept herself from running too fast, using too much strength. She knew she was stronger than most people, stronger than -Nani- and it somewhat scared her. But if Stitch knew, and was okay with it, then it must be okay.
"Alright." She nodded, squaring her jaw. Stitch cackled in response, crouching down, his little puff of a tail wiggling in anticipation. She crouched down as well, placing her fingertips on the ground. A multi-limbed alien raised several limbs in the air and counted down.
"I trust you."
She took off from the starting line, pushing her legs, pushing her muscles as she rarely allowed herself to. Stitch was a blue blur next to her as the two of them ran, the artificial wind streaming past her, her hair streaking behind her like a banner. "Go Lilo!" Stitch cheered as they pulled away from the pack.
They didn't win first place, coming behind a Kineceleran. Since it was practically impossible to beat a Kineceleran on the ground, she didn't think they did so bad.
She grabbed Stitch as soon as they crossed the line, wrapping her arms around him and squeezing him tight as she laughed in sheer delight. "Lilo trust Stitch!" He laughed back, hugging her back, his face pressed against her neck.
"Thank you." She whispered back. He laughed softly, snuggling against her, catching his breath while she caught hers. She wasn't winded nearly as much as she thought she would be. Another side effect she thought dizzily.
"We do again?" Stitch asked eagerly, pulling away from her to look at her with a wide grin on his face.
Running, Lilo found, was even better than racing hover cars.
The funniest part was that the rest of the aliens thought she was normal for a human. They didn't bother to correct the assumption.
Not showing or admitting weakness was part of diplomacy as well.
She was expected to meet a bunch of different kinds of aliens while in Outer Space. It came with the territory.
What she wasn't expecting to find was that Elvis was not only alive, but had merely gone home.
Nani was -so- going to flip when she got back to Earth and presented her sister with a new 'full' collection of Elvis songs.
"Now if I may draw your attention to article III subsection c.-"
Stitch growled from Lilo's lap, one curved claw tapping on a skipped over subsection. Lilo raised an eyebrow, raising her hand. It worked on aliens as well as school teachers to get attention. "Yes-?" The alien drawled, looking down at her from his rather long impressive nose.
"Article II, subsection f." Lilo tapped on the screen, using her authority to pull the article up on the main screen. "What's this about 'deforestation'?"
There were murmurs as the article was quickly looked over. "Nothing of consequence." Mr. Longnose drawled, waving it off. "Now as I was saying-"
"Choota." Stitch spat, his fingers flying over the keys as the main view-screen changed, pulling up a large three-dimensional map onto the main screen, then zooming in to the territory in question. She still didn't know what that word meant, only that it wasn't polite.
"So it has nothing to do with the large amount of 'Ryll' located in the territory." Lilo deadpanned, reading the word that Stitch was pointing to.
The word echoed throughout the room. Ryll was a type of spice that could be used for medicine, or for an addictive drug.
"I... Uh..." There was a long pause as Mr. Longnose stammered.
"Good one." Lilo whispered as Stitch sat back against her, looking incredibly smug. There were advantages to having a best friend who could think faster than a super computer and analyse large amounts of data very quickly.
Stitch cackled quietly to himself. "Yu Prma dissy." He muttered darkly, glaring at Mr. Longnose, insulting his mother.
"Shh." She didn't bother hiding her grin.
"Lilo office. Please hold." Stitch hit a button on the phone, and switched to a new line. "Lilo office. Please hold."
A third arm reached out and handed Lilo a folder. "Lilo office. Please hold."
She groaned and grabbed the folder. They'd had to start going through all of 'Mr. Longnose's proposals, making sure he wasn't hiding anything further. It was fortunate that Stitch was good at multi-tasking, because she'd never make it through all of it on her own. She flipped through the folder, noting that he had also been collecting ingredients for 'Bacta' or healing tanks.
"What does he need all his for?" She grumbled to herself. "Spice... Healing Tanks. What's next? Clones?"
"Krytos." Stitch spat darkly.
"Krytos?" She echoed.
"Lilo office-" He paused. "Bean and meat burrito. Six. Taka." He looked at her and grinned. "Lunch."
"Oh." Her stomach growled. "Thanks."
"What's 'Krytos'?" She asked, closing the folder she was holding. Stitch handed her another folder.
