Stories  Home  Browse   Featured Stories   Titles   Series   Featured Stories   Top Tens   Most Recent   Search  
 Site  Help   Login   Contact Us   Escritoire Azul   
- Text Size +
Story Notes:
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Joss Whedon and Disney.
Setting: After Lilo & Stitch but before the rest of the movies and the tv series. Set after Dawn arrives on Buffy, though not at any point in particular. Buffy’s in an animated Hawaii. Just go with it.
Author's Note: The title is from "Blue Hawaii"
The campout was a bad idea, probably one of the worst Lilo had ever had, and she had a lot of them. Too many for a kid her age, and maybe it was the alien influence. Maybe not, Lilo had been a pretty weird child from the beginning, Stitch just made it worse, made it easier for Lilo to get what she wanted.

What Lilo wanted for her birthday was a family campout at the beach and it was a bad idea.

Nani knew that right about the time Lilo first asked to spend the night on the beach.

“Please, Nani?” she asked. “Pleakley promised to do all the cooking and Jumba says he has a special alien technology to make a great big bonfire and please? It will be a lot of fun!”

“Don’t you want a party? With your friends? A short party, during the day, where they all go home after?” Nani wanted, more than anything, to take a long, hot shower. She had been at work all day, and then had to walk home and her skin was coated with sweat, her hair matted against the back of her neck.

Lilo grabbed her hand, sticky little fingers clinging to her, and bared her teeth in a scary grin.

“I’ll do anything, just let me have a campout for my birthday. Please? I’ll make my bed and clean up after Stitch and I’ll never ask for anything else again. Please? I’ll be good forever and ever, I promise.”

The kid didn’t have any parents, just a weird set of alien baby-sitters, a dog who could talk (sort of, sometimes, when he felt like it), and a big sister who was melting under Lilo’s love.

“Sure, okay, yeah. We’ll camp out. It’ll be fun.” Nani smiled and tried not to think about whatever weird food Pleakley would provide, or how much damage Jumba’s equipment could cause. “All night on the beach under the stars, what could go wrong?”

“Nothing!” Lilo threw her arms around Nani’s waist and hugged her so hard she couldn’t breathe until Lilo let her go. “Thank you, Nani, thank you, thank you, thank you!”

She raced off into the kitchen to spread the good news, and Nani headed upstairs to steal a couple of minutes in the shower before the next emergency popped up. Maybe it would be fun. When she was little, before Lilo, and then when Lilo was a baby, she’d camped out all the time with their parents, their mother, in particular, had loved it, and the worst that had ever happened was a little rain, which was no big deal.

By the time Lilo’s birthday rolled around, Nani actually had herself convinced they would all have a good time. They did at first, everyone played crazy games Lilo invented and Nani surfed while Lilo built a giant sandcastle and Stitch knocked it down after. Even dinner wasn’t bad, only twenty-five percent strange compared to the usual ninety, and dessert was excellent, s’mores cooked over the bonfire. A nice, normal bonfire untouched by anything Jumba invented.

She didn’t even have to tell Lilo to go to bed when it got late. Lilo fell asleep next to the bonfire, wrapped in her sleeping bag, her head pillowed on Stitch. Stitch licked marshmallow off his claws, and Nani smiled. Sometimes he wasn’t a complete nuisance. Sometimes he was really quite helpful and cute.

She covered a yawn. She planned to stay up until Pleakley and Jumba went to sleep, to make sure the fire was put out properly, but she was always a little tired, every single day of her life, and after an afternoon spent surfing and playing in the sun, she was exhausted.

“Guys? I think it’s time to get some sleep,” she said.

“I can’t.” Pleakley was laying on his back, draped over a log, his head on the side farthest from the fire. “I’m not done counting yet.”

She shouldn’t ask. She knew she shouldn’t ask. She wasn’t going to like the answer.

She asked anyway.

“Counting what?”

He pointed toward the sky. “The stars,” he said, and then added, “and then I’m naming all the galaxies.”

“That’s…,” Nani hesitated. For a Pleakley answer, it wasn’t that bad, actually. “That’s nice.”

