Chapter One: Recaps
Late spring on Izayoi was very similar to Kauai's; large trees rose out of a thick covering of brush, small clusters of buds and flowers peeking through the bushes and swaying in a slight breeze as streaks of clouds drifted by overhead. Heat gazed up at them as he adjusted the bag he was carrying over his shoulder; it was peaceful here-the town was small like Kokaua's and there were many beaches and miles upon miles of nature and open space.
Interrupting his thoughts, however, was a cleared throat and a deep voice to his right.
"A whole week huh?"
Heat looked over to Kixx, who was walking with him on the path leading to the Kamihara household. His fiance had insisted on carrying the other two bags for their stay at the house, and they swung in step behind him as he continued, "It's weird they'd send a call out on that short a notice. Maybe it's because they wanted to make it quick or something."
"Maybe…" Heat squinted for a moment at the ground, thinking back to why they'd been called over in the first place. Lilo, Hammerface, and Clip had been informed by the Galactic Federation that they'd have to come to finalize the ban on Hamsterviel, Gantu, and Reuben from Earth and its solar system. It was temporary for Gantu and Reuben-they would have to pursue a measure to lift the ban and cut off all ties to Hamsterviel, but Hamsterviel's was permanent-and for good reason thanks to his years of meddling with Earth and well...them.
"But hey," Heat felt a reassuring hand on his shoulder, snapping him out of his thoughts, "this means we're going to get to see 001's creation, that'll be cool right?"
"Oh...oh yeah! The first experiment after what, 10-13 years? Or maybe only two if we're counting everyone in Huangshan..."
"Actually about 17 for our series and 3 for theirs. Weird to know after all this time."
Kixx smiled at Heat upon seeing him light up a bit from the idea; 001-or 630 as some experiments had been calling her (or 652 depending on the experiment and their knowledge of those created in China-the numbering system had been all but thrown out the window at this point), was Hammerface and Clip's daughter; she'd been developing for about four months in a vat inside the lab and by this point, was almost ready to be taken out. Truthfully, they'd been asked to stay over for the week to watch over both her and the family living there in Lilo and the older experiments' absences, but the couple had been visiting near every week to check up on 001, Yuna and Stitch, Angel, and Ani, so it'd make sense that Hammerface would ask them to stay for the week...even with Bonnie and Clyde as backup for their exile duties.
Heat continued excitedly, happy to change the subject away from the less favorable reason they were visiting, "I wonder what they're gonna name her; Lilo and Ani have been coming up with a lot of ideas but Hammer's been pretty quiet about it-not even Clip's saying much. They did say they didn't want one relating to tools, but that's the only thing they would say on it." He made an L shape with his hand and held it up to his chin in thought, "I know Hammerface likes deep stuff but Clip doesn't, so it's gotta be hard to come up with one; they've got such different taste that it has to be."
Kixx laughed, "They're probably spamming all those weird baby name sites-you know the ones; they put some name up and the meaning's completely wrong, that or else it's weird as hell and makes no sense-or it's the same thing, but a million different spellings."
"God-it's probably all over their search histories. Just full of people wondering if they should name their kid after morel mushrooms or great horned owls or something."
"That or Ravioli."
Heat snorted, "You know the worst part is that there's probably humans named everything we thought of; works for cats, but not for...everyone else. Maybe snails'd work, but that's about it."
The Kamihara household soon came into view, a large ship situated outside and casting a gargantuan shadow over the home. Bonnie and Clyde were waiting for the two on the porch, Bonnie holding up her hand in greeting as they walked up. "Hey guys, you're just in time; everyone's almost ready to go. All they've gotta do now is to just show you how to help out Jumba when it comes to the kid."
"It's pretty easy; there's nothing you really have to do so aside from visiting her a couple times a day, so we're about free for the whole week. Minus watching out for Hamsterviel and Gantu of course." Clyde added, "I don't think we'll need to worry about them though; knowing Hammerface, he'll call us if they so much as move in the direction of Earth from Turo."
"Oh, cool! We'll take these in and get down to the lab then. It'll be nice to see everyone again-AAAHH!" Heat ended on a high pitched scream as he pulled open the door and was immediately crashed into by a familiar pink blur.
