"You can't describe the sea unless you've been there before. It's just a mystery until you're standing on the shore and moved by every wave, taking your breath away." - Rascal Flatts

The ocean was a powerful thing, strong a mighty - violent, at times - but beautiful and soothing. It had this way of captivating onlookers with its glimmering glow, reflected at all times by the sun or moon, and with its majestic dance of waves. It called out to those who chose to embrace her and instilled in each of them an oceanic purpose. Some found solace by submerging themselves in her cool spring, while others were driven to tame her. They came one by one with their boards and desperately tried to ride all of her waves. Sometimes, they would prevail, but other times... she would overpower them.

There was one being, so small and curious, that felt no such desire to come to the ocean. He couldn't feel her overwhelming grip like the others could. He knew her water would envelope him, swallow him whole, and strip him of his existence. He was built differently, not like other inhabitants of Earth, whereas they would float and carry themselves to shore, he could only drown. It was intended for him to have a high molecular density, for it was quite necessary to survive in outer space, but here on Earth... it does him no good.

Mahalo nui ia Ke Ali`i wahine

`O Lili`ulani `O ka Wo hi ku

Ka pipio mai o ke anuenue Na waiho'o-lu'u a halikeole'e

E nana na maka i ke ao malama mai

Hawai`i akea i Kaua`i

Across the sand, near the trees, Experiment 626 could hear the sound of his hoaloha, Lilo. She was quietly singing the words to the song she danced to at dance practice, humming every once in awhile when she forgot a word. She had the whole dance memorized and could do it in her sleep, but she was still working on the lyrics. Stitch could see her walking closer and her hands and feet would move in rhythm with her voice, almost as if she would break out into full song and dance at any moment. The passion and light was still in her eyes and he knew that she had a good rehearsal.

"Stitch! They gave us the news!"

He cocked his head to the side in confusion, awaiting her to share this surprising news with him. She looked so excited that she might burst. He stuck his tongue out and shoved it up his nose, attempting to get a booger out while he waited. She happily balled her fists and threw her arms in the air, lightly bouncing up and down in her uncontainable excitement.

"They moved the dance recital to tomorrow! We get to perform at seven, right here on the beach!"

"Ooohh~!"

He hugged her in that awkward way he always did, the very same way as when they first met. He wagged his stub of a tail, as if he were a real dog, and barked. Lilo giggled and threw her arms around him and danced around in circles. They had all been practicing really hard for this recital and were ready to dance their hearts out. She moved away and grabbed both if his hands and ecstatically told him they had to get home so she could tell Nani. Now having his own enthusiasm, Stitch pulled on Lilo's hand and drug her over to the little pink and purple tricycle that they had acquired so very long ago, and sped off.

They went racing down the little dirt road into town and zoomed past all the familiar shops and stands. They saw Mrs. Hasagawa watering her fruit and vegetables, the ice cream man handing out snow cones, all the little kids lined up to ride in the fake rocket ship... it was nostalgic for Stitch to see all of the things he was going to destroy when he first arrived on Earth. But he soon brushed it off when he turned onto the familiar road to his and Lilo's home. Nani was on the front porch talking to David when they both saw Stitch skid the trike to a halt. Lilo jumped off and ran up the steps with Stitch following after her.

"Nani! David! They moved my recital to tomorrow night! You're gonna be there, right?"

"What, why would they move it so suddenly?"

"They said that the place we were supposed to have it got overbooked and the only other place we could get in was the beach."

"The beach?"

"Yeah, they have a stage set up near the surf shop and we're going to dance there!"

"Alright, Lilo! I'll definitely be there. What time is it?"

"You will? It's at seven!"

"Sure, I wouldn't miss it. What about you, Nani?"

Nani peered inside at the calendar hanging on the wall and frowned. Her eyes dulled and she had a sad essence about her. She interlocked her fingers and shuffled her feet around uncomfortably. David knew that she wasn't going to make it, and he understood why, but Lilo...

"Well..."

She mumbled something quietly, but Lilo wasn't going to let her get away with not giving her an explanation.

"What was that? I couldn't hear you."

She mumbled again, this time slightly louder. Lilo balled her fists and marched in front of her big sister so she couldn't walk away and forced her to speak up.