“You are homesick.” Jumba rocked back and forth where he sat, his big hands on his knees. “The little alien exiled to Ee-arth.”

“I’m counting,” Pleakley said again.

Nani sighed, and crawled into her sleeping bag. “Please put out the fire carefully before you fall asleep,” she said. “Or wake me up to do it.”

“Okay, Nani,” Jumba said, and then laughed. It was his evil genius laugh, the one he thought was terrifying. It wasn’t. It didn’t have quite the effect he wanted, especially since it had taken him six hundred and twenty six tries to create Stitch, and even he hadn’t stayed evil for long, not once Lilo got a hold of him. “I wouldn’t want your lovely planet to burn into little bits.”

“Jumba…,” Nani sighed and gave up. It was pointless. He wasn’t so bad, really, despite his delusions of evil grandeur. “Night, guys.” She rolled over and flung her arm over her eyes to block out the firelight.

She was asleep almost instantly.

~~*

Lilo’s scream woke her up.

“Nani!”

Nani scrambled to her. The fire was out, and it was hard to see at first, with just the light of the moon and the stars. There was something bending over Lilo, and Nani didn’t have to see what it was before she rushed at it and shoved, hard.

It stumbled a little, then turned and backhanded her so hard she flew all the way to the ocean’s edge and landed in the water.

“Lilo!”

She tried to scramble to her feet, but a wave hit the back of her legs and she went face first into the sand. Lilo stopped screaming. The silence was absolutely terrifying, and Nani, sputtering salt water, fought the wave until she could stand and lurch up the beach.

A little blonde woman, maybe Nani’s age, maybe a bit younger, slammed a big wooden stick into the thing’s chest – it was a man, as far as she could tell, except men didn’t have freaky ridges on their faces or fangs or turn into dust.

“You okay?” The woman asked Lilo, and tucked the piece of wood down the back of her canvas shorts. She was also wearing a tank top and tennis shoes. She wasn’t even out of breath.

Nani pinched her wrist, hard.

“What was that?” Lilo asked and stood. Stitch came bound up at out of nowhere. Nani didn’t know if he’d been hit by the man, too, or if he’d gone off to cause mischief, or – she didn’t know anything, did she?

The woman sighed, and wiped at her shirt. It had streaks of the dust across the bottom. “That was a vampire,” she said, and glanced at Nani. “I’m not lying to the kid.”

“A vampire? I knew it!” Lilo had vampire dust in her hair, but she was almost glowing with her excitement. “I knew there were monsters, vampires and werewolves and ghosts.” She stopped and turned to the little blonde woman. “There are werewolves and ghosts, right?”

“Right.” The woman swiped at her shirt again. “Every time I buy new clothes this happens. All I wanted was a nice, quiet vacation in paradise, but did I get it? No. What do I get? More freaking vampires. There’s no Hellmouth here, I checked, so why are there so many? Are they tourists? Can vampires be tourists?”

“A vampire,” Nani said, and her voice was flat.

“Yeah.” She stared out at the ocean for a second, and then looked at Nani again. “I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.”

“Hey.” Nani smoothed her hair out of her face. “Thanks. I mean, you saved our lives, right?”

“Right. At least hers.” She nodded at Lilo. “Probably yours, too.”

It was then that Nani realized Jumba and Pleakley were nowhere in sight. Maybe that’s where Stitch had been. She wondered if Pleakley was off counting stars still. The sun was about to rise. She could see first light, peeking over the edge of the island. They could have driven around, watched the sun rise on one side and set on the other.

It was nice, but an inane thought. Her mind felt scrambled. Her stomach growled.

“Can we get you breakfast? You know, to say thanks?”

“Breakfast?” She shrugged. “Sure. I get pretty hungry after slaying.”

“What’s your name?” Lilo asked. She stared up at her like she was some giant voodoo doll come to life and Nani felt fear. The last thing she needed was Lilo trying to convince the woman all her little friends were miniature vampires or something.

