Now it's obvious that there are some arguments that should be avoided. Arguments like: The Incredibles or Wall-E? Or, dogs or cats? Reese's or Snickers? Star Wars or Star Trek? Chick-fil-a or...Chick-fil-a? There are a lot of arguments like these will break friendships.
This time, it almost did.
Everyone knew Lilo Pelekai loved Elvis. Like, to the point that she knew more about Elvis than the King of Rock'n'Roll himself. She spread this 'pro-Elvis' attitude to the aliens she had living in her house. To the point that the family themselves loved Elvis too. Stitch, for example, became the second biggest fan of the King.
So, obviously, this made picking out the music for drives in the car super easy. So easy in fact that they kept an CD of Elvis in the radio, not changing it ever.
Yep. It was a good thing so many people in their Ohana loved Elvis...
...except, however, Hero. Otherwise known as Experiment 628 aka Leroy.
He didn't like Elvis.
This led to one of the biggest arguments the Ohana ever had.
They were driving into town for groceries when it happened. Pleakley was driving the car. Why the car instead of walking? Because they had two teenagers and a dozen experiments living in their house, a handful of groceries wouldn't cut it.
They had a bigger car too, than in the movies. With some many people in the house, squeezing everyone in Nani's five-person was too much. The new car could fit eight. A much better fit for them. Plus the trunk- wow- it could fit a Thanksgiving feast inside it. Which is about how many groceries they bought a week.
One of Lilo's favorite Elvis songs was coming over the radio. She turned it up louder, to the delight of Stitch and Pleakley. They began to sing it. Hero groaned, lowering his ears so they were flat on the side of his head.
His human- Mahina Jookiba- reached her hand over to his head. She scratched the back, reassuringly. Hero accepted the kind gesture.
Until Pleakley started to sing.
Everyone in the car had to admit that Pleakley couldn't sing. It drove Hero over the edge. He screamed in annoyance. He jumped up, reaching for the radio and slamming his fist on the power button.
Lilo and Stitch complained when the music stopped.
"Now, now, children. No need to fuss." Pleakley reached for the power button. Hero growled at him. Pleakley pulled his finger back, focusing on driving again. "O-okay. No more music."
"That's not fair!" Lilo complained. Typical of a teenager her age. Yeah she was a proper teenager now. Thirteen years old, the perfect age to gripe about music and life being unfair. "Hero, turn the radio back on!"
Hero shook his head, angrily crossing his arms over his chest.
"Hero!" Lilo growled.
"Lilo!" Pleakley scolded. "It's fine. We're almost at the market anyway!"
Lilo-ever mature-crosses her arms over her chest.
All the whole, Mahina sat in the backseat of the car. The only sign she had been listening was that she lifted out her earbud to see what had happened.
Mahina had her own money- so she set about to buying her own food. She had stayed at Yamanouchi Ninja School for a year for world experience (and they offered her a scholarship for helping save the planet from Draken, which was like no big deal) and she picked up a taste for a lot of the food she had over there.
For the most part, what the grocery store in Kauai had was ingredients for different types of ramen. Mahina didn't mind. She knew a lot of different recipes that were better than just the plain noodles.
She was putting all her ingredients in a basket when Lilo came to her side.
"Can you believe Hero?" Lilo scoffed. She crossed her arms over her chest angrily. "I mean, he cut off the song right when it was getting to the fun part!"
Mahina said nothing.
"He's been doing that a lot lately." Lilo mused. She gasped. "You don't think that means anything, do you?"
Mahina looked at a spice. She was trying to remember if this one tasted good when added to the ramen she was planning to cook that night. "Yeah. It does." She dropped it in her basket.
Lilo gasped again. "Mahina you're right! Hero is up to something! Oh but what?"
Mahina walked away. She moved to the next aisle. Lilo followed behind. Mahina suddenly wondered if she wanted that ramen recipe tonight, or if she should save it for another night. There was a new episode of CSI coming on later this week that she could make something special for.
"I'm thinking tonight." Mahina decided. "Yeah, tonight." She'd make some popcorn for the show. Mahina tried to remember which aisle had the popcorn. This one just had bread and small cakes.
"What's tonight?" Lilo asked. "You know what he's planning?"