"Angel-jesus-get off me!" Heat yelled, stumbling back and throwing his bag out in front of him to stop the madly cackling song experiment, "What's wrong with you?!"
"Oh-I think the better question is what is RIGHT with me." Angel retorted, straightening up and dusting herself off, "You've gotta see 001-or you already are, but she's so close to being done! Also can I take those for you-?!"
"Angel. Please, calm down. We were already going to take them in and Kixx has four arms. I think we'll be fine." Heat said, placing a hand in between her antennae as he held his bag at arm's length from her, "Showing us inside would be enough; haven't seen Lilo since my last visit to Jumba."
Angel pouted, but still led the two into the house, sprinting away towards Stitch and practically dragging the both of them back to the couple as they entered.
"Aloha Kixx and Heat!" Stitch yelled breathlessly, actually taking the lead as they rushed over-Heat quickly ducking to the left-"Tay super happy youga he-!"
Stitch unfortunately didn't get the time to finish; he was cut off as he careened right into Kixx's chest, earning him a shocked grunt instead of the hello he'd been hoping for. Kixx picked up both experiments by the top of their heads and held them out in front of him as he set the bags down on the floor, followed by Bonnie and Clyde, "Okay, hello, why are you acting like you're on sugar highs? We're just staying a week and you're crashing into us right as we walk in the door."
"Yeah but you get married in a few months." Angel said, grinning.
"That's about three months and seventeen days away. Two hours and 43 more minutes if we're being precise. And what does that have to do with anything?"
"Well I mean. It's happening."
Kixx sighed in irritation; the downside to staying here would definitely be handling Angel; Angel had sadly been forced to retire from her career as a singer for health reasons thanks to Hamsterviel's brief but still debilitating usage of mind control on her, leaving her restless and constantly on the lookout for a way to vent said boredom. Once him and Heat had come to Izayoi, Angel suddenly had her main outlet back-Heat.
And by extension, himself.
"Where's Lilo and Hammerface? We don't want to keep them stalling; we're in the sentencing period for the Three Stooges after all." He placed both younger experiments on the side and picked up both bags, putting them down next to the coffee table as Heat did similar.
"Coming! We're all down in the lab!" Lilo's voice called up shortly before she entered, followed by Myrtle and Victoria, "Hi you two! We're so glad you could make it. Sorry about the kinda-short notice, it was mostly Hammerface-not that you'd be surprised at that or anything."
"It's fine! We get to see 001 come out and we're down the road anyways, so it's not a big deal." Heat said, "Plus it makes sense knowing Hammerface; this is Gantu and Hamsterviel after all."
"The two of us are also staying here and maintaining those new transporters to make sure nothing goes wrong with the coordinates, so you are going to have well...some other adults here beside Bon and Clyde." Victoria said.
"...That's just because there's no one who knows about this who can babysit Ani right now, so we're watching her too." Myrtle added, adjusting her glasses further up the bridge of her nose, "It's a pretty full house even with Witch adding a couple spare rooms, but you are right-it is Gantu and Hamsterviel."
"Ah cool; so we're gonna have both you guys and experiments over every day then."
"Yup. The other three are back on Kauai watching the rest of the experiments too; they've got communicators, got partnered up with some pretty powerful experiments, and Gigi's with Teresa, so I hope that's enough."
"Anyways," Victoria finished, turning to Lilo, "wanna take them downstairs? We know you've got to leave soon, so…"
"Oh! Yeah, let's get down there; Hammerface and Clip aren't really minding-they're having a last look at 001 before we go."
The new lab's lower level was cold and dark as the group of humans and aliens descended inside. Ani and Yuna were in the hallway leading to the main chamber, looking over and brightening up upon seeing Heat and Kixx. "Uncle Heat! Uncle Kixx!" Ani called out, running over and giving the couple a hug each, "It's so cool you're staying over-I'm really glad you came!"
"Aw, it's nice to see you again Ani; we've got those transports set up as well, so we're going to be able to visit a lot more after this week." Kixx said, ruffling Ani's hair, "How's Izayoi been? Good?"
