"Hey... Hey... Leroy, it's time to wake up!" a voice yelled, pulling the dark red-furred experiment from his – oh, so desired – sleep.
'Huh?', he thought to himself while opening his eyes. A frown, accompanied by big eyes with emerald green pupils and blue shades of fur stood a tad too close to his face.
"Stitch... what do you want?" he asked tiredly.
"I brought you some food," Stitch answered and placed a plastic tray on the nightstand. "Aren't you grateful? At least a little bit?"
'Oh... so he isn't planning to starve me to death. Terrific...he probably would want me to pay him back if I accepted it,' Leroy thought inwardly. "Like I need it..." Leroy slightly mumbles angrily, "I don't need to eat. I'm an experiment and we can survive on the scarcest of things."
"Yeah, but your recovering so you need to eat to get your strength back. Right?" Stitch pointed out as Leroy turns his head to the side, "Hmph."
"Just take the food," Stitch gives him the tray.
"I'm not hungry," Leroy counters. However the moment was broken up by the faint growling of Leroy's stomach. The small, embarrassing countering of his claim made Leroy blush, despite the red fur keeping it from being visible.
"Do you think I'm an idiot?! I know you are. Now eat up so you can heal quickly!" Stitch exclaims, sitting on the chair next to the bed, crossing his arms in front of his chest.
"And what do you care if I'm healed or not?!" Leroy's eyes shimmered, an unusual feeling welling up inside him. What did he care, anyway? They were rivals, weren't they? So Stitch could have used this chance to dispose of his opponent... Or called the Grand Councilwoman and Leroy could've been on a trip back to the asteroid prison. But he didn't. Why? Why didn't he do it? There has to be reason. Does he want something from his supposed twin? Does he expect Leroy to pay him a favor?
Stitch remains adamant, "Just take the damn food, please."
Leroy had to bite his tongue and hold his pride like a mad dog.
"Listen... I don't want you to die, I've got enough problems as it is," Stitch finally admits out loud.
Leroy lost his words for a few seconds, not sure how to respond. His mind replayed the words in his head. 'I don't want you to die,' his heart thumped a bit harder as the words echoed in his head. Regaining once again the ability to speak, Leroy frowned again.
"Fine. Whatever," he murmured, looking in the opposite direction. Not really sure why, he felt the urge to avoid Stitch's eyes at the moment. Leroy sat up, wincing from the pain. His fur burned and slightly charred, making him hiss. Sure enough, he noticed that his whole body was severely damaged. He inspected his arms that were bandaged from the tips of his fingers to his elbows and probably bared the worst marks from the landing. Leroy had tried to protect himself from the unexpected crash landing and the speed of the ship seemingly abandoned him...Like he was flung out of the ship. The sensitive, swollen skin on his back protested when he tried to nudge to the side.
'How... how did I get myself in this predicament anyway?!' Leroy sighs and took a glance at Stitch, startled to find out that the experiment was also watching him. Almost like he was waiting for him to do something, anything. Stitch had observed Leroy sitting up and examining his fingers, feeling a slight hint of guilt.
"Whadda you want?" Leroy snorted. Stitch didn't respond, simply placed the tray on top of the fuming Leroy's lap - a bowl of soup, two slices of toasted bread, a cup with what seemed to be tea, it had some honey in it and some coconut cake. With an eyebrow lifted, Leroy turns to Stitch with a questioning glare.
"What are you looking at me like that for? There's some honey in it, it'll warm you up... Go ahead. Eat. Eat away," Stitch speaks and made a slight nudge to the right, shifting his gaze.
Leroy sat silent for a moment, after which he chose to proclaim further arguments as useless. Nodding to himself, he took the spoon in his right paw and started eating. A couple of minutes later, the bowl was empty and the only thing left from the bread and cake were some crumbs on the tray and all over the covers. Leroy finished the tea and drained it in one gulp, a muted "Aah" escaping his mouth as the smooth surface parted with his lips.
"See? I told you that you were hungry! Mama knows and Mama tried." Stitch said triumphantly, then went into deep thought. 'Maybe I can find something in Jumba's ship? Ointment, First aid kit or...'
