The Palakai house was in much better repair than in the past few years. The rotating dome on top of the house sported a modern telescope and a subtly shaded satellite dish, the roof below it shone with the bright red of freshly replaced shingles, the blue paint on the walls was clean and crisp while the boards and beams of the stairs and banister showed none of the minute lines that used to tell where the shattered wood had been glued or nailed back together. Beneath the house, under the living room floor, the previously open-air parking spot was now walled up and turned into an actual garage.
The automatic doors of said garage opened and an old jeep with a shiny new olive coat of paint and the Kokauaa Hotels Conglomerate logo displayed proudly on the doors purred smoothly out of the garage and sped down the paved road access and off to town.
A black haired ten year old girl rushed out the front doors holding a lunch bag and sighed at the rapidly retreating car.
"Naaani!" She called out futilely and sighed. "You forgot your lunch again." She mumbled and walked sullenly down the stairs. She adjusted the red and neon green backpack on her left shoulder, unzipped the outer pocket and slid the bag inside.
"And she calls me lolo." She grumbled. "She is lolo."
"Naga Shaa Lilo." her odd blue furred, koala like friend and companion soothed. "We can bring lunch during lunch. Nani very busy."
"I know it's not my fault Stitch but she is wearing herself thin. Literally. I sneaked a peek at her bathroom scale last week and she lost seven pounds." The raven haired girl complained. "And if I bring her lunch I won't have time to take mine."
"Lilo?" A high pitched voice called out from the house. "Are you ready for school yet?"
"I'm already heading out Pleakley!" She called back.
"Be a dear and pick up a pineapple for me and a bunch of sixteen ohm resistors for Juumba on your way back." Pleakley asked, sticking his head out the window and waving a bill. With one eye, a clearly fake wig, body thin as a pole and three legs you'd think he'd stick out in Hawaii. Nobody ever remarks on it because it's apparently rude to point out birth defects of foregners. Because aliens? Just silly.
"No problem!" Lilo accepted, glancing at Stitch who nodded in agreement.
The blue, koala bear like alien climbed up the side rail and snatched the bill.
"Excellent! Keep the change and buy something nice for yourself!" Pleakley called out and disappeared back into the house
"Ooo boutifa! Franklin." Stitch exclaimed as he slid back down the banister where Lilo was already adjusting her helmet.
"Stitch ride the Velociraptor Thirteen Hundred today?" He pleaded as he handed the bill to Lilo.
"No Stitch, remember what happened when you rode my old twelve H?" Lilo cautioned as she pulled the Velociraptor skateboard out of its storage compartment under the stairs. She pressed her thumb to the bottom of the skateboard, just below the rear wheels. A light flashed inside the wheels and the Velociraptor beeped.
"Welcome Lilo. Jumba tech prototype Velociraptor mark three servo assist wheels enabled. Power enhancement is set, at, fifty percent." The skateboard spoke with a mechanical voice.
Stitch sighed as he pulled Lilo's old skateboard from below the stairs.
"Naga Bu Anda," he grumbled, and kicked a rock his shoulders slumping. "Lilo Jungabei."
Lilo smiled and crouched down slightly to give him a hug, squeezing and then lifting his hundred pound bulk of the ground. She smiled when he returned the hug, he still smelled like Cinnamon.
He's been using the same shampoo for three years now and refuses to use any other. She smiled. Her friend could be a bit vain at times but she loved him even with all the flaws. She finally set him down and looked him in the eye.
"Don't be like that. You are still faster than me even when I use the power enhancement system. I need the Velociraptor's slick aerodynamic lines and Juumba's tricked out wheels just to keep up with your super powers." She cooed at him and he laughed, disgruntlement fading away.
"Lilo plenty strong. Stronger than silly girls, faster than boys, smarter than adults." Stitch chided and scratched his chin thoughtfully. "Fact: Lilo work herself so strong and fast Stitch only give five second head start for race to school from now."
"Hey! That's not..." Lilo started to complain and Stitch just grinned at her as she paused to consider what he was saying. The fact was, she had started beating him to the school check point about every other time lately. Sure she was using alien technology and he was just using her old skateboard but still, this was Stitch she was racing. A large smile spread across her face as she tossed her board forward for a running start.