"Yeah! I took a ton of pictures and Yuna's been showing me all around the beaches; there's tons of tide pools around here and they're really different from Kauai's-I've taken so many pictures since I got here that my camera's gotta be taken in like-twice a day now!"
"We even visited Kijimuuna at his tree this morning; Ani was great with picking out fish for him." Yuna added, "But yeah-it's really cool you're staying here, and then there's, well-three months from now and that's gonna be awesome too."
Heat laughed as the group walked into the main room of the lab, "Well, right now this Friday's the big event; we can focus more on that after this week right?"
"Is being correct, 609," Jumba said, getting up from a desk at the far end of the room and heading over, followed by Pleakley, "I will be seeing to most of 001's final developments, but you two are still needed to monitor her vitals. Is being quite easy-even Pleakley can do it."
"Hey! I'm sure she appreciates her auntie Pleakley making sure she's okay until the little monsters join in." Pleakley retorted, crossing his arms, "Even if the chance she knows anything about what's going on around her is statistically zero."
Lilo giggled, "The thought counts; I've seen how many blankets you've made for her, it's almost as much as when Ani was born."
At the noise, the two remaining figures who'd been clustered around the main tank looked up and over to the group. "Hey Heat, Kixx," Clip said as Hammerface nodded in greeting, "all we have left before we leave is for you two to learn how to record her vitals and, well-see you off until Thursday night."
"We're really glad you could come-sorry about the short notice." Hammerface added, "We've been waiting for you, but it's not like we're complaining given it's just more time down here."
"Heh, I don't blame you; she's gotten well...bigger than when I last saw her...I guess?" Heat said, peering at the small figure gently floating inside the tank.
The tank was gigantic, but the experiment inside was only about the size of a kiwi fruit. 001 was just about done growing, right down to her claws and teeth-the former of which were going to be just like Clip's from their length. Heat smiled as he watched 001 drifting inside; it'd been incredible to be able to watch her grow and now they'd finally be able to take her out by Friday. Lilo and everyone else were supposed to be back early Thursday night, so they'd have a full night's rest for the big day.
"She's cute ain't she?" Bonnie asked, crossing her arms as her and Clyde walked into the lab, "She's been moving more and more in the last week, which kinda makes me think she'll be very active after she's taken out."
"God I hope not, there's not much more I can take from living with Angel for two years." Hammerface said, smiling to his old friend and ignoring Angel's subsequent raspberry in his direction, "First thing's first after that confirmation, we're pretty much rushing back and getting ready for her to be taken out."
"...You're not gonna-"
"Gee thanks. No I won't rush the ship on the way back. Lilo's driving anyways."
Clyde laughed, "Just checking, that's all."
"Anyways, chit-chat is stalling you 033 and Little Girl, let me show 609 and 601 what to do and then we should be seeing each other off." Jumba said, cutting in to the conversation and gesturing Heat and Kixx to come closer to the machines hooked up to the tank.
"Now. I will be monitoring 001's final developments, the only thing left that is being a little less-such is her incisors, but those will clear up within the week. This is being the longer route of experiment creation after all. All the two of you need to do is write down and copy the readings on these machines. They show her molecular charge, heart rate, and overall progress. If anything changes, just run to me and I will be fixing it. I'm sure you are already being aware of the main reason you've been asked to come, so I think you know what to do when it comes to Gantu and Hamsterviel."
"And," Pleakley added, "in case you want to have a look at them, I have all of mine inside these binders if you two want to have a look." He gestured to a stack of brightly colored and ornately patterned binders on the work table, "I saw these really fascinating Youtube videos on how to decorate them and went to town-literally!"
"...That means we're overflowing with art supplies in case you were running low." Lilo said to Heat, sheepishly placing a hand behind her head, "Though I'm not too sure about that even-Yuna and Ani have been going through them pretty quickly."
Heat laughed, "...Well, they can have 'em, I bring my own pack of copics nowadays. Heck, you two can use the pack I brought if you want; I probably have too many back home myself to be honest."
"Anyways, thanks Pleakley, we'll definitely take a look through those when we can so we can have a comparison." Kixx said to the Plorgnarian, who nodded excitedly before elaborating, "She's been pretty stable throughout her development, so we're in the home stretch for now, and then afterwards, it's wedding planning for the next three months for you two!"