"Just spit it out! You don't want to come see me dance anymore?"

"No, I never said that! I have to work tomorrow, Lilo. I won't be off until nine."

"But you work at the surf shop, it's right next door."

"That doesn't mean I'll be able to see you. There'll be a whole crowd blocking the way and I can't leave the shop unattended. I'll be the only one there after five."

"So you won't see me dance..."

"I'm sorry, hunny. You know I would if I could. If they hadn't of moved it, I would be able to be there."

With that, Lilo opened the door and stomped off inside. You could hear her feet hit the floor as she marched up the steps and slammed the door to her room. Stitch's ears fell back and he looked very sad. Nani was both angry and upset and knew that Lilo wouldn't talk to her for the rest of the night. She watched as Pleakley and Jumba came out and asked what was going on, but she didn't care. They were home, so she was leaving. She ran off down the steps, David chasing after her, leaving Stitch to stand in the doorway. Jumba asked him what happened, but all he could do was run up after Lilo.

He cracked the door open and saw her with her face buried in her pillow. He slowly inched his way over to her and climbed up on the bed. She mumbled something into her pillow and he miraculously understood her. He put his hand over her fists, that were death gripping her pillow, and attempted to sooth her.

"I'm sorry. But I will still go."

"I know... Stitch... never there..."

She didn't have to speak clearly for him to understand. Nani never got to see her dance. When he parents were alive, they always watched her, went to support her, but they never made Nani go. She was always out with her friends, or at work, and that was fine. Now that she was acting as Lilo's mom and dad, it felt like she should be there now. Little did Lilo know that Nani was heartbroken. She had wanted to go, more so than anyone had thought. She felt bad about never going before, and now that she had the chance to watch her little sister shine, she wouldn't get to see it.

She was off down the road, stomping and angry, just like Lilo had been. They really were sisters. David tailed her and just walked beside her, knowing how bad she must have felt. She had made arrangements a long time ago to get her day off to see Lilo dance, and with the recital being moved to tomorrow, she couldn't work it out to have that day off. He could only imagine the whirlpool of emotions that were swirling inside of her and it killed him to see his two favorite girls so upset and sad. That was it... they were sad more than anything. Dancing was Lilo's passion and Lilo was Nani's life. Despite the way that they fight, they loved each other more than anything. They were all that was left of their 'ohana, and even though it wasn't just the two of them anymore, they still meant the most to each other.

The night ended that way. Nani had to go to work until nine o'clock and Lilo stayed in her room with Stitch until she fell asleep. The next morning was hardly any better than the previous night. Lilo left for school without breakfast and Nani left for work before she got home. Stitch waited patiently in the house with Jumba and Pleakley for Lilo. He explained everything from yesterday and they both nodded in understanding. They felt so bad for Lilo, but perhaps even more so for Nani. Lilo would have both of them, David, and Stitch to support her, but no one could be there for Nani. Even if they could, what could they do for her? Unless someone else could watch the surf shop, she had to miss the recital.

It was after Lilo got home and grabbed her stuff for dance that Pleakley had an idea. He waited until she and Stitch walked out the door before he grabbed Jumba by the collar. In haste and surprise, Jumba grabbed Pleakley as well and was about to push him down into the couch when Pleakley screamed and begged him to stop.

"What? What are you doing?"

"I have an idea."

"This does not sound like it is going to be good."

Whether it was good or not, Jumba was going to go along with it. Pleakley ensured it. While they formulated a plot, Lilo danced with the other girls at their final rehearsal. Everyone was perfectly in sync with each other and they were smiling and having a good time. Everyone except Lilo, of course. The light in her eyes wasn't there and she was moving like a robot, performing the moves correctly, but there was no heart in it. Others would call it beautiful... Stitch called it heartbreaking.

So when it was quarter to seven, the girls were all huddled backstage. They were giggling and whispering, peering out to see their friends and family and the size of the audience. Almost the entire beach was gathered around to watch them perform. Lilo looked out and saw David with Stitch, but saw no sign of Pleakley and Jumba.

Great, now even they aren't going to see me.