"Last one to school does laundry!"
Later that day in Kokaua middle school the clock on the classroom wall was ticking backwards for every two ticks forward, or at least that was what it seemed like to Lilo. She glanced at the recently re-christened Myrtle's Maidens struggling with the math and shook her head. She had been excited when she placed for all the advanced classes but then she saw how they made it into advanced class with Myrtle and knew her doom.
Her own test filled out and re-re-re-checked six minutes ago she was now amusing herself doodling the school getting sucked into those black hole vectors Juumba drew for her when she asked how exactly Holio could do what he did.
The school getting slowly sucked into a black hole was the only explanation for the time dilation she was experiencing. It was Friday, she was stuck in school going over things she mastered last year, she had tons of paperwork waiting at home, a Galactic Council Session was on Monday and Nani was still working from sunrise to midnight. Weren't executives supposed to be having an easier time than the grunts?
She glanced up at the clock. Ten whole minutes to go. Around the classroom others were in the last stretch their own work and a low whispers could be heard.
"Psst! Wierdlo! Pass this to my Maidens." Lilo turned around. Myrtle, the glasses wearing redhead has been her frienemy for the last six years ever since that incident in the kindergarten. The redhead was vicous but she was also smart and charming when she wanted to be. Lilo glanced at the note, at Myrtle and at her struggling friends. With a sigh she reached for the note and took it. Taking notes from Myrtle was slightly safer ever since she took the precaution of buying dark green graphite from overseas and using it for her class work.
"Class! Quiet down!" The teacher called out. "Lilo, Myrtle. I saw that. Hand in your tests right now and go outside. I don't care what you are doing but it can't be good for class discipline."
Lilo opened her mouth to complain and then stopped her brows frowning in confusion. She couldn't actually see any negative consequences here. She glanced at Myrtle who was already packing. Lilo grabbed her own bag and filled it with a practiced sweep of her hand. Ten seconds later the tests were deposited on the desk and the girls were leaving the classroom. Had the teacher actually winked at her as they left the classroom?
"So... Wierdlo... You going to lunch or are your family too poor to feed you now?" Myrtle asked innocently as they walked down the hallway.
"You know as well as I do Nani is head of the PR department for the Kokaua Town Hotel Association." Lilo frowned. Myrtle did know it since her cousin worked for Nani. So what was her angle.
"So you will be bugging me to sit with you then?" The redhead sniffed haughtily adjusting her slender, gold rimmed spectacles and Lilo chuckled in understanding.
"Will you cut that out Myrtle. We're alone." Lilo nudged her redhead companion slightly. "How can you be so smart and have such a weird compulsion?"
"I'm a rich heiress, at worst I can be eccentric. Weirdness is your domain my dear Weirdlo. In my world if you do not adhere to certain standards you get eaten alive." The slightly taller girl growled as they reached the school storage lockers.
"Uhuh. So you don't think verbally tearing people to shreds is amusing?" Lilo asked as she opened her locker and upended the contents of her bag onto the bottom shelf.
"Of course I do." The heiress said haughtily, carefully arranging her books. She glanced at Lilo, hesitated and then forged ahead.
"What I can never get is why do you still forgive me?" Mytle spoke quietly as she shut her locker, her back turned towards Lilo. The raven haired girl looked at Myrtle and carefully considered her words.
"Yappers told you what Stitch is right?" Lilo asked fishing into the pile of disorganized stuff and pulling out a bulky new cell phone.
"Of course. After everything I saw? You bet I asked. Sometimes I am amazed we're all still alive. What does that have to do with me?" The redhead asked, fiddling with her key-chain, still facing away. Lilo put her hand on her friend's shoulder and Myrtle stiffened as Lilo spoke gently.
"I have known you all my life Myrtle. Ever since we fought for the wardrobe spot in kindergarten. You too need a place where you belong, razor sharp tongue and all." Lilo spoke in a slightly teasing tone.
"Are you comparing my loquacious skills with a genetically programmed weapon of mass destruction?" Mytle took an astonished step away and turned to look Lilo in the eye, blushing slightly. "That's both the weirdest and the coolest thing you ever said to me. We will never speak of this again on pain of death."