Heat turned magenta and put his head in his hands while Angel patted him on the back with a wide grin, confusing Pleakley, "What'd I say? You two couldn't stop talking about your engagement, plus we've been planning for a few months now."
"No-it-it's not that, it's that I just-I can't believe it's actually happening and all so it's kinda overwhelming, plus we brought out the rings at the same time so I mean…"
Bonnie smiled at Heat, "Nah, we get it Heat-it must be a lot after ya end up proposing to each other at the same time, plus it's right in the middle of everything else going on...though I gotta admit, that was kind of embarrassing-in a good way, but, still."
"Plus we should focus on 001 right now-we can talk weddings on Saturday after she's taken out, right? We have three months, that's plenty of time, right Pleakley?" Kixx added, himself reddening as he thought back to their proposal...they'd set up a date at the beach he'd took Heat when he was first rescued and had he'd commissioned Crystallene to make a ring. Heat as it turned out, had a very similar idea and both had ended up bringing out their rings at the same time. He still wondered what Crystallene had to have thought, seeing both come in separately for the same purpose...
Pleakley thought for a moment, "Well, if it's making you two all flustered, then I won't pry, but I do get to help you with your outfits for the wedding once she's out. Deal?"
"Alright, we're all set then." Lilo said, "So Heat and Kixx, you're watching 001 until Thursday night...hopefully. Depends on the traffic coming back, Turian rush hour's exhausting..."
"Okay-oh! By the way Hammerface," Heat turned to the older experiment in curiosity, "did you and Clip come up with a name yet, or are you still thinking about it?"
Hammerface smiled and Clip laughed before placing a single claw up to her lips, "We have, but it's a secret for now; we'll tell you when we get back, but we've finally come up with one after...how long has it been now Hammerface?" She turned to her husband as he sheepishly placed a hand behind his head, "...Probably since we first went over her blueprints. Thing is, we just didn't want one that reflected her ability-or I didn't given my name. I wanted her to have something nice since she's obviously getting my head and that'll be indication enough of her ability."
"Ooohh-like meega then?" Stitch asked the two older experiments excitedly, pointing to himself. His name was a random one at first, but had evolved into something deeper as both himself and Lilo began to see it as a representation of how his appearance had not only "stitched up" the family, but had created new and deeper bonds with his own-new "stitches" as he'd taken to joking about.
"Yes; like yourself, or Angel even." Hammerface said as the pink experiment gave a wide smile from off to the side, "Anyways, it's time for us to head out; if something happens, call us and we'll do what we can from Turo, okay?"
"Yep! And thanks for letting us watch her for the week Hammerface. We're really grateful to get to help." Heat said, the group beginning to move upstairs towards the entrance of the lab and the waiting ship...
The ship had taken off without any trouble, everyone had said their final goodbyes in the front yard and Pleakley had promptly cried out of pride at seeing Lilo piloting the ship off to Turo on her own. Bonnie and Clyde had gone out into the backyard, Angel and Stitch had planted themselves on the couch after taking Heat and Kixx to visit the resident Sproutlings in the kitchen, and Yuna and Ani had taken to showing off Ani's multitude of new photos to the couples...complete with showing them their glitter pen laden journal detailing the local sights.
"Okay, and this one's one of those cowrie shells, but they've got these really neat spots instead of the brown and tan ones we have back home, and when we turned the rock over next to it, we found all these tiny fish underneath! I kinda wanted to see if there were any lobster shells around but Yuna says we mostly get crab shells here on Izayoi, so we went to look for those instead and I found these really cool striped ones." Ani chatted away at her exploits with Yuna around the island's beaches, showing Heat and Kixx the hundreds of pictures she'd taken with her new camera; of trees, flowers, birds, the market, sea life, and just like her mother before her, the occasional garishly dressed tourist.
"We really wanted to find out what kind they were, but neither of us had cell service. Dad's really great with finding this stuff out, but me? I have to use a field guide-there's so many different crabs alone here it's kinda hard to keep track." Yuna added, watching Ani flip through the photos, "The yokai told us no pictures though, so we mostly stuck around the beach and coastline here."