Lilo went back into the huddle, even more depressed than she had been. The sun in the sky was set perfectly and the sound of the ocean waves went beautifully to the beat of the music. The girl's instructor went on stage to make some announcements, while the girls backstage got ready.

Outside the huddle, Pleakley and Jumba were forcing their way into the tiny surf shop. Nani was leaning over the counter, trying her best to peak out and see the stage. When she couldn't see anyone but Lilo's teacher, she gave up and pulled herself back inside. She turned just in time to see Pleakley and Jumba standing in front of her.

"Ah! What are you two doing in here?"

"We have come to babysit for you."

"What?"

"What he means is that we felt so bad that you would have to miss Lilo perform, that we took it upon ourselves to watch the shop for you while you went out to see her."

"I can't leave you two in charge here, what happens if we get a customer?"

"Do you really think anyone is going to be interested in swimming or surfing when there are little children dancing over there?"

She gave them a deer-in-the-headlights look before smiling ecstatically and hugging them. She thanked them over and over before scurrying out the window and running over to the large crowd. The real music started and singing could be heard as the girls made their way on stage. Lilo was up front in the center and dancing robotically. David and Stitch waved to her and smiled, but she smiled herself when she saw Nani force her way through the crowd. She made her way up to the front of the stage and beamed at her little sister. Stitch and David saw the energy come back to her and the light return to her eyes and they clapped harder and screamed louder.

Lilo danced with enthusiasm and passion and practically stole the whole show with her radiance. When the recital was over and crowd cheered and dispersed, all of the girls went back with their families. Lilo ran out and leaped into Nani's arms to give her a big hug. David came up behind them and trapped them both in his embrace. They all smiled and laughed until Nani put her down. Then she ran over to Stitch and threw her arms around him. She hugged him tight until she saw Pleakley and Jumba wave frantically to her from the surf shop.

"Um, Nani, why are Jumba and Pleakley at the shop?"

"Oh, I totally forgot!"

She bolted off and resumed her position in the shop. Jumba and Pleakley waltzed over to her and told her how proud they were and what a good job she did. She now understood why they weren't there. They watched the shop so Nani could be there. She hugged and thanked them and waved goodbye to Nani so her and Stitch could go off and play on the beach. David stayed back to chat with her and help out with the shop while Jumba and Pleakley argued on the other side of the beach. Lilo took Stitch to the edge of the water and built a giant sand castle with him. They gathered sea shells to decorate it with and then sat next to it and stared out at the ocean.

It reminded him of yesterday, right before everything happened, when he thought of how un-captivating it was. He wasn't compelled to dive in and submerge himself in the crystal water, nor was he tempted to try and master the waves. However, he realized something: when the ocean called out, she wasn't necessarily calling everyone out to her. She was letting the world know of her presence, letting them know that they could come to her. They were welcome to swim in her cool waters, ride her waves, and everything of the like. She inspired them. And that could mean anything.

To be inspired by the ocean didn't mean you had to go out into the water. All it meant was that you had to see all the beauty the ocean had to offer. She inspired people swim, surf, conquer their fears, let go of the things that held them back, sing, laugh, and dance. Yes, even to dance. Lilo had told him a long time ago that it was being by the ocean that made her want to dance. That's why performing on the stage at the beach meant so much to her. That's why it was so important for Nani to see that one recital. She wanted everyone to see not only her talent, but her fire and love of dancing combined with the beauty of the ocean. It sure was breathtaking.

So even if Stitch didn't want to venture out into the ocean, he found that it had now also inspired him. He wanted to find the same light and happiness Lilo did all those years ago. So he sat with her and stared out as the waves crashed against the shore. He watched the moon rise and make the water sparkle. Then he watched Lilo and how fixated she became on its beauty and he finally saw it. That inspiration, that light, that fiery passion was here. It always was. And now that he had it, he was determined to use it.


"A/N: I can't remember how many times I've watched Lilo & Stitch now, but it's my all-time favorite Disney movie. I just finished watching it again and I felt very compelled to write a story for it. I enjoy the Hawaiian music and all the Elvis they played and it just made me come up with this idea. I really wanted to have something to do with Stitch and the ocean. By the way, hoaloha means friend. I'm rambling now. I hope you enjoyed this story, I really enjoyed writing it. Please review."