“I’m Buffy.” She smiled, and it wasn’t the kind of smile some people got around Lilo, that smile where they thought she was such a nice kid, and weren’t children adorable, and it was all very condescending. Lilo usually ate those people for lunch. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

“Cool.” Lilo dragged out the word, and Nani could hear the awe, which was just great. She was sure a hero-worshipping kid was just exactly what Buffy wanted on her vacation.

“Yeah,” Buffy’s smile widened. “I guess it kind of is.”

Then again.

~~*

“You should go to the luau tonight!” Lilo had powdered sugar all over her mouth and hands. It was a little frightening, watching her grin maniacally at Buffy and say things out of the blue. Nothing new, of course, but a little disconcerting. Nani wondered what Buffy made of it.

“Why?”

“To kill the manager!” People turned to look, her voice was so loud, and Nani rubbed her forehead to try to chase away the pending headache. She should have known better than to joke about it, because Lilo never forgot anything. Nani learned to remember all her words, just in case.

“Sorry, kid, Slayers don’t kill humans.” Buffy shoved another bite of pancake into her mouth and muttered something like, “Least not me.” For such a scrawny woman, she sure could eat. Thank god the local diner had an all-you-can-eat pancake deal during the week. Nani couldn’t afford to pay for this breakfast otherwise.

“But he’s a vampire!” Lilo lowered her voice just a little, not enough to keep the other diners from hearing her. Luckily they were all locals. Nani was pretty sure they were getting used to Lilo and the weird things she said. “He tried to get Nani to join his legion of the undead! She told me so herself!”

“Nani?” Buffy put down her fork and looked at her. Nani blushed under the weight of that stare.

“Yeah, I said that, but I was just kidding. I thought I told you that, Lilo.”

“But now that we know vampires are real, maybe….”

“Sorry. I made it up.”

“Oh.” Lilo gulped the last of her orange juice – it made Nani’s mouth pucker, the thought of powdered sugar pancakes mixed with citrus – and smacked her glass down on the table. Stitch sat outside, his face pressed against the window, staring at them. There were few places which wouldn’t let her bring him inside. They usually avoided those places. “My dog can talk.”

“Can he?” Buffy asked, and didn’t sound skeptical in the slightest.

“Yeah. He’s not really a dog, though. He’s an alien.”

“Lilo!” Nani rubbed her forehead harder. What she really needed was some industrial strength painkillers. “You shouldn’t tell Buffy that.”

“I don’t mind if she makes up stories.” Nani could almost hear the unspoken comment about the vampire at the luau and how she has no room to speak.

“It’s not that,” Nani said. “It’s that it’s true, and it’s supposed to be a secret.”

“Her dog’s an alien?” Buffy asked, and raised her eyebrows.

“It’s kind of a long story.”

“I’ve got all the time in the world.”

Nani sighed. She was afraid of that.

~~*

“I was supposed to come here once.” Buffy toyed with the cap to her beer bottle. “With my dad, on a business trip. Well, not here, as in Kauai, but he was going to Honolulu, so I would have seen Oahu. But something came up at the last minute. Probably some woman.”

“Was that before you started, you know,” Nani made a quick motion, invisible stake and invisible vampire, “slaying?”

“After. My parents didn’t divorce until after I was chosen. That was part of why they split. They were under a lot of pressure, I kept staying out late and tearing up my clothes and then there was the whole gym thing….”

“What gym thing?”

“The thing where I burned it down. There were vampires, it was this whole plan. It worked.”

They were silent for a minute. Buffy might have been thinking about the big plan, or her parents, or maybe whether she was going to leave Hawaii without actually having a real vacation. Nani couldn’t tell.

“You know, you’d think vampires wouldn’t be such a shock,” she said. “What with the whole ‘I live with aliens’ thing. You’d be wrong, obviously, but still.”

“It is kind of weird. Even for me, and believe me, I know weird.”

“Me too. See, aliens, and living with them. Plus, my sister makes voodoo dolls whenever she has a fight with her friends.”

“My sister had teenage angst and went on a shoplifting spree to make it better.”

“Lilo’s best friend is a talking dog! Well, he’s an alien really, but is that any better?”

“Hello? Dawn was an intangible ball of energy!”