Heat laughed at the huge amount of photos and accompanying rambling from the girls, "So how many did you two take in all? This is a lot, but something tells me it's small compared to the actual number."
Ani paused and thought for a moment, trying to think as to how many they'd actually taken, "Well...we have one camera getting developed right now, so that's 20 plus all the other ones, so...huh." She gazed at the two with a sheepish grin, "I think we lost track."
"Eeh, that's okay Ani-we can just add them up later if you want. I'm willing to bet...1200. Twelve-hundred pictures." Kixx said, "It seems about right for you; what do you think?"
"I bet it's more than that. I say fifteen hundred-we took some burst photos at the beach caves." Yuna countered, raising her finger in the air to challenge Kixx. The purple experiment gave a smirk in answer to it, "We'll see eventually, but you're still on."
"Listen, I'm not scared of this cra-I mean, I bet it's one thousand!" Angel abruptly chimed in from the couch, causing everyone to turn and stare at her in confusion. She grinned mischievously, "What? It's way more intimidating than your puny "fifteen hundred" and "twelve hundred", like, what the hell is that about? So, one thousand!"
Yuna snickered, "Well...you do have a point there…also you're lucky Zuruko's not here since she'd make you put another few yen in the swear jar."
Just then, a voice rang out from outside the door along with a loud knock, signaling both Zuruko and Obaa had come back from the store. Both had made a large trip to the grocery store to buy the week's food; not a particularly easy task given food intolerances and the sheer number of guests they currently had in their house, but they'd managed despite that-Hammerface's lists had probably been a factor, as the gray experiment knew more than anyone (except other captured experiments and Nani) about feeding a large family. "Kids! And experiments if you're in there! Wanna come help Obaa and I put the groceries in? And Plasmoid's here for Heat and Kixx!"
"Coming!" Yuna jumped up and pulled open the door to reveal Zuruko and Obaa, both carrying bags of the aforementioned groceries and trailed by the scorpion experiment-who was carefully balancing his own bag on his back. "Someone take this from me please! I tried, but it's not going so hot!" Plasmoid called out.
Heat quickly walked over to him and lifted the bag off his old friend and teammate, hanging it over his shoulder upon seeing it was just full of bread and snacks for the week. "Hi Plasmoid! It's great to have you over." He said, being subsequently tapped on the shoulder by the latter's tail in return, "Hey, great to see you too Heat-and everyone else of course. Except for you. And you." He lifted his front leg and pointed it at Angel and Myrtle respectively, the latter of which having come out with Victoria to help. Victoria laughed while Myrtle sighed in indignation, "Hello Plasmoid, how's Zap doing?" She asked, ignoring his jab towards her.
"Pretty good. He tells Heat here to watch his charge as usual. Which you're doing, right Heat?"
"I mean, I hope so-I'm tied to my charge after all, so I probably should. Don't wanna freeze after all" Heat said, snickering as he walked after Plasmoid, the latter making his way into the house. He set the bag on the kitchen table with the others brought in by Zuruko and Obaa. "Tell him I said I'm watching it okay?"
At seeing Plasmoid enter into the house, Ani jumped up in excitement, "Uncle Plasmoid! You're here!" She ran over and gave him a large hug as Plasmoid's tail ruffled her hair in greeting, "Hey Ani-I'm guessing Izayoi's been fun?" He asked.
"Yeah-it's been awesome so far! We were just showing Heat and Kixx all the pictures we took when you came."
Ani was arguably closest to Plasmoid of all the experiments; he'd done most of the babysitting when she was young and had even seen her off to school on her first day alongside Lilo. Plasmoid, despite his reputation of being foul-tempered and brash, had always been good with kids and Ani was no exception. When Lilo had reunited with Stitch, Plasmoid had been filling in for her; watching Ani alongside Nani and David and keeping in close contact with her and Kixx over in Izayoi. So, him visiting on Izayoi was no surprise; like Heat and Kixx, he'd been doing so periodically to check up on 001, and now that 001 was almost finished, he'd come over once again, probably for a final check before the big day.
Plasmoid smiled to his niece, "That's great Ani! Make sure to show Zap some when you come back to Kauai, okay?"
"Of course! Oh-also, how were the transporters? Were they working right?"