She pushed past Lilo and headed for the lunch room a scowl firmly in place. She paused in the middle of the hallway and looked over the shoulder with a raised eyebrow.
Lilo chuckled to herself and joined her even as she lifted the phone and dialed a number from memory.
"Hello? Classy Kokawa Catering? This is Lilo Palakai I am checking my one o'clock order for Nani Palakai at the... Yes. Thank you. charge it to the... Yes that's right. Fries and a milkshake with the shrimp. Yes. The message is correct if a little mushy just make sure she gets it word for word. I will. Thank you."
With a beep Lilo put the bulky cell phone into her bag.
"I didn't know you had a cell phone Li... Weirdlo." A wide eyed Myrtle choked out.
"Executive perks." The phone owner smirked. She actually bough it with her own salary but if Myrtle found out she had ambassador status and went to space regularly on galactic business she'd blow a fuse.
"Great, now I have to get one too." Myrtle groaned. "My poor allowance."
"Myrtle your uncle has you on an allowance that could pay the electricity bill for the whole city." Lilo retorted. "What's the big deal."
"I have investments. And... chrty." The young socialite mumbled quietly.
"What was that Myrts?"
"Charity. I have obligations to charity this month." Myrtle spat out.
"Obligations?" Lilo asked with a smile.
"Fine I blew most my allowance on that stupid feed the children crud, my investments are in a delicate state and I can't afford to sell any stock.." Myrtle growled. "I'll have to ask for an advance and my uncle will give me a two hour lecture on budgeting and fiscal responsibility. Hello? I have my own subscription to Financial Times and a direct line to the New York stock exchange in my room!" The redhead hissed.
Lilo kept quiet for a moment making a mental note to avoid walking into that verbal minefield. Myrtle had her own stress it seemed. And she had been so happy when her uncle officially named her his heiress.
"Hey, I can keep the phone a secret if you want." She offered.
"Yeah right like you could." An automatic retort came from the sulky redhead.
"I had the phone for four months now." Lilo offered.
"Oh and you chose this time to brag..."
Lilo cut her off with a gesture.
"I trust you. I don't trust teachers to let me keep it in school." She spoke softly, staring the grumpy heiress right in the eye.
Myrtle was quiet as they picked up their lunch. She was smart, and she was tough but Lilo had come to realize a long time ago that befriending Myrtle would be like befriending a tiger. Exciting but dangerous. And took a lot of meat. By now Myrtle had half a dozen of her lesser secrets and so far not one of them has been used against her.
"Thanks Lilo." She murmured as the bell rang.
"Don't mention it. Myrtle."
When the classes ended The Maidens were surprised to find Myrtle and Lilo sitting together but adapted quickly to the truce.
Inwardly Lilo wished all her efforts were going this smoothly. She had like a jazzillion GalMails to sort through, the FTL transceiver Juumba patched together was being wonky again and Nani was really starting to worry her. At least Myrtle only had to worry about being passed over for the inheritance of a banana-coconut empire.
If she messed up, someone might invade.
Later that evening Hawaii was proving once again to be a perfect place to live. The night was beautiful, the breeze carried the scent of flowers everywhere and the stars were twinkling brightly. A perfect evening to lounge around outside in the hammock. Unfortunately for Lilo she was only half way through with wading through her paperwork.
The round bedroom was dimly lit by the greenish glow of the 3D computer screen and Lilo was typing away busily. On her left was a Galactic to English dictionary, an etiquette book on Council Conduct and the abridged version of Galactic Law, on her right was a somewhat dried, half eaten sandwich she was supposed to have eaten two hours ago.
"Li~iloo." Stitch growled lying on his back with a pillow stuck on his face.
"Hey, I know this stuff is boring but I have to put up with paperwork and stuffy books for a few hours so we can play zero G zombie space pirates in the zero G chamber after the Council Session." Lilo glanced at her blue furred friend for a second smiling at his antics before typing that she would be delighted to indulge the Inkidian Ambassador's request for a genuine Earth slinkie for his spawn.
"Lilo have more schoolwork too." Stitch complained his ears drooping.
"I know, but Nani insists. A average, schoolwork first or no off world Galactic Council Sessions for you young lady." The ten year old ambassador imitated her sister with an exaggerated scowl.