A rustling sound broke his train of thought as he snapped back towards Leroy's spot as his eyes widened. Leroy growled at himself as he forced himself onto one knee.
"What the hell are you doing?" Stitch shouted as Leroy stood up shakily on his legs, tearing him further away from his thoughts.
"Leaving. Like hell I'm staying here!" Leroy yelled in response. An angry scowl was placed upon his face, sharpening his features. Stitch shook his head and stood up, pushing him back to the bed.
With the air kicked out from his lungs, Leroy gasped and wincing from the impact – his burned skin screeched furiously. "STITCH, I NEVER ASKED FOR YOUR HELP! I CAN HANDLE MYSELF! I DON'T NEED YOU!"
"I DON'T care. You're getting it anyway!" Stitch replied as calmly as he could.
"I know you ran away from the prison! Like hell that wasn't predictable. But take a moment and look at yourself right now. You can barely go anywhere! Just look at what happened. You lost the air from your lungs not that long ago! If you still insist on trying to leave this bed, I'm going after you and then drag your sorry ass back here again and again until you heal completely! Do you understand how injured you are!" Stitch explained while Leroy glared daggers at his nemesis, fuming mentally.
Growling silently in his throat, Leroy snorted.
"Asshole..." he sighed, feeling frustrated for the first time after escaping his hell.
"You are lucky I still care enough to want you to get better. I would have pounded the living daylights outta you if I didn't."
"What is there to do around here anyway?" he asked in a calm tone after several minutes passed.
"Until you get better, the only thing you can do is shut up and rest," Stitch said sternly, "It is far too dangerous for you to be walking in the condition you're in."
"Stitch... I'm part wild beast, I need my freedom. You can't keep me cooped up in here. You should know that feeling. It's still inside you! The part that wants to break and destroy, you know I'm right," Leroy shouted as he snarled at Stitch.
"Yes, I know because I feel like that sometimes, but right now, your life is more important than your freedom. I also know that you can suppress that feeling at anytime, because that's what I'm doing right now, so stop whining, " Stitch replied.
"I'm not whining," Leroy protested, "Just expressing myself."
"There are many ways to express yourself, that's one of the ways. It's called whining," Stitch argued.
"You can't keep me here," Leroy grumbled, "I'll get out one way or another."
"Why?" both turn and spotted Sparky at the door frame.
"Why are you so insisted of leaving?" Sparky asked him. Leroy looked at Sparky like he's ready to pound him for asking a question he had already established an answer to.
"Leroy, even if you did leave here, where are you going to go? You have no transportation, and no home to go to and certainly no one who will take you in," Stitch asked.
Leroy thought for a moment. He hated to admit it, but Stitch was right. The only time he paid attention to the places he was going to was the time he captured all the experiment in different areas. Other than that, he vaguely remembers where he went. Even if he has some recollection of the places; no one would accept him. Not after all the hell he and his clones caused the last time he came around.
The red creature gritted his teeth in silence, an emotional pool of sadness making knots in his throat. Nobody could ever love a little twisted red devil; a monstrous creation like himself.
'I'm a monster... I'm bad, evil, malicious... Evil...heh. That's not even half of it. ...For as long as I can remember, I've lived my entire life in darkness. Darkness. Isolation. They can't even imagine the hell I've been through. I know how my life is going to be. Full of loneliness. I don't need love... Love is an emotion. Emotions make you weak. But why then do I...' Leroy thought as he broke into tears. The drops cascading down his face as he looked away from Sparky and Stitch.
"Leroy!" Stitch called as Leroy changed his demeanor; quickly curled himself up as he cried.
Stitch looked at Leroy with high interest. 'Man...Leroy...he's much more of a human than I remember. Maybe he is more than I realized.'
While Stitch was looking at Leroy, Leroy looked back at Stitch and Sparky, and finally made Sparky his main focus. Suddenly a devilish plan formed in Leroy's head, 'Hm...This could be my ticket.'
All he had to do was win the trust from Sparky, then maybe, his cousins.