"They're good; at this point it's all a matter of keeping the site hidden...and stopping people from just materializing in Heat and Kixx's Izayoi house and walking into their living room." Plasmoid said, "But yeah-they're working well."
"That's good to hear Plasmoid; kinda reminds me we have to declutter the rest of the basement so experiments don't trip trying to come out of there." Heat said sheepishly as the scorpion experiment joined everyone else in the living room, "I take it you're going to stay for dinner then?"
"Yep, plus I wanted to have a look at 001, but I'm sure you know that already."
"Sounds like a plan then."
Sunset came and went, Ani and Yuna snapping several more photos of the Okinawan sun as it sank beneath the trees. Plasmoid, Kixx, and Heat had caught up with one another on the goings on back on Kauai; Belle and Sproing were back from their honeymoon and brought over a ton of souvenier T-shirts, Thresher had befriended multiple Leroy clones and they were currently helping him with spring gardening at Kokaua Summer Camp, Poki and Squeak were now officially dating. Nosy and Fibber were still trying to decipher a name for 001, and Crystallene and Witch were working together on a large commission for matching necklaces. A lot was going on back home, and at a much greater speed than it had ever previously had. It was nice to hear about everyone getting so much done so quickly; Hamsterviel being on the loose and free to come to Earth had caused many experiments to keep their activity to a minimum, with some still being afraid to form romantic relationships over it. Poki and Squeak had been two of those such experiments, and to hear both felt comfortable enough to date as of now was quite heartwarming.
"So, anyone else coming this week? I know 627 and Joules said they were coming with Chops, but is there anyone else?" Heat asked as he began to set the table for dinner with Bonnie and Clyde, while Plasmoid and Kixx brought the food out.
"Yeah-Thresh, Sparky, Nosy, Belle, and Sproing, and I think Witch and Crystal, but I'm not sure. Spike and Stank are also coming on Thursday." Plasmoid explained, "They all want a look at 001 and they're all going to be there on Friday in addition to whatever day they choose this week, so it's pretty full here to say the least. Aliens, experiments, and a shi-I mean, a lot of humans." He blew a short raspberry at his slip, "Shoot-even now it's so hard not to swear. I don't know how you and Kixx do it."
Bonnie snorted, "I remember the early days when you'd accidentally let one slip in front of Ani when she was a baby and Lilo'd get really mad at you; that was great."
"Yeah, thankfully she was too young to pick any of that up, right?" Plasmoid asked, giving a small chuckle at the many times he'd stumbled and accidentally swore in front of a young Ani, "Anyways-food's ready if anyone wants any!" He yelled in the direction of the living room, where everyone else had gathered in waiting for the experiments to finish up with making dinner-a short wait, as Heat's energy powers had quickly taken care of preheating and boiling water for pasta.
"Alright, we're coming in then-thanks for taking over dinner duties for tonight guys, we really appreciate it." Zuruko said as the rest of the family filed in, "We had to go out and get plenty of stuff for the week, thankfully I just got paid, so it's not a problem, it's just...a lot of work, as you might know."
"No problem-it was the least we could do for staying here for the week, plus we're pretty used to feeding a big family. I did live on Gantu's ship for two years after all." Heat said as he sat down in between Kixx and Angel, who immediately stabbed her fork into a large steak and began to tear into it with a knife, "...Let's just say we have a lot of experience." He reiterated as he held up his hand to stop drops of steak juice from being flung into his fur.
"There must've been a lot of you in there, huh?" Zuruko asked, "Sorry-not prying, just, you know, asking."
"Nah, I'm good with it now that we're not going to deal with it anymore. Since we don't have to worry about Hamsterviel, it's easier to talk about this stuff." Heat reassured Zuruko, "Thanks though."
"And Plasmoid, afterwards since you're going, wanna see 001 with us? We should probably visit her tonight anyways, just to be on the safe side." He asked the scorpion experiment, who nodded through a huge mouthful of chicken.
"Speaking of which though...do you have your room figured out, or should I help you with setting one up? Witch added plenty of spares, but I wanted to ask just in case you needed anything while you're here." Obaa asked the couple.