"No eat first." He warned.
She glanced at the first photograph and understood. Krytos was a genetically engineered virus that targeted non-humanoid aliens, destroying the person's cells one by one until the infected person's body fell apart. "Oh, ew." She held a hand to her mouth for a second. She liked weird and gross things but this was just a little bit -too- gross. "And they called Jumba an 'Evil Scientist'."
Stitch handed over a couple more folders. "Right." She sighed, picking them up. "More research."
"Lilo office, please hold."
It was easier to track down the Bacta and the Ryll than it was the virus. Captain Gantu took great delight in hunting down the smugglers carrying the cure... and then finding those that carried the virus. There was a lot of profit to be made selling the cure to those under the threat of the virus.
"Is it always like this?" She asked the Grand Councilwoman, hugging Stitch to her chest after Gantu had caught the ringleader.
"No." The Grand Councilwoman shook her head. "You should have been here for the Zeronian migration in 1968."
Lilo stared at her. She hoped she was joking. The Grand Councilwoman merely smiled back. Lilo flopped backwards in her seat. "As long as that's the worst we have to deal with..." She muttered, covering her eyes with a hand.
It wasn't the worst, but things got better the more she got used to how things worked and ran and operated Aliens were all about Rules, the hardest part being learning the rules.
And then once she knew the rules, she knew how to manipulate them.
Which wasn't as bad as it sounded.
Life became... well... about as normal as it ever got. The better she got, the more work the Grand Councilwoman gave her. Which, honestly, she didn't mind. Solving disputes was something she was actually good at.
And, well, if they didn't listen to reason, that was what the Lei-o-mano and Stitch was for.
"-And that's when Steve, the soda can realised that even if his friends were pulled away by the tidal wave, he's still remember their friendship forever. The end."
Lilo looked around the mass of aliens, an expectant grin on her face at the end of her story. The mass of aliens looked around at each other in confusion.
"... I don't get it." Someone whispered from the back. "What's a soda can?"
Someone else thwacked them upside the back of the head and explained the moral of the story.
From her shoulder, Stitch snickered.
Lilo shrugged back. It worked.
"Lilo!" Nani greeted her with an enthusiastic shout and a huge hug as soon as she stepped off the spaceship.
"Nani!" She hugged her older sister.
"I've missed you!" Nani squeaked, nearly suffocating her. "It's been years!"
It was a surprise to realise that it had indeed been years. She'd left at 18 and was now... 22, almost 23 in earth years.
"Aunt Lilo!" Two small sets of arms wrapped around her legs. They disappeared before she could look down. "Unca Stitch!"
"Kiddos!" Stitch cheered. They gibbered happily, Nani's kids about the same height Stitch was.
Nani held her out at arms reach. "Not that I'm unhappy to see you, but what prompted the surprise visit? I thought you were talking about coming back for Christmas."
"Something... unexpected came up." Lilo blushed. "You think you and David are up for a vacation?"
"WHERE IS LITTLE GIRL?" Jumba's loud voice echoed through the clearing.
"Uncle Jumba!" Lilo laughed as Jumba nearly buried her in a huge bear hug.
"Lilo! Stitch!" Pleakley squealed, adding another presence behind her. "We heard the good news!"
"Good news?" Nani asked.
Lilo pulled back out of Jumba's arms, Stitch climbing up on her shoulder. "Want to come out to outer space?"
Nani, David, the kids, Cobra Bubbles, Jumba, Pleakley and some of the Cousins made it to the United Galaxtic Federation Headquarters to see the former Grand Councilwoman step down and the new Grand Councilwoman step up.
Grand Councilwoman Lilo and her Companion, the former Experiment 626, Stitch.
Nani cheered through the tears in her eyes.
Mo'i Wahine Lilo
Lilo smiled and waved back, trying not to cry as well.
She'd finally found her one true place too.
Taigaa Masuku = Tiger Mask, a cartoon from the 60s. Featured a wrestler in a tiger mask and striped cape.
Kineceleran - From the Ben 10 Alien Force universe. Helen is a Kineceleran.
Ryll, Bacta and Kryos are from the Star Wars Universe.
"The Zeronian migration in 1968." - Kay, from Men In Black.