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Story Notes:
Disclaimer: Disney owns characters from Lilo & Stitch.
Spoilers: The movie, but not any of the sequels or the television show.
Author’s Note: The title is from Elvis’s “Hard Headed Woman”, of course.
Written for: slashthedrabble prompt 159 "Drive"
Dedication: _beetle_ for all the fun Lilo/Myrtle she's written.
There’s something different about Lilo, but Nani couldn’t quite put her finger on it.

Something besides the normal weirdness of a talking dog and alien uncles and the fact that, no matter how many times Nani took her out, Lilo just couldn't get the hang of driving a stick. She flew a spaceship before she was ten, but Nani’s Jeep was too much for her. It drove Nani crazy. First she thought it was her fault for not teaching right. Then it was Lilo’s fault for not trying hard enough. Finally she decided Lilo wasn’t ready and, when she was, it would happen.

It was a good thing Lilo didn’t mind walking everywhere. Nani drove her when she had time, but paying for food for a teenage girl, and Stitch, and, god, could the aliens eat any more, well, that meant working a lot, even with government help. Cobra did what he could, but there was a recession and the budget for social services got cut first.

But when Lilo started coming home with dry hair, and didn’t wear her bathing suit under her clothes all the time, Nani realized change was in the air. She couldn’t figure out what, exactly, Lilo was doing instead of surfing. There were no calls from her teachers, or complaints from the neighbors, or visits from the police. Lilo didn’t burn down the house, or let Stitch play with the chainsaw, or make messes in the kitchen with her experiments.

Nani came home from work early one day and got her first big clue. Really, it was less a clue and more an obvious slap upside the head. There was a bright red convertible parked in the driveway, at an angle so it took up too much space. Kauai was changing, becoming more populated, but there weren’t that many cars like that in their small town, especially ones with vanity plates: Myrtle. Poor girl, Nani almost felt sorry for her. There had only been two white girls in Nani’s class, and they had it pretty rough. The flashier they were, the rougher they had it. Parents, trying to help, and making everything worse. Nani knew just how that felt, just, you know, from the parental side of things.

They were around back, nothing big, just two teens sitting in the hammock and Lilo strumming something quiet on her guitar. Myrtle had her head tipped back, her face turned to the sun. Lilo watched her with the softest expression. Lilo didn’t usually look soft, most of the time she looked positively maniacal, but she was gentled, in the sunlight and the music and the girl.

Lilo’s in love.

It hit Nani like a wave, like she turned her back on the ocean, and she had to sit down for awhile. She made herself a glass of tea, sat in the kitchen with the windows open, and reminded herself to breathe.

There’s something different about Lilo. Nani didn’t quite know what to do about it.

End


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