"Oh-we're fine, don't worry! We'll take whatever's available; thanks Obaa." Kixx said, smiling, "I've got my super strength anyways, so if we have to move some stuff around, I can easily manage."
"That's good to hear then; I hope you two enjoy your time here." Obaa said, immediately followed up by Yuna, who pumped her fist in the air as she swallowed the rest of her pasta, "Me too! I know you guys aren't going far from the house since you're watching 001, but I really hope you like it here!"
Heat laughed, "I think we will Yuna; things are nice and quiet over here, even with the transports set up in our house and all."
The warm atmosphere was suddenly-and abruptly-interrupted. Angel, for Heat supposed, her own reasons he didn't want to find out, jumped up in her seat. Heat shot her a disapproving glare, only to be returned a smug grin. "Get down. Now." He mouthed to her; he could tell Angel was about to say something inappropriate at the table-everything about her demeanor showed it and he wasn't prepared to deal with an entire week of her-unlike she seemed to think.
Angel gave him a wide smirk before opening her mouth and beginning to speak.
Heat dove into Angel and covered her mouth just as she got the first two syllables out, not caring that he was subsequently splattered with rice, condiments, and beef-both from his own and Angel's plates. The rest of the table groaned and complained in exasperation at her outburst, "Angel! Again?! What was that?!" Victoria exclaimed, "And right after we have a nice moment at the table too, I just know you did that on purpose!"
Kixx put his head in his hands before turning to look at Heat; he was covered in food from the table and was thoroughly irritated with Angel. At the moment he had a grip on her ear and a large grimace plastered on his face, pinching the middle part of the ear between thumb and forefinger as he stood up in his seat.
"2000 yen in that swear jar, NOW, Angel."
"I was saying prehensile-"
"I said now, Angel."
"Fine." She got up and left the room, leaving Heat to start cleaning off his fur. He was quickly offered extra napkins by Kixx and Zuruko, one annoyed, the other concerned about what the cause of the latest outburst was. "Sorry about...that, whatever that was about this time." Zuruko said, "If you need to shower, there's ones in the spare rooms Witch created."
"Nah, I'm good, I'm more worried about her actually. Has that been a thing here?" Heat asked, frowning as he wiped a glob of rice off his ear, "Because if it has, then how long has it gone on?"
"Naga know, she did similar last week, but something tells me naga a good sign if that's what you're asking." Stitch said. He paused for a moment. "Gaba have something to do with...you know…?"
"Well, it's mostly her, but that thing hurt her hearing and did some other messed up stuff. I just worry a lot more nowadays…"
"It's pretty understandable; this is Angel after all." Plasmoid said, "Even Sparky's still having some trouble sleeping over his mind control; it's making him pretty upset since he's already a light sleeper, and that didn't help him too much. It's good she's at least here though right? It's better than traveling all over Earth, can't imagine all the stress her pop starring was putting her through…"
"It is, but we've got to find something for her to do. I owe it to her anyways since she got me into art."
Angel slunk back to the table and began to refill her plate, this time choosing a large chunk of chicken and pasta Heat had helped make, taking a large slice of cheese to go with it. She stuck her tongue out at Heat, who rolled his eyes, "Just eat your food Angel. And if you do that again, then-"
He raised an eyebrow at Angel, who'd stopped to stare at him intently. She knew exactly where he was going with this; both of them loved sweets and desserts, but Heat was the usually the one to hold them over her. Heat paused before firmly laying down the new rule.
"-Then no dessert for the week. Not even on Saturday."
"Yes, I would actually. You're gonna have to watch us eat all the dango, wagashi, the ice cream, all of it…"
Angel gasped in a mixture of mock horror and indignation at Heat's ultimatum, "You're a monster."
"Yeah, and so are you. Now do we have a deal?"
"Fine, I won't do it."
"That's good. I promise I'll take you and Stitch to get some ice cream tomorrow, okay?"
Angel instantly perked up, nodding before going back to her food. Kixx and Plasmoid on the other hand, exchanged glances. Both knew Angel was a handful, and Heat was good at working with her, but it didn't erase how truly exhausting Angel could be towards him. Kixx and Plasmoid had witnessed Heat be pushed to his wits end with her many times over-and he was the experiment who best knew how to handle her antics.