"Silly Nani. Lilo have job not just play in space." He said looking around the room for something to do while Lilo was busy. His glance landed on his own personal toy chest and he jumped off the bed to root around.
"Yeah, honorary ambassador or not it's up to me to represent Earth. I'm just glad The Agency decided to honor my status Earthside and exchange some of those credits for real cash." The beep of an incoming message drew Lilo's attention and her eyes narrowed as she read it.
"Emba chua!" Stitch agreed lifting up his last birthday gift in triumph. "Gotta catch em all!"
"Hey Stitch, before you turn on that gameboy hand me that copy of Galactic Economics for Dummies? Something weird came up on Maloosa."
"Vampires?" He asked hopefully.
"Naah, some sort of mining dispute. Apparently I have 0.006% stake in all Maloosan mining and my broker thinks I should bring it up during council."
"Aka?" He asked, head tilting to the side.
"It was in that investment package Juumba put together a few years back." Lilo shrugged. "Something about avoiding taxes and Galactic University, apparently it might pay off or something."
"Lilo! Dinner!" A voice called out from downstairs and Stitch's ears perked up as he glanced at Lilo. The girl continued typing her hands flying across the keyboard relentlessly. With a sigh he hopped off his bed and tugged on her leg, breaking her concentration.
"Stitch? What do..." She frowned, startled. He wasn't usually this impatient.
"Nani home for dinner." He stated simply and then Lilo's infectious grin caused him to smile.
Quickly saving her work she hopped off her chair, pulled him to the elevator pad and proceeded to jump up and down on it in an attempt to make it go faster.
The elevator dropped swiftly as always and Lilo rushed barefoot towards the kitchen. And there she was, setting the table while wearing her business skirt and a partially undone shirt. Necktie and jacket slung over the chair carelessly. Nani looked unusually cheerful and energetic.
"Nani?" Lilo muttered. Her sister looked up and smiled at her.
"Hey Lilo! Guess what!"
Synapses triggered and a chain of thought extrapolated from past events resulting in Lilo rushing across the kitchen and throwing herself at her sister knocking her to the floor.
"Nani, Nani!" She called out snuggling into her sister's shoulder.
"Lilo? What's gotten into you?"
"Hey hey. What's this?" Juumba, the mad scientist alien with two secondary eyes and limbs the size of tree trunks asked as he entered the kitchen. "Has little girl been playing with time machine again?"
Lilo looked at him like he had grown another head and a disgusted look in her eye.
"No, Nani finished the mega-project and if the CFO gave her less than two weeks off I'm personally kicking his butt."
"Lilo?" Nani asked still stuck sitting on the floor with her growing sister snuggled in her lap. "Was it really that bad?"
Pleakley looked like he had something to say but Juumba grabbed him in a wrestling hold, covered his face (and mouth) with his hand and carried him out of the kitchen following a tip toe-ing Stitch.
"You did get that note right?" Lilo asked leaning back and raising an eyebrow.
"Oh Yeah, that one gets you a 'get out of grounding free card'. The negotiations were about to stall over lunch and I realized I forgot to organize food for the clients and that they would scatter all over the island for lunch. I was quietly freaking out about looking incompetent and loosing their focus when my secretary quietly informs me that the jumbo sized seafood platter was here. You, my little lolo, made me look like I had planned on a working lunch and so they all decided to 'follow my exemplary work ethic'. The note made my day. Sharing my milkshake with that Japanese Cruise line representative might have helped seal the deal too." Nani told her sister ruffling her hair.
"Well, I'm glad I could help but I meant it! You need to eat more, you are starting to look like one of those skeletal girls in those creepy fashion magazines. You work more now then when you were renting canoes..." Lilo trailed off. "I worry."
Nani blushed. Running the palm of her free hand down her thighs. Those models were on the thin side of things.
"Well, your worries are over. For the next thirty days? I'm a stay at home sister. We might even take that flight to Graceland we talked about."
"For real Awesome!?" the elvis fan exclaimed excitedly.
"Yeah, now let's get to that dinner, I'm starving. Hey Juumba! Get back in here! Mushy sister stuff is over!"
"My roast!" A loud gasp was heard form the living room and a suddenly freed Pleakley dashed into the kitchen with an intent look upon his face.