"Oh yeah." Mahina walked to the next aisle. "This is gonna be fun."
"Mahina! Will you answer-" Lilo paused. She chased after her friend. She pushed back Mahina's black hair. "You had your headphones on the whole time?!"
Yeah. Mahina tended to wear her hair down. The long black locks blocked away the sight of her headphones.
Mahina saw her friend glaring angrily. She reached for her headphones, taking one off her ear. "Oh. Hey Lilo. What's up?"
Lilo face palmed. "Ugh. I was trying to talk to you about Hero!"
"You were?" Mahina hummed. She scrunched up her face in confusion. "Why?"
"Because he turned off the radio in the car!"
"Oh. Right. When did he do that, again?"
"In the car! Ten minutes ago!"
Mahina understood. "Oh. Gotcha. I'll talk to him about-"
"How long have you been wearing those?" Lilo asked, pointing to the headphones.
"...I plead the fifth." Mahina answered. She moved to put the headphone back on her ear. Lilo stopped her. "Okay I've been wearing them since I got in the car!"
"Why?" Lilo asked, confused.
"Because I would've gone insane if I had to listen Elvis again." Mahina admitted.
Lilo dropped her jaw in shock.
Mahina sighed. She put her hands on her hips, shaking her head. "Here we go. The questions. Don't even start with me, Pelekai. I'm not-"
"What could you- what do you mean-" Lilo felt like her world had turned on it's side. Mahina didn't want to listen to Elvis? What kind of world did Lilo live in now? Where people didn't like Elvis? "What are you listening to? What's so good you picked it over Elvis?"
Mahina held up her pink iPod for Lilo. On the screen was the logo for band called Queen.
"Who's Queen?" Lilo asked.
Now it was Mahina's turn to gawk. "You don't know-?! Forget it." She turned away from Lilo. "I can't have this conversation with you right now!"
Except she would.
Lilo caught up with her, blocking her path. "Who the heck is Queen and why are they better than Elvis?"
"Umm, because Freddie Mercury is the best thing ever." Mahina stated, plainly and dumb-downed for Lilo. "Because their songs are all different and not all of them are romance ones!"
"Neither is Elvis'!" Lilo defended.
"Well sorry, you only play the romance ones in the car!" Mahina argued. "So I'd much rather listen to 'I'd Like To Break Free' instead of 'Blue Moon' for the millionth time!"
An awful realization came to Lilo. "You're the reason Hero turned off the radio! You told him about Queen!"
"You're darn right I did!" Mahina stated proudly. "He was pulling out his fur when you and Stitch sang out your songs! I'm not gonna say sorry for liking another band! Especially one that's better than Elvis!"
"You take that back!"
Thus began the most awful fight the Pelekai/Jookiba house ever withstood.
Once they made it back to the house, Hero and Mahina stormed off to their room. Lilo and Stitch went to theirs. Pleakley was left behind to unload groceries.
Mahina slammed her door, enraged. Hero growled as he climbed up to his bed.
"Did you have to turn off the radio?" Mahina huffed in a low voice. She picked up another iPod on the dresser, this one red. "We got you an iPod for a reason."
Mahina gave him a flat look.
Hero stopped snarling.
Mahina continued to give him the flat stare.
"She just wouldn't shut up about Elvis!" Hero complained in his alien language. Well, he called Elvis the 'dancing sparkly big hair man'.
"Yeah. That's why I got you the iPod, and built earpods you could use." Mahina explained. She pointed at said headphones. "So when you got annoyed at music or us you could ignore us until whenever you wanted. Now we're in a battle of the bands with Lilo and Stitch."
Hero scoffed. "What is this 'we' thing?"
"Well since you turned off the radio, and I insulted Elvis to Lilo's face, it's going to take literally another apocalypse before I can get her to like us again."
Hero turned on his side. "Why do we want them to like us again? They are annoying."
"We're going in our teenage angst phase. Everyone's annoying." Mahina supplied. She climbed into her bed, letting out a heavy sigh. "We're so dead."
When Mahina came downstairs for dinner, she was met with stone cold silence.
Which she was used to, really. She wore her headphones all the time, so the table being quiet wasn't anything different.
Mahina was making herself some ramen. The one she had bought all the ingredients for at the store. She was super excited to try eat.