"Hey yellow thunderbolt, what is your name?" Leroy asked while looking at Sparky as he wiped his tears.
Sparky snapped his head away from Leroy, crossing his arms over his chest. He had noted the wounds on Leroy's body earlier on and admitted to himself that he must be strong as ever. However, he was not willing to bring himself to allow any sort of meaningful conversation between himself and the Stitch look-a-like.
"Hmph, how dare you describe me in such a derogatory way. You, as intelligent as you are, should know the difference between thunderbolt and electricity since thunder does not cause electricity to move. Second, we already established what my name was minutes ago. You must have hit your head harder then we initially thought if you can't remember my name, though with you be the ever so famed 629, I can't expect you to care that much to remember it."
"Sparky, calm down. You can't expect him to learn your name overnight," Stitch reasoned as Leroy glanced down at the ground feeling, sorrowful.
He muttered, "Sorry."
In comparison, Stitch looked over at Leroy carefully and he must admit that Leroy was one hell of a looker, after all Leroy was based on his own design; however, he was annoyed that Leroy was much nicer to Sparky than himself.
Sparky noted the same look in Leroy's eyes. A deep pain of betrayal to Stitch and Lilo streamed into his being. In fact, the whole Ohana thing felt like a betrayal. Nobody visited each other because everyone's different jobs on the island kept them enormously occupied. Never once apart from the one group photo did they ever get to spend some quality time together. Still, he wasn't too keen on the idea of offering Leroy a spot in group that is his happy family
"So, are you just another one of those Leroy clones or did the coward incarnate finally decide to toughen up and show himself?" Sparky asked him questioningly.
"Sparky," Stitch snapped.
"Actually, I'm the original Leroy," Leroy commented, "the only one out of 50,000 to be honest."
Silence hung around them as Sparky and Stitch looked at Leroy. Leroy sighed as he looked at them.
"Anyway, I just would like to know...what do you think of this whole Earth-Ohana thing?" Leroy asked out loud.
Before Stitch could give a reply, Sparky interjected, "How would you even know about that?!"
Sparky gritted his teeth, sparks coming from his antenne. This sudden burst of emotion caused Leroy to jump a bit. Was this a taboo topic that was not allow be talked about? It seemed like an honest question to him.
Stitch jumped in front of Leroy and raised his arms out, "Sparks, calm down. Leroy was only asking a question. You don't need to try and electrocute his head off."
"Asking that sort of question is the least of his problems," Sparky suggested. "You can't tell me that he tried to destroy us all and then come to this to planet to ask about family because he is curious. Villains don't work that way, Stitch."
"We can't just turn our back on him when he is asking about something we have knowledge about."
As if to fulfill a literal request, Sparky turned away from Stitch and Leroy. "I have a bad feeling about this. Who knows what kind of devilish plan that filth has up his sleeve."
Leroy was taken aback by the comment. Yes, it was true that he tried to destroy them in the past, albeit under Dr. Hamsterveil's orders, but it was also true that people do get curious of concepts such as togetherness, even villains. While the way Sparky voiced his opinion sounded rude, filth was definitely a word Leroy would have used to describe himself.
"Now, you don't actually mean that, especially since he had been out cold hours after he crashed landed here. We both had been watching him when we brought him in." Stitch pointed out
Sparky rolled his blue eyes as he turned back to Stitch. "Alright then, Stitch. You can answer his inquiry. I'm sure that it will do wonders for his bad guy tea party he is planning behind our backs."
"Um… Yeah. Okay then," Stitch said, turning back to Leroy. "Well… Before Ohana, I only ever thought of myself and being selfish. I didn't know how to trust others or even let them understand me."
His ears droop as he continued, "I guess I wanted to close myself away from others. But, those walls I built to protect me also hinder me."
Stitch spoke, "It's...it's almost as if you're-"
Stitch and Leroy said at the exact same time, "Alone."
Stitch looked shocked over to Leroy who nodded and he asked him, "How did you know I was going to say that?"