"...Aaaaanyways, the camera's going to be developed by tomorrow, so Yuna and I'll be heading out for that. We took a picture of the bay at high tide and it was really neat to see all the coral beds offshore." Ani tried to steer the conversation away, but couldn't do so for long; the thought of ice cream, now that her uncle had brought it up, was too good not to ask about. "Actually-on that, can we also come for the ice cream once we get the photos back?"
"Of course! You up for coming too Yuna?" Heat asked the tri-tailed girl as she got up from the table to put her plate in the sink.
"Yeah-after school lets out though, obviously."
After dinner, Plasmoid had taken a cursory look at 001 with Heat and Kixx before seeing himself off, promising to come back with Zap on Friday. Bonnie and Clyde had cleaned up the kitchen, while Heat had found himself needing a shower after all from his dive to save Angel from herself. He curled up next to Kixx in the bed in one of the spare rooms Witch had created and let out a yawn, leaning on him as he situated himself underneath the covers. The purple experiment chuckled and placed a hand around his fiance, drawing him close as he shot a glance at the stars outside the window. "Long day huh? Walking over, then Angel and Stitch, then Plasmoid...but especially Angel, right?"
"Yeah…" Heat pressed himself into Kixx further, "She's back to annoying people for attention again, and I...I dunno, I just hope that control helmet didn't hurt her as much as it looks like it did. It's why I'm glad this is finally being done regarding Hamsterviel and Gantu, Enough's enough you know? And then..."
"I know. It led to Lilo and Stitch seeing each other again, but I wish it hadn't happened in that way, with you, well…"
"Yeah. Oh well though, it's past us now at least, right? Hopefully for good this time..."
Kixx could tell Heat was drifting off fast as usual, his eyes and head starting to droop as he began to sink into the sheets. He'd developed a bad habit of bringing up negative subjects at night nowadays, and Kixx felt worry every time it happened. Heat had never actually told him what'd happened when he was captured, but from what Kixx had heard from Lilo, he may as well have just up and died to Heat. Since their-and Lilo and Stitch's-reunion, Heat had been pessimistic and far more anxious, having a relapse as a result of his capture. Kixx disliked seeing this from Heat; it was no fault to him, it was just that it worried him to see it, just like Heat worried for Angel he supposed…
Kixx straightened up and drew his fiance close to him in the bed, wanting to get away from the subject-at least for when they were supposed to be going to bed, "Hey, it is behind us now-please don't think of it as a maybe Heat. They're gone now and with the transports up and Lilo and Stitch back together? Gantu and Hamsterviel are done if they even step one foot on this planet. It's either us, or Scratch and Ai in China that they'll be dealing with-and probably both of us at the same time since Lilo filled Ai in on Gantu and Hamsterviel." He gently squeezed Heat's shoulder as he finished, "After what happened, I really don't want you thinking we're always going to deal with them. We're at the end now alright? Everything's going to be fine from now on."
Heat glanced up at Kixx, "You're right, it's just...you know…it feels weird they're not a part of our lives anymore on top of all of this. Gantu named me after all."
"I think we can learn to live without them."
Heat snorted before letting out another, much larger yawn, "So we're seeing to 001 in the morning, right?"
"Yep," Kixx turned off the light as he laid down, "I've got the alarm turned up to maximum in case you oversleep again, so we're all set."
No answer. Rather predictable to be quite honest; Heat was the type to fall asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow. Kixx looked over to see that this was once again exactly the case, seeing Heat curled up in between his two sets of arms; Kixx watched him for a moment before laying down next to him and closing his eyes.
Unfortunately, unbeknownst to him, he'd forgotten to change his phone's alarm. As a joke, Kixx for many years had as a ringtone the very song he'd been lucky enough to hear when Gantu had tried to turn everyone back to evil all those years ago, only to have it fail thanks to Snafu and play his horrible karaoke rendition instead. Heat couldn't stand it, but in a good way; Gantu's karaoke was a big joke among captured and free experiments alike, and Kixx had taken to using it as an alarm to curb Heat's oversleeping habit. Heat had a love-hate relationship with this, Kixx thought it was hilarious. But this week...maybe such a thing wasn't needed...