I do not own Lilo and Stitch.

Bonding

Nani was certain that this wasn't the best idea. Her patience had been stretched rather thin since the alien additions to her family, and although she had grown fond of them, they still drove her insane. But even with Jumba constantly stealing her electronic appliances and Pleakley borrowing her clothes, the thing that made her want to tear her hair out was the antics of Stitch.

The little blue experiment got into everything. Nani knew that despite being reformed Stitch still had those mischievous tendencies in him. It did not help when those tendencies were fuelled by the energetic schemes of her little sister.

Nani loved Stitch, yes. It had been a rocky and wary beginning but any bumps had been smoothed over; for the most part, anyway.

But Lilo was certain that her beloved 'ohana wasn't spending enough quality time together. She treasured her family more than anything and wanted them to be close. Lilo and Stitch were the best of friends and no bonding was needed there. Pleakley and Jumba were in the same boat; although the two quarrelled and were complete opposites, they grew to be very good friends.

Nani and Lilo were sisters; their relationship was already tight and sturdy.

So Lilo came up with the bright idea for Nani and Stitch to spend some bonding time together while she hung out with her alien babysitters. She hadn't been spending as much time as she would have liked with Jumba and Pleakley and was determined to spend the day with the both of them.

Jumba and Pleakley had grown to love the eccentric Hawaiian girl and didn't mind.

Stitch, however, was not as enthusiastic. Nani could not help but agree with them. While the two may have loved each other, they didn't quite get along all that often.

So there they were; Nani was manning the shack while Stitch lounged around, bored.

"Bored!" Stitch complained for the millionth time. He lifted his head from the hardwood floor and stared at Nani with hopeful black eyes.

Nani let out a breath and checked her watch. "I'll be on break in ten more minutes. Then we can go do something that isn't destructive or dangerous."

Stitch groaned and slammed his head back to the floor.

Ten minutes later Stitch practically tore from the shack. Nani locked up and quickly followed the rolling blue fur ball. "Alright; what do you want to do?" Might as well get this bonding thing started.

Stitch popped up. "Bungee jumping!"

"Uh...I don't think so."

"...parasailing?"

"Try again."

Stitch sighed. This wasn't going to be easy. "Surfing?"

"You can't swim."

"You can."

Nani smirked. "Fine, we'll go surfing. But try not to fall off."

Stitch nodded eagerly, happy to be doing something. His fear of water was not as strong as it once was.

Nani reopened the shack and removed a surfboard. As an employee, she got equipment privileges, but she didn't use it often due to Lilo and Stitch. Sometimes it amazed her at how destructive they both could be.

A few minutes later and they were paddling through the clear blue water towards the waves. Stitch bounced in excitement and also from nerves. Soon the board was picked up by a wave and Nani carefully stood up, arms held out for balance. Stitch copied her and cheered wildly.

"Again!" The blue alien shouted when they floated gently on the water once more.

"Fine, but I need to get back to work soon." Nani warned. "Family is important, but money is also needed to support said family."

Stitch rolled his eyes. In his opinion, Nani worked too much. But her words held significance and he wasn't going to argue. He just wanted to have some fun with the eldest Pelekai sister.

They were on their last surf before Nani had to report back to work. The wave was a rough one, but Nani had handled worse. They were riding the crest of the wave when the board jerked and both riders were sent tumbling off.

Nani struck the lukewarm water hard. Body stinging, she spluttered to the surface. "Stitch?" She called, her head bobbing above the water. "STITCH!"

Panicked, she ducked beneath the water and hurriedly kicked below. Her murky vision managed to catch sight of a blurry blue blob sinking towards the bottom of the ocean. She swam towards it, grabbed two furry arms and hauled him to the surface.

Board forgotten, Nani dragged Stitch to the sand. His blue fur was matted to his body and he was limp. Nani checked his pulse and found it beating faintly. "Come on you little monster, wake up!"

She tried CPR and desperately hoped Stitch would open his eyes. What would she tell the others? How would they all live without the loveable blue nuisance?

She jolted back in surprise when Stitch coughed weakly. He hacked a bit more and water spurted from his mouth. Airway clear, he took a big gulp of air and flew upwards, panting heavily.

"You're okay!" Nani soothed, stroking his wet fur. "Everything's fine."

Stitch took a minute to gather his bearings and looked at Nani. "Thank you."

Nani swatted him gently across the head. "I don't need thanks. Don't you remember what 'ohana means?"

"Nobody gets left behind or forgotten." Stitch recited promptly. It was a phrase heard consistently around the Pelekai household.

"Exactly. I love you, you hairy blue freak."

"Stitch fluffy!" The experiment corrected before attaching himself to Nani's right leg. "And Stitch loves you too."

...

The sky was an orangey-red by the time Nani and Stitch made it home. A little blur immediately shot out of the front door and jumped down the steps, tackling them both into a hug.

"This was the best day ever!" Lilo hollered with glee and happiness shone in her big brown eyes. "Was it the best day ever for you guys?"

Nani grinned fondly at her little sister. "It was. We'll have to do it again sometime. In fact, how about we order a pizza and have a movie night?"

Lilo and Stitch cheered and shot back into the house.

A strange family, Nani mused as she walked up the blue wooden steps. But I wouldn't change it for anything.