"I know the feeling, the bitter loneliness from the realization that life is just a bad hand that was dealt to you and you are forced to make do with it." Leroy explains.
Sparky lightly descends by Stitch, Stitch stared at Leroy confused. Leroy frowned a little, but didn't allow his face to show how hurt he was and sighed. Stitch carefully walked over to Leroy's side with a blank expression. While Sparky just huffed and leaned on the wall, his face showed his disapproval.
Stitch extended his paw out to Leroy as Leroy sniffed it in bewildered by the notion. Sparky chuckled in amusement, which caused Leroy to look at his face, "What?"
"You shake the paw," Stitch explained, "not sniff it."
Leroy looked into Stitch eyes, wondering if there was some malevolent intentions; however, there was none.
"You can trust me," Stitch said with a comforting smile.
"Can I really?" Leroy questioned as he looked between them.
Sparky looked at Leroy with his eyes saying what was on his mind.
"You can say or think whatever you want , but know that everything you did to us in the past no longer matters. I want to trust you. I want you to be Ohana. I want to treat you like my family, but you have to earn trust. You need to show us that we can trust you," Stitch commented.
"Trust isn't easy to earn, but it isn't out of the realm of possibility for you." he added
"Stitch, I don't want there to be strain between us, but my Ohana is very important to me. If he wants to be apart of it, he has to show me that he cares about someone other than himself," Sparky stated.
"Ohana is something that should be respected and treasured. I know I had my fair share of not doing that. I thought I was the absolute perfect experiment until Jumba made Evile and had my ass handed to me," Stitch stated.
"Don't forget some of the other petty problems you displayed in the past. You can't go a single day without eating EVERYTHING around you. You wreck things that you can get your claws on, and you "accidentally" have seizures and tend to spin out of control, hurting everyone around you," Sparky added simply.
Stitch glared at Sparky as Sparky remarked, "What? You didn't say we couldn't discuss everything that is wrong with you. One of those traits is that you make rash decisions too quickly, which is what I think led you to act civilized toward that evil bastard and immediately give him your trust."
"We've all been where he was Sparky," Stitch responded hotly, "if Lilo hadn't helped us we could be worse off than him."
"Then, where was she when he needed her to show him the way?"
"She couldn't get any time with him. Remember when you were activated? You wanted to play and destroy. We couldn't find you for a full day, you changed only after Lilo and I got captured and then you decided to help us and our cousins," Stitch explained.
"Right, because she couldn't pull one of the fifty thousand Leroy clones aside and talk to him." Sparky said with a deadpan expression, starting to get annoyed.
"We were in a battle, Sparky, and I couldn't live with myself if something had happened to her. But she risked herself for us countless times. Always believing in the good in others and I'm saying we should try that for Leroy," Stitch stated as Leroy looked between the two.
"Because that is what she would do? Is that what you are trying to say?"
"Yes, I am. I know for sure this is what she would do," Stitch replied. "Do you think she should've turned her back on you once we found out about the cousins?"
Sparky remained silent as he looked away from Stitch. He would never forget that fateful day when they had found him and he immediately bonded with Stitch. At first, Lilo wanted to give him away as part of a ransom, though it was to save another family member. However, with persuasion from his best friend, Lilo changed her mind. So, truthfully, it was Stitch believing in the good of his cousin that he was able to become good.
With this small, but significant detail in mind, Sparky looked at Leroy who had been silent the entire time. If Stitch was able to turn so many evil experiments to the side of good, what was to say that he couldn't do it for Leroy no matter what the creator may have claimed?
Stitch looked at him with honest eyes, "Sparky, please tell me, have you ever been on the edge of death? I have. More times than any experiment should have to be. The only thing giving me purpose to continue living this life is my Ohana and I don't want any of them facing the challenges that I have been through. If he is seeking to redeem himself, we should try to give him a chance, don't you think?"
After awhile of contemplation, he looks back at Stitch and nods his head. "Yeah, I do."
Stitch reaches over to Sparky and pulls him into a hug, which the electric experiment reciprocated. Sparky could only hope his best friend wasn't making a mistake by doing this.