Nani tilted her head back and closed her eyes as she basked in the sun. “Okay, you win. That’s pretty weird.”

“Tell me about it.”

The good thing about living with aliens was that, when you had the afternoon off work and wanted to spend your free time drinking beers and sitting on the beach with your new friend, you pretty much had built in baby-sitters. Sure, there was always the possibility she would go home and find the house had been blown up or turned into a spaceship or something, but Nani risked it.

She was glad she did. Buffy was funny, and if her stories were a little dark, well, of course they would be. They were sweet, too, and sad, and scary. It was like having a really good book come to life. Nani hadn’t had much time to read since her parents died, but she still appreciated stories.

The afternoon had a golden quality to it, and not just the sun. Buffy’s hair glowed, and her tan skin, and the air was syrup-sweet with the scent of flowers. The smell of salt water was just a tiny discordant note underneath it all.

They sat side by side, and their arms brushed against each other when they reached for their beers, and sometimes when they were just sitting there and both of them breathed in deep. Nani got a funny feeling in her stomach whenever it happened.

She didn’t intend to lean over and kiss Buffy, but the light hit her face just so, and they had been talking about how strange it was when high school ended and all of a sudden there was this whole new world to face, and there was something terribly sad about Buffy all the time, something of loss in her. She knew about death, and pain, and Nani really just wanted to make it better.

Buffy tasted like beer, and her lips were warm and slightly sticky, quite like toffees melting in the sun.

“I have a boyfriend,” Buffy said when it was over. “Sort of? Not that that wasn’t nice but – it’s complicated.”

“Me, too,” Nani blurted out. “His name’s David and he’s really great, he’s….” She was pretty sure Buffy didn’t care about who he was, or why he wasn’t there, but she wanted to keep talking. “I didn’t mean – I don’t go around kissing girls, but it’s just – I don’t get a lot of help with Lilo. Sure, Jumba and Pleakley try, but they’re the kind of help which isn’t. It’s like having extra kids around the house, and that was the last thing I needed. After Mom and Dad, well, it’s been tough.”

“I get that.” Buffy rested her elbows on her thighs and her chin in her hands. “I really do.”

“I know. That’s why….” She was pretty sure Buffy wouldn’t care about her explanation, either. Nani just wanted to give something to her, Buffy was a real hero, in the quite literally saving the world kind of way, and she deserved a thank you. Something better than just the words, she just wasn’t sure what that would be.

“Hawaii’s beautiful,” Buffy said, and gave a soft sigh. “I know it’s the same ocean as back home, but it doesn’t look like it. It seems so much bigger here, so much more powerful.”

Nani knew, then, what she should do.

“Hey, Buffy?” she asked. “Do you want to learn to surf?”

~~*

For a woman with super powers, Buffy was a terrible surfer.

At first it was okay, she was a typical beginner, but then, when she kept getting mad at the waves, Nani couldn’t help but laugh, and Buffy thought she was laughing at her, and got even more frustrated.

“What’s wrong with it?” she slapped her hand against the water. “It’s like the waves have it in for me or something.”

“Oh, yeah, all the waves, all the movements of the ocean, the whole entire world, it all revolves around you, doesn’t it?” Nani grinned but Buffy had this look on her face, just for a second, and Nani realized that, actually, it pretty much did.

“I’m gonna get it,” Buffy said, and put her board in position again. “I am.”

~~*

“Do you want to get some coffee?”

Buffy rang out her hair, sending water dripping to the sand. “Sure. Starbucks?”

“Uh, no.” Nani ran the towel over her face, oddly nervous. “Something different.”

Later, sitting in the sun with Buffy, drinking coffee instead of beer, Nani realized why. She wanted to kiss her again. She wouldn’t, but oh, she wanted. She made herself think of David, and the way her thighs felt like liquid when he kissed her and slipped his hands under her shirt. It wasn’t all that helpful a train of thought.

“This is different,” Buffy said, and took another drink. She smiled, and it was golden. “This is better.”

Nani was going to miss Buffy the Vampire Slayer, silly name and monsters and all.

End


Enter the security code shown below:
Note: You may submit either a rating or a review or both.