Except...she couldn't find the stuff.
Oh the noodles were there. That was the easy part. It was just all the other things she'd bought today were gone.
She knew she hadn't taken them to her room. She knew she didn't feed it to any experiments. Which meant...the food had been stolen.
Probably by a teenager, with black hair and brown eyes and a blue alien.
Mahina sighed. She closed the drawer. "Lilo. Give them back."
Lilo, who was sitting at the table eating dinner, pretended not to hear.
Mahina turned. Everyone else at the table watched the exchange silently. They had learned not to get involved when Mahina was annoyed. "Lilo. Give me my food."
"Alright then." Mahina walked out of the kitchen without another word.
Lilo's smug grin was dampened some by the lackluster reaction. She would have to up her game...
"What's going on?" Nani asked Lilo in a stern voice.
"Nothing." Lilo lied. Nani gave her a flat stare. "We're just fighting."
"About?" When Lilo didn't answer, Nani turned to Pleakley. "Well?"
"They're arguing about music." Pleakley revealed, beaming wide. "Oh it's so fascinating to watch! I've heard about teenage fights in my research, but I've never witnessed it in real life before!" The alien squealed in delight.
Nani let out a sigh. "What's the stupid fight about now?"
"It's not a stupid fight!" Lilo snapped. "Mahina said Elvis was a bad singer, so I'm getting even!"
"By taking her food?" Nani countered. "Lilo! Give Mahina her food!"
Lilo groaned in annoyance. She turned to Jumba. "Jumba, can't you stop her?"
Jumba held up his arms. "No! I'm not getting in middle of Earth girl fight." He got up from his seat. "But you will fix Mahina's dinner."
When Lilo got Mahina's food back to the kitchen, she found Mahina grinning smugly.
This meant war!
The war lasted three months.
It was awful.
Some battles were fierce. With Lilo blasting Mahina with a ray blaster that left burns on her arm. Or Mahina trying to 'accidentally' set off the blasters on the ship. Or Lilo setting it up for the Yin/Yang experiments to follow Mahina around for a week, and blast her whenever they felt like it. Or Mahina asking Kixx to follow around Lilo, and push close every door Lilo was trying to use.
Some were more annoying than fierce. Mahina asked Clip to give Lilo a bad haircut while she slept. Lilo told Kettle (an experiment that had a furnace as a stomach that Mahina decided would be great at making popcorn to replace the broken popper at the theatre) to make sure whatever popcorn Mahina got was burnt.
It needed to be stopped.
Mahina was sitting at the dinner table. Her eyes were darting around, looking for something that was off.
Because that's just how life was now.
Mahina was usually hyper aware of what happened around her- a side effect of training as a ninja. It had saved her from a dozen of Lilo's pranks. That's what she called them, pranks. 'Attacks' were too strong a word.
She glanced at the toaster. She used it to cook toast, except now she wondered what Lilo had done to it. There were a lot of options. Sparky could've messed with it (except he'd been recruited for Mahina's team after an unfortunate incident with Babyfier).
So...maybe it was safe.
Mahina walked up to it. Slowly.
The toast popped out.
Mahina continued walking. Slower.
Just when she was within reach, she heard someone coming around the corner.
She grabbed the nearest object, throwing it in their direction.
Jumba blocked the glass plate before it could hit his face. Unfortunately it fell to the floor, shattering.
Mahina gasped. "Oh my- Pops I'm sorry!" She rushed to grab the broom and dustpan. She swept up the broken glass littered on the floor. "I thought you were-"
"Little Girl?" Jumba guesser, giving Mahina the look of parental disappointment. "Or 626?" Mahina awkwardly stared down at the broken glass. "Mahina, this fighting has to end! Just apologize to Little Girl about saying Elvis bad singer-"
"I did not say that about Elvis!" Mahina complained. She had finished sweeping up the glass. She stormed over to the trash can, dumping it. "All I said was that I liked Queen better!"
"That. Apologize for that." Jumba corrected himself. Then he puffed up his chest, feeling like a proud Earth father.
"Ugh. Do I have to?" Mahina whined.
Jumba gave her a glare. "Mahina..."
Later that afternoon, Mahina and Lilo Met in the living room for a peace talk.
Lilo was sitting on the couch, arms crossed over her chest. Stitch, beside her, was doing the same.
Mahina was standing beside the window. Hero was on the wall behind her (despite the 'no climbing on the walls' rule Nani made after replacing the wallpaper for the tenth time), fading at the couch as if he had laser eyes that would set it on fire.
"Lilo. Stitch." Mahina began, taking a deep breath. "We've been fighting for...too long." She paused to make sure she had her wording exactly right. "So I asked you to come here, so that I can say...I'm sorry."
Lilo huffed, turning her head away.
Mahina grit her teeth. "I'm...sorry...that I...called Elvis a 'bad singer'. He's not." She said, even though she didn't actually say that. Sometimes you have to apologize for things you didn't do just so the fighting would stop.
"...and?" Lilo prompted.
Mahina stayed strong. "And that I used Dorkifier to embarrass you in front of that cute boy you liked."
"Made Phantasmo follow you around and scare you."
"...and that one time I took all your left shoes."
Lilo accepted the apology. "Hero?" Lilo prompted.
The Red experiment snorted. "What?"
"You did stuff too!"
"Eh." Stitch nodded his head.
"Like when you tore apart my history book!" Lilo ranted. "Or got spit all over my new clothes!"
"You did it to me too..." Mahina murmured. She slid her hands in her pockets.
"And make Stitch smelly!" Stitch yelled.
"You turned me pink for a week!" Hero argued.
"Alright. Alright!" Mahina cut him off. "Hero, just please say it?"
Hero gawked. "No!"
"No! I won't do it." Hero jumped off the wall, running to their room.
Mahina sighed. "I'll...talk to him. We good?"
Lilo and Stitch exchanged a look. They began whispering to each other.
Mahina stood impatiently waiting. She'd rather not leave Hero alone too long. He got...weird.
After a minute, Stitch stood off the couch. He walked up to Mahina. She knelt down, expression open.
Stitch beamed. He hugged Mahina, who returned it happily. She let out a sigh in relief.
"Mahalo." Mahina sighed into Stitch's fur. She looked up at Lilo. "Mahalo plenti." She pulled away from the hug. "Now I'm going to go keep Hero from destroying our room."
She ran off to the room.
When she opened the door, it was to a flurry of feathers. Hero had ripped apart another pillow again. She wasn't surprised.
Hero had it in his teeth, shaking it around.
"You know I hate feathers in my stuff." Mahina remarked dryly. She grabbed all the feathers she could, throwing them out.
Hero spat out the pillow. "You know I hate Elvis!"
"Yeah, I do." Mahina stated. "We still had to apologize."
"Because that's what ohana does. Apologize to each other. If we had both apologized, they would've said sorry too!" Mahina pointed out. She walked up to Hero. "I know it's a weird human custom."
"It's also a weird custom that when someone doesn't like your music, you say sorry and stop playing it in front of them!"
"Hero would you please-"
"It killed them!" Hero raged. Mahina stopped. Her face fell, as she'd heard this a hundred times and each time hurt like the last. "A-all of them! Every Leroy like me died because of Elvis! And they were singing it with so much happiness that I couldn't take it anymore!"
'Which is why I convinced them to get you the iPod.' Mahina thought to herself. Instead of saying this, she pulled Hero into her lap.
"They didn't need to die." Hero continued to rant, as Mahina brushed her hand through his head fur. "They were just lost."
"I know." Mahina agreed, feeling a haunting ache in her chest.
Hero turned into Mahina's hug. He buried his face in her shirt. "We could have made them better. Like you made me better."
Mahina never knew what to say when he said that. 'Maybe we could have...', 'Maybe they were too far gone...', 'no way we could keep them from Elvis for long', 'I bet some of them were kind.' "Okay." She found herself sniffling.
They say like that a long time. Neither crying, neither making any real noise of any kind. The room was full of the sounds of their shaking breaths.
Mahina rocked Hero in her arms, relief that he was there and alive because remembering that festival was intense.
"Who wants to live forever." Mahina sang under her breath some twenty minutes later. "Who wants to live forever. Forever is our today..."
"Who waits to live forever, anyway?" She and Hero sang.
AN: Yeah none of you were ready for this were huh?!